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declines it from motives of duty or good sense, proved a coward. The first might shrink from trials of fortitude, which the second would pass through with credit. Surely, then, an opinion so void of solid foundation, however rooted in prejudice and habit, might be subverted by a bold and manly appeal to the reason of the public. Were two or three examples to occur of a person in a distinguished station, and of tried firmness of mind, who, upon being invited to go out with one who imagined himself affronted by him, should say, “ I value my lise too much to hazard it, and your's also, on such an occasion-if í bave done you wrong in the judgment of an impartial umpire, I am ready to redress it, but I shall not retract what I have said or done upon just grounds;" I cannot doubt that such conduct would be countenanced by the approbation of all whose esteem was worth preserving, and that it would soon be imitated.
It is a remarkable fact that the army alone, in which the character for courage can admit of no questioning, should have established certain rules within itself limiting the obligation of accepting challenges. Those, I believe, turn chiefly upon circuinstances of military rank and command; but the same professional authority and concurrence which could enforce rules in some cases, might in others. There is one point to which it is highly desirable that the limitation should be extended, and, indeed, the country has a right to require that it should be so; this is, the case of officers engaged in actual service. It is difficult to say whether pity or indignation should preponderate on reading the frequent accounts of thoughtless young men, upon some frivolous quarrel, throwing away lives devoted to their king and country, when just on the eve of setting sail upon some important expedition in which they have an assigned post. Such an act can be regarded as nothing less than a criminal desertion of duty-worse than a common desertion, inasmuch as besides the loss of lives, it involves the flight of the survivors and all concerned in the duel. It would be becoming the gentlemen of the army to declare their sense of this abuse of the principle of honour, by a resolution to hold as infamous, and unworthy the name of soldier, the officer who under these circumstances gives or accepts a challenge. Strictly considered, no men have their lives so little at their own disposal as those who have engaged in the military service. As they are bound, on the command of a superior, to encounter any degree of danger, or even certain death, so they are restricted from undergoing rash and useless hazards, and especially from such as expose other lives along with their own. In this light, doubt. less, the practice of duelling was regarded by the heroic Gustavus Adolphus, when, in order to abolish it among his officers, he decreed that the combatants should fight till one fell, and that the survivor should be hung on the spot.
This example night lead to the supposition that nothing more would be necessary for effecting a reform in this point, than that the sovereign should in earnest employ his power and authority for the purpose. And, doubtless, the discountenance of a court, steadily and
impartially exercised, might produce a considerable effect upon
those who are dependent on its favours. But experience proves, that the general influence of a court upon the manners of a nation is much less than might be expected; and that even in absolute monarchies, national habits are little under the controul of the individual sovereign. Honour and conscience are two things that spurn the interference of power; and false notions grounded upon them are to be counteracted only by juster notions with the same foundation. If the public opinion makes it disgraceful in certain circumstances to refuse a challenge, the countenance of royalty itself cannot afford a shelter from its consequences. The laws of honour can be altered or abrogated only by its legislators. The common laws of the land are of little avail here; since those who think it incumbent on them to confront the dangers of combat in establishing a reputation for courage, will not shun the additional hazard of a criminal prosecution. Further, it is almost impossible that, during the present state of opinion, the rigour of the law can be put in force on these occasions. Neither will judges be found to direct, nor juries to bring in, verdicts of murder in ordinary cases of killing by duel; for although the crime, according to legal definition, can bear no other construction, yet the sentiment with which it is viewed is totally different. The perpetrator is frequently more an object of pity than of detestation, and appears rather as the unhappy instrument of a fatal necessity, than as the sanguinary agenti of malice or revenge. I shall not here enquire how far a distortion of the letter of the law for an humane purpose is justifiable; certainly, accustoming juries to tamper with their oaths, and equivocate with the direct meaning of words, is a very dangerous practice; and perhaps it would be better in cases of this kind to leave the exercise of mercy in the hand in which the constitution has placed it, than to save a criminal by an acquittal contrary to the evidence of fact. I only mean to assert that nothing in reality can be expected from the law as it now stands, towards abolishing the custom of duelling.
