Read CHAPTER IX of Samuel F. B. Morse‚ His Letters and Journals, Volume I, free online book, by Samuel F. B. Morse, on ReadCentral.com.

MAY 3. 1815OCTOBER 18, 1816

Decides to return home in the fall.Hopes to return to Europe in a year.Ambitions.Paints “Judgment of Jupiter.”Not allowed to compete for premium.Mr. Russell’s portrait.Reproof of his parents.Battle of Waterloo.Wilberforce.Painting of “Dying Hercules” received by parents.Much admired.Sails for home.Dreadful voyage lasting fifty-eight days.Extracts from his journal.Home at last.

It was with great reluctance that Morse made his preparations to return home. He thought that, could he but remain a year or two longer in an atmosphere much more congenial to an artist than that which prevailed in America at that time, he would surely attain to greater eminence in his profession.

He, in common with many others, imagined that, with the return of peace, an era of great prosperity would at once set in. But in this he was mistaken, for history records that just the opposite occurred. The war had made demands on manufacturers, farmers, and provision dealers which were met by an increase in inventions and in production, and this meant wealth and prosperity to many. When the war ceased, this demand suddenly fell off; the soldiers returning to their country swelled the army of the unemployed, and there resulted increased misery among the lower classes, and a check to the prosperity of the middle and upper classes. It would seem, therefore, that Fate dealt more kindly with the young man than he, at that time, realized; for, had he remained, his discouragements would undoubtedly have increased; whereas, by his return to his native land, although meeting with many disappointments and suffering many hardships, he was gradually turned into a path which ultimately led to fame and fortune.

On May 3, 1815, he writes to his parents:

“With respect to returning home, I shall make my arrangements to be with you (should my life be spared) by the end of September next, or the beginning of October; but it will be necessary that I should be in England again (provided always Providence permits) by September following, as arrangements which I have made will require my presence. This I will fully explain when I meet you.

“The moment I get home I wish to begin work, so that I should like to have some portraits bespoken in season. I shall charge forty dollars less than Stuart for my portraits, so that, if any of my good friends are ready, I will begin the moment I have said ‘how do ye do’ to them.

“I wish to do as much as possible in the year I am with you. If I could get a commission or two for some large pictures for a church or public hall, to the amount of two or three thousand dollars, I should feel much gratified. I do not despair of such an event, for, through your influence with the clergy and their influence with their people, I think some commission for a scripture subject for a church might be obtained; a crucifixion, for instance.

“It may, perhaps, be said that the country is not rich enough to purchase large pictures; yes, but two or three thousand dollars can be paid for an entertainment which is gone in a day, and whose effects are to demoralize and debilitate, whilst the same sum expended on a fine picture would be adding an ornament to the country which would be lasting. It would tend to elevate and refine the public feeling by turning their thoughts from sensuality and luxury to intellectual pleasures, and it would encourage and support a class of citizens who have always been reckoned among the brightest stars in the constellation of American worthies, and who are, to this day, compelled to exile themselves from their country and all that is dear to them, in order to obtain a bare subsistence.

“I do not speak of portrait-painters; had I no higher thoughts than being a first-rate portrait-painter, I would have chosen a far different profession. My ambition is to be among those who shall revive the splendor of the fifteenth century; to rival the genius of a Raphael, a Michael Angelo, or a Titian; my ambition is to be enlisted in the constellation of genius now rising in this country; I wish to shine, not by a light borrowed from them, but to strive to shine the brightest.

“If I could return home and stay a year visiting my friends in various parts of the Union, and, by painting portraits, make sufficient to bring me to England again at the end of the year, whilst I obtained commissions enough to employ me and support me while in England, I think, in the course of a year or two, I shall have obtained sufficient credit to enable me to return home, if not for the remainder of my life, at least to pay a good long visit.

“In all these plans I wish you to understand me as always taking into consideration the will of Providence; and, in every plan for future operation, I hope I am not forgetful of the uncertainty of human life, and I wish always to say should I live I will do this or that....

“I perceive by your late letters that you suppose I am painting a large picture. I did think of it some time ago and was only deterred on account of the expenses attending it. All this I will explain to your entire satisfaction when I see you, and why I do not think it expedient to make an exhibition when I return.

“I perceive also that you are a little too sanguine with respect to me and expect a little too much from me. You must recollect I am yet but a student and that a picture of any merit is not painted in a day. Experienced as Mr. West is (and he also paints quicker than any other artist), his last large picture cost him between three and four years’ constant attention. Mr. Allston was nearly two years in painting his large picture. Young Haydon was three years painting his large picture, is now painting another on which he has been at work one year and expects to be two years more on it. Leslie was ten months painting his picture, and my ‘Hercules’ cost me nearly a year’s study. So you see that large pictures are not the work of a moment.

