Eliza Fay stands in front of a woman who holds the train of her costume. Both women wear draped robes and turbans. Behind them can be seen various buildings.

Engraved by J Alais from a Drawing by
A. W. Devis.
The Author dressed in the Egyptian Costume
See Letter 7th.

A1v A2r 2 linesomitted

Original Letters
From India;

Containing a Narrative of a
Journey Through Egypt,
The Author’s Imprisonment at Calicut
By Hyder Ally.

to which is added,
An Abstract of Three Subsequent Voyages to India.

By Mrs. Fay

omittedlibrary stamp

Printed At Calcutta. 1817.

A2v omitted16 characters A3r


The volume now submitted to the public, exhibits
a faithful account of certain remarkable
occurrences in the history of an individual, whose
lot has been to make frequent visits to several
distant regions of the globe, to mingle in the
society of people of different kindreds and tongues,
and to experience many vicissitudes of fortune.
At a time when fictitious representations of human
life are sought for with so much avidity, and
constitute one of the principal sources of amusement
in the hours of solitude, such a work as the
present will, it is presumed, not be unacceptable.
Those whose curiosity is attracted by the recital
of incidents that never took place, or whose sensibility
can be awakened by the description of
emotions that were never felt, may perhaps derive
a similar gratification from the following
unembellished narrative of simple facts and real

Five and thirty years ago, it was the fate of the
author to undertake a journey overland to India,
in company with her husband the late Anthony
Esq. who, having been called to the bar by
the honorable society of Lincolns Inns, had formed
the resolution of practising in the courts of
Calcutta. They travelled through France, and
over the Alps to Italy, whence embarking at Leghorn
they sailed to Alexandria in Egypt. Having
visited some of the curiosities in this interesting
country, and made a short stay at Grand Cairo,
they pursued their journey across the Desert to
Suez after passing down the Red Sea. The ship
in which they sailed touched at Calicut, where
they were seized by the officers of Hyder Ally,
and for fifteen weeks endured all the hardships
and privations of a rigorous emprisonment.

When A3v iv

When, after residing two years in India, the
author, on account of circumstances explained in
the course of the work, returned to her native
country, she was repeatedly urged by several of
her friends to publish some account of the events
that had befallen her, which it was supposed
would engage the attention of the public, being
connected with important circumstances in the
lives of well known and respectable individuals,
and illustrative of the character of a Potentate
whose movements were the subject of serious alarm
in India. But, at this period a woman who was
not conscious of possessing decided genius or
superior knowledge could not easily be induced
to leave the “harmless tenor of her way”, and
render herself amenable to the “pains and penalties”
then, generally, inflicted on female authorships;
unless inspired by that enthusiasm
that tramples on difficulties, or goaded by misfortune
which admits not of alternative. Being utterly
uninfluenced by either of these motives, and
having all the fear of criticism and aversion to
publicity which characterizes the young women
of her day, the author at that time declined complying
with the wishes of those she yet highly
honored, and never enquired farther after the fate
of her letters, than to learn that they were duly
received by those dear friends, to whom all her
peregrinations and the knowledge of her eventual
safety could not fail to be highly interesting.

Since then, a considerable change has gradually
taken place in public sentiments, and its developement,
we had now not only as in former
days a number of women who do honour to their
sex as literary characters, but many unpretending
females, who fearless of the critical perils
that once attended the voyage, venture to launch
their little barks on the vast ocean through which amusement A4r v
amusement or instruction is conveyed to a reading
public: The wit of Fielding is no longer
held over them in terrorem, and the delineations
of Smollet would apply to them in vain. The
race of learned ladies ridiculed by these gentlemen
is extinct. A female author is no longer
regarded as an object of derision, nor is she
wounded by unkind reproof from the literary
Lords of Creation.
In this indulgent era the
author presumes to deliver her letters to the
world as they have been preserved by the dear
sister to whom they were partly addressed,
trusting that as this is, in its nature, the most
unassuming of all kinds of writing, and one that
claims the most extensive allowances, they will
be received with peculiar mercy and forbearance.

Since the period to which these letters refer,
the Author has made voyages to India, touching
in the course of them at various places in all
the quarters of the globe, and has been engaged
in commercial and other speculations. Her
trials and anxieties, however, have produced
only a long train of blasted hopes, and heart
rending disappointments.—An account of
these subsequent occurrences is therefore subjoined
in a series of letters lately drawn from the
original Journals and Memorandums and addressed
to a lady, whom the Author has the
happiness to rank in the number of her friends.

Shadows, clouds, and darkness still rest on the
remainder of her pilgrimage, which calls for the
pilotage of kindness and the Day-star of friendship.
She has, however, by the blessing of Providence
been constantly enabled to rise superior
to misfortune, and will not now in the evening of
her days, derogate from the unostentatious energy
of her character, or seek to solicit the pity of her A4v vi
her readers by wearisome retrospect or painful
complaints. With feelings acutely alive to kindness
and truly grateful for every expression of
it, she most thankfully esteems the generous patronage
with which she has been honoured, and
is rendered the more sensible of its value, because
she is conscious, that it was not meanly solicited
or unworthily obtained.

To the inhabitants of Calcutta, she begs more
particularly to render her thanks. Long acquaintance,
high esteem, and unfeigned affection
calls for this peculiar tribute. Five times has she
visited this city, under various circumstances,
and with different feelings, yet never had cause
to regret the length or the dangers of the voyage,
secure of ever meeting here, all that could
encrease the joys of social life, in its happiest
moments, or sooth the hours of languishment in
the days of adversity.



Letter I.

From Mrs. F―;

I believe before I left England it was
agreed that, my Letters should not in general
be addressed to any one particularly, as they
will be something in the style of journals; therefore
a contrary method would be rather embarrassing
—I suppose you begin to think that I
have forgotten you all; but it really has not
been in my power to write till now, of which
assertion an account of our route will furnish
abundant proof.—We reached Dover at about
seven in the evening of the (in my eyes,) ever B memorable B1v 2
memorable 1779-04-1010th of April. The thoughts of
what we all suffered on that day, can never
be banished one instant from my recollection, till
it shall please God to grant us a happy meeting.
My constant prayers are that, we may be enabled
to support this dreadful separation with fortitude
—but I dare not trust myself with the subject;
my very heart seems to melt as I write, and
tears flow so fast as to compel me to shut one
eye while I proceed. It is all in vain, I must
leave off. And must weeks, nay months elapse before
I can have the satisfaction of even hearing
from you? How shall I support the idea! oh
my dear Father! my beloved Mother! for
your poor girl’s sake, take care of your precious
health; do not be unhappy. The Almighty
will, I doubt not, preserve us to each
other; something tells me that we shall meet
again; and you have still two excellent children
left to be your comfort; they I know will use
every effort to keep up your spirits; happy to
be so employed! but let me not repine; this
trial is not permitted, but for all wise purposes.
I will now lay down my pen and endeavour
to acquire a calmer set of ideas, for I must either
write with more fortitude or not at all.
Adieu for a little while; I will try to take some refreshment B2r 3
refreshment, and then resume my pen. 17:30Half
past four P.M.
—In vain I strive, the thoughts
of home still prevail, and totally preclude every
other consideration;. I know no better method
of chasing these intruders, than by proceeding
with the narrative of our journey; allons donc.
we embarked at Dover for Calais on the 1779-04-11T117:0011th
at 5 P.M.
and had a most delightful passage
of just three hours, from port to port. I wished
for a little sea sickness but either the wind
was not high enough, or I am become too good
a sailor, to expect benefit this way, for I remained
perfectly well. I assure you there is a deal
of ceremony used here now. On coming within
gunshot of the Fort, we hoisted a French flag,
and were permitted to sail quite up to the Quay.
We met the other packet coming out, which accounts
for my not writing by that mail.—I have
neglected to mention that Mr. B— the young
gentleman whom Captain Mills recommended
as a travelling companion, joined us before we
left England. His appearance is by no means
prepossessing; he seems a dissipated character
and more calculated to shine in convivial
parties than to render himself agreeable in the
common routine of society; whether this opinion
be just or not, time will discover. On landing B2 we B2v 4
we were all drawn up together, and ordered to
the Custom House, where we gave in our names,
occupations, & c. they next marched us about half
a mile farther to wait on the Governor, in order
that he might put any questions he chose to us;
his Lordship not being visible, we were forced to
arm ourselves with patience and proceed to his
Commissary, where we found it a mere matter
of form, they asking but what was known before.
However I assure you, we thought more
than we dared to express on the occasion. Only
imagine how disagreeable to be dragged about
in such a manner immediately after a Sea voyage
instead of reposing ourselves. After all was
settled, we first took places in the Diligence
for the next day; then called on Monsr. Pigault
de l’Epinoye
, to whom you will remember I
had been formerly introduced. He received
us with his usual kindness and hospitality. This
gentleman is descended in a direct line from
one of the six brave Citizens of Calais, who so
nobly offered themselves as victims to save their
beloved country from the barbarous sentence
pronounced against it by our third Edward.
He is much esteemed by his countrymen on this

This B3r 5

This being my fourth visit to Calais, I
must of course have formerly described every
thing worth notice there, so shall merely say we
sat off from thence on the 1779-04-12T08:0012th Inst. at 8th A.M.
and reached Boulogne about noon. The sight
of this place brought to my mind many pleasant
recollections of the social hours passed
there. I called on several friends, and was
much urged to prolong my stay among them,
but you know that was impossible. Indeed far
rather would I, had time permitted, have taken
one turn round the ramparts, to enjoy the
melancholy satisfaction of once again beholding
the white cliffs of my dear native land,
so frequently viewed from thence.

You must expect me to make frequent omissions
and mistakes, for two men have just placed
themselves under my window with humstrums;
and indeed there is constantly some noise or
other through the day and evening; sometimes
two or three dancing bears; and a few hours ago
they exhibited a poor little Porcupine. I pitied
the miserable animal from my heart. What
can these unhappy creatures have done to merit
being so tormented? (now by way of parenthesis,
I could almost wish that a London
mob had possession of the two musicians, as possiblysibly B3v 6
the discipline of a horse-pond might be of
use in teaching them for the future, better employment
on Sunday evenings); but to proceed:
We left Boulogne (a place I shall ever admire,
and perhaps regret), and about ten at night
reached Montreiul, from whence we departed
at three on Tuesday morning, dined at Abbeville,
and by eight in the evening were set down at the
same Inn, where you may remember we stopped
when travelling this road before, but were hurried
away when we had scarcely tasted a morsel,
under pretence of the Diligence being ready,
and afterwards detained in the yard an hour;
nor did our hostess in any respect deviate from
her former character, as you shall hear. As
a lady in company and myself were greatly
fatigued we chose tea, but none being procurable
there, were forced to use our own; the rest
sat down to supper, which I had predetermined
to avoid doing. Before they had a
quarter finished, in came the woman; never
did I behold such a horribly looking great creature.
“Well” said she “the coach is ready”
and on being asked if she wanted to get rid
of us, replied that it was equal to her whether
we went or staid provided she were paid
for our suppers: at last when compelled to relinquishlinquish B4r 7
her claim on that score from the lady
and me, she insisted on being allowed twenty-
four sous for the hot water, this we complied
with, to oblige our hospitable countrywoman,
(“tell it not in Gath” I blush to acknowledge
the claim) but persisted in remaining till
on being summoned by the driver, nearly an
hour afterwards, we sat off and travelled sixty
miles without alighting, to Chantilly, where is
a famous palace belonging to the Prince of
, but to my great mortification, I was
through weariness obliged to remain in the
house while the rest of the party went to see
it. Well never mind, you can read better descriptions
of it, than mine would have been.
From thence we proceeded to St. Denis, where I
was fortunate enough to obtain a cursory view
of the ancient abbey; a most magnificent structure,
the burying place of the Kings of France.
Such scenes naturally induce reflections on the
vanity of all human grandeur, and lead to a melancholy,
rather soothing than otherwise,
to minds wearied by exertion, or irritated by disappointment.
Having however little leisure
to indulge these reveries, we passed on to the
Library, where among other trophies is deposited
the sword of our illustrious Talbot; a pang B4 shot B4v 8
shot across my heart at the exulting manner
in which it was exhibited; in short I felt as an
Englishwoman, a more severe degree of national
mortification, than this Memento of an event,
so long gone by seemed calculated to produce.
The sacred relics were next displayed, amongst
which are, an eye of St. Thomas the apostle, the
shoulder blade of I forget what saintsaint, and a
small phial of the Virgin Mary’s milk; at the
sight of these absurdities I silently blessed God,
that my religious instruction had not been blended
with such cunningly devised Fables. If, all
the gems they shewed us were genuine, the
Treasury must be immensely rich, for many
of the shrines were almost covered with them.
We arrived at Paris about eight on Wednesday;
and most dreadfully fatigued was I;
nor will that appear strange when one considers
that, for the last sixty miles the carriage
went as fast as eight horses could draw it,
over a strong rough pavememtpavement; never stopping
but to change horses, and at St. Denis to repair
a wheel. As the post went off next
morning, I could not recover myself sufficiently
to write by it; but now feel quite strong
again, and having brought you to Paris, may
venture to take a little repose as it is past eleven.ven. C1r 9
1779-04-19T07:0019th 7 A.M. I have risen thus early on
purpose to finish my letter (which must be in
the Office before ten). I find little alteration in
this Place; the people behave as politely as if there
were no War, or even dispute between us.
This you know is not the region of Politics,
therefore little can be mentioned under that
head. I could communicate some few observations,
but as perhaps this may be inspected,
judge it more prudent to suppress them. A
variety of circumstances has contributed to detain
us here much longer than we intended:
and I am fearful we shall not leave Paris
before Thursday; however this will be the only
letter I shall write until I can give you intelligence
of our safe arrival at Marseilles, which
will be I suppose, in about a fortnight. From
thence to Leghorn we must coast it in a
Feluca. So if you write by the mail of the
29th addressed to me at the Post Office Leghorn,
your letter will be sure to meet me there.
I have a thousand things more to say, but must
reserve them for my next, for if I miss the post
it will I am sure, make you very uneasy—God
bless you.

Your’s affectionately

C Letter II C1v 10

Letter II.

My dear Friends,

Being detained for want of our passports, I
find it necessary for my comfort to hold the only
communication now in my power with you.
Last night we were at the Colissée, a place resembling
our Ranelagh; there were some
brilliant fireworks to be exhibited, and as it is
the custom for Ladies to stand upon chairs to see
them, a gentleman of our party having placed
us with our backs against a box, went to procure
some. During his absence the Queen
entered the box attended by the Duchess
, and several other ladies. I had
seen her Majesty before at VerseillesVersailles, and
thought her at that time very handsome, but
had no idea how much better she would booklook,
by candle light. She is delicately fair and has
certainly the sweetest blue eyes that ever were
seen; but there is a little redness, a kind of
tendency to inflammation around them, and
she is likewise slightly marked with the small
pox; both which trifling blemishes were then
imperceptible, and she appeared perfectly
beautiful. On entering the box she sat down,
and pressed the Duchess to sit down also, which the C2r 11
the latter in terms of great respect declining,
the Queen in a tone of kindness that it is
impossible to forget, said, “Then you will oblige
me to stand,”
rising as she spoke. The Duchess
then complied, and they conversed together
very agreeably during their stay. Her majesty
seemed highly gratified by the entertainments,
and expressed her approbation, in what I could
not help thinking, rather too familiar a way
for a person of her exalted rank: frequently
clapping her hands and exclaiming aloud,
“Ah! mon Dieu que c’est charmant, ah! que c’est
The Royal party soon retired, and we
afterwards walked in the Rotunda! than which
a more brilliant spectacle can scarcely be
imagined. The ladies were all splendidly dressed,
and their heads adorned with feathers in
greater profusion, and far more lofty, than is
customary with us. But enough of this, I
must now turn to a very different subject, having
hitherto neglected to inform you of a singular
conversation (and its result) which passed
in the Diligence, as we came to this place. We
had among the passengers a Mr. H— an English
Jew, and two brothers, named Ar—f
diamond merchants, who were just returned B2C2 to C2v 12
to their native country after a long residence in
London. The former had left Paris some
years and resided in a provincial town. Speaking
of the circumstance he observed that, his
principal reason for quitting the Capital was
his dread of assassination, to which he thought
it probable that his religion might render him
more liable, than other inhabitants; although
he admitted that he had no proof that persons of his
persuasion were among the more frequent
Victims. This statement, of course, excited both
surprize and curiosity in us, who were foreigners;
and the elder Mr. A—f evidently mortified
at such discourse, and doubting a representation
of facts from so prejudiced a quarter,
and about which it had not fallen in his way to
inquire, stoutly denied the charge, but the Jew
would not give up the point. He said that
in a certain point of the City, where there
were many houses of ill fame, it was but too
common to rob and murder those, who were
inveigled into them, and afterwards throw the
bodies into the Seine; when taken out they
were conveyed to the Petit Chatelet to be owned,
and that who ever would take the trouble to
visit that place would find that, out of the
numbers deposited there were very few (as reported C3r 13
reported merely drowned persons; but evidently
such as had died by violence. This conversation
ended (as that of men frequently does) by a
wager between the parties, both of whom agreed
to refer the matter to Mr. F—. The Jew was
to lose, if, in one week seven bodies under
suspicious circumstances should not be found
exposed at the Petit Chatelet. I thought this a
monstrous supposition; for though I had often
heard of people being drowned in the Seine,
and the explicit detail of Mr. H— led me to
fear that, the manner in which they met their
fate, was but too truly described, yet I could
not believe the number of victims to be so
great. The result of Mr. F―’s, researches
has unhappily placed the fact beyond a doubt.
Within the last seven days, ten miserable
wretches have been exposed, who had
marks of violence on their bodies, and of these,
there were two dreadfully mangled. But I
will say no more on this shocking subject than
merely to observe, that there must be either
some radical defect in the police, or a degree
of ferocity in the people, not to be repressed
by the severe penal Laws, which in other
countries are found nearly adequate to the
purpose. The slight degree of feeling expresseded C3v 14
by the lower order in speaking of such
things, even when pressed on their senses,
evinces a hardness of heart approaching to
absolute insensibility, that to me seems quite
revolting: I myself asked a young woman, who
had been peeping through the grate at the Petit
, what was to be seen there? “Oh”
replied she, with great apparent indifference,
“seulement quelques bras et jambes” (only some
arms and legs). I have written myself into a
train of most uncomfortable thoughts, so lest
I infect you with the gloomy ideas that fill my
mind, the wisest way will be to say adieu! We
shall now soon be out of Paris.

Ever your’s
&c. &c.

Letter III C4r 15

Letter III.

My Dear Sister.

As I do not propose sending this before
Monday, I shall have full time to write every
particular. I date once more from this sink of
impurity, contrary to my expectation. We have
been detained thus long that the Lieutenant de
Police might have time to make the necessary
enquiries about us, but have at last obtained
our passports, and thank Heaven shall soon
breathe a purer air. From the first place we stop
at. I purpose giving you a further account of
our accommodations in the superb and elegant
city of Paris, famous throughout the world for
its superiority over all others, especially in the
points of cleanliness and delicacy. I assure you
that, so long as I before resided in France, I
never till now formed an adequate idea of it:
but adieu for the present: I am going to drink
the double purpose of tea kettle and teapot, so
it is all boiled up together and makes a most
curious mess.

Auxerre C4v 16
Auxerre en Burgoyne,

When I wrote the above I was in a great rage
and not without reason, pent up as we were
in a street scare wide enough to admit the
light; our chamber paved with tiles, which
most likely have never been wetted, nor even
rubbed, since the building of the house; add
to this two Commoditiés in the same state, on
the stairs, and you will not wonder that my
constitution was not proof against the shock;
the very air I breathed seemed almost pestilential.
However thank God I escaped with
one of my feveretts of four days continuance.
When I began this betterletter I was but just
recovering: no creature to do the least thing
for me in the way I had been accustomed to:
obliged to prepare for my departure the next
morning, though scarcely able to crawl; and
to crown the whole a most extravagant bill to
pay for being poisoned with Dirt. Well we
sat off, and the fresh country air soon restored
me to myself—but I had not told you how we

We found the route totally different from
what we expected, and that we must be positivelytively D1r 17
under the necessity of going by land to
Chalons sur Soane, which is three hundred
miles from Paris: now as we could get no
remittances till our arrival at Leghorn, it did
not suit us to take the Diligence, so after
mature deliberation we determined on purchasing
two horses, and an old single horsechaise;
but how to avoid being cheated, was the question;
for Mr. Fay did not care to depend on
his own judgement in horseflesh—He made
enquiry and found that there were many englishmen
employed in the stables of Noblemen
here; so putting a good face on the matter he
went boldly to the Duc de Chartres’s Castle, and
immediately on being told the affair, offered
his assistance. Accordingly they went next day
to the cattle Fair, where he pitched on an excellent
draught horse, only a little touched in
the wind, on which account he procured him
for six guineas, so there cannot be much lost
by him, even if he turn out amiss. But I dare
say he will prove a most useful beast, for he
has drawn Mr. B—r, and myself in our chaise
(which by the bye we bought for seven guineas)
at the rate of thirty five miles a day: and does D not D1v 18
not seem in the least fatigued, though we had
our heavy trunk at our back: so much for
Azor—now for his help-mate Zemire. In
the course of conversation with his new friend,
Mr. Fay found that, there was a very pretty
mare in the Duc de Lausanne’s stables, which
had been intended for the course, but would
not bear training; so he agreed to give eight
guineas for her. Mr. B.― was to ride her
next day to a horse-race in the Bois de
, and we were to accompany him in a
post chaise. But alas! poor man! it was an
unfortunate attempt. It seems he had never
been used to riding, and was ashamed to own it,
(one of the weaknesses to which I really believe
men are almost invariably subject), so wishing
to pass for an excellent horseman, he mounted
with pretended courage: but through
actual fear, reined her in so tight that miss,
knowing the weaknesweakness of her rider, reared up
on her hind legs, threw him first, and then
fell backward over him. We thought by the
violence of the fall that he must have been
killed, but he came off with a few bruises;
we had him bled immediately, put him to bed
and left him in good hands till ourour return.
Mr. Fay mounted Zemire, and we proceeded to D2r 19
to the course, where we were very agreeably
entertained, only it grieved me to see so many
beautiful English horses galloping about; I
could hardly believe myself in France, for all
the gentlemen were dressed after our manner.
The Count D, Artois might very well have been
taken for a Jockey in his buck-skin breeches, and
round hat. The bets were chiefly between him
and the Duc de Chartres; the horses were all
rode by englishmen: as to our little mare she
would fain have been amongst them, but she
had now a rider who knew how to manage her,
and is punished for her audacity; for Mr.
has not the courage to mount her again,
and she is forced to carry Mr. Fay with a portmanteau
of twenty pounds weight—You will
wonder at my temerity when I acknowledge
having myself ventured to mount Zemire, after
Mr. B―s, accident. I first however saw
her tried by several persons, and wishing to
be able to vary our journey, was induced to make
the attempt. She performed twice very well;
but on the third day, an umbrella being
snapped close to her nose, just as I was
going to set off, she began to rear, on which I
instinctively abandoned both whip and reins, and D2 throwing D2v 20
throwing my whole weight forward, clasped her
round the neck with all my might, this sudden
manoeuvre fortunately kept her down: I seized
the critical moment and alighted in safety with
no other injury, than a little fright, and the
consciousness of looking rather foolish. Nor
has she ever been guilty of the like towards
any one; so that my character for horsemanship
is completely established. We have been certainly
very lucky in our purchases: the horses
perform well, and the chaise, without being
particularyparticularly uneasy, seems very strong. I am
told they will bring a good price in the South,
but you shall hear.

I have nothing particular to say of the country;
perhaps it may be national prejudice from
which no person is entirely free, but notwithstanding
all their boasting, I do not think it
equals my own dear England. It must be
allowed that the present season is not most
favourable for making observations, for they cut
the Vines close to the stumps in the winter,
and as they are not yet much sprouted, one sees
nothing but a parcel of sticks in the manner
of our hop poles, but not above thirty inches
high, which gives an air of barrenness to the
prospect. I do not know what my mother would D3r 21
would do here, as she is not fond of wine; for
there is nothing else to drink. For my own
part, and I believe I may answer for my companions,
I cannot say that I find any great
hardship in being obliged to put up with tolerable
Burgundy at about four pence a bottle;
it is notnot at all heady, so no creature thinks of
drinking it with water. A pint every meal is the
allowance of each. We have all necessaries with
us, suchsuch as tea, sugar, bread, butter, corn for
the horses &c: so we have little to do with
the Inns, except at night, when we provide
ourselves with meat for the next day. As to
breakfast and dinner we fix on a place where
there is water at hand, and there sit down
under the shade of a tree, and make a fire,
which the horses graze comfortably, and eat their
corn. Ask my dear father if he does not think
this a good plan? at least we find it pleasant,
and much more to our taste, than spending more
time as well as money, in the wretched public
houses we have hitherto met with—I wish we
we were hardy enough to make the grass our pillow;
but that is impossible, so we must submit to be
disgusted and pillaged once a day. You may
remember my remarking that, I was afraid we
should suffer during our journey, for the fineness of D3v 22
of the spring which has proved to be the case.
The weather has been excessively boisterous
for the last fortnight with much rain, than which
nothing can be more disagreeable on a journey,
especially when conducted on a plan like ours.—
We were obliged to stop at Fontainbleau on
account of the weather by whiehwhich means we saw
the Palace, and gardens, and were almost
wet through, for our pains. It is an immense
place; the Chapel has been beautiful, but the
paintings are much injured by time. There
is an elegant theatre which I was much pleased
with. The apartments of the royal family are
truly superb. We were shewn the council
chamber where the last peace was signed, and
I, as an Englishwoman, beheld it with great
you may be sure. We saw likewise
the gallery of Stags, famous for containing above
a hundred stags’ heads all ranged in order
with an account, when they were killed and by
whom, and infamous (at least in my opinion)
as being the place where Christina, Queen of
Sweden, caused Monaldeschi her chief chamberlain
to be beheaded, if not absolutely in her
presence, at least while she remained in an adjoining
room. I cannot bear that woman. She abdicated
her crown from sheer vanity but retaineded D4r 23
that passion for despotism which shewed what
kind of feelings she had cherished, while seated
on the throne. I think that in her, the faults
of either sex were blended, to form a character,
which without possessing the firmness of a man
or the gentleness of a woman, was destitute of
the virtues expected in both. Christina may
have been an accomplished female; but she can
never be called great, even by her admirers.

The gardens of Fontainbleau are all in the
old fashioned-gingerbread-style, ornamented
with box in a thousand fantastical shapes. The
Swiss who shewed us the Palace, was very
thankful for a shilling, which is more than any
person in the same situation would be in England
for twice as much. The forest of Fontainbleau
is thirty miles across, and nobody can hunt
there without the Kings permission; he comes
here every season.—We found the roads very
heavy, and Azor was strong enough to go through
them; however we have given him a day’s rest,
and after dinner shall set off Jehu like.

Now don’t you envy us all this pleasure? I
assure you I should be very glad to go all the way
in the same manner, for we travel without
fatigue, and the way of living just suits me; for D4v 24
for you know I always preferred wine to beer,
but I would not have you imagine that I can
shake off all thoughts of home; they return but
too frequently, and I really believe now, that
my illness at Paris, was brought on principally
by uneasiness of mind: but I find myself unequal
to this subject. I must make a resolution
never to enter upon it; for what service can it
do to either of us, to be continually recalling
unpleasant ideas; especially when I have need
of every possible consolation to support me
in the arduous task, which Providence has called
upon me to undertake.

I have now literally exhausted my paper, and
must therefore leave you to imagine every
thing my heart says to all, and how truly.

I am,
your affectionate
&c. &c.

Letter IV E1r 25

Letter IV.

My Dear Sister.

I suppose you have been long uneasy at my
silence, but indeed it has not been in my power
to write sooner—In my last I gave you reason
to imagine we should arrive here in less than
three weeks, by way of Marseilles; but after
we reached Lyons we were informed, that this
would prove a very uncertain and dangerous
method; as between the English and French
scarcely any vessel can pass free: therefore
after mature deliberation, we determined as
we had still our carriage and horses, to push
our way boldly through Savoye and cross the
Alps to Italy. We stopped several days at
Lyons, which as you and all the world know
has long been famous for its incomparable silks,
and velvets; I think it ought to be so for its
asparagus which is the finest I ever tasted;
and remarkably cheap. Being a vegetable I am
very fond of, and having found it all times
beneficial to my constitution, I wished to eat
it freely; but was almost disgusted by the manner
in which it was constantly brought to E table E1v 26
table at the Inn, covered with a thick sauce
composed of eggs, butter, oil and vinegar.

Having in vain remonstrated against this
cookery, I at length insisted on seeing the Cook
himself; and when he made his appearance,
arrayed as is customary, in a white waistcoat, cap,
and apron, with a meagre face almost as sharp
as the large knife he held in his hand, I calmly
represented to him that the sauce he had sent
up, totally disagreed with my stomach, and requested
to have the asparagus simply boiled with
melted butter, the poor man looked much distressed
“What without oil” yes! “Without
? certainly! this answer completed his
misery, “Ah madame” exclaimed he, with
clasped hands and uplifted eyes “de grace un peu
de viniagre!”
Madame was inexorable, and the
shrug of contemptuous pity with which he retreated
was ludicrous beyond expression.

On arriving near the Alps, it appeared that I
had formed a very erroneous idea of the route,
having always supposed that we had only one
mountain to pass, and that the rest of the way
was level ground; instead of which when we
came to Pont de Beauvoisin (50 miles from
Lyons, and the barrier between France and
Savoye) we heard the agreeable news, that we E2r 27
we had a hundred and twelve miles to travel
thro’ a chain of mountains, to the great Mont

You may imagine how uncomfortable this information
made us all; with what long faces
we gazed upon each other, debating how the
journey was to be performed; but being happily
you know very courageous, I made light of
all difficulties, and whenever there was a hill,
mounted Zemire, while the two gentlemen took
it by turns to lead me as I had not a proper side
saddle, so poor Azor made shift to drag the
chaise up pretty well, and in the descents we
made him pay for the indulgence. I forgot to
mention that they were very particular about our
passports at this Barrier, and detained us while
the Governor examined them minutely, though
justice compels me to acknowledge that in
general we were treated with great politeness in
our passage through France; no one ever attempted
to insult us, which I fear would not be
the case were three French people to travel in
England; I wish I could say as much for
their honesty; but I must confess that here they
are miserably deficient, however my being acquainted
with the language saved us from flagrant E2 imposition. E2v 28
imposition. Our method was this: we always
if possible, contrived to stop at night in a large
Town, (as to dinner we easily managed that
you know how), but never did we suffer the
horses to be put into the stable till I had fixed
the price of every thing; for they generally
ask four times as much for any article as it is
worth. If I found there was no bringing them
to reason, we left the house. In particular, at
Chalons sur Soane, the first Inn we stopped at,
the woman had the conscience to ask half a
crown for each bed; you may suppose we did
not take up our abode there, but drove on to
another very good house, where they shewed us
two rooms with six excellent beds in them,
at the rate of four sous a bed, for as many as we
wanted; so for once I committed an act of
extravagance by paying for the whole; or we
might perhaps have been disturbed in the night
by strangers coming to take possession of those
left vacant. For they are not very nice about
such matters in France. I have seen rooms with
six beds in them more than once during our
route. I only mention the difference of price
by way of shewing what people may gain by
choosing their houses, for we were really better
accommodated at less than one fourth of what we E3r 29
we must have paid at the other house. Speaking
of Chalons reminds me of a very unpleasant
circumstance that occurred to us at the
following stage. Mr. Fay had most unwisely
and contrary to my earnest intreaty, pinned
our passports to the book of roads, which he
usually carried with him on horse back, and
as might be expected, they, in a short time
worked themselves loose, and we were on our
arrival at the end of the next day’s journey
alarmed with the idea of their being intirely
lost, and that we should be compelled to return all
the way to Paris to procure others: happily
Mr. Fay went back & found them at a place
where we had stopped, I need not tell you
what fright and vexation, this folly and obstinacy
cost us: but I hope it will have a salutary effect for
the rest of our journey.

In further proof of my assertion on the
subject of honesty, I must relate a little incident
which occurred on our way to Lyons.
Mr. Fay had changed as many guineas at
Paris, as he thought would be sufficient to
bring us to Chalons, and received by weight
twenty four livres ten sous, for each, that is
seven pence halfpenny profit: well, the last day E3v 30
day but one we finished our current money,
but as we were in a city, doubted not of
being able to obtain nearly the value of our
guineas. On inquiry we were recommended
to a very religious goldsmith would by the landlords
account spent almost his whole life in
acts in piety: after waiting an hour and a
half till he returned from mass, Mr. F. delivered
him a guinea, confident of receiving
in full value: when behold this conscientious
gentleman after the most minute inspection
and weighing it in a pair of sugar scales,
generously offered eighteen livres as a fair price:
which so enraged Mr. Fay that he immediately
left him and went to another shop, where
the utmost they would give was twelve livres:
only think what wretches! since it was impossible
for them to be ignorant of its real value.
Mr. Fay declared that he would rather
fast all day than submit to become such a dupe.
This subjected us to great inconvenience; after
discharging the reckoning we had only thirty
sous remaining; and sat out with a sum not sufficient
to procure a single refreshment for our
poor horses; so that at every Inn we were obliged
to represent our situation: but found none for E4r 31
for our guineas, or the charity to give us even
a glass of wine or a morsel of bread. I leave you
to guess if our appetites were not pretty keen
by the time we arrived at Lyons. I shall never
forget how foolishly we looked at each other
all day; however a good supper obliterated all
grievances, and the next morning we found a
way to exchange our guineas for Louis d’ors on
equitable terms. So much for our starving
adventure: To proceed on our journey.

On the 1779-06-2020th we reached Lanneburg, a village
at the foot of Mont Cenis situated in what
is called a valley, which though really so with
respect to the mountains that surround it, is
even with the clouds. I had a tolerable proof
of its elevation, for the weather was so
sharp, that I could not keep a minute from
the fire. By the way I must observe, that having
travelled through North Wales, I supposed
myself to have acquired a tolerable
idea of mountains and their appendages,
such as cascades, torrents, and apparently
air-hung-bridges &c. but the passage of the
Alps sets at defiance all competition, and even
surpasses whatever the utmost stretch of my
imagination could have pourtrayed.

The E4v 32

The valley of Lanneburg is itself, the most
strange wild place you can conceive, in some parts
grostesquegrotesque, in others awfully terrible. The
rocks rise around you so fantastically, that you
might almost think yourself transported to a
place which nature had made a repository of these
stupendous productions, rather than with a view of
fixing them hereafter in appropriate situations,
than of exhibiting them here.

But above all, the cascades throughout the
road are charming beyond description; immense
sheets of water are seen sometimes, falling from
rock to rock, foaming fretting and dashing
their spray on every side; and sometimes descending
in one grand flow of majestic beauty:
in short they went so far beyond any idea I had formed of such appearances in nature, that they
seemed to communicate new powers of perception
to my mind, and if I may so express it,
to expand my soul, and raise it nearer to its
Creator. The passage has been so ably described
by various writers, that any formal account
I could give you of it, would rather waste
your time than add to your information. I shall
only tell you how I felt and acted: for I know
your affliction prompts the wish to travel in imagination F1r 33
imagination with the sister you love: come
then let us ascend Mont Cenis together.—After
various deliberations it was concluded that I
should go up across a mule, as the safest way;
both the gentlemen determined on walking,
which Mr. Fay knew not to be very difficult,
having made the experiment the evening before.
I was strictly forbidden to touch the
reins, being assured that the animal would guide
himself, and that any attempt to direct him could
hardly fail to prove fatal. Under this charge,
judge what I must have felt when my mule, in
the very steepest part of the ascent and when
I had become fully sensible of the “high and
giddy height,”
all at once, thought it proper to
quit the pathway, and with great sang-froid stalk
out upon one of those precipitous projections,
where only the foot of a wild Goat or Chamois
ought to tread. What did I not suffer! I durst
not touch the rein, durst not even call to the guide
for help. Every instant appeared fraught with destruction,
it seemed madness to die without an effort
to save one’s self, yet to make an effort was
to invite the fate one dreaded. Happily this dreadful
position between life and death lasted not long;
for the sagacious animal calmly picking its way F fell F1v 34
fell into the track by a path, which no human
eye could discern, and the guides gave me great
praise for my self-command; a praise I never
desire to purchase again by a similar trial. If however
any thing could render a stranger easy in
crossing the heights, it would be the amazing skill
and celerity which these people display; the road
winds in a zigzag direction; and in the most
acute, and of course, in the most dangerous
turns they leap from crag to crag as if they held
their lives on lease, and might safely run all
risks ’till the term expired.—The plain, as it
is called, at the top of this mountain is six
miles across: as we proceeded we found “still
hills on hills, and Alps on Alps arise”
; for we
continued to be surrounded by snow topt mountains,
where reigns eternal frost. The heat
of the sun had thawed the passage, so that
we met with no inconvenience, but we passed
great quantities of ice lodged in the crannies.
There is a very large lake on the plain, said to be
unfathomable; that I can tell nothing about,
but that it contains excellent salmon and trout,
am well convinced, for we stopped at the Inn
according to the laudable custom of all travellers,
for the sole purpose of tasting it. An Inn F2r 35
Inn, say you, at the top of Mont Cenis! Yes, it
is really a fact, not that I envy them their situation,
but they are not the only inhabitants: for
there are more than twenty farm houses, where
they make most excellent butter and cheese.
Every spot around, where it is possible for the
hand of cultivation to scatter seeds for the use
of man, is treasured with care and nourished
by industry; and you see gardens no bigger
than a dining table, and fields like a patch of
carpet, from time to time, smiling beneath the
rugged battlements of rocks, like the violets peeping
in the hedges. Far, among the apparently
inaccessible heights of this “cloud capt” region,
they pointed out to me a Chapel, vulgarly called
notre Dame de’Neige; and justly have they named
her, for eternal snows designate her dwelling:
if however these simple and sequestered beings
can there draw near to God, and experience
the comfort of religious hope, and providential
care, this singular edifice has not been
reared in vain, to bless such a region of desolation.

When you read an account of the road, it
will be readily perceived that my fellow travellers F2 must F2v 36
must have found some difficulty in getting the
horses over, as the poor breastsbeasts were not
accustomed to such a rugged path; for you are
to understand that, the people in the neighbouring
villages of Lanneburg and Novalese
have no other means of subsistence than carrying
passengers over the mountain. It is therefore
their interest to render it impassible to any
but themselves, so that the whole passage of
fifteen miles, is covered with great loose pieces
of rock, which must be clambered over:
the guides skip from one piece to another like
goats, and go at the rate of five or six miles an
hour; but my unfortunate companions could
not proceed at this pace; so every ten minutes
we had to wait for them—As I was carried
down in an armed chair, fastened to poles and
slung upon straps, in the manner of our sedans,
between two men and in which I soon felt tolerably
at my ease; I had the pleasure of seeing
them continually: sometimes in the clouds, and
at others nothing visible but their heads, which
was rather amusing to me, knowing they were
in no danger, especially as Mr. Fay had affected
to make very light of it, and even said, “I might
walk very well if I chose it,”
but when we reached
the bottom, he told a very different tale, and stormed F3r 37
stormed violently at his own sufferings. The
drollest part of our procession was, that of the
poor mule which bore our chaise in a kind
of machine, on its back; and another with
the two wheels placed on either side, in the
oddest way imaginable. A good night’s rest
put us all in good humour, and we proceeded
cheerfully forty miles along a very delightful
road, for the most part planted with double
rows of trees, to Turin, where we remained
three days and were much amused; but having
crossed the mountain, I must allow myself
and you a little rest.

1779-06-26June, 26th.—I was more pleased with the
Palace at Turin than any other I have met
with during our journey, not for its external
appearance certainly, for that is unpromising,
but the inside amply atones for the deficiency.
The rooms are all in long ranges, opening
into each other by doors, which by folding
within the panels become invisible. The
furniture is beyond description rich and elegant,
but the best part of every finely decorated
house must be ever the paintings, and
this palace seemed to say, “You are already
in Italy”
: like a true Englishwoman however F3v 38
however, I looked more, I believe, at a picture
of our Charles the first, and afterwards at one by
Vandyke of that unfortunate monarch’s three
children, than at any other in the collection.
The face of the King is exquisitely done, but
his dress struck me as too fine, and withal so
stiff, that I could not admire it. Poor Charles!
we are tempted to forget the errors of the
Prince, in considering the amiable qualities
and long sufferings of the man: nor is it
possible to contemplate the benevolent melancholy
of his countenance, and credit every accusation
of his enemies. I looked on his mild penetrating
eyes, till my own were suffused with tears.
As to his children, they are the sweetest creatures
I ever beheld; and to see them thus, was
perhaps the more pleasant, from a consciousness
of its being the only period wherein they
could communicate that sensation to a reflecting
mind—There was no tracing the selfish,
and eventually, callous libertine in Charles;
nor the tyrant and bigot in James; all
seems playful grace, and dignified gentleness;
and the painter appears to have given
a kind of royal polish to the beauty (certainly
far beyond nature,) which he had so happily
depicted in these unfortunate children. Among what F4r 39
what I deemed the most curious portraits,
were those of Martin Luther, and his wife. I
have frequently meditated on this great character,
and always felt myself so much obliged to
him (especially since my residence in a Catholic
country,) that I confess I was disappointed
to see him a homely, and rather vulgar
looking man. I cannot believe this is a good
likeness; at least the one I saw of him in the
abbey of St Bertin at St Omers, left a very different
impression on my mind. The Reformer
might not be handsome, in the common acceptation
of the word, but surely, penetration
courage and firmness must have stampt their
expression on his features. Here is a terrible
representation of another great man, tho’ in
my opinion deficient in the first mentioned
quality (Sir Thomas Moore) of his head rather,
for it appears just severed from the body;
his daughter has fainted at the horrid spectacle;
and her complexion is so exactly what it
should be, that the whole scene appears natural,
and you feel too much for her, even
to offer her restoratives to life and misery. I
would not live in the same room with such a
picture for the world; it would be worse than
than the cave of Trophonious.

I F4v 40

I was doomed to experience another disappointment
in what is affirmed to be a faithful
portrait of Petrarch’s Laura, which I had
fancied was like the Venus of Apelles, an
assemblage of all that was lovely and graceful
in woman. You remember my saying, that
it was worth all the pains I took in learning
Italian, to read his sonnets in praise of this
idolized being. So no wonder that I ran eagerly
to seize on features that had inspired such
verses, and awakened such tender constancy
as Petrarch displayed. Judge then how disagreeably
I was surprise at seeing a little red-haired,
formal looking, old maidish thing, no more
like the beauty “in my mind’s eye” than “I to
Petrarch too was as ugly as needs
be. Well, well, they are not the only couple
seen to most advantage in their Poetic dress.
What further I have to say about the Palace
must be very concise. I cannot help informing
you though, that we saw the King of
Sardina at mass with his whole family but
none of them seem to be remarkable for beauty.
Though not esteemed rich, yet he lives in
great splendour; the furniture of his state
bed-chamber, even to the frames of the chairs,
is all of massive silver.

