Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 William Adams, the pioneer Englishman...
 A strange election and a stranger...
 California's first start
 At the court of the Great...
 The Great Mosque of Delhi and The...
 The last of the Great Moguls
 The story of Cleopatra's needl...
 A Persian grand vizier
 Captain William Peel's ride through...
 Sarawak and the Soudan
 The voyage of the "Fox"
 Perils in the ice
 A parliamentary debate in...
 Origin of the Gipsies
 Garibaldi, the Italian patriot...
 Unbeaten tracks in Japan
 French accounts of English naval...
 The battle of the Nile
 The battle of Trafalgar
 Luther before the emperor
 Juggernaut in 1806
 Life-boat services
 The talking wood chip
 Eustache, the negro slave
 The Montyon prize of virtue
 Remarkable escape from the massacre...
 The siege of Jerusalem by...
 Capture of a Spanish slave...
 Saved from a floating sepulchr...
 The original Robinson Crusoe
 Captain Dampier and the Buccan...
 Arminius Vambery's travels...
 The fate of a German watchmaker...
 The gallant defence of Rorke's...
 Heroes of the Victoria Cross
 Kavanagh's daring journey
 The last of the Mamelukes
 Man overboard!
 Early exploring expeditions in...
 Across Australia from sea...
 The discovery of gold in Austr...
 How Christianity was introduced...
 Two attempts to ascend Chimbor...
 Twice to the top of Chimborazo
 The widow and her money-bags
 Commodore Byron in Patagonia
 The travels of Marco Polo
 How Blake made Van Tromp take the...
 David Douglas, the botanical...
 Back Cover

Title: True tales of travel and adventure, valour and virtue
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053957/00001
 Material Information
Title: True tales of travel and adventure, valour and virtue
Physical Description: vii, 404, 4 p., 13 leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Macaulay, James, 1817-1902
Hodder and Stoughton ( Publisher )
Hazell, Watson & Viney ( Printer )
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Hazell, Watson, & Viney
Publication Date: 1885
Subject: Voyages and travels -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1885   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1885   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1885
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
England -- Aylesbury
Statement of Responsibility: by James Macauley ; with thirteen illustrations.
General Note: Title page printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053957
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002399723
notis - AMA4644
oclc - 64696250

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Half Title
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of Illustrations
        Page viii
    William Adams, the pioneer Englishman in Japan
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    A strange election and a stranger auction
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    California's first start
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    At the court of the Great Mogul
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The Great Mosque of Delhi and The Taj Mehal at Agra
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The last of the Great Moguls
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    The story of Cleopatra's needle
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    A Persian grand vizier
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Captain William Peel's ride through Nubia
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Sarawak and the Soudan
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    The voyage of the "Fox"
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Perils in the ice
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    A parliamentary debate in Tahiti
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Origin of the Gipsies
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Garibaldi, the Italian patriot and hero
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Unbeaten tracks in Japan
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    French accounts of English naval victories
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
    The battle of the Nile
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    The battle of Trafalgar
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Luther before the emperor
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    Juggernaut in 1806
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
    Life-boat services
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
    The talking wood chip
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Eustache, the negro slave
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
    The Montyon prize of virtue
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
    Remarkable escape from the massacre at Cawnpore
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    The siege of Jerusalem by Titus
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
    Capture of a Spanish slave ship
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Saved from a floating sepulchre
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    The original Robinson Crusoe
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
    Captain Dampier and the Buccaneers
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
    Arminius Vambery's travels in Asia
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
    The fate of a German watchmaker in Bokhara
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
    The gallant defence of Rorke's drift
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
    Heroes of the Victoria Cross
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
    Kavanagh's daring journey
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
    The last of the Mamelukes
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
    Man overboard!
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
    Early exploring expeditions in Australia
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
    Across Australia from sea to sea
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
    The discovery of gold in Australia
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
    How Christianity was introduced into Mangaia
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
    Two attempts to ascend Chimborazo
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
    Twice to the top of Chimborazo
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
    The widow and her money-bags
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
    Commodore Byron in Patagonia
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
    The travels of Marco Polo
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
    How Blake made Van Tromp take the broom from his top-mast
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
    David Douglas, the botanical collector
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

-- -.



The Baldwin Library


S Technical Ilnstruction o nittee.

0 0S R l' 10
10 -0

00 0- '
,. .............
TechnicaI Instrction CgmriSttee.

During the Session, 897- 8.


0 I
Special Progre. :' .0 .

0) -','
^ ^ j



.-.__!,, ,,,. , ,_

:....,t-~c ........ s

-~~~D~~e~~ 108~ YM~~fYBI ~b_~~l~l~ll~lllr Ilal'W






( -1 l rigCls reserved.)

Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Limited, Printers, London and Aylesbury.



vi CContents.
PORE .228

~* 337

Contents. vii





N the year of our Lord 1598, the Dutch East India Company
sent out a fleet of five Hollanders to traffic in the Indies."
Great rumours were spread throughout Europe of the riches
obtained by the Spanish and Portuguese in these far-distant
parts of the world. Defying the bulls and interdicts of the
Pope, and the threatening of the nations protected by him, the
Dutch, like the English, were resolved to seek their share
in the good things made known by the navigators and dis-
coverers of those times. So this Dutch fleet was equipped
and sent forth, sailing from the Texel on the 24th of June, under
the command of Master Jacque Mahay, as admiral, in the
good ship Erasmus.
The chief pilot of the fleet was an Englishman, William
Adams, born in Gillingham, two miles from Rochester, and
one mile from Chatham, where the Queen's ships do lie." This
"Kentish man" was a true and loyal subject of Queen
Elizabeth, but he was ready, like many Englishmen of that
time, to serve wherever he had good opportunity, provided
it was not among the Spaniards and other enemies of free and
Protestant England. He gives account of himself and of his
voyages in letters to his wife, which were fortunately pre-
served, and published by Purchas, the Collector of so many
curious and valuable records of old travel and adventure.
Of his previous life, this is what Will Adams tells :-" I was
from the age of twelve brought up in Limehouse, near London,
being 'prentice twelve years to one master, Nicholas Diggins,
and have served in the place of master and pilot in- Her

2 William Adams, the

Majesty's ships, and about eleven or twelve years served
the Worshipful Company. of Barbary Merchants, until the
Indian traffic from Holland began, in which Indian traffic I
was desirous to make a little experience of the small knowledge
which God hath given me." He was thus a well-trained
and experienced mariner, this pilot of the Dutch expedition
under Admiral Jacque Mahay.
The fleet sailed on the 24th of June, as we are told; but
as there is some confusion about exact dates in old style and
new style reckoning, let it be about the middle of the year
1598. Voyages in those days were seldom swift, and provisions
not of the most wholesome kind, so we are not surprised to
lean that sickness broke out-scurvy, most likely-and they
were glad to touch on the coast of Guinea for rest and refresh-
ment. Before they sailed again, the Admiral and many of his
men died. It was not till April of next year, 1599, that
they reached the Straits of Magellan, having decided to reach
the Indies by way of the South Seas. In so long a voyage the
ships could not expect to keep in company, and Moka, on
the coast of Chili, was appointed as the place of rendezvous.
The Erasmus arrived here in due course, but after waiting till
the month of November for her consorts, only one turned
up, the pilot of which was a friend and countryman of
Will Adams, "one Timothy Shotten, who had been with
Master Cavendish in his voyage round the world."
"Two of the ships were never heard of, and are supposed
to have foundered-at sea. A third fell into the hands of
Spaniards, or pirates, for they were much the same in
those days.
On the American coast the two remaining ships had hard.
times of it from the same enemies. The captain of the
Erasmus, when on shore to purchase supplies for the half-
starving crew; was attacked and slain, with several of his men,
among whom, says Adams, was "my poor brother Thomas,
and they left scarce so many .men whole as could weigh
our anchor." The sister ship fared no better. The captain

Pioneer Englishman in Japan. 3

and twenty-seven men were killed in another affair on that
The brave and resolute survivors in the two ships chose
new captains, and then "held a council as to what they should
do to make their voyage most profitable. At last it was
resolved to go for Japan; for by the report of Derrick Ger-
ritson, who had been there with the Portugals, woollen cloth
was in great estimation in that island; and we gathered,
by reason that the Malaccas and the most part of the East
Indies were hot countries, woollen cloths would not be
much accepted. Therefore it was we all agreed to go to Japan."
A very wise and shrewd resolution, arrived at unanimously.
There were no "cotton goods" in those days to export from
our factories; the woollen manufacture and good broadcloth
formed the staple of English trade in the rough old times
when the Lord Chancellor literally sat upon a woolsack!
Adams had made woollen stuff the substance of his share
of the cargo, and probably had -advised others to do the same.
On the 29th of November, 1599, the two ships, piloted
by Williarh Adams and Timothy Shotten, started on the long
voyage across unknown waters. They bore up. bravely
before the south-east trade-wind, but so little did they know
about winds and weather in these parts of the ocean, that
this curious entry appears in the narrative, "The wind con-
tinued good for divers months "!
But after they got beyond the reach of the trade-winds,
and after various perils and adventures in strange island
channels, sailing northward from the equator, they gradually
came to regions of stormy winds and angry seas. On the
24th of February the Erasmus parts finally from her con-
sort and Timothy Shotten is heard of no more. He is
supposed to 'have gone down at sea-a less horrible fate
than that of eight of his fellow-seamen, who had been killed and
eaten by the natives of some cannibal island of the South Sea.
The Erasmus still held on towards Japan, and on the
24th of March Adams records : "We saw an island called

4 William Adams, the

Una Colonna, at which time many of our men were sick
and divers dead. Great was the misery we were in, having no
more than nine or ten men able to go-or creep upon their knees;
our captain and all the rest looking every hour to die. But on
the I th of April, 1600, we saw the high land of Japan
near unto Bungo, at which time there were no more than five
men of us able to go.- The 12th of April we came hard to
Bungo, where many country barques came aboard us, the
people whereof we willingly let come, having no force to resist
them; and at this place we came to an anchor."
It was a sorry plight for them to be in on their first arrival
at the long-sought land of hope and promise-Cipango, or
Zipangu of old Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller, who
had three hundred years before brought to Europe tales about
its fabulous wealth and high civilization. These rumours had
spread through Europe, and had kept alive the desire for
better knowledge of the mysterious island. Since the first
voyage of Columbus, the reaching of Cathay and Cipango,
and all the rich regions of the Indies, had become a passion
with voyagers and explorers, and merchant men were keenly
watching the results of their enterprises and explorations.
These Dutchmen were not, however, the first to see the
golden islands, as they soon found to their cost. There were
enemies in the country more to be dreaded than even the
perils of the sea and the dangers of sickness, from which
William Adams and his few and weakened comrades had
"been delivered.
After we had been there (in Bungo), wrote the English
pilot, "from five to six days, a Portugal Jesuit, with other
Portugals (so they always then called the Portuguese), "and
some Japanese, that were Christians, came from a place called
Nagasaki, which was ill for us, the Portugals being our mortal
enemies.; who reported that we were pirates, and were not in
the way of merchandising."
The Tycoon, or executive Emperor of Japan, was at that
time at Osaka, and when the arrival of the ship at Bungo was

Pioneer Englishman in Japan. 5

reported to him, the crew thereof being not Portuguese nor
Spanish, he ordered that the pilot and one of the seamen
should be brought before him, the captain being too ill- to
move. The Jesuit and.the Portugals had no doubt given a
very dreadful account of these strangers, as being not only
pirates, worthy of instant death, which was the penalty of that
crime, but doubly deserving crucifixion, as being heretics, and
foes of the true faith (of the Portugals).
It was a serious crisis, and Will Adams probably had small
prospect of safety when he said good-bye to his sick captain
and shiprhates; nevertheless, adds he, I commended myself
into His hands that had preserved me from so many perils on
the sea."
Brought before the Tycoon, and questioned through an
interpreter, I showed him," says Adams, the name of our
country, and that our land had long sought out the way by
sea to the East Indies." Having explained that this was for
purposes of commerce, the Tycoon asked whether our country
had wars ? I answered him, 'yea,' with the Portuguese and
Spaniards, being at peace with all other nations."
Now the Tycoon, who had not long since succeeded to the
dignity, had no love for Portuguese or Spaniards. His predecessor,
Taiko-sama, had actually commenced a stern persecution of the
Jesuit missionaries, as suspected of political intrigues as well
as disturbers of the people, and several priests had been put to
death in the year before he died. The Jesuits hoped that the
new Tycoon would be less hostile, and, in fact, at the commence-
ment of his rule there seemed to be full toleration. The
missionaries made good use of their time. It is estimated that
their export of silver alone at this epoch was about two millions
of taels every year, besides gold and other valuables. At
least, this is asserted by Kaempfer, the early historian of Japan,
who represents these Romish emissaries as keen traders under
the guise of devout missionaries. Making due allowance for
Kaempfer being a Dutchman, there is no doubt that the Spanish
and Portuguese Jesuits in those times knew how to make the

6 William Adams, the

best of both worlds, and the warrant of the Tycoon for the
death of the three priests, still extant among the Imperial
records, says that they were condemned to death for ".having
come from the Philippines to Japan under the pretended title
of ambassadors, and for having persisted in my land, and
preached the Christian religion against my decree."
All this was well known to the Tycoon, before whom
William Adams now stood. He no- doubt heard .without
displeasure that the new-comers were no friends of the Portu-
gals or Spaniards, and were of a different religion from that
which had proved troublesome to the empire. He gave orders
that the two men should be kept in prison, and a little later he
ordered that the ship be brought up to Osaka. For thirty-
nine days Adams and his shipmate remained in custody, full
of anxiety about the fate of themselves and their friends. The
Jesuits used every means to influence the Tycoon, and when
the Erasmus at length arrived they redoubled their cruel
efforts, again affirming that these strangers were pirates and
robbers, as well as foes to their people, and saying that "if
justice was executed upon us it would terrify the rest of our
'nation from coming there any more." To this intent," says
Adams, they daily sued to His Majesty to cut us off."
Perhaps their zeal overshot its mark; at all events, the
heathen ruler proved more humane than the so-called Chris-
tian missionaries, for "the Emperor answered them, .that
because their two countries were at war, it was no reason why,
to please Portugals, he should slay Dutch and Englishmen !'"
"With keen satire the political appeal was thus disposed of
and though the Emperor made no reference to the religious
differences, the charitable state of mind in the Jesuits can be
easily guessed; while honest Bill Adams piously expresses
his thankful feeling in the words, Praised be God for ever and
ever! "
When the ship arrived, the pilot and the seamen were
received by their comrades with wonder and much shedding
of tears," for they had been told that Adams and his companion

Pioneer Englishman in Jafan. 7
had long since been put to death. They were all treated with
kindness and hospitality, and they soon recovered health and
spirits; but they and their good ship were never again to
return to Europe. The Erasmus was ordered to the city of
Yeddo, the capital of the empire, and William Adams, whose
bearing and character seem to have favourably impressed the
Tycoon, was retained in the Imperial service. What became
of the rest-of the crew is not stated, but they probably served
as seamen, dr were otherwise employed in the land of their
enforced residence. We know that they were ordered to be
granted daily rations of rice, and twelve kobangs of gold a
year, as an Imperial allowance. The captain, we also know,
received permission to go as far as the Straits of Malacca in a
native vessel, and he was killed in an action with the Portu
guese, having joined the Dutch fleet there during the .fight.
None of the other seamen -were allowed to leave Japan.
Possibly the hint of the Jesuits had been taken, although not
in their fatal intent, that the sending away of these men might
bring others of their nation !
Several years passed, Adams growing in favour and influence
at the Court of Yeddo, acquiring, no doubt, much knowledge of
the people, and their ways and language, but. never losing
remembrance of his country and home in old England.
His time was turned- to good account for his new masters.
He had some skill in ship-building, and having built a -vessel
of 80 tons the Tycoon was greatly pleased. He afterwards
built a larger vessel of i20 tons, and made a cruise as
far as Miako Bay in her with a Japanese crew. But he
astonished the natives by more than skill in manual "craft.
"Being in such grace and favour," he says, "by reason I
taught him (the Emperor) some points of geometry and the
mathematics, with other things, that what I said could not be
contradicted. At the which, my former enemies, the Jesuits
and Portugals, did greatly wonder, and entreated me to be-
friend them to the Emperor in their business; and so by my
means both Spaniards and Portugals have received friendship

8 William Adams, the

from the Emperor, I recompensing their evil unto me with
What were the other things besides the mathematics"
which he showed to the Emperor we are left to conjecture,
but the narrative carries a very useful lesson to the young as
to the importance of a knowledge of practical, geometry in all
its branches, as well as skill in the use-of various tools and
instruments, and as much acquaintance as can be gained with
arts and sciences, as well as with mere grammar and literature,
whether in living or dead languages. How few of the boys
educated in our public schools could have risen to the position
and obtained the honour of Will Adams, the apprentice lad of
Limehouse With fair natural ability, he had always a thirst
for knowledge, and desire to add to his experience" in what-
.ever circumstances he found himself.
The year 1609 brought two events which caused a mighty
commotion in Japan, and in which Adams took no unimportant
part. A Spanish galleon, the San Francisco, returning from
Manilla to Acapulco in Mexico, and having on board the
Governor of the Philippines, was wrecked on the coast of
Japan. Of the crew, one hundred and sixty souls perished.
The remainder, including the Governor, were very kindly
treated. The larger vessel, of 120 tons, built by Adams, was
placed at their disposal by the Emperor, and fitted out with
every means for proceeding on their voyage, which they did
in the same year, returning, it appears, to Manilla. How
the very name of Spanish galleon," and such places as Manilla
and the Philippines, and Acapulco in Mexico, cdnjure up
visions of dollars and gold-pieces, and the rich freights of the
Argosies of those days! No wonder that pirates abounded,
and that in time of war the privateers scoured all the seas of
the world in quest of prizes !
This was what brought two Dutch privateers to the seas of
Japan, in the same year that the Spanish galleon was wrecked
. there. The Dutchmen came to look after a Portuguese ship
which ran yearly from Macao to the land of the Tycoon.

