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MY FIRST VOYAGE.
A t oli for 4uO j.
ILLUSTi ATED) BY E. RiOFFE,
If you will have a young man to put his travels into a little room, and in short
time to gather much, this you must do : first, as was said, lie must have some entrance
into the language before he goeth; then be must have such a servant or tutor Is
knoweth the country, as was likewise said; let him carry with him also some ('rd,
or book, describing the country where he travelleth. which will be a good key to his
inquiry; let him also keep a diary."--taron.
SIMPKIIN, MARASH.ALL & (JO.
With pleasant recollections of the Author's fellow-
Whether, as some, they have since manfully fought the
battle of life, and having acquired power and repute,
are now moulding the destinies of future empires;-
Or, as some, are laboriously toiling among the heathen,
teaching the pure truths of Christianity, and living
its bright exemplars;-
Or, as others, have passed away, leaving on the mind a
tranquil image of their existence, as the memory of
a happy dream:-
In honor of the sea he loves;-
To present, as in a phantasmagory, tp dwellers at home,
by their own firesides, pictures of the world beneath
That youthful sea travellers may know the ways of
Is this small book written.
The little bark being thus launched, may the favouring
gale of public approval waft it gently onward down the
stream of time.
The Departure 1
The Voyage 2
At Sea-The Captain's Story-Whaling
At Sea-The First Officer's Lesson-Signals 4
At Sea-Sunday-The Sermon 5
America-Brazil-Rio de Janeiro 6.. .
At Sea-The Doctor's Lecture-The Philosophy of a Sea Voyage 7
Africa-The Cape of Good Hope 8
At Sea-The Second Officer's Sketches-Vessels of all Times 9
The Desolate Island-St. Paul .
At Sea-The Artist's Ocean Thoughts 11
Van Dieman's Land-Tasmania 12
Australia-New South Wales-Port Phillip-Gold 13
New Zealand-The Inland Journey 14
New Zealand-The Treaty-The Feast 15
Old Times-Heathendom 16
New Times-The Missionary 17
THE TOWER OF LONDON.
"Tower'd cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men."--MILTON.
IN a small court, leading from the principal thoroughfare of
the City of London, still stands one of those ancient mansions, so
many of which have of late been ruthlessly pulled down for the
opening out of new streets.
The dining hall, reached by a broad oak staircase, with massive
carved balustrades, and once the scene of many a gay festivity
in the days of its former occupier, a princely merchant of the
olden time, has been for many years converted into a shipbroker's
office; and therein, early in the autumn of 18-, might have
been seen numerous assistants, inscribing the many papers relating
to argosies abroad.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Sailors and officers engaging to serve on board various ships,
captains of vessels waiting for orders, and merchants' clerks im-
patiently demanding their bills of lading, and inquiring when the
letter-bag would close, thronged the room; while groups of pas-
sengers, mostly from the rural districts, unheeded by the busy
officials, gazed listlessly around the spacious apartment, whose
chief adornments consisted of plans of cabins and large staring
placards, setting forth that on certain days the good ships White
Squall, Red Rover, and Washington, would sail for the ports of
Bombay, Sydney, and New York respectively. One relic only of
the bygone splendour of the room remained, in the form of a
noble marble chimney-piece, in the delicate chisellings of whose
elaborate tracery the accumulated dust of long years slept in
At length the head clerk of the establishment announced,
with great emphasis, that the Petrel would positively leave the
docks on the next day, the 18th, and Gravesend on the 20th;
the effect of which statement upon the strained patience of the
passengers was as the release of a spring; and after a few hur-
ried sentences the crowd withdrew from the office, some to the
ship, some to their comfortless temporary lodgings, others to
make last purchases of sundry small articles for the voyage.
That evening's post conveyed to all parts of the country fare-
well words from many a loving daughter and stalwart son, whose
great brave heart thought it no weakness to blur a mother's letter
with a tear.
A tinge of regret accompanied the last look at various objects
which had now become familiar to the passengers in their weary
wanderings between the bustling docks and the thronged city.
The tower, with its old armories, stores of modern trophies, an-
tique warders, and grim shadowy recollections, the sluggish moat,
the dim oil lamps glimmering in the quiet darkness, disturbed
only by the measured tread of the watchful sentinels, and at that
period its real living lions, boa constrictors, and agile monkeys;
the grave, self-sufficient Mint, retiring within its guarded gates
and iron barriers to perform its mighty office of coiner to the
realm;-t'he gloomy India warehouses, through whose lofty por-
tals the passer-by observed the toiling workmen all adust with
indigo;-the venerable old church of St. Helen's, with mottoed
porch, Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness," standing
in an oasis of grass and trees; a kindly, fresh, though hoary relic
of past ages, amidst a modern desert of bricks and mortar;
the India House itself, with its long, narrow, dark passages,
and curious museum, suggestive of the mysterious secrecy of the
Ramblers on the pier at Gravesend, on the bright clear still
morning of the 20th, observed two distinct classes of passengers
disembark from one of the smartly-painted steamers plying on
the silent highway of Father Thames. The merry, lightly clad
and lighter hearted visitors tripping on shore, intent upon the
joyous pleasures of the day; others, with sober thought on their
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
brows, and by the weight of unseasonable clothing they toiled
under, evidencing that the limits of their travels had not been
arrived at. These latter were instantly surrounded by bawling
watermen officiously tendering their services to convey voyagers
to their ships.
Amphibious Gravesend, whose chief intercourse with the great
metropolis in our earlier days was by sailing hoys of pleasant
memory; afterwards, for twenty years, by numerous fleets of
swift and crowded steam vessels, which in their turn have for the
most part given place to those overwhelming competitors, the
railways, of which two now link with bonds of iron the modern
Babylon to its twenty miles distant outskirt;-well known to all
visitors for its narrow streets, emerging from the muddy bank of
the dingy shore, and struggling upwards towards the far-famed
Windmill-hill. A much changed place, but in all change ever
affluent in stores of fish, huge quarters of beef, and piles of
vegetables, sea bedding and clothing, and marine appliances of
all kinds; with refreshment houses, redolent of savory smoking
viands, tempting the sturdy seaman, and contesting his choice
with the liquid good cheer of the Admiral Benbow and Lord
Yearly did thousands of pallid children watch the gay steamers
as they darted past the busy wharves of London, and panted
with hope for the promised trip to pic-nic on the then verdant
hill, where never failing gipsies allotted liberal fortunes to
thousands, but never realized their own; and then to tea and
shrimps in a quiet cottage parlour, at the solicitation of some
Highly cultivated fields, interspersed with farm homesteads and
picturesque hop grounds, where in full force, throngs of merry
pickers, collecting the fragrant bitter, with nimble fingers stripped
the teeming bines, poured their rich pictures upon the eye; while
far to the east, south, and west ranged the beauteous hills of
Kent, crowned with woods and copses, whence gush forth streams
of rich melody from heaven's choristers, tuning their merry throats,
-the evening song of the nightingale, and the morning call of the
cuckoo, sinking deep into the soul of the deck-pacing mariner.
"O blithe new comer I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice;
O cuckoo shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering voice."
Northward, the broad peaceful meads of Essex, dotted with innu-
merable lowing cattle, stretched many a mile, the stubble fields
telling of waving corn well housed; the Thames as a silver cord
binding, yet ever separating, the two counties; while scattered
over the river, moving and at rest, were emigrant ships and fish-
ing boats, yachts, timber vessels and troop ships, Indiamen and
colliers; the flags of all nations fluttering in the breeze.
On the opposite bank stands old Saxon Tilbury (Tilia, a hus-
TIIE OLD GATE OF TILBURY FORT.
bandman; or Tigel, a tile; and burgh a town; being one of the
earliest tiled cities in England. Tilbury was also the seat of
MY FmLOST VOYAGE.
Ceadda, a London bishop, who converted the East Saxons to
Christianity, in the seventh century,) celebrated in history as
being the spot where the maiden Queen Elizabeth, and the gay
and renowned Earl of Leicester, reviewed the English troops
assembled to repel the threatened invasion of the Spanish Armada.
Our noble ship lay at anchor in mid-channel, as a racehorse
held by the bridle, her cumbered decks being rapidly cleared by
the crew, who seemed to have a magic power of packing away
an endless supply of baggage in what appeared an already full hold.
Meantime inquisitive friends were reporting to passengers the
result of their inspection of the vessel; commenting upon the
abundance of the poultry, and the smallness of the pigs, hazard-
ing an opinion, unaware of seamen's resources, that no one could
milk the cow in that mere box; and declaring it impossible that so
many sheep could live in such a small boat; wondering where so
much luggage would be deposited, how we should all be fed, and
fearing lest water should fail.
In one small cabin was an anxious mother, carefully arranging
her only son's bed; another resounded with the smart strokes of a
hammer, as nails and hooks were being driven into the beams for
the suspension of all sorts of articles of sea convenience; the
occupants of others were adjusting, altering, and finally fixing the
position of boxes and drawers, ingeniously contriving how least:
to trench upon the
Cabin'd, cribbed, confined"
Among the intending voyagers was a minister, who had been
accompanied thus far by his friends; and, with emotion, many
present joined in solemn prayer and the parting hymn.
I-How are thy servants blest, 0 Lordl
How sure is their defence !
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence.
When by the dreadful tempest borne
High on the broken wave,
They know thou art not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.
The storm is laid, the winds retire,
Obedient to thy will;
The sea that roars at thy command,
At thy command is still.
In midst of dangers, fears, and deaths,
Thy goodness we'll adore;
We'll praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more."
Rapidly followed the short click, click, click, of the windlass;
the heavy clank of the cable as it slowly trailed inboard, like a
giant snake made prisoner; the solid decisive orders of the pilot;
the song and chorus of the seamen as they hauled the sheets home
to the yards; the long strained look towards friends on shore and
in boats, the last wave of hat and kerchief, and the Petrel
"Walked the water as a thing of life."
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
"Over the sea, over the sea,
List, what a bonnie bird whisper'd to me."--SoNG.
THE breeze blew fresh and fair, and the bright sunlight danced
upon the shimmering water; and as we sailed down the channel, the
villages dotting the verdant hills and valleys of Old England
receded from view, and in the crisp autumn air the coast line
stood out clear and well defined, the chalk cliffs sparkling brightly
as a jewelled coronet on ocean's brow.
The bearings of Start Point were taken and duly registered in
the log-book, and the men being divided into their respective
watches the Petrel sped swiftly on her way, a tear rushing to
many an eye as it glanced towards the dim fading island home of
That precious gem set in the silver sea."
The wind strengthened, and the hushing gurgle of the spray
brushed up by the vessel gently turning aside the water under
her bows, rose into a surging swell as the increasing impetus of
the ship's way gave a larger and larger curve to the parted sea;
and the wind grew stronger, and yet stronger, and one after
another the sails were furled, and the entries on the log-slate told
of increasing wind, strong wind, blowing hard, and heavy gales.
The stormy wind and raging sea contended in grim battle for
the possession of the good ship; the lightning darted down in
fierce forky tongues, and the turbulent thunder rolled in dis-
tracting roar, volley after volley crashing overhead ; the invisible
spirits of the air whirred and whizzed and howled through the
rigging, and the dense riven clouds charged furiously through the
sky over the pale face of the moon, while at fearful speed the
Petrel scudded before the driving blast.
Now we rushed up the huge swell and anon drove down into
the deep sea valley, the masts rocked and swayed, and the hull
of the vessel rolled heavily from side to side ; few human sounds
were heard, save that the vigilant officer of the watch, firmly, in
short sentences, warned the steersmen to starboard, steady, port,
or port-hard, as might be necessary to keep the ship straight
before the wind, lest the heavy sea should strike her on the
quarter, and cause the gallant bark to broach to; and the helms-
men as with strained muscles they grasped and moved the wheel,
echoed the directions, steady, hard-a-port, Sir. And with all care a
foaming sea would occasionally roll over the stern, and rushing
forward, flood the decks, pouring out in torrents through the
The wild waves were hushed into quietude, and there was a
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
dead calm, not a ripple disturbed the glassy pool ; the ship lifted
and sank slowly on the heaving bosom of the sea, the sails fell
flat, the little vane at the mast-head was motionless, the ensign at
the peak hung in folds and could not be unfurled, and idly was
the time spent in whistling and wishing for a breeze; and the
sailors were gloomy, for the unheeding passengers had been
decoying and making captives of some of those seamen's genii of
good weather, Mother Carey's chickens, as they fluttered about
the ship, passing and repassing under the stern, running along
the waves, just touching the surface with their claws.
"And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe."
"A storm after this," muttered the helmsman, as he watched the
birds being caught; if they (the offending passengers) had to go
out to the weather hearing when we are reefing, or to stow top-
gallant sails when it is blowing hard, they would aloft remember
all this. What harm have the pretty birds done to them? "
Towards evening puffy breaths of air were felt, and they were
adverse; and the puffs gathered into heavy squalls, under which
the ship staggered and lay over on her side; and as the storm
increased the Petrel laboured sore, and pitched heavily, buffet-
ing the stout waves with her strong bows, and from mainroyalmast
head to keel every timber and rope trembled, creaked, and
groaned; and the thoughtful captain fearing that by longer con-
tention with the violent gale, damage might be sustained by his
good ship, hove to, and the vessel drifted before the wind, rising,
diving, and receding in large curves upon the big waves; and we
sympathized with the Petrel in her ease.
Small jokes were played; as that upon the old lady of seventy,
who being told that we were approaching the line, was particularly
anxious to see it; and being informed that the Petrel would
cross it in the night, inquired of the chief officer (because she
knew he would not deceive her), whether the line was not a wood
fence, with gates at intervals, to allow of ships passing; and he
seriously answered yes, and if she would look through his teles-
cope she should see the line. She could not see anything, she
said, whereupon he proposed to assist her in holding the telescope.
In doing so he stretched a twine across the glass, and she was
quite satisfied she had seen the line, at the gates of which he said
we should arrive about midnight.
And pigs fell overboard and were recovered, and a robust good
tempered apprentice had the same misfortune.
The cry was instantly raised, Overboard, overboard," but
who was in that predicament did not immediately appear. One
gentleman vociferated the names of his two pet dogs to see if they
were safe; and the mother of a large family hurriedly totalled
up her progeny, anxious to ascertain that it was not one of her
children. "It's Charley," said the chief officer, and shouted at
the top of his voice, Swim away my boy," waving his cap to
encourage the lad, while his young fellow apprentice ran sobbing
and crying about the deck, fearing lest his companion would
perish before the boat could reach him.
Meantime the captain had given orders to back the mainyard,
that the ship's way might be stopped; and Man the quarter-boat,"
he cried, and speedily four stout men, with the second-officer, were
on the sea, pulling vigorously towards the boy. The next few
minutes were passed in intense anxiety, and every eye was di-
rected to the small receding speck on the water. They are near
him; if he only keep up a minute longer they will have him.
God defend him from sharks! They are waving to him, they
have got him, they pull him in, they cheer, we respond, we
breathe, he is safe; and the boat rowed back to the ship.
With an invigorating glass of brandy, and an emphatic caution
from the sententious fatherly commander, the lad was dismissed
to change his clothes. He remarked to an enquiring passenger,
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
that when he saw the mainsail laid to the fast, he knew we were
stopping for him and would send a boat; his only dread was that
a shark might seize him before the boat came; and in reply to an
expressed fear that he must have imbibed a disagreeable quantity
of salt water, he naively added, I was taught to swim with my
The dripping lad sat down upon his sea-chest to mend his dry
clothes; for, with the carelessness of a sailor, one of his fixed
principles was, that it was soon enough to repair rents when the
torn article was required for wear.
