Page images

ceding evening, and during the night. This officer, on his return, brought us information of its being the pilot-brig Florá, bound to Kannaka, with four or five Commissioners of the Bengal Civil Service, who were going there to enquire into some grievances of the Natives. She had neither pilots or officers to supply us with, but advised our standing to the eastward, in the parallel of 219 of latitude, and the line of seventeen fathoms water, in which track we should be most likely to fall in with other pilot-vessels, since they seldom or never went into Balasore Roads, except for shelter, and the anchorage under the reef of Point Palmiras had not at all been frequented by them at any time or season. The Commander re, proved his officers for the neglect of which we complained ; and as he so easily got rid of his responsibility, by casting it on the shoulders of his mates, they took a still more effectual method of exculpating themselves, by positively and flatly denying the fact of our having either fired guns, or shown lights, or hailed more than once in passing!

At eight a. M., we weighed, and stood to the eastward, with a light air from S.S.E., and at ten discovered a sail right a-head, just visible from the royal yard. At noon we observed in 20° 59' N., and were in longitude 87° 35' E., with seventeen fathoms water. At four P. M., we closed in with the sail a-head, which proved to be the Henry Meriton pilot-brig. As she had no pilot, or officers, as they are called, on board, the Master, a branch pilot, came on board to take charge of us, and sent his own brig away to the Reef Buoy, to get an officer out of some other brig to relieve himn.

We now made all sail, and as the tide was setting to the southward, steered E.N.E., to pass over the tails of the Sea Reefs, and within, or to the northward of, the floating light. The situation of this light vessel was formerly in the Eastern Channel, or between the Eastern Sea Reef and Saugor Reef, or Sand; but she had been recently removed into the Western Channel, or between the Eastern and Western Sea Reefs, as a better guide for ships approaching from the westward. In standing towards the Reefs, we shoaled our water gradually from twenty to ten fathoms, and then more rapidly to nine and eight, in which depth we first began to see the Floating Light, at nine P. M., bearing E. by S., and thus knew ourselves to be on the Western Sea Reef. We stood across this Reef, on the same course, in seven and six fathoms and a half, in the shoalest part, and then deepened, in the Western Channel, to ten and eleven fathoms. After running about an hour, we shoaled again, rather suddenly, to nine, eight, seven, and six fathoms, by which we knew ourselves to be on the tail of the Eastern Sea Reef. We crossed this on the same course in quarterless six fathoms, on the shoalest part, and deepened gradually to six and seven fathoms, which brought us out into the Eastern Channel, or Fair. Way. Here we anchored about midght, in the last named depth, with the Floating Light bearing S.W. by W

3d. At day-light, it was our intention to have weighed, and stood


the Eastern Chanpel with the flood tide, but we were prevented from doing this by a heavy squall from the N.W., accompanied with thunder, lightning, and torrents of rain. Sent down the royal and topgallant-yards, the ship lying over with her guns in the water ; but as we were riding athwart, with a weather tide, we veered out no more cable.

The wind soon veered round'to W.and S.W., accompanied with thick rain, but moderating gradually in its force. - At eight a. M., we weighed, and made sais, steering from N.N.W. to N.W. up the Eastern Channel. At 11, 30 falling calm, with the ebb making; anchored in six fathoms and a half, and kept the sails aloft. ' Several vessels being in sight, dropping down towards us with the ebb, and among them the Sea Horse and the Guide, pilot-brigs, we procured from the former a Master in the service, who relieved the branch pilot on board, and took charge of us.

We weighed at three p. m., with the first of the flood, and having a light southerly breeze, stood N.N.W. up the Eastern Channel, in six and six fathoms and a half, until sun-set, when we anchored in the last depth, between the Spit and Reef Buoys, and yeered to thirty-five fathoms cable.

