Polite Travel in the Thirties: From the Diary of Mrs. George Ticknor
ON Monday, the twenty-fifth of May, we left Boston for New York, it being the first and most painful step in the serious and important undertaking of a sea voyage and an absence from home of an uncertain length. I will not try to perpetuate the preparatory scenes, such as the arrangement of our happy home, as if for a final separation from it, the calculations, preparations, and packing necessary, nor the still more terrible parting visits and adieus of the last week, for the weariness and sadness which they produced fixed them permanently in my memory, and I am sure descriptions of such things cannot amuse anyone.
It was a bright and mild spring afternoon, and the drive to Walpole was, in a degree, tranquillizing and refreshing, after the strong and painful excitement of our feelings during the last twenty-four hours. Mr. Ticknor and myself, Anna, within a few days of twelve years, little Lizzy, just two and a half, and Catherine Lecointe made the party, with our nephew, William Woodward, who accompanied us to New York, uniting the kind desire to be with us with the pleasure to be expected from such an excursion. Soon after we arrived at the little inn at Walpole, we were rejoiced by having Mr. Norton and Catherine join us, bringing with them not only the restoring influences of affection and intellect, but fruit, flowers, and kind messages. It was a trying evening, however, and I look back upon it, and upon the parting the next morning, as upon a painful dream, the impression of which I cannot get rid of.
We reached Providence before twelve o’clock, and drove directly to the steamboat. There we waited the arrival of the coaches from Boston, looking anxiously for our friends, and soon had the happiness of greeting Eliza, Mr. Guild, and Elizabeth. It was a great blessing to be thus aided and cheered by this succession of kind friends, for our spirits were a good deal wearied and exhausted, and the voyage which was before us, and the preparations for it, made each of us a little anxious from different causes.
I cannot bring myself to describe at any length the disagreeable and wearisome week which we passed in New York. The weather was very warm. Heat, dust, noise, and fatigue are the component parts of existence in that metropolis, and when one’s only rest and refreshment are to be found in such bustling and dirty hotels as we were lodged in, the chance for contentment is very small. Friends were attentive and kind. Many residents in New York came to see us, and Mr. Savage, Mr. Ward, Mr. Gray, and Mr. and Mrs. Curson, who happened to be in the city, were with us daily. Our parlour was generally full, and the excitement and bustle were characteristic of the place. Mr. Ticknor was much occupied, and anxious; and I, in the anticipation of so new an experience as a sea life, felt fearful that I had not done all that was best and made the most judicious preparations for the comfort of ot hers. My health was very feeble and my nerves much worn, and I truly cannot remember any cheerful hours in that long-drawn agony of packing, heat, and company but when talking quietly with Eliza, or playing with our happy little Lizzy.
Everything promised favorably for our comfort in our sea home, and every preparation that thoughtful kindness or ingenious liberality could suggest was made for our pleasure and amusement, as well as comfort. We could learn nothing of our future companions but that there were several from Boston. The Captain had promised all possible arrangement for Lizzy’s comfort, and our staterooms looked so spacious and accommodating that, forgetting seasickness, storms, and disagreeable companions, one might have anticipated a pleasant excursion.
On the next Monday, the first of June (being Anna’s birthday), we left the hotel about ten o’clock, driving to a steamboat which was to carry us to the ship, the latter being anchored at a little distance in the harbour. Many friends had promised to meet us here, and I shall not soon forget the agitations and annoyances of the half hour before we left the wharf. The passengers were all on the deck of the boat, while a crowd of their friends and acquaintances and many idlers made a confusion which in the calmest state of mind is not agreeable. Many of our acquaintances greeted us, forcing us to talk when the heart was almost too full for utterance; and several like Chancellor Kent and Mr. Ward were there to give us a parting benediction, which was nearly the finishing blow to my laborious self-command. At last the boat moved from the wharf, still retaining a crowd upon the deck, for the thirty-two passengers of the good ship Europe, and their attending friends, made a great show. Eliza, Mr. Guild, and Elizabeth, William Woodward, Dr. Julius, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Savage, with our trusty attendant, Charles Philbrook, were with us, and their considerate and affectionate kindness I can never forget.
Looking back upon the city, the thought of what I had left, of the probable length of time to elapse before we should return again, if ever, made my heart ache bitterly at the prospect of parting with the few who still remained with us. But, though agitated and anxious, I could not help feeling the extreme beauty of the day. The atmosphere was clear and bright as possible, the sky and water of the most pure and softened blue, while the city, as long as it remained in sight, was a fine object, and the beautiful, very beautiful form of the whole harbour attracted our strong admiration. We approached the ship rapidly, and observed that another steamboat was, at the same time, conveying passengers to the London packet ship Westminster. The two vast receptacles looked like mere specks within the horizon, which was enlarging around us, and yet, what a world of feeling, agitation, expectation, and anxiety they were about to enclose.
The distance diminishes fast, the boat seems flying, and as I see my future prison nearer and nearer, I rack my brain to collect any forgotten message, or any kind word still omitted, so that, when the boat was fastened to the ship, and sailors and servants were ascending and descending, with much bustle and activity, I seemed to have lost sensation and perception. The anxiety about Lizzy’s transportation from one to the other vessel roused me, and I was thankful when I saw both her and Anna safe. Then came the parting from Eliza and Elizabeth, and then I was led away, I knew not where. I found myself leaning against something in the center of the deck, and with no pause for words, hardly for breath, Savage, Gray, William Woodward, Dr. Julius, who all accompanied us on board, took leave of us. What a horrid moment it was! All the passengers were leaning over the side of the vessel, and I joined them and had another glimpse of our friends as the steamboat rapidly disappeared.
The sails of our beautiful ship were all set, there was no noise or bustle, but we separated from the anchorage and the steamboat, and commenced our long and trackless path with a gentle dignity and the magnificent ease of a noble bird. But I could not fix my thoughts upon what was around me. I longed to be alone and went below to the cabin, which was quite deserted, and arranged some beautiful flowers which Eliza’s kind thoughtfulness had provided for me. I found solitude not the best strengthened however, and returned to the deck, where the passengers were watching the progress of the Westminster, which started at the same moment with the Europe, with the greatest interest.
We soon outstripped her, as well as a heavy Dutch ship-of-war, and long before night we had left them quite out of sight. Before that time, too, we were all feeling pretty wretched; and of the next ten days I have only some horrid dreamy recollections of my own sufferings and the sounds of those of others, of anxiety for Anna, who was wretchedly sick and did not know howto manage herself well, and of cruel efforts to go upon deck, when extreme faintness overpowered me and the multitude of strangers was most annoying. The Captain was always kind, attentive, and cheerful, and had such a great quietness of manner in the management of his ship and sailors that the whole seemed governed almost without means. I have a few memoranda written at the time, which perhaps speak with more animation.
At Sea, June 13th, 1835. — We have finished the twelfth day on board the good ship Europe, Captain Marshall; and I am still wondering and questioning whether it is really I, whether it is possible that my imaginings, and castles in the air, are absolutely brought to reality. That I, who have lived and moved all my life in the same little circle of friends, pleasures, and duties, should suddenly have my horizon so extended and such a variety and instruction opened to me. It brings new responsibilities with it, and I trust I shall not neglect them. I thought to have found myself braced to new industry and energy by the pure sea air; but on the contrary, the constant presence of strangers in so confined a space, the sights and sounds so new to me, and the lassitude after sickness, quite dissipate my attention, and I lounge away the hours; now and then reading or sewing a little; trying to amuse poor Anna, who can hardly be persuaded to leave her berth; or talking to some of the passengers equally désœuvré with myself.