Little accidents of births occurred, and discussions whether the
newly born belonged to Stepney parish; and ripening friendships
promising to end in marriage, and arguments on the law of sea-
weddings; and brief quarrels threatening to result in duels on
shore-all forgotten at the termination of the voyage, when
we parted with endless recollections vowed, and strong good
Scraps of poetry, short romances, latest intelligence, &c. were
daily found in Neptune's post-box, and read at our dessert, amid
laughter, merry criticisms, and wonder at the assumed unknown
authors who thus helped us to pass away the monotonous days;
and reading, music, song, and games aided to while away our
Daily the golden sun rose out of the burnished fiery sea, and
every evening, as it descended in the western sky, the heavens
were lighted up with gorgeous hues of purple, green, and gold,
blue and orange, mingling and contrasting with wondrous effects;
and the fleecy clouds took strange fantastic forms, and fancy
revelled in the figures of dragons and horsemen, turretted castles,
quaint old gables, lawns, parks, antlered deer, and feeding flocks.
We watched the vivid flashings of the harmless sheet light-
nings darting, playing, and chasing one another, then hiding,
dashing, and gambolling between cloud and cloud, backwards and
forwards, as heaven's children at play.
On the still evenings we gazed upwards, admiring the stars as
they rained their myriad lights upon us, Arcturus, Orion, the
Southern Cross, and the Magellan clouds, and involuntarily our
choicest voices burst out in the noble strains of Haydn's fine
"The heavens are telling the glory of God."
and we looked downwards upon the phosphorescence of the water
at the side, stern, or bows of the ship, as we coursed through the
waves, for we seemed voyaging between two glorious heavens;
and brilliant and lovely as were the stars above,
"With scarce inferior lustre gleamed the sea,
Whose waves were spangled with phosphoric fire;
As though the lightning there had spent their shafts.
And left the fragments glittering on the field."
We told one another of our past histories, and discoursed of
future projects as we paced the deck in the intense starlight of
Porpoises were grained, and albatrosses caught, and the ele-
gant nautilus and buoyant Portuguese men-of-war were seen; and
now and then we passed a sleepy whale, or were passed by a
school of snorting grampuses. Occasionally shoals of flying fish
would start from the water like sparrows from a hedge, not in
fear, as some suppose, for chasing enemies were not observable;
rather it seemed an act of joy, as the frisking of a lamb or the
gallop of a horse let loose in a field, or the grotesque rollicking
gambols of an ass on a common, from mere exuberance of life;
and some leaped on board and were cooked and pronounced capital
There were red letter days in the ship's calendar, days of note;
Christmas Day, our captain's birthday, crossing the line day, St.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Andrew's day, and the day of sighting the land, when with loud
hurrahs, and three times three, we hailed land hol" and our
Sunday; all joyous days, distinguished by their champagne,
bubbling and sparkling, and plum-puddings of large dimensions,
in addition to our usual good and ample provisions; and every
Saturday evening, with hearty, true, sailor custom, we drank the
toast, Sweethearts and Wives."
We had our time of dread, during which, at arm's-length for
hours, we confronted black death; for on that day we had mys-
teriously partaken of a subtle poison with our morning meal, and
before its invisible malignant power, old and young, hale and
weakly, one by one, succumbed.
The chief officer, in his strong manhood, rolled on his bed in
agony; others sat upon deck, gazing in silence upon the blanched
features and liquid fishy eyes of their companions.
The black steward exclaimed that he felt berry funny;" and
the cabin-boy, through his convulsive hiccups, gasped out that he
thought he was dying.
The helmsman could not take his trick at the wheel, for in
anguish he was writhing in his bunk in the forecastle.
Some reclined upon the poop in quiet resignation, awaiting the
issue of that dreamy listlessness and indifference to life which
crept over us; while others were conducted to their cabins, where,
in speechless idiotic stupor, they passed the weary hours.
At the saloon dinner-table sixteen vacant seats told their own
sad tale on that memorable day of despair, whose mystery has
never been unravelled.
And we realized the truth of Lamartine's thought, that travel-
lers live many lives. A new port being approached with all the
hopes, fears, and uncertainties of youth; during our stay we make
acquaintances and form attachments, some place or person be-
comes part of our being, rooting with minute fibrills into the
affections, as a ship nestles into its quicksand bed, and dwells
THE VOYAGE. 15
unseen deep. down therein for evermore; we leave, and in de-
parting, gaze with strained eye towards lessening spire and tower
with the last silent look of a friend; and what more is death than
To beguile the time and increase our mutual pleasure we had
weekly assemblies, at which each contributed to the information
and amusement of the whole company; with what result some of
the succeeding chapters may partially disclose.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
AT SEA-TIE CAI'TAIN'S STORY-WHALING.
SAnd God created great whales."
BIBLE, English version.
IT was in my native town of Scarborough," said the captain,
" that I imbibed the elements of learning, at the knee of an ancient
matron; who, in consideration of a small weekly stipend, intro-
duced eighteen alumni through the mysterious portals of the
temple of knowledge; six received their lessons simultaneously,
the other twelve, divided into two brigades, being employed in
the meantime in the intellectual operation of mangling, half
tugging at the rope fastened to one end of the loaded box which
constituted the pressing machine, and six thrusting at the oppo-
site end; and this system of industrial education she justified on
the principle that-
"Satan finds. ome mischief still
For idle hands to do."
AT SEA-THE CAPTAIN'S STOIRY-WHALING.
When the day had passed satisfactorily, a handful of sweet-
meats would emerge from the capacious pocket of the venerable
dame for distribution amongst the laughing youngsters; and
often on the bright long summer days our studies and mangling
gave place to a walk around the Castle Ilill, or on the fine open
sandy beach, or to Oliver's Mount, where our ancient friend,
gathering us about her, would pour into our wondering minds
strange tales of the old castle, built many hundreds of years ago;
of Gaveston, King Edward's favourite, who was starved out of
the strong place and obliged to surrender; of the curious Pil-
grimage of Grace, in the reign of great King Henry, on which
occasion a large army of enthusiasts, preceded by priests, carry-
ing crosses, and banners hearing devices of crucifixes, and the
name of Jesus on them, had in vain striven to drive out the
governor and his troops; of the siege of the grey old towers by
Cromwell, to whose all-conquering sturdy troopers the partisans
of King Charles opened the gates; and in these latest wars she
told us her ancestors had borne their part. Outgrowing the
limits of her sphere, the next educational functionary whose care
I underwent was so much more interested in the discussion of
politics at the Bear and Ragged Staff" than in the performance
of his scholastic duties, that my progress would have been small,
even had death not clipped the thread of my father's life; whence-
forward a rough-hewn, but good-natured uncle undertook to
induct me into the duties of a sea-life, and began his instruc-
tions by boxing my ears whenever I manifested symptoms of
sickness, to divert attention from the stomach, or, as he nautically
termed it, give me another point of departure."
My sea career was soon temporarily suspended; for, as on one
occasion, we were beating down the English channel, our ship
deeply laden with coals, we incautiously stood over too near to the
French coast, were chased by a fast-sailing privateer, the ship
taken, and the crew made prisoners.
At first my boyish alarm was great, but the many kindnesses
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
received from the ladies connected with the prison officials
speedily re-assured me.
During our captivity the senior officers instructed the younger
of the crew, and thus my general and professional education were
greatly advantaged by this compulsory residence on shore.
Two long years were spent in exile, during which, although
scantily clothed, almost shoeless and indifferently fed, we per-
formed many a weary march from prison to prison, the place of
our confinement being continually changed. The dark-eyed
daughters of France, compassionating our forlorn condition, oft
refreshed us with bowls of milk and rosy apples, accompanied
with sympathetic utterings: Pauvres mAtelots Anglais, pauvres
garcons Anglais." At the expiration of this period, on the
occasion of a cartel or exchange of prisoners we were liberated,
and in the course of my after wanderings I visited most of the
bustling crowded ports of England, the burning West India
islands, with their swarthy negro labourers; the magnificent islet
sprinkled harbour of Rio de Janeiro, the hot City of Palaces,
Calcutta, the low sandy shores of Africa, the timber ports of
Canada, and experienced the stormy seas and rough weather of
an Archangel voyage late in the season; at length I began my
whale fishing life, and made the beautiful port of Sydney my
resting place when not cruising in my vessel, watching the
monsters of the deep. Respecting these gigantic beings of whom
so little is known I will now give you such information as many
whaling voyages have enabled me to accumulate.
The great whale fishery may be divided into two sections-
the object of chace being in one case the sperm whale, and in the
other the black, common, or Arctic whale, and in explaining the
difference I will commence with the sperm whale.
The sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) inhabits the open
ocean of both eastern and western hemispheres, but abounds only
in the warm seas of the globe. These swimming beasts some-
times attain to the length of eighty feet; the head, which is nearly
one-third of the whole length of the body, being from eight to
AT SEA-TIIE CAPTAIN'S STOI:Y--WilALING.
nine feet in depth, and from five to six feet broad, and the cir-
cumference of the body about thirty-six feet. The sperm whale
has a roundish tubercle in front over the eyes, called the bunch,
and a rounded lump of fat behind, called the hump, continuing
TIE SPERM WHALE.
in a ridge to the tail. The males are larger than the females.
Naturalists class whales with mammalia; all the order of cc-
tacea, or whales, breathing in the same manner as do land
mammalia, by means of lungs, and not by gills as fishes. The
ordinary passage of the air is through the nose (the human
species alone breathe through the mouth), and the membranous
portion of this organ forms one canal, but in the bony part in
most animals it is divided into two; in the sperm whale, however,
there is only one orifice, and what is termed the spout is formed
by the expired air being forcibly ejected through this blowhole.
A large whale will make sixty or seventy respirations during the
time it remains above the surface of the water, a period of about
ten minutes, and the aeration of the blood thus effected is suf-
ficient to allow of its existing under water nearly an hour.
Whales also suckle their young like land mammalia.
The heart is very large, and the aorta or vessel conveying the
blood of the whale from the heart is sometimes twelve inches in
diameter, propelling forward ten or twelve gallons at a stroke.
The roof of the mouth, the tongue, and teeth, are white, and
glisten in the water, and the throat of the fill-grown sperm whale
is sufficiently large to allow of the passage of a man; the lower
jaw only is furnished with teeth, and such may sometimes be seen
exhibited in shop-windows covered with ornamental carvings,
executed by sailors for amusement. The upper-jaw has sockets
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
or excavations for the reception of these lower teeth when the
mouth is closed. Although sperm whales occasionally consume
other fish they feed principally upon the sepia octopus, cuttle
fish, or squid, as seamen term it; and this food is so nutritious
TIE SEPIA OCTOPUS-CUTTLE FISH TRIBE.
as to enable the whale to deposit a layer of fat beneath the
skin from eight to fourteen inches in thickness, which fat
renders the animal buoyant, and preserves its warmth, and
hence is not inaptly termed the blanket by whalers. In
the interior and upper part of the head is a large cavity
containing from 200 to 500 gallons of a thin oil, lighter than
water, called "head matter," concreting after death into a granu-
lated substance. Placed in hair bags, submitted to strong pres-
sure, melted and boiled with a weak solution of potash and in
alcohol, then cast into moulds, this head matter becomes the
crystalline substance known as spermaceti.
When unmolested, the sperm whale travels at the leisurely
pace of about four miles an hour, being propelled by the tail,
which, in all animals of the whale order, is horizontal; but if
alarmed or wounded it urges its way through the water at a speed
AT SEA-THE CAPTAIN'S STORY-WHALING.
of twenty miles an hour, with a peculiar surging motion, or what
sailors call going head out." This horizontal position, together
with the great size of the tail enable the whale to rise and descend
through the water with case and rapidity.
The sperm whale is noted for a peculiar action called breaching:
the animal in its rapid ascent from the deep sea can impart to
its huge bulk an impetus sufficient to project the body almost out
of the water, but whether this is done to shake off adhering
parasites, or in sport, has not been satisfactorily ascertained.
On the look-out man at the mast-head perceiving the blowing
of a whale, he announces the fact to those on deck, by crying out
" There she spouts!" and this arousing call creates intense excite-
ment. Where away?" shouts the officer of the watch, and the
direction being indicated, the boats are instantly lowered, and
putting forth all their strength the men row towards the animal
with great speed and caution. The boats arc about twenty-seven
feet long, sharp at both ends; in one end is fitted a short block or
stump, the loggerhead, around which the line is turned when the
harpoon has been made fast to a whale. A boat's crew consists
of six persons-four rowers, a headsman and a steerer; the heads-
man pulls the fifth or bow-oar until the whale is approached, then
rising from his seat he darts the harpoon with all his power into
the floating animal, and immediately changes places with the boat-
steerer, whose duty.it is to pierce the whale with lances.
The whale, on being wounded, sounds or descends to a great
depth, carrying with him the harpoon, and drawing after him a
strong small rope or line attached to the instrument, and which
is allowed to run out from the tubs in the bottom of the boat
wherein it lays in regular coils, and sometimes more than two
miles of line will be thus expended. On rising to the surface to
breathe the whale is again attacked with lances, until exhausted
by the loss of blood, which is frequently thrown up from the
blowhole, the infuriated animal no longer having the strength to
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
descend, swims about violently on the surface, and tracing dark
crimson curves in the water, doth
"The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red,"
and lashing the sea into foam, and rolling over and over in the
intensity of his agony, eventually turns upon his side and dies.
With an instrument termed a spade the fat, blanket, or blubber
is cut into long strips, two or three feet broad, round and round
the animal, and the fat being melted and boiled in proper vessels,
termed." try-pots," the oil is stored away in casks, the scraps
or crisp membranous portions being used as fuel. The matter
obtained from the head cavity, the case, forms the spermaceti
THE ARCTIC, OR BLACK WHALE.
This species (Balena mysticetus) has not the clumsy appearance
of the sperm whale, for although measuring sixty feet in length,
the head of the black whale is proportionally much smaller than
that of the sperm species.
It possesses two blowers situated far back on the head, each
blower or spout being covered with a valve; the gullet is small,
as also are the eyes, which are placed near the angle of the
This species is principally found in the colder seas, although it
is not unfrequently met with in warm latitudes.
The female is larger than the male.
The Arctic whale has no teeth in either jaw, but it possesses a
AT SEA-THE CAPTAIN'S STORY-WHALING.
curious substitute; the upper jaw, which is narrow, being fur-
nished with horny laminam descending from the palate, and
varying in proportional breadth and length in the different
varieties; and the purpose of this apparatus is to form an efficient
strainer for the small marine animals, which constitute its food;
scooping up a large quantity into its mouth by means of the large
lower jaw, they are entrapped and retained by its being closed,
the water exuding through the fringes of the whalebone plates.
The largest pieces of whalebone sometimes measure thirteen feet
in length, and the number of pieces varies from 500 to 600.
The article of whalebone, so well known in commerce, is applied
to purposes in which lightness and elasticity are desirable, as
whip-handles, walking-sticks, umbrella-rods, and ladies' stays.
The oil of the black whale, common or train oil, is not more than
one-fourth the value of sperm oil. The European mode of
catching this kind of whale is similar to that adopted in the
sperm fishery, already described; amongst the Esquimaux, how-
ever, the mode of killing these northern whales is rather peculiar.
Manning a large boat, a chosen man of the tribe is appointed
harpooner, a number of small canoes, with one man in each, being
in attendance. Selecting his prey, the harpooner drives his
weapon into the animal; an inflated seal skin attached to the
other end of the harpoon, acting as a drag upon the whale, tends
to exhaust its strength. Chased and harassed by the men in the
small canoes armed with similar instruments, the wounded whale
is at last exhausted, and dies from loss of blood.
