In the afternoon we passed the Isle of Man, having a beautiful view of the Calf, with a white stream tumbling down the rocks into the sea; and at night saw the sun set behind the mountains of Wales. About midnight, the pilot came on board, and soon after sunrise I saw the distant spires of Liverpool. The Welsh coast was studded with windmills, all in motion, and the harbor spotted with buoys, bells and floating lights. How delightful it was to behold the green trees on the banks of the Mersey, and to know that in a few hours we should be on land! About 11 o’clock we came to anchor in the channel of the Mersey, near the docks, and after much noise, bustle and confusion, were transferred, with our baggage, to a small steamboat, giving a parting cheer to the Iowas, who remained on board. On landing, I stood a moment to observe the scene. The baggage-wagons, drawn by horses, mules and donkeys, were extraordinary; men were going about crying “the celebrated Tralorum gingerbread!” which they carried in baskets; and a boy in the University dress, with long blue gown and yellow knee-breeches, was running to the wharf to look at the Indians.
At last the carts were all loaded, the word was given to start, and then, what a scene ensued! Away went the mules, the horses and the donkeys; away ran men and women and children, carrying chairs and trunks, and boxes and bedding. The wind was blowing, and the dust whirled up as they dashed helter-skelter through the gate and started off on a hot race, down the dock to the depot. Two wagons came together, one of which was overturned, scattering the broken boxes of a Scotch family over the pavement; but while the poor woman was crying over her loss, the tide swept on, scarcely taking time to glance at the mishap.
Our luggage was “passed” with little trouble; the officer merely opening the trunks and pressing his hands on the top. Even some American reprints of English works which my companion carried, and feared would be taken from him, were passed over without a word. I was agreeably surprised at this, as from the accounts of some travellers, I had been led to fear horrible things of custom-houses. This over, we took a stroll about the city. I was first struck by seeing so many people walking in the middle of the streets, and so many gentlemen going about with pinks stuck in their button-holes. Then, the houses being all built of brown granite or dark brick, gives the town a sombre appearance, which the sunshine (when there is any) cannot dispel. Of Liverpool we saw little. Before the twilight had wholly faded, we were again tossing on the rough waves of the Irish Sea.
A day in Ireland.