The first nine days I was fully occupied by seasickness, but since then have been entirely free from it. Mr. Ticknor still suffers occasionally and Anna feels wretchedly all the time, unable to eat, and desiring nothing but to be left in her berth and supplied with amusing books. Fortunately Catherine is always well enough to keep about and to do all that is necessary, otherwise I don’t know how we should get along, for the stewardess, who is a little above her place, is often sick, and always entirely occupied in serving Miss Perit. Lizzy is as bright anti well as possible, happy and contented in all weather and all places, and contributing constantly to our pleasure and amusement.
The first six days, while I was in my berth, the weather was delightful, the wind fair, and our progress so rapid that the Captain said on the eighth day that he had never been so far on his course before in the same number of days. On the eleventh we had made half the voyage, but ever since the eighth we have had northwest and southeast winds, which have tried the spirits and stomachs of all.
Yesterday, twelfth, the scene on deck was quite striking to a fresh water hand. The wind was north. We sailed ‘on the wind,’ as the phrase goes, which caused the vessel to careen a good deal. The breeze was very strong; it was ‘a little dusty,’ as the gentlemen say, which I should translate ‘very stormy’; the clouds were dark and heavy, seeming to enclose us nearer and closer; it rained occasionally, so as to keep the deck and sails of a dark hue, which seemed caught from the solemn colouring of the sky and water. The vessel, with but little canvas spread, was driven rapidly through the dark waves, the wind roared loudly through the rigging and, with the dashing of the angry waters, seemed to command silence from all other created things. It was very solemn. Once I stood alone at the door of the companionway watching this new and awful exhibition of power and omnipresence. The noble vessel laid so much upon one side that the waves seemed rushing directly under my feet; no one was on deck but a few dripping sailors, and they slid about the slippery deck without noise, governed by the spirit of the blast. The ship, sometimes sweeping over the top of the waves, sometimes descending into what seemed a moving cavern, stooped and rose so gracefully and majestically as to fill me with wonder and admiration.
There is nothing that such a motion can be compared to. The sails were soon double reefed, and I began to imagine it a serious gale. I could not get my fears confirmed, however, and so kept them to myself. Mr. Ticknor and Anna were in their berths quite sick, while I was perfectly well, and so interested and excited that Mr. Perit joked me upon my enjoying a gale so much, as if it were no good sign for the quiet of my home. The wind continued strong through the evening, and at ten o’clock, when I went up to look about me once more, the scene was truly solemn and striking.
There was no one to be seen but the helmsman, and he, wrapped in his seaman’s coat, was sternly and silently attending to his great responsibility. The moon was full, but her power, through the thick clouds, was only sufficient to show the form of the ship, and the heavy and tumultuous motion of the black waves. The whole vessel, deck, masts, and rigging, was entirely black, too, and seemed riding in the midst of a vast boiling caldron. The solitude of the place and hour, the entire silence except the strong voice of the blast, and the darkness, impressed and awed me painfully. I was chilled, and glad to go below to the comfort of lights and friendly faces. At twelve, the wind subsided, and today we have a bright sun, though a strong head wind. This produces much trouble about me, but I am brave and well. It is droll to see our little Lizzy struggling against the motion of the ship. Yesterday, when it careened so terribly that the cabin floor must have seemed to her like a very steep hill, she managed herself in the most adroit manner and rarely fell or got hurt.
June 15th. — Yesterday, though it was rather rough, was a cheerful day. The air was bracing and invigorating, the sun was bright, and in the afternoon we were all on deck. Mr. Leigh, an Englishman, brought out his flute, and it put dancing into young ladies’ heads, and though some had been lying on the sofa all the morning, it was soon commenced. I was dragged in to fill a space, but found it quite too difficult an art to jump at the right moment, when the ship was pitching and rolling at such a rate. It made a frolic, however, and that is a good thing on shipboard. We are rather fortunate in our companions; that is, amongst thirty-two people there are only three or four whom one wishes decidedly to avoid.