The G1r 41

The Theatre is a vast building and so magnificent
in every respect, that nothing you have
seen can give you any idea of it; the stage is so
extensive, that when they want to exhibit battles,
triumphant entries, or any kind of grand show
they have room enough to produce the finest
effect, and really seem to transport you to the
scene they would represent. It is not uncommon
to have fifty or sixty horses, at a time upon
this stage, with triumphal cars, thrones, &c
&c. the King’s box, is consistent with his
superb Palace; it is as large as a handsome
parlour, and lined throughout with
mirrors, which have a beautiful effect, as
they reflect the stage and thus double the
display of its grand processions &c: all the
boxes in this Theatre are neat and
commodious; furnished with chairs and curtains,
so that if the company choose to be retired
they are at full liberty; and, as coffee
and other refreshments are served, they frequently
pay little attention to the Stage, except
when some celebrated performer or grand
spectacle excites their curiosity. There is a
smaller Theatre, which opens when this is
closed, but I did not see it. I visited the royal G G1v 42
royal gardens, but thought them very uninteresting,
as all appear after those that surround
the seats of our English Nobility and gentry;
and on running thro’ another Palace,
an academy and variousvarious other places, nothing
struck me as sufficiently novel to merit your
attention; and I have written such an intolerably
long letter, that I must conclude for
the present, tho’ I mean to bring you on my
journey to-morrow, as I have not yet told you
half that is on my mind; but there is such
an uncertainty in my present movements,
that it is desirable not to lose a single day in
forwarding a letter. Believe me however and
wherever I may be,

most affectionately yours,

G2r 43

In Continuation.

I resume my journal of yesterday which I
shall now inclose in this; I am still waiting
a summons for departure, and anxious to
say all I can, to my dear friends, before
what may probably be a long adieu. From
Turin we sat out on the 1779-06-2626th ultimo, to
Genoa, a distance of 130 miles; and now I
own my courage begun to fail; for having
been some days ill, I grew so much worse,
from the motion of the chaise, that we were
obliged to stop and get Mr. Fay’s horse ready
for me to ride, which was a great ease
to me; but notwithstanding this relief, on
the second evening I was seized with every
symptonsymptom of fever, and that of the most violent
kind; “Well,” thought I, “it is all over
with me for a week at least;”
but thank F2G2 God G2v 44
God I was mistaken, for at two o’clock in
the morning, I fell into the most profuse
perspiration I ever experienced, which, tho’
it exceedingly weakened me, yet considerably
abated the disorder, and altho’ I felt ill, dispirited,
and every way unfit to travel, yet
I made a sad shift to pursue my journey.

Unfortunately, in coming out of Alexandria
the place where I had been so ill, we had a
wide river to ford, and there was no way
for poor miserable me to get over, but by
Mr. Fay’s taking me before him across the
mare, which was tolerably well accomplished.
When he had landed me safe he went back,
and with great difficulty whipped the old
horse through; he was up to the girth in
water, and I expected every moment, he
would break the chaise to pieces, for he frequently
attempted to lie down. When we
had overcome this difficulty we continued in
tolerable spirits, until our arrival next day at
the Buchetta, an appenine mountain, by the
side of which Mont Cenis would appear
contemptible; it is near twenty miles over,
without any plain at the top, so that no sooner
do you reach its summit, than you turn short, and G3r 45
and descend immediately. Had the weather
proved fine, the prospect from this prodigious
eminence must have been glorious; but so
thick a fog enveloped us, that we could not
distinguish any thing of five yards distance,
and the cold was as piercing as with us in
January. Never shall I forget the sense of
wearisome, overbearing desolateness, which
seemed to bow down both my body, and mind
at this juncture. I felt a kind of dejection
unknown before through all my peregrinations,
and which doubtless tended to increase the unusual
fears that operated on my mind, when
we arrived at the end of this days’ journey.
It was nearly dark; the Inn was little better
than a large barn, or hovel, and the men we
found in it, so completely like all we conceive
of Banditti, and assassins, that every horrible
story I had heard or read of, instantly came
into my head; and I perceived that the thoughts
of my companions were occupied in the same
painful way; our looks were the only medium
of communication we could use, for we were
afraid of speaking, lest we should accelerate
the fate we dreaded. Every thing around us
combined to keep alive suspicion and strengthen
fear; we were at a distance from every human G3v 46
human habitation: various whisperings, and
looks directed towards us, continually passed
amongst the men, and we fancied they were endeavouring
to find whether we had any concealed
arms. When we retired for the night
worn out as we were, not one dared to sleep
and surely never night appeared so long.
With the earliest dawn we departed, and as
the people saw us set out without offering
us any injury, we are now persuaded that we
feel as if we had escaped some projected mischief.

We arrived pretty early at Genoa, a grand
but gloomy disagreeable city, owing to the
houses being very high, and the streets so
narrow you might almost shake hands across
them out of the window. It abounds with magnificent
Churches and Palaces, principally built
of the most beautiful marble, at least they are
faced and ornamented with it. Their roofs
flat, and rendered very agreeable gardens, by
flowering shrubs, little arbours, covered with
wood-bine and jessamine, elegant verandahs,
awnings &c. In these the ladies wander from morning G4r 47
morning to night.—As far as I can hear or
see, they are more remarkable for pride than
any thing else. Their dress costly, but
heavy and unbecoming, except so far as they
manage their veils, which are so contrived as
to give very good play to a pair of fine eyes.
They wear rouge; but apply it better than the
French ladies, which may be said rather to
plaister than to paint: when the best however
is made of this practice it is still a very hateful
one in my opinion—I went to view the
Palaces of Doria, Doraggio, and Pallavicini,
where are many fine pictures and statues; but
the rooms are so large, and so many of them are
only half furnished, that they had on the whole an
uncomfortable look. I was much pleased with several
of the churches; the Cathedral is completely
lined with marble, but I was attracted more
by the Jesuits’ church on account of the paintings,
though, I have neither health nor spirits
to enter into a particular description of them. The
assumption of the Virgin
by Guido, is a most
delightful performance to my taste. I always
admire his pictures, but being simply an admirer,
without knowledge on the subject, I seldom
hazard a remark as to the manner in which a
piece is executed—.The theatre here is large, but G4v 48
but not to be compared with that at Turin. The
gardens are every where in the same style, all
neat and trim, like a desert Island in a pastry
cook’s shop, with garnish and frippery enough
to please a Dutchman. There are many admirable
charities in this city; but its chief boast,
in my opinion, consists in being the birth place
of Columbus, who was undoubtedly a great
man, and from his talents, firmness, wisdom and
misfortunes entitled to inspire admiration and
pity. I often thought of him, as I passed these
streets and was ready to exclaim, you were not
worthy of such a Citizen! The velvets, goldwork,
and artificial flowers manufactured here,
are said to be unrivalled; but I made no purchases
for very obvious reasons.

We saw a very grand procession on Corpus
Christi day
, at which the Doge assisted, and all
the principal nobility, clothed in their most magnificent
habiliments, and each carrying a lighted
taper; several images also, adorned with jewels
(as I was informed) too an almost incredible
amount, were borne along to grace the spectacle.
It is to be lamented that, this noble city
should disgrace itself by the encouragement
given to assasination, for a man after committing
half a score murders, has only to take a boat H1r 49
boat which nobody prevents him from doing,
and claim the protection of any foreign ship,
which none dares to refuse, and there he remains
in safety. Mr. Fay saw five of these
wretches on board one vessel. What you have
heard respected the custom of married woman
in Italy being attended by their Cicisbeos, is
perfectly true. They speak of it with all the
indifference imaginable. Surely, after all that
has been said, the usage must be an innocent
one, if any thing can be called so which tends
to separate the affections of husband and wife
and that, the constant attendance, the profound
respect of another man, must be likely
to effect. Altogether it is a vile fashion, make
the best of it, and I heartily hope never to see
such a mode adopted in old England.

We sold our horse at Genoa, for about
three guineas profit—and no more, as Mr.
embraced the first offer that was made him.
Yu who know me, will be well aware, that I
could not part with these mute but faithful
companions of our journey without a sigh. Far
different were my sensation on bidding adieu
to our fellow traveller Mr. B―r, who left
us on our arrival at this place. My first impressionH pression H1v 50
of his character was too just, and
every day’s experience more fully displayed a
mind, estranged from all that was praise worthy,
and prone to every species of vice. He professed
himself almost an Atheist, and I am persuaded,
had led the life of one; it was perhaps fortunate
that his manners were as disgusting as
his principles were wicked, and that he constantly
reminded one, of that expression of the
Psalmist “the Fool hath said in his heart there
is no God;”
as the comment, he was but a fool,
rose to remembrance at the same moment.

We took our passage in a Felucca from Genoa,
and arrived here in thirty three hours. My first
message was to the Post Office, where was only
one letter for me, dated 1779-05-1010th May. I am impatient
for more, being kept in daily expectation of
sailing, and it would be mortifying to leave any
behind. I must now conclude; believe me,

Ever most affectionately your’s.

P.S. I open this to say, our letters and
remittances are arrived. Ten thousand thanks
for your kindness, but I have not time to add
another word.

Outer H2r 51

Outer Mole Leghorn,

On board the Hellespont,

My Dear Friends,

You may perceive from this date that, I have
quitted Leghorn, but how I came to take up my
quarters here, cannot be explained ’till after
the relation of some particulars which I must
first notice, in order to proceed regularly with
my journal.

Our letter of introduction from Mr. Baretto
of London to his brother, the king of Sardina’s
Consul at Leghorn, procured us the kindest attentions
from that gentleman and his family,
indeed they were so friendly to us in every respect,
that I soon felt all the ease of old acquaintance
in their society, and shall ever remember
them, with sentiments of the most
cordial esteem. Through this kind family I saw
whatever was worthy of note in Leghorn, and
its environs; but my increasing anxiety as to H2 our H2v 52
our journey, took from me all power of investigation.
When one sees merely with the
eye, and the wandering mind is travelling
to the friends left far behind, or forward to
the unknown clime whither its destiny points,
few recollections of places and things will
remain on it. But far different will be its
recognition of persons. When these have
softened an anxious hour by kindness, or relieved
its irksomeness, by smiles and gaiety,
the heart will register their action and their
image, and gratitude engrave their names on
the tablet of remembrance. What a romantic
flight! methinks I hear you exclaim; but
consider this is the land of Poesy, and
surely, I may be permitted to evince a
little of its spirit. I shall never forget that
Leghorn contains the Baretti’s and Franco’s.
The latter are eminent merchants; the house
has been established above a century. The
eldest of the present family is above eighty
years of age; a most venerable and agreeable
old man; with more of active kindness
and benevolent politeness, than I ever met
with in one, so far advanced in life, and who
has seen so much of the world. He not only
shewed us every attention during our stay, but H3r 53
but has given us a letter recommending us in
the strongest terms to a Mr. Abraham, of
Grand Cairo; which should Mr. Baldwin,
the East India Company’s resident, but absent
when we arrive there, may prove useful. At
all events, we are equally indebted to Mr.
friendly inntentionsintentions.

We have often boasted of the superiority of
the British flag, but alas poor old England!
her glory is here humbled in the dust; we have
several ships in the mole, but if one dare venture
out, so many French Privateers are hovering
round, that she must be taken in a few
hours. I pity the poor Captains from my
heart, but the person for whom I feel most
interested, is a Captain Les——r of the Hellespont,
(Mr. P―’s relation). I cannot express
half what I owe to his civility. From the moment
he knew of my probable connection
with his family, he has uniformly shown us
every possible attention. His situation is very
disagreeable, to be forced either to abandon
so fine a ship, or incur almost a certainty
of being taken prisoner in her, as
she must soon venture out; for she has already eaten H3v 54
eaten her head off, by lying here a whole
twelvemonth on expence, as such is the
deplorable state of our commerce in the
Mediterranean, that no one will now underwrite
an English ship at any premium. I think
the number lying here is seven, and believe
they intend soon to make a bold push
together; but it will be all in vain; they
never can get through the Straits of Gibraltar,

16:004 o’clock P.M A hard gale.

I told you this morning I
had to esteem Captain L.― He is now
entitled to at least a double portion of my
gratitude, if estimated by the service done.
As there was a likelihood of meeting with
an English vessel, we engaged a passage in a
Swedish one, called the Julius, Captain Norberg,
for Alexandria, at £6 each, (cheap
enough you will say); and had all in readiness:
so last night I quitted the shores of Europe,
God knows for how long: his will be
done. Capt. L.― as his ship lay next
but one to our’s, and we were not to sail ’till H4r 55
’till day break, offered us his cabin, because, as
he very considerately observed, we could not sleep
comfortably in our own, amidst the noise of
preparing for Sea. I readily complied, well
knowing the advantages of his proposal, having
already dined several times on board the
Hellespont, which is kept clean and in good
order, equal to the nicest house I ever saw.
This morning the Julius went out to the Road,
and we prepared to follow; but just at that
time arose a sudden squall of thunder and
lightning, succeeded by a very strong gale
of wind: the poor Julius was forced to drop
anchor, and there she lies, two miles off, pitching
(driving piles Capt. L― calls it) and
has just struck her lower yards: she slipped
one cable two hours ago, but the other brought
her up. I see her now and would not exchange
cabins for a trifle.

Several vessels have been driving in, in distress;
one dashed directly against the Hellespont
and snapped her Bowsprit short; we
had but just time to secure the poop lanthorn
from the stroke of another; the iron was torn
away, so you may guess it blows smartly, but
I feel perfectly easy. I am luckily sheltered now H4v 56
now, and no one shall persuade me to leave
this ship ’till all is over, and the weather
settled again. I doubt we shall not be able
to sail this day or two, for the wind is rising:
but so that we arrive, time enough to save
our season at Suez, all will be well. Tea is
waiting, and they are tormenting me to death.
Adieu. God bless you all, prays,

Your affectionate
J1r 57

Letter VI

Ship Julius at Sea,

I hope, my dear friends will safely receive
my letter of the 1779-07-022d Instant, from
Leghorn, wherein I mentioned the kindness
of Capt. L.― and our situation in
his Ship. We remained with him ’till Sunday
evening, when we embarked on the
Julius, and the following morning, sailed with
a fair wind; but it changed in less than six
hours, and came on so strong, that we were
forced to put back again and cast anchor. The
gale lasted ’till Wednesday evening; however
we made shift to ride it out, though we
were continually paying out cable (as it is
called;) and expected every moment to be
driven on shore.

When the weather moderated, Mr. Franco
sent off a letter to Mr. Fay, stating that he
had just heard from Mr. Abraham of Grand
, who was about to proceed to Europe, J with J1v 58
with his family, by the first ship; therefore
to guard against any future disappointment,
this kind gentleman inclosed a general letter
to the Jewish merchants, Mr. Franco’s name
being well known throughout the East. Having
already seven letters of introduction to
persons in Grand Cairo, we shall not, I
imagine, have occasion to make use of this.

On 1779-07-08Thursday the 8th, we ventured to sail
once more, and have hitherto gone on pleasantly

1779-07-20Tuesday, 20th July. Since my last date, I have
been a good deal vexed at an accident which,
perhaps, will appear very trivial. I had a pair
of beautiful pigeons given me at Leghorn,
which furnished me with much amusement.
These pretty little creatures, their wings being
cut, ranged at liberty about the ship. At
length one of them fell, or was rather blown
overboard. I saw it a long while struggling
for life, and looking towards the vessel, as if
to implore assistance; yet, notwithstanding my
fondness for the poor bird, and anxious
desire to extricate it from its perilous situation,tion, J2r 59
if such a thing were possible, I could
not even wish that, a ship running eight knots
an hour, should be hove to, and a boat
sent out after a Pigeon. The widowed mate
lived only three days afterwards, never touching
a morsel of food, from the time the other
disappeared, and uttering, at intervals, the most
plaintive sounds, which I could not avoid
hearing, my cabin being upon deck. For
you must know, it is a regulation on board
Swedish vessels, that the whole ship’s company
join twice a day, in devotional exercises; so
Capt. Norbery reserved his great Cabin for
the purpose, of assembling them together, or
we would willingly have engaged it. So
much for my little favourites. I shall now
advert to a more chearful topic.

My voyage has been rendered very interesting,
and instructive, by the conversation of
of one of our passengers, a Franciscan Friar,
from Rome, who is going as a Missionary
to Jerusalem; and in my opinion no man
can be better calculated for the hazardous
office he has undertaken. Figure to yourself,
a man in the prime of life (under forty), J2 self, J2v 60
tall, well made, and athletic in his person;
and seemingly of a temperament to
brave every danger: add to these advantages
a pair of dark eyes, beaming with
intelligence, and a most venerable auburn
beard, descending nearly to his girdle, and,
you cannot fail to pronounce him, irresistible.
He appears also to possess, all the enthusiasm
and eloquence necessary for pleading
the important cause of Christianity; yet
one must regret that so noble a mind, should
be warped by the belief of such ridiculous
superstitions, as disgrace the Romish creed —
He became extremely zealous for my conversion,
and anxiously forwarded my endeavours,
after improvement in the Italian language,
that I might the more readily comprehend
the arguments, he adduced to effect
that desirable purpose. Like other disputants,
we sometimes used to contend very
fiercely, and one day on my speaking rather
lightly, of what he chose to call, a miracle
of the Catholic Church, he even went so
far as to tell me, that my mouth spouted
forth heresies, as water gushes from a fountain.
This J3r 61
This morning (1770-07-22the 22nd) at breakfast, he intreated
me to give up my coffee, as a
libation to the bambino (child) Jesus, and
on my declining to do so, urged me with
the most impressive earnestness, to spare
only a single cup, which he would immediately
pour out in honour of the Blessed
Infant. Professing my disbelief in the
efficacy of such a sacrifice, I again excused
myself from complying with his request:
upon which declaring he was equally
shocked at my willful incredulity and obstinate
heresy he withdrew to another part of the
vessel, and I have not seen him since.

1779-07-2323d A. M. We are now off Alexandria,
which makes a fine appearance from the sea
on a near approach; but being built on low
ground, is, as the seamen say “very difficult
to hit.”
We were two days almost abreast of
the Town. There is a handsome Pharos or
light-house in the new harbour, and it is in
all respects far preferable; but no vessels belonging
to Christians can anchor there, so we J3v 62
we were forced to go into the old one, of
which however we escaped the dangers, if any

My acquaintance with the Reverend Father
has terminated rather unpleasantly. A
little while ago being upon deck together,
and forgetting our quarrel about the libation,
I made a remark on the extreme heat of the
weather, “Aye” replied he, with a most
malignant expression of countenance, such as
I could not have thought it possible, for a
face benign like his to assume, “aye you
will find it ten thousand times hotter in
the Devil’s House.”
(Nelia Casa di Diavolo).
I pitied his bigotry and prayed for his conversion
to the genuine principles of that
religion, whose doctrines he professed to

Mr. Brandy to whom Mr. Fay sent ashore
an introductory letter, came on board to visit
us. I rejoice to hear from him, that there
are two ships at Suez, yet no time must be
lost, lest we miss the season. This gentleman
resides here, as Consul for one of the German
Courts, and may be of great use to us. We received J4r 63
received an invitation to sup with him tomorrow;
he has secured a lodging for us, and
engaged a Jew and his wife to go with us to Grand
as dragoman, (or interpreter) and attendant:
should we proceed by water, which is
not yet decided on, Mr. B― will provide
a proper boat. I am summoned to an early
dinner, immediately after which we shall go
on shore with our Dragoman, that we may
have time to view whatever is remarkable.

1779-07-2424th July.

Having mounted our asses, the use of
horses being forbidden to any but musselmans,
we sallied forth preceded by a Janizary,
with his drawn sword, about three miles over a
sandy desert, to see Pompey’s Pillar, esteemed to
be the finest column in the World. This pillar
which is exceedingly loftly, but I have no
means of ascertaining its exact height, is
composed of three blocks of Granite; (the pedestal,
shaft, and capital, each containing one). When
we consider the immense weight of the granite,
the raising such masses, appear beyond the
powers of man. Although quite unadorned,
the proportions are so exquisite, that it must
strike every beholder with a kind of awe, which J4v 64
which soften into melancholy, when one reflects
that the renowned Hero whose name it
bears, was treacherously murdered on this
very Coast, by the boatmen who were conveying
him to Alexandria; while his wretched
wife stood on the vessel he had just left, watching
his departure, as we may naturally
suppose, with inexpressible anxiety. What
must have been her agonies at the dreadful
event! Though this splendid memorial bears
the name of Pompey, it is by many supposed
to have been erected in memory of the
triumph, guided over him at the battle of
Pharsalia. Leaving more learned heads than
mine to settle this disputed point, let us
proceed to ancient Alexandria, about a league
from the modern town which presents
to the eye an instructive lesson on the instability
of all sublunary objects. This once
magnificent City, built by the most famous
of all Conquerors, and adorned with the most
exquisite productions of art, is now little more
than a heap of Ruins; yet the form of the
streets can still be discerned; they were
regular, and many of the houses (as I recollect
to have read of Athens) had fore-courts boundeded K1r 65
by dwarf walls, so much in the manner of
our Lincoln’s-Inn Fields, that the resemblance
immediately struck me.

We saw also the outside of St. Athanasius’s
, who was Bishop of this Diocese,
but it being now a Mosque were forbidden
to enter, unless on condition of turning
mahometans, or losing our lives, neither of
which alternatives exactly suited my ideas, so
that I deemed it prudent to repress my
curiosity. I could not however resist a desire
to visit the Palace of Cleopatra, of which
few vestiges remain. The marble walls of the
Banqueting room are yet standing, but the
roof is long since decayed. Never do I remember
being so affected by a like object.
I stood in the midst of the ruins, meditating
on the awful scene, ’till I could almost have
fancied I beheld its former mistress, revelling
in Luxury, with her infatuated lover, Marc
, who for her sake lost all.

The houses in the new Town of Alexandria
thro’ which we returned, are flat roofed,
and, in general, have gardens on their
tops. These in some measure, in so warm a K country, K1v 66
country, may be called luxuries. As to the
bazars (or markets) they are wretched places,
and the streets exceedingly narrow. Christians
of all denominations live here on paying
a tax, but they are frequently ill treated; and
of one of them commits even an unintentional
offence against a musselman, he is pursued by
a most insatiable spirit of revenge and his
whole family suffers for it. One cannot help
shuddering at the bare idea of being in the
hands of such bigotted wretches. I forgot to
mention that Mr. Brandy met us near Cleopatra’s
, which are two immense obelisks
of Granite. One of them, time has
levelled with the ground; the other is intire;
they are both covered with hieroglyphic
figures, which, on the sides not exposed
to the wind and sand from the Desert, remain
uninjured; but the key being lost, no
one can decypher their meaning. I thought
Mr. B― might perhaps have heard
something relative to them; he, however,
seems to know no more than ourselves. A
droll circumstance occurred on our return.
He is a stout man of a very athletic make,
and above six feet high; so you may judge
what a curious figure he must have made, riding K2r 67
riding on an ass, and with difficulty holding
up his long legs to suit the size of the animal;
which watched an opportunity of walking
away from between them, and left the
poor Consul standing, erect, like a Colossus:
in truth, it was a most ludicrous scene to

1779-07-2525th July.

The weather being intensely hot, we staid
at home ’till the evening, when Mr. Brandy
called to escort us to his house. We
were most graciously received by Mrs. B.―
who is a native of this place; but as she could
speak a little Italian, we managed to carry on
something like conversation. She was most
curiously bedizened on the occasion, and being
short, dark complexioned, and of a complete
dumpling shape, appeared altogether the
strangest lump of finery I had ever beheld;
she had a handkerchief bound round her
head, covered with strings composed of thin
plates of gold, in the manner of spangles but
very large, intermixed with pearls and emeralds;
her neck and bosom were ornamented
in the same way. Add to all this an K2 em- K2v 68
embroidered girdle with a pair of gold clasps,
I verily think four inches square, enormous
earrings, and a large diamond sprig
on the top of her forehead, and you must
allow, that altogether she was a most brilliant
figure. They have a sweet little girl about
seven years of age, who was decked out
much in the same style; but she really looked
pretty in spite of her incongruous finery.
On the whole, though, I was pleased with both
mother and child, their looks and behaviour
were kind: and to a stranger in a strange land
(and this is literally so to us) a little attention is
soothing and consolatory; especially when one
feels surrounded by hostilities, which every
European must do here. Compared with the
uncouth beings who govern this country, I
felt at home among the natives of France, and
I will even say of Italy.

On taking leave, our Host presented a book
containing certificates of his great politeness
and attention towards travellers; which were
signed by many persons of consideration:
and at the same time requesting that Mr.
and myself would add our names to the
list, we complied, though not without surprize,prize, K3r 69
that a gentleman in his situation,
should have recourse to such an expedient,
which cannot but degrade him in the eyes of
his Guests.

It being determined that we shall proceed by
water, for reasons too tedious to detail at present,
I must now prepare to embark. I shall endeavour
to keep up my spirits. Be assured that I
will omit no opportunity of writing, and
comfort yourselves with the idea, that before
this reaches you, I shall have surmounted
all my difficulties. I certainly deem
myself very fortunate in quitting this place
so soon. Farewell; all good be with you,
my ever ever dear Friends prays,

Your own,

Letter VII. K3v 70

Letter. VII.

My Dear Friends,

In coming to this place, we were in great
peril, and bade adieu to the sea at the
hazard of our lives, the Bar of the Nile
being exceedingly dangerous. Fourteen persons
were lost there, the day before we
crossed it, a circumstance that of course
tended to increase our anxiety on the subject,
and which was told me just before
I closed my last letter; but for the world
I would not have communicated such intelligence.
Our only alternative to this hazardous
passage, was crossing a desert, notorious
for the robberies and murders committed
on it; where we could not hope
for escape, and from the smallness of
our number, had no chance of superiority
in case of attack. The night after we had
congratulated ourselves on being out of danger
from the bar, we were alarmed by perceiving K4r 71
perceiving a boat making after us, as the
people said, to plunder, and perhaps, to
murder us. Our Jew interpreter, who,
with his wife, slept in the outer cabin,
begged me not to move our dollars, which I
was just attempting to do, lest the thieves should
hear the sound, and kill us all, for the supposed
booty. You may judge in what a situation we remained,
while this dreadful evil seemed impending
over us. Mr. Fay fired two pistols, to give notice
of our being armed. At length, thank God,
we out-sailed them; and nothing of the kind
occurred again, during our stay on board;
though we passed several villages, said to be
inhabited entirely by thieves.

As morning broke, I was delighted with
the appearance of the country, a more charming
scene my eyes never beheld. The Nile,
that perpetual source of plenty, was just beginning
to overflow its banks; so that on every
side, we saw such quantities of water drawn
up for the use of more distant lands, that it is
surprising any remains. The machine chiefly
used for that purpose, is a wheel with earthen
pitchers tied round it, which empty themselvesselves K4v 72
into tubs, from whence numerous canals
are supplied. Oxen and Buffaloes are the
animals generally employed in this labour. It
is curious to see how the latter contrive to
keep themselves cool during the intense heat
that prevails here; they lie in the River by
hundreds, with their heads just above water,
for hours together.

Rosetta is a most beautiful place, surrounded
by groves of lemon and orange trees;
and the flat roofs of the houses have gardens
on them, whose fragrance perfumes the air.
There is an appearance of cleanliness in it,
the more gratifying to an English eye, because
seldom met with in any degree, so as
to remind as of what we are accustomed to
enjoy at home. The landscape around, was
interesting from its novelty, and became peculiarly
so on considering it as the country
where, the children of Israel sojourned.
The beautiful, I may say, the unparalelled
story of Joseph, and his brethren, rose to my
mind as I surveyed those Banks, on which the
Patriarch sought shelter for his old age; and
where his self convicted sons, bowed down before
their younger brother, and I almost felt as L1r 73
as if in a dream, so wonderful appeared the
circumstance of my being here. You will
readily conceive that, as I drew near Grand
, and beheld those prodigies of human
labour, the Pyramids of Egypt, these sensations
were still more strongly awakened: and
I could have fancied myself an inhabitant of
a world, long passed away: for who can
look on buildings, reared, (moderately computing
the time) above three thousand years
, without seeming to step back as it were,
in existence, and live through days, now gone
by, and sunk in oblivion “like a tale that
is told.”

Situated as I was, the Pyramids were not
all in sight, but I was assured that those
which came under my eye, were decidedly the
most magnificent. We went out of our way
to view them nearer, and by the aid of a
telescope, were enabled to form a tolerable idea
of their construction. It has been supposed by
many that the Israelites built these Pyramids
during their bondage in Egypt, and I rather
incline to that opinion; for, altho’ it has latelyL ly L1v 74
been proved that they were intended to
serve as repositories for the dead, yet each,
being said to contain only one sarcophagus,
this circumstance, and their very form, rendered
them of so little comparative use, that
most probably, they were raised to furnish
employment for multitudes of unfortunate
slaves; and who more aptly agree with this
description, than the wretched posterity of
Jacob? I understand there is a little flat, on
the tops of the larger Pyramids, from which
it is conjectured that, the Egyptians made
astronomical obversationsobservations. The largest, is said
to be, above five hundred feet high, perpendicularly.
The inclined plane must measure
much more: the steps are nearly three feet
distant of the Pyramids; though I very anxiously
wished to have inspected them, and
the sphinx, prudence forbade me from making
the attempt, as you will allow, when I proceed
farther in my narrative.

On 1779-07-29the 29th, we reached Bulac the port of
Grand Cairo, and within two miles of that city,
to my great joy; for on this river, there
is either little wind, or else it comes in squalls, L2r 75
squalls, so suddenly, that the boats are often
in danger of being overset, as they carry
only, what I believe is called, a shoulder-
, which turns on a sort of
swivel, and is very difficult to manage, when
the wind takes it the wrong way
. It seems
indeed almost miraculous how we escaped.

Mr. Fay sat out almost immediately to Mr.
, who received him with much civility,
and sent an ass for me, with directions
to make all possible haste, as a Caravan was
to set off in three hours.

I must now give you a description of my
dress, as my Jewess decked me out, preparatory
to our entering the Great City. I had,
in the first place, a pair of trowsers, with
yellow leather half-boots and slippers over
them; a long sattin gown, with wide sleeves,
open to the elbows; and a girdle round my
waist, with large silver clasps; over that another
robe with short sleeves: round my head
a fine, coloured, muslin handkerchief, closely
bound, but so arranged that one corner hung L2 down L2v 76
down three quarters of a yard behind. This
is the dress for the House; but as I was going
out, she next put on, a long robe of
silk, like a surplice, and then covered my
face with a piece of muslin, half a yard wide,
which reached from the forehead to the feet,
except an opening for the eyes; over all,
she threw a piece of black silk, long and
wide enough to envelop the whole form;
so, thus equipped, stumbling at every step, I
sallied forth, and with great difficulty got across
my noble beast: but, as it was in the
full heat of the day and the veil prevented
me from breathing freely, I thought I must
have died by the way. However, at last, I was
safely housed, but found a great change had
taken place; all thoughts of going were now
laid aside. I dare not at present enter into particulars,
and can only say that, some thing
was wrong, and on that account we were
kept in suspense, ’till about a week ago,
when just as we had determined to proceed,
if possible, another way, matters were adjusted:
so tomorrow afternoon we are to enter
on the Desert, and shall, please God, arrive at L3r 77
at Suez, most likely, on Monday, from
whence I propose writing again. The season
is so far advanced that a good passage cannot
be expected: we have no hope of reaching
Calcutta in less than three months, but
at any rate, the voyage is preferable to going
through the long Desert, from Aleppo to

When I write from India I will give a
full detail of the affair to which I allude,
though as it is very important, you will, most
probably, see the whole in the papers. Adieu
for the present it is bed time.

1779-07-2828th. Again I take up the pen to hold a little
further converse with my dear friends,
while waiting the summons to depart; and
as health is the most important of all earthly
subjects, shall begin with that. It will, I know,
give you pleasure to hear that, I have found
scare any inconvenience from the heat,
though all of our Party, who have been in
India agree that, they never felt the weather
so oppressively hot as here; which proceeds
from the terrible sandy deserts, that surround
the town, causing the air to smell like hot bricks. L3v 78
bricks. This however I could have borne;
but just on our arrival, there broke out a
severe epidemical disease, with violent symptoms.
People are attacked at a moments
warning with dreadful pains in the limbs, a
burning fever, with delirium and a total stoppage
of perspiration. During two days it
increases; on the third, there comes on uniformly
a profuse sweat (pardon the expression)
with vomiting, which carries all off—
The only remedies prescribed, are lying in
bed and drinking plentifully, even two gallons
a day, of Nile water: no nourishment,
and not so much as gruel, is allowed until
after the crisis; not one has died of the disorder,
nor, I believe, scarcely one escaped;
even the beasts have been effected. Mr. Fay
had it three weeks ago, and among all I
conversed with here, I remained the only
healthy person, and really hoped to have
proved the truth of what is asserted by physicians,
that nervous people are not subject
to be attacked by contagious distempers, not
even by the Plague itself. However, this day
sennight, I was seized with most violent symptoms,
so that at the three days end, my strength L4r 79
strength seemed entirely exhausted; but I
have, thanks be to Providence, recovered as
surprizingly; and am already nearly well. It
had every sign of the Plague, except that it
was not mortal. Do not be frightened at the
name, but I assure you, it is commonly called
“la queue de la Peste,” and the general opinion
is, that had it arrived in the month of
February, the living would scarce have been
sufficient to bury the dead.

Grand Cairo by no means answers to its
name at present, whatever it may have done
formly.—There are certainly many magnificent
houses, belonging to the Beys and
other rich individuals, but as a city, I can
perceive, neither order, beauty, nor grandeur;
and the contrast between the great, who seem
to wallow in splendour and luxury, and the
people at large, who appear to want the
common necessaries of life, is not more
striking, than disgusting; because, those
who are raised above their fellows, do not
look, as though they merited the distinction,
either by talent, manners or even the
most ordinary pretentions. The Christians
(who are called Franks) live all togetherther L4v 80
in one street, which is closed at each
end every night; a precaution neither unpleasant
nor useless. An agreeable variety
is given to the appearance of the town by the
Mosques, or I should consider the whole wretchedly
stupid. A wedding, here, is a gay and
amusing spectacle, from the procession which
accompanies the Bride in all, her movements,
drums, haatboys and every other kind of
noise, and parade they can make, seem indispensible:
but the circumstance of completely
veiling, not only the face, but the
whole figure of the woman, in the enveloping
mantle of black silk, before described,
gives an air of melancholy during these exhibitions.
To show the face is considered here,
an act of downright indecency; a terrible
fashion for one like me, to whom free air,
seems the great requisite for existence.

I must not conclude without mentioning a
disappointment I met with. As the fertility
of Egypt depends on the due increase of the
Nile, persons are hired to go round Grand
, twice a day, and report how many
inches the water has risen; returning solemn
thanks to Almighty God for the blessing. This M1r 81
This is continued ’till it gain a certain
point, when the Dykes are broken down, and
the river flows majestically into the Canal,
formed for its reception; while the inhabitants
hail its approach with every demonstration
of joy. Such was the account I heard,
and great was my anxiety, lest I should not
be permitted to witness this August ceremony.
At length the period arrived, but never,
sure, were highly raised expectations
more miserably deceived: for this famous
Canal, being dry nine months out of the
twelve, and serving during that interval as a
receptacle for the filth of a populous, and
not over cleanly City, I leave you to judge,
how beautifully pellucid its waters must appear;
nor could St. Giles’s itself pour forth
such an assembly of half naked, wretched
creatures, as preceded this so vaunted stream;
crying aloud, and making all sorts of frantic
gestures, like so many maniacs. Not a decent
person could I distinguish amongst the
whole group. So much for this grand exhibition,
which we have abundant cause to wish,
had not taken place, for the vapours arising M from M1v 82
from such a mass of impurity, have rendered
the heat more intolerable than ever. My bed
chamber overlooks the Canal, so that I enjoy
the full benefit to be derived from its

I am now compelled, much against my inclination,
to bid you adieu: for I have a
thousand things to do, and this immense letter,
has left me little time.

Ever your’s most truly,
&c. &c.

Not being able to enlarge on the
only interesting subject, has induced me to be
rather diffuse on others, as I wished to convey
some information by this, perhaps, last
opportunity, ’till our arrival in India; for it
is doubtful whether I may have any safe
channel of conveyance from Suez.

Letter VIII. M2r 83

Letter VIII.

From Mr. F to Mr. C.

Honoured Sir,

I seize the chance of three minutes, to tell
you that, we yesterday arrived at Suez from
Grand Cairo, after a journey of three days,
over a most dreadful Desert, where every
night we slept under the great canopy of
Heaven, and where we were every hour in
danger of being destroyed, by troops of
Arabian robbers. But having a little party
of English gentlemen, and servants (among
whom I held a principal command) well
armed, and under the orders of Major Bailie,
and another military officer, we marched
the whole way in order of battle, and though
we could frequently see superior numbers, they
never dared to molest us.

M2 You M2v 84

Your daughter behaved most courageously
and is extremely well, considering the extraordinary
fatigue she had undergone. There is
another English lady and her husband on
board, which promises to make it an agreeable
voyage. The ship is a very fine one,
and we have a handsome little chamber,
and I hope in all things shall find ourselves
well accommodated. We expect to sail in
four hours. The ship is called the Nathalia,
Captain Chenu, a Frenchman; and apparently
a very polite good-natured man, which is
a great matter in a long voyage.

I thank God I was never in better health
and spirits, tho’ I never slept during the
whole journey on the Desert, and lived the
whole time on bread and water, notwithstanding
we had abundance of wine and provisions;
but the heat being excessive, I found
no other food agree with me so well, and
Mrs. Fay by adopting the same diet, preserved
her health also; whereas all the rest
were knocked up before we got half way
over that confounded Desert, and some are
now very ill; but I stood it, as well as any Arabian
in the Caravan, which consisted at least of M3r 83
of five thousand people. My wife insists on
taking the pen out of my hands, so I can
only say God bless you all.

My Dear Friends

I have not a moments time, for the boat
is waiting, therefore can only beg that you
will unite with me, in praising our heavenly
Protector for our escape from the various
dangers of our journey. I never could
have thought my constitution was so strong.
I bore the fatigues of the desert, like
a Lion, though, but just recovering from
my illness. We have been pillaged of
almost every thing, by the Arabs. This
is the Paradise of thieves, I think the
whole population may be divided by two
classes of them; these who adopt force,
and those who effect their purpose by fraud.
I was obliged to purchase a thick cloak,
and veil, proper for the journey, and what
was worse, to wear them all the way hither,
which rendered the heat almost insupportable.
—Never was I more happy, than when I
came on board; although the ship having
been for six weeks in the hands of the natives,tives, M3v 86
the reason of which I cannot enlarge
on here, is totally despoiled of every article
of furniture; we have not a chair or a table,
but as the carpenter makes them, for
there is no buying such things here. Our
greatest inconvenience is the want of good
water; what can be procured here, is so
brackish, as to be scarcely drinkable. I have
not another moment. God bless you! pray
for me my beloved friends.

Letter IX. M4r 87

Letter IX.

From Mrs. Fay.

Thank God my dear friends, I am once
more enabled to date from a place of comparative
liberty, and an European Gentleman
having promised me a safe conveyance
for my packet, I shall proceed to give you
a hurried and melancholy detail of circumstances
of which it has been my chief consolation
to know, that you were ignorant.
You are of course impatient to be
informed to what I allude; take then the
particulars; but I must go a good way back
in order to elucidate matters, which would
otherwise appear mysterious or irrelevant.

The East India Company sent out positive
orders some time ago, to prohibit the trade
to Suez, as interfering with their privileges;
but as there never was a law made, but
means might be found to evade it, several
English merchants freighted a ship (the Nathalia)thalia) M4v 88
from Serampore, a Danish settlement
on the Hooghly, fourteen miles above Calcutta,
whose commander, Vanderfield, a Dane
passed for owner of the ship and cargo. Mr.
one of the persons concerned, and
who had property on board to the amount
of above £20,000, came as passenger, as
did Mr. Barrington the real supercargo, also
a freighter, and two Frenchmen, brothers,
named Chevalier. They left Bengal on 1779-01-01New
years day 1779
, and came first to Calicut
on the coast of Malabar, where they arrived in
February; found English, French, Danish and
Portuguese Factors, or Consuls there; and trade
in a flourishing state, so not apprehending
any danger they entered into a contract with
one Isaacs, a rich old Jew, who has great
influence with the government, to freight
them with pepper for Bengal on their return
from Suez; that being the greatest town
on the Coast for that commodity.—The price
was settled and £700 paid as earnest. This
business arranged, they proceeded on their
voyage; and having luckily disposed of some
part of the cargo at this place, reached Suez
with the remainder in the beginning of June, N1r 89
June, landed their Goods to the amount of at
least £40,000 and prepared to cross the Desert
on their way to Cairo. The company
besides these already mentioned, consisted of
Chenu the second mate, with some other officers
and servants, in all twelve Europeans, strengthened
by a numerous body of Arabian
guards, camel drivers &c. for the conveyance
of their property: more than sufficient in
every body’s opinion; for no one remembered
a Caravan being plundered, for altho’ sometimes
the wandering Arabs were troublesome,
yet a few presents never failed to procure a
release from them. Thus were they lulled
into a fatal security; each calculating the profits
likely to accrue, and extremely willing to compound
for the loss of the bales, should they
happen to meet with any strolling depredators,
not even once supposing their lives
were in danger, or intending to use their firearms
should they be molested.

On 1779-06-14Monday the 14th June they left Suez,
and next morning at day break, had travelled
about twenty miles (nearly one third of the N way) N1v 90
way) when suddenly an alarm was given
af an Attack, as they, poor soul, were
sleeping across their baskets (or panniers.)
Capt. Barrington on awaking ordered a dozen
bales to be given to them immediately: but
alas! they were already in possession of the whole;
for the Camel drivers did not defend themselves
an instant, but left their beasts at the mercy
of the robbers; who after detaching a large
body to drive them away with their burthens,
advanced towards the passengers. Here I must
request you to pause, and reflect whether it be
possible even for imagination to conceive a
more dreadful scene to those concerned, particularly
Mr. O’Donnell, who from a concurrence
of fortunate circumstances, had in less than four
years realized a fortune of near £30,000;
the bulk of which he laid out in merchandise
on the inviting prospect of gaining 50 Per Cent,
and as his health was in a very weak state
proposed retiring to Europe. What must that
man have felt, a helpless spectator of his own
ruin. But this was nothing to what followed
on their being personally attacked. The inhuman
wretches not content with stripping them to N2r 91
to the skin, drove away their camels, and left
them in a burning sandy Desert, which the
feet can scarcely touch, without being blistered,
exposed to the scorching rays of the sun and
utterly destitute of sustenance of every kind; no
house, tree, or even shrub to afford them shelter.
My heart sickens, my hand trembles as
I retrace this scene. Alas! I can too well conceive
their situation: I can paint to myself
the hopeless anguish of an eye cast abroad in
vain for succour! but I must not indulge in reflections,
let me simply relate the facts as they
occurred. In this extremity they stopped to
deliberate, when each gave his reasons, for preferring
the road he determined to pursue. Mr.
, Chenu, the cook, and two others
resolved to retrace their steps back to Suez, which
was undoubtedly the most eligible plan; and after
encountering many hardships, they at length,
arrived there in safety. Of the remaining
seven who went towards Cairo, only one survived.
Mr. Barrington being corpulent and
short breathed, sunk under the fatigue the second
day; his servant, soon followed him.—
One of the French gentlemen was by this time N2 become N2v 92
become very ill, and his brother perceiving a
house at some miles distance (for in that flat
country, one may see a great way,) prevailed
on him to lie down under a stunted tree, with
his servant, while he endeavoured to procure
some water, for want of which the other was
expiring. Hope, anxiety, and affection combined
to quicken his pace, and rendered poor Vanderfield,
the Danish captain, unable to keep
up with him, which he most earnestly strove
to do. I wept myself almost blind; as
the poor Frenchman related his sufferings
from conflicting passions; almost worn out
with heat and thirst, he was afraid of not being
able to reach the house, though his own life
and that of his brother, depended on it. On
the other hand the heart piercing cries of his fellow
sufferer, that he was a dead man unless assisted
by him, and conjuring him for God’s sake, not
to leave him to perish now they were in view
of relief, arrested his steps and agonised every
nerve. Unable to resist the solemn appeal, for
some time he indulged him, ’till finding that the
consequence of longer delay must mebe inevitable
destruction to both, he was compelled to shake N3r 93
shake him off. A servant belonging to some of
the party still kept on, and poor Vanderfield was
seen to continue his efforts, ’till at length nature
being completely exhausted, he dropped and
was soon relieved from his miseries by Death.
Nor was the condition of the survivors far more
enviable, when having, with difficulty, reached
the building after which they had toiled so
long, it proved to be an uninhabited shed. Giving
himself up for lost, the French gentleman
lay down under shelter of the wall, to await
his last moment, (the servant walked forward
and was found dead a little further on). Now
it so happened that an Arabian beggar chanced
to pass by the wall, who seeing his condition,
kindly ran to procure some water, but did not
return for an hour. What an age of torture,
of horrible suspense! for if “hope deferred maketh
the heart sick,”
the sensation must cause tenfold
anguish at a moment like this.

