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By Samuel Smiles
Voyages around the world Australia – Description and travel
A Boy’s Voyage Round the World
AUTHOR OF ’SELF—HELP,’ ETC.
I have had pleasure in editing this little book, not only because it is the work of my youngest son, but also because it contains the results of a good deal of experience of life under novel aspects, as seen by young, fresh, and observant eyes.
How the book came to be written is as follows: The boy, whose two years’ narrative forms the subject of these pages, was at the age of sixteen seized with inflammation of the lungs, from which he was recovering so slowly and unsatisfactorily, that I was advised by London physicians to take him from the business he was then learning in Yorkshire, and send him on a long sea voyage. Australia was recommended, because of the considerable time occupied in making the voyage by sailing ship, and also because of the comparatively genial and uniform temperature while at sea.
He was accordingly sent out to Melbourne by one of Money Wigram’s ships in the winter of 1868—9, with directions either to return by the same ship or, if the opportunity presented itself, to remain for a time in the colony. It will be found, from his own narrative that, having obtained some suitable employment, he decided to adopt the latter course; and for a period of about eighteen months he resided at Majorca, an up—country township situated in the gold—mining district of Victoria.
When his health had become re—established, he was directed to return home, about the beginning of the present year; and he resolved to make the return voyage by the Pacific route, via Honolulu and San Francisco, and to proceed from thence by railway across the Rocky Mountains to New York.
While at sea, the boy kept a full log, intended for the perusal of his relatives at home; and while on land, he corresponded with them regularly and fully, never missing a mail. He had not the remotest idea that anything which he saw and described during his absence would ever appear in a book. But since his return, it has occurred to the Editor of these pages that the information they contain will probably be found interesting to a wider circle of readers than that to which the letters were originally addressed; and in that belief, the substance of them is here reproduced, the Editor’s work having consisted mainly in arranging the materials, leaving the writer to tell his own story as much as possible in his own way, and in his own words.
London, November, 1871.
DOWN CHANNEL. 1
AT GRAVESEND–TAKING IN STORES–FIRST NIGHT ON BOARD–“THE ANCHOR’S UP”–OFF BRIGHTON–CHANGE OF WIND–GALE IN THE CHANNEL–THE ABANDONED SHIP–THE EDDYSTONE–PLYMOUTH HARBOUR–DEPARTURE FROM ENGLAND
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