John Muir


image preview


heard, the vociferous and unsmotherable bells, the incessant firing of canon from the Castle, and the shouts of the sentinels in measured times. These combined made the most incessant sharp-angled mass of noise that I eve was doomed to hear. Nine or ten o’clock found me in a small bunk with wavelets outside tinkling not far from my ear. Sleep with dreams of heavy heat, or fruitless efforts for the disentanglement of vines, or running from curling breakers back of the Morro, etc. Thus “my days and nights went on.” Occasionally I was persuaded by the Captain to go ashore in the evening on his side of the harbor, perhaps accompanied by two or three other captains. After landing and telling the sailors when to call for us we would hire a carriage and drive to the upper end of the city to a fine publish square adorned with walks and shades and magnificent flowers. A brass band in imposing uniform played the characteristic lance-noted martial airs of the Spanish. Evening is the fashionable hour for aristocratic drives about the streets and squares, the only time that is not oppressively hot. I never saw elsewhere people so neatly and becomedly dressed. The proud best family Cubans are beautiful – rather small, with features exquisitely moulded and set off with silks and broadcloth in excellent taste. strange that their amusements should be so coarse – bull-fighting, brain-spilt bellringing, and the most lancing and artificial music.

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.


John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist