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Title: Greater Britain
       A Record of Travel in English-Speaking Countries During 1866-7

Author: Charles Wentworth Dilke

Release Date: January 1, 2013 [EBook #41755]

Language: English

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A CINGHALESE GENTLEMAN.
A CINGHALESE GENTLEMAN.

VIEW FROM THE BULLER, NEW ZEALAND.
VIEW FROM THE BULLER, NEW ZEALAND.

GREATER BRITAIN.

A RECORD OF TRAVEL

IN

ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES

DURING 1866-7.


BY

CHARLES WENTWORTH DILKE.

TWO VOLUMES IN ONE.
W I T H   M A P S   A N D   I L L U S T R A T I O N S.

PHILADELPHIA:
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO.
1869.

 

 

TO

M Y   F A T H E R

I   D e d i c a t e

THIS BOOK.

C. W. D.

 

 

PREFACE.

In 1866 and 1867, I followed England round the world: everywhere I was in English-speaking, or in English-governed lands. If I remarked that climate, soil, manners of life, that mixture with other peoples had modified the blood, I saw, too, that in essentials the race was always one.

The idea which in all the length of my travels has been at once my fellow and my guide—a key wherewith to unlock the hidden things of strange new lands—is a conception, however imperfect, of the grandeur of our race, already girding the earth, which it is destined, perhaps, eventually to overspread.

In America, the peoples of the world are being fused together, but they are run into an English mould: Alfred‘s laws and Chaucer‘s tongue are theirs whether they would or no. There are men who say that Britain in her age will claim the glory of having planted greater Englands across the seas. They fail to perceive that she has done more than found plantations of her own—that she has imposed her institutions upon the offshoots of Germany, of Ireland, of Scandinavia, and of Spain. Through America, England is speaking to the world.

Sketches of Saxondom may be of interest even upon humbler grounds: the development of the England of Elizabeth is to be found, not in the Britain of Victoria, but in half the habitable globe. If two small islands are by courtesy styled “Great,” America, Australia, India, must form a Greater Britain.

C. W. D.

76 Sloane Street, S. W.
1st November, 1868.

CONTENTS

OF

THE FIRST VOLUME.

PART I.
CHAPTER   PAGE
I.VIRGINIA3
II.THE NEGRO16
III.THE SOUTH27
IV.THE EMPIRE STATE33
V.CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT43
VI.CANADA55
VII.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN69
VIII.THE PACIFIC RAILROAD78
IX.OMPHALISM86
X.LETTER FROM DENVER91
XI.RED INDIA102
XII.COLORADO110
XIII.ROCKY MOUNTAINS115
XIV.BRIGHAM YOUNG122
XV.MORMONDOM127
XVI.WESTERN EDITORS131
XVII.UTAH144
XVIII.NAMELESS ALPS152
XIX.VIRGINIA CITY166
XX.EL DORADO179
XXI.LYNCH LAW190
XXII.GOLDEN CITY207
XXIII.LITTLE CHINA218
XXIV.CALIFORNIA227
XXV.MEXICO233
XXVI.REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT239
XXVII.BROTHERS249
XXVIII.AMERICA258
PART II.
I.PITCAIRN ISLAND271
II.HOKITIKA278
III.POLYNESIANS293
IV.PAREWANUI PAH299
V.THE MAORIES319
VI.THE TWO FLIES328
VII.THE PACIFIC334
APPENDIX.
A MAORI DINNER339

CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.

PART III.
CHAPTER   PAGE
I.SYDNEY7
II.RIVAL COLONIES15
III.VICTORIA22
IV.SQUATTER ARISTOCRACY38
V.COLONIAL DEMOCRACY44
VI.PROTECTION55
VII.LABOR65
VIII.WOMAN75
IX.VICTORIAN PORTS79
X.TASMANIA83
XI.CONFEDERATION94
XII.ADELAIDE98
XIII.TRANSPORTATION109
XIV.AUSTRALIA123
XV.COLONIES130
PART IV.
I.MARITIME CEYLON141
II.KANDY154
III.MADRAS TO CALCUTTA161
IV.BENARES171
V.CASTE178
VI.MOHAMMEDAN CITIES191
VII.SIMLA202
VIII.COLONIZATION217
IX.THE “GAZETTE”224
X.UMRITSUR233
XI.LAHORE245
XII.OUR INDIAN ARMY249
XIII.RUSSIA255
XIV.NATIVE STATES267
XV.SCINDE280
XVI.OVERLAND ROUTES289
XVII.BOMBAY298
XVIII.THE MOHURRUM305
XIX.ENGLISH LEARNING312
XX.INDIA320
XXI.DEPENDENCIES333
XXII.FRANCE IN THE EAST339
XXIII.THE ENGLISH346

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

VOLUME I.
PAGE
VIEW FROM THE BULLER Frontispiece.
A CINGHALESE GENTLEMAN Frontispiece.
PROFILE OF “JOE SMITH”150
FULL FACE OF “JOE SMITH”150
PORTER ROCKWELL154
FRIDAY‘S STATION—VALLEY OF LAKE TAHOE176
TEAMING UP THE GRADE AT SLIPPERY FORD, IN THE SIERRA178
VIEW ON THE AMERICAN RIVER—THE PLACE WHERE GOLD WAS FIRST FOUND180
THE BRIDAL VEIL FALL, YOSEMITE VALLEY228
EL CAPITAN, YOSEMITE VALLEY228
MAPS.
ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC RAILROAD78
LEAVENWORTH TO SALT LAKE CITY92
SALT LAKE CITY TO SAN FRANCISCO158
NEW ZEALAND278
VOLUME II.
THE OLD AND THE NEW: BUSH SCENERY—COLLINS STREET EAST, MELBOURNE24
GOVERNOR DAVEY‘S PROCLAMATION86
MAPS.
AUSTRALIA AND TASMANIA16
OVERLAND ROUTES1340290

PART I.

AMERICA.

 

 

G R E A T E R   B R I T A I N.

CHAPTER I.

VIRGINIA.

FROM the bows of the steamer Saratoga, on the 20th June, 1866, I caught sight of the low works of Fort Monroe, as, threading her way between the sand-banks of Capes Charles and Henry, the ship pressed on, under sail and steam, to enter Chesapeake Bay.

Our sudden arrival amid shoals of sharks and kingfish, the keeping watch for flocks of canvas-back ducks, gave us enough and to spare of idle work till we fully sighted the Yorktown peninsula, overgrown with ancient memories—ancient for America. Three towns of lost grandeur, or their ruins, stand there still. Williamsburg, the former capital, graced even to our time by the palaces where once the royal governors held more than regal state; Yorktown, where Cornwallis surrendered to the continental troops; Jamestown, the earliest settlement, founded in 1607, thirteen years before old Governor Winthrop fixed the site of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

A bump against the pier of Fort Monroe soon roused us from our musings, and we found ourselves invaded by a swarm of stalwart negro troopers, clothed in the cavalry uniform of the United States, who boarded us for the mails. Not a white man save those we brought was to be seen upon the pier, and the blazing sun made me thankful that I had declined an offered letter to Jeff. Davis.

Pushing off again into the stream, we ran the gantlet of the Rip-Raps passage, and made for Norfolk, having on our left the many exits of the Dismal Swamp Canal. Crossing Hampton Roads—a grand bay with pleasant grassy shores, destined one day to become the best known, as by nature it is the noblest, of Atlantic ports—we nearly ran upon the wrecks of the Federal frigates Cumberland and Congress, sunk by the rebel ram Merrimac in the first great naval action of the war; but soon after, by a sort of poetic justice, we almost drifted into the black hull of the Merrimac herself. Great gangs of negroes were laboring laughingly at the removal, by blasting, of the sunken ships.

When we were securely moored at Norfolk pier, I set off upon an inspection of the second city of Virginia. Again not a white man was to be seen, but hundreds of negroes were working in the heat, building, repairing, road-making, and happily chattering the while. At last, turning a corner, I came on a hotel, and, as a consequence, on a bar and its crowd of swaggering whites—“Johnny Rebs” all, you might see by the breadth of their brims, for across the Atlantic a broad brim denotes less the man of peace than the ex-member of a Southern guerrilla band, Morgan‘s, Mosby‘s, or Stuart‘s. No Southerner will wear the Yankee “stove-pipe” hat; a Panama or Palmetto for him, he says, though he keeps to the long black coat that rules from Maine to the Rio Grande.

These Southerners were all alike—all were upright, tall, and heavily moustached; all had long black hair and glittering eyes, and I looked instinctively for the baldric and rapier. It needed no second glance to assure me that as far as the men of Norfolk were concerned, the saying of our Yankee skipper was not far from the truth: “The last idea that enters the mind of a Southerner is that of doing work.”

Strangers are scarce in Norfolk, and it was not long before I found an excuse for entering into conversation with the “citizens.” My first question was not received with much cordiality by my new acquaintances. “How do the negroes work? Wall, we spells nigger with two ‘g‘s,’ I reckon.” (Virginians, I must explain, are used to “reckon” as much as are New Englanders to “guess,” while Western men “calculate” as often as they cease to swear.) “How does the niggers work? Wall, niggers is darned fools, certain, but they ain‘t quite sich fools as to work while the Yanks will feed ’em. No, sir, not quite sich fools as that.” Hardly deeming it wise to point to the negroes working in the sun-blaze within a hundred yards, while we sat rocking ourselves in the veranda of the inn, I changed my tack, and asked whether things were settling down in Norfolk. This query soon led my friends upon the line I wanted them to take, and in five minutes we were well through politics, and plunging into the very war. “You‘re a Britisher. Now, all that they tell you‘s darned lies. We‘re just as secesh as we ever was, only so many‘s killed that we can‘t fight—that‘s all, I reckon.” “We ain‘t going to fight the North and West again,” said an ex-colonel of rebel infantry; “next time we fight, ’twill be us and the West against the Yanks. We‘ll keep the old flag then, and be darned to them.” “If it hadn‘t been for the politicians, we shouldn‘t have seceded at all, I reckon: we should just have kept the old flag and the constitution, and the Yanks would have seceded from us. Reckon we‘d have let ’em go.” “Wall, boys, s‘pose we liquor?” closed in the colonel, shooting out his old quid, and filling in with another. “We‘d have fought for a lifetime if the cussed Southerners hadn‘t deserted like they did.” I asked who these “Southerners” were to whom such disrespect was being shown. “You didn‘t think Virginia was a Southern State over in Britain, did you? ’cause Virginia is a border State, sir. We didn‘t go to secede at all; it was them blasted Southerners that brought it on us. First they wouldn‘t give a command to General Robert E. Lee, then they made us do all the fighting for ’em, and then, when the pinch came, they left us in the lurch. Why, sir, I saw three Mississippi regiments surrender without a blow—yes, sir: that‘s right down good whisky; jess you sample it.” Here the steam-whistle of the Saratoga sounded with its deep bray. “Reckon you‘ll have to hurry up to make connections,” said one of my new friends, and I hurried off, not without a fear lest some of the group should shoot after me, to avenge the affront of my quitting them before the mixing of the drinks. They were but a pack of “mean whites,” “North Carolina crackers,” but their views were those which I found dominant in all ranks at Richmond, and up the country in Virginia.

After all, the Southern planters are not “The South,” which for political purposes is composed of the “mean whites,” of the Irish of the towns, and of the Southwestern men—Missourians, Kentuckians, and Texans—fiercely anti-Northern, without being in sentiment what we should call Southern, certainly not representatives of the “Southern Chivalry.” The “mean whites,” or “poor trash,” are the whites who are not planters—members of the slaveholding race who never held a slave—white men looked down upon by the negroes. It is a necessary result of the despotic government of one race by another that the poor members of the dominant people are universally despised: the “destitute Europeans” of Bombay, the “white loafers” of the Punjaub, are familiar cases. Where slavery exists, the “poor trash” class must inevitably be both large and wretched: primogeniture is necessary to keep the plantations sufficiently great to allow for the payment of overseers and the supporting in luxury of the planter family, and younger sons and their descendants are not only left destitute, but debarred from earning their bread by honest industry, for in a slave country labor is degrading.

The Southern planters were gentlemen, possessed of many aristocratic virtues, along with every aristocratic vice; but to each planter there were nine “mean whites,” who, though grossly ignorant, full of insolence, given to the use of the knife and pistol upon the slightest provocation, were, until the election of Lincoln to the presidency, as completely the rulers of America as they were afterward the leaders of the rebellion.

At sunset we started up the James on our way to City Point and Richmond, sailing almost between the very masts of the famous rebel privateer the Florida, and seeing her as she lay under the still, gray waters. She was cut out from a Brizilian port, and when claimed by the imperial government, was to have been at once surrendered. While the dispatches were on their way to Norfolk, she was run into at her moorings by a Federal gunboat, and filled and sank directly. Friends of the Confederacy have hinted that the collision was strangely opportune; nevertheless, the fact remains that the commander of the gunboat was dismissed the navy for his carelessness.

The twilight was beyond description lovely. The change from the auks and ice-birds of the Atlantic to the blue-birds and robins of Virginia was not more sudden than that from winter to tropical warmth and sensuous indolence; but the scenery, too, of the river is beautiful in its very changelessness. Those who can see no beauty but in boldness might call the James as monotonous as the lower Loire.

After weeks of bitter cold, warm evenings favor meditation. The soft air, the antiquity of the forest, the languor of the sunset breeze, all dispose to dream and sleep. That oak has seen Powhatan; the founders of Jamestown may have pointed at that grand old sycamore. In this drowsy humor, we sighted the far-famed batteries of Newport News, and turning-in to berth or hammock, lay all night at City Point, near Petersburg.

A little before sunrise we weighed again, and sought a passage through the tremendous Confederate “obstructions.” Rows of iron skeletons, the frame-works of the wheels of sunken steamers, showed above the stream, casting gaunt shadows westward, and varied only by here and there a battered smoke-stack or a spar. The whole of the steamers that had plied upon the James and the canals before the war were lying here in rows, sunk lengthwise along the stream. Two in the middle of each row had been raised to let the government vessels pass, but in the heat-mist and faint light the navigation was most difficult. For five and twenty miles the rebel forts were as thick as the hills and points allowed; yet, in spite of booms and bars, of sunken ships, of batteries and torpedoes, the Federal monitors once forced their way to Fort Darling in the outer works of Richmond. I remembered these things a few weeks later, when General Grant‘s first words to me at Washington were: “Glad to meet you. What have you seen?” “The Capitol.” “Go at once and see the Monitors.” He afterward said to me, in words that photograph not only the Monitors, but Grant: “You can batter away at those things for a month, and do no good.”

At Dutch Gap we came suddenly upon a curious scene. The river flowed toward us down a long, straight reach, bounded by a lofty hill crowned with tremendous earthworks; but through a deep trench or cleft, hardly fifty yards in length, upon our right, we could see the stream running with violence in a direction parallel with our course. The hills about the gully were hollowed out into caves and bomb-proofs, evidently meant as shelters from vertical fire, but the rough graves of a vast cemetery showed that the protection was sought in vain. Forests of crosses of unpainted wood rose upon every acre of flat ground. On the peninsula, all but made an island by the cleft, was a grove of giant trees, leafless, barkless, dead, and blanched by a double change in the level of the stream. There is no sight so sad as that of a drowned forest, with a turkey-buzzard on each bough. On the bank upon our left was an iron scaffold, eight or ten stories high,—“Butler‘s Lookout,” as the cleft was “Butler‘s Dutch Gap Canal.” The canal, unfinished in war, is now to be completed at State expense for purposes of trade.

As we rounded the extremity of the peninsula an eagle was seen to light upon a tree. From every portion of the ship—main deck, hurricane deck, lower deck ports—revolvers, ready capped and loaded, were brought to bear upon the bird, which sheered off unharmed amid a storm of bullets. After this incident, I was careful in my political discussions with my shipmates; disarmament in the Confederacy had clearly not been extended to private weapons.

The outer and inner lines of fortifications passed, we came in view of a many-steepled town, with domes and spires recalling Oxford, hanging on a bank above a crimson-colored foaming stream. In ten minutes we were alongside the wharf at Richmond, and in half an hour safely housed in the “Exchange Hotel,” kept by the Messrs. Carrington, of whom the father was a private, the son a colonel, in the rebel volunteers.

The next day, while the works and obstructions on the James were still fresh in my mind, I took train to Petersburg, the city the capture of which by Grant was the last blow struck by the North at the melting forces of the Confederacy.

The line showed the war: here and there the track, torn up in Northern raids, had barely been repaired; the bridges were burnt and broken; the rails worn down to an iron thread. The joke “on board,” as they say here for “in the train,” was that the engine-drivers down the line are tolerably cute men, who, when the rails are altogether worn away, understand how to “go it on the bare wood,” and who at all times “know where to jump.”

From the window of the car we could see that in the country there were left no mules, no horses, no roads, no men. The solitude is not all owing to the war: in the whole five and twenty miles from Richmond to Petersburg there was before the war but a single station; in New England your passage-card often gives a station in every two miles. A careful look at the underwood on either side the line showed that this forest is not primeval, that all this country had once been plowed.

Virginia stands first among the States for natural advantages: in climate she is unequaled; her soil is fertile; her mineral wealth in coal, copper, gold, and iron enormous, and well placed; her rivers good, and her great harbor one of the best in the world. Virginia has been planted more than two hundred and fifty years, and is as large as England, yet has a free population of only a million. In every kind of production she is miserably inferior to Missouri or Ohio, in most, inferior also to the infant States of Michigan and Illinois. Only a quarter of her soil is under cultivation, to half that of poor, starved New England, and the mines are deserted which were worked by the very Indians who were driven from the land as savages a hundred years ago.

There is no surer test of the condition of a country than the state of its highways. In driving on the main roads round Richmond, in visiting the scene of McClellan‘s great defeat on the Chickahominy at Mechanicsville and Malvern Hill, I myself, and an American gentleman who was with me, had to get out and lay the planks upon the bridges, and then sit upon them, to keep them down while the black coachman drove across. The best roads in Virginia are but ill kept “corduroys;” but, bad as are these, “plank roads” over which artillery have passed, knocking out every other plank, are worse by far; yet such is the main road from Richmond toward the west.

There is not only a scarcity of roads, but of railroads. A comparison of the railway system of Illinois and Indiana with the two lines of Kentucky or the one of Western Virginia or Louisiana, is a comparison of the South with the North, of slavery with freedom. Virginia shows already the decay of age, but is blasted by slavery rather than by war.

Passing through Petersburg, the streets of which were gay with the feathery-brown blooms of the Venetian sumach, but almost deserted by human beings, who have not returned to the city since they were driven out by the shot and shell of which their houses show the scars, we were soon in the rebel works. There are sixty miles of these works in all, line within line, three deep: alternations of sand-pits and sand-heaps, with here and there a tree-trunk pierced for riflemen, and everywhere a double row of chevaux de frise. The forts nearest this point were named by their rebel occupants Fort Hell and Fort Damnation. Tremendous works, but it needed no long interview with Grant to understand their capture. I had not been ten minutes in his office at Washington before I saw that the secret of his unvarying success lay in his unflinching determination: there is pith in the American conceit which reads in his initials, “U. S. G.,” “unconditional-surrender Grant.”

The works defending Richmond, hardly so strong as those of Petersburg, were attacked in a novel manner in the third year of the war. A strong body of Federal cavalry on a raid, unsupported by infantry or guns, came suddenly by night upon the outer lines of Richmond on the west. Something had led them to believe that the rebels were not in force, and with the strange aimless daring that animated both parties during the rebellion, they rode straight in along the winding road, unchallenged, and came up to the inner lines. There they were met by a volley which emptied a few saddles, and they retired, without even stopping to spike the guns in the outer works. Had they known enough of the troops opposed to them to have continued to advance, they might have taken Richmond, and held it long enough to have captured the rebel president and senate, and burned the great iron-works and ships. The whole of the rebel army had gone north, and even the home guard was camped out on the Chickahominy. The troops who fired the volley were a company of the “iron-works battalion,” boys employed at the founderies, not one of whom had ever fired a rifle before this night. They confessed themselves that “one minute more, and they‘d have run;” but the volley just stopped the enemy in time.

The spot where we first struck the rebel lines was that known as the Crater—the funnel-shaped cavity formed when Grant sprang his famous mine: 1500 men are buried in the hollow itself, and the bones of those smothered by the falling earth are working through the soil: 5000 negro troops were killed in this attack, and are buried round the hollow where they died, fighting as gallantly as they fought everywhere throughout the war. It is a singular testimony to the continuousness of the fire, that the still remaining subterranean passages show that in countermining the rebels came once within three feet of the mine, yet failed to hear the working parties. Thousands of old army shoes were lying on the earth, and negro boys were digging up bullets for old lead.

Within eighty yards of the Crater are the Federal investing lines, on which the trumpet-flower of our gardens was growing wild in deep rich masses. The negroes told me not to gather it, because they believe it scalds the hand. They call it “poison plant,” or “blister weed.” The blue-birds and scarlet tannagers were playing about the horn-shaped flowers.

Just within Grant‘s earthworks are the ruins of an ancient church, built, it is said, with bricks that were brought by the first colonists from England in 1614. About Norfolk, about Petersburg, and in the Shenandoah Valley, you cannot ride twenty miles through the Virginian forest without bursting in upon some glade containing a quaint old church, or a creeper-covered roofless palace of the Culpeppers, the Randolphs, or the Scotts. The county names have in them all a history. Taking the letter “B” alone, we have Barbour, Bath, Bedford, Berkeley, Boone, Botetourt, Braxton, Brooke, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham. A dozen counties in the State are named from kings or princes. The slaveowning cavaliers whose names the remainder bear are the men most truly guilty of the late attempt made by their descendants to create an empire founded on disloyalty and oppression; but within sight of this old church of theirs at Petersburg, thirty-three miles of Federal outworks stand as a monument of how the attempt was crushed by the children of their New England brother-colonists.

The names of streams and hamlets in Virginia have often a quaint English ring. On the Potomac, near Harper‘s Ferry, I once came upon “Sir John‘s Run.” Upon my asking a tall, gaunt fellow, who was fishing, whether this was the spot on which the Knight of Windsor “larded the lean earth,” I got for sole answer: “Wall, don‘t know ’bout that, but it‘s a mighty fine spot for yellow-fin trout.” The entry to Virginia is characteristic. You sail between capes named from the sons of James I., and have fronting you the estuaries of two rivers called after the King and the Duke of York.

The old “F. F. V.’s,” the first families of Virginia, whose founders gave these monarchic names to the rivers and counties of the State, are far off now in Texas and California—those, that is, which were not extinct before the war. The tenth Lord Fairfax keeps a tiny ranch near San Francisco; some of the chief Denmans are also to be found in California. In all such cases of which I heard, the emigration took place before the war; Northern conquest could not be made use of as a plea whereby to escape the reproaches due to the slaveowning system. There is a stroke of justice in the fact that the Virginian oligarchy have ruined themselves in ruining their State; but the gaming hells of Farobankopolis, as Richmond once was called, have much for which to answer.

When the “burnt district” comes to be rebuilt, Richmond will be the most beautiful of all the Atlantic cities; while the water-power of the rapids of the James, and a situation at the junction of canal and river, secure for it a prosperous future.

The superb position of the State-house (which formed the rebel capitol), on the brow of a long hill, whence it overhangs the city and the James, has in it something of satire. The Parliament-house of George Washington‘s own State, the State-house, contains the famed statue set up by the general assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to the hero‘s memory. Without the building stands the still more noteworthy bronze statue of the first President, erected jointly by all the States in the then Union. That such monuments should overlook the battle-fields of the war provoked by the secession from the Union of Washington‘s loved Virginia, is a fact full of the grim irony of history.

Hollywood, the cemetery of Richmond, is a place full of touching sad suggestion, and very beautiful, with deep shades and rippling streams. During the war, there were hospitals in Richmond for 20,000 men, and “always full,” they say. The Richmond men who were killed in battle were buried where they fell; but 8000 who died in hospital are buried here, and over them is placed a wooden cross, with the inscription in black paint, “Dead, but not forgotten.” In another spot lie the Union dead, under the shadow of the flag for which they died.

From Monroe‘s tomb the evening view is singularly soft and calm; the quieter and calmer for the drone in which are mingled the trills of the mocking-bird, the hoarse croaking of the bull-frog, the hum of the myriad fire-flies, that glow like summer lightning among the trees, the distant roar of the river, of which the rich red water can still be seen, beaten by the rocks into a rosy foam.

With the moment‘s chillness of the sunset breeze, the golden glory of the heavens fades into gray, and there comes quickly over them the solemn blueness of the Southern night. Thoughts are springing up of the many thousand unnamed graves, where the rebel soldiers lie unknown, when the Federal drums in Richmond begin sharply beating the rappel.

CHAPTER II.

THE NEGRO.

IN the back country of Virginia, and on the borders of North Carolina, it becomes clear that our common English notions of the negro and of slavery are nearer the truth than common notions often are. The London Christy Minstrels are not more given to bursts of laughter of the form “Yah! yah!” than are the plantation hands. The negroes upon the Virginia farms are not maligned by those who represent them as delighting in the contrasts of crimson and yellow, or emerald and sky-blue. I have seen them on a Sunday afternoon, dressed in scarlet waistcoats and gold-laced cravats, returning hurriedly from “meetin’,” to dance break-downs, and grin from ear to ear for hours at a time. What better should we expect from men to whom until just now it was forbidden, under tremendous penalties, to teach their letters?

Nothing can force the planters to treat negro freedom save from the comic side. To them the thing is too new for thought, too strange for argument; the ridiculous lies on the surface, and to this they turn as a relief. When I asked a planter how the blacks prospered under freedom, his answer was, “Ours don‘t much like it. You see, it necessitates monogamy. If I talk about the ‘responsibilities of freedom,’ Sambo says, ‘Dunno ’bout that; please, mass’ George: me want two wife.’” Another planter tells me, that the only change he can see in the condition of the negroes since they have been free is that formerly the supervision of the overseer forced them occasionally to be clean, whereas now nothing on earth can make them wash. He says that, writing lately to his agent, he received an answer to which there was the following postscript: “You ain‘t sent no sope. You had better send sope: niggers is certainly needing sope.”

It is easy to treat the negro question in this way; easy, on the other hand, to assert that since history fails us as a guide to the future of the emancipated blacks, we should see what time will bring, and meanwhile set down negroes as a monster class of which nothing is yet known, and, like the compilers of the Catalan map, say of places of which we have no knowledge, “Here be giants, cannibals, and negroes.” As long as we possess Jamaica, and are masters upon the African west coast, the negro question is one of moment to ourselves. It is one, too, of mightier import, for it is bound up with the future of the English in America. It is by no means a question to be passed over as a joke. There are five millions of negroes in the United States; juries throughout ten States of the Union are mainly chosen from the black race. The matter is not only serious, but full of interest, political, ethnological, historic.

In the South you must take nothing upon trust; believe nothing you are told. Nowhere in the world do “facts” appear so differently to those who view them through spectacles of yellow or of rose. The old planters tell you that all is ruin,—that they have but half the hands they need, and from each hand but a half day‘s work: the new men, with Northern energy and Northern capital, tell you that they get on very well.

The old Southern planters find it hard to rid themselves of their traditions; they cannot understand free blacks, and slavery makes not only the slaves but the masters shiftless. They have no cash, and the Metayer system gives rise to the suspicion of some fraud, for the negroes are very distrustful of the honesty of their former masters.

The worst of the evils that must inevitably grow out of the sudden emancipation of millions of slaves have not shown themselves as yet, in consequence of the great amount of work that has to be done in the cities of the South, in repairing the ruin caused during the war by fire and want of care, and in building places of business for the Northern capitalists. The negroes of Virginia and North Carolina have flocked down to the towns and ports by the thousand, and find in Norfolk, Richmond, Wilmington, and Fort Monroe employment for the moment. Their absence from the plantations makes labor dear up country, and this in itself tempts the negroes who remain on land to work sturdily for wages. Seven dollars a month—at the rate equal to one pound—with board and lodging, were being paid to black field hands on the corn and tobacco farms near Richmond. It is when the city works are over that the pressure will come, and it will probably end in the blacks largely pushing northward, and driving the Irish out of hotel service at New York and Boston, as they have done in Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Already the negroes are beginning to ask for land, and they complain loudly that none of the confiscated lands have been assigned to them. “Ef yer dun gib us de land, reckon de ole massas ’ll starb de niggahs,” was a plain, straightforward summary of the negro view of the negro question, given me by a white-bearded old “uncle” in Richmond, and backed by every black man within hearing in a chorus of “Dat‘s true, for shore;” but I found up the country that the planters are afraid to let the negroes own or farm for themselves the smallest plot of land, for fear that they should sell ten times as much as they grew, stealing their “crop” from the granaries of their employers.

At a farm near Petersburg, owned by a Northern capitalist, 1000 acres, which before emancipation had been tilled by one hundred slaves, now needed, I was told, but forty freedmen for their cultivation; but when I reached the place, I found that the former number included old people and women, while the forty were all hale men. The men were paid upon the tally system. A card was given them for each day‘s work, which was accepted at the plantation store in payment for goods supplied, and at the end of the month money was paid for the remaining tickets. The planters say that the field hands will not support their old people; but this means only that, like white folk, they try to make as much money as they can, and know that if they plead the wants of their wives and children, the whites will keep their aged people.

That the negro slaves were lazy, thriftless, unchaste, and thieves, is true; but it is as slaves, and not as negroes, that they were all these things; and, after all, the effects of slavery upon the slave are less terrible than its effects upon the master. The moral condition to which the planter class had been brought by slavery, shows out plainly in the speeches of the rebel leaders. Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, declared in 1861 that “Slavery is the natural and moral condition of the negro.... I cannot permit myself to doubt,” he went on, “the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world ... negro slavery is in its infancy.”

There is reason to believe that the American negroes will justify the hopes of their friends; they have made the best of every chance that has been given them as yet; they were good soldiers, they are eager to learn their letters, they are steady at their work: in Barbadoes they are industrious and well conducted; in La Plata they are exemplary citizens. In America the colored laborer has had no motive to be industrious.

General Grant assured me of the great aptness at soldiering shown by the negro troops. In battle they displayed extraordinary courage, but if their officers were picked off they could not stand a charge; no more, he said, could their Southern masters. The power of standing firm after the loss of leaders is possessed only by regiments where every private is as good as his captain and colonel, such as the Northwestern and New England volunteers.

Before I left Richmond I had one morning found my way into a school for the younger blacks. There were as many present as the forms would hold—sixty, perhaps, in all—and three wounded New England soldiers, with pale, thin faces, were patiently teaching them to write. The boys seemed quick and apt enough, but they were very raw—only a week or two in the school. Since the time when Oberlin first proclaimed the potential equality of the race by admitting negroes as freely as white men and women to the college, the negroes have never been backward to learn.

It must not be supposed that the negro is wanting in abilities of a certain kind. Even in the imbecility of the Congo dance we note his unrivaled mimetic powers. The religious side of the negro character is full of weird suggestiveness; but superstition, everywhere the handmaid of ignorance, is rife among the black plantation hands. It is thought that the punishment with which the shameful rites of Obi-worship have been visited has proved, even in the City of New Orleans, insufficient to prevent them. Charges of witchcraft are as common in Virginia as in Orissa; in the Carolinas as in Central India the use of poison is often sought to work out the events foretold by some noted sorceress. In no direction can the matter be followed out to its conclusions without bringing us face to face with the sad fact that the faults of the plantation negro are every one of them traceable to the vices of the slavery system, and that the Americans of to-day are suffering beyond measure for evils for which our forefathers are responsible. We ourselves are not guiltless of wrong-doing in this matter: if it is still impossible openly to advocate slavery in England, it has, at least, become a habit persistently to write down freedom. We are no longer told that God made the blacks to be slaves, but we are bade remember that they cannot prosper under emancipation. All mention of Barbadoes is suppressed, but we have daily homilies on the condition of Jamaica. The negro question in America is briefly this: is there, on the one hand, reason to fear that, dollars applied to land decreasing while black mouths to be fed increase, the Southern States will become an American Jamaica? Is there, on the other hand, ground for the hope that the negroes may be found not incapable of the citizenship of the United States? The former of these two questions is the more difficult, and to some extent involves the latter: can cotton, can sugar, can rice, can coffee, can tobacco, be raised by white field hands? If not, can they be raised with profit by black free labor? Can co-operative planting, directed by negro over-lookers, possibly succeed, or must the farm be ruled by white capitalists, agents, and overseers?

It is asserted that the negro will not work without compulsion; but the same may be said of the European. There is compulsion of many kinds. The emancipated negro may still be forced to work—forced as the white man is forced in this and other lands, by the alternative, work or starve! This forcing, however, may not be confined to that which the laws of natural increase lead us to expect; it may be stimulated by bounties on immigration.

The negro is not, it would seem, to have a monopoly of Southern labor in this continent. This week we hear of three shiploads of Chinese coolies as just landed in Louisiana; and the air is thick with rumors of labor from Bombay, from Calcutta, from the Pacific Islands—of Eastern labor in its hundred shapes—not to speak of competition with the whites, now commencing with the German immigration into Tennessee.

The berries of this country are so large, so many, so full of juice, that alone they form a never-failing source of nourishment to an idle population. Three kinds of cranberries, American, pied, and English; two blackberries, huckleberries, high-bush and low-bush blueberries—the latter being the English bilberry—are among the best known of the native fruits. No one in this country, however idle he be, need starve. If he goes farther south, he has the banana, the true staff of life.

The terrible results of the plentiful possession of this tree are seen in Ceylon, at Panama, in the coastlands of Mexico, at Auckland in New Zealand. At Pitcairn‘s Island the plantain grove has beaten the missionary from the field; there is much lip-Christianity, but no practice to be got from a people who possess the fatal plant. The much-abused cocoa-nut cannot come near it as a devil‘s agent. The cocoa-palm is confined to a few islands and coast tracts—confined, too, to the tropics and sea-level; the plantain and banana extend over seventy-degrees of latitude, down to Botany Bay and King George‘s Sound, and up as far north as the Khyber Pass. The palm asks labor—not much, it is true; but still a few days’ hard work in the year in trenching, and climbing after the nuts. The plantain grows as a weed, and hangs down its bunches of ripe tempting fruit into your lap as you lie in its cool shade. The cocoanut-tree has a hundred uses, and urges men to work to make spirit from its juice, ropes, clothes, matting, bags, from its fiber, oil from the pulp; it creates an export trade which appeals to almost all men by their weakest side, in offering large and quick returns for a little work. John Ross‘s “Isle of Cocoas,” to the west of Java and south of Ceylon, yields him heavy gains; there are profits to be made upon the Liberian coast, and even in Southern India and Ceylon. The plantain will make nothing; you can eat it raw or fried, and that is all; you can eat it every day of your life without becoming tired of its taste; without suffering in your health, you can live on it exclusively. In the banana groves of Florida and Louisiana there lurks much trouble and danger to the American free States.

The negroes have hardly much chance in Virginia against the Northern capitalists, provided with white labor; but the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and South Carolina promise to be wholly theirs. Already they are flocking to places in which they have a majority of the people, and can control the municipalities, and defend themselves, if necessary, by force; but if the Southerners of the coast desert their country, the negroes will not have it to themselves, unless nature declares that they shall. New Englanders will pour in with capital and energy, and cultivate the land by free black or by coolie labor, if either will pay. If they do pay, competition will force the remaining blacks to work or starve.

The friends of the negro are not without a fear that the laborers will be too many for their work, for, while the older cotton States appear to be worn out, the new, such as Texas and Tennessee, will be reserved by public opinion to the whites. For the present the negroes will be masters in seven of the rebel States; but in Texas, white men—English, Germans, Danes—are growing cotton with success; and in Georgia and North Carolina, which contain mountain districts, the negro power is not likely to be permanent.

We may, perhaps, lay it down as a general principle that, when the negro can fight his way through opposition, and stand alone as a farmer or laborer, without the aid of private or State charity, then he should be protected in the position he has shown himself worthy to hold, that of a free citizen of an enlightened and laboring community. Where it is found that when his circumstances have ceased to be exceptional, the negro cannot live unassisted, there the Federal government may fairly and wisely step in and say, “We will not keep you; but we will carry you to Liberia or to Hayti, if you will.”

It is clear that the Southern negroes must be given a decisive voice in the appointment of the legislatures by which they are to be ruled, or that the North must be prepared to back up by force of opinion, or if need be, by force of arms, the Federal Executive, when it insists on the Civil Rights Bill being set in action at the South. Government through the negroes is the only way to avoid government through an army, which would be dangerous to the freedom of the North. It is safer for America to trust her slaves than to trust her rebels—safer to enfranchise than to pardon.

A reading and writing basis for the suffrage in the Southern States is an absurdity. Coupled with pardons to the rebels, it would allow the “boys in gray”—the soldiers of the Confederacy—to control nine States of the Union; it would render the education of the freedmen hopeless. For the moment, it would entirely disfranchise the negroes in six States, whereas it is exactly for the moment that negro suffrage is in these States necessary; while, if the rebels were admitted to vote, and the negroes excluded from the poll, the Southern representatives, united with the Copperhead wing of the Democratic party, might prove to be strong enough to repudiate the Federal debt. This is one of a dozen dangers.

An education basis for the suffrage, though pretended to be impartial, would be manifestly aimed against the negroes, and would perpetuate the antipathy of color to which the war is supposed to have put an end. To education such a provision would be a death-blow. If the negroes were to vote as soon as they could read, it is certain that the planters would take good care that they never should read at all.

That men should be able to examine into the details of politics is not entirely necessary to the working of representative government. It is sufficient that they should be competent to select men to do it for them. In the highest form of representative government, where all the electors are both intelligent, educated, and alive to the politics of the time, then the member returned must tend more and more to be a delegate. That has always been the case with the Northern and Western members in America, but never with those returned by the Southern States; and so it will continue, whether the Southern elections be decided by negroes or by “mean whites.”

In Warren County, Mississippi, near Vicksburg, is a plantation which belongs to Joseph Davis, the brother of the rebel president. This he has leased to Mr. Montgomery—once his slave—in order that an association of blacks may be formed to cultivate the plantation on co-operative principles. It is to be managed by a council elected by the community at large, and a voluntary poor-rate and embankment-rate are to be levied on the people by themselves.

It is only a year since the termination of the war, and the negroes are already in possession of schools, village corporations, of the Metayer system, of co-operative farms; all this tells of rapid advance, and the conduct and circulation of the New Orleans Tribune, edited and published by negroes, and selling 10,000 copies daily, and another 10,000 of the weekly issue, speaks well for the progress of the blacks. If the Montgomery experiment succeeds, their future is secure.

CHAPTER III.

THE SOUTH.

THE political forecasts and opinions which were given me upon plantations were, in a great measure, those indicated in my talk with the Norfolk “loafers.” On the history of the commencement of the rebellion there was singular unanimity. “Virginia never meant to quit the Union; we were cheated by those rascals of the South. When we did go out, we were left to do all the fighting. Why, sir, I‘ve seen a Mississippian division run away from a single Yankee regiment.”

As I heard much the same story from the North Carolinians that I met, it would seem as though there was little union among the seceding States. The legend upon the first of all the secession flags that were hoisted was typical of this devotion to the fortunes of the State: “Death to abolitionists; South Carolina goes it alone;” and during the whole war it was not the rebel colors, but the palmetto emblem, or other State devices, that the ladies wore.

About the war itself but little is said, though here and there I met a man who would tell camp stories in the Northern style. One planter, who had been “out” himself, went so far as to say to me: “Our officers were good, but considering that our rank and file were just ‘white trash,’ and that they had to fight regiments of New England Yankee volunteers, with all their best blood in the ranks, and Western sharpshooters together, it‘s only wonderful how we weren‘t whipped sooner.”

As for the future, the planter‘s policy is a simple one: “Reckon we‘re whipped, so we go in now for the old flag; only those Yankee rogues must give us the control of our own people.” The one result of the war has been, as they believe, the abolition of slavery; otherwise the situation is unchanged. The war is over, the doctrine of secession is allowed to fall into the background, and the ex-rebels claim to step once more into their former place, if, indeed, they admit that they ever left it.

Every day that you are in the South you come more and more to see that the “mean whites” are the controlling power. The landowners are not only few in number, but their apathy during the present crisis is surprising. The men who demand their readmission to the government of eleven States are unkempt, fierce-eyed fellows, not one whit better than the brancos of Brazil; the very men, strangely enough, who themselves, in their “Leavenworth constitution,” first began disfranchisement, declaring that the qualification for electors in the new State of Kansas should be the taking oath to uphold the infamous Fugitive Slave Law.

These “mean whites” were the men who brought about secession. The planters are guiltless of everything but criminal indifference to the deeds that were committed in their name. Secession was the act of a pack of noisy demagogues; but a false idea of honor brought round a majority of the Southern people, and the infection of enthusiasm carried over the remainder.

When the war sprang up, the old Southern contempt for the Yankees broke out into a fierce burst of joy, that the day had come for paying off old scores. “We hate them, sir,” said an old planter to me. “I wish to God that the Mayflower had sunk with all hands in Plymouth Bay.”

Along with this violence of language, there is a singular kind of cringing to the conquerors. Time after time I heard the complaint, “The Yanks treat us shamefully, I reckon. We come back to the Union, and give in on every point; we renounce slavery; we consent to forget the past; and yet they won‘t restore us to our rights.” Whenever I came to ask what they meant by “rights,” I found the same haziness that everywhere surrounds that word. The Southerners seem to think that men may rebel and fight to the death against their country, and then, being beaten, lay down their arms and walk quietly to the polls along with law-abiding citizens, secure in the protection of the Constitution which for years they have fought to subvert.

At Richmond I had a conversation which may serve as a specimen of what one hears each moment from the planters. An old gentleman with whom I was talking politics opened at me suddenly: “The Radicals are going to give the ballot to our niggers to strengthen their party, but they know better than to give it to their Northern niggers.”

D.—“But surely there‘s a difference in the cases.”

The Planter.—“You‘re right—there is; but not your way. The difference is, that the Northern niggers can read and write, and even lie with consistency, and ours can‘t.

D.—“But there‘s the wider difference, that negro suffrage down here is a necessity, unless you are to rule the country that‘s just beaten you.”

The Planter.—“Well, there of course we differ. We rebs say we fought to take our State out of the Union. The Yanks beat us; so our States must still be in the Union. If so, why shouldn‘t our representatives be unconditionally admitted?”

Nearer to a conclusion we of course did not come, he declaring that no man ought to vote who had not education enough to understand the Constitution, I, that this was good prima facie evidence against letting him vote, but that it might be rebutted by the proof of a higher necessity for his voting. As a planter said to me, “The Southerners prefer soldier rule to nigger rule;” but it is not a question of what they prefer, but of what course is necessary for the safety of the Union which they fought to destroy.

Nowhere in the Southern States did I find any expectation of a fresh rebellion. It is only Englishmen who ask whether “the South” will not fight “once more.” The South is dead and gone; there can never be a “South” again, but only so many Southern States. “The South” meant simply the slave country; and slavery being dead, it is dead. Slavery gave us but two classes besides the negroes—planters and “mean whites.” The great planters were but a few thousand in number; they are gone to Canada, England, Jamaica, California, Colorado, Texas. The “mean whites”—the true South—are impossible in the face of free labor: they must work or starve. If they work, they will no longer be “mean whites,” but essentially Northerners—that is, citizens of a democratic republic, and not oligarchists.

As the Southerners admit that there can be no further war, it would be better even for themselves that they should allow the sad record of their rising to fade away. Their speeches, their newspapers continue to make use of language which nothing could excuse, and which, in the face of the magnanimity of the conquerors, is disgraceful. In a Mobile paper I have seen a leader which describes with hideous minuteness Lincoln, Lane, John Brown, and Dostie playing whist in hell. A Texas cutting which I have is less blasphemous, but not less vile: “The English language no longer affords terms in which to curse a sniveling, weazen-faced piece of humanity generally denominated a Yankee. We see some about here sometimes, but they skulk around, like sheep-killing dogs, and associate mostly with niggers. They whine and prate, and talk about the judgment of God, as if God had anything to do with them.” The Southerners have not even the wit or grace to admit that the men who beat them were good soldiers; “blackguards and braggarts,” “cravens and thieves,” are common names for the men of the Union army. I have in my possession an Alabama paper in which General Sheridan, at that time the commander of the military division which included the State, is styled “a short-tailed slimy tadpole of the later spawn, the blathering disgrace of an honest father, an everlasting libel on his Irish blood, the synonym of infamy, and scorn of all brave men.” While I was in Virginia, one of the Richmond papers said: “This thing of ‘loyalty’ will not do for the Southern man.”

The very day that I landed in the South a dinner was given at Richmond by the “Grays,” a volunteer corps which had fought through the rebellion. After the roll of honor, or list of men killed in battle, had been read, there were given as toasts by rebel officers: “Jeff. Davis—the caged eagle; the bars confine his person, but his great spirit soars;” and “The conquered banner, may its resurrection at last be as bright and as glorious as theirs—the dead.”

It is in the face of such words as these that Mr. Johnson, the most unteachable of mortals, asks men who have sacrificed their sons to restore the Union to admit the ex-rebels to a considerable share in the government of the nation, even if they are not to monopolize it, as they did before the war. His conduct seems to need the Western editor‘s defense: “He must be kinder honest-like, he aire sich a tarnation foolish critter.”

It is clear, from the occurrence of such dinners, the publication of such paragraphs and leaders as those of which I have spoken, that there is no military tyranny existing in the South. The country is indeed administered by military commanders, but it is not ruled by troops. Before we can give ear to the stories that are afloat in Europe of the “government of major-generals,” we must believe that five millions of Englishmen, inhabiting a country as large as Europe, are crushed down by some ten thousand other men—about as many as are needed to keep order in the single town of Warsaw. The Southerners are allowed to rule themselves; the question now at issue is merely whether they shall also rule their former slaves, the negroes.

I hardly felt myself out of the reach of slavery and rebellion till, steaming up the Potomac from Aquia Creek by the gray dawn, I caught sight of a grand pile towering over a city from a magnificent situation on the brow of a long, rolling hill. Just at the moment, the sun, invisible as yet to us below, struck the marble dome and cupola, and threw the bright gilding into a golden blaze, till the Greek shape stood out upon the blue sky, glowing like a second sun. The city was Washington; the palace with the burnished cupola the Capitol; and within two hours I was present at the “hot-weather sitting” of the 39th Congress of the United States.

CHAPTER IV.

THE EMPIRE STATE.

AT the far southeast of New York City, where the Hudson and East River meet to form the inner bay, is an ill-kept park that might be made the loveliest garden in the world. Nowhere do the features that have caused New York to take rank as the first port of America stand forth more clearly. The soft evening breeze tells of a climate as good as the world can show; the setting sun floods with light a harbor secure and vast, formed by the confluence of noble streams, and girt with quays at which huge ships jostle; the rows of 500-pounder Rodmans at “The Narrows” are tokens of the nation‘s strength and wealth; and the yachts, as well handled as our own, racing into port from an ocean regatta, give evidence that there are Saxons in the land. At the back is the city, teeming with life, humming with trade, muttering with the thunder of passage. Opposite, in Jersey City, people say: “Every New Yorker has come a good half-hour late into the world, and is trying all his life to make it up.” The bustle is immense.

All is so un-English, so foreign, that hearing men speaking what Czar Nicholas was used to call “the American tongue,” I wheel round, crying—“Dear me! if here are not some English folk!” astonished as though I had heard French in Australia or Italian in Timbuctoo.

The Englishman who, coming to America, expects to find cities that smell of home, soon learns that Baker Street itself, or Portland Place, would not look English in the dry air of a continent four thousand miles across. New York, however, is still less English than is Boston, Philadelphia, or Chicago—her people are as little Saxon as her streets. Once Southern, with the brand of slavery deeply printed in the foreheads of her foremost men, since the defeat of the rebellion New York has to the eye been cosmopolitan as any city of the Levant. All nationless towns are not alike: Alexandria has a Greek or an Italian tinge; San Francisco an English tone, with something of the heartiness of our Elizabethan times; New York has a deep Latin shade, and the democracy of the Empire State is of the French, not of the American or English type.

At the back, here, on the city side, are tall gaunt houses, painted red, like those of the quay at Dort or of the Boompjes at Rotterdam, the former dwellings of the “Knickerbockers” of New Amsterdam, the founders of New York, but now forgotten. There may be a few square yards of painting, red or blue, upon the houses in Broadway; there may be here and there a pagoda summer-house overhanging a canal; once in a year you may run across a worthy descendant of the old Netherlandish families; but in the main the Hollanders in America are as though they had never been; to find the memorials of lost Dutch empire, we must search Cape Colony or Ceylon. The New York un-English tone is not Batavian. Neither the sons of the men who once lived in these houses, nor the Germans whose names are now upon the doors, nor, for the matter of that, we English, who claim New York as the second of our towns, are the to-day‘s New Yorkers.

Here, on the water‘s edge, is a rickety hall, where Jenny Lind sang when first she landed—now the spot where strangers of another kind are welcomed to America. Every true republican has in his heart the notion that his country is pointed out by God for a refuge for the distressed of all the nations. He has sprung himself from men who came to seek a sanctuary—from the Quakers, or the Catholics, or the pilgrims of the Mayflower. Even though they come to take the bread from his mouth, or to destroy his peace, it is his duty, he believes, to aid the immigrants. Within the last twenty years there have landed at New York alone four million strangers. Of these two-thirds were Irish.

While the Celtic men are pouring into New York and Boston, the New Englanders and New Yorkers, too, are moving. They are not dying. Facts are opposed to this portentous theory. They are going West. The unrest of the Celt is mainly caused by discontent with his country‘s present, that of the Saxon by hope for his private future. The Irishman flies to New York because it lies away from Ireland; the Englishman takes it upon his road to California.

Where one race is dominant, immigrants of another blood soon lose their nationality. In New York and Boston the Irish continue to be Celts, for these are Irish cities. In Pittsburg, in Chicago, still more in the country districts, a few years make the veriest Paddy English. On the other hand, the Saxons are disappearing from the Atlantic cities, as the Spaniards have gone from Mexico. The Irish here are beating down the English, as the English have crushed out the Dutch. The Hollander‘s descendants in New York are English now; it bids fair that the Saxons should be Irish.

As it is, though the Celtic immigration has lasted only twenty years, the results are already clear: if you see a Saxon face upon the Broadway, you may be sure it belongs to a traveler, or to some raw English lad bound West, just landed from a Plymouth ship. We need not lay much stress upon the fact that all New Yorkers have black hair and beard: men may be swarthy and yet English. The ancestors of the Londoners of to-day, we are told, were yellow-headed roysterers; yet not one man in fifty that you meet in Fleet Street or on Tower Hill is as fair as the average Saxon peasant. Doubtless, our English eastern counties were peopled in the main by low-Dutch and Flemings: the Sussex eyes and hair are rarely seen in Suffolk. The Puritans of New England are sprung from those of the “associated counties,” but the victors of Marston Moor may have been cousins to those no less sturdy Protestants, the Hollanders who defended Leyden. It may be that they were our ancestors, those Dutchmen that we English crowded out of New Amsterdam—the very place where we are sharing the fate we dealt. The fiery temper of the new people of the American coast towns, their impatience of free government, are better proofs of Celtic blood than are the color of their eyes and beard.

Year by year the towns grow more and more intensely Irish. Already of every four births in Boston, one only is American. There are 120,000 foreign to 70,000 native voters in New York and Brooklyn. Montreal and Richmond are fast becoming Celtic; Philadelphia—shades of Penn!—can only be saved by the aid of its Bavarians. Saxon Protestantism is departing with the Saxons: the revenues of the Empire State are spent upon Catholic asylums; plots of city land are sold at nominal rates for the sites of Catholic cathedrals, by the “city step-fathers,” as they are called. Not even in the West does the Latin Church gain ground more rapidly than in New York City: there are 80,000 professing Catholics in Boston.

When is this drama, of which the first scene is played in Castle Garden, to have its close? The matter is grave enough already. Ten years ago, the third and fourth cities of the world, New York and Philadelphia, were as English as our London: the one is Irish now; the other all but German. Not that the Quaker City will remain Teutonic: the Germans, too, are going out upon the land; the Irish alone pour in unceasingly. All great American towns will soon be Celtic, while the country continues English: a fierce and easily-roused people will throng the cities, while the law-abiding Saxons who till the land will cease to rule it. Our relations with America are matters of small moment by the side of the one great question: Who are the Americans to be?

Our kinsmen are by no means blind to the dangers that hang over them. The “Know-Nothing” movement failed, but Protection speaks the same voice in its opposition to commercial centers. If you ask a Western man why he, whose interest is clearly in Free Trade, should advocate Protection, he fires out: “Free Trade is good for our American pockets, but it‘s death to us Americans. All your Bastiats and Mills won‘t touch the fact that to us Free Trade must mean salt-water despotism, and the ascendency of New York and Boston. Which is better for the country—one New York, or ten contented Pittsburgs and ten industrious Lowells?”

The danger to our race and to the world from Irish ascendency is perhaps less imminent than that to the republic. In January, 1862, the mayor, Fernando Wood, the elect of the “Mozart” Democracy, deliberately proposed the secession from the Union of New York City. Of all the Northern States, New York alone was a dead weight upon the loyal people during the war of the rebellion. The constituents of Wood were the very Fenians whom in our ignorance we call “American.” It is America that Fenianism invades from Ireland—not England from America.

It is no unfair attack upon the Irish to represent them as somewhat dangerous inhabitants for mighty cities. Of the sixty thousand persons arrested yearly in New York, three-fourths are alien born: two-thirds of these are Irish. Nowhere else in all America are the Celts at present masters of a city government—nowhere is there such corruption. The purity of the government of Melbourne—a city more democratic than New York—proves that the fault does not lie in democracy: it is the universal opinion of Americans that the Irish are alone responsible.

The State legislature is falling into the hands of the men who control the city council. They tell a story of a traveler on the Hudson River Railroad, who, as the train neared Albany—the capital of New York—said to a somewhat gloomy neighbor, “Going to the State legislatur’?” getting for answer, “No, sir! It‘s not come to that with me yet. Only to the State prison!”

Americans are never slow to ridicule the denationalization of New York. They tell you that during the war the colonel of one of the city regiments said: “I‘ve the best blood of eight nations in the ranks.” “How‘s that?” “I‘ve English, Irish, Welsh, Scotch, French, Italians, Germans.” “Guess that‘s only seven.” “Swedes,” suggested some one. “No, no Swedes,” said the colonel. “Ah! I have it: I‘ve some Americans.” Stories such as this the rich New Yorkers are nothing loth to tell; but they take no steps to check the denationalization they lament. Instead of entering upon a reform of their municipal institutions, they affect to despise free government; instead of giving, as the oldest New England families have done, their tone to the State schools, they keep entirely aloof from school and State alike. Sending their boys to Cambridge, Berlin, Heidelberg, anywhere rather than to the colleges of their native land, they leave it to learned pious Boston to supply the West with teachers, and to keep up Yale and Harvard. Indignant if they are pointed at as “no Americans,” they seem to separate themselves from everything that is American: they spend summers in England, winters in Algeria, springs in Rome, and Coloradans say with a sneer, “Good New Yorkers go to Paris when they die.”

Apart from nationality, there is danger to free government both in the growth of New York City, and in the gigantic fortunes of New Yorkers. The income, they tell me, of one of my merchant friends is larger than the combined salaries of the president, the governors, and the whole of the members of the legislatures of all the forty-five States and territories. As my informant said, “He could keep the governments of half a dozen States as easily as I can support my half dozen children.”

There is something, no doubt, of the exaggeration of political jealousy about the accounts of New York vice given in New England and down South, in the shape of terrible philippics. It is to be hoped that the overstatement is enormous, for sober men are to be found even in New York who will tell you that this city outdoes Paris in every form of profligacy as completely as the French capital outherods imperial Rome. There is here no concealment about the matter; each inhabitant at once admits the truth of accusations directed against his neighbor. If the new men, the “petroleum aristocracy,” are second to none in their denunciations of the Irish, these in their turn unite with the oldest families in thundering against “Shoddy.”

New York life shows but badly in the summer-time; it is seen at its worst when studied at Saratoga. With ourselves, men have hardly ceased to run from business and pleasures worse than toil to the comparative quiet of the country house. Among New Yorkers there is not even the affectation of a search for rest; the flight is from the drives and restaurants of New York to the gambling halls of Saratoga; from winning piles of greenbacks to losing heaps of gold; from cotton gambling to roulette or faro. Long Branch is still more vulgar in its vice; it is the Margate, Saratoga the Homburg of America.

“Shoddy” is blamed beyond what it deserves when the follies of New York society are laid in a body at its door. If it be true that the New York drawing-rooms are the best guarded in the world, it is also true that entrance is denied as rigidly to intellect and eminence as to wealth. If exclusiveness be needed, affectation can at least do nothing toward subduing “Shoddy.” Mere cliqueism, disgusting every where, is ridiculous in a democratic town; its rules of conduct are as out of place as kid gloves in the New Zealand bush, or gold scabbards on a battle-field.

Good meat, and drink, and air, give strength to the men and beauty to the women of a moneyed class; but in America these things are the inheritance of every boy and girl, and give their owners no advantage in the world. During the rebellion, the ablest generals and bravest soldiers of the North sprang, not from the merchant families, but from the farmer folk. Without special merit of some kind, there can be no such thing as aristocracy.

Many American men and women, who have too little nobility of soul to be patriots, and too little understanding to see that theirs is already, in many points, the master country of the globe, come to you, and bewail the fate which has caused them to be born citizens of a republic, and dwellers in a country where men call vices by their names. The least educated of their countrymen, the only grossly vulgar class that America brings forth, they fly to Europe “to escape democracy,” and pass their lives in Paris, Pau, or Nice, living libels on the country they are believed to represent.

Out of these discordant elements, Cubans, Knickerbockers, Germans, Irish, “first families,” “Petroleum,” and “Shoddy,” we are forced to construct our composite idea—New York. The Irish numerically predominate, but we have no experience as to what should be the moral features of an Irish city, for Dublin has always been in English hands; possibly that which in New York appears to be cosmopolitan is merely Celtic. However it may be, this much is clear, that the humblest township of New England reflects more truly the America of the past, the most chaotic village of Nebraska portrays more fully the hopes and tendencies of the America of the future, than do this huge State and city.

If the political figure of New York is not encouraging, its natural beauty is singularly great. Those who say that America has no scenery, forget the Hudson, while they can never have explored Lake George, Lake Champlain, and the Mohawk. That Poole‘s exquisite scene from the “Decameron,” “Philomela‘s Song,” could have been realized on earth, I never dreamt until I saw the singers at a New Yorker‘s villa on the Hudson grouped in the deep shades of a glen, from which there was an outlook upon the basaltic palisades and lake-like Tappan Zee. It was in some such spot that De Tocqueville wrote the brightest of his brilliant letters—that dated “Sing Sing”—for he speaks of himself as lying on a hill that overhung the Hudson, watching the white sails gleaming in the hot sun, and trying in vain to fancy what became of the river where it disappeared in the blue “Highlands.”

That New York City itself is full of beauty the view from Castle Garden would suffice to show; and by night it is not less lovely than by day. The harbor is illuminated by the colored lanterns of a thousand boats, and the steam-whistles tell of a life that never sleeps. The paddles of the steamers seem not only to beat the water, but to stir the languid air and so provoke a breeze, and the lime-lights at the Fulton and Wall Street ferries burn so brightly that in the warm glare the eye reaches through the still night to the feathery acacias in the streets of Brooklyn. The view is as southern as the people: we have not yet found America.

CHAPTER V.

CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT.

“OLD CAMBRIDGE! Long may she flourish!” proposed by a professor in the University of Cambridge, in America, and drunk standing, with three cheers, by the graduates and undergraduates of Harvard, is a toast that sets one thinking.

Cambridge in America is not by any means a university of to-day. Harvard College, which, being the only “house,” has engrossed the privileges, funds, and titles of the university, was founded at Cambridge, Mass., in 1636, only ninety years later than the greatest and wealthiest college of our Cambridge in old England. Puritan Harvard was the sister rather than the daughter of our own Puritan Emmanuel. Harvard himself, and Dunster, the first president of Harvard‘s College, were among the earliest of the scholars of Emmanuel.

A toast from the Cambridge of new to the Cambridge of old England is one from younger to elder sister; and Dr. Wendell Holmes, “The Autocrat,” said as much in proposing it at the Harvard alumni celebration of 1866.

Like other old institutions, Harvard needs a ten-days’ revolution: academic abuses flourish as luxuriantly upon American as on English soil, and university difficulties are much the same in either country. Here, as at home, the complaint is that the men come up to the university untaught. To all of them their college is forced for a time to play the high-school; to some she is never anything more than school. At Harvard this is worse than with ourselves: the average age of entry, though of late much risen, is still considerably under eighteen.

The college is now aiming at raising gradually the standard of entry: when once all are excluded save men, and thinking men, real students, such as those by whom some of the new Western universities are attended, then Harvard hopes to leave drill-teaching entirely to the schools, and to permit the widest freedom in the choice of studies to her students.

Harvard is not blameless in this matter. Like other universities, she is conservative of bad things as well as good; indeed, ten minutes within her walls would suffice to convince even an Englishman that Harvard clings to the times before the Revolution.

Her conservatism is shown in many trivial things—in the dress of her janitors and porters, in the cut of the grass-plots and college gates, in the conduct of the Commencement orations in the chapel. For the dainty little dames from Boston who came to hear their friends and brothers recite their disquisitions none but Latin programmes were provided, and the poor ladies were condemned to find such names as Bush, Maurice, Benjamin, Humphrey, and Underwood among the graduating youths, distorted into Bvsh, Mavritivs, Beniamin, Hvmphredvs, Vnderwood.

This conservatism of the New England universities had just received a sharp attack. In the Commencement oration, Dr. Hedges, one of the leaders of the Unitarian Church, had strongly pressed the necessity for a complete freedom of study after entry, a liberty to take up what line the student would, to be examined and to graduate in what he chose. He had instanced the success of Michigan University consequent upon the adoption of this plan; he had pointed to the fact that of all the universities in America, Michigan alone drew her students from every State. President Hill and ex-President Walker had indorsed his views.

There is a special fitness in the reformers coming forward at this time. This year is the commencement of a new era at Harvard, for at the request of the college staff, the connection of the university with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has just been dissolved, and the members of the board of overseers are in future to be elected by the university, instead of being nominated by the State. This being so, the question had been raised as to whether the governor would come in state to Commencement, but he yielded to the wishes of the graduates, and came with the traditional pomp, attended by a staff in uniform, and escorted by a troop of Volunteer Lancers, whose scarlet coats and polish recalled the times before the Revolution.

While the ceremony was still in progress, I had been introduced to several of the foremost rowing men among the younger graduates of Harvard, and at its conclusion I accompanied them to their river. They were in strict training for their university race with Yale, which was to come off in a week, and as Cambridge had been beaten twice running, and this year had a better crew, they were wishful for criticisms on their style. Such an opinion as a stranger could offer was soon given: they were dashing, fast, long in their stroke; strong, considering their light weights, but terribly overworked. They have taken for a rule the old English notions as to training which have long since disappeared at home, and, looked upon as fanatics by their friends and tutors, they have all the fanatic‘s excess of zeal.

Rowing and other athletics, with the exceptions of skating and base ball, are both neglected and despised in America. When the smallest sign of a reaction appears in the New England colleges, there comes at once a cry from Boston that brains are being postponed to brawn. If New Englanders would look about them, they would see that their climate has of itself developed brains at the expense of brawn, and that if national degeneracy is to be long prevented, brawn must in some way be fostered. The high shoulder, head-voice, and pallor of the Boston men are not incompatible with the possession of the most powerful brain, the keenest wit; but it is not probable that energy and talent will be continued in future generations sprung from the worn-out men and women of to-day.

The prospect at present is not bright; year by year Americans grow thinner, lighter, and shorter-lived. Ælian‘s Americans, we may remember, though they were greatly superior to the Greeks in stature, were inferior to them in length of life. The women show even greater signs of weakness than the men, and the high, undulating tones which are affectation in the French, are natural to the ladies of America; little can be expected of women whose only exercise is excessive dancing in overheated rooms.

The American summer, often tropical in its heat, has much to answer for, but it is the winter which makes the saddest havoc among the younger people, and the boys and girls at school. Cooped up all day in the close air of the heated school-house, the poor children are at night made to run straight back to the furnace-dried atmosphere of home. The thermometer is commonly raised indoors to eighty or ninety degrees Fahr. The child is not only baked into paleness and sweated bit by bit to its death, but fed meantime, out of mistaken kindness, upon the most indigestible of dainties—pastry, hot dough-nuts, and sweetmeats taking the place of bread, and milk, and meat—and is not allowed to take the slightest exercise, except its daily run to school-house. Who can wonder that spinal diseases should prevail?

One reason why Americans are pale and agueish is that, as a people, they are hewers of primeval forest and tillers of virgin soil. These are the unhealthiest employments in the world; the sun darts down upon the hitherto unreached mould, and sets free malarious gases, against which the new settlers have no antidotes.

The rowing men of Harvard tell me that their clubs are still looked on somewhat coldly by the majority of the professors, who obstinately refuse to see that improved physical type is not an end, but a means, toward improvement of the mental faculties, if not in the present, at least in the next generation. As for the moral training in the virtues of obedience and command, for which a boat‘s crew is the best of schools, that is not yet understood at Harvard, where rowing is confined to the half dozen men who are to represent the college in the annual race, and the three or four more who are being trained to succeed them in the crew. Rowing in America is what it was till ten years since at old Cambridge, and is still at Oxford—not an exercise for the majority of the students, but a pursuit for a small number. Physical culture is, however, said to be making some small progress in the older States, and I myself saw signs of the tendency in Philadelphia. The war has done some good in this respect, and so has the influx of Canadians to Chicago. Cricket is still almost an unknown thing, except in some few cities. When I was coming in to Baltimore by train, we passed a meadow in which a match was being played. A Southerner to whom I was talking at the time, looked at the players, and said with surprise: “Reckon they‘ve got a wounded man ther’, front o’ them sticks, sah.” I found that he meant the batsman, who was wearing pads.

One of the most brilliant of Harvard‘s thinkers has taken to carpentrying as a relief to his mental toil; her most famed professor is often to be found working in his garden or his farm; but such change of work for work is possible only to certain men. The generality of Americans need not only exercise, but relaxation; still, with less physical, they possess greater mental vitality then ourselves.

On the day that follows Commencement—the chief ceremony of the academic year—is held once in three summers the “Alumni Celebration,” or meeting of the past graduates of Harvard—a touching gathering at all times, but peculiarly so in these times that follow on the losses of the war.

The American college informal organizations rest upon the unit of the “class.” The “class” is what at Cambridge is called “men of the same year,”—men who enter together and graduate together at the end of the regular course. Each class of a large New England college, such as Harvard, will often possess an association of its own; its members will dine together once in five years, or ten—men returning from Europe and from the far West to be present at the gathering. Harvard is strong in the affections of the New England people—her faults are theirs; they love her for them, and keep her advantages to themselves, for in the whole list of graduates for this year I could find only two Irish names.

Here, at the Alumni Celebration, a procession was marshaled in the library in which the order was by classes; the oldest class of which there were living members being called the first. “Class of 1797!” and two old white-haired gentlemen tottered from the crowd, and started on their march down the central aisle, and out bareheaded into the blaze of one of the hottest days that America had ever known. “Class of 1800!” missing two years, in which all the graduates were dead; and out came one, the sole survivor. Then came “1803,” and so on, to the stalwart company of the present year. When the classes of 1859 and 1860, and of the war-years were called, those who marched out showed many an empty sleeve.

The present triennial celebration is noteworthy not only for the efforts of the university reformers, but also for the foundation of the Memorial Hall, dedicated as a monument to those sons of Harvard who fell while serving their country in the suppression of the late rebellion. The purity of their patriotism hardly needed illustration by the fire of young Everett, or the graceful speech of Dr. Holmes. Even the splendid oratory of Governor Bullock could do little more than force us to read for ourselves the Roll of Honor, and see how many of Harvard‘s most distinguished younger men died for their country as privates of Massachusetts Volunteers.

There was a time, as England knows, when the thinking men of Boston, and the Cambridge professors, Emerson, Russell Lowell, Asa Gray, and a dozen more of almost equal fame, morally seceded from their country‘s councils, and were followed in their secession by the younger men. “The best men in America stand aloof from politics,” it was said.

The country from which these men seceded was not the America of to-day: it was the Union which South Carolina ruled. From it the Cambridge professors “came out,” not because they feared to vex their nerves with the shock of public argument and action, but because the course of the slaveholders was not their course. Hating the wrongs they saw but could not remedy, they separated themselves from the wrong-doers; another matter, this, from the “hating hatred” of our culture class in England.

In 1863 and 1864 there came the reckoning. When America was first brought to see the things that had been done in her name, and at her cost, and, rising in her hitherto unknown strength, struck the noblest blow for freedom that the world has seen, the men who had been urging on the movement from without at once re-entered the national ranks, and marched to victory. Of the men who sat beneath Longfellow, and Agassiz, and Emerson, whole battalions went forth to war. From Oberlin almost every male student and professor marched, and the university teaching was left in the women‘s hands. Out of 8000 school-teachers in Pennsylvania, of whom 300 alone were drafted, 3000 volunteered for the war. Everywhere the teachers and their students were foremost among the Volunteers, and from that time forward America and her thinkers were at one.

The fierce passions of this day of wakening have not been suffered to disturb the quiet of the academic town. Our English universities have not about them the classic repose, the air of study, that belong to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Those who have seen the lanes of Leyden, and compared them with the noisy Oxford High Street, will understand what I mean when I say that our Cambridge comes nearest to her daughter-town; but even the English Cambridge has a bustling street or two, and a weekly market-day, while Cambridge in New England is one great academic grove, buried in a philosophic calm which our university towns can never rival so long as men resort to them for other purposes than work.

It is not only in the Harvard precincts that the oldness of New England is to be remarked. Although her people are everywhere in the vanguard of all progress, their country has a look of gable-ends and steeple-hats, while their laws seem fresh from the hands of Alfred. In all England there is no city which has suburbs so gray and venerable as are the elm-shaded towns round Boston: Dorchester, Chelsea, Nahant, and Salem, each seems more ancient than its fellow; the people speak the English of Elizabeth, and joke about us, ”—— speaks good English for an Englishman.”

In the country districts, the winsome villages that nestle in the dells seem to have been there for ten centuries at least; and it gives one a shock to light on such a spot as Bloody Brook, and to be told that only one hundred and ninety years ago Captain Lathrop was slain there by Red Indians, with eighty youths, “the flower of Essex County,” as the Puritan history says.

The warnings of Dr. Hedges, in reference to the strides of Michigan, have taken the New Englanders by surprise. Secure, as they believed, in their intellectual supremacy, they forgot that in a Federal Union the moral and physical primacy will generally both reside in the same State. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at one time the foremost upholder of the doctrine of State rights, will soon be seen once more acting as its champion—this time on behalf of herself and her five sister States.

Were the six New England Commonwealths grouped together in a single State, it would still have only three-fourths of the population of New York, and about an equal number of inhabitants with Pennsylvania. The State of Rhode Island is one-fourth the size of many a single Californian county. Such facts as these will not be long lost sight of in the West, and when a divergence of interests springs up, Ohio will not suffer her voice in the Senate to continue to be neutralized by that of Connecticut or Rhode Island. Even if the Senate be allowed to remain untouched, it is certain that the redistribution of seats consequent upon the census of 1870 will completely transfer political power to the central States. That New England will by this change inevitably lose her hold upon the destinies of the whole Union is not so clear. The influence for good of New England upon the West has been chiefly seminal; but not for that the less enormous. Go into a State such as Michigan, where half the people are immigrants—where, of the remaining moiety, the greater part are born Westerners, and apparently in no way of New England—and you will find that the inhabitants are for the most part earnest, God-fearing men, with a New England tone of profound manliness and conviction running through everything they say and do. The colleges in which they have been reared are directed, you will find, by New England professors, men trained in the classic schools of Harvard, Yale, or Amherst; the ministers under whom they sit are, for the most part, Boston men; the books they read are of New England, or old English of the class from which the writers of the Puritan States themselves have drawn their inspiration. To New England is chiefly due, in short, the making of America a godly nation.

It is something in this age to come across a people who believe strongly in anything, and consistently act upon their beliefs: the New Englanders are such a race. Thoroughly God-fearing States are not so common that we can afford to despise them when found; and nowhere does religion enter more into daily life than in Vermont or Massachusetts.

The States of the Union owe so huge a debt of gratitude to New England, that on this score alone they may refrain from touching her with sacrilegious hands. Not to name her previous sacrifices, the single little State of Massachusetts—one-fourth the size of Scotland, and but half as populous as Paris—sent during the rebellion a hundred and fifty regiments to the field.

It was to Boston that Lincoln telegraphed when, in 1861, at a minute‘s notice, he needed men for the defense of Washington. So entirely were Southerners of the opinion that the New Englanders were the true supporters of the old flag, that “Yankee” became a general term for loyalists of any State. America can never forget the steady heroism of New England during the great struggle for national existence.

The unity that has been the chief cause of the strength of the New England influence is in some measure sprung from the fact that these six States are completely shut off from all America by the single State of New York, alien from them in political and moral life. Every Yankee feels his country bounded by the British, the Irish, and the sea.

In addition to the homogeneousness of isolation, the New Englanders, like the Northern Scotch, have the advantages of a bad climate and a miserable soil. These have been the true agents in the development of the energy, the skill, and fortitude of the Yankee people. In the war, for instance, it was plain that the children of the poor and rugged Northeastern States were not the men to be beaten by the lotus-eaters of Louisiana when they were doing battle for what they believed to be a righteous cause.

One effect of the poverty of soil with which New England is afflicted has been that her sons have wandered from end to end of the known world, engaging in every trade, and succeeding in all. Sometimes there is in their migrations a religious side. Mormonism, although it now draws its forces from Great Britain, was founded in New England. At Brindisi, on my way home, I met three Yankees returning from a Maine colony lately founded at Jaffa, in expectation of the fulfillment of prophecy, and destruction of the Mohammedan rule. For the moment they are intriguing for a firman from the very government upon the coming fall of which all their expectations have been based; and these fierce fanatics are making money by managing a hotel. One of them told me that the Jaffa colony is a “religio-commercial speculation.”

New England Yankees are not always so filled with the Puritan spirit as to reject unlawful means of money-making. Even the Massachusetts common schools and prim Connecticut meeting-houses turn out their black sheep into the world. At Center Harbor, in New Hampshire, I met with an example of the “Yankee spawn” in a Maine man—a shrewd, sailor-looking fellow. He was sitting next me at the ordinary, and asked me to take a glass of his champagne. I declined, but chatted, and let out that I was a Britisher.

“I was subject to your government once for sixteen months,” my neighbor said.

“Really! Where?”

“Sierra Leone. I was a prisoner there. And very lucky, too.”

“Why so?” I asked.

“Because, if the American government had caught me, they would have hanged me for a pirate. But I wasn‘t a pirate.”

With over-great energy I struck in, “Of course not.”

My Neighbor.—“No; I was a slaver.”

 

Idling among the hills of New Hampshire and the lakes of Maine, it is impossible for a stranger, starting free from prejudice, not to end by loving the pious people of New England, for he will see that there could be no severer blow to the cause of freedom throughout the world than the loss by them of an influence upon American life and thought, which has been one of unmixed good. Still, New England is not America.

CHAPTER VI.

CANADA.

THERE is not in the world a nobler outlook than that from off the terrace at Quebec. You stand upon a rock overhanging city and river, and look down upon the guardship‘s masts. Acre upon acre of timber comes floating down the stream above the city, the Canadian songs just reaching you upon the heights; and beneath you are fleets of great ships, English, German, French, and Dutch, embarking the timber from the floating-docks. The Stars and Stripes are nowhere to be seen. Such are the distances in North America, that here, farther from the sea than is any city in Europe west of Moscow, we have a seaport town, with gunboats and three-decker; morning and evening guns, and bars of “God save the Queen,” to mark the opening and closing of the port.

The St. Lawrence runs in a chasm in a flat table-land, through which some earlier Niagara seems to have cut for it a way. Some of the tributaries are in sight, all falling from a cliff into the deep still river. In the distance, seaward, a silver ribbon on the rock represents the grand falls of Montmorenci. Long villages of white tiny cots straggle along the roads that radiate from the city; the great black cross of the French parish church showing reverently from all.

On the north, the eye reaches to the rugged outlines of the Laurentian range, composed of the oldest mountains in the world, at the foot of which is Lake St. Charles, full of fiord-like northern beauty, where at a later time I learnt to paddle the Indian canoe of birch bark.

Leaving the citadel, we are at once in the European middle ages. Gates and posterns, cranky steps that lead up to lofty gabled houses, with sharp French roofs of burnished tin, like those of Liege; processions of the Host; altars decked with flowers; statues of the Virgin; sabots; blouses; and the scarlet of the British linesman,—all these are seen in narrow streets and markets, that are graced with many a Cotentin lace cap, and all within forty miles of the down-east Yankee State of Maine. It is not far from New England to old France.

Quebec Lower Town is very like St. Peter Port in Guernsey. Norman-French inhabitants, guarded by British troops, step-built streets, thronged fruit-market, and citadel upon a rock, frowning down upon the quays, are alike in each. A slight knowledge of the Upper Normandy patois is not without its use; it procured me an offer of a pinch of snuff from an old habitante on board one of the river boats. Her gesture was worthy of the ancien regime.

There has been no dying-out of the race among the French Canadians. They number twenty times the thousands that they did a hundred years ago. The American soil has left their physical type, religion, language, laws, and habits absolutely untouched. They herd together in their rambling villages, dance to the fiddle, after mass on Sundays, as gayly as once did their Norman sires, and keep up the fleur-de-lys and the memory of Montcalm. More French than the French are the Lower Canadian habitants.

Not only here, but everywhere, a French “dependency” is France transported; not a double of the France of to-day, but a mummy of the France of the time of the “colony‘s” foundation. In Säigon, you find Imperial France; here the France of Louis Quatorze. The Englishman founds everywhere a New England—new in thought as in soil; the Frenchman carries with him to California, to Japan, an undying recollection of the Palais Royal. In San Francisco there lives a great French capitalist, who, since 1849, has been the originator of every successful Californian speculation. He cannot speak a word of English, and his greatest pleasure, in a country of fruits and wine, is to bid his old French servant assure him, upon honor, that his whole dessert, from his claret to his olives, has been brought for him from France. There is much in the colonizing instinct of our race, but something, perhaps, in the consideration that the English are hardly happy enough at home to be always looking back to what they have left in the old country.

There is about this old France something of Dutch sleepiness and content. There is, indeed, some bustle in the market-place, where the grand old dames, in snowy caps, sit selling plums and pears; there is much singing made over the lading of the timber-ships; there are rafts in hundreds gliding down the river; old French carts in dozens, creaking and wheezing on their lumbering way to town, with much clacking of whips and clappering of wooden shoes. All these things there are, but then there are these and more in Dol, and Quimper, and Morlaix—in all those towns which in Europe come nearest to old France. There is quiet bustle, subdued trade, prosperity deep, not noisy; but the life is sleepy; the rafts float, and are not tugged nor rowed; the old Norman horses seem to draw the still older carts without an effort, and the very boys wear noisy shoes against their will, and make a clatter simply because they cannot help it.

In such a scene it is impossible to forget that British troops are here employed as guardians of the only true French colony in the world against the inroads of the English race. “Nos institutions, notre langue, nos lois,” is the motto of the habitants. Their newspapers are filled with church celebrations, village fêtes, speeches of “M. le Curé” at the harvest-home, announcements by the “scherif,” speech of M. Cartier at the consecration of Monseigneur Laroque, blessings of bells, of ships; but of life, nothing—of mention of what is passing in America, not a word. One corner is given to the world outside America: “Emprunt Pontifical, Emission Américaine, quatre millions de piastres,” heads a solid column of holy finance. The pulse-beat of the continent finds no echo here.

It is not only in political affairs that there is a want of energy in French or Lower Canada; in journeying from Portland to Quebec, the moment the frontier was passed, we seemed to have come from a land of life to one of death. No more bustling villages, no more keen-eyed farmers: a fog of unenterprise hung over the land; roads were wanting, houses rude, swamps undrained, fields unweeded, plains untilled.

If the Eastern Townships and country round Quebec are a wilderness, they are not a desert. The country on the Saguenay is both. At Quebec in summer it is hot—mosquitoes are not unknown: even at Tadousac, where the Saguenay flows into the St. Lawrence, there is sunlight as strong as that of Paris. Once in the northern river, all is cold, gloomy, arctic—no house, no boat, no sign of man‘s existence, no beasts, no birds, although the St. Lawrence swarms with duck and loons. The river is a straight, cold, black fiord, walled in by tremendous cliffs, which go sheer down into depths to which their height above water is as nothing; two walls of rock, and a path of ice-cold, inky water. Fish there are, seal and salmon—that is all. The “whales and porpoises,” which are advertised by the Tadousac folks as certain to “disport themselves daily in front of the hotel,” are never to be seen in this earth-crack of the Saguenay.

The cold, for summer, was intense; nowhere in the world does the limit of ever-frozen ground come so far south as in the longitude of the Saguenay. At night we had a wonderful display of northern lights. A white column, towering to the mid-skies, rose, died away, and was succeeded by broad white clouds, stretching from east to west, and sending streamers northward. Suddenly there shot up three fresh silvery columns in the north, northwest, and northeast, on which all the colors of the rainbow danced and played. After moonrise, the whole seemed gradually to fade away.

At Ha Ha Bay, the head of navigation, I found a fur-buying station of the Hudson‘s Bay Company; but that association has enough to answer for without being charged with the desolation of the Saguenay. The company has not here, as upon the Red River, sacrificed colonists to minks and silver-foxes. There is something more blighting than a monopoly that oppresses Lower Canada. As I returned to Quebec, the boat that I was aboard touched at St. Paschal, now called Rivière du Loup, the St. Lawrence terminus of the Grand Trunk line: we found there immense wharves, and plenty of bells and crosses, but not a single ship, great or small. Even in Virginia I had seen nothing more disheartening.

North of the St. Lawrence religion is made to play as active a part in politics as in the landscape. Lower Canada, as we have seen, is French and Catholic; Upper Canada is Scotch and Presbyterian, though the Episcopalians are strong in wealth and the Irish Catholics in numbers.

Had the Catholics been united, they might, since the fusion of the two Canadas, have governed the whole country: as it is, the Irish and French neither worship nor vote together, and of late the Scotch have had nearly their own way.

Finding themselves steadily losing ground, the French threw in their lot with the scheme for the confederation of the provinces, and their clergy took up the cause with a zeal which they justified to their flocks by pointing out that the alternative was annexation to America, and possible confiscation of the church lands.

Confederation of the provinces means separation of the Canadas, which regain each its Parliament; and the French Catholics begin to hope that the Irish of Upper Canada, now that they are less completely overshaded by the more numerous French, will again act with their co-religionists: the Catholic vote in the new confederation will be nearly half the whole. In Toronto, however, the Fenians are strong, and even in Montreal their presence is not unknown: it is a question whether the whole of the Canadian Irish are not disaffected. The Irish of the chief city have their Irish priests, their cathedral of St. Patrick, while the French have theirs upon the Place d‘Armes. The want of union may save the dominion from the establishment of Catholicism as a State Church.

The confederation of our provinces was necessary, if British North America was to have a chance for life; but it cannot be said to be accomplished while British Columbia and the Red River tract are not included. To give Canada an outlet on one side is something, but communication with the Atlantic is a small matter by the side of communication at once with Atlantic and Pacific through British territory. We shall soon have railways from Halifax to Lake Superior, and thence to the Pacific is but 1600 miles. It is true that the line is far north, and exposed to heavy snows and bitter cold; but, on the other hand, it is well supplied with wood, and if it possess no such fertile tracts as that of Kansas and Colorado, it at least escapes the frightful wilds of Bitter Creek and Mirage Plains.

We are now even left in doubt how long we shall continue to possess so much as a route across the continent on paper. Since the cession of Russian America to the United States, a map of North America has been published in which the name of the Great Republic sprawls across the continent from Behring‘s Straits to Mexico, with the “E” in “United” ominously near Vancouver‘s Island, and the “T” actually planted upon British territory. If we take up the British Columbian, we find the citizens of the mainland portion of the province proposing to sell the island for twenty million dollars to the States.

Settled chiefly by Americans from Oregon and California, and situated, for purposes of reinforcement, immigration, and supply, at a distance of not less than twenty thousand miles from home, the British Pacific colonies can hardly be considered strong in their allegiance to the crown: we have here the reductio ad absurdum of home government.

Our hindering trade, by tolerating the presence of two sets of custom-houses and two sets of coins between Halifax and Lake Superior, was less absurd than our altogether preventing its extension now. Under a so-called confederation of our American possessions, we have left a country the size of civilized Europe, and nearly as large as the United States—lying too, upon the track of commerce and highroad to China—to be despotically governed by a company of traders in skins and peltries, and to remain as long as it so pleases them in the dead stillness and desertion needed to insure the presence of fur-bearing beasts.

“Red River” should be a second Minnesota, Halifax a second Liverpool, Esquimault a second San Francisco; but double government has done its work, and the outposts of the line of trade are already in American, not British hands. The gold mines of Nova Scotia, the coal mines and forests of British Columbia, are owned in New England and New York, and the Californians are expecting the proclamation of an American territorial government in the capital of Vancouver‘s Island.

As Montana becomes peopled up, we shall hear of the “colonization” of Red River by citizens of the United States, such as preceded the hoisting of the “lone star” in Texas, and the “bear flag” in California, by Fremont; and resistance by the Hudson‘s Bay Company will neither be possible, nor, in the interests of civilization, desirable.

Even supposing a great popular awakening upon colonial questions, and the destruction of the Hudson‘s Bay monopoly, we never could make the Canadian dominion strong. With the addition of Columbia and Red River, British America would hardly be as powerful or populous as the two Northwestern States of Ohio and Illinois, or the single State of New York—one out of forty-five. “Help us for ten years, and then we‘ll help ourselves,” the Canadians say; “help us to become ten millions, and then we will stand alone;” but this becoming ten millions is not such an easy thing.

The ideas of most of us as to the size of the British territories are derived from maps of North America, made upon Mercator‘s projection, which are grossly out in high latitudes, though correct at the equator. The Canadas are made to appear at least twice their proper size, and such gigantic proportions are given to the northern parts of the Hudson territory that we are tempted to believe that in a country so vast there must be some little value. The true size is no more shown upon the map than is the nine-months’ winter.

To Upper Canada, which is no bad country, it is not for lack of asking that population fails to come. Admirably executed gazettes give the fullest information about the British possessions in the most glowing of terms; offices and agencies are established in Liverpool, London, Cork, Londonderry, and a dozen other cities; government immigration agents and information offices are to be found in every town in Canada; the government immigrant is looked after in health, comfort, and religion; directions of the fullest kind are given him in the matters of money, clothes, tools, luggage; Canada, he is told by the government papers, possesses perfect religious, political, and social freedom; British subjects step at once into the possession of political rights; the winter is but bracing, the climate the healthiest in the world. Millions of acres of surveyed crown lands are continually in the market. To one who knows what the northern forests are there is perhaps something of satire in the statement that “there is generally on crown lands an unlimited supply of the best fuel.” What of that, however? The intending immigrant knows nothing of the struggle with the woods, and fuel is fuel in Old England. The mining of the precious metals, the fisheries, petroleum, all are open to the settler—let him but come. Reading these documents, we can only rub our eyes, and wonder how it is that human selfishness allows the Canadian officials to disclose the wonders of their El Dorado to the outer world, and invite all men to share blessings which we should have expected them to keep as a close preserve for themselves and their nearest and dearest friends. Taxation in the States, the immigrants are told, is five and a half times what it is in Canada, two and a half times the English rate. Laborers by the thousand, merchants and farmers by the score, are said to be flocking into Canada to avoid the taxation of the Radicals. The average duration of life in Canada is 37 per cent. higher than in the States. Yet, in the face of all these facts, only twenty or two and twenty thousand immigrants come to Canada for three hundred thousand that flock annually to the States, and of the former many thousands do but pass through on their way to the Great West. Of the twenty thousand who land at Quebec in each year, but four and a half thousand remain a year in Canada; and there are a quarter of a million of persons born in British America now naturalized in the United States.

The passage of the immigrants to the Western States is not for want of warning. The Canadian government advertise every Coloradan duel, every lynching in Montana, every Opposition speech in Kansas, by way of teaching the immigrants to respect the country of which they are about to become free citizens.

It is an unfortunate fact, that these strange statements are not harmless—not harmless to Canada, I mean. The Provincial government by these publications seems to confess to the world that Canada can live only by running down the great republic. Canadian sympathy for the rebellion tends to make us think that these northern statesmen must not only share in our old-world confusion of the notions of right and wrong, but must be sadly short-sighted into the bargain. It is only by their position that they are blinded, for few countries have abler men than Sir James Macdonald, or sounder statesmen than Cartier or Galt; but, like men standing on the edge of a cliff, Canadian statesmen are always wanting to jump off. Had Great Britain left them to their own devices, we should have had war with America in the spring of 1866.

The position of Canada is in many ways anomalous: of the two chief sections of our race—that in Britain and that in America—the latter is again split in twain, and one division governed from across the Atlantic. For such government there is no pretext, except the wishes of the governed, who gain by the connection men for their defense, and the opportunity of gratifying their spite for their neighbors at our expense. Those who ask why a connection so one-sided, so opposed to the best interests of our race, should be suffered to continue, are answered, now that the argument of “prestige” is given up, that the Canadians are loyal, and that they hate the Americans, to whom, were it not for us, they must inevitably fall. That the Canadians hate the Americans can be no reason why we should spend blood and treasure in protecting them against the consequences of their hate. The world should have passed the time when local dislikes can be suffered to affect our policy toward the other sections of our race; but even were it otherwise, it is hard to see how twelve thousand British troops, or a royal standard hoisted at Ottawa, can protect a frontier of two thousand miles in length from a nation of five and thirty millions. Canada, perhaps, can defend herself, but we most certainly cannot defend her; we provoke much more than we assist.

As for Canadian “loyalty,” it appears to consist merely of hatred toward America, for while we were fighting China and conquering Japan, that we might spread free trade, our loyal colonists of Canada set upon our goods protective duties of 20 per cent, which they have now in some degree removed, only that they may get into their hands the smuggling trade carried on in breach of the laws of our ally, their neighbor. We might, at least, fairly insist that the connection should cease, unless Canada will entirely remove her duties.

At bottom, it would seem as though no one gained by the retention of our hold on Canada. Were she independent, her borders would never again be wasted by Fenian hordes, and she would escape the terrible danger of being the battle-field in which European quarrels are fought out. Canada once republican, the Monroe doctrine would be satisfied, and its most violent partisans would cease to advocate the adoption of other than moral means to merge her territories in the Union. An independent Canada would not long delay the railway across the continent to Puget Sound, which a British bureau calls impossible. England would be relieved from the fear of a certain defeat by America in the event of war—a fear always harmful, even when war seems most unlikely; relieved, too, from the cost of such panics as those of 1861 and 1866.

Did Canada stand alone, no offense that she could give America would be likely to unite all sections of that country in an attempt to conquer her; while, on the other hand, such an attempt would be resisted to the death by an armed and brave people, four millions strong. As it is, any offense toward America committed by our agents, at any place or time, or arising out of the continual changes of policy and of ministry in Great Britain, united to the standing offense of maintaining the monarchical principle in North America, will bring upon unhappy Canada the whole American nation, indignant in some cause, just, or seeming just, and to be met by a people deceived into putting their trust in a few regiments of British troops, sufficient at the most to hold Quebec, and to be backed by reinforcements which could never come in time, did public opinion in Great Britain so much as permit their sailing. In all history there is nothing stranger than the narrowness of mind that has led us to see in Canada a piece of England, and in America a hostile country. There are more sons of British subjects in America than in Canada, by far; and the American looks upon the old country with a pride that cannot be shared by a man who looks to her to pay his soldiers.

