In all Parts of the World.





The National Gallery
Desert of Western Australia
Temples of Nikko
The Bank of England
The Rapids, St. Laurence River
Ostrich Farming
The Largest Fish Market
Hong Kong
Victoria City
Indian Fakirs
The Klondyke Terror
Simons Town
A Record Ride
The Chinese and Their Customs
Visiting Mines
The Dead Sea
Timber Sliding
Travelling in South Africa
Siam and the Siamese
The Holy Fire at Jerusalem
Diamond Mining
Sport in Canada
Northern Highway of the Tsar
Gold Mining
The Taj Mahal
Manchuria and the Boxer Raid
Cotton Culture
King, Kaiser and Kitchener
Tobacco and Cigar Making
The Great Images of China
By Venice to Naples
A Trip through Iceland
Up Mount Blanc
The Kreml of the Kremlins
In the Land of the Incas
The City of Dante
The South Sea Islands
Boneyard of Las Palmas
The Homes of the King - Buckingham Palace - Windsor Castle - Marlborough House – Sandringham - Balmoral
Great Exhibitions
A Day in Tangiers
From the Forth to the Maas, the Rhine to the Rhone
New York — As It Strikes a Stranger
The Religions of India
Sultan of Turkey
Wine Culture in France


Frontispiece, “Taking the Sun”
The Head of a Girl (National Gallery)
The Annunciation (National Gallery)
Portrait of a Man (National Gallery
Mr. Carr Boyd arriving at Cue
Mr. Carr Boyd (Portrait)
“The Sweetest Girl in Asia”
Bank Porter
Cashiers’ Store (Bank)
The Bullion Vault (Bank)
Burning Old Bank Notes
Steam Trawler
The Herring Fleet
Half an Acre of Cod Fish
Chinese Open-Air Theatre
Snake Charmer
White Pass Railway
Meeting at Skagway
Children — Simons Town
Simons Town
Arab Tent
Bedawy Escort
The Jaffa Gate
Bedawy — Shooting
Bedawy — Galloping
Chinese Convicts
Chinese Wedding
Chinese Stone Figures
Old Chinaman
Two Murderers
The Female Culprits
Chinese Woman
Chinese Bridal Carriage
Chinese Orchestra
Mrs. Hitchcock and Dog
Dog Pound — Dawson
“Girl Wanted”
Skagway Pass
Motor Car on Atlin Lake
Main Street — Dawson
Front Street — Dawson
One Ton-and-a-Half of Gold
Party — Dead Sea
Jordon - Sidon - Valley of Agalon - Antioch – Jericho - Smyrna - Sardis - Thyatira - Gaza
Mount Tabor
Trekking — South Africa
King’s Barge, Siam
Loading Tea
Elephant Hunting, Siam
Opium Testing
Church of Holy Sepulchre
Church of Holy Sepulchre (interior)
Absolom’s Tomb
De Beers Mine
Kaffir Compound
Glacier House, British Columbia
C. P. R. Dining Car
Banff Hotel
Reaping — Manitoba
Parliament Buildings — Toronto
Grain Elevators — Ontario
Station — Siberia
Russian Dragoon and Horse
Longest Bridge in the World
Russian Recruits
Pair Horse Sleigh
Russian General
“Fast Team”
Russian Artillery
At the Surface
Kaffirs Entrance — Mine
Taj Mahal
Street Liaoyang
Ruined Mission House
Temple-Liao River
Ruined Hospital
Confucian Temple
Loading Cotton
Planter’s House
Cotton Fields
Negro Playing Fiddle
H.I.M. King Edward VII
The German Emperor
Wady Suweinit
Lord Kitchener
Knoll - Ascalon - The Pool, Hebron
Great Stone Horse
The Kremlin — Moscow
Boneyard of Grand Canary - Spanish Girls
Buckingham Palace - Windsor Castle
Queen Alexandra and Her Dogs
Sandringham - Balmoral
Great Exhibition
Chicago Exhibition
The Rhine
The Great Clock, Berne
Buddhist Priests
The Sultan of Turkey — Palace
The Sultan of Turkey — Guarding the Streets

[2018 Notes: I have censored the “N-word” although its use reflected attitudes of the authors’ time. In places I have corrected spelling or printing errors or made minor changes to convoluted grammar to make it comprehensible to the modern reader.]


THE reading public now-a-days scarcely need an introduction with a book of “Travel and Adventure.” The illustrated press has long since made such a volume no novelty; yet the desire for information in a chatty form, of out of the way peoples, places, sights, and customs of distant lands, is on the increase. Hence this book. If its readers derive some hours of recreation, and acquire some slight knowledge of interest to themselves about one part or other of this wonderful globe we inhabit, then will the publishers’ and the compilers’ aim be amply accomplished.

In the compilation of a book with so wide a scope as this, an editor must of necessity draw his materials and illustrations from a large number of varied sources. The compiler desires to thank most heartily, all those of his friends, acquaintances, and correspondents, who have lent him aid in this work. He would particularly thank:—

The Autotype Company, 74, New Oxford Street, for permission to use several of their charming pictures.
Carr Boyd, Esq., F.R.G.S., for particulars of his thrilling adventures.
The Editor of the Penny Pictorial Magazine for many illustrations.
Charles Bertram, Esq., The Famous Conjuror, for his Indian experiences add photographs.
W. J. Partridge, Esq., (Better known as Sailor Bill) for Klondike photographs.
The Management of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for Chinese and Japanese photographs.
The Rev. Robinson Lees, M.A., for Syrian photographs.
Mrs. Hitchcock, for permission to quote from her Klondyke diary.
Miss H. J. Millar, for chapters on King, Kaiser and Kitchener, Homes of the King, and American and German subjects.
The Palestine Exploration Fund for permission to quote the interesting description of The Holy Fire from Colonel Condor’s excellent book “Tent Life,” and for the use of Lord Kitchener’s photographs illustrating “King, Kaiser and Kitchener”

who have all lent most valuable assistance either with literary matter or photographs.


With Illustrations /reproduced by permission from the publications of the Autotype Company, 74, New Oxford Street.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY in Trafalgar Square, London, is a “world—sight,” and a better idea of its interesting contents and their value cannot be given than by quoting from the introduction, to the able hand-book of the gallery, compiled by Mr. E. T. Cook. He says, “The result of the expenditure with which successive parliaments have thus supplemented private gifts, has been to raise the National Gallery to a position, second to that of no single collection in the world. The number of pictures now on view in Trafalgar Square, exclusive of the water colours, is about 1,200. This number is very much smaller than that of the galleries at Dresden, Madrid, and Paris — the three largest in the world, and somewhat smaller than that of the galleries at Berlin, Munich, and St. Petersburg.

On the other hand, no foreign gallery has been so carefully acquired, or so wisely weeded, as ours. An act was passed in 1856, authorising the sale of unsuitable works, whilst another was passed in 1883, sanctioning the thinning of the gallery in favour of provincial collections. There are still many serious gaps. In the Italian school we have no picture by Masaccio — the first of the naturalisers in landscape; only one doubtful example of Palma Vecchio, the greatest of the Bergamese painters; no first rate portrait by Tintoret. The French school is hardly represented at all — an omission that is, however, splendidly supplied in the "Wallace collection at Hatfield House, now the property of the nation. In the National Gallery itself there is no picture by the; “incomparable Watteau,” “Prince of Court Painters”; nor any example of the modern French School of Landscape. The. specimens of the Spanish School are few in number, whilst amongst the old masters of our own British School, there are many gaps for some future Vernon or Tate to fill up. But on the other hand we can set against these deficiencies, many painters who, and even schools which, can nowhere - in one place — be so well studied as in Trafalgar Square. The works of Crivelli — one of the quaintest and most champing of the earlier Venetians — which hang together in room VIII; the works of the Brescian School, including those of its splendid portrait painters — Moroni and H, Moretto; the series of Raphaels, showing each of his successive styles; and in the English school, the unrivalled and incomparable collection of Turners, — are amongst the particular glories of the' national collection.”

One of my illustrations, “The Man with the Ruff,” by Frans Hals, which is taken from the beautiful series of reproductions published by the Autotype Company. This picture was sold in 1831, for £11 11s.! Lucky purchaser. Its value now is as high as a Van Dyck. “Among the Dutch portrait painters,” says the handbook, “Hals stands second only to Rembrandt, while for mastery of the brush he is second only to Velasquez, though his vigorous drawing recalls, by its boldness, the masterly methods of Rubens, his manner of giving to his work a sustained light, his style of composition, and the choice of his subject, place him unmistakably in the Dutch school . . . No one, either before or after him, ever attained the marvellous exactness with which he places flesh tints in juxtaposition, without their mixing together, just as they come, from the palette. (Havard, the Dutch school, p. 110.”)

There is another perhaps the finest of all Hals work “The Laughing Cavalier” in the Wallace collection of which the Autotype Co. also publish a charming reproduction.

Altogether there has been some £700,000 spent upon buying the pictures for our National Gallery, but at the present day the worth of these pictures is more like £2,000,000.


MR. W. CARR BOYD holds the unique record of having journeyed almost straight across the great desert of Western Australia and back again.

The well-known explorers Lindsay and Forrest, each travelled once across this desert; and Giles travelled along the coast and round the northern boundary of the vast no-man’s land; but the subject of this article is the only white man who has twice faced the formidable task of crossing the heart of the desert. It took him seven months to accomplish, and the distance covered was about 1,240 miles.

Mr. Carr Boyd was born a traveller, seeing that he made his entry into this world aboard the sailing ship Mangerton on 25th February, 1852, bound from Dublin to Melbourne. His life of adventure and hair’s-breadth escapes soon commenced, for when only two months old he fell overboard from his cradle, which was slung from one of the yards of the vessel. His early boyhood was spent in Tasmania, where his father held the position as master of the Campbelltown Grammar School. Before reaching six years of age he remembers several occasions upon which the schoolhouse was “stuck up” by bushrangers (escaped convicts). Michael Howe was one of the most notorious of these, and he has a vivid recollection of seeing the head of this man carried on a pole through the town as a warning to others of that ilk. A little later a bridge over the Alice River being in course of construction by convict labour he and his brother saw between 800 and 400 convicts flogged at the triangle. A dozen would be flogged in a couple of hours! He witnessed the setting up at Fingall of the first gold battery ever brought to Tasmania.

In 1862 his family moved to Brisbane, where he was put to the grammar school. In 1864 he and his brother moved up to Tambo Township(consisting of two huts), on the Burcoo River, of which district; his father had been appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands. The district then supported, perhaps, 40,000 sheep and six to 8,000 head of cattle. Now its pastures are. browsed upon by millions of sheep and cattle, and rail ways run through, and towns dot the whole district. At Malvern Downs a little later he received his baptism of blood. He was sitting in a room where two men were drinking. They quarrelled, and one dashed out the brains of the other with the stone jar out of which he drank, and smothered young Carr Boyd in blood. At this time, at the spot where Blackall township now stands, eight white men were killed by blacks. Carr Boyd and his brother, both only boys, were witnesses of the white men’s revenge, which was taken by a slaughter of some 300 blacks. Having occasion to visit Rockhampton, a town on the coast, at a distance of some 400 miles from Tambo, he fell in and joined company with a couple of men bound for the same port. It afterwards transpired that they were none other than Burgess and Malalley, for whose capture rewards of £1,000 and £500 respectively were out for horse-stealing, murder, and various other crimes.

Such were the scenes and characters amongst which Carr Boyd gained the fearlessness and determination which afterwards enabled him to face months and years of isolated exploration in out of the way parts, where the only human beings were hostile black savages. Another spell of schooling at Brisbane in ’65 and ’66, followed by sheep and cattle droving at £1 a week with food and tobacco found. A comrade at this cattle farming was the late Lord Frederick Cavendish. These days were not distinguished by great providence on the part of the young drovers, for Lord Frederick Cavendish’s watch and chain had to be parted with to pay the captain of the boat which brought them back to Brisbane.

In 1872 the rush to the Palmer goldfields broke out, and young Carr with a friend went off with 201 head of bullocks. These they brought through the 400 mile trip without losing one — no mean feat. Here it was that Carr Boyd was struck down with the “gold craze,” which has never left him, all his subsequent trips being on gold-seeking intent. On one occasion Mr. Carr Boyd fell into the hands of a tribe of blacks who, whilst not treating him exactly as a prisoner, kept a pretty close watch over his movements, and intimated that any attempt to escape would cost him dear. He eventually got away by allowing himself to be made one of their tribe by having his nose pierced and the customary round piece of wood hung through the aperture. After this uncomfortable proceeding the supervision was relaxed, and he was so ungrateful as to take the first opportunity to put miles between himself and the tribe to which he had so recently had the honour of election. Upon no less than seven different occasions between 1875 and the present time has he read of his own death and burial in various Australian newspapers; in fact, he says he never knew what a fine fellow he was until he read of his many virtues in the obituary notices in the Sydney Bulletin in 1883. During the same year he discovered and officially reported the first payable gold ever found in Western Australia.

Carr Boyd was the first man on the Kimberly goldfield, and had considerable luck. A rush broke out, despite Carr Boyd’s letters of strong warnings written and published in various newspapers. Considerable disappointment was caused as thousands of goldseekers arrived only to find that Carr Boyd's luck was an exceptional “strike.” With difficulty he escaped with his life, and he was burned in effigy upon the goldfield. Carr Boyd throws a tomahawk like a native, knows all their secret cures for snake bites, water finding, etc. He has discovered many new birds and plants indigenous to Western. Australia, and, most, important of all, he declares — certainly a most sensational statement — that there is no West Australian desert at all; that is, to say, that permanent water springs; are to be found at comparatively close stages all through the so-called desert; that it is a magnificent cattle land — much of it gold bearing, and lastly, he predicts that in ten years; time it will be opened up by railways and telegraphs and be altogether one of the most productive districts in the world. Mr. Carr Boyd is a J.P. for Queensland, and a life fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


NIKKO, the site of the most splendid temples in Japan, and a mountain refuge of great popularity in midsummer, is reached by railway in five hours from Tokio. On the return one may take jinrikisha to Utsonomiya and ride for twenty-three miles down an avenue lined with ancient cryptomeria trees. Suzuki’s hotel, in the village, the new Nikko Hotel across the river adjoining the temple grounds, Arai’s and Kanaya’s hotels in the upper village, will lodge the traveller. In one day he may visit the two great temples and the tombs of the Sho-guns, Iyeyasu and Iyemitsu; take the woodland walk around the sacred hill; cross the river by the upper bridge and see the ancient images lining the bank; see the sacred Red Bridge and choose souvenirs in the pretty village shops.

A small admission fee is charged at each temple, A score of writers beside Dr. Dresser have found words inadequate to describe these “shrines as glorious in colour as the Alhambra in the days of its splendour, and yet with a thousand times the interest of that beautiful building.”

To quote again that poetic word-painter, Percival Lowell:— “At the farther end rises a building, the like of which for richness of effect you have probably never beheld nor even imagined. In front of you a flight of white stone steps leads up to a terrace whose parapet, also of stone, is diapered for half its height and open lattice work the rest. This piazza gives entrance to a building or set of buildings whose every detail challenges the eye. Twelve pillars of snow-white wood sheathed in part with bronze, arranged in four rows, make, as it were, the bones of the structure. The space between the centre columns lies open. The other triplets are webbed in the middle, and connected on the sides and front by grilles of wood and bronze, forming on the outside a couple of embrasures on either hand the entrance, in which stand the guardian Nio, two colossal demons, Gog and Magog. Instead of capitals a frieze bristling with Chinese lions protects the top of the pillars. Above this, in place of entablature, rise tier upon tier of decoration, each tier projecting beyond the one beneath, and the topmost of all terminating in a balcony which encircles the whole second story. The parapet of this balcony is one mass of ornament, and its cornice another row of lions, brown instead of white. The second story is no less crowded with carving. Twelve pillars make its ribs, the spaces between being filled with elaborate woodwork, while on the top rest more friezes, more cornices, clustered with excrescences of all colours and kinds, and guarded by lions innumerable. To begin to tell the details of so multi-faceted a gem were artistically impossible. It is a jewel of a thousand rays, yet whose beauties blend into one, as the prismatic tints combine to white. And then, after the first dazzle of admiration, when the spirit of curiosity urges you to penetrate the centre aisle, lo and behold, it is but a gate! The dupe of unexpected splendour, you have being paying court to the means of approach. It is only a portal after all. For as you pass through you catch a glimpse of a building beyond more gorgeous still. Like in general to the first, unlike it in detail, resembling it only as the mistress may the maid. But who shall convince of charm by enumerating the features of a face! From the tiles of its terrace to the encrusted gables that drape it with some rich bejeweled mantle, falling about it in the most graceful of folds, it is the very Eastern Princess of a building, standing in the majesty of her court to give you audience.

“A pebbly path, a low flight of stone steps, a pause to leave your shoes without the sill, and you tread in the twilight of reverence upon the moss-like mats within. The richness of its outer ornament, so impressive at first, is, you discover, but prelude to the lavish luxury of its interior. Lacquer, bronze, pigments, deck its ceiling and its sides in such profusion that it seems to you as if art had expanded in the congenial atmosphere into a tropical luxuriance of decoration, and grew here as naturally on temples as in the jungle creepers do on trees.”

And finally, says Dr. Dresser; “I am getting weary of beauty. . . . I am also weary of writing of the beautiful, for I feel that any words that I can use must fail to convey any adequate idea of the conscientiousness of the work, the loveliness of the compositions, the harmoniousness of the colours, and the beauty of the surrounding shere before me: and yet the adjectives which I have tried to heap one upon another, in the hope of conveying to the reader what I — an architect and ornamentist - feel when contemplating these matchless shrines, must appear, I am afraid, altogether unreasonable.”


A visit to the Bank of England by Lang Neil, illustrated by a photographs specially taken by permission of the Governors of the bank.

THE Bank of England is an institution of more or less universal interest. It is the biggest banking business in the world — kings, princes, nobles, governments of all nations and countries who require the most absolute security the world can afford for their valuables, money or deeds, all look to the venerable “old lady of Threadneedle Street” to give them this. Does one country go to war with another, and coming worsted out of the conflict, find itself compelled to pay an indemnity to cover its conquerors’ expenses, it is more than likely that the Bank of England be named to hold the deposits in safety until they amount to sufficient to pay the indemnity in full. Does the experienced traveller set out to do the sights of the world, he knows that so long as he is in any part of the globe which bears the least mark of civilisation, he will not he stuck for necessaries and the means of getting about whilst he can pull a Bank of England note out of his pocket or trunk.

There are times when almost every one of the largest trading firms, in the world must be heavily affected by the actions of the Bank, for the Bank of England Bank rate of discount affects every money market. But to enumerate the many reasons why the Bank of England must be a subject of widest interest would fill several chapters, which is not the writer’s intention. Nor is it the writer’s purpose to give a history of the Bank, but rather to give his readers a run round one or two of the Bank’s departments which are of greatest interest, and about which least is known, and which at the same time afford a glimpse at the magnitude of the transactions, which are daily taking place in the unpretentious sober-looking institution at the corner of Threadneedle Street.

At the outset the writer would like to express his thanks to the Governor of the Bank, and to Mr. Bowen, the chief cashier, for their courtesy in having allowed him access to and the permission to sketch Or photograph the various subjects which form the illustrations to this chapter.

The Bank buildings, garden and yard cover exactly three acres. The present building was completed late in 1808 or early in 1809. Just as the exterior is solid and unpretentious so is the interior. The Bank parlour, the Governor’s room, and the Director’s library are all quiet imposing rooms. The public and private drawing offices are both of them really handsome halls. We will not, however, linger in these parts of the premises, nor be tempted to waste any time in the pretty Bank garden — in summer a really lovely and charmingly inviting spot with its lively little fountain, forming a veritable oasis in the centre of the hot and dusty city. We will make straight for the departments where bright gold and crisp notes, are handled, for, after all, the whole place and all the people it employs are there to deal in these precious commodities.

Down a long passage, where every Thursday morning the Bank rate for the week is declared. Upstairs to the left, over the chief cashier’s office, our guide leads us to the Bank-note printing, rooms. Bank-note paper is all made at Laverstoke, by Messrs. Portal, and the consignments, which arrive every Friday at the Bank, are guarded every whit as carefully as the actual printed notes. The special van which is attached to the train is accompanied by two of the makers’ people, who hand over the parcels of paper, cut the exact size for printing and counted and labelled, to two Bank officials, who are waiting with another special cart, and this is with all speed driven to the Bank yard. Here the paper is unloaded, and the responsibility for its safety is again transferred to the manager of the cashier’s store. The strength of the banknote paper is now tested by means of a little machine which holds a bank-note to which a thirty-six pound weight is attached.

At the time our photographer took the photo of the "Cashier’s Stores,” as this department is known to the officials, its manager had just sorted out the paper for the next day’s printing of notes. The trolley full is shown in the sketch. It holds paper to make thirty million pounds worth of notes, which is a phenomenally big day’s work even for the Bank of England. India rupee paper comes also from Laverstoke, and is treated in precisely the same manner.

Now we follow the paper from the store to the printing room. It is a model printing room, a delight to the eye of the experienced printer, as unlike the ordinary printer’s “shop” as can be. There are no piles of paper, no old and dusty printed matter. The whole room is a picture of orderly neatness. In fact, there seems scarcely a spot of dust or dirt in the room. As every single sheet of paper which enters is checked, not a sheet is wasted, torn up, or left lying about. There are eight machines. Each machine can turn out a thousand notes in twenty minutes. The average turn out is about sixty thousand notes a day. The value represented by these sixty thousand notes of course varies according to the demand, but we may put them down as averaging in worth about a million and a half of money daily. Each sheet of paper which is served into the machine by a lad makes two notes, and there is no mistaking how many have been done, as each machine is fitted with an automatic register (exactly like that of a gas-meter), which records every revolution made. Of the eight machines as a rule six are at work on bank-notes, the remaining couple being devoted to Indian notes. On the day of the writer's visit twenty-four thousand notes of one hundred rupees each were printed.

Adjoining the bank-note printing room is another printing room, and it will probably come as a surprise to most readers to hear that the Bank prints for His Majesty’s Post Office, and that all postal orders, are turned out here. Four machines suffice for this, as only a trifle of 320,000 postal orders are required each day. P.O.’s are printed eight on a sheet at one time.

From the birth of the bank-notes what more appropriate than that we follow them to their death. We will not trace their careers outside the Bank walls, though many of them have formed matter for tales well worth the telling. We leave the white, bright, crisp, crackly, newborn notes, and follow our guide down a couple of flights of stairs to an old-fashioned underground vault. Here we meet our valuable friends again. But they are no longer the smart fellows we saw upstairs. Their life outside the Bank has taken the crisp freshness off most of them, and now we find them in bundles, many of them greasy and dirty with usage, and all lacking a piece from the right hand bottom corner. These corner pieces have been torn out by the receiving cashiers immediately upon each note’s presentation to the Bank. Nothing is treated carelessly by the cautious old lady of Threadneedle Street. These corner, pieces are carefully kept, counted, checked, to see none are missing, done up into parcels, and once a week the furnace fires are lighted — open goes the door, and in go the corners to effectual destruction.

The notes, minus the corner pieces, are each examined by experts to make sure that no forgery has been passed, then counted. Each note is next numbered by a punching machine, which again automatically counts the notes. At about twelve o’clock every morning the bundles containing all the notes presented on the preceding day come in, and are laid out on a long counter to be checked and compared with sheets of figures which look appalling to outsiders, yet are so clear to the officials that they can lay their hands instantly on any note that has been presented during the last five years. The day the writer arrived some, or rather exactly, fifty-eight thousand two hundred and seventeen notes came down of the value of £900,000 odd, but then he had picked a “small” day for his visit. These inspected, a new guide in a picturesque, old-fashioned hat, and carrying an oil lantern in his hand, arrived. We dived into the bank-note catacombs. Of their contents the following figures may possibly convey some idea, though frankly, £1,750,626,600 does not bear much meaning for the writer:—

The stock of paid notes for five years is about 78 millions in number; they fill 13,400 boxes, which, if placed side by side, would extend to a distance of two and third miles. If these notes were placed in a pile they would reach a height of five and two third miles; or, joined end to end, would form a ribbon 12,455 miles long. Their superficial extent is rather less than that of Hyde Park; their original value was over £1,750,626,600; and their weight nearly 91 tons.

Before leaving the banknote library we inspect several frames containing paid notes of special interest. Here let me say that one of the most often repeated fallacies about the Bank is that there are in existence four notes of the value of a million pounds each. They are reputed to be held — one by the firm of Rothschild, and one each by three other houses. This is a pure fiction, seeing that only one million-pound note has ever been made, and this never left the walls of the Bank, being issued from one department to another in connection with a government transaction early in the last century. A moment’s reflection would convince anyone of the unlikelihood of such being the case. Would the Rothschilds, or any-one else for the matter of that, keep such an enormous sum as a million pounds locked up in a note, which means that it would be lying idle and bearing absolutely no interest?

Naturally in the course of its business the Bank is a big purchaser of bullion. This it buys in the form of bar gold. There is an entirely separate department for the storing and handling of this bullion. One enters through the Bank courtyard, and whenever, its massive gates are opened it is either to allow a van laden with silver or gold or banknote paper, or a post-office van removing postal orders to pass in or out. In this yard is packed and unpacked all the gold hand by the Bank. Each of the boxes on the trolleys contains £5,000 worth of gold packed with precise care. Every box is lined with sawdust, and then comes an inner box which holds the gold, also packed in sawdust, lest the bars by knocking up against each other should have some dust rubbed off them, and so lose in weight. The quaint old-fashioned black velvet caps worn by the packers are an interesting feature of this part, of the Bank.

Opening off the yard is the bullion office. Standing in the foreground of this department is the great weighing machine, which will weigh from many cwts. downwards accurately — so accurately as to register fractions of a grain. On the right- hand side is an enclosed desk. This is the sanctum of the keeper of the bullion department. Within a few feet of this is the entrance to the gold chamber. It is guarded by a grated steel door, which is never opened except in the presence of the head of the department and three assistants.

A circular vault, reminding one of a model wine cellar more than anything else, having brick column supports in the centre. Round the wall are ranged trolleys, and upon these trolleys lay the bars of rich, red gold, which shines up and glares at you in the brilliant electric light, which is switched on before you enter. Each bar is stamped with a number, and laying on the bars of each trolley is a small, black, round tin box. This contains as many little packets as the trolley holds bars of gold. Each packet contains one or two scraps of gold which has been scraped from one of the bars. The paper which these scraps are wrapped in bears the assayer’s guarantee as to the comparative purity of the gold in the particular bar from which it was taken. The purity of the gold is tested down to the 10,000th part. That is to say a 10,000th part of alloy would be discovered by the assayer, and reckoned against the value of the bar.

As a rule, the gold in these bars is practically quite pure. About 10 points of impurity in 10,000 is a fair average. Occasionally a bar comes in which actually has only 1 point of impurity in 10,000. Such purity, however, is very rare. The present head of the department only remembers handling nine such bars in the time he has been connected with the bullion chambers. Each bar weighs about 400 ounces, and is worth some £1,700. The bars, though all are brick-shaped, vary somewhat in pattern. For instance, the bars bought from Rothschild's are somewhat shorter and squarer than others. South America sends over bars with rounded ends. And so on. In fact, anyone who is accustomed to handling bullion can generally tell the source of origin of any bar at a glance by its shape.

On the day when the sketch of the vault was taken there were some three million pounds worth of bar gold in the vault, not to mention three trucks of American gold coins, worth about £750,000. The quantity of gold fluctuates very much. The chief remembers days when he has had a light responsibility — not having a single ounce of gold to look after. Again, within comparatively few hours he has been kept “awake o’nights” with the weight of responsibility of twelve million pounds worth of gold.

The writer had often read about the elaborate arrangements made by the governors of the Bank to prevent burglary being perpetrated on its strong-room, such as surrounding it nightly with water, with 4 ft, of stone wall outside this. On asking to be permitted to inspect the workings of the water chamber, the chief replied that he himself would also like to see it. In fact, it is quite a myth. No such chamber exists. Candidly, the writer did not see anything which looked like a very formidable safeguarding of the bullion chamber. At the same time, there is no doubt whatever of its security, as, despite the ingenuity of the cleverest criminals, upon no occasion has a single ounce of gold been burgled from the Bank.

Adjoining the gold vault is the silver store room. This is a considerably larger vault, with a similar steel-grated door. The Bank does not buy silver, hence it uses the silver vault solely for storing bar silver for customers. Silver is generally in bars weighing about a hundredweight to 150 lbs. each. For storing these the Bank charges its customers about one shilling a bar per month. On the day of our visit, the silver vault contained in all about £40,000 worth of silver.

Just one more interesting room, and then my readers are bound to be tired even of so much gold. This is where all the gold coin which is paid into the Bank is weighed. This room contains a number of machines which are fitted with a long slanted trough. Into this trough the piles of sovereigns are placed. Their own weight slides them automatically down one by one onto the delicate scale. If they are up to the regulation standard of weight the machine throws them out to the right. If they are so much worn as to be reduced below regulation weight, out they go to the left. It is very interesting to watch the: regularity and unfailing certainty with which this machine picks out the coins. All light-weight coins are withdrawn from circulation, and go right back to the Mint to be melted down and re-coined. This is one reason why English gold coins are so much respected all the world over.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer makes good each year the amount which these worn coins have lost in their wear and tear. This costs him roughly the sum of £35,000 to £40,000 per annum.


DOWN the St. Lawrence in the commodious Canadian river-boat we glide, at the fine pace of all the steamers on the Canadian and American waters, with pines everywhere, the one prevailing tree of lower Canada giving a dark and sombre aspect to its wooded banks, well relieved by the foaming white of the racing stream, for we are now within four hours of the famous rapids, of which Moore cries in his well-known —

“Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
For the rapids are near and the daylight is past.”

But it was bright daylight now, on a glorious August morning, and the torrid heat beautifully relieved by the cool breeze over the water as we swept along. I have said the forest along the banks are dark and sombre, unrelieved by any of the bright greens of our English woodland, and so, too, it is with the meadow-land, it has none of the light bright fresh colour of our pastures. All Canadians will tell you that the fall of the year is the time to see their woods, for then the fading leaves assume the brightest, richest colours, and make up for the dulness of their summer dress by an autumn glory seldom or never seen here. It is so to a large extent in most parts of the United States, only still more so, for there the Virginian creeper climbing to the very summit of lofty trees covers them over with a luxurious crimson mantle — a never- to-be-forgotten sight. Still the absence of bright green well suits and harmonises with the exquisitely bright lights of the burning summer and autumn of temperate zone of North America, just as Ruabin points out is the case in many parts, of Italy, and as I found in later years in Syria and the surrounding regions, of Asia. In fact the scenery, though autumn had not yet stained a leaf, was very fine and picturesque, especially on the south, or United States side of the river.

But all interest soon was settled on the rapids, which we were fast approaching. The Galop Rapid, the first, was now entered, the current, catching us as we rushed along, and sweeping us forward with a sudden and unmistakable impulse. One very striking feature now presented itself. Strong contending eddies appeared to give the swirling, river different levels. High rocky banks here shut the river in on either side, whilst numerous wooded islets give great beauty to the scene. A second small rapid, the Du Platt, is reached, though here we experience nothing more than gliding very quickly along.

Later on we find ourselves nearing the Long Sault Rapids. This was truly grand. Half a mile ahead we saw the whole river foaming in wild turbulence, and as we drew near the waves broke around us in high “white horses,” like waves at sea, only dashing aimlessly about instead of rolling forward, or in any one direction. So high were some of these billows that they broke over the bow of the boat. They seemed to be caused by the tide in its furious descent meeting hidden rocks or resisting undercurrent. Here, so violent was the pace of the stream, that, as soon as we entered this stormy water, steam was shut off, and yet the river banks seemed to fly behind us, as at a furious pace we wound in and out of the small islands that abound at this spot.

Passing out of this magnificent rapid we came to where the St. Lawrence widens out into the lake of St. Francis, 36 miles long. At this point we bid good-bye to New York State at the pretty English village of St. Regis, and now the banks of the river on either side are in Canadian territory. Once through the lake we pass in rapid succession through four more rapids, the last called the Cedars, so named from the river here racing between two islands covered with cedar trees. This exceedingly picturesque reach is probably one of the most beautiful in the course of the river. Soon after this we came to St., Ann’s. It was difficult for us to throw around it the spirit of poetry with which we had thought to invest the spot, where Moore wrote his once famous Canadian boat song, for the little town is a plain-looking place, with a wooden wharf stretching out into the water, with a canal in front to avoid the rapids, with a very prosaic stone railway bridge across the river; there was not a canoe anywhere to be seen, and we were on the deck of a tourist steamer, surrounded by every modern comfort.

Having passed St. Ann’s we prepare for the grand culminating adventure of the trip, the Lachine rapids, by far the swiftest and most dangerous of all. Formerly only one man, an Indian, could take steamers through here, but now all the pilots on the line are competent to do so. In front of us we see the line of breakers which shows us the position of the approaching rapid. The current is rushing between an island and the shore, and the passage appears perilously narrow. I asked to be allowed to get up into the rigging, the better to view the scene, but the captain would not hear of it, saying that every pound of weight aloft made the steering - trying enough at best — a still more difficult matter. So I contented myself with taking a stand on the bow. In another moment we were at Churning Channel, and saw with amazement that the narrow passage seemed almost filled up with rocks, some high above the water, and others showing just beneath. To thread our way through seemed impossible. But there is not much time to speculate about what will happen, for the current has seized us, and with steam again shut off, we fly towards the rocks, the pace increasing with every movement.

Instinctively we turn and look at the pilot. The wheel is in the fore part of the boat, high up, so we can see him very plainly. He is a grey-haired man, and from the quiet expression of his face, and the bright steady look of his eye, we know at the first glance that we have nothing to fear from his lack of nerve. Beside and behind him stand four other men. Three of these, together with himself, are grasping the wheel, and catching his every movement with wonderful celerity. The fourth man stands just behind in readiness to assist, should either the pilot or any of his three coadjutors fail. The captain stands on a raised platform with resolute eye taking in every object in the immediate reach of the wild tumultuous river, and to look at him is to take in the tense situation. We are now dashing along at the rate of thirty miles an hour, and at that time of day — I am speaking of the year 1864 — we, who had come from the old country and had not yet had experience of the fast steamers of the Hudson and Mississippi, had never passed through the water at such a rate before. Even if all had been still and we had had a wide and open course before us, the rate at which we were now rushing would have been sufficiently exciting. But the worse was to come. In less time than it takes to write it, we were at the rocky barrier in the centre of which a narrow aperture alone makes' a way to pass. As the river slightly turns here, this seems hidden from our sight, whilst it appeared that we were steering straight' into one of the rocky portals of this restricted passage,— yes, right into it! We would have closed our eyes, but for the horrid fascination of that rugged black rock. Then, in a moment, when it seemed that we must strike the dark pile and be dashed to pieces, at a signal from the captain, with one swift turn of the wheel, our vessel leaped round like a thing of life, and glided safely, in the twinkling of an eye, through the gateway of those frowning crags, and in another instant was floating quietly . in the calm, open water beyond.


MANY and varied are the industries in Africa, and one of the most interesting is that of ostrich farming. The ostrich, that majestic, strange, fleet-footed creature that “scorneth the horse and his rider,” is a bird, as our quotation from the Scriptures would show, of very ancient renown, though the industry of breeding it in captivity or of shooting it in its wild state for the sake of its downy, waving plumes is a very recent institution. It is also mentioned in an old writing that a “camel bird” was sent in the seventh century from Turkestan to China.

Before treating of the actual “farming” of the bird we shall better understand the matter by obtaining a general idea of its habits. The full-grown male bird sometimes stands 8 ft. in height, and weighs about 300 lbs., whilst the female is considerably smaller, as might be expected. Unfortunately it is rapidly disappearing as a wild bird before the encroachment of man on the deserts and dry wastes where alone it can obtain the solitude it loves, for whole tracts, known to have been inhabited by ostriches but a very few years ago, are now without a single specimen. The birds live in companies of from four to six, one nest being made to contain all the eggs, the hens being apparently far too lazy to take the trouble of making one for themselves. A shallow hole in the sand of the desert generally constitutes a nest, and there they lay about 30 eggs in all. When a dozen or so have been deposited, the cock bird commences to sit upon them, usually at night, more as a protection from cold and beasts of prey than from a desire to bring out the young, the heat of the sun by day being sufficient for hatching purposes.

The female birds sit around the nest at night, where they lay a number of eggs expressly for the young ones, for at their birth these outside eggs are broken by the mothers, and the young eat the contents.

The great mercantile value of the feathers, and the increasing difficulty of procuring them from the wild birds, have naturally led to a system by which the ostriches can be kept in captivity, and at set times robbed of their choicest adornments. The most highly prized plumes are those of the wings, and next to these, those of the tail; and the feathers of the male bird are much more valuable than those of the hens.

In favourable localities, and with careful management, they yield a good profit to the farmers, though they are expensive stock to keep. The head, neck, and thighs are bare of feathers. Ostriches are chiefly vegetable-feeders, and do immense damage to crops when wild but they gobble up anything offered to them when in captivity, and from this fact has probably arisen their reputed ability to swallow and safely digest anything from a nut to a nail. Certainly they swallow stones, which assist the gizzard in grinding their food. The flesh of a young ostrich is said to be very pleasant eating, though, of course, they are not grown for purposes of consumption.

An ostrich farm is a most interesting place to visit. It generally covers in all, some thousands of acres, the larger the better, for these naturally wild and roving birds require as large an area as possible in order to allow every opportunity for growth and exercise. The farms are divided into camps varying in size according to the use to which they are put. It is principally on account of ostrich breeding that the incubator has found its way into the heart of Africa, and in the breeding season these aids to successful hatching can be seen in operation.

The chickens are ushered into a world of 25 to 50 acres of land, enclosed by a small fence, over which they are quite unable to jump. They are fed daily at first, and are as little disturbed as possible. When they have grown a little stronger, they are moved a little farther from their birthplace, and are let into a yet greater world, this time a “camp” of some 100 or 200 acres. Here they begin to grow in earnest, and search out the impassable boundaries of their prison in their first joyful excursions, being cared for by a native herd, who understand their ways thoroughly, feeding them every day with a curious assortment of chopped meat, broken bones, and even pebbles! Their third stage of existence commences when they are full-grown, for they are then let out into the outermost camp, a large tract of rough country containing from 2,000 to 5,000 acres. The size of the camp is calculated upon the number of ostriches, for each bird should have at least 20 acres of land in order to be reasonably free and healthy. In this state they become strong and warlike, and resent any intrusion, very often attacking visitors and even the keepers, and unless one knows how to deal with them they may do considerable damage. The best protection is a long branch cut from a thorn bush, which should be kept between the Ostrich and the person attacked, for they will never run against such a weapon. The next best thing to do, should one be caught unprotected, strange though it may sound, is to lie flat upon the ground, as when in this position they can do very little injury, and are generally content to seat themselves upon the prone body of the enemy and keep him down. As they weigh over a hundredweight, and have been known to sit for a very long time upon a man’s body, the experience cannot be recommended as one of very great comfort. Ostriches do not, as a rule, like very much grass land, but prefer the arid wastes of the desert and the plain, and in cases where there is not a good natural water supply, tanks are provided for them in which they bathe regularly and with undisguised delight. Being unable to jump, they are easily kept in captivity by a low wooden or wire fence around their camps.

Plucking time is a very busy one on an African ostrich farm, and as the birds naturally resent being robbed of their choicest plumes, and offer a stout resistance, they often inflict injury upon those who approach them for this purpose. Ultimately, however, they are secured in such a way that they cannot struggle, and then the feathers are carefully extracted, and the bird once more liberated, feeling much cooler, nearly naked, but very angry. The price of feathers is very variable and has reached some astonishingly high and equally astonishingly low figures. There was a great boom in ostriches about 20 years ago, when people of all ranks who had any money to invest rushed. madly into the fray, and laid down enormous sums in a most injudicious manner, without the least knowledge of the very difficult work they were taking up, and expecting to be able in a few years to leave off work with a heavy golden lining in their pockets, but many were the failures and disappointments. Exorbitant prices were asked and given for a pair of birds. If ordinarily good they sometimes brought £200, and when unusually splendid as much as £1,000 a pair was willingly given. Two years later, i.e., in 1882, the year when the price of birds was highest, 253,954 lbs. of feathers only fetched £1,093,989, or an average of £4 6s. 2d. per lb. The worst year, however, was 1886, when 288,568 lbs. of feathers only brought in an average of £1 18s. per lb., and in that year many an ostrich farmer was ruined.

In 1891 each bird gave an average of 20 oz. of feathers, and in 1893 about 16 oz. Some birds stand out as remarkably prolific specimens. One, which died at Montagu in 1893 at the supposed age of 55 years, is said to have realised £25 for every plucking it underwent. That the trade can be made to pay is shown by the yearly increase of farms and the increasing number of birds, of which latter a careful record is kept. There is a fine of £100 for exporting ostriches from South Africa, and of £5 on each egg leaving the country. It is said that last year there were nearly a thousand ostriches in the country under supervision on farms.


COMPARATIVELY few people outside the fish and timber trades know much about Grimsby, in Lincolnshire; yet it is a most interesting, not to say important, place. The name in itself is not an inviting one, and scarcely anyone would think of paying the town a visit unless they had some special business call to do so. True it is that Cleethorpes, a pretty little seaside resort some three miles distant, attracts large numbers of summer visitors from the Lancashire and Yorkshire towns. Probably, however, not more than one in twenty of these visitors takes the trouble to go and see the Grimbsy Fish Market. Londoners and most southerners think of Billingsgate as the headquarters of fish selling, but, as a matter of fact, away north, at Grimsby is located the largest fish market in the world. Moreover, it is open longer each day than Billingsgate.

The population of Grimsby is about 65,000. The tonnage of the vessels coming in and out of the port is over 2,500,000, using in the year about 1,200,000 tons of coal. In 1854, 453 tons of fish were sent away from Grimsby; now the yearly aggregate is something over 100,000 tons. The docks cover hundreds of acres, and one of them has on its wharves the largest open shed in the country. It is 900 feet long.

About eight o’clock in the morning is the best time to visit the fish pontoon. At this time all the day’s fish is laid out for sale. The sales are conducted in two methods:— by regular auctioneers and by “mock,” or Dutch auction. Cod, ling, sturgeon, and such fish are sold by regular auction; soles, plaice, and flat fish by mock auction. There is no special reason for this, except custom.

To the uninitiated the sales are very puzzling. Some fifteen or twenty auctioneers, each with a little knot of buyers round them, move from pile to pile of fish, and are all selling at once. The immense pontoon is covered with fish, yet the whole lot is sold in about twenty minutes, and at a half past eight it is being packed for despatch all over the country. About five hundred dealers take part in the sales, and from one hundred to, three hundred wagon loads of fish are sent off each day. To pack the fish, some 60,000 tons of ice are used in a year. The dealers send to their customers through the dock post office about 1,300 telegrams a day.

The fishing trade is now almost revolutionised from what it was even fifteen years ago. The ugly, but extremely practical, steam trawler is steadily ousting the picturesque fishing smack; and small wonder, when a skipper, with a crew of seven to ten men all told, can steam in about six days to the coast of Iceland, let down his trawl nets, which sweep clear the whole of the water over which his boat passes, and bring home six hundred or seven hundred boxes of Iceland plaice, each containing about fifty fish and fetching about £1 to £1 10s. a box, besides having a few tons of other fish as well.

These steam trawlers bring the fish in alive, and so have a further advantage over the old sailing vessels. This is owing to their each having a big well in the centre of the boat, into which the fish are thrown. These wells are so arranged as to allow the sea water to flow in and out freely as the vessels moves along, thus keeping the fish in the pink of
condition. When big fish, such as halibut or sturgeon are caught, they are tied up by their tails and dropped in the well. Then, when the trawler arrives at Grimsby, they are taken out alive. Should the market be overstocked, they are simply transferred to grated boxes, which float in the fish dock. They thrive well in these boxes and often come out increased in weight from the time they were caught. Speaking of halibut, the ordinary town-dwelling housewife will probably think of fish weighing twenty or thirty pounds each, but the Grimsby man talks of a halibut as being large when it weighs between two hundred and three hundred pounds, and is about nine to twelve feet long. The writer has seen a boat unload thirty such fish amongst its catch on one fortnight’s trip. He, it is true has never seen fish of this size or of anything approaching this size exposed for sale, and was informed by a dealer that, the principle customers for this class of trade are the big fried fish shops, in the populous manufacturing towns, of Lancashire and Yorkshire, whose inhabitants may from this be inferred to pay more attention to quantity than quality at their meals, for delicacy of flavour is to a great extent lost in a halibut of over twenty pounds.

The catches often include curious and horrible-looking denizens of the deep, which are disposed of in such a way as never to be exposed, for sale at any rate, in their natural ugly forms. For instance, no nastier-looking object can be imagined than tusk, cat-fish, and monk; the latter a thrifty gentleman, who, when in his natural element, goes fishing on his own account and stores away the proceeds in capacious pockets in his sides. It is a common thing to find a couple of plaice and a good-sized sole in a monk’s pockets.

About half the population of Grimsby is occupied, in one, way or another, in connection with the fishing industry, and a goodly proportion of these go out to the North Sea fishing grounds, different parts of which are noted for producing various classes of fish. The Dogger Bank is the most celebrated district for big hauls. People who should know say that the supply is failing fast and catches are diminishing. This scarcely seems to be the case, seeing that within three weeks of the writing of this account three or four boats have brought home “record catches;” but there is no doubt that, sooner or later, the wholesale sweeping of the ocean with what are known as otter trawls must eventually effect a diminution of the ocean’s inhabitants. The otter has an opening 60 feet long by 15 feet deep. Held open to its utmost extent, into its capacious mouth everything within reach is swept, spawning fish and all. The least that should be done is to legislate for the return, uninjured, to the sea of all large fish in spawn. Of course, the co-operation of other countries would have to be secured in any such measure, for boats of all nationalities are working the same districts.

The biggest week in the year at Grimsby is the week before Easter, and the biggest day in the year is the Wednesday before Good Friday. The pontoon on this day is covered with mountains of fish. One would think that all the monsters of the deep must be there, from millions of haddocks to hundreds of thousands of cod; yet by 4 p.m. the whole mass is cleared away, and not a single one put of those thousands of tons is then to be seen, but many special express trains are carrying it, north, south, and west, for the consumption of pious folk who follow their Church’s injunctions for a Good Friday fast.


A BLUE, blue sea, a barren, brown coast, mountains of burnt rock rising sheer from the exquisite sapphire waters, and, slipping through that veritable needle’s eye of the Lymoon Pass, the big, white steamer sweeps into the splendid amphitheatre of Hong Kong harbour, a watery arena thronged with merchantmen and men-of-war of all nations. Steam launches carry the passengers ashore, and sampans swarm by hundreds, each boat manned by a shrill-voiced woman, who steers, sculls, cooks, manages her children, drives the bargains, and, with her sister boatwomen, chatters incessantly.

Situated on the steep slope of a mountain, Hong Kong, as it rises from the sea, and terrace by terrace climbs the eighteen hundred feet to the summit of the Peak, is most imposing and beautiful. Again, the white houses seem to be slipping down the bold hillside and spreading out at the water’s edge in a frontage of more than three miles. The lines of two viaducts — the Bowen and Kennedy Roads, as those high promenades are named for two favourite governors of the colony — draw white coronals, round the brow of the mountains, and terraced roads band the hillside with long white lines. All the luxuriant green of the slopes is due to man’s agency, and since the island was ceded to England in 1841, afforestation has been the great work and a perfect miracle wrought. A cable road communicates with the Peak, and at night, when the harbour is bright with myriad lights and trails of phosphorescence, and the whole slope glows and twinkles with electricity, gas and oil, the lights of the cable cars are like fiery beads slipping up and down an invisible cord.


The city of Victoria, on the island of Hong Kong, is a British colony all to itself, with a colonial governor and staff, maintaining a small court and a high social tribunal in its midst. It is also the naval station for the British Asiatic fleet, and the docks, arsenal and foundries in the colony and on the opposite Kowloon shore furnish every munition and requirement for war or peace. A large garrison of troops further declares British might, and Hong Kong, the Gibraltar of the East, is an impregnable fortress, and a safeguard to all Asia.

The length of the island of Hong Kong is eleven miles, and its width varies from two to four miles. There are less than 10,000 Europeans in the colony, but a Chinese population of 200,000 has settled around them, although really confined to the western end of the lower levels of the town. A jinrikisha ride down the Praya and the Queen’s Road will convince one that the figures of the Chinese population are put too low, if anything. Over 20,000 Chinese live on the harbour-boats besides.

Landing at Pedder’s Wharf, the traveller is almost at his hotel door, unless he should arrive during summer, when the hotels at the Peak will be his refuge. One entrance of the Hong Kong Hotel is on Queen’s Road, and near it is the Clock Tower, from which all distances are measured. The Hong Kong Club, the German Club, and the Luisitano or Portuguese Club, the Post-Office, and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank are all in the immediate, neighbourhood of the Clock Tower. From that point westward there is a continuous, arcade of shops, wherein all the arts, and industries of South China are exhibited, and one may buy silks, crapes, ivory, lacquer, porcelain, carved teakwood and bamboo wares, all the way.

The streets swarm with a motleys crowd — Jews, Turks, Mohammedans, Europeans, Hindoos, Javanese, Japanese, Malays, Parsees, Sikhs, Cingalese, Portuguese, half-castes, and everywhere the hard-featured Chinese coolies, carrying poles, buckets, baskets and sedans, or, trotting clumsily before more clumsy jinrikisha. An Indian ayah swathed in white, descends the long stairway of a side street; a Sikh policeman stands statuesque and imperial at a corner; a professional mender, with owlish spectacles, sits, by her baskets of rags, darning and patching; a barber drops his pole and box and begins to operate upon a customer; rows of coolies sitting against some greasy wall submit the heads to one another’s friendly attentions; a group of pig-tailed, youngsters play a sort of shuttlecock with their feet; peddlers split one’s ears with their yells; fire-crackers sputter and bang their appeals to joss; and from the harbour comes the boom of naval salutes for some arriving man-of-war, the admiral, governor, or a consul paying ship sits. Such, the constant, bewildering panorama of Queen’s Road, the Praya and other thoroughfares, busiest and most cosmopolitan of highways, where the East and the West touch hands — Asia, Australia, Oceanica, Europe and America meet and mingle unconcernedly.

The traveller should see the City Hall and its museum, and take a jinrikisha ride past the barracks to the racecourse in Happy Valley, and visit the Jewish, Parsee, Mohammedan, Anglican and Catholic cemeteries which surround the great oval pleasaunce. Race week is in February, and is the gala time of the Hong Kong year. The grounds about Government House and the Botanical Gardens are the pride of the colony, and banyan-shaded roads, clumps of palms, blooming mimosas, and the wealth of strange, luxurious growths give the tropical setting to every scene. There is a handsome cathedral below Government House.

To ascend to the higher roads, one is carried up those stone, or cement staircases of side streets in sedan, or hill chairs. There is a regular tariff of fares, but there is always a discussion at settlement. No one should attempt to underpay a coolie. To pay the exact fare generally rouses protest, and to underpay them brings bedlam about one’s ears. Jinrikishas are supposed to be fifteen cents an hour, or fifty cents a day. Chairs cost ten cents an hour for each bearer, or twenty cents an hour altogether. The completion of the cable road to the peak has fortunately done away with much of the chair-riding.

The universal pigeon-English is understood, but a small vocabulary of Chinese words suffices for sedan conversation, as —

Be quick, hurry up. - Fie tee.
Be careful, look out. - See sum.
Come here. - Liee ne shu.
Don’t do that. - M-ho tso.
Stop. - Man-man.
Wait a little. - Tongue yut sum.
That will do. - Tos tuck lok.

More often the bearers rap the poles for one to sit still and keep the balance evenly, or to sit more towards one side or the other. The passenger raps the poles when he wishes to stop, and raps the right or the left pole as he may wish to be set down at one or the other side of the street.

One quickly picks up a few words of pigeon-English, and finds maskee for all right, go ahead, agreed, never mind, etc., a most useful word. Top side for upstairs; pidgin for business, affairs, concerns; chop chop for right away, quickly; chow chow, or simply chow, for food; piecee for thing or article; side for place, region, home, country, etc.; catch for fetch, carry, get, bring and buy, are the most commonly used in one’s hearing, and are so quickly adopted in speech that at first one cannot utter a correct English phrase, owing to the corrupting spell of “pidgin.”


VESUVIUS is the most famous volcano in the world. The mountain rises grandly on a wide-reaching circular base of nearly thirty miles in circumference, to an average height of about 4,000 feet above the sea. The actual height at any particular period is subject to variation on account of the changes in the surface produced by the eruptions which occur from time to time. The greater part rises from the low-lying plain of Campania, and: the remainder from the Bay of Naples, in Southern Italy. It follows from this that it is an isolated - mountain, having no connection with any chain or group in the locality. Its contour is unlike that which one is accustomed to associate with volcanoes, which are generally of a conical shape. On the contrary it is irregular and peculiar, in that it contains two peaks of nearly equal elevation, in each of which the volcanic characteristics are strongly marked. One of these peaks is the highest point of a semi-circular ridge, which is held to be a portion of the crater of an extinct volcano. The other peak is of the conical order with a crater in the summit. This is the present eruptive cone of the volcano. Being higher than the other, it is also the summit of the mountain. It stands on the centre of the circle of which the semi-circular ridge forms part of the circumference, a fact which indicates that the two peaks are the result of the same volcanic energy acting at different periods. An excellent idea of the outline of Vesuvius can be obtained from the city of Naples, which lies a few miles from the foot of the mountain.

The volcanic activity of Vesuvius is historically a matter of the last 1900 years. For many centuries previous to the Christian era, nothing of the kind had been experienced. Indeed there is ground for thinking that its character was not in the least suspected by the inhabitants, who encircled its base with their towns and villages, and dotted it. slopes with vineyards. However, after centuries of quiescence, the slumbering monster awoke — not all at once, but gradually, and not without giving some inkling of its impending action. About the middle of the first century a succession of earthquakes alarmed the denizens of the fertile province of Campania. Considerable devastation was wrought in the neighbouring towns, and in Pompeii, the temple of Isis was wrecked — an omen of fearful import judging by what followed. In the year 79, the earthquakes culminated in a tremendous eruption of Vesuvius, which blotted from the face of the earth the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, which were situated at the base of the mountain. A graphic and substantially accurate description of this has been given by Lord Lytton, in his well-known novel “The Last Bays of Pompeii.” He speaks of “a vast vapour shooting from the summit of Vesuvius in the form of a gigantic pine-tree; the trunk, blackness — the branches fire! — a fire that shifted and wavered in its hues with every moment, now fiercely luminous, now of a dull and dying red, that again blazed terrifically forth with intolerable glare!”

“An instant, more” he continues, “and the mountain cloud seemed to roll towards them, dark and rapid like a torrent; at the same time it cast forth from its bosom a shower of ashes mixed with vast fragments of burning stone! Over the crushing vines; over the desolate streets, over the amphitheatre itself — far and wide with many a mighty splash in the agitated sea fell that awful shower!”

For nearly sixteen hundred years after the catastrophe of 79, Vesuvius remained in a condition of comparative inactivity. But in 1631, after a. series of premonitory earthquakes, another terrible eruption occurred. Volcanic matter was ejected from the brim of the cone; streams of lava poured down the side; and an earthquake caused the waters or the bay to recede half a mile. The devastation was fearful, and the destruction of human life is said to have amounted to nearly twenty thousand persons. Eruptions of a minor character continued to occur during the next one hundred and fifty years; until 1766-7 when the subterranean fires again burst forth with, seemingly redoubled fury. This eruption has been vividly pictured by Sir William Hamilton in his letters to the Royal Society, an extract from which runs as follows:-

“I observed on my way to Naples, which was in less than two hours after I had left the mountain, that the lava had actually covered three miles of the very road through which we had retreated. It is astonishing that it should have run so fast, as I have since seen, that the river of lava in the Atrio di Cavallo was 60 and 70 feet deep, and in some places nearly two miles broad. When his Sicilian majesty quitted' Portici the noise was greatly increased; and the concussion of the air from the explosions was so violent that in the King’s palace, doors and windows were forced open, and even one door there, which was locked, was nevertheless burst open. At Naples, the same night, many windows and doors flew open in my house, which is not on the side of the town next Vesuvius. I tried the experiment of unbolting my window, when they flew open upon every explosion of the mountain. Besides these explosions, which are very frequent, there was a continued subterraneous and violent rumbling noise which lasted this night about five hours. I have imagined that this extraordinary noise might be owing to the lava in the bowels of the mountain having met with a deposition of rain-water, and that the conflict between the, fire and the water may, in some measure, account for so extraordinary a crackling and hissing noise. Padre Torre, who has wrote so much and so well upon the subject of Mount Vesuvius is also of my opinion. And, indeed, it is natural to imagine that there may be rain-water lodged in many of the caverns of the mountain; as in the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1631, it is well attested that several towns, among which Portici and Torre dil Greco, were destroyed by a torrent of boiling water having burst out of the mountain with the lava, by which thousands of lives were lost. About four years ago, Mount Etna in Sicily threw up hot water also during an eruption.

“The confusion at Naples this night (19th October, 1767) cannot be described; his Sicilian majesty’s hasty retreat from Portici added to the alarm; all the churches were opened and filled, the streets were thronged with processions of saints, but I shall avoid entering upon a description of the various ceremonies that were performed in this capital to quell the fury of the turbulent mountain.

“Tuesday, the 20th, it was impossible to judge of the situation of Vesuvius on account of the smoke and ashes, which covered it entirely, and spread over Naples also, the sun appearing as through a thick London fog, or a smoked glass, small ashes fell all this day at Naples. The lavas on both sides of the mountain ran violently, but there was little or no noise till about nine o’clock at night, when the same uncommon rumbling began again, accompanied with explosions as before which lasted about four hours; it seemed as if the mountain would split in pieces. .... During the contusion of this night the prisoners in the public jail attempted to escape, having wounded the jailer, but were prevented by the troops. The mob also set fire to the Cardinal Archbishop's gate, because he refused to bring out the relics of Saint Januarius.

“Wednesday, the 21st, was more quiet, than the preceding days, though the lavas ran briskly. Portici was once in some danger, had not the lava taken a different course when it was only a mile and a half from it; towards night the lava slackened.

“Thursday, the 22nd, about ten o’clock in morning, the same thundering noise occurred again, but with more violence than the preceding days; the oldest men declared they had never heard the like; and; indeed, it was very alarming; we were in expectation every moment of some dire calamity. The ashes, or rather small cinders, showered down so fast, that the people in the streets were obliged to use umberellas, or flap their hats, these ashes being offensive to the eyes. The tops of the houses and the balconies were covered about an inch thick with these cinders. Ships at sea twenty leagues from Naples were also covered with them, to the great astonishment of the sailors. In the midst of these horrors the mob, growing tumultuous and impatient, obliged the Cardinal to bring out the head of Saint Januarius, and go with it in procession to the Ponte Maddalena, at the extremity of Naples, towards Vesuvius; and it is well-attested here, that the eruption ceased the moment the Saint came in sight of the Mountain; it is true the noise, ceased about that time, after having lasted five hours, as it had done the preceding days.”

In 1779 another violent upheaval took place, it was marked by a most striking phenomenon in the shape of a column of liquid fire, which was estimated by Sir W. Hamilton to have risen to three times the height of the mountain. Several years afterwards 1793-4 the volcano may be said to have broken its own record with an eruption, which lasted for fifteen months. In this instance, a stream of molten lava actually forced its way out to sea in the form of a huge pier, which kept the water within a hundred yards of it at boiling point.

In the disturbance of 1822, the top of the cone fell in. A phenomenon often observable at similar times, was present to marked extent on this occasion that when so large an amount of vapour was emitted from the crater that when condensed into rain the neighbouring district was inundated by the quantity that fell. Eruptions, marked in particular by the ejection of great streams of lava, continued to occur from time to time until 1867-8. The outbreak of these years proved to be a very irregular one, the intensity of the volcanic force varying greatly, so much so, that at times it was thought that it was subsiding. In the latter year, while the eruption was preceding, an eminent English scientist Professor J. Logan Lobley, F.G.S., made an ascent of the mountain. He gives an account of his expedition in his interesting and instructive work, entitled “Mount Vesuvius” published by Messrs Roper and Drowley, of Ludgate Hill, London. We quote the subjoined extracts.

"The appearance and phenomena presented by the volcano during an eruption, may perhaps be best gathered from an account of an ascent to the summit, I was able to make during a somewhat violent phase of this one m March, 1868. The observable phenomena are many and varied, and if at times terrific, yet are so interesting, and indeed fascinating, the fear: or thought of danger is driven away. On the question of danger it may be admitted, as shown by the preceding record, and still more by the sad fatality of 1872, that a considerable amount of danger to observers undoubtly exists. But it is worthy of remark that although the spirit of enquiry naturally induces scientific observers to make repeated explorations and to make them as complete as possible, yet the fatalities that occur are almost always those which befall tourists or others, most probably on a volcano, while active, for the first time in their lives, leading to the conclusion that a little knowledge of volcanic actions is a great safeguard. . . . The ascent commences at once from the main road by a narrow lane between the houses, and very soon a position is gained from which a less confined view is obtained. The inclination of the path is not at all steep, but the pavement is somewhat rough, and it is only the heat which is often great at Resina that causes any difficulty. Once clear of the houses, the foliage of the vineyards and gardens through which the path now passes is refreshing to the eye, and the cooler air, the more and more extensive prospect, with the sparkling waters of the bay dotted with the lateen sails of fishing boats refreshed the spirit. . . . The belt, or zone of cultivated land is, as has been previously stated, on a slope of about 10 degrees or 12 degrees and about two miles broad, giving a walk sufficiently long for a protracted enjoyment of the luxuriance and beauty seen on all sides, and then there is a change from a garden to a desert, for, as soon as the cultivated zone is crossed, a vast expanse of undecomposed black rock is reached. In place of beautiful gardens in which the orange, the lemon, the almond, the fig and the vine flourish in perfection, and in which roses and camelias bloom in profusion, there stands around, a black sterile waste without a trace of verdure of any kind, and displaying only huge folds, waves and unshapely masses of rough dark-coloured lava-rock . . . .

Here were to be found those smaller lava streams, which allow of a close inspection without danger. They are marked, as seen from a distance, by a line of steam, which rises continuously from them, but, on being approached, they are found to be glowing molten rock, — not white hot, yet more than red hot, being, in fact, yellow-hot, if such a term may be used. . . . These small streams were moving over this part of the mountain, which has little slope, at about 300 yards per hour; but it will be readily understood that this is no measure of the rate of progression of the larger, and therefore more fluid, because hotter, flows, and no indication whatever of the rapidity with which lava, fresh from the volcanic tube, descends the steep slope of the cone. . . . The heat given off is considerable, but so much less on the windward side, that no inconvenience is experienced in standing by the side of the flow and lighting the end of a wooden stick by the hot lava. Steam seems to be almost all that is given off from the fluid mass, as the immediately adjacent air is not at all offensive. The laborious ascent of the great cone occupies a long time. . . . The elevation attained was now upwards of 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, and as we were on the north-western side of the cone, a more bracing air and a cool shade counteracted the fatiguing effects of the laborious climb. At length a rounded surface indicated the summit of the long slope, and in a few yards more an almost flat plateau, or rather terrace, was reached. . . . The terrace was perhaps 20 yards across, with a slope very slightly inclined towards the exterior edge, and from it arose the new cone with the actual eruptive craters. Explosions, each with a tremendous roar and discharge, followed each other, and the cinders and scoriae were being ejected to a great height. The windward side of the new cone was the only one approachable, as the fumes were blown over to the other side, but from this position the firing out of the ejectamenta was seen perfectly, the distance to the edge of the crater not being more than a hundred yards. . . . Higher than the terrace no guide would go, but the phenomena had now become so deeply interesting, and the eruptive crater was so near, that the impulse to gain the summit of the new cone was to me irresistible. Much denser fumes arose from the sides of this cone, but they were kept low and carried closely over the upper-most edge by a strong wind, so that they added no difficulty, and soon I had that long-desired satisfaction of standing, while the volcano was in eruption, on the rim of the eruptive crater, the summit of Mount Vesuvius. . . . The hot lava below indicated its presence only by a faint glow amidst the steam in the crater. Firing out of scoriae, cinders and bombs continued, and was intensely fascinating, while the tremors and shakings of the ground, which the explosions occasioned, still further added to the interest. Neither were they of uniform violence, sometimes the projectiles being much more numerous and reaching a much greater elevation than at others. Yet, fascinating as was the scene, only a very brief stay on the edge of the crater rim was permissible from the momentary danger of the falling masses, and so the narrow ridge was soon left, though reluctantly, for great was the attractive power of the novelty, and sublimity of the wondrous scene.”

The outbreak of 1872 was attended with a circumstance of tragic interest. A party of excursionists, under the conduct of inexperienced guides, were caught by a torrent of lava. About a dozen were killed, the bodies in some instances not being recovered.

During the last quarter of a century there, have been occasional eruptions, none of which have been of a very serious character. A rope tramway or “Funicular Railway,” as it is termed was opened up the great cone in 1880. There is an observatory on the mountain, erected with a view to keeping a record of facts noticed in connection with the eruptions.

At the time of writing Vesuvius is quiet. Long may it remain so!?


INDIA has always been looked upon as the home of mysteries. Travellers and returned residents from this distant part of His Majesty’s Empire have brought back tales of tricks, so wonderful as to cease to be rightfully classified as tricks but rather to be termed miracles. So rooted have these descriptions become in the popular mind that the mere mention of an Indian FEakir conjures up quite a creepy sensation of the supernatural. Perhaps it is scarcely right to ruthlessly tear away the veil and by peeping behind the scenes destroy the romance of all these yarns. Yet the truth must out. The whole idea of the extreme cleverness of these “Jadu Wallahs ” (professors of magic) is as a schoolboy would tersely put it, “all rubbish.”

The writer has had special opportunities of studying all the known forms of deception as used by the cleverest European and American conjurors in their tricks and illusions, and has long felt that the miraculous part of the descriptions of Oriental magic lay in the inaccuracy with which an amateur will always describe almost any trick he has seen well performed. In fact, it is part of a good deceptionist’s business to so perform that his audience shall not carry away too clear an idea of what he has done, but simply leave with the impression of having seen something very surprising.

The performances, a year or two since, of several jugglers, who it was said were some of the cleverest to be found, at the Indian Exhibition, Earl’s Court, confirmed this impression. A natural instinct of not jumping too readily to conclusions tended to give Indian magic the benefit of the doubt — possibly these men were not the genuine wonderful fakirs they were described in the programme to be. But now the absolutely final word on Indian mysteries can be spoken.

Mr. Charles Bertram — the doyen of modern magicians — has lately returned from a 26,000 mile tour of India, during which he has specially devoted himself to the study of Indian Magic. He has been the guest of nearly all the principal ruling Princes of the different districts, and has witnessed the performances of no less than 157 of the best jugglers — snake charmers and professors of magic in the country. The result of his experiences he has given in many a long chat with myself. It may here be mentioned that Mr. Bertram is writing a very interesting book on the whole subject, which will shortly appear. Meanwhile, by his favour, I am at liberty to describe one or two of the most widely known mysteries.

