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FROM PONTYPOOL TO CALCUTTA

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FROM PONTYPOOL TO CALCUTTA BY THE REV. T. R. EDWARDS, (Late Student of Pontypool College.) 0 OCTOBER 22nd.—We are thankful to state that our unfavourable anticipations of last night were entirely groundless, for we enjoyed, almost all of us, sound and refreshing sleep. It is true some of us did get frightful dreams, far more terrible than English dreams but when compared with Monday night it was delightful. When we get up on deck we are informed that we are in the Bay of Biscay. How dreadfully this place has been painted, & what dreadful an- ticipations we had formed but we learn, as we cast a glance over its wilderness of troubled waters, that it is now gloriously calm to what it isusually. We were truly thankful for this, for the narrow escapes and wreck related of it, caused us to look upon it with horror. How grand it is to sit down on the deck and watch the waves as they come and go, engaged in their dreadful sport, chasing one another over the face of the briny deep-dashing violently against the ship's side—then springing backward n covered with foam—then buffetting one ano- ther, as if angry at the interruption—one in. stant more, and they settle down iu their place, and go on unmolested with their mad game. In this manner they have crossed the ocean and recrossed it ever since the beginning. And we were also greatly amused at seeing a num- ber of porpoises (a fish about as large as a hog) sporting in the water. They travel very swiftly —quite as fast as the vessel-and are, we were informed, able to go much faster, and the rate at which we are going is upwards of 12 miles per hour. It is curious to see them, after short intervals, springing up out of the water, and plunging immediately iu again. But it was grand to see them at night, just in front of the vessel, doubtless trying to outdo her, or, per- haps, to imagine themselves pursued by an enemy, and in his very teeth to show their fear- lessness by keepiug just in front of him, and cutting all manner of capers in the water. They are very easily discernable by being enveloped with a light like phosphorus and leaving along streak of fire, as it were, behind them. And it was also incomparably grand to to see the spray caused by the ship's speed converted into a mass of luminous milky fluid, and here and there a star, as it were, equal in brightness to those of the first maguitude, would flash beautifully for an instant and then disappear. In describing this we cannot but feel how much our words fail in conveying a just conception of its beauty, and those who have witnessed the same scene themselves cannot but feel how vain it would be to attempt to give a full description of it. To-day again sea. sickness has prevailed but many are" npw getting better by degrees. As regards ourselves weliave until now kept stu- diously silent, fearing that at last our turn would come, and that if we laughed at others they would laugh at its but as our good for- tune continues, we now feel certain we shall es- cape altogether, This has been the case with but few. Even the captain, we understand, has been a sufferer, OCTOBEtt 23.-Tilorougliiy enjeyed last night. There is now something very soothing in the motion of the vessel which invites sleep. This morning is delightfully fine. We are gradually getting into a warmer climate. Still iu the Bay of Biscay, but we 1iope to get out of it by i2 o'clock to-day. The sea is still beautifully calm for the i^ay. The waves ^re still rolling grandly one after another, and seem to press forward to catch a glimpse of our noble ship stemming them courageously. To-day nearly all the passengers are well, and turn cut to en- joy the beautiful weather, and the deck is all alívø with bright joyous faces. Oh, this is so cheering after he dreadful spectacle we witnessed when they were ill. AU now say that it is well worth undergoing the pain of illness to enjoy a day of this sort. The colour of the sea is ever-changing at one time it is of a dark sombre colour, at another time like a sea of molten lead, and then as the cloudy clear away, and the blue sky is visible, it is of a deep blue colour and when night sets in, and the moon shines forth upon the water, it is spangled across with a pathway of glittering silver light; and here and there, as the waves proudly toss gp one above the other, they are capped with patches like burnished sjlyer. We passed Cape Finisterre, the southern extreipity'pf the Bay of Biscay, about twelve o'clock, but did not see it in consequence of being too far out at sea. We have been very highly favoured in passing the dreadful Bay so successfully. The sailors ac- count for it by saying that tlio 11 Chyebassa has always been lucky bnt we are inclined to think that our wise and merciful Father, who holds the winds in His fist and the mighty deep in the hollow of His hand, has graciously willed it so. However, to His name be the praise, not only for this, but for all dispensations, whether favourable or unfavourable. OCTOBBR 24th.—Up early this morning, and thoroughly enjoying the fresh breeze blowing. We feel that we are approaching snnuier skies, for the sun even at seven in the morning is de- lightfully warm, and as we basked in its rays, we could not help thinking of friends at home shivering with the cold, or roasting themselves over fires. As the morning wore on, we were told that we were approaching land, and pre- sently we saw some object looming indistinctly in the distance, as if it were a cloud, which ere long shaped itself into two large rocks, rising precipitously out of the water. The one was of a conical shape, tapering gradually to a round point towards the summit. Beyond the rocks was an island, on which was a lighthouse. How welcome to us was land, after such a long time with nothing visible but sea sea on all sides. It was not long before we came to Cape Roca, which, mountain-like, extended far into the ocean. The ship's course Jay very near to it, in order that it might signal its safe arrival to a station built there for that purpose, from whence the news would be conveyed by telegraphic communication to England in half an-hour's time. So this gave us an opportunity of scru- tinising very closely the coast. It was of a very wild and rugged appearance, rising in steep precipices out of tho sea. On the top wo could discern villages and hamlets gleaming brightly in the sun, and far above them towered the mountain in rugged pointed peaks, capped with clouds of snowy whiteness. Ravines of pro- found depth appeared to us to abound and the hill-sides were beautifully clothed with olives. It was pretty to see tho windmills at work, of which there were a very groat number; we counted five within a very short distance of each other. Here, near the month of the Tagus, on which is situated Lisbon, the capital of Por- tugal,we saw a very great number of small Por- tuguese crafts. And what amused us was their comical-looking appearance. To give you an exact description would be impossible we have never seen anything like them. First of all we compared them to a great goose, with out- stretched wings and head erect, skimming swiftly over the sea then when we got nearer we compared them to three legs of mutton joined together at right angles. The vessel itself was like a tub, almost as broad as long. However, in the distance, they appeared more like fairy creatures than the miserable craft they are. A short time afterwards we sighted another cape, called Espichel, and hero we saw the last of Portugal. And as the land faded dimly away, we could not help saying-Poor Portugal sunk low in sin and ignorance, when wilt thou arise ? It has been said of the Spa- niard that he is'proud, ignorant, indolent, trea- cherous, revengeful, and cruel and that to make a genuine Portuguese we must add hypo- crisy to all the vices of the Spaniard. If this be true, their state must truly be wretched. To witness the injurious results of Popery, as main- tained by the bloody Inquisition, we have but to glance at the present state of Spain and Lis- bon, and we see their prospects as nations for a time blighted, and their villages in many places in a ruinous condition, whole districts almost depopulated, and their subjects steeped in the grossest ignorance. In speaking of Por- tugal, we almost forgot to mention the great earthquake which occurred at Lisbon in 1755, when in a few minutes the central portion of tho city, lying next to the river, with its 60,000 inhabitants, was completely destroyed. What a tale of horror this is How sad to reflect upon (To be continued).

A MODEL WORKHOUSE.

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THE RECTOR OF MERTHYR AT BLAENAVON.

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E LITTLE GOSSIP,

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ESTON HALL.

,.FIAPTER 11.