Pioneer Englishman in Japan. 9

They missed their prize, but they found themselves very
well treated; and professing willingness to engage in lawful
and peaceable trade, the port of Firando was ceded to them
for this purpose, through the good offices and intercession
of William Adams. They returned to Europe to make
arrangements for the opening of regular trade, and Adams
took advantage of the opportunity for sending letters home.
These are the letters which have found an abiding and
interesting place of record in the pages of Purchas.
The Dutch East India -Company must have watched
anxiously and waited wearily for the ships sent out by them
so long ago as 1598, and must have wondered why. no tidings
ever came of them. Adams, and the other survivors of the
crew of the Erasmus, must also have often wondered what
people at home were saying of them, whether they were still
anxiously looked for, or given up as hopelessly lost. There
was at least a hope of opening communication with the lands
and people to which their thoughts and affections so often
had been travelling. The disappointment at not being allowed
to depart with the Dutch ships must have been great, but if
these got to Holland in safety there was hope of his being
heard of by his family and friends, and of receiving tidings
through those who would come to Japan. Meanwhile he is
in good quarters so far as outward affairs go. Through the
kindness and generosity of the Emperor he has a living "like
unto a lordship in England, with eighty or ninety husbandmen,
who are as my servants and slaves,"--living the life, in fact, of
a country squire or nobleman. He has a high opinion of the
people and nation where his lot is now cast. The people are
good of nature, courteous above measure, and valiant in war."
And as to the government, I think no land better governed
in the world by civil policy." So he urges his countrymen to
come to trade, and have dealings with such a people, ending
that letter with a touching utterance of patient submission and
pious prayer about what was still nearest to his heart, the
thought of his dear wife and children. "Patiently," he writes,

Io .William Adams, the

" I- wait the good will and pleasure of God Almighty, desiring
all those to whom this letter may come, to use means to
acquaint my good friends-with it, and so my wife and. children
may hear of me; by which means there may be hope that I
may see them before my death-which the Lord grant to His
glory and my great comfort. Amen."
This was written and sent in 1611. How the next year
passed with him we do not hear, but in 1613 the startling
news came to Yeddo that an English ship had arrived, and.
was at anchor in the port of Firando. The Governor of that
place sent for Adams, in the meantime. treating the newly-
arrived Englishmen with marked attention. Adams found the
ship to be the Clove of London, belonging to the East India
Company, and commanded by Captain John Saris, who was
furnished with a letter from King James I., and suitable presents
for the Emperor, whose friendship and good offices he was
charged to seek, in order- to arrange a treaty of commerce.
The good ship Clove had left the Thames so far back as April
18th, 611, and had spent more than two years in the voyage,
trading at various ports, as- the custom then was, and not
reaching Firando till the IIth of Jute, 1613. Captain Siris
little knew how efficient and influential a fellow-countryman
he was to find in Japan. After consultation, and despatch of
various messages, it was arranged that the captain and ten of
his Englishmen should attend the Emperor at Yeddo, to which'
place they set out early in August, bearing the royal letter and
the presents. The interview and audience came off splendidly.
The Tycoon was delighted with the frank and dignified bearing
of Captain Saris, and with the advice of Adams a. treaty was
concluded between the Emperor of Japan and the King of
Great Britain, by which the most important privileges were
granted--far beyond what had ever before been conceded to a
foreign power, and, in fact, beyond what are now possessed.
The tone of the whole treaty may be gathered from the first
article, which was as follows :-" We give free license to the
subjects of the King of Great Britain-viz., Sir Thomas Smith,

Pioneer Englisiman in Japan. 11

Governor, and the Company of the East India Merchants and
adventurers, for ever safely to come into any of our ports of
our Empire of Japan, with their ships and merchandize, with-
out any hindrance to them or their goods; and to abide, buy,
sell, and barter, according to their own manner with all
nations;. to tarry here as long as they think good, and to
depart at their pleasure." Other articles of the treaty gave
freedom from customs, tolls, ana duties; liberty of transit by
sea or land; right to build and to possess property; orders for
instant payment for all goods delivered; dispensing with
permits and passports,. and a variety of other rights and privi-
leges, the extent and liberality of which the more surprise us,
from knowing the subsequent history of Japanese relations
with foreign nations. But the Tycoon of that period, Tyeyas,
was an enlightened and liberal ruler, and he had for his chief
adviser in the matter William Adams. Captain Saris took his
departure, highly gratified by his reception,. and bearing a
letter from the Tycoon to King James, offering a hearty
welcome to his subjects, complimenting the English people
for their worthiness and their skill in navigation, and promis-
ing that "in their honourable enterprise of discoveries and
merchandizing, they shall find the said Tycoon further them
according to their desires."
The chief station or headquarters of the English trade was
to be at the port of Firando, where the Dutch also had their
factory. William Adams seems to have entered the employ-
ment of the East India Company, and to have resided at
Firando as interpreter in the English factory, which was
under the charge of a Mr. Richard Cookes, .as consul and
manager. He probably remained there till his death, which
is supposed to have been in or about the year 1619. He had
long-resigned himself to perpetual exile, and we have no doubt
that the consolation of true piety, which marked his whole
character, sustained and cheered him. His name will always
be remembered with respect and honour.
It does not belong to this article to follow further the course

12 William A dams.

of events in Japan. After the death of Adams, and after
sustaining loss in their Japanese trade, the East India Com-
pany retired from the station, and the factory at Firando
was voluntarily abandoned. It was given up just in time.
Not long after a new policy succeeded in the Government
of Japan. The persecution of the Christians, of which they
had had before some experience, broke out with great fierce-
ness. The intrigues and misconduct of the Romish priests
and missionaries no doubt provoked the attack, and caused
an illiberal and intolerant treatment of all foreigners. The
Portuguese and Spaniards were forcibly expelled, and the
Dutch were permitted to remain only under the .most
humiliating conditions, their traders being confined to the
island of Deshima, near Nagasaki. They were not allowed
to set foot on any other part of the soil. of the Empire, and
when carrying a tribute to the Emperor, they were conveyed
in closed carriages, without being permitted to hold com-
munication with the people. Not a Christian shall remain
in Japan," had been the declaration of an Imperial edict,
and the Dutchmen imprisoned at Decima hardly owned them-
selves as Christians. The Japanese had borne long enough
the interference of meddlesome foreigners, and in 1637 an
Imperial interdict was published, of which one clause thus.
runs :-" No Japanese ship or boat whatever, nor any natives
of Japan, shall presume to go out of the country; and who-,
soever acts contrary to this shall be put to death, and
the ship and goods shall be forfeited; and all Japanese
who return from abroad shall be put to death."
Thus commenced the policy of exclusion and seclusion
which marks the history of Japan for the next two centuries.
In 1673 the English made an attempt to reoccupy their
former factory; but there was no William Adams now at
Court- to be their advocate with the Emperor. The Dutchmen
at Decima did not choose to remember that they owed their
introduction to Japan to the English pilot, and they had
the craft to inform the Government that the English King,

-i --- -

in --. ::

___ __ ___ ... .11 I I"l
I----- I
_ _ -

: ... .



A Strange Election and a Stranger Auction. 13

Charles II., was married to the daughter of the King of
Portugal. The old religious animosity was thus awakened,
and the Japanese authorities courteously, but firmly, refused
permission for the English to trade. The Dutch retained a
monopoly of commerce, such as it was, at Deshima, until
intercourse with the outer world was again opened by the
United States of America, little more than thirty years ago.
The events that have since occurred are recorded in many
well-known books, among which we may name Mr. Mossman's
" Land of the Rising Sun "; Miss Bird's Japan" (Murray);
and a bright little book by Sherard Osborne, R.N., "A Cruise in
Japanese Waters" (Blackwood and Sons).


IN May 1862, William Talcott, an employee in the Pony'
Express Company, went to look for his ponies in the
nearest range of mountains, which was the Toyabe range,
in Nevada, United States. He took with him an Apache
Indian boy, who had been purchased not long before in
Arizona for a jack-knife and a pair of blankets. .When in
search for the ponies they struck a seam of greenish quartz,
which Talcott thought something like what he had seen in
a rich mining region. They carried bits of the rock to the
house of a Mr. O'Neill, and there they were seen by Mr.
Vanderbosch, an intelligent Dutchman, who immediately pro-
nounced a favourable opinion as to the "indications of silver"
contained in them. The traces of silver were slight, but- there
were metals usually found in connection with silver, especially
antimony and galena, or lead ore. Specimens were sent to
Virginia city, to be tested by assay, with such results as to
attract immediate attention.

I4 A Strange Election and

Among those who heard of the discovery was one David
Buel, an enterprising miner and frontier's-man, who had spent
much of his time among the Indians of California. He started,
along with two friends, for the Reese River, as a small stream
in the locality had been called by a miner of the name of
Reese. This party of three prospected at several localities,
especially near a spot where the city of Austin was soon
to rise. Talcott's friends were also busily prospecting, and
had made a settlement, which they called Pony Lodge, in
remembrance of the incident of Talcott and the Indian boy
seeking the strayed ponies.
It is curious that the celebrated western explorer "and path-
finder, Colonel Fremont, had passed near these places, but his
route lay a little further'to the south, and so he missed being
the discoverer of the new silver mines in that part of Nevada.
Vanderbosch, Buel, O'Neill, Veatch, and many other miners
were now hard at work "prospecting and "locating in
various localities, and some of the claims turned out to be rich
Sin silver ore. But we are not concerned with mining
operations in this narrative. We pass over the time that
intervened between the first discoveries, and the foundation
of Austin, as the chief place in the district.
Now it is a peculiarity of the American people that they
carry with them into every new territory their municipal
and political institutions. A city" of only a few houses,
and inhabitants consisting only of rough miners, must have
a Mayor and Common Council, with meetings, and election
excitements. No American can live without making speeches,
or hearing them, without holding office, or voting somebody
else into office. Austin was not exempt from this notable
feature of American life.
The city charter was passed with due solemnity in April
1864. Public rejoicings followed, as a matter of course.
There was great excitement at that period touching the politi-
cal issues of the day. At Austin, Republicans and Democrats
were pretty equally divided, the latter being known chiefly by

a Stranger Auction. 15

the name of Copperheads. The election of Mayor would test
the numerical strength of the two hostile parties. Every man
felt that not only local, but national interests, were concerned
in the result.
There were two candidates, pretty fairly matched, for the
contest. On the Democratic side was David Buel, already
mentioned,-" Uncle Davy," as his fellow-citizens familiarly
called him,-a man of imposing presence, six feet four in height,
and large in proportion, and with a frank, off-hand manner
that endeared him to his fellow-miners. Mr. J. Ross-Browne,
an American traveller, who knew Buel well,, says that he was
acting as "Government Indian Agent on the Klamath Reser-
vation" when he first met with him. "I found him a remarkable
man in more respects than one. He was a man of grand
presence, of indomitable spirit, of superior intelligence, and
of great energy of character. He was an honest Indian agent,
the rarest work of God that I know of." A more popular
candidate could not have been .chosen for his side. It was
expected that his personal claims would have carried a large
portion of the Republican votes, and doubtless would have
done so at any other time. But party feeling then ran high,
and the Copperheads were regarded as little more than traitors
to the National and Union cause.
The other candidate was Charles Holbrook, a young man of
good character and great business capacity. He had recently
erected a handsome store, built of cut granite, and was one of.
the chief merchants of the rising town. His integrity was
undoubted, his professions great, and his political faith Ultra-
Union. So his chances were noi to be despised in an election
which seemed likely to turn on public, more than personal,
qualifications. Each side was confident of success.
As usual on such occasions, betting was largely made on the
result. One of these bets was of a somewhat eccentric
kind. Dr. Herrick made an agreement with Mr. R. C. Gridley
to .the following effect:-If Buel wins, Herrick is to carry a
sack of flour from Clifton to Upper Austin, the distance being

16 A Strange Election and

about a mile and a half, and uphill all the way. If Holbrook is
elected, Gridley is to carry a sack of flour from Upper Austin
to Clifton, having the advantage of the down-hill grade.
The battle was exciting, and was zealously and honourably
fought out on both sides. The betting did no harm, but
rather helped to keep the people in good humour, especially
when not for money, but for such a wager as the carrying
of the sack. of flour !
Holbrook, the Republican candidate, was elected by a clear
majority. The sentiment of the people was sound, when it came
to the great question of maintaining the Union at all hazards.
Gridley, true to his engagement, was on hand at the
appointed time and place, with his sack of flour. The whole
population turned out to witness the novel performance.
Laughter and good humour prevailed on all sides. Winners
and losers fraternized, and enjoyed the fun with equal gusto,
A grand procession was formed, headed by an energetic band
of music. The newly-elected officials, including His Honour
the Mayor, mounted on horseback, followed the musicians.
Next to them walked the hero of the scene, the redoubt-
able Gridley, with the sack of flour on his back. On each side
marched a standard-bearer, carrying high the flag of the Union.
Never was seen such a lively crowd in Austin. "Go it,
Gridley;" Stick to it, Gridley; "Never say die, Gridley ;"
were the encouraging words which greeted him as he plodded
on under his load.
On arriving at Clifton, it was suggested by some enter-
prising genius, whose speculative spirit kept pace with his
patriotism, that the sack of flour should be sold for the benefit
of the Sanitary Commission. This was a charitable work
of which the good offices were devoted to the sick and wounded
of both sides, in the war and after. The proposition met with
unbounded applause. An empty barrel was quickly found,
and an auctioneer mounted on its end. The bidding was
lively, but only in small amounts, so that no large number
of dollars was offered for the flour. The auctioneer said

a Stranger Auction. 17

that the reserve price had not been reached, and announced
that another auction should be held at Austin. The sack
of flour was taken up again; Gridley insisting on being the
voluntary porter. The procession was re-formed, and marched
off this time to the tune of Dixie."
The most uncompromising Copperhead was now won over,
and all united in common sympathy for the suffering soldiers,
and in real regret for the strife in their common country.
It was a clever stroke of policy for the Republicans.
The procession halted in front of the store owned by His
Honour the Mayor. By this time the crowd was enormous, and
the enthusiasm great. The miners from outlying claims had
gathered to the town, the business men had come from their
stores, women and children from their cottages and cabins.
The sack of flour was once more put up at auction, with
a general hurrah. This time the bidders were in earnest.
They bid up twenties, and fifties, and even hundreds, some
bidding against themselves in their eagerness! Republicans
and Democrats vied in the contest. The best feeling pre-
vailed, and three thousand dollars was the result.
The purchaser, amidst vociferous applause, donated his
purchase back to the Sanitary Fund. A third auction was
held on the following day. The result on this occasion was
nearly two thousand dollars.
The excitement fanned the patriotic fire in the breast of
Gridley. He resolved to make an institution of the sack of
flour at auction. He would immortalise it; he would gather a
munificent sum as a donation for the sick soldiers, gathering
also a reputation for himself.
So Gridley set out on a tour with his sack of flour. It was
sold at Virginia City for eight thousand dollars, at Sacra-
mento for ten thousand dollars, and at San Francisco for about
fifteen thousand dollars. "I was witness," says Mr. Ross-
Browne, in one of his books of travel, "to the procession
in San Francisco. It was the notable event of the times.
Never did Montgomery Street present a more imposing appear-

18 California's First Start. "

ance. The beauty. and fashion of the city were there, ard. so
was Gridley, decked out in glorious array, the observed of all
observers. Thus did he draw the superfluous cash from the
pockets of the generous public, and thus did he good service
to the cause of humanity and freedom. All honour to Gridley !"
The grand finale was a gift of one hundred thousand dollars
to the Sanitary Commission It was a noble speculation, the
humble origin of which we have narrated, as connected with
the Mayor's election at the little Nevada town of Austin.
On the strength of his fame, Gridley became interested,
along with other experienced financiers, -in the establishment
of a bank in Austin, sufficient capital being raised in New
York to commence it, under the name of the "First National
SBank of Nevada."


T HE rapid increase of population and wealth in that
part of Western America known as "The Great
Pacific Slope is one of the most notable events in the
history of the- world. At the time when Queen Victoria
began her reign, the land of California was to Englishmen,
and even to the people of the United States, a terra
incognita. In fact, before the Mexican war, when General
Jackson commanded the American army of invasion, these
regions had attracted little notice. They were far too
remote to tempt the most adventurous emigrants, and
seemed divided from the rest of the continent by unpassable
mountains and impossible distance. Here and there, in
the southern part of the region, a few Mexican squatters
had ranchos of unbounded extent, with cattle that were
killed only for their hides. Over the whole region wild
tribes of Indians roamed, numbering at that time perhaps
hundreds of thousands. Gradually adventurous hunters

California's First Start. 19

trappers, and traders came to the country; but forty years
ago, in 1844, the whole white and half-breed population of Cali-
fornia did not exceed seven or eight thousand, with about
an equal number of domesticated Indians. The whole vast
territory was little better than a wilderness.
In 1845 the American Congress declared Texas to be
annexed to the Republic, as Mexico owed a debt of some
million of dollars, a debt which could neither be paid nor
repudiated. The war which followed led to further annexa-
tion, and' the American flag was planted in California.
Under the protection of that flag, and in the confidence
which it gave, people from the States, and emigrants of
other nationalities, began to appear, streams of emigration
waggons slowly travelling over the pathless prairies and
across the rugged mountains, toward the lands of the. west.
In two or three years the population had doubled. Among
the earlier emigrants was one Captain Sutter, who had' a
large farm on the Sacramento River, where he had planted
himself, building a fort, which he called New Helvetia.
An event was soon to occur, apparently purely accidental,
but which now, on looking back upon it, will be recognized
as the providential means used by the Ruler of the world
for great and beneficial purposes. It had the effect of
changing the whole face of the country, of attracting the
attention and stirring the feelings of men, not only in
America, but in distant lands, and of drawing multitudes to
people a region hitherto almost uninhabited, and providing
homes, amidst riches and plenty, for vast numbers of the
human race. In the course of a few years this event pro-
duced results which a century might not have effected in
the ordinary march of civilization and rate of progress.
In the winter of 1847-8 this Captain Sutter was build-
ing a saw-mill on the south. branch of the Sacramento
River. Mr. James Marshall, the contractor to erect the
mill, one day let water into the tail-race, in order to deepen

20 California's First Start.

the channel. With the water was borne some sand and
mud, which was deposited. On looking down, Marshall saw
little bright grains among the sand. Picking some of it up,
examining it, and noticing its weight, he was certain that
he had particles of gold in his hand. Eager with excite-
ment, he ran to tell Sutter what he had found. The
captain, on hearing his words, and observing his excited
manner, thought at first he had gone mad, and kept an eye
on his loaded rifle. Marshall soon satisfied him that he
was all right, and gave him the gold to examine for him-
self. Both were now alike excited, and they hastened to
the place, vowing to each other the utmost secrecy. But
they did not know, that they had been observed. A Mor-
mon soldier, who happened to be within sight, was attracted
by their movements, and closely watched them from a
concealed spot. He was one of a band who had been
in the Mexican war, and with his companions was on his
way back to the States. The soldiers soon ascertained for
themselves what was the cause of excitement in Sutter
and Marshall. The secret was out, and rumour began its
usual course, with more than usual speed and enlargement.
The news spread far and wide that gold was to be had
for the picking up in the sands of the Rio de los Ameri-
canos," as that branch of the Sacramento was called in the
country. Birds of prey do not more rapidly and mysteriously
see or scent from afar the place of feeding than men
become aware of the existence of gold.
Before many days had passed, many hundreds of people
could be seen from Sutter's saw-mill, and swarms more
day by day arriving in the neighbourhood, armed with spades,
shovels, knives, sticks, and wooden bowls, all searching in
the stream and the soil for the hidden treasure. As the
news spread, the rush increased-Spaniards, Mexicans,
Americans. Then the tidings reached remote places; towns
were deserted, ships left crewless. An American clergy-