4th. We had a night of fine weather, and a light southern air at day-break, with which we weighed and made sail. We had scarcely got our anchor stowed, however, before the wind shifted suddenly round to the westward, and obliged us to brace sharp up. On first getting sight of the southern buoy of the Gaspar Sand, which has a red spiral tgp, and an open basket-work cage at the top, it bore N.W., and had we been able to have steered this course, it was the pilot's intention to have


close by it into Thornhill's Channel, on the western side of the Gaspar Sand, but the wind heading us off, we were obliged to steer N.N.W. for the Old Channel, or that on the eastern side of the Gaspar. When we brought this soutbern red buoy to bear about west, distant a quarter of a mile in five fathoms and a half water, we steered due north through the Old Channel, shoaling to five and a quarter, and deepening to six and a half when we passed the Black Spiral Buoy of the Middle Ground on our starboard side, and soon after, as the wind was light and the ebb making, we anchored in six fathoms and a half with these bearings. Western Extreme of Saugor Island

N.N.W.AW, Eastern Extreme of ditto.

.E.S. Upper Buoy in Thornhill's Channel

S.S.WW. Do. do, of the Gaspar Sand

S. by E.E. Do. do. off the nearest part of Saugor. a mile.

At 3° 30' the ebb-tide falling slack we weighed and made sail to the N.N.W, up the Saugor Channel, carrying five and six fathoms with the first of the flood, and deepening to eight and nine and a half at sun-set. The day-light having closed upon us too soon to go through the narrow channel, between the New Anchorage and Kedgeree, we brought up for the night with the light-house of Kedgeree, bearing N. by W. W., and the buoy of a flat running off the western edge of Saugor Island E. by S. S., distant balf a mile, in nine and a quarter fathoms, and the nearest part of Saugor about a mile and a half to the eastward of us.

5th. At eight A. M. the flood having made strong, we weighed and made all sail up the river-but at ten, attempting to cross over from the eastern to the western channel, just abreast of Kedgeree, the wind failed us, and we were obliged to anchor in the strength of the tide in ten fathoms. Kedgeree light-house bearing W.IN. and the town about a mile off on the western bank of the river. There were lying here an American, a French, and an English ship, all fine vessels, laden and bound to sea. We were visited here, too, by the government post-boat, wbich brought parcels of letters, addressed to ships on their arrival here, for us to examine, and took our own letters to send by the post to Calcutta, which is a run of one night only. The town itself had a very humble and mean appearance, and derives its support chiefly from the stay of shipping near it, on coming up or going down the river.

At 11 30' A. M., a breeze freshening up from the S.E., we weighed again, and making all sail, fetched across into the Western Channel, and steering a course of N.E. northerly, made good progress against the young ebb. At 2 30' P. M. it gathered up squally and black in the S.E., and shortly after it burst upon us with such violence, that we were reduced to our topsails on the cap flying before it, and so thick from heavy rain, that we could not discern either bank of the river. This continued for about an hour, during the whole of which time we held a steady course of N.E., and shoaled from eight to six fathoms gradually. It then fell a dead calm, and shortly after we were taken a-back with a squall from the N.E., which obliged us to clew all up and anchor. We brought up, therefore, a little above a large Banian, called the silver tree, having it to bear S. by W. W. about a mile—and the White Pagoda, of Kulpee, N.N.E.

E. five or six miles, in five fathoms and a half water, and half a mile off the eastern shore.

6th. At day-light, the ship driving from her anchor in a hard squall from the northward, and a strong ebb-tide, we were obliged to let go a second bower to bring her up. At 7 30' A. M., the ebb having slacked, we hove up, and made sail towards Diamond Harbour, having no ground at seven fathoms the greater part of the way. The appearance of the banks of the Hoogley had been dull and uninteresting from our entrance of the river thus far, but the eastern one particularly began now to assume a more fertile and pleasing aspect from the woods, the villages and the herds seen along it.

On approaching the anchorage at Diamond Harbour, we made the signal of the Union Jack at the fore, with a gun, to signify that we intended taking in the East India Company's chain moorings there, our cables not being sufficiently good to be trusted to. It was about noon when we anchored, and the barbour-master coming on board, we warped to the buoy, and took the chain in, mooring with our two bower cables as bridles—and lying right a-breast of the creek of the harbour-master's bouse, bearing N.N.E., distant about a quarter of a mile.

