Diary of John Richard Coke Smyth
|Visit to Canada 1838 *||Visit to Turkey *|
|NB For those wanting to go to a particular date, there is a form of calendar at the bottom of the page with links to specific days.|
While endeavouring to while away the tedious moments of an English wet Sunday (in a strange Town too) by again trying to find something new in the twice read columns of the County Paper of the Previous day I was startled by the bells of a neighbouring Church commencing to ring right merrily on enquiry I found they announced Earl of Durham’s and Suite’s arrival at the George Hotel. I hastened to close and despatch my letters and proceeded to Hotel to meet for the first time those with whom I expected to be associated for so long a period. His Lordship and family dined in private having for Guests Captain Lock and Mr. E. Ellice the Suite dined together having for Guest[s] Admiral Fleming Captain Ellice etc. having previous to parting arranged to be on board at ten the Next Morning.
Morning fine and fresh. The day generally good - about half past four heard the Bells of a neighbouring Church commence Ringing to announce the arrival of the Earl of Durham closed my letters and sent them to Post at half past 6 Entered the Dining Room of [the] George Inn, where I met the Suite for the first time, found also Admiral Fleming and Mr. E. Ellice was delighted with the bland and kind manners of the Admiral - met for the first time saw Mrs. Ellice and Miss Balfour - his Lordship and family dined in Private having for Guests Captain Lock of H.M.S. Hastings and Mr. E. Ellice English Hotel dinner - badly cooked and worse served. Party seperated [sic] about half past ten - having received notice to be on board at 10 o'clock next morning.
Met at Breakfast the Party of last Evening and at ten left the Hotel to Embark on board one [of] the Admiral's Cutters kindly procured by Admiral Fleming : quitted Portsmouth by the Sally Port near the Ramparts soon [?] running down to the Hastings having a fresh breeze and rippling sea. went off to the Ship in Cutters Boat and not being permitted to ascend by accom[mo]dation ladder (larboard side) went under her Stern alongside some Bum boats and others unloading we had scarcely touched them when the cry of Boy overboard was heard (rather ominous) every head stretched out, everyone rushing forward to assist if possible - but the next instant the Boy appeared on the Deck of one [of] the alongside craft, having only had a slight Ducking. Ascended the Gangway and found the Ship's Company mustered in the waist and the Marines drawn up of the Poop (Starboard side) on the Larboard Side the Band of the 71st Highlanders was playing an air from Norma. The Quarter Deck was occupied as a parade by the Officers of the Ship - thus Every portion of the Deck had its particular population amid whom we certainly seemed "de trop" indeed whatever Corner we ensconced ourselves in, that place became instantly one most necessary to the wants of the Ship's Company I never felt myself so thoroughly in the way previously not knowing where I had a right to be and where I had not -with a most determined horror of the Proverbial x Ceremony and Etiquette of a Ship of War - past the next two hours in wishing for them to pass as at two O'clock we expected his Lordship to come on board - about which time the Light [n] ing Steamer was observed leaving the Sally Port at which his Lordship was to embark the glass shewed the thousands of Spectators assembled on the Ramparts to witness the Departure this is on Report of those having Glasses and the privilege of using them also. I also heard that the Cheering was tremendous, however about half past 2 o'clock the Lightning Steamer bore up and when our Yards were Mann'd - in a few seconds she rounded to and Lord Durham with her Ladyship and family were seen to descend the side of the vessel and enter the Barge of Admiral Sir Philip Durham K.C.B. etc. - the Band now commenced playing See the "Conquering Hero comes" - the next instant his Lordship was on the Deck. Captain Lock handing her Ladyship to the Suite of Chambers prepared expressly for her use and fitted in a Style of great Eleganc[e] and neatness, x Memo. Like all other information given by friends for one's proper Government and Comfort when going among Strange People or Lands, I found the information on the Ship's Etiquette totally wrong in this instance at least - the Ceremonial and Etiquette being very trifling and far from causing any Arrogance or unnecessary trouble. In a few minutes we were rapidly leaving Spithead, having a Tow Rope attached to the Lightning Steamer and we were also accompanied by Her M. Steamer Messenger - on reaching the Floating light of the Reef. We cast off the Tow Rope, and all being Ready let fall the Sails and bore away with a fine and perfectly fair wind, going at about six knots. 7 p.m. we were obliged to shorten sail to allow Our Consort the Dee Steam Ship R.N. to come up with us, she having got aground in the mouth of the harbour about the time his Excellency came on board about ten P.M. burnt a blue light which was answered by the Steamer now coming up - the others near -. we had also the Charybdis Schooner as Consort, which had been able to keep up in consequence of our short'ning sail
Wednesday April 25
Fine Breeze still wind continues perfectly fair. All our Consorts in sight, the Schooner ahead - cold all day and damp –
Thursday April 26
Steam Ship Dee s-fcill visible - fair wind studding sails -making often 9.6 knots - 12 O'clock a Brig homeward bound hove to alongside to ask the longtitude (the [illeg.] of Jersey), saw the new moon quite clear at night
Friday April 27
Lost sight of the Dee Steam Ship : spoke I p.m. a Bremen Ship, soon after every one to Ship's Side to see - what? why a couple of porpoises and didn't see 'em. 6 p.m. Ship's Crew turn'd up for a Sky lark. Dined in the Ward Room : after [wards] Drank liqueur with Mr. Pears in his Room - turn'd in at half past nine - winds still favorable , studding sails.
Saturday April 28
Woke by hearing the Ship's people talk about the Sun shining - hadn't seen him since Tuesday last, so turn'd out, before seven A.M. lovely morning, sea beautiful, not [at] all like what I've seen before in the Atlantic and expected to see again - Wind most favorable .
Sunday April 29th
Fresh breeze sprung up on -the S. quarter at 8 O'clock A.M. going 10 knots - towards 4 P.M. breeze increased -half past Strong breezes. Ship going under doubled reef'd top sails and courses - 9 P.M. top gallant masts struck and all made snug. Ship scudding and close reef'd top sails and fore sail, jib blown to ribands.
7 A.M. rainy with squalls, strong - Midday very fine and warm.
Tuesday May 1st
Light winds all day - very fine. Man died (Seaman) ...... his Lordship did not dine with us (unwell) -Wednesday May 2nd
Man buried. 6 A.M. spoke the Ship (Cigar) from Valparaiso 95 days but had no news from England since August last. Sent home Letters and dispatches by her. I had not any letter ready. Written two since 10 A.M. one to Mrs. M. the other to J.H. fine weather mild and soft winds, but very light. -Thursday May 3rd
7 A.M. One of the finest morning's possible to be met with in any Climate but wind continued very light, indeed a large bark on our larboard side had not steerage way. II am. Espied a Nautilus Captain kindly allowed a boat to be lowered to fetch him in had much disappointment it being far from pretty, nothing but a puff'd bag perfectly transparent and reflecting the prismatic colors - the roots and cable were mostly mazarine blue the general appearance however was that of a mass of calcined Bank notes or light Paper - this Nautilus had not any shell -shortly afterwards a Whale was observed spouting - I was not present - about 9 P.M. a breeze sprung up Ship going 9 knots - 10 P.M. freshened Ship going 10 1/2 -111012 Midnight blew a gale with squalls from the Southward -going close reef'd top sails and courses - I A.M. rained in torrents, breeze fell. Friday May 4th
Fine morning fresh and cool - light and favoring Airs from the Southward Evening still with light breezes. Midnight breeze Sprung, increased to a heavy gale fore top sail yard arm (larboard) carried away. blowing very heavy and squally. Saturday May 5
Stiff, squally weather, going snug [?] 9 A.M. weather lighter, but squally still. 12 set stay sails fore and aft. rainy all day towards Evening Weather lightened, but contrary winds dead in our teeth.
