The Children of the Sea--The 'Australasian'--Company on board-- Storm in the Channel--Leave Plymouth--Great Circle sailing-- Sea studies--Emigrants--An Irishman's experience--Virgil--Metaphysical speculations--Old measurement of time--Teneriffe--Bay of Santa Cruz--Sunday at Sea--Approach to the Cape.
AFTER their own island, the sea is the natural home of Englishmen; the Norse blood is in us, and we rove over the waters, for business or pleasure, as eagerly as our ancestors. Four-fifths of the carrying trade of the world is done by the English. When we grow rich, our chief delight is a yacht. When we are weary with hard work, a sea voyage is our most congenial 'retreat.' On the ocean no post brings us letters which we are compelled to answer. No newspaper tempts us into reading the last night's debate in Parliament, or sends our attention wandering, like the fool's eyes, to the ends of the earth. The sea breezes carry health upon their wings, and fan us at night into sweet dreamless sleep. Itself eternally young, the blue infinity of water teaches us to forget that we ourselves are old. For the time we are beyond the reach of change--we live in the present; and the absence of distracting incidents, the sameness of the scene, and the uniformity of life on board ship, leave us leisure for reflection; we are thrown in upon our own thoughts, and can make up our accounts with our consciences.
Thus, in setting out for Australia, I resolved to go by the long sea route--long it is called, but with the speed of modern steamers scarcely longer than the road through the Suez Canal. I should have an opportunity, as we went by, of seeing my old friends at Cape Town. I should make acquaint