Sarah’s Journal2021-12-20T02:45:12+00:00



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June 21, 1853

June 21st

A fine lovely day, but rain this evening has prevented my walk with Williams which commences after I see Willie in bed. Although in very nearly the same latitude as Honolulu, I do not find my delaine dress too warm. At present the temperature is perfect but this everlasting rolling of the ship is by no means so – writing is really a difficult affair.

Yesterday and today I have had the entire care of Willie, and much to the little darling’s delight. Mary being engaged with her washing and ironing, no very easy matter these rolling days. When these washings of Willie’s clothes comes round I give up my whole time to Willie; play, read, talk, draw and do anything else the little fellow wants me to. Yesterday he took no nap owing to the roll of the ship. Today he slept two hours, and I took my book to the settee, where I very comfortably ensconced myself so comfortably that the first thing I knew, Williams roused me by saying, “had you not better wake Willie as it wants but ten minutes to dinner.” I was surprised enough, thought that I had but just dropt asleep. Hide and seek is one of Willies’ pet plays. This afternoon nothing would do but his father must join the game and we three had quite a game in the Cabin. About five we went on deck and there Willie and his father had a fine play at running and catching one another and then as the ship was a little more quiet in its roll we each took a hand of our little darling and ran across the ship now up hill, and now down. This is an amusement Willie loves dearly and we kept it up till we were heated and tired out. That is, the old ones, as for the young one, he never seems to tire but is ever for more, more. Willie amuses Williams and myself by his close imitation of his father, everything he sees his father do, particularly while on deck, the little fellow does his best to do likewise. He looks at the sails, gives orders, walks, stands still, places his arms and legs just as his father does, or rather as he thinks he does. His extravaganzas amuse us not a little. I have enjoyed these two days very much. Willie has been good every moment of the time.

As I could not walk this evening, I finished the “Night Side of Nature”. It is indeed a relation of wonderful things, also of horrors. Mrs. Crowe seems to put confidence in all she relates, though it may be entirely beyond her comprehension. Some, indeed a great many things she relates, strike me as most ridiculous and impossible of belief – so contrary to all scriptural ideas. Others I can fathom rather better than she at the time she wrote. Could the late discourses of table moving and spiritual rappings throw considerable light on the subject? As for spiritual rappings, I think the discovery of table movings has, or is, about to enlighten the world concerning that.

We have altogether a most quiet set of passengers. Our Cabin one is as quiet as a mouse. By-the-by Willie has taken a most particular fancy to him. Why, because he, Mr. Turnbull, takes a good deal of notice of the little fellow. The Chinese are ditto, but the disagreeable smell they occasion is about as bad as the noise, perhaps worse, that they might make. The dress that most of them wear is most miserable and dirty looking.

They are a forlorn looking set and no mistake I shall be glad when we have set them ashore in their fatherland.

Today 220 miles, yesterday 204. If our wind continues we shall pass Honolulu by twelve o’clock tomorrow, which will be nine days from San Francisco.

June 24, 1853

The Days of Bruce by Grace Aguilar

June 24th

Day before yesterday we passed Honolulu almost four in the afternoon. The day was lovely and as the Islands were in view quite early in the morning, I spent most of the day on deck, our awning affording a delightful shelter. We passed very near Honolulu, had a fine view in passing. I should like to have made a second visit to the place, but that was quite out of the question. On to China we must go as soon as possible. However, my eyes had a feast. All things looked even more beautiful than last year. We now being a month and a half earlier, the city really looked quite familiar, even to recognizing houses, and the valley back looked surpassingly beautiful. Last year I was sadly disappointed in the appearance of the coconut trees, this year most agreeably so. Last year I saw this tree for the first time. It was late in the season, August, and the foliage was most scanty. This year, full and luxuriant. Their tops had a beautiful feathery appearance. We had a fine view of these trees, they growing quite down to the water’s edge. This Island on which Honolulu is situated is striking and very beautiful in its appearance. Its volcanic nature is most manifest. A long line of mountains traverse the Island. Their ridges as jagged, ragged and sharp pointed as one can conceive. From the water’s edge extending up to this range of mountains is one continuous concession of beautiful valleys. Honolulu is situated on gentle rising ground. The town is large – extends for some distance along a semi-circular bay, and extending back in the beautiful valley. Hills, beautiful, verdant hills, rise up on all sides and an extinct volcano frowns on one end of the town. Lovely place, I would like much to spend a month with you and walk and ride through your beautiful valley and over your hills and spray beaten shores. That magnificent beach with its ever rolling waves and beautiful spray would be my early morning sunset and evening favorite.

We all enjoyed this beautiful Island view – my Williams more than anyone. His eyes scarce ever would turn from it. I believe we both had the thought that it might be our last view, for Williams speaks quite seriously of remaining home after this voyage. I think without a doubt he will, if this visit to China proves as successful as we hope. How very, very pleasant it will be to have a home and all our children with us.

Day before yesterday commenced a book of two volumes by Grace Aguilar “The Days of Bruce”; found it extremely interesting and very well written, much more so than any other work I have read of hers. It is of a higher order. Finished it this afternoon.

This afternoon Willie, papa and I had quite a frolic at hide-and-seek. Willie loves dearly to have his papa join in his plays. I was the one to hide and as papa was the one to help find, I sought out the best places our Cabin could afford. One proved so good that even Williams could not find me although he came into the room and stood within a foot of me three or four times. At last gave it up and turned Willie over to Mary, who, seeing me go into that room soon let Willie find me. Oh how my love for this bright and lovely boy grows and strengthens every day and how the sweet one returns it with the best love of his little affectionate heart. He does indeed love me with his whole heart, also his dear papa but notwithstanding all this he is a little perverse at times. He has always been very anxious to kiss his papa and have him put him in bed, both for his morning nap and at night. Lately he has been just as anxious to have him called, and busy as his father may sometimes be on deck, if it is a possible thing, he ever comes. But when he comes Willie will have nothing to do with him. “I don’t want to kiss papa”, and his father has to go away. At first he commenced it in play and would sometimes cry bitterly to have his father come back and kiss him. Now, until today, he seemed to think he must follow it up. Today he called his papa while he was in my Cabin and asked him if he would not “please kiss little Willie”. In a moment his father with his own beautiful smile was at his side and Willie’s arms were soon around his neck. This perverseness at times in Willie has really troubled me of late. I almost feared his father would not love him as dearly and for the last four or five days have punished him for refusing to kiss him morning and night when he acted thus.

June 26, 1853

June 26th

This morning have been putting away every vestige of winter clothing. It will be a long time before we need it again. The weather has been delightful and until this morning have not found my delaine dress too warm but after breakfast was glad to change it for a summer dress. At the commencement of warm weather I like to keep on warm clothing as long as possible so that the change may be all the more delightful.

Our wind for the last two or three days has been light – today made 159 miles.

Williams dearest, has not as yet been able to resume his reading. It irritates his throat and ear. I syringe his ear twice everyday. He thinks it feels better today. I trust it will be quite well in a few days.

I must commence my letters either today or tomorrow.

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