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We continued our voyage with moderate and steady breezes and some strong gales, and without any material occurrence till Friday the 30th of January (according to our reckoning) when at 4 o'clock a. m. I was awakened by the officer of the watch calling Captain K. to inform him that a strange sail was seen on the weather bow at the distance of six or seven miles. My fears would not suffer me to remain longer in bed. I hastened on deck, and saw the sail, which it was supposed was Spanish. The Buffalo stood towards her, with top-gallant-sails set, and the drum beat to quarters. It blew fresh from the eastward, and the strange sail carried a press of sail, which I secretly hoped might carry her out of our reach. After a chase of three hours we gained upon her considerably. The Buffalo, for a heavy sailing ship, did wonders; and at nine o'clock we discerned that she had a red colour flying, which was in a short time exchanged for a blue one this strengthened the hopes of her being an enemy, supposing that she held out false colours. At length we came up with her, and brought her to by firing two shot from the forecastle. To the disappointment of our tars she proved to be the Merry Quaker, from Boston, bound to Batavia.
Meeting with this vessel, we were enabled to correct our account of time, and the next day, which, according to our reckoning, would have been Saturday the 31st, we called Friday the 30th, having gained a day by going east round the world.
On the 5th of February, early in the morning, we saw the Table land of the Cape of Good Hope, distant about five leagues; and anchored in Table Bay between 3 and 4 p.m. Cape Town has a beau'tiful appearance from the bay; it is extensive and regular, with many handsome buildings. I landed the morning after our arrival, and took up my residence with a very genteel Dutch family of the name of Lesueur, whose house adjoined the Company's gardens, which are very shady and pleasant. The hedges are all of myrtle, and the lofty trees are chiefly Cape-pines and oak. The governor's house is a handsome building, and is situated in the gardens. There are a number of delightful country residences only three or four miles from Cape Town, most of which I saw. One, belonging to a Mr. Zaun, attracted peculiar attention, from its beautiful situation and extensive gardens. The most agreeable excursion I had during our stay was to Constantia. The roads were infinitely better than I had been led to expect they are bounded on one side by a range of lofty mountains, with gardens and vineyards at their base, to which some very good buildings are attached: an extensive plain, which has a very barren appearance, lies on the other side, beyond which are the mountains, inhabited by the natives.
On the 28th of February we weighed and made sail out of Table Bay, with a fresh breeze and fine clear weather. At the time we left the bay the ships on the expedition under the command of Sir Home Popham, were under weigh.*
* This sea phrase has been generally mis-spelt under way, by authors other
After a run of ten days in the most delightful weather, we arrived at the island of St. Helena, where we found in the road four ships, a brig, and a schooner, waiting for convoy to England. A salute was fired from the fort, which was answered with fifteen guns from the Buffalo. Our stay at St. Helena was too short to allow me to form a correct opinion of it, farther than that its appearance is extremely romantic. The whole island is an assemblage of very lofty hills, with deep fertile vallies between them. On the summit of the highest hill, under shelter of which the town is built, stands a fortification, which, from its elevated situation amidst the clouds, I called the castle of Parnassus. From the little I saw of the island, I was highly prepossessed in its favour; and if the climate is in general as good (and I was informed by the inhabitants it was) as the specimen we had of it, it must be as healthy a spot as any in the Southern hemisphere.
Tuesday, March 17th. At half past five a. m. fired a gun, and made the signal for the convoy to weigh. At six weighed, returned a salute of fifteen guns from the fort on Ladder-hill. The convoy consisted of four ships, the Highland Chief, the Minerva, the Friendship, and the Varuna, and the Hope brig.
On the 22d at six a. m. saw the island of Ascension; the east end bearing W. N. W. six or seven leagues. At 12, dropped anchor with the convoy in fourteen fathoms. In the evening I attempted landing at Ascension, but it was found impracticable for ladies, owing to the surf, which had nearly swamped the boat. A party of gentlemen, with some seamen from each ship, stayed on shore all night to turn turtle. At eight o'clock on the following morning the boats returned. Four fine turtles, supposed to weigh each about 400lbs. were brought on board our ship, and about the same number fell to the lot of each ship. At 10 made the signal, and weighed anchor in company with the convoy. Two days afterwards we killed the first of our turtles, which contained upwards of 600 eggs.
Monday, the 30th. On crossing the line this day we received a visit from Neptune, accompanied by his wife and child, and his customary attendants and constables. Some of his suite were sent on board by Neptune, to announce his intended visit, and to enquire "What ship a-hoy," and the name of her commander. These enquiries being answered from the quarter-deck through a speakingtrumpet, and an invitation being sent to Neptune, he and his retinue came over the bows of the ship with his trident in his hand, and in a dress suited to the occasion. His godship, with Mrs. and Master Neptune, were placed in a car made out of an old cask, which was drawn in great state from the forecastle to the quarter-deck. After a well-delivered speech to the commander, and the bestowal of his good wishes
wise correct, who are not acquainted with its origin. When the anchor is weighed, that is, its weight suspended from the bows, the ship is said to be under weigh. The similarity of sound has induced a supposition that the expression related to the progress or way the vessel makes.
