By EDWARD T. HALL.
THE COURIER COMPANY, PRINTERS.
A Voyage to the Spanish Main.
It is my purpose at the present time to give some account of a voyage to the Spanish Main, which I had the pleasure of making in the early spring months of 1887. To this class of my readers I will give a few items of the dimensions and construction of the steamer " Philadelphia," of the Red " D " Line, plying between the City of New York and Puerto Cabello and La Guayra in Venezuela, also stopping at the island of Curacao. I shall also venture to say something of her officers.
At one o'clock on Wednesday, March 2d, I was a passenger on the iron steamship " Philadelphia," of the Red "D" Line, which sailed from Pier 36, East River, in the port of New York. The day was an exceptionally fine one for this season of the year. The sun shone brightly and the air was as balmy •as in the leafy month of June. A tug-boat helped us to swing around toward the bay against a strong flood tide, and in a few minutes we were steaming majestically along under the great bridge that spans the East River and unites the City of New York to her sister City of Brooklyn. Soon we were rapidly passing the now famous statue of " Liberty Enlightening the World," sometimes familiarly called " Mademoiselle Bartholdi." When we reached Sandy Hook our good-looking young pilot, after courteously shaking hands with the captain and first officer, swung himself lightly over the rail, and by a rope-ladder descended to a small row-boat which had put off from a pilot-boat, on a signal from our mast-head, to take him from our steamer.
To a landsman the transit from a great ocean steamer to a little row-boat, which bobs up and down on the waves like an egg-shell, would be an awkward feat to accomplish, and might easily result in a broken limb or a sea-water bath, but to our pilot, with his experience and coolness and strength of arm, it appears to be as easy as "rolling off from a log." He descends the rope-ladder to within a few feet of the heaving waters, but is in no hurry to let go. He bides his time until a wave brings the little boat up to the proper position for his purpose, when he drops lightly down and in a twinkling is in the stern-sheets, with his hand on the tiller. His cheery voice shouts, " Give way, my lads ! " and the oarsmen row him quickly away from the great steamer.
Now the captain takes charge, and our course is laid south, one and a quarter points east, which course we will continue to hold for several days and nights till we approach the islands of St. Domingo and Porto Rico, between which we are to sail, taking care to avoid two smaller islands lying between these two greater ones just named, and which are called, respectively, " Mona Island " and " Monita Island ; " that is to say, " Monkey Island " and " Little Monkey Island."
This course between these islands is designated on the charts as the " Mona Passage," and here our course will be changed to a more southerly one, and we will enter the Caribbean Sea. Thence we will shape our course a little west of south for the tropical island of Curacao. This island is one of that great group that come under the general name of the West Indies, but it is more particularly known as one of the Caribbee Islands. It also belongs to that group known as the "Leeward" Islands, in contradistinction to a group farther eastward, known as the "Windward" Islands. So it is proper to speak of Curacao as one of the West India Islands, or as one of the Carib or Caribbee Islands, or as one of the Leeward Islands, either expression being correct.
And now, while we are bowling along at the rate of twelve or thirteen knots an hour, I will bring this first chapter to a close, and in my state-room bed shut my eyes and woo the drowsy god of sleep, while listening to the waves swashing against our steamer as she proudly plows her way through them. The majesty of the ocean ceases not when the eye is closed upon its heaving bosom. The rushing sound of its many waters, when the head is on the pillow, makes its impress on the reflective mind as deeply as to gaze on its restless billows.
At Sea - Our Steamer and Her Officers.
AS I commence this chapter I do not forget that a great many people who, in these days of comfortable traveling facilities, and of " Cook's Tours" and " Raymond's Excursions" to all parts of the world, are familiar with the average ocean steamer and its characteristics. To these, my account of the steamer " Philadelphia," and her officers, will doubtless possess but little interest. But I also reflect that there is a far greater proportion who are unfamiliar with the details of the construction of these great steamships that transport with comfort and safety so many hundreds of thousands of the members of the human family to all parts of the world, over that great, free and universal highway, the ocean.
To this class of my readers I will give a few items of the dimensions and construction of the steamer " Philadelphia," of the Red " D " Line, plying between the City of New York and Puerto Cabello and La Guayra in Venezuela, also stopping at the island of Curacao. I shall also venture to say something of her officers.
The "Philadelphia" was built by William Cramp & Sons, of Philadelphia. Her length over all is 283 feet 6 inches; length on water line, 270 feet 9 inches; beam, 35 feet; depth of hold to main deck, 20 feet 6 inches ; depth of hold to upper deck, 28 feet 3 inches; tonnage, 2,100 gross. She is constructed of iron. Forward are the anchors and chains, anchor crane with attachments and capstan, which is worked from steam windlass below.
There are three hatches for cargo, each provided with iron Tiatch cover, gummed and secured with strong iron dogs, making them absokitely water-tight. The pilot-house on the upper deck is provided with steam steering-gear of the most approved style, which can be disconnected should it be desired, and the vessel then steered by hand. In addition, she is also provided with a wheel aft.
The captain's cabin, aft of the pilot-house, is finished in hard wood, and possesses every convenience for comfort. First and second officers' rooms adjoin. Following these are two state-rooms on each side, abaft of which is a stairway leading to the main deck. Aft of the after-hatch is a deck-house, containing the social hall, with main entrance to saloon, then six state- rooms, three on each side, and after these a large and comfortable smoking-room. She is provided with six life-boats, swung on iron frames overhead, so as to allow an unobstructed promenade on the upper deck, and two life-rafts placed on the roof of the deck-house. Seats are fitted along the rail on each side from the pilot-house aft.
The saloon on the main deck extends the entire width of the vessel, thus insuring good light and ventilation. The dining tables, seven in number, are arranged three on each side, and one in the center, those on the side being placed athwartship, thus enabling each passenger to occupy or vacate his seat without disturbing others. Handsome sideboards are placed on each side. Adjoining the dining-saloon there are nineteen state-rooms, which, with the tier on the upper deck, accommodate sixty-four first-class passengers. In the rear are ladies' and gentlemen's toilet-rooms and two bath-rooms. The social hall, saloon and state-rooms are hard-wood finish, pannelling of mahogany, oak and ash, the upholstery being of plush. The pantry and kitchen are fitted with steam tables and all the appliances of a first-class hotel. The officers' quarters, for the engineers,^ stewards and purser, are on the main deck, with the mail-room adjoining the latter. The officers' mess-room is finished in hard wood. Ample accommodations are provided for second-class passengers and crew, also for ice-houses and. store-rooms. The hold is divided by five water-tight bulk- heads. Each compartment is ventilated by air shafts leading, to the interior of the smoke-stack, by means of which a powerful draught is created, thereby preventing condensation from, warm air in coming from the tropics.