A successful harpooner is honoured, after the day's sport, with
a blue line drawn across the face over the bridge of the nose, and
with great rejoicings the tribe feasts upon the spoil.
Amongst the inhabitants of the arctic seas I ought to mention
the narwhal, known also as the sea unicorn; this species of cetacea
possessing that famous horn which figures on the forehead of the
heraldic unicorn, a supporter in the arms of England. Although
the narwhal is not now met with on the English coast, yet from
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
its numerous fossil remains found in the geological formation,
called the Suffolk crag, it appears that England has more right
to assume this primeval animal in its arms than is generally
The teeth of many animals take the form of tusks, these in the
narwhal are reduced to a single tooth, and the growth of even
this one tooth is restricted to the male animal: the right tusk is
found in quite a rudimentary state, the left one only being developed.
It seems to be intended for defence, and is implanted about
fourteen inches in the socket, tapering gradually from the base to
the apex, and sometimes measuring ten feet in length and four
inches in diameter at the exit from the nose. The exterior of
this long horn is spirally striated, the ridges winding from within,
forwards, upwards, and to the left..
The narwhal is generally from twenty to thirty feet long, and
the tail, as in other species of the whale tribe, is horizontal.
I will finish this story of whales and whaling by narrating an
adventure which nearly cost me my life. Having cruised on my
last voyage for some time without my usual success, I bore up for
Torres Straits, believing that the sperm whales having been
harassed in the open Pacific, had sought 'quietude amongst the
Anchoring in a deep sheltered cove, at the head of which a
sparkling stream tracked its joyous way through dense groves of
palms, whose outer shadows bathed in the transparent sea, we lay-
AT SEA-TIHE CAPTAIN'S STORY-WHALING.
there some time replenishing our stock.of fresh water, and barter-
ing knives, prints, blankets, nails, axes, saws, and other English
articles for yanis, pumpkins, cocoa-nuts, pigs, and poultry.
Observing one day that the canoes alongside were more nume-
rous than before, and that no women or children were present as
usual, I enjoined the officer in charge of the boat, which 1
despatched for the last load of fresh water, to keep his attention
directed to th' ship, and should the ensign be run up, to return
Shortly after the boat's departure I noticed that my black
acquaintances were holding a consultation, and my suspicion
being excited, I directed the ensign to be hoisted; the sharp eyes
of the islanders quickly detected the responding movement of the
boat, and judging that the time for the attack had come while we
were divided, they rose upon the crew; I was myself surrounded
and felled to the deck with a club, stunned and left for dead.
On recovering my senses I learnt that for the saving of our
lives we were indebted to one of the men who had the presence of
mind, on the instant of the attack, to jump below and cut the
cords by which two English dogs were tied to prevent injury to
the natives, with whom I was desirous of trading.
In a moment, urged on by the sailor, the two dogs bounded
upon deck biting many of the blacks, frightening all; some
hastily retreated over the side into the canoes, the rest leaped into
the water and swam to the shore.
The ship being thus cleared we immediately weighed anchor,
and set all sail, keeping at sea until recovered from our wounds,
and ended by making a successful voyage.
SHaving been absent from the mother country many years, I
returned to visit my native land once more, sold my oil profitably,
and am now owner and commander of the good ship Petrel.
"Behold the marks of this fray," said the captain, and raising
the hair which covered the wound, disclosed a broad deep scar
more than two inches in length.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
UNION JACK OF THE MERCHANT SERVICE.
AT SEA.-THE FIRST OFFICER'S LESSON.-SIGNALS.
England expects every man to do his duty."
Nelson's last signal.
THE vessel drifted as a straw upon the waters; the moisture of
the night which had settled upon her as a profuse perspiration,
rapidly disappeared before the rising sun, and a hot dryness
Sleepless with the heat, the passengers rose at dawn, to watch
the sun emerge from the sea, and pacing the deck barefoot, par-
ticipated in the coolness induced by the customary early deck
The grateful bath followed, amidst which luxurious enjoyment
the adventurous overside swimmers were suddenly deterred from
their indulgence by a shout from the maintop to look out on the
starboard side; instantly all eyes were turned in the direction
mentioned, where lo, at about twenty yards distance the back fin
of a steadily approaching shark was observed above the surface
of the water.
THE FIRST OFFICE'S LESSON. -SIGNALS.
All was now excitement, and in a few -moments the strong
thick shark-hook was exhumed from its place of deposit, with its
accompanying two feet of chain (if a hempen line were used within
reach of the jaws it would be easily severed), and a mass of fat
pork, three pounds in weight, being attached, the bait was thrown
into the sea astern. The monster eyeing the tempting morsel
slowly swam up to it and thrust it aside with his nose, then
curved round and receded; a flicker in the distance showed that
the hungry brute had turned; he again approached the bait which
he once more pushed away, then retreated as before; another flip
of the silvery ocean told us that the temptation of the bait had
overcome his caution, and the hated fish turning upon his side
greedily swallowed the hook, bait, and part of the chain, the
beauteous pilot fish which accompany the shark, hovering over its
head as so many guiding spirits, hurrying hither and thither in
consternation at his convulsive writhing.
Contrary to the advice of the seamen, the passengers, delighted
with the success of the experiment, instantly hauled up the
infuriated fish to the stern, not mindful of the difficulty which
still existed of getting the bulky body inboard, even when the
head had been raised to the height of the taffrail.
The difficulty did not exist long, for with a stroke of his tail,
which broke the cabin windows, aided by a violent effort of the
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
muscular jaws, and jerk of the body, the massive weight of the
large fish, fourteen feet long, was sufficient to straighten the
thick hook into the form of a large spike, and falling down into
the water, he left us to watch the blood stained track as he swiftly
Sharks were thenceforward allowed to swallow the bait, and a
running noose being passed round the small of the tail and drawn
tight, they were hauled up over the ship's side, and the head and
tail being adroitly severed by our expert butcher, the fish were
then publicly dissected.
The sun rose higher and hotter, and for a few hours daily at
this period of the voyage we were shadowless beings.
For the mere sake of employment the captain worked out the
longitude by observation, and daily added another to the many
marks which hovering around the same spot on the chart,
indicated that we had long unsuccessfully coquetted with the
The children found amusement in running beyond the awning
and glueing themselves to the deck with the pitch, which, bubbling
and boiling, exuded from between the planks and adhered to their
shoes; while the sailors looked over the bulwark out towards thb
horizon and whistled for a breeze.
The ship had not steerage way, the powerless rudder only
trembled, and the guide chains rattled with the slow heaving of
the sea; the sails hung motionless and flat, save when the
undulation of the ocean, as a vast animal respiring, caused them
to flap heavily against the masts and rigging.
The consolation of society remained, for twelve ships were in
sight on the glassy pool, to each of which in turn the others made
graceful obeisance, then slugglishly, as though tired with the effort,
drifted round, indifferently presenting either stern, stem, or broad-
side; each was
SAs idle as aL painted ship
UponI a painted ocean."
TIE FIRST OFFICER'S LESSON.-SIGNALS.
The chief officer suggested a conversation with some of the
neighboring ships, and speedily the bag of flags and signals
was brought upon deck and the ensign run up tothe peak.
The salute was answered by the nearest ship hoisting her
ensign, showing that she also was a British vessel; then certain
sets of small flags were successively exhibited, inquiring What
ship is that? Where from? Whither bound ? How long out,
&c. ? Which being duly replied to, similar inquiries were made
by the neighboring vessel, and responded to on our part. Con-
versations of the like character were carried on with several of the
ships within signal distance, and the intelligent chief officer in
reply to the questions of the inquisitive passengers, promised
that at the gossip hour of eve he would explain the nature and
use of naval flags and signals.
Sundown moderated the temperature, and assembling in the
saloon after tea we found it had been decorated by our chief
officer with signal flags, the union jack and ensign, blue Peter
and burgee being tastefully grouped together; unfortunately for
the national honour the royal standard could only be represented
by a common neck-kerchief belonging to one of the seamen,
having this gay design printed upon it.
"I will now," said the speaker," fulfil my promise as well as I am
able, and first must refer to some historical points connected with
the subject, and then will explain the differences 'vhich exist
among those flags and signals now in use, and the reasons for
Our good friend, the artist, has promised to tell us more about
the royal standard and the history of that part of the subject than
my sea-life has enabled me to become acquainted with; I will
therefore confine my remarks to the flags in ordinary use."
TIE UNION JACK AND ENSIGN.
This national banner of England is of religious origin.
It was the practice of ancient nations to place themselves under
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
the protection of some saint, and St. George was the worthy
adopted by England, and his banner became the national banner
of the country.
Tradition, or rather perhaps conjecture, asserts that the English
ensign owes its origin to the fact that the Emperor Constantine
adopted a red cross on a white flag as his banner, and announced
that whoever fought under this flag would always be successful;
and he having been born in Britain the flag was adopted by the
ancient English. Another legend states that Joseph, son of
Joseph of Arimathea, introduced Christianity into Britain, and
when dying drew the figure of a cross with his blood.
However it may have arisen, the Saxon banner was a plain red
cross on a white ground, and whatever other flags were present
this was always foremost, and the red cross is still the most con-
spicuous portion of our colours.
These crosses were very various in their character: that of St.
George was composed of two pieces, respectively perpendicular
and horizontal +; those of St. Andrew and St. Patrick were
diagonal, the parts inclining from left to right and from right to
left x. Respecting the cross of St. Andrew, we are told that
Achaius king of the Scots, and Hungus king of the Picts joined
their forces to oppose Athelstan king of the Saxons, and address-
ing themselves to God and their patron, St. Andrew, as a toker
that they were heard, the white saltire cross upon which St. Andre\
suffered martyrdom appeared in the blue firmament, which so
animated them that they defeated the Saxons. After the victory
they went in procession to the church where the arm. of St.
Andrew was kept as a relic, to thank God and the Apostle, pur-
posing in all time coming to use on their ensigns the cross of St.
Andrew, a white x cross on a blue banner.
King James the First, soon after his accession, directed that
this cross of St. Andrew, the national banner of Scotland, should
be united with the English red cross; and on the occasion of the
Union with Ireland it was ordered by proclamation of George the
TIHEl FIRST OFFICER'S IACSSON.-SIGN.\.S.
Third, dated the 1st January, 1801, that the union flag shall
be, "azure, the crosses saltire of St. Andrew and St. Patrick,
quarterly per saltire counterchanged argent and gules, the latter
fimbriated of the second, surmounted by the cross of St. George
of the third, fimbriated as the saltire," which, stripped of techni-
cality or heraldic jargon, means that the field or ground shall be
blue, superimposed by the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew;
ind upon that again the narrower red diagonal cross of St.
Patrick, and overlaying these the erect red cross of St. George,
with a white fringe or border.
It is stated in the proclamation that whereas by ancient usage
the royal ensigns, lags, jacks, and pendants differ from those in
use by his Majesty's subjects, to more distinctly notify and set
forth the same, his Majesty by and with the advice of his privy
council thereby charged upon all masters of merchant vessels to
wear the ensign set out in the margin of the proclamation, viz.,
the red flag with the Union Jack in the upper corner, next the
mast, and not to wear any other ensign nor any pendant whatso-
ever, nor to hoist any flags, jacks, pendants, or colours made in
imitation of his Majesty's flags.
It is further directed that vessels with letters of mark or
reprisals, besides the colours worn by merchant ships, shall wear
a red jack with an union jack described in a canton at the upper
corner thereof next the staff'; also that such vessels as may be
employed by the undermentioned government departments, viz:-
Commissioners of the Navy; Ordnance; Navy Victualling Depart-
ment; Customs; Excise; transportt Service; shall wear a red
jack with a uiion jack in a canton at the upper corner thereof
next the staff, and in the other part of the said jack shall be
described the seal used in such of the respective offices aforc-
said, by which the said ships or vessels shall be employed.
And by an act of parliament, dated 22nd May, 1834, it is
enacted that the master or other person in charge of a ship on
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
board of which the above proclamation may be infringed shall be
liable to a penalty not exceeding 500, recoverable by suits in
the Admiralty Courts.
It further authorizes any officer of the royal navy to enter on
board any ship, vessel, or boat, hoisting, wearing, or carrying the
colours prohibited by the said proclamation, and to seize and take
away the same, and the same shall thereupon become forfeited.
I may add here that an admiral carries his flag at the main-
mast, a vice-admiral at the fore-mast, and a rear-admiral at the
mizen-mast, and that the lord high admiral, or commissioners of
the admiralty, wear a flag with the device of a white anchor on
a red ground or field.
THE BLUE PETER
is a plain square blue flag, with a square yellow centre, and
signifies that the vessel upon whose mast it is displayed is about
is generally a plain flag of one colour, with the ship's name
in letters of another colour, as a white flag with red letters, or
a red flag with white letters, according to the taste and fancy of
the master or owner.
I will now, said the chief officer, give some explanation of the
signals we so freely used this morning. A clear simple plan of
communicating from one ship to another when weather or circum-
stances prevented a boat being sent out, and the distance was
beyond the reach of the human voice or speaking trumpet, had
long been desired, and the supplying of this want is due to the
ingenuity of the novelist, Captain Frederick Marryat, who, in
1817, published the system of signals now almost universally
The flags and pendants used are seventeen, including the union
jack. They are-
TIE FIRST OFFICER'S LESSON.-SIGNALS.
a. Ten flags, representing the nine numerals and cypher.
b. The union jack.
c. The first, second, and third distinguishing pendants, to be
suspended over the numeral flags, or at some other mast-head,
when the number indicating the name of a merchant ship is
d. The rendezvous flag, which is hoisted over the flags indi-
cating the number of the name of a port, cape, &c.
e. Telegraph flag, to point out that the number signals below
it refer to some words to be found in part 6 of the signal book.
f Numeral pendant, or limitation flag, hoisted over the numeral
flags, points out that the number does not refer to the guide or
signal key, but that the numbers are to be understood in their
ordinary sense, merely as numbers; thus, the numeral flags repre-
senting 21, if hoisted without this pendant, would refer to part 5
of the signal-book, but if exhibited with this pendant would indicate
simply 21, and would probably be an answer to such a question
as-What latitude or longitude?-or, Ilow many days out?-How
many passengers? &c.
A signal book is used in conjunction with these flags, and is
divided into six parts.
Ist Part. Contains a' list of English men-of-war, and such
ships would hoist the union jack over the number.
2nd Part. List of foreign men-of-war, which would hoist their
3rd Part. List of names of merchant ships divided into three
sections, and these would hoist the first, second, or third distin-
guishing pendant over the numbers, to direct attention to the
particular section of the third part of the book in which the
telegraphing vessel's name must be looked for.
4th Part. Lists of ports, headlands, lighthouses, &c., and
when any number in this list is exhibited the chequered or ren-
dezvous flag is hoisted above the numeral flags.
3MY FIRST VOYAG:
5th Part. Consists of sentences suitable for marine requirements;
the numeral flags only are in this case hoisted where best seen.
6th Part. Contains a long list of single words, a kind of dic-
tionary; and the tricoloured flag, called a telegraph flag, is in
this case hoisted above the numbers referring to the word.
The numbers in the lists are consecutive, except that those
requiring two of the same figure are omitted; thus, there arc no
Nos. 11, 22, &c. When, however, it is absolutely necessary to
repeat the figure, as sometimes in giving the latitude, longitude,
or similar statements, the repetition is indicated by hoisting the
first distinguishing pendant under the numeral flag; and when
such a number as 101 is required to be indicated, the numeral
flag 1 and cypher flag are suspended, with the second distin-
guishing pendant under them, to show that the second above is to
be understood as repeated; 111 is shown by hoisting the numeral
flag 1 with the first and second distinguishing pendants.