S Calzfornia's First Start. 21

man-Dr. Todd, of Pittsfield-who visited California some
years after, and heard on the spot the legends of those days,
thus describes the events :-" Oregon on the north,
the Sandwich Islands on the west, Peru and Chili
on the south, poured- in their eager diggers. Then China
felt the thrill, and her people flocked over; Australia sent
her convicts and rascals; and adventurers from all parts of
the earth, having nothing to lose, flew to California. The
Mexican war had just been closed, and thousands of young
men from the soldiery went to the land of gold. The
Eastern States caught. the fever, and emigrant waggons
uncountable hastened over the deserts, leaving the bones of
men and of animals to bleach along their path.
On-on, to the land of gold Ho; for California! Ships
went tossing round Cape Horn full of young men. England,
Germany, France, Italy, sent multitudes. At once the east
(of the United States) was aroused, and sent fifty thousand
men a year for five successive years, and invested ninety-
two millions of dollars before any return was made. In a
time incredibly short there was at least a quarter of a
million of the wildest, bravest, most daring, and most
intelligent young men digging for gold. .There was no
female society, there were no homes to soften or restrain,
no laws, no police, and no magistrates. From the lake;
of the north to the Gulf of Mexico, from the lumber-mills
of Maine to the settler on the Indian territories, the whole
land was moved."
This is no exaggerated statement of the excitement
caused by the reported gold discoveries. We well remem-
ber the influence of the news even in London Numbers
of young men left their situations, and shop-keepers
gave up trade, in the hope of getting rich in a more rapid and
certain way. It was no uncommon sight to see shutters
closed, and a notice posted or chalked up, "Gone to the
diggings," or Off to California" !
Nothing was thought of by these adventurers beyond the

22 California's First Start.

hope of getting gold for the searching. Whether the search
would be successful, or whether the game would pay, was
seldom considered. It was a far-off land, where there were
neither houses nor shops, clothing nor food. Fabulous sums
are reported to have been paid for the most trifling articles.
As a rare luxury, a so-called "saloon," composed of tar-
paulin, could now and then hang out the sign "Potatoes
this day," and crowds flocked to the costly entertainment.
Apples are known to have sold for- five dollars apiece in
gold Easy come, easy go," it was with such expenditure !
Worse than costly living, was the fearful gambling among
the diggers. Fortunes made in a day were lost in a night
in these infamous gambling dens.
Now and then rumours came of new places where gold
had been found. Once, for instance, it was reported that a
rich field was in Oregon, in the black sand near the sea-
shore. In two days eight vessels from San Francisco were
advertised to sail for the Gold Bluffs. The excitement
died at once when thousands had been disappointed.
Long afterwards there were still fresh reports and
repeated failures. Who does not remember the Fraser
River excitement ? It was a thousand miles away; up in
British Columbia. Hundreds started off at once, in the
text month nine thousand five hundred went, and in -three
months from the first notice nearly twenty .thousand had
gone from California!
This article is not intended to be historical nor statisti-
cal, so we say nothing here about the amount of gold that
has been obtained since the first year of its being dis-
covered, nor of the growth of California in population or in.
resources. Neither are we going to moralize about the lust
of gold, nor the habits and character of the digger. Let it
suffice to say that here, as in Australia, and in all countries
and periods df the world, the miner's and digger's career
is, on the whole, .not to be admired or envied. A few find
wealth, but the fate of the vast majority is poverty and

California's First Start. 23

disease, disappointment and disaster. The object in recalling
this strange time of excitement is not to deal with per-
sonal conditions, but to refer to the providential circum-
stances by which a new region of the world was occupied,
and a mighty increase made. in the population and wealth
and influence of the great American Republic, That Republic
now bears dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,
and by the peopling of the Pacific Slope has added a vast
territory, available for supporting millions of civilized and
Christian men. For with all the faults and vices that pre-
vail among men of every race and clime, it is pleasant to
think that the influence of the United States is, on the
whole, conducive to the peace and prosperity, the civilization
and progress of the human race.
One curious and remarkable incident we must mention
before closing this article. At first the digging or gathering
of gold and of silver, which was discovered in the Nevada
ranges not many years after, was at best a rude and mechani-
cal work. For continuing the mining with success and profit,
Art had to be used, both in providing machinery and by
introducing chemical processes. In the latter case the use of
an enormous quantity of mercury or quicksilver is required.
It will add to our admiration of the providential arrange-
ment to which we have referred when it is stated that the
discovery of vast stores of quicksilver was also the result
of what we call a lucky accident. Not long before the gold
discovery, a Mexican officer met a tribe of Indians with their
faces resplendent with vermilion colour. He knew that this
paint comes from cinnabar, an ore of quicksilver. By a
bribe, he induced the Indians to show him the place where
they got the ore. What followed, and how from the ore
the mercury is obtained, and how the rich mines have been
utilised, need not here be described; but we cannot avoid
remarking how seasonable this discovery also was, and
how it worked albng with the gold discovery in securing
the settlement of the great State of California


IN the year A.D. 1600, the first charter was granted to
the East India Company by Queen Elizabeth. The
trade, of England with India continuing to increase, King
James the First resolved to send an ambassador, or special
envoy, to the Emperor of Hindustan, commonly called the
Great Mogul. The object of the embassy was to obtain a
treaty of peace and amity between the King of Great
Britain and his Indian Majesty; to secure for English sub-
jects freedom of trade in -all ports of India; and in various
ways to advance the commercial interests of England, by
such protection and privileges as could be granted by the
mighty Ruler of the East.
The Mogul of this period was Jehan Guire, the tenth in
descent from Timour-Leng (the lame prince), better known
as Tamerlane, the renowned conqueror, Timour married
the only daughter of those nations or tribes of Great Tartary
called Moguls. Hence the. name borne by the conquerors
and rulers of Hindustan, or Indostan, the country of the
Hindus, or Indians. By successive conquests these rulers
now bore sway over all the regions from China to the
Caspian, and from the mountains to the sea. Candahar,
Cashmere, Cabul, the Punjab, Agra, Delhi, Gwalior, Gujerat,
Bengal, these are but a few of the principalities and powers
mentioned as being under the dominion of Shah Selim
Jehan Guire, the Great Mogul, at the beginning of the
seventeenth century. The rulers in different regions were
not all of the Mogul race; some were Persians, Arabs, or
Turks, while other territories were left under their native
Indian rajahs or kings, who were tributaries of the Moham-
medan Suzerain, the Great Mogul.
Sir Thomas Roe was the ambassador sent by James

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 25

the' First, having with him many curious and valuable articles
from the western world as presents, and accompanied by a
small retinue, including a chaplain and an artist. Sir Thomas
kept a minute journal of his travels, and of his residence at
the court of the Mogul, portions of which are published in
various old collections of travels, both in English and foreign
languages. The journal extends over three years-1614, 1615,
1616. Even at this distance of time, and under the strangely-
altered conditions of English intercourse with India, there are
many things recorded by Sir Thomas Roe full of interest.
On March 6th, 1614, the Lizard light was lost sight of,
and the course begun for the Cape of Good Hope. On the
26th the African coast was described; Cape Bodajor east
by south on the 27th; April 14th the Line was crossed; May
2nd the tropic of Capricorn; and on June 2Ist they arrived
at the Cape. Saldanha Bay and Penguin Island were the
only places at which anchor was cast. At Saldanha
the natives are described as the most barbarous people in
the world," "eating carrion," "having no clothes but skins
wrapped upon their shoulders," and "their houses. but a
mat, rounded at the top like an oven, which they turn as
the wind changes, having no door to keep it out." There
are, at the same time, cows in abundance, antelopes, baboons,
pheasants, wild geese, ducks, and many other sorts." On the
Isle of Penguin "is a sort of fowl of that name, that goes
upright, his wings without feathers, hanging down like sleeves
faced with white. They do not fly, but only walk in parcels,
keeping regularly their own quarters. They are a sort
of .mixture of beast, bird, and fish, but most bird !" The
Table Mountain is described as I 1,853 feet high." "The
bay is full of whales and seals."
They did not stop at the Cape, and on July 8th sighted
Madagascar, and anchored on the 22nd at Molalid, one of
the Comorese Islands. Of the Arab people inhabiting these
islands, with their government, customs, products, and their
trade with the Mozambique mainland, details are given. On

26 At the Court of the Great AMogul.

August the 2nd they weighed and stood for Socotora; recross-
ing the equinoctial line northward on the ioth; making
Cape Guardafui, at the entrance to the Red Sea, on the
18th, and coming to anchor in Delicia Bay, Socotora, on 'the
24th August. Socotora, or Socotra, is the Dioscuria of the
ancients, well known in their commerce and navigation. The
people then, as now, being Mohammedans, were ruled by
an. Arab Sultan, son of a great sheikh in Arabia.Felix. The
king received the English embassy with much courtesy,
coming to the shore on horseback with about three hundred
men, armed some with muskets, some with bows, and all
with good swords." "He had a very good turban, but was
barefooted." He was so absolute that no man could sell
anything but himself, his people sitting. about him very
respectfully." Mr. Boughton, one of the embassy, went to
see the king's house at the chief .town-Tamara. He found
it "such as would serve an ordinary gentleman in England.
The lower rooms served for warehouses and wardrobe,
some changes of robes hanging about the walls, and with them
about twenty-five bdoks of their law, religion, history, and
saints' lives. No man was permitted to go upstairs to see
his wives, which were three, nor the other women;
but the ordinary sort might be seen in the town, with their
ears full of silver rings." For dinner Mr. Boughton had fowl
with rice, and for drink water and cahu, black liquor, drank
as hot as could be endured "-no doubt cafi noir, or coffee, with
which evidently Sir Thomas Roe was not acquainted. A
priest was at service in the mosque, which they visited.
Some remains were seen of crosses and images, showing
that Christians formerly had been in the. island. Some of
the older inhabitants of the island were seen-a poor,
unclothed, savage people. Aloes and certain gums seemed
the'chief trade products of the island.
They weighed anchor on August 3ist, and steered their
course for Surat, where they landed on the 26th of September.
Surat, near the mouth of the river Taptee, which flows

At Ike Court of the Great Mlogul. 27

into the Gulf of Cambay, was in old times the chief port on
the western side of India, being then, as Bombay-now is
the first place reached by all voyagers by the Red Sea
route. It is still the favourite port for the embarcation of
Mohammedan pilgrims to Mecca. On the arrival of the
English ambassador, he was received by the principal
officers of the town in an open tent. Much discussion took
place as to the payment of duties, and searching the persons
of the servants of the ambassador; but at last all were .per-
mitted to proceed to a house provided for them, where. they
remained till the 30th of October, "suffering much," says
Sir Thomas Roe, "from the Governor, who by force searched
many chests, and took out what he thought fit." What caused
so long a tarrying as five weeks is not explained, but possibly
the Governor had despatched swift messengers to announce
the arrival of. the unusual and important strangers on the coast.
They left Surat on the 3oth aforesaid," and travelled very
leisurely northward towards Ajmere, or Adsmere as Sir'
Thomas calls it,' where the Court -of the Mogul then was.
It was not till near the middle of the seventeenth century,
under Shah Jehan, son of Jehan Guire, that new Delhi rose
near the ruins of the ancient Delhi, and attained to the
magnificence it reached in and after the reign of Shah Jehan,
of his son Aurungzebe, and of later Moguls.
Of the journey to Ajmere we must give very brief notice, as
our space will be better occupied with particulars about the
Mogul and his court. On the third day after leaving Surat
they entered the kingdom of Pardassha, a pagan lord of
the hills, subject to nobody,"-for there were some of the
ancient people, as everywhere in mountain countries, who.
long retain freedom and independence. Six days from Surat,
at Nunderbar, they tasted bread for the first time on the
journey, as the Banians who inhabit the country make no
bread, but only- cakes. The country is plentiful, especi-
ally of cattle, the banians killing none or selling any to
be killed. One day I met ten thousand bullocks loaded

28 At the Court of the Great Mogul.

with corn, in one drove, and most days aftet lesser
parcels." At one place, having pitched the tents outside a
town or village, "the king's officers attended me all night
with thirty horse and twenty shot (armed men), for fear of
the robbers on the mountains, because I refused to remove
into the town." The towns were mostly collections of mud-
built huts, with stone buildings occasionally, when there
were persons of importance or wealth. On the fourteenth
day they reached Brampore," which I guess to be 223
miles from Surat." At Batharpore, a village two miles
short of Brampore, there was a prince, or rajah, to whose
presence he was conducted. "The officer told me as I
approached I must touch the ground with my head bare,
which I 'refused, and went on. to a place right under him,
railed in, with an ascent of three steps, where I made him
reverence, and he bowed his body; so I went within, where
were all the great men of the. town, with their hands before
them like slaves. The place was covered overhead with a
rich canopy, and under foot all with carpets. It was like a
great stage, and the prince sat at the upper end of it. Having
no place assigned, I stood right before him, he refusing to
admit me to come up the steps, or to allow me a chair.
Having received my presents, he offered to go into another
room, where I should be allowed to sit; but, by the way
he. made himself drunk out of a case of bottles I gave him,
and soothe visit ended."
In some parts of the journey, ruins of great extent and
Apparent magnificence were seen, "fair towers, many pillars,
and innumerable houses, but not one inhabitant." This was
* in thd country of Rama, a prince newly subdued by the
Mogul, or rather brought to own subjection." This was in the
time of Echar Shah, father of Jehan Guire. Rama was said to
be lineally descended from Porus, the Indian king, overcome
by Alexander the Great. The rest of the journey was'in a north-
westerly direction to compass the hills," but after that due
north again, the whole distance to Ajmer being estimated at

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 29

about 41.8 English miles. Ten months had passed since the
Embassy left England, and at last they had come near the
presence of the Great Mogul. We now use the words of Sir
Thomas Roe.
January the loth, I went to court at four in the afternoon to
the Durbar, where the Mogul daily sits to entertain strangers,
receive petitions and presents, give out orders, and to see and
be seen. And here it will be proper to give some account of
his court. None but eunuchs come within that king's private
lodgings, and his women, who guard him with warlike
weapons. These punish one another for any offence com-
mitted. The Mogul every morning shows himself to the
common people at a window that looks into the plain before
his gate. At noon he is there again to see elephants and
wild beasts fight, the men of rank being under him within
a rail. Hence he retires to sleep. After noon he comes to
the Durbar aforementioned. After supper at eight of the
clock he comes down to the Guzalcan, a fair court, in the
midst whereof is a throne of free stone, on which he sits, or
sometimes below in a chair, where none are admitted but of
the first quality, and few of them without leave. Here he
discourses of indifferent things very affably. No business of
state is done anywhere but at one of these two last places,
where it is publicly canvassed, and so registered; which
register might be seen for two shillings, and the common
people know as much as the council; so that every day the
king's resolutions are the public news,. and exposed to the
censure of every scoundrel. This method is never altered
unless sickness or drink obstruct it; and this must be known,
for if he be unseen one day without a reason assigned, the
people would mutiny; and for two days no excuse will serve,
but the doors must be opened, and some admitted to see him
to satisfy others. On Tuesday he sits in judgment at the
Jarruco, and hears the meanest person's complaints, examines
both parties, and often sees*execution done by his elephants.
Before my audience, I had obtained leave to use the customs

30 At the Court of Ike Great Mogul.

of my country. At the Durbar I was conducted right before
him; entering the- outward rail, two noble slaves met to
conduct me nearer. At the first rail I made a low reverence,
at the next another, and when under the king a third. The
place is a great court, to which all sorts of people resort. The
king sits in a little gallery overhead; ambassadors, great
men, and strangers of quality within the inmost rail under
him, raised from the ground, covered with canopies of velvet
and silk, and good carpets under foot. The next degree, like
our gentry, are within the first rail, the commonalty without in
a lower court, yet so that all may see the king. In fine, it is
rising by degrees like a theatre. His reception was very
favourable, but needs not particularizing.
The next day being the I2th.of March, I went to visit the
.king, and delivered him a present, where I saw abundance of
wealth, but being of all sorts put together without order, it did
not look so regular. .The same day the son of Rama, the new
tributary before mentioned, did his homage, touching the
ground three times with his head. The thirteenth at night I
had audience at the Guzalcan, and pressed to have the peace
and commerce with England settled after a solemn manner,
and all the articles settled, which the Mogul ordered should be
done. The fifteenth I went again in the evening to the Norose,
and according to the Mogul's order chose my place of standing,
which was on the right hand of him on the rising of the throne,
the Prince and young Rama standing on the other side; so I
had a full view of what was to be seen-presents, elephants,
horses, and women. The twenty-third the Mogul condemned
one of his own nation upon suspicion of felony; but being one
of the handsomest men ia India, and the evidence not very
clear against him, he would not suffer him to be executed, but
sent him to me in irons for a slave to dispose of at my will.
This is looked upon as a great favour, for which I returned
thanks: adding, that in England we had no slaves, nor thought
it lawful to make the image of God equal to a beast, but that I
would use him as a servant, and if he behaved himself well,

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 3

give him his liberty.' This the Mogul was well pleased with.
The twenty-sixth I went to the Guzalcan, and delivered the
articles I had drawn up, which wer6 referred to Asaph Chan,
who a while after sent to me to remove from the standing I
had taken before the king, because I stood alone, and that was
not the custom. I refused at first, but he insisting I should
rank myself among the nobility, I removed to the other side,
to the place where only the Prince and young Rama were;
which more disgusted Asaph Chan, who persuaded the Prince
to complain of me, which he did; but the Mogul having. heard
their complaint, and my answer, that I removed by Asaph
Chan's order, answered, I had done well, and they were in the
wrong to offer to displace me in. his sight. So I kept my
place in quiet.
The substance of the articles delivered to the Great Mogul
was : i. That there be perpetual peace and amity between the
King of Great Britain and His Indian Majesty. 2. That the
subjects of England have free trade in all ports of India. 3.
That the governors of all ports publish this agreement three
times upon the arrival of any English ships. 4. That the
Merchants and their servants shall not be searched, or ill used.
5. That no presents sent to the Mogul shall be opened. 6.
That the English goods shall not be stopped above twenty-four
hours at the custom-house, only to be there sealed and sent to
the merchant's house, there to be opened and rated within six
days after. 7. That no governor shall take any goods by
force, but upon payment at the owner's price; nor any taken
upon pretence of the king's service. 8. That the merchants
shall not be hindered selling their goods to whom they please,
or sending them to other factories, and this without paying
any other duty than what is paid at the port. 9. That what-
soever goods -the English buy in any part of the Mogul's
dominions, they may send down to the ports without paying
any duty more than shall be agreed on at the port at shipping
them, and this without any hindrance or molestation. o0.
That no goods brought to any port shall be again opened, the

32 At tke Court of the Great Mogul..

English showing a certificate of their numbers, qualities, and
conditions, from the governor or officers of the place where
they were bought. Ii. That no confiscation shall be made of
the goods or money of any English dying. 12. That no
custom be demanded for provisions during the stay of English
ships at any port. 13. That the merchants' servants, whether
English or Indians, shall not be punished or beaten for doing
their duty. 14. That the Mogul will punish any governor or
officer for breach of any of these articles. 15. That the
English ships shall suffer all others to pass and repass freely
to the Mogul's ports, except their enemies; and that the
English ashore shall behave themselves civilly as merchants.
I16. That they shall yearly furnish the Mogul with all rarities
from Europe, and all other such things as he shall desire at
reasonable prices. 17. The English to pay the duty of
3- per cent. for goods reasonably -rated, and 2 per
cent. for pieces of eight, and no other duty elsewhere. 18.
That the English shall be ready to assist the Mogul against all
his enemies. Lastly, That the Portuguese may come into this
peace within six months; or if they refuse, the English to be
at liberty to exercise all hostilities against them. These were
the articles presented, but they were delayed and opposed, and
what was the conclusion we shall see hereafter.
The 3ist of March the Mogul dined at Asaph Chan's house,
all the way from the palace to it, which was an English mile,
being laid under foot with silks and velvets sewed together,
but rolled up as the King passed. They reported the feast
and present cost six lecks (lacs) of rupees, which is 60,000
From this time Sir Thomas Roe continues his journal as
before; but there being'nothing in it remarkable for many
days, all the business being soliciting for money due to mer-
chants, and such other affairs, in which there is nothing worth
Thevenot says a lac is Ioo,ooo rupees, and a rupee worth a crown
French and five sols, after which rate the six lacs must have been in those
days at least 150o000 sterling. The rupee is now less than 2s.