The unhappy man was mindful of his
brother, but utterly unable to undertake the
task himself, he directed the beggar, as well
as he could, to the spot where he had left
him, with a supply of water. But alas! alall his N3v 94
his endeavours to find the unfortunate men
were ineffectual, nor were their bodies
ever discovered: It is supposed that they
crept for shelter from the sun, into some unfrequented
spot, and there expired. The survivor
by the assistance of the beggar, reached the hut
of a poor old woman, who kindly received him;
and through whose care he was soon restored to
strength, and arrived safely at Cairo, after as
miraculous an escape, as ever human being experienced.

This melancholy story had been mentioned
by Mr. Brandy before I landed at Alexandria,
(Oh with what horror did I hear his brief recital)
and the particulars I soon learnt at Cairo. The
subject was in fact closely connected with my
fears and sufferings, at that place, and which
I hinted at the impossibility of my then revealing,
neither could I, for the same reason, give
you any account of the Egyptian Government,
lest they should intercept my letter, altho’ it is
necessary you should know a little of it, for the
sake of comprehending what I have further to
relate, concerning these unfortunate adventurers.

Egypt. N4r 95

Egypt, then, is governed by twenty four Beys,
of whom one presides over the rest, but this superiority
is very precarious; for he holds it no
longer than ’till some other of the number thinks
himself strong enough to contend with him; and
as they have here by two maxims in War, the
one to fly, the other to pursue, these contests
last not long: the vanquished, should he escape
assassination retires up the country, ’till Fortune
changes her aspect: while the victor
takes his place. Thus do their lives pass in perpetual
vicissitudes. To day a Prince, tomorrow
a Fugitive, and next day a prince again. These
things are so common, that nobody notices
them; since they never disturb the inhabitants
or compel them to take part in their disputes.
In order to be a check on these gentlemen, the
Grand Signor sends a Bashaw, to reside among
them, whom they receive with great respect
and compliment with presents of value, pretending
the utmost deference for his authority,
but at the same time a strict eye is kept over him,
and on the least opposition to their will, he is
sent in disgrace away—happy if he escape with
life, after refunding all his presents and paying
enormous sums besides.

By N4v 96

By the above statement you will perceive
that, the Beys are in reality independent, and
likewise discern the hinge on which their
politics turn, for as long as under colour
of submission, they consent to receive a
Bashaw, it is in their power constantly to throw
the odium of every disagreeable occurrence on
his shoulders, under pretence of Orders from
the Porte. Now briefly to proceed with my
little history, some time after the fatal robbery,
another ship called the St. Helena, arrived
at Suez, under Danish colours with the real
owner, a Mr. Moore, on board. he justly
apprehensive of a similar fate, refused to land
his Cargo ’till the then Chief Amurath Bey, had
accorded him a solemn permission or rather
protection, under which he safely reached Cairo,
disposed of his effects, and prepared for his
return to his ship with a fresh Cargo. But in
the interim, Mr. O’Donnell had been advised
to present a memorial to the Beys, by
which he reclaimed his property as an Englishman,
threatened them with the vengeance
of his nation if not immediately redressed,
and declared himself totally independent
of the Danes. This rash procedure alarmed O1r 97
alarmed the people in power, who however
still continued apparently friendly, in hopes
of a larger booty, ’till the 1779-07-3030th July, when they
threw off the mask, seized the Caravan even
to the passenger’s baggage, and made Mr.
a prisoner. You may recollect that in
my letter from Cairo, I told you what a hurry
Mr. Fay was in, to fetch me from Bulac, not
having, as he then thought, a moments time to
spare.—It so happened that I arrived within an
hour after the seizure of the Caravan and when
all the gentlemen concerned, were in the first
transports of that indignation, which such a
daring outrage could not fail to excite; at once
exasperated by this treacherous behaviour
and alarmed, lest some new crime should be
committed against them.

Every one is of opinion that their design
was to cut all off, had we gone out
ignorant of this seizure of the Caravan. I
had scarcely sat down in Mr. Baldwin’s parlour,
when this terrible news, which seemed
to involve the fate of every European
alike, burst upon me like a stroke of lightning.O ning. O1v 98
Never shall I forget the terrors I
felt —: In a few moments the room was
filled with Europeans, chiefly English, all
speaking together,—calling out for arms,
and declaring they would sell their lives dearly;
for not one appeared to entertain a
doubt of their being immediately attacked.
In the midst of this confusion, Mons. Chevalier
(the poor man who escaped from the
Desert) cast his eyes upon me, exclaiming
“Oh Madam how unhappy you in having
come to this wretched place.”
drew the attention of the rest,—and “what
shall we do with the lady?”
—was every
one’s question—at last they resolved on sending
me to the house of an Italian Physician,
as a place of safety; thither I was instantly
taken by a native, who even in the distress
and confusion of the house, and although
the Italian’s was only a few steps distant
across a narrow lane, felt greatly
shocked, because my veil chancing to be a
little loose, he could see one corner of my
eye, and severely reprehended the indecency
of such an exposure.

On O2r 99

On reaching my expected Asylum a
scene of more serious alarm (if possible) than
I had left at Mr. Baldwins awaited me. The
lady and her daughter were wringing their
hands, and crying out in agony, that they
were utterly ruined—; that all the Europeans
would be murdered; and they even
appeared to think, that receiving another of
the proscribed race increased their danger.
Imprisonment and massacre in every
shape were the sole subjects of their conversation;
and so many terrible images did
their fears conjure up, and communicate to
my already disordered mind, that there were
times, when the reality could have been
scarcely more appalling. Oh England! dear
England! how often did I apostrophise thee,
land of liberty and safety—: but I must not
review my thoughts—; a simple narrative is
all I dare allow myself to write.

For several days we remained in this harrassing
state of suspense, and alarm; at
length news arrived that the two ships which O2 had O2v 100
had brought these ill-fated adventurers to
Egypt’s inhospitable shores, were seized by
the Government, three days before they took
possession of the Caravan. Their prisoners indeed,
we already virtually were, not being allowed
to quit the City. I should have mentioned that
the Bashaw was the tool made use of on this
occasion; who pretended he had Orders
from Constantinople, to seize all English
merchandise and confiscate the Vessels, suffering
none by the East India Company’s
packets to touch at Suez. This Firman was
said to be obtained of his sublime highness,
by the British resident at the Porte, on behalf
of the E. I.East India Company; whether this pretence
was true or false, we could never learn.
Many other reports were propagated, as
must always be the case in a country under
arbitrary government: there being so certain
rules to judge by, every one pronounces on
the event as his hopes or fears dictate.
Some times we were all to be sent prisoners
to Constantinople, then we were assured that
after a general plunder of our effects, we should O3r 101
should certainly be released; and once it was
confidently reported that the Bowstring
would be secretly applied to prevent our telling

What added much to our mortification and
justified our fears was, that all the Christians
belonging to the two Ships, were on the
1779-08-1010th of August dragged to Cairo in the most
ignominious manner, having previously suffered,
during their imprisonment at Suez,
every species of hardship which barbarity and
malice could inflict. The people also at whose
house we lodged, behaved to us continually
with marked disrespect, if we asked a question,
they seldom deigned to reply, and
took care to enlarge perpetually on their
condescension in suffering themselves to be
incommoded with strangers. To be thus
treated, at a time when perpetual solicitude
and terror, had unbraced my nerves and
subdued my spirit, seemed so cruel, that I
think it absolutely hurt me more than even
our detention; a detention which was certainly
harder upon us, than any other Europeans
in one sense, since we had no connection whatever O3v 102
whatever with the parties, were coming
from a different quarter of the globe; not
concerned in trade, and unknown to those
who had visited their country on that
account: no demon of avarice had led us
into their power, nor could we afford a
prey to theirs. These considerations however
evident, made no impression on our
host, they were rather motives of exultation,
over us, and what enhanced our misfortune,
it was irremediable, for we could not change
our abode, without going into another street,
where we should have been unprotected.

All the Christians live in one part of the
town as I before noticed: during the time
when the Plague rages, they visit each other
by means of bridges thrown across the streets,
from the tops of the houses, and this is a
convenience, they often resort to at other
times, as it saves them from insult, which
they often meet below. I find I have written
myself into such a strange humour, that
I cannot proceed methodically; but I must
try to arrange my thoughts and go forward

At O4r 103

At length the Beys, enchanted by that
Deity whose bewitching attractions few mortals
can resist, whether on the banks of the Nile
or the Thames: in other words, influenced by
the promise of three thousand pounds, and
an absolute indemnification from Mr. O’Donnell,
gave us leave to proceed on our Voyage
in defiance of the tremendoustremendous order of their
master, and thus ended this most disagreeable
and distressing business. I will release you
from this wearisome letter. I shall have time
at Mocha to continue my journal—, Adieu
till to morrow.

Ever most affectionately your’s


Letter X. O4v 104

Letter X.

Inclosed in the foregoing.

My Dear Sister,

I resume my pen in order to give you
some account of our passing the Desert,
which being done by a method of travelling
totally different from any thing in England,
may afford amusement, and even without the
charm of novelty, could not fail to interest
you, as the narrative of one so nearly and
dearly connected.

When a Caravan is about to depart, large
tents are pitched on the skirts of the City
whither, all who propose joining it, repair:
there they are drawn up in order, by the
persons, who undertake to convey them.
Strong bodies of Arabian soldiers guard the
van and rear; others flank the sides—; so
that the female passengers, and the merchandise,
are completely surrounded, and, as
one would hope, defended in case of attack. Each P1r 105
Each gentleman of our party had a horse,
and it is common to hire a camel between
two, with panniers to carry their provisions
&—: across the panniers, which are of
wicker, a kind of mattress is thrown, whereon
they take it by turns to lie, and court
repose during the journey. Females who
can afford the expence, are more comfortably
accommodated―; these travel in a
kind of litter, called a Tataravan; with two
poles fashioned between two camels, one behind,
the other before. The litter has a top
and is surrounded by shabby, ill contrived
Venetian blinds, which in the day, increase the
suffocating heat, but are of use during the
nights which are cold and piercing.―Every
camel carries skins of water, but before
you have been many hours on the Desert,
it becomes of the colour of coffee. I was
warned of this, and recommended to provide
small guglets of porus earth, which after
filling with purified water, I slung to the top
of my Tataravan; and these with water melons,
and hard eggs, proved the best refreshments
I could have taken. The water by this P means P1v 106
means was tolerably preserved; but the motion
of the camels and the uncouth manner,
in which the vehicle is fastened to them, made
such a constant rumbling sound among my
provisions, as to be exceedingly annoying.
Once I was saluted by a parcel of hard eggs
breaking loose from their net, and pelting
me completely: it was fortunate that they
boiled, or I should have been in a pretty
trim; to this may be added the frequent violent
jerks, occasioned by one or other of the
poles slipping out of its wretched fastening,
so as to bring one end of the litter to the
ground; and you may judge how pleasing
this made of travelling must be.

At our first outset, the novelty of the scene,
and the consolation I felt, on leaving
a place which had been productive of so
much chagrin, and so many too well founded
apprehensions, wrought an agreeable
change on my harrassed feelings—; but
when we had proceeded some distance on
the Desert; when all traces of human habitation
had vanished—; when every sign of
cultivation disappeared; and even vegetation was P2r 107
was confined to a few low straggling strubs,
that seemed to stand between life and death
as hardly belonging to either—; when the
immeasurable plain lay around me, a burning
sn darted his fierce rays from above,
and no asylum was visible in front, my very
heart sunk within me.—I am sure you
will do justice to my feelings, the late Catastrophe
being deeply imprinted on my mind,
and indeed never absent from it. For the world,
you should not have known what was passing
there, when I made so light of the
journey in my letter from Grand Cairo.

In the midst of these soul-subduing reflections,
the guides gave notice of a body, apparently
much larger than our own, being
within view of us.—All the sufferings related
by the poor French gentleman, my active
imagination now pourtrayed, as about to be
inflicted on me. “My dear Parents, my sisters,”
cried I, “will never see me more!—
should they learn my fate what agonies will
they not endure!—but never can they conceive
half the terrible realities, that I may
be doomed to undergo!”
Happily, for P2 once, P2v 108
once, my fear outwent the truth:—the party so
dreaded, turned off in pursuit of some other prey,
or perhaps intimidated by our formidable appearance,
left us unmolested.

It is impossible even amidst fear and suspense
not to be struck with the exquisite
beauty of the nights here; a perfectly cloudless
sky, and the atmosphere so clear, that
the stars shine with a brilliancy, infinitely
surpassing any thing I have witnessed elsewhere.
Well might the ancient Egyptians
become expert astronomers, possessing a climate
so favourable to that study: nor were
we less indebted to those Heavenly luminaries;
since, by their refulgent light, and unvarying
revolutions, the guides cross these trackless
Deserts with certainty, and like the mariner,
steer to the desired haven.

You will perceive, that my boast of having
crossed the Desert, like a lion, was not
literally just;―but then remember, it was
his strength, not his courage to which I alluded;
for it is true that, considering how
much I had suffered in Cairo, I really did perform
the journey well, and on the second day being P3r 109
being convinced by the behaviour of some
around me, how greatly, dejection increased
the actual evils of our situation―, I rallied
my spirits to the utmost, and lifting up my
hearts in gratitude to the Almighty, for having
thus far supported us, I determined to trust
in his goodness, and not desert myself.

On this day I was exceedingly affected by
the sufferings of one of our party—Mr. Taylor,
going out as assistant surgeon on the
Bengal establishment. He complained of illness
when we sat out, and seemed overwhelmed
with melancholy. He had been
plundered of all by the Arabs―had sustained
varioasvarious misfortunes, and of late, appeared
to be consumptive. The extreme heat
of the weather so overpowered him, that he
resigned all hope of life, and at length, in a
fit of despondency, actually allowed himself to
slide down from his horse, that he might die
to the ground. Mr. Fay seeing him fall, ran
to assist him, in regaining his seat, but he
earnestly begged to be left alone, and permitted
to die in peace. It was impossible to
inspire him with hope and as he appeared to P3v 110
to have so little strength, I did not believe
that, with so strong a predilection for death,
he could not been kept alive―: yet to see
a fine young man, a countryman and fellow-
traveller expiring amongst us, without striving
to the last to preserve him, would have been
inhuman. Thank God, our cares so far prevailed
that he is still with us, though his disorder
is now confirmed, and his melancholy
but little abated—He thanks us for life, as if
greatefulgrateful for our attention, but not for the gift.
I fear his heart is breaking, as well as his

When my mind was a little relieved on
poor T―’s account, I had leisure to think
of the horses;―you recollect how partial I
ever was to these noble animals; and we
had several with us, of such singular beauty
and docility, that they would have attracted
the attention, I had almost said the affection,
of the most indifferent spectator. The wretched
creatures suffered so much from heat and
thirst, that their groanings were terrible, and
added to this an involuntary rattling
in the throat, as if they were on the point of P4r 111
of expiring, so that one heard them with a
mixture of compassion and horror extremely
painful to bear: yet notwithstanding that this
continued for many hours, we were so fortunate
as not to lose a single horse in the Caravan.—
With the dogs, we were less successful,—three
very fine ones sat out with us, but none survived
—one of them was the most beautiful Italian
greyhound, I ever beheld;—he cost seven
guineas at Venice. The first day he got
tolerably well forward; but during the second
his strength failed, and he appeared to suffer
excruciating pain from the heat. When he
was in the most frightful state, his tongue
hanging out of his mouth, his eyes wildly
staring out of his mouth, his eyes wildly
staring, and altogether presenting the idea of
madness, rather than death, his master Mr.
had the modesty to bring him to me,
and request that I would admit him into
my Tataravan I hope no person would accuse
me of inhumanity, for refusing to receive an
animal in that condition,—self-preservation
forbade my compliance. I felt that it would
be weakness, instead of compassion, to subject
myself to such a risk; and you may be
certain, my sympathy was not increased for its P4v 112
its owner, when he solemnly assured me, by
way of inforcing his intreaty, that it would
cost him a less severe pang, to see his own
father thus suffering, than he then felt—I
was induced to credit this assertion; knowing
that when last in England, he had remained
there seventeen months without visiting the
old gentleman; though he acknowledged having
been within 150 miles of his residence.
A very short time after this, the poor creature
dropt down gasping, but ere he had breathed
his last, a brutal Arab, cut him to pieces
before his masters face; and on his expressing
anger at his cruel behaviour, ran after him
with a drawn scymiter—you may judge from
this incident, what wretches we were cast

We found Suez a miserable place,—little
better than the desert which it bounds, and
were, as probably I have already told you,
impatient to get on board, where we found
every portable necessary of life had been
carried off. We had been pretty well pillaged
ourselves, and could therefore sympathizethize Q1r 113
with the losers, as well as lament our
our personal inconveniency, however, thank
Heaven that we escaped as we did;—if
ever they catch me on their Desert again,
I think I shall deserve all they can inflict.

Our passage down the Red Sea was pleasant,
the wind being constantly favourable,
but afforded no object of interest, save the
distant view of Mount Horeb, which again
brought the flight of the children of Israel
to my mind; and you may be sure, I did
not wonder that they sought to quit the
land of Egypt, after the various specimens
of its advantages that I have experienced.

The only vessels we saw, were those built
for the conveyance of coffee, for which this port
is famous;—they are so bulky, clumsy, and
strangely constructed, that one might almost
take them for floating mountains. I cannot
be expected to say a great deal of my shipmates,
having been so short a time together,
but to own the truth, I do not look
forward to own the truth, I do not look
forward to much comfort, where the elements
are so discordant;—however, as we are Q to Q1v 114
to touch at Calicut on the Coast of Malabar,
you shall from thence have the particulars:
for, by that time we shall be pretty
well familiarized with each other. May the
detail be more agreeable than my present
ideas will warrant me in supposing.

Let me now proceed to say a few words
of Mocha, which is a pretty considerable place,
walled round, and guarded by soldiers,—It
appears to great advantage after Suez,
being plentifully supplied with fruit and
vegetables;—the provisions not bad, and the
water excellent. The worst I know of it, is
the excessive heat, which is even beyond that
of Cairo. Our sailors have a proverb, that
“there is only one sheet of paper between that
and another place—too shocking to be mentioned”
—I should yet say there were many
sheets; for we have really met with so much
kindness and hospitality here, as to make us
almost forget the heat.

The principal trade is carried on by Babians
and Rajaputs (as they are called, tho’
I cannot yet tell why) who come here from
India—make comfortable little fortunes and return. Q2r 115
return. A family of the former, consisting
of three brothers, named George, have shewn
us every possible attention ever since we
landed, and the Chevalier de St. Lubin, a
French gentleman, of elegant manners and
superior information, has treated us, in the
most sumptuous style. It is whispered among
the English here, that Mons De St. L―
had been on a mission from the French Court
to Hyder Ally, for the express purpose of
sowing the seeds of discord between him, and
the English; and that he has to a great degree
succeeded―; how far this is true, we
cannot yet say, but so intirely was Mr. Fuller,
one of our passengers, persuaded of the
fact, that he just now proposed we
should arrest the Chevalier, who is about to
proceed in a day or two to Europe. How
for Mr. F― may be politically right, I cannot
tell; but my heart revolted at the idea of
receiving every mark of attention from a
man one hour, and on bare suspicion, making
him a prisoner the next; and most truly
did I rejoice when this scheme was overruled.
There should be very sufficient reasons for Q2 conduct, Q2v 116
conduct, so despotic and apparently ungrateful,
and we certainly were not in possession of documents
to authorise such a procedure. I
am much better pleased that this gentleman
should return peaceably to his native country,
and forward my letters to you, which he has
promised on his honour to do, and to secure
them amongst his private papers.—I
might have written twice as much if I chose.

And now my dear Friends, I must again
bid you adieu. I trust my next accounts will
be more pleasant, than this sad detail must
prove, and that I shall meet letters at Calcutta,
with good news of you all. My heart
aches with thinking of the distance between us;
but after surmounting so many difficulties and
happily escaping from so many dangers; I
feel inspired with hope for the future.

Ever most affectionately your’s


Letter XI. Q3r 117

Letter XI.

On Board the Nathalia at Sea.

My Dear Friends.

I wrote you from Mocha, in date the 1779-09-1515th
, by the Chevalier de St. Lubin
who has most solemnly engaged to forward
my letter, and I trust will keep his word.

We have now been six weeks at sea, and
in the course of a few days hope to reach
Calicut. OarOur passage across the Indian
, we found very pleasant: the Monsoon
being against us, made it tedious, but no
boisterous seas had we to contend with, as
in the Mediterranean:—all has been calm, easy
and free from alarm of every kind hitherto;
fortunate indeed may we deem ourselves in
having experienced such fine weather; for
our ship is not half laden and has not Cargo
enough to keep her steady. You will now
expect me to say, some thing of those with whom Q3v 118
whom we are cooped up, but my account
will not be very satisfactory, although sufficiently
interesting to us—to begin then.

The woman, of whom I entertained some
suspicion from the first, is I am now credibly
informed, one of the very lowest creatures
taken off the streets in London; she is
so perfectly depraved in disposition, that her
supreme delight consists in rendering everybody
around her, miserable.―It would be
doing her too much honour to stain my paper
with a detail of the various artifices she daily
practices to that end.―Her pretended husband
having in India before, and giving
himself many airs, is locked upon as a
person of mighty consequence, whom nobody
chooses to offend; therefore Madam has full
scope to exercise her mischievous talents,
wherein he never controuls her—not but
that he perfectly understands how to make
himself feared; coercive measures are some
times resorted to; it is a common expression
of the lady. “Lord bless you, if I
did such, or such a thing, T.― would
make no more to do, but to knock me down like Q4r 119
like an ox.”
I frequently amuse myself
with examining their countenances, where
ill nature has fixed her Empire so firmly, that
I scarcely believe either of them ever smiled
unless maliciously. Miss Howe’s description
of Solmes, in Clarissa Harlowe, recurs to
to me as admirably suiting this “amiable” pair
—to that I refer you.

Chenu, the Captain, is a mere “Jack in
being unexpectedly raised to that
post from second mate, by the death of poor
Capt Vanderfield and his chief officer on the
fatal Desert, is become from this circumstance
so insolent and overbearing, that every
one detests him. Instead of being ready
to accommodate every person with the few
necessaries left by the plundering Arabs, he
constantly appropriates them to himself.
“Where’s the Captain’s silver spoon? God bless
my soul. Sir, you have got my chair, must
you be seated before the captain? What
have you done with the Captain’s glass?”
a great deal more of the same kind; batbut this
may serve as a specimen. And altho’ the
wretch half starves us, he frequently makes com- Q4v 120
comparisons between his table, and that
of an Indiaman, which we dare not contradict
while in his power; tell me now, should you
not doat on three such companions for a
long voyage?—but I have a fourth who
at least, merits to be added to the triumvirate;
his name I―R―Esqr. Barrister a
Law, a man of the very first fashion I assure
you, and who would faint at the thought of
any thing Plebeian. T― was one day shewing
him a very handsome silver hilted sword,
which he greatly admired, till chancing to
cast his eye on the scabbard he read Royal
“Take your sword” said he, “its
surprizing a man of your sense should commit
such an error; for fifty guineas I would not
have a City name on any article of my dress; now
St. James’s or Bond street, has a delicious
sound, don’t you think so my dear friend?—”

Now would any one suppose this fine gentleman’s
father was in trade, and he himself
brought up in that very City, he effects to
despise? very true nevertheless-Quadrille he
would not he thought to know; it is only
played by the wives and daughters of Tradesmen,
in country towns: I want to make you see R1r 121
see him; figure to yourself a little mortal, his
body constanlyconstantly bent in a rhetorical attitude, as
if addressing the Court, and his face covered
with scorbutio blotches. Happily from an affectation
of singularity, he always wears spectacles.
I say happily, as they serve to conceal
the most odious pair of little white
eyes mine ever beheld. What Butler says
of Hudibras—that “he could not ope His mouth, but out there flew a trope,”
may literally be applied to this Heaven-born
Orator, who certainly outdoes all I ever heard,
in the use of overstrained compliments and far-
fetched allusions. but which all those oddities,
were he only a good-natured harmless
simpleton, one might pity him. At first,
he took so much pains to ingratiate himself
with us, that he became a sort of favorite;—
so many confessions of superior abilities in
Mr. Fay.—―such intreaties to spare
him, when they should practise in the Courts
together,—a studied attention to me in the R minutest R1v 122
minutest article-effectually shielded him from
suspicion, ’till his end was answered, of raising
a party against us, by means of that
vile woman, who was anxious to triumph
over me; especially as i have been repeated
compelled (for the Honour of the Sex)
to censure her swearing, and indecent behaviour.
I have therefore little comfort to
look forward to, for the remainder of the

It is, however, only justice to name Mr.
as an amiable, tho’ melancholy companion,
and Mr. Manesty an agreeable
young man, under twenty, going out as a
writer on the Bombay Establishment, from
whom I always receive the most respectful
attention. Mr. Fuller is a middle aged
man; it is easy to see, that he has been
accustomed to genteel society. How different
his manners from those of H―! Poor man
he has, it seems, fallen into the hands of sharpers,
and been completely pillaged. He has the
finest dark eyes, and one of the most intelligent
countenances I ever met with. His trip to
Bengal is, I doubt, a last resource. May it prove R2r 123
prove successful. I had no enmity towards
him; for though he has joined the other party,
it is evidently with reluctance. Mr.
a musician, going out to India to
exercise his profession, is very civil and attentive.

Dissentions have run very high on board.
The very day after we sailed from Mocha, a
sudden quarrel arose between the Captain, and
H— the Barrister; on which the ship was
ordered about, and they were going ashore in
a great hurry to decide it; but by the interpotion
of friends, they were prevailed upon to
curb their wrath, ’till their arrival at Calicut,
as in case of an accident, no officer
remained to supply Chenu’s place. About
a month after, they were reconciled; and so
ended this doughty affair.

I had almost forgotten to mention Pierot,
the purser of the ship—a lively, well informed
little Frenchman,—full of anecdotes and
always prepared with a repartee; in short,
the soul of the party. He sings an excellentR2 lent R2v 124
song, and has as many tricks, as a
monkey. I cannot help smiling at his sallies,
though they are frequently levelled at me;
for he is one of my most virulent persecutors.
Indeed, such is our general line of conduct;
for, having early discovered the confederacy,
prudence determined us to go mildly
on, seemingly blind to what it was beyond
our power to remedy. Never intermeddling in
their disputes, all endeavours to draw us into
quarrels are vainly exerted—: indeed I despise
them too much to be angry.

During the first fortnight of our voyage my
foolish complaisance stood in my way at
table; but I soon learnt our genteel maxim was
“catch as catch can”,—the longest arm
fared best; and you cannot imagine what a
good scrambler I am become,—a dish once
seized, it is my care, to make use of my good
fortune: and now provisions running very
short, we are grown quite savages; two or
three of us perhaps fighting for a bone; for
there is no respect of persons. The wretch of
a captain wanting our passage money for nothing R3r 125
nothing, refused to lay in a sufficient quantity
of stock; and if we do not soon reach our
Port, what must be the consequence, Heaven

After meals I generally retire to my cabin,
where I find plenty of employment, having
made up, a dozen shirts for Mr. F―
out of some cloth, I purchased at Mocha,
―Sometimes I read French and Italian,
and study Portugueze. I likewise prevailed
on Mr. Fay, to teach me short-hand; in
consequence of the airs H.― gave himself
because he was master of this art, and
had taught his sisters to correspond with him
in it. The matter was very easily accomplished,
―in short I discovered abundant
methods of making my time pass usefully,
and not disagreeably. How often since, in
this situation have I blessed God, that he has
been pleased to endow me with a mind, capable
of furnishing its own amusement, in despite
of every means used to discompose it.

4th R3v 126

We are now in sight of the Malabar hills,
and expect to reach Calicut either this evening,
or tomorrow; I shall conclude this letter,
and send it under charge of Mr. Manesty,
to forward it from Bombay. I am in tolerable
health, and look with a longing eye, towards
Bengal, from whence I trust my next will
be dated. The climate seems likely to agree
very well with me, I do not at all mind
the heat, nor does it affect either my spirits,
or my appetite. I remain

Ever affectionately your’s


Letter XII. R4r 127

Letter XII.

My Dear Friends

It was my determination never to write to
you, during the state of dreadful Captivity in
which we have long been held, but having
hopes of a release, think I may now venture
to give you some account of sufferings,
which have been extreme, both in
body and mind, for a period of fifteen
weeks, which we have spent in wretched
confinement, totally in the power of Barbarians.

I must premise that, such is the harrassing
confusion of my mind, and the weakness
of my nerves, that I can merely offer you a
simple statement of facts, and even that
must necessarily be incorrect; for incessant
anxiety and constant anticipation of more intolerable
evils, have totally unhinged my
faculties. God knows whether I may ever
recover them; at present all is confused and clouded. R4v 128
clouded.―Reflections on the importance of
our speedy arrival in Bengal, which so many
circumstances had contributed to prevent,
and the apprehension lest our delay
should afford time to raise serious obstacles
against Mr. Fay’s admission into the Court
as an advocate, had long been as so many
daggers, piercing my vitals: add to this the
heart breaking thought what immense tracts
lie between me and those dear dear friends,
whose society alone can render me completely
happy. Even were the most brilliant success
to crown our future views, never could I
know comfort, ’till the blessed moment arrive,
when I shall clasp you all to my fond heart,
without fear of a future separation; except
by that stroke, to which we must all submit;
and which had been suspended over my head
as by a single hair. I trust that I have been
spared, to afford the means of proving
more substantially than by words, how inestimately
precious, absence has made you in
my sight.—Well may it be said that, the
deprivation of a blessing enhances its value;
for my affection rises now to a pitch of Enthusiam,
of which I knew not that my heart was S1r 129
was capable;—by which has been its consolation,
amidst all the horrors of imprisonment
and sickness: no congenial mind to which
I could declare my feelings; sure of meetfully
experienced in the company of my beloved
sister―But I forget that all this while you
are impatient to hear how we fell into so distressing
a situation; take then the particulars.

I told you in my last that we expected to reach
Calicut very shortly, and accordingly next
day on the (to me ever memorable) 1779-11-055th
, we anchored in the Roads, and
to our great concern saw no English flag up.
In a short time we were surrounded by vessels
which approached us with an air of so much
hostility that we became seriously alarmed,
—with one exception; this was the redoubtable
Mrs. Tulloh. She had frequently, in the
course of the voyage, expressed a violent desire
for some romantic danger, on which
she could descant hereafter; and far from
congratulating herself on having arrived at
Grand Cairo, when the Caravan was setting S off S1v 130
off in safety, she ever expressed a wish, that
she had been present during that period of
terror and confusion, of which she envied us
the participation. On hearing Chenu declare
that, he feared he must make a shew of engaging,
notwithstanding the deficiencies under
which he laboured, and which evidently rendered
the idea of resistance on our part, a
mere farce; since we had neither arms, ammunition,
nor men on board sufficient to abide
the contest, she positively insisted on having
a chair brought upon deck, in which she was
determined to sit, and see the engagement;
observing that, it was the next best thing to
escaping from shipwreck.—Having no ambition
to play the Heroine in this way, I resolved
on going below, and exerting, (should
it be necessary) my limited abilities in assisting
Mr. Taylor, who had agreed to officiate
as Surgeon—not feeling myself inclined to
brave horrors of this nature, for the mere
love of exhibition. Most probably had the matter
become serious, she would not have been
permitted to indulge her fancy; but by degrees
our suspicious visitants sheered off,
without venturing to commence an attack, seeing S2r 131
seeing us apparently so well prepared to resist
them; and we flattered ourselves that
our fears had been altogether groundless.

The next morning H― and two others,
going on shore to reconnoitre brought back
intelligence, that we might all be safe in the
Danish Factory, on condition of our passing
for Danes;—as a misunderstanding actually
subsisted between Hyder Ally and the English.
Mr. Passavant, the Danish Consul, had
been on board meanwhile, and given us
pretty nearly the same information, and from
others we soon learnt a circumstance,
which confirmed our apprehension, that some
mischief was brewing —this was the departure
of Mr. Freeman, the English Consul, who
had left the place some weeks before, taking
with him his furniture and effects,—a positive
proof that he supposed hostilities were
about to commence; as it has been found a
common procedure in these cases, for Asiatic
Princes to begin a War, by imprisoning the
Embassadors or Residents, of course, a wise
man will fly when the storm lowers.

S2 Now S2v 132

Now our most worthy fellow-passengers,
had privately agreed to continue their journey
by land, and rejoiced in the opportunity
of leaving us in the lurch;―they therefore
accepted Mr. Passavant’s invitation immediately,
without consulting us. At first this behaviour
affected me a good deal and I resolved to
follow them;—Mr. Fay concurring in opinion—
But on calm reflection, we judged it most
prudent to learn what reception they met
with, before we ventured on such slippery
ground. On Sunday Chenu dined on board;
and appeared very earnest for our quitting
the Ship: but we did not attend to his
persuasions. The Gunner who had charge
of the vessel was a very respectable man,
and we had lately held many conversations
with him; he had a vile opinion of the Captain,
believing that money would tempt him
to commit any act, however atrocious; and
had resolved in case an armed force
was seen approaching the ship, to cut and
run down to Cochin, with all the sail he
could set,—but alas! before Chenu left us
this day, he ordered all the yards to be
struck, saying he should stay six weeks.
This was doubtless done to frighten us, and to S3r 133
to induce us to go on shore; but having taken
our resolution, we were not to be moved;
especially as he dropped some dark
hints, respecting the situation of those, who
were there; in so much that we had reason
to think our only chance of escaping imprisonment,
was by remaining where we were.
Meantime intelligence reached us from various
quarters, that disputes ran high between
the Captain and passengers, about the remaining
half of the passage money. As
they proposed leaving the ship there, he demanded
payment; which they refused till they
should arrive in Bengal.

On the 1779-11-088th came Lewis, Hare’s servant,
for his own clothes;―he brought news that
a challenge had again passed between his
master and Chenu, on the occasion of his master’s
trunks being stopped for the passage
money—he left them on the point of deciding it
when he came off. You may suppose we
became exceedingly anxious to learn the
event, but had soon other matters to engross
our attention.

During the three days we staid here, after
every one else departed, boats full of people were S3v 134
were continually coming on board by permission
of our worthy Captain, unless pretence
of viewing the ship,―we thought
this rather odd; but John the GannerGunner being,
as I observed before, a prudent steady man,
we trusted to his discretion. About four, on
Monday afternoon, I was sitting in the
round-house at work, when a large boat
came along side, with more than twenty
armed men in her;—one of them shewed a
written chit as he called it from Chenu; notwithstanding
which John insisted on their
leaving their arms behind them—this, they
at length complied with, and were then permitted
to enter. I ran down half frightened
to Mr. Fay, who was reading in our cabin,
and told him the affair. “Pho,” said
he, “it is impossible they should mean
any harm: are we not under the protection
of the Danish flag?”
this silenced
me at once; and he went upon deck to see
the issue. All this while our visitor feigned
to be mighty ignorant, and inquisitive, peeping
into every hole and corner, as if, they
never saw such a sight in their lives—purposely
dallying on the time ’till just dark, when S4r 135
when to my great joy they departed. A heavy
squall came on, which they sheltered from
under the ship’s stern, there another boat
met them, and after some parley, they both
(as I thought) went away.

But in a few minutes down came Mr. Fay
“you must not be alarmed,” said he, “I have
news to tell you:—we are to have a hundred
and fifty Seapoys on board to night!”
for what!”
“Why the English are coming
to attack CalicutChenu has promised
Sudder Khan, the Governor, his assistance,
who has sent these troops for our defence”

“Oh Mr. F—” replied I, “this is a very
improbable story, for God’s sake suffer not
these people to enter the ship, if you can
avoid it; otherwise we are ruined. I see
plainly this is a second Suez business”
; (for
by the same treacherous pretext they gained
possession of the ships there) and at that instant,
all that those unfortunate men suffered,
coming fresh into my mind, I really thought
I should have fainted—Seeing that I was
rendered more uneasy by being kept in suspense,
he now acknowledged, that under favour
of the night, a large party, headed by a S4v 136
a Capt. Ayres, an Englishman in Hyder’s
service, had already made good their entrance.
The Commander had indeed related
the above nonsensical tale to our Gunner, as
an excuse for his proceeding; but did not
seem himself to expect, it would gain belief:
—however being nearly destitute of Arms and
Ammunition (the Arabs had taken care of
that) what could we do, but recommend ourselves
to the Divine Protection? which I may
truly say, was never more earnestly solicited
by me.—When the redoubtable Captain Ayres
had settle every thing on Deck, he favoured
us with his company below.—As this
Gentleman is in great power, and had a
large share in the subsequent transactions, I
must here devote a few moments to giving
you a little sketch of his history.

He was born in London, and at the usual
age bound apprentice to a saddler; but being
a lad of spirit, and associating with other
promising youths of similar talents, and
courage, he soon found an employment more
suited to his active genius; in a word, he became
a Gentleman Collector on the Highway.
This post he maintained several years, and if we T1r 137
we may credit what he relates when in a
boasting humour, performed many notable exploits;
it is true he sometimes got inclosed
within the hard gripe of the Law, but always
found means to liberate himself, from
it, ’till on one unlucky trial, proofs ran so
strong against him, that in spite of money
and friends, (which in his case were never
wanting) he was Capitally convicted; though,
afterwards, pardoned on condition of transportation
for life—This induced him to enlist
for the East Indies, where he exercised his
former profession, and was twice imprisoned
at Calcutta on suspicion; but having acted
cautiously, nothing positive appeared against
him: so by way of changing the scene, he
was draughted off for Madras, where finding
his favourite business rather slack, and his
pay insufficient to support him without it, our
hero determined on deserting to Hyder
, which resolution he soon found means
to put in practice,—carrying with him two
horses, arms accoutrements, wearing apparel,
and every thing else of value he could lay
hands on, to a pretty considerable amount.

T This T1v 138

This shew of property, (no matter how acquired)
gave him consequenceconsequence with Hyder,
who immediately promoted him to the rank
of Captain. Being a thorough paced villian,
he has during these seven years taken the
lead in every species of barbarity.—He even
advised his General, who is Governor of this
Province, to massacre all the natives by way
of quelling a rebellion which had arisen.—
The least punishment inflicted by him was cutting
off the noses and ears of those miserable
wretches, whose hard fate subjected them to
his tyranny. In short a volume would not
contain half the enormities perpetrated by this
disgrace to human nature—but to proceed.

At sight of him I shuddered involuntarily,
though at that time ignorant of his real
character, such an air of wickedness and
ferocity overspread his features. The sergeant
who accompanied, him was (always excepting
his master) the most horrid looking
creature, I verily believe, in existence:
from such another pair the Lord defend
me! Ayres told me, with the utmost indifference
that the people at the Factory
had all been fighting duels!—that Mr. Passavant T2r 139
the Danish Chief, had sent for a
guard to separate them; and that the Governor
finding the ship had no owner, as
all these disputes arose about dividing the
spoil, had thought proper to take possession
of her in the Nabob’s name, until matters
were inquired into; after which he “faithfully”
promised to restore her, without the least embezzlement
—the love of “Justice” only inducing
him thus to act.

Though we perceived the fallacy of these
pretences, yet as it was useless to argue with
the vile instrument of oppression, we only
requested to be set free on shore with our
effects. This he engaged for, and even offered
to take charge of any valuables or
money—You may be sure we pleaded poverty;
declaring that except our clothes, (which
could be no object in a country where so
few are worn) a guinea would purchase all
we possessed; in the mean time we requested
a guard to protect our persons from insult.—
Having pledged his “Honour” for our security,
the captain retired. You will believe that sleep T2 did T2v 140
did not visit our eyelids that night: The
fright had disordered me so much, that a
violent retching came on, succeeded by a
strong fever, which occasioned dreadful pains
in my limbs. In the midst of these excruciating
tortures, I heard Ayres tell his Serjeant,
that orders were come to plunder the
Ship, and make all the officers prisoners in
the Round-house.

Can any thing be imagined more distressing,
than my situation without the means of relief,
—no possibility of obtaining advice, and no female
to whom I could look for succour or assistance.
This was about two in the morning,
―these words sounded like the signal of
death in my ears. Immediately a party
of armed men surrounded our Cabin
and demanded entrance. I clung
round my husband and begged for God’s
sake that he would not admit them; for
what could be expected from such wretches
but the most shocking treatment. All this
while there was such a noise without, of
breaking and tearing, to come at their plunder,
as convinced me that should we once lose T3r 141
lose sight of our little property, every thing
was lost
: at first they were pacified on being
told that I was asleep, but soon grew out
of patience, brandished their scymiters and
one man who spoke a little English, threatened
with horrible execrations to murder us,
if we did not instantly comply with their
demands, and open the door.―—Mr. Fay
drew his sword on this declaration, swearing
solemnly that he would run the first man
through the body, who should presume to
to enter his wife’s apartment. His air of resolution
and menacing actions, had their effect
so far, as to prevent them from breaking
open the door; the top of which being
sashed, I beheld through it, their terrific
countenances, and heard them incessantly calling
“ao, ao,” (in English come.) This word
has made an impression on me, which is indescribable.
I can never hear it pronounced
on the most common occasion, without
trembling: but to return―Mr. Fay now
intreated me to rise if possible, being fearful
he could not keep them much longer at
bay, I endeavoured to comply; but the agonising
pains I suffered, and the extreme weak- T3v 142
weakness brought on by fever, rendered
it impossible for me to stand upright; there
was however no remedy—so by degrees I
got my clothes on (I recollect now that
I must have been above an hour employed
in this business.) Through the glass
door, I could see the villians outside, use
menacing gestures, and urge me to make
haste,—vowing vengeance on me if I kept
them longer waiting.

Expecting a strict search and being desirous
of rescuing something from general
wreck, Mr. Fay contrived to conceal our
watches in my hair, having first stopped
their going by sticking pins in the wheels;
and the little money we possessed, and what
small articles I could take without exciting
suspicions, were concealed about my person.
Thus equipped I crawled out, bent double,
and in an instant, the Cabin was filled with
Seapoys. I must here pause, and intreat my
dear sister to imagine herself in my situation
at that dreadful moment; for no language
can I find, that would do justice to my feelings.

But T4r 143

But when I came on deck, the scene which
presented itself would have appalled the stoutest
heart;—mine already weakened with grief
and apprehension, could not withstand it.
A sudden burst of tears alone saved me from
fainting. The poor sailors were so distracted,
that many of them could scarcely be restraining
from jumping over board to escape
slavery;—sometimes crying for their wages,
and asking the officers to pay them; who
incapable of affording any consolation, walked
about like men bereft of reason: no wonder,
since this fatal event would, to say the least,
occasion them the loss of twelve month’s pay,
exclusive of their private ventures.