The independence of Canada would put an immediate end to much of the American jealousy of Great Britain—a consideration which of itself should outweigh any claim to protection which the Canadians can have on us. The position which we have to set before us in our external dealings is, that we are no more fellow-countrymen of the Canadians than of the Americans of the North or West.

The capital of the new dominion is to be Ottawa, known as “Hole in the Woods” among the friends of Toronto and Montreal, and once called Bytown. It consists of the huge Parliament-house, the government printing-office, some houseless wildernesses meant for streets, and the hotel where the members of the legislature “board.” Such was the senatorial throng at the moment of my visit, that we were thrust into a detached building made of half-inch planks, with wide openings between the boards; and as the French Canadian members were excited about the resignation of Mr. Galt, indescribable chattering and bawling filled the house.

The view from the Parliament-house is even more thoroughly Canadian than that from the terrace at Quebec—a view of a land of rapids, of pine forests, and of lumberers’ homes, full of character, but somewhat bleak and dreary; even on the hottest summer‘s day, it tells of winter storms past and to come. On the far left are the island-filled reaches of the Upper Ottawa; nearer, the roaring Chaudière Falls, a mile across—a mile of walls of water, of sudden shoots, of jets, of spray. From the “caldron” itself, into which we can hardly see, rises a column of rainbow-tinted mist, backed by distant ranges and black woods, now fast falling before the settler‘s axe. Below you is the river, swift, and covered with cream-like foam; on the right, a gorge—the mouth of the Rideau Canal.

When surveyed from the fittest points, the Chaudière is but little behind Niagara; but it may be doubted whether in any fall there is that which can be called sublimity. Natural causes are too evident; water, rushing to find its level, falls from a ledge of rock. How different from a storm upon the coast, or from a September sunset, where the natural causes are so remote that you can bring yourself almost to see the immediate hand of God! It is excusable in Americans, who have no sea-coast worthy of the name, to talk of Niagara as the perfection of the sublime; but it is strange that a people who have Birling Gap and Bantry Bay should allow themselves to be led by such a cry.

Niagara has one beauty in which it is unapproached by the great Chaudière: the awesome slowness with which the deep-green flood, in the center of the Horseshoe Fall, rolls rather than plunges into the gulf.

CHAPTER VII.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

FROM the gloom of Buffalo, the smoke of Cincinnati, and the dirt of Pittsburg, I should have been glad to escape as soon as might be, even had not the death from cholera of 240 persons in a single day of my visit to the “Queen City” warned me to fly north. From a stricken town, with its gutters full of chloride of lime, and fires burning in the public streets, to green Michigan, was a grateful change; but I was full of sorrow at leaving that richest and most lovely of all States—Ohio. There is a charm in the park-like beauty of the Monongahela valley, dotted with vines and orchards, that nothing in Eastern America can rival. The absence at once of stumps in the cornfields, and of untilled or unfenced land, gives the “Buckeye State” a look of age that none of the “old Eastern States” can show. In corn, in meadow, in timber-land, Ohio stands alone. Her indian-corn exceeds in richness that of any other State; she has ample stores of iron, and coal is worked upon the surface in every Alleghany valley. Wool, wine, hops, tobacco, all are raised; her Catawba has inspired poems. Every river-side is clothed with groves of oak, of hickory, of sugar-maple, of sycamore, of poplar, and of buckeye. Yet, as I said, the change to the Michigan prairie was full of a delightful relief; it was Holland after the Rhine, London after Paris.

Where men grow tall there will maize grow tall, is a good sound rule: limestone makes both bone and straw. The Northwestern States, inhabited by giant men, are the chosen home of the most useful and beautiful of plants, the maize—in America called “corn.” For hundreds of miles the railway track, protected not even by a fence or hedge, runs through the towering plants, which hide all prospects save that of their own green pyramids. Maize feeds the people, it feeds the cattle and the hogs that they export to feed the cities of the East; from it is made yearly, as an Ohio farmer told me, “whisky enough to float the ark.” Rice is not more the support of the Chinese than maize of the English in America.

In the great corn-field of the Northwestern States, dwells a people without a history, without tradition, busy at hewing out of the forest trunks codes and social usages of its own. The Kansas men have set themselves to emancipating women; the “Wolverines,” as the people of Michigan are called, have turned their heads to education, and are teaching the teachers upon this point.

The rapidity with which intellectual activity is awakened in the West is inexplicable to the people of New England. While you are admiring the laws of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Boston men tell you that the resemblance of the code of Kansas to that of Connecticut is consequent only on the fact, that the framers of the former possessed a copy of this one New England code, while they had never set eyes upon the code of any other country in the world. While Yale and Harvard are trying in vain to keep pace with the State universities of Michigan and Kansas, you will meet in Lowell and New Haven men who apply an old Russian story to the Western colleges, and tell you that their professors of languages, when asked where they have studied, reply that they guess they learned to read and write in Springfield.

One of the difficulties of the New England colleges has been to reconcile university traditions with democracy; but in the Western States there is neither reconciliation nor tradition, though universities are plenty. Probably the most democratic school in the whole world is the State University of Michigan, situate at Ann Arbor, near Detroit. It is cheap, large, practical; twelve hundred students, paying only the ten dollars entrance fee, and five dollars a year during residence, and living where they can in the little town, attend the university to be prepared to enter with knowledge and resolution upon the affairs of their future life. A few only are educated by having their minds unfolded that they may become many-sided men; but all work with spirit, and with that earnestness which is seen in the Scotch universities at home. The war with crime, the war with sin, the war with death—Law, Theology, Medicine—these are the three foremost of man‘s employments; to these, accordingly, the university affords her chiefest care, and to one of these the student, his entrance examination passed, often gives his entire time.

These things are democratic, but it is not in them that the essential democracy of the university is to be seen. There are at Michigan no honor-lists, no classes in our sense, no orders of merit, no competition. A man takes, or does not take a certain degree. The university is governed, not by its members, not by its professors, but by a parliament of “regents” appointed by the inhabitants of the State. Such are the two great principles of the democratic university of the West.

It might be supposed that these two strange departures from the systems of older universities were irregularities, introduced to meet the temporary embarrassments incidental to educational establishments in young States. So far is this from being the case that, as I saw at Cambridge, the clearest-sighted men of the older colleges of America are trying to assimilate their teaching system to that of Michigan—at least in the one point of the absence of competition. They assert that toil performed under the excitement of a fierce struggle between man and man is unhealthy work, different in nature and in results from the loving labor of men whose hearts are really in what they do: toil, in short, not very easily distinguishable from slave labor.

In the matter of the absence of competition, Michigan is probably but returning to the system of the European universities of the Middle Ages, but the government by other than the members of the university is a still stranger scheme. It is explained when we look to the sources whence the funds of the university are drawn—namely, from the pockets of the taxpayers of the State. The men who have set up this corporation in their midst, and who tax themselves for its support, cannot be called on, they say, to renounce its government to their nominees, professors from New England, unconnected with the State, men of one idea, often quarrelsome, sometimes “irreligious.” There is much truth in these statements of the case, but it is to be hoped that the men chosen to serve as “regents” are of a higher intellectual stamp than those appointed to educational offices in the Canadian backwoods. A report was put into my hands at Ottawa, in which a superintendent of instruction writes to the Minister of Education, that he had advised the ratepayers of Victoria County not in future to elect as school trustees men who cannot read or write. As Michigan grows older, she will, perhaps, seek to conform to the practice of other universities in this matter of her government, but in the point of absence of competition she is likely to continue firm.

Even here some difficulty is found in getting competent school directors; one of them reported 31½ children attending school. Of another district its superintendent reports: “Conduct of scholars about the same as that of ‘Young America’ in general.” Some of the superintendents aim at jocosity, and show no want of talent in themselves, while their efforts are to demonstrate its deficiency among the boys. The superintendent of Grattan says, in answer to some numbered questions: “Condition good, improvement fair; for ¼ of ¼ of the year in school, and fifteen-sixteenths of the time at play. Male teachers most successful with the birch; female with Cupid‘s darts. Schoolhouses in fair whittling order. Apparatus: Shovel, none; tongs, ditto; poker, one. Conduct of scholars like that of parents—good, bad, and indifferent. No minister in town—sorry; no lawyer—good!” The superintendents of Manlius Township report that Districts 1 and 2 have buildings “fit (in winter) only for the polar bear, walrus, reindeer, Russian sable, or Siberian bat;” and they go on to say: “Our children read everything, from Mr. Noodle‘s Essays on Matrimony to Artemus Ward‘s Lecture on First Principles of American Government.” Another report from a very new county runs: “Sunday-schools afford a little reading-matter to the children. Character of matter most read—battle, murder, and sudden death.” A third states that the teachers are meanly paid, and goes on: “If the teaching is no better than the pay, it must be like the soup that the rebels gave the prisoners.” A superintendent, reporting that the success of the teachers is greater than their qualifications warrant, says: “The reason is to be found in the Yankeeish adaptability of even Wolverines.”

After all, it is hard even to pass jokes at the expense of the Northwestern people. A population who would maintain schools and universities under difficulties apparently overwhelming was the source from which to draw Union volunteers such as those who, after the war, returned to their Northern homes, I have been told, shocked and astonished at the ignorance and debasement of the Southern whites.

The system of elective studies pursued at Michigan is one to which we are year by year tending in the English universities. As sciences multiply and deepen, it becomes more and more impossible that a “general course” scheme can produce men fit to take their places in the world. Cambridge has attempted to set up both systems, and, giving her students the choice, bids them pursue one branch of study with a view to honors, or take a less valued degree requiring some slight proficiency in many things. Michigan denies that the stimulus of honor examinations should be connected with the elective system. With her, men first graduate in science, or in an arts degree, which bears a close resemblance to the English “poll,” and then pursue their elected study in a course which leads to no university distinction, which is free from the struggle for place and honors. These objections to “honors” rest upon a more solid foundation than a mere democratic hatred of inequality of man and man. Repute as a writer, as a practitioner, is valued by the Ann Arbor man, and the Wolverines do not follow the Ephesians, and tell men who excel among them to go and excel elsewhere. The Michigan professors say, and Dr. Hedges bears them out, that a far higher average of real knowledge is obtained under this system of independent work than is dreamt of in colleges where competition rules. “A higher average” is all they say, and they acknowledge frankly that there is here and there a student to be found to whom competition would do good. As a rule, they tell us this is not the case. Unlimited battle between man and man for place is sufficiently the bane of the world not to be made the curse of schools: competition breeds every evil which it is the aim of education, the duty of a university to suppress: pale faces caused by excessive toil, feverish excitement that prevents true work, a hatred of the subject on which the toil is spent, jealousy of best friends, systematic depreciation of men‘s talents, rejection of all reading that will not “pay,” extreme and unhealthy cultivation of the memory, general degradation of labor—all these evils, and many more, are charged upon the competition system. Everything that our professors have to say of “cram” these American thinkers apply to competition. Strange doctrines these for young America!

Of the practical turn which we should naturally expect to discover in the university of a bran-new State I found evidence in the regulation which prescribes that the degree of Master of Arts shall not be conferred as a matter of course upon graduates of three years’ standing, but only upon such as have pursued professional or general scientific studies during that period. Even in these cases an examination before some one of the faculties is required for the Master‘s degree. I was told that for the medical degree “four years of reputable practice” is received, instead of certain courses.

In her special and selected studies, Michigan is as merely practical as Swift‘s University of Brobdingnag; but, standing far above the ordinary arts or science courses, there is a “University course” designed for those who have already taken the Bachelor‘s degree. It is harder to say what this course includes than what it does not. The twenty heads range over philology, philosophy, art, and science; there is a branch of “criticism,” one of “arts of design,” one of “fine arts.” Astronomy, ethics, and Oriental languages are all embraced in a scheme brought into working order within ten years of the time when Michigan was a wilderness, and the college-yard an Indian hunting-ground.

Michigan entered upon education work very early in her history as a State. In 1850, her legislature commissioned the Hon. Ira Mayhew to prepare a work on education for circulation throughout America. Her progress has been as rapid as her start was good; her natural history collection is already one of the most remarkable in America; her medical school is almost unequaled, and students flow to her even from New England and from California, while from New York she draws a hundred men a year. In only one point is Ann Arbor anywhere but in the van: she has hitherto followed the New England colleges in excluding women. The State University of Kansas has not shown the same exclusiveness that has characterized the conduct of the rulers of Michigan: women are admitted not only to the classes, but to the professorships at Lawrence.

This Northwestern institution at Ann Arbor was not behind even Harvard in the war: it supplied the Union army with 1000 men. The 17th Regiment of Michigan Volunteers, mainly composed of teachers and Ann Arbor students, has no cause to fear the rivalry of any other “record;” and such was the effect of the war, that in 1860 there were in Michigan 2600 male to 5350 female teachers, whereas now there are but 1300 men to 7500 women.

So proud are Michigan men of their roll of honor, that they publish it at full length in the calendar of the university. Every “class” from the foundation of the schools shows some graduates distinguished in their country‘s service during the suppression of the rebellion. The Hon. Oramel Hosford, Superintendent of Public Instruction in Michigan, reports that, owing to the presence of crowds of returned soldiers, the schools of the State are filled almost to the limit of their capacity, while some are compelled to close their doors against the thronging crowds. Captains, colonels, generals, are among the students now humbly learning in the Ann Arbor University Schools.

The State of Michigan is peculiar in the form that she has given to her higher teaching; but in no way peculiar in the attention she bestows on education. Teaching, high and low, is a passion in the West, and each of these young States has established a university of the highest order, and placed in every township not only schools, but public libraries, supported from the rates, and managed by the people.

Not only have the appropriations for educational purposes by each State been large, but those of the Federal government have been upon the most splendid scale. What has been done in the Eastern and the Central States no man can tell, but even west of the Mississippi twenty-two million acres have already been granted for such purposes, while fifty-six million more are set aside for similar gifts.

The Americans are not forgetful of their Puritan traditions.

CHAPTER VIII.

THE PACIFIC RAILROAD.

WHEN the companions of the explorer Cartier found that the rapids at Montreal were not the end of all navigation, as they had feared, but that above them there commenced a second and boundless reach of deep, still waters, they fancied they had found the long-looked-for route to China, and cried, “La Chine!” So the story goes, and the name has stuck to the place.


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Up to 1861, the Canadians remained in the belief that they were at least the potential possessors of the only possible road for the China trade of the future, for in that year a Canadian government paper declared that the Rocky Mountains, south of British territory, were impassable for railroads. Maps showed that from St. Louis to San Francisco the distance was twice that from the head of navigation on Lake Superior to the British Pacific ports.

America has gone through a five years’ agony since that time; but now, in the first days of peace, we find that the American Pacific Railroad, growing at the average rate of two miles a day at one end, and one mile a day at the other, will stretch from sea to sea in 1869 or 1870, while the British line remains a dream.

Not only have the Rocky Mountains turned out to be passable, but the engineers have found themselves compelled to decide on the conflicting claims of passes without number. Wall-like and frowning as the Rocky Mountains are when seen from the plains, the rolling gaps are many, and they are easier crossed by railway lines than the less lofty chains of Europe. From the heat of the country, the snow-line lies high; the chosen pass is in the latitude of Constantinople or Oporto. The dryness of the air of the center of a vast continent prevents the fall of heavy snows or rains in winter. At eight or nine thousand feet above the sea, in the Black Hills, or Eastern Piedmont, the drivers on the Pacific line will have slighter snow-drifts to encounter than their brothers on the Grand Trunk or the Camden and Amboy at the sea-level. On the other hand, fuel and water are scarce, and there is an endless succession of smaller snowy chains which have to be crossed, upon the Grand Plateau or basin of the Great Salt Lake. Whatever the difficulties, in 1870 the line will be an accomplished fact.

In the act creating the Pacific Railroad Company, passed in 1862, the company were bound to complete their line at the rate of a hundred miles a year. They are completing it at more than three times that rate.

When the act is examined, it ceases to be strange that the road should be pushed with extraordinary energy and speed, so numerous are the baits offered to the companies to hasten its completion. Money is to be advanced them; land is to be given them for every mile they finish—on a generous scale while the line is on the plains, on three times the scale when it reaches the most rugged tracts. These grants alone are estimated at twenty millions of acres. Besides the alternate sections, a width of four hundred feet, with additional room for works and stations, is granted for the line. The California Company is tempted by similar offers to a race with the Union Pacific, and each company is struggling to lay the most miles and get the most land upon the great basin. It is the interest of the Eastern Company that the junction should be as far as possible to the west; of the Western, that it should be as far as possible to the east. The result is an average laying of three, and an occasional construction of four, miles a day. If we look to the progress at both ends, we find as much sometimes laid in a day as a bullock train could travel. So fast do the headquarters “cities” keep moving forward, that at the Californian end the superintendent wished me to believe that whenever his chickens heard a wagon pass, they threw themselves upon their backs, and held up their legs, that they might be tied and thrown into the cart for a fresh move. “They are true birds of passage,” he said.

When the iron trains are at the front, the laying will for a short time proceed at the rate of nine yards in every fifteen seconds; but three or four hundred tons of rails have to be brought up every day upon the single track, and it is in this that the time is lost.

The advance carriages of the construction train are well supplied with rifles hung from the roofs; but even when the Indians forget their amaze, and attack the “city upon wheels,” or tear up the track, they are incapable of destroying the line so fast as the machinery can lay it down. “Soon,” as a Denver paper said, during my stay in the Mountain City, “the iron horse will sniff the Alpine breeze upon the summit of the Black Hills 9000 feet above the sea;” and upon the plateau, where deer are scarce and buffalo unknown, the Indians have all but disappeared. The worst Indian country is already crossed, and the red men have sullenly followed the buffalo to the south, and occupy the country between Kansas State and Denver, contenting themselves with preventing the construction of the Santa Fé and Denver routes to California. Both for the end in view, and the energy with which it is pursued, the Pacific Railroad will stand first among the achievements of our times.

If the end to be kept in view in the construction of the first Pacific Railroad line were merely the traffic from China and Japan to Europe, or the shortest route from San Francisco to Hampton Roads, the Kansas route through St. Louis, Denver, and the Berthoud Pass would be, perhaps, the best and shortest of those within the United States; but the Saskatchewan line through British territory, with Halifax and Puget Sound for ports, would be still more advantageous. As it is, the true question seems to be, not the trade between the Pacific and Great Britain, but between Asia and America, for Pennsylvania and Ohio must be the manufacturing countries of the next fifty years.

Whatever our theory, the fact is plain enough: in 1870 we shall reach San Francisco from London in less time than by the severest traveling I can reach it from Denver in 1866.

Wherever, in the States, Forth and South have met in conflict, North has won. New York has beaten Norfolk; Chicago, in spite of its inferior situation, has beaten the older St. Louis. In the same way, Omaha, or cities still farther north, will carry off the trade from Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Kansas City. Ultimately Puget Sound may beat San Francisco in the race for the Pacific trade, and the Southern cities become still less able to keep their place than they have been hitherto. Time after time, Chicago has thrown out intercepting lines, and diverted from St. Louis trade which seemed of necessity to belong to her; and the success of the Union Pacific line, and failure of the Kansas road, is a fresh proof of the superior energy of the Northern to the Southern city. This time a fresh element enters into the calculation, and declares for Chicago. The great circle route, the true straight line, is in these great distances shorter by fifty or a hundred miles than the straight lines of the maps and charts, and the Platte route becomes not only the natural, but the shortest route from sea to sea.

Chicago has a great advantage over St. Louis in her comparative freedom from the cholera, which yearly attacks the Missourian city. During my stay in St. Louis, the deaths from cholera alone were known to have reached 200 a day, in a population diminished by flight to 180,000. A quarantine was established on the river; the sale of fruit and vegetables prohibited; prisoners released on condition that they should work at burying the dead; and funeral corteges were forbidden. Chicago herself, unreached by the plague, was scattering handbills on every Western railroad line, warning immigrants against St. Louis.

The Missourians have relied overmuch upon the Mississippi River, and have forgotten that railroads are superseding steamboats every day. Chicago, on the other hand, which ten years ago was the twentieth city in America, is probably by this time the third. As a center of thought, political and religious, she stands second only to Boston, and her Wabash and Michigan Avenues are among the most beautiful of streets.

One of the chief causes of the future wealth of America is to be found in the fact that all her “inland” towns are ports. The State of Michigan lies between 500 and 900 miles from the ocean, but the single State has upon the great lakes a coast of 1500 miles. From Fort Benton to the sea by water is nearly 4000 miles, but the post is a much-used steamboat port, though more distant, even in the air-line, from the nearest sea upon the same side the dividing range, than is the White Sea from the Persian Gulf. Put it in which way you would, Europe could not hold this river.

A great American city is almost invariably placed at a point where an important railroad finds an outport on a lake or river. This is no adaptation to railways of the Limerick saying about rivers—namely, that Providence has everywhere so placed them as to pass through the great towns; for in America railways precede population, and when mapped out and laid, they are but tramways in the desert. There is no great wonder in this, when we remember that 158,000,000 acres of land have been up to this time granted to railroads in America.

One tendency of a costly railroad system is that few lines will be made, and trade being thus driven into certain unchanging routes, a small number of cities will flourish greatly, and, by acting as housing stations or as ports, will rise to enormous wealth and population. Where a system of cheap railways is adopted, there will be year by year a tendency to multiply lines of traffic, and consequently to multiply also ports and seats of trade—a tendency, however, which may be more than neutralized by any special circumstances which may cause the lines of transit to converge rather than run parallel to one another. Of the system of costly grand trunk lines we have an instance in India, where we see the creation of Umritsur and the prosperity of Calcutta alike due to our single great Bengal line; of the converging system we have excellent instances in Chicago and Bombay; while we see the plan of parallel lines in action here in Kansas, and causing the comparative equality of progress manifested in Leavenworth, in Atchison, in Omaha. The coasts of India swarmed with ports till our trunk lines ruined Goa and Surat to advance Bombay, and a hundred village ports to push our factory at Calcutta, founded by Charnock as late as 1690, but now grown to be the third or fourth city of the empire.

Of the dozen chaotic cities which are struggling for the honor of becoming the future capital of the West, Leavenworth, with 20,000 people, three daily papers, an opera house, and 200 drinking saloons, was, at the time of my visit in 1866, somewhat ahead of Omaha, with its 12,000, two papers, and a single “one-horse” theater, though the northern city tied Leavenworth in the point of “saloons.”

Omaha, Leavenworth, Kansas City, Wyandotte, Atchison, Topeka, Lecompton, and Lawrence, each praises itself and runs down its neighbor. Leavenworth claims to be so healthy that when it lately became necessary to “inaugurate” the new grave-yard, “they had to shoot a man on purpose”—a change since the days when the Southern Border Ruffians were in the habit of parading its streets, bearing the scalps of abolitionists stuck on poles. On the other hand, a Nebraska man, when asked whether the Kansas people were fairly honest, said: “Don‘t know about honest; but they do say as how the folk around take in their stone fences every night.” Lawrence, the State capital, which is on the dried-up Kansas River, sneeringly says of all the new towns on the Missouri that the boats that ply between them are so dangerous that the fare is collected in installments every five minutes throughout the trip. Next after the jealousy between two Australian colonies, there is nothing equal to the hatreds between cities competing for the same trade. Omaha has now the best chance of becoming the capital of the far West, but Leavenworth will no doubt continue to be the chief town of Kansas.

The progress of the smaller cities is amazing. Pistol-shots by day and night are frequent, but trade and development are little interfered with by such incidents as these; and as the village cities are peopled up, the pioneers, shunning their fellows, keep pushing westward, seeking new “locations.” “You‘re the second man I‘ve seen this fall! Darn me, if ‘taint ’bout time to varmose out westerly—y,” is the standing joke of the “frontier-bars” against each other.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

At St. Louis I had met my friend Mr. Hepworth Dixon, just out from England, and with him I visited the Kansas towns, and then pushed through Waumego to Manhattan, the terminus (for the day) of the Kansas Pacific line. Here we were thrust into what space remained between forty leathern mail-bags and the canvas roof of the mule-drawn ambulance, which was to be at once our prison for six nights, and our fort upon wheels against the Indians.

CHAPTER IX.

OMPHALISM.

DASHING through a grove of cottonwood-trees draped in bignonia and ivy, we came out suddenly upon a charming scene: a range of huts and forts crowning a long, low hill seamed with many a timber-clothed ravine, while the clear stream of the Republican fork wreathed itself about the woods and bluffs. The block-house, over which floated the Stars and Stripes, was Fort Riley, the Hyde Park Corner from which continents are to measure all their miles; the “capital of the universe,” or “center of the world.” Not that it has always been so. Geographers will be glad to learn that not only does the earth gyrate, but that the center of its crust also moves: within the last ten years it has removed westward into Kansas from Missouri—from Independence to Fort Riley. The contest for centership is no new thing. Herodotus held that Greece was the very middle of the world, and that the unhappy Orientals were frozen, and the yet more unfortunate Atlantic Indians baked every afternoon of their poor lives in order that the sun might shine on Greece at noon; London plumes herself on being the “center of the terrestrial globe;” Boston is the “hub of the hull universe,” though the latter claim is less physical than moral, I believe. In Fort Riley the Western men seem to have found the physical center of the United States, but they claim for the Great Plains as well the intellectual as the political leadership of the whole continent. These hitherto untrodden tracts, they tell you, form the heart of the empire, from which the life-blood must be driven to the extremities. Geographical and political centers must ultimately coincide.

Connected with this belief is another Western theory—that the powers of the future must be “continental.” Germany, or else Russia, is to absorb all Asia and Europe, except Britain. North America is already cared for, as the gradual extinction of the Mexican and absorption of the Canadians they consider certain. As for South America, the Californians are planning an occupation of Western Brazil, on the ground that the continental power of South America must start from the head-waters of the great rivers, and spread seaward down the streams. Even in the Brazilian climate they believe that the Anglo-Saxon is destined to become the dominant race.

The success of this omphalism, this government from the center, will be brought about, in the Western belief, by the necessity under which the nations on the head-waters of all streams will find themselves of having the outlets in their hands. Even if it be true that railways are beating rivers, still the railways must also lead seaward to the ports, and the need for their control is still felt by the producers in the center countries of the continent. The Upper States must everywhere command the Lower, and salt-water despotism find its end.

The Americans of the Valley States, who fought all the more heartily in the Federal cause from the fact that they were battling for the freedom of the Mississippi against the men who held its mouth, look forward to the time when they will have to assert, peaceably but with firmness, their right to the freedom of their railways through the Northern Atlantic States. Whatever their respect for New England, it cannot be expected that they are forever to permit Illinois and Ohio to be neutralized in the Senate by Rhode Island and Vermont. If it goes hard with New England, it will go still harder with New York; and the Western men look forward to the day when Washington will be removed, Congress and all, to Columbus or Fort Riley.

The singular wideness of Western thought, always verging on extravagance, is traceable to the width of Western land. The immensity of the continent produces a kind of intoxication; there is moral dram-drinking in the contemplation of the map. No Fourth of July oration can come up to the plain facts contained in the Land Commissioners’ report. The public domain of the United States still consists of one thousand five hundred millions of acres; there are two hundred thousand square miles of coal lands in the country, ten times as much as in all the remaining world. In the Western territories not yet States, there is land sufficient to bear, at the English population rate, five hundred and fifty millions of human beings.

It is strange to see how the Western country dwarfs the Eastern States. Buffalo is called a “Western City;” yet from New York to Buffalo is only three hundred and fifty miles, and Buffalo is but seven hundred miles to the west of the most eastern point in all the United States. On the other hand, from Buffalo we can go two thousand five hundred miles westward without quitting the United States. “The West” is eight times as wide as the Atlantic States, and will soon be eight times as strong.

The conformation of North America is widely different to that of any other continent on the globe. In Europe, the glaciers of the Alps occupy the center point, and shed the waters toward each of the surrounding seas: confluence is almost unknown. So it is in Asia: there the Indus flowing into the Arabian Gulf, the Oxus into the Sea of Aral, the Ganges into the Bay of Bengal, the Yangtse Kiang into the Pacific, and the Yenesei into the Arctic Ocean, all take their rise in the central table-land. In South America, the mountains form a wall upon the west, whence the rivers flow eastward in parallel lines. In North America alone are there mountains on each coast, and a trough between, into which the rivers flow together, giving in a single valley 23,000 miles of navigable stream to be plowed by steamships. The map proclaims the essential unity of North America. Political geography might be a more interesting study than it has yet been made.

In reaching Leavenworth, I had crossed two of the five divisions of America: the other three lie before me on my way to San Francisco. The eastern slopes of the Alleghanies, or Atlantic coast; their western slopes; the Great Plains; the Grand Plateau, and the Pacific coast—these are the five divisions. Fort Riley, the center of the United States, is upon the border of the third division, the Great Plains. The Atlantic coast is poor and stony, but the slight altitude of the Alleghany chain has prevented its being a hinderance to the passage of population to the West: the second of the divisions is now the richest and most powerful of the five: but the wave of immigration is crossing the Mississippi and Missouri into the Great Plains, and here at Fort Riley we are upon the limit of civilization.

This spot is not only the center of the United States and of the continent, but, if Denver had contrived to carry the Pacific Railroad by the Berthoud Pass, would have been the center station upon what Governor Gilpin, of Colorado, calls the “Asiatic and European railway line.” As it is, Columbus in Nebraska has somewhat a better chance of becoming the Washington of the future than has this block-house.

Quitting Fort Riley, we found ourselves at once upon the plains. No more sycamore and white-oak and honey-locust; no more of the rich deep green of the cottonwood groves; but yellow earth, yellow flowers, yellow grass, and here and there groves of giant sunflowers with yellow blooms, but no more trees.

As the sun set, we came on a body of cavalry marching slowly from the plains toward the fort. Before them, at some little distance, walked a sad-faced man on foot, in sober riding-dress, with a repeating carbine slung across his back. It was Sherman returning from his expedition to Santa Fé.

CHAPTER X.

LETTER FROM DENVER.

Monday, 3d September.

My dear ——,

Here we are, scalps and all.

On Tuesday last, at sundown, we left Fort Riley, and supped at Junction City, the extreme point that “civilization” has reached upon the plains. Civilization means whisky: post-offices don‘t count.

It was here that it first dawned upon us that we were being charged 500 dollars to guard the United States Californian mail, with the compensation of the chance of being ourselves able to rob it with impunity. It is at all events the case that we, well armed as the mail officers at Leavenworth insisted on our being, sat inside with forty-two cwt. of mail, in open bags, and over a great portion of the route had only the driver with us, without whose knowledge we could have read all and stolen most of the letters, and with whose knowledge, but against whose will, we could have carried off the whole, leaving him gagged, bound, and at the mercy of the Indians. As it was, a mail-bag fell out one day, without the knowledge of either Dixon or the driver, who were outside, and I had to shout pretty freely before they would pull up.

On Wednesday we had our last “squar’ meal” in the shape of a breakfast, at Fort Ellsworth, and soon were out upon the almost unknown plains. In the morning we caught up and passed long wagon trains, each wagon drawn by eight oxen, and guarded by two drivers and one horseman, all armed with breech-loading rifles and revolvers, or with the new “repeaters,” before which breech-loaders and revolvers must alike go down. All day we kept a sharp look-out for a party of seven American officers, who, in defiance of the scout‘s advice, had gone out from the fort to hunt buffalo upon the track. About sundown we came into the little station of Lost Creek. The ranchmen told us that they had, during the day, been driven in from their work by a party of Cheyennes, and that they had some doubts as to the wisdom of the officers in going out to hunt.

Just as we were leaving the station, one of the officers’ horses dashed in riderless, and was caught; and about two miles from the station we passed another on its back, ripped up either by a knife or buffalo horn. The saddle was gone, but there were no other marks of a fight. We believe that these officers were routed by buffalo, not Cheyennes, but still we should be glad to hear of them.

The track is marked in many parts of the plains by stakes, such as those from which the Llano Estacado takes its name; but this evening we turned off into devious lines by way of precaution against ambuscades, coming round through the sandy beds of streams to the ranches for the change of mules. The ranchmen were always ready for us; for, while we were still a mile away, our driver would put his hand to his mouth, and give a “How! how! how! how—w!” the Cheyenne warhoop.


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In the weird glare that follows sunset we came upon a pile of rocks, admirably fitted for an ambush. As we neared them, the driver said: “It‘s ’bout an even chance thet we‘s sculp ther’!” We could not avoid them, as there was a gully that could only be crossed at this one point. We dashed down into the “creek” and up again, past the rocks: there were no Indians, but the driver was most uneasy till we reached Big Creek.

Here they could give us nothing whatever to eat, the Indians having, on Tuesday, robbed them of everything they had, and ordered them to leave within fifteen days on pain of death.

For 250 miles westward from Big Creek we found that every station had been warned (and most plundered) by bands of Cheyennes, on behalf of the forces of the confederation encamped near the creek itself. The warning was in all cases that of fire and death at the end of fifteen days, of which nine days have expired. We found the horse-keepers of the company everywhere leaving their stations, and were, in consequence, very nearly starved, having been unsuccessful in our shots from the “coach,” except, indeed, at the snakes.

On Thursday we passed Big Timber, the only spot on the plains where there are trees; and there the Indians had counted the trunks and solemnly warned the men against cutting more: “Fifty-two tree. You no cut more tree—no more cut. Grass! You cut grass; grass make big fire. You good boy—you clear out. Fifteen day, we come: you no gone—ugh!” The “ugh” accompanied by an expressive pantomime.

On Thursday evening we got a meal of buffalo and prairie dog, the former too strong for my failing stomach, the latter wholesome nourishment, and fit for kings—as like our rabbit in flavor as he is in shape. This was at the horse-station of “The Monuments,” a natural temple of awesome grandeur, rising from the plains like a giant Stonehenge.

On Friday we “breakfasted” at Pond Creek station, two miles from Fort Wallis. Here the people had applied for a guard, and had been answered: “Come into the fort; we can‘t spare a man.” So much for the value of the present forts; and yet even these—Wallis and Ellsworth—are 200 miles apart.

We were joined at breakfast by Bill Comstock, interpreter to the fort,—a long-haired, wild-eyed half-breed,—who gave us, in an hour‘s talk, the full history of the Indian politics that have led to the present war.

The Indians, to the number of 20,000, have been in council with the Washington Commissioners all this summer at Fort Laramie; and, after being clothed, fed, and armed, lately concluded a treaty, allowing the running on the mail-roads. They now assert that this treaty was intended to apply to the Platte road (from Omaha and Atchison through Fort Kearney), and to the Arkansas road, but not to the Smoky Hill road, which lies between the others, and runs through the buffalo country; but their real opposition is to the railroad. The Cheyennes (pronounced Shíans) have got the Camanches, Appaches, and Arrapahoes from the south, and the Sioux and Kiowas from the north, to join them in a confederation, under the leadership of Spotted Dog, the chief of the Little Dog section of the Cheyennes, and son of White Antelope,—killed at Sand Creek battle by the Kansas and Colorado Volunteers,—who has sworn to avenge his father.

Soon after leaving Pond Creek, we sighted at a distance three mounted “braves,” leading some horses; and when we reached the next station, we found that they had been there openly proclaiming that their mounts had been stolen from a team.

All this day we sat with our revolvers laid upon the mail-bags in front of us, and our driver also had his armory conspicuously displayed, while we swept the plains with many an anxious glance. We were on lofty rolling downs, and to the south the eye often ranged over much of the 130 miles which lay between us and Texas. To the north the view was more bounded; still, our chief danger lay near the boulders, which here and there covered the plains.

All Thursday and Friday we never lost sight of the buffalo, in herds of about 300, and the “antelope”—the prong-horn, a kind of gazelle—in flocks of six or seven. Prairie dogs were abundant, and wolves and black-tail deer in view at every turn.

The most singular of all the sights of the plains is the constant presence every few yards of the skeletons of buffalo and of horse, of mule and of ox; the former left by the hunters, who take but the skin, and the latter the losses of the mails and the wagon-trains through sunstroke and thirst. We killed a horse on the second day of our journey.

When we came upon oxen that had not long been dead, we found that the intense dryness of the air had made mummies of them: there was no stench, no putrefaction.

During the day I made some practice at antelope with the driver‘s Ballard; but an antelope at 500 yards is not an easy target. The driver shot repeatedly at buffalo at twenty yards, but this only to keep them away from the horses; the revolver balls did not seem to go through their hair and skin, as they merely shambled on in their usual happy sort of way, after receiving a discharge or two.

The prairie dogs sat barking in thousands on the tops of their mounds, but we were too grateful to them for their gayety to dream of pistol-shots. They are no “dogs” at all, but rabbits that bark, with all the coney‘s tricks and turns, and the same odd way of rubbing their face with their paws while they con you from top to toe.

With wolves, buffalo, antelope, deer, skunks, dogs, plover, curlew, dottrel, herons, vultures, ravens, snakes, and locusts, we never seemed to be without a million companions in our loneliness.

From Cheyenne Wells, where we changed mules in the afternoon, we brought on the ranchman‘s wife, painfully making room for her at our own expense. Her husband had been warned by the Cheyennes that the place would be destroyed: he meant to stay, but was in fear for her. The Cheyennes had made her cook for them, and our supper had gone down Cheyenne throats.

Soon after leaving the station, we encountered one of the great “dirt-storms” of the plains. About 5 P.M. I saw a little white cloud growing into a column, which in half an hour turned black as night, and possessed itself of half the skies. We then saw what seemed to be a waterspout; and, though no rain reached us, I think it was one. When the storm burst on us we took it for rain, and halting, drew down our canvas and held it against the hurricane. We soon found that our eyes and mouths were full of dust; and when I put out my hand I felt that it was dirt, not rain, that was falling. In a few minutes it was pitch dark, and after the fall had continued for some time, there began a series of flashes of blinding lightning, in the very center and midst of which we seemed to be. Notwithstanding this, there was no sound of thunder. The “norther” lasted some three or four hours, and when it ceased, it left us total darkness, and a wind which froze our marrow as we again started on our way. When Fremont explored this route, he reported that the high ridge between the Platte and Arkansas was notorious among the Indians for its tremendous dirt-storms. Sheet lightning without thunder accompanies dust-storms in all great continents; it is as common in the Punjab as in Australia, in South as in North America.

On Saturday morning, at Lake station, we got beyond the Indians, and into a land of plenty, or at all events a land of something, for we got milk from the station cow, and preserved fruits that had come round through Denver from Ohio and Kentucky. Not even on Saturday, however, could we get dinner, and as I missed the only antelope that came within reach, our supper was not much heavier than our breakfast.

Rolling through the Arrapahoe country, where it is proposed to make a reserve for the Cheyennes, at eight o‘clock on Saturday morning we caught sight of the glittering snows of Pike‘s Peak, a hundred and fifty miles away, and all the day we were galloping toward it, through a country swarming with rattlesnakes and vultures. Late in the evening, when we were drawing near to the first of the Coloradan farms, we came on a white wolf unconcernedly taking his evening prowl about the stock-yards. He sneaked along without taking any notice of us, and continued his thief-like walk with a bravery that seemed only to show that he had never seen man before; this might well be the case, if he came from the south, near the upper forks of the Arkansas.

All this, and the frequency of buffalo, I was unprepared for. I imagined that though the plains were uninhabited, the game had all been killed. On the contrary, the “Smoky district” was never known so thronged with buffalo as it is this year. The herds resort to it because there they are close to the water of the Platte River, and yet out of the reach of the traffic of the Platte road. The tracks they make in traveling to and fro across the plains are visible for years after they have ceased to use them. I have seen them as broad and as straight as the finest of Roman roads.

On Sunday, at two in the morning, we dashed into Denver; and as we reeled and staggered from our late prison, the ambulance, into the “cockroach corral” which does duty for the bar-room of the “Planters’ House,” we managed to find strength and words to agree that we would fix no time for meeting the next day. We expected to sleep for thirty hours; as it was, we met at breakfast at seven A.M., less than five hours from the time we parted. It is to-day that we feel exhausted; the exhilaration of the mountain air, and the excitement of frequent visits, carried us through yesterday. Dixon is suffering from strange blains and boils, caused by the unwholesome food.

We have been called upon here by Governor Gilpin and Governor Cummings, the opposition governors. The former is the elected governor of the State of Colorado which is to be, and would have been but for the fact that the President put his big toe (Western for veto) upon the bill; the latter, the Washington-sent governor of the Territory. Gilpin is a typical pioneer man, and the descendant of a line of such. He comes of one of the original Quaker stocks of Maryland, and he and his ancestors have ever been engaged in founding States. He himself, after taking an active share in the foundation of Kansas, commanded a regiment of cavalry in the Mexican war. After this, he was at the head of the pioneer army which explored the parcs of the Cordilleras and the Territory of Nevada. He it was who hit upon the glorious idea of placing Colorado half upon each side of the Sierra Madre. There never, in the history of the world, was a grander idea than this. Any ordinary pioneer or politician would have given Colorado the “natural” frontier, and have tried for the glory of the foundation of two States instead of one. The consequence would have been, lasting disunion between the Pacific and Atlantic States, and a possible future break-up of the country. As it is, this commonwealth, little as it at present is, links sea to sea, and Liverpool to Hong Kong.

The city swarms with Indians of the bands commanded by the chiefs Nevara and Collorego. They are at war with the six confederate tribes, and with the Pawnees—with all the plain Indians, in short. Now, as the Pawnees are also at war with the six tribes, there is a pretty triangular fight. They came in to buy arms, and fearful scoundrels they look. Short, flat-nosed, long-haired, painted in red and blue, and dressed in a gaudy costume, half Spanish, half Indian, which makes their filthiness appear more filthy by contrast, and themselves carrying only their Ballard and Smith-and-Wesson, but forcing the squaws to carry all their other goods, and papooses in addition, they present a spectacle of unmixed ruffianism which I never expect to see surpassed. Dixon and I, both of us, left London with “Lo! the poor Indian,” in all his dignity and hook-nosedness, elevated on a pedestal of nobility in our hearts. Our views were shaken in the East, but nothing revolutionized them so rapidly as our three days’ risk of scalping in the plains. John Howard and Mrs. Beecher Stowe themselves would go in for the Western “disarm at any price, and exterminate if necessary” policy if they lived long in Denver. One of the braves of Nevara‘s command brought in the scalp of a Cheyenne chief taken by him last month, and to-day it hangs outside the door of a pawnbroker‘s shop, for sale, fingered by every passer-by.

Many of the band were engaged in putting on their paint, which was bright vermilion, with a little indigo round the eye. This, with the sort of pigtail which they wear, gives them the look of the gnomes in the introduction to a London pantomime. One of them—Nevara himself, I was told—wore a sombrero with three scarlet plumes, taken probably from a Mexican, a crimson jacket, a dark-blue shawl, worn round the loins and over the arm in Spanish dancer fashion, and embroidered moccasins. His squaw was a vermilion-faced bundle of rags, not more than four feet high, staggering under buffalo hides, bow and arrows, and papoose. They move everywhere on horseback, and in the evening withdraw in military order, with advance and rear guard, to a camp at some distance from the town.

I inclose some prairie flowers, gathered in my walks round the city. Their names are not suited to their beauty; the large white one is “the morning blower,” the most lovely of all, save one, of the flowers of the plains. It grows with many branches to a height of some eighteen inches, and bears from thirty to fifty blooms. The blossoms are open up to a little after sunrise, when they close, seldom to open even after sunset. It is, therefore, peculiarly the early riser‘s flower; and if it be true that Nature doesn‘t make things in vain, it follows that Nature intended men—or, at all events, some men—to get up early, which is a point that I believe was doubtful hitherto.

For the one prairie flower which I think more beautiful than the blower I cannot find a name. It rises to about six inches above ground, and spreads in a circle of a foot across. Its leaf is thin and spare; its flower-bloom a white cup, about two inches in diameter; and its buds pink and pendulent.

All our garden annuals are to be found in masses acres in size upon the plains. Penstemon, coreopsis, persecaria, yucca, dwarf sumach, marigold, and sunflower, all are flowering here at once, till the country is ablaze with gold and red. The coreopsis of our gardens they call the “rosin-weed,” and say that it forms excellent food for sheep.

The view of the “Cordillera della Sierra Madre,” the Rocky Mountain main chain, from the outskirts of Denver is sublime; that from the roof at Milan does not approach it. Twelve miles from the city the mountains rise abruptly from the plains. Piled range above range with step-like regularity, they are topped by a long white line, sharply relieved against the indigo of the sky. Two hundred and fifty miles of the mother Sierra are in sight from our veranda; to the south, Pike‘s Peak and Spanish Peak; Long‘s Peak to the north; Mount Lincoln towering above all. The views are limited only by the curvature of the earth, such is the marvelous purity of the Coloradan air, the effect at once of the distance from the sea and of the bed of limestone which underlies the plains.

The site of Denver is heaven-blessed in climate as well as loveliness. The sky is brilliantly blue, and cloudless from dawn till noon. In the mid-day heats, cloud-making in the Sierra begins, and by sunset the snowy chain is multiplied a hundred times in curves of white and purple cumuli, while thunder rolls heavily along the range. “This is a great country, sir,” said a Coloradan to me to-day. “We make clouds for the whole universe.” At dark there is dust or thunder-storm at the mountain foot, and then the cold and brilliant night. Summer and winter it is the same.

CHAPTER XI

RED INDIA.

“THESE Red Indians are not red,” was our first cry when we saw the Utes in the streets of Denver. They had come into the town to be painted as English ladies go to London to shop; and we saw them engaged within a short time after their arrival in daubing their cheeks with vermilion and blue, and referring to glasses which the squaws admiringly held. Still, when we met them with peaceful paintless cheeks, we had seen that their color was brown, copper, dirt, anything you please except red.

The Hurons, with whom I had stayed at Indian Lorette, were French in training if not in blood; the Pottawatomies of St. Mary‘s Mission, the Delawares of Leavenworth, are tame Indians: it is true that they can hardly be called red; but still I had expected to have found these wild prairie and mountain Indians of the color from which they take their name. Save for paint, I found them of a color wholly different from that which we call red.

Low in stature, yellow-skinned, small-eyed, and Tartar-faced, the Indians of the plains are a distinct people from the tall, hook-nosed warriors of the Eastern States. It is impossible to set eyes on their women without being reminded of the dwarf skeletons found in the mounds of Missouri and Iowa; but, men or women, the Utes bear no resemblance to the bright-eyed, graceful people with whom Penn traded and Standish fought. They are not less inferior in mind than in body. It was no Shoshoné, no Ute, no Cheyenne, who called the rainbow the “heaven of flowers,” the moon “the night queen,” or the stars “God‘s eyes.” The plain tribes are as deficient, too, in heroes as in poetry: they have never even produced a general, and White Antelope is their nearest approach to a Tecumseh. Their mode of life, the natural features of the country in which they dwell, have nothing in them to suggest a reason for their debased condition. The reason must lie in the blood, the race.

All who have seen both the Indians and the Polynesians at home must have been struck with innumerable resemblances. The Maori and Red Indian wakes for the dead are identical; the Californian Indians wear the Maori mat; the “medicine” of the Mandan is but the “tapu” of Polynesia; the New Zealand dance-song, the Maori tribal scepter, were found alike by Strachey in Virginia and Drake in California; the canoes of the West Indies are the same as those of Polynesia. Hundreds of arguments, best touched from the farther side of the Pacific, concur to prove the Indians a Polynesian race. The canoes that brought to Easter Island the people who built their mounds and rock temples there, may as easily have been carried on by the Chilian breeze and current to the South American shore. The wave from Malaya would have spent itself upon the northern plains. The Utes would seem to be Kamtchatkans, or men of the Amoor, who, fighting their way round by Behring Straits, and then down south, drove a wedge between the Polynesians of Appalachia and California. No theory but this will account for the sharp contrast between the civilization of ancient Peru and Mexico, and the degradation in which the Utes have lived from the earliest recorded times. Mounds, rock temples, worship, all are alike unknown to the Indians of the plains; to the Polynesian Indians, these were things that had come down to them from all time.

Curious as is the question of the descent of the American tribes, it has no bearing on the future of the country—unless, indeed, in the eyes of those who assert that Delawares and Utes, Hurons and Pawnees, are all one race, with features modified by soil and climate. If this were so, the handsome, rollicking, frank-faced Coloradan “boys” would have to look forward to the time when their sons’ sons should be as like the Utes as many New Englanders of to-day are like the Indians they expelled—that, as the New Englanders are tall, taciturn, and hatchet-faced, the Coloradans of the next age should be flat-faced warriors, five feet high. Confidence in the future of America must be founded on a belief in the indestructible vitality of race.

Kamtchatkans or Polynesians, Malays or sons of the prairies on which they dwell, the Red Indians have no future. In twenty years there will scarcely be one of pure blood alive within the United States.

In La Plata, the Indians from the inland forests gradually mingle with the whiter inhabitants of the coast, and become indistinguishable from the remainder of the population. In Canada and Tahiti, the French intermingle with the native race: the Hurons are French in everything but name. In Kansas, in Colorado, in New Mexico, miscegenation will never be brought about. The pride of race, strong in the English everywhere, in America and Australia is an absolute bar to intermarriage, and even to lasting connections with the aborigines. What has happened in Tasmania and Victoria is happening in New Zealand and on the plains. When you ask a Western man his views on the Indian question, he says: “Well, sir, we can destroy them by the laws of war, or thin ’em out by whisky; but the thinning process is plaguy slow.”

There are a good many Southerners out upon the plains. One of them, describing to me how in Florida they had hunted down the Seminoles with bloodhounds, added, “And sarved the pesky sarpints right, sah!” Southwestern volunteers, campaigning against the Indians, have been known to hang up in their tents the scalps of the slain, as we English used to nail up the skins of the Danes.

There is in these matters less hypocrisy among the Americans than with ourselves. In 1840, the British government assumed the sovereignty of New Zealand in a proclamation which set forth with great precision that it did so for the sole purpose of protecting the aborigines in the possession of their lands. The Maories numbered 200,000 then; they number 20,000 now.

Among the Western men there is no difference of opinion on the Indian question. Rifle and revolver are their only policy. The New Englanders, who are all for Christianity and kindliness in their dealings with the red men, are not similarly united in one cry. Those who are ignorant of the nature of the Indian, call out for agricultural employment for the braves; those who know nothing of the Indian‘s life demand that “reserves” be set aside for him, forgetting that no “reserve” can be large enough to hold the buffalo, and that without the buffalo the red men must plow or starve.

Indian civilization through the means of agriculture is all but a total failure. The Shawnees are thriving near Kansas City, the Pottawatomies living at St. Mary‘s mission, the Delawares existing at Leavenworth; but in all these cases there is a large infusion of white blood. The Canadian Hurons are completely civilized; but then they are completely French. If you succeed with an Indian to all appearance, he will suddenly return to his untamed state. An Indian girl, one of the most orderly of the pupils at a ladies’ school, has been known, on feeling herself aggrieved, to withdraw to her room, let down her back hair, paint her face, and howl. The same tendency showed itself in the case of the Delaware chief who built himself a white man‘s house, and lived in it thirty years, but then suddenly set up his old wigwam in the dining-room, in disgust. Another bad case is that of the Pawnee who visited Buchanan, and behaved so well that when a young Englishman, who came out soon after, told the President that he was going West, he gave him a letter to the chief, then with his tribe in Northern Kansas. The Pawnee read the note, offered a pipe, gravely protested eternal friendship, slept upon it, and next morning scalped his visitor with his own hand.

The English everywhere attempt to introduce civilization, or to modify that which exists, in a rough-and-ready manner which invariably ends in failure or in the destruction of the native race. A hundred years of absolute rule, mostly peaceable, have not, under every advantage, seen the success of our repeated attempts to establish trial by jury in Bengal. For twenty years the Maories have mixed with the New Zealand colonists on nearly equal terms, have almost universally professed themselves Christians, have attended English schools, and learnt to speak the English language, and to read and write their own; in spite of all this, a few weeks of fanatic outburst were enough to reduce almost the whole race to a condition of degraded savagery. The Indians of America have, within the few last years, been caught and caged, given acres where they once had leagues, and told to plow where once they hunted. A pastoral race, with no conception of property in land, they have been manufactured into freeholders and tenant farmers; Western Ishmaelites, sprung of a race which has wandered since its legendary life begins, they have been subjected to homestead laws and title registrations. If our experiments in New Zealand, in India, on the African coast have failed, cautious and costly as they were, there can be no great wonder in the unsuccess that has attended the hurried American experiments. It is not for us, who have the past of Tasmania and the present of Queensland to account for, to do more than record the fact that the Americans are not more successful with the red men of Kansas than we with the black men of Australia.

The Bosjesman is not a more unpromising subject for civilization than the red man; the Ute is not even gifted with the birthright of most savages, the mimetic power. The black man, in his dress, his farming, his religion, his family life, is always trying to imitate the white. In the Indian there is none of this: his ancestors roamed over the plains—he will roam; his ancestors hunted—why should not he hunt? The American savage, like his Asiatic cousins, is conservative; the African changeable, and strong in imitative faculties of the mind. Just as the Indian is less versatile than the negro, so, if it were possible gradually to change his mode of life, slowly to bring him to the agricultural state, he would probably become a skillful and laborious cultivator, and worthy inhabitant of the Western soil; as it is, he is exterminated before he has time to learn. “Sculp ’em fust, and then talk to ’em,” the Coloradans say.

Peace commissioners are yearly sent from Washington to treat with hostile tribes upon the plains. The Indians invariably continue to fight and rob till winter is at hand; but when the snows appear, they send in runners to announce that they are prepared to make submission. The commissioners appoint a place, and the tribe, their relatives, allies, and friends, come down thousands strong, and enter upon debates which are purposely prolonged till spring. All this time the Indians are kept in food and drink; whisky even is illegally provided them, with the cognizance of the authorities, under the name of “hatchets.” Blankets, and, it is said, powder and revolvers, are supplied to them as necessary to their existence on the plains; but when the first of the spring flowers begin to peep up through the snow-drifts on the prairies, they take their leave, and in a few weeks are out again upon the war-path, plundering and scalping all the whites.

Judging from English experience in the north, and Spanish in Mexico and South America, it would seem as though the white man and the red cannot exist on the same soil. Step by step the English have driven back the braves, till New Englanders now remember that there were Indians once in Massachusetts, as we remember that once there were bears in Hampshire. King Philip‘s defeat by the Connecticut volunteers seems to form part of the early legendary history of our race; yet there is still standing, and in good repair, in Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, a frame-house which in its time has been successfully defended against Red Indians. On the other hand, step by step, since the days of Cortez, the Indians and half-bloods have driven out the Spaniards from Mexico and South America. White men, Spaniards, received Maximilian at Vera Cruz, but he was shot by full-blooded Indians at Queretaro.

If any attempt is to be made to save the Indians that remain, it must be worked out in the Eastern States. Hitherto the whites have but pushed back the Indians westward: if they would rescue the remnant from starvation, they must bring them East, away from Western men and Western hunting-grounds, and let them intermingle with the whites, living, farming, along with them, intermarrying, if possible. The hunting Indian is too costly a being for our age; but we are bound to remember that ours is the blame of having failed to teach him to be something better.

After all, if the Indian is mentally, morally, and physically inferior to the white man, it is in every way for the advantage of the world that the next generation that inhabits Colorado should consist of whites instead of reds. That this result should not be brought about by cruelty or fraud upon the now existing Indians is all that we need require. The gradual extinction of the inferior races is not only a law of nature, but a blessing to mankind.

The Indian question is not likely to be one much longer: before I reached England again, I learnt that the Coloradan capital had offered “twenty dollars a piece for Indian scalps with the ears on.

CHAPTER XII.

COLORADO.

WHEN you have once set eyes upon the never-ending sweep of the Great Plains, you no longer wonder that America rejects Malthusianism. As Strachey says of Virginia, “Here is ground enough to satisfy the most covetous and wide affection.” The freedom of these grand countries was worth the tremendous conflict in which it was, in reality, the foremost question; their future is of enormous moment to America.

Travelers soon learn, when making estimates of a country‘s value, to despise no feature of the landscape; that of the plains is full of life, full of charm—lonely, indeed, but never wearisome. Now great rolling uplands of enormous sweep, now boundless grassy plains; there is all the grandeur of monotony, and yet continual change. Sometimes the grand distances are broken by blue buttes or rugged bluffs. Over all there is a sparkling atmosphere and never-failing breeze; the air is bracing even when most hot; the sky is cloudless, and no rain falls. A solitude which no words can paint, and the boundless prairie swell, convey an idea of vastness which is the overpowering feature of the plains.

Maps do not remove the impression produced by views. The Arkansas River, which is born and dies within the limit of the plains, is two thousand miles in length, and is navigable for eight hundred miles. The Platte and Yellowstone are each of them as long. Into the plains and plateau you could put all India twice. The impression is not merely one of size. There is perfect beauty, wondrous fertility, in the lonely steppe; no patriotism, no love of home, can prevent the traveler wishing here to end his days.

To those who love the sea, there is a double charm. Not only is the roll of the prairie as grand as that of the Atlantic, but the crispness of the wind, the absence of trees, the multitude of tiny blooms upon the sod, all conspire to give a feeling of nearness to the ocean, the effect of which is we are always expecting to hail it from off the top of the next hillock.

The resemblance to the Tartar plains has been remarked by Coloradan writers; it may be traced much farther than they have carried it. Not only are the earth, air, and water much alike, but in Colorado, as in Bokhara, there are oil wells and mud volcanoes. The color of the landscape is, in summer, green and flowers; in fall-time, yellow and flowers, but flowers ever.

The eastern and western portions of the plains are not alike. In Kansas the grass is tall and rank; the ravines are filled with cottonwood, hickory, and black walnut; here and there are square miles of sunflowers, from seven to nine feet high. As we came west, we found that the sunflowers dwindled, and at Denver they are only from three to nine inches in height, the oddest little plants in nature, but thorough sunflowers for all their smallness. We found the buffalo in the eastern plains in the long bunch-grass, but in the winter they work to the west in search of the sweet and juicy “blue grass,” which they rub out from under the snow in the Coloradan plains. This grass is crisp as hair, and so short that, as the story goes, you must lather before you can mow it. The “blue grass” has high vitality: if a wagon train is camped for a single night among the sunflowers or tall weeds, this crisp turf at once springs up, and holds the ground forever.

The most astounding feature of these plains is their capacity to receive millions, and, swallowing them up, to wait open-mouthed for more. Vast and silent, fertile yet waste, fieldlike yet untilled, they have room for the Huns, the Goths, the Vandals, for all the teeming multitudes that have poured and can pour from the plains of Asia and of Central Europe. Twice as large as Hindostan, more temperate, more habitable, nature has been placed here hedgeless, gateless, free to all—a green field for the support of half the human race, unclaimed, untouched, awaiting smiling, hands and plow.

There are two curses upon this land. Here, as in India, the rivers depend on the melting of distant snows for their supplies, and in the hot weather are represented by beds of parched white sand. So hot and dry is a great portion of the land, that crops require irrigation. Water for drinking purposes is scarce; artesian bores succeed, but they are somewhat costly for the Coloradan purse, and the supply from common wells is brackish. This, perhaps, may in part account for the Western mode of “prospecting” after water, under which it is agreed that if none be found at ten feet, a trial shall be made at a fresh spot. The thriftless ranchman had sooner find bad water at nine feet than good at eleven.

Irrigation by means of dams and reservoirs, such as those we are building in Victoria, is but a question of cost and time. The never-failing breezes of the plains may be utilized for water-raising, and with water all is possible. Even in the mountain plateau, overspread as it is with soda, it has been found, as it has been by French farmers in Algeria, that, under irrigation, the more alkali the better corn crop.

When fires are held in check by special enactments, such as those which have been passed in Victoria and South Australia, and the waters of the winter streams retained for summer use by tanks and dams; when artesian wells are frequent and irrigation general, belts of timber will become possible upon the plains. Once planted, these will in their turn mitigate the extremes of climate, and keep alike in check the forces of evaporation, sun, and wind. Cultivation itself brings rain, and steam will soon be available for pumping water out of wells, for there is a great natural store of brown coal and of oil-bearing shale near Denver, so that all would be well were it not for the locusts—the scourge of the plains—the second curse. The coming of the chirping hordes is a real calamity in these far-western countries. Their departure, whenever it occurs, is officially announced by the governor of the State.

I have seen a field of indian-corn stripped bare of every leaf and cob by the crickets; but the owner told me that he found consolation in the fact that they ate up the weeds as well. For the locusts there is no cure. The plovers may eat a few billions, but, as a rule, Coloradans must learn to expect that the locusts will increase with the increase of the crops on which they feed. The more corn, the more locusts—the more plovers, perhaps; a clear gain to the locusts and plovers, but a dead loss to the farmers and ranchmen.

The Coloradan “boys” are a handsome, intelligent race. The mixture of Celtic and Saxon blood has here produced a generous and noble manhood; and the freedom from wood, and consequent exposure to wind and sun, has exterminated ague, and driven away the hatchet-face; but for all this, the Coloradans may have to succumb to the locusts. At present they affect to despise them. “How may you get on in Colorado?” said a Missourian one day to a “boy” that was up at St. Louis. “Purty well, guess, if it warn‘t for the insects.” “What insects? Crickets?” “Crickets! Wall, guess not—jess insects like: rattlesnakes, panther, bar, catamount, and sichlike.”

“The march of empire stopped by a grasshopper” would be a good heading for a Denver paper, but would not represent a fact. The locusts may alter the step, but not cause a halt. If corn is impossible, cattle are not; already thousands are pastured round Denver on the natural grass. For horses, for merino sheep, these rolling table-lands are peculiarly adapted. The New Zealand paddock system may be applied to the whole of this vast region—Dutch clover, French lucern, could replace the Indian grasses, and four sheep to the acre would seem no extravagant estimate of the carrying capability of the lands. The world must come here for its tallow, its wool, its hides, its food.

In this seemingly happy conclusion there lurks a danger. Flocks and herds are the main props of great farming, the natural supporters of an aristocracy. Cattle breeding is inconsistent, if not with republicanism, at least with pure democracy. There are dangerous classes of two kinds—those who have too many acres, as well as those who have too few. The danger at least is real. Nothing short of violence or special legislation can prevent the plains from continuing to be forever that which under nature‘s farming they have ever been—the feeding ground for mighty flocks, the cattle pasture of the world.

CHAPTER XIII.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS.

“WHAT will I do for you if you stop here among us? Why, I‘ll name that peak after you in the next survey,” said Governor Gilpin, pointing to a snowy mountain towering to its 15,000 feet in the direction of Mount Lincoln. I was not to be tempted, however; and as for Dixon, there is already a county named after him in Nebraska: so off we went along the foot of the hills on our road to the Great Salt Lake, following the “Cherokee Trail.”

Striking north from Denver by Vasquez Fork and Cache la Poudre—called “Cash le Powder,” just as Mont Royal has become Montreal, and Sault de Ste Marie, Soo—we entered the Black Mountains, or Eastern foot-hills, at Beaver Creek. On the second day, at two in the afternoon, we reached Virginia Dale for breakfast, without adventure, unless it were the shooting of a monster rattlesnake that lay “coiled in our path upon the mountain side.” Had we been but a few minutes later, we should have made it a halt for “supper” instead of breakfast, as the drivers had but these two names for our daily meals, at whatever hour they took place. Our “breakfasts” varied from 3.30 A.M. to 2 P.M.; our suppers from 3 P.M. to 2 A.M.

Here we found the weird red rocks that give to the river and the territory their name of Colorado, and came upon the mountain plateau at the spot where last year the Utes scalped seven men only three hours after Speaker Colfax and a Congressional party had passed with their escort.

While trundling over the sandy wastes of Laramie Plains, we sighted the Wind River chain drawn by Bierstadt in his great picture of the “Rocky Mountains.” The painter has caught the forms, but missed the atmosphere of the range: the clouds and mists are those of Maine and Massachusetts; there is color more vivid, darkness more lurid, in the storms of Colorado.

This was our first sight of the main range since we entered the Black Hills, although we passed through the gorges at the very foot of Long‘s Peak. It was not till we had reached the rolling hills of “Medicine Bow”—a hundred miles beyond the peak—that we once more caught sight of it shining in the rear.

In the night between the second and third days the frost was so bitter at the great altitude to which we had attained, that we resorted to every expedient to keep out the cold. While I was trying to peg down one of the leathern flaps of our ambulance with the pencil from my note-book, my eye caught the moonlight on the ground, and I drew back saying, “We are on the snow.” The next time we halted, I found that what I had seen was an impalpable white dust, the much dreaded alkali.

In the morning of the third day we found ourselves in a country of dazzling white, dotted with here and there a tuft of sage-brush—an Artemisia akin to that of the Algerian highlands. At last we were in the “American desert”—the “Mauvaises terres.”

Once only did we escape for a time from alkali and sage to sweet waters and sweet grass. Near Bridger‘s Pass and the “divide” between Atlantic and Pacific floods, we came on a long valley swept by chilly breezes, and almost unfit for human habitation from the rarefaction of the air, but blessed with pasture ground on which domesticated herds of Himalayan yâk should one day feed. Settlers in Utah will find out that this animal, which would flourish here at altitudes of from 4000 to 14,000 feet, and which bears the most useful of all furs, requires less herbage in proportion to its weight and size than almost any animal we know.

This Bridger‘s Pass route is that by which the telegraph line runs, and I was told by the drivers strange stories of the Indians and their views on this great Medicine. They never destroy out of mere wantonness, but have been known to cut the wire and then lie in ambush in the neighborhood, knowing that repairing parties would arrive and fall an easy prey. Having come one morning upon three armed overlanders lying fast asleep, while a fourth kept guard by a fire which coincided with a gap in the posts, but which was far from any timber or even scrub, I have my doubts as to whether “white Indians” have not much to do with the destruction of the line.

From one of the uplands of the Artemisia barrens we sighted at once Fremont‘s Peak on the north, and another great snow-dome upon the south. The unknown mountain was both the more distant and the loftier of the two, yet the maps mark no chain within eyeshot to the southward. The country on either side of this well-worn track is still as little known as when Captain Stansbury explored it in 1850; and when we crossed the Green River, as the Upper Colorado is called, it was strange to remember that the stream is here lost in a thousand miles of undiscovered wilds, to be found again flowing toward Mexico. Near the ferry is the place where Albert S. Johnson‘s mule-trains were captured by the Mormons under General Lot Smith.

In the middle of the night we would come upon mule-trains starting on their march in order to avoid the mid-day sun, and thus save water, which they are sometimes forced to carry with them for as much as fifty miles. When we found them halted, they were always camped on bluffs and in bends, far from rocks and tufts, behind which the Indians might creep and stampede the cattle: this they do by suddenly swooping down with fearful noises, and riding in among the mules or oxen at full speed. The beasts break away in their fright, and are driven off before the sentries have time to turn out the camp.

On the fourth day from Denver, the scenery was tame enough, but strange in the extreme. Its characteristic feature was its breadth. No longer the rocky defiles of Virginia Dale, no longer the glimpses of the main range as from Laramie Plains and the foot-hills of Medicine Bow, but great rolling downs like those of the plains much magnified. We crossed one of the highest passes in the world without seeing snow, but looked back directly we were through it on snow-fields behind us and all around.

At Elk Mountain we suffered greatly from the frost, but by mid day we were taking off our coats, and the mules hanging their heads in the sun once more, while those which should have taken their places were, as the ranchman expressed it, “kicking their heels in pure cussedness” at a stream some ten miles away.

While walking before the “hack” through the burning sand of Bitter Creek, I put up a bird as big as a turkey, which must, I suppose, have been a vulture. The sage-brush growing here as much as three feet high, and as stout and gnarled as century-old heather, gave shelter to a few coveys of sage-hens, at which we shot without much success, although they seldom ran, and never rose. Their color is that of the brush itself—a yellowish gray—and it is as hard to see them as to pick up a partridge on a sun-dried fallow at home in England. Of wolves and rattlesnakes there were plenty, but of big game we saw but little, only a few black-tails in the day.

This track is more traveled by trains than is the Smoky Hill route, which accounts for the absence of game on the line; but that there is plenty close at hand is clear from the way we were fed. Smoky Hill starvation was forgotten in piles of steaks of elk and antelope; but still no fruit, no vegetable, no bread, no drink save “sage-brush tea,” and that half poisoned with the water of the alkaline creeks.

Jerked buffalo had disappeared from our meals. The droves never visit the Sierra Madre now, and scientific books have said that in the mountains they were ever unknown. In Bridger‘s Pass we saw the skulls of not less than twenty buffalo, which is proof enough that they once were here, though perhaps long ago. The skin and bones will last about a year after the beast has died, for the wolves tear them to pieces to get at the marrow within, but the skull they never touch; and the oldest ranchman failed to give me an answer as to how long skulls and horns might last. We saw no buffalo roads like those across the plains.

From the absence of buffalo, absence of birds, absence of flowers, absence even of Indians, the Rocky Mountain plateau is more of a solitude than are the plains. It takes days to see this, for you naturally notice it less. On the plains, the glorious climate, the masses of rich blooming plants, the millions of beasts, and insects, and birds, all seem prepared to the hand of man, and for man you are continually searching. Each time you round a hill, you look for the smoke of the farm. Here on the mountains you feel as you do on the sea: it is nature‘s own lone solitude, but from no fault of ours—the higher parts of the plateau were not made for man.

Early on the fifth night we dashed suddenly out of utter darkness into a mountain glen blazing with fifty fires, and perfumed with the scent of burning cedar. As many wagons as there were fires were corraled in an ellipse about the road, and 600 cattle were pastured within the fire-glow in rich grass that told of water. Men and women were seated round the camp-fires praying and singing hymns. As we drove in, they rose and cheered us “on your way to Zion.” Our Gentile driver yelled back the warhoop “How! How! How! How—w! We‘ll give yer love to Brigham;” and back went the poor travelers to their prayers again. It was a bull train of the Mormon immigration.

Five minutes after we had passed the camp we were back in civilization, and plunged into polygamous society all at once, with Bishop Myers, the keeper of Bear River Ranch, drawing water from the well, while Mrs. Myers No. 1 cooked the chops, and Mrs. Myers No. 2 laid the table neatly.

The kind bishop made us sit before the fire till we were warm, and filled our “hack” with hay, that we might continue so, and off we went, inclined to look favorably on polygamy after such experience of polygamists.

Leaving Bear River about midnight, at two o‘clock in the morning of the sixth day we commenced the descent of Echo Canyon, the grandest of all the gully passes of the Wasatch Range. The night was so clear that I was able to make some outline sketches of the cliffs from the ranch where we changed mules. Echo Canyon is the Thermopylæ of Utah, the pass that the Mormons fortified against the United States forces under Albert S. Johnson at the time of “Buchanan‘s raid.” Twenty-six miles long, often not more than a few yards wide at the bottom, and a few hundred feet at the top, with an overhanging cliff on the north side, and a mountain wall on the south, Echo Canyon would be no easy pass to force. Government will do well to prevent the Pacific Railroad from following this defile.

After breakfast at Coalville, the Mormon Newcastle, situated in a smiling valley not unlike that between Martigny and Saint Maurice, we dashed on past Kimball‘s Ranch, where we once more hitched horses instead of mules, and began our descent of seventeen miles down Big Canyon, the best of all the passes of the Wasatch. Rounding a spur at the end of our six-hundredth mile from Denver, we first sighted the Mormon promised land.

The sun was setting over the great dead lake to our right, lighting up the valley with a silvery gleam from Jordan River, and the hills with a golden glow from off the snow-fields of the many mountain chains and peaks around. In our front, the Oquirrh, or Western Range, stood out in sharp purple outlines upon a sea-colored sky. To our left were the Utah Mountains, blushing rose, all about our heads the Wasatch glowing in orange and gold. From the flat valley in the sunny distance rose the smoke of many houses, the dust of many droves; on the bench-land of Ensign Peak, on the lake side, white houses peeped from among the peach-trees, modestly, and hinted the presence of the city.

Here was Plato‘s table-land of the Atlantic isle—one great field of corn and wheat, where only twenty years ago Fremont, the pathfinder, reported wheat and corn impossible.

CHAPTER XIV.

BRIGHAM YOUNG.

“I LOOK upon Mohammed and Brigham as the very best men that God could send as ministers to those unto whom He sent them,” wrote Elder Frederick Evans, of the “Shaker” village of New Lebanon, in a letter to us, inclosing another by way of introduction to the Mormon president.

Credentials from the Shaker to the Mormon chief—from the great living exponent of the principle of celibacy to the “most married” in all America—were not to be kept undelivered; so the moment we had bathed we posted off to a merchant to whom we had letters, that we might inquire when his spiritual chief and military ruler would be home again from his “trip north.” The answer was, “To-morrow.”

After watching the last gleams fade from the snow-fields upon the Wasatch, we parted for the night, as I had to sleep in a private house, the hotel being filled even to the balcony. As I entered the drawing-room of my entertainer, I heard the voice of a lady reading, and caught enough of what she said to be aware that it was a defense of polygamy. She ceased when she saw the stranger; but I found that it was my host‘s first wife reading Belinda Pratt‘s book to her daughters—girls just blooming into womanhood.

After an agreeable chat with the ladies, doubly pleasant as it followed upon a long absence from civilization, I went to my room, which I afterward found to be that of the eldest son, a youth of sixteen years. In one corner stood two Ballard rifles, and two revolvers and a militia uniform hung from pegs upon the wall. When I lay down with my hands underneath the pillow—an attitude instinctively adopted to escape the sand-flies, I touched something cold. I felt it—a full-sized Colt, and capped. Such was my first introduction to Utah Mormonism.

On the morrow, we had the first and most formal of our four interviews with the Mormon president, the conversation lasting three hours, and all the leading men of the church being present. When we rose to leave, Brigham said: “Come to see me here again; Brother Stenhouse will show you everything;” and then blessed us in these words: “Peace be with you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Elder Stenhouse followed us out of the presence, and somewhat anxiously put the odd question: “Well, is he a white man?” “White” is used in Utah as a general term of praise: a white man is a man—to use our corresponding idiom—not so black as he is painted. A “white country” is a country with grass and trees; just as a white man means a man who is morally not a Ute, so a white country is a land in which others than Utes can dwell.

We made some complimentary answer to Stenhouse‘s question; but it was impossible not to feel that the real point was: Is Brigham sincere?

Brigham‘s deeds have been those of a sincere man. His bitterest opponents cannot dispute the fact that in 1844, when Nauvoo was about to be deserted, owing to the attacks of a ruffianly mob, Brigham rushed to the front, and took the chief command. To be a Mormon leader then was to be a leader of an outcast people, with a price set on his head, in a Missourian county in which almost every man who was not a Mormon was by profession an assassin. In the sense, too, of believing that he is what he professes to be, Brigham is undoubtedly sincere. In the wider sense of being that which he professes to be he comes off as well, if only we will read his words in the way he speaks them. He tells us that he is a prophet—God‘s representative on earth; but when I asked him whether he was of a wholly different spiritual rank to that held by other devout men, he said: “By no means. I am a prophet—one of many. All good men are prophets; but God has blessed me with peculiar favor in revealing His will oftener and more clearly through me than through other men.”

Those who would understand Brigham‘s revelations must read Bentham. The leading Mormons are utilitarian deists. “God‘s will be done,” they, like other deists, say is to be our rule; and God‘s will they find in written Revelation and in Utility. God has given men, by the actual hand of angels, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Covenants, the revelation upon Plural Marriage. When these are exhausted, man, seeking for God‘s will, has to turn to the principle of Utility: that which is for the happiness of mankind—that is of the church—is God‘s will, and must be done. While Utility is their only index to God‘s pleasure, they admit that the church must be ruled—that opinions may differ as to what is the good of the church, and therefore the will of God. They meet, then, annually, in an assembly of the people, and electing church officers by popular will and acclamation, they see God‘s finger in the ballot-box. They say, like the Jews in the election of their judges, that the choice of the people is the choice of God. This is what men like John Taylor or Daniel Wells appear to feel; the ignorant are permitted to look upon Brigham as something more than man, and though Brigham himself does nothing to confirm this view, the leaders foster the delusion. When I asked Stenhouse, “Has Brigham‘s re-election as prophet ever been opposed?” he answered sharply, “I should like to see the man who‘d do it.”

Brigham‘s personal position is a strange one: he calls himself prophet, and declares that he has revelations from God himself, but when you ask him quietly what all this means, you find that for prophet you should read political philosopher. He sees that a canal from Utah Lake to Salt Lake Valley would be of vast utility to the church and people—that a new settlement is urgently required. He thinks about these things till they dominate in his mind, and take in his brain the shape of physical creations. He dreams of the canal, the city; sees them before him in his waking moments. That which is so clearly for the good of God‘s people becomes God‘s will. Next Sunday at the Tabernacle he steps to the front, and says: “God has spoken; He has said unto his prophet, ‘Get thee up, Brigham, and build Me a city in the fertile valley to the South, where there is water, where there are fish, where the sun is strong enough to ripen the cotton plants, and give raiment as well as food to My saints on earth.’ Brethren willing to aid God‘s work should come to me before the Bishops’ meeting.” As the prophet takes his seat again, and puts on his broad-brimmed hat, a hum of applause runs round the bowery, and teams and barrows are freely promised.

Sometimes the canal, the bridge, the city may prove a failure, but this is not concealed; the prophet‘s human tongue may blunder even when he is communicating holy things.

“After all,” Brigham said to me the day before I left, “the highest inspiration is good sense—the knowing what to do, and how to do it.”

In all this it is hard for us, with our English hatred of casuistry and hair-splitting, to see sincerity; still, given his foundation, Brigham is sincere. Like other political religionists, he must feel himself morally bound to stick at nothing when the interests of the church are at stake. To prefer man‘s life or property to the service of God must be a crime in such a church. The Mormons deny the truth of the murder-stories alleged against the Danites, but they avoid doing so in sweeping or even general terms—though, if need were, of course they would be bound to lie as well as to kill in the name of God and His holy prophet.

The secret polity which I have sketched gives, evidently, enormous power to some one man within the church; but the Mormon constitution does not very clearly point out who that man shall be. With a view to the possible future failure of leaders of great personal qualifications, the First Presidency consists of three members with equal rank; but to his place in the Trinity, Brigham unites the office of Trustee in Trust, which gives him the control of the funds and tithing, or church taxation.

All are not agreed as to what should be Brigham‘s place in Utah. Stenhouse said one day: “I am one of those who think that our President should do everything. He has made this church and this country, and should have his way in all things; saying so gets me into trouble with some.” The writer of a report of Brigham‘s tour which appeared in the Salt Lake Telegraph the day we reached the city, used the words: “God never spoke through man more clearly than through President Young.”

One day, when Stenhouse was speaking of the morality of the Mormon people, he said: “Our penalty for adultery is death.” Remembering the Danites, we were down on him at once: “Do you inflict it?” “No; but—well, not practically; but really it is so. A man who commits adultery withers away and perishes. A man sent away from his wives upon a mission that may last for years, if he lives not purely—if, when he returns, he cannot meet the eye of Brigham, better for him to be at once in hell. He withers.”

Brigham himself has spoken in strong words of his own power over the Mormon people: “Let the talking folk at Washington say, if they please, that I am no longer Governor of Utah. I am, and will be Governor, until God Almighty says, ‘Brigham, you need not be Governor any more.’”

Brigham‘s head is that of a man who nowhere could be second.

CHAPTER XV.

MORMONDOM.

WE had been presented at court, and favorably received; asked to call again; admitted to State secrets of the presidency. From this moment our position in the city was secured. Mormon seats in the theater were placed at our disposal; the director of immigration, the presiding bishop, Colonel Hunter—a grim, weather-beaten Indian fighter—and his coadjutors, carried us off to see the reception of the bull-train at the Elephant Corral; we were offered a team to take us to the Lake, which we refused only because we had already accepted the loan of one from a Gentile merchant; presents of peaches, and invitations to lunch, dinner, and supper, came pouring in upon us from all sides. In a single morning we were visited by four of the apostles and nine other leading members of the church. Ecclesiastical dignitaries sat upon our single chair and wash-hand-stand; and one bed groaned under the weight of George A. Smith, “church historian,” while the other bore Æsop‘s load—the peaches he had brought. These growers of fruit from standard trees think but small things of our English wall-fruit, “baked on one side and frozen on the other,” as they say. There is a mellowness about the Mormon peaches that would drive our gardeners to despair.

One of our callers was Captain Hooper, the Utah delegate to Congress. He is an adept at the Western plan of getting out of a fix by telling you a story. When we laughingly alluded to his lack of wives, and the absurdity of a monogamist representing Utah, he said that the people at Washington all believed that Utah had sent them a polygamist. There is a rule that no one with the entry shall take more than one lady to the White House receptions. A member of Congress was urged by three ladies to take them with him. He, as men do, said, “The thing is impossible”—and did it. Presenting himself with the bevy at the door, the usher stopped him: “Can‘t pass; only one friend admitted with each member.” “Suppose, sir, that I‘m the delegate from Utah Territory?” said the Congressman. “Oh, pass in, sir—pass in,” was the instant answer of the usher. The story reminds me of poor Browne‘s “family” ticket to his lecture at Salt Lake City: “Admit the bearer and one wife.” Hooper is said to be under pressure at this moment on the question of polygamy, for he is a favorite with the prophet, who cannot, however, with consistency promote him to office in the church on account of a saying of his own: “A man with one wife is of less account before God than a man with no wives at all.”

Our best opportunity of judging of the Mormon ladies was at the theater, which we attended regularly, sitting now in Elder Stenhouse‘s “family” seats, now with General Wells. Here we saw all the wives of the leading churchmen of the city; in their houses, we saw only those they chose to show us: in no case but that of the Clawson family did we meet in society all the wives. We noticed at once that the leading ladies were all alike—full of taste, full of sense, but full, at the same time, of a kind of unconscious melancholy. Everywhere, as you looked round the house, you met the sad eye which I had seen but once before—among the Shakers at New Lebanon. The women here, knowing no other state, seem to think themselves as happy as the day is long: their eye alone is there to show the Gentile that they are, if the expression may be allowed, unhappy without knowing it. That these Mormon women love their religion and reverence its priests is but a consequence of its being “their religion”—the system in the midst of which they have been brought up. Which of us is there who does not set up some idol in his heart round which he weaves all that he has of poetry and devotion in his character? Art, hero-worship, patriotism are forms of this great tendency. That the Mormon girls, who are educated as highly as those of any country in the world—who, like all American girls, are allowed to wander where they please—who are certain of protection in any of the fifty Gentile houses in the city, and absolutely safe in Camp Douglas at the distance of two miles from the city-wall—all consent deliberately to enter on polygamy—shows clearly enough that they can, as a rule, have no dislike to it beyond such a feeling as public opinion will speedily overcome.

Discussion of the institution of plural marriage in Salt Lake City is fruitless; all that can be done is to observe. In assaulting the Mormon citadel, you strike against the air. “Polygamy degrades the women,” you begin. “Morally or socially?” says the Mormon. “Socially.” “Granted,” is the reply, “and that is a most desirable consummation. By socially lowering, it morally raises the woman. It makes her a servant, but it makes her pure and good.”

It is always well to remember that if we have one argument against polygamy which from our Gentile point of view is unanswerable, it is not necessary that we should rack our brains for others. All our modern experience is favorable to ranking woman as man‘s equal; polygamy assumes that she shall be his servant—loving, faithful, cheerful, willing, but still a servant.

The opposite poles upon the women question are Utah polygamy and Kansas female suffrage.

CHAPTER XVI.

WESTERN EDITORS.

THE attack upon Mormondom has been systematized, and is conducted with military skill, by trench and parallel. The New England papers having called for “facts” whereon to base their homilies, General Connor, of Fenian fame, set up the Union Vedette in Salt Lake City, and publishes on Saturdays a sheet expressly intended for Eastern reading. The mantle of the Sangamo Journal has fallen on the Vedette, and John C. Bennett is effaced by Connor. From this source it is that come the whole of the paragraphs against Brigham and all Mormondom which fill the Eastern papers, and find their way to London. The editor has to fill his paper with peppery leaders, well-spiced telegrams, stinging “facts.” Every week there must be something that can be used and quoted against Brigham. The Eastern remarks upon quotations in turn are quoted at Salt Lake. Under such circumstances, even telegrams can be made to take a flavor. In to-day‘s Vedette we have one from St. Joseph, describing how above one thousand “of these dirty, filthy dupes of the Great Salt Lake iniquity” are now squatting round the packet depot, awaiting transport. Another from Chicago tells us that the seven thousand European Mormons who have this year passed up the Missouri River “are of the lowest and most ignorant classes.” The leader is directed against Mormons in general, and Stenhouse in particular, as editor of one of the Mormon papers, and ex-postmaster of the Territory. He has already had cause to fear the Vedette, as it was through the exertions of its editor that he lost his office. This matter is referred to in the leader of to-day: “When we found our letters scattered about the streets in fragments, we succeeded in getting an honest postmaster appointed in place of the editor of the Telegraph—an organ where even carrots, pumpkins, and potatoes are current funds—directed by a clique of foreign writers, who can hardly speak our language, and who never drew a loyal breath since they came to Utah.” The Mormon tax frauds, and the Mormon police, likewise come in for their share of abuse, and the writer concludes with a pathetic plea against arrest “for quietly indulging in a glass of wine in a private room with a friend.”

Attacks such as these make one understand the suspiciousness of the Mormon leaders, and the slowness of Stenhouse and his friends to take a joke if it concerns the church. Poor Artemus Ward once wrote to Stenhouse, “If you can‘t take a joke, you‘ll be darned, and you oughter;” but the jest at which he can laugh has wrought no cure. Heber Kimball said to me one day: “They‘re all alike. There was —— came here to write a book, and we thought better of him than of most. I showed him more kindness than I ever showed a man before or since, and then he called me a ‘hoary reprobate.’ I would advise him not to pass this way next time.”

The suspicion often takes odd shapes. One Sunday morning, at the tabernacle, I remarked that the Prophet‘s daughter, Zina, had on the same dress as she had worn the evening before at the theater, in playing “Mrs. Musket” in the farce of “My Husband‘s Ghost.” It was a black silk gown, with a vandyke flounce of white, impossible to mistake. I pointed it out in joke to a Mormon friend, when he denied my assertion in the most emphatic way, although he could not have known for certain that I was wrong, as he sat next to me in the theater during the whole play.

The Mormons will talk freely of their own suspiciousness. They say that the coldness with which travelers are usually received at Salt Lake City is the consequence of years of total misrepresentation. They forget that they are arguing in a circle, and that this misrepresentation is itself sometimes the result of their reserve.

The news and advertisements are even more amusing than the leaders in the Vedette. A paragraph tells us, for instance, that “Mrs. Martha Stewart and Mrs. Robertson, of San Antonio, lately had an impromptu fight with revolvers; Mrs. Stewart was badly winged.” Nor is this the only reference in the paper to shooting by ladies, as another paragraph tells us how a young girl, frightened by a sham ghost, drew on the would-be apparition, and with six barrels shot him twice through the head, and four times “in the region of the heart.” A quotation from the Owyhee Avalanche, speaking of gambling hells, tells us that “one hurdy shebang” in Silver City shipped 8000 dollars as the net proceeds of its July business. “These leeches corral more clear cash than most quartz mills,” remonstrates the editor. “Corral” is the Mexican cattle inclosure; the yard where the team mules are ranched; the kraal of Cape Colony, which, on the plains and the plateau, serves as a fort for men as well as a fold for oxen, and resembles the serai of the East. The word “to corral” means to shut into one of these pens; and thence “to pouch,” “to pocket,” “to bag,” to get well into hand.

The advertisements are in keeping with the news. “Everything, from a salamander safe to a Limerick fish-hook,” is offered by one firm. “Fifty-three and a half and three and three-quarter thimble-skein Schuttler wagons,” is offered by another. An advertiser bids us “Spike the Guns of Humbug! and Beware of Deleterious Dyes! Refuse to have your Heads Baptized with Liquid Fire!” Another says, “If you want a paper free from entanglements of cliques, and antagonistic to the corrupting evils of factionism, subscribe to the Montana Radiator.” Nothing beats the following: “Butcher‘s dead-shot for bed-bugs! Curls them up as fire does a leaf! Try it, and sleep in peace! Sold by all live druggists.”

If we turn to the other Salt Lake papers, the Telegraph, an independent Mormon paper, and the Deseret News, the official journal of the church, we find a contrast to the trash of the Vedette. Brigham‘s paper, clearly printed and of a pleasant size, is filled with the best and latest news from the outlying portions of the Territory, and from Europe. The motto on its head is a simple one—“Truth and Liberty;” and twenty-eight columns of solid news are given us. Among the items is an account of a fight upon the Smoky Hill route, which occurred on the day we reached this city, and in which two teamsters—George Hill and Luke West—were killed by the Kiowas and Cheyennes. A loyal Union article from the pen of Albert Carrington, the editor, is followed by one upon the natural advantages of Utah, in which the writer complains that the very men who ridiculed the Mormons for settling in a desert are now declaiming against their being allowed to squat upon one of the “most fertile locations in the United States.” The paper asserts that Mormon success is secured only by Mormon industry, and that as a merely commercial speculation, apart from the religious impulse, the cultivation of Utah would not pay: “Utah is no place for the loafer or the lazy man.” An official report, like the Court Circular of England, is headed, “President Brigham Young‘s trip North,” and is signed by G. D. Watt, “Reporter” to the church. The Old Testament is not spared. “From what we saw of the timbered mountains,” writes one reporter, “we had no despondency of Israel ever failing for material to build up, beautify, and adorn pleasant habitations in that part of Zion.” A theatrical criticism is not wanting, and the church actors come in for “praise all round.” In another part of the paper are telegraphic reports from the captains of the seven immigrant trains not yet come in, giving their position, and details of the number of days’ march for which they have provisions still in hand. One reports “thirty-eight head of cattle stolen;” another, “a good deal of mountain fever;” but, on the whole, the telegrams look well. The editor, speaking of the two English visitors now in the city, says: “We greet them to our mountain habitation, and bid them welcome to our orchard; and that‘s considerable for an editor, especially if he has plural responsibilities to look after.” Bishop Harrington reports from American Fork that everybody is thriving there, and “doing as the Mormon creed directs—minding their own business.” “That‘s good, bishop,” says the editor. The “Passenger List of the 2d Ox-train, Captain J. D. Holladay,” is given at length; about half the immigrants come with wife and family, very many with five or six children. From Liverpool, the chief office for Europe, comes a gazette of “Releases and Appointments,” signed “Brigham Young, Jun., President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles and Adjacent Countries,” accompanied by a dispatch, in which the “President for England” gives details of his visits to the Saints in Norway, and of his conversations with the United States minister at St. Petersburg.

The Telegraph, like its editor, is practical, and does not deal in extract. All the sheet, with the exception of a few columns, is taken up with business advertisements; but these are not the least amusing part of the paper. A gigantic figure of a man in high boots and felt hat, standing on a ladder and pasting up Messrs. Eldredge and Clawson‘s dry-goods advertisement, occupies nearly half the back page. Mr. Birch informs “parties hauling wheat from San Pete County” that his mill at Fort Birch “is now running, and is protected by a stone-wall fortification, and is situate at the mouth of Salt Canyon, just above Nephi City, Juab County, on the direct road to Pahranagat.” A view of the fort, with posterns, parapets, embrasures, and a giant flag, heads the advertisement. The cuts are not always so cheerful: one far-western paper fills three-quarters of its front page with an engraving of a coffin. The editorial columns contain calls to the “brethren with teams” to aid the immigrants, an account of a “rather mixed case” of “double divorce” (Gentile), and of a prosecution of a man “for violation of the seventh commandment.” A Mormon police report is headed, “One drunk at the calaboose.” Defending himself against charges of “directing bishops” and “steadying the ark,” the editor calls on the bishops to shorten their sermons: “we may get a crack for this, but we can‘t help it; we like variety, life, and short meetings.” In a paragraph about his visitors, our friend, the editor of the Telegraph, said, a day or two after our arrival in the city: “If a stranger can escape the strychnine clique for three days after arrival, he is forever afterward safe. Generally the first twenty-four hours are sufficient to prostrate even the very robust.” In a few words of regret at a change in the Denver newspaper staff, our editor says: “However, a couple of sentences indicate that George has no intention of abandoning the tripod. That‘s right: keep at it, my boy; misery likes company.”

