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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 638


TEN or eleven o'clock found us coming down to breakfast
one morning in Cadiz. They told us the ship had been
lying at anchor in the harbor two or three hours. It was time
for us to bestir ourselves. The ship could wait only a little
while because of the quarantine. We were soon on board, and
within the hour the white city and the pleasant shores of Spain
sank down behind the waves and passed out of sight. We had
seen no land fade from view so regretfully.

It had long ago been decided in a noisy public meeting in
the main cabin that we could not go to Lisbon, because we
must surely be quarantined there. We did every thing by
mass-meeting, in the good old national way, from swapping off
one empire for another on the programme of the voyage down
to complaining of the cookery and the scarcity of napkins. I
am reminded, now, of one of these complaints of the cookery
made by a passenger. The coffee had been steadily growing
more and more execrable for the space of three weeks, till at
last it had ceased to be coffee altogether and had assumed the
nature of mere discolored water—so this person said. He said
it was so weak that it was transparent an inch in depth around
the edge of the cup. As he approached the table one morning
he saw the transparent edge—by means of his extraordinary
vision—long before he got to his seat. He went back and
complained in a high-handed way to Capt. Duncan. He said
the coffee was disgraceful. The Captain showed his. It seemed
tolerably good. The incipient mutineer was more outraged
than ever, then, at what he denounced as the partiality shown


Page 639
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 639. In-line Illustration. Image of two men talking at a dinner table. One man is seated and the other is standing. The caption reads, "COFFEE."] the captain's table over the other tables in the ship. He
flourished back and got his cup and set it down triumphantly,
and said:

“Just try that mixture once, Captain Duncan.”

He smelt it—tasted it—smiled benignantly—then said:

“It is inferior—for coffee—but it is pretty fair tea.

The humbled
mutineer smelt
it, tasted it, and
returned to his
seat. He had
made an egregious
ass of himself
before the
whole ship. He
did it no more.
After that he
took things as
they came. That
was me.

The old-fashioned
had returned, now that we were no longer in sight of land. For
days and days it continued just the same, one day being exactly
like another, and, to me, every one of them pleasant.
At last we anchored in the open roadstead of Funchal, in the
beautiful islands we call the Madeiras.

The mountains looked surpassingly lovely, clad as they were
in living green; ribbed with lava ridges; flecked with white
cottages; riven by deep chasms purple with shade; the great
slopes dashed with sunshine and mottled with shadows flung
from the drifting squadrons of the sky, and the superb picture
fitly crowned by towering peaks whose fronts were swept by
the trailing fringes of the clouds.

But we could not land. We staid all day and looked, we
abused the man who invented quarantine, we held half a dozen
mass-meetings and crammed them full of interrupted speeches,


Page 640
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 640. In-line Illustration. Image of native Bermudians waving to a ship in the distance. The caption reads, "'OUR FRIENDS, THE BERMUDIANS.'"] motions that fell still-born, amendments that came to nought
and resolutions that died from sheer exhaustion in trying to
get before the house. At night we set sail.

We averaged four mass-meetings a week for the voyage—
we seemed always in labor in this way, and yet so often fallaciously
that whenever at long intervals we were safely delivered
of a resolution, it was cause for public rejoicing, and we
hoisted the flag and fired a salute.

Days passed—and nights; and then the beautiful Bermudas
rose out of the sea, we entered the tortuous channel, steamed
hither and thither among the bright summer islands, and rested
at last under the flag of England and were welcome. We were
not a nightmare here, where were civilization and intelligence
in place of Spanish and Italian superstition, dirt and dread of
cholera. A few days among the breezy groves, the flower gardens,


Page 641
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 641. In-line Illustration. Image of a balding man with a beard. The caption reads, "CAPT. DUNCAN."] the coral caves, and the lovely vistas of blue water that
went curving in and out, disappearing and anon again appearing
through jungle walls of brilliant foliage, restored the energies
dulled by long drowsing on the ocean, and fitted us for our
final cruise—our little run of a thousand miles to New York

We bade good-bye to “our friends the Bermudians,” as our
programme hath it—the majority of those we were most intimate
with were negroes—and courted the great deep again.
I said the majority. We knew more negroes than white people,
because we had a deal of washing to be done, but we made
some most excellent friends among the whites, whom it will be
a pleasant duty to hold long in grateful remembrance.

We sailed, and from that hour all idling ceased. Such another
system of overhauling, general littering of cabins and
packing of trunks we
had not seen since we
let go the anchor in the
harbor of Beirout. Every
body was busy. Lists
of all purchases had to
be made out, and values
attached, to facilitate
matters at the custom-house.
Purchases bought
by bulk in partnership
had to be equitably divided,
outstanding debts
canceled, accounts compared,
and trunks, boxes
and packages labeled.
All day long the bustle
and confusion continued.

And now came our first accident. A passenger was running
through a gangway, between decks, one stormy night, when
he caught his foot in the iron staple of a door that had been
heedlessly left off a hatchway, and the bones of his leg broke


Page 642
at the ancle. It was our first serious misfortune. We had
traveled much more than twenty thousand miles, by land and
sea, in many trying climates, without a single hurt, without a
serious case of sickness and without a death among five and
sixty passengers. Our good fortune had been wonderful. A
sailor had jumped overboard at Constantinople one night, and
was seen no more, but it was suspected that his object was to
desert, and there was a slim chance, at least, that he reached
the shore. But the passenger list was complete. There was
no name missing from the register.

At last, one pleasant morning, we steamed up the harbor
of New York, all on deck, all dressed in Christian garb—by
special order, for there was a latent disposition in some quarters
to come out as Turks—and amid a waving of handkerchiefs
from welcoming friends, the glad pilgrims noted the
shiver of the decks that told that ship and pier had joined
hands again and the long, strange cruise was over. Amen.