“All these matters we will talk over one of these days, and all will be set right. I had better paint Miss Russell’s, Aunt Salisbury’s, and Dr. Bartlett’s pictures at home for a very good reason I will give you.”

He did, however, complete a large historical, or rather mythological, painting before leaving England. Whether it was begun before or after writing the foregoing letter, I do not know, but Mr. Dunlap (whom I have already quoted) has this to say about it:

“Encouraged by the flattering reception of his first works in painting and in sculpture, the young artist redoubled his energies in his studies and determined to contend for the highest premium in historical composition offered by the Royal Academy at the beginning of the year 1814. The subject was ’The Judgment of Jupiter in the case of Apollo, Marpessa and Idas.’ The premium offered was a gold medal and fifty guineas. The decision was to take place in December of 1815. The composition containing four figures required much study, but, by the exercise of great diligence, the picture was completed by the middle of July.

“Our young painter had now been in England four years, one year longer than the time allowed him by his parents, and he had to return immediately home; but he had finished his picture under the conviction, strengthened by the opinion of West, that it would be allowed to remain and compete with those of the other candidates. To his regret the petition to the council of the Royal Academy for this favor, handed in to them by West and advocated strongly by him and Fuseli, was not granted. He was told that it was necessary, according to the rules of the Academy, that the artist should be present to receive the premium; it could not be received by proxy. Fuseli expressed himself in very indignant terms at the narrowness of this decision.

“Thus disappointed, the artist had but one mode of consolation. He invited West to see his picture before he packed it up, at the same time requesting Mr. West to inform him through Mr. Leslie, after the premium should be adjudged in December, what chance he would have had if he had remained. Mr. West, after sitting before the picture for a long time, promised to comply with the request, but added: ’You had better remain, sir.’”

In a letter quoted, without a date, by Mr. Prime, which was written from Bristol, but which seems to have been lost, I find the following:

“James Russell, Esq., has been extremely attentive to me. He has a very fine family consisting of four daughters and, I think, a son who is absent in the East Indies. The daughters are very beautiful, accomplished, and amiable, especially the youngest, Lucy. I came very near being at my old game of falling in love, but I find that love and painting are quarrelsome companions, and that the house of my heart is too small for both of them; so I have turned Mrs. Love out-of-doors. Time enough, thought I (with true old bachelor complacency), time enough for you these ten years to come. Mr. Russell’s portrait I have painted as a present to Miss Russell, and will send it to her as soon as I can get an opportunity. It is an excellent likeness of him.”

He must either have said more in this letter, or have written another after the family verdict (that terrible family verdict) had been pronounced, for in the letter of April 23, 1815, from which I have already quoted, he refers to this portrait as follows:

“As to the portrait which I painted of Mr. Russell, I am sorry you mentioned it to Miss Russell, as I particularly requested that you would not, because, in case of failure, it would be a disappointment to her; but as you have told her, I must now explain. In the first place it is not a picture that will do me any credit. I was unfortunate in the light which I chose to paint him in; I wished to make it my best picture and so made it my worst, for I worked too timidly on it. It is a likeness, indeed, a very strong likeness, but the family are not pleased with it, and they say that I have not flattered him, that I have made him too old. So I determined I would not send it, indeed, I promised them I would not send it; but, notwithstanding, as I know Miss Russell will be good enough to comply with my conditions, I will send it directly; for, as it is a good likeness, every one except the family knowing it instantly, and Mr. Allston saying that it is a very strong likeness, it will on that account be a gratification to her. But I particularly and expressly request that it be kept in a private room to be shown only to friends and relations, and that I may never be mentioned as the painter; and, moreover, that no artist or miniature painter be allowed to see it. On these conditions I send it, taking for granted they will be complied with, and without waiting for an answer.”

The parents of that generation were not frugal of counsel and advice, even when their children had reached years of discretion and had flown far away from the family nest.

The father, in a letter of May 20, 1815, thus gently reproves his son:

“To-day we have received your letters to March 23.... You evidently misconceived our views in the letters to which you allude, and felt much too strongly our advice and remarks in respect to your writing us so much on politics. What we said was the affectionate advice of your parents, who loved you very tenderly, and who were not unwilling you should judge for yourself though you might differ from them. We have ever made a very candid allowance for you, and so have all your friends, and we have never for a moment believed we should differ a fortnight after you should come home and converse with us. You have, in the ardor of feeling, construed many observations in our letters as censuring you and designed to wound your feelings, which were not intended in the remotest degree by us for any such purpose....

