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Latterly, it has come a little into note by being made the point of embarkation for India. The pasha built a very large and handsome hotel at Suez, the only decent-looking building in the place. The water here is all highly saline : it contains a considerable quantity of pure alkali, and is well adapted for washing --that used by Europeans for drinking is brought from the Nile. Coal is also transported across the Desert from Cairo on camels, and here costs £6 a ton.
Quitting Suez, a long pull of nearly two miles through shallows and intricate channels brings you to the roadstead, where the steamer waits your reception—the smoking funnel and roaring steam giving note of a preparation for a start. The Gulf of Suez, which comes to a point a little way above the town, is about three miles across at the place from which the steamer starts. The distance from Suez to Aden is sixteen hundred miles due south-east; that from Aden to Bombay is nineteen hundred and sixty miles east and by north. Passengers to Calcutta are accommodated in the magnificent steamers of the Oriental Steam Navigation Company, each from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred tons burden, and four hundred to five hundred horse-power. These vessels proceed straight to Aden, this part of the route being common to both; then stretch away south-east for Ceylon, nearly at right angles to the path pursued by the Bombay vessels. The Bombay passengers are conveyed by the packets or war-steamers of the Indian navy: a portion of these are from seven hundred to seven hundred and fifty tons burden, and from two hundred and twenty to two hundred and fifty horsepower. Two very superior vessels, each of twelve hundred tons and four hundred horse-power, have lately been put on the line, and two others of still larger dimensions are now in process of construction. It was on board the Acbar, a first-rate ship, commanded by one of the most popular officers of the Indian navy, that we found ourselves on Christmas eve 1845. The traveller towards the East, who has been dragging by each remove a lengthening chain — who has found semi-tropical Europe at Gibraltar and Malta, and fairly tasted of the Orient in Egyptat length finds a floating fragment of India before him at Suez. The talk becomes exclusively of Bombay: inquiries are made after old places and friends, and England is spoken of as now a distant country, not soon to be seen again. The regulations as to dress, discipline, &c. are the same in the Indian as in the royal navy; and the packets are in all respects regarded as ships
To the old Indian, everything looks familiar; to the visitor for the first time to the East, all seems a fragment and foretaste of what is to come. Seldom, indeed, do you find so large a variety of races assembled in so narrow a compass. The officers, engineers, and regular seamen of the ship are Englishmen, all rigged out man-of-war fashion. The pilots are Arabs, from Aden or Mocha. Their costumes are beautifully pictu-
resque, and they are for the most part highly intelligent-looking men. Then you have the sepoys of the Bombay Marine Battalion, smart, dark-olive complexioned men, in the common uniform of the English soldier. The servants of the ship are mostly Portuguese, natives of the East, dressed in jackets and trousers of white cotton, such as Europeans not in uniform usually wear in India. The butler and head-servants are generally Parsees or Mussulmen : the Hindoo is forbidden by his creed from serving where his hands might be defiled by the flesh of the sacred cow. The firemen are mostly Mohammedans, or low-caste Hindoos-strong active fellows, who perform all the drudgery about the engine-room.
Fairly afloat on the Red Sea, there is little to attract the eye, the shores being rocky, sandy, and lifeless. If the weather bé clear, we see in the distance north from Suez the towering summit of Sinai. As the traveller proceeds southwards, he begins to be interested in the changes presented by the firmament. At night the Southern Cross becomes prominent amongst the constellations, and the beautiful clouds of Magellan give nebulæ
of an aspect altogether different from any he has seen before. The Great Bear is no longer seen to sweep around the Pole; the tail becomes at times altogether invisible, the four stars which con. stitute the quadrangle only keeping in view, and the great landmark, so to speak, by which the tyro astronomer guides his way amongst the constellations, is for a period lost sight of. The moon and planets again shine out with unusual splendour; and the phenomena, new to the European, are presented by a night sky intensely bright without the sensation of cold being occasioned by it.
The middle channel alone is navigable for vessels of any considerable burden. Vast margins on either shore are filled up with coral to near the surface of the water. The scenes these present are often beyond description beautiful. When we went up in June 1845, the wind blew a strong breeze against us. Captain Barker, who had been engaged in the survey, knew every channel and island so well, that he often took the most narrow and intricate, to enable him to keep the lee of some rocky island, and so shelter his ship from the adverse wind. From the mast-head, the track through which we navigated was of so deep and intense a blue, it was hard to believe that the waters were not
coloured by some dyeing substance. They looked like the liquid seen streaming from
the dyer's pot. A few ships' length on either side, they suddenly became slightly tinted with green ; a little beyond, the greenish blue became turned into a bluish green; a band of the most intense emerald green succeeded, and then swept towards the shore; the last hue the sea assumed, before breakers appeared, was a whitish green, when the coral was but a few feet beneath the surface. These colours appeared in welldefined bands--they were not shaded, nor run into each other,
as if produced by the gradual shoaling of the reef, but seemed the effect of a set of shelves, with precipices of no great elevation between. The effect of the whole was heightened by the brown and burnt hue of the rocks and islands which were constantly appearing, rising suddenly from the surface to an altitude of some scores or hundreds of feet.