wishes in a bumper of wine, Neptune cast his eyes around, and seeing a number of children, who, he observed, had never crossed the line before, he claimed the usual privilege, and upon their shrinking and endeavouring to conceal themselves, he gave orders to his constables to seize them; upon which nothing was to be heard but shrieks and cries, till, on their parents making him an offering, he politely withdrew. A most ludicrous scene then commenced, for Neptune having discovered that many of the ship's company, and most of the passengers, though they had crossed the line before, had never paid him the customary tribute, insisted on their being shaved, the whole apparatus for which was prepared on the main-deck. Some of the passengers being a little refractory, had buckets of water poured on them from the maintop, down the windsails, from the awning over the quarter-deck, and from every other part whence aim could be taken; at last they were obliged to snatch up buckets, and began sluicing in their own defence. Though I was merely a spectator, I came in for a pretty large share, and before I made a retreat had got so complete a soaking, that I was under the necessity of changing every part of my dress. A great many submitted quietly to the operation of shaving, which is truly laughable. The patients are seated on sticks laid across deep tubs full of water, a bandage is placed over their eyes, and a lather compounded of all sorts of filth smeared over their chins, which are dexterously scraped by an iron razor a foot in length, and with notches of an inch deep in it; the stick is then drawn from under them, and they are soused into the tub of water; at the same time buckets full are thrown upon them from all directions, so that they are well washed, and nearly drowned as well as shaved. This fun lasted for some hours, and was at last terminated by Neptune's getting ducked himself.
April 1st. Squally with heavy showers of rain. 2d. Light airs; spoke the Friendship, all well on board. 3d. Killed the last of the four turtles brought from Ascension; they all proved to be females, containing an immense number of eggs. On the 4th we got into the N. W. trade wind. Fine clear weather. Sunday, the 5th. steady breezes. Ship's company mustered; all in perfect health.
We continued our voyage, with fresh and moderate breezes, till the 25th, when the winds became contrary and we had boisterous weather. During the interval the following are the only circumstances I found worthy of recording in my journal. On the 9th, in the evening, I missed my favourite little dog Flirt; search was instantly made all over the ship, but not being able to learn any tidings of her, I concluded she had fallen overboard, unseen by any person, and was drowned. On the 20th, in the forenoon, William Field, one of the seamen, fell overboard, and would have been drowned, but for the efforts of another seaman (Gasper Sadou, a Frenchman) who, by jumping overboard, and swimming to him with a large grating, to which he clung till a boat got to him, saved his life. On the 24th, Mary Breeze, one of the passengers, was brought to bed of a boy.
We now met with contrary and variable winds, with intervals of calm. On the 2d of May we had dark cloudy weather, with strong gales and squally. Made and shortened sail occasionally for the convoy. On the 9th we had frequent squalls with showers of rain.' Shortened sail, hove to, and spoke an American schooner, out twentytwo days from Boston, bound to St. Sebastian. On the 12th, light airs and fine weather: a boat came on board from the Minerva, requesting a supply of water, they having been on an allowance of three pints a day for a month. Sent them six casks. In the afternoon sent a boat on board the Friendship, Varuna, and Hope.
We now had strong gales of wind, and on the 16th a violent storm came on, which lasted two days; only three of the convoy in sight; fired a gun and made the signal for the convoy to close. On the 18th the two missing ships of the convoy joined us again. On the 21st we fell in with the Endymion and Lapwing frigates, with the Lisbon
Friday, the 22d. The greatest part of this day we were under the necessity of lying to, the weather being very hazy, and part of the convoy a great way astern. This was a detention we could ill brook, the wind being highly favourable for our making the long wished for port, and the shores of England, from which we had been absent for a long, long period, on the opposite side of the globe. It added to our impatience, when we considered that twelve hours run would have carried us to Portsmouth if we had been alone.
Saturday, 23d. At 10 a. m. descried land, supposed to be Portland Head.
Sunday, the 24th of May, 1801, we arrived at Spithead, after passage of seven months, having sailed during that time 18,863 miles.
Quantity of Stock at Port Jackson in 1800.
The number of strayed cattle amounted to some thousands.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE GREEK AND LATIN LANGUAGES.
To the Editor of the Athenæum.
Sir, IN the number of the Athenæum for April last, one of your readers desired to be informed, "at what period the present English pronunciation of Latin and Greek originated." To this question, which has not been noticed in the subsequent numbers of your publication, I will beg your permission to make a few observations in
There seems to be no difficulty in solving the query proposed; for it is obvious, that the origin of the pronunciation alluded to must be dated from the time at which those languages began to be studied; and this period may be fixed at the commencement of the 16th century, or soon after the revival of letters.
Your correspondent appears to imagine, that there is something very particular in the manner in which Englishmen pronounce Greek and Latin; but their pronunciation is, in fact, not more singular than that used by their neighbours. All the nations of Europe, among whom the knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages was introduced or revived at the period mentioned, pronounce them respectively according to the peculiar sounds of their native speech. Hence they all differ from one another. A German utters both the Greek and the Latin with the peculiarities of his own language; an Italian, conformably to the idiom of his country; a Frenchman, with French sound and accent; and, consequently, an Englishman not otherwise than he has been accustomed to speak his native tongue. It may be said, that the Italian, French, German pronunciations, and so forth, of Greek and Latin, agree more with each other than the English does with any of them; but still the latter is established exactly upon the same principle on which the others are founded. It may farther be asserted (though I will not, at present, engage in an examination of this opinion) that the mode of pronunciation in use among other nations seems to be less remote from that with which the ancient Romans and Grecians probably spoke their respective languages, than that way of pronouncing to which the natives of England are habituated. The truth, however, is, that the original and genuine pronunciation of those languages is, in our days, no where either understood or practised.
This branch of classical science has been unaccountably neglected. While much labour and industry have been bestowed upon different parts of ancient literature, the preliminary topic of pronunciation, which was certainly not unimportant, has met with no adequate share of attention. Many points relating to this enquiry I am sure might be satisfactorily ascertained; but it has not been taken rightly in hand, nor steadily pursued. The discussions of Erasmus, Reuchlin,