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of the Cordilleras. Before morning, the
heavy dew and heavier sprays had thoroughly
diluted the romance of our position, and
when day dawned, we were glad to get the
shute into the boat, and cheer ourselves by
shouting, in horrible Spanish, to its Indian
guardian to let go the guano. In a few
minutes down came the shower, and eyes,
mouth, and nose were filled with the pungent
dust, which continued to pour in until the
boat was loaded to the water's edge, and its
occupants looked like a portion of the cargo.
One old salt, whose bushy black whiskers and
long hair contained enough manure to satisfy
a small farm, very energetically cursed all
the farmers in the world for employing sailors
to do their dirty work, instead of coming
themselves and carting home the guano in
their own broad-wheeled waggons. The boat
being loaded, we pulled her slowly off to the
ship, where our cargo, having been filled into
bags, took the place of the discharged ballast.
This sort of work continued for about three
weeks, before our turn to haul under the
larger shute arrived.

Our bill of fare aboard would have attractions
for some people. Turtle was our
commonest dish, as the skipper found it
cheaper to give a dollar for a turtle weighing
fifty or sixty pounds, than to supply us
constantly with the contractor's beef from Pisco.
Our turtle soup, however, would not have
passed muster at Guildhall, though thick
enough for sailors. Then we had camotes, a
sort of sweet potato, which attains a very
large size and is generally liked by Englishmen;
yuca, a root resembling a parsnip;
frijoles, fish, mutton-birds; plenty of seasoning,
such as tomatoes, chili peppers, and aji;
and abundance of friutmelons, grapes,
bananas, chirimoyas, alligator pears, &c.;
the meat boat being always well supplied
with articles of this kind. It brought also,
occasionally, a few bladders of pisco, which,
being contraband, were smuggled with the
due formalities.

At length, one of the English sailors living
on the island came off and took us alongside,
seeing that we were moored in a proper
position for receiving cargo. With him came
half a dozen Indians; cholos, we call them
that is, a name applied by sailors to all the
different coloured races in Peru, though it is
the especial property of one tribe only. The
duty of these men is to trim the guano in the
ship's hold, as it pours out of the shute. The
nature of their work may be imagined. The
hatchways are quickly choked up, and the
atmosphere becomes a mere mass of floating
guano, in the midst of which the trimmers
work in a state of nudity: the only article of
dress with some of them being a bunch of
oakum tied firmly over the mouth and nostrils,
so as to admit air and exclude the dust. They
divide themselves into two parties, one relieving
the other every twenty minutes. When
at work, they toil very hard, handling their
sharp pointed shovels in a style that would
astonish even an English navigator, and
coming on deck, when relieved, thoroughly
exhausted and streaming with perspiration.
But in this state they swallow a quart of cold
water, qualifying it afterwards with a large
dose of raw rum or pisco, and then, throwing
themselves down in the coolest part of the
ship, they remain there until their turn comes
to resume the shovel.

The ship's crew is employed tending the
bowlines attached to the shute, and, though
working in the open air, the men are compelled
to wear the oakum defences, for the
clouds of dust rising from the hold are stifling.
The ship is covered from truck to kelson; the
guano penetrates into the captain's cabin and
the cook's coppersnot a cranny escapes; the
very rats are set a-sneezing, and the old craft
is converted into one huge wooden snuff-box.
The infliction, however, does not last long,
three days being generally sufficient for the
loading of a large ship. At the end of three
days, right glad was I to see the hatches on,
the mooring chains hove in, and the flying
jib-boom once more pointing towards Pisco.

Here we stayed another three days, which
we employed in washing down and trying to
restore the ship to her original colour. When
we left the Chinchas, yards, masts, sails,
rigging, and hull, were all tinted with one
dirty brown. This cleansing finished, we again
tripped our anchor, passed the north island,
receiving and returning the cheers always
given to a homeward-bound ship, and with
studding sails on both sides, ran merrily down
before the steady trades, reaching Callao in
thirty hours. There the hands who shipped
merely for the coasting voyage were discharged,
and we who remained were soon
overhead in one of the many little streams
which water the pampas lying between Callao
and Lima, eager to wash out the alloy of
guano with which our skins had been amalgamated
at the diggings.



THERE is nothing in which the English
generally are more deficient, than in what
may perhaps be called, for want of a better
term, the art of being happy. Engaged,
either from inclination or necessity, in grave
and earnest pursuits of ambition or money
getting, they are apt to look too constantly
at the realities of life; they regard the play
of fancy, the luxury of harmless imaginations,
as idle and trifling; and, busy with tilling the
field and gathering in the harvest, will seldom
turn aside to revel in the perfume of a
flower. They look upon life as a rough
journey, and have no indulgence for dalliance
by the way. It is not that we have not as
keen an appetite for enjoyment as Continental
people, but that we do not know how to
gratify it. We push on along our journey,

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