26th September 1836

Azores to Falmouth
Our voyage having come to an end, I will take a short retrospect of the advantages and disadvantages the pain & pleasure of our five years' wandering. If a person should ask my advice before undertaking a long voyage, my answer would depend upon his possessing a decided taste for some branch of knowledge, which could by such means be acquired. No doubt it is a high satisfaction to behold various countries, and the many races of Mankind, but the pleasures gained at the time do not counterbalance the evils. It is necessary to look forward to a harvest, however distant it may be, when some fruit will be reaped, some good effected. Many of the losses which must be experienced are obvious, such as that of the society of all old friends, and of the sight of those places with which every dearest remembrance is so intimately connected. These losses however, are at the time partly relieved by the exhaustless delight of anticipating the long wished for day of return. If, as poets say, life is a dream, I am sure in a long voyage these are the visions which best pass away the long night. Other losses, although not at first felt, after a period tell heavily, those are the want of room, of seclusion, of rest — the jading feeling of constant hurry — the privation of small luxuries, the comforts of civilization, domestic society, and lastly even of music & the other pleasures of imagination. When such trifles are mentioned, it is evident that the real grievances (excepting from accidents) of a sea life are at an end. The short space of sixty years has made a most astonishing difference in the facility of distant navigation. Even in the time of Cook, a man who left his comfortable fire side for such expeditions, did undergo privations: a yatch with every luxury of life might now circumnavigate the globe. Besides the vast improvements in ships & naval resources, the whole Western shores of America are thrown open; and Australia is become a metropolis of a rising continent. How different are the circumstances to a man shipwrecked at the present day in the Pacific, to what they would have been in the time of Cook: since his voyage a hemisphere has been added to the civilized world.

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