The day after we reached Denver, the Gazette, commenting on this same “George,” said: “Captain West has left the Rocky Mountains News office. We are not surprised, as we could never see how any respectable, decent gentleman like George could get along with Governor Evans‘s paid hireling and whelp who edits that delectable sheet.” Of the two papers which exist in every town in the Union, each is always at work attempting to “use up” the other. I have seen the Democratic print of Chicago call its Republican opponent “a radical, disunion, disreputable, bankrupt, emasculated evening newspaper concern of this city”—a string of terms by the side of which even Western utterances pale.

A paragraph headed “The Millennium” tells us that the editors of the Telegraph and Deseret News were seen yesterday afternoon walking together toward the Twentieth Ward. Another paragraph records the ill success of an expedition against Indians who had been “raiding” down in “Dixie,” or South Utah. A general order, signed “Lieut.-General Daniel H. Wells,” and dated “headquarters Nauvoo Legion,” directs the assembly, for a three days’ “big drill,” of the forces of the various military districts of the Territory. The name of “Territorial Militia,” under which alone the United States can permit the existence of the legion, is carefully omitted. This is not the only warlike advertisement in the paper: fourteen cases of Ballard rifles are offered in exchange for cattle; and other firms offer tents and side-arms to their friends. Amusements are not forgotten: a cricket match between two Mormon settlements in Cache County is recorded: “Wellsville whipping Brigham City with six wickets to go down;” and is followed by an article in which the First President may have had a hand, pointing out that the Salt Lake Theater is going to be the greatest of theaters, and that the favor of its audience is a passport beyond Wallack‘s, and equal to Drury Lane or the Haymarket. In sharp contrast to these signs of present prosperity, the First Presidency announce the annual gathering of the surviving members of Zion‘s camp, the association of the first immigrant band.

There is about the Mormon papers much that tells of long settlement and prosperity. When I showed Stenhouse the Denver Gazette of our second day in that town, he said: “Well, Telegraph‘s better than that!” The Denver sheet is a literary curiosity of the first order. Printed on chocolate-colored paper, in ink of a not much darker hue, it is in parts illegible—to the reader‘s regret, for what we were able to make out was good enough to make us wish for more.

The difference between the Mormon and Gentile papers is strongly marked in the advertisements. The Denver Gazette is filled with puffs of quacks and whisky shops. In the column headed “Business Cards,” Dr. Ermerins announces that he may be consulted by his patients in the “French, German, and English” tongues. Lower down we have the card of “Dr. Treat, Eclectic Physician and Surgeon,” which is preceded by an advertisement of “sulkies made to order,” and followed by a leaded heading, “Know thy Destiny; Madame Thornton, the English Astrologist and Psychometrician, has located herself at Hudson, New York; by the aid of an instrument of intense power, known as the Psychomotrope, she guarantees to produce a lifelike picture of the future husband or wife of the applicant.” There is a strange turning toward the supernatural among this people. Astrology is openly professed as a science throughout the United States; the success of spiritualism is amazing. The most sensible men are not exempt from the weakness: the dupes of the astrologers are not the uneducated Irish; they are the strong-minded, half-educated Western men, shrewd and keen in trade, brave in war, material and cold in faith, it would be supposed, but credulous to folly, as we know, when personal revelation, the supernaturalism of the present day, is set before them in the crudest and least attractive forms. A little lower, “Charley Eyser” and “Gus Fogus” advertise their bars. The latter announces “Lager Beer at only 10 cents,” in a “cool retreat,” “fitted up with green-growing trees.” A returned warrior heads his announcement, in huge capitals, “Back Home Again, An Old Hand at the Bellows, the Soldier Blacksmith:—S. M. Logan.” In a country where weights and measures are rather a matter of practice than of law, Mr. O‘Connell does well to add to “Lager beer 15 cents,” “Glasses hold Two Bushels.” John Morris, of the “Little Giant” or “Theater Saloon,” asks us to “call and see him;” while his rivals of the “Progressive Saloon” offer the “finest liquors that the East can command.” Morris Sigi, whose “lager is pronounced A No. 1 by all who have used it,” bids us “give him a fair trial, and satisfy ourselves as to the false reports in circulation.” Daniel Marsh, dealer in “breech-loading guns and revolvers,” adds, “and anything that may be wanted, from a cradle to a coffin, both inclusive, made to order. An Indian Lodge on view, for sale.” This is the man at whose shop scalps hang for sale; but he fails to name it in his advertisement; the Utes brought them in too late for insertion, perhaps.

Advertisements of freight-trains now starting to the East, of mail-coaches to Buckskin Joe—advertisements slanting, topsy-turvy, and sideways turned—complete the outer sheet; but some of them, through bad ink, printer‘s errors, strange English, and wilder Latin, are wholly unintelligible. It is hard to make much of this, for instance: “Mr. Æsculapius, no offense, I hope, as this is written extempore and ipso facto. But, perhaps, I ought not to disregard ex unci disce omnes.”

In an editorial on the English visitors then in Denver, the chance of putting into their mouths a puff of the Territory of Colorado was not lost. We were made to “appreciate the native energy and wealth of industry necessary in building up such a Star of Empire as Colorado.” The next paragraph is communicated from Conejos, in the south of the Territory, and says: “The election has now passed off, and I am confident that we can beat any ward in Denver, and give them two in the game, for rascality in voting.” Another leader calls on the people of Denver to remember that there are two men in the calaboose for mule stealing, and that the last man locked up for the offense was allowed to escape: some cottonwood-trees still exist, it believes. In former times, there was for the lynching here hinted at a reason which no longer exists: a man shut up in jail built of adobe, or sun-dried brick, could scratch his way through the crumbling wall in two days, so the citizens generally hanged him in one. Now that the jails are in brick and stone, the job might safely be left to the sheriff; but the people of Denver seem to trust themselves better even than they do their delegate, Bob Wilson.

A year or two ago, the jails were so crazy that Coloradan criminals, when given their choice whether they would be hanged in a week, or “as soon after breakfast to-morrow as shall be convenient to the sheriff and agreeable, Mr. Prisoner, to you,” as the Texan formula runs, used to elect for the quick delivery, on the ground that otherwise they would catch their deaths of cold—at least so the Denver story runs. They have, however, a method of getting the jails inspected here which might be found useful at home; it consists in the simple plan of giving the governor of a jail an opportunity of seeing the practical working of the system by locking him up inside for awhile.

These far-western papers are written or compiled under difficulties almost overwhelming. Mr. Frederick J. Stanton, at Denver, told me that often he had been forced to “set up” and print as well as “edit” the paper which he owns. Type is not always to be found. In its early days, the Alta Californian once appeared with a paragraph which ran: “I have no VV in my type, as there is none in the Spanish alphabet. I have sent to the Sandvvich Islands for this letter; in the mean time vve must use tvvo V‘s.”

Till I had seen the editors’ rooms in Denver, Austin, and Salt Lake City, I had no conception of the point to which discomfort could be carried. For all these hardships, payment is small and slow. It consists often of little but the satisfaction which it is to the editor‘s vanity to be “liquored” by the best man of the place, treated to an occasional chat with the governor of the Territory, to a chair in the overland mail office whenever he walks in, to the hand of the hotel proprietor whenever he comes near the bar, and to a pistol-shot once or twice in a month.

It must not be supposed that the Vedette does the Mormons no harm; the perpetual reiteration in the Eastern and English papers of three sets of stories alone would suffice to break down a flourishing power. The three lines that are invariably taken as foundations for their stories are these—that the Mormon women are wretched, and would fain get away, but are checked by the Danites; that the Mormons are ready to fight with the Federal troops with the hope of success; that robbery of the people by the apostles and elders is at the bottom of Mormonism—or, as the Vedette puts it, “on tithing and loaning hang all the law and the profits.”

If the mere fact of the existence of the Vedette effectually refutes the stories of the acts of the Danites in these modern days, and therefore disposes of the first set of stories, the third is equally answered by a glance at its pages. Columns of paragraphs, sheets of advertisements, testify to the foundation by industry, in the most frightful desert on earth, of an agricultural community which California herself cannot match. The Mormons may well call their country “Deseret”—“land of the bee.” The process of fertilization goes on day by day. Six or seven years ago, Southern Utah was a desert bare as Salt Bush Plains. Irrigation from the fresh-water lake was carried out under episcopal direction, and the result is the growth of fifty kinds of grapes alone. Cotton-mills and vineyards are springing up on every side, and “Dixie” begins to look down on its parent, the Salt Lake Valley. Irrigation from the mountain rills has done this miracle, we say, though the Saints undoubtedly believe that God‘s hand is in it, helping miraculously “His peculiar people.”

In face of Mormon prosperity, it is worthy of notice that Utah was settled on the Wakefieldian system, though Brigham knows nothing of Wakefield. Town population and country population grew up side by side in every valley, and the plow was not allowed to gain on the machine-saw and the shuttle.

It is not only in water and verdure that Utah is naturally poor. On the mining-map of the States, the countries that lie around Utah—Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Montana—are one blaze of yellow, and blue, and red, colored from end to end with the tints that are used to denote the existence of precious metals. Utah is blank at present—blank, the Mormons say, by nature; Gentiles say, merely through the absence of survey; and they do their best to circumvent mother nature. Every fall the “strychnine” party raise the cry of gold discoveries in Utah, in the hope of bringing a rush of miners down to Salt Lake City, too late for them to get away again before the snows begin. The presence of some thousands of broad-brimmed rowdies in Salt Lake City, for a winter, would be the death of Mormonism, they believe. Within the last few days, I am told that prospecting parties have found “pay dirt” in City Canyon, which, however, they had first themselves carefully “salted” with gold dust. There is coal at the settlement at which we breakfasted on our way from Weber River to Salt Lake; and Stenhouse tells us that the only difference between the Utah coal and that of Wales is, that the latter will burn, and the former won‘t!

Poor as Utah is by nature, clear though it be that whatever value the soil now possesses, represents only the loving labor bestowed upon it by the Saints, it is doubtful whether they are to continue to possess it, even though the remaining string of Vedette-born stories assert that Brigham “threatens hell” to the Gentiles who would expel him.

The constant, teasing, wasp-like pertinacity of the Vedette has done some harm to liberty of thought throughout the world.

CHAPTER XVII.

UTAH.

“WHEN you are driven hence, where shall you go?”

“We take no thought for the morrow; the Lord will guide his people,” was my rebuke from Elder Stenhouse, delivered in the half-solemn, half-laughing manner characteristic of the Saints. “You say miracles are passed and gone,” he went on; “but if God has ever interfered to protect a church, he has interposed on our behalf. In 1857, when the whole army of the United States was let slip at us under Albert S. Johnson, we were given strength to turn them aside, and defeat them without a blow. The Lord permitted us to dictate our own terms of peace. Again, when the locusts came in such swarms as to blacken the whole valley, and fill the air with a living fog, God sent millions of strange new gulls, and these devoured the locusts, and saved us from destruction. The Lord will guide his people.”

Often as I discussed the future of Utah and the church with Mormons, I could never get from them any answer but this; they would never even express a belief, as will many Western Gentiles, that no attempt will be made to expel them from the country they now hold. They cannot help seeing how immediate is the danger: from the American press there comes a cry, “Let us have this polygamy put down; its existence is a disgrace to England from which it springs, a shame to America in which it dwells, to the Federal government whose laws it outrages and defies. How long will you continue to tolerate this retrogression from Christianity, this insult to civilization?”

With the New Englanders, the question is political as well as theological, personal as well as political—political, mainly because there is a great likeness between Mormon expressions of belief in the divine origin of polygamy and the Southern answers to the Abolitionists: “Abraham was a slaveowner, and father of the faithful;” “David, the best-loved of God, was a polygamist”—“show us a biblical prohibition of slavery;” “show us a denunciation of polygamy, and we‘ll believe you.” It is this similarity of the defensive positions of Mormonism and slavery which has led to the present peril of the Salt Lake Church: the New Englanders look on the Mormons, not only as heretics, but as friends to the slaveowners; on the other hand, if you hear a man warmly praise the Mormons, you may set him down as a Southerner, or at the least a Democrat.

Another reason for the hostility of New England is, that while the discredit of Mormonism falls upon America, the American people have but little share in its existence: a few of the leaders are New Englanders and New Yorkers, but of the rank and file, not one. In every ten immigrants, the missionaries count upon finding that four come from England, two from Wales, one from the Scotch Lowlands, one from Sweden, one from Switzerland, and one from Prussia: from Catholic countries, none; from all America, none. It is through this purely local and temporary association of ideas that we see the strange sight of a party of tolerant, large-hearted churchmen eager to march their armies against a church.

If we put aside for a moment the question of the moral right to crush Mormonism in the name of truth, we find that it is, at all events, easy enough to do it. There is no difficulty in finding legal excuses for action—no danger in backing Federal legislation with military force. The legal point is clear enough—clear upon a double issue. Congress can legislate for the Territories in social matters—has, in fact, already done so. Polygamy is at this moment punishable in Utah, but the law is, pending the completion of the railroad, not enforced. Without extraordinary action, its enforcement would be impossible, for Mormon juries will give no verdict antagonistic to their church; but it is not only in this matter that the Mormons have been offenders. They have sinned also against the land laws of America. The church, Brigham, Kimball, all are landholders on a scale not contemplated by the “Homestead” laws—unless to be forbidden; doubly, therefore, are the Mormons at the mercy of the Federal Congress. There is a loophole open in the matter of polygamy—that adopted by the New York Communists when they chose each a woman to be his legal wife, and so put themselves without the reach of law. This method of escape, I have been assured by Mormon elders, is one that nothing could force them to adopt. Rather than indirectly destroy their church by any such weak compliance, they would again renounce their homes, and make their painful way across the wilderness to some new Deseret.

It is not likely that New England interference will hinge upon plurality. A “difficulty” can easily be made to arise upon the land question, and no breach of the principle of toleration will, on the surface at least, be visible. No surveys have been held in the Territory since 1857, no lands within the territorial limits have been sold by the Federal land office. Not only have the limitations of the “Homestead” and “Pre-emption” laws been disregarded, but Salt Lake City, with its palace, its theater, and hotels, is built upon the public lands of the United States. On the other hand, Mexican titles are respected in Arizona and New Mexico; and as Utah was Mexican soil when, before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Mormons settled on its wastes, it seems hard that their claims should not be equally respected.

After all, the theory of Spanish authority was a ridiculous fiction. The Mormons were the first occupants of the country which now forms the Territories of Utah and Colorado and the State of Nevada, and were thus annexed to the United States without being in the least degree consulted. It is true that they might be said to have occupied the country as American citizens, and so to have carried American sovereignty with them into the wilderness; but this, again, is a European, not an American theory. American citizens are such, not as men born upon a certain soil, but as being citizens of a State of the Union, or an organized Territory; and though the Mormons may be said to have accepted their position as citizens of the Territory of Utah, still they did so on the understanding that it should continue a Mormon country, where Gentiles should at the most be barely tolerated.

We need not go further into the mazes of public law, or of ex post facto American enactments. The Mormons themselves admit that the letter of the law is against them; but say that while it is claimed that Boston and Philadelphia may fitly legislate for the Mormons three thousand miles away, because Utah is a Territory, not a State, men forget that it is Boston and Philadelphia themselves who force Utah to remain a Territory, although they admitted the less populous Nebraska, Nevada, and Oregon to their rights as States.

If, wholly excluding morals from the calculation, there can be no doubt upon the points of law, there can be as little upon the military question. Of the fifteen hundred miles of waterless tract or desert that we crossed, seven hundred have been annihilated, and 1869 may see the railroad track in the streets of Salt Lake City. This not only settles the military question, but is meant to do so. When men lay four miles of railroad in a day, and average two miles a day for a whole year, when a government bribes high enough to secure so startling a rate of progress, there is something more than commerce or settlement in the wind. The Pacific Railroad is not merely meant to be the shortest line from New York to San Francisco; it is meant to put down Mormonism.

If the Federal government decides to attack these peaceable citizens of a Territory that should long since have been a State, they certainly will not fight, and they no less surely will not disperse. Polynesia or Mexico is their goal, and in the Marquesas or in Sonora they may, perhaps, for a few years at least, be let alone, again to prove the forerunners of English civilization—planters of Saxon institutions and the English tongue; once more to perform their mission, as they performed it in Missouri and in Utah.

When we turn from the simple legal question, and the still more simple military one, to the moral point involved in the forcible suppression of plural marriage in one State by the might of all the others, we find the consideration of the matter confused by the apparent analogy between the so-called crusade against slavery and the proposed crusade against polygamy. There is no real resemblance between the cases. In the strictest sense there was no more a crusade against slavery than there is a crusade against snakes on the part of a man who strikes one that bit him. The purest republicans have never pretended that the abolition of slavery was the justification of the war. The South rose in rebellion, and in rising gave New England an opportunity for the destruction in America of an institution at variance with the republican form of government, and aggressive in its tendencies. So far is polygamy from being opposed in spirit to democracy, that it is impossible here, in Salt Lake City, not to see that it is the most leveling of all social institutions—Mormonism the most democratic of religions. A rich man in New York leaves his two or three sons a large property, and founds a family; a rich Mormon leaves his twenty or thirty sons each a miserable fraction of his money, and each son must trudge out into the world, and toil for himself. Brigham‘s sons—those of them who are not gratuitously employed in hard service for the church in foreign parts—are cattle-drivers, small farmers, ranchmen. One of them was the only poorly-clad boy I saw in Salt Lake City. A system of polygamy, in which all the wives, and consequently all the children, are equal before the law, is a powerful engine of democracy.

The general moral question of whether Mormonism is to be put down by the sword, because the Latter-day Saints differ in certain social customs from other Christians, is one for the preacher and the casuist, not for a traveling observer of English-speaking countries as they are. Mormonism comes under my observation as the religious and social system of the most successful of all pioneers of English civilization. From this point of view it would be an immediate advantage to the world that they should be driven out once more into the wilderness, again to found an England in Mexico, in Polynesia, or on Red River. It may be an immediate gain to civilization, but America herself was founded by schismatics upon a basis of tolerance to all; and there are still to be found Americans who think it would be the severest blow that has been dealt to liberty since the St. Bartholomew, were she to lend her enormous power to systematic persecution at the cannon‘s mouth.

The question of where to draw the line is one of interest. Great Britain draws it at black faces, and would hardly tolerate the existence among her white subjects in London of such a sect as that of the Maharajas of Bombay. “If you draw the line at black faces,” say the Mormons, “why should you not let the Americans draw it at two thousand miles from Washington?”

The moral question cannot be dissociated from Mormon history. The Saints marched from Missouri and Illinois, into no man‘s land, intending there to live out of the reach of those who differed from them, as do the Russian dissenters transported in past ages to the provinces of Taurida and Kherson. It is by no fault of theirs, they say, that they are citizens of the United States.

PROFILE OF “JOE SMITH.”
PROFILE OF “JOE SMITH.” FULL FACE OF “JOE SMITH.”—P. 150.

There is in the far West a fast increasing party who would leave people to be polygynists, polyandrists, Free-lovers, Shakers, or monogamists, as they please; who would place the social relations as they have placed religion—out of the reach of the law. I need hardly say that public opinion has such overwhelming force in America that it is probable that even under a system of perfect toleration by law, two forms of the family relation would never be found existing side by side. Polygamists would continue to migrate to Mormon land, Free-lovers to New York, Shakers to New England. Some will find in this a reason for, and some a reason against, a change. In any case, a crusade against Mormonism will hardly draw sympathy from Nebraska, from Michigan, from Kansas.

Many are found who say: “Leave Mormonism to itself, and it will die.” The Pacific Railroad alone, they think, will kill it. Those Americans who know Utah best are not of this opinion. Mormonism is no superstition of the past. There is huge vitality in the polygamic church. Emerson once spoke to me of Unitarianism, Buddhism, and Mormonism as three religions which, right or wrong, are full of force. “The Mormons only need to be persecuted,” said Elder Frederick to me, “to become as powerful as the Mohammedans.” It is, indeed, more than doubtful whether polygamy can endure side by side with American monogamy—it is certain that Mormon priestly power and Mormon mysteries cannot in the long run withstand the presence of a large Gentile population; but, if Mormon titles to land are respected, and if great mineral wealth is not found to exist in Utah, Mormonism will not be exposed to any much larger Gentile intrusion than it has to cope with now. Settlers who can go to California or to Colorado “pares” will hardly fix themselves in the Utah desert. The Mexican table-lands will be annexed before Gentile immigrants seriously trouble Brigham. Gold and New England are the most dreaded foes of Mormondom. Nothing can save polygamy if lodes and placers such as those of all the surrounding States are found in Utah; nothing can save it if the New Englanders determine to put it down.

Were Congress to enforce the Homestead laws in Utah, and provide for the presence of an overwhelming Gentile population, polygamy would not only die of itself, but drag Mormonism down in its fall. Brigham knows more completely than we can the necessity of isolation. He would not be likely to await the blow which increased Gentile immigration would deal his power.

If New England decides to act, the table-lands of Mexico will see played once more the sad comedy of Utah. Again the Mormons will march into Mexican territory, again to wake some day, and find it American. Theirs, however, will once more be the pride of having proved the pioneers of that English civilization which is destined to overspread the temperate world. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo annexed Utah to the United States, but Brigham Young annexed it to Anglo-Saxondom.

CHAPTER XVIII.

NAMELESS ALPS.

AT the post-office, in Main Street, I gave Mr. Dixon a few last messages for home—he one to me for some Egyptian friends; and, with a shake and a wave, we parted, to meet in London after between us completing the circuit of the globe.

This time again I was not alone: an Irish miner from Montana, with a bottle of whisky, a revolver and pick, shared the back-seat with the mail-bags. Before we had forded the Jordan, he had sung “The Wearing of the Green,” and told me the day and the hour at which the republic was to be proclaimed at his native village in Galway. Like a true Irishman of the South or West, he was happy only when he could be generous; and so much joy did he show when I discovered that the cork had slipped from my flask, and left me dependent on him for my escape from the alkaline poison, that I half believed he had drawn it himself when we stopped to change horses for mules. Certain it is that he pressed his whisky so fast upon me and the various drivers, that the day we most needed its aid there was none, and the bottle itself had ended its career by serving as a target for a trial of breech-loading pistols.

At the sixth ranch from the city, which stands on the shores of the lake, and close to the foot of the mountains, we found Porter Rockwell, accredited chief of the Danites, the “Avenging Angels” of Utah, and leader, it is said, of the “White Indians” at the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Since 1840 there has been no name of greater terror in the West than Rockwell‘s; but in 1860 his death was reported in England, and the career of the great Brother of Gideon was ended, as we thought. I was told in Salt Lake City that he was still alive and well, and his portrait was among those that I got from Mr. Ottinger; but I am not convinced that the man I saw, and whose picture I possess, was in fact the Porter Rockwell who murdered Stephenson in 1842. It may be convenient to have two or three men to pass by the one name; and I suspect that this is so in the Rockwell case.

Under the name of Porter Rockwell some man (or men) has been the terror of the Mississippi Valley, of plains and plateau, for thirty years. In 1841, Joe Smith prophesied the death of Governor Boggs, of Missouri, within six months: within that time he was shot—rumor said by Rockwell. When the Danite was publicly charged with having done the deed for fifty dollars and a wagon-team, he swore he‘d shoot any man who said he‘d shot Boggs for gain; “but if I am charged with shooting him, they‘ll have to prove it”—words that looked like guilt. In 1842 Stephenson died by the same hand, it is believed. Rockwell was known to be the working chief of the band organized in 1838 to defend the First Presidency by any means whatever, fair or foul, known at various times as the “Big Fan” that should winnow the chaff from the wheat; the “Daughter of Zion,” the “Destructives,” the “Flying Angels,” the “Brother of Gideon,” the “Destroying Angels.” “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make thy horn iron, and will make thy hoofs brass; and thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the lords of the whole earth”—this was the motto of the band.

Little was heard of the Danites from the time that the Mormons were driven from Illinois and Missouri until 1852, when murder after murder, massacre after massacre, occurred in the Grand Plateau. Bands of immigrants, of settlers on their road to California, parties of United States officers, and escaping Mormons, were attacked by “Indians,” and found scalped by the next whites who came upon their trail. It was rumored in the Eastern States that the red men were Mormons in disguise, following the tactics of the Anti-Renters of New York. In the case of Almon Babbitt, the “Indians” were proved to have been white.

PORTER ROCKWELL.—P. 154.
PORTER ROCKWELL.—P. 154.

The atrocities culminated in the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857, when hundreds of men, women, and children were murdered by men armed and clothed as Indians, but sworn to by some who escaped as being whites. Porter Rockwell has had the infamy of this tremendous slaughter piled on to the huge mass of his earlier deeds of blood—whether rightly or wrongly, who shall say? The man that I saw was the man that Captain Burton saw in 1860. His death was solemnly recorded in the autumn of that year, yet of the identity of the person I saw with the person described by Captain Burton there can be no question. The bald, frowning forehead, the sinister smile, the long grizzly curls falling upon the back, the red cheek, the coal beard, the gray eye, are not to be mistaken. Rockwell or not, he is a man capable of any deed. I had his photograph in my pocket, and wanted to get him to sign it; but when, in awe of his glittering bowie and of his fame, I asked, by way of caution, the ranchman—a new-come Paddy—whether Rockwell could write, the fellow told me with many an oath that “the boss” was as innocent of letters as a babe. “As for writin’,” he said, “cuss me if he‘s on it. You bet he‘s not—you bet.”

Not far beyond Rockwell‘s, we drove close to the bench-land; and I was able to stop for a moment and examine the rocks. From the veranda of the Mormon poet Naisbitt‘s house in Salt Lake City, I had remarked a double line of terrace running on one even level round the whole of the great valley to the south, cut by nature along the base alike of the Oquirrh and the Wasatch.

I had thought it possible that the terrace was the result of the varying hardness of the strata; but, near Black Rock, on the overland track, I discovered that where the terrace lines have crossed the mountain precipices, they are continued merely by deep stains upon the rocks. The inference is that within extremely recent, if not historic times, the water has stood at these levels from two to three hundred feet above the present Great Salt Lake City, itself 4500 feet above the sea. Three days’ journey farther west, on the Reese‘s River Range, I detected similar stains. Was the whole basin of the Rocky Mountains—here more than a thousand miles across—once filled with a huge sea, of which the two Sierras were the shores, and the Wasatch, Goshoot, Waroja, Toi, Abbé, Humboldt, Washoe, and a hundred other ranges, the rocks and isles? The Great Salt Lake is but the largest of many such. I saw one on Mirage Plains that is salter than its greater fellow. Carson Sink is evidently the bed of a smaller bitter lake; and there are salt pools in dozens scattered through Ruby and Smoky Valleys. The Great Salt Lake itself is sinking year by year, and the sage-brush is gaining upon the alkali desert throughout the Grand Plateau. All these signs point to the rapid drying-up of a great sea, owing to an alteration of climatic conditions.

In the Odd Fellows’ Library at San Francisco I found a map of North America, signed “John Harris, A.M.,” and dated “1605,” which shows a great lake in the country now comprised in the Territories of Utah and Dakota. It has a width of fifteen degrees, and is named “Thongo, or Thoya.” It is not likely that this inland sea is a mere exaggeration of the present Great Salt Lake, because the views of that sheet of water are everywhere limited by islands in such a way as to give to the eye the effect of exceeding narrowness. It is possible that the Jesuit Fathers, and other Spanish travelers from California, may have looked from the Utah mountains on the dwindling remnant of a great inland sea.

On we jogged and jolted, till we lost sight of the American dead sea and of its lovely valley, and got into a canyon floored with huge boulders and slabs of roughened rock, where I expected each minute to undergo the fate of that Indian traveler who received such a jolt that he bit off the tip of his own tongue, or of Horace Greeley, whose head was bumped, it is said, through the roof of his conveyance. Here, as upon the eastern side of the Wasatch, the track was marked by never-ending lines of skeletons of mules and oxen.

On the first evening from Salt Lake, we escaped once more from man at Stockton, a Gentile mining settlement in Rush Valley, too small to be called a village, though possessed of a municipality, and claiming the title of “city.” By night we crossed by Reynolds’ Pass the Parolom or Cedar Range, in a two-horse “jerky,” to which we had been shifted for speed and safety. Upon the heights the frost was bitter; and when we stopped at 3 A.M. for “supper,” in which breakfast was combined, we crawled into the stable like flies in autumn, half killed by the sudden chill. My miner spoke but once all night. “It‘s right cold,” he said; but fifty times at least he sang “The Wearing of the Green.” It was his only tune.

Soon after light, we passed the spot where Captain Gunnison of the Federal Engineers, who had been in 1853 the first explorer of the Smoky Hill route, was killed “by the Ute Indians.” Gunnison was an old enemy of the Mormons, and the spot is ominously near to Rockwell‘s home. Here we came out once more into the alkali, and our troubles from dust began. For hours we were in a desert white as snow; but for reward we gained a glorious view of the Goshoot Range, which we crossed by night, climbing silently on foot for hours in the moonlight. The walking saved us from the cold.

The third day—a Sunday morning—we were at the foot of the Waroja Mountains, with Egan Canyon for our pass, hewn by nature through the living rock. You dare swear you see the chisel-marks upon the stone. A gold-mill had years ago been erected here, and failed. The heavy machinery was lost upon the road; but the four stone walls contained between them the wreck of the lighter “plant.”


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As we jolted and journeyed on across the succeeding plain, we spied in the far distance a group of black dots upon the alkali. Man seems very small in the infinite expanse of the Grand Plateau—the roof, as it were, of the world. At the end of an hour we were upon them—a company of “overlanders” “tracking” across the continent with mules. First came two mounted men, well armed with Deringers in the belt, and Ballard breech-loaders on the thigh, prepared for ambush—ready for action against elk or red-skin. About fifty yards behind these scowling fellows came the main band of bearded, red-shirted diggers, in huge boots and felt hats, each man riding one mule, and driving another laden with packs and buckets. As we came up, the main body halted, and an interchange of compliments began. “Say, mister, thet‘s a slim horse of yourn.” “Guess not—guess he‘s all sorts of a horse, he air. And how far might it be to the State of Varmount?” “Wall, guess the boys down to hum will be kinder joyed to see us, howsomever that may be.” Just at this moment a rattlesnake was spied, and every revolver discharged with a shout, all hailing the successful shot with a “Bully for you; thet hit him whar he lives.” And on, without more ado, they went.

Even the roughest of these overlanders has in him something more than roughness. As far as appearance goes, every woman of the far West is a duchess, each man a Coriolanus. The royal gait, the imperial glance and frown, belong to every ranchman in Nevada. Every fellow that you meet upon the track near Stockton or Austin City, walks as though he were defying lightning, yet this without silly strut or braggadocio. Nothing can be more complete than the ranchman‘s self-command, save in the one point of oaths; the strongest, freshest, however, of their moral features is a grand enthusiasm, amounting sometimes to insanity. As for their oaths, they tell you it is nothing unless the air is “blue with cusses.” At one of the ranches where there was a woman, she said quietly to me, in the middle of an awful burst of swearing, “Guess Bill swears steep;” to which I replied, “Guess so”—the only allusion I ever heard or hazarded to Western swearing.

Leaving to our north a snowy range—nameless here, but marked on European maps as the East Humboldt—we reached the foot of the Ruby Valley Mountains on the Sunday afternoon in glowing sunshine, and crossed them in a snow-storm. In the night we journeyed up and down the Diamond or Quartz Range, and morning found us at the foot of the Pond Chain. At the ranch—where, in the absence of elk, we ate “bacon,” and dreamt we breakfasted—I chatted with an agent of the Mail Company on the position of the ranchmen, divisible, as he told me, into “cooks and hostlers.” The cooks, my experience had taught me, were the aptest scholars, the greatest politicians; the hostlers, men of war and completest masters of the art of Western swearing. The cooks had a New England cut; the hostlers, like Southerners, wore their hair all down their backs. I begged an explanation of the reason for the marked distinction. “They are picked,” he said, “from different classes. When a boy comes to me and asks for something to do, I give him a look, and see what kind of stuff he‘s made of. If he‘s a gay duck out for a six-weeks’ spree, I send him down here, or to Bitter Wells; but if he‘s a clerk or a poet, or any such sorter fool as that, why then I set him cooking; and plaguy good cooks they make, as you must find.”

The drivers on this portion of the route are as odd fellows as are the ranchmen. Wearing huge jack-boots, flannel shirts tucked into their trowsers, but no coat or vest, and hats with enormous brims, they have their hair long, and their beards untrimmed. Their oaths, I need hardly say, are fearful. At night they wrap themselves in an enormous cloak, drink as much whisky as their passengers can spare them, crack their whips, and yell strange yells. They are quarrelsome and overbearing, honest probably, but eccentric in their ways of showing it. They belong chiefly to the mixed Irish and German race, and have all been in Australia during the gold rush, and in California before deep sinking replaced the surface diggings. They will tell you how they often washed out and gambled away a thousand ounces in a month, living like Roman emperors, then started in digging-life again upon the charity of their wealthier friends. They hate men dressed in “biled shirts,” or in “store clothes,” and show their aversion in strange ways. I had no objection myself to build fires and fetch wood; but I drew the line at going into the sage-brush to catch the mules, that not being a business which I felt competent to undertake. The season was advanced, the snows had not yet reached the valleys, which were parched by the drought of all the summer, feed for the mules was scarce, and they wandered a long way. Time after time we would drive into a station, the driver saying, with strange oaths, “Guess them mules is clared out from this here ranch; guess they is into this sage-brush;” and it would be an hour before the mules would be discovered feeding in some forgotten valley. Meanwhile the miner and myself would have revolver practice at the skeletons and telegraph-posts when sage fowl failed us, and rattlesnakes grew scarce.

After all, it is easy to speak of the eccentricities of dress and manner displayed by Western men, but Eastern men and Europeans upon the plateau are not the prim creatures of Fifth Avenue or Pall Mall. From San Francisco I sent home an excellent photograph of myself in the clothes in which I had crossed the plateau, those being the only ones I had to wear till my baggage came round from Panama. The result was, that my oldest friends failed to recognize the portrait. At the foot I had written “A Border Ruffian:” they believed not the likeness, but the legend.

The difficulties of dress upon these mountain ranges are great indeed. To sit one night exposed to keen frost and biting wind, and the next day to toil for hours up a mountain-side, beneath a blazing sun, are very opposite conditions. I found my dress no bad one. At night I wore a Canadian fox-fur cap, Mormon ’coon-skin gloves, two coats, and the whole of my light silk shirts. By day I took off the coats, the gloves, and cap, and walked in my shirts, adding but a Panama hat to my “fit-out.”

As we began the ascent of the Pond River Range, we caught up a bullock-train, which there was not room to pass. The miner and myself turned out from the jerky, and for hours climbed alongside the wagons. I was struck by the freemasonry of this mountain travel: Bryant, the miner, had come to the end of his “solace,” as the most famed chewing tobacco in these parts is called. Going up to the nearest teamster, he asked for some, and was at once presented with a huge cake—enough, I should have thought, to have lasted a Channel pilot for ten years.

The climb was long enough to give me deep insight into the inner mysteries of bullock-driving. Each of the great two-storied Californian wagons was drawn by twelve stout oxen; still, the pace was not a mile an hour, accomplished, as it seemed to me, not so much by the aid as in spite of tremendous flogging. Each teamster carried a short-handled whip with a twelve-foot leathern lash, which was wielded with two hands, and, after many a whirl, brought down along the whole length of the back of each bullock of the team in turn, the stroke being accompanied by a shout of the bullock‘s name, and followed, as it was preceded, by a string of the most explosive oaths. The favorite names for bullocks were those of noted public characters and of Mormon elders, and cries were frequent of “Ho, Brígham!” “Ho, Jóseph!” “Ho, Gránt!”—the blow falling with the accented syllable. The London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would find at Pond River ranch an excellent opening for a mission. The appointed officer should be supplied with two Deringers and a well-filled whisky-barrel.

Through a gap in the mountain crest we sighted the West Humboldt Range, across an open country dotted here and there with stunted cedar, and, crossing Smoky Valley, we plunged into a deep pass in the Toi Abbé Range, and reached Austin—a mining town of importance, rising two years old—in the afternoon of the fourth day from Salt Lake City.

After dining at an Italian digger‘s restaurant with an amount of luxury that recalled our feasts at Salt Lake City, I started on a stroll, in which I was stopped at once by a shout from an open bar-room of “Say, mister!” Pulling up sharply, I was surrounded by an eager crowd, asking from all sides the one question: “Might you be Professor Muller?” Although flattered to find that I looked less disreputable and ruffianly than I felt, I nevertheless explained as best I could that I was no professor—only to be assured that if I was any professor at all, Muller or other, I should do just as well: a mule was ready for me to ride to the mine, and “Jess kinder fix us up about this new lode.” If my new-found friends had not carried an overwhelming force of pistols, I might have gone to the mine as Professor Muller, and given my opinion for what it was worth: as it was, I escaped only by “liquoring up” over the error. Cases of mistaken identity are not always so pleasant in Austin. They told me that, a few weeks before, a man riding down the street heard a shot, saw his hat fall into the mud, and, picking it up, found a small round hole on each side. Looking up, he saw a tall miner, revolver smoking in hand, who smiled grimly, and said: “Guess thet‘s my muel.” Having politely explained when and where the mule was bought, the miner professed himself satisfied with a “Guess I was wrong—let‘s liquor.”

In the course of my walk through Austin I came upon a row of neat huts, each with a board on which was painted, “Sam Sing, washing and ironing,” or “Mangling by Ah Low.” A few paces farther on was a shop painted red, but adorned with cabalistic scrawls in black ink; and farther still was a tiny joss house. Yellow men, in spotless clothes of dark-green and blue, were busy at buying and selling, at cooking, at washing. Some, at a short trot, were carrying burdens at the end of a long bamboo pole. All were quiet, quick, orderly, and clean. I had at last come thoroughly among the Chinese people, not to lose sight of them again until I left Geelong, or even Suez.

Returning to the room where I had dined, I parted with Pat Bryant, quitting him, in Western fashion, after a good “trade” or “swop.” He had taken a fancy to the bigger of my two revolvers. He was going to breed cattle in Oregon, he told me, and thought it might be useful for shooting his wildest beasts by riding in the Indian manner, side by side with them, and shooting at the heart. I answered by guessing that I “was on the sell;” and traded the weapon against one of his that matched my smaller tool. When I reached Virginia City, I inquired prices, and was almost disappointed to find that I had not been cheated in the “trade.”

A few minutes after leaving the “hotel” at Austin, and calling at the post-office for the mails, I again found myself in the desert—indeed, Austin itself can hardly be styled an oasis: it may have gold, but it has no green thing within its limits. It is in canyons and on plains like these, with the skeletons of oxen every few yards along the track, that one comes to comprehend the full significance of the terrible entry in the army route-books—“No grass; no water.”

Descending a succession of tremendous “grades,” as inclines upon roads and railroads are called out West, we came on to the lava-covered plain of Reese‘s River Valley, a wall of snowy mountain rising grandly in our front. Close to the stream were a ranch or two, and a double camp, of miners and of a company of Federal troops. The diggers were playing with their glistening knives as diggers only can; the soldiers—their huge sombreros worn loosely on one side—were lounging idly in the sun.

Within an hour, we were again in snow and ice upon the summit of another nameless range.

This evening, after five sleepless nights, I felt most terribly the peculiar form of fatigue that we had experienced after six days and nights upon the plains. Again the brain seemed divided into two parts, thinking independently, and one side putting questions while the other answered them; but this time there was also a sort of half insanity, a not altogether disagreeable wandering of the mind, a replacing of the actual by an imagined ideal scene.

On and on we journeyed, avoiding the Shoshoné and West Humboldt Mountains, but picking our way along the most fearful ledges that it has been my fate to cross, and traversing from end to end the dreadful Mirage Plains. At nightfall we sighted Mount Davidson and the Washoe Range, and at 3 A.M. I was in bed once more—in Virginia City.

CHAPTER XIX.

VIRGINIA CITY.

“GUESS the governor‘s consid‘rable skeert.”

“You bet, he‘s mad.”

My sitting down to breakfast at the same small table seemed to end the talk; but I had not been out West for nothing, so explaining that I was only four hours in Virginia City, I inquired what had occurred to fill the governor of Nevada with vexation and alarm.

“D‘you tell now! only four hours in this great young city. Wall, guess it‘s a bully business. You see, some time back the governor pardoned a road agent after the citizens had voted him a rope. Yes, sir! But that ain‘t all: yesterday, cuss me if he didn‘t refuse ter pardon one of the boys who had jess shot another in play like. Guess he thinks hisself some pumpkins.” I duly expressed my horror, and my informant went on: “Wall, guess the citizens paid him off purty slick. They jess sent him a short thick bit of rope with a label ‘For his Excellency.’ You bet ef he ain‘t mad—you bet! Pass us those molasses, mister.”

I was not disappointed: I had not come to Nevada for nothing. To see Virginia City and Carson, since I first heard their fame in New York, had been with me a passion, but the deed thus told me in the dining-room of the “Empire” Hotel was worthy a place in the annals of “Washoe.” Under its former name, the chief town of Nevada was ranked not only the highest, but the “cussedest” town in the States, its citizens expecting a “dead man for breakfast” every day, and its streets ranging from seven to eight thousand feet above the sea. Its twofold fame is leaving it: the Coloradan villages of North Empire and Black Hawk are nine or ten thousand feet above sea level, and Austin, and Virginia City in Montana beat it in playful pistoling and vice. Nevertheless, in the point of “pure cussedness” old Washoe still stands well, as my first introduction to its ways will show. All the talk of Nevada reformation applies only to the surface signs: when a miner tells you that Washoe is turning pious, and that he intends shortly to “vamose,” he means that, unlike Austin, which is still in its first state of mule-stealing and monté, Virginia City has passed through the second period—that of “vigilance committees” and “historic trees”—and is entering the third, the stage of churches and “city officers,” or police.

The population is still a shifting one. A by-law of the municipality tells us that the “permanent population” consists of those who reside more than a month within the city. At this moment the miners are pouring into Washoe from north and south and east, from Montana, from Arizona, and from Utah, coming to the gayeties of the largest mining city to spend their money during the fierce short winter. When I saw Virginia City, it was worse than Austin.

Every other house is a restaurant, a drinking-shop, a gaming-hell, or worse. With no one to make beds, to mend clothes, to cook food—with no house, no home—men are almost certain to drink and gamble. The Washoe bar-rooms are the most brilliant in the States: as we drove in from Austin at 3 A.M., there was blaze enough for us to see from the frozen street the portraits of Lola Montez, Ada Menken, Heenan, and the other Californian celebrities with which the bar-rooms were adorned.

Although “petticoats,” even Chinese, are scarce, dancing was going on in every house; but there is a rule in miners’ balls that prevents all difficulties arising from an over-supply of men: every one who has a patch on the rear portion of his breeches does duty for a lady in the dance, and as gentlemen are forced by the custom of the place to treat their partners at the bar, patches are popular.

Up to eleven in the morning hardly a man was to be seen: a community that sits up all night, begins its work in the afternoon. For hours I had the blazing hills called streets to myself for meditating ground; but it did not need hours to bring me to think that a Vermonter‘s description of the climate of the mountains was not a bad one when he said: “You rise at eight, and shiver in your cloak till nine, when you lay it aside, and walk freely in your woolens. At twelve you come in for your gauze coat and your Panama; at two you are in a hammock cursing the heat, but at four you venture out again, and by five are in your woolens. At six you begin to shake with cold, and shiver on till bedtime, which you make darned early.” Even at this great height, the thermometer in the afternoon touches 80° Fahr. in the shade, while from sunset to sunrise there is a bitter frost. So it is throughout the plateau. When morning after morning we reached a ranch, and rushed out of the freezing ambulance through the still colder outer air to the fragrant cedar fire, there to roll with pain at the thawing of our joints, it was hard to bear it in mind that by eight o‘clock we should be shutting out the sun, and by noon melting even in the deepest shade.

As I sat at dinner in a miner‘s restaurant, my opposite neighbor, finding that I was not long from England, informed me he was “the independent editor of the Nevada Union Gazette,” and went on to ask: “And how might you have left literatooral pursoots? How air Tennyson and Thomas T. Carlyle?” I assured him that to the best of my belief they were fairly well, to which his reply was: “Guess them ther men ken sling ink, they ken.” When we parted, he gave me a copy of his paper, in which I found that he called a rival editor “a walking whisky-bottle” and “a Fenian imp.” The latter phrase reminded me that, of the two or three dozen American editors that I had met, this New Englander was the first who was “native born.” Stenhouse, in Salt Lake City, is an Englishman, so is Stanton, of Denver, and the whole of the remainder of the band were Irishmen. As for the earlier assertion in the “editorial,” it was not a wild one, seeing that Virginia City has five hundred whisky-shops for a population of ten thousand. Artemus Ward said of Virginia City, in a farewell speech to the inhabitants that should have been published in his works: “I never, gentlemen, was in a city where I was treated so well, nor, I will add, so often.” Through every open door the diggers can be seen tossing the whisky down their throats with a scowl of resolve, as though they were committing suicide—which, indeed, except in the point of speed, is probably the case.

The Union Gazette was not the only paper that I had given me to read that morning. Not a bridge over a “crick,” not even a blacked pair of boots, made me so thoroughly aware that I had in a measure returned to civilization as did the gift of an Alta Californian containing a report of a debate in the English Parliament upon the Bank Charter Act. The speeches were appropriate to my feelings; I had just returned not only to civilization, but to the European inconveniences of gold and silver money. In Utah, gold and greenbacks circulate indifferently, with a double set of prices always marked and asked; in Nevada and California, greenbacks are as invisible as gold in New York or Kansas. Nothing can persuade the Californians that the adoption by the Eastern States of an inconvertible paper system is anything but the result of a conspiracy against the Pacific States—one in which they at least are determined to have no share. Strongly Unionist in feeling as were California, Oregon, and Nevada during the rebellion, to have forced greenbacks upon them would have been almost more than their loyalty would have borne. In the severest taxation they were prepared to acquiesce; but paper money they believe to be downright robbery, and the invention of the devil.

To me the reaching gold once more was far from pleasant, for the advantages of paper money to the traveler are enormous; it is light, it wears no holes in your pockets, it reveals its presence by no untimely clinking; when you jump from a coach, every thief within a mile is not at once aware that you have ten dollars in your right-hand pocket. The Nevadans say that forgeries are so common that their neighbors in Colorado have been forced to agree that any decent imitation shall be taken as good, it being too difficult to examine into each case. For my part, though in rapid travel a good deal of paper passed through my hands in change, my only loss by forgery was one half-dollar note; my loss by wear and tear the same.

In spite of the gold currency, prices are higher in Nevada than in Denver. A shave is half a dollar—gold; in Washoe and in Atchison, but a paper quarter. A boot-blacking is fifty cents in gold, instead of ten cents paper, as in Chicago or St. Louis.

During the war, when fluctuations in the value of the paper were great and sudden, prices changed from day to day. Hotel proprietors in the West received their guests at breakfast, it is said, with “Glorious news; we‘ve whipped at ——. Gold‘s 180; board‘s down half a dollar.” While I was in the country, gold fluctuated between 140 and 163, but prices remained unaltered.

Paper money is of some use to a young country in making the rate of wages appear enormous, and so attracting immigration. If a Cork bog-trotter is told that he can get two dollars a day for his work in America, but only one in Canada, no economic considerations interfere to prevent him rushing to the nominally higher rate. Whether the workingmen of America have been gainers by the inflation of the currency, or the reverse, it is hard to say. It has been stated in the Senate that wages have risen sixty per cent., and prices ninety per cent.; but “prices” is a term of great width. The men themselves believe that they have not been losers, and no argument can be so strong as that.

My first afternoon upon Mount Davidson I spent underground in the Gould and Curry Mine, the wealthiest and largest of those that have tapped the famous Comstock Lode. In this single vein of silver lies the prosperity not only of the city, but of Nevada State; its discovery will have hastened the completion of the overland railway itself by several years. It is owing to the enormous yield of this one lode that the United States now stands second only to Mexico as a silver-producing land. In one year Nevada has given the world as much silver as there came from the mines of all Peru.

The rise of Nevada has been sudden. I was shown in Virginia City a building block of land that rents for ten times what it cost four years ago. Nothing short of solid silver by the yard would have brought twenty thousand men to live upon the summit of Mount Davidson. It is easy here to understand the mad rush and madder speculation that took place at the time of the discovery. Every valley in the Washoe Range was “prospected,” and pronounced paved with silver; every mountain was a solid mass. “Cities” were laid out, and town lots sold, wherever room was afforded by a flat piece of ground. The publication of the Californian newspapers was suspended, as writers, editors, proprietors, and devils, all had gone with the rush. San Francisco went clean mad, and London and Paris were not far behind. Of the hundred “cities” founded, but one was built; of the thousand claims registered, but a hundred were taken up and worked; of the companies formed, but half a dozen ever paid a dividend, except that obtained from the sale of their plant. The silver of which the whole base of Mount Davidson is composed has not been traced in the surrounding hills, though they are covered with a forest of posts, marking the limits of forgotten “claims:”

“James Thompson, 130 feet N.E. by N.”

“Ezra Williams, 130 feet due E.;”

and so for miles. The Gould and Curry Company, on the other hand, is said to have once paid a larger half-yearly dividend than the sum of the original capital, and its shares have been quoted at 1000 per cent. Such are the differences of a hundred yards.

One of the oddities of mining life is, that the gold-diggers profess a sublime contempt for silver-miners and their trade. A Coloradan going West was asked in Nevada if in his country they could beat the Comstock lode. “Dear, no!” he said. “The boys with us are plaguy discouraged jess at present.” The Nevadans were down upon the word. “Discouraged, air they!” “Why, yes! They‘ve jess found they‘ve got ter dig through three feet of solid silver ’fore ever they come ter gold.”

Some of the Nevada companies have curious titles. “The Union Lumber Association” is not bad; but “The Segregated Belcher Mining Enterprise of Gold Hill District, Storey County, Nevada State,” is far before it as an advertising name.

In a real “coach” at last—a coach with windows and a roof—drawn by six “mustangs,” we dashed down Mount Davidson upon a real road, engineered with grades and bridges—my first since Junction City. Through the Devil‘s Gate we burst out upon a chaotic country. For a hundred miles the eye ranged over humps and bumps of every size, from stones to mountains, but no level ground, no field, no house, no tree, no green. Not even the Sahara so thoroughly deserves the name of “desert.” In Egypt there is the oasis, in Arabia here and there a date and a sweet-water well; here there is nothing, not even earth. The ground is soda, and the water and air are full of salt.

This road is notorious for the depredations of the “road agents,” as white highwaymen are politely called, red or yellow robbers being still “darned thieves.” At Desert Wells, the coach had been robbed, a week before I passed, by men who had first tied up the ranchmen, and taken their places to receive the driver and passengers when they arrived. The prime object with the robbers is the treasury box of “dust,” but they generally “go through” the passengers, by way of pastime, after their more regular work is done. As to firing, they have a rule—a simple one. If a passenger shoots, every man is killed. It need not be said that the armed driver and armed guard never shoot; they know their business far too well.

Close here we came on hot and cold springs in close conjunction, flowing almost from the same “sink-hole”—the original twofold springs, I hinted to our driver, that Poseidon planted in the Atlantic isle. He said that “some one of that name” had a ranch near Carson, so I “concluded” to drop Poseidon, lest I should say something that might offend.

From Desert Wells the alkali grew worse and worse, but began to be alleviated at the ranches by irrigation of the throat with delicious Californian wine. The plain was strewn with erratic boulders, and here and there I noticed sharp sand-cones, like those of the Elk Mountain country in Utah.

At last we dashed into the “city” named after the notorious Kit Carson, of which an old inhabitant has lately said: “This here city is growing plaguy mean—there was only one man shot all yesterday.” There was what is here styled an “altercation” a day or two ago. The sheriff tried to arrest a man in broad daylight in the single street which Carson boasts. The result was that each fired several shots at the other, and that both were badly hurt.

The half-deserted mining village and wholly ruined Mormon settlement stand grimly on the bare rock, surrounded by weird-looking depressions of the earth, the far-famed “sinks,” the very bottom of the plateau, and goal of all the plateau streams—in summer dry, and spread with sheets of salt; in winter filled with brine. The Sierra Nevada rises like a wall from the salt pools, with a fringe of giant, leafless trees hanging stiffly from its heights—my first forest since I left the Missouri bottoms. The trees made me feel that I was really across the continent, within reach at least of the fogs of the Pacific—on “the other side;” that there was still rough, cold work to be done was clear from the great snow-fields that showed through the pines with that threatening blackness that the purest of snows wear in the evening when they face the east.

As I gazed upon the tremendous battlements of the Sierra, I not only ceased to marvel that for three hundred years traffic had gone round by Panama rather than through these frightful obstacles, but even wondered that they should be surmounted now. In this hideous valley it was that the California immigrants wintered in 1848, and killed their Indian guides for food. For three months more the strongest of them lived upon the bodies of those who died, incapable in their weakness of making good their foothold upon the slippery snows of the Sierra. After awhile, some were cannibals by choice; but the story is not one that can be told.

Galloping up the gentle grades of Johnson‘s Pass, we began the ascent of the last of fifteen great mountain ranges crossed or flanked since I had left Great Salt Lake City. The thought recalled a passage of arms that had occurred at Denver between Dixon and Governor Gilpin. In his grand enthusiastic way, the governor, pointing to the Cordillera, said: “Five hundred snowy ranges lie between this and San Francisco.” “Peaks,” said Dixon. “Ranges!” thundered Gilpin; “I‘ve seen them.”

Of the fifteen greater ranges to the westward of Salt Lake, eight at least are named from the rivers they contain, or are wholly nameless. Trade has preceded survey; the country is not yet thoroughly explored. The six paper maps by which I traveled—the best and latest—differed in essential points. The position and length of the Great Salt Lake itself are not yet accurately known; the height of Mount Hood has been made anything between nine thousand and twenty thousand feet; the southern boundary line of Nevada State passes through untrodden wilds. A rectification of the limits of California and Nevada was attempted no great time ago, and the head-waters of some stream which formed a starting-point had been found to be erroneously laid down. At the flourishing young city of Aurora, in Esmeralda County, a court of California was sitting. A mounted messenger rode up at great pace, and, throwing his bridle round the stump, dashed in breathlessly, shouting, “What‘s this here court?” Being told that it was a Californian court, he said, “Wall, thet‘s all wrong: this here‘s Nevada. We‘ve been and rectified this boundary, an’ California‘s a good ten mile off here.” “Wall, Mr. Judge, I move this court adjourn,” said the plaintiff‘s counsel. “How can a court adjourn thet‘s not a court?” replied the judge. “Guess I‘ll go.” And off he went. So, if the court of Aurora was a court, it must be sitting now.

The coaching on this line is beyond comparison the best the world can show. Drawn by six half-bred mustangs, driven by whips of the fame of the Hank Monk “who drove Greeley,” the mails and passengers have been conveyed from Virginia City to the rail at Placerville, 154 miles, in 15 hours and 20 minutes, including a stoppage of half an hour for supper, and sixteen shorter stays to change horses. In this distance, the Sierra Nevada has to be traversed in a rapid rise of three thousand feet, a fall of a thousand feet, another rise of the same, and then a descent of five thousand feet on the Californian side.

FRIDAY‘S STATION—VALLEY OF LAKE TAHOE.—P. 176.
FRIDAY‘S STATION—VALLEY OF LAKE TAHOE.—P. 176.

Before the road was made, the passage was one of extraordinary difficulty. A wagon once started, they say, from Folsom, bearing “Carson or bust” in large letters upon the tilt. After ten days, it returned lamely enough, with four of the twelve oxen gone, and bearing the label “Busted.”

When we were nearing Hank Monk‘s “piece,” I became impatient to see the hero of the famous ride. What was my disgust when the driver of the earlier portion of the road appeared again upon the box in charge of six magnificent iron-grays. The peremptory cry of “All aboard” brought me without remonstrance to the coach, but I took care to get upon the box, although, as we were starting before the break of day, the frost was terrible. To my relief, when I inquired after Hank, the driver said that he was at a ball at a timber ranch in the forest “six mile on.” At early light we reached the spot—the summit of the more eastern of the twin ranges of the Sierra. Out came Hank, amid the cheers of the half dozen men and women of the timber ranch who formed the “ball,” wrapped up to the eyes in furs, and took the reins without a word. For miles he drove steadily and moodily along. I knew these drivers top well to venture upon speaking first when they were in the sulks; at last, however, I lost all patience, and silently offered him a cigar. He took it without thanking me, but after a few minutes said: “Thet last driver, how did he drive?” I made some shuffling answer, when he cut in: “Drove as ef he were skeert; and so he was. Look at them mustangs. Yoo—ou!” As he yelled, the horses started at what out here they style “the run;” and when, after ten minutes, he pulled up, we must have done three miles, round most violent and narrow turns, with only the bare precipice at the side, and a fall of often a hundred feet to the stream at the bottom of the ravine—the Simplon without its wall. Dropping into the talking mood, he asked me the usual questions as to my business, and whither I was bound. When I told him I thought of visiting Australia, he said, “D‘you tell now! Jess give my love—at Bendigo—to Gumption Dick.” Not another word about Australia or Gumption Dick could I draw from him. I asked at Bendigo for Dick; but not even the officer in command of the police had ever heard of Hank Monk‘s friend.

The sun rose as we dashed through the grand landscapes of Lake Tahoe. On we went, through gloomy snow-drifts and still sadder forests of gigantic pines nearly three hundred feet in height, and down the canyon of the American River from the second range. Suddenly we left the snows, and burst through the pine woods into an open scene. From gloom there was a change to light; from somber green to glowing red and gold. The trees, no longer hung with icicles, were draped with Spanish moss. In ten yards we had come from winter into summer. Alkali was left behind forever; we were in El Dorado, on the Pacific shores—in sunny, dreamy California.

TEAMING UP THE GRADE AT SLIPPERY FORD, IN THE SIERRA.—P.
178.
TEAMING UP THE GRADE AT SLIPPERY FORD, IN THE SIERRA.—P. 178.

CHAPTER XX.

EL DORADO.

THE city of the high priest clothed in robes of gold figures largely in the story of Spanish discovery in America. The hardy soldiers who crossed the Atlantic in caravels and cockboats, and toiled in leathern doublets and plate armor through the jungle swamp of Panama, were lured on through years of plague and famine by the dream of a country whose rivers flowed with gold. Diego de Mendoza found the land in 1532, but it was not till January, 1848, that James Marshall washed the golden sands of El Dorado.

The Spaniards were not the first to place the earthly paradise in America. Not to speak of New Atlantis, the Canadian Indians have never ceased to hand down to their sons a legend of western abodes of bliss, to which their souls journey after death, through frightful glens and forests. In their mystic chants they describe minutely the obstacles over which the souls must toil to reach the regions of perpetual spring. These stories are no mere dreams, but records of the great Indian migration from the West: the liquid-eyed Hurons, not sprung from the Canadian snows, may be Californian if they are not Malay, the Pacific shores their happy hunting-ground, the climate of Los Angeles their never-ending spring.

The names The Golden State and El Dorado are doubly applicable to California; her light and landscape, as well as her soil, are golden. Here, on the Pacific side, nature wears a robe of deep rich yellow: even the distant hills, no longer purple, are wrapt in golden haze. No more cliffs and canyons—all is rounded, soft, and warm. The Sierra, which faces eastward, with four thousand feet of wall-like rock, on the west descends gently in vine-clad slopes into the Californian vales, and trends away in spurs toward the sea. The scenery of the Nevada side was weird, but these western foot-hills are unlike anything in the world. Drake, who never left the Pacific shores, named the country New Albion, from the whiteness of a headland on the coast; but the first viceroys were less ridiculously misled by patriotic vanity when they christened it New Spain.

VIEW ON THE AMERICAN RIVER—THE PLACE WHERE GOLD WAS
FIRST FOUND.—P. 180.
VIEW ON THE AMERICAN RIVER—THE PLACE WHERE GOLD WAS FIRST FOUND.—P. 180.

In the warm dry sunlight, we rolled down hills of rich red loam, and through forests of noble redwood—the Sequoia sempervirens, brother to the Sequoia gigantea, or Wellingtonia of our lawns. Dashing at full gallop through the American River, just below its falls, where, in 1848, the Mormons first dug that Californian gold which in the interests of their church they had better have let alone, we came upon great gangs of Indians working by proxy upon the Continental railroad. The Indian‘s plan for living happily is a simple one: he sits and smokes in silence while his women work, and he thus lives upon the earnings of the squaws. Unlike a Mormon patriarch, he contrives that polygamy shall pay, and says with the New Zealand Maori: “A man with one wife may starve, but a man with many wives grows fat.” These fellows were Shoshonés from the other side of the plateau; for the Pacific Indians, who are black, not red, will not even force their wives to work, which, in the opinion of the Western men, is the ultimate form of degradation in a race. Higher up the hills, Chinamen alone are employed; but their labor is too costly to be thrown away upon the easier work.

In El Dorado City we stayed not long enough for the exploration of the once famous surface gold mines, now forming one long vineyard, but, rolling on, were soon among the tents of Placerville, which had been swept with fire a few months before. All these valley diggings have been deserted for deep-sinking—not that they are exhausted yet, but that the yield has ceased to be sufficient to tempt the gambling digger. The men who lived in Placerville and made it infamous throughout the world some years ago are scattered now through Nevada, Arizona, Montana, and the Frazer country, and Chinamen and Digger Indians have the old workings to themselves, settling their rights as against each other by daily battle and perpetual feud. The Digger Indians are the most degraded of all the aborigines of North America—outcasts from the other tribes—men under a ban—“tapu,” as their Maori cousins say—weaponless, naked savages who live on roots, and pester the industrious Chinese.

It is not with all their foes that the yellow men can cope so easily. In a tiny Chinese theater in their camp near Placerville, I saw a farce which to the remainder of the audience was no doubt a very solemn drama, in which the adventures of two Celestials on the diggings were given to the world. The only scene in which the pantomime was sufficiently clear for me to read it without the possibility of error was one in which a white man—“Melican man”—came to ask for taxes. The Chinamen had paid their taxes once before, but the fellow said that didn‘t matter. The yellow men consulted together, and at last agreed that the stranger was a humbug, so the play ended with a big fight, in which they drove him off their ground. A Chinaman played the over ’cute Yankee, and did it well.

Perhaps the tax-collectors in the remoter districts of the States count on the Chinese to make up the deficiencies in their accounts caused by the non-payment of their taxes by the whites; for even in these days of comparative quiet and civilization, taxes are not gathered to their full amount in any of the Territories, and the justice of the collector is in Montana tempered by many a threat of instant lynching if he proceeds with his assessment. Even in Utah, the returns are far from satisfactory: the three great merchants of Salt Lake City should, if their incomes are correctly stated, contribute a heavier sum than that returned for the whole of the population of the Territory.

The white diggers who preceded the Chinese have left their traces in the names of lodes and places. There is no town in California with such a title as the Coloradan City of Buckskin Joe, but Yankee Jim comes near it. Placerville itself was formerly known as Hangtown, on account of its being the city in which “lynch-law was inaugurated.” Dead Shot Flat is not far from here, and within easy distance are Hell‘s Delight, Jackass Gulch, and Loafer‘s Hill. The once famous Plug-ugly Gulch has now another name; but of Chucklehead Diggings and Puppytown I could not find the whereabouts in my walks and rides. Graveyard Canyon, Gospel Gulch, and Paint-pot Hill are other Californian names. It is to be hoped that the English and Spanish names will live unmutilated in California and Nevada, to hand down in liquid syllables the history of a half-forgotten conquest, an already perished race. San Francisco has become “Frisco” in speech if not on paper, and Sacramento will hardly bear the wear and tear of Californian life; but the use of the Spanish tongue has spread among the Americans who have dealings with the Mexican country folk of California State, and, except in mining districts, the local names will stand.

It is not places only that have strange designations in America. Out of the Puritan fashion of naming children from the Old Testament patriarchs has grown, by a sort of recoil, the custom of following the heroes of the classics, and when they fail, inventing strange titles for children. Mahonri Cahoon lives in Salt Lake City; Attila Harding was secretary to one of the governors of Utah; Michigan University has for president Erastus Haven; for superintendent, Oramel Hosford; for professors, Abram Sanger, Silas Douglas, Moses Gunn, Zina Pitcher, Alonzo Pitman, De Volson Wood, Lucius Chapin, and Corydon Ford. Luman Stevens, Bolivar Barnum, Wyllys Ransom, Ozora Stearnes, and Buel Derby were Michigan officers during the war, and Epaphroditus Ransom was formerly governor of the State. Theron Rockwell, Gershon Weston, and Bela Kellogg are well-known politicians in Massachusetts, and Colonel Liberty Billings is equally prominent in Florida. In New England school-lists it is hard to pick boys from girls. Who shall tell the sex of Lois Lombard, Asahel Morton, Ginery French, Royal Miller, Thankful Poyne? A Chicago man, who was lynched in Central Illinois while I was in the neighborhood, was named Alonza Tibbets. Eliphalet Arnould and Velenus Sherman are ranchmen on the overland road; Sereno Burt is an editor in Montana; Persis Boynton a merchant in Chicago. Zelotes Terry, Datus Darner, Zeryiah Rainforth, Barzellai Stanton, Sardis Clark, Ozias Williams, Xenas Phelps, Converse Hopkins, and Hirodshai Blake are names with which I have met. Zilpah, Huldah, Nabby, Basetha, Minnesota, and Semantha are New England ladies; while one gentleman of Springfield, lately married, caught a Tartia. One of the earliest enemies of the Mormons was Palatiah Allen; one of their first converts Preserved Harris. Taking the pedigree of Joe Smith, the Mormon prophet, as that of a representative New England family, we shall find that his aunts were Lovisa and Lovina Mack, Dolly Smith, Eunice and Miranda Pearce; his uncles, Royal, Ira, and Bushrod Smith. His grandfather‘s name was Asael; of his great aunts one was Hephzibah, another Hypsebeth, and another Vasta. The prophet‘s eldest brother‘s name was Alvin; his youngest Don Carlos; his sister, Sophronia; and his sister-in-law, Jerusha Smith; while a nephew was christened Chilon. One of the nieces was Levira, and another Rizpah. The first wife of George A. Smith, the prophet‘s cousin, is Bathsheba, and his eldest daughter also bears this name.

In the smaller towns near Placerville, there is still a wide field for the discovery of character as well as gold; but eccentricity among the diggers here seems chiefly to waste itself on food. The luxury of this Pacific country is amazing. The restaurants and cafés of each petty digging-town put forth bills-of-fare which the “Trios Frères” could not equal for ingenuity; wine lists such as Delmonico‘s cannot beat. The facilities are great: except in the far interior or on the hills, one even spring reigns unchangeably—summer in all except the heat; every fruit and vegetable of the world is perpetually in season. Fruit is not named in the hotel bills-of-fare, but all the day long there are piled in strange confusion on the tables, Mission grapes, the Californian Bartlet pears, Empire apples from Oregon, melons—English, Spanish, American and Musk; peaches, nectarines, and fresh almonds. All comers may help themselves, and wash down the fruit with excellent Californian-made Sauterne. If dancing, gambling, drinking, and still shorter cuts to the devil have their votaries among the diggers, there is no employment upon which they so freely spend their cash as on dishes cunningly prepared by cooks—Chinese, Italian, Bordelais—who follow every “rush.” After the doctor and the coroner, no one makes money at the diggings like the cook. The dishes smell of the Californian soil; baked rock-cod à la Buena Vista, broiled Californian quail with Russian River bacon, Sacramento snipes on toast, Oregon ham with champagne sauce, and a dozen other toothsome things—these were the dishes on the Placerville bill-of-fare in an hotel which had escaped the fire, but whose only guests were diggers and their friends. A few Atlantic States dishes were down upon the list: hominy, cod chowder—hardly equal, I fear, to that of Salem—sassafras candy, and squash tart, but never a mention of pork and molasses, dear to the Massachusetts boy. All these good things the diggers, when “dirt is plenty,” moisten with Clicquot, or Heidsick cabinet; when returns are small, with their excellent Sonoma wine.

Even earthquakes fail to interrupt the triumphs of the cooks. The last “bad shake” was fourteen days ago, but it is forgotten in the joy called forth by the discovery of a thirteenth way to cook fresh oysters, which are brought here from the coast by train. There is still a something in Placerville that smacks of the time when tin-tacks were selling for their weight in gold.

Wandering through the only remaining street of Placerville before I left for the Southern country, I saw that grapes were marked “three cents a pound;” but as the lowest coin known on the Pacific shores is the ten-cent bit, the price exists but upon paper. Three pounds of grapes, however, for “a bit” is a practicable purchase, in which I indulged when starting on my journey South: in the towns you have always the hotel supply. If the value of the smallest coin be a test of the prosperity of a country, California must stand high. Not only is nothing less than the bit, or fivepence, known, but when fivepence is deducted from a “quarter,” or shilling, fivepence is all you get or give for change—a gain or loss upon which Californian shopkeepers look with profound indifference.

Hearing a greater jingling of glasses from one bar-room than from all the other hundred whisky-shops of Placerville, I turned into it to seek the cause, and found a Vermonter lecturing on Lincoln and the war to an audience of some fifty diggers. The lecturer and bar-keeper stood together within the sacred inclosure, the one mixing his drinks, while the other rounded off his periods in the inflated Western style. The audience was critical and cold till near the close of the oration, when the “corpse revivers” they were drinking seemed to take effect, and to be at the bottom of the stentorian shout, “Thet‘s bully,” with which the peroration was rewarded. The Vermonter told me that he had come round from Panama, and was on his way to Austin, as Placerville was “played out” since its “claims” had “fizzled.”

They have no lecture-room here at present, as it seems; but that there are churches, however small, appears from a paragraph in the Placerville news-sheet of to-day, which chronicles the removal of a Methodist meeting-house from Block A to Block C, vice a Catholic chapel retired, “having obtained a superior location.

A few days were all that I could spend in the valleys that lie between the Sierra and the Contra Costa Range, basking in a rich sunlight, and unsurpassed in the world for climate, scenery, and soil. This single State—one of forty-five—has twice the area of Great Britain, the most fertile of known soils, and the sun and sea-breeze of Greece. Western rhapsodies are the expression of the intoxication produced by such a spectacle; but they are outdone by facts.

For mere charm to the eye, it is hard to give the palm between the cracks and canyons of the Sierra and the softer vales of the Coast Range, where the hot sun is tempered by the cool Pacific breeze, and thunder and lightning are unknown. To one coming from the wilds of the Carson Desert and of Mirage Plains, the more sensuous beauty of the lower dells has for the eye the relief that travelers from the coast must seek in the loftier heights and precipices of the Yosémite. The oak-filled valleys of the Contra Costa Range have all the pensive repose of the sheltered vales that lie between the Apennines and the Adriatic from Rimini to Ancona; but California has the advantage in her skies. Italy has the blue, but not the golden haze.

Nothing can be more singular than the variety of beauty that lies hid in these Pacific slopes; all that is best in Canada and the Eastern States finds more than its equal here. The terrible grandeur of Cape Trinité on the Saguenay, and the panorama of loveliness from the terrace at Quebec, are alike outdone.

Americans certainly need not go to Europe to find scenery; but neither need they go to California, or even Colorado. Those who tell us that there is no such thing as natural beauty west of the Atlantic can scarcely know the Eastern, while they ignore the Western and Central States. The world can show few scenes more winning than Israel‘s River Valley in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, or North Conway in the southern slopes of the same range. Nothing can be more full of grandeur than the passage of the James at Balcony Falls, where the river rushes through a crack in the Appalachian chain; the wilderness of Northern New York is unequaled of its kind, and there are delicious landscapes in the Adirondacks. As for river scenery, the Hudson is grander than the Rhine; the Susquehanna is lovelier than the Meuse; the Schuylkill prettier than the Seine; the Mohawk more enchanting than the Dart. Of the rivers of North Europe, the Neckar alone is not beaten in the States.

Americans admit that their scenery is fine, but pretend that it is wholly wanting in the interest that historic memories bestow. So-called republicans affect to find a charm in Bishop Hatto‘s Tower which is wanting in Irving‘s “Sunnyside;” the ten thousand virgins of Cologne live in their fancy, while Constitution Island and Fort Washington are forgotten names. Americans or Britishers, we Saxons are all alike—a wandering, discontented race; we go 4000 miles to find us Sleepy Hollow, or Kilian Van Rensselaer‘s Castle, or Hiawatha‘s great red pipe-stone quarry; and the Americans, who live in the castle, picnic yearly in the Hollow, and flood the quarry for a skating-rink, come here to England to visit Burns‘s house, or to sit in Pope‘s arm-chair.

Down South I saw clearly the truth of a thought that struck me before I had been ten minutes west of the Sierra Pass. California is Saxon only in the looks and language of the people of its towns. In Pennsylvania, you may sometimes fancy yourself in Sussex; while in New England, you seem only to be in some part of Europe that you have never happened to light upon before; in California, you are at last in a new world. The hills are weirdly peaked or flattened, the skies are new, the birds and plants are new; the atmosphere, crisp though warm, is unlike any in the world but that of South Australia. It will be strange if the Pacific coast does not produce a new school of Saxon poets—painters it has already given to the world.

Returning to Placerville, after an eventless exploration of the exquisite scenery to the south, I took the railway once again, for the first time since I had left Manhattan City—1800 miles away—and was soon in Sacramento, the State capital, now recovering slowly from the flood of 1862. Near the city I made out Oak Grove—famed for duels between well-known Californians. Here it was that General Denver, State Senator, shot Mr. Gilbert, the representative in Congress, in a duel fought with rifles. Here, too, it was that Mr. Thomas, district attorney for Placer County, killed Dr. Dickson, of the Marine Hospital, in a duel with pistols in 1854. Records of duels form a serious part of the State history. At Lone Mountain Cemetery near San Francisco, there is a great marble monument to the Hon. David Broderick, shot by Chief Justice Terry, of the Supreme Court, in 1859.

A few hours’ quiet steaming in the sunlight down the Sacramento River, past Rio Vista and Montezuma, through the gap in the Contra Costa Range, at which the grand volcanic peak of Monte Diablo stands sentinel watching over the Martinez Straits, and there opened to the south and west a vast mountain-surrounded bay. Volumes of cloud were rolling in unceasingly from the ocean, through the Golden Gate, past the fortified island of Alcatras, and spending themselves in the opposite shores of San Rafael, Benicia, and Vallejo. At last I was across the continent, and face to face with the Pacific.

CHAPTER XXI.

LYNCH LAW.

“CALIFORNIANS are called the scum of the earth, yet their great city is the best policed in the world,” said a New York friend to me, when he heard that I thought of crossing the continent to San Francisco.

“Them New Yorkers is a sight too fond of looking after other people‘s morals,” replied an old “Forty-niner,” to whom I repeated this phrase, having first toned it down however. “Still,” he went on, “our history‘s baddish, but it ain‘t for us to play showman to our own worst pints:—let every man skin his own skunk!”

The story of the early days of San Francisco, as to which my curiosity was thus excited, is so curious an instance of the development of an English community under the most inauspicious circumstances, that the whole time which I spent in the city itself I devoted to hearing the tale from those who knew the actors. Not only is the history of the two Vigilance Committees in itself characteristic, but it works in with what I had gathered in Kansas, and Illinois, and Colorado as to the operation of the claim-clubs; and the stories, taken together, form a typical picture of the rise of a New English country.

The discovery of gold in 1848 brought down on luckless California the idle, the reckless, the vagabonds first of Polynesia, then of all the world. Street fighting, public gaming, masked balls given by unknown women and paid for nobody knew how, but attended by governor, supervisors, and alcalde—all these were minor matters by the side of the general undefined ruffianism of the place. Before the end of 1849, San Francisco presented on a gigantic scale much the same appearance that Helena in Montana wears in 1866.

Desperadoes poured in from all sides, the best of the bad flocking off to the mines, while the worst among the villains—those who lacked energy as well as moral sense—remained in the city, to raise by thieving or in the gambling-booth the “pile” that they were too indolent to earn by pick and pan. Hundreds of “emancipists” from Sydney, “old lags” from Norfolk Island, the pick of the criminals of England, still further trained and confirmed in vice and crime by the experiences of Macquarie Harbor and Port Arthur, rushed to San Francisco to continue a career which the vigilance of the police made hopeless in Tasmania and New South Wales. The floating vice of the Pacific ports of South America soon gathered to a spot where there were not only men to fleece, but men who, being fleeced, could pay. The police were necessarily few, for, appoint a man to-day, and to-morrow he was gone to the placers with some new friend; those who could be prevailed upon to remain a fortnight in the force were accessible to bribes from the men they were set to watch. They themselves admitted their inaction, but ascribed it to the continual change of place among the criminals, which prevented the slightest knowledge of their characters and haunts. The Australian jail-birds formed a quarter known as “Sydney Town,” which soon became what the Bay of Islands had been ten years before—the Alsatia of the Pacific. In spite of daily murders, not a single criminal was hanged.

The ruffians did not all agree: there were jealousies among the various bands; feuds between the Australians and Chilians; between the Mexicans and the New Yorkers. Under the various names of “Hounds,” “Regulators,” “Sydney ducks,” and “Sydney coves,” the English convict party organized themselves in opposition to the Chilenos as well as to the police and law-abiding citizens. Gangs of villains, whose sole bond of union was robbery or murder, marched, armed with bludgeons and revolvers, every Sunday afternoon, to the sound of music, unhindered through the streets, professing that they were “guardians of the community” against the Spaniards, Mexicans, and South Americans.

At last a movement took place among the merchants and reputable inhabitants which resulted in the break-up of the Australian gangs. By an uprising of the American citizens of San Francisco, in response to a proclamation by T. M. Leavenworth, the alcalde, twenty of the most notorious among the “Hounds” were seized and shipped to China: it is believed that some were taken south in irons, and landed near Cape Horn. “Anywhere so that they could not come back,” as my informant said.

For a week or two things went well, but a fresh impour of rogues and villains soon swamped the volunteer police by sheer force of numbers; and in February, 1851, occurred an instance of united action among the citizens which is noticeable as the forerunner of the Vigilance Committees. A Mr. Jansen had been stunned by a blow from a slung-shot, and his person and premises rifled by Australian thieves. During the examination of two prisoners arrested on suspicion, five thousand citizens gathered round the City Hall, and handbills were circulated in which it was proposed that the prisoners should be lynched. In the afternoon an attempt to seize the men was made, but repulsed by another section of the citizens—the Washington Guard. A meeting was held on the plaza, and a committee appointed to watch the authorities, and prevent a release. A well-known citizen, Mr. Brannan, made a speech, in which he said: “We, the people, are the mayor, the recorder, and the laws.” The alcalde addressed the crowd, and suggested, by way of compromise, that they should elect a jury, which should sit in the regular court, and try the prisoners. This was refused, and the people elected not only a jury, but three judges, a sheriff, a clerk, a public prosecutor, and two counsel for the defense. This court then tried the prisoners in their absence, and the jury failed to agree—nine were for conviction, and three were doubtful. “Hang ’em, anyhow; majority rules,” was the shout, but the popular judges stood firm, and discharged their jury, while the people acquiesced. The next day the prisoners were tried and convicted by the regular court, although they were ultimately found to be innocent men.

Matters now went from bad to worse: five times San Francisco was swept from end to end by fires known to have been helped on, if not originally kindled, by incendiaries in the hope of plunder; and when, by the fires of May and June, 1851, hardly a house was left untouched, the pious Bostonians held up their hands, and cried “Gomorrah!”

Immediately after the discovery that the June fire was not an accident, the Vigilance Committee was formed, being self-appointed, and consisting of the foremost merchants in the place. This was on the 7th of June, according to my friend; on the 9th, according to the Californian histories. It was rumored that the committee consisted of two hundred citizens; it was known that they were supported by the whole of the city press. They published a declaration, in which they stated that there is “no security for life or property under the ... law as now administered.” This they ascribed to the “quibbles of the law,” the “corruption of the police,” the “insecurity of prisons,” the “laxity of those who pretend to administer justice.” The secret instructions to the committee contained a direction that the members should at once assemble at the committee-room whenever signals, consisting of two taps on a bell, were heard at intervals of one minute. The committee was organized with president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, sergeant-at-arms, standing committee on qualifications, and standing committee of finance. No one was to be admitted a member unless he were a “respectable citizen, and approved by the Committee on Qualifications.”

The very night of their organization, according to the histories, or three nights later, according to my friend Mr. A——, the work of the committee began. Some boatmen at Central Wharf saw something which led them to follow out into the Yerba Buena cove a man, whom they captured after a sharp row. As they over-hauled him, he threw overboard a safe, just stolen from a bank, but this was soon fished out. He was at once carried off to the committee-room of the Vigilants, and the bell of the Monumental Engine Company struck at intervals, as the rule prescribed. Not only the committee, but a vast surging crowd collected, although midnight was now past. A—— was on the plaza, and says that every man was armed, and evidently disposed to back up the committee. According to the Alta Californian, the chief of the police came up a little before 1 A.M., and tried to force an entrance to the room; but he was met, politely enough, with a show of revolvers sufficient to annihilate his men, so he judged it prudent to retreat.

At one o‘clock, the bell of the engine-house began to toll, and the crowd became excited. Mr. Brannan came out of the committee-room, and, standing on a mound of sand, addressed the citizens. As well as my friend could remember, his words were these: “Gentlemen, the man—Jenkins by name—a Sydney convict, whose supposed offense you know, has had a fair trial before eighty gentlemen, and been unanimously found guilty by them. I have been deputed by the committee to ask whether it is your pleasure that he be hanged.” “Ay!” from every man in the crowd. “He will be given an hour to prepare for death, and the Rev. Mr. Mines has been already sent for to minister to him. Is this your pleasure?” Again a storm of “Ay!” Nothing was known in the crowd of the details of the trial, except that counsel had been heard on the prisoner‘s behalf. For another hour the excitement of the crowd was permitted to continue, but at two o‘clock the doors of the committee-room were thrown open, and Jenkins was seen smoking a cigar. Mr. A—— said that he did not believe the prisoner expected a rescue, but thought that an exhibition of pluck might make popular with the crowd, and save him. A procession of Vigilants with drawn Colts was then formed, and set off in the moonlight across the four chief streets to the plaza. Some of the people shouted “To the flagstaff!” but there came a cry, “Don‘t desecrate the Liberty Pole. To the old adobe! the old adobe!” and to the old adobe custom-house the prisoner was dragged. In five minutes he was hanging from the roof, three hundred citizens lending a hand at the rope. At six in the morning, A—— went home, but he heard that the police cut down the body about that time, and carried it to the coroner‘s house.

An inquest was held next day. The city officers swore that they had done all they could to prevent the execution, but they refused to give up the names of the Vigilance Committee. The members themselves were less cautious. Mr. Brannan and others came forward of their own proper motion, and disclosed all the circumstances of the trial: 140 of the committee backed them up by a written protestation against interference with the Vigilants, to which their signatures were appended. Protest and evidence have been published, not only in the newspapers of the time, but in the San Francisco “Annals.” The coroner‘s jury found a verdict of “Strangulation, consequent on the concerted action of a body of citizens calling themselves a Committee of Vigilance.” An hour after the verdict was given, a mass meeting of the whole of the respectable inhabitants was held in the plaza, and a resolution approving of the action of the committee passed by acclamation.

In July, 1851, the committee hanged another man on the Market Street wharf, and appointed a sub-committee of thirty to board every ship that crossed the bar, seize all persons suspected of being “Sydney Coves,” and reship them to New South Wales.

In August came the great struggle between the Vigilants and constituted authority. It was sharp and decisive. Whittaker and McKenzie, two Sydney Coves, were arrested by the committee for various crimes, and sentenced to death. The next day, Sheriff Hays seized them on a writ of habeas corpus, in the rooms of the committee. The bell was tolled: the citizens assembled, the Vigilants told their story, the men were seized once more, and by noon they were hanging from the loft of the committee-house, by the ordinary lifting tackle for heavy goods. Fifteen thousand people were present, and approved. “After this,” said A——, “there could be no mistake about the citizens supporting the committee.”

By September, the Vigilants had transported all the “Coves” on whom they could lay hands; so they issued a proclamation, declaring that for the future they would confine themselves to aiding the law by tracing out and guarding criminals; and in pursuance of their decision, they soon afterward helped the authorities in preventing the lynching of a ship-captain for cruelty to his men.

After the great sweep of 1851, things became steadily worse again till they culminated in 1855, a year to which my friend looked backed with horror. Not counting Indians, there were four hundred persons died by violence in California in that single year. Fifty of these were lynched, a dozen were hanged by law, a couple of dozen shot by the sheriffs and tax-collectors in the course of their duty. The officers did not escape scot free. The under-sheriff of San Francisco was shot in Mission Street, in broad daylight, by a man upon whom he was trying to execute a writ of ejectment.

Judges, mayors, supervisors, politicians, all were bad alike. The merchants of the city were from New England, New York, and foreign lands; but the men who assumed the direction of public affairs, and especially of public funds, were Southerners, many of them “Border Ruffians” of the most savage stamp—“Pikes,” as they were called, from Pike‘s County in Missouri, from which their leaders came. Instead of banding themselves together to oppose the laws, these rogues and ruffians found it easier to control the making of them. Their favorite method of defeating their New England foes was by the simple plan of “stuffing,” or filling the ballot-box with forged tickets when the elections were concluded. Two Irishmen—Casey and Sullivan—were their tools in this shameful work. Werth, a Southerner, the leader of Casey‘s gang, had been denounced in the San Francisco Bulletin as the murderer of a man named Kittering; and Casey, meeting James King, editor of the Bulletin, shot him dead in Montgomery Street in the middle of the day. Casey and one of his assistants—a man named Cora—were hanged by the people as Mr. King‘s body was being carried to the grave, and Sullivan committed suicide the same day.

Books were opened for the enrollment of the names of those who were prepared to support the committee: nine thousand grown white males inscribed themselves within four days. Governor Johnson at once declared that he should suppress the committee, but the City of Sacramento prevented war by offering a thousand men for the Vigilants’ support, the other Californian cities following suit. The committee got together 6000 stand of arms and thirty cannon, and fortified their rooms with earthworks and barricades. The governor, having called on the general commanding the Federal forces at Benicia, who wisely refused to interfere, marched upon the city, was surrounded, and taken prisoner with all his forces without the striking of a blow.

Having now obtained the control of the State government, the committee proceeded to banish all the “Pikes” and “Pukes.” Four were hanged, forty transported, and many ran away. This done, the committee prepared an elaborate report upon the property and finances of the State, and then, after a great parade, ten regiments strong, upon the plaza and through the streets, they adjourned forever, and “the thirty-three” and their ten thousand backers retired into private life once more, and put an end to this singular spectacle of the rebellion of a free people against rulers nominally elected by itself. As my friend said, when he finished his long yarn, “This has more than archæologic interest: we may live to see a similar Vigilance Committee in New York.”

For my own part, I do not believe that an uprising against bad government is possible in New York City, because there the supporters of bad government are a majority of the people. Their interest is the other way: in increased city taxes they evidently lose far more than, as a class, they gain by what is spent among them in corruption; but when they come to see this, they will not rebel against their corrupt leaders, but elect those whom they can trust. In San Francisco, the case was widely different: through the ballot frauds, a majority of the citizens were being infamously misgoverned by a contemptible minority, and the events of 1856 were only the necessary acts of the majority to regain their power, coupled with certain exceptional acts in the shape of arbitrary transportation of “Pikes” and Southern rowdies, justified by the exceptional circumstances of the young community. At Melbourne, under circumstances somewhat similar, our English colonists, instead of setting up a committee, built Pentridge Stockade with walls some thirty feet high, and created a military police, with almost arbitrary power. The difference is one of words. The whirl of life in a young gold country not only prevents the best men entering the political field, and so forces citizens to exercise their right of choice only between candidates of equal badness, but so engrosses the members of the community who exercise the ballot as to prevent the detection of fraud till it has ruled for years. Throughout young countries generally you find men say: “Yes! we‘re robbed, we know; but no one has time to go into that.” “I‘m for the old men,” said a Californian elector once, “for they‘ve plundered us so long that they‘re gorged, and can‘t swallow any more.” “No,” said another, “let‘s have fresh blood. Give every man a chance of robbing the State. Shape and share alike.” The wonder is, not that in such a State as California was till lately the machinery of government should work unevenly, but that it should work at all. Democracy has never endured so rough a test as that from which it has triumphantly emerged in the Golden State and City.

The public spirit with which the merchants came forward and gave time and money to the cause of order is worthy of all praise, and the rapidity with which the organization of a new government was carried through is an instance of the singular power of our race for building up the machinery of self-government under conditions the most unpromising. Instead of the events of 1856 having been a case of opposition to law and order, they will stand in history as a remarkable proof of the law-abiding character of a people who vindicated justice by a demonstration of overwhelming force, laid down their arms, and returned in a few weeks to the peaceable routine of business life.

If, in the merchant founders of the Vigilance Committees of San Francisco we can see the descendants of the justice-loving Germans of the time of Tacitus, I found in another class of vigilants the moral offspring of Alfred‘s village aldermen of our own Saxon age. From Mr. William M. Byers, now editor of the Rocky Mountain News, I had heard the story of the early settlers’ land-law in Missouri; in Stanton‘s office in Denver City, I had seen the records of the Arrapahoe County Claim-club, with which he had been connected at the first settlement of Colorado; but at San José, I heard details of the settlers’ custom-law—the Californian “grand-coûtumier,” it might be called—which convinced me that, in order to find the rudiments of all that, politically speaking, is best and most vigorous in the Saxon mind, you must seek countries in which Saxon civilization itself is in its infancy. The greater the difficulties of the situation, the more racy the custom, the more national the law.

When a new State began to be “settled up”—that is, its lands entered upon by actual settlers, not landsharks—the inhabitants often found themselves in the wilderness, far in advance of attorneys, courts, and judges. It was their custom when this occurred to divide the territory into districts of fifteen or twenty miles square, and form for each a “claim-club” to protect the land-claims, or property of the members. Whenever a question of title arose, a judge and jury were chosen from among the members to hear and determine the case. The occupancy title was invariably protected up to a certain number of acres, which was differently fixed by different clubs, and varied in those of which I have heard the rules from 100 to 250 acres, averaging 150. The United States “Homestead” and “Pre-emption” laws were founded on the practice of these clubs. The claim-clubs interfered only for the protection of their members, but they never scrupled to hang willful offenders against their rules, whether members or outsiders. Execution of the decrees of the club was generally left to the county sheriff, if he was a member, and in this case a certain air of legality was given to the local action. It is perhaps not too much to say that a Western sheriff is an irresponsible official, possessed of gigantic powers, but seldom known to abuse them. He is a Cæsar, chosen for his honesty, fearlessness, clean shooting, and quick loading, by men who know him well: if he breaks down, he is soon deposed, and a better man chosen for dictator. I have known a Western paper say: “Frank is our man for sheriff, next October. See the way he shot one of the fellows who robbed his store, and followed up the other, and shot him too the next day. Frank is the boy for us.” In such a state of society as this, the distinction between law and lynch-law can scarcely be said to exist, and in the eyes of every Western settler the claim-club backed by the sheriff‘s name was as strong and as full of the majesty of the law as the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Byers told me of a case of the infliction of death-punishment by a claim-club which occurred in Kansas after the “Homestead” law was passed allowing the occupant when he had tilled and improved the land for five years, to purchase it at one and a quarter dollars an acre. A man settled on a piece of land, and labored on it for some years. He then “sold it,” which he had, of course, no power to do, the land being still the property of the United States. Having done this, he went and “pre-empted” it under the Homestead Act, at the government price. When he attempted to eject the man to whom he had assumed to sell, the club ordered the sheriff to “put the man away,” and he was never seen again. Perhaps Mr. Byers was the sheriff; he seemed to have the details at his fingers’ ends, and his later history in Denver, where he once had the lynching rope round his neck for exposing gamblers, testifies to his boldness.