Sunday May 6
6 A.M. Met an American Ship, Bowsprit gone and top gallant Mast Splintered - bound to England and running before the wind. 9 A.M. Met a[n] English Bark homeward bound - at four a.m. they commenced shifting the disabled fore top sail yard at 10 a.m. had bent the sail afresh. wind dead against us - squally but fine with light rain. 4 pass'd an American Ship on the same tack as ourselves. 5 woke up by a tremendous rush by my birth followed by a crash as though half a dozen guns had broken loose succeeded by boisterous laughter, and thanking God that legs and shins had Escaped - found all this occasion 'd by a tremendous roll of the Ship which sent the unlashed Chests (Nautical [?] houses) of some Midshipmen to seek places on the other side of the Cockpit, so obstreperous and overbearing were they hat they endeav [our] ed to force the bulkheads of the berths whose doors opposed their further progress . They also had for comfort on this cruise half a dozen barrels of provision - one of which got stoved as [?] also one Midshipman House.No breakfast laid up - got some beef and coffee in ward room, dark as night, tremendous fun holding on. - 10 men at one tiller Ropes in Ward[?] Room Gun Room. Knee deep all the Mates and Midshipmen - naked to the knee. berths in Cockpit floating. Drests] coats [?] and boots etc going Regattas
Monday May 7
light winds (s-till contrary) 10 A.M. a ship on starboard bow. half past 10 A.M. a Brig also on starboard bow, dead away to leeward contrary winds making a N.E. course N.W. Wind 9 P.M. Wind changed to N.E. so lying within half point of our Course, when ship went about. 12 W[i]nd light and steady - play'd at Vingt-un and won @1.15 or thereabouts. Tuesday May 8
light winds with Showers - going 5 knots - still lying our course - 10 A.M. talking about getting up the Play of Tom Thumb - 10 P.M. wind still favourable , lying within half point of course, going 5:2, but this Ship has great facility in making leeway - II rainy and bright moonlight. Play'd Vingt-un and won.
Wednesday May 9
lovely morning. porpoises seen. thermometer 55 Ex(cellency) in
Thursday May 10
fresh and sunny, going one point free. climate colder than 4 days passt. 9 A.M. Shade. Play'd at Bebec with his Sna[?] sitting Room and won @1.1.8.
Fine morning, going 5 knots. Keeping due Course - Made Sketch of Ward Room - Play'd with La Sna [?] Excellency in dining Room at Bebec and won 6d/ betted on P. and V. at Whist in the Afternoon and lost 10s/-d. Moon at full, and as fine a night as ever I have seen.
Friday May II
Foggy hazy weather, symptoms of Newfoundland, clear 'd up at Mid-day. Sun shining bright through the middle of day, going 5 and a half knots. His Sna[?] Excellency ill and not seen during the day. Play'd at 3 hand loo - lost @-/15/- dined in Ward Room. The moonlight beat every other I had previously seen. Even that of I once saw in the Gulf of Lyons - lent Cavendish 13/- paid, got a note of Debit [?] for 3/-settled with Balfour - owe Captain N 5/- paid. a group of birds observ'd floating brown and grey mix'd size of ducks.
Saturday May 12
Foggy and cold - antiicipated being in soundings before night - fine breeze during night at 4 o'clock a.m. going 9 knots continued until 12 o'clock midday then came on a calm and very light airs. still hoped to be in Soundings before twelve at 9 o'clock P.M. a wind sprung up ... but did not make them. Water extremely phosphorescent. May 13 Sunday
At 4 o'clock a.m. sounded, no bottom - water discolor'd though, sounded again at 10 o'clock A.M. fancied they had found bottom in 60 fathoms Cod so ravenous below as to carry off the "patent, queer looking, and not made to be of any great use" Copper dial and weight etc. - at least it never arrived in this upper region after being sent down. - light airs and very cold. - calms, contrary airs. stood on the edge of the bark. went "about" at 3 o'clock and laid our course pretty well. - Standing in the gangway, smoking heard the scream of the sea birds round the ship. Every wave that broke [illeg.] within a Mile or two shining bright as fire. the waiter on the banks being very phosphorescent, finish'd sketch of gun Room –
Monday May 14
Fine cold Morning, but foggy, wind quite aft. studding sails Set [?] going five knots. Fire lit in Sitting "Room - I P.M. Hove the Ship to for Fishing. Caught 13 Cod some very fine weighing 15 to 20 Pounds, weigh 'd half past 3 P.M. fine Wind set studding sails again. commenced dancing after dinner (N.B. first time) on Poop, descended on Quarter Deck to dance 8 P.M. Made a Large Vessel standing across the Bows, distance about 5 Miles supposed to be American Corvette U.S.S. spoke Piped to reef top sails. Send down the studding sails rather smartlyh ... an hour previously we [had] fallen in with 5 Fishing boats small Schooners we spoke an American (from Boston):- Played at Vingt-un and Lost 16s/6d. (N.B. not to buy fish unnecessarily having lost 5s/- by doing so) exceedingly cold. freezing nearly all day for ought to have been so cruel cold. Ship going seven knots and half.
Tuesday May 15
Wretched Morning, rain and fog. Nightwalked into a small fishing Boat. - going 8 knots all Night (seven and half at least.) ... towards midday fell calm, continued so until Evening. 9 P.M. come on to blow dead against us -blew a gale at Midnight, going under double reefed mizen top sail. Treble reefed Main top Sail close reefed fore sail and fore top sail moderated towards Morning. thermometer fell to 40 Degrees (hove the lead at Midnight, no bottom in 75 fathoms We being between the great Bank and the Green Bank. Newfoundland being about I hundred Miles distant due North. - lost 30/- at Vingt-un.
Wednesday May 16
Cold and clear. Sun came. out bright at 10 A.M. Thermometer at 5 o'clock A.M. at 39 Degrees. - received from Spilsburg [?] 6 Yards of Duck for trowsers [sic). Mid-day came on to blow half a b[r]eeze [?] reef'd 4 P.M. took in the third reef in fore top sail - at 8 P.M. close reef'd fore top sail and course. Main sail cleared [?] up - blew pretty stiff - went to bed early - wind contrary - beating -
Thursday May 17
Blew fresh, very cold. 8 o'clock made sail. Wind contrary - man died - foul weather [illeg.] and cold all day - wind fell towards Evening. Mock trial of Bushe.