The 1st distinguishing pendant by itself is affirmative; the 2nd
pendant is negative; and the numeral flag by itself means atten-
tion, or about to answer. You probably observed this morn-
ing, continued the chief officer, that I first hoisted the ensign,
which was replied to by our neighbour. I then looked into part
5, under sentences," and selected the number opposite the ques-
tion, What ship?
Our friend, seeing these flags, no doubt looked into his book,
and against the number found the question; and to answer it
inspected the list of ships in part 3, and selecting the number
indicating the name of his own ship, hoisted the numeral flags
with the proper pendant above, in order to tell us in which sec-
tion of the book to look.
Our next question was similarly sought in part 5, Where
from? to which he replied by the proper number, placing the
chequered rendezvous flag above the numeral flag, from which
we instantly knew, almost before the signals were up at the mast
head, that it was the name of a place he was communicating, to
find which it was necessary to look into part 4.
THE FIRST OFFICER'S LESSON.-SIGNALS.
Having given the principle upon which these signals act, I
must refer you to the special book on the subject for further
It may not be out of place here to state that on the occasion of
a death or mourning we do not hoist the ensign to the top of the
mast, but leave it at some distance below; this is termed "hall'
mast" high. A ship is also put in mourning by painting a broad
blue stripe all round her sides. A ship in distress wanting aid
reverses her ensign, placing the union jack downwards, which
may our good ship never see.
I may also, continued the officer, relate a little incident which
occurred some years ago, disclosing the early naval predilections
of the Queen.
In early youth, Her Majesty, then Princess Victoria, resided
at Ramsgate for a season, for the benefit of the sea air, and while
there sometimes took walking exercise upon the pier.
HER PRESENT M~A.1ESTY WHEN PRINCESS VICTORIA.
On one of these occasions, her approach becoming known, tlh
captains of the few vessels lying in the harbour displayed all thn
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
flags they could muster, in honour of England's future queen.
Arriving, in the course of her ramble, opposite the little vessel
on which I was then employed, the royal lady suddenly stopped,
her quick nautical eye having observed
"A banner with a strange device;"
and thereupon, tripping on board, she politely addressed the cap-
tain, Please, Sir, will you tell me what flag that is," pointing
to a small one flying at our main; "I know all the rest, but this
is new to me." Your Royal Highness," replied the captain, it
is the private signal flag I hoist when nearing the African port to
which I generally trade, that my consignee may know what ship
is entering the bay."
I thank you, Sir," said the little Princess; and, her curiosity
satisfied, she trotted off, and continued her walk.
A loud clapping of hands testified to the interest the chief officer
had excited; and, having a fine voice, he was solicited to sing
Campbell's noble song-
"Ye mariners of England!
That guard our native seas;
Whose flag has braved a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze!
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe!
And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave!-
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And ocean was their grave.
Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o'er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.
THIE FIRST OFFICER'S LESSON.-SIGNALS.
The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn;
'Till dangers troubled night depart,
And the star of peace return."
The aroused enthusiasm of the company displayed itself in a
jubilate of hurrahs, followed by the national anthem; and soon
after, the stirring strains of "Rule Britannia," arising from the
forecastle, plainly told that down there amongst the crew were
hearts of oak ready to follow
"Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell."
NOTE.-The British Government has recently issued a new and more
extensive code of Sea Signals.
The principle consists in assigning to each of eighteen flags a letter of
the alphabet, leaving out the vowels, such consonants however being em-
ployed as signs, not as letters of words.
Making use of Marryat's flags, with slight variations, and four or five
flags in addition, no less than 78,642 distinct signals may be exhibited, none
requiring more than four flags to be hoisted at the same time.
Page 32, line 14.-For yellow" read white" centre.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
Over all the face of earth
Main ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warm
Prolific humour." MILTON.
IMPELLED by the pleasant trade breezes our ship glided steadily
through the smooth waters. At a quarter to eleven o'clock the bell
rang for divine service, the ensign being thrown over the capstan,
which served as a reading desk, extra stools from the cabin and
a few raised planks, in addition to the fixed seats on deck, afford-
ing accommodation for the audience.
The burnishing up of the motley group for these religious
services was amusing to notice-the superior attire of the gentle-
men, the more decorative toilette of the ladies, the clean duck
trousers of the seamen who, as they came on to the quarter-deck,
displayed varying attempts at distinction with their many hued
neck-kerchiefs and emphatically brushed hair.
Six bells (eleven o'clock) struck by three sharp quick tinkles
and three slower heavier strokes, indicated that the hour of wor-
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
ship had arrived, then perfect silence and attention ensued, the
only wandering eyes on board being those of the helmsman
alternately watching the compass and the topgallant sails, his
orders being to mind his weather helm, and keep the sails easy
full during prayers, and the chief officer occasionally glancing to
windward to espy any sudden squall stealing over the waters.
The notes of the Morning Hymn rising from the mixed voices
were mellowed by the surrounding sea.
"Hark! how it grows more strong;-
And now it steals along,
Like distant bells upon the lake at eve."
The lessons, Genesis, chapter 1, and Psalm 107, and prayers
ended, the minister announced his text, Psalm 104, verse 25th-
"This great and wide sea."
and continued-All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and
is profitable for rebuke, exhortation, and instruction in right
mindedness; and the humble attentive soul, however disturbed
and distressed, may always find therein rest, consolation, and
light, for truth, duty, God, beam forth from every page, even as
this everliving sea, whether tempest-tossed or placid, unceasingly
reflects a bright joyous track, direct from every watching eye to
yon glorious sun above us.
In the spirit of the principle thus laid down, it has appeared to
me that I could not more suitably assist your meditation on this
our first service on shipboard, and cause us to feel at home with
one another and with the surrounding element, than by a short
review of those scripture passages wherein the great ocean, upon
which we are being wafted far from our native land, occupied the
writer's mind either, as the direct subject of his pen or by way of
illustration; and I shall endeavour to draw therefrom, as we glide
along the sacred page, some lessons which in after life may be
attended with mental profit whenever our present voyage may
recur to your thoughts.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
The Waters of Life.--" This great and wide sea;"-the all per-
vading character of water, and the origin of its teeming life, are
set forth in terse, noble, simple language in the opening of the
world's history; and how enlarged does the meaning of our first
lesson become when read in the light of the investigations of
Before man was created the waters of the globe were crowded
with living beings, so numerous that the shelly coverings of the
frail bodies of one small section now compose thick layers of the
earth's crust, known as the chalk formation; the Almighty
architect of the universe causing the globe in its progress to its
present state of a suitable home for man to assume the conditions
of fit residence for innumerable forms of vegetable and animal
life. And to such as may fear lest their reverence for the
scriptures might be placed in jeopardy by the encouragement of
this enlarged belief in the antiquity of God's works upon the
earth, we would say, "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures,
neither the power of God, with whom a thousand years are as one
And as the earth's sphericity and its motion were equally at
the time of their announcement contrary to the religious opinions
of the age, and yet are now admitted and received by the most
devout, so the doctrine of the gradual building up of this ever
fresh and verdant home for man will be ere long cordially em-
braced by the good, who will then read with a deeper feeling of
loving awe, that Of old hath he laid the foundations of the earth."
The inorganic remains of the multitudes of creatures formerly
existing on the globe now inhabited by man, afford intensely
interesting objects for study by the microscope, which has opened
to our view another world of the Creator's wonderful works, and,
a very slight acquaintance with the discoveries of that instrument
causes the inquiry, Where is the dust that has not been alive?"
to cease to be regarded as a poetical exaggeration. And if the
inspection of a beautiful simple flower gave courage to the lonely
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
traveller in the African desert, teaching him a lesson of the all
pervading present providence of God, so should the studies of the
geologist enforce the great idea of its continuity. To day,
yesterday, and for ever the same." "I am that I am." "With
me there is no variableness or shadow of turning."
The Waters of Death.-Pause we now over the 8th chapter of
Genesis, and note with what quiet grandeur the event of the
Deluge is related.
True, the whole account has been scoffed at as improbable, nay
as impossible, as a myth, an invention of the writers of the
Scriptures; the objectors forgetting that the great object of the
Bible is not to give details of natural philosophy, but to instruct
in moral duty; nevertheless, whenever the relation of great
events was necessary to the purpose of the writers, the narratives
were artlessly, boldly, woven into the texture of the history,
though the delineations might be sometimes only dimly given,
just as a painter indicates distant objects, however grand
and important, by a few suggestive strokes, reserving higher
elaboration for the nearer and more immediate subject of his
These objectors have also for the most part entirely overlooked
the fact that traditions of this sublime catastrophe are widely
spread. Plato mentions the great deluge in which the cities were
destroyed, and useful arts lost, and suggests that there was a
great and universal deluge before the particular inundations
celebrated by the Greeks; and Ovid's description of Deucalion's
flood is minute in its harmony with the Scriptural account.
Lucian also mentions more than once the great deluge in
Deucalion's time, and the ark which preserved the small remnant
of humankind; referring to the wickedness and profligacy of the
former generation, for which reason the earth gave forth abun-
dance of water, great showers of rain fell, the rivers increased,
and the sea swelled to such a degree that all men perished.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Similar traditions abound in the East, as also in the interior of
Africa, and in the South Sea Islands, all bearing a striking resem-
blance to the narrative of Moses.
Still stranger than the mythical theory, is the fact that the
advance of science should in a few years have taken the deluge
out of the category of impossible catastrophes, and by diminish-
ing its proportions in comparison with the overwhelming changes
geology announces as having occurred in our globe, has reduced
it to an ordinary process of nature, a thing of naught.
We hold to the truth of the record that it was easily possible
to him who taketh up the isles as a very little thing," that, however
partial or local it may have been, the deluge was co-extensive with
the then diffusion of the human family, that it was not in the
ordinary course of nature, that it was a direct interposition of
God, and would learn from it to revere his justice, and adore his
love, arching all being as the bow in his cloud. Connected with
this event we may notice that the first ship, Noah's Ark," of
whose construction we have any account, was probably larger than
any which will ever again be built. The directions for its erection
were explicit, though simple. "Make thee an ark of gopher
wood, rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within
and without with pitch; and this is the fashion thou shalt make it
of; the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, and the
breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits,
with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it."
Estimating the cubit to have been eighteen inches in length, the
capacity of the ark must have been about 40,000 tons; and in
this huge vessel, "when the water prevailed exceedingly upon
the earth," Noah, and they that were with him, rode safely above
the swelling waves until the flood assuaging, the ark rested upon
the mountains of Ararat.
The Waters of Retribution.-Within the limits we have prescribed
to ourselves the next memorable occurrence related in the Old
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
Testament is the passage of the Red Sea. In brief, the tale may
thus be told:-" The children of Israel went into the midst of the
sea upon the dry ground, and the waters were a wall unto them,
on the right hand and on the left. And the Egyptians pursued
and went in after them to the midst of the sea, and the waters
returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, and all the
hosts of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them."
The man of wisdom, Joseph, had saved Egypt from famine, and
the grateful sovereign invited the family of the saviour of his
country to settle in the land. "Take your father and your
household and come unto me, and I will give you the good of the
land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land."
The graceful recognition of important services rendered to the
state, and on the other hand the noble bearing of the recipient of
the generous rewards heaped upon him, caused all things to
progress harmoniously until, by the lapse of time, the death of
the sagacious prime minister, and the accession of another king,
who knew not Joseph, the national good he had been the means of
achieving was forgotten, the descendants of himself and family
were made slaves, their labour unremunerated, and their lives
embittered by oppression; even their desire for a quiet, peaceable
emigration was forbidden, and the tyrants oppressed them more
The bitter cry of the wretched came up into the ear of the
All Just, and the fiat of deliverance went forth.
The ancient heathen had a saying, that whom the Gods would
destroy they first infatuate; we rather modify the thought and
reverse-the order of the ideas, and say that rash headstrong men
who may be aptly termed blind, persist by their self-will and
obstinacy in rushing to their doom; such was the case with
Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
Injustice and oppression may be borne for a while, but it is
impossible for a government long to run counter to the sympathies
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
and rights of a people or any large class in the nation; and the
history of our own country affords an illustration that when the
peaceful leaving of the land by an aggrieved party is prohibited,
its compulsory detention will probably terminate in rebellion as a
sad necessity. Individual sins, national sins, world's sins, will
not go unpunished; wrong, done by whom it may, can never
become right in the sight of God.
The Waters of Friendship.-I would now direct your attention
to a more peaceful scene, illustrating the advantages nations may
derive from the interchange of the commodities peculiar to the
If an individual could procure by his own hands everything he
considered desirable, there would be no absolute necessity for
communication with his fellow-creatures, and all the kindly feelings
induced by social intercourse would be undeveloped.
So also with nations; one country, by the arrangements of the
Almighty Creator as to its soil and climate, produces articles of
the vegetable kingdom of great utility and desire to the inha-
bitants of another, Every tree that is pleasant to the sight and
good for food," and abounds in the precious fruits brought forth
by the sun, and the precious things of the earth, and the fulness
thereof," with flocks and herds, the land flowing with milk and honey;
other countries are devoid of this luxuriance of vegetable life,
but are rich in gold, silver, iron and brass, the precious things
of the everlasting hills."
Again, other nations whose lands are not so largely blessed
with natural advantages are endowed with peculiar mechanical
skill, converting the raw materials into articles of utility and
beauty; artificers in brass and iron, and cunning workmen in all
textile fabrics, naval and civil architecture.
By mutual interchange, the wants of each people are met, and
the enjoyment of the Almighty's blessings extended; and how
utterly subversive of the intention of a bountiful Providence, and
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
of the true good of a country must that policy be which by its
fiscal arrangements forbids or restricts this exchange of benefits.
Far wiser was the course pursued by the Hebrews and Phoenicians
in those extensive mercantile transactions by sea which took
place on the occasion of the building of Solomon's temple, the
Mediterranean being thus made the great highway along which
blessings were conveyed to both nations.
The Hebrews were eminently an agricultural people, while
the Phoenicians were noted for their manufacturing skill, and
therefore to them Solomon applied for assistance in his great
work. Command," said he to Huram, king of Tyre, "that they
hew me cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees out of Lebanon,
and I will give hire for thy servants according to all thou shalt
appoint, for thou knowest there is not among us any that know
how to cut timber like unto the Sidonians; and send me a man
cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron,
and in purple, and in crimson, and blue, and that can skill to
grave." And Huram sent to Solomon saying, "I will do all thy
desire concerning timber of cedar, and timber of fir, and my
servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea, and
I will convey them by sea in floats unto Joppa, and will cause
them to be discharged there; and thou shalt carry the timber up
to Jerusalem, and the twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat,
and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand
baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil which my lord
hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants."
Closing the Old History let us turn for a short time to the
New Testament, and note some of those passages in which water
plays an interesting part.
It is remarkable that while the actors of the Old Testament
were principally drawn from pastoral pursuits, those of the New
were most frequently taken from seafaring occupations, many of
the earliest disciples being fishermen.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Water, an Emblem.-In one of the two simple expressive
sacraments instituted by our Saviour-that of baptism-water is
used to shadow forth a change in the soul from evil to good by
the influence of the Holy Spirit, as washing with water cleanses
the soiled body of man. Unless I wash thee thou hast no part
in me," said Christ; but this evidently referred to the spirit of
man and not to the mere external act of applying water, other-
wise the Saviour would have himself performed it on all willing
converts, whereas it is expressly stated that Jesus himself bap-
tized not, but his disciples." From the manner in which the
subject is treated by the apostles, Paul thanking God that lie had
personally baptized few at Corinth; his ranking preaching, the
gospel far above baptizing converts; and the freedom with which
private Christians performed this ceremony, for Paul himself seems
to have been baptized by a private Christian, a disciple called
Ananias," it may be unhesitatingly concluded that no peculiar
sanctity is imparted to the ceremony by any official character the
person performing the rite may possess. It is a debated question
whether infants were baptized in the time of the apostles,-from
the mention of all his" and household" it seems probable such
was the case.