Some of the rascalities which the claim-clubs were expected to put down were ingenious enough. Sometimes a man would build a dozen houses on a block of land, and, going there to enter on possession after they were complete, would find that in the night the whole of them had disappeared. Frauds under the Homestead Act were both many and strange. Men were required to prove that they had on the land a house of at least ten feet square. They have been known to whittle out a toy-house with their bowie, and, carrying it to the land, to measure it in the presence of a friend—twelve inches by thirteen. In court the pre-emptor, examining his own witness, would say, “What are the dimensions of that house of mine?” “Twelve by thirteen.” “That will do.” In Kansas a log-house of the regulation size was fitted up on wheels, and let at ten dollars a day, in order that it might be wheeled on to different lots, to be sworn to as a house upon the land. Men have been known to make a window-sash and frame, and keep them inside of their windowless huts, to swear that they had a window in their house—another of the requirements of the act. It is a singular mark of deference to the traditions of a Puritan ancestry that such accomplished liars as the Western landsharks should feel it necessary to have any foundation whatever for their lies; but not only in this respect are they a curious race. One of their peculiarities is that, however wealthy they may be, they will never place their money out at interest, never sink it in a speculation, however tempting, when there is no prospect of almost immediate realization. To turn their money over often, at whatever risk, is with these men an axiom. The advanced-guard of civilization, they push out into an unknown wilderness, and seize upon the available lots, the streams, the springs, the river bottoms, the falls or “water-privileges,” and then, using their interest in the territorial legislature—using, perhaps, direct corruption in some cases—they procure the location of the State capital upon their lands, or the passage of the railroads through their valleys. The capital of Nebraska has been fixed in this manner at a place two hundred and fifty miles from the nearest settlement. A newspaper appeared suddenly, dated from “Lincoln City, center of Nebraska Territory,” but published in reality in Omaha. To cope with such fellows, Western sheriffs must be no ordinary men.

Thanks to the Vigilance Committees, California stands now before the other far-western States. Rowdyism is being put down as the God-fearing Northerners gain ground. It may still be dangerous to stroke your beard in a bar-room at Placerville or El Dorado; “a gentleman in the loafing and chancing line” may still be met with in Sacramento; here and there a Missourian “Pike,” as yet unhung, may boast that he can whip his weight in wild cats,—but San Francisco has at least reached the age of outward decorum, has shut up public gaming-houses, and supports four church papers.

In Colorado lynch law is not as yet forgotten: the day we entered Denver the editor of the Gazette expressed, “on historical grounds,” his deep regret at the cutting down of two fine cottonwood-trees that stood on Cherry Creek. When we came to talk to him we found that the “history” alluded to was that of the “escape up” these trees of many an early inhabitant of Denver City. “There‘s the tree we used to put the jury under, and that‘s the one we hanged ’em on. Put a cart under the tree, and the boy standing on it, with the rope around him; give him time for a pray, then smack the whip, and ther’ you air.”

In Denver we were reserved upon the subject of Vigilance Committees, for it is dangerous sometimes to make close inquiries as to their constitution. While I was in Leavenworth a man was hanged by the mob at Council Bluffs for asking the names of the Vigilants who had hanged a friend of his the year before. We learned enough, however, at Denver to show that the committee in that city still exists; and in Virginia and Carson I know that the organizations are continued; but offenders are oftener shot quietly than publicly hanged, in order to prevent an outcry, and avoid the vengeance of the relatives. The verdict of the jury never fails to be respected, but acquittal is almost as unknown as mercy to those convicted. Innocent men are seldom tried before such juries, for the case must be clear before the sheriff will run the risk of being shot in making the arrest. When the man‘s fate is settled, the sheriff drives out quietly in his buggy, and next day men say when they meet, “Poor ——‘s escaped;” or else it is, “The sheriff‘s shot. Who‘ll run for office?”

It will be seen from the history of the Vigilance Committees, as I heard their stories from Kansas to California, that they are to be divided into two classes, with sharply-marked characteristics—those where committee hangings, transportations, warnings, are alike open to the light of day, such as the committees of San Francisco in 1856, and the Sandwich Islands in 1866, and those—unhappily the vast majority—where all is secret and irresponsible. Here, in San Francisco, the committee was the government; elsewhere, the organization was less wide, and the members, though always shrewdly guessed at, never known. Neither class should be necessary, unless when a gold rush brings down upon a State the desperadoes of the world; but there is this encouragement even in the history of lynch law: that, although English settlements often start wild, they never have been known to go wild.

The men who formed the second Vigilance Committee of San Francisco are now the governor, Senators, and Congressmen of California, the mayors and sheriffs of her towns. Nowadays the citizens are remarkable, even among Americans, for their love of law and order. Their city, though still subject to a yearly deluge from the outpourings of all the overcrowded slums of Europe, is, as the New Yorker said, the best policed in all America. In politics, too, it is remarked that party organizations have no power in this State from the moment that they attempt to nominate corrupt or time-serving men. The people break loose from their caucuses and conventions, and vote in a body for their honest enemies, rather than for corrupt friends. They have the advantage of singular ability, for there is not an average man in California.

CHAPTER XXII.

GOLDEN CITY.

THE first letter which I delivered in San Francisco was from a Mormon gentleman to a merchant, who, as he read it, exclaimed: “Ah! so you want to see the lions? I‘ll pick you up at three, and take you there.” I wondered, but went, as travelers do.

At the end of a pleasant drive along the best road in all America, I found myself upon a cliff overhanging the Pacific, with a glorious outlook, seaward toward the Farallones, and northward to Cape Benita and the Golden Gate. Beneath, a few hundred yards from shore, was a conical rock, covered with shapeless monsters, plashing the water and roaring ceaselessly, while others swam around. These were “the lions,” my acquaintance said—the sea-lions. I did not enter upon an explanation of our slang phrase, “the lions” which the Mormon, himself an Englishman, no doubt had used, but took the first opportunity of seeing the remainder of “the lions” of the Golden City.

The most remarkable spot in all America is Mission Dolores, in the outskirts of San Francisco City—once a settlement of the Society of Jesus, and now partly blanket factory and partly church. Nowhere has the conflict between the Saxon and Latin races been so sharp and so decisive. For eighty or ninety years California was first Spanish, then Mexican, then a half independent Spanish-American republic. The progress of those ninety years was shown in the foundation of half a dozen Jesuit “missions,” which held each of them a thousand or two tame Indians as slaves, while a few military settlers and their friends divided the interior with the savage tribes. Gold, which had been discovered here by Drake, was never sought: the fathers, like the Mormon chiefs, discouraged mining; it interfered with their tame Indians. Here and there, in four cases, perhaps, in all, a presidio, or castle, had been built for the protection of the mission, and a puebla, or tiny free town, had been suffered to grow up, not without remonstrance from the fathers. Los Angeles had thus sprung from the mission of that name, the fishing village of Yerba Buena, from Mission Dolores on the bay of San Francisco, and San José, from Santa Clara. In 1846, Fremont the Pathfinder conquered the country with forty-two men, and now it has a settled population of nearly half a million; San Francisco is as large as Newcastle or Hull, as flourishing as Liverpool, and the Saxon blanket factory has replaced the Spanish mission. The story might have served as a warning to the French Emperor, when he sent ships and men to found a “Latin empire in America.”

Between the presidio and the Mission Dolores lies Lone Mountain Cemetery, in that solitary calm and majesty of beauty which befits a home for the dead, the most lovely of all the cemeteries of America. Queen Emma, of the Sandwich Islands, who is here at present, said of it yesterday to a Californian merchant: “How comes it that you Americans, who live so fast, find time to bury your dead so beautifully?”

Lone Mountain is not the only delicious spot that is given to the American dead. Laurel Hill, Mount Auburn, Greenwood, Cypress Grove, Hollywood, Oak Hill, are names not more full of poetry than are the places to which they belong; but Lone Mountain has over all an advantage in its giant fuchsias, and scarlet geraniums of the size and shape of trees; in the distant glimpses, too, of the still Pacific.

San Francisco is ill placed, so far as mere building facilities are concerned. When the first houses were built in 1845 and 1846, they stood on a strip of beach surrounding the sheltered cove of Yerba Buena, and at the foot of the steep and lofty sand-hills. Dunes and cove have disappeared together; the hills have been shot bodily into the bay, and the former harbor is now the business quarter of the city. Not a street can be built without cutting down a hill, or filling up a glen. Never was a great town built under heavier difficulties; but trade requires it to be exactly where it is, and there it will remain and grow. Its former rivals, Vallejo and Benicia, are grass-grown villages, in spite of their having had the advantage of “a perfect situation.” While the spot on which the Golden City stands was still occupied by the struggling village of Yerba Buena, Francisca was a rising city, where corner lots were worth their ten or twenty thousand dollars. When the gold rush came, the village, shooting to the front, voted itself the name of its great bay, and Francisca had to change its title to Benicia, in order not to be thought a mere suburb of San Francisco. The mouth of the Columbia was once looked to as the future haven of Western America, and point of convergence of the railroad lines; but the “center of the universe” has not more completely removed from Independence to Fort Riley than Astoria has yielded to San Francisco the claim to be the port of the Pacific.

The one great danger of this coast all its cities share in common. Three times within the present century, the spot on which San Francisco stands has been violently disturbed by subterranean forces. The earthquake of last year has left its mark upon Montgomery Street and the plaza, for it frightened the San Franciscans into putting up light wooden cornices to hotels and banks, instead of the massive stone projections that are common in the States; otherwise, though lesser shocks are daily matters, the San Franciscans have forgotten the “great scare.” A year is a long time in California. There is little of the earliest San Francisco left, though the city is only eighteen years old. Fires have done good work as well as harm, and it is worth a walk up to the plaza to see how prim and starched are the houses which now occupy a square three sides of which were, in 1850, given up to the public gaming-hells.

One of the few remaining bits of old Golden City life is to be found in the neighborhood of the “What Cheer House,” the resting-place of diggers on their way from the interior to take ship for New York or Europe. Here there is no lack of coin, no want of oaths, no scarcity of drinks. “Juleps” are as plentiful as in Baltimore itself; Yerba Buena, the old name for San Francisco, means “mint.”

If the old character of the city is gone, there are still odd scenes to be met with in its streets. To-day I saw a master builder of great wealth with his coat and waistcoat off, and his hat stowed away on one side, carefully teaching a raw Irish lad how to lay a brick. He told me that the acquisition of the art would bring the man an immediate rise in his wages from five to ten shillings a day. Unskilled labor, Mexican and Chinese, is plentiful enough, but white artisans are scarce. The want of servants is such, that even the wealthiest inhabitants live with their wives and families in hotels, to avoid the cost and trouble of an establishment. Those who have houses pay rough unkempt Irish girls from £6 to £8 a month, with board, “outings” when they please, and “followers” unlimited.

The hotel boarding has much to do with the somewhat unwomanly manner of a few among the ladies of the newest States, but the effect upon the children is more marked than it is upon their mothers. To a woman of wealth, it matters, perhaps, but little whether she rules a household of her own, or boards in the first floor of some gigantic hostelry; but it does matter a great deal to her children, who, in the one case, have a home to play and work in, and who, in the other, play on the stairs or in the corridors, to the annoyance of every sojourner in the hotel, and never dream of work out of school-hours, or of solid reading that is not compulsory. The only one of the common charges brought against America in English society and in English books and papers that is thoroughly true, is the statement that American children, as a rule, are “forward,” ill mannered, and immoral. An American can scarcely be found who does not admit and deplore the fact. With the self-exposing honesty that is a characteristic of their nation, American gentlemen will talk by the hour of the terrible profligacy of the young New Yorkers. Boys, they tell you, who in England would be safe in the lower school at Eton or in well-managed houses, in New York or New Orleans are deep gamesters and God-defying rowdies. In New England, things are better; in the West, there is yet time to prevent the ill arising; but even in the most old-fashioned of American States, the children are far too full of self-assurance. Their faults are chiefly faults of manner, but such in children have a tendency to become so many vices. On my way home from Egypt, I crossed the Simplon with a Southerner and a Pennsylvanian boy of fourteen or fifteen. An English boy would have expressed his opinion, and been silent: this lad‘s attacks upon the poor Southerner were unceasing and unfeeling; yet I could see that he was good at bottom. I watched my chance to give him my view of his conduct, and when we parted, he came up and shook hands, saying: “You‘re not a bad fellow for a Britisher, after all.”

In my walks through the city I found its climate agreeable rather for work than idleness. Sauntering or lounging is as little possible as it is in London. The summer is not yet ended; and in the summer at San Francisco it is cold after eleven in the day—strangely cold for the latitude of Athens. The fierce sun scorches up the valleys of the San Joaquin and the Sacramento in the early morning; and the heated air, rising from off the ground, leaves its place to be filled by the cold breeze from the Pacific. The Contra Costa Range is unbroken but by the single gap of the Golden Gate, and through this opening the cold winds rush in a never-ceasing gale, spreading fanlike as soon as they have passed the narrows. Hence it is that the Golden Gate is called “The Keyhole,” and the wind “The Keyhole Breeze.” Up country they make it raise the water for irrigation. In winter there is a calm, and then the city is as sunny as the rest of California.

So purely local is the bitter gale that at Benicia, ten miles from San Francisco, the mean temperature is ten degrees higher for the year, and nearly twenty for the summer. I have stood on the shore at Benicia when the thermometer was at a hundred in the shade, and seen the clouds pouring in from the Pacific, and hiding San Francisco in a murky pall, while the temperature there was under seventy degrees. This fog retarded by a hundred years the discovery of San Francisco Bay. The entrance to the Golden Gate is narrow, and the mists hang there all day. Cabrillo, Drake, Viscaino, sailed past it without seeing that there was a bay, and the great land-locked sea was first beheld by white men when the missionaries came upon its arms and creeks, far away inland.

The peculiarity of climate carries with it great advantages. It is never too hot, never too cold, to work—a fact which of itself secures a grand future for San Francisco. The effect upon national type is marked. At a San Franciscan ball you see English faces, not American. Even the lean Western men and hungry Yankees become plump and rosy in this temple of the winds. The high metallic ring of the New England voice is not found in San Francisco. As for old men, California must have been that fabled province of Cathay, the virtues of which were such that, whatever a man‘s age when he entered it, he never grew older by a day. To dogs and strangers there are drawbacks in the absence of winter: dogs are muzzled all the year round, and musquitoes are perennial upon the coast.

The city is gay with flags; every house supports a liberty pole upon its roof, for when the Union sentiment sprang up in San Francisco, at the beginning of the war, public opinion forced the citizens to make a conspicuous exhibition of the stars and stripes, by way of showing that it was from no want of loyalty that they refused to permit the circulation of the Federal greenbacks. In this matter of flags the sea-gale is of service, for were it not for its friendly assistance, a short house between two tall ones could not sport a huge flag with much effect. As it is, the wind always blowing across the chief streets, and never up or down, the narrowest and lowest house can flaunt a large ensign without fear of its ever flapping against the walls of its proud neighbors.

It is not only in rosy cheeks that the Californian English have the old-world type. With less ingenuity than the New England Yankees, they have far more depth and solidity in their enterprise; they do not rack their brain at inventing machines to peel apples and milk cows, but they intend to tunnel through the mountains to Lake Tahoe, tap it, and with its waters irrigate the Californian plains. They share our British love for cash payments and good roads; they one and all set their faces against repudiation in any shape, and are strongly for what they call “rolling-up” the debt. Throughout the war they quoted paper as depreciated, not gold as risen. Indeed, there is here the same unreasoning prejudice against paper money that I met with in Nevada. After all, what can be expected of a State which still produces three-eighths of all the gold raised yearly in the world?

San Francisco is inhabited, as all American cities bid fair to be, by a mixed throng of men of all lands beneath the sun. New Englanders and Englishmen predominate in energy, Chinese in numbers. The French and Italians are stronger here than in any other city in the States; and the red-skinned Mexicans, who own the land, supply the market people and a small portion of the townsfolk. Australians, Polynesians, and Chilians are numerous; the Germans and Scandinavians alone are few; they prefer to go where they have already friends—to Philadelphia or Milwaukee. In this city—already a microcosm of the world—the English, British, and American are in possession—have distanced the Irish, beaten down the Chinese by force, and are destined to physically preponderate in the cross-breed, and give the tone, political and moral, to the Pacific shore. New York is Irish, Philadelphia German, Milwaukee Norwegian, Chicago Canadian, Sault de Ste Marie French; but in San Francisco—where all the foreign races are strong—none is dominant; whence the singular result that California, the most mixed in population, is also the most English of the States.

In this strange community, starting more free from the Puritan influence of New England than has hitherto done any State within the Union, it is doubtful what religion will predominate. Catholicism is “not fashionable” in America—it is the creed of the Irish, and that is enough for most Americans; so Anglicanism, its critics say, is popular as being “very proper.” Whatever the cause, the Episcopalian Church is flourishing in California, and it seems probable that the church which gains the day in California will eventually be that of the whole Pacific.

On Montgomery Street are some of the finest buildings in all America; the “Occidental Hotel,” the “Masonic Hall,” the “Union Club,” and others. The club has only just been rebuilt after its destruction by a nitro-glycerin explosion which occurred in the express office next door. A case, of which no one knew the contents, was being lifted by two clerks, when it exploded, blowing down a portion of the club, and breaking half the windows in the city. On examination it was found to be nitro-glycerin on its way to the mines.

Another accident occurred here yesterday with this same compound. A sharp report was heard on board a ship lying in the docks, and the cook was found dead, below; pieces of a flask had been driven into his heart and lungs. The deposit on the broken glass was examined, and found to be common oil; but this morning, I read in the Alta a report from a chemist that traces of nitro-glycerin have been discovered by him upon the glass, and a statement from one of the hands says that the ship on her way up had called at Manzanilla, where the cook had taken the flask from a merchant‘s office, emptied it of its contents, the character of which was unknown to him, and filled it with common vegetable oil.

Since the great explosion at Aspinwall, nitro-glycerin has been the nightmare of Californians. For earthquakes they care little, but the freaks of the devilish oil, which is brought here secretly, for use in the Nevada mines, have made them ready to swear that it is itself a demon. They tell you that it freezes every night, and then the slightest friction will explode it—that, on the other hand, it goes off if heated. If you leave it standing in ordinary temperatures, the odds are that it undergoes decomposition, and then, if you touch it, it explodes; and no lapse of time has on its power the smallest deteriorating effect, but, on the contrary, the oil will crystallize, and then its strength for harm is multiplied by ten. If San Francisco is ever destroyed by earthquake, old Californians will certainly be found to ascribe the shock to nitro-glycerin.

A day or two after my return from Benicia, I escaped from the city, and again went south, halting at San José, “The Garden City,” and chief town of the fertile Guadalupe district, on my way to the quicksilver mines of New Almaden, now the greatest in the world since they have beaten the Spanish mines and Idria. From San José, I drove myself to Almaden along a sun-dried valley with a fertile tawny soil, reaching the delicious mountain stream and the groves it feeds in time to join my friends at lunch in the shady hacienda. The director took me through the refining works, in which the quicksilver may be seen running in streams down gutters from the furnaces, but he was unable to go with me up the mountain to the mines from which the cinnabar comes shooting down by its weight. The superintendent engineer—a meerschaum-equipped Bavarian—and myself mounted, at the Hacienda Gate, upon our savage-looking beasts, and I found myself for the first time lost in the depths of a Mexican saddle, and my feet plunged into the boot-stirrups that I had seen used by the Utes in Denver. The riding feats of the Mexicans and the Californian boys are explained when you find that their saddle puts it out of the question that they should be thrown; but the fatigue that its size and shape cause to man and horse, when the man is a stranger to New Spain, and the horse knows that he is so, outweighs any possible advantages that it may possess. With their huge gilt spurs, attached to the stirrup, not to the boot, the double peak, and the embroidered trappings, the Mexican saddles are the perfection at once of the cumbersome and the picturesque.

Silently we half scrambled, half rode, up a break-neck path which forms a short cut to the mine, till all at once a charge of our horses at an almost perpendicular wall of rock was followed by their simultaneously commencing to kick and back toward the cliff. Springing off, we found that the girths had been slackened by the Mexican groom, and that the steep bit of mountain had caused the saddles to slip. This broke the ice, and we speedily found ourselves discussing miners and mining in French, my German not being much worse than my Bavarian‘s English.

After viewing the mines, the walls of which, composed of crimson cinnabar, show bravely in the torch-glare, we worked our way through the tunnels to the topmost lode and open air.

Bidding good-by to what I could see of my German in the fog from his meerschaum, I turned to ride down by the road instead of the path. I had not gone a furlong, when, turning a corner, there burst upon me a view of the whole valley of tawny California, now richly golden in the colors of the fall. Looking from this spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with the Contra Costa Range before me, and Mount Hamilton towering from the plain, apart, I could discern below me the gleam of the Coyote Creek, and of the windows in the church of Santa Clara—in the distance, the mountains and waters of San Francisco Bay, from San Mateo to Alameda and San Pablo, basking in unhindered sun. The wild oats dried by the heat made of the plain a field of gold, dotted here and there with groups of black oak and bay, and darkened at the mountain foot with “chapparal.” The volcanic hills were rounded into softness in the delicious haze, and all nature overspread with a poetic calm. As I lost the view, the mighty fog was beginning to pour in through the Golden Gate to refresh America with dews from the Pacific.

CHAPTER XXIII.

LITTLE CHINA.

“THE Indians begin to be troublesome again in Trinity County. One man and a Chinaman have been killed, and a lady crippled for life.”

That the antipathy everywhere exhibited by the English to colored races was not less strong in California than in the Carolinas I had suspected, but I was hardly prepared for the deliberate distinction between men and yellow men drawn in this paragraph from the Alta Californian of the day of my return to San Francisco.

A determination to explore Little China, as the celestial quarter of the city is termed, already arrived at, was only strengthened by the unconscious humor of the Alta, and I at once set off in search of two of the detectives, Edes and Saulsbury, to whom I had some sort of introduction, and put myself under their charge for the night.

We had not been half an hour in the Chinese theater or opera house before my detectives must have repented of their offer to “show me around,” for, incomprehensible as it must have seemed to them with their New England gravity and American contempt for the Chinese, I was amused beyond measure with the performance, and fairly lost myself in the longest laugh that I had enjoyed since I had left the plantations of Virginia.

When we entered the house, which is the size of the Strand Theater of London, it may have been ten or eleven o‘clock. The performance had begun at seven, and was likely to last till two A.M. By the “performance” was meant this particular act or scene, for the piece had been going on every evening for a month, and would be still in progress during the best part of another, it being the principle of the Chinese drama to take up the hero at an early age, and conduct him to the grave, which he reaches full of years and of honor.

The house was crammed with a grinning crowd of happy “yellow boys,” while the “China ladies” had a long gallery to themselves. No sound of applause is to be heard in a Chinese place of amusement, but the crowd grin delight at the actors, who, for their part, grin back at the crowd.

The feature of the performance which struck me at once was the hearty interest the actors took in the play, and the chaff that went on between them and the pit; it is not only from their numbers and the nature of their trades that the Chinese may be called the Irish of the Pacific: there was soul in every gesture.

On the stage, behind the actors, was a band, which played unceasingly, and so loud that the performers, who clearly had not the smallest intention of subordinating their parts to the music, had to talk in shrieks in order to be heard. The audience, too, all talked in their loudest natural tones.

As for the play, a lady made love to an old gentleman (probably the hero, as this was the second month or third act of the play), and, bawling at him fiercely, was indignantly rejected by him in a piercing shriek. Relatives, male and female, coming with many howls to the assistance of the lady, were ignominiously put to flight, in a high falsetto key, by the old fellow‘s footmen, who were in turn routed by a force of yelling spearmen, apparently the county posse. The soldiers wore paint in rings of various colors, put on so deftly, that of nose, of eyes, of mouth, no trace could be discovered; the front face resembled a target for archery. All this time, a steady, unceasing uproar was continued by four gongs and a harp, with various cymbals, pavilions, triangles, and guitars.

Scenery there was none, but boards were put up in the Elizabethan way, with hieroglyphics denoting the supposed locality; and another archaic point is, that all the female parts were played by boys. For this I have the words of the detectives; my eyes, had I not long since ceased to believe them, would have given me proof to the contrary.

The acting, as far as I could judge by the grimace, was excellent. Nowhere could be found greater spirit, or equal power of facial expression. The stage fight was full of pantomimic force; the leading soldier would make his fortune as a London pantaloon.

When the detectives could no longer contain their distaste for the performance, we changed our quarters for a restaurant—the “Hang Heong,” the wood of which was brought from China.

The street along which we had to pass was decorated rather than lit by paper lanterns hung over every door; but the “Hang Heong” was brilliantly illuminated, with a view, no doubt, to attracting the crowd as they poured out from the theater at a later hour. The ground-floor was occupied by shop and kitchen, the dining-rooms being up stairs. The counter, which is on the plan of that in the houses of the Palais Royal, was presided over, not by a smiling woman, but by grave and pig-tailed gentlemen in black, who received our order from the detective with the decorous solemnity of the head waiter in an English country inn.

The rooms up stairs were nearly full; and as the Chinese by no means follow the Americans in silent eating, the babel was tremendous. A saucer and a pair of chopsticks were given each of us, but at our request a spoon was furnished as a special favor to the “Melicans.”

Tiny cups of a sweet spirit were handed us before supper was brought up. The liquor was a kind of shrub, but white, made, I was told, from sugar-canes. For first course, we had roast duck cut in pieces, and served in an oil-filled bowl, and some sort of fish; tea was then brought in, and followed by shark‘s fin, for which I had given a special order; the result might have been gum arabic for any flavor I could find. Dog was not to be obtained, and birds’-nest soup was beyond the purse of a traveler seven thousand miles from home, and twelve thousand from his next supplies. A dish of some strange, black fungus stewed in rice, followed by preserves and cakes, concluded our supper, and were washed down by our third cups of tea.

After paying our respects and our money to the gentleman in black, who grunted a lugubrious something that answered to “good night,” we paid a visit to the Chinese “bad quarter,” which differs only in degree of badness from the “quartier Mexicain,” the bad pre-eminence being ascribed, even by the prejudiced detectives, to the Spaniards and Chilenos.

Hurrying on, we reached the Chinese gaming-houses just before they closed. Some difficulty was made about admitting us by the “yellow loafers” who hung around the gate, as the houses are prohibited by law; but as soon as the detectives, who were known, explained that they came not on business, but on pleasure, we were suffered to pass in among the silent, melancholy gamblers. Not a word was heard, beyond every now arid then a grunt from the croupier. Each man knew what he was about, and won or lost his money in the stillness of a dead-house. The game appeared to be a sort of loto; but a few minutes of it was enough, and the detectives pretended to no deep acquaintance with its principles.

The San Francisco Chinese are not all mere theater-goers, loafers, gamblers; as a body they are frugal, industrious, contented men. I soon grew to think it a pleasure to meet a Chinese-American, so clean and happy is his look: not a speck is to be seen upon the blue cloth of his long coat or baggy trowsers. His hair is combed with care; the bamboo on which he and his mate together carry their enormous load seems as though cleansed a dozen times a day.

It is said to be a peculiarity of the Chinese that they are all alike: no European can, without he has dealings with them, distinguish one Celestial from another. The same, however, may be said of the Sikhs, the Australian natives, of most colored races, in short. The points of difference which distinguish the yellow men, the red men, the black men with straight hair, the negroes, from any other race whatever, are so much more prominent than the minor distinctions between Ah Sing and Chi Long, or between Uncle Ned and Uncle Tom, that the individual are sunk and lost in the national distinctions. To the Chinese in turn all Europeans are alike; but beneath these obvious facts there lies a grain of solid truth that is worth the hunting out, and which is connected with the change-of-type question in America and Australasia. Men of similar habits of mind and body are alike among ourselves in Europe; noted instances are the close resemblance of Père Enfantin, the St. Simonian chief, to the busts of Epicurus; of Bismarck to Cardinal Ximenes. Irish laborers—men who for the most part work hard, feed little, and leave their minds entirely unplowed—are all alike; Chinamen, who all work hard, and work alike, who live alike, and who go further, and all think alike, are, by a mere law of nature, indistinguishable one from the other.

In the course of my wanderings in the Golden City, I lighted on the house of the Canton Company, one of the Chinese benevolent societies, the others being those of Hong Kong, Macao, and Amoy. They are like the New York Immigration Commission, and the London “Société Française de Bienfaisance,” combined; added to a theater and joss-house, or temple, and governed on the principles of such clubs as those of the “whites” or “greens” at Heidelberg, they are, in short, Chinese trades unions, sheltering the sick, succoring the distressed, finding work for the unemployed, receiving the immigrants from China when they land, and shipping their bones back to China, ticketed with name and address, when they die. “Hong Kong, with dead Chinamen,” is said to be a common answer from outward-bounders to a hail from the guard-ship at the Golden Gate.

Some of the Chinese are wealthy: Tung Yu & Co., Chi Sing Tong & Co., Wing Wo Lang & Co., Chy Lung & Co., stand high among the merchants of the Golden City. Honest and wealthy as these men are allowed to be, they are despised by every white Californian, from the governor of the State to the Mexican boy who cleans his shoes.

In America, as in Australia, there is a violent prejudice against John Chinaman. He pilfers, we are told; he lies, he is dirty, he smokes opium, is full of bestial vices—a pagan, and—what is far more important—yellow! All his sins are to be pardoned but the last. Californians, when in good humor, will admit that John is sober, patient, peaceable, and hard working, that his clothes at least are scrupulously clean; but he is yellow! Even the Mexicans, themselves despised, look down upon the Chinamen, just as the New York Irish affect to have no dealings with “the naygurs.” The Chinese themselves pander to the feeling. Their famous appeal to the Californian Democrats may or may not be true: “What for Democlat allee timee talkee dam Chinaman? Chinaman allee samee Democlat; no likee nigger, no likee injun.” “Infernals,” “Celestials,” and “Greasers”—or black men, yellow men, and Mexicans—it is hard to say which are most despised by the American whites in California.

The Chinaman is hated by the rough fellows for his cowardice. Had the Chinese stood to their rights against the Americans, they would long since have been driven from California. As it is, here and in Victoria they invariably give way, and never work at diggings which are occupied by whites. Yet in both countries they take out mining licenses from the State, which is bound to protect them in the possession of the rights thus gained, but which is powerless against the rioters of Ballarat, or the “Anti-Chinese mob” of El Dorado.

The Chinese in California are practically confined by public opinion, violence, or threats, to inferior kinds of work, which the “meanest” of the whites of the Pacific States refuse to perform. Politically, this is slavery. All the evils to which slavery has given rise in the cotton States are produced here by violence, in a less degree only because the Chinese are fewer than were the negroes.

In spite of a prejudice which recalls the time when the British government forbade the American colonist to employ negroes in the manufacture of hats, on the ground that white laborers could not stand the competition, the yellow men continue to flock to the “Gold Hills,” as they call San Francisco. Already they are the washermen, sweepers, and porters of three States, two Territories, and British Columbia. They are denied civil rights; their word is not taken in cases where white men are concerned; a heavy tax is set upon them on their entry to the State; a second tax when they commence to mine—still their numbers steadily increase. In 1852, Governor Bigler, in his message, recommended the prohibition of the immigration of the Chinese, but they now number one-tenth of the population.

The Irish of Asia, the Chinese have commenced to flow over on to the outer world. Who shall say where the flood will stop? Ireland, with now five millions of people, has, in twenty years, poured an equal number out into the world. What is to prevent the next fifty years seeing an emigration of a couple of hundreds of millions from the rebellion-torn provinces of Cathay?

Three Chinamen in a temperate climate will do as much arm-work as two Englishmen, and will eat or cost less. It looks as though the cheaper would starve out the dearer race, as rabbits drive out stronger but hungrier hares. This tendency is already plainly visible in our mercantile marine: the ships are manned with motley crews of Bombay lascars, Maories, Negroes, Arabs, Chinamen, Kroomen, and Malays. There are no British or American seamen now, except boys who are to be quartermasters some day, and experienced hands who are quartermasters already. But there is nothing to regret in this: Anglo-Saxons are too valuable to be used as ordinary seamen where lascars will do nearly, and Maories quite as well. Nature seems to intend the English for a race of officers, to direct and guide the cheap labor of the Eastern peoples.

The serious side of the Chinese problem—just touched on here—will force itself rudely upon our notice in Australia.

THE BRIDAL VEIL FALL, YOSEMITE VALLEY.—P. 228
THE BRIDAL VEIL FALL, YOSEMITE VALLEY.—P. 228

CHAPTER XXIV.

CALIFORNIA.

“IN front of San Francisco are 745 millions of hungry Asiatics, who have spices to exchange for meat and grain.”

The words are Governor Gilpin‘s, made use of by him in discussing the future of overland trade, and worthy of notice as showing why it is that, in making forecasts of the future of California, we have to look more to her facilities for trade than to her natural productions. San Francisco aims at being, not so much the port of California as one of the main stations on the Anglo-Saxon highway round the globe.

Although the chief claim of California to consideration is her position on the Pacific, her fertility and size alone entitle her to notice. This single State is 750 miles in length—would stretch from Chamouni to the southernmost point of Malta. There are two capes in California—one nearly in the latitude of Jerusalem, the other nearly in the latitude of Rome. The State has twice the area of Great Britain; the single valley of the Joaquin and Sacramento, from Tulare Lake to the great snow-peak of Shasta, is as large as the three kingdoms. Every useful mineral, every kind of fertile soil, every variety of helpful climate, are to be found within the State. There are in the Union forty-five such States or Territories, with an average area equal to that of Britain.

Between the Pacific and the snows of the Sierra are three great tracts, each with its soil and character. On the slopes of the Sierra are the forests of giant timber, the sheltered valleys, and the gold fields in which I spent my first week in California. Next comes the great hot plain of Sacramento, where, with irrigation, all the best fruits of the tropics grow luxuriantly, where water for irrigation is plentiful, and the Pacific breeze will raise it. Round the valley are vast tracts for sheep and wheat, and on the Contra Costas are millions of acres of wild oats growing on the best of lands for cattle, while the slopes are covered with young vines. Between the Contra Costa Range and the sea is a winterless strip, possessing for table vegetables and flowers the finest soil and climate in the world. The story goes that Californian boys, when asked if they believe in a future state, reply: “Guess so; California.”

EL CAPITAN, YOSEMITE VALLEY.—P. 228.
EL CAPITAN, YOSEMITE VALLEY.—P. 228.

Whether San Francisco will grow to be a second Liverpool or New York is an all-absorbing question to those who live on the Pacific shores, and one not without an interest and a moral for ourselves. New York has waxed rich and huge mainly because she is so placed as to command one of the best harbors on the coast of a country which exports enormously of breadstuffs. Liverpool has thrived as one of the shipping ports for the manufactures of the northern coal counties of England. San Francisco Bay, as the best harbor south of Puget Sound, is, and will remain, the center of the export trade of the Pacific States in wool and cereals. If coal is found in plenty in the Golden State, population will increase, manufactures spring up, and the export of wrought articles take the place of that of raw produce. If coal is found in the Contra Costa Range, San Francisco will continue, in spite of earthquakes, to be the foremost port on the Pacific side; if, as is more probable, the find of coal is confined to the Monte Diablo district, and is of trifling value, still the future of San Francisco, as the meeting point of the railways, and center of the import of manufactured goods, and of the export of the produce of an agricultural and pastoral interior, is as certain as it must inevitably be brilliant. Whether the chief town of the Pacific States will in time develop into one of the commercial capitals of the world is a wider and a harder question. That it will be the converging point of the Pacific railroads, both of Chicago and St. Louis, there can be no doubt. That all the new overland trade from China and Japan will pass through it seems as clear; it is the extent of this trade that is in question. For the moment, land transit cannot compete on equal terms with water carriage; but assuming that, in the long run, this will cease to be the case, it will be the overland route across Russia, and not that through the United States, that will convey the silks and teas of China to Central and Western Europe. The very arguments of which the Californian merchants make use to show that the delicate goods of China need land transport, go to prove that shipping and unshipping in the Pacific, and a repetition in the Atlantic of each process, cannot be good for them. The political importance to America of the Pacific railroads does not admit of overstatement; but the Russian or English Pacific routes must, commercially speaking, win the day. For rare and costly Eastern goods, the English railway through Southern China, Upper India, the Persian coast, and the Euphrates is no longer now a dream. If Russian bureaucracy takes too long to move, trade will be diverted by the Gulf route; coarser goods and food will long continue to come by sea, but in no case can the City of San Francisco become a western outpost of Europe.

The luster of the future of San Francisco is not dimmed by considerations such as these; as the port of entry for the trade of America, with all the East, its wealth must become enormous; and if, as is probable, Japan, New Zealand, and New South Wales become great manufacturing communities, San Francisco must needs in time take rank as a second, if not a greater, London. This, however, is the more distant future. With cheaper labor than the Pacific States and the British colonies possess, with a more settled government than Japan—Pennsylvania and Ohio, from the time that the Pacific railroad is completed, will take, and for years will keep, the China trade. As for the colonies, the voyage from San Francisco to Australia is almost as long and difficult as that from England, and there is every probability that Lancaster and Belgium will continue to supply the colonists with clothes and tools, until they themselves, possessed as they are of coal, become competent to make them. The merchants of San Francisco will be limited in the main to the trade with China and Japan. In this direction the future has no bounds: through California and the Sandwich Islands, through Japan, fast becoming American, and China, the coast of which is already British, our race seems marching westward to universal rule. The Russian empire itself, with all its passive strength, cannot stand against the English horde, ever pushing with burning energy toward the setting sun. Russia and England are said to be nearing each other upon the Indus; but long before they can meet there, they will be face to face upon the Amoor.

For a time, the flood may be diverted south or north: Mexico will doubtless, and British Columbia will probably, carry off a portion of the thousands who are pouring West from the bleak rocks of New England. The Californian expedition of 1853 against Sonora and Lower California will be repeated with success, but the tide will be but momentarily stayed. So entirely are English countries now the motherlands of energy and adventure throughout the world, that no one who has watched what has happened in California, in British Columbia, and on the west coast of New Zealand, can doubt that the discovery of placer gold fields on any coast or in any sea-girt country in the world, must now be followed by the speedy rise there of an English government: were gold, for instance, found in surface diggings in Japan, Japan would be English in five years. We know enough of Chili, of the new Russian country on the Amoor, of Japan, to be aware that such discoveries are more than likely to occur.

In the face of facts like these, men are to be found who ask whether a break-up of the Union is not still probable—whether the Pacific States are not likely to secede from the Atlantic; some even contend for the general principle that “America must go to pieces—she is to big.” It is small powers, not great ones, that have become impossible: the unification of Germany is in this respect but the dawn of a new era. The great countries of to-day are smaller than were the smallest of a hundred years ago. Lewes was farther from London in 1700 than Edinburgh is now. New York and San Francisco will in 1870 be nearer to each other than Canton and Pekin. From the point of view of mere size, there is more likelihood of England entering the Union than of California seceding from it.

The material interests of the Pacific States will always lie in union. The West, sympathizing in the main with the Southerners upon the slavery question, threw herself into the war, and crushed them, because she saw the necessity of keeping her outlets under her own control. The same policy would hold good for the Pacific States in the case of the continental railroad. America, of all countries, alone shares the future of both Atlantic and Pacific, and she knows her interests too well to allow such an advantage to be thrown away. Uncalculating rebellion of the Pacific States upon some sudden heat, is the only danger to be apprehended, and such a rising could be put down with ease, owing to the manner in which these States are commanded from the sea. Throughout the late rebellion, the Federal navy, though officered almost entirely by Southerners, was loyal to the flag, and it would be so again. In these days, loyalty may be said to be peculiarly the sailor‘s passion: perhaps he loves his country because he sees so little of it.

The single danger that looms in the more distant future is the eventual control of Congress by the Irish, while the English retain their hold on the Pacific shores.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

California is too British to be typically American: it would seem that nowhere in the United States have we found the true America or the real American. Except as abstractions, they do not exist; it is only by looking carefully at each eccentric and irregular America—at Irish New York, at Puritan New England, at the rowdy South, at the rough and swaggering far West, at the cosmopolitan Pacific States—that we come to reject the anomalous features, and to find America in the points they possess in common. It is when the country is left that there rises in the mind an image that soars above all local prejudice—that of the America of the law-abiding, mighty people who are imposing English institutions on the world.

CHAPTER XXV.

MEXICO.

IN company with a throng of men of all races, all tongues, and all trades, such as a Californian steamer can alone collect, I came coasting southward under the cliffs of Lower California. Of the thousand passengers who sought refuge from the stifling heat upon the upper and hurricane decks, more than half were diggers returning with a “pile” to their homes in the Atlantic States. While we hung over the bulwarks watching the bonitos and the whales, the diggers threw “bolas” at the boobies that flew out to us from the blazing rocks, and brought them down screaming upon the decks. Threading our way through the reefs off the lovely Island of Margarita, where the “Independence” was lost with three hundred human beings, we lay-to at Cape St. Lucas, and landed his Excellency Don Antonio Pedrin, Mexican Governor of Lower California, and a Juarez man, in the very bay where Cavendish lay in wait for months for the “great Manilla ship”—the Acapulco galleon.

When Girolamo Benzoni visited the Mexican Pacific coast, he confused the turtle with the “crocodile,” describing the former under the latter‘s name; but at Manzanilla, the two may be seen lying almost side by side upon the sands. Separated from the blue waters of the harbor by a narrow strand there is a festering lagoon, the banks of which swarm with the smaller alligators; but a few yards off, upon the other slope, the townsfolk and the turtles they had brought down for sale to our ship‘s purser were lying, when I saw them, in a confused heap under an awning of sailcloth nailed up to the palm-trees. Alligator, turtle, Mexican, it was hard to say which was the superior being. A French corvette was in possession of the port—one of the last of the holding-places through which the remnants of the army of occupation were dribbling back to France.

In the land-locked bay of Acapulco, one of the dozen “hottest places in the world,” we found two French frigates, whose officers boarded us at once. They told us that they landed their marines every morning after breakfast, and re-embarked them before sunset; they could get nothing from the shore but water; the Mexicans, under Alvarez, occupied the town at night, and carried off even the fruit. When I asked about supplies, the answer was sweeping: “Ah, mon Dieu, monsieur, cette ssacrrréeee canaille de Alvarez nous vole tout. Nous n‘avons que de l‘eau fraîche, et Alvarez va nous emporter la fontaine aussi quelque nuit. Ce sont des voleurs, voyez-vous, ces Méchicanos.” When they granted us leave to land, it was with the proviso that we should not blame them if we were shot at by the Mexicans as we went ashore, and by themselves as we came off again. Firing often takes place at night between Alvarez and the French, but with a total loss in many months of only two men killed.

The day of my visit to Acapulco was the anniversary of the issue, one year before, of Marshal Bazaine‘s famous order of the day, directing the instant execution, as red-handed rebels, of Mexican prisoners taken by the French. It is a strange commentary upon the Marshal‘s circular that in a year from its issue the “Latin empire in America” should have had a term set to it by the President of the United States. In Canada, in India, in Egypt, in New Zealand, the English have met the French abroad, and in this Mexican affair history does but repeat itself. There is nothing more singular to the Londoner than the contempt of the Americans for France. All Europe seems small when seen from the United States; but the opinion of Great Britain and the strength of Russia are still looked on with some respect: France alone completely vanishes, and instead of every one asking, as with us, “What does the Emperor say?” no one cares in the least what Napoleon does or thinks. In a Chicago paper I have seen a column of Washington news headed, “Seward orders Lewis Napoleon to leave Mexico right away! Nap. lies badly to get out of the fix!” While the Americans are still, in a high degree, susceptible of affront from England, and would never, if they conceived themselves purposely insulted, stop to weigh the cost of war, toward France they only feel, as a Californian said to me, “Is it worth our while to set to work to whip her?” The effect of Gettysburg and Sadowa will be that, except Great Britain, Italy, and Spain, no nations will care much for the threats or praises of Imperial France.

The true character of the struggle in Mexico has not been pointed out. It was not a mere conflict between the majority of the people and a minority supported by foreign aid, but an uprising of the Indians of the country against the whites of the chief town. The Spaniards of the capital were Maximilian‘s supporters, and upon them the Indians and Mestizos have visited their revenge for the deeds of Cortez and Pizarro. On the west coast there is to be seen no trace of Spanish blood: in dress, in language, in religion the people are Iberian; in features, in idleness, and in ferocity, undoubtedly Red Indian.

In the reports of the Argentine Confederation it is stated that the Caucasian blood comes to the front in the mixed race; a few hundred Spanish families in La Plata are said to have absorbed several hundred thousand Indians, without suffering in their whiteness or other national characteristics. There is something of the frog that swallowed the ox in this; and the theories of the Argentine officials, themselves of the mixed race, cannot outweigh the evidence of our own eyes in the seaport towns of Mexico. There at least it is the Spaniards, not the Indians, who have disappeared; and the only mixture of blood that can be traced is that of Red Indian and negro in the fisher boys about the ports. They are lithe lads, with eyes full of art and fire.

The Spaniards of Mexico have become Red Indians, as the Turks of Europe have become Albanians or Circassians. Where the conquering marries into the conquered race it ends by being absorbed, and the mixed breed gradually becomes pure again in the type of the more numerous race. It would seem that the North American continent will soon be divided between the Saxon and the Aztec republics.

In California I once met with a caricature in which Uncle Sam or Brother Jonathan is lying on his back upon Canada and the United States, with his head in Russian America, and his feet against a tumble-down fence, behind which is Mexico. His knees are bent, and his position cramped. He says, “Guess I shall soon have to stretch my legs some!” There is not in the United States any strong feeling in favor of the annexation of the remainder of the continent, but there is a solemn determination that no foreign country shall in any way gain fresh footing or influence upon American soil, and that monarchy shall not be established in Mexico or Canada. Further than this, there is a belief that, as the south central portions of the States become fully peopled up, population will pour over into the Mexican provinces of Chihuahua and Sonora, and that the annexation of these and some other portions of Mexico to the United States cannot long be prevented. For such acquisitions of territory America would pay as she paid in the case of Texas, which she first conquered, and then bought at a fair price.

In annexing the whole of Mexico, Protestant Americans would feel that they were losing more than they could gain. In California and New Mexico, they have already to deal with a population of Mexican Catholics, and difficulties have arisen in the matter of the church lands. The Catholic vote is powerful not only in California and New York, but in Maryland, in Louisiana, in Kansas, and even in Massachusetts. The sons of the Pilgrim Fathers would scarcely look with pleasure on the admission to the Union of ten millions of Mexican Catholics, and, on the other hand, the day-dreams of Leonard Calvert would not be realized in the triumph of such a Catholicism as theirs any more than in the success of that of the Philadelphia Academy, or New York Tammany Hall.

With the exception of the Irish, the great majority of Catholic emigrants avoid the United States, but the migration of European Catholics to South America is increasing year by year. Just as the Germans, the Norwegians, and the Irish flow toward the States, the French, the Spanish, and the Italians flock into La Plata, Chili, and Brazil. The European population of La Plata has already reached three hundred thousand, and is growing fast. The French “mission” in Mexico was the making of that great country a further field for the Latin immigration; and when the Californians marched to Juarez‘s help, it was to save Mexico to North America.

In all history, nothing can be found more dignified than the action of America upon the Monroe doctrine. Since the principle was first laid down in words, in 1823, the national behavior has been courteous, consistent, firm; and the language used now that America is all-powerful, is the same that her statesmen made use of during the rebellion in the hour of her most instant peril. It will be hard for political philosophers of the future to assert that a democratic republic can have no foreign policy.

The Pacific coast of Mexico is wonderfully full of beauties of a peculiar kind; the sea is always calm, and of a deep dull blue, with turtles lying basking on the surface, and flying-fish skimming lightly over its expanse, while the shores supply a fringe of bright yellow sand at once to the ocean blue and to the rich green of the cactus groves. On every spit or sand-bar there grows the feathery palm. A low range of jungle-covered hills is cut by gullies, through which we get glimpses of lagoons bluer than the sea itself, and behind them the sharp volcanic peaks rise through and into cloud. Once in awhile, Colima, or other giant hill, towering above the rest in blue-black gloom, serves to show that the shores belong to some mightier continent than Calypso‘s isle.

CHAPTER XXVI.

REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT.

AMONG our Californian passengers, we had many strong party men, and political conversation never flagged throughout the voyage. In every discussion it became more and more clear that the Democratic is the Constitutional, the Republican the Utilitarian party—rightly called “Radical,” from its habit of going to the root of things, to see whether they are good or bad. Such, however, is the misfortune of America in the possession of a written Constitution, such the reverence paid to that document on account of the character of the men who penned it, that even the extremest radicals dare not admit in public that they aim at essential change, and the party loses, in consequence, a portion of the strength that attaches to outspoken honesty.

The President‘s party at their convention—known as the “Wigwam”—which met while I was in Philadelphia, maintained that the war had but restored the “Union as it was,” with State rights unimpaired. The Republicans say that they gave their blood, as they are ready again to shed it, for the “Union as it was not;” for one nation, and not for thirty-six, or forty-five. The Wigwam declared that the Washington government had no constitutional right to deny representation in Congress to any State. The Republicans ask how, if this constitutional provision is to be observed, the government of the country is to be carried on. The Wigwam laid it down as a principle, that Congress has no power to interfere with the right possessed by each State to prescribe qualifications for the elective franchise. The Radicals say that State sovereignty should have vanished when slavery went down, and ask how the South is to be governed consistently with republicanism unless by negro suffrage, and how this is to be maintained except by Federal control over the various States—by abolition, in short, of the old Union, and creation of a new. The more honest among the Republicans admit that for the position which they have taken up, they can find no warrant in the Constitution; that, according to the doctrine which the “continental statesmen” and the authors of “The Federalist” would lay down, were they living, thirty-five of the States, even if they were unanimous, could have no right to tamper with the constitution of the thirty-sixth. The answer to all this can only be that, were the Constitution to be closely followed, the result would be the ruin of the land.

The Republican party have been blamed because their theory and practice alike tend toward a consolidation of power, and a strengthening of the hands of the government at Washington. It is in this that lies their chief claim to support. Local government is an excellent thing; it is the greatest of the inventions of our inventive race, the chief security for continued freedom possessed by a people already free. This local government is consistent with a powerful executive; between the village municipality and Congress, between the cabinet and the district council of selectmen, there can be no conflict: it is State sovereignty, and the pernicious heresy of primary allegiance to the State, that have already proved as costly to the Republic as they are dangerous to her future.

It has been said that America, under the Federal system, unites the freedom of the small State with the power of the great; but though this is true, it is brought about, not through the federation of the States, but through that of the townships and districts. The latter are the true units to which the consistent Republican owes his secondary allegiance. It is, perhaps, only in the tiny New England States that Northern men care much about their commonwealth; a citizen of Pennsylvania or New York never talks of his State, unless to criticise its legislature. After all, where intelligence and education are all but universal, where a spirit of freedom has struck its roots into the national heart of a great race, there can be no danger in centralization, for the power that you strengthen is that of the whole people, and a nation can have nothing to fear from itself.

In watching the measures of the Radicals, we must remember that they have still to guard their country against great dangers. The war did not last long enough to destroy anti-republicanism along with slavery. The social system of the Carolinas was upset; but the political fabric built upon a slavery foundation in such “free” States as New York and Maryland is scarcely shaken.

If we look to the record of the Republican party with a view to making a forecast of its future conduct, we find that at the end of the war the party had before it the choice between military rule and negro rule for the South—between a government carried on through generals and provost-marshals, unknown to the Constitution and to the courts, and destined to prolong for ages the disruption of the Union and disquiet of the nation, and, on the other hand, a rule founded upon the principles of equity and self-government, dear to our race, and supported by local majorities, not by foreign bayonets. Although possessed of the whole military power of the nation, the Republicans refuse to endanger their country, and established a system intended to lead by gradual steps to equal suffrage in the South. The immediate interest of the party, as distinguished from that of the country at large, was the other way. The Republican majority of the presidential elections of 1860 and 1864 had been increased by the success of the Federal arms, borne mainly by the Republicans of New England and the West, in a war conducted to a triumphant issue under the leadership of Republican Congressmen and generals. The apparent magnanimity of the admission of a portion of the rebels, warm-handed, to the poll, would still further have strengthened the Republicans in the Western and Border States; and while the extreme wing would not have dared to desert the party, the moderate men would have been conciliated by the refusal of the franchise to the blacks. A foresight of the future of the nation happily prevailed over a more taking policy, and, to the honor of the Republican leaders, equal franchise was the result.

The one great issue between the Radicals and the Democrats since the conclusion of the war is this: the “Democracy” deny that the readmission to Congress of the representatives of the Southern States is a matter of expediency at all; to them they declare that it is a matter of right. There was a rebellion in certain States which temporarily prevented their sending representatives; it is over, and their men must come. Either the Union is or is not dissolved; the Radicals admit that it is not, that all their endeavors were to prevent the Union being destroyed by rebels, and that they succeeded in so doing. The States, as States, were never in rebellion; there was only a powerful rebellion localized in certain States. “If you admit, then,” say the Democrats, “that the Union is not dissolved, how can you govern a number of States by major-generals?” Meanwhile the Radicals go on, not wasting their time in words, but passing through the House and over the President‘s veto the legislation necessary for the reconstruction of free government—with their illogical, but thoroughly English, good sense, avoiding all talk about constitutions that are obsolete, and laws that it is impossible to enforce, and pressing on steadily to the end that they have in view: equal rights for all men, free government as soon as may be. The one thing to regret is, that the Republicans have not the courage to appeal to the national exigencies merely, but that their leaders are forced by public opinion to keep up the sham of constitutionalism. No one in America seems to dream that there can be anything to alter in the “matchless Constitution,” which was framed by a body of slaveowners filled with the narrowest aristocratic prejudices, for a country which has since abolished slavery, and become as democratic as any nation in the world.

The system of presidential election and the constitution of the Senate are matters to which the Republicans will turn their attention as soon as the country is rested from the war. It is not impossible that a lifetime may see the abolition of the Presidency proposed, and carried by the vote of the whole nation. If this be not done, the election will come to be made directly by the people, without the intervention of the electoral college. The Senate, as now constituted, rests upon the States, and that State rights are doomed no one can doubt who remembers that of the population of New York State less than half are native-born New Yorkers. What concern can the cosmopolitan moiety of her people have with the State rights of New York? When a system becomes purely artificial, it is on the road to death; when State rights represented the various sovereign powers which the old States had allowed to sleep while they entered a federal union, State rights were historical; but now that Congress by a single vote cuts and carves territories as large as all the old States put together, and founds new commonwealths in the wilderness, the doctrine is worn out.

It is not likely that the Republicans will carry all before them without a check; but though one Conservative reaction may follow another, although time after time the Democrats may return victorious from the fall elections, in the end Radicalism must inevitably win the day. A party which takes for its watch-word, “The national good,” will always beat the Constitutionalists.

Except during some great crisis, the questions which come most home at election times in a democratic country are minor points, in which the party not in power has always the advantage over the office-holders: it is on these petty matters that a cry of jobbery and corruption can be got up, and nothing in American politics is more taking than such a cry. “We are a liberal people, sir,” said a Californian to me, “but among ourselves we don‘t care to see some men get more than their share of Uncle Sam‘s money. It doesn‘t go down at election time to say that the Democrats are spoiling the country; but it‘s a mighty strong plank that you‘ve got if you prove that Hank Andrews has made a million of dollars by the last Congressional job. We say, ‘Smart boy, Hank Andrews;’ but we generally vote for the other man.” It is these small questions, or “side issues,” as they are termed, which cause the position of parties to fluctuate frequently in certain States.

The first reaction against the now triumphant Radicals will probably be based upon the indignation excited by the extension of Maine liquor laws throughout the whole of the States in which the New Englanders have the mastery. Prohibitive laws are not supported in America by the arguments with which all of us in Britain are familiar. The New England Radicals concede that, so far as the effects of the use of alcohol are strictly personal, there is no ground for the interference of society. They go even further, and say that no ground for general and indiscriminate interference with the sale of liquor is to be found in the fact that drink maddens certain men, and causes them to commit crime. They are willing to admit that, were the evils confined to individuals, it would be their own affair; but they attempt to show that the use of alcohol affects the condition, moral and physical, of the drinker‘s offspring, and that this is a matter so bound up with the general weal that public interference may be necessary. It is the belief of a majority of the thinkers of New England that the taint of alcoholic poison is hereditary; that the children of drunkards will furnish more than the ordinary proportion of great criminals; that the descendants of habitual tipplers will be found to lack vital force, and will fall into the ranks of pauperism and dependence: not only are the results of morbid appetites, they say, transmitted to the children, but the appetites themselves descend to the offspring with the blood. If this be true, the New England Radicals urge, the use of alcohol becomes a moral wrong, a crime even, of which the law might well take cognizance.

We are often told that party organization has become so dictatorial, so despotic, in America, that no one not chosen by the preliminary convention, no one, in short, whose name is not upon the party ticket, has any chance of election to an office. To those who reflect upon the matter, it would seem as though this is but a consequence of the existence of party and of the system of local representation: in England itself the like abuse is not unknown. Where neither party possesses overwhelming strength, division is failure; and some knot or other of pushing men must be permitted to make the selection of a candidate, to which, when made, the party must adhere, or suffer a defeat. As to the composition of the nominating conventions, the grossest misstatements have been made to us in England, for we have been gravely assured that a nation which is admitted to present the greatest mass of education and intelligence with the smallest intermixture of ignorance and vice of which the world has knowledge, allows itself to be dictated to in the matter of the choice of its rulers by caucuses and conventions composed of the idlest and most worthless of its population. Bribery, we have been told, reigns supreme in these assemblies; the nation‘s interest is but a phrase; individual selfishness the true dictator of each choice; the name of party is but a cloak for private ends, and the wire-pullers are equaled in rascality only by their nominees.

It need hardly be shown that, were these stories true, a people so full of patriotic sentiment as that which lately furnished a million and a half of volunteers for a national war, would without doubt be led to see its safety in the destruction of conventions and their wire-pullers—of party government itself, if necessary. It cannot be conceived that the American people would allow its institutions to be stultified and law itself insulted to secure the temporary triumph of this party or of that, on any mere question of the day.

The secret of the power of caucus and convention is, general want of time on the part of the community. Your honest and shrewd Western farmer, not having himself the leisure to select his candidate, is fain to let caucus or convention choose for him. In practice, however, the evil is far from great: the party caucus, for its own interest, will, on the whole, select the fittest candidate available, and, in any case, dares not, except perhaps in New York City, fix its choice upon a man of known bad character. Even where party is most despotic, a serious mistake committed by one of the nominating conventions will seldom fail to lose its side so many votes as to secure a triumph for the opponents.

King Caucus is a great monarch, however; it would be a mistake to despise him, and conventions are dear to the American people—at least it would seem so, to judge from their number. Since I have been in America there have been sitting, besides doubtless a hundred others, the names of which I have not noticed, the Philadelphia “Copper Johnson Wigwam,” or assembly of the Presidential party (of which the Radicals say that it is but “the Copperhead organization with a fresh snout”), a dentists’ convention, a phrenological convention, a pomological congress, a school-teachers’ convention, a Fenian convention, an eight-hour convention, an insurance companies’ convention, and a loyal soldiers’ convention. One is tempted to think of the assemblies of ’48 in Paris, and of the caricatures representing the young bloods of the Paris Jockey Club being addressed by their President as “Citoyens Vicomtes,” whereas, when the café waiters met in their congress, it was “Messieurs les Garçons-limonadiers.”

The pomological convention was an extremely jovial one, all the horticulturists being whisky-growers themselves, and having a proper wish to compare their own with their neighbors’ “Bourbon” or “old Rye.” Caucuses (or cauci: which is it?) of this kind suggest a derivation of this name for what many consider a low American proceeding, from an equally low Latin word of similar sound and spelling. In spite of the phrase “a dry caucus” being not unknown in the temperance State of Maine, many might be inclined to think that caucuses, if not exactly vessels of grace, were decidedly “drinking vessels;” but Americans tell you that the word is derived from the phrase a “caulker‘s meeting,” caulkers being peculiarly given to noise.

The cry against conventions is only a branch of that against “politicians,” which is continually being raised by the adherents of the side which happens at the moment to be the weaker, and which evidently helps to create the evils against which its authors are protesting. It is now the New York Democrats who tell such stories as that of the Columbia District census-taker going to the Washington house of a wealthy Boston man to find out his religious tenets. The door was opened by a black boy, to whom the white man began: “What‘s your name?” “Sambo, sah, am my Christian name.” “Wall, Sambo, is your master a Christian?” To which Sambo‘s indignant answer was: “No, sah! Mass member ob Congress, sah!” When the Democrats were in power, it was the Republicans of Boston and the Cambridge professors who threw out sly hints, and violent invectives too, against the whole tribe of “politicians.” Such unreasoning outcries are to be met only by bare facts; but were a jury of readers of the debates in Parliament and in Congress to be impaneled to decide whether political immorality were not more rife in England than in America, I should, for my part, look forward with anxiety to the result.

The organization of the Republican party is hugely powerful; it has its branches in every township and district in the Union; but it is strong, not in the wiles of crafty plotters, not in the devices of unknown politicians, but in the hearts of the loyal people of the country. If there were nothing else to be said to Englishmen on the state of parties in America, it should be sufficient to point out that, while the “Democracy” claim the Mozart faction of New York and the shoddy aristocracy, the pious New Englanders and their sons in the Northwest are, by a vast majority, Republicans; and no “side issues” should be allowed to disguise the fact that the Democratic is the party of New York, the Republican the party of America.

CHAPTER XXVII.

BROTHERS.

I HAD landed in America at the moment of what is known in Canada as “the great scare”—that is, the Fenian invasion at Fort Erie. Before going South, I had attended at New York a Fenian meeting held to protest against the conduct of the President and Mr. Seward, who, it was asserted, after deluding the Irish with promises of aid, had abandoned them, and even seized their supplies and arms. The chief speaker of the evening was Mr. Gibbons, of Philadelphia, “Vice-President of the Irish Republic,” a grave and venerable man; no rogue or schemer, but an enthusiast as evidently convinced of the justice as of the certainty of the ultimate triumph of the cause.

At Chicago, I went to the monster meeting at which Speaker Colfax addressed the Brotherhood; at Buffalo, I was present at the “armed picnic” which gave the Canadian government so much trouble. On Lake Michigan, I went on board a Fenian ship; in New York, I had a conversation with an ex-rebel officer, a long-haired Georgian, who was wearing the Fenian uniform of green-and-gold in the public streets. The conclusion to which I came was, that the Brotherhood has the support of ninety-nine hundredths of the Irish in the States. As we are dealing not with British, but with English politics and life, this is rather a fact to be borne in mind than a text upon which to found a homily; still, the nature of the Irish antipathy to Britain is worth a moment‘s consideration; and the probable effect of it upon the future of the race is a matter of the gravest import.

The Fenians, according to a Chicago member of the Roberts’ wing, seek to return to the ancient state of Ireland, of which we find the history in the Brehon laws—a communistic tenure of land (resembling, no doubt, that of the Don Cossacks), and a republic or elective kingship. Such are their objects; nothing else will in the least conciliate the Irish in America. No abolition of the Establishment, no reform of land-laws, no Parliament on College Green, nothing that England can grant while preserving the shadow of union, can dissolve the Fenian league.

All this is true, and yet there is another great Irish nation to which, if you turn, you find that conciliation may still avail us. The Irish in Ireland are not Fenians in the American sense: they hate us, perhaps, but they may be mollified; they are discontented, but they may be satisfied; customs and principles of law, the natural growth of the Irish mind and the Irish soil, can be recognized, and made the basis of legislation, without bringing about the disruption of the empire.

The first Irish question that we shall have to set ourselves to understand is that of land. Permanent tenure is as natural to the Irish as freeholding to the English people. All that is needed of our statesmen is, that they recognize in legislation that which they cannot but admit in private talk—namely, that there may be essential differences between race and race.

The results of legislation which proceeds upon this basis may follow very slowly upon the change of system, for there is at present no nucleus whatever for the feeling of amity which we would create. Even the alliance of the Irish politicians with the English Radicals is merely temporary; the Irish antipathy to the English does not distinguish between Conservative and Radical. Years of good government will be needed to create an alliance against which centuries of oppression and wrong-doing protest. We may forget, but the Irish will hardly find themselves able to forget at present that, while we make New Zealand savages British citizens as well as subjects, protect them in the possession of their lands, and encourage them to vote at our polling-booths, and take their place as constables and officers of the law, our fathers “planted” Ireland, and declared it no felony to kill an Irishman on his mother-soil.

In spite of their possession of much political power, and of the entire city government of several great towns, the Irish in America are neither physically nor morally well off. Whatever may be the case at some future day, they still find themselves politically in English hands. The very language that they are compelled to speak is hateful, even to men who know no other. With an impotent spite which would be amusing were it not very sad, a resolution was carried by acclamation through both houses of the Fenian congress, at Philadelphia, this year, “that the word ‘English’ be unanimously dropped, and that the words ‘American language’ be used in the future.”

From the Cabinet, from Congress, from every office, high or low, not controlled by the Fenian vote, the Irish are systematically excluded; but it cannot be American public opinion which has prevented the Catholic Irish from rising as merchants and traders, even in New York. Yet, while there are Belfast names high up on the Atlantic side and in San Francisco, there are none from Cork, none from the southern counties. It would seem as though the true Irishman wants the perseverance to become a successful merchant, and thrives best at pure brain-work, or upon land. Three-fourths of the Irish in America remain in towns, losing the attachment to the soil which is the strongest characteristic of the Irish in Ireland, and finding no new home: disgusted at their exclusion in America from political life and power, it is these men who turn to Fenianism as a relief. Through drink, through gambling, and the other vices of homeless, thriftless men, they are soon reduced to beggary; and, moral as they are by nature, the Irish are nevertheless supplying America with that which she never before possessed—a criminal and pauper class. Of ten thousand people sent to jail each year in Massachusetts, six thousand are Irish born; in Chicago, out of the 3598 convicts of last year, only eighty-four were native born Americans.

To the Americans, Fenianism has many aspects. The greater number hate the Irish, but sympathize profoundly with Ireland. Many are so desirous of seeing republicanism prevail throughout the world that they support the Irish republic in any way, except, indeed, by taking its paper money, and look upon its establishment as a first step toward the erection of a free government that shall include England and Scotland as well. Some think the Fenians will burn the Capitol and rob the banks; some regard them with satisfaction, or the reverse, from the religious point of view. One of the latter kind of lookers-on said to me: “I was glad to see the Fenian movement, not that I wish success to the Brotherhood as against you English, but because I rejoice to see among Irishmen a powerful center of resistance to the Catholic Church. We, in this country, were being delivered over, bound hand and foot, to the Roman Church, and these Fenians, by their power and their violence against the priests, have divided the Irish camp and rescued us.” The unfortunate Canadians, for their part, ask why they should be shot and robbed because Britain maltreats the Irish; but we must not forget that the Fenian raid on Canada was an exact repetition, almost on the same ground, of the St. Alban‘s raid into the American territory during the rebellion.

The Fenians would be as absolutely without strength in America as they are without credit were it not for the anti-British traditions of the Democratic party, and the rankling of the Alabama question, or rather of the remembrance of our general conduct during the rebellion, in the hearts of the Republicans. It is impossible to spend much time in New England without becoming aware that the people of the six Northeastern States love us from the heart. Nothing but this can explain the character of their feeling toward us on these Alabama claims. That we should refuse an arbitration upon the whole question is to them inexplicable, and they grieve with wondering sorrow at our perversity.

It is not here that the legal question need be raised; for observers of the present position of the English race it is enough that there exists between Britain and America a bar to perfect friendship—a ground for future quarrel—upon which we refuse to allow an all-embracing arbitration. We allege that we are the best judges of a certain portion of the case, that our dignity would be compromised by arbitration upon these points; but such dignity must always be compromised by arbitration, for common friends are called in only when each party to the dispute has a case, in the justice of which his dignity is bound up. Arbitration is resorted to as a means of avoiding wars; and, dignity or no dignity, everything that can cause war is proper matter for arbitration. What even if some little dignity be lost by the affair, in addition to that which has been lost already? No such loss can be set against the frightful hurtfulness to the race and to the cause of freedom, of war between Britain and America.

The question comes plainly enough to this point; we say we are right; America says we are wrong; they offer arbitration, which we refuse upon a point of etiquette—for on that ground we decline to refer to arbitration a point which to America appears essential. It looks to the world as though we offer to submit to the umpire chosen those points only on which we are already prepared to admit that we are in the wrong. America asks us to submit, as we should do in private life, the whole correspondence on which the quarrel stands. Even if we, better instructed in the precedents of international law than were the Americans, could not but be in the right, still, as we know that intelligent and able men in the United States think otherwise, and would fancy their cause the just one in a war which might arise upon the difficulty, surely there is ground for arbitration. It would be to the eternal disgrace of civilization that we should set to work to cut our brothers’ throats upon a point of etiquette; and, by declining on the ground of honor to discuss these claims, we are compromising that honor in the eyes of all the world.

In democracies such as America or France, every citizen feels an insult to his country as an insult to himself. The Alabama question is in the mouth or in the heart—which is worse—of every American who talks with an Englishman in England or America.

All nations commit, at times, the error of acting as though they think that every people on earth, except themselves, are unanimous in their policy. Neglecting the race distinctions and the class distinctions which in England are added to the universal essential differences of minds, the Americans are convinced that, during the late war, we thought as one man, and that, in this present matter of the Alabama claims, we stand out and act as a united people.

A New Yorker with whom I stayed at Quebec—a shrewd but kindly fellow—was an odd instance of the American incapacity to understand the British nation, which almost equals our own inability to comprehend America. Kind and hospitable to me, as is any American to every Englishman in all times and places, he detested British policy, and obstinately refused to see that there is an England larger than Downing Street, a nation outside Pall Mall. “England was with the rebels throughout the war.” “Excuse me; our ruling classes were so, perhaps, but our rulers don‘t represent us any more than your 39th Congress represents George Washington.” In America, where Congress does fairly represent the nation, and where there has never been less than a quarter of the body favorable to any policy which half the nation supported, men cannot understand that there should exist a country which thinks one way, but, through her rulers, speaks another. We may disown the national policy, but we suffer for it.

The hospitality to Englishmen of the American England-hater is extraordinary. An old Southerner in Richmond said to me in a breath, “I‘d go and live in England if I didn‘t hate it as I do. England, sir, betrayed us in the most scoundrelly way—talked of sympathy with the South, and stood by to see us swallowed up. I hate England, sir! Come and stay a week with me at my place in —— County. Going South to-day? Well, then, you return this way next week. Come then! Come on Saturday week.”

When we ask, “Why do you press the Alabama claims against us, and not the Florida, the Georgia, and the Rappahannock claims against the French?” the answer is: “Because we don‘t care about the French, and what they do and think; besides, we owe them some courtesy after bundling them out of Mexico in the way we did.” In truth there is among Americans an exaggerated estimate of the offensive powers of Great Britain; and such is the jealousy of young nations that this exaggeration becomes of itself a cause of danger. Were the Americans as fully convinced, as we ourselves are, of our total incapacity to carry on a land war with the United States on the western side of the Atlantic, the bolder spirits among them would cease to feel themselves under an assumed necessity to show us our own weakness and their strength.

The chief reason why America finds much to offend her in our conduct is, that she cares for the opinion of no other people than the English. America, before the terrible blow to her confidence and love that our conduct during the rebellion gave, used morally to lean on England. Happily for herself she is now emancipated from the mental thraldom; but she still yearns toward our kindly friendship. A Napoleonic Senator harangues, a French paper declaims, against America and Americans; who cares? But a Times’ leader, or a speech in Parliament from a minister of the Crown, cuts to the heart, wounding terribly. A nation, like an individual, never quarrels with a stranger; there must be love at bottom for even querulousness to arise. While I was in Boston, one of the foremost writers of America said to me in conversation: “I have no son, but I had a nephew of my own name; a grand fellow; young, handsome, winning in his ways, full of family affections, an ardent student. He felt it his duty to go to the front as a private in one of our regiments of Massachusetts volunteers, and was promoted for bravery to a captaincy. All of us here looked on him as a New England Philip Sidney, the type of all that was manly, chivalrous, and noble. The very day that I received news of his being killed in leading his company against a regiment, I was forced by my duties here to read a leader in one of your chief papers upon the officering of our army, in which it was more than hinted that our troops consisted of German cut-throats and pot-house Irish, led by sharpers and broken politicians. Can you wonder at my being bitter?”

That there must be in America a profound feeling of affection for our country is shown by the avoidance of war when we recognized the rebels as belligerents; and, again, at the time of the Trent affair, when the surface cry was overwhelmingly for battle, and the cabinet only able to tide it over by promising the West war with England as soon as the rebellion was put down. “One war at a time, gentlemen,” said Lincoln. The man who, of all in America, had most to lose by war with England, said to me of the Trent affair: “I was written to by C—— to do all I could for peace. I wrote him back that if our attorney-general decided that our seizure of the men was lawful, I would spend my last dollar in the cause.”

The Americans, everywhere affectionate toward the individual Englishman, make no secret of their feeling that the first advances toward a renewal of the national friendship ought to come from us. They might remind us that our Maori subjects have a proverb, “Let friends settle their disputes as friends.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

AMERICA.

WE are coasting again, gliding through calm blue waters, watching the dolphins as they play, and the boobies as they fly stroke and stroke with the paddles of the ship. Mountains rise through the warm misty air, and form a long towering line upon the upper skies. Hanging high above us are the Volcano of Fire and that of Water—twin menacers of Guatamala City. In the sixteenth century, the water-mountain drowned it; in the eighteenth, it was burnt by the fire-hill. Since then, the city has been shaken to pieces by earthquakes, and of sixty thousand men and women, hardly one escaped. Down the valley, between the peaks, we have through the mahogany groves an exquisite distant view toward the city. Once more passing on, we get peeps, now of West Honduras, and now of the island coffee plantations of Costa Rica. The heat is terrible. It was just here, if we are to believe Drake, that he fell in with a shower so hot and scalding, that each drop burnt its hole through his men‘s clothes as they hung up to dry. “Steep stories,” it is clear, were known before the plantation of America.

Now that the time has come for a leave-taking of the continent, we can begin to reflect upon facts gleaned during visits to twenty-nine of the forty-five Territories and States—twenty-nine empires the size of Spain.

A man may see American countries, from the pine-wastes of Maine to the slopes of the Sierra; may talk with American men and women, from the sober citizens of Boston to Digger Indians in California; may eat of American dishes, from jerked buffalo in Colorado to clambakes on the shores near Salem; and yet, from the time he first “smells the molasses” at Nantucket light-ship to the moment when the pilot quits him at the Golden Gate, may have no idea of an American. You may have seen the East, the South, the West, the Pacific States, and yet have failed to find America. It is not till you have left her shores that her image grows up in the mind.

The first thing that strikes the Englishman just landed in New York is the apparent Latinization of the English in America; but before he leaves the country, he comes to see that this is at most a local fact, and that the true moral of America is the vigor of the English race—the defeat of the cheaper by the dearer peoples, the victory of the man whose food costs four shillings a day over the man whose food costs four pence. Excluding the Atlantic cities, the English in America are absorbing the Germans and the Celts, destroying the Red Indians, and checking the advance of the Chinese.

The Anglo-Saxon is the only extirpating race on earth. Up to the commencement of the now inevitable destruction of the Red Indians of Central North America, of the Maories, and of the Australians by the English colonists, no numerous race had ever been blotted out by an invader. The Danes and Saxons amalgamated with the Britons, the Normans with the English, the Tartars with the Chinese, the Goths and Burgundians with the Gauls: the Spaniards not only never annihilated a people, but have themselves been all but completely expelled by the Indians, in Mexico and South America. The Portuguese in Ceylon, the Dutch in Java, the French in Canada and Algeria, have conquered but not killed off the native peoples. Hitherto it has been nature‘s rule, that the race that peopled a country in the earliest historic days should people it to the end of time. The American problem is this: does the law, in a modified shape, hold good, in spite of the destruction of the native population? Is it true that the negroes, now that they are free, are commencing slowly to die out? that the New Englanders are dying fast, and their places being supplied by immigrants? Can the English in America, in the long run, survive the common fate of all migrating races? Is it true that, if the American settlers continue to exist, it will be at the price of being no longer English, but Red Indian? It is certain that the English families long in the land have the features of the extirpated race; on the other hand, in the negroes there is at present no trace of any change, save in their becoming dark brown instead of black.

The Maories—an immigrant race—were dying off in New Zealand when we landed there. The Indians of Mexico—another immigrant people—had themselves undergone decline, numerical and moral, when we first became acquainted with them. Are we English in turn to degenerate abroad, under pressure of a great natural law forbidding change? It is easy to say that the English in Old England are not a native but an immigrant race; that they show no symptoms of decline. There, however, the change was slight, the distance short, the difference of climate small.

The rapidity of the disappearance of physical type is equaled at least, if not exceeded, by that of the total alteration of the moral characteristics of the immigrant races—the entire destruction of eccentricity, in short. The change that comes over those among the Irish who do not remain in the great towns is not greater than that which overtakes the English handworkers, of whom some thousands reach America each year. Gradually settling down on land, and finding themselves lost in a sea of intelligence, and freed from the inspiring obstacles of antiquated institutions and class prejudice, the English handicraftsman, ceasing to be roused to aggressive Radicalism by the opposition of sinister interests, merges into the contented homestead settler, or adventurous backwoodsman. Greater even than this revolution of character is that which falls upon the Celt. Not only is it a fact known alike to physiologists and statisticians, that the children of Irish parents born in America are, physically, not Irish, Americans, but the like is true of the moral type: the change in this is at least as sweeping. The son of Fenian Pat and bright-eyed Biddy is the normal gaunt American, quick of thought, but slow of speech, whom we have begun to recognize as the latest product of the Saxon race, when housed upon the Western prairies, or in the pine-woods of New England.

For the moral change in the British workman it is not difficult to account: the man who will leave country, home, and friends, to seek new fortunes in America, is essentially not an ordinary man. As a rule, he is above the average in intelligence, or, if defective in this point, he makes up for lack of wit by the possession of concentrativeness and energy. Such a man will have pushed himself to the front in his club, his union, or his shop, before he emigrates. In England he is somebody; in America he finds all hands contented; or, if not this, at all events too busy to complain of such ills as they profess to labor under. Among contented men, his equals both in intelligence and ambition, in a country of perfect freedom of speech, of manners, of laws, and of society, the occupation of his mind is gone, and he comes to think himself what others seem to think—a nobody; a man who no longer is a living force. He settles upon land; and when the world knows him no more, his children are happy corn-growers in his stead.

The shape of North America makes the existence of distinct peoples within her limits almost impossible. An upturned bowl, with a mountain rim, from which the streams run inward toward the center, she must fuse together all the races that settle within her borders, and the fusion must now be in an English mould.

There are homogeneous foreign populations in several portions of the United States; not only the Irish and Chinese, at whose prospects we have already glanced, but also Germans in Pennsylvania, Spanish in Florida, French in Louisiana and at Sault de Ste Marie. In Wisconsin there is a Norwegian population of over a hundred thousand, retaining their own language and their own architecture, and presenting the appearance of a tough morsel for the English to digest; at the same time, the Swedes were the first settlers of Delaware and New Jersey, and there they have disappeared.

Milwaukee is a Norwegian town. The houses are narrow and high, the windows many, with circular tops ornamented in wood or dark-brown stone, and a heavy wooden cornice crowns the front. The churches have the wooden bulb and spire which are characteristic of the Scandinavian public buildings. The Norwegians will not mix with other races, and invariably flock to spots where there is already a large population speaking their own tongue. Those who enter Canada generally become dissatisfied with the country, and pass on into Wisconsin, or Minnesota, but the Canadian government has now under its consideration a plan for founding a Norwegian colony on Lake Huron. The numbers of this people are not so great as to make it important to inquire whether they will ever merge into the general population. Analogy would lead us to expect that they will be absorbed; their existence is not historical, like that of the French in Lower Canada.

From Burlington, in Iowa, I had visited a spot the history of which is typical of the development of America—Nauvoo. Founded in 1840 by Joe Smith, the Mormon city stood upon a bluff overhanging the Des Moines rapids of the Mississippi, presenting on the land side the aspect of a gentle, graceful slope, surmounted by a plain. After the fanatical pioneers of English civilization had been driven from the city, and their temple burnt, there came Cabet‘s Icarian band, who tried to found a new France in the desert; but in 1856 the leader died, and his people dispersed themselves about the States of Iowa and Missouri. Next came the English settlers, active, thriving, regardless of tradition, and Nauvoo is entering on a new life as the capital of a Wine-growing country. I found Cabet and the Mormons alike forgotten. The ruins of the temple have disappeared, and the huge stones have been used up in cellars, built to contain the Hock—a pleasant wine, like Zeltinger.

The bearing upon religion of the gradual destruction of race is of great moment to the world. Christianity will gain by the change; but which of its many branches will receive support is a question which only admits of an imperfect answer. Arguing à priori, we should expect to find that, on the one hand, a tendency toward unity would manifest itself, taking the shape, perhaps, of a gain of strength by the Catholic and Anglican Churches; on the other hand, there would be a contrary and still stronger tendency toward an infinite multiplication of beliefs, till millions of men and women would become each of them his own church. Coming to the actual cases in which we can trace the tendencies that commence to manifest themselves, we find that in America the Anglican Church is gaining ground, especially on the Pacific side, and that the Catholics do not seem to meet with any such success as we should have looked for; retaining, indeed, their hold over the Irish women and a portion of the men, and having their historic French branches in Louisiana and in Canada, but not, unless it be in the Cities of New York and Philadelphia, making much way among the English.

Between San Francisco and Chicago, for religious purposes the most cosmopolitan of cities, we have to draw distinctions. In the Pacific city the disturbing cause is the presence of New Yorkers; in the metropolis of the Northwestern States it is the dominance of New England ideas: still, we shall find no two cities so free from local color, and from the influence of race. The result of an examination is not encouraging: in both cities there is much external show in the shape of church attendance; in neither does religion strike its roots deeply into the hearts of the citizens, except so far as it is alien and imported.

The Spiritualist and Unitarian churches are both of them in Chicago extremely strong: they support newspapers and periodicals of their own, and are led by men and women of remarkable ability, but they are not the less Cambridge Unitarianism, Boston Spiritualism; there is nothing of the Northwest about them. In San Francisco, on the other hand, Anglicanism is prospering, but it is New York Episcopalianism, sustained by immigrants and money from the East; in no sense is it a Californian church.

Throughout America the multiplication of churches is rapid, but among the native-born Americans, Supernaturalism is advancing with great strides. The Shakers are strong in thought, the Spiritualists in wealth and numbers; Communism gains ground, but not Polygamy—the Mormon is a purely European church.

There is just now progressing in America a great movement, headed by the “Radical Unitarians,” toward “free religion,” or church without creed. The leaders deny that there is sufficient security for the spread of religion in each man‘s individual action: they desire collective work by all free-thinkers and liberal religionists in the direction of truth and purity of life. Christianity is higher than dogma, we are told; there is no way out of infinite multiplication of creeds but by their total extirpation. Oneness of purpose and a common love for truth form the members’ only tie. Elder Frederick Evans said to me: “All truth forms part of Shakerism;” but these free religionists assure us that in all truth consists their sole religion.

The distinctive feature of these American philosophical and religious systems is their gigantic width: for instance, every human being who admits that disembodied spirits may in any way hold intercourse with dwellers upon earth, whatever else he may believe or disbelieve, is claimed by the Spiritualists as a member of their church. They tell us that by “Spiritualism they understand whatever bears relation to spirit;” their system embraces all existence, brute, human, and divine; in fact, “the real man is a spirit.” According to these ardent proselytizers, every poet, every man with a grain of imagination in his nature, is a “Spiritualist.” They claim Plato, Socrates, Milton, Shakspeare, Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, Luther, Joseph Addison, Melancthon, Paul, Stephen, the whole of the Hebrew prophets, Homer, and John Wesley, among the members of their Church. They have lately canonized new saints: St. Confucius, St. Theodore (Parker), St. Ralph (Waldo Emerson), St. Emma (Hardinge), all figure in their calendar. It is a noteworthy fact that the saints are mostly resident in New England.

The tracts published at the Spiritual Clarion office, Auburn, New York, put forward Spiritualism as a religion which is to stand toward existing churches as did Christianity toward Judaism, and announce a new dispensation to the peoples of the earth “who have sown their wild oats in Christianity,” but they spell supersede with a “c.”

This strange religion has long since left behind the rappings and table-turnings in which it took its birth. The secret of its success is that it supplies to every man the satisfaction of the universal craving for the supernatural, in any form in which he will receive it. The Spiritualists claim two millions of active believers and five million “favorers” in America.

The presence of a large German population is thought by some to have an important bearing on the religious future of America, but the Germans have hitherto kept themselves apart from the intellectual progress of the nation. They, as a rule, withdraw from towns, and, retaining their language and supporting local papers of their own, live out of the world of American literature and politics; taking, however, at rare intervals, a patriotic part in national affairs, as was notably the case at the time of the late rebellion. Living thus by themselves, they have even less influence upon American religious thought than have the Irish, who, speaking the English tongue, and dwelling almost exclusively in towns, are brought more into contact with the daily life of the republic. The Germans in America are in the main pure materialists under a certain show of deism, but hitherto there has been no alliance between them and the powerful Chicago Radical Unitarians, difference of language having thus far proved a bar to the formation of a league which would otherwise have been inevitable.

On the whole, it would seem that for the moment religious prospects are not bright; the tendency is rather toward intense and unhealthily-developed feeling in the few, and subscription to some one of the Episcopalian churches—Catholic, Anglican, or Methodist—among the many, coupled with real indifference. Neither the tendency to unity of creeds nor that toward infinite multiplication of beliefs has yet made that progress which abstract speculation would have led us to expect, but so far as we can judge from the few facts before us, there is much likelihood that multiplication will in the future prove too strong for unity.

After all there is not in America a greater wonder than the Englishman himself, for it is to this continent that you must come to find him in full possession of his powers. Two hundred and fifty millions of people speak or are ruled by those who speak the English tongue, and inhabit a third of the habitable globe; but, at the present rate of increase, in sixty years there will be two hundred and fifty millions of Englishmen dwelling in the United States alone. America has somewhat grown since the time when it was gravely proposed to call her Alleghania, after a chain of mountains which, looking from this western side, may be said to skirt her eastern border, and the loftiest peaks of which are but half the height of the very passes of the Rocky Mountains.

America is becoming not English merely, but world-embracing in the variety of its type; and, as the English element has given language and history to that land, America offers the English race the moral directorship of the globe, by ruling mankind through Saxon institutions and the English tongue. Through America, England is speaking to the world.

PART II.

POLYNESIA.

CHAPTER I.

PITCAIRN ISLAND.

PANAMA is a picturesque time-worn Spanish city, that rises abruptly from the sea in a confused pile of decaying bastions and decayed cathedrals, while a dense jungle of mangrove and bamboo threatens to bury it in rich greenery. The forest is filled with baboons and lizards of gigantic size, and is gay with the bright plumage of the toucans and macaws, while, within the walls, every housetop bears its living load of hideous turkey-buzzards, foul-winged and bloodshot-eyed.

It was the rainy season (which here, indeed, lasts for three-quarters of the year), and each day was an alternation of shower-bath, and vapor-bath with sickly sun. On the first night of my stay, there was a lunar rainbow, which I went on to the roof of the hotel to watch. The misty sky was white with the reflected light of the hidden moon, which was obscured by an inky cloud, that seemed a tunnel through the heavens. In a few minutes I was driven from my post by the tropical rain.

At the railway station, I parted from my Californian friends, who were bound for Aspinwall, and thence by steamer to New York. A stranger scene it has not often been my fortune to behold. There cannot have been less than a thousand natives, wearing enormous hats and little else, and selling everything, from linen suits to the last French novel. A tame jaguar, a pelican, parrots, monkeys, pearls, shells, flowers, green cocoa-nuts and turtles, mangoes and wild dogs, were among the things for sale. The station was guarded by the army of the Republic of New Granada, consisting of five officers, a bugler, a drummer, and nineteen privates. Six of the men wore red trowsers and dirty shirts for uniform; the rest dressed as they pleased, which was generally in Adamic style. Not even the officers had shoes; and of the twenty-one men, one was a full-blooded Indian, some ten were negroes, and the remainder nondescripts, but among them was of course an Irishman from Cork or Kilkenny. After the train had started, the troops formed, and marched briskly through the town, the drummer trotting along some twenty yards before the company, French-fashion, and beating the retraite. The French invalids from Acapulco, who were awaiting in Panama the arrival of an Imperial frigate at Aspinwall, stood in the streets to see the New Granadans pass, twirling their moustaches, and smiling grimly. One old drum-major, lean and worn with fever, turned to me, and, shrugging his shoulders, pointed to his side: the Granadans had their bayonets tied on with string.

Whether Panama will continue to hold its present position as the “gate of the Pacific” is somewhat doubtful: Nicaragua offers greater advantages to the English, Tehuantepec to the American traders. The Gulf of Panama and the ocean for a great distance to the westward from its mouth are notorious for their freedom from all breezes; the gulf lies, indeed, in the equatorial belt of calms, and sailing-vessels can never make much use of the port of Panama. Aspinwall or Colon, on the Atlantic side, has no true port whatever. As long, however, as the question is merely one of railroad and steamship traffic, Panama may hold its own against the other isthmus cities; but when the canal is cut, the selected spot must be one that shall be beyond the reach of calms—in Nicaragua or Mexico.

From Panama I sailed in one of the ships of the new Colonial Line, for Wellington, in New Zealand—the longest steam-voyage in the world. Our course was to be a “great circle” to Pitcairn Island, and another great circle thence to Cape Palliser, near Wellington—a distance in all of some 6600 miles; but our actual course was nearer 7000. When off the Galapagos Islands, we met the cold southerly wind and water, known as the Chilian current, and crossed the equator in a breeze which forced us all to wear great-coats, and to dream that, instead of entering the southern hemisphere, we had come by mistake within the arctic circle.

After traversing lonely and hitherto unknown seas and looking in vain for a new guano island, on the sixteenth day we worked out the ship‘s position at noon with more than usual care, if that were possible, and found that in four hours we ought to be at Pitcairn Island. At half-past two o‘clock, land was sighted right ahead; and by four o‘clock, we were in the bay, such as it is, at Pitcairn.

Although at sea there was a calm, the surf from the ground-swell beat heavily upon the shore, and we were faint to content ourselves with the view of the island from our decks. It consists of a single volcanic peak, hung with an arras of green creeping plants, passion-flowers, and trumpet-vines. As for the people, they came off to us dancing over the seas in their canoes, and bringing us green oranges and bananas, while a huge Union Jack was run up on their flagstaff by those who remained on shore.

As the first man came on deck, he rushed to the captain, and, shaking hands violently, cried, in pure English, entirely free from accent, “How do you do, captain? How‘s Victoria?” There was no disrespect in the omission of the title “Queen;” the question seemed to come from the heart. The bright-eyed lads, Adams and Young, descendants of the Bounty mutineers, who had been the first to climb our sides, announced the coming of Moses Young, the “magistrate” of the isle, who presently boarded us in state. He was a grave and gentlemanly man, English in appearance, but somewhat slightly built, as were, indeed, the lads. The magistrate came off to lay before the captain the facts relating to a feud which exists between two parties of the islanders, and upon which they require arbitration. He had been under the impression that we were a man-of-war, as we had fired two guns on entering the bay, and being received by our officers, who wore the cap of the Naval Reserve, he continued in the belief till the captain explained what the “Rakaia” was, and why she had called at Pitcairn.

The case which the captain was to have heard judicially was laid before us for our advice while the flues of the ship were being cleaned. When the British government removed the Pitcairn Islanders to Norfolk Island, no return to the old home was contemplated, but the indolent half-castes found the task of keeping the Norfolk Island convict roads in good repair one heavier than they cared to perform, and fifty-two of them have lately come back to Pitcairn. A widow who returned with the others claims a third of the whole island as having been the property of her late husband, and is supported in her demand by half the islanders, while Moses Young and the remainder of the people admit the facts, but assert that the desertion of the island was complete, and operated as an entire abandonment of titles, which the reoccupation cannot revive. The success of the woman‘s claim, they say, would be the destruction of the prosperity of Pitcairn.