The usual account of the “mango trick” is that the Fakir steps forward unclothed, save for a loin band, and without apparatus of any sort. He places a seed in a little heap of sand in front of him and whilst he makes weird incantations a mango tree slowly grows up right in front of your eyes. The tree rises to a height of several feet, and then blossoms. The bloom fades, and is followed by the ripening fruit, which is picked and eaten by the spectators.

Mr. Bertram describes the trick as follows:— Be it said that the details vary slightly with the different fakirs, but so little that this account may be taken as representative of all. The “jadu wallah” steps forward, accompanied by his musicians, from two to five of them, playing on tomtoms and a curious kind of one-stringed violin. The magician tells you he will perform the famous mango trick, and proceeds to form a little pyramid with four sticks driven into the ground, the top ends touching. On the ground between the sticks he places a flower-pot or half a cocoanut-shell. Into this he pours a small heap of earth, and plants a mango seed in it. A little water is sprinkled, to give the seed a chance to grow. A sheet of semi-transparent gauze is laid over the pyramid, and a thick blanket spread over this, reaching to the ground all round, and concealing the sticks and everything under them, the tom-toming and other music proceeding vigorously the while.

The fakir now introduces about ten or fifteen minutes’ bye-play in the form of other tricks of palming with cups and balls. The blanket and gauze are then removed, discovering a tiny plant in the pot, with four leaves like those of a laurel-bush. More water is sprinkled, and the gauze and blanket are shaken out and replaced. Another ten minutes is then devoted to other tricks — this time probably with live snakes and coins, the latter borrowed from the audience, and NEVER RETURNED.

The finish of the mango trick now comes on. The coverings are again removed, and a mango plant about 12 to 18 inches high (never more) is seen. Upon it are tied one or two mangos, or when mangos are out of season one or two plums! As for the way in which the trick is done, it is simple enough. Under cover of the shaking out of the wraps over the sticks the fakir adroitly places first, the small plant into the pot, and at the second recovering the larger plant. As a matter of fact the musicians creep or walk about behind him the whole of the time, and in most instances one of the tom-tom players had the larger mango plant rolled up in the body of his tom-tom and quietly threw it to the fakir under cover of the second shaking out of the blanket prior to the final covering of the pyramid. The whole trick, though somewhat weird and interesting by the fakirs jerky, and to European eyes, novel method of showing it, would not pass muster over here even from a third-rate magician.

The Indian professor of magic is clever up to a point at palming and tricks with cups and balls, corresponding to the thimble-rigging to be seen on any racecourse at home, but regretfully it must be said that his skill as a mystery worker in no degree entitles him to the veneration and awe in which he has so long been held.

Perhaps the best of all his tricks is one in which a bag is shown to be empty — shaken, out upside down — and generally demonstrated to contain nothing. No sooner, however, does a member of the audience take a dip in the bag than he finds an egg inside it. Even this trick with variations has been shown in New York by an American conjuror with very much more startling effect than is obtained by these natives. A very favourite trick is the ring on stick trick, known to every schoolboy on this side of the water.

The diving duck is an effective little trick,and is worked very neatly by many fakirs. A tin of water, or a half cocoanut shell, filled with water is placed on the ground, and a heavy little metal duck produced and handed round for inspection. The duck is placed on the water, and instead of sinking to the bottom remains swimming round the bowl. At the word of command it dives to the bottom and remains there till ordered to rise. The effect is obtained by the fakir attaching one end of a fine hair to the duck with a little cobbler’s wax as he is placing it in its miniature pond. The other end is curled round the magician’s finger. So expert are they in manipulating this that sometimes the fakir will stand quite nine or ten feet away from the bowl, and the trick, though but slight, is certainly good.

Their fire-eating is very primitive. By means of a hot lump of charcoal rolled in tow they blow a little jet of flame out of their mouths. They would be very startled to see the stage- performances over here of the Salambo’s or Rivalli walking on and handling his red-hot irons.

Perhaps next to the mango trick the most widely-known great Indian mystery is that of the fakirs who, according to the popular conception, throw a rope into the air, the end of which disappears in the sky. A man climbs up and shrieks are heard in the air, and other startling developments ad lib. according to the taste of the teller. This dwindles under Mr. Bertram’s scrutiny more rapidly than the tall mango tree.
The only approach to such a feat is this:— The fakir takes a coil of thin rope about 20 feet long, and throws one end up sharply into the air. Through the centre of the rope runs a wire, which, when the force of the throw has extended the rope, keeps it stiff straight upwards just for an instant. The fakir balances it on the palm of his hand thus for a couple-of seconds at most. It then falls to the ground. A neat little juggling feat, but with nothing at all mysterious about it.

So much for Indian magic. It may be suggested that possibly all these fakirs were aware of Mr. Bertram’s identity, and purposely concealed their best tricks from him. His own reply to the writer’s hint to this effect was: “If you knew how anxious all native magicians are to earn even a few shillings, I think you would be quite convinced that they would not have refused my offer of £500 to see the rope and man climbing trick performed just once, with £100 added for the man who introduced me to the successful fakir.”

“No sir; I am afraid it cannot be done.” Further, Lord Lonsdale, I found, had previously been offering as much as £10,000 to see this trick shown whilst in Bombay.

This clever English conjuror, Mr. Charles Bertram, showed several of the fakirs a few tricks with coins, and earned the title of “Shaitan Walla” (magician from the devil). The holy man of Benares, lately dead, after seeing Mr. Bertram perform, turned to those around him and pointed out the moral that such power “could only be obtained by long years of meditation and prayer.”


A true narrative of the Soapy Smith tragedy. Told for the first time by Lang Neil. Illustrated by a photograph containing most of the principal participators in the stirring scenes enacted.

NOTHING draws together the outcasts of civilization more quickly than the announcement of the “breaking out” of a rush to a new goldfield. Thanks to the prompt and vigorous action of the Canadian government in organizing the North-west Territory Mounted Police, the Klondyke has been kept in this respect the cleanest of all mining districts. At the same time, on its borders flourished perhaps the blackest of all goldfield criminals. Soapy Smith was his designation, and he was no chicken. Colorado miners had long had reason to know this, and were not sorry when he forsook the sunny clime of California to turn his attention to the icebound Kiondyke mines, or, I should say, to the Klondyke miners, for Soapy found more paying occupation than troubling about mines. In fact, he took good care never to enter the actual mining district, but laid his plans and brought off his hauls from amongst those going up to Dawson, and more frequently still from those returning laden with all the dust and nuggets they had managed to wash out.

Had he crossed the border between America and British Alaska be would have had to measure himself against the above-mentioned Northwest Territory Mounted Police, one of the finest of such forces of men in the world. Every member a picked man, and game to the death.

Nominally, Soapy Smith kept a drinking and gambling saloon at Skagway, in itself a paying concern. Needless to say, play was not always “on the straight,” and the most part of the winnings went into the pockets of Soapy, Slim Jim, Bowers, Jackson, or Tripp, the last four being the members of his “gang.”

At such times as the miners seemed in no mood for high play Soapy devised other little schemes for swelling his exchequer. Thus when American military enthusiasm was at fever heat, just before the contest with Spain, Soapy announced that he was commissioned to enrol recruits for Captain ——’s company of irregular horse for Cuba. Applicants called at the store in numbers. They were shown into a room, and invited to undress for the doctor’s examination, which was conducted in an adjoining apartment. Whilst the examination by the sham doctor (a member of the gang) took place, another examination was carried on in the cloak-room, namely, that of the pockets in the clothing, which were divested of all the valuables they contained. One reason or another was given to each applicant as to why he would not be suitable for membership of the well-known body of horse. Soapy made quite a good thing out of this whilst it lasted, for his reputation prevented any of his victims from returning to reclaim their money, or endeavouring to fix the theft upon him. The game was, however, soon blown, and applicants for the very irregular horse ceased to come in.

Another of his little coups bore quite a ridiculous aspect, and is worth telling, as it shows the cool heartlessness of the man. A parson came one day to Soapy, and solicited a subscription for the local hospital. At first the scamp was dumbstruck at the idea of his being asked to help anything good or respectable. The parson, a trifle nervously, pointed out what a great help his name at the head of the list would be, as no one for very shame could refuse to give something if even Soapy had contributed. “Well,” said Soapy, after a moment’s thought, “I guess I’ll do you the turn for once; put me down for 50 dollars, and when you’ve been round come back and tell me how much good it’s done you.”

Delighted beyond measure at his unexpected success, the parson departed and did a hard but successful day’s work amongst the returned miners and others. Faithful to his word, he returned to Soapy to tell of his good fortune.

“Well, what luck, Parson?” queried Soapy.

“Six thousand dollars. Not a bad day’s work, eh!”

“No, not bad; just hand it over.” And, quick as lightning, Soapy’s revolver covered the head of the man of peace.

This time it was the parson’s turn to be dumbstruck. There was no alternative; all his pleading proved useless; the 6,000 dollars were transferred to Soapy’s pocket.

“Good day. You’re the best collector ever I had, Parson,” said the cool villain, as very shamefacedly the parson passed out of the door a sadder and, possibly, a wiser man.

Retribution may come slowly, but it is sure, and the scamp’s luck at last took a turn. It was about time, seeing that at the time when my narrative opens no less than 14 lives formed the toll he had taken from amongst returned miners who had refused to part quietly with the results of their toil and hardships in Klondyke. He met with his first check in May, 1897. At 11 p.m. on the 21st of that month W. J. Partridge (better known as Sailor Bill) and Frank P. Slavin, the ex-prize-fighter, arrived at Skagway on board the ss. “Athenian,” en route for Dawson City. Slavin know the place, and warned his companion that it was the roughest town imaginable. Partridge had brought a brace of 450 Colt’s revolvers, which he loaded, giving one to Slavin, keeping the other himself. Sailor Bill then turned in to his bunk for the night.

At breakfast next morning the steward rushed in, exclaiming,
“Come to your friend’s cabin. For God’s sake be quick.”

Sailor Bill there found Slavin and Soapy Smith standing facing each other with revolvers presented. On seeing him Soapy said — “Your partner owes me 250 dollars I won of him last night. Are you going to pay me? If not I feel sore about it, and shall riddle the pair of you.”

Ducking low, Sailor Bill ran in and knocked the revolver out of his hand. Under cover of Slavin’s revolver Soapy was then escorted to land, the while threatening what he and his gang would do as soon as Slavin and Sailor Bill came ashore.

His next outrage was his last. A miner named Stewart came down from Dawson City with about £600 worth of gold in a sack. As many another before him had done, he was unfortunate enough to pay a visit to Soapy's saloon. The amount in his sack transpired, and, as a natural result, the gang held him up. On his refusing to part with his gold he was promptly shot. This was the straw which broke the camel’s back. It was more than the populace of Skagway would stand, and a public meeting was held on July 8th, 1897, to decide how Soapy Smith and his murderous associates should be dealt with to prevent such crimes recurring.

Soapy Smith got wind of the matter, and so great was his self-confidence and reliance upon the awful reputation he bore that he determined to come out and, with his gang, break up the meeting. The crowd assembled and were being addressed by a man named Frank Reid, who had been the principal promoter of the meeting, when Soapy Smith and his friends came upon the scene. A sharp altercation followed between Soapy Smith and the speaker. Each drew his revolver simultaneously and fired. The two men fell together, both mortally wounded.

The gang, seeing their leader fall, made good their escape out of Skagway, but were eventually captured, and are at present serving a sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. Frank Reid was taken to the hospital, where he lingered for two days, and, despite every care, expired. Soapy Smith died that evening, and his heart was cut out and hung from a tree as a warning to others who might be inclined to emulate his evil ways.

Thus was Klondyke rid of its terror. A good life was lost in the deed, and the township showed its appreciation by giving Frank Reid a public funeral, the whole population turning out to follow his remains to their last resting place.?


Will very shortly be impregnable from both land and sea.

IF the Dutch had defended the natural defences of Simon’s Town when General Craig landed his forces on the beach at False Bay in 1795 with anything like their accustomed valour, it is probable that the events of English history at the Cape might have been considerably altered in after years. As it was, the enemies of England vacated a position that to-day has been rendered well-nigh impregnable both from the sea and from the land, for silently and surely during the last few years have the defences of the harbour been in progress, and now their completion is well within view.

Little by little has the dockyard accommodation been extended, until now more than a mile of repairing and refitting “shops” line the shore, all meant to be requisitioned, when occasion requires, by the vessels maintained on the Cape station. The Imperial authorities have long had in view the idea of converting Simon’s Town into a first-class naval station for the Imperial Navy, realising the fact that at no distant date we might become involved with one or another, or perhaps a coalition, of the European Powers, in which event the Suez Canal might become blocked to us as a “half-way house to India,” a fact which was only made patent by the Russian scare of 1884. Accordingly the very heaviest and deadliest artillery have been distributed in batteries at all accessible points; submarine mines have been laid in the bed of False Bay and in all the channels approaching the docks; and various other secret naval devices for destroying an enemy at sea are ready for action.

Not satisfied with these defences the Imperial Government contemplates spending no less a sum than two and a half millions sterling on graving docks, and also a huge floating dock similar to the one owned by Spain at the time of the Hispano-American War, and harbour works generally. As the bay itself is well sheltered and affords splendid holding ground during the severest weather, the Cape and West Coast Naval Squadrons are in luck’s way in having such a retreat to resort to “when they feel dispoged so to do,” as Mrs. Gamp would have observed.

Apart from its formidable defences, Simon’s Town possesses no mean reputation as a health resort, its climate being magnificent both in winter and in summer. Several creeks along the shore afford excellent bathing, and admit of even invalids indulging in this recreation throughput the year; and, as a railway connects with Cape Town, 22 miles distant, traversing the town of Wynberg and the little settlements of Plumstead and Diep River, it may safely be predicted that, instead of the naval officers’ families being quartered in Cape Town, as at present, at no distant date their residence will either be at Muizenberg or Simon’s Town itself.

Cape Point is a pleasant excursion of 17 miles from Simon’s Town, and is principally noted for the powerful light by which navigators are warned of the dangers of False Bay, standing as it does, 840 feet above the water level, and being visible from a distance of 36 miles. From the edge of the cliff on which it stands a vast mass of rock juts out to sea, at the base of which is a large isolated column, known locally as “Vasco de Gama’s Pillow.”

Strange but true, at the beginning of the present century whole regiments of baboons roamed at will on the Flats between Simon’s Town and s Muizenberg, and the following amusing anecdote is narrated by the late Lieutenant John Shipp in his “Memoirs,” when he was quartered with his regiment, the 87th of the Line, at the former place: —

“These rascals [the baboons] were abominable thieves, and annoyed us considerably, and we were invariably obliged to leave armed men for the protection of our property when we went on parade. In spite of this they frequently stole our greatcoats and jackets, and indeed anything they could lay their claws on. On one occasion a soldier’s wife had washed a blanket and hung it out to dry, when one of these miscreants, known to us by the name of Father Murphy, stole it, and ran off with it to the hills, which are high and Woody. The indignation of the regiment was great, and no difficulty was experienced in forming a strong party to go in chase. I went in advance with 20 men, and made a detour to cut off Father Murphy and some more who had joined him from the caverns in the hillsides, to which they always flew for shelter. They observed my movement, and in a few minutes at least 50 of them were ranged up to give us battle, and from our position we could distinctly see some of them collecting stones to hurl at us when we got nearer. Finding my design frustrated, I joined the corps de main, and combined, we rushed on to the attack, when a scream from Father Murphey was a signal for a general encounter, and a host of baboons, under the old blackguard’s command, rolled down enormous stones upon us, so that we were obliged to give up the contest, or some of us must inevitably have been killed. They chased us to our very doors, shouting every indication of victory, and throughout the whole night they kept up their riot. But in the morning we found that they had torn the blanket in pieces, and eight or ten of them were wearing pieces of it on their backs and over their heads. To our great surprise Father Murphey, as soon as he saw us, had the consummate impudence to come up to the barrack door and beg for some breakfast, as was his wont. We immediately seized him, and first taking the precaution to muzzle the brute, we shaved his head, and then turned him loose. Some of his fellow-tribesmen came forward to meet him, but from the alteration which shaving his head and face had made in him, they failed to recognise him, and pelted him so unmercifully with stones, and beat him with sticks in such an unmerciful manner, that poor Father Murphy; actually sought protection in the barrack-room, and could never be persuaded to leave it again, for in a very short time he became quite domesticated and tame.”?


THERE were not many luxuries or pleasures of life to be had in the Holy Land when I took up my residence in Jerusalem in the year 1871. Indeed, the necessaries of life, at least what we think necessaries in this country, were not then to be had in southern Palestine. In the summer and autumn lean goat was the only meat that could be ordinarily obtained, mutton and wild boar some-times, but very rarely. Beef never, except when some seriously-diseased ox was killed, as Paddy would say, “to save his life.” No cows milk, or cheese; fowls skinny, tasteless, and no fish, and few tinned foods of any kinds were imported, whilst it was too hot to eat eggs, and potatoes could only be got when imported at intervals in small quantities. In most other things there was the same deprivation, and society of one’s own countrymen there was practically none, for we were only some twenty English in all, counting children and servants.

But one delight we were able to have — the acquiring and keeping of a good horse, that gentle, powerful, and, in the roadless Orient, indispensable friend of man, an Arab horse. It is difficult to understand in our damp, depressing climate, with its heavy air, poor hard water, and absence of glorious sunlight, filling the air with life-giving electricity, it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand, from what we see of Arab steeds here, what they are as they come fresh from their famous breeding ground in the Nejd, toward the north of the great Arabian desert, without doubt one of the most exhilarating, life-giving, and healthy spots on earth. The Arabs never geld horses, keeping only stallions and mares. All the strength of the breed, however, is thrown into the mares, which are always the war-horses of Bedaween warriors. The reason for this is quite plain. In their constant journeys’ and forays in or near hostile tribes, were a horse to neigh it might be as much as their life was worth, so they are precluded from riding the entires. But nothing can exceed the cleverness, surefootedness, gentleness, strength, and staying powers of these thoroughbred mares, which have often a pure blood pedigree of sixteen or twenty generations, as old as the family that own them. These horses are called aseel, or noble, and are as well known in many parts as their lordly riders.

When I began to ride a thoroughbred Arab horse I found that many people humbly saluted me who could hardly have known me, either personally or officially. But the conceit was taken out of me one day on mentioning this circumstance to_ an Oriental neighbour, who said, “It is not you but your horse they are saluting; he is known to be noble aseel and they suppose that none but a nobleman would own and ride him!” It is especially difficult to purchase the best of the thoroughbred mares, for agents of the French and English and other governments, but especially the French, are ever hanging about the deserts and endeavouring to acquire them for breeding purposes for their cavalry mounts. The fact is, apart from the families of the great and wealthy sheiks, these mares have often a dozen joint owners. One man, as it is said, owns her head, another her tail, another her first foal, another her second, and so on. Now it is hard enough to bring through a bargain with one Arab, but who shall do it with half-a-dozen who all have kerats or “shares” in her!

It may be interesting to point out here the true marks of a thoroughbred Arab mare. She should have a large head, with size all in the upper part of the skull, with a great space from ear to eye, and from eye to eye, but not from ear to ear. The forehead and region between and just below the eyes should be convex. The eyes should be large and prominent, but not fleshy, each bone being sharply-edged, and there should be no hair around the eyes, but plain skin, black and-lustrous. The cheekbones should be deep and lean, and jaw-bones clearly marked. The face should suddenly become narrow and run down almost to a point, and that to the tip of the lip; whereas, in our race horses, it seems to end at the nostrils. These last, when at rest, should be flat on the face, looking on a pinched and puckered-up slit. The mouth, like the nostrils, should be pinched and puckered up, with the under lip longer than the upper: “like, camels,” the Bedaween say. The tail, in repose, should be held arched at the top only, much like the tail of a rocking-horse; but when in motion the tail is held high in the air. This is partly inherited and partly brought about by bending back the tail of a foal, when an hour old, over a stick, when the arch thus given is said to be rendered permanent.

White or grey is, perhaps, the chief colour, and, after this, bays, chesnuts, and brown horses come in order of frequency. Black, roan, piebald, scubald, and duns do not occur in true Arab breeds. The colour thought best by most Arabs is bay, with black points, and next to that pure white, with very black ski and hoofs. White, with us, is not the colour of a breed, as with them, but only the mark of an old grey horse. The true Arab horse should also have a long arched neck, a fine shoulder, high withers, legs like steel, a splendid line of hind leg to the hock, and strong hind quarters, and should stand over plenty of ground. The average height in the Nejd is 11 to 14.2 hands, but amongst the Anayeh, in the north, they are about three inches higher: These fine creatures are actually free of vice, for the most valuable horse would be sacrificed by the Bedaween if it were to develop any of those vicious tendencies some one or more of which few English horses are without. From the hour they are born they stand them in the sun, saying that the shade is hurtful to horses. Amongst the true Bedaween of the Desert the ring-bit and bridle of the towns is unknown, a rope halter alone being used.

Of course a mare was quite out of my reach, but I had not been long in Jerusalem before I was so fortunate as to acquire the very young bay Arab stallion, with fine white face markings, to which I have already alluded, The happy purchase — and I never made a better in my life — came; about in a truly characteristic way. At Easter the pilgrims, Christian and Moslem, those who desire to curry favour with the Pasha, or governor, of Jerusalem, bring him more or less valuable presents, amongst others gifts of horses. As soon as the pilgrims, backs are turned, he sends out most of these with grooms to ride them about the streets of the city, and sell them to the first buyer. It was at such a time that I saw what seemed to me the most beautiful young Arab thoroughbred stallion I remember to have seen, which would have been simply perfection but for his being slightly too slender, probably brought about by his mother having foaled him in the dry hot season when no fresh cut grasses could be obtained. I had my official dragoman with me, and directed him to ask the price, The groom at once recognising us dismounted, and salaamed low, and said at once, “Take it, my lord, it is yours; what is money between me and you; do me the honour to take the horse, I give him to you!” My dragoman at once explained that English gentlemen were not in the habit of taking presents from strangers, but if he would name a reasonable price it would at once be given him. Then began as usual much long bargaining over the price, the groom asking twice as much as he was prepared to take, and my dragoman, offering considerably less than I was willing to give, and finally, I am almost on my noble Arab’s account ashamed to say it, the Pasha’s servant brought the horse to my stables, and went away well pleased with the sum of twelve Napoleons, equivalent to £9!

I had some difficulty in breaking it in, for it was but a colt, but I was not long in finding what a treasure I possessed. It would be difficult to imagine a gentler, fleeter, stronger steed, with more staying powers. It was — but then, of course, in the East we shoe them properly — as sure-footed as a goat. There was in those days in Jerusalem a steep, narrow, glass-slippery stone stairway, leading up towards the old English mission hospital, with a right-angled turn in the centre. My Arab, carrying me on his back, would run up and actually down those stone stairs more quickly than you or I could, passing some foot passengers at times on the way without touching them. Talk of the boasted feat of hunting men riding up and down a broad carpeted, well-pitched staircase in any English country house, it is merely child-play to this. I don’t think I have the nerve now to come down those polished stone steps at the flying rate of those days even if I had my clever young horse again to carry me. Like all long pedigree Arabs his paces were delightfully easy, and I was able to break him in to trot which none of these thoroughbreds are taught to do in the Orient, where they only walk, canter, or gallop them. We soon became fast friends and allies, and with me he was gentleness itself. But once, when his bridle was seized by a party of infuriated fellahheen of the truculent village of ‘Ain Jeneen, who tried with loud menaces and oaths to demand money from me to which they were not entitled, with the fury of a wild beast be rose on his hind legs, and fought with hoofs and teeth, scattering the whole crowd of them in a way they will never forget, and then like an arrow from a bow shot across the plain, defying all pursuit, and bearing me safely out of their clutches. Armed, as I always was in my long and lonely night journeys with a well-primed brace of Colt’s revolvers, I always felt absolutely fearless when mounted on his back. His greatest feat, for which he will long be remembered, was performed in the year 1871. I was at Joppa, and leaving Miss Walker-Arnott’s luncheon table at 1.20 p.m. in the full heat of a never-to-be-forgotten burning day, I started to ride to the Holy City, a distance of 40 miles, the latter part of it through three mountain passes. All across the fifteen miles of the plain of Sharon we came at a hard gallop. The road was, as usual in those times, covered with huge stones thrown about by the mukarries or mule drivers, and we therefore were most of the time riding across country, as almost any part was more passable at that day than the road itself! At the end of this, not being a jockey, I felt pretty limp, but not so my thoroughbred and plucky Arab. Up the low foot hills he still flew as we began to enter the mountains of Judah. Here the ascent is steep, rising to a height of 2,500 feet, and in the time of which I am speaking was in many parts little better than a goat track. Yet on and on my Arab sped up hill and down, often leaping, from, rock to rock till I was so utterly exhausted that I could do little more than sit on his back and let him go as he liked. He seemed to take a furious joy in his rapid, progress, and in all the 40 miles stopped a few times for a minute or so. Almost at the end of this, the most remarkable ride I have ever taken, or am ever likely to take, I met my wife coming out of the city for her evening constitutional on her ass — ladies constantly ride asses in Palestine, and very fine, powerful, high-spirited, swift, pleasant-paced animals many of them are. The least that politeness requires, to say no more, when a man meets his wife after having been some time away from home is to stop and greet her. But just at this moment we had come in sight of Jerusalem, and my noble Arab determined to finish the race against time, took the bit in his mouth, and, in spite of all my efforts to pull him up, fairly bolted. Fortunately, hanging powerless over his neck I was able to soothe him and talk him to a standstill just as we entered the Joppa gate. We thus reached our destination at 5.20 p.m., having ridden the 40 miles in about 3 hours and 50 minutes, which is, I believe, still the record!

The Chancellor attached to the French Consulate had at that time a very valuable Russian horse, for which he had given a great sum, and, when he heard of the feat of my Arab, which was naturally the talk of the city, said that his horse could do the same. So one bright night he started from Jerusalem. The moon shines so strongly in Syria that you can set on the house top and read a book by its light. Well, he managed, going all the way down hill not up like my Arab, and in the delightful cool night, instead of as in my case, in the hottest part of the day, to reach Joppa (Jaffa) in four hours, being ten minutes over my time, but as he entered the gate his fine horse fell dead under him! My thoroughbred Arab went into his stable for a week, and in no way suffered. This is the difference between these much-enduring glorious Arab horses and most others. How much that word, spoken in Palestine means “the strength of a horse.” No wonder there “some trust in horses.”


The ancient name, for China, Tien-sha, means “inferior only to heaven.” In view of recent events it will be admitted that the proud boast contained in this title is no longer, if ever it has been, a suitable name. Nevertheless, this vast empire possesses an older civilization than any country now in existence — a conservative civilization which admits of no change.

In the days of Ching-wang, who conquered ill the minor “kings” B.C. 200 and reigned over all Northern China, to keep out the Tartars, the Huns of our European history, who were constantly overrunning China, he built the mighty wall, 1,250 miles long, 20 feet high, with guard towers on the top of it, some 100 yards apart. It is carried over mountains and rivers, and six horsemen can ride side by side upon it. The Chinese name for it is Wan-li-chang, or “Myriad-mile wall.” It took five years to build, and has lasted 2,000 years, the oldest and longest boundary wall in the world, but, so far from its keeping the Tartars out, one of this race now sits on the throne of China and rules the land!

Peking, or “Court of the North” as the name-means, the capital of which we have lately heard so much, with its two million and more of inhabitants, one of the most populous cities on earth after London, was built many centuries before the Christian era, and, like all Chinese cities, is surrounded by high walls.

The despotic character of the Imperial Government is well shown by the enormous extent of the palace and its grounds, which occupy a great part of the northern or Tartar quarter of the city, the southern portion being the Chinese portion. The whole city is 16 miles round. The streets are wide, in marked contrast to the, narrow ones in the south of China, and are unspeakably dusty, in the summer season, and filthily muddy, like so many open sewers in the winter, the centre part being raised above the rest. The principal roads are alive with buyers and sellers, and resound with loud noises. The blacksmith pitches his tent where he is likely to find most business; the shoemaker sits down in his moveable workshop; and the barber, by the tinkling of a little bell, communicates the fact that he is ready to shave their heads, and to arrange the pigtails (the long rope-like plait of hair which hangs down from the back of their skulls) in case they may require his services. The origin of the pigtail is interesting. When the country was conquered by the Tartars, the inhabitants were, obliged to wear pigtails to show that they were in subjection; but now the pigtail is held in high honour, it being a disgrace for a Chinaman to be without one.

Methods of locomotion in China are very primitive, horses and mules being used only for travelling and conveying luggage long distances. All the carts have but two wheels, and are usually pushed along by hand. Government officials ride about on ponies, the farmer uses the bullock, and in the north of China the camel is employed.

China is famous for its splendid and numerous waterways. The grand canal in that land is the largest in the world, and the mighty Yangtse-kiang and Hwang-po rivers rank with the Amazon, Mississippi, and Nile as the longest rivers in the world. The junks, or barge-like boats, that ply on these streams, have sails resembling butterflies’ wings, doubtless copies from them. Much trade is carried on by boats, and where there is no water, and farmers are without other means of conveyance, they push their goods along the roads in wheelbarrows. Indeed, these wheelbarrows having sometimes a seat each side of a huge wheel, are employed by a son to take out his father or mother for an airing, or to give his wife a ride. They are, as this will show, most thrifty and hard-working, and this is absolutely necessary in the tremendous struggle for life amongst the 400,000,000 of their overcrowded population.

One of the principal amusements of the Chinese, old and young, is the flying of kites of the most peculiar and striking shapes. Some of these are excellent representations of birds, insects, and animals, dragons, and other imaginary monsters, and even their heathen gods pictured as seated on clouds. Old men are to be seen in crowds as eager in this pastime as young people are with us. The children play “battledore and shuttlecock,” but instead of using a battledore they hit the shuttlecocks with their heads, elbows, and feet, and they show great skill at this game. They have few, if any, games like our football and cricket, but are very fond of playing with tops, balls, see-saws, and quoits.

There are very few schools for girls in China, while those for boys abound all over the country. Strange to relate, the Chinese boy’s main idea is to learn his lessons! When he repeats them he does so with his back to the teacher; this is called “backing the book.” During school time no boys are allowed, to speak, and the school desks are so arranged that no boy can touch or talk to his neighbour.

The houses of the richer classes are surrounded by a high wall, and composed of a number of rooms, usually on one floor. There are generally three entrance doors to a house, of which the principal, in the centre, leads to the reception hall into which visitors are shown. The walls are often hung with silk or satin on which sentences of good advice are written. All sorts of beautiful lanterns hang from the sitting-room ceilings. The furniture consists of chairs, tables, beautiful screens, and cabinets, and fans are very numerous in a Chinese household.

In Peking and the northern parts, where the winters are as cold as the summers are hot, they have a very sensible arrangement in their bedrooms called kang. This is a broad platform, or raised dais, above the rest of the room, built of brick, which is their bedstead on which the mattresses are laid, and it is so large that a number of people can sleep upon it together. Underneath there is a small passage which has a chimney at one end and a fireplace at the other. Just before they retire to rest they light a fire here of dry fuel, and the heat passes through the passage and out of the chimney. This is an excellent warming pan for the bed, which sometimes consists of only a piece of matting laid on the kang, with a quilt stuffed with cotton wool with sometimes a sheet stitched to it for bedclothes. Sometimes there is a fireplace under the kang, and then it serves by daytime for cooking purposes and as a warm bedstead by night. Gongs are used everywhere in China instead of bells.

Instead of knives; and forks they use two small sticks about the size of penholders, which they hold in the same hand between the thumb and first fingers of the right hand, and with which they feed. They are very, clever in this way, and can pick up between the sticks grains of rice, which is the principal food of most of the millions of China’s teeming population.

The mass of Chinese are dirty in their habits, but their women dress their hair in very elaborate patterns, which take their maids four hours at a time to do, and they enamel their faces and constantly use rouge. Women and men dress very much alike. Sometimes they let their nails grow to an enormous length. Men do not wear a beard till they are forty years of age. Gentlemen may be seen going about with a string of beads in one hand and a fan in the other. Chinese ladies are never seen publicly with their husbands, and do not walk with them in the street. They spend much of their time in adorning themselves and in gambling, for this evil habit is universal both with men and women.

White is the deepest mourning colour in China, and white and blue comes next.

The smallness of the feet of Chinese women is proverbial, but it is doubtful if they would be any smaller than other women’s feet, had they not for generations been compressed. When very young a little girl’s feet are tightly bandaged round, the end of the bandage being first laid inside the-foot, then carried round the toes, under the foot, and round the heel, till the toes are drawn over the soles. After a time the foot is soaked in hot water, when occasionally some of the toes will drop off. The bandages are renewed from time to time, on each occasion being tied more tightly. For the first year there is terrible pain, but after about two years the foot becomes dead and ceases to ache. This foolish practice naturally prevents the women from walking, and if they have to go any distance they are carried on the backs of their female slaves. However, it is interesting to note that anti-foot binding societies have now been formed in many parts of China, and in time we may hope that this cruel and senseless custom will cease. Some say that it first arose from their copying an Empress who bandaged her malformed feet to hide them. Others say that it was brought about by their husbands who sought in this way, by making it impossible to, walk far, to keep their wives at home.

Though as soldiers under their own inefficient and oppressive native officers they appear cowardly, yet it is generally believed that under European leaders whom they have learned to trust and respect, if properly armed, they would prove very formidable troops. As it is they are so poorly led, drilled, and armed, that they are quite unequal to stand up against the armies of Europe. Indeed this is well, for it is terrible to think what a mighty host might be drawn from their 400,000,000 population, and be cheaply fed and sustained. Had they made the advance that has been accomplished by the Japanese, the Chinese would constitute the greatest menace on earth to the peace of the world.

The Chinese are a clever people. They had a fine literature 700 years before our era, and a University conferring degrees. Begging is in China a regular and quite respectable, not to say specially privileged, profession, and the dirty, ill-clad, half-naked throngs who go about under a legally appointed head often become a great nuisance. They have a right to enter shops, and cannot be turned out, and they are, therefore, through their leaders, bribed by the shopkeepers to keep away.

They have an extraordinary way of saluting each other when they want to be very polite, called kowtow. This consists in kneeling down together and knocking their heads on the floor six times running!

The Chinese have a ridiculous reverence for every scrap of printed paper. Men with baskets are sent round the streets to pick up all the scraps they can find off the ground, and burn, them in furnaces, and formally carry the ashes, and empty them in a river.

One good speciality the Chinese undoubtedly possess: they are most even-tempered and equable, and good-natured. This fits them above most people for service. European masters who have had them as servants for years testify that they have always found them docile and obliging, and have never seen them lose their temper. On the other hand, they are very self-complacent and conceited, and think that there are no people on earth to compare with them, which has largely come about through their exclusivity, by which the great mass of the people have been kept from knowing any other nation but their own. Partly from their fatalism and their stolidity and cold-blooded character, they are at times very cruel, which is shown in their torturing criminals and their fierce massacres when their passions are strongly roused.

The usual punishment for the smallest offences is the terrible bastinado. Though their judges are still for the most part cruel and unjust, it is only right to say that since they have come in contact with Western civilisation a good many of the worst tortures are now disused.

The chief redeeming feature of the Chinese character, and that which has told most throughout their long history, and served more than all else to keep them together as a nation, is their filial affection and reverence for parents, elders, or rulers. Truly to them has been fulfilled the promise of the Fifth Commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,” for the Chinese have existed as a nation in their own land in a semi civilised condition longer by far than any other nation on earth. A bride’s first act on entering her husband’s house is to fall down and worship his ancestors before the tablet which hangs on the wall giving his male pedigree. Similarly in starting upon a journey, or coming home, a man will retire to worship before this tablet and offer incense.

They are most inquisitive, and will pester you with all manner of personal questions, after a fashion which seems to us simply impertinent. On the occasion of the somewhat recent visit of Li Hung Chang to this country, the way in which that wealthiest and greatest of China’s statesmen asked people all about their most private affairs, and that through an interpreter, in public, would have been comic in the extreme, if it had not been on many occasions so very annoying.

But, withal, their politeness is excessive, and so perhaps inquisitiveness, in itself, is not with them thought rude. Thus they will ask, “What honourable name have you?” “Where is your beautiful dwelling?” “What is your venerable age?” “What is the exact amount of your lordly income?”

Perhaps the worst vice prevalent among the people is opium smoking. The opium smoker whilst engaged with his pipe, thinks of, and cares for, nothing else in the whole world besides, and generally lies down to give himself over to its more full enjoyment. Sometimes people smoke in their own houses, and sometimes they resort to places regularly set apart for opium smoking. If a man makes a practice of smoking opium at stated intervals, even though these intervals are not frequent, if at any time his pipe be not forthcoming he is quite unable to work, and wastes all his time longing for his pipe. The habit is sometimes acquired in a fortnight, and once acquired it cannot be given up, and, finally, the health is injured to such an extent, that a man may die from abstaining from opium. Rich men become poor, honest men thieves, and people will even sell their children to obtain the drug.

Indeed, without this inducement, poor parents often sell their children if they cannot keep them any longer, and a father will sometimes part with a young daughter for as small a sum as $1; this, however, is half price, for a girl generally fetches about 2 dollars, or 8 shillings for each year she has lived, though some are parted with for a few pence. Sometimes, alas! where they cannot find a sale for them, they kill them! They do not kill the boys because they can earn money and worship their ancestors, and keep up the name of the family. Another very terrible and widespread Chinese vice is gambling. It is engaged in by all classes of the people in public and private, and is pursued by the women almost as much as the men. The Chinese, though most industrious and thrifty, are hard put to it to earn their living, because the population is so enormous. With the great mass of the people it is a terrible struggle for life. Hence they eat cats, dogs, and rats, horses, worms, and a kind of bird’s nest, and many exist on a handful of rice a day — fortunate, indeed, if they are able to get it. Rice is one of the Chief products of China, and is grown in swampy regions, for its cultivation needs that it should be soaked in, water.

The great industry of China is tea growing and preparing. The green leaves of the tea plant are spread out in the open to dry, and then trodden by labourers to remove any moisture that may remain. The leaves are then heaped together and covered, with a cloth for the night. On removing the cloth in the morning a strange change is found to have taken place, spontaneous heating has changed the leaves from green to black or brown. The leaves are then rubbed into a crumpled state between the palms of the hands. In this crumpled state they are again put into the sunshine to dry, they are further dried by hanging in a sieve over hot charcoal, and finally sifted. After this girls and women separate all the bad leaves and stems from the good ones, which are packed in boxes lined with paper, and are then ready for export. The Chinese drink their tea without milk or sugar. They call milk “white blood,” and only use it medicinally. The Chinese are very superstitious. They think it unlucky to live above the ground, so most of the houses are on one floor. They think if a parent is ill, that a piece of their child’s flesh cut off and mixed in the parent’s medicine will cure them. A strange dog corning to a house brings, they believe, good luck, but a strange cat, they say, brings misfortune. Babies a few days after they are born have a red cotton cord with a charm attached tied to their arm to drive away evil spirits, and to save them from the evil eye. At a year old they have their little heads shaved. The mother should do this herself, but if she calls in a barber to shave the child, he must wear a red robe.

Red they consider the lucky colour. They are a singular mixture of good and bad qualities. Under the influence of Protestant Missions they have often shown how great and mighty a nation they might certainly become, if they possessed the privileges we enjoy in these lands of the north-west. Though they have proved so law-abiding a people, and so true to their Emperor and his Government, under the cruel and malignant influences of that unscrupulous woman, the aunt of the present Emperor, they have been very corruptedly ruled, and kept from all improvement.

But doubtless better times are yet in store for this ancient and mighty land.?


Being a few pages from the diary of Mrs. Hitchcock, who, in the early days of the Klondyke, successfully faced the dangers of that Arctic region which, in so many instances, proved fatal to strong men.

Monday, August, 8th.
JOHN JONES came after breakfast to tell us what to pack. After he had taken his departure, Isaacs said: “I hope you’re going to take me with you, marm, to do the cooking and for to carry the pack, as I don’t think you’ll care for what you’ll get to eat along the trail, and I can carry from sixty to a hundred pounds. Besides, I’d like to stake some claims, too, for when A-- M-- tells you where to stake you’re sure to make your pile. That’s a mighty fine man for you to know. He’s got fifty millions, and knows more about mining than any man in this country. I’ve known him all my life, just as well as I’ve known that parson that Mrs. B-- brought to call on you and yet I can’t go up and speak to them because you ladies seem to think that I ought to stay in the kitchen instead o’ coming in and talking to the visitors that I know. Holy Moses! you don’t realise how embarrassing it is for me only to be able to speak to them only on ‘the outside.’ You see as ’ow I’ve never done anything menial before, and don’t quite hunderstand what’s expected of me, and what’s not, and when Isaacs sees these neighbours a’ yours as ’e’s known all ’is life a’ sittin’ in your easy chairs an’ a-playin’ the grand gentleman, an’ ’e who’s as good as they — an’ perhaps better, a-standin’ hout be’ind the kitchen stove, while they’re a-putting on hairs in the parlour, well! ’t ’aint natural, and it’s enough to drive any fellow mad! Now don’t you bother about putting things to rights, and preparing anything else for this hexcursion; it ’11 give me pleasure if you’ll just sit down and go on with your writin’ an’ leave everything to me, an’ not look up for ’alf an hour, an’ then you’ll be surprised to find out what an ’andy fellow Isaacs is, an’ Isaacs won’t interrupt you again, because ’e knows you don’t like to ’ear conversation when you’re writin’.” Five minutes later. “I often thinks that there’s a great deal in inheritance,” continued the irrepressible. “Now me mother was very tasty, an’ me father was an R.A., that means member o’ the Royal Hacademy, an’ as for me, why, I just rose from shop-boy to window-dresser, because I had so much taste,” and Isaacs fastened a picture here and put a decoration there on the screens of the tent. “Yer like to lost me yesterday: Missus, yer see, while I was on the other side, in Dawson, I sees an Indian in ’is birch canoe; so, says I to myself, ‘Now Isaacs, ’ere’s your chance; yer likely to get in a tight place some o’ these days, when yer’ll want to know ’ow to manage a birch-bark canoe, because it’s like riding a bicycle, yer know, marm, it do take a long while to learn how to balance yourself, so I got the?Hindian to let me try it, and, by jove! did it without any trouble, or helse you wouldn’t ’a ’ad the good fortune to ’a’ got your Hisaacs back!”

We lunched hurriedly, after which the neighbours came to inquire what, they could do for our pets during our absence. Mrs. F—— kindly offered to care for them, and to take charge of the tent. Jones had a boat in waiting at the foot of the bank. Isaacs carried the pack, consisting of fur robes, blankets, flannel wrappers, and toilet articles. We were soon across the Yukon, where we were met by “Big A--.” E-- went to purchase a cowboy’s hat for the trip, and Isaacs a harness for his back, so we appointed the usual place of rendezvous, the Alaska Commercial Company’s stores, from which point we were to be ready for the start in half-an-hour. Many of our friends were there to help E—— onto the horse, and to see the start. “No horse for me,” said I; “walking is far more enjoyable.” So E rode alone in her glory, while M——, Jones, and I tramped by the side of the horse, when the road was sufficiently wide, or single file, with Isaacs in harness bringing up the rear. At first it was a gradual ascent on a good road; we were soon on the hills back of Dawson, and were astonished to see so many log houses, while many more were being built. After a long tramp we reached a bridge of logs. E--’s horse forded the stream, while I clung tightly to the hands of M-- and Jones, who assisted me in maintaining my balance, as the logs threatened to turn at each step. Then we paid one dollar each to cross in a scow, on which even E--’s horse was carried. We stopped a moment on reaching the other side to photograph a tavern, and were then off on a corduroy road which the miners had made, winding round beautiful mountains, looking down upon gorgeous scenery, over stones, through springy moss, then over more log bridges, deep bogs, precipices, until we reached Halfway House, eight miles, where we had supper of roast moose, mashed potatoes, corn, cabbage, delicious bread and butter, Spanish and apple-pie.

The meal finished, Mr. A--, of Chicago, and Mr. -- were presented to us. They were also on their way to stake claims, but concluded that they had done enough for one day, and so pitched their tents. How proud we were to be able to outdo them as we continued our tramp. We next met a Mr. C--, who had just found some rich ground while prospecting, and told us where to stake; he also showed us a large piece of rock filled with gold, which he had taken from a mine near the Forks, and from which the owners were getting a thousand dollars a day, but being “Chee Charkers” (new comers) and homesick, they wanted to “go out,” and would sell for thirteen thousand dollars. He hadn’t the money, but if anyone would “put it up,” and let him take charge, he was sure that he could soon dig out a fortune for “all hands.” A man from Illinois next joined us on the trail; said he was working for wages, but had had time to do some prospecting, and to stake out a number of claims for himself — some of them very rich — but he found it impossible to get into the Recorder’s office to record them. He offered a third in each to anyone who could have it done for him. While E——, on horseback, and M-- by her side, were following the horse-trail, our Illinois man said that he could conduct us through high dry ground on the other side of the river. Once there, he said that he should like to tramp with us; as it did him so much good “to hear the sound of a lady’s voice.”

At last came the “yodel,” which meant that someone in our party was exhausted and wanted to pitch tent for the night. We joined forces at Gordon’s Camp, where we were surrounded by tents. While Isaacs was pitching ours, Mr. —— took us to the cabin of Mr. and Mrs. -- to pay a short visit. Their quarters were nice and comfortable, and even baby had a modern cradle into which we peeped, but as it was late, we bade them good-night the moment Isaacs announced that all preparations had been made for us. Pine boughs had been spread on the ground, and our robes and blankets over them. After crawling in, Mr. —— and Jones lighted a bonfire at our door, and then sought the cabin in which they had been offered bunks.

No fear felt, though surrounded on all sides by unknown men. One has but to know the honest miner to recognise that he is ever ready to assist a woman, and that sad would be the fate and speedy the death of one who should offer her an insult. As the bonfire died out, we watched the new moon rising over the mountains opposite and lighting the valley below, and felt that the wonderful and beautiful works of the dear Lord are everywhere present.

Tuesday, August 9th.
My ears were greeted on awakening with “Flour’s gone to hell! What fool tied this horse up here! We’ll make M-- give us another bag!” and then came the folding of tents, the tramping of men and the departure of the prospectors for another day’s work towards fortune or disappointment. As we continued
our tramp, E--’s horse floundered and stumbled so in the mire and over the rocks that, after several hairbreadth escapes, she also concluded to walk; so Isaacs was relieved of his pack and the horse received the burden. At 10 a.m. we reached a restaurant at the forks of the road. We four sat on a bench and, with Isaacs at our feet, devoured bread and butter and coffee. When the irrepressible said, “Had no time to wash my face; is it dirty?” He was snubbed, if he could have been by hearing, “No time to look at it.” Another long tramp over rolling stones, mossy grounds, narrow ledges on the edge of precipice, from which a tiny rolling stone would have precipitated us to instant destruction; but the unvarying kindness and assistance of M—— and Jones made us repress all signs of fear for very shame. We came to sluice-boxes with signs prohibiting people to walk therein, but the owners of which invariably gave us the desired permission, which we enjoyed until we reached Bonanza, where we “panned out” and shouted with joy as the stones and gravel disappeared, and we saw the rich gold gathering in the bottom.

We were promised another pan on our return, so, as the miners were just about to blast, we went on to Skookum Creek, in which M-- had also a half interest. Here we were filled with excitement and joy, as our pans came to seven and ten dollars each, and we picked up a few nuggets besides. Then came the worst trip of all, to the Grand Forks Hotel, which we reached about midday, ready to drop into the first seat that offered itself. A fee to the cook secured a tub of hot water, which was most soothing to my poor blistered foot. Here we met a large party of miners, owners of several mines. An agent from the Alaska Commercial Company, soliciting orders, had an excellent luncheon cooked by a Japanese, who confided to us that he had been nine years in the country, and was now “going out,” and that almost every customer had given him a nugget.

In the meantime Jones, instead of resting, had gone to the thirteen-thousand-dollar-mine and brought me back some of the rock which he had hammered off; it showed gold in every part. M-- said he would accompany us to pass judgment on the proposition, so we climbed up the steep hill, where we broke off rock, which M-- pronounced of unusual richness, but said that the mine had been so thoroughly worked that there was little left. On we tramped, stopping at one claim after another, never knowing that the greater number of them belonged to modest M--, until some employee of his told us. We stopped at B--’s mine, where E-- was brave enough to go down the very steep incline to see the panning, and was rewarded by the gift of a couple of nuggets as a souvenir of the occasion. My blistered foot kept me at the top of the hill with no nugget. On the road I stopped to chat with one of my fellow-passengers, who gave me the numbers of three bench claims to locate, and then asked if, on his return the following day, I would introduce him to the great man of the country, M--. A little farther on a miner stopped to chat with me. Not having seen a woman for ages, he was anxious to ask me about his sore throat, for which I promised him a remedy on my return to the tent. He then told me of his son, who had met his death in one of the mines of S-- of Colorado, and how the generous owner had educated his remaining son, who was prospecting nearby, but had had no luck as yet.

Towards eight in the evening we reached M——’s mines. There were two brothers in his employ of the same name as our guide and host, but not related to him. In a comfortable, nicely-floored cabin, sat pretty, refined Mrs. M-- at her sewing machine, with all about her as clean and attractive as though she had a dozen shops at hand upon which to call for supplies. There was but one room, according to the custom of the country, with the stove for cooking purposes outside in a sheltered nook, and a cache like a closet adjoining. Mrs. M-- welcomed us with her soft, pleasant voice, and cooked some ham, fried some real potatoes (which she told us were described in this part of the world as “human potatoes”), gave us some delicious bread — her own make — with equally delicious butter and tea. After we had done full justice to these viands we were treated to something which made our mouths water - a light, feathery, cream layer-cake. The repast finished, we sat outside in the two home chairs, the men on boxes, and enjoyed the grandeur of the scenery, with its magnificent mountains opposite, on which bench claims are already staked and giving forth good pay. At our feet was the El Dorado River, filled with sluice-boxes through which the water flowed rapidly, while the piles of rock and stone on either side showed how quickly the ground was being dug out. The men who were introduced to us said it was not at all necessary for us to pitch our tent, as there was a vacant one nearby, which they could assure us was thoroughly clean, as the boys who lived in it were most particular, and they were now on the trail. We found a bed inside raised about one foot from the ground, made of evergreen boughs; boxed in by the tent on one side and a board on the other. It was wide enough to bunk four men, Our man Friday had thrown E--’s blankets across the boughs for us to sleep on, and my fur robe to cover us. Fortunately we had brought our down cushions which served as pillows.

I was awakened some time during the night by hearing E—— say “What is the cause of this intrusion?” and there, at the tent door, with his face clearly showing in the moonlight, stood the startling apparition of a man. Had I caught sight of him first, my shrieks would probably have aroused the people on either side of the river, but, hearing E——’s low, firm voice, I listened quietly as the stranger replied “This is my tent; I have just come in from the trail, and was not aware that it was occupied; but now that I am here should like my blankets, and will leave you undisturbed if you will; kindly throw them out.” “They were taken to M--’s,” said E-——, “where they told me there was a bunk for you should you return.” “Which M--’s?” said the intruder, but could give him no further information, and left him to discover for himself.

Wednesday, August 10th.
This morning my poor blistered heel was so inflamed and bleeding that I dared not put on a boot, so slipped into a wrapper, made my toilet, and decided, to my intense disappointment, that there was nothing for it but to give that foot at least a day’s rest. So E-- went alone to M--’s, where we had been asked to breakfast. No sooner had the news of my crippled state reached them, than our host and Mr. Jones immediately appeared at the door and agreed that it would be folly for me to move. M-—- had already visited one of his claims, and had a bag of gold on his shoulder almost too heavy for even so large a man as he to stagger under. He was about to go back on business to the Forks, when he met his men coming in search of him. Jones and E-- went on to see a “clean up” at No. —, and were then going to No. —, where the gold ran from two to three hundred dollars to the pan. This is so marvellous that they did not wish us to take it on faith, but to see for ourselves. How I groaned as they started off without me, and felt indignant that so small a thing as a pebble in the boot could have worked such damage.

Isaacs soon made his appearance to get orders for the day, but before they could be given his glib tongue began his usual monologue. “Well, marm, I’m glad you’ve seen me as I am, and not as a galley-slave. Everyone knows me all along the
road, and heven M-- ’asn’t got more friends. Did you just see them a-callin’ of me on all sides, mum? One made me take off my old wet shoes and put on this fine pair of rubber boots; another stopped me to give me a cup o’ coffee; and right there at that place, where you saw the 'oss tied up, you might, a’ wondered whatever ’ad become o’ me, but Isaacs’ always right; a friend ’ad stopped me to give me such a good dinner as I’ve not ’ad the likes o’ for many a day! We ’ad fresh meat, marm, that we ’ad, and plenty of it, an’ those friends o’ mine, marm, why, they’re taking out a million dollars, marm, if they’re takin’ out a cent, an’ pleased they were to see me; and now, p’raps, you can hunderstand better as ’ow I was right when I excused myself from ’aving that picture o’ mine taken in your tent in a menial position. Yer see, marm, when a feller’s once been a Bonanza King, it’s against nature that he should want to be taken like that just because he’s down on his luck; but if I strikes one o’ these here good claims, why you can take me as what I really mean to be, a Bonanza King.

“Glass o’ water? Yes’m — then I’m going to borrow some thing's for these poor feet o’yours, and you’ll soon see what Isaacs’ friends can do for you;” so off the quiet (?) fellow went, and soon returned with lint liniment, a pair of new muck-a-lucks, scissors, needle and thread with which to sew the bandages. “How much did I say? Well, whenever you ’ears of Isaacs’ friends hasking pay for doing a kindness to a sick lady you just let me know, mum, an’ it’ll be the last time they’ll ’ave the pleasure o’ bowin’ to ’im. They says as ’ow you’re to keep hevery-think, marm, until’s perfectly convenient for you to return them, new muck-a-lucks and all, marm, and they do belong to Mrs. T——-, and a mighty fine lady she is, worth a million if she’s worth five cents, and no hairs nor nonsense about it.” The muck-a-1 ucks were put to soak, and Isaacs brought a tub of hot water, saying that there was nothing that he could not borrow on the trail. He then tied the tent flaps together and-departed. Tied tent flaps are much more respected here than are bolts, bars, and padlocks at home.

Shortly after came a visit from Mr. and Mrs. M--, who both urged me to move to their house, where it would be more comfortable and cool, but although the heat was almost insufferable as the sun’s rays poured down on the canvas roof, yet, as they had but one room in which to sleep, eat, and receive their guests, such a sacrifice was too great to accept. Good, kind-hearted Jones offered to get a harness and strap me, on his back, to be carried thus down the mountain-side. M—— said that it could easily be done as he had often packed more than one hundred and fifty pounds when on the trail. As E—— and I both refused to ride the horse we had brought with us, and for which we are paying thirty dollars for the first two days, and ten dollars for each succeeding day, they also offered to send him back and themselves to carry all of the pack which Isaacs might not be able to manage, another offer which we could not allow ourselves to accept, preferring the expense to the imposition.

Jones explained to us his position with M--, saying: “He’s known me since; I was a kid, and he don’t like to go to London without me. You see he knows more about mining than me, but he thinks I can help him some in society. You see I spent seven thousand dollars in getting into society in New York and Boston, an’ I got into some pretty good clubs, although I ain’t had much schoolin’ coz I was kidnapped from school as a child; still that don’t make a difference, coz them that ’as met Jones once at any o’ the clubs allus asks him to come again, an’ that’s a pretty good sign, ain’t it? an’ I can help M-- a good deal, coz he’s got a heart o’ gold; the only trouble is that there’s so many a tryin’ to oust me out o' my place with him just to get in themselves; here he’s a big man, an’ wherever he goes everybody knows him an’ tries to buttonhole him.” At lunch-time Mrs. M-- sent me, by Isaacs, some delicious beef, new (human) potatoes, bread, butter, and two slices of raw onion; which those who live here the year' round say is quite necessary for health. Isaacs ate the onion with avidity; upon hearing that I did not care for it, and I reluctantly left him half of the luncheon, as he led me to believe that he had had no breakfast.

A visit from Mr. D—— M--, who sat at the tent door for half-an-hour whittling and entertaining me. He has been “in” for four years; expects to “go out” next year, never to return, having made his pile. He also invited me up to the house, where they could make me more comfortable, and said there was no one there but his sister in-law, who would be very glad to see me. He heartily agreed with me that she was not only very pretty but an excellent housekeeper. He told me that those who froze here did not know how to dress properly; that it was as bad to put on too much as too little clothing; that he had worked with the mercury at eighty degrees below zero. There is great rejoicing among all claim-owners over the rumour that the royalty has been reduced from ten per cent, to two, “and we can afford to pay that,” said he, “as we sometimes get pans that run all the way from three hundred to twelve hundred dollars, whereas, on the American side, you make much less than you do here, even after paying the ten per cent, royalty.”

Just then E-- returned enthusiastic over her day’s trip, though with lame and aching feet. “We went first to No. —, El Dorado,” said she. “Mr. M—— met us there, and we watched the end of the clean-up of half-a-day’s work, two men, and out came five thousand dollars, all washed through sluice-boxes, then raked and spaded. From there to No. —, and thirty feet down a perpendicular ladder; another clean-up, twelve thousand dollars in two days, seven men at work. Gold fell out wherever I poked my umbrella, and, at the last moment, Jones knocked out a stone and right behind it shone a nugget weighing between seven and eight ounces. In the cabins were great pans of gold, which I tried to photograph, one pan with six hundred and seventy-eight dollars. Next we went to M--’s pet, No. —, but I did not care so much for that, as the gold was finer and not so easily seen. Then back to No. —, to see them sifting and drying gold, taking the black sand out with a common magnet such as children use.”

After dinner E- and Jones sat in the door of the tent entertaining me, while Isaacs sat outside smoking his pipe and waiting orders from us. “Well, Isaacs, did you go up the hill and write our names on the stakes?” said E-- “I went up to the top o’ the hill and down to the Gulch, and there were only eighteen claims, and they were all staked out to the very end; cabins there and people prospecting, and they said as how they hadn’t found nothink. Went down one fellow’s hole and he’d put a fire in it. No, an’ I didn’t stake in the other stream neither. You just bet yer life, Jones, if there’d been anythink in it I’d a’ been to it myself, ’cause that’s what I came up ’ere for.”

“Just think of No. —,” said E--, turning to me; “every time I put my umbrella in, the great pieces of gold fell out. I could have sat there forever.”

At eleven, as M-- did not materialise, we said good-night and dropped the tent flap.

Thursday, August llth.
We awakened at eight; all was quiet; no-one moving outside, not even the dogs. My lame foot still prevented me- from going to the M—-'s cabin for breakfast, which E-- promised to send me by Isaacs. She soon returned, saying, “It is nine o’clock, but no-one is up yet.” Shortly after, Jones and Isaacs appeared to dress and bandage my wounds. Then came Mrs. M-- with such a nice breakfast. Finally our guide, Mr. M——- appeared, to know if I should be able to go on, and said, “As Miss D-— panned out some nuggets yesterday, I thought it would be only fair to fetch a few for you,” and he handed me four beauties. Isaacs admired them so loudly that he was handed a small one by M-- for a scarf-pin. “Now,” said the latter, “if you feel equal to the walk, we’ll go down to Skookum Gulch and you shall have your turn at panning out.”

“That is a great inducement,” said I, “and rather than keep the party back, I’ll go if the foot has to be amputated after.”

“By Josh! you’re plucky,” said, M-— “but we’ll take it slowly and you can stop whenever you feel like it.”

Isaacs rolled up our tent, fur robes, etc,, and said, “You see, marm, I’ve never boasted much as to what I could do, but when you take a trip like this you’re not long in finding out what an ’andy follow I ham. I never believe in boasting; just let people find out for themselves an’ they’ll soon know what you are. An’ now I’ll return your breakfast dishes. Great Julius Caesar! ain’t you going to eat that fine cake? Goin’ to give it to me! Well, by golly, I’m thankful for it; your kindness and generosity shall never be forgotten by yours truly, who’s only ’ad a flapjack for ’is breakfast. You see yesterday I lent a ’elping ’and so often to the missus that she couldn’t ’elp haskin’ me to dinner; carried water for her, chopped wood and made myself as useful as a man can to a woman, an’ that beef she gave me — well, I ain’t sayin’ anythink but that’s the finest I’ve tasted for a long time, an’ I’m goin’ to fix some just like it for you two ladies as soon as we get back.”

Our first stopping place, after bidding farewell to the hospitable M——s and inviting them to visit us in West Dawson, was at the B—-s’ comfortable cabin, with its carpet, rocking-chairs, and homelike appearance. We were welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. B-- and Mrs. B—-’s sister. Mrs. B—- showed us a tin box filled with hundreds of nuggets from their mine. She was able to tell them, all apart, their weight, and when and where found. Her sister also had a fine collection, but said that panning was such hard work that she did not do it very often, even though it meant extra nuggets.

We next went on to Bonanza No —, where Mr. M-- told us we might have all the gold we could pan out, but, as they had just had a clean-up and my first efforts Were not successful, M-— finished his business with the overseer and said: “Let us go over to Skookum Gulch and there we’ll find some nuggets.” So leaving E—— and Jones digging, surrounded by the honest miners who were helping them in their search, we went over sluice boxes and crossed narrow ledges down into Skookum Gulch, No —, where E-- welcomed us and said: “Had you only come yesterday I could have helped you to find some beauties.” However, we crawled under the sluice-boxes, and on hands and knees we chipped away until two big nuggets fell into my hands; then we filled a pan, took it over to the water-box, and the excitement began as the stones and gravel washed out and the colours began to show. More shaking of the pan and the colours became clearer, until at length the small stones fell out and only nuggets remained. These were dropped into my handkerchief in accordance with the custom here, that the best the mine affords is scarcely sufficient to do honour to woman, so highly is she appreciated where she so rarely appears. E-- and Jones soon joined us, and E-- washed out a pan, after which, as M—— was obliged to return to the Forks and visit the clean-up from his other mines, we parted company, thanking him again and again for his kindness, and for the wonderful experiences; he had given us. He recommended us to the care of honest John Jones, and well did he fulfil the charge.

We had sent Isaacs ahead with the horse and pack, telling him to meet us at the Half-way House, but, as that was eight miles distant, and E-- had not much confidence in her ability to walk it, Isaacs was told to listen to our yodel and not to keep too far ahead of us on the horse-trail opposite. How the trail changed! Sometimes the ground was hard and dry, then suddenly would appear a marsh, in which our feet would sink beyond the ankle, and so extensive that, peer as we would, not a sign could be seen of the trail beyond; we would wade through the marsh, carefully picking our steps for fear of disappearing entirely from view; then we would suddenly come upon one of those beautiful mossy, spongy carpets of such glorious colours of pale grey, green, and red that it looked as though prepared for a dance of the fairies. How we longed to get an adequate photograph of such exquisite beauty that no pen can picture! On we tramped over this most delicate of carpets, on which the foot rests but leaves no impress, and, just as we were in despair at the thought of having lost the trail, it would loom plainly and clearly before us again, well-trodden and unmistakable.

About 8 p.m. we reached the junction of the two roads, and gladly seated ourselves on the bench under the tent for supper. Two men stopped to have lemonade, and were charged fifty cents a glass. Before starting again Isaacs took off E--’s muck-a-lucks, and filled them once more with fresh straw to protect the soles of her feet from being cut by the sharp stones, which we sometimes encountered. E—- was still doubtful as to whether she could make the Half-way House, so Isaacs went on with the same instructions to listen for the yodel, which would mean that he must pitch the tent for the night. We were both anxious not to give up, as it would have meant that the men must spend the night in the open air without blankets, although men in this part of the world are not unaccustomed to that hardship, as evidenced by the many sound sleepers over whom we almost stumbled, so near to the trail were they lying.

Finally, it became almost too dark to see the way, as, at this time of the year, one has really a few hours without sun or moon. Now came the bridges; not wide ones with a railing, but a log of wood, which sometimes rolled over as we stepped upon it, laid across a dashing torrent without any support. Poor John Jones was obliged to cross it first with E—-, then return for me, and how we did cling to his hand. At last, we were really off the trail, and, search as we would, no trace of it could be discovered. We were almost ready to weep with fatigue, but knew that we must keep up our spirit and not depress or discourage the man, who, although so ill and faint himself, that he could scarcely walk, still bravely led on. Finally we sat down to rest, while honest John went on a voyage of discovery, but when he returned he had found no sign of a trail. Suddenly we heard a sound in the distance and walked towards it until we reached a mine where men were still working. They told us that we must either retrace our steps for a mile, or try the perilous task of climbing the rocks and stones that had been thrown up from the mine, leaving the deep cavern beneath. We decided upon the latter course, rather than go back.

In fear and trembling, we began to crawl over the pointed mass of rolling stones, carefully testing each step before daring to trust to it. Slipping and sliding, clutching for Jones’s ever-ready hand, it seemed hours before we reached the bridge and tried the dashing water with our sticks to probe the depth before we dared put foot upon the log. During the entire trip we had said to each obstacle: “so long as we do not sink above the knee it doesn’t matter,” but here, although Jones did all in his power to steady us, the log rolled and the water rushed into our boots as we went up to our hips and were pulled out on shore. Poor John was in great distress at the accident, but we assured him that it had cooled our burning feet deliciously, and that as no-one ever takes cold in this country there was no harm done. But still he worried, feeling himself to blame, and all we could say did not restore his spirits.

Then came a long stretch of woods and bog, and as there was nothing to light us on our way, I began to sing “Lead Kindly Light, Lead Thou me on.” Just then we stumbled over a sleeping man. As he sat up I began to apologise, whereupon he said, “Don’t make no excuses, lady; I’d be willing to wake up every night to hear ‘Lead Kindly Light’ sung by a lady.” We next passed a cabin, and a voice called out, “What time is it? How good it is to hear a lady sing”; but E-- said she was so weary that song made her nervous, and so we continued our tramp in silence. Soon we saw bright lights ahead and rejoiced that the hotel was so near. With quickened steps we approached, only to find an enormous bonfire, around which were seated twenty men. At home we should have thought of tramps and have made an enormous detour at the sight of the big slouch hats and unknown faces at so late an hour, but, being in Alaska among men whose hearts seem to rejoice at sight of a woman, we merely passed the time of night and inquired, “How far to the Half-way House?” “Only a mile,” they replied, and E-- groaned, saying that her feet felt as if they had been bastinadoed, and that each step was agony. Another mile of marsh brought us thoroughly exhausted to the small hotel. All were sleeping, but “mine host” was soon aroused. There was accommodation for Jones in an eight-bunk hall. The proprietor placed his room at our disposal, while Isaacs had to put up the tent and sleep outside. We quickly turned into beds almost as narrow as coffins, but we were thankful enough even for such accommodations.

Friday, August 12th.
In the morning Isaacs brought us big tubs of hot water, and with it towels which we did not care to use. This reminds me to add the caution that one should always travel with one’s own linen, no matter what else has to be left behind. He also brought us the news that the horse for which we are paying ten to fifteen dollars a day had strayed away during the night, and wandered several miles on the homeward trail. He was told to go at once in search of it, but said he could not do so without his breakfast. Several hours later he tried to overtake the beast, but returned saying that it was not to be found. So Isaacs had to pack on his back the sixty or seventy pounds and was told to start on the horse trail, transfer the pack to the horse’s back, and lead him into town, meeting us at the stores of the Alaska Commercial Company. We took a few pictures and then started off, E—- having changed muck-a-lucks with the cook, and I wearing one india-rubber boot and one muck-a- luck.