“I am sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Thornton. He was a good man.”

His mother was much less gentle in her reproof. I cull the following sentences from a long letter of June 1, 1815:

“In perfect consistency with the feelings towards you all, above described, we may and ought to tell you, and that with the greatest plainness, of anything that we deem improper in any part of your conduct, either in a civil, social, or religious view. This we feel it our duty to do and shall continue to do as long as we live; and it will ever be your duty to receive from us the advice, counsel, and reproof, which we may, from time to time, favor you with, with the most perfect respect and dutiful observance; and, when you differ from us on any point whatever, let that difference be conveyed to us in the most delicate and gentlemanly manner. Let this be done not only while you are under age and dependent on your parents for your support, but when you are independent, and when you are head of a family, and even of a profession, if you ever should be either.... I have dwelt longer on this subject, as I think you have, in some of your last letters, been somewhat deficient in that respect which your own good sense will at once convince you was, on all accounts, due, and which I know you feel the propriety of without any further observations.”

On June 2, 1815, the father writes:

“We have just received a letter from your uncle, James E.B. Finley, of Carolina. He fears you will remain in Europe, but hopes you have so much amor patrice as to return and display your talents in raising the military and naval glory of the nation, by exhibiting on canvas some of her late naval and land actions, and also promote the fine arts among us. He is, you know, an enthusiastic Republican and patriot and a warm approver of the late war, but an amiable, excellent man. I am by no means certain that it would not be best for you to come home this fall and spend a year or two in this country in painting some portraits, but especially historical pieces and landscapes. You might, I think, in this way succeed in getting something to support you afterwards in Europe for a few years.

“I hope the time is not distant when artists in your profession, and of the first class, will be honorably patronized and supported in this country. In this case you can come and live with us, which would give us much satisfaction.”

The young man still took a deep interest in affairs political, and speculated rather keenly on the outcome of the tremendous happenings on the Continent.

On June 26, 1815, he writes:

“You will have heard of the dreadful battle in Flanders before this reaches you. The loss of the English is immense, indeed almost all their finest officers and the flower of their army; not less than 800 officers and upwards of 15,000 men, some say 20,000. But it has been decisive if the news of to-day be true, that Napoleon has abdicated. What the event of these unparalleled times will be no mortal can pretend to foresee. I have much to tell you when I see you. Perhaps you had better not write after the receipt of this, as it may be more than two months before an answer could be received.

“P.S. The papers of to-night confirm the news of this morning. Bonaparte is no longer a dangerous man; he has abdicated, and, in all probability, a republican form of government will be the future government of France, if they are capable of enjoying such a government. But no one can foresee events; there may be a long peace, or the world may be torn worse than it yet has been. Revolution seems to succeed revolution so rapidly that, in looking back on our lives, we seem to have lived a thousand years, and wonders of late seem to scorn to come alone; they come in clusters.”

The battle in Flanders was the battle of Waterloo, which was fought on the 18th day of June, and on the 6th of July the allied armies again entered Paris. Referring to these events many years later, Morse said:

“It was on one of my visits, in the year 1815, that an incident occurred which well illustrates the character of the great philanthropist [Mr. Wilberforce]. As I passed through Hyde Park on my way to Kensington Gore, I observed that great crowds had gathered, and rumors were rife that the allied armies had entered Paris, that Napoleon was a prisoner, and that the war was virtually at an end; and it was momentarily expected that the park guns would announce the good news to the people.

“On entering the drawing-room at Mr. Wilberforce’s I found the company, consisting of Mr. Thornton [his memory must have played him false in this particular as Mr. Thornton died some time before], Mr. Macaulay, Mr. Grant, the father, and his two sons Robert and Charles, and Robert Owen of Lanark, in quite excited conversation respecting the rumors that prevailed. Mr. Wilberforce expatiated largely on the prospects of a universal peace in consequence of the probable overthrow of Napoleon, whom naturally he considered the great disturber of the nations. At every period, however, he exclaimed: ’It is too good to be true, it cannot be true.’ He was altogether skeptical in regard to the rumors.