The case would be an extremely curious one if it had to be decided upon legal grounds, for it would raise complicated questions both on the nature of British citizenship and the character of the “occupation” title; but it is probable that the islanders will abide by the decision of the Governor of New South Wales, to which colony they consider themselves in some degree attached.

When we had drawn up a case to be submitted to Sir John Young, at Sydney, our captain made a commercial treaty with the magistrate, who agreed to supply the ships of the new line, whenever daylight allowed them to call at Pitcairn, with oranges, bananas, ducks, and fowls, for which he was to receive cloth and tobacco in exchange, tobacco being the money of the Polynesian Archipelago. Mr. Young told us that his people had thirty sheep, which were owned by each of the families in turn, the household taking care of them, and receiving the profits for one year. Water, he said, sometimes falls short in the island, but they then make use of the juice of the green cocoa-nut. Their school is excellent; all the children can read and write, and in the election of magistrates they have female suffrage.

When we went on deck again to talk to the younger men, Adams asked us a new question: “Have you a Sunday at Home, or a British Workman?” Our books and papers having been ransacked, Moses Young prepared to leave the ship, taking with him presents from the stores. Besides the cloth, tobacco, hats, and linen, there was a bottle of brandy; given for medicine, as the islanders are strict teetotalers. While Young held the bottle in his hand, afraid to trust the lads with it, Adams read the label and cried out, “Brandy? How much for a dose?.... Oh, yes! all right—I know: it‘s good for the women!” When they at last left the ship‘s side, one of the canoes was filled with a crinoline and blue silk dress for Mrs. Young, and another with a red and brown tartan for Mrs. Adams, both given by lady passengers, while the lads went ashore in dust-coats and smoking-caps.

Now that the French, with their singular habit of everywhere annexing countries which other colonizing nations have rejected, are rapidly occupying all the Polynesian groups except the only ones that are of value—namely, the Sandwich Islands and New Zealand—Pitcairn becomes of some interest as a solitary British post on the very border of the French dominions, and it has for us the stronger claim to notice which is raised by the fact that it has figured for the last few years on the wrong side of our British budget.

As we stood out from the bay into the lonely seas, the island peak showed a black outline against a pale-green sky, but in the west the heavy clouds that in the Pacific never fail to cumber the horizon were glowing with a crimson cast by the now-set sun, and the dancing wavelets were tinted with reflected hues.

The “scarlet shafts,” which poets have ascribed to the tropical sunrise, are common at sunset in the South Pacific. Almost every night the declining sun, sinking behind the clouds, throws rays across the sky—not yellow, as in Europe and America, but red or rosy pink. On the night after leaving Pitcairn, I saw a still grander effect of light and color. The sun had set, and in the west the clear greenish sky was hidden by pitch-black thunder-clouds. Through these were crimson caves.

On the twenty-ninth day of our voyage, we sighted the frowning cliffs of Palliser, where the bold bluff, coming sheer down three thousand feet, receives the full shock of the South Seas—a fitting introduction to the grand scenery of New Zealand; and within a few hours we were running up the great sea-lake of Port Nicholson toward long lines of steamers at a wharf, behind which were the cottages of Wellington, the capital.

To me, coming from San Francisco and the Nevadan towns, Wellington appeared very English and extremely quiet; the town is sunny and still, but with a holiday look; indeed, I could not help fancying that it was Sunday. A certain haziness as to what was the day of the week prevailed among the passengers and crew, for we had arrived upon our Wednesday, the New Zealand Thursday, and so, without losing an hour, lost a day, which, unless by going round the world the other way, can never be regained. The bright colors of the painted wooden houses, the clear air, the rose-beds, and the emerald-green grass, are the true cause of the holiday look of the New Zealand towns, and Wellington is the gayest of them all; for, owing to the frequency of earthquakes, the townsfolk are not allowed to build in brick or stone. The natives say that once in every month “Ruaimoko turns himself,” and sad things follow to the shaken earth.

It was now November, the New Zealand spring, and the outskirts of Wellington were gay with the cherry-trees in full fruiting and English dog-roses in full bloom, while on every road-side bank the gorse blazed in its coat of yellow: there was, too, to me, a singular charm in the bright green turf, after the tawny grass of California.

Without making a long halt, I started for the South Island, first steaming across Cook‘s Straits, and up Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton, and then through the French Pass—a narrow passage filled with fearful whirlpools—to Nelson, a gemlike little Cornish village. After a day‘s “cattle-branding” with an old college friend at his farm in the valley of the Maitai, I sailed again for the south, laying for a night in Massacre Bay, to avoid the worst of a tremendous gale, and then coasting down to The Buller and Hokitika—the new gold-fields of the colonies.

CHAPTER II.

HOKITIKA.

PLACED in the very track of storms, and open to the sweep of rolling seas from every quarter, exposed to waves that run from pole to pole, or from South Africa, to Cape Horn, the shores of New Zealand are famed for swell and surf, and her western rivers for the danger of their bars. Insurances at Melbourne are five times as high for the voyage to Hokitika as for the longer cruise to Brisbane.

In our little steamer of a hundred tons, built to cross the bars, we had reached the mouth of the Hokitika River soon after dark, but lay all night some ten miles to the southwest of the port. As we steamed in the early morning from our anchorage, there rose up on the east the finest sunrise view on which it has been my fortune to set eyes.

NEW ZEALAND
NEW ZEALAND
[larger view]
[largest view]

A hundred miles of the Southern Alps stood out upon a pale-blue sky in curves of a gloomy white that were just beginning to blush with pink, but ended to the southward in a cone of fire that stood up from the ocean: it was the snow-dome of Mount Cook struck by the rising sun. The evergreen bush, flaming with the crimson of the rata-blooms, hung upon the mountain-side, and covered the plain to the very margin of the narrow sands with a dense jungle. It was one of those sights that haunt men for years, like the eyes of Mary in Bellini‘s Milan picture.

On the bar, three ranks of waves appeared to stand fixed in walls of surf. These huge rollers are sad destroyers of the New Zealand coasting ships: a steamer was lost here a week before my visit, and the harbormaster‘s whale-boat dashed in pieces, and two men drowned.

Lashing everything that was on deck, and battening down the hatches in case we should ground in crossing, we prepared to run the gauntlet. The steamers often ground for an instant while in the trough between the waves, and the second sea, pooping them, sweeps them from end to end, but carries them into the still water. Watching our time, we were borne on a great rolling white-capped wave into the quiet lakelet that forms the harbor, just as the sun, coming slowly up behind the range, was firing the Alps from north to south; but it was not till we had lain some minutes at the wharf that the sun rose to us poor mortals of the sea and plain. Hokitika Bay is strangely like the lower portion of the Lago Maggiore, but Mount Rosa is inferior to Mount Cook.

As I walked up from the quay to the town, looking for the “Empire” Hotel, which I had heard was the best in Hokitika, I spied a boy carrying a bundle of some newspaper. It was the early edition for the up-country coaches, but I asked if he could spare me a copy. He put one into my hand. “How much?” I asked. “A snapper.” “A snapper?” “Ay—a tizzy.” Understanding this more familiar term, I gave him a shilling. Instead of “change,” he cocked up his knee, slapt the shilling down on it, and said “Cry!” I accordingly cried “Woman!” and won, he loyally returning the coin, and walking off minus a paper.

When I reached that particular gin-palace which was known as the hotel, I found that all the rooms were occupied, but that I could, if I pleased, lie down on a deal side-table in the billiard-room. In our voyage down the coast from Nelson, we had brought for The Buller and for Hokitika a cabin full of cut flowers for bouquets, of which the diggers are extremely fond. The fact was pretty enough: the store set upon a single rose—“an English rosebud”—culled from a plant that had been brought from the Old Country in a clipper ship, was still more touching, but the flowers made sleep below impossible, and it had been blowing too hard for me to sleep on deck, so that I was glad to lie down upon my table for an hour‘s rest. The boards were rough and full of cracks, and I began to dream that, walking on the landing-stage, I ran against a man, who drew his revolver upon me. In wrenching it from him, I hurt my hand in the lock, and woke to find my fingers pinched in one of the chinks of the long table. Despairing of further sleep, I started to walk through Hokitika, and to explore the “clearings” which the settlers are making in the bush.

At Pakihi and The Buller, I had already seen the places to which the latest gold-digging “rush” had taken place, with the result of planting there some thousands of men with nothing to eat but gold—for diggers, however shrewd, fall an easy prey to those who tell them of spots where gold may be had for the digging, and never stop to think how they shall live. No attempt is at present made to grow even vegetables for the diggers’ food: every one is engrossed in the search for gold. It is true that the dense jungle is being driven back from the diggers’ camps by fire and sword, but the clearing is only made to give room for tents and houses. At The Buller, I had found the forest, which comes down at present to the water‘s edge, and crowds upon the twenty shanties and hundred tents and boweries which form the town, smoking with fires on every side, and the parrots chattering with fright. The fires obstinately refused to spread, but the tall feathery trees were falling fast under the axes of some hundred diggers, who seemed not to have much romantic sympathy for the sufferings of the tree-ferns they had uprooted, or of the passion-flowers they were tearing from the evergreens they had embraced.

The soil about The Fox, The Buller, The Okitiki, and the other west-coast rivers on which gold is found, is a black leaf-mould of extraordinary depth and richness; but in New Zealand, as in America, the poor lands are first occupied by the settlers, because the fat soils will pay for the clearing only when there is already a considerable population on the land. On this west coast it rains nearly all the year, and vegetation has such power, that “rainy Hokitika” must long continue to be fed from Christchurch and from Nelson, for it is as hard to keep the land clear as it is at the first to clear it.

The profits realized upon ventures from Nelson to the Gold Coast are enormous; nothing less than fifty per cent. will compensate the owners for losses on the bars. The first cattle imported from Nelson to The Buller fetched at the latter place double the price they had cost only two days earlier. One result of this maritime usury that was told me by the steward of the steamer in which I came down from Nelson is worth recording for the benefit of the Economists. They had on board, he said, a stock of spirits, sufficient for several trips, but they altered their prices according to locality; from Nelson to The Buller, they charged 6d. a drink, but, once in the river, the price rose to 1s., at which it remained until the ship left port upon her return to Nelson, when it fell again to 6d. A drover coming down in charge of cattle was a great friend of this steward, and the latter confirmed the story which he had told me by waking the drover when we were off The Buller bar: “Say, mister, if you want a drink, you‘d better take it. It‘ll be shilling drinks in five minutes.”

The Hokitikians flatter themselves that their city is the “most rising place” on earth, and it must be confessed that if population alone is to be regarded, the rapidity of its growth has been amazing. At the time of my visit, one year and a half had passed since the settlement was formed by a few diggers, and it already had a permanent population of ten thousand, while no less than sixty thousand diggers and their friends claimed it for their headquarters. San Francisco itself did not rise so fast, Melbourne not much faster; but Hokitika, it must be remembered, is not only a gold field port, but itself upon the gold field. It is San Francisco and Placerville in one—Ballarat and Melbourne.

Inferior in its banks and theaters to Virginia City, or even Austin, there is one point in which Hokitika surpasses every American mining town that I have seen—the goodness, namely, of its roads. Working upon them in the bright morning sun which this day graced “rainy Hokitika” with its presence, were a gang of diggers and sailors, dressed in the clothes which every one must wear in a digging town, unless he wishes to be stared at by passers-by. Even sailors on shore “for a run” here wear cord breeches and high tight-fitting boots, often armed with spurs, though, as there are no horses except those of the Gold Coast Police, they cannot enjoy much riding. The gang working on the roads were like the people I met about the town—rough, but not ill-looking fellows. To my astonishment I saw, conspicuous among their red shirts and “jumpers,” the blue and white uniform of the mounted police; and from the way in which the constables handled their loaded rifles, I came to the conclusion that the road-menders must be a gang of prisoners. On inquiry, I found that all the New Zealand “convicts,” including under this sweeping title men convicted for mere petty offenses, and sentenced to hard labor for a month, are made to do good practical work upon the roads: so much resistance to the police, so much new road made or old road mended. I was reminded of the Missourian practice of setting prisoners to dig out the stumps that cumber the streets of the younger towns: the sentence on a man for being drunk is said to be that he pull up a black walnut stump; drunk and disorderly, a large buck-eye; assaulting the sheriff, a tough old hickory root, and so on.

The hair and beard of the short-sentence “convicts” in New Zealand is never cut, and there is nothing hang-dog in their looks; but their faces are often bright, and even happy. These cheerful prisoners are for the most part “runners”—sailors who have broken their agreements in order to get upon the diggings, and who bear their punishment philosophically, with the hope of future “finds” before them.

When the great rush to Melbourne occurred in 1848, ships by the hundred were left in the Yarra without a single hand to navigate them. Nuggets in the hand would not tempt sailors away from the hunt after the nuggets in the bush. Ships left Hobson‘s Bay for Chili with half a dozen hands; and in one case that came within my knowledge, a captain, his mate, and three Maories took a brig across the Pacific to San Francisco.

As the morning wore on, I came near seeing something of more serious crime than that for which these “runners” were convicted. “Sticking-up,” as highway robbery is called in the colonies, has always been common in Australia and New Zealand, but of late the bush-rangers, deserting their old tactics, have commenced to murder as well as rob. In three months of 1866, no less than fifty or sixty murders took place in the South Island of New Zealand, all of them committed, it was believed, by a gang known as “The Thugs.” Mr. George Dobson, the government surveyor, was murdered near Hokitika in May, but it was not till November that the gang was broken up by the police and volunteers. Levy, Kelly, and Burgess, three of the most notorious of the villains, were on their trial at Hokitika while I was there, and Sullivan, also a member of the band, who had been taken at Nelson, had volunteered to give evidence against them. Sullivan was to come by steamer from the North, without touching at The Buller or The Grey; and when the ship was signaled, the excitement of the population became considerable, the diggers asserting that Sullivan was not only the basest, but the most guilty of all the gang. As the vessel ran across the bar and into the bay, the police were marched down to the landing-place, and a yelling crowd surrounded them, threatening to lynch the informer. When the steamer came alongside the wharf, Sullivan was not to be seen, and it was soon discovered that he had been landed in a whale-boat upon the outer beach. Off rushed the crowd to intercept the party in the town; but they found the jail gates already shut and barred.

It was hard to say whether it was for Thuggism or for turning Queen‘s evidence that Sullivan was to be lynched: crime is looked at here as leniently as it is in Texas. I once met a man who had been a coroner at one of the digging towns, who, talking of “old times,” said, quietly enough: “Oh, yes, plenty of work; we used to make a good deal of it. You see I was paid by fees, so I used generally to manage to hold four or five inquests on each body. Awful rogues my assistants were: I shouldn‘t like to have some of those men‘s sins to answer for.”

The Gold Coast Police Force, which has been formed to put a stop to Thuggism and bush-ranging, is a splendid body of cavalry, about which many good stories are told. One digger said to me: “Seen our policemen? We don‘t have no younger sons of British peers among ’em.” Another account says that none but members of the older English universities are admitted to the force.

There are here, upon the diggings, many military men and university graduates, who generally retain their polish of manner, though outwardly they are often the roughest of the rough. Some of them tell strange stories. One Cambridge man, who was acting as a post-office clerk (not at Hokitika), told me that in 1862, shortly after taking his degree, he went out to British Columbia to settle upon land. He soon spent his capital at billiards in Victoria City, and went as a digger to the Frazer River. There he made a “pile,” which he gambled away on his road back, and he struggled through the winter of 1863-4 by shooting and selling game. In 1864 he was attached as a hunter to the Vancouver‘s Exploring Expedition, and in 1865 started with a small sum of money for Australia. He was wrecked, lost all he had, and was forced to work his passage down to Melbourne. From there he went into South Australia as the driver of a reaping machine, and was finally, through the efforts of his friends in England, appointed to a post-office clerkship in New Zealand, which colony he intended to quit for California or Chili. This was not the only man of education whom I myself found upon the diggings, as I met with a Christchurch man, who, however, had left Oxford without a degree, actually working as a digger in a surface mine.

In the outskirts of Hokitika, I came upon a palpable Life Guardsman, cooking for a roadside station, with his smock worn like a soldier‘s tunic, and his cap stuck on one ear in Windsor fashion. A “squatter” from near Christchurch, who was at The Buller, selling sheep, told me that he had an ex-captain in the Guards at work for weekly wages on his “sheep-run,” and that a neighbor had a lieutenant of lancers rail-splitting at his “station.”

Neither the habits nor the morals of this strange community are of the best. You never see a drunken man, but drinking is apparently the chief occupation of that portion of the town population which is not actually employed in digging. The mail-coaches which run across the island on the great new road, and along the sands to the other mining settlements, have singularly short stages, made so, it would seem, for the benefit of the keepers of the “saloons,” for at every halt one or other of the passengers is expected to “shout,” or “stand,” as it would be called at home, “drinks all round.” “What‘ll yer shout?” is the only question; and want of coined money need be no hinderance, for “gold-dust is taken at the bar.” One of the favorite amusements of the diggers at Pakihi, on the days when the store-schooner arrives from Nelson, is to fill a bucket with champagne, and drink till they feel “comfortable.” This done, they seat themselves in the road, with their feet on the window-sill of the shanty, and, calling to the first passer, ask him to drink from the bucket. If he consents—good: if not, up they jump, and duck his head in the wine, which remains for the next comer.

When I left Hokitika, it was by the new road, 170 miles in length, which crosses the Alps and the island, and connects Christchurch, the capital of Canterbury, with the western parts of the province. The bush between the sea and mountains is extremely lovely. The highway is “corduroyed” with trunks of the tree-fern, and, in the swamps, the sleepers have commenced to grow at each end, so that a close-set double row of young tree-ferns is rising along portions of the road. The bush is densely matted with an undergrowth of supple-jack and all kinds of creepers, but here and there one finds a grove of tree-ferns twenty feet in height, and grown so thickly as to prevent the existence of underwood and ground plants.

The peculiarity which makes the New Zealand west-coast scenery the most beautiful in the world to those who like more green than California has to show, is that here alone can you find semi-tropical vegetation growing close up to the eternal snows. The latitude and the great moisture of the climate bring the long glaciers very low into the valleys; and the absence of all true winter, coupled with the rain-fall, causes the growth of palmlike ferns upon the ice-river‘s very edge. The glaciers of Mount Cook are the longest in the world, except those at the sources of the Indus, but close about them have been found tree-ferns of thirty and forty feet in height. It is not till you enter the mountains that you escape the moisture of the coast, and quit for the scenery of the Alps the scenery of fairy-land.

Bumping and tumbling in the mail-cart through the rushing blue-gray waters of the Taramakao, I found myself within the mountains of the Snowy Range. In the Otira Gorge, also know as Arthur‘s Pass—from Arthur Dobson, brother to the surveyor murdered by the Thugs—six small glaciers were in sight at once. The Rocky Mountains opposite to Denver are loftier and not less snowy than the New Zealand Alps, but in the Rockies there are no glaciers south of about 50° N.; while in New Zealand—a winterless country—they are common at eight degrees nearer to the line. The varying amount of moisture has doubtless caused this difference.

As we journeyed through the pass, there was one grand view—and only one: the glimpse of the ravine to the eastward of Mount Rollestone, caught from the desert shore of Lake Misery—a tarn near the “divide” of waters. About its banks there grows a plant, unknown, they say, except at this lonely spot—the Rockwood lily—a bushy plant, with a round, polished, concave leaf, and a cup-shaped flower of virgin white, that seems to take its tint from the encircling snows.

In the evening, we had a view that for gloomy grandeur cannot well be matched—that from near Bealey township, where we struck the Waimakiriri Valley. The river bed is half a mile in width, the stream itself not more than ten yards across, but, like all New Zealand rivers, subjects to freshets, which fill its bed to a great depth with a surging, foaming flood. Some of the victims of the Waimakiriri are buried alongside the road. Dark evergreen bush shuts in the river bed, and is topped on the one side by dreary frozen peaks, and on the other by still gloomier mountains of bare rock.

Our road, next morning, from The Cass, where we had spent the night, lay through the eastern foot-hills and down to Canterbury Plains by way of Porter‘s Pass—a narrow track on the top of a tremendous precipice, but soon to be changed for a road cut along its face. The plains are one great sheep-run, open, almost flat, and upon which you lose all sense of size. At the mountain-foot they are covered with tall, coarse, native grass, and are dry, like the Kansas prairie; about Christchurch, the English clover and English grasses have usurped the soil, and all is fresh and green.

New Zealand is at present divided into nine semi-independent provinces, of which three are large and powerful, and the remainder comparatively small and poor. Six of the nine are true States, having each its history as an independent settlement; the remaining three are creations of the Federal government or of the crown.

These are not the only difficulties in the way of New Zealand statesmen, for the provinces themselves are far from being homogeneous units. Two of the wealthiest of all the States, which were settled as colonies with a religious tinge—Otago, Presbyterian; and Canterbury, Episcopalian—have been blessed or cursed with the presence of a vast horde of diggers, of no particular religion, and free from any reverence for things established. Canterbury Province is not only politically divided against itself, but geographically split in twain by the Snowy Range, and the diggers hold the west-coast bush, the old settlers the east-coast plain. East and west, each cries out that the other side is robbing it. The Christchurch people say that their money is being spent on Westland, and the Westland diggers cry out against the foppery and aristocratic pretense of Christchurch. A division of the province seems inevitable, unless, indeed, the “Centralists” gain the day, and bring about either a closer union of the whole of the provinces, coupled with a grant of local self-government to their subdivisions, or else the entire destruction of the provincial system.

The division into provinces was at one time necessary, from the fact that the settlements were historically distinct, and physically cut off from each other by the impenetrability of the bush and the absence of all roads; but the barriers are now surmounted, and no sufficient reason can be found for keeping up ten cabinets and ten legislatures for a population of only 200,000 souls. Such is the costliness of the provincial system and of Maori wars, that the taxation of the New Zealanders is nine times as heavy as that of their brother colonists in Canada.

It is not probable that so costly and so inefficient a system of government as that which now obtains in New Zealand can long continue to exist. It is not only dear and bad, but dangerous in addition; and during my visit to Port Chalmers, the province of Otago was loudly threatening secession. Like all other federal constitutions, that of New Zealand fails to provide a sufficiently strong central power to meet a divergence of interests between the several States. The system which failed in Greece, which failed in Germany, which failed in America, has failed here in the antipodes; and it may be said that, in these days of improved communications, wherever federation is possible, a still closer union is at least as likely to prove lasting.

New Zealand suffers, not only by the artificial division into provinces, but also by the physical division of the country into two great islands, too far apart to be ever thoroughly homogeneous, too near together to be wholly independent of each other. The difficulty has been hitherto increased by the existence in the North of a powerful and warlike native race, all but extinct in the South Island. Not only have the Southern people no native wars, but they have no native claimants from whom every acre for the settler must be bought, and they naturally decline to submit to ruinous taxation to purchase Parewanui from, or to defend Taranaki against, the Maories. Having been thwarted by the Home government in the agitation for the “separation” of the islands, the Southern people now aim at “Ultra-Provincialism,” declaring for a system under which the provinces would virtually be independent colonies, connected only by a confederation of the loosest kind.

The jealousies of the great towns, here as in Italy, have much bearing upon the political situation. Auckland is for separation, because in that event it would of necessity become the seat of the government of the North Island. In the South, Christchurch and Dunedin have similar claims; and each of them, ignoring the other, begs for separation in the hope of becoming the Southern capital. Wellington and Nelson alone are for the continuance of the federation—Wellington because it is already the capital, and Nelson because it is intriguing to supplant its neighbor. Although the difficulties of the moment mainly arise out of the war expenditure, and will terminate with the extinction of the Maori race, her geographical shape almost forbids us to hope that New Zealand will ever form a single country under a strong central government.

To obtain an adequate idea of the difficulty of his task, a new governor, on landing in New Zealand, could not do better than cross the Southern Island. On the west side of the mountains he would find a restless digger-democracy, likely to be succeeded in the future by small manufacturers, and spade-farmers growing root-crops upon small holdings of fertile loam; on the east, gentlemen sheep-farmers, holding their twenty thousand acres each; supporters by their position of the existing state of things, or of an aristocratic republic, in which men of their own caste would rule.

Christchurch—Episcopalian, dignified—the first settlement in the province, and still the capital, affects to despise Hokitika, already more wealthy and more populous. Christchurch imports English rooks to caw in the elm-trees of her cathedral close; Hokitika imports men. Christchurch has not fallen away from her traditions: every street is named from an English bishopric, and the society is that of an English country town.

Returning northward, along the coast, in the shade of the cold and gloomy mountains of the Kaikoura Range, I found at Wellington two invitations awaiting me to be present at great gatherings of the native tribes.

The next day I started for the Manawatu River and Parewanui Pah.

CHAPTER III.

POLYNESIANS.

THE name “Maori” is said to mean “native,” but the boast on the part of the Maori race contained in the title “Natives of the Soil” is one which conflicts with their traditions. These make them out to be mere interlopers—Tahitians, they themselves say—who, within historic ages, sailed down island by island in their war canoes, massacring the inhabitants, and, finally landing in New Zealand, found a numerous horde of blacks of the Australian race living in the forests of the South Island. Favored by a year of exceptional drought, they set fire to the woods, and burnt to the last man, or drove into the sea the aboriginal possessors of the soil. Some ethnologists believe that this account is in the main correct, but hold that the Maori race is Malay, and not originally Tahitian: others have tried to show that the conflict between blacks and browns was not confined to these two islands, but raged throughout the whole of Polynesia; and that it was terminated in New Zealand itself, not by the destruction of the blacks, but by the amalgamation of the opposing races.

The legends allege war as the cause for the flight to New Zealand. The accounts of some of the migrations are circumstantial in the extreme, and describe the first planting of the yams, the astonishment of the people at the new flowers and trees of the islands, and many such details of the landing. The names of the chiefs and of the canoes are given in a sort of “catalogue of ships,” and the wars of the settlers are narrated at length, with the heroic exaggeration common to the legends of all lands.

The canoe fleet reached New Zealand in the fifteenth century it is believed, and the people landed chanting a chorus-speech, which is still preserved:

“We come at last to this fair land—a resting-place;

Spirit of the Earth, to thee, we, coming from afar, present our hearts for food.”

That the Maories are Polynesians there can be no doubt: a bird with them is “manu,” a fish “ika” (the Greek ἱχθυς, become with the digamma “piscis” and “poisson;” and connected with “fisch,” and “fish”), as they are throughout the Malayan archipelago and Polynesian isles; the Maori “atua,” a god, is the “hotua” of the Friendly Islanders; the “wahrés,” or native huts, are identical in all the islands; the names of the chief deities are the same throughout Polynesia, and the practice of tattooing, the custom of carving grotesque squatting figures on tombs, canoes, and “pahs,” and that of tabooing things, places, times, and persons, prevail from Hawaii to Stewart‘s Land, though not everywhere so strictly read as in the Tonga Isles, where the very ducks are muzzled to keep them from disturbing by their quacking the sacred stillness of “tapú time.”

Polynesian traditions mostly point to the Malay peninsula as the cradle of the race, and the personal resemblance of the Maories to the Malays is very strong, except in the setting of the eyes; while the figures on the gate-posts of the New Zealand pahs have eyes more oblique than are now found among the Maori people. Strangely enough, the New Zealand “pah” is identical with the Burmese “stockade,” but the word “pah” stands both for the palisade and for the village of wahrés which it contains. The Polynesian and Malay tongues have not much in common; but that variations of language sufficiently great to leave no apparent tie spring up in a few centuries, cannot be denied by us who know for certain that “visible” and “optician” come from a common root, and can trace the steps through which “jour” is derived from “dies.”

The tradition of the Polynesians is that they came from Paradise, which they place, in the southern islands, to the north; in the northern islands, to the westward. This legend indicates a migration from Asia to the northern islands, and thence southward to New Zealand, and accounts for the non-colonization of Australia by the Polynesians. The sea between New Zealand, and Australia is too rough and wide to be traversed by canoes, and the wind-chart shows that the track of the Malays must have been eastward along the equatorial belt of calms, and then back to the southwest with the southeast trade-wind right abeam to their canoes.

The wanderings of the Polynesian race were, probably, not confined to the Pacific. Ethnology is as yet in its infancy: we know nothing of the Tudas of the Neilgherries; we ask in vain who are the Gonds; we are in doubt about the Japanese; we are lost in perplexity as to who we may be ourselves; but there is at least as much ground for the statement that the Red Indians are Malays as for the assertion that we are Saxons.

The resemblances between the Red Indians and the Pacific Islanders are innumerable. Strachey‘s account of the Indians of Virginia, written in 1612, needs but a change in the names to fit the Maories: Powhátan‘s house is that of William Thompson. Cannibalism prevailed in Brazil and along the Pacific coast of North America at the time of their discovery, and even the Indians of Chili ate many an early navigator; the aborigines of Vancouver Island are tattooed; their canoes resemble those of the Malays, and the mode of paddling is the same from New Zealand to Hudson‘s Bay—from Florida to Singapore. Jade ornaments of the shape of the Maori “Heitiki” (the charm worn about the neck) have been found by the French in Guadaloupe; the giant masonry of Central America is identical with that of Cambodia and Siam. Small-legged squatting figures, like those of the idols of China and Japan, not only surmount the gate-posts of the New Zealand pahs, but are found eastward to Honduras, westward to Burmah, to Tartary, and to Ceylon. The fiber mats, common to Polynesia and Red India, are unknown to savages elsewhere, and the feather headdresses of the Maories are almost identical with those of the Delawares or Hurons.

In the Indians of America and of Polynesia there is the same hatred of continued toil, and the same readiness to engage in violent exertion for a time. Superstition and witchcraft are common to all untaught peoples, but in the Malays and red men they take similar shapes; and the Indians of Mexico and Peru had, like all the Polynesians, a sacred language, understood only by the priests. The American altars were one with the temples of the Pacific, and were not confined to Mexico, for they form the “mounds” of Ohio and Illinois. There is great likeness between the legend of Maui, the Maori hero, and that of Hiawatha, especially in the history of how the sun was noosed, and made to move more slowly through the skies, so as to give men long days for toil. The resemblance of the Maori “runanga,” or assembly for debate, to the Indian council is extremely close, and throughout America and Polynesia a singular blending of poetry and ferocity is characteristic of the Malays.

In color, the Indians and Polynesians are not alike; but color does not seem to be, ethnologically speaking, of much account. The Hindoos of Calcutta have the same features as those of Delhi; but the former are black, the latter brown, or, if high-caste men, almost white. Exposure to sun, in a damp, hot climate, seems to blacken every race that it does not destroy. The races that it will finally destroy, tropical heat first whitens. The English planters of Mississippi and Florida are extremely dark, yet there is not a suspicion of black blood in their veins: it is the white blood of the slaves to which the Abolitionists refer in their philippics. The Jews at Bombay and Aden are of a deep brown; in Morocco they are swarthy; in England, nearly white.

Religious rites and social customs outlast both physical type and language; but even were it otherwise, there is great resemblance in build and feature between the Polynesians and many of the “Red-Indian” tribes. The aboriginal people of New York State are described by the early navigators not as tall, grave, hooked-nose men, but as copper colored, pleasant looking, and with quick, shrewd eyes; and the Mexican Indian bears more likeness to the Sandwich Islander than to the Delaware or Cherokee.

In reaching South America, there were no distances to be overcome such as to present insurmountable difficulties to the Malays. Their canoes have frequently, within the years that we have had our missionary stations in the islands, made involuntary voyages of six or seven hundred miles. A Western editor has said of Columbus that he deserves no praise for discovering America, as it is so large that he could not well have missed it; but Easter Island is so small, that the chances must have been thousands to one against its being reached by canoes sailing even from the nearest land; yet it is an ascertained fact that Easter Island was peopled by the Polynesians. Whatever drove canoes to Easter Island would have driven them from the island to Chili and Peru. The Polynesian Malays would sometimes be taken out to sea by sudden storms, by war, by hunger, by love of change. In war time, whole tribes have, within historic days, been clapped into their boats, and sent to sea by a merciful conqueror who had dined: this occurs, however, only when the market is already surfeited with human joints.

In sailing from America to New Zealand, we met strong westerly winds before we had gone half way across the seas, and, south of the trade-wind region, these blow constantly to within a short distance of the American coast, where they are lost upon the edge of the Chilian current. A canoe blown off from the southern islands, and running steadily before the wind, would be cast on the Peruvian coast near Quito.

When Columbus landed in the Atlantic islands, he was, perhaps, not mistaken in his belief that it was “The Indies” that he had found—an India peopled by the Malay race, till lately the most widely-scattered of all the nations of the world, but one which the English seem destined to supplant.

The Maories, without doubt, were originally Malays, emigrants from the winterless climate of the Malay peninsula and Polynesian archipelago; and, although the northernmost portions of New Zealand suited them not ill, the cold winters of the South Island prevented the spread of the bands they planted there. At all times it has been remarked by ethnologists and acclimatizers that it is easier by far to carry men and beasts from the poles toward the tropics than from the tropics to the colder regions. The Malays, in coming to New Zealand, unknowingly broke one of Nature‘s laws, and their descendants are paying the penalty in extinction.

CHAPTER IV.

PAREWANUI PAH.

“Here is Pétatoné.
This is the 10th of December;
The sun shines, and the birds sing;
Clear is the water in rivers and streams;
Bright is the sky, and the sun is high in the air.
This is the 10th of December;
But where is the money?
Three years has this matter in many debates been discussed,
And here at last is Pétatoné;
But where is the money?”

A BAND of Maori women, slowly chanting in a high, strained key, stood at the gate of a pah, and met with this song a few Englishmen who were driving rapidly on to their land.

Our track lay through a swamp of the New Zealand flax. Huge swordlike leaves and giant flower-stalks all but hid from view the Maori stockades. To the left was a village of low wahrés, fenced round with a double row of lofty posts, carved with rude images of gods and men, and having posterns here and there. On the right were groves of karakas, children of Tanemahuta, the New Zealand sacred trees—under their shade, on a hill, a camp and another and larger pah. In startling contrast to the dense masses of the oily leaves, there stretched a great extent of light-green sward, where there were other camps and a tall flagstaff, from which floated the white flag and the Union Jack, emblems of British sovereignty and peace.

A thousand kilted Maories dotted the green landscape with patches of brilliant tartans and scarlet cloth. Women lounged about, whiling away the time with dance and song; and from all the corners of the glade the soft cadence of the Maori cry of welcome came floating to us on the breeze, sweet as the sound of distant bells.

As we drove quickly on, we found ourselves in the midst of a thronging crowd of square-built men, brown in color, and for the most part not much darker than Spaniards, but with here and there a woolly negro in their ranks. Glancing at them as we were hurried past, we saw that the men were robust, well limbed, and tall. They greeted us pleasantly with many a cheerful, open smile, but the faces of the older people were horribly tattooed in spiral curves. The chiefs carried battle-clubs of jade and bone; the women wore strange ornaments. At the flagstaff we pulled up, and, while the preliminaries of the council were arranged, had time to discuss with Maori and with “Pakéha” (white man) the questions that had brought us thither.

The purchase of an enormous block of land—that of the Manawatu—had long been an object wished for and worked for by the Provincial Government of Wellington. The completion of the sale it was that had brought the Superintendent, Dr. Featherston, and humbler Pakéhas to Parewanui Pah. It was not only that the land was wanted by way of room for the flood of settlers, but purchase by government was, moreover, the only means whereby war between the various native claimants of the land could be prevented. The Pakéha and Maori had agreed upon a price; the question that remained for settlement was how the money should be shared. One tribe had owned the land from the earliest times; another had conquered some miles of it; a third had had one of its chiefs cooked and eaten upon the ground. In the eye of the Maori law, the last of these titles was the best: the blood of a chief overrides all mere historic claims. The two strongest human motives concurred to make war probable, for avarice and jealousy alike prevented agreement as to the division of the spoil. Each of the three tribes claiming had half a dozen allied and related nations upon the ground; every man was there who had a claim, direct or indirect, or thought he had, to any portion of the block. Individual ownership and tribal ownership conflicted. The Ngatiapa were well armed; the Ngatiraukawa had their rifles; the Wanganuis had sent for theirs. The greatest tact on the part of Dr. Featherston was needed to prevent a fight such as would have roused New Zealand from Auckland to Port Nicholson.

On a signal from the Superintendent, the heralds went round the camps and pahs to call the tribes to council. The summons was a long-drawn minor-descending-scale: a plaintiff cadence, which at a distance blends into a bell-like chord. The words mean: “Come hither! Come hither! Come! come! Maories! Come—!” and men, women, and children soon came thronging in from every side, the chiefs bearing scepters and spears of ceremony, and their women wearing round their necks the symbol of nobility, the Heitiki, or greenstone god. These images, we were told, have pedigrees, and names like those of men.

We, with the resident magistrate of Wanganui, seated ourselves beneath the flagstaff. A chief, meeting the people as they came up, stayed them with the gesture that Homer ascribes to Hector, and bade them sit in a huge circle round the spar.

No sooner were we seated on our mat than there ran slowly into the center of the ring a plumed and kilted chief, with sparkling eyes, the perfection of a savage. Halting suddenly, he raised himself upon his toes, frowned, and stood brandishing his short feathered spear. It was Hunia té Hakéké, the young chief of the Ngatiapa.

Throwing off his plaid, he commenced to speak, springing hither and thither with leopard-like freedom of gait, and sometimes leaping high into the air to emphasize a word. Fierce as were the gestures, his speech was conciliatory, and the Maori flowed from his lips—a soft Tuscan tongue. As, with a movement full of vigorous grace, he sprang back to the ranks, to take his seat, there ran round the ring a hum and buzz of popular applause.

“Governor” Hunia was followed by a young Wanganui chief, who wore hunting breeches and high boots, and a long black mantle over his European clothes. There was something odd in the shape of the cloak; and when we came to look closely at it, we found that it was the skirt of the riding-habit of his half-caste wife. The great chiefs paid so little heed to this flippant fellow, as to stand up and harangue their tribes in the middle of his speech, which came thus to an untimely end.

A funny old graybeard, Waitéré Maru Maru, next rose, and, smothering down the jocularity of his face, turned toward us for a moment the typical head of Peter, as you see it on the windows of every modern church—for a moment only, for, as he raised his hand to wave his tribal scepter, his apostolic drapery began to slip from off his shoulders, and he had to clutch at it with the energy of a topman taking-in a reef in a whole gale. His speech was full of Nestorian proverbs and wise saws, but he wandered off into a history of the Wanganui lands, by which he soon became as wearied as we ourselves were; for he stopped short, and, with a twinkle of the eye, said: “Ah! Waitéré is no longer young: he is climbing the snow-clad mountain Ruahiné; he is becoming an old man;” and down he sat.

Karanama, a small Ngatiraukawa chief with a white moustache, who looked like an old French concierge, followed Maru Maru, and, with much use of his scepter, related a dream foretelling the happy issue of the negotiations; for the little man was one of those “dreamers of dreams” against whom Moses warned the Israelites.

Karanama‘s was not the only trance and vision of which we heard in the course of these debates. The Maories believe that in their dreams the seers hear great bands of spirits singing chants: these when they wake the prophets reveal to all the people; but it is remarked that the vision is generally to the advantage of the seer‘s tribe.

Karanama‘s speech was answered by the head chief of the Rangitané Maories, Té Peeti Té Awé Awé, who, throwing off his upper clothing as he warmed to his subject, and strutting pompously round and round the ring, challenged Karanama to immediate battle, or his tribe to general encounter; but he cooled down as he went on, and in his last sentence showed us that Maori oratory, however ornate usually, can be made extremely terse. “It is hot,” he said—“it is hot, and the very birds are loath to sing. We have talked for a week, and are therefore dry. Let us take our share—£10,000, or whatever we can get, and then we shall be dry no more.”

The Maori custom of walking about, dancing, leaping, undressing, running, and brandishing spears during the delivery of a speech is convenient for all parties: to the speaker, because it gives him time to think of what he shall say next; to the listener, because it allows him to weigh the speaker‘s words; to the European hearer, because it permits the interpreter to keep pace with the orator without an effort. On this occasion, the resident magistrate of Wanganui, Mr. Buller, a Maori scholar of eminence, and the attached friend of some of the chiefs, interpreted for Dr. Featherston; and we were allowed to lean over him in such a way as to hear every word that passed. That the able Superintendent of Wellington—the great protector of the Maories, the man to whom they look as to Queen Victoria‘s second in command, should be wholly dependent upon interpreters, however skilled, seems almost too singular to be believed; but it is possible that Dr. Featherston may find in pretended want of knowledge much advantage to the government. He is able to collect his thoughts before he replies to a difficult question; he can allow an epithet to escape his notice in the filter of translation; he can listen and speak with greater dignity.

The day was wearing on before Té Peeti‘s speech was done, and, as the Maories say, our waistbands began to slip down low; so all now went to lunch, both Maori and Pakéha, they sitting in circles, each with his bowl, or flax-blade dish, and wooden spoon, we having a table and a chair or two in the Mission-house; but we were so tempted by Hori Kingi‘s whitebait that we begged some of him as we passed. The Maories boil the little fish in milk, and flavor them with leeks. Great fish, meat, vegetables, almost all they eat, in short, save whitebait, is “steamed” in the underground native oven. A hole is dug, and filled with wood, and stones are piled upon the wood, a small opening being left for draught. While the wood is burning, the stones become red-hot, and fall through into the hole. They are then covered with damp fern, or else with wet mats of flax, plaited at the moment; the meat is put in, and covered with more mats; the whole is sprinkled with water, and then earth is heaped on till the vapor ceases to escape. The joint takes about an hour, and is delicious. Fish is wrapped in a kind of dock-leaf, and so steamed.

While the men‘s eating was thus going on, many of the women stood idly round, and we were enabled to judge of Maori beauty. A profusion of long, crisp curls, a short black pipe thrust between stained lips, a pair of black eyes gleaming from a tattooed face, denote the Maori belle, who wears for her only robe a long bedgown of dirty calico, but whose ears and neck are tricked out with greenstone ornaments, the signs of birth and wealth. Here and there you find a girl with long, smooth tresses, and almond-shaped black eyes: these charms often go along with prominent, thin features, and suggest at once the Jewess and the gipsy girl. The women smoke continually; the men, not much.

When at four o‘clock we returned to the flagstaff, we found that the temperature, which during the morning had been too hot, had become that of a fine English June—the air light, the trees and grass lit by a gleaming yellow sunshine that reminded me of the Californian haze.

During luncheon we had heard that Dr. Featherston‘s proposals as to the division of the purchase-money had been accepted by the Ngatiapa, but not by Hunia himself, whose vanity would brook no scheme not of his own conception. We were no sooner returned to the ring than he burst in upon us with a defiant speech. “Unjust,” he declared, “as was the proposition of great ‘Pétatoné’ (Featherston), he would have accepted it for the sake of peace had he been allowed to divide the tribal share; but as the Wanganuis insisted on having a third of his £15,000, and as Pétatoné seemed to support them in their claim, he should have nothing more to do with the sale.” “The Wangenuis claim as our relatives,” he said: “verily, the pumpkin-shoots spread far.”

Karanama, the seer, stood up to answer Hunia, and began his speech in a tone of ridicule. “Hunia is like the ti-tree: if you cut him down he sprouts again.” Hunia sat quietly through a good deal of this kind of wit, till at last some epithet provoked him to interrupt the speaker. “What a fine fellow you are, Karanama; you‘ll tell us soon that you‘ve two pair of legs.” “Sit down!” shrieked Karanama, and a word-war ensued, but the abuse was too full of native raciness and vigor to be fit for English ears. The chiefs kept dancing round the ring, threatening each other with their spears. “Why do you not hurl at me, Karanama?” said Hunia; “it is easier to parry spears than lies.” At last Hunia sat down.

Karanama, feinting and making at him with his spear, reproached Hunia with a serious flaw in his pedigree—a blot which is said to account for Hunia‘s hatred to the Ngatiraukawa, to whom his mother was for years a slave. Hunia, without rising from the ground, shrieked “Liar!” Karanama again spoke the obnoxious word. Springing from the ground, Hunia snatched his spear from where it stood, and ran at his enemy as though to strike him. Karanama stood stock-still. Coming up to him at a charge, Hunia suddenly stopped, raised himself on tiptoe, shaking his spear, and flung out some contemptuous epithet; then turned, and stalked slowly, with a springing gait, back to his own corner of the ring. There he stood, haranguing his people in a bitter undertone. Karanama did the like with his. The interpreters could not keep pace with what was said. We understood that the chiefs were calling each upon his tribe to support him, if need were, in war. After a few minutes of this pause they wheeled round, as though by a common impulse, and again began to pour out torrents of abuse. The applause became frequent, hums quickened into shouts, cheer followed cheer, till at last the ring was alive with men and women springing from the ground, and crying out on the opposing leader for a dastard.

We had previously been told to have no fear that resort would be had to blows. The Maories never fight upon a sudden quarrel: war is with them a solemn act, entered upon only after much deliberation. Those of us who were strangers to New Zealand were nevertheless not without our doubts, while for half an hour we lay upon the grass watching the armed champions running round the ring, challenging each other to mortal combat on the spot.

The chieftains at last became exhausted, and the Mission-bell beginning to toll for evening chapel, Hunia broke off in the middle of his abuse: “Ah! I hear the bell!” and, turning, stalked out of the ring toward his pah, leaving it to be inferred, by those who did not know him, that he was going to attend the service. The meeting broke up in confusion, and the Upper Wanganui tribes at once began their march toward the mountains, leaving behind them only a delegation of their chiefs.

As we drove down to the coast, we talked over the close resemblance of the Maori runanga to the Homeric council; it had struck us all. Here, as in the Greek camp, we had the ring of people, into which advanced the lance-bearing or scepter-bearing chiefs, they alone speaking, and the people backing them only by a hum: “The block of wood dictates not to the carver, neither the people to their chiefs,” is a Maori proverb. The boasting of ancestry, and bragging of deeds and military exploits, to which modern wind-bags would only casually allude, was also thoroughly Homeric. In Hunia we had our Achilles; the retreat of Hunia to his wahré was that of Achilles to his tent; the cause of quarrel alone was different, though in both cases it arose out of the division of spoil, in the one case the result of lucky wars, in the other of the Pakéha‘s weakness. The Argive and Maori leaders are one in fire, figure, port, and mien; alike, too, even in their sulkiness. In Waitéré and Aperahama Tipai we had two Nestors; our Thersites was Porea, the jester, a half-mad buffoon, continually mimicking the chiefs or interrupting them, and being by them or their messengers as often kicked and cuffed. In the frequency of repetition, the use of proverbs and of simile, the Maories resemble not Homer‘s Greeks so much as Homer‘s self; but the calling together of the people by the heralds, the secret conclave of the chiefs, the feast, the conduct of the assembly—all were the exact repetition of the events recorded in the first and second books of the “Iliad” as having happened on the Trojan plains. The single point of difference was not in favor of the Greeks; the Maori women took their place in council with the men.

As we drove home, a storm came on, and hung about the coast so long, that it was not till near eleven at night that we were able to take our swim in the heated waters of the Manawatu River, and frighten off every duck and heron in the district.

In the morning, we rose to alarming news. Upon the pretext of the presence in the neighborhood of the Hau-Hau chief Wi Hapi, with a war party of 200 men, the unarmed Parewanui natives had sent to Wanganui for their guns, and it was only by a conciliatory speech at the midnight runanga that Mr. Buller had succeeded in preventing a complete break-up of all the camps, if not an intertribal war. There seemed to be white men behind the scenes who were not friendly to the sale, and the debate had lasted from dark till dawn.

While we were at breakfast, a Ngatiapa officer of the native contingent brought down a letter to Dr. Featherston from Hunia and Hori Kingi, calling us to a general meeting of the tribes convened for noon, to be held in the Ngatiapa Pah. The letter was addressed, “Kia té Pétatoné té Huperinténé”—“To the Featherston, the Superintendent”—the alterations in the chief words being made to bring them within the grasp of Maori tongues, which cannot sound f‘s, th‘s, nor sibilants of any kind. The absence of harsh sounds, and the rule which makes every word end with a vowel, give a peculiar softness and charm to the Maori language. Sugar becomes huka; scissors, hikiri; sheep, hipi; and so with all English words adopted into Maori. The rendering of the Hebrew names of the Old Testament is often singular: Genesis becomes Kenehi; Exodus is altered into Ekoruhe; Leviticus is hardly recognizable in Rewitikuha; Tiuteronomi reads strangely for Deuteronomy, and Hohua for Joshua; Jacob, Isaac, Moses, become Hakopa, Ihaka, and Mohi; Egypt is softened into Ihipa, Jordan into Horámo. The list of the nations of Canaan seems to have been a stumbling-block in the missionaries’ way. The success obtained with Girgashites has not been great; it stands Kirekahi; Gaash is transmuted into Kaaha, and Eleazar into Ereatara.

When we drove on to the ground all was at a deadlock—the flagstaff bare, the chiefs sleeping in their wahrés, and the common folk whiling away the hours with haka songs. Dr. Featherston retired from the ground, declaring that till the Queen‘s flag was hoisted he would attend no debate; but he permitted us to wander in among the Maories.

We were introduced to Tamiana té Rauparaha, chief of the Ngatitoa branch of the Ngatiraukawa, and son of the great cannibal chief of the same name, who murdered Captain Wakefield. Old Rauparaha it was who hired an English ship to carry him and his nation to the South Island, where they ate several tribes, boiling the chiefs, by the captain‘s consent, in the ship‘s coppers, and salting down for future use the common people. When the captain, on return to port, claimed his price, Rauparaha told him to go about his business, or he should be salted too. The captain took the hint, but he did not escape for long, as he was finally eaten by the Sandwich Islanders in Hawaii.

In answer to our request for a dance-song, Tamiana and Horomona Torémi replied, through an interpreter, that “the hands of the singers should beat time as fast as the pinions of the wild duck;” and in a minute we were in the middle of an animated crowd of boys and women collected by Porea, the buffoon.

As soon as the singers had squatted upon the grass, the jester began to run slowly up and down between their ranks as they sat swinging backward and forward in regular time, groaning in chorus, and looking upward with distorted faces.

In a second dance, a girl standing out upon the grass chanted the air—a kind of capstan song—and then the “dancers,” who were seated in one long row, joined in chorus, breathing violently in perfect time, half forming words, but not notes, swinging from side to side like the howling dervishes, and using frightful gestures. This strange whisper-roaring went on increasing in rapidity and fierceness, till at last the singers worked themselves into a frenzy, in which they rolled their eyes, stiffened the arms and legs, clutched and clawed with the fingers, and snorted like maddened horses. Stripping off their clothes, they looked more like the Maories of thirty years ago than those who see them only at the mission-stations would believe. Other song-dances, in which the singers stood striking their heels at measured intervals upon the earth, were taken up with equal vigor by the boys and women, the grown men in their dignity keeping themselves aloof, although in his heart every Maori loves mimetic dance and song. We remarked that in the “haka” the old women seemed more in earnest than the young, who were always bursting into laughter, and forgetting words and time.

The savage love for semitones makes Maori music somewhat wearisome to the English ear; so after a time we began to walk through the pahs and sketch the Maories, to their great delight. I was drawing the grand old head of a venerable dame—Oriuhia té Aka—when she asked to see what I was about. As soon as I showed her the sketch, she began to call me names, and from her gestures I saw that the insult was in the omission of the tattooing on her chin. When I inserted the stripes and curves, her delight was such that I greatly feared she would have embraced me.

Strolling into the karaka groves, we came upon a Maori wooden tomb, of which the front was carved with figures three feet high, grotesque and obscene. Gigantic eyes, hands bearing clubs, limbs without bodies, and bodies without limbs, were figured here and there among more perfect carvings, and the whole was of a character which the Maories of to-day disown as they do cannibalism, wishing to have these horrid things forgotten. The sudden rise of the Hau-Hau fanaticism within the last few years has shown us that the layer of civilization by which the old Maori habits are overlaid is thin indeed.

The flags remained down all day, and in the afternoon we returned to the coast to shoot duck and pukéko, a sort of moor-hen. It was not easy work, for the birds fell in the flax swamp, and the giant swordlike leaves of the Phormium tenax cut our hands as we pushed our way through its dense clumps and bushes, while some of the party suffered badly from the sun: Maui, the Maories say, must have chained him up too near the earth. After dark, we could see the glare of the fires in the karaka groves, where the Maories were in council, and a government surveyor came in to report that he had met the dissentient Wanganuis riding fast toward the hills.

In the morning, we were allowed to stay upon the coast till ten or eleven o‘clock, when a messenger came down from Mr. Buller to call us to the pah: the council of the chiefs had again sat all night—for the Maories act upon their proverb that the eyes of great chiefs should know no rest—and Hunia had carried everything before him in the debate.

As soon as the ring was formed, Hunia apologized for the pulling down of the Queen‘s flag; it had been done, he said, as a sign that the sale was broken off, not as an act of disrespect. Having, in short, had things entirely his own way, he was disposed to be extremely friendly both to whites and Maories. The sale, he said, must be brought about, or the “world would be on fire with an intertribal war. What is the good of the mountain-land? There is nothing to eat but stones; granite is a hard but not a strengthening food; and women and land are the ruin of men.”

After congratulatory speeches from other chiefs, some of the older men treated us to histories of the deeds that had been wrought upon the block of land. Some of their speeches—notably those of Aperahama and Ihakara—were largely built up of legendary poems; but the orators quoted the poetry as such only when in doubt how far the sentiments were those of the assembled people: when they were backed by the hum which denotes applause, they at one commenced with singular art to weave the poetry into that which was their own.

As soon as the speeches were over, Hunia and Ihakara marched up to the flagstaff carrying between them the deed-of-sale. Putting it down before Dr. Featherston, they shook hands with each other and with him, and swore that for the future there should be eternal friendship between their tribes. The deed was then signed by many hundred men and women, and Dr. Featherston started with Captain té Képa, of the native contingent, to fetch the £25,000 from Wanganui town, the Maories firing their rifles into the air as a salute.

The Superintendent was no sooner gone than a kind of solemn grief seemed to come over the assembled people. After all, they were selling the graves of their ancestors, they argued. The wife of Hamuéra, seizing her husband‘s greenstone club, ran out from the ranks of the women, and began to intone an impromptu song, which was echoed by the women, in a pathetic chorus-chant:

“The sun shines, but we quit our land: we abandon forever its forests,
its mountains, its groves, its lakes, its shores.
All its fair fisheries, here, under the bright sun, forever we renounce.
It is a lovely day; fair will be the children that are born to-day; but
we quit our land.
In some parts there is forest; in others, the ground is skimmed over
by the birds in their flight.
Upon the trees there is fruit; in the streams, fish; in the fields,
potatoes; fern-roots in the bush; but we quit our land.”

It is in chorus-speeches of this kind that David‘s psalms must have been recited by the Jews; but on this occasion there was a good deal of mere acting in the grief, for the tribes had never occupied the land that they now sold.

The next day, Dr. Featherston drove into camp surrounded by a brilliant cavalcade of Maori cavalry, amid much yelling and firing of pieces skyward. Hunia, in receiving him, declared that he would not have the money paid till the morrow, as the sun must shine upon the transfer of the lands. It would take his people all the night, he said, to work themselves up to the right pitch for a war-dance; so he sent down a strong guard to watch the money-chests, which had been conveyed to the missionary hut. The Ngatiapa sentry posted inside the room was an odd cross between savagery and civilization; he wore the cap of the native contingent; and nothing else but a red kilt. He was armed with a short Wilkinson rifle, for which he had, however, not a round of ammunition, his cartridges being Enfield and his piece unloaded. Barbarian or not, he seemed to like raw gin, with which some Englishman had unlawfully and unfairly tempted him.

In the morning, the money was handed over in the runanga-house, and a signet-ring presented to Hunia by Dr. Featherston in pledge of peace, and memory of the sale; but owing to the heat, we soon adjourned to the karaka grove, where Hunia made a congratulatory and somewhat boastful speech, offering his friendship and alliance to Dr. Featherston.

The assembly was soon dismissed, and the chiefs withdrew to prepare for the grandest war-dance that had been seen for years, while a party went off to catch and kill the oxen that were to be “steamed” whole, just as our friends’ fathers would have steamed us.

A chief was detached by Hunia to guide us to a hill whence we commanded the whole glade. No sooner had we taken our seats than the Ngatiraukawa to the number of a hundred fighting-men, armed with spears and led by a dozen women bearing clubs, marched out from their camp, and formed in column, their chiefs making speeches of exhortation from the ranks. After a pause, we heard the measured groaning of a distant haka, and looking up the glade, at the distance of a mile saw some twoscore Wanganui warriors jumping in perfect time, now to one side, now to the other, grasping their rifles by the barrel, and raising them as one man each time they jumped. Presently, bending one knee, but stiffening the other leg, they advanced, stepping together with a hopping movement, slapping their hips and thighs, and shouting from the palate, “Hough! Hough!” with fearful emphasis.

A shout from the Ngatiraukawa hailed the approach of the Ngatiapa, who deployed from the woods some two hundred strong, all armed with Enfield rifles. They united with the Wanganuis, and marched slowly down with their rifles at the “charge,” steadily singing war-songs. When within a hundred yards of the opposing ranks, they halted, and sent in their challenge. The Ngatiraukawa and Ngatiapa heralds passed each other in silence, and each delivered his message to the hostile chief.

We could see that the allies were led by Hunia in all the bravery of his war-costume. In his hair he wore a heron plume, and another was fastened near the muzzle of his short carbine; his limbs were bare, but about his shoulders he had a pure white scarf of satin. His kilt was gauze-silk, of three colors—pink, emerald, and cherry—arranged in such a way as to show as much of the green as of the two other colors. The contrast, which upon a white skin would have been glaring in its ugliness, was perfect when backed by the nut-brown of Hunia‘s chest and legs. As he ran before his tribe, he was the ideal savage.

The instant that the heralds had returned, a charge took place, the forces passing through each other‘s ranks as they do upon the stage, but with frightful yells. After this they formed two deep, in three companies, and danced the “musket-exercise war-dance” in wonderful time, the women leading, thrusting out their tongues, and shaking their long pendant breasts. Among them was Hamuéra‘s wife, standing drawn up to her full height, her limbs stiffened, her head thrown back, her mouth wide open and tongue protruding, her eyes rolled so as to show the white, and her arms stretched out in front of her, as she slowly chanted. The illusion was perfect: she became for the time a mad prophetess; yet all the frenzy was assumed at a whim, to be cast aside in half an hour. The shouts were of the same under-breath kind as in the haka, but they were aided by the sounds of horns and conch-shells, and from the number of men engaged the noise was this time terrible. After much fierce singing the musket-dance was repeated, with furious leaps and gestures, till the men became utterly exhausted, when the review was closed by a general discharge of rifles. Running with nimble feet, the dancers were soon back within their pahs, and the feast, beginning now, was, like a Russian banquet, prolonged till morning.

It is not hard to understand the conduct of Lord Durham‘s settlers, who landed here in 1837. The friendly natives received the party with a war-dance, which had upon them such an effect that they immediately took ship for Australia, where they remained.

The next day, when we called on Governor Hunia at his wahré to bid him farewell, before our departure for the capital, he made two speeches to us, which are worth recording as specimens of Maori oratory. Speaking through Mr. Buller, who had been kind enough to escort us to the Ngatiapa‘s wahré, Hunia said:

“Hail, guests! You have just now seen the settlement of a great dispute—the greatest of modern time.

“This was a weighty trouble—a grave difficulty.

“Many Pakéhas have tried to settle it—in vain. For Pétatoné was it reserved to end it. I have said that great is our gratitude to Pétatoné.

“If Pétatoné hath need of me in the future, I shall be there. If he climbs the lofty tree, I will climb it with him. If he scales high cliffs, I will scale them too. If Pétatoné needeth help, he shall have it; and where he leads, there will I follow.

“Such are the words of Hunia.”

To this speech one of us replied, explaining our position as guests from Britain.

Hunia then began again to speak:

“O my guests, a few days since when asked for a war-dance, I refused. I refused because my people were sad at heart.

“We were loath to refuse our guests, but the tribes were grieved; the peeple were sorrowful at heart.

“To-day we are happy, and the war-dance has taken place.

“O my guests, when ye return to our great Queen, tell her that we will fight for her again as we have fought before.

“She is our Queen as well as your Queen—Queen of Maories and Queen of Pakéha.

“Should wars arise, we will take up our rifles, and march whithersoever she shall direct.

“You have heard of the King movement. I was a Kingite; but that did not prevent me fighting for the Queen—I and my chiefs.

“My cousin, Wirému, went to England, and saw our Queen. He returned....

“When you landed in this island, he was already dead....

“He died fighting for our Queen.

“As he died, we will die, if need be—I and all my chiefs. This do you tell our Queen.

“I have said.”

This passage, spoken as Hunia spoke it, was one of noble eloquence and singular rhetoric art. The few first words about Wirému were spoken in a half indifferent way; but there was a long pause before and after the statement that he was dead, and a sinking of the voice when he related how Wirému had died, followed by a burst of sudden fire in the “As he died, we will die—I and all my chiefs.”

After a minute or two, Hunia resumed:

“This is another word.

“We are all of us glad to see you.

“When we wrote to Pétatoné, we asked him that he would bring with him Pakéhas from England and from Australia—Pakéhas from all parts of the Queen‘s broad lands.

“Pakéhas who should return to tell the Queen that the Ngatiapa are her liegemen.

“We are much rejoiced that you are here. May your heart rest here among us; but if you go once more to your English home, tell the people that we are Pétatoné‘s faithful subjects and the Queen‘s.

“I have said.”

After pledging Hunia in a cup of wine, we returned to our temporary home.

CHAPTER V.

THE MAORIES.

PARTING with my companions (who were going northward) in order that I might return to Wellington, and thence take ship to Taranaki, I started at daybreak on a lovely morning to walk by the sea-shore to Otaki. As I left the bank of the Manawatu River for the sands, Mount Egmont near Taranaki, and Mounts Ruapéhu and Tongariro, in the center of the island, hung their great snow domes in the soft blue of the sky behind me, and seemed to have parted from their bases.

I soon passed through the flax-swamp where we for days had shot the pukéko, and coming out upon the wet sands, which here are glittering and full of the Taranaki steel, I took off boots and socks, and trudged the whole distance barefoot, regardless of the morrow. It was hard to walk without crunching with the heel shells which would be thought rare at home, and here and there charming little tern and other tiny sea-fowl flew at me, and all but pecked my eyes out for coming near their nests.

During the day, I forded two large rivers and small streams innumerable, and swam the Ohau, where Dr. Featherston last week lost his dog-cart in the quick-sands, but I managed to reach Otaki before sunset, in time to revel in a typical New Zealand view. The foreground was composed of ancient sand-hills, covered with the native flax, with the deliciously-scented Manuka ti-tree, brilliant in white flower, and with giant fern, tuft-grass, and tussac. Farther inland was the bush, evergreen, bunchlike in its foliage, and so overladen with parasitic vegetation, that the true leaves were hidden by usurpers, or crushed to death in the folds of snakelike creepers. The view was bounded by bush-clad mountains, rosy with the sunset tints.

Otaki is Archdeacon Hadfield‘s church-settlement of Christian Maories; but of late there have been signs of wavering in the tribes, and I found Major Edwardes, who had been with us at Parewanui, engaged in holding, for the government, a runanga of Hau-Haus, or Antichristian Maories, in the Otaki Pah. Some of these fellows had lately held a meeting, and had themselves rebaptized, but this time out of instead of into the church. They received fresh names, and are said to have politely invited the archdeacon to perform the ceremony.

Maori Church of Englandism has proved a failure. A dozen native clergymen are, it is true, supported in comfort by their countrymen, but the tribes would support a hundred such, if necessary, rather than give up the fertile “reservations,” such as that of Otaki, which their pretended Christianity has secured. There is much in the Maori that is tiger-like, and it is in the blood, not to be drawn out of it by a few years of playing at Christianity.

The labors of the missionaries have been great, their earnestness and devotion unsurpassed. Up to the day of the outbreak of Hau-Hauism, their influence with the natives was thought to be enormous. The entire Maori race had been baptized, thousands of natives had attended the schools, hundreds had become communicants and catechists. In a day the number of native Christians was reduced from thirty thousand to some hundreds. Right and left the tribes flocked to the bush, deserting mission stations, villages, herds, and fields. Those few who dared not go were there in spirit; all sympathized, if not with the Hau-Hau movement, at least with Kingism. The archdeacon and his brethren of the holy calling were at their wits’ ends. Not only did Christianity disappear: civilization itself accompanied religion in her flight, and habits of bloodshed and barbarity, unknown since the nominal renunciation of idolatry, in a day returned. The fall was terrible, but it went to show that the apparent success had been fictitious. The natives had built mills and owned ships; they had learnt husbandry and cattle-breeding; they had invested money, and put acre to acre, and house to house; but their moral could hardly have kept pace with their material, or even with their mental gains.

A magistrate, who knows the Maories well, told me that their Christianity is only on the surface. He one day asked Maténé té Whiwhi, a Ngatiraukawa chief, “Which would you soonest eat, Maténé—pork, beef, or Ngatiapa?” Maténé answered, with a turn up of his eyes, “Ah! I‘m a Christian!” “Never mind that to me, you know,” said the Englishman. “The flesh of the Ngatiapa is sweet,” said Maténé, with a smack of the lips that was distinctly audible. The settlers tell you that when the Maories go to war, they use up their Bibles for gun-wadding, and then come on the missionaries for a fresh supply.

The Polynesians, when Christianity is first presented to them, embrace it with excitement and enthusiasm; the “new religion” spreads like wildfire; the success of the teachers is amazing. A few years, however, show a terrible change. The natives find that all white men are not missionaries; that if one set of Englishmen deplore their licentiousness, there are others to back them in it; that Christianity requires self-restraint. As soon as the first flare of the new religion is over it commences to decline, and in some cases it expires. The story of Christianity in Hawaii, in Otaheite, and in New Zealand, has been much the same: among the Tahitians it was crushed by the relapse of the converts into extreme licentiousness; among the Maories it was put down by the sudden rise of the Hau-Hau fanaticism. A return to a better state of things has in each case followed, but the missionaries work now in a depressed and saddened way, which contrasts sternly with the exultation that inspired them before the fresh outbreak of the demon which they believed they had exorcised. They reluctantly admit that the Polynesians are fickle as well as gross; not only licentious, but untrustworthy. There is, they will tell you, no country where it is so easy to plant or so hard to maintain Christianity.

The Maori religion is that of all the Polynesians—a vague polytheism, which in their poems seems now and then to approach to pantheism. The forest glades, the mountain rocks, the stormy shores, all swarm with fairy singers, and with throngs of gnomes and elves. The happy laughing islanders have a heaven, but no hell in their mythology; of “sin” they have no conception. Hau-Hauism is not a Polynesian creed, but a political and religious system based upon the earlier books of the Old Testament; even the cannibalism which was added was not of the Maori kind. The Indians of Chili ate human flesh for pleasure and variety; those of Virginia were cannibals only on state occasions, or in religious ceremonials; but the Maories seem originally to have been driven to man-eating by sheer want of food. Since Cook left pigs upon the islands, the excuse has been wanting, and the practice has consequently ceased. As revived by the Hau-Haus, the man-eating was of a ceremonial nature, and, like the whole of the observances of the Hau-Hau fanaticism, an inroad upon ancient Maori customs.

There is one great difference which severs the Maories from the other Polynesians. In New Zealand caste is unknown; every Maori is a gentleman or a slave. Chiefs are elected by the popular voice, not, indeed, by a show of hands, but by a sort of general agreement of the tribe; but the chief is a political, not a social superior. In the windy climate of New Zealand men can push themselves to the front too surely by their energy and toil, to remain socially in an inferior class. Caste is impossible where the climate necessitates activity and work. The Maories, too, we should remember, are an immigrant race; probably no high-caste men came with them—all started from equal rank.

Like the Tongans, the Maories pay great reverence to their well-born women; slave women are of no account. The Friendly Islanders exclude both man and woman slave from the Future Life; but the Maori Rangatira not only admits his followers to heaven, but his wife to council. A Maori chief is as obedient to the warlike biddings, and as grateful for the praising glance or smile of his betrothed, as a planter-cavalier of Carolina, or a Cretan volunteer; and even the ladies of New Orleans cannot have gone further than the wives of Hunia and Ihakara in spurring on the men to war. The Maori Andromaches outdo their European sisters, for they themselves proceed to battle, and animate their Hectors by songs and shouts. Even the scepter of tribal rule—the greenstone meri, or royal club—is often intrusted to them by their warrior husbands, and used to lead the war-dance or the charge.

The delicacy of treatment shown by the Maories toward their women may go far to account for the absence of contempt for the native race among the English population. An Englishman‘s respect for the sex is terribly shocked when he sees a woman staggering under the weight of the wigwam and the children of a “brave,” who stalks behind her through the streets of Austin, carrying his rifles and his pistols, but not another ounce, unless in the shape of a thong with which to hasten the squaw‘s steps. What wonder if the men who sit by smoking while their wives totter under basketsful of mould on the boulevard works at Delhi are called lazy scoundrels by the press of the Northwest, or if the Shoshonés, who eat the bread of idleness themselves, and hire out their wives to the Pacific Railroad Company, are looked upon as worse than dogs in Nevada, where the thing is done? It is the New Zealand native‘s treatment of his wife that makes it possible for an honest Englishman to respect or love an honest Maori.

In general, the newspaper editors and idle talkers of the frontier districts of a colony in savage lands speak with mingled ridicule and contempt of the men with whom they daily struggle; at best, they see in them no virtue but ferocious bravery. The Kansas and Colorado papers call Indians “fiends,” “devils,” or dismiss them laughingly in peaceful times as “bucks,” whose lives are worth, perhaps, a buffalo‘s, but who are worthy of notice only as potential murderers or thieves. Such, too, is the tone of the Australian press concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of Queensland or Tasmania. Far otherwise do the New Zealand papers speak of the Maori warriors. They may sometimes call them grasping, overreaching traders, or underrate their capability of receiving civilization of a European kind, but never do they affect to think them less than men, or to advocate the employment toward them of measures which would be repressed as infamous if applied to brutes. We should, I think, see in this peculiarity of conduct, not evidence of the existence in New Zealand of a spirit more catholic and tolerant toward savage neighbors than that which the English race displays in Australia or America, but rather a tribute to the superiority in virtue, intelligence, and nobility of mind possessed by the Maori over the Red Indian or the Australian Black.

It is not only in their treatment of their women that the Maories show their chivalry. One of the most noble traits of this great people is their habit of “proclaiming” the districts in which lies the cause of war as the sole fighting-ground, and never touching their enemies, however defenseless, when found elsewhere. European nations might take a lesson from New Zealand Maories in this and other points.

The Maories are apt at learning, merry, and, unlike other Polynesians, trustworthy, but also, unlike them, mercenary. At the time of the Manawatu sale, old Aperahama used to write to Dr. Featherston almost every day: “O Pétatoné, let the price of the block be £9,999,999 19s. 9d.,” the mysteries of eleven pence three farthings being far beyond his comprehension. The Maories have, too, a royal magnificence in their ideas of gifts and grants—witness té Héké‘s bid of 100,000 acres of land for Governor Fitzroy‘s head, in answer to the offer, by the governor, of a small price for his.

The praises of the Maories have been sung by so many writers, and in so many keys, that it is necessary to keep it distinctly before us that they are mere savages, though brave, shrewd men. There is an Eastern civilization—that of China and Hindostan—distinct from that of Europe, and ancient beyond all count; in this the Maories have no share. No true Hindoo, no Arab, no Chinaman, has suffered change in one tittle of his dress or manners from contact with the Western races; of this essential conservatism there is in the New Zealand savage not a trace. William Thompson, the Maori “king-maker,” used to dress as any Englishman; Maories on board our ships wear the uniform of the able-bodied seamen; Governor Hunia has ridden as a gentleman-rider in a steeple-chase, equipped in jockey dress.

Savages though they be, in irregular warfare we are not their match. At the end of 1865, we had of regulars and militia seventeen thousand men under arms in the North Island of New Zealand, including no less than twelve regiments of the line at their “war strength,” and yet our generals were despondent as to their chance of finally defeating the warriors of a people which—men, women, and children—numbered but thirty thousand souls.

Men have sought far and wide for the reasons which led to our defeats in the New Zealand wars. We were defeated by the Maories, as the Austrians by the Prussians, and the French by the English in old times—because the victors were the better men. Not the braver men, when both sides were brave alike; not the stronger; not, perhaps, taking the average of our officers and men, the more intelligent; but capable of quicker movement, able to subsist on less, more crafty, more skilled in the thousand tactics of the bush. Aided by their women, who, when need was, themselves would lead the charge, and who at all times dug their fern-root and caught their fish; marching where our regiments could not follow, they had, as have the Indians in America, the choice of time and place for their attacks, and while we were crawling about our military roads upon the coast, incapable of traversing a mile of bush, the Maories moved securely and secretly from one end to the other of the island. Arms they had, ammunition they could steal, and blockade was useless with enemies who live on fern-root. When they found that we burnt their pahs, they ceased to build them; that was all. When we brought up howitzers, they went where no howitzers could follow. It should not be hard even for our pride to allow that such enemies were, man for man, in their own lands our betters.

All nations fond of horses, it has been said, flourish and succeed. The Maories love horses and ride well. All races that delight in sea are equally certain to prosper, empirical philosophers will tell us. The Maories own ships by the score, and serve as sailors whenever they get a chance: as deep-sea fishermen they have no equals. Their fondness for draughts shows mathematical capacity; in truthfulness they possess the first of virtues. They are shrewd, thrifty; devoted friends, brave men. With all this, they die.

“Can you stay the surf which beats on Wanganui shore?” say the Maories of our progress; and, of themselves: “We are gone—like the moa.”

CHAPTER VI.

THE TWO FLIES.

“As the Pakéha fly has driven out the Maori fly;
As the Pakéha grass has killed the Maori grass;
As the Pakéha rat has slain the Maori rat;
As the Pakéha clover has starved the Maori fern,
So will the Pakéha destroy the Maori.”

THESE are the mournful words of a well-known Maori song.

That the English daisy, the white clover, the common thistle, the chamomile, the oat, should make their way rapidly in New Zealand, and put down the native plants, is in no way strange. If the Maori grasses that have till lately held undisturbed possession of the New Zealand soil, require for their nourishment the substances A, B, and C, while the English clover needs A, B, and D; from the nature of things A and B will be the coarser earths or salts, existing in larger quantities, not easily losing vigor and nourishing force, and recruiting their energies from the decay of the very plant that feeds on them; but C and D will be the more ethereal, the more easily destroyed or wasted substances. The Maori grass, having sucked nearly the whole of C from the soil, is in a weakly state, when in comes the English plant, and, finding an abundant store of untouched D, thrives accordingly, and crushes down the Maori.

The positions of flies and grasses, of plants and insects, are, however, not the same. Adapted by nature to the infinite variety of soils and climates, there are an infinite number of different plants and animals; but whereas the plant depends upon both soil and climate, the animal depends chiefly upon climate, and little upon soil—except so far as his home or his food themselves depend on soil. Now, while soil wears out, climate does not. The climate in the long run remains the same, but certain apparently trifling constituents of the soil will wholly disappear. The result of this is, that while pigs may continue to thrive in New Zealand forever and a day, Dutch clover (without manure) will only last a given and calculable time.

The case of the flies is plain enough. The Maori and the English fly live on the same food, and require about the same amount of warmth and moisture: the one which is best fitted to the common conditions will gain the day, and drive out the other. The English fly has had to contend not only against other English flies, but against every fly of temperate climates: we having traded with every land, and brought the flies of every clime to England. The English fly is the best possible fly of the whole world, and will naturally beat down and exterminate, or else starve out, the merely provincial Maori fly. If a great singer—to find whom for the London stage the world has been ransacked—should be led by the foible of the moment to sing for gain in an unknown village, where on the same night a rustic tenor was attempting to sing his best, the London tenor would send the provincial supperless to bed. So it is with the English and Maori fly.

Natural selection is being conducted by nature in New Zealand on a grander scale than any we have contemplated, for the object of it here is man. In America, in Australia, the white man shoots or poisons his red or black fellow, and exterminates him through the workings of superior knowledge; but in New Zealand it is peacefully, and without extraordinary advantages, that the Pakéha beats his Maori brother.

That which is true of our animal and vegetable productions is true also of our man. The English fly, grass, and man, they and their progenitors before them, have had to fight for life against their fellows. The Englishman, bringing into his country from the parts to which he trades all manner of men, of grass seeds, and of insect germs, has filled his land with every kind of living thing to which his soil or climate will afford support. Both old inhabitants and interlopers have to maintain a struggle which at once crushes and starves out of life every weakly plant, man, or insect, and fortifies the race by continual buffetings. The plants of civilized man are generally those which will grow best in the greatest variety of soils and climates; but in any case, the English fauna and flora are peculiarly fitted to succeed at our antipodes, because the climates of Great Britain and New Zealand are almost the same, and our men, flies, and plants—the “pick” of the whole world—have not even to encounter the difficulties of acclimatization in their struggle against the weaker growths indigenous to the soil.

Nature‘s work in New Zealand is not the same as that which she is quickly doing in North America, in Tasmania, in Queensland. It is not merely that a hunting and fighting people is being replaced by an agricultural and pastoral people, and must farm or die: the Maori does farm; Maori chiefs own villages, build houses, which they let to European settlers; we have here Maori sheep-farmers, Maori ship-owners, Maori mechanics, Maori soldiers, Maori rough-riders, Maori sailors, and even Maori traders. There is nothing which the average Englishman can do which the average Maori cannot be taught to do as cheaply and as well. Nevertheless, the race dies out. The Red Indian dies because he cannot farm; the Maori farms, and dies.

There are certain special features about this advance of the birds, beasts, and men of Western civilization. When the first white man landed in New Zealand, all the native quadrupeds save one, and nearly all the birds and river-fishes, were extinct, though we have their bones, and traditions of their existence. The Maories themselves were dying out. The moa and dinoris were both gone; there were few insects, and no reptiles. “The birds die because the Maories, their companions, die,” is the native saying. Yet the climate is singularly good, and food for beast and bird so plentiful that Captain Cook‘s pigs have planted colonies of “wild boars” in every part of the islands, and English pheasants have no sooner been imported than they have commenced to swarm in every jungle. Even the Pakéha flea has come over in the ships, and wonderfully has he thriven.

The terrible want of food for men that formerly characterized New Zealand has had its effects upon the habits of the Maori race. Australia has no native fruit trees worthy cultivation, although in the whole world there is no such climate and soil for fruits; still, Australia has kangaroos and other quadrupeds. The Ladrones were destitute of quadrupeds, and of birds, except the turtle-dove; but in the warm damp climate fruits grew, sufficient to support in comfort a dense population. In New Zealand the windy cold of the winters causes a need for something of a tougher fiber than the banana or the fern-root. There being no native beasts, the want was supplied by human flesh, and war, furnishing at once food and the excitement which the chase supplies to peoples that have animals to hunt, became the occupation of the Maories. Hence in some degree the depopulation of the land; but other causes exist, by the side of which cannibalism is as nothing.

The British government has been less guilty than is commonly believed as regards the destruction of the Maories. Since the original misdeed of the annexation of the isles, we have done the Maories no serious wrong. We recognized the claim of a handful of natives to the soil of a country as large as Great Britain, of not one-hundredth part of which had they ever made the smallest use; and, disregarding the fact that our occupation of the coast was the very event that gave the land its value, we have insisted on buying every acre from the tribe. Allowing title by conquest to the Ngatiraukawa, as I saw at Parewanui Pah, we refuse to claim even the lands we conquered from the “Kingites.”

The Maories have always been a village people, tilling a little land round their pahs, but incapable of making any use of the great pastures and wheat countries which they “own.” Had we at first constituted native reserves, on the American system, we might, without any fighting, and without any more rapid destruction of the natives than that which is taking place, have gradually cleared and brought into the market nearly the whole country, which now has to be purchased at enormous prices, and at the continual risk of war.

As it is, the record of our dealings with the Queen‘s native subjects in New Zealand has been almost free from stain, but if we have not committed crimes, we have certainly not failed to blunder: our treatment of William Thompson was at the best a grave mistake. If ever there lived a patriot he was one, and through him we might have ruled in peace the Maori race. Instead of receiving the simplest courtesy from a people which in India showers honors upon its puppet kings and rajahs, he underwent fresh insults each time that he entered an English town or met a white magistrate or subaltern, and he died, while I was in the colonies—according to Pakéha physicians, of liver complaint; according to the Maories, of a broken heart.

At Parewanui and Otaki, I remarked that the half-breeds are fine fellows, possessed of much of the nobility of both the ancestral races, while the women are famed for grace and loveliness. In miscegenation it would have seemed that there was a chance for the Maori, who, if destined to die, would at least have left many of his best features of body and mind to live in the mixed race, but here comes in the prejudice of blood, with which we have already met in the case of the negroes and Chinese. Morality has so far gained ground as greatly to check the spread of permanent illegitimate connections with native women, while pride prevents intermarriage. The numbers of the half-breeds are not upon the increase: a few fresh marriages supply the vacancies that come of death, but there is no progress, no sign of the creation of a vigorous mixed race. There is something more in this than foolish pride, however; there is a secret at the bottom at once of the cessation of mixed marriages and of the dwindling of the pure Maori race, and it is the utter viciousness of the native girls. The universal unchastity of the unmarried women, “Christian” as well as heathen, would be sufficient to destroy a race of gods. The story of the Maories is that of the Tahitians, and is written in the decorations of every gate-post or rafter in their pahs.

We are more distressed at the present and future of the Maories than they are themselves. For all our greatness, we pity not the Maories more profoundly than they do us when, ascribing our morality to calculation, they bask in the sunlight, and are happy in their gracelessness. After all, virtue and arithmetic come from one Greek root.

CHAPTER VII.

THE PACIFIC.

CLOSELY resembling Great Britain in situation, size, and climate, New Zealand is often styled by the colonists “The Britain of the South,” and many affect to believe that her future is destined to be as brilliant as has been the past of her mother country. With the exaggeration of phrase to which the English New Zealanders are prone, they prophesy a marvelous hereafter for the whole Pacific, in which New Zealand, as the carrying and manufacturing country, is to play the foremost part, the Australias following obediently in her train.

Even if the differences of Separatists, Provincialists, and Centralists should be healed, the future prosperity of New Zealand is by no means secure. Her gold yield is only about a fifth of that of California or Victoria. Her area is not sufficient to make her powerful as an agricultural or pastoral country, unless she comes to attract manufactures and carrying trade from afar, and the prospect of New Zealand succeeding in this effort is but small. Her rivers are almost useless for manufacturing purposes owing to their floods; the timber supply of all her forests is not equal to that of a single county in the State of Oregon; her coal is inferior in quality to that of Vancouver Island, in quantity to that of Chili, in both respects to that of New South Wales. The harbors of New Zealand are upon the eastern coasts, but the coal is chiefly upon the other side, where the river bars make trade impossible.

The coal that has been found at the Bay of Islands is said to be plentiful and of good quality, and may be made largely available for steamers on the coast; the steel sand of Taranaki, smelted by the use of petroleum, also found within the province, may become of value; her own wool, too, New Zealand will doubtless one day manufacture into cloth and blankets; but these are comparatively trifling matters: New Zealand may become rich and populous without being the great power of the Pacific, or even of the South.

The climate of the North Island is winterless, moist, and warm, and its effects are already seen in a certain want of enterprise shown by the government and settlers. I remarked that the mail steamers which leave Wellington almost everyday are invariably “detained for dispatches:” it looks as though the officers of the colonial or imperial government commence to write their letters only when the hour for the sailing of the ship has come. An Englishman visiting New Zealand was asked in my presence how long his business at Wanganui would keep him in the town. His answer was: “In London it would take me half an hour; so I suppose about a week—about a week!”

In Java, and the other islands of the Indian archipelago, we find examples of the effect of the supineness of dwellers in the tropics upon the economic position of their countries. Many of the Indian isles possess both coal and cheap labor, but have failed to become manufacturing communities on a large scale only because the natives have not the energy requisite for the direction of factories and workshops, while European foremen have to be paid enormous wages, and, losing their spirit in the damp, unchanging climate of the islands, soon become more indolent than the natives.

The position of the various stores of coal in the Pacific is of extreme importance as an index to the future distribution of power in that portion of the world; but it is not enough to know where coal is to be found without looking also to the quantity, quality, cheapness of labor, and facility for transport. In China (in the Si Shan district) and in Borneo, there are extensive coal fields, but they lie “the wrong way” for trade. On the other hand, the Californian coal—at Monte Diablo, San Diego, and Monterey—lies well, but is bad in quality. The Talcahuano bed in Chili is not good enough for ocean steamers, but might be made use of for manufactures, although Chili has but little iron. Tasmania has good coal, but in no great quantity, and the beds nearest to the coast are formed of inferior anthracite. The three countries of the Pacific which must, for a time at least, rise to manufacturing greatness, are Japan, Vancouver Island, and New South Wales, but which of these will become wealthiest and most powerful depends mainly on the amount of coal which they respectively possess so situated as to be cheaply raised. The dearness of labor under which Vancouver suffers will be removed by the opening of the Pacific Railroad, but for the present New South Wales has the cheaper labor; and upon her shores at Newcastle are abundant stores of a coal of good quality for manufacturing purposes, although for sea use it burns “dirtily,” and too fast, the colony possesses also ample beds of iron, copper, and lead. Japan, as far as can be at present seen, stands before Vancouver and New South Wales in almost every point: she has cheap labor, good climate, excellent harbors, and abundant coal; cotton can be grown upon her soil, and this, and that of Queensland, she can manufacture and export to America and to the East. Wool from California and from the Australias might be carried to her to be worked, and her rise to commercial greatness has already commenced with the passage of a law allowing Japanese workmen to take service with European capitalists in the “treaty-ports.” Whether Japan or New South Wales is destined to become the great wool-manufacturing country, it is certain that fleeces will not long continue to be sent half round the world—from Australia to England—to be worked, and then round the other half back from England to Australia, to be sold as blankets.

The future of the Pacific shores is inevitably brilliant; but it is not New Zealand, the center of the water hemisphere, which will occupy the position that England has taken in the Atlantic, but some country such as Japan or Vancouver, jutting out into the ocean from Asia or from America, as England juts out from Europe. If New South Wales usurps the position, it will be not from her geographical situation, but from the manufacturing advantages she gains by the possession of vast mineral wealth.

The political power of America in the Pacific appears predominant: the Sandwich Islands are all but annexed, Japan all but ruled by her, while the occupation of British Columbia is but a matter of time, and a Mormon descent upon the Marquesas is already planned. The relations of America and Australia will be the key to the future of the South.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On the 26th of December I left New Zealand for Australia.

APPENDIX.

A MAORI DINNER.

FOR those who would make trial of Maori dishes, here is a native bill-of-fare, such as can be imitated in the South of England:

HAKARI MAORI—A MAORI FEAST.
 
BILL-OF-FARE.
 
SOUP.
 
Kota KotaAny shell-fish.
 
FISH.
 
InangaWhitebait (boiled in milk, with leeks).
PiharauLamprey (stewed).
TunaEels (steamed).
 
MADE-DISHES.
 
PukékoMoor-hen (steamed).
KouraCraw-fish (boiled).
Tui TuiThrush (roast).
KéréruPigeon (baked in clay).
 
ROAST.
 
PookaPork (short pig).
 
GAME.
 
ParéraWild Duck (roasted on embers).
 
VEGETABLES.
 
PaukénaPumpkin.
Kamu KamuVegetable Marrow.
KaputiCabbage (steamed).
KumataSweet Potatoes.
 
SWEETS.
 
TataramoaCranberries (steamed).
TanaDamsons (steamed with sugar).
 
DESSERT.
 
KaramuCurrants.
Pikakarika, Dec. 1866. 

 

 

END OF VOL. I.


GREATER BRITAIN.

A RECORD OF TRAVEL

IN

ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES

DURING 1866-7.


BY

CHARLES WENTWORTH DILKE.

VOL. II.
W I T H   M A P S   A N D   I L L U S T R A T I O N S.

PHILADELPHIA:
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO.
1869.

PART III.

AUSTRALIA.

G R E A T E R   B R I T A I N.

CHAPTER I.

SYDNEY.

AT early light on Christmas-day, I put off from shore in one of those squalls for which Port Nicholson, the harbor of Wellington, is famed. A boat which started from the ship at the same time as mine from the land, was upset, but in such shallow water that the passengers were saved, though they lost a portion of their baggage. As we flew toward the mail steamer, the Kaikoura, the harbor was one vast sheet of foam, and columns of spray were being whirled in the air, and borne away far inland upon the gale. We had placed at the helm a post-office clerk, who said that he could steer, but, as we reached the steamer‘s side, instead of luffing-up, he suddenly put the helm hard a-weather, and we shot astern of her, running violently before the wind, although our treble-reefed sail was by this time altogether down. A rope was thrown us from a coal hulk, and, catching it, we were soon on board, and spent our Christmas walking up and down her deck on the slippery black dust, and watching the effects of the gale. After some hours the wind moderated, and I reached the Kaikoura just before she sailed. While we were steaming out of the harbor through the boil of waters that marks the position of the submarine crater, I found that there was but one other passenger for Australia to share with me the services of ten officers and ninety men, and the accommodations of a ship of 1500 tons. “Serious preparations and a large ship for a mere voyage from one Australasian colony to another,” I felt inclined to say, but during the voyage and my first week in New South Wales I began to discover that in England we are given over to a singular delusion as to the connection of New Zealand and Australia.

Australasia is a term much used at home to express the whole of our Antipodean possessions; in the colonies themselves the name is almost unknown, or, if used, is meant to embrace Australia and Tasmania, not Australia and New Zealand. The only reference to New Zealand, except in the way of foreign news, that I ever found in an Australian paper, was a congratulatory paragraph on the amount of the New Zealand debt; the only allusion to Australia that I ever detected in the Wellington Independent was in a glance at the future of the colony, in which the editor predicted the advent of a time when New Zealand would be a great naval nation, and her fleet engaged in bombarding Melbourne, or levying a contribution upon Sydney.

New Zealand, though a change for the better is at hand, has hitherto been mainly an aristocratic country; New South Wales and Victoria mainly democratic. Had Australia and New Zealand been close together, instead of as far apart as Africa and South America, there could have been no political connection between them so long as the traditions of their first settlement endured.

Not only is the name “Australasia” politically meaningless, but geographically incorrect, for New Zealand and Australia are as completely separated from each other as Great Britain and Massachusetts. No promontory of Australia runs out to within 1000 miles of any New Zealand cape; the distance between Sydney and Wellington is 1400 miles; from Sydney to Auckland about the same. The distance from the nearest point of New Zealand of Tasman‘s peninsula, which itself projects somewhat from Tasmania, is greater than that of London from Algiers: from Wellington to Sydney, opposite ports, is as far as from Manchester to Iceland, or from Africa to Brazil.

The sea that lies between the two great countries of the south is not, like the Central or North Pacific, a sea bridged with islands, ruffled with trade winds, favorable to sailing ships, or overspread with a calm that permits the presence of light-draught paddle steamers. The seas which separate Australia from New Zealand are cold, bottomless, without islands, torn by Arctic currents, swept by polar gales, and traversed in all weathers by a mountainous swell. After the gale of Christmas-day we were blessed with a continuance of light breezes on our way to Sydney, but never did we escape the long rolling hills of seas that seemed to surge up from the Antarctic pole: our screw was as often out of as in the water; and in a fast new ship we could scarcely average nine knots an hour throughout the day. The ship which had brought the last Australian mail to Wellington before we sailed was struck by a sea which swept her from stem to stern, and filled her cabin two feet deep, and this in December, which here is midsummer, and answers to our July. Not only is the intervening ocean wide and cold, but New Zealand presents to Australia a rugged coast guarded by reefs and bars, and backed by a snowy range, while she turns toward Polynesia and America all her ports and bays.

No two countries in the world are so wholly distinct as Australia and New Zealand. The islands of New Zealand are inhabited by Polynesians, the Australian continent by negroes. New Zealand is ethnologically nearer to America, Australia to Africa, than New Zealand to Australia.