Friday May 18
Fine weather but cold. Flights of Gulls white hovering near the Ship - nearly calm ... Sent a Boat out to asc[e]rtain the currents, remained to fish - did not catch anything. - Buller brought up his Pistols but did this not kill any birds ... Rained in torrents in the Evening: - about Midnight the wind changed to N.N.E. enabling us to lay our course - man buried.
Saturday May 19
At a.m. 6 o'clock froze severely. Rigging covered with ice. commenced thawing at 7 A.M. at 8 A.M. Thermometer stood at 37. Sun shining brightly, land distant 60 Miles, or about. Midday light winds. 6 P.M. fell calm fine clear Sunset - fine night. Bark in Sight. - lost 35 Shillings at Vingt-un - lent V 2s/6d -owe Balfour 15s/-d. Sunday May 20
I o'clock A.M. breeze sprung up. ship lay her course. 5 Whales seen to windward. 8 breeze fresh [e]n'd. Ship going 7.4 knots, brig in sight - 10 A.M. going 10 1/2 knots under double reef'd top sails, breeze freshened. 3 P.M. blew pretty stiffly - close re.ef'd Courses made the land of Cape Breton at 4 P.M. well to windward -about 15 miles.
Monday May 21
Made St. Paul's at @... Magdalen Island about 7 A.M. a Bark also to windward - wind contrary - fair and clear. lost my Cigar Case - very cold.
Tuesday May 22
Fine Morning. Sunny and fresh, contrary winds. 4 Vessels on starboard bow. standing on the same Course as ourselves - 3 more Vessels. Starboard Bow. Midday Breeze sprung up in our favor going 7-8-9 knots - 10 1/2 at Sunset. - Made Anticosti about 4 P.M. at II 1/2 Midnight, fell calm Anticosti distant about 15 Miles -Lost @3.3 at some damn'd game or other. Lost sight of vessels on Starboard Bow about 6 o'clock.
Wednesday May 23
6 O'clock A.M. Anticosti Six Miles Starboard Bow. Spoke 8 1/2 A.M. Spoke a Bark (English). About Midday We had the Canadian Coast within a few Miles. Mountainous but low range of coast, snow lying in hollows above - both Coasts visible. 6 P.M. Ship mist stays ... a large bark accompanies us, she [with] mist also - a small Schooner with her Bound to Liverpool. Wind foul. - Sent two Letters one to Mrs. M. the other to G. Peath. Took in a Pilot (French Canadian). his pay about 20 Guineas, put on board by a small Schooner. Said to be above 200 Pilots on the Quebec Station, this Man is perfectly different from either French or English in visage and make. his complexion is browner than and less florid than our fair Seamen and less dark and yel lower than our dark ones - features square but rather delicate for one of his profession. - Clear dark Evening. - wind continuing foul. commenced Notes on Addison. Lost 15s/-at Vingt-un. began to get the Scenery ready ... Lord Durham ill ...
Thursday May 24
Queen's birthday. Orders to appear in full dress at Division's Dinner to be given to all on Board in Gun Room by Lord Durham - intended to dine on Poop, but too cold ...Weather clear but cold .... 10 A.M. land on Canadian shore quite Distinct and full of form and very blue ... Gulls in plenty. Midday clear 'd up and warmer and soft. Appear'd on Poop, everyone in full dress. Slight distinctions in Aide-De-Camp's uniforms but no difference devilish fine and good looking fellows these said Aide-De-Camps, fired Royal salute Royal standard at the Masthead (it's not half so rich since it has lost Hanoverian shield) found it rather cool to my superior extremity and the smell of the Powder powerful but not agreeable; it really was a most interesting sight. I only regretted for my part there were no strangers to look on. I think the anxious and delighted faces of "we of the canaille" together with the squeeze, the standing on tiptoe and lengthening of necks is the more amusing than the parade of the Show from a Coronation down to "If you Look to the left, my little dears, you will see" ... dined in Ward Room, sat down 6 o ['clock] to dinner. Lord Durham in Lord Lieutenant's Uniform, he spoke three times, but all short - tremendous crush and very warm. after Tea went onto Quarter Deck. found it cover 'd in with Ensigns and Colors , very pretty and making a capital Ball Room. Highland Band on the Poop, and female Household had up to dance, capital fun. Ship as still as a sleeping top. had a Sailor to dance the Hornpipe, who perform'd admirably, - we soon warm'd to it. then there was the Devil to pay and no pitch pot [?] reels all the go. I asked a Swiss female to Waltz and she couldn't or wouldn't, took up with a lively french woman, pas joli mais amusante, talk'd french at a most fearful rate, with some expense of German to some-body else - found I'd enjoy 'd myself sufficient and turn'd in about ten. most of our Party retired to the Gun [Room] to supper and make speeches. Bushe puli'd off his Cravat and made a french speech, the Boatswain was prevaii'd on to sing and then there was no stopping him, some proposed to knock him down others to put him under arrest, but no the more they endeavour 'd to stop, the more he roar'd and thundered forth, his Eternal "this and my t'other" the Shannon [?] and Chesapeake, but all things have a conclusion and the day at last ended ...
Friday May 25
Woke Early and refresh'd. breakfast'd in Gun Room being too hungry to wait Another hour. Morning cold but fair, high favorable winds, some of our party rather the worse for wear. Lord Durham ill in bed. commenced painting scenes, about I O'clock got on pretty well - calm - but about 3 P.M. breeze sprung up, and we went away about 5 knots and a half - land on both side[s]. On the near side the hilly coast appeared well wooded with here and there a gully of frozen snow or water shining like a tall [?] white sail close under the land -grampuses spouting all round us - came on cold towards Evening, the breeze continued favorable - about 200 Miles yet to Quebec (taken at Midday). the River about 25 Miles wide. Cape Chat. on the Larboard Beam. Coast on the Starboard side not continuous: but we are led to expect being in the narrows tomorrow at Midday. 9 P.M. wrote Turkish Journal. Midnight, stern sails [?] sails set and bowling [?] along right merrily, smoked cigar on boats. fine clear weather.
Saturday May 26
brought the Ship to about 4 A.M. weather being foggy, at 8 A.M. made sail lag [?] line hold going 10 and a half knots. Morning cold and raw. No land being visible possibly on account of the thick weather - two barks standing on the same course as ourselves, both on Larboard Bow and the nearest within a mile -at 10 o'clock A.M. began to paint, fagged tremendously and got done about. 2 P.M. large ship ashore on our Starboard Bow on the Point de Bee - Ship name the Canada - she lay high and dry. 6 P.M. at Seven brought the Ship to within 30 miles of Quebec, Ship having made a capital Run, throughout the day - Set to fit out a theatre on Quarter Deck - soon done and certainly could not possibly have imagined any thing so good could have been got up on Board in two hours all was ready - the Cdritic and Tom Thumb went off most admirably as also a Sailor who danced ..... about I o'clock a.m. it was over and we had supper in [illeg.] with V.P.C. and myself f[i]nish'd the bowl [?] Went out on bowsprit and waited for ship cocoa then milked the Cows and turned in about six. lovely morning.
