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Moss Gathered by a Rolling Stone, or Reminiscences of Travel

Excerpt from Moss Gathered by a Rolling Stone, or Reminiscences of Travel Doomed to exile by a committee of learned physicians, who gave me no option as to the place of my banishment, but dismissing Italy and Spain as too liable to cold, Algeria as too unsettled, and Ceylon as too damp, dictated Egypt, I found myself on January 21st, 1871, careering down St George Channel in the fast new steamer Scotland, 2,200 tons burden, bound from Liverpool to Calcutta via the Suez Canal. For the first day or two we were rather uncomfortable, the weather was raw and cold; the Bay of Biscay behaved as the Bay of Biscay should, and gave us many a pitch and roll. Dinner was difficult to get down one's mouth; for it would rather hop into one's lap, or jump on to the floor; while, spite of fiddles or wooden frames on the table, there was a perpetual crash of falling glass: yet to most this was but scant loss; few, for the first four or five days, could show up at meals, so that I and one or two tough customers had the long tables and all on them to ourselves. Other miseries were that the sea one midnight came on board, washed out the deck cabins, and then descended with hideous noise into the cuddy; that there was a leak in the stern from which dribbled over cuddy and cabin floors a perpetual and annoying stream of water, causing captain, carpenter, and engineer ceaseless labour day and night to discover and plug up the fons origo mali; that, the greatest woe of all, the cook had a habit of retiring early to bed, first dousing his fire, and thus, until we learnt his habits, depriving us of hot grog at night. These public ills did not afflict me much; I was not sea-sick; I had a fine hunger and thirst upon me, and enjoyed my meals; I built an island in my cabin, and thus dodged the leak; I was only bored, for it was too cold for me on deck, and I was reduced, pour passer le temps, to take it out in bunk (nautical for bed) between meals. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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