Mauhnain, August 2nd, 1846.
My dear Brothers,
Thanks be to God, we have arrived safely at our first port of destination, and that is more than at times of our protracted and eventful journey I have had reason to be sanguine of. In briefawe have had a wretched and perilous voyageaone marked by more incident, troubles and dangers than might be met with in a dozen voyages to England and back again in a large ship. Alas for human foresight !aA trip which I conceived was to have done so much for me in a variety of acceptable ways, has been uigher running me, and all with me, to destruction, and subjected me to more positive hardship, exposure and discomfiture than those whose profession it is to meet all the miseries incidental to a sea life have been able to bear tvith
indifference.-But let me not be hasty. There are cases in which the virtue of
those time-honoured instructions of the rhyming apothecarya" When taken to be well shaken" is infinitely better elicited, after all, by transferring their application from the bottle to the patient;aand if so I can hardly fail to be rewarded for the strict fidelity with which (by a ' knocking about' such as Capt. Gamble never before experienced in the ' Flora Macdonald') those instructions have been carried out !
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Let me premise-1 trust that no report reached you of our having lost our topmasts at the Sand-Heads,abecause as we went to sea in that condition, and you would get no subsequent account of us, I can imagine it would fill you with vague fears and alarms for our safety. But this was the least of our troubles. The greatest misfortune, indeed, attending it was that a poor fellow was aloft on the top-gallant yard at the time the fore-top-mast fell, and was, as you may suppose, greatly hurt. He has been laid up ever since, and only ventured to return to a slight duty, (cheered, no doubt, by the sight of land) this very morning.
Some brief idea of our little vessel, of our state and doings, before fairly putting to sea, may perhaps amuse, and enable you better to appreciate our condition and subsequent pleasantries.