Letters From The Cape By Lady Duff Gordon

 -   A maid is really a superfluity
on board ship, as the men rather like being 'aux petits soins'.
The boatswain - Page 8
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A Maid Is Really A Superfluity On Board Ship, As The Men Rather Like Being 'aux Petits Soins'. The Boatswain Came The Other Day To Say That He Had A Nice Carpet And A Good Pillow; Did I Want Anything Of The Sort?

He would be proud that I should use anything of his.

You would delight in Avery, my cuddy man, who is as quick as 'greased lightning', and full of fun. His misery is my want of appetite, and his efforts to cram me are very droll. The days seem to slip away, one can't tell how. I sit on deck from breakfast at nine, till dinner at four, and then again till it gets cold, and then to bed. We are now about 100 miles from Madeira, and shall have to run inside it, as we were thrown so far out of our course by the foul weather.

9th Aug. - Becalmed, under a vertical sun. Lat. 17 degrees, or thereabouts. We saw Madeira at a distance like a cloud; since then, we had about four days trade wind, and then failing or contrary breezes. We have sailed so near the African shore that we get little good out of the trades, and suffer much from the African climate. Fancy a sky like a pale February sky in London, no sun to be seen, and a heat coming, one can't tell from whence. To-day, the sun is vertical and invisible, the sea glassy and heaving. I have been ill again, and obliged to lie still yesterday and the day before in the captain's cabin; to-day in my own, as we have the ports open, and the maindeck is cooler than the upper.

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