Without going further into this question, as likewise that of
total immersion or sprinkling, the propriety of one or other of
which courses depends more upon the temperature of the climate
and the ordinary habits of the community than any express
injunction, we can only on this occasion deprecate the unchristian
spirit in which the subject has been discussed.
Water and the Saviour.-In the course of his life on earth the
Saviour manifested his supreme power over nature on several
occasions; those which fall within our range are the conversion
of water into wine, and his walking upon the sea. Christ was no
ascetic, nor was the religion he inculcated one of form and cere-
mIny, though these were duly observed in subordination to higher
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
and more spiritual matters. His religion was to be a vital part
of the individual, of which the possessor could no more divest
himself than of his bodily heart or his soul, or the aspect of his
countenance, the whole personal character was to be so imbued
with religion that it must necessarily appear as an influence upon
the action, thought, and word of every-day life, not a matter for
special attention at certain times only. Moreover, if like Christ,
it was to be of a cheerful, social aspect, countenancing the joyous
occasions of life with its presence, making the happy happier, as
well as consoling the sorrowful; intensifying the joy, sharing and
soothing the grief; shouting IIosannas with exultant acclaim
" Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness;" and yet
when the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint, pouring
in the oil and wine of sympathy and relief.
On the occasion of the first-named miracle, Mary, by her
directions-" Whatever he says, that do ye:" seems to have had
a presentiment that Jesus would retrieve the character of the
host, probably some friend or relation, which was likely to suffer
by the imperfect provision of wine for this marriage banquet.
The assistance was rendered at a suitable time, and no niggard-
liness marked the manner of its doing; it was the best wine,"
and its superior quality attracted particular attention.
In that long interval between his visit to the temple at twelve
years of age, and the time we are now considering, what dutiful
loving attentions had she received; but upon all this period the
history throws little light, only the significant words, "he was
subject unto them;" henceforward, however, by the quiet, gentle
reproof which he gave to her earnest solicitation, mother and son
must have felt that he was no longer to be subject to her, but
that a change was about to take place in their relative positions:
"I must be about my father's business."
We may some day revert to this narrative again, meanwhile I
may refer to an anecdote related of one who subsequently became
46 MY FIRST VOYAGE.
a great poet, that in his youth, this miracle having been given
out as a school theme for an essay (a practice highly objectionable,
rendering sacred matters wearisome), the youthful wayward
genius, unable to gird himself to the task, allowed the exercise to
remain unattempted until the moment of delivery, when he
hastily wrote the line, The water saw its God and blushed."
In reference to the miracle of walking upon the sea, we may
remark that it was such an entirely new development of Christ's
authority, and so unexpected, that consternation filled the minds
of the disciples; it conveyed to them a lesson of profound reverence
for his mysterious sublime power. The specific gravity of the
human being is much greater than that of water, and the body
sinks unless the lungs be kept inflated by the art of the swimmer;
and even then it is perfectly impossible for an ordinary man to
stand erect upon the sea in the manner Christ appeared to the
I will conclude this branch of our subject by remarking that
as an indication of his own humility, and to teach others by his
example, Christ is represented as pouring water into a basin and
washing his disciples' feet, an occupation appertaining to an
inferior position; and that the only recorded instance of the
Saviour sleeping is when on board a ship that was carrying him
from one scene of labour to another. In the great storm which
alarmed the company, and prevented all others from slumbering,
the master of the elements slept undisturbed in the hinder part
of the ship upon a pillow. Surely repose and tumult were never
before so allied.
Water, the Seaman's Grave.-The voyage and wreck of the
Apostle Paul are graphically described in the Acts, and it
would appear that under his directions the vessel was driven
before the wind well up on to the beach, which our commander
informs me was an act of good seamanship, as it is in the distance
between the ship's first touching the ground and high water mark
AT SEA-SUNDAY--THE SERMON.
that the wrecked are most exposed to destruction; and the chances
of escape are proportionately increased if this interval can be
diminished by placing the vessel before the wind and running her
through the surf as high on shore as possible, instead of the head
being vainly kept toward the sea, as is too frequently the case
when all hope of leading off a lee-shore has ceased.
I must conclude these brief references, which it would have
ueen more easy to have amplified than thus condensed, by direct-
ing your notice to the vigorous, gorgeous imagery in the Revela-
tions, wherein we read of the voice from heaven as the voice of
many waters, and the sea of glass mingled with fire; and they
that have gotten the victory over the beast and over his image
and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
the sea of glass having the harps of God. And they sing the
song of Moses, and the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are
thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways thou
King of Saints." And the beloved apostle further beheld a pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne
of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on
either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve
manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month, and the leaves
of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall
be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be
in it, and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his
face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall
be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the
sun, for the Lord giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever
Into which happy haven of repose may God grant to each of
us an humble entrance, after this voyage of life,-Amen.
Our minister so ingratiated himself with the seamen during the
voyage that he became a general friend. On arrival at our
destination, and after the passengers and their luggage had been
all landed, and the cargo partially discharged, he begged the use
of the cabin for half a day in order to treat the crew to a dinner,
to which proposition assent was easily obtained, the minister being
as much a favourite with the captain as with the men. At half-
past twelve o'clock work was discontinued for the day, the lads
swept the decks, and had the crew been preparing for a Queen's
drawing-room they could not have been more scrupulously clean
and daintily equipped in their best finery.
At one o'clock we descended into the cabin to dinner, and
ample justice was done to the massive joints of roast beef, the
AT SEA-SUNDAY-THE SERMON.
trim legs of mutton, and steaming vegetables; immense plum
puddings and gigantic cans of foaming beer being superadded to
the more heavy, items of the bill of fare. No happier man in the
colony that day than the good minister presiding at the dinner-
table of bold seamen. The repast over, pipes and tobacco were
introduced, and wine wherewith we drank the health of the host
and captain,-toasts rcceivedwith hearty cheers from lusty throats,
the whole finishing with glasses of grog all round. Once more
filling their pipes, the crew adjourned to the forecastle, where our
ministerial friend naturally formed the topic of conversation.
Ie is not as most parsons," said one, always walking aft and
never casting an eye forward, like the generality of the sky-scraping
black coated gentlemen, who rather seem to think they are better
than the rest of us, but it ai'nt the more true for all that; and I
tell you what it is, even they do not always keep their luff who
have nothing else to do, and it is rather hard if a sailor may not
fall off the wind a little and have a bit of a spree sometimes."
Why," said another, many's the time when he's been forward
and seen a hand a smoking with hardly any baccy in his pipe, he
says, says he, Tom, there is not much good in that, you are
nearly out.' 'Almost, sir.' Will you have a cigar,' says he,
and he would pull one out of his pocket and hand it over, and
when he saw him a going to the cook's galley for a light, he
warn't too proud to say, Here, light it by mine,' and as he went
aft would laugh kind like, and say,' When you have smoked that
you can have another if you choose.'
And for all that he tells us about our sins pretty stiff, and all
about heaven and hell, and it ai'nt his fault if we don't keep our
course. And then you should hear him pray for all on board,
for them that do business in waters and go in ships. And you
know when the hook of the block broke, and it came down out of
the fore-top, and might have killed a man, it only bruised him;
and when the boy fell overboard was'nt lie saved; and when you
thought you were all poisoned, and he among the lot, did'nt you
52 MY FIRST VOYAGE.
all come round; and I heard the captain say the other day we
had'nt lost even a stunsail boom all the voyage; and so it is all
right, and I think he's got something to do with these here things."
And," said another, you hav'nt seen a man drunk since we
have been on board the ship, not even in port; and more, if we
knew where he's a going to preach, Sunday or workaday, there's
not a hand on board, that the master will spare, who will not go
to prayers, except the Maltee covey, who makes his crosses afore
he turns in, and kisses a little image all made of bone, no bigger
than my thumb, and don't row long of us like."
And it was true.
AMERICA--BRAZIL--RIO DE JANEIRO.
"'Tis thou, Columbus, to another pole
Shalt rear the mast, and o'cr the surges roll;
Thy deeds shall last in storied annals long,
The copious subject of some poet's song.
Then other islands midst the main they spied,
And lands less steepy rising o'er the tide;
Delightful isles, renowned of ancient date,
And styled by tuneful bards, The Fortunate.'
The rivers, murmuring from the hills above,
With crystal streams, renewed the vernal grove.
No sultry heat oppressed the grateful day;
Soft dews and zephyrs cooled the solar ray;
And here were feigned the mansions of the blest.
Th' Elysian seats of everlasting rest."
THE mariner navigating an unknown sea or river marks the
bold headlands, rocky points, and blufI'; the contour, curves, and
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
compass bearings of the shore; the character of the cliffs, the
shoalings of the water; and thenceforward the new regions are
familiar to all seamen by these well known signs.
The observant land traveller through a strange country notes
the nature of the soil, the courses of the rivers, where a dense
forest shrouds him in, and where an open plain gently undulates
before him; he records the spots where animals and birds abound,
and reports their species, plumage, song, and habits.
Thus are these seas and lands brought within the common
geography of nations, and henceforward and for ever they are
part of our own globe, and belong to humanity,-we know them.
So there are mountain heights, streams of rich influence,
notable events and discoveries in the history of the human race,
which once accomplished, have for evermore, marked, abiding
effect, on the mind, physical condition, and well-being of nations.
Of these starting points, landmarks to the family of man, the
revelations of God by Moses and Christ, which have had an
overwhelming influence upon human thought and pursuits, stand
out in bold prominence; and subordinate to these may be named
the geometrical principles announced by the Egyptians and pro-
secuted by the Greeks, which have become the foundation of all
mathematical learning and mechanical skill in succeeding ages-
the high thoughts of liberty which for ever remain in the Greek
writers-the maxims of law, and civic institutions, established by
the Romans, which have since formed part of the legal studies of
all nations-the philosophy of Bacon and Newton, by which men
have arrived at the knowledge of the laws of nature through
observations of its phenomena-the invention of printing by
moveable types, diffusing, as a broad daylight upon all, the
reflected rays of superior minds-the invention of gunpowder,
raising war from the rude concussion of individuals to a chess
game of scientific implements and positions-the invention of
steam appliances, conferring upon the multitude greater advan-
AMERUCA-IIHAZIL-I:10 DE JAEIIV).
tages than previously possessed by the few, thus making the
many" rich-the electric telegraph, that grand link between
mind and mind, by whose means space and time are spanned
by a bridge of lightning.
The magnet possesses no north pole without its correlative south
pole, and there is no positive electric pole withoutTts negative; so
theory to the man of genius, internal persuasion, is as the one
pole of the magnet, the other pole, the outer phenomenon or fact,
may be near, or it may be remote; it may be at hand just through
the thin partition, or ten miles distant, or ten thousand.
The observer in a galvanic circuit may not be able to point
out to his less gifted neighbour the whereabouts of the battery,
the exciting cause of the present felt influence; it may be at his
feet, or distant as the faintest twinkling star, but he is certain
that it exists somewhere. So the intuition of genius knows that
the external fact of which his thought is part of the circuit exists
in nature, although for the moment unable to map out its precise
I have found it," cried the philosopher of old; I have found
it," he shouted, as he hurried along the highway, doubtless to
convey the intelligence to some brother believer in science.
Found it?-found what? we may almost fancy we hear some
solid practical citizen exclaiming; it would rather appear lie has
lost something-his wits-for such conduct is not seemly, is
unbecoming the dignity of a sedate citizen. Nay, carping friend,
with reason was the philosopher outrageously joyful, for had
he not found a pearl of great price! lie had discovered the glorious
47th problem; a victory of knowledge for you, and for me, and for
Palissy was deemed a fool during the fourteen years of anxious
toil and poverty through which lie passed, before he accomplished
the burning of colours in porcelain; the victory was won at last,
and specimens of his skill, ages after his death, are valuable as
the precious metals.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Always and ever the same, the thing unknown, unaccomplished,
is a dream, an absurdity to the mass; the thing done, is it not well
known, and no longer difficult.
One of the greatest achievements of this class-one which has
had an important and permanent bearing on the world's history,
was the discovery of the Great Western Continents-the New
World, as they were long and properly designated-now known
by the more ordinary names of North and South America.
Down to the time of Columbus, the form of the globe had
been variously conjectured; by some geographers being mapped
out as a flat plain, bordered by seas, to which imagination only
fixed the bounds; but in his age the idea of the earth's rotundity
erupted as a volcano into the slumbering level of the human
mind, agitating the intellect of thoughtful men.
Pondering over and cherishing this great new thought, and the
well-known circumstances that India was situated to the east of
Europe, and in the same northern hemisphere, and that an unex-
plored ocean lay to the west of Europe, Columbus arrived at the
conclusion, which once conceived was irresistible, that, unless land
intervened, instead of endeavouring to reach India by an eastward
course, sailing round Africa, and crossing the equator twice, the
shortest way to the East Indies would be to sail directly westward;
and the inspection of every spherical body must have kept the
idea perpetually before him, and suggested a proof of the truth of
his conjecture. This simple, sublime conception he submitted
to the test of experiment, and through much discouragement,
supported only by the clearness of the theory to his own pure
mind, the brave philosophical navigator achieved, not his original
design, but one equally or even more important, the discovery of
another India, the West Indies.
Several nations share the honour of tracing out portions of
these vast American continents. The English trials to find a
AMERICA--BRAZIL--RIO DE JANEIRO.
sea-passage to the East Indies, northward of the great American
land, led to the discoveries so well known as connected with the
names of Baffin, Davis, Frobisher, Franklin, Parry, and Ross,
whose extensive surveys map out the icy regions of the North
Pole. Band after band of heroes pushed forward Arctic navi-
gation with untiring effort to discover the North-West Passage,
for a long period without success, but the glorious honour has at
last been won by the courage, perseverance, and patience of our
The French investigated other portions; and planted colonies in
the southern peninsula of North America, and also the pine-
clad districts of Canada, which they retained until the close of
the eighteenth century. It was in connection with American
colonizing plans and adventures that so much misery was caused
in France by the wild projects known as the Mississippi Scheme.
The English founded settlements at various points on the main-
land, and also on several of the neighboring islands; and still
nearer to the equator Mexico and Peru were invaded by the
Spaniards, who in small bands, mere handful of men, maintained
by their prowess and arms fierce and successful contests with the
aborigines. The exploits of these adventurers, mellowed by
the hues of distant time, possess a romantic charm which a
nearer view would dispel.
Beyond the Spanish main, Brazil was discovered by a Por-
tuguese, Pedro Alvarez de Cabral; who being on a voyage to India,
was driven by a storm westward, and made the land of South
America, in April, 1500, and named the country Santa Cruz
(Holy Cross), in gratitude for his deliverance from shipwreck;
but the name of Brazil was subsequently given to it on account
of the abundance of the dye-wood, Braziletto (cesalpinia custa),
brought thence, and this name it has ever since retained.
These vast continents, thus discovered at various times, and
piecemeal, have been the source whence Europe has principally
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
derived its modern immense supplies of those important articles,
gold, silver, cotton, sugar, coffee, and tobacco.