“The general subject, however, was the absorbing topic at the dinner-table. After dinner the company joined the ladies in the drawing-room. I sat near a window which looked put in the direction of the distant park. Presently a flash and a distant dull report of a gun attracted my attention, but was unnoticed by the rest of the company. Another flash and report assured me that the park guns were firing, and at once I called Mr. Wilberforce’s attention to the fact. Running to the window he threw it up in time to see the next flash and hear the report. Clasping his hands in silence, with the tears rolling down his cheeks, he stood for a few moments perfectly absorbed in thought, and, before uttering a word, embraced his wife and daughters, and shook hands with every one in the room. The scene was one not to be forgotten.”

We learn from a letter of his mothers dated June 27, 1815, that the painting of the Dying Hercules had at last been received, but that the plaster cast of the same subject was still mysteriously missing. The painting was much admired, and the mother says:

“Your friend Mr. Tisdale says the picture of the Hercules ought to be in Boston as the beginning of a gallery of paintings, and that the Bostonians ought not to permit it to go from here. Whether they will or not, I know not. I place no confidence in them, but they may take a fit into their heads to patronize the fine arts, and, in that case, they have it in their power undoubtedly to do as much as any city in this country towards their support.”

Morse had now made up his mind to return home, although his parents, in their letters of that time, had given him leave to stay longer if he thought it would be for his best interest, but his father had made it clear that he must, from this time forth, depend on his own exertions. He hoped that (Providence permitting) he need only spend a year at home in earning enough money to warrant his returning to Europe. Providence, however, willed otherwise, and he did not return to Europe until fourteen years later.

The next letter is dated from Liverpool, August 8, 1815, and is but a short one. I shall quote the first few sentences:

“I have arrived thus far on my way home. I left London the 5th and arrived in this place yesterday the 7th, at which time, within an hour, four years ago, I landed in England. I have not yet determined by what vessel to return; I have a choice of a great many. The Ceres is the first that sails, but I do not like her accommodations. The Liverpool packet sails about the 25th, and, as she has always been a favorite ship with me, it is not improbable I may return in her.”

He decided to sail in the Ceres, however, to his sorrow, for the voyage home was a long and dreadful one. The record of those terrible fifty-eight days, carefully set down in his journal, reads like an Odyssey of misfortune and almost of disaster.

To us of the present day, who cross the ocean in a floating hotel, in a few days, arriving almost on the hour, the detailed account of the dangers, discomforts, and privations suffered by the travellers of an earlier period seems almost incredible. Brave, indeed, were our fathers who went down to the sea in ships, for they never knew when, if ever, they would reach the other shore, and there could be no C.Q.D. or S.O.S. flashed by wireless in the Morse code to summon assistance in case of disaster. In this case storm succeeded storm; head winds were encountered almost all the way across; fine weather and fair winds were the exception, and provisions and fresh water were almost exhausted.

The following quotations from the journal will give some idea of the terrors experienced by the young man, whose appointed time had not yet arrived. He still had work to do in the world which could be done by no other.

“Monday, August 21, 1815. After waiting fourteen days in Liverpool for a fair wind, we set sail at three o’clock in the afternoon with the wind at southeast, in company with upwards of two hundred sail of vessels, which formed a delightful prospect. We gradually lost sight of different vessels as it approached night, and at sunset they were dispersed all over the horizon. In the night the wind sprung up strong and fair, and in the morning we were past Holyhead.

“Tuesday, 22d August. Wind directly ahead; beating all day; thick weather and gales of wind; passengers all sick and I not altogether well. Little progress to-day.

“Wednesday, 23d August. A very disagreeable day, boisterous, head winds and rainy. Beating across the channel from the Irish to the Welsh coast.

“Friday, 25th August. Dreadful still; blowing harder and harder; quite a storm and a lee shore; breakers in sight, tacked and stood over again to the Irish shore under close-reefed topsails. At night saw Waterford light again.

“Monday, 28th August. A fair wind springing up (ten o’clock). Going at the rate of seven knots on our true course. We have had just a week of the most disagreeable weather possible. I hope this is the beginning of better winds, and that, in reasonable time, we shall see our native shore.

“Tuesday, 29th August. Still disappointed in fair winds.... Since, then, I can find nothing consoling on deck, let us see what is in the cabin. All of us make six, four gentlemen and two ladies. Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Drake, Captain Chamberlain, Mr. Bancroft, Mr. Lancaster, and myself. Our amusements are eating and drinking, sleeping and backgammon. Seasickness we have thrown overboard, and, all things considered, we try to enjoy ourselves and sometimes succeed.