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 33

observing, that part is thought fit to be wholly left out
here, as it was also done by Purchas in his account of this
The month of July passed most away in soliciting the prince
to sign and seal the articles I had presented to the king, of
which an abstract was given before. On the I3th at night I
went to the Durbar to Visit the king, who sent Asaph Chan to
tell me he was informed I had an excellent painter at my
house, which I told him was only a young man that drew upon
paper, and that very indifferently; however, I promised to
bring him to His Majesty, who at this time used so many
expressions of kindness to me that all men were amazed at it,
and proffered me anything I would ask for in his kingdom. I
went from him to Asaph Chan's house, where I continued till
the king came out again, when I was conducted back to him,
carrying with me Mr. Hughes, the supposed painter, with whom
the king had some discourse. After this I presented the king
with a curious picture I had of a friend of mine, which pleased
him highly, and he showed it 'to all the company. The king's
chief painter being sent for, pretended he could make as good;
which I denying, a wager of a horse was laid about it between
me and Asaph Chan, in the Mogul's presence and to please
him; but Asaph Chan afterwards fell off. This. done, the
Mogul fell to drinking ofAlicant wine I had presented him,
giving tastes of it to several about him, and then sent for a full
bottle, and drinking a cup, sent it to me, saying, it began to
sour so fast it would be spoiled before he could drink it, and
I had none. This done, he turned to sleep; the candles were
popped out, and I groped my way out in the dark.
Nothing remarkable happened till August the 6th : I was
sent for to the Durbar, where I had much talk with the king,
who asked me many questions to satisfy his curiosity, and bid
me come to the Guzalcan at night, and I should see my picture
so exactly copied, that I should not know the one from the
other. I came at night, and he showed me six pictures, five of
them painted by his own painter, all pasted upon a board, and

34 At the Court of the Great Mogul.

so like, that by candle-light I could scarce know one from
another. Neither did I at first sight know my own, at which
the Mogul was much pleased; but looking closer upon them I
showed it, and the difference between it and the others. The
Mogul was overjoyed, and I surprised at their art, not thinking
they could have performed so well; and the king, after many
civilities, promised me his own picture.
The 17th I went to visit the king, who as soor as I came ini,
called to his women, and reached out his own picture set in
gold, hanging at a gold wire chain, with one pendant of foul
pearl, which he delivered to Asaph Chan, warning him not to
demand any reverence of me, but what I was willing to make;
it being the custom, whensoever he bestows anything, for the
receiver to kneel down, and put his head to the ground, which
has been required of the ambassadors of Persia. Asaph Chan
came to me, and I offered to take it in my hand; but he made
signs to take off my hat, and then he put it about my neck,
leading me right before the king. I understood not his mean-
ing, but feared he would require the custom of the country
mentioned above, which they call Size-Da, and was resolved
rather to return my present than submit to it.. He made signs
to me to give the king thanks, which I did after my own
manner; whereupon soine officers called to me to make the
Size-Da, but the king in the Persian tongue said, No, no. So
I returned to my place; but that you may judge of the king's
liberality, this gift was not worth in all 30; yet was it five
times as good as any he gives in that sort, and looked upon as
a special favour. For all the great men that wear the king's
image, which none may do but those to whom it is given,
receive only a medal of gold, as big as a sixpence, with a little
chain of four inches to. fasten it on their heads, and this at
their own charge-; some set it with stones, .or adorn it with
.pendants of pearls.
The 2nd of September was the king's birthday, and
kept with great solemnity. On this day the king is weighed
against some jewels, gold, silver, stuffs of gold, silver, and silk,

At the Court of the Great Mogu. 35

butter, rice, fruit, and many other things, of every sort a- little,
which is all given to the Bramas or Bramans. The king com-
manded Asaph Chan to send for me to this solemnity, who
appointed me to come to the place where the king sits at
Durbar, and I should be sent for in; but the messenger mis-
taking, I went not till Durbar time, and so missed the sight;
but being there before the king came out, as soon as he spied
me, he sent to know the reason why I came not in, since he
had ordered it. I answered according to the mistake, yet he
was very angry, and chid Asaph Chan publicly. He was so
rich in jewels, that I own in my life I never saw such inestim-
able wealth together. The time was spent in bringing his
greatest elephants before him; some of which being lord
elephants, had their chains, bells, and furniture of gold and
silver, with many gilt banners and flags carried about them,
and eight or ten elephants waiting on each of them, clothed in
gold, silk, and silver. In this manner about twelve companies
passed by most richly adorned, the first having all the plates
on his head and breast set with rubies and emeralds, being a
beast of wonderful bulk and beauty. They all bowed down
before the king, making their reverence very handsomely;
this was the finest show of beasts I ever saw. The keepers of
every chief elephant gave a present. Than having made me
some favourable compliments, he rose up and' went in. At
night, about ten of the clock, he sent for me.. I was then abed.
The message was, that he heard I had a picture which I had
not showed him, desiring me to come to him and bring it;
and if I would not give it him, he'would order copies of it to
be taken for his women. I got up, and carried it with me.
When I came in, I found him sitting cross-legged on a-little
throne, all covered with diamonds, pearls, and rubies. Before
him a table of gold, and on it about fifty pieces of gold plate,
all set with jewels, some very great and extremely rich, some
of them of less value, but all of them almost covered with
small stones. His nobility about him in their best equipage,
whom he commanded to drink merrily, several sorts of wine

36 At the Court of the Great Aogul.

standing by in great flagons. When I drew near, he asked
for the picture. I showed him two; he seemed astonished at
one of them, and asked whose it was. I told him a friend of
mine that was dead. He asked if I would give it him. I
answered I valued it above all things, but if His Majesty would
pardon me, and accept of the other, which was an excellent
piece, I would willingly bestow it on His Majesty. He thanked
me, and said he desired none but that picture, and if I would
give it him, he should prize it above the richest jewel in his
house. I replied, I was not so fond of anything, but I would
part with it to please His Majesty, with other expressions
of respect. He bowed to me, and said it was enough, I had
given it him ; that he owned he had never seen so much art,
so much beauty, and conjured me to tell him truly, whether
ever such a woman lived. I assured him there did, but she
was now dead. He said he should show it his women, and
take five copies, and if I knew my own I should have it again.
Other compliments passed, but he would restore it, his painters
being excellent at copying in 'water-colours. The other
picture being in oil, he did not like. Then he sent me word it
was his birthday, and all men made merry, and asked
whether I would drink with them. I answered, I would do
whatsoever His Majesty commanded, and wished him many
happy days, and that the ceremony might be renewed a hun-
dred years. He asked me whether I would drink wine of the
grape, or made, whether strong or small. I replied, what he
commanded, but hoped it would not be too much, nor too
strong. Then he called for a gold cup full of mixed wine, half
of the grape and half artificial, and drank; causing it to be
filled again, and then sent it by one of the nobles to me with
this message, that I should drink it off twice, thrice, four or
five times for his sake, and accept of the cup and appurtenances
as a present. I drank a little, but it was stronger than any I
ever tasted; insomuch that it made me sneeze, which made
him laugh; and he called for raisins, almonds, and sliced
lemons, which were brought me on a gold plate, bidding me

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 37

eat and drink what I would, and no more. I made reverence
for my present after my own manner, though Asaph Chan
would have had me kneel, and knock my head against the
ground; but His Majesty accepted of what I did. The cup
was of gold, set all about with small rubies and Turkey stones,
the cover with large rubies, emeralds, and Turkey stones in
curious works, and a dish suitable to set the cup on. The
value I know not, because the stones are many of them small,
and the greater, which are many, not all clean;. but they are in
number about two thousand, and the gold about twenty ounces.
Thus he made merry, and sent word he esteemed me more
than ever he had done, and asked whether I was merry at
eating the wild boar sent me a few days before,.how I dressed
it, what I drank, assuring me I should want for nothing in his
country : the effects of all which his public favours I presently
found in the behaviour of all his nobility. Then he threw
about to those that stood below two chargers of new rupees,
and among us two charges of hollow almonds of gold and
silver mixed; but I would not scramble, as his great men did,
for I saw his son take up none. Then he gave sashes of gold
and girdles to all the musicians and waiters, and to many
others. So drinking, and commanding others to do the same,
His Majesty and all his lords became the finest men I ever saw,
of a thousand several humours. But. his son, Asaph Chan,
two old men, the late King of Candahar, and myself forebore.
When he could hold up his head no longer, he laid down to
sleep, and we all departed.
Seven months were now spent in soliciting the signing and
sealing of the articles of peace and commerce set down above,
and nothing obtained but promises from week to week, and
from day to day; and therefore on the 3rd September, the
English fleet being hourly expected at Surat, I went to the
prince, and delivered him a memorial containing the articles I
desired him to give an order to be observed for the unloading
of the ships. The articles were,
First, That the presents coming for the king and prince

38 At the Court of the Great iMogul.

should not be opened at the port, but sent up to court sealed
by the custom-house officers.
Secondly, That curiosities sent for other presents, and for
the merchants to sell, should also be sent tip to court sealed,
for the prince to take the first choice.
Thirdly, That the gross merchandize be landed, reasonably
rated for the custom, and not detained in the custom-house;
but that the merchants paying the custom have full liberty to
sell or dispose of it; and that the ships be supplied with pro-
visions without paying custom.
On the 4th,. Asaph Chan sent me back my first articles, after
so long attendance and so many false promises, some of them
"altered, others struck out, and an answer, that there was no
articling at all, but it was enough to have an order from the
prince, who was Lord of Surat, to trade there: but for Bengala
or Syndu, it should never be granted. Notwithstanding all
this vexation, I durst not change my method of proceeding, or
wholly quit the prince and Asaph Chan: therefore I drew up
other articles, leaving out what was displeasing in the former,
.and desiring Asaph Chan to put them in form, and procure
the seal, or else to give me leave to apply myself to the king,
to receive his denial, and depart the country. The substance
of the new articles was as follows. That all the subjects of
the Mogul should receive the English in friendly manner; to
suffer them to land their goods peaceably; to furnish them
with provisions for their money, without paying any customs
for them; to have liberty, after paying custom for their goods,
to sell them to any person, and none to oblige them to sell any
under rate; to have liberty to pass with such goods to any
parts, without anything being exacted further of them more
than at the port; to have the presents for the Mogul and prince
sealed without opening, and sent to the ambassador; to have
the goods of any that die secured from confiscation, and
delivered to the other English factors; and in short, that no
injury in any sort be offered to any of them.
The 8th of this month, Asaph Chan sent me word in plain

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 39

terms he would procure nothing for me sealed; but I might
be satisfied with an order signed by the prince: which made
me resolve to apply myself directly to the prince, and apply
no more to Asaph Chan. Accordingly I was with the prince
the ioth, and the IIth he sent me an order, but so altered
from what I had given in, that. I sent it back. B-ut at night I
received a new order from the secretary, containing all my
articles; though some words were somewhat ambiguous.,
which the secretary interpreted favourably, and at my request,
writ to the Governor of Surat, explaining them to him as he
had done to me. He gave me many assurances of the prince's
favour; and being a man not subject to bribery, I gave the more
credit to him. So I accepted of the order, which, when trans-
lated, I found very effectual. The I6th I visited the prince,
resolving to seem wholly to depend on him, till I had heard
what entertainment our ships met with. I found' him sad for
fear of Prince Pervis coming to court, be being but eight cosses
from it; but the power of Normahal, the favourite queen,
diverted it, and he was ordered away directly to Bengala.
The Mogul was retired, but whither no man could certainly
Several days passed in soliciting the king and great ones,
and paying court to them, without anything remarkable; till
on the 9th of October I received letters from Surat with an
account that four English ships were arrived there.
The ships brought much merchandise, but difficulties were
made in disposing of them, for want of the treaty having been
formally signed and sealed. It was evident that Asaph Chan
and the other courtiers hindered the Mogul from carrying out
his original purpose of settling matters favourably. In fact,
Sir Thomas Roe had to leave, after long delay, without accom-
plishing what the embassy had been sent to do. But this is
not the main object of our narrative, which is chiefly to report
some of the strange records given of the proceedings at the
court of the Mogul. In the following year the ambassador
was more fortunate in witnessing the ceremonies at the cele-

.1o At thie Court of the Great Mogul.

bration of the royal, birthday, especially the public weighing,
which is thus described :-
The Ist of September being the king's birthday, with the
solemnity of weighing him, I was conducted into a fine garden,
where besides others there was a great square pond with trees
set about it, and in the midst of it a pavilion or tent, under
which were the scales the king was to be weighed in. The
scales were of beaten gold, set with small stones, rubies, and
turquoises; they hung by chains of gold, and for more surety
there were. silk ropes. The beams were covered with plates
of gold. The great lords of the nation sat about the throne on
rich carpets, expecting the king's coming out. At length he
appeared covered with diamonds, rubies, and pearls. He had
several strings of them about his neck, arms, wrists, and turban,
and two or three rings on every finger. His sword, buckler,
and throne were also covered with precious stones. Among
the rest I saw rubies as big as walnuts, and. pearls of a prodi-
gious magnitude. He got into one of the scales, sitting on his
legs like a tailor. Into the other scales to weigh against him,
were put several parcels, which they changed six times. The
country people told me they were full of silver, and that the
king that day weighed 9,000 rupees. Then they put into the
same scale gold and precious stones; but being packed up I
saw them not. After that he was weighed against cloth of
gold, silks, calicoes, spices, and all other sorts of precious
commodities, if we may believe the natives, for all those things
were packed up. Lastly, he was weighed against honey,
butter, and corn; and I was informed all that was to be
distributed among the Banians; but I think that distribution
was not made, and all those things were carefully carried back.
They told me all the money was kept for the poor, the king
using to cause some to be brought at night, and to distribute
that money among them very charitably. Whilst the king
was in one of the scales, he looked upon me and smiled, but
said never a word, perhaps because he did not see my inter-
preter, who could not get in with me. After. being weighed,

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 41

he ascended the throne. Before him there were basins full of
almonds, nuts, and all sorts of fruit artificially made in silver.
He threw about a great part of them, the greatest noblemen
about him scrambled for them. I thought it not decent to do
so; and the king observing it, took up one of those basins
which was almost full, and poured it out into my cloak. His
courtiers had the impudence to thrust in their hands so greedily,
that had I not prevented them, they had not left me one.
Before I came in, they had told me those fruits were of massive
gold; but I found by experience they were only silver, and so
light, that thousand of them do not weigh the value of 20.
I saved the value of ten or twelve crowns, and those would
have filled a large dish. I keep them to show the vanity of
those people. I do not believe the king that day threw away
much above the value of i0oo. After this solemnity, the king
spent all the night a-drinking with his nobles : I was invited,
but desired to be excused, because there was no avoiding drink-
ing, and their liquors are so hot they will burn a man's inside.
The Jourlal kept by Sir Thomas Roe ends rather abruptly,
the concluding portion having been lost. The last entry is as
follows :-
"January the 3oth the Dutch came to court with a present
of several rarities brought out of China. They were not per-
mitted to come near the third ascent. The prince asked me
who they were. I told him they were Dutch, and lived at
Surat. He asked whether they were our friends. I answered,
they were a nation that depended on the King of England, and
were not well received in all parts; that I knew not what
brought them thither. Since they are your friends, said he,
call them. I was forced to send for them to deliver their
presents. They were placed near our merchants, without
holding any discourse with them."
Sir Thomas Roe seems soon after this to have left the court
of the Mogul, not without sending reports to the East India Com-
pany. The first letter, dated at Adsmere or Ajmere, January
25th, 1615, was as follows :-

42 At the Court of the -Great Mogul.

"At my first audience, the Mogul prevented me in speech,
bidding me welcome as to the brother of the king my master;
and after many compliments I delivered His Majesty's letter,
with a copy of it in Persian; then I showed my commission,
and delivered your presents, that is,, the coach, the virginals,
the knives, a scarf embroidered, and a rich sword of my own.
He sitting in his state could not well see the coach, but sent
many to view it, and caused the musician to play on the virgi-
nals, which gave him content. At night, having stayed the
coachman and musician, he came down into a court, got into
the coach, and into every corner of it, causing it to be drawn
about. Then he sent to me, though it was ten o'clock at night,
for a servant to put on his scarf and sword after the English
fashion, which he was so proud of, that he walked up and
down, drawing arnd flourishing it, and has never since been
without it. But after the English were come away, he
asked the Jesuit whether the King of England were a great
king, that sent presents of so small value, and that he looked
for some jewels; yet rarities please as well; and if you were
yearly furnished from Frankfort, where there are all sorts of
knacks and new devices, a hundred pounds would go further
than five hundred laid out in England, and be more acceptable
here. This country is spoiled by the many presents that have
been given, and it will be chargeable to follow the example.
There is nothing more welcome here, nor did I ever see men
so fond of drink, as the king and prince are of red wine,
whereof the governor of Surat sent up some bottles, and the
king has ever since solicited for more: I think four or five
casks of that wine will be more welcome than the richest.jewel
in Cheapside; large pictures on cloth, the frames in pieces,
but they must be good, and for variety some story with many
faces. For the queen, fine needle-work toys, bone laces, cut-
work, and some handsome wrought waistcoats, sweet-bags,
and cabinets will be most convenient. I would wish you to
spare sending scarlet, it' is dear to you, and no better
esteemed here than stammel. I must add, that any fair

At the Court of the Great Mogul. 43

China bedsteads, or cabinets, or trunks of Japan, are here
rich presents.
This place is either made, or of itself unfit for an ambassador;
for though they understand the character, yet they have much
ado to understand the privileges due to it, and the rather
because they have been too humbly sought to before."
The latest letter to the Company ends in similar strains of
I will settle your trade here secure with the king, and
reduce it to order, if I may be heard; when I have so done, I
must plead against myself, that an ambassador lives not in fit
honour here. I could sooner die than be subject to the slavery
the Persian is content with. A meaner agent would, among
these proud Moors, better effect your business. My quality
often for ceremonies, either begets you enemies, or suffers
unworthily. The king has often demanded an ambassador
from Spain, but could never obtain one, for two reasons; first,
because they would not give presents unworthy their king's
greatness; next, they knew his reception should not. answer
his quality. I have moderated according to my discretion, but
with a swoln heart. Half my charge shall corrupt all this
court to be your slaves.
The best way to do your business in this court is to find
some Mogul that you may entertain for a thousand rupees a
year, as your solicitor at court. He must be authorised by the
king, and then he will serve you better than ten ambassadors.
Under him you must allow five hundred rupees for another at
your port to follow the governor, and customers, and to adver-
tise his chief at court. These two will effect all, for your
other smaller residencies are not subject to much inconveni
Such is the account of the. first intercourse of the English
with the Great Mogul. The son of Jehan Guire moved his
court to Delhi, where a new and magnificent capital was built
near the site of the more ancient city.