We started on the last stage of our journey at three sharp, and having been told that by climbing the mountain we could cut off two miles, we took that route, intending to do the eight miles leisurely — eight miles, possibly, as the crow flies, but, with all the circuitous windings of the

trail, how many could it have been? The climb was one steady pull up — the mountain growing steeper and steeper. We rested many times, as E—-‘s feet were almost too sore to touch the ground, while mine felt as though there were mustard plasters on each sole. Up — up — and steeper and more steep became the mountain until it was almost perpendicular. Had we seen a map or picture of it before starting, never should we have attempted the climb, but with patient Jones ready to tender assistance at any moment, in spite of being still pale, ill, and faint, we were shamed into a courage we were far from feeling. Many men passed us on the trail; many we passed as they rested by the wayside, and from each one came pleasant greetings and compliments at our pluck and courage, praise which I little deserved, being such a coward at heart. At last we readied the summit, and the magnificent view was well worthy of the exertion. There was our tent in the distance; before us the Klondyke River; on the right a beautiful island, and just beyond, Dawson.

We seated ourselves on the mossy carpet, and feasted our eyes, while resting our weary limbs. Then came four miles downhill, through woods, then a marsh where the trail was lost again, but as there were so many passing in each direction, it was easily refound. Our way next led us through a town whose name I do not like to mention — “Louse Town.” When Jones said we must pass through it, I strongly objected, but he replied: “Why there ain’t none of ’em there; that’s only the name they give, it, ’cause it was bought from the Indians, an’ they’re always lousy.” We hastened through, nevertheless, and then found ourselves at the head of a perpendicular descent; after walking, sliding and rolling down a long hill, which seemed so dangerous, that we should have taken a picture of it had there been light enough, to enable us afterwards to realise our own bravery. Never should I have dared it had there been any other way of reaching home. Although the bank of the river was lined with boats and the place filled with men, it took nearly an hour to find one to row us, or rather to float with the strong current to West Dawson, not a mile distant. The first man wanted ten dollars, the second three, which we willingly gave, as, had we walked across the bridge, it would have cost one dollar each, and then we should have had the Main Street of Dawson to traverse before reaching the Alaska Commercial Company to take a boat. As we drifted down stream, we yodelled to Isaacs, and shortly after he appeared with his pack.

Bad news greeted us on our arrival. The neighbours’ dogs had come into the tent during our absence and killed quite a number of the pigeons. It was eight o’clock, and Isaacs, though exhausted, managed to prepare us a nice little supper. Dr. H—came to see if we required his services, and then such a night’s rest as we should have enjoyed had it not been for the incessant barking of the dogs just outside the tent; a noise which their owners do not seem at all to mind, but which awakened us again and again.

Saturday, August 13th.
We must get rid of the pigeons! They have become so tame that they not only fly all about the tent, but even light upon the bed; at half after five this morning I was up decoying, them out by offering them food and drink outside the tent door, and then Poll had to be fed in order to quiet her scolding. The silence then was such an inducement that I began to write, and have been at it ever since. The pigeons, however, have come back through the air-holes in the top of the tent, and are so saucy that they are sitting on the bench at my side, on the table at which I am writing, perching on cups and making them fall with a crash, dipping into our drinking-water bucket, which our man-of-all-work was too weary to cover before going home last night, and even going into the barrel, which makes me feel like covering it up so that they may never come out. Moral — never open a pigeon-box, after a voyage, in a place where you do not wish them to remain, for, fight them as you will, it is impossible to drive them out afterwards.

Our first visitor was Mrs. F--, to ask how we had enjoyed our trip, to inquire if she might be of service, and to insist upon making us coffee, as it was after ten; Isaacs had not yet appeared, and our feet were too swollen to permit of our taking the least liberty in using them. E--, however, made some of her delicious biscuit which the cook, sauntering in before eleven, enjoyed with great gusto. E--, who now takes charge, kindly relieving me from all care, had her first unpleasant experience with Klondyke housekeeping. The storm had been brewing for some time, and she felt it necessary to “have it out.” M—— had arranged with his unfortunate friend to come to us as cook, carpenter, boatman, etc., for 150 dollars a month and his “grub.” He had worked well, cooked, made us tables, shelves, and stools from boxes, etc., was willing and obliging, and at first we were well pleased. Then he found our “grub” too dainty for a strong man, so we got M-— to order just what miners used, and advanced him money to purchase a tent, blankets, and other necessary articles. His tent was pitched very near ours, and he was allowed the time to go back and forth for his meals. But this took so long that when we were in a hurry he remained, partaking o our food.

Next came a demand for fresh meat, and, as the regular price is one dollar a pound, and we found on enquiry that very few men got it, we refused this modest request. We also objected to his coming in and Out of the front door before our guests with pipe in mouth, or to carrying in big boxes when the back door was quite as convenient. We had requested him to take his “grub” with him on the trail, but after the second day he informed us that he had lost it, and when his friends no longer lined the route, 2 dollars and 50 cents, a meal was the price paid. We then asked him to bring his “grub” over to our tent and use our stove, rather than spend so much time in making extra fires. There were also many other small causes of complaint, of which he could not be made to see the impropriety, but when E-- said “I am not in the habit of having my servants —” She got no further.

“Servant, madam!” shouted Isaacs, snatching up his hat. “How dare you call me a servant! Do you know who I am?” From his tone it seemed as though E--’s end might be very hear, and I prepared to go to her assistance when suddenly his voice changed, and he said, “’Ave a glass of water, madam — a glass of cold spring water? I begs your pardon, mar’m for anything I’ve said or done that’s not right; but it’s hard for me to be menial, an’ I’m always ’ot about it when anyone calls me so.” Such a scene can only be done justice to on the stage.

Mr. Jones and Mr. O—- soon came to inquire if they could do anything in town for us, and next Mrs. B-- to tell us of a miners’ meeting, at which everyone expressed resentment at the conduct of the Canadian officials, and concluded to protest and to bring pressure to bear for a change.

“May I come in?” said a new voice, “I’m the only man in town who hasn’t called on you two ladies. My name is Q---, and I’ve heard so much that’s nice about you that, although I never pay visits, I couldn’t stay away any longer.” He was shortly joined by Y-- and Jones, who brought us the latest news from town, and entertained us until the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. U—-, who said they had called the night of our departure and spent an hour and a half in the tent waiting for the return of their boatman. Mrs. U-- declard that she is charmed with life here, in spite of having given up a fine residence at home with plenty of servants, and now living in a one-roomed cabin, doing her own house-work, cooking, etc.


THIS, the largest lake in Palestine, is, physically and historically, the most remarkable and interesting inland sea in the world. It is called by the Arabs Bahr — or Baheiret-Lut — (“the sea of Lot”), a reference to its origin. In the Bible it is spoken of as the Salt Sea, the sea of the plain, or, more correctly, the sea of Arabah, as it is rendered in the Revised Version, and later on, by Ezekiel, the East Sea. In the Apocrypha and the Talmud we find it alluded to as the Sea of Sodom, and Josephus, and before him Diodorous Siculus, entitled it the Asphaltic Lake. The title Dead Sea Was adopted by Greek and Latin writers, and this has become, and has been for many hundreds of years, the name by which it is commonly known. It was given to it, no doubt, on account of the desolation which reigns in its basin, as well as in consequence of the character of its waters, which present the appearance of “a vast caldron of metal, fused and motionless,” and the fabulous accounts of their effects on animal and vegetable life, which were once implicitly believed.

The sea is forty-six miles long at its greatest length, and it varies in breadth from five to nine miles, and the surface of the water is about 1,300 feet below that of the Mediterranean Sea. It is thus the most depressed surface of water in existence. Its mean depth is estimated at a little over a thousand feet, but in parts it is very shallow — in its southern bay it is not more than eleven feet deep. The shape of its basin is that of an elongated oval; near its southern extremity a long tongue of land — the form of which resembles that of the human foot — projects from the eastern shore for a distance of six miles, so that at this spot the sea has little more than a third of its average width. It receives the waters of the Jordan and many other streams, among them the Z'urka Ma’in, the Mojib (the Arnon of Scripture), the Beni Hemad, the Karahy, and the ’Ain Jidy; but it has no outlet, the surplus water being carried off by evaporation, which, owing to its small size and the heat of the atmosphere in its basin, is exceptionally rapid. To this evaporation may doubtless be traced the various phenomena, which were noticed by ancient writers with a degree of exaggeration which made it almost impossible, at first sight, to give credence to them, had not modern investigation proved them to be more or less real. Thus Strabo tells us of bubbles, as of boiling water, which constantly arise from the surface of the lake. These have been found by Molyneux and Dr. Robinson to be identical with “a broad white strip of foam,” traversing, in a state of constant motion, the sea from end to end, “like a stream that runs rapidly through still water.” In like manner the presence of “an almost invisible vapour, which tarnished metals and was injurious to animal life,” “the incessant change in the aspect of the lake,” and so forth, have been found to be, to a greater or less extent, “founded on fact,” if not absolutely true.

We have spoken of the. origin of the lake. It is scarcely necessary to?recapitulate its history how, in consequence of the very grievous sin of the inhabitants of “the cities of the plain” (the vale of Sidduri), which now forms part of the bed of the lake, the fertility of which was such that it is described as being “even as the garden of the Lord,” Jehovah “rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven”; how when Abraham, who had interceded for the guilty cities, stood on the ridge of a mountain overlooking the plain, and “looked towards Sodom, lo! the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace”; how Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was saved — he had to be almost pulled out of Sodom by the supernatural visitors who were sent to warn him of the impending doom of the place; and how, at his request, Zoar, one of the cities, which he describes as “a little one,” was exempted from the punishment which overtook the others, and he was permitted to live there with his daughters.

Probably scientific men are correct in thinking that the storm of “brimstone and fire,” which burnt up the cities, was accompanied by an earthquake and other phenomena which caused the bed of the lake to sink; but it is gratifying to know that, in spite of every attempt to shake the simple Scripture narrative which we have briefly sketched, scholars find that the appearance of the lake and of the country around it and the phenomena it presents fully confirm the truth of the sacred narrative. The northern shore of the sea, where the Jordan enters it, is an extensive mud flat, the very type of desolation, and the lake itself is shut in on the coast by the mountains of Moab, which rise from the very verge of the water, and on the west by the range of mountains which form the “hill country of Judah” — the wilderness wherein David found an asylum from the persecutions of Saul, where John the Baptist preached, and whither “Jesus was led up of the spirit ... to be tempted of the?Devil.” The average height of the cliffs on this shore is about 2,000 feet, and those on the eastern side are about 800 feet higher; both are fissured by the beds of mountain streams, which, during the winter, pour their torrents into the sea. But all through the summer months these sources of supply cease to exist, for, if the streams are not at that period of the year dried up altogether, their water is absorbed by the thirsty soil long before it approaches the sea.

Zoar, the refuge of Lot, existed for centuries after the calamity which befell its sister towns. It stood on the south-eastern shore of the lake, and as it is described as being “near to flee to,” the opinion at one time generally prevailed that the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah were somewhere on the southern portion of the bed of the lake. But the investigations of modern savants have induced a belief that their site was nearer the northern end of the sea, and the Arabs point to two mounds, which they say cover the ruins of the two cities. As we are not told that they were submerged by the waters of the sea, but only that they were burnt up, there may be some ground for supposing that the tradition which avers that these mounds cover their remains is not wholly incorrect. But, however this may be, it is clear that after the lapse of so many centuries no traces of them could possibly exist, and all speculations as to their whereabouts may be dismissed as profitless.

Very few relics of the olden time exist on the shores of the Dead Sea. The most easily identified are those of En-Gedi and the ruins of the fortress of Masada. The latter crown a cliff on the western shore, nearly opposite the peninsula of Lisen; and they are historically interesting, because that stronghold was the scene of the last attempt of the Jews to resist the conquering Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

The southern shore of the sea is a dull, dreary flat, the famous Valley of Salt, terminating in the hills which bound the Lower Ghor. To the west of it is a noted mountain, Hajr Usdum, “the stone of Sodom.” It is composed of rock salt, too bitter to be used for cooking, though it is sometimes administered medically to sheep. Its feet are laved by the waters of the sea, and there is in it an interesting cavern, entered by Dr. Robinson when he explored the district. To the east of this hill is a lofty pillar, entirely composed of salt, capped with carbonate of lime. It is cylindrical in front and pyramidal behind. Its height is about forty-three feet, and very wondrous are the stories told concerning it by the Arabs. Fully described by Lynch, it is a “natural curiosity” of no small interest. Josephus mentions a similar pillar which stood on the eastern shore of the sea, not far from the site of Zoar, and which he believes was that into which Lot’s wife was transformed as a punishment for “continually turning back to view the city [Sodom] as she went from it, and being too nicely inquisitive what would become of it, although God had forbidden her so to do.” “I have seen it” (the pillar of salt), he adds, “and it remains to this day.” Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Clemens Alexandrianus have written strange things concerning this pillar, and it was long believed that as fast as any part of it was washed away it was supernaturally renewed. Travellers have been much imposed on by the natives in their search for this “wonder.” It is hardly necessary to say that it does not now exist.

The water of the lake is intensely salt and bitter, and its density is so great that the human body will not sink in it, but the sensations which follow such an indulgence are not very agreeable. It is usually succeeded by an intense tingling all over the body, and it often produces an eruption known as the “Dead Sea rash.” When such a bath has been indulged in it is well to remove the saline particles which cling to the body by an immediate wash in the muddy, but refreshing, waters of the Jordan.

No fish can live in the sea, and its water is fatal to animal life. Of old it was believed that if birds flew over
it they dropped down dead, but recent observation has proved this statement to be an error. Many travellers have shot birds on both shores of the sea, and have watched them in their flight from one to the other.


THE river Ottawa is near its source in connection with those “forests primeval of murmuring pines and the hemlocks,” of which Longfellow sings so sweetly in his “Evangeline,” As you approach the town of that name which stands on its right hand coming up the river out of the St. Lawrence just past St. Anne, where Moore wrote the famous Canadian boat song, you meet floating rafts of timber of immense size. They appear like small island villages, for some of them are 300 yards long by 100 yards broad, and have a number of little wooden houses dotted about upon them, where the timber-men and their families pass for long periods a semi-aquatic existence. Many of them are towed down by steam tugs over the calm, black sluggish waters of this picturesque river. But when one comes to the headquarters of the Canadian Government at the lovely town of Ottawa we behold a timber metropolis.

Standing on the Suspension Bridge over the river, everywhere the eye sees wood, rich reddish-coloured wood, for it is mostly pine-wood, giving a warm glow of colour to the dark, wide waters running below richly foliaged banks. All the pavements are of wood, as the traveller finds out to his cost, for when the nails work loose one end of the board sometimes flies up and pitches you headlong into the muddy road, and women complain equally of the destruction of their dresses by the splinters that are constantly occurring.

Far up the river are mighty rafts, and in the near foreground immense numbers of their small component parts, for they have to be taken to pieces to pass the high foaming falls which here stretch right across the stream. Below the bridge these may be seen forming again into monster rafts at the foot of the falls, to proceed on their water-way to the St. Lawrence, from whence the wood is imported, and then on that river to Montreal. Huge mills are on the banks on either side, and vast piles of the red wood beside them. Floating wood-drift gives its warm colour everywhere to the dark waters of the Ottawa. Instead of mud along its low shores you see one continuous bright bed of ruddy pine chips.

All this timber has been cut down or lumbered some two to three hundred miles up the river, where it takes its rise amid dark and interminable forests. The supply is said to be inexhaustible. In winter and spring an army of wood-cutters fell the trees and rudely hew them square, and then during summer and autumn form them into these floating islands, transfer their long shanties from the shore to the rafts, and bring them down some four to five hundred miles to the great shipping emporium at Montreal.

I have said that the falls extend here all across the river, about 100 yards north of the Suspension Bridge. These falls are called the Chandieres, or “Kettles,” as this French word means, from their forms. They commence on the left bank, as we look up the stream from the bridge in the shape of a horseshoe, and then stretch away much lower in height in a broken irregular line to the right bank. Over the horseshoe fall the water foams down in one broad mass from 40 to 50 feet high, and all the rest of the way across, it appears as a hundred different broken cascades, the “kettles,” which give it its name, all varying in form and size, and some exquisitely beautiful. Above the falls the river widens out into a lake, which is 18 miles long, with an extreme breadth of five miles, also called Chandiere.

Until the falls are reached, which are at the south end of this lake, the monster rafts can come, two or three of them abreast, floating down; but the falls stretching all across the river constitute a formidable barrier which they cannot pass. To enable them to get by this barrier without being entirely broken up, what are called “timber slides” have been formed, one on either side of the fall, close to the banks. That on the north-east bank of the river consists of one long and very precipitous slide that runs in one unbroken incline, and down which the water rushes with immense speed. This is the favourite slide to go down, and, on the whole, I think it must be the safest, for you pass straight down, from the lake to the river. It was the one, if I remember rightly, that the Prince of Wales descended when on his Canadian tour. No timber, however, on the day we ventured out to try the slides, was coming down this way, so that we had to make up our minds to go down by the slide on the south-west bank.

I should here say that the great village-like rafts of the Ottawa are composed of a great number of small, and very strongly-built, rafts, called “cribs.” A crib is simply a number of huge logs, or “sticks,” as they call them, some 50 feet long and 1 foot square, laid, about 20 of them, side by side, with cross logs put over them at right angles to the others, and then 50 more logs, or “sticks,” set crosswise above these, all bound firmly together with strong withers. About 50 of these cribs go to make a full-sized raft, and when we came to the timber slide along the south-west bank, numbers were being sent rapidly down.

This timber slide, which, like the other, connected the water above and below the Chandiere Falls, was not one long very steep canal of water, but consisted of four short ones, each about 100 feet long, divided by several level stages of timber laid flat, which they call an “apron,” where the water is very shallow, and the crib touches and grinds along the bottom, and so is checked in its onward rush.

We had not long to wait, for a crib, with a good-sized hut upon it, came swiftly towards the head of the first incline, where we stood to meet it, and my brother Charles and Mr. Lewis Borrell and myself shouted to ask if they would take us down, and on receiving the sharp reply “Jump on,” as it swept by, so we did, and in another moment, Borrell, holding on to the hut, and I to his coat tails, the men shouting to us to “hold tight,” the huge mass of wood, with a bounding leap, like a thing of life, sprung upon the first incline.

Splendidly exciting was the rush it made, and no less so the tremendous crash with which, in a few seconds, we struck the “apron,” pulling us up for a moment, and making the huge beams, they playfully called “sticks,” fly apart, as if amid the swirling waters they were coming to pieces under our feet, a shock of a very new and thrilling kind. But before we had time to fully realize what had happened, the strong crib seemed to pull itself together, and leaped, one could call it nothing else, silently and swiftly down the second incline, with the same terrific bump at the bottom, shaking every bone in our bodies, and the same startling flying apart of the beams, and so on down to the last “apron.” Here we nearly had a catastrophe, namely, the breaking up of the crib, owing to some careless fellows having left some of their “sticks” lying upon it. Fortunately, however, the powerfully bound and Well-laid timbers held together, in spite of the truly alarming shock, and, in another moment we were gliding safely on the calm level water at the foot of the falls, under the rich wooded hill, below the fine Houses of Parliament.

The danger in this running the slide is when the crib is not tightly secured by the withers, and so is dashed to pieces on the apron, or when the timbers are out of order, and so upset it, or when one or more of the huge logs are forced out, and strike against or fall upon you, or the whole crib turns a somersault, in which case all who are upon it are killed on the spot. Two men take every crib down the slide, and as there are curves, and, to some extent, turns in the slides, they have hard work to steer it, and so save any unnecessary friction, and keep it straight in its rush down the inclines, and its bump upon the level stages, or aprons, that separate the inclines. The men told us that there are other similar slides by which falls are passed higher up the river, but none so steep as these two by which the Chandiere Falls are passed at Ottawa. We parted with the men, merely thanking them for what they had done, when they landed us under the hill, for, strange as it may sound to English ears, we were afraid to offer them money, for fear that we should insult them, so great is the independence, as well as the obliging kindness of Canadians, and they did not appear exceptions to the rule.


RAILWAYS in South Africa have become a universal thing, though, as mentioned in our Ladysmith article, much has yet to be done for the cross-country traveller, who is nevertheless very well served by the mail coaches. Perhaps a description of a journey from Cape Town to Salisbury, Rhodesia, by rail and coach, as recently undertaken by a gentleman travelling for a London firm, will give the general reader more information on this subject than any other kind of description, and we accordingly append it. Of course, it is possible to go by railway as far as Bulawayo, but a journey of such a length is of necessity very tedious, as our correspondent found; and, as the coach offers a splendid, relief to the train, he adopted it on the later stages with pleasure — till the end was reached.

“All trains to the north are first, second, and third-class,” reads a notice of the Cape Government Railways, but it fails to mention that there is no sleeping accommodation in the third, such as is provided in the first and second classes; but, as the third-class passengers are composed principally of n*gg*rs, the railway authorities evidently do not think sleeping accommodation a desideratum where they are concerned. This is the description of the entire journey:—

“From Cape Town to Mafeking is the most wicked railway journey I ever took on in my life. There is nothing to be seen of interest the whole way in the various stations and villages we passed, except at Kimberley, and our train — the mail — only travelled at an average speed of 20 miles an hour, and, going through a long stretch of untrodden land, mostly mountainous, it was simply agonising, and right glad was I when we arrived at Mafeking, after having been 57 hours on that train. At Mafeking I went on a tour of inspection — the time was more than ample — and I found that it possessed some lady cyclists and a barmaid; the latter I patronised!

“We did not leave there until an hour and a half after schedule time, and I lost my breakfast owing to my simple faith in that schedule’s truthfulness. The train consisted of one composite carriage for passengers and mails, a considerable number of trucks with railway material, goods, food supplies, and a score or so of boisterous young fellows, recruited at Cape Town for the Chartered Company’s police.

“We soon passed through the flat, bare plains in the neighbourhood of Mafeking into the park-like, bushy country, of which I saw so much during the next few days. In the neighbourhood of Pitsani — now an historical name — an amusing incident occurred; at least it amused the passengers who witnessed it. A dignified-looking native, the son of an important chief, who was travelling in one of the open trucks, wished to be set down at a certain spot on the veld, but had apparently neglected to apprise the driver beforehand of his desire. On reaching the place the native dignitary and his attendant commenced to signal and gesticulate frantically in order to attract attention from the engine driver. It was of no use, however, and two miles further on the perspiring and frowning pair made a jump for it. The subordinate succeeded fairly well, but his master, inexperienced in such matters, sprang off with his back to the engine, and rolled over and over into a soft cutting by the side of the track. The face of the chief’s son as he arose, and found himself an object of merriment to the fast receding passengers, displayed anything but Christian resignation, though the exclamation which came from his lips, and which was distinctly audible, showed that he had had some acquaintance with religious teaching.

“At Crocodile Pool I determined to have $o more to do with that train, so booked a seat on the outgoing coach, with the prospect before, me of proceeding nearly 500 miles in it.

“ Now, my ideas of coach travelling were based, on the experiences of a trip from Johannesburg to Pretoria a few years ago, before the railway was completed; and, as I was told that there were nearly sixty stations on the road, and that we should go forward night and day, I had visions of rattling over an interesting country behind a spanking team of mules at the rate of eight miles an hour, and arriving at my destination in a few days’ time, a little tired and shaken, perhaps, but having keenly enjoyed the experience. What was the reality? It was Sunday afternoon when I first joined the coach at Crocodile Pool. It was Wednesday evening in the following week when I left it at Bulawayo.

“At the outset of the journey, and towards the finish, the mules did well; but in Khama’s country, which we were days passing through, and where everything and everybody seemed depressed, the coach might pardonably have been mistaken for one in a funeral procession.

“My seat was a narrow one. I could barely sit upright, owing to the front part of the coach being stuffed with mails; and, as my fellow passengers included about half-a-dozen ladies and children, I abandoned the idea of endeavouring to sleep inside, and sought the top of the coach, which was already occupied by a large quantity of luggage. At first I found it very pleasant. The Milky Way is peculiarly interesting when studied lying on one’s back on top of a jolting mail-coach; the switch of the driver’s formidable whip is musical, and his frequent cheery cries of ‘Pad!’ ‘Trek, ezels!’ ‘Hou julle merries!’ etc., do not annoy! you, because they are novel, and because the situation generally is novel.

“But later on, when you are sleepy and dare not close your eyes, remembering that last jolt which nearly pitched you off; when the driver’s whip, on your incautiously raising your head, has wound itself in snake-like embraces round your neck; when a thorny branch has swept the top of the coach and carried away your cap and a part of your trousers; when your whisky flask is empty, your pipe out, your feet cold, and the odour of the rinderpest victims strong in the still night-air, you become sick of the coach top, and are glad at the first opportunity to scramble off, get inside, and sleep, if you can, in a space which, if confined and uncomfortable, is at any rate warm and secure.

“Perhaps one of the most remark-able incidents of this journey, and one which exemplified South African life to an extraordinary degree, was when, at one of the stations, a young fellow drove up in a cart, almost all the space in which was taken up by a zinc coffin. He was, it appears, proceeding more than 200 miles up the road to fetch the body of his brother, who had died when on his way from Matabeleland. Think of the return journey through the wilderness with that grim burden, and of camping beside it night after night in that solitary bush. Ugh!

“On the whole the mules employed were first-class, though once a team broke down out of sheer fatigue, and twice we stuck fast in the drifts. Again, at a place called Shashi River, we had to dig for water, the heat being intense, and the store of water we carried for the mules being exhausted. ... I shall never go to Salisbury by coach again! After all a slow train is preferable, and I have travelled on railways in far less comfort in England.”


THE Siamese appear to belong to one race that occupy the whole mainland and islands between India and China, but distinct from both. They have a slouching, servile gait, never walking in a manly or erect way. No doubt this comes from the custom which requires them to crawl to their superiors on their knees and elbows, knocking their foreheads against the earth, and other such grovelling attitudes. They may not carry any weapon, and this, though it has made it easy to govern them and keep them from riot and revolution, and, indeed, generally peaceable — on the other hand, has rather corrupted their manners than otherwise, for rudeness and insult cannot be so easily punished, and can be indulged in with comparative impunity amongst equals.

The Siamese are one of the most civilised of the numerous groups of nations inhabiting the tropical regions between Hindustan and China. These include the Cochin Chinese, the Burman, or Burmese, the Choulicks, the Kalingas, the Kambojas, the Chong, the Kha, the Malays, and the peoples of Lao, Pegue, Aracan, Cassay, Assam, and Ava.

They are shorter than the Hindoos and Chinese, but taller than the Malays, their average height being about 5 feet 3 inches. Unlike the Hindoos, their lower limbs are strong and well formed, and they are robust. Their complexion is a light brown, a shade lighter than the Malays, and many shades darker than the Chinese. The hair of their heads is always black, lank, coarse, and abundant. On every other part of the body it is scanty, as with the Malayan, American, and Indian races. The beard especially is so little suited for ornament that it is never worn, but, on the contrary, plucked out and eradicated, according to the practice of the Indian islanders. Their heads are well-proportioned and well-set on the neck and shoulders, but their features are never bold, prominent, or well-defined. The nose is small and round at the top, but not flat like the negro; the mouth is wide but not projecting; the eyes are black, with the whites of a yellowish tinge; the eyebrows are neither prominent or well-marked. The most characteristic feature of the whole countenance is the breadth and height of the cheekbones, which gives the face the form of a lozenge, instead of the oval figure which constitutes the line of beauty in Western Asia and Europe. Though better- looking than the Chinese, they are not handsome. Their expression is gloomy, cheerless and sullen, and their walk is slow. The Siamese, however, overweeningly vain in everything, believe themselves beautiful, and quite ignore our standard.

As to dress, the Siamese wear fewer clothes than any other tolerably civilised people in the East. Their head and feet are always naked, the upper part of the body generally so, the loins and thighs alone being covered. The garment for the latter is a piece of silk or cotton cloth, of from 7 to 10 feet long, which is passed round the loins and thighs, and secured in front in its own folds, leaving the knees entirely bare. The better classes allow the ends of their loincloth to hang loosely in front, but the lower orders tuck them under the body, securing them behind. This is not a mere matter of fashion, but is enforced by law in this truly despotic state, and the plebeian who infringes it is liable to summary punishment from the followers of any person of the privileged classes who may casually meet him. The only other article of dress worn is a narrow scarf about 6 feet long, and commonly of silk. This is worn either round the waist or thrown carelessly over the shoulders. Sometimes women of the lower wear a tight vest for comfort or convenience when at work. But both sexes in the upper ranks wear a kind of slipper. The colours the Siamese prefer are dark and sombre. White is only worn as mourning or by the lay servants of the temples, and by certain mendicant nuns, neither of whom are much respected.

The mode of dressing the head is singular and grotesque. No turban, hat, or any kind of covering for the head is worn by either sex, except a fantastic conical cap put on by the chiefs at certain formal Court ceremonies. A man, when he is full dressed, ought to have the whole hair of the head closely shaven with the exception of a circle on the crown about four inches in diameter, where the hair is allowed to remain to the length of about an inch and a-half to two inches. As the process of shaving is very commonly neglected, the hair of the head is constantly seen an inch or two long, and the circle on the crown double that length, the whole, from its natural coarseness and strength, staring and standing upright, so as to convey not only a whimsical, but also a very wild look. Women do not shave their heads but keep them shortly cropped, also leaving a circle on the, crown.

The Siamese, like the Chinese and other nations of the far East, let the nails of their hands grow to an unnatural and inconvenient length. All the nails of both hands are thus grown by men and women in all ranks of life. Some successful amateurs may be seen with nails two inches long; and, as cleanliness is not a national virtue, this usage has a most offensive appearance.

They have the same objection to white teeth as many other Eastern people, and at an early age they stain them with an indelible black, but, unlike the Burmans and Paguans, they do not tattoo or otherwise disfigure their bodies.

Marriage ceremonies are, as throughout this part of the East, accompanied by theatrical representations, gymnastics, music, and distribution of presents. The actual ceremony is performed by the senior male relations. It consists in joining the right hands of the bridegroom and bride with a white cotton thread, and passing a similar one round their heads, brought so as to touch. The priests repeat hymns in the sacred Bali language, and an elder of the family pronounces the words, “Be man and wife, and live together until death part you.”

In other rude states of society the priesthood is commonly the depositary of whatever learning and science may exist; but of this advantage the Siamese, and the followers of Buddha generally, are deprived by a precept of their religion which forbids to the priesthood all temporal learning, counting all such profane and sinful. Medicine, astrology, and astronomy, the favourite sciences of other semi-barbarians, are in Siam wholly in the hands of strangers. The doctors are either Chinese or Cochin Chinese, and foreign Brahmins settled in the country alone prepare almanacks and astronomical tables.

Their current money consists only of cowrie shells and silver — they have no gold or copper coins. Most small sums are reckoned in bats, called by Europeans picals, he pical equals 2s. 6d. Larger sums are reckoned by the cattie, which is equivalent to £10, and by the pical, of the value of 100 catties, or £1,000. The lowest metal coin, the p’hai-nung, is subdivided into 32 sagas, represented by the red bean of the Abrus precatorius of botanists. The pical as a measure of weights is 133.5 lbs.

In music the Siamese are entitled to some distinction amongst Oriental nations, their airs being more agreeable, at least to an European ear, than those of any other Eastern people, except perhaps the Turks and the Persians. Their melodies are sometimes in a wild and plaintive strain, but more commonly they are in a brisk and lively style, resembling Scotch and Irish music — thus forming, to all appearance, a violent contrast with the sluggish and frigid temper of the people themselves. A full Siamese band ought to consist of not less than ten instruments. The first of these in rank is in the form of a semi-circle, within which the player sits, striking with two small hammers the notes, or keys, which consist of inverted resonant vessels of brass. The second is like it but smaller, and in the form of a boat. They have a violin with three strings, a guitar with four strings played with a wood plectrum fastened to their fingers, a flute, a flageolet, a four-stringed instrument in form like a boat, a drum, cymbals, and castanets.

The political slavery of the people is deeply impressed on their language. Distinct and different terms show the rank of the speakers, and sharply mark off the upper from the lower classes. The last use a language of fulsome and grovelling flattery and adulation, and the former of command and authority, abrupt and dictatorial. Hence the Siamese rulers and judges have a great repugnance to hearing foreign interpreters, who are unwilling or unable to give them the incense of gross flattery with which they are accustomed to be addressed. The speech of Siam, as of all the surrounding and similar tongues, consists entirely of words of one syllable. Their pronunciation, like that of all Eastern nations, is remarkably clear and accurate, and the copiousness and perfection of their alphabetical system affords, a striking contrast with the paucity and vagueness of their ideas. It would seem as if they systematically set more value on sound than on sense!

Their literature is feeble in the extreme; all that is written in the language spoken by the common people, that is, their secular literature, is in verse, and is in a very obscure form. To speak plainly, they think vulgar and ignorant! Songs, romances, plays, and a few histories form its bulk. The plays which turn on love and war are crowded with extravagant and incredible fictions, and are full, of the miraculous. The history of the Hindoo God and hero Rama is the favourite subject, and in the form of drama it takes six weeks to act it!

The Siamese really attach no importance to any but their sacred literature. It is written in a language called Bali, or Pali, akin to Sanscrit, the sacred tongue of this and all other Buddhist countries. These books are written on palm leaves with an iron style. A black powder is thrown over the impression to make it legible. For other books and for their letters they have a rough coarse paper, but they never use ink.

Most Siamese: can read and write awkwardly and imperfectly, and this is about all they possess of secular education. But as every male has to devote some portion of his life to the priesthood, all the men have more or less; some knowledge of the Bali, or sacred language, and Balis, that is, Buddhist literature.

“Nothing could be ruder and more primitive than the useful architecture of the Siamese. The habitations of the lower orders consist always of simple and perishable materials, suitable enough perhaps to their climate, and certainly so to their poverty and incapacity of extending the sphere of their enjoyments, In the low, alluvial lands, where we had an opportunity of observing their dwellings, they were all raised upon piles, like the habitations of the Malays, the principal material employed in them being the bamboo, and the leaf of the Nipa palm (Nipa fruticosus). In the higher lands the houses cease to be built on piles, and the bamboo and Nipa give way to ordinary woods and grasses. I could not learn that solid materials, either of stone or brick and mortar, were employed anywhere in the construction of the habitations of the peasantry. The houses of the chiefs are most commonly of the same frail materials and inartificial structure as those of the peasantry, but we found a few at the capital constructed of brick and mortar, and roofed with tile.”

Edifices for public convenience and utility are absent, and so are bridges, wells, tanks, or caravanseras; the simple inn, found elsewhere amongst the civilised and semi-civilised nations of Asia. Roads, even round the capital, Bangkok, there are none, but this is made up for throughout the low country by abundance of waterways. Wheel-carriages are unknown, and, in the mountains, elephants are the chief beasts of burden, for they seem best suited to surmount the narrow and steep pathways.

It happens with the Siamese, as has been observed with all other rude nations, that the chief efforts of their architectural skill are, bestowed upon their religious edifices. What Knox observes of the kings of Ceylon, is not less applicable to the monarchs of Siam. “It appeared,” said he, they spared not for pains and labour to build temples and high monuments to the honour of this god, as if they had been born only to hew rocks and great stones, and lay them up in heaps. If nothing existed of the Siamese but their temples, we should be apt, upon a superficial consideration, to pronounce them a people considerably civilised, tolerably well governed, and enjoying no small share of happiness and comfort. But these vast, exceedingly numerous, religious edifices can be adduced in proof of nothing but despotism on the part of the government, and superstition on the part of the people. Ornament and decoration are profusely lavished upon them. The woodwork is very generally laboriously and curiously carved, and gilding on wood, in which the Siamese have acquired considerable skill, is not only bestowed upon the inside of the buildings, but upon the outside also, even in situations the most exposed to the weather. The portions of a temple which are best executed and most in accordance with European taste are the detached tall pyramids and spires by which they are surrounded. These, unlike most of the rest of the building which is composed mainly of timber with a roof of tiles, are constructed of solid masonry, and produced very good effect. The whole temple, however, is wanting in height, and is generally inelegant in form, lacking domes, arches, and columns.

In the same way their statuary is, almost entirely limited to the fabrication of one form of idol, Buddha, and this commonly in a sitting attitude. Some of these are of immense size, and they are mostly made - in the cheap, fragile, tawdry style of work in Siam - of a composition of plaster, rosin, and oil, mixed with hair. It is then varnished and covered with gilding. The best of these images are made of bronze or brass, and these may be, considered the acme of Siamese skill in the arts.

The Siamese have a singular and whimsical prejudice. They have an extreme horror of permitting anything to pass over the head, or having the head touched, or in short bringing themselves into any situation in which their persons are liable to be brought into a spot of physical inferiority to that of others, such as going under a bridge, or entering the lower apartment of a house when the upper one is inhabited. For this sufficient reason, their houses are all of one storey. If you lived there in a two-storeyed European house, even on the second storey, no Siamese official or person of consequence could visit you, because if he entered by the front door and passed along the passage to the stairs to ascend to your apartments, somebody on your floor might possibly be over his head, and if this were known he would suffer severely in public estimation. But your visitor, if he greatly desired to see you, would condescend to come to you up a ladder placed against the wall, so that he might enter by one of the windows of your apartment.

When men meet, the tenderest embrace between equals consists, as the language expresses it, in “smelling” the -object of affection. This practice is common to the Siamese, and many of Indian islands.

Grain, especially maize and rice, gamboge, cardamums, oil, salt, sugar, and pepper, are largely produced, the last nominally through the skill and industry of Chinese settlers. Indeed, this tropical, well-watered land, will, at one time or another of the year, produce every kind of food in rich abundance. Here grows the delicious mangusteen — sometimes called mangostin - of all tropical fruits the most beloved of Europeans - the oranrge, the durean, the banana, the shaddock, and the dukuh, and the lichis, are very fine, but so numerous are they that at dinner in the territory of Malacca, sometimes 72 species are produced at dessert. The Siamese are very hospitable; your host invites you to “eat heartily, and not be abashed.”

The Siamese character is servile and cringing, rapacious and slothful, dishonest, cowardly, and vain to the last degree. Even the Court, in its intercourse with foreign nations, is not ashamed to beg in a quite paltry fashion. One who knows them well, said “as enemies they are not dangerous, as friends they could never be relied upon!” Their pride with regard to all foreigners is even more unreasonable and ridiculous than that of the Chinese. Menial labour, even for foreign embassies, is most difficult to procure. The humblest peasant, though, as he always is, the despised and downtrodden serf of a barbarous despotism, yet considers himself far superior to the most exalted subject of any other country! Their isolated position, and their despotic rule over the semi-barbarous tribes by which they are surrounded, and their general ignorance may in the main account for this. But from whatever cause it arises, there can be no question but that the Siamese, ignorant as they are in arts and arms - without individual or national superiority, half naked, and enslaved — are yet the vainest people in the East!

On the other hand, though these virtues are all of a somewhat negative kind, they are temperate and abstemious, placable, peaceable, law-abiding, and obedient. By their religion as, Buddhists, they are, or should be, vegetarians. Yet no semi- civilised people are more unclean feeders. They constantly eat dogs, cats, rats, and lizards. In the same way, by their professed faith as followers of Buddha, they are, or should be, total abstainers. Yet, a strong passion for ardent spirits appears to be found everywhere amongst them, yet, it is only right to say that they seldom or never drink to excess, and they are, it must be said, essentially a moderate and temperate people, though impure and indiscriminate in their diet and uncleanly in their persons.

Though ferocious in their wars with the surrounding nations, decapitating prisoners of rank, making perpetual slaves of all others, even all the unarmed men, women, and children they can lay hold of, amongst themselves, and at other times towards strangers, they are most peaceable. A Siamese when wronged always seeks redress through his chief, and never attempts to retaliate with his own hand. They never “run amuck” like their Malay neighbours. Their placable and obedient habits are well shown by the security of life and property which exists in Siam, and which is, at least, some compensation to the despotism to which doubtless it owes its origin.

Their domestic character, too, is commendable. Parental affection is strong, and perhaps too indulgent, and children show respect and obedience to their parents. The Women are not so secluded as in many Oriental lauds, but they are not treated with respect; but, on the contrary, are viewed, as is more or less the case throughout the whole Orient, as beings of a lower order. They perform every description of outdoor and field labour, such as carrying burdens, sowing, ploughing, sowing, and harrowing. This they are obliged to do as the men are taken in such large numbers by conscription, not only for the army, but for all the other poorly-paid services of the Court and State. But they are not subjected to brutality or ill-treatment.

Polygamy is allowed by the law and religion of the country, and divorces are frequent, being granted without difficulty, and on slight occasions. The mass of the people have but one wife, though the King possesses a harem of 300 women.

The religion of the land, Buddhism, which extends from Bengal to Cochin China, and embraces some 400,000,000 of mankind, teaches a kind of immortality of the soul and a future state of rewards and punishments. After death the soul is supposed to occupy the bodies of animals or men, and after many of those transmigrations, if they practice the requisite virtues, they pass through some twenty-two heavens, six superior and sixteen inferior, to the highest of all - a state of perfect felicity, a state in which men no longer are born and no longer die, and are emancipated from the cares and passions of all other conditions of existence, called in the popular: language; Ni-ri-pan, which appears a corruption of the Pali word Pari-ni-pan, meaning “all extinguished,” the Nirvana of European writers. They do not believe in one supreme, God. They believe in many minor gods, and specially worship Gautama and Buddha. Their moral precepts are embodied in ten commandments: 1. Do not slay animals. 2. Do not steal. 3. Do not commit adultery. 4. Do not tell lies or backbite. 5. Do not drink wine. 6. Do not eat after twelve o’clock. 7. Do not frequent plays or public spectacles, or listen to music. 8. Do not use perfumes. 9. Do not sleep or recline upon a couch that is above a foot and a half high. 10. Do not borrow or be in debt. The first five of these precepts are applicable to all mankind, but the last five are binding only on the Buddhist priests, called Talapoins. But the strict observance of religious duties is expected only from the Talapoins, the only duties required of the laity being of a superficial, character such as giving alms to the priests, keeping the usual holidays, visiting the temples, and, if rich, endowing them. Every man in the - kingdom must at one time or another be a priest; on doing so, if married, he must get a divorce. Even the King must be a Talapoin, or priest, for two or three days, and go about the streets begging for alms, like the rest.

The priests, who are all celebate, live together in, monasteries always attached to the temple. These monasteries consist of from ten to several hundred Talapoins, who live in a regular series of cells on the outskirts of the temple. Each monastery is under a superior, or abbot, to whom all the Talapoins in connection with it show the utmost reverence and obedience. Almost all the education the male Siamese children receive is in these monasteries. In return the children perform menial services to the priests, and are partly fed at the expense of its endowments. The priests may not engage in any trade or profession, and a breach of their vow of celibacy is, by law, punished with death. The study of science and the liberal arts is forbidden to these Talapoins as partaking too much of the profane business of the world.

Though killing is strictly prohibited by their religion, the Siamese manage to enjoy a large amount of animal food, for once killed they may eat it without asking questions. Fish from their numerous waterways form a most considerable article of food. This they say they do not kill, but only draw it out of the water and leave it to die! By a similar subterfuge they justify war, saying they do not aim directly at any one of the enemy, but only fire at them as a body.

A priest’s day is spent as follows:— At seven in the morning he sallies forth to beg. Thousands of them at this time swarm in the streets and river of the metropolis, Bangkok. They must not actually ask for charity, but present themselves at the doors of the laity and expect it in silence as a matter of right, never condescending to thank the donor. They must not take money, only food or clothing, and the food must be ready dressed. They breakfast at eight. Then they have a second meal at noon, and after that must not eat again that day. The afternoon is spent in study. From five to seven each evening they assemble in the oratory of the monastery and pray together in a loud chanting voice that can be heard a quarter Of a mile away, and when this is over a drum is beaten loudly. They have to read hymns, prayers, and moral discourses to the people in the chapels of the temples on the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 23rd days of each month; to ordain priests; to consecrate idols and temples; to assist in solemnizing marriages; and in performing funeral rites. The head of all the Talapoins is the San-Krat, or high priest, who is chosen by the king, and always lives within the walls of the palace; and to him unbounded honours are paid.

The Talapoins, instead of like all the rest of the people of every rank and degree being more than half-naked, are decently and respectably clothed. The garments must be of a yellow colour, either of silk or cotton. Their heads are close shaven and have no protection against the weather, except that given by a fan held over it with the hand. This is a leaf of the Palmyra, called in Sans-krit Talpat; has no doubt given rise to the name Talapoin, by which the priests are known. Secular persons, whatever their rank, must bow to a priest when passing or meeting him; and the latter must not return the salutation, but take this piece of homage as a matter of course.

The temple, or monastery, for they are nearly inseparable, called in the language of Siam Wat, or Wata, is always a large square enclosure, consisting of the following parts: a place of worship with the image of Gautama, an extensive area, a library, and the cells, or dwellings, of the Talapoins. An immense number of images of Gautama occupy the galleries and chambers; in the case of one temple it is said there are 1,500 of these images. Sometimes a vast image of Buddha is set up, one in Prahchet-tap-pon, or “the Temple of the People,” at 'Bangkok, is no less than 35 feet high, richly gilt all over. The library of this temple consisted, when visited by Mr. Crawford, of only 50 volumes. These temples of Siam, Unlike the houses, are constructed of brick and mortar, and the roof is made of timber covered with red tiles, and all the principal structures are of a square form with gable ends. The arch and the dome seem nearly unknown. Pyramidal pagodas surmounted by a spire to abound. All the buildings are of one storey only, owing to the strange horror which every man entertains, confining the expression to its literal sense, of suffering his neighbour to pass over his head. There is nothing very grand or durable about these temples, but all that carving in the most profuse and laborious matter, painting, varnishing, and gilding can do by way of gaudy decoration, is done to beautify them.

There is not much of reverence amongst the lay worshippers, who are often noisy, clamorous, and playful. They are at one moment prostrate before the idols, and at another engaged in some frolic, or singing an idle song. A man will coolly light his cigar at an incense rod, which a devotee has just placed before one of the idols; and another will deliberately sit down before an image and play a merry air on a flageolet, whilst many are engaged at the same shrine in performing their devotions, Women mix in the crowd unveiled, and there is considerable familiarity between the sexes. All seems levity. Few priests are about, but women devotees may be seen sprinkling the images with perfumes, and making oblations to them of lighted incense rods, lotus, and other fresh flowers, chaplets of artificial flowers, cloths of various description, and especially scarfs of silk or cotton, commonly of a yellow colour. Some burn sacrificial paper, and others, Chinese may be seen hanging up banners of cloth or paper with Chinese inscriptions upon them. But together with this a noisy band of music will sometimes play before one of the idols, and a set of professional comedians excite the mirth of the crowd by their extravagant and ludicrous buffoonery.

It will not surprise the reader to learn that all the nations professing this form of worship, Buddhism, and with whom it is the paramount faith, are among, Asiatic nations of secondary rank only, and that not one of them has ever attained to the first rank in art or arms, or produced individuals known to the world as legislators, writers, warriors, or founders of new forms of worship. The priests have no power to restrain or balance the despotism of the sovereign. They are simply his creatures, supporting and confirming his rule, and wholly dependent upon him for support and promotion. The sovereign is the real head of the religion of the country.

The Government of Siam, we have said, is despotic — as despotic as the absence of all legal restraint and the utmost aid of religion and superstition can make it. To such an extent is this carried, that the subjects of the King of Siam, it is pretended, cannot pronounce his name. It is never mentioned in writing, and is said to be known only to a few amongst his principal courtiers. His death must never be inquired into, for it must be taken for granted that he is free from all bodily infirmities. No heir to the throne is appointed during the lifetime of the king, for even to imagine the king’s death is high treason. Amongst his titles are “The sacred Lord of Heads,” “The sacred Lord of Lives,” “The Owner of All.” He is spoken of as “Most exalted Lord, infallible, and infinitely powerful.” His feet, hands, mouth, ears, nose, etc., must not be mentioned without the word Phra, meaning “Sacred Lord,” being prefixed. “Golden” is another epithet appropriated to whatever belongs to his Majesty’s person. The ordinary prelude to all written or spoken addresses to him is “Exalted Lord, Sovereign of many Princes, let the Lord of Lives tread upon his slave’s head, who here prostrate, receiving the dust of the golden feet upon the summit of his head, makes known with all possible humility, that he has something to submit.”

Much of this veneration comes from the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, it being thought that his body must be home of a soul in a highly advanced stage of migration towards a final state of beatitude, rest, and extinction. In rank there is no comparison between the king and any even of the royal princes. The sovereign will call a prince “dog” or “rat” with epithet “royal,” “noble,” or “illustrious,” most incongruously added. With a few trifling exceptions in the provinces there is no hereditary rank in Siam; no aristocracy of wealth or title; the despotism which reigns over all levelling before it every distinction, and rendering all subservient to its pleasure or caprice. The people are considered as the mere slaves of the government.

The most important feature of the tyrannical Siamese Government is the universal conscription which prevails, and which compels every male inhabitant in Siam from the age of 21 years upward to serve the State without any pay for four months in each year for ordinary labour, or for military or menial service. The only exceptions, are the whole of the Talapoins, or priests, and the desire to escape from this wretched, enforced, unpaid servitude of a third of each year, accounts for the universal practice of each man passing a portion of his life in the priestly order. The whole Chinese population are also let off because they pay a commutation in the form of a poll-tax; all slaves, all public functionaries; and every father of a family who has three sons of a serviceable age. Exemption can sometimes be purchased by a fine in money about, eight ticals, £1 a month, or in the province in kind such as sapan-wood, wood of aloes, saltpetre, ivory, and skins. By the ancient laws of the country the time of enforced service is, six months instead of four, but a king, more than a century ago, to make himself popular, reduced the period.

An interview with the King of Siam at Bangkok, the capital, has been graphically described by Mr. Crawfurd, an envoy sent by the Governor General of India. “About nine o’clock we landed under the walls of the palace, where we found an immense concourse of people waiting to see the spectacle. The accommodation for conveying us to the palace consisted of net hammocks, suspended from poles, furnished with an embroidered carpet, and according to the custom of the country, borne by two men only. The management of these unstable vehicles was a matter of some difficulty, and our awkwardness became a subject of some amusement to the crowd. The escort, after saluting us at the landing place, fell in and formed part of the procession. After passing the first gate we came to a very extensive market, crowded in every part by the populace. This led directly to the second gate, where a street of Siamese soldiers in single file was formed to receive us. These were of a most grotesque appearance, their costumes being neither Asiatic nor European, but a strange mixture of both. Their uniforms consisted of a loose jacket of coarse scarlet broad- cloth, buttoned in front; a pair of small loose trousers barely reaching to the knee, and a hat with a small round crown and broad brim, which was coated with red paint or varnish, and composed of rhinoceros hide, a substance which is sabre-proof. Their arms consisted of muskets and bayonets, coated like their hats with a thick red varnish. Some of the muskets were without ramrods, and altogether in a very poor state in regard to efficiency.

At the Second gateway we dismounted from our litters, and left the escort which was not permitted to go further. We were also compelled at this place to part with our side-arms — no person whatever, we were told, being permitted to come armed within the immediate precincts of the royal residence. Passing through this gate, we went along an avenue having a line of sheds on both sides, under each of which was a cannon of enormous size. In this avenue also a street of Siamese military, similar to those just described, was formed to receive us. Turning a little aside from this avenue, we were conducted into an immense hall, which seemed to be not less than eighty or ninety feet long, and forty or fifty broad. This, I believe, was the principal hall of justice; but it did not seem to be much frequented, for pigeons, swallows, and sparrows, had nested in the roof — and were now flying about without fear or interruption, as it is a religious maxim not to disturb them. Close to this building ten elephants caparisoned were drawn out, the first we had seen since our arrival.

Carpets were spread for us, and we were requested to wait a summons into the royal presence. We were not detained above twenty minutes when the summons arrived, and we proceeded to the hall of audience. This portion of the royal inclosure was like the rest that we had passed, filled with a crowd of people who were curious and clamorous, but not rude. A number of officers, with white wands, attended to keep off the crowd, and two officers, after the manner of heralds, preceded us. We now reached the third and last gate, which contains the principal palace, a building with a tall spire, and roofed with tin; the hall of audience distinct from the palace; and an extensive temple of Buddha. We were here requested to take off our shoes, and to leave behind us our Indian attendants. None of our party whatever, indeed, were permitted to go beyond this spot, except the four British officers of the Mission. I had previously stipulated that our interpreters, although not admitted into the presence, should be within hearing; but in the hurry of the moment they were jostled, and hindered from following. As soon as we had entered the gate we found a band of music, consisting of not less than a hundred persons, drawn up to form a street for our reception. The instruments consisted of gongs, drums, brass flutes, and flageolets.

Opposite to the door of the hall of audience there was an immense Chinese mirror, of many parts, which formed a screen, concealing the interior of the court from our view. We had no sooner arrived at this spot than a loud flourish of wind instruments was heard, accompanied by a wild shout or yell, which announced, as we afterwards found, the arrival of his Majesty. We passed the screen to the right side, and, as had been agreed upon, taking off our hats, made a respectful bow in the European manner.

Every foot of the great hall which we had now entered was literally so crowded with prostrate courtiers that it was difficult to move without the risk of treading upon some officer of State. Precedence is decided upon such occasions by relative vicinity to the throne; the princes being near the foot of it, the principal officers of government next to them, and thus in succession down to the lowest officer who is admitted into the presence. We seated ourselves a little in front of the screen, and made three obeisances to the throne, in unison with the courtiers. This obeisance consisted in raising the joined hands to the head three times, at each touching the forehead. To have completed the Siamese obeisance it would have been necessary to have bent the body to the ground, and touched the earth with the forehead at each prostration. I thought the place assigned to us, although not a very distinguished one, the highest it was intended to concede; but we had no sooner made our obeisances than we were requested to advance, and were finally settled about half-way towards the throne. The assigning to us the first place, and our advance afterwards to a more honourable one, was evidently an artifice of our conductors to exact a greater number of obeisances than we had pledged ourselves to make; for when we were seated the second time the whole Court made three additional obeisances, in which we were compelled to join, to avoid the imputation of rudeness.

The hall of audience appeared a well-proportioned and spacious saloon, of about 80 feet in length, and perhaps half this in breadth, and 30 feet in height. Two rows, each of ten handsome wooden pillars, formed an avenue from the door to the throne, which was situated at the upper-end of the hall. The walls and ceiling were painted of a bright vermilion, the cornices of the former being gilded, and the latter thickly spangled throughout with stars in rich gilding. Between the pillars we observed several good lustres of English cut glass. The apartment would have been altogether in good taste but for the appearance against the pillars of some miserable lamps of tin-plate, which had been imported from Batavia, and which were in all likelihood prized only because they were foreign.

The throne and its appendages occupied the whole of the upper end of the hall. The first was gilded all over, and about 15 feet high. It had much the shape and look of a handsome pulpit. A pair of curtains of gold tissue upon a yellow ground, concealed the whole of the upper part of the room except the throne, and they were intended to be drawn over this also, except when used. In front of the throne, and rising from the floor, were; to be seen a number of gilded umbrellas of various sizes. These consisted of a number of canopies, decreasing in size upwards, and sometimes amounting to as many as seventeen tiers. The King, as he appeared seated on his throne, had more the appearance of a statue in a niche than of a living being. He wore a loose gown of gold tissue, with very wide sleeves. His head was bare, for he wore neither crown nor any other ornament on it. Close to him was a golden' baton or sceptre.

The general appearance of the hall of audience, the prostrate attitude of the courtiers, the situation of the King, and the silence which prevailed, presented a very imposing spectacle, and reminded us much more of a temple crowded with votaries engaged in the performance of some solemn rite of religion than the audience chamber of a temporal monarch.

The King seemed a man between fifty and, sixty years of age, rather short in person, and disposed to corpulency. His features were very ordinary, and appeared to bespeak the known indolence and imbecility of his character; but upon this subject it was not easy to form any correct opinion, owing to the distance we were at from the throne, and the sort of chiaroscuro cast upon it, evidently for effect.

The words which his Siamese Majesty condescended to address to us were delivered in a grave, measured, and oracular manner. One of the first officers of State delivered them to a person of inferior rank; and this person to. Ko-chai-sahak, who was behind us, and explained them in the Malay language. The King questioned us as to our embassy on a number of points, and, receiving replies to all his different questions, His Majesty concluded with the following sentence — “I am glad to see an envoy here from the Governor-General of India. Whatever you have to say, communicate to the Minister, Suri-wung-kosa. What we chiefly want from you are firearms.”

His Majesty had no sooner pronounced these last words, than we heard a loud stroke, as given by a wand against apiece of wainscoting; upon which the curtains on each side of the throne, moved by some concealed agency, closed upon it. This was followed by the same flourish of wind instruments, and the same wild shout which accompanied our entrance; and the courtiers falling upon their faces to the ground made six successive prostrations. We made three obeisances, sitting upright, as had been agreed upon.

As soon as the curtain was drawn upon his Majesty the courtiers for the first time sat upright, and we were requested to be at our ease — freely to look round us, and admire the splendour and magnificence of the court — such being nearly the words made use of by the interpreter making this communication to us.

During the audience a heavy shower had fallen, and it was still raining. His Majesty took this opportunity of presenting us each with a small umbrella, and sent a message to desire that we would view, the curiosities of the palace at our leisure. When we arrived at the threshold of the hall of audience we perceived the courtyard and the roads extremely wet and dirty from the fall of rain. We naturally demanded our shoes, which we had left at the last gate. This was a favour which could not be yielded, and we were informed that the first princes of the blood could not wear shoes within the sacred enclosure in which we now were. It would have been impolitic to have evinced ill humour, or attempted remonstrance; and therefore, we feigned a cheerful compliance with this inconvenient usage, and proceeded to gratify our curiosity.

The greatest of the curiosities to which our attention was directed were the white elephants, well known in Europe to be objects of veneration, if not of worship, in all the countries where the religion of Buddha prevails. The present King has no less than six of these, a larger number than ever was possessed by any Siamese monarch, and this circumstance is considered peculiarly auspicious to his reign. Four of them were shown to us. They approached much nearer to a true white than I had expected; they had, indeed, all of them more or less of a flesh-coloured tinge; but this arose from the exposure of the skin owing to the small quantity of hair with which the elephant is naturally coloured. They showed no signs of disease; debility, or imperfection; and as to size they were of the ordinary stature, the smallest being not less than six-feet six inches high. Upon enquiring into their history, we found that they were all either from the kingdom of Lao or Kamboja, and none from Siam itself, nor from the Malay countries tributary to it, which last, indeed, had never been known to afford a white elephant.

The rareness of the white elephant is, no doubt, the origin of the consideration in which, it is held. The countries in which it is found, and in which, indeed, the elephant in general exists in greatest perfection, and is most regarded, are those in which the worship of Buddha and the doctrine of the metempsychosis (that is, the reincarnation of the sou1, and its transmigration from one animal body to another, until at last it becomes extinct) prevail. It was natural, therefore, to imagine that so rare an object as a white elephant must be the temporary habitation of the soul of some mighty personage in its progress to perfection. This is the current belief, and accordingly every white elephant has the rank and title of a king, with an appropriate name expressing this dignity, such as the “pure king,” the “wonderful king,” and so forth. One of the Jesuits, writing upon this subject, informs us with some naivete that his Majesty of Siam does not ride the white elephant because he (the white elephant) is as great a king as himself.

Each of those which we saw had a separate stable, and no less than ten keepers to wait upon it. The tusks of the males, for there were some of both sexes, were ornamented with gold rings. On the head they all had a gold chain net, and on the back a small embroidered velvet cushion.

Notwithstanding the veneration with which the white elephants are considered in some respects, it does not seem to be carried so far in Siam as to emancipate them from occasional correction. Two of them were described as so vicious that it was considered unsafe to exhibit them. A keeper pricked the foot of one in our presence with a sharp iron until blood came, although his majesty’s only offence was stealing a bunch of bananas; or, rather, snatching it before he had received permission.

In the; stables of the white elephants we were shown two monkeys, whose presence, the keepers insisted, preserved their royal charges, from sickness. These were of a perfectly pure white colour, of considerable size, and of the tribe of monkeys with long tails. They were in perfect health, and had been long caught; but we were advised not to play with them, as they were of a sullen and mischievous disposition. These were both taken in the forest of Pisikip, about ten days’ journey up the river Menam.”

Funeral rites in Siam are matters of great moment. The bodies of the great are always kept for a long time embalmed, and are then consumed on a funeral pile. The period the body is kept is regulated by the rank of the deceased, and varies from one to twelve months. The costliness and splendour of the rites on the occasion of the death of the high priest and the king may be realised from the following graphic description:-

“Immediately on the death of the king, which happened in July, 1824, the building of a large edifice in the form of a temple was commenced for a funeral pile for burning the body on, according to the custom of the country; not only in regard to the kings, but to all classes of the people. This building, which took nine months to finish, was very extensive, and covered at least half an acre of ground. It consisted of a large open dome, about 50 feet high, supported upon immense wooden pillars, the finest that could be procured in Siam. The roof, which was of various fantastic forms, the parts rising one above the other until it came to a point, was covered with tiles. From the centre of it rose a spire composed of five or six flights or stories decreasing in size as they rose, and each flight terminating in a gallery or circular walk. The edifice was crowned with a tall slender rod. The height of the whole fabric I could not exactly learn, but from its appearance I should think it could not be less than three hundred cubits.

The whole of the. interior, as well as exterior of the building, was painted partly green and partly yellow, and in some places covered with gold and silver leaf, which gave it a very rich and splendid appearance, especially at a distance. It was also surrounded, with a variety of images representing their deities. Inside the great dome there was a small temple precisely in the form of the large one; in the centre of this, and about two-thirds up, was a platform, over which was a small spire supported upon four pillars about thirty feet high. On this platform was to be placed the body. The whole of this interior building, but particularly near the place where the body was to be deposited, was highly gilded, and otherwise richly decorated with gold and silver leaf. The great building was surrounded with low sheds or houses, for the accommodation of the priests, who flocked from all parts of the kingdom to assist at the ceremony. Outside of these sheds there were erected 12 passages, at convenient distances from each other, and these also were decorated in a manner corresponding with the large temple. The ground within the sheds just mentioned, which was about thirty yards wide, was covered in with basket work of bamboos, as were also all the passages leading from the palace, for the better accommodation of the royal pedestrians. This was the state of the preparations a few days previous to the commencement of the ceremony.

The day fixed upon for the removal of the remains of his late Majesty from the palace to the funeral pile was nine months after he had died. I was invited along with some of my friends to see the ceremony. We reached the place appointed for us as early as seven o’clock in the morning, to avoid the bustle of the crowd collecting from all parts. The situation appointed for us was not the most convenient, being only an open shed close by the road along which the procession was to pass. Here we were much annoyed with heat and dust, but being as well provided for as the Cochin Chinese ambassador, who had come to Siam for the express purpose of honouring the ceremony, we had no right to complain; we had, moreover, the honour of being accompanied by the Pra-klaag’s son, and by the Intendant of the port. The procession began to move at nine o’clock, or in Siamese time, at three o’clock, and in the following order:—

Several hundred soldiers, dressed principally in blue and red camlet, with caps of the same material, walking at a slow pace, without order, and bearing in their hands long poles of bamboo in the manner of flagstaffs, on the tops of which were artificial flowers of large size.

A similar number of men, not soldiers, carrying banners of silk and cloth of a triangular shape, upon which were various devices, consisting of dragons, serpents, and other monsters, painted or embroidered.

Two carriages, each drawn by a single horse.

The figure of a rhinoceros, of the size of an elephant, upon a sledge or carriage upon low wheels, drawn by men and horses, with a small temple on its back, in which was a quantity of yellow dresses, to be given to the priests as offerings.

Two figures of elephants (very large), drawn as above.
Two figures of horses, similarly drawn.
Two figures of large monkeys, two and two.
Four figures of eagles, two and two.
Four figures of wild men or giants, two and two.
Four figures of lions of immense size, two and two.

These were followed by the figures of a variety of other indescribable beasts and birds, two and two, and each figure bore its supply of dresses for the priests.

Eight hundred men dressed in white with white caps or helmets. These represented celestial messengers, and their purpose was as if to show the soul of the deceased king the way to heaven. Along with these were many bands of music.

The late King’s household. Some of these bore over their heads a large umbrella, or canopy, composed of three or four tiers, and having long fringes suspended from it. Others had swords of state in their hands, and all walked in the procession with great disorder and confusion.

The late King’s: brother, in a hand-some open carriage of singular form and workmanship, highly gilded and ornamented, and the roof terminating in a small temple containing cloth for the priests. This was drawn by a number of men and horses.

Choufa, the late king’s son, in a similar carriage, but still handsomer.

Choufa Noe, the late King’s nephew, a boy, in a very superb carriage, holding in his hand the end of a sash of gold tissue, the other end being attached to the next carriage immediately after him, and which contained the body of the late King. This last was most elegantly gilded and decorated, and supported by the great officers of State, walking in single files at the sides of the carriage, all dressed in white, having helmets on their heads, sandals on their feet, and carrying white wands in their hands.

A carriage containing a quantity of sandal wood and other perfumes for the pile.

The bier was followed by soldiers, figures of animals, musicians, and messengers, of the same number and kind with those which preceded it, .and in the same order. After these came the late King’s brothers, forty in number all on horseback, in single file, and according to seniority. Each was followed by a train of servants on foot, dressed in white. The procession terminated at 12 o’clock with little confusion and no outrage whatever notwithstanding the immense crowd which was collected, and which consisted of nearly the whole population of Bang-Kok and a vast number of strangers from the most distant provinces of the kingdom.

On the following day we were invited to see the body lie in state on the funeral pile in the small temple, within the great dome, previous to its being burnt. On our arrival within the palace we were conductedin by old Phya Chula and his son (Mohammedans employed in the department of the customs), who, of course, did not forget to exact from us all the necessary marks of respect to the body of their late master. The large dome had four entrances, each of which was guarded night and day by a prince of the blood, from the time the body was placed within it. On our arrival at one of these' entrances we were obliged to take off our shoes. Having then paid our compliments to the Prince, we proceeded to the place where the body lay. On approaching it we made our obeisance, and sat down, of course, on the floor, which was, however, well covered with mats. The scene presented here was the most magnificent I ever saw. From the roof of the large dome were suspended the most beautiful ornaments of Siamese manufacture in gold and silver, made for the occasion, as well as an infinite variety of European chandeliers, lamps, etc.
But the small temple was still more sumptuously ornamented, being literally covered with gold and silver leaf. Over the body was suspended a variety of gold and silver branches, or small trees; and the floor round it was covered with a variety of muisical instruments, clocks, looking-glasses, and other furniture, all that could be begged or borrowed throughout the country. The whole had a surprising effect.

Having taken our leave of this place, with the same reverence as we entered it, we proceeded to view the amusements provided for the evening; consisting of fireworks, tumbling, rope-dancing, wrestling, etc. The most amusing part of the exhibition was the scrambling of the mob for pieces of money, scattered among them from four small tables erected for the purpose. These were placed at short distances from each other, immediately before the place where the King and his suite sat. From each of these were thrown occasional handsful of coin, consisting of half and quarter ticals. In this manner, a few hundred ticals were expended nightly, during the continuance of the festival, which lasted ten days. In addition to this, there were given away in alms daily at the palace, during the game period, five hundred ticals. The amusements generally were very poor. What appeared to me deserving of more admiration than anything else, was the very orderly manner in which the people conducted themselves, notwithstanding the vast concourse collected from all parts of the country.