The machinery consists of a vertical compound surface con- densing engine, with cylinders 32 and 61 inches diameter respectively, stroke 3 feet. The engine is fitted with all mod- ern improvements, such as steam reversing gear, governor, feed water heater, filter, etc. Two duplex donkey pumps are conveniently located, with connections to bilge, sea condenser, boilers, tanks and all parts of the vessel for fire-hose. The boilers, two in number, are made of extra quality tested steel, 14 feet in diameter, 12 feet long; each has three furnaces. The working pressure of steam is ninety pounds, though they were tested to one hundred and eighty pounds. In construction, outfit and finish this ship is a first-class specimen of American marine architecture, and rates 100 Ai XX for twenty years in British Lloyd's.
Her officers are as follows:
Commander, Capt. Samuel Hess.
First Officer William A. Wilkinson.
Second Officer, John Skellino.
Chief Engineer, George W. Campbell.
Purser, William Howe.
Steward, John Hardy.
Besides these there are two assistant engineers, three oilers, seven firemen, three coal passers, two quartermasters, one boatswain, one carpenter, six able seamen, five colored deckhands, six colored table-waiters, three cooks, one pantry-man, one messman, one porter, and last, though not least, one stewardess, " fair, fat and forty," who is the ministering angel to the lady passengers, either when they are really seasick, or merely "afraid they are going to be." The stereotyped smile which perpetually illumines her " seven-by-nine " countenance, carries assurance and sweet hope to all tremulous souls who dread the tribute that old Neptune sometimes demands from over-loaded stomachs. I cannot think of omitting, at this opportune place, that old familiar tribute to woman :
Oh, woman, in our hours of ease,
Uncertain, coy and hard to please,
When pain and anguish wring the brow;
A ministering angel thou !
Capt. Samuel Hess is a most excellent type of a true American sailor. Born in Philadelphia and coming from good old Quaker stock, he had the benefit of an early religious training and a good education. But he was bound to be a sailor, and actually went to sea as a cabin-boy before he was twelve years old ! He has followed the sea ever since - a period of forty years. He rapidly rose in the profession and has been the captain of many vessels and sailed to nearly every part of the globe. Bluff and hearty in manner, rigid in discipline, though kind-hearted and just, he is always a gentleman and endears himself to all classes, whether they are directly under his authority or are his passengers. Being the senior captain in this line, he is the commodore of the fleet, and has command of its newest and finest vessel.
Captain Hess is a strictly temperate man and requires that his officers shall, while on duty, be the same. It is such men as Captain Hess that we pin our faith to when we embark on a voyage which may be fraught with danger, requiring the best seamanship, long experience, cool judgment and unclouded brain, undaunted courage, unflagging watchfulness and great physical endurance.
When I doff my clothes, and, donning my robe de nuit, lie down to pleasant slumbers in my little bed, I feel that I am safe, not only in the general Providential care that is over us all during the silent watches of the night, but also in that special providence which I feel is guarding me in the person of our most excellent and watchful commander.
I have said that Captain Hess has followed the sea for forty years, but this is not strictly correct, for there was an interval of eight months during the year 1865 that he followed something else more treacherous even than the ocean. How I came to know it is as follows: When I was first introduced to him he asked me where I was from. I told him from Pennsylvania.
"What part of Pennsylvania?"
" From that part called the Oil Regions."
" From the Oil Regions, eh ! "
A feeble smile played around the corners of the captain's mouth as he made this last remark, and I immediately knew that he was one of that innumerable army who, in the early days of the history of Petroleum, had " been there," and had put much more money in the ground than they had ever taken out. Oh, I meet them all over, in Mexico, on the Pacific Slope, in Cuba, in Florida, on the coast of Maine, in the Lake Superior region, and on the bosom of the broad Atlantic.
The captain's experience was no exception to the general rule. He came, he saw, but he didn't conquer! An contraire, he dropped a few thousands in a few months and then returned complacently to his vocation, "sailing the ocean blue," just as if nothing had happened !
He laughs over the episode, just as I find all sensible men do after a lapse of twenty years, when Time, the great healer. has assuaged the grief, and Dame Fortune has, in other and more certain channels, compensated for the losses that inex- perience and mistaken zeal in their calculation of an "unknown quantity" brought upon them.
Captain Hess' first officer, Mr. Wilkinson, is also a life-long sailor. He was born in Pennsylvania, in the town of Bristol, and has had a wide and eventful experience on the ocean. He cannot be called a handsome man, and yet he is not homely enough to stop a clock! What he lacks in beauty he more than makes up in pleasing manners, and is a general favorite with all the passengers. To him I am indebted for much information, which I hope will be interesting to my readers.
In thinking of the invariable politeness of all the officers of this ship, I cannot help saying to myself, " Like master, like man," for when I went to the office of the owners of this line, Messrs. Boulton, Bliss & Dallett, No. 71 Wall street, to procure my state-room, I was treated with the utmost courtesy and kindness. All inquiries were cordially answered and many things suggested that would tend to make the voyage more thoroughly enjoyable and satisfactory.
How different is this from the crusty manners assumed by many officials clothed in a little brief authority! How often have I been made to feel like a detected pickpocket when making a polite inquiry of some of these offensive clerks and agents! Oh, when they come to receive their final reward for all the deeds done in the body, may it be their doom to be perpetually snubbed by all the dirty little imps of Hades!
This is our second day out of New York. The skies continue clear and cloudless, and the air is so soft and balmy that we are sitting about the decks without overcoats and feeling thoroughly comfortable. In the evening the moon, "pale empress of the night," rides high in the heavens, and the sweet glimmer of the stars upon the water's wide expanse, make a scene of loveliness, as well as grandeur, and I sit in my steamer chair gazing and dreaming long after the other passengers have gone to rest. I recall the words of Lorenzo and Jessica at Belmont:
The moon shines bright : In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise ; in such a night,
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls,
And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.
In such a night,
Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew,
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself.
And ran dismay'd away.
In such a night.
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand.
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.
In such a night,
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs.
That did renew old ^-lison.
In such a night.
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.
And in such a night.
Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well,
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith.
And ne'er a true one.
And in such a night,
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
The Island of Curacao.
AT noon, March 8th, the tropical island of Curacao was plainly in sight, and our captain assured us that we should enter the harbor before sunset. The rugged coasts are eagerly scanned through our spy-glasses, and about four o'clock, when we are within five miles of the harbor, our attention is directed to the extensive phosphate works of an English company on the coast side of a mountain. Ninety- seven per cent, of the mountain is phosphate of lime, and the company has made a great deal of money in mining and exporting it. They pay a royalty to the Dutch government on the production, amounting to over $200,000 per year. Their dock, and harbor, and buildings, and vessels, and the tramway up the side of the mountain, are plainly seen as we steam along the coast.