Sunday May 27
got up about II A.M. Quebec rising in the extreme distance over Point of land - all on board most anxious -for the Montmerenci falls - certainly magnificent - but defer'd entering into details - done much admire the white houses: because they are on continuous lines, rarely in clumps - thus cutting up the landscape, very much delighted with the general appearance of the country - towards this Part, it resembles the Highlands much -Anticipate good sketching, arrived about 2 o'clock P.M. and found the Malabar 74 Pique and [il leg.] 36 and Race Horse Corvette here - the wind was right up the River carrying us in about 10 knots an hour with stud [d] ing Sails set - we had the Band of the Highlanders 71st Regiment on the Deck and the officers in full Dress, making the Scene one of great interest to us Entering for the first time a Country of which we expected the Arrival of his Lordship would create considerable sensation - we came to anchor the Malabar and Racehorse and immediately under the fortress - every prominent situation of which was thronged by spectators and below in the Town every Roof wharf and vesel was densely cover 'd by the people in whom anxiety seemed at the utmost until they were made aware that his Lordship would not Land until the next day. Previous to our Arrival his Lordship and family were assembi'd on the starboard Side of the Poop being nearest the City. his Lordship evidently much interested and excited at approaching the field of his future labours - we wer[e] peculiarly fortunate in finenes[s] of the weather actually arriving on the first day of summer. We had shortly several visits from the Military Officers of his Suite who arrived previously. Conroy being among the first to pay his Respects - our Deck soon passing a Lively scene the Aid-de-Camp from the Town and those his Lordship in full uniform mixed with that of the Captains of H.M.S. then in Port. I went on Shore shortly after in Company with the Messrs. B. and Hon. [?] E.B. Landing at the King's Wharf, we passed along the narrow streets at the back of line of wharfs and then commenced ascending one [of] th[?] those numerous flights of Wooden Steps leading to [?] the upper Town, then past under the Gate, having a Guard Room above, on your Right is placed the New House of Assembly, (the future Residence.) a fine Building taken together in the Christopher Wren Style -but poor and thin in detail and proportion - the Dome surrounded by a lantern with external Gallery is cover 'd in with tin. the sides also - indeed everything above the level of where the roof commences is wholly covered with this metal - I don't like its appearance atall on the flat surfaces, it is too dazzling or to[o] monotonouks and dull - never agreeable to the eye - it is used in consequence of the snow not remaining on it. the Building is not yet finished one wing being Wanting. I confess I think the Cupola extremely Elegant in its upper Parts, moreover its Silvery appearance contrasts well with the righly gilt cap of the lantern ball and Vane. the streets in the upper Town which commences here seem to lead nowhere or to have no connection with one another, the general appearance of the Houses is very poor externally plain unbroken fronts prevailing - but inside they are Roomy and comfortable, more so indeed than the generality of Houses in larger Capitals here as in France they seem built for coolness alone - Entring a building here would certainly give the idea of its being adapted to to the wants and necessities of those living in warm climates -that this climate is warm doubtless as frequently the Thermometer stands at 95 Fahrenheit West India Heat, but then they have not above one fourth of the year Even warm weather, and the rest is cold Enough by all Accounts -dined at Paynes Bill paid by C. Buller Esq. amounting to 1.2.6. between four of us - not paid mine yet.
Monday May 28
Rainy dirty Morning, all Bustle as [illeg.] turn'd us out of our Cabin - to make a Reception Chamber for La Sna [?] Excellency Sir John Cockburn waited on his Excellency.
Tuesday May 29
the Proclamat[i]on on [?] -the Character etc. - Reception Second Proclamation Friday
Received Permission -to wear the Colonial Button, as also permission to apply for Government Papers of any General Interest to me as a Journalist –
Woke late. found the sun powerful and -the air soft like a true summer's Morning - the Bells of the Church (Protestant) in the square and opposed to my window were clanging as usual in all Protestant [countries], I suppose to drive from them their quiet homes to seek refuge in the Church, the metallic grating sounds not descending reminding one of the nearer the Church the farther [ il leg.] on going proceeding through the Square on my way to Breakfast at the Albion - Met the same style of crowd as would be met in London and bent on the Errand mentioned above, by the quickness of their Pace should imagine they didn't admire this noise any more than myself .... the prevailing colors worn by the ladies are light green, puces and pink of all dyes. I certainly do not think them pretty or even pretending to it. the paysanne having monstrous legs and feet. pah! disgusting even in recollection - I must not forget that his Excellency attended divine Service. after breakfast walked out with Sadler to the Plains of Abrahamk, crost the Race Course - a poor specimen of the sort of thing, very uneven; but immediately on leaving it we descended through brushwood into a small wood of pines, being the first I had enter 'd I was delighted the cool shade being most grateful and then it was so Picturesque the tall Red stems of the trees, straight as if a forest of serried lances darting their points through the huge masses of green, amid whose height the wind sigh'd heavily as it past on to ruffle the tranquil breast of the St. Lawrence flowing several hundred feet beneath and forming at this point a cove at this time the of the Ships filled will shipping: the decks of all quiet and as[?] the scene [?] around (at this instant the Steam of one [of] the Vessels preparing to start this Evening to Montreal is being let off. her Ensign is now unfurl 'd. I can just see from my Window in the Chateau the people in those lines passing from the wharves to her deck.) I must not forget to mention the strong scent of pine to me most delightful as it strikes the sense momentarily -I imagine it arises from the friction of the young brances by action of the wind as it passes lazily through them - thence we descended to the Beach lined with immens[e] [?] rafts of timber and having a double and sometimes treble Row of shipping outside - the shelter oif the hill side is occupied by Rows of wooden Houses occupied by the Workmen and the families. Dined for First time in Chateau - Sir Hugh Dalrymple dined and left early to start by packet to Montreal.
Fine and warm Morning, towards Midday heat intolerable. Thermometer 70 in the Coolest Room to be found. My Room not too warm sketch 'd from Window - order 'd two Pairs of Plaid Trowsers at 25s/- C. per pair to be Home on Wednesday, also a pair of Shooting Shoes .... Buller kindly gives me my Coat Buttons - Guns from Fort on Sir John Cockburn's quitting for Montreal - 40 sat down to dinner including guests - splendidly got up - , officers principally - 3 or four ladies and a parson wore the Colonial Button for the first time. - Mr. Ellice sang andk play 'd. Spoke to Captain Elsington who dined with us as Macdonnel's Aide - Cavendish bought new House - Ch. to give Buller a set of Buttons in lieu of those Buller has given me. Colonel Grey arrived bringing news of a Steamer being fired into by the Canadians.
