[1st day in Marseille -- 13 June -- Tuesday]

The voyage from Napoli to Marseille lasted almost two days, for we arrived the following day at ten o'clock at night. On the way we saw Corsica, native country of a soldier1 with the most genius, mountainous and sparsely populated in comparison with what we saw yesterday. The doors of the houses are wide and low and the tops of its small rocks which break in the water are crowned with sentry-boxes. The prevailing north wind has disturbed the sea so much that many got seasick.

On Monday afternoon, the 12th, the coasts of France were sighted and we navigated close to the coasts of that fertile land.

At nightfall several lights and lighthouses appeared, which indicated to us the proximity of Marseille. Marseille -- the most ancient commercial city that perhaps exists.

On the eve of our separation, perhaps forever, I felt a certain uneasiness mingled with sadness upon thinking of good friends and excellent hearts that I was going to lose. It is true that Nievenhing gave me his picture, that Mr. Pardo gave me his card, but there is one thing, for which nothing can be substituted, which is one's feeling upon separating. Besides, my girl friends were also leaving. Youth is a friendship by itself, so that when two young people meet, they treat each other as if they are friends. I have already lost my friend Zorab and now Wilhelmine, Hermiene, Geretze, Celiene, and Mulder are leaving, and where are they going? The girls to The Hague and Mulder to Brussels. Probably we shall not meet again. Farewell, then, merry companions and friends. Go to the bosom of your families, and I, who am beginning my pilgrimage, will still go roaming at the mercy of fortune. I realize that if friendships are forged in travel, I have not been born for travel.

Morning came and I dressed very early, putting on a suit for going ashore -- frock-coat, hat, and gloves. There were many people on deck admiring Marseille. Numerous ships were anchored. The Saghalien and the Natal, among others, were the largest of the group.

Among the various boats that approached the sides of the ship there was one in which were embarked two men and a beautiful young lady. They inquired about Messrs. Ortíz and Godínez, and when these appeared, we learned that the young lady was Mr. Ortíz's sister. He did not recognize her, for they had not seen each other for seventeen years. It was a happy meeting. The young lady cried for joy, but she could not go aboard, permission not having been granted yet by the government. Happy are those who go to their homes and meet on the way, as a prelude to their happiness, their brothers!

I took leave of my friends Nievenhing, Standinitzky, and Vesteros, wishing them happiness, and I left. I shall not see them again. I don't want to describe my sadness when I proceeded to land alone. I, accustomed to a large family, many companions, was going alone to a great city. I bade goodbye to the Djemnah...

At the customhouse its agents treated me with much courtesy and asked me first for a declaration. They were very polite in inspecting my luggage and afterwards they told me I could go. I left and Marseille was before me.

It was still early. Marseille: République Avenue, big houses with statues and caryatids largely of Renaissance style; many well-paved streets; very clean and bright shops; Rue Cannebiere, more beautiful still, if that is possible; the Palace of the Bourse; Hotel Louvre; and finally the Hotel Noailles where I stopped.

The coach cost me 2.50, like the boat. A servant or a page, decently dressed in black, had my luggage taken up and he took me to a room on the first floor. The hotel is beautiful, elegant, and clean. Glass everywhere; a marble stairway covered with rugs like the halls. My room was on the street side; a large dressing table, a bureau, small marble-topped tables, toilette, towels, a bed comme il faut, velvet chairs and the whole room covered with rugs. Large and embroidered red curtains decorate the room.

After my haircut, I took a walk in the environs and everywhere I found gaiety and activity. The tall and beautiful houses attracted my attention. Vendors of newspapers and flowers swarmed in all places.

On the street in front of the Hotel de Geneve I met Mr. Mulder who made me believe that he lived there as well as La Cetentje. In front of Hotel Noailles I met the young sailor, and in the hotel itself, the Portuguese Folgue with Messrs. Buil and Pardo.

From there I went to the Customhouse to get my trunk and again I was shown French politeness and gentility.

Once back in the hotel with my luggage, I looked for a companion, but all the Spaniards had gone out. I hear a young voice speaking Dutch and I go out and I meet Celiene Mulder going down the stairs. I greeted her affectionately, for our conversations did not go beyond that; she does not speak anything else but Dutch. She answered me in her charming and innocent manner, and how sorry I was to see her go down and disappear. When I raised my eyes I saw the two sisters, the friends of Mulder, and I talked with them. They were on the 2nd floor. The older, Sientje, told me that they were leaving the following day for The Hague and would live with their grandmother, but they preferred Batavia, their native country. I replied: "I too love my native land and no matter how beautiful Europe may be, I like to return to the Philippines." I learned from her also that she was only 12 years old, that Mientje, 9, and that she had already been in Europe once.

After a short conversation I went down. While I was going down, Sientje was bidding me goodbye from the top of the stairs. I was sorry to leave them and when I found the rooms of my companions empty, I returned upstairs to look for the Dutch girls. I did not find them. Then, in order to find an excuse for my frequent visit to that floor, I asked the page for an old Spaniard. He replied that there was one with his wife. I supposed it might be Mr. Salazar. I went then to call on him.

I knocked at a door to which the page had led me, and having been given permission, I entered. In effect I found the kind couple who welcomed me with their usual and affectionate cordiality. Mr. Salazar, who is known as enthusiastic and kindly, asked me many things and even wanted to take the trouble of accompanying me to the house of a tailor; and as I had not yet taken breakfast, he himself conducted me through the elevator to the garden and the dining room where he recommended me to the waiter. And from there, after asking my permission, he went away to attend to his business. This gentleman deserves all the praises of those who know him.

When I went upstairs, I found my companions to whom I suggested that we visit Chateau d'Eau. They agreed gladly. We talked a long while, asking ourselves where the others might be and what they would do. We visited afterwards Doña María and from there we went out to the street.

We take a streetcar which goes to Longchamp and we admire the building, the gigantic statues, the bulls, and the water which falls in a grand cascade. We went up; we saw the grottoes, the Panorama; we saw the botanical garden; the zoological garden with its bears, lions, leopards, elephants, etc. The monkeys amused me the most.

We visited the Museum. It was the first time that I saw a museum. The pleasure it gave me was indescribable, so much so that I thought of spending the whole day there. I devoured with my eyes all that I found there. After the visit to the first hall, my companions left me to go home, so tired were they of so much walking. I then continued my excursion. I visited the hall of statues; from there I went home. There were many visitors there.

On the way I bought a pair of candles and soap. And at the hotel I visited Mr. and Mrs. Salazar in whose room I found my companions.

From there I went to a restaurant where I ate. I strolled a little and returned to the hotel. My companions were not there. At nightfall I wished to take a stroll again and went out with a coat and a frock-coat, but it was so cold that I had to go back to the hotel. I went to bed to sleep.

Since I left the ship, whenever I was left alone ordinarily I felt a void that I would like to fill up. Naturally, having been brought up among family and friends, reared in the warmth of love and affection, now I find myself suddenly alone, in a hotel magnificent indeed, but silent nevertheless. I thought of going back to my country for at least there I am with companions and the family.

I slept then half-tearful and steeped in profound melancholy.

1Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).


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