My conclusion from this discussion is, that it is both desirable and possible greatly to limit, if not entirely to abrogate, a practice which of late years has been gaining ground, and becoming more and more destructive to the peace of society; but that this can be effected only by the adoption of more rational sentiments by that class which is peculiarly implicated in the practice. Society has always in its own hands the means of enforcing such rules as are necessary
preservation of order and decorum. What it resolves to countenance, no individual can render disgraceful in the public opinion; and surely nothing is better worthy of its interposition, than to prevent outrages, which throw men back into the state of nature, and introduce barbarisrn into the bosom of civilization.
ABSTRACT OF THE JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE FROM NEW
SOUTH WALES TO ENGLAND.
By a Lady.* HAVING embarked on board the Buffalo man of war, with a number of passengers, amongst whom there were eighteen women and twenty-one children, besides ten convicts who were to be landed at Norfolk island, we sailed from Port Jackson, in company with the Francis schooner, on Tuesday, October the 21st, 1800, at 9 a.m, with a fresh breeze from the westward.
On the following day, at noon, we descried a vessel to the northward, which, on bearing down, proved to be the Speedy whaler. At night a tremendous gale came on, accompanied with thunder, lightning and rain, which continued till the 23d, and during which we lost sight of the schooner.
On the 29th, in the morning, we passed Lord Howe’s island and Balls's pyramid, which are situated in latitude 31° 35' south, and longitude 159° gʻ east.
Nothing particular occurred till the 5th of November, when at dawn of day we discovered Phillip's island, and at 9 a. m. Norfolk island. A large sail appeared in the N. W. quarter. As a very heavy sea broke on the beach of Sydney, we sailed to Cascade, a landing place on the opposite side of the island, where the ten prisoners were landed. Cloudy damp weather. Norfolk island lies in latitude 29° 2' south, and longitude 168" 5' east.
November 6th and 7th. The surf being very high both at Cascade and at Sidney bay, it was impossible for a boat to land at either place during these two days. The weather was fine and clear, and the island wore a beautiful appearance, being covered with lofty pine trees, intermixed with lesser trees of the brightest foliage. The banks and many of the steepest hills were covered with native flax, which grows in the greatest luxuriance. The large sail we had seen proved to be the Albion, Captain Bunker, who touched at the island for provisions.
On the 8th, the weather being perfectly fine and the surf moderate, I was induced to go on shore immediately after breakfast. We landed without much difficulty at Cascade, and walked to Sydney. The road was just wide enough for one carriage, and ran between pine trees, whose majestic height screened us from the scorching rays of the sun, and rendered the walk to Sydney, which is about three miles and a half distant from Cascade, extremely pleasant. After descending a very steep hill, we reached Sydney, where, the governor's house excepted, there is not one good building. The town is built close to the water side, and the inhabitants must, I think, be greatly annoyed by
The same from whose papers we formerly gave an account of the southwest side of New Caledonia. "Vide Athenæum, Nos. 9 & 10.
the noise of the surf, which is continually foaming and breaking with such violence as to render it difficult to hear what any person says. The land in every part of the island has a fertile appearance. The government-garden, which is situated in Arthur's Vale, is extensive and in high cultivation. Beyond it is a piece of water of a circular form, with a small islet, covered with flowering shrubs, rising in the centre of it, which gives it a romantic appearance. This pond abounds with eels of the finest kind, and its water turns a mill of considerable size. The farms extend all along this vale, and their Juxuriant fields, in which the grain was nearly ripe, yielded a rich prospect. Major F. the lieutenant-governor, paid me every polite attention, and, at my departure in the evening, had a horse with a sidesaddle and attendants in readiness to convey me to Cascade. Being rather fatigued, I gladly availed of his politeness, and had a most pleasant ride in the cool of the evening to Cascade, when we reembarked in the Buffalo's jolly-boat. A heavy swell had drifted the ship to a great distance from the island, and we did not reach her till after a row of three hours, when it was quite dark.
On the 9th, at 9 a. m. the Buffalo fired a salute of fifteen guns on governor Hunter's leaving the ship. On the 10th we made sail and stood off, and on the 11th hoisted in the boats and took our departure from Norfolk island; Mount Pitt bearing S. W. three or four miles;' wind at E.S. E.