T HE first European whose visit to new Delhi is recorded
was a Frenchman, M. Bernier, who was there in the
time of Aurungzebe, grandson of Jehan Guire. The history
of his voyage to the East Indies is full of curious matter, and
his account of the new capital, and also of the city of Agra,
has much interest, as being the earliest description of places
so familiar in subsequent annals of India. We quote on this
ground the Frenchman's description of the two celebrated
buildings so often described by later travellers the great
Mosque of Delhi, and the Taj Mehal at Agra-the latter being
the tomb of Shah Jehan's favourite wife Normahal.
The great Mosque is seen afar off in the midst of the town,
standing upon a rock, flatted to build upon, and to make round
about a large place for four long and fair streets to end upon,
and answering to the four sides of the Mosque-viz., one to the
principal gate, or frontispiece, another' behind that, and the
two others to the two gates that are in the middle of the two
remaining sides. To come to the gates, there are twenty-five
or thirty steps of fair and large stones going round about,
except the back part, which is covered with other great quarry-
stones to cover the unevenness of the cut rock. .The three
entries are stately, there is nothing but marble, and their large
gates are covered with copper-plates exceedingly well wrought.
Above the principal gate, which is much statelier than the two
others, there are many small turrets of white marble as well
without as within; 'that in *the middle is much bigger and
higher than the two others. All the rest of the -Mosque, I
mean from these three domes unto the great gate, is without
covering, because of the heat of the country; and the whole
pavement is of large squares of marble. I grant willingly,
that this structure is not according to the rules and orders of

The Great Mosque of Delhi. 45

architecture, which we esteem is indispensably to be followed;
yet I observe nothing in it that offends the eye; but rather
find all to be well contrived, and well proportioned : and I do
even believe, that if in Paris we had a church of .this way of
architecture, it would not be disliked, if there were nothing else
in it but that it is of an extraordinary and surprising aspect,
and because that, excepting the three great domes and all the
turrets, which are of white marble, it appears all red, as if all
were nothing else but great tables of red marble, though it be
nothing else but a stone very easy to cut, and which even
flaketh off in time.
This Mosque it is to which the king repaireth every Friday
(which is the Sunday of the Mahometans) to pay his devotion.
Before he goes out of the fortress, the streets he is to pass are
constantly watered because of the heat and dust. Two or
three hundred musqueteers are to stand and make a lane about
the gate of the fortress, and as many more on the sides of a
great street that ends at the Mosque. Their musquets are
small, but well wrought, and they have a kind of scarlet-case
with a little streamer upon them. Besides there must be five
or six cavaliers well mounted ready at the gate, and ride at a
good distance before the king, for fear of raising dust; and
their office is to keep- off the people. Things being thus pre-
pared, the king is seen to come out of the fortress seated upon
an elephant richly harnessed, under a canopy with pillars
painted and gilded; or else on a throne shining of gold and
azure, upon two beams, covered with scarlet or purfled gold,
carried by eight chosen and well accoutred men. The king
is followed by a body of Omrahs, some of which are on horse-
back, some in a palekey. Among these Omrahs there are
many Mansebdars, and mace-bearers, such as I have before
spoken of. And though this be not that splendid and magnifi-
cent procession, or rather masquerade of the Grand Seignor
(I have no properer name for it), nor the warlike order of our
kings, it being altogether of another fashion, yet for all that
there is something great and royal in it.

46 The Taj Mehal at Agra.

So much for the Mosque of Delhi; now for the Taj Mehal.
You may represent to yourself, that at the going out of the
city of Agra eastward, you enter into a long and broad paved
street, which riseth gently, and hath on one side a high and
long wall, making. the side of a square garden that is much

.. --- - -


bigger than our Place Royal, and on the other side a row of
-new houses arched, such as those of the principal streets of
Delhi above spoken of. Having gone the length of half the
wall, you -shall find on the right hand of the side of the houses
a great gate well made, by which one enters into a caravan-
serah, and over against it, on the wall's side, a stately gate of

"The Taj Mehal at Agra. 47

a great square pavilion, by which you enter into the garden
between two conservatories built up with free-stone. This
pavilion is longer than it is large, built of a stone-like red
marble, but not so hard. The frontispiece seems to me
very magnificent, after their way, and as high as that of St.
Louis in the street of St. Anthony. It is true you do not there
see columns, architraves, and cornishes, cut out after the propor-
tion of those five orders of architecture so religiously observed
in our palace: it is a different and particular kind of structure,
but such an one as wants no agreeableness even in the unusual-
ness of its contrivance, and which, in my opinion, would very
well deserve a place in our books of architecture. It is almost
nothing but arches upon arches, and galleries over galleries,
disposed and ordered a hundred different ways; and yet all
appears stately, well enough contrived and managed. There
is nothing that offends the eye; on the contrary, all is pleasing,
and a man cannot be weary in beholding it. The last time I
saw it, I was there with one of our French merchants, who
also could not behold it enough. I durst not tell him my
thoughts of it, apprehending it might have spoiled my gust,
and framed it according to that of Indostan. But he being
lately come from France, I was very glad to hear him say,
He had never seen anything so august and bold in Europe."
After you are somewhat entered into the pavilion to pass
into the garden, you find yourself under a high vault made
like a cap, which hath galleries round about alnd below, on.
.the right and left side, two divans or causes, made up of
earth of eight or ten foot high. Opposite to the gate there is a
great arch quite open, by which you enter into an alley, which
.cuts almost the whole garden into two equal parts. .This alley
is by way of terrass so large, as -that six coaches can pass on it
abreast,. paved with great squares of hard stone, raised some
eight feet above the garden-plots, and divided in the middle by
a channel walled up with free-stone, having jets of water at
certain distances. After you have gone twenty-five or thirty
paces upon this alley, turning your eye to behold the entry,

48 The Taj Mehal at Agra.

you see the other face of the pavilion, which, though it be not
comparable to that which looks to the street, yet wants not its
stateliness, .being high and of a structure approaching the other.
And on both sides of the pavilion, along the wall of the garden,
you see a long and profound gallery by way of terras, supported
by many low columns near one another. And in this gallery
it is, that during the season of the rains, the poor are permitted
to enter, who come there thrice a week, receiving alms from a
foundation made there by Shah-Jehan for ever.
Advancing further in this alley, you discover at a distance
before you a great dome, where is the sepulchre, and below on
the right and left hand you see divers alleys of a garden set
with. trees, and several parterres covered with flowers. At
the end of this alley, besides'the dome before you, you discover
on the right and left two great pavilions, built of the same
stone, and consequently, looking all red as the first. These
are great and spacious square edifices, made .by way of terrass
opening by three arches, and having at the bottom the wall of
the garden, so that you march under them as if they were high
and large galleries.
I shall not stay to describe unto you the ornaments within
these pavilions, because in respect to their walls, ground-plot,
and pavement, they are not so much unlike the dome, which I
am going to delineate to you, after I shall have observed, that
between the end of the alley (which we have spoken of) and
the dome, there is a pretty large space of a floor, which I call
a water-parterre, because that the diversely cut and figured
stones you march upon, are there instead of the box-wood of
our parterres. And it is from the.midst of this parterre, that
you may conveniently see a part of this edifice, where the
sepulchre is, which remains now to be considered.
It is a great and vast dome of white marble, which is near
the height of that of our Val de Grace in Paris, surrounded
with many turrets of the same matter, with stairs in them.
Four great arches support the whole fabric, three of which are
visible, the fourth is closed in by the wall of a hall, accom-

The Taj Mehal at Agra. 49

panied with a gallery, where certain Mullahs (entertained for
that end) do continually read the Alcoran, with a profound
respect to the honour of Taje-,Mehalle. The mould of the
arches is enriched with tables of white marble, wherein are
seen engraven large Arabian characters of black marble,
which is very agreeable to behold. The interior or concave
part of this dome, and the whole wall from top to bottom is
covered with white marble; and there is no place which is not
wrought with art, and hath not its peculiar beauty. You see
store of agat, and such sort of stones as are employed to enrich
the chapel of the great duke of Florence; much jasper, and
many other kinds of rare and precious stones, set a hundred
several ways, mixed and enchased in the marble that covers
the body of the wall. The squares of white and black marble,
that make the floor, are likewise set out with all imaginable
beauty and stateliness.
Under this dome is a little chamber inclosing the sepulchre,
which I have not seen within, it not being opened but once a
year, and that with great ceremony, not suffering any Christian
to enter, for fear (as they say) of profaning the sanctity of the
place: but really by what I could learn, because it hath
nothing rich or magnificent in it.
There remains nothing else, than to take notice of an alley
in the fashion of a terrass (we follow the old spelling), twenty
or twenty-five paces large, and as many or more high, which is
betwixt the dome and the extremity of the garden, whence you
see below you, at the foot of it, the river Jumna running along
a great campaign of gardens, a part of the town of Agra, the
fortress, and all those fair houses of the Omrahs that are built
along the water. There remains no more, I say, than to cause
you to observe this terrass, which taketh up almost the whole
length of one side of the garden, and then to desire you to
judge, whether I had reason to say, that the Mausoleum, or-
tomb of Taje-Mehalle, is .something worthy to be admired.
For my part I do not yet well know whether I am not some-
what infected still with Indianism; but I must needs say, that

50 The Last of the Great Moguls.

I believe it ought to be reckoned amongst the wonders of the
world, rather than those unshapen masses of the Egyptian
pyramids, which I was weary to see after I had seen them
twice, and in which I find nothing without, but pieces of great
stones ranged in the form of steps one upon another, and
within nothing but very little art and invention.


HAVING given an account of the first contact of the
English with the mighty ruler known as the Great
Mogul, it will be interesting as a contrast to mention the
fate of the last of the Moguls, who died a prisoner and an
exile in British Burmah in 1863.
But it may be useful first to devote a brief paragraph
to the story of the dynasty of the Mogul' Emperors of Delhi.
Baber, the founder of the dynasty, was descended from
both Ghengiz Khan and Tamerlane, the mighty conquerors
and terrible scourges of earlier times. The conquest of
Delhi by Tamerlane was in the year 1398. During five
days he gave up the city to massacre, and every male above
fifteen years of age was slaughtered by his savage troops. It
was -after this the city became a heap of ruins, till a new
Delhi was built by the descendants of Baber, as we have
already stated. In the time of Baber and of his son
Humdyun (1526-1556) the Mogul dynasty was not firmly
established, the Afghan power having for a time successfully
contested the sovereignty. But the third of the Mogul rulers,
Akbar, subdued' every opponent, and became the ruler not
only of almost all Hindostan, but also of Cashmere and
Kandahar. Akbar's reign (1556-1605) nearly coincided
with that of our Queen Elizabeth. He was succeeded by
his son Jehan Guire, to whose court Sir Thomas Roe came

7m Z_


------------- ------------
---ra ~l\~r ~ -~ I I i Ilt~-r--n ~ lllll-..... ...... ...........===~-==-



The Last of the Great Moguls. 51

as Ambassador from James I. The next ruler was Shah
Jehan, third son of Akbar. He was the builder of New
Delhi. To him succeeded his brother Aurungzebe, under whom
the Mogul Empire seemed to increase in glory, but really
passed its zenith. Jehan-Guire, Shah Jehan, and Aurung-
zebe were, all three of them, monsters of vice and cruelty,
and the dynasty became contemptible as well as infamous,
though still possessing mighty power. By frequent conflicts
with Hindu princes, to whom Akbar had wisely left some
form of independence, and still more by attempting to reduce
the Mohammedan kingdoms of the Deccan, the rulers of Delhi
began to lose their supremacy. Shah Alum, the successor
of Aurungzebe, had to make concession to the Mahrattas,
who now first appeared as a formidable power in India. Their.
power grew till they became the real rulers of Delhi. From 1718
to 1803 this influence remained, the history of India mean-
while being enlivened by the invasion of Nadir Shah in 1748,
and the irruption of an Afghan force under Ahmed Shah,
better known as Durani, who in 1.757, in the battle of Paniput,
for a time checked the Mahratta power.
The wars and revolutions of these generations reduced India
to a sad state of anarchy, and its conquest by some foreign
power seemed the only safety for the oppressed and im-
poverished people. The story of the gradual rise and pro-
gress of English rule under Clive, Warren Hastings, and
Wellesley, we cannot recount here, but only tell that in 1803
Lord Lake took Delhi, and rescued Shah Alum II., the
fourteenth Mogul Emperor, from the Mahrattas, whose power for
further mischief was broken by the decisive battle of Assaye,
one of Wellington's early victories. From this time the
Great Mogul at Delhi became a vassal or tributary of the
English, receiving a pension of /150,000 yearly, the Emperor
still retaining a nominal sovereignty, under which there
was an attempt to restore the native rule, in the person of
Mohammed Shah, the seventeenth and last in the imperial
dynasty founded by Baber. The overthrow of this attempt was

52 Th e Last of the Great Moguls.

the turning-point of the terrible crisis in English history known
as the Indian Mutiny.
The capture of Delhi broke the neck of the rebellion, and
from that moment the restoration of British rule was
The gist of the story of the mutiny can be told in a few
sentences, although volumes would not exhaust all the nar-
rative of that epoch of danger and disaster, of heroism
and triumph After the great Sikh war ended, the Sepoy
army, which had for generations been led from victory to
victory, with extra batta and unlimited loot, in the peaceful.
years which followed led a comparatively idle life. They
were pampered and spoiled, and discipline was sadly relaxed.
Becoming insolent and high-minded, they became the ready
tools of designing men. Some of the native princes were
alarmed by the annexations in Lord Dalhousie's time.
Mohammedan ambition helped to fan the smouldering dis-
content. Under these circumstances the regulation was
issued, in 1856, that all Bengal Sepoys were to be enlisted
for general service. In 1857 the new Enfield rifles were
introduced into the Indian army, and immediately the re-
port was spread that the cartridges were greased with the
fat of pigs and of cows, that Mohammedans and Hindus might
alike be defiled. This was the spark that set the inflam-
mable materials ablaze. The horrors of the massacres
and other events that followed need not be recalled.
Most of the mutinous regiments made for Delhi, and there
proclaimed a native empire. When an English army, rein-
forced by the troops raised by John Lawrence in the Punjab,
commenced the siege of Delhi, there was not a man in
India who did not say, It must be taken in a month, or our
empire is gone." It was not taken for several months, for
the place was full of troops, and the military stores were un-
bounded. With true British endurance the siege was kept
up, and with true British valour the storming of the strong-
hold was at length effected. The rebels might have resisted

The Last of the Great MAoguis. 53

long, but they soon took to flight. The victors were too
few and were too exhausted at once to pursue the fugitives,
but some were slain or captured, and among the prisoners
was the aged king. His life was spared because the officer to
whom he surrendered had pledged his word to that effect.
Some of his sons, greater miscreants, if possible, than the
father, met with swift and merited doom. The old man
and two young princes were taken as prisoners to Rangoon,
after a trial in which the guilt of the king as the instigator
of many atrocities was clearly proved.
The capture of Delhi, and the pursuit and dispersion of
the rebel forces there, did not prevent the subsequent cam-
paigns in Oude and Rohilcund, but even the recovery of
Lucknow was a less important event than that of the ancient
city of the Great Mogul.
We are indebted to the Leisure Hour for the only notice
that we have seen of the ex-king in his last days. In that
magazine, in the number for July 1862, appeared a photo-
graph of the king and two of his sons, and of the prison
at Rangoon where they were confined, sent by'the officer
whose duty it was to inspect the prisoners. In his com-
munication he says : "These prisoners are no other than
'the last of the Great Moguls' and his family. They reside
in the small house adjoining the main guard, as shown in
the drawing. It is surrounded by a paling about fifteen
feet high. In the court-yard were several attendants, and
upon going up the ladder and entering one of the small
rooms into which the house is divided, I saw the ex-king
sitting down on a bed, robed in true Oriental undress, smoking
a hubble-bubble. He looked vacantly at me, said nothing,
but put out his hands and bent his head slightly to one
side, and assumed an aspect as if to express, 'See here
the pitiable condition I am come to!' He looked very old,
and as if he was fast sinking. His two sons, Gewun Buksh
and Shah Abbas, were in the verandah. I send a photo-
graph of the whole party. Previous to the mutiny or rebel-

54 The Story of Cleopatra's Needle.

lion our government .allowed the king .i50,000 a year,
the total expense incurred now is under 500 "
The old king died, as we have said, in 1863. These sons
were treated kindly, and instructed by English teachers.
What was their subsequent career need not here be recorded.
We have seen the end of the last of the Great Moguls I

A MONG the remarkable objects to be seen in London few
have more romantic interest than the Egyptian obelisk
on the Thames embankment, popularly known as Cleopatra's
Needle. It is wonderful for its size, being by far the largest
quarried stone in England; and it is more wonderful for-its
character and history, having been prepared by workmen two
centuries before the Israelites were delivered by Moses from
their bondage in Egypt. It was set up before the great temple
of the sun, at Heliopolis, by Thothmes III. The hiero-
glyphics, or. sacred inscriptions in the columns on its four
sides, were carved by order of that monarch, and the columns
of hieroglyphics on the sides of the central record were added
by order of Rameses II., the Pharaoh of "the oppression,"
so that on this obelisk on the Thames embankment may be
read records carved by the two mightiest of the kings of
ancient Egypt.
Before describing the historical record, it is worth saying a
few words about the obelisk, viewed merely as. a gigantic
monument, and as a specimen of architecture and of masonry.
First, in regard to its size. It is sixty-eight feet five-and-
a-half inches long, and from the base-which measures about
eight feet-it tapers upwards to the width of five feet, when it
ends in a pointed pyramid seven feet in height. This is the usual
form of an obelisk, the tapering point being sometimes called
a pyramidion, or pyramid-like structure, the sides of which are