We were immediately ordered on shore,
together with the carpenter and ship’s steward;
—we demanded our baggage, but in
vain; at length having represented the necessity
of a change of linen, a person was
sent down with me, in whose presence I
put up a few common things, in a handkerchief,
not being allowed to take any thing
of value; but having laid out a silk gown
the day before, to put on in case I went ashore T4v 144
ashore, I begged hard for that, and obtained
it; though my husband was not suffered
to take a second coat, or even to
change that he had on. Our beds were
likewise refused, lest they should contain
valuables; and upon deck the bundle was
again examined in search of hidden treasure,
―but finding nothing, they, contrary
to my expectations, searched no further; but
permitted us to leave the vessel unmolested;
except they had the cruelty to toss several
half extinguished Blue lights into the
boat, the smoke of which, from the rancid
oil, and abominable rags used in their composition,
almost stifled me.―At this time
it rained hard, and continued to do so the
whole day, which forced me to creep under
the shelter of a kind of half deck, where I
sat, beatbent double, for two long long hours,
and then a remarkably high surf, preventing
large boats from landing,—we had no
remedy but to go into a canoe, scarcely
bigger than a butcher’s tray, half full
of water,―so that we reached the
shore dripping wet―Compare this account
with the many chearful and flatteringing U1r 145
conversation we had held together
on the subject of my arrival in India.
What a striking difference! It is true we
were in the hands of the natives; but little
did I imagine that, any power on this
Continent, however independent, would have
dared to treat English subjects with such
cruelty, as we experienced from them.

As if to aggravate our miseries by every
species of insult, they compelled us to walk
above a mile thro’ a heavy sand, surrounded
by all the mob of Calicut, who seemed to
take pleasure in beholding the distress of
white people, those constant objects of their
envy and detestation.—When we had proceeded
about half way, our Guards detained
us nearly an hour, in an open Square, till
the Governor’s pleasure should be known.
He sat all the while smoking his Hooka,
and looking down upon us; when having
sufficiently feasted his eyes, he ordered us to
be taken to the English Factory—How I
dragged on my weary aching limbs, I know
not. The rain still poured and as we went, VU a U1v 146
a lad who had deserted from Madras, and
was then a serjeant in Hyder’s service, seeing
a country-woman in such distress, offered
to procure me an umbrella, but could
not prevail on the barbarians to stop, while
he ran for it, though he was their officer.
I thanked the poor lad for his kind intention
and Mr. Fay insisted that I should take his hat,
while he walked on bare-headed to the place
of our confinement.―But here I cannot describe
the horror which seized me on finding,
we were totally in the power of wretches,
who, for aught I knew, intended to strip
and murder us: why else were we sent to an
empty house?—not a single chair to sit on,
or any other bed than the floor. These
were my heart-breaking reflections, as I
threw myself in despair on a window seat,
worn out with fatigue and want of nourishment;
without means of procuring even a
draught of water to assuage my thirst, which
grew excessive; for the offer of a bribe would
have been dangerous.

In U2r 147

In this miserable condition we remained
till two o’clock, when Mr. Passavant having
heard of our misfortune, sent us a dinner;
but his messenger had very great difficulty
in obtaining admittance, with even this temporary
relief. From him we learnt that,
the other passengers were hitherto unconfined,
but expected every moment to be made
prisoners. After Mr. Fay had dined, (for
my anxiety continued so great, that exhausted
as I was, I could not touch a morsel of
what was brought) I besought him to look
round for some place into which I might
crawl, and lie down unseen by the Seapoys,
that guarded us. He was averse to this, lest
they should imagine that we were seeking
to escape, and make that a pretext for ill
usage:–but perceiving that the sight of them
prevented me from taking that repose, so
necessary to recruit my poor worn out frame,
he complied with my request, and having
discovered a lumber-room leading out of the
Veranda which surrounded the house, he
assisted me into it—Here with my little V2U2 bundle U2v 148
bundle for a pillow, I stretched myself on
the floor, amidst dirt and rubbish, and enjoyed a
fine sleep of more than three hours, when I awoke
completely refreshed and entirely free from
the dreadful tortures, which had racked me
the whole night.―I did not even feel any
symptoms of fever.

Surprized and thankful for the change, I
joyfully went down to Mr. Fay, declaring
that I would continue to make use of the
lumber-room to sleep in, and as Mr. Passavant
had, during my nap, sent me a rattan
couch, tho’ by the bye without either mattress,
pillow, or musquito curtains, I was
just going to have it conveyed there, when the
place was found to be swarming with venomous
reptiles; perhaps a hundred scorpions and
centipedes―happily I slept too soundly to
feel them, and I remained unmolested; but
had I moved hand or foot, what might have
been the consequence!

The next morning we had a visit
from Mr. H―, less, it appeared, to condole
with us on such unexampled suffering, than to U3r 149
to embrace the occasion of displaying his
own eloquence: for which having a very
strong passion, it was no wonder, if he thought
the misfortunes of others proper subjects to
expatiate on. Mounting his rhetorical hobbyhorse,
the Orator harangued a long while,
though to a little purpose, endeavouring to
turn our situation into ridicule;—offered
to convey letters for us to Bengal;—
pretended to be in raptures with the
fine view of the Sea from our Veranda,
which I hinted to him he might still have
time to admire at his leisure, though he affected
to be certain of leaving Calicut in a
few hours. At length he concluded, by
advising me to address a tender memorial
to Hyder Ally, whose general character for
gallantry, would not admit of his refusing
any request made by a “fair” Lady. This
was wonderfully witty in the speaker’s opinion,
as you may conceive, how “fair” the
Lady in question looked. How a man
could break a jest on a creature so bowed
down by affliction, I know not: but I envy
not his feelings

I U3v 150

I forgot to tell you that, the duel between
the Captain, and the Orator, was prevented by
the guard, doubtless to the regret of these
heroes. It seems the day they went on
shore, Ayres, accompanied by another Captain
of a pretty similar description, named
West, made Mr. Passavant a visit, to look
at the strangers. Now as it was of the
utmost importance, that they should remain
undiscovered by such dangerous people, and
as their visitants, though illiterate, were sufficiently
acute, all perceived immediately the
necessity of being guarded;—accordingly
they, every one spoke French, and this,
together with their longer wide coats, and
preposterous hats, which had just then become
fashionable in England, effectually
shielded them from suspicion; when behold,
a sudden fit of Patriotism, aided by an irresistible
fondness for exhibition, rendered the
great Mr. H.― incapable of persevering
in deception.—“What” exclaimed he,
“shall Englishmen harbour distrust of each
other! perish the ignoble idea!―
be the consequences what they may, I will
no longer restrain myself from embracing my U4r 151
my beloved country-men.”
At the conclusion
of this heroic speech, “Suiting the action
to the words”
advancing theatrically,
he grasped the hand of Ayres, and shook
it, with such violence as if he meant to demonstrate
the excess of his joy and confidence,
by dislocating the shoulder of his
newly acquired friend.

The most unreserved intimacy, immediately
took place between these congenial
souls, and it is asserted that unable to keep
any secret from his bosom confidant, H―
was really so mad, (I may say, so cruel)
as absolutely to acknowledge the ship to be
English property. I could not have believed
that his folly and imprudence would carry
him so far; thus much is, however, undoubtedly
fact, that the man in the spectacles in constantly
pointed out, as the author of every
mischief which followed―It is surprizing
how often we find weakness and malignity
united, or rather let us say, that providence
had thus ordained it, for the benefit of mankind.
Probably the former induced H― to
injure the party to which he had attached
himself:—the latter undoubtedly led him to visit U4v 152
visit us, for he could not conceal his exultation
at the circumstance of our accidental
capture in the Vessel, seeming to involve us
exclusively in her fate. The unfeeling wretch
availed himself of this to lay a scheme, that
had it been adequately seconded, must have
brought on our destruction.

Ayres was first prevailed on by large
presents, to dissuade the Governor from
confining them, and that point gained,
he pushed their interest forward thus,
“These gentlemen” said he, “have no concern
here of any kind; besides, as
they are people of the highest consequence,
their detention would bring
half India on our back, so take my advice
and let them go.”
“Well, but”
replies Sudder Khan, “what must I do with
my prisoners?”
“Oh keep them by all
replies “Beelzebub”, “the man is
a stout fellow, and after a little breaking
in, will make a most excellent soldier:
send him and his wife up the country,
there feed them on dry rice, he will soon
be glad to enlist I warrant you. The
chief of the other party Mr. H.― is a V1r 153
a brother lawyer, so you need not fear,
but he will be happy enough to get rid
of him; indeed he owned as much to me
privately, and pledged his honour that, no
ill consequence could possibly arise from the
transaction;—the person in question not
being of sufficient importance for the English
to reclaim him solemnly; especially
as he came out without leave.”
You will
wonder how I came by all this information;
have patience, you shall know in

The Governer heard this argument calmly
promised fair, and acted so far agreeably
to his profession that, while we were closely
confined and miserably situated, our worthy
fellow passengers enjoyed full liberty to
walk about, and amuse themselves as they
pleased.—This procedure could not fail to
vex us excessively, though we were then
ignorant of its real cause, and whenever
we ventured to expostulate on our unreasonably
harsh treatment with Ayres or any
other, who chanced to call, the only answer UV we V1v 154
we could obtain was, with a shrug of affected
compassion, “why did you stay on
board! nothing can be done for you now,
you must abide the event.”
These insinuations
created fears, that a distinction would
really be made in our eventual disposal, as
much to our disadvantage, as the present
state of things, but we had no remedy—
all avenues to relief were closed.

I think I told you that, our watches were
concealed in my hair, being secured with
pins to prevent them from going; one of the
pins however came out, at the very time I
was set on shore. Never shall I forget
what a terrible sensation the ticking of the
watch caused! I think had it continued
long, I must completely have lost my senses;
for I dared not remove it, from a fear of
worse consequences; but happily it stopped
of itself. When we were fixed in our
prison Mr. Fay took these watches, (we
had three you know) and all the money
we had power to secure in chequins, which
are of easy conveyance (about twenty-five
pounds) and putting them into his glove, hid
them in a snug place, as he thought, about the Verandah V2r 155
Verandah. The day after we were taken
prisoners, a most dreadful hurricane of
rain and wind came in, (it was the breaking
of the monsoon) and next morning
we found to our extreme grief, that the
place where Mr. Fay had concealed our treasure,
to which alone we could look for the
first; but after he had told me, I searched
diligently all round, but in vain. At length
it struck me, from the direction in which
the wind blew, that if I could make my way
into an inclosure, at the back of the house, it
might possibly be found there. The seapoys
guarded the front, but there being
only one door backwards, they seldom took
the trouble of going round. I did not tell
Mr. Fay of my scheme, as there was
nothing he opposed so strongly, as the appearance
of seeking to escape; but when he
was completely absorbed in contemplating
this new misfortune, I stole to the back door.
There was a large lock and key inside and U2V2 to V2v 156
to my surprize, when I had turned this,
my passage was clear to the stairs, leading
to the inclosure; and not a soul in sight.
The grace was excessively high and wet,
but I struggled to make my way through it
and waded about, determined at least not
to leave an inch unexplored. Imagine my
joy, when in the midst of a deep tuft I
found the old glove, with all its contents
safe, and uninjured. What a treasure it
seemed! how many are there who never felt
so much true delight on received a magnificent
fortune, as we experienced in again
beholding this sheet anchor of our hopes, thus
unexpectedly restored.

But alas! the little unlooked for liberty I
had regained, was too tempting not to be
enjoyed again; and a day or two afterwards
as I was walking about in the grass, I
espied a seapoy coming round. I was not
certain that he saw me, so I endeavoured
to reach the house unobserved. At the moment
I turned round to fasten the heavy
door, he ran to it, pushing it against me,
with such violence that the large key which
had unfortunately a very long shank, was by V3r 157
by this means struck directly against my
right breast, and gave me the most excruciating
pain. I fainted through excessive
agony, and was with difficulty recovered.
Much I fear the consequences of this accident
will embitter my future life. Having no
other nurse than my poor husband, who was
not only ignorant of what ought to be done,
but totally without the necessaries for any
kind of emollient application,—my case was
truly distressing; so that even Ayres who
chanced to call, expressed some concern for
me, and sent plenty of milk which I
used as an embrocation with success. I believe
he punished the seapoy for his insolence,
but this could not repair the mischief.

At the very time when this painful variety
took place in the cheerless monotony of our
prison days, the cruel designers who had assisted
in dooming us to this wretched abode,
fell completely into the pit which they had
digged for us.―The evening before Ayres
and H.―e, had called on us together,
the former was (according to his general,
policy) endeavouring to discover whether we
had any concealed property; on which I exclaimedclaimed V3v 158
“Captain Ayres how should we
have anything left, except the baggage in
the vessel, which is of little value? as the
Arabs pillaged us to the utmost of their
power; we were altogether a set of poor
creatures when we came to Calicut; and
you are well aware we have received
nothing since.”
“Answer for yourself
Mrs. Fay”
cried H.―e, “for my
own part I feel happy in saying, that,
I am not poor, I have property, valuable
property and shall not shrink from avowing
that I possess it.”
I marked the eye
of Ayres during this bombastic speech, and
have since found, that I was not deceived
in its expression.

Sudder Khan induced by this and other
similar stories, which the passengers had told
of their own consequence, determined to
frighten them into the payment of a large
sum of money. Accordingly next morning
(the 13th) he sent a large party of seapoys
to the Danish Factory, who peremptorily
demanded them as the Nabob’s prisoners.
Mr. Passavant at first refused, but on
their threatening to fire into his house, was V4r 159
was constrained to yield to this outrageous
violation of the most sacred rights, and delivered
his guests to slavery. God forbid
that I should, generally speaking, be capable
of rejoicing in the miseries of my fellow
creatures, even where they merit punishment,
but I must own, (blame me if you
will) that for a short time I did feel satisfaction
in this stroke of retributive justice,
in as far as regarded the Tullohs, and Hare,
for the vile conduct of this people, and
the malevolence of their dispositions, had
steeled my heart against them.

It was certainly a curious sight to behold
them, after all their airs of superiority reduced
to take up their residence with us, whose
situation, while singular, was the object of
their ridicule and contempt. The scene
was however now changed; although they,
like many others in the world, were able
to support their neighbour’s misfortunes with
stoical firmness, and even render them a
source of amusement, each readily discovered
when personally attacked by a similar
calamity, that close imprisonment is by no
means a proper subject on which to exercise
wit, and that people when in distress are not V4v 160
not precisely in the humour, for relishing
the pleasantry of others on their troubles.
Tulloh fortunately understood Moors, which is
the general language among the military
throughout India;—by this means he got his
trunks on shore the day after the seizure,
and saved them from the violent storm,
which came on next morning, wherein every
one imagined the ship must have been wrecked.
How we wished to see her drive on
shore! especially when Sudder Khan the Governor
who is Hyder’s brother-in-law, was
seen walking about in great perturbation
on the beach anxiously watching the vessel,
praying to Mahomet, and from time to
time, casting up the sand towards Heaven
with earnest invocation and entreaties,
that she might be spared, as a present to
the great Hyder; very probably fearing
that some blame might attach to him in
case she were lost.

As it happened, however, all things went
wrong for us—The cabin and steerage where
our trunks had been placed were soon filled
with water, and every thing, such a books,
wearing apparel, beds, with laces, buckle-rings
&c. was either stolen or totally spoiled. There W1r 161
These latter I might have saved, when we
were brought on shore, but unfortunately
the trunk, which contained my clothes, was
just without the cabin-door, and two of
the wretches who watched us sat on it, so
that I could not remove an article. This
disaster left us nothing except our lives to
be anxious about—why do I say anxious!
since life itself on the terms we held it,
was hardly worth preserving. The other
passenger’s baggage was injured but not like
our’s; for we, not being favorite, had
been forced to keep our packages at hand,
during the voyage, as we had no one to
get them up when wanted, whereas the
rest had theirs stored away in the hold
and consequently little damage befel them.

Many ships perished in this terrible hurricane.
The St. Helena which left Mocha
a week after us, met with it, and suffered
so much that she was forced to put into
Cochin, (a Dutch settlement in Latitude 10)
with the loss of her masts; and so
greatly shattered besides, as to be compelledW pelled W1v 162
to undergo a thorough repair—If
this happened to a fine new vessel, one
of the best sailors in India, what must
have become of us, had we continued five
days longer at Sea?―badly found in all
respects, and worse manned; not half people
enough to work the ship properly,
even in good weather, was not this another
hairs breadth escape think you, though
by a dreadful alternative? The ways of
providence are inscrutable! But to revert
to my main subject,—glad shall I be when
it is concluded; for I detest matter of fact
writing, almost as much as matter of fact
conversation:—yet this story must be told
in my own way, or not at all.

When the gale ceased, the whole cargo
was landed and deposited in the Governor’s
warehouses, where he caused the
Gentlemen’s baggage to be opened, and
like a child pleased with gewgaws, every
article which struck his eye, was instantly
condemned to his booty. Poor Hare’s
trunks were stuffed with knickknacks like a
a Pedlar’s box: judge then what agonies he appeared W2r 163
appeared in, when the fatal moment of examination
approached, lest they should become,
as might be expected, objects of desire
to the Governor.—Not a single tooth
pick case, knife, or knee-buckle was produced,
but what he declared had been received
as a pledge of friendship from different
relations; parents, brothers, sisters,
male and female cousin, to the utmost
verge of propinquity, all put in their claims
with success. Tulloh serving as interpreter,
until he was perfectly weary of the office;
ashamed of pleading such trifling causes, and
only deterred from throwing up his post,
by the earnest entreaties of Hare, who continued
stamping, exclaiming and fretting, as
if his life depended on the issue. At
last a small paper bundle fell into the
searcher’s hands, he then became outrageous.
“For Heaven’s sake” cried he, “my dear
(almost breathless with apprehension)
“Oh for Heaven’s sake endeavour to preserve
this parcel for me; should it be taken
I am an undone man, for I shall never W2 be W2v 164
be able to replace the contents; let them
take my clothes, my Law books, every
thing, except my music books—all that I
can yield without a sigh”
. Tulloh imagining
the contents must be of immense value to
him from his extreme agitation, earnestly
interceded for the parcel; but obtained it
with great difficulty, as curiosity and avarice
were awakened by perceiving the convulsive
eagerness with which the owner petitioned
for it—The former was soon gratified and
the latter consoled; for Hare tearing open
the parcel discovered to the astonished spectators
neither more, nor less, than an exquisite
assortment of Venetian fiddle
!! But, ah! dire mischance! the
remorseless waves, which are neither respectors
of persons or things) had pervaded this
invaluable treasure and rendered it wholly
useless; and to complete his misery the next
thing that presented itself to the sad owner’s
eyes, was a most expensive and finely toned
Tenor violin, purchased at Venice, and for
which the precious strings were intended,—
broken all to pieces! I leave you to form
any ideas you may think proper on the subjectject W3r 165
of that extravagant sorrow, such a
character was likely to exhibit—and pass on
to matters more interesting.

The general introductory letter which, as
you may recollect, Mr. Franco gave us at
Leghorn, had remained in Mr. F―’s
pocket book from that time, ’till we reached
Calicut. We had been told that Isaac, the
Jewish merchant, who agreed to freight
the Nathalia, and received £700 as earnest
on that account, was immensely rich,
and had great credit with Government, of
which he held several large contracts for
building ships &c. besides being a great
favourite with Sudder Khan. Every one also,
even Ayres, spoke highly of his general
character. But our introduction to Mr.
had been productive of, or at least
connected with so many misfortunes, that
my confidence was lost, and I dreaded making
further applications, lest similar events
should ensue. This was very foolish reasoning
you will say, and I am ready to acknowledge
it, the only excuse to be made is,
that my mind was weakened by calamity. However W3v 166
However after Tulloh and the rest of these
people joined us, our situation became, if
possible, still more distressing and we anxiously
sought every practicable mode of relief.
Mr. F― therefore petitioned the
Governor for leave to go out under a
guard, which being granted, he immediately
delivered his letter to Isaac, who seemed
highly gratified at hearing from Mr. Franco
whom he had personally known at Constantinople,
when they were both young
men, above sixty years ago: for Isaac is
also considerably turned of eighty, and
like him, enjoys full possession of his faculties,
both bodily and mental, being equally
remarkable for temperance and sobriety. Mr.
could not speak to our strangely acquired
friend except by an interpreter; so that
no confidential conversation could take place.
He was apparently touched with pity for
our sufferings, especially on hearing how
much I was afflicted with illness. My spirits
were raised by the account my husband gave
of his visit, and soon after his favourable
report was confirmed, by my receiving a
present brought to the Factory, by a servant,vant W4r 167
belonging to the benevolent Jew, and
which in our situation was truly valuable,
consisting of a catty of fine tea, a tea-pot,
and a tea-kettle. Although these things
were expressly sent to me, yet Mrs. Tulloh
and her party seized the last mentioned article,
and forcibly kept it; so that I was
forced to make my tea, by boiling it in my
tea-pot. Ah my dear sister, I was at this
time ill enough to be laid up on a sick
bed, and carefully nursed, yet was I thankful
for such food as I should once have loathed,
and I still continued to lie on my rattan couch,
without a pillow or any covering except my
clothes, and surrounded by people whom
my very heart sickened to behold.

I will here by way of relaxation transcribe
a few passages from my Journal, as nothing
happened for some time worthy of a particular
recital; reserving to myself, however,
the option of resuming the narrative style,
whenever I shall deem it necessary.

1779-11-1414th November, 1779.

Mr. F― was sent for, this morning, to the
Governor, who asked him what he wanted? he W4v 168
he replied, “Liberty”:―there was no observation
made on this answer, nor can we conceive
what Sudder Khan can mean by the detention
of so many persons, who never bore
arms. They gave Mr. Tulloh 30 rupees
for our support. All we are able to procure
is touch, lean, old beef, goat’s flesh, and a
not unpleasant rice cake, but too sweet to
be palatable with meat; we preserve either
with difficulty from our perpetual visitors
the crows, having no cup-board or place to
put our victuals in.—Of all existing creatures
crows are surely the most voracious, and the
most persevering—I have seen one with his
eye fixed for a full half hour on a person,
and the instant that person’s eye was averted,
pounce on the bread, or whatever had
been prepared and bear away the prize.
Mem.―Ayres is remarkably like these
crows, he has exactly their thievish expression
of countenance, and the form of his
head resembles their’s.

1779-11-1515th November, 1779.

The Gentlemen waited all day at the Governor’s
house, being promised their baggage, but X1r 169
but he thought proper to disappoint them–––
received 10 rupees subsistence money.

1779-11-1818th November.

A most impudent message brought from
the Governor, requiring all the gentlemen
to enter into the Nabob’s service; which
they unanimously refused, with every mark
of contempt, and were in consequence ordered
to be more closely confirmed―One of
Mr. F―’s trunks brought on shore
containing wearing apparel, and law books,
probably much damaged, yet certainly valuable
to him, as he has none remaining.
Made application for it but without success.
Tulloh received 20 rupees.

1779-11-2020th November.

Received notice to prepare immediately to
set off for Seringapatnam, a large City about
three hundred miles distant, where Hyder
usually resides—How can I support this
journey over the mountains!—Mr. F―
is about drawing up a petition, representing
the bad state of my health, and entreating X permission X1v 170
permission for me to proceed to Cochin.
We hope to prevail on Isaac to present it.

1779-11-2121st November.

Discover that the journey to Seringapatnam
was merely a vile plot of the Governor’s to
put us off our guard, and thereby gain possession
of what property had hitherto been
concealed; thank God this feint miscarried.
A letter reached us from Mr. O’Donnell,
stating the arrival of the St. Helena at Cochin.
He laments our misfortune and promises
to take such methods as shall compel
the Nabob to do us speed and effectual
justice. Heaven speed his endeavours; this
life is horrible.

1779-11-2222d November.

The gentlemen waited five hours at the Governor’s
for their effects, but returned without
them. He takes evident satisfaction in seeing
them like slaves attendant on his nod — Five
ships supposed to be English passed in
front of our prison. How pecularly distressing
did I feel this sight!

23d X2r 171

1779-11-2323d November, 1779.

Mrs. Tulloh being taken ill of a fever, application
was made to the Governor for
medicines; but this happening to be a high
festival, he, like the Pharisees in Scripture,
refused to profane it by doing good―
Should the woman die in the interim what
cares he?

1779-11-2424th November, 1779.

This morning got some medicines from the
ship’s chest—many flying reports of hostilities
having actually commenced between Hyder
, and the English―should this really
prove true, our fate will be sealed for
. Little did I think when pleading the
cause of the Chevalier de St. Lubin at
Mocha, that he had been raising a storm
whose effects will so materially involve us
Mem.—The lady is well again.

1779-11-2828th November, 1779.

it is now certain that the Nayhirs have
laid siege to Tellicherry; a settlement of
our’s about a degree to the northward; X2 seven X2v 172
seven miles nearer lies Mahey which the
French held, ’till we took it from them in
March last; but not finding it worth keeping,
have since evacuated it, after dismantling
the fortifications.

1779-11-2929th November, 1779.

Sudder Khan is about to March a thousand
troops in Mahey, under pretence of resuming
in the Nabob’s name, but every one
guesses this to be merely a feint to cover
real intentions of privately assisting the
Nayhirs;—should they succeed in their sttackattack,
Hyder will then throw off the mask and
declare war, but if the English conquer, he
will disavow the whole affair.

1779-11-3030th November.

I have now a lamentable tale to relate. We
were this morning hurried away at a moments
warning to the fort, and crouded together
in a horrid dark place scarcely twenty
feet square, swarming with rats, and almost
suffocating for want of air. Mr. and
Mrs. Tulloh
secured a small room to themselves;selves X3r 173
but my husband and I, were obliged
to pass the night among our companions
in misery.—rats continually gnawing the feet
of my couch, whose perpetual squeaking would
have prevented sleep, had our harrassing
reflections permitted us to court its approach.

1779-12-011st December, 1779.

Luckily discovered a trap-door, which led to
some rooms, or rather lofts, where no human
foot had trod for many many years.
These had been the store rooms of Angria
the Pirate
, and they certainly contain “a
remnant of all things”
—Broken chairs—
tables—looking-glasses——books, even a spinet
was among, the articles, but beyond all
repair, and vast quantities of broken bottles,
which had been filled with liquors of all
kinds: but the rats in their gambols had
made havoc among them. I remember when
I should have shuddered at the thoughts of
sleeping in such a wretched place; but now
privacy gave it irresistible charms; so having
with difficulty obtained leave to occupy it,
we exerted every nerve to get a spot clearout
before dark, for my couch; likewise so X3v 174
so to arrange some bolts of canvas which
were among the spoils, as to form a sort
of mattress for Mr. F―; here we
lay down, comparatively happy in the
hope of enjoying a tolerable nights rest;
my husband being provided with a long pole
to keep off the rats; but surely never were
poor mortals so completely disappointed and
for my own part I may add, terrified.―—
No sooner was the light extinguish, than
we heard a fluttering noise, attended at
intervals with squeaking—by degrees it approached
the beds, and we felt that several
creatures were hovering over us, but of what
description we were totally ignorant—sometimes
their wings swept our faces, seeming
to fly heavily—then again they would remove
farther off, but still continued squeaking.―
Good God! what horrors I felt. Mr. F―
protested that whole legions of evil spirits
had taken possession of our apartment, and
were determined to expel the intruders.
The rats also acted their part in the Comedy;
every now and then jumping towards
the beds, as we could hear;—however Mr. F. X4r 175
on these occasions laid about him
stoutly with his pole, and thus kept them at
bay; but our winged adversaries were not
so easily foiled;―they persisted in their
assaults ’till day-break, when what should we
find had caused all these disturbance, but a
parcel of poor harmless bats! whose “ancient
solitary reign we had molested.”
any one accustomed to see or hear these
creatures our terror must appear ridiculous,
but to me who had never chanced to meet
with any such, the idea never occurred,
nor did even Mr. Fay suggest any probable
or natural cause of alarm. We cannot
help laughing very heartily at it ourselves
now, and you are at full liberty to do the

1779-12-022d December.

Ayres called to tell us that two ships of
the line, and a frigate had just passed towards
Tellicherry.―We shall soon hear news
from thence; Oh! that it may change our
hard destiny!—The Governor marched at
the head of his Troops towards Tellicherry.

10th X4v 176

1779-12-1010th December.

Application was made this morning to the
Lieutenant Governor by Mr. Isaac, who
I am now convinced is our warm friend,
representing that this air disagreeing with
me I requested permission to remove to Cochin,
and that my husband, on account of my
extreme ill health, might accompany me.
He promised to consult Sudder Khan upon
it. The Quellandar or Governor of the Fort,
spent some time with us this morning;—he
is a fine old man, with a long red beard,
and has altogether a most interesting appearance:
—and here I might as well give a short
description of this place.

Calicut then, is situated on the coast of
Malabar in 11° north latitude and 75° east
. It was formerly a very considerable
town governed by a Zamorin, who also
held the adjoining country; but has been
some years in the possession of Hyder allyAlly,
of whom you must have heard on occasion
of his war with the English in 1770. They
would certainly put an end to the reign of Y1r 177
of this Usurper, had he not discovered a “method”
of influencing the principal persons in
power, in consequence of which he obtained
a peace, much more honourable and advantageous
to himself than to those who
granted it. Having acquired by his genius
and intrepidity every thing that he
enjoys, he makes his name both feared and
respected; so that nobody chooses to quarrel
with him. I had indeed heard a comparison
drawn between him and the King of
Prussia, though I think much to the disadvantage
of the latter; as supposing their
“natural” abilities to be equal,―the great
Frederick ought infinitely to surpass a man
who can neither write nor read, which is
the case with Hyder. The lawful Prince
of the country of which he has usurped the Government
is held by him in actual confinement,
though with every outward shew of respect,
by which means he prevents the people from
rising, lest their legitimate sovereign should
fall a sacrifice to his resentment.

The fort must have been formerly a strong
place, but is now in a dilapidated state— Y the Y1v 178
the walls are very thick, and they mount
guard regularly; which was one inducement
for sending it here; as Ayres told the Governor
it was not worth while to keep a
hundred seapoys watching us, when they were
wanted elsewhere and that the fort was
quite good enough for us to live in;―
these arguments prevailed and here we were
sent. When I first arrived I was so extremely
ill, as to be scarcely sensible of what passed
for some hours; but I remember H―
burst into a violent flood of tears, declaring
that we were all doomed to death by our removal
to this wretched spot, which being completely
surrounded by stagnant water, could not
fail to produce some of those disorders
so fatal to Europeans. We have not however
hitherto experienced any complaint. The
loft we sleep in is indeed disgusting beyond
belief, and the Quelladar, I suppose at
the suggestsonsuggestion of Ayres, has ordered the
easier of the two ways of entrance, that discovered
by Mr. F― to be blocked up; so
that there is no way left but by means of a
ladder placed almost in a perpendicular direction:
—there is a rope by which to hold, or it Y2r 179
it would be impossible for any person to
descend, but even with this assistance, I
have great difficulty to reach the bottom.

1779-12-1111th December, 1779.

Peremptorily ordered to make ready for a
journey to Seringapatnam. By the Governor’s
desire delivered an Inventory of our
losses: he promises full restitution, but has
given no answer to my request. I am full
of solicitude on this subject; but would
submit to any thing rather than remain in
this wretched place.

1779-12-1212th December, 1779.

Mr. F― waited twice on the Lieut. Governor
but without effect. What can he
mean by thus trifling with us? is it merely a
wanton exercise of power, or intended to
hide some dark design? these perpetual surmises
distract me. Mem. Tulloh received
144 rupees to pay all our debts but
took especial care not to let us have a
single rupee, what wretches we are cast
among! my very soul rises at them.

Y2 13th Y2v 180

1779-12-1313th December, 1779.

Mr. F― was sent for by the Governor,
who told him, that we might both have permission
to go to Cochin whenever we thought
proper; that we would furnish a boat and
pay any incidental expense, besides making
entire satisfaction for damages sustained,—
Can all this good news be true? How suspicious
I grow? What a change from being
credulous—yet where is the wonder after
being so frequently deceived?

1779-12-1414th December, 1779.

Preparations are going on briskly all day
with our fellow passengers, who are eager
for their departure, as well they may. Every
thing which was taken from them on shore,
has been this day restored, but those left in
the ship are irrecoverable; of course we benefit
nothing by this restitution—Mr. F―
could not obtain our promised licence to-day.
—These delays, weigh down my spirits, and
increase all my complaints. I have still much
pain in my breast; Oh that I fear, will
in Mr. Taylor.

15th Y3r 181

1779-12-1515th December, 1779.

The Governor still withholding our licence
under pretence of business, I advised Mr.
to insist on being immediately dispatched,
or in case of refusal, by all means to
declare himself ready to accompany the
others; for I saw clearly that should they
once leave us, it must then be entirely at
this fellow’s option, whether we went all
or not, and who would not rather run
the risk of even dying of fatigue on
on the journey, than hazard remaining at
the mercy of such wretches! I dread, lest
this should be part of the old plan of which
I have since never heard, and had almost
forgotten it. It is much easier to practise
against two individuals than a whole company.

1779-12-1616th December.

The Doolies (a kind of shabby Palanquin
in which a person sits upright and is carried
between two men
) arrived this morning
about ten. The gentlemen went to take
leave, when Tulloh earnestly represented our
case, to which the Governor replied, that
he could not possibly attend to other matterster Y3v 182
till they were gone, but pledged his
word that nothing should arise on his part to
detain us a single hour afterwards; every
one agreed with me how dangerous it was
to trust such fallacious promises. On my
knees I intreated Mr. F― to pursue
the method I had before pointed out, but
my advice was despised. At nine in the
evening the party commenced their journey,
having first stripped the place of provisions
and every thing else, which having been
bought out of the general purse we had
un undoubted right to share. They even
took my tea kettle, but luckily the man who
had it in charge forgot it amidst the hurryfhurry
of departure, by which means I recovered
it. My heart sunk within me at seeing
them quit the fort, not from motives of
personal esteem or regret you may suppose,
for it was impossible to grieve for the loss
of some of the company; we parted with
as much indifference as absolute strangers;
after a fellowship in misfortune sufficient
to have united almost any other society more
closely than an intercourse of years under
common circumstances. I went to bed,
but inspite of every endeavour to calm the agitation Y4r 183
agitation of my mind, passed a sleepless

1779-12-1717th December.

Rose in extreme anxiety which was far
from being diminished by a message from
the Governor, ordering Mr. F― not
to attend him ’till the evening; accordingly
at four o’clock he sat out, and as I felt
extremely ill, the certain consequence of
fretting and want of rest, I lay down and
husband flew into the room like a madman,
uttering a thousand extravagant expressions.
Starting up in new and indescribable terror,
and wringing my hands, I begged only to
know what had happened. “Happened!” cried
he “why we are betrayed, ruined, utterly
undone; you must leave this place instantly,
or you may be made a prisoner here
for ever.”
“Where are we to go?” I very naturally
asked! I heard not the answer, my
head swam, and I dropped on the floor
completely overpowered.―Whatever happened
at that fearful moment I forget and endeavour
to banish from my mind, as the
effect of insanity.—How he accomplished it I Y4v 184
I know not, but Mr. F― actually
carried me in his arms down that almost perpendicular
ladder which I have described and
placed me on a kind of bier: I was in this
manner conveyed to my former habitation—
I opened my eyes and became for a few
moments sensible of the motion, but soon
fainted again, and did not recover ’till I
found myself once more entering the English
Factory as a prisoner.

I now inquired, what was the cause of this
change in our abode: and learnt that Mr. F―
being refused leave to depart, had become so
exasperated as wholly to lose all self-command;
and rushing up to the musnud (throne) of
the Lieutenant Governor had actually siezed
him, peremptorily insisting on the immediate
fulfilment of his promise. Such conduct
might have been expected to bring down
instant destruction; but fortunately every
one present was persuaded that grief and
vexation had literally turned his brain; and
they are not only much terrified at every
species of madness, but from their religious
prejudices, regard the sufferers under these
complaints with a superstitious awe.

Swayed Z1r 185

Swayed by these mingled emotions the wicked
Governor condesscended to temporize with my
husband, acknowledging that he had no power
to release us without the Nabob’s order which
in consideration of my ill health he would
endeavour to procure; and to pacify him
further, he permitted our return to this place,
where we are certainly in every respect more
comfortably situated. But these concessions
went little towards allaying that fever of
passion, which his continual and cruel delays
had excited; thence arose the alarm I experienced
and which for a time so materially
affected my health.

1779-12-1919th December, 1779.

Received five rupees subsistence money
which we were informed were the last we
should ever have. I cannot conceive what
they mean to do with us or what will be
our fate at last.

1779-12-2121st December, 1779.

The Governor sent for Mr. F― to
offer him a commission in the Nabob’s serviceZ vice Z1v 186
and on his absolute refusal, swore that
he might subsist how he could; that his
masters money should no longer be lavished
on idlers, then in a rage ordered Palanquins
“you shall go to Seringapatnam” said he “they
will soon teach you better manners there”

Mr. F― joyfully acquiesed in this mandate,
—we provided necessaries for our journey
which was fixed for the 24th; but the
other knew better than to keep his words, so
this like all our former views, and expectations
of liberty ends in smoke, shall I say?

1779-12-2626th December, 1779.

A very melancholy Christmas-day passed
yesterday. My dear friends little imagined
they were drinking the health of a poor prisoner,
(for I know you did not forget us)
neither were we forgotten here, if empty
compliments can be styled remembrance.
All the Europeans and several of the natives
attended our Lévee. But alas! what
relief can mere ceremonious visits afford
to misfortunes! say rather that aided
by recollection
, such shadowy comforts add keenness
to afflictions sting. I feel my mind insensiblysensibly Z2r 187
raised whenever I attempt to expatiate
on any subject which tends to revive the
ideas of our separation. Even now I tread
forbidden ground; for your sakes as well as
my own, let me hasten to escape by skipping
over this dangerous season of Christmas, I
therefore pass on.

1780-01-1010th January, 1780.

The little money saved was nearly expended,
and we must soon have been reduced
to our last mite had not providence sent us
relief from a quarter little dreamed of. Mr. F―
wrote about a week ago to Mr. Church,
Governor of Tellicherry inclosing a memorial
of our case, which he requested might be
translated into the language of the country
and proper methods used for its safe delivery to
Hyder Ally himself. This morning brought
in reply, a most generous humane letter from
Mr. Church; which, after acknowledging
himself honoured by our application, and
promising his utmost concurrence in every
measure we may think necessary, concludes
“thus my heart bleeds for your Z2 dis- Z2v 188
distresses, and those of Mrs. F― she
in particular must have suffered greatly. I
have taken the liberty to accompany this
letter by an order for two hundred rupees
to serve present occasions: Any sum you may
in future require a line to me shall always
command it, as I know the difficulty of procuring
remittances where you are. Englishmen
ought to feel for each other; we are
not without our share of troubles here; and
I verily believe Hyder is at the bottom of
Now pray does not this letter deserve
more than I have said of it! just thus
would my dear father have treated a distressed
countryman―Methinks I see his
benevolent heart venting itself in tears of
sympathy at the recital. Precious tears:
why am I not permitted to mingle mine with
them! for they will flow in spite of my endeavours
to restrain their course.

1780-01-1111th January.

Having now money to bribe with, we
began to think of attempting an escape; for
besides the silence observed on the fate of
our companions, though near a month has eladsed Z3r 189
elapsed since their departure, we live in
continual dread of being forced up the country
and perhaps massacred there: Every one
who leaves this place must first obtain permission
from the Governor, but as these
passes only mention generally so many people
and are granted indiscriminately to whoever
applies for them, provided they be not
suspected persons, one may easily be procured
under feigned pretences (it is a matter
frequently done.) A Friar belonging to
the Portuguese convent, usually manages these
affairs when properly instructed. This information
we have from a Native Portuguese
named Pereira, an officer in Hyder’s service,
with whom Mr. F― commenced
an intimacy while we were in the Fort,
and who is now quartered here at his special
request. Tho’ I must confess I cannot like this
man, yet am I obliged to trust him. The
visits we receive from Ayres are terrible trials
to one who loathes dissimulation as I
do. This wretch has once or twice mentioned
a cow that annoyed him by entering
the little garden, or paddock, in which it ap- Z3v 190
appears his house is placed; this morning
he entered the factory with his scymitar
in his hand unsheathed, and bloody, and
with an expression of diabolical joy informed
me that he had just caught the animal entering
and being armed had completely chined
her. “You cannot imagine” said he, “how
sweetly the sword did the business”
; my very
heart shuddered with horror and indignation,
yet dared I not give vent to those
feelings. I doubt not he would murder me
with as much pleasure as he killed the cow
with; and have no reason to suppose he
would be punished for the act.

1780-01-1212th January, 1780.

Some quarrel unknown to me has certainly
taken place between Pereira and Mr.
the looks of the former alarm me:
his dark scowling eye is frequently directed
towards him, with an expression of dreadful
import; yet he appears desirous of forwarding
our escape.–He has introduced us to father Ricardo,
who engages to provide us all things for
our departure to Cochin.

13th Z4r 191

1780-01-1313th January, 1780.

The priest breakfasted with us, and promised
to set about the business without loss of
time; he is to receive twenty rupees, our setting off from hence, and twenty more on
our setting off from hence, and twenty more
on our arrival at Cochin or Tellichery,
through the medium of Isaac, on whom the
order from Mr. Church was drawn, by
which means we received it without suspicion.

1780-01-1414th January, 1780.

A Licence or Passport is procured for us
as two Frenchmen going to Mahey. We
have paid twenty rupees boat-hire to a smuggler;
these are commonly very courageous
men; which is some comfort to me: under
Mr. F―’s protection and his, I will
endeavour to think myself secure. His house
is admirably situated for our purpose, close
by the sea side; this is to be our place of
rendezvous. The precise time is not yet
fixed upon: the intervening hours how anxiously
will they pass!

15th Z4v 192

1780-01-1515th January, 1780.

The boatman called to desire we would
be at his house at six this evening;―gave
him our little baggage (we had been obliged
to purchase many necessaries) and four
rupees to buy provisions. When it grew
dark, Mr. F― put on a sailor’s dress
and I equipped myself in a nankeen jacket
—a pair of long striped trowsers—a man’s
night cap, and over that a mighty smart
hat,—with a pair of Mr. F—―’s shoes
tied on my feet, and a stick in my hand.
In this dress Mr. F—― declared that
I was the very image of my dear father,
which highly gratified me. I had tied the
clothes we took off, in a handkerchief, with
that in one hand and brandishing my stick
in the other, I boldly sallied forth,—taking
care, however, to secure a retreat in case
of accident, a most fortunate precaution as
the event proved.―Father Ricardo met us
at the smuggler’s according to appointment
and we paid him twenty rupees, and gave
him security for the other twenty; when
this was settled, nothing remained as we
supposed, but to step into the boat,― when Bb1r 193
when behold! news was brought that the
sailors had made their escape no one knew
whither! after waiting two hours in that
dangerous situation, to see if they would return,
and raving in all the follow of angry
disappointment against those who had misled
us, we made a virtue of necessity and trudged
back to our prison, where we luckily
effected an entrance without exciting suspicion.

1780-01-1717th January, 1780.

Had all arranged for our escape last night
but so many people were about us, that we
dared not make the attempt.

1780-01-1919th January, 1780.

Father Ricardo has once more arranged all
things for to-night,—we must give more
money, but that is no object. once free and
we shall doubtless find means of proceeding
on our journey.

1780-02-055th February, 1780.

