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wards, the Dutch followed their example, and reaped a rich harvest by trading with India, and subsequently the English, who are now rulers of the country
Cape Town is very neat and well built, and stands on a gentle declivity towards the sea, the streets are very wide and straight, and intersect each other at right angles, which adds considerably to its beauty ; the houses are principally two stories high. Canals of water run through many of the streets and fine shady trees are to be found in some of them.
The Town is watered by a stream that issues from the Table Mountain. The inhabitants are the Dutch, English and Hottentots, or the natives of the colony. There are batteries, many forts and a castle to defend the town. Mr. Burnie kindly took us to see the Botanical Garden, where all sorts of plants and shrubs were reared and taken care of for experiments; it was not very large, but well conducted, and in good order.
The celebrated Table Mountain is in the view of the town, and the land at the summit of this mountain, called Table Land, is 3582 feet above the level of the sea, and is very flat.
. The climate of the Cape is very healthy and salubrious; it neither has the extreme cold of England, nor the oppressive heat of India; and from the equality of the seasons and the peculiarity of the soil, vegetation, both of Europe and
Asia, thrives very well. Here we saw pomegranate trees, plantain trees, and others of Indian production, and we were told that much of English fruit and vegetables were to be had in their proper
On the whole we were highly delighted with what we saw of the place; and we returned to Simon's Town in the same carriage and six, in three hours : the cost of the conveyance was 121.
By the 21st of June, having completed our water and provisions, and having caulked the deck, and repaired or replaced every thing that had suffered from the gale, we weighed anchor, and put to sea with a favorable breeze. We should have mentioned, that False Bay abounds with plenty of fish, mackerel especially, of which the ship’s company caught a great many, and it was a very great treat to us for some days.
At 10 A. M., on the morning of the 6th of July, we descried the Island of St. Helena. It appeared as a huge rock standing in the midst of the wide ocean, and the same evening we were so close to it that we might have thrown a biscuit on shore. This island may be conceived to be a stupendous rock rising out of the bosom of the sea, quite inaccessible except at one place; it is situated in the Atlantic ocean, and about 1200 miles distant from the west coast of Africa.
The whole area of it is, we understand, about 30,000 acres, a greater part of which is unfit to be
cultivated. The cliffs, on all sides, are from 700 to 1200 feet in height, and it is so well defended by fortifications, as to be considered invincible in the hands of the British.
As night came on, we hove to on the other side of the island; and on the following morning we came opposite James' Town; a boat was sent on shore, which returned in a few hours, and we set sail with the hope of touching at nowhere else but England.
The only town on the island of St. Helena is James' Town, and the population is said to be upwards of fourthousand. This barren and lonely place became the scene of great interest, from being the confinement of that extraordinary man Napoleon Buonaparte, who having for a series of years disturbed the peace of Europe, became an exile to this place in 1816, where he ended his earthly career on the 5th day of May, 1821, and was interred with all the honors due to him as a great military man. We have since read, that his remains were conveyed to Paris by the French, and buried in that country.
. On the afternoon of the 10th of July we passed Ascension Island; and on the 26th of the same month, about the parallel of the Azores, or the Western Islands, we descried a sail early in the morning, right ahead of us. We hoisted colours at seven, when she was sufficiently near; but she did not do so; and after repeated attempts,
we could not learn what she was: it was, therefore, thought that she must be a pirate ship, and we were informed that these latitudes were much frequented by this description of vessels formerly, and they took shelter among the islands when chased. There was only a slight breeze, and the captain took the precaution to give her the best possible reception he could. Accordingly, the poop ladders were removed, and the deck cleared for action. We had only six guns on board, which were kept in readiness—the gunner was called upon to do his best in case of action. The captain, in the meantime, kept watching her movements by the aid of his glass.
A dead calm now succeeded the wind; and as we and many others were looking at our suspected enemy from the poop, and forming all sorts of conjectures about her, one of the midshipmen cried out, “she is shortening the sails.” “What?" exclaimed the captain. “She is shortening the sails, sir," was the answer.
He looked through the glass, and found that it was the fact; and our suspicions were the more enhanced that she was really a pirate ship, and there were many opinions expressed about her superiority over us in force, and how ill-prepared we were to meet her. However, there was a great deal of anxiety and activity on board.
The captain being sensible of his inferior force as a merchantman, very prudently did not allow the sails to be taken in, lest he should excite the
attention of the Pirate, but made every possible effort in defensive preparations. An hour elapsed, but there was no further symptoms of hostility on her part, and we could not make out what she was about. She was now within two miles ahead of
and the captain again ordered the colours to be hoisted,
were rather surprised to see that she exhibited in return the American flag. It was now concluded that she was a trading ship, and we could, by the aid of our glasses, see that her deck was quite destitute of guns; and the few hands that we saw, convinced us of her being far from what we had suspected her to be.
A boat was immediately sent on board, in order to learn what news she had brought from America. Our friend the purser, the second officer, with three other passengers, went with it, and the account they brought was, that she was an nerican barque, bound for the African coast, for the purpose of seal fishery: she had no later news than what we had had at St. Helena, and her condition was not worth noticing, and having mistaken us at first for a ship of war, she purposely concealed her colours. A breeze having sprung up at night, we lost sight of her the next morning.
We entered the English Channel with a favorable wind, and on the 20th of August, at five in the afternoon, we descried the land, and in the evening saw the light of the Eddystone lighthouse; and the joy, evinced by all the people on