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general style of construction as at Helvoet; but smaller and lower, more irregularly built, and arranged with less taste and order. Some of them are tiled, many are covered with a thick heavy thatch, and some are half tiled and half thatched; the windows being frequently glazed with the diminutive panes still observable in some very old houses in America. Little canals run all around the town, with corresponding embankments, and rows of willows, walnuts, and other trees, are planted in the streets, and along the dykes, overshadowing the houses. Behind the houses, are little gardens, with low enclosures of hedge, wicker-work, or espaliers ; and so low is the ground, that often nothing but a roof peeps up over the dykes. Parading along the streets, or in the little house-yards, were large storks, which are highly esteemed by the people, and thoroughly domesticated in many parts of Holland, having their nests on the trees, where wooden frames are sometimes placed, to entice them to build there. Strange as was the appearance of these ungainly birds, that of the children and women who thronged the streets, was still more so. The females were dressed in gowns, with small, close waists, gradually increasing downward, in the exact form of a churn, with large clumsy wooden shoes on the feet, very appropriately denominated clumpers. Their head-gear was yet more singular. It consisted of
of white cambric or muslin, which fitted close to the head, and had a very broad frill or border behind, but was entirely plain in front. Under this was a kind of plate of silver, or other metal, which also tightly fitted the crown, and was adorned with ringlets of the same metal, extending out before the ears. This ornament is often very costly, especially when made of gold or silver, and the possession of it is the favorite ostentation of females, among the laboring classes in Holland.
After passing a niglit at Scravendeel, we sailed out of the Kil into what is called the Old Maes, being the navigable channel for large vessels between the islands of Beierland and Ysselmonde. There is a shorter passage to Rotterdam, but more shallow, by the way of Dort, between the upper extremity of Ysselmonde and the main-land ; but having sailed in an easterly direction from Hellevoetsluys to the Kil, we now steered a westerly course, in order to descend the river to the lower end of Ysselmonde, and thence turning once more to ascend on the New Maes to Rotterdam. As we left the Kil, the noble church of Dort, with its square tower, was still more conspicuous than before, and not less than thirty wind-mills could be counted in full play, employed in grinding corn, in sawing lumber, and especially in the manufacture of linseed oil. In proceeding down the Old Maes, we passed, on the left bank, the neat village of Petershoek, behind a group of farm houses, close to the water. It being necessary to wait for the flood-tide, at the point of the island of Ysselmonde, off against the northern side of Voorn, a hawser was thrown out and made fast to a willow stump on the dike, where the ship waited, in perfect security, for the turn of tide.
The land on all sides was evidently nothing but an immense marsh, drained by canals, but the prospect was relieved by trees and flourishing vegetation. Although green enclosures surround the gardens and farm-houses, the fields need no other division than the deep ditches
and canals, which carry off the superabundant water from the land, and are crossed by means of light wooden bridges. At times, the fields are so entirely covered with water, that nothing but the tops of the grain are visible above its surface, and the husbandmen are compelled to go about in boats, to gather in the sheaves. Connected with these peculiarities of the country, was a little fact which I here observed. I had before seen a small boat on the Kil, rowed by two women, and steered by a third, who sat at the belm ; a spectacle sufficiently singular to an American, in whose country the female sex are so carefully guarded from manual labor, involving hardship or exposure to the elements. Near the spot where we lay, was a small open boat, also made fast among the willows, in which I saw a woman and two men unconcernedly eating their food, although the weather was rainy and cold. Upon making inquiry, I found that this boat was their home, and that they had no fixed place of residence, but belonged to a class of laborers, by no means rare in Holland, who lead a wandering life upon the canals and rivers, obtaining occasional employment as they can, upon the farms, the dykes, or elsewhere, and thus gaining a hard and painful subsistence, utterly deprived of most of those means of happiness, without which persons of more refinement would think life scarcely desirable.
With the change of tide, we left our moorings, and entered upon the New Maes, the channel of the river which runs north of Ysselmonde, and on which Rotterdam is situated. Opposite the point of entering into the New Maes, and upon its right bank, is the town of Vlaardingen or Flaarding, a neat and flourishing place, chiefly inhabited by fishermen. Its trade was so great, in 1753, that of two hundred and eighty-five vessels equipped in all the ports of Holland for the herring fishery, one hundred and twelve belonged to Vlaardingen alone; but since then, its prosperity has somewhat declined. Farther up, on the same bank of the Maes, but a little back from the river, on the canal of Schie, is Schiedam, so famous for its distilleries of gin, as to have given its name to the better qualities of that commodity. It has ceased, however, to be considered so decidedly preferable to any other, as formerly; and in the American market, I believe, the gin distilled at Weesp is now esteemed as being equal, if not superior, to that of Schiedam. This place also possesses other branches of industry, and particularly a commerce in grain, ship-yards, and cordage manufactories. At Schiedam, as repeatedly before on the passage up, we were boarded by the officers of the customs, to see that we had complied with the proper forms, on leaving Hellevoetsluys. At length, passing off against the small town of Delftshaven, we arrived in sight of the city of Rotterdam.
A D V ERSITY.
ADVERSITY, misunderstood, becomes a double curse;
While gold in that red ordeal melts, but melts to be refined.
