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Title: Foot-prints of Travel - or, Journeyings in Many Lands
Author: Ballou, Maturin Murray, 1820-1895
Language: English
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FOOT-PRINTS OF TRAVEL;

OR,

JOURNEYINGS IN MANY LANDS,

BY

MATURIN M. BALLOU.

_Armado._ How hast thou purchased this experience?
_Moth._ By my journey of observation.--SHAKESPEARE.

BOSTON, U.S.A.:
PUBLISHED BY GINN & COMPANY.
1889.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1888, by
GINN & COMPANY,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

TYPOGRAPHY BY J. S. CUSHING & CO., Boston, U.S.A.

PRESSWORK BY GINN & CO., Boston, U.S.A.


[Illustration: Frontispiece. CAPTAIN COOK, THE DISCOVERER.]



PREFACE.


In these notes of foreign travel the object has been to cover a broad
field without making a cumbersome volume, to do which, conciseness has
necessarily been observed. In previous books the author has described
much more in detail some of the countries here briefly spoken of. The
volumes referred to are "Due-West; or, Round the World in Ten Months,"
and "Due-South; or, Cuba Past and Present," which were published by
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., of Boston. Two other volumes, namely,
"Due-North; or, Glimpses of Scandinavia and Russia," and "Under the
Southern Cross; or, Travels in Australia and New Zealand," were issued
by Ticknor & Co., of the same city. By the kind permission of both
publishers, the author has felt at liberty to use his original notes in
the preparation of these pages. It should be understood, however, that
about one-half of the countries through which the reader is conducted in
the present work are not mentioned in the volumes above referred to. The
purpose has been to prepare a series of chapters adapted for youth,
which, while affording pleasing entertainment, should also impart
valuable information. The free use of good maps while reading these
Foot-prints of Travel, will be of great advantage, increasing the
student's interest and also impressing upon his mind a degree of
geographical knowledge which could not in any other way be so easily or
pleasantly acquired.

M. M. B.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
                                                           PAGE
Crossing the American Continent.--Niagara Falls.--Utah.--
Representatives of Native Indian Tribes.--City of San
Francisco.--Sea Lions.--The Yosemite Valley.--An Indian
Hiding-Place.--The Mariposa Grove of Big Trees.--Chinatown
in San Francisco.--Through the Golden Gate.--Navigating
the Pacific.--Products of the Ocean.--Sea Gulls.--Harbor
and City of Honolulu.                                         1


CHAPTER II.

Discoveries of Captain Cook.--Vegetation.--Hawaiian Women
on Horse-back.--The Nuuanu Valley.--The Native Staff of
Life.--The Several Islands of the Group.--Resident
Chinamen.--Raising Sugar-Cane.--On the Ocean.--Yokohama,
Japan.--Habits of the People.--A Remarkable Idol.--Tokio,
the Political Capital.--The Famous Inland Sea of
Japan.--Nagasaki.--Products and Progress of Japan.           16


CHAPTER III.

Through the Yellow and Chinese Seas.--Hong Kong.--
Peculiarities of the Chinese at Home.--Native Women.--City
of Canton.--Charitable Organizations.--Chinese
Culture.--National Characteristics.--Sail for Singapore.--A
Water-spout.--A Tropical Island.--Local Pen-Pictures.--The
Island of Penang.--An Indolent Native Race.--The Cocoanut
Tree.--Palm Wine.--Tropical Fruits.                          32


CHAPTER IV.

Crossing the Indian Ocean.--The Island of Ceylon.--Harbor
of Colombo.--The Equatorial Forest.--Native Costumes.--
Vegetation of Ceylon.--Prehistoric Monuments.--Departure
for Australia.--The Stars at Sea.--The Great
Island-Continent.--The Gold Product--Divisions of the
Country.--City of Adelaide.--Public Garden.--West
Australia.--Melbourne, Capital of Victoria.--Street
Scenes.--Chinese Quarter.                                    44


CHAPTER V.

Gold-fields of Australia.--Kangaroos.--Big Gum Trees.--
Largest Trees in the World.--Wild Bird Life.--
Gold-seeking.--City of Sydney.--Botanical Garden.--Public
Institutions.--Sheep-raising.--Brisbane, Capital of
Queensland.--The Aboriginal Race.--Native Legends.--The
Boomerang.--Island of Tasmania.--How named.--Launceston.--
Hobart, the Capital.--Local Scenes.--A Prosperous Country.   62


CHAPTER VI.

Embark for New Zealand.--The Albatross.--Experiments with
Sea Water.--Oil upon the Waves.--Geography of New
Zealand.--Mineral Wealth.--City of Dunedin.--Public
Schools.--Native Cannibals.--Christchurch.--A Wonderful
Bird.--Wellington, Capital of New Zealand.--Habits of
the Natives.--The Race of Maori Indians.--Liability to
Earthquakes.--A Submerged Volcano in Cook's Strait.          81


CHAPTER VII.

City of Auckland, New Zealand.--A Land of Volcanoes.--
Suburbs of the Northern Metropolis.--The Kauri-Tree.--
Native Flowers.--The Hot Lake District.--A New Zealand
Forest.--A Vegetable Boa-constrictor.--Sulphurous Hot
Springs.--Fiery Caldrons.--Indian town of Ohinemutu.--
Typical Home of the Natives.--Maori Manners and
Customs.--The Favorable Position of New Zealand.--Its
Probable Future.                                             93


CHAPTER VIII.

Arrival in India.--Insect and Reptile Life.--Madura.--
City of Trichinopoly.--Car of Juggernaut.--Temple of
Tanjore.--Travelling in India.--Madras.--Street Dancing
Girls.--Arrival at Calcutta.--Cremating the Dead.--A
Fashionable Driveway.--The Himalayan Mountains.--Apex of
the Globe.--Tea Gardens of India.--A Wretched
Peasantry.--Ancient Ruins.--City of Benares.--Worship
of Animals.--Cawnpore.--Delhi.--Agra.--A Splendid Tomb.     105


CHAPTER IX.

Native City of Jeypore.--Poppy and Opium-raising.--
Bombay.--The Parsees.--The Towers of Silence.--Historical
View of India.--Voyage to the Red Sea.--Cairo, Capital of
Egypt.--Local Scenes.--The Turkish Bazaars.--Pyramids of
Gizeh.--The Sphinx.--The Desert.--Egypt, Past and
Present.--Voyage to Malta.--City of Valetta.--Church of
St. John.--Gibraltar.--View from the Signal
Station.--English Outposts.                                 122


CHAPTER X.

Tangier, Capital of Morocco.--An Oriental City.--Slave
Market.--Characteristic Street Scenes.--Malaga, Spain.--A
Neglected Country.--Grenada.--The Alhambra.--The Banished
Moors.--Cordova and its Cathedral-Mosque.--Madrid, Capital
of Spain.--Museo Art Gallery.--Sunday in the Metropolis.--
Toledo.--The Escurial.--Burgos.--San Sebastian.--
Bayonne.--Spain, Past and Present.--Bordeaux.--Rural
Scenery in France.                                          141


CHAPTER XI.

City of Paris.--Sunday in the French Capital.--The Flower
Market.--Notre Dame.--The Morgue.--Père la Chaise.--The
Story of Joan of Arc.--Educational Advantages.--City of
Lyons.--Marseilles.--Nice.--Cimies.--Mentone.--The
Principality of Monaco.--A Gambling Resort.--Mediterranean
Scenes.--Over the Corniche Road.--City of Genoa.--Marble
Palaces.--Italian Navigation.--The Campo Santo or
Burial Ground.                                              164


CHAPTER XII.

Port of Leghorn.--Ancient City of Pisa.--Remarkable
Monuments.--The Bay of Naples.--Neapolitan Beggars.--A
Favorite Drive.--Out-of-door Life.--Vesuvius.--Art
Treasures of the Museum.--Pompeii.--Environs of
Naples.--Rome, the "Eternal City."--Local Scenes.--Artists'
Models.--Favorite Promenade.--The Coliseum.--St.
Peter's.--Florence and its Environs.--Art Treasures.--Home
of Dante and Michael Angelo.                                181


CHAPTER XIII.

Venice.--The Gondola.--On the Grand Canal.--Venetian
History.--Piazza of St. Mark.--Cathedral of San Marco.--The
Campanile.--Academy of Fine Arts.--Doge's Palace.--Tombs
of Titian and Canova.--Milan.--The Wonderful Cathedral.--
Original Picture of the Last Supper.--Olden City of
Pavia.--Innspruck, Capital of the Tyrol.--Among the
Alps.--Salzburg, Birthplace of Mozart.--Industries
of German Women.                                            200


CHAPTER XIV.

Vienna, the Northern Paris.--Art Galleries and Museum.--
Prague, Capital of Bohemia.--Ancient Dungeons.--Historic
Mention.--Dresden, Capital of Saxony.--The Green
Vaults.--Berlin, Capital of Prussia.--Hamburg.--Copenhagen,
Capital of Denmark.--The Baltic Sea.--Danish Progress.--
Thorwaldsen.--Educational.--Palace of Rosenborg.--The Round
Tower.--Elsinore and Shakespeare's Hamlet.                  215


CHAPTER XV.

Gottenburg, Sweden.--Intelligence of the People.--The Gotha
Canal.--Tröllhatta Falls.--Christiania, Capital of
Norway.--Legal Code.--Public Buildings.--Ancient Viking
Ship.--Brief Summers.--Swedish Women in the Field.--Flowers
in Arctic Regions.--Norwegian Lakes.--Animals of the
North.--Mountains and Glaciers.--A Land of Fjords, Cascades,
and Lakes.--Dwellings situated like Eagles' Nests.          233


CHAPTER XVI.

Bergen, Norway.--Local Products and Scenes.--Environs of
Bergen.--The Angler's Paradise.--Tröndhjem.--Story of King
Olaf.--A Cruel Imprisonment.--Journey Northward.--Night
turned into Day.--Coast of Norway.--Education.--The Arctic
Circle.--Bodöe.--The Lofoden Islands.--The Maelström.--Hardy
Arctic Fishermen.--The Polar Sea.--Varied Attractions of
Norway to Travellers and Artists.                           247


CHAPTER XVII.

Peculiar Sleeplessness.--Tromsöe.--The Aurora Borealis.--
Short-lived Summer.--Flowers.--Trees.--Laplanders and
their Possessions.--Reindeers.--Customs of the Lapps.--
Search for Whales.--Arctic Birds.--Influence of the Gulf
Stream.--Hammerfest.--The Far North Cape and the Polar
Ocean.--The Midnight Sun.--Stockholm, Capital of Sweden.--
Royal Palace.--Historic Upsala.--Linnæus, the
Naturalist.--Crossing the Baltic and Gulf of Finland.       261


CHAPTER XVIII.

Åbo.--Helsingfors, Capital of Finland.--Remarkable Fortress
of Sweaborg.--Fortifications of Cronstadt.--Up the Neva to
St. Petersburg.--Grandest City of Northern Europe.--Street
Scenes in Russia.--Occupations of the Sabbath.--The
Drosky.--Royal Palaces of the Tzar.--Noble Art Gallery.--
Celebrated Library.--Public Monuments.--Winter Season.      275


CHAPTER XIX.

Palace of Petershoff.--Peter the Great.--Religious
Denominations.--On the Way to Moscow.--Through the
Forests.--City of Tver.--The Volga.--Water-ways of
Russia.--Picturesque Moscow.--The Kremlin.--Churches.--
Cathedral of St. Basil.--Treasury of the Kremlin.--Royal
Robes and Crowns.--A Page from History.--University
of Moscow.--Sacred Pigeons.--Prevalence of Beggary
in the Oriental Capital.                                    288


CHAPTER XX.

Nijni-Novgorod.--Valley of the Volga.--One of the Great
Rivers of the World.--Famous Annual Fair-Ground.--Variety
of Merchandise.--A Conglomerate of Races.--A Large
Temporary City.--From Moscow to Warsaw.--Wolves.--The
Granary of Europe.--Polish Peasants.--City of Warsaw.--
Topography of the Capital.--Royal Residences.--Botanical
Gardens.--Political Condition of Poland.--Commercial
Prosperity.--Shameful Despotism.                            298


CHAPTER XXI.

Munich, Capital of Bavaria.--Trying Employments of the
Women.--A Beer-Drinking Community.--Frankfort-on-the-Main.--
Luther's Home.--Goethe's Birthplace.--Cologne on the Rhine.--
The Grand Cathedral.--Antwerp, Belgium.--Rubens' Burial
Place.--Art Treasures in the Cathedral.--Switzerland.--
Bâle.--Lausanne.--Geneva.--Lake Leman.--Vevay.--Berne,
Capital of Switzerland.--Lucerne.--Zurich.--Schaffhausen.   310


CHAPTER XXII.

London, the Metropolis of the World.--Some of its
Institutions.--The Tower of London.--Statistics of the Great
City.--Ancient Chester.--Rural England.--Stratford-on-Avon.--
Edinburgh, Scotland.--Remarkable Monuments.--Abbotsford.--
Rural Scotland.--Glasgow.--Greenock.--Across the Irish Sea
to Belfast.--Queen's College.--Dublin, the Capital of
Ireland.--Grand Public Buildings.                           321


CHAPTER XXIII.

Nassau, New Providence.--Trees, Flowers, and Fruits.--Curious
Sea Gardens.--The Finny Tribes.--Fresh Water Supply.--Tropical
Skies.--The Gulf Stream.--Santiago de Cuba.--Cienfuegos.--Sugar
Plantations.--Cuban Fruits.--Peculiarities of the Banana.--
A Journey across the Island to Matanzas.--Inland
Experiences.--Characteristic Scenes.--The Royal Palm.       334


CHAPTER XXIV.

Discovery of Cuba by Columbus.--The Native Race.--Historical
Matters.--Headquarters of Spanish Military Operations in the
West.--Invasion of Mexico by Cortez.--African Slave
Trade.--Peculiarities of the Caribbean Sea.--Geography of
the Island of Cuba.--City of Matanzas.--Havana, the
Capital.--The Alameda.--The Cathedral.--Military
Mass.--A Wonderfully Fertile Island.--Reflections.          349



FOOT-PRINTS OF TRAVEL;

OR,

JOURNEYINGS IN MANY LANDS.



CHAPTER I.


The title of the book in hand is sufficiently expressive of its purpose.
We shall follow the course of the sun, but diverge wherever the
peculiarities of different countries prove attractive. As the author
will conduct his readers only among scenes and over routes which he
himself has travelled, it is hoped that he may be able to impart a
portion of the enjoyment experienced, and the knowledge gained in many
foreign lands and on many distant seas.

Starting from the city of Boston by railway, we pass at express speed
through the length of Massachusetts from east to west, until we arrive
at Hoosac, where the famous tunnel of that name is situated. This
remarkable excavation, five miles in length, was cut through the solid
rock of Hoosac Mountain to facilitate transportation between Boston and
the West, at a cost of twenty years of labor and sixteen millions of
dollars; a sum, which, were it divided, would amount to over five
dollars per head for every man, woman, and child in the State.

By a continuous day's journey from Boston, we reach Niagara late at
night. The best view of the falls, which form the grandest cataract on
the globe, is to be enjoyed from the Canada side of the Niagara River.
In the midst of the falls is Goat Island, dividing them into two unequal
parts, one of which forms the American, and the other the Horse Shoe
Fall, so called from its shape, which is on the Canada side. As we gaze
upon this remarkable exhibition of natural force, a column of vapor
rises two hundred feet above the avalanche of waters, white as snow
where it is absorbed into the skies, the base being wreathed with
perpetual rainbows. A canal, starting from a convenient point above the
falls and extending to a point below the rapids, utilizes for mill
purposes an infinitesimal portion of the enormous power which is running
to waste, night and day, just as it has been doing for hundreds of
years. It is well known that many centuries ago these falls were six
miles nearer to Lake Ontario than they now are, making it evident that a
steady wearing away of the rock and soil is all the time progressing.
The inference seems to be plain enough. After the lapse of ages these
mammoth falls may have receded so far as to open with one terrific
plunge the eastern end of Lake Erie. Long before the Falls are reached
we hear the mighty roar which made the Indians call the cataract
Niagara, or "the thunder of the waters." On leaving here, we cross the
river by a suspension bridge, which, from a short distance, looks like a
mere spider's web. Over this the cars move slowly, affording a superb
view of the Falls and of the awful chasm below.

But let us not dwell too long upon so familiar a theme. After a day and
night in the cars, travelling westward, Chicago, the capital of
Illinois, is reached. About sixty years ago a scattered tribe of the
Pottawatomies inhabited the spot on the shore of Lake Michigan, where is
now situated the most important capital of the North Western States. In
1837 the city was formed with less than five thousand inhabitants; at
this writing it has nearly a million. Such rapid growth has no parallel
in America or elsewhere. This commercial increase is the natural result
of its situation at the head of the great chain of lakes. In size it is
a little over seven miles in length by five in width, giving it an area
of about forty square miles. The city is now the centre of a railroad
system embracing fifteen important trunk lines, forming the largest
grain, lumber, and livestock market in the world. One hundred and sixty
million bushels of grain have passed through its elevators in a
twelvemonth.

On our way westward, we stop for a day at Salt Lake City, the capital of
Utah, some sixteen hundred miles from Chicago. The site of the present
town was an unbroken wilderness so late as 1838, but it now boasts a
population of twenty-six thousand souls. The peculiar people who have
established themselves here, have by industry and a complete system of
irrigation, brought the entire valley to a degree of fertility
unsurpassed by the same number of square miles on this continent. It is
not within our province to discuss the domestic life of the Mormons. No
portrait of them, however, will prove a likeness which does not clearly
depict their twofold features; namely, their thrift and their iniquity.
Contact with a truer condition of civilization, and the enforcement of
United States laws, are slowly, but it is believed surely, reducing the
numbers of the self-entitled "saints." Mormon missionaries, however,
still seek to make proselytes in France, Norway, Sweden, and Great
Britain, addressing themselves always to the most ignorant classes.
These poor half-starved creatures are helped to emigrate, believing that
they are coming to a land flowing with milk and honey. In most cases any
change with them would be for their advantage; and so the ranks of
Mormonism are recruited, not from any truly religious impulse in the new
disciples, but through a desire to better their physical condition.

From Utah, two days and a night passed in the cars will take us over the
six hundred intervening miles to San Francisco. The route passes through
the Sierra Nevada Mountains, presenting scenery which recalls the grand
gorges and snow-clad peaks of Switzerland and Norway, characterized by
deep canyons, lofty wooded elevations, and precipitous declivities. At
the several railway stations specimens of the native Shoshones, Piutes,
and other tribes of Indians are seen lazily sunning themselves in
picturesque groups. The men are dirty and uncouth examples of humanity,
besmeared with yellow ochre and vermilion; their dress consisting of
loose flannel blankets and deerskin leggings, their rude hats decked
with eagle feathers. The women are wrapped in striped blankets and wear
red flannel leggings, both sexes being furnished with buckskin
moccasins. The women are fond of cheap ornaments, colored glass beads,
and brass ear-rings. About every other one has a baby strapped to her
back in a flat basket. Men and squaws wear their coarse jet-black hair
in long, untidy locks, hanging over their bronzed necks and faces. War,
whiskey, and want of proper food are gradually blotting out the
aboriginal tribes of America.

San Francisco, less than forty years of age, is the commercial
metropolis of California, which State, if it lay upon the Atlantic
coast, would extend from Massachusetts to South Carolina. It covers a
territory five times as large as the whole of the New England States
combined, possessing, especially in its southern division, a climate
presenting most of the advantages of the tropics with but few of the
objections which appertain to the low latitudes. The population of San
Francisco already reaches an aggregate of nearly four hundred thousand.
Owing its first popular attraction to the discovery of gold within its
borders, in 1849, California has long since developed an agricultural
capacity exceeding the value of its mineral productions. The future
promise and possibilities of its trade and commerce defy calculation.

The Cliff House, situated four or five miles from the centre of the
city, is a favorite pleasure resort of the population. It stands on a
bluff of the Pacific shore, affording an ocean view limited only by the
power of the human vision. As we look due west from this spot, no land
intervenes between us and the far-away shore of Japan. Opposite the
Cliff House, three hundred yards from the shore, there rises abruptly
out of the sea, from a depth of many fathoms, a rough, precipitous rock,
sixty or seventy feet in height, presenting about an acre of surface.
Sea-lions come out of the water in large numbers to sun themselves upon
this rock, affording an amusing sight from the shore. These animals are
of all sizes, according to age, weighing from fifty to one thousand
pounds, and possessing sufficient muscular power to enable them to climb
the rock, where a hundred are often seen at a time. The half roar, half
bark peculiar to these creatures, sounds harsh upon the ear of the
listeners at the Cliff. The law of the State protects them from
molestation, but they quarrel furiously among themselves. The sea-lion
belongs to the seal family and is the largest of its species.

A week can hardly be more profitably occupied upon our route than by
visiting the Yosemite Valley, where the grandeur of the Alpine scenery
is unsurpassed, and where there are forests which produce giant trees of
over three hundred feet in height and over thirty in diameter. The
ascent of the mountain which forms the barrier to the valley, commences
at a place called Clark's, the name of the person who keeps the hotel,
and which is the only dwelling-house in the neighborhood. The stage is
drawn upwards over a precipitous, winding road, by relays of six stout
horses, to an elevation of seven thousand feet, leaving behind nearly
all signs of human habitation. A mournful air of loneliness surrounds us
as we creep slowly towards the summit; but how grand and inspiring are
the views which are seen from the various points! One falls to analyzing
the natural architecture of these mountain peaks, gulches, and cliffs,
fancy making out at times well-defined Roman circuses; again,
castellated crags come into view, resembling half-ruined castles on the
Rhine; other crags are like Turkish minarets, while some rocky ranges
are dome-capped like St. Peter's at Rome. Far below them all we catch
glimpses of dark ravines of unknown depths, where lonely mist-wreaths
rest like snow-drifts.

Nestling beside the roadway, there are seen here and there pale
wild-flowers surrounded by vigorous ferns and creeping vines, showing
that even here, in these lofty and deserted regions, Nature has her
poetic moods. Birds almost entirely disappear at these altitudes,
preferring the more genial atmosphere of the plains, though now and
again an eagle, with broad spread pinions, is seen to swoop gracefully
from the top of some lonely pine, and sail with unmoving wings far away
across the depth of the valley until hidden by the windings of the
gorge. Even the presence of this proud and kingly bird but serves to
emphasize the loneliness of these silent heights.

[Illustration: MIRROR LAKE, YOSEMITE VALLEY.]

By and by the loftiest portion of the road is reached at what is known
as Inspiration Point, whence a comprehensive view is afforded of the
far-famed valley. Though we stand here at an elevation of over seven
thousand feet above the plains so lately crossed, still the Yosemite
Valley, into which we are gazing with awe and admiration, is but about
three thousand five hundred feet below us. It runs east and west,
appearing quite contracted from this great height, but is eight miles
long by over one in width. On either side rise vertical cliffs of
granite, varying from three to four thousand feet in height, several of
the lofty gorges discharging narrow but strikingly beautiful and
transparent water-falls. Upon descending into the valley, we find
ourselves surrounded by precipitous mountains, nearly a score in number,
the loftiest of which is entitled Starr King, after the late clergyman
of that name, and is five thousand six hundred feet in height. But the
Three Brothers, with an average height of less than four thousand feet,
and Sentinel Dome, measuring four thousand five hundred feet high, seem
to the casual observer to be quite as prominent, while El Capitan, which
is about three thousand three hundred feet in height, appears from its
more favorable position to be the most striking and effective of them
all. Eleven water-falls of greater or less magnitude come tumbling into
the valley, adding to the picturesqueness of the scene. Of these several
falls, that which is known as the Bridal Veil will be sure to strike
the stranger as the finest, though not the loftiest. The constant
moisture and the vertical rays of the sun carpet the level plain of the
valley with a bright and uniform verdure, through the midst of which
winds the swift-flowing Merced River, adding completeness to a scene of
rare and enchanting beauty.

It was not until so late as the year 1851 that the foot of a white man
ever trod the valley, which had for years proven the secure hiding-place
of marauding Indians. In their battles with the whites, the latter were
often surprised by the sudden disappearance of their foes, who vanished
mysteriously, leaving no traces behind them. On these occasions, as was
afterwards discovered, they fled to the almost inaccessible Yosemite
Valley. Betrayed at last by a treacherous member of their own tribe, the
Indians were surprised and nearly all destroyed. There is scarcely a
resident in the valley except those connected with the running of the
stages during the summer months, and those who are attached to the
hotel. It is quite inaccessible in winter. An encampment of native
Indians is generally to be seen in the warm months, located on the
river's bank, under the shade of a grove of tall trees; the river and
the forest afford these aborigines ample food. For winter use they store
a crop of acorns, which they dry, and grind into a nourishing flour.
They are a dirty, sad-looking race, far more repulsive in appearance
than the lowest type of Spanish gypsies one meets in Andalusia.

In returning from the Yosemite to San Francisco, let us do so by the
road leading through the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees. These forest
monarchs are situated in a thickly wooded glade hundreds of feet up the
slope of the Sierra. We find one of these trees partially decayed
towards its base, yet still alive and standing upright with a broad,
lofty passage-way through its entire trunk, large enough for our stage,
laden with passengers inside and out, to drive through. Though time has
made such havoc with this trunk, it still possesses sufficient vitality
to bear leaves upon its topmost branches, some three hundred feet above
the ground. It is curious that these enormous trees, among the largest
upon the globe, have cones only about the size of walnuts, with seeds of
hardly a quarter of an inch in length. There are trunks lying upon the
ground in this remarkable grove which are believed to be two thousand
years of age; and others upright, and in growing condition, which are
reckoned by their clearly defined annual rings, to be thirteen hundred
years old. The region embraced in what is known as the Yosemite Valley
has been ceded by the National Government to the State of California, on
the express condition that it shall be kept inviolate in its present
wild and natural state for all time.

The streets, alleys, and boulevards of San Francisco present a panorama
of human interest rarely excelled in any part of the world. How
impressive to watch its cosmopolitan life, to note the exaggerated love
of pleasure exhibited on all hands, the devotion of each active member
of the community to money-making, the prevailing manners and customs,
the iniquitous pursuits of the desperate and dangerous classes, and the
readiness of their too willing victims! It is the solitary looker-on who
sees more than the actors in the great drama of every-day life. Above
all, it is most curious to observe how the lines of barbarism and
civilization intersect along these teeming avenues.

There is a district of the city near its very centre, known as
Chinatown, which is at total variance with the general surroundings. It
requires but a slight stretch of the imagination after passing its
borders to believe one's self in Canton or Hong Kong, except that the
thoroughfares in the Asiatic capitals are mere alleys in width, shut in
overhead and darkened by straw mats, while here we have broad streets
after the American and European fashion, open to the sky. They are,
however, lined with Chinese shops, decked in all their national
peculiarities, exhibiting the most grotesque signs, while the windows
are crowded with outlandish articles, and the whole surrounded by an
Oriental atmosphere. This section is almost entirely peopled by
Mongolians, and such poor abandoned men and women of other nationalities
as seek among these repulsive surroundings to hide themselves from the
shame and penalty of their crimes.

It is not proposed in these Foot-Prints of Travel to remain long on this
continent. Americans are presumed to be quite familiar with their native
land; so we will embark without delay upon a voyage across the Pacific
Ocean to Japan, by way of the Sandwich Islands. Once on board ship, we
quickly pass through the Golden Gate, as the entrance to the spacious
harbor of San Francisco is called, steering south-southwest towards the
Hawaiian group, which is situated a little over two thousand miles away.
The great seas and oceans of the globe, like the land, have their
geographical divisions and local peculiarities, varying essentially in
temperature, products, and moods; now marked by certain currents; now
noted for typhoons and hurricanes; and now lying in latitudes which are
favored with almost constant calms and unvarying sunshine. By a glance
at the map we shall see that a vessel taking her course for New
Zealand, for instance, by the way of the Sandwich Islands, will pass
through a tract of the Pacific Ocean seemingly so full of islands that
we are led to wonder how a ship pursuing such a route can avoid running
foul of some of the Polynesian groups. But it must be remembered that
the distances which are so concisely depicted to our eyes upon the map,
are yet vast in reality, while so mathematically exact are the rules of
navigation, and so well known are the prevailing currents, that a
steamship may make the voyage from Honolulu to Auckland, a distance of
four thousand miles, without sighting land. When Magellan, the
Portuguese navigator, first discovered this great ocean, after sailing
through the straits which bear his name, he called it the Pacific Ocean,
and perhaps it seemed "pacific" to him after a stormy voyage in the
Caribbean Sea; but portions of its surface are quite as restless and
tempest-tossed as are the waters of any part of the globe. The Pacific
measures nine thousand miles from north to south, and is ten thousand
miles broad between Quito, South America, and the Moluccas or Spice
Islands. At the extreme north, where Behring's Strait divides the
continents of Asia and America, it is scarcely more than forty miles in
width, so that in clear weather one can see the shores of Asia while
standing on our own continent.

It is an eight days' voyage by steamship from San Francisco to Honolulu,
giving the traveller ample time to familiarize himself with many
peculiarities of this waste of waters. Occasionally a whale is sighted,
throwing up a small column of water as it rises at intervals to the
surface. A whale is not a fish; it differs materially from the finny
tribe, and can as surely be drowned as can a man. Whales bring forth
living young; they breathe atmospheric air through their lungs in place
of water through gills, having also a double heart and warm blood, like
land animals. Flying-fish are frequently seen, queer little creatures,
resembling the smelts of our northern waters. While exhibiting the
nature of a fish, they have also the soaring ambition of a bird.
Hideous, man-eating sharks are sure to follow in the ship's wake,
watching for some unfortunate victim of a sailor or passenger who may
fall overboard, and eagerly devouring any refuse thrown from the cook's
galley. At times the many-armed cuttlefish is seen to leap out of the
water, while the star-fish, with its five arms of equal length, abounds.
Though it seems so apparently lifeless, the star-fish can be quite
aggressive when pressed by hunger, having, as naturalists tell us, a
mysterious way of causing the oyster to open its shell, when it proceeds
gradually to consume the body of the bivalve. One frail, small rover of
the deep is sure to interest the voyager; namely, the tiny nautilus,
with its transparent covering, almost as frail as writing-paper. No
wonder the ancient Greeks saw in its beautifully corrugated shell the
graceful model of a galley, and hence its name, derived from the Greek
word which signifies a ship. Sometimes a pale gray, amber-like substance
is seen floating upon the surface of the sea, which, upon examination,
proves to be ambergris, a substance originally found in the body of the
sperm whale, and which is believed to be produced there only. Scientists
declare it to be a secretion caused by disease in the animal, probably
induced by indigestion, as the pearl is said to be a diseased secretion
of the Australian and Penang oysters. Ambergris is not infrequently
found floating along the shores of the Coral Sea, and about the west
coast of New Zealand, having been ejected by the whales which frequent
these waters. When first taken from the animal it is of a soft texture,
and is offensive to the smell; but after a brief exposure to the air it
rapidly hardens, and then emits a sweet, earthy odor, and is used in
manufacturing choice perfumery.

The harbor of San Francisco abounds in big, white sea-gulls, which fly
fearlessly in and out among the shipping, uttering defiant screams, or
floating gracefully like corks upon the water. They are large, handsome,
dignified birds, and are never molested, being looked upon as
picturesque ornaments to the harbor; and they are also the most active
of scavengers, removing all sorts of floating carrion and refuse which
is thrown overboard. The gulls one sees off the coast of Norway are
numbered by thousands, but they are not nearly so large as these bird
monarchs of the Pacific. A score of these are sure to accompany us to
sea, closely following the ship day after day, living mostly upon the
refuse thrown out from the steward's department. In the month of
October, 1884, one of these birds was caught by the passengers upon a
steamship just as she was leaving the coast of America for Japan. A
piece of red tape was made fast to one of its legs, after which it was
restored to liberty. This identical gull followed the ship between four
and five thousand miles, into the harbor of Yokohama. Distance seems to
be of little account to these buoyant navigators of the air.

On approaching the Hawaiian group from the north, the first land which
is sighted is the island of Oahu, and soon after we pass along the
windward shores of Maui and Molokai, doubling the lofty promontory of
Diamond Head, which rears its precipitous front seven hundred feet
above the sea. We arrive at the dawn of day, while the rising sun
beautifies the mountain tops, the green slopes, the gulches, and
fern-clad hills, which here and there sparkle with silvery streamlets.
The gentle morning breeze blowing off the land brings us the dewy
fragrance of the flowers, which has been distilled from a wilderness of
tropical bloom during the night. The land forms a shelter for our
vessel, and we glide noiselessly over a perfectly calm sea. As we draw
nearer to the shore, sugar plantations, cocoanut groves, and verdant
pastures come clearly into view. Here and there the shore is dotted with
the low, primitive dwellings of the natives, and occasionally we see
picturesque, vine-clad cottages of American or European residents.
Approaching still nearer to the city of Honolulu, it seems to be
half-buried in a cloud of luxuriant foliage, while a broad and beautiful
valley stretches away from the town far back among the lofty hills.

The steamer glides at half speed through the narrow channel in the coral
reef which makes the natural breakwater of the harbor. This channel is
carefully buoyed on either side, and at night safety-lamps are placed
upon each of these little floating beacons, so that a steamship can find
her way in even after nightfall. Though the volcanic origin of the land
is plain, it is not the sole cause of these reefs and islands appearing
thus in mid-ocean. Upon the flanks of the upheaval the little coral
animal, with tireless industry, rears its amazing structure, until it
reaches the surface of the waves as a reef, more or less contiguous to
the shore, and to which ages finally serve to join it. The tiny creature
delegated by Providence to build these reefs dies on exposure to the
air, its work being then completed. The far-reaching antiquity of the
islands is established by these very coralline formations, which could
only have attained their present elevation, just below the surface of
the surrounding sea, by the growth of thousands of years. This coral
formation on the shores of the Hawaiian group is not peculiar to these
islands, but is found to exist in connection with nearly all of those
existing in the Pacific Ocean.

The lighthouse, placed on the inner side of the coral reef, is a
structure not quite thirty feet in height. After reaching the inside of
the harbor of Honolulu, the anchorage is safe and sheltered, with ample
room for a hundred large vessels at the same time, the average depth of
water being some sixteen fathoms. The wharves are spacious and
substantial, built with broad, high coverings to protect laborers from
the heat of a tropical sun. Honolulu is the commercial port of the whole
group of islands,--the half-way house, as it were, between North America
and Asia,--California and the new world of Australasia.



CHAPTER II.


Upon landing at Honolulu we find ourselves in a city of some twenty
thousand inhabitants, presenting all the modern belongings of a
metropolis of the nineteenth century, such as schools, churches,
hospitals, charitable institutions, gas, electric lights, and the
telephone. Nearly all of the rising generation can read and write, and
the entire population are professed Christians. Great is the contrast in
every respect between these islands as discovered by Captain Cook in
1778, and their present condition. Originally they exhibited the same
barbarous characteristics which were found to exist in other islands of
the Pacific Ocean. They had no sense of domestic virtue, and were
victims of the most egregious superstitions. "The requisitions of their
idolatry," says the historian Ellis, "were severe, and its rites cruel
and bloody." Their idolatry has been abandoned since 1819. In the early
days the several islands of the group had each a separate king, and wars
were frequent between them, until King Kamehameha finally subjected them
all to his sway, and formed the government which has lasted to the
present time.

Many of the streets of Honolulu afford a grateful shade, the sidewalks
being lined by ornamental trees, of which the cocoanut, palm,
bread-fruit, candle-nut, and some others, are indigenous, but many have
been introduced from abroad and have become domesticated. The tall
mango-tree, with rich, glossy leaves, the branches bending under the
weight of its delicious fruit, is seen growing everywhere, though it is
not a native of these islands. Among other fruit-trees we observe the
feathery tamarind, orange, lime, alligator-pear, citron-fig, date, and
rose apple. Of all the flowering trees, the most conspicuous and
attractive is one which bears a cloud of brilliant scarlet blossoms,
each cluster ball-shaped and as large as a Florida orange. Some of the
thoroughfares are lined by pretty, low-built cottages, standing a few
rods back from the roadway, with broad, inviting verandas, the whole
festooned and nearly hidden by tropical and semi-tropical plants in full
bloom. If we drive out to the race-course in the environs, we shall be
pretty sure to see King Kalakaua, who is very fond of this sort of
sport. He is a man of intelligence and of considerable culture, but
whose personal habits are of a low and disgraceful character. He has
reached his fifty-second year.

It will be observed that the women ride man-fashion here,--that is,
astride of their horses,--and there is a good reason for this. Even
European and American ladies who become residents also adopt this mode
of riding, because side-saddles are not considered to be safe on the
steep mountain roads. If one rides in any direction here, mountains must
be crossed. The native women deck themselves in an extraordinary manner
with flowers on all gala occasions, while the men wear wreaths of the
same about their straw hats, often adding braids of laurel leaves across
the shoulders and chest. The white blossoms of the jasmine, fragrant as
tuberoses, which they much resemble, are generally employed for this
decorative purpose. As a people the Hawaiians are very courteous and
respectful, rarely failing to greet all passing strangers with a softly
articulated "alo-ha," which signifies "my love to you."

A drive up the Nuuanu valley, which opens with a broad entrance near the
city, introduces us to some grand scenery. In ascending this beautiful
valley one is constantly charmed by the discovery of new tropical trees,
luxurious creepers and lovely wild-flowers. The strangers' burial-ground
is passed just after crossing the Nuuanu stream, and close at hand is
the Royal Mausoleum,--a stone structure in Gothic style, which contains
the remains of the Hawaiian kings, as well as those of many of the high
chiefs who have died since the conquest. Some shaded bathing-pools are
formed by the mountain streams, lying half hidden in the dense foliage.
Here we pass the residence of the late Queen Emma, pleasantly located
and flower-embowered. This valley is classic ground in the history of
these islands, being the spot where the fierce and conquering invader,
King Kamehameha I., fought his last decisive battle, the result of which
confirmed him as sole monarch of the Hawaiian group. Here the natives of
Oahu made their final stand and fought desperately, resisting with clubs
and spears the savage hordes led by Kamehameha. But they were defeated
at last, and with their king Kaiana, who led them in person, were all
driven over the abrupt and fatal cliff fifteen hundred feet high,
situated at the upper end of the valley.

In the environs of the city one passes upon the roadsides large patches
measuring an acre or more of submerged land, where is grown the Hawaiian
staff of life,--the _taro_, a root which is cultivated in mud and mostly
under water, recalling the rice-fields of China and Japan. The vegetable
thus produced, when baked and pounded to a flour, forms a nutritious
sort of dough called _poi_, which constitutes the principal article of
food for the natives, as potatoes do with the Irish or macaroni with the
Italians. This poi is eaten both cooked and in a raw state mixed with
water.

[Illustration: HAWAIIANS EATING POI.]

Though Oahu is quite mountainous, like the rest of the islands which
form the Hawaiian group, still none of these reach the elevation of
perpetual snow. The six inhabited islands of the group are Kauai, Oahu,
Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii, the last containing the largest active
volcano of which we have any knowledge; namely, that of Kilauea, to
visit which persons cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and also the
American continent, between the two. Honolulu was chosen for the capital
because it forms the best and almost the only harbor worthy of the name
to be found among these islands. In the olden times Lahaina, on the
island of Maui, was the city of the king, and the recognized capital in
the palmy days of the whale fishery. This settlement is now going to
ruin, tumbling to pieces by wear and tear of the elements, forming a
rude picture of decay. Should the Panama Canal be completed, it would
prove to be of great advantage to these islands, as they lie in the
direct course which a great share of navigation must follow. The
aggregate population of the group is now about sixty thousand, of whom
some thirty-eight thousand are natives. History tells us that Captain
Cook estimated these islands to contain over three hundred thousand
inhabitants when he discovered them. Perhaps this was an exaggeration,
though it is a fact that they are capable of sustaining a population of
even much greater density than this estimate would indicate.

The ubiquitous Chinamen are found here as gardeners, laborers,
house-servants, fruit-dealers, and poi-makers. What an overflow there
has been of these Asiatics from the "Flowery Land!" Each one of the race
arriving at the Sandwich Islands is now obliged to pay ten dollars as
his landing fee, in default of which the vessel which brings him is
compelled to take him away. This singular people, who are wonderfully
industrious, notwithstanding their many faults, are equally disliked in
these islands by the natives, the Americans, and the Europeans; yet the
Chinamen steadily increase in numbers, and it is believed here that they
are destined eventually to take the place of the aborigines. The
aggregate number now to be found in the group is over twelve thousand.
It is evident that many branches of small trade are already monopolized
by them, as is the case at Penang, Singapore, and other Pacific islands.
On Nuuanu Street every shop is occupied by a Chinaman, dealing in such
articles as his own countrymen and the natives are likely to purchase.
It does certainly appear as though the aboriginal race would in the near
future be obliterated, and their place filled by the Anglo-Saxons and
the Chinese, the representative people of the East and the West. The
taro-patches of the Hawaiians will doubtless ere long become the
rice-fields of the Mongolians.

In the year 1887 there was raised upon these islands a very large amount
of sugar, over one hundred thousand tons in all. The entire product,
except what was consumed for domestic use, was shipped to this country.
Three-quarters of the money invested in sugar-raising here is furnished
by American capitalists, and American managers carry on the plantations.
A reciprocity treaty between the Sandwich Islands and this country
(that is, a national agreement upon matters of mutual interest), and
their proximity to the shores of America, have brought this people
virtually under the wing of our Government, concentrating their foreign
trade almost entirely in the United States, while the youth of the
islands, of both sexes, are sent hither for educational purposes. There
is no other foreign port in the world where the American flag is so
often seen, or more respected than in that of Honolulu.

The Hawaiian Islands are not on the direct route to Japan, and we
therefore find it better to return to San Francisco and embark from
there, than to await the arrival of a chance steamer bound westward. Our
course is not in the track of general commerce, and neither ship nor
shore is encountered while crossing this vast expanse of water. Storms
and calms alternate; sometimes the ocean is as smooth as an inland lake,
and at others in its unrest it tossed our iron hull about as though it
were a mere skiff, in place of a ship of three thousand tons'
measurement. The roughness of the water is exhibited near the coast and
in narrow seas by short, chopping waves; but in the open ocean these are
changed to long, heavy swells, covering the expanse of waters with vast
parallels separated by deep valleys, the distance from crest to crest
being from one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet during a heavy
gale. The height of the waves is measured from the trough to the crest,
and is of course conjecture only, but in heavy weather it may safely be
set down at thirty feet.

Every steamship on the trip westward carries more or less Chinamen, who,
having acquired a certain sum of money by industry and self-denial, are
glad to return to their native land and live upon its income. Interest
is very high in China, and money is scarce. It is curious to watch
these second-class passengers. In fine weather they crowd the forward
deck, squatting upon their hams in picturesque groups, and playing cards
or dominos for small stakes of money. The Chinese are inveterate
gamblers, but are satisfied generally to play for very small stakes.
When the sea becomes rough and a storm rages, they exhibit great
timidity, giving up all attempts at amusement. On such occasions, with
sober faces and trembling hands, they prepare pieces of joss-paper
(scraps with magic words), bearing Chinese letters, and cast them
overboard to propitiate the anger of the special god who controls the
sea. The dense, noxious smell which always permeates their quarters, in
spite of enforced ventilation and the rules of the ship, is often wafted
unpleasantly to our own part of the vessel, telling a significant story
of the opium pipe, and a certain uncleanliness of person peculiar to
Africans and Mongolians.

After a three weeks' voyage we reach Yokohama, the commercial capital of
Japan. When Commodore Perry opened this port in 1854 with a fleet of
American men-of-war, it was scarcely more than a fishing village, but it
has now a population of a hundred and thirty thousand, with well-built
streets of dwelling-houses, the thoroughfares broad and clean, and all
macadamized. The town extends along the level shore, but is backed by a
half-moon of low, wooded hills, known as the Bluff, among which are the
dwellings of the foreign residents, built after the European and
American style. A deep, broad canal surrounds the city, passing by the
large warehouses, and connected with the bay at each end, being crossed
by several handsome bridges. If we ascend the road leading to the Bluff
we have a most charming and extended view. In the west, seventy miles
away, the white, cloud-like cone of Fujiyama, a large volcanic mountain
of Japan, can clearly be discerned, while all about us lie the pretty
villas of the foreign settlers.

[Illustration: MODE OF TRAVELLING IN JAPAN. A JINRIKSHA.]

In looking about this commercial capital everything strikes us as
curious; every new sight is a revelation, while in all directions
tangible representations of the strange pictures we have seen upon fans
and lacquered ware are presented to view. One is struck by the partial
nudity of men, women, and children, the extremely simple architecture of
the dwelling-houses, the peculiar vegetation, the extraordinary
salutations between the common people who meet each other upon the
streets, the trading bazaars, and the queer toy-like articles which fill
them; children flying kites in the shape of hideous yellow monsters.
Each subject becomes a fresh study. Men drawing vehicles, like horses
between the shafts, and trotting off at a six-mile pony-gait while
drawing after them one or two persons, is a singular sight to a
stranger. So are the naked natives, by fours, bearing heavy loads swung
from their shoulders upon stout bamboo poles, while they shout a
measured chant by means of which to keep step. No beggars are seen upon
the streets; the people without exception are all neat and cleanly. The
houses are special examples of neatness, and very small, being seldom
more than twenty feet square, and one story in height. All persons,
foreigners or natives, take off their shoes before entering upon the
polished floors, not only out of respect to the customs of the country,
but because one does not feel like treading upon their floors with
nailed heels or soiled soles. The conviction forces itself upon us that
such universal neatness and cleanliness must extend even to the moral
character of the people. A spirit of gentleness, industry, and thrift
are observable everywhere, imparting an Arcadian atmosphere to these
surroundings. In the houses which we enter there are found neither
chairs, tables, nor bedsteads; the people sit, eat, and sleep upon the
floors, which are as clean as a newly laid tablecloth.

Here and there upon the roadsides moss-grown shrines bearing sacred
emblems are observed, before which women, but rarely men, are seen
bending. The principal religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism,
subdivided into many sects. The Shinto is mainly a form of hero worship,
successful warriors being canonized as martyrs are in the Roman Catholic
Church. Buddhism is another form of idolatry, borrowed originally from
the Chinese. The language of the country is composed of the Chinese and
Japanese combined. As we travel inland, places are pointed out to us
where populous cities once stood, but where no ruins mark the spot. A
dead and buried city in Europe or in Asia leaves rude but almost
indestructible remains to mark where great communities once built
temples and monuments, and lived and thrived, like those historic
examples of mutability, Memphis, Pæstum, Cumæ, or Delhi; but not so in
Japan. It seems strange indeed that a locality where half a million of
people have made their homes within the period of a century, should now
present the aspect only of fertile fields of grain. But when it is
remembered of what fragile material the natives build their
dwellings,--namely, of light, thin wood and paper,--their utter
disappearance ceases to surprise us. It is a curious fact that this
people, contemporary with Greece and Rome at their zenith, who have only
reared cities of wood and temples of lacquer, have outlived the classic
nations whose half-ruined monuments are our choicest models. The Greek
and Latin races have passed away, but Japan still remains, without a
change of dynasty and with an inviolate country.

In journeying inland we are struck with many peculiarities showing how
entirely opposite to our own methods are many of theirs. At the
post-stations the horses are placed and tied in their stalls with their
heads to the passage-way, and their tails where we place their heads.
Instead of iron shoes, the Japanese pony is shod with close-braided
rice-straw. Carpenters, in using the fore-plane, draw it towards them
instead of pushing it from them. It is the same in using a saw, the
teeth being set accordingly. So the tailor sews from him, not towards
his body, and holds his thread with his toes. The women ride astride,
like the Hawaiians.

A trip of fifteen miles from Yokohama will take us to the town of
Kamakura, where we find the remarkable idol of Dai-Butsu. This great
Buddha image, composed of gold, silver, and copper, forms a bronze
figure of nearly sixty feet in height, within which a hundred persons
may stand together, the interior being fitted at the base as a small
chapel. A vast number of little scraps of paper bearing Japanese
characters, flutter from the interior walls of the big idol, fastened
there by pious pilgrims, forming petitions to the presiding deity. As we
enter, these scraps, agitated by the winds, rustle like an army of white
bats. This sacred figure is as remarkable as the Sphinx, which presides
so placidly at the feet of the great Pyramids. As a work of art, its
only merits consist in the calm dignity of expression and repose upon
its colossal features. It is many centuries old, and how such an
enormous amount of bronze metal was ever cast, or how set up in such
perfect shape when finished, no one can say. It must have been
completed in sections and put together in the place where it stands, the
joints being so perfectly welded as not to be obvious. It was formerly
covered by a temple which has long since mouldered to dust, but it is
certainly none the less effective and impressive, as it now sits
surrounded by the natural scenery and the thick woods.

Japanese art, of which we have all seen such laughable specimens, is not
without some claims to excellence; otherwise we should not have the
myriads of beautifully ornamented articles which are produced by them,
exhibiting exquisite finish and perfection of detail. Of perspective
they have no idea whatever; the play of light and shade they do not
understand; there is no distinction of distances in their pictures.
Their figures are good, being also delicately executed, and their choice
of colors is admirable. Thus in profile work they get on very well, but
in grouping, they pile houses on the sea, and mountains on the houses.
In caricature they greatly excel, and, indeed, they scarcely attempt to
represent the human face and figure in any other light.

Tokio is the political capital of Japan, and is situated about twenty
miles from Yokohama, containing over half a million of people. It has
broad streets and good roadways, having adopted many American ideas of
city customs and government. The Bridge of Japan is situated in this
city, crossing the river which intersects the capital, and is here what
the golden milestone was in the Forum at Rome--all distances in the
Empire are measured from it. There are many elaborate temples within the
city, containing rare bronzes of great value. Priests are constantly
seen writing upon slips of paper, inside of the temples, at the request
of devotees, which the suppliants pin upon the walls of the temple as a
form of prayer. The renowned temple of Shiba is one of the greatest
attractions to strangers in Tokio. Here lie buried most of the bygone
Tycoons (sovereigns of Japan). The grounds are divided into many
departments, tombs, shrines, and small temples. In the main temple there
is an amount of gold, silver, and bronze ornaments of fabulous value,
leading us to wonder where the raw material could have come from.
History knows nothing of the importation of the precious metals, but it
is true that they are found in more or less abundance all over the
country. Copper of the purest quality is a native product, the
exportation of which is prohibited, and mining for the precious metals
is carried on to but a very limited extent. The temple of Shiba is
situated near the centre of the population, occupying many acres of
ground, walled in, and shaded by a thick grove of trees, whose branches
are black with thousands of undisturbed rooks and pigeons which are
considered sacred. The principal characteristic of the architecture is
its boldness of relief, overhanging roofs, heavy brackets, and elaborate
carvings. The doors are of solid bronze in bas-relief.

In the suburbs is a hill known as Atago-Yama, from whence there is a
grand, comprehensive view of the capital. A couple of miles to the
southeast lies the broad, glistening Bay of Tokio, and round the other
points of the compass the imperial city itself covers a plain of some
eight miles square, divided by water-ways, bridges, and clumps of
graceful trees looming conspicuously above the low dwellings. The whole
is as level as a checker-board; but yet there is relief to the picture
in the fine open gardens, the high-peaked gable roofs of the temples,
and the broad white roadways.

A visit to Kioto, which is called the City of Temples, shows us some
prominent local peculiarities. The Japanese character presents as much
unlikeness to the Oriental as to the European type, and is comparable
only to itself. A native believes that the little caricature in ivory or
wood which has, perhaps, been manufactured under his own eyes, or even
by his own hands, is sacred, and he will address his prayers to it with
a solemn conviction of its power to respond favorably. His most revered
gods are effigies of renowned warriors and successful generals. African
superstition is no blinder than is such adoration, though it be
performed by an intelligent people. Some of the native animals, such as
foxes, badgers, and snakes, are protected with superstitious reverence.
Before one of the temples we see a theatrical performance in progress,
which seems rather incongruous, but upon inquiry the object of this is
found to be a desire to appease the special gods of this individual
temple; in fact, to entertain and amuse them so that they will receive
the prayers of the people with favor. The exhibition consists of dancing
and posturing by professionals of both sexes, accompanied by the noise
of whistles, gongs, bells, and fifes.

At Koby we embark for Nagasaki, sailing the whole length of the famous
Inland Sea, a most enchanting three days' voyage among lovely islands,
terraced and cultivated here and there like vineyards on the Rhine. The
course is characterized by narrow and winding passages, losing
themselves in creeks and bays after a most curious fashion, while brown
hamlets here and there fringe the coast line. Nagasaki is in the
extreme south of Japan, a city second only to Yokohama in commercial
importance. A sad interest attaches to the small but lofty island of
Pappenburg, which stands like a sentinel guarding the entrance to the
harbor. It is the Tarpeian Rock of the far East. During the persecution
of the Christians in the seventeenth century, the steep cliff which
forms the seaward side of the island was an execution point, and from
here men and women who declined to abjure their faith were cast headlong
on the sea-washed rocks five hundred feet below. The harbor is
surrounded by lofty elevations. Tall, dark pines and a verdant
undergrowth mark the deep ravines and sloping hillsides, upon which
European dwellings are seen overlooking the bay. If we climb the path
among these hills we occasionally pass a Buddhist temple, and come upon
many wild-flowers, shaded by oaks and camphor-trees of great size and
beautiful foliage, with occasional specimens of the Japanese wax-tree.
Still further up, the hills are covered with dark, moss-grown
gravestones, bearing curious characters engraven upon them, and marking
the sleeping-places of bygone generations. The unbroken quiet of this
city of the dead contrasts vividly with the hum of busy life which comes
up to us from the town with its population of a hundred thousand souls.
As to the products of this locality, they are mostly figured porcelain,
embroidered silks, japanned goods, ebony and tortoise-shell finely
carved and manufactured into toy ornaments. Every small, low house has a
shop in front quite open to the street; but small as these houses are,
room is nearly always found in the rear or at the side for a little
flower-garden, fifteen or twenty feet square, where dwarf trees flourish
amid hillocks of turf and ferns, with here and there a tub of goldfish.
Azaleas, laurels, and tiny clumps of bamboos, are the most common plants
to be seen in these charming little spots of greenery.

Botanists declare Japan to be one of the richest of all countries in its
vegetation. The cultivation of the soil is thoroughly and skilfully
systematized, the greatest possible results being obtained from a given
area of land. This is partly due to the careful mode of enrichment
applied in liquid form. Its flora is spontaneous and magnificent,
repaying the smallest attention by a development which is surprising.
Next in importance to the production of rice, which is the staple food
of the people, come the mulberry and tea plants, one species of the
former not only feeding the silkworm, but it also affords the fibre of
which Japanese paper is made, as well as forming the basis of their
cordage and some descriptions of dress material. In usefulness the
bamboo is most remarkable, growing to a height of sixty feet, and
entering into the construction of house-frames, screens, many household
articles, mats, pipes, and sails. The camphor-tree, which is seen in
such abundance, is a grand ornament in the landscape, lofty and
broad-spread. The camphor of commerce is extracted from both the stem
and the roots of the tree, which, being cut into small pieces, are
subjected to a process of decoction.

No sooner have the Japanese been fairly introduced to American and
European civilization, than they have promptly taken a stride of four or
five centuries at a single leap, from despotism in its most ultra form
to constitutional government. When America opened the port of Yokohama
to the commerce of the world, it also opened that hermetically sealed
land to the introduction of progressive ideas; and though,
unfortunately, the elements of civilization which are most readily
assimilated are not always the most beneficial, still the result, taken
as a whole, has been worthy of the admiration of the world at large.

The natural intelligence of the Japanese has no superior among any race,
however much it may have been perverted, or have lain dormant. There is
evidence enough of this in the fact that the young men of that country
who are sent here for educational purposes, so frequently win academic
prizes and honors over our native scholars, notwithstanding the
disadvantages under which a foreigner is inevitably placed.

When we speak of the progress of the Japanese as a nation, we must not
forget that the national records of the country date from nearly seven
hundred years before the birth of Christ, and that a regular succession
of Mikados (supreme rulers), in lineal descent from the founders of
their dynasty and race, has since that remote date been carefully
preserved.



CHAPTER III.


From Nagasaki, in following our proposed course, we sail for Hong Kong,
through the Yellow and Chinese seas, a distance of eleven hundred miles.
This is very sure to be a rough passage, and the marvel is rather that
more vessels are not lost here than that so many are. Seamen call it
"the graveyard of commerce." As we enter the magnificent harbor of Hong
Kong it is found to be surrounded by a range of lofty hills, which
shelter it completely from the sweeping winds that so often prevail in
this region. It is the most easterly of the possessions of Great
Britain, and is kept in a well-fortified condition, the uniforms of the
garrison being a striking feature of the busy streets of the city at all
hours of the day. The houses in the European section are large and
handsome structures, mostly of stone, rising tier upon tier from the
main street to a height of some hundreds of feet on the face of the hill
immediately back of the town. On and about the lofty Victoria Peak are
many charming bungalows, or cottages, with attractive surroundings,
which enjoy a noble prospect of the harbor and country. The streets
appropriated to the use of the Europeans are spacious and clean, but the
Chinese portion of Hong Kong is quite characteristic of the native
race,--very crowded and very dirty, seeming to invite all sorts of
epidemic diseases, which in fact nearly always prevail more or less
severely among the lower classes.

These streets exhibit strange local pictures. The shoemaker plies his
trade in the open thoroughfare; cooking is going on at all hours in the
gutters beside the roads; itinerant pedlers dispense food made of
mysterious materials; the barber shaves his customer upon the sidewalk;
the universal fan is carried by the men, and not by the women. The
Chinese mariner's compass does not point to the North Pole, but to the
South; that is, the index is placed upon the opposite end of the needle.
When Chinamen meet each other upon the streets, instead of shaking each
other's hands they shake their own. The men wear skirts, and the women
wear pantaloons. The dressmakers are not women, but men. In reading a
book a Chinaman begins at the end and reads backwards. We uncover the
head as a mark of respect; they take off their shoes for the same
purpose, but keep their heads covered. We shave the face; they shave the
head and eyebrows. At dinner we begin the meal with soup and fish; they
reverse the order and begin with the dessert. The old men fly kites
while the boys look on; shuttlecock is their favorite game; it is
played, however, not with the hands, but with the feet. White
constitutes the mourning color, and black is the wedding hue. The women
perform the men's work, and the men wash the clothing. We pay our
physicians for attending us in illness; they pay their doctors to keep
them well, and stop their remuneration when they are ill. In short, this
people seem to be our antipodes in customs as well as being so
geographically.

A visit to the water-front of the city affords much amusement,
especially at the hour when the market boats with vegetables arrive from
the country, and from along shore with fish. Here the people swarm like
ants more than like human beings; all eager for business, all crowding
and talking at the same time, and creating a confusion that would seem
to defeat its own object; namely, to buy and to sell. The vegetables are
various and good, the variety of fruit limited and poor in flavor, but
the fish are abundant and various in size and color. Nine-tenths of the
business on the river-front is done by women, and they are very rarely
seen without an infant strapped to their backs, while they are carrying
heavy burdens in their hands, or are engaged in rowing or sculling their
boats. They trade, make change, and clean the fish quite oblivious of
the infant at their backs. A transient visitor to China is not competent
to speak of the higher class of women, as no access can be had to
domestic life. Only those of the common class appear indiscriminately in
public, Oriental exclusiveness wrapping itself about the sex here nearly
as rigidly as in Egypt. If ladies go abroad at all, it is in curtained
palanquins, borne upon men's shoulders, partially visible through a
transparent veil of gauze. Anywhere east of Italy woman is either a toy
or a slave.

Hong Kong is an island nearly forty miles in circumference, consisting
of a cluster of hills rising almost to the dignity of mountains. The
gray granite of which the island is mostly composed, furnishes an
excellent material for building purposes, and is largely employed for
that object, affording a good opportunity for architectural display. A
trip of a hundred miles up the Pearl River takes us to Canton, strangest
of strange cities. It has a population of a million and a half, and yet
there is not a street of over ten feet in width within the walls, horses
and wheeled vehicles being unknown. The city extends a distance of five
miles along the river, and a hundred thousand people live in boats. At
the corners of the streets, niches in the walls of the houses contain
idols, before which incense is constantly burning day and night. The
most famous temple in the city is that of the Five Hundred Gods,
containing that number of gilded statues of Buddhist sages, apostles,
and deified warriors. In some of these sacred structures composed of
shrines and miniature temples, among other seeming absurdities we see a
number of sacred hogs wallowing in their filth. Disgusting as it appears
to an intelligent Christian, it has its palliating features. The Parsee
worships fire, the Japanese bows before snakes and foxes, the Hindoo
deifies cows and monkeys; why, then, should not the Chinese have their
swine as objects of veneration? We may destroy the idols, but let us not
be too hard upon the idolaters; they do as well as they know. The idol
is the measure of the worshipper. The punishment of crime is swift and
sure, the number of persons beheaded annually being almost incredible.
Friday is the day for clearing the crowded prison at Canton, and it is
not uncommon on that occasion to see a dozen criminals beheaded in the
prison yard in eight minutes, one sweeping blow of the executioner's
sword decapitating each human body as it stands erect and blindfolded.

One is jostled in the narrow ways by staggering coolies with buckets of
the vilest contents, and importuned for money by beggars who thrust
their deformed limbs in his face. It is but natural to fear contagion of
some sort from contact with such creatures, and yet the crowd is so
dense that it is impossible to entirely avoid them. Under foot the
streets are wet, muddy, and slippery. Why some deadly disease does not
break out and sweep away the people is a mystery.

Philanthropic societies are numerous in the cities of China. Indeed,
they are hardly excelled by those of America or Europe. They embrace
well-organized orphan asylums, institutions for the relief of indigent
widows with families, homes for the aged and infirm, public hospitals,
and free schools in every district. As is the case with ourselves, some
of these are purely governmental charities, while others are supported
by liberal endowments left by deceased citizens. There are depots
established to dispense medicines among the poor, and others whence
clothing is distributed free of cost. It must be remembered that these
societies and organizations are not copied from Western models. They
have existed here from time immemorial.

No one has ever been able to trace any affinity between the Chinese
language and that of any other people, ancient or modern. It is
absolutely unique. No other nation except the Japanese has ever borrowed
from it, or mingled any of its elements with its own. It must have
originated from the untutored efforts of a primitive people. Like the
Egyptian tongue, it was at first probably composed of hieroglyphics,
expressing ideas by pictured objects, which in the course of time became
systematized into letters or signs expressive of sounds and words.

[Illustration: A CHINESE CART.]

Though we may dislike the Chinese, it is not wise to shut our eyes to
facts which have passed into history. They have long been a reading and
a cultured people. Five hundred years before the art of printing was
known to Europe, books were multiplied by movable types in China. Every
province has its separate history in print, and reliable maps of each
section of the country are extant. The civil code of laws is annually
corrected and published, a certain degree of education is universal, and
eight-tenths of the people can read and write. The estimate in which
letters are held is shown by the fact that learning forms the very
threshold that leads to fame, honor, and official position. The means of
internal communication between one part of China and another are
scarcely superior to those of Africa. By and by, however, railways will
revolutionize this. Gold and silver are found in nearly every province
of the Empire, while the central districts contain the largest
coal-fields upon the globe. Nearly one-fourth of the human race is
supposed to be comprised within the Chinese Empire. They look to the
past, not to the future, and the word "progress" has apparently to them
no real significance.