A little further on we have a fine view of an old Spanish castle on the cliffs on a bay called Curacao Bay, or "Spanish Water," at the mouth of one of the beautiful lagoons with which this island abounds. This castle was built by the Span- iards in the year 1527.
But before we enter the harbor, a few facts concerning the history of Curacoa would seem to be the proper thing to relate, but as statistics are invariably stupid, I will endeavor to give the necessary data as briefly as possible.
The island was discovered in 1499 by Alonzo de Ojeda and Americus Vespucius. It was held by the Spanish from 1527 to 1634, when it was taken from them by the Dutch. It is said that when discovered (and afterward settled) by the Spaniards, the island was inhabited by a race of Indians so noble in stature that they were called giants, all being over six feet, and manj^ seven feet tall. But they were heathen and cannibals, and the Spaniards, with their usual happy blending of religion and murder, proceeded to conquer and convert, and - after making them kiss the true cross, they massacred them without delay, thus simultaneously punishing them for eating human flesh, and sending them joyfully to heaven. It is two hundred and fifty-seven years since the bloody flag of Spain waved over the fair island of Curacao, but she left her religious imprint there, and to-day, of the twenty-seven thousand inhabitants, more than twenty thousand are of the Roman Catholic faith.
Then the island was held by the Dutch till the latter part of the eighteenth century, when it was captured by the British, was restored to Holland in 1802, again seized by England in 1807, and finally given up to the Dutch in 1816, by whom it is now held and governed.
It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about forty-two miles from the north coast of Venezuela, and is about forty-one miles long and from three to seven miles broad. It is not of volcanic origin, but, judging by its formation and other circumstances, the theory is that it formerly was part of the South American main-land. The exports of Curacao are phosphate of lime, salt, divi-divi, orange peel, wool, hides, skins, aloes and peanuts. Its population is about 27,000 - 7,000 white and 20,000 colored and black. The religious proclivities of its inhabitants are exhibited by 20,000 professing the Roman Catholic faith, 4,500 adhering to the Reformed Church of Holland, and 2,500 worshiping under the old Mosaic form. This, perhaps, is sufficient to relate of its past history, size, exports, population and religion, and what further I will have to say of the island will be a relation of my experience while there, and a few desultory remarks on the impressions received by what I saw and heard.
There are but two licensed pilots at Curacao, one a tall, venerable old man, with a long white beard, and the other a coal-black negro. The white man boarded our steamer and took us through the narrow entrance of the harbor, and, while we remained in Curacao, I could not help noticing that even here, where the colored race far outnumber the white, the Caucasian still holds the "bulge" on his darker brother, for the white pilot was constantly taking in and out the big steamers, while the other had to be content with the lesser crafts and smaller fees.
On either side of the entrance to the harbor are the frowning forts, named, respectively. Fort Amsterdam and Fort Rif, both built by the Dutch about the year 1635. To speak of a fort without prefixing the adjective " frowning" would be in bad form, but the " frown " that these two poor feeble old relics of the 17th century assume in this age of heavy ordnance is laughable, indeed. But they are picturesque, and also useful to a certain degree, because they furnish a sort of a home and employment to a few hundred comically-dressed and stupid- looking Dutch soldiers, and there is a gun somewhere in one of them that is fired off at sunrise, at noon, at sunset, and at eight o'clock in the evening. Yes, and that gun is also fired off " semi-occasionally " to celebrate and give publicity to. another event of great importance to these islanders. Can you guess what it is? As I am sure you cannot, I will not keep you in suspense, but tell you at once that it is discharged whenever the mail is distributed and ready to be delivered! It reminded me of a time when I lived in a town in Indiana, on the Wabash, where the whole population had the "fever and ague" so bad that the town bell was rung daily at stated intervals for everybody to take quinine !
Adjoining the fort on the right as you enter (which is Fort Amsterdam) is the citadel, which is quite extensive in earthworks, and having a large parade-ground, around which are the barracks. The governor's palace is also located here. It is a large, handsome structure, with inviting looking balconies, and plenty of trees and shrubbery and blooming flowers all about it. Quite a show of military is constantly kept up, and the guards are to be seen in every direction in and around the fort and the governor's palace. A more innocent and peaceful- looking lot of soldiers, however, I never saw, and I offered to bet a box of cigars with one of my fellow-travelers that none oof their guns were loaded.
The harbor is a lagoon, not more than three or four hundred feet wide, and extends into the island about three-quarters oof a mile or so, where it widens and 'forms an extensive lake called the " Schattegat." The tide ebbs and flows all through this deep lagoon into the Schattegat, and there is plenty of water for several miles up into the interior of the island for the largest vessels in the world. While the whole of this lagoon (for the lake and all is but a lagoon) may properly be called the harbor of Curacao, and a most completely land- locked one it is, yet the narrow part of it, extending from Fort Amsterdam and Rif, to where it widens into the Schottegat, a distance, I believe, of not over a mile, is the only part that is used as the harbor. Here, on either side, the steamers and vessels can come right up to the wharves.
The harbor divides the town in two. The east side is in three divisions, called, respectively, " Wilhelmstadt," named after one of the five princes of Orange, " Pietermaay " and "Scharlo." Across the lagoon is called " Otrabanda," which means "other side," and here our steamer came to her wharf.
The chief business part of the city is Wilhelmstadt, that being where all the principal stores are located. The other three divisions are mostly given up to residences, churches, and warehouses along the docks. All sections of the place present very pleasing pictures, the houses being substantially built of brick and stone and stuccoed, and all painted yellow with white trimmings, and with bright red tile roofs. All the buildings look very old, and some, being of the Moorish style of architecture, doubtless date back to the i6th century, when the Spaniards had a thriving colony here.