“Thursday, 31st August. Wind as directly ahead as it can blow; squally all night and tremendous sea. What a contrast does this voyage make with my first. This day makes the tenth day out and we have advanced towards home about three hundred miles. In my last voyage, on the tenth day, we had accomplished one half our voyage, sixteen hundred miles.

“Friday, 1st September. Dreadful weather; wind still ahead; foggy, rainy, and heavy swell; patience almost exhausted, but the will of Heaven be done. If this weather is to continue I hope we shall have fortitude to bear it. All is for the best.

“Saturday, 9th September. Nineteenth day out and not yet more than one third of our way to Boston. Oh! when shall we end this tedious passage?

“Sunday, 10th September. Calm with dreadful sea. Early this morning discovered a large ship to the southward, dismasted, probably in the late gale. Discovered an unpleasant trait in our captain’s character which I shall merely allude to. I am sorry to say he did not demonstrate that promptitude to assist a fellow creature in distress which I expected to find inherent in a seaman’s breast, and especially in an American seaman’s. It was not till after three or four hours’ delay, and until the entreaties of his passengers and some threatening murmurs on my part of a public exposure in Boston of his conduct, that he ordered the ship to bear down upon the wreck, and then with slackened sail and much grumbling. A ship and a brig were astern of us, and, though farther by some miles from the distressed ship than we were, they instantly bore down for her, and rendered her this evening the assistance we might have done at noon. We are now standing on our way with a fair wind springing up at southeast, which I suppose will last a few hours. Spent the day in religious exercises, and was happy to observe on the part of the rest of the passengers a due regard for the solemnity of the day.

“Monday, 11th September. Wind still ahead and the sky threatening.Ten o’clock. Beginning to blow hard; taking in sails one after another. Three o’clock. A perfect storm; the gale a few days ago but a gentle breeze to it.... I never witnessed so tremendous a gale; the wind blowing so that it can scarcely be faced; the sea like ink excepting the whiteness of the surge, which is carried into the air like clouds of dust, or like the driving of snow. The wind piping through our bare rigging sounds most terrific; indeed, it is a most awful sight. The sea in mountains breaking over our bows, and a single wave dispersing in mist through the violence of the storm; ship rolling to such a degree that we are compelled to keep our berths; cabin dark with the deadlights in. Oh! who would go to sea when he can stay on shore! The wind in southwest driving us back again, so that we are losing all the advantages of our fair wind of yesterday, which lasted, as I supposed, two or three hours.

“Tuesday, 12th September. Gale abated, but head wind still....

“Wednesday, 13th September. All last night a tremendous storm from northwest.

“Thursday, 14th September. The storm increased to a tremendous height last night. The clouds at sunset were terrific in the extreme, and, in the evening, still more so with lightning. The sea has risen frightfully and everything wears a most alarming aspect. At 3 A.M. a squall struck us and laid us almost wholly under water; we came near losing our foremast.... None of us able to sleep from the dreadful noises; creakings and howlings and thousands of indescribable sounds. Lord! who can endure the terror of thy storm!... Yesterday’s sea was as molehills to mountains compared with the sea to-day....

“Friday, 15th September. The storm somewhat abated this morning, but still blowing hard from southwest.... Twenty-four days out to-day.

“Saturday, 16th September. Blowing a gale of wind from southwest. Noon almost calm for half an hour, when, on a sudden, the wind shifted to the northeast, when it blew such a hurricane that every one on board declared they never saw its equal. For four hours it blew so hard that all the sea was in a perfect foam, and resembled a severe snowstorm more than a dry blow. If the wind roared before, it now shrilly whistled through our rigging.”

After some days of calm with winds sometimes favorable but light, and, when fresh, ahead, the journal continues:

“Monday, 25th September. Another gale of wind last night, ahead, dreadful sea; took in sail and lay to all night.... Beginning to think of our provisions; bread mouldy and little left; sugar, little left; fresh provisions, little left; beans, none left; salt pork, little left; salt beef, a plenty; water, plenty; stores of passengers, some gone and the rest drawing to a conclusion; patience drawing to a conclusion; in short all is falling short and drawing to a conclusion except our voyage and my journal....

“Tuesday, 26th September.... Find our captain to be a complete old woman; takes in sail at night and never knows when to set it again; the longer we know him, the more surly he grows; he is not even civil.... Several large turtles passed within a few feet of us yesterday and to-day, and, considering we are near the end of our provisions, one would have thought our captain would be anxious to take them; but no, it was too much trouble to lower the boat from the stern.

“Friday, 29th September. Last night another dreadful gale, as severe as any since we have been out.

