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attributes of property. The report of the
commissioners, presented to parliament during
the last session, states that they have already
granted licenses to twenty-six different proprietors
for laying down new oyster-beds on different
districts of the coast, to the extent of five
thousand one hundred and forty-eight acres,
amongst which is one for Carlingford Bay; and
it appears, by the appendix, that eight additional
applications were under consideration.
Admirable by-laws have been also framed under
the direction of the inspecting commissioner;
amongst other regulations, prohibiting the
removal from a bed of any oysters of less than
fixed dimensions; and as parliament has recently
sanctioned the appointment of English
commissioners, it is desirable that similar salutary
provisions should be extended to the oyster-
bearing coasts of Great Britain.

With a view to the extension of the culture,
the first step that suggests itself is, that the
inspecting commissioner, who has devoted much
attention to the subject, should be deputed to
examine the modern system adopted by our
neighbours, the French, and report on its
results; and if that report shall sustain the
accounts which have reached us, the British public
will then have from an authorised source all the
information necessary to enable oyster-parks to
be laid down on the most approved principles,
in such available districts of our coast as
promise abundant supplies and remunerative
returns. If it shall be found that the fresh water
of springs enriches the saline beds, artificial
means can be devised for its diffusion; and if
the practice of laying fascines shall prove
effective, it may, perhaps, dispense with the slovenly
and destructive process of dredging. The pearl-
diver of Ceylon descends to fill his basket with
oysters without any implement but a sinking-
stone to accelerate the rapidity of his descent;
and the only precaution to which he resorts, is
the mystic ceremony of the shark-charmer,
whose exorcism is believed to be always recognised
and respected by the sharks. Divers on
our shores need not apprehend such intruders,
and as the modern invention of Deane's diving-
helmet enables the wearer to remain at his ease
for five or six hours under water, it would seem
that its application to our oyster fisheries might
enable the full-grown oysters to be selected and
assorted, while the immature remained undisturbed.


In the year eighteen hundred and sixty-one,
about thirty vessels laden with wheat were
consigned to England from California. In that
wonderfully luxuriant country the harvest had
been more plentiful than usual, and merchants
were adventuring it in shiploads to all parts of
the world.

I, a woman, who am about to tell the true,
unvarnished tale of the most terrible ten days
of her life, was going to England at that time
with my only child, a little girl of four years
old, and, being in delicate health, a long sea
voyage in a sailing vessel was thought better
for me than a berth in one of the ill-ventilated
and over-crowded steamers then and still running
between San Francisco and New York via Panama.
Thus I became a passenger for Liverpool
in the David Brown, a large American clipper,
distinguished for size, cleanliness, and the
excellence of its passenger accommodation.

The only fellow-passengers to whom I need
allude were a lady from British Columbia, whom
I will call Mrs. F——, wife of a major in the
British army. She had with her two children
and a female servant. I had known this lady
previously, in Vancouver Island. We were
friends, therefore, at once.

On the eleventh of October, 'sixty-one, the
beautiful vessel, laden with her two thousand
tons of grain, slowly and gracefully sailed out
of the noble bay of San Francisco. Dear
friends were standing on the wharf; the bitter
partings were over. The sun was shining as it
always does in California, until the sea, and the
rocks, and the vast city, seemed literally glittering
with sunlight. One long look back to the
happy home of the last six years, to the home
still of the husband and brothers obliged to
remain behind, and at last I had only the sea
that parted us to look at through my tears.
Our friends had seen us set sail in what seemed
a gallant ship. It had been chosen from all
others as the one to send us home in for its
show of perfectness. There were men in San
Francisco who knew that the ship was
unseaworthy (having been frightfully strained in her
last voyage to China), and that she was in no fit
condition to be trusted with the lives of helpless
women and children, yet they let us sail without
a word of warning.

Poor Mrs. F—— and myself had not been
two days at sea before we found out what a
frightful mistake had been made in the choice of
a sailing vessel as our home for the next three
months. We were so miserable, that at last,
like two school-girls, we kept a list of all the
days on a slip of paper, notching them off at
night with glee because another day was over.

When we had been a week at sea the ship
was hove to one day. There was a small leak,
which the carpenter tried to repair, but, I
suppose, ineffectually. The captain made light of
it, and we had no fear, never thinking it
probable that this small leak was a warning of the
utmost peril. Often the vessel was stopped for
the same small leak, but if we made inquiry we
were told there was no cause for fear, and did
not fear.

For, except these short pauses, the ship
sailed gallantly on, we had lovely weather, and
the captain really thought to make a quick and
profitable passage.

We rounded Cape Horn on a lovely summer
day (our winter being its summer), and the
little Cape pigeons were flying around us
continually, to the great delight of the children.
About this time the second officer caught an
albatross for the amusement of the ladies and

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