I have never been to Holland, but those who have, and have been to Curacao also, say that it resembles, very strongly, the Dutch towns on the Zuyder Zee. Perhaps one-third of the population reside in Otrabanda, and, consequently, the ferry business between there and Wilhelmstadt, Pietermaay and Scharlo, across the harbor, is quite lively. It is carried on by one hundred and fifty-six licensed and numbered flat-boats, each propelled by one-man power. The colored skipper sculls the boat with a heavy-bladed oar, leaning his forehead hard against the end of it, as, with his hands and arms, he gives it the necessary motion. This is sculling in a double sense, and the dullest wit who ever goes over this "Twickenham" ferry never fails to remark that there is a good deal of Jiead-ivork about the business. The ferriage is five Dutch coppers, about two cents of our money, but if you hand out a small piece of silver you get no change any more than you do at the candy or flower booth of a church fair. They can't understand English at all when change is needed, and we soon learned the racket and kept ourselves supplied with an abundance of the small copper coins of the realm. And this leads me to remark that the language spoken in Curacao is a mixture of Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese, with a little English thrown in for seasoning. It makes a very peculiar dialect, and is called papianiento. To hear it gabbled by the negroes and negresses, as they laugh and flirt by the water-side, you come to the conclusion that the meaning oi papianiento is Irish stew or boarding-house hash - a little of everything. But the business men, who, by the way, are largely made up of Jews, nearly all speak English, and know how to drive a shrewd bargain in a language and a style that you thoroughly understand. The streets are mostly very narrow ones, like the streets of all southern or tropical towns and cities first settled by the Spaniards. I have often speculated on the reason for this, for there must have been a reason. If it was for greater shade and a cooler atmosphere, I think the benefit gained in this regard is more than overbalanced by the increased filthiness of the narrow passages - too greatly honored to be called streets - and the difficulty of getting enough of heaven's fresh air into them to carry off the vile odors.
While there are a fair number of pretty good stores in Wilhelmstadt, carrying rather large stocks, there are innumerable little shops, the excessive smallness of which you can scarcely imagine. For instance, I saw a shoe-shop, four feet wide by eight feet long, with four men at work in it, and a tailor-shop, next door, perhaps a foot or two larger, with six men working in it ! Every doorway is a store-room for a half- dressed negro woman to display, for sale, her trays and baskets of sweetmeats, vegetables, etc. All the negro women carry their burdens on their heads. They evidently have none to carry in their hearts, like thousands of their fairer and more enlightened sisters, and they go laughing and talking along without apparently giving a single thought to the tray, or tub, or pail, or basket, or bundle so nicely balanced on their head. The harbor and the sea is the general wash-tub for the lower classes. Here they wash their clothes, laying them on the rocks and beating them with a club, and, after rinsing and wringing, they replace them in the tub, and, balancing it on their head, march off to the hill-side to spread them out to dry. I do not think they understand the intricate modern invention of a clothes-line, and I would not, for the world, disturb their sweet and simple contentment by an innovation such as that. I had three new linen shirts soaked in the harbor, beaten with a club ( I was not wearing them at the time), and dried on a cactus bush, and, though bearing plenty of evidence of the fearful ordeal, they will do to wear around home, I fondly hope, for several weeks yet !
The negro women all wear turbans on their heads, and they don't seem to care about the color, "so long as it is red." Their costume consists of but one other garment, and this is a light caiico dress, made cii train. In front it is quite short, displaying, in bold relief, their bare feet and ankles, but to have it trail behind seems to be the inexorable law of colored fashion in Curacao.
The negro children, from one to five years of age, toddle about in pure innocence, clothed only in the simplicity of Nature, which may be said to cover them as with a garment, only the garment is non est.
The living of these ignorant negroes is about as sinaple as their dress. Those who propel the ferry-boats sleep in them and eat the simple articles that are peddled about by the negro women, who carry them in trays on their heads. Those who keep house do so in the most primitive manner, in tenement houses that appeared to be crowded with occupants. Their rooms have scarcely any furniture, and what there is seems to have been in use for many generations past. The drinking habit prevails, to a great extent, and I was told that these poor ignorant creatures spend all their money (except what is absolutely necessary for food and a trifle of clothing) for intoxicating liquors.
In reflecting on the degraded condition of these negro laborers of Curacao, I am reminded of some of the utterances of that noble champion of Labor in the United States, T. V. Powderly, General Master Workman of the Order of Knights of Labor. He strikes at the root of the whole trouble amongst the laboring classes when he declares that "-ignorarice and intemperance are the twin evils that keep the working classes in poverty, and at which he intends to strike the hardest blows of which he is capable." Again, he says, and I wish it coidd be posted in every factory and workshop throughout the land : " I will oppose no reform or reformer, but will seek to aid their legitimate efforts by battling for the education of the children of the land ; by protesting against the spending the hard earnings of labor in the saloon and brothel. Ignorance begets intemperance, intemperance turns freemen into slaves; slavery begets monopoly, monopoly bribes congresses and legislatures, throttles justice by bribing the courts, and begets anarchy. Strike a telling blow at anarchy, monopoly, slavery and intemperance by killing ignorance in the school- room. Let us demand the compulsory education of American youth."
The manufactures of Curacao amount to but little. A pretty sort of jewelry is made of gold obtained at Aruba, an island near by. Some neat little work-boxes and small writing-desks are also made of mahogany.
As Curacao is, practically, a free port, there being but one and a half per cent, duty on imports, all European goods can be obtained cheaper there than in the United States.
THERE are a great many small vessels sailing between here and the various sea-ports of Venezuela. The thirty per cent, duty charged by the Venezuelan government on all imports (except machinery, which is free) is a great temptation and incentive to smuggle goods from Curacao to that coast, and I learned that smuggling is carried on very largely by means of these small, fast-sailing schooners that are seen in the harbor.
In the old days of two or three centuries ago, this island was one of the favorite -lurking-places of the pirates of the Spanish Main. Here, in these deep lagoons, sheltered from storms and entirely hidden from view by the hills and cliffs, they lay in wait for the rich Spanish galleon laden with the gold of the Incas, or the almost equally richly-laden merchantmen with wine and silks, in the Caribbean Sea, and when sighted they gave chase, and seldom did their prey escape. Seldom, also, did they take any prisoners. They killed all, plundered the vessels and then burned them. They fought hard, lived luxuriously, and died with their boots on. But they were all religious I They had their priests and their chapels, gave largely to the Mother Church, and always kept their religious accounts square to date ! But the gay and festive pirate and the bold buccaneer of the Spanish Main sail these beautiful seas no more. Some of their golden plunder is -said to be still buried in the island of Curacao, but the actors are gone, and if their spirits ever revisit the scenes of their former revelry and fierce combats, they disturb not the peaceful, quiet and contented minds of these happy islanders. Only the sneaking smuggler remains to remind one of those old days when all the islands and the waters of the Spanish Main were the paradise of violent men, engaged in unlawful busi- ness, and hesitating not to do murder and every other sin of the decalogue for the sake of gold.