The northern part, Canada, taken by the English from the
French as the prize of the battle of Quebec, fought under the
gallant General Wolfe, is peculiarly adapted for growing corn,
and thither many thousands of our countrymen annually emigrate,
and purchasing farms at a low rate, eventually find their way to
position and affluence. The timber removed from the vast forests
to make way for the cultivation of corn, forms an important
article of export to England, paying by its sale for the expense of
clearing the land, which is all the more valuable for its removal.
Crossing a barrier of lakes or seas, we enter that extraordinary
development of a former English colony, now the great United
States of America; and there, corn in the northern states gives
place, as we advance southward, to maize, rice, cotton, tobacco,
TIE COTTON ILANT.
1, blossom; 2, 3, and 4, flower at different periods; 5, bur ; 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, down or cotton,
opening and fully ripe.
The cotton plant (gossypium herbaceum) generally grows
about three feet high; its fruit consists of round three lobeC
AMElICA-BRAZIL--lIO DE J.NEIHO.
capsules, with seeds the size of small peas. After flowering, the
capsules swell out, and when perfectly ripe burst, and the down
surrounding the seeds protrudes, and is gathered as speedily as
possible to prevent injury by the weather.
The important part in the commerce of England, which is per-
formed by the down of these cotton pods, may be better appre-
ciated from the following statement of the quantity imported
yearly, and from the fact that whole towns, each larger than the
capital city of many countries, and many hundreds of thousands,
millions we may say, of English-men and women and their families,
directly or indirectly, obtain their livelihood from its manufacture
into cloth, and the necessary appliances for that purpose.
Weight of cotton wool imported into England in the year
United States . 765,630,544
Brazil ... 26,506,144
Mediterranean . 48,058,640
East Indies . .. 84,922,432
West Indies... . 703,690
Other countries .. 3,960,992
The value of cotton goods and yarn exported in the year 1853,
is stated to have been no less than 32,709,385. The general
name of calico, applied to the plain white cloth manufactured
from this fibre, arose from the circumstance that this description
of textile fabric was first procured from Calicut, in the East
Indies, the seat of the original manufacture. So extremely fine
can this fibre be spun, that one pound weight of cotton down has
been formed into a thread 167 miles long.
The coffee coffeea arabica) is a very beautiful plant, its long
glossy dark green leaves presenting a pleasing contrast to the
clusters of white jessamine-like flowers round the stem. When
the berries are ripe they are of a dusky red colour; each berry
b6 MY FIRST VOYAGE.
containing two grains of coffee, surrounded by a soft pulp, which
soon dries after the berry is picked, the coffee grains being
separated from the husk by crushing the outer coating.
The peculiar refreshing aromatic principle which coffee contains
has caused it to become a very favourite beverage, and its use in
England may be judged by the quantity imported,-amounting to
sixty millions of pounds weight yearly, of which, about half is
retained for home consumption, and the residue exported.
The sugar cane saccharumm officinarum), which has become so
important to man, is a plant of the grass tribe; it is always
THE SUGAR CANE.
A, single flower enlarged: B, flioer open; a, stigmas; b, stamens; c, scales; d,palae.
propagated by cuttings, an internode or knot being included in
each piece planted in the soil; from this setting the stem rapidly
shoots up to the height of from eight to twenty feet. At a late
stage of its growth a loose panicle of triandrous flowers is developed,
AMERICA-BRAZIL-RIO DE JANEIRO.
and on arriving at maturity, the stems, whose soft spongy tissue
'contains the sweet juice, are cut down and chopped into convenient
lengths for carriage to the crushing-mill, where the pieces of cane
are passed through powerful iron rollers to express the juice.
This juice is subsequently boiled into a thick syrup, which
crystallizes on cooling, yielding the several varieties of sugar so
largely used in the civilized world, 20,000,000 cwts., or 1,000,000
tons being the estimated production annually; the yearly imports
into the United Kingdom amounting to no less than 7,000,000
cwts., or 350,000 tons.
The leaves of several species of the plant nicotiana, constitute
the article known as tobacco.
The smoking of tobacco was introduced into England by Sir
Walter Raleigh about the year 1586, and although laws were made
against its importation, and even the monarch took up his pen to
denounce the weed, the use of tobacco has become so extensive
that upwards of 20,000 tons arrive in the United Kingdom every
The city of Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Brazil, is built on an
elevated tongue of land, and stretches about three miles along the
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
south of the bay, being cloven into sections by several spurs of
hills. A good view of the bay (seventeen miles in length, and eleven
in extreme width), on the side of which it is situated, with the
numerous picturesque islands scattered over the waters, may be
obtained from the granitic pile called the Corcovado Mountain.
Wooded almost to its summit, the traveller emerges suddenly
out on to the bare rock, and enjoys the panorama of small lakes
distributed over vast plains, broken by masses of elevated lands,
among which the forest clad Organ Mountains are conspicuous.
On these mountains, as over the whole of this magnificent
country, the naturalist may wander for years, perceiving fresh
novelties at every step. The beauteous forms of Brazilian flora,
particularly its wondrous parasitic plants of every variety of
tbliage and colour, have attracted the attention and admiration of
the botanists of all countries.
Birds of all hues people these dense forests; and of the beautiful
feathers of the head and breasts of the infinity of humming birds
which abound, delicate ornamental wreaths are manufactured,
the wing cases of beetles being set therein like shining precious
stones, reflecting and refracting the rays of light with intense
Luxuriously embowered in gardens wherein flourish oranges,
lemons, pomegranates, palms, and numerous indigenous Brazilian
plants, the homes of Rio merchants dotting the silvery shore of
the bay, at a short distance from the city, are delicious little Edens
,f pleasure and repose.
Gay city of Rio, farewell.
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
AT SEA--THE DOCTOR LI.ECIUIE ---TIlE PHILOSOPHY W: A SEA VOYAGE .
Still a a slave before his lord
The oceanc hath no bla-t;
H [is great bright eye most silently
Up to the Iroonl is cast.
If he may know which way to go,
For she guides hiim smooth or grim;
See brothers, see how graciously
She looketh down on him.'" -(olll Iil(ti;E.
To obtain the treasure which the dying father in the fable, said
lay hidden in the garden, his sons dutg every part of the ground
thoroughly and carefilly, and though they found not the money
treasure, they reaped a niore solid advantage,-the garden became
so productive that the promised foitune was indirectly realized.
So the Alchemists' search for the philosopher's stone, whose magic
touch was to turn everything into gold; their attempts to transmute
the common into thle precious Inmtals: ; (d their experiments to
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
compound an elixir of life, gifted with the power of imparting
perpetual youth, resulted in disappointment, as to the realization of
these questionable wonders, but led to the more valuable dis-
coveries of modern chemistry.
"We will begin our subject," said the doctor, with the consi-
deration of water. The ancients regarded water as an element
which, with fire, air, and earth, constituted the system of the
world; and it was not until 1781 that Cavendish demonstrated it
to be a compound body, the product of the combustion of hydro-
gen and oxygen, which latter had been obtained as a distinct sub-
stance by Priestley in 1774; and although hydrogen had been
known before, it was not correctly described until by Cavendish
However startling the statement may seem, I will decompose
water before you; and borrowing a musket barrel from the
DECOMPOSITION OF WATER BY HEAT.
A. Flask of water over spirit lamp.
B. Portable furnace in section.
c. Gun barrel, containing iron filings.
The hydrogen gas passing through the bent tube is represented as rising in bubbles into the
reversed cylinder, displacing the water, which previously filled that vessel.
armourer, and pouring in some clean iron filings, the doctor
heated it in a portable furnace, and connecting a small glass flask
of boiling water, with one end of the tube, he passed a current of
steam through the barrel, and from the other extremity issued
a gas, colourless, transparent, light, and explosive. This was
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
The iron filings had in the meantime become coated with rust,
they had therefore acquired something from the steam, oxygen;
hence water from the flask, in the form of steam, had been broken
up into its two constituents or elements-hydrogen and oxygen-
the one being retained in combination with the iron, the other
element, hydrogen, passing forward.
Placing a galvanic battery on the cabin table, the doctor
inserted in a small vessel of water two pieces of platinum, and
connected each end of the battery with one of the pieces by copper
wire, and reversing two jars over the platinum plates, the gases
resulting from the decomposition of the water, which under such
DECOMPOSITION OF WATERl BY GALVANISM.
The diagram shows the decomposition of w .. .... Ir ., platinum plate
rising in the jar H should be connected with the r i i e water in the
glass vessel is decomposed, and yields two volu mes of hydrogen jor every volume of oxygen.
circumstances is effected, were collected, oxygen in one jar, and
hydrogen in the other, the proportion being two measures of the
latter to one of the former; thus proving that water is a condensed
combination of two portions of hydrogen and one of oxygen.
The lightness of hydrogen was manifested by its raising a
small balloon high above the mast head, to the great amusement
of the young folks on board.
From the peculiar behaviour of hydrogen, and the similarity it
bears to many metals in combining with oxygen, it has long been
a scientific speculation, that one day this ariel of chemistry will
be reduced to a solid metallic state. In its present well known
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
form as a gas, it is sixteen times lighter than oxygen, and fourteen
and a half times lighter than atmospheric air.
Evidence of the compound nature of water does not rest upon
its decomposition only. I will now reunite the constituents of
water," said the doctor, and measuring off into the same jar a pint
of hydrogen and half a pint of oxygen, he discharged a voltaic
spark through the mixture; the previously dry interior of the jar
was now moist, the gases had disappeared, a drop or two of water
being the result of the combination.
Water is known in three states, solid, liquid, and gaseous, as
ice, water, steam. Below 320 of Fahrenheit's thermometer it is a
solid transparent body, familiarly known as ice, which being
lighter than liquid water, floats upon its surface; the expansive
force of freezing water is so enormous as frequently to burst
asunder the pipes which it may be occupying at the time of frost,
and causing bottles to break with the expansion.
This force is of great service in agriculture, the freezing water
separating the particles of earth, thus breaking up the clods and
pulverizing the soil. The floating of ice depends upon the
peculiar circumstance that water is at its greatest density at 400
Fahrenheit, gradually contracting in bulk as it descends from a
higher temperature until it reaches this point, further cooling
being attended with expansion instead of contraction; thus ice,
which is frozen water at 320 occupies more space than the
warmer water at 400, and consequently floats or rises to its surface.
If it were not for this deviation from the ordinary law, of bodies
being more compact the colder they are, ice would sink, and
layer upon layer be formed until the whole became a solid mass,
resulting in the death of fishes, and increasing the time and diffi-
culty of thawing; whereas from its being on the surface ice is
always within reach of the sun's rays.
Between 320 and 2120 Fahrenheit water is a liquid mobile
substance, the freedom of motion of its particles among one another
THE DOCTORS LECTURE.
enabling it to overcome resistances from friction, and permitting
it to" tend continually to penetrate towards the earth's centre,
until some compact matter prevents its further descent.
This finding the lowest level is attended with vast and impor-
tant consequences to mankind, the force of moving waters being
employed to turn various machines, as flour, saw, and paper mills,
and by its percolation through the earth, giving rise to springs
and rivers, thus supplying man with refreshing drink in places
where otherwise it would be impossible to exist.
At the sea level water passes into steam at 2120, and then
occupies one thousand times the space it filled in the liquid state.
This property of enormous expansion by heat is rendered available
in the driving of innumerable steam-engines, some fitted in build-
ings on shore, others in motion on railways or in steam-vessels.
The primary principle of all these machines is the same, being
the force of the steam moving a disc or plate in an enclosed
chest, with which plate is connected a rod, called a piston-
rod, from which other pieces of machinery convey the motion
wherever it may be required.
St. escap .
The dark portion represents the piston, which is acted on by the force of the steam. Not to
complicate the diagram the action of steam on the lower side only of the piston is represented.
The steam enters the lower portion of the box A, called a
cylinder, forces up the disc or piston, which raises the rod B,
and by means of various apparatus attached to the extremity of
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
B, a rotary, up and down, or intermitting motion is given to other
parts of the machinery, as may be desired. The details of these
contrivances do not fall within our limits. The steam which
entered at S is allowed to escape through E, having raised the
piston from the bottom to the top of the cylinder; and another
jet 6f steam entering at ST pushes the piston down to the bottom
of the cylinder, and so on alternately.
Evaporated from the sea and rivers, water gives rise to the
changes and beauty we observe in the clouds, for the air itself
is invisible; it clothes the arctic regions and the summits of
mountains with an intense robe of light; and as a polished mirror
reflects the overhanging woods.
Its value to man as a refreshing beverage can only be appre-
ciated by the fevered pulse, and those who have travelled in a
dry and thirsty land where no water is." Water dissolves many
substances, as is evident from the following analysis of the English
channel waters, and, as may be supposed, the matters dissolved
vary much, according to the nature of the coasts near which the
CONSTITUENTS OF BRITISH CHANNEL WATER.
W ater . . . 964-74372
Chloride of Sodium, (Common Salt) 2705948
Chloride of Potassium. . 0,76552
Chloride of Magnesium . 3-66658
Bromide of Magnesium . 0"02929
Sulphate of Magnesia . 2-29578
Sulphate of Lime . 1"40662
Carbonate of Lime ... . 0-03301
In connection with the solvent power of the sea, some obser-
vations on salt may not be out of place here, remarked the
doctor. This common but valuable substance is obtained from
several sources, and prepared in various ways.
I. By evaporation of the waters of the ocean, which contain
about 3 per cent. of salt. This process is largely carried on in
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
the South of France, Spain, Cape de Verd Islands, Austria,
II. By congelation. If a weak solution of salt is exposed to
cold it separates into two parts, one almost pure water, which
freezes, and the other, which remains liquid, containing a large
proportion of salt. This mode of preparing salt is used in
III. By surface evaporation, as practised in many of the inland
countries of Europe, where, from brine springs, the weak saline
liquor is pumped up and allowed to flow over heaps of brushwood,
whose extended surface causes rapid evaporation and concentra-
tion of the brine, which is subsequently boiled down, and the salt
then allowed to deposit by crystallization.
IV. When the natural brine springs are strongly salt, the
solution is pumped up, and at once evaporated by artificial heat.
The springs in Cheshire being particularly rich, yielding some-
times 20 per cent. of salt, are worked in this way.
Brine springs originate in immense deposits of salt occurring at
considerable depths below the surface of the earth, and as an
economical mode of raising the substance, water is poured down
into the beds of salt and pumped up again when saturated,.and
the liquor evaporated. There are many salt lakes in the world,
the two most interesting being the Dead Sea, about forty-five
miles long and ten broad, 1,000 grains of the water containing no
less than 264 grains of saline matter; and the Great Salt Lake of
North America, which is reported to contain as much salt as
the water can possibly dissolve.
Whence came the salt is a moot question not likely to be readily
The use of this article as a condiment with food, its value in
the preserving of meat and fish, its importance in the preparation
of chlorine for bleaching, and of soda for various manufactures,
as glass and soap making, as a glaze for pottery, as a manure,
and for various other uses, render this substance one of the most
interesting subjects of study.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
The great influencing cause of the tides is the moon, which by
reason of its nearness to our earth has more effect upon the water
than the larger but more distant sun; and were the globe covered
with water there would be two high tides at every spot daily, one
immediately under the moon, the other place of high tide being
on the opposite side of the world; the waters nearest the moon
being more attracted than the average, and the waters on the
opposite side less than the average; and the water being drawn
away from the other parts to supply these two waves, the tides would
be low at the two intermediate points. The great tidal wave sets
from east to west round the earth, but is much diverted from the
direct line by the vast continents of Africa and America, and the
chain of Indian islands terminating in Australia; moreover, the
form of the land and the length and narrowness of the channels
of rivers greatly interfere with the time at which the tidal wave
arrives at any particular point on the earth's surface.
The sun, as we have said, also exerts an attractive power on
the ocean, and when, as at new moon, the line of direction is the
C Sea 0
SPRING OR HIGH TIDES.
