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Recollections of Thirty-nine Years in the Army
Chapter XXII


1861. TIENTSIN - CHEFOO—NAGASAKI—DEVONPORT

Fraternity of beggars—Relief fund—A Buddhist nunnery—A Buddhist temple— Ancestral worship—A pantheistic mosque—A Chinese dinner—An opium den— A missionary plan—Postal arrangements—Remittances—Vegetation—Birds—Mr. Bruce proceeds to Pekin—Camp formed—The Spirit of Fire—French "ideas" —"Sheep grows its own wool"—Taipings—Sir John Mitchell—Sickness among troops—Emperor dies—Trip to Chefoo—Town and vicinity—Taoist temple— Resume duty—The force breaking up—Nagasaki—Places visited—Embark - Homeward bound—Aden—Cairo and Alexandria—Death of Prince Consort - Devonport.

THE Fraternity of Beggars constitutes one of the institutions peculiar to Tientsin, the numbers of mendicants to be met with being very great indeed, comprising old and young, fat and lean, the healthy, the deformed, and the diseased. One particular class are to be seen almost devoid of clothing on the upper part of their persons, even in the coldest weather, when the thermometer ranges from zero to a few degrees above, the use of thick clothing and furs by most people considered indispensable; yet that their health in no way suffered from such exposure was evident by their appearance. Another notable class represent to some degree the order Flagellants, their appeals for charity emphasized by a series of self-inflicted blows on their bodies by means of a piece of wood or a brick-bat. These several classes live in communities, one of which I visited. In a wretched hut, in coldest winter, destitute of fire, thirty-five men, all in a state of nudity, were huddled together, having a cubic space per head of 57 feet. The atmosphere was foul and offensive, the inmates for the most part strong, and to all appearance healthy. Here, as in China generally, the rule that once a beggar, always a beggar," has few, if indeed any, exceptions.

An attempt was made to relieve some of the poverty and distress which were so prominently before our eyes. For this purpose a fund was established, a sum of eight hundred dollars being collected among the officers of the force; the subject was brought to the notice of the Chinese officials and wealthier classes in the city, the result being that they not only refused to aid the work, but opposed it in various ways. Finally, notices were issued that the sum collected would be distributed at the house used as a "church" by our troops; a guard of soldiers was mounted to preserve order, and at the hour appointed seven thousand applicants for relief had collected. Unhappily the crush speedily became greater than the guard was capable of resisting; in the pressure of the crowd a number of persons, chiefly women and children, were trodden under foot, several crushed to death, and of those less severely injured fifteen were carried into hospital.

As winter advanced, sickness among our troops increased to such a degree that various yamens or other buildings had in succession to be hired for that purpose. On such occasions, in addition to the officers specially concerned in making the selection, some representative city (Chinese) officials, the whole party under the protection of our own military police, made an inspection of the buildings most suitable for our purpose, after which an application was duly made for the particular one fixed upon. On an occasion of this kind, Captain C. E. Gordon, R.E., who shortly afterwards was to become so prominent a character in Chinese, and subsequently in Egyptian, war-history, formed, as usual, one of the party alluded to. In the course of our excursion we came to what from the outside appeared to be an eligible enclosure for our purpose. A series of loud knocks at the outer door brought to it a neatly attired and rather good-looking boy, as we at first supposed, whose manner of receiving us was the very reverse of polite, He was quickly brushed aside; our party was in act of entering, when our Chinese escort intimated the fact —up till that moment unexpressed—that we were forcing our way into a Buddhist nunnery, against the expressed objection of a nun. Our regret was real; explanations were exchanged; we were informed that the community within adopted male costume as an indication that they not only renounced the world, but with it the emblems of their sex. We were "received" by the Lady Superior, tea and cakes offered to and partaken of by us; we were then permitted to visit the "private chapel," and finally we parted from the religleuses on the best of terms. Needless to say, their establishment from that time forward was by us held sacred.

A visit was made to "The Temple of Future Punishments." hat temple comprises a series of buildings, the entrance to the general enclosure in which they are situated having on either side a stone figure of a dog, probably the Buddhistic ideal Cerberus. Within the several buildings well-executed clay figures represented the subjects of departed spirits, undergoing all the forms and degrees of punishment to which evil Buddhists were condemned, the whole reminding us, on the one hand, of those described in "The Vision of Meerza," and, on the other, of illustrations contained in at least one publication by the Roman Catholic Church. Among the various forms of punishment so illustrated was that of crucifixion; another illustration included the humpless bullock, as if relating to the worship of Isis and Osiris; a third presented the rites of the Indian Chukkur Poojah, and so on.