But to return to Curacao. I had letters of introduction to prominent citizens there from Morris Coster, Esq., editor and publisher of the New Amsterdam Gazette, among them one to Hon. J. H. W. Gravenhorst, late Governor of the islands of Buen Ayer and Aruba, two of the Dutch West India posses- sions. I found the governor a very intelligent and hale and hearty gentleman of from fifty-five to sixty years of age, resid- ing with his family in a finely located mansion overlooking the harbor. A more hospitable reception from the governor and his excellent wife I never had accorded to me by any one, and I was immediately made to feel perfectly at home. The gov- ernor's children are all grown up. Two of his daughters are married ; one of them, Mrs. Forbes, with her husband, E. H. S. B. Forbes, a very genial and well-informed man, resides with her father, as does also an unmarried daughter and a son. My first visit to this delightful home was the second evening after our arrival at Curacao. I took with me Signor Rudloff and Mr. Angell, and to this day T am tormented with the thought that to Signor Rudloff's fluency in German and Spanish, and to young Angell's good looks and glib tongue, I was more indebted for my cordial reception and subsequent attentions, than to my own substantial worth and thoroughly gentlemanly appearance - especially with the female portion of the household! But 'tis ever thus, the sweetest roses of life have some thorn that rankles, and the bosom of either man or woman is always tortured with some tinge of jealousy or disappointed hopes!
Another kind letter from a New York friend introduced me to Captain L. B. Smith, the United States Consul at Curacao. Captain Smith is from Maine, has lived here eleven years, and does a large business in ice and lumber which he brings in his own vessels from his native state. He generously placed at my disposal his beautiful little steam yacht, managed by his son, a very pleasant and intelligent young man of twenty-one. The yacht cost two thousand dollars, and I spent so many pleasant hours in her that I had a photograph taken, and by the engraver's art I am enabled to give a picture of her as she appeared in the lagoon at the foot of the small mountain called "Sublica", on the top of which is built Fort Nassau. This fort is garrisoned by about fifty Dutch soldiers, and is used also as a signal station. Signals displayed on a flag-pole make known to the citizens of Curacao the approach of vessels, and designate particularly by the various numbers and positions of the flags just what kind of a vessel or steamer draws near the sacred soil.
I invited the Gravenhorst family and the three "bug-hunters" to accompany me one morning on an excursion in the steam launch up the lagoon into the Schattegat. We started about seven o'clock, after partaking of a cup of fragrant Maracaibo coffee at the governor's mansion, intending to return at the usual breakfast hour of eleven. The evening before, as we sat on the governor's piazza, sipping Our tea, we had been pressed to visit the estate of J. H. B. Gravenhorst (a cousin of the governor's) five miles in the country, and, as we recalled this invitation, our young skipper said he could land us within ten-minute's walk of his plantation. So thither we sped over the clear and tranquil waters of this lovely ocean lake. Soon we reached the little dock, and, disembarking, we walked slowly up a beautifully shaded lane to " our cousin's" plantation, which has the name of " Gasparito." Here we were met by cousin J. H. B. and his wife and daughter, and escorted up the wide stone steps to the spacious stone veranda where ten large cane rocking-chairs awaited our occupancy!
The ten-minute walk had moistened the epidermis of my two hundred and twenty-five advoirdupois to such an extent that a large cane rocker, a palmetto fan, a glass of cool lemonade and a strong cigar seemed just what my frail tenement of flesh required. Inspiration, or long experience in ministering to the wants of visitors from a Northern clime, led our kind host to provide just these very articles, and I noticed that our " lean and hungry " bug-hunters took very kindly to the rest, the zephyr, the refreshment, and the solace afforded by these important factors in the comfort of mankind in West India climate - the chair, the fan, the lemonade and the cigar.
The view from this piazza was lovely indeed, and the governor told me that he never sat there gazing on the beautiful panorama spread out before him without feeling like " dropping into poetry," like Silas VVegg ; but he had thus far resisted the strong temptation, and had contented himself with making pencil sketches of the exquisite land and waterscape.
In the conservatory of this hospitable abode we were shown a great variety of tropical plants and flowers. Many of them were growing in boxes, on the ends of which we read in plain English the familiar legend, " Premium Safety Oil, 150° Fire Test."
In the garden we saw the tamarind tree, and, also, the saddle tree, any slip of which will grow if inserted in the soil, and many other trees and shrubs strange to Northern eyes. The fleet-footed and sharp-eyed lizards darted about in every direction in the grass, and, to the great joy of the entomologists, three new varieties of beetles were captured and presented to Mr. Angell.
Curacao is certainly a fine winter resort - an El Dorado for invalids. As every Spanish name has some significant meaning, I was not at all surprised to learn that Curacao means "healing." When in Florida, a year or two ago, I was greatly amused at the persistency with which the residents of every bog-hole village asserted, "There is no malaria here," when it stalks all up and down that much-advertised and overrated land, like the "sheeted dead that did squeak and gibber in the streets of Rome."
But here in Curacao (pronounced, as I have before remarked, "Cure-a-so ") the very name of malaria is unknown, or, to distort the words of Bulwer, " In the bright lexicon of Curacao there is no such word as malaria."
I should like to see that fine old mansion on the Estado Gasparito enlarged and turned into a hotel for the accommodation of visitors from the North, and though I have no weak lungs to be healed, I should like to engage that piazza for my abiding-place during the months of February and March of every winter. This house was built by a Spanish nobleman in the i6th century. It is constructed of sandstone and coral, and stuccoed with water-lime. Its present owner keeps it in excellent repair, and it has every appearance of being good for several more centuries.
There is a beverage much prized by bon invants, called " Curacao liqueur.'" Of course, you aud I (who " never drink ") care nothing about this famous decoction, and the mere mention of it is forced upon me, in my keen desire to be a faithful chronicler of all that I can recollect that pertains to the history or the traditions of this beautiful isle of the sea. Know, then, that "Curacao liqueur^' though made in large quantities, and, alas, as I fear, drunk also in large quantities, is not, and never was, made in Curacao ! It is distilled in Holland only, and takes its name simply from the aromatic flavor given to it by the peel of an orange indigenous to the soil of Curacao. This orange, which is not good to eat, but the peel of which is so highly prized by distillers in Holland, is cultivated by mine host Gravenhorst on his plantation Gasparito. The peel, only, is exported, and Mr. G. deriv^es a large income from this peculiar, though, to our mind, slightly reprehensible crop! So when you are offered a glass of Curacao liqueur (of course, as a medicine only), you will remember this interesting fact which I have told to you regarding the derivation of its name. Honi soit qui Dial y poise I
But the " oot of Time," which " travels in divers paces with divers persons," was "swift," with us, and we were admonished by our young captain that if we would reach our steamer at the breakfast hour we must take our departure. Reluctantly the farewells were said, and we left that lovely island home, sincerely regretting our visit there had necessarily been so short. Before returning to the dock, we made the entire circuit of the Schattegat. At various points we saw beautiful country-seats, nearly all of which had pretty names like "Pareda," and "Bleinheim," but one had the scriptural name of Mt. Ararat! We reached the steamer Philadelphia at precisely eleven o'clock, full of enthusiasm (equaled only by our appetites), and joined our genial Captain Hess in doing full justice to a breakfast at which some fine fresh fish formed a prominent part.