In travelling through portions of the country a depressing sense of
monotony is the prevailing feeling one experiences, each section is so
precisely like another. There is no local individuality. Their veritable
records represent this people as far back as the days of Abraham, and,
indeed, they antedate that period. In two important discoveries they
long preceded Europe; namely, that of the magnetic compass and the use
of gunpowder. The knowledge of these was long in travelling westward
through the channels of Oriental commerce, by the way of Asia Minor.
There are many antagonistic elements to consider in judging of the
Chinese. The common people we meet in the ordinary walks of life are far
from prepossessing, and are much the same as those who have emigrated to
this country. One looks in vain among the smooth chins, shaved heads,
and almond eyes of the crowd for signs of intelligence and manliness.
There are no tokens of humor or cheerfulness to be seen, but in their
place there is plenty of apparent cunning, slyness, and deceit, if there
is any truth in physiognomy. With the Japanese the traveller feels
himself constantly sympathizing. He goes among them freely, he enters
their houses and drinks tea with them; but not so with the Chinese. In
place of affiliation we realize a constant sense of repulsion.

We embark at Hong Kong for Singapore by the way of the China Sea and the
Gulf of Siam. The northerly wind favors us, causing the ship to rush
through the turbulent waters like a race-horse. The Philippine Islands
are passed, and leaving Borneo on our port-bow as we draw near to the
Equatorial Line, the ship is steered due west for the mouth of the
Malacca Straits. Off the Gulf of Siam we are pretty sure to get a view
of a water-spout, and it is to be hoped that it may be a goodly distance
from us. Atmospheric and ocean currents meet here, from the China Sea
northward, from the Malacca Straits south and west, and from the Pacific
Ocean eastward, mingling off the Gulf of Siam, and causing, very
naturally, a confusion of the elements, resulting sometimes in producing
these wind and water phenomena. A water-spout is a miniature cyclone, an
eddy of the wind rotating with such velocity as to suck up a column of
water from the sea to the height of one or two hundred feet. This column
of water appears to be largest at the top and bottom, and contracted in
the middle. If it were to fall foul of a ship and break, it would surely
wreck and submerge her. Modern science shows that all storms are
cyclonic; that is, they are circular eddies of wind of greater or less
diameter. The power of these cyclones is more apparent upon the sea than
upon the land, where the obstruction is naturally greater. Yet we know
how destructive they sometimes prove in our Western States.

Singapore is the chief port of the Malacca Straits, and is an island
lying just off the southern point of Asia, thirty miles long and half as
wide, containing a population of about a hundred thousand. Here, upon
landing, we are surrounded by tropical luxuriance, the palm and cocoanut
trees looming above our heads and shading whole groves of bananas. The
most precious spices, the richest fruits, the gaudiest feathered birds
are found in their native atmosphere. There are plenty of Chinese at
Singapore. They dominate the Strait settlements, monopolizing all
branches of small trade, while the natives are lazy and listless, true
children of the equatorial regions. Is it because Nature is here so
bountiful, so lovely, so prolific, that her children are sluggish,
dirty, and heedless? It would seem to require a less propitious climate,
a sterile soil, and rude surroundings to awaken human energy and to
place man at his best. The common people are seen almost naked, and
those who wear clothes at all, affect the brightest colors. The jungle
is dense, tigers abound, and men, women, and children are almost daily
killed and eaten by them.

It is easy to divine the merchantable products of the island from the
nature of the articles which are seen piled up for shipment upon the
wharves, consisting of tapioca, cocoanut oil, gambia, tin ore, indigo,
tiger-skins, coral, gutta-percha, hides, gums, and camphor.

There is no winter or autumn here, no sere and yellow leaf period, but
seemingly a perpetual spring, with a temperature almost unvarying; new
leaves always swelling from the bud, flowers always in bloom, the sun
rising and setting within five minutes of six o'clock during the entire
year. Singapore enjoys a soft breeze most of the day from across the Bay
of Bengal, laden with fragrant sweetness from the spice-fields of
Ceylon.

Each place we visit has its peculiar local pictures. Here, small
hump-backed oxen are seen driven about at a lively trot in place of
horses. Pedlers roam the streets selling drinking-water, with soup,
fruit, and a jelly made from sugar and sea-weed, called agar-agar.
Native houses are built upon stilts to keep out the snakes and tigers.
The better class of people wear scarlet turbans and white cotton skirts;
others have parti-colored shawls round their heads, while yellow scarfs
confine a cotton wrap about the waist. Diminutive horses drag heavy
loads, though themselves scarcely bigger than large dogs. Itinerant
cooks, wearing a wooden yoke about their necks, with a cooking apparatus
on one end, and a little table to balance it on the other, serve meals
of fish and rice upon the streets to laborers and boatmen, for a couple
of pennies each. Money has here, as in most Eastern countries, a larger
purchasing power than it has with us in the West. The variety of fruit
is greater than in China or Japan, and there are one or two species,
such as the delicious mangosteen, which are found indigenous in no other
region.

The stranger, upon landing at Singapore, is hardly prepared to find such
excellent modern institutions as exist here. Among them are an
attractive museum, a public library, a Protestant cathedral, a hospital,
public schools, and a fine botanical garden. The island belongs to the
English government, having been purchased by it so long ago as 1819,
from the Sultan of Johore,--wise forethought, showing its importance as
a port of call between England and India.

A two days' sail through waters which seem at night like a sea of
phosphorescence, every ripple producing flashes of light, will take us
to the island of Penang, the most northerly port of the Straits. It
resembles Singapore in its people, vegetation, and climate, enjoying one
long, unvarying summer. While the birds and butterflies are in perfect
harmony with the loveliness of nature, while the flowers are glorious in
beauty and in fragrance, man alone seems out of place in this region.
Indolent, dirty, unclad, he does nothing to improve such wealth of
possibilities as nature spreads broadcast only in equatorial islands. He
does little for himself, nothing for others, while the sensuous life he
leads poisons his nature, so that virtue and vice have no relative
meaning for him. We speak now of the masses, the common people. Noble
exceptions always exist. In size Penang is a little smaller than
Singapore. Its wooded hills of vivid greenness rise above the town and
surrounding sea in graceful undulations, growing more and more lofty as
they recede inland, until they culminate in three mountain peaks. Penang
is separated from the mainland by a narrow belt of sea not more than
three miles wide, giving it a position of great commercial importance.

The areca-palm, known as the Penang-tree, is the source of the
betel-nut, which is chewed by the natives as a stimulant; and as it
abounds on the island, it has given it the name it bears. The town
covers about a square mile, through which runs one broad, main street,
intersected by lesser thoroughfares at right angles. A drive about the
place gives us an idea that it is a thrifty town, but not nearly so
populous as Singapore. It is also observable that the Chinese element
predominates here. The main street is lined by shops kept by them. The
front of the dwellings being open, gives the passer-by a full view of
all that may be going on inside the household. Shrines are nearly always
seen in some nook or corner, before which incense is burning, this
shrine-room evidently being also the sleeping, eating, and living room.
The islands of Penang and Singapore are free from malarial fevers, and
probably no places on earth are better adapted to the wants of primitive
man, for they produce spontaneously sufficient nutritious food to
support life independent of personal exertion. The home of the Malay is
not so clean as that of the ant or the birds; even the burrowing animals
are neater. The native women are graceful and almost pretty, slight in
figure, and passionately fond of ornaments, covering their arms and
ankles with metallic rings, and thrusting silver and brass rings through
their ears, noses, and lips.

The cocoanut-tree is always in bearing on the islands of the Straits,
and requires no cultivation. Of the many liberal gifts bestowed upon the
tropics, this tree is perhaps the most valuable. The Asiatic poet
celebrates in verse the hundred uses to which the trunk, the branches,
the leaves, the fruit, and the sap are applied. In Penang a certain
number of these trees are not permitted to bear fruit. The embryo bud
from which the blossoms and nuts would spring is tied up to prevent its
expansion; a small incision then being made at the end, there oozes in
gentle drops a pleasant liquor called toddy, which is the palm wine of
the poet. This, when it is first drawn, is cooling and wholesome, but
when it is fermented it produces a strong, intoxicating spirit. The
banana is equally prolific and abundant, and forms a very large portion
of the food of the common people. In the immediate neighborhood of the
town are some plantations conducted by Europeans who live in neat
cottages, with enclosures of cultivated flowers, and orchards of
fruit-trees. Still further inland are large gardens of bread-fruit,
nutmegs, cinnamon, pepper, and other spices. There are also large fields
of sugar-cane, tobacco, and coffee. The delicate little sensitive plant
here grows wild, and is equally tremulous and subsiding at the touch of
human hands, as it is with us. Lilies are seen in wonderful variety, the
stems covered with butterflies nearly as large as humming-birds.

Penang originally belonged to the Malay kingdom, but about the year 1786
it was given to an English sea-captain as a marriage-portion with the
King of Keddah's daughter, and by him, in course of time, it was
transferred to the East India Company. When Captain Francis Light
received it with his dusky bride, it was the wild, uncultivated home of
a few hundred fishermen. To-day it has a population of nearly a hundred
thousand.



CHAPTER IV.


Our course now lies across the Indian Ocean, westward. The rains which
we encounter are like floods, but the air is soft and balmy, and the
deluges are of brief continuance. The nights are serene and bright, so
that it is delightful to lie awake upon the deck of the steamer and
watch the stars now and then screened by the fleecy clouds. In the
daytime it is equally interesting to observe the ocean. Large
sea-turtles come to the surface to sun themselves, stretching their
awkward necks to get a sight of our hull; dolphins and flying-fish are
too abundant to be a curiosity; big water-snakes raise their slimy heads
a couple of feet above the sea; the tiny nautilus floats in myriads upon
the undulating waves, and at times the ship is surrounded by a shoal of
the indolent jelly-fish. Mirage plays us strange tricks in the way of
optical delusion in these regions. We seem to be approaching land which
we never reach, but which at the moment when we should fairly make it,
fades into thin air.

Though the ocean covers more than three-quarters of the globe, but few
of us realize that it represents more of life than does the land. We are
indebted to it for every drop of water distributed over our hills,
plains, and valleys; for from the ocean it has arisen by evaporation to
return again through myriads of channels. It is really a misnomer to
speak of the sea as a desert waste; it is teeming with inexhaustible
animal and vegetable life. A German scientist has with unwearied
industry secured and classified over nine hundred species of fishes from
this division of the Indian Ocean over which our course takes us. Many
of these are characterized by colors as dazzling and various as those of
gaudy-plumed tropical birds and flowers.

Our next objective point is Colombo, the capital of Ceylon, situated
about thirteen hundred miles from the mouth of the Malacca Straits. Here
we find several large steamships in the harbor, stopping briefly on
their way to or from China, India, or Australia; and no sooner do we
come to anchor than we are surrounded by the canoes of the natives. They
are of very peculiar construction, being designed to enable the
occupants to venture out, however rough the water may chance to be, and
the surf is always raging in these open roadsteads. The canoes consist
of the trunk of a tree hollowed out, some twenty feet in length, having
long planks fastened lengthwise so as to form the sides or gunwales of
the boat, which is a couple of feet deep and about as wide. An
outrigger, consisting of a log of wood about one-third as long as the
canoe, is fastened alongside at a distance of six or eight feet, by
means of two arched poles of well-seasoned bamboo. This outrigger
prevents any possibility of upsetting the boat, but without it so narrow
a craft could not remain upright, even in a calm sea. The natives face
any weather in these little vessels.

It will be remembered that to this island England banished Arabi Pacha
after the sanguinary battlefield of Tel-el-Keber. It is one of the most
interesting spots in the East, having been in its prime centuries before
the birth of Christ. It was perhaps the Ophir of the Hebrews, and it
still abounds in precious stones and mineral wealth. Here we observe the
native women strangely decked with cheap jewelry thrust through the tops
and lobes of their ears, in their lips and nostrils, while about their
necks hang ornaments consisting of bright sea-shells, mingled with
sharks' teeth. If we go into the jungle, we find plenty of ebony,
satin-wood, bamboo, fragrant balsam, and india-rubber trees; we see the
shady pools covered with the lotus of fable and poetry, resembling huge
pond-lilies; we behold brilliant flowers growing in tall trees, and
others, very sweet and lowly, blooming beneath our feet. Vivid colors
flash before our eyes, caused by the blue, yellow, and scarlet plumage
of the feathered tribe. Parrots and paroquets are seen in hundreds.
Storks, ibises, and herons fly lazily over the lagoons, and the gorgeous
peacock is seen in his wild condition. The elephant is also a native
here, and occasionally hunts are organized upon a grand scale and at
great expense by English sportsmen who come here for the purpose, and
who pay a heavy fee for a license.

Ceylon lies just off the southern point of India; and though it is a
British colony, its government is quite distinct from that of the
mainland. It forms a station for a large number of troops, and is about
three times the size of Massachusetts.

Many of the native women are employed by the large number of English
families resident here, especially by officers' wives, as nurses. These
last seem to form a class by themselves, and they dress in the most
peculiar manner, as we see the children's nurses dressed in Rome, Paris,
and Madrid. The Singhalese nurses wear a single white linen garment
covering the body to the knees, very low in the neck, with a blue
cut-away velvet jacket covered with silver braid and buttons and open in
front, a scarlet silk sash gathering the under-garment at the waist. The
legs and feet are bare, the ankles covered with bangles, or ornamental
rings, and the ears heavily weighed down and deformed with rings of
silver and gold.

[Illustration: A SINGHALESE DANCER.]

The vegetation of Ceylon is what might be expected of an island within
so few miles of the equator; that is, beautiful and prolific in the
extreme. The cinnamon fields are so thrifty as to form a wilderness of
green, though the bushes grow but four or five feet in height. The
cinnamon bush, which is a native here, is a species of laurel, and bears
a white, scentless flower, scarcely as large as a pea. The spice of
commerce is produced from the inner bark of the shrub, the branches of
which are cut and peeled twice annually. The plantations resemble a
thick, tangled undergrowth of wood, without any regularity, and are not
cultivated after being properly started. Ceylon was at one time a great
producer of coffee, and still exports the berry, but a disease which
attacked the leaves of the shrub has nearly discouraged the planters.
Among the wild animals are elephants, deer, monkeys, bears, and
panthers--fine specimens of which are preserved in the excellent museum
at Colombo. Pearl oysters are found on the coast, and some magnificent
pearls are sent to Paris and London.

The bread-fruit tree is especially interesting, with its feathery
leaves, and its melon-shaped fruit, weighing from three to four pounds.
This, the natives prepare in many ways for eating, and as the tree bears
fruit continually for nine months of the year, it forms a most important
food-supply. Two or three trees will afford nourishment for a hearty
man, and half a dozen well cared for will sustain a small family, a
portion of the fruit being dried and kept for the non-producing months.
Banana groves, and orchards bending under the weight of the rich,
nutritious fruit, tall cocoanut-trees with half a ton of ripening nuts
in each tufted top, ant-hills nearly as high as native houses, rippling
cascades, small rivers winding through the green valleys, and flowers of
every hue and shape, together with birds such as one sees preserved in
northern museums,--all these crowd upon our vision as we wander about
inland.

Ceylon is rich in prehistoric monuments, showing that there once existed
here a great and powerful empire, and leading us to wonder what could
have swept a population of millions from the face of the globe and have
left no clearer record of their past. The carved pillars, skilfully
wrought, now scattered through the forest, and often overgrown by
mammoth trees, attest both material greatness and far-reaching
antiquity. It would seem as though nature had tried to cover up the
wrinkles of age with blooming and thrifty vegetation.

We embark at Colombo for Adelaide, the capital of South Australia,
steering a course south by east through the Indian Ocean for a distance
of about thirty-five hundred miles. On this voyage we find the nights so
bright and charming that hours together are passed upon the open deck
studying the stars. Less than two thousand can be counted from a ship's
deck by the naked eye, but with an opera-glass or telescope the number
can be greatly increased. Among the most interesting constellations of
the region through which we are now passing, is the Southern Cross. For
those not familiar with its location, a good way to find the Cross is to
remember that there are two prominent stars in the group known as
Centaurus that point directly towards it. That farthest from the Cross
is regarded as one of the fixed stars nearest to the earth, but its
distance from us is twenty thousand times that of the sun. Stellar
distances can be realized only by familiar comparison. For instance:
were it possible for a person to journey to the sun in a single day,
basing the calculation upon a corresponding degree of speed, it would
require fifty-five years to reach this fixed star! Probably not one-half
of those who have sailed beneath its tranquil beauty are aware that near
the upper middle of the cross there is a brilliant cluster of stars
which, though not visible to the naked eye, are brought into view with
the telescope. In these far southern waters we also see what are called
the Magellanic Clouds, which lie between Canopus and the South Pole.
These light clouds, or what seem to be such, seen in a clear sky, are,
like the "Milky Way," visible nebulæ, or star-clusters, at such vast
distance from the earth as to have by combination this effect upon our
vision.

At sea the stars assume perhaps a greater importance than on land,
because from them, together with the sun, is obtained latitude and
longitude, and thus by their aid the mariner determines his bearings
upon the ocean. Forty or fifty centuries ago the Chaldean shepherds were
accustomed to gaze upon these shining orbs in worshipful admiration, but
with no idea of their vast system. They were to them "the words of God,
the scriptures of the skies." It has been left to our period to
formulate the methods of their constant and endless procession. All of
the principal stars are now well known, and their limits clearly defined
upon charts, so that we can easily acquire a knowledge of them. The
inhabitants of North America have the constellation of Ursa Major, or
the Great Bear, and the North Star always with them; they never wholly
disappear below the horizon. When the mariner sailing north of the
equator has determined the position of the "Great Bear," two of whose
stars, known as "the pointers," indicate the North Star, he can
designate all points of the compass unerringly. But in the far South Sea
they are not visible; other constellations, however, whose relative
positions are as fixed in the Southern Hemisphere, become equally sure
guides to the watchful navigator.

Having landed in Australia, before proceeding to visit the several
cities of this great island-continent which possesses an area of nearly
three millions of square miles, let us review some general facts and
characteristics of the country. So far as we can learn, it was a land
unknown to the ancients, though it is more than probable that the
Chinese knew of the existence of Northern Australia at a very early
period; but until about a century ago, it presented only a picture of
primeval desolation. The hard work of the pioneer has been accomplished,
and civilization has rapidly changed the aspect of a large portion of
the great south land. To-day this continent is bordered by thrifty
seaports connected by railroads, coasting-steamers, turnpikes, and
electric telegraphs. It is occupied by an intelligent European
population numbering between three and four millions, possessing such
elements of political and social prosperity as place them in an
honorable position in the line of progressive nations. So favorable is
the climate that nearly the whole country might be turned into a
botanical garden. Indeed, Australia would seem to be better entitled to
the name of Eldorado (a mythical country abounding in gold), so talked
of in the sixteenth century, than was the imaginary land of untold
wealth so confidently believed by the adventurous Spaniards, to exist
somewhere between the Orinoco and the Amazon.

This new home of the British race in the South Pacific, surrounded by
accessible seas and inviting harbors, inspires us with vivid interest.
We say "new," and yet, geologically speaking, it is one of the oldest
portions of the earth's surface. While a great part of Europe has been
submerged and elevated, crumpled up as it were into mountain chains,
Australia seems to have been undisturbed. It is remarkable that in a
division of the globe of such colossal proportions there was found no
larger quadruped than the kangaroo, and that man was the only animal
that destroyed his kind. He, alas! was more ferocious than the lynx, the
leopard, or the hyena; for these animals do not prey upon each other,
while the aborigines of Australia devoured one another.

What America was to Spain in the proud days of that nation's glory
Australia has been to England, and that too, without the crime of
wholesale murder, and the spilling of rivers of blood, as was the case
in the days of Cortez and Pizarro. The wealth poured into the lap of
England by these far-away colonies belittles all the riches which the
Spaniards realized by the conquests of Mexico and Peru. Here is an
empire won without war, a new world called into existence, as it were,
by moral forces, an Eldorado captured without the sword. Here, Nature
has spread her generous favors over a land only one-fifth smaller than
the whole continent of Europe, granting every needed resource wherewith
to form a great, independent, and prosperous nation; where labor is
already more liberally rewarded, and life more easily sustained, than in
any other civilized country except America. It is difficult to believe
while observing the present population, wealth, power, and prosperity
of the country at large, characterized by such grand and conspicuous
elements of empire, that it has been settled for so brief a period, and
that its pioneers were from English prisons. The authentic record of
life in the colonies of Australia and Tasmania during the first few
years of their existence, is mainly the account of the control of
lawless men by the strong and cruel arm of military despotism.

Up to the present writing Australia has realized from her soil over
three hundred and thirty millions of pounds sterling, or $1,650,000,000.
Her territory gives grazing at the present time to over seventy-five
million sheep, which is probably double the number in the United States.
When it is remembered that the population of this country is sixty
millions, and that Australia has not quite four millions, the force of
this comparison becomes obvious. The aggregate amount of wool exported
to the mother country is twenty-eight times as much as England has
received in the same period from the continent of Europe. The combined
exports and imports of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
are a little over one hundred dollars per annum for each one of the
population. In Australia the aggregate is a trifle over two hundred
dollars per head. The four principal capitals of Australia contain over
eight hundred thousand inhabitants. The railroads of the country have
already cost over two hundred million dollars, and are being extended
annually. New South Wales has in proportion to its population a greater
length of railways than any other country in the world, while there are
some thirty thousand miles of telegraph lines within the length and
breadth of the land.

The country is divided into five provincial governments: New South
Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and West Australia. The
island of Tasmania forms another province, and is separated from
Victoria by Bass's Strait, the two being within half a day's sail of
each other. Sydney is the capital of New South Wales; Melbourne, of
Victoria; Adelaide, of South Australia; Brisbane, of Queensland; Perth,
of West Australia; and Hobart, of Tasmania. It may be remarked
incidentally that South Australia would more properly be designated by
some other title, as it is not South Australia at all. Victoria lies
south of it, and so does a portion of West Australia. The government of
these several divisions is modelled upon that of New South Wales, which
is in fact the parent colony of them all.

New South Wales is governed under a constitution, having two houses of
Parliament. The first, a legislative council, is composed of a limited
number of members nominated by the Crown, and who hold office for life;
the second, or legislative assembly, is composed of members elected by
the people and chosen by ballot. All acts, before becoming law, must
receive the approval of the Queen of England, though this is nothing
more than a mere form. There is a resident governor in each colony, also
appointed by the Queen.

As compared with our own land, we find this to be one of strange
contradictions. Here, the eagles are white and the swans are black; the
emu, a bird almost as large as an ostrich, cannot fly, but runs like a
horse. The principal quadruped, the kangaroo, is elsewhere unknown; and
though he has four legs, he runs upon two. When the days are longest
with us in America, they are shortest here. To reach the tropics,
Australians go due-north, while we go due-south. With us the seed, or
stone, of the cherry forms the centre of the fruit; in Australia, the
stone grows on the outside. The foliage of the trees in America spreads
out horizontally; in this south-land the leaves hang vertically. When it
is day with us it is night with them. There, Christmas comes in
mid-summer; with us in mid-winter. Bituminous and anthracite coal are
with us only one color,--black; but they have white bituminous
coal,--white as chalk. The majority of trees with us shed their leaves
in the fall of the year; with them they are evergreen, shedding their
bark and not their leaves.

Adelaide is situated about seven miles from the sea, and is surrounded
by an amphitheatre of hills rearing their abrupt forms not far away from
the town. The capital is so perfectly level that to be seen to advantage
it must be looked upon from some favorable elevation. The colony should
be known as Central Australia, on account of its geographical position.
It is destined in the near future to merit the name of the granary of
the country, being already largely and successfully devoted to
agriculture. This pursuit is followed in no circumscribed manner, but in
a large and liberal style, like that of our best Western farmers in the
United States. Immense tracts of land are also devoted to stock-raising
for the purpose of furnishing beef for shipment to England in fresh
condition. This province contains nearly a million square miles, and is
therefore ten times larger than Victoria, and fifteen times larger than
England. It extends northward from the temperate zone, so that nearly
one-half of its area lies within the tropics, while it has a coast-line
of five hundred miles along the great Southern Ocean. A vast portion of
its interior is uninhabited, and indeed unexplored. The total
population of the whole colony is about four hundred thousand. Wheat,
wool, wine, copper, and meat are at present the chief exports. Over four
million acres of land are under the plough. Though gold is found here,
it is not so abundant as in other sections of the country. Good wages
equalling those realized by the average miners are earned by a dozen
easier and more legitimate occupations than that of gold-digging. "Let
us cherish no delusions," said a San Francisco preacher on a certain
occasion; "no society has ever been able to organize itself in a
satisfactory manner on gold-bearing soil. Even Nature herself is
deceitful; she corrupts, seduces, and betrays man; she laughs at his
labor, she turns his toil into gambling, and his word into a lie!" The
preacher's deductions have proved true as regards bodies of miners in
California, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. And yet the
finding of gold mines has stimulated labor, immigration, and manly
activity in many directions, and has thus been the agent of undoubted
good in other fields than its own.

Adelaide, with a population of a hundred and fifty thousand, has a noble
university, quite equal in standing to that of any city in the country.
When we remember how youthful she is, it becomes a matter of surprise
that such a condition has been achieved in all the appointments which go
to make up a great city in modern times. The same remark applies to all
of the Australian capitals, none of which are deficient in hospitals,
libraries, schools, asylums, art galleries, and charitable institutions
generally. Few European cities of twice the size of these in Australia
can boast a more complete organization in all that goes to promote true
civilization.

The city proper is separated from its suburbs by a belt of park-lands,
and the approaches are lined with thrifty ornamental trees. Great
liberality and good judgment presided over the laying out of Adelaide.
All the streets are broad and regular, running north and south, east and
west. There are no mysterious labyrinths, dark lanes, or blind alleys in
the city; the avenues are all uniform in width. It is believed that the
interior of the continent, which is largely embraced within this
province, was at a comparatively recent period covered by a great inland
sea. Here are still found mammoth bones of animals, now extinct, which
have become an object of careful study to scientists. Africa's interior
is scarcely less explored than is Central Australia. There are thousands
of square miles upon which the foot of a white man has never trod.
Tartary has its steppes, America its prairies, Egypt its deserts, and
Australia its "scrub." The plains, so called, are covered by a
low-growing bush, compact and almost impenetrable in places, composed of
a dwarf eucalyptus. The appearance of a large reach of this "scrub" is
desolate indeed, the underlying soil being a sort of yellow sand which
one would surely think could produce nothing else; yet, wherever this
land has been cleared and properly irrigated it has proved to be
remarkably fertile.

[Illustration: BOTANICAL GARDENS AT ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA.]

All of these colonial cities have botanical gardens, in the cultivation
and arrangement of which much skill and scientific knowledge is
displayed. In that of Adelaide we see the Australian bottle-tree, which
is a native of this country only. It receives its name from its
resemblance in shape to a junk-bottle. This tree has the property of
storing water in its hollow trunk,--a well-known fact, which has often
proved a providential supply for thirsty travellers in a country so
liable to severe drought. Here, also, we see the correa, with its stiff
stem and prickly leaves, bearing a curious string of delicate, pendulous
flowers, red, orange, and white, not unlike the fuchsia in form. The
South Sea myrtle is especially attractive, appearing when in flower with
round clustering bunches of bloom, spangled with white stars. The
styphelia, a heath-like plant, surprises us with its green flowers. We
are shown a specimen of the sandrach-tree, brought from Africa, which is
almost imperishable, and from which the Mohammedans invariably make the
ceilings of their mosques. The Indian cotton-tree looms up beside the
South American aloe--this last, with its thick, bayonet-like leaves, is
ornamented in wavy lines like the surface of a Toledo blade. The
grouping of these exotics, natives of regions so far apart on the
earth's surface, yet quite domesticated here, forms an incongruous
though pleasing picture.

West Australia, of which Perth is the capital, is eight hundred miles in
width and thirteen hundred long from north to south, actually covering
about one-third of the continent. It embraces all that portion lying to
the westward of the one hundred and twenty-ninth meridian of east
longitude, and has an area of about a million square miles. It has few
towns and is very sparsely settled, Perth having scarcely eleven
thousand inhabitants, and the whole province a population of not over
forty-two thousand. Pearl oysters abound upon its coast and form the
principal export, being most freely gathered near Torres's Strait, which
separates Australia from New Guinea. The latter is the largest island in
the world, being three hundred and sixty miles in width by thirteen
hundred in length. Its natives are considered the most barbarous of any
savages of the nineteenth century.

From Adelaide to Melbourne is about six hundred miles, a distance
accomplished by railway. The first sight of Melbourne will surprise the
stranger, though he may be fairly well-informed about this capital of
Victoria. No one anticipates beholding so grand a capital in this
far-away region of the Pacific. Where there was only a swamp and
uncleared woods a few years ago, there has risen a city containing
to-day a population of four hundred and twenty thousand, embracing the
immediate suburbs. This capital is unsurpassed by any of the British
colonies in the elegancies and luxuries of modern civilization, such as
broad avenues, palatial dwellings, churches, colossal warehouses, banks,
theatres, public buildings, and pleasure grounds. It is pleasant to
record the fact that one-fifth of the revenue raised by taxation is
expended for educational purposes. Of few cities in the new or the old
world can this be truthfully said. Universities, libraries, public
art-galleries, and museums do not lack for the liberal and fostering
care of the government. No city, if we except Chicago and San Francisco,
ever attained to such size and importance in so short a period as has
Melbourne.

The river Yarra-Yarra runs through the town, and is navigable for large
vessels to the main wharves, where it is crossed by a broad and
substantial bridge. Above the bridge the river is handsomely ornamented
with trees upon its borders; here the great boat-races take place, one
of the most popular of all local athletic amusements, and Melbourne is
famous for out-door sports of every form, especially ball-playing.

The activity of the streets is remarkable. English cabs rattle about or
stand in long rows awaiting patrons; four-wheeled vehicles of an awkward
style, also for hire, abound; messenger-boys with yellow leather pouches
strapped over their shoulders hurry hither and thither; high-hung
omnibuses with three horses abreast, like those of Paris and Naples,
dash rapidly along, well filled with passengers; men gallop through the
crowd on horseback, carrying big baskets of provisions on their arms;
dog-carts, driven by smart young fellows with a servant behind them in
gaudy livery, cut in and out among the vehicles; powerful draught-horses
stamp along the way, drawing heavily-laden drays; milk-carts with big
letters on their canvas sides make themselves conspicuous, and so do the
bakers' carts; while light and neat American wagonettes glide rapidly
along among less attractive vehicles. Now and then a Chinaman passes,
with his peculiar shambling gait, with a pole across his shoulders
balancing his baskets of "truck"; women with oranges and bananas for a
penny apiece meet one at every corner, and still the sidewalks are so
broad, and the streets so wide, that no one seems to be in the least
incommoded. The fruit stores present a remarkable array of tempting
fruits, among which are the mandarin and seedless oranges, apricots,
green figs, grapes, passion-fruit, pineapples, bananas, and many others,
all in fine condition. With the exception of the cities of California,
nowhere else can fruit of such choice varieties and so cheap be found as
at Melbourne.

Victoria is one of the youngest of the colonies, and was, until the
discovery of gold fields within her borders,--that is, in 1851,--a
portion of New South Wales; but to-day it is the metropolis of
Australia. It has not the many natural beauties of Sydney, but it has
numerous compensating advantages, and is the real centre of colonial
enterprise upon the continent. The admirable system of street-cars in
Melbourne is worthy of all praise, use being made of the underground
cable and stationary engine as a motor, a mode which is cheap, cleanly,
and popular. Collins Street is the fashionable boulevard of the city,
though Burke Street nearly rivals it in gay promenaders and elegant
shops. But in broad contrast to these bright and cheerful centres, there
are in the northeastern section of the town dirty alleys and by-ways
that one would think must prove hot-beds of disease and pestilence,
especially as Melbourne suffers from want of a good and thorough system
of domestic drainage.

The public library of the city is a large and impressive building,
standing by itself, a hundred feet back from the street, on rising
ground, and would be creditable to any European or American city. It
already contains about a hundred and thirty thousand volumes, and is
being constantly added to by public and private bequests. The interior
arrangements of the library are excellent, affording ample room for
books and all needed accommodation for the public. In these respects it
is superior to both the Boston and Astor libraries. Under the same roof
is a museum containing an extensive collection, especially of geological
specimens, mostly of native product.

Melbourne has its Chinese quarter, like Sydney and San Francisco; it is
situated in Little Burke Street, just back of the Theatre Royal, and
forms a veritable Chinatown, with its idol temples, opium dens, lottery
cellars, cafés, low hovels, and kindred establishments. Here, one
requires an experienced guide to enable him to make his way safely and
understandingly. The peculiar notices posted upon the buildings in
Chinese characters are a puzzle to the uninitiated. The signs over the
shops are especially original and peculiar; they do not denote the name
of the owner, or particularize the business which is carried on within,
but are assumed titles of a flowery character, designed to attract the
fancy of the customers. Thus: Kong, Meng & Co. means "Bright Light
Firm"; Sun Kum Lee & Co. is in English "New Golden Firm"; Kwong Hop
signifies "New Agreement Company"; Hi Cheong, "Peace and Prosperity
Firm"; Kwong Tu Tye, "Flourishing and Peaceful Company"; and so on.

It is, as a rule, the worst type of the Chinese who leave their native
land to make a new home elsewhere, and it is not to be expected that
they will be much improved by intercourse with the Australian
"larrikins," who are composed of the lowest and most criminal orders.
This refuse of humanity is largely made up of the rabble of London and
Liverpool, many of whom have had their passages paid by relatives and
interested persons at home solely to get rid of them, while others have
worked their passage hither to avoid merited punishment for crimes
committed in England.



CHAPTER V.


The province of Victoria is the special gold-field of Australia, and has
produced two-thirds of all the precious metal which statistics credit to
the country at large. One of the localities which has proved to be the
most prolific in gold is Ballarat, now a charming and populous city,
next to Melbourne in importance. It lies nearly a hundred miles north of
the capital, at an elevation of fifteen hundred feet above sea-level,
and is accessible by railway. This is thought to be the centre of the
richest gold-producing district in the world. Beechworth, one hundred
and seventy miles northeast of Melbourne, at an elevation higher than
that of Ballarat, is nearly as populous, and as prolific in the precious
metal. The diggings of Maryborough district, situated a hundred and
fifty miles northwest of Melbourne, are famous, and give occupation to
some eight thousand miners. Castlemaine, seventy-five miles north of the
capital, has proved very profitable in its yield of gold. Nearly forty
square miles of gold-bearing lands are being worked by Europeans and
Chinese in the district of Ararat, a hundred and fifty miles north of
Melbourne. From these several sources of mineral wealth there flows
constantly towards the capital a stream of riches, making it probably
the greatest gold-producing centre on the globe. There are about fifty
thousand people, in all, engaged in gold-mining in the several parts of
Victoria, at least ten thousand of whom are Chinese. Still, reliable
statistics show that in the aggregate, the corn and wool of this
province are alone of more monetary value than is the result from all
the gold produced by her mines.

[Illustration: A KANGAROO HUNT IN AUSTRALIA.]

The kangaroos are found in various parts of Victoria, in their wild
state. They are usually discovered in the thick woods, sitting upright
in circles of a dozen or more, as grave as though engaged in holding a
formal council. On such occasions their short forepaws hang limp before
them, while their restless heads and delicate ears turn hither and
thither in watchful care against surprise. Notwithstanding their huge
paunches, big hindquarters, and immense tails, there is something
graceful and attractive about these creatures. When they are young they
are as playful as kittens. Even when running away from pursuit,--a
process performed by enormous leaps, often covering a rod at a flying
jump,--there is a certain airy grace and harmony of movement attending
their motions. Dogs and horses have more power of endurance than the
kangaroo, and are thus enabled to run it down; but neither horse nor dog
can achieve the same degree of speed for moderate distances. If the
chase occurs in a wood where there are numerous obstacles, like heavy
fallen logs, the kangaroo is safe, since he can jump all such
impediments without diminishing his speed.

To get a view of the big gum-trees, one visits the Fernshaw Mountain
district. We are told of one fallen monarch, which was measured by a
government surveyor, having a length upon the ground of four hundred and
seventy-four feet. The Pyramid of Cheops is hardly as high as was this
tree when it stood erect. The average height of these marvels is from
three hundred to four hundred feet. They are situated in a valley
protected from winds, and are favorably located to promote their
growth, as well as to protect them from sudden gales or tornadoes such
as have prostrated large trees in our Yosemite.

The subject of large trees is one of more than ordinary interest; the
largest one known in the world is situated in Mascoli, near the base of
Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily. It measures one hundred and ninety
feet in circumference. It is a chestnut-tree, and still bears fruit in
abundance. The oldest tree is believed to be a famous cypress still
growing in Oaxaca, Mexico. Humboldt saw it in 1855, when he recorded the
measurement as being one hundred and twenty-six feet in circumference
and three hundred and eighty-two feet between the out-spread branches.
In Nevada, United States, stands what is well known as the "Dead Giant
Redwood Tree," which measures one hundred and nineteen feet in
circumference, and which is believed to have been growing in the days of
Julius Cæsar. Near this mammoth are a dozen other trees, varying in size
from seventy-five to one hundred feet in circumference. The "Grizzly
Giant," monarch of the Mariposa Grove in California, measures ninety-two
feet in circumference. The largest tree in the United States stands near
Bear Creek, California, measuring one hundred and forty feet in
circumference. It is only by comparison with familiar objects that we
can realize these extraordinary dimensions.

[Illustration: EMU HUNTING IN AUSTRALIA.]

We shall be pretty sure to see in the woods of Victoria a most curious
example of bird-life and bird-instinct, in the instance of what is known
as the bower-bird. This peculiar little creature builds a cunning
play-house, a tiny shady bower which it ornaments with vines and highly
colored feathers of other birds, besides the yellow blossoms of the
wattle-tree and many light-green ferns. In this ingeniously contrived
sylvan retreat the feathered architect runs about and holds a sort of
carnival, to which others of his tribe gather. Here the little party
chirp vigorously, and strut about in a most ludicrous manner.

The glamour of gold-seeking has too much weight in inducing emigration
to this region of the South Seas. An industrious and worthy person is
sure to make a good living here, and indeed so one might say he would do
almost anywhere. He may make a fortune in Australia, but he cannot
_pick_ it up,--he must _work_ it up. The gold nuggets which are
occasionally found, never amount to much as regards the benefit of the
finder. It is upon the whole a fortunate day for the respectable
immigrant who has any degree of ability, when he decides to turn his
back upon gold-digging, and adopt some more legitimate business. The
great elements of success are the same in Australia as in California,
Africa, or Massachusetts; namely, steadiness of purpose, application,
and temperance.

Sydney is connected with Melbourne by a railway some six hundred miles
in length; but the pleasantest way to reach it, either from the north or
the south, is by water. We enter the harbor through an opening which is
called Sydney Heads, formed by two frowning cliffs on either side of the
entrance. Having left the Heads behind, we pass Botany Bay, seven miles
below the city, once a penal colony for English convicts, but now a
lovely, rural retreat, which retains nothing of its ill-repute but its
name. The aspect of the famous harbor, with its lake-like expanse, its
many green islands with handsome residences scattered over them, its
graceful promontories, and the abundance of semi-tropical vegetation,
all together form the loveliest picture imaginable. It may well be the
pride of the citizens of Sydney.

Upon landing, we find great irregularity prevailing in the street
architecture. George Street is the main thoroughfare, and is two miles
in length, containing many stores furnished as well as the average of
those in Vienna or Paris. There are fine business edifices, having
massive French plate glass windows which are admirably appointed. The
peculiar conformation of the town makes the side streets precipitous, so
that a large portion of the city is composed of hilly avenues. Like the
old streets of Boston, those of Sydney were the growth of chance, and
were not originally laid out, like those of Melbourne and Adelaide. Our
Washington Street, Boston, was once a cow-path, while the present site
of George Street in Sydney was a meandering bullock-track.

This capital, like the two we have already visited in Australia, has a
superb botanical garden covering some forty acres of land. The grounds
extend on a gradual incline to the shores of the beautiful bay, forming
a semicircle round what is known as Farm Cove, a picturesque indentation
of the harbor, close to Government House. One special charm of these
delightful grounds is the fact that they are accessible by a walk of
about five minutes from the centre of the city. It is not necessary to
make an excursion in order to reach them, as is the case with many
similar resorts, such as Sydenham in London, Central Park, New York, or
the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. Here semi-arctic and semi-tropical plants
and trees are found growing together, and all parts of the world seem to
be liberally represented. The hardy Scotch fir and delicate palm crowd
each other; the india-rubber-tree and the laurel are close friends; the
California pine and the Florida orange thrive side by side; so with the
silvery fern-tree of New Zealand, and the guava of Cuba. China, Japan,
India, Africa, Egypt, and South America have all furnished
representative trees and shrubs for the beautifying of these
comprehensive gardens.

There is here a fine specimen of the Australian musk-tree, which attains
a height of nearly twenty feet, and exhales from leaf and bark a
peculiar sweet odor, though not at all like what its name indicates.
Here we see also the she-oak-tree, which is said to emit a curious
wailing sound during the quietest state of the atmosphere, when there is
not a breath of wind to move the branches or the leaves. This tree is
found growing near the sea in Australia, and is said to have borrowed
the murmur of the conch-shell. It has proved to be the inspiring theme
of many a local poet. The flowers in this garden are as attractive as
the trees; fuchsias, roses, and camellias are in great perfection and
variety, flanked by a species of double pansies and a whole army of
brilliant tulips. Flowers bloom in every month of the year in this
region, out of doors, and are rarely troubled by the frost.

The excellent university of Sydney is admirably situated, and is the
first that was founded in the Southern Hemisphere. The city has also its
art-gallery, and free public library, with over a hundred thousand
volumes. It has also hospitals, churches, and many charitable
institutions, with various schools. Sydney holds high rank as a British
colonial city, and deservedly so, having special reason for pride in the
complete system of her charitable and educational organizations, her
noble public buildings, and the general character of her leading
citizens. Land in the city and immediate suburbs is held at prices
averaging as high as in Boston and New York, and the wealth of the
people is represented to be very great in the aggregate.

Australia in its extreme breadth, between Shark's Bay on the west and
Sandy Cape on the eastern shore, measures twenty-four hundred miles; and
from north to south,--that is, from Cape York to Cape Atway,--it is
probably over seventeen, hundred miles in extent. The occupied and
improved portions of the country skirt the seacoast on the southern and
eastern sides, which are covered with cities, towns, villages, and
hamlets. The country occupied for sheep-runs and cattle-ranches is very
sparsely inhabited. The reason for this is obvious, since the owner of a
hundred thousand sheep requires between two and three hundred thousand
acres to feed them properly. The relative proportion as to sheep and
land is to allow two and a third acres to each animal.

The great dividing mountain-chain of Australia is near the coast-line in
the south and east, averaging perhaps a hundred miles or more from the
sea. Nearly all the gold which the land has produced has come from the
valleys and hillsides of this range. The gold-diggings of New South
Wales have proved to be very rich in some sections; but unlike those of
Queensland and Victoria, the precious metal is here found mostly in
alluvial deposits.

Many nationalities are represented in Australia and New Zealand, but the
majority are English, Scotch, and Irish. The officials of New South
Wales especially, look to England for favors which a political
separation would cut them off from; among these are honorary titles and
crown appointments of a paying nature. The constitution under which the
colonies are living is such as to entitle them to be called
democracies. In many respects the local government is more liberal and
advanced than in England. Church and State, for instance, are here kept
quite distinct from each other. As to the legislative power of the
colonies, it is seldom interfered with by the home government.

A journey of about five hundred miles northward, either along the coast
by steamer, or by railway inland, will take us to Brisbane, the capital
of Queensland, which has a population of about fifty thousand. Until
1860 it was an appendage of New South Wales, but was in that year formed
into an independent colony. The site of the city is a diversified
surface, with the river whose name it bears winding gracefully through
it, about twenty-four miles from its mouth; though in a direct line it
would be but half that distance to where it empties into Moreton Bay,
one of the largest on the coast of Australia. It was discovered by
Captain Cook in 1770, and is formed by two long sandy islands running
north and south, named respectively Standbroke and Moreton Islands,
enclosing between them and the mainland a spacious sheet of water more
than thirty miles long and six or eight wide, beautified by fertile
islands.

On approaching Brisbane by sea one is puzzled at first to find where the
mouth of the river can be, so completely is it hidden by the mangrove
swamps which skirt the coast. A pleasant little watering-place is
situated close at hand, named Sandgate, which is connected by hourly
stages with the city. Several small rivers, all of which, however, are
more or less navigable, empty into Moreton Bay, showing that the
district inland hereabouts must be well watered. It is less than fifty
years since Brisbane was opened to free settlers, having been
previously only a penal station for English criminals; but of this taint
resting upon the locality, the same may be said as of Sydney, or Hobart,
in Tasmania,--scarcely a trace remains.

Queen Street is the principal thoroughfare, and is lined with handsome
stores and fine edifices, there being no lack of architectural
excellence in either public or private buildings. Like its sister
cities, it has a botanical garden, the climate here favoring even a more
extensive out-door display of tropical and delicate vegetation than at
Melbourne or Sydney. An intelligent spirit of enterprise is evinced by
the citizens of Brisbane, and everything goes to show that it is
destined to become a populous and prosperous business centre. Its
climate, especially, is considered almost perfect. Queensland is very
rich in gold-producing mines, but it has also almost endless rolling
plains covered with herbage suitable for the support of great herds and
flocks, where some fourteen millions of sheep are now yielding meat and
wool for export, and where some three millions of cattle are herded. The
real greatness of the country is to be found in its agricultural
capacity, which is yet to be developed. A very pleasant trip may be
enjoyed up the Brisbane River and Bremer Creek, on which latter stream
Ipswich is situated. It is twice as far by water as by land, but the
sail is delightful, often affording charming views of the city from the
river, while at the same time passing suburban residences, flourishing
farms, banana-groves, cotton-fields, sugar-plantations, and
orange-orchards.

Queensland is more than five times as large as the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, and it possesses an immense amount of
undeveloped resources of the most promising character. The sun shines
here with much more tropical ardor than in New South Wales or Victoria.
The palm takes the place of the eucalyptus to a certain extent. The
tulip-tree, rosewood, sandalwood, and satin-wood, which are not observed
further south, greet us here. The aborigines are oftener met than
elsewhere, as they prefer to live in a more temperate climate than is
found southward, and to be where they can have the country more to
themselves. They probably do not number over thirty thousand in all, and
are slowly but surely decreasing before the advance of the whites. Even
when first discovered they were but a handful of people, so to speak,
scattered over an immense territory. They have still no distinct notion
of the building of houses in which to live, or at least they adopt none,
though they have the example of the whites constantly before them. They
are very ugly, having black skins, flat noses, wide nostrils, and
deep-sunken eyes wide apart. A bark covering, much ruder than anything
which would content an American Indian, forms their only shelter, and
they often burrow contentedly under the lee of an overhanging rock or
hillside.

The Australian blacks have plenty of legends of the most barbaric
character, but by no means void of poetical features. They believe that
the earth was created by a being of supreme attributes, whom they call
Nourelle, and who lives in the sky. They entertain the idea that because
the sun gives heat it needs fuel, and that when it descends below the
horizon it procures a fresh supply for its fires. The stars are supposed
to be the dwellings of departed chiefs. The serpent is believed to
contain the spirit of a real devil. To eat the kidney of an enemy, it is
thought by them, imparts to the one who swallows it the strength of the
dead man. Any number above five, these blacks express by saying, "it is
as the leaves," not to be counted. The white man's locomotive is an
imprisoned fire-devil, kept under control by water. The lightning is the
angry expression of some enraged god.

The most peculiar weapon possessed by these aborigines is one which
originated with them, and is known as the boomerang,--of which every one
has heard, but which few have seen. It is a weapon whose characteristics
have caused its name to pass into a synonym for anything which turns
upon the person who uses it. It seems at first sight to be only a flat,
crooked, or curved piece of polished wood, about twenty-eight inches
long and three-quarters of an inch in thickness. There is nothing
remarkable about this weapon until we see a native throw one. In doing
this he carefully poises himself, makes a nice calculation as to
distance, raises his arm above his head, and brings it down with a sort
of swoop, swiftly launching the curved wood from his hand. At first the
boomerang skims along near the ground, then rises four or five feet, but
only to sink again, and again to rise. As we carefully watch its course,
and suppose it just about to stop in its erratic career, and drop,
spent, to the ground, it suddenly ceases its forward flight, and rapidly
returns to the thrower. It is thought that no white man can exactly
learn the trick of throwing this strange weapon, and certainly few ever
care to attempt it a second time.

Ethnologists tell us that these blacks belong to the Ethiopian
race,--they are the lowest probably of all the human family. The
conviction forces itself upon us that they must be the remnant of some
ancient people of whom we have no historic record. When Australia was
first taken possession of by the whites, it seems to have been, if the
term is in any instance admissible, a God-forsaken land; certainly it
was the most destitute of natural productions of any portion of the
globe. We can well believe that before these blacks came
hither,--perhaps a thousand years ago,--this land was untrodden by human
beings.

No species of grain was known to these natives; not a single fruit
worthy of notice grew wild, and not an edible root of value was
produced. The only game of any size was the kangaroo and a few species
of birds. Now, the trees, fruits, vegetables, and game of all regions
have become domesticated here, proving to be highly productive, whether
transplanted from tropical or from semi-tropical regions.

Queensland measures thirteen hundred miles from north to south, and is
about eight hundred miles in width, containing a population at the
present time of three hundred and forty thousand. The climate may be
compared to that of Madeira, and it is entirely free from the hot winds
which sometimes render Sydney and Melbourne so uncomfortable. Leaving
out West Australia, which is yet so little developed, the country may be
divided thus: Queensland is the best and most extensive grazing section;
in this respect New South Wales comes next. South Australia is
characterized by its prolific grain-fields, and Victoria is richest in
auriferous deposits; but there is gold enough in all of these colonies
to afford constant stimulus to mining enterprise, fresh discoveries in
this line being made every month. It is proposed to separate the north
of Queensland from the south, at the twenty-second parallel of latitude,
and to form the northern portion into a separate colony. As Queensland
is larger than England, France, and Belgium with Holland and Denmark
combined, there can be no want of territory for such a political
division: population, however, is needed.

We will now turn our steps southward, by the way of Sydney and
Melbourne, to Tasmania. At the last-named city we take a coasting
steamer passing down the river Yarra-Yarra, the muddiest of water-ways,
until Bass's Strait is reached, across which the course is due-south for
a hundred and twenty miles. This is a reach of ocean travel which for
boisterousness and discomfort can be said to rival the English Channel,
between Calais and Dover. As the coast of Tasmania is approached, a tall
lighthouse, one hundred and forty feet above sea-level, first attracts
the attention, designating the mouth of the Tamar River. While crossing
the Strait we are surrounded by a great variety of sea-birds, among
which are the cape-pigeon, the stormy petrel, and the gannet, which last
is the largest of ocean birds next to the albatross.

On drawing still nearer to the shore, flocks of pelicans are observed
upon the rocks, and that most awkward of birds, the penguin, is seen in
idle groups. He is a good swimmer, but his apologetic wings are not
intended for flying.

We pass up the Tamar River, through a narrow, winding channel for a
distance of forty miles before coming to the harbor and town of
Launceston. The many tall, smoking chimney-shafts which meet the eye
indicate that the town is busy smelting ores, dug from the neighboring
mineral hills and valleys. It is a pleasant and thrifty little city,
somewhat liable to earthquakes and their attendant inconveniencies. The
place has a population of ten or twelve thousand, and is named after a
town in Cornwall, England. We have left Australia proper far behind us,
but the Bass Strait which separates that land from Tasmania is evidently
of modern formation. The similarity of the vegetation, minerals, animal,
and vegetable life of the two countries shows that this island must, at
some time in the long-past ages, have been connected with the mainland.
And yet the aborigines of Tasmania were a race quite distinct from those
of Australia, so different, indeed, as only to resemble them in color.
They were a well-formed, athletic people, with brilliant eyes, curly
hair, flat noses, and elaborately tattooed bodies. This ingenious and
barbaric ornamentation, practised by isolated savage races, seems to
have been universal among the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands, though
the great distances which separate them, as well as the lack of all
ordinary means of intercommunication, would lead to the belief that they
could not have borrowed the idea from one another. So late as 1828 there
were a few of the Tasmanian aborigines still alive, but to-day there is
not a representative of the race in existence.

When the country cast off the disgrace of being a penal colony, the name
it bore was very judiciously changed from Van Dieman's Land to that of
Tasmania, in honor of its first discoverer, Abel Janssen Tasman, the
famous Dutch navigator of the seventeenth century. We should perhaps
qualify the words "first discoverer." Tasman was the first accredited
discoverer, but he was less entitled to impart his name to this
beautiful island than were others. Captain Cook, with characteristic
zeal and sagacity, explored, surveyed, and described it, whereas Tasman
scarcely more than sighted it. However, any name was preferable to that
of Van Dieman's Land, which had become the synonyme for a penal
station, and with which is associated the memory of some of the most
outrageous and murderous acts of cruelty for which a civilized
government was ever responsible.

The whole island has now a population of about one hundred and thirty
thousand, and a total area of over twenty-four thousand square miles. It
is not quite so large as Ireland. Lying nearer to the Antarctic Circle
it is of course cooler than the continent, but the influence of the sea,
which completely surrounds it, renders the climate more equable. The
general aspect of the country is that of being occupied by thrifty
farmers of advanced ideas, such as carry on their calling
understandingly, and more like well-populated America than
sparsely-inhabited Australia. Our native fruits--apples, peaches, pears,
and the like--thrive here in such abundance, as to form a prominent item
in the exports, besides promoting a large and profitable industry in the
packing of preserved fruits, which are in universal use in Australia and
New Zealand. These canned fruits have an excellent and well-deserved
reputation. Here, also, we find enormous trees, with a circumference of
eighty feet near the ground, and a height of three hundred and fifty
feet. Fern-trees, with their graceful palm-like formation, are
frequently seen thirty feet in height. The country is well-wooded
generally, and traversed by pleasant watercourses; it is singularly
fertile, and rich in good harbors, especially upon the east coast. In
short, its hills, forests, and plains afford a pleasing variety of
scenery, while its rich pastures invite the stock-breeder to reap a
goodly harvest in the easiest manner.

Launceston is situated at the head of navigation, on the Tamar, where
the town nestles in the lap of a valley surrounded by high elevations.
It is regularly laid out in broad streets, lighted by gas, and has a
good water-supply brought from St. Patrick's River, fifteen miles east
of the city. There are numerous substantial stone buildings, and
everything bears a business-like aspect. There is a public library, and
several free schools of each grade. The North and South Elk Rivers rise
on different sides of Ben Lomond, and after flowing through some
romantic plains and gorges, they join each other at Launceston. The
sky-reaching mountain just named is worthy of its Scotch counterpart;
between it and Launceston is some of the finest river and mountain
scenery in all Tasmania. Ben Lomond is the chief object in the
landscape, wherever one drives or walks in this part of the island.
Tasmania possesses vast mineral wealth. The richest and most profitable
tin mine in the world is that of Mount Bischoff, situated about a
hundred and fifty miles from Launceston. The Beaconsfield gold mine is
only thirty miles from the city, besides several others not much further
away, which are rich in their yield of the precious metal.

The journey from here to Hobart, a distance of one hundred and twenty
miles, takes us through the length of the island in a southeasterly
direction. We pass through lovely glades, over broad plains, across
rushing streams, and around the base of abrupt mountains. Hobart was so
named in 1804, in honor of Lord Hobart, who was then Secretary of State
for the Colonies. It is surrounded by hills and mountains except where
the river Derwent opens into lake form, making a deep, well-sheltered
harbor, whence it leads the way into the Southern Ocean. Among the lofty
hills in this vicinity Mount Wellington towers forty-two hundred feet
above the others, so close to the city as to appear to be within rifle
range. The shape of the town is square, and it is built upon a
succession of hills, very much like Sydney. It has broad streets
intersecting each other at right angles, lined with handsome,
well-stocked stores and dwelling-houses, serving an active and
enterprising population of thirty thousand and more. Of these shops, two
or three spacious and elegant bookstores deserve special mention, being
such as would be creditable to any American city. It must undoubtedly be
a cultured community which affords support to such establishments.

Yet we cannot forget that Hobart has scarcely outlived the curse of the
penal association which encompassed its birth. Between thirty and forty
years ago, the British government expended here five thousand dollars a
day in support of jails and military barracks. The last convict ship
from England discharged her cargo at Hobart in 1851, since which year
the system has gradually disappeared. The city is supplied with all the
necessary charitable and educational institutions, including a public
library and art gallery. The street scenes have the usual local color,
embracing the typical miner, with his rude kit upon his shoulder,
consisting of a huge canvas bag, a shovel, and pick. The professional
chimney-sweep, with blackened face and hands begrimed,--he whom we lost
sight of in Boston years ago,--is here seen pursuing his antiquated
vocation. Market-men have the same peculiar mode of delivering purchases
to their customers that we have noticed elsewhere in this country, and
are seen galloping about upon wiry little horses, bearing upon their
arms large well-filled baskets. Women, with small handcarts full of
slaughtered rabbits, cry them for sale at twelve cents a pair, besides
which they receive a bounty for killing these pests.

The river Derwent, which rises far inland where the beautiful lakes St.
Clair and Sorell are embosomed, broadens into a lake six miles wide
where it forms the harbor of Hobart, and is famous for the regattas that
are rowed upon its surface. Here, the largest craft that navigates these
seas can lie close to the wharf and the warehouses. A visit to the Lake
District of Tasmania affords many delightful views, where those inland
waters just referred to lie in their lonely beauty, now overhung by
towering cliffs, like those bordering a Norwegian arm of the sea, and
now edged by pebbly beaches where choice agates and carnelians abound.

The charming cloud-effects which hang over and about the lofty hills
which environ the capital of Tasmania, recall vividly those of the Lake
of Geneva, near Chillon, while the Derwent itself, reflecting the hills
upon its blue and placid surface, forms another pleasing resemblance to
Lake Leman. In ascending Mount Wellington, the lion of Tasmanian
scenery, when we find ourselves at an elevation of about two thousand
feet, it is discovered that we have reached the Old World ocean-floor.
Here, there are plenty of remains of the former denizens of the
ocean,--fossils, telling the strange and interesting story of
terrestrial changes that have taken place in the thousands upon
thousands of years that are passed.

About twenty miles from Hobart we find a forest of the remarkable
gum-trees of which we have all read,--trees which exceed in height and
circumference the mammoth growths of our own Yosemite Valley, and fully
equal those of Victoria. The immediate locality which contains them is
known as the Huon District. A walk among these forest giants fills one
with wonder and delight; their lofty tops seem almost lost in the sky to
which they aspire. No church steeple, no cathedral pinnacle reared by
the hand of man, but only mountain peaks reach so far skyward.

Tasmania is largely occupied for sheep-runs and wool-raising. The
eastern side of the island is studded with lovely homesteads carefully
fenced, the grounds about the residences being covered with fruit trees
and flower plats. There does not appear to be any waste land, all is
carefully improved in the peopled districts. The roads are often lined
with thrifty hedges, symmetrically trimmed, frequently consisting of the
brilliant, constant flowering, fragrant yellow gorse, and sometimes of
the stocky species of scarlet geranium. This sort is not fragrant but
becomes very thick by being cut partly down annually, until it makes an
almost impenetrable hedge. Prosperity and good taste are everywhere
noticeable, amid a succession of landscapes like those of the populous
New England States.

[Illustration: SCENE ON THE SOUTH ESK RIVER, TASMANIA.]



CHAPTER VI.


We embark at Hobart by steamship, for Southern New Zealand. After
following the course of the river Derwent for a distance of twelve
miles, its mouth is reached, where the ship's course is a little south
of east, the dull green of the waters on soundings rapidly changing to
the navy blue of the ocean. The prevailing winds here are from the west,
which with the Australian current and the Antarctic drift, are in our
favor, so the ship speeds cheerily on her way.

The tedium of the voyage is beguiled by watching the graceful movements
of the wandering albatross, the fateful bird of nautical romance, which
is sure to be seen in considerable numbers below the thirtieth parallel
of south latitude. The peculiarities of this sea-bird's flight are a
constant marvel, for it scarcely ever plies its wings, but literally
sails upon the wind in any desired course. We wonder what secret power
can so propel him for hundreds of rods with an upward trend at the
close. If for a single moment he lights upon the water to seize some
object of food, there is a trifling exertion evinced in rising again,
until he is a few feet above the waves, when once more he sails with or
against the wind, upon outspread, immovable wings. With no apparent
inclination or occasion for pugnacity, the albatross is yet armed with a
tremendous beak, certainly the most terrible of its kind possessed by
any of the feathered tribe. It is from six to eight inches long, and
ends in a sharp-pointed hook extremely strong and hard. It has been
humorously said that if he pleased, the albatross might breakfast at the
Cape of Good Hope and dine in New York, so wonderfully swift is he in
flight and so powerful on the wing.

At night the phosphorescence of these lonely waters lying just north of
the Antarctic Circle, between Tasmania and New Zealand, is indeed
marvellous. Liquid fire is the only term which will properly express
their flame-like appearance. If a bucketful is drawn and deposited upon
deck, while it remains still it appears dark and like any other water,
but when agitated it emits scintillations of light like the stars. A
drop of this water placed under a microscope is found to be teeming with
living and active creatures. If we suspend a muslin bag for a few
moments over the ship's side, with the mouth open, then draw it up and
permit it to drain for a few seconds, placing what remains in a glass
tumbler, we shall find the abundance of living forms which it contains
quite visible to the naked eye. No two of these minute creatures seem to
be of similar form; the variety is infinite, and their activity
incessant. Most of these animalcules, however, are so small that if it
were not for the microscope we should never know of their existence.

The voyage from Hobart to the Bluff, South New Zealand, usually consumes
four days, and it is often a very rough passage. Sailing-vessels making
this trip carry a quantity of crude oil, which in extreme cases they
employ to still the boisterous sea about them, when "God maketh the deep
to boil like a pot." It should be known that our own Benjamin Franklin
first suggested, about a century ago, the carrying of oil by vessels for
this purpose. This shrewd American philosopher was also the first to
suggest, about the same time, that ship-builders should construct the
hulls of vessels in water-tight compartments, thus affording sufficient
sustaining power to float them when by accident portions of the hull
became leaky or broken into. After the lapse of a century both of these
precautions have been adopted, and are much used.

As we sight the land, the southwest coast of New Zealand is found to be
indented with deep fjords [Pronounced _feords_.] almost precisely like
the coast of Norway from Bergen to Hammerfest; and, singular to say,
these arms of the sea, like those of the far north, are much deeper than
the neighboring ocean. The Bluff, also known as Campbelltown, is
situated in the very track of storms, being open to the entire sweep of
the Antarctic Ocean. Its shelving side, sloping towards the harbor,
forms a sort of lee, or sheltered position, which is occupied by a
pretty little fishing-village of some sixty houses, and contains a
population of less than a thousand. These people gain their living
mostly from the neighboring sea, and from such labor as is consequent
upon the occasional arrival of a steamship bound northward. We may here
take refreshment at the Golden Age Inn, which is the most southerly
house of public entertainment on the globe.

New Zealand did not become a recognized British colony until the year
1840. For three-quarters of a century after Cook's first visit, the
native tribes remained in free possession of the country. It is true
that England was mistress of these islands by right of discovery, but
she made no formal assumption of political domain until the period
already named, when it was formed into a colony subordinate to the
government of New South Wales. As early as 1815, white men of venturous
disposition began to settle in small numbers among the natives; but
often their fate was to be roasted and eaten by cannibals. Before 1820,
missionaries, no doubt influenced by truly Christian motives, came
hither and devoted their lives to this people,--in more senses than one,
as it is well known that they not infrequently met with a fate similar
to that of other settlers.