On visiting an old Buddhist temple on the left bank of the Peiho, our reception by the priests belonging to it was most friendly and hospitable. On the principal shrine were the orthodox representations of "the three Buddhas,"—namely, past, present, and to come. In other portions of the same sacred edifice were figures, doubtless of saints; before each a joss stick smouldered, while our venerable entertainers talked and smiled, even in presence of their gods. This portion of our visit over, we were invited by the priest to enter the house of one of the brethren. Having done so, tea in small cups, and cakes, steamed instead of baked, were served to us.

Arrived at a dwelling-house, in which various members of the family were engaged in the ceremonies connected with ancestral worship, we were permitted to be spectators of that ritual. A small shrine, erected for the occasion, had upon it two figures, probably Confucian, for they were without any characteristics of Buddhism. It was further decorated with flags and other ornaments. Offerings of apples were arranged upon the shrine; a vessel containing joss sticks, otherwise incense rods, one of which was taken by each worshipper in his turn and lighted; there were also piles of tinsel paper, from which pieces were successively taken and set on fire, the belief of the worshippers, all of whom were grave and orderly in demeanour, that messages were by that means conveyed to their departed relatives. But there were no women present at the ceremony. On either side of an enclosed passage, communicating with the ancestral hall, a series of tablets, roughly estimated at two hundred, were arranged, the impression conveyed to us being that each ancestor has his particular day on which his worship is celebrated.

We were at first unprepared, on visiting a principal mosque, to learn that several others of less magnitude existed for the considerable Mahomedan population in the city. The mosque alluded to was to a great extent Chinese in external style, but within had all the usual characteristics of such edifices; superadded to these, however, there was, on the middle of the floor, a tablet of Confucius, around which was entwined in bold relief the Taoist dragon. The rnoolahs were Chinese in feature and costume, and wore the Mongolian queue or pigtail. As we entered we found them deeply engaged in the study of the Koran, written in Arabic, which language they spoke fluently.

Having had the honour of being invited to dinner by a Chinese gentleman, the occasion was taken advantage of to observe the phase of native life so presented. As guest of the evening, I was received with much ceremony by Chang, for such was the name of the host; there was much bowing, "chin-chin "-ing, and hand-shaking, each person for himself shaking his own hands as he held them clasped upon his breast. Then followed a respectful inquiry as to my honourable years,— otherwise, how old I was,—and it by a desire to be informed as to how many children had the honour to call me father, a bow and expressive gesture indicating that sons only were to be counted in the enumeration. All this took place in an outer apartment; the party was then invited to proceed to the dining-hall, separated from that in which we at first stood by a series of apartments, all handsomely furnished and ornamented. In each corner of these rooms stood an ornamental lantern, having in it a red-coloured taper, in token of rejoicing; on the wall directly facing the door, a tablet upon which, in Chinese characters, was the moral maxim, "Not to covet is a virtue," otherwise a compressed epitome of the tenth commandment. In the dining-room we took the chairs assigned to us. On the table, arranged with much taste, were dishes containing fruit, fresh and preserved; a dish on which were some neatly cut slices of what looked like ham; on another a pyramid of eggs that had been first boiled hard, then permitted to remain buried in the ground for a year. These delicacies partaken of (and the eggs referred to were by no means nasty), our host filled the tiny cup at the side of each guest with hot sham-shu,-----i.e., a spirit distilled from millet,—bowed to each of us in succession, and returned to his seat. The course which followed was mainly composed of the root of water lily (Mlumbum); it again by one of sharks' fins; then olives preserved in syrup, or perhaps rather jujubes 1 more fruits of sorts, variously preserved; seaweed, sea-slugs, and other delicacies. Although chop-sticks were arranged for each of us, knives, forks, and spoons—all of silver, but the last-named of Chinese pattern—were also placed for our use. Several courses of this kind having succeeded each other, the more material part of the banquet was introduced, in the shape of portions of fowl and duck, served la Russe; then a repetition of preserves as before; winding up with a portion of rice—the sign that dinner was over. Dessert was laid in another room; thither we repaired, and with toasts, talk, and a good deal of festivity the evening passed away.