We had light breezes and good weather. On the 16th, being Sunday, divine service was performed on the quarter-deck, by the Rev. Mr. Johnson. The greatest part of the passengers and the whole of the ship's company attended, and behaved with great decorum and proper attention. The performance of this duty was continued every Sunday during the voyage, except when prevented by the weather, or such incidental occurrences as will be noticed.
On the 19th it fell quite calm, with slight showers. A large green turtle was seen within a few yards of the ship.
On the 22d we had fresh breezes and cloudy weather. North Cape of New Zealand bearing S.S. W. distant about ten leagues; saw the Jand very distinctly. A sperm-whale was this day seen from the ship. On Sunday, the 23d, light breezes and hazy weather. Lost sight of the land of New Zealand. Great numbers of porpoises were seen. Much of niy time was this day passed in rendering every service in my power to one of the female passengers, a Mrs. Molloy, whose life was despaired of. Her being within three weeks of lying-in, and some other cruel circumstances, rendered her situation truly calamitous, and called forth every feeling of humanity.
On the 24th we had uncommonly fine weather; the ship going seven knots an hour under a steady breeze from the westward. The fine weather continued for several days, with moderate breezes, and clear moonlight nights, which are peculiarly pleasant and desirable at sea, in which I frequenily indulged myself with walking the deck till a late hour, viewing the waves by the mild rays of the orb of night. No fitter time or scene for contemplation; and my mind at those times
enjoyed enjoyed a tranquillity which led my thoughts to soar beyond the extensive sweep of the ocean, and the wider expanse of its spangled canopy; even to that unknown world which the spirits of the just inhabit.
On the 26th Mrs. Molloy, the person before mentioned, and who was at this time supposed to be near death, was, to the great surprise of every person on board, safely delivered of a girl, after a very easy ·labour, and both seemed likely to do well.
On Sunday the 30th we had such frequent and heavy showers of rain, with fresh gales and hazy weather, that the performance of divine service was prevented. We this day calculated our distance from Cape Horn to be 4,384 miles.
For the three or four first days of December we had fresh breezes and squally weather. Vast flights of birds of the albatross, pintado, and peterel kinds, passed the ship on the 2d. On the 5th it blew violently hard, with frequent heavy squalls, accompanied with rain and a great sea running. The next day the weather moderated. A large whale was seen within three yards of the ship, and on the 9th another of an enormous size was near enough to have been struck from the cat-head. A gale came on on that day, which increased in the night and on the next day, so that the ship was obliged to lie to, The sea ran very high, and struck her with such violence as to lay her repeatedly on her broadside. Towards noon the wind veered round two points to the westward, which enabled the ship to continue her course with the foresail and mainsail set. The gale became more mo. derate in the evening, and gave us hopes that the succeeding day would see it out. On the 11th our hopes were more than realized, for the gale not only abated, but a pleasant breeze sprung up from the wished- for quarter, and we went the whole day with studding sails set on both sides.
On the 13th we carried away the maintop-mast studding sail-yard in a squall. It continued squally with fresh gales till the 18th, when a great storm came on (the most serious we had encountered since we left Port Jackson) from the north-westward, with frequent heavy rain and hail; the ship scudding under her foresail, seven and eight knots an hour, with a great sea running. The storm continued, with unabated violence, till the 20th, when it subsided, and the weather became clear and pleasant.
Saturday, 27th December. Some days have elapsed since I laid aside my pen. · A dreadful catastrophe, which I will endeavour to relate as circumstantially as possible, prevented my resuming it till I found my spirits more collected. It was Christmas eve, and we were sitting round a good fire, anticipating the pleasures of the ensuing day, for which great preparations had been making for several days, when we heard a great noise on the main-deck, which we soon learnt was occasioned by Mr. L. one of the midshipmen, who was excessively intoxicated. Stripped to his trowsers, his face flushed with liquor, his countenance (which, I'must observe, was, at the best of times, one of the worst I ever saw) dark and malignant, and bis mouth foaming