13th July 1836

St. Helena
In my walks, I passed more than once over the grassy plain bounded by deep valleys, on which stands Longwood. — Viewed from a short distance, it appears like a respectable gentleman's country seat. In front there are a few cultivated fields, & beyond them at some distance the hill of coloured rocks called the Flagstaff, & the square black mass of the Barn. The view is rather bleak & uninteresting.

It is quite extraordinary, the scrupulous degree to which the coast must formerly have been guarded. There are alarm houses, alarm guns & alarm stations on every peak. — I was much struck with the number of forts & picket houses on the line leading down to Prosperous Bay; one would suppose this at least must be an easy descent. I found it, however, a mere goat path, & in one spot the use of ropes which are fixed into rings in the cliff, were almost indispensable. — At the present day two artillery men are kept there, for what use it is not easy to conjecture. Prosperous Bay, although with so flourishing a name, has nothing more attractive than a wild sea beach & black utterly barren rocks. In some other situations, which were formerly no doubt important, a couple of invalids were stationed; really the places are sufficient to kill the poor men with ennui & melancholy. — The only inconvenience I suffered in my walks was from the impetuous winds. One day I noticed a curious fact; standing on the edge of a plain terminated by a great cliff of about a thousand feet elevation, I saw at the distance of a few yards, right to windward, some Tern struggling against a very strong breeze, whilst where I stood the air was quite calm. Approaching close to the brink I stretched out my arm, which immediately felt the full force of the wind. An invisible barrier of two yards wide, separated a strongly agitated from a perfectly calm air. — The current meeting the bold face of the cliff must have been reflected upwards at a certain angle, beyond which there would be an eddy, or a calm.

Syms Covington Journal
I went to house the 13th; which is in a very decayed state, one room is a billiard room for visitors (wine sold also!). The remaining part serves as a barn and dwelling for the servants of the clergyman who inhabits the new house, which was built for Napoleon, but HE never inhabited it.

IN the interior part of island, houses are to be seen in all parts, with patches of cultivation. Pears, guavas, etc . are to be had here, Here is to be seen the gorze, and blackberry, etc., the latter now bearing fruit, and very plentiful. The small birds are numerous and pretty; partridges from France WITH blue feet and beak; pheasants indigenous to the islands, the male of which is said to be very beautiful BUT now out of season; horses, bullocks, sheep etc. are to be seen grazing on hills and valleys in THE interior. In many parts, ST. HELENA is very picturesque.

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