Every day has this wicked priest contrived
some scheme, to amuse us with false hopes
of escaping; every night have we lain down in Bb the Bb1v 194
the full persuasion that it was the last we should
pass in confinement; and as constantly have
we awoke to meet bitter disappointments.—
This continued alternation of hope and fear
preys on my spirits and prevents me from
gaining strength, but yesterday I received a
serious shock from the behavior of Pereia,
and which excited more alarm than almost
any circumstance that has occurred to me—
I had long marked his hatred to Mr. F―
and dreaded his revenge–I was setting at
work when he entered the room—naked from
the middle just as Mr. F― was going into
the next room. His strange appearance and
the quick step with which he followed my
husband caught my attention; and I perceived
that he held a short dagger close under his
arm, nearly all concealed by his handkerchief
and the exigency of the moment gave
me courage.—I sprung between him and the
door through which Mr. F― had just
passed, drawing it close and securing it to prevent
his return, and then gently expostulated
with P― on the oddness of his conduct
and appearance; he slunk away, and I hope,
will never trouble asus again, especially as he has Bb2r 195
has adopted another mode of revenge which
may perhaps be equally effectual, though more
slow in its operation. He went to Ayres and
informed him that we had endeavoured to
escape, mentioning every particular of our
scheme, and, as far as I can learn, telling
the whole truth; but fortunately naming a
different evening from the one on which our
unsuccessful attempt really was made, on
which Ayres exclaimed “well Pereira you have
made up a very fine story, but without a
word of truth, for on the very night
you mention, F― was setting with
me over a bottle of wine, I’ll take my
oath of that; for it was my birth night”

this was true likewise, so we were saved for
that time; but as Ayres knows that escape
is in our heads, he will, I fear, guard us
with redoubled vigilance, and so far Pereira’s
design has taken effect.

1780-02-066th February, 1780.

Mr. F― has completely detected the
pious father Ricardo, and his worthy colleagueBb2 league Bb2v 196
the smuggler, and sorely against their
will compelled them to refund his money
all to about twenty three rupees, which
they pretend have been disbursed. We now
discovered, that although our offers might
tempt their avarice and lead them to deceive
us, yet they dared not persevere in
assisting our escape; as the consequence of
detection would to them be inevitable

1780-02-1010th February, 1780.

At length I begin to cherish hopes of our
speedy release, as Sudder Khan returned
last night from Seringapatnam; but is encamped
without the Town, waiting for a
lucky day, till when he dares not enter his
own house.―So how long we may still
be detained, Heaven knows—Mr. F―
and our friend Isaac propose paying him a
visit to-morrow.

1780-02-1313th February, 1780.

They went out on Friday and again to-
day but have not been able to obtain an Bb3r 197
an audience; and thus we may perhaps be
led on a fortnight longer, by his ridiculous
superstitions. Mr. Isaac, however, assures my
husband, that from all he can learn it is
really intended to release us, which makes
me comparatively easy; yet it is impossible
not to feel severely this delay, at such a critical
period; for should Hyder commence
hostilities against the English, whilst we remain
in his power, not all Isaac’s influence
will be sufficient to extricate us from it: our
doom must be sealed for life.

1780-02-1414th February.

Our indefatigable advocate walked out with
Mr. F―(I should have mentioned
that the distance is about three miles) but
they were again disappointed, Sudder Khan
being still closely shut up his devotions,
which are to continue two days longer at
least.―How very distressing to be kept in
this horrible suspense! But our friend still
comforts us with the assurance, that all will
be well.―He really behaves to me like
a father, and as I have now acquired some know- Bb3v 198
knowledge of Portuguese, we are enabled
to converse tolerably well. I do not recollect
having described his person, and will
therefore endeavour to give you some, though
a very inadequate idea of it.

Isaac then is a fine venerable old man,
about eighty-five with a long white breadbeard;
his complexion by no means dark, and his
countenance benign yet majestic; I could look
at him ’till I almost fancied that he resembled
exactly the Patriarch whose name he
bears, were it not for his eye, which is still
brilliant. His family I find according to ancient
custom in the East, consists of two
wives, to whom I am to have an introduction.

1780-02-1515th February.

Saw a letter to-day from Mr. Tulloh, to
Mr. Passavant the Danish factor, dated 1780-01-1919th
, which mentions, that they were
fifteen days on their journey to Seringapatnam
and twelve more confined in a shed,
half starved to death, as no one permitted
to assist them except with the coarsest
food in small quantities; at length the Nabobbob Bb4r 199
granted them an audience, when having
listened to their complaint, he sent for
Sudder Khan, to answer the charge. “Three
successive days”
says Tulloh “we were
all sent for, and confronted with him,
when Hyder commanded him to make instant
restitution, however, we have as yet
received nothing except that yesterday on
taking leave his highness presented us
with five hundred rupees for our journey to
Madras, besides ordering Palanquins, carriages
for our baggage, and every other
convenience, likewise a guard of a hundred
seapoys to conduct us into the English
bounds. I spoke to him from Mr.
and Mrs. F―
and obtained an order
for their release also. Whether the ship
will be returned or not, God Knows, we are
just going to set off.”
Thus far Tulloh.
Now the man who brought this letter, saw
them all go and remained at Seringapatnam
ten days afterwards, without hearing further;
so I hope we may conclude they are out of
their troubles. Mrs. Tulloh has now seen
enough poor woman to satisfy her taste for
adventures. From all I can learn, it would have Bb4v 200
have been utterly impossible for me to have
supported the various hardships of their journey,
in my precarious state of health; poor
Mr. Taylor how sincerely do I pity him.

1780-02-1717th February, 1780.

Mr. Isaac called by appointment about
two o’clocks and took my husband with him,
to wait once more on the Governor. He
seems to entertain no doubt of bringing back
the order for our release. I endeavour to be
calm and to rest with confidence on his assurance;
but when I contemplate the dreadful
alternative, should he meet a peremptory
refusal, and recollect the deep machinations
that have been practised to keep us here,
my heart recoils at the idea. It is now
eight in the evening; every thing is packed
up and ready for our departure yet they
return not. Some obstacle I fear must have
been thrown in the way by that vile Sudder
to prevent our liberation, and we are
destined to remain his wretched prisoners.
How shall I support the intelligence? Heavenen Cc1r 201
inspire me with fortitude! I can neither
write, nor attend to any thing!

Cc Letter XIII. Cc1v 202

Letter XIII.

Thanks be to Providence that I am at
length permitted to address my beloved
friends from this land of liberty towards
which my wishes have so long pointed. After
wading through my melancholy journal, you
will be enabled in some measure to form an
idea of the joy that fills my breast on contemplating
the contrast between my present
situation, and that from which I have
so recently escaped—I will not however indulge
in reflections, but hasten to proceed
with my narrative, which broke off at a
most interesting period in my last letter, when
I was every instant expecting the news of
our release.

I was not relieved from suspense till near
twelve on Thursday night, when the gentlemen
returned bringing with them the
so anxiously desired passports for ourselves,
and such trifling articles as remained in our possession Cc2r 203
possession; more than this I find they could not
obtain for us, though absolute promises of
restitution and remuneration had been frequently
held out. This however seemed a
slight evil compared with what even one
days detention might produce: we therefore
abandoned all thought of farther application
on the subject, and on Friday 1780-02-18T0518th February,
at 5 A. M.
joyfully quitted our detested
prison, and repaired to the house of our
steady friend and benefactor Isaac, where we
found one of his own sloops prepared to
convey us to Cochin, with every necessary
refreshment on board.

Thus by the indefatigable exertions of this
most excellent man, we are at last released
from a situation of which it is impossible
for you to appreciate the horrors. To
him are we indebted for the inestimable gift
of liberty. No words can I find adequate to the
expression of my gratitude. In whatever
part of the world and under whatever circumstances
my lot may be cast; whether we
shall have the happiness to teach in safety
the place to which all our hopes and wishes
tend, or all doomed to experience again the Cc2 anxieties Cc2v 204
anxieties and sufferings of captivity; whether
I shall pass the remainder of my days
in the sunshine of prosperity, or exposed to
the chilling blasts of adversity; the name of
Isaac the Jew will ever be associated with
the happiest recollections of my life; and while
my heart continues to beat, and warm blood
animates my mortal frame, no distance of
space and time can efface from my mind, the
grateful remembrance of what we owe to
this most worthy of men. When we were
plundered and held in bondage by the Mahometan
robbers amongst whom we had fallen;
when there was no sympathizing friend
to soothe us among our Christian fellow captives;
when there was no hand to help us,
and the last ray of hope gradually forsook us
the darkening scene of our distress; kind
Providence sent a good Samaritan to our relief
in the person of this benevolent Jew,
who proved himself an Israelite indeed. Oh
my dear sister! how can I in the overflowing
of a grateful heart do otherwise than lament,
that the name of this once distinguished people
should have become a term of reproach!
Exiled from the land promised to the seed of
Abraham; scattered over the face of the earth Cc3r 205
earth, yet adhering with firmness to the religion
of their fathers, this race once the
boasted favourites of Heaven, are despised
and rejected by every nation in the world.
The land that affords shelter, denies them
a participation in the rights of citizenship.
Under such circumstances of mortifying contempt,
and invidious segregation, it is no
wonder that many of the children of Israel
in the present day evince more acuteness
than delicacy in their transactions, and are
too well disposed to take advantage of those,
from whom they have endured so much
scorn and persecution. It gives me therefore
peculiar pleasure to record their good deeds,
and to proclaim in my limited circle, that
such a man as a Franco and an Isaac, are
to be found among the posterity of Jacob.
These sentiments are not overstrained but the
genuine effusions of a thankful heart: as
such receive them.

This morning about eleven we arrived at
our long wished for Port, and were landed
close to the house of our good friend Isaac
which is pleasantly situated by the river side
about a mile from Cochin, and rendered in every Cc3v 206
every respect a most delightful residence.
Here we were welcomed by the two wives
of Isaac who were most splendidly dressed
to receive us, rather overloaded with ornaments
yet not inelegant. Indeed I think the
Eastern dresses have infinitely the advantage over
ours; they are much more easy and graceful;
besides affording greater scope for the display
of taste, than our strange unnatural modes.
They were extremely hospitable and very
fond of talking.

I mentioned before, having learned a
little Portuguese during my imprisonment,
which was of great advantage to me
here, for except Malabars, it is the only
language they speak, and a miserable
jargon indeed is what they call Portuguese
here.—However we contrived to make ourselves
mutually understood so far as to be
convinced that each was kindly disposed towards
the other. Had I been differently
circumstanced, it would have given me great
pleasure to have accepted the pressing invitations
of these ladies to pass some time
with them—the entire novelty of the scene
would have amused me. Novel I may well call Cc4r 207
call it, in more respects than one; we were
entertained with all the profusion that wealth
can command and generosity display. Though
religious prejudiesprejudices banished us from their
table, ours was loaded with every delicacy,— nt
all served on massive plate; among many
other articles of luxury which I had never
seen before, were numbers of solid silver
Peekdanees which served the purpose of
spitting boxes (excuse the term.) They stood
aeacheach end of the couches in the principal
room: some of them were nearly three
feet high, with broad bottoms; the middle
of the tube twisted and open at the top,
and a wide mouth, for the convenience of
such as had occasions to expectorate. These
are not what we should call delicate indulgences
in England; but in a country where
smoking tobacco and chewing betel are universally
practiced, they must be allowed
to be necessary ones.

You will judge what a change these
apartments were to me when contrasted,
not with our prison in the Fort of Calicut, for
our residence there was undoubtedly the acme of Cc4v 208
of wretchedness, but even with the house in
which I had so long lived, without any furniture
at all, save my unmattressed couch,
an told table and three broken chairs; and
where many a time the poor Portuguese
lad who served us, had entered at the hour
of dinner empty handed, exclaiming that the
dogs had carried off all that had been provided.
My own face I never saw during
the whole period, there not being so much
as the fragment of a looking-glass to be

The younger wife of Isaac attached
herself to me in a manner as I never
before experienced, and really appeared
as if she could not bear to part with me,
even when I went with my husband to see
the town of Cochin, which is truly a very
pretty romantic place; but what was far
more to my satisfaction, we luckily found
Mr. Moore there, who proposed sailing the
next day, and kindly offered us a passage on
the St. Helena, which you may be sure we
gratefully accepted. On our way back we
were accosted by a Captain Richardson, whose Dd1r 209
whose ship is under repair here, and will
be ready in about six weeks. He shook
hands with us as country folks, and directly
offered us both a passage to Bengal with
every accomodation in his house during
our stay here,—a most liberal proposal; was
it not? and which would have been very
fortunate for us, had we missed the St.
; in the present case his offer was
of course declined, but I shall ever recollect
the kindness which dictated it, and trust
opportunities will be afforded to evince my

On the 21st, at 5 A. M. Mr. F― left me
with my new friends, promising to return for me in
half an hour, to the great grief of the fair Jewess
who was become so fond of me—but alas!
I waited hour after hour, and no husband
returned. I was in the greatest anxiety and
consternation imaginable, dreading lest some
new disaster had overtaken us, and that our
ill starred jonrneyjourney was again stopped short
in its course—It is impossible for you to conceive
what I suffered during his absence Dd and Dd1v 210
and how my mind was harrassed by various
tormenting conjectures,—those only who have
so frequently experienced, can judge of my
feelings—At length about noon he made
his appearance, and very calmly began unpacking
the chest as if to replace the things
at his leisure―I asked of course what
had occurred and if Mr. Moore had changed
his intention? “why”, answered he, “Moore
and all the rest are gone on board, but
somehow I dont think he will sail to-day
for all that”
. This reply almost bereft me
of my senses, knowing the consequence
of being left behind would be a journey by
land to Madras, (for he would never have
had patience to wait till Captain Richardson’s
ship was ready) the expense of which
alone must amount to eight or nine hundred
rupees, not to mention the intolerable fatigue
of travelling in this Country. Aware that if I
did not exert myself all was lost, I took a
hasty leave of our kind friends, and we
immediately proceeded to Cochin with our
little baggage, and sent out for a boat,
but by this time the afternoon breeze had set Dd2r 211
set in and the sea ran so high, that none
would venture over the Bar; at last
agreed to provide a large boat and take us
off for sixteen rupees. When we came to the
water side, what should this mighty boat
prove, but a narrow Canoe with paddles,
scarcely big enough contain us and our
four rowers. I hesitated―the people ran
round me on all sides, intreating me not
to venture, and assuring us both by words
and gestures that the danger was imminent.
Captain Richardson who was among them
declared that, it would be next to a miracle
if we escaped: indeed every moment
evidently increased the risk; but Mr.
now seeing the error of his delay,
swore to run all hazards, rather than
stop any longer at Cochin: a common practice
with most people who have brought themselves
into difficulties by their imprudence
and who seek to regain by obstinacy, what
they have lost through folly. Pity such cannot
always suffer alone. Finding him positive
I commended myself to the protection of Dd2 the Dd2v 212
the Almighty and stepped in; all the spectators
seeming to look upon me as a self devoted
victim: yet how was it possible to
avoid going ! had I refused Mr. F―
would constantly have upbraided me with
whatever ill consequence might have resulted
from the delay, and who could wish for life
on such terms! “No” thought I at the
moment, “rather let me brave death in the
line of my duty, rather than have my future days
embittered by reproach, however unmerited.”

As we proceeded the waves gradually rose
higher, and began to break over us;
one man was continually employed in
bailing out the water, though his only
utensil was a bamboo, which hardly held
a quart. Never shall I forget what I
felt on looking round in this situation;
every wave rising many feet higher than the
boat, and threatening to overwhelm us with
instant destruction. I sat at first with my
face to the stern, but afterwards moved to
the front, and when I saw a wave coming,
bowed my head to meet it. We were a
mile from the shore, and at least two from
the ship; was not this sufficient to appal the Dd3r 213
the stoutest heart! yet I can truly say that
my mind was perfectly composed, conscious of
the rectitude of my intentions,—I could look
up boldly to Heaven for protection. Mr.
will tell you how frequentyfrequently I
begged him not to entertain the least doubt
of our safety. “We have never” said I
“been conducted thus far by the hand of
Providence to perish; remember my dead
parents; is not their happiness involved
in our safety? depend upon it we shall
be preserved to become the humble instruments
of rendering their declining years

While I was speaking a tremendous wave
broke over us, and half filled the boat with
water, on which, thinking it would be presumptuous
to proceed, we ordered the men
to make for the nearest land, but this the
wind would not permit, so we were obliged
to keep on, and had reached within a mile
of the ship, when she began to spread her
sails, and in a few minutes got under weigh
with a fair wind.—Our people now wanted to Dd3v 214
to quit the pursuit, as she gained ground
considerably, but we kept them in good humour
by promising more money, and putting
a white handkerchief on a stick, waved it in
the air. After some time we had the pleasure
to see her tack about and lye to, so
in another half hour we came up with her,
having been three hours in the condition
I have described,—wet through and nearly
frightened to death, being every moment in
the most imminent danger. To describe my
joy is impossible or my impatience to quit
the boat; without waiting for the chair to
to be lowered I scrambled on board, and had
I not been relieved by a violent burst of tears,
must have fainted.

Every one in the vessel blamed Mr. F―
exceedingly for running such a risk by his
delay as the other passsengerspassengers who went on
board in the morning, did not experience
the slightest inconvenience. Mr. Moore luckily
came in the provision boat, which was
six hours in getting on board. This circumstance
was the means of saving our

When Dd4r 215

When we reached Ceylon the wind became
contrary, which together with a strong
current, kept us upwards of three weeks
beating off the Island, before we could weather
Point de Galle. This will account to
you for my letter being scarcely legible.—
I am at this moment writing on my knees
in bed, and if I had not been contented
with this method all the way, I could not
have written at all. My father well knows,
a vessel has not a very agreeable motion,
when beating up in the winds eye.

At length thank Heaven! we are at anchor
in Madras Roads, having been six weeks
making a passage that with a fair wind we
could almost have performed in as many
days. Happily for me our society has been
very different from the last I was condemned
to mix with on shipboard;―of those
Mr. Moore, and Mr. O’Donnell are of the
the most importance to us, our acquaintance
with them commenced in Egypt, and as they
were indeed (though innocently) the cause of
all we suffered there, a very agreeable fellow
feeling has naturally taken place between us Dd4v 216
us. The later is now obliged to return to
India to begin life again, (his losses on the
Desert having been followed by many unavoidable
expenses, as you will learn from
my narrative) and seek a competence under
all the disavantages that an injured constitution
added to a keep sense of disappointment
and injustice, subject him to.―You may
be sure we have had many conversations
concerning the sad story of the Desert, and
and the last moments of those who perished
there.―A boat is just come to take on
shore, so adieu for the present. The Roads
are very full, there are eight ships of the
lines and above sixty other vessels, which form
a magnificent spectacle.

I was exceedingly alarmed yesterday by the
surf. We got safe over it, but another boat
upset just afterwards; however, fortunately
no lives were lost.―Sir Thomas Rumhold
is hourly expected to embark, which
is all that detains the fleet; so that perhaps
I may not be able to write ten lines

9 Ee1r 217

6 P.M. As far as I can judge I feel
pleased with Madras, and gratified by the
reception I have hitherto met with. I shall
of course write to you again from hence,
being likely to remain here a week or two;
at present I must close my letter; but as
a matter of curiosity shall just mention the
astonishingastonishing celerity of the Indian tailors.—
YestertdayYesterday evening Mr. Fay, not being
overstocked with clothes to appear in, ordered
a complete suit of black silk, with
waistcoat sleeves, which they brought home
before nine this morning, very neatly made
though the whole must have been done by

I cannot conclude without saying, that
although I feel rather weak, my health is
improving, and that the pain I suffer from
the accident which befel me at the Factory,
is not so violent as formerly―God grant I
may soon be relieved from apprehensions
on that score.

The Governor is gone on board.—Captain
of the Ganges under whose especialEe cial Ee1v 218
charge this packet (containing the whole
of my narrative from Mocha) will be placed,
as I had no safe opportunity of forwarding
any letter from Calicut or Cochin, as
sent for it. The perusal will cost you
many tears but recollect that all is over,
and my future communications will I trust,
be of a very different complexion. May
this reach you safely and meet you all well
and comfortable. Adieu—God Almighty preserve
you prays your own,


Letter XIV. Ee2r 219

Letter XIV.

My Dear Friends,

Agreeably to my promise I take up the
pen to give you some account of this settlement,
which has proved to me a pleasant
resting-place after the many hardships
and distresses it has lately been my lot to encounter;
and where in the kind attentions
and agreeable society of some of my own
sex, I have found myself soothed and consoled
of the long want of that comfort; while
my health has in general reaped great advantages
from the same source

There is something uncommonly striking
and grand in this town, and its whole appearance
charms you from novelty, as well
as beauty. Many of the houses and public
buildings are very extensive and elegant—
they are covered with a sort of shell-lime which Ee2 takes Ee2v 220
takes a polish like marble, and produces a
a wonderful effect.—I conldcould have fancied
myself transported into Italy so magnificently
are they decorated, yet with the utmost
taste. People here say that the chunam
as it is called, loses its properties when transported
to Bengal, where the dampness of the atmosphere,
prevents it from receiving that exquisite
polish so much admired by all who visit
Madras. This may very likely be the case.

The free exercise of all religions being allowed;
the different sects seem to vie with
each other in ornamenting their places of
worship, which are in general well built,
and from their great variety, and novel forms afford
much gratification, particularly when
viewed from the country, as the beautiful
groups of trees intermingle their tall forms
and majestic foliage, with the white chunam
and rising spires, communicating such
harmony softness and elegance to the scene,
as to be altogether delightful; and rather
resembling the images that float on the imagination
after reading fairy tales, or the
Arabian nights entertainment, than any thing in Ee3r 221
in real life:―in fact Madras is what I
conceived Grand Cairo to be, before I was
so unlucky as to be undeceived. This idea
is still further heightened by the intermixture
of inhabitants; by seeing Asiatic splendour,
combined with European taste exhibited
around you on every side, under the
forms of flowing drapery-stately palanquins,
elegant carriages, innumerable servants, and
all the pomp and circumstance of luxurious
ease, and unbounded wealth. It is true
this glittering surface is here, and there
tinged with the sombre hue that more or
less colours every condition in life;—you
behold Europeans, languishing under various
complaints which they call incidental to
the climate, an assertion it would ill become
a stranger like myself to controvert, but respecting
which I am a little sceptical;
because I see very plainly that the same
mode of living, would produce the same effects,
even “in the hardy regions of the
You may likewise perceive that human
nature has its faults and follies every
where, and that black rogues are to the full
as common as white ones, but in my opinionon Ee3v 222
more impudent. On your arrival you are
pestered with Dubashees, and servants of all kinds
who crouch to you as if they were already
your slaves, but who will cheat you in
every possible awayway; though in fact there
is no living without one of the former to
manage your affairs as a kind of steward,
and you may deem yourself very fortunate
if you procure one in this land of pillagers,
who will let no one cheat you but himself.
I wish these people would not vex one by
their tricks; for there is something in the
mild countenances and gentle manners of the
Hindoos that interests me exceedingly.

We are at present with Mr. & Mrs. Popham
from whom we have received every possible
civility. He is a brother lawyer, and a
countryman of my husbands, and she is a
lively woman, her spirits have in some measure
restored mine to the standard from
which those amiable gentlemen, the Beys of
Egypt, and Sudder Khan with his coadjutors
Ayres and my worthy ship mates, had so cruelly
chased them.

We Ee4r 223

We have made several excursions in the
neighbourhood of Madras which is every
where delightful, the whole vicinity being
ornamented with gentlemen’s houses built in
a shewy style of architecture, and covered
with that beautiful chunam. As they are almost
surrounded by trees, when you see one
of these superb dwellings incompassed by a
grove, a distant view of Madras with the
sea and shipping, so disposed as to form a perfect
landscape, it is beyond comparison the
most charming picture I ever beheld or could
have imagined. Wonder not at my enthusiasm;
so long shut up from every pleasing
object, it is natural that my feelings should be
powerfully excited when such are presented
to me.

Nothing is more terrible at Madras than
the surf which as I hinted before, is not
only alarming but dangerous. They have
here two kinds of boats to guard against
this great evil, but yet, notwithstanding
every care, many lives are lost. One of
these conveyances called the Massulah boat,
is large, but remarkably light, and the planks of Ee4v 224
of which it is constructed are actually sewed
together by the fibres of the Cocoa-nut
It is well calculated to stem the violence of the
surf but for greater safety it requires to be attended
by the other, called a Catamaran,
which is merely composed of bamboos fastened
together andand paddled by one man. Two
of three of these attend the Massulah boat,
and in case of its being overset usually pick
up the drowning passengers. The dexterity
with which they manage these things is inconceivable;
—but no dexterity can entirely
ward off the danger. The beach is remarkably

The ladies here are very fashionable I
assure you: I found several novelties in
dress since I quitted England, which a good
deal surprised me, as I had no idea that
fashions travelled so fast. It is customary to
take the air in carriages every evening in
the environsenvirons of Madras: for excursions in the
country these are commonly used; but
in town they have Palanquins carried by
four bearers which I prefer. They are
often beautifully ornamented, and appear in
character with the country, and with the
languid air of those who use them, which, though Ff1r 225
though very different from any thing I have
been accustomed to admire in a woman as
you well know, yet is not unpleasing in
a country the charms of which are heightened
by exhibiting a view of society entirely
new to me.

Mr. Popham is one of the most eccentric
beings I ever met with.—Poor man he is a
perpetual projector, a race whose exertions
have frequently benefitted society, but seldom
I believe been productive of much advantage
to themselves to their families. He is at
present laying plants for building what is
called the black town, to a great extent, and
confidently expects to realize an immense fortune,
but others foresee such difficulties in
the way, that they fear he may be ruined
by the undertaking. The pleasure he takes
in his visionary scheme should not be omitted
in the account as of some value, for it really
seems to be an uncommon source of enjoyment.

The Black town is that part of Madras,
which was formerly inhabited wholly by the
natives, but of late many Europeans have Ff taken Ff1v 226
taken houses there, rents being considerably
lower than in Fort St. George, which is
a very strong Garrison, built by the English,
and where since have been constructed
many fine houses, &c.—―this is considered
of course a more fashionable place to reside
in. Between the Black town and the Fort,
lies Choultry Plain which being covered entirely
with a whitish sand, reflects such
dazzling light, and intolerable heat, as to
render it a terrible annoyance especially to
strangers. Mr. Fay has been exceedingly
pressed to take up his abode here, and really
many substantial inducements have been
held out to him; but as his views have been
all directly to Calcutta, where knowledge and
talents are most likely to meet encouragement
he cannot be persuaded to remain. Besides,
a capital objection is, that no Supreme Court
being as of yet established he could be only admitted
to practise as an attorney, no advocates
being allowed in the Mayors Court:
so that his rank as a Barrister would avail
nothing here: I most cordially acquiese in
this determination. But I must suspend my
scribbling; Mr. P― is waiting to take
me to St. Thomas’s Mount.

17th Ff2r 227

I resume my pen, resolved to devote this
day to my dear friends, as it is likely to be
the last I shall spend in Madras. I found
St. Thomas’ Mount a very beautiful place,
it is a high hill of a conical form, crowned
at the top with white houses, and a Church
built by the Portuguese in memory of some
St. Thomas, who they say, was murdered
on this spot by a Brahmin.—The road to
this place is delightful, being a complete
avenue of the finest trees I ever saw, whose
intermingling branches are absolutely impervious
to the sun. Not far from hence I was
shewn a prodigiously fine Banian tree, the
singular nature of which is, that its branches
bend down to the ground, take root and
thence spring out anew; thus forming innumerable
arches. I call it a vegetable
Cathedral, and could not help fancying
that Banian groves were formerly appropriated
to idolatrous worship, since they are
admirably calculated for the celebration
of any mysterious and solemn rites from
which the uninitiated are excluded; and may Ff2 be Ff2v 228
be properly called “Temples not made with
On the whole I felt highly gratified
by my little excursion, which was, I
believe, not more than seven miles from

I must now assure you that I have actually
seen several of those things with my
own eyes, which we girls used to think poor
Captain S—took traveller’s liberty in relating,
such as dancing snakes, Jugglers swallowing
swords &c. The snakes were to me
somewhat alarming, that other a very disgusting
spectacle; when they are become
familiar I may be amused with the one,
since the various forms, the prismatic colours,
and graceful motions of the snakes
may give pleasure which the other exhibitions
never can. When you have a man
thrust a sword down his throat and are fully
convinced that there is no deception, you
feel that you have beheld a wonder, and
there the gratification ends, for the sight
is unnatural and disgusting. With some
other tricks of the Juggler, I was however
much pleased; his power of balancing was
astonishing, and he had a method of throwinging Ff3r 229
four brass balls up and catching them
with such amazing rapidity, that they perpetually
encircled his head, forming a kind of
hat around it; he likewise threaded small
beads with his tongue, and performed a number
of very curious slights of hand. Dancing
girls are a constant source of amusement
here, but I was much disappointed in them,
they wrap such a quantity of muslin round
them by way of petticoat, that they almost
appear to have hoops;—and their motions
are so slow, formal, and little varied, that
you see the whole dance as it were at once:
they are very inferior to those of the same
profession at Grand Cairo though I never
saw any there but in the streets, however
their dancing is certainly less indecent, at
least as I could witness it.

There seems to be a strange inconsistency
in the character of the natives; they appear
the most pusillanimous creatures in existence,
except those employed on the water, whose
activity and exertions are inconceivable.
They will encounter every danger for the
sake of reward, with all the eagerness of
avarice, and all the heroism of courage; so
that if you have occasion to send off a note to Ff3v 230
to a ship, no matter how high the surf may
run, you will always find some one ready
to convey it for you, and generally without
being damaged, as their turbans are curiously
forded with waxed cloth for that purpose;
so off they skip to their Catamarans,—for
the prospect of gain renders them as brisk
as the most lively Europeans.

The Hindoos have generally their heads
shaved but they preserve a single lock
and a pair of small whiskers with the greatest
care. Their manner of writing is curious;
they write with iron needles, on palm-leaves
which are afterwards strung together and form
books. Boys are taught to write on the
sand; a very good plan as it saves materials
and a number can be instructed at the same
time. For teaching arithmetic, great numbers
of pebbles are used; so that every part
of the apparatus is cheap.

The natives of India are immoderately fond
of an intoxicating liquor called Toddy which
is the unfermented juice of the Cocoa-nut
or Palmyra tree
;—sugar and water is also a
favourite beverage. Butter is very scarce and
not good; what they call Ghee is butter boiled Ff4r 231
boiled or clarified, in order to preserve it,
and is very useful for many purposes, such
as frying
&c. On the whole one may
live very well at Madras,——to me it appears
a land of luxury as you may suppose,
when you recollect, how I had been accustomed
to fare. We may think ourselves very
well off in escaping from the paws of that
fell tyger Hyder Ally as we did, for I am
assured that the threat of sending us up the
country to be fed on dry rice, was not
likely to be a vain one; it is thought that
several of our countrymen are at this very
time suffering in that way: if so, I heartily
wish that the War he has provoked,
may go forward ’till those unhappy beings
are released and the usurping tyrant is effectually

Mr. O’Donnell has just called and desired
me to prepare for an early summons
to morrow. I have ever found him friendly
and attentive and must always deem myself
highly obliged to him, and he certainly had
but too much occasion to feel hurt by the
behaviour of Mr. Fay, whose temper, you
know, is not the most placid in the world. He Ff4v 232
He quarreled with both him and Mr. Moore
during the passage about the merest trifles
(wherein too he was palpably in the wrong)
and challenged them both: Judge what I must
have suffered during these alterations, vainly
endeavouring to conciliate, and in agonies
lest things should proceed to extremities.
—On our arrival here, I prevailed on
Mr. Popham to act as a mediator between
the parties; who at length, though with
great difficulty, convinced Mr. F―
that he had been to blame, and induced
him to make a proper apology to both gentlemen:
thus ended the affair but I have
reason to think, that had not I been
with him, he would not have been invited
to proceed farther on the ship; nor am I
free from apprehension at present, yet Mr.
has proved himself so true
a friend and has so materially served my husband,
that I trust our short trip from hence
to Calcutta, will prove a pleasant one. I
understand that several additional passengers
are to join us, which may operate as a
check on “fiery spirits.”

18th Gg1r 233

Mr. & Mrs. P― have completed
their hospitable kindness by insisting that we
should partake of an early dinner (at one
o’clock) after which we immediately proceed
on board; and heartily rejoiced shall I be,
when once over the terrific surf. I leave
Madras with some regret having met with
much civility and even sympathy here. I
must now bid you adieu; in my next I hope
to announce that my long pilgrimage is
ended. I likewise shall expect to find letters
from you, waiting my arrival at Calcutta.
My anxiety at times arises to impatience, lest
any evil should have befallen you, during
the long period in which all communication
has been suspended between us: my heart
however yet retains its power of conversing
with you. Whenever I see any thing new
or entertaining I directly imagine how you
would have looked, and what you would have
said on the occasions; and thus cheat myself
into a pleasing dream of social intercourse
with those most dear to me.

Gg Our Gg1v 234

Our stay at Madras has been the means of
procuring us some respectable recommendations
to persons in Calcutta; for we have made several
desirable connections here. Hope again
smiles on us and I endeavour to cherish her
suggestions; for it is as much my duty as my interest
to keep up my spirits, since in my present
state of health, without them, I must
wholly sink; and now more than ever I
feel the necessity of using exertion.

The hot winds prevail here at present, which
renders the weather peculiarly oppressive, but
a few hours will change the scene. Adieu:
remember me in your prayers, my beloved
parents, my dear sisters, and rest assured of
the unalterable affection of your own


Letter XV. Gg2r 235

Letter XV.

My Dear Friends,

I may now indeed call for your congratulations
since after an eventful period of
twelve months and eighteen days, I have
at length reached the place for which I
have so long sighed, to which I have looked
with innumerable hopes and fears, and
where I have long rested my most rational
expectations of future prosperity and comfort.
I must now in order to keep up the connection
of my story return to Madras, and from
thence conduct you here regularly.

Mr. F― and Mr. P― both assured
me that a massulah boat was engaged, but
on arrived at the beach none could be
had; so there being no remedy, I went off
in a common cargo boat which had no accommodations
whatever for passengers, and Gg2 where Gg2v 236
where my only seat was one of the cross
beams. How I saved myself from falling
Heaven knows, Mr. F―— was under
the necessity of exerting his whole strength
to keep up, so he suffered a little for
his negligence. It was what is called a
black surf and deemed very dangerous; there
were some moments when I really thought
we were nearly gone: for how could I in
my weak state have buffetted the waves had
the boat overset? When once on board our
voyage passed comfortably enough; our society
was pleasant; indeed Mr. O’Donnell is
ever a host to us in kindness; Mr. M―
our supercargoo was however more strict in
his enforcement of rules than was agreeable
to most of us; we were kept more orderly
than so many children at school; for if
we were in the midst of a rubber at whist,
he would make us give over at nine precisely,
and we were obliged to keep our
score ’till the following evening. But this
was of little moment, for as we advanced
towards the place of our destination, we were
too much interested to think of any thing else. Gg3r 237
else. We had a distant view of the pagoda’s
of Jaggernauth,—three large pyramidical
buildings very famous temples among
the Hindoos, who there worship the images
of Jaggernauth and keep a splendid establishment
of the Priesthood attendant on the Idols
in the manner of the ancient heathens. I
am credibly assured that at stated intervals
the principal figure is taken out in an enormous
car, with a great number of wheels
beneath which his votaries prostate themselves
with the most undaunted resolution; firm
ly persuaded that by thus sacrificing their
lives, they shall pass immediately after death
into a state of everlasting felicity. Well
may we say that, “life and immortality
were brought to light by the Gospel”

since in regions where its sacred influence
is unknown or unattended too, we see such
gross acts of folly and superstition as these,
sanctioned by authority: may it please the
Almighty disposer of events to hasten the
period of their emancipation, that all mankind
may hail each other as brothers, and
we may be brought together as “one fold,
under one shepherd.”

Calcutta Gg3v 238

Calcutta, you know is on the Hoogly, a
branch of the Ganges, and as you enter Garden-reach
which extends about nine miles
below the town, the most interesting views
that can possibly be imagined greet the eye.
The banks of the river are as one may say
absolutely studded with elegant mansions, called
here as at Madras, garden-houses. These
houses are surrounded by groves and lawns,
which descend to the waters edge, and present
a constant succession of whatever can
delight the eye, or bespeak wealth and elegance
in the owners. The noble appearance of
the river also, which is much wider than
the Thames at London bridge, together
with the amazing variety of vessels continually
passing on its surface, add to the beauty
of the scene. Some of these are so
whimsically constructed as to charm by their
novelty. I was much pleased with the snake
boat in particular. Budgerows somewhat
resembling our city barges, are very common,
—many of these are spacious enough
to accommodate a large family. Besides
these the different kinds of pleasure boats intermixedtermixed Gg4r 239
with mercantile vessels, and ships
of war, render the whole a magnificent and
beautiful moving picture; at once exhilirating
the heart, and charming the senses: for
every object of sight is viewed through a
medium that heightens its attraction in this
brilliant climate.

The town of Calcutta reaches along the
eastern bank of the Hoogly; as you come
up past Fort William and the Esplanade it
has a beautiful appearance. Esplanade-row,
as it is called, which fronts the Fort, seems
to be composed of palaces; the whole range,
except what is taken up by the Government
and Council houses, is occupied by the principal
gentlemen in the settlement—no person
being allowed to reside in Fort William, but
such as are attached to the army, gives it
greatly the advantage over Fort St. George,
which is so incumbered with buildings of one
kind or other, that it has more the look of
a town than of a military Garrison. Our
Fort is also so well kept and every thing in
such excellent order, that it is quite a curiosity
to see it—all the slopes, banks, and ramparts Gg4v 240
ramparts, are covered with the richest verdure,
which completes the enchantment of the
scene. Indeed the general aspect of the
country is astonishing; notwithstanding the
extreme heat (the thermometer seldom standing
below ninety in the afternoon) I never
saw a more vivid green that adorns the surrounding
fields—not that parched miserable
look which our lands have during the summer
heats;—large fissures opening in the
earth, as if all vegetation were suspended;
in fact the copious dews which fall at night,
restore moisture to the ground, and cause
a short thick grass to spring up, which
makes the finest food imaginable for the
cattle. Bengal mutton, always good, is at
this period excellent—I must not forget to
tell you that here is a very good race
ground at a short distance from Calcutta,
which is a place of fashionable resort,
for morning and evening airings.

Through Mr. O’D’s kindness we were introduced
to a very respectable Portuguese family
who received us with the greatest civility,
inviting us to take up our abode with them until
we could provide ourselves with a house—Mr. Da Hh1r 241
Da C―—
was a widower, but his late wife’s
sisters, who resided with him, were born
at Chandernagore, (a French settlement between
twenty and thirty miles higher
up the river;) but from long disuse they
had lost the habit of speaking their native
language, though they understood it perfectly;
so I was forced to make out their
Portuguese in the best manner I could,
constantly answering in French. In this
way we frequently conversed, and I gained
much information respecting the customs of
the place the—price of provisions, and many
other useful matters.

Fortunately, throughout all our other difficulties
we had preserved our letters of introduction,
by keeping them always concealed about
us, together with Mr. F―’s admission to
the Bar and other credentials, which were
essentially necessary to his establishment here:
so that my husband became immediately
known to Sir R. C― who behaved to
him with the utmost attention; and whose Hh lady Hh1v 242
lady after hearing a little of my melancholy
story, and finding I was too much indisposed
to admit of my paying my respects to
her, had the goodness to wave all ceremony,
and accompanied by her husband,
to visit me at the house of the Portuguese
merchant, which was a condescension that
I certainly had no right to expect. She is the
the most beautiful woman I ever beheld,—in
the bloom of youth; and there is an agreeable
frankness in her manners, that enhances
her loveliness, and renders her
truly fascinating. Her kindness towards me
daily increases; and she seems never weary
of listening to my sad story. “She loves
me for the dangers I have passed, and I
love her that she does pity them.”

I have delivered my letter of introduction
to Mrs. H—on whom I should
have waited long ago, had the state of my
health admitted of the exertion. She resides
at Belvidere-house about, I believe,
five miles from Calcutta, which is a great distance Hh2r 243
distance at this season and for an invalid.
The lady was fortunately at home and had
three of her most intimate friends with her
on a visit, one of them, Mrs. Motte,
a most charming woman. Mrs. H—―
herself, it is easy to perceive at the first
glance, is far superior to the generality of
her sex; though her appearance is rather
eccentric, owing to the circumstance of her
beautiful auburn hair being disposed in
ringlets, throwing an air of elegant, nay
almost infantine simplicity over the countenance,
most admirably adapted to heighten
the effect intended to be produced. Her
whole dress too, though studiously becoming
being at variance which our present modes
which are certainly not so, perhaps for that
reason, she had chosen to depart from them—
as a foreigner you know, she may be excused
for not strictly conforming to our fashions;
besides her rank in the settlement sets
her above the necessity of studying any thing
but the whims of the moment. It is easy
to perceive how fully sensible she is of her Hh2 own Hh2v 244
own consequence. She is indeed raised to
a “giddy height” and expects to be treated
with the most profound respect and deference.
She received me civilly and insisted
on my staying dinner, which I had no
inclination to refuse, but seemed not to evince
much sympathy when I slightly touched on
the misfortunes which had befallen me; nay
she even hinted that I had brought them
on myself, by imprudently venturing on such
an expedition out of mere curiosity. Alas!
Mrs. H—― could not know what you
are well acquainted with, that I undertook
the journey with a view of preserving my
husband from destruction, for had I not accompanied
him, and in many instances restrained
his extravagance and dissipated habits,
he would never, never, I am convinced,
have reached Bengal, but have
fallen a wretched sacrifice to them on
the way, or perhaps through the violence
of his temper been involved in some dispute
which he was too ready to provoke but to
return―I could not help feeling vexed at
Mrs. H―’s observation, to say the best of Hh3r 245
of it, it was unfeeling;—but I excuse her.
Those basking in the lap of prosperity can
little appreciate the sufferings or make
allowance for the errors of the unfortunate;
whom they regard as almost beings of another

You will expect me to say something
of the house, which is a perfect bijou;
most superbly fitted up with all that unbounded
affluence can display; but still
deficient in that simple elegance which the
wealthy so seldom attain, from the circumstance
of not being obliged to search for
effect without much cost, which those but
moderately rich, find to be indispensable. The
grounds are said to be very tastefully laid out, but
how far this report is accurate I had no opportunity
of judging; the windows being
all as it were hermetically closed; sashes
blinds, and every opening, except where
tatties were placed to exclude the hot wind.
this surprized me very much: but I understand
no method is so effectual for that
purpose. I was not permitted to take my
departure till the evening, when the fair
lady of the mansion, dismissed me with manyny Hh3v 246
general professions of kindness, of which
I knew how to estimate the value.

Next morning we received an invitation to
the ball given annually on the King’s birthday.
This however I was under the necessity
of declining on the pleas of ill health
and Mr. F― could hardly ever be
persuaded to attend such formal assemblies.