SThe Story of Cleopatra's Needle. 55

generally inclined at an angle of sixty degrees. The top was
originally covered with gold, as is mentioned in the inscription.
The substance of this obelisk is that form of granite known
as Syenite, being taken from the quarries of Syene in Upper
Egypt. Taking the density of Syenite, and the size of the
tapering monument, the estimate of the whole mass is about
one hundred and eighty-six tons. This is about ten times the
weight of the largest block of stone at Stonehenge, which was
the heaviest monolith, or single piece of wrought stone, in
England before the arrival of this Egyptian monument.
In the great Pyramids may be seen some enormous masses,
but the largest do not approach the size and weight of this
obelisk. There are also huge blocks of masonry in the ruined
walls of the Temple at Jerusalem, but these, also, are com-
paratively small and light. One has been measured twenty-
six feet long, six feet high, and seven feet wide, a block of
solid limestone, estimated to weigh about ninety tons. This
is still less than half the weight of Cleopatra's Needle.
Although larger by far than any other stone in England, this
obelisk is surpassed in size and weight by many stones in the
country from which it came: The column of red granite,
known as Pompey's Pillar, is in length about one hundred
feet, and its girth round the base twenty-eight feet, the weight
of the monolithic shaft being estimated at about three hundred
tons. Even more gigantic than Pompey's Pillar is a block of
carved granite found on the plain of Memphis, which, next to
Thebes, was the most important city in Upper Egypt in
ancient times. This block is a gigantic statue, lying face
downwards, and partly covered with sand and rubbish. The
head is about ten feet long, and the body in proportion, all
carved from one mass of granite, the total weight of which is
estimated at about four hundred tons.
There is yet one more monument which was more colossal
than this prostrate statue, but it is not now of its full weight
or dimensions. The great obelisk in the Piazza of St. John
Lateran, at Rome, was originally one hundred and ten feet

56 The Story of Cleopatra's Needle.

long, and therefore the longest monolith ever known to have
been quarried. It was also the heaviest, weighing, as it does,
about four hundred and fifty tons, or more than twice the
weight of the London obelisk.
By what mechanical contrivances these gigantic blocks were
quarried, and with what tools the hard syenite was worked,
we do not very clearly know. Enough has been discovered,
however, to get a general idea of the modes of procedure. In
the quarries at Syene may yet be seen an unfinished obelisk,
still connected with the parent rock, with traces of the work-
men's tools so plainly seen on the surface, that one might
suppose the men to have been hastily called away, and that
they intended soon to return to their work. This unfinished
obelisk shows the mode in which the huge monoliths were
separated from the native rock. In a sharply cut groove,
marking the boundary of the stone, are holes, evidently de-
signed for wooden wedges. After these had been firmly
driven into the holes, the groove was filled with water. The
wedges, gradually absorbing the water, swelled, and cracked
the granite from end to end.
The block once detached from the rock, was pushed for-
wards on rollers made of the stems of palm trees, from the
quarries to the edge of the Nile, where it was surrounded by
a large timber raft. It lay by the river side till the next
rising of the waters, when the raft floated with its precious
burden, and was conveyed down the stream to the city where
it was to appear as a monument. Here it was again pushed
upon rollers, up an inclined plane, to the front of the temple
or other site. The pedestal had previously been placed, and
a firm causeway of sand, covered with planks, formed an
incline -up which the mass was rolled. By levers, and ropes,
made from the palm-fibre, the obelisk was hoisted into an
upright position. This is as much as is known about the
architectural and mechanical arrangements connected with the
ancient Egyptian monuments. In one bas-relief at El-Bershel
is a representation of the transit of a monument, a colossal

The Story of Cleopatra's Needle. 57

figure upon a sledge, with four rows of men dragging it by
ropes, urged by the whips of task-masters. o
The Syenite granite being extremely hard, is capable of
taking a high polish. The carvings are always in hollow relief,
as- the inscriptions, if projected in high relief, would have been
more liable to be chipped off. They are always arranged
with great taste in vertical columns, arid they were carved
after the obelisk was placed in its permanent posiition. The
tools for this work must have been admirable, and we know
that, from earliest times,. there has been great skill in the
manufacture and the tempering of metals.
Thothmes III. erected four great obelisks at Heliopolis, and
probably others in different parts of Egypt. Of the two pair
known as Pharaoh's Needles and Cleopatra's Needles, the
former were removed from Heliopolis to Alexandria by Con-
stantine the Great. Thence one was taken to Constantinople,
where it now stands at the Almeidan. Being only fifty feet
high, it is thought that the lower part was broken, and that
the part remaining is only the upper half of the original
obelisk. The other was taken to Rome, and is that which
stands in front of the Church of St. John Lateran.
The well-known obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, at
Paris, is one of two which Rameses II. erected before the
Temple of Luxor. It is seventy-six feet high, or seven-and-a-
half feet higher than the obelisk in London.
That which stands in front of St. Peter's at Rome, in the
. great Piazza, was erected by Mehephtah, the son and successor
"*of Rameses II. It is about ninety feet high, and in size is
reckoned the third obelisk in the world. The second in size
is still standing at Karnak, about one hundred feet high, a
companion obelisk having. fallen to the ground. The largest
of all, as already stated, is that of the St. John Lateran, at
It would take a long time to tell how the various obelisks
now in Europe and in other lands (for the Turks and the
Americans also have these monuments) came into the hands

58 The Story of Cleopaira's Needle.

of their present possessors. The story of Cleopatra's Needle,
so far as ownership is concerned, may be briefly told. After
the defeat of the French in Egypt, first by Nelson, who destroyed
their fleet in Aboukir Bay, and then by Sir Ralph Abercrombie
and his troops, it occurred to many of the officers, naval and
military, that this column might be taken to England, and set
up as a trophy of their Egyptian victories. After considerable
expenditure, both of labour and money, the idea was abandoned,
the commanders not heartily taking to the scheme. They
contented themselves with getting part of the pedestal disin-
terred and erected, with a space chiselled out of the surface,
into which a brass plate was inserted, on which was engraved
a short account of the British triumphs.
When George IV. came to the throne, Mehemet Ali, then
ruler of Egypt, formerly. made a gift of the obelisk to the king,
as his ally and friend. King George had more unromantic
sentiments, and more congenial ways of spending money.. The
offer was renewed to King William IV., with the handsome
addition of offering to ship the monument free of charge. The
compliment was declined with thanks. In 1840 the govern-
ment announced its desire to bring the gift of Mehemet Ali to
England, but the opponents of the Ministry of the day urged
" that the obelisk was too much defaced to be worth removal,"
and the proposal was not carried out. In 1851 the question
was again broached in the House, and the appearance of the
obelisk would have been a memorable incident in the Great
Exhibition in Hyde Park, but the estimated outlay of ;67,000
was deemed too .large an outlay of public money. In 1853
the Crystal Palace Company expressed their readiness to be at
the expense of bringing the obelisk to be an ornament of their
Egyptian Court, but the design fell through, on the ground of
its being against precedent to allow what was national property
to be used for the benefit of a private company. This seemed
rather a dog-in-the-manger policy, but we suppose it is neces-
sary that the custodians of public property must avoid making
bad precedents. In 1867 the new Khedive sold the ground

The Story of Cleopatra's Needle. 59

on which the obelisk lay to a Greek merchant, who insisted on
its removal from his property. The Khedive appealed to the
English authorities to take possession of it, otherwise the title
to the monument must lapse. The appeal had no effect, and
it was evident that if the monument ever came to England it
would not be at the cost of the Government or the nation. If
no private munificence interposed, the obelisk would be broken
up for building material, as the owner of the ground now
Meanwhile, there was one public-spirited Englishman, an
old soldier who admired Abercromby and his army of Egypt,
and who never had forgotten the original purpose of the
removal. General Alexander had often pleaded with the
Government, and the learned societies, and with the public
through the press, and now he went to.Egypt to visit the spot.
He found the prostrate obelisk almost buried in the sand, but
through the assistance of Mr. Wyman Dixon, C.E., he had it
uncovered and examined.
On returning to England, General Alexander stated the
case to his friend, Professor, now Sir Erasmus Wilson, the
eminent surgeon. The question of transport was discussed by
them, along with Mr. John Dixon, C.E. The result was that
Professor Wilson signed a bond to pay i0o,0oo to Mr. Dixon
on- the obelisk being erected in London. The Board of Works
offered the site on the Thames Embankment, and Mr. Dixon
set about his part of the contract.
Early in July 1877 he arrived at Alexandria, and on
examination found the monument in better condition than had
been usually stated in the discussions on its removal. He
adopted the plan of encasing the obelisk in an iron water-tight
cylinder about 0oo feet long, which, with its precious burden,
was set afloat by digging to it a short canal. The Olga steam-
tug was engaged for towing the cylinder, and the voyage from
the harbour of Alexandria was begun. For twenty days the
passage was propitious, but a storm arose in the Bay of Biscay,
and as the cylinder threatened to sink, and to involve tihe Olga

60 The Story of Cleopatra's Needle.

in the catastrophe, there was nothing for it but to sever the
connection. The captain returned to England under the
impression that the cylinder with its heavy freight had gone to
the bottom, and great was the vexation and disappointment.
It turned out, however, that the cylinder had floated safely, and
after drifting on the surface for about sixty hours was sighted
by the steamer, and towed to Vigo on the Spanish coast. After
a.few weeks' delay, and glad payment of salvage, the obelisk
arrived in the Thames, to be set up in its present position.
Many will remember the excitement of those few days, and
the whole nation rejoiced in the successful termination of an
affair in which few had previously shown any interest.
The hieroglyphic inscriptions on the obelisk we consider of
less importance than might have been anticipated,-always
excepting the one fact which they reveal as to Thothmes III.
being the builder. His cartouche, with the name, occurs four
times, once on each side, at the top of the central column of
hieoglyphics. We know that this Thothmes reigned more than
3,000 years ago. He and his armies overran Palestine two
centuries before Moses was born. His was a long reign, about
fifty-four years, and he was the greatest perhaps of all Egyp-
tian kings, although Sesostris, or Rameses II. has even more
fame as a foreign conqueror. Possibly Jacob and Joseph,
certainly Moses and Aaron, and the Greek philosophers, Pytha-
goras and Plato, and the ancient travellers and historians, have
gazed on this very monument. But the inscriptions them-
selves do not greatly increase our feeling of reverence or admi-
ration. Thothmes boasts of his ancestry, as being the son of
Horus, and the descendant of the Sun. The obelisk is dedi-
cated to the rising sun. There were different divine names
for the sun at rising, at midday, and at going down. The in-
scription bears many pictures of objects, the symbolic meanings
of which are known to students of hieroglyphics, chiefly
representing attributes or abstract ideas,-such as the arm for
power, the beetle for life, the lion's head for victory, and so
on. The literal translation of the inscription on one of the

A Persian Grand Vizier. 61

sides is as follows :-" Horus, powerful Bull, beloved of Ra (the
Sun), King of Upper and Lower Egypt. His father set up for
him a great name, with increase of royalty, in the precincts of
Heliopolis, giving him the.throne of Seb (Saturn of the Latins),
the dignity of Kheper (the sacred beetle, emblem of majesty),
son of the Sun, Thothmes, the 'Holy, the Just, beloved of the
benner (sacred bird), of An (or On) ever-living.."
Since the obelisk came to London the wonderful .discovery
has been made of the actual bodies of Thothmes III., of
Rameses II., and other mighty monarchs of Old Egypt, in a
rocky sepulchre at Deiv-el-Bahari. The royal -mummies are
now ranged in order at the Boolak Museum, near Cairo.

IN Oriental histories,. ancient and modern, the career of the
great minister of state known as the Grand Vizier is
seldom without strange romance. The story of Mirza Tekee,
Persian Plenipotentiary at the Conference of Erzeroum, is an
example of the wonderful vicissitudes seen in the life of these
high dignitaries. The purpose of this conference was to
arrange the disputed boundaries between the Turkish and
Persian dominions. The survey of the countries, and the
proceedings of the conference lasted for some years, but we
are not here concerned With the geographical and political
matters under discussion. The Grand Vizier of Persia, Mirza
Tekee, was one of the ablest and most interesting of the per-
sonages who assembled at Erzeroum, and an account of his
early career and of his tragic end has been given by the Hon.
Robert Curzon, in his book of travels in Armenia.
Mr. Curzon, then the private secretary to Sir Stratford
"* The detailed account of the inscriptions, with much valuable matter,
will be found in a little book published by the Religious Tract Society,
" Cleopatra's Needle," with exposition of the hieroglyphics and illustrations,
by the Rev. James King, M.A.

62 A Persian Grand Vizier.

Canning, afterward Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, was appointed
joint Commissioner for England, along with Colonel Williams,
the distinguished hero of Kars, during the Russian war. There
were also Russian and Turkish Commissioners. Their joint
labours settled the frontier and arranged affairs, but the settle-
ment was of short duration, and the regions have since been
exposed to various troubles and wars. However, our present
subject is Mr. Curzon's account of his Persian colleague, the
Persian Grand Vizier.
Mirza Tekee was the son of the cook of Bahmas Meerza,
brother of Mohammed Shah, and governor of the province of
Tabriz. The cook's little boy was brought up with the
children of his master and educated with them. Being a
clever boy, as soon as he was old enough he was put into the
office of accounts, under the commander-in-chief, the famous
Emir Nizam, who was employed in organizing and drilling the
Persian army in the European style.
Tekee became Vizier ul Nizam, or the governor's adjutant-
general as we would say, and having the confidence of the old
Emir, he did as he pleased, and amassed great wealth. It
was partly because of his being rich that the Shah of Persia
chose him to be his representative at the Erzeroum congress,
for he had no intention of paying him any salary, but sent
him with flattering speeches and promises, none of which he
intended to fulfil. The cunning old prime minister at Teheran,
Hadji Meerza Agassi, who was sedulously employed in feather-
ing his own nest, was jealous of Mirza Tekee, and very glad
to get him safe out of the way.
The Turks and Persians, as everybody knows, hate each
other religiously, which seems always the worst sort of hatred.
The Soonis and the Shiahs, the two great divisions of the
Mohammedan world and creed, are, as it were, the Papists
and Protestants of that religion. If these two countries,
Turkey and Persia, are at peace for a time, the smouldering
flame is sure to break, out again at the first convenient
opportunity, and it will do so till the end of time.

A Persian Grand Vizier. 63

The Turks, who disliked Mirza Tekee with more than
common aversion, from his dignified bearing and stately
manners, gave out various accusations against him and against
members of his household. A fanatical mob of many thousand
indignant Soonis surrounded all that quarter of the town of
Erzeroum where Tekee, the illustrious Shiah, then was, at-
tacked the Plenipotentiary's house, and kept it in a state of
siege for some hours. Volleys of rifle-shots were fired at the
windows, while from within Mirza Tekee only permitted his
servants to fire blank cartridges. Izmet Pacha,.the Governor
of Erzeroum, a drunken old Turk, sat on horseback as well as
he could, but would not interfere in the disturbance, though
he had all his troops, amounting to several thousands, under
arms. For his misconduct on this occasion he was turned
out of his governorship. Colonel Williams, at great personal
hazard, did all he could to quell the tumult and to protect
Tekee. The -Turks swore they must have blood, and. de-
manded that one of the Persians, at least, must be delivered
up to them as a victim, upon which they promised to with-
draw. Colonel Williams could be no party to such a compro-
mise, but the servants of Tekee laid hold of a poor man in the
house and .thrust him out to the mob. It was a man who had
called that morning to say he was going to Tabriz, and would
be happy to take charge of any message or letter. The
servants knew nothing of him, and they saved their own lives
by the sacrifice of this poor fellow, who was killed by the mob.
Another Persian, a merchant, was killed the same day in
another part of the town, where he had no knowledge of the
disturbance at Tekee's house. The mob continued to assault
the place, and breaking down the doors effected an entrance,
pillaging and destroying all that they could get hold of. Mirza
Tekee was saved only by barricading himself in a room at the
back -of the house, where he and his servants defended them-
selves for many hours, till the mob dispersed with their booty.
The Sultan afterwards sent Mirza 8000o in repayment of
the loss sustained by this outrage.

64 A Persian Grand Vizier.

When the treaty was signed between Turkey and Persia
"Mirza Tekee returned to Tabriz. On the death of the Emir
Nizam he succeeded to the office of commander-in-chief.
During the last illness of Mohammed Shah, his brother,
Bahman Meerza, had been intriguing in hopes of succeeding to
the throne. But his intrigues being discovered and baffled,
he escaped to Tiflis, under Russian rule, where he knew he
would be welcomed. It is the policy of Russia, in the East, to
receive and pension rival claimants and rebels, in expectation
of their being possibly turned to useful account in the future.
Mirza Tekee now found his occasion. He marched to
Teheran at the head of his army, and seated the young Prince
Noor Eddin, upon the throne. Noor Eddin was grateful; he
gave to Tekee his sister in marriage. He also got. possession
of the vast territorial estate of Hadji Meerza Agassi, the prime
minister of. Mohammed Shah. The Hadji had been Moham-
med's tutor, and rose to be one of the most famous of the
Viziers of that monarch, whose chief amusement, in his latter
years, was to shoot sparrows with a pistol When the Hadji
became rich his master squeezed him, as our Henry VIII. did
Cardinal Wolsey, but as he still retained a considerable
treasure in gold, silver, and jewels, he thought it prudent to
retire to Kerbela, where he died in the odour of sanctity in
-851. Thus the way was clear for Tekee to be Grand Vizier.
He was now seated on the pinnacle of prosperity. The
extent of the possessions which the Shah handed over to him
from the plunder of his predecessor, the Hadji, was so great
as to be almost incredible, and was such as would have
yielded the revenue to a king.
Mirza Tekee had, nevertheless, or rather the more on
account of his prosperity, enemies at court. His chief enemy
was the Shah's mother, a lady who in Turkey and Persia, and
in other Oriental lands, usually enjoys an extraordinary degree
of power, wealth, and dignity. If she likes to do good she
can do much good, if she likes to do evil she can do much
evil, whether to the state or to individuals.

The Persian Grand Vizier. 65

Between those who were partizans and the friends of
Bahman Meerza, the late Shah's brother, and those who hated
the strong government of Mirza Tekee, a powerful party of
malcontents was growing, who got hold of the weak mind of
the young Noor Eddin. Although he owed everything to the
Vizier at his coming to the throne, he now allowed him to be
destroyed by his enemies.. Permission was given to him to
go to Koom, where he had an estate. This was the form in
which his banishment from court was announced.
So secretly had the conspiracy worked that Tekee's sus-
picions do not seem to have been aroused. His young wife
followed him, with all her train, looking forward to the
pleasure of living with her husband for a while in the quiet
retirement of a beautiful place in the country. But when she
arrived within sight of the town of Koom, a messenger came
out to meet her; and the news that he brought was that MVirza
Tekee had been killed by the order of her brother, the Shah.
The assassins sent for this cruel deed found the minister in
his bath on their arrival, and there they opened his veins and
held him till- he bled to death. No charge was made against
him, and no crime ever proved. It was an instance of foul
murder by the Shah, who thus destroyed one of his ablest and
most honest subjects, at the instigation of some of the most
infamous and worst.
Y This tragic event happened in 1851, about the time when
the representatives of all nations were assembled in London,
at the opening of the Great Exhibition, the festival of the world's
peace and industry. In our happy land we know little of what
is passing in the dark places of the earth, which are full of the
habitations of cruelty. Such was the career and such the fate
of a Grand Vizier.



