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F A R
Interpone tuis, interdum, gaudia curis;
"Where ambition and aparice have made no entrance, the desire of leisure is much more natural than of business and care," TEMPLE.
It was upwards of five years since I had taken possession of my little place in Surrey, (during which time I had not slept one night from under my roof,) when I resolved to indulge myself in a few days vacuity from business, and visit some hitherto unseen region of my native land.
native land. Often had I talked of a trip to Cornwall, and much had I desired to see the Far West of South Britain, whither the unsubdued Britons of ancient days retired before the overwhelming forces of their fierce invaders.
Having resolved upon this excursion. I embarked on the morning of the eighteenth of September last, on board the Royal Adelaide Steamer, bound for Dublin, which lay in the port of London,
The reader, who is unacquainted with such matters, may be pleased to learn a few particulars concerning the capacity, dimensions, rigging, engine, &c. of this noble ship. She is underwater, about 160 feet in length, and above water, from the outer sides of her paddle-boxes, measures 56 in breadth. The floor of her hold, wherein I saw them stowing the goods,' is at least 16 feet beneath the lower deck. Her engine has the power of 280 horses, and, if I remember rightly, her burden is 620 tons. When pacing her ample upper deck, I found myself ten feet above the surrounding water; and, as is usual, there was abundant accommodation for passengers to sit on deck. On the lower deck
was a great mixture of passengers; there being several soldiers and sailors, women and children. There were also horses confined in stalls, between the paddle boxes. This is a greatly improved method of transporting these sonipedes. I remember to have seen horses below deck, in former days, which was very dangerous; for ships have been lost, by their kicking against the vessel's side, and causing a plank to start. A remedy was then sought in fastening their heads to the side of the ship, and having their hind legs towards the centre; but to have them in stalls, and on deck, is an excellently safe mode of conveying them.
At five minutes to eleven, we began to move gently through the pool ; and at twenty-five minutes past eleven, we reached Greenwich Hospital, from which part of the river, we progressed rapidly, having the tide in our favour, and the wind being right aft, of which the captain availed himself by hoisting a gib, a lug sail, and square sail. To be thus transported, by a speedy transition, from place to place, and to view circumjącent localities, to which you rapidly approach, and which afterwards appear, with equal swiftness, to ręcede from your vision, is lively and amusing; but there is a deep interest attached to many places, when we reflect on the circumstances connected with them.
About-four miles from London Bridge is Deptford, famous for its Royal Dock Yard and Victualling Office; here, (in 1580,) Queen Elizabeth honoured the gallant Sir Francis Drake with her company at dinner, on board the ship, in which he had lately circumnavigated the globe.
We view in Greenwich Hospital, the palace of several of our monarchs, in olden times; and now an asylum for wounded and decayed sailors, a retreat for their widows, and a school for their orbated offspring. Oh, this is creditable to our country! this is a grateful monument to the memory of the gallant departed souls, whoonce manned and maintained the wooden walls of old England !
Every one who can, should see the Hall and Chapel at Greenwich Hospital.
In the hall are paintings of sea-fights, and naval heroes. The ceiling is elegantly painted; and the skill which has been displayed in the work cannot fail to excite admiration. The representation of a boat, appears, accordingly as it is viewed from different parts of the hall, to be on its keel, or capsized, or on its side. The painting of a face, also, which personifies Winter, appears to look at you, from whatever part of the hall you view it. This is stated to have been the likeness of the first pensioner. There is also on the wall, on the left, as you enter, a painting of a door, which deceives most people--and also once deceived me; for I took a key to unlock it; whereupon the old pensioner, my cicerone, enjoyed his usual triumph. Sir William Thornhill was fifteen
years painting the ceiling, and lay on his back during the performance of this operose undertaking