Sample G37 from Gordon Langley Hall, Golden Boats from Burma. Philadelphia: Macrae-Smith Company, 1961. Pp. 56-64. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,010 words 387 (19.3%) quotesG37

Used by permission. 0010-1760

Gordon Langley Hall, Golden Boats from Burma. Philadelphia: Macrae-Smith Company, 1961. Pp. 56-64.

Note: Hooghli [1020] Hoogli [quoted, 1090]

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Fortunately the hole was found at last and plugged . Another week passed and even the missionaries were enjoying the voyage . The sickness was gone and , after all , the two young couples were on their honeymoon .

The only lasting difficulty was the food . In spite of Pickering Dodge's explicit instructions regarding variation of meals , the food did not seem the same as at home . `` Everything tasted differently from what it does on land and those things I was most fond of at home , I loathed the most here '' , Ann noted . At last they concluded that the heavy , full feeling in their stomachs was due to lack of exercise . Walking was the remedy , they decided , but a deck full of chicken coops and pigpens was hardly suitable . Skipping was the alternative . A rope was found and , like children in school , the missionaries skipped for hours at a time . Finally , tiring of so monotonous a form of exercise , they decided to dance instead . It was much more fun , reminding the girls of their old carefree days in the Hasseltine frolics room at Bradford . The weather turned warmer and with it came better appetites , although Harriet was still a little off-color . She could not face coffee or tea without milk , and was always craving types of food that were not available aboard a sailing ship . By now she was sure she was going to have a baby , deciding it would be born in India or Burma that November . She was more excited than frightened at the prospect of having her first child in a foreign land .

The crew of the Caravan never failed to amaze Ann , who during her stay in Salem must frequently have overheard strong sailorly language . She wrote in her journal , `` I have not heard the least profane language since I have been on board the vessel . This is very uncommon '' .

She was now enjoying the voyage very much . Even the first wave of homesickness had passed , although there were moments when Captain Heard pointed out on his compass the direction of Bradford that she felt a little twinge at her heart . As for Adoniram , she found him to be `` the kindest '' of husbands .

On Sundays , with the permission of Captain Heard , who usually attended with two of his officers , services were held in the double cabin . Sometimes a ship would be sighted and the Caravan pass so close that people could easily be seen on the distant deck . Captain Heard did not communicate with any strange vessels because of the possibility of war between the United States and Britain . As warmer temperatures were encountered Ann and Harriet were introduced to the pleasures of bathing daily in salt water .

When May came the Caravan had already crossed the Equator . They were sailing round the Cape of Good Hope ; ; the weather had turned wet and cold . At this time Harriet wrote in a letter which after their finally landing in India was sent to her mother :

`` I care not how soon we reach Calcutta , and are placed in a still room , with a bowl of milk and a loaf of Indian bread . I can hardly think of this simple fare without exclaiming , oh , what a luxury . I have been so weary of the excessive rocking of the vessel , and the almost intolerable smell after the rain , that I have done little more than lounge on the bed for several days . But I have been blest with excellent spirits , and to-day have been running about the deck , and dancing in our room for exercise , as well as ever '' .

While studying at the seminary in Andover , Adoniram had been working on a New Testament translation from the original Greek . He had brought it along to continue during the voyage . There was one particular word that troubled his conscience . This was the Greek word most often translated as `` baptism '' .

Born a Congregationalist , he had been baptized as a tiny baby in the usual manner by having a few drops of water sprinkled on his head , yet nowhere in the whole of the New Testament could he find a description of anybody being baptized by sprinkling . John the Baptist used total immersion in the River Jordan for believers ; ; even Christ was baptized by this method . The more Adoniram looked at the Greek word for baptism , the more unhappy he became over its true meaning .

As was only natural he confided his searchings to Ann , conceding ruefully that it certainly looked as if their own Congregationalists were wrong and the Baptists right .

Ann was very troubled . By this time she had learned that it was futile to argue with her young husband , yet the uncomfortable fact remained : the American Congregationalists were sending them as missionaries to the Far East and paying their salaries . What would happen if Adoniram `` changed horses in midstream '' ? ? Baptists and Congregationalists in New England were on friendly terms . How embarrassing it would be if the newly appointed Congregationalist missionaries should suddenly switch their own beliefs in order to embrace Baptist teachings ! !

`` If you become a Baptist , I will not '' , Ann informed her husband , but sweeping her threat aside Adoniram continued to search for an answer to the personal dilemma in which he found himself .

By early June they were a hundred miles off the coast of Ceylon , by which time all four missionaries were hardened seafarers . Even Harriet could boldly write , `` I know not how it is ; ; but I hear the thunder roll ; ; see the lightning flash ; ; and the waves threatening to swallow up the vessel ; ; and yet remain unmoved '' .

Ann thrilled to the sight of a delicate butterfly and two strange tropical birds . Land was near , and on June 12 , one hundred and fourteen days after leaving America , they actually saw , twenty miles away , the coast of Orissa .