New Zealand lies as far south of the equator as Italy does north of it,
and is divided into the North and South Islands by Cook's Strait. The
South Island is also known as the Middle Island, to distinguish it more
fully from Stewart Island, which belongs to the group, and which lies to
the south of it. This last-named island is separated from Middle Island
by Foveaux Strait some fifteen or twenty miles across the water from the
Bluff. It is about fifty miles long by thirty broad, and has a mountain
range running through it, the loftiest peak of which is a trifle over
three thousand feet high. There are some fishing hamlets here, but there
are very few inhabitants. All these islands are popularly believed to
have once formed part of a great continent, which is now sunk in the
sea.

Unlike Australia, New Zealand is rarely visited by drought. The whole
eastern coast abounds in good harbors, while the rivers and streams are
ever flowing and innumerable. Though it is a mountainous country, it
differs from Switzerland in that it has no lack of extensive plains,
which seem to have been left by nature ready to the hand of the farmer,
requiring scarcely ordinary cultivation to insure large and profitable
crops of grains. This diversity of surface, as well as the fact that
these islands extend over thirteen degrees of latitude, give the country
a varied climate, but it is a remarkably temperate one, its salubrity
far surpassing that of England or any part of the United States. While
snow is never seen in the North Island except upon the highest
mountains, the plains of the South Island, as far south as Otago, are
sometimes sprinkled with it, but only to disappear almost immediately.
The rivers are generally destitute of fish, and the forests of game. It
is no sportsman's country; but vegetation runs riot, the soil being
remarkably fertile, clothing the wild lands with perpetual verdure and
vigorous freshness.

The area of the islands known as New Zealand is about one hundred
thousand square miles, being a few more than are contained in England,
Wales, and Ireland combined. The entire coast line is four thousand
miles in length. Out of the seventy million acres of land, forty million
are deemed worthy of cultivation. The soil being light and easily worked
favors the agriculturist, and New Zealand is free from all noxious
animals and venomous reptiles. It is stated that no animal larger than a
rat was found here by the discoverers. The remote situation of the
country, surrounded by the greatest extent of ocean on the globe, has
kept it in a measure unknown to the rest of the world, even in these
days of rapid communication with all parts of the earth. Wellington, the
capital, is about fifteen thousand miles more or less, from the Colonial
Office in London; in other words, New Zealand forms the nearest land to
the actual antipodes of England. The precious metals are distributed
over the land in gold-bearing quartz reefs, rich alluvial diggings, and
in the sands of its many rivers. Mines of tin and iron as well as other
minerals are supplemented by an abundant supply of the most important of
them all; namely, coal.

There is little of interest to detain us at the Bluff, so we continue
on by steamer to Dunedin, the metropolis of Otago district, and indeed,
the principal city of New Zealand, if we make the number and wealth of
its population the criterion of comparison. The cities of both Australia
and New Zealand, but especially those of the latter country, have a
habit of locating themselves among and upon a collection of hills, up
the sides of which the houses creep in a very picturesque manner.
Dunedin is no exception to this rule, rising rather abruptly from the
plain, which is the location of the wharves and business houses, to the
summit of the surrounding hills. A portion of the plain near the shore,
upon which broad streets and substantial blocks of buildings now stand,
consists of made land, redeemed at great expense from the shallow water
front of the town.

The first settlement here was made so late as 1848, by a colony nearly
every member of which came from Scotland, and from this source the city
has continued ever since to draw large numbers annually. The Scottish
brogue salutes the ear everywhere; the Scottish physiognomy is always
prominent to the eye; and indeed, there are several prevailing
indications which cause one to half believe himself in Aberdeen,
Glasgow, or Edinburgh. This is by no means unpleasant. There is a solid,
reliable appearance to everything. People are rosy-cheeked, hearty, and
good to look at. The wand of the enchanter, to speak figuratively,
touched the place in 1861, from which date it took a fresh start upon
the road of prosperity. It was caused by gold being discovered in large
quantities near at hand, and from that date the city of Dunedin has
grown in population and wealth with marvellous rapidity. Large
substantial stone edifices have sprung up on all the main thoroughfares
devoted to business purposes, banks, public offices, churches, schools,
storehouses, etc., giving an unmistakable aspect of prosperity. The
street-cars are mostly operated on the cable principle. Horses could not
draw heavily-laden cars up some of the steep streets. The sensation when
being conveyed on one of these cars up or down a steep grade of the
city, is the same as when ascending or descending some Swiss mountains,
by means of the same unseen power. The car is promptly stopped anywhere,
to land or to take on a passenger, no matter how steep the grade, by the
simple movement of a lever, and is easily started again. The powerful
stationary engine situated a mile away, by means of the chain beneath
the road-bed quietly winds the car up the declivity however heavily it
may be laden, without the least slacking of speed.

The singularly formed hills about Dunedin are not mere barren
rocks,--they have their suggestiveness, speaking of volcanic eruptions,
of wild upheavals, dating back for thousands of years. Scientists tell
us that these islands are of the earliest rock formations. The ground
upon which this city stands, like that of Auckland further north, is
composed of the fiery outflow of volcanic matter.

Dunedin has all the usual educational and philanthropic institutions
which a community of fifty thousand intelligent people demand in our
day. It is especially well supplied with primary and other schools.
Throughout New Zealand there are over eight hundred registered public
schools of the various grades. It is a source of gratification to
realize that educational interests are nowhere neglected in these
far-away colonies, where the eager pursuit of gold has been so prominent
an element in inducing immigration. New Zealand is nearly as rich in
gold deposits as is Australia, and the precious metal is obtained under
nearly the same conditions. Much gold has been found here in what are
called pockets, under boulders and large stones which lie on the sandy
beach of the west coast. This is popularly believed to have been washed
up from the sea in heavy weather, but undoubtedly it was first washed
down from the mountains and deposited along the shore. Official returns
show that New Zealand has produced over two hundred and fifty million
dollars in gold since its discovery in these islands.

When Captain Cook first landed here, he fully understood the cannibal
habits of the native race, and sought for some practical means of
discouraging and abolishing such inhuman practices. Upon his second
visit, therefore, he introduced swine and some other domestic animals,
such as goats and horned cattle, in the vain hope that they would
ultimately supply sufficient animal food for the savages, and divert
them from such wholesale roasting and eating of each other. The goats
and some other animals were soon slaughtered and consumed, but the swine
to a certain extent answered the purpose for which he designed them;
that is to say, they ran wild, multiplied remarkably, and were hunted
and eaten by the natives; but cannibalism was by no means abolished, or
even appreciably checked. Wild hogs, which have sprung from the original
animals introduced so many years ago, are still quite abundant in the
North Island.

About two hundred miles northward from Dunedin is the city of
Christchurch, settled first in 1850, and the chief seat of the Church of
England in New Zealand, having a noble cathedral. Littleton is the port
of Christchurch, situated eight miles below the city, and connected
with it by both river and railway. This metropolis contains about
thirty-five thousand people. In its museum there is a most interesting
and perfect skeleton of that great bird, the Moa,--indigenous in this
country and believed to have been extinct about two thousand years,
probably disappearing before any human beings came to these islands. The
Maori Indians (pronounced _Mow´re_), the native race of New Zealand, can
be traced back but six or seven hundred years, and only very imperfectly
during that period. They are believed to have come from the islands
lying in the North Pacific, presumably from the Sandwich or Hawaiian
group. Even the traditions of these natives fail to give us any account
of this gigantic bird while it was living, but its bones are found in
various sections of the country, principally in caves. What is left of
the Moa to-day is quite sufficient to form the greatest ornithological
wonder in the world. The head of this reconstructed skeleton in the
museum of Christchurch stands sixteen feet from the ground, and its
various proportions are all of a character to harmonize with its
remarkable height. This skeleton shows the marvellous bird to have been,
when standing upright, five feet taller than the average full-grown
giraffe. It belonged to the giants who dwelt upon the earth perhaps
twenty thousand years ago, in the period of the mammoth and the dodo.

A couple of hundred miles further north will bring us to Wellington, the
national capital. After a narrow entrance is passed, the harbor opens
into a magnificent sheet of water, in which the largest ships may ride
in safety and discharge their cargoes at wharves built close to the busy
centre of the town. Here, as in Dunedin, a portion of land has been
reclaimed from the sea for business purposes. The city has its asylums,
a college, hospital, botanical garden, Roman Catholic cathedral, and a
colonial museum,--the latter being of more than ordinary interest in the
excellence and completeness of its several departments. A structure
which is exhibited here and called the Maori House, built by the natives
as a specimen of their domestic architecture, is particularly
interesting, being also full of aboriginal curiosities, such as domestic
utensils, weapons, and carvings. The house is of ordinary village size,
and is ornamented on many of its posts by carved figures, representing
native heroes and gods. The province of Wellington stretches northward a
hundred and fifty miles and contains seven million acres of land,
diversified by two mountain ranges. The population of the capital is a
little over twenty thousand. The town impresses one as being a community
of shops, and it is a subject of surprise how they can all obtain a
living.

A considerable number of natives, mostly in European costume, are seen
in the streets of Wellington, loitering about the corners and gazing
curiously into shop windows, the girls and women having heavy shocks of
unkempt hair shading their great black eyes, high cheek-bones, and
disfigured mouths and chins, which last are tattooed in blue dye of some
sort. The males tattoo the whole face elaborately, but the women
disfigure themselves thus only about the mouth and chin. It is most
amusing to see them meet one another and rub noses, which is the Maori
mode of salutation. This race has some very peculiar habits: they never
eat salt; they have no fixed industry, and no idea of time or its
divisions into hours and months; they are, like our North American
Indians, constitutionally lazy, are intensely selfish, and seem to care
nothing for their dead; they have a quick sense of insult, but cannot as
a rule be called pugnacious; they excite themselves to fight by
indulging in strange war-dances and by singing songs full of
braggadocio; and, after having been thus wrought up to a state of
frenzy, they are perfectly reckless as to personal hazard. The Maori is
not, however, a treacherous enemy; he gives honorable notice of his
hostile intent, warring only in an open manner, thus exhibiting a degree
of chivalry unknown to our American Indians. Money with the Maori is
considered only as representing so much rum and tobacco. Alcohol is his
criterion of value; bread and meat are quite secondary.

The name "Maori" is that which these aborigines gave themselves. If
there were any human beings upon these islands when the Maoris first
arrived, they doubtless fell a prey to the cannibalistic habits of the
newcomers, whose insatiable appetite for human flesh was irrepressible.
When discovered by Cook, they were the lowest of savage races; they knew
scarcely anything of the mechanic arts, their skill being limited to the
scooping out of a boat from the trunk of a tree, and the fabrication of
fishing-nets from the coarse fibre of the wild flax. They also made
spears, shields, and clubs. They had no beasts of burden, and so their
women were made to supply the place. Their agriculture was confined to
the raising of sweet potatoes and the taro root, while their more
substantial food consisted of fish, rats, wild fowl, and human flesh.
Captain Cook estimated, when he first visited them, that the Maoris had
passed the period of their best days. He thought that in the century
previous to his coming hither they had eaten about one-fourth of their
number. The race is now estimated at only thirty-six or thirty-eight
thousand, though it is certain that it embraced a hundred thousand about
a century ago. The decrease in ten years is apparent to observant
persons, a fact not clearly accounted for by any excess of living on
their part, though their daily habits are not very commendable,
especially as to drink. They are all most inveterate smokers,--men,
women, and children; you can give a Maori maiden nothing more acceptable
to her taste and appreciation than a pipe and a plug of smoking-tobacco.
As a people, they have manifestly filled the purpose for which
Providence placed them upon these islands of the South Sea; and now,
like the Moa, they must pass off the scene and give way to another race.
So it seems to be with the Red Man of America, and so it was with the
now totally extinct natives of Tasmania.

When this capital of Wellington was first settled, the newcomers could
build their houses only of wood, the frequency of earthquakes warning
them against raising edifices of heavy material or making their
dwellings over one or two stories in height. But earthquakes, though now
occasionally experienced, are by no means so frequent as formerly.
Tremulousness of the earth and rumblings as of distant thunder are heard
now and again, in the hills that stretch inland towards the mountains,
which is quite sufficient to keep the fact in mind that this is a
volcanic region. Earthquake shocks are frequent all over the islands,
and it is believed that New Zealand was rent midway, where Cook's Strait
divides the North from the South Island, by volcanic explosion. There is
known to be an extinct volcano at the bottom of the strait, in front of
the entrance to the harbor of Wellington, over which the water is never
absolutely calm and where it sometimes boils like a caldron.



CHAPTER VII.


Auckland, the northern metropolis of New Zealand, was formerly the
capital of the country until Wellington was selected for the
headquarters of the government, as being the more central and accessible
from the several islands. So beautiful and picturesque are the bay and
harbor that one is not surprised to hear its citizens call it the Naples
of New Zealand. Before the European settlers came here this was the
locality where the most savage wars were carried on by the natives, and
where the most warlike tribes lived in fortified villages. Though the
country has virtually no ancient history that is known to us, it has a
recognized past extending back for some centuries. When the missionaries
first came here about the year 1814, the main subsistence of the natives
who lived around what is now Auckland harbor, was human flesh. The first
white immigrants, as well as the seamen of chance vessels driven upon
the coast, were invariably killed and eaten by the Maoris. Not only did
cannibalism prevail here, but it was common in Brazil, in the West
Indies, in the other Pacific Islands, along the coast of North America,
and among the Indians of Chili, who ate the early navigators who landed
upon their shores.

The isthmus upon which the city of Auckland is built is undoubtedly one
of the most remarkable volcanic districts in the world, though the
agency of subterranean fires is visible enough to the traveller all over
the country. Mount Tongariro, six thousand feet high, is even now in
activity, with occasional fiery outbursts. The earthquakes which occur
in both the North and the South Islands, cause alternate depressions and
elevations. That of 1855 raised the coast line four feet for many miles
in length. As in the peninsula of Scandinavia, we here find a grand
longitudinal mountain range from the extreme of the South Island through
the Auckland district to the far north, forming, as it were, a backbone
to the country.

Mount Eden is the nearest elevation to the city, and is seven or eight
hundred feet in height. On this hill there are abundant evidences still
left of the native fortifications, but of the large Maori population
that once covered the peninsula and lived in these _pahs_, or fortified
villages, not a soul remains. The harbor is one of the best in
Australasia, having ample depth and good wharf facilities, besides being
quite sheltered. Its shorter distance from the ports of America gives it
an advantage over all others in this region. It is reached from London,
across the American continent, in thirty-seven days, while to reach
Sydney requires four days more of steam navigation across a boisterous
sea.

Auckland occupies a series of hills divided by valleys trending in the
direction of the sea or harbor. The slopes and hill-tops are dotted by
villas, each of which is surrounded by flowers and ornamental trees. The
business part of the town is not particularly attractive, though Queen
Street, the principal thoroughfare, contains some fine stores and brick
edifices, as well as public buildings of stone. Both the level and the
hilly streets are traversed by street railways, upon which horse-power
only is used. The population, including the immediate environs, is
about sixty-five thousand. The educational interests of the city are
well provided for by primary schools, as well as by means for secondary
education in a college for boys, and a high school for girls, both taxed
to their full capacity.

The Ponsonby suburb and the village of Whou are composed of pleasant
residences tastefully ornamented. Parnell forms another suburb, rendered
attractive by hedgerows, drooping willows, and prettily arranged
gardens. From this point one gets a fine view of the outspread bay lying
below, full of various busy maritime craft. Steam ferry-boats are
constantly gliding across the harbor, little white-winged cutters bend
gracefully to the breeze, the tall masts of sailing-vessels line the
piers, and tiny row-boats glance hither and thither. The lofty
marine-signal hill looms up across the harbor, in its verdant garb,
while volcanic cones, a little way inland on either shore, form an
irregular background. Far away and beyond all is seen the swelling bosom
of the great Southern Ocean.

This metropolis is situated in the centre of rich timberlands, and also
of an abundant coal deposit. Should the Panama Canal be completed,
Auckland would be the first port of call and the last of departure
between Europe and the colonies of the South Pacific.

The kauri-tree--the pine of this country--is not at all like our North
American pine; instead of needles, its foliage consists of leaves of
sombre green. It produces a timber which for some purpose is unequalled.
It is very slow of growth, is remarkably durable, easily worked, of fine
grain, and does not split or warp by atmospheric exposure. It is said
that the kauri-tree requires eight hundred years to arrive at maturity.
To visit the forest where it is found in the Auckland district, one
takes cars from the city to Helensville, a distance of about forty
miles, where the Kaipara River is reached, upon which small steamers
ply, taking us directly to the desired spot. Here, the busy saw-mills
which are gradually consuming these valuable trees are so situated that
vessels of two thousand tons can load at their yards and with their
cargo pass directly out to sea. It is singular that while this district
is the only place in New Zealand where the kauri-trees are found, nearly
every other species of tree native to the country is also found here,
among them the rimu, the matai, the white pine, the tooth-leaved beech,
and the totara, all in close proximity to the kauri. The commercial
prosperity of Auckland is largely due to the harvest reaped from these
forests. The kauri-tree grows to an average height of a hundred feet,
with a diameter of fifteen feet. It is a clannish tree, so to speak; and
when found near to those of other species it groups itself in clumps
apart from them. One often sees, however, forests where the kauri reigns
supreme, quite unmixed with other trees.

The kauri-gum forms a large figure in the list of exports from Auckland,
and the digging and preparing of it for shipment gives employment to
many persons. The natives have a theory that the gum descends from the
trunks of the growing trees, and through the roots becomes deposited in
the ground. But this is unreasonable; the gum is a partially fossilized
production, showing that it has gone through a process which only a long
period of years could have effected. It is usually found at a depth of
five or six feet from the surface. It is undoubtedly a fact that this
northerly part of New Zealand was once covered by immense forests of
this gum-tree, which have matured and been destroyed by fire and by
decay, century after century, and the deposit, which is now so
marketable, is from the dead trees, not from the living. Experiments
have been tried which have proven that the gum exuded by the growing
tree has no commercial value. It is very similar to amber, for which
article it is often sold to unskilled purchasers; but its principal use
is in the manufacture of varnish.

The immediate neighborhood of Auckland is almost denuded of original
trees, but ornamental species are being planted, and flowers are
plentiful. The Maoris had distinctive and expressive names for every
bird, tree, and flower, before the white man came. There is a lovely
little native daisy called tupapa, and a blue lily known as rengarenga,
also a green and yellow passion-flower named by the aborigines kowhaia.
A glutinous, golden buttercup is known as anata, nearly as abundant as
its namesake in America. All these are wild-flowers, cultivated only by
Nature's hand. New Zealand seems to be adapted for receiving into its
bosom the vegetation of any land, and imparting to it renewed life and
added beauty. Its foster-mother capacity has been fully tested, and for
years no ship left England for this part of the world, without bringing
more or less of a contribution in plants and trees, to be propagated in
the new home of the colonists. The consequence is, we find pines and
cypresses, oaks and willows, elms and birches, besides fruit-trees of
all sorts, which are grown in Europe, thriving here in abundance, in the
grounds surrounding the settlers' houses. The range of temperature is
here very limited. Summer and winter are only known as the dry and the
rainy seasons; flowers, vegetables, grapes, in short, all plants, grow
thriftily the whole year round in the open air. Tropical and hardy
plants are equally at home; Scottish firs and Indian palms, oranges,
lemons, india-rubber trees, and the lime thrive side by side. As in
Japan, so it is here. One can gather a pretty bouquet out of doors any
day in the year.

At Auckland, we are in the vicinity of the famous Hot Lake District of
New Zealand, the veritable wonderland of these regions, to reach which
we take the cars for a distance of a hundred and thirty miles, then
proceed thirty miles further by stage to the native town of Ohinemutu,
on Lake Rotorua. This route carries us in a southeast course and leads
into the very heart of the North Island, among the aborigines. The
railway passes through a level country or valley, which, however, is
bounded on either side, five or six miles away, by lofty hills,
presenting a confusion of irregular forms. These hills contain an
abundance of mineral wealth in the form of gold, silver, iron, coal, and
manganese. Many low-lying marshy fields of native flax are seen, and the
Waikato River is three times crossed in its winding course, as we thread
our way through the valley. Large plantations, each containing several
thousand young pine-trees of the American species, are seen, covering
gentle slopes, and many broad acres of level land, where the government
is endeavoring to establish artificial forests throughout wide reaches
of unwooded country. These trees grow more rapidly here even than in
their native soil. Small Maori encampments, composed of a dozen lodges
each, are scattered along the way, the lazy tattooed natives--men and
women--lingering about the stations, with blackened pipes in their
mouths, smoking the rankest sort of tobacco, while they chatter together
like Benares monkeys.

The last part of this brief journey, that from Oxford to Ohinemutu,
takes us through one of the grandest forests in all New Zealand,
extending eighteen or twenty miles, with scarcely a human habitation or
sign of life, save the cabin where we change horses, and the occasional
flutter of a bird. In this forest, mingled with tall columnar trees of
various species, are seen frequent examples of the fern-tree thirty feet
in height, and of surpassing beauty, spreading out their plumed summits
like Egyptian palms, while the stems have the graceful inclination of
the cocoanut-tree. The picturesque effect of the birches is remarkable,
flanked by the massive outlines and drooping tassels of the rimu. For
miles of the way on either side of the narrow road the forest is
impenetrable even to the eye, save for the shortest distances,
presenting a tangled mass of foliage, vines, and branches such as can be
matched only by the virgin forests of Brazil, or the dangerous jungles
of India. Ground ferns are observed in infinite variety, sometimes of a
silvery texture, sometimes of orange-yellow, but oftenest of the various
shades of green. Here, too, we make acquaintance with the sweet-scented
manuaka, the fragrant veronica, and the glossy-leaved karaka; this last
is the pride of the Maoris.

Specimens of the lofty rimu-tree are seen, about whose tall white stems
a parasitic vine (a plant which obtains its nourishment from another
plant to which it attaches itself) slowly and treacherously weaves
itself, clasping and binding the upright body with such marvellous power
of compression as literally to strangle it, until ultimately the vine
becomes a stout tree and takes the place of that it has destroyed. The
most noted and destructive of these vegetable boa-constrictors is the
gigantic rope-like rata, whose Gordian knot nothing can untie. The tree
once clasped in its coils is fated, yielding up its sap and life
without a struggle to cast off its deadly enemy. Many trees are observed
whose stems bear branches only, far above the surrounding woods, laden
with bunches of alien foliage,--parasites like the mistletoe. Indeed,
this forest seems like vegetation running riot, and with its clumps of
dissimilar foliage fixed like storks' nests in the tops of the trees,
recalling the same effect which one sees on the St. John's River in
Florida.

Once fairly within the area of the Hot Lake District, which is the most
active volcanic region of the Antipodes, nothing seems too strange to be
true; geysers, vapor-holes, boiling springs, and dry stones burning hot
beneath one's feet, surround us, as though the surface of the land
covered Nature's chemical laboratory. Sulphur, alkaline, and iron
impregnated pools of inviting temperature cause one to indulge in
frequent baths, and it seems but natural that the natives in their
half-naked condition should pass so much time in the water. Near the
shore of Lake Rotorua, where it is shallow, a boiling spring forces its
way to the surface of the surrounding cold water, telling of a submerged
fiery caldron underlying the lake at that particular point. It is,
however, no more significant than the scores of other steam-holes and
spouting geysers which force themselves to the surface of the land all
about this sulphurous region. In short, the little town of Ohinemutu is
built on a thin crust, roofing over as it were a vast fiery furnace,
whose remarkable volcanic eccentricities form the marvel of this
locality. Here, the traveller eats, drinks, and sleeps above a series of
suppressed volcanoes, and is apt to recall the fate of Pompeii. Many of
these springs and geysers are so hot that a mere touch of the water will
blister the flesh as quickly as contact with red-hot iron. Others are
of a temperature suitable for boiling vegetables; and still others by
artificial means--that is, the introduction of cold surface water--are
rendered of a temperature suitable for bathing purposes. One must walk
cautiously among these boiling mud-pits, open springs, and steam-holes,
for a misstep might prove fatal. Dangerous caldrons lie on either side
of the path, within a few inches of where one may be walking all
unsuspiciously.

The natural conclusion as to the cause of these remarkable phenomena
would seem to be that the waters of the lakes, rivers, and springs
descend by various channels to the fiery regions below, and are returned
by the force of the steam thus created, bringing up with them the refuse
which is deposited about the surface. Of the hundreds of these boiling
springs only a score or so have been analyzed: no two, however, exhibit
the same properties. The various chemical combinations seem to be
without limit, and bathing in them is considered to be a specific for
some skin-diseases, as well as for rheumatic affections. There can be no
doubt but that all the medicinal virtues possessed by similar springs in
Europe and America are found in these of New Zealand.

Ohinemutu is the most typical home of the natives, and for ages has
formed the chief settlement of the Arawa tribe. Nothing could possibly
be more grotesque than to see groups of the native women, from the
wrinkled old grandams to the girls of a dozen years, bathing at all
hours of the day in the warm, steaming pools. It is their daily, almost
hourly resort. As a rule, a blanket forms their only covering; and if
they are cold, day or night, casting this aside, they at once resort to
the hot springs for warmth. Their chief occupations are literally
bathing and smoking tobacco, the women using the pipe even more freely
than the men. Of regular occupation they have none. A few potatoes are
planted and allowed to grow without cultivation, and these with pork
form their chief food. The little cooking in which they indulge is
usually performed by the boiling springs, in which they hang their
potatoes in small wicker baskets; and for baking purposes they use the
red-hot stones that are to be found everywhere in this vicinity. These
broad, flat stones are the identical ones on which the natives not long
ago were accustomed to roast their prisoners of war before eating them.

A certain consistency is discovered in the manners and customs of this
people who live so nearly after the style and laws which governed their
ancestors, and which have been carefully preserved for hundreds of
years. Superstition is born in a Maori. He is a professed Christian in
most cases and accepts the Bible, but he is apt to give to it his own
interpretation. These children of Nature follow their ancestral
traditions modified by Christian influences. The original religion of
the natives, if we may call it by that name, consists in a dim belief in
a future state, quite undefined even in their own minds. It was largely
a sort of ancestor worship, according to the missionaries, with a vague
idea of some Being higher than anything human or finite. The sorcery
which was universally practised among them filled up a certain measure
of religious conviction and observance, nor is this by any means disused
among them to-day. Many of the tribes can read and write, and
educational facilities are freely offered to the rising generation by
the English government.

The Maori differs in many essential particulars from most savage races
with whom we are more familiar. He does not, as has been mentioned,
foster a spirit of secret revenge, but when his enmity is aroused, it is
openly displayed. This has been a tribal trait with the Maoris for
centuries. Before declaring war the Maori always gives his enemy fair
notice; still for ages he has been accustomed to go to war upon
imaginary grievances, or, to put it more clearly, his great object was
to make prisoners of war, and when made to cook and eat them. The early
Maoris, and even so late as sixty years ago, looked upon war--what we
call civil war--as being the only legitimate object of life.

Though these natives have mostly become Christianized, as we understand
the term, still they live more like the lower class of animals than like
human beings, seeming to prefer that sort of life even after half a
century of intercourse with the whites. They now isolate themselves as a
body in what is called the King's Country of the North Island, which
embraces the Hot Lake District, where they live under their own laws and
customs which are held inviolate by treaty with the English crown. Their
decrease in numbers seems to be as rapid in their own district as it is
where they are brought into more intimate relations with the whites. The
English authorities respect their ownership of lands, and not an acre of
it is to be had without just payment for it.

No intelligent person can be blind to the favorable position of New
Zealand or to the promise of its future commercial importance. Situated,
as it were, in the centre of this Southern Ocean, the future highway of
the world, it is accessible from all quarters. On the west, not very far
away, lie the busy harbors of Australia, with which her exchanges of
merchandise are constant. Within easy reach of India and China on one
side, she has California, Mexico, and South America on the other. To the
north lie the hundreds of islands which constitute the groups of
Polynesia, notable for their voluptuous climate and primitive fertility.
With the opening of the Panama Canal or other available means for ships
to cross the isthmus of South America, New Zealand will lie directly in
the highway between Europe and the gold-fields of the great inland
continent, between England and her largest and most promising colony.

The many beautiful islands of the South Sea must sooner or later come
under the commercial sway of New Zealand, as they may be explored and
civilized. Her admirable harbors, noble estuaries, and navigable rivers
are elsewhere unsurpassed. If destined to achieve greatness, these
islands, like those of Great Britain, will do so through the development
and maintenance of maritime power; and with so many natural advantages
as they possess we confidently predict for them this final
accomplishment.



CHAPTER VIII.


From Auckland we take a steamer for Asia by way of Sydney and other
ports of Australia, crossing the Indian Ocean and landing at the extreme
southerly point of India, at Tuticorin. It is a quaint old place of
little present interest, though it was once famous for its pearl
fisheries. We proceed northward by railway to Madura, where, there being
no hotel, we take up our quarters in an unoccupied native house,
situated in a grove of cocoanut-trees. Flies, mosquitoes, and scorpions
dispute possession with us, and ugly-looking snakes creep close to the
low piazza. Flying-foxes hang motionless from the branches of the trees;
clouds of butterflies, many-colored, sunshine-loving creatures, in
infinite variety, flit about the bungalow, some with such gaudy spread
of wing as to tempt pursuit. Large bronze and yellow beetles walk
through the short grass with the coolness and gait of domestic poultry.
Occasionally a chameleon turns up its bright eye, as though to take our
measure. The redundancy of insect and reptile life is wonderful in
Southern India.

The principal attraction to the traveller in Madura, which contains some
fifty thousand inhabitants, is a remarkable and very ancient temple
supported by two thousand stone columns. It is probably one of the
largest and finest monuments of Hindoo art in existence, covering in all
its divisions, courts, shrines, colonnades, and tanks, twenty acres of
ground. It has nine lofty tower-like gates of entrance and exit, each
one of which has the effect of forming an individual pagoda. In the
central area of the temple is what is known as the "Tank of the Golden
Lily" being a large body of water covering a couple of acres of ground,
and leading into which are broad stone steps on all sides. Here
individuals of both sexes are seen constantly bathing for religious
purification. A grand tank is the adjunct of every Indian temple. This
mass of buildings contains many living sacred elephants, deified bulls,
enshrined idols, and strange ornamentation, the aggregate cost of which
must have been enormous. The elephants rival the beggars in their
importunities, being accustomed to receive an unlimited amount of
delicacies from visitors, such as fruits, sweetmeats, candies, and the
like.

Another hundred miles northward by railway brings us to the city of
Trichinopoly, where the famous natural rock five hundred feet in height
is crowned by the Temple of Ganesa. The view from this eminence is
exceptionally fine. The town far below us looks as though it had been
shaken up and dropped there by a convulsion of nature. There is no
regularity in the laying out of the place; it is a confused mass of
buildings, narrow paths, crooked roads, and low-built mud cabins. In
what is called the silversmith's quarter, amid filthy lanes, full of
dirty children, mangy dogs, and moping cats, we find hovels containing
finely wrought silver ornaments manufactured on the spot by the natives.
So original and elegant are these wares that they have a reputation
beyond the borders of India. Trichinopoly has over sixty thousand
inhabitants. But however much there may be to interest us, we must not
tarry long. Two hundred miles still northward bring us to Tanjore, a
large fortified city, where we find a mammoth and gorgeously decorated
car of Juggernaut, the Indian idol. It makes its annual excursion from
the temple through the town, drawn by hundreds of worshippers, who come
from great distances to assist at the ceremony. Pilgrims, delirious with
fanaticism, used once to throw themselves under the wheels of the huge
car and perish. This self-immolation is now almost entirely suppressed
by the government, as is the kindred one of the burning of widows upon
their husbands' funeral piles. From 1815 to 1826, published statistics
show that fifteen thousand widows perished thus in India!

The great temple of Tanjore is fourteen stories in height, and measures
two hundred feet from base to top. These temples all resemble each other
in general design, and are characterized by grotesqueness, caricature,
and vulgar images, as well as by infinite detail in their finish. Though
they are gorgeously decked in colors, and gross in ornamentation, still
they are so grand in size and on so costly a scale, as to create
amazement rather than disgust. It would seem that a people equal to such
efforts must have been capable of something better. In all grosser forms
of superstition and idolatry, carnal and material elements seem to be
essential to bind and attract the ignorant, and this is undoubtedly the
governing policy of a religion, embodying emblems so outrageous to
Christian sensibility. This grand pagoda at Tanjore, taken as a whole,
is the most remarkable religious monument in India. In passing through
the southern section of the country, we see many ruined temples in
unpopulated districts, which belong to past ages; many mammoth stone
elephants and bulls, crumbling by the wear of centuries. Large flocks of
goats tended by herdsmen are seen distributed over the plains, and so
level is the country, that the eye can make out these groups for miles
away on either side of the railroad. Well-cultivated plantations of
sugar-cane, plantains, wheat, rice, and orchards of fruit come into
view. The old style of irrigation goes on, by means of buckets worked by
hand, the same as was practised in the East four thousand years ago,
while the very plough, rude and inefficient, which is used upon their
plains to-day is after the antique fashion belonging to the same period.
Indeed, except that the railroad runs through Southern India, there
appears to have been no progress there for thousands of years. A
lethargy of the most hopeless character seems to possess the common
people. Their mud cabins are not suitable abodes for human beings, and
are distanced in neatness by the ant-hills. Such a degraded condition of
humanity can hardly be found elsewhere among semi-civilized races. The
women are worn by hardships. The men are cadaverous and listless.
Clothing among them is the exception; nudity is the rule. It seems
strange, but it is true, that one-quarter of the human race goes naked
in this nineteenth century.

A day's journey northward by railroad brings us to Madras, situated upon
the Bay of Bengal. The city is spread out over a very large territory,
with a number of broad, open fields and squares, designed for drilling
of troops, some for ball-players, and some for ordinary parks. There is
an abundant and handsome growth of trees all about the city, lining the
main streets and testifying to the judicious attention given by the
authorities to this species of ornamental shade so necessary in a warm
climate. The wide streets are admirably kept, and are all macadamized.
This applies, however, to the European portion of the town, with its
fine, large public buildings, consisting of literary and scientific
institutions as well as various educational and charitable ones. The
native portion of Madras is contracted and dirty in the extreme, no
attention being given to cleanliness or decency. The extensive English
fort--Fort George--is one of the best constructed in the East, forming a
most prominent feature of the city, and crowning a moderate rise of
ground near the shore. Its attractive though warlike surroundings, white
walls, flower plats, and green, sloping banks present a charming
picture. Fort George was the original name of the city. A noble
lighthouse is situated within the fortifications. Near this spot, along
the coast to the northward, are the rock-cut temples of Mahabulihuram
rendered familiar by Southey's admirable verses.

Dancing-girls are to be seen here, on the streets. They are attached to
some native temple, as no religious ceremony or gala day is considered
complete without them; and the same may be said of all large private
entertainments, no guests ever dancing in the East. They prefer to hire
it done for them. These Indian dancing-girls, with a musical
accompaniment, tell a story by their performance, expressing grief, joy,
jealousy, and other passions so well portrayed, that one easily
interprets the pantomime. They preserve strict propriety in their
dances, which are curious to witness, their ankles being covered with
silver bells, and their wrists and arms similarly decked.

No more unprotected spot could be found on the surf-beaten shore of the
Coromandel coast than this where stands Madras. It is so completely
exposed to the northeast monsoons as to be inaccessible for
sailing-vessels from October to January, and yet it was the first
British capital in India. There is usually such a surf on the shore
that nothing but the native boats can weather it; and when high winds
prevail, it is too much even for them. We embark by steamship from
Madras, and after a voyage of nearly a thousand miles up the coast and
Hoogly River, land at Calcutta, which is the political capital of India,
though since the Suez Canal has been opened, Bombay rivals it
commercially.

Calcutta is a very interesting city, very Indian, notwithstanding that
so many Europeans live here, and that it has so long been under English
rule, but it is by no means entitled to the designation so often given
to it, namely, the "City of Palaces." It is quite modern, having no
remains of antiquity about it, and in 1686 was but a mud village. As
seen from the Hoogly, when one first arrives, it exhibits a strong array
of fine public buildings; but a passage of a few rods, diverging from
the main thoroughfare, brings the visitor upon the dirty streets, the
mean and narrow houses, and general squalor of the native population.

The Burning Ghat, where cremation is going on at all hours of the day,
is the first place the stranger visits. The bodies are brought in and
placed upon a square pile of wood, raised to a height of four feet, in
the open yard. Under the wood there is plenty of combustible material;
the torch is applied, and instantly all is hidden by the flames. In
three hours nothing but calcined bones and ashes are left. These are
carefully gathered and cast into the river. The Ghat is open to the sky,
so that the ventilation is perfect, but the atmosphere is nevertheless
impregnated with an unpleasant odor. The Hoogly River being one of the
outlets of the much-revered Ganges, is considered to be equally sacred.
Close by the Burning Ghat, along the river's front, there is a number of
sheds, with only partial shelter from the street, where poor dying
Hindoos are brought to breathe their last, believing that if they pass
away close to the sacred water, their spirits will be instantly wafted
to the regions of bliss. Here they are attended by people who make this
their business, and it is believed that they often hasten the demise of
the sufferers by convenient means. Human life is held of very little
account among these people, whose faith bridges the gulf of death, and
who were at one time so prone to suicide by drowning in the Ganges, as
to render it necessary on the part of the English to establish watchmen
every night along the city shore of the sacred river to prevent it.

At the close of each day, about an hour before sunset, all fashionable
Calcutta turns out in state for a drive on the Maiden,--the Hindoostanee
name for esplanade,--a broad and finely macadamized roadway, extending
along the river's bank by the fort and cricket grounds. It is the Indian
Hyde Park, or Bengal Champs Elysées (the famous Parisian boulevard). The
variety, elegance, and costliness of the equipages in grand livery are
surprising. The whole scene is enlivened by the beautiful dresses of the
ladies, the dashing costumes and gold lace of the nabobs, the quaint
Oriental dress of their barefooted attendants, and the spirited music of
the military band. The superb horses in their gold-mounted harnesses
dash over the course at a spirited gait; the twilight hour is brief, the
shadows lengthen, when a hundred electric lamps flash upon the scene,
rivalling the light of day. Then the occupants of the open vehicles, and
the equestrians, gather about the Eden Garden, in rows, six or eight
deep, and listen to the popular airs, or chat merrily in the intervals.
The Cascine at Florence, the Pincio at Rome, the Chiaja at Naples, the
Prado at Madrid--none of these famous drives can compare with the Maiden
of Calcutta for gayety, variety, and attractiveness.

Calcutta is said to contain a population of a million. It is sometimes
visited by cyclones, and the fierceness of these warrings of the
elements may be judged by the fact that at the last occurrence of the
sort thirty thousand native houses were totally destroyed in half an
hour. The Hoogly River often experiences the effect of tidal waves
during the monsoons, which dash up from the sea at a speed of twenty
miles an hour, causing much destruction. Ships lying off the city on
such occasions often part their cables and are driven on shore, while
many of the small craft along the eighty miles of river course are
entirely destroyed.

[Illustration: A GREAT BANYAN TREE AT CALCUTTA.]

A journey of four hundred miles to the northward, the last half of which
is performed by narrow-gauge railway, which climbs zigzag fashion over a
very hilly country, will enable us to reach Darjeeling, nearly nine
thousand feet above the level of the sea. Here we are in proximity to
and in full view of the Himalayan range of mountains, the loftiest on
the globe. The lowest peak is over twenty thousand feet in height; the
highest exceeds twenty-eight thousand. Upon the range rest eleven
thousand feet of perpetual snow. There can be no animal life in that
Arctic region--only the snow and ice rest there in endless sleep. The
Himalayas--meaning the "Halls of Snow"--form the northern boundary of
India, and shut out the country from the rest of Asia. Thibet, which
lies just over the range, whence we view it, is virtually inaccessible
by this route, the wild region between being nearly impassable. Bold
parties of traders, wrapped in sheepskins, do sometimes force their way
over the mountains at an elevation of eighteen thousand feet, but it is
a most hazardous thing to do, and the bones of worn-out mules mark the
frozen way, telling of suffering and abandonment. The little yak cow,
whose bushy tail is manufactured into lace, has been found to be the
best and most enduring animal to depend upon when such journeys are
performed. She will patiently toil up the steep gorges with a load on
her back, and will drop dead in her tracks before she will show any
stubbornness or want of courage. The culminating point of the range, and
the highest mountain peak in the world, is Mount Everest, which is a
little over twenty-nine thousand feet in height above the level of the
sea.

Darjeeling is becoming the centre of a great tea-producing district, and
thus India bids fair to rival China in a product which has seemed to
belong almost exclusively to China from time immemorial. English
capitalists are largely embarking in this enterprise, and extensive
tea-plantations are already in full process of successful yielding,
sending tea annually to the London market. At first it seems strange to
see the tea-plant flourishing at such an altitude, covering hundreds of
acres of the mountain's sides, on the road descending from Darjeeling,
towards the plains of Hindoostan, but it must be remembered that the
latitude of this region is just about that of Florida and the West
Indies. As to the product of these tea-fields, one realizes no
difference in its flavor from that of the Chinese leaf. In England it is
known as Assam tea.

As we descend towards the level country, amid many other flowering
trees, the magnolia is most prominent. The wild and abundant growth of
the rhododendron, which here becomes a forest tree, mingles with a
handsome species of cedar, which rises in dark and stately groups and
forms a marked feature in the landscape. The general luxuriance of the
vegetation is conspicuous, thickly clothing the branches of the trees
with mosses, ferns, and creeping vines. Here we observe the cotton-tree,
with its red blossoms, which yields a coarse material for native use.
Also a species of lotus called "Queen of the Forest," the leaves of
which are used by the common people in place of tea. Many bright and
exquisitely delicate ferns spring up among the damp undergrowth about
the places where we stop to take water for our little, noisy,
spluttering engine. Brilliant butterflies float like motes in the
sunshine, contrasting with the repulsive whip-snakes seen hanging from
the low branches of the trees. Vegetation and animal life seem to be
singularly abundant and prolific in these foot-hills of the famous
mountain range.

Our course now lies towards Benares, over the plains of Middle India,
some five hundred miles from Calcutta. The people on the route seem to
be wretchedly poor, living in the most primitive mud cabins thatched
with straw. Such squalor and visible poverty can be found nowhere else
in any country outside of Ireland, and yet we are passing through a
famous agricultural district which ought to support thrifty farmhouses
and smiling villages. It abounds in productive rice, wheat, sugar-cane,
and vast poppy fields,--these last treacherously beautiful,--and from
which the opium of commerce is derived. The presence of such abundance
makes the contrast in the condition of the peasantry all the more
puzzling. There must be something radically wrong in the modes of the
governing power. This part of India is noted for the excellence and
prolific yield of its sugar crops. From here, also, indigo and saltpetre
are exported in large quantities. Along the route traversed by the
railway we see fruit-trees of various sorts native to this section, such
as tamarinds, almonds, mangos, oranges, cocoanuts, and other products of
the palm family. Temples, centuries in age and quite in ruins, come into
view now and again, often adjacent to a cluster of low mud hovels. From
the branches of the trees flit birds of such fantastic colors as to
cause exclamations of surprise. Occasional specimens of the
bird-of-paradise are seen, with its long and graceful tail-feathers
glittering in the sunshine and presenting an array of bright colors
which are not preserved upon this bird in captivity. Tall flamingoes in
snowy plumage, just touched with scarlet on either wing, fly lazily over
the ponds, or stand by the banks resting quietly upon one long, slim
leg. Parrots abound in carnival hues, and buff-colored doves, with soft
white rings of feathers about their necks, coquet lovingly together.

Benares, the first large city on the united Ganges and Jumna, may be
called the citadel of Hindooism, containing about a hundred and fifty
thousand permanent inhabitants and as many more floating population,
composed of pilgrims constantly coming and going. What Jerusalem is to
the Jew, Rome to the Roman Catholic, Mecca to the Mohammedan, Benares is
to the Hindoo. It is supposed by many to be the oldest known habitation
of man. Twenty-five centuries ago, when Rome was unknown and Athens was
in its youth, Benares was already famous. It is situated on the left
bank of the Ganges, to bathe in which river insures to the devout Hindoo
forgiveness of all sins and an easy passport to the regions of the
blest. Here, as in Calcutta, cremation is constantly going on beside the
river. While we are looking at the scene there comes a family group
bearing a body to the funeral pile. It is covered by a linen sheet. In
the folded hands are white rosebuds, and orange blossoms encircle the
marble brow. There is no apparent lack of heart-felt grief. It is the
body of a young maiden decked for her bridal with death. After a few
moments the red flames wind themselves ravenously about the youthful
body, and quickly all is blackness and ashes.

Benares is mostly supported by the presence of pilgrims, but there is
manufactured here a brass ware of such exquisite finish as to defy
competition. In her dark alleys and narrow lanes they also produce a
fine article of silver embroidery of marvellous delicacy and beauty,
greatly prized by travellers as a souvenir. The pilgrims who participate
in the river scenes are by no means all of the lower classes; now and
then a gorgeously dressed official may be seen, with a long line of
attendants, wending his steps towards the river's front. Infirm old men
and little children, crazy-looking devotees and comely youths, boys and
girls, people of all ages and degrees, are represented in the motley
groups who come to these muddy waters for moral purification. There is a
singular mingling of races also, for these people do not all speak one
tongue. They are from the extreme north and the extreme south of India,
while the half-starved vagrants seen among them, and who come from
Middle India, could not make themselves understood by people from either
extreme. A common purpose moves them, but they cannot express themselves
in a common language. Pilgrims are here from Thibet and Cashmere, from
the far-off Himalayan country, as well as from Tuticorin, on the Indian
Ocean. Numberless idols and symbols of the most vulgar character abound
all over the town, in small temples, before which men and women bow down
in silent devotion. Idolatry is here seen in its most repulsive form.
The delusion, however, is perfect, and these poor creatures are terribly
in earnest.

Animals are worshipped, such as bulls, snakes, monkeys, and pigeons. One
of the peculiar temples of the city is devoted solely to the worship of
monkeys, where hundreds of these mischievous animals find a luxurious
home, no one ever interfering with their whims except to pet and to feed
them. This temple contains a singular altar, before which devotional
rites are performed by believing visitors. On the Ghats, beside the
river, these Hindoos pass the happiest hours of their sad lives, coming
from the confined, dirty, unwholesome streets and alleys in which they
sleep and eat, to pray and to bathe, as well as to breathe the fresh air
and to bask in the sun. The hideous fakirs, or begging Oriental monks,
make their fixed abode here, living entirely in the open air, most of
them diseased, and all misshapen by voluntarily acquired deformity.
Their distorted limbs are fixed in attitudes of penance until they
become set and immovable. There are pious believers enough to kneel
before them and to give them food and money by which means to support
their strange and fanatical self-immolation.

We visit at Benares an ancient observatory of more than ordinary
interest, erected by a famous Hindoo patron of science, Rajah Manu.
Though it is now quite neglected and in partial ruins, a sun-dial, a
zodiac, meridian lines, and astronomical appliances are still
distinctly traced upon heavy stones arranged for celestial observations.
This proves that astronomy was well advanced at Benares hundreds of
years before Galileo was born, and it will be remembered that the
astronomers of India first settled the fact of the rotation of the
earth. The Man-Mundil, as this observatory is called, forms a most
important historic link between the days of the Pharaohs and the
nineteenth century.

[Illustration: MOSQUE AT DELHI, INDIA.]

Five hundred miles of travel by way of Cawnpore will bring us to Delhi,
where a visit to the crumbling palace of the late king will show us the
remains of that famous Peacock Throne, the marvel of the world when the
Mogul dynasty was at its zenith--a throne of solid gold, ornamented with
rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, the aggregate value of which was thirty
million dollars. It was six feet long and four feet broad, surmounted by
a gold canopy supported by twelve pillars composed of the same precious
metal. The back of the throne was so constructed as to represent a
peacock with expanded tail, the natural colors of which were exactly
imitated with rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and other precious stones.
Delhi was for centuries the proudest metropolis of India; within a
circle of twenty miles of the present locality, one city after another
has established its capital, ruled in splendor, and passed away. One
monument, which we find in the environs, has thus far defied the
destructive finger of time,--the Katub-Minar, which stands alone amid
hoary ruins, the loftiest single column in the world, but of which there
is no satisfactory record. It is not inappropriately considered one of
the greatest architectural marvels of India, and whoever erected it
achieved a triumph of gracefulness and skill. It is built of red stone
elaborately ornamented in the form of a minaret, measuring about fifty
feet in diameter at the base and ten at the top, with a height from the
ground of two hundred and fifty feet, divided into five stories, each
fitted with an outer gallery and adorned with colossal inscriptions. The
whole exterior is fluted from base to top, narrowing gradually towards
the summit.

In the broad main thoroughfare of Delhi--the Chandni Chowk--one
constantly meets ponderous elephants, solemn and awkward camels, fine
Arabian horses, and the diminutive, toy-like ponies of Cashmere. Daily
marriage processions of the most fantastic description crowd the
roadway, with the animals just named caparisoned in a gaudy, harlequin
style, accompanied by unskilled musicians on foot, whose qualifications
evidently consist in being able to make the greatest amount of noise
upon a drum, fife, or horn, which are the three instruments employed on
these occasions. Some of the white horses in the processions are painted
in parts, sky-blue, and some are decked with saffron-yellow. In the
ranks are covered bullock-carts with peep-holes, in which ride the women
of the harem. Mingled with these are men bearing banners with Hindoo
mottoes and ludicrous caricatures, half human and half animal. This is
called a marriage procession, but upon careful inquiry it is found to be
only a betrothal of children too young to marry. The boy-bridegroom
appears upon an elephant, and is dressed like a circus rider; but the
future bride, probably a little girl of six or eight years, does not
appear: she remains at home to be called upon by this motley crowd, when
a brief ceremony takes place,--presents being duly exchanged,--and the
farce is then ended.

A journey of nine hundred miles, still over these broad plains of
India, will bring us to the city of Agra, which, like Delhi, stands not
on the Ganges, but on its great tributary, the Jumna. It is an important
city, containing over forty thousand inhabitants. To all who visit this
place the first object of interest will be the Taj (pronounced _Tahj_)
Mahal, or tomb of the wife of the Emperor Shah-Jehan. It is the most
interesting edifice in India and one of the most beautiful in the world.
A tomb in this country means a magnificent structure of marble, with
domes and minarets, the walls inlaid with precious stones, and the whole
surrounded by gardens, fountains, and artificial lakes, covering from
ten to twenty acres. Cheap as labor is in India, the Taj must have cost
some fifteen millions of dollars, and was seventeen years in building.
The Mogul Emperor resolved to erect the most superb monument ever reared
to commemorate a woman's name, and he succeeded, for herein Mohammedan
architecture reached its height. The mausoleum is situated in a spacious
garden, the equal of which can hardly be found elsewhere, beautiful to
the eye and delightful to the senses, with fragrant flowers, exotic and
indigenous. This grand structure, with the ripeness of centuries upon
it, is no ruin; all is fragrant and fresh as at the hour when it was
completed. It is of white marble, three hundred feet in height, the
principal dome being eighty feet high, and of such exquisite form and
harmony is the whole that it seems almost to float in the air.

In the centre of the Taj, beneath the glorious dome, are two raised and
ornamented marble frames, covering the resting-place of the emperor and
his wife. How appropriate is the inscription at the threshold: "To the
memory of an undying love." As we stand beneath the cupola, let us
repeat in a low tone of voice a verse from Longfellow's "Psalm of Life";
instantly there will roll through the dimly lighted vault above a soft
and solemn repetition, which will sound as though voices were repeating
the psalm in the skies. Nothing finer or more lovely in architecture
exists than this faultless monument, this ideal of Saracenic art.

By consulting a map of India it will be seen that few regions in the
world present such an array of remarkable cities as have sprung up and
flourished in the Ganges-Jumna valley. Here we have Agra, Delhi,
Cawnpore, Lucknow, Allahabad, Benares, Mirozapur, Patna, Decca, and
Murshedabad. What historic associations arise at the bare mention of
these Indian cities!



CHAPTER IX.


On our way southward we pass through the beautiful, though small Indian
city of Jeypore, which is under native rule; those we have heretofore
visited are subject to Great Britain. It is quite ancient, though there
are no ruins here, everything giving evidence of present prosperity,
peace, and abundance. The houses are painted in rather gaudy colors, but
are neat and pretty. Queer little canvas-covered, two-wheeled carts,
their tops shaped like half an egg-shell, are drawn about the town by
bullocks at a lively trot. Some are closely curtained, containing women
of the harem. Oriental seclusion is the rule with the women. Under the
prince who rules here the population exhibits a marked contrast to those
of India generally, over which the authority of England extends. There
are no mud cabins here, no beggars, no visible want or poverty. The
people are decently clothed, and well lodged in neat-looking houses,
mostly two stories in height. The streets are broad and well kept, with
bright, bubbling fountains here and there. Our excursions in this
neighborhood are made upon camels or elephants. Wild animals are
abundant, the tiger especially being much dreaded. Here, as at
Singapore, men, women and children are daily sacrificed to their
rapacious appetites in various parts of the district. It is said to be a
fact, that these animals having once tasted human flesh, will be
satisfied with none other, but will leave the antelope and smaller game
unmolested, though they are known to abound in the vicinity, and lie in
wait for days to capture human prey, even invading the villages at
night. English hunters visit Jeypore in large numbers annually to
capture this dangerous game.

From this native city to Bombay is a distance of seven hundred miles by
railway, most of the route being very sparsely inhabited. The larger
portion of India is an immense plain, so that the road is generally very
monotonous. Nearly seven hundred thousand acres of these plains are
cultivated with poppies. A large share of these opium farms, as they may
be called, belong to the English government, and are cultivated by their
agents. Those which are conducted on private account are very heavily
taxed, and are mostly carried on in the interest of the Parsee merchants
of Bombay, who have for many years controlled the largest share of the
opium trade. We frequently see near these gorgeous poppy-fields ripening
acres of grain, which would be stripped of their valuable property by
the great flocks of birds, noticed at all times, floating like clouds
over our heads, were precautions not taken to drive them away. For this
purpose a tall platform is raised upon poles to a height of twenty feet
in the centre of each grain-field, with a slight straw shelter over it,
upon which a young boy or girl is stationed, and whence they overlook
several acres of grain. They have no firearms, but are supplied with a
simple sling and a few well-chosen stones: should a bird be seen too
near the precious grain, an unerring stone will find him, and his body
becomes a warning to the rest of the flock. The precision with which
these girls and boys will throw a stone a long distance is marvellous.
The monkeys which so abound in Southern India are not to be got rid of
in so easy a manner. Birds will not fly after dark, nor much before
sunrise, but the monkeys raid the fruit and vegetable fields by night,
and are capable of organizing a descent upon some promising point with
all the forethought of human thieves.

The opening of communication with England by the Red Sea route has given
to Bombay a great business impetus, and it possesses to-day more
elements of future greatness than any other city of Asia. The two
principal capitals of the country are situated on opposite sides of the
great peninsula, Calcutta being on the Bay of Bengal, and Bombay on the
Sea of Arabia. We have in the latter a population of a million and over,
one hundred thousand of whom are Parsees, a class of merchants
originally from Persia, who represent a large share of the wealth of the
city. They are by far the most enterprising and intelligent of the
natives of India, and are in entire sympathy with the English
government. Socially, they keep to themselves, strictly preserving their
well-defined individuality. This people settled here more than eight
centuries ago, after their expulsion from Persia. Their temples contain
no images, nothing but the altars bearing the sacred fire which their
fathers brought with them when they landed here so long ago, and which
has never been extinguished, according to their traditions. They worship
the sun as the representative of God, and fire in all its forms, as well
as the ocean, which would seem to be an antagonistic agent; but as their
religion recognizes one good and one evil principle ever contending for
the mastery of the universe, perhaps these emblems are no contradiction.

One of the first places to which we are attracted in Bombay is Malabar
Hill, a lofty eminence just outside the city. On the top are the five
famous "Towers of Silence," which constitute the cemetery of the
Parsees. When a death occurs among them, the body is brought here, and
after a brief ceremony the corpse is carried into one of the towers,
where it is exposed upon a grating. The bearers retire at once, and the
door is locked. These towers are open at the top, and on the cornices
hundreds of vultures are seen waiting; as soon as the body is left, they
swoop down to their awful meal, eagerly tearing and devouring the
corpse. The hideous detail is not visible, but the reappearance of those
evil birds in a gorged condition is only too significant of what has
occurred. The devouring flames which consumed the bodies at Calcutta and
at Benares did not shock us like this.

Bombay is made up of fine public buildings, sumptuous dwellings, and low
hovels, not mingled indiscriminately, as is often seen in European
cities, each class being found clustering in its special locality. In
Florence, Rome, or Naples, a half-starved cobbler will be found
occupying a stall beneath a palace; but though poverty and riches jostle
each other everywhere, the lines of demarcation are more clearly defined
in Bombay than elsewhere. A drive along the picturesque shore of the
Arabian Sea is an experience never to be forgotten. It will be sure to
recall to the traveller the beautiful environs of Genoa, with those
winding, rock-cut roads overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Here the
roads are admirably cool and half-embowered in foliage, among which the
crimson sagittaria flaunting its fiery leaves and ponderous blossoms,
everywhere meets the eye. About the fine villas which are set back a
short distance from the roads, delightful gardens of choice flowers are
seen, comprising an abundance of tropical plants, tall palms lining the
drive-ways up to the houses, where the merchant princes dwell. Most of
these are the residences of the Parsees, who in spite of their bigotry
and their adherence to ancient superstitions, know how to make their
homes beautiful.

In leaving India, a few thoughts naturally suggest themselves. Its
history runs back through thousands of years and remotest dynasties,
captivating the fancy with numberless ruins, which, while attesting the
splendor of their prime, form also the only record of their history. The
mosaic character of its population, the peculiarities of its animal
kingdom, the luxuriance of its vegetation, the dazzling beauty of its
birds and flowers, all crowd upon the memory in charming kaleidoscopic
combinations. There can be no doubt of the early grandeur and high
civilization of India. To the intellectual eminence of her people we owe
the germs of science, philosophy, law, and astronomy. The most perfect
of all tongues, the Sanskrit, has been the parent of many others, and
now that her lustre has faded, and her children fallen into a condition
of sloth and superstition, let us, at least, do her historic justice.
Nor should we neglect to heed the lesson she so clearly presents;
namely, that nations, like individuals, are subject to the unvarying
laws of mutability.

The government of India is a military despotism, England maintaining her
rule by force alone over a foreign people numbering four times as many
as the whole population of the United States. Order is preserved at a
cruel cost of life among an entire race who are totally unrepresented.
In travelling from city to city one is not surprised to see many signs
of restlessness among the common people, and to hear harsh expressions
against British rule. While we recall with a thrill of horror the awful
cruelties and the slaughter of human beings during the rebellion of the
native race against the English authority in 1857, we do not wonder that
a people, so goaded by oppression, should have made a vigorous and
bloody struggle to obtain their independence.

We embark at Bombay on a voyage of three thousand miles across the Sea
of Arabia and the Indian Ocean, through the Straits of Babelmandeb and
the entire length of the Red Sea. The most southerly point of the
voyage, taking us within fourteen degrees of the equator, carries us
into an extremely warm temperature. The ship holds on her southwest
course day after day, lightly fanned by the northeast monsoon, towards
the mouth of the Red Sea. At the end of the sixth day we cast anchor at
the Peninsula of Aden, a rocky, isolated spot held by English troops,
and very properly called the Gibraltar of the Indian Ocean. Like that
famous promontory, it was originally little more than a barren rock,
which has been improved into a picturesque and habitable place,
bristling with British cannon of heavy calibre. It is a spot much
dreaded by sailors, the straits being half closed by sunken rocks,
besides which the shore is considered to be the most unhealthy spot yet
selected by civilized man as a residence. The Arabs call the strait
Babelmandeb, that is, the "Gate of Tears," because of the number of
vessels which have been wrecked here in the endeavor to enter from the
open sea. Aden lies within the rainless zone, so that sometimes the
inhabitants see no rainfall for three years together. The remains of an
ancient and magnificent system of reservoirs hewn out of the solid rock,
are seen here, the construction of which is placed at a date previous
to the Christian era, and which have been adapted to modern use.

As we lie at anchor here, there come about the ship a score of young
natives, from ten to fifteen years of age. By eloquent gestures, and the
use of a few English words, they beg of us to throw small silver coin
into the sea, for which they will dive in water that is at least seven
fathoms deep. The instant a piece of money is thrown overboard, every
canoe becomes emptied, and twenty human beings disappear from sight like
a flash. Down, down go the divers, and in the depths struggle together
for the trifle, some one of the throng being sure to rise to the surface
with the coin displayed between his teeth. Nothing but otters and seals
could be keener sighted or more expert in the water.

The general aspect of Aden from the sea, though picturesque, is not
inviting, giving one an idea of great barrenness. The mountains and
rocks have a peaked appearance, like a spear pointed at one, as much as
to say, "better keep off." People who land, however, for the first time,
are agreeably disappointed by finding that every opportunity for
encouraging the growth of vegetation and imparting its cheerful effect
to the hard rocky soil has been carefully improved.

Our course after leaving Aden is nearly north; the headlands of
Abyssinia are long visible on our port side, while on the other we have
a distant view of Arabia. Jeddah, the seaport of Mecca, with its bright
minarets, is to be seen in the distance. In coasting along the shores of
Nubia, the dense air from off the land is like a sirocco, suffocatingly
hot. Suez is reached at last, a place which is all waste and barrenness,
so we hasten on by railway to Cairo, a distance of two hundred miles.

Long after leaving Suez we see only a sandy desert, the yellow soil
quivering in the heated atmosphere. It is a picture of desolation. Not a
blade of grass, not a shrub or tree, until by and by we come upon gently
undulating and fertile soil, enriched by the annual deposits from the
Nile, where intelligent cultivation produces its natural results. Small
herds of brown buffaloes or Eastern oxen are seen, and peasants plying
the irrigating-buckets. The pastures become alive with sheep and goats
and dromedaries. While we are approaching Cairo, and are yet two or
three leagues away, the dim outlines of the everlasting pyramids are
seen through the shimmering haze, softly outlined against the evening
sky. It is impossible not to recall the words of the Humpback, in the
Thousand and One Nights, as we see the pyramids and glistening minarets
of the Oriental city coming into view; "He who hath not seen Cairo hath
not seen the world; its soil is golden; its Nile is a wonder; its women
are like the black-eyed virgins of Paradise; its houses are palaces; and
its air is soft,--its odor surpassing that of aloes-wood and cheering
the heart,--and how can Cairo be otherwise, when it is the Mother of the
world?"

[Illustration: A WELL IN THE DESERT BETWEEN SUEZ AND CAIRO.]

This ideal city of the Arabian Nights is very Oriental, very original,
very curious. Its four hundred thousand souls form a strange
conglomerate of humanity. In its narrow, picturesque streets one is
jostled by gayly dressed Greeks and cunning Jews, by overladen donkeys
and by sober, mournful-looking camels. One half expects to meet Ali Baba
and the Forty Thieves, as we still look for Antonio and the Jew on the
Rialto at Venice. Like Paris, Cairo is a city of cafés. During the
evening and far into the night crowds of individuals of every
nationality are seen seated in groups before them in the open air,
drinking every sort of known liquid, but coffee takes precedence of all
others. In picturesqueness of costume the Turk leads the world. His
graceful turban and flowing robes are worthy of the classic antique,
while the rich contrast of colors which he wears adds to the striking
effect. As he sits cross-legged before his open bazaar, or shop, smoking
a long pipe, he looks very wise, very learned, though in point of fact
there is no doubt more intelligence under the straw hat of a Yankee
peddler than under three average turbans. The dark, narrow lanes and
endless zigzag alleys have an indescribable interest, with their
accumulated dirt of neglect and the dust of a land where rain is so
seldom known. One looks up in passing at those overhanging balconies,
imagining the fate of the harem-secluded women behind them, occasionally
catching stolen glances from curious eyes peering between the lattices.

Egyptian porters, bent half double, are seen carrying on their backs
loads that would stagger a brewer's horse. Women, who ride their horses
and mules astride, are very careful to cover their faces from view,
while their eyes gleam out of peep-holes. Other women, of a humbler
class, jostle us in the streets, with little naked children straddling
one shoulder, and holding on to the mother's head with both hands.
People who ride upon donkeys require a boy to follow behind them with a
stick to belabor the poor overladen creatures, without which they will
not move forward, being so trained. Those who drive through the streets
in carriages are preceded by a gorgeously draped runner bearing a white
wand, and who constantly cries to clear the way. These runners go as
fast as a horse usually trots, and seem never to tire. The common people
lie down on the sidewalk, beside the road, in any nook or corner, to
sleep off fatigue, just as a dog might do. Every public square has its
fountain, and there are two hundred in Cairo.

The bazaars present a novel aspect. Here an old bearded Turk offers for
sale odors, curious pastes and essences, with kohl for shading about the
eyes, and henna dye for the fingers. Another has various ornaments of
sandal wood, delicately wrought fans, and other trifles. His next-door
neighbor, whose quarters are only a degree more dingy, offers pipes,
curiously made, with carved amber mouthpieces, and others with long,
flexible, silken tubes. Turbaned crowds stroll leisurely about. Now a
strong and wiry Bedouin passes, leading his horse and taking count of
everything with his sharp, black eyes, and now a Nile boatman. Yonder is
an Abyssinian slave, and beyond is an Egyptian trader, with here and
there a Greek or a Maltese. Amid it all one feels curious as to where
Aladdin's uncle may be just now, with his new lamps to exchange for old
ones. We will ascend the loftiest point of this Arabian city to obtain a
more comprehensive view.

The mosque of Mehemet Ali, with its tapering minarets, overlooks Cairo,
and is itself a very remarkable and beautiful edifice. This spacious
building is lined throughout with Oriental alabaster, the exterior being
covered with the same costly material. It contains the sarcophagus of
Mehemet Ali, the most enlightened of modern rulers, before which lamps
are burning perpetually. The interior of this mosque is the most
effective, architecturally, of any temple in the East. There is a height
and breadth, and a solemn dignity in its aspect, which cannot fail to
impress every visitor. The exterior is much less striking, yet it is
admirably balanced and harmonized. The situation of the mosque commands
one of the most interesting views that can be conceived of. The city,
with its countless minarets and domed mosques, its public buildings, and
tree-adorned squares, its section of mud-colored houses and terraced
roofs, lies in the form of a crescent at the visitor's feet; while the
plains of Lower Egypt stretch far away in all directions. The tombs of
the Mamelukes (a body of mounted soldiery of Egypt massacred by Mehemet
Ali) lie close at hand, full of historic suggestiveness, and just beyond
stands the lonely column of Heliopolis, four thousand years old, marking
the site of the famous "City of the Sun." Towards the sea is the land of
Goshen, where the sons of Jacob fed their flocks. A little more
westerly, in the mysterious Nile, is seen the well-wooded island of
Roda, quietly nestling in the broad bosom of the river. Here is the
place where the infant Moses was found. The grand Aqueduct, with its
high-reaching arches, reminds us of the ruins outside of Rome; while ten
miles away are seen the time-defying Pyramids, the horizon ending at the
borders of the great Libyan Desert. Far away to the southwest a forest
of palms dimly marks the site of dead and buried Memphis, where Joseph
interpreted a monarch's dream. It is the twilight hour as we stand in
the open area of the mosque, and view the scene. The half-suppressed hum
of a dense Eastern population comes up to us from the busy, low-lying
city, and a strange, sensuous flavor of sandal wood, musk, and attar of
roses floats on the golden haze of the sunset, indelibly fixing the
scene upon the memory.

[Illustration: A LADY OF CAIRO AS SEEN IN PUBLIC.]

The Pyramids of Gizeh are situated about three leagues from Cairo, and,
after crossing the Nile by an iron bridge, guarded at either end by two
bronze lions, they are reached by a straight, level road, lined with
well-trimmed trees. This road terminates at a rocky plateau, which
serves to give these wonderful structures an elevated site, as well as
to form a firm, natural foundation for the enormous weight of solid
stone to be supported. There is always an importuning group of Arabs
here, who live upon the gratuities obtained from visitors. They help
people to ascend and descend the Pyramids for a fixed sum, or, for a few
shillings, will run up and down them like monkeys. On the way between
Cairo and the Pyramids, through the long alley of acacias, we pass
hundreds of camels bound to the city, laden with green fodder and newly
cut clover for stable use in town. Carts are not employed; the backs of
camels and donkeys supersede the use of wheels.

Nothing new can be said about the Pyramids,--monuments hoary with age;
the statistics relating to them are familiar. They simply show, standing
there upon the border of the desert, a vast aggregate of labor performed
by compulsion, and only exhibit the supreme folly of the monarchs, who
thus vainly strove to erect monuments which should defy all time and
perpetuate their fame. To-day not even the names of their founders are
surely known. There are plausible suppositions enough about them, each
writer upon the subject having plenty of arguments to support his
special convictions; but their history rests, after all is said, amid a
confusion of very thin speculation. There is little genius evinced in
the design or execution of the Pyramids. Neither art, taste, nor
religion is in any way subserved by these unequalled follies. There is
no architectural excellence in them, though great skill is evinced in
their construction, they are merely enormous piles of stone. Some
pronounce them marvellous as evidences of ancient greatness and power.
True; but if it were desirable, we could build loftier and larger ones
in our day. As they are doubtless over four thousand years old, we admit
that they are venerable, and that they are entitled to a certain degree
of consideration on that account. In the religious instinct which led
the Buddhists to build, at such enormous expense of time and money, the
cave-temples of Elephanta, Ellora, and Carlee; in the idolatrous Hindoo
temples of Madura and Tanjore, the shrines of Ceylon, the pagodas of
China, and the temples of Japan, one detects an underlying and elevating
sentiment, a grand and reverential idea, in which there may be more of
acceptable veneration than we can fully appreciate; but in the Pyramids
we have no expression of devotion, only an embodiment of personal
vanity, which hesitated at nothing for its gratification, and which
proved a total failure.

The immensity of the desert landscape, and the absence of any object for
comparison, make these three pyramids seem smaller than they really are;
but the actual height of the largest, that of Cheops, is nearly five
hundred feet. The theory that they are royal tombs is generally
accepted. Bunsen claims for Egypt nearly seven thousand years of
civilization and prosperity before the building of these monuments. We
do not often pause to realize how little of reliable history there is
extant. Conjecture is not history. If contemporary record so often
belies itself, what ought we to consider veracious of that which comes
to us through the shadowy distance of thousands of years? Not many
hundred feet from the nearest pyramid, and on a somewhat lower plane,
stands that colossal mystery, the Sphinx. The Arabs call it "The Father
of Terror," and it certainly has a weird and unworldly look. Its body
and most of the head is hewn out of the solid rock where it stands, the
upper portion forming the head and bust of a human being, to which is
added the body with the paws of an animal. The great size of the figure
will be realized when we mention the fact that the face alone is thirty
feet long and half as wide. The body is in a sitting posture, with the
paws extended forward some fifty feet or more. This strange figure is
believed to be of much greater antiquity than the Pyramids, but no one
can say how old it really is. Notwithstanding its mutilated condition,
showing the furrows of time, the features have still a sad, tranquil
expression, telling of the original dignity of the design.

From Cairo we take the railway to Ismailia, the little town situated
midway on the Suez Canal, between the two seas, at the Bitter Lakes,
through which the course of the canal runs. It is a pretty and
attractive place, containing four or five thousand inhabitants, and is a
creation of the last few years. Here we observe gardens filled with
choice flowers and fruit-trees, vegetation being in its most verdant
dress, promoted by irrigation from the neighboring fresh-water canal.
The place has broad, neat streets, and a capacious central square,
ornamented with large and thrifty trees. It was here that the
representatives of all nations met on the occasion of the inaugurating
ceremony on the completion of De Lesseps's canal. We take a small mail
steamer at Ismailia, through the western half of the canal to Port Said,
the Mediterranean terminus of the great artificial river. It is a fact
worthy of remembrance that, with all our modern improvements and
progressive ideas, the Egyptians were centuries before us in this plan
of shortening the path of commerce between the East and the West; or,
in other words, of connecting the Red Sea with that of the Mediterranean
across the Isthmus and through the Gulf of Suez. The purpose was
probably never thoroughly carried out until De Lesseps's consummation of
it as it now exists.

Port Said, like Suez, derives its only interest and importance from the
canal. It contains some seven thousand inhabitants, with a floating
population of two thousand. The region round about it is perfectly
barren, like Egypt nearly everywhere away from the valley of the Nile.
Through that part of the desert which we pass in coming from Suez, one
looks in vain for any continuous sign of vegetation. The entire absence
of trees and forests accounts for the lack also of wild beasts,
excepting the hyena and jackal, which are occasionally met with. Here
and there, at long intervals, an oasis of green is seen, like a smile
breaking over the arid face of nature. Once or twice we see a cluster of
palms beside a rude well, hedged in by a little patch of green earth,
about which a few camels or goats are quenching their thirst or cropping
the scanty herbage. Some Arabs, in picturesque costumes, linger hard by.
The tents pitched in the background are of the same low, flat-topped,
camel's-hair construction as have been used by these desert tribes for
many thousands of years.

Egypt has only her ruins, her antiquity, her Bible associations to give
her interest with the world at large. Japan is infinitely to be
preferred; China even rivals her in natural advantages; and India is
much more inviting. In looking at Egypt we must forget her present and
recall her past. The real Egypt is not the vast territory which we find
laid down by geographers, reaching to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and
embracing equatorial regions; it is and was, even in the days of the
Pharaohs and Ptolemies, the valley of the Nile, from the First Cataract
to the Mediterranean Sea, hemmed in by the Libyan and Arabian deserts,
whence there came to the rest of the world so much of art, science, and
philosophy. The fellah or peasant, he who tills the soil, is of a fine
and industrious race, well built, broad chested, and lithe of frame. He
is the same figure that his ancestors were of old, as represented on the
tombs and temples of Thebes, and on the slabs one sees from Gizeh, in
the museum of Cairo. He still performs his work in the nineteenth
century just as he did before the days of Moses, scattering the seed and
irrigating by hand. He is little seen in the cities,--his place is in
the field, where he lives and thrives. Though his native land has found
such various masters in Greek and Roman, Arab and Turk, he has never
lost his individuality; he has ever been, and is to-day, the same
historic Egyptian.

The next point to which our course will take us is the Island of Malta,
which involves a sail of a thousand miles from Port Said. The city of
Valetta is the capital, having a population of a hundred and fifty
thousand. The island is an English outpost, similar to Gibraltar, and,
in a military point of view, is about as important. It is twenty miles
long and sixteen wide, and has held a conspicuous place in historical
records for nearly three thousand years. The houses of the city are
mostly large stone structures, and many have notable architectural
merit, fronting thoroughfares of good width, well paved, and lighted
with gas. An aspect of cleanliness and freshness pervades everything.
Many of the streets run up the steep hillside on which the town stands,
and are flanked by broad stone steps for foot-passengers, the roadway of
such streets being quite inaccessible for vehicles. The principal
thoroughfare is the Strada Reale, nearly a mile long, lined with
attractive stores and dwelling-houses, forming a busy and pleasant
boulevard. The houses over the stores are ornamented by convenient iron
balconies, where the citizens can sit and enjoy the cool evening breezes
after the hot days that linger about Malta nearly all the year round.

At the upper end of the Strada Reale we observe a large and imposing
stone opera-house, presenting a fine architectural aspect, being
ornamented with lofty Corinthian columns, a side portico and broad stone
steps leading up to the vestibule. A visit to the Church of St. John
will afford much enjoyment. It was built a little over three hundred
years since by the Knights of the Order of St. John, who lavished
fabulous sums of money upon its erection and its elaborate
ornamentation. Statuary and paintings of rare merit abound within its
walls, and gold and silver ornaments render the work of great aggregate
value. The entire roof of the church, which is divided into zones, is
admirably painted in figures of such proportions as to look life-size
from the floor, representing prominent Scriptural scenes. In this church
the Knights seem to have vied with each other in adding to its ornaments
and its treasures, so that the rich marbles, bas-reliefs, and mosaics
are almost confusing in their abundance. The floor is formed of inlaid
marble slabs, which cover the last resting-places of the most
distinguished Knights of the famous Order of St. John.

Snow is not known in Malta, but ice sometimes forms during the coldest
nights of winter, though only in very thin layers, the climate being
much like that of Southern Italy. Fruit and ornamental trees abound, and
flowers attract the eye in nearly every domestic window. There must be a
prevailing refinement of taste in this island city, otherwise the
abundance of flowers offered for sale in the Strada Reale would not find
purchasers. There is a section near the harbor named Casal Attand; that
is, the "Village of Roses." _Casal_ in Maltese signifies village. There
is also Casal Luca, the "Village of Poplars," and still another, Casal
Zebbug, the "Village of Olives," a natural and appropriate system of
nomenclature. It is extremely interesting to visit the armory of the
Knights of St. John, to see the rusty lances, dimmed sword-blades, and
tattered battle-flags which were borne by the Crusaders in the days of
Saladin and Coeur de Lion. A visit to Fort St. Angelo, perched upon
the summit of the island, enables us to look far away over the blue
Mediterranean, dotted by the picturesque maritime rig of these waters.
It is pleasant to stroll about the bright, cleanly streets of Valetta,
to chat with the smiling flower-girls who occupy the little kiosks
(flower-stands) on the corners of the Strada Reale, and to enjoy a
cooling ice in the gardens of the café adjoining the Knights' Palace.
But we must not linger here, whence we sail for Gibraltar, a thousand
miles away, at the other end of this great inland sea.

Arrived at the famous Rock, we are at once impressed upon landing with
its military importance. Every other person one meets is in uniform, and
cannon are as plenty as at Woolwich or West Point. The Signal Station is
fifteen hundred feet in height. The zigzag path leading to the summit is
lined with wild-flowers, though we come now and again upon embrasures,
whence protrude grim-muzzled guns. Further up we stoop to gather some
daphnes and disclose a battery screened by fragrant and blooming
flowers. From the top the view is magnificent; the white wings of
commerce which sprinkle the sea look like sea-gulls, and steamships are
only discernible by the long line of smoke trailing behind them. Far
below us, on the Spanish side, lies the town, a thick mass of yellow,
white, and brown houses; and nestling in the bay is the shipping,
looking like toy-boats. The mountain ranges of Ceuta and Andalusia, on
opposite continents, mingle with soft, over-shadowing clouds, while over
our heads is a glorious dome of turquoise blue, such as no temple raised
by the hand of man can imitate.

We find that England has thus established and maintains a line of
outposts from the Mediterranean to the far East, beginning at Gibraltar,
thence to Malta, Aden, Ceylon, Penang, Singapore, and Hong Kong,
completely dominating the South of Asia, and giving her a clear route to
her extensive possessions in India.



CHAPTER X.


We embark at Gibraltar for Tangier in a small coasting steamer, crossing
the straits which separate Europe from Africa, a distance of less than a
hundred miles. As we draw away from the Spanish shore, the long range of
Andalusian mountains stands out compact and clear, the snow-white
summits sparkling in the sunshine. On the lowlands, sloping to the
water's edge, the fields are robed in a soft green attire, dotted with
herds of goats and cattle. Old stone watch-towers line the shore at
regular intervals, and coast-guard houses sheltering squads of soldiers,
for this region is famous as the resort of smugglers and lawless bands
of rovers. On the opposite coast of Africa, the Ceuta range grows every
moment more distinct, the loftiest peaks mantled with snow, like the
bleached, flowing drapery of the Bedouins. Still further on, dazzling
white hamlets enliven the Morocco shore, with deep green, tropical
verdure in the background. Ceuta attracts our interest, being a Spanish
penal colony, which is surrounded by jealous, warlike Moors,
slave-traders, and smugglers.

Tangier stands on the western shore of a shallow bay, upon a sloping
hillside, but it is not at all impressive as one approaches it. The
windowless houses rise like cubical blocks of masonry one above another,
dominated by a few square towers which crown the several mosques; while
here and there a consular flag floats lazily upon the air from a lofty
pole. The rude, irregular wall which surrounds the city is seen
stretching about it, pierced with arched Moorish gates.

Oriental as Cairo is, Tangier strikes us as even more so. In coming from
Gibraltar, one seems, by a single step as it were, to have passed from
civilization to barbarism. There is no European quarter here. Every
evidence of the proximity of the opposite continent disappears: the
distance might be immeasurable. The city has narrow, dirty, twisted
streets, through which no vehicle can pass, and which are scarcely
accessible for donkeys, camels, and foot-passengers. There is not a
straight or level street in all Tangier. Veiled women, clad in white,
move about the lanes like uneasy spirits; men in scarlet turbans and
striped robes lounge carelessly about, with their bare heels sticking
out of yellow slippers. Now we meet a tawny Arab, a straggling son of
the desert, his striped abba or white bournous (robe-like garments)
hanging in graceful folds about his tall, straight figure; and now a
Nubian, with only a waistcloth about his body. The scene is constantly
changing. There are Jews, with dark blue vests and red sashes; Jewesses,
in bright purple silks, and with uncovered, handsome faces. Here and
there is seen a Maltese or Portuguese sailor hiding from punishment for
some crime committed on the opposite continent. The variety of races one
meets in these contracted passage-ways is indeed curious, represented by
faces yellow, bronze, white, and black. Add to all, the crowd of
donkey-boys, camels, goats, and street pedlers, crying, bleating,
blustering, and braying, and we get an idea of the sights and sounds
that constantly greet one in this Moorish capital.

The slave market is situated just outside of the city walls, where the
sales take place on the Sabbath, which is regarded as a sort of holiday.
The average price of the women and girls is from fifty to sixty dollars,
according to age and good looks; the men vary much in price, according
to the demand for labor. About the large open space of the market is a
group of Bedouins, just arrived from the interior with dried fruits,
dates, and the like. Camels and men, weary after the long tramp, are
reclining upon the ground, forming a picture only to be seen on the
border of the desert, and beneath the glow and shimmer of an African
sun.

We ascend the heights, which form a background to the city. The sloping
hillside is mostly occupied by a few European merchants and the consuls
of the several nations. Their villas are very picturesque, half buried
in foliage, and located in an atmosphere redolent with fruits and
flowers. From the fronts of their dwellings the view is superb: the
broad piazzas are hung here and there with hammocks, telling of
luxurious out-door life; family groups are seen taking their morning
coffee on the verandas, and the voices of many children ring out, clear
and bird-like, floating up to the eyrie where we are perched; down
towards the shore lies brown, dingy, dirty Tangier, with its mud-colored
groups of tiled roofs, its teeming population, its mouldy old walls, its
Moorish arched gates, and its minarets, square and dominant. On our way
back we again pass through the slave market, where a bevy of
dancing-girls with tambourines and castanets look wistfully at us,
hoping for an audience.

Nearly the last sound that greets our ears, as we walk over the
irregular pavements and through the narrow lanes toward the pier whence
we are to embark, is the rude music of the snake-charmer; and the last
sight is that of a public story-teller in one of the little squares,
earnestly gesticulating before a score of eager listeners while he
recites a chapter from the "Thousand and One Nights."

The sultan of Morocco is supreme, and holds the lives and fortunes of
his subjects at his will. He is judge and executioner of the laws, which
emanate from himself. Taxation is so heavy as to amount to prohibition,
in many departments of enterprise; exportation is hampered, agriculture
so heavily loaded with taxes that it is only pursued so far as to supply
the bare necessities of life; manufacture is just where it was centuries
ago, and is performed with the same primitive tools; the printing-press
is unknown; there are no books, save the Koran; and the language is such
a mixture of tongues, and is so corrupted, as to hardly have a
distinctive existence. The people obey the local sheikhs (pronounced
_sh[=a]k_); above them are the cadis, who control provinces; and still
higher, are the pashas, who are accountable only to the sultan.

Returning to Gibraltar we take a coasting steamer along the shore of
Spain eastward to Malaga, the city of raisins and sweet wine. It is
commercially one of the most important cities of the country, and was
once the capital of an independent state. It was a large and prosperous
Phoenician metropolis centuries before the time of Christ upon earth.
The older portions of the city have all the Moorish peculiarities of
construction,--narrow streets, crooked passages, small barred windows,
and heavy doors; but the modern part of Malaga is characterized by
broad, straight thoroughfares and elegantly built houses of stone. This
is especially the case with the Alameda, which has a central walk
ornamented by flowers and shrubs, and which is bordered with handsome
almond-trees. On either side of this broad promenade is a good roadway,
flanked by houses of pleasing architectural effect, lofty and well
relieved.

There are several fine open squares in Malaga, some of which contain
statues and ornamental trees, together with well-kept flower-beds. The
discovery not long since of Roman antiquities in the environs has
created a warm interest among archæologists. The trade of the city in
wine and dried fruits is large. Four-fifths of the forty thousand butts
of sweet wine shipped from here are exported to the United States. The
present population is about a hundred and twenty-five thousand, made up
of a community of more than average respectability, though beggars are
found to be very annoying in the public streets. The old Moorish castle
crowning the seaward heights has been converted into a modern fortress,
affording a charming view from its battlements. In the squares and
streets, as well as in the market-place, women sit each morning weaving
fresh-cut flowers of rose-buds, mignonette, pansies, violets, and
geraniums into pretty little clusters, of which they sell many as
button-hole bouquets. One may be sure there is always a refined element
in the locality, whether otherwise visible or not, where such an
appreciation is manifested. The bull-fight may thrive, the populace may
be riotous, education at a very low ebb, and art almost entirely
neglected; but when a love of nature is evinced in the appreciation of
beautiful flowers, there is still extant on the popular heart the
half-effaced image of its Maker.

It is an interesting fact that Spain, in the time of Julius Cæsar,
contained nearly eighty million inhabitants, but to-day it has less than
eighteen million. By glancing at the map it will be perceived that
Spain is a large country, comprising nearly the whole of the southern
peninsula of Europe, Portugal being confined to a very small space. It
is about double the size of Great Britain, and is rich in every known
mineral, though poor enough in the necessary energy and enterprise
requisite to improve such possibilities. In many sections of the country
great natural fertility is apparent, but nature has to perform the
lion's share of the work in producing crops. In the environs of Malaga,
and the southern provinces generally, there are orange, lemon, and olive
groves miles in extent. The Moors had a poetical saying that this
favored region was dropped from paradise, but there is more of poetry
than truth in the legend. What is really required is good cultivation
and skilled agricultural enterprise. These would develop a very
different condition of affairs and give to legitimate effort a rich
reward. The sugar-cane, the grape-vine, the fig-tree, and the productive
olive, mingling with the myrtle and the laurel, gratify the eye in and
about the district of Malaga; but as one advances inland, the products
become natural or wild, cultivation primitive and only partial,
grain-fields being scarce and universal neglect the prominent feature.

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF THE ALHAMBRA.]

Granada is situated about seventy miles north of Malaga, where set the
sun of Moorish glory, but where still exists that embodiment of romance,
the Alhambra. This palace-fortress is the one attraction of the
district. It is difficult to realize that the Moors possessed such
architectural skill, and that they produced such splendid palaces
centuries ago. It is also quite as remarkable that Time, the great
destroyer, should have spared for our admiration such minute, lace-like
carvings, and such brilliant mosaics. The marvel of the architecture is
its perfect harmony; there are no jarring elements in this superb
structure, no false notes in the grand anthem which it articulates. In
visiting the Alhambra one must be assisted by both history and the
imagination; he must know something of the people who built and
beautified it; he must be able to summon back the brave warriors and
beautiful ladies from the dim past to people again these glorious halls.
He must call to life the orange, the myrtle, and the myriads of fragrant
flowers that bloomed of old in these now silent marble courts. As we
pass from one section to another, from hall to hall, chamber to chamber,
lingering with busy thoughts amid the faded glory, the very atmosphere
teems with historical reminiscences of that most romantic period, the
mediæval days, when the Moors held regal court in Andalusia. A lurking
sympathy steals over us for that exiled people who could create and give
life to such a terrestrial paradise.

[Illustration: A RECEPTION HALL IN THE ALHAMBRA.]

Alhambra signifies "Red Castle," and the vermilion-tinted structure,
with its outlying towers, was thus appropriately named. In the days of
its glory it was half palace, half fortress; indeed, a city in itself,
capable of accommodating quite an army, and containing within its walls
an immense cistern as a water supply, besides armories, storehouses,
foundry, and every appliance of a large citadel. A considerable portion
of the far-reaching walls is still extant. Under good generalship, and
properly manned, the place must have been nearly impregnable to attack
with such arms as were in use at the period. For a long time after the
expulsion of the Moors, the Castilian monarchs made it their royal
residence, and revelled within its splendid walls; but they finally
deserted it. The place was next infested by a lawless community of
smugglers and banditti, who made it their headquarters, whence to sally
forth and lay the neighboring plains under contribution. Then came the
French as conquerors, who expelled the lawless intruders, themselves,
perhaps, quite as deserving of the title; but they did good work in
clearing what had become an Augean stable of its worst filth and
partially restoring the choicest work of the Moorish builders. To-day
the Spanish government guards with jealous care a monumental treasure
which cannot be equalled in the kingdom.

A day's journey northward brings us to Cordova, which was the capital of
Moorish Spain ten centuries ago, when the city could boast a million
inhabitants. Now it has thirty thousand. One of the most prominent
objects is the ancient stone bridge, supported by broad, irregular
arches. For two thousand years that old bridge has battled with the
elements; Romans, Moors, and Spaniards have fiercely contended at its
entrances; the tides of victory and of defeat have swept again and again
across its roadway. Leaning over its stone barriers we watch the river
pursue its rapid course just as it has done for twenty centuries.
Palaces, temples, shrines, may crumble, nations rise and fall, but the
Guadalquiver still flows on.

The one great interest of Cordova is its cathedral, erected sixteen
centuries ago. Beautiful are its still remaining hundreds of interior
columns, composed of porphyry, jasper, granite, alabaster, verd-antique,
and marble of various colors. Each of the columns upholds a small
pilaster, and between them is a horseshoe arch, no two of the columns
being alike. They came from Greece, Rome, Constantinople, Damascus, and
the Temple of Jerusalem. All the then known world was put under
contribution to furnish the twelve hundred columns of this wonderful
temple. The great mosque was changed into a cathedral after the
expulsion of the Arabs, but a large portion of the interior is untouched
and remains as it was when the caliphs worshipped here. Inside and out
it is gloomy, massive, and frowning, forming one of the most remarkable
links still existing in Spain between the remote past and the present.
It appears to be nearly as large upon the ground as St. Peter's at Rome,
and contains fifty separate chapels within its capacious walls. It has,
in its passage through the several dynasties of Roman, Moorish, and
Spanish rule, received distinctive architectural marks from each. Its
large, cool court of orange-trees, centuries old, its battlemented walls
and huge gateway, its famous fountains and its mingled palms and tall
cypresses, all combine to perfect an impressive picture of the dead and
buried thousands connected with its history.

We still pursue a northerly course. From Cordova to Madrid is about
three hundred miles by railway, carrying us through some very
interesting and typical scenery. Occasionally a gypsy camp is passed,
pitched near our route, presenting the usual domestic groups, mingled
with animals, covered carts, lazy men stretched on the greensward, and
busy women cooking the evening meal. Long strings of mules, with
widespread panniers, are seen winding across the plain, sometimes in
charge of a woman clad in gaudy colors, while her lazy husband thrums a
guitar as he lies across one of the mules. Towards evening groups of
peasants, male and female, with farming tools in their hands, are seen
winding their steps towards some hamlet after the day's labor. Arched
stone bridges, old and moss-grown, come into view, spanning small
watercourses on their way from the mountains to join more pretentious
streams. Elevated spots show us the ruins of old stone towers, once a
part of some feudal stronghold, but the eye seeks in vain for
well-wooded slopes, thrifty groves, or cultivated fields with promising
crops. While the more practical traveller realizes a sense of
disappointment at the paucity of thrift and vegetation, the poet and the
artist will find enough to delight the eye and to fire the imagination
in Spain. The ever-transparent atmosphere, and the lovely cloud-effects
that prevail, are accompaniments which will hallow the desolate regions
for the artist at all seasons. The poet has only to wander among the
former haunts of the Moors and view the crumbling monuments of their
gorgeous, luxurious, and artistic taste, to be equally absorbed and
inspired.

When we arrive at Madrid, the first query which suggests itself is, why
Charles V. should have made his capital on this spot. True, it is in
about the geographical centre of Spain, but it is hemmed in on all sides
by arid plains, and has an adjacent river, so-called, but which in
America would be known as a dry gulch. It is difficult to see what
possible benefit can be derived from a waterless river. Like the Arno at
Florence, it seems troubled with a chronic thirst. In short, the
Manzanares has the form of a river without the circulation. In the days
of Charles II. its dry bed was turned into a sort of race-course and
drive-way, but since the completion of the magnificent Prado it has been
abandoned even for this purpose. Eight or nine hundred years ago Madrid
was a fortified outpost of Toledo--"imperial" Toledo. Though it is
situated between two and three thousand feet above sea-level, it does
not seem to possess the advantages usually following such position, the
climate being scorchingly hot in summer and piercingly cold in winter.
So that one comes to the conclusion that in point of climate, as well as
in location, the Spanish capital is a mistake.

Having been established when the furor for cathedral-building had
passed, the city has none within its borders, though there is no lack of
modern churches. Notwithstanding these criticisms, Madrid is a large and
fine city, with some four hundred thousand inhabitants; not noticeable,
like Genoa, Rome, or Florence, for palaces and ancient monuments, but it
is well laid out, the streets broad and nicely paved, while numerous
open squares ornament the several sections. Some of these are filled
with attractive shrubbery and ornamental trees, as well as statuary.
Among the latter are representations of Murillo, Philip III., Cervantes,
Lope de Vega, Philip V., Calderon, and others. The finest statue in the
city is that of Philip IV., representing that monarch on horseback, the
animal in a prancing position. This is a wonderfully life-like bronze,
designed by Velasquez. It forms the centre of the Plaza del Oriente, or
square in front of the royal palace, from which it is separated,
however, by a broad thoroughfare. According to history, Galileo showed
the artist how the horse could be sustained in its remarkable position,
the whole weight of the rider and the animal resting on the hind legs.

On the Prado, the grand public drive of the citizens, there are fine
marble statues, and groups combined with very elegant fountains. The
Puerto del Sol, that is, the "Gate of the Sun," is situated in the heart
of the city, and is always full of busy life. A dozen large streets and
boulevards radiate from this area, where the lines of street-cars also
meet and diverge. The fashionable idlers of the town hold high carnival
in the Puerto del Sol, day and night. One is half dazed by the whirl of
carriages, the rush of pedestrians, the passing of military bands with
marching regiments, and the clatter of horses' feet caused by dashing
equestrians. This plaza or square is a scene of incessant movement from
early morn until midnight. Like Paris and Vienna, Madrid does not seem
to thoroughly awaken until evening, the tide of life becoming most
active under the glare of gas-light. The Prado, just referred to, is to
Madrid what the Champs Elysées and the Bois de Boulogne are to Paris, a
splendid avenue, through the centre of which runs a walk and garden
similar to the Unter den Linden of Berlin, or Commonwealth Avenue,
Boston, save that it is more extensive than either of these last named.
The Prado nearly joins the Public Garden of Madrid, on the borders of
the city proper, in which there are also fine carriage-drives, roadways
for equestrians, many delightful shaded walks, and paths lined with
choice flowers. On Sundays and holidays these grounds are thronged with
citizens and their families for out-of-door enjoyment; several military
bands distributed about the grounds add to the attraction.

The royal palace is located upon a slightly elevated site, and is so
isolated as to give full effect to its appearance. It is the only
building of a remarkable character, architecturally speaking, in the
city; being the largest, and one of the finest, royal palaces in Europe.
It belongs to the Tuscan style, and cost between five and six million
dollars a hundred years ago. The base is of granite; but the upper
portion is built of a fine white stone, very closely resembling marble.

In its splendid art collection of the Museo, the city has a treasure
only equalled by the Louvre at Paris and the galleries of Florence. To
artists it is the one attraction of Madrid, and is principally composed
of works by Spanish masters, though also containing many other fine
works of art. Here we may see forty examples by the hand of Murillo,
sixty-four from Velasquez, sixty by Rubens, twenty-five from Paul
Veronese, thirty-four by Tintoretto, and many by Andrea del Sarto,
Titian, Vandyke, and others of similar artistic fame. It is believed
that Murillo appears at his best in this collection. Being a native of
Seville, he is seen, as it were, at home; and artists declare that his
works here show more power and expression than anywhere else. So we go
to Antwerp to appreciate Rubens, though we find him so fully represented
elsewhere. The same may be said of Velasquez as of Murillo; he also was
at home here, and cannot be fairly, or rather fully, judged outside of
the Madrid gallery.

When the French were masters in Spain, they proved to be terrible agents
of destruction; leaving marks of their devastation everywhere. Not
content with stealing many unequalled works of art, they often wantonly
destroyed what they could not conveniently take away with them. In the
tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella, at Grenada, they pried open the royal
coffins, in search of treasure; at Seville they broke open the coffin of
Murillo, and scattered his ashes to the wind; Marshal Soult treated the
ashes of Cervantes in a similar manner. War desecrates all things, human
and divine, but sometimes becomes a Nemesis (goddess of retribution),
dispensing poetical justice; as when Waterloo caused the return to Spain
of a portion of her despoiled art-treasures.

The bull-ring of the capital will seat eighteen thousand spectators.
Here, on each Sunday of the season, exhibitions are given to
enthusiastic crowds, the entertainments always being honored by the
presence of the state dignitaries, and members of the royal family. The
worst result of such cruelty is that it infects the beholders with a
like spirit. We all know how cruel the English became during the reign
of Henry the Eighth. Sunday is always a gala-day in Madrid, though the
attendance upon early mass is very general, at least among the women. It
is here, as at Paris and other European capitals, the chosen day for
military parades, horse races, and the bull fight. Most of the shops are
open, and do a profitable business; especially is this the case with the
liquor and cigar stores and the cafés. The lottery-ticket vendor makes
double the usual day's sales on this occasion, and the itinerant
gamblers, with their little tables, have crowds about them wherever they
locate. The gayly dressed flower-girls, with dainty little baskets rich
in color and captivating in fragrance, press button-hole bouquets on the
pedestrians, while men perambulate the streets with cakes and candies
displayed in open wooden boxes hung about their necks. In short, Sunday
is made a holiday, when grandees and beggars come forth like marching
regiments into the Puerto del Sol. The Prado and public gardens are
crowded with gayly dressed people, children, and nurses, the costumes of
the latter being of the most theatrical character. No one who can walk
stays within doors on Sunday at Madrid.

The cars will take us forty miles hence to Toledo, where the rule of the
Moor is seen in foot-prints which time has not yet obliterated. It seems
like realizing a mediæval dream to walk the narrow, sombre streets of
this famous old capital. Strangely steep, winding, and irregular, they
are! The reason for constructing them thus was doubtless that they might
be the more easily defended when attacked by an enemy. In the days of
her prime, Toledo saw many battles, both inside and outside of her
gates. One can touch the houses of these streets, in many instances, on
both sides at the same time by extending the arms. There are scores of
deserted buildings, securely locked up, the heavy gates studded with
great iron nails, while the lower windows are closely iron-grated. Some
of them are open and unguarded, having paved entrances or court-yards,
with galleries around them, upon which the rooms open. Everything
bespeaks their Moorish origin. Some of these houses, which were palaces
once, are now used as storehouses, some as carpenter-shops, some
occupied as manufactories, while the appearance of all shows them to
have been designed for a very different use.

The whole valley which Toledo overlooks, now lying so dead and silent,
once teemed with a dense population, and sent forth armies, and fought
great battles, in the days of the Goths. The cathedral of this old city
is visited by architects from all parts of Europe and America, solely
for the purpose of professional study, it being one of the finest
examples of the Gothic order in existence, while the richness of its
ornamentation and its artistic wealth, not to mention in detail its gold
and silver plate, make it the rival of most cathedrals in the world,
with the possible exception of that at Burgos. Its size is vast, with a
tower reaching three hundred feet heavenward, the interior having five
great aisles, divided by over eighty aspiring columns. It is said to
contain more stained-glass windows than any other cathedral that was
ever built. The high altar, a marvel of splendid workmanship and minute
detail, is yet a little confusing from the myriads of single statues,
groups, columns, and ornaments generally.

Toledo stands upon the boldest promontory of the Tagus, a dead and
virtually deserted city. Coveted by various conquerors, she has been
besieged more than twenty times; so that the river beneath her walls has
often flowed red with human gore where it is spanned by the graceful
bridge of Alcantara. Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, Moors, and Christians
have all fought for, and at different times have possessed the place.
Only the skeleton of a once great and thriving capital remains. It has
no commerce, and but one industry, the manufacture of arms and
sword-blades, which gives occupation to a couple of hundred
souls--hardly more. The coming and going of visitors from other lands
gives it a little flutter of daily life,--like a fitful candle, blazing
up for a moment, and then dying down in the socket, making darkness only
the more intense by the contrast. The one sword factory is found to be
of little interest, though we are told that better blades are
manufactured here to-day than of old.

In looking at the present condition of this once famous seat of industry
and power, recalling her arts, manufactures, and commerce, it must be
remembered that outside of the immediate walls, which formed the citadel
of a large and extended population, were over forty thriving towns and
villages in the valley of the Tagus, under the shadow of her wing. These
communities and their homes have all disappeared, pastures and fields of
grain covering their dust from the eyes of the curious traveller. The
narrow, silent, doleful streets of the old city, with its overhanging
roofs and yawning arches, leave a sad memory on the brain as we turn
thoughtfully away from its crumbling walls and picturesque, antique
Moorish gates.

Thirty-five miles from Madrid by rail will bring us to the Escurial,
which the Spaniards call the eighth wonder of the world. This vast pile
of stone buildings is more than three hundred years in age, and nearly a
mile in circumference,--tomb, palace, cathedral, monastery, all in one.
It was the royal home of that bigoted monarch Philip II., but is now
only a show place, so to speak, of no present use except as an
historical link and a royal tomb. One hall, over two hundred feet long
and sixty wide, contains nearly seventy thousand bound volumes, all
arranged with their backs to the wall so that the titles cannot be read,
a plan which one would say was the device of some madman. The shelves,
divided into sections and ornamental cases, are made of ebony, cedar,
orange, and other choice woods. What possible historic wealth may here
lie concealed, what noble thoughts and minds embalmed! In the domestic
or dwelling portion of the Escurial, the apartments are very finely
inlaid with various woods, besides containing some delicate and antique
furniture of great beauty. A few cabinet pictures are seen upon the
walls, and one or two large apartments are hung with tapestry, which,
though centuries old, is as fresh as when it was first made. It might
have come from the manufactory during this present year; for it
certainly could not look brighter or more perfect.

The grounds surrounding the structure are laid out in pleasant gardens,
where fountains, flowers, and a few inferior marble statues serve for
external finish. On the outside, high up above the broadest portion of
the dome, was placed the famous plate of gold, an inch thick and
containing some ten square feet of surface, forming a monument of the
bravado and extravagance of Philip II., who put it there in reply to the
assertion of his enemies that he had financially ruined himself in
building so costly a palace as the Escurial.

Burgos is situated about two hundred miles north of Madrid, and is
reached by railway. Here the first impression upon the stranger is that
of quaintness. It is a damp, cold, dead-and-alive place, with but three
monuments worthy of our attention. These are its unrivalled cathedral,
its Carthusian monastery, and its convent of Huelgas; and yet there is a
tinge of the romantic Castilian period about its musty old streets and
archways scarcely equalled elsewhere in Spain, and which one would not
like to miss. It is very amusing, on arriving in such a place, to start
off in the early morning without any fixed purpose as to destination,
and wander through unknown streets, lanes, and archways, coming out upon
a broad square,--the Plaza Mayor, for instance, which contains a bronze
statue of Charles III.; thence to another with a tall stone fountain in
its centre, where a motley group of women and young girls are filling
their jars with water; and again, through a dull dark lane, coming upon
the lofty gate of Santa Maria, erected by Charles V., and ornamented
with statues of the Cid (a noted knight and warrior), Fernando Gonzales
(famous Spanish general), and the emperor. Strolling on, we presently
come to another open square, full of busy groups of women and donkeys,
gathered about piles of produce. It is the vegetable market, always a
favorite morning resort in every new locality. How animated are the
eager sellers and buyers! What a study is afforded by their bright,
expressive faces; how gay the varied colors of dress and of vegetables;
how ringing the Babel of tongues and the braying of donkeys!

The cathedral, which the Emperor Charles V. said ought to be placed
under glass, renders the town a famous resort of travellers, being one
of the largest, finest, and most richly endowed of all the Spanish
churches. This lofty structure, like that at Antwerp, is situated behind
a cluster of inferior buildings, so as greatly to detract from its
external effect, though from the opposite side of the river Arlanzon a
favorable view is obtained of its open-work spires and its tall
corrugated roof. The columns and high arches of the interior are a maze
of architectural beauty in pure Gothic. In all these Spanish churches
the choir completely blocks up the centre of the interior, so that no
comprehensive view can be had. Above the space between the altar and the
choir rises a cupola, which, in elaborate ornamentation of bas-reliefs,
statues, small columns, arches, and sculptured figures, exceeds anything
of the sort in this country so famous for its cathedrals. The hundred
and more carved seats of the choir are in choice walnut, and form a
great curiosity as an example of artistic wood-carving, presenting human
figures, vines, fantastic animals, and foliage. The several chapels are
as large as ordinary churches, while in the centre of each lies buried a
bishop or a prince. The great number of statues and paintings scattered
through the interior of the cathedral are almost as confusing as the
pinnacled and statue-covered roof of the Milan cathedral, whose beauty
disappears amid accumulation. In a side apartment the attendant will
show us many curious relics, among them the well-known effigy of Christ
on the Cross, which devout believers say was carved by Nicodemus just
after he had buried the Saviour.

Our course is still northward. From Burgos to San Sebastian by rail is a
hundred and fifty miles. As we leave the ancient town, memory is busy
for a moment recalling its legends and history. We remember that
centuries ago a knight of Castile, Diego Porcelos, had a lovely daughter
named Sulla Bella, whom he gave as a bride to a German cavalier, and
together they founded this place and fortified it. They called it Burg,
a fortified place, hence Burgos. We recall the Cid and his gallant
war-horse, Baveica, we think of the richly endowed cathedral, and the
old monastery, where rest Juan II. and Isabella of Portugal in their
elaborately carved alabaster tomb. But gradually these memories fade
away as we awaken to new and present surroundings while rushing along at
railway speed. Sparkling watercourses, with here and there a fall, give
power to some rickety old stone mill and add variety to the scene. On
the not far-off hills are castles, border fortresses in ruins, whose
gray towers have borne witness to the conflicts of armor-clad warriors
in the days of Castilian knighthood and glory. What interest hangs about
these rude battlements! In looking back upon the ancient days it is
fortunate that the mellowing influence of time dims the vision, and we
see as through a softening twilight; otherwise we should behold such
harshness as would embitter all. The olden time, like the landscape,
appears best in the purple distance.

The general aspect of the country since we left Malaga in the south has
been rather disappointing, and the rural appearance on this beautiful
trip from Burgos to San Sebastian is therefore the more heartily
appreciated. It should be called the garden of Spain, the well-watered
valleys and plains being spread with a carpet of exquisite verdure. In
the far distance one detects snow-clad mountains, which in fact are not
out of sight during the entire journey. Thousands of acres are covered
by the vine from the product of which comes our sherry wine. It is
impossible not to feel a sense of elation amid the delightful scenery
and while breathing the genial air. Nature seems to be in her merriest
mood, clothing everything in poetic attire, rendering more than
beautiful the gray hamlets on the hillsides, over which rise square
bell-towers, about which the red-tiled cottages cluster. Outside of
these are seen family groups, some sewing, some spinning, while children
gleefully tumble about and play in the inviting grass.

San Sebastian is a somewhat famous watering-place, situated on the
boisterous Bay of Biscay, and drawing its patronage largely from Madrid,
though of late many English people have resorted thither. It is a small
city, but the thriftiest and most business-like, when its size is
considered, to be found in the borders of Spain. The place was entirely
destroyed by fire when captured from the French by the English, a piece
of sanguinary work which cost the latter five thousand lives! It was on
this occasion that Wellington is reported to have said, "The next most
dreadful thing to a battle lost is a battle won."

After leaving San Sebastian our first stopping-place is Bayonne; that
is, "Good Port." It is a city of some thirty thousand inhabitants,
situated at the junction of the Adour and Nive rivers, in the Lower
Pyrenees. Here again the cathedral forms the principal attraction to
travellers. Though very plain and with little architectural merit, still
it is very old, gray and crumbling, plainly telling the story of its
age. The city has considerable commerce by the river, both in steam and
sailing vessels, and exports a very respectable amount of domestic
produce. Here we see the palace where Catharine de Medici and the Duke
of Alva planned the terrible massacre of the Huguenots of France. A
large, well-arranged public garden begins just at the city gate and
extends along the left bank of the Adour, and there are many pleasant
drives in the environs.

From here we take the cars for Bordeaux, France, a distance of over a
hundred miles, the road running mostly through what seems to be an
interminable pine forest.

In leaving Spain we pause for a moment to contrast her past and her
present. In the sixteenth century she was the most powerful nation in
the world. In art she held the foremost position. Murillo, Velasquez,
and Ribiéra were her honored sons; in literature she was represented by
Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon; while of discoverers and
conquerors she sent forth Columbus, Cortez, and Pizarro. The banners of
Castile and Aragon floated alike on the Pacific and the Indian oceans.
Her warriors were brave and adventurous, her soldiers inherited the
gallantry of the followers of Charles V. She was the court of Europe,
the acknowledged leader of chivalry. How rapid has been her decadence!
As in the plenitude of her power she was ambitious, cruel, and
perfidious, so has the measure which she meted to others been in turn
accorded to herself, until to-day there are none so lowly as to do her
homage.

Bordeaux is reckoned the third city in France as to its commercial
importance. The form of the town is that of a crescent extending along
the shore of the Garonne, which here forms a broad and navigable harbor,
always well filled with foreign and domestic shipping, though it is
sixty miles from the sea. There are many interesting Roman antiquities
and monuments to be seen in and about the city, venerable with the wear
and tear of eighteen centuries. The public buildings are commanding in
their architectural effect, and are many of them adorned with sculpture.
The most ancient part of the town, like nearly all others we visit in
Europe, has narrow and crooked streets, but the modern portion is open,
airy, and well arranged for business and domestic comfort. The Grand
Theatre is a remarkable piece of effective architecture, with its noble
Ionic columns, and was built a little more than a century since by Louis
XVI.

The distance from Bordeaux to Paris is about four hundred miles. The
route passes all the way through a charming and highly cultivated
country. The well-prepared fields are green with varied crops, showing a
high state of cultivation. Flocks of sheep, tended by shepherdesses with
tall Norman caps of white linen and picturesque bright colored dresses,
enliven the landscape. These industrious women are seen knitting as they
watch their charge. Others are driving oxen while men hold the plow.
Gangs of men and women together in long rows are preparing the ground
for the seed, and all seem cheerful and happy. The small railroad
stations recall those of India between Tuticorin and Madras, where the
surroundings are beautified by fragrant flower-gardens, their bland,
odorous breath acting like a charm upon the senses amid the noise and
bustle of arrival and departure. Now and again as we progress the
pointed architecture of some picturesque château presents itself among
the clustering trees, with its bright verdant lawn and neat outlying
buildings, and so we speed swiftly on until by and by we glide into the
large station at Paris.



CHAPTER XI.


In passing through Paris we shall pause to present a few sketches
representative of the great French capital. It is the gayest metropolis
of Europe, the spot where the traveller is most inclined to linger, and
whose siren voice is most dangerous to the inexperienced. Its
attractions are innumerable, combining unequalled educational advantages
in art, literature, and the learned professions, together with unlimited
temptations to frivolity. Here are offered daily, without money and
without price, lectures upon all themes known to science, free schools
in all departments of learning, free art museums and free art galleries,
such as can hardly be excelled in the world.

The finest view to be had in the city may be enjoyed by taking one's
stand in the Tuileries Garden and looking straight across the Place de
la Concorde to the far-away Arc de Triomphe. Here is a clear view, in
the very heart of Paris, two miles long, over the entire length of the
Champs Elysées. The only thing to impede the sight in the least degree
is the grand old column of Luxor, which stands in the middle of the
Place de la Concorde, but which is of only needle-like proportions in so
comprehensive a view as we speak of. This is the finest square of the
city, and indeed we may go further and say the finest in all Europe. It
is bounded on the north by the spacious buildings occupied by the
Ministry of the Marine, on the south by the Seine, here crossed by the
Pont des Invalides, and having the Tuileries on the east and the Champs
Elysées on the west. As this is the first square in Europe, so is the
Champs Elysées, which opens out of it, the grandest boulevard in the
world. It is divided into three alleys, liberally planted with trees,
the principal entrance being marked by the celebrated sculptures known
as the "Horses of Marly," standing like sentinels, one on each side of
the broad carriage-way. This is the road leading to the Bois de
Boulogne, the favorite pleasure-drive of the Parisians, where also may
be found the fine race-grounds and the Jardin d'Acclimation, with its
superb and unrivalled collection of wild animals and rare birds.

Sunday is a weekly recurring carnival here, on which occasions the races
and the military reviews take place, and all Paris seeks to amuse itself
by open air pleasures. Fifty thousand people and more throng the Champs
Elysées; the toy and refreshment booths drive a lucrative business; the
numerous goat and pony wagons for children are in constant use. One
little turn-out is particularly noticeable, consisting of four
well-trained Newfoundland dogs, elegantly harnessed and attended by a
couple of servants in livery, a boy of ten or twelve years holding the
lines from his seat in the light and graceful little vehicle. Merry
young misses drive their ribbon-decked hoops with special relish, and
roguish boys spin their tops with equal zeal. Clouds of toy-balloons, of
various colors and sizes, flash high above the heads of itinerant
vendors, while the sparkling fountains throw up softly musical jets
everywhere. Soldiers off duty, strolling idly about, dot the scene with
their various uniforms, their shining helmets, and elaborate gold lace.
The busy road-way is crowded by a thousand turnouts, drawn by
high-stepping horses. Delighted youths, of both sexes, mount wooden
horses in the merry-go-rounds and enjoy their ride at a cost of a couple
of cents. Lofty aerial cars, upon huge revolving wheels, afford as much
delight and more risk to other youths. Punch and Judy, and the man with
the air-gun and conspicuous mark, are also present. A performing monkey
divides the honors and pennies with the rest of the entertainers. Not
far away an acrobat, in flesh-colored tights, lies upon the carpeted
ground and tosses a lad, dressed in spangled thin clothes, into the air,
catching him upon his foot again as he comes down, and twirling him so
rapidly that the boy becomes invisible. Such is a glimpse of the Champs
Elysées on Sunday.

Strangers in Paris do not forget to visit the Expiatory Chapel, erected
by Louis the Eighteenth to the memory of Louis the Sixteenth, Marie
Antoinette, and other victims of the Revolution, which took place about
a century since. Historic recollections crowd upon us as we stand within
this small but beautiful chapel. Time has softened the sternness of
judgment relating to the king and queen; and we all pause to admire
their bearing in adversity, but are forced to the conclusion "that
nothing in their life so well became them as the manner of their leaving
it." The queen was remarkable for her dignity of person, which she loved
to increase by the accessories of ornament, until, as a writer of that
period tells us, covered with diamonds and precious stones, she was
literally a thing of light. But Marie Antoinette, in the dungeons of the
Conciergerie, in her widow's cap and patched black dress, was worthier
of love and veneration than when she blazed as the royal star of
Versailles.

The flower market of this large capital is ever suggestive and
interesting. The women, of all ages, who bring these floral gems to the
city, exhibit a taste in their arrangement which would be of value to a
professional artist. One may detect a living poem in each little
department. The principal square devoted to this purpose is situated
just over the Pont Neuf and borders the Seine. The market is changed so
as to be held for two days of each week under the shadow of the
Madeleine, in the Place de la Madeleine, the noblest of modern Christian
temples in its chaste architecture. As we come down from the Rue Scribe,
in the early part of the day, we see vehicles, with liveried attendants,
pause while the fair occupants purchase a cluster of favorite flowers;
dainty beauties on foot come hither to go away laden with fragrant gems,
while well-dressed men deck their buttonholes with a bit of color and
fragrance combined. Here is a white-frocked butcher selecting a
full-blown pot of pansies, and here a sad-faced woman, in widow's weeds,
takes away a wreath of immortelles--to-night it will deck a tomb in the
cemetery of Père la Chaise. This giddy and nervous fellow, who is full
of smiles, takes away a wedding wreath--price is no object to him.
Yonder is a pale-faced shop-girl--what sunny yet half-sad features she
has! She must perhaps forego her dinner in order to possess that pot of
mignonette, but she trips lightly away with it in a happy mood.

The most interesting church here is that of Notre Dame, whose massive
towers greet the eye in every comprehensive view of the city. The
present structure is probably not over seven hundred years old, but it
stands upon a site successively occupied by a Pagan temple and a
Christian church of the time of the early kings. The present building
presents one of the most perfect examples of Gothic architecture extant.
It contains about forty separate chapels. Here the late Emperor and
Empress were married, in January, 1853, just fifty-two years after the
coronation of the first Napoleon in the same place.

A little way from Notre Dame, upon a street situated behind it and near
the Pont St. Louis, is the Morgue, or dead-house of Paris, at all times
open to the public, where are exposed the corpses of unknown persons who
have met their death in the streets or the Seine by violence or
drowning. These bodies remain here three days for the purpose of
identification. If not recognized and claimed by friends, they are then
buried at the expense of the city, or consigned to the
dissecting-tables. There are brought here during the year, the officer
in charge will tell us, over three hundred bodies, two-thirds of whom
are men, and about one-third women. A large number of the latter are
known to be suicides, and are recovered from the waters of the Seine,
close at hand.

The daily scenes occurring in the gardens of the Tuileries, which open
from the Place de la Concorde, are characteristic. The spacious grounds,
adorned with stately trees, fountains, tiny lakes, statues, and flowers,
the latter kept fresh and green by artificial means nearly all the year
round, form an ever-varying attraction. Hundreds of merry children
enliven every nook and corner by their careless, happy voices. The
gayest of promenaders of both sexes throng the broad, smooth paths in
the after part of the day. Round the fountains the sparrows, as tame as
the pigeons of St. Mark at Venice, light upon one's arms and shoulders,
convinced that the only legitimate business of the world is to supply
them with cake and biscuit. Now there break upon the ear the strains of
a full military band posted among the trees, and brilliant music adds
its charm to the attractive scene. This is one side of the picture; we
may perhaps with profit to ourselves turn to the other. The same bell
that rings out the marriage peal, tolls forth the funeral knell; sweet
flowers that deck the bridal altar, are also brought to lay upon the
tomb. We have not far to go in seeking for the shadow of the Tuileries
gardens. Misery in all its varied forms is to be found in the Faubourg
St. Antoine, partially hidden by almost transparent screens from the
naked eye. Crime, sickness, starvation, death, all are within no great
distance of these beautiful resorts. Dark streets where thieves and
outcasts slink away from the light of day like hunted animals; where one
reads hunger and want in silent human faces; where men are met whose
villanous expression only too plainly betrays their criminal nature.

All strangers make a visit to Père la Chaise, the historic burial-ground
of the French capital. Its two hundred acres of monuments, tombs, and
costly sepulchres present only a sad and sombre aspect to the eye, as
unlike to Greenwood, Mount Auburn, or Forest Hills, as narrow streets
and brick houses are unlike the green and open fields of the country.
One reads upon the tombs, however, the familiar historic names with
vivid interest, such as Rossini, Molière, Scribe, Alfred de Musset,
Talma, Arago, and others. One remarkable tomb attracts us; it is that of
Abélard and Héloise, upon which some hand has just placed _fresh_
flowers. One cannot but respect the sentiment which would perpetuate the
memory of this hero and heroine of seven hundred years ago. There are
sixty thousand tombs, mausoleums, and memorial stones within these
grounds, but none equal this one tomb for interest.

We must not forget to visit the Cluny Museum, situated on the Rue des
Mathurins, near the Boulevard St. Michel. The remarkable collection of
historic relics of the Middle Ages and subsequent period, consisting of
glass, porcelain, tapestry, carvings, weapons, and domestic utensils,
are tangible history of great interest. The building itself in which
these treasures are exhibited is a curiosity five or six hundred years
in age, near the very extensive remains of Julian's palace. With one
exception this is the only visible structure of the Roman period that
still exists in the city of Paris. The other is the Roman Amphitheatre,
situated in the Rue Monge. Here, not long since, coins were found,
bearing the date of the time of Adrian.

On the Rue Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries gardens, stands a bronze
equestrian statue, erected within the last few years, representing Joan
of Arc. As we look upon it, the mind reverts to the romantic story of
the maid of Domremy, which this tardy act of justice commemorates. A
conclave of bishops sent her to the stake at Rouen--an act as
unwarrantable as the hanging of innocent women for witches in the early
days of New England. History repeats itself, and the victims of one
generation become the idols of the next. We like best to believe that
this simple maid was inspired to do the work which she so well
performed. At the age of thirteen she began to devote herself to
liberate her country from the English invaders, selling the very bed she
slept upon to aid in the equipment of soldiers for the field. Joan was
but eighteen years old when she appeared before Charles VII. and told
him that she was impelled by Heaven to raise the siege of Orleans, and
to conduct him to Rheims to be crowned. She was young and beautiful; the
king believed in her; the soldiers thought she was inspired, and so
followed her to victory. City after city surrendered to her, battle
after battle was won under her leadership, until Charles was indeed
crowned at Rheims; but, through the influence of her English enemies,
the brave and modest maid was condemned as a sorceress and burned at the
stake!

It is foreigners, not Parisians, who support the splendid jewelry and
other fancy stores of the boulevards, as well as the thousand
extravagant hotels of the metropolis. Paris is the mart of the world for
fancy goods. It is the policy of the government to establish and freely
maintain such attractions as shall draw to the city strangers from all
parts of the world, who come and empty their well-filled purses into the
pockets of French merchants. But let us not forget that the best means
of education are free to all, the poorest scholar being welcome to the
unrivalled libraries and archives, as well as to the splendid advantages
of the art galleries. Scientific lectures and the rarest books upon
special themes are free to him, while every facility which the
government can control is liberally offered to the humble but ambitious
student of science and of art.

We start for Lyons by the way of Fontainebleau, which is situated about
forty miles from Paris. The Palace was founded over seven hundred years
ago, and has been kept during all these years in perfect condition, each
new monarch adding to its embellishments, until it forms to-day a
magnificent museum of art. There are over eight hundred apartments, all
of which are sumptuously decorated and furnished. Here was signed the
revocation Edict of Nantes; from here was announced the divorce of
Josephine; and here Napoleon the First signed his abdication. The
Palace is surrounded by beautiful and extensive gardens, small lakes,
and fountains. The famous forest of Fontainebleau is of more than
passing interest; there is no such wooded and shady drive elsewhere in
the world as is afforded by the admirably kept roads that intersect the
sixty-four square miles covered by this forest, and in the midst of
which is the town. The inhabitants number twelve thousand, added to
which there is here a military station with barracks for about a
thousand men. Until within a few years the forest was the resort of
persons from the capital who had affairs to settle with sword or pistol,
but police arrangements have put an end to this business.

Lyons has a population of half a million, and ranks as the second city
of France in that respect. The manufacture of silk is the great industry
here, and everybody seems to be in some way interested in forwarding
this business. There are between forty and fifty thousand silk-looms
actively employed. In the extent of its silk trade it is the first city
in the world. Being located at the confluence of two important rivers,
the Rhone and the Saône, the city has almost the advantage of a maritime
port, besides which it has ample railroad connections. After a day's
rest at Lyons, we will proceed on our journey by rail to the city of
Marseilles, the first commercial port of the Mediterranean.

The importance of Marseilles as a business centre can hardly be
overestimated, its harbor having safe accommodations for over a thousand
ships at the same time. The flags of Italy, Portugal, England, and
America mingle with those of the far East at her quays. In the breezy
streets of the town surrounding the harbor, we meet Turks, Italians,
Spaniards, British tars, and the queerly dressed sailors of the Grecian
Archipelago, while a Babel of tongues rings upon the ear. This is the
principal port for embarkation to reach Corsica, Genoa, Leghorn,
Constantinople, and Smyrna, the harbor being the finest in France, and
it has been prominent in its commercial connections for fully two
thousand years. Marseilles, with a population of four hundred thousand,
is remarkable for the number and excellence of its public institutions,
among which is a royal exchange, a national observatory, an academy of
sciences, a public library, a school of design, a deaf and dumb
institute, a museum of paintings and antiquities, etc. The Palace of
Longchamps, standing upon one of the most prominent spots in the city,
is a museum, geological school, library, and picture gallery combined.
It is a superb structure architecturally, and cost over seven millions
of dollars.

Overlooking the city of Marseilles is the hill of Notre Dame de la
Garde, a lofty eminence, which seen from the town appears to be hung in
the very clouds. Skilful engineering has made a winding road to the apex
accessible for vehicles. Once reached, this lofty spot affords one of
the most delightful and comprehensive views on the continent, embracing
a wide extent of sea and land. Immediately beneath the visitor's feet
lies the city, nearly encircled by vine-clad hills, interspersed by
châteaux, Swiss and English cottages, all assuming Lilliputian
proportions. The winding cliff-road looks like a silver thread, and the
blue Mediterranean, dotted here and there with sails and steamships,
glistens in the warm, soft sunshine. But the bird's-eye view of the city
is a marvel in its perfection and comprehensiveness. This hill is named
after the singular Roman Catholic chapel upon its cloud-capped summit.
It is visible for many leagues at sea, and is the subject of mysterious
veneration to sailors who navigate these inland waters. A large number
of curious articles from all parts of the world contributed by believing
sailors are to be seen within its walls, in the form of rich samples of
ores, shells, corals, and savage weapons from the far-away South Sea
Islands, forming a kind of religious museum.

From Marseilles we take the railway route to Nice, a distance of one
hundred and forty miles. This world-renowned sanitary resort is most
delightfully situated at the base of an amphitheatre of hills, which are
decked with villas, gardens, orange and olive groves. Roses bloom out of
doors all the year round, and fruit ripens on the trees in January. Nice
has a population of about sixty-five thousand. The foot-hills of the
Alpine range come so close to the town as to cut off all the view
inland, but the opposite side is open to the far-reaching Mediterranean,
which curves gracefully in crescent form to make the beautiful bay of
Nice. Lying so very close to the Italian frontier, the people are as
much of that nationality as of France, and both languages are spoken.
The old portion of the town is Roman in many of its characteristics, and
here those former masters of the world had an important naval station in
the days of Augustus. Dirty as this portion of Nice is, one lingers here
a little to study the quaint architecture, and the aspects of humble
life. The peculiarities of dress, habits, and general appearance of the
people differ materially from other continental towns. Half-clad,
bare-footed boys and girls of twelve or fourteen years of age abound,
many of them with such beauty of face and form as to make us sigh for
the possibilities of their young lives probably never to be fulfilled.
Under favorable auspices what a happy future might fall to their share!
A year or two more of wretched associations, idle habits, and want of
proper food and clothing will age them terribly. What a serious social
problem is presented by such lives!

All strangers who come hither visit Cimies, about three miles from Nice,
upon a lofty hillside, where there are some remarkable Roman ruins,
among which is a spacious amphitheatre, once capable of seating eight or
ten thousand spectators. This place, like the neighboring Convent of
Cinieres, is more than a thousand years old, and so well built that the
intervening centuries have not been able to disintegrate its masonry to
any great extent. It is upon a Sunday afternoon that we visit the
amphitheatre and convent. The Franciscan monks, who alone inhabit the
terrace, seem to be rather a jolly set of men, notwithstanding their
coarse dress, shaven heads, and bare feet. The Sabbath does not
interfere with their game of tennis, which a group of them pursue with
great earnestness in the pleasant old garden of the monastery, now and
then disputing a little rudely as to the conduct of the game. One of the
brethren is our guide; he explains intelligently what we desire to
understand, and gives us a drink of water out of the old well from which
the Romans drank so many hundred years ago, and which he assures us has
never been known to fail of yielding pure water.

Mentone, the border town between France and Italy, is situated fifteen
miles from Nice. We pass through it on the route to Genoa. A deep ravine
forms the dividing line between the two countries, spanned by the bridge
of St. Louis. Mentone is a favorite resort for persons suffering with
pulmonary affections, and has about ten thousand inhabitants. It is
characterized by very beautiful scenery bordering the great classic sea,
and lying at the base of the Maritime Alps. Adjoining the town is the
principality of Monaco, an independent state covering an area of less
than fifty square miles. It is a curious fact that the independence of
this spot has been respected by Europe for so many years, and that it is
to-day ruled over by a descendant of the house of Grimaldi, by whom the
principality was founded in the tenth century. The castle, which forms
also the palace of the Prince of Monaco, is situated on a rocky
promontory overlooking the sea and the wonderful coast scenery between
Nice and Mentone. Here the prince maintains a battalion of soldiers who
perform guard duty and keep up the semblance of military authority. His
subjects are supposed to number about three thousand. To sustain his
princely state he must have a revenue other than could be derived from
taxation of so small a population, and the main source of his income is
very well known. The dominion of the prince is now the only legalized
gambling spot in Europe, and from the permit thus granted he receives an
annual payment of half a million dollars.

Monte Carlo, the headquarters of the gambling fraternity, lies within a
mile of the palace on the shore line. The beautiful spot where the
"Casino" (gambling saloon) is situated is one of the most picturesque
which can be conceived of, overlooking from a considerable height the
Mediterranean Sea. To the extraordinary beauties accorded by nature man
has added his best efforts, lavishing money to produce unequalled
attractions. There is here an elegant hotel, brilliant café, attractive
saloons, delightful gardens, floral bowers, shooting-galleries, in
short, nearly every possible device to fascinate and occupy the visitor.
The roads over which we drive in this vicinity are full of interest,
besides the delightful views which greet us on every hand. Wayside
shrines to the Virgin are seen at every cross-road, and upon every
hillside we meet scores of priests; the little church-bells are ringing
incessantly; the roads are thronged with beggars; the beautiful-faced
but ragged children attract us by their bright eyes and dark
complexions, just touched with a soft rose-tint. We are surprised at the
multiplicity of donkeys, their bodies hidden by big loads of
merchandise; we observe with interest those handsome milk-white oxen,
with wide-spreading horns; we inhale the fragrance of the orange groves,
and remember that we are in Italy.

About a hundred miles from St. Mauro, the border town after crossing the
bridge of St. Louis, will take us by the Corniche road to Genoa. This
ancient capital rises in terrace form, presenting the aspect of an
amphitheatre whose base is the water's edge, while the city is situated
between the two lofty hills of Carignano on the east and St. Benigno on
the west. The harbor of Genoa is semicircular in form, nearly a mile
across, and is protected by two substantial piers, on one of which is a
lighthouse three hundred feet in height. From the seaward end of the
lighthouse pier we have a fine view of the town, the slope being covered
with palaces, churches, hotels, gardens, forts, and public buildings.
The arsenal, the prison, the custom-house, and government warehouses all
cluster about the wharves, where great business activity centres at all
times. The older part of the city consists of narrow and confusing
lanes, accessible only to foot-passengers. In the olden days, when this
city was first laid out after the fashion of the times, it was crowded
with fortified lines, and perched upon elevations to aid in resisting
the attack of an invading enemy. The newer portions present broad,
accessible thoroughfares, with one or two elegant boulevards.

The number of marble palaces in Genoa is really surprising, but they are
built in streets so narrow that their elaborate fronts lose
architectural effect. These were not all occupied by the class termed
the nobility, but were often the homes of merchant princes. Many of
these structures are now vacant or occupied for business purposes.
Splendid marble corridors and mosaic floors, with halls opening from
grand marble staircases, seem ill-adapted to the purposes of common
trade. A few of these structures belong to people whose condition
enables them to retain them as dwellings; others have been purchased by
the government and are occupied as public offices; and still others are
hotels. This city was the birthplace of Columbus, the "Great Genoese
Pilot," who first showed the way across the then trackless ocean to a
western world. Almost the first object to attract the attention of the
traveller on emerging from the railroad depot is the statue of Columbus
in a broad open space. It was erected so late as 1862, and stands upon a
pedestal ornamented with ships' prows. At the feet of the statue kneels
the figure of America, the whole monument being of white marble, and
surrounded by allegorical figures in a sitting posture, representing
Religion, Geography, Force, and Wisdom.

There are many noble public institutions in Genoa, noticeable among
which is the general hospital and the asylum for the poor, as it is
called, capable of sheltering sixteen hundred people. The Deaf and Dumb
Asylum and the Hospital for the Insane are the best organized in Italy.
The Public Library contains some hundred and twenty thousand bound
volumes, and is open for free use at all suitable hours. There is also
an Academy of Fine Arts, with an admirable collection of paintings and
sculpture: many of the examples are from the hands of the old masters.

The Cathedral of St. Lorenzo is richly worthy of our attention. Among
the curiosities to be seen within its walls are the two urns said to
contain the ashes of St. John the Baptist, which are paraded with
religious pomp through the streets of the city once a year. They are
said to have been brought from the city of Myrrha in Lycia, in the year
1097. There is also exhibited here an emerald dish, which is an object
of great veneration with the Genoese, and which is said to have held the
Paschal Lamb at the Last Supper. It was captured from the Saracens, in
the year 1101, at the storming of Cesarea.

From elevated points in and about Genoa most charming and extended views
of the Mediterranean are enjoyed. It is not the tranquil and lake-like
expanse which inexperience would believe it to be, but is capable of
nearly as fierce commotion as the angry waves of the Atlantic itself. It
is still navigated very much as it was of old by the Greeks, the
Phoenicians, and the Romans. The mariners still hug the shore, and at
every unfavorable change of weather run into the nearest safe anchorage.
Thus most of the coasting-vessels are under one hundred tons'
measurement, and are of a model which will permit of their being beached
upon the shelving shore in an emergency. It seems to be generally
believed that this sea is tideless, but it is not the case; it feels
the same lunar influence which affects the ocean, though in a less
degree. These waters are warmer than the Atlantic, owing probably to the
absence of polar currents. The Mediterranean is almost entirely enclosed
by the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and covers a space of a
million of square miles, being over two thousand miles long and, in one
place, more than a thousand wide. The tide is most noticeable in the
Gulf of Venice, where the rise and fall is from three to four feet.

Before leaving Genoa we will drive out to the Campo Santo, or public
burial ground. It is a remarkable place laid out in terraces, containing
many monuments, and having in its centre a large circular chapel with
Doric columns, the vestibule walls also containing tombs, bearing an
inscription on the face of each. Seeing in many instances small baskets
partially wrapped in paper or linen laid beside or on the graves about
the Campo Santo, one is apt to inquire what their significance can be,
and he will be told that food is thus placed from time to time, for the
sustenance of the departed!



CHAPTER XII.


We embark at Genoa for Leghorn by a coasting-steamer. On arriving at the
latter port the first thing which strikes the traveller is the mixed
character of the population, composed of Greeks, Armenians, Turks,
Moors, and Italians, whose strongly individualized costumes give
picturesqueness and color to the public ways. Until within the last two
centuries Leghorn was a very small village, and therefore presents
comparatively a modern aspect, with its present population of about a
hundred and twenty thousand. The streets are wide, well laid out, and
regularly paved, the northern section of the city being intersected by
canals, enabling the merchants to float their goods to the doors of
their warehouses. Its fine situation upon the Mediterranean shore is its
one recommendation, forming an entry port connected with Rome, Pisa, and
other inland cities of Italy. There are pointed out to us here three
special hospitals, an observatory, a poorhouse and a public library, but
there is not much of local interest.

An excursion of fifteen miles by railway will take us to Pisa, one of
the oldest cities of Italy, and formerly the capital of the grand duchy
of Tuscany, being finely situated on the banks of the Arno, which
divides the city into two parts, and is crossed by three noble bridges.
The population is about fifty thousand, and it has broad, handsome
streets, with a number of spacious squares, fine churches, and public
edifices. The most attractive part of the city is that lining the Arno,
where there are several palaces of some architectural pretensions. The
great attraction of Pisa lies just outside of the city proper,
consisting of a group of edifices which are celebrated all over the
world. These are the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Belfry, or, as
it is more generally known, the Leaning Tower. Each of these is
separated from the others by several rods. The Cathedral is the oldest
structure, and has an existence covering a thousand years. The isolation
of these buildings from the town, and their complete separation from
each other, add very much to their general effect. The Cathedral, built
entirely of white marble, is crowned by a noble dome, which is supported
by over seventy pillars, while it is gorgeously furnished with almost
innumerable art treasures, paintings, variegated marbles, panels, superb
colored glass windows, and statues. The altar and the pulpit rest upon
pillars of porphyry. The roof is not arched, but is of wood, divided
into sections and elaborately gilded,--a very ancient style of finish
found only in the oldest churches upon the continent. The doors are of
bronze finely sculptured. In the nave the guide will call our attention
to a large bronze hanging-lamp, the oscillations of which are said to
have suggested to Galileo the theory of the pendulum. The Baptistery, or
Church of St. John, is situated nearly opposite the Cathedral, a most
beautifully shaped church, which is noted for a marvellous echo.

[Illustration: LEANING TOWER OF PISA, CATHEDRAL AND BAPTISTERY.]

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the famous structures of the world.
It is seven stories high, the summit measuring one hundred and eight
feet from the ground. Each story is divided by rows of columns, so that
architecturally it has a resemblance to the other buildings near at
hand. There are many theories as to the leaning position of this tower,
but no two persons seem to quite agree upon the matter. A plummet and
line depending from the top would strike the ground some ten feet from
the base of the structure. It has stood here for more than six hundred
years, and does not appear to be in any danger of falling. A view from
the upper gallery, over which hangs a chime of heavy bells, is very
fine, embracing the fertile plains of Tuscany.

Near at hand is the Campo Santo, a cloistered cemetery constructed many
centuries ago. It is a large rectangular enclosure surrounded by
arcades. After the loss of the Holy Land the Pisans caused some fifty
shiploads of soil to be brought hither from Mt. Calvary, in order that
the dead might rest in what was conceived to be holy ground. It was in
this Campo Santo that the earliest Tuscan artists were taught to emulate
each other, and here the walls are covered with remarkable
representations of Scriptural and historical subjects. The originals of
many pictures made familiar to us by engravings, are still to be found
here, such as "Noah Inebriated," "Building of the Tower of Babel," "The
Last Judgment," etc. The tombstones of those whose remains rest here,
form the pavement of the arcades. The sculptures, monuments, and
bas-reliefs in the Campo Santo are almost innumerable, forming a strange
and varied collection.

The history of Pisa is of great antiquity, having been one of the famous
twelve towns of Etruria. It maintained its municipal government and
almost unlimited freedom while nominally under Roman protection, but on
the decline of the imperial power it was compelled to submit in turn to
the various transalpine nations who overran Northern Italy. Early in
the eleventh century it had risen to the rank of a powerful republic and
to this period belong most of the splendid monuments on which it now
justly prides itself. Its soldiers were conspicuous in the crusades, and
at that time its fleets were the most powerful that navigated the
Mediterranean Sea.

Returning to Leghorn we embark for Naples by steamer. As we glide slowly
into the lovely bay just as the morning light is breaking in the east,
we feel that no more propitious hour for arrival could be devised, and
are glad that the view of the city is presented to us for the first time
from the sea rather than from the shore. How impressive is the historic
scene which gradually spreads out before us as we steam slowly in by the
islands of Procida and Cape Miseno, while we behold what an imaginative
writer has termed "a fragment of heaven to earth vouchsafed"; it
certainly seems more like a picture than like reality. Few cities on the
globe are so famous for their advantageous site as is Naples. It lies in
amphitheatre form on the shore of the classic bay, which is shut in from
the sea by the island of Capri, extending in part across its entrance to
the southeast, while to the northwest loom up the beautiful islands of
Procida and Ischia, so full of sad and historic associations. It will be
remembered that many of the population were engulfed at Ischia by an
earthquake within a few years past. On the eastern side of this
panoramic view rises Vesuvius, with its bold and isolated pinnacle,
while its dusky sides are dotted up to within half the distance of the
summit by villages, hamlets, villas, and vineyards, awaiting the
destruction which it would seem must come sooner or later. Along the
base of the volcano lie the towns of Portici, Annunziata, and Torre del
Greco, everything glittering in the light of the rising sun. The eyes
cannot rest upon a spot which has not its classic association, turn
which way we will. In the distance eastward is seen Castellamare and
Sorrento on the right curve of the crescent-shaped shore, while on the
left lie Solfatara and Pozzuoli. What a shore to look upon, where
Cicero, Horace, Virgil, Tasso, Pliny, and Macænas lived! How thrillingly
beautiful it is, as we creep slowly up to our moorings in the soft, dewy
freshness of the morning!

In direct contrast to all this beauty of nature and picturesqueness of
scenery, as soon as we land there comes before our eyes so much of dirt,
poverty, and beggary, as to cause us to shudder. How humanity outrages
the loveliness of nature! Begging is reduced to a profession here;
thousands of both sexes and of all ages have no other employment or
seeming ambition than to beg at every opportunity, to fill their
stomachs with food, and then, like the inferior animals, to stretch
themselves in the sun until again aroused by hunger. There is no quarter
of the city exempt from this pest of beggary. The palace and the hovel
join each other in strange incongruity; starvation and abundance are
close together; elegance and rags are in juxtaposition; the city has
nearly half a million population, and this condition applies to all its
streets. There are many fine public buildings, and yet they can lay no
special claim to architectural excellence. The old streets are narrow,
crooked, and in some places ascended by steps, on an angle of forty-five
degrees; but the modern part of the city is well laid out. The Strada di
Roma is the Broadway of Naples, a fine, busy street, more than a mile in
length and lined with elegant business stores, cafés, hotels, and public
offices. The famous Riviera di Chiaja, or Quay, is also a noble street
running along the shore of the bay, lined on one side by an almost
endless array of palaces, and on the other by the long park separating
it from the sea.

This Chiaja is the famous drive-way of Naples, and is a broad and
beautiful street by which we enter the city from the west. Just about
sunset this thoroughfare presents daily a scene more peculiar and quite
as gay as the Bois de Boulogne, or the Prater of Vienna, being crowded
at that hour by the beauty and fashion of the town enjoying an afternoon
drive or horseback ride. Here may be seen gigs driven by young
Neapolitans in dashing style, and some smart brushes in the way of
racing take place. The small Italian horses are real flyers, and are
driven only too recklessly over the crowded course. Mingling with the
throng are long lines of donkeys laden with merchandise, keeping close
to the side of the way in order to avoid the fast drivers; pedestrians
of both sexes dodging out and in among the vehicles; cavalry officers
cantering on showy horses; and the inevitable army of beggars with
outstretched hands pleading for alms, among whom is an occasional
mendicant friar also soliciting a few pennies.

It is not alone the common classes who live so much in the streets. It
is not alone the palace windows that are filled with spectators all
along the drive-way of the Chiaja during the carnival hour of the day,
but before each residence are gathered a domestic group sitting
contentedly in the open air, bareheaded and in gauze-like costume. Some
of the ladies employ their hands with dainty needlework, some are
crocheting, others are engaged in simple domestic games, and all are
chatting, laughing, and enjoying themselves heartily. The ladies wear
the gayest colors, these adding vividness to the whole picture. To
complete the strongly individualized scene, there are the graceful
palms, orange-trees, and fountains of the park, amid abundant marble
statuary, and flowering shrubs, with the sea, Capri, and Vesuvius for a
background, which together make up the view of the Chiaja at twilight.

Naples is very peculiar in the aspect of its out-of-door life; we see
the public letter-writer at his post in the open square; the common
people are conducting most of their domestic affairs outside of their
dwellings. Sellers of macaroni, oranges, grapes, fish, vegetables,
flowers, and hawkers of every sort fill the air with their shrill cries.
Common-looking men fling thin, greasy, tattered cloaks over their
shoulders, with a proud air and inimitable grace; groups of half-clad
children play in the dirt; whole families cook and eat in the street;
while liveried turn-outs are dashing hither and thither. No matter in
which direction one may go in or around the city, there looms up
heavenward the sky-piercing summit of Vesuvius, shrouding the blue ether
all day long with its slowly-rising column of smoke, and the sulphuric
breathing of its unknown depths. The burning mountain is about three
leagues from the city, but is so lofty as to seem closer at hand. It is
quite solitary, rising in a majestic manner from the plain, but having a
base thirty miles in circumference and a height of about four thousand
feet. When emitting fire as well as smoke, the scene is brilliant indeed
as a night picture, mirrored in the clear surface of the beautiful bay.

We find ourselves asking, What is the real life of Italy to-day? The
sceptre of Commerce has passed from her; Venice is no longer the abode
of merchant princes; Genoa is but the shadow of what she once was. What
causes a foreign population to circulate through its cities, constantly
on the wing, scattering gold right and left among her needy population?
It is the rich, unique possession which she enjoys in her monuments of
art, her museums, her libraries, her glorious picture-galleries, public
and private, but all of which are freely thrown open to the traveller,
and to all comers. The liberality of her nobles and merchant princes in
the days of her great prosperity has left her now a resource which
nothing can rob her of. Where could money purchase such attractions as
crowd the museum of Naples? The marble groups and statues, mostly
originals, number more than a thousand, including the Dying Gladiator,
the famous group of Ganymede and the Eagle, and that of Bacchus and the
Laocoön. Here also we have Psyche, Venus Callipyge,--this last dug up
from Nero's golden home at Rome,--and hundreds of others of world-wide
fame, and of which we have so many fine copies in America. Rome lies but
a hundred and sixty miles north of Naples, and the "Eternal City" has
largely contributed to the art treasures of the institution of which we
are now speaking, and which secures to the city a floating population
annually of several thousands.

[Illustration: A STREET IN POMPEII.]

One of the greatest attractions of Naples is the partially exhumed city
of Pompeii, three leagues more or less away. The drive thither skirts
the Mediterranean shore, with its beautiful villas, private residences,
convents, and churches, while the destructive mountain is always close
at hand. The place in its present aspect is simply that of the remains
of an entire city, destroyed and buried by volcanic action nearly two
thousand years ago. The movable objects found here from time to time, as
the slow work of excavation has progressed, have been removed to the
museum at Naples. Quite enough, however, is left upon the spot to form
tangible history, and to help the antiquarian to read the story of
Pompeii, which was a populous city four or five centuries before the
coming of Christ, and which lay entirely buried for some seventeen
hundred years. It is about a century since the first effort was made
towards uncovering the dwelling-houses, streets, and public edifices,
but the progress which has been made clearly proves that the inhabitants
were suffocated by a shower of hot ashes, and not destroyed by a sudden
avalanche of lava and stones. The dwelling of Diomedes, who was the
Croesus of Pompeii, was the first house disentombed. Its owner was
found with a key in one hand and a bag of gold in the other. Behind him
was a slave with his arms full of silver vessels, evidently trying to
escape from the coming devastation when they were suddenly overwhelmed,
and must have been instantly suffocated.

In the house of Diomedes, glass windows, six or eight inches square, are
found; showing that this article is not of such modern invention as had
previously been supposed. The luxurious public baths are yet perfect;
while the house where Cicero lived and wrote his speeches, besides a
hundred other well-preserved historic objects, are pointed out by the
guides. We are shown the Temple of Hercules, the theatres, the open
courts, etc. The excavated portion represents about one-third of the
whole city; but enough is clearly discovered to show that between
thirty-five and forty thousand people here made their homes, and that
the place contained all the fine public monuments and resorts that
indicate a refined and luxurious community.

An excursion of ten miles along the coast to the eastward will take us
to Baiæ, where the luxurious Romans were wont to resort for their summer
seasons. Here are still to be seen the remains of the villas where once
dwelt Julius Cæsar, Pompey, Marius, and such other notables as they
would naturally draw about them. The eyes can be turned in no direction
without our being charmed by a view of exceptional beauty, to say
nothing of the unequalled historic interest that attaches to every
square mile of territory and to the broad bay close at hand. Horace
declared it to be the loveliest spot on earth, and Seneca warned every
one who desired to maintain dominion over himself to avoid this
fascinating watering-place. It is here that Virgil laid many of his
poetic scenes.

A day's journey by railway takes us to Rome, the "Eternal City," which
is built on both sides of the Tiber, three or four leagues from its
influx to the Mediterranean. We know that this city must at one time
have been nearly as populous as London is to-day, but the present number
cannot much exceed four hundred thousand. The ruins of Rome--for it is a
city of ruins, notwithstanding its many fine modern structures--can give
but a faint idea of what the great capital was in the days of its glory.
At the zenith of her fame the city was filled with grand squares,
temples, amphitheatres, circuses, baths, and public and private palaces,
scarcely more than the ruins of which now remain--eloquent, however, in
their grim silence. In the days of the Cæsars, fourteen grand aqueducts,
supported by immense arches, hundreds of which still remain, conducted
whole rivers into Rome from a distance of many leagues, supplying one
hundred and fifty public fountains, with over a hundred public baths. In
those marvellous days, over a hundred thousand marble and bronze
statues ornamented the public squares, streets, and fountains, together
with ninety colossal statues on lofty pedestals, and over forty Egyptian
obelisks were in place. What an enumeration! Yet it falls far short of
the facts as illustrated in the text of history and proven by the
tangible evidence of numberless ruins.

The Piazza, del Popolo is a famous square in Roman history, in the
centre of which is one of those curious obelisks transported from Egypt
eighteen centuries ago, where it stood before the Temple of the Sun, at
Heliopolis, thousands of years since. On one side of the square there
are twin churches, far enough apart to permit the Corso, or Broadway of
Rome, to enter the square between them. The Corso has an average width
of fifty feet, and is a mile long. It is on this central street that the
horse-races take place during the Carnival; and it is here that the
finest shops, cafés, and palaces are to be found.

The Piazza di Spagna is another interesting square, about a quarter of a
mile from that just described. It covers five or six acres of land, and
has a curious old fountain in its centre. From one side of the square a
grand, broad flight of stone steps leads up to the elevated ground where
stands the church of Trinita de Monti. Lingering on and about these
steps the artists' models are seen at all hours of the day, both sexes
and all ages being represented among them. Old men of seventy years,
with noble heads and flowing snowy beards, bent forms and tattered
garments, sit patiently awaiting a demand upon them. Perhaps they could
afford better clothing; but they have an eye for artistic effect, and a
true sense of the fitness of things. The children, waiting here for the
same purpose, captivate our attention by their large black eyes and
gypsy complexions. How graceful and kitten-like they are, in their lazy,
lolling motions! The young girls are such as are not seen out of Italy,
with large, beautifully expressive eyes, gypsy complexions touched with
the rose color of health, and forms which would establish a sculptor's
reputation could he reproduce them. All of these persons are here for a
legitimate purpose; that is, to sit as models, for a given sum per hour,
and to this object they honestly adhere.

The favorite promenade of the Romans of to-day is the Pincio ("the hill
of gardens"), situated near and overlooking the Piazza del Popolo. It
probably derives its name from the Pincii family, whose estate it
belonged to in the period of the Empire. Hereabouts, of old, were the
celebrated gardens of Lucullus; and here Messalina, wife of Claudius,
indulged in revelries. Two afternoons of each week, as well as on all
holidays, the king's military band gives a public concert in the Pincio
gardens. The walks are kept in scrupulous neatness and order, shaded by
groups of trees, and adorned by beautiful beds of flowers. At prominent
points, fine marble statues of ancient Romans are conspicuously placed.
The paths and drives about these gardens present a gay picture at the
closing hours of each day, being the assembling-point of the social life
of modern Rome.

The Vatican, which is the Pope's palace, is one of the first and most
remarkable attractions for the traveller. We say the palace, but it is
actually a succession of palaces. This elegant stone structure, close to
the Cathedral of St. Peter's, is three stories in height, and contains a
vast number of saloons, galleries, chapels, and corridors, embracing a
comprehensive library and a remarkable museum, the whole surrounded by
spacious and elegantly kept gardens. Twenty courts, eight grand
staircases, and two hundred ordinary ones, are all contained within its
walls. It is connected by a covered gallery with the castle of St.
Angelo, a quarter of a mile away, and with St. Peter's, which it nearly
adjoins. Probably no other building, or series of buildings, in the
world contains so much wealth of art and riches generally as does the
Vatican at Rome. Its treasures in gold, silver, precious stones, books,
priceless manuscripts, and relics, are almost beyond enumeration. All
the world--ancient and modern, savage and Christian--has contributed to
swell this remarkable accumulation. The two most celebrated paintings,
and esteemed to be the two most valuable in existence, are to be seen
here; namely, "The Transfiguration," by Raphael, and "The Communion of
St. Jerome," by Domenichino. So incomparable are these works of art that
no critic of note has ventured to say which deserves to be named first;
but all agree that they are the two greatest paintings, as to real
merit, in the world. They are colossal in size, and have both made the
journey to Paris. Napoleon I. had them both transferred to the Louvre;
but they are back again, forming the great attraction of the Vatican.
The "Last Judgment," by Michael Angelo, covers one whole side of the
Sistine Chapel, one of the very best of this great master's works,
requiring hours of study to enable one to form a just conception of its
design and merits. Raphael has a series of fifty other paintings within
the walls of the Pope's palace.

[Illustration: THE COLISEUM AT ROME.]

The most notable ruin in this ancient city is the Coliseum, the largest
amphitheatre, and still one of the most imposing structures, in the
world; broken in every part, but still showing, by what remains of its
massive walls, what it must once have been. History tells us, that, upon
its completion, it was inaugurated by gladiatorial combats continued for
one hundred days; during which time five thousand wild beasts were
killed in contests with Christian slaves, who acted as gladiators. The
Coliseum was begun by Vespasian, on his return from his war with the
Jews, but was dedicated by his son Titus, and completed by Domitian over
eighteen hundred years ago. Ten thousand captives are said to have been
slain at the time of its dedication, and it was designed to accommodate
one hundred thousand spectators. The present circumference of the
structure is about one-third of a mile. From the arena rise the tiers of
seats, one above another, indicated by partially preserved steps and
passage-ways. In its prime it was doubtless elegantly ornamented; and
some evidences of fine art still remain upon the crumbling and lofty
walls. The material is a kind of freestone. The style of architecture
embraces four orders, imposed one upon another: the lower one is Tuscan
or Doric; the second, Roman-Ionic; and the third and fourth, Corinthian
or Composite.

The Pantheon is the only entirely preserved edifice of Greek
architecture in Rome. This grand and marvellous structure was originally
dedicated to the Pagan gods, but is now a Christian church. It is the
largest building of ancient times, and whose splendid Corinthian columns
fill the eye with pleasure at the first glance. The diameter of the
structure is one hundred and fifty feet, and the summit of the upper
cornice over one hundred feet from the base, the entire height being one
hundred and fifty feet. The interior effect is one of true majesty, and
that of the combined whole is deemed the acme of architectural
perfection of the ancient buildings of Rome. The plates of gilded bronze
which once covered the roof, the bronze ornaments of the pediment, and
the silver that adorned the interior of the dome, it is said, were
carried off by Constans II. more than a thousand years ago.

St. Peter's is considered to be the most magnificent church of Italian
or classical architecture in the world. Its extreme length within the
walls is a trifle over six hundred feet, while its greatest width is
about four hundred and fifty feet. The height, from the pavement to the
cross at the apex, is four hundred and fifty-eight feet. By comparing
these dimensions with familiar objects, we can gain some general idea of
the immensity of this structure, the largest ever reared by Christians
in honor of the Supreme Being; but only by frequent and long-continued
visits do we finally come fully to realize its unequalled beauty and
grandeur.

As Florence only dates from three or four hundred years before Christ,
it is not considered very ancient in the Old World. It sprang,
undoubtedly, from Fiesole, at the foot of which it now lies. The Fiesole
of the ancients was perched upon an almost inaccessible height, in
accordance with the style in which they used to build in those days of
constant warfare; but as civilization advanced, the city of Florence
began to grow up on the banks of the Arno and to cover the valley at the
base of the paternal settlement, until, to-day, it has a population of
about a hundred and fifty thousand. It did not assume any importance
until the time of Charlemagne, from which period it grew rapidly in
numbers and in prosperity of trade, its early and long-continued
specialty being the manufacture of Etruscan jewelry and mosaics; the
latter business, especially, having descended from father to son until
it has reached the present time. One may now purchase in the Florentine
shops the finest specimens of the art to be found in all Europe.

The square of St. Croce receives its name from the remarkable church of
Santa Croce which is located here, and which is the Italian Pantheon or
Westminster Abbey, where rest the ashes of Alfieri, Machiavelli,
Galileo, and a score of equally historic names. What a galaxy of great
poets, artists, statesmen, and philosophers are here sleeping in their
winding-sheets. Another fine square is that of the Piazza della
Annunziata, in which is situated the church of the same name, a
foundling hospital, and an equestrian statue of Ferdinand I. by John of
Bologna. The Piazza della Signoria is the busiest place in Florence,
containing also some remarkable buildings, as well as statues,
fountains, and colonnades. The fine tower of one of the Boston city
churches is copied from the lofty campanile, or bell-tower, of the
Vecchio Palace, now occupied as the city hall, and which forms the most
striking object in this interesting centre.

The hills which overlook Florence are indeed classic ground. Here
Catiline conspired, and Milton wrote; here Michael Angelo occupied his
studio, and Galileo conducted his discoveries, while here, also,
Boccaccio wrote his famous love tales. These hillsides are dotted with
beautiful villas, mostly owned by foreigners drawn hither in search of
health, or the study of art. No other city in the world, not excepting
Rome, affords such extended facilities for the latter purpose. Those
great depositories of art, the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, are
perhaps unequalled, having within their walls over a thousand paintings,
each one of which is meritorious, and many of which are hardly
surpassed, if they are equalled. Raphael, Murillo, Titian, Michael
Angelo, Paul Veronese, Velasquez, and like masters of art are here fully
represented. To stand before canvas which the world has crowned with
undivided approval, to realize that the finest copies which we have seen
are but faint shadows of the originals, is a privilege which makes us
forget all petty annoyances, all cost of time and money in the
accomplishment. One pauses with more than ordinary curiosity before the
Madonna della Seggiola, one of the most famous pictures of Raphael, and
indeed of all art. We fancy that we have seen it faithfully reproduced,
but a glance at the original convinces us that, like the Beatrice Cenci,
it cannot be copied, but only imitated.

The Uffizi and Pitti Palaces are connected, and really form but one
great gallery of art. In the Uffizi division is what is known as the
Tribune,--the throne room of art, where stands "the statue that enchants
the world,"--the Venus de Medici,--dividing its homage with that equally
exquisite painting, Titian's recumbent Venus, declared to be the
masterpiece of color. These two works are surrounded by others almost as
perfect, and which in the eyes of trained artists share their loyalty.
No wonder the student of art selects Florence as a place of residence,
where he can visit as often as he pleases such models, without cost,
works which cannot fail to inspire artistic genius in whomsoever the
germs exist. But not alone those who wield the pencil and the chisel
come hither to seek a congenial home. The soft beauty of the scenery,
the delightful climate, and the poetic associations have tempted artists
and literary people in other lines to pitch their tents hereabouts.
Mario, the great tenor, once lived yonder; in that villa on the sloping
hillside, Taglioni once made her home; Walter Savage Landor sheltered
his gray hairs in this cottage home overlooking the valley of the Arno,
and died here. This old church not far away is that of St. Miniato al
Monte, nearly ten centuries in age, famous for its carved work and
paintings.

The common people of Florence seem actuated by a universal spirit of
industry; and as to beggars, we see none upon its streets--a fact worthy
of note in Italy. The women fruit-dealers on the corners of the streets
are busy with their needles, while awaiting customers; the flower-girls
are equally industrious, sitting beside their fragrant wares; the girl
who opens the gate for us and guides us to the tombs of Mrs. Browning
and Theodore Parker, in the city burial grounds, knits steadily as she
walks. The public park is called the Cascine, and lies along the banks
of the Arno; in some respects it is more attractive than most of such
resorts in Europe, being finely wooded, and consequently presenting
shady drives, and quiet rural retreats for pedestrians. It is the
favorite resort of all classes who have leisure in the after part of the
day, and is enlivened three or four times each week by the presence of a
military band, which discourses the choicest music to ears ever ready
for this sort of entertainment: no people are more fond of music than
the Italians.

The Arno, which divides the city into two unequal parts, is only a very
small stream during half the year; but when the snow melts upon the
mountains, or the rainy season sets in, it then becomes a broad, swift
river, conveying a great volume of water. It is crossed by six bridges,
not far apart, besides two suspension bridges at the extremities of the
city. The Ponte Vecchio is nearest the Pitti and Uffizi galleries, and
is covered by curious little shops. We must not fail to visit the house
where Dante was born, and also the house of Michael Angelo. In this
latter are shown many of the personal belongings of the great artist and
master, and the room where he studied and painted, containing numerous
articles of which he made daily use. The last representative of his
family bequeathed the whole priceless treasure to the city of Florence.

There is a lovely and celebrated park situated back of the Palazzo Pitti
which is open to the public, and known as the Boboli Gardens. The
grounds are quite spacious, being over a mile in circumference, divided
into shady walks invitingly retired, shaded by thrifty laurels and
cypresses, being also ornamented with some fine marble statues, and many
gracefully carved vases. Among the statues are four by Michael Angelo,
upon which he is said to have been at work when he died.



CHAPTER XIII.


Venice is a genuine surprise to the stranger. No matter what idea he may
have formed concerning it, he can hardly have approximated to the truth.
It is unique, mystical, poetic, constantly appealing in some new form to
the imagination, and often more than fulfilling expectation. The people,
institutions, buildings, history--all are peculiar. Her statesmen,
artisans, merchants, and sailors have been the first in Europe, while
for over twelve hundred years she has gone on creating a history as
remarkable as is her physical formation. No city fills a more prominent
page in the records of the Middle Ages, or is more enshrined in romance
and poetry. It is a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants, and yet what
comparative stillness reigns over all, solemn and strange especially to
the newly arrived traveller. There is no rattling of wheels, no tramp of
horses' feet upon the streets; wheels and horses are unknown; only the
gondola serves as a mode of conveyance, and the noiseless canals take
the place of streets. The gondola is nowhere else seen save on these
canals and lagoons (shallow bays). It is of all modes of transportation
the most luxurious. The soft cushions, the gliding motion, the graceful
oarsmen, who row in a standing position, the marble palaces between
which we float in a dreamy state, harmonize so admirably, that the sense
of completeness is perfect. The Grand Canal, two hundred feet wide, is
the Broadway, or popular boulevard, of Venice, and over this glide the
innumerable gondolas and boats of light traffic, with a quiet panoramic
effect, which we watch curiously from our overhanging balcony. This main
artery of the city is lined with palaces and noble marble edifices
nearly the whole of its length of two miles. Some of these, to be sure,
are crumbling and deserted, with the word decay written in their aspect,
but even in their moss-grown and neglected condition they are intensely
interesting.

[Illustration: SCENE ON THE GRAND CANAL, VENICE.]

The city is built upon one hundred and seventeen islands, separated by a
hundred and fifty canals, and as the local guides will tell us, has
three hundred and sixty-five bridges, mostly of stone,--"that is; one
for every day in the year;" but there are, in fact, twenty more bridges
to add to this aggregate. Most of the dwellings rise immediately out of
the water, and one passes out of the gondolas on to marble steps to
enter them. Altogether Venice is a little over seven miles in
circumference.

As we sit floating in our gondola just off the Piazzetta of St. Mark,
the moon comes up above the waters of the Adriatic and hangs serenely
over the lagoons. No pen can justly describe such a sight--only a Claude
Lorraine could paint it. Glancing gondolas on their noiseless track cut
the silvery ripples; a sweet contralto voice, with guitar accompaniment,
salutes the ear; stately palaces cast long, mysterious shadows upon the
water; the Bridge of Sighs arches the canal between the palace and
prison close at hand; oddly-rigged craft from the far East float lazily
at anchor in the open harbor; the domes of lofty churches are outlined
against the dark blue sky; while the proud columns of St. Mark and St.
Theodore stand like sentinels at the water's edge. It seems, altogether,
like some well-prepared theatrical scene upon the stage, on which the
curtain will presently fall, shutting out everything from view.

The broad outline of the history of this long-lived republic is familiar
to most of us. Many of its details have been enshrined by Byron, who,
without assuming the dignity of historical record, has taught us in
poetic form. The names of Dandolo, Faliero, and the two Foscari are
familiar to all cultured people. The close of the fifteenth century may
be designated as the culminating point of the glory of Venice, it being
then the grand focus of European commerce, and twice as populous as it
is to-day. At that time it possessed three hundred sea-going vessels and
forty-five naval galleys, with which it maintained sway over the
Mediterranean Sea. With the commencement of the sixteenth century her
glory began gradually to fade until she ceased to maintain a prominent
position among the powers. In art, Venice always occupied a first
position, and was celebrated for the brilliancy of the coloring which
characterizes the Venetian school.

Though fallen in commercial glory, Venice still stands without a rival.
Where else can be found a city composed of over seventy islands? Is
there another city where architects, sculptors, painters, and workers in
mosaic devoted their lives to the purpose of decorating and beautifying
their native place? No capital, even in Italy, is richer in splendid and
antique churches, in superbly decorated palaces, and with the exception
of Rome and Florence, no city has more invaluable art treasures. Here
the works of Guido, Paul Veronese, Titian, Bonifacio, Giordano, and
Tintoretto especially abound. The Venetian school of painting maintains
precedence even in our day. In the Doge's Palace, built many hundred
years ago, the visitor will find paintings and sculpture which he can
never forget, and among them Tintoretto's Paradise, said to be the
largest oil painting extant by a great master. It contains an army of
figures, and would seem to have required a lifetime to produce.

The Piazza of St. Mark is the centre of attraction. How strange, and yet
how familiar everything seems to us here! We require no guide to point
out the remarkable monuments. We do not fail to recognize at a glance
the tall masts from which the banners of the republic floated in
triumph, when the carrier pigeons brought news that "blind old Dandolo
had captured Constantinople!" We recognize the lofty Campanile, the
sumptuous palace of the Doges, and the gorgeous front of the Cathedral
over-topped by its graceful domes, bristling with innumerable pinnacles.
Above the portals of St. Mark we gaze upon the celebrated bronze horses
which Napoleon I. stole and transported to Paris, but which the Emperor
Francis restored to Venice. It is not the first time these historic
horses of Lysippus have been stolen, these monuments of the departed
glory of Chios and Constantinople--of Venice and Napoleon.

In many respects the Cathedral of San Marco is the most remarkable
church in existence, while its ornamentation is rich to excess. For good
architectural effect it stands too low, the present grade of the
surrounding square being some fifteen inches or more above its mosaic
pavement. The pillars and ornaments are too crowded; having been brought
hither from other and historic lands, there is a want of harmony in the
aggregation. Nearly a thousand years old, it has an indescribable aspect
of faded and tarnished splendor, and yet it presents an attractive whole
quite unequalled. It combines Saracenic profusion with Christian
emblems, weaving in porphyries from Egypt, pillars from St. Sophia,
altar pieces from Acre, and a forest of Grecian columns. Especially is
this church rich in mosaics--those colors that never fade. There is a
sense of solemn gloom pervading the place, the dim light struggling
through the painted windows being only sufficient to give the whole a
weird aspect, in its over-decorated aisles. Some idea may be formed of
the elaborate ornamentation of the Cathedral from the fact that it
contains over forty thousand square feet of mosaic work! The vaulting
consists entirely of mosaic, representing scenes in the Old Testament,
beginning with the story of the creation, and followed by scenes from
the New Testament. As we walk about the church, the floor beneath our
feet is found quite uneven from the slow settlement of ages. Inside and
out the structure is ornamented by over five hundred columns of marble,
the capitals of which present a fantastic variety of styles true to no
country or order, but the whole is, nevertheless, a grand example of
barbaric splendor.

Just opposite the entrance to the Church of San Marco stands the lofty
Campanile, reaching to a height of three hundred feet, and which was
over two hundred years in building. A view from its summit is one of the
sights not to be missed in this city, as it affords not only a splendid
picture of Venice itself, but the city and lagoons lie mapped out before
the eye in perfection of detail, while in the distance are seen the
Adriatic, the Alpine ranges, and the Istrian Mountains. The Campanile is
ascended by a winding way in place of steps, and there is a legend that
Napoleon rode his horse to the top, a feat which is certainly possible.
In this lofty tower Galileo prosecuted his scientific experiments.

Petrarch wrote that Venice was the home of justice and equity, refuge
of the good; rich in gold, but richer in renown; built on marble, but
founded on the surer foundation of a city worthy of veneration and
glory. But this is no longer the Venice he described; no longer the city
of grasping and successful ambition, of proud and boastful princes. It
has become what pride, ostentation, and luxury in time must always lead
to. It presents to-day a fallen aspect--one of grandeur in rags. No
argosies are bound to foreign ports, no princely merchants meet on the
Rialto; that famous bridge is now occupied on either side by Jews' shops
of a very humble character; and yet do not let us seem to detract from
the great interest that overlies all drawbacks as regards the Venice
even of the present hour.

The Academy of Fine Arts is reached by crossing the Grand Canal, over
the modern iron bridge, which, with that of the Rialto, a noble span of
a single arch, built of white marble, forms the only means of crossing
the great water-way, except by gondola. This remarkable gallery contains
almost exclusively works by Venetian artists. Here we find a remarkable
representation of the "Supper of Cana," which is nearly as large as the
"Paradise." It is considered by competent critics, to be one of the
finest pieces of coloring in existence. Here we have some of Titian's
best productions, and those of many Italian artists whose pictures are
not to be found elsewhere. The gallery, like all of the famous ones of
Europe, is free to every one, either for simple study, or for copying.
This is the collection which Napoleon I. said he would give a nation's
ransom to possess. On the way to the Academy the guide points out the
Barberigo Palace, in which Titian lived and died.

The Doge's Palace is full of historic interest. We wander with mingled
feelings through its various apartments, visiting the halls of the
Council of Ten, and the still more tragic chambers of the Council of
Three. Many secret passages are threaded; we cross the Bridge of Sighs,
and descend into the dungeons in which Faliero, Foscari, and other
famous prisoners are said to have been incarcerated. These mediæval
dungeons are wretched beyond belief, and how human beings could live and
breathe in such places is the marvel of every one who visits them in our
day. Here we are shown the apartment where the condemned prisoners were
secretly strangled, and the arched windows by which their bodies were
launched into boats on the canal, to be borne away, and sunk in the
distant lagoons. Trial, sentence, fate,--all in secret, and this was
done under the semblance of justice and a republican form of government.

The church of the Frari, whither we will next turn our steps, is in an
American's estimation quite as much of a museum as a church. It is the
Westminster Abbey of Venice, and is crowded with the monuments of doges,
statesmen, artists, philosophers, and more especially is ornamented in a
most striking manner by the tombs of Titian and Canova. These elaborate
marble structures face each other from opposite sides of the
church--monuments raised in memory of rarest genius, and which for
richness of design and completeness of finish exceed anything of the
sort in Italy.

In the square of St. Mark we have an opportunity for studying the
masses, the well-to-do classes, but not the refined and cultured; these
maintain a certain dignified exclusiveness. The uniforms of the police,
each one of whom is bedizened equal to a militia general, are a
standing caricature. One notes the many Jews among the throng; here a
turbaned Turk sits before a café smoking his pipe, and near by a
handsome Greek, with his red fez, smokes a cigar. There are Orientals of
all types, with jaunty Englishmen, and gay parties of Americans.

We will now pass on to Milan, once considered the second city of Italy
in importance, but it was totally destroyed in 1162 by Barbarossa, and
we therefore see a comparatively modern capital. In the olden time it
was filled with temples, baths, amphitheatres, circuses, and all the
monuments common to great Italian cities. Seven hundred years and more
have elapsed since its destruction, during which it rapidly sprang into
life again as the capital of Lombardy, and is still a growing
metropolis. True, it can offer no such attractions to the traveller as
abound in Naples, Rome, and Florence, though there are some art
treasures here which are unique. Were it not that the city is so near to
Lakes Como and Maggiore, and in possession of half a hundred remarkable
pictures, with a score of choice original pieces of sculpture, together
with its wonderful cathedral, the traveller would hardly care to pass
more than a day in Milan. The present population is about two hundred
and forty thousand. It is thrifty and devoted more to successful
branches of business than are the cities of Southern Italy.

The Milan Cathedral is regarded as one of the wonders of the world,
being also next to the cathedral at Seville and St. Peter's at Rome, the
largest church in Europe, though this matter of size is of insignificant
consideration compared with its other marvels. The interior is nearly
five hundred feet in length and but a fraction less than two hundred in
width, while the dome is over two hundred feet in height. Its loftiest
tower is over three hundred and sixty feet above the ground; there are a
hundred pinnacles in all, and no less than four thousand five hundred
marble statues ornament the exterior. The interior consists of a nave
with double aisles, and is supported by fifty-two pillars, each fifteen
feet in diameter, the summits of which are decked with canopied niches
presenting statues in place of the customary capitals. The pavement is
finished in marble and mosaic. The edifice was in course of construction
for five hundred years, and to look at it one would hardly suppose there
was white marble enough in Europe to furnish the raw material of which
it is built. The principal part of the work has been performed during
the last hundred years.

One mounts nearly five hundred stone steps to reach the summit of the
cathedral, where we stand in the highest pinnacle, nearly four hundred
feet from the street. Far below lies the city, the dwellings and
churches resembling toy-houses, while the people moving about in the
thoroughfares assume pigmy proportions, horses looking like exaggerated
insects. We gaze about in dizzy wonder, and are half inclined to believe
it all a trick of the imagination. After the first surprise is over, the
true aspect gradually dawns upon the stranger, and the labor of
ascending those tedious steps is forgotten. The distant view is
particularly fine; the green and fertile plains of Lombardy stretching
away from the city walls in all directions until they meet the
foot-hills of the Alpine range, or mingle with the horizon towards the
shores of the Adriatic. Mont Blanc, Mont Cenis, Mont St. Bernard, the
Simplon Pass, the Bernese Oberland range, and further to the northeast
the long range of the Tyrolean Alps, are recognized with their white
snow-caps glittering in the bright sunlight. The forest of pinnacles
beneath our feet, mingled with a labyrinth of ornamented spires,
statues, flying buttresses, and Gothic fretwork, piled all about the
roof, is seen through a gauze-like veil of golden mist.

Milan has several other churches more or less interesting, but the
visitor rarely passes much time in examining them. No traveller should
fail, however, to visit the Brera Palace, the one gallery of art in this
city. It was formerly a Jesuit college, but is now used for a public
school, with the title of Palace of Arts and Sciences, forming a most
extensive academy, containing paintings, statuary, and a comprehensive
library of nearly two hundred thousand volumes. There is also attached a
fine botanical garden, exhibiting many rare and beautiful exotics as
well as native plants. In the gallery of paintings the visitor is sure
to single out for appreciation a canvas, by Guercino, representing
Abraham banishing Hagar and her child. The tearful face of the deserted
one, with its wonderful expression, tells the whole story of her misery.
This picture is worthy of all the enthusiastic praise so liberally
bestowed by competent critics.

No picture is better known than Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper,"
millions of copies of which have been circulated in engravings, oil
paintings, and by photography. We find the original in the Dominican
monastery, where the artist painted it upon the bare wall or masonry of
a lofty dining-hall. It is still perfect and distinct, though not so
bright as it would have been had it been executed upon canvas. Da Vinci
was years in perfecting it, and justly considered it to be the best work
of his artistic life. The moment chosen for delineation is that when
Christ utters the words, "One of you shall betray me!" The artist said
that he meditated for two years how best to portray upon a human face
the workings of the perfidious heart of Judas, and ended at last by
taking for his model the prior of this very monastery, who was well
known to be his bitterest enemy! The likeness at the period of its
production was unmistakable, and thus perpetuated the scandal.

We must not fail to make an excursion from Milan to Pavia, one of the
oldest of Italian cities. It lies on the left bank of the Ticino River,
and was in the olden times the residence of the Lombard kings, who did
not fail to beautify and improve it in their day to such an extent that
it was known all over Europe as the "City of a Hundred Towers," many of
which are extant and in excellent preservation. Though the finger of
time has pressed heavily upon it, and its ancient glory has departed,
still Pavia has a population of over thirty thousand, and lays claim to
no inconsiderable importance. If it were not a little off the usual
track of travellers, we should hear much more of its associations. The
university founded here by Charlemagne, over a thousand years ago, is
still prosperous; and the famous church of San Michael, erected at even
an earlier period, is still an object of profound interest. As we wander
about the quaint streets the impress of antiquity is upon everything
that meets the eye. Just north of the city, about a league from the
walls, is the Certosa, one of the most splendid monasteries in Europe,
founded about five hundred years since. It is absolutely crowded with
fine paintings, statuary, mosaics, and rich art ornamentation. Private
palaces abound, though now largely diverted from their original
purposes. There are also theatres, libraries, museums, gymnasiums, still
thriving after a moderate fashion. Pavia looks backward to her past
glories rather than forward to new hopes. Sacked by Hannibal, burned by
the Huns, conquered and possessed by the Romans, won by the Goths and
Lombards, it was long the capital of what was then known as the kingdom
of Italy. Then came a period of fierce civil wars, when its history
merged in that of the conquerors of Lombardy. Taken and lost by the
French so late as 1796, it was stormed and pillaged by Napoleon, but
once more came into the possession of Austria, until it finally found
refuge in the bosom of United Italy. The famous battle of Pavia, which
occurred in 1525, when Francis I. was taken prisoner, was fought close
to the Certosa.

Our next objective point is Vienna, and we take the route through
Innspruck, the capital of the Tyrol, which is most charmingly situated
in the valley of the Inn just where it joins the Sill. The town is about
two thousand feet above sea-level, and is surrounded by mountains six
and eight thousand feet in height. It derives its name from the bridge
which here crosses the river--Inn's Brücke (that is, the Inn's Bridge).
We enter Austria through the Brenner Pass, and after a long Alpine
journey of three or four hundred miles are very glad to pause here both
for rest and observation. There must be about twenty thousand
inhabitants, but the town seems almost solemnly silent. At certain
periods of the year, known as "the season," doubtless its two or three
large hotels are plentifully supplied with guests. Historical
associations are not wanting; among them is the Franciscan church of
Innspruck, containing the elaborate and costly monument to the Emperor
Maximilian I., which, though constructed by order of the monarch
himself, does not contain his remains. The structure consists of a
marble sarcophagus supporting the emperor's effigy in bronze in a
kneeling position, while on the other side of the aisle are rows of
monumental bronze figures, twenty-eight in number, representing various
historic characters. The mention of this unique group in the old church
of Innspruck, by the poet Longfellow, will be remembered.

The Schloss Ambras is of considerable interest, having been the favorite
home of the Archduke Ferdinand II. The view from its battlements is
worthy of a pilgrimage to enjoy. Innspruck looks like a toy-village, so
far below, upon the plain. The broad streets of the new portion of the
town lie spread out as upon a map. The three handsome bridges give
variety to the scene. The central one, as the guide will tell us, was
the scene of a fierce battle, in 1809, between the Bavarians and the
Tyrolese. The former could not withstand the superior marksmanship of
these chamois-hunters, who picked off the men at the cannon as fast as
they came into action, until the Bavarians fled in despair, abandoning
their guns.

On resuming our journey towards Vienna, we pass up the constantly
narrowing valley of the Inn, through a range of mountain scenery,
covered with snow, and grand beyond description, where Alp is piled upon
Alp, until all distinctive outline is lost in the clouds which envelop
them. Now and then we see a rude but picturesque chamois huntsman
struggling up the mountain side in search of the special game which is
growing annually scarcer and scarcer. There is a wild interest which
actuates the chamois-hunter, amounting to fanaticism. The country is
very sparsely inhabited, but we occasionally come upon a cluster of
picturesque habitations, quite theatrical in effect, the counterpart of
the familiar pictures and photographs we see in America. By and by,
after a long day of travel, we reach Salzburg, in the Noric Alps.

Salzburg was the birthplace of Mozart, and is still a musical place,
that branch of the fine arts being universally cultivated among the more
refined class of inhabitants. There are several public monuments
commemorative of the great composer, who played his own compositions
before the public here at the age of five years! The massive wall which
once surrounded the place is now mostly dismantled, and could only have
been of use in the Middle Ages, at which time Salzburg was probably in
its greatest state of prosperity. The manufacture of Majolica ware has
been a specialty here for a couple of centuries or more, and it has a
reputation for the production of fine fancy leather goods. Its
connection by rail with Vienna, Munich, and Innspruck insures it
considerable trade, but still there is a sleepiness about the place
which is almost contagious. It was probably different when the
archbishops held court here, at a period when those high functionaries
combined the dignity of princes of the Empire with their ecclesiastical
rank. It was at this period that the town received its few public
ornaments, and the half-dozen fine public edifices, still to be seen,
were erected.

In the absence of statistics one would say there was a population of
fifteen thousand. Some of the street scenes are peculiar. We see single
cows and oxen harnessed and worked like horses, not in shafts, but
beside a long pole. The entire absence of donkeys, so numerous elsewhere
in Europe, is quite noticeable. The women surprise us by their large
size and apparent physical strength--quite a necessary possession, since
they seem to perform the larger portion of the heavy work, while their
lazy husbands are engaged in pipe-smoking and beer-drinking. We see
girls and dogs harnessed together into milk and vegetable carts, which
they draw through the streets at early morning, to deliver the required
articles to the consumers. When the little team arrives before a
customer's door, the girl drops her harness, measures out and delivers
the milk or vegetables, while the dog waits patiently.

There is no special beauty observable among the female population. The
dark eyes and hair with the lovely faces of the South are left behind,
as well as the soft, musical cadence of voice which so charms the ear in
Italy. German is not a musical tongue. It is a vigorous language, but
not a harmonious one in speech. Doubtless there are pretty blonde
Marguerites--like Goethe's heroine--hidden away somewhere among the
domestic circles of Salzburg, but their long golden braids of hair and
their fair, rose-tinted complexions are not often seen in public.



CHAPTER XIV.


Undoubtedly Vienna is the finest city on the European continent next to
Paris, and it is often called the Northern Paris. It resembles the
French capital both in its social life and its architecture. The style
of the modern buildings is very attractive, displaying great richness
and beauty of outline, while the charming perfection of detail is by no
means neglected. At least one-quarter of Vienna is new, presenting broad
streets lined with noble edifices. The Ring Strasse is a notable example
of this, being an elegant avenue, which takes the place of the old city
wall that once surrounded the town, but which it has long since
outgrown. This metropolis now contains considerably over a million
inhabitants. It is situated upon an arm of the Danube where it is joined
by the two small streams known as the Wien and the Alster, from the
former of which the city takes its name. Vienna is not lacking in
antiquity. It was renowned in Roman times two thousand years ago, and
there is an ancient aspect quite unmistakable about its western portion
in the vicinity of the Emperor's palace. This imperial assemblage of
buildings, with the broad court about which they stand, presents no
claim whatever to architectural beauty, being exceedingly heavy and
substantial.

One of the principal attractions of the city is its numerous parks,
squares, and breathing-spots. Above all else in this regard is the
Prater, situated on the verge of the city, forming one of the most
extensive pleasure drives or parks connected with any European capital.
It was in this park that the famous exhibition buildings were erected,
covering twelve or fifteen acres of ground; but the Prater could afford
room for fifty such structures. All the fashionable citizens, including
the royal family, come here for the enjoyment of their afternoon drive
or horseback ride. The sight presented on these occasions is one of the
very gayest conceivable, recalling the brilliancy of the Chiaja of
Naples, the Maiden of Calcutta, or the Champs Elysées of Paris. One does
not see even in Hyde Park, London, more elegant vehicles and horses, or
more striking liveries than on the Prater at Vienna. Equestrianism is
the favorite mode of exercise here, both with ladies and gentlemen, and
the Austrians are better horsemen and horsewomen than the English.
Cavalry officers in uniform, as well as representatives of other arms of
the service, add much to the brilliancy of this park during the popular
hour. It is divided into a broad driveway, a well-kept equestrian track,
and smooth walks devoted exclusively to pedestrians. For spaciousness as
well as attractive gayety, the Prater is scarcely equalled--certainly
not surpassed--by any other European driveway.

There are two noble palaces at Vienna which must not be forgotten;
namely, the Upper and Lower Belvedere. They are intimately connected,
though divided by a large and splendid garden, and together form an art
collection and museum combined, only second to the Uffizi and Pitti
palaces at Florence, and the galleries of Paris and Rome. A simple list
of the pictures to be found here would cover many pages in print,
embracing the names of such artists as Salvator Rosa, Giorgone, Bassano,
Perugino, Carlo Dolce, Guido Reni, Rembrandt, Andrea del Sarto, Van
Dyck, etc. All of these paintings are high in artistic merit; many of
them are admirable, and all are beyond price in money. Various schools
are represented in the galleries, and there are among the rest a hundred
or so of modern pictures; but the majority are by the old masters or
their immediate pupils. The Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish schools are
especially well represented. The visitor will find in the Lower
Belvedere a marvellous collection of antiquities, perhaps the most
curious to be seen in Europe. Among other departments of interest is one
in which there are over a hundred warriors of life size clad in complete
armor, most of whom are mounted on mail-clad horses, all confronting the
visitor, with visor down and lance in rest. All of these effigies are
designed to be likenesses, and each is labelled with the name of the
warrior-king, emperor, or great general he represents, while we have
before us the real armor and weapons which he bore in actual life. Here
hangs the tattered banner which was carried through the Crusades, and
returned by the hand of the Archduke Ferdinand, beside hundreds of
similar tokens.

The Cathedral of St. Stephen's, between five and six hundred years of
age, is of very great interest, and forms a rare example of pure Gothic.
The Imperial Library contains over three hundred thousand volumes.
Vienna has all the usual Christian charitable institutions, schools, and
progressive organizations of a great city of the nineteenth century.

From Vienna we continue our journey to Prague, the capital of Bohemia, a
quaint old city, founded in 1722 by the Duchess Libussa, and which has
to-day nearly sixty thousand inhabitants. It is crowded with historical
monuments, ancient churches, and queer old chapels, some of which are
ornamented by frescoes hardly rivalled by the finest at Rome and
Florence. One is here shown underground dungeons as terrible as those of
Venice, and to which historic associations lend their special interest.
It would seem that human beings could hardly exist in such holes for a
month, and yet in some of these, prisoners are known to have lingered
miserably for years. Prague was remarkable for its institutions of
learning and its scientific societies. The university, founded by
Charles IV. in 1348, had at one time a hundred professors and three
thousand students. This university enjoyed a world-wide reputation, but
all this has passed away. There are two or three large libraries, a
museum of natural history, a school for the blind, and several public
hospitals. We find here some beautiful specimens of glass manufacture,
for which Bohemia has long been celebrated, though she is now rivalled
in this line by both England and America.

Prague has had more than its share of the calamities of war, having been
besieged and taken six times before the year 1249. In the war of the
Hussites it was taken, burned, plundered, and sacked with barbarous
ferocity. The Thirty Years' War began and ended within its walls, and
during its progress the city was three times in possession of the enemy.
In 1620 the battle was fought just outside of the city in which
Frederick V. was conquered, and after which he was deposed. During the
Seven Years' War it fell into the hands of different victors, and in
1744 capitulated to Frederick the Great of Prussia. Indeed, until within
the last half-century Prague and its environs may be said to have been
little better than a constant battle-field. Seen from an elevated
position the city presents a very picturesque aspect. A fine view may
be had of it from either of the bridges which cross the Moldau, but a
more satisfactory one is to be had from the Belvedere, a large public
garden situated on an eminence just outside the city proper. This garden
forms a beautiful park and is a favorite drive with the citizens. One of
the bridges is called the Karlsbrücke (Charles Bridge); the other is the
Suspension Bridge, also known as Emperor Francis's Bridge. At the end of
the latter is the memorial which commemorates the five hundredth
anniversary of the founding of the university. The niches on either side
are filled with statues representing the several sciences, added to
which are statues of two archbishops. The Charles Bridge, built of stone
over five hundred years ago, is the most interesting of the two bridges,
and has its two extremities protected by lofty towers. The arches of the
bridge are ornamented with groups of saints numbering thirty life-size
figures. It is not surprising that Prague appears in decay; but as it is
a sort of half-way place between Dresden and Vienna, it is insured a
certain amount of business from travellers of all nations.

[Illustration: BRIDGE CROSSING THE MOLDAU.]

One prominent feature of Dresden, the capital of Saxony, which strikes
the stranger, is that the military appear in such large numbers
everywhere, in the streets, the hotels, in the shops and parks. The
expense and waste of supporting such large numbers of soldiers is
enormous. The student of art, music, and history finds a rich field for
educational purposes here, where there are so many choice collections of
antiquities, museums, and remarkable paintings. The Zwinger Museum
contains among other treasures a collection of three hundred and sixty
thousand engraved plates, all of great value. Art treasures and
libraries are freely open to the public, as in all parts of Europe.
Dresden is a busy city, commanding a large trade, and containing over a
quarter of a million inhabitants. Gold and silver manufactures form a
large share of the industry; artificial flowers, china ware, and paper
hangings also, constitute a large portion of its extensive exports. The
Royal Public Library contains four hundred thousand volumes, and is
particularly rich in the several departments of literature, history, and
classical antiquity. There are many volumes in this Dresden library
which are not to be found elsewhere in Europe, and learned men come
thousands of miles to consult them.

