Passengers III

Having thus made you somewhat intimate with our two cabin passengers, order now requires me to say a few words respecting the ten Miners. We brought with us from Falmouth. There were two distinct parties of them – that is some were destined for the Real del Monte Mines – & the rest for the Bolanos Mines. This will form an approximate division in attending to each.

For the Real del Monte there were four viz.

1st Titus Geach, Pattern Maker – a man of rather soft mild countenance with light hair, smoothed down, like a Baptist, as he was. This gave him an air of gravure which made him look 10 years older than he really was. He was from S.t Austell, and was uncle to the Agent there for sending out Miners to Mexico. His Mother ran an Inn there. His manners were quiet & unpresuming – yet had a little leaven of pride mixed with his professed humility, for he rarely associated with his companions & rather courted our society. In his religious opinions he was a strict Baptist – but I am afraid sadly wanting in Christian Charity towards his fellow men, for he not infrequently remarked to me the inconsistent conduct of the Methodists his fellow passengers – & complacently contrasted his own life with theirs. I certainly agreed with him when he lamented how much it was to be regretted, that those who had made a profession of following out the severest doctrines of religion, should yet act so inconsistently with their profession as to get drunk – swear all manner of oaths – profane the Holy name of God – and play at Cards all day long – but my assent to the truth of his remarks was mingled with displeasure at the unchristian pride that lay concealed under his strictness. For, said he, I never swear – never play at Cards – read my Bible – & while with my family at home, all my household look as regularly for prayers & psalm singing, amorning – noon & evening, as they do for their meals – M.r T. Geach was really a quiet unpretentious sort of a personage & I certainly never saw or heard him in any of those practices which he condemned – & therefore I gave him credit for his power of  combining consistency with profession – But alas for poor human nature – how cruelly it deceives itself & rests satisfied in fancied security. How often did I think of the advice of the Apostle Paul to the neophyte Christians, to take heed lest they fall – And it would have been well for Titus, had he borne this administration in mind – & kept the strictest guard over himself – that he might be enabled with the divine assistance to overcome temptation & not gone forth as he did in his own strength, which, as might be surmised was too feeble top resist the overwhelming influence of temptation. This said Titus, then – this severe censor mourn in others – this that was to be a light to our truth, and an example, whereby we should walk – fell alas – and fell most lamentably. I have heard that previous to his regeneration & Baptism, Titus Geach had been addicted to the immoderate use of ardent spirits – but that since that important event, he had given up his evil habit, and walked consistently before Man & God. He thought perhaps that he had over come this habit – & was confident in himself. Hence his fall. The two days we lay at Jamaica he was beastly drunk – and in his drunken folly, he read a letter which he intended to send home & in which he mentioned that the hurry [?] he came out had been drunkenness – quarrelling & swearing all the way out. The day we went to sea, he looked unutterable things – for he was justly suffering under the effects of his debauch. He seemed penitent – & took all the raillery with which I & the rest liberally assailed him in Christian meekness – readily confessing that he had erred – & promising to keep a more careful watch over himself for the future – His words were less those of confidence then before & his companions occasionally howitted the immenutate with his sin. After all, however I was inclined to regard his falling away with a lenient eye – attributing it to the heat of the weather producing thirst & to his having unguardedly endeavoured to quench his thirst, without reflecting how much he had quaffed. At least you will admit that my judgement of him was a charitable one – & I would have bid adieu to him with a first favourable opinion – but for after circumstances,

At Belize he drank more than he ought, altho’ not so much as at Jamaica. From that time till we reached Tampico, he was never out of the way – and I bad[e] him good bye with some feeling of respect for him as a sincere Christian. On the return of our Master from Tampico with the Mail, I was surprised and grieved to learn that Titus had again fallen away – that he had been outrageously drunk & that it had been necessary to restrain him & prevent him from doing injury to himself and others. The rest of them I was told had behaved remarkably well, and of course were rejoiced that their mentor had made such a complete fool of himself. On the morning the Master left as early as six oClock he saw his namesake in a very so so state – who was not ashamed to tell him that he had already drunk three glasses of grog. This augers ill for his future health – peace of mind – religion – & lastly for his continuance in the Company’s employ – Besides his friends at home will  be much grieved – for some of the Miners intend, when they write home to allude to his misconduct.

I have been thus particular respecting Titus Geach both because I had much intercourse with him on religious matters – & because he was [a] practical illustration, coming under my very eye, of the observation that religion suffers more from the evil practices of its strictest professors, than from the most remonstrate attacks of philosophers – sceptics & Infidels.

The 2nd of the Real del Monte party is George Sweetlove – a young good looking man – a Carpenter by trade. He seemed a very unsettled youth – has been in various parts of England – & even in Sierra Leone for 3 years. When I say he seems unsettled I observed from his conversation, that he frequently changed his places of employment not because he could not get work but because he was tired of the place & was of a roving disposition. He frankly acknowledged that if he could have made up his mind to have continued at Sierra Leone he might soon have accumulated a decent competency, especially as he was seasoned to the climate, & therefore had little to fear. He regretted exceedingly having left the colony – and as it was he was obliged to be smuggled on board and outward ship – strict orders having been issued that he should [not] be allowed to leave the country. He as well as M.r Titus was married and messed in the pantry, not with the other Miners.

3rd M.r Thomas Waram, [4] Mason – a middle aged quiet, steady man, whom I liked very much indeed. He was also a Baptist but by no means so strict in his profession as Geach – but therefore when he erred a little, no offence was taken & no reflections cast up to him.

4th Edwin Williams Smith a stout black haired – black whiskered nice fellow, with no pretensions either one way or another – in short an ordinary man of the world. He was an old stager in Mexico, having served three years with the Bolanos Company. I was much pleased with him and gained some little knowledge by conversing with him on his trades.

These four then belonged to the Real del Monte party – & the other six were bound for Bolanos – viz.

Read on …