If we turn from ethnology to scenery and climate, the countries are still more distinct. New Zealand is one of the groups of volcanic islands that stud the Pacific throughout its whole extent; tremendous cliffs surround it on almost every side; a great mountain chain runs through both islands from north to south; hot springs abound, often close to glaciers and eternal snows; earthquakes are common, and active volcanoes not unknown. The New Zealand climate is damp and windy; the land is covered in most parts with a tangled jungle of tree-ferns, creepers, and parasitic plants; water never fails, and, though winter is unknown, the summer heat is never great; the islands are always green. Australia has for the most part flat, yellow, sun-burnt shores; the soil may be rich, the country good for wheat and sheep, but to the eye it is an arid plain; the winters are pleasant, but in the hot weather the thermometer rises higher in the interior than it does in India, and dust storms and hot winds sweep the land from end to end. It is impossible to conceive countries more unlike each other than are our two great dominions of the south. Their very fossils are as dissimilar as are their flora and fauna of our time.

At the dawn of the first day of the new year, we sighted the rocks where the Duncan Dunbar was lost with all hands, and a few minutes afterward were boarded by the crew engaged by the Sydney Morning Herald, who had been lying at “The Heads” all night, to intercept and telegraph our news into the city. The pilot and regular news-boat hailed us a little later, when we had fired a gun. The contrast between this Australian energy and the supineness of the New Zealanders was striking, but not more so than that between my first view of Australia and my last view of New Zealand. Six days earlier I had lost sight of the snowy peak of Mount Egmont, graceful as the Cretan Iva, while we ran before a strong breeze, in the bright English sunlight of the New Zealand afternoon; the albatrosses screaming around our stern: to-day, as we steamed up Port Jackson, toward Sydney Cove, in the dead stillness that follows a night of oven-like heat, the sun rose flaming red in a lurid sky, and struck down upon brown earth, yellow grass, and the thin shadeless foliage of the Australian bush; while, as we anchored, the ceaseless chirping of the crickets in the grass and trees struck harshly on the ear.

The harbor, commercially the finest in the world, is not without a singular beauty if seen at the best time. By the “hot-wind sunrise,” as I first saw it, the heat and glare destroy the feeling of repose which the endless succession of deep, sheltered coves would otherwise convey; but seen from shore in the afternoon, when the sea-breeze has sprung up, turning the sky from red to blue, all is changed. From a neck of land that leads out to the Government House, you catch a glimpse of an arm of the bay on either side, rippled with the cool wind, intensely blue, and dotted with white sails; the brightness of the colors that the sea-breeze brings almost atones for the wind‘s unhealthiness.

In the upper portion of the town the scene is less picturesque; the houses are of the commonplace English ugliness, worst of all possible forms of architectural imbecility, and built, too, as though for English fogs, instead of semi-tropical heat and sun. Water is not to be had, and the streets are given up to clouds of dust, while not a single shade-tree breaks the rays of the almost vertical sun.

The afternoon of New Year‘s day I spent at the “Midsummer Meeting” of the Sydney Jockey Club, on the race-course near the city, and found a vast crowd of holiday-makers assembled on the bare red earth that did duty for “turf,” although there was a hot wind blowing, and the thermometer stood at 103° in the shade. For my conveyance to the race-course I trusted to one of the Australian hansom cabs, made with open fixed Venetian blinds on either side, so as to allow a free draught of air.

The ladies in the grand stand were scarcely to be distinguished from Englishwomen in dress or countenance, but the crowd presented several curious types. The fitness of the term “cornstalks,” applied to the Australian-born boys, was made evident by a glance at their height and slender build; they have plenty of activity and health, but are wanting in power and weight. The girls, too, are slight and thin; delicate, without being sickly. Grown men who have emigrated as lads and lived ten or fifteen years in New Zealand, eating much meat, spending their days in the open air, constantly in the saddle, are burly, bearded, strapping fellows, physically the perfection of the English race, but wanting in refinement and grace of mind, and this apparently constitutionally, not through the accident of occupation or position. In Australia there is promise of a more intellectual nation: the young Australians ride as well, shoot as well, swim as well, as the New Zealanders, are as little given to book-learning, but there is more shrewd intelligence, more wit and quickness, in the sons of the larger continent. The Australians boast that they possess the Grecian climate, and every young face in the Sydney crowd showed me that their sky is not more like that of the Peloponnesus than they are like the old Athenians. The eager burning democracy that is springing up in the Australian great towns is as widely different from the republicanism of the older States of the American Union as it is from the good-natured conservatism of New Zealand, and their high capacity for personal enjoyment would of itself suffice to distinguish the Australians from both Americans and British. Large as must be the amount of convict blood in New South Wales, there was no trace of it in the faces of the persons present upon the race-course. The inhabitants of colonies which have never received felon immigrants often cry out that Sydney is a convict city, but the prejudice is not borne out by the countenances of the inhabitants, nor by the records of local crime. The black stain has not yet wholly disappeared: the streets of Sydney are still a greater disgrace to civilization than are even those of London; but, putting the lighter immoralities aside, security for life and property is not more perfect in England than in New South Wales. The last of the bushrangers were taken while I was in Sydney.

The race-day was followed by a succession of hot winds, during which only the excellence of the fruit-market made Sydney endurable. Not only are the English fruits to be found, but plantains, guavas, oranges, loquats, pomegranates, pine-apples from Brisbane, figs of every kind, and the delicious passion-fruit; and if the gum-tree forests yield no shady spots for picnics, they are not wanting among the rocks at Botany, or in the luxuriant orange-groves of Paramatta.

A Christmas week of heat such as Sydney has seldom known was brought to a close by one of the heaviest southerly storms on record. During the stifling morning, the telegraph had announced the approach of a gale from the far south, but in the early afternoon the heat was more terrible than before, when suddenly the sky was dark with whirling clouds, and a cold blast swept through the streets, carrying a fog of sand, breaking roofs and windows, and dashing to pieces many boats. When the gale ceased, some three hours later, the sand was so deep in houses that here and there men‘s feet left footprints on the stairs.

Storms of this kind, differing only one from another in violence, are common in the hot weather: they are known as “southerly bursters;” but the earlier settlers called them “brickfielders,” in the belief that the dust they brought was whirled up from the kilns and brickfields to the south of Sydney. The fact is that the sand is carried along for one or two hundred miles, from the plains in Dampier and Auckland counties; for the Australian “burster” is one with the Punjaub dust-storm, and the dirt-storm of Colorado.

CHAPTER II.

RIVAL COLONIES.

NEW South Wales, born in 1788, and Queensland in 1859, the oldest and youngest of our Australian colonies, stand side by side upon the map, and have a common frontier of 700 miles.

The New South Welsh look with some jealousy upon the more recently founded States. Upon the brilliant prosperity of Victoria they look doubtingly, and, ascribing it merely to the gold fields, talk of “shoddy;” but of Queensland—an agricultural country, with larger tracts of rich lands than they themselves possess—the Sydney folks are not without reason envious.

A terrible depression is at present pervading trade and agriculture in New South Wales. Much land near Sydney has gone out of cultivation; labor is scarce, and the gold discoveries in the neighboring colonies, by drawing off the surplus population, have made harvest labor unattainable. Many properties have fallen to one-third their former value, and the colony—a wheat-growing country—is now importing wheat and flour to the value of half a million sterling every year.

The depressed condition of affairs is the result, partly of commercial panics following a period of inflation, partly of bad seasons, now bringing floods, now drought and rust, and partly of the discouragement of immigration by the colonial democrats—a policy which, however beneficial to Australia it may in the long run prove, is for the moment ruinous to the sheep-farmers and to the merchants in the towns. On the other hand, the laborers for their part assert that the arrivals of strangers—at all events, of skilled artisans—are still excessive, and that all the ills of the colony are due to over-immigration and free trade.

To a stranger, the rush of population and outpour of capital from Sydney, first toward Victoria, but now to Queensland and New Zealand, appear to be the chief among the causes of the momentary decline of New South Wales. Of immigrants there is at once an insufficient and an over-great supply. Respectable servant-girls, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, plasterers, and the like, do well in the colonies, and are always wanted; of clerks, governesses, iron-workers, and the skilled hands of manufacturers, there is almost always an over-supply. By a perverse fate, these latter are just the immigrants of whom thousands seek the colonies every year, in spite of the daily publication in England of dissuading letters.

As the rivalry of the neighbor-colonies lessens in the lapse of time, the jealousy that exists between them will doubtless die away, but it seems as though it will be replaced by a political divergence, and consequent aversion, which will form a fruitful source of danger to the Australian confederation.


[larger view]
[largest view]

In Queensland the great tenants of crown lands, “squatters,” as they are called, sheep-farmers holding vast tracts of inland country, are in possession of the government, and administer the laws to their own advantage. In New South Wales power is divided between the pastoral tenants on the one hand, and the democracy of the towns upon the other. In Victoria the democrats have beaten down the squatters, and in the interests of the people put an end to their reign; but the sheep-farmers of Queensland and of the interior districts of New South Wales, ignoring wells, assert that the “up-country desert” or “unwatered tracts” can never be made available for agriculture, while the democracy of the coast point to the fact that the same statements were made only a few years back of lands now bearing a prosperous population of agricultural settlers.

The struggle between the great crown tenants and the agricultural democracy in Victoria, already almost over, in New South Wales can be decided only in one way, but in Queensland the character of the country is not entirely the same: the coast and river tracts are tropical bush-lands, in which sheep-farming is impossible, and in which sugar, cotton, and spices alone can be made to pay. To the copper, gold, hides, tallow, wool, which have hitherto formed the stereotyped list of Australian exports, the Northern colony has already added ginger, arrowroot, tobacco, coffee, sugar, cotton, cinnamon, and quinine.

The Queenslanders have not yet solved the problem of the settlement of a tropical country by Englishmen, and of its cultivation by English hands. The future, not of Queensland merely, but of Mexico, of Ceylon, of every tropical country, of our race, of free government itself, are all at stake; but the success of the experiment that has been tried between Brisbane and Rockampton has not been great. The colony, indeed, has prospered much, quadrupling its population and trebling its exports and revenue in six years, but it is the Darling Downs, and other table-land sheep countries, or, on the other hand, the Northern gold fields, which are the main cause of the prosperity; and in the sugar and cotton culture of the coast, colored labor is now almost exclusively employed, with the usual effect of degrading field-work in the eyes of European settlers, and of forcing upon the country a form of society of the aristocratic type.

It is possible that just as New England has of late forbidden to Louisiana the importation of Chinamen to work her sugar fields, just as the Kansas radicals have declared that they will not recognize the Bombay Hammal as a brother, just as the Victorians have refused to allow the further reception of convicts by West Australia, separated from their territories by 1000 miles of desert, so the New South Welsh and Victorians combined may at least protest against the introduction of a mixed multitude of Bengalees, Chinamen, South Sea Islanders, and Malays, to cultivate the Queensland coast plantations. If, however, the other colonies permit their Northern sister to continue in her course of importing dark-skinned laborers, to form a peon population, a few years will see her a wealthy cotton and sugar-growing country, with all the vices of a slaveholding government, though without the name of slavery. The planters of the coast and villages, united with the squatters of the table-lands or “Downs,” will govern Queensland, and render union with the free colonies impossible, unless great gold discoveries take place, and save the country to Australia.

Were it not for the pride of race that everywhere shows itself in the acts of English settlers, there might be a bright side to the political future of Queensland colony. The colored laborers at present introduced, industrious Tongans, and active Hill-coolies from Hindostan, laborious, sober, and free from superstition, should not only be able to advance the commercial fortunes of Queensland as they have those of the Mauritius, but eventually to take an equal share in free government with their white employers. To avoid the gigantic evil of the degradation of hand labor, which has ruined morally as well as economically the Southern States of the American republic, the Indian, Malay, and Chinese laborers should be tempted to become members of landholding associations. A large spice and sugar-growing population in Northern Queensland would require a vast agricultural population in the south to feed it, and the two colonies, hitherto rivals, might grow up as sister countries, each depending upon the other for the supply of half its needs. It is, however, worthy of notice that the agreements of the Queensland planters with the imported dark-skinned field-hands provide only for the payment of wages in goods, at the rates of 6s. to 10s. a month. The “goods” consist of pipes, tobacco, knives, and beads. Judging from the experience of California and Ceylon, there can be little hope of the general admission of colored men to equal rights by English settlers, and the Pacific islands offer so tempting a field to the kidnapping commanders of colonial “island schooners,” that there is much fear that Queensland may come to show us not merely semi-slavery, but peonage of that worst of kinds, in which it is cheaper to work the laborer to death than to “breed” him.

Such is the present rapidity of the growth and rise to power of tropical Queensland, such the apparent poverty of New South Wales, that were the question merely one between the Sydney wheat-growers and the cotton-planters of Brisbane and Rockampton, the subtropical settlers would be as certain of the foremost position in any future confederation as they were in America when the struggle lay only between the Carolinas and New England. As it is, just as America was first saved by the coal of Pennsylvania and Ohio, Australia will be saved by the coal of New South Wales. Queensland possesses some small stores of coal, but the vast preponderance of acreage of the great power of the future is on the side of the free settlers of the cooler climate, at Newcastle, in New South Wales.

On my return from a short voyage to the north, I visited the coal field of New South Wales at Newcastle, on the Hunter. The beds are of vast extent, they lie upon the banks of a navigable river, and so near to the surface that the best qualities are raised, in a country of dear labor, at 8s. or 9s. the ton, and delivered on board ship for 12s. For manufacturing purposes the coal is perfect; for steamship use it is, though somewhat “dirty,” a serviceable fuel; and copper and iron are found in close proximity to the beds. The Newcastle and Port Jackson fields open a singularly brilliant future to Sydney in these times, when coal is king in a far higher degree than was ever cotton. To her black beds the colony will owe not only manufactures, bringing wealth and population, but that leisure which is begotten of wealth—leisure that brings culture, and love of harmony and truth.

Manufactories are already springing up in the neighborhood of Sydney, adding to the whirl and the bustle of the town, and adding, too, to its enormous population, already disproportionate to that of the colony in which it stands. As the depot for much of the trade of Queensland and New Zealand, and as the metropolis of pleasure to which the wealthy squatters pour from all parts of Australia, to spend, rapidly enough, their hard-won money, Sydney would in any case have been a populous city; but the barrenness of the country in which it stands has, until the recent opening of the railroads, tended still further to increase its size, by failing to tempt into country districts the European immigrants. The Irish in Sydney form a third of the whole population, yet hardly one of these men but meant to settle upon land when he left his native island.

In France there is a tendency to migrate to Paris, in Austria a continual drain toward Vienna, in England toward London. A corresponding tendency is observable throughout Australia and America. Immigrants hang about New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Sydney, Melbourne; and, finding that they can scrape a living in these large cities with toil somewhat less severe than that which would be needed to procure them a decent livelihood in the bush, the unthrifty as well as the dissipated throng together in densely-populated “bad quarters” in these cities, and render the first quarter of New York and the so-called “Chinese” quarter of Melbourne a danger to the colonies, and an insult to the civilization of the world.

In the case of Australia this concentration of population is becoming more remarkable day by day. Even under the system of free selection, by which the legislature has attempted to encourage agricultural settlement, the moment a free selector can make a little money he comes to one of the capitals to spend it. Sydney is the city of pleasure, to which the wealthy Queensland squatters resort to spend their money, returning to the north for fresh supplies only when they cannot afford another day of dissipation, while Melbourne receives the outpour of Tasmania.

The rushing to great cities the moment there is money to be spent, characteristic of the settlers in all these colonies, is much to be regretted, and presents a sad contrast to the quiet stay-at-home habits of American farmers. Everything here is fever and excitement;—as in some systems of geometry, motion is the primary, rest the derived idea. New South Welshmen tell you that this unquiet is peculiar to Victoria; to a new-comer it seems as rife in Sydney as in Melbourne.

Judging from the colonial government reports, which immigrants are conjured by the inspectors to procure and read, and which are printed in a cheap form for the purpose, the New South Welsh can hardly wish to lure settlers into “the bush,” for in one of these documents, published while I was in Sydney, the curator of the museum reported that he never went more than twelve miles from the city, but that within that circuit he found seventeen distinct species of land snakes, two of sea snakes, thirty of lizards, and sixteen of frogs—seventy-eight species of reptiles rewarded him in all. The seventeen species of land snakes found by him within the suburbs were named by the curator in a printed list; it commenced with the pale-headed snake, and ended with the death-adder.

CHAPTER III.

VICTORIA.

THE smallest of our southern colonies except Tasmania,—one-fourth the size of New South Wales, one-eighth of Queensland, one-twelfth of West Australia, one-fifteenth of South Australia,—Victoria is the wealthiest of the Australian nations, and, India alone excepted, has the largest trade of any of the dependencies of Great Britain.

When Mr. Fawkner‘s party landed in 1835 upon the Yarra banks, mooring their boat to the forest trees, they formed a settlement upon a grassy hill behind a marsh, and began to pasture sheep where Melbourne, the capital, now stands. In twenty years, Melbourne became the largest city but one in the southern hemisphere, having 150,000 people within her limits or those of the suburban towns. Victoria has grander public buildings in her capital, larger and more costly railroads, a greater income, and a heavier debt than any other colony, and she pays to her governor £10,000 a year, or one-fourth more than even New South Wales.

When looked into, all this success means gold. There is industry, there is energy, there is talent, there is generosity and public spirit, but they are the abilities and virtues that gold will bring, in bringing a rush from all the world of dashing fellows in the prime of life. The progress of Melbourne is that of San Francisco; it is the success of Kokitika on a larger scale, and refined and steadied by having lasted through some years—the triumph of a population which has hitherto consisted chiefly of adult males.

Sydney people, in their jealousy of the Victorians, refuse to admit even that the superior energy of the Melbourne men is a necessary consequence of their having been the pride of the spirited youths of all the world, brought together by the rush for gold. At the time of the first “find” in 1851, all the resolute, able, physically strong do-noughts of Europe and America flocked into Port Phillip, as Victoria was then called, and such timid and weak men as came along with them being soon crowded out, the men of energy and tough vital force alone remained.

Some of the New South Welsh, shutting their eyes to the facts connected with the gold-rush, assert so loudly that the Victorians are the refuse of California, or “Yankee scum,” that when I first landed in Melbourne I expected to find street-cars, revolvers, big hotels, and fire-clubs, euchre, caucusses, and mixed drinks. I could discover nothing American about Melbourne except the grandeur of the public buildings and the width of the streets, and its people are far more thoroughly British than are the citizens of the rival capital. In many senses Melbourne is the London, Sydney the Paris, of Australia.

About the surpassing vigor of the Victorians there can be no doubt; a glance at the map shows the Victorian railways stretching to the Murray, while those of New South Wales are still boggling at the Green Hills, fifty miles from Sydney. Melbourne, the more distant port, has carried off the Australian trade with the New Zealand gold fields from Sydney, the nearer port. Melbourne imports Sydney shale, and makes from it mineral oil, before the Sydney people have found out its value; and gas in Melbourne is cheaper than in Sydney, though the Victorians are bringing their coal five hundred miles, from a spot only fifty miles from Sydney.

It is possible that the secret of the superior energy of the Victorians may be, not in the fact that they are more American, but more English, than the New South Welsh. The leading Sydney people are mainly the sons or grandsons of original settlers, “cornstalks” reared in the semi-tropical climate of the coast; the Victorians are full-blooded English immigrants, bred in the more rugged climes of Tasmania, Canada, or Great Britain, and brought only in their maturity to live in the exhilarating air of Melbourne, the finest climate in the world for healthy men: Melbourne is hotter than Sydney, but its climate is never tropical. The squatters on the Queensland downs, mostly immigrants from England, show the same strong vitality that the Melbourne men possess; but their brother immigrants in Brisbane—the Queensland capital, where the afternoon languid breeze resembles that of Sydney—are as incapable of prolonged exertion as are the Sydney “cornstalks.”

THE OLD AND THE NEW.
THE OLD AND THE NEW. BUSH SCENERY.
BUSH SCENERY.

COLLINS STREET EAST, MELBOURNE.—P. 24.
COLLINS STREET EAST, MELBOURNE.—P. 24.

Whatever may be the causes of the present triumph of Melbourne over Sydney, the inhabitants of the latter city are far from accepting it as likely to be permanent. They cannot but admit the present glory of what they call the “Mushroom City.” The magnificent pile of the new Post-office, the gigantic Treasury (which, when finished, will be larger than our own in London), the University, the Parliament-house, the Union and Melbourne Clubs, the City Hall, the Wool Exchange, the viaducts upon the government railroad lines,—all are Cyclopean in their architecture, all seem built as if to last forever; still, they say that there is a certain want of permanence about the prosperity of Victoria. When the gold discovery took place, in 1851, such trade sprang up that the imports of the colony jumped from one million to twenty-five millions sterling in three years; but, although she is now commencing to ship breadstuffs to Great Britain, exports and imports alike show a steady decrease. Considerably more than half of the hand-workers of the colony are still engaged in gold-mining, and nearly half the population is resident upon the gold fields; yet the yield shows, year by year, a continual decline. Had it not been for the discoveries in New Zealand, which have carried off the floating digger population, and for the wise discouragement by the democrats of the monopolization of the land, there would have been distress upon the gold fields during the last few years. The Victorian population is already nearly stationary, and the squatters call loudly for assisted immigration and free trade, but the stranger sees nothing to astonish him in the temporary stagnation that attends a decreasing gold production.

The exact economical position that Victoria occupies is easily ascertained, for her statistics are the most perfect in the world; the arrangement is a piece of exquisite mosaic. The brilliant statistician who fills the post of registrar-general to the colony, had the immense advantage of starting clear of all tradition, unhampered and unclogged; and, as the governments of the other colonies have of the last few years taken Victoria for model, a gradual approach is being made to uniformity of system. It was not too soon, for British colonial statistics are apt to be confusing. I have seen a list of imposts, in which one class consisted of ale, aniseed, arsenic, assafœtida, and astronomical instruments; boots, bullion, and salt butter; capers, cards, caraway seed; gauze, gin, glue, and gloves; maps and manure; philosophical instruments and salt pork; sandal-wood, sarsaparilla, and smoked sausages. Alphabetical arrangement has charms for the official mind.

Statistics are generally considered dull enough, but the statistics of these young countries are figure-poems. Tables that in England contrast jute with hemp, or this man with that man, here compare the profits of manufactures with those of agriculture, or pit against each other, the powers of race and race.

Victoria is the only country in existence which possesses a statistical history from its earliest birth; but, after all, even Victoria falls short of Minnesota, where the settlers founded the “State Historical Society” a week before the foundation of the State.

Gold, wheat, sheep, are the three great staples of Victoria, and have each its party, political and commercial—diggers, agricultural settlers, and squatters—though of late the diggers and the landed democracy have made common cause against the squatters. Gold can now be studied best at Ballarat, and wheat at Clunes, or upon the Barrabool hills behind Geelong; but I started first for Echuca, the headquarters of the squatter interest, and metropolis of sheep, taking upon my way Kyneton, one of the richest agricultural districts of the colony, and also the once famous gold diggings of Bendigo Creek.

Between Melbourne and Kyneton, where I made my first halt, the railway runs through undulating lightly-timbered tracks, free from underwood, and well grassed. By letting my eyes persuade me that the burnt-up herbage was a ripening crop of wheat or oats, I found a likeness to the views in the weald of Sussex, though the foliage of the gums, or eucalypti, is thinner than that of the English oaks.

Riding from Kyneton to Carlsruhe, Pastoria, and the foot hills of the “Dividing Range,” I found the agricultural community busily engaged upon the harvest, and much excited upon the great thistle question. Women and tiny children were working in the fields, while the men were at Kyneton, trying in vain to hire the harvest hands from Melbourne at less than £2 10s. or £3 a week and board. The thistle question was not less serious; the “thistle inspectors,” elected under the “Thistle Prevention Act,” had commenced their labors, and although each man agreed with his friend that his neighbor‘s thistles were a nuisance, still he did not like being fined for not weeding out his own. The fault, they say, lies in the climate; it is too good, and the English seeds have thriven. Great as was the talk of thistles, the fields in the fertile Kyneton district were as clean as in a well-kept English farm, and showed the clearest signs of the small farmer‘s personal care.

Every one of the agricultural villages in Australia that I visited was a full-grown municipality. The colonial English, freed from the checks which are put by interested landlords to local government in Britain, have passed in all the settlements laws under which any village must be raised into a municipality on fifty of the villagers (the number varies in the different colonies) signing a requisition, unless within a given time a larger number sign a petition to the contrary effect.

After a short visit to the bustling digging town of Castlemaine, I pushed on by train to Sandhurst, a town of great pretensions, which occupies the site of the former digging camp at Bendigo. On a level part of the line between the two great towns, my train dashed through some closed gates, happily without hurt. The Melbourne Argus of the next day said that the crash had been the result of the signalman taking the fancy that the trains should wait on him, not he upon the trains, so he had “closed the gates, hoisted the danger signal, and adjourned to a neighboring store to drink.” On my return from Echuca, I could not find that he had been dismissed.

When hands are scarce, and lives valuable not to the possessor only, but to the whole community, care to avoid accidents might be expected; but there is a certain recklessness in all young countries, and not even in Kansas is it more observable than in Victoria and New South Wales.

Sandhurst, like Castlemaine, straggles over hill and dale for many miles, the diggers following the gold-leads, and building a suburb by each alluvial mine, rather than draw their supplies from the central spot. The extent of the worked-out gold field struck me as greater than the fields round Placerville, but then in California many of the old diggings are hidden by the vines.

In Sandhurst I could find none of the magnificent restaurants of Virginia City; none of the gambling saloons of Hokitika; and the only approach to gayety among the diggers was made in a drinking-hall, where some dozen red-shirted, bearded men were dancing by turns with four well-behaved and quiet-looking German girls, who were paid, the constable at the gate informed me, by the proprietor of the booth. My hotel—“The Shamrock”—kept by New York Irish, was a thoroughly American house; but, then, digger civilization is everywhere American—a fact owing, no doubt, to the American element having been predominant in the first-discovered diggings—those of California.

Digger revolts must have been feared when the Sandhurst Government Reserve was surrounded with a ditch strangely like a moat, and palings that bear an ominous resemblance to a Maori pah. In the morning I found my way through the obstructions, and discovered the police station, and in it the resident magistrate, to whom I had a letter. He knew nothing of “Gumption Dick,” Hank Monk‘s friend, but he introduced me to his intelligent Chinese clerk, and told me many things about the yellow diggers. The bad feeling between the English diggers and the Chinese has not in the least died out. Upon the worked-out fields of Castlemaine and Sandhurst, the latter have things their own way, and I saw hundreds of them washing quietly and quickly in the old Bendigo Creek, finding an ample living in the leavings of the whites. So successful have they been that a few Europeans have lately been taking to their plan, and an old Frenchman who died here lately, and who, from his working persistently in worn-out fields, had always been thought to be a harmless idiot, left behind him a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, obtained by washing in company with the Chinese.

The spirit that called into existence the Ballarat anti-Chinese mobs is not extinct in Queensland, as I found during my stay at Sydney. At the Crocodile Creek diggings in Northern Queensland, whither many of the Chinese from New South Wales have lately gone, terrible riots occurred the week after I landed in Australia. The English diggers announced their intention of “rolling up” the Chinese, and proceeded to “jump their claims”—that is, trespass on the mining plots, for in Queensland the Chinese have felt themselves strong enough to purchase claims. The Chinese bore the robbery for some days, but at last a digger who had sold them a claim for £50 one morning, hammered the pegs into the soft ground the same day, and then jumped the claim on the pretense that it was not “pegged out.” This was too much for the Chinese owner, who tomahawked the digger on the spot. The English at once fired the Chinese town, and even attacked the English driver of a coach for conveying Chinamen on his vehicle. Some diggers in North Queensland are said to have kept bloodhounds for the purpose of hunting Chinamen for sport, as the rowdies of the old country hunt cats with terriers.

On the older gold fields, such as those of Sandhurst and Castlemaine, the hatred of the English for the Chinese lies dormant, but it is not the less strong for being free from physical violence. The woman in a baker‘s shop near Sandhurst, into which I went to buy a roll for lunch, shuddered when she told me of one or two recent marriages between Irish “Biddies” and some of the wealthiest Chinese.

The man against whom all this hatred and suspicion is directed is no ill-conducted rogue or villain. The chief of the police at Sandhurst tells me that the Chinese are “the best of citizens;” a member of the Victorian Parliament, resident in the very edge of their quarter at Geelong, spoke of the yellow men to me as “well-behaved and frugal;” the registrar-general told me that there is less crime, great or small, among the Chinese, than among any equal number of English in the colony.

The Chinese are not denied civil rights in Victoria, as they have been in California. Their testimony is accepted in the courts against that of whites; they may become naturalized, and then can vote. Some twenty or thirty of them, out of 30,000, have been naturalized in Victoria up to the present time.

That the Chinese in Australia look upon their stay in the gold fields as merely temporary is clear from the character of their restaurants, which are singularly inferior to those of San Francisco. The best in the colonies is one near Castlemaine, but even this is small and poor. Shark‘s fin is an unheard-of luxury, and even puppy you would have to order. “Silk-worms fried in castor oil” is the colonial idea of a Chinese delicacy; yet the famous sea-slug is an inhabitant of Queensland waters, and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

From Sandhurst northward, the country, known as Elysium Flats, becomes level, and is wooded in patches, like the “oak-opening” prairies of Wisconsin and Illinois. When within fifty miles of Echuca, the line comes out of the forest on to a vast prairie, across which I saw a marvelous mirage of water and trees on various step-like levels. From the other window of the compartment carriage (sadly hot and airless after the American cars), I saw the thin dry yellow grass on fire for a dozen miles. The smoke from these “bush-fires” sometimes extends for hundreds of miles to sea. In steaming down from Sydney to Wilson‘s Promontory on my way to Melbourne, we passed through a column of smoke about a mile in width when off Wolongong, near Botany Bay, and never lost sight of it, as it lay in a dense brown mass upon the sea, until we rounded Cape Howe, two hundred miles farther to the southward.

The fires on these great plains are caused by the dropping of fusees by travelers as they ride along smoking their pipes Australian fashion, or else by spreading of the fires from their camps. The most ingenious stories are invented by the colonists to prevent us from throwing doubt upon their carefulness, and I was told at Echuca that the late fires had been caused by the concentration of the sun‘s rays upon spots of grass owing to the accidental conversion into burning-glasses of beer-bottles that had been suffered to lie about. Whatever their cause, the fires, in conjunction with the heat, have made agricultural settlement upon the Murray a lottery. The week before my visit, some ripe oats at Echuca had been cut down to stubble by the hot wind, and farmers are said to count upon the success of only one harvest in every three seasons. On the other hand, the Victorian apricots, shriveled by the hot wind, are so many lumps of crystallized nectar when you pierce their thick outer coats.

Defying the sun, I started off to the banks of the Murray River, not without some regret at the absence of the continuous street verandas which in Melbourne form a first step toward the Italian piazza. One may be deceived by trifles when the character of an unknown region is at stake. Before reaching the country, I had read, “Steam-packet Hotel, Esplanade, Echuca;” and, though experiences on the Ohio had taught me to put no trust in “packets,” yet I had somehow come to the belief that the Murray must be a second Missouri at least, if not an Upper Mississippi. The “Esplanade” I found to be a myth, and the “fleet” of “steam-packets” were drawn up in a long line upon the mud, there being in this summer weather no water in which they could float. The Murray in February is a streamless ditch, which in America, if known and named at all, would rank as a tenth-rate river.

The St. Lawrence is 2200 miles in length, and its tributary, the Ottawa, 1000 miles in length, itself receives a tributary stream, the Gatineau, with a course of 420 miles. At 217 miles from its confluence with the Ottawa the Gatineau is still 1000 feet in width. At Albury, which even in winter is the head of navigation on the Murray, you are only some 600 or 700 miles by river from the open sea, or about the same distance as from Memphis in Tennessee to the mouth of the Mississippi.

During six months of the year, however, the Murray is for wool-carrying purposes an important river. The railway to Echuca has tapped the river system in the Victorians’ favor, and Melbourne has become the port of the back country of New South Wales, and even Queensland. “The Riverina is commercially annexed” to Victoria, said the premier of New South Wales while I was in that colony, and the “Riverina” means that portion of New South Wales which lies between the Lachlan, the Murrumbidgee, and the Murray, to the northward of Echuca.

Returning to the inn to escape the sun, I took up the Riverina Herald, published at Echuca; of its twenty-four columns, nineteen and a half are occupied by the eternal sheep in one shape or another. A representation of Jason‘s fleece stands at the head of the title; “wool” is the first word in the first line of the body of the paper. More than half of the advertisements are those of wool brokers, or else of the fortunate possessors of specifics that will cure the scab. One disinfectant compound is certified to by no less than seventeen inspectors; another is puffed by a notice informing flock-masters that, in cases of foot-rot, the advertiser goes upon the principle of “no cure, no pay.” One firm makes “liberal advances on the ensuing clip;” another is prepared to do the like upon “pastoral securities.” Sheep-chandlers, regardless of associations, advertise in one line their bread and foot-rot ointment, their biscuit and sheep-wash solution; and the last of the advertisements upon the front page is that of an “agent for the sale of fat.” The body of the paper contains complaints against the judges at a recent show of wool, and an account of the raising of a sawyer “120 feet in length and 33 feet in girth” by the new “snag-boat” working to clear out the river for the floating down of the next wool clip. Whole columns of small type are filled with “impounding” lists, containing brief descriptions of all the strayed cattle of each district. The technicalities of the distinctive marks are surprising. Who not to the manner born can make much of this: “Blue and white cow, cock horns, 22 off-rump, IL off-ribs?” or of this: “Strawberry stag, top off off-ear, J. C. over 4 off-rump, like H. G. conjoined near loin and rump?” This, again, is difficult: “Swallow tail, off-ear, [backwards-D] and illegible over F off-ribs, PT off-rump.” What is a “blue strawberry bull?” is a question which occurred to me. Again, what a phenomenon is this: “White cow, writing capital A off-shoulder?” A paragraph relates the burning of “£10,000 worth of country near Gambier,” and advertisements of Colt‘s revolvers and quack medicines complete the sheet. The paper shows that for the most part the colonists here, as in New Zealand, have had the wisdom to adopt the poetic native names of places, and even to use them for towns, streets, and ships. Of the Panama liners, the Rahaia and Maitoura bear the names of rivers, the Rechiné and the Kaikoura, names of mountain ranges; and the colonial boats have for the most part familiar Maori or Australian names; for instance, Rangitoto, “hill of hills,” and Rangitiri, “great and good.” The New Zealand colonists are better off than the Australian in this respect: Wongawonga, Yarrayarra, and Wooloomooloo are not inviting; and some of the Australian villages have still stranger names. Nindooinbah is a station in southern Queensland; Yallack-a-yallack, Borongorong, Bunduramongee, Jabbarabbara, Thuroroolong, Yalla-y-poora, Yanac-a-Yanac, Wuid Kerruick, Woolongu-woong-wrinan, Woori Yalloak, and Borhoneyghurk, are stations in Victoria. The only leader in the Herald is on the meat question, but there is in a letter an account of the Christmas festivities at Melbourne, which contains much merry-making at the expense of “unacclimatized new chums,” as fresh comers to the colonies are called. The writer speaks rapturously of the rush on Christmas-day from the hot, dry, dusty streets to the “golden fields of waving corn.” The “exposed nature of the Royal Park” prevented many excursionists from picnicking there, as they had intended; but we read on, and find that the exposure dreaded was not to cold, but to the terrible hot wind which swept from the plains of the northwest, and scorched up every blade of grass, every green thing, in the open spots. We hear of Christmas dinners eaten upon the grass at Richmond, in the sheltered shade of the gum-forest, but in the botanical gardens the “plants had been much affected by the trying heat.” However, “the weather on boxing-day was somewhat more favorable for open-air enjoyment,” as the thermometer was only 98° in the shade.

Will ever New Zealand or Australian bard spring up to write of the pale primroses that in September commence to peep out from under the melting snows, and to make men look forward to the blazing heat and the long December days? Strangely enough, the only English poem which an Australian lad can read without laughing at the old country conceit that connects frosts with January, and hot weather with July, is Thomson‘s “Seasons,” for in its long descriptions of the changes in England from spring to summer, from autumn to winter, a month is only once named: “rosy-footed May” cannot be said to “steal blushing on” in Australia, where May answers to our November.

In the afternoon, I ventured out again, and strolled into the gum-forest on the banks of the Campaspe River, not believing the reports of the ferocity of the Victorian bunyips and alligators which have lately scared the squatters who dwelt on creeks. The black trees, relieved upon a ground of white dust and yellow grass, were not inviting, and the scorching heat soon taught me to hate the shadeless boughs and ragged bark of the inevitable gum. It had not rained for nine weeks at the time of my visit, and the thermometer (in the wind) reached 116° in the shade, but there was nothing oppressive in the heat; it seemed only to dry up the juices of the frame, and dazzle you with intense brightness. I soon came to agree with a newly-landed Irish gardener, who told a friend of mine that Australia was a strange country, for he could not see that the thermometer had “the slightest effect upon the heat.” The blaze is healthy, and fevers are unknown in the Riverina, decay of noxious matter, animal or vegetable, being arrested during summer by the drought. This is a hot year, for on the 12th of January the thermometer, even at the Melbourne Observatory, registered 108° in the shade, and 123° in the shade was registered at Wentworth, near the confluence of the Murray and the Darling.

As the afternoon drew on, and, if not the heat, at least the sun declined, the bell-birds ceased their tuneful chiming, and the forest was vocal only with the ceaseless chirp of the tree-cricket, whose note recalled the goatsucker of our English woods. The Australian landscapes show best by the red light of the hot weather sunsets, when the dark feathery foliage of the gum-trees comes out in exquisite relief upon the fiery fogs that form the sky, and the yellow earth gaining a tawny hue in the lurid glare, throws off a light resembling that which in winter is reflected from our English snows. At sunset there was a calm, but, as I turned to walk homeward, the hot wind sprang up, and died again, while the trees sighed themselves uneasily to sleep, as though fearful of to-morrow‘s blast.

A night of heavy heat was followed by a breathless dawn, and the scorching sun returned in all its redness to burn up once more the earth, not cooled from the glare of yesterday. Englishmen must be bribed by enormous gains before they will work with continuous toil in such a climate, however healthy.

CHAPTER IV.

SQUATTER ARISTOCRACY.

“WHAT is a Colonial Conservative?” is a question that used to be daily put to a Victorian friend of mine when he was in London. His answer, he told me, was always, “A statesman who has got four of the ‘points’ of the People‘s Charter, and wants to conserve them,” but as used in Victoria, the term “Conservative” expresses the feeling less of a political party than of the whole of the people who have anything whatever to lose. Those who have something object to giving a share in the government to those who have nothing; those who have much, object to political equality with those who have less; and, not content with having won a tremendous victory in basing the Upper House upon a £5000 qualification and £100 freehold or £300 leasehold franchise, the plutocracy are meditating attacks upon the Legislative Assembly.

The democracy hold out undauntedly, refusing all monetary tests, though an intelligence basis for the franchise is by no means out of favor, except with the few who cannot read or write. One day, when I was driving from Melbourne to Sandridge, in company with a colonial merchant, he asked our car-driver: “Now, tell me fairly: do you think these rogues of fellows that hang about the shore here ought to have votes?” “No, I don‘t.” “Ah, you‘d like to see a 5s. fee on registration, wouldn‘t you?” The answer was sharp enough in its tone. “Five shillings would be nothing to you; it would be something to me, and it would be more than my brother could pay. What I‘d have done would be to say that those who couldn‘t read shouldn‘t vote, that‘s all. That would keep out the loafers.”

The plutocratic party is losing, not gaining, ground in Victoria; it is far more likely that the present generation will see the Upper House abolished than that it will witness the introduction of restrictions upon the manhood suffrage which exists for the Lower; but there is one branch of the plutocracy which actively carries on the fight in all the colonies, and which claims to control society, the pastoral tenants of crown lands, or Squatter Aristocracy.

The word “squatter” has undergone a remarkable change of meaning since the time when it denoted those who stole government land, and built their dwellings on it. As late as 1837, squatters were defined by the chief justice of New South Wales as people occupying lands without legal title, and who were subject to a fine on discovery. They were described as living by bartering rum with convicts for stolen goods, and as being themselves invariably convicts or “expirees.”

Escaping suddenly from these low associations, the word came to be applied to graziers who drove their flocks into the unsettled interior, and thence to those of them who received leases from the crown of pastoral lands.

The squatter is the nabob of Melbourne and Sydney, the inexhaustible mine of wealth. He patronizes balls, promenade concerts, flower-shows; he is the mainstay of the great clubs, the joy of the shopkeepers, the good angel of the hotels; without him the opera could not be kept up, and the jockey-clubs would die a natural death.

Neither squatters nor townsfolk will admit that this view of the former‘s position is exactly correct. The Victorian squatters tell you that they have been ruined by confiscation, but that their neighbors in New South Wales, who have leases, are more prosperous; in New South Wales they tell you of the destruction of the squatters by “free selection,” of which there is none in Queensland, “the squatter‘s paradise;” but in Queensland the squatters protest that they have never made wages for their personal work, far less interest upon their capital. “Not one of us in ten is solvent,” they say.

As sweeping assertions are made by the townsfolk upon the other side. The squatters, they sometimes say, may well set up to be a great landed aristocracy, for they have every fault of a dominant caste except its generous vices. They are accused of piling up vast hoards of wealth while living a most penurious life, and contributing less than would so many mechanics to the revenue of the country, in order that they may return in later life to England, there to spend what they have wrung from the soil of Victoria or New South Wales.

The occupation of the whole of the crown lands by squatters has prevented the making of railways to be paid for in land on the American system; but the chief of all the evils connected with squatting is the tendency to the accumulation in a few hands of all the land and all the pastoral wealth of the country, an extreme danger in the face of democratic institutions, such as those of Victoria and New South Wales. Remembering that manufactures are few, the swelling of the cities shows how the people have been kept from the land; considerably more than half of the population of Victoria lives within the corporate towns.

A few years back, a thousand men held between them, on nominal rents, forty million acres out of the forty-three and a half million—mountain and swamp excluded—of which Victoria consists. It is true that the amount so held has now decreased to thirty million, but on the other hand the squatters have bought vast tracts which were formerly within their “runs,” with the capital acquired in squatting, and, knowing the country better than others could possibly know it, have naturally selected all the most valuable land.

The colonial democracy in 1860 and the succeeding years rose to a sense of its danger from the land monopoly, and began to search about for means to put it down, and to destroy at the same time the system of holding from the crown, for it is singular that while in England there seems to be springing up a popular movement in favor of the nationalization of the land, in the most democratic of the Australian colonies the tendency is from crown land tenure to individual freehold ownership of the soil rather than the other way. Yet here in Victoria there was a free field to start upon, for the land already belonged to the State—the first of the principles included under the phrase, nationalized land. In America, again, we see that, with the similar advantage of State possession of territories which are still fourteen times the size of the French Empire, there is little or no tendency toward agitation for the continuance of State ownership. In short, freehold ownership, the Saxon institution, seems dear to the Anglo-Saxon race. The national land plan would commend itself rather to the Celtic races: to the Highlander, who remembers clan-ship, to the Irishman, who regrets the Sept.

Since the Radicals have been in power, both here and in New South Wales, they have carried act after act to encourage agricultural settlers on freehold tenure, at the expense of the pastoral squatters. The “free selection” plan, now in operation in New South Wales, allows the agricultural settler to buy, but at a fixed price, the freehold of a patch of land, provided it be over forty acres and less than 320, anywhere he pleases—even in the middle of a squatter‘s “run,” if he enters at once, and commences to cultivate; and the Land Act of 1862 provides that the squatting license system shall entirely end with the year 1869. Forgetting that in every lease the government reserved the power of terminating the agreement for the purpose of the sale of land, the squatters complain that free selection is but confiscation, and that they are at the mercy of a pack of cattle-stealers and horse-thieves, who roam through the country haunting their “runs” like “ghosts,” taking up the best land on their “runs,” “picking the eyes out of the land,” turning to graze anywhere, on the richest grass, the sheep and cattle they have stolen on their way. The best of them, they say, are but “cockatoo farmers,” living from hand to mouth on what they manage to grub and grow. On the other hand, the “free selection” principle “up country” is tempered by the power of the wealthy squatter to impound the cattle of the poor little freeholder whenever he pleases to say that they stray on to his “run;” indeed, “Pound them off, or if you can‘t, buy them off,” has become a much used phrase. The squatter, too, is protected in Victoria by such provisions as that “improvements” by him, if over £40 on forty acres, cover an acre of land for each £1. The squatters are themselves buying largely of land, and thus profiting by the free selection. To a stranger it seems as though the interests of the squatter have been at least sufficiently cared for, remembering the vital necessity for immediate action. In 1865, Victoria, small as she is, had not sold a tenth of her land.

In her free selectors, Victoria will gain a class of citizens whose political views will contrast sharply with the strong anti-popular sentiments of the squatters, and who, instead of spending their lives as absentees, will stay, they and their children, upon the land, and spend all they make within the colony, while their sons add to its laboring arms.

Since land has been, even to a limited extent, thrown open, Victoria has suddenly ceased to be a wheat-importing, and become a wheat-exporting country, and flourishing agricultural communities, such as those of Ceres, Clunes, Kyneton, are springing up on every side, growing wheat instead of wool, while the wide extension which has in Victoria been given to the principle of local self-government in the shape of shire-councils, road-boards, and village-municipalities allows of the junction in a happy country of the whole of the advantages of small and great farming, under the unequaled system of small holdings, and co-operation for improvements among the holders.

CHAPTER V.

COLONIAL DEMOCRACY.

PAYMENT of members by the State was the great question under debate in the Lower House during much of the time I spent in Melbourne, and, in spite of all the efforts of the Victorian democracy, the bill was lost. The objection taken at home, that payment degrades the House in the eyes of the people, could never arise in a new country, where a practical nation looks at the salaries as payment for work done, and obstinately refuses to believe in the work being done without payment in some shape or other. In these colonies, the reasons in favor of payment are far stronger than they are in Canada or America, for while their country or town share equally the difficulties of finding representatives who will consent to travel hundreds and thousands of miles to Ottawa or Washington, in the Australias Parliament sits in towns which contain from one-sixth to one-fourth of the whole population, and under a non-payment system power is thrown entirely into the hands of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Hobarton. Not only do these cities return none but their own citizens, but the country districts, often unable to find within their limits men who have the time and money to make them able to attend throughout the sessions at the capital, elect the city traders to represent them.

Payment of members was met by a proposition on the part of the leader of the squatter party in the Upper House to carry it through that assembly if the Lower House would introduce the principle of personal representation; but it was objected that under such a system the Catholics, who form a fifth of the population, might, if they chose, return a fifth of the members. That they ought to be able to do so never seemed to strike friend or foe. The Catholics, who had a long turn of power under the O‘Shaughnessey government, were finally driven out for appointing none but Irishmen to the police. “I always said this ministry would go out on the back of a policeman,” was the comment of the Opposition wit. The present ministry, which is Scotch in tone, was hoisted into office by a great coalition against the Irish Catholics, of whom there are only a handful in the House.

The subject of national education, which was before the colony during my visit, also brought the Catholics prominently forward, for an episcopal pastoral was read in all their churches threatening to visit ecclesiastical censure upon Catholic teachers in the common schools, and upon the parents of the children who attend them. “Godless education” is as little popular here as it used to be at home, and the Anglican and Catholic clergymen insist that it is proposed to make their people pay heavily for an education in which it would be contrary to their conscience to share; but the laymen seem less distressed than their pastors. It has been said that the reason why the Catholic bishop declined to be examined upon the Education Commission was that he was afraid of this question: “Are you aware that half the Catholic children in the country are attending schools which you condemn?”

The most singular, perhaps, of the spectacles presented by colonial politics during my visit was that of the Victorian Upper House going deliberately into committee to consider its own constitution, with the view of introducing a bill for its own reform, or to meditate, its enemies said, upon self-destruction. Whether the blow comes from within or without, there is every probability that the Upper House will shortly disappear, and the advice of Milton and Franklin be followed in having but a single chamber. It is not unlikely that this step will be followed by the demand of the Victorians to be allowed to choose their own governor, subject to his approval by the queen, with a view to making it impossible that needy men should be sent out to suck the colony, as they sometimes have been in the past. The Australians look upon the liberal expenditure of a governor as their own liberality, but upon meanness on his part as a robbery from themselves.

The Victorian have a singular advantage over the American democrats as being unhampered by a constitution of antiquity and renown. Constitution-tinkering is here continual; the new society is continually reshaping its political institutions to keep pace with the latest developments of the national mind; in America, the party of liberty, at this moment engaged in remoulding the worn-out constitution in favor of freedom, dares not even yet proclaim that the national good is its aim, but keeps to the old watchwords, and professes to be treading in the footsteps of George Washington.

The tone of Victorian democracy is not American. There is the defiant way of taking care of themselves and ignoring their neighbors, characteristic of the founders of English plantations in all parts of the world; the spirit which prompted the passing, in 1852, of the act prohibiting the admission to the colony of convicts for three years after they had received their pardons; but the English race here is not Latinized as it is in America. If it were, Australian democracy would not be so “shocking” to the squatters. Democracy, like Mormonism, would be nothing if found among Frenchmen or people with black faces, but it is at first sight very terrible, when it smiles on you from between a pair of rosy Yorkshire cheeks.

The political are not greater than the social differences between Australia and America. Australian society resembles English middle-class society; the people have, in matters of literature and religion, tastes and feelings similar to those which pervade such communities as those of Birmingham or Manchester. On the other hand, the vices of America are those of aristocracies; her virtues, those of a landed republic. Shop and factory are still in the second rank; wheat and corn still the prevailing powers. In all the Australian colonies land is coming to the front for the second time under a system of small holdings, except in Queensland, where it has never ceased to rule, and that under an oligarchic form of society and government; but it is doubtful whether, looking to the size of Melbourne, the landed democracy will ever outvote the townfolk in Victoria.

That men of ability and character are proscribed has been one of the charges brought against colonial democracy. For my part, I found gathered in Melbourne, at the University, at the Observatory, at the Botanical Garden, and at the government offices, men of the highest scientific attainments, drawn from all parts of the world, and tempted to Australia by large salaries voted by the democracy. The statesmen of all the colonies are well worthy of the posts they hold. Mr. Macalister, in Queensland, and Mr. Martin, at Sydney, are excellent debaters. Mr. Parkes, whose biography would be the typical history of a successful colonist, and who has fought his way up from the position of a Birmingham artisan free-emigrant to that of Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, is an extremely able writer and deep thinker. The business powers of the present Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales are remarkable; and Mr. Higinbotham, the Attorney-General of Victoria, possesses a fund of experience and a power of foresight which it would be hard to equal at home. Many of the ministers in all the colonies are men who have worked themselves up from the ranks, and it is amusing to notice the affected horror with which their antecedents have been recalled by those who have brought out a pedigree from the old country. A government clerk in one of the colonies told me that the three last ministers at the head of his department had been “so low in the social scale, that my wife could not visit theirs.”

Class animosity and political feud runs much higher, and drives its roots far deeper into private life in Victoria than in any other English-speaking country I have seen. Political men of distinction are shunned by their opponents in the streets and clubs; and, instead of its being possible to differ on politics and yet continue friends, as in the old country, I have seen men in Victoria refuse to sit down to dinner with a statesman from whose views on land questions they happened to dissent. A man once warned me solemnly against dining with a quiet grave old gentleman, on the ground that he was “a most dangerous radical—a perfect firebrand.”

Treated in this way, it is not strange that the democratic ministers and members stand much upon their dignity, and colonial Parliaments are in fact not only as haughty as the parent assembly at Westminster, but often assert their privileges by the most arbitrary of means. A few weeks before I arrived in Melbourne, a member of the staff of the Argus newspaper was given up by the proprietors to soothe the infuriated Assembly. Having got him, the great question of what to do with him arose, and he was placed in a vault with a grated window, originally built for prisoners of the House, but which had been temporarily made use of as a coal-hole. Such a disturbance was provoked by the alleged barbarity of this proceeding, that the prisoner was taken to a capital room up stairs, where he gave dinner-parties every day. His opponents said the great difficulty was to get rid of him, for he seemed to be permanently located in the Parliament-house, and that, when they ordered his liberation, his friends insisted that it should not take place until he had been carried down to the coal-hole cell which he had occupied the first day, and there photographed “through the dungeon bars” as the “martyr of the Assembly.”

Though both Victoria and New South Wales are democratic, there is a great difference between the two democracies. In New South Wales, I found not a democratic so much as a mixed country, containing a large and wealthy class with aristocratic prejudices, but governed by an intensely democratic majority—a country not unlike the State of Maryland. On the other hand, the interest which attaches to the political condition of Victoria is extreme, since it probably presents an accurate view, “in little,” of the state of society which will exist in England, after many steps toward social democracy have been taken, but before the nation as a whole has become completely democratic.

One of the best features of the colonial democracy is its earnestness in the cause of education. In England it is one of our worst national peculiarities that, whatever our station, we either are content with giving children an “education” which is absolutely wanting in any real training for the mind, or aid to the brain in its development, or else we give them a schooling which is a mere preparation for the Bar or Church, for it has always been considered with us that it is a far greater matter to be a solicitor or a curate than to be wise or happy. This is, of course, a consequence partly of the energy of the race, and partly of our aristocratic form of society, which leads every member of a class to be continually trying to get into the class immediately above it in wealth or standing. In the colonies, as in the United States, the democratic form which society has taken has carried with it the continental habit of thought upon educational matters, so that it would seem as though the form of society influenced this question much more than the energy of the race, which is rather heightened than depressed in these new countries. The English Englishman says, “If I send Dick to a good school, and scrape up money enough to put him into a profession, even if he don‘t make much, at least he‘ll be a gentleman.” The Australian or democratic Englishman says, “Tom must have good schooling, and must make the most of it; but I‘ll not have him knocking about in broadcloth, and earning nothing; so no profession for him; but let him make money like me, and mayhap get a few acres more land.”

Making allowance for the thinness of population in the bush, education in Victoria is extremely general among the children, and is directed by local committees with success, although the members of the boards are often themselves destitute of all knowledge except that which tells them that education will do their children good. Mr. Geary, an inspector of schools, told the Commissioners that he had examined one school where not a single member of the local committee could write; but these immigrant fathers do their duty honestly toward the children for all their ignorance, and there is every chance that the schools will grow and grow until their influence on behalf of freedom becomes as marked in Victoria as ever it has been in Massachusetts. Education has a great advantage in countries where political rights are widely extended: in the colonies, as in America, there is a spirit of political life astir throughout the country, and newspapers and public meetings continue an education throughout life which in England ceases at twelve, and gives place to driving sheep to paddocks, and shouting at rooks in a wheat-field.

There is nothing in the state of the Victorian schools to show what will be the type of the next generation, but there are many reasons for believing that the present disorganization of colonial society will only cease with the attainment of complete democracy or absolute equality of conditions, which must be produced by the already completely democratic institutions in little more than a generation. The squatter class will disappear as agriculture drives sheep-farming from the field, and, on the other hand, the town democracy will adopt a tone of manly independence instead of one of brag and bluster, when education makes them that which at present they are not—the equals of the wealthy farmers.

It has been justly pointed out that one of the worst dangers of democracy is the crushing influence of public opinion upon individuality, and many who have written upon America have assumed that the tendency has already manifested itself there. I had during my stay in the United States arrived at the contrary opinion, and come to believe that in no country in the world is eccentricity, moral and religious, so ripe as in America, in no country individuality more strong; but, ascribing to intermixture of foreign blood this apparently abnormal departure from the assumed democratic shape of society, I looked forward to the prospect of seeing the overwhelming force of the opinion of the majority exhibited in all its hideousness in the democratic colonies. I was as far from discovering the monster as I had been in America, for I soon found that, although there may be little intellectual unrest in Australia, there is marvelous variety of manners.

There is in our colonies no trace of that multiplication of creeds which characterizes America, and which is said to be everywhere the result of the abolition of Establishments. In Victoria, eighty per cent. of the whites belong to either Episcopalians, Catholics, or Presbyterians, and almost all of the remainder to the well-known English Churches; nothing is heard of such sects as the hundreds that have sprung up in New England—Hopkinsians, Universalists, Osgoodites, Rogerenes, Come-Outers, Non-Resistants, and the like. The Australian democrat likes to pray as his father prayed before him, and is strongly conservative in his ecclesiastical affairs. It may be the absence in Australia of enthusiastic religion which accounts for the want among the country-folk of the peculiar gentleness of manner which distinguishes the farmer in America. Climate may have its effect upon the voice; the influence of the Puritan and Quaker in the early history of the thirteen States, when manners were moulded and the national life shaped for good or harm, may have permanently affected the descendants of the early settlers; but everywhere in America I noticed that the most perfect dignity and repose of manner was found in districts where the passionate religious systems had their strongest hold.

There is no trace in the colonies at present of that love for general ideas which takes America away from England in philosophy, and sets her with the Latin and Celtic races on the side of France. The tendency is said to follow on democracy, but it would be better said that democracy is itself one of these general ideas. Democracy in the colonies is at present an accident, and nothing more; it rests upon no basis of reasoning, but upon a fact. The first settlers were active, bustling men of fairly even rank or wealth, none of whom could brook the leadership of any other. The only way out of the difficulty was the adoption of the rule “All of us to be equal, and the majority to govern;” but there is no conception of the nature of democracy, as the unfortunate Chinese have long since discovered. The colonial democrats understood “democracy” as little as the party which takes the name in the United States; but there is at present no such party in the colonies as the great Republican party of America.

Democracy cannot always remain an accident in Australia: where once planted, it never fails to fix its roots; but even in America its growth has been extremely slow. There is at present in Victoria and New South Wales a general admission among the men of the existence of equality of conditions, together with a perpetual rebellion on the part of their wives to defeat democracy, and to reintroduce the old “colonial court” society, and resulting class divisions. The consequence of this distinction is that the women are mostly engaged in elbowing their way; while among their husbands there is no such thing as the pretending to a style, a culture, or a wealth that the pretender does not possess, for the reason that no male colonist admits the possibility of the existence of a social superior. Like the American “democrat,” the Australian will admit that there may be any number of grades below him, so long as you allow that he is at the top; but no republican can be stauncher in the matter of his own equality with the best.

There is no sign that in Australia any more than in America there will spring up a center of opposition to the dominant majority; but there is as little evidence that the majority will even unwittingly abuse its power. It is the fashion to say that for a State to be intellectually great and noble there must be within it a nucleus of opposition to the dominant principles of the time and place, and that the best and noblest minds, the intellects the most seminal, have invariably belonged to men who formed part of such a group. It may be doubted whether this assumed necessity for opposition to the public will is not characteristic of a terribly imperfect state of society and government. It is chiefly because the world has never had experience of a national life at once throbbing with the pulse of the whole people, and completely tolerant not only in law but in opinion of sentiments the most divergent from the views of the majority—firm in the pursuit of truths already grasped, but ready to seize with avidity upon new; gifted with a love of order, yet ready to fit itself to shifting circumstances—that men continue to look with complacency upon the enormous waste of intellectual power that occurs when a germ of truth such as that contained in the doctrines of the Puritans finds development and acceptance only after centuries have passed.

Australia will start unclogged by slavery to try this experiment for the world.

CHAPTER VI.

PROTECTION.

THE greatest of all democratic stumbling-blocks is said to be Protection.

“Encourage native industry!” the colonial shopkeepers write up; “Show your patriotism, and buy colonial goods!” is painted in huge letters on a shopfront at Castlemaine. In England, some unscrupulous traders, we are told, write “From Paris” over their English goods, but such dishonesty in Victoria takes another shape; there we have “Warranted colonial made” placed over imported wares, for many will pay a higher price for a colonial product confessedly not more than equal to the foreign, such is the rage for Native Industry, and the hatred of the “Antipodean doctrine of Free Trade.”

Many former colonists who live at home persuade themselves, and unfortunately persuade also the public in England, that the Protectionists are weak in the colonies. So far is this from being the case in either Victoria or New South Wales, that in the former colony I found that in the Lower House the Free Traders formed but three-elevenths of the Assembly, and in New South Wales the pastoral tenants of the crown may be said to stand alone in their support of Free Trade. Some of the squatters go so far as to declare that none of the public men of the colonies really believe in the advantages of Protection, but that they dishonestly accept the principle, and undertake to act upon it when in office, in order to secure the votes of an ignorant majority of laborers, who are themselves convinced that Protection means high wages.

It would seem as though we Free Traders had become nearly as bigoted in favor of Free Trade as our former opponents were in favor of Protection. Just as they used to say “We are right; why argue the question?” so now, in face of the support of Protection by all the greatest minds in America, all the first statesmen of the Australias, we tell the New England and the Australian politicians that we will not discuss Protection with them, because there can be no two minds about it among men of intelligence and education. We will hear no defense of “national lunacy,” we say.

If, putting aside our prejudices, we consent to argue with an Australian or American Protectionist, we find ourselves in difficulties. All the ordinary arguments against the compelling people by act of Parliament to consume a dearer or inferior article are admitted as soon as they are urged. If you attempt to prove that Protection is bolstered up by those whose private interests it subserves, you are shown the shrewd Australian diggers and the calculating Western farmers in America—men whose pocket interest is wholly opposed to Protection, and who yet, almost to a man, support it. A digger at Ballarat defended Protection to me in this way: he said he knew that under a protective tariff he had to pay dearer than would otherwise be the case for his jacket and his moleskin trowsers, but that he preferred to do this, as by so doing he aided in building up in the colony such trades as the making up of clothes, in which his brother and other men physically too weak to be diggers could gain an honest living. In short, the self-denying Protection of the Australian diggers is of the character of that which would be accorded to the glaziers of a town by the citizens, if they broke their windows to find their fellow-townsmen work: “We know we lose, but men must live,” they say. At the same time they deny that the loss will be enduring. The digger tells you that he should not mind a continuing pocket loss, but that, as a matter of fact, this, which in an old country would be pocket loss, in a new country such as his only comes to this—that it forms a check on immigration. Wages being 5s. a day in Victoria and 3s. a day in England, workmen would naturally flock into Victoria from England until wages in Melbourne fell to 3s. 6d. or 4s.. Here comes in prohibition, and by increasing the cost of living in Victoria, and cutting into the Australian handicraftsman‘s margin of luxuries, and reducing his wages to 4s., diminishes the temptation to immigration, and consequently the influx itself.

The Western farmers in America, I have heard, defend Protection upon far wider grounds: they admit that Free Trade would conduce to the most rapid possible peopling of their country with foreign immigrants; but this, they say, is an eminently undesirable conclusion. They prefer to pay a heavy tax in the increased price of everything they consume, and in the greater cost of labor, rather than see their country denationalized by a rush of Irish or Germans, or their political institutions endangered by a still further increase in the size and power of New York. One old fellow said to me: “I don‘t want the Americans in 1900 to be 200 millions, but I want them to be happy.”

The American Protectionists point to the danger that their countrymen would run unless town kept pace with country population. Settlers would pour off to the West, and drain the juices of the fertile land by cropping it year after year without fallow, without manure, and then, as the land became in a few years exhausted, would have nowhere whither to turn to find the fertilizers which the soil would need. Were they to depend upon agriculture alone, they would sweep in a wave across the land, leaving behind them a worn-out, depopulated, jungle-covered soil, open to future settlement, when its lands should have recovered their fertility, by some other and more provident race. The coastlands of most ancient countries are exhausted, densely bushed, and uninhabited. In this fact lies the power of our sailor race: crossing the seas, we occupy the coasts, and step by step work our way into the upper country, where we should not have attempted to show ourselves had the ancient population resisted us upon the shores. In India, in Ceylon, we met the hardy race of the highlands and interior only after we had already fixed ourselves upon the coast, with a safe basis for our supply. The fate that these countries have met is that which colonists expect to be their own, unless the protective system be carried out in its entirety. In like manner the Americans point to the ruin of Virginia, and if you urge “slavery,” answer, “slavery is but agriculture.”

Those who speak of the selfishness of the Protectionists as a whole, can never have taken the trouble to examine into the arguments by which Protection is supported in Australia and America. In these countries, Protection is no mere national delusion; it is a system deliberately adopted with open eyes as one conducive to the country‘s welfare, in spite of objections known to all, in spite of pocket losses that come home to all. If it be, as we in England believe, a folly, it is at all events a sublime one, full of self-sacrifice, illustrative of a certain nobility in the national heart. The Australian diggers and Western farmers in America are setting a grand example to the world of self-sacrifice for a national object; hundreds of thousands of rough men are content to live—they and their families—upon less than they might otherwise enjoy, in order that the condition of the mass of their countrymen may continue raised above that of their brother toilers in Old England. Their manufactures are beginning now to stand alone, but hitherto, without Protection, the Americans would have had no cities but seaports. By picturing to ourselves England dependent upon the City of London, upon Liverpool, and Hull, and Bristol, we shall see the necessity the Western men are now under of setting off Pittsburg against New York and Philadelphia. In short, the tendency, according to the Western farmers, of Free Trade, in the early stages of a country‘s existence, is to promote universal centralization, to destroy local centers and the commerce they create, to so tax the farmer with the cost of transport to the distant centers, consequent upon the absence of local markets, that he can grow but wheat and corn continuously, and cannot but exhaust his soil. With markets so distant, the richest forest lands are not worth clearing, and a wave of settlement sweeps over the country, occupying the poorer lands, and then abandoning them once more.

Protection in the colonies and America is to a great degree a revolt against steam. Steam is making the world all one; steam “corrects” differences in the price of labor. When steam brings all races into competition with each other, the cheaper races will extinguish the dearer, till at last some one people will inhabit the whole earth. Coal remains the only power, as it will probably always be cheaper to carry the manufactured goods than to carry the coal.

Time after time I have heard the Western farmers draw imaginary pictures of the state of America if Free Trade should gain the day, and asking of what avail it is to say that Free Trade and free circulation of people is profitable to the pocket, if it destroys the national existence of America; what good to point out the gain of weight to their purses, in the face of the destruction of their religion, their language, and their Saxon institutions.

One of the greatest of the thinkers of America defended Protection to me on the following grounds: That without Protection, America could at present have but few and limited manufactures. That a nation cannot properly be said to exist as such, unless she has manufactures of many kinds; for men are born, some with a turn to agriculture, some with a turn to mechanics; and if you force the mechanic by nature to become a farmer, he will make a bad farmer, and the nation will lose the advantage of all his power and invention. That the whole of the possible employments of the human race are in a measure necessary employments—necessary to the making up of a nation. That every concession to Free Trade cuts out of all chance of action some of the faculties of the American national mind, and, so doing, weakens and debases it. That each and every class of workers is of such importance to the country, that we must make any sacrifice necessary to maintain them in full work. “The national mind is manifold,” he said; “and if you do not keep up every branch of employment in every district, you waste the national force. If we were to remain a purely agricultural people, land would fall into fewer and fewer hands, and our people become more and more brutalized as the years rolled on.”

It must not be supposed that Protection is entirely defended upon these strange new grounds. “Save us from the pauper-labor of Europe,” is the most recent as well as the oldest of Protectionist cries. The Australians and Americans say, that by working women at 1s. a day in the mines in Wales, and by generally degrading all laborers under the rank of highly-skilled artisans, the British keep wages so low, that, in spite of the cost of carriage, they can almost invariably undersell the colonists and Americans in American and Australian markets. This state of degradation and poverty nothing can force them to introduce into their own countries, and, on the other hand, they consider the iron manufacture necessary for the national purpose alluded to before. The alternative is Protection.

The most unavoidable of all the difficulties of Protection—namely, that no human government can ever be trusted to adjust protective taxation without corruption—is no objection to the prohibitions which the Western Protectionists demand. The New Englanders say—“Let us meet the English on fair terms;” the Western men say that they will not meet them at all. Some of the New York Protectionists declare that their object is merely the fostering of American manufactures until they are able to stand alone, the United States not having at present reached the point which had been attained by other nations when they threw Protection to the winds. Such halting Protectionists as these manufacturers find no sympathy in Australia or the West, although the highest of all Protectionists look forward to the distant time when, local centers being everywhere established, customs will be abolished on all sides, and mankind form one great family.

The chief thing to be borne in mind in discussing Protection with an Australian or an American is that he never thinks of denying that under Protection he pays a higher price for his goods than he would if he bought them from us, and that he admits at once that he temporarily pays a tax of 15 or 20 per cent. upon everything he buys in order to help set his country on the road to national unity and ultimate wealth. Without Protection, the American tells you, there will be commercial New York, sugar-growing Louisiana, the corn-growing Northwest, but no America. Protection alone can give him a united country. When we talk about things being to the advantage or disadvantage of a country, the American Protectionist asks what you mean. Admitting that all you say against Protection may be true, he says that he had sooner see America supporting a hundred millions independent of the remainder of the world than two hundred millions dependent for clothes upon the British. “You, on the other hand,” he says, “would prefer our custom. How can we discuss the question? The difference between us is radical, and we have no base on which to build.”

It is a common doctrine in the colonies of England that a nation cannot be called “independent” if it has to cry out to another for supplies of necessaries; that true national existence is first attained when the country becomes capable of supplying to its own citizens those goods without which they cannot exist in the state of comfort which they have already reached. Political is apt to follow upon commercial dependency, they say.

The question of Protection is bound up with the wider one of whether we are to love our fellow-subjects, our race, or the world at large; whether we are to pursue our country‘s good at the expense of other nations? There is a growing belief in England that the noblest philosophy is to deny the existence of the moral right to benefit ourselves by harming others; that love of mankind must in time replace love of race as that has in part replaced narrow patriotism and love of self. It would seem that our Free Trade system lends itself better to these wide modern sympathies than does Protection. On the other hand, it may be argued that, if every State consults the good of its own citizens, we shall, by the action of all nations, obtain the desired happiness of the whole world, and that, with rapidity, from the reason that every country understands its own interests better than it does those of its neighbor. As a rule, the colonists hold that they should not protect themselves against the sister-colonies, but only against the outer world; and while I was in Melbourne an arrangement was made with respect to the border customs between Victoria and New South Wales; but this is at present the only step that has been taken toward intercolonial Free Trade.

It is passing strange that Victoria should be noted for the eagerness with which her people seek Protection. Possessed of little coal, they appear to be attempting artificially to create an industry which, owing to this sad lack of fuel, must languish from the moment that it is let alone. Sydney coal sells in Melbourne at thirty shillings a ton; at the pit‘s-mouth at Newcastle, New South Wales, it fetches only seven or eight shillings. With regard, however, to the making-up of native produce, the question in the case of Victoria is merely this: Is it cheaper to carry the wool to the coal, and then the woolen goods back again, than to carry the coal to the wool? and as long as Victoria can continue to export wheat, so that the coal-ships may not want freight, wool manufactures may probably prosper in Victoria.

The Victorians naturally deny that the cost of coal has much to do with the question. The French manufacturers, they point out, with dearer coal, but with cheaper labor, have in many branches of trade beaten the English out of common markets, but then under Protection there is no chance of cheap labor in Victoria.

Writing for the Englishmen of Old England, it is not necessary for me to defend Free Trade by any arguments. As far as we in our island are concerned, it is so manifestly to the pocket interest of almost all of us, and at the same time, on account of the minuteness of our territory, so little dangerous politically, that for Britain there can be no danger of a deliberate relapse into Protection; although we have but little right to talk about Free Trade so long as we continue our enormous subsidies to the Cunard liners.

The American argument in favor of Prohibition is in the main, it will be seen, political, the economical objections being admitted, but outweighed. Our action in the matter of our postal contracts, as in the case of the Factory acts, at all events shows that we are not ourselves invariably averse to distinguish between the political and the economical aspect of certain questions.

My duty has been to chronicle what is said and thought upon the matter in our various plantations. One thing at least is clear—that even if the opinions I have recorded be as ridiculous when applied to Australia or America as they would be when applied to England, they are not supported by a selfish clique, but rest upon the generosity and self-sacrifice of a majority of the population.

CHAPTER VII.

LABOR.

Side by side with the unselfish Protectionism of the diggers there flourishes among the artisans of the Australias a self-interested desire for non-intercourse with the outside world.

In America, the working men, themselves almost without exception immigrants, though powerful in the various States from holding the balance of parties, have never as yet been able to make their voices heard in the Federal Congress. In the chief Australian colonies, on the other hand, the artisans have, more than any other class, the possession of political power. Throughout the world the grievance of the working classes lies in the fact that, while trade and profits have increased enormously within the last few years, true as distinguished from nominal wages have not risen. It is even doubted whether the American or British handicraftsman can now live in such comfort as he could make sure of a few years back: it is certain that agricultural laborers in the south of England are worse off than they were ten years ago, although the depreciation of gold prevents us from accurately gauging their true position. In Victoria and New South Wales, and in the States of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri, where the artisans possess some share of power, they have set about the attempt to remedy by law the grievance under which they suffer. In the American States, where the suppression of immigration seems almost impossible, their interference takes the shape of eight-hour bills, and exclusion of colored laborers. There is no trades union in America which will admit to membership a Chinaman, or even a mulatto. In Victoria and New South Wales, however, it is not difficult quietly to put a check upon the importation of foreign labor. The vast distance from Europe makes the unaided immigration of artisans extremely rare, and since the democrats have been in power the funds for assisted immigration have been withheld, and the Chinese influx all but forbidden, while manifestoes against the ordinary European immigration have repeatedly been published at Sydney by the Council of the Associated Trades.

The Sydney operatives have always taken a leading part in opposition to immigration, from the time when they founded the Anti-Transportation Committee up to the present day. In 1847, a natural and proper wish to prevent the artificial depression of wages was at the bottom of the anti-transportation movement, although the arguments made use of in the petition to the Queen were of the most general character, and Sydney mechanics, many of them free immigrants themselves, say that there is no difference of principle between the introduction of free or assisted immigrants and that of convicts.

If we look merely to the temporary results of the policy of the Australian artisans, we shall find it hard to deny that their acts are calculated momentarily to increase their material prosperity; so far they may be selfish, but they are not blind. Admitting that wages depend on the ratio of capital to population, the Australians assert that, with them, population increases faster than capital, and that hindering immigration will restore the balance. Prudential checks on population are useless, they say, in face of Irish immigration. At the same time, it is clear that, from the discouragement of immigration and limitation to eight hours of the daily toil, there results an exceptional scarcity of labor, which cramps the development of the country, and causes a depression in trade which must soon diminish the wage-fund, and react upon the working men. It is unfortunately the fact, that colonial artisans do not sufficiently bear in mind the distinction between real and nominal wages, but are easily caught by the show of an extra few shillings a week, even though the purchasing power of each shilling be diminished by the change. When looked into, “higher wages” often mean that the laborer, instead of starving upon ten shillings a week, is for the future to starve upon twenty.

As regards the future, contrasted with the temporary condition of the Australian laborer, there is no disguising the fact that mere exclusion of immigration will not in the long run avail him. It might, of course, be urged that immigration is, even in America, a small matter by the side of the natural increase of the people, and that to shut out the immigrant is but one of many checks to population; but in Australia the natural increase is not so great as in a young country might be expected. The men so largely outnumber the women in Australia, that even early marriages and large families cannot make the birth-rate very high, and fertile land being at present still to be obtained at first hand, the new agricultural districts swallow up the natural increase of the population. Still, important as is immigration at this moment, ultimately through the influx of women—to which the democrats are not opposed—or, more slowly, by the effort of nature to restore the balance of the sexes, the rate of natural increase will become far greater in Australia. Ultimately, there can be no doubt, if the Australian laborer continues to retain his present standard of comfort, prudential checks upon the birth of children will be requisite to maintain the present ratio of capital to population.

Owing to the comparatively high prices fixed for agricultural land in the three southeastern colonies of Australia, the abundance of unoccupied tracts has not hitherto had that influence on wages in Australia which it appears to have exercised in America, but under the democratic amendments of the existing free selection system, wages will probably again rise in the colonies, to be once more reduced by immigration, or, if the democracy gains the day, more slowly lowered by the natural increase of the population.

In places where competition has reduced the reward of labor to the lowest amount consistent with the efficiency of the work, compulsory restriction of the hours of toil must evidently be an unmixed benefit to the laborer, until carried to the point at which it destroys the trade in which he is engaged. In America and Australia, however, where the laborer has a margin of luxuries which can be cut down, and where the manufacturers are still to some extent competing with European rivals, restriction of hours puts them at a disadvantage with the capitalists of the old world, and, reducing their profits, tend also to diminish the wage-fund, and ultimately to decrease the wages of their men. The colonial action in this matter may, nevertheless, like all infringements of general economic laws, be justified by proof of the existence of a higher necessity for breaking than for adhering to the rule of freedom. Our own Factory Acts, we should remember, were undoubtedly calculated to diminish the production of the country.

Were the American and Australian handicraftsmen to become sufficiently powerful to combine strict Protection, or prohibition of foreign intercourse, with reduction of hours of toil, they would ultimately drive capital out of their countries, and either lower wages, or else diminish the population by checking both immigration and natural increase. Here, as in the consideration of Protection, we come to that bar to all discussion, the question, “What is a nation‘s good?” It is at least doubtful whether in England we do not attach too great importance to the continuance of nations in “the progressive state.” Unrestricted immigration may destroy the literature, the traditions, the nationality itself of the invaded country, and it is a question whether these ideas are not worth preserving even at a cost of a few figures in the returns of imports, exports, and population. A country in which Free Trade principles have been carried to their utmost logical development must be cosmopolitan and nationless, and for such a state of things to exist universally without danger to civilization the world is not yet prepared.

“Know-nothingism” in America, as what is now styled “native Americanism” was once called—a form of the protest against the exaggeration of Free Trade—was founded by handicraftsmen, and will in all probability find its main support within their ranks whenever the time for its inevitable resuscitation shall arrive. That there is honest pride of race at the bottom of the agitation no one can doubt who knows the history of the earlier Know-nothing movement; but class interest happens to point the same way as does the instinct of the race. The refusal of political privileges to immigrants will undoubtedly have some tendency to check the flow of immigration; at all events, it will check the self-assertion of the immigrants. That which does this leaves, too, the control of wages more within the hands of actual laborers, and prevents the European laborers of the eleventh hour coming in to share the heightened wages for which the American hands have struck, and suffered misery and want. No consistent republican can object to the making ten or twenty years’ residence in the United States the condition for citizenship of the land.

In the particular case of the Australian colonies, they are happily separated from Ireland by seas so wide as to have a chance of preserving a distinct nationality, such as America can scarcely hope for: only 1500 persons have come to New South Wales, unassisted, in the last five years. The burden of proof lies upon those who propose to destroy the rising nationality by assisting the importation of a mixed multitude of negroes, Chinamen, Hill-coolies, Irish, and Germans, in order that the imports and exports of Victoria and New South Wales may be increased, and that there may be a larger number of so-called Victorians and New South Welsh to live in misery.

Owing to the fostering of immigration by the aristocratic government, the population of Queensland had, in 1866, quadrupled itself since 1860; but, even were the other colonies inclined to follow the example of their northern sister, they could not do so with success. New South Wales and Tasmania might import colonists by the thousand, but they would be no sooner landed than they would run to Queensland, or sail to the New Zealand diggings, just as the “Canadian immigrants” flock into the United States.

That phase of the labor question to which I have last alluded seems to shape itself into the question, “Shall the laborer always and everywhere be encouraged or permitted to carry his labor to the best market?” The Australians answer that they are willing to admit that additional hands in a new country mean additional wealth, but that there is but little good in our preaching moral restraint to them if European immigration is to be encouraged, Chinese allowed. The only effect, they say, that self-control can have is that of giving such children as they do rear Chinamen or Irishmen to struggle against instead of brothers. It is hopeless to expect that the Australian workmen will retain their present high standard of comfort if an influx of dark-skinned handicraftsmen is permitted.

Some ten or even fewer years ago, we Free Traders of the Western world, first then coming to know some little about the kingdoms of the further East, paused a moment in our daily toil to lift to the skies our hands in lamentation at the blind exclusiveness which we were told had for ages past held sway within the council chambers of Pekin. No words were too strong for our new-found laughing-stock; China became for us what we are to Parisian journalists—a Bœotia redeemed only by a certain eccentricity of folly. This vast hive swarming with two hundred million working bees was said to find its interest in shutting out the world, punishing alike with death the outgoing and incoming of the people. “China for the Chinese” was the common war-cry of the rulers and the ruled; “Self-contained has China been, and prospered; self-contained she shall continue,” the favorite maxim of their teachers. Nothing could be conceived nobler than the scorn which mingled with half-doubting incredulity and with Pharisaic thanking of heaven that we were not as they, when the blindness of these outer barbarians of “Gog and Magog land” was drawn for us by skillful pens, and served out to us with all the comments that self-complacency could suggest. A conversion in the future was foretold, however; this Chinese infirmity of vision should not last forever; the day, we were told, must come when Studentships in Political Economy should be founded in Pekin, and Ricardo take the place of Cou-fou-chow in Thibetian schools. A conversion has taken place of late, but not that hoped for; or, if it be a conversion consistent with the truths of Economic Science, it has taken a strange shape. The wise men of Canton may be tempted, perhaps, to think that it is we who have learnt the wisdom of the sages, and been brought back into the fold of the great master. Chinese immigration is heavily taxed in California; taxed to the point of prohibition in Victoria; and absolutely forbidden under heavy penalties in Louisiana and the other ex-rebel States.

The Chinaman is pushing himself to the fore wherever his presence is not prohibited. We find Chinese helmsmen and quartermasters in the service of the Messageries and Oriental companies receiving twice the wages paid to Indian Lascars. We hear of the importation of Chinese laborers into India for railway and for drainage works. The Chinaman has great vitality. Of the cheap races the Mongol seems the most pushing, the likeliest to conquer in the fight. It would almost seem as though we were wrong in our common scales of preference, far from right in our use of the terms “superior” and “inferior” races.

A well-taught white man can outreason or can overreach a well-taught Chinaman or negro. But under some climatic conditions, the negro can outwork the white man; under almost all conditions, the Chinaman can outwork him. Where this is the case, is it not the Chinaman or the negro that should be called the better man? Call him what we may, will he not prove his superiority by working the Englishman off the soil? In Florida and Mississippi the black is certainly the better man.

Many Victorians, even those who respect and admire the Chinese, are in favor of the imposition of a tax upon the yellow immigrants, in order to prevent the destruction of the rising Australian nationality. They fear that otherwise they will live to see the English element swamped in the Asiatic throughout Australia. It is not certain that we may not some day have to encounter a similar danger in Old England.

It will be seen from the account thus given of the state of the labor question in Australia, that the colonial handicraftsmen stand toward those of the world in much the same relative position as that held by the members of a trade union toward the other workmen of the same trade. The limitation of immigration there has much the same effects as the limitation of apprentices in a single trade in England. It is easy to say that the difference between fellow-countryman and foreigner is important; that while it is an unfairness to all English workmen that English hatters should limit apprentices, it is not unfair to English hatters that Australian hatters should limit their apprentices. For my own part, I am inclined to think that, fair or unfair—and we have no international moral rule generally acknowledged to decide the question—we might at least say to Australia that, while she throws upon us the chief expenses of her defense, she is hardly in a position to refuse to aid our emigrants.

Day by day the labor question in its older aspects becomes of less and less importance. The relationship of master and servant is rapidly dying the death; co-operative farming and industrial partnerships must supersede it everywhere at no distant date. In these systems we shall find the remedy against the decline of trade with which the English-speaking countries of the earth are threatened.

The existing system of labor is anti-democratic; it is at once productive of and founded on the existence of an aristocracy of capital and a servitude of workmen; and our English democracies cannot afford that half their citizens should be dependent laborers. If manufactures are to be consistent with democracy, they must be carried on in shops in which each man shall be at once capitalist and handicraftsman. Such institutions are already in existence in Massachusetts, in Illinois, in Pennsylvania, and in Sydney; while at Troy, in New York State, there is a great iron foundery, owned from roof to floor by the men who work in it. It is not enough that the workman should share in the profits. The change which, continuing through the middle ages into the present century, has at last everywhere converted the relation of lord and slave into that of master and hireling, is already giving place to the silent revolution which is steadily substituting for this relationship of capital and labor that of a perfect marriage, in which the laborer and the capitalist shall be one.

Under this system there can be no strikes, no petty trickery, no jealousy, no waste of time. Each man‘s individual interest is coincident with that of all. Where the labor is that of a brotherhood, the toil becomes ennobled. Were industrial partnerships a new device, their inventor would need no monument; his would be found in the future history of the race. As it is, this latest advance of Western civilization is but a return to the earliest and noblest form of labor; the Arabs, the Don Cossacks, the Maori tribes are all co-operative farmers; it is the mission of the English race to apply the ancient principle to manufactures.

CHAPTER VIII.

WOMAN.

IN one respect, Victoria stands at once sadly behind and strangely in advance of other democratic countries. Women, or at least some women, vote at the Lower House elections; but, on the other hand, the legal position of the sex is almost as inferior to that of man as it is in England or the East.

At an election held some few years ago, female ratepayers voted everywhere throughout Victoria. Upon examination, it was found that a new registration act had directed the rate-books to be used as a basis for the preparation of the electoral lists, and that women householders had been legally put on the register, although the intention of the legislature was not expressed, and the question of female voting had not been raised during the debates. Another instance, this, of the singular way in which in truly British countries reforms are brought about by accident, and, when once become facts, are allowed to stand. There is no more sign of general adhesion in Australia than in England to the doctrine which asserts that women, as well as men, being interested in good government, should have a voice in the selection of that government to which they are forced to submit themselves.

As far as concerns their social position, women are as badly off in Australia as in England. Our theory of marriage—which has been tersely explained thus: “the husband and wife are one, and the husband is that one”—rules as absolutely at the antipodes as it does in Yorkshire. I was daily forced to remember the men of Kansas and Missouri, and the widely different view they take of these matters to that of the Australians. As they used to tell me, they are impatient of seeing their women ranked with “lunatics and idiots” in the catalogue of incapacities. They are incapable of seeing that women are much better represented by their male friends than were the Southern blacks by their owners or overseers. They believe that the process of election would not be more purified by female emancipation than would the character of the Parliaments elected.

The Kansas people often say that if you were told that there existed in some ideal country two great sections of a race, the members of the one often gross, often vicious, often given to loud talking, to swearing, to drinking, spitting, chewing, not infrequently corrupt; those of the other branch, mild, kind, quiet, pure, devout, with none of the habitual vices of the first-named sect,—if you were told that one of these branches was alone to elect rulers and to govern, you would at once say, “Tell us where this happy country is that basks in the rule of such a godlike people.” “Stop a minute,” says your informant, “it is the creatures I described first—the men—who rule; the others are only women, poor silly fools—imperfect men, I assure you; nothing more.”

It is somewhat the fashion to say that the so-called “extravagancies” of the Kansas folk and other American Western men arise from the extraordinary position given to their women by the disproportion of the sexes. Now in all the Australian colonies the men vastly outnumber the women, yet the disproportion has none of those results which have been attributed to it by some writers on America. In New South Wales, the sexes are as 250,000 to 200,000, in Victoria 370,000 to 280,000, in New Zealand 130,000 to 80,000, in Queensland 60,000 to 40,000, in Tasmania 50,000 to 40,000, in West Australia 14,000 to 8000, 90,000 to 80,000 in South Australia. In all our Southern colonies together, there are a million of men to only three-quarters of a million of women; yet with all this disproportion, which far exceeds that in Western America, not only have the women failed to acquire any great share of power, political or social, but they are content to occupy a position not relatively superior to that held by them at home.

The “Sewing Clubs” of the war-time are at the bottom of a good deal of the “woman movement” in America. At the time of greatest need, the ladies of the Northern States formed themselves into associations for the supply of lint, of linen, and of comforts to the army: the women of a district would meet together daily in some large room, and sew, and chat while they were sewing.

The British section of the Teutonic race seems naturally inclined, through the operation of its old interest-begotten prejudices, to rank women where Plato placed them in the “Timæus,” along with horses and draught cattle, or to think of them much as he did when he said that all the brutes derived their origin from man by a series of successive degradations, of which the first was from man to woman. There is, however, one strong reason why the English should, in America, have laid aside their prejudices upon this point, retaining them in Australia, where the conditions are not the same. Among farming peoples, whose women do not work regularly in the field, the woman to whom falls the household and superior work is better off than she is among town-dwelling peoples. The Americans are mainly a farming, the Australians and British mainly a town-dwelling, people. The absence in all sections of our race of regular woman labor in the field seems to be a remnant of the high estimation in which women were held by our former ancestry. In Britain we have, until the last few years, been steadily retrograding upon this point.

It is a serious question how far the natural prejudice of the English mind against the labor of what we call “inferior races” will be found to extend to half the superior race itself. How will English laborers receive the inevitable competition of women in many of their fields? Woman is at present starved, if she works at all, and does not rest content in dependence upon some man, by the terrible lowness of wages in every employment open to her, and this low rate of wages is itself the direct result of the fewness of the occupations which society allows her. Where a man can see a thousand crafts in which he may engage, a woman will perhaps be permitted to find ten. A hundred times as many women as there is room for invade each of this small number of employments. In the Australian labor-field the prospects of women are no better than they are in Europe, and during my residence in Melbourne the Council of the Associated Trades passed a resolution to the effect that nothing could justify the employment of women in any kind of productive labor.

CHAPTER IX.

VICTORIAN PORTS.

ALL allowance being made for the great number of wide roads for trade, there is still a singular absence of traffic in the Melbourne streets. Trade may be said to be transacted only upon paper in the city, while the tallow, grain, and wool, which form the basis of Australian commerce, do not pass through Melbourne, but skirt it, and go by railway to Williamstown, Sandridge, and Geelong.

Geelong, once expected to rival Melbourne, and become the first port of all Australia, I found grass-grown and half deserted, with but one vessel lying at her wharf. At Williamstown a great fleet of first-class ships was moored alongside the pier. When the gold-find at Ballarat took place, Geelong rose fast as the digging port, but her citizens chose to complete the railway line to Melbourne instead of first opening that to Ballarat, and so lost all the up-country trade. Melbourne, having once obtained the lead, soon managed to control the legislature, and grants were made for the Echuca Railroad, which tapped the Murray, and brought the trade of Upper Queensland and New South Wales down to Melbourne, in the interest of the ports of Williamstown and Sandridge. Not content with ruining Geelong, the Melbourne men have set themselves to ridicule it. One of their stories goes that the Geelong streets bear such a fine crop of grass, that a free selector has applied to have them surveyed and sold to him, under the 42d clause of the New Land Act. Another story tells how a Geelongee lately died, and went to heaven. Peter, opening the door to his knock, asked, “Where from?” “Geelong.” “Where?” said Peter. “Geelong.” “There‘s no such place,” replied the Apostle. “In Victoria,” cried the colonist. “Fetch Ham‘s Australian Atlas,” called Peter; and when the map was brought and the spot shown to him, he replied, “Well, I beg your pardon, but I really never had any one here from that place before.”

If Geelong be standing still, which in a colony is the same as rapid decline would be with us, the famed wheat country around it seems as inexhaustible as it ever was. The whole of the Barrabool range, from Ceres to Mount Moriac, is one great golden waving sheet, save where it is broken by the stunted claret-vineyards. Here and there I came upon a group of the little daughters of the German vine-dressers, tending and trenching the plants, with the round eyes, rosy cheeks, and shiny pigtails of their native Rudesheim all flourishing beneath the Southern Cross.

The colonial vines are excellent; better, indeed, than the growths of California, which, however, they resemble in general character. The wines are naturally all Burgundies, and colonial imitations of claret, port, and sherry are detestable, and the hocks but little better. The Albury hermitage is a better wine than can be bought in Europe at its price, but in some places this wine is sold as Murray Burgundy, while the dealers foist horrible stuff upon you under the name of hermitage. Of the wines of New South Wales, White Dallwood is a fair Sauterne, and White Cawarra a good Chablis, while for sweet wines the Chasselas is singularly cheap; and the Tokay, the Shiraz, and the still Muscat are remarkable.