Captain Heard gave orders for the ship to be anchored in the Bay of Bengal until he could obtain the services of a reputable pilot to steer her through the shallow waters .

Sometimes ships waited for days for such a man , but Captain Heard was lucky . Next day a ship arrived with an English pilot , his leadsman , an English youth , and the first Hindu the Judsons and Newells had ever seen . A little man with a `` a dark copper color '' skin , he was wearing `` calico trousers and a white cotton short gown '' . Ann was plainly disappointed in his appearance . `` He looks as feminine as you can imagine '' , she decided .

The pilot possessed excellent skill at his calling ; ; all day long the Caravan slowly made her way through the difficult passages . Alas , to Ann's consternation , his language while thus employed left much to be desired . He swore so loudly at the top of his voice , that she didn't get any sleep all the next night .

Next morning the Caravan was out of the treacherous Bay . Relieved of the major part of his responsibility for the safety of the ship , the pilot's oaths became fewer . Slowly she moved up the Hooghli River , a mouth of the mighty Ganges , toward Calcutta .

Ann was entranced with the view , as were her husband and friends . Running across the deck , which was empty now that the livestock had been killed and eaten , they sniffed the spice-laden breezes that came from the shore , each pointing out new and exciting wonders to the other .

Out came the journal and in it went Ann's own description of the scene :

`` On each side of the Hoogli , where we are now sailing , are the Hindoo cottages , as thick together as the houses in our seaports . They are very small , and in the form of haystacks , without either chimney or windows . They are situated in the midst of trees , which hang over them , and appear truly romantick . The grass and fields of rice are perfectly green , and herds of cattle are everywhere feeding on the banks of the river , and the natives are scattered about differently employed . Some are fishing , some driving the team , and many are sitting indolently on the banks of the river . The pagodas we have passed are much larger than the houses '' .

Harriet was just as delighted . Where were the hardships she had expected ? ? She was certain now that it would be no harder to bear her child here in such pleasant surroundings than at home in the big white house in Haverhill . With childlike innocence she wrote of the Indians as `` walking with fruit and umbrellas in their hands , with the tawny children around them . This is the most delightful trial I have ever had '' , she decided .

The Indians who came aboard ship to collect the mail also interested her greatly , even if she was suitably shocked , according to the customs of the society in which she had been reared , to find them `` naked , except a piece of cotton cloth wrapped around their middle '' .

At last they saw Calcutta , largest city of Bengal and the Caravan's destination . Founded August 24 , 1690 by Job Charnock of the East India Company , and commonly called `` The City of Palaces '' , it seemed a vast and elegant place to Ann Hasseltine Judson . Solid brick buildings painted dazzling white , large domes and tall , picturesque palms stretched as far as the eye could see , while the wharves and harbor were filled with tall-masted sailing ships . The noise stunned her . Crowds flocked through the waterfront streets chattering loudly in their strange-sounding Bengali tongue .

Harriet's mouth watered with anticipation when after months of dreaming she sat down at last to her much-craved milk and fresh bread . Ann , pleased to see her friend happy , was intrigued by the new fruits a friend of Captain Heard had sent on board for their enjoyment . Cautiously she sampled her first pineapple and another fruit whose taste she likened to that of `` a rich pear '' . Though she did not then know its name , this strange new fruit was a banana .

Six The first act of Adoniram and Samuel on reaching Calcutta was to report at the police station , a necessity when landing in East India Company territory . On the way they tried to discover all they could about Burma , and they were disturbed to find that Michael Symes's book had not presented an altogether true picture . He had failed to realize that the Burmese were not really treating him as the important visitor he considered himself . They were in fact quietly laughing at him , for their King wished to have nothing to do with the Western world . When Captain John Gibault of Salem had visited Burma in 1793 his ship , the Astra , had been promptly commandeered and taken by her captors up the Irrawaddy River . Although after much trouble he did manage to get it back , he discovered there was no trade to be had . All Captain Gibault took back to Salem were a few items for the town's East India Museum . A year later another Salem ship returned from Burma with a cargo of gum lacquer which nobody wanted to buy . After that Salem ships decided to bypass unfriendly Burma .

The Burmese appeared to have little knowledge of British power or any idea of trade . They despised foreigners . Cruel Burmese governors could , on the slightest whim , take a man's life . As for missionaries , even if they succeeded in getting into the country they probably would not be allowed to preach the Christian faith to the Burmans . Unspeakable tortures or even execution might well be their fate .

`` Go back to America or any other place '' , well-meaning friends of Captain Heard advised them , `` but put thoughts of going to Burma out of your heads '' .

Somewhat daunted , the two American missionaries reached the police station where they were questioned by a most unfriendly clerk . When he discovered they had received from the Company's Court of Directors no permission to live in India , coupled with the fact that they were Americans who had been sent to Asia to convert `` the heathen '' , he became more belligerent than ever .

They explained that they desired only to stop in India until a ship traveling on to Burma could be found .