At noon of this eventful day we had to say good-by to Mr. Logan, who took a small steamer to Maracaibo. It was with sorrow that we parted with one of our trio of bug-hunters. We had held a strong hand all the voyage, for " three of a kind beats two pairs," but now we have but a single pair and our spirits are depressed. We pass, and throw up our hands
The good people of Curacao have but few amusements, such as concerts, theatrical entertainments, and the like, but they are strong in clubs. In company with Consul Smith, we visited " Geehazelhead " (Gezelligheid !!) Club, in Wilhelmstadt, and staid an hour in its pleasant parlors. I have spelled the name of this club as I caught it by word of mouth, but, upon further thought and research, I am rather inclined to think that the word is " Gezeligheid," and means "sociability." If you have any Joose or false teeth, I would not advise you to try to pronounce it. I noticed that Captain Smith looked as if he was suffering from a slight paralytic stroke after he gave it to me.
There was a tidal wave September 23, 1877, which damaged the town of Wilhelmstadt to the amount of six hundred thousand dollars. This estimate, however, I believe includes the loss of two or three small vessels, which were driven out to sea and never heard from afterward. The ruin wrought by this might}' wave can still be partially seen, although many of the houses destroyed have since been rebuilt. My friend, Mr. Forbes, was one of the victims of this terrible visitation of the hurricane and tidal wave. His house was completely wrecked, and he and his wife escaped from it but a few moments before it fell in ruins. A previous storm, on the 24th of June, 1831, raged with great violence on the island and caused severe damage, but to the adjacent islands of Buen Ayer and Aruba it was of a more serious nature than to Curacao.
There are so many interesting things to tell about this island that I find I must omit many, or I shall prolong this narrative to an unpardonable length. But I cannot avoid relating here a bit of biography given me by Governor Gravenhorst, as he pointed out to me the spot where had, until recently, lain the remains of one of the heroes of the South American War of Independence.
Admiral Louis Brion was born in Curacao, July 6, 1782, and was educated in Amsterdam. He returned from Holland to this island in 1799, and, obtaining the rank of captain in the militia here, he served in 1804 against the English, under command of Commodore Murry, who were entrenched on the mountian called " Kabrietenberg," in the neighborhood of Fort Beekenburg, which he attacked with but one hundred and sixty men, and after a most desperate battle put the English to flight.
Afterward, under the renowned General Simon Bolivar, known as the Liberator of South America, he fought with great bravery, and for his eminent services in these wars of independence, not only as a soldier, but in bringing stores and arms from London, in his own vessels, for the republican forces, in their prolonged and patriotic struggle against the Spanish tyranny, he was created admiral. It is said that he studied navigation in the United States.
His career was characterized by great bravery and skill in handling his fleet of gun-boats, in his numerous engagements with the Spanish men-of-war ; but he did not live to see the Spaniards dispossessed of the country that they had so long ruled over and plundered. He returned from South America to Curacao in 1821, and died there the twenty-first of September, the same year, and was buried at " Rosentak," near the country seat of Gasparito. In September, 1881, just sixty years after his death, his ashes were disinterred by order of Guzman Blanco, the President of Venezuela, and conveyed with great pomp and ceremony to Caracas, where they now lie with the ashes of many other South American heroes, in the Pantheon in that city.
Mine host of Gasparito, Mr. J. H. B. Gravenhorst, witnessed the disinterment of the ashes of this illustrious man, and inspired by the interesting occasion wrote some verses, in Dutch, to the memory of Admiral Brion, a printed copy of which was given me by the governor. They have been translated for me by Rev. William Hall, of New York, and I take pleasure in giving both the original and the translation:
Toegewyd aan de nagedachtenis van den Admiraal Louis Brion by de opgraving van zyn stoffelyk overschot te Curacao op den lyden September, 1881.
Niet langer hier vertoefd, niet langer hier gerust
Vergeten, onbekend, door niemand hier beweend;
Men roept U op, Brion ; daar ginds op d'overkust
Eischt men Uw dierbaar stof, vraagt men om Uw gebeent':
U dan voor 't laatst gedankt, nogmaals voor U gerouwd.
Columbia ! gy wilt Brion, uw' redder, eeren;
't Is of zyn droeve schim my by zyn graf weerhoudt
En my van tranen spreekt, van bloed en overheeren
Van Venezuela's volk, in ketens eens geslagen.
Van koningen beroofd van troon, van land en goed;
Van misdaad, wanhoop, duldeloos lyden, plagen.
Van ongekende wreedheid, dorst naar goud en bloed;
't Is of zyn vlammend oog, waarvoor Castilie beefde
Nog vol ontroering staart op wreede folteringen
En of de fiere held, die steeds naar vryheid streefde
De lage beulen wil in yz'ren kluisters wringen.
't Is of zyn mond nog vloekt de snoode Castilianen
En van het leed verhaalt, door hen alom verwekt.
Columbia ! besproeid met zooveel bloed en tranen,
Vereeuwig thans Brion, zyn roem is onbevlekt;
Begroet den eed'Ien held, die uit Uw schoone staten
Den vyand heeft verjaagd, zyn legers heeft verslagen;
Vergood, bemin den held, die niet heeft toegelaten,
Dat gy, als slaaf, verguisd, het Spaansche juk zoudt dragen;
Bezing den fieren leeuw, die aan Uw oosterstranden
De Spaansche vloot verwon, verbrand heeft en vernield;
Bazuin zyn deugden rond, verhaal aan alle landen,
Dat gy, Columbia! weent by zyn graf geknield.
To the Memory of ADMIRAL Louis Brion, on the Occasion of the Removal of his
Remains at Curacao, September lyth, 1881.
By the Hon. J. If. B. Gravenhorst.
Printed in Wilhelmstadt, Curaçao.
No longer here detained, no longer here to rest.
Forgotten, unknown, by no one here deplored.
They call thee up, Brion ! and everywhere on yonder coast.
They ask for thy dear dust, thy buried form;
Thou now, at last art thanked, anew art wept.
Columbia ! thy Liberator, Brion, thou wilt honor ;
'T is he, or his sad shade, me by his tomb doth hold,
To me doth speak of tears, of blood and tyrants,
Of Venezuela's folk, in chains once stricken,
Kings deprive of throne, land and goods; By crime, despair, pains intolerable, plagues,
By cruelties unknowable, thirst for gold and blood;
'T is he, or his framing eye, 'fore which Castilia trembled.