A visit to an "opium den," and inquiries to which that visit led, induced me to make, at the time, an entry in my diary thus: "I have witnessed much wretchedness and want among the victims of this vice (namely, opium-smoking); but neither in a greater degree nor among so large a proportion of the people as are debased in the United Kingdom through the evil consequences of indulgence in spirits." The institution of such establishments was at the time looked upon as among the first fruits arising from the treaty, in accordance with which Tientsin, as a port, has been opened to foreign shipping.

The visit alluded to was made in company with an American missionary. His plan for obtaining influence over the frequenters of such places was to point out to them the evils present and prospective of the vice in which they were indulging, and so endeavour to wean them from it. By seeking for, and assisting in various ways, outcasts and the neglected,—by reconciling, when possible, those between whom misunderstandings had arisen, and in other kindred methods of proceeding, rather than in direct attempts at religious conversion, he had succeeded in making for himself a sphere of great usefulness and influence.

The postal arrangements in connection with our portion of the force were so imperfect that only by means of Chinese messengers employed at high rates of pay,, which had to be made up at our individual cost, our letters were conveyed to Chefoo, to be put on board a steamer. The French, on the other hand, had with them two officers from the Post Office in Paris, under them a party of sailors, for the purpose, without expense to individuals, of keeping up postal communication between Tientsin and the same port.

With regard also to the transmission of family remittances, a similar contrast existed; it was impossible for us to send such remittances otherwise than through a bank or mercantile house in Hong-Kong, at the same time that the greatest difficulty and inconvenience existed in sending money to that island. The French, on the contrary, have with them special officers sent from the Paris Treasury for the purpose of transacting business of this kind. If, therefore, our arrangements are in most respects superior to those of our allies, these are examples of the few in reference to which we are comparatively at a disadvantage.

In the early days of April a great advance was apparent in the aspect of vegetation; long red catkins of poplar trees hung pendulous to a length of several inches; plants, numerous in their variety, rapidly came into blossom, many being species familiar to us in England, the progress made by all of them astonishing. Vines that had been buried deep in long trenches, and so protected against the cold of winter, were disinterred, laid along the surface of the ground as if to dry, then secured upon trellis-work erected for the purpose, after which the succession of bud, leaf, flower, and fruit was very rapid. In the near vicinity of irrigation canals, peach trees presented lovely displays of pink blossom; at intervals the "white cloud" of cherry flowers gave contrast to the whole.

From this point onwards interest increased in observing the successive aspects of Nature. On March 17 temperature was sufficiently mild to bring into activity a few winged insects; a perceptible change in the aspect of the fields was apparent; tender shoots of green cereal leaves were rising from the ground, and tree buds began to manifest coming activity. Migratory birds were now in flight northward in their course, wild swans being the first to start on such a journey, and to suffer at the hands of the snarer. Early in April the swallow, so well known in England, made its appearance; and thenceforward, with White's "Selborne" in hand, note was taken of the order in which various species made their appearance—an order which coincided to a remarkable degree with what happens at home.

The departure of Mr. Bruce to take up his position as British Representative at Pekin marked the opening of a new era in the relations between our own and the Imperial Governments. The Emperor was still at Jehol, whither he had fled on the approach to his capital of the allied army; it was known that his chief adviser, the Prince Tsai, was inimical to foreigners; that the details of government were conducted by Prince Kung in conjunction with the Manchu Prince Wan siang; moreover, that the Taiping rebels were carrying their conquest rapidly northward, and so threatening the existence of the reigning dynasty; hence it was that our force was held ready prepared for eventualities. Happily the reception accorded to the British Minister, if not all that could be desired, was not of a kind to call for actual protest.

By way of occupation to our soldiers a camp was pitched and temporarily occupied by them at a little distance from the city; parades and drills became frequent, the general routine of duty much like that in an English garrison. Men who had suffered in health during the winter, and those time expired, were got ready for dispatch homewards, being conveyed by military train waggons to Taku, and thence by steamer to Hong-Kong en route. Of time-expired men the greater number were in the best of health and vigour, inured to military life, and in all respects desirable as soldiers, so that their departure was a serious loss to the efficiency of our force.

With a view to facilitate access to the recently established camp, the somewhat forcible measure was taken of cutting through the city wall. That an objection should be raised by the citizens was a matter of course; a deputation accordingly waited upon our Brigadier to protest against the dilapidation, the reason assigned by them being that "the Spirit of Fire" enters from the south, and danger to the city was thus to be apprehended.