The preparations and conduct of the whole affair did the Siamese much credit, and would not disgrace any country in Europe. They certainly thought not a little of it themselves, and frequently asked me if I ever saw the like before. I was obliged to confess I had not.

The fire from which the pile is lighted they pretend is celestial, having, as they allege, been taken from a ball of fire which fell at the door of the palace several centuries ago, and which has never since been suffered to extinguish.”

Charity to the lower animals is considered by the Siamese as a religious virtue of great merit, and they frequently give rise at funerals to a disgusting and abominable rite, never performed, however, except in compliance with the dying request of the deceased. It consists in cutting slices of flesh from the, corpse, and with these, feeding the birds of prey and the dogs, which are seen in numbers about the temples, waiting for this horrid feast. After this ugly rite the remains of the body are buried in the usual manner. The only honourable funeral amongst the Siamese, consists in burning the body, and the practice is very general. It seems to be viewed as a religious rite, and as a ceremony necessary to assist the passage of the soul to a higher grade in the scale of transmigration, and finally to its extinction or rest.

The persons not deemed worthy of this rite are women dying pregnant or in child-birth; persons who come to a sudden death; persons who die of the small-pox; and malefactors. The death of all such is considered as the punishment of some offence in the present or a former state of existence. They are consequently deemed unworthy of regular funeral rites, and buried. Under ordinary circumstances so much importance is attached to the rite of burning the dead that, if the ceremony cannot be performed soon after death, either from poverty or from the party dying, at a distance, the body is first buried, and afterwards, as soon as convenient or practicable, disinterred, and consigned to the funeral pile. Of persons of distinction a few of the bones are kept, and either preserved in urns in the houses of their relatives or buried, with little pyramidal monuments over them, in the ground adjacent to the temples. Of these monuments we saw a good number; they are small and paltry, without any inscription.

The practice of immolating living victims with the dead, as practised in Hindostan and some other countries of the East, is unknown to the Siamese in any form — one advantage, at least, if there be no other, which humanity gains from the avowed principle of the doctrines of Buddha, which denounces the shedding of blood.

There is one species of suicide, however, which is reckoned meritorious. This is considered as a solemn religious sacrifice of the highest order. The victim who devotes himself to self-destruction sits down on the ground, covered all over with quantities of cloth dipped in oil, and smeared with other combustibles. He sets fire to the materials himself, and patiently suffers death, with his hands raised above his face, in an attitude of devotion. The relations of one who performs such a sacrifice are for ever after taken under the special protection of the sovereign. Such sacrifices as these are extremely rare, as may be inferred from the nature of the reward.


THE time to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the season of Easter. In 1873 and 1875 I was present at the so-called Holy Fire. On the first occasion alone, on the second with Lieut. Kitchener (now the famous General Lord Kitchener of Khartoum), with whom I rode sixty miles in one day from Gaza to see the spectacle.

On the evening before the day of the Fire, the whole huge building was full of pilgrims, and the long winding passages and galleries were blocked with human beings, fast asleep, crouched against the walls, or extended on mattresses. In the passage from the door to the Rotunda, Armenian women were propped in long rows against the walls, on a kind of bench. Most of the pilgrims were asleep, but some still showed by frequent crossings, protestations, and sighs, that the keenness, of their ecstasy was unabated.

In 1875 the pilgrimage to Noby Musa was going on at the same time, and parties of wild fanatical Moslems paraded the streets of Jerusalem Rearing green banners surmounted with the crescent, and inscribed with Arabic texts. A body guard armed with battle-axes, spears, and long brass-bound guns, accompanied each flag, and a couple of big drums with cymbals followed. It speaks well for the Turks, that with all the elements of a bloody riot thus ready to hand, with crowds of fanatics, Christian and Moslem, in direct contact, still no disturbances occurred.

By 11.30 a.m. on the 19th April, 1873, and by the same time on 22nd April, 1875, we had been marshalled to a place in the Latin gallery, west of the sepulchre, and looking down on the rotunda. Between the Chapel of the Sepulchre and the rotunda wall, is a space some 15 paces wide; a double line of Turkish soldiers kept open a narrow lane, in the middle of this space, round the tomb - a lane sufficiently wide for three men to walk abreast. On either side the crowd was packed against the rotunda wall, and against that of the sepulchre chapel, and packed so thickly, that it seemed impossible for one single being more to be squeezed in. To say that you could walk on the heads of the crowd conveys but a poor idea of its compactness; the whole mass seemed welded into one body, and any movement of a single individual swayed the entire crowd, which seemed to tremble like a huge jelly.

But who can describe this wonderful scene? The sunlight came down from above on the north side where the Greeks were gathered, while on the south all was in shadow. The mellow grey of the marble was lit up, and a white centre of light was formed by the caps, shirts, and veils of the native Christians.

A narrow cross-lane was made at the fire-hole, on the north side, and here first two, and in 1875, six herculean guardians, in jerseys, and with handkerchiefs bound to their heads, kept watch, the only figures plainly distinguishable among the masses.

The effect of colour was remarkable; it seemed to run in patches, as all of one nationality were near one another. In the sunlight, brown faces and arms, salmon colour, pink
light blue, and cinnamon in the clothing, were blended with the white, but, in the shadow the dark blue uniforms, the black dresses of nuns, and the brown frieze and the red sashes of the Armenians were streaked across by the long lines of the soldiers’ red fezzes.

First came a priest in yellow, with a crown and great jewelled cross, flanked by others in pink satin, with censors; four banners followed, and six priests in embroidered cloth of gold; next came twenty Armenians in cloth of silver; next, two censor-bearers with red-and-gold crowns, and four priests in cloth of gold, with candles; then came the Armenian bishop, in a huge cape lined with rose satin, and with a white beard and a gigantic; mitre, of gold, having a central medallion of enamel; on each side of him was a priest in a black cap, holding his robe. Next came the Copts, with six banners, a cross, and two books in silver covers; the priests in cloth of gold, with crowns of red velvet and gold; then six monks in the same with white hoods; two censor-bearers with yellow tippets and crowns; followed by the Coptic bishop, in cloth of silver lined with crimson, and with a great silver crown; two acolytes and a banner-bearer in silver and white went before him. A cross, four banners, and two censors were borne next. Then came four priests in silver, embroidered with blue, bearing books in rich silver cover; then the Syrian bishop, in plain cloth of gold, with a hood of the same; and behind him a banner, borne by a priest in pink and silver robes, embroidered with flowers.

Again in the evening we went to the church, and found our way into the gallery, where we remained till one in the morning. The crowd was almost as thick, but the majority were Russian women, and the old cry, “Hadha Kuber Saidna,” still rang at intervals. A new procession of eighty priests and seven crowned bishops in silver robes was formed, these being of the Greek rite. The glare of countless candles lit up the scene, and after the procession had gone thrice round the tomb the bells began clanging, the crowd rocked, and all the banners and crosses were spun round and round with a rapid whirl, till the flashing, the noise, and this extraordinary spinning of the flags made one giddy.

Such is a plain account of this wonderful feast, from notes made on the spot. The Latins have long discountenanced the imposture, though it was once recognised by them; and dates back to the miraculous lighting of lamps in the time of the Christian kings of Jerusalem. Every educated Greek knows it to be a shameful imposition, but the ignorant Syrians and the fanatical Bussian peasants still believe the fire to descend from heaven. The clergy dare not enlighten them, and that crafty diplomacy which encourages pilgrimages to Jerusalem by Government aid, fosters the superstition which is the main inducement for the Russian pilgrims to visit the Holy City.

On the west a striking contrast was observable; here stood and sat Abyssinians and Copts, silent and dusky, with many women among them, some with small babies in their arms, whose cries of half suffocation were plainly heard above the din of many voices and many languages. The Coptic men were in loose, dark robes, with white, twisted turbans; the women were closely veiled, in flowing, indigo-coloured garments. The Abyssinians, swathed in voluminous white drapery, sat gloomily silent against the wall. On the east a few Arabs were gathered, also in dark robes, and behind them was seen the rich colouring of the Greek chancel, dark and dusky in the dim light.

The pilgrims had been standing in their places for at least ten hours, yet they showed no signs of weariness. Every face was turned towards the fire-hole, and but one interest seemed to absorb them, save when the great pewter cans of water, supplied by the charity of the priests, were brought round. The variety of national character was also remarkable. Patient and stolid the Russians and Armenians stood in their places, and a little forest of candles rose from amongst them, ready to receive the fire, each pilgrim having a bunch of perhaps a dozen in his hand. Silent and motionless sat the Egyptians, awaiting the event with all the apathy and dignified indifference of Orientals. On the north, however, an entirely different scene was enacted. Here stood the Greek Christians, mostly Syrians by birth, who were worked up into a state of hysterical frenzy which would not allow them to be quiet for a moment, and which seemed ever on the increase. Every now and then a man would struggle on to the shoulders of his neighbours; in one case six arms, extended full length, supported him, three to each foot, whilst his baggy trousers were grasped to keep him steady. Another man was pushed and rolled along, over the people’s heads, as if he was swimming. These individuals became fugle-men, and led the numerous well-known chants, of which I collected the, following: —

“Hadha Kub-er Said-na.”

This is the most common chant, meaning “This is the Tomb of our Lord,” and repeated by hundreds of voices in perfect time with the accentuation as given above. Another chant was to the same cadence:—

“A’llah unser is Sultan.”
“God help the Sultan.”

The next was rarely heard:—

“Ya Ye-hud! Ya Ye-hud! ”
’Aide-kum, Aid el kurud.”
“O Jews! O Jews!
Your feast is a feast of apes.”

Two longer chants were also used pretty frequently:—

“El Messih ’Ata-na,
Bi dumhu, Tohtera-na.
Alma el yom ferana,
Na el Yehud hiza-na.”

“The Christ is given us,
With His blood he bought us.
We celebrate the day,
And the Jews bewail.”

“Sebt en Nar wa Aid-na,
Wa hadha kub-er Sa-idna.”
“The seventh is the fire and our feast,
And this is the Tomb of our Lord.”

Nothing was more remarkable than the patience of the soldiery who had to keep order. The Greeks gave most trouble, and in 1878 the feeling evinced by them was very bitter, because their favourite Patriarch had just been deposed. A very fat old colonel walked up and down, armed with a murderous kurbaj, or whip, of hippopotamus hide; then he would sit on the floor and look at the crowd, sometimes putting an additional big soldier at a weak point of the line. The men were armed with the Snider, and were very stalwart and tall. Sometimes the crowd became dangerous and hissed. As fast as his legs could carry him the colonel rushed to the spot, and down came the whip; then, where a moment before there were angry faces, and arms stretched out with clenched fists, there was suddenly nothing but a flat surface of backs, or a few arms raised to protect the heads. Yet on the whole it was a good-natured crowd, and the soldiers were wonderfully patient. Little incidents of a comic natured occurred, and an Arab chief who tried to swagger down the lane found his head shawl off and far away in a moment, tossed from hand to hand amid shouts of laughter.

Two wooden galleries were erected under the arches to the west, each three storeys; and here sat native women of the better class in their best silks, yellow and red stuffs, cachmere shawls, white muslin and blue cloth, with flashing eyes and painted faces. They lay scattered over the bright carpets, presenting an effect of colour more brilliant than that of the broad masses of sombre tints below.

About one o’clock in the afternoon the natives of Jerusalem arrived — a long wave of human beings bursting suddenly in from the south, and surging along the narrow lane. Many were stripped to their vests and drawers — in regular fighting costume. They rushed at the fire-hole, and the first comers thrust their arms into it to keep their places. The effect of this crowd within a crowd — a moving wave, - ploughing through the two packed masses, was very curious. No sooner was it pushed and swept into place and the lane cleared, than it burst into one long, loud shout of repetition

Hadha Kub-er Said-na!
Hadha Kub-er Said-na!!

which was repeated twenty or thirty times at a break, and a big man was hoisted up, and fairly pounded the walls of the sepulchre with his fist, shrieking the same refrain and pointing at the chapel with his fingers, while the crowd joined in the last syllable — a tremendous shout of “Na!”

And now the rotunda contained some 2,000 persons, and the church probably 10,000 in all, when, at 2.15 p.m., the procession was formed, and the nasal chant of the priests was heard in the Greek church.

First came the banners, looking very shabby, the crosses above them bent on one side in bygone fights. The procession was a short and hurried one; the old Patriarch (just elected in 1872) had a frightened air, and shuffled along, flanked by the Archimandrite and by another dignitary, each carrying a great silver globe, with holes in it, mounted on a silver handle, and intended to hold the fire. The tuneless singing was interrupted by the chorus of the crowd and the shrill cries of the women. For a moment, in 1872, there seemed danger of a riot. A man raised his arm and shouted something at the Patriarch in a loud voice. Instantly an officer was on the spot; the man, who had hidden, was dragged out, held by his legs, and beaten over head and face, then thrust back into the crowd, and an extra guard placed over him.

And now a movement of breathless silence followed. Many faces were raised to the roof, perhaps expecting the fire to drop through the quiet shaft of light above, or the dove, which used to be let loose, to appear. Two priests stood bare-headed by the fire-hole, guarded by the giants on either side. Suddenly a lighted torch was in their hands, passed from within, where was the Patriarch. The two priests turned and fled, and the giants closed in round them, trampling like furies through the crowd. In a moment the thin line of soldiers was gone, and two huge hustling masses surged up like waves round the great torch which, now high, now low, was tossed on the seething flood, scattering sparks right and. left, but gradually drifting towards the exterior of the church, where the horseman sat, ready to take the fire to Bethlehem. A great forest of arms was stretched out towards the torch, and they seemed to writhe like serpents after it; but not a single taper was lighted. Soon, however, other torches were passed out of the fire-hole, and the fire spread over the church, as the roar grew louder and louder. A flame next broke out behind the grating of the Coptic Chapel, and a yet more wonderful scene here presented itself. The dark mass of blue and black was streaked with livid flesh colour as bare arms stretched towards the light with their bundles of tapers. Woe to the owner of the taper first lit; it was snatched from him, and extinguished by a dozen others thrust into it. Delicate women and old men fought like furies; long black turbans flew off, and uncoiled like snakes on the ground, and what became of the babies I do not know.

The change from the stagnation of the motionless crowd to the wild storm now raging was as marvellous as it was sudden. The flame spread, seeming to roll over the whole crowd, till the church was a sea of fire, which extended over the roof of the chapel and ran up the galleries and along the choir. Meanwhile, a dreadful bell was clanging away, and the grey-bearded Patriarch was borne out aloft into the chancel on the shoulders of a bodyguard of priests. A dense blue fog made by the smoke, and a smell of burning wax rose up, and above all the quiet gleam of light shone down from the roof.

The fury of the crowd seemed to increase. A stalwart negro, struggling and charging like a mad bull, ran round the church, followed by the writhing arms; then, as all got their candles lighted, men might be seen bathing in the flame, and singeing their clothes in it, or dropping wax over themselves as a memorial, or even eating it. The dancing is not allowed now; but here and there knots were formed of men who jumped and hopped, rolling along the centre and out of church. The whip came down on crowd and soldiers alike, until the lane had been reformed; and at last the excitement abated, as the gorgeous second procession came forth in an endless string.

This procession is the grandest to be seen in Jerusalem, but only a few of the Greeks assist at it.”?


Two methods of delving for precious stones.

A DIAMOND-DIGGER’S life is far from the bed of roses that writers about Kimberley and the neighbourhood would generally lead us to believe. The pay may be good, and undoubtedly is, ranging from £4 to £7 a week for white labour; but, as the policy of restricting the output of diamonds renders the chance of obtaining employment in the mines somewhat remote, there is no demand for diamond miners to-day, and those that are left have to earn their pay.

As in the goldmines, native labour is largely used, and all natives on being engaged are confined to the barbed-wire enclosure that surrounds the mines, and on leaving the employ of the mining companies are subjected to a very severe search both as regards clothes and person; for it is a notorious fact that, despite the utmost caution and watchfulness on the part of the “gangers” and other white officials of the mines, vast quantities of precious stones are surreptitiously conveyed by the natives to outside dealers, who purchase them — at a price, of course.

As a matter of fact, diamond mining may be said to be practically a huge monopoly, for, although at least six great mining companies exist, yet the De Beers Company own the richest and best worked mine in South Africa. To give an idea of the extent of their workings, it may be mentioned that the bulk of their white employees are domiciled in a town by themselves at Kenilworth, a pretty little place not far from Kimberley. It has been said that the improved machinery that has been introduced into this one mine alone from time to time exceeds in value a million sterling, but, as the De Beers Company is notoriously the most successful of all diamond mines, the results have evidently justified such an outlay.

Time was when diamond delving was rather a tedious process, and the methods adopted by the original worker, Mr. O’Reilly, seem very cumbersome and primitive after the wonderful machinery of to-day has been seen. In 1871, and for quite five years after, it was hand labour pure and simple that was employed, from the first plunge of the spade to the final sorting. Gradually, however, one improvement and another have been introduced, one ingenious invention and another marvellous machine tried and not found wanting, till at last the search after the treasures of mother earth has been reduced to a science, and to-day the De Beers plant, or, indeed, of any other mine for that matter, is a marvel of skill, protected by a thousand patents.

Instead of the tedious and laborious process of hundreds of shovels being set to work to dislodge the “blue,” as the earth is called, huge shafts are sunk by machinery, and go crashing through the soil, bringing up at every return tons of earth in which may be perchance a precious stone. We will follow the course of such a load of disintegrated “blue.”

As the “load” is received, a dozen Kaffirs distribute it into a number of miniature railway-trucks, these being hauled away to the “washeries,” their contents there to undergo a first “bath.” This process clears all mud away, leaving the hard lumps of “blue” free to be crushed by a kind of steam hammer. This done, the “pulsator” is set to work, and any stones that may be present — good, bad, and indifferent — are immediately detected and thrown out. By these processes alone, what perhaps was originally 15,000 cubic feet of earth will be “fined out” to three or four cubic feet.

At this stage the work is “taken out of the n*gg*rs’ hands,” and white men alone are trusted with its future manipulation. In some mines the old system of sorting by hand — a tedious process thrice repeated—is adhered to, but in the De Beers Mine a marvellous invention has been successfully introduced whereby the heavy deposits are mechanically sorted. This machine, which consists of a succession of tables, covered with grease, is almost human, for as the conglomeration of stones is placed upon the tables they retain the diamonds and reject all other stones.

This is one process of diamond delving. There is another, which is known as alluvial mining, or “river diggings,” and this, although the worse kind to the workers, is by far the more profitable, as river diamonds are considerably more valuable than Kimberley stones. As a rule, in this process the diamonds are found amongst the river wash, the richest deposit nearly always being imbedded under immense rocks. In this work Kaffirs are more largely employed than in the other description of diamond mining, as the nature of the work necessitates many arduous tasks that a white man would be unable to undertake, such as, for instance, the wading breast deep that has to be endured for hours at a stretch.

Some people have advanced the opinion that native labour in the diamond fields is paid at too high a rate, but when it is considered that, after all, a n*gg*r is human, a pound a week and food for such a task as river digging cannot be considered an exorbitant rate of pay.

Pay-day at a diamond mine is a scene not easily to be forgotten by any who may have been fortunate enough to see it. The manager and the secretary sit at a table, improvised out of a “blue” trolley," whereon is placed each n*gg*r’s money in a paper bag with the man’s name written on the outside. Gathered round this table are a number of white officials to support the manager and the secretary:— not that there is any fear, of a deliberate rush at the money from the crowd of Kaffirs that will presently be assembled in ranks in front of the table (they could never get out of the compound if they did), but from the’ fact that as the natives are such expert thieves, a man, when he comes up to receive his money from the manager’s hands, is quite competent to purloin somebody else’s besides, if a sharp lookout is not kept.

It would seem a matter of impossibility that a native could appropriate to himself successfully a white bank bag; two inches square at least, containing money, and conceal it so perfectly on his nearly naked person that even after a rigorous search had been made the officials failed to find the missing money, and but for the astuteness of the mine manager would have been at the loss of it. Yet such was the case on one occasion, and this is how it came about.

The manager of one of the large Kimberley mines was paying his native labourers as had been described, and at last, when more than two-thirds of them had been paid, it came to the turn of a “boy” named “Dick Turpin” to come forward and receive his shekels. As Dicky was a notorious thief, a sharp look-out was kept on his black “paws,” but to all intents and purposes the man received his money, made his salute, and rejoined his brethren, and the payment of the remainder of the men was made right up to the last but one, when it was found that one bag. was missing.

It is usual when such an event happens to search every n*gg*r there and then, and on this occasion, this was done, but without finding the missing package on any of them. Convinced that no mistake had been made in the cashier’s department, the mine manager determined to keep a strict watch on the man he suspected — Dick Turpin. Accordingly, when all the n*gg*rs had been sent to their sleeping; quarters, he watched Mr. Turpin’s movements from a hole in the roof of the shed in which the man slept, and was rewarded in finding that his suspicions were not without foundation, for the wily scoundrel by some means entirely known to himself had secreted the paper bag under his armpit and had eluded the vigilance of his searchers despite the fact that whilst they were searching him he had had to hold out his arms on a level with his shoulders. Needless to say, Mr. Dick had to part up, and — but we will [b]ring down the curtain.

During the second Transvaal War, with Kimberley besieged by the Boers for such a length of time; and so much damage done to the valuable machinery of many of the mines, the broken “blue” has come in very handy in the erection of earthworks and fortifications generally. Up till this time it had been lying in the outskirts of the town in huge heaps, and was a source of worry to the mine companies, as they could put it to no conceivable purpose. Truly there is a use for everything if we can only wait long enough for “something to turn up,” as Mr. Micawber would have said.


AMONGST the finest shooting grounds to be found in America at the present day are those enclosed within the boundaries of the Canadian Northwest. Few territories offer such a variety of game or equal the abundance of it, nor such splendid facilities for reaching the haunts of the different species.

It is impossible to cover all the good shooting points in the vast expanse of prairies and brush-lands lying between the eastern boundary of the Province of Manitoba and the summit of the Rocky Mountains, which mark the eastern confines of the Province of British Columbia. Roughly speaking, the prairie country is about 1,000 miles wide, while other vast tracts extend far to the northward of the Canadian Pacific Railway, offering great inducements for special explorations by those who can devote sufficient time to the work.

The prairies and woodlands of Manitoba and Assiniboia are rich and extensive shooting grounds. Those who prefer feathers to hair can find shooting of a varied character, can count on well-filled bags, and what is perhaps, after all, its best feature, from the nature of the country, they can work their well-trained setters or pointers to the greatest advantages, and see the animals at their best — always a more enjoyable matter to the true sportsman than the mere killing of game. But the reader unacquainted with the country or the habits of Canadian game may ask: Wherein lies the special superiority of the Canadian Northwest, and why is it better than any other region?

The answer is easily found- In the first place, these rolling, grassy seas of rich prairie land, intersected with an endless succession of lakes and sloughs and swales, are now, as they have been for ages in the past, the spring and autumn haunts of the migratory water-fowl that every spring leave the drowned lands, lagoons, and rice fields of the south, and wing their long way over states and provinces, league after league, until they have gained the lonely haunts in the north, where they breed. These lakes, streams, and marshes are favourite feeding places of wild fowl, and they break the vast expanses of grass everywhere. There is a practically inexhaustible supply of food, and consequently the birds return year after year to the same points.

The prairies of the Western States, being very similar in many features, once swarmed with game, and portions of them are yet good; but the ravages, of the horde of market hunters were so terrible, that some of the best grounds over the border have been irretrievably ruined. This is not the case in the Canadian territory, nor is it likely ever to be. It is yet a new country; and, though settlers are rapidly taking up the famous fat land, portions of it will always harbour wild fowl. Keen sportsmen were among the first to seek the new land when it was opened for settlement, well knowing what fields were there for the gun. They also knew of the fatal attacks upon the game in the States. Their turn came after; and, profiting by the result of the deadly work on the sister prairies, they determined to save their game from a like fate by properly protecting it. The value of their efforts is proved by the swarms of fowl now in the ancient haunts.

And there is big game also in plenty. The buffalo is practically extinct, ’tis true; but the giant moose, king of the deer tribe, yet haunts many parts of the country where a proper amount of browse can be found. The elk, caribou, jumping or mule deer, common deer, pronghorn antelope, black and brown bear, grey wolf, lynx, coyote, fox, wolferine, beaver, and several other animals valued for their furs, are yet found in great numbers. But the great variety is among the feathered game. Several species of grouse may be killed, including the prairie chicken, pinnated grouse, ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, ptarmigan, and willow ptarmigan, in the northern part of Western Canada, and the blue grouse (cock of the mountains) in British Columbia.

Among the water fowl are the trumpeter and, whistling swans, the Canada goose, Boss’s goose, lesser snow goose, and Hutchins’ goose; the Canada goose and the snow goose being the most numerous. The mallard, black duck, canvas-back, redhead, pintail, gadwall, wood-duck, widgeon, green-winged, blue winged, and cinnamon teal, spoon-bill, shoveller, golden eye, buffle-head, blue-bill, snipe, golden plover, and fifteen varieties of the same family, great flocks of curlew, and many waders of lesser importance are found. About every marshy bit the bittern and heron will be seen, and in addition to these, hundreds of coromants, pelican, sand-hill cranes, coot, rail, etc.

In the western portion of North-western Ontario, from Ignace to the Manitoba boundary, there are numerous lakes in which excellent trout and maskinonge can be obtained, while in the small lakes, tributary to the Lake of the Woods and which are reached by canoes from Rat Portage, black bass are fairly plentiful. In the extreme east of Manitoba, in the immediate vicinity of and between Rennie and Molson stations, is an excellent country for moose, perhaps one of the surest points easily reached from Winnipeg; and here there should be no difficulty in securing specimens of this, the greatest of Canadian deer. Bear (black) are also very numerous; there are plenty of ruffed and spruce goose, and a few caribou. Sportsmen can travel comfortably by rail to these grounds from Winnipeg in a few hours. From Winnipeg those looking for wing shooting may reach the haunts of prairie chicken and grouse (pinnated) by driving a few miles out upon the prairie, and in the brush in the valleys of the Red and Assinibone rivers ruffed grouse and Wilson and jack-snipe are plentiful, and sometimes rabbits will be found; but ruffed grouse shooting is somewhat difficult, owing to the thickness of the cover. Such a trip means starting early in the morning and returning to Winnipeg in the evening. Occasionally the fun is varied by knocking over a few duck and snipe at the sloughs.

Should the sportsman desire a couple of days or more under canvas, he cannot do better than drive from Winnipeg forty miles north-west to Shoal Lake. On the way across prairie “chicken”, will demand attention, and in the unsettled country on the north of the lake are a few moose and elk, and many black-tailed deer. The lake is a great resort for water, fowl of all kinds common to the province, and for mixed shooting it is A1.

Some great bags have been: taken on the Whitewater — one of 516 ducks and 44 geese from four guns in a week being recorded. Killarney Lake as well as Pelican Lake, a little northeast thereof, are excellent spots, while on Rock Lake, near Clearwater and Swan Lake, adjacent to Pilot Mound, good bags can always be had. North of Rock Lake are the Tiger Hills in the Pembina Mountains, haunted by elk, black-tailed deer, and black and brown bear; it also being a good locality for grouse, as well as geese and ducks. Jack-fish and mullet are plentiful in all the lakes, the former ranging from half-a-pound to 22 pounds. Camp outfit must be taken, but the sport will well repay all trouble, as ample occupation can be found for both rifle and shot-gun, chicken and ruffed grouse being especially plentiful throughout the whole south-west of the-province.

Lake Winnipeg offers still stronger inducements. You go from Winnipeg via Canadian Pacific Railway to Selkirk, and then drive or paddle down Red River, to the lake. The great marshes about the mouth of Red River extend for miles, and form one of the largest duck grounds in the north-west, and they actually swarm with all kinds of water-fowl in the season. Here the sportsman can shoot till his gun gets too hot to hold, and providing he holds straight, kill enormous bags of choice duck. In the vicinity of Fort Alexander, at the mouth of the Winnipeg River, are moose, caribou and bear, and the Winnipeg and English Rivers offer fascinating routes and grand scenery, should a farther trip by canoe be decided on. Upon the western shore of Lake Winnipeg, moose, caribou and bear will also be found, and about Big Island and Grassy Narrow uncounted flocks of geese resort.

The Dauphin country is a veritable sportsman’s paradise. Prairie chicken are always plentiful on the Dauphin plains, and big game, such as elk, moose, bear, and deer, abound in the forests of the Riding and Duck mountains, where the Dominion Government has wisely set apart a very large area comprising several hundred thousand acres, as a permanent timber reserve, and which will become the “Adirondacks” of Manitoba. The waters and shores of Lake Dauphin and Winnipegosis afford a splendid summer resort or home; and feeding ground for all kinds of water-fowl. Not only can duck be seen there in thousands, and also large flocks of geese, but the trum[pet] like call of that king of water-fowl, the white swan, can always be heard on these lakes during the shooting season. The east side of Lake Winnipegosis is also a natural home for game of all kinds where the moose, deer, bear, and bands of countless caribou roam in sylvan solitude undisturbed by the hunter.

The “Mecca” of goose shooting is to be had on the south side of Buffalo Lake, about 20 miles north of Moose Jaw, wild geese in countless thousands come down from their feeding grounds in the Arctic circle in the months of September and October, and remain there until they take their departure for the south when ice begins to form on the lake. The country to the south of the lake is well settled, and the wheat-stubble field affords excellent feeding grounds. Proper hides dug in the stubble fields in the line of the flight of the geese and decoys set out will afford the finest goose shooting the keenest sportsman can imagine.

Farther west, again, is the antelope country: Swift Current, Maple Creek, and Medicine Hat being among the best outfitting points for a trip after these, the most beautiful animals of the plains. At Calgary, in sight of the “Rockies,” superb sport can be, enjoyed with the grouse among the bushy foothills of the giant range.

So much for the sport of the prairies. We have now skimmed over the great grassy sea, touching briefly on the most prominent of the many localities to choose from, the intention being merely to give the stranger a few hints of the wonderful resources of the country from a sporting point of view.

Lying in the little tent beside the chosen water, on the first night of his jaunt, the sportsman whiffs the last pipe, and his gaze tries in vain to pierce the gathering mists and shadows creeping over the “level waste and rounding gray” of apparently illimitable prairie. Before him stand the tall battalions of rushes marking the boggy shores of the lake, dark and mysterious, like a shadowy wall. The air is filled with the rush of swift wings, as the restless fowl scurry hither and thither ere settling down. A strange, but to him, wondrous sweet melody of cries comes with the lazy breeze. The honk of geese, the quack of mallard and the chatter and gabble of unseen hosts, are the last sounds his ears detect as he drifts into the shadowland, with a golden promise of glorious sport with the dawn. The promise will be well fulfilled, for those same weird cries and the hum of wings will begin ere the early breaking of the northern day; and when night again falls there will be no apparent diminution of the winged army, but he will have a well-filled bag, such as can only be made in this, the Sportsman’s El Dorado.

It should not be forgotten, that many of the lakes and streams of the prairies are stocked with fine fish, including maskinonge, pike, pickerel, etc., and they furnish a pleasant change of occupation during weather too warm for game to keep, or when it is desirable to give gun and rifle a rest.

Camping outfits, conveyances, helpers, and everything necessary for a hunting excursion upon plains can be readily secured at Winnipeg, and the sportsman need not burden himself with anything beyond his personal effects. He can enjoy an unsurpassed train service so long as he follows the railway, and should he diverge from the line, there are no hardships to be undergone beyond what are sufficient to give a spice of adventure to the experience of a holiday in the wilds.

Next to be considered are the “Rockies” along the main line of the Canadian Pacific, the first of the five ranges lying between the great prairie belt and the Pacific Ocean. Over 500 miles of the grandest scenery must be passed ere the western sea is reached, and nearly all of this chaos of mountains is as wild as it was when first the eyes of the white man was startled by their overpowering grandeur. Upon or among these marvels of old-time rock-building are the favourite haunts of every “man-fearing or man-skeering” brute known in the whole country - elk, moose, deer, caribou, Rocky Mountain sheep and goat, panther, grizzly, black and brown bear, lynx, wolf, etc., etc., while waterfowl abound upon many of the mountain lakes, and several varieties of grouse are in the forests. But you would never come away over here for feathered game, when it may be so easily got upon the plains. You want big game — stately elk, fierce bears, sneaky panthers, big-horned sheep, snowy goats, etc.? Very good. You can have them, one and all, and caribou and deer to boot, providing you yourself are game to follow your guide.

Now, there are places without number among, these mountain ranges where a man can find many of the varieties of the game mentioned; but mention need only be made of a few, from which a sportsman may safely plan his operations.

The first important halting place is at Banff, in the Canadian National Park, Rocky Mountains, where the railway company has erected a palatial hotel. Should a brief sojourn here be decided upon, the sportsman may enjoy a good duck-shooting on the Vermillion Lakes, a short distance from the hotel, and fine mountain trout fishing on the Bow and Cascade rivers; also deep trolling for lake trout on Devil’s Lake, all but the latter within easy walking distance. Guides and complete outfits can be secured for extended trips into the mountains after bear, sheep, and goat, to the north, south, or west.

A new water, and one that has already become famous, is the Lower Kootenay River, which teems with mountain trout of fair size. The many who have tried it agree that it is one of the best streams available, while the scenery is simply superb. The country contiguous to it is well stocked with big game, having only lately been rendered accessible. The headwaters of the Kootenay Lakes and River rise a little west of Banff, and flowing south into Montana and Idaho return to British Columbia and empty into Kootenay Lake, again discharging its waters into the Columbia River near Robson. The river is, in great part, below Nelson, a succession of cascades, beautiful from a scenic point of view and abounding in rainbow trout, from one pound upwards, that are greedy for the fly. It is an ideal stream, rushing through gorges, and over rapids broadening into pools and forming numerous “just the spots” into which, practically, any length of line can be cast without the least obstruction from bushes or over-hanging trees. And it possesses the inestimable advantage of being entirely free from mosquitoes and black flies. The best fishing is just below the Lower Falls, 13 miles from Nelson, as very few fish are caught under a pound weight, and running up as high as three or four pounds, anglers should provide themselves with a gaff or landing net, and be particular to see that their flies and tackle are good and strong.

In the Okanagan Valley (reached by rail from Sicamous, on the main line, to Okanagan Landing and thence by steamer), there is an abundance and variety of large and small game, this being par excellence the great game region of America. Deer appear in vast herds, and at different points mountain goat, bighorn, black and cinnamon bears, moose and caribou are plentiful, and there is an occasional grizzly.

There is more excitement in tackling the cougar and wild-cat, and there are even wild horses in the foothills, if one is not particular as to his quarry. There are numerous ranches in the valleys paralleling the lake, and several landing places from which the hunting grounds, which are not surpassed in the world, can be easily reached. There is also good trout fishing in the waters of Okanagan Lake. Efficient guides and hunters, all necessary horses and complete camping outfit can be obtained at Vernon, Kelowna, or Penticton, at the foot of Okanagan Lake. This was the scene of the famed hunting trip in British Columbia of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria on his tour around the world.

Capilano Creek, or Seymour Creek, about an hour’s row across the bay, from Vancouver, offers a good day’s sport, while at the mouth of either stream during low tide sea trout weighing from two to seven pounds afford excellent sport. In the months of August, September, and October, a good day’s sport may be had trolling for salmon in the bay. Pacific Coast salmon will not rise to a fly, but as many as fifteen or twenty fish, varying from five to twenty pounds, are sometimes killed in an afternoon with the rod after being hooked with the troll hook.

At many points on the coast one can obtain sport with deer, bear, grouse, and waterfowl. And, again, another field is open on Vancouver Island, that land beloved of Englishmen. There is excellent fishing in Cowichan, Duncan’s and Shawnigan Lakes, and in numerous rivers and streams. Within short distances of the beautiful city of Victoria, grouse and the blue quail, generally styled California quail, are plentiful, and favourite game with the residents and visitors. A short journey into the interior of the island will bring you to the ranges of deer and boar, both being readily killed, and elk is to be found in some places, the island being the only part of British Columbia in which it roams. Added to these are several varieties of duck, etc., and last of all the English pheasant, introduced several years ago, and now perfectly acclimated and thriving wonderfully in the new land. The cry of “mark cock,” or “ware hen,” may sound strange to many; but the newly-arrived Britain knows right well what it means, and what rare-sport the long tails furnish; and it is ten to one that he knows how to stop them, too. These birds are also found in numbers on Lulu Island and Sea Island, at the mouth of the Fraser, within five miles of New Westminster and fourteen of Vancouver (by excellent roads). Where ducks, snipe, and plover, too are in great abundance in season. Information about these places is to be gained at the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s offices at Vancouver and Victoria.

And now, in conclusion, a few words about the country just covered.

The pursuit of what is generally dubbed by the craft “big game” in the mountain wilds of Canada is no child’s play. To be successful, a man must possess iron nerve and unflinching determination; he must be a good shot, and strong enough to stand rough work; for the latter is; frequently necessary before the game can be reached, and the former is very liable to be an extremely useful accomplishment, especially if the quarry happens to be a grizzly bear.

Sportsmen who have shot in the famous wilds of Africa and India are apt to feel proud of their lion, tiger, and other handsome skins that originally covered the works of some lithe and bloodthirsty big feline; but, with all due respect to them and their prowess afield, many would prefer the hide of a grizzly of their own killing than half-a-dozen peltries of “Leo” or “Stripes” or any other cat that ever jumped. Although undoubtedly there have been many occasions when it was a nice question whether at the close of the affair the tiger would be carried info camp or would find inside accommodation for the hunter, and although we know that men hunting in South Africa have occasionally felt that a lion looks best behind the bars of a menagerie, yet, as a rule, you can “pot” your lion over a carcass, and be yourself, meantime, perfectly safe on some prepared post, or natural stronghold; you can bore holes between the stripes of the fur “blazer” worn by his feline majesty of Bengal, while you yourself are squatted in a howdoh, strapped to the back of a twenty-odd hand elephant, while a tribe of bare-legged natives yell and scream and hoot to keep their own courage up, and drive the jungle prowler to the “Sahib.” You will probably get the tiger, and, should he charge, experience a temporary excitement, but not often incur much danger.

Shooting the grizzly is other work. The big plantigrade is always looking for trouble, and when he digs up the hatchet he goes on the warpath. You will have no friendly elephant, nor army of beaters, to satisfy his craving for somebody’s scalp. You start on his track and follow him into his gloomy fastness amid a chaos of rocks, with your life in one hand and your rifle in the other; and, unless you are made of the right material, stop before the scent gets too hot, or peradventure you may be found empty handed by your party.

However, this spice of dan ——, or rather this danger spiced with a chance of escape, is very fascinating; and, if you would fain be fascinated to your heart’s content seek the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and enjoy your whim.

And such fields for sport. Not pen, nor brush, nor tongue can convey the proper idea of the sublimity of those marvellous mountains; they are Something too imposing for mere words; they must be seen and studied. One must live among them and watch the glories of sunlight upon their everlasting snows and glaciers; one must climb their steeps and breathe the cold, thin atmosphere of those dizzy elevations, and train his eyes to measure soaring pinnacles and dark abysses ere he can realise their stupendous grandeur. One must hear the thunderous voice of the whirling storms amid their peaks; the avalanche tearing the forests from their native slopes; the avulsion of crag and native boulder from buttresses frowning darkly above the clouds, and the blooming echoes of waves of mighty sound breaking against the walls of unmeasured ravines, ere the full power of those matchless monuments of the old time war of forces is impressed upon the mind. And then the glory of laying low the game that haunts them. Right well did the Indian hunter know what tested manhood, when first he wrenched the great scimitar-shaped claws from the broad fore-paw of the dead grizzly, and strung them around his neck as a token to prove a man. Time has changed many things, the rifle has supplanted the bow, but nothing has supplanted the grizzly; he is there yet, and king of the wilds; his claws are yet the proudest ornament, the savage can wear, and his skin, the most valuable trophy of the white sportsman. Up above the grizzly’s range are found the white goats and the famous big-horn mountain sheep, both eagerly sought after by sportsmen; the latter especially for their handsome heads.

Except from bears the sportsman runs little chance of getting into difficulty. True, it is claimed by some-that the panther is an ugly customer, writers even going so far as to say that he is more dangerous than, the grizzly, and sometimes proves his superiority in a dispute over a carcase. Such statements are believed to be mere rubbish; for the panther, lithe and powerful though he may be, is a great, longtailed, bewhiskered coward; a bravo of most terrifying appearance, but mighty careful of his handsome skin; in fact, what he is generally termed by the herders and hunters — a big sneak-cat.

The handsomest game of the Rockies is, of course, the noble elk, or wapiti. Their immense branching antlers, and the clean-cut, blood-like appearance of their heads, make them particularly attractive ornaments for a gentleman sportsman’s home, and they are in great demand. The species is now rare in many localities where they formerly abounded, but they are still plentiful among the foothills of the Rockies, and they can also be found on Vancouver Island, in the North-west Territories, and in Manitoba north of Selkirk, and sometimes in the Duck and Riding Mountains.

Next to the elk ranks the caribou, and a royal quarry he is. They are very plentiful about Eagle Pass in the Selkirk Range, near the Shuswap Lakes, and in the Okanagan district, and there should be no difficulty in securing fine specimens. They are found also in Manitoba, in the region between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, etc., and wonderful stories are told of great herds in the Peace River country.

The several species comprising the game list mentioned above are distributed throughout the mountains in greater or less numbers, being plentiful wherever the conditions are favourable. More minute details concerning them are impossible in a book of this nature, and unnecessary, as the game, except at a point here and there, is as abundant as it was before the first rifle shot woke the echoes of those monstrous canons.

The sportsman contemplating a trip by the Canadian Pacific Railway across the Continent to these fields of sport must bear in mind that heavy weapons are needed for satisfactory work. Lighter ones may do — the Indians kill grizzlies with the lightest Winchester rifles; but it is better to take a repeater of the heaviest make. Plenty, of powder and lead means a sure work if the rifle is held right, and by using such you will lose less wounded game, and greatly lessen the risk of a clawing from some infuriated bear. The Indians, it must be remembered, are greatly your superiors, both in the approach of, or retreat from, dangerous game; they steal noiselessly and patiently upon their victim, and never fire: until they are at close range, and sure of dropping it in its tracks. You will not be able to accomplish this, and therefore require a weapon that will do deadly execution at any reasonable distance. Properly equipped, you will drop your bear or elk cleanly and well; and when your holiday is done, and you are speeding homeward by the “Royal Road,” with your muscles strong after glorious work, and your skin tanned by the mountain air, you will think over every moment of your outing of the splendour of the sunrise, the magnificence of the scenery; the glaciers, the torrents, and the thousand and one marvels of the wonderland you have left; your beautiful trophies, and, as you take your last backward glance, and your straining eyes catch the last glint of the snow-clad peaks, you will say, “My heart’s in the mountains,” unless, indeed, it should happen to have been left elsewhere.


MR. AUBYN TREVOR- BATTYE’S account of his journey through that lonely white land of far north Russia, in his “A Northern Highway of the Tsar,” gives a wonderfully graphic picture of a remote corner of the earth, seen at its loneliest and unfavourable time. The picture is that of a region of interminable prairies, swamps, morasses, forests, and rivers, inhabited by a hardy, highly primitive, law-abiding, and truly amiable old world peasantry, still partly pagan — a life which carries us back at least a 1,000 years.

There may be said to be in Russia five seasons — the four which we have here, and a fifth, which they call Rasputuya. The meaning of this word in Russian is “the parting of the ways,” and it is the name given to the quite peculiar and most trying period which comes between autumn and winter. In summer and autumn the vast plains and forests are for the most part dry and hard, and so they are in winter, when hard snow on the land, and ice on lake and stream, make travelling simply delightful to those warmly clad and blessed with a healthy circulation. But not so in Rasputuya. Then one day it freezes and the next it thaws, and the rivers, which have to be crossed in boats, are full of huge floating masses of ice, that make the ferry across a scene of imminent danger. Everywhere the land seems one wide swamp, with endless bogs and quagmires. This is during the month of October, and then all life in Northern Russia is at a standstill. The postal service stops, all contracts connected with labour are annulled, and those who keep the stage-houses, which occur at intervals along the road, are no longer found by the government, as they are so rigidly at all other times, to furnish travellers with horses and sleighs. Till the swamps are frozen up, and the rivers are deeply icebound, no Russian would be so rash as to travel, and only that proverbially obstinate, hardship-loving difficulty for the sake of difficulty seeking, irrepressible creature, the English explorer, who ignores alike toil, danger, and expense, and that out of pure love of travel and adventure, would dream of taking to the road. Never, perhaps, has tradition and custom been fully set at defiance, and that in a land where these are almost inexorable, or the uniform kindness and courtesy of Russian officials been tested more severely, than by Mr. Trevor-Battye’s travels.

A native nomad race wander here, who are quite unlike the powerful, heavy Russians, for they are small in stature, slight, and supple. These are the Samoyeds, who dwell in movable wigwams, tend reindeer, hunt sea bears, seals, and now and then a walruss, and kill vast flights of wild geese, and catch fish. Such is the abundance of fish in the great rivers which run into the White Sea, from Archangel on the west to Askive on the east, that there is no lack of food in any of the towns and villages near the streams. Salted reindeer flesh and salted wild goose give cheap meals everywhere, and the boundless forests towards the south and east afford a sufficiency of cheap fuel.

The Samoyeds are pagan, and chiefly worship the god Num. Rude images of wood or stone are set up on the hills, which are then held to be holy places, and if the figures are old, though simply of rough uncarved stone, they are greatly venerated. These little people are kind and sympathetic, ever ready to be of service, and full of the resourcefulness and self-reliance of a nomad and highly primitive people. One practice of the Samoyed mothers might be well commended to village parents here. They attach bells to the clothes of their young children, the tinkling of which tell of their, whereabouts, and prevent their getting hopelessly lost on the tundras, the rolling plain of sandhills, maram grass, bog, and willow scrub.

They tend great; herds of patient and powerful reindeer, the camels of these northern desert-like stretches. In winter these useful animals present their thick white coats and full-maned necks, and the horns of all the bulls of the herd are then a pure cream. They are very fond of a certain white lichen, will eat even dried flatfish, and can live on almost anything, being most hardy and adroit feeders. They possess a nerve, pluck, strength, endurance, and cleverness that render them invaluable for draught purposes over that tremendous waste where they flourish. Their home, the tundra, as the vast sandy plain is called, is a region extending 4,000 miles along the shores of the Arctic Ocean, which is in breadth at its widest part 500 miles from north to south.

The Samoyed peasants eat a bread called marl, made of rye dough and putrid fish, which our traveller mildly observed “did not taste well.” The fire, or oven, is in the midst of the wigwam, or “mya” of their language, but in Russian it is called “choom;” and when they turn in for the night they do not undress, but, crawling under a skin with their feet to the fire in the centre, lay in a continuous ring round it, the women and children keeping together, and though the rain comes in through rift in the roof, or the place is close and ill-smelling and vermin-haunted, they, if not their more highly civilised guests, can sleep well.

Travelling during Rasputuya it is necessary to have five reindeer harnessed abreast to the sleighs in which the journey has to be made, though two deer would do in the winter - and they can cover twenty to thirty miles a day for long periods over the roughest ground. Sometimes a deer will plunge into a soft spot almost up to its horns, and the sleigh, before it can be stopped, will run partly over it, and the travellers, to rescue the poor beast, must sometimes themselves work up to their waists in mud. A horse in a like plight would in all probability be injured, if not too broken down by shock to work again that day; but the hardy reindeer will blow the mud from its nostrils, give itself a good shake, and probably turn to the nearest moss and begin feeding. It can at once be run behind the sleigh for a mile Or two, and then harnessed in its place, and go on as strong and rapidly as if nothing had happened. The team leap the ditches, though sometimes in doing this they upset the sleigh, and throw the party into watery snow and mud at the bottom. The road at best is but “a track worn by the sleigh passage over the moss and grasses.”

The traveller has often to put up with dried stale bread, called in Russian, “sukarr.” If he is so fortunate as to put up at night with a well-to-do-family he may change this prison fare for some cream, fresh made rye bread, and little cakes, eaten all squatting on the floor round one bowl of cream, into which all dip their bread.

It would take a strong imagination to picture the life of a little village here in Arctic Russia. Almost half the year is night! Five continuous months are spent in darkness. You are some 500 miles from your nearest town! What a road, too, it is! Perhaps a three days’ voyage down a dangerous ice-laden river, and then over a mere track for some 18 days, morning till night sleigh travelling through a wintry desert, possibly pursued at times by wolves, by hungry and desperate wolves gifted with tireless powers of speed, and jaws powerful enough to tear a horse’s ribs off his backbone!

Notwithstanding their awful isolation they are almost on a par for intelligence with villagers of our own backward parts. They can read, write, are good men of business, and have a well-ordered municipal government, with a sort of mayor called a “starshma” at their head. Their life flows on quietly and evenly. “Hurry is an unknown word to them,” though the “Ispravnik,” the head police officer, has in some cases to look after a district twice the size of France! They deal in furs of all kinds, chiefly real; and, as we have said, there is no want of food, and practically none of wood or charcoal fuel. Cloud berries, smelling like comparatively tasteless raspberries, are largely raised and sent to the south.

In the well-to-do Russian houses in these villages visitors are given tea, and curious little three-cornered nuts, fir cone seed called ”orekhi,” which though very hard, they seem easily to crack with their teeth, Here may be found the primitive bath-room, of which our traveller gives us the, following graphic description. “A log hut, the crevices filled in with moss, two compartments, an outer for a dressing-room, and an inner the bath-room. This room was furnished only with a furnace, a bucket, and a slab. The furnace, open at the top, was filled with charcoal. The bucket held water and a bundle of birch twigs, and on the slab we lay like flat fish. The damp heat, characteristic of the Russian baths, was insured by the very simple device of sprinkling water on the hot charcoal with the broom. By repeating this at intervals you gradually raised the temperature to the neighbourhood of boiling-point. It was best, as you swished the broom at the charcoal, to escape rapidly backwards in the same movement, if you could, because of the bursting steam-cloud which followed. So you melted away, finishing up with a bucketful of cold water, and finally came out into the snow a new creature.”.


It is probably the facts in this chapter will surprise you.

HAVE you ever seen a gold mine? Have you the faintest conception of what one is like? Have you a notion that a gold mine is a big hole in the ground down which miners are lowered, who at once proceed to pick away, a la the delvers after Welsh coal? If so, then the sooner you are undeceived the better. For the benefit of the uninitiated it must be explained that there are several methods of gold mining: and those of Australia, California, and other places differ as much from the mode adopted in the Witwatersrand as the Klondike process does from them all.

Although various means of crushing quartz and extracting gold from it have been known for ages, the methods which allow of low-grade ores being profitably treated are of modern invention. As, however, our subject is a South African one, we propose to deal first of all with the treatment of ore as adopted to-day throughout the Rand.

One is struck on entering the Rand with the vast numbers of Kaffirs and Zulus employed in the mines. Indeed, it may be mentioned that all “the donkey work” is done by them, and the white labour employed is devoted to tending the delicate crushing and sifting machinery. The pay to white men working in the gold mines is approximately: Miners, 20s. a day; mechanics, 25s. a day; mine secretary, £80 per month; mine manager, £1,000 per annum; and contractors, 20s. to 60s. per foot for sinking and driving. Although these. sums will appear enormous to the English reader, yet, when the cost of living and the nature of the work is taken into consideration these sums do not “pan out” at a very great surplus.

A n*gg*r, however, employed at the mines will be passing rich on 35s. a month and rations, and 2s. a week for coffee, sugar, and meat. Untrained natives are paid from 15s. to 40s. a month, and their food; whilst youths get 10s. to 20s. for a like period. It is a comical sight to see the n*gg*r when he first arrives at a mine in search of work, and to see that same “boy” when he has acquired enough “wealth” to enable him to return to the land of his fathers and settle down for life, or spend the whole of his savings in a “big drunk,” as many of them do.

In the first place he is humble, timid, naked, and will work like “a n*gg*r,” and in the next behold him in a battered silk or straw hat, an overcoat many sizes too small, as a rule, a pair of trousers he has purchased from a Jew at fifty times their value, and in possession of a gorgeous sunshade of an eyesight-destroying hue. He can never, or very seldom, be persuaded to wear boots, although with his newly acquired dignity he struts about the streets in his awkwardly fitting clothes, and is an endless source of merriment to the townsfolk.

All natives are bound to serve for a term of not less than three months, during which time they are confined within the barbed-wire fences surrounding the mines, or to the enclosures, or compounds, as they are called, in which they have to spend their nights. They are fed by the company that employs them.

It is a strange fact, but true, that, although at first the natives regarded gold mining with the greatest suspicion, they are to-day the most diligent. and numerous workers in its extraction. As an instance that a few years ago this industry was distrusted, it may be mentioned that amongst the natives in Matabeleland there was a law that anyone finding nuggets in the river sand must throw them back again, the retention of anything larger than gold dust being regarded as equivalent to "calling the King a liar,” and punished accordingly. It is more than probable that their astute old chief, Mosilikatze, foresaw that a general knowledge of the mineral wealth of his country would endanger its independence, and he was right:
The banket, or conglomerate reefs of the Witwatersrand run in almost parallel lines east and west, dipping south. The reefs vary in width from 6 inches to 20 feet, the richer shoots of gold generally being found in the smaller veins.

The term banket applied to these reefs means almond rock, being composed of white pebbles set in cement. The gold in the reefs, to a depth of 200 feet from the outcrop, is what is called in a free state; that is, the gold assimilates with mercury. At greater depths the rock becomes harder and bluer, and is full of pyrites, to free the gold from which requires other treatment than mercury.

To bring the ore to the surface, shafts are sunk, and drives, or passages, made which explore the reefs. It is then taken out by a system called “stopping.” This consists in blasting the reef overhead; the ore so liberated is sent through shoots to trucks, which run on rails to the shafts, and are hauled up and sent to the mill or battery. There it is tipped into ore bins, after being put through a stone-breaker.

The ore then enters the mortar boxes, at the bottom of which are dies of steel; rods are fitted above the boxes, worked on the cam principle, to which heavy stamps are affixed, and these, worked by steam, pulverise the ore to any fineness required. Water is led into the: boxes, in front of which are screens, through which the crushed ore passes; below these screens are tables covered with copper plates, on which a dressing of mercury is placed, which receives the crushed ore. The “free” gold, having an affinity for mercury, combines with it in the shape of amalgam (as the ore passes with water over the plates) in the proportion of two of mercury to one of gold. The crushed ore leaves the tables, and is passed through concentrators to reduce its volume.

In some cases the tailings, as the crushed ore is called, after leaving the mercury plates, is sent direct to a cyanide mill, where it is placed in vats and steeped in a strong solution of cyanide. After this has remained for a certain time in contact with the crushed ore, it is drawn off and passed through a box composed of compartments filled with zinc shavings, on which the gold is deposited in the form of a black mud. A second and third “wash” of-weaker solutions of cyanide are then passed through the tanks to extract the last trace of gold.

The black deposit is now collected, retorted, and refined, and the pure gold extracted. The concentrates, which are collected by blankets or frue vanners, are chemically treated by chlorination, which process consists in roasting the ore. The mercury plates ate scraped and retorted, when the mercury passes off in vapour, leaving cakes of gold. These are smelted to free the gold from dross, or are shipped to London and paid for by results after being refined.


SENTIMENT and love between man and wife, as we know them here in the West, are not, usually found to exist between man and wife in the lands nearer the rising sun. Particularly may this be said of the Rajahs of India, the very number of whose wives often out-rivals that of Solomon of old. Exceptions prove every rule, and this chapter deals with a very pointed exception.

Shah Yahan lived in the seventeenth century, and to his love for his favourite wife, Aryamand Baim, he erected at her death the most splendid monument ever fashioned by human hands to the memory of a departed loved one. The following is the graphic description of this marvellous building given by Mr. W. S. Caine in his admirable handbook on India. [* Picturesque India (George Routledge and Son, Limited).]

“From every window and terrace of the Palace fortress at Agra, the view closes in with the shining domes and minarets of the sublimely beautiful tomb erected by Shah Yahan over the body of his beloved wife, Aryamand Baim, who died giving birth to her eighth child. It was completed A.D. 1648. The famous Taj Mahal is probably the most renowned building in the world. Like that other great tomb, the Pyramid of Cheops, the enjoyment of its wondrous loveliness is marred by the recollection that it was built by forced labour, and reared on the lives of hundreds of its makers. Twenty thousand workmen were employed for seventeen years in building and decorating the Taj Mahal. They were half-starved, and their families wholly starved, producing great distress land mortality. The total cost is estimated at over £4,000,000 sterling [* The editor believes that £8,000,000 is nearer to the correct sum.]

The road to the Taj from Agra passes the ruins and debris of many ancient palaces, and leads up to a superb gateway of red sandstone, inlaid with floral designs and passages from the Koran in white marble. This gateway is, in itself, one of the most beautiful buildings in all India. The roof is adorned with Moorish cusped arches, kiosks and pavilions. A magnificent view of the Taj itself, with its surrounding gardens and the Jumna flowing beyond, is obtained from the roof. Passing through this splendid entrance, which is 140 feet high and 110 feet wide, and pausing on the top of a flight of wide steps, the eye travels down an avenue of sombre cypresses, the floor of which is a long tank of white marble, covered with water about a foot deep, and reaching away for 300 or 400 yards. This lovely vista closes in with a vast dome of white marble, posed on a building whose perfect symmetry and absolute finish of every detail, flashes like some priceless jewel on the glorious blue setting of the Indian noonday sky. Words are worthless in describing a building which, as a whole — whether in its details, its surroundings, its exterior, or its interior — is absolutely faultless. The enclosure in which the Taj is placed is a great garden in which orange and lemon trees, pomeloes, pomegranites, palms, flowering shrubs and trees, with marble fish ponds and fountains speak of the East in every whisper of their leaves and plash of their waters. This garden is a third of a mile square, surrounded by a wall of rich beauty. The marble-paved avenue of cypresses runs through the entire length, closed at one end with the dazzling white tomb, and at the other with the rich red gateway. The Taj Mahal is 1,806 feet square, and 220 feet high to the top of the dome. It is raised upon a plinth of white marble 313 feet square, and 18 feet above the level of the garden. At each comer of the plinth stands four tapering minarets 137 feet high. At each side of the Taj, 400 feet back across a great court flagged with marble, are splendid mosques of red sandstone richly decorated with mosaics of white marble, topped with three marble domes, only inferior in beauty to that of the Taj itself. These mosques are among the finest in India, and are apt to be overlooked in the all-entrancing beauty of the tomb to which they are complimentary. I never saw a prettier picture than a picnic party of 30 or 40 Hindoos in every variety of bright holiday attire, grouped against the sunlit brightness of the marble pavement of the yard in front of one of these mosques.

Inside the Taj the Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved queen lie buried side by side in marble tombs, inlaid with rich gems, lighted by double screens of white marble trellis work of the most exquisite design and workmanship, one on the outer, the other on the inner face of the walls. In England a building thus lighted would be gloomy and dark; under the blazing sun of India it only tempers a glare that would otherwise be intolerable, while giving light enough to see the infinite lacelike details of the wonderful screen of open tracery surrounding the cenotaphs.

The Taj is even more beautiful in the silver dress of the moonlight than in the golden robes of the noonday sun. By day or night alike it makes an impression on the memory that nothing can obliterate.

Many hours may be spent in studying the details of the decoration of the Taj and its adjacent buildings. The lower walls and panels are covered with tulips, oleanders, lilies, and other flowers carved in low relief on the white marble. The pietra dura inlaying is equal to the finest Florentine, and is probably the work of a European artist, Austin of Bordeaux. The whiteness of the great mass of marble is thus broken with carving and inlaid flowers done in precious stones, combined in wreaths, scrolls, and frets. These are brilliant enough when looked at closely, but, at a distance, blend and tone the whiteness, giving a delicate suggestion of colour without losing the all-prevailing sentiment of pearliness, quiet and calm.


THE completion of the 5,819 miles of the St. Petersburg and Port Arthur Railway will bring Moukden, Liao-yang, and Newchwang within 17 or 18 days of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Dining-room, bath-room, and comfortable sleeping accommodation are only matters of course, on long-distance trains, but it seems that some of the Trans-Siberian trains provide also a library and a gymnasium. The present inconvenience of a break of 40 miles at Lake Bakal need not be so much grumbled at if passengers and transmitters of goods may rely on the ice-breaking steamer (described some months ago in the Scientific American) always being in good repair, and on the spot to take the train on board on its arrival at Bakal or Myssovaya.

In the days of our grandfathers, “The Exiles of Siberia,” with its description of Russian convict labour, gave to English readers an indelible picture of the Siberian mines, and in more recent years Dr, Cooke’s lime-light lectures have done this. It is not so well known that Manchuria also is rich in mines — especially in coal and iron. The Russians who, according to the Times seem to be “there to stay,” are working the Manchuria coalfields in business-like style. Two years ago or more they constructed a short branch line to convey coal from the great coal centre of Hwang-pu to their Trans-Manchurian, Trans-Siberian railway.

“The administration of Manchuria is to be of a permanent character.” This, according to the Daily Telegraph, is what Mr. Hardinge, our minister at St. Petersburg, gave as his impression in October last of the meaning of the rules and regulations for the administration of that province. Formal annexation may not have been insisted on, but if the Chinese Imperial authorities have been hood-winked, and are so childish as not to see that, document or no document, the handing over of Manchuria to Russia is practically un fait accompli — the compromise may at least be warrant for hoping that open hostilities between Russia and China will cease meantime, and this ought to give Russia opportunity to develop the resources of the “Amur district.”

Agriculture is the employment of the majority of the population in Manchuria. Peas, beans, rice and millet are the principal crops: Beans, bean-cake and bean-oil have formed the chief exports — the manufacture of the cakes, and oil-pressing being important industries. A tonic which fetches a high price is made from ginseng, a root grown in the Ussuri valley for exportation. Another export is raw silk, but this is not a great trade. Food is supplied to the worms from the oak as well as the mulberry leaf.

Although the forests are not what they were before trees were cut down in large numbers, there is still fairly good hunting to be had in the central and Northern districts, and the fur trade ought to be an important one. So far back as 1892, a tourist mentions that “the more valuable furs find their way to Russia, and thence to other parts of Europe.” He adds that “the Chinese are said to dress the skins better than Europeans do, and in such a way as to keep them from moths.”

There is still enough forest left to give employment to wood-cutters and raft builders. The logs must be floated to their destination, for there are no roads in Manchuria, only tracks over mud. The deep ruts and holes seem made on purpose to upset waggons, and visitors find that even the mean little pea-boat is a luxury after the bumping cart.

Another annoyance' which must be put up with is the carrying about of one’s own blankets, for the hotels never provide any, because the Chinese visitor would be as likely as not to steal the bedding. “The inn occupies one side of a large courtyard, and consists of a long common room with a ‘kang,’ or brick platform, running the whole length of the room on either side, on which travellers sit, squat at meals, and sleep. One end is the kitchen where water is boiled, rice and other native food cooked, and from it a flue is carried round underneath the kang, which is in this way kept warm by the kitchen fire. At the other end there are one or two private rooms partitioned off by a door or curtain. But, as the windows are made of paper, inquisitive outsiders wet the paper, fix one eye on the spot, and look in. There is no furniture of any sort, and, if the visitor will not be satisfied with native fare, he must bring his own food, and cook it.”

Everyone knows that with few exceptions, houses in China have only one floor. The better ones are built of brick. The space between the horizontal beams supporting the tiled roof is called a “jen,” and the size of a house is reckoned by the number of jens. Those who cannot afford brick houses live in mud huts.

“The country round Newchwang is flat and uninteresting. The deposits brought down by the Liao form white-crusted salt marshes. Inland, the Chien Shan and other ranges remind one of the Scottish Highlands, but near Moukden it again becomes flat and tame.”

The fact that Manchuria is the ancestral home of the reigning dynasty has been suggested as one reason for the extreme reluctance to part with it.

From the glimpse of the Dowager Empress Lady Macdonald gives us in Empire Review, some people may suppose that the smiling, affable woman described cannot really be the instigator of the Boxer raid. Lady Macdonald says: “What she certainly seems on the surface is a woman swayed hither and thither by the counsel of her advisers, of whom the vast majority are phenomenally ignorant of anything outside the ‘middle kingdom,’ and, in addition, arrogant and anti-foreign.” But from the account of the interview, it would seem that it is only “on the surface,” and “when she is talking” that the Empress Dowager appears to be a pleasant, kindly woman. Her look, when silent, speaks volumes. Residents within a country — subjects or foreigners — have no right to publish what is not to the honour of the ruler, whether there is ground for the assertion or not, and this may explain the courteous reticence of Lady Macdonald at Peking.

Mr. Chester Holcombe, in his book, “An American in China,” says that the Boxer movement is only a manifestation of a growth of wrath and hate of sixty years’ standing. The Daily Telegraph said, that, according to Sir Robert Hart, “the Boxer rising was an essentially patriotic movement in its inception, as much so as the Volunteer movement in England. It was to protect hearth and home, to drive out the detested foreigner, and to keep China for the Chinese.”

The Viceroy of Wei Chang put it this way to our Acting Consul, General Fraser: “The plot of Kang Yu Wei and his party against her life biased the Empress against all foreigners, and announcements in the Shanghai newspapers that, the partition of China was inevitable and at hand alarmed her, supported as these were by the occupation of Kiaochau, Port Arthur, Wei-hai-wei, Kang-chou-wen, and Italy’s demand for San-men. She therefore took the Conservative side, and listened to the three conspirators, Prince Tuan, Hsu Tung, and Kang-Yi, of whom the first two knew nothing outside Pekin, and the last had a personal grudge against the Emperor. They persuaded her to a policy of obstruction, but concealed the real nature of their plot until the Court and the army were full of Boxers, and Ting Fu-Nsiang’s troops had invaded Pekin,” General Fraser remarked to the Viceroy that, as Head of the State, Her Majesty must bear the responsibility of employing evil men. His Excellency admitted that she had erred, but reminded our Consul that, as the Emperor Was Her Majesty’s adopted son, and as the Chinese polity rested on filial piety, His Majesty could not command their allegiance if he allowed his mother to be disgraced.

“A sad-eyed delicate locking youth, who scarcely raised his eyes during the interview, his face does-not show superior intelligence.” This, or something very like this, is Lady Macdonald’s description of the Emperor, who at the age of three years was adopted by the Empress to be heir-presumptive — her own son having died in 1874, at the age of eighteen. The Emperor Kwang-Su is the son of the Dowager’s sister. It is interesting to compare Lady Macdonald’s picture of him with what is told us by Dr. W. A. P. Martin, President of the Chinese Imperial University.

He says: “The Dowager Empress gave him the title of Kwang-Su, meaning Illustrious Successor, and he is now (Nov. 1900) in his twenty-sixth year. During one half of that period she exercised a Regency on the ground of his immaturity, and now for a third time she assumes to exercise it on the ground of his incapacity. In her earlier days his Imperial guardian was not herself such an enemy to progress as she afterwards became. The young Emperor was early set to the study of the English language. Two of my students were selected for his instructors. Special lessons were compiled by them for His Majesty’s use, and, in order to be sure of their correctness, those lessons, were submitted to me.