Still full of terror, just fruit of persecutions dire,
As if the fiery hero whoe'er for freedom strove.
Might yet the base hangmen in iron fetters wring ;
'T is he, or his voice, that curseth still Spain's sordid sons.
And of the suffering telleth, through the universe resounded.
Columbia ! besmeared with blood and tears.
Now immortalize thy Brion - unspotted glory his !
Salute thy noble champion, who from your beauteous States
The foe hath driven, his legions smitten;
Repay with love the man heroic, who ne'er could brook
That thou enslaved, deceived, should wear Castilian yoke:
And laud the lion bold, who on yon eastern strands,
Vanquished Hispania's fleet, burned and destroyed;
Trumpet his virtues, to every land proclaim
That thou, Columbia, kneeling, dost with tears his grave bedew.
Slavery previously existed in Curacao, but was done away with July I, 1863, about the time the shackles fell off from our own four millions of bondmen and women. The Holland Government paid to the owners eighty dollars each for every slave emancipated, which was satisfactory to all concerned, and now the blacks work for from twelve cents a day in the salt vats, to twenty or thirty cents a day in other employments requiring physical strength but no particular amount of brains. A master-carpenter or mason receives sixty cents a day, while the journeyman jogs along happily through this mundame sphere entirely satisfied with the pecuniary recompense of forty cents per diem for his labor.
A diligent inquiry could discover no Knights of Labor organization on the island, and "strikes" are unknown. Whether a different state of affairs, such as the K. of L. organization would inaugurate, would improve the present condition of these 20,000 negroes, is a question that I leave open to those who care to ponder upon it. If they could be weaned from guzzling gin, and other injurious and unnatural beverages, it would probably be of greater benefit to them than an increase of wages; for with them more money means more gin.
A Neglected Opportunity.
One evening, at the hospitable residence of ex-Governor Gravenhorst, his son said to me, while we were sipping our tea in the moonlight on the broad stone piazza, " Mr. H., the house that I am with here import the very best quality of Holland gin, and if you want a few bottles to take home with you, I can let you have them at our wholesale prices." Coward that I was, I assumed a grateful look, and, thanking him warmly, said that, perhaps before I left Curacao I would avail myself of his kind offer ! What 1 ought to have said would have been about as follows : " Thank you, Mr. Gravenhorst, I never drink gin, or any other beverage of an intoxicating nature. I am opposed to it in principle, believing it to be the greatest as well as the most insidious enemy of mankind. In my own country we are endeavoring to put a stop to the liquor traffic by legislation, and at our last election I voted the entire Prohibition ticket with the exception of the Republican congressional candidate, who is my banker and personal friend." But " 'tis conscience makes cowards of us all," and I neglected this most favorable opportunity to implant my temperance sentiments in the breast of this young gentleman!
Ah, how universal is the infatuation in men to put " an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!" Self- indulgence in the drinking habit, or some selfish interest, direct or indirect, in the liquor traffic, often leads travelers to report very favorably on the happy state of affairs that they found in this county', or that country, where the peasantry all drank their wine or beer with their wives and children, and were none the worse for it, either in body, mind or estate ! But it is all "bosh," and they know it. Every intelligent man who travels with his eyes open and his intellect unclouded to receive honest impressions, knows that there is not a country oon the face of the globe, nor an island of the sea, where the use of intoxicating liquors is not the same blasting curse to the human race there, as it is in Massachusetts or Pennsylvania.
O, thou invisible spirit of wine,
If thou hast no name to be known by,
Let us call thee - devil !
Fort Beckenberg, which I have just mentioned in connection with the biography of Admiral Brion, is situated on what is known as Caracas Bay, and was built by the Spaniards in 1527. It is now used for quarantine purposes, in connection with other spacious buildings which were erected in 1884 by the Dutch government at an expense of thirty-eight thousand dollars.
All over the island are remains of forts and signal stations, interesting in their history, which remind one of the varying fortunes of war through w^hich this island has passed. But I must hasten on, and before leaving the subject of Curacao, speak of my attendance at church in the ancient religious edifice built within the walls of Fort Amsterdam. In company with Captain Hess, Mr. H. T. Livingston, and Dr. Hutchinson, I entered one of the scull-propelled ferry boats on Sunday morning at nine o'clock, and proceeded to attend church in accordance with the custom of my pious ancestry for many generations. We reached the church a half-hour before the time of service, and were politely shown about the ancient building by a deacon who was an acquaintance of our captain's. The first thing that attracted our attention on the outside was a cannon-ball, inserted apparently with great force in the wall of the church, just above the main entrance. This is a souvenir of the English who placed it there, nolens volens, about an hundred years ago, and the agent that did the job was a brass cannon mounted on an eminence across the lagoon, about one mile back of Otrabanda. The English and Dutch were having a little trouble about that time, and the English vessels, not being able to enter the harbor, landed their guns through the surf on the sea-shore, and, planting a battery on a hill, bombarded the town of Wilhelmstadt and Fort Amsterdam to a capitulation.
I forget the date of the erection of the church, but the imprint on the Bible in the pulpit is 1756, but that is probably a new affair in comparison to the church itself. The floor of the church is sanded to the depth of about an inch or so, and is as noiseless to the thickest boots as an Axminster carpet would be. The audience part of the church, exclusive of pulpit and organ-gallery, is about forty feet wide by fifty feet in length. Immediately opposite the pulpit is a high and rather pretentious private box for the governor. The center of the church is seated with ordinary wood-seat chairs, and here the women sit and receive the full force of the discharge from the pulpit, while the men, the greater sinners, sit in pews around the sides of the room and only receive the scattering shot. This is wrong. Perhaps a guilty sense of extreme wickedness, and a consciousness of deserving a thorough overhauling and denunciation from the minister, prompted me to take a seat among the chairs in the center of the church. I took Brother Livingston with me, but Brothers Hess and Hutchinson took the regulation seats for sinful men in the pews.
I noticed that the girls (all terribly homely creatures) tittered as we took our seats, and, divining the cause, I was not at all surprised, when, a few minutes afterward, a square-rigged old Dutch deacon came and politely requested us to change our seats from the chairs to the pews. At this the thirty-one homely girls (the entire female portion of the congregation) tittered again, and the occurrence seemed to keep them in good spirits all through the session. I congratulated myself upon being the cause of so much unallowed happiness, and felt for once that my life had not been in vain. As for Brothers Hess and Hutchinson, the looks of mock solemnity and pity which they assumed in the hour of our humiliation was too exasperating for endurance, and I fear that my life may be too short for an opportunity to present itself wherein I can get even with them.