Northwest of Geelong, upon the summit of the foot-hills of the dividing range, lies Ballarat, the headquarters of deep quartz mining, and now no longer a diggers’ camp, but a graceful city, full of shady boulevards and noble buildings, and with a stationary population of thirty thousand. My first visit was made in the company of the prime ministers of all the colonies, who were at Melbourne nominally for a conference, but really to enjoy a holiday and the International Exhibition. With that extraordinary generosity in the spending of other people‘s money which distinguishes colonial cabinets, the Victorian government placed special trains, horses, carriages, and hotels at our disposal, the result of which was that, fêted everywhere, we saw nothing, and I had to return to Ballarat in order even to go through the mines.

In visiting Lake Learmouth and Clunes, and the mining district on each side of Ballarat, I found myself able to discover the date of settlement by the names of places, as one finds the age of a London suburb by the titles of its terraces. The dates run in a wave across the country. St. Arnaud is a town between Ballarat and Castlemaine, and Alma lies near to it, while Balaklava Hill is near Ballarat, where also are Raglan and Sebastopol. Inkerman lies close to Castlemaine, and Mount Cathcart bears the name of the general killed at the Two Gun battery, while the Malakhoff diggings, discovered doubtless toward the end of the war, lie to the northward, in the Wimmera.

Everywhere I found the interior far hotter than the coast, but free from the sudden changes of temperature that occur in Melbourne twice or thrice a week throughout the summer, and are dangerous to children and to persons of weak health. After two or three days of the hot wind, then comes a night, breathless, heavy, still. In the morning the sun rises, once more fierce and red. After such a night and dawn, I have seen the shade thermometer in the cool verandas of the Melbourne Club standing at 95° before ten o‘clock, when suddenly the sun and sky would change from red and brown to gold and blue, and a merry breeze, dancing up from the ice-packs of the South Pole and across the Antarctic seas, would lower the temperature in an hour to 60° or 65°. After a few days of cold and rain, a quiet English morning would be cut in half about eleven by a sudden slamming of doors and whirling of dust from the north across the town, while darkness came upon the streets. Then was heard the cry of “Shut the windows; here‘s a hot wind,” and down would go every window, barred and bolted, while the oldest colonists walked out to enjoy the dry air and healthy heat. The thick walls of the clubs and private houses will keep out the heat for about three days, but if, as sometimes happens, the hot wind lasts longer, then the walls are heated through, and the nights are hardly to be borne. Up country the settlers know nothing of these changes. The regular irregularity is peculiar to the Melbourne summer.

CHAPTER X.

TASMANIA.

AFTER the parching heat of Australia, a visit to Tasmania was a grateful change. Steaming along Port Dalrymple and up the Tamar in the soft sunlight of an English afternoon, we were able to look upward, and enjoy the charming views of wood and river, instead of having to stand with downcast head, as in the blaze of the Victorian sun.

The beauty of the Tamar is of a quiet kind: its scenery like that of the non-Alpine districts of the west coast of New Zealand, but softer and more habitable than is that of even the least rude portions of these islands. To one fresh from the baked Australian plains, there is likeness between any green and humid land and the last unparched country that he may have seen. Still, New Zealand cannot show fresher cheeks nor homes more cosy than those of the Tamar valley. Somersetshire cannot surpass the orchards of Tasmania, nor Devon match its flowers.

The natural resemblance of Maria Van Dieman‘s Land (as Tasman called it after his betrothed) to England seems to have struck the early settlers. In sailing up the Tamar, we had on one bank the County of Dorset, with its villages touchingly named after those at home, according to their situations, from its Lulworth Cove, Corfe Castle, and St. Alban‘s Head, round to Abbotsbury, and, on our right hand, Devon, with its Sidmouth, Exeter, and Torquay.

Hurrying through Launceston—a pretty little town, of which the banks and post-office are models of simple architecture—I passed at once across the island southward to Hobarton, the capital. The scenery on the great convict road is not impressive. The Tasmanian Mountains—detached and rugged masses of basaltic rock, from four to five thousand feet in height—are wanting in grandeur when seen from a distance, with a foreground of flat corn-land. It is disheartening, too, in an English colony, to see half the houses shut up and deserted, and acre upon acre of old wheat-land abandoned to mimosa scrub. The people in these older portions of the island have worked their lands to death, and even guano seems but to galvanize them into a momentary life. Since leaving Virginia, I had seen no such melancholy sight.

Nature is bountiful enough: in the world there is not a fairer climate; the gum-trees grow to 350 feet, attesting the richness of the soil; and the giant tree-ferns are never injured by heat, as in Australia, nor by cold, as in New Zealand. All the fruits of Europe are in season at the same time, and the Christmas dessert at Hobarton often consists of five and twenty distinct fresh fruits. Even more than Britain, Tasmania may be said to present on a small area an epitome of the globe: mountain and plain, forest and rolling prairie land, rivers and grand capes, and the noblest harbor in the world, all are contained in a country the size of Ireland. It is unhappily not only in this sense that Tasmania is the Ireland of the South.

Beautiful as is the view of Hobarton from Mount Wellington,—the spurs in the foreground clothed with a crimson carpet by a heathlike plant; the city nestled under the basaltic columns of the crags,—even here it is difficult to avoid a certain gloom when the eye, sweeping over the vast expanse of Storm Bay and D‘Entrecasteaux Sound, discovers only three great ships in a harbor fitted to contain the navies of the world.

The scene first of the horrible deeds of early convict days at Macquarie Harbor and Port Arthur, and later of the still more frightful massacres of the aboriginal inhabitants of the isle, Van Dieman‘s Land has never been a name of happy omen, and now the island, in changing its title, seems not to have escaped from the former blight. The poetry of the English village names met with throughout Tasmania vanishes before the recollection of the circumstances under which the harsher native terms came to be supplanted. Fifty years ago, our colonists found in Tasmania a powerful and numerous though degraded native race. At this moment, three old women and a lad who dwell on Gun-carriage Rock, in Bass‘s Straits, are all who remain of the aboriginal population of the island.

We live in an age of mild humanity, we are often told, but, whatever the polish of manner and of minds in the old country, in outlying portions of the empire there is no lack of the old savagery of our race. Battues of the natives were conducted by the military in Tasmania not more than twenty years ago, and are not unknown even now among the Queensland settlers. Let it not be thought that Englishmen go out to murder natives unprovoked; they have that provocation for which even the Spaniards in Mexico used to wait, which the Brazilians wait for now—the provocation of robberies committed in the neighborhood by natives unknown. It is not that there is no offense to punish, it is that the punishment is indiscriminate, that even when it falls upon the guilty it visits men who know no better. Where one wretched untaught native pilfers from a sheep-station, on the Queensland Downs, a dozen will be shot by the settlers, “as an example,” and the remainder of the tribe brought back to the district to be fed and kept, until whisky, rum, and other devils’ missionaries have done their work.

Nothing will persuade the rougher class of Queensland settlers that the “black-fellow” and his “jin” are human. They tell you freely that they look upon the native Australian as an ingenious kind of monkey, and that it is not for us to talk too much of the treatment of the “jins,” or native women, while the “wrens” of the Curragh exist among ourselves. No great distance appears to separate us from the days when the Spaniards in the West Indies used to brand on the face and arms all the natives they could catch, and gamble them away for wine.

Though not more than three or four million acres out of seventeen million acres of land in Tasmania have as yet been alienated by the crown, the population has increased only by 15,000 in the last ten years. Such is the indolence of the settlers, that vast tracts of land in the central plain, once fertile under irrigation, have been allowed to fall back into a desert state from sheer neglect of the dams and conduits. Though iron and coal are abundant, they are seldom if ever worked, and one house in every thirty-two in the whole island is licensed for the sale of spirits, of which the annual consumption exceeds five gallons a head for every man, woman, and child in the population. Tasmania reached her maximum of revenue in 1858, and her maximum of trade in 1853.

GOVERNOR DAVEY‘S PROCLAMATION.—P. 86.
GOVERNOR DAVEY‘S PROCLAMATION.—P. 86.

The curse of the country is the indolence of its lotus-eating population, who, like all dwellers in climates cool but winterless, are content to dream away their lives in drowsiness to which the habits of a hotter but less equable clime—Queensland, for example—are energy itself. In addition, however, to this natural cause of decline, Van Dieman‘s Land is not yet free from all traces of the convict blood, nor from the evil effects of reliance on forced labor. It is, indeed, but a few years since the island was one great jail, and in 1853 there were still 20,000 actual convicts in the island. The old free settlers will tell you that the deadly shade of slave labor has not blighted Jamaica more thoroughly than that of convict labor has Van Dieman‘s Land.

Seventy miles northwest of Hobarton is a sheet of water called Macquarie Harbor, the deeds wrought upon the shores of which are not to be forgotten in a decade. In 1823, there were 228 prisoners at Macquarie Harbor, to whom, in the year, 229 floggings and 9925 lashes were ordered, 9100 lashes being actually inflicted. The cat was, by order of the authorities, soaked in salt water and dried in the sun before being used. There was at Macquarie Harbor one convict overseer who took a delight in seeing his companions punished. A day seldom passed without five or six being flogged on his reports. The convicts were at his mercy. In a space of five years, during which the prisoners at Macquarie Harbor averaged 250 in number, there were 835 floggings and 32,723 lashes administered. In the same five years, 112 convicts absconded from this settlement, of whom 10 were killed and eaten by their companions, 75 perished in the bush with or without cannibalism, two were captured with portions of human flesh in their possession, and died in hospital, two were shot, 16 were hanged for murder and cannibalism, and seven are reported to have made good their escape, though this is by no means certain.

It has been stated by a Catholic missionary bishop in his evidence before a Royal Commission, that when, after a meeting at one of the stations, he read out to his men the names of thirty-one condemned to death, they with one accord fell upon their knees, and solemnly thanked God that they were to be delivered from that horrible place. Men were known to commit murder that they might be sent away for trial, preferring death to Macquarie Harbor.

The escapes were often made with the deliberate expectation of death, the men perfectly knowing that they would have to draw lots for which should be killed and eaten. Nothing has ever been sworn to in the history of the world which, for revolting atrocity, can compare with the conduct of the Pierce-Greenhill party during their attempted escape. The testimony of Pierce is a revelation of the depths of degradation to which man can descend. The most fearful thought, when we hear of these Tasmanian horrors, is that probably many of those subjected to them were originally guiltless. If only one in a thousand was an innocent man, four human beings were consigned each year to hell on earth. We think, too, that the age of transportation for mere political offenses has long gone by, yet it is but eleven or twelve years since Mr. Frost received his pardon, after serving for sixteen years amid the horrors of Port Arthur.

Tasmania has never been able to rid herself of the convict population in any great degree, for the free colonies have always kept a jealous watch upon her emigrants. Even at the time of the great gold-rush to Victoria, almost every “Tasmanian bolter” and many a suspected but innocent man was seized upon his landing, and thrown into Pentridge Jail, to toil within its twenty-foot walls till death should come to his relief. Even now, men of wealth and station in Victoria are sometimes discovered to have been “bolters” in the digging times, and are at the mercy of their neighbors and the police, unless the governor can be wheedled into granting pardons for their former deeds. A wealthy Victorian was arrested as a “Tasmanian bolter” while I was in the colony.

The passport system is still in force in the free colonies with regard to passengers arriving from penal settlements, and there is a penalty of £100 inflicted upon captains of ships bringing convicts into Melbourne. The conditional pardons granted to prisoners in West Australia and in Tasmania generally contain words permitting the convict to visit any portion of the world except the British Isles, but the clause is a mere dead letter, for none of our free colonies will receive even our pardoned convicts.

It is hard to quarrel with the course the colonies have taken in this matter, for to them the transportation system appears in the light of moral vitriol-throwing; still, there is a wide distinction to be drawn between the action of the New South Welsh and that of the New Yorkers, when they declared to a British government of the last century, that nothing should induce them to accept the labor of “white English slaves:” the Sydney people have enjoyed the advantages of the system they now blame. Even the Victorians and South Australians, who have never had convicts in their land, can be met by argument. The Australian colonies, it might be urged, were planted for the sole purpose of affording a suitable soil for the reception of British criminals: in face of this fact, the remonstrances of the free colonists read somewhat oddly, for it would seem as though men who quitted, with open eyes, Great Britain to make their home in the spots which their government had chosen as its giant prisons have little right to pretend to rouse themselves on a sudden, and cry out that England is pouring the scum of her soil on to a free land, and that they must rise and defend themselves against the grievous wrong. Weighing, however, calmly the good and evil, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the Victorians have much reason to object to a system which sends to another country a man who is too bad for his own, just as Jersey rogues are transported to Southampton. The Victorian proposition of selecting the most ruffianly of the colonial expirees, and shipping them to England in exchange for the convicts that we might send to Australia, was but a plagiarism on the conduct of the Virginians in a similar case, who quietly began to freight a ship with snakes.

The only cure for Tasmania, unless one is to be found in the mere lapse of years, lies in annexation to Victoria; a measure strongly wished for by a considerable party in each of the colonies concerned. No two countries in the world are more manifestly destined by nature to be complementary to each other.

Owing to the small size of the country, and the great moral influence of the landed gentry, Tasmanian politics are singularly peaceful. For the Lower House elections the suffrage rests upon a household, not a manhood basis, as in Victoria and New South Wales; and for the Upper House it is placed at £500 in any property, or £50 a year in freehold land. Tasmanian society is cast in a more aristocratic shape than is that of Queensland, with this exception the most oligarchical of all our colonies; but even here, as in the other colonies and the United States, the ballot is supported by the Conservatives. Unlike what generally happens in America, the vote in the great majority of cases is here kept secret, bribery is unknown, and, the public “nomination” of candidates having been abolished, elections pass off in perfect quiet. In the course of a dozen conversations in Tasmania, I met with one man who attacked the ballot. He was the first person, aristocrat or democrat, conservative or liberal, male or female, silly or wise, by whom I had found the ballot opposed since I left home.

The method in which the ballot is conducted is simple enough. The returning officer sits in an outer room, beyond which is an inner chamber with only one door, but with a desk. The voter gives his name to the returning officer, and receives a white ticket bearing his number on the register. On the ticket the names of the candidates are printed alphabetically, and the voter, taking the paper into the other room, makes a cross opposite to the name of each candidate for whom he votes, and then brings the paper folded to the returning officer, who puts it in the box. In New South Wales and Victoria, he runs his pen through all the names excepting those for which he wishes to vote, and himself deposits the ticket in the box, the returning officer watching him, to see that he does not carry out his ticket to show it to his bribers, and then send it in again by a man on his own side. One scrutineer for each candidate watches the opening of the box. In New South Wales, the voting papers, after having been sealed up, are kept for five years, in order to allow of the verification of the number of votes said to have been cast; but in Tasmania they are destroyed immediately after the declaration of the poll.

Escaping from the capital and its Lilliputian politics, I sailed up the Derwent to New Norfolk. The river reminds the traveler sometimes of the Meuse, but oftener of the Dart, and unites the beauties of both streams. The scenery is exquisitely set in a framework of hops; for not only are all the flats covered with luxuriant bines, but the hills between which you survey the views have also each its “garden,” the bines being trained upon a wire trellis.

A lovely ride was that from New Norfolk to the Panshanger salmon-ponds, where the acclimatization of the English fish has lately been attempted. The track, now cut along the river cliff, now lost in the mimosa scrub, offers a succession of prospects, each more lovely than the one before it; and that from the ponds themselves is a repetition of the view along the vale of the Towy, from Steele‘s house near Caermarthen. Trout of a foot long, and salmon of an inch, rewarded us (in the spirit) for our ride, but we were called on to express our belief in the statement, that salmon “returned from the sea” have lately been seen in the river. Father ——, the Catholic parish priest, “that saw ’em,” is the hero of the day, and his past experiences upon the Shannon are quoted as testimonies to his infallibility in fish questions. My hosts of New Norfolk had their fears lest the reverend gentleman should be lynched, if it were finally proved that he had been mistaken.

The salmon madness will at least have two results: the catalogue of indigenous birds will be reduced to a blank sheet, for every wretched Tasmanian bird that never saw a salmon egg in all its life is shot down and nailed to a post for fear it should eat the ova; and the British wasp will be acclimatized in the southern hemisphere. One is known to have arrived in the last box of ova, and to have survived with apparent cheerfulness his one hundred days in ice. Happy fellow, to cross the line in so cool a fashion!

The chief drawbacks to Tasmanian picnics and excursions are the snakes, which are as numerous throughout the island as they are round Sydney. One of the convicts in a letter home once wrote: “Parrots is as thick as crows, and snakes is very bad, fourteen to sixteen feet long;” but in sober truth the snakes are chiefly small.

The wonderful “snake stories” that in the colonial papers take the place of the English “triple birth” and “gigantic gooseberry” are all written in vacation time by the students at Melbourne University, but a true one that I heard in Hobarton is too good to be lost. The chief justice of the island, who, in his leisure time, is an amateur naturalist, and collects specimens for European collections in his walks, told me that it was his practice, after killing a snake, to carry it into Hobarton tied to a stick by a double lashing. A few days before my visit, on entering his hall, where an hour before he had hung his stick with a rare snake in readiness for the government naturalist, he found to his horror that the viper had been only scotched, and that he had made use of his regained life to free himself from the string which confined his head and neck. He was still tied by the tail, so he was swinging to and fro, or “squirming around,” as some Americans would say, with open mouth and protruded tongue. When lassoing with a piece of twine had been tried in vain, my friend fetched a gun, and succeeded in killing the snake and much damaging the stone-work of his vestibule.

After a week‘s sojourn in the neighborhood of Hobarton I again crossed the island, but this time by a night of piercing moonlight such as can be witnessed only in the dry air of the far south. High in the heavens, and opposite the moon, was the solemn constellation of the Southern Cross, sharply relieved upon the pitchy background of the Magellanic clouds, while the weird-tinted stars which vary the night-sky of the southern hemisphere stood out from the blue firmament elsewhere. The next day I was again in Melbourne.

CHAPTER XI.

CONFEDERATION.

MELBOURNE is unusually gay, for at a shapely palace in the center of the city the second great Intercolonial Exhibition is being held, and, as its last days are drawing to their close, fifty thousand people—a great number for the colonies—visit the building every week. There are exhibitors from each of our seven southern colonies, and from French New Caledonia, Netherlandish India, and the Mauritius. It is strange to remember now that in the colonization both of New Zealand and of Australia, we were the successful rivals of the French only after having been behind them in awakening to the advisability of an occupation of these countries. In the case of New Zealand, the French fleet was anticipated there several times by the forethought and decision of our naval officers on the station; and in the case of Australia, the whole south coast was actually named “La Terre Napoléon,” and surveyed for colonization by Captain Baudin in 1800. New Caledonia, on the other hand, was named and occupied by ourselves, and afterward abandoned to the French.

The present remarkable exhibition of the products of the Australias, coming just at the time when the border customs between Victoria and New South Wales have been abolished by agreement, and when all seems to point to the formation of a customs union between the colonies, leads men to look still further forward, and to expect confederation. It is worthy of notice at this conjuncture that the Australian Protectionists, as a rule, refuse to be protected against their immediate neighbors, just as those of America protect the manufactures of the Union rather than of single States. They tell us that they can point, with regard to Europe, to pauper labor, but that they have no case as against the sister colonies; they wish, they say, to obtain a wide market for the sale of the produce of each colony; the nationality they would create is to be Australian, not provincial.

Already there is postal union, and a partial customs union, and confederation itself, however distant in fact, has been very lately brought about in the spirit by the efforts of the London press, one well-known paper having three times in a single article called the governor of New South Wales by the sounding title of “Governor-General of the Australasian colonies,” to which he has, of course, not the faintest claim.

There are many difficulties in the way of confederation. The leading merchants and squatters of Victoria are in favor of it; but not so those of the poorer or less populous colonies, where there is much fear of being swamped. The costliness of the federal government of New Zealand is a warning against over-hasty confederation. Victoria, too, would probably insist upon the exclusion of West Australia, on account of her convict population. The continental theory is undreamt of by Australians, owing to their having always been inhabitants of comparatively small States, and not, like dwellers in the organized territories of America, potentially citizens of a vast and homogeneous empire.

The choice of capital will, here as in Canada, be a matter of peculiar difficulty. It is to be hoped by all lovers of freedom that some hitherto unknown village will be selected. There is in all great cities a strong tendency to Imperialism. Bad pavement, much noise, narrow lanes, blockaded streets, all these things are ill dealt with by free government, we are told. Englishmen who have been in Paris, Americans who know St. Petersburg, forgetting that without the Emperor the Préfet is impossible, cry out that London, that New York, in their turn need a Haussman. In this tendency lies a terrible danger to free States—a danger avoided, however, or greatly lessened, by the seat of the legislature being placed, as in Canada and the United States, far away from the great cities. Were Melbourne to become the seat of government, nothing could prevent the distant colonies from increasing the already gigantic power of that city by choosing her merchants as their representatives.

The bearing of confederation upon Imperial interests is a more simple matter. Although union will tend to the earlier independence of the colonies, yet, if federated, they are more likely to be a valuable ally than they could be if remaining so many separate countries. They would also be a stronger enemy; but distance will make all their wars naval, and a strong fleet would be more valuable to us as a friend than dangerous as an enemy, unless in the case of a coalition against us, in which it would probably not be the interest of Australia to join.

From the colonial point of view, federation would tend to secure to the Australians better general and local government than they possess at present. It is absurd to expect that colonial governors should be upon good terms with their charges when we shift men every four years—say from Demerara to New South Wales, or from Jamaica to Victoria. The unhappy governor loses half a year in moving to his post, and a couple of years in coming to understand the circumstances of his new province, and then settles down to be successful in the ruling of educated whites under democratic institutions only if he can entirely throw aside the whole of his experience, derived as it will probably have been from the despotic sway over blacks. We never can have a set of colonial governors fit for Australia until the Australian governments are made a separate service, and entirely separated from the West Indies, Africa, and Hong Kong.

Besides improving the government, confederation would lend to every colonist the dignity derived from citizenship of a great country—a point the importance of which will not be contested by any one who has been in America since the war.

It is not easy to resist the conclusion that confederation is in every way desirable. If it leads to independence, we must say to the Australians what Houmai ta Whiti said in his great speech to the progenitors of the Maori race when they were quitting Hawaiki: “Depart, and dwell in peace; let there be no quarreling among you, but build up a great people.

CHAPTER XII.

ADELAIDE.

THE capital of South Australia is reputed the hottest of all the cities that are chiefly inhabited by the English race, and as I neared it through the Backstairs Passage into the Gulf of St. Vincent, past Kangaroo Island, and still more upon landing at Glenelg, I came to the conclusion that its reputation was deserved. The extreme heat which characterizes South Australia is to some extent a consequence of its lying as far north as New South Wales and Queensland, and so far inland as to escape the breeze by which their coasts are visited; for although by “South Australia” we should, in the southern hemisphere, naturally understand that portion of Australia which was farthest from the tropics, yet it is a curious fact that the whole colony of Victoria lies to the south of Adelaide, that neither of the great southern peninsulas of Australia are in, but that nearly all the northernmost points of the continent now lie within, the country misnamed “South Australia.”

The immense northern territory, being supposed to be valueless, has generously been made a present of to South Australia, which thus becomes the largest British colony, and nearly as large as British Hindostan. If the great expenditure which is going on succeeds in causing the discovery of any good land at the north, it will of course at once be made into a separate colony. The only important result that seems likely to follow from this annexation to South Australia of the northern territory is that schoolboys’ geography will suffer; indeed, I should say that a total destruction of all principle in the next generation would be the inevitable result of so rude a blow to confidence in books and masters as the assurance from a teacher‘s lips that the two most remote countries of Australia from each other are united under one colonial government, and that the northernmost points of the whole continent are situated in South Australia. Boys will probably conclude that across the line south becomes north and north south, and that in Australia the sun rises in the west.

Instead of gold, wheat, sheep, as in Victoria, the staples here are wheat, sheep, copper, and my introduction to South Australia was characteristic of the colony, for I found in Port Adelaide, where I first set foot, not only every store filled to overflowing, but piles of wheat-sacks in the roadways, and lines of wheat-cars on the sidings of railways, without even a tarpaulin to cover the grain.

Of all the mysteries of commerce, those that concern the wheat and flour trade are, perhaps, the strangest to the uninitiated. Breadstuffs are still sent from California and Chili to Victoria, yet from Adelaide, close at hand, wheat is being sent to England and flour to New York!

There can be no doubt that ultimately Victoria and Tasmania will at least succeed in feeding themselves. It is probable that neither New Zealand nor Queensland will find it to their interest to do the like. Wool-growing in the former and cotton and wool in the latter will continue to pay better than wheat in the greater portion of their lands. Their granary, and that possibly of the City of Sydney itself, will be found in South Australia, especially if land capable of carrying wheat be discovered to the westward of the settlements about Adelaide. That the Australias, Chili, California, Oregon, and other Pacific States can ever export largely of wheat to Europe is now more than doubtful. If manufactures spring up on this side the world, these countries, whatever their fertility, will have at least enough to do to feed themselves.

As I entered the streets of the “farinaceous village,” as Adelaide is called by conceited Victorians, I was struck with the amount of character they exhibit both in the way of buildings, of faces, and of dress. The South Australians have far more idea of adapting their houses and clothes to their climate than have the people of the other colonies, and their faces adapt themselves. The verandas to the shops are sufficiently contiguous to form a perfect piazza; the people rise early, and water the sidewalk in front of their houses; and you never meet a man who does not make some sacrifice to the heat, in the shape of puggree, silk coat, or sun-helmet; but the women are nearly as unwise here as in the other colonies, and persist in going about in shawls and colored dresses. Might they but see a few of the Richmond or Baltimore ladies in their pure white muslin frocks, and die of envy, for the dress most convenient in a hot dry climate is also the most beautiful under its bright sun.

The German element is strong in South Australia, and there are whole villages in the wheat-country where English is never spoken; for here, as in America, there has been no mingling of the races, and the whole divergence from the British types is traceable to climatic influences, and especially dry heat. The men born here are thin, and fine-featured, somewhat like the Pitcairn Islanders, while the women are all alike—small, pretty, and bright, but with a burnt-up look. The haggard eye might, perhaps, be ascribed to the dreaded presence of my old friend of the Rocky Mountains, the brulot sand-fly.

The inhabitants of all hot dry countries speak from the head, and not the chest, and the English in Australia are acquiring this habit; you seldom find a “cornstalk” who speaks well from the chest.

The air is crisp and hot—crisper and hotter even than that of Melbourne. The shaded thermometer upon the Victorian coast seldom reaches 110°, but in the town of Adelaide 117° has been recorded by the government astronomer. Such is the figure of the Australian continent that Adelaide, although a seaport town, lies far up as it were inland. Catching the heated gales from three of the cardinal points, Adelaide has a summer six months long, and is exposed to a fearful continuance of hot winds; nevertheless, 105° at Adelaide is easier borne than 95° in the shade at Sydney.

Nothing can be prettier than the outskirts of the capital. In laying out Adelaide, its founders have reserved a park about a quarter of a mile in width all round the city. This gives a charming drive nine miles long, outside which again are the olive-yards and villas of the citizens. Hedges of the yellow cactus, or of the graceful Kangaroo Island acacia, bound the gardens, and the pomegranate, magnolia, fig, and aloe grow upon every lawn. Five miles to the eastward are the cool wooded hills of the Mount Lofty Range, on the tops of which are grown the English fruits for which the plains afford no shade or moisture.

Crossing the Adelaide plains, for fifty miles by railway, to Kapunda, I beheld one great wheat-field without a break. The country was finer than any stretch of equal extent in California or Victoria, and looked as though the crops were “standing”—which in one sense they were, though the grain was long since “in.” The fact is that they use the Ridley machines, by which the ears are thrashed out without any cutting of the straw, which continues to stand, and which is finally plowed in at the farmer‘s leisure, except in the neighborhood of Adelaide. There would be a golden age of partridge-shooting in Old England did the climate and the price of straw allow of the adoption of the Ridley reaper. Under this system, South Australia grows on the average six times as much wheat as she can use, whereas, if reaping had to be paid for, she could only grow from one and a half to twice as much as would meet the home demand.

In this country, as in America, “bad farming” is found to pay, for with cheap land, the Ridley reaper, and good markets, light crops without labor, save the peasant-proprietor‘s own toil, pay well when heavy crops obtained by the use of hired labor would not reimburse the capitalist. The amount of land under cultivation has been trebled in the last seven years, and half a million acres are now under wheat. South Australia has this year produced seven times as much grain as she can consume, and twelve acres are under wheat for every adult male of the population of the colony.

A committee has been lately sitting in New South Wales “to consider the state of the colony.” To judge from the evidence taken before it, the members seemed to have conceived that their task was to inquire why South Australia prospered above New South Wales. Frugality of the people, especially of the Germans, and fertility of the soil were the reasons which they gave for the result, but it is impossible not to see that the success of South Australia is but another instance of the triumph of small proprietors, of whom there are now some seven or eight thousand in the colony, and these were brought here by the adoption of the Wakefield land system.

In the early days of the colony, land was sold at a good price in 130-acre sections, with one acre of townland to each agricultural section. Now, under rules made at home, but confirmed after the introduction of self-government, land is sold by auction, with a reserved price of £1 an acre, but when once a block has passed the hammer, it can forever be taken up at £1 the acre without further competition. The Land Fund is kept separate from the other revenue, and a few permanent charges, such as that for the aborigines, being paid out of it, the remainder is divided into three portions, of which two are destined for public works, and one for immigration.

There is a marvelous contrast to be drawn between the success which has attended the Wakefield system in South Australia and the total failure, in the neighboring colony of West Australia, of the old system, under which vast tracts of land being alienated for small prices to the crown, there remains no fund for introducing that abundant supply of labor without which the land is useless.

Adelaide is so distant from Europe that no immigrants come of themselves, and, in the assisted importation of both men and women, the relative proportions of English, Scotch, and Irish that exist at home are carefully preserved, by which simple precaution the colony is saved from an organic change of type, such as that which threatens all America, although it would, of course, be idle to deny that the restriction is aimed against the Irish.

The greatest difficulty of young countries lies in the want of women: not only is this a bar to the natural increase of population; it is a deficiency preventive of permanency, destructive of religion; where woman is not there can be no home, no country.

How to obtain a supply of marriageable girls is a question which Canada, Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales, have each in their turn attempted to solve by the artificial introduction of Irish work-house girls. The difficulty apparently got rid of, we begin to find that it is not so much as fairly seen; we have yet to look it squarely in the face. The point of the matter is that we should find not girls, but honest girls,—not women merely, but women fit to bear families in a free State.

One of the colonial superintendents, writing of a lately-received batch of Irish work-house girls, has said that, if these are the “well-conducted girls, he should be anxious to see a few of the evil-disposed.” While in South Australia, I read the details of the landing of a similar party of women from Limerick work-house one Sunday afternoon at Point Levi, the Lambeth of Quebec. Although supplied by the city authorities with meat and drink, and ordered to leave for Montreal at early morning, nothing could be more abominable than their conduct in the mean while. They sold baggage, bonnets, combs, cloaks, and scarfs, keeping on nothing but their crinolines and senseless finery. With the pence they thus collected they bought corn-whisky, and in a few hours were yelling, fighting, swearing, wallowing in beastly drunkenness; and by the time the authorities came down to pack them off by train, they were as fiends, mad with rum and wisky. At five in the morning, they reached the Catholic Home at Montreal, where the pious nuns were shocked and horrified at their grossness of conduct and lewd speech; nothing should force them, they declared, ever again to take into their peaceable asylum the Irish work-house girls. This was no exceptional case: the reports from South Australia, from Tasmania, can show as bad; and in Canada such conduct on the part of the freshly-landed girls is common. A Tasmanian magistrate has stated in evidence before a Parliamentary Committee that once when his wife was in ill health he went to one of the immigration offices, and applied for a decent woman to attend on a sick lady. The woman was duly sent down, and found next day in her room lying on the bed in a state best pictured in her own words: “Here I am with my yard of clay, blowing a cloud, you say.”

It is evident that a batch of thoroughly bad girls cost a colony from first to last, in the way of prisons, hospitals, and public morals, ten times as much as the free passages across the seas of an equal number of worthy Irish women, free from the work-house taint. Of one of these gangs which landed in Quebec not many years ago, it has been asserted by the immigration superintendents that the traces are visible to this day, for wherever the women went, “sin, and shame, and death were in their track.” The Irish unions have no desire in the matter beyond that of getting rid of their most abandoned girls; their interests and those of the colonies they supply are diametrically opposed. No inspection, no agreements, no supervision can be effective in the face of facts like these. The class that the unions can afford to send, Canada and Tasmania cannot afford to keep. Women are sent out with babies in their arms; no one will take them into service because the children are in the way, and in a few weeks they fall chargeable on one of the colonial benevolent societies, to be kept till the children grow up or the mothers die. Even when the girls are not so wholly vicious as to be useless in service, they are utterly ignorant of everything they ought to know. Of neither domestic nor farm-work have they a grain of knowledge. Of thirteen who were lately sent to an up-country town, but one knew how to cook, or wash, or milk, or iron, while three of them had agreed to refuse employment unless they were engaged to serve together. The agents are at their wits’ ends; either the girls are so notoriously infamous in their ways of life that no one will hire them, or else they are so extravagant in their new-found “independence” that they on their side will not be hired. Meanwhile the Irish authorities lay every evil upon the long sea voyage. They say that they select the best of girls, but a few days at sea suffice to demoralize them.

The colonies could not do better than combine for the establishment of a new and more efficient emigration agency in Ireland. To avoid the evil, by as far as possible refusing to meet it face to face at all, South Australia has put restrictions on her Irish immigration; for here as in America it is found that the Scotch and Germans are the best of immigrants. The Scotch are not more successful in Adelaide than everywhere in the known world. Half the most prominent among the statesmen of the Canadian Confederation, of Victoria, and of Queensland, are born Scots, and all the great merchants of India are of the same nation. Whether it be that the Scotch emigrants are for the most part men of better education than those of other nations, of whose citizens only the poorest and most ignorant are known to emigrate, or whether the Scotchman owes his uniform success in every climate to his perseverance or his shrewdness, the fact remains, that wherever abroad you come across a Scotchman, you invariably find him prosperous and respected.

The Scotch emigrant is a man who leaves Scotland because he wishes to rise faster and higher than he can at home, whereas the emigrant Irishman quits Galway or County Cork only because there is no longer food or shelter for him there. The Scotchman crosses the seas in calculating contentment; the Irishman in sorrow and despair.

At the Burra Burra and Kapunda copper-mines there is not much to see, so my last days in South Australia were given to the politics of the colony, which present one singular feature. For the elections to the Council or Upper House, for which the franchise is a freehold worth £50 or a leasehold of £20 a year, the whole country forms but a single district, and the majority elect their men. In a country where party feeling runs high, such a system, were it possible, would evidently unite almost all the evils conceivable in a plan of representation, but in a peaceful colony it undoubtedly works well. Having absolute power in their hands, the majority here, as in the selection of a governor for an American State, use their position with great prudence, and make choice of the best men that the country can produce. The franchise for the Lower House, for the elections to which the colony is “districted,” is the simple one of six months’ residence, which with the ballot works irreproachably.

The day that I left Adelaide was also that upon which Captain Cadell, the opener of the Murray to trade, sailed with his naval expedition to fix upon a capital for the Northern territory; that coast of tropical Australia which faces the Moluccas. As Governor Gilpin had pressed me to stay, he pressed me to go with him, making as an inducement a promise to name after me either “a city” or a headland. He said he should advise me to select the headland, because that would remain, whereas the city probably would not. When I pleaded that he had no authority to carry passengers, he offered to take me as his surgeon. Hitherto the expeditions have discovered nothing but natives, mangroves, alligators, and sea-slugs, and the whole of the money received from capitalists at home, for 300,000 acres of land to be surveyed and handed over to them in North Australia, being now exhausted, the government are seriously thinking of reimbursing the investors and giving up the search for land. It would be as cheap to colonize equatorial Africa from Adelaide, as tropical Australia. If the Northern territory is ever to be rendered habitable, it must be by Queensland that the work is done.

It is not certain that North Australia may not be found to yield gold in plenty. In a little known manuscript of the seventeenth century, the northwest of Australia is called “The land of gold;” and we are told that the fishermen of Solor, driven on to this land of gold by stress of weather, picked up in a few hours their boat full of gold nuggets, and returned in safety. They never dared repeat their voyage, on account of their dread of the unknown seas; but Manoel Godinho de Eredia was commissioned by the Portuguese Lord Admiral of India to explore this gold land, and enrich the crown of Portugal by the capture of the treasures it contained. It would be strange enough if gold came to be discovered on the northwest coast, in the spot from which the Portuguese reported their discovery.

By dawn, after one of the most stifling of Australian nights, I left Port Adelaide for King George‘s Sound. A long narrow belt of a clear red-yellow light lay glowing along the horizon to the east, portending heat and drought; elsewhere the skies were of a deep blue-black. As we steamed past Kangaroo Island, and through Investigator Straits, the sun shot up from the tawny plains, and the hot wind from the northern desert, rising on a sudden after the stillness of the night, whirled clouds of sand over the surface of the bay.

CHAPTER XIII.

TRANSPORTATION.

AFTER five days’ steady steaming across the great Australian bight, north of which lies the true “Terra Australia incognita,” I reached King George‘s Sound—“Le Port du Roi Georges en Australie,” as I saw it written on a letter in the jail. At the shore end of a great land-locked harbor, the little houses of bright white stone that make up the town of Albany peep out from among geranium-covered rocks. The climate, unlike that of the greater portion of Australia is damp and tropical, and the dense scrub is a mass of flowering bushes, with bright blue and scarlet blooms and curiously-cut leaves.

The contrast between the scenery and the people of West Australia is great indeed. The aboriginal inhabitants of Albany were represented by a tribe of filthy natives—tall, half starved, their heads bedaubed with red ochre, and their faces smeared with yellow clay; the “colonists” by a gang of fiend-faced convicts working in chains upon the esplanade, and a group of scowling expirees hunting a monkey with bull-dogs on the pier, while the native women, half clothed in tattered kangaroo-skins, came slouching past with an aspect of defiant wretchedness. Work is never done in West Australia unless under the compulsion of the lash, for a similar degradation of labor is produced by the use of convicts as by that of slaves.

Settled at an earlier date than was South Australia, West Australia, then called Swan River, although one of the oldest of the colonies, was so soon ruined by the free gift to the first settlers of vast territories useless without labor, that in 1849 she petitioned to be made a penal settlement, and though at the instance of Victoria transportation to the Australias has now all but ceased, Freemantle Prison is still the most considerable convict establishment we possess across the seas.

At the time of my visit there were 10,000 convicts or emancipists within the “colony,” of whom 1500 were in prison, 1500 in private service on tickets-of-leave, while 1500 had served out their time, and over 5000 had been released upon conditional pardons: 600 of the convicts had arrived from England in 1865. Out of a total population, free and convict, of 20,000, the offenders in the year had numbered nearly 3500, or more than one-sixth of the people, counting women and children.

If twenty years of convict labor seem to have done but little for the settlement, they have at least enabled us to draw the moral, that transportation and free emigration cannot exist side by side: the one element must overbear and destroy the other. In Western Australia, the convicts and their keepers form two-thirds of the whole population, and the district is a great English prison, not a colony, and exports but a little wool, a little sandal-wood, and a little cotton.

Western Australia is as unpopular with the convicts as with free settlers: fifty or sixty convicts have successfully escaped from the settlement within the last few years. From twenty to thirty escapes take place annually, but the men are usually recaptured within a month or two, although sheltered by the people, the vast majority of whom are ticket-of-leave men or ex-convicts. Absconders receive a hundred lashes and one year in the chain-gang, yet from sixty to seventy unsuccessful attempts at escape are reported every year.

On the road between Albany and Hamilton I saw a man at work in ponderous irons. The sun was striking down on him in a way that none can fancy who have no experience of Western Australia or Bengal, and his labor was of the heaviest; now he had to prise up huge rocks with a crow-bar, now to handle pick and shovel, now to use the rammer, under the eye of an armed warder, who idled in the shade by the roadside. This was an “escape-man,” thus treated with a view to cause him to cease his continual endeavors to get away from Albany. No wonder that the “chain-gang” system is a failure, and the number both of attempts and actual escapes heavier under it than before the introduction of this tremendous punishment.

Many of the “escapes” are made with no other view than to obtain a momentary change of scene. On the last return trip of the ship in which I sailed from Adelaide to King George‘s Sound, a convict coal-man was found built up in the coal-heap on deck: he and his mates at Albany had drawn lots to settle which of them should be thus packed off by the help of the others “for a change.” Of ultimate escape there could be no chance; the coal on deck could not fail to be exhausted within a day or two after leaving port, and this they knew. When he emerged, black, half smothered, and nearly starved, from his hiding-place, he allowed himself to be quietly ironed, and so kept till the ship reached Adelaide, when he was given up to the authorities, and sent back to Albany for punishment. Acts of this class are common enough to have received a name. The offenders are called “bolters for a change.”

A convict has been known when marching in his gang suddenly to lift up his spade, and split the skull of the man who walked in front of him, thus courting a certain death for no reason but to escape from the monotony of toil. Another has doubled his punishment for fun by calling out to the magistrates, “Gentlemen, pray remember that I am entitled to an iron-gang, because this is the second time of my absconding.”

One of the strangest things about the advance of England is the many-sided character of the form of early settlement: Central North America we plant with Mormons, New Zealand with the runaways of our whaling ships, Tasmania and portions of Australia with our transported felons. Transportation has gone through many phases since the system took its rise in the exile to the colonies under Charles II. of the moss-troopers of Northumberland. The plan of forcing the exiles to labor as slaves on the plantations was introduced in the reign of George II., and by an Act then passed offenders were actually put up to auction, and knocked down to men who undertook to transport them, and make what they could of their labor. In 1786, an Order in Council named the eastern coast of Australia and the adjacent islands as the spot to which transportation beyond the seas should be directed, and in 1787 the black bar was drawn indelibly across the page of history which records the foundation of the colony of New South Wales. From that time to the present day the world has witnessed the portentous sight of great countries in which the major portion of the people, the whole of the handicraftsmen, were convicted felons.

There being no free people whatever in the “colonies” when first formed, the governors had no choice but to appoint convicts to all the official situations. The consequence was robbery and corruption. Recorded sentences were altered by the convict-clerks, free pardons and grants of land were sold for money. The convict overseers forced their gangmen to labor not for government, but for themselves, securing secrecy by the unlimited supply of rum to the men, who in turn bought native women with all that they could spare. On the sheep-stations whole herds were stolen, and those from neighboring lands driven in to show on muster-days. Enormous fortunes were accumulated by some of the emancipists, by fraud and infamy rather than by prudence, we are told, and a vast number of convicts were soon at large in Sydney town itself, without the knowledge of the police. As the settlements grew in years and size, the sons of convict parents grew up in total ignorance, while such few free settlers as arrived—“the ancients,” as they were styled, or “the ancient nobility of Botany Bay”—were wholly dependent on convict tutors for the education of their children—the “cornstalks” and “currency girls;” and cock-fighting was the chief amusement of both sexes. The newspapers were without exception conducted by gentleman convicts, or “specials,” as they were called, who were assigned to the editors for that purpose, and the police force itself was composed of ticket-of-leave men and “emancipists.” Convicts were thus the only schoolmasters, the only governesses, the only nurses, the only journalists, and, as there were even convict clergymen and convict university professors, the training of the youth of the land was committed almost exclusively to the felon‘s care.

A petition sent home from Tasmania in 1848 is simple and pathetic; it is from the parents and guardians resident in Van Dieman‘s Land. They set forth that there are 13,000 free children growing up in the colony, that within six years alone 24,000 convicts have been turned into the island, and of these but 4000 were women. The result is that their children are brought up in the midst of profligacy and degradation.

The lowest depth of villainy, if in such universal infamy degrees can be conceived, was to be met with in the parties working in the “chain-gangs” on the roads. “Assignees” too bad even for the whip of the harshest, or the “beef and beer” of the most lenient master, brutalized still further, if that were possible, by association with those as vile as themselves, and followed about the country by women too infamous even for service in the houses of the up-country settlers, or the gin-palaces of the towns, worked in gangs upon the roads by day, whenever promises of spirits or the hope of tobacco could induce them to work at all, and found a compensation for such unusual toil in nightly quitting their camp, and traversing the country, robbing and murdering those they met, and sacking every homestead that lay in their track.

The clerk in charge of one of the great convict barracks was himself a convict, and had an understanding with the men under his care that they might prowl about at night and rob on condition that they should share their gains with him, and that, if they were found out, he should himself prosecute them for being absent without leave. Juries were composed either of convicts, or of publicans dependent on the convicts for their livelihood, and convictions were of necessity extremely rare. In a plain case of murder the judge was known to say: “If I don‘t attend to the recommendation to mercy, these fellows will never find a man guilty again,” and jurymen would frequently hand down notes to the counsel for the defense, and bid him give himself no trouble, as they intended to acquit their friend.

The lawyers were mostly convicts, and perjury in the courts was rife. It has been given in evidence before a Royal Commission by a magistrate of New South Wales that a Sydney free immigrant once had a tailor‘s bill sent in which he did not owe, he having been but a few weeks in the colony. He instructed a lawyer, and did not himself appear in court. He afterward heard that he had won his case, for the tailor had sworn to the bill, but the immigrant‘s lawyer, “to save trouble,” had called a witness who swore to having paid it, which settled the case. Sometimes there were not only convict witnesses and convict jurors, but convict judges.

The assignment system was supposed to be a great improvement upon the jail, but its only certain result was that convict master and convict man used to get drunk together, while a night never passed without a burglary in Sydney. Many of the convicts’ mistresses went out from England as government free emigrants, taking with them funds subscribed by the thieves at home and money obtained by the robberies for which their “fancy men” had been convicted, and on their arrival at Sydney succeeded in getting their paramours assigned to them as convict servants. Such was the disparity of the sexes that the term “wife” was a mockery, and the Female Emigration Society and the government vied with each other in sending out to Sydney the worst women in all London, to reinforce the ranks of the convict girls of the Paramatta factory. Even among the free settlers, marriage soon became extremely rare. Convicts were at the head of the colleges and benevolent asylums; the custom-house officials were all convicts; one of the occupants of the office of attorney-general took for his clerk a notorious convict, who was actually recommitted to Bathurst after his appointment, and yet allowed to return to Sydney and resume his duties.

The most remarkable peculiarity of the assignment system was its gross uncertainty. Some assigned convicts spent their time working for high wages, living and drinking with their masters; others were mere slaves. Whether, however, he be in practice well or ill treated, in the assignment or apprenticeship system the convict is, under whatever name, a slave, subject to the caprice of a master who, though he cannot himself flog his “servant,” can have him flogged by writing a note or sending his compliments to his neighbor the magistrate on the next run or farm. The “whipping-houses” of Mississippi and Alabama had their parallel in New South Wales; a look or word would cause the hurrying of the servant to the post or the forge as a preliminary to a month in the chain-gang “on the roads.” On the other hand, nothing under the assignment system can prevent skilled convict workmen being paid and pampered by their masters, whose interest it evidently becomes to get out of them all the work possible through excessive indulgence, as intelligent labor cannot be produced through the machinery of the whipping-post, but may be through that of “beef and beer.”

Whatever may have been the true interest of the free settlers, cruelty was in practice commoner than indulgence. Fifty and a hundred lashes, months of solitary confinement, years of labor in chains upon the roads, were laid upon convicts for such petty offenses as brawling, drunkenness, and disobedience. In 1835, among the 28,000 convicts then in New South Wales, there were 22,000 summary convictions for disorderly or dishonest conduct, and in a year the average was 3000 floggings, and above 100,000 lashes. In Tasmania, where the convicts then numbered 15,000, the summary convictions were 15,000 and the lashes 50,000 a year.

The criminal returns of Tasmania and New South Wales contain the condemnation of the transportation system. In the single year of 1834, one-seventh of the free population of Van Dieman‘s Land were summarily convicted of drunkenness. In that year, in a population of 37,000, 15,000 were convicted before the courts for various offenses. Over a hundred persons a year were at that time sentenced to death for crimes of violence in New South Wales alone. Less than a fourth of the convicts served their time without incurring additional punishment from the police, and those who thus escaped proved generally in after-life the worst of all, and even government officials were forced into admitting that transportation demoralized far more persons than it reformed. Hundreds of assigned convicts made their escape to the back country, and became bushrangers; many got down to the coast, and crossed to the Pacific islands, whence they spread the infamies of New South Wales throughout all Polynesia. A Select Committee of the House of Commons reported, in words characteristic of our race, that these convicts committed, in New Zealand and the Pacific, “outrages at which humanity shudders,” and which were to be deplored as being “injurious to our commercial interests in that quarter of the globe.”

Transportation to New South Wales came to its end none too soon: in fifty years, 75,000 convicts had been transported to that colony, and 30,000 to the little island of Tasmania in twenty years.

Were there no other argument for the discountenance of transportation, it would be almost enough to say that the life in the convict-ship itself makes the reformation of transported criminals impossible. Where many bad men are brought together, the few not wholly corrupt who may be among them have no opportunity for speech, and the grain of good that may exist in every heart can have no chance for life; if not inclination, pride at least leads the old hand to put down all acts that are not vile, all words that are not obscene. Those who have sailed in convict company say that there is something terrible in the fiendish delight that the “old hands” take in watching the steady degradation of the “new chums.” The hardened criminals invariably meet the less vile with outrage, ridicule, and contempt, and the better men soon succumb to ruffians who have crime for their profession, and for all their relaxation vice.

To describe the horrors of the convict-ships, we are told, would be impossible. The imagination will scarce suffice to call up dreams so hideous. Four months of filthiness in a floating hell sink even the least bad to the level of unteachable brutality. Mutiny is unknown; the convicts are their own masters and the ship‘s, but the shrewd callousness of the old jail-bird teaches all that there is nothing to be gained even by momentary success. Rage and violence are seldom seen, but there is a humor that is worse than blows,—conversation that transcends all crime in infamy.

It will be long before the last traces of convict disease disappear from Tasmania and New South Wales; the gold-find has done much to purify the air, free selection may lead to a still more bright advance, manufacturing may lend its help; but years must go by before Tasmania can be prosperous or Sydney moral. Their history is not only valuable as a guide to those who have to save West Australia, as General Bourke and Mr. Wentworth saved New South Wales, but as an example, not picked from ancient rolls, but from the records of a system founded within the memory of living man, and still existent, of what transportation must necessarily be, and what it may easily become.

The results of a dispassionate survey of the transportation system are far from satisfactory. If deportation be considered as a punishment, it would be hard to find a worse. Punishment should be equable, reformatory, deterrent, cheap. Transportation is the most costly of all the punishments that are known to us; it is subject to variations that cannot be guarded against; it is severest to the least guilty and slightest to the most hardened; it morally destroys those who have some good remaining in them; it leaves the ruffianly malefactor worse if possible than it finds him; and, while it is frightfully cruel and vindictive in its character, it is useless as a deterrent because its nature is unknown at home. Transportation to the English thief means exile, and nothing more; it is only after conviction, when far away from his uncaught associates, that he comes to find it worse than death. Instead of deterring, transportation tempts to crime; instead of reforming, it debases the bad, and confirms in villainy the already infamous. To every bad man it gives the worst companions; the infamous are to be reformed by association with the vile; while its effects upon the colonies are described in every petition of the settlers, and testified to by the whole history of our plantations in the antipodes, and by the present condition of West Australia and Tasmania, from which, however, New South Wales has happily escaped. We have come at last to transportation in its most limited and restricted sense; the only remaining step is to be quit of it altogether.

In conjunction with all punishment, we should secure some means of separating the men one from another as soon as the actual punishment is terminated: to settle them on land, to settle them with wives where possible, should be our object. The work which really has in it something of reformation is that which a man has to do, not in order that he may avoid whipping, but that he may escape starvation; and it is from this point of view that transportation is defensible. A man, however bad, will generally become a useful member of society and a not altogether neglectful father if allowed to settle upon land away from his old associates; but morbid tendencies of every kind are strengthened by close association with others who are laboring under a like infirmity: and where the former convicts are allowed to hang together in towns, nothing is to be expected better than that which is actually found—namely, a state of society where wives speedily become as villainous as their husbands, and where children are brought up to emulate their fathers’ crimes.

To keep the men separate from each other, after the expiration of the sentence, we need to send the convicts to a fairly populous country, whence arises this great difficulty: if we send convicts to a populous colony, we are met at once by a cry that we are forcing the workmen of the colony into a one-sided competition; that we are offering an unbearable insult to the free population; that, in attempting to reform the felon, in allowing him to be absorbed into the colonial society, we are degrading and corrupting the whole community on the chance of possible benefit to our English villain. On the other hand, if we send our convicts to an uninhabited land, such as New South Wales and Tasmania were, such as West Australia is now, we build up an artificial Pandemonium, whither we convey at the public cost the pick and cream of the ruffians of the world, to form a community of which each member must be sufficiently vile of himself to corrupt a nation.

If by care the difficulty of which I have spoken can be avoided, transportation might be replaced by short sentences and solitary confinement, and low diet, to be followed by forced exile, under regulations, to some selected colony, say the Ghauts of Eastern Africa, opposite to Madagascar, or the highlands that skirt the Zambesi River. Exile after punishment may often be the only way of providing for convicts who would otherwise be forced to return to their former ways. The difficulties in the way of discharged convicts seeking employment are too terrible for them not to accept joyfully any simple plan for emigration to a country where they are unknown.

In Western Australia, transportation has not been made subservient to colonization, and both in consequence have failed.

On going on board the Bombay at King George‘s Sound, I at once found myself in the East. The captain‘s crew of Malays, the native cooks in long white gowns, the Bombay serangs in dark-blue turbans, red cummerbunds, and green or yellow trowsers; the negro or Abyssinian stokers, and passengers in coats of China-grass; the Hindoo deck-sweepers playing on their tomtoms in the intervals of work; the punkahs below; the Hindostanee names for every one on deck; and, above all, the general indolence of everybody, all told of a new world.

A convict clerk superintended the coaling, which took place before we left the harbor for Ceylon, and I remarked that the dejection of his countenance exceeded that of the felon-laborers who worked in irons on the quay. There is a wide-spread belief in England that unfair favor is shown to “gentlemen convicts.” This is simply not the case; every educated prisoner is employed at in-door work, for which he is suited, and not at road-making, in which he might be useless; but there are few cases in which he would not wish to exchange a position full of hopeless degradation for that of an out-door laborer, who passes through his daily routine drudgery (far from the prison) unknown, and perhaps in his fancy all but free. The longing to change the mattock for the pen is the result of envy, and confined to those who, if listened to, would prove incapable of pursuing the pen-driver‘s occupation.

Under a fair and freshening breeze, we left the port of Albany, happy to escape from a jail the size of India, even those of us who had been forced to pass only a few days in West Australia.

CHAPTER XIV.

AUSTRALIA.

PACING the deck with difficulty as the ship tore through the lava-covered seas, before a favoring gale that caught us off Cape Lewin, some of us discussed the prospects of the great south land as a whole.

In Australia, it is often said, we have a second America in its infancy; but it may be doubted whether we have not become so used to trace the march of empire on a westward course, through Persia and Assyria, Greece and Rome, then by Germany to England and America, that we are too readily prepared to accept the probability of its onward course to the Pacific.

The progress of Australia has been singularly rapid. In 1830, her population was under 40,000; in 1860, it numbered 1,500,000; nevertheless, it is questionable how far the progress will continue. The natural conditions of America in Australia are exactly reversed. All the best lands of Australia are on her coast, and these are already taken up by settlers. Australia has three-quarters the area of Europe, but it is doubtful whether she will ever support a dense population throughout even half her limits. The uses of the northern territory have yet to be discovered, and the interior of the continent is far from being tempting to the settler. Upon the whole, it seems likely that almost all the imperfectly-known regions of Australia will in time be occupied by pastoral crown tenants, but that the area of agricultural operations is not likely to admit of indefinite extension. The central district of Australia, to the extent, perhaps, of half the entire continent, lies too far north for winter rains, too far south for tropical wet seasons, and in these vast solitudes agriculture may be pronounced impossible, sheep-farming difficult. As far as sufficient water for sheep and cattle-stations is concerned, there will be no difficulty in retaining this in tanks or raising it by means of wells, and the wool, tallow, and even meat, will be carried by those railways for which the country is admirably fitted, while the construction of locks upon the Murray and its tributaries will enable steamers to carry the whole trade of the Riverina. So far, all is well, but the arable lands of Australia are limited by the rains, and apparently the limit is a sadly narrow one.

Once in awhile, a heavy winter rain appears to fall in the interior; grass springs up, the lagoons are filled, the up-country squatters make their fortunes, and all goes prosperously for a time. Accounts reach the coast cities of the astonishing fertility of the interior, and hundreds of settlers set off to the remotest districts. Two or three years of drought then follow, and all the more enterprising squatters are soon ruined, with a gain, however, sometimes of a few thousand square miles of country to civilization.

Hitherto the Australians have not made so much as they should have done of the country that is within their reach. The want of railroads is incredible. There are but some 400 miles of railway in all Australia—far less than the amount possessed by the single infant State of Wisconsin. The sums spent upon the Victorian lines have deterred the colonists from completing their railway system: £10,000,000 sterling were spent upon 200 miles of road, through easy country in which the land cost nothing. The United States have made nearly 40,000 miles of railroad for less than £300,000,000 sterling; Canada made her 2000 miles for £20,000,000, or ten times as much railroad as Victoria for only twice the money. Cuba has already more miles of railroad than all Australia.

Small as are the inhabited portions of Australia when compared with the corresponding divisions of the United States, this country nevertheless to English eyes is huge enough. The part of Queensland already peopled is five times larger than the United Kingdom. South Australia and West Australia are each of them nearly as large as British India, but of these colonies the greater part is desert. Fertile Victoria, the size of Great Britain, is only a thirty-fourth part of Australia.

In face of the comparatively small amount of good agricultural country known to exist in Australia, the disproportionate size of the great cities shows out more clearly than ever. Even Melbourne, when it comes to be examined, has too much the air of a magnified Hobart, of a city with no country at its back, of a steam-hammer set up to crack nuts. Queensland is at present free from the burden of gigantic cities, but then Queensland is in greater danger of becoming what is in reality a slave republic.

Morally and intellectually, at all events, the colonies are thriving. A literature is springing up, a national character is being grafted upon the good English stock. What shape the Australian mind will take is at present somewhat doubtful. In addition to considerable shrewdness and purely Saxon capacity and willingness to combine for local objects, we find in Australia an admirable love of simple mirth, and a serious distaste for prolonged labor in one direction, while the down-rightness and determination in the pursuit of truth, remarkable in America, are less noticeable here.

The extravagance begotten of the tradition of convict times has not been without effect, and the settlers waste annually, it is computed, food which would support in Europe a population of twice their numbers.

This wastefulness is perhaps, however, in some degree a consequence of the necessary habits of a pastoral people. The 8000 tons of tallow exported annually by the Australias are said to represent the boiling down of sheep enough to feed half a million of people for a twelvemonth.

Australian manners, like the American, resemble the French rather than the British—a resemblance traceable, perhaps, to the essential democracy of Australia, America, and France. One surface point which catches the eye in any Australian ball-room, or on any race-course, is clearly to be referred to the habit of mind produced by democracy—the fact, namely, that the women dress with great expense and care, the men with none whatever. This, as a rule, is true of Americans, Australians, and French.

Unlike as are the Australians to the British, there is nevertheless a singular mimicry of British forms and ceremonies in the colonies, which is extended to the most trifling details of public life. Twice in Australia was I invited to ministerial dinners, given to mark the approaching close of the session; twice also was I present at university celebrations, in which home whimsicalities were closely copied. The governors’ messages to the Colonial Parliaments are travesties of those which custom in England leads us to call “the Queen‘s.” The very phraseology is closely followed. We find Sir J. Manners Button gravely saying: “The representatives of the government of New South Wales and of my government have agreed to an arrangement on the border duties....” The “my” in a democratic country like Victoria strikes a stranger as pre-eminently incongruous, if not absurd.

The imitation of Cambridge forms by the University of Sydney is singularly close. One almost expects to see the familiar blue gown of the “bull-dog” thrown across the arm of the first college servant met within its precincts. Chancellor, Vice-chancellor, Senate, Syndicates, and even Proctors, all are here in the antipodes. Registrar, professors, “seniors,” fees, and “petitions with the University seal attached;” “Board of Classical Studies”—the whole corporation sits in borrowed plumage; the very names of the colleges are being imitated: we find already a St. John‘s. The Calendar reads like a parody on the volume issued every March by Messrs. Deighton. Rules upon matriculation, upon the granting of testamurs; prize-books stamped with college arms are named, ad eundem degrees are known, and we have imitations of phraseology even in the announcement of prizes to “the most distinguished candidates for honors in each of the aforesaid schools,” and in the list of subjects for the Moral Science tripos. Lent Term, Trinity Term, Michaelmas Term, take the place of the Spring, Summer, and Fall Terms of the less pretentious institutions in America, and the height of absurdity is reached in the regulations upon “academic costume,” and on the “respectful salutation” by undergraduates of the “fellows and professors” of the University. The situation on a hot-wind day of a member of the Senate, in “black silk gown, with hood of scarlet cloth edged with white fur, and lined with blue silk, black velvet trencher cap,” all in addition to his ordinary clothing, it is to be presumed, can be imagined only by those who know what hot winds are. We English are great acclimatizers: we have carried trial by jury to Bengal, tenant-right to Oude, and caps and gowns to be worn over loongee and paejama at Calcutta University. Who are we, that we should cry out against the French for “carrying France about with them everywhere”?

The objects of the founders are set forth in the charter as “the advancement of religion and morality, and the promotion of useful knowledge;” but as there is no theological faculty, no religious test or exercise whatever, the philosophy of the first portion of the phrase is not easily understood.

In no Western institutions is the radicalism of Western thought so thoroughly manifested as in the Universities; in no English colonial institutions is Conservatism so manifest. The contrast between Michigan and Sydney is far more striking than that between Harvard and old Cambridge.

Of the religious position of Australia there is little to be said: the Wesleyans, Catholics, and Presbyterians are stronger, and the other denominations weaker, than they are at home. The general mingling of incongruous objects and of conflicting races, characteristic of colonial life, extends to religious buildings. The graceful Wesleyan church, the Chinese joss-house, and the Catholic cathedral stand not far apart in Melbourne. In Australia, the mixture of blood is not yet great. In South Australia, where it is most complete, the Catholics and Wesleyans have great strength. Anglicanism is naturally strongest where the race is most exclusively British—in Tasmania and New South Wales.

As far as the coast tracts are concerned, Australia, as will be seen from what has been said of the individual colonies, is rapidly ceasing to be a land of great tenancies, and becoming a land of small freeholds, each cultivated by its owner. It need hardly be pointed out that, in the interests of the country and of the race, this is a happy change. When English rural laborers commence to fully realize the misery of their position, they will find not only America, but Australia also, open to them as a refuge and future home. Looming in the distance, we still, however, see the American problem of whether the Englishman can live out of England. Can he thrive except where mist and damp preserve the juices of his frame? He comes from the fogs of the Baltic shores, and from the Flemish lowlands; gains in vigor in the south island of New Zealand. In Australia and America—hot and dry—the type has already changed. Will it eventually disappear?

It is still an open question whether the change of type among the English in America and Australia is a climatic adaptation on the part of nature, or a temporary divergence produced by abnormal causes, and capable of being modified by care.

Before we had done our talk, the ship was pooped by a green sea, which, curling in over her taffrail, swept her decks from end to end, and our helmsmen, although regular old “hard-a-weather” fellows, had difficulty in keeping her upon her course. It was the last of the gale, and when we made up our beds upon the skylights, the heavens were clear of scud, though the moon was still craped with a ceaseless roll of cloud.

CHAPTER XV.

COLONIES.

WHEN a Briton takes a survey of the colonies, he finds much matter for surprise in the one-sided nature of the partnership which exists between the mother and the daughter lands. No reason presents itself to him why our artisans and merchants should be taxed in aid of populations far more wealthy than our own, who have not, as we have, millions of paupers to support. We at present tax our humblest classes, we weaken our defenses, we scatter our troops and fleets, and lay ourselves open to panics such as those of 1853 and 1859, in order to protect against imaginary dangers the Australian gold-digger and Canadian farmer. There is something ludicrous in the idea of taxing St. Giles‘s for the support of Melbourne, and making Dorsetshire agricultural laborers pay the cost of defending New Zealand colonists in Maori wars.

It is possible that the belief obtains in Britain among the least educated classes of the community that colonial expenses are rapidly decreasing, if they have not already wholly disappeared; but in fact they have for some years past been steadily and continuously growing in amount.

As long as we choose to keep up such propugnacula as Gibraltar, Malta, and Bermuda, we must pay roundly for them, as we also must for such costly luxuries as our Gold Coast settlements for the suppression of the slave-trade; but if we confine the term “colonies” to English-speaking, white-inhabited, and self-governed lands, and exclude on the one hand garrisons such as Gibraltar, and on the other mere dependencies like the West Indies and Ceylon, we find that our true colonies in North America, Australia, Polynesia, and South Africa, involve us nominally in yearly charges of almost two millions sterling, and, really, in untold expenditure.

Canada is in all ways the most flagrant case. She draws from us some three millions annually for her defense, she makes no contribution toward the cost; she relies mainly on us to defend a frontier of 4000 miles, and she excludes our goods by prohibitive duties at her ports. In short, colonial expenses which, rightly or wrongly, our fathers bore (and that not ungrudgingly) when they enjoyed a monopoly of colonial trade, are borne by us in face of colonial prohibition. What the true cost to us of Canada may be is unfortunately an open question, and the loss by the weakening of our home forces we have no means of computing; but when we consider that, on a fair statement of the case, Canada would be debited with the cost of a large portion of the half-pay and recruiting services, of Horse Guards and War Office expenses, of arms, accouterments, barracks, hospitals, and stores, and also with the gigantic expenses of two of our naval squadrons, we cannot but admit that we must pay at least three millions a year for the hatred that the Canadians profess to bear toward the United States. Whatever may be the case, however, with regard to Canada, less fault is to be found with the cost of the Australian colonies. If they bore a portion of the half-pay and recruiting expenses as well as the cost of the troops actually employed among them in time of peace, and also paid their share in the maintenance of the British navy—a share to increase with the increase of their merchant shipping—there would be little to desire, unless, indeed, we should wish that, in exchange for a check upon imperial braggadocio and imperial waste, the Australians should also contribute toward the expenses of imperial wars.

No reason can be shown for our spending millions on the defense of Canada against the Americans or in aiding the New Zealand colonists against the Maories that will not apply to their aiding us in case of a European war with France, control being given to their representatives over our public action in questions of imperial concern. Without any such control over imperial action, the old American colonists were well content to do their share of fighting in imperial wars. In 1689, in 1702, and in 1744, Massachusetts attacked the French, and, taking from them Nova Scotia and others of their new plantations, handed them over to Great Britain. Even when the tax-time came, Massachusetts, while declaring that the English Parliament had no right to tax colonies, went on to say that the king could inform them of the exigencies of the public service, and that they were ready “to provide for them if required.”

It is not likely, however, nowadays, that our colonists would, for any long stretch of time, engage to aid us in our purely European wars. Australia would scarcely feel herself deeply interested in the guarantee of Luxembourg, nor Canada in the affairs of Servia. The fact that we in Britain paid our share—or rather nearly the whole cost—of the Maori wars would be no argument to an Australian, but only an additional proof to him of our extraordinary folly. We have been educated into a habit of paying with complacency other people‘s bills—not so the Australian settler.

As far as Australia is concerned, our soldiers are not used as troops at all. The colonists like the show of the red-coats, and the military duties are made up partly of guard-of-honor work, and partly of the labors of police. The colonists well know that in time of war we should immediately withdraw our troops, and they trust wholly in their volunteers and the colonial marine.

As long as we choose to allow the system to continue, the colonists are well content to reap the benefit. When we at last decide that it shall cease, they will reluctantly consent. It is more than doubtful whether, if we were to insist to the utmost upon our rights as toward our southern colonies, they would do more than grumble and consent to our demands; and there is no chance whatever of our asking for more than our simple due.

When you talk to an intelligent Australian, you can always see that he fears that separation would be made the excuse for the equipment of a great and costly Australian fleet—not more necessary then than now—and that, however he may talk, he would, rather than separate from England, at least do his duty by her.

The fear of conquest of the Australian colonies if we left them to themselves is on the face of it ridiculous. It is sufficient, perhaps, to say that the old American colonies, when they had but a million and a half of people, defended themselves successfully against the then all-powerful French, and that there is no instance of a self-protected English colony being conquered by the foreigner. The American colonies valued so highly their independence of the old country in the matter of defense that they petitioned the Crown to be allowed to fight for themselves, and called the British army by the plain name of “grievance.

As for our so-called defense of the colonies, in war-time we defend ourselves; we defend the colonies only during peace. In war-time they are ever left to shift for themselves, and they would undoubtedly be better fit to do so were they in the habit of maintaining their military establishments in time of peace. The present system weakens us and them—us, by taxes and by the withdrawal of our men and ships; the colonies, by preventing the development of that self-reliance which is requisite to form a nation‘s greatness. The successful encountering of difficulties is the marking feature of the national character of the English, and we can hardly expect a nation which has never encountered any, or which has been content to see them met by others, ever to become great. In short, as matters now stand, the colonies are a source of military weakness to us, and our “protection” of them is a source of danger to the colonists. No doubt there are still among us men who would have wished to have seen America continue in union with England, on the principle on which the Russian conscripts are chained each to an old man—to keep her from going too fast—and who now consider it our duty to defend our colonies at whatever cost, on account of the “prestige” which attaches to the somewhat precarious tenure of these great lands. With such men it is impossible for colonial reformers to argue: the stand-points are wholly different. To those, however, who admit the injustice of the present system to the tax-payers of the mother-country, but who fear that her merchants would suffer by its disturbance, inasmuch as, in their belief, action on our part would lead to a disruption of the tie, we may plead that, even should separation be the result, we should be none the worse off for its occurrence. The retention of colonies at almost any cost has been defended—so far as it has been supported by argument at all—on the ground that the connection conduces to trade, to which argument it is sufficient to answer that no one has ever succeeded in showing what effect upon trade the connection can have, and that as excellent examples to the contrary we have the fact that our trade with the Ionian Islands has greatly increased since their annexation to the kingdom of Greece, and a much more striking fact than even this—namely, that while the trade with England of the Canadian Confederation is only four-elevenths of its total external trade, or little more than one-third, the English trade of the United States was in 1860 (before the war) nearly two-thirds of its total external trade, in 1861 more than two-thirds, and in 1866 (first year after the war) again four-sevenths of its total trade. Common institutions, common freedom, and common tongue have evidently far more to do with trade than union has; and for purposes of commerce and civilization, America is a truer colony of Britain than is Canada.

It would not be difficult, were it necessary, to multiply examples whereby to prove that trade with a country does not appear to be affected by union with or separation from it. Egypt (even when we carefully exclude from the returns Indian produce in transport) sends us nearly all such produce as she exports, notwithstanding that the French largely control the government, and that we have much less footing in the country than the Italians, and no more than the Austrians or Spanish. Our trade with Australia means that the Australians want something of us and that we need something of them, and that we exchange with them our produce as we do in a larger degree with the Americans, the Germans, and the French.

The trade argument being met, and it being remembered that our colonies are no more an outlet for our surplus population than they would be if the Great Mogul ruled over them, as is seen by the fact that of every twenty people who leave the United Kingdom, one goes to Canada, two to Australia, and sixteen to the United States, we come to the “argument” which consists in the word “prestige.” When examined, this cry seems to mean that, in the opinion of the utterer, extent of empire is power—a doctrine under which Brazil ought to be nineteen and a half times, and China twenty-six times as powerful as France. Perhaps the best answer to the doctrine is a simple contradiction: those who have read history with most care well know that at all times extent of empire has been weakness. England‘s real empire was small enough in 1650, yet it is rather doubtful whether her “prestige” ever reached the height it did while the Cromwellian admirals swept the seas. The idea conveyed by the words “mother of free nations” is every bit as good as that contained in the cry “prestige,” and the argument that, as the colonists are British subjects, we have no right to cast them adrift so long as they wish to continue citizens, is evidently no answer to those who merely urge that the colonists should pay their own policemen.

It may, perhaps, be contended that the possession of “colonies” tends to preserve us from the curse of small island countries, the dwarfing of mind which would otherwise make us Guernsey a little magnified. If this be true, it is a powerful argument in favor of continuance in the present system. It is a question, however, whether our real preservation from the insularity we deprecate is not to be found in the possession of true colonies—of plantations such as America, in short—rather than in that of mere dependencies. That which raises us above the provincialism of citizenship of little England is our citizenship of the greater Saxondom which includes all that is best and wisest in the world.

From the foundation, separation would be harmless, does not of necessity follow the conclusion, separation is to be desired. This much only is clear—that we need not hesitate to demand that Australia should do her duty.

With the more enlightened thinkers of England, separation from the colonies has for many years been a favorite idea, but as regards the Australias it would hardly be advisable. If we allow that it is to the interest both of our race and of the world that the Australias should prosper, we have to ask whether they would do so in a higher degree if separated from the mother-country than if they remained connected with her and with each other by a federation. It has often been said that, instead of the varying relations which now exist between Britain and America, we should have seen a perfect friendship had we but permitted the American colonies to go their way in peace; but the example does not hold in the case of Australia, which is by no means wishful to go at all.

Under separation we should, perhaps, find the colonies better emigration-fields for our surplus population than they are at present. Many of our emigrants who flock to the United States are attracted by the idea that they are going to become citizens of a new nation instead of dependents upon an old one. On the separation of Australia from England we might expect that a portion of these sentimentalists would be diverted from a colony necessarily jealous of us so long as we hold Canada, to one which from accordance of interests is likely to continue friendly or allied. This argument, however, would have no weight with those who desire the independence of Canada, and who look upon America as still our colony.

Separation, we may then conclude, though infinitely better than a continuance of the existing one-sided tie, would, in a healthier state of our relations, not be to the interest of Britain, although it would perhaps be morally beneficial to Australia. Any relation, however, would be preferable to the existing one of mutual indifference and distrust. Recognizing the fact that Australia has come of age, and calling on her, too, to recognize it, we should say to the Australian colonists: “Our present system cannot continue; will you amend it, or separate?” The worst thing that can happen to us is that we should “drift” blindly into separation.

After all, the strongest of the arguments in favor of separation is the somewhat paradoxical one that it would bring us a step nearer to the virtual confederation of the English race.

PART IV.

INDIA.

A regular and uniform system of spelling of native names and other words has lately been brought into common use in India, and adopted by the government. Not without hesitation, I have decided upon ignoring this improvement, and confining myself to spellings known to and used by the English in England, for whom especially I am writing.

I am aware that there is no system in the spelling, and that it is scientifically absurd; nevertheless, the new government spelling is not yet sufficiently well understood in England to warrant its use in a book intended for general circulation. The scientific spelling is not always an improvement to the eye, moreover: Talookdars of Oude may not be right, but it is a neater phrase than “Taâlukhdars of Awdh;” and it will probably be long before we in England write “kuli” for coolie, or adopt the spelling “Tátá hordes.

CHAPTER I.

MARITIME CEYLON.

WE failed to sight the Island of Cocoas, a territory where John Ross is king—a worthy Scotchman, who having settled down in mid-ocean, some hundreds of miles from any port, proceeded to annex himself to Java and the Dutch. On being remonstrated with, he was made to see his error; and, being appointed governor of and consul to himself and laborers, now hoists the union-jack, while his island has a red line drawn under its name upon the map. Two days after quitting John Ross‘s latitudes, we crossed the line in the heavy noonday of the equatorial belt of calms. The sun itself passed the equator the same day; so, after having left Australia at the end of autumn, I suddenly found myself in Asia in the early spring. Mist obscured the skies except at dawn and sunset, when there was a clear air, in which floated cirrocumuli with flat bases—clouds cut in half, as it seemed—and we were all convinced that Homer must have seen the Indian Ocean, so completely did the sea in the equatorial belt realize his epithet “purple” or “wine-dark.” All day long the flying-fish—“those good and excellent creatures of God,” as Drake styled them—were skimming over the water on every side. The Elizabethan captain, who knew their delicacy of taste, attributed their freedom from the usual slime of fish, and their wholesome nature, to “their continued exercise in both air and water.” The heat was great, and I made the discovery that Australians as well as Americans can put their feet above their heads. It may be asserted that the height above the deck of the feet of passengers on board ocean steamers varies directly as the heat, and inversely as the number of hours before dinner.

In the afternoon of the day we crossed the line, we sighted a large East Indiaman lying right in our course, and so little way was she making that, on coming up with her, we had to port our helm, in order not to run her down. She hailed us, and we lay-to while she sent a boat aboard us with her mail; for although she was already a month out from Calcutta and bound for London, our letters would reach home before she was round the Cape—a singular commentary upon the use of sailing ships in the Indian seas. Before the boat had left our side, the ships had floated so close together, through attraction, that we had to make several revolutions with the screw in order to prevent collision.

When we, who were all sleeping upon deck, were aroused by the customary growl from the European quartermaster of “Four o‘clock, sir! Going to swab decks, sir! Get up, sir!” given with the flare of the lantern in our eyes, we were still over a hundred miles from Galle; but before the sun had risen, we caught sight of Adam‘s Peak, a purple mass upon the northern sky, and soon we were racing with a French steamer from Saigon, and with a number of white-sailed native craft from the Maldives. Within a few hours, we were at anchor in a small bay, surrounded with lofty cocoa-palms, in which were lying, tossed by a rolling swell, some dozen huge steamers, yard-arm to yard-arm—the harbor of Point de Galle. Every ship was flying her ensign, and in the damp hot air the old tattered union-jacks seemed brilliant crimson, and the dull green of the cocoa-palms became a dazzling emerald. The scene wanted but the bright plumage of the Panama macaws.

Once seated in the piazza of the Oriental Company‘s hotel, the best managed in the East, I had before me a curious scene. Along the streets were pouring silent crowds of tall and graceful girls, as we at the first glance supposed, wearing white petticoats and bodices; their hair carried off the face with a decorated hoop, and caught at the back by a high tortoise-shell comb. As they drew near, mustaches began to show, and I saw that they were men, while walking with them were women naked to the waist, combless, and far more rough and “manly” than their husbands. Petticoat and chignon are male institutions in Ceylon, and time after time I had to look twice before I could fix the passer‘s sex. My rule at last became to set down everybody that was womanly as a man, and everybody that was manly as a woman. Cinghalese, Kandians, Tamils from South India, and Moormen with crimson caftans and shaven crowns, formed the body of the great crowd; but, besides these, there were Portuguese, Chinese, Jews, Arabs, Parsees, Englishmen, Malays, Dutchmen, and half-caste burghers, and now and then a veiled Arabian woman or a Veddah—one of the aboriginal inhabitants of the isle. Ceylon has never been independent, and in a singular mixture of races her ports bear testimony to the number of the foreign conquests.

Two American missionaries were among the passers-by, but one of them, detecting strangers, came up to the piazza in search of news. There had been no loss of national characteristics in these men;—they were brimful of the mixture of earnestness and quaint profanity which distinguishes the New England puritan: one of them described himself to me as “just a kind of journeyman soul-saver, like.

The Australian strangers were not long left unmolested by more serious intruders than grave Vermonters. The cry of “baksheesh”—an Arabian word that goes from Gibraltar to China, and from Ceylon to the Khyber Pass, and which has reached us in the form of “boxes” in our phrase Christmas-boxes—was the first native word I heard in the East, at Galle, as it was afterward the last, at Alexandria. One of the beggars was an Albino, fair as a child in a Hampshire lane; one of those strange sports of nature from whom Cinghalese tradition asserts the European races to be sprung.

The beggars were soon driven off by the hotel servants, and better licensed plunderers began their work. “Ah safeer, ah rupal, ah imral, ah mooney stone, ah opal, ah amtit, ah!” was the cry from every quarter, and jewel-sellers of all the nations of the East descended on us in a swarm. “Me givee you written guarantee dis real stone;” “Yes, dat real stone; but dis good stone—dat no good stone—no water. Ah, see!” “Dat no good stone. Ah, sahib, you tell good stone: all dese bad stone, reg‘lar England stone. You go by next ship? No? Ah, den you come see me shop. Dese ship-passenger stone—humbuk stone. Ship gone, den you come me shop; see good stone. When you come? eh? when you come?” “Ah, safeer, ah catty-eye, ah pinkee collal!” Meanwhile every Galle-dwelling European, at the bar of the hotel, was adding to the din by shouting to the native servants, “Boy, turn out these fellows, and stop their noise.” This cry of “boy” is a relic of the old Dutch times: it was the Hollander‘s term for his slave, and hence for every member of the inferior race. The first servant that I heard called “boy” was a tottering, white-haired old man.

The gems of Ceylon have long been famed. One thousand three hundred and seventy years ago, the Chinese records tell us that Ceylon, then tributary to the empire, sent presents to the Brother of the Moon, one of the gifts being a “lapis-lazuli spittoon.” It is probable that some portion of the million and a half pounds sterling which are annually absorbed in this small island, but four-fifths the size of Ireland, is consumed in the setting of the precious stones for native use; every one you meet wears four or five heavy silver rings, and sovereigns are melted down to make gold ornaments.

Rushing away from the screaming crowd of peddlers, I went with some of my Australian friends to stroll upon the ramparts and enjoy the evening salt breeze. We met several bodies of white-faced Europeans, sauntering like ourselves, and dressed like us in white trowsers and loose white jackets and pith hats. What we looked like I do not know, but they resembled ships’ stewards. At last it struck me that they were soldiers, and upon inquiring I found that these washed-out dawdlers represented a British regiment of the line. I was by this time used to see linesmen out of scarlet, having beheld a parade in bushranger-beards and blue-serge “jumpers” at Taranaki in New Zealand; but one puts up easier with the soldier-bushranger than with the soldier-steward.

The climate of the day had been exquisite with its bright air and cooling breeze, and I had begun to think that those who knew Acapulco and Echuca could afford to laugh at the East, with its thermometer at 88°. The reckoning came at night, however, for by dark all the breeze was gone, and the thermometer, instead of falling, had risen to 90° when I lay down to moan and wait for dawn. As I was dropping off to sleep at about four o‘clock, a native came round and closed the doors, to shut out the dangerous land-breeze that springs up at that hour. Again, at half-past five, it was cooler, and I had begun to doze, when a cannon-shot, fired apparently under my bed, brought me upon my feet with something more than a start. I remembered the saying of the Western boy before Petersburg, when he heard for the first time the five o‘clock camp-gun, and called to his next neighbor at the fire, “Say, Bill, did you hap to hear how partic‘lar loud the day broke just now?” for it was the morning-gun, which in Ceylon is always fired at the same time, there being less than an hour‘s difference between the longest and shortest days. Although it was still pitch dark, the bugles began to sound the réveille on every side—in the infantry lines, the artillery barracks, and the lines of the Malay regiment, the well-known Ceylon Rifles. Ten minutes afterward, when I had bathed by lamplight, I was eating plantains and taking my morning tea in a cool room lit by the beams of the morning sun, so short is the April twilight in Ceylon.

It is useless to consult the thermometer about heat: a European can labor in the open air in South Australia with the thermometer at 110° in the shade, while, with a thermometer at 88°, the nights are unbearable in Ceylon. To discover whether the climate of a place be really hot, examine its newspapers; and if you find the heat recorded, you may make up your mind that it is a variable climate, but if no “remarkable heat” or similar announcements appear, then you may be sure that you are in a permanently hot place. It stands to reason that no one in the tropics ever talks of “tropical heat.”

In so equable a climate, the apathy of the Cinghalese is not surprising; but they are not merely lazy, they are a cowardly, effeminate, and revengeful race. They sleep and smoke, and smoke and sleep, rousing themselves only once in the day to snatch a bowl of curry and rice, or to fleece a white man; and so slowly do the people run the race of life that even elephantiasis, common here, does not seem to put the sufferer far behind his fellow-men. Buddhism is no mystery when expounded under this climate. See a few Cinghalese stretched in the shade of a cocoa-palm, and you can conceive Buddha sitting cross-legged for ten thousand years contemplating his own perfection.

The second morning that I spent in Galle, the captain of the Bombay was kind enough to send his gig for me to the landing-steps at dawn, and his Malay crew soon rowed me to the ship, where the captain joined me, and we pulled across the harbor to Watering-place Point, and bathed in the shallow sea, out of the reach of sharks. When we had dressed, we went on to a jetty, to look into the deep water just struck by the rising sun. I should have marveled at the translucency of the waters had not the awful clearness with which the bottoms of the Canadian lakes stand revealed in evening light been fresh within my memory, but here the bottom was fairly paved with corallines of inconceivable brilliancy of color, and tenanted by still more gorgeous fish. Of the two that bore the palm, one was a little fish of mazarine blue, without a speck of any other color, and perfect too in shape; the second, a silver fish, with a band of soft brown velvet round its neck, and another about its tail. In a still more sheltered cove the fish were so thick that dozens of Moors were throwing into the water, with the arm-twist of a fly-fisher, bare hooks, which they jerked through the shoal and into the air, never failing to bring them up clothed with a fish, caught most times by the fin.

In the evening, two of us tried a native dinner, at a house where Cinghalese gentlemen dine when they come into Galle on business. Our fare was as follows: First course: a curry of the delicious seir-fish, a sort of mackerel; a prawn curry; a bread-fruit and cocoanut curry; a Brinjal curry, and a dish made of jackfruit, garlic, and mace; all washed down by iced water. Second course: plantains, and very old arrack in thimble-glasses, followed by black coffee. Of meat there was no sign, as the Cinghalese rarely touch it; and, although we liked our vegetarian dinner, my friend passed a criticism in action on it by dining again at the hotel-ordinary one hour later. We agreed, too, that the sickly smell of cocoanut would cleave to us for weeks.

Starting with an Australian friend, at the dawn of my third day in the island, I took the coach by the coast road to Columbo. We drove along a magnificent road in an avenue of giant cocoanut-palms, with the sea generally within easy sight, and with a native hut at each few yards. Every two or three miles, the road crossed a lagoon, alive with bathers, and near the bridge was generally a village, bazaar, and Buddhist temple, built pagoda-shape, and filled with worshipers. The road was thronged with gayly-dressed Cinghalese; and now and again we would pass a Buddhist priest in saffron-colored robes, hastening along, his umbrella borne over him by a boy clothed from top to toe in white. The umbrellas of the priests are of yellow silk, and shaped like ours, but other natives carry flat-topped umbrellas, gilt, or colored red and black. The Cinghalese farmers we met traveling to their temples in carts drawn by tiny bullocks. Such was the brightness of the air, that the people, down to the very beggars, seemed clad in holiday attire.

As we journeyed on, we began to find more variety in the scenery and vegetation, and were charmed with the scarlet-blossomed cotton-tree, and with the areca, or betel-nut palm. The cocoanut groves, too, were carpeted with an undergrowth of orchids and ipecacuanha, and here and there was a bread-fruit tree or an hibiscus.

In Ceylon we have retained the Dutch posting system, and small light coaches, drawn by four or six small horses at a gallop, run over excellent roads, carrying, besides the passengers, two boys behind, who shout furiously whenever vehicles or passengers obstruct the mails, and who at night carry torches high in the air, to light the road. Thus we dashed through the bazaars and cocoa groves, then across the golden sands covered with rare shells, and fringed on the one side with the bright blue dancing sea, dotted with many a white sail, and on the other side with deep green jungle, in which were sheltered dark lagoons. Once in a while, we would drive out on to a plain, varied by clumps of fig and tulip trees, and, looking to the east, would sight the purple mountains of the central range; then, dashing again into the thronged bazaars, would see little but the bright palm-trees relieved upon an azure sky. The road is one continuous village, for the population is twelve times as dense in the western as in the eastern provinces of Ceylon. No wonder that ten thousand natives have died of cholera within the last few months! All this dense coast population is supported by the cocoanut, for there are in Ceylon 200,000 acres under cocoa-palms, which yield from seven to eight hundred million cocoa-nuts a year, and are worth two millions sterling.

Near Bentotté, where we had lunched off horrible oysters of the pearl-yielding kind, we crossed the Kaluganga River, densely fringed with mangrove, and in its waters saw a python swimming bravely toward the shore. Snakes are not so formidable as land-leeches, the Cinghalese and planters say, and no one hears of many persons being bitten, though a great reward for an antidote to the cobra bite has lately been offered by the Rajah of Travancore.

As we entered what the early maps style “The Christian Kyngdom of Colombo,” though where they found their Christians no one knows, our road lay through the cinnamon gardens, which are going out of cultivation, as they no longer pay, although the cinnamon laurel is a spice-grove in itself, giving cinnamon from its bark, camphor from the roots, clove oil from its leaves. The plant grows wild about the island, and is cut and peeled by the natives at no cost save that of children‘s labor, which they do not count as cost at all. The scene in the gardens that still remain was charming: the cinnamon-laurel bushes contrasted well with the red soil, and the air was alive with dragon-flies, moths, and winged-beetles, while the softness of the evening breeze had tempted out the half-caste Dutch “burgher” families of the city, who were driving and walking clothed in white, the ladies with their jet hair dressed with natural flowers. The setting sun threw brightness without heat into the gay scene.

A friend who had horses ready for us at the hotel where the mail-coach stopped, said that it was not too late for a ride through the fort, or European town inside the walls; so, cantering along the esplanade, where the officers of the garrison were enjoying their evening ride, we crossed the moat, and found ourselves in what is perhaps the most graceful street in the world:—a double range of long low houses of bright white stone, with deep piazzas, buried in masses of bright foliage, in which the fire-flies were beginning to play. In the center of the fort is an Italian campanile, which serves at once as a belfry, a clock-tower, and a light-house. In the morning, before sunrise, we climbed this tower for the view. The central range stood up sharply on the eastern sky, as the sun was still hid behind it, and to the southeast there towered high the peak where Adam mourned his son a hundred years. In color, shape, and height, the Cinghalese Alps resemble the Central Apennines, and the view from Columbo is singularly like that from Pesaro on the Adriatic. As we looked landwards from the campanile, the native town was mirrored in the lake, and outside the city the white-coated troops were marching by companies on to the parade-ground, whence we could faintly hear the distant bands.

Driving back in a carriage, shaped like a street cab, but with fixed venetians instead of sides and windows, we visited the curing establishment of the Ceylon Coffee Company, where the coffee from the hills is dried and sorted. Thousands of native girls are employed in coffee-picking at the various stores, but it is doubted whether the whole of this labor is not wasted, the berries being sorted according to their shape and size—characteristics which seem in no way to affect the flavor. The Ceylon exporters say that if we choose to pay twice as much for shapely as for ill-shaped berries, it is no business of theirs to refuse to humor us by sorting.

The most remarkable institution in Columbo is the steam factory where the government make or mend such machinery as their experts certify cannot be dealt with at any private works existing in the island. The government elephants are kept at the same place, but I found them at work up country on the Kandy road.

In passing through the native town upon Slave Island, we saw some French Catholic priests in their working jungle dresses of blue serge. They have met with singular successes in Ceylon, having made 150,000 converts, while the English and American missions have between them only 30,000 natives. The Protestant missionaries in Ceylon complain much of the planters, whom they accuse of declaring, when they wish to hire men, that “no Christian need apply;” but it is a remarkable fact that neither Protestants nor Catholics can make converts among the self-supported “Moormen,” the active pushing inhabitants of the ports, who are Mohammedans to a man. The chief cause of the success of the Catholics among the Cinghalese seems to be the remarkable earnestness of the French and Italian missionary priests. Our English missionaries in the East are too often men incapable of bearing fatigue or climate; ignorant of every trade, and inferior even in teaching and preaching powers to their rivals. It is no easy matter to spread Christianity among the Cinghalese, the inventors of Buddhism, the most ancient and most widely spread of all the religions of the world. Every Buddhist firmly believes in the potential perfection of man, and is incapable of understanding the ideas of original sin and redemption; and a Cinghalese Buddhist—passionless himself—cannot comprehend the passionate worship that Christianity requires. The Catholics, however, do not neglect the Eastern field for missionary labor. Four of their bishops from Cochin China and Japan were met by me in Galle, upon their way to Rome.

