I DO not deem it necessary to apologize for this memoir of a farmer's visit to England.
Conversation Journal #2
Every man in travelling will be directed in peculiar paths of observation by his peculiar tastes, habits, and personal interests, and there will always be, a greater or less class who will like to hear of iust what he liked to see. With a hearty country appetite for narrative, I have spent, previous to my own journey, a great many long winter even- ings in reading the books so frequently written by our literary tourists, upon England ; and although I do not recollect one of them, the author of which was a farmer, or whose habits of life, professional interests, associations in society, and ordinary standards of comparison were not altogether different from my own, I remember none from which I did not derive entertainment and instruction.
Notwithstanding, therefore, the triteness of the field, I may presume to think, that there will be a great manj who will yet enjoy to follow me over it, and this although my gait and carriage should not be very elegant, but so only as one fetrmer's leg and one sailor's leg with the helj of a short, crooked, half-grown academic sapling, for a walking stick, might be expected to carry a man along with a head and a heart of his own. Some explanation of a few of the intentions that gave direction to my movements in travelling may be of service to the reader.
The wages, and the cost and manner of living of the labouring men, and the customs with regard to labour of those countries and districts, from which foreign writers on economical subjects are in the habit of deriving their data, had been made a subject of more than ordinary and other than merely philanthropical interest to me, from an experience of the diffi- culty of applying their calculations to the different circumstances under which work must be executed in the United States.
Lfiurmer, too, had led me for a long time to deaire to know more of the f prevailiog, ordinary, and generally accepted practices of agriculture, than I could learn from Mr.
Coleman's book, or from the obserrations of most of the European correspondents of our agricultural periodicals, the attention of these gentlemen haying been usually directea to the ex- ceptional improved modes of cultivation which prevail only among the amateur agriculturists and the bolder and more enterprising farmers. The tour was made in company with two. The other, our infimate friend from boyhoodic desired to add somewhat to the qualifications usually inquired after in a professed teacher and adviser of mankind, by such a term and method of study as he could afford to make, of the varying develop- ments of human nature under different biases and institutions from those of his own hmd.
It is from this desultory letter-diary, with such revision and extension and filling up of gaps, as my memory and pocket-book notes afford, that this volume iffiA been, formed. Putnam to in- clude it in the excellent popular Series he is now publishing, makes a limit to its length necessary. Should I have reason to believe, however, that I have succeeded in the purposes which led me to write for the public, I shall be most happy at another time to comtbiae my nazrativa FSED.
The People at Liverpool. A Railway Hide. The Break of Day. Chester within. Cliester Market. Visit to Eaton Hall. Character of the Welsh. Morning Walk fhroogh a Coal District— Eaabon. English Vehicles. Visit to a Farm. V —Stack Yard. The English Plough horizonia! The Clod Gbubheb,. Thb Uley Cultivatob,. The Stage Wagon, Htiving hild some experience with the ways of seamen, I also went forward to try to padfy them. As they floated astern, a Whitehall boatman picked them up, and afW securing the last, tooft a drink and loudly wished us good luck.
I suppose that some such difficulties occur at the sailing of half tibe ships that leave New York.
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I do not know the cause oC her detenticm ; it seemed unnecessary, as other laifgc ships sailed while we lay idle; and if unneoeasary, it- was not honest. Most of the other pasnengers have been Tery imserable in- deed. We have met one school of small whales. There might have been fifty of them, tumbling ponderously over the waves, in sight at once. Very singiilar spots, from the size of one's hand t6 minute sparks, frequently floated by, looking like stars in the milky-way. Where is their home? We finished them soon enough to see a neat boat, rowed by four men, come alongside, and a gentlemanly young officer mount nimbly up the side-ladder.
The curbed Digitized by Google enmgy and suppressed vexaition of our officers, boTiv'ever, allowed itself before he was well seated in his boat, by the violent language of command, and the rapidity with which the yards were sharpened and the ship again brought to her course. I wish you could hear his drawl, and see his immoveably sober face, but twinkling eye, that made it all seem natural and just like him, as he spun us the yam.
He was once, he said, round in the Pacific, in a Sag-Har- bour whaler, "rayther smart, we accounted her," when they tried to speak an English fVigate, and did not get quite near enough. So, as they had nothing else to do, they "up't and chased her," and kept after her without ever getting any nearer for nearly three days.
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Finally, the wind hauled round ahead and began to blow a little fresh, and they overhauled her very rapidly, so that along about sunset they found them- selves coming well to windward of her, as they ran upon opposite tacks. They then hove-to, and he was sent in a boat to board her, and she promptly came-to also, and waited for him. Dressed in a dungaree jumper, yellow oil-skin hat, and canvass trowsers, he cHmbed on board the frigate and was immediately addressed by the offioer of the deck.
Mtf barrels of sperm, and tvo liundftd and fifty of wlude; guess we shall go in toTttakeywBnter flUoahiiano. We hadnH had none now a going on two week, and he's a most side. As the officer stepped bdow, he went over the side.