Got up at four. Sun Rising splendidly. Received an invitation from Cavendish in the name [of] the Aide-De-Camp, to join their Mess, accepted with much Pleasure - made a Sketch of Catholic Church and then commenced one from the battery in Garden of Chateau couldn't finish it came on to Rain about 8 A.M. -breakfasted at Schlaups with D : Came on to rain heavily - continues 3 P.M. - attended the first Levee - his Excellency received extremely well and look'd well there were double the number usually presented as compared with all foregoing levees here - this considering the unpropitious state of the weather must be considered highly favorable to the present government, showing at least a wish on the Part of the respectable Inhabitants to countenance the gover[n]ment - of his Excellency. I never assisted at anything of this sort previously but imagine there never was seen a more singular assemblage than that presented by the visitors - there was the Bishop of Quebec or Montreal very long and lean (like the Duke of Wellington) his next short, stout and comely and modish having the bottom of his robes pierced and "jagged very curiously" beneath which two large new shoes were observed placed in the first position. I expected the Moment his Excellency enter 'd - he would go off in a jig - then we had two Monseignori - in Purple and tyrolese hats (the linen was not visible). The Elder Representative of the "Gentlemanly faith" appeared to have lost something in the depths and loose linings of the hat borne by him as every other minute he thrust a hand most inquirin[g]ly into the bottom of it - perhaps his Monseigneurship once carried a handkerchief there on a simular occasion and by the chain of circumstances just remember 'd such a thing is customarily worn by most people and then such shoes. Mein Gotti sabots by the side of even the stout Parsons - these worthy old Gentlemen were very expert in kicking out the train of their Garments - then came gay Guardsmen, laughing Naval men, and then a long line [of] Parsons again - then came all sorts [of] little Gentelmen in white (or meant for such) Trowsers pinching in Waists of most unconscionable grandeur - one likely little fellow sported a white Hat - an out and out Radical I dare say -then came a most pompous little old prig of a thing in black sweeping robes - parson - or lawyer - don't know which - do for either at a pinch I dare say - he carried his Card between the tip of his fore finger and thumb and when he approach 'd the Presenter he gave such a twist and twist to his Wrist as must have drawn strongly on the lubricating oil of his poor dear bones - he wore a short-clubby flaxen wig too - as he past I thought it right to take a most particular interest in Portraits of their late Most Excellent Mayesties [?] - George III and Queen Charlotte - not but that I [had] seen them every day since I'd been here - but that I thought should his Excellency catch my peculiar expression of risible muscles at that moment he might show some slight disposition to produce a change in them more rapidly than might be fitting to my dignity - but all things sublunary have an Ending and the last was told off - Joyful was the Countenance of Aide and Attache: Civil and Military we fell back to lou[n]ge at our Ease - his Excellency is going - up Goes Bushe's feathered knowledge covering excresc[e]nce into the air - but la la stop [?] takes place an An aide rushes to his Excellency - and whispers something of direful import - his Excellency stares, doesn't half like - ask[s] a Question or two and again takes his stand - the Door is thrown open and Enter a large man in tight pants and blu[e] Coat. Armed as Collector General of Taxes - his Excellency addresses him - expects him to quit - but no - he stands stoutly reminding one of the Rhodeian [?] Colosses another question he moves not even now - all stare - at last we all respire again he does take it and exit omnes -Colonel and Mrs. Grey dined with us - etc.
Wretched dull Morning, went to Breakfast with the Aide-de-Camp ..... day clear'd up and became brilliant. 1/2 past 12 went on board the Steamer by boats belonging to H.M.S. Hastings - from moorings alongside the Hastings at I P.M. on a trip to the falls of Montmorenci past the Andromeda frigate arriv'd the Evening previous from Cork - they told me she was only 8 days running from land to land - these Steamers are peculiarly Yankee broad in the extreme and very shallow - drawing about 4 1/2 feet Water - the deck has a superstructure commencing at the foot of fore-mast and veering right left with large awning over poop, Etc. - the Engine is on the level of the upper deck of all Steam [?] Vessels - the piston and levers working up through the second deck - rather unsightly to me. She had two funnels right and left of deck, also two safety valves, she is high pressuri [zed] [?] the dinning room is large and conveniently filled for sleeping - better than ours - and [?] is placed on the actual lower deck galleries running round it - cover 'd in by the upper deck the steerage is on the lower deck before the Mast. - we went away famously with tide to make. the circuit of Island of Orleans, some 40 Miles -the Island not interesting - undulating gently over the whole surface, some of the Natives fired guns as we past his Excellency had his Box and papers on Board and wrote for some time - Mrs. Grey with us. Colonel Grey left this Morning for Montreal Volunteers wanted from Navy to serve on the Oakes [?]. Dined on board 4 P.M. - 1/2 past, arrived opposite [?] Montmorenci [?] falls, certainly splendid - Landed at a large timber yard - the proprietor rec[eiv]ing [?] his Excellency - a man who has made @14,000 - by selling timber - ascended and cross'd over the falls by bridge - went to the point on the other side - most delight'd - return'd at 8 o'clock P.M. went to ADC where there was a splendid supper prepared - late to Bed.
Bad weather, did nothing - had a dinner Party of 40. the Bishop of Montreal and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Quebec and Jermini [?] present, the table magnificent [?] - saw the Broken Column erected to the Memory of Wolfe's Death, on the spot where he fell.
Up at 8 A.M. dull and rainy weather, breakfasted a-t Mess. Made a Sketch from my Window.
Up at 1/2 past 3 A.M. started at four for Morancy [?]. woke up Bushe. joined Conroy - found the Road very bad and muddy. Went to look at Church of Beauport (?Devonport) [?] pretty and tinsel ly - much the same as all Roman Catholic Religious Edifices - Bushe returned to Quebec - Arrived at Morancy [?] at 1/2 past 7. the weather most Lovely, rendering one happy with all things - the view from the Bridge delightful on either side. Breakfasted. Slept an hour, and started for the foot of the falls, made two sketches ..... Supped and enjoyed the cool of the Evening on the Bridge dreaming [?] of circumstances and objects remote enough, indeed during the Morning had some difficulty to bring myself to study, imagination endeavouring to exert itself, and aid my natural wish to do nothing and that as stilly as possible - had I given way. the day had proved one long and Lovely dream - went to Bed at 1/2 past 8 P.M. ....
Fine morning, woke at 3 A.M. by the Sons of House coming to get the Guns out of lockers in the next Chamber -turn'd over and slept till seven, breakfast went out and sketched again, dined at I P.M. sketched again till 1/2 past 5. found Bushe and Sadler just arrived steaming hot - stroll 'd about till supper-time 8 o'clock. Two deputations from the Inhabitants waited on his Excellency - he could only receive one on account of Illness their Excellencies were settled this day in the House of Assembly - drank Grog and smoked till 1/2 past 9 on Balcony overhanging the falls, sang snatches of old Songs till near to 10 P.M. turn'd in - three Beds in one Room - very like Swiss auberge balconies all round, large rooms, inside of unpainted deals.
Got up at 4 o'clock A.M. had a cup of tea and started sun already warm arrived at Quebec about 7 A.M. breakfast'd at Albion - saw Sir John. Much better - went home to the Chateau accompanied by Joseph my new Boy call'd at Prior's and had him measured for new things - Lord Durham received at Deputation at Midday - dined, dreadfully warm, with thunderstorm.
