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everything, even to the name of the steward, who was called the maitre d'hotel.
At two o'clock we went on board the Melanie. She was about the same size, and if we had not seen the Belle Poule first, we should have been delighted with her. The comfort and luxury of these " homes on the sea" were in striking contrast with the poverty and misery of the desolate shore. The captain of the Belle Poule came on board to dine. It was a pleasure to us to see the delight with which these two Bordeaux men and their crews met on this distant shore. Cape Horn, Peru, and Chili were the subjects of conversation, and we found on board a file of papers, which gave us the latest news from our friends in the Sandwich Islands. Mr. C. and the captain of the Belle Poule remained on board till we got under way. We bade them good-by over the railing; the evening breeze filled our sails; for a few moments we saw them, a dark spot on the water; the wave sank, and we lost sight of them entirely.
I remained on deck but a short time. I was the only passenger, and the maitre d'hotel made me a bed with settees directly under the stern windows, but I could not sleep. Even with windows and doors wide open the cabin was excessively warm; the air was heated, and it was full of moschetoes. The captain and mates slept on deck. I was advised not to do so, but at twelve o'clock I went out. It was bright starlight; the sails were flapping against the mast; the ocean was like a sheet of glass, and the coast dark and irregular, gloomy, and portentous with volcanoes. The great bear was almost upon me, the north star was lower than I had ever seen it before, and, like myself, seemed waning. A young sailor of the watch on deck
PORT OP ACAJTJTLA. 319
spoke to me of the deceitfulness of the sea, of shipwrecks, of the wreck of an American vessel which he had fallen in with on his first cruise in the Pacific, and of his beautiful and beloved France. The freshness of the air was grateful; and while he was entertaining me, I stretched myself on a settee and fell asleep.
The next day I had a recurrence of fever, which continued upon me all day, and the captain put me under ship's discipline. In the morning the maitre d'hotel stood by me with cup and spoon, "Monsieur, un vomitif," and in the afternoon, "Monsieur, une purge." When we arrived at Acajutla I was unable to go ashore. As soon as we cast anchor the captain landed, and before leaving for Zonzonate engaged mules and men for me. The port of Acajutla is not quite so open as that of Istapa, having on the south a slight projecting headland of rock. In the offing were a goelette brig for a port in Peru, a Danish schooner for Guayaquil, and an English brig from London. All the afternoon I sat on the upper deck. Some of the sailors were asleep and others playing cards. In sight were six volcanoes; one constantly emitting smoke, and another flames. At night the Volcano of Izalco seemed a steady ball of fire.
The next morning the mate took me ashore in the launch. The process was the same as at Istapa, and we were detained some time by the boat of the English vessel occupying the cable. As soon as we struck, a crowd of Indians, naked except a band of cotton cloth around the loins and passing between the legs, backed up against the side of the boat. I mounted the shoulders of one of them; as the wave receded he carried me several paces onward, then stopped and braced himself against the coming wave. I clung to his neck, but was fast sliding down his slippery sides, when he deposited me on the shore of San Salvador, called by the Indians “Cuscatlan,” or the land of riches. Alvarado, on his voyage to Peru, was the first Spaniard who ever set foot upon this shore, and as I took special care to keep my feet from getting wet, I could but think of the hardy frames as well as iron nerves of the conquerors of America. The mate and sailors took leave of me and returned to the ship. I walked along the shore and up a steep hill. It was only eight o'clock, and already excessively hot. On the bank fronting the sea were the ruins of large warehouses, occupied as receptacles for merchandise under the Spanish dominion, when all the ports of America were closed against foreign vessels. In one corner of the ruined building was a sort of guardroom, where a few soldiers were eating tortillas, and one was cleaning his musket. Another apartment was occupied by the captain of the port, who told me that the mules engaged for me had got loose, and the muleteers were looking for them. Here I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Drivin, a gentleman from the Island of St. Lucia, who had a large sugar hacienda a few leagues distant, and was at the port to superintend the disembarcation of machinery for a mill from the English brig. While waiting for the mules he conducted me to a hut where he had two Guayaquil hammocks hung, and feeling already the effect of my exertions, I took possession of one of them. The woman of the rancho was a sort of ship's husband; and there being three vessels in port, the rancho was encumbered with vegetables, fruit, eggs, fowls, and ship's stores. It was close and hot, but very soon I required all the covering I could get. I had a violent
ague, followed by a fever, in comparison with which all I had suffered before was nothing. I called for water till the old woman was tired of giving it to me, and went out and left me alone. I became lightheaded, wild with pain, and wandered among the miserable huts with only the consciousness that my brain was scorching. I have an indistinct recollection of speaking English to some Indian women, begging them to get me a horse to ride to Zonzonate; of some laughing, others looking at me with pity, and others leading me out of the sun, and making me lie down under the shade of a tree. At three o'clock in the afternoon the mate came ashore again. I had changed my position, and he found me lying on my face asleep, and almost withered by the sun. He wanted to take me back on board the ship, but I begged him to procure mules and take me to Zonzonate, within the reach of medical assistance. It is hard to feel worse than I did when I mounted. I passed three hours of agony, scorched by the intense heat, and a little before dark arrived at Zonzonate, fortunate, as Dr. Drivin afterward told me, in not having suffered a stroke of the sun. Before entering the town and crossing the bridge over the Rio Grande, I met a gentleman well mounted, having a scarlet Peruvian pellon over his saddle, with whose appearance I was struck, and we exchanged low bows. This gentleman, as I afterward learned, was the government I was looking after. I rode to the house of Captain De Nouvelle's brother, one of the largest in the place, where I had that comfort, seldom known in Central America, a room to myself, and everything else necessary. For several days I remained within doors. The first afternoon I Vol. I.-S s
went out I called upon Don Manuel de Aguila, formerly chief of the State of Costa Rica, but about a year before driven out by a revolution and banished for life. At his house I met Don Diego Vigil, the vice-president of the republic, the same gentleman whom I had met on the bridge, and the only existing officer of the Federal Government. From observation and experience in my own country, I had learned never to take the character of a public man from his political enemy; and I will not soil this page with the foul aspersions which men of veracity, but blinded by party prejudice, threw upon the character of Senor Vigil. He was about forty-five, six feet high, thin, and suffering from a paralytic affection, which almost deprived him of the use of both legs; in dress, conversation, and manners, eminently a gentleman. He had travelled more extensively in his own country than most of his countrymen, and knew all the objects of interest; and with a politeness which I appreciated, made no reference to my position or my official character.
His business at Zonzonate showed the wretched state of the country. He had come expressly to treat with Rascon, the head of the band which had prevented my coming from Guatimala by land. Chico Rascon, as he was familiarly called in Zonzonate, was of an old and respectable family, who had spent a large fortune in dissipation in Paris, and returning in desperate circumstances, had turned patriot. About six months before he had made a descent upon Zonzonate, killed the garrison to a man, robbed the custom-house, and retreated to his hacienda. He was then on a visit in the town, publicly, by appointment with Senor Vigil, and demanded, as the price of disbanding his troops, a colonel's commission for himself, other commissions for