The Green Vaults, so called from the style of the original decorations,
are a portion of the Royal Palace, and contain an extraordinarily
valuable collection, belonging to the State, consisting of works of art,
jewels, royal regalia, etc., classified in eight connected saloons. One
sees here a certain green stone, a most brilliant gem, esteemed of great
value. Whether it be really a diamond or an emerald, it is intrinsically
of equal worth. The weight of this rare gem is forty carets. The Grosse
Garten is the favorite public park of the city, containing about three
hundred acres of land. It is very beautifully laid out in ornamental
sections, drives, walks, and groves. The historical associations about
this park are interesting, it being the spot where the French and
Prussians more than once encountered each other in battle, the last time
in 1813.

The most attractive portion of this really fine city is the Theatre
Platz, about which lie the principal objects of interest to the
traveller. Here are situated the Royal Palace, the Zwinger with its
choice collections, and the theatre. The old bridge over the Elbe is a
substantial stone structure. The palace forms a large square of
spacious edifices surmounted by a tower nearly four hundred feet high.
The principal picture-gallery of Dresden is the finest in Germany, and
contains between three and four thousand admirable examples of high
art,--the work of such artists as Raphael, Holbein, Corregio, Albert
Dürer, Rubens, Giotto, Van Dyck, and other masters already named in
these pages. Among them all the favorite, as generally conceded, is
Raphael's Madonna di San Sisto, believed to be one of the last and best
examples produced by this great master. We are sure to find a goodly
number of Americans residing in this European capital, gathered here for
educational purposes in art, literature, and music.

Berlin, the capital of Prussia, contains about a million inhabitants,
and is one of the finest cities of Europe. The principal street is the
Unter den Linden, and most of the objects of interest centre here
between the Royal Palace and the Brandenburg Gate. This thoroughfare is
planted in its centre with four rows of trees, having a capacious
pedestrian section, an equestrian road, and two driveways, one on each
side of the broad street. It resembles Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, both
in size and design, though the architecture of the American street is
far superior to the German. The Unter den Linden is a hundred and
ninety-six feet wide, and receives its name from the double avenue of
linden trees extending through the centre. The street is flanked with
fine buildings, a few hotels, three palaces, a museum, a school of art,
public library, etc. At one end is the famous bronze statue of Frederick
the Great. The Brandenburg Gate, where the Linden commences, forms the
entrance to the city from the Thiergarten, and is a sort of triumphal
arch, erected in 1789. It is seventy feet in height, and two hundred in
width, being modelled after the entrance in the gateway of the temple of
the Parthenon at Athens. It affords five passage-ways through its great
width.

This proud capital, six hundred years ago, was only of small importance,
since when it has grown to its present mammoth proportions. Frederick
William made it his home and started its most important structures.
Frederick I. added to it, and so it has been improved by one ruler after
another until it has become one of the most important political and
commercial centres in Europe. It is divided by the river Spree, which at
this point is about two hundred feet in width, and communicates with the
Oder and the Baltic by canal. No continental city except Vienna has
grown so rapidly during the last half-century. The late emperor did
little or nothing to beautify the capital, whose growth has been mostly
of a normal character, greatly retarded by a devotion to military
purposes.

The Unter den Linden is the charm of Berlin, so bright, shaded, and
retired, as it were, in the very midst of outer noise and bustle. At
nearly all hours of the day the long lines of benches are crowded by
laughing, flaxen-haired children, attended by gayly dressed nurses, the
groups they form contrasting with the rude struggle of business life
going on so close at hand. A regiment of soldiers is passing as we gaze
upon the scene, accompanied by a full band, their helmets and bright
arms glittering in the sunlight; the vehicles rattle past on both sides
of the mall; here and there is seen an open official carriage with
liveried servants and outriders; well-mounted army officers pass at a
hand-gallop on the equestrian division of the street, saluting right
and left; dogs and women harnessed together to small carts wind in and
out among the throng, while girls and boys with huge baskets strapped to
their backs, containing merchandise, mingle in the scene.

The Thiergarten is the grand park of Berlin, situated along the banks of
the Spree; it is two miles long by a mile in width, with an abundance of
noble trees, well-kept drives, and clear, picturesque lakes. The ponds
and canals intersecting this park afford a choice resort for the lovers
of skating in winter. In the southwest corner of the Thiergarten is the
famous zoölogical garden of Berlin, established nearly fifty years
since.

The Royal Palace is an imposing structure six hundred and forty feet
long by about half that width, and is over a hundred feet in height. It
was originally a fortress, but has been altered by successive monarchs
until it is now a very perfect royal residence, containing six hundred
rooms and state departments.

We still pursue our course northward, bearing a little to the west,
until we reach Hamburg, which contains some three hundred thousand
inhabitants, and is one of the most important commercial cities on the
continent. It is not only situated on a navigable river, the
Elbe,--seventy miles from its mouth,--but is connected by railway with
every part of Europe. Hamburg was founded by Charlemagne a thousand
years ago, the older portions being dark and dirty; but the modern
section of the city is very fine in the size of its streets and its
architectural aspect. Its commercial connections with America exceed
that of any other northern port, and form its main features of business
importance. Vessels drawing eighteen feet of water can ascend the Elbe
to the wharves at high tide. The city is intersected by canals and
branches of the Alster River, and was once surrounded by a series of
ramparts, but these have been converted into attractive, tree-planted
promenades. The public library of Hamburg contains over two hundred
thousand volumes, and there is no lack in the city of hospitals,
schools, colleges, churches, charitable institutions, museums, and
theatres. The botanical gardens and the zoölogical exhibition are
remarkable for excellence and completeness. It would be difficult to
conceive of a more attractive sight than that afforded by the broad
sheet of water in the centre of the town known as the Alster Basin, a
mile in circumference, bounded on three sides by streets ornamented
liberally with trees, while its surface is dotted with little omnibus
steamers and pleasure boats darting hither and thither like swallows on
the wing. Snow-white swans, tame and graceful, are constantly seen
floating over the surface of this attractive city-lake. The environs of
Hamburg are rendered very charming by pleasant villas and numberless
flower-gardens, with an abundance of ornamental trees.

Our journey northward continues by railway and steamboat via Kiel,
crossing an arm of the Baltic to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark,
situated on the island of Zeeland. This city, which now contains a
population of about two hundred and fifty thousand, was a large
commercial port centuries ago, and has several times been partially
destroyed by war and conflagration. The houses are mostly of brick, some
of the better class being built of Norwegian granite, while the newer
portion of the town presents many examples of fine modern architecture.
The streets are of good width, laid out with an eye to regularity,
besides which there are sixteen public squares. Taken as a whole, the
first impression of the place and its surroundings is remarkably
pleasing and attractive. As one approaches the city the scene is
enlivened by the many windmills in the environs, whose wide-spread arms
are generally in motion, appearing like the broad wings of enormous
birds hovering over the land. Perhaps the earliest association in its
modern history which the stranger is likely to remember as he looks
about him in Copenhagen, is that of the dastardly attack upon the city,
and the shelling of it for three consecutive days, by the British fleet
in 1807, during which reckless onslaught an immense destruction of human
life and property was inflicted upon the place. Over three hundred
important buildings were laid in ashes on that occasion, because Denmark
refused permission for the domiciling of English troops upon her soil,
or to withdraw from her connection with the neutral powers in the
Napoleonic wars.

As in the Mediterranean, so in the Baltic, tidal influence is felt only
to a small degree, the difference in the rise and fall of the water at
this point being scarcely more than one foot. Owing to the comparatively
fresh character of this sea its ports are ice-bound for a third of each
year, and in the extreme seasons the whole expanse is frozen across from
the coast of Denmark to that of Sweden. In 1658 Charles X. of the latter
country marched his army across the Belts, dictating to the Danes a
treaty of peace; and so late as 1809 a Russian army passed from Finland
to Sweden, across the Gulf of Bothnia.

The territory of Denmark upon the mainland is quite limited, consisting
of Jutland only; but she has a number of islands far and near, Zeeland
being the most populous, and containing, as we have shown, the capital.
As a state she may be said to occupy a much larger space in history
than upon the map of Europe. The surface of the island of Zeeland is
uniformly low, in this resembling Holland, the highest point reaching an
elevation of about two hundred and fifty feet. To be precise in the
matter of her dominions, the colonial possessions of Denmark may be thus
enumerated: Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe group of islands, between the
Shetlands and Iceland; adding St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John in the
West Indies. Greenland is nearly as large as Germany and France
combined; but owing to its ice-clothed character in most parts, its
inhabitants do not quite reach an aggregate of ten thousand. Iceland is
nearly the size of our New England States, and has a population of
seventy-five thousand. The Faroes contain ten thousand inhabitants, and
the three West Indian islands united have a population of a little over
forty thousand.

In the year 1880 the Danish monarchy reached the thousandth anniversary
of its foundation under Gorm the Old, whose reign bridges over the
interval between mere legend and the dawn of recorded history. Gorm is
supposed to have been a direct descendant of the famous Regnar Lodbrog,
who was a daring and imperious ruler of the early Northmen. The common
origin of the three Baltic nationalities which constitute Scandinavia is
clearly apparent to the traveller who has visited Denmark, Sweden, and
Norway. The race has been steadily modified, generation after
generation, in its more important characteristics by the progressive
force of civilization. These Northmen are no longer the haughty and
reckless warriors who revelled in wine drunk from the skulls of their
enemies, and who deemed death respectable only when encountered upon
the battle-field. Clearer intelligence and culture have substituted the
duties of peaceful citizens for the occupation of marauders, and the
enterprises of civilized life for the exaggerated romance of sea-rovers.
Reading and writing, which were once looked upon by them as allied to
the black art, are now the accomplishment of nearly all classes, and
nowhere on the globe do we find people more cheerful, intelligent,
frank, and hospitable than in the three kingdoms of the far North.

The Denmark of to-day, typified by Copenhagen, its capital, is a great
centre of science and art. The spirit of Thorwaldsen, the contemporary
and brother-sculptor of Canova, permeates everything, and in making his
native city his heir, he also bequeathed to her an appreciation of art
which her eminent scientists have ably supplemented in their several
departments of knowledge. The Thorwaldsen Museum contains over forty
apartments, ample space being afforded for the best display of each
figure and each group designed by the great master. The ceilings are
elaborately and very beautifully decorated with emblematical designs by
the best Danish artists. This enduring monument is also Thorwaldsen's
appropriate mausoleum, being fashioned externally after an Etruscan
tomb. It contains only this master's own works, and a few pictures which
he brought with him from Rome. He revelled in the representation of
tenderness, of youth, beauty, and childhood. Nothing of the repulsive or
terrible ever came from his hand. The sculptor's fancy found expression
most fully, perhaps, in the works which are gathered here, illustrating
the delightful legends of the Greek mythology. No one can be surprised
at the universal homage accorded to his memory by his countrymen.

The Ethnological Museum of the city, better known as the Museum of
Northern Antiquities, is considered to be the most remarkable
institution of the sort in Europe. Students in this department of
science come from all parts of the civilized world to seek knowledge
from its countless treasures. One is here enabled to follow the progress
of our race from its primitive stages to its highest civilization. The
national government liberally aids all purposes akin to science and art;
consequently this museum is a favored object of the state. Each of the
three distinctive periods of stone, bronze, and iron forms an elaborate
division in the spacious halls of the institution.

This government was the first in Europe to furnish the means of
education to the people at large on a liberal scale; to establish
schoolhouses in every parish, and to provide suitable dwellings and
income for the teachers. The incipient steps towards this object began
as far back as the time of Christian II., more than three centuries ago,
while many of the European states were clouded in ignorance. Copenhagen
has two public libraries: the Royal, containing over six hundred
thousand books; and the University, which has between two hundred and
fifty and three hundred thousand volumes.

Though Denmark is a small kingdom containing scarcely three million
people, yet it has produced many eminent men of science, art, and
literature. The names of Hans Christian Andersen, Rasmus Rask, the
philologist, Oersted, the discoverer of electro-magnetism, Forchhammer,
the chemist, and Eschricht, the physiologist, occur to us in this
connection. It is a country of legend and romance, of historic and
prehistoric monuments, besides being the very fatherland of fairy tales.
The Vikings of old have left their footprints all over the country in
mounds. It is not therefore surprising that the cultured portion of the
community is stimulated to antiquarian research.

The Palace of Rosenborg, situated near the centre of the city, was built
by Christian IV., in 1604. It is no longer used for its original
purpose, but is devoted to the preservation of a chronological
collection of the belongings of the Danish kings, spacious apartments
being devoted to souvenirs of each, decorated in the style of the
period, and containing a portion of the original furniture from the
several royal residences, as well as the family portraits, gala
costumes, jewelry, plate, and weapons of war. Altogether it is a
collection of priceless value and of remarkable historic interest,
covering a period of over four hundred years. One is forcibly reminded
of the Green Vaults of Dresden while passing through the several
sections of Rosenborg Castle. Many of the royal regalias are profusely
inlaid with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and other precious
stones, forming all together a value too large for us to venture an
estimate. The toilet sets which have belonged to and been in daily use
by various queens are numerous, each set embracing a dozen pieces more
or less, made of solid gold, superbly inlaid with many precious stones.
Among them one is especially interested in the jewelled casket of Queen
Sophia Amalie, wife of Frederick III., a relic inlaid with scores of
diamonds. Here, too, we see the costly and beautiful bridal dresses of
several royal personages, all chronologically arranged, so that the
intelligent visitor clearly reads veritable history in these domestic
treasures.

The Round Tower of Copenhagen is a most singular structure, formerly
used as an observatory. It consists of two hollow cylinders between
which is a spiral, gradually inclined foot-way leading from base to top.
It is quite safe for a horse to ascend, and the Empress Catharine is
said to have reached the summit on horseback. From the top of the Round
Tower, the red-tiled roofs of the city lie spread out beneath the eye of
the visitor, mingled with green parks, open squares, tall steeples,
broad canals, wide thoroughfares and palaces. To this aspect is added
the multitude of shipping lying along the piers and grouped in the
harbor, backed by a view of the open sea. The Swedish coast across the
Baltic is represented by a low range of coast-line losing itself upon
the distant horizon. The ramparts which formerly surrounded Copenhagen
have been demolished, the ground being now improved for fine
garden-walks, planted with ornamental trees and bright-hued flowers,
which add greatly to the attractive aspect of the Danish capital. The
former moats have assumed the shape of tiny lakes, upon which swans and
other aquatic birds are seen at all hours; and where death-dealing
cannon were formerly planted, lindens, rose-bushes, and tall white
lilies now bloom in peaceful beauty.

No finer scenery is to be found in Europe than is presented by the
country lying between Copenhagen and Elsinore, composed of a succession
of forests, lawns, villas, cottages, and gardens, for a distance of
twenty-five miles. Elsinore is a small seaport, looking rather deserted,
bleak, and silent, with less than ten thousand inhabitants. From out of
the uniformity of its red brick buildings there looms up but one
noticeable edifice; namely, the Town Hall, with a square tower flanked
by an octagonal one built of red granite. The charm of the place is its
remarkable situation, commanding a view of the Baltic, with Sweden in
the distance, while the Sound which divides the two shores is always
dotted with myriads of steamers and sailing-vessels. The position of
Elsinore recalls that of Gibraltar and the Dardanelles as surely as its
name reminds us of the play of Hamlet, and Shakespeare. North of the
town, on the extreme point of the land, stands the famous castle of
Kronborg, with its three tall towers, the central one overtopping the
others to the extent of some forty or fifty feet. The tower, upon the
most seaward corner, is devoted to the purposes of a lighthouse. The
castle is about three centuries old, having been built by Frederick II.
for the purpose of commanding the Sound, and of enforcing the marine
tolls which were exacted from all foreign nations for a period of two
hundred years and more.

If you visit Elsinore, the guide will show you what is called Hamlet's
grave, situated in a small grove of trees, where some cunning hands long
ago erected a rude mound of stones. Shakespeare, who had a most royal
way of disregarding dates, made Hamlet live in this place after the
introduction of gunpowder, whereas if any such person ever did exist, it
was centuries earlier and hundreds of miles farther north upon the
mainland, in what is now called Jutland. However, that is not important.
Do not leave Elsinore without visiting Ophelia's fatal brook! To be
sure, this rivulet is not large enough for a duck to swim in, but a
little stretch of the imagination will overcome all local discrepancies.

Far back in Danish legendary story, a time when history fades into
fable, it is said there was a Hamlet in Northern Denmark, but it was
long before the birth of Christ. His father was not a king, but a famous
pirate chief who governed Jutland in conjunction with his brother.
Hamlet's father married the daughter of a Danish king, the issue being
Hamlet. His uncle, according to the ancient story, murdered Hamlet's
father and afterwards married his mother. Herein we have the foundation
of one of Shakespeare's grandest productions.

The Sound, which at Copenhagen is about twenty miles wide, here narrows
to two, the old fort of Helsingborg on the Swedish coast being in full
view, the passage between the two shores forming the natural gate to the
Baltic. There are delightful drives in the environs of Elsinore
presenting land and sea views of exquisite loveliness, the water-side
bristling with reefs, rocks, and lighthouses, while that of the land is
charmingly picturesque with many villas, groves, and broad, cultivated
meads.



CHAPTER XV.


One day's sail due north from Copenhagen, through the Sound,--Strait of
Katte,--brings us to Gottenburg, the metropolis of Southwestern Sweden.
The Strait, which is about a hundred miles in width, is nearly twice as
long, and contains many small islands. Gottenburg is situated on the
Gotha River, about five miles from its mouth. Though less populous, it
is commercially almost as important as Stockholm. The deep, broad
watercourse which runs through the town to the harbor is a portion of
the famous Gotha Canal, which joins fjord (inlet from the sea;
pronounced _feord_), river, lakes and locks together, thus connecting
the North Sea and the Baltic. The two cities are also joined by
railroad, the distance between them being over three hundred miles. The
country through which the canal passes is not unlike many inland
sections of New England, presenting pleasant views of thrifty farms and
well-cultivated lands. There are some sharp hills and abrupt valleys to
be encountered which are often marked by grand and picturesque
waterfalls, wild, foaming rivers, and fierce surging rapids.

Gottenburg is divided into an upper and lower town, the latter being a
plain cut up by canals, and the former spread over the adjoining hills.
The town is composed of two or three principal streets, very broad, and
intersecting one another at right angles, with a canal in the centre.
These water-ways are lined by substantial granite borders, with here
and there convenient stone steps connecting them with the water. The
spacious harbor admits of vessels drawing seventeen feet. The citizens
feel a just pride in a well-endowed college, a large public library, an
exchange, two orphan asylums, a flourishing society of arts and
sciences, a large theatre, and two public parks. In front of the theatre
is an admirable reproduction of the Swedish sculptor Molin's famous
group of two figures representing "the girdle-duellists" [these
duellists, bound together, fought with knives], the original of which
stands in front of the National Museum at Stockholm. Gottenburg is not
without a cathedral and numerous fine churches, nor let us forget to
speak of its excellent schools, attendance upon which is compulsory
throughout Sweden. English is regularly taught in her public schools,
and is very generally spoken by the intelligent people. Education is
more general, and culture is of a higher grade in Sweden than is common
with the people of Southern Europe, while music is nearly as universal
an acquirement here as it is in Italy. The population is frugal, honest,
self-helping, and in many respects resembles that of Switzerland.

The system of inland communication by means of the Gotha Canal is one of
the most remarkable ever achieved by man, when the obstacles which have
been overcome and the advantages accomplished are considered.
Steam-vessels, limited to one hundred and six feet in length on account
of the size of the locks, are carried hundreds of miles by it across and
over the highlands of Southern Sweden from sea to sea. When we see a
well-freighted steamboat climb a mountain side, float through lock after
lock, and after reaching the summit of the hills, descend with equal
facility towards the coast and sea-level, this great triumph of
engineering skill is fully appreciated. The vessels navigating the canal
rise in all, three hundred and eighty feet above the level of the Baltic
during the passage across country. At the little town of Berg the locks
are sixteen in number, and form a gigantic staircase by means of which
vessels are raised at this point one hundred and twenty feet.

On the line of the Gotha Canal is situated the famous Tröllhatta Falls,
which are so remarkable as to attract visitors from all parts of Europe.
These falls consist of a series of tremendous rapids extending over a
distance of about two hundred yards, and producing an uproar almost
equal to the ceaseless oratorio of Niagara. This angry water-way is
interspersed by some well-wooded islands, on either side of which the
waters rush with a wild, resistless power, tossed here and there by the
many under-currents. The whole forms a succession of falls of which the
first is called Gullöfallet, where on both sides of an inaccessible
little island the waters make a leap of twenty-six feet in height, the
rebound creating a constant cloud of feathery spray. Then follows the
highest of the falls, the Toppöfallet, forty-four feet in height, which
is likewise divided by a cliff into two parts, against which the frantic
waters chafe angrily. The next fall measures less than ten feet in
height, followed a little way down the rapids by what is called the
Flottbergström, all together making a fall of foaming eddies and whirls
equal to about one hundred and twelve feet.

The marine shells which are found in the bottom of some of the inland
lakes of both Norway and Sweden, show that the land which forms their
bed was once covered by the sea. This is clearly apparent in Lake Wener
and Lake Welter, which are situated nearly three hundred feet above the
present ocean level. Complete skeletons of whales have been found inland
at considerable elevations during the present century. The oldest
shell-banks discovered by scientists in Scandinavia are situated five
hundred feet above the level of the sea.

Sweden has comparatively few mountains, but many ranges of hills. Norway
monopolizes almost entirely the mountain system of the great northern
peninsula, but the large forests of pine, fir, and birch, which cover so
much of the country, are common to both. Though iron is found in large
deposits in Norway, it is still more abundant in Sweden, where it is
chiefly of the magnetic kind, yielding when properly smelted the best
ore for the manufacture of steel. It is believed that there is
sufficient malleable iron in the soil of Sweden to supply the whole
world with this necessary article for centuries. Mount Gellivare, which
is over eighteen hundred feet in height, is said to be almost wholly
formed of an ore containing eighty per cent of iron.

In approaching Christiania, the capital of Norway, by sea from
Gottenburg, we ascend the fjord of the same name a distance of seventy
miles. The city, which is built upon a gradual slope facing the south,
is seen to good advantage from the harbor. No more appropriate spot
could have been selected for the national capital by Christian IV., who
founded it, and after whom it is named, than the head of this beautiful
elongated bay. It is the seat of the Storthing, or Parliament, and the
king, whose permanent residence is at Stockholm, is expected to reside
here, attended by the court, at least three months of the year. With its
immediate suburbs, the population of the city is a hundred and
twenty-five thousand. It should be remembered that Norway is practically
a free and independent state though it is under the crown of Sweden, and
that the people are thoroughly democratic, having abolished all titles
of nobility by enactment of the Storthing so early as 1821, at which
time a law was also passed forbidding the king to create a new nobility.
Nevertheless, the thought occurs to us that these are the descendants of
those Northmen of whom one branch, under the name of Normans, conquered
the British Isles, and founded the very nobility there which is the
present boast and pride of England.

We find some problems solved in Norway which have created political
strife elsewhere. Though its Church is identical with the State,
unlimited toleration exists. There is a perfect system of political
representation, and while justice is open to all, litigation is
earnestly discouraged. The meetings of the Storthing are independent of
the king, not even requiring a writ of assemblage from him. Thus it will
be seen that although nominally under monarchial rule, Norway is in
reality self-governed.

The legal code of Norway is worthy of study, both on account of its
antiquity and its admirable provisions. The old sea-kings or
free-booters, as we have been accustomed to consider them, had a more
advanced and civilized code than any of the people whose shores they
devastated. Before the year of our Lord 885, the power of the law was
established over all persons of every rank, while, in the other
countries of Europe, the independent jurisdiction of the feudal lords
defied the laws. Before the eleventh century, the law of Scandinavia
provided for equal justice to all, established a system of weights and
measures, also one for the maintenance of roads and bridges, and for the
protection of women and animals from abuse; subjects which few other
European legal systems at that time embraced. These laws were collected
into one code by Magnus VII., about the year 1260. They were revised by
Christian IV. in 1604, and in 1687 the present system was drawn up. So
simple and compact is it, that the whole is contained in a pocket
volume, a copy of which is in the possession of every Norwegian family.
Each law occupies but a single paragraph, and all is simple and
intelligible.

The commerce of Christiania is growing rapidly. Over one thousand
vessels enter and depart from its harbor annually, which, however, is
closed by ice three months in the year, though that of Hammerfest,
situated a thousand miles further north on the same coast, is never
frozen, owing to the genial influence of the Gulf Stream,--an agent so
potent as to modify the temperature of the entire coast of Scandinavia
on its western border.

The university founded here by Frederick VI. in 1811, is a plain but
massive structure; the front ornamented by Corinthian pillars of
polished granite. It accommodates some nine hundred students, the
tuition being free to all native applicants suitably prepared. It
contains a noble library of over two hundred thousand volumes, which is
freely open even to strangers under very simple restrictions. Beneath
the same roof is an extensive museum of zoölogy and geology. The city
has a naval and military school, a lunatic asylum, an astronomical
observatory, and various charitable institutions. Its botanical garden
is situated about a mile from the town, and contains among other
interesting and finely arranged specimens, a collection of Alpine plants
from Spitzbergen and Iceland.

The parliament house is an imposing building of original design, very
pleasing in general effect and style, facing the Carl Johannes Square,
the largest open area in the city. It was finished in 1866. The
market-place is adorned with a marble statue of Christian IV. Another
fine square is the Eidsvolds Plads, planted with choice trees and
carpeted with intensely bright greensward. The chief street is the Carl
Johannes Gade, a broad thoroughfare extending from the railroad station
to the king's palace, halfway between which stands the university. In a
large wooden building behind the university is kept that unrivalled
curiosity, the "Viking Ship," a souvenir of nine hundred years ago. The
blue clay of the district, where it was exhumed in 1880, a few miles
south of Christiania, has preserved it all these years. The men who
built the graceful lines of this now crumbling vessel, "in some remote
and dateless day," knew quite as much of true marine architecture as do
our modern shipwrights. This interesting relic, doubtless the oldest
ship in the world, once served the Vikings, its masters, as a sea-craft.
It is eighty feet long by sixteen wide, and is about six feet deep from
the gunwale. Seventy shields, as many spears, and other war equipments
recovered with the hull, show that it carried that number of
fighting-men.

In such vessels as this the dauntless Northmen made voyages to every
country in Europe a thousand years ago, and, as is confidently believed
by many, they crossed the Atlantic, discovering North America centuries
before the name of Columbus was known. Ignoring the halo of romance and
chivalry which the poets have thrown about the valiant Vikings and their
followers, one thing we are compelled to admit--they were superb marine
architects. Ten centuries of progressive civilization have served to
produce none better. Most of the arts and sciences may, and do, exhibit
great progress in excellence, but ship-building is not among them. We
build bigger, but not finer, vessels.

The burial of this ship so many centuries ago was simply in accordance
with the custom of those days. When any great sea-king perished, he was
enclosed in the cabin of his galley, and either sunk in the ocean or
buried with his vessel and all of its warlike equipments upon the
nearest suitable spot of land. We are told that when a chieftain died in
battle, not only were his war-horse, his gold and silver plate, and his
portable personal effects buried or burned with his body, but a guard of
honor from among his followers slew themselves that he might enter the
sacred halls of Odin (the Scandinavian Deity) properly attended. The
more elevated in rank the chief might be, the larger the number who must
sacrifice themselves as his escort to the land of bliss. So entire was
the reliance of these Heathens in the demands of their peculiar faith,
that they freely acted up to its extreme requirements while singing
songs of joy.

A general aspect of good order, thrift, industry, and prosperity
prevails at Christiania. The simplicity of dress and the gentle manners,
especially among the female portion of the community, are marked
features. No stranger can fail to notice the low, sympathetic tones in
which the women always speak; but though decorous and worthy, it must be
admitted that the Norwegian ladies, as a rule, are not handsome. One
sees here none of the rush and fever of living which so wearies the
observer in many parts of Southern Europe. The common people evince more
solidity of character with less of the frivolities of life. They may be
said to be a trifle slow and phlegmatic, but by no means stupid. The
most careless schoolboy, when addressed by a stranger, removes his hat
and remains uncovered until he has responded to the inquiry made of him.

Upon visiting a new city in any part of the world, one learns much of
the national characteristics of the people, and of other matters worth
knowing, by mingling unconventionally with the throng, watching their
every-day habits and by observing the stream of busy life pouring
through its great thoroughfares. More valuable information is thus
acquired than from visiting grand cathedrals, art galleries, or
consulting guide-books. Years of travel fatigue us with the latter, but
never with Nature in her varying moods, with the peculiarities of races,
or with the manners and customs of each new locality and country. The
delight in natural objects grows by experience in every cultivated and
receptive mind. The rugged architecture of lofty mountains, the aspect
of tumbling waterfalls, noble rivers, glowing sunsets, broad land and
sea-views--each of these has a special, never-tiring and impressive
individuality.

While enjoying a bird's-eye view of Christiania, from the heights of
Egeberg, a well-wooded hill in the southern suburb, it is difficult to
believe one's self in Icelandic Scandinavia,--the precise latitude of
the Shetland Islands. A drowsy hum like the drone of bees seems to float
up from the busy city below. The beautiful fjord, with its graceful
promontories, its picturesque and leafy isles, might be Lake Maggiore or
Como, so placid and calm is its pale blue surface. Turning the eyes
inland, one sees clustered in lovely combinations fields of ripening
grain, gardens, lawns, cottages, and handsome villas, like a scene upon
the sunny shores of the Maritime Alps. An abundance of trees enliven the
view,--plane, sycamore, ash, and elm, in luxurious condition. Warmer
skies during the summer period are not to be found in Italy, nor
elsewhere outside of Egypt. As we stand upon the height of Egeberg on a
delicious sunny afternoon, there hangs over and about the Norwegian
capital a soft golden haze such as lingers in August above the Venetian
lagoons.

The summer is so short here as to give the fruits and flowers barely
time to blossom, ripen, and fade, and the husbandman a chance to gather
his crops. Vegetation is rapid in its growth, the sunshine being so
nearly constant during the ten weeks which intervene between seedtime
and harvest. Barley grows two inches, and pease three, in twenty-four
hours at certain stages of development. It is an interesting fact that
if the barley-seed be brought from a warmer climate, it has to become
acclimated, and does not yield a good crop until after two or three
years.

The flowers of the torrid and temperate zones, as a rule, close their
eyes like human beings, and sleep a third or half of the twenty-four
hours, but in Arctic regions, life to those lovely children of Nature is
one long sunny period, and sleep comes only with death and decay. It
will also be observed that the flowers assume more vivid colors and emit
more fragrance during their brief lives than they do in the south. The
long, delightful period of twilight during the summer season is seen
here in perfection, full of roseate loveliness. There is no dew to be
encountered or avoided, no dampness; all is crystal clearness.

In the rural districts women are generally employed in out-of-door
work, as they are in Germany and Italy, and there is quite a
preponderance of the sex in Norway and Sweden. As many women as men are
seen engaged in mowing, reaping, loading heavy carts, and getting in the
harvest generally. What would our American farmers think to see a woman
swing a scythe all day in the hayfields, cutting as broad and even a
swath as a man can do, and apparently with as little fatigue? Labor is
very poorly paid. Forty cents per day is considered to be liberal wages
for a man, except in the cities, where a small increase upon this amount
is obtained.

Norway has been appropriately called the country of mountains and
fjords, of cascades and lakes. Among the largest of the latter is Lake
Mjösen, which is about sixty miles long and has an average width of
twelve. It receives in its bosom one important river, the Longen, after
it has run a course of nearly a hundred and fifty miles. At its southern
extremity is the port of Eidsvol, and at the northern is Lillehammer.
These are situated in the direct route between Christiania and
Tröndhjem. But the most singular fact attached to the lake is that it
measures about fifteen hundred feet in depth while its surface is only
four hundred feet above the level of the ocean. Its bottom is known to
be nearly a thousand feet below that of the adjacent North Sea, which
would seem to show that the lake must be the mouth of some long-extinct
volcano.

As to the animals of Norway, the reindeer, the bear, the wolf, the fox,
and the lynx about complete the list. The ubiquitous crow abounds, and
fine specimens of the golden eagle, that dignified monarch of the upper
regions, may often be seen sailing through the air from cliff to cliff,
across the fjords and valleys. At certain seasons of the year this bird
proves destructive to domestic fowl and young lambs. Magpies appear to
be as much of a nuisance in Norway as crows are in India or Ceylon, and
quite as unmolested by the people. What are called the wild birds of
Scandinavia are in fact quite tame, and they are in large variety. As
the traveller passes through the country, he will observe sheaves of
unthreshed grain elevated upon poles beside the farm-houses and barns,
which are placed there to furnish the feathered visitors with food.
These sheaves are frequently renewed throughout the long winters;
otherwise the birds would starve. The confiding little creatures know
their friends, and often enter the houses for protection from the
severity of the weather. Neither man, woman, nor child would think of
disturbing them, for they are considered to bring good luck to the
premises.

In a journey from the capital to Tröndhjem, where the coasting steamer
is usually taken for the North Cape, we cross the Dovrefjeld, or
mountain table-land. The famous elevation called the Sneehaetta--"Snow
Hat"--forms a part of this Alpine range, and it is one of the loftiest
in Norway. It should be remembered that one-eighth of the country lies
within the region of perpetual snow, and that these lofty and nearly
inaccessible heights are robed in a constant garb of bridal whiteness.
No known portions of the globe have more extensive glaciers or
snowfields, unless, possibly, it be some portions of Alaska or
Greenland. There are glaciers in Norway which cover from four to five
hundred square miles, descending from plateaus three and four thousand
feet in height, down to very near sea-level.

Though the highest point in the peninsula is only about eight thousand
five hundred feet above the sea,--an elevation which is reached only by
Jotunfjeld, or Giant Mountain,--still no highlands in Europe surpass
those of Scandinavia in terrific grandeur. Mont Blanc (Switzerland) is
nearly twice as high as this Giant Mountain, but being less abrupt is
hardly so striking.

The elevations of Norway are intersected by deep, dark gorges and
threatening chasms, roaring with impetuous torrents and grand
water-falls, constantly presenting such scenes as would have inspired
the pencil of Salvator Rosa. The mountain system here does not form a
continuous range, but consists of a succession of table-lands, like the
Dovrefjeld, and of detached mountains rising from elevated bases. The
length of this series of elevations--mountains and plateaus--is that of
the entire peninsula from the North Cape to Christiania, some twelve
hundred miles, which gives to the mountains of Norway and Sweden an area
larger than the Alps, the Apennines, and Pyrenees combined; while the
lakes, waterfalls, and cascades far surpass those of the rest of Europe.
It has been said, somewhat extravagantly, by those familiar with the
geography of Scandinavia, that could it be flattened out into plains, it
would make as large a division of the earth as is now represented by
either of the four principal continents.

The ratio of arable land to the entire area of Norway is not more than
one to ten, and were it not that the support of the people came mainly
from the sea, the country would not sustain one-quarter of its present
population. Undismayed, however, by the prevalence of rocks, cliffs, and
chasms, the people utilize every available rod of land to the utmost.
The surroundings of many habitations seem severe and desolate, even when
viewed beneath the summer sun; what, then, must be their appearance
during the long and trying winters of their frosty regions?

It is not uncommon to see on the Norwegian coast, farm-houses surrounded
by a few low buildings, perched among rocks away up on some green
terrace, so high, indeed, as to make them seem scarcely larger than an
eagle's nest. To anybody but a mountaineer these spots are inaccessible,
and every article of subsistence, except what is raised upon the few
acres of available earth surrounding the dwelling, must be carried up
there upon men's backs. A few goats and sheep must constitute the animal
stock, added to which are generally some domestic fowls. These dwellings
are constructed of logs, cut in the lofty gulches, and drawn by hand to
the spot, one by one. It would seem that such energetic industry applied
in some inviting neighborhood would insure a more desirable result.



CHAPTER XVI.


Bergen is situated some two hundred miles northwest of Christiania, and
may be reached from thence by a carriole (a peculiar native vehicle)
journey across the country, over excellent roads, or by steamboat
doubling the Naze. The latter route, though three times as far, is most
frequently adopted by travellers as being less expensive and
troublesome. Another, and perhaps the most common, route taken by
tourists is by the way of Lake Mjösen, called the Valders route. It
involves railroad, steamer, and carriole modes of conveyance, and in all
covers a distance of at least three hundred and fifty miles.

Bergen was the capital of Norway when it was under Danish rule, and was
even up to a late period the commercial rival of the present capital,
Christiania. The town rises from the bay nearly in the form of a
crescent, nestling at the foot of surrounding hills on the west coast,
between those two broad and famous arms of the sea,--the Sognefjord and
the Hardangerfjord. The first-named indents the coast to a distance of
over one hundred miles, the latter seventy miles,--the first being
north, and the last south of Bergen. The excellent situation of the
harbor and its direct steam communication with European ports gives this
ancient city an extensive commerce in proportion to the number of
inhabitants, who do not aggregate over forty thousand. A large portion
of the town is built upon a promontory, between which and the mainland
on its north side is the harbor, which is rarely frozen over, owing to
the influence of the Gulf Stream, while the harbor of St. Petersburg
(Russia), in about the same latitude, is closed annually by ice for at
least three months.

We see here more of the traditional Norwegian customs than are to be met
with either at Gottenburg or Christiania. Some of the old men who come
from inland are particularly noticeable, forming vivid pictures and
artistic groups, with their long, snowy hair flowing freely about face
and neck in patriarchal fashion. They wear red worsted caps, open
shirt-collars, and knee-breeches, together with jackets and vests decked
by a profusion of silver buttons. The women wear black jackets, bright
red bodices, and scarlet petticoats, with white linen aprons. On the
street called the Strandgade many Norse costumes mingle like various
colors in a kaleidoscope.

The staple commodity of Bergen is dried fish, mostly cod, supplemented
by large quantities of cod-liver oil, lumber, and wood cut for fuel. A
considerable portion of what is called cod-liver oil is produced from
sharks' livers, which, in fact, are believed to possess the same
medicinal qualities as those of the cod. At all events, with this
object, sharks are sought for along the upper coast of Norway,
especially in the region of the Lofoden Islands, and their livers are
used as described. An average-sized shark will yield thirty gallons of
merchantable oil, but this article would not obtain a market except
under the more popular name of cod-liver oil. Catching sharks is not an
employment entirely devoid of danger, as they are large and powerful,
often measuring twenty feet and more in length. The shark, like the
whale, when it is first struck with the harpoon, must be given plenty of
line, or it will drag down the fishermen's boat in its rapid descent to
deep water. Sometimes the struggle to capture the fish is a long and
serious one, as it must thoroughly exhaust itself before it will yield.
When it is finally drawn to the side of the boat, a heavy, well-directed
blow upon the nose completely stuns the creature, and the capture is
then complete.

There are here some neat public squares, a public park, wherein a
military band plays occasionally, and half a dozen churches. There is
also a theatre, royal palace, musical institute, public library, and
museum; but there is hardly a trace of architectural beauty in Norway,
with the exception of the cathedral at Tröndhjem, which is formed of a
mixture of orders, the Norman predominating. The Church of St. Mary at
Bergen is only interesting for its antiquity, dating as it does from the
twelfth century. Its curious and grotesque front bears the date A.D.
1118.

The shops are filled with odd antique articles, mostly for domestic use,
such as old plate, drinking-cups, spoons, and silver goblets bearing the
marks of age, and the date of centuries past. A little experience is apt
to create doubt, in the genuineness of these articles, which, like those
found in the curiosity shops of Japan, are very generally manufactured
in this present year of our Lord, however they may be dated.

A drive of a few miles inland upon the charming roads in any direction
will fill the stranger with delight, and afford characteristic pictures
of great beauty. The farmers hang their cut grass upon frames of wood to
dry, as we do clothes upon a rope on washing-days. These frames are
placed in the mowing-fields, in rows of a hundred feet in length and a
hundred feet apart, and are about five feet in height. Agricultural
tools used upon the farms are of the most primitive character; the
ploughs in many parts of the country are single-handed, and as awkward
as the rude implement used for the purpose to-day in Egypt. The country
houses are low and mostly thatched, the roof being often covered with
soil, and are not infrequently rendered attractive with blooming heather
and little blue and pink blossoms planted by Nature's hand,--the
hieroglyphics in which she writes her impromptu poetry. In the meadows
between the hills are sprinkled harebells, as blue as the azure veins on
a delicate face; while here and there patches of large red clover-heads
are seen nodding heavily with their wealth of golden sweets. Further
away, in solitary glens, white anemones delight the eye, in company with
ferns of tropical variety in form and color. The blossoms of the
multebaer, almost identical with that of the strawberry, are abundant.
The humidity of the atmosphere favors floral development. All through
Scandinavia one meets these bright mosaics of the soil with a sense of
surprise, they are so delicate, so frail, creations of such short life,
yet lovely beyond compare, born upon the verge of constant frost.

While rambling afield one meets occasionally a peasant who bows low,
removing his hat as the stranger passes. Without evincing the servility
of the common people of Japan, they yet exhibit all their native
courtesy. Now and again the road passes through pine forests, still and
aromatic, the soil carpeted with leaves, where, if one pauses to listen,
there comes a low, undefined murmur of vegetable and insect life, like
the sound that greets the ear when applied to an empty sea-shell. Some
wood-paths are found sprinkled with dog-violets, saxifrage, and with
purple heart's-ease. Song-birds are rarely to be seen and one cannot
but wish for their delicious notes amid such suggestive surroundings.

The country lying between Bergen and Christiania, and indeed nearly
every part of Norway, presents great attractions to the angler, who
must, however, go prepared to rough it: but if he be a true lover of the
sport, this will enhance rather than detract from the pleasure. The
country is thinly inhabited, and affords only rude accommodations for
the wandering pedestrian who does not confine himself to the regular
post-route. The lakes, rivers, and streams, swarm with trout, grayling,
and salmon.

Strangers visit with more than passing interest the admirable free
school for girls, which is established at Bergen. Here girls from eight
to sixteen years of age are taught the domestic industries practically,
under circumstances void of every onerous regulation, and they are to be
seen in cheerful groups at work upon all sorts of garments, supervised
by competent teachers of their own sex. Possessed of these prudential
and educational appreciations, it is not surprising that Bergen has sent
forth some eminent representatives in science, art, and literature.
Among these we recall the names of Ole Bull, the famous musician; Ludwig
Holberg, the accomplished traveller; Johann Welhaven, the Norse poet;
and J. C. C. Dahl, the celebrated painter.

Tröndhjem is situated on a fjord of the same name occupying a peninsula
formed by the river Nid, and is surrounded by picturesque scenery. A
delightful view of the town and its environs may be had from the old
fort of Kristiansten. Here resided the kings of Norway in the olden
time. It is now a thriving but small city, having a population of about
twenty-five thousand, and is the seat of a bishopric. There is here an
academy of sciences, a museum, and a public library. The Cathedral of
St. Olaf is famous, being the finest Gothic edifice in Scandinavia, and
the only local object of special interest. In the eleventh and twelfth
centuries the kings of Norway were buried here.

Tröndhjem was founded about a thousand years ago by King Olaf Trygvason,
upon the site of a much older city named Nidaros, but there is certainly
nothing visible to indicate its great antiquity. The adventurous life of
King Olaf, which occurs to us in this connection, may be outlined in a
few words, and is more romantic than that of any other ruler of Norway
which is generally known. Born a prince, he barely escaped assassination
in childhood at the hands of the usurper of his rights, by fleeing from
the country in charge of his mother. They were captured at sea by
pirates, separated, and sold into slavery. Then followed a period of
deprivation and hardship; but at a comparatively early age Olaf was
discovered and ransomed by a relative who had never ceased to search for
the missing youth. He soon after became a distinguished sea-king, of
that class whom we call pirates. His career in this field of adventure
is represented to have been one of daring and reckless hardihood,
characterized by merciless aggression and great success. Finally Olaf
married an Irish princess, embraced Christianity, and fought his way to
the throne of Norway, assuming the crown in the year of our Lord 991.
From this time he became a zealous missionary, propagating his faith by
the sword, and like many other religious zealots he was guilty of
outrageous cruelty. Seven years subsequent to the last-named date he
destroyed the Pagan temples of Thor and Odin at Tröndhjem. Upon the
site of this temple he built a Christian church, making the city his
seat of government, and so it remained the capital down to the union
with Denmark. Olaf was slain in battle while fighting for his throne,
and was declared a saint by the Church, his tomb at Tröndhjem being a
Mecca for pious pilgrims from all parts of Europe for centuries. In such
veneration were the memory and services of this reformed pirate held by
a certain class of religionists, that churches were erected in his name
at Constantinople and elsewhere. His ashes lie entombed beneath the
present cathedral of Tröndhjem.

A short walk from the town brings one to Hlade, where stands the castle
of the infamous Jarl Hakon, whence, in the olden time, he ruled over the
surrounding country with an iron hand. He was a savage heathen,
believing in and practising human sacrifices, evidences of which are
still extant. About a mile from the town, in the fjord, is the island of
Munkholm, once the site of a Benedictine monastery, as its name
indicates, and which was erected in 1028. The mouldering and moss-grown
base of one of its towers is all that now remains. Victor Hugo gives a
graphic description of this spot in his book entitled "Han d'Islande."
Here the famous minister of Christian V., Griffenfeldt by name, was
confined for a period of many weary years. He was guilty of no crime,
his incarceration being the result of political intrigue. When he was
finally brought to the scaffold for execution, a messenger interrupted
the headsman at the last moment and announced a pardon from the king.
"The pardon," said the worn-out sufferer, "is severer than the penalty."

The usual route of those who seek to gain a view of the "midnight
sun"--that is, of witnessing the phenomenon of the sun passing round
the horizon without sinking beneath it--is to depart from Tröndhjem by
sea, for the North Cape, skirting the ironbound coast for a distance of
about seven hundred miles.

As we sail northward, the rapid lengthening of the days becomes more and
more apparent. At Lund, in the extreme south of Sweden, the longest day
experienced is seventeen hours and a half; at Stockholm, two hundred
miles further north, the longest day of the year is eighteen hours and a
half; at Bergen, in Norway, three hundred miles north of Lund, the
longest day is twenty-one hours. Above this point of latitude to the
North Cape, there is virtually no night at all during the brief summer
season, as the sun is visible, or nearly so, for the whole twenty-four
hours. From early in May until about the first of August, north of
Tröndhjem, the stars take a vacation, or at least they are not visible,
while the moon is so pale as to give no light. Even the Great Bear puts
by his seven lustres, and the diamond belt of Orion is unseen. But the
heavenly lamps revive by the first of September, and after a short
period are supplemented by the marvellous and beautiful radiations of
the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Winter now sets in, the sun
disappears entirely from sight, and night reigns supreme, the heavens
shining only with a subdued light. Were it not for the brilliancy of the
Auroral light the fishermen could hardly pursue their winter business,
that being the harvest time with them, and midnight is considered to be
the best period of the twenty-four hours for successful fishing in these
regions. In and about Lofoden Islands alone, five thousand boats are
thus regularly employed, giving occupation to twenty thousand men in the
boats and a couple of thousand on the shore.

The coast of Norway is bordered by innumerable rocky islands, and also
by deep fjords, winding inland from ten to fifty miles each, among
masses of rock forming perpendicular walls often towering a thousand
feet or more in height. The turbulent waves of the North Atlantic and
Arctic Oceans, hurled against the coast for thousands of years, have
steadily worn into the land and thus formed these remarkable fjords; or
perhaps after they were begun by volcanic or glacial action, the wearing
of the waters has gradually brought about their present condition. The
coast of Sweden, on the other hand, is formed by the Baltic Sea and the
Gulf of Bothnia, both of which are inland waters, and though there are
many islands on the Swedish coast, there are no fjords worthy of
mention. Notwithstanding that the extreme length of Norway, from north
to south, is hardly twelve hundred miles, yet so numerous and extensive
are these peculiar arms of the sea, that its coast-line is estimated to
measure over three thousand miles, which gives to these deep indentures
altogether a length of eighteen hundred miles.

The peninsula known as Scandinavia is composed of Norway, Sweden, and a
small portion of the Russian possessions in the northeast. This division
of country supports a population of little less than seven millions, and
contains in round numbers three hundred thousand square miles. The
mountains of this section of the globe are mostly of primitive rock,
presenting as near as possible the same form as when they were first
solidified, standing forth as tangible evidence of the great antiquity
of this region.

In her course northward the steamer, upon which we embarked at
Tröndhjem, winds in and out among the many islands and fjords, touching
occasionally at small settlements on the mainland to discharge light
freight and to land or to take an occasional passenger. The few persons
who come from the little cluster of houses, which are not sufficient in
number to be called a village, are found to be of more than ordinary
intelligence, and many of them speak English fluently. Even in these
sparsely inhabited regions education is provided for by what is termed
the "ambulatory system"; that is, one able teacher instructs the youth
of three or four neighboring districts, meeting the convenience of all
by suitable variations regarding time and place in holding school
sessions.

There is but one day in the year when the phenomenon of the midnight sun
can be seen at the imaginary line which we designate as the Arctic
Circle, a point in the watery waste or on the land, twenty-three degrees
and twenty-eight minutes from the North Pole; but by sailing some three
hundred miles further northward, to the North Cape, the projecting point
of the extreme north of Norway, it may be observed under favorable
circumstances--that is, when not obscured by clouds--for over two
months, dating from the middle of May. Soon after entering the Arctic
Circle, fourteen hundred and eight geographical miles from the North
Pole, a singularly formed island is observed, called by the natives
Hestmandö, or Horseman's Island,--a rocky and mountainous formation of
some two thousand feet in height, more or less. On approaching the
island from the west, by aid of the imagination one can discern the
colossal figure of a horseman wrapped in his cloak and mounted upon a
charger. The island forms a well-known landmark for seamen navigating
the coast. It is believed that the summit has never been reached by
human feet.

We touch on our way at the little fishing-village of Bodöe. Louis
Philippe lived here for a brief period when travelling as an exile under
the name of Müller, and visitors are shown the room which he occupied.
It is the chief town of Nordland, and has fifteen hundred inhabitants.
After leaving Bodöe the course of the steamer is directly across the
Vestfjord to the group of the Lofoden Islands. Owing to the remarkable
clearness of the atmosphere as seen from Bodöe, they appear to be about
fifteen or twenty miles away on the edge of the horizon, though the real
distance is about fifty. The play of light and shade is here so
different from that of lower latitudes that distances are very
deceptive.

A little to the westward of the steamer's course in coming from the
mainland lies the famous whirlpool known as the Maelström, the subject
of many a romantic and wild conjecture which lives in the memory of us
all. At certain stages of the wind and tide a fierce eddy is formed here
which is somewhat dangerous for small boats to cross, but the presumed
risk to vessels of the size of the coasting-craft usually employed here,
is an error. At some stages of the tide it is difficult to even detect
the exact spot which is at other times so disturbed. Thus we find that
another legend of the credulous past has but a very thin substratum of
fact for its foundation. The tragedies recorded in connection with the
Venetian Bridge of Sighs are proven to be without reliable foundation;
the episode of Tell and the apple is not historical, but a poetical
fabrication; and now we know that neither ships nor whales were ever
drawn into the Norwegian Maelström to their destruction. There are
several other similar rapids in and about these pinnacled islands,
identical in their nature, though the one here referred to is the most
restless and formidable.

On close examination the Lofodens are found to consist of a maze of
irregular mountain-peaks and precipices, often between two and three
thousand feet in height, the passage between them being very tortuous,
winding amid straits interspersed with hundreds of rocky islets which
are the home of large flocks of sea-birds. Dwarf-trees, small patches of
green grass, and velvety moss grow near the water's edge, and carpet
here and there a few acres of soil, but the high ridges are bleak and
bare rock, covered in spots with never-melting snow. These islands are
composed mainly of granite, and for wonderful peaks and oddly pointed
shapes, deep and far-reaching gulches, are unequalled elsewhere. It
seems marvellous that a steamer can be safely navigated through such
narrow passages and among such myriads of sunken rocks. These elevations
from beneath the sea vary from mere turtlebacks, as sailors call them,
just visible above the water, to mountains with sky-kissing peaks. For a
vessel to run upon one of these low hummocks would simply be
destruction, as the water alongside of them is rarely less than two or
three hundred fathoms in depth.

The total length of these remarkable islands is about a hundred and
thirty miles, and the area is computed at fifteen hundred and sixty
square miles. The population will not vary much from twenty thousand,
and the entire occupation of the people is fishing, curing the fish, and
shipping them southward.

The hardy fishermen work nearly all winter at their rough occupation,
braving the tempestuous Northern Ocean in frail, undecked boats, which
to an inexperienced eye seem to be utterly unfit for such exposed
service. The harvest time to the cod-fishers here is from January to the
middle of April. Casualties, of course, are more or less frequent, but
do not exceed those encountered by our fishermen on the banks of
Newfoundland. In the year 1848, a terrible hurricane visited the
Lofodens, and in a few hours swept over five hundred fishermen into
eternity. The men engaged in this service come from all parts of Norway,
returning to their homes in summer and engaging in other occupations.

As we leave the group and steer towards the mainland, it is remembered
that the coast of Norway extends three hundred miles north of the Arctic
Circle, projecting itself boldly into the Polar Sea. Two hundred miles
and more of this distance is north of the Lofoden Islands. Now and then
portions of country are passed on the mainland, affording striking and
beautiful landscape effects, where valleys open towards the sea,
presenting views sometimes capped by glaciers high up towards the
overhanging sky, where they form immense level fields of ice embracing
hundreds of square miles.

The varied and ever present attractions of Norway to the artist are
many, and in a great measure they are unique, especially in the
immediate vicinity of the west coast. No two of the many abrupt
elevations resemble each other. All are peculiar; some like Alpine
cathedrals rear their fretted spires far heavenward, where they echo the
hoarse anthems played by the winter's storms. One would think that
Nature in a wayward mood had tried her hand sportively at architecture,
sculpture, and castle-building, constructing now a high monumental
column or a mounted warrior, and now a Gothic fane amid regions
strange, lonely, and savage. There are grand mountains and glaciers in
Switzerland and other countries, but they do not rise directly out of
the water as they often do in Scandinavia; and as to the scenery
afforded by the innumerable fjords winding inland amid forests, cliffs,
and impetuous waterfalls, nowhere else can we find such remarkable
scenes.

Like rivers, and yet so unlike them in width, depth, and placidity, with
their broad mouths guarded by clustering islands, one can find nothing
in nature more grand, solemn, and impressive than a Norwegian fjord. Now
and again the shores are lined for short distances by the greenest of
green pastures, dotted with little red houses and groups of domestic
animals, forming charming bits of verdant foreground backed by dark and
shadowy gorges. Down precipitous cliffs leap cascades which are fed by
ice-fields hidden in the lofty mountains. These are not merely pretty
spouts, like many a little Swiss device, but grand, plunging, restless
torrents, conveying heavy volumes of foaming water.



CHAPTER XVII.


As we advance northward, our experiences become more and more peculiar.
It seems as if humanity, like nature, is possessed by a certain
sleeplessness in these regions during the constant reign of daylight.
People are wide awake and busy at their various occupations during all
hours, while the drowsy god appears to have departed on a vacation to
the southward. The apparent incongruity of starting upon a fresh
enterprise at midnight is only realized on consulting one's watch.

All along the coast the birds are nearly as numerous as the fishes, and
many islands are solely occupied by them as breeding-places. Their
numbers are beyond calculation, consisting of petrels, swans, geese,
pelicans, auks, gulls, and divers. These last are more particularly of
the duck family, of which there are over thirty distinct species in and
about this immediate region. Curlews, ptarmigans, cormorants, and
ospreys are also seen in greater or less numbers.

The steamer lands us for a few hours at Tromsöe, a small island in
latitude 69° 38´ north, a thriving place of six thousand inhabitants, a
goodly number for a town within the Arctic Circle. It is the capital of
Norwegian Lapland. Both to the north and south of the town snow-clad
mountains shut off distant views. During the winter months there are
only four hours of daylight here out of the twenty-four,--that is, from
about ten o'clock A.M. until two o'clock P.M.,--but the long nights are
made comparatively light by the glowing splendor of the Aurora Borealis.
The birch-trees in and about Tromsöe are of a remarkably developed
species, and form a marked feature of the place.

Just outside of the town a field is seen golden with buttercups, making
it difficult to realize that we are in the Arctic regions. A
pink-blooming heather also covers other fields, and we are surprised by
a tiny cloud of butterflies, so abundant in the warm sunshine, and
presenting such transparency of color as to suggest the idea that a
rainbow has been shattered, and is floating in myriad particles in the
air.

The short-lived summer perhaps makes flowers all the more carefully
tended. In the rudest domestic quarters a few pet plants are seen whose
arrangement and nurture show womanly care. Every window in the humble
dwellings has its living screen of drooping, many-colored fuchsias,
geraniums, forget-me-nots, and monthly roses. The ivy is especially
prized here, and is picturesquely trained to hang about the
window-frames. The fragrant sweet-pea, with its snow-white and
peach-blossom hues, is often mingled prettily with the dark green of the
ivy, the climbing propensities of each making them fitting mates. Surely
there must be an innate sense of refinement among the people of these
frost-imbued regions, whatever their seeming, when they are actuated by
such delicate tastes.

One of the most interesting subjects of study to the traveller on the
journey northward is to mark his progress by the products of the forest.
The trees will prove, if intelligently observed, a means of fixing his
position. From the region of the date and the palm we come to that of
the fig and the olive; thence to the orange, the almond, and the
myrtle. Succeeding these we find the walnut, the poplar, and the lime;
and again there comes the region of the elm, the oak, and the sycamore.
These will be succeeded by the larch, the fir, the pine, the birch, and
their companions. After this point we look for no change of species, but
a diminution in size of these last named. The variety of trees is the
result of altitude as well as of latitude, since there are mountain
regions of Southern Europe, as well as in America, where one may pass in
a few hours from the region of the olive to that of the stunted fir.

From Tromsöe vessels are fitted for exploration towards the North Pole;
some for the capture of seals and walruses among the ice-fields, and
also on the coast of Spitzbergen. A small propeller is seen lying in the
harbor fitted with a forecastle gun, whence to fire a lance at whales--a
species of big fishing, so to speak, which is made profitable here.
Little row-boats with high bows and sterns flit about the bay like
sea-birds on the wing, and ride as lightly upon the water. These are
often "manned" by a couple of sturdy women who row with great precision,
their faces glowing with animation. These boats, of the same model as
that ancient Viking ship at Christiania, sit very low in the water
amidship, but are remarkable for buoyancy and the ease with which they
are propelled.

The Lapps in their quaint and picturesque costumes of deer-skins
surround the newly arrived steamer, in boats, offering furs, carved horn
implements, moccasins, walrus-teeth, and the like for sale. These wares
are of the rudest type, and of no possible use except as mementos of the
traveller's visit to these far northern latitudes. This people are very
shrewd in matters of trade, and are not without plenty of low cunning
hidden behind their brown, withered, expressionless faces. They are
small in stature, being generally under five feet in height, with
prominent cheek bones, snub noses, oblique Mongolian eyes, big mouths,
large, ill-formed heads, hair like meadow hay, and very scanty beards.
Such is a pen portrait of a people who once ruled the whole of
Scandinavia. A short trip inland brings us to the summer encampment of
the Lapps, formed of a few rude huts, outside of which they live except
in the winter months. A Lapp sleeps wherever fatigue overcomes him,
preferring the ground, but often lying on the snow. They are a wandering
race, their wealth consisting solely in their herds of reindeer, to
procure sustenance for which necessitates frequent changes of locality.
A Laplander is rich provided he owns enough of these animals to support
himself and family. A herd that can afford thirty full-grown deer
annually for slaughter, and say ten more to be sold or bartered, makes a
family of a dozen persons comfortably well off. Some are destroyed every
year by wolves and bears, notwithstanding all the precautions taken to
prevent it, while in severe winters a large number are sure to die of
starvation.

The herds live almost entirely on the so-called reindeer moss, but this
failing them, they eat the young twigs of the trees. When the snow
covers the ground to a depth of not more than three or four feet, these
intelligent creatures dig holes in it so as to reach the moss, and
guided by instinct they rarely fail to do so in just the right place.
The Lapps themselves would be entirely at a loss for any indication as
to where this food should be sought when covered by the deep snow. The
reindeer will carry, lashed to its back, a hundred and thirty pounds, or
drag upon the snow, when harnessed to a sledge, two hundred and fifty
pounds, travelling ten miles an hour for several consecutive hours,
without apparent fatigue. The country over which these people roam is
included in Northern Norway and Sweden, with a portion of Northwestern
Russia and Finland, extending over about seven thousand square miles,
but the whole race will hardly number thirty thousand. Lapland, in
general terms, may be said to be the region lying between the Polar
Ocean and the Arctic Circle, the eastern and western boundaries being
the Atlantic Ocean and the White Sea, two-thirds of which territory
belongs to Russia, and one-third is about equally divided between Norway
and Sweden.

In the winter season the Lapps retire far inland, where they build
temporary huts of the branches of the trees, plastered with clay and
banked up with snow, leaving a hole at the top as a chimney for the
smoke, the fire being always built upon a broad, flat stone in the
centre of the hut. In these rude, and, according to our estimate,
comfortless cabins, they hibernate, rather than live the life of
civilized human beings, for eight months of the year.

After leaving Tromsöe our course is north-northeast, crossing wild
fjords and skirting the mainland. Along the shore at intervals little
clusters of fishermen's huts are seen, with a small sprinkling of
herbage and patches of bright verdure. As we glide along among the
islands which line the shore, we are pretty sure to fall in with one of
the little propellers, with a small swivel gun at the bow, in search of
whales. The projectile which is used consists of a barbed harpoon, to
which a short chain is affixed, and to that a strong line. This harpoon
has barbs which expand as soon as they enter the body of the animal and
he pulls upon the line, stopping at a certain angle, which renders the
withdrawal of the weapon impossible. Besides this, an explosive shell is
so attached that it quickly bursts within the monster, producing instant
death. A cable is then fastened to the head, and the whale is towed into
harbor to be cut up, and the blubber tried out on shore.

The objects which attract the eye are constantly changing. Large black
geese, too heavy for lofty flying, rise awkwardly from the waves and
skim across the fjords, just clearing the surface of the dark blue
waters. Oyster-catchers, as they are familiarly called, decked with
scarlet bills and legs, are abundant. Now and then that daring
highwayman among birds, the skua, or robber-gull, is seen on the watch
for a victim. He is quite dark in plumage, almost black, and gets a
robber's living by attacking and causing other birds to drop what they
have caught up from the sea, seizing which as it falls, he sails away to
consume at leisure his stolen prize.

Long before we reach Hammerfest our watches seem to have become
bewitched, for it must be remembered that here it is broad daylight
throughout the twenty-four hours (in midsummer) which constitute day and
night elsewhere. To sleep becomes a useless effort, and our eyes are
unusually wide open.

The Gulf Stream, emerging from the tropics thousands of miles away,
constantly laves the shores, and consequently ice is not seen. At first
it seems a little strange that there are no icebergs here in latitude
70° north, when we have them on the coast of America in certain seasons
at 41°. The entire west coast of Norway is warmer by at least twenty
degrees than most other localities in the same latitude, owing to the
presence of the Gulf Stream,--that heated, mysterious river in the
midst of the ocean. It brings to these far-away regions quantities of
floating material, such as the trunks of palm-trees, and other
substances suitable for fuel, to which useful purpose they are put at
the Lofoden Islands, and by the fishermen along the shore of the
mainland. By the same agency West Indian seeds and woods are often found
floating on the west coast of Scotland and Ireland.