The numbers of the hymns to be sung are painted in large figures on square blocks and hung up on the four massive pillars which support the roof. The organ sounded pretty well and was vigorously played, with considerable squeaking of the keys and noise of the pump, but the singing was droned out in a most depressing manner. Everything was in Dutch, and Brother Livingston and I had to imagine the sentiment contained in the hymns that were sung. Perhaps what impressed me most in this part of the service was the fervor with which Captain Hess entered into it. He held his hymn- book in both hands, up high, and, as he soared away with closed eyes, in a sort of holy ecstacy - on the wrong note - I felt more drawn to him than e\'er from the similarity of our natures and education, both being very much inclined to religion, and, also, to vocal music, and knowing dreadful little about either!
The sermon was in two acts. After preaching about half an hour, the good man stopped and gave out a hymn, and I thought what a thoroughly sensible man he was to preach such a short sermon - not too short, you know, but just short enough. But lo I and behold, after the hymn was finished he began to preach again! His text, I had ascertained, was from the chapter that he had read at the commencement of the service - Matthew 25th - containing the parable of the talents, but which verse it was I could not exactly determine. But my accusing conscience supplied it, and I felt sure it must be the one beginning, " Thou wicked and slothful servant," and, as he looked directly at me, it seemed that he said, in substance, "And thou miserable sinner from Pennsylvania, what hast thou done with the talent which thy Lord has given thee?" and then he proceeded to rehearse to me my unprofitable life, and, as I winced and trembled under his just denunciations, he gave me a closing home thrust with the question, "Didst thou not promise thy best earthly friend to read a chapter every day from the little red testa- ment that was put in thy satchel, and how hast thou kept that promise?" I dared not look up. I felt sure that the eyes of Hess and Hutchinson were upon me, and that they were saying to themselves, " Ah, now he's catching it," and that the thirty-one homely girls, in their dowdy white dresses and straw hats trimmed with blue ribbons, were gloating over my misery. Never before did I perspire so much as I did under that sermon in Dutch, and I shall long remember, if not profit by, the discourse of the Rev. Dr. Tyderman of Curacao. Judging from the audience assembled at this service, being thirty-one females and eleven males, I conclude that religion in this island is at rather a low ebb. But here, as elsewhere, it holds true that the women worshipers far outnumber those of the sterner sex.
The next morning at five o'clock, young Mr. Arthur B. Smith, son of the American consul, met me by appointment, with a small boat rowed by a negro, and together we made an excursion up a lagoon called " Zackato," the entrance to which is just by Fort Rif at the mouth of the harbor. Along this lagoon are located the general hospital, the marine hospital, the mad-house and the lazaretto. On an eminence about two miles away we could plainly see an old square fort or earthworks, said to have been built in a single night by the English, in the year 1804, when they bombarded Fort Amsterdam and the town of Wilhelmstadt. For a mile or so, this lagoon is wide like a lake, and quite shallow, but afterward it is very narrow and leads winding along for about half a mile to where the old salt beds were made centuries ago by the Spaniards. The bushes along the narrow part of the lagoon held thousands of oysters which were clinging to them, and made a curious sight. The negroes sometimes eat them, but they are not very palatable. We saw numbers of large birds of various kinds, which did not seem to be much afraid of us, and I conclude that but little shooting is done here. On the high grounds were large flocks of goats, the raising of which for milk, and food, and hides, is carried on extensively in the island.
At the old salt beds we landed, and walked a few hundred feet to the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The beach was a perfect mass of coral rocks, or rather fragments of coral, and I gathered a dozen or more beautiful specimens of both the white and pink coral.
The Caves of Curacao.
There are many caves in this island ; but the most interesting is that of Hato, located in a small mountain one hundred and fifty feet high, on the estate " Hato," about three miles from the town, on the north coast of the island. Although the extent of it is not known, it is considered as one of the largest in the island, consisting of many extensive galleries and high arches of stone. The natural formation is sand and limestone. The name " Hato " was given to the estate by the Spaniards. The Caribbean Indians were the discoverers of this and other caves, which were by tradition inhabited by them. As there are no rivers nor brooks in the island, and the Indians having no iron utensils to dig wells, they occupied this estate and others, where they discovered springs to procure them sufficient water. On the estate Hato there is a spring of crystalline water flowing during the whole year from the cave mountain into the valley, where large reservoirs have been made to keep the water for agricultural and other purposes. This water has proved to be a kind of mineral water, and is of a very good taste, and said to possess medicinal qualities. As I needed no medicine, I but tasted of it, and waited for a good square drink till I returned to the town.
On the estate San Pedro, in the same direction as Hato, but ten miles from the town, there is also a cave and a spring, but of less importance than the former. This is called the Cave of San Pedro.
Our engraving gives a faithful representation of one of the interior chambers of the Cave of Hato. I did not enter the cave, having been entirely satisfied with cave experience in an exhaustive walk of five miles through the "Cuevas de Bellamar," in the island of Cuba, two years ago. I was perfecth-willing to accept as true all the marvelous tales of its interior magnificence, and even the tradition that it was the place where all of Captain Kidd's treasures were buried, but respectfully declined to enter its gloomy portals.
The Spanish Main.
The sea ! the sea ! the open sea !
The blue, the fresh, the ever free !
Without a mark, without a bound,
It runneth the earth's wide region round ;
It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
Or like a cradled creature lies.
AND now the time approached when we must bid farewell to the island of Curacao, and proceed on our voyage to Venezuela. Our invalids had improved wonderfully during our sojourn there. Miss N. had been able to take long walks and rides without fatigue, and Mr. Morrison had recovered his voice. That Curacao is a most interesting spot, with a climate near to perfection, was the unanimous verdict. We had found the citizens most hospitable, and the invitations we had received to dinners and to evening parties, were more numerous than we could possibly accept. We made our parting calls on many friends and they in turn came to the steamer to see us off. At six in the evening we steamed out of the harbor and were once more on the bosom of the beauti- ful sea - that historic sea, taking its name from the Carib Indians and also bearing the title of " The Spanish Main," a title that is surrounded by a halo of romance and adventure, in which brave mariners of all nations, as bloody pirates, are mingled.
The night was calm and beautiful, and with one accord we gathered in a circle on deck, for a reunion and an evening of song. By this time we had formed strong suspicions that Mr. Morrison was a vocalist as well as a manipulator of the banjo, and Miss N. was delegated to inform him that his fellow- travelers believed that it was his duty to sing to us as a token of gratitude for the recovery of his voice. He acknowledged the force of the argument and gave us a fine sentimental song in good style, but we were in a jolly mood and clam, red for something of a more lively and vivacious character.