Went to the falls of the Chaudiere - wet afternoon, on this day Joseph began to serve - dined in Lower dining Room, no Ladies present. Sent to Lady M. L. two books of Sketches and 6 or 7 copies. Bad Morning - Lady Durham held her first Drawing Room -Capitally attended - such a thing had not been seen here for some years previously indeed it was remark 'd that never had the People here witnessed anything equal to it - there were refreshments provided much to the satisfaction of the Good Quebeckians - it was amusing to observe how continually the Ladies presented forgot the presence of his Excellency - and past him by - he laughed or rather smiled we all laughed, indeed no one could have avoided it - but every one was delighted and it past off very well. (Here is a deleted entry "Rainin hard all the morning His Ex sent to Lady May L two books of sketches and six papers. Dined in Lower Room.")
Up Early to fish - caught not anything - dined at the Albion, had a slight idea of commencing diarrh[o]ea. weather infernally hot 80 in the shade..
Up Early and sketched on the Road to Race Course - dined out. - Cornwallis arrived tow'd by the Dee Admiral Boyd arrived in the Medea
Walked to Morancy [?] Sadler arrived when I had gone to bed - night and day very warm. Ball given by the Officers of H.M.S. Hastings to the Countess of Durham and Ladies of the Town.
Went to fish higher up the River Morancy [?] - found the Country extraordinarily wild and aboriginal in appearance - saw the Manche Naturel - a Long allie of pavement (natural) running down to the River. I should imagine at least a quarter of a Mile long and several Yards broad -in Winter it is a water course - in one place a copious spring bubbles up in the Centre of the pavement - each single slab may be frequently 20 or 30 foot long and wide, very flat and edged on one side by a steep ledge of rock (in strata each of 3 to 5 Inches thick) from 12 to 20 feet high, the wood on either side being of the densest and impenetrable character - overhanging and frequently almost intercepting the passage - on arriving at the end of this natural platform of stone - which continues to increase in width as it proceeds you find the river flowing at a considerable depth below and shut in on either side by rocky walls - the strata of which has quite an artificial appearance its lines being placed at equal distances and perfectly straight to the horizon - woods overhang on all sides - while the River pent up rushes with tremendous force o'er a bed irregular and broken by enormous beds of rocks, now becoming daily more exposed as the snow waters decrease - on reaching the end of the platform you can descend to the water by natural steps disposed as though by the assistance of art - I know not of anything to liken this to - the only possible comparative is that of a glacier whose similitude is extreme. I have strolled the whole day on the heights and been delighted with the Lovely Views offered and must regret that many are of that character (too general alas) so difficult to fix on Paper - being so dependant on the atmosphere and the surrounding scenery - one cannot give in a sketch the abrupt transition from what is distasteful to what is charming and every way pleasing -We dine for the first time in the Palace today.
We had a tremendous storm this Evening - short but very violent - with excessive heat - We had a largish party at dinner - 39 customarily we have 34 or thereabouts Turton started for Montreal - C. Buller already there some days. Colonel Grey from Montreal. Poor Bushe taken ill with [ il leg.] Cholera –
Fine Morning - did not. anything until 1/2 past 2 when ] dined then. Ponsonby drove me in his Tandem to Charlebourg - having had the intention to go to Lac aux PrCelrey [?] Fish'd Ponsonby caught a little trout - going quarreled with a Habitant - likely to rain so I return 'd 6 o'clock - bed[d]ed at ten.
Called on Bushe, in Bed much better - with a Charming Portrait by (?Forbrey) of an Indian Girl, hanging at foot of bed-ood idea - drive [s] me mad - too vivid a fancy without that aid - made a design for illumination. Visited Bushe again began readi[ng] 3 N. of N.P.R. Nickleby - walked with Sadler ...... dined - G. W.[?] spoke to me graciously - met Captain Deal -spoke to him - learnt from [him] that there is a duty 33 1/4 per Cent on all Books imported - shocking - and that the habitans were the most civil race in the World previous to their attempt to revolutionize. Colonel Couper spoke to me about illu[m]inating the Chateau on 28 m Bushe Better -Spoke to somebody - Being about the illumination stupid man did nothing.
At I O'clock P.M. met his Excellency - family and suite at the Doors of the Nunnery we were by the nuns in double lines exceeding demure indeed - and usher 'd by themk up stairs into a Salon having a throne, the covering for the host when carried in procession forming the canopy - his Excellency and Lady Durham with the little Lady Alice occupied this Seat on the dais - the ladies of the Suite seating themselves to the right. Gentlemen to the left of the throne - forming an open semi circle - the whole chamber was decoreBe [?] with flowers, shrubs, etc. and along the walls were ranged the Nuns, very old and exceeding ugly indeed, of three nations French English and Canadian - Agreeing I should say in but one thing, the competition for the wreath to be bestowed on the least femini[n]e amongst them - in front of them were ranged the boarders of the Establishment drest in white with Coronals of flowers the elder girls carried guitars: on our Entrance a rumble tumble piece played God Save etc. [?]
Quam mater iun* AEsopus reppent auctor.
What subject-matter AEsop devised as author,
hanc Ego polivi versibus senariis
this I have polish 'd in verses of six-feet
DOS libelli est duplex : quod
The advantage of the little book is twofold : that
movet risum et quod moret it moves
laughter and that it advises
vitam prudenti concilio** . Autem
life by prudent counsel . But
si quis voluerit calumn[i]ari,
if any-one shall have been willing to cavil,
quod non tantun @ ferae
because not only wild animals
arbores loquantor @@, meminerit
but trees speak , he will remember
nos jacari fictis fabulis
that we are joking in fictitious fables
Lupus et Agnus venerant ad eundem riviem,
A Wolf and a Lamb had come to the same river,
compuisi siti, lupus stabat superior, que
compeli'd by thirst, the wolf was standing higher,and
agnus longe inferior tune latro incitatus
in the lamb far lower then the Robber incited
I.I - materiun : correct reading is "materiam" **1.9 - concilio : correct reading is "consilio" @ 1.13 - tantun : correct reading is "tantum" @@1.15 - loquantor : correct reading is "loquantur"
improba fauce, intulit causum * jurgii,
by an unclean throat, brought on cause of quarrel,
[ "] Cur", inquit, ["]fecisti istam aqua[m]
["]Why["], says he, ["] hast thou made that waters
turbulentan** mihi bibenti?["] Laniger
turbid for me drinking? ["] The wool bearer
contra timens : ["]Qui possum , quaeso,
on the other hand fearing: ["]How am I able, I pray,
facere quod quereris Lupe?
to do what thou compla[i]ned of, oh Wolf?
Liquor decurrit a te ad meos
The Liquor runs down from thee for my
haustus" Ille, repulsus viribus draughts"
He, being repell 'd by the powers
veritatis, ait, ["]Ante hos sex
of truth, says, [ " ] Before these six
menses maledixisti mihi"
months thou has spoken ill of me"
Agnus respondit: ["]Equidem eram[?]