There is a queer medley, for there are four Englishmen, three of them miners in South America, two Spaniards, one Frenchman, one Scotchman, two Irish, one German; seven Americans are from Boston, three from Philadelphia, two from Mobile, and one from Charleston, South Carolina. It would not perhaps be quite right to sketch them as they appear in this trying life, this half sort of palace of truth. Some, however, are pleasant enough, and all harmless.
Mr. Ames, a Mobile cotton merchant, a hypochondriac, tall and awkward enough, is kind and affectionate to his young daughter of sixteen, and does what he can with his stores of cake, lemons, sardines, etc., to please the ladies and add to their luxuries. Mr. Perit and his daughter, from Philadelphia, are rather more accustomed to the forms of good society, but do not contribute much to the general pleasure. Miss Perit is tall, and rather graceful; is an imitator of Mrs. Butler, a would-be wit, is a monstrous talker and has many Philadelphia characteristics. The Englishmen, fresh from the Columbian mines, Mr. Leigh, Mr. Powles, and Mr. Wallis, are part cockney, part schoolboy, but they have done their part for our amusement, showing us some South American dresses, saddles, etc. Mr. Stephenson, an Englishman settled in Carthagena, S. A., says little, but uses his sharp black eyes actively and scrutinizingly; he enjoys the mirth and jokes about him good-naturedly, and is very civil to the ladies.
Then, there is Lord Powcrscourt from Ireland, not yet twenty-one, quite handsome and animated, perfectly unaffected, accommodating himself easily to people and things, and willing to be quite social. We have many good games of ball together, and one Sunday afternoon he joined a party of us who were singing Psalm tunes in our cabin. I like him quite well, though I do not discover that he is much cultivated, or that he has anything strongly marked about him.
Mr. Miller, of South Carolina, is gentlemanly and equable, ready to talk to the ladies and to laugh and joke, but there is not much that interests about him. Lopez, a Spanish gentleman, and Raminey, a Spaniard of less refinement, are desirous to please, but have but little English and less knowledge how to succeed. They are great smokers, and the other day Mr. Lopez presented me with a slow match to light cigars, arranged, as in Spain, with ribbons. The ladies are Mrs. Taylor and her sister, Miss Newman, from Hanover St., Boston, Miss Perit, of Philadelphia, and Miss Ames of Mobile. Little can be said of them, and that little will never be missed. Mr. Taylor annoys us much by sitting in our cabin incessantly. But I have not mentioned good little Airs. Marshall, the Captain’s wife, whose amiability and quiet good sense make her quite a pleasant companion. Then there is a herd of men whom I know nothing of but their names and looks, though one of them, a Mr. Hagan, a rich Irishman from New Orleans, is so gentlemanly that if he was not painfully shy I think we should get something out of him.
How great an interest a little matter excites in a sea life! The other morning, Lord Powerscourt called through the skylight of the ladies’ cabin, ‘A ship in sight,’ and what a resurrection it produced! It was a rough, blustering, cold day, and Miss Perit, stretched on the sofa, was fast asleep, Mrs. Taylor was in the same happy state in her berth, Mr. Ticknor was reading in his, and the rest of us busy at work; but in half a minute all were on deck, watching and wondering. It was an English brig, which had sailed a fortnight before us, and we soon left her far behind. We did not pass very near her, but exchanged signals, and the hunting out her name in the signal book, and gossiping with the gentlemen, made an hour pass very merrily.
June 17th. — We are almost entirely becalmed, and I believe it has a composing effect upon the faculties. I feel none of the brightness of mind and energy of purpose which I flattered myself would succeed seasickness. The gentle rocking of the vessel, the regular flapping of the sails against the masts, and the mild, soft air no doubt have a tranquillizing effect. The time begins to seem long since we sailed; partly because the run at first was so rapid that our expectations became unreasonable. For three days we have made almost no progress, but it has been delicious weather, clear and mild; our attentive Captain stretches an awning to protect us from the sun, and we pass most of the day on deck. Even poor Anna has been brought up and laid upon a mattress. Lizzy is full of frolic, and finds plenty of playmates among the lazy gentlemen. She and Bevic, Lord Powerscourt’s Newfoundland dog, are great friends.
The ladies produce their albums and fortune tellers and puzzles, and the gentlemen their curiosities. Mr. Wallis showed us today a pair of riding trousers made of tiger’s skins, and many specimens of different ores. Lord Powerscourt exhibited a pair of snowshoes and some other Canadian and Mexican articles; and Mr. Stephenson has brought upon deck a large cage, with a pair of splendid South American birds, which sing deliciously and are as brilliant as our golden oriole.
June 18th. — Still head winds and very little of them. The Captain looks very dull, and we are all rather stupid. The day seems long, for it is hardly dark at nine o’clock; but we get through it very cheerfully. Of course, eating is the great resource and amusement. We breakfast between eight and nine, lunch at twelve, dine at four, and drink tea between six and seven. Sewing, reading, and writing fill many of the hours. I exercise regularly, and give some time to the amusement of the children. We tried jumping rope for exercise, but that did not answer, and then I made some balls, and found playing with them quite good fun. But today we lost the third overboard, so that it seems rather a losing game.
Last night, after a game of whist, I went up on deck to got a little fresh air, and was amazed and delighted at the scene. The ship was going at the rate of nine knots, so that the waves seemed to rush by with the greatest rapidity, and, being all brilliant with phosphorescence, they had the most graceful and etherial appearance possible. The ship’s bows, dashing through the water, threw the waves from them, and as they fell off and passed away to a distance they seemed carrying light to darkened regions. It was perfectly dark except for the reflection from this beautiful light, which, to be sure, lighted up the sails and rigging in a most picturesque manner. By the help of the gentlemen, and their minute directions when to lift up our feet and when to put them down, some of us ladies found our way to the forecastle, and there witnessed one of the most beautiful and curious appearances of the ocean. The mass of foam caused by the motion of this vast body was all as brilliant as sunlight upon a body of diamonds, with the additional beauty of rapid, graceful motion. The tops of the waves, to a great distance, were all lighted, and, what was still more curious and beautiful, a party of porpoises playing round the ship were perfectly imbedded in fire, as it were; and whenever they darted forward, or to a distance at the side of the vessel, they looked like comets. I enjoyed all this beauty, wildness, and novelty excessively and am very glad to have seen such an exhibition of one of the wonders of the ocean. Poor Anna is too feeble, and it was too late at night for her to have seen it.
June 20th. — One of the serious teachings in life has passed before us, and it certainly ought not to have been witnessed without touching some chord, or producing some good effect. I have often watched, while sewing on deck, a little boy about five years old, amongst the steerage passengers, who seemed most particularly robust, active, and playful. We heard a few days ago that he was sick with a cold. Mrs. Marshall sent some suitable medicine and the stewardess went to see about him. His mother is excessively reduced by seasickness, and seemed to have no perception or knowledge what she should do for him; and though the Captain directed an emetic, and her companions urged her to give it, I believe nothing was done for the poor little fellow, and he gradually grew worse and at last died of the croup. The last day he lived they kept him a great deal upon deck, because, they said, he wanted air, and it was awful to see his sufferings, and to know he was so soon to enter upon another existence.
The parents were very anxious, after his death, to have some service performed. The weather was windy, gusty and rainy, but to soothe their feelings, they and their friends and as many others as found room stood in the companionway and Air. Ticknor read the funeral service. It was almost oppressively solemn to hear it in the solitude of this vast world of waters, with no other sound but the rustling voice of winds and waves, and to think that, though the little frame was to be committed alone to the stormy deep, what an incomprehensible change had been wrought in the real existence; a few hours before, suffering, ignorant, trammeled — now it was safe, happy, free.
