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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
W. C. DANA, In the Clerk's office of the District Court for the Eastern District of
King & Baird, Printers, Philadelphia.
THE solicitation of friends, and the favorable reception given to a part of these sketches, already in print, have led to the completion of the series, and to the present more permanent form of publication. This is all the apology I have to offer for adding another (it may be) leaden weight to the heavy load of modern Tours.
And now, reader, if we are to be fellow-travellers, it is a pertinent inquiry whether we are likely to prove congenial
Let me then say frankly, that if you are in search of the palpable and the useful, in the shape of minute description and accurate statistics, we shall probably soon part company. On the other hand, if eager to tread on ground, hallowed as the scene of great events, to gaze on varied landscapes, to view, beneath the halo so richly shed around them by the associations of history and romance, the timehonored castles, and temples, and palaces of the Old World -if inclined, now and then, to step aside from the common pathway, and exchange the tumult of busy life for a quiet pilgrimage to the shrines of the mighty dead-in a word, if pleased sometimes to live in the past, and, to the actual and the present, to
66 Add the gleam,
then, O most courteous and friendly reader, thou art, indeed, a companion after mine own heart; wherefore let us, at once, without further prelude, set off together on our travels.
A TRANSATLANTIC TOUR.
THE VOYAGE. -Departure from New York.—Life on board the Great
AFTER a journey of nearly eight hundred miles, I arrived at New York, on a fine afternoon in May, 1843, having previously secured a berth on board the Great Western. Next morning, I saw, for the first time, this favorite steamer-externally, a long, black, unwieldy mass, but in her interior arrangements and appointments all that the most fastidious voyager could desire-an object of interest to the casual observer, but still more so to those whose fortunes, for a time, were to be bound up with hers. Here, for successive days and nights, were we to be, in some
of wind and water, fire and steam; and hence, should these mighty agents leave us unscathed, were we to land on the soil of England.
At 2 P. M. of the appointed day, the ship, her decks covered with passengers, slowly moved into the stream, amid the parting cheers of a multitude on the shore. As we passed down the East river, groups of spectators on the wharves, and a more numerous crowd at the Battery, attested the interest still felt in the departure of the Great Western. It was a clear, bright day; the temperature of
sense, at the
the air was delightful; the harbor of New York appeared in all its beauty; and the receding city, seated proudly on the waters, looked worthy to be the commercial representative of a great nation.
Off the Battery, the North Carolina and the Warspite were lying peacefully at anchor, side by side. As we passed between them, responding to cordial greetings from each, we, who were hoping soon to be in the midst of the glories of the Old World, were very sincerely thankful that no boundary question continued to cast an ominous shadow over the political relations of the United States and England. Several miles below, the firing of cannon from a fort, at a mark set up in the water, gave us some idea of the modus operandi in war: and, as we watched the flash and smoke of each discharge, and the ball, skimming along the waves, we were, I presume, quite unanimous, in deeming this semblance of battle much more pleasing than the reality ; and especially in felicitating ourselves that our ship was not
The varied scenery of the bay detained most of the passengers on the spacious promenade deck; and some were doubtless busied in silently commenting on the demeanor of their neighbors, and mentally deciding who of them were likely to prove agreeable associates during the voyage, when the clangor of the ear-piercing gong, announcing the approach of the dinner hour, suddenly brought a different class of feelings into play. To find seats at table for more than a hundred persons was an affair of time; but the saloon was capacious enough for all, and, in due season, dinner was served in a style in no respect inferior to that of the Astor House, which many of us had just left. As my state-room opened into the main saloon, I was entitled to the seat opposite; which central post of observation gave me an ex