When my husband waited on Sir E. J.
the Chief Justice, to shew his credentials, he
wet with a most flattering reception. It so
happened that he was called to the Bar from
Lincoln’s Inn himself, and seemed quite at
home while perusing the papers, being acquainted
with the hand-writing of the officers
who prepared them; and perhaps that circumstance
might render him more partial.
On Mr. F—―s expressing some apprehensions
lest his having come out with—
out leave of the E. I. Company might
throw obstacles in the way of his admission
to the Bar here, Sir E―
indignantly exclaimed “No Sir, had you
dropped from the clouds with such documents,
we would admit you. The Supremepreme Hh4r 247
is independent and will never
endure to be dictated to, by any body of men
whose claims are not enforced by superior
authority. It is nothing to us whether
you had or had not permission from the
Court of Directors, to proceed to this
settlement; you come to us as an authenticated
English Barrister, and as such,
we shall on the first day of the next Term,
admit you to our Bar.”
Sir E—
also offered to introduce him to Mr. Hyde
which Mr. F― thankfully accepted.
Do you not admire the high tone in which
Sir E. delivers his sentiments? There exists,
it seems, a strong jealousy between the Government
and the Supreme Court, lest
either should encroach on the prerogatives
of the other. The latter not long since
commited Mr. Naylor the Company’s Attorney
for some breach of privilege, who being in
a weak state of health at the time, died in
confinement,—this has increased the difference.
I merely mention this en passant, for it
regards not us, let them quarrel, or agree;
so the business of the Court be not impeded
we cannot suffer. Mr. F― is already Hh4v 248
already retained in several causes. His whole
mind will now, I trust, be occupied with
his profession, and as his abilities have never
been questioned, I flatter myself that he has
every reason to look forward to ultimate

Hyder Ally has at length thrown off the
mask, and commenced hostilities in good earnest.
How providencial was our liberation at
that critical juncture! and my gratitude to
Heaven was lately called forth in another instance
—I recently conversed with a gentleman
who crossed the Great Desert by way of Aleppo.
—He assures me that besides the danger
from the Arabs, there is so much more from
other causes than in going over that to
Suez, that he is quite confident, I never
could have survived, the journey; “or”
he added “any European woman”—therefore
on the whole we seem to have experienced
the lesser evil, though the alternative of
falling into the hands of the enemy was horrible!
I am concerned to say that dreadful
reports are in circulation respesectingrespecting the Jj1r 249
the excesses committed by Hyder’s troops in
the Carnatic, but the particulars are to shocking
to be repeated.

You have no idea how busy I am. Lady
has been kind enough to lend me
some of her dresses, for mine to be made by
—I have commenced house-keeping, and am
arranging my establishment, which is no
little trouble in a country where the servants
will not do a single thing, but that for
which you expressly engage them nor even
that willingly. I just now asked a man
to place a small table near me; he began
to bawl as loud as he could for the bearers
to come and help him “Why dont
you do it yourself”
said I? rising as
I spoke to assist. “Oh I no English. I
Bengal man; I no estrong like English;
one, two, three Bengal men cannot
do like one Englishman.”
remember you must write me long letters,
you see even the heat has not reduced
mine to a single sheet. I trust that I shall
never be found incapable of addressing you. Jj Mr. Jj1v 250
Mr. F― unites with me in kind remembrances.

I am ever affectionately your’s

&c. &c.

Letter XVI Jj2r 251

Letter XVI.

My Dear Friends,

Ten thousand thanks for the precious
packet of letters I yesterday received: you can
form no idea of the eagerness with which
I flew from my dressing room; and
Mr. F― from his study at the
joyful sound of letters from England. But
my very eagerness wrought for a while its
own disappointment; for when I laid my
hands on the prize, I fell into a kind of
hysteric, and it was some time before I
could break the seals, and yet would not
suffer Mr. F― to deprive me of the
gratification for which I had so long panted
—over such treasures who would not be
a miser—I would not permit a single scrap
to escape me till I had devoured the whole.
Those only know what that impatient hunger
of the heart is after information, and the Jj2 intercourse Jj2v 252
intercourse of affection, who have been
debarred as long as I had been from objects
so dear.

I rejoice to find that the Chevalier
de St. Lubin
performed his promise and
that you now are in possession of every
event that occurred to us till our arrival
at Mocha. To know that we had passed
the desert, that object of my dear mother’s
dread and apprehension, must have set her
mind comparatively at ease; Alas! little did
she suppose, how far more horrible were
the miseries that we had still to undergo!
thank Heaven, they are past.—I will quit the
subject which agitates me too much.

I am happy to say that our house is a very
comfortable one, but we are surrounded
by a set of thieves. In England, if servants
are dishonest we punish them, or
turn them away in disgrace, and their fate
proves, it may be hoped, a warning to
others; but these wretches have no sense of
shame. I will give you an instance or
two of their conduct, that you may perceive
how enviably I am situated. My Khansaman
(or house steward) brought in a charge of Jj3r 253
of a gallon of milk and thirteen eggs, for
making scarcely a pint and half of custard;
this was so barefaced a cheat, that I refused
to allow it, on which he gave me warning.
I sent for another, and, and after I had
hired him, “now” said I, “take notice
friend, I have enquired into the market
price of every article that enters my house
and will submit to no imposition; you must
therefore agree to deliver in a just account
to me every morning”
—what reply do you
think he made? why he demanded double
wages; you may, be sure I dismissed him,
and have since forgiven the first but not
till he had salaamed to my foot, that is
placed his right hand under my foot
is the most abject token of submission (alas!
how much better should I like a little common
honesty.) I know him to be a rogue,
and so are they all, but as he understands
me now, he will perhaps be induced to use
rather more moderation in his attempts to
defraud.—At first he used to charge me with
twelve ounces of butter a day, for each
person; now he grants that the consumption
is only four ounces. As if these people were Jj3v 254
were aware that I am writing about them,
they have very obligingly furnished me with
another anecdote. It seems my comprodore
(or market man) is gone away; he says
poor servants have no profit by staying
with me; at other gentlemen’s houses he
always made a rupee a day at least! besides
his wages; but here if he only charges an
anna or two more, it is sure to be taken
off—So you see what a terrible creature I
am. I dare say you never gave me credit
for being so close.—I find I was imposed on,
in taking a comprodore at all; the Khansaman
ought to do that business. Judge whether
I have not sufficient employment among
there harpies? feeling as I do the necessity
of a reasonable economy. It is astonishing,
and would be amusing if one did not suffer by
it, to see the various arts they will practice
to keep a few annas in their hands,—for
though the lawful interest of money is but
twelve per Cent (enough you will say), yet
twenty four is given by the shop-keepers,
who will lend or borrow the smallest sums
for a single day, and ascertain the precise
interest to the greatest exactitude, having the Jj4r 255
the advantage cowrees, 5120 of which go
to make one rupee. The foolish custom
which subsists here of keeping Banians, gives
rise to a thousand deceptions, as no one
pays or receives money but through the medium
of these people who have their profit on
every thing that comes into the house.

In order to give you an idea of my houshold
expenses and the price of living here,
I must inform you that, our house costs only
200 rupees per month, because it is not in
a part of the town much esteemed; otherwise
we must pay 3 or 400 rupees; we
are now seeking for a better situation. We
were frequently told in England you know,
that the heat in Bengal destroyed the appetite,
I must own that I never yet saw any
proof of that; on the contrary I cannot
help thinking that I never saw an equal
quantity of victuals consumed. We dine too
at two o’clock, in the very heat of the day.
At this moment Mr. F― is looking
out with a hawk’s eye, for his dinner; and
though still much of an invalid, I have no
doubt of being able to pick a bit myself. I Jj4v 256
I will give you our bill of fare, and the general
prices of things. A soup, a roast fowl,
curry and rice, a mutton pie, a fore quarter
of lamb, a rice pudding, tarts, very good
cheese, fresh churned butter, fine bread, excellent
Madeira (that is expensive but eatables
are very cheap,)—a whole sheep costs but
two rupees; a lamb one rupee, six good
fowls or ducks ditto—twelve pigeons ditto—twelve
pounds of bread ditto—two pounds butter ditto;
and a joint of veal ditto—good cheese two
months ago sold at the enormous price of
three or four rupees per pound, but now
you may buy it for one and a half—English
claret sells at this time for sixty rupees a
dozen. There’s a price for you! I need
not say that much of it will not be seen at
our table; now and then we are forced to
produce it, but very seldom. I assure you
much caution is requisite to avoid running
deeply in debt—the facility of obtaining credit
is beyond what I could have imagined;
the Europe shop keepers are always ready
to send in goods; and the Banians are so
anxious to get into employment, that they
out bid each other. One says “master
better take me, I will advance five thousandsand Kk1r 257
—another offers seven, and
perhaps a third ten thousand: a Company’s
servant particularly will always find numbers
ready to support his extravagance. It is
not uncommon to see writers within a few
months after their arrivals dashing away on
the course four in hand: allowing for the
inconsiderateness of youth, is it surprising
if many become deeply embarrassed?―Several
have been pointed out to me, who in
the course of two or three years, have involved
themselves almost beyond hope of redemption.
The Interest of money here being
twelve per Cent and the Banian taking care
to secure bonds for whatever he advances,
making up the account yearly and adding
the sum due for interest, his thoughtless
“master”, (as he calls him, but in fact his
slave) soon finds his debt doubled, and dares
not complain unless he has the means of
release which alas! are denied him.

I should have told you before that Mr.
was admitted an advocate in the
Supreme Court, on the 1780-06-1616th June,—has Kk been Kk1v 258
been engaged in several causes, wherein
he acquitted himself to general satisfaction
and is at present as busy as can be desired.
Every one seems willing to encourage him
and if he continue but his own friend, all
will, I feel persuaded, go well with us,
and we shall collect our share of gold mohurs,
as well as our neighbours.—I like to see
the briefs come in well enough. The fees are
much higher here than in England, so you
will say “they ought” and I perfectly agree
with you.

Sir R. C― met with an accident
some weeks ago (by jumping out of a carriage
when the horses were restive) which
confined him to his house a long while but
he is now recovering; I was a good deal
vexed both on his own account poor man,
and because Mr. F― was deprived of
his friendly aid. I have seen little of my
kind patroness since, for she goes scarce any
where without her husband—we were to dine
with them the very day the circumstance
happened. They are gone up the countrycountry
and will not return for some months.

19th Kk2r 259

I have received another packet and rejoice
to hear you are all going on so well. They
talk of a frigate being soon to sail, in which
case I shall close and dispatch this.―As
I propose sending you a regular supply of
Calcutta Gazettes, there can be no necessity
to fill my letters with political information.
I trust that in a short time Hyder, will be
effectually humbled.

Mr. H― has visited us several
times; and is now quite complaisant to
Mr. F― This is the way of the
world you know, and of course to be expected
from such a slave to outward circumstance,
such a mere “summer friend” as
this man ever evinced himself.—By his account
the hardships they underwent would
very soon have destroyed so poor a creaturecreature
as I was at that time: so that the difficulties
we fell into, though at the moment of
suffering so deplored, proved eventually our
safe guard in more respects than one. Had we
not touched at Calicut, I am fully persuaded
we should have been shipwrecked, and Kk2 had Kk2v 260
had not my illness furnished a pretext for
detaining us there after the rest, I should
had died among those cruel people in the
most shocking way imaginable, since they
were for a long while absolutely destitute of
every necessary. What short-sighted beings
we are! how futile, how defective our best
formed calculations! I have sometimes pleased
myself (I hope not improperly) with the
idea, that the power of discerning clearly the
beneficent designs of providence during our
earthly pilgrimage, and of perceiving that in
a thousand instances like these, a rough and
stony path has led to safety and ultimate
happiness, may be intended to form part
of our enjoyment in a future state, wherein
we are taught that to contemplate the Supreme
Being in his perfections will constitute
the height of bliss.―Let me have your
sentiments on the subject; its discussion can
do neither of us harm and may lead to improvement.

I have nothing particular to add—my health
continues very good considering all things
This is a dull time: vacations are always so Kk3r 261
so to professional people. God bless you and
grant us a happy meeting—our prospects are
good; nothing but the grossest misconduct
can prevent our success. Adieu

Yours most affectionately


Letter XVII. Kk3v 262

Letter XVII.

My Dear Friends,

The bad news I hinted at some time ago
is already avenged; and a much more serious
affair has happened since, but for the
present I must relate what has occupied a
great deal of attention for some days past;
no less than a duel between the Governor
General and the first in Council, Mr. Francis;
there were two shots fired, and the Governor’s
second fire took place; he immediately
ran up to his antagonist and expressed his
sorrow for what had happened, which I dare
say was sincere, for he is said to be a very
amiable man. Happily the ball was soon
extracted; and if he escape fever, there is
no doubt of his speedy recovery. What
gave occasion to the quarrel is said to have
been an offensive Minute entered on the
Council books by Mr. Francis, which he
refused to rescind; but being unacquainted with Kk4r 263
with the particulars, I have as little right as
inclination to make any comments on the
subject—It always vexes me to hear of such
things. What a shocking custom is that of
duelling! yet there are times when men
may be so situated that, as the world goes,
one knows not how they could act otherwise;
much may be effected by the judicious
interference of friends, but those
qualified for the task are rarely to be met
with. Mr. Francis is highly respected here,
and being now at the head of what is called
the opposition party, his death would be severely
felt by many who affect great indifference
about the event.

Since I wrote last we have had a good deadeal
of trouble with our Mohametan servants, on
account of an old custom; not one of them would
touch a plate on which pork had been laid—
so that whenever we had any at table our
plates remained, till the cook or his mate
came up to change them. This being
represented as a religious prejudice, I felt it
right to give way, however ridiculous it
might appear, in fact it was an inconvenienceence Kk4v 264
we felt in common with the whole
settlement, except the gentlemen of the Army
who had long before emancipated themselves
from any such restraint; finding this to be
really the case the whole of the European
inhabitants agreed to insist upon their
servants doing the same as those of the
officers at the Fort, or quitting their places,
They chose the latter alternative, and as
their prejudices run very high in all religious
matters, we were in doubt whether they
would not prefer suffering the greatest
extremity rather, than touch the very vessels
which contained this abhorred food,—but
behold in about four days they came back
again requesting to be reinstated; and acknowledging
that the only penalty incurred
by touching the plates was the necessity
of bathing afterwards: from this you may
judge of their excessive idleness; however
all now goes well and we hear no more
of their objection—

The serious affair at which I hinted in the
beginning of this letter, was the cutting
off Col. Baillie’s detachment with dreadful
slaughter. I trust we shall soon have ample revenge, Ll1r 265
revenge, for that fine old veteran Sir Eyre
is about to take the field and his
very name will strike those undisciplined
hordes with terror—Oh how I feel interested
in the event!

Nothing surely can be more disagreeable
than the weather here at present,
it is very hot with scarcely a
breath of air stirring; and such swarms of
insects buzzing about, but beyond all the
bug fly is disgusting—one of them will scent
a room; they are in form like a ladybird
but their smell is a thousand times more offensive
than that of our bugs. A good
breeze would disperse them all, but that we
must not expect till the monsoon changes,
that is, about the middle of next month.

I never told you that one of the Captains
who had charge of us at Calicut made his escape
some months ago, and came to ask our
assistance till he could get employment up the
country. Mr. F― gave him a lower
room, and he remained with us several weeks: Ll his Ll1v 266
his name is West. This was the man
from whom we collected intelligence of the
plots laid against us there, and which had
nearly proved successful. West is a stout
fellow accustomed in his early days to labour,
and seasoned to the climate;—he is
gone up to Patna, in charge of some boats
and is to remain there. Ayres used to treat
him vesyvery ill at times, and he says attempted
more than once to assassinate him, because
he refused to concur with a party that
Ayres headed, consisting of six or eight
abandoned wretches whose intention it was
to cut off several of the more opulent natives
secretly, and possess themselves of their
effects; while they should contrive to fix the
guilt of the transaction on some persons
who were obnoxious to them. West threatened
to reveal the whole plot, on which they
pretended to abandon it, but he soon found
their object was to rid themselves of him;
and he effected his escape in a canoe (at
the utmost risk of perishing in the attempt)
to Cochin, from whence he easily got a
passage to Bengal. What a horrible fellow
is that Ayres! surely he will meet his deserts:serts Ll2r 267
should the English take he will
be shot instantly as a deserter.

We have found out a nephew of Isaac’s-
named Daniel, he is a man of no great consequence
here, either in point of situation or
circumstances though not absolutely poor:—
we asked him to dinner, and endeavoured by
every means in our power to evince the
grateful sense we entertain of his worthy uncle’s
kindness and beneficence.

Since my last date I have the pleasure
to acknowledge the receipt of another packet
from England, with the gratifying intelligence
that you were all well on the 7th of
April. My time has passed very stupidly
for some months, but the town is now beginning
to fill,—people are returning for the
cold season. Term has commenced, and
Mr. F― has no reason to complain
of business falling off; if he fall not from
it, all will be well. My first Patroness
Lady C― is returned from her tour Ll2 but Ll2v 268
but Sir Robert having purchased an elegant
mansion in Calcutta, (for which he is to pay
£6,000 in England) her Ladyship has full
employment in arranging and fitting up her
new abode; so that I see but little of her,
she is however always kind and full of condescension
towards me when we do meet.

Mr. Fay has met with a gentleman here
a Dr. Jackson who comes from the same
part of Ireland, and knows many of his
connections; they soon became intimate.
Dr. J― is physician to the Company, and in
very high practice besides; I have been
visited by the whole family. The eldest son
a fine noble looking young man, is a
Lieutenant in the Army, and has lately married
a very pretty little woman, who came
out in the same ship under the protection
of his mother; as did Miss C―y a
most amiable and interesting young Lady,
who now resides with them. They
have not been long arrived. The Doctor’s Lady Ll3r 269
Lady is a native of Jamaica and like those
“children of the sun,” frank and hospitable
to a degree—fond of social parties in the
old style “where the song and merry jest
circulate round the festive board”
after supper. Dinner they seldom
give; but I have been present at several
everywhere since the commencement of the cold
season. The dinner hour as I mentioned before
is two, and it is customary to sit a long
while at table; particularly during the cold
season; for people here are mighty fond
of grills and stews, which they season themselves,
and generally make very hot. The
Burdwan stew takes a deal of time; it is
composed of every thing at table, fish, flesh
and fowl;—somewhat like the Spanish Oila
.—Many suppose that unless prepared
in a silver saucepan it cannot be good;
on this point I must not presume to give
an opinion, being satisfied with plain food;
and never tasting any of these incentives to
luxurious indulgence. During dinner a good
deal of wine is drank, but very little after
the cloth is removed; except in Bachelors parties Ll3v 270
parties, as they are called; for the custom
of reposing, if not of sleeping after dinner
is so general that the streets of Calcutta
are from four to five in the afternoon almost
as empty of Europeans as if it were midnight
—Next come the evening airings to the
Course werewhere every one goes, though sure
everything half suffocated with dust. On returning
from thence, tea is served, and universally
drank here, even during the extreme
heats. After tea, either cards or
music fill up the space, ’till ten, when supper
is generally announced. Five card loo
is the usually game and they play a rupee a fish
limited to ten. This will strike you as
being enormously high but it is thought nothing
of here. Tré dille and Whist are much
in fashion but ladies seldom join in the latter;
for thought he stakes are moderate, bets frequently
run high among the gentlemen which
renders those anxious who sit down for
amusement, lest others should lose by their

Formal visits are paid in the evening;
they are generally very short, as perhaps each Ll4r 271
each lady has a dozen to make and a party
waiting for her at home besides. Gentlemen
also call to offer their respects and if
asked to put down their hat, it is considered
as an invitation to supper. Many a
hat have I seen vainly dangling in its owner’s
hand for half an hour, who at last has been
compelled to withdraw without any one’s
offering to relieve him from the burthen.

Great preparations are making for the
Christmas, and New Year’s public balls;—
of course you will not expect me to write
much till they are over; nor to own the
truth am I in spirits, having great reason to
be dissatisfied with Mr. F―—s conduct.
Instead of cultivating the intimacy of those
who might be serviceable or paying the necessary
attention to persons in power; I
can scarcely ever prevail on him to accompany
me even to Dr. J―ns’ who is generally
visited by the first people; but he
cannot endure being subjected to the forms
of society—some times he has called on Sir
R. C―
but the other Judges he has
never seen, except on the bench since his admission Ll4v 272
admission: he did not even accept Sir E.
obliging offer to introduce him
to Mr. H―—e but suffered Mr. Sealy
to perform that ceremony, and when the Chief
Justice advanced to accompany him, he was
forced to acknowledge that he had been already
introduced,—upon which the great man
turned on his heel and hardly even noticed
him afterwards. This happened, on the
day Mr. F—― was admitted to the bar
at Mr. H—e’s public breakfast at whose house
the professional gentlemen all meet on the
first day of every Term and go from thence
in procession to the Court House. I will
now close this letter in the hope of having
better accounts to give you in my next.

Your’s affectionately


Letter XVIII. Mm1r 273

Letter XVIII.

My Dear Sister.

Since my last we have been engaged in
a perpetual round of gaiety—keeping Christmas,
as it is called, though sinking into
disuse at home, prevails here with all its
ancient festivity. The external appearance
of the English gentlemen’s houses on Christmas-day,
is really pleasing from its novelty.
Large plantain trees are placed on each
side of the principal entrances, and the
gates and pillars being ornamented with
wreaths of flowers fancifully disposed, enliven
the scene.

All the servants bring presents of fish and
fruit from the Banian down to the lowest
menial; for these it is true we are obliged
in many instances to make a return, perhaps
beyond the real value, but still it is consideredMm dered Mm1v 274
as a compliment paid to our burrah
(great day.) A public dinner is given
at the Government house to the gentlemen
of the Presidency, and the evening concludes
with an elegant Ball & Supper for
the Ladies. These are repeated on New
year’s day
and again on the King’s birth
day: I should say have bee, for that grand
festival happening at the hottest season, and
every one being obliged to appear full
dressed, so much inconvenience resulted from
the immense croud, even in some cases severe
fits of illness being the consequence, that it
has been determined to change the day of
celebration to the 8th of December which
arrangement gives general satisfaction.——
I shall not attempt to describe these splendid
entertainments further than by saying that
they were in the highest style of magnificence:
in fact such grand parties so much
resemble each other that a particular detail
would be unnecessary and even tiresome.

I felt far more gratified some time ago,
when Mrs. Jackson procured me a ticket for
the Harmonic which was supported by a select number Mm2r 275
number of gentlemen who each in alphabetical
rotation gave a concert, ball, and supper,
during the cold season; I believe once
a fortnight—that I attended was given by a
Mr. Taylor, which closed the subscription
and I understand it will not be renewed,
a circumstance generally regretted as it was
an elegant amusement and conducted on a
very eligible plan. We had a great deal of
delightful music, and Lady C― who is a
capital performer on the harpsichord played
amongst other pieces a Sonata of Nicolai’s
in a most brilliant style. A gentleman who
was present and who seemed to be quite
charmed with her execution, asked me the
next evening, if I did not think that “jig”
Lady C― played the night before, was the
rondo which is remarkably lively; but I
dare say Over the water to Charley
would have pleased him equally well.

Mrs. H― was of the party; she
came in late, and happened to place herself
on the opposite side of the room, beyond a Mm2 speaking Mm2v 276
speaking distance, so strange to tell, I quite
forgot she was there! After some time had
elapsed, my observant friend Mrs. J―
who had been impatiently watching my
looks, asked if I had paid my respects to
the Lady Governess? I answered in the
negative, having had no opportunity, as she
had not chanced to look towards me when
I was prepared to do so. “Oh,” replied the
kind old lady, “you must fix pouryour eyes on
her, and never take them off ’till she notices
you, Miss C―y has done this,
and so have I; it is absolutely necessary
to avoid giving offence.”
I followed her prudent
advice and was soon honoured with a
complacent glance, which I returned as a became
me by a most respectful bend. Not
long after she walked over to our side and
conversed very affably with me, for we are
now through Mrs. Jackson’s interference
on good terms together.

She also introduced me to Lady C―
and her inseparable friend Miss Molly B―
It was agreed between them when they
were both girls that, whichever married first Mm3r 277
first the other was to live with her,
and accordingly when Sir E―― took
his lady from St. Helena, of which place
her father was governor, Miss Molly who
is a native of the island accompanied
them to England and from thence to India,
where she has remained ever since;—thus
giving a proof of steady attachment not
often equalled and never perhaps excelled.

Yesterday being the Anniversary of
our release from imprisonment, we invited
Dr. Jackson’s family, Mr. O’Donnell
and some other friends to assist in its, celebration;
I call it my “Jubilee day” and
trust my dear friends at home did not
forget the occasion.

This reminds me to tell you that Sudder
and Ayres our chief enemies have
both closed their career of wickedness.
The former died of wounds received before
Tellicherry; and the latter having
repeatedly advanced close to the lines of
that place, holding the most contemptuous language Mm3v 278
language and indecent gestures towards
the Officers; setting every one at defiance
and daring them to fire at him, (I suppose
in a state of intoxication, miserable
wretch!) was at length picked off, to use
a military phrase.—Too honourable a death
for such a monster of iniquity. My hope
was, that he would have been taken
prisoner, and afterwards recognised and
shot usas a deserter.

Poor West is also dead; he never
reached his destination―the boat he
went up in, by some accident struck on
a sand bank and nearly all on board perished.

A Frigate being ordered to sail for Europe
with dispatches from Government, I
shall avail myself of the occasion, and
close this letter with a few remarks on
our theatrical amusements.

The house was built by subscription; it is
very neatly fitted up, and the scenery and decorations
quite equal to what could be expectedhere Mm4r 279
here. The parts are entirely represented by
amateurs in the drama—no hired performers
being allowed to act. I assure you I have seen
characters supported in a manner that would
not disgrace any European stage. Venice
was exhibited some time ago,
when Captain Call (of the Army) Mr. Droz
(a member of the Board of Trade) and
Lieutenant Norfar, in Jaffier, Pierre,
and Belvidera shewed very superior theatrical
talents. The latter has rather an effeminate
appearance off the stage, yet I
am told he is a very brave Officer when
on service; and though always dressed as
if for a ball, when he makes his appearance,
is among the most alert in a moment of
danger. I cannot imagine how he contrives
it, for the present mode of arranging the
hair requires a great deal of time to make
it look tolerable; however this is said to
be the case.―One of the chief inconveniences
in establishments of this kind, is
that the performers being independent of
any controul, will some times persist in
taking parts to which their abilities are
by no means adequuateadequate;—this throws an
air of ridicule over the whole, as the spectatorstators Mm4v 280
are too apt to indulge their mirth
on the least opening of that kind: in fact
many go to see a tragedy for the express
purpose of enjoying a laugh, which is
certainly very illiberal and must prove detrimental
to the hopes of an enfact institution
like the one in question:-for my own
part I think such a mode of passing an
evening highly rational; and were I not
debarred by the expence, should seldom miss
a representation—but a gold mohur is really
too much to bestow on such a temporary
gratification. Adieu—I shall write again

Your’s most affectionately


Letter XIX. Nn1r 281

Letter XIX.

My Dear Sister,

You must have perceived that the style of
my letters for some months past has been
constrained, nor could it possibly be otherwise;
for not wishing to grieve your affectionate
heart by a recital of the melancholy change
in my prospects, occasioned by Mr. F―’s
imprudent behaviour, I was reduced to
enlarge on less important subjects. Some hints
however escaped me which must have led
you to suspect that all was not going on
properly; but his conduct of late has been
such that no hope remains his ever
being able to prosecute his profession here.

Ever since our arrival he has acted in
every respect directly contrary to my advice
—By constantly associating with persons
who had distinguished themselves by thwarting Nn the Nn1v 282
the measures of Government,—he soon
because equally obnoxious. On one occasion
when a tax was proposed to be levied on
houses, several meetings were held at our
house, wherein he openly insisted on the
illegality of such a procedure, and encouraged
his new friends to assert their independance.
I remonstrated in the strongest terms
against measures so pregnant with evil, and
which must terminate in utter ruin, if not
speedily abandoned; the character of our chief
being well known;—he will never
desert a friend or forgive an enemy; what
chance then has an individual who rashly
incurs his resentment of escaping its baneful
effects? all this and more I repeatedly
but alas vainly urged—my representations
were as heretofore treated with contempt:
he still persevered, giving himself entirely
up to low and unworthy pursuits, while his
professional duties were wholly neglected
and his best friends slighted.

We were frequently invited to parties
which he as constantly evaded, leaving to Nn2r 283
to make what excuses I could for his absence.—
My dear kind Patroness Lady C― still continues
on my account to shew him attention as
do the Jacksons and some few others: she
has lately added a son to her family;—I
was with her at the time, and the sweet
infant seems to have formed closer ties between
us. On a late occasion however she
was compelled to speak plainly. The christening
is to take place in a few days;
Sir E― and Lady I― have offered
to stand for the child, and Lady C―
wishes me to be present, but Sir E―
positively refuses to meet Mr. F―
who of course cannot be included; so unless
I can reconcile him to the omission I must
remain at home also.

The grand ceremony is over, I had no difficulty
with Mr. F― he declared himself
pre-engaged the instant I mentioned the subject,
and insisted that I should make some
apology for him which was readily promisedNn2 mised Nn2v 284
—You may suppose that I could not
under such circumstances enjoy much pleasure
though Sir E― and his Lady behave very
graciously. But the idea that my husband
was so totally proscribed where he might have
figured among the foremost pierced my very
soul; yet was I forced to put on the appearance
of cheerfulness, that I might seem
to receive as a compliment what was certainly
so intended. The public countenance
of Lady C――and being admitted to
such a select party cannot but operate favourably
for me at this crisis, when I shall
stand so much in need of support.

Though term is now far advanced, Mr.
has scarcely a brief. The attorneys
are positively afraid to employ him; and
causes have actually come on with two advocates
on one side and one on the other,
rather than permit him to appear in them.
What a noble opportunity of making an
ample fortune is thus wantonly thrown away!way! Nn3r 285
Heaven grant me patience. I have
only this reflection to console me, that every
effort in my power has been made to ward
off the blow which is now inevitable.

I yesterday confided to Lady C― my
real situation: who (on my stating that Mr.
must certainly be obliged to quit
the Settlement very shortly,) with the utmost
kindness insisted on my making her house,
my home whenever that event should take
place; and Sir R― has in the most
cordial way inforced the invitation—Thus
through the goodness of Providence am I
provided with a secure and highly respectable
asylum, till a passage to Europe can be
obtained on moderate terms, a difficult matter

On the last day of the present month we
must quit our house; and when my husband
and I may reside under the same roof together
again, Heaven alone can tell. It is
astonishing to see with what apparent unconcern
he supports the shock: but the acquisition Nn3v 286
acquisition of a new Patron has raised his
spirits. Colonel W― a man of superior
abilities and immense fortune has been long
a determined opposer of Government, and
the bitter enemy of Sir E. I― against
whom he has set an impeachment on foot,
to prosecute which it is requisite that a confidential
agent should serve the process on
the defendant here, and proceed to England
with the necessary documents. Mr. F―
has contrived to get himself appointed to
this office: he has drawn up a set of articles
many copies of which are preparing by
Bengalee writers, who though they profess
to understand English and are tolerably
correct in copying what is put before them,
know not the meaning of any thing they
write; a great convenience this to such as
conduct affairs that require secrecy, since
the persons employed, cannot, if they were
so disposed, betray their trust. Colonel W―
never comes here; all is carried on with
an air of profound mystery—I like not such
proceedings and doubt if any good can come of even Nn4r 287
even a hint which might lead to suspicion
that any thing extraordinary is going
forward. The duty of a wife which is paramount
to all other civil obligations, compels
me silently to witness what is beyond my power
to counteract; although the character of a
highly revered friend is obliquely glanced
at, and may be in future more seriously
implicated in the business—you will guess
to whom I allude—Adieu you shall hear from
me again when I change my abode.

Your’s most affectionately


Letter XX. Nn4v 288

Letter XX.

My Dear Sister,

Since I wrote last, my feelings have been
harrassed in various ways alnostalmost beyond endurance
Mr. Fay quitted me on the 31st
ultimo, and the rest of that day was devoted
to the distressing (however just and necessary)
task of delivering back such articles
of furniture as had not been paid for, to
the persons who supplied us with them; and
also returning what had been borrowed of
different friends for our convenience; what
remained was taken possession of next morning,
by a man to whom my unfortunate
husband had given a bond for money advanced
on the most exorbitant terms, to
support his extravagance. Thus am I left distitute
of every thing but my clothes, to endure
the wretched effects of his imprudence, with Oo1r 289
with a constitution weakened by the sufferings
and privations, I underwent during my eventful
journey, added to the dread which I
cannot avoid feeling lest that unlucky blow
I received in Calicut should be productive
of serious consequences.

Lady C― welcomed me as a sister, she
wishes me to accompany her every where but
time alone can reconcile me to general society:
—The very day of my removal here, a circumstance
was disclosed that determined me no
longer to bind my destiny with that of a man
who could thus set at defiance all ties divine
and human. After consulting my legal friends
I demanded a separation, to which he having
consented, a deed was drawn up by
Mr. S―― under the inspection of Sir
R C―
in the fullest manner possible
rendering me wholly independent of Mr.
authority, with power, to make
a will &c. in short conceived in the strongest
terms our language could supply. I have appointed
Mr. G. Jones Solicitor of Lincoln’s
and Mr. Mc Veagh one Oo of Oo1v 290
of the masters in Chancery here to act as my
Trustees. Two more respectable men I could
not have chosen. You my dear sister, who
know better than any one, what exertions
I have used, and what sacrifices I have vainly
made for this most ungrateful of beings,
will not be surprised to find that even my
patience was not proof against this last outrage.

But let me dismiss the hateful subject merely
stating that the deeds were signed on the
11th instant. His secret is safe with me,
though when we met on that occasion he
had the insolence to hint his belief that out
of revenge I should divulge it. So let him
still think, for I deigned no reply except
by a look; when I with secret triumph beheld
his hitherto undaunted eye sink beneath
the indignant glance of mine.
“Tis Conscience that makes cowards of us all.”

Sir Robert being appointed President of
the Court at Chinsurah, is gone up to take
possession of his charge, accompanied by Lady Oo2r 291
Lady C― and the family. So here am
I left alone to ramble over this great house
and meditate on irreparable evils. Sir R―
has however kindly entrusted me with the
keys of his immense library, which will furnish
a rich treat when my mind acquires
sufficient calmness to look beyond itself in
search of amusement.

The acquaintance of Mrs. W― I
have found a most valuable acquisition. I
went with Lady C― to pass a day
with her at the gardens, and have been treated
with the utmost attention ever since. She
has authorized me to look up to her as a
steady patroness on all occasions. Mr. H―
being gone up the country on political business
Mr. W― of course takes the chair
during his absence so you may judge what
influence Mrs. W― possesses; but “she
bears her honors so meekly”
and contrives to
soften the refusals which she is frequently compelled
to give by so much affability and sympathy,
as to conciliate all parties and render
herself generally beloved.

Oo2 I Oo2v 292

I have never mentioned yet how indifferently
we are provided with respect to a place
of worship; divine service being performed,
in a room, (not a very large one) at the Old
Fort; which is a great disgrace to the settlement.
They talk of building a Church and
have fixed on a very eligible spot whereon to
erect it but no further progress has been
made in the business.

I now propose, having full leisure to
give you some account of the East Indian
customs and ceremonies, such as I have
been able to collect, but it must be considered
as a mere sketch, to point your
further researches. And first for that horrible
custom of widows burning themselves
with the dead bodies of their husbands;
the fact is indubitable, but I have never
had an opportunity of witnessing the various
incidental ceremonies, nor have I ever
seen any European who had been present
at them. I cannot suppose that the usage
originated in the superior tenderness, and
ardent attachment of Indian wives towards
their spouses, since the same tenderness and Oo3r 293
and ardour would doubtless extend to his
offspring and prevent them from exposing the
innocent survivors to the miseries attendant on
an orphan state, and they would see clearly
that to live and cherish these pledges of
affection would be the most rational and natural
way of shewing their regard for both husband
and children. I apprehend that as
personal fondness can have no part here at
all, since all matches are made between the
parents of the parties who are betrothed to
each other at too early a period for choice
to be consulted, this practice is entirely
a political scheme intended to insure the
care and good offices of wives to their husbands,
who have not failed in most countries
to invent a sufficient number of rules to
render the weaker sex totally subservient to
their authority. I cannot avoid smiling when
I hear gentlemen bring forward the conduct
of the Hindoo women, as a test of superior
character, since I am well aware that so much
are we the slaves of habit every where that
were it necessary for a woman’s reputation to burn
herself in England, many a one who has “accepted”
a husband merely for the sake of an establishment,ment, Oo3v 294
who has lived with him without affection;
perhaps thwarted his views, dissipated
his fortune and rendered his life uncomfortable
to its close, would yet mount the funeral
pile with all imaginable decency and
die with heroic fortitude. The most specious
sacrifices are not always the greatest, she
who wages war with a naturally petulant
temper, who practises a rigid self-denial,
endures without complaining the unkindness,
infidelity, extravagance, meanness or scorn,
of the man to whom she has given a tender
and confiding heart, and for whose happiness
and well being in life all the powers of her
mind are engaged;—is ten times more of a
heroine than the slave of begotry and superstition,
who affects to scorn the life demanded
of her by the laws of her country
or at least that country’s custom; and many
such we have in England, and I doubt
not in India likewise: so indeed we ought,
have we not a religion infinitely more pure
than that of India? The Hindoos, or gentoos
are divided into four castes or tribes
called the Brahmin, the Khutree, the Buesho, and Oo4r 295
and the Shodor: their rank in the land,
declines gradually to the last named, and if
any of them commit an offence which deprives
them of the privileges that belong to
their respective castes, they become Parias,
which may therefore be called a filthy tribe formed
as it were of the refuse of the rest. Those
are indeed considered the very dregs of the
people, and supply all the lowest offices of
human life. The all profess what is called
the religion of Brahma, from the caste
which bears his name all the priests are
chosen, who are treated in every respect
with distinguished honour and reverence. Their
religious Code is contained in a book called
the Veda, which only the Brahmins are
allowed to read; it is written in a dead
language called the Sanscrit. They worship
three Deities, Brahma, the creator,
Vistnoo the preserver, and Sheevah the
destroyer. But they profess to believe them
only the representations or types of the
great spirit Brahma (the Supreme God) whom
they also call the spirit of wisdom, and the
principle of Truth: none but Hindoos are
allowed to enter temples, but I am told the Idols Oo4v 296
Idols worshipped there are of the very ugliest
forms that imagination can conceive; and to
whom Pope’s description of the heathen deities
may, in other respects, be strictly applied.

“Gods changeful, partial, passionate unjust. Whose attributes are rage, revenge, or lust.”

I lament to add that to such wretched objects
as this, numbers of the deluded natives
are devoted in the strongest and most
absolute manner possible. A certain sect
named Pundarams live in continual beggarry;
extreme hunger alone induces them to
ask for food, which when granted, they only
take just what will preserve life, and
spend all their days in singing songs in praise
of Sheevah; another sect add a tabor, and
hollow brass rings about their ancles to increase
the noise with which they extol their
deity. I consider both these as a species of
monks but believe the holy fathers fall far
short of the Jogees and Seniasea of India,
in their religious austerities. These not only
endure all possible privations with apparent indifference Pp1r 297
indifference, but invent for themselves various
kinds of tortures which they carry to
an astonishing length; such as keeping their
hands clenched ’till the nails grow into them,
—standing on one foot for days and even
weeks together—and hiring people to support
their hands in a perpendicular position.

Their expiatory punishments are some of
them dreadful. I myself saw a man running
in the streets with a piece of irons thrust
through his tongue which was bleeding profusely.
On the Charruk Poojah (swinging
) hundreds I have heard, are suspended
at an amazing height by means of hooks,
firmly fixed in the flesh of the back, to which
sometimes a cloth is added round the body
to afford the miserable victim a chance of
escape, should the hook give way. I, by
accident, (for voluntarily nothing should have
tempted me to witness such a spectacle) saw
one of these wretches, who was whirling
round with surprizing rapidity, and at that Pp distance Pp1v 298
distance scarcely appeared to retain the
semblance of a human form. They firmly
expect by this infliction to obtain pardon of
all their offences, and should death be the
consequence, they go straight to heaven—
thus changing the horrid state of privation
and misery in which they exist here, for one
of bliss: if such be their real persuasion, who
can condemn the result.

Indeed under other circumstances it is found
that, notwithstanding their apparent gentleness
and timidity, the Hindoos will meet
death with intrepid firmness—they are also
invincibly obstinate, and will die rather than
concede a point: of this a very painful instance
has lately occurred.—A Hindoo beggar
of the Brahmin caste went to the house
of a very rich man, but of an inferior tribe,
requesting alms; he was either rejected, or
considered himself inadequately relieved, and
refused to quit the place. As his lying before
the door and thus obstructing the passage
was unpleasant, one of the servants
first intreated, then insisted on his retiring, and Pp2r 299
and in speaking pushed him gently away;
he chose to call this push a blow, and cried
aloud for redress, declaring that he would never
stir from the spot ’till he had obtained
justice against the man: who now endeavoured
to sooth him but in vain;—like a
true Hindoo he sat down, and never moved
again, but thirty-eight hours afterwards expired,
demanding justice with his latest
breath; being well aware that in the event
of this, the master would have an enormous
fine to pay, which accordingly happened. I
am assured that such evidences of the surprizing
indifference to life, the inflexible stubbornness,
and vindictive dispositions of these
people are by no means rare; it seems extraordinary
though, that sentiments and feel—
ings apparently so contrary to each other
should operate on the same minds; seeing
them so quiet and supine, so (if it may be
so expressed) only half alive, as they generally
shew themselves, one is prepared for
their sinking, without an effort to avert any
impending danger; but that they should at Pp2 the Pp2v 300
the same time nourish so violent and active of
passion as revenge, and brave even death so
intrepidly as they often do in pursuit of it,
is very singular:—but enough of these silly

I had lately an opportunity of witnessing
the marriage procession of a rich Hindoo.
The bride (as I was told) sat in the same
palanquin with the bridegroom, which was
splendidly ornamented;—they were accompanied
by all the relations on both sides, dressed
in the most superb manner;—some on horse
back, some in palanquins, and several on
elephants;—bends of dancing girls and musicians
I understood preceded them;—and in
the evening there were fire-works at the
bride’s fathers house and the appearance of
much feasting &c. but no Europeans were
present. This wedding was of a nature by
no means uncommon here; a rich man had
an only daughter, and he bargained to dispose
of her, or rather to take for her a
husband out of a poor man’s family, but of
his own Caste; for this is indispensable. In
this case the bridegroom is brought home to his Pp3r 301
his father-in-law’s house and becomes a member
of the family; so that although the law
prohibits a man from giving a dowry with
his daughter, yet you see he does it in effect,
since he gives a house to a man who
wants one; in fact gives a fortune, but saddled
with an encumbrance;―perhaps in a
few years the old man may die, and the
young one having fulfilled the wishes of his
parents, and provided for his own wants,
may employ some of his female relations to
look round among the poorer families of his
caste for a pretty girl, whom he will take as
a second wife, tho’ the first always retains
the pre-eminence, and governs the house;
nor can the husband devote more his time
to one than the other,——the law compelling
him to live with them alternately, you may
be sure the account is strictly kept. My
Banian Dattaram Chuckerbutty has been married
between twenty and thirty years, without
taking a second lady, and he boasts of
being much happier with my old wife (as he
calls her) than the generality of his friends
are amidst the charms of variety. For my
own part, I have not a doubt but he is in
the right.

The Pp3v 302

The Hindoo ladies are never seen abroad;
when they go out their carriages are closely
covered with curtains, so that one
has little chance of satisfying curiosity. I
once saw two apparently very beautiful
women; they use so much art however, as
renders it difficult to judge what claim they
really have to that appellation―Their
whole time is taken up in decorating their persons:
—the hair—eye-lids—eye-brows—teeth,
—hands and nails, all undergo certain processes
to render them more completely fascinating; nor
can one seriously blame their having recourse to
these, or the like artifices—the motive being
to secure the affections of a husband, or to
counteract the plans of a rival.