Intercommunication between the French and British officers was friendly, if not exactly intimate, the former being invited to entertainments of different kinds given by the latter. On one such occasion conversation turned upon the nature of the influence being exerted upon the Chinese mind by our presence respectively: "Yes," observed our neighbour, "we have a great mission to perform : you to benefit them by your commerce; we (the French) by our ideas." One morning news reached us that a considerable portion of the French contingent had been dispatched for service in Saigon.

On the subject of commerce the Chinese had already their own views in relation to the indemnity to be paid to "the Barbarian." Double import duty was imposed on all foreign goods landed at the port; one moiety to be paid before leaving the ship, the other prior to actual landing. By this simple method, according to the expression used, "the sheep would grow its own wool." Not that the price to the Chinese receiver would increase; the dues must fall upon the exporter.

Meanwhile the Taipings were steadily advancing in their progress of devastation and murder; the atrocities reported as committed by them horrible in their details. Towards the end of April, Admiral Hope and Brigadier Staveley proceeded to Pekin, at the request of Prince Kung, who desired to consult with them relative to a plan initiated by himself, of dispatching a body of British troops to aid the Imperial forces against the rebels in question. The circumstance sufficed to put all concerned on the qui vive; our field arrangements were overhauled and seen to; all preparations made for contingencies. Shortly afterwards news spread that a considerable body of Tartar cavalry had been sent from Tientsin against them; that the British were to be withdrawn from Canton, and thus a force 2,000 strong left available for service against the rebels.

Our Ambassador, finding it well to consult personally the general officer commanding the troops in China respecting the somewhat important question at this juncture, of retaining our force intact or diminishing it, that officer was summoned to the capital. It was while he was en rozete towards Pekin that I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance, and of adverting to an incident already mentioned with reference to the battle of Maharajpore. In the interval of seventeen years which has meanwhile elapsed, Captain Mitchell, of the 6th Foot, had become Major-General Sir John Mitchell, K.C.B. I asked him whether he had ever received the watch sent to him from the field by request of General Churchill. He seemed surprised to learn that I had been the sender; and taking it from his watch-pocket exclaimed, as he showed it to me: "There it is, and it goes as well as ever." The expletives which accompanied the action are here omitted.

As in the severity of winter the health of the troops suffered greatly, so it did, though in a different way, when late in July and early in August summer heat was at its highest. During the latter period heat apoplexy, cholera, and a very virulent form of small-pox prevailed to such an extent and with such mortality that a veritable panic spread among them. Fortunately these terrible maladies continued but for a short time, a change to temperate in the state of the atmosphere seeming to put a sudden and complete check to them. While they continued they affected only the foreigner; the Chinese enjoyed their ordinary health; but they deviated altogether from the method, so general in India, of protecting their heads from the heat of the sun by means of thick turbans; on the contrary, they freely exposed themselves to the fiercest sun with no covering whatever on their shaven heads. According to them, the cause of this sudden outbreak of illness was the comet. An immense and brilliant comet had shortly previous appeared in the heavens—a strikingly grand object to gaze at, and wonder; but in the eyes of many a portent of evil.

Various rumours circulated with reference to the state of health of the Emperor : that he was ill; that he was in perfect health; that he was dead; that he had been murdered; that he was neither, and so on. After a time authentic news of his death was received; that, as expressed by the Chinese, "he had ascended upon the dragon to be a guest on high"; that his son Chesiang had been named as his successor, under the name or title of, Tung-che, or "Felicitous omen," otherwise "Union of law and order"; that a Board of Regency had been appointed for the conduct of government; that its chief members, including the Empress-Dowager, were persons of anti-foreign proclivities, the Prince Kung retaining his position as a kind of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. At the date of his succession the young Emperor was no more than eight years of age; but a truly Chinese method of adding to them was adopted: his Council bestowed upon him three years—namely, one from heaven, one from earth, and one from themselves; his age, moreover, was calculated as having been nine months at the date of his birth.

A trip to Chefoo having been arranged, in company with our Brigadier-General, Sir Charles Staveley, I proceeded by H.M. gunboat Woodcock to Taku; thence by H.M.S. Simoom. Like many others at Tientsin we had suffered considerably in health, first from the great cold of winter, then from the no less trying heat of summer, with the outbreak of epidemic disease already mentioned. Soon, however, the open sea, with its clear air, added to complete relief from official responsibilities and duties, had an effect for good upon us. But we were not a little surprised to observe that while those actually ill among the ship's company amounted to the large proportion of 15 per cent., those who remained "efficient" were pale and sickly, a circumstance attributed by their officers to their exposure to land-winds, while cruising or at anchor in the Gulf of Fe chili.