Starboard, I believe. Did you mean ter throw it in. Here, let's Digitized by Google haTethsEt cftp. Gradually it grew inore and more ahead, and blew liarder and harder. Well, the wind and weather. John's eyes have been bad, and we have read aloud with him a good deal ; but I tell you it is hard work even to read on board ship. We have had some good talks, have listened to a good deal of music, and to a bad deal, and had a few staggering hops with the ladies on the quarter deck.
We contrived a set of chess-men, cutting them out of card-board, fitting them with cork pedestals, and a pin-point to attach them to the board so they would not slip off or blow away. Charley has had some capital games, and I believe found his match with Dr. While this 'has reduced the cost of our passage to a very small sum, we have had almost every comfort that we should have asked. For a ship's accommo- dations it has, too, a quite luxurious degree of ventilation and light. We have hardly tasted our cured meat, and with this cuid our hard bread we are now helping out some of our more unfortunate neighbors.
Don't forget when you come to sea to have plenty of fruit. Friend, rather, I shonld call one now. Our room-mate, a young Irish surgeon, is a very good fellow, apparently of high professional attainments, and pos- sessed of a power of so concentrating his attention on a book or whatever he is engaged with, as not to be easily disturbed, and a general politeness in yielding to the tastes of the majority that we are greatly beholden to. Of what he saw and knew at that time, he has given us some interesting particulars, which lead me to think that the revo- lutionary purpose, insurrection, or at least, the insun'eetionary purpose, and preparation was much more general, respectable, and formidable, than I have hitherto supposed.
He had been appointed surgeon of a vessel about to sail from a small port in Ireland. That very night the cholera broke out. He went again to the captaui, he beseeched him, he threatened him ; he told him that on his head must be the oonseqnences ; the captain didn't care a rope yam fbr the ponsequences, he would do any thing else to oblige the doctor, but go back he would not.
The doctor turned the pigs out of the loDg-boat, and made a temporary hospital of it. It was a. He searched the ship ibr something he could make medichie of. The car- penter's chalk was the only thing that turned up. This he calcined and saved, to be used sparingly. On the first cholera symptoms appearing, he gave the patient chalk, and continued administering it in small but frequent doses until the spasmodic crisis commenced; thence he troubled him only with hot fomentations.
I cannot describe the hoirors of that passage as he would. Nevertheless, as far as lumple numbers can give it, you diall have the result.
senjouin-kikishiro.com/images/gybyvyc/2413.php So much for bmnt chalk and — afresh air! So, as any one may see, from a dozen ships a day often in New York, they come ashore with no disease but want of energy, but emaciated, enfeebled, infected, and covered with vermin. When we observe the listlessness, even cheerfulness, with which they accept the precarious and dog-like subsistence which, while in this condition, the already crowded city affords them, we see the misery and degradation to which they must have been habituated in their native land.
When in a year after- wards we find that the same poor fellows are plainly growing active, hopeful, enterprising, prudent, and, if they have been favourably situated, cleanly, tidy, and actually changing to their very bwies as it seems — tight, elastic, well-knit muscles y taking the place of flabby flesh, as ambition and blessed discontent take the place of stupid indifference, — we appre- ciate, as the landlords and the government men of Ireland never can, what are the causes of that degradation and misery.
Some few of their arrangements are so entirely commendable, and so obviously demanded by every consideration of decency, humanity, and virtue, that I can only wonder that the law does not require all emigrant vessels to adopt them.
Among these, that which is most plainly required, is the division of the steerage into three compartments: married parties with their children in the central one, and unmarried men and women having separate sleeping accommodations in the other two. The others of our midship passengers are mostly English artisans, or manufacturing workmen. They tell us the people there are all for annexation to the United States, but as they cannot speak Spanish, their information on this point cannot be very extensive.
Besides ourselves, there is but one American-bom person among them.
- Conversation Journal #2.
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She is a young woman of quite superior mind, fair and engaging, rather ill in health, going to England in hopes to improve it, and to visit some family friends there. The young men are all hoping the ship will be wrecked, so they can have the pleasure of saving her — or dying in the attempt. One goes into the main-chains and sits there for several hours, all alone, every fine day, for no other reason that we can conceive, but to drop himself easily into the water after her, in case she should fall overboard.
There are three or four other women, and as many babies, and little boys and girls. They do not cry very often, but are generally in high spirits, always in the way, frolicking or eating, much fondled and scolded, and very dirty. The most notable character in our part of the ship, is one Dr. He appears to have been well educated, and is of a wealthy Irish family. His diploiiia is signed by Sir Astley Cooper, whose autograph we have thus seen.
Though a young man, he is all broken down in spirit and body from hard drinking. He makes himself a buffoon for the amusement of the passengers, and some of the young men of the first cabin are so foolish as to reward him sometimes with liquor, which makes him down- right crazy.