The Hindoos who can afford to purchase
wood for a funeral pile, burn their dead;
one cannot go on the river without seeing
numbers of these exhibitions, especially at
night, and most disgusting spectacles they
are. I will not enlarge on the subject.
This mode however is far superior to that
of throwing them into the river, as practised
by the poor; where they offend more senses
than one. I have been frequently obliged to return Pp4r 303
return precipitately from a walk along the
river side, by the noisome exhalations which
arose from these wretched objects.

Some of the Hindoo customs respecting
the sick are really shocking—When a person
is given over by the Brahmins, (who are
physicians are well as priests) the relations
immediately convey him, if within a reasonable
distance, to the banks of the Ganges,
where he is smeared with mud, quantities
of which he is smeared with the mud, quantities
of which I am told are thrust into his monthmouth,
nose, and ears. This treatment soon reduces
him to a dying state; nor is it desirable
that he should recover, since he must in
that case lose caste; for it is an established
rule, that whoever removes from the spot
where the sacred rites have been performed,
becomes an oatcastoutcast. Dr. J― was once
fortunate enough to be called in to attend the
wife of a Hindoo Rajah whom they were
on the point of taking to the river when
he arrived—he assured the Rajah that he perceived
no dangerous symptoms and would
answer for her doing well.—Luckily the tremendous
ceremonies had not commenced;
The event justified our good Doctor’s predictions
—the lady is still living and his success in Pp4v 304
in this instance, has led to several others,
highly gratifying to the best feelings of humanity
and certainly beneficial to his fortune.

This letter has run to such an enormous
length that I must now conclude, with wishing
that I may soon hear good news of
you. I remain,

Your’s most affectionately

E F.

Letter XXI. Qq1r 305

Letter XXI.

My Dear Sister.

Sir R― and Lady C― have
been down since I wrote last, and remained
here during term, but are now gone up
again, though much distressed. Mrs. C―
prefers staying here.—A melancholy event
has occurred in the family; the sweet little
boy just turned of six month old, to whom
I was so fondly attached, died a few weeks
ago. Dear interesting child! I shall long
lament his loss. He was not ill more
than three days; so rapid is the progress
of disease in this country.

Mr. and Mrs. H― are arrived in
Town and have taken accommodations on
the Grosvenor, Captain Coxon. I was in
hopes of being able to take my passage
with them but am disappointed.

Qq Mr. Qq1v 306

Mr. H.― was Resident at one of
the upper stations; he is a man of high
character and generally esteemed; and his
wife one of the most amiable women I ever
knew; it is impossible to do otherwise
than love her. As she daily looks to be
confined, her leaving Calcutta till after that
period, is out of the questions, so they must
suffer the Grosvenor to proceed to Madras
without them, where she is expected to remain
a month at least, and the family
and baggage of Mr. H― are to follow
in a Country ship at the risk of arriving
too late.

The agreement is that, if she sail from
thence before a certain day a small summ is
to be forfeited; but after that day, should
Captain Coxon be compelled to proceed
on his voyage without them, he is still to
receive ten thousand rupees, that is half
the passage money by way of compensation.
I state these particulars to shew what large
sums are exacted of passengers.

The Qq2r 307

The society of Mrs. C―― who
is a fine looking respectable old lady, well
informed and chearful, with that of Mrs.
who has charming spirits, enables
me to pass the time far more pleasantly
than when I was left here during the
rains. Besides I often visit at Dr. Jacksons,
and have made acquaintance with several
agreeable families, who allow me to call on
them without formality; the very idea of
which is hateful to me at present: so cruelly
fallen are my once highly and justly raised
expectations. For what place do I now
hold in the Society with which I am permitted
to mix? Alas, none except by sufferance: but
most ardently do I wish to escape from this
fatal spot the scene of so many severe afflictions,
and seek comfort with those who
have never failed to afford it. There I
shall not be constantly reminded of past
hopes,, now alas! sunk in disappointment.
Think not these observations proceed from
a repining spirit, or unmindfulness of favors
received; I have been most beneficentlyQq2 ly Qq2v 308
treated and my views have been furthered
in a way which I had no right whatever
to expect. Can attentions like those be
forgotten? No! it forms my proudest boast
that I have such friends, and while life
remains I much ever cherish the remembrance
of their generous exertions. The
approaching season always inspires melancholy
reflections—I will therefore pass it
over, and look forward to the next, when by
the blessing of Providence I hope to be
with my beloved family.

My dear Mrs. H― has thank heaven,
got happily over her confinement,
which took place three weeks ago; and
all is now bustle and preparation for their
departure.―Sir R―’s eldest son,
Thomas, goes under their care; he is a
charming boy, nearly seven years of age,
which is rather late; but no good opportunity
has occurred ’till now;―a Miss
(the daughter of an intimate
friend) about the age of Thomas, also proceedsceeds Qq3r 309
with them. Mrs. H.― takes
one little girl of her own, sixteen months
old; the baby is to be left with Lady C―:
she promises to be a lovely child.

We are to have the christening to-morrow
when I shall take my leave of large
parties; except one, which I must attend. Mrs.
infant daughter is to be christened
early next month and Sir R―s whole
family is invited. At present I devote myself
entirely to Mrs. H― who I really think
has a friendship for me. Would it were in
my power to accompany her, but that for
many reasons is impossible.

Another Indiaman (The Dartmouth Captain
) has just sailed, but she too is
absolutely crowded with passengers; so I must
have patience―It is almost incredible what
quantities of baggage, people of consequence
invariably take with them; I myself counted
twenty-nine trunks that were sent on
board, for Mr. and Mrs. H― exclusive
of chests of drawers and other packages,
with cabin stores &c. and more still remain to Qq3v 310
to be shipped. This separate passage to
Madras will add greatly to the expense; for
Captain Coxon would not have charged
a rupee more, had they embarked with
him at Bengal; even removing so much baggage
from one ship to the other will
occasion no small inconvenience.

My time has been too much taken up
for this fortnight past to afford leisure for
writing. I have another melancholy event
to record; but let me proceed regularly.

Our friends left us on the second Instant.
Poor Mrs. H― was dreadfully affected
at parting with her infant; it seemed
cruel for a mother to abandon her child
only twenty-five days old; but it must
in all probability have fallen a sacrifice. Her
anxiety in other respects was great. Admiral
is said to keep a sharp look
out after English ships going down the Bay;
but, I trust, Sir E. Hughes will find the
French fleet better employment than cruizing
about after our vessels.

Sir Qq4r 311

Sir R― and Lady C― felt severely
the shock of their son’s departure but
poor Mrs. C― whose very soul seemed
treasured up, if I may so express myself,
in her grandson, sunk under the blow. On
the fifth she was seized with a violent illness,
of which on the seventh she expired.
Sir R― is deeply afflicted, and I
should be surprised if he were not, for, to
him she was ever an exemplary parent; and
gave an irrefragable proof of strong
maternal affection, by accompanying him
to this country at her advanced period
of life. Her death is generally lamented,
as a most charitable humane good woman.
“Let her works praise her.” She was in
her seventieth year. We came up here immediately
after the funeral which took place
the next day, and was most numerously
attended; I may say by almost the whole
settlement—gentlemen as well as ladies. Her
character demanded this testimony of respect
and that it was paid, affords me pleasure.

You Qq4v 312

You will expect me to give you some
account of this place; but after having told
you that it contains many very fine houses,
—is regularly built,—and kept remarkably
clean; nothing more remains to be said.
One cannot expect much chearfulness among
the inhabitants, though they are treated with
the utmost kindness, and all private property
is held sacred.

A strange circumstance occurred at the time
of its capture, which will probably become
a subject of litigation. A King’s ship, either
a frigate or a sloop of war, was lying off
Calcutta, when news arrived that the Dutch
had commenced hostilities.—The Captain accompanied
by a party of his officers and
seamen, proceeded with all expedition to
Chinsurah, which he reached about 2 A. M.
next day, and instantly summoned the place
to surrender to “His Majesty’s” Arms. The
Governor being totally unprovided with the
means of resistance complied; so that when
a detachment of the Company’s troops marcheded Rr1r 313
in at seven o’clock to take possession
they found the business already settled, and
had the laugh most completely against them.
The Captain was soon induced to relinquish
his capture, but insisted that his people were
entitled, to prize money, and has put in his
claim accordingly—Is it not an odd affair?

Sir R― is going to dispatch some
letters for England and I will profit by the
occasion, having at present nothing further
to communicate. All remains in uncertainty.

I am,
Your affectionate


Rr Letter XXII. Rr1v 314

Letter XXII.

My Dear Sister,

This is in all probability the last letter I
shall write from Bengal. Mrs. W―
has been indefatigable in her exertions; and
has at length secured a passage for me on
the Valentine Captain Lewis; a fine new
ship―this is her first voyage. I shall have
a female companion too, which is certainly
desirable.―Colonel and Mrs. Tottingham
with their family accompany us, besides
these we shall have seven military gentlemen,
—two of the company’s civil servants,
and thirteen children, under Captain Lewis’s
immediate protection. The ship is expected
to sail in the beginning of next month.
I dined in company with Captain Lewis
yesterday at Mrs. W―s, and we were
both much pleased with his behaviour.―
When we retired after dinner my good
friend congratulated me on the prospect of Rr2r 315
of sailing with such a commander, for many
of them assume airs of consequence, but
Captain Lewis does not seem at all that
way disposed; and should the passengers
prove agreeable, I really think we may premise
ourselves a comfortable voyage.

I am using every effort in preparing my
baggage, and Lady C― with her usual
kindness renders me every assistance; nor
have my other friends been neglectful of
any thing that can contribute to my comfort
both on the passage and after my arrival in
England; till my health shall, with the blessing
of Providence, be restored, when I
may be enabled to seek out some decent
means of support.

I had a very eligible proposal made me
of entering into partnership with a most
amiable lady who has lately engaged in the
school line, but was compelled to decline
it, my complaints requiring a change of climate,Rr2 I Rr2v 316
and that I should consult those medical
friends who have been accustomed to prescribe
for me. I much regret this circumstance,
having no doubt but we might have suited
each other extremely well, for she has proved
herself a sincere friend in many instances and
must ever possess my grateful esteem.

I had the pleasure last evening, of being
present at the marriage of Captain P.
and my young friend Miss T―;
the wedding was kept at Dr. L―s and
of course they intended to have a little ball;
but hardly any one could be prevailed on to
dance so late in the season. I had given
a solemn promise that nothing should induce
me to run the risk, so to comply was out
of the question.―At length Mrs. I―
senior, who is turned of sixty-five, opened
the ball with a very good minuet, and afterwards
footed it away for about two hours,
as gaily as the youngest: her example took
effect, and they made up a tolerable set.
The dance was succeeded by a magnificent
supper, to which nearly thirty persons sat Rr3r 317
sat down. After the customary toasts we
retired, and I reached home before one.
May they be happy is my sincere wish.

This is a terrible season for reaching the
ships, none but stout vessels can venture down.
Colonel T― pays seventy pounds for
a sloop to convey his family. I am in this
respect fortunate. Sir R― and Lady
are going to a place called Bearcole
for the benefit of sea-bathing, and I shall accompany
them to Inglee; which is within a
tide of the Valentine: my friends will then
proceed by land to the bathing-place; and
one of the sloops by Sir R――’s orders
will convey me and my baggage to the
Barrabola head where the ship is lying at
anchor to complete her cargo.

I have every thing now ready and only
wait for the completion of Sir R―s
preparations. I feel very impatient to get to
sea, being persuaded that it will have a
salutary effect on my health,—change of scene Rr3v 318
scene and company will also be of service.
I have taken leave of every one, and for
many shall preserve sentiments of the most
grateful esteem.

On Rr4r 319

On Board

I left Calcutta, on Tuesday the ninth Instant
with Sir R― and Lady C―
the latter I am concerned to say is in a
very weak state, but trust sea bathing
will be beneficial. We had a boisterous trip
of it down to Ingellee, and every one but
myself was dreadful sea-sick.

My kind friends quitted me on Saturday
evening—I felt quite forlorn at our separation.
To be thrown among strangers after
experiencing for near nine months, the
attentive hospitality of such a family as I
was torn from, almost overcame my fortitude.
—but I soon lost every other sensation
in that overwhelming one of sea-sickness,
which lasted the whole way, nor could I
go on board till the afternoon.―I shall
keep this open till the Pilot goes, that you may Rr4v 320
may have the satisfaction of hearing that we
have passed the first dangers.

Our commander is by no means the placid
being we supposed.—I doubt he will prove
a very tyrant—instead of paying attention, or
shewing respect, he exacts both, and woe
be to those who fail in either. We are still
waiting for the remainder of our Cargo
and Captain Lewis vents his rage in drinking
“confusion to the Board of Trade”
every day.

We had a narrow escape last evening
though I knew not of the danger till it
was over. I was seized after tea with
severe spasms in the stomach and had the
doctor with me; when suddenly the ship
began to pitch and toss violently; and I
heard Captain Lewis, call out in a voice
of thunder “Stand by the sheet anchor,
heave the lead.”
Presently all was quiet
again, nor had I the least suspicion till next Ss1r 321
next morning of our having been adrift
on the Barabola sand; and what might have
been our fate Heaven knows, had not the
sheet anchor brought us up; for it is a most
dangerous place, surrounded by shoals and out
of sight of land.

It is pleasant to see Captain Lewis so
alert on perilous occasions; he appears to be
an excellent seaman, but the roughest being
surely that nature ever formed in language
and manners. The oaths he swears by,
are most horrible and he prides himself in
inventing new ones. How were Mr. W―
and I mistaken? I see he must be humoured
like a child, for the least contradiction
makes him almost frantic.

Now I must indeed say farewell—the
Pilot is just quitting us, and has promised
to put this on board the first vessel that
sails for EnlgandEngland; there is one under dispatch.Ss patch Ss1v 322
God bless you. Within six months, I
trust we shall all meet in health and safety.

I am,
Your’s affectionately


Letter XXIII. Ss2r 323

Letter XXIII.

St. James’s Valley,
St. Helena.

My Dear Sister,

A more uncomfortable passsagepassage than I have
made to this place, can hardly be imagined.
The port of my cabin being kept almost
constantly shut, and the door opening into
the steerage; I had neither light nor air
but from a scuttle: thereby half the space
was occupied by a great gun, which prevented
me from going near the port when it
was open.

Mrs. F― at first took his meals in
the Cuddy, but the gentlemen were in general
too fond ifof the bottle to pay us the least
attention; after tea, we were never asked to
cut in at cards, though they played every
evening. Captain L―s swore so dreadfully,Ss2 fully, Ss2v 324
making use of such vulgar oaths and
expressions; and became so very rude and boisterous,
that Mrs. F― withdrew intirely
from table, and never left her cabin for the
last thirteen weeks but the Colonel took care
to send her whatever was necessary; I
had no one to perform the like kind office
for me, and was therefore forced to venture up
among them, or risk starvation below.

The table was at first most profusely covered;
being our Captains favourite maxim
“never to make two wants of one”;
Every one foresaw what must be the consequence,
but he would not listen to reason.
Thus we went on till the beginning of August,
when he declared that, we had rounded the
Cape of Good hope; offering to back his
opinion by receiving twenty guineas, and
return a guinea a day till we reached St.
: but no one accepted the bet; yet
doubts seemed to hang on the minds of
many. However on the 5th at noon, hearing
that we were in Latitude 33, 32 S, I began
to think with the Captain that, it was needlessless Ss3r 325
to spare our stock, since a few days
would bring us a fresh supply―But alas!
at 4 P.M. land was perceived on the
East coast of Africa; so near, that before
we tacked flies were seen on the shore—
had this happened during the night, nothing
could have saved us from shipwreck.—can
I sufficiently bless Providence for this second

On examining the state of our water and
provision, after the error was discovered,
we were put on an allowance of a quart
of water a day, for all purposes; and for
nearly a month before we arrived here, we
were forced to live on salt provisions; even
the poor children and the sick, had no
better fare.

While off the Cape, we encountered very
stormy weather but happily sustained no enjury,
except the loss of a fore-top-mast
which was easily replaced—Captain Lewis,
one day, thought fit to refuse me a passage
through his cabin for which I had expressly
stipulated. I retired, and in a few minute Ss3v 326
minutes he came down to apologize for his
behaviour, and a most curious apology
he made. He began by saying that he had
been beaten at piquet, and that loosing always
made him cross, “besides”, said he,
“to tell you the truth I do not like ladies,
not, (with a great oath) that I-
have any particular objection to you, on
the contrary I really think you are a
quiet good sort of woman enough; but I
cannot abide ladies, and I declare that,
sometimes when you come up to me upon
deck, and say, ‘how do you do Captain
it makes my back open and shirt
like a knife—”
so much for this gentleman’s
“respect” and politeness! I was forced to appear
satisfied and he seemed very penitent for
some days; till another cross fit came on.

Judge if I did not rejoice at the sight of
this romantic Island; though its appearance
from the sea is very unpromising,—accessible
rocks, and stupendous crags frowning
every side but one, nor is there any anchrage
expect at that point—The town is Ss4r 327
is literally an ascending valley between two
hills, just wide enough to admit of one
street. The houses are in the English style,
with sashed windows, and small doors. Here
are back-gardens, but no gardens; which makes
the place intensely hot for want of a free circulation
of air; but when you once ascend
Lader Hill the scene changes, and all seems
enchantment. The most exquisite prospects you
can conceive burst suddenly on the eye—
fruitful vallies,—cultivated hills and diversified
scenery of every description. The inhabitants
are obliging and attentive, indeed, remarkably;
so altogether I find it a most welcome
resting place. After being kept on salt
provisions for a month, one is not likely to be
very fastidious; former abstinence giving
more poignant relish to the excellent food,
which is set before us.

Lord North, and the Hastings China ships,
arrived soon after us, but we are still detained
for Convey—how vexatious.

Yesterday Captain Lewis gave a grand
entertainment on board the Valentine. I was obliged Ss4v 328
obliged to preside for Mrs. F― would
not venture on the water till there was a necessity
for it. We had a most brilliant party. I
danced a good deal, but find no inconvenience
from it. It is odd enough, that he should
have fixed on your birth day. You may be
sure I silently drank my own toast. Mrs.
and the other ladies seemed highly
gratified, and well they might, for no expence
was spared to render it completely elegant.

The Chapman is just arrived, in a most
dreadful state, having lost near fifty of her
Crew in her passage from Madras, from
whence she sailed in Company with the
Dartmouth, which was wrecked off the Carnicobar
island the very ship I was, as I then
thought, so unfortunate in missing: so that
in this instance, as in many others, I may
justly impute my safety to that Providence
which “From hidden dangers, snares and death. Has gently steered my way.”

11th Tt1r 329

Among the passengers in the Dartmouth
were Mrs. I―n and her infant son, a
most interesting child, three years of age, who
were wonderfully preserved through sufferings,
enough to overwhelm the strongest constitution;
and proceeded to St. Helena on the Chapman
on board which were Mr. Casamajor and his
mother, who secured accommodations on the
Lord North. Not choosing to venture farther
on the Chapman, upon which I was applied to,
to accompany Mrs. I―n who could not
well proceed without a female companion, and
was not able to procure accommodations on the
other ships—I instantly determined on accompanying
her for the express purpose of endeavouring
to soften the inconveniences under
which she laboured, and to soothe her mind
harrassed by the many hardships of her distressing

This day we left St. Helena in company with
the Lord North, Valentine, and Hastings.
The Chapman unfortunately sails very ill and cannot
keep up with the other ships. Captain Tt Lewis Tt1v 330
told me at St. Helena in order to prevent
my quitting the Valentine, that we should be left
in the lurch the first fair opportunity; and so it
happened long ere we reached England.

Our passage was tremendous, the Sea breaking
over the ship and continually carrying some
thing or other away; nor had we any naval
stores to replace what was thus lost. Captain
and Mr. Gooch, the second officer, were
daily employed with the people, repairing the
sails and rigging, nor did they shrink from any
labour. I never beheld such exertion: very
frequently they were obliged to take the wheel, for
scarcely a sufficient number could be found to
keep watch.

On entering the channel the weather was so
thick that no observation could be taken for five
days. One night after remaining several hours
in dreadful suspense respecting our situation,
Captain Walker came down about half past ten
o’clock, to tell us that we were off Scilly. What
a declaration! off Scilly! on a stormy night in
the beginning of February! This intelligence
was not likely to tranquillize our feelings. Mrs.
and myself passed a sleepless night, and Tt2r 331
and in the morning, one of the sailors ascertained
the place we were driven into to be St. Ive’s
, a most dangerous place: but thanks to providence,
we sustained no injury, except being
forced round the Land’s End, which was to us
a serious misfortune, being utterly unable to
beat back into the English channel, our men
being worn out with illness and exertion, and
our stores of every kind nearly exhausted.

No Pilot would venture to stay on board:
The Chapman having no poop, looked so unlike
an Indiaman, that she was taken for an American,
and we poor forlorn creatures set down at
once as prisoners. “Why don’t you release those
said they, “We will have nothing
to do with you, we know better.”
We found afterwards
that although the preliminaries of peace
had been some time signed, no account of the
important event had reached this remote spot.
Captain Walker now proposed proceeding to
Milford Haven to refit, but the indraught, as it is
called, having brought us off Lundy, he changed
his resolution and took a pilot on board for King
road, where we anchored at 1783-02-07T07:007 AM. on the 7th
February 1783

The end of the first part.

Tt2v Tt3r

Part Second.

Containing an abstract
of the
Author’s three subsequent
voyages to India.

Tt3v Tt4r 335

Letter I.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Friends,

The interest which you are pleased to take in
my welfare, and the kind inquiries you make
regarding the voyages I have performed since
my first memorable one, induce me to offer you
a simple statement of facts relative to them;
though to accomplish this even in the briefest
manner, some circumstances must be revealed
which I would rather consign to oblivion, and
some wounds must be re-opened, which time has
mollified, if not healed.—The manuscript submitted
to your perusal, closes with an account of
my arrival in England, and thus ended my first
eventful visit to India; a period which according
to my own estimation, had comprized a whole
life of suffering and anxiety, and dissolved for
ever the strongest tie the human heart can form
for itself; a period in which physical and moral
evils had alike combined to inflict whatever can wound Tt4v 336
wound the heart to its inmost core, and destroy
that confidence in our fellow creatures, without
the world seems indeed a “howling wilderness,”
peopled with terrific monsters, each
prowling either by violence or fraud for his defenceless

Happily for me gentler beings had blended in
my path their benign influences; my sorrows
had been cheered and consoled by many. I was
still young, and with buoyant spirits relieved in
some degree from their late severe pressure,
hailed my native land: yet a sigh of regret
would mingle with my joyful anticipations,
at quitting the society wherein, though assailed
by tempestuous winds and mountainous seas, I
had so frequently enjoyed, “The feast of reason
and the flow of soul”
amidst congenial minds.

For ever blest be the moment when I quitted
the Valentine; from that circumstance arose a
friendship which has constituted one of the sweetest
enjoyments of my life, and which still remains
unbroken, though my friend and I seldom
meet, but her letters are invaluable.
Few possess such epistolary talents; they have been Uu1r 337
been my chief solace and consolation in distress;
but to proceed: Mrs I―n, her little boy
and myself went on to town, where a dreadful
shock awaited me; my dear mother was no
more; the tie to which a daughter most fondly
clings was rent asunder; tho’ I had still a father
and two most affectionate sisters remaining, it
was long ere I could justly appreciate their
worth, or draw consolation from their society.
For nearly a whole year I laboured under very
severe indispostion, and incurred great expence
for medical attendance, not less than £150. I
was several times considered in imminent danger;
Mrs I―n too was long, after her
arrival, affected with the most distressing
nervous debility. All this is not to be wondered
at, for during the passage from St. Helena,
both of us were in an infirm state, and our health
had suffered much from the circumstances in
which we were placed. It is true we experienced
all possible relief from the kindness of those
around us, whom we daily behold subjected to
privations and exertions the most trying, yet ever
affording us comfort at attention. In each benevolent
act Captain Walker was amply assisted by
Mr. Gooch, and the Surgeon Mr. Crowfoot, a VvUu most Uu1v 338
most worthy and scientific young man, to whose
skill I was probably more indebted for the prolongation
of a precarious existence, than I was
aware of at the time. My health being in
some measure restored, I tried various plans
in pursuit of independence; but none seemed
to promise success; my friends wished me to
remain at home; but Calcutta appeared the
most likely theatre of exertion; and you cannot
wonder that my heart warmed towards a
place, where I had met such friendship and generosity,
and where so much general encouragement
was given to the efforts of respectable individuals.
I still bore in mind the offer which had
been made to me in Bengal, and determined to
pursue this plan; and having become acquainted
with a Miss Hicks, a young woman of the
strictest integrity, and who possessed many valuable
qualifications, I engaged her to accompany
me as an assistant. Captain Walker was about to
proceed to Bombay, in command of the Lord Camden,
and offered me a passage on very moderate
terms, provided I took charge of four ladies, who
wished to have a protectress during the voyage.
Being desirous of seeing Bombay, I felt little
reluctance to comply, especially as my friend Mr. Gooch Uu2r 339
held the same station in the Camden, which
he had, so meritoriously filled, in the Chapman.
The passage to be sure, would be rather circuitous,
but in a fine new ship, navigated by persons of
whose nautical abilities I had such indubitable
proofs, that appeared of little moment. The
prospect of strengthening my connections
in India, influenced me still further. Having
therefore arranged my plans on a general
ground, allowing for the deviations which
in such a case as mine, might be allowed
to arise from circumstances, I embarked on the
Lord Camden, and sailed from the Downs for
India, on the 1784-03-1717th March 1784—Here let me
pause for the present; I will soon resume my pen,

I am &c.


Uu2v 340

Letter II.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Madam,

For some days we had some rather boisterous weather,
but this subsided as we approached the Canary
, where (to my great mortification we did
not stop—On the 1784-04-03third of April had a view of the
peak of Teneriffe which is said to be 2000 feet
high, perpendicularly. It must have been formerly
a considerable Volcano; so lately as the
year 1704 there was an irruption from it which did
immense damage. On the 10th we passed the
Cape-de-Verd Islands, but to my regret without
touching at any; for curiosity was ever with me
a predominant feeling. The Island of Fogo has
a Volcano, which sometimes flames out in a terrible
manner, and discharges pumice stones to a
great distance. The weather at this time was
intensely hot, but we had plenty of apples on
board, which offered great refreshment; and
soon after they were finished, we spoke a Danish
ship, whose captain made the ladies a handsome present Uu3r 341
present of oranges and pine apples. It is not easy
for you, my dear madam, to conceive the importance
of such accommodations; but those who have
been many weeks, perhaps months, shut up in a
floating prison, without the power of procuring
refreshments which even health demands, will be
well aware of their value—At length the trade
winds visited us, “and bore healing on their
we passed the Tropic of Capricorn
very pleasantly, but soon afterwards a change
took a place: such are the vicissitudes of a sea life.
I have not yet mentioned the names of the ladies
who accompanied me, these were Mrs. Pemberton,
and Misses Turner, Bellas, and Fisher, who
with Miss Hicks and myself occupied two thirds
of the roundhouse; and I note it as rather a singular
circumstance, that we were only five times
on deck during the passage, which was owing to
a previous arrangement between the Captain
and me, to guard against imprudent attachments,
which are more easily formed than broken; and
I am happy to say the plan succeeded to our
wish—About this time, Captain Walker fell dangerously
ill, but fortunately recovered before
the 1784-06-088th of June, when the birthday of Miss Ludlow,
a Bristol lady, who subsequently became Mrs. Uu3v 342
Mrs. Walker, was celebrated in high style: all
the ship’s company had a dinner of fresh provisions,
and we sat down to a most sumptuous repast,
vegetables and fruit having been provided
in England, and salad raised purposely for the

We were now going at the rate of eight
knots an hour, off the Cape, with a heavy swell;
batbut the young folks, nevertheless, so earnestly solicited
for a dance, that the Captain could not
refuse; so all the furniture being removed out of
the cuddy, I led off, by particular request; but
had only gone down one couple, when a tremendous
lee lurch put us all in confusion. I declined
standing up again, but the rest during
three or four hours, tumbled about in the prettiest
manner possible, and when no longer able
to dance, made themselves amends by singing
and laughing; no serious accident happened to
any one, and the evening concluded very agreebly.

On the 1784-06-1111th June we struck soundings at 7 AM.
off Cape L’Aguillas, this exactly confirmed Capt.
observations, and was matter of greaterer Uu4r 343
rejoicing to me, than can be imagined by persons
who were never brought into danger, by the
ignorance or inattention of those intrusted with
the command. The next day we shipped so
many seas from the heavy land-swell, as to extinguish
the fire; we were therefore constrained
to put up with a cold dinner: however, our good
Captain, ever provident, produced a fine round of
beef, preserved by Hoffmann, which well supplied
the deficiency.

On the 1784-06-2424th. June, we anchored in the Bay
of Johanna
, one of the African Isles to the
northward of Madagascar. It is a fertile little
spot. We here met with plenty of refreshments
and very cheap. The oranges are remarkably
fine: I took a good quantity of them: their beef
is pretty good: Captain Walker purchased
several bullocks for the ship’s use and to supply
our table. the inhabitants are very civil, but
are said to be the greatest thieves in existence.
We were much amused with the high titles assumed
by them. The Prince of Wales honoured us
with his company at breakfast, after which Mr.
one of our passengers, took him down to
his cabin, where having a number of knickknacks,knacks, Uu4v 344
he requested his royal highness to make
choice of some article to keep in remembrance of
him; when to Mr. L’s astonishment he fixed
on a large mahagony book-case, which occupied
one side of the cabin; and on being
told that could not be spared, went away in high
displeasure, refusing to accept any thing else.
The Duke of Buccleugh washed our linen. H. R.
H. the Duke of York officiated as boatman, and a
boy of fourteen, who sold us some fruit, introduced
himself of Earl of Mansfield. They seem
very proud of these titles— We are went on shore,
and while those who were able to walk, rambled
about to view the country, which they described
as very delightful, I awaited their return in a
thatched building erected for the accommodation
of strangers. We were careful to return before
sun-set, the night air being reckoned very pernicious
to Europeans— These people are almost
constantly at war with those of the adjacent Isles.
Being in great want of gunpowder, they prevailed
on Captain Walker to give them the
quantity that would have been expended in the
customary salutes.

On Vv1r 345

On the 1784-07-022nd. July we left Johanna, with
a pleasant breeze, but were soon driven back
and experienced great fatigue for many days,
from a heavy rolling sea, but on the 20th,
at day break, we saw Old-woman’s Island,
and at 11 A.M. cast anchor at Bombay. An alarming
accident happened while saluting the
Fort; the gunner’s mate reloaded one of the guns
without having properly cleansed it, in consequence
of what he was blown off into the water.
Never did I behold a more shocking sight The
poor creature’s face was covered with blood, yet
he swam like a fish till a boat reached him.
Thank God he escaped with some slight hurts, and
to my surprize was upon deck next day.

On the 21st we went on shore with Mr. Goggan
the Naval store-keeper, who was Miss Turner’s
brother-in-law. We landed in the dock-yard,
where the many fine ships building and repairing
with the number of Europeans walking about, almost
persuaded me, I was at home, till the dress
and dark complexion of the workmen destroyed
the pleasing illusion—Mrs. Coggan received
me very kindly, and by her hospitable
treatment, rendered my stay at Bombay as agreeableUuVv greeable Vv1v 346
as possible. On Saturday the 24th we
received a visit from the Governor (Mr.
) which I find is to be considered as
a great compliment. We went to church, on the
25th, and in the evening sat up to receive company
as also the two following evenings, a tiresome
ceremony to me who detest parade and was merely
a traveller; but Mrs. Coggan assured me it would
be an affront to the settlement if I submitted not
to the established custom. The like usage formerly
prevailed in Bengal, but is now abolished. On the
29th we went to pay our respects to the Governor
at Perell his country seat, a delightful place
and a charming ride to it. Indeed all the environs
are beautiful; in this respect it has greatly the advantage
of Calcutta; but the town itself is far
inferior. They have a handsome church and a
good assembly-room, where they dance all the
year round.

We dined one day at Mr. Nesbit’s, chief of
the Marine, who gave us a repast in the true
old Indian style, “The tables they groaned
with the weight of the feast.”
We had
every joint of a calf on the table at once; nearly
half a Bengal sheep; several large dishes of fish; Vv2r 347
fish; boiled and roasted turkies, a ham, a kid,
tongue, fowls, and a long train of et ceteras.
The heat was excessive, the hour two, and we
were thirty in company, in a lower roomed house,
so you may conceive what sensations such a prodigious
dinner would produce. It is however
a fact that they ate with great appetite and perseverance,
to my astonishment, who could scarcely
touch a morsel.

On the 1784-08-011st. August. the Camden being ordered
to Madras without any prospect of proceeding
from thence to Bengal, Captain Walker
secured a passage for Miss Hicks and myself on
the Nottingham, Captain Curtis, who offered us
the best accommodations and refused to accept
of any remuneration. He afterwards disposed
of his ship, but under the express stipulation
that we should retain our cabin. I dined on the
8th at Mr. D. Scott’s with our fellow passengers
Mr. and Mrs. Lewin; and a very agreeable
day we passed, the whole of the cuddy passengers
being invited, so that we sat down once
more together, assuredly for the last time. On
the 23d I dined with Miss Bellas at her uncle’s
gardens where I met with a most cordial reception,
and was introduced to Captain Christie whom she Vv2v 348
she married before I quitted the settlement; and
alas! I must add survived her marriage only
thirteen weeks. She died, as I afterwards heard,
of a confirmed liver complaint. Her health
was very bad during the whole passage; for on
the least motion she constantly became sea-sick,
and never overcame it: she was a most amiable
young woman and generally beloved. I shall ever
cherish her memory with affection. On the 25th
Captain Curtis introduced the new commander
Captain Ross to me, and made as many apologies
for quitting the ship, as if he had been accountable
to me for his conduct. “But however”
said he “go when you will, I will see
you safe on board and clear of the Reef,”

which is a ridge of rocks at the entrance of
Bombay harbour. This promise he performed
on the 1784-09-044th September, when having taken leave
of our friends, he accompanied us on board the
Louisa, for so was the Nottingham named in
honour of the new owner’s wife. He staid until
seven in the evening, and then went on shore
with the Pilot; first calling up all his late servants,
whom he charged to pay me the same attention
as if he were present. I shall ever esteem
him. Our friendship continued, unabated while I Vv3r 349
I remained in India; he afterwards commanded
the Swallow Packet, and mine was the first and
the last house he entered on each voyage: since
my return home I have seldom seen him, but that
alters not my sentiments.—It was natural that I
should quit Bombay with favourable impressions.
I had been treated with much kindness and mixed
with the first society on the Island: I refer
you to other travellers for descriptions, observing
only that provisions of all kinds are good, but
rather dear, except fish, which is here in high
perfection and very plentiful.

On the 1784-09-1515th September we anchored in Anjengo
roads, to take in coir rope and cables for
which this is the great mart. They are fabricated
of the outer rind of the cocoanut, whose quality
is such that the salt water nourishes it, and
it possesses also an elasticity which enables it to
contract or dilate itself, in proportion to the
strain on it. This property is peculiarly useful
in these seas, where squalls frequently come on
with frightful violence and rapidity, and the preservation
of an anchor is an object of importance.
The surf runs very high here, and is at times extremely
dangerous. Captain Ross brought off an invitation Vv3v 350
invitation from Mr. Hutchinson the chief, to
dine with him; but no one chose to venture on
shore. I have not forgotten the fate of Mrs.
, who was drowned some years ago with
seven others in attempting to land on the beach.

Here is a pretty strong Fort on the sea side.
Every one who went on shore spoke with rapture
of the country. The vicinity of the great
chain of maintains which separates the coast of
Malabar from that of Coromandel, and which
are said to be the highest in the world, (the Alps
and Andes excepted,) gives an awful termination
to the prospect. The water is here so indifferent
that few Europeans attempt to drink it. Formerly
Anjengo was famous throughout India for
its manufactures of long-cloth and stockings,
but these have fallen to decay. We left this dangerous
place on the 22nd; the wind several times
blew so strong, we had great apprehensions of
being driven on shore; and a very narrow escape
we certainly had; for on examining
the anchor, only one fluke was found remaining;
the other must have been so nearly broke by the
strain on it, that it would not bear heaving up.
Our passages was remarkably tedious, though we had Vv4r 351
had a pleasant man in command, who kept an
exceeding good table, but not expecting to be
more than five or six weeks at sea, instead of
twelve, our stock of fresh provisions was quite
exhausted long ere we reached Calcutta, and only
distilled water to drink. On the 1784-11-2727th November
we arrived, and to my great surprise after
all that had been said against the probability
of such an event taking place, found the Camden
had been some times in the river. Mr. Baldwin
the chief officer died soon after, and my friend
Mr. Gooch succeed him, in this situation
he remained for several voyages, with Captain
till he obtained the command of the
Lushington, and I had frequently the pleasure
of seeing him during my residence in Bengal.
Being now about to enter on a new scene, I will
take leave for the present and remain,

Your’s &c.


Letter III. Vv4v 352

Letter III.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Madam,

At calcuttaCalcutta I met with great kindness from many
whom I had formerly known, and who now appeared
desirous of forwarding any plan, I might
adopt At length with the approbation of Captain
, and several other friends, I determined
on placing Miss Hicks in business as a millener.
It was agreed that my name should not appear,
although I retained in my own hands the
entire management of the concern, allowing
Miss H. one third of the profits. Mr. Berry
purser of the Camden had the goodness to open
a set of books, and to give me every necessary
instruction how to keep them in proper order,
which afterwards proved very advantageous in
the prosecution of my concerns. You are aware
how many difficulties both from within and without
must have opposed themselves to this design, and Ww1r 353
and how much even the same feeling operated in
contrary directions; at least, if the wish for indipendence
may be termed pride, to which it is
certainly allied. Soon after, a proposal was
made me to engage in a seminary for young ladies,
on so liberal a plan, that I have since frequently,
regretted not having complied with the
solicitations of my friends; but I had in fact gone
rather too far to recede, having made several large
purchases, which could not be disposed of suddenly
but at considerable loss. Within four
months after our arrival, Miss Hicks married Mr.
; and the following Christmas lay in of a
fine boy, but unfortunately lost him at the end
of six weeks; after which her health declined so
fast, as to render it absolutely necessary that she
should proceed to Europe. I took that opportunity
of sending home for education, a natural child of
my husband’s, whose birth had caused me bitter affliction;
yet I could not abandon him, though he
was deserted by his natural protector. They accordingly
embarked on the 1786-09-055th of September 1786, on
the Severn Packet Captain Kidd, with every prospect
of a favourable passage; but on the 9th, owing
to the rapidity of the current, the vessel struck
on a sand, called the Broken Ground, just below Ww Ingellee Ww1v 354
Ingellee, and every European on board unhappily
perished, except the second officer in whose
arms the poor little boy expired; but Mrs Lacey
supported herself in the fore chains with exemplary
fortitude, till a tremendous sea broke over
them, and he saw her no more, but by great exertion
reached the shore on a broken spar. I felt
her loss severely, for she possessed a mind and
spirit that would have graced any station.

After this melancholy event I was compelled to
conduct business in my own name, but on a
more extensive scale, and succeeded tolerably
well, till the unlucky year 1788, when such immense
investments were brought out, that nearly
all concerned in that branch of commerce,
were involved in one common ruin. Yielding
to the storm, for I had large consignments which
I was compelled to receive, my brother having
become security for them at home, I solicited
and obtained the indulgence of my creditors for
eighteen months under four trustees, Messrs Fairlie,
Colvin, Child, and Moscrop, whose names
were sufficient to sanction any Concern; and
such was the confidence reposed in my integrity,
that every thing remained in my own hands Ww2r 355
hands as formerly. Never, I am proud to say,
was that confidence abused; pardon the seeming
vanity of this assertion; in justice to my
own character, I must say thus much, and can
boldy appeal to those who are best acquainted
with the whole transaction for the truth of my
statement. Having received several consignments
from my kind friends at home, which
sold to great advantage, and various other
means suggesting themselves, wherein I was
benevolently assisted by many who saw and compassionated
my arduous struggles after independence,
I succeeded in settling either in money or
goods, every claim on me, and again became
possessed of a little property; when in the beginning
of 1794, anxiety to see my dear friends, led
me to resolve on returning once more to Europe.
I must heere mention what operated as a strong
encouragement to prosecute the plan immediately.
In May 1791 Mr. Benjamin Lacy brother of my
lamented friend’s husband came to Bengal, bringing
out a small investment for me. I received him
into my family, and altho’ only nineteen years of
age, he evinced such abilities, that I soon obtained
a situation for him, where he conducted himself
so much to the satisfaction of his employers, as Ww2v 356
as to be intrusted with confidential commissions
to Madras and elsewhere, which he executed with
judgement and integrity. This young man happening
to be in Calcutta, I embraced the opportunity
of leaving to him the management of my
concerns. As a proof that my confidence was
not misplaced, allow me here to notice, that altho’
my stock and bills were delivered over to him
without inventory and engagement on his part
when I left India, he in the course of eleven days
after, transmitted regular accounts of the whole,
and where placed, making himself answerable
for the proceeds, in the strongest manner; so that
had we both died, my friends would have found
no difficulty in claiming my effects. Having by
his assistance laid in a small investment, I embarked
on the 1792-03-2525th March on board the American
ship Henry, Captain Jacob Crowninshield,
bound for Ostend; and on the 29th the pilot quited
us. I found the Henry a snug little vessel,
Capt. C. a well behaved man, and his officers,
though not of polished manners, yet in their
way disposed to offer me every attention that
could render the passage agreeable. I suffered
at times from the heat, but on the whole enjoyed
better health than during my former voyage. Having Ww3r 357
Having only one passenger on board besides
myself, but little occurred to relieve the monotony
of a sea life: I frequently played chess, and
was almost constantly beaten. Cards and backgammon
had their turn, but I grew tired of all;
till at length, on the 1792-07-022d July we anchored off St.

