William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I.
THE CHINA SEA, SINGAPORE, AND THE STRAITS OF SUNDA.

Our Distance from Home.--Calm Seas and Temperate Breezes.--Singapore.--A Dispatch from Boston.--The People of Singapore.--Their Habitations.--Life in the Tropics. --A Dutch Steamer.--Our Crew.--A Question of Races.--Rather Hot.--Banca and Sumatra.--The Straits of Sunda.

China Sea, January 9th.--In the five months since we left home, we reckon in distances made, eighteen thousand miles, an average of one hundred and twenty miles a day, although it seems as if we had been at rest half the time. While we are passing on our right the extreme promontory of Cochin China, we are leaving on our left, at a distance of one hundred miles, the Philippine Islands, the relic of Spanish empire in the East Indies. We continue enjoying calm seas and temperate breezes.

Singapore, January 11th.--Anchored at midnight, and what a night! Stifling cabins and myriads of mosquitoes. Is this our penance for invading the equator?

At sunrise, the United States consul, Mr. Jewell, came on board, with Mr. Young, of the house of Busteed & Company. They drove us, in a well-hung English carriage, behind two fine Australian bays, first to the consulate, where a breakfast awaited us, then to Mr. Young's pretty villa, on the hill, where he is kindly taking care of us. Three months having elapsed since we heard from home, our first inquiry was, whether the telegraph-cable

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