Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest

By Adrian Desmond | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7
Sepulchral Painted Savages

`AM I AT SEA or dreaming?'

The Rattlesnake left Sydney harbour on 8 May 1849 and sailed north, this time destined for New Guinea. Hal left Nettie a knot of grief and frustration. She had heard of the 'fierceness' of the Papuan natives and worked herself into a state, imagining Hal 'exposed to their attacks'.

The dreaming carried him up the coast. He settled into his somnambulistic routine, lost in Nettie's letters in the momentary calm, 'then comes a roll ... the timbers creak, the pigs squeal, the fowls cackle, two or three plates fly with a crack out of the stewards pantry' and the cook's curses brought him back to reality.

He had a ruder awakening after Moreton Bay (Brisbane). Steering through the Coral Sea, the heavily laden ship was hit by a cyclone. The Bramble lost her stern-boat and separated from the Rattlesnake, which was itself 'plunging and rolling in the heavy seas like a log'. The shoddy caulking left the gun room and Huxley's cabin flooded. He sided with the men, blaming it on the officers, who should have been "tending to the ship, 'stead o' givin pic-nics in Sydney harbour'. 1 Then the tiller rope gave way and the ship broached to and was hit by three huge waves broadside.

Far from the cyclone, Nettie sat at home with his old letters:

They are never-failing sources of comfort... Ah how I love him - with my whole soul - with all the truth and devotion that ever urged a woman's heart. My desire is to become good and excellent as the being he imagines me - my happiest dreams are of a peaceful home with him to

-111-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest
Table of contents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 820

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?