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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




Page 635


[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. [Page 635]. In-line Illustration. Image of men, women and children aboard a ship. The American flag is flying from a rope. The caption reads, "HOMEWARD BOUND."]

WE were at sea now, for a very long voyage—we were to
pass through the entire length of the Levant; through
the entire length of the Mediterranean proper, also, and then
cross the full width of the Atlantic—a voyage of several weeks.
We naturally settled down into a very slow, stay-at-home manner
of life, and resolved to be quiet, exemplary people, and
roam no more for twenty or thirty days. No more, at least,
than from stem to stern of the ship. It was a very comfortable
prospect, though, for we were tired and needed a long


Page 636

We were all lazy and satisfied, now, as the meager entries
in my note-book (that sure index, to me, of my condition,)
prove. What a stupid thing a note-book gets to be at sea, any
way. Please observe the style:

Sunday—Services, as usual, at four bells. Services at night, also. No cards.

Monday—Beautiful day, but rained hard. The cattle purchased at Alexandria
for beef ought to be shingled. Or else fattened. The water stands in deep puddles
in the depressions forward of their after shoulders. Also here and there all
over their backs. It is well they are not cows—it would soak in and ruin the
milk. The poor devil eagle[1] from Syria looks miserable and droopy in the rain,
perched on the forward capstan. He appears to have his own opinion of a sea
voyage, and if it were put into language and the language solidified, it would probably
essentially dam the widest river in the world.

Tuesday—Somewhere in the neighborhood of the island of Malta. Can not stop
there. Cholera. Weather very stormy. Many passengers seasick and invisible.

Wednesday—Weather still very savage. Storm blew two land birds to sea, and
they came on board. A hawk was blown off, also. He circled round and round
the ship, wanting to light, but afraid of the people. He was so tired, though, that
he had to light, at last, or perish. He stopped in the foretop, repeatedly, and was
as often blown away by the wind. At last Harry caught him. Sea full of flying-fish.
They rise in flocks of three hundred and flash along above the tops of the
waves a distance of two or three hundred feet, then fall and disappear.

Thursday—Anchored off Algiers, Africa. Beautiful city, beautiful green hilly
landscape behind it. Staid half a day and left. Not permitted to land, though we
showed a clean bill of health. They were afraid of Egyptian plague and cholera.

Friday—Morning, dominoes. Afternoon, dominoes. Evening, promenading
the deck. Afterwards, charades.

Saturday—Morning, dominoes. Afternoon, dominoes. Evening, promenading
the decks. Afterwards, dominoes.

Sunday—Morning service, four bells. Evening service, eight bells. Monotony
till midnight.—Whereupon, dominoes.

Monday—Morning, dominoes. Afternoon, dominoes. Evening, promenading
the decks. Afterward, charades and a lecture from Dr. C. Dominoes.

No date—Anchored off the picturesque city of Cagliari, Sardinia. Staid till
midnight, but not permitted to land by these infamous foreigners. They smell inodorously—they
do not wash—they dare not risk cholera.

Thursday—Anchored off the beautiful cathedral city of Malaga, Spain.—Went
ashore in the captain's boat—not ashore, either, for they would not let us land.
Quarantine. Shipped my newspaper correspondence, which they took with tongs,
dipped it in sea water, clipped it full of holes, and then fumigated it with villainous
vapors till it smelt like a Spaniard. Inquired about chances to run the
blockade and visit the Alhambra at Granada. Too risky—they might hang a
body. Set sail—middle of afternoon.


Page 637

“And so on, and so on, and so forth, for several days. Finally, anchored off
Gibraltar, which looks familiar and home-like.”

It reminds me of the journal I opened with the New Year,
once, when I was a boy and a confiding and a willing prey to
those impossible schemes of reform which well-meaning old
maids and grandmothers set for the feet of unwary youths at
that season of the year—setting oversized tasks for them,
which, necessarily failing, as infallibly weaken the boy's
strength of will, diminish his confidence in himself and injure
his chances of success in life. Please accept of an extract:

Monday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Tuesday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Wednesday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Thursday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Friday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Next Friday—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Friday fortnight—Got up, washed, went to bed.

Following month—Got up, washed, went to bed.”

I stopped, then, discouraged. Startling events appeared to
be too rare, in my career, to render a diary necessary. I still
reflect with pride, however, that even at that early age I
washed when I got up. That journal finished me. I never
have had the nerve to keep one since. My loss of confidence
in myself in that line was permanent.

The ship had to stay a week or more at Gibraltar to take in
coal for the home voyage.

It would be very tiresome staying here, and so four of us
ran the quarantine blockade and spent seven delightful days
in Seville, Cordova, Cadiz, and wandering through the pleasant
rural scenery of Andalusia, the garden of Old Spain.
The experiences of that cheery week were too varied and numerous
for a short chapter and I have not room for a long one.
Therefore I shall leave them all out.


Afterwards presented to the Central Park.