'Tis when the “ witching time of night

O'er nature draws her sable hood,
Pale Superstition's phantom sprite

Reigns in the glen or haunted wood.
Forsaken by the moon's mild light,

O’er lonely path, or desert fell,
No dwelling cheers the traveller's sight,

Nor soul the lonely way to tell."
The time the hour--and dreary place,

All press upon his soul with dread;
Echoes his faultering footsteps trace,

And doubt and terror check his speed.
List'ning, he hears (in fancy) stealing

The robber from the forest glade :
Foe to man, remorse, and feeling,

Woe to him who meets his blade !
Hark! the mighty torrent's roaring

'Midst night's silence fearfully;
And the bird of night is wailing

From ruin grey or lonely tree.
Or when the moon-beams through the trees

A ghastly lustre sheds around;
And whistles the autumnal breeze

A thrilling, deep, and mournful sound.
It sounds like voices from the dead,

Who love to haunt some well-known spot ;
Again life's former scenes to tread,

Though now they sleep-unarm'd-forgot,
This_imagination wanders

O’er gloomy scenes of night display'd ;
Whilst the mind in terror ponders,

Superstition lends her aid.
'Tis when the “witching time of night"

O'er nature draws her sab od,
Pale Superstition's phantom sprite

Reigns in the glea or haunted wood.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

SUBSTANCE OF THE SPEECH OF J. S. BUCKINGHAM, Esq. Delivered at the Eleventh Anniversary of the Whitby Auxiliary Bible

Society, on Friday, the 18th Sept., 1829. In rising to second the motion which has been so ably and eloquently introduced to your notice by the accomplished speaker who has just concluded his address, 1 may venture to say that I participate as largely as any individual member of this crowded assembly in the general satisfaction which the object and conduct of this meeting are so well calculated to afford. I might, perhaps, under ordinary circumstances, have contented myself with merely expressing this satisfaction, and permitting the motion to pass at once to the vote; but, having been so pointedly alluded to by the several speakers who have preceded me, and invited by name to give some details respecting the countries I have traversed in the East, I should be wanting in respect to those who have so honoured me, and in justice to the cause itself, were I to remain entirely silent on this occasion. I fear, however, that what I have to offer will be infinitely less agreeable than what has been already presented to you; for, hitherto you have been chiefly flattered with the pleasing representations of the great good which your united efforts have actually achieved: while it must be my less grateful province to point out to you how much yet remains to be accomplished, and thereby, if possible, to stimulate you to new sacrifices and to renewed exertions. The greater number of those whom I have now the pleasure to address must, of course, be aware that the immedia:e object of my visit to Whitby is of a specific and peculiar nature; it being my wish to call the attention of its inhabitants, as ship-owners and merchants more particularly, to the importance of improving our political and commercial relations with the Easi : but, though this is the main purpose of my visit here, yet so important do I hold the object which has brought you together in the same place, that I pledge myself to forget, for a moment, the predominant feeling of my own mind, and to confine myself, in what I shall now say, to the strict limits of our present purpose, by shewing you the condition of the Eastern World generally, with reference to its religious wants and the best means of supplying them, and the state of India more especially, with reference to its degrading superstitions, and the wide field which that country offers for the exercise of your benevolence and zeal.

Before I enter upon this topic, however, allow me, in support of the views maintained by those who have already addressed you, to supply a very striking example, which seems to have escaped them, from our own history, of the wonderful and beneficial change produced by the circulation of the Scriptures in countries where they before existed, but only as a sealed book : because, from what has been, may

be inferred what may again be the result of such a step. The period to which I allude is that of our great, and as it is often most appropriately called, glorious Reformation. The principal feature of that great work was to break down the spiritual dominion then exercised by the Pope, and to place the Scriptures in the hands of all classes, in a language intelligible to all, with perfect freedom, not merely of perusal, but of interpretation or acceptation of its contents. And what was the issue? Why, that men becoming possessed of what was hitherto sealed up from their inspection, exercised their diligence in examining, and their judgment in interpreting it for themselves, so that the dominion of the priesthood was destroyed, and religion became what it ought every where to be, a free and unfettered conimunion between the soul and its Creator. Take, then, the picture of England, Holland, Germany, and other northern countries, then under papal sway, it beside a picture of the same countries since they have been emancipated from the priestly yoke, and see the amazing difference : in the one case, bigotry and ignorance were the greatest characteristics of the age; in the other, liberality and intelligence have happily succeeded : and to this no single event has perhaps more powerfully contributed than that which placed the Scriptures in every man's hands, with full liberty to judge for himself of all that they contained. In short, in comOriental Herald, Vol. 23,

2 G

very fai

and lay

« PreviousContinue »