LET the reader join me in paying a tribute of respect to the
memory of the sailor son of the great statesman-Sir
Robert Peel-William Peel, as noble an Englishman as ever
served in the British navy, whose career of honour and useful-
ness was too early closed. There are many who still remember
the sad sorrow when the news came that the commander of
the naval brigade in the time of the Indian Mutiny had fallen
a victim to small-pox. Of his gallant services at that crisis,
as well as in the Crimean war and on other occasions, this is
not the place to give a record. Suffice it to say that in his
profession he always well sustained the reputation of the name
that he bore, and of the illustrious .house to which he
It is not so generally known that he published a book
descriptive of a journey made by him in one of the intervals of
public service, A Ride through the Nubian Desert." It was
as long ago as 1851 that he went there, but recent events in
that region of the world give a fresh interest to the record of
that journey. He'saw and described many of the places of
which the names are now more familiar to us, and some of the
matters referred to have an enduring importance.
The character of the man, and the. spirit in which he went
forth on this journey, appear in his opening chapter. Speaking
of his companions in the voyage to Egypt he says, Some
have gone to India, some to Afghanistan, others to China and.
to Borneo,-all to uphold the character of England, to admini-
ster justice, to extend commerce, or to defend and expand our
empire. I embarked with the object of travelling in the
Soudan, hoping, by the blessing of the Almighty, to help to
break the fetters of the negro, to release him from the selfish
Mussulman, from the sordid European; to tell him there is a
God that made us all, a Christ that came down and died for

Ride through Nubia. 67

all." And again, on the last parting at Cairo, he says, They
left me at Cairo, thinking I was bound for pleasure, all except
one, to whose kind and honoured friendship I had confided my
views. I watched them all depart; to me it was another trial.
I felt tired of Egypt, and turned with horror from the natives,
for whom I had no sympathy; in despair from the rapid
flowing Nile, whose current must be stemmed for many hun-
dred miles. I was in most wretched health, and the question
rose why I should go. Europe seemed so inviting, her civili-
zation so intelligent, her Christianity so genial. But four days
sufficed to restore my health, and in the quiet rides to Shoubra,
unsurpassed by those of any city, along the banks of the
mysterious Nile, all my high hopes returned."
He had sailed from England for Alexandria on the 20th
August, 1850, in the good steamer Pottinger; and after stop-
ping six hours at Gibraltar and forty at Malta, reached the
Egpytian port on the 4th September. That day they all
embarked in the canal boat on the Mahmondieh canal, and
towed to Afteh on the Nile. There they changed to a steamer,
and arrived at Cairo the following evening. Such was the
mode of transit at that time,
Cairo having been explored, and a Firman and Couwass or
Commissionaire being procured, with the help of Mr. Murray,
the Consul-General, he sailed, at sunset. of September the I th,
from Boolak, the port of Cairo, in a dahabieh, or Nile boat,
for Korosko. He had previously had an interview with the
Viceroy, Abbas Pacha, a true friend of England and the English,
to whom he was-already personally known, and who showed
much interest in his projected journey.
In eleven days from Cairo they arrived at. Assouan, the
ancient Syene, the frontier post between Egypt and Nubia,
where the river commences its unbroken flow through the
valley of the Nile. While viewing with admiration the natural
and historical scenes, the sympathy of our traveller is- called
forth by the condition of the labouring people. The villages
of the fellahs are a collection of huts made of unburnt bricks

68 Captain William Peel's

or date leaves stuccoed with mud, about eight feet high, pul-
verised by the sun, a heap of dirt and 'dust standing on the
accumulated rubbish of centuries. A grove of date trees
surrounds them, which readily marks their site, and their
appearance at a distance is often improved by a number of
pigeon houses built like turrets. And this is .the abode of a
human being, the fellah of Egypt, who goes to his work day
after day, from early dawn till dark, working naked ifl. the sun,
often without even a covering to his head or loins, standing all
day in the water, raising it by a bucket, digging a trench with
his hands, or cutting the mud with his feet; and his labour is
not for himself, but for a grinding master. With all this he
preserves the beauty of the human form, his countenance is
serene, and he answers the passing traveller with a pious and
graceful salutation. To say that he is happy because he knows
no better, is it not making his. condition worse ? The women
are frightfully ugly, and their dress most dismal-a large sheet
or wrapper of dull blue drawn over the head and body, and
held across the face.- See them squatting on the banks when
they go to fill their water-jars, uttering a mourning cry, they
look like evil spirits waiting to be carried across the- river of
Such are the poor fellaheen of Egypt, but such is the lot of
poverty and labour all the world over, only here there is little
to raise the spirit above its depressing surroundings. Happily
there are efforts now being made to improve their condition,
and Christian missions are bringing to many of these sons and
daughters of toil new comforts and hopes, which the religion
of the false prophet failed to effect for them.
But we must pass on to Nubia or the Soudan. Captain
Peel's only companion was Churi, a Maronite of the Lebanon,
from whom he had taken lessons in Arabic and Italian in
London, and. whom he persuaded to accompany him on his
journey. Churi had been at an early age sent from his own
country to be educated at the college of the Propaganda at
Rome; a good linguist, and a man of probity and intelligence.

Ride through Nubia. 69

With him Captain Peel travelled, not in Egypt only, but in the
Sinaitic Desert and in the Holy Land, and his companionship
is spoken of with commendation and gratitude.
Korosk- was reached on September 27th, at noon. of the
sixteenth day after leaving Cairo, and on the following day the
journey through the desert began, in the direction of Berber.
The party. consisted of the Captain and Churi, the couwass,
and an Egyptian cook, an Arab guide, and four Arab attendants
or camel drivers. There were thirteen dromedaries to carry
the travellers, with their baggage and water.
It was a weary, dreary journey through this parched and
barren wilderness. Here are some of the entries in the
Journal :-" We marched in silence, our camels advancing in
line abreast over the broad pavement of closely-packed sand.
There was not a blade of grass, not even a withered straw, the
remnant of some partial winter vegetation, and the heat was
intense, a hot south wind blowing from the rocks with the
breath of a furnace, and the sand glaring with light. We
halted at seven o'clock that night, but only to feed the camels-;
there was no time to make a fire, we, therefore, drank water
and ate onions for our dinner. The march was then resumed.
I never was more fatigued; my tongue was parched, and the
throat painfully swollen from the hot- wind. We came to a
halt at twenty minutes past one o'clock, when I stretched my
poor body on the sand to sleep, and my mind wandered by the
side of rippling streams in the earthly paradise of England. At
5.15 a.m., having drunk only water for our breakfast, we were
again on the march, and went on till 8.20 under the sickening
heat of a morning sun without food. Our halting place was
on the side of a hill, under a deep ledge, which afforded
shade till noon. The Arabs told us we were to sleep, and
showed us the example, but the mind was too active, and I
felt the necessity of supporting the body with food.
"I eagerly asked what we had brought, and then first learned
that we had come to cross this desert without a stick of fire-
wood, with no meat, no eggs, no vegetables, for. even the

70 Captazn Wzlham Peel's

onions were gone! I turned with the fierceness of an African
tornado. What was the use of a couwass ? What was the .use
of a cook ? What was the use even of my faithful Churi ?
The cook and the couwass retired, but Churi's temper is im-
perturbable, and he loves me too well to care for my hasty
words. He said he had tried his best; he said he thought I
knew there were none of these things. The fierce passion
soon fell at his soft answer, and I asked kindly to know what
there really was besides our tea and coffee. There was only
a bag of rice and some stale bread, which we had bought at
Em6, and had baked in the sun. We then made a fire with
camels' dung, and boiled the coffee and rice. This was our
only food in crossing the desert, and it came twice a day; it
was boiled rice and coffee in the morning, boiled tea and rice
in the evening. Churi's diet was still more simple, for he
confined himself almost entirely to soaked bread and water.
The thermometer here at noon, under the shade of the
deep rock, and held apart from the side, was o180 of
So they went on day by day, and at sunset on the Ist
October arrived at the wells of Mourad, three reservoirs of
brackish water in the middle of this desert. These wells are
in a little amphitheatre, formed by the high surrounding hills.
Some trees grew in the water-courses formed in the rainy
season from these heights. Next day the journey was resumed
across plains of sand, interrupted occasionally by rocky ridges,
arriving at length at Aboo Hamed, on the edge of the desert,
but on the banks of the Nile.
The river at Aboo Hamed is of great breadth, and in the
centre is a chain of islands highly cultivated. There are no
boats, and the people swim across the stream on inflated skins,
gathering their clothes in a high turban round the head; or
they form rafts of grass and the green straw of the doora,
which they bring for the fodder of the camels, and on them
they place their other produce.
A short distance below the Nile turns sharp to the west-

Rzde through Nubza. 71

ward, running over beds of rock, causing rapids which prevent
navigation. It is to avoid this great detour that this line of
communication lies straight through the Nubian desert.
From Aboo Hamed to Berber the course runs in a straight
line, at times close to the river; and when there is a bend,
the path stretches across some high plain, but all sense of
weariness is removed by the sight of the delicious Nile, which
runs through the midst, tracing a line of the deepest green.
The islands, as well as the lands on either bank, are richly
cultivated and highly productive, at least after reaching
Kenaniet, where the camels had green food for the first time
since leaving Korosko.
SAbove Kenaniet the country is no longer threatened by the
sands of the desert, and the inundation fertilizing a wide plain.
It is like a second Egypt.
Berber, or Barbar, was reached on October IIth, after
travelling with the same long journeys, but not at the same
rapid pace as through the desert. This is the capital and also
the limit of Nubia. The people are still called Barbaras,
whence, probably, the Greek word barbarians." All above is
the country of the Soudan. The native name of Berber is
also El Moukharef. The governor of Berber at that time was
an Albanian, who received the travellers hospitably. The
Arabs were dismissed, and as they had served willingly and
faithfully, a good backshish was added, that they might have
an entertainment before the return journey. Enough was
given to buy a sheep and other materials for a feast. The day
wore on, and the poor camel drivers continued near the tent.
"XWe asked them if they had roasted the sheep. They ex-
pressed astonishment, and said there was nothing for them to
eat. The guide was sent for, and though clearly convicted
before them all of having kept the money, it was impossible to
raise a blush on his hardened face. He seemed only surprised
at our taking up his roguery so warmly! The piastres were
then given to the others, amidst great clamour and abuse of
the guide; but five minutes after, knowing each would have

72 Captain William Peel's

done the same, they and the conductor were in perfect
On the 12th October, with a favourable northern wind, they
set sail in a boat for Khartoum, passing Shendy on the
morning of the 16th, and reaching Khartoum soon after sun-
rise on the 23rd October, exactly six weeks after leaving
Cairo. Their home was made at the Roman Catholic Mission,
the vicar-general, the chief of which, was absent, but two
brethren of the mission showed every hospitality and attention.
The reception was also cordial on the part of Latif Pacha,
governor-general of the upper provinces, of which this is the
capital. Khartoum, on the conquest of the country, only a
few years back, did not even exist. It is now a very rising
city, with an excellent bazaar, several gardens and date-tree
plantations, and a large fleet of dahabiehs. From its position,
it would soon, under good government, become a place of
first-rate importance." This was said in 1851, and Captain
Peel adds, "I am one of those who believe that an English
government and a handful of Englishmen could make Egypt
and the Nile the means of civilizing Africa and conferring
blessings on the world. Under English rule cities would rise
up at Assouam and at Khartoum, whose influence would be
felt over the whole interior. I know, alas the spirit of the
age is against such thoughts; and there are even men who
would wish to abandon our empire; but I speak the voice of
thousands of Englishmen who, like myself, have served their
country abroad, and who do not love her least, who will never
consent to relinquish an empire that has been won by the
sword, and who think the best way to preserve it is by
judicious extension."
Latif Pacha tried hard to dissuade the travellers from pro-
ceeding beyond Berber, saying much about the perils and risk#
of the journey to Labeyed or Obeid, the capital of Kordofan.
But when he found them resolved to go there, he gave every
advice and assistance. The Cairo couwass being invalided,
the governor sent his own couwass, and gave a letter to Abd-


Ride through Nubia. 73

el-Kader, the ruler of the province of Kordofan. The. Sheik
Ali Abd El Wacked, head of Ababdeh Arabs, the most power-
ful of the tribes in all Egypt, had the courtesy to come to see
them set out on their journey, and gave letters to some of his
people in the country.
In ten days they arrived at Obeid, meeting on the way
several gangs of slaves on their route to Khartoum. The
Arab escort was well armed, every one in the country carrying
spears, and some having also firearms.
A house was given to the travellers, near that of the
governor, and here they remained some days. They then
announced their wish to go on to Darfoor, but the governor
objected to this, without having obtained the leave of the
Sultan. But he gave way, after some dissuasion, and agreed
that they should proceed to the frontier, and there wait the
permission of the ruler of Darfoor. But a severe attack of
fever and ague put an end to this plan. Captain Peel and
Cliuri were both prostrated, and it was not till the end of
November that they were able to move out of the house.
The reports in his journal about Obeid are chiefly valuable
as showing the extent of the slave trade. The only other
trade of importance is in gum-arabic, which is collected at
certain seasons of the year. But at all times slaves are bought
and sold. Here is one extract from the captain's note-book :
"Monday morning, November Ioth, I851. Scene opposite my
windows, which look into Government court-yard. Five male
slaves just arrived, their necks in a wooden triangle at the
end of a long heavy pole, which was attached to a camel during
the march; also one female slave bound by -the feet. I
believe the number of slaves brought every year to Khartoum
and Obeid, and thence sent to Egypt, is very great. Some
are also sent from Darfoor to Siout. These slaves were
caught by the Arabs in some mountains to the southward.
In the afternoon they were stripped, examined, made to walk
-in fact, critically examined like beasts-in the government
court-yard. And how did they behave? Like beasts ? I

.74 Captain Peel's Ride through Nubia.

watched them closely, unseen, and cannot conceive how men
could have behaved with such propriety, or shown more'
touching dignity. There was no fear, nor was there any
momentary pride to show muscular strength; they held
themselves mechanically, letting others bind their limbs, and
marched no further than the very line. When inspection was
finished, they wrapped their scant clothing with decency
round their waists, and took no notice of the flowing robes
or gorgeous turbans of their masters. As men, physically,
they were their superiors, in -heart and feeling it is mockery to
make comparison, in courage unquestionably not inferior; but
they have no self-reliance or moral strength, and in the onward
march of the world, from the position of their country and its
climate, have been left behind."
Kordofan was a rich and populous negro land when con-
quered by the Egyptians, now sixty years -ago. The excesses
of the troops, and the exactions of the rulers have ruined it.
The people have been regarded both by Egyptians and by
Arab traders as only fair game for being hunted and kidnapped
for slavery. The government retained its power at that period
only by terror. The sale of firearms or of gunpowder was
forbidden, and the people were kept down by the Egyptian
garrison. So things remained till near our own time. On
the return journey Captain Peel found that "all the boats of
Khartoum had gone on the annual slave-hunting expedition up
the White Nile!"
We conclude with quoting Captain Peel's general estimate
of the Arab tribes in Africa. All that I have seen," he says,
" of the Arabs has made me form a very bad opinion of them.
There is little elevating in their character, and they are essen-
tially avaricious. Hospitality is their redeeming feature; it is
a law universally acknowledged, and accorded without stint
or afterthought to any traveller. They have respect for the
Mohammedan religion, even when themselves ignorant or
neglectful of its precepts. Hence, negroes on their pilgrimage
to Mecca, with their wives and children, travel afoot from

Sarawzak and the Soudan. 75

remotest regions of Africa without fear, and without any
money, whilst their pagan countrymen are being hunted and
sold into slavery around them. Hadji, or pilgrim, is a title
that gives them sure protection."
The road these people take is to Suakim, a port on the Red
Sea, about ten days' journey from the Nile, where they embark
and go almost direct across to Mecca. It is a stream of human
beings constantly flowing and continually increasing, for while
the Mohammedan religion seems fading in the East, it is mak-
ing astonishing progress through the negro nations. We little
know with what fiery zeal the missionaries of this religion are
propagating their faith; already it extends in an unbroken
line from the Red Sea to the Atlantic; and wherever it comes,
it falls as a blight upon the country, turning the warm heart
of the negro into selfishness and suspicion, and forming the
most dangerous barrier to the enterprise of the traveller. In
returning, between Khartoum and Berber, Captain Peel saw,
in a hollow where some water still remained from the rains,
above two thousand camels, all together, organized into troops,
and attended only by a few Arabs. Other scenes and incidents
were met with, but we have quoted enough to interest the
reader in this ride through the Nubian desert and journey to
the Soudan.

T HE position of Egypt and of the Soudan may be very
different when this book is read from what it was
when written. But, apart from passing events, there is a
permanent interest, of no common kind, in the following letter
written by Rajah Brooke in reference to the work of General
Gordon in the Soudan. It gives an authentic summary of the
great work done in Borneo by the uncle of the writer, the
first Rajah Brooke. It shows what can be done by a wise and

76 Sarawak and thze Soudan.

brave Englishman in foreign lands, even when alone and un-
supported by the power and resources of his own country.
We may criticize details in the lives of such men, but must
admire the result of their enterprise and spirit in bringing
civilization to regions long given over to barbarism.
In 1838, when my uncle, Sir James Brooke, first anchored
his yacht off the coast of Borneo, he fou-nd a condition of
things existing on the coast not unlike that which has neces-
sitated the abandonment of the Soudan. The country was
under the government of the Sultan of Brunei, a potentate
whose authority over Sarawak was characterized by the same
abuses which have driven the Soudanese to revolt. His
government was a system of Bashi-Bazoukery plus slave-
raiding, with this difference, that in Sarawak, unlike the
Soudan, the slave-raids were undertaken by the orders and
under the direction of the Sultans or Rajahs of Brunei. Their
agents scoured the country in all directions, kidnapping
children, and young girls to supply their harems. The tribes,
provoked at last beyond endurance, rose in revolt, and at the
time when my uncle arrived at Sarawak the insurgents were
confronting the forces of the Sultan very much as those of the
Mahdi are now confronting the troops of the Khedive. Sir
James Brooke interposed between the combatants. He won*
the confidence of the leaders of the revolt, and undertook to
act as mediator between them and their Sovereign. The
Sultan of Brunei conceived a great liking for my uncle, and
without much difficulty it was arranged that the Sultan should
abandon his claims over the revolted region. Sarawak became
independent, the Bashi-Bazoukery from Brunei ceased to
trouble the tribes, and the homes of the villagers were no
longer laid desolate in order to supply victims for the'Sultan's
pleasure. The bag-and-baggage policy was unsparingly applied,
and Sarawak, stripped of all the agents of the executive
authority of the Sultan of Brunei, was left as independent as
the Soudan will be when General Gordon has completed the
amputation of "the dog's tail."