I went on shore in the afternoon and learnt
with some vexation that a large fleet sailed only
the day before. I wished to have written, specially
as we were not bound direct to England.
Many changes had happened in this curious
little Island, during my twelve years absence.
Few recollected me; but Captain Wall of the
Buccleugh formerly chief officer of the Valentine,
behaved with the greatest attention,—I shall
ever acknowledge his kindness. Fresh provisions
were very scarce, a drought had prevailed
until this season for four years, and it would require
three good seasons to repair the damage
sustained, by their stock perishing for want of
water—A circumstance happened during our
stay, the like of which was not remembered by
the oldest inhabitant, though from the appearance
of the place, one would conclude such events were Ww3v 358
were common: a large fragment of rock, detached
by the moisture, fell from the side of Ladder
, on a small out-house at the upper end of
the valley; in which two men were sleeping in
separate beds. The stone broke thro’ the top
and lodged between them, the master of the
house was suffocated, it is supposed, by the rubbish,
as no bruises were found on his body;
the other man forced his way through, and gave
the alarm, but not time enough to save his companion.
This accident has caused many to
tremble for their safety, since all the way up
the valley, houses are built under similar projections,
and will some time or other probably
experience the same fate. Among the Alps
such things are common. An unpleasant affair
also occurred to me. I had, when last here,
given a girl who had attended me from Calcutta,
and behaved very ill, to Mrs. Mason, with
whom I boarded, under a promise that she
should not be sold, consequently no slave paper
passed. Mr. Mason, however, in defiance of
this prohibition, disposed of her for £10. This
act militating against the established regulations,
advantage was taken of my return to the Island
to call upon me as the original offender, not only Ww4r 359
only for that sum, but a demand was made of
£60 more, to pay the woman’s passage back
to Bengal with her two children!!! After every
effort, I could only obtain a mitigation of £10,
being forced to draw on my brother P. at sixty
days sight in favour of the Court of Directors, for
£60, a sum that I could ill afford to lose, but
the strong hand of power left me no alternative.
On the 1792-07-066th July we quitted St. Helena, and on
the 11th anchored off Ascension. Our Captain
and the gentlemen went on shore to look at the
Island. The following remarks I extract from
his journal. “The soil near the sea, appears
dry and barren in the extreme, like cinders
from a fire; indeed the whole Island bears
evident marks of the former existence of volcanoes,
several craters still appearing on the
hills; perhaps it owes its origin to some great
convulsion of nature, as I am persuaded does
St. Helena, altho’ the sea coast presents a
dreary view, yet on walking farther the prospect
becomes enchanting; a most delightful
verdure covers the smaller hills, and the vallies;
and no doubt they afford plenty of water,
tho’ not being very well, I was too much fatigued
to examine. The 2nd officer saw five or Ww4v 360
or six goats, but could not get near enough
to fire at them”

Numbers of man-of-war birds and eggs were
taken, which proved to be good eating; they
likewise caught the finest turtle I ever saw,
weighing near 400 lbs, but by an act of unpardonable
negligence in people so situated, it
it was suffered to walk overboard in the night.
We had however the good luck to catch a fine
albercuore which weighed near 100 lbs, its flesh
when roasted resembled veal; we were fortunate
in having an excellent cook on board, who really
made the most of our scanty provisions. On
the 1792-08-033rd of August, three large ships hove in
sight, one of which bore down towards us and
fired several guns to bring us to. They sent a
boat on board with orders for our Captain to
attend the commander; he came back, to our
great joy, in about half an hour, having been
treated with much civility by the French Captain-
It was now we heard the distressing news of
Ostend being in the hands of the French; indeed
they boasted of having gained the advantage
every where, except in the West Indies.—
These were three frigates mounting from 28 to 32 Xx1r 361
32 guns, they had been 20 days, from Brest and
had taken 22 prizes. We had been assured by
Captain Wall, that the French dared not shew
their noses in the channel, but I with sorrow
now witnessed the contrary, not on my own account,
being safe enough on board an American;
but Captain C. informed me, there were
more than 200 English prisoners on board those
ships.—He now acquainted me with his determination
to proceed to America, and very politely
offered me a passage, that I might witness the
disposal of my property, which I of course declined;
not feeling the least desire to prolong my
voyage. So having arranged my affairs in the
best manner possible under existing circumstances,
I took a final leave of the Henry on the
1792-09-044th September, and handed with my baggage at
Cowes in the Isle of Wight.—From this place
I soon reached London; pleased as I went, to
behold scenes from which I had been so many
years banished, and anticipating the delight
with which my dear father would receive his long
absent child. Alas! I was doomed to behold him
no more. He expired only four months before
my arrival—The remainder of my family I had
the happiness of finding in perfect health— Xx The Xx1v 362
The property sent to America came to a tolerable
market, but Captain Crowninshield instead of
making the returns in cash, sent a ship called the
Minerva, with his younger brother Richard
in command of her, which ship it
was proposed that I should I take out to India under
certain conditions. She was a fine new vessel
of about 300 tons burthen; I had her coppered,
and proposed her first making a voyage to America,
and on her return sailing for Bengal about
Christmas: But when completely fitted for sea,
with a picked cargo on board for Boston, she
took fire by the bursting of a bottle of aquafortis,
which had been negligently stowed among
other goods, and though immediately scuttled and
every precaution taken, sustained material damage.
This involved me in a series of misfortunes.
Mr. B Wynne who had shipped to
the amount of £428 on the Minerva, by
mere accident discovered that, contrary to the
general opinion, the Captain was responsible
for all goods committed to his charge under regular
bills of lading; and accordingly commenced
an action against him; in which he was
successful, the whole debt and costs near £600
falling on the Captain, and from his inability, on Xx2r 363
on me: this decision caused a change in the tenor
of bills of lading, which now contain clauses against
fire and several other casualties, whereas
before “the dangers of the seas” were alone
excepted. Thus did my loss operate to the advantage
of others. To prevent the total wreck
of my little property, I was compelled to proceed
immediately on the original plan, as affording
the only chance of attaining independence,
and ultimately securing a home in my native

Having resolved never again to travel alone,
I engaged a Miss Tripler as a companion, for
two years a £30 per annum; but had soon
cause to regret the agreement. A proposal being
made by my dearest friend Mrs. I—n to take
out a young lady, who had been educated in
England, and was going to rejoin her friends
in Bengal, I felt no disposition to refuse, having
frequently seen Miss R—s, and knowing her
to be a most amiable little girl; besides as I had
a piano-forte, and a pair of globes with me, and
a good collection of books, I was pleased with
the idea of contributing to her improvement,
and amusing myself at the same time—The ship being Xx2v 364
being obliged to touch at Guernsey. I determined
to join her there; so, on the 17th July she
sailed for that place. Miss Tripler and my Bengal
servant proceeding on her, as the most
saving plan. Here let me pause, reserving the
account of my third voyage for another letter.

I remain truly your’s


Letter IV.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Madam.

On Sunday the 1795-08-02T05:002nd August 1795 at 5. AM.
Miss R―s and myself, accompanied by
Captain Richard Crowninshield quitted London
for Southampton, from whence the packets
sail for Guernsey. I did not leave my sisters
and nieces without deep regret; they were
always very dear to me, but now, having lost my Xx3r 365
my parents, the tie was drawn still closer; abstracted
from this consideration, I rather rejoiced at
quitting England, as the whole time of my stay
had been imbittered by a succession of losses
and disappointments, arising partly from my
individual misfortune respecting the ship, and
partly from the general state of commerce at
this inauspicious period. Alas! in the number
of wretched Emigrants whom I saw crowding
the port of Southampton, I felt that I had but
too many fellow-sufferers, and it was easy to
read in many a sorrowful countenance that,
“the times were out of joint.”

On arriving there, we were advised to go on
by land to Lymington, and embark from thence;
this gave me an opportunity of passing a few
hours at Newtown Park, a short mile from Lymington,
the residence of Mrs. I―n’s
sister Mrs. P―n. The house and grounds
are strikingly beautiful, and an Observatory at
the top of the former, commands an extensive
view over the Isle of Wight, and great part of
the channel: and Mrs. P―n assured
me, that not long before, she saw from thence
near four hundred vessels sail together. The wind Xx3v 366
wind becoming fair, we embarked on the 1795-08-055th
, and next evening safely reached the Minerva
at GueruseyGuernsey. We found all on board
greatly fatigued, the ship having arrived only
the night before, after a most harrassing passage
of eighteen days. What an escape we had!
On the 8th we went on shore; passed through
the market, which appears to be well supplied,
particularly with fruit, vegetables, poultry, and
butter; we took a quantity of the latter, which
tasted perfectly good on the way out. I was
pleased with the market people, they were so
remarkably clean and civil. The women wore
bonnets with enormous stiffened crowns, underneath
which, they had becoming laced mobs.
Provisions are in general good and cheap; the
fish excellent; such delicious soles I never tasted
any where. We went to church and heard
prayers in both French and English; a dialect
of the former prevails here, but it is a vile jargon,
I could scarcely understand one word in ten.
This must be a very healthy place; I saw here a
lady who, at the age of ninety-four, had full possession
of her faculties, and I heard there were several
others on the island nearly of the same age.
Mr. Tupper, a gentleman to whom I had a letter, was Xx4r 367
was in his 76th year: he and his whole family
paid Miss R―s and myself the greatest
attention. I was surprised to see the magnificent
style in which their house was fitted up,
the drawing room stove was of silver, the curtains
rich silk, with gilt cornices; the chimney
piece cost eighty pounds, and every other article
corresponding; but even these were trifling,
when compared with the many capital paintings
and valuable prints which adorned every room
in the house. I afterwards found the prevailing
taste with the wealthy here, is for expensive
houses; for the roads are so bad and
steep, that single horse chaises are the only carriages
in use. On the 1795-08-1717th August, Mr. J. Tupper
came by appointment to shew us the Island,
of which we made almost the tour. The lands
are highly cultivated, but such roads I never
saw; they are barely wide enough to admit a
chaise; fortunately we met only one, which backed
for us to pass. I admire the exact manner in
which the hedges are kept, they add great
beauty to the prospect. I have seldom seen more
picturesque views; the lands and sea vallies are
particularly striking. Their parties, though elegant,
are by no means expensive; for liquors are Xx4v 368
are duty free, and the best wines do not cost more
than 16s per dozen, except claret, which is at from
25 to 28s. The hospitality with which we were
all treated by this worthy family, excited the
most grateful emotions; and I bade them adieu
with sincere regret.

I am
Yours truly


Letter V.

My Dear Madam.

We were a pretty large party on board;
Mr. Campbell, fresh from the Highlands of Scotland,
on whom the officers were continually playing
their jokes; Mr. Smith, a youth going to
the Madeiras, and Mr. Regail, who was one of
the most interesting young men I ever met with:
his manners were elegant, his mind highly polished,
and his disposition placid and benevolent:
but he appeared bending beneath a deep dejection;tion: Yy1r 369
he never joined in conversation, if it were
gay; he ate no more than barely sufficed nature
and tho’ from politeness and native suavity, he
never refused to join our evening parties at
cards, yet his depression was visible even
in the moments of amusement. He had been
brought up in Russia, and had, for his age (which
could not be more than 24) seen much of the
world, and evidently mixed in the first society,
and I apprehend some singular blight had
happened in his fortunes.

On the 1795-09-077th September we landed at Funchall,
the Capital of Madeira. I was exceedingly delighted
with our approach to the Island: the
town is build on rising ground, and as you draw
near to it, appears imposing and magnificent,
having several churches and convents. Behind
the town the ground rises abruptly into
steep hills, covered with vineyards, and ornamented
with pleasure houses, at once exhibiting
the appearance of prosperity and cultivation,
and the charms of picturesque and romantic
scenery.―A Mr. L― to whom I had letters,
went with us to a Hotel; for unfortunately
his lady being in England, he could not Yy entertain Yy1v 370
entertain us at his own house. Living in this
manner was very expensive and disagreeable
also, we paid 5a. each for dinner, exclusive
of wine; and neither the waiter, nor any other
servant, understood a word of English,
or any other language we could speak. It was only
with the landlady we could have any communication.
We found Funchall much less
beautiful than its first appearance promised;
the streets were ill paved, narrow, dirty and
solitary; but the great church is a handsome
building, and the hospital a very excellent one,
before which is a fine fountain, which is always
a refreshing sight in a country like this. The
American Consul visited us the next morning,
and invited us to his country house, for which
we sat out at five o’ clock. Miss R—―s
and I were in silk net hammocks, slung upon
poles, and each carried by two men, who went
at a great rate, considering the road lay up a
steep hill; this is the only mode of conveyance,
except riding on horse back, as no wheel carriages
can be used in a country so hilly—They
employ a kind of dray or sledge drawn by oxen
to transport goods

We Yy2r 371

We found a large party assembled; the lady
of the house, a pleasant Irish gentlewoman,
had all the frankness and hospitality of her
country, and with her husband, a most amiable
and companionable man, made us quickly forget
we were strangers. Even the Portuguese
ladies, seemed familiar with us, tho’ unluckily
we could not converse with them. We had
a ball at night, but the weather being too
warm to dancing, we exchanged it for whist,
I cannot help observing here, how frequently
people who travel, will find an advantage in
knowing some thing of this game, as they may
sit down with persons of different nations and
languages and enjoy with them as an amusement,
that for the time, admits of an interchange of ideas
and facilitates good-will, even where conversation
is denied. We sat down above thirty to an elegant
supper; the grapes I found delicious here,
but the season for other fruits was over. The
vineyards are tended with unusual care; the
grapes of which wine is made, are not suffered
to ripen in the sun, which they told me
is the reason of the superior flavour in Madeira
wine. The Consul’s house was most delightful
situated; it over-looked the whole town of Funchall Yy2v 372
Funchall, the surrounding country, and the wide
spreading ocean; it had a beautiful garden,
which produced abundance of peaches, apricots,
quinces, apples, pears, walnuts, bananas, guavas,
and pine-apples, and behind rose a fine
grove of pine trees. I quitted this paradise with
regret, and found my ride down-hill, very fatiguing
and disagreeable.

We staid here till the 21st, and by means of
our first friend, spent several pleasant days, and
gay evenings, but the weather was so intolerably
hot, and the travelling so disagreeable, that if I
had not been detained by business, I would much
rather have passed my time on board. One day
we went with the American Consul to visit a
Convent of Ursulines; we found the Chapel door
open, but were not suffered to pass the threshold:
the nuns were very chatty, and like most
ignorant persons, exceedingly curious, asking a
hundred ridiculous questionsquestions. How very differently
do human beings pass the time allotted them in
this probationary existence! Surely, to consume
it in supine indolence or “vain repetitions” can
never, render us more acceptable to Him, who is
the fountain of light and knowledge. We ate some preserved Yy3r 373
preserved peaches with them, which the Consul
paid for, and then took our leave; but were forced
to submit to a salute from the sisters, which we
would gladly have dispensed with, for they all took
an enormous quantity of snuff. These are the
only nuns I ever saw who do not conceal
their hair. On leaving these pious ladies, we
went to Golgotha, or the chapel of skulls, (as it
is called) being entirely lined with skulls and
other human bones. What an idea!

We drank tea the same day, with Signor Esmerado,
whose large house and extensive grounds
once belonged to the Jesuits. This is one of the
richest families in the Island; the display of plate
surprised me; the tea tray was the largest I ever
saw, and of massive silver; wine and sweatmeats,
were served in the same costly style. After tea
there were several minuets danced; they with
difficulty suffered us to depart, and were the means
of introducing us to another pleasant evening
party, where the lady of the house played remarkably
well on the piano-forte, and sung in a
style of superior excellence.

One day we went on horse-back, to visit the
church of Nossa Senhora de la Monte, (our Lady of Yy3v 374
of the Mount) about three miles from Funchall,
upon a very high ground; which must
have cost a large sum in building, The ascent
to it, is at least by a hundred steps. The
church is not large, but richly ornamented: there
is a wonder-working image of the virgin, in a
chrystal shrine, very small, not more than two
feet high, it looks exactly like a doll; but her
little ladyship, however insignificant her appearance,
had more votaries than any other saint
on the Island. Here we saw some paintings.
which considered as the work of a self-
taught Genius, (and I was assured this was a fact)
had extraordinary merit. In this little excursion,
I was surprised to see the diversity of climate
exhibited in a short distance; the vintage was
over, below; while the grapes around us were
like bullets, and I am told they never completely
ripen; we observed the same effect in Mr Murray’s
plantation, half a mile lower. This
gentleman, who was the English Consul, had
laid out above £20,000 in improving a spot,
which after all, will never bring any thing to
maturity; yet it is a most charming place;
there are three ranges of gardens, one above
another, the lower are very large and well laid out, Yy4r 375
out, on a level, artificially formed, in the midst of
which stands a good house, but not sufficiently elegant
to correspond with such extensive grounds.
In these are several reservoirs, containing gold
and silver fish, which are supplied with water
by small cascades, so as to be kept constantly
full. No are Mr. Murray’s improvements confined
to his own estate; the road up to the mount
and the wall which secures it, with many fountains,
conduits, and reservoirs, were made by
him. He has also opened many cross-paths,
winding round the hill in the prettiest manner
imaginable, with stone seats, and alcoves, to rest
on from time to time; and has planted the hollows
with chestnut trees, entirely at his own expence.
Poor man! he had been obliged by ill
health to abandon his little paradise, and was at
this time in Lisbon. We afterwards called upon
the British Vice-Consul Mr. C—k, at his country
seat, which was remarkable for its extensive
prospect: we thought him and Mrs. C. very
good kind of people, but were surprized to
find that altho’ the latter was English, she had
resided abroad from infancy, and knew scarcely
a hundred words of her native language.

Altho’ Yy4v 376

Altho’ we were certainly treated with much
kindness and hospitality at this place, yet were
we assured, that the inhabitants had little enjoyment
of society with each other; that being all
engaged in one line of merchandize, the pursuits
of interest, were found to jar with those of
good-fellowship; and that on the whole, Madeira
was an unpleasant residence, except to the
sick, and the way-faring.

I am
Your’s &c.


Letter VI.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Madam,

We were much tossed by the equinoctial gales
on quitting Madeira, as might be expected; but
on the 1795-09-2323rd September we obtained a sight of
the peak of Teneriffe: all that day we kept
standing in for the land, but to little purpose, as Zz1r 377
as the mountains are too high to admit of approach,
except in a calm. On the 26th we
cast anchor in the road of Oratavia: the visit-
boat came out, and as soon as our bill of health
had been examined, the CaptainCaptain was permitted
to go one shore. I sent by him a letter which, Mr.
the American Consul at Madeira, had
given me, and received in reply a most cordial
invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Barry for Miss
and myself, to take up our abode
with them during our stay; with which we
thankfully complied in the evening. The appearance
of this country, pleased me much
better than Madeira, as it is more cultivated and
better inhabited: the city of Oratavia constitutes
a fine feature in the beautiful scene. We
were received most kindly by the worthy couple
who invited us, and at whose house we met
with the best society in the Island. I greatly
prefer the Spanish ladies to the Portuguese,
finding them more easy in their manner, and
much better educated. Many spoke French and
Italian with facility, and several had been so
connected with the English, so as to have attained
enough of the language, to be tolerably intelligible
in it: their persons were pleasing, and Zz some Zz1v 378
some would have been really handsome, but
for the presence of Mrs. Barry, who altho’ in
her thirty-fourth year, I thought the most
beautiful woman I ever beheld. She was in
England just before Sir Joshua Reynold’s death,
and he declared repeatedly, that would his
health permit him ever to take another picture,
it should be Mrs. Barry’s. Her height was
commanding, with just enough of the embonpoint
to be agreeable. Dimples have been called
“the first of the graces,” I never saw a
countenance display more of them; her smile
was perfectly fascinating.

I was disappointed in my intention of ascending
the Peak of Teneriffe, the season being too
far advanced; and I was assured by many, that
i was quite unequal at any time to have endured
the fatigue. After travelling 15 miles over
loose stones and rugged ascents, you find yourself
still at the foot of the Peak; here it is necessary
to remain till two in the morning, when
the task of clambering begins, over pumice stones
and ashes, and should you reach the top by sunrise,
you may esteem yourself very fortunate:
four hours are generally allowed for the ascent, and Zz2r 379
and after all, should the Peak be enveloped in
clouds, which is frequently the case, you have
your labour for your pains; but on a clear day
the view is truly sublime; you can distinctly see
the seven Canary Islands; some assert that both
the Continent of Africa and the Island of Madeira
have been seen from hence; but I cannot suppose
the human vision capable of extending so
far, tho’ I do not doubt that both places are
comprehended within the immense horizon such
a prodigious height may command. Having
heard a very good account of Santa Cruz, which
is between 20 and 30 miles across the Island,
we determined to visit it, little aware of the
roads we must encounter. Ladies here travel
on Asses, on which are placed a sort of armed
chair, with cushions and a foot-stool; this plan
appeared to be easy, but we soon found that
the roads at Madeira, were bowling greens compared
to these; how the poor animals that bore
us, contrived to keep their legs, clambering over
the rocks that from time to time had fallen in
the path, I know not; the shocks they gave me
I shall never forget. Mr. Barry had provided a
cold turkey, wine &c. for a repast, and when ready
for it, we went into a peasant’s cottage, and dined Zz2v 380
dined comfortably, endeavouring to laugh away
our fears and fatigues; the remains of our
meal afforded a feast to the peasants, who live
in a most wretched style, seldom tasting either
meat, eggs, or milk: the mother of the mistress
of the cottage was near eighty, and to see,
with what eagerness the poor old creature
watched every morsel we put into our mouths,
was really affecting. Notwithstanding their
coarse fare, the common people here, are
a stout hardy race; fair complexioned, well
featured, and remarkably lively, as we found
by our attendants, for as each animal has a
means to guide it, we were almost stunned by
their incessant chatter. Soon after dinner, we
renewed our journey: my animal fell down,
but I was not hurt, and for the next five miles,
our road was easy, and lay over a delightful plain
which brought us to the ancient city of Laguna,
the Capital of the Island, which is tolerably large,
well inhabited, and has two good churches, with
several convents; from thence the road to Santa
Cruz lay entirely on the descent, over large
stones and fragments of rock. The jumbling
was horrible, and pour surcroit de malheur, so
strong a wind blew from the sea, that my
whole strength was scarce sufficient to hold my umbrella; B1r 381
umbrella; yet I did not dare give it up, the
rays of the sun were so powerful, and the reflection
from the stones intolerable. I was at
one time so exhausted, that I declared I must
give up the journey, but the creature I rode,
carried me on in spite of me, and stopped not
until we arrived at the house of Mr. R―y
in Santa Cruz, who gave us all a hearty welcome.
This gentleman lived in a most delightful situation
fronting the Mole, where notwithstanding
our fatigue, we walked in the evening, when
our good host got tipsy for joy, and with great
difficulty allowed us to retire. Alas! weary as
we were, the musquitoes would scarcely permit
us to sleep; my companion suffered terribly
from them.

Santa Cruz is indeed a fine place, and the
country around, well deserves the pen of Mrs.
to celebrate its cloud-capt mountains,
vallies teeming with abundance, that in the
language of Holy Writ, seemed to Laugh and
sing beneath the eye of their majestic mountains;
and here to render every coup d’oeil complete,
the vast Atlantic occupies the front, and
offers its immense world of waters to our contemplation.

The B1v 382

The most curious, perhaps I ought to say the
most “interesting” circumstance that happened to
me in this expedition, was the violent passion
our kind entertainer conceived for me, and
which was certainly opened in a manner perfectly
new. “My dare soul, what should I do to
please you? Is it fifty pipes of wine you would
like? but why will I talk of wine? you shall
have my house, my garden, all I have in the
world! at nine o’clock to-morrow I will resign
every thing up to you, and by J―s if
you’ll consent to marry me, I’ll be drunk every
day of my life just for joy.”
as the last argument was, my heart of adamant
withstood it. Poor R―y! never did a
kinder heart, a more generous spirit exist, and
but for a fault which indeed proceed really
from the warmth of his heart, he would have
been a most agreeable companion, he was beloved
by every one. Poor man! let me here
close his history, by recording that he was since
killed by a shot in the streets of Santa Cruz, at
the time of Lord Nelson’s attack against it. We
returned soon after this declaration, and found
the road present objects of new beauty, because
we were a little more at ease in our conveyance, from B2r 383
from habit.—We found a new guest with Mrs.
, a Mr. Edwards, who was just arrived
from Turkey and attended by a native of that
country; he was completely a citizen of the
world, hell a commission in the service of the
Grand Signior, had been every where, and seen
every thing; he was elegant, accomplished
and every way agreeable.—Our fellow voyager
Mr. C―ll during all the time we were
at Teneriffe, continued the butt of the Captain’s
jokes, in which others were too ready to join
him; on our return, they persuaded him that
his legs were swelled, which was ever the precursor
of mortal disease in the Island, and the
poor fellow submitted to be swatched in flannel,
and dosed with every nauseous mess they gave
him, with the utmost patience, until Mr. Barry’s
good nature released the victim, who was to be
sure the most ignorant creature in the ways of
the world, I ever met with.

I cannot omit to mention, that when we
left Santa Cruz, one of Mr. B’s servants
walked over from Oratavia that morning, and
returned with us apparently without fatigue, as
he laughed, and talked all the way home, tho’ the B2v 384
the real distance was fifty miles, and the badness
of the roads of course rendered the exertion
much greater, but I was assured this was not

On the 1795-10-066th October after breakfast, we took
leave of our kind hosts: and here instead of putting
on a semblance of concern, I was obliged to
stifle my actual emotions, lest they should appear
affected. I never recollect being equally moved
at a separation, after so short an acquaintance.
But Mrs. Barry is so truly amiable, and we
were treated for such generous hospitality by
both parties, that it seemed more like a parting
between near relations, than casual acquaintances.
Since then Oceans have rolled between
us, and time and sorrow have combined to efface
the traces of recollection in my mind of a variety
of circumstances; yet every thing I then
saw and enjoyed, is still fresh in my memory.
Adieu, my dear madam, for a while: believe me

Yours truly


Letter VII. B3r 385

Letter VII.

To Mrs. L―,

My dear Madam,

On the 1795-10-077th October 1795, we set sail from Oratavia
with a fair wind, and as it continued, I was
sorry we were obliged to stop at St. Iago, where
we anchored, on the 13th. in Port Praya Bay.
This Bay makes a noble appearance; the surrounding
hills rising like an amphitheatre from
the sea. The next morning we went on shore
about eight o’clock, but were excessively incommoded
by the sun, which in these climates rises
very rapidly when once above the horizon. Signor
the Commandant of the Island, received
us very politely, and most of the principal inhabitants
came out to pay their respects to, and
gaze at, the strangers; among the rest a tall
Negro priest, whose shaven crown had a strange
appearance. Signor B. led us to a summer house
which he had built for the sake of “coolness”, and
where there was indeed wind; but the air from B3 a B3v 386
a brick-kiln would have been equally
pleasant and refreshing; while the glare was
insupportable, as the place was open on all
sides; fortunately I had brought a pack of cards,
so to whist we sat, and his Excellency the Governor
joined us, and did us the honour to play several
rubbers; and as he spoke neither English
nor French, I know not how we could have amused
each other better, as I have observed
before. An elegant dinner was provided for us,
at which I was obliged to preside. In the evening
we walked out to see the country, which
is well cultivated and highly picturesque; but
the inhabitants make a wretched appearance,
generally living in huts, even when they
are rich. The sugar-cane raised here is remarkably
strong; they have also very good cotton,
which they manufacture into a pretty kind of
cloth; but it is very dear, and exceedingly narrow,
being only about a quarter wide. After
tea we returned on board, tho’ Signor Basto
offered to accommodate us with a house to ourselves;
but as it is considered dangerous to sleep
on shore, we declined his offer, and bade him adieu
with many thanks for his civilities. In
the course of the day we learned, that this place is B4r 387
is so unhealthy, that out of twenty who land
here, fifteen generally die within six months.
What a pity! every production of warm countries
thrives here in abundance, but Man, who
cultivates them, sickens and dies.

Our Captain here laid in a stock for a long
voyage, and we set sail with a pleasant gale; the
day following we caught a fine dolphin; I never
saw any thing so beautiful as the colours it displayed
when dying. On the 1795-10-2929th October we
crossed the Line, and again poor Mr. C―ll
was the butt of the party; he had been taught to
expect a great shock on passing it, and really
stepped forward to look at it, but the boatswain,
who was his countryman, advised him to keep
aloof; he however declared very seriously that,
“he felt a very great shock, he must say, at the
Nothing further occurred worthy of notice
till our arrival at Madras, which took place
on the 1796-01-2525th. January 1796. I found this town
much improved since my former visit, and was
particularly pleased with the Exchange, which is
a noble building, ornamented with whole length
pictures of Lord Cornwallis, Sir Eyre-Coote, and
General Meadows. The Theatre and Pantheon, where B4v 388
where the assemblies are held, are three miles
from Madras. At this place we parted with
poor Mr. C―ll. I shall never forget the agony
of tears I one day found him in. “What is the
said I. “Miss R―s is going away
and I am here,”
answered he; the words were
very comprehensive; many young people will
be aware that they express love and misery in
the extreme. Poor Mr. C―ll must mourn in
vain, for alas! “his love met no return.”

On the 1796-02-066th February we again set sail, and
were fortunately but little annoyed by the surf.
On the 22d we reached Fulta, where the pilot
being over-anxious to get forward, made sail
at night, when the soundings suddenly shallowing
he found it necessary to cast anchor, tho’
not quite early enough, for in swinging round
the ship struck. At first she lay easy, having
made a bed in the sand, but when the tide came
in, she heeled terribly, and it was the opinion of
most on board, that she would never be got off.
The chief officer advised us to secure whatever
valuables we had, about our own persons, for
fear of the worst; (which precaution I had
already taken) and used all possible means for the C1r 389
the preservation of the vessel himself. Happily
the rising tide floated her off.—You cannot
judge of the acuteness of my feelings on this
occasion; to see all my hopes and cares frustrated;
and the quick transition from sorrow and disappointment
on seeing the ship afloat again,
without having sustained the least injury, can
only be imagined, by those who have experienced
such changes.

On Wednesday the 1797-02-2424th of February we reached
Calcutta in safety, where we remained several
months. Here we found a resting place
after a long voyage, diversified by many pleasant
and perilous occurrences, and here therefore
I shall make a pause in the narrative.

I remain,
My dear Madam,
Yours truly,


Letter VIII. C1v 390

Letter VII.

To Mrs. L―,

My Dear Madam,

On Wednesday the 1786-02-2424th February 1786 (as
I mentioned in the conclusion of my last letter)
my feet once more pressed the ground of
Calcutta. Miss R―s, Miss Tripler, and myself,
went directly to a large house which Mr. Benjamin
had taken for us by my desire.
We procured a freight for the Minerva and sent
her off, within a month after her arrival. The
ship had been detained so long on her passage
from various causes, that our goods came to a
very bad market; we were compelled therefore
to sell part by retail, and dispose of the remainder
by auction. A small copper bottomed ship
called the Rosalia, a very fast sailer, was purchased,
and the command given to Capt. Robinson,
an American, who came out with us, and
on the 26th of August following, I embarked
on her, with Mr. Benjamin Lacey and Miss Tripler, C2r 391
, for the United States, after bidding
a painful adieu to my dear young friend and
companion Miss R―s, whose place Miss Tripler
had neither inclination nor ability to supply;
but having fettered myself by an engagement,
I was forced to submit; besides I could not well
have proceeded alone.—We set sail with a fair
wind, but a very strong current running astern.
On the night of the 29th the water broke with such
violence against the ship, that I called for deadlights,
but was assured by the Captain that there
was not the least occasion for them; loth to be
thought cowardly or an ignorant sailor, I instantly
gave up the point, but had great reason
to lament my acquiescence: in less than a quarter
of an hour, a most tremendous sea broke in
at the starboard side of the cabin, and half
filled it with water, which soaked a bale of valuable
muslins, with me their unfortunate owner.
On this the pilot bawled out, that if the deadlights
were not put up instantly, he would cut
cable and get under weigh; so as length they
were fixed.—In the morning we had the additional
mortification to find, that the ship had
sprung a leak, and what was worse than all,
that she appeared generally too weak to supportport C2v 392
the voyage; but as it would have been
wrong to give her up without a trial, we proceeded
with the tide to Ingillee, in the faint
hope of the leak closing.—On the 30th we
reached the lower bouy of the Barabulla. Our
leak still continuing to increase, on the 1796-09-011st
we were obliged to put back for Calcutta.
In the evening of the 4th, we anchored off
Cooly Bazar, and the next day went on shore
at Calcutta, where the Rosalia was examined,
and pronounced totally unfit for the voyage.

On the 1796-09-1111th September I went on board the
Swallow Packet with Captain Simson, who was
a Guinea pig (as it is called) on board the Camden
when I came out in 17841784. He has been a
very fortunate young man, so early in life to
obtain a command. We had a very elegant repast
or Tiffin, and I must say, Captain S. seemed
heartily glad to receive his old shipmate
Mr. L― and Miss T― having accompanied me,
the former was taken suddenly ill with an ague
and fever: this added to the fatigue, loss, and
disappointment, I had so lately endured, was
very near too much for me. I brought him
back, procured the best advice for him, and in C3r 393
in a few days he was relieved; and before he
was able to crawl out, I was in the same situation
with a similar intermittent, but escaped the
cold fit: I was exceedingly reduced but restored
by the free use of bark, and other prescriptions
from Dr. Hare, who never failed to relieve

On the 1796-10-2222nd October Mr. Lacy engaged
for our freight and passage, on board the Hero,
Captain Jackson, bound to New York, to sail between
the first and the 1796-12-10tenth of December. Assoon
as my strength returned, I bustled about my business,
endeavoured to repair my losses, visited
my friends, and bade them farewell, and every
necessary preparation being completed, on the
1796-12-1818th of December we went on board at Garden
, and reached Culpee the 22nd, after a
tedious passage, kedging all the way. Here we
went on shore, and laid in provisions. On Christmas
day we anchored off Kedgeree. On New
Year’s day
we got under weigh; but unfortunately
the wind failed us; and at six in the evening,
the Pilot received instructions not to take us
out till further orders. This was a sad beginning
of the New Year; the embargo lasted 18 C3 days, C3v 394
days, after which we proceeded, though very
slowly, and on the 30th arrived at Vizagapatam,
where we ran some risk from the Hero being
mistaken for a French Frigate. On the Captain’s
going on shore, I sent a letter from my good
friend Mrs. Child, to Captain Hodson, who returned
me a pressing invitation, and the next day
I found him on the beach with four palanquins
for me and my friends. We proceeded to Waltair,
where Mrs. Hodson, Mrs. Child’s sister,
gave us a most cordial reception, and insisted
on our staying till the ship was ready to sail. The
next morning I breakfasted with Captain Pitman,
one of the most elegant young men I ever
saw. He obligingly drove me in my Curricle
round Waltair, and shewed me Sardinia Bay, and
several other spots remarkable for their beauty.

His own house was charmingly situated on a
hill, half way between Vizagapatam and Waltair.
Land here is considered of so little value, that
every person who built, took in as much as he
could employ.

To one whose eyes has been fatigued with
viewing the flat country of Bengal, this place appears C4r 395
appears delightful, but yet diversified prospects
do not repay the want of fertile plains. Here
I bought some beautiful sandal-wood and ivory
boxes, for which this place is famous. Captain
and Mrs. H. behaved to us with unbounded
kindness. In the evening we quitted Vizagapatam.
The town makes an agreeable appearance
from the sea, not unlike St. James Valley
in St. Helena. All who can afford it, live at
Waltair, which however does not contain above
ten houses.

On 1797-02-24Friday the 24th. February I once more
landed on Madras Beach, and the day following
saw many of my friends; among others
Captain Gooch, who looked remarkably well:
there is nothing more pleasant than to meet unexpectedly
an old friend, after a long absence
and in foreign country. He dined with us,
and every one was charmed with his behaviour,
so different from many who on getting into commands,
fancy that insolence establishes superiority.

On the 27th we dined at St. Thomé, with Mr.
, Mr. B. L―’s agent; in the evening
we sat down to vingt-un, at a rupee a fish, which C4v 396
which Mr. S. assured us was very low. I lost
only two dozen. We rose from the card table
at half past eleven, and for the honour of
Madras hospitality, were suffered to get into our
palanquins at that time of night, without the
offer of a glass of wine to support us during a
four miles’ jumble, or a shawl to keep us from
the damp air.

On the 1797-03-022d of March Captain Gooch paid us
a farewell visit: I was a good deal affected at
parting; how many thousand miles had each to
traverse before we met again! At five P.M. we
left Madras; there was scarce any surf, but the
sea ran high. I found every thing very dear
here, consequently made few purchases.

On the 1797-03-044th of March we got under weigh at
day break, and set sail for a new country, towards
which I now looked with eager expectation.
On the 15th I had the misfortune to fall
into the after-hold, which opens into the great
cabin; the steward having carelessly left the
scuttle open, while he went for a candle. I
was taken up senseless, having received a severe
blow on the head and many bruises, but thank D1r 397
thank heaven, no material injury. There was
a large open case of empty bottles under the opening,
and had I fallen the other way, I must
having gone directly on it; judge what the consequences
must have been.

About the 20th we began to be troubled
with calms and southerly winds, when our
Captain politely accused Miss Tripler and
me of being two Jonahs, saying he never
knew a good voyage made, where a Woman
or a Parson was on board. I had a very
agreeable revenge, for that very afternoon a
breeze sprung up, which proved to be the
trade wind, and for some time we enjoyed a
fine run; but the ship was the most uneasy I
ever sailed in, rolling and pitching on every occasion.
On the 1797-04-2323d of April a violent gale came
on, and for several days we had very unpleasant
weather. I was in great fear of the passage
round the Cape, and we were all in trouble, as
provisions ran very short: all our wine and spirits
were expended, and we had neither butter,
cheese, nor coffee remaining. On the 1797-05-1818th of
we arrived off False Bay, and on the 20th at
noon, Mr. D. Trail the Harbour-Master came
on board, and we cast anchor soon after. Mr. Lacey D1v 398
wrote to Lord Macartney for leave to proceed
to Cape Town, as without his permission no
passengers are suffered to land. We received a
visit from Mr. Gooch First Lieutenant of the Jupiter,
an elder brother of Captain Gooch, of whose
arrival at Madras we brought the first news.
I called by invitation on Captain Linzee to look
at the Dort late Admiral De Lucas’ ship. Captain
has been three years a Post Captain, tho’
not yet four and twenty. When in command
of the Nemesis, he cut out two French vessels
from some Mahomedan Port in the Mediterranean,
and was afterwards taken himself. he but just saved
his distance now, for hearing at Cape Town
on his arrival ten days ago, that the Dort was
under sailing orders, he sat off on horse-back,
and arrived but twelve hours before she was to
have sailed. Mr. Gooch brough Mrs. Losack
the wife of the Captain of the Jupiter, to visit
me and they took us with them on board that
ship, where we drank tea and supped.

On Monday the 22d we went on shore at
noon, and were received by Major Grimstone the
Commanding Officer, who politely apologized for
detaining us so long. At one, six of us mounteded D2r 399
a waggon with eight horses, which to my
great surprize were driven by one man in hand,
at the rate of six miles an hour, over loose stones,
or whatever else came in the way; so that we
were almost jumbled to death. We passed three
beaches, and to avoid quick-sands, they drove
through the surf; the roaring of which, the horses
splashing as they gallopped along, added to the
crack of the driver’s long whip, formed altogether
a charming concert. As the driver cannot
wield these enormous instruments with one hand,
another man sits by to hold the reins, while by
lengthening or shortening his arm he dexterously
contrives to make every horse in turn feel the
weight of the lash. At length we reached Cape
in safety, but were terribly tired and bruised.
Between the beaches, the road (such as it is)
passes along stupendous mountains, from whose
craggy tops, masses of stone are continually
falling, some of them large enough to crush a
church; many have rolled into the sea, where
they form a barrier against the surf, and may defy
its force for ages.

We heard that the former Governor, General
, sailed from hence on Tuesday preceding; he D2v 400
he was once forced to put back, but the second
attempt succeeded.

There were no less than six vessels here. The
flag was struck on the 15th, and would not be
hoisted again until the 1797-08-1515th August, during
which interval the Dutch suffered no ships to
remain in Table Bay. Our people are not so
cautious; perhaps, experience may render them
so. I like the appearance of the place;
for altho’ the houses are generally low, they occupy
much ground; being built of stone, or
covered with plaster, and containing five or
six rooms of a floor, they look well; and though
with only one upper story, yet the ceilings being
lofty, they do not seem deficient in height. The
church is handsome; the service is performed
in Dutch and English; there are no pews but
benches and chairs, which I greatly perfer, as
it gives the idea of social worship more, and
is consistent with that equality, which in the more
immediate presence of God, becomes his creatures,
as being equally dependant on Him. It is
true this was partly lost here, because the Governor
and his family use benches, covered with
crimson velvet. We sat off after service for Simon’smon’s D3r 401
and reached the ship at 4 P.M.
On Monday Mr. Gooch took us in the morning
to see the Tremendous, Admiral Pringle’s ship
Here we saw furnaces for heating balls.

On Wednesday the 31st we dined on board the
Dort, where we met Captain and Mrs Losack,
Lord Augustus Fitzroy, Captain Holles of the
Chichester, and Captain Osborne of the Trusty; we
went and returned in Captain L―’s barge.
Next day we dined on board L’Imperieuse with
Lord Augustus Fitzroy. In addition to our yesterday’s
party were Captain Stevens of the Rattle-
, Captain Granger of the Good Hope, Captain
of the Sphinx, Mr. Pownall Naval Officer
and his wife, and Mr. Trail. His Lordship
gave a most magnificent dinner, and to my
great joy, was too much the man of fashion, to
urge the gentlemen to hard drinking, as had been
the case on board the Dort. He has an excellent
band. When we retired Mrs. Losack and Mrs
entered into conversation, about the
Cape, which they both agreed was the vilest place
imaginable; Mrs L― is a fine dashing lady. Since
her marriage, the Jupiter has been on a cruize. I
asked her if they were ever fired upon. “Oh D3 “yes D3v 402
yes, from a battery and returned the fire.”
you go below?”
“Not I indeed.” “Then I
suppose you must have been greatly alarmed
for fear of being shot?”
“Why to tell you the
truth I was so much engaged in observing
how they loaded the guns and manœuvred the
ship, that I never once thought of danger.”

There is a courageous lady for you!

We played at whist in the evening and retired
at eleven. Captain Alexander took us on
board in his Barge. On the 4th of June the Admiral,
at one, fired two guns, then all the Men
of War in the Harbour followed with twenty one
each: the effect produced by the reverberation
from so many stupendous rocks was most noble!
Mr. Gooch and the Doctor came on board to
take leave, and on going away, the boats crew
gave us three cheers, which our people returned.
On the whole, our time passed here pleasantly;
the politeness of my Countrymen, contrasted with
the manners of our American officers served
to soothe the irritation of our minds, and teach
us to endure that for a season, with patience,
which we had often found to be a trial of our
spirits and temper, in the hopes of meeting by
and by with Gentlemen.

On D4r 403

On the 5th of June the wind was as foul as it
could blow, and split our only main sail. It is a
great misfortune to sail in a vessel ill provided with
stores and necessaries: we had an opportunity
of observing this day, what a good ship can
perform; L’Imperieuse Frigate being ordered
on a cruize, got under weigh at noon,
passed us at 8 P.M. and was safely out before
night. Lord Augustus was polite enough
to hoist his colours while going by, and struck
them immediately afterwards. Our Captain was
too much of a Yankee however to return the compliment.
I forgot to mention, that yesterday
four large ships came in; they proved to be the
Rose, the Hillsborough, and the Thurlow East
, under convoy of H.M. 74 Gun ship
the Raisonable.

On the 8th of June we were still in sight of
Simon’s Town, though we were out two days.
On the 11th of July we crossed the equinoctial
Line, and I felt satisfied in thinking, that I was
once more in my own hemisphere. There are
cases in which it is wisdom to please ourselves
with trifles; at this time my spirits were very
low, and sunk with what I might now term a
presentiment, as I approached another people and D4v 404
and another world, which was eventually the
grave of that property, for which I had toiled
so long. On the 28th of August a pilot came on
board from Philadelphia, and from him we had
the mournful account, that a sickness raged in
the city, almost as fatal as that which ravaged it
a few years before, and that a general distress
prevailed in America; frequent Bankruptcies,
Trade at a stand, and an open war with France
daily expected, as they took every thing from
America which fell in their way—As we did
not like to proceed to Philadelphia after hearing
this account, we tacked and stood to the northward,
and we had a succession of vexatious
hinderances, having narrowly escaped shipwreck
in Egg Harbour, and did not reach New
till the 3rd of September, when we landed
at 6th in the evening, and went immediately to
a house recommended by my friend Captain
, most happy to part with the
strange beings with whom we had been so
long and painfully immured.

Now having arrived in the land of Columbia,
I will bid you adieu for a while.

I am, My dear madam,
Your’s truly,




The work had been printed thus far when the
death of the author took place. The subsequent
parts of her journal, not appearing to contain any
events of a nature sufficiently interesting to
claim publication, no additional extracts have
been deemed necessary by the administrator
who from a view of benefiting the estate, has
been induced to undertake the present publication.

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