Hammerfest, the capital of the province of Finmark, is situated in
latitude 70° 40´ north, upon the island of Kvalöe, or "Whale Island." It
is overshadowed by Tyvfjeld,--that is, "Thief Mountain,"--thus
fancifully named because it robs the place of the little sunshine it
might enjoy, were this high elevation not at all times intervening. It
is the most northerly town in Europe, and is about sixty-five miles
southwest of the North Cape. It is a town of about three thousand
inhabitants, who appear to be industrious and intelligent. Even here, in
this region of frost and darkness, we are glad to say, there are plenty
of good schools and able teachers.

From Hammerfest we continue our voyage northward along the coast. The
land is now seen to be useless for agricultural purposes; habitations
first become rare, then cease altogether, bleakness reigning supreme,
while we seem to be creeping higher and higher on the earth. In
ascending mountains of the Himalayan range, we realize that there are
heights still above us; but in approaching the North Cape, a feeling is
experienced that we are gradually getting to the very apex of the globe.
Everything seems to be beneath our feet; the broad, deep, unbounded
ocean alone marks the horizon. Day and night cease to be relative terms.

The North Cape, which is finally reached, is an island projecting
itself far into the Polar Sea, separated from the mainland by a narrow
strait. The highest point which has ever been reached by the daring
Arctic explorer, is 83° 24´ north latitude; this cape is in latitude 71°
10´ north. The island is named Mageröe, which signifies a barren place,
and it is certainly well named, for a wilder, bleaker, or more desolate
spot cannot be found on the face of the earth. Only a few hares, ermine,
and sea-birds manage to subsist upon its sterile soil. The western and
northern sides are absolutely inaccessible owing to their precipitous
character. The Arctic Sea thunders hoarsely against the Cape as we
approach the rough, weather-worn cliff in a small landing-boat. It is
near the midnight hour, yet the warmth of the sun's direct rays envelops
us. For half an hour we struggle upwards at an angle of nearly
forty-five degrees, amid loose rocks and over uneven ground, until the
summit is finally reached, and we stand a thousand feet above the level
of the sea, literally upon the threshold of the unknown.

No difference is observed between the broad light of this Polar night
and the noon of a sunny summer's day in other latitudes. The sky is all
aglow, and the rays of the sun are warm and penetrating, though a
certain chill in the atmosphere at this exposed elevation renders thick
clothing indispensable. This is the objective point, to reach which we
have voyaged thousands of miles from another hemisphere. We look about
us in silent wonder and awe. To the northward is that unknown region to
solve whose mystery so many gallant lives have been sacrificed. Far to
the eastward is Asia; in the distant west lies America; and southward
are Europe and Africa. Such an experience may occur once in a lifetime,
but rarely can it be repeated. The surface of the cliff is quite level
where we stand, and beneath our feet is a soft gray reindeer moss which
yields to the tread like a carpet of velvet. There is no other
vegetation, not even a spear of grass. Close at hand, in all directions,
are frightful fissures and sheer precipices, except on the side where we
have ascended. Presently the boom of a distant gun floats faintly
upwards, the cautionary signal from the ship now seen floating far below
us, a mere speck upon that Polar Sea.

The hands of the watch indicate that it is near the hour of twelve,
midnight. The great luminary has sunk slowly amid a glory of light to
within three or four degrees of the horizon, where it seems to hover for
a single moment like some monster bird about to alight, then changing
its mind slowly begins its upward movement. This is exactly at midnight,
always a solemn hour; but amid the glare of sunlight and the glowing
immensity of sea and sky, how strange and weird it is! Notwithstanding
they are so closely mingled, the difference between the gorgeous
coloring of the setting and the fresh hues of the rising sun seem to be
clearly though delicately defined. True, the sun had not really set at
all on the occasion we describe. It was constantly visible, so that the
human eye could not rest upon it for one moment. It was the mingling of
the golden haze of evening with the radiant, roseate flush of the
blushing morn.

After returning to Christiania we take the cars of the railroad which
crosses the peninsula by way of Charlottenborg, the frontier town of
Sweden. Here there is a custom-house examination of our baggage; for
although Norway and Sweden are under one crown, yet they have separate
tariffs, import and export fees being enforced between them. In crossing
the peninsula by rail one does not enjoy the picturesque scenery which
is seen on the Gotha Canal route. The railroad journey takes us through
a region of lake and forest, however, by no means devoid of interest,
and which is rich in mines of iron and other ores. As we approach Lake
Maelaren on the east coast, a more highly cultivated country is
traversed, until Stockholm is finally reached; a noble capital, and in
many respects exceptionally so. It is situated on the Baltic, at the
outlet of Lake Maelaren, and is built on several islands, all of which
are connected by substantial bridges. The city has a population of over
a hundred and eighty thousand, covering an area of five square miles,
and, taken as a whole, certainly forms one of the most cleanly and
interesting capitals in Europe. It is a city of canals, public gardens,
broad squares, and gay cafés, with two excellent harbors, one on the
Baltic and one on Lake Maelaren.

Wars, conflagrations, and the steady progress of civilization have
entirely changed the city from what it was in the days of Gustavus Vasa;
that is, about the year 1496. It was he who founded the dynasty which
has survived for three hundred years. The streets in the older sections
of the town are often crooked and narrow, but in the modern-built parts
there are fine straight avenues, with large and imposing public and
private edifices.

Stockholm is the centre of the social and literary activity of
Scandinavia, hardly second in this respect to Copenhagen. It has its
full share of scientific, artistic, and benevolent institutions such as
befit a great European capital. The stranger should as soon as
convenient after arriving, ascend an elevation of the town called the
Mosebacke, where has been erected a lofty iron framework and lookout,
which is ascended by means of a steam elevator. From this structure an
admirable view of the city is obtained, and its topography fixed clearly
upon the mind. At a single glance, as it were, one takes in the charming
marine view of the Baltic with its busy traffic, and in the opposite
direction the many islands that dot Lake Maelaren form a widespread
picture of varied beauty. The bird's-eye view obtained of the environs
is unique, since in the immediate vicinity lies the primeval forest,
undisturbed and unimproved for agricultural purposes.

Though Sweden, unlike Norway, has no heroic age, so to speak, connecting
her earliest exploits with the fate of other countries, still no
secondary European power has acted so brilliant a part in modern history
as have those famous Swedish monarchs, Gustavus Vasa, Gustavus Adolphus,
and Charles XII. The last-named monarch fought all Europe,--Danes,
Russians, Poles, and Germans,--and gave away a kingdom before he was
twenty years of age.

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is a very plain edifice externally, though
it is quite large. Its present master, King Oscar II., is an
accomplished artist, poet, musician, and linguist, nobly fulfilling the
requirements of his responsible position. He has been called the ideal
sovereign of our period. His court, while it is one of the least
pretentious in Europe, is yet one of the most refined. The State
departments of the palace are very elegant, and are freely shown to
strangers at all suitable times. In the grand State Hall is the throne
of silver originally occupied by Queen Christiana, while the Hall of
Mirrors appears as though it might have come from Aladdin's palace. Amid
all the varied attractions of art and historic associations which are
here exhibited, one simple chamber seems most impressive. It is the
bedroom of Charles XIV. (Marshal Bernadotte), which has remained
unchanged and unused since the time of his death, his old campaign cloak
of Swedish blue still lying upon the bed. The clock upon the
mantel-piece significantly points to the hour and minute of his death.
The life and remarkable career of the dead king flashes across the
memory as we stand for a moment beside these suggestive tokens of
personal wear. We recall how he began life as a common soldier in the
French army, rising rapidly from the ranks by reason of his military
genius to be a marshal of France, and finally to sit upon the throne of
Sweden. Bernadotte, Prince of Ponte Corvo, is the only one of Napoleon's
generals whose descendants still occupy a throne.

The shops on the principal streets are elegantly arrayed; there are none
better in Paris or New York. A ceaseless activity reigns along the
thoroughfares, among the little steamboats upon the many water-ways, and
on the myriads of passenger steamers which ply upon the lake. The Royal
Opera House is a plain substantial structure, built by Gustavus III. in
1775. The late Jenny Lind made her first appearance in public in this
house, and so did Christine Nilsson, both of these renowned vocalists
being Scandinavians. It was in this theatre, at a gay masquerade ball,
on the morning of March 15, 1792, that Gustavus III. was fatally wounded
by a shot from an assassin, who was one of the conspirators among the
nobility.

Norway and Sweden are undoubtedly poor in worldly riches, but they
expend larger sums of money for educational purposes, in proportion to
the number of inhabitants, than any other country, except America. The
result is manifest in a marked degree of intelligence diffused among
all classes. One is naturally reminded in this Swedish capital of
Linnæus, and also of Swedenborg, both of whom were Swedes. The latter
graduated at the famous University of Upsala; the former in the greater
school of out-door nature. Upsala is the oldest town in the country, as
well as the historical and educational centre of the kingdom. It is
situated fifty miles from Stockholm. It was the royal capital of the
county for more than a thousand years, and was the locality of the great
temple of Thor, now replaced by a Christian cathedral, almost a
duplicate of Notre Dame in Paris, and which was designed by the same
architect.

Upsala has often been the scene of fierce and bloody conflicts. Saint
Eric was slain here in 1161. It has its university and its historic
associations, but it has neither trade nor commerce of any sort beyond
that of a small inland town--its streets never being disturbed by
business activity, though there is a population of at least fifteen
thousand. The university, founded in 1477, and richly endowed by
Gustavus Adolphus, is the just pride of the country, having to-day some
fifteen hundred students and forty-eight professors attendant upon its
daily sessions. No one can enter the profession of the law, medicine, or
divinity in Sweden, who has not graduated at this institution or that at
Lund. Its library contains nearly two hundred thousand volumes, and over
seven thousand most valuable and rare manuscripts. Linnæus, the great
naturalist, was a professor of botany and zoölogy at this university for
nearly forty years. This humble shoemaker, by force of his genius, rose
to be a prince in the kingdom of science. Botany and zoölogy have never
known a more eminent exponent than the lowly born Karl von Linné, whom
the Swedes very properly denominate the King of Flowers. A certain
degree of knowledge relative to plants and natural history, forms a part
of all primary education in Sweden.

About three miles from the university is the village of Old Upsala,
where there is an ancient church of small dimensions, built of rough
stones, containing a monument erected to the memory of Anders Celsius,
the Swedish astronomer. There are also exhibited to the visitor here
some curious pagan idols in wood. What a venerable and miraculously
preserved old pile it is!

We return to Stockholm,--bright, cheerful, sunny Stockholm,--where,
during the brief summer months, everything wears a holiday aspect, where
life is seen at its gayest in the many public gardens, cleanly streets,
and open squares. Even the big white sea-gulls that swoop gracefully
over the many water-ways of the town--rather queer visitors to a
populous city--seem to be uttering cries of bird merriment.



CHAPTER XVIII.


In pursuing our course towards St. Petersburg, Russia, from Stockholm,
we cross the Baltic,--that Mediterranean of the North, but which is in
reality a remote branch of the Atlantic Ocean, with which it is
connected by two gulfs, the Kattegat and the Skagger Rack. It reaches
from the southern extremity of the Danish Archipelago up to the latitude
of Stockholm, where it extends a right and left arm,--each of great
size,--the former being the Gulf of Finland, and the latter the Gulf of
Bothnia, the whole forming the most remarkable basin of navigable inland
water in the world. The Finnish Gulf is two hundred miles long by an
average width of sixty miles, and that of Bothnia is four hundred miles
long, averaging a hundred in width.

The peninsula of Denmark, known under the name of Jutland, stands like a
barrier between the two extremes of the western formation of the
continent of Europe. We have called the Baltic the Mediterranean of the
North, but it has no such depth as that classic inland sea, which finds
its bed in a cleft of marvellous depression between Europe and Africa.
One thousand fathoms of sounding-line off Gibraltar will not reach the
bottom, and two thousand fathoms fail to find it a few miles east of
Malta. The greatest depth of the Baltic, on the contrary, is only a
hundred and fifty fathoms.

It is a curious, though not unfamiliar fact, that the Baltic, or rather
the bottom of the basin in which it lies, is rich in amber, which the
agitated waters cast upon the shores in large quantities annually,--a
process which has been going on for three or four centuries. We all know
that amber is a hardened fossil resin produced by an extinct species of
pine; so that it is evident that where these waters now ebb and flow
there were once flourishing forests of amber-producing pines. These were
doubtless gradually submerged by the encroachment of the sea, or
suddenly engulfed by some grand volcanic action of nature. Pieces of the
bark and of the cones of the pine-trees are often found adhering to the
amber, and insects of a kind unknown to our day are also found embedded
in it. The largest piece of amber extant is preserved in the British
Museum in London, and is about the size of a year-old infant's head.

It is known that the peninsula of Scandinavia is gradually becoming
elevated above the surrounding waters at the north, and depressed in an
equal ratio in the extreme south,--a fact of great interest to
geologists. The total change in the level has been carefully observed
and recorded by scientific commissions, the aggregate certified to being
a trifle over three feet, brought about in a period of a hundred and
eighteen years.

We take passage on a coasting steamer which plies between Stockholm and
St. Petersburg by way of Åbo and Helsingfors, a distance of about six
hundred miles. By this route, after crossing the open sea we pass
through an almost endless labyrinth of beautiful islands in the Gulf of
Finland, including the archipelago, known as the Aland Islands, besides
many isolated ones quite near the Finnish coast. This forms a delightful
sail, the passage being almost always smooth, except during a few hours
of exposure in the open Gulf. By and by we enter the fjord which leads
up to Åbo, which is also dotted here and there by charming garden-like
islands, upon which are built many pretty cottages, forming the summer
homes of the citizens of Finmark's former capital.

The town of Åbo has a population of about twenty-five thousand, who are
mostly of Swedish descent. It is thrifty, cleanly, and wears an aspect
of quiet prosperity. The place is venerable in years, having a record
reaching back for over seven centuries. Here the Russian flag--red,
blue, and white--first begins to greet us from all appropriate points.
The most prominent building to catch the stranger's eye on entering the
harbor is the long barrack-like prison upon a hillside. In front of us
looms up the famous old castle of Åbo, awkward and irregular in its
shape, and snow-white in texture. Here, in the olden time, Gustavus
Vasa, Eric XIV. and John III. held royal court. The streets are few but
very broad, causing the town to cover an area quite out of proportion to
the number of its inhabitants.

Helsingfors is situated still further up the Gulf, facing the ancient
town of Revel on the Esthonian coast, and is reached from Åbo in about
twelve hours' sail, also through a labyrinth of islands so numerous as
to be quite confusing, but whose picturesque beauty will not easily be
forgotten. This is the present capital of Finland, and it contains a
little over fifty thousand inhabitants; it has been several times
partially destroyed by plague, famine, and fire. It was founded by
Gustavus Vasa of Sweden, in the sixteenth century. The university is
represented to be of a high standard of excellence, and contains a
library of about two hundred thousand volumes. The most striking
feature of Helsingfors, as one approaches it from the sea, is the large
Greek church, with its fifteen domes and minarets, each capped by a
glittering cross and crescent, with pendant chains in gilt metal; and as
it is built upon high ground, the whole is very effective. The Lutheran
church is also picturesque and notable, with its five domes sparkling
with gilded stars upon a dark green ground.

Though Finland is a dependency of Russia, still it is nearly as
independent as is Norway of Sweden. It is ruled by a governor-general
assisted by the Imperial Senate, over which a representative of the
Emperor of Russia presides. The country pays no pecuniary tribute to
Russia, but imposes its own taxes, and frames its own code of laws. When
the country was joined to Russia, Alexander I. assured the people that
the integrity of their constitution and religion should be protected,
and this promise has thus far been honestly kept by the dominant power.

The port of Helsingfors is defended by the large and remarkable fortress
of Sweaborg, which repelled the English and French fleets during the
Crimean War. It was constructed by the Swedish General Ehrenswärd, who
was a poet as well as an excellent military engineer. This fort is
considered to be one of the strongest ever built, and is situated upon
seven islands, each being connected with the main fortress by tunnels
under the water of the harbor, constructed at great labor and cost.

After leaving Helsingfors we next come to Cronstadt, being a series of
low islands, about five miles long by one broad, all fortified, and
forming the key to St. Petersburg, as well as being the chief naval
station of the Empire. The two fortifications of Sweaborg and Cronstadt
insure to Russia the possession of the Gulf of Finland, no matter what
force is brought against them. The arsenals and docks are here very
extensive and unsurpassed in completeness. The best machinists in the
world find employment in them, and the latest inventions a sure and
profitable market. In all facilities for marine armament Russia is fully
abreast of, if it does not surpass, the rest of Europe.

The sail up the Neva, queen of northern rivers, affords the greatest
pleasure. Passenger steamers are seen flitting about with well-filled
decks, noisy tug-boats puff and whistle while towing heavily laden
barges, naval cutters propelled by dozens of white-clad oarsmen and
steered by officers in dazzling uniforms, small sailing-yachts
containing merry parties of both sexes glance hither and thither, all
giving animation to the scene. Here and there on the river's course long
reaches of sandy shoals appear, covered by myriads of sea-gulls, scores
of which occasionally rise, hover over our steamer, and settle in the
water. As we approach nearer to St. Petersburg, hundreds of gilded domes
and towers flashing in the warm sunlight come swiftly into view. Some of
the spires are of such great height in proportion to their diameter as
to appear needle-like. Among those reaching so far heavenward are the
slender spire of the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, nearly four hundred
feet in height, and the lofty pinnacle of the Admiralty Building.
Notwithstanding its giddy towers and looming palaces rising above the
level of the capital, the want of a little diversity in the grade of the
low-lying city is keenly felt. Like Berlin and Havana, it is built upon
a perfect level, which is the most trying of positions as to general
aspect.

St. Petersburg is the grandest city of Northern Europe. By ascending
the tower of the Admiralty, a superb and comprehensive view of the
capital is obtained. The streets are broad, the open squares vast in
size, the avenues interminable, the river wide and rapid; while the
lines of grand architecture are seemingly endless. The view from this
elevation is indeed superb, studded with azure domes decked with stars
of silver and gilded minarets. A grand city of palaces and spacious
boulevards lies spread out before the eye. The quays of the Neva above
and below the bridges are seen to present as animated a prospect as the
busy thoroughfares. A portion of this Admiralty Building is devoted to
schoolrooms for the education of naval cadets. The rest is occupied by
the offices of the civil department of this service, and a marine
museum.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. ISAACS AT ST. PETERSBURG.]

There are over two hundred churches and chapels in the city, most of
which are crowned with four or five fantastic cupolas each, and whose
interiors are rich in gold, silver, and precious stones, together with a
large array of priestly vestments elaborately embroidered with gold and
ornamented with a profusion of gems. It is, indeed, a city of churches
and palaces. Peter the Great and Catharine II., who has been called the
female Peter the Great, made this brilliant capital what it is.
Everything that meets the eye is colossal. The superb Alexander Column,
erected about fifty years ago, is a solid shaft of red granite, and the
loftiest single-stone column in the world. On its pedestal is inscribed
this simple line: "To Alexander I.--Grateful Russia." It is surmounted
by an angelic figure, the whole structure being one hundred and
fifty-four feet high, and the column itself fourteen feet in diameter at
the base; but so large is the square in which it stands that the shaft
loses much of its colossal effect. Opposite the Alexander Column, on
the same wide area, are situated the Winter Palace, with the Hermitage
on one side as a sort of annex, and on the other side in half-moon shape
are the State buildings containing the bureaus of the several ministers,
whose quarters are each a palace in itself. There is not one of the many
spacious squares of the city which is not ornamented with bronze statues
of more or less merit, embracing monuments to Peter the Great,
Catharine, Nicholas, Alexander I., and others.

The Nevsky Prospect is the most fashionable thoroughfare, and the one
devoted to the best shops. It is over a hundred feet in width, and
extends for a distance of three miles in a nearly straight line to the
Alexander Nevsky Monastery, forming a most magnificent avenue. On this
street may be seen the churches of several sects of different faiths,
such as Roman Catholics, Protestants, Armenians, and a Mahometan mosque.
Here also are the Imperial Library, the Alexander Theatre, and the
Foreign Office. The cosmopolitan character of the population of St.
Petersburg is indicated by the fact that preaching occurs weekly in
twelve different languages. The Nevsky Prospect is a street of
alternating shops, palaces, and churches. Four canals cross but do not
intercept this boulevard. These water-ways are lined their whole lengths
by substantial granite quays, and are gay with the life imparted to them
by pleasure and small freighting boats constantly furrowing their
surface. Large barges are seen containing cut wood, piled fifteen feet
high above their decks, delivering the winter's important supply of fuel
all along the banks of the canals. Others, with their hulls quite hidden
from sight, appear like great floating haystacks moving mysteriously to
their destination with horse-fodder for the city stables. From one
o'clock to five in the afternoon the Nevsky Prospect, with the tide of
humanity pouring in either direction through its broad road-way, is like
the Rue Rivoli, Paris, on a holiday.

The Imperial Library of St. Petersburg is justly entitled to more than a
mere mention; for it is one of the richest collections of books in all
Europe, both in quality and quantity. The bound volumes number a little
over one million, while it is especially rich in most interesting and
important manuscripts. In a room devoted to the purpose there is a
collection of books printed previous to the year 1500, which is
considered unique. The Alexander Theatre and the library both look down
upon a broad square which contains a fine statue of Catharine II. in
bronze. This composition seems to breathe the very spirit of the
profligate and cruel original, whose ambitious plans were ever in
conflict with her enslaving passions. History is compelled to admit her
great ability, while it causes us to blush for her infamy.

St. Petersburg is the fifth city in point of population in Europe, but
its very existence seems to be constantly threatened on account of its
low situation between two vast bodies of water. A westerly gale and high
tide in the Gulf of Finland occurring at the time of the annual breaking
up of the ice in the Neva would surely submerge this beautiful capital,
and cause an enormous loss of life. The Neva, which comes sweeping
through the city with such resistless force, is fed by that large body
of water, Lake Ladoga, which covers an area of over six thousand square
miles at a level of about sixty feet above that of the sea. However, St.
Petersburg has existed in security for nearly two centuries, and it may
possibly exist as much longer, independent of possible floods. What the
Gotha Canal is to Sweden, the Neva and its joining waters are to Russia.
Through Lake Ladoga and its ramifications of connecting canals and
rivers, it opens communication with an almost unlimited region of inland
territory, while the mouth of this river receives through the gulf the
commerce of the world.

As regards popular amusements, Sunday is the favorite day of the seven
at the public gardens, on which occasion, day and evening, theatrical
performances take place. The Greek churches, like the Roman Catholic,
are always open through the entire week, so that the devoutly inclined
can turn aside at any hour and bow before the altar, which to him
typifies all that is holy. Sunday is therefore regarded here, as in
Rome, Paris, or Seville, in the light of a holiday as well as a
holy-day. After having attended early morning service, a member of
either church unhesitatingly seeks his favorite amusement. The
horse-races of Paris, the bull-fights of Madrid, and the grand military
parades of St. Petersburg, all take place on Sunday. Few European
communities find that repose and calmness in the day which best accords
with American sentiment.

The one vehicle of Russian cities is the drosky, the most uncomfortable
and inconvenient vehicle ever constructed for the use of man, but of
which there are, nevertheless, over fifteen thousand in the streets of
the imperial city. It has very low wheels, a heavy, awkward body, and is
as noisy as a hard-running Concord coach. Some one describes it as being
a cross between a cab and an instrument of torture. There is no rest for
the occupant's back; and while the seat is more than large enough for
one, it is not large enough for two persons. It is a sort of sledge on
wheels. The noise made by these low-running conveyances as they are
hurried over the uneven pavements is almost deafening.

The winter season, which sets in about the first of November, changes
the aspect of everything in the Russian capital, and lasts until the end
of April, when the ice generally breaks up. In the meantime the Neva
freezes to a depth of six feet. But keen as is the winter cold, the
Russians do not suffer much from it, being universally clad in furs.
Even the peasant class necessarily wear warm sheep-skins with the fleece
on, otherwise they would often freeze to death on a very brief exposure
to the low temperature which prevails in winter. Doubtless there must be
poverty and wretchedness existing here, but it certainly is not obvious
to the stranger. There is no street-begging, and no half-clad,
half-starved women or children obstruct the way as is so often the case
in London or Naples.

The five islands of the city, separated by the Nevka and Neva, are
called the "Garden Islands," and they form the pleasure-drive of the
town, having quite a country aspect, forming a series of parks where
fine roads wind through shady woods, cross green meadows, and skirt
transparent lakes. Here every variety of villa is seen embowered in
attractive verdure, and a highly rural effect is obtained within city
limits.

St. Petersburg is the most spacious capital ever built by the hand of
man, and one cannot but feel that many of its grand squares, presided
over by some famous monument, are yet dismally empty. As we look upon it
to-day, it probably bears little resemblance to the city left by the
great Peter, its founder, except in its general plan, and yet it extends
so little way into the past as to have comparatively no root in history.
The magnificent granite quays, the gorgeous palaces, the costly churches
and monuments do not date previous to the reign of Catharine II. The
choice of the locality, and the building of the capital upon it, is
naturally a wonder to those who have not thought carefully about it,
since it seems to have been contrary to all reason, and to have been
steadily pursued in the face of difficulties which would have
discouraged and defeated most similar enterprises. Ten thousand lives
and more were sacrificed among the laborers annually, while the work was
going on, owing to its unhealthy nature, but still the autocratic
designer held to his purpose, until finally a respectable but not
unobjectionable foundation may be said to have been obtained upon this
Finland marsh. Yet there are those who believe that all was foreseen by
the energetic founder, that he had a grand and definite object in view
of which he never lost sight, and moreover that the object which he
aimed at has been fully consummated.

The Winter Palace is grand in every respect. Its size may be divined
when we realize that it accommodates six thousand persons connected with
the royal household. With the exception of the Vatican at Rome, and
Versailles near Paris, it is the largest habitable palace in existence,
and is made up of suits of splendid apartments, reception saloons,
drawing-rooms, throne rooms, banqueting-halls, etc. The gem of them all
is the Salle Blanche, or White Hall, so called because the fittings and
decorations are all in white and gold, by means of which an aerial
lightness and fascination of effect is produced which is difficult to
describe. It is in this apartment that the court festivals take place,
and there are probably no royal entertainments in Europe which quite
equal in splendor those given in the Winter Palace. One becomes almost
dazed by the glare of gilt and bronze, the number of polished columns of
marble and porphyry, the gorgeous hangings, the mosaics, mirrors, and
candelabra. Many of the painted ceilings are wonderfully perfect in
design and execution, while choice works of art are so abundant on all
sides as to lose effect. The famous banqueting-hall measures two hundred
feet in length by one hundred in breadth. As we come forth from the
palace through the grand entrance upon the square, it is natural to turn
and scan the magnificent front as a whole, and to remember that from the
gate of this palace Catharine II. went forth on horseback with a drawn
sword in her hand, to put herself at the head of her army.

The Hermitage, of which the world has read so much, is a spacious
building adjoining the Winter Palace, with which it is connected by a
covered gallery, and is five hundred feet long where it fronts upon the
square containing the Alexander Column. It is not, as its name might
indicate, a solitude, but a grand and elaborate palace in itself, built
by Catharine II. for a picture gallery, a museum, and a resort of
pleasure. It contains to-day one of the largest as well as the most
precious collections of paintings in the world, not forgetting those of
Rome, Florence, Paris, and Madrid. The catalogue shows twenty original
pictures by Murillo, six by Velasquez, sixty by Rubens, thirty-three by
Vandyke, forty by Teniers, the same number by Rembrandt, six by Raphael,
and many other invaluable examples by famous masters.

Here are also preserved the private libraries that once belonged to
Zimmermann, Voltaire, and Diderot, besides those of several other
remarkable men of letters. There is a royal theatre under the same roof,
where plays used to be performed by amateurs from the court circles for
the gratification of the empress, the text of the plays being sometimes
written by herself. This royal lady indulged her fancy to the fullest
extent. On the roof of the Hermitage was created a marvellous garden
planted with choicest flowers, shrubs, and even trees of considerable
size, all together forming a grand floral conservatory which was heated
by subterranean fires in winter, and sheltered by a complete covering of
glass.



CHAPTER XIX.


The Palace of Peterhoff is situated about sixteen miles from St.
Petersburg, on the shore of the Neva where the river expands to a width
of eight or ten miles. This place has always been celebrated for the
magnificent entertainments given here since the days when it was first
built by Peter the Great. The main structure has no special merit in
point of architecture, but the location and the surroundings are
extremely beautiful. From the terrace of the great yellow palace built
upon a natural elevation, one gets a fine though distant view of the
coast of Finland,--a portion of the Tzar's dominion which alone exceeds
in size Great Britain and Ireland, a wide-spread barren land of lakes
and granite rocks, but peopled by over two millions of souls. The parks,
gardens, fountains, hot-houses, groves, and embowered paths of Peterhoff
are kept in the most perfect order by a small army of household
attendants. The artificial water-works are after the style of those at
St. Cloud, and are nearly equal to those of Versailles.

Here the famous Peter used to retire and stroll about the gardens with
his humble favorite, a Polish girl, forgetting the cares of state. This
lowly companion, besides great personal beauty, possessed much force of
character, and exercised great influence over her melancholic and morose
master. Long before her final elevation to the throne, many instances
are related of her interference in behalf of mercy, which showed a kind
and loving nature. Peterhoff is the favorite summer resort of the royal
family.

The Tzar's dominion embraces every phase of religion and of
civilization. Portions of the empire are as barbaric as Central Africa,
others are semi-civilized, while a large share of the people inhabiting
the cities assume the highest outward appearance of refinement and
culture. This diversity of character spreads over a country extending
from the Great Wall of China on one side to the borders of Germany on
the other; from the Crimea in the south to the Polar Ocean in the far
north.

The distance from St. Petersburg to Moscow is about four hundred miles;
the cars upon this route take us directly towards the heart of Russia.
Thirty years ago there were but about eight hundred miles of railroad in
the country; to-day there are twenty thousand and more. On this trip one
passes through scenery of the most monotonous and melancholy character,
flat and featureless, made up of forests of fir-trees, interspersed with
the white birch, and long reaches of wide, deserted plains.

The forest forms a very prominent feature of Russia north of the line of
travel between the two great cities, covering in that region fully a
third part of the country; the largest forest in Europe is that of
Volskoniki, which commences near the source of the Volga. But to the
south of Moscow the vast plains, or steppes, are quite free from wood,
consisting merely of sandy deserts, unfit for habitation. No country is
more thinly inhabited or more wearisomely tame. Now and again a few
sheep are seen cropping the thin brown moss and straggling verdure,
tended by a boy clad in a fur cap and skin jacket, forming a strong
contrast to his bare legs and feet.

Though sparsely inhabited by fierce and active races for centuries, the
appearance is that of primitiveness; the log-cabins seem to be only
temporary expedients,--wooden tents, as it were. The men and women who
are seen at the railroad stations are of the Tartar type, the ugliest of
all humanity, with high cheekbones, flattened noses, dull gray eyes,
copper-colored hair, and bronzed complexions. Their food is not of a
character to develop much physical comeliness. The one vegetable which
the Russian peasant cultivates is cabbage; this, mixed with dried
mushrooms, and rarely anything else, makes a soup upon which he lives.
Add to this soup a porridge made of meal, and we have about the entire
substance of his regular food. If they produce some pork and corn,
butter and cheese, they are seldom indulged in for their own
subsistence, but are sold at the nearest market, as a certain amount of
ready money must be had when the tax-gatherer makes his annual visit. We
are speaking of the masses, but of course there are exceptions. Some
thrifty peasants manage much better than this. No other country is
richer in horses, mines of gold, silver, copper, and precious stones; or
in the useful articles of iron, lead, and zinc. Though the Russians are
famous for having large families, still the inhabitants average but
fifteen to the square mile, while in Germany there are eighty, and in
England over four hundred to the square mile.

Forests of such density as to be impenetrable to man frequently line the
railroad for many miles together, but the loneliness of the way is
relieved by occasional glimpses of wild-flowers scattered along the
roadside in great variety, diffusing indescribable freshness. Among them
now and again a tall scarlet poppy rears its gaudy head, nodding lazily
in the currents of air and leading us to wonder how it came here in such
company. A peculiar little blue flower is frequently observed with
yellow petals, seeming to look up from the surrounding nakedness and
desolation with the appealing expression of human eyes. Snow-white
daisies and delicate little harebells come into view at intervals,
struggling for a brief and lonely existence. The railroad stations are
beautified by floral displays of no mean character. It seems that
professional gardeners travel on the line, remaining long enough at each
place to organize the skilful culture of garden-plants by the keeper's
family during the few weeks of summer; but one shudders to think what
must be the aspect of this region during the long frost-locked Russian
winter.

On reaching the city of Tver, we cross, by a high iron bridge, the river
Volga,--one of the greatest in the world,--the Mississippi of Russia.
From this point the river is navigable for over two thousand miles to
Astrakhan. In a country so extensive and which possesses so small a
portion of seaboard, rivers have a great importance, and until the
introduction of railroads they formed nearly the only available means of
transportation. The canals, rivers, and lakes are no longer navigated by
barges drawn by horse-power. Steam-tugs and small passenger steamers now
tow great numbers of flat-boats of large capacity; and transportation by
this mode of conveyance is very cheap. The Volga is the largest river in
Europe. Measured through its entire windings it has a length of
twenty-four hundred miles from its rise in the Valdai Hills, five
hundred and fifty feet above sea-level, to its outlet into the Caspian
Sea. Many cities and thriving towns are situated upon its banks. At
Nijni-Novgorod it is joined by the Oka River. In addition to these
water-ways there are also the Obi, the Yenisee, the Lena, the Don, and
the Dnieper, all rivers of the first class, whose entire course from
source to mouth is within the Russian territory, saying nothing of the
several rivers tributary to these. Nor should we forget those frontier
rivers, the Danube, the Amoor, and the Oxus, all of which are auxiliary
to the great system of canals that connects the important rivers of the
empire. The Volga by this system communicates with the White Sea, the
Baltic, and the Euxine.

While we are narrating these interesting facts relating to the material
greatness of Russia, we are also approaching its ancient capital. It
stands upon a vast plain through which winds the Moskva River, from
which the city derives its name. The villages naturally become more
populous as we advance, and gilded domes and cupolas occasionally loom
up above the tree-tops on either side of the road, indicating a Greek
church here and there. As in approaching Cairo in Egypt, one sees first
and while far away the pyramids of Ghizeh, and afterwards the graceful
minarets and towers of the Oriental city gleaming through the golden
haze; so as we gradually emerge from the thinly inhabited Russian plains
and draw near the capital, first there comes into view the massive
towers of the Kremlin and the Church of Our Saviour with its golden
dome, followed by the hundreds of glittering steeples, belfries, towers,
and star-gilded domes of this extremely interesting and ancient city.

Though some of these religious temples have simply a cupola in the shape
of an inverted bowl, terminating in a gilded point capped by a cross and
crescent, few of them have less than five or six, and some have sixteen
superstructures of the most whimsical device, with gilded chains
depending from each apex and affixed at the base. A bird's-eye view of
Moscow is far more picturesque than that of St. Petersburg, the older
city being located upon very uneven ground, is in some places quite
hilly. St. Petersburg is European, while Moscow is Tartar. The latter
has been three times nearly destroyed: first by the Tartars in the
thirteenth century; next, by the Poles, in the seventeenth century; and
again at the time of the French invasion under Napoleon, in 1812. Still
it has sprung from its ashes each time as if by magic, and has never
lost its original character, being now a more splendid and prosperous
capital than ever before, rapidly increasing in population. The romantic
character of its history, so mingled with protracted wars, civil
conflicts, sieges, and conflagrations, makes it seem half fabulous. The
population is not much, if any less than that of St. Petersburg,--eight
hundred thousand,--while the territory which it covers measures over
twenty miles in circumference.

Moscow is to the Russian what Mecca is to the pious Moslem, and he calls
it by the endearing name of "mother." Like Kief and the Trortzkoi
(sacred monastery), it is the object of pious pilgrimage to thousands
annually, who come from long distances on foot.

The Kremlin, which crowns a hill, is the central point of the city, and
is enclosed by high walls, battlement rising upon battlement, flanked by
massive towers. The name is Tartar and signifies a fortress. As such it
is unequalled for its vastness, its historical associations, and the
wealth of its sanctuaries. It was founded five or six hundred years ago,
and is an enclosure studded with cathedrals, and embracing broad streets
and spacious squares,--a citadel and city within itself, being to
Moscow what the Acropolis was to Athens. The various buildings are a
strange conglomerate of architecture, including Tartar, Hindu, Chinese,
and Gothic exhibited in noble cathedrals, chapels, towers, convents, and
palaces. There are about twenty churches within the walls of the
Kremlin. The Cathedral of the Assumption is perhaps the most noteworthy,
teeming as it does with historic interest, and being filled with tombs
and pictures from its dark agate floor to the base of the vast cupola.
Here, from the time of Ivan the Great to that of the present Emperor,
the Tzars have all been crowned, and here Peter placed the royal
insignia upon the head of his second wife, the peasant-girl of Livonia.

The venerable walls of the Kremlin, which measure about two miles in
circumference, are pierced by five gates of an imposing character, to
each of which is attributed a religious or historical importance. Often
have invading hosts battered at these gates, and sometimes gained an
entrance; but, strange to say, they have always in the end been worsted
by the faithful Muscovites. Over the Redeemer's Gate, so called, is
affixed a wonder-working picture of the Saviour, which is an object of
great veneration. No one, not even the Emperor, passes beneath it
without removing his hat and bowing the head. A miracle is supposed to
have been wrought in connection with this picture of the Redeemer at the
time when the retreating French made a vain attempt to blow up the
Kremlin, and hence the special reverence given to it.

The most strikingly fantastic structure in Moscow is the Cathedral of
St. Basil, which is top-heavy with spires, domes, and minarets,
ornamented in the most irregular and unprecedented manner. Yet, as a
whole, the structure is not inharmonious with its unique
surroundings,--the semi-Oriental, semi-barbaric atmosphere in which it
stands. It is not within the walls of the Kremlin, but is just outside,
near the Redeemer's Gate, from which point the best view of it may be
enjoyed. No two of its towering projections are alike, either in height,
shape, or ornamentation. The coloring throughout is as various as the
shape, being in yellow, green, blue, red, gilt, and silver. Each spire
and dome has its glittering cross; and when the sun shines upon the
group, it is in effect like the bursting of a rocket at night, against a
dark blue background.

In front of this many-domed cathedral is a circular stone whence the
Tzars of old were accustomed to proclaim their edicts; and it is also
known as "The Place of the Scull," because of the many executions which
have taken place upon it. Ivan the Terrible rendered the spot infamous
by the series of executions which he ordered to take place here, the
victims being mostly innocent of any crimes. Here Prince Scheviref was
impaled by order of this same tyrant, and here several other members of
the royal family were ruthlessly put to death after being barbarously
tortured.

The treasury of the Kremlin, erected so late as 1851, is a historical
museum of crowns, thrones, state costumes, and regalia generally;
including in the latter department the royal robes of Peter the Great as
well as his crown, in which there are about nine hundred diamonds; and
that of his widow Catharine I., which contains three thousand of these
precious stones. One comes away from the labyrinth of palaces, churches,
arsenals, museums, and the treasury, after viewing their accumulation of
riches, quite dazed and surfeited. To examine the latter properly
requires more than a single day. It is a marvel of accumulated riches,
including the crowns of many now defunct kingdoms, such as those of
Kazan, Georgia, Astrakhan, and Poland,--all heavy with precious stones.
The crown jewels of England and Germany combined would not equal in
value these treasures. The most venerable of the crowns is that of
Monomachus, brought from Byzantium more than eight hundred years ago.
This emblem is covered with jewels of the choicest character, among
which are steel-white diamonds and rubies of pigeon's-blood hue, such as
are rarely obtainable in our day.

While viewing the many attractions of Moscow one is apt to recall a page
from history and remember the heroic, self-sacrificing means which the
people of this Asiatic city adopted to repel the invading and victorious
enemy. It was an act of sublime desperation to place the torch within
the sanctuary of Russia and destroy all, sacred and profane, so that the
enemy should also be destroyed. It was the grandest sacrifice ever made
to national honor by any people. "Who would have thought that a nation
would burn its own capital?" said Napoleon.

Strangers are hardly prepared to find Moscow so great a manufacturing
centre, more than fifty thousand of the population being regularly
employed in manufacturing establishments. There are over a hundred
cotton mills within the limits of the city, between fifty and sixty
woollen mills, over thirty silk mills, and other kindred establishments,
though enterprise in this direction is mostly confined to textile
fabrics. The city is fast becoming the centre of a great railroad
system, affording the means of rapid and easy distribution for the
several products of these mills.

The favorite seat of learning is the Moscow University, founded by
Peter the Great in 1755, its four principal faculties being those of
history, physics, jurisprudence, and medicine. It is a State
institution, and has at this time some two thousand students. The terms
of admission as regards cost to the pupils are merely nominal, the
advantages being open to all youth above seventeen who can pass a
satisfactory examination. Here, also, is another large and valuable
library open at all times to the public, containing over two hundred
thousand well-chosen volumes. This liberal multiplication of educational
advantages in the very heart of Oriental Russia is an indisputable
evidence of progressive civilization.

One is struck by the multitude of pigeons seen in and about the city.
They are held in great reverence by the common people, and no Russian
will harm them. Indeed, they are as sacred here as monkeys in Benares,
or doves in Venice, being considered emblems of the Holy Ghost and under
protection of the Church. They wheel about in large blue flocks through
the air, so dense as to cast shadows, like swift-moving clouds,
alighting fearlessly where they choose, to share the beggar's crumbs or
the rich man's bounty. It is a notable fact that this bird was also
considered sacred by the old Scandinavians, who believed that for a
certain period after death the soul of the deceased assumed this form to
visit and watch the behavior of the mourners.

Beggary is sadly prevalent in the streets of Moscow, the number of
maimed and wretched-looking human beings recalling the same scenes in
Spain and Italy, especially in the former country, where beggary seems
to be the occupation of one-third of the people.



CHAPTER XX.


We must travel by railway three hundred miles further towards the centre
of the empire and in a northerly direction, to reach Nijni Novgorod,
that is, Lower Novgorod, being so called to distinguish it from the
famous place of the same name located on the Volkhov, and known as
Novgorod the Great. This journey is made in the night, and the cars,
which are supposed to afford sleeping accommodations, are furnished with
reclining chairs only. However, we get along very well, and fatigue is
pretty sure to make one sleep soundly, notwithstanding the want of
inviting conveniences. Having arrived at Nijni-Novgorod early in the
morning, we find it to be a peculiar city. The residence of the governor
of the district, the courts of law, and the citadel are within the
Kremlin, where there is also a fine monument to the memory of Mininn and
Pojarski, the two patriots who liberated the country from the Poles in
1612.

The Kremlin, like that at Moscow, is situated on an elevation
overlooking the town and the broad valley of the Volga. As we view the
scene, a vast alluvial plain is spread out before the eye, covered with
fertile fields and thrifty woods, through which from northwest to
southeast flows the river, like a silver thread upon a verdant ground,
extending from horizon to horizon. On this river, the main artery of
Central Russia, are seen scores of swift-moving steamers, while a forest
of shipping is gathered about the wharves of the lower town, and also
upon the Oka River, which here joins the Volga. From this outlook we
count over two hundred steamers in sight at the same time, all
side-wheelers and clipper-built, drawn hither by the exigencies of the
local trade growing out of the great annual fair. The first of these
steamboats was built in the United States and transported to Russian
waters, since which it has served as a model to builders, who have
furnished many hundreds for river service.

The flat-boats or barges, which have been towed hither by the steamers
from various distances, having been unloaded, are anchored in a shallow
bend of the river, where they cover an area of a mile square. On most of
these barges entire families live, it being their only home; and
wherever freight is to be transported, thither they go; whether it is
towards the Ural Mountains or the Caspian Sea, it is all the same to
them: the Arabs of the desert are not more roving than they.

The Volga has a course of twenty-four hundred, and the Oka of eight
hundred and fifty miles. As the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers have
together made St. Louis in this country, so these two rivers have made
Nijni-Novgorod. This great mart lies at the very centre of the water
communication which joins the Caspian and the Black seas to the Baltic
and the White seas; besides which, it has direct railroad connection
with Moscow, and thence with all Eastern Europe. The Volga and its
tributaries pour into its lap the wealth of the Ural Mountains and that
of the vast region of Siberia and Central Asia. It thus becomes very
apparent why and how this ancient city is the point of business contact
between European industry and Asiatic wealth.

The attraction which draws most travellers so far into the centre of
Russia, lies in the novelty of the great annual fair held here for a
period of about eight weeks, and which gathers together for the time
being some two hundred thousand people, traders and spectators,
merchants and rogues, who come from the most distant provinces and
countries of Asia, as well as from immediate regions round about. The
variety of merchandise brought hither is something to astonish one.
Jewelry of such beauty and fashion as would grace the best stores of
Paris is here offered for sale, beside the cheapest ornaments
manufactured by the bushel-basketful at Birmingham, England. Choice old
silverware is exposed along with iron sauce-pans, tin dippers, and cheap
crockery--variety and incongruity, gold and tinsel, everywhere side by
side. There is an abundance of iron and copper from the Urals, dried
fish in tall piles from the Caspian, tea from China, cotton from India,
silk and rugs from Persia, heavy furs and sables from Siberia, wool in
the raw state from Cashmere, together with the varied products of the
trans-Caucasian provinces, even including droves of wild horses. Fancy
goods are here displayed from England as well as from Paris and Vienna,
toys from Nuremberg, ornaments of jade and lapis-lazuli from Kashgar,
precious stones from Ceylon, and gems from pearl-producing Penang.
Variety, indeed! Then what a conglomerate of odors permeates
everything,--boiled cabbage, coffee, tea, and tanned leather,--dominated
by the all-pervading musk; but all this is quite in consonance with the
queer surroundings which meet the eye, where everything presents itself
through an Oriental haze.

If any business purpose actuates the visitor, let him keep his wits
about him, and, above all, remain cool, for it requires an effort not to
be confused by the ceaseless buzzing of such a crowded hive of human
beings. Sharpers are not unrepresented here, but may be seen in full
force seeking to take advantage of every opportunity for imposition, so
that many who come hither thrive solely by dishonesty. It is a sort of
thieves' paradise--and Asiatic thieves are marvellously expert. Most of
these are itinerants, having no booths, tables, or fixtures, except a
satchel or box hung about their necks, from which they offer trifling
articles at low prices, a specious disguise under which to prosecute
their real design.

The period of great differences in prices at localities wide apart has,
generally speaking, passed away, and nearly everywhere the true value of
things is known. Circumstances may favor sellers and buyers by turns,
but intrinsic values are fixed all over the world. Nothing is found
especially cheap at this great Russian-Asiatic fair except such articles
as no one wants, though occasionally a dealer who is particularly
anxious to get cash will offer his goods at a low price to effect the
desired sale. The Tartar merchant from the central provinces of Asia
knows the true worth of his goods, though in exchange he pays liberal
prices for Parisian and English luxuries. Gems which are offered so
abundantly here can only be bought at somewhat near to their just value
in the markets of the world. All the tricks of trade are known and
resorted to at these gatherings. The merchant begins by demanding a
price ridiculously above the amount for which he is willing to sell. No
dealer has a fixed price at Nijni-Novgorod. The Asiatic enjoys
dickering--it is to him the very life of his occupation, and adds zest,
if not profit, to his business transactions.

It is curious to watch the various features, the physical development,
the dress, manners, customs, and languages of the throng. It would be
impossible to convey an idea of the ceaseless Babel of noise which
prevails;--the cries designating certain goods, the bartering going on
in shrill voices, the laughter mingled with sportive exclamations, and
the frequent disputes which fill the air. But there is no actual
quarrelling; the Russian police are too vigilant, too much feared, too
summary for that. Open violence is instantly suppressed, and woe betide
the culprit!

Such is this unique fair, which presents one of the rude and ancient
Eastern forms of trade--a form which was once also prevalent throughout
Europe, but now rapidly disappearing by the introduction of railroads,
even in the East. The glory of Nijni-Novgorod is already beginning to
wane; but it would seem that the fair still represents all the gayest
features of the olden time, having been held here annually since 1366,
tradition pointing even to an earlier date.

The large and populous city formed here, though so temporary, is divided
into long and broad streets lined with booths, shops, restaurants,
tents, and even minor theatres, while the wharves of the rivers are
crowded with bales of rags, grain, hides, skins, casks of wine, madder,
and cotton. The total value of the goods disposed of at these annual
fairs is estimated as high as eighty million dollars. It is the only
notable gathering of the sort now to be seen in Russia. With the close
of the day business is mostly laid aside, dancing-girls appear in the
cafés, and rude musical instruments are brought forth, each nationality
amusing itself after its own fashion. Strange and not inharmonious airs
fall upon the ear, supplemented by songs, the words of which are
utterly unintelligible, except to the circle of participants. The whole
scene forms a strange picture, as parti-colored as Harlequin's costume,
while the whole is watched by the ever-present Russian police.

A couple of days at the fair serves to acquaint us sufficiently with all
of its peculiarities, and we return to the ancient capital of the empire
by night train.

It is a long and rather dreary journey from Moscow to Warsaw, in Russian
Poland, the distance being some seven hundred miles by rail, and the
route very monotonous. The country through which we pass is heavily
wooded, and affords some attractive sport to foreigners, who resort here
especially for wolf-shooting. In the summer season these creatures are
seldom dangerous to men, except when they go mad, which, in fact, they
are rather liable to do. When in this condition, they rush through field
and forest, heedless of hunters, dogs, or aught else, biting every
creature they meet, and such victims are pretty sure to die of
hydrophobia. The wolves are at all seasons more or less destructive to
small domestic stock, and sometimes in the severity of a hard winter
they will gather in large numbers and attack human beings, though as a
rule they are timid and keep out of the way of men. There are also some
desirable game-birds in these forests. The wild bison still exists here,
though it is forbidden to shoot them, as they are considered to belong
to the Crown. If they were not fed by man during the long winters, they
would surely starve.

In the last portion of this journey the country puts on a more agreeable
aspect. The beautiful lavender color of the flax-fields interspersed
with the peach-bloom of broad, level acres of buckwheat, produces a
pleasant and thrifty aspect. These fields are alternated by miles of
intensely green oats, rye, and other cereals. No finer display of
growing grain is to be found, except in Western America. The hay-makers,
in picturesque groups, are busy along the line of the railroad as we
pass, nine-tenths of them being women. The borders of Poland exhibit a
scene of great fertility and successful agricultural enterprise. As we
cross the frontier, a difference in the dress of the common people
becomes noticeable. Men no longer wear red shirts outside of their
pantaloons, and scarlet disappears from the dress of the women, giving
place to more subdued hues. The stolid, square faces of the Russian
peasantry are replaced by a more intelligent cast of features, while
many representatives of the Jewish race begin to appear, especially
about the railway stations, where they offer trifling articles for sale.
The dwelling-houses which now come into view are of a superior class to
those left behind in Russia proper. Log cabins disappear entirely, and
thatched roofs are rarely seen; good, substantial frame houses
appropriately painted become numerous. Small, trim flower-plats are seen
fenced in, adjoining the dwellings. Lines of beehives find place near
these cheerful homes, where the surroundings generally are suggestive of
thrift and industry.

In passing through Poland the country presents almost one unbroken plain
admirably adapted to agriculture, so much so that it has been called the
granary of Europe. The Polish peasants are extremely ignorant, if
possible even more so than the Russians proper of the same class; but
they are a fine-looking race, strongly built, tall, active, and well
formed. There are schools in the various districts, but the Polish
language is forbidden to be taught in them: only the Russian tongue is
permitted. The peasantry have pride enough to resist this arbitrary
measure in the only way which is open to them; that is, by keeping their
children out of the schools. Education not being compulsory here as it
is in Norway and Sweden, little benefit is consequently derived from the
schools. With a view to utterly obliterate the Polish language it is
even made a penal offence by Russian law to use it in commercial
transactions.

The Polish peasantry as a whole are by no means a prepossessing race.
Naturally dull, they are furthermore demoralized and degraded by a love
of spirituous liquors, these being unfortunately both cheap and potent.
As regards the nationality of Poland, her fate is certainly decided for
many years to come, if, indeed, it be not settled for all time.
Dismembered as she is, every new generation must amalgamate her more and
more completely with the three powers who have appropriated her
territory and divided the control of her people among them. We continue
to speak of Poland as a distinct country, though the name is all that
remains of its ancient independence. The map of Europe has long since
been reconstructed in this region,--Austria, Germany, and Russia coolly
absorbing the six millions of Poles, Warsaw becoming thus the capital of
Russian Poland.

We enter the city by the Praga suburb, crossing the lofty iron bridge
which here stretches over the Vistula, nearly two thousand feet in
length.

The city extends about six miles along the left bank of the Vistula, and
upon very high ground. The river is navigable at most seasons of the
year, extending the whole length of Poland from north to south, its
source being the Carpathian Mountains, and its mouth at Dantzig. The
city covers a great surface in proportion to the number of inhabitants,
and is enclosed by ramparts pierced by ten gates, all being defended by
a strong castle of modern construction. The fortifications are kept at
all times up to a war standard, and are very complete in the department
of modern artillery. The city has nearly half a million inhabitants,
one-third of whom are Jews, who monopolize the main branches of trade.

From the top of the railway station in the Praga district one gets an
admirable view. On the opposite side of the river is seen the citadel,
the oldest portion of the town, with its narrow streets and lofty
houses, the castle and its beautiful gardens, as well as the newer
section of the city, including the public promenade and groves about the
royal villa of Lazienki. Viewed from Praga, as it slopes upward, the
effect of the city is very pleasing, and a closer examination of its
churches, former palaces, and fine public buildings confirms the
favorable impression. This view should be supplemented by one of a
bird's-eye character to be obtained from the cupola of the Lutheran
Church, which more clearly reveals the several large squares and main
arteries, bordered by graceful lime-trees.

In spite of its misfortunes, Warsaw ranks to-day as the third city in
importance as well as population in the Russian Empire. It was not made
the capital of Poland until 1566, when it succeeded Cracow. It is now
the residence of a viceroy representing the Emperor of Russia, and the
place is strongly garrisoned by the soldiers of the Tzar. War and
devastation have deprived it of many of its national and patriotic
monuments, but its squares are still ornamented with numerous admirable
statues, and with a grand array of fine public buildings. In the square
of the royal castle there is a colossal bronze statue of Sigismund III.;
in another quarter a bronze statue of Copernicus is found. It will be
remembered that he was a Pole by birth and was educated at Cracow, his
name being Latinized from Kopernik. There is a thirteenth century
cathedral close by, whose pure Gothic contrasts strongly with the Tartar
style which we have so lately left behind in Russia. This old church is
very gray and crumbling, very dirty, and very offensive to the sense of
smell, partly accounted for by obvious causes, since about the doors,
inside and out, swarm a vile-smelling horde of ragged men, women, and
children, sad and pitiful to behold.

Here we find the finest public buildings and most elegant residences
strangely mingled with wooden hovels; magnificence and squalor side by
side, inexorably jumbled together. No other city in all Europe has so
many private palaces and elegant mansions as may be seen in an hour's
stroll about Warsaw; but the architecture is often gaudy and in bad
taste. Here for centuries there were but two classes or grades of
society; namely, the noble, and the peasant. A Polish noble was by law a
person who possessed a freehold estate, and who could prove his descent
from ancestors formerly possessing a freehold, who followed no trade or
commerce, and who was at liberty to choose his own habitation. This
description, therefore, included all persons who were above the rank of
tradesmen or peasants.

The "Avenues" is the popular drive and promenade of the citizens of
Warsaw. It is bordered by long lines of trees, and surrounded by elegant
private residences. Here also are inviting public gardens where popular
entertainments are presented, and where cafés dispense ices, favorite
drinks, and other refreshments. The Botanical Gardens are close at hand,
forming a pleasant resort for the lovers of floral beauty. Just beyond
these gardens is the Lazienki Park, containing the suburban palace built
by King Stanislaus Poniatovski in the middle of the last century, and
which is now the temporary residence of the Emperor of Russia when he
visits Warsaw. These grounds are very spacious, affording complete
seclusion and shady drives. Though it so closely adjoins the city, it
has the effect of a wild forest of ancient trees. The royal villa stands
in the midst of a stately grove, surrounded by graceful fountains, tiny
lakes, and delightful flower-gardens. There are some fine groups of
marble statuary picturesquely disposed among the tropical plants.

One is hardly prepared to see so much commercial prosperity and rapidity
of growth as is evinced in Warsaw. In matters of current business and
industrial affairs it appears to be in advance of St. Petersburg. The
large number of distilleries and breweries are unpleasantly suggestive
of the intemperate habits of the people. The political division of
Poland, to which we have referred, was undoubtedly a great outrage on
the part of the three powers who confiscated her territory, but it has
certainly resulted in decided benefit as regards the interests of the
common people. There are those who see in the fate of Poland that
retributive justice which Heaven metes out to nations as well as to
individuals. In past ages she was a country ever aggressive upon her
neighbors, and it was not until she was sadly torn and weakened by
internal dissensions that Catharine II. first invaded her territory.
Nine-tenths of the populace were no better than slaves, in much the
same condition as the Russian serfs before the late emancipation took
place. They were acknowledged retainers, owing their service to, and
holding their farms at the option of the upper class; namely, the
so-called nobility of the country. This overmastering class prided
itself on the fact of neither promoting nor being engaged in any kind of
business; indeed, this uselessness was one condition attached to its
patent of nobility. These autocratic rulers knew no other interest or
occupation than that of the sword. War and devastation constituted their
profession, while the common people for ages reaped the fruit of famine
and slaughter. Even in what were called times of peace, the court and
nobles were constantly engaged in intrigues and quarrels. However hard
these reflections may seem, they are substantiated by historical facts,
and are frankly admitted by the intelligent citizens of Warsaw to-day.

That there is shameful despotism exercised by the present ruling powers
all must allow; but that peace, individual liberty, and great commercial
prosperity now reign in Poland is equally obvious. In the days which are
popularly denominated those of Polish independence the nobility were
always divided into bitter factions. Revolutions were as frequent as
they are to-day in South America or Mexico, and the strongest party
disposed of the crown, ruling amid tumult and bloodshed.



CHAPTER XXI.


From Warsaw we turn towards Munich, the capital of Bavaria, reaching the
quaint old city by way of Vienna, a description of which we have given
in a previous chapter. Munich has a population of about two hundred
thousand, and it possesses many noble institutions devoted to
charitable, literary, and art purposes. The accumulation of art
treasures is of the choicest character, not exceeded in number or
importance by any other city of Germany, if we except Dresden. Many of
its churches, centuries in age, are of great interest. Nearly all of our
modern bronze statues have been cast in the famous founderies of Munich.
The university, in the University Platz, takes first rank among the
educational institutions of the old world. The English Garden,
so-called, is a beautiful and extensive park which was established just
one century ago; it is about four miles long by half a mile in width.
Here is seen an admirable statue of Count Rumford, the founder of the
garden. In clear weather the distant Alps are visible from here.

The public library of Munich is remarkably comprehensive, and contains
about nine hundred thousand volumes, besides twenty-four thousand
valuable manuscripts. Few collections in the world are so important. The
Bavarian national museum embraces a magnificent array of objects
illustrating the progress of civilization and art. Munich is strongly
marked in its general aspect, manners, and customs. A considerable
share of the most menial as well as of the most trying physical labor
devolves upon the women. It is very repulsive to an American to see
them, as one does here, ascending high ladders with buckets of mortar or
bricks for building purposes. The stranger is unpleasantly impressed
with the fact that more beer is drunk in Munich than in any other
community composed of the same number of people. The obvious trouble
with those who consume so much malt liquor is that they keep half tipsy
all of the time, and their muddled brains are never in possession of
their full mental capacity. There is not much absolute drunkenness to be
seen in the streets of this capital, but the bloated faces and bleared
eyes of the masses show only too plainly their vulgar and unwholesome
indulgence.

From Munich we proceed to Frankfort-on-the-Main, an ancient and
important city of Germany, containing a population of one hundred and
twenty thousand. The difference in large communities is remarkable.
While some cities with three hundred thousand inhabitants seem drowsy
and "slow," another, like this of Frankfort, with not half that
population, presents the aspect of much more life, activity, and volume
of business. Here we have fine, cleanly streets, and stores almost
Parisian in elegance and richness of display. The older portions of the
town have the usual narrow lanes and dark alleys of past centuries, with
quaint, overhanging fronts to the houses. The city is surrounded on
three sides by very beautiful public gardens. The venerable town hall is
an object of universal interest. One visits also the house from which
Luther addressed the multitude in the Dom Platz, or square: nor should
another famous residence be forgotten; namely, that in which Goethe was
born, in memory of whom a colossal bronze statue stands in the Goethe
Platz. There is also a group here of three statues in honor of
Gutenberg, Faust, and Schöffer, inventors of printing. In the Schiller
Platz is a bronze statue of Schiller. The public library has a hundred
and thirty thousand volumes, and there is a museum of natural history,
an art gallery of choice paintings, and all the usual philanthropic
organizations appropriate to a populous Christian capital. Frankfort is
a great money centre, and is the residence of many very rich bankers. In
the grounds attached to the residence of one of these wealthy men is
exhibited, in a suitable building, the famous marble statue of Ariadne,
by Dannecker. There is also here a fine botanical garden with a
collection of choice plants open to the public. Thus it will be seen
that Frankfort, upon the whole, though comparatively small, is yet an
extremely pleasing city, thriving, cleanly, and attractive.

Our next place to visit is Cologne, a city situated on the left bank of
the Rhine. It was a famous and prosperous Roman colony fifteen hundred
years ago, containing amphitheatres, temples, and aqueducts. The
passage-ways in the ancient portions of the city are remarkably small,
but there are some fine modern streets, arcades, and open squares, which
present a busy aspect, with an active population of one hundred and
sixty thousand. The Rhine is here crossed by a substantial iron bridge,
as also by a bridge of boats. The one most prominent attraction of
Cologne is its grand, and in some respects unequalled, cathedral, which
was over six hundred years in process of building. It was not completed
until so late as 1880, representing an enormous amount of elaborate
masonry. The towers are over five hundred feet high. The effect of the
interior, with its vast height, noble pillars, niches, chapels, and
stained glass windows is most impressive, and by many travellers is
thought to be unequalled elsewhere. The exterior, with its immense
flying buttresses and myriads of pinnacles, is truly awe-inspiring.
There are other old and interesting churches here. That of St. Gereon is
said to contain the bones of the hundreds of martyrs of the Theban
Legion who were slain by order of the Emperor Diocletian in the year
286. The Church of St. Peter's, where Rubens was baptized, contains his
famous picture entitled the "Crucifixion of St. Peter," painted a short
time before the artist's death. The stranger is shown the house at No.
10 Sternengasse, where Maria d' Medici died in 1642. Rubens lived in
this same house when a boy of ten years. There is a choice and
comprehensive gallery of paintings at Cologne.

From this city we turn our steps towards Paris, by the way of Antwerp,
Belgium, which is remarkable for its many churches, convents, and noble
public buildings, beautiful parks, and open squares. It has a population
of fully three hundred thousand, owing its attraction mostly to the fact
that here are gathered so many masterpieces of painting. The great
influence of Rubens can hardly be fully appreciated without a visit to
this Flemish capital, where he lived so long, where he died, and where
his ashes rest in the Church of St. Jacques. Here is the burial place of
many noble families, and among them that of Rubens, his tomb being
situated just back of the high altar. Above it is a painting by his own
hand, intended to represent the Holy Family, but its object is also well
understood as being to perpetuate a series of likenesses of the Rubens
family; namely, of himself, his two wives, and his daughter, besides his
father and grandfather. Vandyke and Teniers were also natives of
Antwerp, where their best works still remain, and where the state has
erected fitting monuments to their memory. Jordaens, the younger
Teniers, and Denis Calvart, the art master of Guido, the great Italian
painter, were also natives of this city.