Nea moon; moon and sun on the same side of the earth-high tidal wave-Spring tide.
same as that of the moon's attraction, the tidal wave is augmented,
and a high or spring tide is the result; and when the moon is at
the full, the moon and the sun being then on opposite sides of the
world, the sun tends to draw the waters upwards from one side of
the earth, and the earth itself away from the water on the side of
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
the moon, which draws the waters facing it up from the earth,
thus occasioning a second high or spring tide. These tides occur
SPRING OR HIGH TIDES.
Full moon; moon and sun on opposite sides of the earth, each attracting the waters below it-
high tidal wave-Spring tide.
every fortnight, viz., at new and full moon. At the moon's first
and third quarters, and intermediately, lower or neap tides occur,
as the following diagram may perhaps render more explicit:-
NEAP OR LOW TIDES.
Moon in 1st or 3rd quarter; sun and moon counteract one another's influence, and reduce the
height of the tidal wave-Neap tides.
The warmer the air is at any given spot the more vapour of
water is absorbed and sustained, but if by any means the air is
lowered in temperature, as by meeting a colder current of air,
or passing over cool earth, the same amount of moisture cannot
be retained, and precipitation of a portion in the form of rain
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
ensues. The earth, by its absorption of the sun's rays during the
day, becomes hot, and warms the stratum of air lying on its
surface, which is thus rendered capable of sustaining a large
quantity of moisture; at sun-down the land radiates or throws off
its heat into the atmosphere, and the temperature of the air
immediately above the ground being consequently lowered it
cannot retain all the vapour which it had imbibed in the day-
time, and a deposit of moisture takes place; this is called dew.
The greater the difference between the temperature of the day
and night at any given place the more likely is dew to be formed.
Moreover, some bodies are more rapid radiators than others, thus
grass is frequently wet with dew when the gravel walk or roadway
is dry; the numerous points of the blades causing grass to throw off
heat speedily, whereas gravel retains the absorbed heat longer,
and does not cool the surface air so readily; hence in camping out
it is warmer to lie upon the walk or roadway than upon the grass.
On cloudy nights dew is not formed, the clouds reflecting back
the heat to the earth, so keeping up the warmth of the air on its
DEW AND HOAR FROST.
Ground In Summer. In Winter. No dew in On the ground no
becomes Dew Frost, when summer nor dew or frost, the
heated, isformed, temperature frost in winter, covering reflection
lower. if cloudy the heat back to
than 320. nights, the soil.
surface; and on the same principle, by a simple contrivance,
delicate plants may be protected from the chilling effects of
radiation by stretching a screen over them; and this screen, how-
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
ever thin the fabric may be, reflects the radiant heat to the soil,
thus preserving the temperature of the atmosphere around the
Arctic voyagers narrate that in those regions cloudy days are
the warmest days; the heat radiated from the earth being reflected
by the clouds.
In hot latitudes the timber of a ship, being heated by the sun,
warms the surrounding air, which takes up from the sea all the
moisture it can sustain; at night the vessel rapidly gives off heat,
and the wood becoming comparatively cold, imparts its coolness to
the adjacent air, which can no longer retain all the moisture it had
absorbed in the day, the excess is therelbre deposited as a fine damp-
ness over the whole ship which, before sunset, was perfectly dry.
Illustrative of dew and rain, a cold glass vase was brought into
the warm saloon, and speedily a dewy moisture on the surface was
apparent. Observe," said the doctor, that portion of the warm
air of the room in contact with the glass (which may be con-
sidered as a cool mass of earth) is unable to support so much
vapour as it did before the vase was introduced, and therefore the
unsupportable excess is deposited as a shower of fine rain; or the
vase may be regarded as representing the earth cooling by radiation
the air in its proximity, and the air thus reduced in temperature
deposits as dew the moisture it can no longer sustain.
From a similar cause, generally in autumn and winter, when the
nights are cold, moisture is frequently found on the inside of bed-
room windows; the room is warm, but the cold air outside chills
the glass, and the inside air in immediate contact with the window
is thereby cooled, and cannot support so much moisture as the air
in the other parts of the room; some of the vapour is therefore
precipitated as a fine dampness on the glass, and when the quantity
becomes large it runs down the windows as a stream of water.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Man lives on the confines of two great gaseous seas; the land,
his home, rising from the level of the upper surface of one ocean,
the water, (composed, as we have seen, of two gases, oxygen and
hydrogen, in a state of chemical combination), and penetrating
by its mountain ranges into another great ocean, the air, composed
also of two gases, oxygen and nitrogen, not chemically combined
but in a condition of mechanical mixture.
Air is an invisible intangible substance, in which we move so
freely that at first it might be doubted whether it is matter or not,
but there are certain properties possessed by material substances
which if air is found to possess likewise, we cannot doubt of
its being material, although invisible. These are;-
1st, Impenetrability, or that property by which one body prevents
another from occupying the same space with itself at the same time.
If a glass vase, furnished with a stopcock, be inverted in a vessel
of water, and we attempt to force the vase down, the fluid will not
enter, being resisted by the air in the vase, and the resistance is
owing to the impenetrability of the air; on opening the stopcock
the liquid enters freely, being enabled to drive out the air which
now has a means of escape.
2nd, Inertia and Mobility. By inertia is meant that if at rest a
certain effort or force will be required to move a body, or if in
motion to stop the body, or change the direction of its motion.
Wind is air in motion, and any substance which presents an
obstacle to its progress sustains a pressure, and must either exert
a proportional resistance or be carried forward with the body of
moving air. Bubbles, balloons, &c., drive before the wind, as they
offer little resistance; on the other hand, trees, which resist the
force of the current of air, are frequently blown down by high
winds; waves are caused by the resistance of water to this
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
invisible agent, and the propelling of ships by sails depends
upon the same principle. Thus we arrive at some idea of the
immense power exerted by moving air.
3rd, Weight. This may be exhibited by a very simple expe-
riment. Suspend from one arm of a scale-beam, a flask with a
stopcock attached, having previously pumped out the air as much
as possible; balance the flask accurately, and then open the stop-
cock; the flask will now sink, having become heavier by the air
which has entered, thus proving that air has weight.
The column of air standing above every square inch of the
earth's surface, weighs about fifteen pounds, and it is under this
enormous pressure on all parts of the human body, equivalent to
30,000 pounds upon an average sized person, that we carry on all
our operations. Under ordinary circumstances, however, we are
not sensible of this pressure, because the air within the body
exerts a similar and equal pressure outwards.
The air at the level of the sea is pressed down by the weight
of the mass above it; and if we rise through any portion by
ascending a mountain or in a balloon, we have no longer to sup-
port the pressure of the stratum of air through which we have
passed, and the weight upon the body will be less the higher we
ascend; and just as by cutting asunder the cord by which a com-
pacted bale of cotton or other compressible substance is bound, the
mass expands, pressing the bag outwards, so the effect of ascend-
ing to a great height is somewhat similar; part of the pressure
under which the blood ordinarily flows through the veins being
taken off, the blood vessels distend, causing the sensation of ful-
ness and swelling frequently experienced by travellers on moun-
tains; and to such an extent does this take place that occasionally
the eyes become bloodshot, and blood exudes from the nose and
ears; bursting through the delicate vessels, whose sides are not
sufficiently thick and strong to sustain the outward pressure of
the dilating blood.
MY FIRST VOYAOE.
The air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen in the following
Nitrogen ... 77 79-19
Oxygen .... 23 20-81
It also contains a small quantity of carbonic acid and a trace
of ammonia. Illustrative of the intense activity of oxygen, the
doctor prepared several jars of that gas by heating red precipitate
(a compound of oxygen and mercury) in a small tube, heat
having the power of separating the elements of this substance,
and collected the oxygen in a glass jar, the mercury falling in
metallic globules into the heated tube. He then placed a piece of
ignited charcoal, attached to the end of a wire, into a jar of the
gas, and directed attention to the bright ignition resulting; similar
experiments were afterwards tried with sulphur and phosphorus
with increasingly brilliant incandescence.
To contrast oxygen with nitrogen, the doctor lighted a taper
and first plunged it into oxygen, when it burnt rapidly with great
force; removal into a jar of nitrogen instantly extinguished it;
while in atmospheric air, which, as we have seen, is a mixture of
the two gases, the taper burnt quietly and with a steady flame.
TAPER BURNT IN JAR OF-
Oygen. Nitrogen. Common Air.
Increased Immediate Quiet burning
brilliancy. extinction. until the
Rapid oxygen is
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
Experiments prove that the action of oxygen on life is extremely
important and powerful.
If an animal be placed in a jar filled with atmospheric air, but
cut off from fresh supplies, it speedily dies; if placed in a jar of
nitrogen it perishes immediately; and if placed in pure oxygen
its breathing is accelerated; no appearance of exhaustion is mani-
fested, but on the contrary, violent excitement is exhibited.
What changes occur with respect to the gases with which the
jars were filled?
In the first jar the oxygen is no longer to be found mixed with
nitrogen, but is replaced by carbonic acid, a gas fatal to breathe
even in very minute quantities.
The gas in the second jar is unchanged; the animal having no
power to breathe the gas. In the third jar, as in the first, carbonic
acid gas takes the place of so much oxygen as may have dis-
Oxygen, therefore, supports life energetically, and the use of
nitrogen is, by dilution, to moderate its action.
In what manner does oxygen act upon the animal being ?
By the process of digestion, the crude food taken in at the
mouth is prepared for the reparation and growth of the various
parts of the body, and this altered matter is poured into the
current of the blood on its passage from the remote parts of the
system; the mixture then enters one of the cavities of the heart,
whence it is distributed over the lungs, and returning to the heart
again, is pumped through the arteries into every portion of the
human frame. This blood, on leaving the heart, is of a bright red
colour (arterial blood), while that which is about to enter the
heart (venous blood), after its course through the body, is of a
dark purple tint, the change in the lungs being from purple to
red, and in the body from red to purple; this brightening and
alteration in the colour indicate a change in its character, the
importance and manner of which I will endeavour to make clear.
In the case of a common fire, combustion of the fuel does not
take place, nor is heat given out, unless there is free access of air,
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
the oxygen of which is the active agent; in like manner to sus-
tain the warmth and energy of the animal system, a continued
combustion is being carried on in every part of the body. All
food may be regarded as fuel, and the air in the lungs the active
element in the combustion; and as the carbon of fuel is converted
into carbonic acid by its combination with oxygen, so likewise
a large portion of the food we consume is ultimately changed
into carbonic acid, which is principally removed from the body
through the medium of the lungs in the act of respiration.
The access of air to the blood, mixed with the recently digested
food, is accomplished in the higher animals, as man, quadrupeds
and birds, by means of internal apparatus, termed lungs, by the
minute subdivision of which organs a large surface is exposed to
the air, and the blood flowing through small vessels over the walls
of the cavities discharges carbonic acid and absorbs oxygen.
In fishes this aeration is effected by external organs, the gills;
the number of folds in these gills having the same effect as the
small subdivisions of the lungs in causing the blood vessels to be
distributed over a large surface, thus exposing the blood to the
action of the air dissolved in the surrounding water which bathes
the gills'. No doubt can be entertained of the general nature of
the process which is carried on, although the intermediate steps
may not be well understood. To illustrate the difference in the
air before and after passing through the lungs, the doctor inspired
air through a tube leading from a jar of lime water, so that all
the air passed through the liquid; the lime water remained clear,
showing that the air did not contain any perceptible quantity of
carbonic acid; but the breath exhaled from the lungs being
similarly passed into lime water caused a turbidity, the carbonic
acid in the breath combining with the lime and forming chalk,
which gave the water a creamy appearance.
In general, from fourteen to eighteen inspirations occur every
minute in an adult; the average quantity of air taken in being
about twenty cubic inches, so that nearly 20,000 cubic. inches
pass through the lungs in an hour, or 266 cubic feet daily.
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
As about ten cubic feet of carbonic acid are daily thrown off
from the lungs by every adult person, and as even in small quan-
tities this gas is very injurious, it is most important that in all
places where large numbers of persons are accustomed to assemble,
arrangements should be made for securing free ventilation, a supply
of fresh air, and the removal of this gas so largely sent forth by
each person in the act of breathing; otherwise depression, languor,
and ultimately death would result.
When the quantity of carbonic acid in the air accumulates
beyond a certain point, death from suffocation ensues. Thus, in
drowning, carbonic acid cannot be exhaled from the lungs, nor
oxygen inhaled, as required for the health and action of the human
system; for scarlet or arterial blood is necessary to the due per-
formance of the functions of the brain, and if dark coloured or
venous blood be substituted even for a fbw minutes, it renders the
brain insensible to the impressions made on the external organs,
and incapable of transmitting the decision of the will to the
muscles; and the effect on the brain is such that it may not re-
cover from the influence for half an hour, or even longer. More-
over, the blood, which for a short period does actually pass through
the heart, becomes more and more venous in character, and less
in quantity than in its usual state, hence on one side of the heart
the blood accumulates, and the power of that side ceases by over
distension; the other side, from a deficient supply of oxygenised
blood, loses its energy, and insensibility soon takes place,
terminating in death.
The remedy in such cases is to endeavour to renew the air in
the lungs by blowing into them with the mouth or by a pair of
bellows, or preferably, by a galvanic shock, which induces a
natural inspiratory action, more efficient and not so dangerous as
a forcible inflation of the lungs.
This carbonic acid gas, of which we have spoken, is abundantly
formed in the fermentation of beer, also in the fermentation of the
mixture termed wash, previous to its distillation into alcohol, and is
well known to miners as choke damp, from its suffocating property.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
The explosive gas, called fire damp, is a compound of carbon
and hydrogen, and on ignition the carbon combines with the
oxygen of the air in the mine, thus depriving it of the life
supporting element, and producing carbonic acid gas, which causes
death in a very short period. Hence it is generally noticed in
mine explosions, that although ignition of the carburetted hydro-
gen is the primary cause of the accident, the sufferers are more
frequently suffocated than burnt. One melancholy case of death
from this cause may be instanced, that of the Black Hole, in
Calcutta, in which many human beings perished in a few hours
from want of fresh air; and in very recent times instances have
occurred of numerous deaths being occasioned by ignorant officers
of ships fastening the door-ways of cabins in which, during gales,
passengers had sought refuge, no precaution having been taken for
the supply of fresh air.
Being a very heavy gas, it may at times be escaped from,
should presence of mind enable the person exposed to its influence
to climb to some elevated spot, while he has strength; just as in
the Grotto del Cane, near Naples, where this gas issues naturally
from a fissure in the rock, a dog being thrown-in soon becomes
insensible, from the absence of atmospheric air, while the taller
human being is unaffected; so also in the fermenting rooms of
distilleries this gas may be felt as a heavy pressure around
the legs, although little or no difficulty in breathing may be
Within the tropics the globe is always subject to the nearly
direct rays of the sun, and the intense heat rarefies the air, causing
a constant upward current, which flows over on each side towards
the poles, the cold air from the poles rushing under to supply the
place of the air thus removed upward from the surface; there is
therefore a continual interchange between the tropical and
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
"It will be evident on inspection of this model of a globe,"
continued the doctor, that by the rotation of the earth, a point on
the equator, before it comes round again to the same position, must
THE DIRECTION OF THE WINDS.
N. is the North pole.
S. the South pole.
The arrow at E. represents the hot air rising from
the equatorial regions.
The lower inner arrow at N. represents the course of
the wind from the Arctic regions, to replace the
warm air rising from the surface of the earth at
the Equator. But as the portions of the globe dis-
tant from the equator do not travel so fast as the
equatorial portions, the slow North air appears to
come from the N.E.; hence the winds are called
N.E. trades, and a similar action on the other side
of the Equator gives rise to the S.E. trades.