OR THE WAITE WHALE OF THE PACIFIC : A LEAF FROM A MANUSCRIPT JOURNAL
B V J. N. REYNOLDS, ESQ.
We expected to find the island of Santa Maria still more remarkable for the luxuriance of its vegetation, than even the fertile soil of Mocha; and the disappointment arising from the unexpected shortness of our stay at the latter place, was in some degree relieved, by the prospect of our remaining for several days in safe anchorage at the former. Mocha lies upon
the coast of Chili, in lat. 38° 28' south, twenty leagues north of Mono del Bonifacio, and opposite the Imperial river, from which it bears w. s. W. During the last century, this island was inhabited by the Spaniards, but it is at present, and has been for some years, entirely deserted. Its climate is mild, with little perceptible difference of temperature between the summer and winter seasons. Frost is unknown on the lowlands, and snow is rarely seen, even on the summits of the loftiest mountains.
It was late in the afternoon, when we left the schooner; and while we bore up for the north, she stood away for the southern extremity of the island. As evening was gathering around us, we fell in with a vessel, which proved to be the same whose boats, a day or two before, we had seen in the act of taking a whale. Aside from the romantic and stirring associations it awakened, there are few objects in themselves more picturesque or beautiful, than a whale-ship, seen from a distance of three or four miles, on a pleasant evening, in the midst of the great Pacific. As she moves gracefully over the water, rising and falling on the gentle undulations peculiar to this sea; her sails glowing in the quivering light of the fires that flash from below, and a thick volume of smoke ascending from the midst, and curling away in dark masses upon the wind ; it requires little effort of the fancy, to imagine one's self gazing upon a floating volcano.
As we were both standing to the north, under easy sail, at nine o'clock at night we had joined company with the stranger. Soon after, we were boarded by his whale-boat, the officer in command of which bore us the compliments of the captain, together with a friendly invitation to partake the hospitalities of his cabin. Accepting, without hesitation, a courtesy so frankly tendered, we proceeded, in company with Captain Palmer, on board, attended by the mate of the Penguin, who was on his way to St. Mary's to repair his boat, which had some weeks before been materially injured in a storm.
We found the whaler a large, well-appointed ship, owned in NewYork, and commanded by such a man as one might expect to find in charge of a vessel of this character; plain, unassuming, intelligent, and well-informed upon all the subjects relating to his peculiar calling. But what shall we say of his first mate, or how describe him ? To attempt his portrait by a comparison, would be vain, for we have never looked upon his like; and a detailed description, however accurate, would but faintly shadow forth the tout ensemble of his extraordinary figure. He had probably numbered about thirty-five
years. We arrived at this conclusion, however, rather from the untamed brightness of his flashing eye, than the general appearance
of his features, on which torrid sun and polar storm had left at once the furrows of more advanced age, and a tint swarthy as that of the Indian. His height, which was a little beneath the common standard, appeared almost dwarfish, from the immense breadth of his overhanging shoulders ; while the unnatural length of the loose, dangling arms which hung from them, and which, when at rest, had least the appearance
of ease, imparted to his uncouth and muscular frame an air of grotesque awkwardness, which defies description. He made few pretensions as a sailor, and had never aspired to the command of a ship. But he would not have exchanged the sensations which stirred his blood, when steering down upon a school of whales, for the privilege of treading, as master, the deck of the noblest liner that ever traversed the Atlantic, According to the admeasurement of his philosophy, whaling was the most dignified and manly of all sublunary pursuits. Of this he felt perfectly satisfied, having been engaged in the noble vocation for upward of twenty years, during which period, if his own assertions were to be received as evidence, no man in the American spermaceti fleet had made so many captures, or met with such wild adventures, in the exercise of his perilous profession. Indeed, so completely were all his propensities, thoughts, and feelings, identified with his occupation; so intimately did he seem acquainted with the habits and instincts of the objects of his pursuit, and so little conversant with the ordinary affairs of life; that one felt less inclined to class him in the genus homo, than as a sort of intermediate something between man and the cetaceous tribe.
Soon after the commencement of his nautical career, in order to prove that he was not afraid of a whale, a point which it is essential for the young whaleman to establish beyond question, he offered, upon a wager, to run his boat “bows on' against the side of an old bull,' leap from the 'cuddy' to the back of the fish, sheet his lance home, and return on board in safety. This feat, daring as it may be considered, he undertook and accomplished ; at least so it was chronicled in his log, and he was ready to bear witness, on oath, to the veracity of the record. But his conquest of the redoubtable Mocha Dick, unquestionably formed the climax of his exploits.
Before we enter into the particulars of this triumph, which, through their valorous representative, conferred so much honor on the lancers of Nantucket, it may be proper to inform the reader who and what Mocha Dick was; and thus give him a posthumous introduction to one who was, in his day and generation, so emphatically among fish the • Stout Gentleman' of his latitudes. The introductory portion of his history we shall give, in a condensed form, from the relation of the mate. Substantially, however, it will be even as he rendered it; and as his subsequent narrative, though not deficient in rude eloquence, was coarse in style and language, as well as unnecessarily diffuse, we shall assume the liberty of altering the expression ; of adapting the phraseology to the occasion; and of presenting the whole matter in a shape more succinct and connected. In this arrangement, however, we shall leave our adventurer to tell his own story, although not always in his own words, and shall preserve the person of the original.