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The innocents abroad, or, The new Pilgrim's progress

being some account of the steamship Quaker City's pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy land ; with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures, as they appeared to the author




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ALL day Sunday at anchor. The storm had gone down a
great deal, but the sea had not. It was still piling its
frothy hills high in air “outside,” as we could plainly see with
the glasses. We could not properly begin a pleasure excursion
on Sunday; we could not offer untried stomachs to so
pitiless a sea as that. We must lie still till Monday. And
we did. But we had repetitions of church and prayer-meetings;
and so, of course, we were just as eligibly situated as we
could have been any where.

I was up early that Sabbath morning, and was early to
breakfast. I felt a perfectly natural desire to have a good,
long, unprejudiced look at the passengers, at a time when they
should be free from self-consciousness—which is at breakfast,
when such a moment occurs in the lives of human beings at

I was greatly surprised to see so many elderly people—I
might almost say, so many venerable people. A glance at the
long lines of heads was apt to make one think it was all gray.
But it was not. There was a tolerably fair sprinkling of
young folks, and another fair sprinkling of gentlemen and
ladies who were non-committal as to age, being neither actually
old or absolutely young.

The next morning, we weighed anchor and went to sea. It
was a great happiness to get away, after this dragging,
dispiriting delay. I thought there never was such gladness in
the air before, such brightness in the sun, such beauty in the


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sea. I was satisfied with the pienic, then, and with all its
belongings. All my malicious instinets were dead within me;
and as America faded out of sight, I think a spirit of charity
rose up in their place that was as boundless, for the time being,
as the broad ocean that was heaving its billows about us. I
wished to express my feelings—I wished to lift up my voice
and sing; but I did not know any thing to sing, and so I was
obliged to give up the idea. It was no loss to the ship though,

It was breezy and pleasant, but the sea was still very rough.
One could not promenade without risking his neck; at one
moment the bowsprit was taking a deadly aim at the sun in
mid-heaven, and at the next it was trying to harpoon a shark
in the bottom of the ocean. What a weird sensation it is to
feel the stern of a ship sinking swiftly from under you and see
the bow climbing high away among the clouds! One's safest
course, that day, was to clasp a railing and hang on; walking
was too precarious a pastime.

By some happy fortune I was not seasick.—That was a
thing to be proud of. I had not always escaped before. If
there is one thing in the world that will make a man peculiarly
and insufferably self-conceited, it is to have his stomach
behave itself, the first day at sea, when nearly all his comrades
are seasick. Soon, a venerable fossil, shawled to the chin and
bandaged like a mummy, appeared at the door of the after
deck-house, and the next lurch of the ship shot him into my
arms. I said:

“Good-morning, Sir. It is a fine day.”

He put his hand on his stomach and said, “Oh, my!”
and then staggered away and fell over the coop of a skylight.

Presently another old gentleman was projected from the
same door, with great violence. I said:

“Calm yourself, Sir—There is no hurry. It is a fine day,

He, also, put his hand on his stomach and said “Oh, my!”
and reeled away.


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[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 034. In-line Illustration. Image of a man in a bowler hat catching another man as he is tossed about on the deck of a ship. The ship is sharply tilted to one side. Other passengers can be seen huddled by the railing or leaning over it. The caption reads, "'GOOD MORNING, SIR.'"]

In a little while another veteran was discharged abruptly
from the same door, clawing at the air for a saving support.
I said:

“Good-morning, Sir. It is a fine day for pleasuring. You
were about to say—”

Oh, my!”

I thought so. I anticipated him, any how. I staid there
and was bombarded with old gentlemen for an hour perhaps;
and all I got out of any of them was “Oh, my!”

I went away, then, in a thoughtful mood. I said, this is a
good pleasure excursion. I like it. The passengers are not
garrulous, but still they are sociable. I like those old people,


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but somehow they all seem to have the “Oh, my” rather

I knew what was the matter with them. They were seasick.
And I was glad of it. We all like to see people seasick
when we are not, ourselves. Playing whist by the cabin
lamps when it is storming outside, is pleasant; walking the
quarter-deck in the moonlight, is pleasant; smoking in the
breezy foretop is pleasant, when one is not afraid to go up
there; but these are all feeble and commonplace compared with
the joy of seeing people suffering the miseries of seasickness.

I picked up a good deal of information during the afternoon.
At one time I was climbing up the quarter-deck when
the vessel's stern was in the sky; I was smoking a cigar and
feeling passably comfortable. Somebody ejaculated:

“Come, now, that won't answer. Read the sign up there—
No smoking abaft the wheel!

It was Capt. Duncan, chief of the expedition. I went forward,
of course. I saw a long spy-glass lying on a desk in one
of the upper-deck state-rooms back of the pilot-house, and
reached after it—there was a ship in the distance:

“Ah, ah—hands off! Come out of that!”

I came out of that. I said to a deck-sweep—but in a low

“Who is that overgrown pirate with the whiskers and the
discordant voice?”

“It's Capt. Bursley—executive officer—sailing-master.”

I loitered about awhile, and then, for want of something
better to do, fell to carving a railing with my knife. Somebody
said, in an insinuating, admonitory voice:

“Now say—my friend—don't you know any better than
to be whittling the ship all to pieces that way? You ought to
know better than that.”

I went back and found the deck-sweep:

“Who is that smooth-faced animated outrage yonder in the
fine clothes?”

“That's Capt. L****, the owner of the ship—he's one of
the main bosses.”


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[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 036. In-line Illustration. Image of a man in a suit asking a sailor, who is sweeping, about some other sailors who can be seen talking in the background. The caption reads, "THE OLD PIRATE."]

In the course of time I brought up on the starboard side of
the pilot-house, and found a sextant lying on a bench. Now,
I said, they “take the sun” through this thing; I should
think I might see that vessel through it. I had hardly got it
to my eye when some one touched me on the shoulder and
said, deprecatingly:

“I'll have to get you to give that to me, Sir. If there's any
thing you'd like to know about taking the sun, I'd as soon
tell you as not—but I don't like to trust any body with
that instrument. If you want any figuring done— Aye-aye,

He was gone, to answer a call from the other side. I
sought the deck-sweep:

“Who is that spider-legged gorilla yonder with the sanctimonious

“It's Capt. Jones, Sir—the chief mate.”


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“Well. This goes clear away ahead of any thing I ever
heard of before. Do you—now I ask you as a man and a
brother—do you think I could venture to throw a rock here
in any given direction without hitting a captain of this ship?”

“Well, Sir, I don't know—I think likely you'd fetch the
captain of the watch, may be, because he's a-standing right
yonder in the way.”

I went below—meditating, and a little down-hearted. I
thought, if five cooks can spoil a broth, what may not five captains
do with a pleasure excursion.