The upper row of arrows represents the N.E. trade-
winds, and the lower row the S.E. trade-winds.
have travelled over a greater distance than any point on the same
meridian nearer to the poles; (a meridian is an imaginary line
passing through or cleaving the earth in a direction at right
angles to any point on the equator; the line N.S. represents a
meridian;) and as the air revolves with the earth, the equatorial
portions have a more rapid impetus imparted to them than the
polar portions; the result is, that the slow polar speed of the
under-current of cold air, progressing towards the equator, does
not allow it to keep up with the motion of the earth; which, with
all on its surface in the equatorial regions, rushes rapidly from
west to east; therefore the current of air seems to come from the
intermediate or north-east direction on the one side of the line, and
south-east on the other side; these breezes, from their uniformity,
have been designated trade winds.
On the other hand, the hot air from the equator, as it advances
towards the poles, cools and sinks down, but retaining the
equatorial impulse it travels faster than the earth in the polar
regions, and seems to rush past it; the result being a west wind,
which is the prevailing wind in the high northern and southern
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
We have seen that the warmer the air the more moisture it
can sustain. Now, the wind coming from the northern quarter,
a cold region of the globe, holds but little vapour in suspension;
on arriving at a warmer region its capacity for vapour being
increased, this air from the north has a tendency to absorb
moisture from the human body rather than to impart it, hence its
feeling of dryness to the skin, and the absence of rain when it
prevails; on the contrary, the south wind, coming from a warmer
climate, has imbibed more moisture than it can retain on its reach-
ing our native colder regions, and thus in England we feel it as a
soft moist air, and when it lasts for any length of time rain is
In the southern hemisphere these conditions are reversed; the
wind from the northern points of the compass coming from the
equatorial regions being now the warmer, and those from the
southern points of the compass are the colder, originating in the
south polar regions; but as there is much more water in the
southern hemisphere than in the northern, the air traversing over
the sea towards the equator absorbs moisture in its passage, and
consequently the south winds, though cold, are not so dry as the
north winds in the northern hemisphere.
LAND AND SEA BREEZES.
Breeze or wvin Breeze or wind .
om -the Seefrom Land.
/ Land. LanA.
Land hot from absorption Sea Land cooledfrom rapidradi- Sea
of sun's rays-air above, moderately action, air above cooled in con- moloerrdat
being hieatd, rises. warm. sequenccc, and falls outitords warm.
to the sea.
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
In many situations these winds are of regular occurrence, and
arise thus:-The land, during the day, becomes more heated than
the sea, from its greater absorptive power, and the air above it
being thereby warmed, rises, and to supply its place the cold air
from the sea rolls in towards the shore, causing the sea breeze.
On the decline of the sun the earth continues to radiate heat,
but not receiving new supplies from the sun's rays, the land and
the stratum of air above it speedily become cooler than the air
on the surface of the neighboring sea, water radiating heat less
quickly; the warmer air over the sea is now the lighter and has
a tendency to rise, and the colder air from the land rolls seaward
to supply its place, thus causing the land breeze.
I will next proceed to discuss the principles upon which some
of the instruments used at sea are founded.
"Observe this glass tube," said the doctor, it is thirty-four
inches long and closed at one end; I fill it with mercury and
invert it in this basin, also containing that metal; the mercury in
the tube falls to about thirty inches.
Why does it descend, and why does it not descend lower?
The history of this observation, and the discovery of the law
upon which the phenomenon depends, are as follows:-
The common pump (which I will describe afterwards) had been
known for ages, but that the height to which it possessed the power
of raising water was limited, does not appear to have been noticed,
until some Florentine engineers, about the year 1649, found they
could not by their suction pumps lift water above thirty-four feet
from the sea level, and in their difficulty referred the matter to
the philosophers of their time for an explanation and a remedy.
It occurred to Torricelli that the then accepted explanation of
the cause of water rising in a suction pump, nature's abhorrence
of a vacuum," could not be true, because if true, nature had only
a fitful or partial abhorrence of vacuity, inasmuch as however
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
long the pipe might be, or perfect the exhaustion of air, it failed
to raise water higher than thirty-four feet.
He conceived that the power which raised the water would
sustain an equal weight of any other substance; thus, if a liquid
twice as heavy as water were placed in the pipe, it ought only to
be raised half as high; if four times as heavy only one quarter
the height, and so on in the same ratio. On employing mercury
he found that that substance would not rise in an exhausted tube
more than thirty inches; now mercury being thirteen and one-
half times heavier than water, a column of that metal, thirty
inches high, is equal in weight to a column of water of the same
diameter, thirty-three feet nine inches (nearly thirty-four feet),
in height; it therefore was apparent to him that whatever the
power might be, it developed a force equal to the weight of the
column supported, of whatever substance that column might be
He suspected that the explanation of the phenomenon was to
be sought in the pressure, or as it may more strictly be termed, the
elasticity of the atmosphere; and to test the truth of this conjecture
two experiments were instituted.
Assuming the active force to be the atmospheric pressure, if
the apparatus were carried up to the top of a mountain, the
weight of air being less, the mercury balanced by that weight
would also be less, and the metal would descend in the tube; and
in accordance with this supposition it was found that on Mount
St. Bernard the column of mercury fell to fifteen inches, its
height at the sea level being about thirty inches.
That it is the pressure of air which supports the mercury in
the tube may be further manifested by breaking off the end of
the tube, or opening the stopcock, the mercury then ebbs out into
the basin, the air now pressing down the inside equally with the
exterior mercury; the same result takes place if the whole appa-
ratus be placed under the receiver of an air-pump, by which the
air being removed no pressure can be exerted to sustain the
column of metal.
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
Instruments for measuring the tension of the air, and however
varied their form may be, the principle is the same, are termed
barometers; and from what we have seen it is evident that the
mercury not only falls in the tube when conveyed to a height
above the sea level, but will vary with the changes to which the
atmosphere is subject; hence the use of a barometer as an indicator
It is the change more than the actual indication which should
be attended to; and, as a general rule, it may be taken that the
rising indicates fair weather, the falling foul weather. In winter
the rise indicates frost; and in frost, the fall, snow. An un-
settled state of the barometer indicates changeable weather. A
sudden fall indicates a storm; because it shows a rarefaction of
the air at that particular place; and by consequence the denser
air from the surrounding parts of the globe will rush in to fill the
The arrow indicates the WHEEL BAROMETER.
line qf pressure of the More minute changes are rendered
atmosphere. observable to the eye by the pointer thanu
could be noticed in the column itself
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Wheel barometers have a tube holding the mercury, on the top
of which is a float carrying a thread; on the rise or fall of the
mercury, the thread moves a small spindle, to which is attached
a pointer, which indicates the changes on a dial like a clock-
We have spoken of the expansion of water by heat, I will now
endeavour to explain the instruments by which we measure the
force of heat. They are termed thermometers.
The melting of ice, and the boiling of water at the sea level,
afford convenient standards for the measurement of heat.
This measurement is now usually effected by means of mercury
in a small closed tube connected with a bulb reservoir, the expan-
sion and contraction of the mercury measuring the increase or
diminution of temperature.
The space which the mercury traverses between the melting
point of ice and the boiling point of water is divided into 180
degrees, or parts, in English thermometers; and into 100 parts
in the thermometers used on the continent, and therefore termed
A, English, or B, centigrade.
-212-- -100 Boiling pointtt wr
Divided Iti, I O fes Divided into 100 d ric's.
32 .--.- ----0 Melting point of ice.,
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
Thus, if the upper black line represents the height at which
the mercury would stand in both tubes, if they were plunged into
boiling water, the height if placed in melting ice being marked by
the dotted line, the intervening space in A, the English, also called
Fahrenheit's thermometer, is divided into 180 parts; and in B, the
continental or centigrade thermometer, into 100 parts; five degrees
of centigrade are therefore equal to nine Fahrenheit.
It should also be observed that the notation of the Fahrenheit
thermometer begins at a lower point than the melting of ice,
whereas the centigrade reckons from that point.
Scale begins 32 below freezing At freezing.
Freezing point 32 on the scale 0 on the scale.
Boiling point 212 on the scale 100 on the scale.
THE COMMON PUMP.
Shewing lower valve closed. The
upper valve descending i.t open,
allowing the, w ter to pa.ss
By sucking a piece of tobacco-pipe
or straw, one end of which is placed
in water, the air from the interior is
withdrawn, and the liquid flows up
into the tube so exhausted of air.
The common pump depends for its
action upon this principle.
From what has been previously said
in reference to the barometer, it re-
sults that if we exhaust a closed tube,
one end of which is inserted in water,
the pressure of the air in the interior
of the pipe being removed, the ex-
terior pressure of the atmosphere will
force up the water to fill the vacuity;
and this will continue until the water
balances the atmospheric pressure,
which it does when at the height of
thirty-four feet in the exhausted tube.
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
Let A be a close piston, with a valve attached by a hinge;
the piston connected by a rod with the handle C, working over
a pivot P, and B a fixed collar with a valve, placed lower down
the tube. By pressing down C we raise A, and a partial vacuum
is caused between A and B, and the pressure of the exterior atmos-
phere causes the water to push up the valve B, and fill the inter-
mediate space; on the ascent of the handle C, A descends, and the
water between A and B closing the hinged valve at B by its
weight, can only escape by pushing open the valve A, and
passing upwards; and on the pump-handle being again pulled
down, the water above closes the valve A, and being lifted up by
the valve in its ascent flows out through the pipe D, and so on at
every stroke. This kind of pump cannot raise water more than
thirty-four feet above the sea level.
A certain mineral, whose chemical analysis shows it to consist
principally of two oxides of iron, with a small quantity of quartz
and alumina, possesses the power of attracting iron towards itself,
or rather the two substances may be said to be mutually
attractive. This mineral, the loadstone (Marinette or mariner's
stone, as the minstrels sang it), originally found in Magnesia, in
Asia Minor, whence its name, magnet, being placed in a small
basin and floated on water or mercury, turns one end in the
direction of the pole and the other towards the equator.
This power of assuming a certain position, and of attracting
iron, may be conferred upon several substances; the most impor-
tant and useful being steel, especially that of fine grain, uniform
in structure and free from flaws, such steel retaining its magnetism
for a long period. Magnetic batteries are sometimes made so
powerful, by combining several magnets, as to lift more than four
hundred pounds weight; and when formed by induced magnetism,
developed by a powerful galvanic battery, the strength is enor-
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE.
The magnetic force manifests itself as twofold in its character,
familiarly known as north and south polar magnetism; each having
the peculiar property of attracting the contrary and repelling
similar magnetism. Thus the north pole of one magnet attracts
the south pole of all other magnetised bodies, and repels all north
Magnetism may be conferred upon certain bodies temporarily,
without contact, by the influence of what is termed induction, by
placing them near magnetised bodies, and to exhibit this effect
soft iron, as the most easily susceptible of magnetism, may be
conveniently used. It is probable that all magnetic phenomena
result from the inductive action of the earth itself, which is a power-
fully magnetic body; but this may perhaps be more apparent after
we have considered the principle of the mariner's compass.
The compass consists of a magnetised bar of steel, termed the
needle, turning freely on a pivot; a card is placed above and
fastened to the needle, with which it therefore moves, and this
card is divided by black lines into thirty-two points.
COMPASS CARD WITH POINTS.
This instrument is placed in a box covered with glass, the'
whole swinging with perfect freedom, and preserving a horizontal
MY FIRST VOYAGE.
position, whatever inclination may be given to the ship by the
waves. A black mark or line in the box shows the line of the
keel or head of the vessel, and the point on the compass touching
this mark indicates the direction in which she is sailing. The
thirty-two points are as follows; and to be able to repeat these
points rapidly in proper order is one of the first lessons of an
apprentice, and is called "boxing the compass."
North South East by East West South West
North by East South East West by South
North North East South East by South West
North East by North South South East West by North
North East South by East West North West
North East by East South North West by West
East North East South by West North West
East by North South South West North West by North
East South West by South North North West
East by South South West North by West
East South East South West by West North
At first it might be supposed that the compass points true
north and south, but this is not correct; the magnetic poles not
being in accordance with the north and south poles of the earth;
and the difference is known as the variation of the compass.
To detect these variations recourse is had to the Azimuth
compass, a modification of the ordinary compass, and which we
will now describe.
By observation astronomers have arrived at the knowledge of
the exact bearings of the sun from all places on the earth's surface,
at its rising and setting, every day in the year; and from this start-
ing point the variation of the compass at any particular spot may be
deduced. Thus, supposing the true position of the rising or setting
sun to be known, if the traveller finds that by his compass the sun
does not rise or set in the true astronomical direction, then he is
also perfectly sure that the angle of difference is the error of his
compass in that place.
All that is required to be done is to observe carefully the
THE DOCTOR'S LECTURE. 91
direction of the sun at the moment of its rising or setting; the
latter is generally chosen, being more easily watched.
The centre of the sun's disc is cut by the wire in I;, and the compass being fred by a stop at
the moment of observation, shors the compass direction of the sun at setting; the true astro-
nomical direction is found from the published tables: the difference is the variation at that
particular time and place.
The centre of the sun is brought in a line with the fine wire in
the centre of the upright frame B; the eye of the observer being
placed at A, a stop fixes the compass at the moment of obser-
vation for careful reading off subsequently, and the point of setting
indicated by the compass, compared with the astronomical direction,
gives the variation of the instrument. This variation of the
needle from the true north and south poles of the earth is about
240 west, at London, and 5- at Boston, in the United States.
Besides the tendency of the needle to point away from the
earth's north and south poles, notice of another singular property
should not be omitted,-I refer to the dip.
If a magnetised needle be supported on a pivot, and allowed
free vertical play, it will assume a position inclined to the horizon,
varying greatly in different parts of the globe.
Thus Sir J. Ross found the dipping needle to stand vertical
in 700 5' 17" north latitude, and 1140 55' 18" west longitude; this
point is termed the magnetic pole; the corresponding pole in the
UZ MY FIRST VOYAGE.
southern hemisphere, where the needle would assume a perpen-
dicular position, is calculated to be in 720 35' south latitude,
and 1520 30' east longitude.
In London the needle now dips at an angle of about 690 30';
and curiously to think upon, this variation and dip undergo great
changes; the dip which in 1773 was 720 19' in London, is now
only 690 30'; and the variation, which increased until 1818
to 260 30' has since decreased.
The mutual attraction of the magnet and iron, it is evident,
must seriously interfere with the indications of the needle, when
large quantities of iron are near the compass.
As, however, this force obeys the law to which so many other
physical forces are subject, of the power being inversely as the
square of the distance; in other words, a powerful disturbing force,
acting at a foot distance from the needle, if removed to a distance
of ten feet would only operate with one hundredth part of the
power, and so on; we have the means of ascertaining the amount of
error by placing a compass high up above the deck, as for instance
in the maintop, where the disturbing action of the whole hull of
an iron vessel would be very small, almost nothing; whereas the
influence of the great body of the earth remains the same, and
thus the magnet would assume the position which it would take
if iron were not present.
Other interesting points on this subject might be noticed, but
I will not weary you.
I will now attempt an explanation of the motion given to a
ship by the action of the winds. This depends upon a me-
chanical principle that may be thus stated: the direction in which
a body moves is the resultant of all the forces acting upon it.
If air in motion is travelling in the same direction as it is
desired the vessel should go, the force of the wind acting on the
sails propels the ship, and the advance is in the ratio of the
strength of the wind and the quantity of canvass spread, to the
weight of the ship and cargo.