Arrived at Chefoo, we landed by a roughly-built jetty, on which in large letters was painted the word Odins, thus indicating the crew by whom the work had recently been effected. We were hospitably received by Mr. Morrison, the Consul, son of the eminent Chinese scholar. He having provided us with horses, we were speedily away, enjoying a ride through a tract of country remarkable for its loveliness; the open spaces covered with brilliant flowers, while along each side of narrow thoroughfares fruit trees at short intervals afforded us the treat of being able to stand up in our stirrups and pluck ripening pears as we proceeded. A second ride took us to the highest point of a range of low hills that separates the town from the inland ,districts. Thence we looked down upon a richly cultivated valley, along which ran a stream of considerable size, itself dotted with clumps of wood, in which were seen villages and isolated houses of agriculturists; the sides of the valley formed for the most part of gneiss-like hills, torn at intervals into deep and rugged ravines. In the distance inland the view was bounded by a serrated line of mountain peaks.

A visit to a Taoist temple was an interesting episode in an otherwise enjoyable excursion. The priest, apparently over seventy years of age, received us graciously; he "chin-chinned," shook hands—with himself, after the national custom; felt our arms, our legs, our feet; examined our saddles, girths, and bridles; inquired our several ages, proffered us glasses of water, patted the necks of our steeds; as we rode away, chin- chinned and shook hands with himself as on our arrival. His temple, situated on the summit of a small hill, was erected in honour of the North star. Near it stood two marble monuments in memory of ladies who, though left widows while yet young, refused to re-marry; at a little distance was a graveyard, the headstones in which were by no means very different in style from what may be seen at home. The faces of adjoining hills present a succession of terraces bearing abundant crops, and watered by levadas, as may be seen on the island of Madeira.

A few days most pleasantly spent, and with health considerably improved, we proceeded on our return journey; first by the French steamer Feilung, or Flying Dragon, to the mouth of the Peiho, thence by the French gunboat l'Etoile to Tientsin to resume official duties.

Great was the pleasure with which, early in August, we received intimation that our "army of occupation" was to be gradually broken up, the regiments and batteries composing it to be disposed of between England, India, and the south of China; great the satisfaction personally with which I received the welcome information that my connection therewith would cease. Towards the end of September embarkation began, detachments taken on board flats, and these towed down the river by gunboats, each party while marching from barracks being escorted by a band, to the strains of which—"Auld Lang Syne" and "The Old Folks at Home"—they went cheerily on board, and away from what to most of us had been a station devoid of attraction. In this way did the second 6oth embark for England, having during its ten years of foreign service buried 300 of its members, 94 of whom in China during the past eighteen months. This is but an example of what "service" meant in the days referred to.

Next came my own turn to embark. Gladly did I proceed by H.M. gunboat Slaney to the Vu/can at anchor off Taku, embarking Indian troops. Captain Strode, in command, having received orders to proceed in the first instance to Nagasaki, an unexpected opportunity thus offered of seeing that port and city in Japan. The arm of the sea by which the harbour is approached extends inland to a distance of six miles, with a breadth of nearly two. On either side rises a range of hills interrupted by valleys, the whole covered with rich forest, or with cultivated fields, a succession of batteries being so placed as to command the channel. To the south of us rose the island of Pappenberg; the cliffs, 800 to 900 feet in height, are those over which, A.D. 1622, the Roman Catholic "Christians" were hurled. We next arrived at Desima, now grown into a large town, but to which locality in former times the Dutch traders were confined by gates and narrow ways, though now containing various houses built and in course of erection according to European models.

Among the places visited was the steam factory. There, under the direction of Dutch engineers, Japanese workmen were actively employed in the manufacture of machinery. In an adjoining dock a small steamer was having placed in her engines, that had been thus made and turned out; while in the harbour lay moored a steamer, the Scotland, manned entirely by Japanese officers and sailors. The town of Nagasaki was clean and tidy; very different in these respects from that whence we had arrived. There appeared to be at least some agreeable aspects of domestic life, inasmuch as men and women were seen partaking of their meals together; the people were polite and civil to us foreigners, and to myself, personally, the proprietors of a shop which I entered to purchase various articles were so civil as to take me through several parts of their dwelling-house, then into a neatly arranged garden attached thereto, and in parting to beg my acceptance of a packet of their tea, I having presented to some of the younger members a few new silver coins, to be made by them into studs. All the while we were being carefully watched by officials, though we were ignorant of the fact. [How little at that time did we anticipate the amazing strides Japan was to take during the succeeding five-and-thirty years!]