Sarawak and the Soudan. 77

But, instead of leaving Sarawak in a state of native anarchy,
that province was saved for civilization by the transfer of all
the prerogatives of the Brunei Sultans to my uncle. A free
grant of sixty miles of coast-line was made to Sir James Brooke
to govern as seemed to him good. The task of establishing a
civilized government in that wild and savage region was no
child's play. It was in miniature identical with that which
would lie before General Gordon if, after the completion of the
evacuation, he were established, as has been suggested, as
Lord Protector of Khartoum and the Valley of the Niles. To
begin with, he was face to face with a population long cruelly
oppressed and but yesterday emancipated. He was an
Englishman and a Christian in the midst of a mixed popula-
tion of Moslems and heathens. The Malays on the coast
correspond to the Arabs of the Soudan, while the Dyaks
inland resemble the negro population. These Dyaks should
properly be divided into two classes--the peaceful and the
savage; the latter, best known as the head-hunting Dyaks,
carried on a species of warfare, which may be described as
the Bornean counterpart of the razzias of the slave-hunters
against whom Gordon waged unsparing war. Of the slave-
trade in the African sense there was little in Sarawak, but the
Dyaks of the hills, in their hunts for heads, contrived to inflict
as much misery upon their neighbqurs as even Zebehr has
brought about in the heart of Africa. It is very extraordinary
what a passion the Dyaks had for heads. When remonstrated
with, they replied that it was the custom of their ancestors,
which it was their duty to hand down unimpaired to posterity.
It was really the women who were at the bottom of it; no
Dyak woman would ever marry a man who could not display
as a trophy at least one human head. As long as the taking
of human life was an indispensable condition preliminary to
marriage, head-hunting prevailed, and all attempts to suppress
it by killing the men were utterly unavailing; it was oily when
you carried the war into the homes of the women, and burnt
their finery and all their household goods, that head-hunting went

78 Sarawak and the Soudan.

out of fashion. Few Englishmen have any idea of the extent
to which this head-hunting was carried on. Immense flotillas
of head-hunters' canoes would sally forth from the rivers and
cruise along the coast, proceeding sometimes as far as 400
miles from home. On such an expedition, sometimes 7,000
men would be engaged; each canoe carried about sixty
warriors. They landed wherever they saw a village on the
coast, slew man, woman, and child, and carried off their heads
in triumph. It is difficult to exaggerate the misery produced
over vast regions by these head-hunting expeditions, but they
were an established custom' in the country, they had existed
from time immemorial. Sir J. Brooke, however, worked
patiently on, and he had a marvellous faculty of winning the
confidence of the natives. His material resources were very
limited ; aid from Government, except an occasional man-of-
war on the coast, he had none. He had his yacht and a
private fortune, which, when all was realized, did not amount
to more than 30,000; yet from that small beginning he
succeeded in building up a kingdom considerably larger than
Scotland, in which at this moment the authority of the law is
as supreme as in Hyde Park.
The way in which this work was accomplished was very
simple. Sir J. Brooke had little difficulty in securing the
support and devotion of. the Malays on the coast, who were.
sufficiently enlightened to see the benefit of a settled govern-
ment, and to welcome the rule of a just and upright Governor
foreigner though he was. From this nucleus he worked along
the coast, and gradually drew inland. The Dyak tribes who
were weak, and were constantly plundered by the head-
hunters of the interior, naturally rallied round the few Rajah,
and assisted him in attacking their enemies. This was very
* simple, but very practical. The Rajah's secret was the protec-
tion of the oppressed, and the conversion of the victims of the
head-hunters into instruments for the suppression of head-
hunting. By small degrees, pressing forward step by step, the
domain of order and peace was pushed inland until over the

Sarawak and the Soudan. 79

whole of the free-grant territory head-hunting was extinct.
The work was not done with rosewater, but by dint of sheer
hard fighting; but the whole of the blood shed in suppressing
the custom was nothing compared with the carnage of a single
head-hunting expedition. Operations against head-hunters are
comparatively rare now. It is more than two years now since
I had to lead an expedition against some young fellows who,
more for sport than anything else, had revived the custom of
their ancestors, and had to be burned out in consequence. I
"know few more striking scenes in the world than the departure
of an expedition against the head-hunters. The advance is
made in the first instance by water, for the rivers are the only
highways of Sarawak. A summons is sent round to the tribes
who are exempted from taxation on condition of rendering-
military service. They assemble in thousands, each man
bringing his own provisions of rice and salt, sufficient for three
weeks' campaign; they bring their own' arms and their own
canoes. At the appointed time the whole force, varying,
according to circumstances, from 6,000 to 15,000 men, embark
on board some 300 to 500 canoes. The signal for starting is,
generally given by the firing of a gun; in a moment the whole
flotilla is in motion; every paddle strikes the water when the
flash is seen, and a great wave stirred by the thousand paddles
lashes the shore as the expedition departs on its errand of
vengeance. The cost of such an expedition is next to nil; the
men render their services without pay, and they find their own
rations. The Dyaks supply the rank and file of fighting men
under their own chiefs; the Malays supply the central or body-
guard. The great advantage which we possess is the control
of the rive-rs, which afford us access to all parts of the country.
From these we operate as a base.
If any one who saw Sir J. Brooke drop anchor forty-six
years ago off the coast of Sarawak had been told that in the
year 1884 the representative of that Englishman would be
reigning with undisputed authority over the whole of the
Principality of Sarawak, maintaining peace and enforcing the

80 Sarawak and tke Soudan.

law, levying taxation, equipping forces, and exercising all the
functions of sovereignty, he would have naturally regarded
the prophecy as ridiculously absurd; but what would have
been his amazement if he had been informed that not only
would all those things be accomplished; but that the foreign
Government established with the unassisted-resources of that
solitary Englishrian would have suppressed the most cherished
institutions of the natives, converted the head-hunting Dyaks,
for the most part, into peaceable citizens, suppressed piracy,
established schools, and created a commercial value at /1,000,000
annually, and is about to completely eradicate slavery. Such,
however, is a simple statement of an accomplished fact.
This, I am told, is absolutely unique; Sarawak stands alone,
but I do not see why, with the experience of Sarawak before
us, we should despair of accomplishing similar: results in the
Soudan. General Gordon, or whatever other Englishman
might be appointed ruler of Khartoum,-though it may be
difficult to find another so suitable as Gordon,-would have
advantages far greater than those which sufficed for the found-
ing of the Principality of Sarawak. He would occupy a
commanding position at the junction of the two Niles, from
which with the steamers already in his possession he could
dominate the country on both banks of both streams for a
thousand miles. He would have in the storehouses and
arsenals of the late Government a vast stock of necessary
material fdr arming and equipping such native forces as might
be necessary to assert his authority and to suppress slave-raids.
He would have no English troops, and he would be much
better without them; he must rely upon native strength; he
might, of course, have a few friends as a personal staff, but
his administrators, like his soldiers, would be drawn from the
Soudan. (The staff in Sarawak consists of about thirty
I do not think there would be any insuperable difficulty in
dealing with the slave-raids on the same principle that we
have dealt with the head-hunters. Of course, if you clear out

Sarawak and the Soudan. 81

not only the Egyptian soldiers anZl Bashi-Bazouks, but also the
English officer who superintends the evacuation, you hand the
Soudan over to the unchecked domination of the slave-traders
and slave-hunters; in short, you do in the Soudan what
would- have been done in Sarawak if when the authority of
the Sultan of Brunei was withdrawn no other authority had
been set up in its place. In Sarawak that would have meant
handing over the whole territory to the atrocity of the head-
hunters. Are you. prepared to sanction as great an infamy in
the Soudan ? It is even worse in the Soudan, for there you
have had a semi-civilized Government, and you have a great
waterway open to the commerce of the world, which will then
be used almost exclusively for the slave trade. Sultan will
fight against sultan, tribe will prey upon tribe, the whole of
the Nile valley will be one scene of bloodshed and desolation.
Surely, if this can be avoided it ought not to be allowed to
take place. Why not let General Gordon stay in Khartoum,
with instructions to do what he can with such resources as he
finds to his hand ? England would have no responsibility for
him any more than she has for me; the trade of the Nile is
rich enough, surely, to pay the moderate expenses of the
simple but efficient Government which is all that is required.
There is no need to aim at a great scheme at first. Khartoum,
and as much of the Soudan as can be covered by the range of a
field-piece on the deck of a steamer, would form the nucleus of
a kingdom which might grow hereafter until-it included almost
all the provinces of the now abandoned empire. That, how-
ever, is for the future: the question of the hour is whether
Khartoum and the Nile are to be handed over to the slave
trade or saved for civilization. The experience of Sarawak
seems to me to justify a hope that the latter alternative may
yet'be found practicable.*
"* This paper, by Rajah Brooke, appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette of
March Ist, 1884.




T HE search for Sir John Franklin and his lost men and
ships occupies a large space in the history of modern
Arctic exploration. It was in 1845 that .Her Majesty's ships,
Erebus and Terror, under captains Sir John Franklin and
Crozier, were sent to endeavour to find a way from the North
Polar Sea, through Behring's Straits, into the Pacific Ocean.
This was the famous North-West Passage," which had been
the dream of the early Elizabethan age, and in search of which
in recent times many gallant seamen had volunteered to sail.
John and James Ross, Parry, Richardson, and many others
went forth, from 1818 to 1840, and laboured and suffered
much, in unavailing efforts to carry out to completion this
desire of their countrymen, and of men of science all over the
European geographers knew that Behring's Straits were
navigable; that the Mackenzie River discharged itself into a
salt-water sea; and that Baffin's Bay separated Greenland from
the North American Continent. The object was to connect
these three known points, and to discover an open way round
North America to the Indies.
When the expedition set forth, in 1845, there was a very
sanguine though unfounded confidence in an easy success. So
much had been discovered in previous voyages; the ships
were so well equipped and well manned, that no one seems to
have expressed any doubt that the Admiralty order was quite.
sufficient to insure its achievement. Previous difficulties,
hardships, and failures were ignored; no cautions were given
as to establishing depots as they advanced, in case of retreat
being necessary, or to afford information to those who might
have to seek them; no overland expeditions were organized
to co-operate from the North American mainland; and no
means of rescue provided; in case the ships were lost, and in

The Voyage of the "Fox." 83

case the crews had to retire upon the Hudson's Bay territories.
They sailed amidst boundless enthusiasm, and everyone
expected to hear of them again from a very different region of
the world.
"When the winter of 1847 closed, and no tidings of Franklin
and his comrades had ever come, people began to feel uneasy.
Two winters had already passed, and the ships were only
provisioned up to the spring of 1848. Then the search for
Franklin was commenced. No better proof exists of the
vigour and perseverance with which it was prosecuted, year
after year, for eleven long years, from 1848 to 1859, than the
comparison of Arctic charts and maps at the beginning and
close of the period. More was done in the way of geographical
discovery in those regions in these few years than in two
centuries previously. Every channel and inlet seemed to be
penetrated; every island and shore searched, in that vast
Arctic archipelago, before their energies were turned in the
right direction. The ships were used chiefly as affording the
basis of operations, the officers and men passing the most of
their time in expeditions on foot over the frozen lands, in
seeking first to save the lives of the one hunded and forty
missing comrades,.and, when this seemed hopeless, to solve
the mystery of their fate. America joined with England in
the noble efforts. No less than forty thousand miles, it is
estimated, were journeyed over by upwards of one hundred
sledging expeditions, often at terrible risks and always with
extreme hardships.
The history of these various exploring voyages and expedi-
tions will ever hold a high place in the annals of the British
navy. The records of hair-breadth escapes from wreck and
famine; of firm, manly reliance in God and their own energy;
of proofs of a courage which no danger could daunt, and an
endurance which no suffering could subdue, thrill the lands-
man as he reads them, and must ever stimulate future genera-
tions of seamen to emulate such deeds of high emprize." If
any proofs are wanted that the seamen of our time have in no

84 The Voyage of the "Fox."

way fallen off in the enterprise, hardihood, and courage of
their forefathers, they will be found in the narratives of modern
Arctic exploration, and especially in the expeditions in search
of Sir John Franklin.
But while the interest of these narratives will always remain,
it must be confessed that there is, also, in some degree, a
sameness in their perusal. The battling with waves and ice-
bergs; the long, dreary Arctic winters; the details of geo-
graphical discovery in regions so inhospitable and unfruitful,
all this would- pall on the taste were it not the hope ever
springing up of a successful issue to the search for the lost
explorers. The later volumes of this library of Arctic travel
leave a painful' and wearisome impression on the mind, and
people -began to feel, as it were, a relief, when a narrative was
advertised with the title of "The Last of the Arctic Voyagers,"
almost wishing it to be the last as well as the latest of these
fruitless expeditions. The Admiralty and the Government of
the day recognized the state of public opinion, and refused to
sanction further search at the nation's approval and cost.
Then came the voyage of the good ship Fox. At the darkest
hour of public despair as to the search the light of a new hope
arose. The devoted wife of Franklin was'not discouraged by
the adverse decision of the naval authorities. She, with the
aid of a few sympathizing friends, resolved to have another
expedition, and in Captain, now Sir Leopold, M'Clintock, she
found a leader worthy of the adventure. To this voyage we
owe the discovery of the only authentic document which
rewards the long search for the lost expedition. Other tidings
Shave since been gleaned, and other relics recovered, but the
romance of the successful search belongs to the "Narrative
of the discovery of the fate of Sir John Franklin and his
companions," as told by M'Clintock. Here is the substance
of the story.
It was in the summer of 1857 that the little- steam yacht
Fox, screw fitted, and only of 177 tons burden, set out on her
perilous mission. She left Aberdeen on the ist of July, and


The Voyage of the "Fox." 85

by the 8th of August, under sail and steam, she was striving
to find a way through the great belt of broken ice which
streams down from Baffin's Bay into the Atlantic Ocean.
Satisfied, after a close examination of many miles of its margin,
that no passage across the Bay towards Lancaster Sound
could be forced, the Fox's prow was turned northward, and an
attempt made to go round Melville Bay. But before the
middle ice'" could be rounded, the short summer had passed,
and wintry weather set in. On the 7th of September, after
gallant efforts to cut, bore, or warp through the pack, the Fox
was frozen in, and there was no alternative but to drift with
the ice where it listed. She remained thus enchained with
frozen fetters till April i7th, 1858, never moving from her
involuntary moorings. In these eight dreary months she
drifted helplessly far south of the Arctic Circle, which she had
so gaily entered. During the 242 days she had been impacted
in the ice, she had travelled no less than 1,385 miles, the
longest drift on record.
We can imagine the wild grandeur of this scene of solitude,
when the little ship, a mere speck on the vast frozen sea, was
thus drifting helplessly southward. There were only twenty-
five souls on board, all told, twenty-two of the crew, with the
captain, and Lieutenant Hobson second in command, and
Captain Allen Young, an experienced Arctic navigator, sailing
master. We can enter into the feelings of the gallant captain,
as he writes in his Journal--
Everything around us is painfully still, excepting when an
occasional.iceberg spilts off from the parent glacier; then we
hear a rumbling crash like distant thunder, and the wave
occasioned by the launch reaches us in six or seven minutes,
and makes the ship roll lazily for a similar period. I cannot
imagine' that within the whole compass of nature's varied
aspects there is presented to the human eye a scene so well
adapted for promoting deep and serious reflection, for lifting
the thoughts from trivial things of every-day life to others of
the highest import.

86 The Voyage of t/e "Fox."

The glacier serves to remind one at once of time and of
eternity-of time, since we see portions of it break off to drift
and- melt away; and of eternity, since its downward march is
so extremely slow, and its augmentations behind so regular,
that no change in its appearance is perceptible from age to age.
If even the untaught savages of luxuriant tropical regions
regard the earth merely as a temporary abode, surely all who
gaze upon this ice-overwhelmed region, this wide expanse of
'terrestrial wreck,' must be similarly assured that here we
have no abiding place.'"
It needs, indeed, a noble enthusiasm, a steadiness of purpose,
to carry men bravely through such scenes, the awfulness of
which was enhanced by darkness, monotony, and the constant
dangers of a winter's drift in that polar pack. All their visions
of success in 1857 were gone-all hope of returning home
in 1858, with the important news which their eager hopes
assured them they should obtain, deferred until 1859. Yet
M'Clintock neither' bewails his misfortune nor doubts his
ultimate success-all his fears, when he expresses any, are for
poor Lady Franklin; how disappointed she will be!" At
last, after long months of imprisonment, the day of release
came for the little Fox, but was a day indeed of frightful danger.
On Saturday, the 24th of April, Captain M'Clintock writes :-
It is now ten o'clock in the evening; the long ocean swell
already lifts its crest five feet above the hollow of the sea,
causing its thick covering of icy fragments to dash against each.
other and against us with unpleasant violence. It is, however,
very beautiful to look upon the dear old familiar ocean swell!
It has long been a stranger to us, and is welcome in our
solitude. If the Fox was as solid as her neighbours, I am
quite sure she would enter into this ice-tournament with all
their apparent .heartiness, instead of audibly making known
her sufferings to us. Every considerable surface of ice has
been broken into many smaller ones. With feelings of exul-
tation I watched the process from aloft. A floe-piece near us,
of one hundred yards in diameter, was speedily cracked so as to

The Voyage of the "Fox." 87

resemble a sort of labyrinth, or, still more, a field-spider's web.
In the course of half an hour the family resemblance was totally
lost; they had so battered each other, and struggled out of their
original regularity. The rolling sea can no longer be checked.
'The pack has taken upon itself the functions of an ocean,' as
Dr. Kane graphically expresses it."
By midnight the Fox was striving for sweet life through this
rolling sea of ice. Sunday, the 25th of April, came in; the
swell was ten feet high, the shocks from the ice so severe that
the crew could hardly keep their feet on deck, and the vessel
had to be steered very nicely so as to keep her. sharp stem
towards the charging 'masses. Still, aided by the screw and
steam, the stout yacht fought her way outwards to the open
sea; an iceberg was passed, it was nearly seventy feet high, and
" crashing through the pack," while from the small water space
left in its wake the seas were throwing spray quite over its
summit-a pretty good proof of the fearful commotion through
which the Fox was seeking a way. The swell still increased,
and rolled along more swiftly-an ugly sea, thickly strewn
with heavy ice.
At sea! writes Captain M'Clintock on the next day, It has
pleased God to accord to us a deliverance in which His merci-
ful protection contrasts, how strongly! with our own utter
helplessness." It appeared as if the mercies vouchsafed during
the long, long winter and mysterious ice-drift had been con-
centrated and repeated in a single act; and, after yesterday's
experience," he adds, I can understand how men's hair has
turned grey in a few hours." The Fox, however, passes out
of the ice in Davis's Strait only to refit in Greenland, and
again enter it a month afterwards. Men so stanch deserved to
succeed. The middle-ice was cleared; the Esquimaux stories
from Pond's Bay about white men and ships disposed of by
personal examination; Lancaster Sound reached; Beechey
Island, the great Arctic store dep6t, visited; and on August
I6th they sailed up Barrow's Strait. That night the Fox was
battling against a strong wind with sea," and so unusually clear

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs