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the swiftness of the hurricane, gives sure
and timely warning to those dwellers in
tropic islands or navigators of frail barks,
who know not the use of scientific instruments.
The gale works up the waters
of ocean to fierce fury, and the mighty
billows roll on with inconceivable swiftness
for many hundreds of miles across the sea
in every direction. Colonel Reid was
in Bermuda when the hurricane of eighteen
hundred and thirty-nine occurred, and distinctly
heard the sea breaking loudly
against the south shores on the morning of
the ninth of September, full three days before
the storm reached the islands, as recorded in
tables of the state of the weather kept at
the central signal station. At that time,
the hurricane was still within the tropic, and
distant ten degrees of latitude. As the storm
approached the swell increased, breaking
against the southern shores with louder roar
and grandeur, until the evening of the twelfth
of September, when the whirlwind storm
reaching the Bermudas set in there.  When
the storm had passed over the islands, the
southern shore became calm; and the
northern reefs presented a white line of surge,
caused by the undulations rolled back from
the storm in its progress towards Nova Scotia
and Newfoundland.

During these hurricanes, especially within
or bordering on the tropics, the appearance
of the sky is often extremely beautiful.
In one of Piddington's memoirs on storms,
he describes the aspect of a dense mass of
heaped-up clouds pushed towards the Ghauts
in the Madras Presidency.  The great bulk
was arrested and collected into a long horizontal
wall-like bank of solid aspect and of a
deep bluish hue, varied at the edges by flocculent
curves and zones of sombre grey, which
appeared in vivid distinctness as coruscations
of lightning shot up and illuminating portions
of the gloomy mass.  A few detached higher
clouds escaped, and passed slowly to the
westward, whilst the upper edge of the cloud-bank
sometimes curled over the top of the
ridge, like the falling crest of a wave dispersing
in spray, and descended in a transient

Not less grand is the storm at sea. The
ship's log of a captain who passed through the
centre of a cyclone, tells us how the sun went
down fiery red, his rays dipping and losing
themselves almost perpendicularly in the
long heavy swell. The rain fell in torrents
during the height of the storm; the lightning
darted in awful vividness from the intensely
dark masses of clouds that pressed down on
the troubled sea. When the hurricane passed
off, the scene to leeward was awfully grand:
thick masses of the darker purple-coloured
clouds were rolling over each other in
inconceivable confusion, lighted up in different
places by intensely vivid lightning. The
hoarse roar of the retiring storm, mingled
with the hollow groan of continued thunder,
as they slowly retreated with the gale, left an
impression on the mind not easily to be forgotten.



The wind, which has been howling these,
ten days, is lulled at last. A keen penetrating
cold indeed still finds its searching way
through our tent, through our matted clothes,
which have not been changed so long that we
have altogether forgotten the sensation produced
by putting on a clean shirt. It finds
its way with equal success through the leather
leggings of our trousers, and our clumsy
cracked boots, through our tangled wiry hair
and beards; down the napes of our necks
when we move our heads to this side or to
that, so as to give it the smallest opening at
which to creep in.

We cannot get up and run about, like good
boys, to keep ourselves warm, because we are
dwelling in a sort of marsh or bog. We
should therefore get hopelessly wet and
uncomfortable; our fires do not thrive
enough to admit of our drying ourselves
speedily; and we have no change of clothes.
We cannot either afford a bowl of punch just
yet, for there is a great scarcity of fresh water.
It is imprudent to take little gulps of brandy
every now and then to keep up our circulation,
because we have but very little of that
spirit left, and, besides, the doctors say that
such a course of proceeding is very apt to
bring on the cholera.

Our tent is a needlessly miserable affair,
but we are lucky to have it. Tents, even
such as these, are not for everybody. The
curse of wanton mismanagement seems upon
everything, and I cannot look on the pitiable
scene around me without feeling a large
personal share in our national humiliation.
We have had experience enough of camp life,
too, thrust upon us during the last few years.
There have been the countless letters of
settlers in the new world, almost each containing
some valuable practical suggestion,
the fruits of dearly-bought experience. There
have been whole libraries written about the
wants and contrivances of the gold hunters.
Sir Stephen Lakeman and Kaffreland had
furnished us with lessons, and Sir Richard
England, at least, knows something of the
causes which brought about our disgrace in
Affghanistan. Yet we have wilfully neglected
everything most lamentably; the more so because
Englishmen are not given to complaining
of mere personal suffering; and, among all of
those whom I see around me there is a gallant
(I might have written touching) determination
to put a bluff gay face upon things.

Therefore we sit (there were four of us)
curled up in various attitudes, and joking
about the state of things in general, over
short clay pipes, almost as black and dirty as
ourselves. We sit waiting for dinner, and

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