“Nothing is more probable than that he derived His first impulse in the direction of progress from his study of English. Yet the honour of having turned the ease-loving student into an ardent reformer is due above all others to the Cantonese doctor, Kang Ya Wei. In Chinese scholarship the Emperor distinguished himself . . . He had for his instructors about a dozen or more of the most eminent scholars of the Empire! Of these the best known was Wung Tung Ho.

“In China the leading aim of the reform party was to strengthen the country by the adoption of Western methods. After the war with Japan many of the leading Mandarins, especially the junior members of the Hanlin Academy, became convinced that China required a thorough-going reformation. Reform clubs were openly established in the capital. Their members were the elite of literati. ‘A thrashing at the hands of dwarfs . . . inferior to us in past ages! What had rendered these Japanese so formidable? What, but the wholesale adoption of European methods. Why should not China follow in their footsteps? ’ In time the work of reform was taken in hand by the Emperor himself under the influence of Kang Yu Wei. Innovations succeeded each other with startling rapidity. The civil service examinations were ordered to be revolutionised; a system of graded schools was to be created .... Neglected children ... . were to be gathered into schools; for their use the idol temples were to be appropriated. Schools for mining, commerce, and agriculture were to be established, as well as high schools and a university. Examinations in sciences and the practical arts were to test fitness for office.

“The Emperor’s sweeping changes did not stop here. He suppressed useless tribunals, encouraged free speech and the multiplication of newspapers. In 1895 there were in China only 17 newspapers; in 1898 there were 76. At the former date the sales from the book stores of the Useful Knowledge Society amounted only to 800 dollars; in 1898 the receipts had risen to 18,000 dollars. The Emperor’s wish to encourage free speech went further than liberty of the Press. He authorised all his officials to address him freely on the subject of reforms. To his desire to emancipate his people from the restrictions under which they had been he owes his downfall.

“A junior member of the Board of rites, which has the superintendence of education and religion, had prepared a memorial [memorandum?] on desired reforms in those departments, submitting it first to the chiefs of the Board. They refused to forward it to His Majesty. The Emperor was enraged that they should dare to intervene between him and any of his progressive officials. He deprived them of office. . . They hastened away to the country palace and threw themselves at the feet of the Empress Dowager, imploring her to resume her Regency in order to save the empire from the furious, driving of the young Phaeton. She listened to their prayer and entered upon her reactionary career. She began by requiring him to address to her a humble petition confessing his incapacity, and imploring her to teach him ‘how to govern his people,’ The reform programme was blotted out with blood. This was the coup d’etat of August, 1898. Is it surprising that Kwang-Su is ‘sad-eyed’ and inert? The Empress had taken the reins in hand with the avowed intention of undoing the Emperor’s work. Reactionary measures appeared in the Official Gazette. The old examination system for civil service was confirmed, the creation of common schools was countermanded. The Bureaux of Mines, Commerce, and Agriculture were suppressed. Official sinecures were restored. That which appeared to bring about an unfavourable change, in her foreign policy was the occurrence of repeated aggressions on her territory by foreign powers. Germany, Russia, England, France and Italy all made their demands. At each step in this series the haughty Regent became more infuriated, ordering that preparations should everywhere be made for resisting invasion. ... At this juncture the Boxer agitation hove in sight, and she welcomed it as a heaven-sent auxiliary . . . Those Boxers are not, as has often been supposed, a new body, called into existence by the missionary work in China. They are a kind of Masonic order, and attracted the attention of the Government so long ago as 1803, when they were placed on the index as a prohibited association.”

Many descriptions have been given of their dark deeds at Peking, Tientsin, and elsewhere during the Raid year. “The first sign of the Boxer rising in Manchuria,” writes the wife of a Liaoyang missionary, “was the unusual curiosity shown in us foreigners, followed by threatened persecution of native Christians at some of our stations. It came so suddenly upon us that, from the first sign of it, till we had to leave, only seven days elapsed. We were on the last train going south. The Russians helped us to escape. The Chinese soldiers and villagers attacked the railway not two hours after we passed down. Burned hospital! Ruined mission-house! Thankless work! Our countrymen have doctored and nursed those Chinese, have taught and befriended them in a thousand ways for 10, 15, or even 25 years, and now the wretched people are worse than ever for they have stolen their things, burnt their houses, and would gladly burn doctors and teachers too.”

But are the raiders the very people who have been taught and doctored and befriended by our countrymen m for years? When the returned C.I.V.’s marched through London in October 1900, it was on a Monday, Monday being the weekly holiday of the costermongers in the Borough and Bermondsey districts, they rushed across Blackfriars Bridge to Ludgate Circus to see the procession, and, as we know, a disgraceful scene followed. Would it be quite fair if a Frenchman or an American were to blame us for the disorderly conduct of those half-tipsy Hooligans, just because we are Londoners and so are the Hooligans? A Boxer is a Chinaman, but is it fair to say that all the Chinese are like the Boxers?

When Wylie was assassinated at Liaoyang, a Chinaman threw himself between him and the clubman in a vain attempt to protect the missionary. At the time of the Japanese War, British residents in Manchuria, including the missionaries, had to leave their homes on the line of march, make their way as best they could to the Port of Newchwang, and stay there till the war was over, protected by a British and an American cruiser. The weather was extremely cold for travelling. Mr. Douglas, one of the Liaoyang missionaries, had to leave so hurriedly that he could not take sufficient wraps. But one of his “people,” formerly a soldier, but disabled, made his way through the Japanese camp by night, and fetched blankets, money and valuable documents from the half-looted mission-house for his young pastor.

Here is a translation of a letter from Wang Cheng Ao to Mr. Douglas who, when the Boxers rose in Liaoyang, fled to Japan with wife and infant children by the last train going south. The letter throws some light on Raid times. “From the very commencement of the Boxer troubles I was out among the members in Liu Er P’u, Cheng Ang Pu, Ch’i Ling Tzu, L’ao Kuan T’un, Sha Ho, and other places, comforting them. There were no weaklings among them. Afterwards Mr. Hsu Ming K’o went into the city to see the pastor, but you had already left for Ying-tzu.”

“By this time the Boxers were become very violent. When Mr. Hsu returned to Liu Er P’u, he told us the Liaoyang Boxers were proudly boasting that they would burn down the Hospital. At this point I thought the threat might possibly not be carried into execution. On the 29th of June I heard suddenly that the Liaoyang street chapel was smashed up, and that the books of the Bible Society were carried off and burned. On the 2nd of July Mr. Wang K’ai Shu of Cheng Ang P’u came to Liu Er P’u and told us that Mr. Wei Huo Ta had arrived from Moukden with the news that on the 29th of June the Boxers and the soldiers had burned our church there, together with the hospitals, and the residences of the pastors, leaving not a trace of them.

“With this news the rumours about burning Liu Er P’u chapel increased in ferocity, and I thought it best to place the property under the care of an outsider (i.e. non-Christian), a trustworthy man, and so perhaps save it from destruction. Again, on the 4th of July, the Boxers attacked the Roman Catholic cathedral in Moukden with cannon – the lieut.-general himself leading the attack — and the bishop was killed. The moment this was known in Liaoyang the rumours became wilder than ever. On the 5th of July the Boxers assembled and burned down the Liaoyang Hospital and the pastor’s house. I heard also that the Sha Ho chapel was burned down. They also burned the sleepers on the railway,

“Some twenty of the Imperial troops then came to Liu Er P’u. to make enquiries about me, and to get charges trumped up against me. I therefore entrusted my wife and family to my father-in-law, and went over to the village of Yueh Ya P’ao to the house of Chang Wen K’usi for temporary refuge. After a while I heard that the Boxers had burst up the Liu Er P’u congregation, robbing some and beating others, but no lives were lost. All, however, were scattered, and nobody knew anything of his neighbour. Therefore there was no safety possible in the home of member Chang, so I conferred with Chang Wen K’usi himself, and his uncle, Chang Hung, with a view to leave the place altogether. Wen K’usi therefore left his family under the care of his lather, and we three made off for Ku’an Tien. As we passed outside the south gate of Liaoyang we heard that there were some 300 Boxers enrolled in the city, and that presently they meant to make a search in the villages for Christians. This made us hasten the more, and by 15th July we got to Chin Ts’ai Kou, and the house of Mr, Ku, where we stayed four days. At this time, although this part of the country was not disturbed, yet, on enquiry, one could always hear of Boxers, and the Government soldiers were said to be cherishing evil designs on the Ku family.

“Seeing we could not be safe here, and as Mr. Ku was himself keeping two boats in readiness to escape with his family, we embarked with him, and kept drifting up and down the river for twenty days. Then We heard that K’uan Tien Chapel was burned down, and that the Boxers were about to attack Ku’s house. With this the Ku family broke up and scattered, each where he could find shelter among their kith and kin. Seeing there was no help for us here, and hearing that there was a church in Corea, we crossed the river and made for Yu Ying P’u Church, where we met a Mr. Hsu and a Mr. Wen, who, on learning that we were refugees, showed us great kindness, and conveyed us to Yo Chou. Chapel, where we put up.

“At this time, with the utmost care, we had only twelve dollars in our purse, and we spent six of these during our month’s stay at Yo Chou. The Christians in Corea abound in charity, for afterwards we met Mr. Liang of Hsuan Chou, who was out on a preaching tour, and he took us with him to Hsuan Chou City and put us up for a month. Before we left Yo Chou the members there presented us with two dollars, and at Hsuan Chou the members presented us with fuel and eatables, etc.

“On October 10th we met the American pastor, Mr. Whittmore, and spoke of our wanderings. Mr. Whittmore: showed us your visiting card, and we were seized with irrepressible joy, as if we had seen your very face. He told us you were staying in Japan, and that he was ready to help us to get back to our homes, and without delay, as the weather was now becoming cold, and we had no wadded clothes, and were unprepared for further wandering. So he proposed to send us by boat from Sha Ho Tzu to Chefoo, and thence to the port of Newchwang. In this way we believed we could get back in safety, although everywhere in the interior there were robbery and violence. He gladly lent us ten dollars, in the name of travelling expenses, and on October 15th we left for Sha Ho Tzu.

“From the day we fled from Liaoyang till now — three months or more — we have been crushed with anguish, and our eyes holden with sorrow. Yet, by the protection of our Heavenly Father, we have escaped all danger, and, although much in peril, have always received consolation. We know not when the Church will rise out of its ruins, but we firmly believe in His conquering grace.” (Salutation as usual.)

Wang, a weaver at Hwang-pu abandoned his house in July, and fled with his mother and sister to the Eastern hills, where they lived in hiding till the beginning of February. On his return to his village he found everything gone, and his house reduced to ashes. “And have you nothing left?” he was asked. “How are you going to make a living?” “We are all alive to-day,” he said, and haven’t suffered — were never even tempted to deny. Kas Ju! (Trust the Lord.)

At Liaoyang a bright young fellow of eighteen was making his mark at the High School, where his father who was a teacher had placed him. The Boxers came on the scene. The young man was ordered to recant, but said he would rather die than deny his Lord. The father also refused to abjure the Christian faith and return to Buddhism. Father and son were beheaded together near their own home.

The Red Cross hospital has in recent years brought together and bound together people whose lives had been lived at opposite poles of society. It has been so in South Africa, and it was markedly the case at the time of the Japanese war. When “the Chinese soldiers came back after the battles, riddled with bullets, limbs shattered, all brag and bluster gone,” Red Cross Hospital work at Newchwang began in earnest. Luckily for the Chinese soldiers the doctors and nurses of the Manchuria mission were on the spot — the whole staff being massed at the port pro tem, “The doctors worked day and night, and clericals who could not amputate a limb had chances to wash the soldier’s feet, bind up his wounds, and encourage him to live. It was a sight to see a tall, handsome Northumbrian — colleague of the murdered Wylie — coat off, shirt sleeves tucked up to the shoulders, a tub of water, Pears’ soap, etc., by his side, scrubbing the ingrained filth from the convalescent soldiers. Was this his revenge for the murder of his friend? One of the rules of the Red Cross Society is that no religious talk is allowed in the hospitals. “We just acted the thing,” Webster, of Kaiyuan says, “and when asked, as we were twenty times a day, ‘Why do you foreigners do all this for us?’ we just said, ‘It is Christ’s way,’ and afterwards many of the poor fellows came to us of their own accord to hear more of that ‘way.’”

The Russian Red Cross has at this time had one advantage at least from the Boxer Raid. Dr. Westwater’s hospital at Liaoyang having been destroyed by the Boxers, he accompanied the Russian field-force all through the expedition, and has acquired great influence with Russian officials, which he uses for the protection of British residents and native Christians, and, along the line of the Russian march, comparative safety has been secured.

On the return of Mr. Douglas from Japan, five of his “people” from Liaoyang came to the port to meet him, and seventy men rallied round him the first Sunday. He says: “The city of Liaoyang has in some of its outward aspects been transformed by the Russians, who are still in military possession. The streets are kept beautifully level and clean, and at night are well lighted — quite a new phase for a Chinese city, and one very much appreciated by the inhabitants. The city is very crowded, thousands of people having come in from the surrounding country to escape the depreciations of robbers, who abound in hordes, especially to the west of the Liao. Ordinarily peaceable villagers have become brigands through sheer want.”

Typical Britishers never allow that they have been beaten, and neither do the Manchurian missionaries. After Jap war, and now after Boxer raid, they return to work with more ‘go’ in them than ever — all except the lady teachers who, like Miss Graham of Liaoyang, have had house and class rooms destroyed, and cannot set to work till they are rebuilt, but only wait till then.

“Missionary work! Only a waste of time and money, and perhaps of life into the bargain — the whole thing a piece of fanatical humbug. It bores one to hear it talked of. It is not as if it were something plucky — a fight from an armoured train — hoisting the Union Jack at Pretoria — shooting a commandant, or taking a ‘great haul’ of Boers.”

Is there nothing plucky in a small band of University men and of ladies, set on improving matters in Manchuria, scattering themselves in twos and threes over a country where foreigners are at the mercy of such a woman as the Dowager Empress of China and of her Boxer allies?


THE cotton plant may be reared in almost any country within 35 degrees north or south of the Equator. It is cultivated successfully in India, Egypt, and Brazil, as well as in the Southern States of America. So long ago as 1881, 18,000,000 acres in the United States were devoted to the cotton plant, and in the nineties Louisiana alone had an acreage of 1,245,400 given to its culture.

Cotton grown on the uplands is more hardy, and so fetches a higher price than the product of low-lying districts. A deep loamy soil is the best. Many planters have made nothing by cotton-farming because they have grudged the outlay, or disliked the trouble involved in thoroughly draining the land, and paying back to the soil in a good fertiliser, such as pine trash, the strength extracted in a long succession of years of the same crop. Banking up to prevent inundation is not enough, and will not serve as a substitute for drainage. The cotton planter — if he expects to prosper in years to come, and if he regards the interests of his successor — must not be “penny wise, pound foolish” in farm outlay. In the winter drills or furrows are made, usually six feet apart, to leave room for the growth of the plant and for the workers to move to and fro between the rows at picking time.

The time of sowing varies according to the favourable or unfavourable position of the land. In some plantations it is commenced in March; but in others, where night frosts prevail in spring, sowing does not begin till April is over.

Planters who wish to save themselves trouble, instead of preparing furrows, merely have holes made by the men with a stick or dibble — the women follow, and drop the seed into the holes, which are then covered up by the children, each using a light hoe for this purpose. In this primitive fashion some planters have carried on operations, and in out-lying districts the method is not yet quite unknown. But seed-planting machines have been in use for several years. Five or six seeds are put into one hole. These holes are twelve inches apart. The soil ought not to be allowed to get quite dry till the end of July. If there is not sufficient moisture in the land artificial watering must be employed.

As soon as the planter sees the first open bolls (the name given to the pods of the cotton plant), he immediately makes preparation for the harvest, which usually commences in the end of July or the beginning of August. All available hands are summoned, for there is work for everyone. As applied to cotton plucking, machinery has been rather a failure, and fingers are still in requisition for entering the pod, laying hold of the whole mass of fluffy cotton, and with one rapid movement detaching it from the husk. This requires skill and experience, and the use of the left hand as well as the right. Inexperienced pickers, wishing to get over the ground quickly, are apt to suppose that a rough hasty snatch will do, but they soon find that this breaks the boll in pieces — the fibre remaining fixed to the husk. If only a part of the contents of the pod is removed, the remainder left dangling in the hot sun very soon becomes discoloured.

It is believed that cotton must be picked while the sun is shining on it. What this must mean to the labourer may be better understood when it is remembered that each separate pod handled so as to clear it of the cotton requires an output of strength as well as much care and skill — the bag or basket meantime becoming heavier as the hours drag on, and the want of variety in the occupation making the day seem long and wearisome.

If the ground is swampy, or if it has been artificially soaked to hasten the growth of the plant, and time has not been allowed for it to dry before the picking begins, the workers are sure to suffer from rheumatism, or even from ague and fever, brought on by the poisonous gases which rise from the soil. But if the planter is neither indolent nor inconsiderate these attacks may be prevented, for well-drained ground will not send up bad vapours. At a minimum of trouble; and expense, a considerate planter may relieve the monotony of the day, and make the parched toiler more fit to continue at work, if, between the regular meal hours, baskets of apples and other cooling and thirst-quenching fruits — so plentiful and cheap in the States - are sent down to the fields.

One labourer can pick 100 lbs. seed each day. When, instead of baskets, large bags are used, these are hung in front like an apron, or are slung on like a schoolboy’s bag, but more to the side.

Ginning is the process of separating the seed from the fibre. This and the sorting and whipping, i.e. clearing the cotton from dust, are done by women. Packing and weighing are usually done by men. At one time American bales were always round, but the cylindrical shape is becoming more common — perhaps because it is best adapted for shipping. The cotton export trade was the chief factor in the great commercial prosperity of Galveston before the disastrous storm of 1900 swept over the city, arresting its activities for a time. The heavy square bales, as tall as a man, produced in the State of Texas almost by the million, could be conveyed across the four miles of shallow water which separates the island from the mainland of Texas — the strait having been spanned by three railway bridges. Tourists to the Southern States miss an interesting sight if they do not see the great steam-ships of New Orleans and the Mississippi loading cotton for the Manchester looms; but the fierce heat of the boiler, added to that of the broiling sun, makes sight-seeing unpleasant. Under these conditions, however, the “lazy n*gg*r” works on — rather spasmodically perhaps, for the negro roustabout, although on occasion he works with a zest, dislikes routine duty. But possibly Mark Twain’s Mississippi River roustabout would not compare unfavourably with the typical casual labourer of London docks. The brutal system of slavery has long ago passed away from the Southern States. A Mr. Simon Legree, of Red River, no longer flourishes his cruel whip over a troop of unpaid toilers, but the work of the hands on the cotton plantations still remains one of the most irksome and exhausting of agricultural employments. But the negro makes the best of things and does not worry. Snatches of impromptu songs lighten his labours. At last the day’s work is over, and he has the delight of chatting with his clever “childer,” who learn such wonderful things at school. And when the good wife — the modern Aunt Chloe — puts them all to bed with a prayer, he sits in front of his little log-cabin singing some favourite negro melody to the accompaniment of a home-made fiddle. School learning being with the negro race a comparatively recent acquirement, the darkie is not yet an expert in the meaning of metaphorical expressions, “You must make yourselves familiar with books,” said a negro school-teacher to his pupils. Then, to impress still more forcibly on the black boys before him the duty of receiving instruction, and storing it in mind and memory, the earnest teacher added, “In fact, boys, you must swallow books.” That night the father of one of his pupils called at the school-house in great distress. “Tom,” he gasped, “have done swallowed a book, and I’m feared he gwine to choke to death! Yo better come’n fish it out o’ him!” Off went the teacher in a hurry. Tom, had chewed up and swallowed part of a Webster’s dictionary. The school-master sent for the doctor, and it required two hours of his most skilful work to save Tom’s life.

The Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, famed for the high quality of their cotton, abound in game, and are frequented by sportsmen from Charleston at the fox-hunting season. A busy time for the trades-people of the place – quite a harvest to vendors of groceries and provisions! But the negro storekeeper of John’s Island did not see why he should stand all day in the stores when such fun was going on. As soon as he heard the blast of the horn, or the whisper, “Big fox in the bush,” he was sure to lock the store and call his dogs. Sometimes it was left locked for several days in succession. If anyone complained of this the negro sportsman’s answer would invariably be, “Store ain’t a-gwine to run away, and dar ain’t no certainty ’bout dem foxes.”

Attachment to a good master and devotion to his children, such as Uncle Tom’s to Eva, and Daff’s to the Babes in the Basket, are not without parallel among negroes to-day. Quite recently a prosperous merchant, son of a Scottish Jamaica pastor, visited his native island. More than thirty years had elapsed since he had left Jamaica as a boy, but the unbounded joy of the old negress who bad tended him in childhood showed plainly that she had not forgotten her “little massa.” Another true instance of devotion is that of a negro woman who, although she knew that she need not expect high wages, accompanied her master and mistress from the West Indies to California. Were not the dear “childer ” and her good “massa” and mistress more to her than all her kinsfolk?

How the African negro can improve, intellectually and morally, under the teaching and kind treatment of a David Livingstone and an A. B. Lloyd, has been clearly proved to all who have read Dr. Livingstone’s travels, and have seen and heard Lloyd’s illustrated description of his cycle journey across Africa. Sir H. Johnston’s “Report on Uganda” may also go to show what the black man may become when Christianity and civilisation go hand in hand to raise him.

The late President McKinley used an incident of the American Civil War to prove that the black man ought to have all the rights which Government can allow, “A colonel,” said McKinley, “called his colour-bearer, who was a negro, and said to him, ‘Take this flag, carry it through the battle, and do not come back without it.’ And that coloured man, with tears on his cheek, said, ‘Colonel, if I do not bring back the old flag, I will report to God the reason why.’ The battle began; it raged fiercely and furiously. Ascending the fort of the enemy, and planting the banner upon its ramparts, a bullet pierced the body of the colour-sergeant, and he fell; but, before he expired, he wrapped the folds of the old flag about him. When the battle ceased, as they walked over the battle-field to collect the dead, they found this colour-sergeant. He did not bring back the flag, but he reported to God the reason why.”


“King in London.” - “Kaiser’s Stirring Send-off.” - “Kitchener’s Scouts disperse Raiders.”

THESE lines appeared on our newspaper placards in February, 1901. They suggest City crowds, and the weary vigilance of guerilla warfare. Once at least in his lifetime, a set of scenes, as different from these as can be imagined, passed before the eyes of each of those three celebrities, not the things of the hour, but the doings of a wonderful past, claimed attention. The “tells” on the plains and hill-tops of Palestine — green mounds the sites of ancient villages — the hill-side with remains of terrace culture — scattered ruins by the lakeside, and, in the South, those venerable piles reared 700 or twice 700 years ago over its historic caves — these passed before the eyes of King, Kaiser, and Kitchener as they drove, rode, or walked in that little country which has been the theatre of the “World’s Greatest Drama.”

In 1861 the Prince Consort, with the concurrence of Queen Victoria, planned a Mediterranean tour for the Prince of Wales, then a minor, to be conducted by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, and by General Bruce, the young Prince’s devoted governor — the best literary and organizing talent of that time. The last part of the tour was to be a visit to Palestine. The Prince Consort died in December, 1861, and on 31st March, 1862, the Prince of Wales and his escort disembarked at Jaffa.

Our King Edward’s visit as Prince of Wales was the first visit paid by an heir of the Crown of England to those regions since 1272, when his namesake, Prince Edward, and Eleanor, set out on their crusading pilgrimage. Here is Stanley’s picture of the Royal procession of 1862, drawn in the too elaborate but graceful style of nearly forty years ago:—

“That long cavalcade, sometimes amounting to 150 persons, of the Prince and his suite, the English servants, the troop of 50 or 100 Turkish cavalry, their spears glittering in the sun, and their red pennons streaming in the air, as they wound their way through the rocks and thickets, and over the stony ridges of Syria, was a sight that enlivened even the tamest landscape, and lent a new charm even to the most beautiful. Most remarkably was this felt on our first entrance into Palestine, and on our approach to Jerusalem. The entrance of the Prince into the land was almost on the footsteps of Richard Coeur de Lion and of Edward I. By the time we had obtained full view of Jerusalem from the northern road, the ridge of Scopus — the view immortalised in Tasso’s description of the first advance of the Crusaders — the cavalcade had swelled into a strange motley crowd. The Turkish Governor and his suite — the English Consul and the English clergy — groups of uncouth Jews, Franciscan monks and Greek priests, here and there under the clumps of trees, groups of children singing hymns, the clatter of the horses’ hoofs on the hard stones of that rocky and broken road drowning every other sound — such was the varied procession which seemed to contain within itself the representatives of all nations.”

Tourists to Jerusalem in those days so long before the little railway was built which now connects it with the coast, had plenty of time on the way to recall its eventful history. “Jerusalem has suffered from siege and war more frequently than any other city in the world.” We have it from a specialist in chronology that its first siege was about 1400 B.C., when, after what we should call a “splendid bayonet charge,” “Judah took Jerusalem, and set the city on fire.” This was 700 years before Rome was founded, and even then the city was already built, although probably only a rudely fortified mountain post. In A.D. 1244 Jerusalem underwent its last and twenty-seventh siege at the hands of the wild Kharezmien hordes, who plundered the city and made great slaughter. The present walls were built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the year A.D. 1542” — a very recent date compared with the date of the piece of old wall at the Wailing Place, and of the foundation courses of the first and second wall from 40 to 100 feet underground, according to the degree in which the present surface of the soil differs from the ancient ground-level at various places.

Twenty-seven sieges — half of them with battering-rams — were bound to fill up the valleys to a great extent, both those round the city and the valleys which separated the heights on which Jerusalem was built. After all these changes, it can only be mastery of the history of more than 2000 years, and a triumph of engineering skill that can ascertain the original levels and the true position of ancient Jerusalem.

From Stanley’s account it would seem that the Prince of Wales had one special wish in his visit to Palestine — the determination to break through the restrictions with which Mussulman jealousy guarded the entrance to the cave of Machpelah at Hebron. By the exertions of General Bruce this was accomplished, so far at least that the party were admitted within the Moslem enclosure, and, although not allowed to enter the cave itself, were permitted to look down into it through a hole in the pavement. It is a question whether this was worth all the trouble it cost, and all the attention given to it in a short visit to a land full of places of historic interest. But then, why should anything be denied to an heir to the Throne of England, and it might have been a precedent.

General Bruce died at the end of the tour. His had been the task of transacting with the Turkish authorities. Bruce was responsible for the safety of the young Prince, and the people of Hebron appear to have been indignant at what seemed to them an intrusion.

Of General Bruce, Stanley says, “We recall the image of our gallant chief, as he rode at our head, or amongst us, through the hills and valleys of Palestine; the easy pleasantry with which he entered into the playful moods of our mid-day halts and evening encampments; his reverential attention at our Sunday services; the consideration with which he cared for every member of our party; his unfailing sense of duty, and entire devotion to the charge committed to him.”

The usual excursion from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, and Jericho was made. The people of Bethlehem — the children especially so remarkable for their beauty — were seen by the Prince and his suite to great advantage. The narrator says, “Through every broken wall or window of that rugged and narrow street, from every house-top that overhung our long cavalcade, every face in the village was looking down upon us, and every face was beautiful.”

Artistic setting and picturesque costumes may have set off the faces particularly well, but the beauty of the women of Bethlehem is remarked by all travellers and tourists. The curious custom of wearing money as a necklace, or even as a bandeau round the head, if copied by ladies in England, would probably approve itself to their husbands. While unstringing the coins there must surely be time to reflect, “Is it worth parting with them to have what I am about to buy?”

The journey from Jericho to Jerusalem is described by Stanley. He says: “We returned from Jericho to Jerusalem up the well-known ascent of Adummim, the scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan, and caught the view of the city from the memorable point on the road of our Lord’s triumphal entry. The whole cavalcade halted at that long ridge of rock where ‘He beheld the city, and wept over it!,’ Before us lay the view, still splendid, of the Mosque of Omar, the Temple platform, the broken outline of Jerusalem , the deep ravine of the Kedron. Behind us lay Mount Olivet, its stones, its olive trees, its fig-trees — even the flock of the black goats and white sheep, which at that moment followed their shepherd over the slope of the hill — all full of Divine teaching.”

“Our tents,” says Stanley, “were pitched outside the Damascus Gate .... and from thence we explored the city and the neighbourhood.” If this Royal visit had taken place 10 or 15, instead of 39 years ago, the Prince’s attention would have been directed to what Colonel Conder speaks of as “the remarkable knoll just outside the Damascus Gate north of the city,” adding that on investigation he had found that the Jews, even to the present day, have held this to be the ancient place of execution. He says: “This site is peculiarly fitted for a place of execution in consequence of its commanding position. From the summit the eye roams above the city walls over the greater part of Jerusalem, while on the west the ground rises beyond the intervening valley like a theatre. There is hardly another spot near Jerusalem so fitted to be the central point for any public spectacle.” In the same paper in a Palestine Exploration Quarterly of the year 1881, Conder says: “Still more interesting is a discovery which I made about a week ago, of an indisputably Jewish tomb immediately west of the knoll in question .... cut in the east face of a very curious rock platform. .... Its appearance so near the old place of execution, and so far from the other tombs in the other cemeteries, is very remarkable.” Towers had been built over this spot by Herod Agrippa about 10 years after the death of Christ, and Conder suggests that this fact may account for the rock-tomb having been hidden and unknown for so many centuries. Jewish law forbade burial within the walls of the city. Conder says that “the discovery of part of the second wall of Jerusalem in 1886 shows clearly that Constantine’s basilica, the so-called Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was in the time of our Lord within the city walls.” Any tourist can judge for himself how much better the knoll outside the Damascus Gate with its rock-cut sepulchre “nigh at hand” fulfils the conditions of the narrative.

Six or seven years after his tour of 1862, the Prince of Wales visited the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean along with the Princess. By that time Wilson and Warren had sunk their shafts. People had become too shrewd to be taken in by Monkish absurdities, and too scientific to be satisfied with what might seem more sensible conjectures as to topography. If what we are told in Old Testament books of ancient Jerusalem, its walls and fortifications, its magnificent Temple, its palaces, its viaducts and aqueducts — if they are not fiction but fact — they may stand the test of excavation.

It was Wilson — afterwards so well known as conductor of the Gordon Relief Expedition — who “by sinking a line of shafts at Jerusalem westward from Robinson’s arch, discovered a series of piers upon which other arches had rested — the remains of a bridge which ran across the valley connecting the Temple with the city. This bridge is mentioned by the historian Josephus, and, in the narrative of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, we read that “When she had seen the ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her. The principle of the arch, although known in Egypt in very early times, was only rarely practised in the architecture of that day, so this viaduct of King Solomon’s was the climax of all the wonders she had seen.”

In his “Underground Jerusalem,” Sir Charles Warren tells us how at a depth of more than 80 feet below the present surface of the ground he discovered the “great stones” of the Temple wall, and found on some of them Phoenician masons’ marks, proved to be Phoenician because similar to masons’ marks on the sub-structure of the ancient harbour of Sidon. “But how,” says Warren, “is it certain that these letters were of the time of the, building of the wall? On the soft rock, from which this great wall springs, there lies from eight to ten feet of red mould. This was cut into when the great stones of the Temple were laid, and consequently the first two or three courses have been always concealed from view; and below this line only did we find the red paint marks; above it they had been washed out or rubbed off nearly 3,000 years ago. Thus these marks we found were those covered over on the building of the wall.” “And the king commanded, and they hewed out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with wrought stone, and Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders . . . did fashion them” — Hiram being king of Tyre, the great Phoenician seaport of those days. “And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.” Warren says that some of the stones would not weigh much less than 40 tons, “We were in hopes,” says Warren (January, 1869), “that the Prince and Princess of Wales would favour Jerusalem with a visit,” while on their Mediterranean tour, “ and I felt certain that if they did come it would be of immense advantage to the progress of the work.” By this time many English and American tourists had seen the excavations, arrangements having been made for ladies as well as gentlemen to descend the shafts in safety, and without much discomfort. But Warren adds: “I was only torn in my mind as to how the Princess could be accommodated, as I felt sure Jerusalem was unhealthy at the time. After thinking and talking it over with my wife, I wrote to the Rev. L. Onslow, and said that we should be very glad to put our house at the disposal of the Princess, should they propose coming to Jerusalem, as it occupied a healthy situation, and was well out of the city. For this purpose we would go under canvas, so that Her Royal Highness could have the use of the whole house and garden. I received a very kind letter in reply, from which it appeared that there was no prospect of their coming, and, indeed, I believe on the whole it was a wise arrangement, as Jerusalem at this time of year was not very suitable for delicate persons.”

“Is Palestine beautiful? Historical associations are not in my line — suppose I allow that what you call history is not a myth. I cannot think myself into the past. But if it is a pretty country — plenty of fishing and good golfing, hotels with cuisine and cellar up to the mark — I may have a run over it by and by. This year I am booked for Monte Carlo.”

Is Palestine beautiful? Tourists are constantly asking that question. George Adam Smith says, “It has grown to be the fashion to despise its scenery. The land has been stripped and starved, its bones protrude. In parts it is very bald. Yet even as it lies to-day, there are in it some prospects as bold and rich as you will see in countries famed for their picturesqueness. There is the coastline from the headland of Carmel — the Sea of Galilee as you see it from Gadara (plenty of good fishing there if it were not the Turk’s veto) — the perspective of the Jordan Valley as you look up from over Jericho, and there is the forest of Gilead. . . And then there are those prospects in which no other country can match Palestine, for no other country has a valley like the Ghor, or a desert like that which falls from Judaea to the Dead Sea. There is the view from the Mount of Olives — there are the precipices of Masada and Engedi sheer from the salt coast. And above all there is the view from Engedi under the full moon when the sea is bridged with gold, and the eastern mountains are black with a border of opal.

“But whether there is beauty or not, there is always on all the heights that sense of space and distance which comes from Palestine’s high position between the great desert and the great sea.”

The Emperor and Empress of Germany visited Jerusalem in the end of October, 1898. The preparations made by the Turkish authorities were thorough-going and elaborate. A new pier at Haifa, widening of Jaffa Road, making new carriage-road to the Mount of Olives, widening of road along the city wall, new branch road at Bethlehem from German Evangelical Church to Church of the Nativity, which necessitated the taking down of some houses.

In addition to all this preparing of the way — making the crooked straight and the rough places plain — so necessary in the East when the Court is moving from place to place, and wilds have to be crossed where there is no highway — Dr. Conrad Schick tells us that the very “beggars were gathered before the arrival of their Majesties, and sent by escorts to villages some distance from Jerusalem; and even the dogs, which at night make so much noise, were diminished.” Another account states that during the Imperial visit “the street dogs were ‘catched,’ and housed in cages.” From the ‘Times’ we have the following description: “A great multitude of all nationalities assembled to witness their Majesties’ entry into the Holy City, the streets and the battlements of the ancient walls being crowded with spectators. The cavalcade was led by six mounted equerries. After them came the carriage containing the foreign Consuls. Then the Emperor, preceded by trumpeters, was seen riding on horseback. He was clad in the service uniform with numerous orders, and wore in addition a white silk dust dress cut like a pilgrim’s cowl.

After his Majesty came the members of his staff similarly clad. The Empress and the ladies of her Majesty’s suite followed in carriages. An address was presented to his Majesty by a Jewish deputation at one of the triumphal arches, and a magnificent Bible by the German communities in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa. Afterwards the Imperial party proceeded to the German Consulate, where they received the principal Turkish military and civil authorities, also ecclesiastical dignitaries, including the English Bishop of Jerusalem and the Consular corps. The Emperor conversed for some time with the British Consul, Mr. Dickson. At the termination of the reception their Majesties returned to camp.” (A beautiful photo. of the Emperor’s Encampment was taken from the roof of Dr. Kelk’s house by Dr. Merril, U.S. Consul.) “On Sunday, October 30th, the Emperor and Empress visited Bethlehem, where Divine service was held in the German Church. The sermon was preached by Pastor Botticher, the text, which was chosen by the Emperor, being, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’”

“And so the Word had breath and wrought
With human hands the creed of creeds,
In lowliness of perfect deed —
More strong than all poetic thought.”

“The Emperor afterwards received the clergy and the German community, and, with the Empress, entered the Church of the Nativity, where they spent some time upon the scene of the birth of Christ.” (But is there reason to believe that this cave is the spot where that event took place? Colonel Conder says that so early as the second century the cave-stable is noticed by Justin Martyr, and that Origen refers to it, saying, “There is in Bethlehem the cave where He was born.” The using of caves as stables was, and still is, a common practice in the East.)

“Having seen the Pool of Behesda, their Majesties returned along the road which runs beneath the walls of Jerusalem to the Jaffa Gate” (Sir Charles; Warren, R.E., in his “Underground Jerusalem,” and Colonel Conder, R.E., in his book, “Palestine,” give very full details of their examination of this intermittent spring, En Rogel or Bethesda, and its Outlets). “The same evening the Emperor and Empress drove by the new road, which had been specially built for the occasion, to the summit of the Mount of Olives. From the Mount of Olives their Majesties enjoyed a magnificent view of the Dead Sea, the Plain of Jericho, and the Valley of the Jordan. The principal object of the German Emperor’s visit to Palestine — the consecration of the ‘Church of the Redeemer’ at Muristan — hallowed by the most illustrious memories — was accomplished the next day, Monday, October 31st. At the close of the service the Emperor, turning to the congregation, delivered a written allocution. He thanked God that his Providence had brought him there to be present at the consecration of a German evangelical church in Jerusalem. He hoped that this church would be the monument of a united evangelical church of Germany, and that all nations might compete in furthering the work of Christianity, and urged that Christianity should display itself not in profession only, but in good deeds.” — {Times.)

In his article, “The Rise of Kitchener,” whicb appeared in the Royal Magazine of July, 1900, Reginald Maingay says: “It is highly characteristic of the man that, impatient of the ordinary routine of the army, he should look eagerly about him for some employment or enterprise in which he might gain experience, and work off some of his superabundant, energy. The wished-for opportunity soon arrived. Early in l874 an expedition was sent by the Palestine Exploration Fund to carry out a survey of Western Palestine. Kitchener offered his services, was accepted by the directors of the expedition, and in due time arrived in the Holy Land.” Maingay tells us that Kitchener never regretted his sojourn in Palestine because of the opportunities it gave him of studying the Moslem and his ways. But from Kitchener’s paper, read before the Geographical section of the British Association in 1878, and from his report to the Palestine Exploration Fund Committee on completion of his work for that society, it is clear that the work itself interested him, and not merely the chance it gave of learning the ways of the Moslem, with the view of turning this knowledge to account in the future in another part of the East, for military purposes. But Maingay puts his finger on the very quality in Kitchener which made his services of such special value to the society when he says: “Herein lies one of the secrets of Kitchener’s success, that wherever he went, and in no matter what capacity, his chief concern was to gain a complete knowledge of the people, their manners, and their vernacular.” Kitchener tells how he and the other surveyors managed to find out the vernacular, pronunciation, and spelling of 2,770 names of places in the North of Palestine for the survey map. He says: “The nomenclature was written down in Arabic by a well-educated scribe kept for the purpose. Each surveyor had a guide with him who gave the names of the different places. The surveyor wrote them down as near as he could to the sound, and, on returning to camp, he repeated them in front of the guide and scribe. The guide then pronounced the names correctly, and the scribe wrote it down for him. I afterwards transliterated the Arabic in accordance with Robinson’s method, and the proper spelling was thus obtained and written on the map. Every possible check on the veracity of the natives was employed by asking numbers of people independently the names. One of the great values of the map is the number of unknown names it has made public: thus on this part of the survey 2,770 names were collected, only 450 of which were to be found on the best existing map of the Country. Another is the accuracy of the names taken down from the natives in a manner never attempted before, and the result has been to throw a vast light on the nomenclature of the country, and the origin of the races that inhabit it.” The identification of ancient battlefields specially interested Kitchener. Speaking of the view from Mount Tabor, he says: “Looking down on the broad Plain of Esdraelon stretched out from our feet, it is impossible not to remember that this is the greatest battlefield of the world from the days of Joshua and the defeat of the mighty host of Sisera, till, almost in our own days, Napoleon the Great fought the battle of Mount Tabor. Here also is the ancient Megiddo, where the last great battle of Armageddon is to be fought.” It is observable that Kitchener, when fresh from the scientific examination of the locality, places battles recorded in the books of Joshua and Judges on the same historic basis as one fought in the beginning of the 19th century, and Speaks of the Battle of Armageddon just as people speak now of King Edward VII.’s coronation — an event arranged to take place.

A selection of twelve out of the large number of photographs Kitchener took during his four years of Palestine work was published as a guinea-book several years ago. If they had been photos of scenes he passed through in South Africa during the last fifteen months, the demand for them would have been enormous, and people would have been ashamed to know little or nothing about them. But people are not so eager to see photos which only confirm the accuracy of the topographical descriptions of the Old Book. Is it because they have an idea that, if it is so truthful in its statements, it may not be the wisest thing after all to disregard it?

Probably no view of Wady Suweinit ever came from any camera but Kitchener’s, for it is a wild inaccessible place, reminding one of pictures of Natal scenery, or of a rough pass in some remote's part of the Scottish Highlands. Sir Walter Besant says: “The exact site of the great cliffs, Seneh and Bozez, which Jonathan climbed with his armour-bearer, has been pointed out by the surveyors through the aid of a remarkably exact description by Josephus of the site of the Philistine camp. The name Seneh, ‘thorn-bush,’ given at a later period to the intervening valley (as noticed by Josephus), is still recognisable in the present Arab name, Wady Suweinit, or the valley of the ‘Little Thorn Tree.’ The name Bozez, or ‘shining,’ is explained by the fact that it is that of the northern cliff crowned by a mound of white chalky marl, presenting a shining and conspicuous aspect, contrasting strongly during the daytime with the dark shadow of the southern precipice,” “And between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’, garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side; and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose up on the north in front of Mickmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet.”

“Twice Kitchener managed to save his chief’s life. The first instance occurred in the neighbourhood of Ascalon. After a day of unusually strenuous work the two men decided to take a dip in the sea. Conder imprudently — for the coast was known to be dangerous — swam far out, and was carried by a strong current into broken water, where, without assistance, he must inevitably have perished. But Kitchener, who was disporting himself nearer the shore, saw his friend’s plight, and immediately swam to the rescue.”

So Maingay tells us in his article in the ‘Royal.’ He does not tell us what took them to Ascalon, but one of Kitchener’s photos does — only some ruins standing in fantastic shapes against the horizon, the battlements of Richard Coeur de Lion, and beneath these the ruins of ancient Ashkelon. “Ashkelon shall be a desolation.” “Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.” The second time Kitchener saved Conder’s life was at Safed, which had become a hotbed of Moslem fanaticism. “A man armed with a heavy club,” says Maingay, “made for Conder, knocked him over, and struck him on the head. ‘I must inevitably have perished,’ said Conder, ‘but for the cool and prompt assistance of Kitchener.’”

The scene of this attack, which delayed the Survey several months, Maingay merely mentions as “Safed, a little town in Galilee.” Anyone who has seen Safed, or who has seen a picture of the little town rising abruptly high above the surrounding country, its white houses sparkling in the rays of the eastern sun, must remark its torch-like appearance. “A city set on a hill cannot be hid, neither do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on the stand. Let your light shine,” are words said to have been spoken in Galilee. Is it not probable that Safed was in view of Speaker and hearers?

Addressing the Geographical section of the British Association in 1878, Kitchener said: “Round the shores of the Lake of Galilee are the most interesting sites of all Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida. I visited the extensive ruins of Kerazeh, the ancient Chorazin, and was struck with the precision and minuteness of the ornamentation of the niches of the ruined synagogue, cut out of the hardest basalt, and remaining as fresh and sharp as they were when new. ... As soon as funds are available, an expedition will start to explore the sites of the most sacred scenes of the N. T. [New Testament] history; the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, where undoubtedly Capernaum, our Lord’s own city, Chorazin, and Bethsaida still exist. If this great Association considers that what we have accomplished has added largely to the scientific knowledge of an ancient country, let me hope that they will show their satisfaction in the results we have obtained by helping us in the renewed efforts in the same direction. Let me add one more result we hope to obtain. We hope to rescue from the hands of that ruthless destroyer, the uneducated Arab, one of the most interesting ruins in Palestine, hallowed by the footprints of our Lord. I allude to the synagogue of Capernaum, which is rapidly disappearing, owing, to the stones being used for lime.”

(The obstacles thrown in the way of excavation in this region by the Turkish authorities, and the lack of the money which would be required to induce the Turk to let digging go on, have delayed the carrying out of this plan recommended by Kitchener.)

Perhaps to Kitchener the Capernaum synagogue had additional interest from its having been built at first by a soldier — one of those Roman centurions, so many of whom have had honourable mention in sacred and secular history. A few weeks ago some of our own military R.E.’s were turning up their books of Roman history to read the references to one of these centurions of a rather later date, whose name has just been deciphered on the rocky underground wall of an ancient aqueduct at Jerusalem. The task of those Roman officers in that half-subdued corner of the empire was no sinecure, any more than Baden Powell’s with his mountain police, for the people of Palestine of that day fretted quite as much under the Roman yoke as the Boers are likely to do under ours.

The centurion stationed at Capernaum must have been a man either of unusual kindliness of heart or of rare tact, when the people of the town could say of him, “He is worthy . . . for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

From Kitchener’s camera we have a beautiful photo of a fragment from Galilean synagogue ruins, on which the figure of the Golden Candlestick and an inscription in Hebrew may be seen quite clearly.

“It is with great regret that I leave the service of the Palestine Exploration Fund after a period of four years’ work.” So said Kitchener on his return to England in 1878, and nearly twenty-three years later, April, 1901, the name of “Lord Kitchener of Khartum, G.C.B.,” may be seen on the list of the Society’s Committee. Perhaps his biographer in the ‘Royal’ takes his measure fairly well when he says, “Kitchener was by no means born to be a soldier and nothing else.”


IN the North Sea, and some twenty-five or thirty miles from the mouths of the three German rivers, the Elbe, the Weser, and the Eyder, lies a rocky islet known as Heligoland, Heilgoland or Hertha. Geographically, it was a part of Denmark until Prussia absorbed so much of the Continental portion of that ancient kingdom. During the Napoleonic wars, Heligoland passed into the possession of England, and remained a portion of the British Empire until 1890, when it was ceded to Germany in exchange for certain rectifications in the frontiers of the possessions of the two powers in Africa. It is only two miles in circumference, the population in 1860 was only 2,170; it paid no taxes, and as it had to be defended at once from the encroachment of the ocean and possible attacks from enemies, it was a source of considerable expense. As a British possession, its only possible advantage to the owners was that it gave command over the entrances to the German rivers, which was of no value to us in times of peace, and a doubtful gain in the event of war, so the concessions made to us in Africa need not be of the first importance in order to compensate us for its loss.

But to Germany the cession was of great moment. Screened by its fortifications, the Kaiser has been able to develop a navy which is beginning to be of weight in the concerns, of the world. Should Germany chance to be at war with a naval power, its possession will add greatly to her security. No statistics are available to show what the growth of population has been, but what with the building of fortifications, the large garrison maintained, and the excavation of dockyards, there must have been a considerable increase since the change of ownership. In addition to these employments the industries of the inhabitants are those of the fisherman and the pilot, while there are some bathing stations at the foot of the rock which are much resorted to during the summer season.

The views of this rock, as seen from the water, are much admired, especially since the erection of the lighthouse on the Klif or highest part of the island. The lighthouse not only warns mariners of the dangers of the coast, but it affords guidance as to the distance and direction to the great rivers of the mainland. There are no natural harbours in Heligoland, but. the German Government, by the construction of piers and docks, is doing much to facilitate such commerce as the resources of the people could support. The inhabitants are a fine race of men of Fresian descent. They grow a little oats and barley, and raise a few cattle in the more sheltered spots, but have to rely on importations for the main part of their food except in the matter of fish, of which they send a considerable quantity to Hamburg.

During the great war at the beginning of the last century, Heligoland had a peculiar commercial value. It was a great centre for smuggling. Napoleon’s influence on the Continent was almost irresistible, and he had put an embargo on the importation of goods which were either of British origin or conveyed in British vessels. He argued, with good reason, that if he could crush our commerce our means of continuing to oppose his career would be destroyed. The same reasoning convinced our Government that the trade of our merchants must be upheld. As the people of Europe were quite disposed to buy from us the commodities they needed, a system was established by which they were conveyed to Heligoland and thence transported in fishing and other boats to the coast of Germany. In this manner the island was at that time of great utility, but it is not probable that similar conditions will ever prevail again, and, under ordinary circumstances, we attach no importance to a possession which could not maintain itself nor afford any assistance to the rest of the Empire.

At the same time, the cession was resented by some persons who held that it was impolitic to part with a post which not only would have strategic advantages if we Were involved in a quarrel with Germany, but is also likely to become an almost impregnable position behind which that country may gradually build up a naval power and a mercantile marine capable of disputing with us that dominion over the sea on which we depend alike for the means of supporting our population and defending these islands from aggression.


TOBACCO, as an indigenous plant, would appear to be confined to America and the Islands adjacent, though during the last three centuries its cultivation has spread over large portions of Asia, Africa, Australasia, and Southern Europe. There are several varieties of the plant, and soil and climate are found to have a material effect upon the quality of the leaves. When Columbus landed in the West Indies he found the natives addicted to its use, smoking it either in rolls, which the Spanish called cigarros, or in pipes. A similar practice was found to exist in all those portions of the mainland which were discovered by the Spaniards, and, at a later period, it was indulged in also by the Indians of the northern part of the continent. The use of the weed speedily spread among the white men — so rapidly, indeed, that Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have made a playful wager with Queen Elizabeth that he would weigh the smoke that he exhaled, and claimed to have won his bet, when, having first weighed the tobacco, he deducted from that the weight of the ashes that were left.

Whether the difference is in the original stock, or in the climate and soil where it is grown, there is a material difference in tobaccos beyond any that can be ascribed to the subsequent treatment. Thus the tobaccos of Virginia, Cuba, India, Borneo, South Africa, and the Levant, could never be confused one with another by any person of experience. The Spaniards colonised Cuba, Mexico, and the Philippine Islands. They cultivated tobacco, and made cigars in all three, as do their descendants to this day. Presumably they adopted the same processes, but the results are very different. No cigars in the world are equal to those of Cuba, which we call Havannahs, from the port of shipment. On the other hand, for the pipe, the Virginian tobacco is the most esteemed.

The cultivation and preparation of tobacco, as practised in Cuba, are much as follows:- The seed is sown in the spring in beds, and when they have three or four leaves the seedlings are planted out in the fields which are carefully prepared for their reception. The crop is very exhausting to the soil, but any application of rank manure would injure the flavour of the product. The land has, therefore, to be carefully tilled and enriched with artificial fertilisers. Even then the fields are allowed to lie fallow every third or fourth season. The young plants have to be carefully looked after, so that they may never be parched with drought, and that they may be guarded from the ravages of a caterpillar which is very partial to the young leaves. When four or five inches high the stems are carefully moulded up, and when the flower stalk appears it is nipped off, except on a patch reserved for seed, so that all the vigour may be thrown into the leaves. Then the plant begins to throw out side-shoots in order to perform its seed-producing function; but this, too, is checked in the bud. The plants have now acquired some size, but every leaf has to be inspected to prevent attack from the caterpillar. Towards the end of summer the crop is ready for cutting, which stage is known by a brittleness about the leaves which was not before observed. They are cut off just above ground, and left lying for some days, after which they are carted to the drying shed. They are there tied in pairs, and suspended on lines so arranged that the air plays freely round every plant. If allowed to touch they would sweat and ferment. When quite dry the leaves are stripped from the stalks and tied in bundles. These are laid in heaps and covered with blankets, great care being taken that they do not get over-heated. Every now and again an opening is made to admit air. This is continued until all the heat natural to a green plant is got rid of. So far the process of preparation is general. If intended for export it is packed in casks, and so much of it as is intended for smoking is cut very fine after the medrib has been extracted. In the variety known as “Bird’s-eye” a portion of the medrib is allowed to remain. Some water is used, usually in the form of steam, in preparing for the knife, and in many cases a little glycerine, treacle, or laudanum is added, but such additions would be illegal in this country. In other cases it is made into cakes or rolls. Sailors prepare tobacco by fastening it very tightly in a cloth, which they squeeze tighter and tighter as the tobacco dries. When so prepared it is styled “Pig-tail,” from a fancied resemblance to the old fashion of hairdressing.

For making into cigars the leaves are slightly moistened to allow the glutinous property of the leaf free action. The broken leaves form the inside or filling of the cigar, the more perfect leaves being reserved for covering, as it is imperative that there should be no crack in the coat. A little gum is used to fix the covering leaves firmly in their places. Many smokers fail to understand why it is that if the outer leaf of a cigar is disturbed they can never replace it properly. The reason is that the skilled manipulators are ambi-dextrous, and anyone who does not possess this quality will give a wrong twist to the leaf. A large proportion of the hands employed in the Havannah cigar factories are females. Their attire gives great freedom to the limbs; and the leg, just above the knee, is frequently used as a base on which to roll the leaves.

The war between the United States and Spain, following after a long period of domestic trouble in Cuba, gave a great check to the cigar industry. Many of the tobacco fields were left uncultivated, and several of the factories were closed. This caused a considerable advance in the price of genuine Havannah cigars. It did not, however, cause any difficulty to consumers who were willing to pay for the luxury. They could still obtain their favourite brands. The reason for this is that a cigar is not considered to be in prime smoking condition for several years after it is made. The best, therefore, date from a period earlier than 1889, and have, if well kept, been slowly evaporating moisture necessary to manufacture, and without which the leaf would be too brittle to be manipulated. It must not be supposed that all the tobacco grown in Cuba is of one quality. Soils and situations vary, as do the skill and care exercised in cultivation and preparation. It is possible to buy a Cuba cigar for a few pence, while as much as five shillings is the price for another of the same size. The best material is grown on the banks of the River San Sebastian, a little to the west of Havannah.

As seen from a distance this city appears very beautiful, facing one of the finest harbours in the world, and backed by hills which are covered with tropical vegetation. But a close acquaintance disenchants the spectator. The streets are narrow, and the town is very unhealthy. It is fortified, and was understood to be a very strong town until the American army and navy proved that no situation gives much strength to a garrison that is not well prepared and fully determined to resist. Cuba, however, had suffered so much from civil war, and the Spanish Government was so exhausted with the struggle, that even the capital was not provided for resistance to a vigorous enemy. Havannah was once before occupied by an enemy pf the same race, having been captured by the British in 1762.


SOME thirty miles from Pekin, within the shadow of the Great Wall of China, is one of the most remarkable avenues in the world. It is an avenue of statuary of gigantic figures of men and animals, the like of which is to be seen nowhere else. Very few Europeans can claim to have seen it, though so many have passed years within a day’s journey of its marvels. It is not on the road from the capital to any of the great towns where white men may have business. Moreover, though the distance is but thirty miles, it is accessible only to the foot passengers or to surefooted asses. This avenue leads up to the kings’ tombs — the mausoleum where repose the ashes of the last dynasty that presided over the Celestial Empire. As the last emperor of this, the Mongol, dynasty lost his crown and his life nearly 300 years ago, a respectable age as time is counted in the West would be readily established for this zoological avenue. But its real age is probably far greater, perhaps as old as the time of Cublai Khan, the first of the Mongol emperors.

The arrangement of these great images is peculiar. There are four camels, as many horses, lions, unicorns, elephants, and panthers. They are all in double sets, one pair standing, the other pair reclining. Most of the figures are much more life-like than our ideas of Chinese art would lead us to expect: This, indeed, is an argument for their antiquity, suggesting that they were carved under the guidance of a master mind before the handiwork of the people had become crystallised in its present grotesque forms. The camels, which it may be assumed are of the Bactrian breed, have suffered somewhat at the hand of time; or perhaps this animal was not quite so familiar to the sculptors as the horse or the elephant. The Mongols possessed large droves of horses which followed the movements of the camp, the mares being as regularly milked as we milk our cows. The horse, as depicted in these sculptures, was a somewhat mulish-looking pony, powerfully built, with thick limbs, a large head, and feet to correspond. The attitude of the animal is well expressed. The elephants also are well done. Interspersed among these are figures of men. Some are warriors fully equipped for fight, standing erect and watchful, others are civilians, perhaps counsellors of the emperor, while some are attendants upon the animals. Some of the figures would appear to be priests.

The effect of the whole scene is?very imposing, though at times, as when seen by moonlight, it has a weird and ghastly aspect. When the country settles down after the present troubles, and Europeans have established such influence as will provide for the security of travellers, this unique avenue will no doubt, attract a good deal of attention both from antiquarians and the ordinary public. A picnic at the base of one of the elephants may become an established form of entertainment, and certainly it would offer to the stranger an experience such as may not be repeated elsewhere. But while this stone avenue presents the noblest example of Chinese sculpture, the same art is resorted to on many occasions. Most, if not all, of the temples abound in statuary. Some of the figures are of wood, some of plaster, but many are stone. They are often of gigantic size and of uncouth and grotesque forms. It may be assumed that the idols are for the most part symbolic, typifying some attribute of the gods to whom the temples are specially dedicated. If so, however, the interpretation has been lost; at least, the bonzes, or priests, arc incapable of offering any explanation of figures which strike the beholder as equally hideous and ridiculous. Figures of animals, frequently elephants, but sometimes oxen, are often to be seen guarding the entrance to the temples. These are usually life-like in their proportions though of more than natural size. The Great Wall affords some such specimens.

The Wall itself is of porous brick of considerable length and immense thickness. It was built as a protection against the Tartars, and is supposed to date from the year 300 B.C., and extends for a, distance of 1,728 miles. A fortification so extensive could have, been maintained only by an enormous garrison, and in the end proved quite worthless as a defence. It is, however, a striking monument to the industry of the people, surpassing even the avenue of the kings’ tombs in the labour it must have involved, though far inferior in the grandeur of conception and the high degree of skill shown in the execution of the work. One of the curious things connected with the avenue, and, indeed, with much Chinese stone work, is the appearance of lions among them, for the lion is not found in the country. It may have existed there in remote ages, as it is said to have existed in Europe, but, if so, the period was probably far earlier than any to which the sculpture can be referred.


“SEE Naples and die,” is an, old saying of the Neapoli tans. They did not mean that seeing Naples was sufficient to cause death, though in parts of the city the smell would remind one vividly of the saying, which might be rendered:— “Smell Naples, and die on the spot.” It is true certain parts of Naples are uncommonly malodorous, but then the climate has as much to do with this as anything, and next the garlic, which is eaten by everybody.

I have just arrived via Venice and the cities on the coast of the Adriatic. It was something like going from London to Liverpool via Edinburgh, and in answer to queries I say, “It is my humour” to travel thus, without a guide, and as light-hearted as a schoolboy. The romance and tragedy of Venice centre in the gloomy Bridge of Sighs, through which, in the Middle Ages, prisoners went to an unknown and unreported death. I say “through,” because the bridge is a covered archway leading from one castle-like building to another. Underneath flows a narrow canal, one of the many “streets” for which that city is famous.

The romance and tragedy of Naples centre not in Naples, but in the neighbourhood near Vesuvius, Pompeii, and Herculaneum. The eruptions of Vesuvius have been recorded from the terrible eruption of 79 A.D., by which the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were overwhelmed and buried. The city itself is most attractive to those people who like what is cosmopolitan. The main street of Naples is called the Toledo, packed with carriages and people all day and until early morning, the row the people make, jabbering at the top of their voices, has earned for it the reputation of being the noisiest street in Europe. I had to do the same, or I should not have been heard.

The houses are very high, the streets narrow and extremely filthy. Here the custom is to take in the week’s supplies of provisions, etc., through the window, having a crane and pulley arrangement outside, consequently one of the frequent diversions of the inhabitants of these streets is the upsetting of the crane-load of provisions, wet and dry, and their distribution over the inhabitants, who, not being over-honest, seize the opportunity and make off with them. The farther east you go the more beggars you meet with. In Naples they are importunate, and are not to be driven off by a mere “no.” Threatening is the last resort, and if you don’t show them who’s master there and then, you are a marked man for future attacks. You must be firm in Italy. Next the Strada di Toledo in importance is the Royal Promenade, the Rotten Row of Naples, a very fashionable place. But there is a large number of rogues in Naples, the higher ones go by the name of adventurers, and the beggars, lazzaroni.

The Neapolitan Museum, one of the richest in the world, is well worth a visit, and contains an extremely interesting collection of pots and pans, and other domestic furniture, recovered from the ruined city of Pompeii, which has been uncovered, or partly so, of the iron-like lava which has completely buried the city for 1,700 years. It has been said that the British Government once offered King Bomba £200,000 for permission to carry on the work of excavation, which at that time went on very slowly. The offer — no doubt through pride — was refused, although there is little doubt the Italian Government were in need of the money. The city, exactly as it was 2,000 years ago, has been well preserved in the lava, and had it been exposed to the elements there is no doubt it would have been by now very ruinous. So that the terrible eruption in the year 79 was not altogether a curse.

Those who care to visit the crater of the volcano may do so, but the Italian Government are not responsible for your non-return if relatives should make inquiries. The crater is about two miles in circumference, and generally smoking. Sometimes people go down the crater, which can be done to a certain extent. One of these gentlemen, however, once went too far, and, being overcome by the gases, was lost, and fell into the darkness and smoke below. There was a strong current upwards, and the friends of this traveller, who probably wanted to get something original for his book, had the satisfaction of seeing their late comrade hurled into the air. To walk along the ghastly streets of Pompeii and then drop in on the crater is quite enough for one day.

The natives of Naples are proud of their bay. What on earth can equal a sail on the bay on a moonlight night? In your light skiff you are sailing or gliding swiftly along. The sky is perfectly blue, there are millions of stars and a glorious moon. In the distance is Vesuvius, rising like the cap of the city, and on your left Naples — a crescent of light. Recline in your seat, imagine you are strumming a guitar, and have a pretty girl simpering at your side, and you are perfectly happy.

There is plenty of silver in Naples, but, unhappily, it is not in circulation. In the vestry of the Church of St. Gennaro are 45 statues of solid silver, some of them life-size and others three-quarter size. In this church is supposed to be preserved some blood, believed by the unfortunate to have once been running in the veins of the patron saint of the city, Januarius. War, pestilence, ignorance, hypocrisy, and famine, all these evils, but never peace is the reward of the unhappy people who are the believers of such stories. The population of the city has been several times threatened by the Black Death, or plague, a disease arising from filth, and it is not until there is a more general application of the scrubbing brush, and less of the power of miracles, that the body and mind of the Neapolitan will be clean. A horrid custom of Continental churches is the preservation of bones of priests, etc., in the vaults beneath. In Rome and other cities priests will show you piles of these bones, and also late brethren, in a standing position who have been preserved chemically. They will exult in the fact that one day they will be thus shown to the public. It is almost as ghastly as a patent pill advertisement.

The town, of course, is full of beautiful, rich, massive palaces and churches, and possesses, I believe, the largest theatre in Europe, San Carlo; there are six tiers, and you could put any of our theatres inside; the boxes alone hold over 2,000 people. It has good markets, is an important port of call, and lacks that old-world appearance of Rome, or Florence. Comparisons do not tell in Naples’ favour, for I have heard that the bay at Constantinople is greatly superior, while the streets of the latter city are much more clean. The country around Naples is mountainous and the scenery fine.?


SOME 600 miles to the northwest of Scotland, on the borders of the arctic circle, lies an island containing about 40,000 square miles of area, which some scholars have identified with the Ultima Thule of the Romans, bat to which the moderns have given the name of Iceland. In some respects this may be regarded as a misnomer, for the summers are hot and the winters not more severe than those of Sweden and Denmark. The name is said to have originated in the quantity of ice which impeded the progress of one of the early navigators when approaching the island. There are few classes of men who can be credited with any distinct purpose to whom a summer trip through Iceland would not be at once instructive and agreeable, or to whom even a winter’s residence would not afford compensation for its inevitable discomforts. To those who delight in exercise, there are mountains to climb, volcanoes to visit, deep valleys and marvellous lakes and fountains to explore. To the learned, there is an old-world literature to study, a literature which embodies the Golden Age of the old Norse Sagas, with their wonderful legends of Thor and Odin and other gods and heroes of primitive man. To students of Theology there is preserved the Christianity of the tenth century, before the Popes had claimed for man the infallibility which belongs to the Almighty alone, and side by side with this early Christianity may be found the weird superstitions of the north with their ghastly terror of demons and elemental spirits. To all there is the hospitality of a simple people, grave and phlegmatic it may be, but kindly and interested in their guests who can bring news of the great world of which they know so little. Then there is the spice of adventure; the chance of a lucky shot at seal or fox; the exciting climb in search of the down or eggs of the eider duck, or, if it be winter, the possible encounter with a polar bear who has perchance been carried thither on the ice-floes from Greenland.

The history of Iceland also has its interest. A thousand years ago an old sea-king, or pirate chief, named Naddoir, was driven there by stress of weather, and fourteen years later. a colony of his Norwegian countrymen settled on the island. For four centuries they regarded themselves as independent, but in 1261 they submitted to the government of the King of Norway. A century later it chanced that a grandson of the Norwegian King had been elected King of Denmark, and by the death of kinsmen became King of Norway also. Norway was thus united with Denmark until 1814, when it passed under the rule of the King of Sweden; but Iceland remained, and still is, a possession of Denmark. Christianity was introduced into the island about the time of the English Alfred, and became the established religion in the last year of the tenth century.

The chief town of Iceland is?Reikiavik, on a magnificent bay on the west coast. This is the seat of government and such trade as exists, but it has a population barely reaching 1,000 persons. In common with the rest of the island, Reikiavik has more women than men, which may be due to the greater longevity of the women, who are less exposed to the chances of a changeable climate. Some corn is grown, and cattle raised in the valleys and on the slopes of the hills, but the people live largely on fish, and, in common with their Norwegian kindred, who are also great fish-eaters, are very liable to the scourge of leprosy. These poor people are isolated in a hospital, the only disease which has that advantage. There are no workhouses or poor laws in Iceland, but every man is bound, according to the custom of the country, to give food and shelter to any aged or infirm kinsman who requires it. Crime is very rare, the people being sober and contented. In the very rare case of a capital crime, the culprit is sent to Europe for execution. In dress and manners there have of late been great innovations, but the old folk still attire themselves much as did their ancestors, when Canute ruled over England.

The tourist who visits Reikiavik will no doubt proceed first to Hecla, a volcanic mountain in the southern part of Iceland. Eruptions are frequent here, but seldom violent. Vast clouds of dust are at times emitted, which have been known to travel with the wind to distant countries. Hecla supplies much of the sulphur, which is the chief article of exportation from the country. Some thirty miles to the north of Hecla are the celebrated geysers, or hot springs, where tourists have reported that they have boiled eggs. On frosty days the plain on which the geysers are situated are enveloped in a cloud of steam. Hecla and the geysers are the best known of the volcanoes and hot springs of the island, as they are the most easily accessible; but they are not the only or the finest specimens of their kinds. More than half the area of Iceland is mountainous, and buried in lava and pumice stones, emitted by the volcanoes. Katlegiaa, on the east coast, has at times been very destructive, as also has Krabla. In 1783 an eruption from Mount Skeidera covered with lava some of the most fertile land in the country. This, eruption almost ruined the island, destroying 28,000 horses, 11,000 head of cattle, and 190,500 sheep. A fifth part of the population was destroyed by the famine that ensued, 9,000 persons perishing in two years. Even the fish in the sea are said to have been poisoned by the fumes from this eruption. Hot springs are found near all these volcanoes. The highest mountain is Orafajokul, 6,409 feet high, or 1,300 feet higher than Hecla. This also is volcanic, but is extinct, or at least slumbering, and is covered with eternal snow, forming the centre of the glacial portion of the island. The glaciers should certainly be visited by all tourists who can spare, time and energy for the feat. The Klofa Yoekul, stretching from Orafajokul to Katlegiaa is the most extensive of the glacial fields, occupying 3,000 square miles. Some of the springs are charged with gas, which has an intoxicating effect. These are known as ale-springs. Others are poisonous, overwhelming, the incautious by their pestilential fumes.