Arrived at Hong-Kong, my stay of a few days there was made the more pleasant by the receipt of orders to proceed to England by the first available opportunity, added to hospitable civility by friends whose acquaintance I had made while stationed there the previous year. Preparations for continuing my journey were speedily made; on November 15 I was on board the P. and O. steamer Emezi, from over the stern of which, without a tinge of regret, I waved what I hoped, and proved to be a final adieu to China.

Our journey was thence along the same track, but in a reverse direction to that over which I had passed twenty months previous. Arrived at Galle, we had, as before, to tranship, this time to the Sun/a, by which we traversed the Indian Ocean. The season of the year permitting us to "explore" some of the sights of Aden, we took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the brief delay of our ship at the anchorage. Driving through the narrow cut in the hard lava rock,—that had in distant time formed the wall of an active volcano,—we were at the cantonments, situated in the ancient crater; thence to the reservoirs, originally erected in the face of perpendicular rock, their design and construction due to Persian engineers, dating from A.D. 600. Our drive was next through a narrow gorge, opening towards the south, admitting the only breeze that can directly reach cantonments. From its outer limit a view was obtained of the open sea, and of the small island upon which, according to Arab tradition, Cain was forced to reside alter his murder of Abel. Continuing our excursion, we arrived at the fortification known as "The Turkish Wall," that protects and defends the isthmus connecting "the rock" with the mainland. The shops on the beach were visited, and purchases made at some of them; among such purchases, ostrich feathers, here so common as to be used to decorate the heads of donkeys driven by Arab boys.

The people met with comprised Parsees, Somalis, Jews, and Egyptians. The Jews and Egyptians said to be descendants of those who fled to Egypt on the invasion of Palestine and Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar the Somalis supposed to be descended from former Abyssinian possessors of "Yemen," or that part of Arabia to which Aden belongs, or rather did belong. Other historical items relating to Aden include its early importance as an entrej5ôt of commerce between the Roman Empire and the East; in recent times the capture of the position by the British in January, 1839, it being the first military conquest effected in the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

To most of us the news we received on arriving at Suez was a surprise; namely, that which speedily became known as the Trent affair. Some particulars reached us also regarding the action present and intended of the English Government and War Office, the immediate effect being to lead us to anticipate active service within a very short time. Here we were quickly landed, distributed in railway carriages, and so sent on to Cairo, at which place another brief detention awaited us. I accordingly reverted under the guidance of my former dragoman, Hadji Selim, to the excursions previously interrupted by my departure eastward; visiting, among other places of interest, the ancient Coptic Church, erected, according to tradition, upon the cave in which, during their flight into Egypt, Mary and the infant Saviour took shelter one night. Thence, continuing our railway journey, we reached Alexandria, arriving there in a storm of such violence that to embark was impossible; consequently another halt was unavoidable. I took advantage of the occasion, in defiance of wind and rain, to visit some of the places of historical interest pertaining to this very interesting city, including the site of the ancient Pharos, Pompey's Pillar, and "Cleopatra's" Needle, the latter prostrate in and almost covered by the sand; also, what was indicated as "St. Mark's pulpit." Time did not admit of a visit to the ruined aqueduct, of which, however, we obtained a glance while nearing the city.

Here the unexpected news reached us that the Prince Consort had succumbed to fever; that national sympathy was felt for the Queen under her bereavement, as well as sorrow and regret at the event, more particularly at a time when political matters throughout Europe, and in reference to America, were in a very disturbed condition.

From Alexandria the journey was performed by the Ceylon, comfortably, and without adventure. At Malta we learned that the American Congress had expressed approval of the Southern minister being captured on board a British steamer that troops were being prepared in England for immediate embarkation; that war appeared imminent and inevitable. On reaching Gibraltar we found in the bay the Mediterranean fleet, in which it was said all necessary preparations were being made for active service. Our entrance to the Bay of Biscay was duly announced by the ship's band with the well-known air so called. Warlike news greeted us on arrival at Southampton. Then followed, in quick succession, disembarkation, personal report at Headquarters, London, appointment to Devonport, and happy reunion to wife and children there.


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