Our drive was brought to an end by a visit to the old Dutch quarter—a careful imitation of Amsterdam; indeed, one of its roads still bears the portentous Batavian name of Dam Street. Their straight canals, and formal lines of trees, the Hollanders have carried with them throughout the world; but in Columbo, not content with manufacturing imitation canals, that began and ended in a wall, they dug great artificial lakes to recall their well-loved Hague.

The same evening, I set off by the new railway for Kandy and Nuwara Ellia (pronounced Nooralia) in the hills. Having no experience of the climate of mountain regions in the tropics, I expected a merely pleasant change, and left Columbo wearing my white kit, which served me well enough as far as Ambe Pusse—the railway terminus, which we reached at ten o‘clock at night. We started at once by coach, and had not driven far up the hills in the still moonlight before the cold became extreme, and I was saved from a severe chill only by the kindness of the coffee-planter who shared the back seat with me, and who, being well clad in woolen, lent me his great-coat. After this incident, we chatted pleasantly without fear of interruption from our sole companion—a native girl, who sat silently chewing betel all the way—and reached Kandy before dawn. Telling the hotel servants to wake me in an hour, I wrapped myself in a blanket—the first I had seen since I left Australia—and enjoyed a refreshing sleep.

CHAPTER II.

KANDY.

THE early morning was foggy and cold as an October dawn in an English forest; but before I had been long in the gardens of the Government House, the sun rose, and the heat returned once more. After wandering among the petunias and fan-palms of the gardens, I passed on into the city, the former capital of the Kandian or highland kingdom, and one of the holiest of Buddhist towns. The kingdom was never conquered by the Portuguese or Dutch while they held the coasts, and was not overrun by us till 1815, while it has several times been in rebellion since that date. The people still retain their native customs in a high degree: for instance, the Kandian husband does not take his wife‘s inheritance unless he lives with her on her father‘s land: if she lives with him, she forfeits her inheritance. Kandian law, indeed, is expressly maintained by us except in the matters of polygamy and polyandry, although the maritime Cinghalese are governed, as are the English in Ceylon and at the Cape, by the civil code of Holland.

The difference between the Kandian and coast Cinghalese is very great. At Kandy, I found the men wearing flowing crimson robes and flat-topped caps, while their faces were lighter in color than those of the coast people, and many of them had beards. The women also wore the nose-ring in a different way, and were clothed above as well as below the waist. It is possible that some day we may unfortunately hear more of this energetic and warlike people.

The city is one that dwells long in the mind. The Upper Town is one great garden, so numerous are the sacred groves, vocal with the song of the Eastern orioles, but here and there are dotted about pagoda-shaped temples, identical in form with those of Tartary two thousand miles away, and from these there proceeds a roar of tomtoms that almost drowns the song. One of these temples contains the holiest of Buddhist relics, the tooth of Buddha, which is yearly carried in a grand procession. When we first annexed the Kandian kingdom, we recognized the Buddhist Church, made our officers take part in the procession of the Sacred Tooth, and sent a State offering to the shrine. Times are changed since then, but the Buddhist priests are still exempt from certain taxes. All round the sacred inclosures are ornamented walls, with holy sculptured figures; and in the Lower Town are fresh-water lakes and tanks, formed by damming the Mavaliganga River, and also, in some measure, holy. An atmosphere of Buddhism pervades all Kandy.

From Kandy, I visited the coffee-district of which it is the capital and center, but I was much disappointed with regard to the amount of land that is still open to coffee-cultivation. At the Government Botanic Garden at Peredenia (where the jalap plant, the castor-oil plant, and the ipecacuanha were growing side by side), I was told that the shrub does not flourish under 1500 nor over 3000 or 4000 feet above sea-level, and that all the best coffee-land is already planted. Coffee-growing has already done so much for Ceylon that it is to be hoped that it has not reached its limit: in thirty-three years it has doubled her trade ten times, and to England alone she now sends two millions’ worth of coffee every year. The central district of the island, in which lie the hills and coffee-country, is, with the exception of the towns, politically not a portion of Ceylon: there are English capital, English management, and Indian labor, and the cocoa-palm is unknown; Tamil laborers are exclusively employed upon the plantations, although the carrying trade, involving but little labor, is in the hands of the Cinghalese. No such official discouragement is shown to the European planters in Ceylon as that which they experience in India; and were there but more good coffee-lands and more capital, all would be well. The planters say that, after two years’ heavy expenditure and dead loss, 20 per cent. can be made by men who take in sufficient capital, but that no one ever does take capital enough for the land he buys, and that they all have to borrow from one of the Columbo companies at 12 per cent., and are then bound to ship their coffee through that company alone. It is regarded as an open question by many disinterested friends of Ceylon whether it might not be wise for the local government to advance money to the planters; but besides the fear of jobbery, there is the objection to this course, that the government, becoming interested in the success of coffee-planting, might also come to connive at the oppression of the native laborers. This oppression of the people lies at the bottom of that Dutch system which is often held up for our imitation in Ceylon.

Those who narrate to us the effects of the Java system forget that it is not denied that in the tropical islands, with an idle population and a rich soil, compulsory labor may be the only way of developing the resources of the countries, but they fail to show the justification for our developing the resources of the country by such means. The Dutch culture-system puts a planter down upon the crown lands, and, having made advances to him, leaves it to him to find out how he shall repay the government. Forced labor—under whatever name—is the natural result.

The Dutch, moreover, bribe the great native chiefs by princely salaries and vast percentage upon the crops their people raise, and force the native agriculturists to grow spices for the Royal Market of Amsterdam. Of the purchase of these spices the government has a monopoly: it buys them at what price it will, and, selling again in Europe to the world, clears annually some £4,000,000 sterling by the job. That plunder, slavery, and famine often follow the extension of their system is nothing to the Dutch. Strict press-laws prevent the Dutch at home from hearing anything of the discontent in Java, except when famine or insurrection calls attention to the isle; and £4,000,000 a year profit, and half the expenses of their navy paid for them by one island in the Eastern seas, make up for many deaths of brown-faced people by starvation.

The Dutch often deny that the government retains the monopoly of export; but the fact of the matter is that the Dutch Trading Company, who have the monopoly of the exports of the produce of crown lands—which amount to two-thirds of the total exports of the isle—are mere agents of the government.

It is hard to say that, apart from the nature of the culture-system, the Dutch principle of making a profit out of the countries which they rule is inconsistent with the position of a Christian nation. It is the ancient system of countries having possessions in the East, and upon our side we are not able to show any definite reasons in favor of our course of scrupulously keeping separate the Indian revenue, and spending Indian profits upon India and Cinghalese in Ceylon, except such reasons as would logically lead to our quitting India altogether. That the Dutch should make a profit out of Java is perhaps not more immoral than that they should be there. At the same time, the character of the Dutch system lowers the tone of the whole Dutch nation, and especially of those who have any connection with the Indies, and effectually prevents future amendment. With our system, there is some chance of right being done, so small is our self-interest in the wrong. From the fact that no surplus is sent home from Ceylon, she is at least free from that bane of Java,—the desire of the local authorities to increase as much as possible the valuable productions of their districts, even at the risk of famine, provided only that they may hope to put off the famine until after their time—a desire that produces the result that subaltern Dutch officers who observe in their integrity the admirable rules which have been made for the protection of the native population are heartily abused for their ridiculous scrupulosity, as it is styled.

Not to be carried away by the material success of the Dutch system, it is as well to bear in mind its secret history. A private company—the Dutch Trading Society—was founded at Amsterdam in 1824, the then King being the largest shareholder. The company was in difficulties in 1830, when the King, finding he was losing money fast, sent out as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies his personal friend Van den Bosch. The next year, the culture-system, with all its attendant horrors, was introduced into Java by Van den Bosch, the Dutch Trading Society being made agents for the government. The result was the extraordinary prosperity of the company, and the leaving by the merchant-king of a private fortune of fabulous amount.

The Dutch system has been defended by every conceivable kind of blind misrepresentation; it has even been declared, by writers who ought certainly to know better, that the four millions of surplus that Holland draws from Java, being profits on trade, are not taxation! Even the blindest admirers of the system are forced, however, to admit that it involves the absolute prohibition of missionary enterprise, and total exclusion from knowledge of the Java people.

The Ceylon planters have at present political as well as financial difficulties on their hands. They have petitioned the Queen for “self-government for Ceylon,” and for control of the revenue by “representatives of the public”—excellent principles, if “public” meant public, and “Ceylon,” Ceylon; but, when we inquire of the planters what they really mean, we find that by “Ceylon” they understand Galle and Columbo Fort, and by “the public” they mean themselves. There are at present six unofficial members of the Council: of these, the whites have three members, the Dutch burghers one, and the natives two; and the planters expect the same proportions to be kept in a Council to which supreme power shall be intrusted in the disposition of the revenues. They are, indeed, careful to explain that they in no way desire the extension of representative institutions to Ceylon.

The first thing that strikes the English traveler in Ceylon is the apparent slightness of our hold upon the country. In my journey from Galle to Columbo, by early morning and mid-day, I met no white man; from Columbo to Kandy, I traveled with one, but met none; at Kandy, I saw no whites; at Nuwara Ellia, not half a dozen. On my return, I saw no whites between Nuwara Ellia and Ambe Pusse, where there was a white man in the railway-station; and on my return by evening from Columbo to Galle, in all the thronging crowds along the roads there was not a single European. There are hundreds of Cinghalese in the interior who live and die and never see a white man. Out of the two and a quarter millions of people who dwell in what the planters call the “colony of Ceylon,” there are but 3000 Europeans, of whom 1500 are our soldiers, and 250 our civilians. Of the European non-official class, there are but 1300 persons, or about 500 grown-up men. The proposition of the Planters’ Association is that we should confide the despotic government over two and a quarter millions of Buddhist, Mohammedan, and Hindoo laborers to these 500 English Christian employers. It is not the Ceylon planters who have a grievance against us, but we who have a serious complaint against them; so flourishing a dependency should certainly provide for all the costs of her defense.

Some of the mountain views between Kandy and Nuwara Ellia are full of grandeur, though they lack the New Zealand snows; but none can match, for variety and color, that which I saw on may return from the ascent to the Kaduganava Pass, where you look over a foreground of giant-leaved talipot and slender areca palms and tall bamboos, lit with the scarlet blooms of the cotton-tree, on to a plain dotted with banyan-tree groves and broken by wooded hills. On either side, the deep valley-bottoms are carpeted with bright green—the wet rice-lands, or terraced paddy-fields, from which the natives gather crop after crop throughout the year.

In the union of rich foliage with deep color and grand forms, no scenery save that of New Zealand can bear comparison with that of the hill country of Ceylon, unless, indeed, it be the scenery of Java and the far Eastern Isles.

CHAPTER III.

MADRAS TO CALCUTTA.

Spending but a single day in Madras—an inferior Columbo—I passed on to Calcutta with a pleasant remembrance of the air of prosperity that hangs about the chief city of what is still called by Bengal civilians “The Benighted Presidency.” Small as are the houses, poor as are the shops, every one looks well-to-do, and everybody happy, from the not undeservedly famed cooks at the club to the catamaran men on the shore. Coffee and good government have of late done much for Madras.

The surf consists of two lines of rollers, and is altogether inferior to the fine-weather swell on the west coast of New Zealand, and only to be dignified and promoted into surfship by men of that fine imagination which will lead them to sniff the spices a day before they reach Ceylon, or the pork and molasses when off Nantucket light-ship. The row through the first roller in the lumbering Massullah boat, manned by a dozen sinewy blacks, the waiting for a chance between the first and second lines of spray, and then the dash for shore, the crew singing their measured “Ah! lah! lálala!—ah! lah! lálala!” the stroke coming with the accented syllable, and the helmsman shrieking with excitement, is a more pretentious ceremony than that which accompanies the crossing of Hokitika bar, but the passage is a far less dangerous one. The Massullah boats are like empty hay-barges on the Thames, but built without nails, so that they “give” instead of breaking up when battered by the sand on one side and the seas upon the other. This is a very wise precaution in the case of boats which are always made to take the shore broadside on. The first sea that strikes the boat either shoots the passenger on to the dry sand, or puts him where he can easily be caught by the natives on the beach, but the Massullah boat herself gets a terrible banging before the crew can haul her out of reach of the seas.

Sighting the Temple of Juggernauth and one palm-tree, but seeing no land, we entered the Hoogly, steaming between light-houses, guard-ships, and buoys, but not catching a glimpse of the low land of the Sunderabunds till we had been many hours in “the river.” After lying right off the tiger-infested island of Saugur, we started on our run up to Calcutta before the sun was risen. Compared with Ceylon, the scene was English; there was nothing tropical about it except the mist upon the land; and low villas and distant factory-chimneys reminded one of the Thames between Battersea and Fulham. Coming into Garden Reach, where large ships anchor before they sail, we had a long, low building on our right, gaudy and architecturally hideous, but from its vast size almost imposing: it was the palace of the dethroned King of Oude, the place where, it is said, are carried on deeds become impossible in Lucknow. Such has been the extravagance of the King that the government of India has lately interfered, and appointed a commission to pay his debts, and deduct them from his income of £120,000 a year; for we pay into the privy purse of the dethroned Vizier of Oude exactly twice the yearly sum that we set aside for that of Queen Victoria. Whatever income is allowed to native princes, they always spend the double. The experience of the Dutch in Java and our own in India is uniform in this respect. Removed from that slight restraint upon expenditure which the fear of bankruptcy or revolution forces upon reigning kings, native princes supported by European governments run recklessly into debt. The commission which was sitting upon the debts of the King of Oude while I was in Calcutta warned him that, if he offended a second time, government would for the future spend his income for him. It is not the King‘s extravagance alone, however, that is complained of. Always notorious for debauchery, he has now become infamous for his vices. One of his wives was arrested while I was in Calcutta for purchasing girls for the harem, but the King himself escaped. For nine years he has never left his palace, yet he spends, we are told, from £200,000 to £250,000 a year.

In his extravagance and immorality the King of Oude does not stand alone in Calcutta. His mode of life is imitated by the wealthy natives; his vices are mimicked by every young Bengalee baboo. It is a question whether we are not responsible for the tone which has been taken by “civilization” in Calcutta. The old philosophy has gone, and left nothing in its place; we have by moral force destroyed the old religions in Calcutta, but we have set up no new. Whether the character of our Indian government, at once leveling and paternal, has not much to do with the spread of careless sensuality is a question before answering which it would be well to look to France, where a similar government has for sixteen years prevailed. In Paris, at least, democratic despotism is fast degrading the French citizen to the moral level of the Bengalee baboo.

The first thing in Calcutta that I saw was the view of the Government House from the Park Reserve—a miniature Sahara since its trees were destroyed by the great cyclone. The Viceroy‘s dwelling, though crushed by groups of lions and unicorns of gigantic stature and astonishing design, is an imposing building; but it is the only palace in the “city of palaces”—a name which must have been given to the pestiferous city by some one who had never seen any other towns but Liverpool and London. The true city of palaces is Lucknow.

In Calcutta, I first became acquainted with that unbounded hospitality of the great mercantile houses in the East of which I have since acquired many pleasing remembrances. The luxury of “the firm” impresses the English traveler; the huge house is kept as a hotel; every one is welcome to dinner, breakfast, and bed in the veranda, or in a room, if he can sleep under a roof in the hot weather. Sometimes two and sometimes twenty sit down to the meals, and always without notice to the butlers or the cooks, but every one is welcome, down to the friend of a friend‘s friend; and junior clerks will write letters of introduction to members of the firm, which secure the bearer a most hospitable welcome from the other clerks, even when all the partners are away. “If Brown is not there, Smith will be, and if he‘s away, why then Johnson will put you up,” is the form of invitation to the hospitalities of an Eastern firm. The finest of fruits are on table between five and six, and tea and iced drinks are ready at all times, from dawn to breakfast—a ceremony which takes place at ten. To the regular meals you come in or not as you please, and no one trained in Calcutta or Bombay can conceive offense being taken by a host at his guest accepting, without consulting him, invitations to dine out in the city, or to spend some days at a villa in its outskirts. Servants are in the corridors by day and night at the call of guests, and your entertainers tell you that, although they have not time to go about with you, servants will always be ready to drive you at sunset to the band-stand in the carriage of some member of the firm.

The population of Calcutta is as motley as that of Galle, though the constituents are not the same. Greeks, Armenians, and Burmese, besides many Eurasians, or English-speaking half-castes, mingle with the mass of Indian Mohammedans and Hindoos. The hot weather having suddenly set in, the Calcutta officials, happier than the merchants—who, however, care little about heat when trade is good—were starting for Simla in a body, “just as they were warming to their work,” as the Calcutta people say, and, finding that there was nothing to be done in the stifling city, I, too, determined to set off.

The heat was great at night, and the noisy native crows and whistling kites held durbars inside my window in the only cool hour of the twenty-four—namely, that which begins at dawn—and thus hastened my departure from Calcutta by preventing me from taking rest while in it. Hearing that at Patna there was nothing to be seen or learnt, I traveled from Calcutta to Benares—500 miles—in the same train and railway carriage. Our first long stoppage was at Chandernagore, but, as the native baggage-coolies, or porters, howl the station names in their own fashion, I hardly recognized the city in the melancholy moan of “Orn-dorn-orn-gorne,” which welcomed the train, and it was not till I saw a French infantry uniform upon the platform that I remembered that Chandernagore, a village belonging to the French, lies hard by Calcutta, to which city it was once a dangerous rival. It is said that the French retain their Indian dependencies, instead of selling them to us as did the Dutch, in order that they may ever bear in mind the fact that we once conquered them in India; but it would be hard to find any real ground for their retention, unless they are held as centers for the Catholic missions. We will not even permit them to be made smuggling depots, for which purpose they would be excellently adapted. The whole of the possessions in India of the French amount together to only twenty-six leagues square. Even Pondicherry, the largest and only French Indian dependency of which the name is often heard in Europe, is cut into several portions by strips of British territory, and the whole of the French-Indian dependencies are mere specks of land isolated in our vast territories. The officer who was lounging in the station was a native; indeed, in the territory of Chandernagore there are but 230 Europeans, and but 1500 in all French India. He made up to my compartment as though he would have got in, which I wished that he would have done, as natives in the French service all speak French, but, seeing a European, he edged away to a dark uncomfortable compartment. This action was, I fear, a piece of silent testimony to the prejudice which makes our people in India almost invariably refuse to travel with a native, whatever may be his rank.

As we passed through Burdwan and Rajmahal, where the East Indian Railway taps the Ganges, the station scenes became more and more interesting. We associate with the word “railway” ideas that are peculiarly English:—shareholders and directors, guards in blue, policemen in dark green, and porters in brown corduroy; no English institution, however, assumes more readily an Oriental dress. Station-masters and sparrows alone are English; everything else on a Bengal railway is purely Eastern. Sikh irregulars jostle begging fakeers in the stations; palkees and doolies—palankeens and sedans, as we should call them—wait at the back doors; ticket-clerks smoke water-pipes; an ibis drinks at the engine-tank; a sacred cow looks over the fence, and a tame elephant reaches up with his trunk at the telegraph-wire, on which sits a hoopoe, while an Indian vulture crowns the post.

When we came opposite to the Monghyr Hills, the only natural objects which for 1600 miles break the level of the great plain of Hindostan, people of the central tribes, small-headed and savage-looking, were mingled with the Hindoos at the stations. In blackness there was not much difference between the races, for low-caste Bengalees are as black as Guinea negroes.

As the day grew hot, a water-carrier with a well-filled skin upon his back appeared at every station, and came running to the native cars in answer to the universal long-drawn shout of “Ah! ah! Bheestie—e!”

The first view of the Ganges calls up no enthusiasm. The Thames below Gravesend half dried up would be not unlike it; indeed, the river itself is as ugly as the Mississippi or Missouri, while its banks are more hideous by far than theirs. Beyond Patna, the plains, too, become as monotonous as the river,—flat, dusty, and treeless, they are in no way tropical in their character; they lie, indeed, wholly outside the tropics. I afterward found that a man may cross India from the Irawaddy to the Indus, and see no tropical scenery, no tropical cultivation. The aspect of the Ganges valley is that of Cambridgeshire, or of parts of Lincoln seen after harvest time, and with flocks of strange and brilliant birds and an occasional jackal thrown in. The sun is hot—not, indeed, much hotter than in Australia, but the heat is of a different kind from that encountered by the English in Ceylon or the West Indies. From a military point of view, the plains may be described as a parade-ground continued to infinity; and this explains the success of our small forces against the rebels in 1857, our cavalry and artillery having in all cases swept their infantry from these levels with the utmost ease.

A view over the plains by daylight is one which in former times some old Indians can never have enjoyed. Many a lady in the days of palki-dawk has passed a life in the Deccan table-land without ever seeing a mountain, or knowing she was on the top of one. Carried up and down the ghauts at night, it was only by the tilting of her palki that she could detect the rise or fall, for day traveling for ladies was almost unknown in India before it was introduced with the railways.

At Patna, the station was filled with crowds of railway coolies, or navvies, as we should say, who, with their tools and baggage, were camped out upon the platform, smoking peacefully. I afterward found that natives have little idea of time-tables and departure hours. When they want to go ten miles by railway, they walk straight down to the nearest station, and there smoke their hookahs till the train arrives—at the end of twenty-four hours or ten minutes, as the case may be. There is but one step that the more ignorant among the natives are in a hurry to take, and that is to buy their tickets. They are no sooner come to the terminus than with one accord they rush at the native ticket-clerk, yelling the name of the station to which they wish to go. In vain he declares that, the train not being due for ten or fifteen hours, there is plenty of time for the purchase. Open-mouthed, and wrought up almost to madness, the passengers dance round him, screaming “Burdwan!” or “Serampoor!” or whatever the name may be, till at last he surrenders at discretion. There is often no room for all who wish to go; indeed, the worst point about the management of the railways lies in the defective accommodation for the native passengers, and their treatment by the English station-masters is not always good: I saw them on many occasions terribly kicked and cuffed; but Indian station-masters are not very highly paid, and are too often men who cannot resist the temptations to violence which despotic power throws in their way. They might ask with the Missourian in the United States army when he was accused of drunkenness, “Whether Uncle Sam expected to get all the cardinal virtues for fifteen dollars a month?”

The Indian railways are all made and worked by companies; but as the government guarantees the interest of five per cent., which only the East Indian, or Calcutta and Delhi, line can pay, it interferes much in the management. The telegraph is both made and worked by government; and the reason why the railways were not put upon the same footing is that the government of India was doubtful as to the wisdom of borrowing directly the vast sum required, and doubtful also of the possibility of borrowing it without diminishing its credit.

The most marked among the effects of railways upon the state of India are, as a moral change, the weakening of caste ties—as a physical, the destruction of the Indian forests. It is found that if a rich native discovers that he can, by losing caste in touching his inferiors, travel a certain distance in a comfortable second-class carriage for ten rupees, while a first-class ticket costs him twenty, he will often risk his caste to save his pound; still, caste yields but slowly to railways and the telegraph. It is but a very few years since one of my friends received a thousand rupees for pleading in a case which turned on the question whether the paint-spot on Krishna‘s nose, which is also a caste sign, should be drawn as a plain horizontal crescent, or with a pendant from the center. It is only a year since, in Orissa, it was seen that Hindoo peasants preferred cannibalism, or death by starvation, to defilement by eating their bullocks.

As for the forests, their destruction has already in many places changed a somewhat moist climate to one of excessive drought, and planting is now taking place with a view both to supplying the railway engines and bringing back the rains. On the East Indian line, I found that they burnt mixed coal and wood, but the Indian coal is scarce and bad, and lies entirely in shallow “pockets.”

The train reached Mogul-Serai, the junction for Benares, at midnight of the day following that on which it left Calcutta, and, changing my carriage at once, I asked how long it would be before we started, to which the answer was, “half an hour;” so I went to sleep. Immediately, as it seemed, I was awakened by whispering, and, turning, saw a crowd of boys and baggage-coolies at the carriage-door. When I tried to discover what they wanted, my Hindostanee broke down, and it was some time before I found that I had slept through the short journey from Mogul-Serai, and had dozed on in the station till the lights had been put out, before the coolies woke me. Crossing the Ganges by the bridge of boats, I found myself in Benares, the ancient Varanasi, and sacred capital of the Hindoos.

CHAPTER IV.

BENARES.

IN the comparative cool of early morning, I sallied out on a stroll through the outskirts of Benares. Thousands of women were stepping gracefully along the crowded roads, bearing on their heads the water-jars, while at every few paces there was a well, at which hundreds were waiting along with the bheesties their turn for lowering their bright gleaming copper cups to the well-water to fill their skins or vases. All were keeping up a continual chatter, women with women, men with men: all the tongues were running ceaselessly. It is astonishing to see the indignation that a trifling mishap creates—such gesticulation, such shouting, and loud talk, you would think that murder at least was in question. The world cannot show the Hindoo‘s equal as a babbler; the women talk while they grind corn, the men while they smoke their water-pipes; your true Hindoo is never quiet; when not talking, he is playing on his tomtom.

The Doorgha Khond, the famed Temple of the Sacred Monkeys, I found thronged with worshipers, and garlanded in every part with roses: it overhangs one of the best holy tanks in India, but has not much beauty or grandeur, and is chiefly remarkable for the swarms of huge, fat-paunched, yellow-bearded, holy monkeys, whose outposts hold one quarter of the city, and whose main body forms a living roof to the temple. A singular contrast to the Doorgha Khond was the Queen‘s College for native students, built in a mixture of Tudor and Hindoo architecture. The view from the roof is noticeable, depending as it does for its beauty on the mingling of the rich green of the timber with the gay colors of the painted native huts. Over the trees are seen the minarets at the river-side, and an unwonted life was given to the view by the smoke and flames that were rising from two burning huts, in widely-separated districts of the native town. It is said that the natives, whenever they quarrel with their neighbors, always take the first opportunity of firing their huts; but in truth the huts in the hot weather almost fire themselves, so inflammable are their roofs and sides.

When the sun had declined sufficiently to admit of another excursion, I started from my bungalow, and, passing through the elephant-corral, went down with a guide to the ghauts, the observatory of Jai Singh, and the Golden Temple. From the minarets of the mosque of Aurungzebe I had a lovely sunset view of the ghauts, the city, and the Ganges; but the real sight of Benares, after all, lies in a walk through the tortuous passages that do duty for streets. No carriages can pass them, they are so narrow. You walk preceded by your guide, who warns the people, that they may stand aside and not be defiled by your touch, for that is the real secret of the apparent respect paid to you in Benares; but the sacred cows are so numerous and so obstinate that you cannot avoid sometimes jostling them. The scene in the passages is the most Indian in India. The gaudy dresses of the Hindoo princes spending a week in purification at the holy place, the frescoed fronts of the shops and houses, the deafening beating of the tomtoms, and, above all, the smoke and sickening smell from the “burning ghauts” that meets you, mingled with a sweeter smell of burning spices, as you work your way through the vast crowds of pilgrims who are pouring up from the river‘s bank—all alike are strange to the English traveler, and fill his mind with that indescribable awe which everywhere accompanies the sight of scenes and ceremonies that we do not understand. When once you are on the Ganges bank itself, the scene is wilder still:—a river front of some three miles, faced with lofty ghauts, or flights of river stairs, over which rise, pile above pile, in sublime confusion, lofty palaces with oriel windows hanging over the sacred stream; observatories with giant sun-dials, gilt domes (golden, the story runs), and silver minarets. On the ghauts, rows of fires, each with a smouldering body; on the river, boat-loads of pilgrims, and fakeers praying while they float; under the houses, lines of prostrate bodies—those of the sick—brought to the sacred Ganges to die—or, say our government spies, to be murdered by suffocation with sacred mud; while prowling about are the wolf-like fanatics who feed on putrid flesh. The whole is lit by a sickly sun fitfully glaring through the smoke, while the Ganges stream is half obscured by the river fog and reek of the hot earth.

The lofty pavilions that crown the river front are ornamented with paintings of every beast that walks and bird that flies, with monsters, too—pink and green and spotted—with griffins, dragons, and elephant-headed gods embracing dancing-girls. Here and there are representations of red-coated soldiers—English, it would seem, for they have white faces, but so, the Maories say, have the New Zealand fairies, who are certainly not British. The Benares taste for painting leads to the decoration with pink and yellow spots of the very cows. The tiger is the commonest of all the figures on the walls—indeed, the explanation that the representations are allegorical, or that gods are pictured in tiger shape, has not removed from my mind the belief that the tiger must have been worshiped in India at some early date. All Easterns are inclined to worship the beasts that eat them: the Javanese light floating sacrifices to their river crocodiles; the Scindees at Kurrachee venerate the sacred muggur, or man-eating alligator; the hill-tribes pray to snakes; indeed, to a new-comer, all Indian religion has the air of devil-worship, or worship of the destructive principle in some shape: the gods are drawn as grinning fiends, they are propitiated by infernal music, they are often worshiped with obscene and hideous rites. There is even something cruel in the monotonous roar of the great tomtoms; the sound seems to connect itself with widow-burning, with child-murder, with Juggernauth processions. Since the earliest known times, the tomtom has been used to drown the cries of tortured fanatics; its booming is bound up with the thousand barbarisms of false religion. If the scene on the Benares ghauts is full of horrors, we must not forget that Hindooism is a creed of fear and horror, not of love.

The government of India has lately instituted an inquiry into the alleged abuses of the custom of taking sick Hindoos to the Ganges-side to die, with a view to regulating or suppressing the practice which prevails in the river-side portion of Lower Bengal. At Benares, Bengal people are still taken to the river-side, but not so other natives, as Hindoos dying anywhere in the sacred city have all the blessings which the most holy death can possibly secure; the Benares Shastra, moreover, forbids the practice, and I saw but two cases of it in the city, although I had seen many near Calcutta. Not only are aged people brought from their sick-rooms, laid in the burning sun, and half suffocated with the Ganges water poured down their throats, but, owing to the ridicule which follows if they recover, or the selfishness of their relatives, the water is often muddier than it need be: hence the phrase “ghaut murder,” by which this custom is generally known. Similar customs are not unheard of in other parts of India, and even in Polynesia and North America. The Veddahs, or black aborigines of Ceylon, were, up to very lately, in the habit of carrying their dying parents or children into the jungle, and, having placed a chatty of water and some rice by their side, leaving them to be devoured by wild beasts. Under pressure from our officials, they are believed to have ceased to act thus, but they continue, we are told, to throw their dead to the leopards and crocodiles. The Maories, too, have a way of taking out to die alone those whom their seers have pronounced doomed men, but it is probable that, among the rude races, the custom which seems to be a relic of human sacrifice has not been so grossly abused as it has been by the Bengal Hindoos. The practice of Ganjatra is but one out of many similar barbarities that disgrace the religion of the Hindoos, but it is fast sharing the fate of suttee and infanticide.

As I returned through the bazaar, I met many most unholy-looking visitors to the sacred town. Fierce Rajpoots, with enormous turbans ornamented with zig-zag stripes: Bengal bankers, in large purple turbans, curling their long white mustaches, and bearing their critical noses high aloft as they daintily picked their way over the garbage of the streets; and savage retainers of the rajahs staying for a season at their city palaces, were to the traveler‘s eye no very devout pilgrims. In truth, the immoralities of the “holy city” are as great as its religious virtues, and it is the chosen ground of the loose characters as well as of the pilgrims of the Hindoo world.

In the whole of the great throng in the bazaar, hardly the slightest trace of European dressing was to be perceived: the varnished boots of the wealthier Hindoos alone bore witness to the existence of English trade—a singular piece of testimony, this, to the essential conservatism of the Oriental mind. With any quantity of old army clothing to be got for the asking, you never see a rag of it on a native back—not even on that of the poorest coolie. If you give a blanket to an out-door servant, he will cut it into strips and wear them as a puggree round his head; but this is about the only thing he will accept, unless to sell it in the bazaar.

As I stopped to look for a moment at the long trains of laden camels that were winding slowly through the tortuous streets, I saw a European soldier cheapening a bracelet with a native jeweler. He was the first topee wallah (“hat-fellow,” or “European”) that I had seen in Benares City. Calcutta is the only town in Northern India in which you meet Europeans in your walks or rides, and, even there, there is but one European to every sixty natives. In all India, there are, including troops, children, and officials of all kinds, far less than as many thousands of Europeans as there are millions of natives.

The evening after that on which I visited the native town, I saw in Secrole cantonments, near Benares, the India hated and dreaded by our troops—by day a blazing deadly heat and sun, at night a still more deadly fog—a hot white fog, into which the sun disappears half an hour before his time for setting, and out of which he shoots soon after seven in the morning, to blaze and kill again—a pestiferous fever-breeding ground-fog, out of which stand the tops of the palms, though their stems are invisible in the steam. Compared with our English summer climate, it seems the atmosphere of another planet.

Among the men in the cantonments, I found much of that demoralization that heat everywhere produces among Englishmen. The newly-arrived soldiers appear to pass their days in alternate trials of hard drinking and of total abstinence, and are continually in a state of nervous fright, which in time must wear them out and make them an easy prey to fever. The officers who are fresh from England often behave in much the same manner as the men, though with them “belatee pawnee” takes the place of plain water with the brandy. “Belatee pawnee” means, being translated, “English water,” but, when interpreted, it means “soda-water”—the natives once believing that this was English river-water, bottled and brought to India by us as they carry Ganges water to the remotest parts. The superstition is now at an end, owing to the fact that natives are themselves largely employed in the making of soda-water, which is cheaper in India than it is at home; but the name remains.

Our men kill themselves with beer, with brandy and soda-water, and with careless inattention to night chills, and then blame the poor climate for their fevers, or die cursing “India.” Of course, long residence in a climate winterless and always hot at mid-day produces or intensifies certain diseases; but brandy and soda-water produces more, and intensifies all. They say it is “soda-and-brandy” the first month, and then “brandy-and-soda,” but that men finally take to putting in the soda-water first, and then somehow the brandy always kills them. If a man wears a flannel belt and thick clothes when he travels by night, and drinks hot tea, he need not fear India.

In all ways, Benares is the type of India; in the Secrole cantonments, you have the English in India, intelligent enough, but careless, and more English than they are at home, with garrison chaplains, picnics, balls, and champagne suppers; hard by, in the native town, the fierce side of Hindooism, and streets for an Englishman to show himself in which ten years ago was almost certain death. Benares is the center of all the political intrigues of India; but the great mutiny itself was hatched there without being heard of at Secrole. Except that our policemen now perambulate the town, change in Benares there has been none. Were missionaries to appear openly in its streets, their fate would still very possibly be the same as that which in this city befell St. Thomas.

CHAPTER V.

CASTE.

ONE of the greatest difficulties with which the British have to contend in Hindostan is how to discover the tendencies, how to follow the changes, of native opinion. Your Hindoo is so complaisant a companion, that, whether he is your servant at threepence a day, or the ruler of the State in which you dwell, he is perpetually striving to make his opinions the reflex of your own. You are engaged in a continual struggle to prevent your views from being seen, in order that you may get at his: in this you always fail; a slight hint is enough for a Hindoo, and, if he cannot find even that much of suggestion in your words, he confines himself to commonplace. We should see in this, not so much one of the forms assumed by the cringing slavishness born of centuries of subjection, not so much an example of Oriental cunning, as of the polish of Eastern manners. Even in our rude country it is hardly courteous, whatever your opinions, flatly to contradict the man with whom you happen to be talking; with the Hindoo, it is the height of ill breeding so much as to differ from him. The results of the practice are deplorable; our utter ignorance of the secret history of the rebellion of 1857 is an example of its working, for there must have been a time, before discontent ripened into conspiracy, when we might have been advised and warned. The native newspapers are worse than useless to us; accepted as exponents of Hindoo views by those who know no better, and founded mostly by British capital, they are at once incapable of directing and of acting as indexes to native opinion, and express only the sentiments of half a dozen small merchants at the presidency towns, who give the tone to some two or three papers, which are copied and followed by the remainder.

The result of this difficulty in discovering native opinion is that our officers, however careful, however considerate in their bearing toward the natives, daily wound the feelings of the people who are under their care by acts which, though done in a praiseworthy spirit, appear to the natives deeds of gross stupidity or of outrageous despotism. It is hopeless to attempt to conciliate, it is impossible so much as to govern unless by main force continually displayed, an Eastern people in whose religious thought we are not deeply learned.

Not only are we unacquainted with the feelings of the people, but we are lamentably ignorant of the simplest facts about their religions, their wealth, and their occupations, for no census of all India has yet been taken. A complete census had, indeed, been taken, not long before my visit, in Central India, and another in the Northwest Provinces, but none in Madras, Bombay, the Punjaub, or Bengal. The difficulties in the way of the officials who carried through the arrangements for the two that had been taken were singularly great. In the Central Provinces, the census-papers had to be prepared in five languages; both here and in the Northwest, the purely scientific nature of the inquiry had to be brought home to the minds of the people. In Central India the hill-tribes believed that our object in the census was to pave the way for the collection of the unmarried girls as companions for our wifeless soldiers, so all began marrying forthwith. In the Northwest, the natives took it into their heads that our object was to see how many able-bodied men would be available for a war against Russia, and to collect a poll-tax to pay for the expedition. The numerous tribes that are habitually guilty of infanticide threw every difficulty in the way; Europeans disliked the whole affair, on account of the insult offered to their dignity in ranking them along with natives. It must be admitted, indeed, that the provisions for recording caste distinctions gave an odd shape to the census-papers left at the houses at Secrole, in which European officers were asked to state their “caste or tribe.” The census of the Central Provinces was imperfect enough, but that of the Northwest was the second that had been taken there, and showed signs of scientific arrangement and great care.

The Northwest Provinces include the great towns of Benares, Agra, and Allahabad, and the census fell into my hands at Benares itself, at the Sanscrit College. It was a strange production, and seemed to have brought together a mass of information respecting castes and creeds which was new even to those who had lived long in the Northwest Provinces. All callings in India being hereditary, there were entries recording the presence in certain towns of “hereditary clerks who pray to their inkhorns,” “hereditary beggars,” “hereditary planters of slips or cuttings,” “hereditary grave-diggers,” “hereditary hermits,” and “hereditary hangmen,” for in India a hangmanship descends with as much regularity as a crown. In the single district of the Dehra Valley, there are 1500 “hereditary tomtom men”—drummers at the festivals; 234 Brahmins of Bijnour returned themselves as having for profession “the receipt of presents to avert the influence of evil stars.” In Bijnour, there are also fifteen people of a caste which professes “the pleasing of people by assuming disguises,” while at Benares there is a whole caste—the Bhâts—whose hereditary occupation is to “satirize the enemies of the rich, and to praise their friends.” In the Northwest Provinces, there are 572 distinct castes in all.

The accounts which some castes gave of their origin read strangely in a solemn governmental document: the members of one caste described themselves as “descended from Maicasur, a demon;” but some of the records are less legendary and more historic. One caste in the Dehra Valley sent in a note that they came in 1000 A.D. from the Deccan; another, that they emigrated from Arabia 500 years ago. The Gour Brahmins claim to have been in the district of Moozuffernuggur for 5000 years.

Under the title of “occupations,” the heads of families alone were given, and not the number of those dependent on them, whence it comes that in the whole province only “11,000 tomtom players” were set down. The habits and tastes of the people are easily seen in the entries: “3600 firework manufacturers,” “45 makers of crowns for idols,” “4353 gold-bangle makers,” “29,136 glass-bangle makers,” “1123 astrologers.” There are also 145 “ear-cleaners,” besides “kite-makers,” “ear-piercers,” “pedigree-makers,” “makers of caste-marks,” “cow-dung sellers,” and “hereditary painters of horses with spots.” There was no backwardness in the followers of maligned pursuits: 974 people in Allahabad described themselves as “low blackguards,” 35 as “men who beg with threats of violence,” 25 as “hereditary robbers,” 479,015 as “beggars,” 29 as “howlers at funerals,” 226 as “flatterers for gain;” “vagabonds,” “charmers,” “informers” were all set down, and 1100 returned themselves as “hereditary buffoons,” while 2000 styled themselves “conjurers,” 4000 “acrobats,” and 6372 “poets.” In one district alone, there were 777 “soothsayers and astrologers” by profession.

It is worthy of notice that, although there are in the Northwest Provinces half a million of beggars in a population of thirty millions, they seem never to beg of Europeans—at least, I was not once asked for alms during my stay in India. If the smallest service be performed, there comes a howl of “O Bauks-heece!” from all quarters, but at other times natives seem afraid to beg of Englishmen.

The number of fakeers, soothsayers, charmers, and other “religious” vagabonds is enormous, but the dense ignorance of the people renders them a prey to witchcraft, evil-eye, devil-influence, and all such folly. In Central India, there are whole districts which are looked upon as witch-tracts or haunted places, and which are never approached by man, but set aside as homes for devils. A gentleman who was lately engaged there on the railroad survey found that night after night his men were frightened out of their wits by “fire-fiends,” or blazing demons. He insisted that they should take him to the spot where these strange sights were seen, and to his amazement he, too, saw the fire-devil; at least, he saw a blaze of light moving slowly through the jungle. Gathering himself up for a chase, he rushed at the devil with a club, when the light suddenly disappeared, and instantly shone out from another spot, a hundred yards from the former place. Seeing that there was some trickery at work, he hid himself, and after some hours caught his devil, who, to escape from a sound drubbing, gave an explanation of the whole affair. The man said that the natives of the surveyor‘s party had stolen his mangoes for several nights, but that at last he had hit on a plan for frightening them away. He and his sons went out at dark with pots of blazing oil upon their heads, and, when approached by thieves, the leading one put a cover on his pot, and became invisible, while the second uncovered his. The surveying party got the drubbing, and the devil escaped scot-free; but the surveyor, with short-sighted wisdom, told his men, who had not seen him catch the fire-bearer, that he had had the honor of an interview with the devil himself, who had joyfully informed him of the thefts committed by the men. The surveyor did not admit that he was from this time forward worshiped by his party, but it is not unlikely that such was the case. One of the hill-tribes of Madras worships Colonel Palmer, a British officer who died some seventy years ago, just as Drake was worshiped in America, and Captain Cook in Hawaii. It was one of these tribes that invented the well-known worshiping machine, or “praying-wheel.”

The hill-tribes are less refined, but hardly more ignorant in their fanaticism than are the Hindoos. At Bombay, upon the beach where the dead are buried, or rather tossed to the wild beasts, I saw a filthy and holy Hindoo saint, whose claim to veneration consists in his having spent the whole of the days and portions of the nights for twenty years in a stone box in which he can neither stand, nor lie, nor sit, nor sleep. These saintly fakeers have still much influence with the Hindoo mass, but in old times their power and their insolence were alike unbounded. Agra itself was founded to please one of them. The great Emperor Akbar, who, although a lax Mohammedan, was in no sense a Hindoo, kept nevertheless a Hindoo saint for political purposes, and gave him the foremost position in his train. When the emperor was beginning to fortify Futtehpore Sikri, where he lived, the saint sent for him, and said that the work must be stopped, as the noise disturbed him at his prayers. The emperor offered him new rooms away from the site of the proposed walls, but the saint replied that, whether Akbar went on with his works or no, he should leave Futtehpore. To pacify him, Akbar founded Agra, and dismantled Futtehpore Sikri.

From the census it appears that there are, in the Northwest Provinces, no less than twenty-two newspapers under government inspection, of which five are published at Agra. The circulation of these papers is extremely small, and as the government itself takes 3500 of the 12,000 copies which they issue, its hold over them, without exertion of force, is great. Of the other 8500, 8000 go to native and 500 to European subscribers. All the native papers are skillful at catering for their double public, but those which are printed half in a native tongue and half in English stand in the first rank for unscrupulousness. One of these papers gave, while I was in India, some French speech in abuse of the English. This was headed on the English side, “Interesting Account of the English,” but on the native side, “Excellent Account of the English.” The “English correspondence” and English news of these native papers are so absurdly concocted by the editors out of their own brains that it is a question whether it would not be advisable to send them weekly a column of European news, and even to withhold government patronage from them unless they gave it room, leaving them to qualify and explain the facts as best they could. Their favorite statements are that Russia is going to invade India forthwith, that the Queen has become a Catholic or a Mohammedan, and that the whole population of India is to be converted to Christianity by force. The external appearance of the native papers is sometimes as comical as their matter. The Umritsur Commercial Advertiser, of which nothing is English but the title, gives, for instance, the time-tables of the Punjaub Railway on its back sheet. The page, which is a mere maze of dots and crooked lines, has at the top a cut of a railway train, in which guards apparently cocked-hatted, but probably meant to be wearing pith helmets, are represented sitting on the top of each carriage, with their legs dangling down in front of the windows.

Neither Christianity nor native reformed religions make much show in the Northwestern census. The Christians are strongest in the South of India, the Hindoo reformers in the Punjaub. The Sikhs themselves, and the Kookhas, Nirunkarees, Goolab Dasseas, Naukeeka-punth, and many other Punjaubee sects, all show more or less hostility to caste; but in the Northwest Provinces caste distinctions flourish, although in reality they have no doubt lost strength. The high-caste men are beginning to find their caste a drawback to their success in life, and are given to concealing it. Just as with ourselves kings go incognito when they travel for pleasure, so the Bengal sepoy hides his Brahminical string under his cloth, in order that he may be sent on foreign service without its being known that by crossing the seas he will lose caste.

Judging by the unanimous opinion of the native press on the doings of the Maharajahs of Bombay, and on the licentiousness of the Koolin Brahmins, many of our civilians have come to think that Hindooism in its present shape has lost the support of a large number of the more intelligent Hindoos; but there is little reason to believe that this is the case. In Calcutta, the Church of Hindoo Deists is gaining ground, and one of their leaders is said to have met with some successes during a recent expedition to the Northwest, but of this there is no proof. The little regard that many high-caste natives show for caste except as a matter of talk merely means that caste is less an affair of religion than of custom, but that it is a matter of custom does not show that its force is slight: on the contrary, custom is the lord of India.

The success of Mohammedanism in India should show that caste has never been strong except so far as caste is custom. It is true that the peasants in Orissa starved by the side of the sacred cows, but this was custom too: any one man killing the cow would have been at once killed by his also starving neighbors for breaking custom; but once change the custom by force, and there is no tendency to return to the former state of things. The Portuguese and the Mohammedans alike made converts by compulsion, yet when the pressure was removed there was no return to the earlier faith. Of the nature of caste we had an excellent example in the behavior of the troopers of a Bengal cavalry regiment three weeks before the outbreak of the mutiny of 1857, when they said that for their part they knew that their cartridges were not greased with the fat of cows, but that, as they looked as though they were, it came to the same thing, for they should lose caste if their friends saw them touch the cartridges in question.

It was the cry of infringement of custom that was raised against us by the mutineers: “They aim at subverting our institutions; they have put down the suttee of the Brahmins, the infanticide of the Marattas, caste and adoption are despised; they aim at destroying all our religious customs,” was the most powerful cry that could be raised. It is one against which we shall never be wholly safe; but it is the custom and not the religion which is the people‘s especial care.

There is one point in which caste forms a singular difficulty in our way, which has not yet been brought sufficiently home to us. The comparatively fair treatment which is now extended to the low-caste and no-caste men is itself an insult to the high-caste nobility; and while the no-caste men care little how we treat them, provided we pay them well, and the bunnya, or shop-keeping class, encouraged by the improvement, cry out loudly that the government wrongs them in not treating them as Europeans, the high-caste men are equally disgusted with our good treatment both of middle-class and inferior Hindoos. These things are stumbling-blocks in our way, chiefly because no amount of acquaintance with the various phases of caste feeling is sufficient to bring home its importance to Englishmen. The Indian is essentially the caste man, the Saxon as characteristically the no-caste man, and it is difficult to produce a mutual understanding. Just as in England the people are too democratic for the government, in India the government is too democratic for the people.

Although caste has hitherto been but little shaken, there are forces at work which must in time produce the most grave results. The return to their homes of natives who have emigrated and worked at sugar-planting in Mauritius and coffee-growing in Ceylon, mixing with negroes and with Europeans, will gradually aid in the subversion of caste distinctions, and the Parsees will give their help toward the creation of a healthier feeling. The young men of the merchant-class—who are all pure deists—set an example of doing away with caste distinctions which will gradually affect the whole population of the towns; railways will act upon the laborers and agriculturists; a closer intercourse with Europe will possibly go hand in hand with universal instruction in the English tongue, and the indirect results of Christian teaching will continue to be, as they have been, great.

The positive results of missionary work in India have hitherto been small. Taking the census as a guide, in the district of Mooradabad we find but 107 Christians in 1,100,000 people; in Budaon, 64 “Christians, Europeans, and Eurasians” (half-castes) out of 900,000 people; in Bareilly, 137 native Christians in a million and a half of people; in Shajehanpoor, 98 in a million people; in Turrai, none in a million people; in Etah, no native Christians, and only twenty Europeans to 614,000 people; in the Banda district, thirteen native Christians out of three-quarters of a million of people; in Goruckpoor, 100 native Christians out of three and a half millions of people. Not to multiply instances, this proportion is preserved throughout the whole of the districts, and the native Christians in the Northwest are proved to form but an insignificant fraction of the population.

The number of native Christians in India is extremely small. Twenty-three societies, having three hundred Protestant missionary stations, more than three hundred native missionary churches, and five hundred European preachers, costing with their assistants two hundred thousand pounds a year, profess to show only a hundred and fifty thousand converts, of whom one-seventh are communicants. The majority of the converts who are not communicants are converts only upon paper, and it may be said that of real native non-Catholic Christians there are not in India more than 40,000, of whom half are to be found among the devil-worshipers of Madras. The so-called “aboriginal” hill-tribes, having no elaborate religious system of their own, are not tied down to the creed of their birth in the same way as are Mohammedans and Hindoos, among whom our missionaries make no way whatever. The native Protestant‘s position is a fearful one, except in such a city as Madras, for he wholly loses caste, and becomes an outlaw from his people. The native Catholic continues to be a caste man, and sometimes an idol-worshiper, and the priests have made a million converts in Southern India.

Besides revealing the fewness of the native Christians, the Northwestern census has shown us plainly the weakness of the Europeans. In the district of Mooradabad, 1,100,000 people are ruled by thirty-eight Europeans. In many places, two Europeans watch over 200,000 people. The Eurasians are about as numerous as the Europeans, to which class they may for some purposes be regarded as belonging, for the natives reject their society, and refuse them a place in every caste. The Eurasians are a much-despised race, the butt of every Indian story, but as a community they are not to be ranked high. That they should be ill educated, vain, and cringing, is perhaps only what we might expect of persons placed in their difficult position; nevertheless, that they are so tends to lessen, in spite of our better feelings, the pity that we should otherwise extend toward them.

The census had not only its revelations, but its results. One effect of the census-taking is to check the practice of infanticide, by pointing out to the notice of our officers the castes and the districts in which it exists. The deaths of three or four hundred children are credited to the wolves in the Umritsur district of the Punjaub alone, but it is remarked that the “wolves” pick out the female infants. The great disproportion of the sexes is itself partly to be explained as the result of infanticide.

One weighty drawback to our influence upon Hindoo morals, is that in the case of many abuses we legislate without effect, our laws being evaded where they are outwardly obeyed. The practice of infanticide exists in all parts of India, but especially in Rajpootana, and the girls are killed chiefly in order to save the cost of marrying them—or, rather, of buying husbands for them. Now we have “suppressed” infanticide—which means that children are smothered or starved, instead of being exposed. It is no easy task to bring about reforms in the customs of the people of India.

The many improvements in the moral condition of the people which the census chronicles are steps in a great march. Those who have known India long are aware that a remarkable change has come over the country in the last few years. Small as have been the positive visible results of Christian teaching, the indirect effects have been enormous. Among the Sikhs and Marattas, a spirit of reflection, of earnest thought, unusual in natives, has been aroused; in Bengal it has taken the form of pure deism, but then Bengal is not India. The spirit rather than the doctrinal teaching of Christianity has been imbibed: a love of truth appeals more to the feelings of the upright natives than do the whole of the nine-and-thirty Articles. Here, as elsewhere, the natives look to deeds, not words; the example of a Frere is worth the teaching of a hundred missionaries, painstaking and earnest though they be.

CHAPTER VI.

MOHAMMEDAN CITIES.

THROUGH Mirzapore, Allahabad, and Futtehpore, I passed on to Cawnpore, spending but little time at Allahabad; for though the city is strategically important, there is in it but little to be seen. Like all spots of the confluence of rivers, Allahabad is sacred with the Hindoos, for it stands, they say, at the meeting-point of no less than three great streams—the Ganges, the Jumna, and a river of the spirit-land. To us poor pagans the third stream is invisible; not so to the faithful. Catching a glimpse of Marochetti‘s statue at the Cawnpore well, as I hurried through that city, I diverged from the East Indian Railway, and took dawk-carriage to Lucknow.

As compared with other Indian cities, the capital of Oude is a town to be seen in driving rather than in walking; the general effects are superior in charm and beauty to the details, and the vast size of the city makes mere sight-seeing a work of difficulty. More populous before 1857 than either Calcutta or Bombay, it is still twice as large as Liverpool. Not only, however, is Lucknow the most perfect of the modern or Italianized Oriental towns, but there are in it several buildings that have each the charm of an architecture special to itself. Of these, the Martinière is the most singular, and it looks like what it is—the freak of a wealthy madman. Its builder was General Martine, a Frenchman in the service of the Kings of Oude. Not far behind the Martinière is the Dilkousha—a fantastic specimen of an Oriental hunting-lodge. The ordinary show-building of the place, the Kaiser-Bagh, or Palace of the Kings of Oude, is a paltry place enough, but there is a certain grandeur in the view of the great Imaumbara and the Hooseinabád from a point whence the two piles form to the eye but one. The great Imaumbara suffered terribly in 1858 from the wanton destruction which our troops committed everywhere during the war of the mutiny. Had they confined themselves to outrages such as these, however, but little could have been said against the conduct of the war. There is too much fear that the English, unless held in check, exhibit a singularly strong disposition toward cruelty, wherever they have a weak enemy to meet.

The stories of the Indian mutiny and of the Jamaica riot are but two out of many—two that we happen to have heard; but the Persian war in 1857 and the last of the Chinese campaigns are not without their records of deliberate barbarity and wrong. From the first officer of one of the Peninsular and Oriental steamers, which was employed in carrying troops up the Euphrates during the Persian war, I heard a story that is the type of many such. A Persian drummer-boy of about ten years old was seen bathing from the bank one morning by the officers on deck. Bets were made as to the chance of hitting him with an Enfield rifle, and one of the betters killed him at the first shot.

It is not only in war-time that our cruelty comes out; it is often seen in trifles during peace. Even a traveler, indeed, becomes so soon used to see the natives wronged in every way by people of quiet manner and apparent kindness of disposition, that he ceases to record the cases. In Madras roads, for instance, I saw a fruit-seller hand up some limes to a lower-deck port, just as we were weighing anchor. Three Anglo-Indians (men who had been out before) asked in chorus, “How much?” “One quarter rupee.” “Too much.” And, without more ado, paying nothing, they pelted the man with his own limes, of which he lost more than half. In Ceylon, near Bentotté rest-house, a native child offered a handsome cowrie (of a kind worth in Australia about five shillings, and certainly worth something in Ceylon) to the child of a Mauritius coffee-planter who was traveling with us to Columbo, himself an old Indian officer. The white child took it, and would not give it up. The native child cried for money, or to have his shell back, but the mother of the white child exclaimed, “You be hanged; it‘s worth nothing;” and off came the shell with us in the dawk. Such are the small but galling wrongs inflicted daily upon the Indian natives. It was a maxim of the Portuguese Jesuits that men who live long among Asiatics seldom fail to learn their vices; but our older civilians treat the natives with strict justice, and Anglo-Indian ladies who have been reared in the country are generally kind to their own servants, if somewhat harsh toward other natives. It is those who have been in the country from five to ten years, and especially soldiers, who treat the natives badly. Such men I have heard exclaim that the new penal code has revolutionized the country. “Formerly,” they say, “you used to send a man to a police-officer or a magistrate with a note:—‘My dear ——. Please give the bearer twenty lashes.’ But now the magistrates are afraid to act, and your servant can have you fined for beating him.” In spite of the lamentations of Anglo-Indians over the good old days, I noticed in all the hotels in India the significant notice, “Gentlemen are earnestly requested not to strike the servants.”

The jokes of a people against themselves are not worth much, but may be taken in aid of other evidence. The two favorite Anglo-Indian stories are that of the native who, being asked his religion, said, “Me Christian—me get drunk like massa;” and that of the young officer who, learning Hindostanee in 1858, had the difference between the negative “né” and the particle “ne” explained to him by the moonshee, when he exclaimed: “Dear me! I hanged lots of natives last year for admitting that they had not been in their villages for months. I suppose they meant to say that they had not left their villages for months.” It is certain that in the suppression of the mutiny hundreds of natives were hanged by Queen‘s officers who, unable to speak a word of any native language, could neither understand evidence nor defense.

It is in India, when listening to a mess-table conversation on the subject of looting, that we begin to remember our descent from Scandinavian sea-king robbers. Centuries of education have not purified the blood: our men in India can hardly set eyes upon a native prince or a Hindoo palace before they cry, “What a place to break up!” “What a fellow to loot!” When I said to an officer who had been stationed at Secrole in the early days of the mutiny, “I suppose you were afraid that the Benares people would have attacked you,” his answer was, “Well, for my part, I rather hoped they would, because then we should have thrashed them, and looted the city. It hadn‘t been looted for two hundred years.”

Those who doubt that Indian military service makes soldiers careless of men‘s lives, reckless as to the rights of property, and disregardful of human dignity, can hardly remember the letters which reached home in 1857, in which an officer in high command during the march upon Cawnpore reported, “Good bag to-day; polished off —— rebels,” it being borne in mind that the “rebels” thus hanged or blown from guns were not taken in arms, but villagers apprehended “on suspicion.” During this march, atrocities were committed in the burning of villages, and massacre of innocent inhabitants, at which Mohammed Togluk himself would have stood ashamed, and it would be to contradict all history to assert that a succession of such deeds would not prove fatal to our liberties at home.

The European officers of native regiments, and many officers formerly in the Company‘s service, habitually show great kindness to the natives, but it is the benevolent kindness of the master for a favorite slave, of the superior for men immeasurably beneath him; there is little of the feeling which a common citizenship should bestow, little of that equality of man and man which Christianity would seem to teach, and which our Indian government has for some years favored.

At Lucknow, I saw the Residency, and at Cawnpore, on my return to the East Indian Railway, the intrenchments which were, each of them, the scene in 1857 of those defenses against the mutineers generally styled “glorious” or “heroic,” though made by men fighting with ropes about their necks. The successful defenses of the fort at Arrah and of the Lucknow Residency were rather testimonies to the wonderful fighting powers of the English than to their courage,—for cowards would fight when the alternative was, fight or die. As far as Oude was concerned, the “rebellion” of 1857 seems to have been rather a war than a mutiny; but the habits of the native princes would probably have led them to have acted as treacherously at Lucknow in the case of a surrender as did the Nana at Cawnpore, and our officers wisely determined that in no event would they treat for terms. What is to be regretted is that we as conquerors should have shown the Oude insurgents no more mercy than they would have shown to us, and that we should have made use of the pretext that the rising was a mere mutiny of our native troops, as an excuse for hanging in cold blood the agriculturists of Oude. Whatever the duplicity of their rulers, whatever the provocation to annexation may have been, there can be no doubt that the revolution in the land-laws set on foot by us resulted in the offer of a career as native policemen or railway ticket-clerks to men whose ancestors were warriors and knights when ours wore woad; and we are responsible before mankind for having treated as flagrant treason and mutiny a legitimate war on the part of the nobility of Oude. In the official papers of the government of the Northwest Provinces, the so-called “mutiny” is styled more properly “a grievous civil war.

There is much reason to fear, not that the mutiny will be too long remembered, but that it will be too soon forgotten. Ten years ago, Monghyr was an ash-heap, Cawnpore a name of horror, Delhi a stronghold of armed rebels, yet now we can travel without change of cars through peaceful and prosperous Monghyr and Cawnpore—a thousand and twenty miles—in forty hours, and find at the end of our journey that shaded boulevards have already taken the place of the walls of Delhi.

Quitting the main line of the East Indian Railway at Toondla Junction, I passed over a newly-made branch road to Agra. The line was but lately opened, and birds without number sat upon the telegraph-posts, and were seemingly too astonished to fly away from the train, while, on the open barrens, herds of Indian antelopes grazed fearlessly, and took no notice of us when we passed.

Long before we entered Akbarabad, as the city should be called, by the great new bridge across the Jumna, I had sighted in the far distance the majestic, shining dome of the famed Taj Mahal; but when arrived within the city, I first visited the citadel and ramparts. The fort and palace of Akbar are the Moslem creed in stone. Without—turned toward the unbeliever and the foe—the far-famed triple walls, frowning one above the other with the frown that a hill-fanatic wears before he strikes the infidel; within is the secure paradise of the believing “Emperor of the world”—delicious fountains pouring into basins of the whitest marble, beds of rose and myrtle, balconies and pavilions; part of the zenana, or women‘s wing, overhanging the river, and commanding the distant snow-dome of the Taj. Within, too, the “Motee Musjid”—“Pearl of Mosques” in fact as well as name—a marble-cloistered court, to which an angel architect could not add a stone, nor snatch one from it, without spoiling all. These for believers; for non-believers the grim old Saracenic “Hall of the Seat of Judgment.” The palace, except the mosque, which is purity itself, is overlaid with a crust of gems. There is one famed chamber—a woman‘s bath-house—the roof and sides of which are covered with tiny silver-mounted mirrors, placed at such angles as to reflect to infinity the figures of those who stand within the bath; and a court is near at hand, paved with marble squares in black and white, over which Akbar and his vizier used to sit and gravely play at draughts with dancing girls for “pieces.”

On the river bank, a mile from Akbar‘s palace, in the center of a vast garden entered through the noblest gateways in the world, stands the Taj Mahal, a terrace rising in dazzling whiteness from a black mass of cypresses, and bearing four lofty, delicate minars, and the central pile that gleams like an Alp against the deep-blue sky—minars, terrace, tomb, all of spotless marble and faultless shape. Its Persian builders named the Taj “the palace floating in the air.”

Out of the fierce heat and blazing sunlight you enter into chill and darkness, but soon begin to see the hollow dome growing into form above your head, and the tomb itself—that of Noor Mahal, the favorite queen of Shah Jehan—before you, and beside it her husband‘s humbler grave. Though within and without the Taj is white, still here you find the walls profusely jeweled, and the purity retained. Flowers are pictured on every block in mosaic of cinnamon-stone, carnelian, turquoise, amethyst, and emerald; the corridors contain the whole Koran, inlaid in jet-black stone, yet the interior as a whole exceeds in chastity the spotlessness of the outer dome. Oriental, it is not barbaric, and a sweet melancholy is the effect the Taj produces on the mind, when seen by day; in the still moonlight, the form is too mysterious to be touching.

In a Persian manuscript, there still remains a catalogue of the prices of the gems made use of in the building of the Taj, and of the places from which they came. Among those named are coral from Arabia, sapphires from Moldavia, amethysts from Persia, crystal from China, turquoises from Thibet, diamonds from Bundelcund, and lapis-lazuli from Ceylon. The stones were presents or tribute to the emperor, and the master-masons came mostly from Constantinople and Bagdad—a fact which should be remembered when we are discussing the intellectual capacity of the Bengal Hindoos. That a people who paint their cows pink with green spots, and their horses orange or bright red, should be the authors of the Pearl Mosque and the Taj, would be too wonderful for our belief; but the Mohammedan conquerors brought with them the chosen artists of the Moslem world. The contrast between the Taj and the Monkey Temple at Benares reminds one of that between a Cashmere and a Norwich shawl.

It is not at Agra alone that we meet the works of Mogul emperors. Much as we have ourselves done in building roads and bridges, there are many parts of Upper India where the traces of the Moslem are still more numerous than are at present those of the later conquerors of the unfortunate Hindoos. Mosques, forts, conduits, bridges, gardens—all the works of the Moguls are both solid and magnificent, and it was with almost reverential feelings that I made my pilgrimage to the tomb at Secundra of the great Emperor Akbar, grandfather of Shah Jehan, son of Hoomayoon, and founder of Agra City.

It is to be remarked that the Mohammedans in India make a considerable show for their small numbers. Of the great cities of India, the three Presidency towns are English; and the three gigantic cities of Delhi, Agra, and Lucknow, chiefly Mohammedan. Benares alone is a Hindoo city, and even in Benares the Mohammedans have their temples. All the great buildings of India are Mohammedan; so are all the great works that are not English. Yet even in the Agra district the Mohammedans are only one-twelfth of the population, but they live chiefly in the towns.

The history of the Mogul empire of India from the time of the conquest of the older empire by Tamerlane in the fourteenth century, and the forced conversion to Mohammedanism of a vast number of Hindoos, and that of Akbar‘s splendor and enormous power, down to the transportation of the last emperor in 1857 to Rangoon, and the shooting of his sons in a dry ditch by Captain Hodson, is one for us to ponder carefully. Those who know what we have done in India, say that even in our codes—and they are allowed to be our best claim to the world‘s applause—we fall short of Akbar‘s standard.

Delhi, the work of Shah Jehan, founder of the Taj and the Pearl Mosque, was built by himself in a wilderness, as was Agra by the Emperor Akbar. We who have seen the time that has passed since its foundation by Washington before the capital of the United States has grown out of the village shape, cannot deny that the Mogul emperors, if they were despots, were at least tyrants possessed of imperial energy. Akbar built Agra twenty or thirty miles from Futtehpore Sikri, his former capital, but Jehan had the harder task of forcing his people to quit an earlier site not five miles from modern Delhi, while Akbar merely moved his palace and let the people follow.

Delhi suffered so much at our hands during the storm in 1857, and has suffered so much since in the way of Napoleonic boulevards intended to prevent the necessity of storming it again, that it must be much changed from what it was before the war. The walls which surround the whole city are nearly as grand as those of the fort at Agra, and the gate towers are very Gibraltars of brick and stone, as we found to our cost when we battered the Cashmere Gate in 1857. The palace and the Motee Musjid are extremely fine, but inferior to their namesakes at Agra; and the Jumna Musjid—reputed the most beautiful as it is the largest mosque in the world—impressed me only by its size. The view, however, from its minars is one of the whole Northwest. The vast city becomes an ant-heap, and you instinctively peer out into space, and try to discern the sea toward Calcutta or Bombay.

The historical memories that attach to Delhi differ from those that we associate with the name of Agra. There is little pleasure in the contemplation of the zenana, where the miserable old man, the last of the Moguls, dawdled away his years.

CHAPTER VII.

SIMLA.

AFTER visiting Nicholson‘s tomb at the Cashmere Gate, I entered my one-horse dawk—the regulation carriage of India—and set off for Kurnaul and Simla, passing between the sand-hills, gravel-pits, and ruined mosques through which the rebel cavalry made their famous sortie upon our camp. It was evening when we started, and as the dawk-gharrees are so arranged that you can lie with comfort at full-length, but cannot sit without misery, I brought my canvas bag into service as a pillow, and was soon asleep.

When I woke, we had stopped; and when I drew the sliding shutter that does duty for door and window, and peered out into the darkness, I discovered that there was no horse in the shafts, and that my driver and his horse syce—or groom—were smoking their hubble-bubbles at a well in the company of a passing friend. By making free use of the strongest language that my dictionary contained, I prevailed upon the men to put in a fresh horse; but starting was a different matter. The horse refused to budge an inch, except, indeed, backwards, or sideways toward the ditch. Six grooms came running from the stable, and placed themselves one at each wheel, and one on each side of the horse, while many boys pushed behind. At a signal from the driver, the four wheelmen threw their whole weight on the spokes, and one of the men at the horse‘s head held up the obstinate brute‘s off fore-leg, so that he was fairly run off the ground, and forced to make a start, which he did with a violent plunge, for which all the grooms were, however, well prepared. As they yelled with triumph, we dashed along for some twenty yards, then swerved sideways, and came to a dead stop. Again and again the starting process was repeated, till at last the horse went off at a gallop, which carried us to the end of the stage. This is the only form of starting known to up-country horses, as I soon found; but sometimes even this ceremony fails to start the horse, and twice in the Delhi-to-Kalka journey we lost a quarter of an hour over horses, and had finally to get others from the stable.

About midnight, we reached a government bungalow, or roadside inn, where I was to sup, and five minutes produced a chicken curry which, in spite of its hardness, was disposed of in as many more. Meanwhile a storm had come rumbling and roaring across the skies, and when I went to the door to start, the bungalow butler and cook pointed to the gharree, and told me that driver and horse were gone. Not wishing the bungalow men to discover how small was my stock of Hindostanee, I paid careful attention to their conversation, and looked up each time that I heard “sahib,” as I knew that then they must be talking about me. Seeing this, they seemed to agree that I was a thorough Hindostanee scholar, but too proud to answer when they spoke. While they were humbly requesting that I would bow to the storm and sleep in the bungalow, which was filled with twittering sparrows, waked by the thunder or the lights, I was reading my dictionary by the faint glimmer of the cocoanut oil-lamp, and trying to find out how I was to declare that I insisted on going on at once. When at last I hit upon my phrase, the storm was over, and the butler soon found both horse and driver. After this adventure, my Hindostanee improved fast.

A remarkable misapprehension prevails in England concerning the languages of India. The natives of India, we are inclined to believe, speak Hindostanee, which is the language of India as English is that of Britain. The truth is that there are in India a multitude of languages, of which Hindostanee is not even one. Besides the great tongues, Urdu, Maratti, and Tamil, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of local languages, and innumerable dialects of each. Hindostanee is a camp language, which contains many native words, but which also is largely composed of imported Arabic and Persian words, and which is not without specimens of English and Portuguese. “Saboon,” for soap, is the latter; “glassie,” for a tumbler, and “istubul,” for a stable, the former: but almost every common English phrase and English word of command forms in a certain measure part of the Hindostanee tongue. Some terms have been ingeniously perverted; for instance, “Who comes there?” has become “Hookum dar?” “Stand at ease!” is changed to “Tundel tis,” and “Present arms!” to “Furyunt arm!” The Hindostanee name for a European lady is “mem sahib,” a feminine formed from “sahib”—lord, or European—by prefixing to it the English servants’ “mum,” or corruption of “madam.” Some pure Hindostanee words have a comical sound enough to English ears, as “hookm,” an order, pronounced “hook‘em;” “misri,” sugar, which sounds like “misery;” “top,” fever; “molly,” a gardener; and “dolly,” a bundle of vegetables.

Dawk traveling in the Punjaub is by no means unpleasant; by night you sleep soundly, and by day there is no lack of life in the mere traffic on the road, while the general scene is full of charm. Here and there are serais, or corrals, built by the Mogul emperors or by the British government for the use of native travelers. Our word “caravansery” is properly “caravan-serai,” an inclosure for the use of those traveling in caravans. The keeper of the serai supplies water, provender, and food, and at night the serais along the road glow with the cooking-fires and resound with the voices of thousands of natives, who when on journeys never seem to sleep. Throughout the plains of India, the high-roads pass villages, serais, police-stations, and groups of trees at almost equal intervals. The space between clump and clump is generally about three miles, and in this distance you never see a house, so compact are the Indian villages. The Northwest Provinces are the most densely-peopled countries of the world, yet between village and village you often see no trace of man, while jackals and wild blue-cows roam about as freely as though the country were an untrodden wilderness.

Each time you reach a clump of banyans, tamarind and tulip trees, you find the same tenants of its shades: village police-station, government posting-stable, and serai are always inclosed within its limits. All the villages are fortified with lofty walls of mud or brick, as are the numerous police-stations along the road, where the military constabulary, in their dark-blue tunics, yellow trowsers, and huge puggrees of bright red, rise up from sleep or hookah as you pass, and, turning out with tulwárs and rifles, perform the military salute—due in India to the white face from all native troops. Your skin here is your patent of aristocracy and your passport, all in one.

It is not only by the police and troops that you are saluted: the natives all salaam to you—except mere coolies, who do not think themselves worthy even to offer a salute—and many Anglo-Indians refuse to return their bow. Every Englishman in India ought to act as though he were an ambassador of the Queen and people, and regulate accordingly his conduct in the most trifling things; but too often the low bow and humble “Salaam sahib” is not acknowledged even by a curt “Salaam.”

In the drier portions of the country, women were busy with knives digging up little roots of grass for horse-food; and four or five times a day a great bugling would be heard and answered by my driver, while the mail-cart shot by us at full speed. The astonishment with which I looked upon the Indian plains grew even stronger as I advanced up country. Not only is bush scarce, and forest never seen, but where there is jungle it is of the thinnest and least tropical kind. It would be harder to traverse, on horse or foot, the thinnest coppice in the south of England than the densest jungle in the plain country of all India.

Both in the villages and in the desert portions of the road, the ground-squirrels galloped in troops before the dawk, and birds without number hopped fearlessly beside us as we passed; hoopoes, blue-jays, and minas were the commonest, but there were many paddy-birds and graceful golden egrets in the lower grounds.

Between Delhi and Kurnaul were many ruins, now green with the pomegranate leaf, now scarlet with the bloom of the peacock-tree, and, about the ancient villages, acre after acre of plantain-garden, irrigated by the conduits of the Mohammedan conquerors; at last, Kurnaul itself—a fortified town—seen through a forest of date, wild mango, and banyan, with patches of wheat about it, and strings of laden camels winding along the dusty road. After a bheestie had poured a skinful of water over me, I set off again for Kalka, halting in the territory of the Puttiala Rajah to see his gardens at Pinjore, and then passed on toward the base of the Himalayan foot-hills. The wheat-harvest was in progress in the Kalka country, and the girls, reaping with the sickle, and carrying away the sheaves upon their heads, bore themselves gracefully, as Hindoo women ever do, and formed a contrast to the coarse old land-owners as these rode past, each followed by his pipe-bearer and his retinue.

A Goorkha battalion and a Thibetan goat-train had just entered Kalka when I reached it, and the confusion was such that I started at once in a jampan up the sides of the brown and desolate hills. A jampan, called, tonjon in Madras, is an arm-chair in shafts, and built more lightly than a sedan; it is carried at a short trot by four men, while another four, and a mate or chief, make their way up the hills before you, and meet you here and there to relieve guard. The hire of the jampan and nine men is less than that of a pony and groom—a curious illustration of the cheapness of labor in the East. When you first reach India, this cheapness is a standing wonder. At your hotel at Calcutta you are asked, “You wish boy pull punkah all night? Boy pull punkah all day and all night for two annas” (3d.). On some parts of the railway lines, where there is also a good road, the natives find it cheaper to travel by palankeen than to ride in a third-class railway carriage. It is cheaper in Calcutta to be carried by four men in a palki than to ride in a “second-class gharry,” or very bad cab; and the streets of the city are invariably watered by hand by bheesties with skins. The key to Indian politics lies in these facts.

At Wilson‘s at Calcutta, the rule of the hotel obliges one to hire a kitmutghar, who waits at table. This I did for the magnificent wage of 11d. a day, out of which Cherry—the nearest phonetic spelling of my man‘s name—of course fed and kept himself. I will do him the justice to add that he managed to make about another shilling a day out of me, and that he always brought me small change in copper, on the chance that I should give it him. Small as seemed these wages, I could have hired him for one-fifth the rate that I have named had I been ready to retain him in my service for a month or two. Wages in India are somewhat raised by the practice of dustooree—a custom by which every native, high or low, takes toll of all money that passes through his hands. My first introduction to this institution struck me forcibly, though afterward I came to look upon it as tranquilly as old Indians do. It was in the gardens of the Taj, where, to relieve myself from importunity, I had bought a photograph of the dome: a native servant of the hotel, who accompanied me much against my will, and who, being far more ignorant of English than I was of Hindostanee, was of absolutely no use, I had at last succeeded in warning off from my side, but directly I bought the photograph for half a rupee, he rushed upon the seller, and claimed one-fourth of the price, or two annas, as his share, I having transgressed his privilege in buying directly instead of through him as intermediary. I remonstrated, but to my amazement the seller paid the money quietly, and evidently looked on me as a meddling sort of fellow enough for interfering with the institution of dustooree. Customs, after all, are much the same throughout the world. Our sportsmen follow the habit of Confucius, whose disciples two or three thousand years ago proclaimed that “he angled, but did not use a net; he shot, but not at birds perching;” our servants, perhaps, are not altogether innocent of dustooree. However much wages may be supplemented by dustooree, they are low enough to allow of the keeping of a tribe of servants by persons of moderate incomes. A small family at Simla “require” three body servants, two cooks, one butler, two grooms, two gardeners, two messengers, two nurses, two washermen, two water-carriers, thirteen jampan-men, one sweeper, one lamp-cleaner, and one boy, besides the European lady‘s maid, or thirty-five in all; but if wages were doubled, perhaps fewer men would be “absolutely needed.” At the house where I stayed at Simla, ten jampan-men and two gardeners were supposed to be continuously employed in a tiny flower-garden round the house. To a European fresh from the temperate climates there is something irksome in the restraint produced by the constant presence of servants in every corner of an Indian house. To pull off one‘s own socks or pour out the water into the basin for one‘s self becomes a much-longed-for luxury. It is far from pleasant to have three or four natives squatting in front of your door, with nothing to do unless you find such odd jobs for them as holding the heel of your boot while you pull it on, or brushing your clothes for the fourteenth time.

The greater or less value of the smallest coin in common use in a country is a rough test of the wealth or poverty of its inhabitants, and by the application of it to India we find that country poor indeed. At Agra, I had gone to a money-changer in the bazaar, and asked him for change, in the cowrie-shells which do duty as money, for an anna, or 1½d. piece. He gave me handful after handful, till I cried enough. Yet when in the afternoon of the same day I had a performance on my threshold of “Tasa-ba-tasa”—that singular tune which reigns from Java to the Bosphorus, with Sanscrit words in Persia, and Malay words in the Eastern islands—the three players seemed grateful for half a dozen of the cowries, for they treated me to a native version of “Vee vont gah ham tall mardid, vee vont gah ham tall mardid,” by way of thanks. Many strange natural objects pass as uncoined money in the East: tusks in Africa, women in Arabia, human skulls in Borneo; the Red Indians of America sell their neighbors’ scalps for money, but have not yet reached the height of civilization which would be denoted by their keeping them to use as such; cowrie-shells, however, pass as money in almost every ancient trading country of the world.

The historical cheapness of labor in India has led to such an obstinate aversion to all labor-saving expedients that such great works as the making of railway embankments and the boulevard construction at Delhi are conducted by the scraping together of earth with the hands, and the collected pile is slowly placed in tiny baskets, much like strawberry pottles, and borne away on women‘s heads to its new destination. Wheelbarrows, water-carts, picks, and shovels are in India all unknown.

If, on my road from Kalka to Simla, I had an example of the cheapness of Indian labor, I also had one of its efficiency. The coolie who carried my baggage on his head trotted up the hills for twenty-one hours, without halting for more than an hour or two, and this for two days’ pay.

During the first half-hour after leaving Kalka, the heat was as great as on the plains, but we had not gone many miles before we came out of the heat and dust into a new world, and an atmosphere every breath of which was life. I got out, and walked for miles; and when we halted at a rest-house on the first plateau, I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of the mountain tea, and was still more pleased at the sight of the first red-coated English soldiers that I had seen since I left Niagara. The men were even attempting bowls and cricket, so cool were the evenings at this station. There is grim satire in the fact that the director-general of military gymnastics has his establishment at Simla, in the cold of the Snowy Range, and there invents running drills and such like summer diversions, to be executed by the unfortunates in the plains below. Bowls, which are an amusement at Kussoolie, would in the hot weather be death at Kalka, only ten miles away; but so short is the memory of climate that you are no more able to conceive the heat of the plains when in the hills than the cold of the hills when at Calcutta.

There is no reason except a slight and temporary increase of cost to prevent the whole of the European troops in India being concentrated in a few cool and healthy stations. Provided that all the artillery be retained in the hands of the Europeans, almost the whole of the English forces might be kept in half a dozen hill-stations, of which Darjeeling and Bangalore would be two, and some place near Bombay a third. It has been said that the men would be incapable, through want of acclimatization, of acting on the plains if retained in hill-stations except when their services were needed; but it is notoriously the fact that newcomers from England—that is, men with health—do not suffer seriously from heat during the first six months which they pass upon the plains.

Soon after dark, a terrific thunder-storm came on, the thunder rolling round the valleys and along the ridges, while the rain fell in short, sharp showers. My men put me down on the lee-side of a hut, and squatted for a long smoke. The custom common to all the Eastern races of sitting round a fire smoking all night long explains the number and the excellence of their tales and legends. In Europe we see the Swedish peasants sitting round their hearths chatting during the long winter evenings: hence follow naturally the Thor legends; our sailors are with us the only men given to sitting in groups to talk: they are noted story-tellers. The word “yarn” exemplifies the whole philosophy of the matter. We meet, however, here the eternal difficulty of which is cause and which is effect. It is easy to say that the long nights of Norway, the confined space of the ship, making the fo‘castle the sailor‘s only lounge, each in their way necessitate the story-telling; not so in India, not so in Egypt, in Arabia, in Persia: there can here be no necessity for men sitting up all night to talk, short of pure love of talk for talking‘s sake.

When the light came in the morning, we were ascending the same strangely-ribbed hills that we had been crossing by torchlight during the night, and were meeting Chinese-faced Thibetans, with hair done into many pig-tails, who were laboriously bringing over the mountain passes Chinese goods in tiny sheep-loads. For miles I journeyed on, up mountain sides and down into ravines, but never for a single moment upon a level, catching sight sometimes of portions of the Snowy Range itself, far distant, and half mingled with the clouds, till at last a huge mountain mass rising to the north and east blocked out all view save that behind me over the sea of hills that I had crossed, and the scene became monotonously hideous, with only that grandeur which hugeness carries with it—a view, in short, that would be fine at sunset, and at no other time. The weather, too, grew damp and cold—a cruel cold, with driving rain—and the landscape was dreariness itself.

Suddenly we crossed the ridge, and began to descend, when the sky cleared, and I found myself on the edge of the rhododendron forest—tall trees with dark-green leaves and masses of crimson flowers; ferns of a hundred different kinds marking the beds of the rivulets that coursed down through the woods, which were filled with troops of chattering monkeys.

Rising again slightly, I began to pass the European bungalows, each in its thicket of deodar, and few with flat ground enough for more than half a rose-bed or a quarter of a croquet-ground. On either side the ridge was a deep valley, with terraced rice-fields five thousand feet below, and, in the distance, on the one side the mist-covered plains lit by the single silvery ribbon of the distant Sutlej, on the other side the Snowy Range.

The first Europeans whom I met in Simla were the Viceroy‘s children and their nurses, who formed with their escort a stately procession. First came a tall native in scarlet, then a jampan with a child, then one with a nurse and viceregal baby, and so on, the bearers wearing scarlet and gray. All the residents at Simla have different uniforms for their jampanees, some clothing their men in red and green, some in purple and yellow, some in black and white. Before reaching the center of the town, I had met several Europeans riding, although the sun was still high and hot; but before evening a hailstorm came across the range and filled the woods with a chilling mist, and night found me toasting my feet at a blazing fire in an Alpine room of polished pine—a real room, with doors and casement; not a section of a street with a bed in it, as are the rooms in the Indian plains. Two blankets were a luxury in this “tropical climate of Simla,” as one of our best-informed London newspapers once called it. The fact is that Simla, which stands at from seven to eight thousand feet above the sea, and in latitude 31°, or 7° north of the boundary of the tropics, has a climate cold in everything except its sun, which is sometimes strong. The snow lies on the ground at intervals for five months of the year; and during what is by courtesy styled “the hot weather,” cold rains are of frequent occurrence.

The climate of Simla is no mere matter of curiosity; it is a question of serious interest in connection with the retention of our Indian empire. When the government seeks refuge here from the Calcutta heat, the various departments are located in tiny cottages and bungalows up on the mountain and down in the valley, practically as far from each other as London from Brighton; and, moreover, Simla itself is forty miles from Kalka by the shortest path, and sixty by the better bridle-path. There is clearly much loss of time in sending dispatches for half the year to and from a place like this, and there is no chance of the railway ever coming nearer to it than Kalka, even if it reaches that. On the other hand, the telegraph is replacing the railway day by day, and mountain heights are no bar to wires. This poor, little, uneven hill-village has been styled the “Indian Capua” and nicknamed the “Hill Versailles;” but so far from enervating the ministers or enfeebling the administration, Simla gives vigor to the government, and a hearty English tone to the State papers issued in the hot months. English ministers are not in London all the year long, and no men, ministers or not, could stand four years’ continual brain-work in Calcutta. In 1866, the first year of the removal of the government as a whole and publication of the Gazette at Simla during the summer, all the arrears of work in all the offices were cleared off for the first time since the occupation by us of any part of India.

Bengal, the Northwest Provinces, and the Punjaub must soon be made into “governorships,” instead of “lieutenant-governorships,” so that the Viceroy may be relieved from tedious work, and time saved by the Northern Governors reporting straight home, as do the Governors of Madras and Bombay, unless a system be adopted under which all shall report to the Viceroy. At all events, the five divisions must be put upon the same footing one with another. This being granted, there is no conceivable reason for keeping the Viceroy at Calcutta—a city singularly hot, unhealthy, and out of the way. On our Council of India, sitting at the capital, we ought to have natives picked from all India for their honesty, ability, and discretion; but so bad is the water at Calcutta, that the city is deadly to water-drinkers; and although they value the distinction of a seat at the Council more than any other honor within their reach, many of the most distinguished natives in India have chosen to resign their places rather than pass a second season at Calcutta.

It is not necessary that we should argue about Calcutta‘s disadvantages. It is enough to say that, of all Indian cities, we have selected for our capital the most distant and the most unhealthy. The great question is, Shall we have one capital, or two? Shall we keep the Viceroy all the year round in a central but hot position, such as Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, or Jubbelpore, or else at a less central but cooler station, such as Nassuck, Poonah, Bangalore, or Mussoorie? Or shall we keep him at a central place during the cool, and a hill place during the hot weather? There can be but little doubt that Simla is a necessity at present, but with a fairly healthy city, such as Agra, for the headquarters of the government, and the railway open to within a few miles of Mussoorie, so that men could run to the hills in six or seven hours, and even spend a few days there in each summer month, an efficient government could be maintained in the plains. We must remember that Agra is now within twenty-three days of London; and that, with the Persian Gulf route open, and a railway from Kurrachee (the natural port of England in India), leave for home would be a matter still more simple than it has become already. With some such central town as Poonah for the capital, the Bombay and Madras commander-in-chiefships could be abolished, with the result of saving a considerable expense, and greatly increasing the efficiency of the Indian army. It is probable that Simla will not continue to be the chosen station of the government in the hills. The town is subject to the ravages of dysentery; the cost of draining it would be immense, and the water supply is very limited; the bheesties have often to wait whole hours for their turn.

Mussoorie has all the advantages and none of the drawbacks of Simla, and lies compactly in ground on which a small city could be built, whereas Simla straggles along a narrow mountain ridge, and up and down the steep sides of an Alpine peak. It is questionable, however, whether, if India is to be governed from at home, the seat of government should not be at Poonah, within reach of London. The telegraph has already made viceroys of the ancient kind impossible.

The sunrise view of the Snowy Range from my bungalow was one rather strange, from the multitude of peaks in sight at once, than either beautiful or grand. The desolate ranges of foot-hills destroy the beauty that the contrast of the deodars, the crimson rhododendrons, and the snow would otherwise produce, and the height at which you stand seems to dwarf the distant ranges; but from one of the spots which I reached in a mountain march, the prospect was widely different. Here we saw at once the sources of the Jumna, the Sutlej, and the Ganges, the dazzling peaks of Gungootrie, of Jumnotrie, and of Kamet; while behind us in the distant plains we could trace the Sutlej itself, silvered by the hazy rays of the half-risen sun. We had in sight not only the 26,000 feet of Kamet, but no less than twenty other peaks of over 20,000 feet, snow-clad to their very bases, while between us and the nearest outlying range were valleys from which the ear caught the humble murmur of fresh-risen streams.

CHAPTER VIII.

COLONIZATION.

CONNECTED with the question of the site of the future capital is that of the possibility of the colonization by Englishmen of portions of the peninsula of India.

Hitherto the attempts at settlement which have been made have been mainly confined to six districts—Mysore, where there are only some dozen planters; the Neilgherries proper, where coffee-planting is largely carried on; Oude, where many Europeans have taken land as zemindars, and cultivate a portion of it, while they let out the remainder to natives on the Metayer plan; Bengal, where indigo-planting is gaining ground; the Himalayan valleys, and Assam. Settlement in the hot plains is limited by the fact that English children cannot there be reared, so to the hill districts the discussion must be confined.

One of the commonest of mistakes respecting India consists in the supposition that there is available land in large quantities on the slopes of the Himalayas. There are no Himalayan slopes; the country is all straight up and down, and for English colonists there is no room—no ground that will grow anything but deodars, and those only moderately well. The hot sun dries the ground, and the violent rains follow, and cut it through and through with deep channels, in this way gradually making all the hills both steep and ribbed. Mysore is still a native State, but, in spite of this, European settlement is increasing year by year, and there, as in the Neilgherries proper, there is room for many coffee-planters, though fever is not unknown; but when India is carefully surveyed, the only district that appears to be thoroughly suited to English settlement, as contrasted with mere planting or land-holding, is the valley of Cashmere, where the race would probably not suffer deterioration. With the exception of Cashmere, none of the deep mountain valleys are cool enough for permanent European settlement. Family life is impossible where there is no home; you can have no English comfort, no English virtues, in a climate which forces your people to live out of doors, or else in rocking-chairs or hammocks. Night-work and reading are all-but impossible in a climate where multitudes of insects haunt the air. In the Himalayan valleys, the hot weather is terribly scorching, and it lasts for half the year, and on the hill-sides there is but little fertile soil.

The civilians and rulers of India in general are extremely jealous of the “interlopers,” as European settlers are termed; and, although tea-cultivation was at first encouraged by the Bengal government, recent legislation, fair or unfair, has almost ruined the tea-planters of Assam. The native population of that district is averse to labor, and coolies from a distance have to be brought in; but the government of India, as the planters say, interferes with harsh and narrow regulations, and so enormously increases the cost of imported labor as to ruin the planters, who, even when they have got their laborers on the ground, cannot make them work, as there exists no means of compelling specific performance of a contract to work. The remedy known to the English law is an action for damages brought by the employer against the laborer, so with English obstinacy we declare that an action for damages shall be the remedy in Burmah or Assam. A provision for attachment of goods and imprisonment of person of laborers refusing to perform their portion of a contract to work was inscribed in the draft of the proposed Indian “Code of Civil Procedure,” but vetoed by the authorities at home.

The Spanish Jesuits themselves were not more afraid of free white settlers than is our Bengal government. An enterprising merchant of Calcutta lately obtained a grant of vast tracts of country in the Sunderbunds—the fever-haunted jungle near Calcutta—and had already completed his arrangements for importing Chinese laborers to cultivate his acquisitions, when the jealous civilians got wind of the affair, and forced government into a most undignified retreat from their agreement.

The secret of this opposition to settlement by Europeans lies partly in a horror of “low-caste Englishmen,” and a fear that they will somewhat debase Europeans in native eyes, but far more in the wish of the old civilians to keep India to themselves as a sort of “happy hunting-ground”—a wish which has prompted them to start the cry of “India for the Indians”—which of course means India for the Anglo-Indians.

Somewhat apart from the question of European colonization, but closely related to it, is that of the holding by Europeans of landed estates in India. It will perhaps be conceded that the European should, on the one hand, be allowed to come into the market and purchase land, or rent it from the government or from individuals, on the same conditions as those which would apply to natives, and, on the other hand, that special grants should not be made to Europeans as they were by us in Java in old times. In Eastern countries, however, government can hardly be wholly neutral, and, whatever the law, if European landholders be encouraged, they will come; if discouraged, they will stop away. From India they stop away, while such as do reach Hindostan are known in official circles by the significant name of “interlopers.”

Under a healthy social syst