An interesting feature of the island is the number of fiords, or fjords, to use the Norse spelling. These are deep bays, which seem to have been worn out of the solid rock by the continual pressure of water, aided, doubtless, by the numerous ice-floes. These fiords are enclosed in a setting of mountains, the tops of which are buried in snow, while the lower slopes afford pasture for the cattle. Most of the homesteads are on the shores of these fiords, many of which are so nearly enclosed as to be havens of rest amid the stormy seas.

The houses are for the most part built of peat, the walls being of immense thickness. The domestic habits of the poorer classes are very primitive. There is but one fire in the house among them, in the room used as a kitchen and general purposes room. In another apartment sleep the whole family together. Fuel is scarce, the winter cold intense, and this crowding together would seem to have been adopted for the sake of warmth. Sometimes two families inhabit one of these hovels.

In the interior of the island are several interesting lakes; and tarns, or deep pools, are frequently met with in the mountains. In the winter sledging parties are common, and occasional dances are given. Tobogganing is a favourite recreation, and the ski, a sort of compromise between the sledge and the snow shoe, is much used for hunting and travelling. Reindeer have been introduced from Norway, and dogs are also used as beasts of draught.

The visitor will probably find it difficult to accommodate his palate to the food of the people. They consume a large quantity of butter, but prefer that it should be rancid. They are also fond of sour milk and seal’s fat. The lichen solandicus, or Iceland moss, which boils to a jelly and has come to be regarded as a valuable food for invalids, will appeal with more force to most Europeans. Fresh meat, rye bread, and soup made from sago are holiday fare.

Wood is very scarce in Iceland, the birch and the mountain ash being the only trees known, so peat or turf is invariably used for fuel. There is some fossil wood found, which indicates that at one time the island was better timbered. Basaltic columns are also an Icelandic curiosity which will be worth exploring.

The tourist who should propose to himself a trip to Iceland should provide an abundance of warm clothing, as even the hot days of summer are often followed by sharp frosts at night, while the thermometer in winter is apt to fall very low. Tinned and condensed foods will also be found useful for expeditions. It will be well for the visitor if he can accomplish himself in the simpler handicrafts, for in Iceland every man is his own smith and carpenter. Even the Bishop, or the Chief Justice of the island, will shoe his own horse. The sheep of the country are not shorn, but during the summer the wool is shed and is then gathered up for use.?


MONT BLANC is the loftiest mountain of Europe, being 15,600 feet above the level of the sea. The summit is perpetually crowned with snow, presenting a cap which is visible at Dijon and at Langres, towns which are 140 miles distant. From the Valley of Chamouni, which is the resort of Alpine tourists, the height to the top of the mountain is 12,160 feet. The highest point is on the northern side, and is known as the dromedary’s back. It consists of a ledge, a few feet wide, from which there is a precipitous descent into Savoy. The first recorded complete ascent was made in 1786, and only fourteen other parties succeeded in following prior to 1827, when accident revealed to two English gentlemen an easier route than that previously taken. Since then the adventure, though still sufficiently exciting, has become more common.

Mont Blanc belongs to the Apennine division of the Alps, which separates Piedmont from Savoy and the Valois. It is this portion which contains the highest peaks and the most remarkable glaciers. Glaciers are vast fields of frozen snow, found chiefly on the mountain tops. They are frozen in thin layers, and are liable to huge cracks or crevasses where there is no support of solid rock below to keep the mass of snow in its place. These crevasses constitute one of the chief dangers of alpine climbing. They have to be crossed or rounded, or the attempt must be abandoned. When a party of tourists reaches the glacial district they are all fastened to a long and strong rope, guides, also fastened, preceding and following. The object of this is, that if one slips the others, should keep him from falling. But occasionally the rope breaks, or the weight of those who have slipped pulls the others off their feet. In the former case those below the fracture, in the other, probably the whole party, go sliding down until they reach the edge of a precipice or crevasse, certain death being the result. Or it may happen that the rope catches on some jutting rock, in which case, if the strands are not cut, and if the adventurers are not already too much injured, there may be a chance for them to regain a place of safety.

It is practically impossible to remain long on the summit of Mont Blanc, the rarified air causing rapid pulsation, great exhaustion, and loss of appetite. A disposition to sleep is also frequently experienced, from which, if submitted to, there would be no awakening. But to those who have the necessary strength and endurance there is much to repay the effort. There is, from the summit, a magnificent view to be obtained of Southern France on the one hand, and of Italy on the other. It is said that the panoramas extend for 150 miles. This, however, will be on a clear day only. In a fog nothing can be seen, and fogs in the Alps are not only frequent but add greatly to the danger. In such cases even the most experienced guides do not always know where they are, and, if the road be once lost, there is little hope that it will be recovered. The glaciers, the dangers of which have been referred to, are very beautiful. They are usually of very fantastic forms, and, when the sun shines on them,
assume various shades of rose colour, which have a fine effect. These prismatic effects are very lovely. Here and there among the glaciers are found what are called meraines; these are fragments of rock torn away by the action of ice and water, and which occasionally prove to be of a formation different from that of the parent rock.

Sunrise is often considered the best time at which to visit the summit of Mont Blanc. The party will proceed the previous day to the hut of one of the guides or hunters at the edge of the snow-line. The accommodation here is so limited that the presence of ladies would be found very inconvenient. Theodore Hook tells a very amusing story of a lady who insisted upon making the ascent and then protested against sharing the apartment with the rest of the party. It ended in the guides digging out a chamber in the snow for her accommodation. Soon after midnight the toil of the ascent is resumed. On the snowfield night is sufficiently light for locomotion provided there is no fog. The sky on a fine night is a black blue, and the stars are very brilliant. Upwards and upwards winds the party, making a detour, now to the, right, now to the left, as the guides below know that the surest footing, is to be obtained. Sometimes there is a halt while steps are hewn out of the frozen snow to aid the passing of some awkward corner. Or the wayfarers are invited to rest on some comparatively level space, or to look back upon the ground that they have crossed. No bird or beast is heard in this white wilderness; but Nature is never silent; the glacier itself makes noise enough, crackling and rustling. For it is ever moving, striving towards the valley which it never reaches. As the lower edge descends into a warmer region it thaws and replenishes the numberless rivulets, which in time pour the molten snow of the mountain peaks into the sea or the lakes. As fast as the lower edge is thus melted away the upper end is recruited by fresh additions of snow. Sometimes masses break off and form avalanches, which carry ruin into the valleys, overwhelming villages, damming up streams and uprooting vineyards.

Gradually our travellers reach the summit, and, if they have started be-times and progressed vigorously, they may receive a welcome recompense. Sunrise seen from Mont Blanc is a sight never to be forgotten. The glorious orb seems to absorb radiance from the glittering field of snow, and, at the same time, illuminate it so that, every crystal seems a shining globe of fire. The lesser peaks around are some purple in the shadow, some towers of light in the blaze of the coming day. The valleys below the snowline are one-half of them still locked in the arms of night; the other half rousing itself to the toil and pleasure of the day. Far off the sun rays strike a village spire, wrapping it in molten gold. They glance over the placid surface of a distant, lake, a sheet of burnished metal, save where some intervening trees throw their dark shadows on the water. All is strange and wonderful; but it soon passes, and the guides warn the tourists that it is time to descend. The way is long, and even more dangerous than the ascent, especially as fatigue and faintness are likely to diminish the security with which they tread the upward path. It is done at last; the warmth and good food at Chamouni bring on irresistible drowsiness and a dreamless sleep closes an adventure perhaps never to be repeated, but, certainly never to be forgotten.


LIKE our Tower of London, the Kremlin is a name in the minds of many Russians suggestive of death and bloodshed. The ages of the respective buildings surround them with a halo of romance, but terribly real have been their histories. The Kremlin of Moscow, in its past, when Moscow was the capital of All the Russias, and of greater size and importance than contemporary London, has necessarily its history of Court intrigue, but this was more than usually bloodthirsty. Recollections of Ivan the Terrible and other worthies crowd upon one who steps within the Kremlin, and as his immediate predecessors and successors were little better, and did not nearly so much for the good of the country, one can imagine the happy time the Russians had in those days, when the goods of a man who died and left no male issue were appropriated to the Crown.

The principal of Russian Kremlins (from krem — a stone building, Sclavonic root) is the first thing seen of Moscow, and the last thing forgotten. You approach it, as other historic places, strong in anticipation, and are really less capable of sound judgment than you would be in a survey of Chicago, for instance. In Chicago nothing stares you in the face but solid fact with evidence, repulsive and otherwise, on all hands of the power of money. Here you are not looking at facts, but thinking of history, legend, and, if poetical, have already the germ of some striking poem in your note-book. You remember that 150 years ago the Russians were not reckoned among the civilised races — at least France did not account them civilised — and this fact influences you a great deal long before you are within the gates.

And then a change comes over you; it came over me. The transition was from the ideal to the practical. Instead of an interior something after the style of the Tower of London - grand military show and Russian beefeaters with Tolstoi at their head — instead of this attractive sight, there greeted me an unwelcome smell, and my romantic anticipations were not confirmed upon my entrance to the huge walled place. Relics and souvenirs were sold, and the people did their best to impress you with the fact that the Kremlin is in the midst of commercial Moscow. Within its walls, in the old days, was the chief market, and this was perpetuated on a small scale. For a moment I was quite overcome, not with the smell, but with feelings. I looked for sympathy at a few Russians of higher rank, but I did not get it, and I doubt if I could get it at any price. They looked thoroughly business-like.?

However, “the buildings within the Kremlin are worth seeing,” I said to myself, and with guide, interpreter, and friend I proceeded to see things. The citadel abuts on a river which runs through the city — the Moskva, and contains the astonishingly large number of thirty churches. Of these I only visited two, those of the Assumption and the Annunciation. It was lucky for my friend the guide that he did not attempt to take in the whole lot in the course of the visit, for see one you see all. In the city is a “vast and whimsical assemblage of 295 churches,” in all stages of decay, and I did not propose visiting any of these either, excepting, perhaps, the principal. There is a tower at each angle of the Kremlin which is surrounded by battlements. “The buildings,” said the guide, “were famous in history.” So famous, that this particular Kremlin has been the great place for the defence of the empire. I continue to wonder at the obstinacy of people who, while looking with veneration at their chief building, as they undoubtedly do, fail to preserve it as a sacred place. The neighbourhood could, be greatly improved, and some day they will see the wisdom of removing that smell to more breezy quarters.

Digressing again: Russian history abounds so much in long names that it is really tiresome to hear them repeated. I had to bear it from my guide, who was perfectly at home in the place, and thought nothing of giving me half-a-dozen names in succession each as long as the Emperor Vasilievich. I had several times to sit down, on some saint perchance, while my guide delivered himself in a dreary monotone of the exploits of a personage of whom I had never before heard. It was no use expostulating. He did not understand my English. There was an appearance of life and energy when he related the exploit of Dmitri Douskoi (excuse me), when that gentleman unfurled a black flag in the precincts of the Kreml, and trampled underfoot a picture of the Khan, to whom the enlightened grand dukes had been accustomed to pay homage. Guy nearly lost control of his features in relating this incident, and but for that smell, which seemed to percolate through the walls, I believe I should have laughed. Pardon me, but another big Russian, owning up to Vasilii Shoniski, also roused the enthusiasm of Guy. He was condemned to death, and finally reprieved — an unusual occurrence, as the Russian emperors had a remarkable faculty for forgetting people when in the Kremlin in the days of old. The gate of the Spaskoi is pointed out as the place where Shoniski entered. This gate is almost in its original condition, and has not suffered by being repaired, as many of the walls and gates have. Some idea of the size of the Kremlin may be got from a walk and ride round the walls, which are nearly two miles in circumference. This I did before I entered, and was quite prepared for many of the surprises which would await one who had not made the journey first.

In the course of our walks, we visited a modern building — to wit, an arsenal — a place where, besides the munitions of war, many relics are kept, articles of vertu which have belonged to previous rulers. Ivory thrones are not common things, and one of these is here. It is a great work of art, and was presented in 1473 to Ivan III. by the ambassadors who accompanied a Princess Sophia yearning after the married state. I do not think there was much yearning after, all, for the lady’s hand had been demanded, and they know how to demand in Russia. I was so interested in this question that I asked Guy what he thought of it, but Guy was by this time talking about a cross, dated 1116, having belonged to a warrior with a name which I will not print. the front name was rather attractive — Vladimir. But the second, I don’t think it contained a single vowel.

I can’t agree with the French theory that the Russians were barbarians 150 years ago, for I saw here a code of laws, dated 1648, by one Alexis Mikhailovich. I give this because it is pronounceable. Alec did his work in manuscript form on a roll, although printing, I believe, was already introduced into the country. This recalls the peculiar fact about Russia that there are no pleaders or lawyers, and that every man pleads his own cause. The Russians are a very honest nation. Ivan the Terrible has left some of his relics in the arsenal. That he had a tendency to effeminacy is shown by an ivory comb, reported to have once been his. That he was a fop, is evident, though not proved by the fact that three of his walking- sticks are left behind; and that the villain drank is shown, nay proved, by an ivory cup. Sir Wilfrid Lawson ought to know of this fact. By the way, the only names I know in Russian history are Peter the Great, Catherine, Paul, and Ivan the Terrible. The names were constantly buzzing round me during my stay in the Kremlin, and I shuddered every time I passed a dark corner, which Guy thought was caused by a smell.

England and Russia are brought together in this curiosity shop. Several of the presents are from English sovereigns. There is a basin given by James I. of England. The collection was most interesting to me, so much so that I forgot all about Guy, who went on with his descriptions, parrot-like, from repetition, while I stayed opposite the James the First bowl, and was speculating on how often the emperor washed. Having decided that the emperor washed about once a month, we left the arsenal, and looked over the palace of the emperors.

A Kremlin that contains a palace must necessarily be a big place. This magnificent building was put up in 1847 from the designs of an Italian architect. It stands alone, and is a conspicuous object. I like to stand a distance off great buildings and contemplate them in reverent silence, but Guy would not permit it. He would persist in telling me the history of the place, because he was paid for it, and wound up and could not stop. I was contemplating Westminster Abbey once in much the same manner, and thoroughly upset the traffic, as I took in the scene from the middle of the road. The palace hadn’t much interest for me, as I didn’t live there, and we were soon examining a spot which corresponds with the place of execution in the Tower of London. Here Guy became fearfully voluble. He evidently had such a lot to say about the poor fellows who had knelt down at this place, that he was rushing it out at high speed in order to get it finished. I sat down and looked at him. He went through his speech-making and gestures in exactly the same way as he had done hundreds of times before, and I knew it would be useless to try to cut him short, as he would forget what to say when he came to the next item.

The Russians are not a poetic nation, although they have produced one or two poets whose works bear translation. Being a poet myself, I learned with interest that Ivan the Terrible was buried in the Cathedral of St. Michael, within the Kremlin, and that the following is a translation of part of the inscription on his tomb. It is poetry:—

There was a new coffin made of cypress wood.
In the coffin lies the orthodox Tzar —
The orthodox Tzar, Ivan Vasilievich, the Terrible.
At his head lies the life-giving cross;
By the cross lies his imperial crown;
At his feet lies his terrible sword;
Around the coffin burn the holy lights;
In front of the coffin stand all the priests and patriarchs.
They read and pray, and repeat the valedictory to the dead,
Of our orthodox Tzar —
Our Tzar, Ivan Vasilievich, the Terrible.

It sounds impressive. That is part of a long repetition, which, repeated in the dim light, with candles burning and holy monks with cowls, would be quite sufficient to send me out of Russia.

Most people remember Moscow through its famous bell, and though it has been described, I am perfectly, correct in saying that the sound of the bells, big and little, when they are all jangling, as they do at Eastertide, is indescribable. The belfry of Ivan the Great was built in remembrance of a famine which devastated Russia in the reign of a previous Tzar. At the top is a cross, but this is not the original, for that was carried away by the French during their retreat from the city at the beginning of the last century. When the French attempted to blow up the Kremlin, they greatly damaged a larger belfry near, which has since been repaired. This tower contains 32 bells, one of which is that bell of Novgorod that summoned the citizens of the Vech. Everyone has heard of the great bell of Moscow, which is cracked. It lies near the big tower and is shown to all visitors. It was not my good fortune to visit Moscow at Eastertide, when the whole city is thrilled with religious zeal; but a visitor at that auspicious season of the year has well described the effect of the celebrations. [* Clark in his travels.] From one end of the city to the other the three hundred and odd churches were ringing their bells. It was midnight. Snow lay thickly on the roofs, and each church was decorated with thousands of tiny lights, the Cathedral in this way being perfectly outlined against the black sky. The streets were crowded and every church was packed. At the Cathedral a ceremony was performed, which was imitated in every church in the city. Each member of the prodigious congregation, which filled this building, carried alighted wax taper, lighting up the interior in a ghostly fashion. “In the moment of our arrival,” continues the traveller, “the doors were shut, and on the outside appeared Plato, the Archbishop, preceded by banners and torches, and followed by all his train of priests, with crucifixes and censers, who were making three times in procession the tour of the Cathedral, chanting with loud voices, and clad in sumptuous vestments, bespangled with gold, silver and precious stones. The snow had not melted so rapidly within the Kremlin as within the streets of the city. This magnificent procession was therefore constrained to move on planks over the deep mud which surrounded the Cathedral. After completing the third circuit, they all halted apposite the great doors, which were still closed; the Archbishop then with a censer scattered incense against the doors and over the priests. Suddenly the doors were opened, and the effect was beyond description. The enormous throng of spectators within, bearing innumerable tapers, formed two lines, through which the Archbishop entered, advancing with his train to a throne near the centre. . . . The vastness of the assembly filled us with astonishment.” Such a scene would astonish the most phlegmatic.

The walls of the Cathedral are surrounded by pictures — I won’t call them portraits — of the prophets, saints, and martyrs of all ages. It must be remembered that the Russian Orthodox Church is the Greek branch of the great Christian, Church, of which the Anglican and Roman Churches are also branches. An acquaintance of mine was an archpriest of the Greek Church in England, and a most enjoyable chap, about 60 years of age. Every weekend his wife - a dear old lady - dispatched him to market with a bag tied to his arm, and his hat on the back of his head. He was, of course, dressed as a clergyman, and presented a comical appearance. I never saw him but that he had his silk hat on the back of his head and a cigarette in his mouth. Although an Englishman, he was quite, typical of the Russian clergy, for which reason I have taken the liberty of presenting his portrait.

The Kremlin has many claims to the interest of the visitor other than those met with in the guide books. As the old metropolis of Russian life, it is full of the national characteristics of Russia. They say the purest Russian is spoken here. I suppose it is, because they couldn’t understand me. I made several laudable efforts to converse with Russian gentlemen, and tackled an old Russian market woman. The, last was a disastrous failure, and Guy had to come to the rescue, pending the arrival of a Russian policeman, a gentleman of ferocious appearance with a hatchet. The old lady probably thought I was going to run off with her basket, but I explained, with further bad results, that I wished to air my Russian. It was not to be, and Guy was deputed to explain matters, and deal generously with the old woman. One can afford to be generous in the east, whether north or south, and it is a good plan to keep a stock of the smallest coins in the national currency of the country in which you are travelling.

The most interesting association with the Kremlin, to my mind, is Napoleon’s stay here after the battle of Borodino. A battle in which both Russian and French armies suffered terribly, each side claiming the “victory,” which Death alone was entitled to. Although it was hardly likely I should find any, I looked about for evidences of Napoleon's brief residence in the place, then deserted by the Muscovites, and soon after committed to the flames. It is hardly likely the Russians would tolerate the likeness in anything of the man they hate, or anything which would cause them to recall his presence in the citadel. It is apropos to mention Tolstoi’s opinion of Napoleon. He writes vigorously on the latter’s conduct of the war, condemns him, and treats him as a puppet in the hands of Destiny, denying him the possession of genius, but giving him credit for an insight into men’s characters, by which he raised himself to the head of the great army which invaded Russia 300,000 strong, and which returned to France with the loss of a quarter of a million of men. The Muscovites set fire to their city on the approach of the French, rendering their continued occupancy of the Kremlin impossible, for starvation to the huge army was certain. Before the dreadful retreat across the Russian steppes commenced, the French attempted to blow up the Kremlin, but failed. They did not wreck it beyond repair. The retreat from Moscow is one of the most appalling pages in history, when the French lost the best part of their army, harassed, starved and driven through the snow, with bands of wiry Cossacks constantly attacking the rear. How Napoleon managed, after this great campaign, to muster forces for his last great effort, culminating in the battle of Waterloo, is one of the facts of his life which puzzles Tolstoi, who attributes it to the wilful blindness of men in not seeing that Napoleon’s star was already on the decline.

Were the Kremlin used exclusively, as in former days, by the Court of Russia, there would be no room for the visiting public; but since the foundation of St. Petersburg, or more properly Petersburg, the use of the citadel has declined, and it has thus degenerated. The great Milton has something to say about the Kremlin. Speaking of Moscow, he says: “It has a fair castle, four square upon a hill, two miles about, with brick walls very high, and some say, 18 feet thick; sixteen gates, and as many bulwarks. In the castle are kept the chief markets, and in winter on the river, being then firm ice.” This was written in 1647, and is interesting. It is not the first account we have of the city, however, for in 1642, a Welshman, named Davies, of Kidwelly, South Wales, published a book on Muscovia. John Milton’s account is brief and exceptionally interesting, but as he writes of Muscovy generally, I cannot quote it here, much as I would like to.

Nor can I close this chapter without saying a word about the great features of Moscow, with which the Kremlin, as we have seen, is closely associated. The citadel is the centre of commercial, as of spiritual and aristocratic Moscow, and the city itself is almost the geographical centre, as it is the commercial centre of European Russia. It is from Moscow that those unhappy convicts, mostly political offenders, start on their weary journey to Siberia, a thousand miles to the east. Happily, this mode of punishment is declining, and the present Tzar favours the entire abolition of banishment into Siberia. To the east of Moscow, 250 miles, is Nijni Novgorod, the great fair market of the state, whose trade, combined with that of Moscow, is equal to half-a-dozen of the largest cities of the empire. Once a year Novgorod fair attracts the inhabitants from all the surrounding provinces, and merchants and traders from all parts of the empire. Modern Moscow, with its population of nearly a million souls, is becoming more and more like an ordinary Continental city, gradually losing its distinctive and characteristic features. That is one influence of civilisation, and it is to be regretted from the traveller’s point of view. The city is situated on several hills, and is, in extent, about 40 square miles — nearly as large as Liverpool. It is a great railway centre, six lines having communication, and the extent of its commerce may be gauged by the fact that one-quarter of the goods and passenger traffic of the empire is connected with Moscow. As is necessary for a great inland city — 800 miles from Odessa in the south, and 400 miles from Petersburg in the north — there are great manufactories, commercial houses, banks and first- class educational institutions, and most of these are situated in the vicinity of the Kremlin, in this respect still resembling our Tower of London, rising majestically in the busy hive of men. I have said that the city is succumbing to the influence of civilisation. Undoubtedly that is the case, as witness the improved condition of the streets and habitations; but nothing short of a fire or revolution will sweep Moscow away, and leave a Paris, Vienna, or Berlin.

Before finally closing this chapter, I must take you to the top of the Tower of Ivan the Great, already alluded to. Together we will look at Moscow in all its wonderful variety — to be equalled by no other city on the Continent in eccentricities of art and nature. The first object the eye rests upon, from its immense size and nearness, is the Church of St. Basil the Blessed, the favourite church of Ivan the Terrible, a building of no recognised form of architecture — it would be difficult to find any style of architecture in the whole city — and the creation of an architect who had to do something original, or lose his head. The architect seems to have been determined that no part should bear any likeness to another, with the result that he has produced a perfect freak in churches. There are no naves or aisles, but any number of small chapels, buttresses, cupolas, doors, of every conceivable shape, and leading anywhere. Spires and pinnacles compete with cupolas, and the fact that this was the favourite church of Ivan the Terrible, is strong evidence of the irregularity of that ruler’s mind. Another striking building is the Votive Temple of the Saviour, built to commemorate Russia’s signal victories over the French in 1812, and which has cost 42 years of labour. The church was originally commenced on a site which was found to be insecure. In Moscow extravagance seems to spend itself on the roofs of the buildings. On the Temple of the Saviour one million roubles (£150,000) has been expended in gilding the domes and roof, while inside the church is marble and gold. In fact, look where you will, you see nothing but churches, and nothing but domes, all gilded, each church having on an average five domes, one big one in the middle, and one at each corner.

Another striking feature of the city, beside the bells, is its irregularity. The streets don’t seem to know where to go to, and for the most part are narrow, dark, and ill-smelling. There are a few of the leading streets paved properly, after the fashion of Paris, but these are one or two, and the great majority of the citizens manage to get along on a paving which would cripple me. The guide and I tried it with painful results. The stones are sharp, and cut through the boots. We then dropped into a droski, or local cab, and as it was just after dinner I experienced a dreadful sensation. These things are built with no regard to comfort, and you have to hold on to the seat. Several times I expostulated with the isvoshtchik, or driver, for turning sharp corners at the rate of about sixty miles an hour. It is marvellous to me that the population escaped the wheels of our juggernaut. The man took no notice of my agony. He only got a kopek for a tip, and in order to make it more acceptable, I said in an excruciatingly ironic voice, “Here’s a rouble for you, my good man!” We then cleared off, and left the driver uttering the longest words in the language. He was cursing us, but I was happy.

Moscow is intensely Russian, and the real capital of the Empire. Patriots are scarce, and I will finish by telling a story, which is generally the first thing the Russian child knows by heart, for it is the story of two men who saved the Empire in its hour of need.

In 1611, just two centuries before the invasion of Napoleon, the country was passing through a crisis curiously similar. Muscovy was over-run by the Poles, victorious on every hand. An interregnum reigned, and with it, as a natural consequence in those awful times, discord and anarchy. There being no authorised ruler the land was absolutely at the mercy of the invader. This was the moment for a strong man, and two came forth, men in very different stations in life, one a peasant, the other a nobleman. As always will be the case their courage electrified the; country. Moscow was by now destroyed by fire, the king of the Poles intended to place his son on the throne — but no! The country rose, at the call of the patriots, from the torpor, which threatened its destruction, fought the good fight, repulsed the invader, and from that date has gone onward and upward.

The names of these men are Minin the peasant, and Pojarski the nobleman, as will be seen from a fine statue to their honour in the Grand Bazaar Place, Moscow.


IT has now been recognised by historians that the scene of the earliest civilisation — that is, a life superior to simple barbarism — must be looked for, not in Egypt or other parts of the East, but in America. It is believed that the civilisation of the Aztecs, the Incas, and other nations not so well known, is anterior to that of Egypt, for many of the customs of these countries are to be found in Egypt, and the religions of the two were of the same nature. It is to the wonderful land of the Incas I must now transport the reader. To Peru, on the west coast of South America, a country with all the characteristics of the East, and with the grandest scenic features of the West. Fertile and barren, flat and mountainous, sandy and luxuriant, civilised and savage, all these opposite characteristics are found in Peru, which is yet to travellers an unknown land — and a mysterious one.

I arrived at Peru via Callao, the port of the capital, Lima, a fine city, about six miles inland. Those parts of the coast of Peru I had already seen were extremely rocky and precipitous, while the long Sierras and snow-capped Andes stretched as far north and south as the eye could reach, rising in unequalled grandeur at several points over 20,000 feet high. They seemed a huge barrier to the country beyond, and indeed, have proved to be so. The Andes stretch almost the whole length of South America, both those and the Rocky Mountains in North America presenting a strong, natural barrier against invasion. In the whole length of Peru, for a distance of 1,100 miles, they run almost parallel with the coast, and appear from ship-board quite near, although they are about 100 miles inland. The summits of the range are perpetually covered with snow, once the vapour of Central America, where large quantities of rain fall. Hence, the country, between the Andes and the coast, receives little rain, and is dry and arid in many places, though a heavy dew compensates for this.

I did not stay in Callao, through which about a quarter of the trade of Peru passes, but made, straight for Lima. This city is the modern capital of the country, and was founded immediately after the conquest of the Incas by the Spaniard, Pizzaro, in the sixteenth century. It has the reputation of being the most handsome city in South America, and the first view of its buildings and domes is certainly very imposing. Of late years the population, about 100,000, has declined somewhat, owing to an unhealthy climate and the regular visitations of yellow fever and small-pox. The principles of sanitary science are not yet fully practised in Lima, and when they are there is little doubt these plagues will receive a check. Until then the inhabitants must suffer. Dirt is a luxury which must be paid for.

The houses are mostly built of stone, and where there is a possibility of putting a dome or a spire, there you will see one. The city, founded on the old system, is surrounded by walls, and there are half-a-dozen gates. Its suburbs are most attractive, and the country around beautiful to look upon. But Lima represents modern Peru, comparatively uninteresting.

What attracted the Spaniards td the country nearly 400 years ago, is still a magnet to seafaring men — its reputation as a gold country. Pizzaro and his freebooters, having the authority of Spain and the Pope, came, of course, with the intention of annexing the country to the Spanish crown, but gold was their object, and there is no doubt they succeeded in that object, as Cortez did in Mexico. It is said that Pizzaro’s success was such that, after putting aside a fifth of his treasure for the Crown, and that portion which he and his officers were entitled to, he was able to distribute among his men, as prize money, £4,000 each, or a sum equivalent to that amount in our money. It was such facts as these which encouraged Drake and other gallant navigators to contest the right of the Spaniards to the exclusive possession of America. Peru was won almost without bloodshed, and the story of the way it was formally tacked on to the Spanish dominions is an astonishing one, as you will see.

When Pizzaro landed in the country, he had to proceed with the greatest caution, and a survey of mountainous Peru will emphasise the necessity of this. Fortune favoured the brave in this instance. Although with only a small army, the adventurer happened to land during a time of civil war, which was, more luckily still, being waged far away from the place of his landing. The cause of the civil war was that the chief Inca, Huayna Capac, had broken unwritten laws of the land, first, in marrying a stranger, and second, in making the son of this marriage chief of the conquered province of Quito, or Ecuador, while his elder son he reserved for the crown of Peru. Civil war naturally followed between the sons.

On Pizzaro’s landing, the conservative and timid character of the Incas was not equal to the occasion, though they might easily, with sufficient numbers, have driven him and his followers into the sea. Unable to take the initiative, they allowed Pizzaro to advance, the warlike appearance of the soldiers striking terror into their hearts. Now, the Spaniard’s great object was to seize the person of the prince, if possible, and he attained this in so peculiar a way that I shall quote the scene, as described by Dr. Alfred Seville, in his “Lectures on the origin and growth of religion in the Regions of Mexico and Peru.” “Atahualpa,” the victorious prince in the Civil War, “was delighted with these overtures, and invited his pretended allies to a conference near Caxamarca, where the Spaniards had installed themselves. The Inca advanced in the pomp and splendour of his solar divinity. Four hundred richly clad attendants preceded his palanquin, which sparkled at a thousand points with gold and precious stones, and was borne on the shoulders of officers drawn from the highest nobles; while troups of male and female dancers followed the sun and plied their art. Then ensued one of those unique scenes of history, upon which, as indignation contends with amazement for the mastery in our minds, we must pause for a moment to gaze.

“Pizzaro’s almoner, Father Valverde, drew near to the Inca, a crucifix in one hand, and a missal in the other; and by means of an interpreter, delivered a regular discourse to him, in which he announced that Pope Alexander V. had given all the lands of America to the King of Spain, which he had a right to do, as successor of St. Peter, who was himself a Vicar of the Son of God. Then he expounded the chief articles of Christian orthodoxy, and summoned the Inca there and then to abjure the religion of his ancestors, receive baptism, and submit to the sovereignty of the King of Spain. On these conditions he might continue to reign. Otherwise, he must look for every kind of disaster.

“Atahualpa was literally stupefied. Much of the discourse, no doubt, he failed to follow, but what he did understand filled him with indignation. He answered that he reigned over his peoples by hereditary right, and could not see how a foreign prince could dispose of lands that were not his. He should remain faithful to the religion of his fathers. ‘Especially,’ he added, as he pointed to the crucifix grasped by the monk, ‘since my god, the sun, is at any rate alive, whereas the one you propose for my acceptance, as far as I gather, is dead.’ Finally, he desired to know whence his interlocutor had derived all the strange things he had told him. ‘Hence!’ cried Valverde, holding out the missal. The Inca, who had never seen a book in all his life, took the object so new to him in his hands, opened it, put it to his ear, and, finding that it said nothing, flung it contemptuously on the ground.

"Pizzaro saw the moment for striking the blow he contemplated. Crying out at the sacrilege, lie gave his soldiers the signal of attack. Their horses and firearms caused an instant panic. In vain did some of his officers attempt to defend the Inca. Pizzaro broke through to him, seized him by the arm, and dragged him to his quarters. His escort fled in terror.” Soon afterwards the innocent prince was strangled, for, by destroying the head, Pizzaro thought it might avert a general rising of the body.

From Lima to the Andes is a delightful journey; but it is in crossing those great mountains that your troubles begin, especially if you are not a qualified mountaineer. The country may be divided into three districts, the coast region, dry and sandy, except where irrigated by the mountain streams. From the coast region you ascend to the sierra region, which lies between the two great ranges of Cordilleras. The sierra region has a width of about a 100 miles in the neighbourhood of Lima, and here are alternately desert and cultivated land. This district is rich in every form of mountain scenery, and it is where the Andes form a double range, high-towering peaks on either side, with the luxuriant sierras between. The majority of the peaks rise to a greater height than Mount Blanc, the highest being Sahama, 22,350 feet above the sea level. As it is on the sea borders almost, one can imagine the incomparable view it affords, of the Pacific in one direction, and vast forests and marshes, unknown to man, in another. The inhabitants of these regions have to contend with the puma, or American lion, an extremely agile, cat-like animal, while the lammergeir and vulture abound in the loftier regions. Tame and useful animals are the llama, quanaco, and vicuna, which graze on the green sides of the mountains and deep and woody valleys. The sierras are dotted with villages and towns, and centuries before the Spanish invasion they were inhabited by a race about whom little is known. They were not Incas, but nearly allied.

The third region is that of the Montana, on the other side of the Andes. This occupies fully two-thirds of the country, and extends to the hardly-known confines of Brazil. Soon after leaving the Andes, this country is one vast track of virgin forest, dangerous marsh, and wilderness. In animal and vegetable life the country abounds, and, though a dreadful silence prevails during the day, at the “setting of the sun and the rising up thereof,” every living thing in the forest utters sounds peculiar to itself, as if bidding good-bye to the day and welcoming the morning. The forests, a luxuriant and uncultivated growth of centuries, are impenetrable, unless one is prepared to cut one’s way through, and the difficulties to be met with in this event would include deadly snakes in grass and trees, such as the anaconda, a huge tropical serpent, sometimes 30 feet long, who would regard you as an unknown species of insect and worth swallowing; you would meet with more deadly insects, against which your gun would be useless; with the puma, and with jackals. This unknown country, therefore, remains unvisited and shrouded in mystery and interest.

The way across the Andes from Lima is pretty well worn and the safest; but it affords views of indescribable beauty, which present man in all his littleness, as he is compelled to draw a moral from so grand a scene. At one side of the road the mountain is a sheer upright, lost in the clouds, while between you and certain destruction is but a few feet. The precipices are appalling, the darkness beneath quite hiding the bottom. Sometimes two precipices almost meet, and frequently you meet with small and delicate bridges connecting them of osier work, plaited straw, and between you and the bottom thousands of feet and many jagged rocks! You feel you would rather go round than cross one of them, and yet they are perfectly safe and strong.

It was my intention to visit the ancient capital of the country, Cuzco, the ruins of Tia Huanacu, and the lake of Titicaca, and immediately I was well on the sierras I and my party turned southwards. The journey was uneventful, and attractive, for we had as constant companions the towns and villages on the way. The distance from Lima to Cuzco is about 300 miles, and to the Lake Titicaca another 200, accomplished the best part of the way on mules. This animal, possessing qualities of the horse and ass, is the best friend of the traveller in mountainous regions. It would be impossible to cross the Andes on horseback. Ever prone to taking flight, the animal would in all probability become unmanageable, and his way of ending the difficulty would be to dash at the nearest precipice! Use may lessen the danger, but the noble horse is a bundle of nerves, and his behaviour in any crowd is evidence of his unfitness for work requiring the sureness and prudence of the mule. When on mule-back you will soon learn the tricks of the beast. He is stubborn, and not to be ordered about in his special work — mountaineering. Allow him to choose the way, and he will land you safely on the other side, but don’t vex him, or probably he will take you to the verge of a precipice as a playful warning! Where a false step, or a slip on a loose stone may mean death, leave your fate to the mule. You are in many places much safer on his back than you would be on your own feet; for not the least danger in these journeys is the fatal attraction in precipices and gulfs. As the moth is attracted and finally destroyed by the light, so travellers, curious people, or they would not be travelling, often feel an intense desire to gauge the depth, and investigate the yawning space from which prudence keeps the mule.

It is curious to meet an old-world city in a place like America, new in most people’s mind. Cuzco, once the capital of a vast empire, reposes now in silence, the quiet home of about 25,000 people. It was founded in the eleventh century by Manco Capac, 500 years before the first white man landed on the Pacific coast in 1516. The people were not by any means the first civilised race of America, as I hope to show later on. Their life was, if anything, a decaying one, and their history coming rapidly to a close. The city is solidly built of large hewn stones, regular avenues of trees, and well situated at the foot of a high hill, on the summit of which is a fortress, at the north of the town. The principal building of this ancient city was the Temple of the sun, or Curi-concha, but which is seen by the visitor of to-day as the Church of St. Dominic. It was converted into a church by the Spanish conquerors, and its inhabitants are to-day almost all Roman Catholics. The ancient sun-worship was a religion, unlike that of Mexico, temperate in its tenets and not bloodthirsty. The reigning sovereign was the head of the church, and had implicit obedience. Sacrifices were made on the altar of fruit, vegetables, and milk, and, rarely, lambs and goats. Human sacrifices were never made. It is thought that the temperate character of the Incas' religion was the ultimate cause of their downfall, in encouraging a love of peace, and a dislike of war and enterprise. They were exceptionally conservative, and were little advanced at the time of the Spanish raid — one can hardly call it an invasion — as at the beginning of their civilisation.

The Incas were good road builders. Cuzco was the centre of four great roads, running north, south, east and west. The main road ran from Quito, about 1,100 miles to the north, through the capital, into the heart of Chili. In its course it crossed rivers and chasms, and went through mountains. There were many bridges of plaited osiers, and tunnels through the solid rock. The road was 2,000 miles in length, and about 20 feet wide all the way, paved carefully with flags of freestone. The building of such a road requires scientific skill, patience, oversight, and intelligence of a high order. Stations, five miles apart, studded with buildings, were erected for the purpose of facilitating the dispatch of the King’s mails. Runners were stationed here, and a dispatch from Cuzco to Quito would reach the latter city in an incredibly short time, as it travelled about 15 miles an hour without a break, thus doing the journey in about 80 hours. It must be remembered that horses were unknown.

The Government of the Incas was a paternal despotism. The king was the legislator, the source of all power and honour. Either through their religion, or their inherent mildness, we read of no tyranny of the character common in Rome, being exercised by the governors. Cuzco (the “navel”) was supposed to be in the centre of the empire. This might have been the case, not including in the measurement the west, for the city is only a couple of hundred miles from the sea. The divine right of kings was acknowledged in Peru, for the Inca was always crowned by hereditary right, and was never selected by the voice of the people.

The fortress, already mentioned, formed an excellent watch tower, and the country for forty miles each way was quite distinct. This castle is named Sacsaihuaman, and was built at an altitude of 800 feet above the city. There were many evidences in the fortress of the skill of the ancient inhabitants. They wrought in gold and other metals, and made polished mirrors of shining stones, and yet they were far inferior to the Aztecs, or ancient Mexicans. They were, however, a much more ‘Christian’ race than the Aztecs, all their monuments and remains being more or less evidence of their simple and peaceable character. Yet they kept possession for the respectable period of nearly one thousand years of their empire, and were frequently adding other lands to it. They must have been either strong in numbers or character to have been successful as invaders.

The way from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca is a journey of a couple of hundred miles, abounding in interest. It is the part most rich in remains of the Incas, and apart from the beauty of the natural scenery, the villages and towns are a most striking feature of the landscape. As the Incas were a distinctly exclusive race, who only married among themselves, once the tide of fortune was against them they submitted to the conqueror, and rapidly died out. As we reached Lampa, fifty miles above the Lake, but below it altitudinally, the snowy height of Chuquihamha became distinctly visible. At this part the Andes are most high and rugged, and they continue at almost a uniform distance inland, down to the Straits of Magellan. The ranges of the Andes are a striking feature of South America, and for nearly 4,600 miles they run parallel with the coast at a few miles inland. They lie thickest at Peru, where there are several ranges, with the sierras between.

The Lake Titicaca forms the modern boundary of Peru, and belongs to Bolivia. Here the mighty ruins of Tia Huanacu remain as an evidence and proof of a period before that of the Incas. These ruins consist of colossal idols — there were no idols but the sun in the Inca worship — huge pillars, and sculptured monolithic gateways. These things seem to have been erected by giants, and you walk among them with astonishment. We also visited other remains at Paclacamac, near Laima. At the epoch of the Peruvian invasion the handsome temple we saw here existed without any image, or other symbol of a god. It is undoubtedly pre-Incarian, and was raised in honour of an unknown and mysterious deity called Pachacamar, or the earth-beater!

The high elevation of this country gives a good idea of the nature of the march from the coast, only 200 miles distant. The lake is nearly 13,000 feet above sea level — about two and a half miles. Cuzco is 11,000, and the lake half a mile higher. The climate is bracing and cold, but the nature of the ground makes this acceptable to travellers, who are more able to expend the energy, and at times agility, necessary in the sierras. In several parts of the Andes the descent to the coast is so dangerous and steep that other means are resorted to which seem to be more risky still. One of the most risky short cuts across the Andes is via the Verrugas Bridge. It is not unlike the experience of being rescued by a lifeline from a sinking ship. This bridge, of wrought-iron columns, is one of the greatest feats of engineering skill. It spans a chasm of 580 feet, and rests upon slim piers at a height of about 250 feet above the abyss. Formerly the bridge “bridged” the chasm, but the centre was swept away by great floods, and passengers now negotiate this difficult bit of travelling in a small car, suspended from what appears to be a mere thread to the startled imagination. During the short but terrible journey, the mind of man is severely taxed, and he is heartily sorry he did not go with the others who decided to “go round.” But when safely on the other side, he may sit and laugh, and wait patiently for the arrival of the others who have in reality had much the worse shock, for theirs has been a journey several times involving the risk of death, over jagged waterfalls, across small but extremely dangerous precipices, tied to the backs of mules, and in other places trusting their precious bones to the care of the guides.

In the journey inland from Lima, the ascent is made at first gradually, the first stopping-place, if you go by railway, which is laid part of the way, is Chosica, about 3,000 feet above the city; the second is Matucana, at an altitude of nearly 8,000 feet. You at once perceive that your movements are not so heavy as formerly, that your spirits are “lighter” and your body more agile. This is the effect of the rarified air, and the higher you go from the centre of gravity, the less power you possess over the body. Leaving Matucana on the faithful mule, you follow the course of the River Rimac, named from the idol Rimac, and have about the most trying ascent to make imaginable. At one part of your journey your cloak is actually hanging over the abyss. One false step on the part of the mule, and you would be hurled into the chasm. Use will familiarise anything; but traversing these narrow mountain roads, mere clefts in the rock, is a nerving or unnerving process to the beginner. At San Mateo, over 10,000 feet, the view is indescribable — snowy summits, gorges, waterfalls, the beautiful rays of the sun and clouds — sometimes beneath you — the mighty ocean, the fields and trees, homesteads and towns, all in one vast panorama. Awe-inspiring more than the works of man, they cannot be forgotten. The River Rimac, signifying “one who speaks,” is aptly named, for here is a roaring torrent, what is called the Puente del Infiernillo — the Gate of Hell — is above us. On one side of the narrow path leading to it are steep, jagged rocks, and on the other the “One Who Speaks” dashing along with a constant roar. At this great altitude the severer symptoms of sorroche are likely to be felt. Sorroche is a headache brought on by the rarified atmosphere, accompanied by fainting, fits and bleeding at the nose and ears. You can, of course, get used to the climate, but the dweller in the cities is almost certain of being attacked. At this height the air contains fifty per cent less oxygen than at Lima. Oxygen is necessary to life, so that here the lungs must expand and do about fifty per cent, more work to keep the traveller alive. After a few days one’s health becomes better than when on the coast.

From Lima to Chicla — a small town 13,000 feet up the Andes, and which, may be regarded as the end of the dangerous part of the journey — the great Aroya Railway is passed more than once. This railway is the work of American (U.S.) engineers, and in its construction it is as wonderful, as the loss of life which necessarily occurred, is appalling. From the coast to Chicla is a continued ascent, but so intricate that in more than one place one can see three distinct railroad tracks at once, and although laid out with the greatest skill, their safety is never even tolerably sure, for the mountain paths are continually being washed away by torrents, against which nothing can stand. To these railways there are more than sixty tunnels, and the bridges are made of stone and iron. Delicate structures they look, as if they had absolutely nothing to support them. Along precipices and over these bridges, through dark tunnels and round ticklish corners, the ride from Chicla to the coast is an event not to be forgotten. Some idea of the mortality attending the construction of these bridges and railways may be gained, when I say that in building the Verrugas Bridge alone over 7,000 workmen lost their lives. Is not the price paid too great for the advantage gained? Those who have never seen these bridges cannot have an idea of the difficulties to be overcome by the builder. There appears to be no foundation on which to work, and, as in the case of the Verrugas Bridge, the only way of bridging the gulf is to commence from the bottom and work upward to a great height, with steel scaffolding. It is necessary also that before each train crosses these mountains the line should be cleared of fallen boulders, and for this purpose a small hand car drawn by gravity runs from Chicla, about fifteen minutes in advance of each train. These little cars travel at the rate of about forty-five miles an hour, round curves, down inclines, clearing everything in the way. To see one of them, travelling down an incline, about one in ten, rushing round precipices, into tunnels and out again, is most exciting! You literally hold your breath, and expect it every moment to be dashed to pieces. But it is not.

In the sierras the condor is a constant companion. This bird of prey hovers in the wake of travellers, and if he saw one overcome by illness and left unprotected, he would not hesitate in attacking. A condor will fatten on rotten flesh, and is a most loathsome looking bird.

At the altitude of Chicla the vegetation of the mountains undergoes a change. Flowers, ferns, and trees are left behind, and higher up lichens and clinging plants take, their place; the scenery changes, it is more wintry in aspect, but not less grand. Above Chicla is a novel and interesting sight; nothing less than a mining hacienda. Cosalpalea possesses a great silver-ore mining industry, and with amazement, strangers look upon the vast machinery at work. On the hill-top in the distance is a railroad which has the appearance of being almost upright. This railway conveys the cars to the village laden with silver ore. The machinery and furnaces are of the latest pattern, and everything has been transported from the coast by mules. Solid silver bars are produced in great quantity from Cosalpalca. From here, crossing the mountain summits, or as near them as you can possibly get on your mule, is the last chapter of an eventful journey, during which your life has been in danger many a time, and your heart in your mouth. The mules, faithful to the last, overcome the few remaining difficulties, and drop you in the vale beneath, still many thousands of feet above the sea, but much lower than Cosalpalca. In this valley of the sierras you are welcomed by quiet and harmless Indians, intelligent and obliging, whose history and folk-lore are most interesting.

In the old time the Incas called Peru Tavantinsuyu, or the four quarters of the world, and the four great roads indicated those quarters. Modern Peruvians believe that the country is called from the Indian district Viru. I saw nothing among the relics of the Incas to indicate the existence of poetry as we understand it, but the gold ingots frequently picked up out of the sides of the mountains were spoken of as the “tears of the sun,” a very pretty and poetical expression. Navigators, for the most part, still believe Peru is rich in gold, but this I believe is incorrect. Though gold is found there, as it is in a large number of countries where it cannot be successfully worked, silver is very abundant and the staple mining industry of the country, which is now largely in the hands of American and English capitalists. Science and energy are working the country, and there is little doubt that in the near future those immense virgin forests, rich soils, and great unworked mineral deposits will yield their share of gums, wood, agricultural produce, and metals to the markets of the world.


INSTEAD of going direct to Florence, I travelled by way of Civita Vecchia, Leghorn, and Pisa, intending afterwards to visit Naples via Venice and the Adriatic, rather a roundabout journey. Leghorn, the port of Tuscany, is go-a-head, enterprising, busy, and attractive. Pisa, once a city of 400,000 inhabitants, now a quiet place, is chiefly celebrated to-day from its tower, reckoned among the seven wonders of the world. When this tower was built, about 800 years ago, it was perpendicular, but gradually the foundations at one side gave way, and now it deviates from the perpendicular about 14 feet. It is 190 feet high, built of marble, and a sight to behold. As a schoolboy I frequently read of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but I felt more surprise now at seeing it thus standing than when I read a description. There are eight stories to the tower of round open galleries, and the top is reached, after a weary climb, by a staircase three feet wide. No one would feel particularly comfortable if standing on a tower nearly 200 feet high, feeling one side was giving way, and rushing up to the other side towards fancied security. You cannot help feeling more secure on the higher side than on the lower, and it requires considerable nerve to hang over the lower side and look for the base of the tower, which cannot be seen. It is where the base of the far side ought to be. You are 14 feet out of the perpendicular. Imagine a large chimney — and very few of them are 200 feet high — imagine it, I say, seven feet, out of the perpendicular! You would get no one to live within the radius of that chimney. But people are used to the Tower of Pisa. It has been so for hundreds of years, and may last hundreds more, but some day there will be a crash. Other buildings worth seeing are the cathedral and the baptistery, the architecture of which is said to constitute the greatest wonder of the modern world. The cathedral is contemporary (about) with the tower, and their magnitude exceeds belief. But we must get to Florence. From Pisa to Florence is a couple of hours’ journey by rail, a journey through a beautiful valley in which runs the Arno, passing through both Pisa and Florence. The vine trees, thousands of them, peach and mulberry trees, grew in that profusion common to Nature in such glorious climates. The mountains of the Apennine range formed a good background to the picture, and as we went onwards towns, villages, churches, and castles were frequently met with. What a comfortable, cosy country it looked, and yet, from its earliest ages, Northern Italy has been the scene of almost continual bloodshed and rapine! The River Arno flowed peacefully near us, and the snow-capped range of the Apennines gradually grew smaller as we neared Florence.

If anything, Florence is more?artistic and literary than Rome. We have all read the romantic story of Dante and Beatrice — here a great deal may be seen relating to both. What has been said of Rome can in a great measure be said of Florence. Its streets and palaces are to me more admirable, their architecture more pleasing, to one who prefers the solemn magnificence of some of their streets to the light and attractive style, where network and filigree work take the place of architecture. There is nothing on earth equals the street views of an old Italian city. There is a sense of taste displayed in the architecture which cannot be mat with in England. It is that form which seems to be appreciated and loved by everyone, and not by a few professional critics. This indicates that it is true taste, and of true taste in architecture Italian cities are full. If I was banished from England, and was asked to choose my residence in the most artistic, city, I should live either at Florence, Pisa, Siena, or Rome. Most Continental cities, including the very famous, are built with the one cheap idea of show. They are “cheap tripper” cities — one could not make a home there.

The cathedral at Florence has a larger dome than St. Peter’s, 384 feet high, though the building as a whole, of course, is not larger. I doubt if the Pope would allow a larger church to be built, because St. Peter’s at Rome is, symbolically, the head of the churches. The tower and the cathedral, and also the baptistery adjoining, are encased with marble, green and white, worked with great skill. By this time one is familiar with the magnificence of the temples of the Roman Church, though in this cathedral, the beautiful working of the floor, done in different coloured marbles, calls forth our admiration of the skill of workmen in the mediaeval ages. You cannot hurry over these works. They must be admired. They demand it. The whole of the pillars and the gallery are worked in the same way. The church is filled with statues and paintings.

There are miles of art galleries in this city. In the Royal gallery of the old palace there is the finest collection of these works of art — pictures and statues - in Europe. The Pallazza Pitti, the Grand Duke’s palace, is one mass of wealth. Compared with it, our Windsor Castle is a mere farm, but I prefer the farm nevertheless. Few people can sympathise with this massed-up wealth, lying useless to be gazed at. There are many more palaces and fine churches, but what I have given, will, I hope, suffice. If it whets the appetite, instead of cloying it, my duty is done. I might mention, however, that in the Library of the Medici is a collection of rare MSS. [mnuscripts], including a copy of Horace, by the hand of Petrarch; and also, that in the baptistery, the stained glass windows are said to be the oldest and finest in existence. This is a lost art, as none of our modern windows equal the old ones. Before I take leave of Florence, I must mention there was one piece of sculpture which had my attention more than any other. This was the reclining figure of a lady, done in white marble. She is supported by pillows and is dead. You see it in every line of her face. There is death! It is not sleep.

There are several bridges over the Arno, and one has shops on the parapets. It is a quaint structure and much admired.


THE South Sea Islands are frequently spoken of in a general kind of way by people who have not a very clear idea of what they are referring to. Many of us, if put to the test, would find it difficult, if not impossible, to name the principal groups which are included in this very elastic term. Still the term implies certain limitations. Assuming that all are aware that the name is appropriated to islands in the Pacific Ocean only, we may add that it is, by its very composition, limited in its application to islands south of the Equator, thus excluding such well-known Pacific groups as the Philippines, the Caroline, and the Sandwich Islands. Further, we may omit from the category, as occupying a somewhat unique position, Australia and New Zealand and New Guinea. We thus arrive at a general definition of the South Sea Islands — the smaller islands, which lie in such immense numbers in the Southern Pacific between the Equator and latitude 30°. They are, in fact, a part, but only a part, of the vast island-world of the Pacific known as Polynesia. These islands are partly volcanic in origin, and partly due to the marvellous coral formation so widely met with in this ocean. The latter are by far the more numerous of the two varieties to which I have alluded. They take the form either of atolls; that is, low reefs only a few feet above the sea level, and enclosing a central lagoon, or of elevated tablelands.

The volcanic islands are generally lofty as compared with their area. In a few of them volcanic activity still exists, notably in the vicinity of the Solomon, the New Hebrides, and the Tonga Archipelagos. In the majority, however, there have been no recent eruptions. The soil is, as a rule, decidedly fertile, which, joined to a hot and moist climate, produces a wonderfully rich vegetation, so much so that the islands are often clad with luxuriant verdure from the seashore to the summit of their highest ridge. Fruits — oranges, pine-apples, guavas, custard apples, and bananas — are found in abundance. The cocoanut is also a characteristic product. The indigenous animate life on these islands is chiefly that of birds. European animals have been introduced, but tend to degenerate.

The atolls, or low coral, islands, present many points of difference from those that I have just been considering. To take the first, which is apparent to the observant voyager on approaching the islands, they are all of small elevation, being generally not more than 10 or 12 feet above high-water mark. The vegetation is poor, but the cocoanut flourishes. The fauna are mainly birds. The elevated coral islands are not numerous, but, such as they are, they have their own characteristics, entitling them to a separate mention. They are fairly fertile. The low-lying land near the coast grows the cocoanut-tree on a liberal scale. The climate is variable, but much healthier than that of the volcanic islands.

The late Charles Darwin, in his journal on a voyage round the world, makes the following interesting comment on these; coral islands:—

“I can hardly explain the reason, but there is, to my mind, much grandeur in the view of the outer shores of these lagoon islands. There is a simplicity in the barrier-like beach, the margin of green bushes and tall cocoa-nuts, the solid flat of dead coral rock, strewed here and there with great loose fragments, and the line of furious breakers, all rounding away towards either hand. The ocean throwing its waters over the broad reef appears an invincible, all-powerful enemy; yet we see it resisted, and even conquered, by means which at first sight seem most weak and inefficient. It is not that the ocean spares the rock of coral. The great fragments scattered over the reef, and heaped on the beach; whence the tall cocoa-nut springs, plainly bespeak the unrelenting power of the waves. Nor are any periods of repose granted. The long swell caused by the gentle but steady action of the trade wind, always blowing in one direction over a wide area, causes breakers, almost equalling in force those during a gale of wind in the temperate regions, and which never cease to rage. It is impossible to behold these waves without feeling a conviction that an island, though built of the hardest rock, let it be porphyry, granite, or quartz, would ultimately yield and be demolished by such an irresistible power. Yet these low, insignificant coral islets stand and are victorious: for here another power, as an antagonist, takes part in the contest. The organic forces separate the atoms of carbonate of lime, one by one, from the foaming breakers, and unite them into a symmetrical structure. Let the hurricane tear up its thousand huge fragments; yet what will that tell against the accumulated labour of myriads of architects at work night and day, month after month? Thus do we see the soft and gelatinous body of a polypus, through the agency of the vital laws, conquering the great mechanical power of the waves of an ocean which neither the art of man nor the inanimate works of Nature could successfully resist.”

The chief interest of the South Sea Islands to most of our readers centres in the inhabitants. Within the last century the associations between Europeans and these dusky denizens of the isles of the seas have become many and varied. Popular ideas are still rather vague upon the subject. Indeed there are doubtless to be found individuals who would not be disposed to question the actual objective existence of the legendary monarch fearsomely designated “The King of the Cannibal Islands.” Such a suggestion, however, is in the present day unjust to the majority of the islanders. This is a matter for congratulation, particularly among those of us who have relatives pursuing avocations which necessitate residence in the islands. To give honour to whom honour is due, it must be said that this happy result is largely due to the labours of the missionaries of various Christian communities, whose endeavours in the directions of the christianising and the consequent civilising of the natives have met with very marked success.

There are two broad and distinct divisions, easily recognisable among the inhabitants of Polynesia generally, and of the South Sea Islands in particular. The cleavage is marked by a colour line — the natives on one side being dark and on the other brown - indicating African and Asiatic affinity respectively. The dark peoples are designated Papuans. Among them are the dwellers in the Fiji Islands, the New Hebrides, the Solomon Islands, etc. The brown peoples are styled Samaioris. To them belong the inhabitants of the Samoan Group, the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, etc.

The Papuans are mostly black, though in some islands a lighter shade is prevalent. The typical Papuans are small, spare, and weak in physique. In their natural state they are cannibals, and live in a condition of hostility as between tribe and tribe. The position assigned to women among them is a low one. The latter engage in agricultural work, drag burdens, and generally slave for their lords and masters, whose chief occupation is fighting. Sexual morality is at a very low ebb. They are a demonstrative and impulsive race, easily pleased and easily displeased. They often display great affection for their children. Their religion, such as it is, is practically fetishism. Their attainments in arts or manufactures are, as a rule, low. In Fiji, however, the natives build good houses and good boats. There are evidences in many places of intermarriage with the lighter race.

The Samaioris are physically a fine race, tall and well developed. Mentally they are quick and intelligent, and it has been noticed that, if educated in youth, they give evidence of considerable intellectual power. The relations of the sexes are, in the heathen state, marked by great licence in some of the islands, but in others a relatively high standard of morality in this respect prevails. Women as a class are treated with respect, and in some cases are allowed to hold official positions in the tribe. A woman may be queen or chieftainess in her own right, in which capacity she will receive as much regard as would be extended to a male holder of the office. The Samaioris are exceedingly fond of rank and titles — a weakness, it may be remarked, not confined to South Sea Islanders. The mode of addressing a person is to a great extent regulated by his rank. They show some skill in manufactures, particularly in woodwork. Their houses are well built. The system of tapu, or tabu — from which comes the English word “tabooed” — had religious associations. A thing became tabu by coming in contact with anything belonging to a god or by being dedicated to a god. Interference with the article involved a violation of tabu, an offence which it was supposed the offended deity would punish with disease and even death. The people are fond of amusements, particularly those of an athletic character. Betting and cock-fighting are also indulged in. Much time is spent, especially after the evening meal, in asking riddles, from which it would appear that a Sawaiori tea-party derives amusement from the same source as is popular on like occasions in England.

Much, however, of the above is happily only applicable to the natives as they were in the past, and to a diminishing number of them in the present. In this connection the following quotation from the late Charles Darwin will be of interest:—

“From the varying accounts which I had read before reaching these islands, I was very anxious to form, from my own observation, a judgment of their moral state — although such judgment would necessarily be very imperfect. First impressions at all times very much depend on one’s previously acquired ideas. My notions were drawn from Ellis’s ‘Polynesian Researches’ — an admirable and most interesting work, but naturally looking at everything under a favourable point of view; from Beechy’s ‘Voyage’; and from that of Kotzebue, which is strongly adverse to the whole missionary system. He who compares these three accounts will, I think, form a tolerably accurate conception of the present state of Tahiti. One of my impressions, which I took from the two last authorities, was decidedly incorrect, viz., that the Tahitians had become a gloomy race, and lived in fear of the missionaries. Of the latter feeling I saw no trace, unless, indeed, fear and respect be confounded under one name. Instead of discontent being a common feeling, it would be difficult in Europe to pick out of a crowd half so many merry and happy faces. The prohibition of the flute and dancing is inveighed against as wrong and foolish; the more than Presbyterian manner of keeping the Sabbath is looked at in a similar light. On these points I will not pretend to offer any opinion in opposition to men who have resided as many years as I was days on the island. On the whole, it appears then that the morality and religion of the inhabitants are highly creditable. There are many who attack, even more acrimoniously than Kotzebue, both the missionaries, their system, and the effects produced by it. Such reasoners never compare the present state with that of the island only twenty years ago, nor even with that of Europe at this day; but they compare it with the high standard of Gospel perfection. They expect the missionaries to effect that which the Apostles themselves failed to do. Inasmuch as the condition of the people falls short of this high standard, blame is attached to the missionary, instead of credit for that which he has effected. They forget, or will not remember, that human sacrifices, and the power of an idolatrous priesthood — a system of profligacy unparalleled in any other part of the world, infanticide a consequence of that system, bloody wars, where the conquerors spared neither women or children — that all these have been abolished; and that dishonesty, intemperance, licentiousness have been greatly reduced by the introduction of Christianity. In a voyager to forget these things is base ingratitude; for should he chance to be at the point of shipwreck on some unknown coast, he will most devoutly pray that the lesson of the missionary may have extended thus far. In point of morality, the virtue of the women, it has been often said, is most open to exception. But before they are blamed too severely, it will be well distinctly to call to mind the scenes described by Captain Cook and Mr. Banks, in which the grandmothers and mothers of the present race played a part. Those who are most severe should consider how much of the morality of the women in Europe is owing to the system early impressed by mothers on their daughters, and how much in each individual case to the precepts of religion. But it is useless to argue against such reasoners. I believe that, disappointed in not finding the field of licentiousness quite so open as formerly, they will not give credit to a morality which they do not wish to practise, or to a religion which they undervalue, if not despise.”

The late R. L. Stevenson, in his interesting book on contemporary events in Samoa, entitled “A Footnote to History,” gives a graphic and amusing description of the people of Samoa, who are perhaps the best type of Samaioris. He says: “They are Christians, churchgoers, singers of hymns, and family worship, hardy cricketers; their books are printed in London by Spottiswoode, Trubner, and the Tract Society, but in most other points they are the contemporaries of our tattooed ancestors, who drove their chariots on the wrong side of the Roman wall. We have passed the feudal system; they are not yet clear of the patriarchal. We are in the thick of the age of finance, they are in a period of communism. And this makes them hard to understand. To us with our feudal ideas, Samoa has the first appearance of a land of despotism. An elaborate courtliness marks the race alone among Polynesians; terms of ceremony fly thick as oaths on board ship, commoners “my lord” each other when they meet, and urchins as they play marbles, and for the real noble a whole private dialect is set apart. The common names for an ass, for blood, for bamboo, for a bamboo knife, a pig, food, entrails, and an oven are tabooed in his presence, as the common name for a bug and many offices and members of the body are tabooed in the drawing rooms of English ladies. Special words are set apart for his leg, his face, his hair, his belly, his eyelids, his son, his daughter, his wife, his wife’s pregnancy, his wife’s adultery, adultery with his wife, his dwelling, his spear, his comb, his sleep, his dreams, his anger, the mutual anger of several chiefs, his food, his pleasure in eating, the food and eating of his pigeons, his ulcers, his cough, his sickness, his recovery, his death, his being carried on a bier, the exhumation of his bones and his skull after death. To address these demi-gods is quite a branch of knowledge, and he who goes to a visit as high chief doeswell to make sure of the competence of his interpreter. To complete the picture; the same word signifies the watching of a virgin and the warding of a chief; and the same word means to cherish a chief and to fondle a favourite child.”

The writer continues: “They are easy, merry, and pleasure loving; the gayest, though by far from either the most capable or the most beautiful of Polynesians. Fine dress is a passion, and makes a Samoan festival a thing of beauty. Song is almost ceaseless. The boatman sings at the oar, the family at evening worship, the girls at night in the guest house, sometimes the workman at his toil. No occasion is too small for the poet and musicians; a death, a visit, the day’s news, the day’s pleasantry, will be set to rhyme and harmony. Even half-grown girls, the occasion arising, fashion words and train choruses of children for its celebration. Song, as with all Pacific islanders, goes hand in hand with the dance, and both shade into the drama. Some of the performances are indecent and ugly, some only dull. Games are popular. Cricket matches, where a hundred played upon a side, endured at times for weeks, and eat up the country like the presence of an army. Fishing, the daily bath, flirtation, courtship which goes by proxy, conversation which is largely political, and the delights of public oratory, fill in the long hours.”

He adds: “What properly exists is vested in the family, not in the individual; and of the loose communism in which a family dwells, the dictionary may yet again help us to some idea. I find a string of verbs with the following senses: to deal leniently with, as in helping oneself to a family plantation; to give away without consulting other members of the family; to go to strangers for help instead of to relatives; to take from relatives without permission; to steal from relatives; to have plantations robbed by relatives. The ideal of conduct in the family and some of its deprivations appear here very plainly.” The conclusion of all this is: “The huge majority of Samoans, like other God-fearing folk in other countries, are perfectly content with their own manners.” In which contentment let us take leave of them and their fellow islanders.