Keeping straight on our course down the middle of the Red Sea, we do not approach the land till the Straits of Babel-Mandeb make their appearance. Here the sea is greatly narrowed, not only by the projections of land, but by the island of Perim. The Straits are closed in on both sides by rugged, barren, burntlooking rocks—the distance across being about three miles. Pushing her way through one of the channels, the steamer turned towards the left in a south-easterly direction, being now in what is called the Sea of Babel-Mandeb, which is a portion of the Indian Ocean. A series of picturesque and precipitous capes and headlands, along the coast of Arabia-Felix, on our left, came in view, and stretched away to the most prominent of them, for which we were steering-Cape Aden.
It was near midnight when we reached Aden, and a portion only of the passengers landed. The only object of the stoppage is to take in coal. Aden is situated in latitude 12 degrees 77 minutes north: longitude 45 degrees 9 minutes east.
It is a wild, barren peninsula, composed of volcanic rocks, and of no use except as a half-way house to India via the Red' Sea. Within two hundred yards of the landing-place there is a hotel, kept by a Parsee. It contains a large roomy hall, in which smoking is specially forbidden, but always indulged' in, with a very good verandah all round, and good bedrooms, and baths. There is a store for general merchandise behind, and a billiard-room, likely to become a common nuisance, close by. I was one of the party who went ashore to the hotel; but all attempts to sleep were vain, in consequence of the noise made by members of the party, whó chose to sit up drinking and smoking! As early as three o'clock I arose,
and made a most interesting little excursion to the extinct volcanoes in the neighbourhood, where the garrison is situated. This leads me to speak of the manner in which the place has become a British settlement.
Aden fell into our possession in 1839. It previously belonged to the sultan of Lahege, who was little better than a common marauder, and in 1837 plundered a Madras vessel sailing under British colours, which had the misfortune to go ashore. A collision with Britain followed ; and finally, after some fighting, and a stipulation by treaty to pay the sultan a few thousand dollars annually, the place was taken possession of. The population has since risen from six hundred to above ten thousand, besides the troops and their followers from India: of these there are generally three thousand in garrison. A traffic is kept up with the interior of Arabia by means of camels and asses. There
is good fresh water in wells in the cantonments, but nowhere besides, which is a sore drawback in the place.
We quitted Aden about three in the afternoon, and after losing sight of land, saw nothing but the broad ocean, till the high lands on the south of Bombay made their appearance. In a few hours the vessel arrived at its destination, and I stood once more on Indian ground, with well-known faces around me. The journey altogether from Southampton had occupied from thirtynine to forty days, which is about the average allowance of time. My expenses may be set down at £120. Fortunately, no accident had occurred on the journey; neither, as is usually the case, was there any interruption in the arrangements established for the benefit of travellers. All went on smoothly and agreeably; and every year promises to add new accommodations and new pleasures to the excursion. Such is the story of what is now a very unromantic affair-AN OVERLAND JOURNEY TO INDIA.
T was the Easter of the year 1635, and amidst a crowd assembled in one of the churches at Paris might be seen a young girl, apparently about twelve or
thirteen years of age. Her countenance was interesting for the mildness and sweetness of its expression, more even than for its beauty, which was remarkable. Her dress indicated extreme poverty; the miserable rag's scarcely
sufficing to cover her, though, with instinctive modesty, she endeavoured to gather them around her as she knelt. The service over, she was still lingering in the porch, when another girl
, as miserably clad, but somewhat older, appeared at the door, and was advancing on tiptoe, as if awed by the sanctity of the place, till suddenly perceiving the young creature first described, she ran forward, and catching her impatiently by the shoulder, said, “ What are you about so long, Alice?"
Hush, Sarah!” replied the other in a tone of intreaty;, but without needing the caution, she ran on,
They have been looking for you everywhere. The old mother has been crying out for you this hour, and if you do not get a beating when you go back, I wonder at it."
"I cannot help it, Sarah,” said Alice.“ I have been praying, and asking for grace and strength to be patient to bear all!" " Alice," said Sarah, with a look that might almost be called