The Lamb answer'd; ["]l indeed was
non natus : Hercule, " inquit
not then born: By Hercules," says he
* I.I- causum : correct reading is "causam"
**1.5 - turbulen-fcan : correct reading is "turbulentam'
NB (Page missing) the descending waters rushing o'er a rude and irregular bed have become frozen apparently on the instant of their greatest hurly burly - and here a tributary river when silently flowing onwards to mingle waters with its Sister of the Wilderness has become petrified in the moment of utmost placidity - leaving nor foam nor ripple on its now stony surface - such at least is [the] apppearance of this singular "Manche Naturel" of the Habitand - Captain Conroy ordered to go to New Brunswick with despatches -Pearl arriveed
Walked to Quebec to breakfast. Conroy gone - Lord Durham announced his intention of going to Montreal in a fortnight, taking his suite etc. Volunteering to start for the Lakes from H.M.S. Hastings (4 officers)
Dined at Chateau ..... weather about 90 Fahrenheit good
West India temperature. N.B. (Pages apparently missing)
Went out with Sir John to Sillery[?] Cove on return went down to Palace to dine. found all in Dining Room uttering words of extreme surprize and the speakers closely group' d. Papers just arrived per Packet Ship staling Dond [?] Brough [illeg.] of Lord Durham his Excellency did not join us till 8 o'clock P.M. an hour later than usual - distributed letters on Entrance and se[e]med in better mood thazn usual, actually in high spirits -Common Report that we must Return.
Started at 7 A.M. for Lorette made a sketch - fish'd, kili'd nothing -met two Indians going to the hunting ground distant a week's mach of 12 leagues a day. mark their way through the Bush by cutting the Trees - each man carried 50 Ibs. weight - including his Gun, flour and 71bs of shot and 3 Ibs of Powder - their general time to remain is I to 3 Months, sketched again - home at 7 o'clock, his Excellency went in the Medea S.F. to St. Anne's (in mufti) return 'd the same Evening. His Excellency in good Humour.
Stopp'd at Home till Lunch - went to Palace found a deputation of the inhabitans (Loyalists) returning from seeing his Excellency to state their full concurrence in the measures of his government, other follow'd till 2 P.M., a general feeling of funk shows itself amongst them - his Excellency in very good humour - sketch 'd at Sillery [?] with Villiers [?] - dined at 6 P.M. went to the Theatre to see Miss Clifton, she played by Command of his Excellency.
Bad weather: Wind from N.E. - with gusty heavy Rain. (Lord Durham and company sailed on November 1st)
(Several pages probably missing)
There must be some charm in the anticipation of fixing thoughts on Paper (or rather the nearest possible explanation of them) since so many are continually doing it, which has not yet been experienced by myself. I never having had the feeling sufficiently strong to induce me seriously to set to work to describe what I've seen and felt, why I should I don't know - no one asks me - no one possibly thinks me capable and yet, frequently admiration of works which I conceive strangely weak and bad, is exprest by those around me ..... since the charm wont't come to me unask'd I'll endeavour to excite it by doing as others do while under its influence ..... I have had much annoyance in reading Portions of a work of Turkey and Greece by one named Journey to the East Addison (of the Temple). With the communicant I was ennuyBe but had never been ashore in the Greek Islands and therefore took for Granted all he said was true and consequently worthy of being read for information if not for Pleasure, but when He came on my own ground, the disgust he created was intense. I recalled when at Therapia [?] falling in with Lamartine's delightful work - with the first volume relating of Jerusalem and the Holy Land generally I was ravish'd, so much description powerful as ever [illeg.] in the quiet and stillness of its eloquence sentiment clothed in Poetical language of the most exquisite character, such as can only arise in the bosom a talented Man of strong and glowing Passions bending under the weight of sorrows arising from the uncertain tenure of happiness of health in those whom we best love and in whom we live. Poor Lamartine of his Grief was great and pitiable so are the feeling [s] brought forth by them honorable to himself and all men -I forget when I lost my commencing Anathema against Lamartine: in admiration of his powers as a Poet and Traviller - but I believe I had just said how delighted I was with his descriptions of the Holy Land, never having been there, but when he came on my own ground I must condemn equally with Addison for faults petty as great, though diff 'rent. Lamartine permits himself to be carried away by his intensity of poetical passion and represents things rather as one wishes them to be than as they really are, for instance he talks of Gilded Domes Marble Palaces Orange Groves etc. in the- Seraglio Gardens at [?] Constantinople, now I don't believe either of these could be found in the whole City (European or Asiatic side) the Domes are Lead, the Palaces and Mosques are Stone and the Orange and Citron Groves "are not" -certainly the two Minarits of the Mosque of the Artillery Ground (Pophano[?]) have gilded Points: but they are the only exceptions I believe - then again passing over some Enlarged descriptions of things in themselves of the most minor importance - his Journey through Bulgaria is most fearfully elongated and made dreadful by its difficulty it's all nonsense - he who can't sleep in a cloak (when necessary) ought not to travel beyond Post Chaise Land. The Journey made from Constantinople by Lamartine is frequently done in 4 and 5 days and he occupies God knows how long, weeks almost months carrying Tents etc. en prime [?] The only thing I really dislike in Lamartine is that he did not learn in so long a Journey the folly of travelling "en grande". most Frenchmen do it whenever they can therefore that he should share in the usual mode of his "many color loving" Countrymen does not surprize me - but that he should have continued such useless Parade does - I fear too that I frequently committed the sin of laughing at descriptions (which had I not seen the realities from which they were drawn) I should have admired for their beauty and elegance. But this Addison (who has Published) is unbearable, his language is coarse and powerless wearying by the drag chain of its own weight frequently being [?] and quite wrong even in common Names and things most easy to be ascertained, for instance the Beautiful Caique [?] of the Bosphorus he calls by the [illeg.] name of Kerlangishe[?] or "Swallow Boat" he ascribes them thus. these are the most beautiful Boats I ever saw, sharp as a needle, bow and stern. Now it unfortunately happens that they are not known by either name in the Bosphorus: as to their form they are built in the form of an Egg with a Beak or peak projecting from the smaller apex, the passengers sitting in Egg or forwa[r]d position: as to stern being sharp as a needle, what Resemblance there can be between the base of an Egg and the Point of a needle I leave his "readers" to discover - I can't understand how he could have fell into the mistake about the "tall high tuft or Plumes or 'hair' left to grow on the very top" - he afterwards says "it's impossible to give you an idea of the extraordinary style and character that the tuft gives them" now the carelessness of this (backing the other) is too bad. the truth is this The crackmen of the [illeg.] wear a round small red [illeg.] a blue tassell falling flat over cap, fitting quite close and not being larger than a common tea saucer it can only just cover the poll of the skull, where every mussilman allows the. hair to grow in one long tuft (by which they are drawn on, etc.....) the whole of the head being shaved with this exception, now this "tall high tuft or Plume of hair" is invariably coil'd up and laid flat immediately on Poll, is just cover 'd and no more by the cap to which the [ illeg.] gives just such a twist as a Blue-coat Boy does to the one he wears appearing to screw it on, now how the small blue fringing or tasseling falling flat on the circle of the cap could have been made to represent the tall high etc. I can't conceive as it's only by accident one ever sees the hair beneath, as, when he wishes to change the white lining to the cap, or it gets displaced from exertion - Then follows what we should not be surprized at a perfect stranger doing or speaking of - but that one presuming to write on the Customs and appearances of other Lands should do to annoy one - He says "Having placed ourselves in the Boat with our Dragoman squatted below" now the Dragoman's Place is above and the "Signer's" seat is below - and he talks of the vessels of War at the Dock Yard having the golden crescents glittering proudly on a Red flag at the stern - now it's no such thing. The crescent is of white and contains between the horns a white star - The Star and Crescent on a red field being the flag of the Turkish Nation. He talks of the Boats becoming thinner and a dozen other things equally ridiculous in every other Page it may appear ridiculous attacking things so trifling and ridiculous - but the Book's composed of them. he never ventures on a[n] Opinion on anything of interest, in fact he never appears to have had an opportunity of acquiring any information of importance or even general interest - how the devil can such a fellow attempt to write works and thrust filth on the Town. Ent 'ring Constantinople
The Ent 'ring Constantinople is most interesting from the Side of Adrianople, after the fatigue of riding small tired Nags over Plains apparently interminable and render 'd doubly annoying by their barren and arid appearnace, ever were they [illeg.] large [?] flats so as to allow of the eye to wander [illeg.] itself amid the blue distance permitting the fancy to create fo[r]ms agreeable to its own wants and wishing it would be something consolatory, but no, they are hill and dale rarely permitting the sight any great range and even when a glimpse of something beyond is obtain 'd, the searching eyes in vain seek for some change of character in the landscape - yet now and then on [illeg.] [illeg.] Burial Grounds a hill or Entering a valley you may come upon a collection of [illeg.] monumental stones grown grey beneath the mists and nights [?] of ages the only remnants of a once possibly flourishing Town - after all else has been removed or gone to decay, the twobar[r]'d [?] gravestone yet remaining to speak from the silence of its solitary situation to the travellers of other times and fortunes.
