Photo of Southwold Beach

Southwold Beach

Southwold, Suffolk

In spite of the inclemency of the weather a crowd of old and young had assembled on the beach to witness their embarkation, and bid them farewell:

The hearty “God bless you! God grant you a prosperous voyage, and a better home than the one you leave, on the other side of the Atlantic!” burst from the lips of many an honest tar; and brought the tears into Flora’s eyes, as the sailors crowded round the emigrants, to shake hands with them before they stepped into the noble boat that lay rocking in the surf.

Precious to Flora and Lyndsay were the pressure of those hard rough hands. They expressed the honest sympathy felt, by a true-hearted set of poor men, in their present situation and future welfare.

“You are not going without one parting word with me!” cried Mary Parnell, springing down the steep bank of stones, against which thundered the tremendous surf. The wind had blown her straw bonnet back upon her shoulders, and scattered her fair hair in beautiful confusion round her lovely face.

The weeping, agitated girl was alternately clasped in the arms of Lyndsay and his wife.

“Why did you expose yourself, dear Mary, to weather like this?”

“Don’t talk of weather,” sobbed Mary; “I only know that we must part. Do you begrudge me the last look? Good-bye! God bless you both!”

Before Flora could speak another word, she was caught up in the arms of a stout seaman, who safely deposited both the mother and her child in the boat. Lyndsay, Mr. Hawke, his son, Adam Mansel, and lastly Hannah, followed. Three cheers arose from the sailors on the beach. The gallant boat dashed through the surf, and was soon bounding over the giant billows.

“I will never take a last look of the dear home in which I have passed so many happy hours,” said Flora, resolutely turning her back to the shore. “I cannot yet realize the thought that I am never to see it again.”

–Susanna Moodie, Flora Lindsay (1854)