« AnteriorContinuar »
regret, that much of this industry, and this superabundant harvest, goes to make what? poison ! brandy! It is first converted into wine, then sold, and re-converted into brandy, one of the deadly agents which sin has brought into the world.
“ There are several circumstances here, which forcibly remind me of Scripture history, as the cultivation of the country; the fig-tree, the olive, and the vine; the number of mules, the value of water, and the willows in rows by the water courses.
“But I think what pleases me most, is the shepherds ; instead of driving their flocks, as with us, we see them walking before and leading them, as our Saviour says, 'When the good shepherd putteth forth his sheep, he goeth before them and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice; and a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers.'
“The passage of a flock of sheep along the road is announced, not by the barking of dogs, but by the tinkling of bells, which are suspended from their necks. The goats and cows have bells also ; these are a common kind, but the horses and mules are honoured with a dozen or twenty good little bells, made of bell metal, which are continually jingling as they go along.
“ Second Month 17th. Bid farewell to my kind friends at Congenies this evening, and came on to Sommieres, in order to take the diligence to Montpelier, at four o'clock to-morrow morning. Nothing could well exceed the kindness that Louis Majolier and family have shown to me, an entire stranger, during my sojourn among them. There are some valuable friends at Congenies.”
After visiting Montpelier, he proceeded to Cetti, a small seaport, where he took the steamer for Marseilles, then to Nice, Genoa, and Leghorn, to Florence, from
whence, in a letter to his parents, dated Third Month, 1839, he describes the fatigue and oppressiveness to invalids, of the sort of conveyances used in these countries : then adds, “I do not think I derive much, if any, benefit; and, therefore, whilst inclination would lead me by way of Venice, Milan, Geneva, Mount Gothard, and Paris, my judgment seems to say that the primary object of my journey requires that I should re-pass the Straits of Gibraltar.
“I came by the mail from Nice to Genoa, and the carriage appeared to be lighter than our coaches ; with only six passengers and four horses, we were twenty-nine hours in coming 140 miles. They are however, taking considerable pains to improve the road; making tunnels and embankments along the sea-shore, which, when finished, will afford an excellent level. The horses are certainly rather inferior, and the stages much too long. The other day, by a veturina, a kind of post-chaise, we travelled with the same pair of horses, for about six hours-from half-past six in the morning until after twelve at noon. When this is the case the speed cannot be rapid.
“ The main roads in France are maintained by the government, and are excellent; the bye-roads are bad, but are very numerous, almost one to every property. I averaged, by diligence, four and a-third mile per hour, at rather less than one and a half-penny per mile. A franc goes rather farther than one shilling with us, in current expenditure.
“ The aspect of the south of France is very hilly and rocky. Rain seldom falls, but they have heavy dews in summer ; a powerful sun, but cold dry air in wintersometimes freezing. The labourers are an athletic, cheerful race of men. They can earn 78. 6d. per week, for seven and a-half hours' per day labour; after this is over-time. Women and boys earn sixpence per day. Their food is a fair proportion of meat, bread, vegetables, wine, oil, and
yet reached the latitude of Newcastle. We had the men, twelve in number, mustered in the cabin after dinner, when the captain, after singing a psalm, read a sermon and prayer. The former from “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. At the conclusion, he gave them some religious books to read. This has been the first time, since we left Shields, that the weather has been fine enough to admit of any thing like public worship.
18th. Gale of wind against us-sails all close reefed, except one-the tarpauling over the cabin sky-light, which makes it very gloomy. Have kept my bed all day.
19th. Fair wind but light. I have been learning to take the latitude. It was within a mile of being the same as two days ago. My appetite and spirits improved.
“Twelfth Month 22nd. Wind contrary—at noon increased to a heavy gale. This is the third time the ship has been "hove to,' the rudder lashed to the side, permitting the vessel to be driven as at the mercy of the elements.
23rd. A violent gale from the north. This was a trying day to the captain and crew, who were kept hard at work all day, with scarcely time to take any victuals; with only two sails spread, and these made as snug as possible, we went at the rate of nine or ten knots an hour. The sea continually washing over the quarterdeck, and frequently down into the cabin ; one sea heavier than the rest, carried away a part of the bulwarks, breaking the strong oaken supports or stanchions. The captain, who is an old sailor, says, that with the exception of once, in a hurricane, in coming from the West Indies, he considers this the heaviest gale he has ever experienced. I was favoured to feel a comforting confidence in Divine goodness and protection, for which I desire to be thankful.
29th. The captain informs me, we on the verge of the north-east trade winds, which blow
down the coast, and continue along the West Coast of Africa. At three o'clock, we were about opposite Oporto. Being now pretty well, and the weather fine, it is pleasant sailing along at the rate of 120 miles per day, being able to read, write, or work, as best suits
inclination. 30th. First day. This has been spent more like a Sabbath than any previous. The day, has been unusually well adapted to the occasion. The captain read a sermon to the men as before, and then a prayer and thanksgiving after a storm. I have been along to the men this evening, and have read the 25th chapter of Matthew to them. They received me kindly. One of them exhibited considerable acquaintance with the scriptures. They have manifested much apathy with regard to religious subjects. Several of them refused to come to the reading this afternoon, alleging that they must employ their time in washing or mending their clothes : but it is quite evident that the true reason is an aversion to the consideration of religious subjects.
“We have had a dry deck to-day for the first time since leaving Shields.
“Twelfth Month 31st. Saw Lisbon rock, distant about twenty miles. The sun dipped below the horizon about twelve minutes before five o'clock, making the day nine hours and thirty-six minutes long in the last day of the year. There is half-an-hour of good twilight after sun-set.
“1839. First Month 1st. We have nearly reached our greatest southern latitude, and want a change of wind.
4th. A fair wind this morning, which soon brought us within sight of land. I admired the boldness of the rugged hills on both sides of the Straits. On the African side we had the Atlas mountains patched with snow. Nearer we had a chain of hills, with the town of Tangiers. On the European side is Cape Trafalgar, with the bay
where the sanguinary battle was fought. The next object of interest was the old Spanish town of Tariffa. We could discern the inhabitants.
6th. First day. I endeavoured to spend the day in a devotional manner, and have been mercifully favoured to experience a little of the light of His countenance, whom to know is life eternal. Have been instructed this evening by reading “William Law on the Spirit of Prayer.” Gave a few tracts to the men, but have deeply to lament that I can do so little for them; sunk as they appear to be in forgetfulness of God. May He graciously turn their hearts to the one way of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“ First Month 14th. Put into the harbour of Toulon, to wait for a fair wind. We have come past Marseilles, to which place we were bound, but could not make the port.
-15th. I have been twice on shore to-day. My first impressions of France are very favourable.
“ — 17th. I am learning the language rapidly, and can ask for any thing I want : but on other subjects I am rather at a loss.
20th. This is the first Sabbath I have spent in France, and I must confess myself shocked at the total want of the religious observance of it. Business as usual in the morning, and vanity fair, music, and foolery in the afternoon.”
The following extracts from one of his letters, on reaching Marseilles, will be perused with interest:
“Marseilles, Second Month, 1839. “ Here I am arrived at Marseilles at last. I landed at Toulon, and came here by diligence. In coming across the Gulph of Lyons, the wind droye us too much to the eastward, and we could not make our port: and as the nights