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board on seeing the shores of their native land after such a long and monotonous passage, and the anticipated pleasure of seeing their friends and families after a long privation, may be more readily conceived than described.
We arrived at Dover with a favourable and fresh westerly gale, and it was a beautiful sight to see the ship move at the rate of eight knots an hour with double-reefed topsails ; a great many of the passengers left the ship; our friend Mr. Stuart also went on shore to proceed to London, and from thence to send two steamers to tow us into the Thames River. From here we took a pilot on board, and came to anchor at the Nore, with the assistance of a steamer that arrived to tow us.
We should have mentioned, the cliffs at Dover are high and chalky, and the celebrated castle called Dover Castle, is seen standing on the highest part; immediately below it, to the west, is situated the town of Dover. This place is considered of the greatest importance in a military point of view, as it defends the entrance to the rivers Thames and Medway; the fortifications have received many improvements during the last French revolution, and it was made a military station. It has extensive excavated barracks, which would contain upwards of three thousand men.
The strait of Dover divides England and
France, and the castle is about 21 miles distant from the coast of France, which is in sight.
Here we were greatly surprised to see the amazing number of ships going out and pouring into the Thames, and steamers every now and then running backwards and forwards; we cannot convey to our countrymen any idea of this immense number of vessels, and the beauty of the sight. You will see colliers, timber ships, merchantmen, steamers, and many other crafts, from all parts of the world, hastening, as it were, to seek refuge in a river, which is but a stream compared to the Ganges and the Indus, or the still larger rivers of America. We thought it a great wonder that such a small and insignificant a speck as England appears on the map of the world, can thus attract so many nations of the world towards her; and we asked ourselves, why should not those mighty rivers and countries, which have naturally much better accommodations for commerce than England, be not frequented as much. But a moment's reflection satisfied us on this point—the answer presented itself—and we will tell our countrymen that it is the persevering habits of the English, it is the labour and skill of that people, that is the cause of such attraction. They are never satisfied with any one thing unless it is brought to perfection, it does not matter at what sacrifice. They are ever ready to receive improvements, and thus they have
attained that celebrity in their manufactures that countries which grow materials bring them here to be converted into useful things, which are distributed all over the world; and while other countries were satisfied with what they had, England was eager to augment her resources. And how has she effected this? What has been the principal means of her doing it? Why, by knowledge or science put in practice, because knowledge is power; and it is by the power of knowledge alone, and not by the power of arms, that she has so many means of attracting the world to her, and extending the spread of her manufactures : however, this is a digression-we will speak of it another time, and now return to our voyage. Another steamer arrived the next day, and we were taken to Gravesend by their joint efforts. Thus ended our voyage, and we returned thanks to our Creator in thus conducting us safely through the numerous perils of the
Before we take leave of the subject, we have to acknowledge the uniform kindness and attention we received from our good friend Captain Hopkins, as well as the trouble he always took in studying our comforts during the voyage; and we feel equally sensible of the civility we received from his officers, to all of whom we would wish to return our sincere thanks.
ARRIVAL AT GRAVESEND, AND PASSAGE TO
On the 27th of August, 1838, the Buckinghamshire arrived at Gravesend, at five o'clock in the afternoon, and we immediately went on board a commodious steam-vessel belonging to the “ Diamond” Company, in order to proceed to London; the distance between these two places is thirty miles. This was the first time we were ever on board a steam-vessel going from one place to another, and we were very much struck with the good accommodations for so short a passage. There are three cabins, or saloons; the one nearest the stern is appropriated to the female passengers (who pay 28. each for their passage), fitted all round with handsome sofas; and there is also a large cabin adjoining, called the grand saloon, where both males and females, who pay 28., are mingled together. This is elegantly fitted up; handsome couches all around. A large mirror is over the fire-place, and a number of mahogany tables are distributed about the saloon, which has a most beautiful appearance. There is also a very
large cabin in the fore-part of the vessel, where all persons who pay ls. 6d. each for their passage resort; and upon the deck, abaft the paddle-boxes, there are several cabins for those who pay the same fare as the after cabin: any person who passes to the sternward of the funnel pays the higher rate of passage money.
In the principal saloon, you can have either breakfast, dinner, or any refreshments you require, consisting of tea, coffee, and cold meats, ale, porter, or wine, at very moderate charges. One shilling and sixpence for a hot dinner, exclusive of wine, or any spirit; one shilling for either breakfast in the morning, or tea in the afternoon, with butter, and good new bread. A very large proportion of the passengers take a meal on board to save time, thus eating as they travel.
These boats have carried as many as twelve hundred passengers at one time, and one of the vessels carried fourteen hundred on the day King William IV.
was buried. There were many people on board, and we were the objects of great attraction, and many were anxious to know where we came from, and who we were; and our friend Captain Hopkins, who was with us, satisfied their curiosity on these points. It was a beautiful clear evening, and the wind being favourable to us made it very agreeable. The steamer was going at the rate of 11 miles an hour, and the music playing on board was really