June 24, 5 o’clock P.M. — The pilot on board, and we shall soon, I trust, reach our port. I have had more fear of the channel than of the whole of the rest of the passage, and cannot but be thankful that we are so nearly safe. We came in sight of land yesterday, and today, of course, have found the greatest interest in watching our progress and learning the different portions of the coast. We reached Holyhead early today and have been striving to get round it against a strong head wind. It has made it a rough and laborious day for the Captain and men, and I think they all felt it a great relief and comfort to get a pilot before dark. It was quite exciting to watch the little boats at a distance, and conjecture whether either of them would prove to be the pilot. And then it was a pretty sight, when one really approached us, to see it dancing on the tops of the waves, with so light and rapid a motion, its form relieved against a very clear and deeply coloured sunset sky.
The moment that the pilot touched the deck was the subject of another interest, for it settled the question of the lottery. This is not an uncommon amusement on board these packet ships, and is easily described. Cards are provided, marked with the date of some day and a nautical quarter of it, including five or six days, any one of which may possibly be the day of arrival. These cards are distributed among the passengers, who give $2.00 for each, taking as many as they please. Some are given to the officers of the ship and to the stewards, who do not pay. The whole of the money so collected goes to the person who holds the ticket marked with the day and quarter when the pilot comes on board. If he had come up the side of the ship only one quarter of an hour earlier than he did, I should have been the winner; but the quarter of the hour gave it to Mr. Hagan, and, having enjoyed the fun of anticipation and expectation, I certainly did not regret the money.
We are tossing and tumbling about sadly, the wind is pretty strong, and dark, heavy clouds are gathering. How glad I am that we are so near Liverpool.
Liverpool, June 27th, 1835. — I never can measure or describe the deep, unutterable joy and thankfulness which I felt when I saw my husband and children safe on the stone pier, day before yesterday, and when I, too, stood once more upon the solid earth. My last, memoranda give some slight hint of the sad struggle we had to get round that horrid Holyhead, tacking all day of the twenty-fourth and fighting both wind and waves. It was an anxious day to the Captain; and though he was relieved a little by the presence of the pilot, yet, almost immediately after, the wind, still so absolutely against us as that but for skill and science we must have been blown out to sea again, rose rapidly, so that by ten o’clock it was an absolute gale.
It was a fearful night, so dark and thick that an unpracticed eye could not distinguish anything, the ship rolling and tossing violently, and the noise and uproar of the elements appalling. The pilot soon ascertained that it was not possible to pass the bar of the river till at a certain state of the tide and by daylight; and so in the midst of the gale, almost within sight of the haven, we were obliged to ‘lay to’ for several hours. We went to bed as usual, for, though anxious, none of us ladies knew then the whole extent of our danger, and in ’lying to’ the ship was more steady. There was no diminution of the wind, and the Captain did not leave the deck a moment.
At four o’clock both tides and light favoured our progress, and we once more got under weigh. The passengers were all stirring, some with a vivid sense of extreme danger, and the rest of us from a desire not only to see what was about us, but to be ready to land. About five o’clock I went up to the door of the companionway, and the scene was truly frightful. The bare masts and wet rigging and deck, the enormous waves, which seemed higher than any I had ever seen before (because we could compare them with objects on shore), and the solitude, which struck me more because the day before many ships and smaller vessels had been in sight, and because now, with land all around us, I expected to see still more. The wind still roared, and the fog still hung thick about us; but though indispensable that the pilot should see some landmarks, he said we could hold off no longer, and, making a long tack, prepared to cross the bar. Just then, by God’s merciful care, the clouds lifted enough to enable him to steer, and we rushed through the mouth of the river, crossing the bar with the whole fury of the blast about us, as if we were to be swallowed up by the raging waves, which came towards us with their wide caves open, like the jaws of a monstrous beast. The appearance of the waves was most strange to us, having become accustomed to the deep green of the open ocean, for they were so yellow and so thick that they looked like masses of sand, as if the spirit of the storm had scooped up the bed of the river to envelope and destroy us. But the gallant ship withstood these great dangers, and with a few sails set drove up the river at the gentle rate of eighteen knots an hour, twelve from the wind and six from the tide.