THE Canary Islands have not, as yet, come to be the resort of the cheap tripper, although the beautiful country and climate compel superlative praise, and there is little doubt that in a few years much will be done in favour of transporting holiday seekers to this favoured group of islands, at a cost suitable to the purses of the better class of workers. The Grand Canary is the regular resort of the well-to-do Britisher, and the writer has knowledge of one or two who would not go anywhere else for their annual holiday. In its climate it is thrice blessed, and the best time for visiting it is during an English winter or spring. Las Palmas is the capital of Grand Canary, a fine bustling little town full of energy and enterprise. Do not take a walk in Las Palmas before the glorious eventide, when the air is almost sufficient to intoxicate a man with ecstasy — when the beautiful Spanish dame and donna promenade on the fine sea front, and cast languishing glances at you if you are at all handsome. If you are not, then pray keep out of the way. The cathedral of Las Palmas, other churches, houses, and streets, all present a fine fresh appearance, and there are among the citizens of the town, not a few enterprising men, who intend their city to be all it can be made in the way of business. Santa Cruz is nominally the capital of the Archipelago, but it is a slow town, Spanish in instinct, which will never hold a candle to its energetic rival.

This, however, is not an article on the Canaries, but is intended to give an account of a few burial customs which exist there, one or two of which are extremely curious. A funeral in Las Palmas is a thing to be looked out for by a visitor. The burial of the dead mostly takes place when the promenaders are enjoying themselves. There will be seen a long procession consisting of the family and relatives and friends of the deceased, with priest and acolytes. These acolytes are amusing little mischievous looking boys in scarlet, one carrying a lamp, by which the priest slowly, and in an excruciatingly musical voice, chants the burial service as the procession slowly moves along. At intervals he is joined by the groans of the more pious relatives and by the watchers - on at their house doors. Arrived at the graveyard the ceremony of covering the body is gone through, after which the sexton gruffly asks if the relatives wish to have a last view, and whether they are satisfied with the way the work has been done. The chief mourner replies in a light tone that he is perfectly satisfied, and resumes his cigar. The ceremony is then brought to an end and the cortege returns to the town with fresh cigars in their mouths, having thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The accompanying photograph of human bones will certainly puzzle the reader unless an explanation is offered. This explanation we will do our best to make clear, for the exact reason of their being left in this position even the gruff sexton would fail to give. There is an interesting cave in the Canary Islands called La Pax, and here are buried many Guanches, one of the aboriginal races of the Archipelago. In this cave are found, in a fine state of preservation, skulls with teeth of admirable regularity and perfectly sound — such teeth, in fact, as lords and ladies would to-day give hundreds of pounds to possess. Now, it was the custom of the Guanches to bury their dead in this fashion, but it is not the fashion of the Palmas people to do so. Why, then, are the bones of deceased countrymen piled up and scattered about in this sacrilegious way?

It is because their relatives have not paid their burial fees! The sexton would not probably tell you why they were there, unless heavily paid, but you fail to pay your debts to the cemetery officials and in a day or two the body of your beloved — or rather the bones, for the quantity of lime placed in the coffin at burial ensures half cremation in a very short time — will be found an additional attraction to the boneyard! Pleasant, isn’t it? At midnight, one might walk through this boneyard, and see the most horrible things in imagination — might wrestle with your grandfather’s joints, or use the skull of your once dearest friend in order to crack a nut! For, however horrible the thought and fact of the boneyard is, familiarity will reduce to the commonplace the most repulsive and horrible, and there- are people in the world who would come to love the boneyard and pass many pleasant hours there! We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The next photograph is a very pleasing one and the more attractive of the two. It represents two native young women carrying water Their complexions in real life are as clear as in the picture, and their healthy forms and wholesome way of life make them very attractive to the tourist. It would be impossible to give their nationality, as about 25 European and African nations are settled and thoroughly intermixed in the island. They go by the name of Spanish, and undoubtedly to a large extent they are Spanish, but the question of nationality is one which will not bother the coming cheap tripper. He will be charmed by the simple manners of the native girls, but he must not construe their ardent looks into an invitation to better acquaintance, or he will find himself in an unpleasant situation, for these girls are virtuous as they are simple, and their male relatives would resent, in a very determined fashion, any insult offered to their kinswomen.?


BUCKINGHAM PALACE is the starting-point of almost every Royal Procession, when thousands of eyes are focused on its gateway. Everyone is familiar with the outline of this massive building — the largest of all our English palaces. If it cannot vie with the gorgeous Palace of Versailles, or with the long-past splendours of the Tuileries, it has a quiet grandeur of its own, in keeping with a nation whose characteristic is not show but stability.

It has not a very long history as a palace. Queen Victoria was the first to make it the usual residence of the Court, and this London home has a claim on the regard of every loyal British subject from its connection with the historic days of her life — her Jubilees, and her memorable last drive to the City in March 1900. This Palace is still more closely connected with the life of King Edward VII. The event of 9th November, 1841, will always be remembered in its annals as the first time that a Prince, destined to become King of England, was born within its walls.

For a town residence, Buckingham Palace is well situated, within easy access of the City, and of the Houses of Parliament. Fronting the western end of St. James’s Park, which here dovetails to a point — the Mall on the north, and the Bird Cage Walk on the south — its surroundings ought to secure for it a degree of quiet for Royal occupants which few of their London neighbours enjoy.

Buckingham Palace pleasure grounds cover about 40 acres — five of these being occupied by a lake. On the top of a high artificial mound rising from the side of the lake is the Pavilion, which the King’s father had decorated by Landseer, Eastlake, and other celebrated painters of his time with eight lunettes in illustration of Milton’s “Comus,” to encourage fresco-painting. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert watched the progress of these decorations with intense interest from day to day. In a letter written at the time — 15th August, 1843 — Mr. Uwins, one of the painters, tells that — “they came out twice a day, unannounced, and without attendants . . . had breakfasted, heard morning prayers with the household in the private chapel, and were out talking to the painter in the summer-house, some distance from the Palace, before half-past nine, some-times earlier, and again after the public duties of the day were over.”

“V.R. 1847,” on the central shield on the east-front of Buckingham Palace may remind visitors in time to come that this Palace dates from the Victorian Era. Its rooms may be said to be fragrant with Victorian memories, and at every turn in the garden walks the King may be reminded of his father, who altered the arrangement of the grounds, and selected so many of the trees and garden plants. That burst of song comes from the thicket, and rare water fowl frequent its ponds, because Albert the Good stocked the gardens with wild birds.

The Marble Arch now at N.E. corner of Hyde Park, stood in front of the central entrance to Buckingham Palace till it was removed to its present position in 1851. Architecturally, the garden or west front is the principal one. The facade, which fronts St. James’s Park, was added in 1846. It is 360 feet in length. The handsome pillars built into the front have Corinthian capitals.

The most important parts of the Palace are the marble hall and sculpture gallery, the library, the grand staircase, the vestibule, and the State apartments, which are the new drawing-room, the Throne Boom, the picture gallery, the grand saloon, and the State ball-room. The green drawing-room is in the centre of the east front, and the ball-room is on the south side.

The Throne Room is in the eastern front. It is, decidedly, the most important room in the Palace, for here the Privy Councils used to be held, and here Queen Victoria held her Courts. It is more than 60 feet in length. Its walls are hung with crimson satin, and the alcove with crimson velvet. These are relieved with golden hues. The ceiling is beautifully carved and gilt and ornamented with armorial bearings; and the frieze has bas-reliefs representing the Wars of the Roses. Crystal chandeliers in the past reign added brilliance to this magnificent room — the crystal drops giving to it, in the daytime, an idea of coolness — a welcome suggestion in a room hung with draperies of a warm hue.

The picture gallery of the Palace contains a small but choice collection of paintings, including examples of Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Terburg, and others of the Dutch school, also several well-known works by home artists, such as Sir Joshua Reynolds’ “Death of Dido,” and “Cymon and Iphigenia,” and Sir Joshua’s own portrait in spectacles; also Sir David Wilkie’s “Penny Wedding,” and his “ Blind Man’s Buff,” and some works by Gains-borough, Lely, and Zoffany.

The grand staircase of white marble leading to the State apartments, is the finest architectural effect in the Palace. On such an occasion as Queen Victoria’s last “drawing-room” this staircase must have been a magnificent sight. It was felt that it would be the last chance of being presented to that noble Queen whose “Court was pure,” during all those sixty years, and who all the time had “wrought her people lasting good,” and the daughters of the best families in Britain were eager to be presented that season. The fresh young faces lost nothing by their subdued thoughtfulness on this occasion.

The rooms on the ground floor contain portraits of various royal and distinguished people who had visited Queen Victoria, and presents and other interesting things connected with them. The best known of these apartments is the marble or pillar room. The richly carved and decorated roof of this great room is supported by stately Corinthian pillars arranged in groups. Single pillars placed at regular intervals are too apt to remind one of the inartistic telegraph post. The pillar-room arrangement rather suggests clumps of trees in a partially cleared forest.

The Royal College of Music is a standing proof of the present sovereign’s interest in musical education in England. At Buckingham Palace as well as at Windsor he must in childhood have been accustomed to hear the works of Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn sympathetically rendered by his father and mother. In a letter of Mendelssohn's dated July, 1842, the composer says, “Prince Albert had asked me to go to him that I might try his organ at Buckingham Palace before I left England . . . He explained the stops to me. I begged that the Prince would play me something that I might boast about it in Germany; and he played a chorale, by heart, with the pedals, so charmingly and clearly and correctly that it would have done credit to any professional . . . Then I began my chorus- from ‘St. Paul’ — ‘How lovely are the messengers.’ Before I got to the end of the first verse the Queen and Prince Albert both joined in the chorus, and all the time Prince Albert managed the stops for me so cleverly — first a flute, at the forte the great organ, at the D major part the whole, then he made a lovely diminuendo with the stops, and so on to the end of the piece, and all by heart — I was really quite enchanted . . . The Queen sang the Pilgerspruch; - ‘Lass dich nur,’ really quite faultlessly, and with charming feeling and expression . . I praised her heartily and with the best conscience in the world . . . Buckingham Palace is the one really pleasant and thoroughly comfortable English house, where one feels a son aise.”


ALTHOUGH not the birthplace of Edward VII., this was one of his earliest homes. On December 6th 1841 — when he was not quite four weeks old — the Court removed from London to Windsor, and at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, he was christened at 10 a.m. on the 25th of January, 1842. A full-page illustration in the Duke of Argyll’s “V.R.I.”, reproduced from the lithograph by Joseph Nash, brings out every detail in the picture with perfect clearness, the rich carved work on the walls and roof, the banners hanging above the choir stalls, the dark wood of the beautiful organ screen - the best possible background for setting off the brilliant group of spectators and the white robes of the clergy. The picture is historic, but it is also artistic in the highest degree.

The organ-gallery is supported by the screen designed by Evelyn, and by pillars, which, like those of the nave, are ornamented by the insignia of the Garter - the Windsor crest. The organ, when erected in 1790, cost a thousand guineas — a sum equal to nearly £2,000 of 20th Century money. The gradual increase and fulness of swell, for which this organ is noted, are owing to the great thickness of the box, and the construction of the shutters.

It is on record that in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 25th January, 1842, “there was a full choral service at the christening. A special anthem had been composed by Mr. (afterwards Sir) George Elvey for the occasion. On the Prince Consort being told of this, and asked when it should be sung, he answered, “Not at all. If the service ends by an anthem, we shall all go out criticising the music. We will have something we all know — something in which we can all join - something devotional — the Hallelujah Chorus — we shall all join in that with our hearts.’ The Hallelujah Chorus ended the ceremony accordingly.”

The “ancestral home of our kings and queens” was 2,000 years ago a rude British fort. It seems that the Roman invaders did not occupy it, for nothing of Roman workmanship has been found on the spot. Our Saxon forefathers, however, fully appreciated “Windlesora,” as a key to the Thames Valley, and the “winding shore” was regularly palisaded by them. When the Normans came the palisades gave place to strong outworks of stone. The Round Tower, in its general design, although not at its present height, was the work of Edward III., “the Builder King.”

The Norman conquerors and Edward III. may be said to have made Windsor Castle. The credit of having made it a palace is due to George IV., or rather to his architect, Wyatt — afterwards designated Sir Jeffery Wyatville in recognition of this work. Wyatt, however, did not alter the State Apartments, and they remain till now as they were when designed for Charles II, by Sir Christopher Wren.

It has been pointed out that the number and size of the windows and the fresh appearance Wyatt gave to the stones are glaring anachronisms in the restoration of a mediaeval building. But these faults are scarcely noticed when the Castle is seen from a distance. Its commanding appearance and picturesque surroundings impressed the grandfather of the present German Emperor when he visited Queen Victoria in 1844. In her “Diary” she says — “He was in ecstasy with the Park and trees,” and Louis Philippe, of France, who visited Windsor later in the same year, said — “There is nothing more beautiful than Windsor.” The Long Walk, the Hundred Steps, and the Wide Terraces must have impressed these royal visitors as unique features, and especially the; great Bound Tower, 302 feet in circumference, crowning the noble group of buildings. The view from the top of the Round Tower includes part of 12 counties, and Americans consider it the “best specimen of typical English park scenery.” The top of the flagstaff at Windsor is almost 300 feet above the level of Windsor Park. The Royal Standard used when the Court is in residence is 12 yards long by 7 wide.

The State Apartments at Windsor are remarkably rich in art treasures. The cabinets alone are a study, including the finest examples of French workmanship. The collection of porcelain is believed to be unrivalled. Most of the paintings are arranged according to the artist; for example, Charles II.’s ball-room is now called the Vandyck Room, and the room which has been used as the grand drawing-room during the visits of foreign sovereigns is designated the Rubens Boom. It is this room which contains the carved and gilt furniture covered with the celebrated Beauvais tapestry. The Gobelin tapestry is in the Grand Reception Boom. The Throne itself, of Indian workmanship, covered with precious stones and carved ivory, concentrates attention in the Throne Room. Not upholstered in crimson, as in Buckingham Palace, but in green velvet, the eye may rest on this magnificent object until each detail has been fixed on the memory. This Indian throne dates farther back than Queen Victoria’s title, “Empress of India,” for it seems it was presented to her in 1851 by the Rajah of Travancore, and was lent to the Great Exhibition of that year, the Exhibition which the Prince Consort proposed, planned, and made so great a success. The investiture of the Knights of the Garter took place in the Throne Boom till the death of the Prince Consort. After that event, and during the remainder of our late Queen’s long lifetime, that room was not used. “Decorum and true chivalry” may, perhaps, be the best definition of the meaning of this badge of the Garter, which appears as a carved or painted decoration in all parts of Windsor Castle, especially in the Round Tower, where the Round Table, in shape like a garter, was placed by King Edward III., a revival of the ancient story of-King Arthur and the; Knights of the Sound Table.

The great room called the Waterloo Chamber is so named because of its thirty-eight portraits of sovereigns, generals, and statesmen who were in -some way connected with the Battle of Waterloo. Most of these portraits were the work of Sir Thomas Lawrence. It was George III.’s wish to have a connected historical group. In William IV.’s reign officers who had taken part at Waterloo dined in this room at certain times. Latterly it has been used as a theatre. The Waterloo Chamber is of a more modern date than the state apartments designed by Wren. It was planned by Wyatville on the site of an open space. Being surrounded on all sides by rooms, it had to be lighted from the top, but this has been; done very effectively.

St. George’s Hall, Windsor, is said to outrival in magnificence any banqueting hall in Europe. It stands on the sites of the old hall and private chapel. The coats of arms of the Garter Knights cover the panelled ceiling, and the banners of the first Knights hang from the: walls. There is a gallery for musicians at both ends of the hall. The organ, which is in the east gallery, has two keyboards, one for the hall and one for the Private Chapel to the east of the hall.

The wrought shield over the mantelpiece in the Guard Chamber was given to Henry VIII. by Louis of France on the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Prince Rupert’s is the most interesting of the suits of armour contained in this room. The Guard Room is crowded with trophies of naval and military triumphs; a piece of the foremast of the Victory under Chantrey’s statue of Nelson, and the armchair made from the wood of an elm which grew on the battlefield of Waterloo are typical specimens. Things like these, mementoes of critical days in our national history, are in their right place at Windsor Castle, which has been so aptly described as “a fine record in stone of the great times of a mighty nation.”

Before George IV.’s time the Private Apartments communicated with each other. But Wyatt’s Corridor, which is acknowledged to be a masterpiece of architectural ingenuity, gave a separate entrance to each room. The present arrangement of the north corridor is due to the Prince Consort. The Private Apartments and the State Rooms are connected by it. The Royal Library, which is reached by this passage, contains nearly 80,000 volumes. Among them there is a copy of Spenser’s “Faerie Queene,” bound for Queen Elizabeth, and, most appropriately, a book (in manuscript) on the “Arms and Pedigrees of English Families,” bound for King James I., 1610.
On books which were bound for the Prince of Wales of the time the centre of the cover is ornamented with the Prince of Wales’s three feathers in gold. On a cover of crimson or brown morocco this gives to the book a most elegant appearance, especially when, as in some instances, the crest ornaments the corners. May not the words of the old collect, “that he knowing whose minister he is,” have been suggested by the motto, “Ich dien,”: on the Prince of Wales’s crest?

The printed books in the Library go as far back as the time of Caxton. There are at least four from his printing press. Among the manuscripts there is the first oratorio written by Mozart and some writings interesting on account of their great age, such as papyri from Herculaneum.

Above 20,000 drawings of the old masters are stored in the print-room below, including some fine examples of the work of Michael Angelo and Raphael, the Prince Consort having formed a Raphael collection. Queen Victoria’s fine collection of miniatures was placed in the Print Room. The Tapestry Room is one of the richest in unique art treasures.

The room which was Queen Victoria’s Boudoir bears in all parts of it traces of the late beloved sovereign, including many portraits of the Prince Consort. But the late Queen’s Private Audience Chamber, over the door of which there is the inscription stating that it was “altered and decorated under the superintendence of H.R.H. Prince Consort, in the 24th year of the reign of Queen Victoria,” is acknowledged to be the “gem of the palace.” The paintings on the panels are among the best examples of the Gainsborough style. In this room the cases containing gems were kept.

The room in which the Prince Consort died is said to be the same as that in which King George IV. and William IV. breathed their-last. It is near the north-eastern end of the Private Apartments, and the view from its windows is one of the finest to be had at Windsor.

The Albert Memorial Chapel has been criticised as lacking in originality of design in figure subjects. But, whatever defects it may have in its details, the general impression it gives is of rich beauty of the most refined type, and the cenotaph itself is admitted to be above criticism. In the recumbent statue in black and white Tuscan marble the Prince is represented as a knight in chain armour sheathing his sword. The hound stretched at his feet is Eos, his favourite dog. At the one end is the figure of a widow; at the other is Science weeping. On the cap of the cenotaph, after name and dates, are these words — “Buried in the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore. I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course.”.

The royal tomb-house at Frogmore is of Romanesque architecture. A broad flight of granite steps leads up to it, and it is also faced with Peterhead granite to a height of 10 or 11 feet. In some places polished granite is used. Frescoes, reliefs and coloured marbles literally line the interior. Viewed from the outside the building seems plain, although not clumsy, but inside everything has a rich as well as a massive appearance — not surpassed in any monumental building of similar dimensions in any part of Europe. The inscription on the foundation stone records the fact that the building was “erected by Queen Victoria in remembrance of her great and good husband,” and closes with a quotation selected and slightly altered by her — “Blessed are they that sleep in the Lord.” In the centre of the mausoleum a black marble plinth supports the sarcophagus of polished dark grey Aberdeen granite — now the last resting place of both parents of King Edward VII. Marochetti’s white marble figure of the Prince Consort in field-marshal’s uniform occupies one side of the covering slab — the other side having been from the first reserved for that of Queen Victoria herself.?


FIFTY years before the accession of Edward VII., Marlborough House was allotted to him as his London residence. Its first owner was the first Duke of Marlborough, for whom it was built by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1707-10. Bought by the Crown in 1817, it has remained Crown property since then. As the house was not required for a royal residence till many years after it was settled on the boy Prince, it was made use of as a picture gallery for the Vernon collection, and in the upper rooms a 'School of Design’ was commenced.

There is nothing remarkable in the exterior of Marlborough House. The squareness has not been relieved by any additions and alterations which have been made since the original house was built. Many of the clubs and theatres in the immediate neighbourhood have a much more palatial appearance. The Beaconsfield Club, with its imposing tower, quite over-tops this royal Residence. In the view of Marlborough House from St. James’s Park, this club tower, rising so near the north-west corner of the House, appears as part of it. Its position behind Pall Mall makes Marlborough House almost invisible from the north, and a good view of the Mansion from the south can be obtained only in the winter months and in early spring. During the rest of the year it is almost entirely hidden by the trees of the Mall, and by the elms and chestnuts enclosing the lawn in front of the House.

A small field-piece taken at Tel-el-Kebir, presented by Admiral Lord Alcester, ornaments the garden entrance on both sides. Space for stabling is necessarily limited, but room has been made for 45 stalls and 12 loose boxes. The charger used when trooping the colours has been “Emperor;” a horse of truly regal bearing. “Birkenhead” has been much in requisition for drawing the brougham of his royal mistress. But for carriage purposes it is a rule to use the horses in rotation. Every morning the occupants of the stables are taken out for exercise. Most of the carriages are lined in dark blue in cloth, rep, silk, or morocco. When shopping, the royal lady has been in the way of using a very plain brougham, devoid of crest, and with nothing in shape or ornamentation to mark it out from other carriages.

The coach-house contains the British-built brougham which was made for the Prince of Wales a few years before he became king. Kitted with, electrical apparatus — found, however, to be too intricate - and containing every requisite for the gratification of the tastes of its owner, it is a most luxurious affair, but luxury may be overdone. The late Czar presented the Russian carriage, which is very much like a “sociable.”

The glass room which leads from the garden of Marlborough House into the Great Drawing-room is called “the Conservatory,” but is not used as one. There are no greenhouses, garden space being so limited. The garden entrance to the Drawing-room is floored with blue and yellow tiles, and used as a lounge. The Drawing-room is carpeted with a rich Axminster, and Persian rugs are spread here and there on the polished oak edges. To make it its present size, 65 feet long, three rooms were thrown into one. Groups of pillars with Corinthian capitals mark the places where the partitions were removed. The walls are decorated in white and gold with panels of crimson silk at intervals. From these panels emerge ormolu girandoles fitted with electric light. A design in colours ornamented with gold has been applied to the ceiling. The elaborately embroidered covers on the two pianos were manufactured in India and originally intended for elephant trappings. These “Broadwood grands,” selected by Sir Chas. Halle, cost only 300 guineas each, and are superior in tone to many pianos for which American millionaires pay thousands. Most of the furniture in this room is in white, and gold, upholstered with crimson silk. In the providing of the silk a “home industry” has been patronized, for it seems it was supplied by the Spitalfields weavers, the descendants of those industrious Huguenot refugees who long-ago cast in their lot with Protestant England. The Louis XVI. cabinets cost as much as the Broadwood pianos. Mounted in ormolu, with ivory plaques in central panels, and exquisitely inlaid, they are the most beautiful pieces of furniture in this great room.

The Indian Boom, as its name implies, contains curios and other articles of Indian manufacture. The gifts presented to the King, when, as Prince of Wales, he visited India in 1874, were, after they had been exhibited in London, Edinburgh and other cities throughout the kingdom, deposited at Marlborough House and Sandringham. Cases of carved pollard oak protect these heirlooms from London dust.

The wires for electric lighting are so arranged in the Indian Room that, on a special button being touched, the light emerges from an invisible point, and illuminates the particular object being examined, bringing out, for instance, the most minute details of the hunting scene depicted in half-relief on the blade of one of the swords, or the groups of wild animals carved on the ivory gun-stock, or the fine work on the gold inkstand, shaped like an oriental gondola, and sparkling with precious stones. Queen Alexandra’s paintings and sketches are preserved in her Painting Room, an apartment not so much in use in recent years as it was in the Princess’s early married life, when great academicians here gave to the royal student the benefit of their art criticisms.

The floor of the Tapestry Room is covered with a carpet of Chinese silk. Many of the books in the bookcases were specially bound in morocco and gold for presentation to “the Princess.” But the tapestry on the walls is the unique feature of this room. As pieces of antique art needlework these tapestries are very valuable, and they have an additional interest as the gift of Queen Victoria. With the exception of the oil-paintings, there are very few “articles of vertu” in the Dining-room. Central positions have been given to the life-like portraits of the late Queen and her husband. The speaking eyes look down on the great table round which the devotees of the turf annually gather for the Derby Dinner.


[SANDRINGHAM] was purchased, in 1861, for the “Prince of Wales.” Situated on the heathlands adjoining the fen-country, it presented exceptional attractions as a shooting estate, but the house was not larger than a good-sized cottage, and quite unsuited for permanent residence. Six years after the wedding of the Royal sportsman the present elegant mansion was built on the site of the little villa, which had served as a shooting-box. The estate is rich in small game of all sorts, such as pheasant, partridge, snipe, and woodcock, and sea- fowl also, the house being only four miles from the beach. There are five parishes in the Sandringham estate, and it covers not less than 8,000 acres. It has often been said that “the Prince of Wales made Sandringham,” and it would be difficult to find better roads and more comfortable cottages than those around the King’s Norfolk residence. Nowhere on the estate is there a hut with tumble-down walls, damp floors, and leaking roof. The Royal Lady, also, has done much to increase the comfort of the peasantry. The Royal dairy is often visited by her, and excellence in dairy produce is encouraged. The bijou cottage, built in 1888, and known from then till the Accession as the “Princess’s dairy,” contains a beautiful sitting-room decked with pictures, and made cool and pleasant with hand- painted tiles, an ideal resting-place after a long stroll on a hot day.

White and green tiles — not hand- painted, however - form the inner wall of the miniature stable occupied by the four tiny ponies which constitute the Alexandra team. In the great stables there is accommodation for sixty horses. Every description of dog may be seen in the kennels — Newfoundland, Thibet, Switzerland, and Spain—all parts of the world are represented.

In the orchards, apple-trees are trained tier above tier, the upper branches bent down in a fashion very un-English, but often seen in Switzerland and France. The Sandringham orchards and conservatories are unsurpassed, having had the benefit of the best method as soon as any new patent has been brought before the notice of the owner. This also applies to the mansion-house, which is thoroughly modern in all its appointments.

As seen from the lawn, Sandringham Hall presents a series of prettily pointed gables at higher and lower elevations. There is no dull uniformity, and with the exception of a gateway built after the Norman style, there is almost nothing to suggest the past. The Norfolk residence in no way resembles an ancient castle. Life at Sandringham is the life of the hour. No historic towers, as at Windsor, recall the long line of kings who have preceded Edward VII., and Father Time’s sand-glass is, as much as possible, veiled from view. The redbrick house of 1869 had a great addition made to it about sixteen years later, an immense ball-room, 66 feet by 30 feet, built to the east of the mansion. Every device which princely wealth can introduce contributes to make this superb room like a piece of enchanted ground. The wall decorations in faint, soft tints, suggestive of distance, and of dreamy ease; the great bay window of flowered glass; the stately alcoves; the lights, arranged to produce the best effects; and the minstrel gallery, with its bursts of brilliant dance music. These attractions, added to the fascinating presence of the Royal hostess and the bonhomie of the Royal host, shed a bewitching charm over the Sandringham ball-room on the occasion of the annual county ball.

The drawing-rooms open on the terraces and artificial lake. These rooms have access to the entrance hall by a wide corridor. There are also two libraries on the ground floor. The books in them are, for the, most part, recent works presented by the authors, and English and foreign classics. All the rooms have large, handsome windows. The ornamental work in white stone, as seen from the avenue, contrasts well with the red brick of the house. The principal entrance to the grounds is from the north. The great iron gates, of Norwich workmanship, seem almost too massive for the villa like residence.

Wolferton Wood is a remnant of the old forest which fringed the Norfolk coast 200 years ago. In springtime it is a paradise of wild flowers, which fill the air with their fragrance, but these are not the attractions it has for the sportsman. On “Wolferton Wood Day” a company of nearly 60 “beaters” in picturesque costume drive the partridges within the area of the shooting party’s operations. The County Ball and Wolferton Wood are said to be the two great events of the Sandringham year.

Two of the King’s children have died at Sandringham — the infant prince, who passed away in April, 1871, and the Duke of Clarence, whose death from influenza about 20 years later was so unexpected and so much deplored, especially by his mother. Another event more closely connected with the King is commemorated by a memorial in Sandringham Church — his recovery from the severe illness occasioned by a chill caught at Scarborough in the beginning of the winter 1871-2. Fatal results having followed the same cause in the cases of Lord Chesterfield and the Prince’s groom, the gravest anxiety gave place to the gratitude expressed in the inscription on the lectern — “A Thank-offering from Alexandra.”


A CAIRN on one of the heights in the neighbourhood of Balmoral Castle witnesses to the fact that the estate was purchased for Queen Victoria on October 11, 1852. Four years previously our late beloved Queen had begun to use Balmoral as her Highland home, the Prince Consort having acquired the reversion of the lease of the house and grounds from the trustees of the former occupants Sir Robert Gordon, in the year 1848. The sum paid for the estate to the trustees of the Earl of Fife in 1852 was £31,500. Balmoral Castle, as reconstructed for Royal residence, was designed and planned by Prince Albert. The style is Scottish Baronial; but some portions are more in accordance with Elizabethan architecture.

The most marked characteristic of Balmoral Castle is the massive square tower, from which the flag-tower rises at one end - each of the other corners being crowned with a graceful turret. Built of white Crathie granite, the Castle stands out sharp and clear against its background of pine woods. It was by advice of her physician, Dr. Clark, that this neighbourhood was selected for Queen Victoria’s Scottish residence. The air contains an unusually large proportion of ozone; the rainfall is not excessive, and the soil being gravelly does not retain the damp. The health-giving properties of pine-woods are well known. The scenery presents a complete contrast to that of the Solent, the Thames, or the neighbourhood of the Ouse. Mountains or wooded hills surround the plain on which the Castle stands. Lochnagar’s dark outline may be seen in the distance, and just behind the mansion is the height called Craig-an-Gowan, which Prince Albert planted up to the top with rare conifers and forest trees of fine quality, varying the monotony of the pine which abounds in the district.

Contrasted with the magnificence of the State Apartments in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, or even with the rich appointments of the King’s London residence and Norfolk home, the interior of Balmoral Castle seems extremely plain. It has been truly said that “there is no splendour at Balmoral except in Nature.” But everything inside the mansion is in keeping with its character as the Sovereign’s Highland home. Everything is typically Scottish. The very fire-irons beside the log-fire in the entrance hall are of the thistle pattern, and Theed’s statue in the curve left by the winding staircase represents “The Prince” in hunting costume — one hand placed on a Scotch collie. It is this statue which bears the inscription — "His life sprang from a deep inner sympathy with the will of God, and, therefore, with all that is true, beautiful, and good.” The Scottish motto on the great gong — “No one touches me with impunity” — may not have been quite unnecessary as a warning to youthful visitors. If “B. P.” has a reminiscence of having once in his school days at Godalming made off with the schoolmaster’s bell, it seems very likely that the big gong at Balmoral may have seemed to the Royal children just the most delightful of playthings. The pictures in the Castle are not in colours; it having been a custom to reserve its walls specially for engravings. But probably it was thought that oils and watercolours were not required in the house, every window of which looks out on green hills, heather-covered mountains, and a river reflecting the blues and greys of a Scottish sky. The drawing-room and library are to the west of the corridor. These rooms are carpeted with Royal Stuart tartan, which gives the idea of warmth — very agreeable in the Highlands of Scotland. The windows have curtains of Victoria tartan, in which white predominates in place of red. These curtains are used in the dining-room also, the room which contains some of the best early portraits of the late Queen. This fancy clan must have been a favourite with her, for it was used for the upholstery work of the drawing-room furniture. In the drawing-room the caskets of chased gold were kept, containing addresses which had been presented to Queen Victoria by Scottish town councils, etc.

So distinctly Scottish is everything at Balmoral that the very hearthrug which was used by her in the drawing-room till it became faded and worn depicted a Highland huntsman playing the bagpipes. In this pleasant homely room, as well as in the other apartments, sweet-smelling birchwood was burnt upon the hearth. The keen air of the northern Highlands was tempered within the house by the introduction of hot-air pipes into every part of it; and thick walls of granite, well lined with wood, keep the cold out more effectually than brick. Among the handsomely-bound books in the library may be seen not only the Scottish classics, but also many of the modern books written in the almost obsolete broad Scotch dialect, such as Ian Maclaren’s “Bonnie Briar Bush.” The windows of these rooms and of the late Queen’s private apartments above them look out on the garden terrace.

The bronze statue of the Prince Consort, and the Jubilee statue of Queen Victoria, also in bronze, are situated among the trees near the entrance to the grounds. This Jubilee statue was the gift of the tenantry. There is, or was, an iron chair in the grounds which was given to Prince Albert on 26th August, 1858 — his thirty-ninth birthday — by his eldest daughter, when he was on a visit to her a few months after her wedding. This garden seat was given ‘for the Balmoral grounds.’ The late Empress Frederick retained a warm interest in her parents’ Highland home and in the cotters — many of whom she knew individually. Her occasional visits after her marriage were red-letter days to these humble folk, and those of them who survive mourn her death as the loss of a personal friend.


EUROPE owes many things to the French Revolutions among them being the collection on one spot, for public exhibition, of all that is rare, curious, or of particular interest. The first notable example of such an exhibition was held in Paris in 1798, on the Champ de Mars. The most notable feature on this occasion was the ascent of Montgolfier, in his newly invented balloon. Several smaller exhibitions succeeded this in France, but the earliest British attempt at imitation was in 1828, when George IV. undertook the collection at Charing Cross of “improved productions of artisans and manufacturers.” This, however, proved a disagreeable, failure, causing the postponement for some years of similar efforts in this country, until fresh stimulus came from France, where a Universal National Exhibition was held in 1849 in the Champs Elysees. Algiers, then rising into importance as a French colony, took part in this, but the most interesting feature was that agricultural products and machinery were included, as well as the products of the industry of the towns.

It was to Prince Albert, the beloved consort of our late Queen, that we owe a grander conception, the International Exhibition, at which the leading nations of the earth should display their choicest wares, and furnish spectators with representations of their grandest buildings. This, familiarly called the first Great Exhibition, was held in Hyde Park, being opened by the Queen on May 1st, 1851. The spread of the railway system in England and on the Continent, which had been rapid during the preceding years, greatly facilitated the success of this bold project. The treasures collected for exhibition from all quarters were valued at £1,781,420 11s. 7d., not including the Kohinoor diamond, the great Indian jewel of the Queen, the money worth of which was not declared. Prince Albert hoped, by means of this exhibition, to bring the nations into friendly agreement, that their differences should be composed by arbitration, and that war should be abandoned as a relic of barbarous ages. That he should have been disappointed in this, and that the outbreak of the Crimean War should so soon have proved that his views could not prevail as yet, must be generally regretted. But the public gained immensely by the opportunity afforded for comparing the products of different countries, and a great impetus to international trade was one of the results. The buildings in which this exhibition was held were constructed almost entirely of glass and iron, and were so much admired that it was decided to reproduce their main features at Sydenham, where, as the Crystal Palace, are perpetuated many of the attractions of the show.

Two years after this first International Exhibition the experiment was repeated at New York, but proved only moderately successful. In 1855 the French arranged a similar display in the Palais d’lndustrie. But these shows were following each other a little too fast, and it was not until 1862 that Great Britain repeated the experiment of 1851. This time Kensington Park was selected. The visitors who paid for admission numbered 6,250,000, a total then considered immense, though, subsequently, it has been greatly exceeded.

Five years were allowed to elapse before our neighbours, the French, undertook something on the same scale, holding an International Exhibition in the Champs de Mars, which was distinguished by the illustrious rank of many of the visitors, among them being fifty-seven sovereign and royal princes. In 1873 the ball was taken up by Austria, a highly successful exhibition being held in Vienna, where the visitors are said to have exceeded 7,000,000, and the number of the exhibits 42,000. It was then again the turn of America, so in 1876 a Universal Exhibition was held at Philadelphia.

Another marvellous effort was made in Paris in 1878, when the wonders of the telephone, the phonograph, and the microphone, as also the liquefaction of gas were made manifest to an astonished public. The cost of this exhibition was £2,200,000, and 16,000,000 persons passed the gates. There was a notable exhibition at Moscow in 1893, but the sensation of the year was the World’s Fair at Chicago, which cost £4,400,000, and was witnessed by 27,500,000 spectators, a number about equal to the entire population of England and Wales. No doubt the enumeration included many who made several visits, each of which was counted to a separate person, but with every allowance the individual attendance was enormous and beyond precedent. The especial occasion was the fourth centenary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, an event which was also signalised by the issue of a series of postage stamps by the Government of the United States, on which were depicted the chief scenes in the career of the great discoverer. The Great Wheel, an arrangement by means of which the curious were enabled to survey the surrounding country from an immense height, was a popular feature of this exhibition, and has been perpetuated by the erection of a similar structure at Brompton, London. So far in the history of exhibitions this must be credited with being the greatest example.

Universal Exhibitions were held at Lyons and at Angers, in France, in 1894, and two years later what was called a Millenary Exhibition was held at Buda-Pesth to Celebrate the thousandth anniversary of the capital of Hungary. Also, in 1896, Nijnii Novgorod, the commercial emporium of European Russia, opened an International Exhibition, at which there were six million visitors.

The centenary of the French Revolution was made the occasion for another world-wide exhibition in Paris in 1889. The celebrated Eiffel Tower, a lofty structure of a new character, was erected in connection with this exhibition, which was also distinguished by the addition of a department for the display of the varieties of agricultural animals proper to this country. This, also was somewhat marred by the prevalence of cattle disease in France, and by the precautions insisted upon by British and other Ministers of Agriculture, which would render impossible the return of the valuable animals which might be sent to the Exhibition. Two millions sterling were expended over this by the Government. In the great exposition of 1900, it happened most unfortunately that in the midst of the preparations the minds of men were disturbed by the recrudescence of the Dreyfus incident. This gave such offence to Englishmen, and the criticisms of our countrymen were so much resented in France, that many were deterred from sending their valuable specimens for exhibition, while a still greater number hesitated about visiting Paris on account of the agitation, The patronage of this show was, therefore, less than had been expected.

The present year has been noted for a spirited attempt on the part of Glasgow to support an exhibition worthy of the capitals of Europe. A great measure or success has attended this effort, the exact extent of which cannot as yet be determined. There has also been held at Buffalo, New York State, a Pan-American Exhibition, intended to display the varied resources of the New World. A very interesting collection of products and manufactures was brought together from both divisions of the great continent, but the feature most gratifying to Englishmen was the success of their Canadian brethren in the department for farm stock. Though the population of Canada is but a twentieth part of that of the United States, and though the varied climates of the latter must afford special opportunities for developing the excellence of their animals, the Dominion secured 45 per cent, of the prizes awarded.

Dublin and the beautiful cities of Australia have also held their great exhibitions with a fair amount of success. Among these must be mentioned the Melbourne International Colonial Exhibition in 1866, the Melbourne International in 1880, the Melbourne Centenary in 1888, the Sydney Intercolonial in 1870, and the Sydney International in 1882, which was, unfortunately, destroyed by fire eight days after its inauguration. These various gatherings of the inventive genius of nations, with the collection of their products, and the opportunities for comparison afforded, have done very much for the spread of knowledge and the improvement of labour - saving contrivances. They have been interspersed at frequent intervals with special exhibitions of single branches of industry, such as the manufacture of cycles and motor cars.

There is one great industry of this country the followers of which hold several yearly exhibitions in different parts, the value of which may be cited as proving how they may be utilised in many ways. These are our great cattle shows. The special object is to encourage improvement in our breeds of cattle and other animals. How successful they are may be shown from the fact that within the last few years prize-winning rams have been sold for as much as 1,000 guineas, whereas the average value of such animals is about £5. In 1879 an International Agricultural Show was held at Kilburn, London, which resulted in a revolution in the milling industry. The system of grinding wheat by steel rollers instead of millstones had been practised in America, but was almost unknown in England until it was shown at Kilburn and proved to have such advantages that it was almost universally adopted by the large milling firms of the country. The exhibits of American machinery at the Royal Agricultural Society’s Show at York called the attention of farmers to machines for cutting corn and binding the sheaves, which enable them to face the decrease in the supply of agricultural labour without uneasiness.

Similar great results have followed upon the exhibitions already referred to, while the amount of good resulting from the hints afforded and the general interchange of ideas could not be computed. At the same time, apart from such novelties as the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wheel, there is, to the general public, such a sameness in the spectacle that, when the novelty has worn off, few desire to repeat their visits at frequent intervals. To maintain their popularity several years should elapse, between one International and another. The cost also is enormous to the community which conducts the show and a heavy tax upon the exhibitors who have to convey heavy and delicate goods for long distances. The value of the advertisement to them depends much on the attendance, so if the shows are more common than is desired, their value for all purposes is likely to decline.?


MADRID, the capital of Spain, is one of the finest cities of Europe. It is also the largest city in the peninsula, its present population amounting to over half a million. It is the seat of the government, the residence of royalty, the centre of an episcopal see; and the location of a university. It is the centre of a railway system, which radiates over the whole country, and is, it goes without saying, of great commercial1 importance. A glance at the map will show that its position is eminently appropriate to its character, being in fact approximately in the centre of the country of which it is the capital.

The fact that Madrid should ever have attained to the status of a metropolis is at first sight a somewhat surprising one. Its situation is in the highest degree unfavourable. It rests on a bare and lofty table-land, nearly 2,500 feet above the level of the sea. Its water way is the insignificant stream known as the Manzanares, a tributary of the Tagus, which latter river makes its exit to the sea in the noble harbour of Lisbon, the capital of the sister country of Portugal. To the north-west and north, the Guadarrama Mountains, which in winter are coated with snow, stand out against the horizon. The climate is a decidedly trying one, the summer heat being almost tropical in its intensity, while the winter is often severely cold. The variations of temperature, too, are very treacherous. The explanation is that Madrid was in the first instance the creature of political necessity. The erstwhile detached and disjointed states of Spain had been gradually welded into one homogeneous kingdom, a process which may be regarded as completed in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella at the end of the fifteenth century. Their near successor, Philip II., fixed upon Madrid as his capital in 1560. The choice was doubtless dictated partly by the desire to avoid offending sectional susceptibilities in the nation by the choice of one of the greater cities of the country and partly by the central position of the town itself.

The first mention of the town, it may be remarked, occurs in the tenth century, when it was occupied by the Moors. In the following century it passed into the hands of the Castilians, under whom it extended itself. In 1329 Ferdinand IV. assembled the first Cortes, or Spanish Parliament, in Madrid. During the next two centuries the town was frequently disturbed by political troubles. In 1520, by a curious coincidence, we find the destined capital of the now united Spain lending its aid to a movement in the direction of national disruption, which, however, proved unsuccessful. In 1524 the city was honoured by a visit from its sovereign, Charles I. of Spain, better known as the Emperor Charles V. In the following year Francis I. of France, taken prisoner at the battle of Pavia, in Italy, was confined there for several months.

At the time of its being declared the capital, as stated above, it contained between twenty and thirty thousand inhabitants. One would expect to find that the city made rapid headway from this date. This, however, was not the case. The causes are explained by Karl Baedeker in his handbook on Spain as follows:— “The court did nothing for it except to cut down the last remaining forests to defray its expenses. The so-called Regalia de Aposentos made the owners of large houses responsible for the lodging of the courtiers and the noblesse, with the result that the only houses built were the small and low, ‘Casas a la malicia.’ which were exempt from this burden. The development of the town was thus unnaturally checked; and down to the beginning of the eighteenth century Madrid remained a badly built, dirty, and unhealthy place, inhabited by a shifty and unstable population.”

The Muses, however, seem to have found a not uncongenial home in the city during this period. At all events we find that it was the abode of Cervantes, the great prose writer, famous as the author of “Don Quixote,” of Velasquez the painter, and of Calderon the dramatist. With the eighteenth century enter the Bourbon dynasty, which held the reins of government for more than a hundred years. During last century, in spite of a most turbulent period of political history, the city underwent vast improvements. It has also grown largely, and is still rapidly extending.

The houses in Madrid are built high, and the flat system — which has made such headway of late in England — is much in vogue. Different families live on different floors, and have the staircase in common. Each section possesses a solid door, in which is a wicket, through which visitors may be inspected and interrogated prior to admission. Great advances have been made in the style of building carried on. In the new streets will be found many handsome houses, surrounded by pleasant gardens. There is, it may be remarked, an abundant supply of good water. For the purposes of municipal government the city is divided into ten districts named respectively Palacio, Universidad, Centro, Hospicio, Buenavista, Congreso, Hospital, Inclusa, Latina, and Audiencia. Each district has its own mayor and its own town hall, and is divided into ten wards. In fact the arrangement reminds us of the division of London into boroughs. In Madrid, however, there is no central administrative body corresponding to the London County Council.

In comparison with other capitals Madrid possesses very few buildings of public interest. The royal palace of Madrid is one of the most magnificent of its kind. It is situated in the south-west part of the town near the river, and dates from the middle of the eighteenth century. The building is a square of 470 feet and is 100 feet high. The principal entrance from the south leads into a huge court 240 feet square. The reception or throne room is a princely apartment, decorated in sumptuous style. Here the sovereign holds receptions on great occasions, and after death lies in state. There are few notable pictures, with the exception of some portraits of the royal family by Goya. The royal chapel in the palace is a fine building. The library contains a fine collection of books and manuscripts to the number of 100,000, and includes the correspondence of Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador to England in the reign of James I. The coach-houses and stables and their contents are also a remarkable and interesting feature of the building.

The Armeria Real, or Royal Armoury, is situated within a stone’s throw of the palace. It is a world-famous building, and contains a magnificent assortment of arms and armoury. The collection was founded at Valladolid by Charles V., and transferred to Madrid by Philip II. It is on view in a spacious room 227 feet long by 36 feet wide, which was built in 1565 to receive the articles removed from Valladolid. Suits of armour worn by Charles V. and Philip II. can be seen. One with the arms of England upon it reminds the visitor of the ill-starred Spanish match of the unhappy Queen Mary of England. The sword of Bobadil is a memento of the Moorish domination over southern Spain, which closed with the surrender of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella.

Another possession of which Madrid may be justly proud is the Museo, or Royal Picture Gallery. Of this John Murray’s “Handbook for Travellers in Spain” speaks inter alia as follows:—

“The Museo, or Royal Picture Gallery, may be justly considered one of the richest galleries in the world, although containing many splendid gems rather than a series of pictures illustrative of the history and schools of painting. The Museum is a large edifice on the east side of the Paseo del Prado, having in front a portico of six Doric columns. There are entrances at each side of the building. It was built by Juan de Villanueva for his patron, Charles III., who intended it for an academy of Natural History. Left unfinished at the death of its founder, it was slowly continued by his successor, Charles IV., until the French invasion, when it was partly destroyed. And so it remained until after the marriage of Ferdinand VII. In November, 1819, three saloons were got ready and 311 pictures exhibited to the public, the extraordinary quality of which, especially of Velasquez, instantly attracted the admiring eye of foreigners, who appreciate the merits of the old masters of Spain much better than the natives. Ferdinand III., seeing that renown was to be obtained, now came forward, and the Museum was slowly advanced, one more saloon being opened in 1821. No collection of pictures was ever begun or continued under greater advantages. Charles V. and Philip II., both real patrons of art, were the leading sovereigns of Europe at the bright period of the Renaissance, when fine art was an every-day necessity, and pervaded every relation of life. Again, Philip IV. ruled at Naples, and in the Low Countries at the second restoration of art, which he truly loved for itself. These three monarchs, like Alexander the Great, took a pleasure in raising their painters to personal intimacy; and nowhere have artists been more highly honoured than were Velasquez and Rubens in the palace of Madrid. At a later period, Philip V., grandson of Louis XIV., added many pictures by the principal French artists of their augustan age. While the Spanish kings patronised art at home, their viceroys in Italy and the Low Countries collected and sent home the finest specimens of the great artists who flourished from Raphael down to the Caracci and Claude. These glorious gems, until the French invasion, were preserved pure as when they issued from the studios of their immortal authors. The Museum is deficient in examples of the early Italian schools, and of some of the great Italian painters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but is especially rich in the works of Raphael. Titian, Tintoretto, Paul Veronese, Rubens and Vandyck. The Spanish masters, with the exception of Velasquez, Murillo, and Ribera are scantily represented. The gallery possesses almost the entire work of Velasquez, except the considerable number of pictures which exist in England; and it is only here that the great masterpieces of this great painter can be really studied and understood.”

Government buildings are well represented by El Congreso de los Diputados, i.e. the House of Commons, a fine building on the northern side of the Plaza de las Cortes. This edifice was completed in 1850. It possesses a lofty interior, in which the galleries for strangers are well arranged. The pediment in the centre of the principal facade represents Spain receiving Law, accompanied by Power and Justice. El Senado, the House of Lords, is a plain and unimposing building.

The churches of Madrid are insignificant and do not call for notice. St. Francisco, the finest, dates from the latter half of the eighteenth century. It has acquired an interest from the fact that it has constituted the national pantheon, and as such contains the dust of many eminent men. Until lately the city could boast of no cathedral, but the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena is now in course of completion on the site of an ancient church of similar dedication.

A cursory sketch of Madrid is net complete without some reference being made to the Escurial, the curious convent-palace for the sovereigns of Spain erected by Philip II., situated at some distance from the city in a north-westerly direction. Indeed, the journey by rail occupies about an hour and a half. The plans were drawn out by Juan Bautista de Toledo, an architect of surpassing skill and experience, who, however, died before the completion of the work. He was succeeded by a no less eminent craftsman, Juan de Herrera. The King himself took keen interest in the undertaking, and indeed contributed both to the preparation of the designs and the superintendence of the subsequent building operations which were completed in 1584. The total cost is estimated at £660,000. Eminent Spanish and Italian artists contributed to the decoration of the interior. The Escurial lies close to the village of that name. In form it is a rectangle, 680 feet by 530 feet. It is popularly supposed to represent the gridiron on which St. Laurence suffered martyrdom, the saint in question having been roasted to death in this fashion. The idea is, truth to tell, a somewhat gruesome one. Its appearance in this connection is explained by Philip II.’s prayers to St. Laurence that success might be granted to him against the French in the battle of St. Luentin in 1557. This was fought on August 10th, the day set apart for the commemoration of the saint, and resulted in a victory for the Spaniards. Hence the erection of the Escurial in honour of St. Laurence.

The edifice served several purposes. In John Murray’s “Handbook for Travellers in Spain” it is described as at once a temple, a palace, a treasury, a tomb house, and a museum. There are said to be in the building 16 courts, 2,673 windows, 1,200 doors, 86 staircases, and 89 fountains. Since 1885 the building has been in the hands of the Augustinian order of monks. The church is, from an architectural point of view, the masterpiece of the Escurial. It is on the model of St. Peter’s, Rome. Immediately under its high altar is the royal vault wherein are interred many of the Spanish monarchs with their queens. From the gardens of the building, which stands at a great elevation, can be obtained a fine view of the surrounding country. In this palace occurred, in 1592, the death, from a horrible disease, of Philip II., whom the, historians have agreed in branding as one of the worst sovereigns that Europe has known.

Of the Escurial, Mrs, Pitt Byrne, in “Cosas de Espana” says: “The grand and gloomy fabric lowers over the rocky desert - a monument of solidity - too melancholy to be proud, too dignified to be defiant, but calmly conscious, of its iron strength, and impressing beholders with a conviction of its indestructibility. It seems to stand, with sullen determination there where it was placed in the very heart of the sierra — stone of its stone, and strong of its strength, and giant among giants; for, strange to say, its proportions suffer no diminution from the: lofty objects with which it is surrounded.”


TANGIERS, the ancient Tingis, the most westerly post held by the Romans, is perhaps the best known town in the empire of Morocco. It is situated 38 miles to the south of Gibraltar, with which station the inhabitants carry on an extensive trade in cattle, fruit, and vegetables. From the time of Charles II. to that of George III., Tangiers was occupied by the British, who evacuated it in 1784, when the place became noted for its piracies, in consequence of which it was bombarded by the French in 1844. The coast, being exposed to the full force of the Atlantic, is very unsafe for shipping during westerly gales, or it might probably rise to greater importance. The inhabitants are a motley crew. There are Moors and Arabs, the descendants of the Mahommedan conquerors of the country, Spanish Moriscoes, and Jews — driven out of Spain, Christian renegades — chiefly Spaniards — negroes, and half-castes, jostling one another in the narrow streets.

Seen from the sea, Tangiers has a very picturesque appearance, the sky being almost always of a deep blue and the air remarkably clear. In the background is the chain of hills known as Mount Atlas. There are numerous mosques and other public buildings, which are fine specimens of the Arabic style of architecture, but the streets are mean and dirty. Since the extirpation of the pirates, the town would appear to have declined in importance, the number of the residents not exceeding 10,000 to 12,000. There are, however, many visitors — Englishmen who have been to Gibraltar and take the opportunity of obtaining a peep at Africa, Spaniards, and others. The majority of the inhabitants are Moors, a people of Arabic origin, who were in the country at the time of the Mahommedan conquest and helped doubtless to swell the hosts of the conquerors. They were at one time known for the intrepidity of their maritime adventures, but were so generally addicted to piracy and to enslaving their captives that they provoked repeated punishment from England and France. Tangiers possesses also a colony of Vandals, that blue-eyed, fair-haired northern tribe which at one time appeared to become masters of the Mediterranean countries, but who were finally dispersed by Roman valour and the genius of Belisarius. The country is fertile, but badly cultivated. In old times immense forests covered large belts of land on the slopes of Mount Atlas, but these were destroyed, with the result that the climate became arid, and the desert of the interior has in parts approached nearer to the sea.

The Mosques, or Mahommedan temples, are much admired. They are usually quadrangular, supported and embellished with numerous pillars, and covered in by one or more domes or minarets. Such a span as the dome of St. Paul’s would appear to be beyond the ability of Mussulmans, so when the building is large the number of minarets is increased. No image of any description is allowed in a mosque. There are no seats except one for the Iman, or minister, who recites the sprayers, but the floors are usually covered with rich carpets. The doors are made lofty, but the upper portion of the doorway is hung with chains, so that everyone who enters is compelled to bend his body. Tangiers was anciently fortified, and a mole was built into the sea, but the ruins only are now left, those of the mole adding to the dangers of navigation by their resemblance to sunken rocks. England and the United States are represented here by consuls, but there is little now for these officials to do.

Among the exports from Tangiers are beans and small scented oranges and dates.


THE conducted tourist has many privileges, but it is not his part to say — consulting his inclinations — “What shall I do next?” At certain points he may have it in his option whether he will climb a hill with one party, or go with another detachment to see a waterfall, but he must keep by the programme laid down for him. He will see the ‘lions’ — all those places and things one is supposed to “do.” The tourist who will not have Gaze’s, and prefers to dispense with Cook, is sure to miss much, but he secures the restfulness of perfect freedom.

Edinburgh makes a good starting-point for Holland and the Rhine, because the sea-trip is longer, and the contrasts in scenery more striking than can be had by going direct from London via Harwich. From the deck of the steamer, as it leaves the Albert Dock, Leith, the whole of North Edinburgh may be seen stretching upwards from the water’s-edge like an immense panorama — picturesque Princes Street excepted. South Edinburgh is hidden by the ridge of the High Street, which bounds the view southwards. The Castle on the rock, which crowns the highest end of this ridge, is useful only as barracks for the Black Watch and other Scottish regiments; but in the days when the, city was a little walled town, and the manufacture of gun-powder and dynamite were unknown arts, the lofty position of the fortress must have made it almost impregnable. In early Saxon times this was Edwin’s “feste burg.” The modern fortifications may be seen as the Talisman steams down the Firth of Forth, after Arthur’s Seat — the lion-like hill to the east of Edinburgh — has shut out the last view of the Castle and the city. Northwards the hills of Fife form a long line against the horizon; the mountain peaks seen in dim outline belong to the Perthshire Highlands.

After the Inchkeith Lighthouse, with its revolving light, has been left behind, the round mass of North Berwick Law is the most prominent object, and then the lonely Bass Rock, the St. Helena of Scottish history, rises abruptly out of the sea —the sentinel of the Firth of Forth. On leaving the Firth the steamer takes a south-south-easterly course till Yarmouth is sighted. The distance from Leith to Yarmouth by this route is 250 miles, and from Yarmouth to Rotterdam 150.

Holland is scarcely visible from deck till the steamer is about to enter its water-ways. The tourist who has so recently been looking on the shores of the Firth of Forth, with their back-ground of hills, fully realises how low and flat the country is on the sides of the Maas. If he had taken the Harwich route the contrast would not have been so- striking.

In many places the “Nether Land” is four or five yards below sea-level. Every year the people spend £600,000 to keep the sea out. The famous “dykes” are immense ramparts — usually nearly thirty-six feet high — the foundations being from forty to fifty yards wide. All along the banks of the crowded Maas willows and poplars have been planted at regular intervals, as soldiers line the sides of City streets on the day of a procession. The stiff, straight look of the Dutch-cut trees increases the resemblance. The grassy flat banks are a bright green, owing to the amount of moisture in the soil.

Almost every street in Rotterdam has a canal running through it, and the streets seem so much alike that it is difficult for a stranger to distinguish one from another. Rotterdam, like all other Dutch towns, is very clean. The Cathedral of St. Laurence is remarkable for the immense size of its organ. Rotterdam, although having a population of little more than 225,000, can boast of Zoological Gardens of its own. Its marketplace is an interesting sight, and the statue of Erasmus is worthy of that great Reformer. But perhaps the most marked features are the quaint old-time houses, the picturesque canals, and the extensive quays which, for half-a-mile, line the banks of the Maas.

The Hague, being the seat of Government, and the town at which the Queen of Holland usually resides, is the aristocratic city. Its Museum contains curiosities from Java, China, and Japan. The picture gallery is of unique interest, as most of the best examples of the Dutch masters are upon its walls — conspicuous among these are Rembrandt’s “Anatomy” and Paul Potter’s “Bull.” The lifelike appearance of the bull is quite startling, but the paintings, as a whole, are too stiff to be quite pleasing to any but Dutch eyes.

Amsterdam has some very fine streets, but although it is said to have been built on a forest of fir trees — so many piles having been driven in to consolidate the marshy ground — many of the houses are far from straight, some leaning one way and some another, showing clearly that the foundations have begun to give way.

The Zoological Gardens are in many respects quite as interesting as the London Zoo. The parrots and cockatoos ornament the sides of the entrance avenue. Of course, each is chained to a perch, but, at first sight, the chain is not observed. The magnificent Royal Palace is, like all the other houses, built on piles. All the state-rooms are lined with white marble. The throne, and the platform on which it stands, are upholstered in crimson velvet, ornamented with silver, and all the hangings in the room are crimson. They contrast beautifully with the white marble walls. In one corner is a glass case full of banners, reminders of the best days of the old Republic. The ball-room is said to be the finest room in Europe. It is 120 feet long, 60 wide, and 100 feet in height. A number of banners are suspended from the beautifully carved ceiling. These were taken by the Dutch during the protracted war with Spain. The floor, as well as the walls of this room, are of white marble. Above the doors in the dining-room are paintings in neutral tints, in which the lights and shadows are so forcibly brought out that the impression produced is that they are pieces of sculpture in bas-relief. The visitor is not convinced that they are only paintings till he stands in the doorways and looks up. The subject is — children surrounded by fruit and flowers — a subject very usually illustrated in sculpture. The clock in the tower of the Palace has 64 bells for the. chimes, and is ornamented with statues of Mercury and of Atlas. This tower is 200 feet above the ground, and there is a splendid view from the top, including all the prominent buildings in the city, e.g. the Amsterdam Crystal Palace, the Synagogue, the Clip, where boys are trained to be sailors. To the north may be seen the Zuyder Zee and Zaandam, where Peter the Great worked as a ship-carpenter, also some of the “dykes,” and innumerable windmills and canals. Of course, the only way to have a view is to go to the top of a high building, and see nearly half of Holland at one time.

Willows are grown in immense quantities in the Netherlands, their principal use being to keep the sides of the canals from falling in, Dams run through the fields to carry off the surplus water to the canals. Holland would be a very unhealthy country if scrupulous cleanliness were not observed. The vigilance required to keep the country from the encroachments of the sea leads to habits of industry. Many of the costumes are very quaint. Some of the women have a curious headdress composed of a stiff white muslin cap, with a brass cap below shining through, brass ornaments on the brow, and corkscrew curls of gold wire sticking out at the sides, The origin of this odd custom is said to be that in olden times a Dutch woman in a foreign country was imprisoned and cruelly treated because of her patriotism, and before she was set free her tormentors put a crown of thorns on her head. She afterwards wore a brass cap to cover the marks of the thorns. So the story goes. And now those women who claim connection with her are proud of this badge.

The scenery of the lower reaches of the Rhine is tame and unattractive, so it is advisable to go by rail from Holland to Cologne. At the little German frontier town of Elten a monumental inscription in the village churchyard tells the visitor that six Prussian soldiers, who fell in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, lie there. Between Emmerich and Cologne the Rhine is more than half-a-mile wide. Before either the Mississippi or Lake Baikal had a train-steamer Rhine ferry-boats took trains across at this point.

Cologne — so famous for its bad odours and its sweet perfumes — has an imposing appearance from the river, because of its numerous spires — masterpieces of architecture. Its population is considerably under that of Edinburgh, but it is better fortified, and its garrison numbers 7,000 men. It has a much greater antiquity than the Scottish capital, if it was really a Roman fortress, as Roman remains seem to indicate. Before the substantial iron bridge was built, the bridge of boats was the primitive mode of crossing. Patience on the part of the passengers was a requisite - thoroughfare being so frequently stopped by barges sailing up and down the river, the bridge opening in the middle to let them pass.

The foundation stone of the Cologne Cathedral was laid on 14th August, 1248, and the last stone of this magnificent Gothic structure was placed in position in August, 1880 — the completion of the Cathedral being celebrated on 15th October of that year in presence of the Emperor William I., grandfather of the present Emperor of Germany. The south tower is 400 feet high. All the windows are filled with stained glass — some of them 500 years old. It is said that 42,000 people can be in the Cathedral at one time without its being over-crowded. When the great south tower was being completed, the stones, which, of course, were raised by steam power, were carried along the roof in railway trucks to the tower end of the Cathedral. The view of the city, the surrounding country, and the Rhine, repays the fatigue of climbing 350 steps to see it. The Rhine scenery is good all the way up from a little above Cologne — the most picturesque part being between Bonn and Bingen. The vine terraces are an agreeable contrast to the flat poppy-fields and straight rows of willows with which the eye had become familiar in Holland. A mediaeval castle looks down from almost every height — vines clinging to the ruins. Bonn was a place of importance between the years B.C. 50 and B.C. 10. The historian Tacitus mentions it as having been at that time headquarters of Roman military operations in the Rhine Valley. To the English visitor it is interesting to know that King Edward VII.’s father, who turned his study of Nature and of Art to practical uses in England, was educated in this beautifully situated little University town. The fact that Bonn was Beethoven’s birthplace may partly account for Prince Albert’s very great familiarity with the works of that composer.

Between Bonn and Bingen the Rhine winds so much that the steamboat sometimes seems to be crossing a lake rather than making its way up a river.

The Moravian community at Neuwied live a life, in many respects, apart from their neighbours. They have workshops of their own, in which articles of carved wood, deerskin gloves, and other specialties are made. The women wear white caps tied with ribbons of pink, blue, or white, according to whether they are single, married, or widows. Their schools are so good as to, attract pupils from England. In creed the Moravians are followers of the early reformer, John Huss, a creed not differing in essentials from that of other Protestants. In practice, these quiet people are very exemplary, living industrious, purposeful lives; not shrinking from self-denial, or even from hardships, to accomplish their object, as the fact that Moravians were the first missionaries to brave a Greenland winter, would seem to prove. The ballad of the “Dying Soldier” has pictured the beauties of “Fair Bingen on the Rhine,” the ideal of restful loveliness. Large rafts laden with wood from the Black Forest are floated slowly down the Rhine, some of them 1,000 feet in length. Huts for the men in charge are erected on these rafts, giving to them almost the appearance of floating islands.

Mayence, or Mentz, is of considerable importance, on account of its fortifications. The garrison numbers 8,000 men. The Germans have not neglected to strengthen towns within easy access from France. Like Bonn, Mayence was occupied by Roman legions before the beginning of the Christian Era.

Strasburg is the most interesting town between Mayence and the Swiss frontier. The remains of the old fortifications, the narrow streets, the high houses in mediaeval architecture, and the costumes of the people carry one back to the days of Guttenberg, whose statue adorns the market-place. Although a native of Mayence, Guttenberg will always be remembered in connection with Strasburg, where he invented and first used movable types. The four sides of the pedestal show in bas-relief the blessings the art of printing was to bring to the four quarters of the globe. Perhaps the best illustrated is “Africa,” in which the delight of negroes on receiving printed books is very graphically brought out. The cathedral tower, 465 feet high — one of the three or four highest structures in the world — seems to keep watch over the quaint old houses. At six or seven in the morning the entrance to the cathedral is lined with market-baskets — the owners may be found bowed before the shrine of their patron saint. The present astronomical clock in the south transept is the successor of one constructed in 1571, which succeeded one of the thirteenth century. The mechanism is most elaborate. A skeleton strikes, the hours, and four figures — boyhood, youth, manhood, and old age — strike the quarters. At noon, an angel strikes the quarters on a bell. The astronomical part of the machinery, representing the position of the planets, is now kept in working; order. Kehl, on the other side of the Rhine from Strasburg, was the principal centre from which the German forces attacked the city in the famous siege of 1870 — graphically described in the little tale, “Max Kromer.”

The old town of Bale, or Basel, has many historical attractions. Its great library contains 200,000 printed books, and 5,000 manuscripts, among which are letters by Durer, Melanchthon, and others of their date, also an eighth century manuscript of the Gospels. The museum has a valuable collection of ancient weapons, but the fragments of the pre-historic pile - dwellings from Bienne — are the very oldest of the Bale antiquities. At this frontier town the tourist has his first glimpse of Swiss costumes and customs. At the railway station he may see peasant women carrying their infants in baskets slung over their shoulders in the same way in which the Newhaven “fishwife” of the Firth of Forth carries her load of fish.

From Bale, almost all the way up to Schaffhausen, the Rhine is the Swiss boundary. It becomes more; turbid above Bale. Early summer is the best time to see the Falls, when mountain torrents, swollen by the melting of Alpine snows, have greatly increased the volume of water. No other European river precipitates so much water. The Rhine makes three leaps, dashing against the rocks which stand up in the bed of the river. It is customary to illuminate the Falls in the evening with the electric light, but they are certainly more beautiful when seen by the light of the full moon, or in the early morning, when rainbows are formed by the sun’s rays falling on the spray. Zurich, within easy rail distance of Schaffhausen, is one of the most healthful and pleasantly situated towns in Switzerland, 1,000 feet above sea level, at the head of a beautiful lake, and having extensive views of distant ranges of snowy Alps, brilliantly reflecting the rising and setting sun. Vineyards and gardens clothe the slopes between upper Zurich and the lake. The Zurich Museum contains a large model of Switzerland, and in addition to Swiss historical relics, such as Zwingli’s Bible, has some things which ought rather to have been domiciled in the manuscript room of the British Museum — such as letters written by Lady Jane Grey and by Cranmer. The globes in the Zurich Museum date back to the fifteenth century, and must afford amusement to present-day geographers.

Lucerne, Berne, Interlaken, and Geneva are known to every tourist who can make a hurried run to Switzerland via Paris.