“Monday, 2d October. Last night another gale of wind from northwest and is this morning still blowing hard and cold from the same quarter. What a dreadful passage is ours; we seem destined to have no fair wind, and to have a gale of wind every other day.

“Saturday, 7th October. Wind still ahead and blowing hard; very cold and dismal. Oh! when shall we see home!... I thought I could observe a kind of warfare between the different winds since we have been at sea. The west wind seems to be the tyrant at present, as it were the Bonaparte of the air. He has been blowing his gales very lavishly, and no other wind has been able to check him with any success.

“I recollect on one day, while it was calm, a thick bank of clouds began to rise in the northeast; no other clouds were in the sky. They rose gently in the calm as if fearful of rousing their deadly foe in the west. Now they had gained one third of the heavens when, behold, in the southwest another bank of thick black clouds came rolling up, and, reddening in the rays of the setting sun, marched on, teeming with fury. They soon gained the middle of the heavens where the frightened northeast had not yet reached. They met, they mixed, the routed northeast skulked back, while the thick column of the southwest, having driven back its enemy, slowly returned to its repose, proudly displaying a thousand various colors, as if for victory.

“At another time success seemed to be more in favor of the northeast; for, shortly after this great defeat, the southwest came forth and, like a petty tyrant intoxicated with success, began to oppress the subject ocean. It blew its gales and filled the air with clouds and rain and fog. Suddenly the northeast, as under cover of the darkness, and as one driven to desperation, burst forth on its too confident enemy with redoubled fury. Old ocean groans at the dreadful conflict; for, as in the warring of two hostile armies on the domains of a neutral, the neutral suffers most severely, so the neutral ocean seemed doomed to bear the weight of all their rancor. The southwest flies affrighted. And now the northeast, vaunting forth, stalks with the rage of an angry demon over the waters; the ocean foams beneath his breath, it steams and smokes and heaves in agony its troubled bosom.

“But, alas! how few can bear prosperity; how few, when victory crowns their efforts, can rule with moderation; how often, does it happen that we reenact the same scenes for which we punished our enemy. For now has the northeast become the tyrant and rules with tenfold rigor; he pours forth all his strength and, drunk with success as soldiers after a victory, at length sinks away into an inglorious calm.

“Now does the southwest collect his routed forces, checked but not conquered; he again advances on his recreant foe and seizes the vacant throne without a struggle. Ill-fated northeast! hadst thou but ruled with moderation when thou hadst gained, with masterly manoeuvre, the throne of the air; hadst thou reserved thy forces against surprise, and not, with prodigal profuseness, lavished them on thy harmless subjects, thou hadst still been monarch of the sea and air; all would have blessed thee as the restorer of peace, and as the deliverer of the ocean from western despotism. But alas! how art thou fallen an everlasting example of overreaching oppression.

“This evening there is a fine fair wind from northeast carrying us on at the rate of five or six knots. This is the cause of the foregoing rhapsody. Had it been otherwise than a fair wind I should never have been in spirits to have written so much stuff.”

Still tantalized by baffling head winds and alternating calms and gales, they were, however, gradually approaching the coast. Omitting the entries of the next eleven days, I shall quote the final pages of the journal.

“Wednesday, 18th October. Last night was a sleepless night to us all. Everything wore the appearance of a hard storm; all was dull in the cabin; scarce a word was spoken; every one wore a serious aspect and, as any one came from the deck into the cabin, the rest put up an inquisitive and apprehensive look, with now and then a faint, ’Well, how does it look now?’ Our captain, as well as the passenger captain, were both alarmed, and were poring over the chart in deep deliberation. A syllable was now and then caught from them, but all seemed despairing.

“At ten o’clock we lay to till twelve; at four again till five. Rainy, thick, and hazy, but not blowing very hard. All is dull and dismal; a dreadful state of suspense, between feelings of exquisite joy in the hope of soon seeing home, and feelings of gloomy apprehension that a few hours may doom us to destruction.

“Half-past seven.... Heaven be praised! The joyful tidings are just announced of Land!! Oh! who can conceive our feelings now? The wretch condemned to the scaffold, who receives, at the moment he expects to die, the joyful reprieve, he can best conceive the state of our minds.

“The land is Cape Cod, distant about ten miles. Joyful, joyful is the thought. To-night we shall, in all probability, be in Boston. We are going at the rate of seven knots.

“Half-past 9. Manomet land in sight.

“Ten o’clock. Cape Ann in sight.

“Eleven o’clock. Boston Light in sight.

“One o’clock. HOME!!!”