At six o’clock we had a sort of breakfast, not in the usual neat and exact order, but enough so for such a morning, and the Captain then came down for a moment or two, looking excessively worn and exhausted by the night of watching and anxiety. He said he would give $5.00 to be, at that moment, in port, and that if we had struck the bar, no two timbers would have held together two minutes.
As we approached the city, we found the shores and wharves lined with people watching our progress; and in the city the wharves, docks, ships, and roofs of houses were quite filled with anxious spectators. What a comfort it was to look at the firm set earth and the nice houses, and to think, ‘Tonight we shall have a quiet bed.’ We were all collected upon deck, rejoicing in our safety, for the gale was over, and examining the city; when, as we arrived opposite to the stone pier, the pilot gave the order to let go the anchor, the enormous chain cable rolled out with a most frightful noise, which was, of itself, alarming enough to ignorant ears; but I was still more startled to see the sudden appearance of anxiety among the sailors at the windlass, and the pilot rushing to them at his best speed. I knew something had occurred, and mentioned my alarm to Lord Powerscourt, whose arm I held at that moment; but he said little, not thinking it worth while, probably, to increase my fears. In another moment the other chain cable rushed out, with the same horrid noise, and an instant after we were safely at anchor. The alarm has since been explained to me, and my fears were not imaginary, though they were ignorant. The first anchor got entangled in the chain, and for a moment the second got caught in the first, so that, if their weight had not cleared them, the ship would have gone against the stone pier and been terribly injured, though probably not lost.
During this most disagreeable interval we saw a steamboat approaching us, but it was so tossed by the rough waves that it was far from agreeable to think of going down the side of the ship to it. However, things are generally worse in anticipation, and so, though the wind was still very violent and the boat very wet, we ladies and the children were so well guarded and cared for that we were but little incommoded, and when I saw my children safe on shore, and stood myself upon the noble pier, I looked back upon the turbulent waters and our sea-house with a feeling of gratitude and security such as I never experienced before. Carriages (shabby enough, to be sure) were waiting on the pier, and, bidding our fellow passengers good-bye, we drove to the Adelphis Hotel (where our rooms had been engaged for us by Mr. Gair), feeling every instant a refreshment and comfort that one can experience only after a month’s confinement on shipboard.
The rest of that day (the twentyfifth, Thursday) we gave to resting, eating, bathing, and sleeping, all great luxuries. Anna we found so feeble and unable to bear exertion that that evening we sent for Dr. Bickersbeth to ascertain what sort of treatment was wisest and would restore her strength most rapidly. He ordered quinine and plenty of beefsteak, and she has already gained visibly. Though my history of our voyage has taken so much room, I have hardly mentioned either of the children. They have been perfectly good, and given as little trouble as possible. Anna was very patient through long indisposition and great discomforts; and Lizzy has been a gay, happy plaything every moment. The weather has been too damp and windy, ever since we landed, to allow her to go out, and so she has begged many times to ‘ go up a deck’ —’ Please, Catty, go up a deck.’ Mr. Gair came in soon after we reached the hotel to congratulate us on our safety, and, two hours after, Lord Powerscourt and Mr. Miller; but I was thankful to feel that the rest of the day would be entirely quiet.
Yesterday (Friday, the twenty-sixth) the natural languor and fatigue after such excitement and the month of sea life were heavy upon us all. Mr. Ticknor, however, was obliged to go to the Custom House, and when he sent home our luggage I was obliged to unpack and get some clothes for the children. Mr. Marshall and Miss Perit, were my only visitors. We were hearing constantly the most terrible accounts of the storm on land, as well as at sea; but at sea the losses have been terrible. Three large vessels have been wholly lost very near Liverpool, and one of them came round Holyhead with us, and therefore must have been wrecked near us. It makes me shudder to think of the dangers we were in, and inexpressibly grateful for the kind providence which preserved us.