The Swiss National Monument is not seen by everyone who visits Lucerne for a few hours, for the great Thorwaldsen did not carve his chef-d’oeuvre from a block of marble and set it up by the lake-side, or in the centre of the principal square. The great lion, 28 feet long and 18 feet high, has been cut out of the solid rock — a perpendicular cliff which rises in the midst of a thicket a little way out from the town. This monument commemorates the bravery of the Swiss soldiers who acted as body-guard to the French king in 1792. The most masterly part of the work is the expression of agony on the dying lion’s face as he carefully guards the fleur-de-lis. The first near view of the Jungfrau in its garment of perpetual snow, seen towering above the wooded hills at Interlaken, is a picture never to be forgotten, forcing the thought of the supremacy of Nature over the greatest achievements of Art.

Berne, like Strasburg, is a relic of mediaeval times. Its architecture is genuinely Swiss. Arcades flank the streets in the old parts of the town. The bear, the heraldic emblem of Berne, appears on everything municipal, and at the great clock — the “Zeitglockenthum” - the bear acts a prominent part. Before the hour a herald comes out and rings a bell, a cock crows, a procession of bears moves round, old Father Time turns his sand-glass, and, last of all, the cock crows again. This clock is not on a church, but on the eastern facade of the Town Hall. Seen after Berne, Geneva does not seem a Swiss town at all. It is more like an English, or a modern French, watering place. Narrow streets; with curious arcades and houses, and towers with overhanging roofs, are not to be looked for in Geneva. Any picturesqueness is due to the beautiful lake, with its distant, background of snow-peaks, and to the River Rhone.


THE first view of New York from the deck of the Atlantic liner is most promising. The bay the steamer has entered is a beautiful one, and, if the weather is fine, the green wooded shores of Statten Island, with villas dotted thickly here and there, the splendid statue of Liberty rising out of the water at the entrance of the harbour, and the distant sight of the city, revealing its crest, and keeping hidden the unsightly and the unpleasant, give the tourist the impression that he has come to a land of brightness and beauty. New York is a very sunny place. The greater number of days, even in winter, are rendered pleasant by a bright sun and a clear sky, when everything looks its best, and one naturally takes a cheerful view of matters, even in depressing circumstances.

As the “liner” steams up the harbour, one is struck by the entire absence of mercantile shipping, every wharf bears the name of a line of passenger steamships. Having enough and to spare of water-room, New York keeps its passenger traffic on its one side, while its goods traffic is relegated to the other. This is, certainly, an advantage for the passenger lines, the easy access from the city to the steamships being a great saving of time.

The “sky-scrapers” are decidedly among the most striking features in the New York of to-day. These giant structures are very conspicuous from the deck of the Cunard liner as it steams up the Hudson. In 1880, there were only a few of these, sixteen to twenty-floor blocks; by 1890 their number had greatly increased, and during the last ten years of the nineteenth century this style of building was almost always adopted when a prosperous firm put up new premises. The AEtna Real Estate and Loan Company actually put up a thirty-floor block on a plot about one hundred feet square, the front- elevation is in red granite and Philadelphia brick. The cost was about 2,500,000 dollars.

New York proper is very long and very narrow, being hemmed in on both sides by the North and East Rivers. Almost all the streets running north and south are called avenues, while the cross streets are numbered, First, Second, Third Street, etc. Fifth Avenue is the fashionable residential street. Sixth Avenue is largely given up to wholesale shops and general stores. Fine retail shops are found in Broadway. Hotels crowd together in one part of Fifth Avenue. The appearance of some of the streets, and especially of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, is in many respects very Parisian, even in winter, when no chairs and tables are to be seen outside the cafes. Of squares, New York has very few, only about half-a-dozen. Situated on an island, it has no room to spare for expansion. The streets are, for the most part, narrow and, consequently, densely crowded. The?New Yorkers are too busy to pay much attention to the amenity of their city — everything is constructed and arranged so as to aid them in getting quickly and easily to work.

Broadway belies its name, or rather, is not so wide as to admit of enormous vehicular traffic, which is crowded into the few feet left between the [tram]car-lines and the foot-passengers’ pavement. With the exception of the cars, conveyances must go at quite as slow a pace in Broadway as on London Bridge. The [tram]cars go at a rate which would not be tolerated in any European city, with the sad result that car accidents in New York are much more frequent than they are within the whole extent of the London metropolitan area. New York civil authorities would have done well to introduce the London practice of having no tramcars within the City boundaries.

The advantages the New York Elevated Railroad has over the London Inner Circle and Central Electric Railways are daylight and good air. The disadvantages are many. The Elevated Railroad entirely spoils the streets through which it passes, so far as beauty is concerned, and prevents any possibility of their becoming residential streets, because the passengers look straight into the windows of the houses. Although property commands high prices, and houses are so valuable in New York City, whole blocks are shut up and advertised to sell or let, which never seem to find tenants. As the structure of the railway is comparatively light, trains cannot be allowed to run at the rate of those on our underground systems. They are quite disorganized by a fog. To anyone at all nervous, this continual crossing of frail bridges swung in mid-air seems alarming. Accidents would be very serious on this railway, affecting street passengers as well as those in the train. The new Electric Railway does not yet supersede the Elevated.

Brooklyn Suspension Bridge is a magnificent structure, long and strong, and is more graceful than is usual in great bridges. At the close of the business day, the entrance to the bridge at the New York end is an interesting sight, even to those accustomed to London crowds.

Although rather narrow, the better streets are very handsome, almost all the buildings being large and well-built. The shops display their goods to advantage, and the hotels and public buildings are so numerous that they give quite an imposing appearance to many streets. The hotels look palatial, but they sacrifice too much to the enormous entrance hall and dining-room — of course, brilliantly lighted by the latest mode of electric lighting. The private rooms are not equal to those of London hotels, being small and rather shabbily furnished. Private houses, as well as public buildings, are fitted with elevators.

Among social clubs with handsome premises, two of the most conspicuous are the Union and the University. The Central Y.M.C.A., to which the German Emperor sent a message during the Conference of 1901, has also a very handsome building at south-west corner of the Fourth Avenue and Twenty-third Street, in the Renaissance style of architecture. It has twenty-five apartments, including gymnasium, library, lecture room, and offices. This building was erected at a cost of 142,000 dollars. Of politico-social clubs, the Union League is the most important, and, among theatres, the Great Opera House is unrivalled in well- proportioned and tasteful architectural design, although others are more showy and obtrusive.

The number of hospitals has greatly increased within the last decade. As a rule they are well managed, and also well equipped with the latest appliances, which is not surprising in the chief city of a country which is said to be the “cradle of invention.” The way in which the rock which made the entrance to the harbour dangerous was removed by means of electricity many years ago, when such things were not usually attempted, is one of the best examples of American pluck.

The Charity Centralization House is another sample of a different sort. The amount of time and money saved by this arrangement is incalculable. New Yorkers conduct benevolent schemes in a thoroughgoing, business-like style, and this may be said, also, of Sunday-school work. The energy of the office is brought to the class-room. Churches are numerous and beautiful, but the giant buildings around prevent them from being seen to advantage.

The Riverside Drive, The Central Park, and Greenwood Cemetery are sufficient proof, of the New Yorker’s appreciation of the beautiful m Nature, and the Washington Arch, General Grant’s Tomb, the Webster Statue, the Shakespeare Statue, and especially the most effective statue of Liberty, show how he can appreciate high Art.


GUIDES are notoriously dishonest, and the evening before my entry into Rome, I determined to “view the manners of the town” without one. At least I would make the experiment. The guides I have made acquaintance with have mostly been in an insolvent condition, and if they have not been so they have been impudent, thinking, probably, that their miserable patter renders them indispensable to the tourist. Yes! I would do the thing without a guide, other than my intelligence, or — cast myself into Father Tiber and yield myself to the gods! My knowledge of Italian was immense. What if I did get slightly mixed up, I had but to ask my way. If I met the Pope, I would acknowledge his salute and keep straight on. With such thoughts as these I went to sleep the night before I entered Rome. I awoke in the morning itchy and bad-tempered. I did not review the thoughts of the preceding evening with confidence. The art of the thief is a finished art in Rome, and if he fails in that he resorts to plain brigandage. Bands of them have infested the neighbourhood and very streets of Rome, but to-day the city is better governed.

History tells us that the capital of Italy has been, since its foundation in 758 B.C., sacked and pillaged, burned and besieged, over-run by hordes of savage warriors from the north, and at the mercy of Gaul and Carthaginian from the west and south. Its history is one long succession of war and bloodshed, and from the commencement to the time of the Emperors — 700 years — the gates of Janus were only closed for three brief periods, signifying that the city was at peace with all the world. At the time of the Emperors, roughly from the time of Jesus Christ’s appearance upon earth, Rome had reached the height of its magnificence, but from that date, the People have declined, and the Church has grown in affluence. With the people the State has fallen, for the condition of the mass of the people is the only criterion by which one can judge of the condition of a State. The first day taxes were levied on the citizens of Rome in the time of the Emperors was significant of its declining power, for previous to this foreign conquests had rendered taxes on the inhabitants of the city unnecessary, and the citizen himself envied by all the world. It is the succession of varied fortunes Rome has experienced which has earned for it the title of the Eternal City. Little remains to-day of that Rome which was built by citizens who placed its interests first and their own selfish interests last, whose name was a terror to the whole world. The greatest of those magnificent buildings the visitor sees to-day are not relics of the Rome which commands our admiration. No, they were built largely for the amusement of a degenerate race, by means of which ambitious, self-seeking men, by pleasing the people, raised themselves to power. The great Roman Church was founded long after Rome had started in its downward course; and though the Church in its earlier days partially arrested this decline, as it grew in wealth and power, it came into conflict with the civil government, and a house divided against itself will surely fall.

When near Rome people are always prepossessed with some such thoughts. They came crowding in upon me when, on a beautiful morning in June, I first gazed upon the wonderful dome of St. Peter’s, flashing in the sunlight many miles away. It is then you get a faithful representation of the true size of the cathedral of the Roman world. People have been disappointed when taking a near view, because its great length makes its height appear much less, and it is impossible for the eye to take in its huge dimensions.

I arrived at Rome from the Civita Vecchia, which is the port of the city, 36 miles away. There is nothing on the route of particular interest, and one has plenty of opportunity to take in the views of the great city he gets from the train, for I need hardly mention that Rome is visible for many miles across the Campagna, and St. Peter’s especially so. The train shot along at the reckless rate of about 20 miles an hour, and when I left it I was in a state of great excitement, which was not lessened when bargaining with the driver of a sorry-looking nag for conveyance to my hotel. He wanted two scudi, about 9s. Instead of throwing him into the Tiber, I smiled, and got inside, baggage and all. I had no guide, but I determined to give the man a scudo, and, if he said anything, to hand him over to the “pulliss” as the police are called. But on our arrival it seemed that not only the driver, but the “pulliss” as well, required a little backsheesh, and gradually I found out that everybody who had the slightest connection with me required to be paid for it. I began to regard myself as a man to be avoided. Had I had a guide I should have had nothing to do but walk about in a lordly manner and leave him to deal with these people. Having given one money, you must go round or take the consequences. I took the consequences and marched straight into my hotel, I also took my baggage, and asked immediately for the manager, a Frenchman. The Frenchman was all smiles and styles, and I, urbanity personified, for I saw that my independence had gained the victory. Not allowing myself to be bled by those attentive foreigners they had departed, doubtless to look for simpler folk.

I was soon accommodated, and had an excellent dinner, and though it was the time when the national siesta is indulged in I took a walk, and thoroughly enjoyed it, being lucky in my choice of a route. I was soon standing in a position, probably the best in Rome, for a view of St. Peter’s. This was on the right bank of the Tiber, opposite Fort St. Angelo — one of the most massive and fort-like buildings I have ever seen — and a quarter of a mile away; it appeared to be that distance. The sun was at the height of its power, and the cathedral as distinct as if it had been before me on paper. Every building beside it was dwarfed. The huge dome shot up into the sky, 66 feet higher than our own St. Paul’s. The height of the cross on the top of the dome is nearly 400 feet, and the diameter of the cupola is 50 feet greater than that of St. Paul’s. That fact gives one an idea of its great size. I have been told so, and I believe it, that one could place St. Paul’s inside St. Peter’s and plenty of room to spare. The former church strikes the visitor much more favourably than the latter, because its size does not detract from its beauty, and its length does not detract from its height. Including the Vatican, which adjoins, the cathedral covers a space of 20 acres. The church cost £12,000,000, equal to £36,000,000 of our money to-day, and took about 100 years to build and complete. St. Peter’s should have been in the centre of a great square to be properly appreciated. It suffers in this respect as our own cathedral. I determined to fully inspect the church on the following day.

The position I had taken up was a most pleasant one. A sort of foot-walk roadway led from the bridge which crosses the river opposite the Fort of St. Angelo, and this was frequently traversed by picturesque women, who were best seen at a distance, however, like a good painting. The river was quiet, as became a river which had such glorious associations, and the traffic consisted of one or two small carrier boats, slightly lighter in build than our own canal flats. No hurry in life for the Romans of to-day; the boats went slowly, the women walked slowly, and I would as little have dreamed at that moment of walking in a hurry as I would of walking into the Tiber; in fact, had I done so, I should have created a good deal of alarm. The quietness of the spot was very impressive. — Fort Angelo, dark and gloomy, and the silent Tiber, at this part deep, though narrow:

“Oh, Tyber, Father Tyber!
To whom the Romans pray.”

In the brave days of old, before the time of St. Peter’s, before the Colosseum, when the Romans had nothing to fight for but their homes and the Fatherland, when they were self-sacrificing, strong, and manly, in those days the Tiber rendered them many a service.

My hotel was in a comparatively modern and uninteresting part, and I spent the evening indoors, busy with my journal and letters. The following day I had fixed for a thorough review of St. Peter’s, and though it has many times been seen and many times described, its wonders will bear re-telling, however badly the story may be told.

The Church of St. Peter is indisputably the most magnificent in the world — literally, the most magnificent, gorgeous, rich, call it what you will. It is beyond imagination. You may talk of the splendour of the East, but St. Peter’s will surpass anything in the East. I do not think there is a painting in the church — at least I saw none — but the walls and ceilings are one great mass of rich mosaics, so exquisitely inlaid that it requires a close inspection to distinguish between them and the finest paintings. There are not a few square feet of these works of art, but walls of them. Walk round the cathedral, and confess the wonderful power of man! The extreme length of the building is 673 feet, and the width 444 feet. Priests and people are constantly pattering to and fro, and while you are admiring this or that, worshippers are paying their devotions without taking the slightest notice of you. The cathedral roof is supported by 100 marble pillars of majestic proportions. There are, in niches round about, 135 statues of saints and other people, and in places many of these are worn at the base by the lips of millions of worshippers, who are constantly kissing them. There are 29 altar pieces and 18 monuments, each of which would be sufficient to form the chief attraction in any cathedral. As is the case in the churches, throughout Italy, the traveller is surfeited with rich statues and gorgeous mosaics, a profusion of splendour which cannot be met with in any other country. To a sensitive Christian man, such a sight as the interior of St. Peter’s must contrast painfully with the poverty which abounds in the neighbourhood. Were all this great wealth spent in making the lot of the poor happier, what good could be done! I thought of this, and endeavoured, while in Rome, to get an opinion on the subject, but an Englishman cannot understand the subjection of the people to the Roman Church. What they say and think must be taken to the confessional, or they are no longer worthy Churchmen in their own eyes.

It is easy to get rid of one’s stock of adjectives in a place like St. Peter’s. I thought of this when admiring the high altar. This great place of worship is as large as many church interiors, and is covered by a huge canopy, supported by four bronze columns. Each of these columns is 36 feet high, and as the altar is as large in proportion as the altars of other churches, one may gauge from this the size of St Peter’s. One cannot go near the altar, but I should think on that alone are thousands of pounds’ worth of valuables of all descriptions. I took a seat opposite the altar and rested awhile, the better to survey. Except in the immediate vicinity, everything seemed very far away, and a man at the extreme end appeared to be like a big insect. The vastness of the interior made everything small, and the most enjoyable half-hour I spent in Rome was when sitting in St. Peter’s, and allowing my imagination to run riot among the pillars and statues, and the semi-darkness of the illuminated roof. At the base of the great dome is a gallery. You may look from that altitude on the little dots beneath. Your faith in architecture is not so strong but that you feel so much more at ease below than in the gallery. Even the people on the opposite side of the dome look like children as they walk hurriedly round the circle and disappear down the stairs. It requires no inconsiderable effort of will to lean right against the railings, put your weight against them. You fancy that by walking carefully round the gallery you do something to prevent the collapse of the vast structure!

The view from outside the cupola is one not to be missed by the traveller. From St. Paul’s, London, you have the view of a large and busy city; from St. Peter’s, Rome, is a much finer view, easily taking in the whole of the city and the historic Campagna. You follow the winding course of the Tiber till lost on the horizon; you see the triumphal arches of Titus, Constantine, and others, the palaces and baths, temples and bridges; the Colosseum, the Forum, the Roman pyramid; the temple of Vesta, and another fine church, St. Paul’s, outside the city, the walls and the gates. You see Rome as you could not see it from the streets, and an hour may be profitably spent there, guide book and map in hand. You also get a bird’s eye view of the streets, many of them broad, and much more richly decorated than tour English streets. They are beautified with obelisks from Egypt, figures and columns from other, vanquished nations - the Greeks and those of the East - and fountains, of which there is a great variety. The largest obelisk in the world, I may mention, is in the Piazza di San Giovanni Laterano, 106 feet high, and taken from Thebes about 2,000 years ago. In looking at these things, 100 years is as a day. It requires thought to comprehend the time Rome was founded, 2,700 years ago; and even then a rude nation as compared with the Greeks, who in their turn were ages later than the civilised Egyptians. And the further East we go, the earlier appears to have been the age of the might and power and enlightenment of the different nations. A sojourn in the East is necessary to the man who would receive the fullest education.

The last thing I saw in St. Peter’s was to me the most curious, that is, the original church underneath the present one. Priests are your guides, and they accompany you with torches. The old church is filled with tombs and monuments to the illustrious dead. With each tomb is a story fabulous or true. The place was dark and gloomy, and if the priests had suddenly said “hands up” and shown themselves to be brigands I should not have been at all surprised. I was prepared for anything after this. After spending four hours within, I had to leave the mother church of the Roman world. I had not seen a quarter of it, but I would have to spend twelve months in the city to see it properly.

After a little refreshment, I made for the Vatican — palace, museum, library, church, and court - within whose walls is probably the richest, largest, and most interesting, collection of pictures, statues, relics, and everything which may delight, but not surfeit. It would require a month to “see” the Vatican, and I was to be a week in Rome! The Vatican, full of precious relics of Rome in all the ages of its existence! A world of rooms containing thousands of articles, the rarest of their kind because they are in the Vatican. I am curious to know if the Vatican is insured. I suppose it is, and for a vast amount. Before going into this emporium of all the treasures, I took a walk round the beautiful Italian gardens attached, and derived a very profitable fifteen minutes therefrom. They are laid out in the Italian fashion, and are truly delightful, having received the best attention of both Nature and Art. In that part of the great building from which the public are excluded, resides his Holiness the Pope, his cardinals, priests, and domestics — his curt, in fact. The Pope may occasionally be seen taking a constitutional in a reserved1 part of the gardens, and despite his, great age, there is plenty of work for secretaries and other attendants.

When I state you may ascend eight flights of Stairs, each about twenty feet wide, and wander through a thousand rooms, if you had permission to do so, some idea may be got of the size of the palace, probably the largest in Europe. What was most interesting to me personally was the invaluable collection of MSS [manuscripts]. The great majority of these are, of course, Latin – the Latin of the Middle Ages - hardly readable to a modern. Many of these manuscripts were beautifully illuminated, and what the ancients lacked in conveniences they certainly made up in industry. And what an amount of hard work it entailed, when a student, in order to possess a valuable book, had to copy it word for word from the original! They were prodigious scholars in those days, and thoroughly versed in their branch of learning. In other rooms are curious jewels, carved ivory, delightful cameos, each of which are worth a fortune. The sculpture galleries are enriched with famous works, such as the Apollo Belvedere, in the Belvedere gallery, the Laocoon, Antinous, and other Greek masterpieces. The collection of things rare and valuable within the Vatican is constantly being added to; from all parts of the Roman world offerings are constantly made to the head of the Church, and these find a last resting-place in the Vatican.

This evening I was the witness of a scene which I think cannot be equalled elsewhere in the world - moonlight in Rome. No one but he who has seen it can form an idea of the grandeur and deep solemnity of such a sight. One part of each building is plunged in darkness, the other clear and distinct. It is a huge and impressive picture of light and shade. The shadows cast by the ruins take most peculiar forms, and the imagination with little difficulty supplies what is lacking in the shape of ghostly figures, wrapped in long togas, stalking majestically among the trees and ruins. It was in such a moment as this that Gibbon was prompted to write the “Decline and Fall of the Homan Empire.” It is one of those pictures which make an indelible impression on the memory. If any guide had spoken to me at that, moment I should have strangled him!

The Colosseum - after the Colossus — or Coliseum, is a ruin of degenerated Rome. It is certainly one of the most stupendous relics in the world. I suppose we should not dream of putting up anything like it to-day. The uniformity of the architecture adds a great deal to its tremendous appearance. It is oval in shape and built in four huge stories, each story being supported by pillars. This building was commenced by the Emperor Flavius Vespasian, in the year 72 A.D., and the stone is travertine marble. Between the pillars are arches, so that the building is well ventilated, and the height to which this compact and even structure rises is 163 feet, while its circumference is 1,702 feet. The seating accommodation is enough to make a modern manager’s eye glisten in anticipation of a “full house.” Comfortably, 107,000 people could sit and watch wild beasts tearing Christians to death, or gladiators fighting for dear life, or slaves matched against lions, tigers, and bears. Such sights were keenly appreciated by the Romans of those days, and as I have said before, were provided, not by a joint stock company, but by ambitious men, from the Emperor downwards, who had their own ends to serve. The Colosseum has had many vicissitudes. Originally intended as a place of amusement, during the Middle Ages it served as a fortress, afterwards it was used for bull-fights, and later for a hospital. To-day it is inhabited by a hermit, who spends his religious life within the walls, and at night beggars roost there. How are the mighty fallen! A prophecy concerning this building, of Anglo- Saxon pilgrims, reads as follows:

“While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand;
When falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls, the world!”

All the seats in this huge building are of stone, and a good view is obtained of the arena from any position. There is what is called the Podium, reserved for the Emperor and high personages, and each class in the community had its respective quarters, the mass being at the top. As one writer has remarked, it was not until the latest period of the Republic, about 150 B.C., that the Romans were debased by the gladiatorial and other shows, which led to the use and construction of amphitheatres; and to the gratification of this passion for demoralising public spectacles maybe attributed, in some degree, its eventual overthrow, in all but form, and the establishment of the despotism of the Emperors. The sums expended, and the number of men and beasts engaged, and for the most part destroyed, in furnishing them, seem almost incredible. That the Colosseum is now a place of religious importance is evident from an inscription in Italian, near the main entrance. The inscription, translated, said that if I kissed, the cross - which was above - I should have one year and forty days’ indulgence. That is, I should be allowed to do what I liked, to commit any sin, for that period, and still be spotless! I did not kiss the cross for two reasons — one, that I did not believe what I read; and two, on sanitary-grounds, for the cross was black with filth, the dirt of many kisses. Ugh!

Rome is full of fine streets, such as the Corso, about a mile long, and the principal, I think. It is full of fine buildings, with the appearance of palaces, and somehow or other, in England, so-called palaces fail to strike one in that sense. The genius expended on these structures is not to be found in our country, I suppose. We are more practical; at all events, we manage to produce some barrack-like palaces. The principal of these are those of Septimus Severus and other Caesars, on the Palatine Hill. They are each in themselves a museum and art gallery, and the number of Titians, Michael Angelos, Salvator Rosas, Guidos, Rubenses, and Raphaels one meets with in these places makes one wonder if these famous people had any time for meals. The theatres of the great Marcellus and Pompey the Great are still to be seen, splendid structures, but visibly decaying. There are several colleges of the Papacy, in which different classes of priests are trained. When we read in our English newspapers that the Rev. So-and-So has been admitted to the Roman Catholic priesthood, it is here they generally undergo a training. The Sistine Chapel is worth a visit. In it are superb frescoes by the great Michael Angelo and other artists. All these chapels and churches are built to the glory of God, and the one object seems to be to heap together in each as much riches as possible. What a happy time the Roman poor would have if one of the future Popes suddenly determined to spend the wealth of only one church among the needy of his great city! The wealth of Rome, like the talent of the man in the Bible, buried in the ground, would relieve the sufferings of Europe for a lifetime.

I paid, in my ramble of the third day, a visit to the Ghetto, or Jews’ quarter, at the bottom of one of the seven hills on which the city is built - the Capitoline, I think. In the East the Jews are always with the submerged, while it is largely the opposite in the West. “The poor are always with you,” and such is the case in Rome. Here people live on a few pence a day, nothing near the amount a fancier will spend on the keep of a dog; and there is no such dreadful contrast anywhere as the gorgeous palaces, and churches and the hovels of the poor.

The first bridge built in Rome, or the foundations of it, may still be seen at low tide. This is the Pons Sublicius, built by one of the early Kings in 639 B.C. It is that bridge which has been made memorable in the history or legend of Rome by the defence Horatius Cocles made there when the city was attacked by Lars Porsena at the head of an Etruscan army. It was necessary that the bridge should be broken to prevent the enemy entering the city, and the brave Horatius, accompanied by two others, held the enemy at bay while the bridge was cut down. On hearing the crash of the bridge as it fell, Horatius jumped into Father Tiber and swam to the other side. This story – I relate it from memory, and may not be quite exact —is one which most thrills our English boyhood, and Macaulay has treated the subject in his stirring, unequalled way, in his “Lays of Ancient Rome.”

The old city is enclosed by the Original wall, not the wall of Romulus, for since the foundation of Rome the walls have been erected as the city grew; and in history the times of these extensions are mentioned. Outside the present wall are modern suburbs and stretching far away over the Campagna in all directions the villas of the wealthy. When the French visited the city, on mischief bent, in 1849, their guns damaged a great part of Rome, though it may be said to their credit they did their best to spare the historic buildings. Shot can still be seen in some of the houses, which were the chief objects of the French artillerymen. The Romans were famous road-makers, as we well know in England, and here you see evidences of the enduring character of their work. The most famous of these roads are the Appian Way, Sabine Way, and the Flamillan Way. There are aqueducts which have supplied the city with water for one and two thousand years, and the arches of these are what attracts the attention of all. The workmanship could not be produced to-day. This Roman arch is seen in their work all over the world, and is especially noticeable in the Cloaca Maxima, which has acted as a great sewer for draining the marshy lands, for a period of 2,400 years. Seven hundred years after it was built a Roman writer expressed wonder at it enduring so long; but though it is decaying, the stones are set so well together, one can imagine the arch getting smaller and smaller as the stones decay, while the arch still retains its shape. More cloacae drain the lower parts of the city, and the stones are perfect in each. They were built by the elder Tarquin, fifth king of Rome, who died 578 B.C., and are the greatest monument to his memory.

There are several “forums” in Rome which were the ancient markets, and places where proclamations and causes were heard. The chief of these, by its ruins, gives one some idea of its former magnificence. Large pieces of sculptured rock cornices, broken pillars, etc., lie here and there, while several columns stand alone, which will some day fall, and lie where they have fallen. The appearance of these fora cannot be depicted by pen or pencil. In the height of its glory Rome contained nineteen, such places of business, but most of them have disappeared, though it is a slow process, taking, thousands of years. They are the parks of the easy-going Italians, and here the modern Roman lolls on pieces of rock, making a romantic picture. Some day another of those huge columns will fall, and he will get a start, but he won’t keep going. One cannot blame the natives for being indolent in a climate such as this; where Nature produces lavishly, nearly all that man requires, and yet, we ask, how can we account for the fiery spirit and courage and enterprise of the ancient Romans, for doubtless those people are descended from them. An old family in Rome does not mean a family of a few hundred years, but one which traces: its descent from lordly patricians of the Augustan age, and probably earlier. All over Italy it is the same, and the more East you go the longer are genealogical lines, even of the poorer peoples.

Travellers in Rome, as in other places, must endeavour to distinguish fact from fable. You must not believe all you see or hear, as witness the kissing of that filthy cross at the Colosseum. We have been told over and over again in history books that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Anyhow the tower on which this artist is supposed to have twanged the lyre while Rome was in flames is still standing. Nero was one of the natural results of despotism. When a man has absolute power you cannot blame him for enjoying himself. The stories one hears in the churches of Rome would make one smile if the earnest, and at the same time forbidding, countenance of the narrator did not convey a warning of the terrible fate which awaits the man who laughs in Rome while looking at its relics. The stories visitors must be prepared for deal principally with saints, and all are, of course, of a religious character. Near the church of San Giovanni Laterano is a chapel, which is reached by a staircase said to be the very one Christ ascended to the judgment hall in Pilate’s house in Jerusalem. In this church, also, there is a painting, supposed to be a portrait of Christ when 12 years old, and the table at which the disciples partook of the last supper. In the church of S. Prassede is a pillar, pointed out as the one to which Christ was bound when He was flogged. When priests relate these stories I feel uncomfortable. I always expect the collection will be taken next, and that they will use the identical bag of one of the money-changers in the Temple, or a plate which was the one John Baptist’s head was brought in on. Surely the priests do not believe all they say! Would any Roman Catholic, born and bred in England, believe it? I think not.

In taking my walks through Rome and the outskirts, I several times came across small, dark, cavernous openings, and, being without a guide, I was left to conjecture what these were. I was for a long time in ignorance, but at last my guide-book enlightened me. I was told they were the entrances, of which there are over 600, to the marvellous catacombs, or underground burial-places, of Rome. The guide-book further said that over 4,000,000 Romans — citizens, not slaves — are buried in these places. It was absolutely necessary to get a living guide to see these, without I wished to wander about and go mad, perhaps gain notoriety as the hairy man of the catacombs. So I hired a guide, not a professional, but a man who professed to know all those that could be seen, for many of them are blocked with earth, the work of the early Christians, who, during the terrible period of the Diocletian persecution, prevented the profanations of the more sacred sepulchres by filling up the galleries. These have remained filled, but the work of excavation is always going on, for the inscriptions on the tombs are of great interest, and learned societies, and learned and energetic men, work hard in unearthing them. On entering the caverns the daylight illumines a part of the way, but soon a candle is necessary. Openings are made in the roofs where possible, admitting light from above, while on all sides, a great labyrinth of passages spreads out, necessitating great care on the part of the explorers. These passages are scarcely wide enough to allow two men to pass, and the whole scheme seems to have been planned with a view to saving as much space as possible.

The Christian cemeteries are situated chiefly near the great roads leading from the city, and for the most part within a circle of three miles from the walls. The roads themselves, for miles over the: Campagna, are lined with tombs and monuments of the dead. Underneath the walls, some made of plaster, some cut out of the rock itself, are sufficiently high to admit of three rows of tombs, and these are the exact size of the body within. In some the bodies have been chemically treated, and remain exactly as they were interred, but those of the poorer classes, which have not been subjected to this expensive treatment, would not last long, and now nothing save the skeleton remains, but this is perfect. It is said that once the sarcophagus of a notable man was opened, and the body was found, after two thousand years, perfect as when laid there, attired in robes and adorned with jewels. But the intruders were not prepared for the sequel. No; the man did not get up and walk! But he quietly and silently disappeared, and nothing but a white dust and clean skeleton remained. This was caused by exposing the body to the air, which was previously protected from it. It is said the face of the man was calm and dignified and handsome.

On the slab outside each tomb is an inscription, generally very brief, as follows — Lucia, dormit in pace — brief, but the imagination makes it eloquent! Who was she? What was she? Some young girl who had been probably persecuted to death, perhaps had died for her lover, for she lived at a time when death was frequently violent for women as well, as men. How I longed to see the interior of this tomb! Perhaps something was tied round her neck giving fuller particulars of her life! We moved on. Endless rows of tombs, and many more yet to be discovered by those energetic men who went quietly to work, fearful of disturbing their neighbours the skeletons, which on the slightest touch would, crumble into dust, but undisturbed would last, perhaps, another 1,000 years.

Each catacomb has its own name, and many of them bear the names of women. But for Christianity there would have been, no catacombs, as cremation was the ending of the Romans. Sanitary scientists might have a great deal to say against the Catacombs with which we could not but agree, but what would spiritualists say and do in these ancient burial-places? If there is anything truly occult in the faith, it would show itself there. The scientists who spend their time in these vaults ought to command our admiration, for though no practical good can come to the world from their investigations, they might be able to throw a little light on history. And for this they spend their time in that unwholesome place, poring over scarcely intelligible inscriptions, and taking part with eager interest in the works of excavating. As for me, after walking along a few miles of galleries, I was quite ready to enjoy once more a breath of God’s fresh air, and consequently gave the guide orders to return to the mouth of the cave, an order I do not think I could have obeyed myself. The name of the catacomb in which I spent the morning was that of St. Priscilla. The chief entrance of this is most conveniently situated on the Campagna. It is a large, dark, vaulted, passage, over which trees grow in profusion.

No account of Rome would be complete in itself without a view of the modern city. The description given of the ancient city, though brief, touches upon those points which travellers never tire of admiring, but the habits of the people are in themselves worthy of attention. In the year 554 A.D., after having been sacked and partially destroyed by successive hordes of barbarians — Goths and Vandals, Visigoths and Allemanni, savages from Russia, Germany, France, and Spain — who, commencing in a small way, gradually overran the whole empire. After having suffered attack from these tribes Rome reached the lowest stage of its impoverishment. This poverty continued for hundreds of years through the Middle Ages, and was greatly aggravated by the dissensions of the civil and spiritual powers, each anxious to arrogate to itself the entire government of the city. The Popes of Rome, during the Middle Ages, acquired power greater than that of any kings, but this only aroused the jealousy of the aristocracy, to whom should have belonged the government of the city. It is hardly necessary to say that for some hundreds of years the Popes held the entire government of the city and states, and would no doubt have kept it had peace and concord reigned among themselves. But this was not the case, for in the thirteenth century we read of the existence of three rival Popes exercising power at the same time, and having, as their head-quarters the city of Avignon, in France, while their own city was in the hands of revolutionaries.

It is from such pages and experiences as these that Rome has been styled the Eternal City, which cannot be destroyed by man. Men have endeavoured to destroy it more so than any other city in existence, but somehow they have failed. Take, as an example, the Colosseum. This building was perfect, and regularly used up to the eighth century, when Robert Guiscard, an invader, tried to destroy it to prevent its being used as a stronghold by the Romans, but the workmanship was such as resisted his efforts and wearied his patience. It is the patience which is wanted, and it is the lack of this which has over and over again saved Rome from the hands of marauders.

Under the influence of a straight-forward Government, entirely independent of the Papal See, Rome is rapidly becoming stronger, healthier, and not blind to its defects in municipal matters. The rights of the people are respected, and there is being cultivated — a slow process, but a sure one — among the inhabitants of the city, that interest in municipal and social affairs which is necessary if the city is ever to be a prosperous modern town. Old traditions cling to an old people, but modern education, while respecting tradition, will not allow it to hinder the wheel of progress. Modern Rome, though with only as many hundreds of thousands as it once had millions of inhabitants, is growing upon sound principles, and there is little danger of its ever sinking back into that condition it has taken so many hundreds of years to recover from.?


THE vast peninsula which we call India is one of the most remarkable regions of the world. Its earlier history has been lost, but we know that for many ages prior to British occupation it afforded homes for a number of nations, sometimes acknowledging one supreme ruler, and at other periods recognised as independent states. Everything in India speaks of great antiquity. There are cities buried in the dust, the inhabitants of which are utterly forgotten. In some cases other cities, themselves long since decayed, have been built upon their sites. Elsewhere desert sands have swept over them for ages, or hoary forests have grown over their ruins. The early history of the great religions of the country is as obscure as that of the kings and people; but they would appear to have been originally sublime conceptions, which became debased by childish and grotesque superstitions.

Brahmanism is the earliest of the religions which we know as existing in India. The worship appears originally to have been that of one God, known as Brahm or O'm. He was regarded as the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the universe, pervading and governing all things. Thus something resembling the Christian Trinity was conceived, his threefold aspect being distinguished under the names Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Siva, the destroyer. This great faith possessed its sacred books, the Vedas, written in Sanscrit, a language so old that we have no records of the people who spoke it, but which is accepted by scholars as the foundation of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew tongues, and of all the languages spoken by the civilised races of Europe and Asia. As time passed, and the priests of Brahma became the chief depositaries of power and learning, their creed became sadly corrupted. A pantheon of lesser gods was imagined, whose numbers were multiplied until, it is believed, thirty-three millions of deities were blindly worshipped by a credulous people. Some of these gods were men, national heroes for whom no adulation was too exalted, or tyrants whose power and cruelty were feared long after death. The powers of Nature, the sun which ripened the harvests or scorched the pastures, the winds, the rivers, all that could favour the prosperity of man or could overwhelm him in ruin, were accepted as gods. Chrishna or Juggernaut was one of these, and his temple in Orissa was, a century ago, the most celebrated in India. On festivals his image, a hideous idol, was placed on a car and dragged about the country. The deluded people would frequently throw themselves in the way, believing that to be crushed by the sacred car of Juggernaut was a certain passport to Heaven. Mothers would even throw their children in its way, hoping thereby to secure the eternal happiness of their little ones.

The temple of Elephanta, near Bombay, named after the gigantic figure of an elephant, which is one of its chief decorations, is one of the oldest in India. These temples were called pagodas, and were often large and handsome structures with domed roofs. They differed, however, in different parts of the country, and probably also according to the date of their construction. It is said that when Mahmud, one of the successors of Mahomet, invaded India, the priests of Brahma offered to redeem his idol in the temple of Guzerat by paying a ransom of £10,000,000. The conqueror refused, smashed the idol with his axe, and found it stuffed with pearls, rubies, and other precious stones, worth even more than the immense ransom which had been offered.

The Ganges was, and still is, a sacred river among the Brahmins. To bathe in its waters cleanses from all sins; for a corpse to be thrown into the river and there devoured by crocodiles, crows, and fishes ensured the salvation of the dead.

In the religion of the Brahmins was incorporated the ancient doctrine of the transmigration of souls. They believed that every living man had lived before, perhaps many times, and might live many times again upon the earth. The soul now inhabiting a man might previously have lived a bird, beast, or fish. For this reason the stricter believers refused to eat flesh or to kill any living creature. Wild beasts, venomous serpents, birds of prey, noxious insects, were allowed to multiply, lest perchance the soul of an ancestor should be residing in the body of the slain. This belief, however, did not prevent neighbouring States from waging bloody wars against each other.

Out of the Brahmanic faith arose the institution of caste. This was a division of the people into orders, the foremost of which was that of the priesthood, the herdsmen being the lowest. Each caste had its special privileges and duties, and its members pursued the avocation of the caste from father to son without any deviation. No man might marry out of his own caste or eat or associate with persons of lower degree. No one could be advanced into a higher caste, whatever his merits or services. Certain sins, or non-compliance with ordinances such as those mentioned, might cause a man to lose his caste. In some cases he could recover it by penance or by gifts to the priests; in others he forfeited it for ever, and was henceforth a degraded man and an outlaw. These divisions of society were, carried so far that there was a caste of thugs, or professional murderers, and another of harlots and panderers.

Buddhism was originally a reformation of Brahmanism when the great national religion had become corrupted, but it soon came to be regarded as an independent faith. Its origin has been lost in antiquity, some authorities dating it back to 2,000 years before the Christian Era, others saying that it was first promulgated about 594 B.C. Ceylon is generally credited with the origin of Buddhism, though it would be difficult to say why, unless because it is still the popular faith of the inhabitants, or because the ruins of several old Buddhist temples are found in the island. We do not even know whether Buddha was the name of a man, or signified some attribute of Brahm, and became the appellation of the founder before or after his death. The Buddhists believe that Buddha was re-incarnated more than once, as the people slipped back into idolatry, and had to be aroused from their sins. Possibly the date 594 B.C. may be taken as that of his latest manifestation.

Buddhism would appear to have been a beautiful faith before it became corrupted. It taught the necessity for a holy life, and the uselessness of the self-imposed tortures of the Brahmins. But it was vitiated by an imperfect conception of the future, the Nirvana or Heaven of the Buddhists being a condition of perfect rest or quietude scarcely to be distinguished from annihilation. The new faith was very unpopular with the Brahmin priests as tending to diminish the subservience of the people. It was, therefore, much persecuted, and died away gradually through a great part of India. Still, it flourished on the outskirts, and penetrated Thibet, Burmah, and China, in which countries it is still the chief religion. Gradually, however, it has become so utterly corrupted as to be in no way superior to Brahmanism.

About 1,000 years after Christ India was invaded and partially conquered by the Turkmans under their leader Mahmud. The Turkmans had been converted to Mahommedanism, and carried their faith with their empire from the Indus to the Ganges, and gradually south along the west coast of the peninsula. Mahommedanism was itself a loose compound of the tenets of the Hebrews, the Chaldees, and the early Buddhists, grafted upon Arabian superstitions, and moulded to suit the peculiarities of the Arabs and Turkmans. When the choice between death, slavery, and conversion was offered to the natives of India there was little in their old superstitions to tempt them to refuse the safety proffered by the rite of circumcision. Many of them became Mahommedans, and gradually amalgamated with their conquerors. Thus the Mogul Empire was founded by Baber in 1519, which, after flourishing for a period, entered upon that stage of decay which led to the British conquests of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the Mahommedans themselves their religion is called Islamism, which means that its professors bow down to the will of God.

Freed from the idolatry with which it had become encrusted, Brahmanism had, in common with Islamism, the great principle that it is useless to contend against God. Thus both religions came to teach fatalism and supine content with the position in life in which their votaries found themselves. If long droughts bring about famine, if hot seasons bring cholera, if contaminated water breeds typhus, “it is the will of God,” and, therefore, it is no one’s business to collect and preserve the rains when they fall or to cleanse the polluted water-tanks. That the British rulers should do these things is a mystery to the Indian peasantry, a mystery which savours of profanity, but which must yet be taken advantage of when it is done.

Another religion springing from the same source as the others is that of the Guebres [Quebres] or Parsees. The popular idea of the Parsees is that they are fire-worshippers. This charge is repudiated by the Parsees themselves, who say that they worship one supreme God, who pervades everything. They symbolise their deity by the sun, which in Eastern climates has an effect for good or evil more extreme than we can readily understand. The sun shining after the rains produces a rapid and luxuriant growth of vegetation. The green shoot or the brilliant flower appears as if by magic, covering the barren plain. A few years of neglect see an impenetrable forest established where there had been cornfields. The same sun, untempered by the rain, breeds fevers, or sweeps away all traces of vegetable life, destroying the roots of the grasses, and creating a sandy desert.

A tale is told of a Parsee who visited this country. A fashionable lady wished to enter into conversation with him, and began, “In your country they worship the sun, do they not?” Her visitor replied, “And so would you, madam, if you had ever seen it,” meaning to convey that the watery luminary that gives us light is not to be compared with the burning orb of an Indian noon. Thus the sun became with the Quebres the symbol of deity, and fire was regarded as an attribute of the sun. Fire was, therefore, perpetually burning on their altars, but was no further an object of worship than the cross is in our churches.

The Quebre faith originated in Persia, and is said to have been taught by Zoroaster. It never numbered a large proportion of adherents, and was gradually driven eastward under the progress of the Mahommedan conquests. One of its peculiarities was the treatment of the dead, who were neither burned nor buried, but were carried into the mountains, so that their flesh might be picked from their bones by vultures and other birds of prey. In India it never became a great religion, but it is still professed by a few votaries on the western coast of the peninsula.

All these Eastern religions have one great fault; they degrade the position of women. Woman is regarded as the plaything of man, and, at the same time, as his slave. She must toil for her husband if they are poor, and must exist solely for his recreation if they are rich. For a stranger to see her face is a disgrace never to be excused. The man may, however, multiply the number of his wives at his discretion. Nominally, the Mahommedan law permits only four wives; the rest are concubines, but it is a distinction without a difference. If a future life is open to a woman, a point on which in the East there are two opinions, it is still only as the slave of man. The more orthodox Mahommedans and Brahmanists are inclined to deny their future altogether, substituting disembodied spirits as the female companions of the saints in Paradise.

No mention has been made hitherto of Christianity as one of the religions of India. No doubt all the prevailing forms of Christianity are to be found among the natives. In those parts originally occupied by the Portuguese and French the majority of the converts are Romanists. Elsewhere they belong chiefly to the Church of England, the Baptists, or the Wesleyans; but they are everywhere few in numbers and their Christianity is seldom more than nominal. In the hearts of the converts belief in their idols is not often eradicated. Still, the two native religions and their imported rivals, Mahommedanism and Guebreism, have so completely lost all original vitality that they have no hold upon the affections of educated Hindoos. Each has become a loathsome mass of horrible superstition frightful to the ignorant peasant, but ignored by all who pretend to any cultivation. Under the protection of British power Christianising influences may work securely, and may slowly win the hearts of the people. One of the drawbacks to progress is the want of unity among the Christians; and, possibly, the very security referred to may be fraught with the evil that the Church in India cannot offer examples of martyrs who have suffered violence on behalf of their faith.


THE popular idea of the Sultan of Turkey is that he is an irresponsible monarch, absolute in his own dominions, the undisputed head of Mahommedanism, and, finally, a very much married man. In all respects this view of the Turkish ruler is inaccurate. The power of the most absolute monarch is tempered by the danger of insurrection and assassination. The Sultan always has to consider this. So many of his predecessors have come to violent ends that he dare not run counter to the will of his subjects when clearly expressed, he is bound to observe the law of the land, and the precepts of the Koran. When the late Sultan desired to visit the Emperor of the French, he was met by the difficulty that the Mahommedan law permits the ruler to leave the country only when at the head of his army. This trouble was overcome by the courtesy of Napoleon III., who temporarily ceded to Turkey so much of France as the Sultan travelled over from Marseilles to Paris. Of course, the cession was fictitious, but it answered the purpose. The Sultan is nominally absolute in his command over the lives and property of his subjects, but he is perfectly aware that there are limits to their submission.

After the death of the Prophet, the Mahommedan world was distracted by the question, Who was his legitimate successor? The son-in-law, Ali, was for a time set aside as too young and inexperienced; but many believed that he was the lawful Caliph, and a schism grew up which has never been healed. So far as concerns Europe, Africa, Syria, and Arabia, the Sultan is the head of the faith; but in Persia and Afghanistan the Shah of Persia is the recognised successor of Mahomet.

Few persons could claim any intimate knowledge of the private concerns of a Turkish ruler. The present Sultan may have been lawfully married before he anticipated elevation to the throne. But it is exceptional for a Turkish monarch to go through any marriage ceremony. Several centuries ago there was a quarrel between rival Mahommedan kings. They defied each other with an excess of oriental vituperation, in which the fate of the ladies of the royal harems, should they have the misfortune to be captured, was coarsely foreshadowed. The royal ancestor of the Sultan was defeated and made prisoner with his harem. To avoid the possibility of such a catastrophe in future, marriage has since been usually dispensed with. According to Turkish law this does not much matter, as all children are legitimate, while wives and concubines share a life of seclusion and slavery, cheered by frivolous amusements, an abundance of finery, and, it may be, the favour of their lord.

She who first bears a son is allowed a pre-eminence over her companions, and is spoken of by the public as first Sultana. Should the child die, the mother of the next eldest son takes her place. This rule, however, may be set aside by the personal predilection of the Sultan, who has the right to declare any of his sons his heir, and thereby to elevate the mother to priority of rank. One of the consequences of this is that when a Sultan dies his heir usually finds it necessary to strangle all his brothers, so that none may be able to dispute his succession. It will be readily understood that in such a household fraternal affection does not count for much. The instrument used in domestic executions is known as the bow-string, and is a cord that can be tightly twisted by means of a wooden frame. The officer in charge of this duty is called the Kislar Aga, who also has the custody of the private treasure chamber of the Sultan. So far as public needs and private extravagance permit each Sultan tries to fill this treasure chamber, which passes to his successor, and is regarded as a hoard to be resorted to only in cases of emergency.

The palace of the Sultan is called the Seraglio, and is an immense pile of buildings, surrounded by walls, nine miles in circumference. It stands on a promontory, washed on three sides by the sea. There are mosques (Mahommedan churches), large gardens, and accommodation for 20,000 male servants within its walls, besides the monarch’s state, official and private apartments, and the harem or women’s quarter. Officially his court is known as the Sublime Porte. Readers will remember how Boaz sat at the gate of the city and called those who passed to witness his bargain with his kinsman, whereby Ruth became his wife. Porte means gate, and indicates the position taken by the Sultan when, according to the eastern fashion, he personally judges the disputes of his subjects.

The most interesting portion of the Seraglio is the harem, or women’s apartments. No male eye other than that of the Sultan, or, on necessary occasions, the Kislar Aga is allowed to penetrate its mysteries. To the Sultan alone is permitted access to the harems of his subjects, and he has the right to select any unmarried women for his palace. But the rule is that the inmates of his harem are all purchased slaves. Once admitted, they never leave, unless closely guarded and veiled they go to inspect the milliners’ and jewellers’ shops, or, very rarely, visit one of the public mosques. All such relatives and officials as desire to secure the Sultan’s favour are anxious to present him with the most beautiful female slaves they can find. The majority of these are Circassians and Georgians, races which have long been noted for the beauty of their women. When one of the women is sick a physician may attend her, but without seeing her face. She thrusts her arm through a curtain, so that he may feel her pulse.

Occasionally the Sultan leaves his Seraglio to reside for a time in one of his summer palaces, on the European or Asiatic- side of the Bosphorus. On such occasions some of his women attend him. Covered boats come to the steps of the palace. Closely veiled and strictly guarded by eunuchs, the ladies come down the steps and enter the boats, exercising the same precaution when they land. Very few free-born women would care to become the Sultan’s bride on such terms; but freedom is a meaningless term in the ears of Turkish females, who are born only to please their lords, and are doubtful whether they have any share in the Paradise which Mahomet promised to his followers. Still, these women have never been reared to any higher type of life. Music, watching dancing without sharing in it, eating sweets, smoking scented cigarettes form their amusements; bathing and dressing are their serious occupations.

It must not be supposed that the Imperial harem is modelled on those of his subjects. Only the richer classes can afford to buy slaves or indulge in the luxury of polygamy. With them, all free women are married by the imans or priests. The poorer classes are content with one wife only.

The chief minister of the Sultan is the Grand Vizier. He not only advises his master on all questions of policy, but issues the royal orders to the inferior officers. As the Kislar Aga is the representative of the master in the palace, so is the Grand Vizier in all public business. The chiefs of the army and navy come next in estimation. In such matters as do not come under his private observation, the Sultan has to rely upon one or other of these officials for information on every topic of importance to him or to the country. If these four are agreed, they can practically compel their master to adopt their views, because he receives no other suggestions from persons conversant with public business. They, therefore, rule the land, being guided in many cases by personal, considerations. This is the root of that public corruption which causes Turkey to be so unprosperous. If, however, these officials are at variance, their differing reports may enlighten the sovereign, and able Sultans have usually governed by playing off one minister against another, so that he may have something approaching a correct appreciation of the state of affairs.

The capital of the Sultan’s dominions is Constantinople, a noble city built by a Roman emperor on the Golden Horn, an arm of the Bosphorus, said to be broad enough and deep enough to accommodate all the warships of the world. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, built about twelve centuries ago, has become the chief mosque of Islam. On great religious festivals the Sultan goes in state to this mosque, but, except on such occasions, or for his summer visits to his other palaces, he seldom leaves the Seraglio. The dominions have of late been contracted. A great portion of the Balkan Peninsula and some part of Asia Minor had to be surrendered after the last war with Russia; but he still rules over Constantinople and its vicinity, the Holy Land, Syria, the greater part of Asia Minor, and Arabia. He is suzerain of Egypt, from which country he receives a tribute, and has shadowy rights of the same description in the other Mahommedan states of Northern Africa. While his territory is reduced and his indebtedness is increased, it is doubtful whether the Sultan is not now a more powerful potentate than his predecessor was thirty years ago, adversity having compelled his advisers to conform more to Western ideas, reform abuses, and be more careful of the discipline and equipment of the army. The great weakness of his empire is the discontent of his Christian subjects, especially the Armenians, who have been cruelly persecuted by Mahommedan fanatics, the excesses of whom the Sultan has appeared powerless either to prevent or to punish.

Turkey often experiences sudden changes of rulers, due largely to the seclusion in which the royal youths are bred, and the ignorance in which they are kept, both before and after, their accession. In 1876 Sultan Abdul Aziz was deposed by a conspiracy of his ministers, his nephew, Murad V., being made Sultan in his stead. Abdul Aziz was soon afterwards strangled, but by whose hand or orders has never been declared. Murad thought to save himself from a similar fate by causing the more powerful officials to be murdered, but proved himself incapable of reigning, and was in a few months succeeded by the present sovereign, Abdul Hamid, a brother who had escaped slaughter. Abdul Hamid ascended the throne only to find himself involved in an inevitable war with Russia. The event of this war proved that while Turkey was not strong enough to stand alone, she could display more vigour than had been expected. Indeed, for a short period it was doubtful whether the Russian armies would not be overwhelmed. How far Abdul Hamid is to be regarded as personally responsible for the suffering of his Armenian subjects cannot be decided, but their persecution is a blot on his reign which, on the whole, has been more prosperous than seemed at all likely. He has already ruled twenty-five years, which is a long reign in Turkey. A great deal of his unpopularity in this country is due to the action of the Bashi-Bazouks, a body of irregular troops who live more by plunder than by their pay, and whose depredations upon the Armenians have been marked by an excess of cruelty which may possibly have been concealed from the Sultan, and which, in any case, he would probably be powerless to prevent or to punish.

Among the Turks themselves, their ruler is more often called the Padishah than the Sultan. Sultan means mighty. It was originally applied to a ruler subordinate to a king, and is still the designation of the governors of provinces. Padishah is a more exalted title, corresponding rather with the modern emperor or the old Persian King of Kings. The last syllable, shah, is the same as Caesar, the German Kaiser, or the Russian Czar, and is the highest worldly dignity that the tongue of flatterers has yet learned to bestow. The empire over which the Sultan bears sway has been regarded in all ages as among the most favoured regions of the earth, whether as a centre for power, easy commercial communication with Eastern and Western markets, commodious harbours, genial climate, and fertile soil. For more than five hundred years, however, it has been torn by the quarrels between Christians and Mahommedans. Once the Turkish Empire reached the Danube, and appeared likely to absorb Western Europe. Now it exists only because the Christian states cannot decide how it should be replaced if destroyed.

Venality has been the besetting sin of Turkish officials, everything desired, be it dignity in the state, power to extort wealth, or pardon for offences, could be bought at a price. The purchasers never knew how long they might keep possession, so they hastened to recover the cost, and expected profit out of the labour of the peasantry. No country can allow such methods, and continue to prosper. But the Turkish peasant is industrious and thrifty, though ignorant and fanatical. In war he is brave and patient, and little liable to the panics which sometimes disgrace the soldiers of Europe. There is material in Turkey for rebuilding a great empire, if a ruler fitted for the enterprise should appear before the other Powers have made up their minds as to who is to succeed to the inheritance of the Sick Man.


IN the present day wine is almost entirely a European product, and among the wine-producing countries of Europe France holds the premier position — a position which it has attained partly from the nature of its soil and partly from the aptitude of its inhabitants. Hence France is, it need hardly be said, pre-eminently a country where the grape industry is much followed. For wine in the ordinary sense of the term denotes the fermented product of the grape juice. Winemaking is a comparatively easy affair in a country where there is a sufficient supply of perfectly ripe grapes, which is the case in the southern peninsular countries of Europe, whose shores are washed by the blue waters of the Mediterranean - Spain, Italy, and Greece. Here Nature comes to the assistance of man with no niggard hand. In France, however, natural conditions are not altogether so favourable. This, remark applies especially to the northern parts, where the culture of the Vine entails a lot of really hard work upon the horticulturist, who often meets with a very inadequate reward for his toil. It follows, from what has just been stated, that the French are entitled to considerable credit for having developed the industry to the extent to which they have done. The industry has been somewhat affected during the latter part of the century by the presence of the phylloxera, an insect whose depredations are of a ruinous character, and by mildew. However, all things considered, it may still be said that France holds, the foremost place among wine-producing countries for the quantity, quality, and variety of its wines.

The vine originally was brought to “Gaul” — which was the ancient designation of our modern “France” — from Greece, several centuries before the Christian Era. Its first home was naturally on the Mediterranean sea-board — to be precise, in the neighbourhood of what is now Marseilles, Vine-growing and winemaking progressed at first. Later, however, restrictions were placed upon the industry by the Romans, who had extended their dominion over Southern Gaul. This policy was dictated by the desire of the conquerors to develop it in their own country of Italy. The restrictions were maintained with considerable success for several centuries, and were not indeed entirely removed until the latter part of the third century A.D. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus then gave it a fresh impetus by the abolition of what we may term “Protection” in the interests of Italian viticulture. Hence it is not surprising to find that, in the first century A.D., the industry was practically limited to certain districts on the Rhone and the Garonne, but that after the third century it extended itself to the Seine and the Moselle. With regard to the advance northward, it must, however, be borne in mind that this was subject to difficulties of acclimatisation, which were only gradually overcome.

France has many points in its favour where vine-growing is concerned. To begin with, its climate is on the whole a temperate one. The winters are not too cold, nor are the summers characterised by the intense heat and drought which operate so prejudicially upon the vine in more southern countries. The surface of the country is of an undulating character, without being generally mountainous or even hilly, which is necessary for the proper exposure and ripening of the grape under the influence of the sun’s beneficent rays. Those who have visited the vine-growing districts of France, and observed their characteristic features, will be enabled to appreciate the bearing of this upon the question. The properties of the soil, too, are of such a nature as to favour the growth of the vine. Possessed, as it is, of these natural advantages, the grape industry has also acquired valuable support from what is a prominent feature of French social life. The system of land tenure, characterised as it is by a multiplicity of small holdings, is especially favourable to the development of a branch of agriculture which requires minute attention at the hands of those who pursue it.

Granting these advantages, viticulture is, nevertheless, by no means plain sailing throughout. It will, therefore, be appropriate to mention at this point a few of the obstacles against which the vine-grower has to contend. Foremost among these is the phylloxera, a minute insect of American origin, which first appeared in France in the sixties. Its ravages were terrible for several years. Indeed it was feared at one time that the vineyards would be wholly destroyed. Latterly, however, its depredations have been combated with considerable success. Another difficulty is, caused by the presence of the oidium, a germ of fungi, which also made its appearance in the latter part of last century. Mildew not only destroys the grapes, but imparts a taint to wine made from grapes partially affected by it. Hail and frost are also foes to be reckoned with, as is ‘coulure’, which causes the fall of quantities of blossom, and subsequently of the grapes themselves.

Vineyards cover nearly one-twentieth of the surface of France, and are, as may reasonably be inferred, one of the principal sources of its agricultural wealth. The year 1875 was a record year in the history of French viticulture, when the vintage amounted, according to official returns, to 83,632,391 hectolitres, or over 180,000,000 gallons, which was three and a half times that of twelve years later. In the same year (1875) the value of the wines exported stood at 247,000,000 francs, or approximately £9,900,000, out of a total of exports to the value of 3,872,600,000 francs, or approximately £154,904,000.

Turning to the question of what part of France is the seat of the grape industry, it may at once be said that vines can be met with in a large majority of the departments into which the country is now divided. The following are specially noted as centres of cultivation:— Herault, Charante-Inferieure, Gironde, Charante, Gers, Gard, Dordogne, Aud, Var, and Lot-et- Garonne. In the following northern departments the vine is practically non-existent:— Calvados, Cotes-du-Nord, Finisterre, Manche, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Seine-Inferieure, and Somme — only eleven, it will be noted, out of the eighty-seven departments of France.

There are numerous varieties of French wines. It is not surprising to learn that the commoner ones are reserved for home consumption; the better class article finds its way to England, Several of the principal varieties known in England are the Medoc, Sauterne, Champagne, Saumur, Burgundy, and Chablis. The centre of the industry is Medoc, on the banks of the Gironde. The department of Gironde contains approximately 2,500,000 acres, about one-fifth of which are devoted to the vine.

“The vintage in Medoc —” it is stated in an article in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” — “usually commences between the middle and end of September, and lasts from two to three weeks. The process is a very simple one. The grapes are gathered and brought on bullock drays to the press-house; here they are separated from the stalks and placed in vats, where they are allowed to ferment for a period of from seven to fifteen days. As soon as the wine is sufficiently made, it is drawn off into hogsheads and removed to light and airy stores. The first month the bung is put lightly in, and the cask filled up every three or four days; the second month it is fitted more firmly and the cask filled every eight days. In March, the lees having fallen, the first ‘soutirage,’ or drawing off, takes place. A second is made in June, and a third in November, after which the hogsheads are turned on their sides, and the fillings up cease. In the second and following years, after the wine has been removed to dark cellars, two drawings-off suffice, one in spring and the other in autumn. After this, if the wine ferments, it is drawn off in a sulphured cask, and, if necessary, fined with eggs, and again drawn off in a fortnight.”

Sauterne is, strictly speaking, that part of the district of Medoc where the white wines are made. The vintage here is deferred until the later part of the autumn. In this case the grapes are plucked when they have become exceedingly ripe, so much so, indeed, that fermentation is already commencing. The berries are cut off with scissors one by one as they ripen, a process calculated to make the vintage a lengthy one — and possibly somewhat tedious to the vintagers. The wine known as Sauterne, which is the result of a somewhat different process from that which produces Medoc, is described as very luscious and yet very delicate, and as having a special taste, which, while it remains in the mouth, leaves the palate perfectly fresh.

Champagne, so called from the old province of that name, comes principally from the departments of Marne and Haute-Marne. The sparkling article, with which we in England are so familiar, comes from white and red grapes carefully pressed.

A good deal of sparkling white wine also comes from Saumur in the department of Maine-et-Loire. Saumur was introduced into England about a quarter of a century ago. It has since made for itself a good position, due largely, no doubt, to the fact that it is of good quality and of moderate price. It bears a strong resemblance to champagne.

If we except those of Medoc, the wines of Burgundy are perhaps the best red wines known in England. They are the products of Cote-d’Or, Yonne, and Saone-et-Loire.

While speaking of the varieties of wine produced from the grape-vine, we must not omit to mention that brandy is also extensively manufactured from the same source in France, and that a large amount of the spirit finds its way every year to the United Kingdom.

We cannot do better than conclude this article by the subjoined graphic sketch dealing with our subject. It is taken from a book of recent date, entitled “Our Home in Aveyron,” which contains some interesting studies of French country life. The volume is the joint work of Mr. G. Christopher Davies and Mrs. Broughall, and is published by Messrs. William Blackwood and Sons, of London and Edinburgh. Aveyron is, of course, the department of that name, situated in the centre of a great vine country in the valley of the Garonne, and receiving its name from a tributary of the great river of south-western France.

A chapter headed “Vines and Vineyards” contains the following:- “‘If the grapes fail we have nothing.’ So say many of the peasants who, maybe, own no other piece of land than their respective vineyards. They, poor things, have all their eggs in one basket, or nearly so. To them an attack of the blight or phylloxera when the vines are in flower is a great calamity; whilst a heavy thunderstorm is a thing to be dreaded at any period between May and September, but most of all just when the grapes are ripe and the vintage is about to commence.

“Each year, when the short winter is over, the work in the vineyards is begun with great activity. From daybreak till dark people may be seen far up the hillsides engaged in digging, weeding, or in carrying and spreading manure. The loud, cheerful voices of the toilers, and the sharp metallic sound made by the Striking of their pick-like implements against the stony earth, may be- heard on all sides. Sometimes a valley, wide enough at its river or lower end, narrows so much as it gets up into the mountains, that the sound of voices and picks may be heard from one side to another, so that when there is, as often happens, an echo in addition, the result is a regular chorus, quaint, but somewhat confusing. Naturally it is not every valley that has vineyards on both sides, but only those running in certain directions, as a great amount of sunshine and heat is absolutely necessary for the growth of the vines and the perfection of the grapes; those hillsides that are bleak or have a north aspect are never cultivated as vineyards.

“Great quantities of strawberries are grown between the vines. These are of a small kind, somewhat larger than our wild strawberries; they come in season earlier than garden strawberries, and are much prized for their fine flavour.

“The vineyards are, as a rule, kept well manured. In fact, to do any good, they must be, for if one is neglected for a year or two, the vines run wild and cease to bear grapes. American vines have been introduced into a few vineyards which belong to a neighbouring countess. The growth of these vines is being anxiously watched, for they are supposed to be a good sort, and to bear large, well-flavoured grapes, so that their introduction into the neighbourhood may turn out a very good thing for all concerned in the cultivation of vines.

“Of late years the vines in this district have suffered very much from phylloxera, so much so that many of the peasant proprietors have been greatly, impoverished. However, they are all something like English farmers — the weather is always too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet. Crops never are going to be good. ‘We shall have no grapes this year!’ is the usual cry; but, nevertheless, things turn out pretty well, and there are always more grapes than anyone would have thought possible.

“Oh, the loads of manure that the peasants carry up those steep vineyards! They are something dreadful. No wonder that the poor people get a stoop in their shoulders, for they carry the manure up on their heads and shoulders, and the grapes down in the same manner.

“How the poor peasants manage to carry the grapes down from the vineyards is a mystery, but carry them they do, and on their backs too. First the back and shoulders are padded, a sack filled with hay or straw being thrown across the shoulders. The grapes are carried in wooden barrels which are steadied over the shoulders by means of a long pole. These barrels are flat on the one side, and this flat part rests against the back of the bearer; the pole goes through the centre of the barrel, so that the weight is equally distributed above and below it. The vineyards are so steep that the grape-bearers seem to come down them sliding on the heels of their wooden sabots. In the valley below a cart stands, and in this cart the larger tubs for holding the grapes are placed. As each load of grapes is brought down it is emptied into the large tub, until that is full, when the oxen are harnessed to the cart, and the load of fruit is carried away to the wine-press.

“Many of the smaller proprietors cannot afford to have wine-presses of their own, and so they must either send their grapes to a neighbour’s press, or, as is more often the case, press them with their feet.

“We sent our servant one day to a neighbouring proprietor’s on some small errand. She found the door closed, and a voice inside the house called out that she must wait awhile, as all the inhabitants were busy washing their feet preparatory to pressing out the wine.

“Clean white stockings are worn during the operation; but notwithstanding this we always take good care to buy our wine from those proprietors whom we know to possess wine-presses.

“Phosphate is much prized as a suitable manure for the vineyards, and lime is now used by some proprietors with great success. Of course when lime is used a great quantity of manure must be used too, to counteract the effect of the lime, which, employed by itself, would simply extract a great amount of goodness from the soil without giving anything in return. But as peasant proprietors own their land there is no danger that they will take all out of it and put nothing in. It is naturally to their own interest to keep it in a good condition, and this by dint of great and untiring industry they certainly contrive to do.

“The poles to which the vines are tied and trained are placed at equal distances of one metre apart in every direction. Thus the Government officials know by measuring the length and breadth of a vineyard how many vines are grown in it, and taxes are levied accordingly. This methodical arrangement of the vines is also useful when Government statistics are made, and an exact record is kept of the number of vines in France. On Midsummer Eve each year bonfires are lighted in the vineyards to frighten away the devil, who is supposed to do great harm to the vines in various ways, if not kept at a respectful distance.”