The eagle claims sole mastership here standing at full height on the most promised stone and motionless as itself, he watches the approaching cavalcade then wheeling heavily around, resumes his place once the last foot fall has ceased to disturb the stillness of his reign - the musk snake and tortoise are his subjects and silent as the space he loves to soar in - the scent of the one and the empty still [?] of the other is met with continually by the Wanderer in the East - sometimes on Enteri[ng] on quitting a Village where water is plentiful Water Tortoises.
The Water Tortoise is observed to slide over the stones and rank weeds, and with a sullen plunge to hide himself beneath its filthy waters. - I don't know Ent 'ring Turkish Village anything more exciting than Ent 'ring a Turkish Town or Village "En Route" when after suffering the tedium of a day's Journey over those deserted Plains, nigh dead with thirst, and the fatigue of sitting [on] a tired horse so many hours you are greeted towards Evening by the sight of a distant Minaret [?] and Ere long you meet with a Stream or Fountain where the a halt is called to allow the drooping Cattle to drink, another instant and all are changed -the Horses before sluggish and wearied are now all life -the Traveller becomes excited and all hurry on [?] the Tartar flourishes his huge Kunishy [?] and his frequent utterance of heydeel heydee! Heydee Captan! - goads man and beast to the utmost and frequently it ends in a regular Race to gain the Houses the Surigees screaming and yell ing in the most hideous manner on your speed, Moslem and Christian, Saddle and Baggage Horse, the outlying dogs of the Village now wake up from their lairs and rushing alongside aid with their infernal noise the clattering hoofs and yells of the troop to bring to the and lattices the indolent inhabitants - or frighten [?] into the [illeg] of their speed a clump of female slaves and poor women met around the public fountain - who gathering up their long and tattered clothing fly to the nearest point to hide thernrelves and children from eyes of the Infidel Riders. Now the noise and tumult doubles as we clatter over the irregular pavement through [?] narrow street and alleys having by this time warmed [?] unto [?] nothing but a string of Camels (ten times worse than a wall in these Cases) or our arrival at the Khan the Halt can stop us or our Cattle - then our Halt - the leading Surigee suddenly leans well back and checks to his haunches the reeling baggage horse, your Tartar is already on his feet and pushing among the lookers on, while the Traveller fo[r]gets to descend as he stares about him in admiration of the motley group and indeed oft [?] I've often smiled at finding myself amid such strange scenes and wondering what chance brought me so far and how the devil I ever got there - But we descend and Enter and then comes the Coffee pleasure of all pleasures - the promised Coffee -I see even now the small cup of pure china circled by its calyx of silver filagree the brown juice steaming within then when seated on your Mat, the Chibouk is fili'd, the frequent utterance of ateche and ca-ve keeps the shoe and stocking up [illeg.] in constant [illeg.] the lounge in the shade the cool water from the spring by the door, the quiet and abstemious meal of rice and fowl The meal with the knowledge too that your bed is near and no labour will be required to drag your stiffn'd limbs to their repose, thus in the full Enjoyment of the "doice fa niente" you cast around to seek some corner to spread your carpet and soon with Saddle Bag for pillow you sink into the forgetfulness of unsought sleep - long Ere. the Morning.
Light is visible you are cali'd -to remoun-fc - the Baggage is already slung and again the dogs commenc[e] their yell ing ask you slowly walk your Horses through the silent Town. the open Country is soon gain'd and not until the first and second Pipes are finish'd may the [illeg.] be again brought into requisition - the Asiatics invariably proceed slowly for the first hour dukring which they take their Morning pipe from its leathern Case suspended at the Saddle Bows and quietly smoke until the Cattle have walk'd their stiffness off. then if the Ground allows of it, the Cattle are urged into a trot or if they are at the commence [me] nt of descent, the Party is well brought together galloping down [?] hill by the Tartar and then by a word, the teams break into a gallop on the instant and down they Plunge sparing neither beast or Baggage - on- oh - they go -into the Plain and continue as long as possible their paces from the impetus given by the descent. I have seen sometimes 12 or 14 miles got over in a space of time that would appear incredible and indeed would be perfectly impossible to get perform'd in any other Manner by the little wretched cattle too frequently employed as Posters in countries of the East -Having thus accomplished a considerable portion of the Stage (most Stage are about 36 Miles, but it not infrequently happens that you are necessitated to take on your Horses a Second Stage - then the best horseman becomes tired and utterly done up.) you pull up and make a walk of it for the remainder ....... it is during these rapid descents that the Traveller's anxiety is divided between the risk he runs of breaking his own neck and the possible damage likely to ensue to his Baggage, which although bound by a sursingle [?] occilates from side to side and frequently gets totally displaced falling bodily "en masse" or some unfortunate gun Case and that box or other like useless article quits its place and the whole cavalcade gallop [s] over it - endangering the existence of Every one in company [?] and supposing that luckily no horse does come down over it, the blows it has received may have gone far to destroy its original beauty - but too frequently A Baggage horse comes down during these runs, and rolling heavily over is dragged some paces by the demon of a Surigee, who under no circumstances allows himself to quit the leading rein - down come a half dozen blows, the beast is dragged to his feet and in an instant we are again pursuing our headlong career.
|Friday May 11 *|
The original diary is the property of Mr J.R. Coke-Smyth of:
It has been deposited at:
Surrey Record Office