The Cathedral of Antwerp, more remarkable for its exterior than
interior, is of the pointed style. Did it not contain Rubens'
world-renowned pictures, the Descent from the Cross, the Elevation of
the Cross, and the Assumption, few people would care to visit it. In all
the older portions of the town the houses have a queer way of standing
with their gable ends to the street, as we see them in Amsterdam and
Hamburg, showing it to be a Dutch fashion. Dogs are universally used
here in place of donkeys for drawing small carts. Beggars there are none
to be seen, to the credit of the city be it said.

From Antwerp we make our way to Paris, whence to take a brief trip into
Switzerland, which, after a journey by rail of three hundred and
twenty-five miles, we enter on the northwestern corner, at Bâle, a
considerable city of nearly seventy thousand inhabitants, situated on
the left bank of the Rhine. Its earliest history was that of a Roman
colony; consequently there are many portions of the place especially
"quaint and olden." Being situated at the junction of the frontiers of
France, Germany, and Switzerland, it has a considerable trade and
evinces much commercial life. It has many admirable institutions, a
public library which contains about a hundred thousand volumes, and a
justly famed university which also has a library of two hundred thousand
volumes. The town hall is a curious old structure three centuries old
and of the Gothic style. Most cities have some specialty in
manufacturing, and Bâle is not without its peculiarity in this respect.
It consists of the production of silk ribbons of exquisite finish and in
great variety, which find their way to distant and profitable markets.

There is an admirably arranged picture gallery and art museum here,
principally remarkable for the number of paintings by the younger
Holbein, but containing, also, many other fine works of the modern
painters. The cathedral dates back nearly nine hundred years, or, to be
exact, to 1010. It was originally of the Byzantine order, but has been
repaired and added to until it has assumed a Gothic shape. The material
is red sandstone. It has two lofty towers, and the portal is ornamented
with mounted statues of St. George and St. Martin. About six miles from
Bâle, on the river near its confluence with the Ergolz, is Augst, upon
the site of the great Roman city of Augusta Rauracorum, founded in the
reign of Augustus. From these ruins have been taken many valuable relics
which are deposited in the museum of Bâle.

From Bâle we take the railway southward to Lausanne, situated on the
borders of Lake Geneva, where we find a population numbering some
thirty-three thousand. This city occupies a beautiful and commanding
situation overlooking the lake and valley. Its streets are hilly and
irregular, but are well kept and cleanly. The view from the high points
of the town is very fine, the Jura Mountains enclosing a portion of the
landscape, which is vine-clad and varied in its systematic cultivation.
If we stop at the Hotel Gibbon, which is a good house, we shall see in
its garden overlooking the lake, the spot where the historian Gibbon
completed his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Lausanne is a
delightful summer resort, cool and healthful.

Geneva, with a population of about fifty thousand, is located on the
same lake a short journey southward, being one of the largest and
wealthiest towns in Switzerland. It is situated at the point where the
river Rhone emerges from the lake, forming a favorite watering-place
with large and admirable hotels, but many of the streets are steep,
narrow, and crooked. The Rhone separates the town into two parts, and is
here crossed by eight bridges. We get from Geneva a superb view of the
Mont Blanc group, and the relative height of the several peaks is better
realized than from a nearer point. Mont Blanc is upwards of fifteen
thousand feet in height.

Geneva has few attractions except its position and scenery, being in the
vicinity of the most famous mountains in Switzerland. The history of the
place is, however, very interesting. Calvin resided here nearly thirty
years. Rousseau was born here in 1712, and it has been the birthplace of
other famous scholars, botanists, naturalists, and philosophers. Necker,
financial minister to Louis XVI., and his daughter, Madame de Staël,
were natives of Geneva. In the environs, say four miles from Geneva,
Voltaire built a famous château, making it his home for a number of
years. From here one goes to Chamouni, if disposed for
mountain-climbing,--the immediate region of Mont Blanc.

The Lake of Geneva, or Lake Leman, the name by which it is best known,
is forty-five miles long, varying from two to eight miles in width. We
will cross the lake by steamer to the charming little town of Vevay,
situated on the northern side, and containing some nine thousand
inhabitants. A few miles from this point, where the Rhone enters the
lake, stands the famous Castle of Chillon, connected with the shore by a
drawbridge,--palace, castle, and prison, all in one. Some of its dark
damp cells are hewn out of the solid rock beneath the surface of the
lake. This fortress of the Middle Ages has been rendered familiar to us
by Byron's poetic pen. It was built by Amedeus IV., Count of Savoy, in
1238. Here languished Bonnivard in his underground cell for six years,
during which time he wore a prisoner's chains for his heroic defence of
Genevan liberty.

A short journey northward by railway brings us to Berne, the capital of
Switzerland, and which contains less than forty thousand inhabitants. It
is situated upon a lofty promontory above the winding Aar, which nearly
surrounds it, and is crossed here by two stone bridges. The view of the
snow-capped Bernese Alps from Berne is remarkably fine and
comprehensive. The town has all the usual charitable and educational
organizations, with a public library containing fifty thousand volumes.
Many of the business streets are lined by arcades for foot passengers.
Fountains abound, each one being surmounted by some grotesque figure.
The cathedral is a fine Gothic structure, dating from 1457. The bear, of
whose name the word Berne is the German equivalent, forms the principal
figure in the crest or arms of the city. Near the Aarburg gate is a
small menagerie of these animals, kept up at all times, and at the
public expense. The figure of a bear appears to one in all sorts of
connections about the city. There is here a curious and famous
clock-tower. Just as the hour is about to strike, a wooden figure of
chanticleer appears and crows. He is followed by another puppet which
strikes the hour upon a bell, and then come forth a number of bears from
the interior of the clock, each one making an obeisance to an enthroned
figure, which in turn inclines its sceptre and opens its mouth. The town
is noted for the manufacture of choice musical boxes, which are sold all
over Europe and America.

We go by railway from Berne to Lucerne, which is situated on the lake of
the same name, and contains a population of twenty thousand. The ancient
walls which served the town in olden times are still in good
preservation. Lucerne is located between the Rigi and Pilatus (lofty
mountains), while it faces the snow-clad Alps of Uri and Engelberg. Here
the river Reuss issues from the lake with great force. The Schweizerhof
Quay, beautifully ornamented with trees, borders the lake, and is a
famous promenade for visitors. The chief object of interest, after the
very remarkable scenery, is the lion-sculptured rock, in a garden
adjoining the town, designed to commemorate the Swiss guard, who
sacrificed themselves in fidelity to their royal master, the king of
France, at the beginning of the French Revolution. It was modelled by
Thorwaldsen. The lake of Lucerne is unsurpassed in Europe for its scenic
beauty. It is twenty miles in length, and of irregular width; the
greatest depth reaches five hundred feet.

A short trip northward brings us to Zurich, which has a population of
eighty thousand, and is situated on the borders of the lake whose name
it bears. It is recognized as the Athens of Switzerland, the
intellectual capital of the country, as well as being one of the busiest
of manufacturing centres, silk and cotton goods forming the staple. The
educational facilities afforded at Zurich are recognized all over
Europe. The scenery of the suburbs is very fine and peculiarly Swiss,
the immediate neighborhood being highly cultivated, and the distance
formed by snowy Alps. Lavater, the great physiognomist, Gesner, the
celebrated naturalist, and Pestalozzi, the educational reformer, were
born at Zurich. The shores of this beautiful lake are covered with
vineyards, grain-fields, and pleasant gardens interspersed with the most
picturesque cottages and capacious villas. Zurich is divided into two
parts by the rapid river Limmat, somewhat as the Rhone divides Geneva.
The Platz-promenade is an avenue of shady trees on the banks of the
clear, swift river, which is much frequented by the populace. It
terminates just where the small river Sihl joins the Limmat. The former
is an insignificant stream except in the spring, when it assumes
considerable importance through the body of water which it conducts into
the bosom of the larger river.

Switzerland is but a small division of Europe. Its greatest length from
east to west is about two hundred miles, and its width north and south
is about one hundred and forty. Two-thirds of its surface consists of
lofty Alps, as we have shown, the scenery being thus marked by towering
mountains, vast glaciers, beautiful lakes, fertile valleys, and
glittering cascades. Owing to the great elevation of most of the
country, the climate is uniformly rather cold. The population does not
exceed three millions. The different languages spoken in Switzerland
show that the people have no common origin, but come from different
races. In the west, French is the language which is in common use, and
these people are believed to have descended from the Burgundians; in the
north, where German is spoken, a common origin is indicated with the
Germans of Swabia; while in the south, both the language and the
physical appearance of the people is that of the Italians.

On our way towards England from Zurich, we pass through Schaffhausen,
about forty miles from the former city, on the right bank of the Rhine,
having a population of about ten thousand. It is a place of considerable
business activity, very quaint and antique in general aspect, the style
of architecture reminding one of that seen in Chester, England. The
chief object of attraction to strangers in this neighborhood is the
famous falls of the Rhine, which form three tremendous cascades, where
the river is three hundred feet in width, and the falls are eighty feet
in height. Schaffhausen is the capital of the canton of the same name,
and retains many of the ancient features of a Swabian town of the period
of the Empire. The cathedral, an early Romanesque structure, bears the
date of 1052. It contains a remarkable bell, which shows by its date
that it was placed here about four hundred years ago.



CHAPTER XXII.


We shall speak only incidentally of London; to describe such a mammoth
city even superficially would require an entire volume. It is situated
on the river Thames, fifty miles from its mouth, containing a population
of about five millions. It is consequently the largest metropolis in the
world. Many of the older streets are confused, narrow, and intricate,
but the modern portion of the city consists of broad, straight
thoroughfares and fine substantial buildings. No capital is better
supplied with public parks, the most notable being Hyde Park, covering
about four hundred acres in the heart of London, and forming the most
popular promenade and drive during the favorite hours of the day, when
there is always a brilliant display of wealth and fashion.

[Illustration: TOWER OF THE HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT.]

It was in existence at the time of Cæsar's invasion and has flourished
ever since. Of the many churches, new and old, that known as Westminster
Abbey is the most interesting, being the shrine of England's illustrious
dead. It has been a sacred temple and a royal sepulchre for many
centuries; but the towers were completed by the famous English
architect, Sir Christopher Wren, who also designed St. Paul's Cathedral,
the grandest structure of its kind in the country. Old St. Paul's was
destroyed by fire in 1665-6. A Christian church has occupied the same
site from a very early period. The present edifice is five hundred feet
long and more than one-fourth as wide. The height of the dome to the top
of the cross is over three hundred and sixty feet, while the grand and
harmonious proportions of the whole are beyond description. The Houses
of Parliament form a very imposing architectural pile. The Victoria
Tower is seventy-five feet square and nearly three hundred and fifty
feet high. The clock-tower is forty feet square and three hundred and
eighteen feet high. The face of the clock, placed at this great
elevation, must be very large to be discernible upon the street, and is
twenty-three feet in diameter.

The British Museum is a noble institution, both in its object and its
general appearance. Its front measures three hundred and seventy feet in
length, the central portion being decorated with a grand line of lofty
columns in the Ionic style. These columns are five feet in diameter and
forty-five feet in height. The collection of Greek and Roman
antiquities, curiosities from all parts of the world, and valuable
relics, undoubtedly exceed in interest and comprehensiveness any other
similar museum. The library contains over a million volumes and
thousands of precious manuscripts. The National Gallery of Paintings on
Trafalgar Square has been formed at an enormous expense, and is worthy
of the great metropolis, though it is exceeded in the number of examples
and in the individual merit of many of the paintings by some of the
continental galleries of Europe. The Zoölogical Garden, adjoining
Regent's Park, is one of the great attractions to strangers, and of
never-failing interest to the people, being probably the most complete
and extensive collection of wild and domestic animals, quadrupeds,
birds, and reptiles in the world. Regent's Park is even larger than
Hyde Park. Besides these noble, health-dispensing parks,--these
breathing-places for a dense population,--the metropolis is dotted here
and there with large squares, varying in extent from four to six acres
each. The most notable of these are Belgrave Square, Trafalgar Square,
Grosvenor Square, Portman Square, Eaton Square, and Russell Square.

[Illustration: THE TOWER OF LONDON.]

Twelve bridges other than railroad bridges cross the river Thames within
the city boundary. The largest manufacturing interest in London is that
of the breweries, wherein eleven million bushels of malt are annually
consumed.

Buckingham Palace, the town residence of Queen Victoria, occupies a
location facing St. James's Park, and is a spacious building, but of no
architectural pretention. The famous tower of London, according to
tradition, was originally built by Julius Cæsar, and is situated on the
east side of the city, on the left bank of the Thames. It is no longer
used as a prison, but is a national armory and museum of warlike
implements of antiquity. London has an underground railway running
beneath the streets and houses by means of tunnels, and also through
cuttings between high walls, forming a complete belt round the inner
sections of the city, while branch lines diverge to the suburbs.
Statistics show that the railway company which controls the line conveys
about eighty millions of passengers annually, at an average rate of
twopence each, or four cents of our American currency, per trip. There
are over fifty regularly licensed theatrical establishments in the city.
The charitable organizations of London are on a scale commensurate with
its great wealth and population, while its educational facilities are on
an equally extensive scale.

Travellers who land in England at Holyhead, on their way to London, go
to the great metropolis by way of Chester, which is one of the most
interesting cities in Great Britain. It has a population of a little
over thirty thousand, and retains more of its ancient character than any
other city of England. The old defences have been carefully preserved,
and charming views of the surrounding country may be enjoyed from the
promenade which follows the course of the wall. Many of the houses are
so constructed that the second floors form a series of continuous
galleries or covered ways for foot passengers, known as the "Rows."
There is an ancient cathedral here of considerable interest, rendered
familiar by the numerous pictures of its several parts which have been
so often published. One of the most popular race-courses in England is
situated just outside of the city walls of Chester. There is a fine
modern Gothic residence in the environs, belonging to the Marquis of
Westminster, known as Eaton Hall, and which people travel long distances
to see, as it is considered one of the finest structures of its kind in
the kingdom.

A railway journey of a hundred miles from London takes us into a
beautiful portion of rural England, to that pleasant watering-place, the
town of Leamington, where some natural springs exist which are believed
to possess certain medical properties. There is a resident population of
twenty thousand, which is largely increased during the attractive season
of the year. This neighborhood is not only remarkable in a historical
point of view, but also for the rural beauty and quiet charms of its
scenery. There is here a public garden of twelve or fifteen acres in the
middle of the town, under a high condition of cultivation.

It is but a short trip by rail from Leamington to Kenilworth Castle, or
rather to its ruins. We need not narrate the historical associations of
this place. Scott, in his admirable novel, "Kenilworth," has rendered
the reading world familiar with it. The bare and crumbling walls are an
eloquent monument of the days of chivalry. The castle is said to have
been sufficiently extensive to have accommodated on one occasion Queen
Elizabeth and four hundred lords and ladies attached to her household.
It was left to the charming pen of Sir Walter Scott to fix the history
of the time and place upon the memory more effectually than could be
done by the pages of the professed historian.

From Leamington we may also make an excursion to Warwick Castle, one of
the grandest and best preserved of mediæval structures to be seen in
Great Britain, and which is occupied by the present Earl of Warwick.
This relic of the past, perhaps quite as ancient as Kenilworth, of which
only the ruins remain, is in a condition of perfect preservation, and we
believe it has never ceased to be occupied by representatives or
descendants of the same family. The castle contains a museum of
antiquity, including a great variety of armor, battle-axes, swords,
flags, and war implements generally, which were used by the ancestors of
the present earl. There are some choice paintings in the spacious halls,
while from the windows views may be enjoyed, fully depicting the
beauties of English rural scenery.

Stratford-on-Avon--the birthplace of Shakespeare--is within a short
distance by rail: it contains some four thousand inhabitants. Few
foreign travellers fail to visit Stratford. We come to the suggestive
spot on a bright, sunny day, and hasten at once to the old church where
rest the mortal remains of Shakespeare. Just back of this ancient
Gothic structure flows the quiet Avon in the same bed where it has
glided for centuries. A group of hay-makers lying idly upon the grass on
the opposite bank are gossiping away the noon hour; a fisherman with
pole and line is daintily sounding the shady nooks of the peaceful
river; a few white swans glide gracefully in the shadow of the
overhanging willows, while in the middle distance a flock of sheep
nibble the rich green herbage. We find the interior of the church but
little superior in architecture and ornamentation to most country
churches. The tomb of the poet is in the chancel. Just over the grave,
in a niche of the wall, is a bust of Shakespeare, which was placed there
shortly after his death, and which is believed to be a good and true
likeness of the original. He died at the comparatively early age of
fifty-three. We take refreshment at the Red Horse Inn, rendered famous
by Washington Irving, stroll thoughtfully through the quaint old
village, and visit, with thrilling interest, the house in which
Shakespeare was born.

From this remarkable vicinity we take passage over the Great Northern
Railroad, by way of Preston and Carlisle, finally reaching Edinburgh,
the thriving and pleasant capital of Scotland.

It is a peculiarly formed city, being built on three parallel ridges of
considerable elevation, and is remarkable for the general excellence and
elegance of its architecture. The older portion of the city is situated
upon the loftiest of the ridges, and on which the houses rise to the
height of nine and ten stories along the edges and on the steep slopes.
The streets in the old town are narrow and irregular. The newer section
occupies a lower ridge, being separated from the old by a valley which
is improved as a public garden and for business purposes. The public
and private buildings are mostly constructed of a white stone resembling
marble, which is quarried in the neighborhood. The population numbers
about three hundred thousand, occupying a territory which measures just
about two square miles. The longest street commences at the Palace of
Holyrood and ends at Castle Hill, upon the summit of which is Edinburgh
Castle, standing four hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea.

[Illustration: EDINBURGH CASTLE.]

This might appropriately be called the city of monuments. Among the most
prominent are statues to Sir Walter Scott, Nelson, Playfair, Professor
Wilson, Allan Ramsay, the Duke of Wellington, and Robert Burns. Scott's
monument stands quite by itself on Princes Street, and rises to two
hundred feet in height. Few monuments in the world equal this Gothic
structure in architectural beauty. The citizens of Edinburgh may well be
proud of their numerous educational institutions and charitable
establishments, in which departments of noble liberality no city in
Great Britain can surpass the Scotch metropolis. Near by Holyrood Palace
are the ruins of the ancient abbey of the same name, founded by David I.
nearly eight hundred years ago. In its chapel Queen Mary was married to
Lord Darnley. In visiting the castle on the hill we are shown the small
room wherein Queen Mary became the mother of James VI., who was
afterwards king of England. The royal infant was lowered from the window
of the little chamber in a basket, when friends received it and thus
saved it from its scheming enemies.

In the High Street we visit the house where John Knox, the great
Scottish reformer, lived. Close by, in White Horse Close, is the inn
where Dr. Johnson lodged in 1773, while in the churchyard hard by are
the graves of Adam Smith and Dugald Stewart. It is not possible to feel
indifferent to such associations. No grander figure can be found in the
history of the Reformation than that of John Knox. His biography reads
like a romance. Whether serving a two years' sentence in the French
galleys, enduring a siege in the castle of St. Andrews, being tried for
treason by order of Queen Mary, haranguing from the pulpit against what
he considered false religionists, or having his steps dogged by
assassins, Knox never swerved from what he believed to be the path of
duty.

In the immediate environs of the city, to the south of Holyrood, are
Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat, always visited by strangers, besides
being a favorite resort of the citizens of Edinburgh. There is a fine
road-way which surrounds Arthur's Seat, known as "The Queen's Drive."
Scott made this vicinity of more than passing interest by his "Heart of
Mid-Lothian," and the local guides point out the spot where Jeanie Deans
is represented to have met Robertson. The "Queen's Drive" affords from
several points charmingly comprehensive views.

A drive of twenty miles through the hills and plains lying to the
southeast of the city will take us to Melrose, a place only noted for
its famous ruins of the Abbey. It was founded by David I., in 1136, for
monks of the Cistercian order, and rebuilt in an elaborate and elegant
style between the reign of Robert Bruce and James IV. It was the finest
church, as it is the noblest ruin, in Scotland. Scott has rendered us
familiar with it. From here we drive to Abbotsford, the home of Sir
Walter, and which is still kept exactly in the condition in which the
poet left it on the day of his death. We wander through the house,
lingering in the library, sit in the chair before the table where he sat
and wrote in prose and poetry; we examine the curious collection of
armor and the various historical mementos which he gathered about him,
among which are weapons once owned by Rob Roy and the Douglas, and those
of other real characters about whom his genius has woven such romantic
interest. Abbotsford House is large, imposing, and beautifully situated,
the spacious grounds which are attached to it sloping gracefully down to
the banks of the river Tweed, beyond which rise the beautiful Selkirk
Hills.

In travelling about the rural districts of Scotland in the vicinity of
Edinburgh, one is impressed by the thrifty appearance of the country,
which seems to be cultivated with great care. We see many flocks of
sheep. There is not much attempt at what is called gardening, but a few
staples in grain are depended upon, and much attention is given to the
raising of sheep, horses, and cattle. The men and women are of a strong,
vigorous type, hospitable and kindly. The national characteristics of
the Scotch exhibit themselves in the simplest transactions. They are a
remarkably intelligent and well-educated people; steady-going, plodding,
economical, very set in their ways and opinions, being rather slow
according to American ideas, but uncommonly sure and reliable.

Glasgow differs from Edinburgh in many respects. Its situation is low,
and the view is obstructed by a multiplicity of tall, smoky chimneys,
with other tokens of manufacturing industry. It is the most populous
city of Scotland, having over half a million of inhabitants, and is
located on the banks of the river Clyde. Except in the manufacturing
parts of the town, the architecture and streets are fine and
attractive. Dressed freestone is the material most commonly used in the
construction of the best dwelling-houses and the public buildings. The
river is crossed by five noble bridges,--two of granite, one of
iron,--and two are suspension bridges. The city reminds one forcibly of
Pittsburgh in America. The chemical works, foundries, and workshops of
all kinds, using such quantities of bituminous or soft coal, create an
atmosphere of a dense, smoky character.

Glasgow contains four large and beautifully kept parks. The city is over
a thousand years old, but we have no record of its earliest three or
four centuries. Situated in the midst of a district abounding in coal
and iron, and upon a river which insures it world-wide commerce,
maritime enterprise has been a natural result. Here James Watt made his
memorable improvements in the steam-engine, and here Henry Bell first
demonstrated in the Old World the practicability of steam navigation.
This was in 1812, four years after Fulton's successful experiments upon
the Hudson River in this country, but of which Bell seems to have had no
knowledge. Glasgow has many handsome and substantial blocks of
dwelling-houses. Buchanan Street and Queen Street are both remarkably
elegant thoroughfares; the former especially is notable for its large
and attractive stores. Argyle Street is very broad and two miles long,
one of the finest avenues in Great Britain. Here, as in Edinburgh, there
are numerous public monuments, among which we observe the equestrian
statues of William III., the Duke of Wellington, in front of the Royal
Exchange; and that of Queen Victoria, in George's Square. There is also
an obelisk one hundred and forty feet high, erected to the honor of
Nelson, besides others of Sir Walter Scott, Sir John Moore, James Watt,
Sir Robert Peel, etc.

There are two chimneys in the city designed to carry off the poisonous
gases from the chemical works, which are respectively four hundred and
sixty, and four hundred and fifty feet in height, the latter carrying
off the vapor from St. Rollox, the largest chemical manufactory in the
world. These buildings cover fifteen acres of ground, and the works give
employment to over a thousand men. Cotton factories are also numerous
here, and calico-printing establishments. Beer-brewing is one of the
largest branches of manufacture, as it is also in London. In the
building of iron steamships the port of Glasgow leads the world. For a
long time there was an average of one steamer a day launched on the
banks of the Clyde, in the vicinity, though this number is not quite
kept up at the present time. Clyde steamers have a high reputation, and
are given the preference for durability and general excellence of
workmanship.

Greenock, with a population of about fifty thousand, is one of the
finest seaports in Scotland, having also a large business in iron
ship-building. This was the native place of James Watt, already spoken
of, and here we observe an admirable statue reared to his memory. The
city is situated a little over twenty miles from Glasgow, on the Firth
of Clyde. From here we take passage in a steamer across the Irish Sea to
Belfast, the principal city of Northern Ireland.

Belfast has a population of about two hundred thousand, and next to
Dublin is the most important city of the country. It is comparatively
modern, its tall chimneys, large factories, and spinning-mills speaking
intelligibly of material prosperity. Queen's College is a large
structure in the Tudor style, with a frontage of six hundred feet in
length. There is an admirable museum on College Square containing a
large collection of Irish antiquities. We also find an excellent
botanical garden here, and there are no better school facilities in the
United Kingdom than are to be enjoyed in this metropolis of Northern
Ireland. From Cave Hill, in the suburbs, an elevation over a thousand
feet in height, a most admirable view of the city and its surroundings
may be enjoyed, the coast of Scotland being visible on the far horizon.
The streets of Belfast are regular, broad, and cleanly, and many of the
public buildings are superb in architectural effect. The city hall, the
custom house, the Ulster Bank, and Linen Hall are all noble structures.
This is the great headquarters of the Irish linen trade.

A short journey of about a hundred miles due south by railway will bring
us to Dublin, the capital of Ireland. It has a population of about four
hundred thousand, and is situated on the shore of Dublin Bay, with the
river Liffey flowing through its centre. It is an attractive city with
very beautiful surroundings. There are many grand public buildings,
several large parks, a number of interesting old churches, and a
cathedral,--St. Patrick's,--connected with which are the associations of
six centuries. The remains of Dean Swift are buried here. Near by is the
house where Thomas Moore, the poet, was born, and not far away is the
birthplace of the Duke of Wellington. Dublin has its public library, its
museum, its Royal College of Surgeons, and its famous Trinity College,
where Goldsmith, Swift, Burke, and many others graduated. It has also
many noble charitable organizations and societies for the diffusion of
science. The zoölogical garden is one of the most extensive in Great
Britain. Dublin Castle is near the centre of the city, on slightly
elevated ground, containing an armory, a chapel, and various government
offices. This city claims great antiquity, having existed as a capital
since the days of Ptolemy. It was for centuries held by the Danes; in
1169 it was taken by the English under Strongbow, whose remains lie in
Christ Church Cathedral.

From Dublin we take passage on board of a steamer for Liverpool, the
commercial metropolis of England, which contains about seven hundred
thousand inhabitants. It is situated on the river Mersey, four miles
from the sea. To the traveller it presents few attractions save those of
a great shipping depot, which is unsurpassed in the department of
maritime enterprise.

The moral and physical character of the population, taken in mass, is
rather low, though the city has many institutions and associations
designed to promote intelligence and to fulfil all charitable demands.
The exhibitions of intemperance to be met with upon the streets at all
hours forms a disgraceful picture of humanity, in which respect
Liverpool seems to be more sadly afflicted than are the lowest sections
of London.

From here we sail for Nassau, New Providence, a British possession in
the Bahama Islands, lying northeast from Cuba, the largest of the West
Indian Islands.



CHAPTER XXIII.


Upon landing at Nassau we find everything quite different from our late
experiences in the large European cities, and are brought face to face
with nature,--with a tropical race and with tropical vegetation. Instead
of palatial edifices we have low native huts, while the people we meet
have the bronzed hue of Africans. This island, which was settled by
Europeans as early as 1629, contains nearly a hundred square miles. The
town has a small free library, several churches, a hospital, and a bank.

It seems singular that an island like New Providence, which is almost
without soil, should be so productive in vegetation. It is surrounded by
low-lying coral reefs, and is itself of the same formation. In a
pulverized condition this limestone forms the earth out of which spring
palm, banana, ceba, orange, lemon, tamarind, mahogany, and cocoanut
trees, with various others, besides an almost endless variety of
flowers. Science teaches us that all soils are but broken and decomposed
rock pulverized by various agencies acting through long periods of time.
So the molten lava which once poured from the fiery mouth of Vesuvius
has become the soil of thriving vineyards which produce the choice
grapes whence is made the priceless Lachryma Cristi wine of Naples. This
transformation of lava into soil is not accomplished in the period of a
single life.

The luscious pineapple, zapota, mango, pomegranate, citron,
custard-apple, and other fruits captivate the palate of the stranger,
while the profuseness and variety of beautiful ferns and orchids delight
the eye of the northerner. The negroes are mostly engaged in cultivating
pineapples, yams, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables, and a large
number of the males employ themselves in fishing and gathering sponges.
From this locality comes the largest supply of coarse sponge which is
used in England and America. There is also a considerable trade carried
on in fine turtle-shell, which is polished in an exquisite manner by the
patient natives. The Bahama sponges are not equal to those obtained in
the Mediterranean. But they are marketable for certain uses, and Nassau
exports half a million dollars' worth annually. It is said that sponges
can be propagated by cuttings taken from living specimens, which, when
properly attached to a piece of board and sunk in the sea, will increase
and multiply. Thus the fine Mediterranean sponge can be successfully
transported to the coral reefs of the Bahamas.

A short drive or walk inland over smooth roads, formed of smooth,
levelled coral rocks, brings us to the extensive pineapple fields, where
this handsome fruit may be seen in the several stages of growth, varying
according to the season of the year and the purposes of its use. If
intended for exportation, the fruit is gathered when well-grown but
still in a green state; if designed for canning,--that is,
preserving,--the riper it is, the better it is adapted to the purpose.
Great quantities are put in tin cans carefully sealed for use in this
and other countries. The visitor is sure to be impressed by the beauty
and grace of the cocoanut-trees, their plume of leaves, often sixty feet
from the ground, notwithstanding that the bare stem or trunk is rarely
over two feet in thickness.

There are said to be six hundred of the Bahama Islands, large and
small, of which Nassau is the capital, and here the English
governor-general resides. Many are mere rocky islets, and not more than
twenty have fixed inhabitants. The sea-gardens, as they are called,
situated just off the shore of the main island, are extremely
interesting. We go out a short distance in a row-boat, and by means of a
simple contrivance of wood and glass we can look many fathoms below the
surface of the sea. These water-glasses are easily made, being formed of
a small wooden box three or four inches square, open at the top and
having a water-tight glass bottom. With the glass portion slightly
submerged one is able to see distinctly the beautiful coral reefs with
their marvellous surroundings. There are displayed tiny caves and
grottoes of white coral, star-fishes, sea-urchins, growing sponges,
sea-fans, and bright-colored fishes, including the hummingbird fish, and
others like butterflies with mottled fins and scales, together with that
little oddity, the rainbow-fish. The prevailing color of this attractive
creature is dark green, but the tinted margins of its scales so reflect
the light as to show all the colors of the rainbow, and hence its name.
When bottled in alcohol for preservation, these fish lose their native
colors. This unique display is enhanced in beauty by the clearness of
these waters, and the reflected lights from the snow-white sandy bottom,
which is dotted here and there by delicate shells of various shapes and
colors. One longs to descend among these coral bowers,--these mermaid
gardens,--and pluck a bouquet of the submarine flora in its purple,
yellow, and scarlet freshness.

The surface life of these clear waters is also extremely interesting.
Here the floating jelly-fish, called from its phosphorescence the
glow-worm of the sea, is observed in great variety, sheltering little
colonies of young fishes, which rush forth for a moment to capture some
passing mite, and as quickly return again to their cover. If we take up
a handful of the floating gulf-weed, we find within the pale yellow
leaves and berries, tiny pipe-fish, seahorses, and specimens of the
little nest-building fishes. Thus this curious weed forms a home for
parasites, crabs, and shell-fishes, being itself a sort of mistletoe of
the ocean. The young of the mackerel and the herring glide rapidly about
in shoals, just below the surface, near the shore, like myriad pieces of
silver. Verily there would seem to be more of animal life below than
above the surface of the waters, which is not an unreasonable conclusion
when it is remembered that the whole surface of the globe is supposed to
have an area of about two hundred million square miles, and that of
these only about fifty millions are composed of dry land.

Much of the drinking-water, and certainly the best in use at Nassau, as
well as on some of the neighboring islands, is procured in a remarkable
manner from the sea. Not far from shore, on the coral reefs, there are
never-failing fresh-water springs, bubbling up from the bottom through
the salt water with such force as to clearly indicate their locality.
Over these ocean springs the people place sunken barrels filled with
sand, one above another, the bottoms and tops being first removed. The
fresh water is thus conducted to the surface through the column of sand,
which acts as a filter, the water being sweet and palatable, as well as
remarkable for its crystal clearness. So on the arid shores of the
Persian Gulf, where rain seldom falls, and where there are no rills to
refresh the parched soil, fresh water is obtained from springs beneath
the sea. There it is brought to the surface by employing divers, who
descend with leather bags. The mouth of a bag is placed over the
bubbling spring, quickly filled and closed again, being then drawn to
the surface by persons awaiting the signal from the diver, who then
hastens to rise for needed air. There is no mystery as to the source of
these springs. The rain falls on the distant mountains, and finding its
way through the rocky ledges, pursues its course until it gushes forth
in the bed of the gulf.

A fortnightly steamer from New York, bound for Cuba, touches at Nassau
on the southward trip to leave the mail, and we will avail ourselves of
this opportunity to visit the "Queen of the Antilles," as this island is
called. At first we steam to the north for half a day, in order to find
a safe channel out of the Bahamas, where there is more of shoal than of
navigable waters, and as we do so, we leave many islands behind us
inhabited only by turtles, flamingoes, and sea-birds. But we are soon
steaming due south again towards our destination, namely, the island of
Cuba, five hundred miles away. San Salvador is sighted on our starboard
bow (right-hand side), the spot where Columbus first landed in the New
World. It will be found laid down on most English maps as Cat Island,
and is now the home of two or three thousand colored people, the
descendants of imported Africans. The island is nearly as large as New
Providence. It is said that the oranges grown here are the sweetest and
best that are known. The voyager in these latitudes is constantly
saluted by gentle breezes full of tropical fragrance, intensified in
effect by the distant view of cocoanut, palmetto, and banana trees,
clothing the islands in a mantle of green, down to the very water's
edge. As we glide along, gazing shoreward, now and again little groups
of swallows seem to be flitting a few feet above the waves, then
suddenly disappearing beneath the water. These are flying-fish enjoying
an air-bath, either in frolic or in fear; pursued possibly by some
dreaded enemy in the sea, which they are trying to escape.

It is interesting to remain on deck at night and watch the heavens as we
glide through the phosphorescent sea. Is it possible that the moon,
whose light renders objects so plain that one can see to read small
print, shines solely by borrowed light? We know it to be so, and also
that Venus, Mars, and perhaps Jupiter and Saturn shine in a similar
manner with light reflected from the sun. It is interesting to adjust
the telescope, and bring the starry system nearer to the vision. If we
direct our gaze upon a planet, we find its disk or face sharply defined;
change the direction, and let the object-glass rest upon a star, and we
have only a point of light more or less brilliant. The glass reveals to
us the fact that the "star-dust" which we call the Milky Way is an
accumulation of innumerable single stars. Sweeping the blue expanse with
the telescope, we find some stars are golden, some green, others purple,
many silvery white, and some are twins. Our use of the words "first and
second magnitude" relates mainly to distance. It is most likely only a
question of distance which regulates our vision or capacity for seeing,
and which makes these "lamps of the sky" look larger or smaller to us.

When the lonely lighthouse which marks Cape Maysi, at the eastern point
of Cuba, comes into view on the starboard bow, the dim form of the
mountains of Hayti are visible on the opposite horizon. A subterranean
connection is believed to exist between the mountain ranges of the two
islands. We are now running through the Windward Passage, as it is
called; by which one branch of the Gulf Stream finds its way northward.
The Gulf Stream! Who can explain satisfactorily its ceaseless current?
What keeps its tepid waters, in a course of thousands of miles, from
mingling with the rest of the sea? And finally whence does it come?
Maury, the great nautical authority, says the Gulf of Mexico is its
fountain, and its mouth is the Arctic Sea. The maps make the eastern
shore of Cuba terminate as sharp as a needle's point, but it proves to
be very blunt in reality, where it forms one side of the gateway to the
Caribbean Sea, and where the irregular coast line runs due north and
south for the distance of many leagues.

The nights are mostly clear, soft, and lovely in this region. As we
double Cape Maysi, and the ship is headed westward, the Southern Cross
and the North Star blaze in the opposite horizons at the same time, the
constellation on our port side (left-hand), and the North Star on the
starboard side. Each day at noon the captain and his officers determine
the exact position of the ship by "taking the sun," as it is termed.
When the sun reaches the meridian, that is, the point directly overhead,
the exact moment is indicated by the nautical instrument known as a
quadrant, adjusted to the eye of the observer. The figures marked on the
quadrant give the latitude of the ship at the moment of meridian. The
ship's time is then made to correspond,--that is to say, it must
indicate twelve o'clock noon,--after which it is compared with an exact
timepiece called a chronometer, which keeps Greenwich (English) time,
and the difference enables the observer to determine the longitude. As
fifteen miles are allowed to the minute, there will be nine hundred
miles to the hour. Thus, by means of the chronometer and the quadrant,
the sailing-master is enabled to designate his exact situation upon the
ocean chart.

Soon after passing the remarkably sheltered port of Guantanamo, which
was for nearly a century the most notorious piratical rendezvous in the
West Indies, the famous castle of Santiago is seen. It is called Moro
Castle, but it is older than the better-known Moro of Havana, by nearly
a hundred years. This antique, yellow, Moorish-looking stronghold, which
modern gunnery would destroy in ten minutes or less, is picturesque to
the last degree, with its crumbling, honey-combed battlements, and queer
little flanking towers. It is built upon the face of a lofty,
dun-colored rock, upon whose precipitous side the fortification is
terraced. Its position is just at the entrance of the narrow river
leading to the city, six or eight miles away, so that in passing up the
channel one can speak from the ship's deck to any one who might be
standing on the outer battlement of the Moro.

The winding channel which leads from the sea to the harbor passes
through low hills and broad meadows covered with rank verdure, cocoanut
groves, and fishing hamlets. Thrifty palms and intensely green bananas
line the way, with here and there upon the pleasant banks a charming
country-house in the midst of a garden fragrant with flowers. So close
is the shore all the while that one seems to be navigating upon the
land, gliding among trees and over greensward rather than upon blue
water. Steaming slowly up the Santiago River, we presently pass a sharp
angle of the hills, leading into a broad sheltered bay, upon whose banks
stands the rambling old city of Santiago de Cuba, built on a hillside
like Tangier, in Africa, and it is almost as Oriental as the capital of
Morocco. The first and most conspicuous objects to meet the eye are the
twin towers of the ancient cathedral, which have withstood so many
earthquakes.

This city, once the capital of the island of Cuba, was founded by
Velasquez, and is now gray with age and decay. The many-colored,
one-story houses are ranged in narrow streets, which cross each other at
right angles with considerable regularity, though the roadways are in an
almost impassable condition. They were once paved with cobblestones, but
are now dirty and neglected, a stream of offensive water flowing through
their centres, in which little naked children, blacks and whites, are at
play. No wonder that such numbers die here annually of yellow fever. The
surprise is that it does not prevail all the year round.

Santiago dates back to the year 1514, making it the oldest city in the
New World, next to San Domingo. From here Cortez sailed in 1518 to
invade Mexico. Here has been the seat of modern rebellion against the
arbitrary and bitterly oppressive rule of the home government of Spain.
The city contains over forty thousand inhabitants, and is situated six
hundred miles southeast of Havana; after Matanzas, it comes next in
commercial importance, its exports reaching the annual aggregate of
eight millions of dollars. After climbing and descending these narrow,
dirty streets of Santiago, and watching the local characteristics for a
few hours, one is glad to go on board ship again, and leave it all
behind.

To reach Cienfuegos, our next destination, we take water conveyance, the
common roads in this district being, if possible, a degree worse than
elsewhere on the island. It is necessary to double Cape Cruz and make a
coasting voyage along the southern shore of the island, for a distance
of four hundred miles. This is really delightful sailing in any but the
hurricane months; that is, between the middle of August and the middle
of October.

Cienfuegos has some twenty-five thousand inhabitants, a large percentage
of whom speak English, nine-tenths of its commerce being with this
country. It was in this immediate neighborhood, as Columbus tells us, on
the occasion of his second voyage from Spain, that he saw with
astonishment the mysterious king who spoke to his people only by signs,
and that group of men who wore long white tunics like the monks of
mercy, while the rest of the people were entirely naked. The town is low
and level, occupying a broad plain. The streets are wide and clean,
while the harbor is an excellent and spacious one. It is pitiful to
behold such an array of beggars, and it is strange, too, in so small a
city. Here the maimed, the halt, and the blind meet us at every turn.
Saturday is the harvest day for beggars in Cuban cities, on which
occasion they go about by scores from door to door, carrying a large
canvas bag. Each well-to-do family and shop is supplied on this day with
a quantity of small rolls of bread, one of which is almost invariably
given to any beggar who calls, and thus the mendicant's bag presently
becomes full of rolls. These, mixed with a few vegetables, bits of fish,
and sometimes meat and bones, are boiled into a soup which at least
keeps soul and body together in the poor creatures until another
Saturday comes round.

Cienfuegos is in the centre of a great sugar-producing district.
Sugar-cane is cultivated much like Indian corn, which it also resembles
in appearance. It is first planted in rows and weeded until it gets high
enough to shade its roots, after which it is left pretty much to itself
until it reaches maturity. This refers to the first laying out of a
plantation, which will afterwards continue to throw up fresh stalks from
the roots, with a little help from the hoe, for several years. When ripe
the cane is of a light golden yellow, streaked here and there with red.
The top is dark green, with long narrow leaves depending,--very much
like those of corn,--from the centre of which shoots upward a silvery
stem fifteen or eighteen inches in height, and from the tip grows a
white-fringed plume. The effect of a large field at maturity lying under
a torrid sun, and gently yielding to the breeze, is very fine.

Though the modern machinery for crushing, grinding, and extracting the
sugar from the cane as lately adopted on the Cuban plantations is
expensive, still the result obtained is so much superior to that of the
old methods, that small planters are being driven from the market. The
low price of sugar and the great competition in its production renders
economy in the manufacture quite necessary, especially now that slave
labor is abolished.

The delightful climate is exemplified by the abundance and variety of
fruits and flowers. Let us visit a private garden in the environs of the
city. Here the mango with its peach-like foliage is found, bending to
the ground with the weight of its ripening fruit; the alligator-pear is
wonderfully beautiful in its blossom, suggesting in form and color the
passion-flower; the soft, delicate foliage of the tamarind is like our
sensitive plant; the banana-trees are in full bearing, the deep green
fruit (it is ripened and turns yellow off the tree), being in clusters
of nearly a hundred, tipped at the same time by a single, pendent,
glutinous bud nearly as large as a pineapple. Here we see also the
star-apple-tree, remarkable for its uniform and graceful shape, full of
green fruit, with here and there a ripening specimen. The zapota, in its
rusty coat, hangs in tempting abundance. From low, broad-spreading trees
hangs the grape fruit, as large as a baby's head and yellow as gold;
while the orange and lemon trees, bearing blossoms, and green and
ripening fruit all together, serve to charm the eye and to fill the
garden with rich fragrance.

Let us examine one of these products in detail, selecting the banana as
being the most familiar to us at the north. It seems that the female
banana-tree (for we must remember that there are sexes in the vegetable
as well as in the animal kingdom), bears more fruit than the male, but
not so large. The average clusters of the former comprise about one
hundred, but the latter rarely bears over sixty or seventy distinct
specimens of this finger-shaped fruit. The stem grows to about ten feet
in height; from the centre of its broad leaves, which gather palm-like
at the top, there springs forth a large purple bud ten inches long,
shaped like a huge acorn, though more pointed. This cone-like bud hangs
suspended from a strong stem, upon which a leaf unfolds, displaying a
cluster of young fruit. As soon as these are large enough to support the
heat of the sun and the chill of the night dews, the sheltering leaf
drops off, and another unfolds, exposing its little brood of fruit; and
so the process goes on until six or eight rings of young bananas are
started, which gradually develop to full size. The banana is a plant
which dies down to the ground after fruiting, but it annually sprouts
again from the same roots.

We will continue our journey towards Havana by way of Matanzas, crossing
the island so as to penetrate at once into a section of luxuriant
tropical nature, where we see the cactus in great variety, flowering
trees, and ever-graceful palms, with occasional trees of the ceba family
grown to vast size. Vegetation here, unlike human beings, seems never to
grow old, never to falter in productiveness; crop succeeds crop, harvest
follows harvest; it is an endless cycle of abundance. Miles upon miles
of the bright, golden sugar-cane lie in all directions; among the
plantations here and there is seen the little cluster of low buildings
constituting the laborers' quarters, and near by is the tall, white
chimney of the sugar-mill, emitting its thick volume of smoke, like the
funnel of a steamship. A little on one side stands the planter's house,
low and white, surrounded by shade-trees and flower-plats. Scores of
dusky Africans give life to the scene, and the overseer, on his little
Cuban pony, dashes hither and thither to keep all hands advantageously
at work. One large gang is busy cutting the ripe cane with sword-like
knives; some are loading the stalks upon ox-carts; some are driving
loads to the mill; and some are feeding the cane between the great steel
crushers, beneath which pours forth a continuous jelly-like stream which
is conducted by iron pipes to the boilers. Men, women, and children are
spreading the refuse to dry in the sun, after which it will be used as
fuel beneath the boilers. Coopers are heading up hogsheads full of the
manufactured article, and other laborers are rolling up empty ones to
be filled. Formerly the overseers were never seen without the
long-lashed whip, but slavery no longer exists as an institution. The
negroes are free, though they work for very small wages.

Occasionally in the trip across the island we pass through a crude but
picturesque hamlet, having the mouldering stamp of antiquity, with low
straggling houses built of rude frames, covered at side and roof with
palm-bark and leaves. Chimneys, there are none,--none even in the
cities,--charcoal being alone used, and all cooking is done in the open
air. About the doors of the long, irregular posada, or inn, a dozen
saddle-horses are seen tied to a bar erected for the purpose, while
their owners are smoking and drinking inside; but there are no wheeled
vehicles to be seen. The roads are only passable for men on foot or
horseback. The people, the cabins, and the horses all are stained with
the red dust of the soil, recalling our Western Indians in their war
paint. This pigment, or colored dirt, penetrates and adheres to
everything, fills the railroad cars, and decorates the passengers with a
dingy brick color. It is difficult to realize that these comparatively
indifferent places through which we glide so swiftly are of any
importance, and the permanent home of any one. When the cars stop at the
small way-stations, they are instantly boarded by lottery-ticket
sellers, boys with tempting fruit, green cocoanuts, ripe oranges, and
bananas, all surprisingly cheap. Here, too, is the guava-seller, with
neatly sealed tin cans of this favorite preserve. Indeed, it seems to
rain guava jelly in Cuba. At a shanty beside the road where we stop at
noon, a large mulatto woman retails coffee and island rum, while a score
of native whites lounge about with slouched hats, hands in pockets, and
puffing cigarettes,--pictures of idleness and indifference.

Stray dogs hang about the car-wheels and track to pick up the crumbs
which passengers throw away from their lunch-baskets. Just over the wild
pineapple hedge close at hand, half a dozen naked negro children hover
round the door of a low cabin; the mother, fat and shining in her one
garment, gazes with arms akimbo at the scene of which she forms a
typical part. The engineer imbibes a penny drink of thin Cataline wine
and hastens back to his post. The station bell rings, the steam whistle
is sounded, and we are quickly on our way again, to repeat the picture
six or eight leagues farther on.

As we approach Matanzas, the scene undergoes a radical change.
Comfortable habitations are multiplied, good roads appear winding
gracefully about the country, and groves and gardens come into view with
small dairy farms. Superb specimens of the royal palm begin to multiply
themselves, always suggestive of the Corinthian column. Scattered about
the scene a few handsome cattle are observed cropping the rank verdure.
There is no greensward in the tropics, grass is not cultivated, and hay
is never made. Such fodder as is fed to domestic animals is cut green
and brought into the city from day to day.

Notwithstanding the ceaseless novelty of the scene, one becomes a little
fatigued by the long, hot ride; but as we draw nearer to Matanzas, the
refreshing air from the Gulf suddenly comes to our relief, full of a
bracing tonic which renders all things tolerable. The sight of the broad
harbor, under such circumstances, lying with its flickering, shimmering
surface under the afternoon sun, is very beautiful to behold.



CHAPTER XXIV.


The island of Cuba was discovered by Columbus, in October of the year
1492; the continent of America was not discovered until six years
later,--that is, in 1498. Columbus and his followers found the land
inhabited by a peculiar race; hospitable, inoffensive, timid, fond of
the dance, yet naturally indolent. They had some definite idea of God
and heaven, and were governed by patriarchs whose age gave them
precedence. They spoke the dialect of the Lucagos or Bahamas, from which
islands it was thought they originated, but it would seem more
reasonable to suppose that both the people of the Bahamas and of the
West Indian islands originally came from the mainland; that is, either
from north or south of the Isthmus of Panama.

The natives were at once subjected by the new-comers, who reduced them
to a condition of slavery, and proving to be hard taskmasters, the poor
overworked creatures died by hundreds, until they had nearly
disappeared. They were of tawny complexion, and beardless, resembling in
many respects our native Indians. As Columbus described them in his
first letter sent to his royal patrons in Spain, they were "loving,
tractable, and peaceable; though entirely naked, their manners were
decorous and praiseworthy." The wonderful fertility of the soil, its
range of noble mountains, its widespread and well-watered plains, with
its extended coast-line and excellent harbors, all challenged the
admiration of the discoverers, so that Columbus recorded in his journal
these words: "It is the most beautiful island that the eyes of man ever
beheld, full of excellent ports and deep rivers."

The Spaniards were surprised to see the natives using rude pipes, in
which they smoked a certain dried leaf with apparent gratification.
Tobacco was native to the soil, and in the use of this now well-nigh
universal narcotic, these simple savages indulged in an original luxury,
or habit, which the Spanish invaders were not slow in acquiring.

The flowers were strongly individualized. The frangipanni, tall, and
almost leafless, with thick, flesh-like shoots, and decked with a small,
white blossom, was fragrant and abundant. Here, also, was the wild
passion-flower, in which the Spaniards thought they beheld the emblem of
our Saviour's passion. The golden-hued peta was found beside the
myriad-flowering oleander and the night-blooming cereus, while the
luxuriant undergrowth was braided with the cactus and the aloe. They
were also delighted by tropical fruits in confusing variety, of which
they knew not even the names.

This was four hundred years ago, and to-day the same flowers and the
same luscious fruits grow upon the soil in similar abundance. Nature in
this land of endless summer puts forth strange eagerness, ever running
to fruits, flowers, and fragrance, as if they were outlets for her
exuberant fancy.

Diego Velasquez, the first governor of the island under Spanish rule,
appears to have been an energetic magistrate, and to have ruled affairs
with intelligence. He did not live, however, in a period when justice
erred on the side of mercy, and his harsh and cruel treatment of the
natives will always remain a blot upon his memory. Emigration was
fostered by the home government, and cities were established in the
several divisions of the island; but the new province was mainly
considered in the light of a military station by the Spanish government
in its operations against Mexico. Thus Cuba became the headquarters of
the Spanish power in the west, forming the point of departure for those
military expeditions which, though small in number, were yet so
formidable in the energy of the leaders, and in the arms, discipline,
courage, fanaticism, and avarice of their followers, that they were
fully adequate to carry out the vast scheme of conquest for which they
were designed.

The Spaniards who invaded Mexico encountered a people who had attained a
far higher degree of civilization than their red brethren of the
outlying Caribbean Islands, or those of the northeastern portion of the
continent, now forming the United States. Vast pyramids, imposing
sculptures, curious arms, fanciful garments, various kinds of
manufactures, filled the invaders with surprise. There was much which
was curious and strange in their religion, while the capital of the
Mexican empire presented a fascinating spectacle to the eyes of Cortez
and his followers. The rocky amphitheatre in the midst of which it was
built still remains, but the great lake which was its grandest feature,
traversed by causeways and covered with floating gardens, is gone. The
Aztec dynasty was doomed. In vain did the inhabitants of the conquered
city, roused to madness by the cruelty and extortion of the victors,
expel them from their midst. Cortez refused to flee further than the
shore; the light of his burning vessels rekindled the desperate valor of
his followers, and Mexico fell, as a few years after did Peru beneath
the sword of Pizarro, thus completing the scheme of conquest, and
giving Spain a colonial empire more splendid than that of any power in
Christendom.

In the meantime, under numerous and often-changed captains-general, the
island of Cuba increased in population by free emigration from Spain,
and by the constant cruel importation of slaves from Africa. It may be
said to have been governed by a military despotism from the outset to
the present time, and nothing short of such an arbitrary rule could have
maintained the connection between the island and so exacting a mother
country, situated more than three thousand miles across the ocean.

The form of the island is quite irregular, resembling the blade of a
Turkish cimeter slightly curved back, or that of a long, narrow
crescent. It stretches away in this shape from east to west, throwing
its western end into a curve, and thus forming a partial barrier to the
outlet of the Gulf of Mexico, as if at some ancient period it had been a
part of the American continent, severed on its north side from the
Florida Peninsula by the wearing of the Gulf Stream, and from Yucatan on
its southwestern point by a current setting into the Gulf. Two channels
are thus formed by which the Mexican Gulf is entered.

One neither departs from nor approaches the Cuban shore without crossing
that remarkable ocean-river to which we have so often referred in these
pages,--the Gulf Stream,--with banks and bottom of cold water, while its
body and surface are warm. Its color in the region of the Gulf is
indigo-blue, so distinct that the eye can follow its line of demarkation
where it joins the common water of the sea. Its surface temperature on
the coast of the United States is from 75° to 80°. Its current, of a
speed of four to five miles per hour, expends immense power in its
course, and forms a body of water in the latitude of the Carolina coast
fully two hundred miles wide. Its temperature diminishes very gradually,
while it moves thousands of leagues, until one branch loses itself in
Arctic regions, and the other breaks on the coast of Europe.

The sea-bottom, especially near the continents, resembles the
neighboring land, and consists of hills, mountains, and valleys, like
the earth upon which we live. A practical illustration of this fact is
found in the soundings taken by the officers of our Coast Survey in the
Caribbean Sea, where a valley was found giving a water-depth of three
thousand fathoms, twenty-five miles south of Cuba. The Cayman Islands,
in that neighborhood, are the summits of mountains bordering this deep
valley at the bottom of the sea, which has been found, by a series of
soundings, to extend over seven hundred miles from between Cuba and
Jamaica nearly to the Bay of Honduras, with an average breadth of eighty
miles. Thus the island of Grand Cayman, scarcely twenty feet above
sea-level, is said to be a mountain-top twenty thousand five hundred and
sixty feet above the bottom of the submarine valley beside which it
rises,--an altitude exceeding that of any mountain on the North American
continent. A little more than five miles, or say twenty-seven thousand
feet, is the greatest depth yet sounded at sea.

Cuba is the most westerly of the West Indian Islands, and compared with
the others has nearly twice as much superficial extent of territory,
being about as large as England proper, without the principality of
Wales. Its greatest length from east to west is very nearly eight
hundred miles, its narrowest part is over twenty miles, and its average
width fifty. The circumference is two thousand miles, and it contains
over forty thousand square miles.

The nearest port of the island to this continent is Matanzas, lying
due-south from Cape Sable, Florida, a distance of a hundred and thirty
miles. Havana is situated some sixty miles west of Matanzas, and it is
here that the island divides the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, whose
coast-line measures six thousand miles, finding the outlet for its
commerce along the shore of Cuba, almost within range of the guns in
Moro Castle. Lying thus at our very door, as it were, this island stands
like a sentinel guarding the approaches to the Gulf of Mexico, whose
waters wash the shores of five of the United States, and by virtue of
the same position barring the entrance of the great river, the
Mississippi, which drains half the continent of North America. So, also,
Cuba keeps watch and ward over our communication with California by way
of the Isthmus of Panama. It is not surprising, therefore, when we
realize the commanding position of the island, that so much interest
attaches to its ultimate destiny.

Matanzas is situated in one of the most fertile portions of the island,
the city covering the picturesque hills by which the bay is surrounded.
The fortifications are of a meagre character and could not withstand a
well-directed attack for half an hour. The custom house is the most
prominent building which strikes the eye on approaching the city by
water. Though built of stone, it is only one story in height, and was
erected at the commencement of the present century. The city is
connected with Havana by railway, of which there are nearly a thousand
miles in operation in the island.

Club life prevails at Matanzas, as usual at the expense of domestic or
family ties; the same may be said of Havana, and both cities in this
respect are like London. It is forbidden to discuss politics in these
Cuban clubs, the hours being occupied mostly in playing cards, dominoes,
chess, and checkers, for money. Gambling is as natural and national in
Cuba as in China. Many Chinese are seen about the streets and stores of
Matanzas, variously employed, and usually in a most forlorn and
impoverished condition,--poor creatures who have survived their
"apprenticeship" and are now free. They were brought here under the
disguise of the Coolie system, as it is called, but which was only
slavery in another form. These Chinese are peaceful, do not drink
spirituous liquors, work hard, never meddle with politics, and live on
one-half they can earn, so as to save enough to pay their passage home
to their beloved land. Few succeed; eight-tenths of those imported into
the island have been not only cheated out of the promised wages, but
worked to death!

The famous afternoon drive and promenade of Matanzas was formerly the
San Carlos Paseo. It has fine possibilities, and is lined and
beautifully ornamented with thrifty Indian laurels. It overlooks the
spacious harbor and outer bay, but is now entirely neglected and
abandoned; even the roadway is green with vegetation, and gullied with
deep hollows. It is the coolest place in the city at the evening hour,
but the people have become so poor that there are hardly a dozen private
vehicles in the city. Matanzas, like all the cities of Cuba, is under
the shadow of depressed business, evidence of which meets one on every
hand.

Havana is a thoroughly representative city, and is the centre of the
talent, wealth, and population of the island. Moro Castle, with its
Dahlgren guns peeping out through the yellow stones, and its tall
lighthouse, stands guard over the narrow entrance of the harbor. The
battery of La Punta, on the opposite shore, answers to the Moro. There
are also the long range of cannon and barracks on the city side, and the
massive fortress of the Cabanas crowning the hill behind the Moro. All
these are decorated with the yellow flag of Spain,--the banner of gold
and blood. These numerous and powerful fortifications show how important
the home government regards this island, and yet modern gunnery renders
these defences comparatively useless.

The city presents a large extent of public buildings, cathedrals,
antique and venerable churches. It has been declared in its prosperity
to be the richest city, for its number of square miles, in Christendom,
but this cannot be truthfully said of it now. There is nothing grand in
its appearance as we enter the harbor, though Baron Humboldt pronounced
it the gayest and most picturesque sight in America. Its architecture is
not remarkable, its enormous prison overshadowing all other public
buildings. This structure is designed to contain five thousand prisoners
at one time. The hills which make up the distant background are not
sufficiently high to add much to the general effect. The few palm-trees
which catch the eye here and there give an Oriental aspect to the scene,
quite in harmony with the atmospheric tone of intense sunshine.

Havana contains numerous institutions of learning, but not of a high
character. It has a medical and a law school, but education is at a low
ebb. There is a Royal Seminary for girls, but it is scarcely more than
a name. The means of obtaining a good education can hardly be said to
exist, and most of the youth of both sexes belonging to the wealthier
class are sent to this country for school purposes. The city was
originally surrounded by a wall, though the population has long since
extended its dwellings and business structures far into what was once
the suburbs. A portion of the old wall is still extant, crumbling and
decayed, but it has mostly disappeared. The narrow streets of the old
town are paved or macadamized, and cross each other at right angles; but
in their dimensions they recall those of Toledo in Spain, whose Moorish
architecture is also followed here.

The Paseo is the favorite afternoon drive of the citizens, where the
ladies in open carriages and the gentlemen on horseback pass and repass
each other, gayly saluting, the ladies with a coquettish flourish of the
fan, and the gentlemen with a peculiar wave of the hand. The Alameda, a
promenade and garden combined,--every Spanish city has a spot so
designated,--skirts the shore of the harbor on the city side, near the
south end of Oficios Street, and is a favorite resort for promenaders,
where a refreshing coolness is breathed from off the sea. This Alameda
might be a continuation of the Neapolitan Chiaja (the afternoon resort
of Naples). With characteristics quite different, still these shores
remind us of the Mediterranean, Sorrento, Amalfi, and Capri, recalling
the shadows which daily creep up the heights of San Elmo, and disappear
with the setting sun behind the orange-groves.

The cathedral of Havana, on Empedrado Street, is a structure of much
interest, its rude pillared front of defaced and moss-grown stone
plainly telling of the wear of time. The two lofty towers are hung with
many bells which daily call to morning and evening prayers, as they have
done for a hundred years and more. The church is not elaborately
ornamented, but strikes one as being unusually plain. It contains a few
oil paintings of moderate merit; but most important of all is the tomb
where the ashes of Columbus so long reposed. All that is visible of this
tomb, which is on the right of the altar, is a marble tablet six feet
square, upon which, in high relief, is a bust of the great discoverer.

As we view the scene, Military Mass begins. The congregation is very
small, consisting almost exclusively of women, who seem to do penance
for both sexes in Cuba. The military band, which leads the column of
infantry, marches, playing an operatic air, while turning one side for
the soldiery to pass on towards the altar. The time-keeping steps of the
men upon the marble floor mingle with drum, fife, and organ. Over all,
one catches now and then the subdued voice of the priest, reciting his
prescribed part at the altar, where he kneels and reads alternately. The
boys in white gowns busily swing incense vessels; the tall, flaring
candles cast long shadows athwart the high altar; the files of soldiers
kneel and rise at the tap of the drum; seen through an atmosphere
clouded by the fumes of burning incense, all this combines to make up a
picture which is sure to forcibly impress itself upon the memory.

It seems unreasonable that, when the generous, fruitful soil of Cuba is
capable of producing two or three crops of vegetation annually, the
agricultural interests of the island should be so poorly developed.
Thousands of acres of virgin soil have never been broken. Cuba is
capable of supporting a population of almost any density; certainly
five or six millions of people might find goodly homes here, and yet the
largest estimate of the present number of inhabitants gives only a
million and a half. When we tread the fertile soil and behold the
clustering fruits in such abundance,--the citron, the star-apple, the
perfumed pineapple, the luscious banana, and others,--not forgetting the
various noble woods which caused Columbus to exclaim with pleasure, we
are forcibly struck with the thought of how much nature, and how little
man, has done for this "Eden of the Gulf." We long to see it peopled by
those who can appreciate the gifts of Providence,--men willing to do
their part in grateful recognition of the possibilities so liberally
bestowed by Heaven.

As we go on shipboard to sail for our American home, some reflections
naturally occur to us. To visit Cuba is not merely to pass over a few
degrees of latitude; it is to take a step from the nineteenth century
back into the dark ages. In a climate of tropical luxuriance and endless
summer, we are in a land of starless political darkness. Lying under the
lee of a Republic, where every man is a sovereign, is a realm where the
lives, liberties, and fortunes of all are held at the will of a single
individual, who acknowledges no responsibility save to a nominal ruler
more than three thousand miles away.

Healthful in climate, varied in productions, and most fortunately
situated for commerce, there must yet be a grand future in store for
Cuba. Washed by the Gulf Stream on half her border, she has the
Mississippi pouring out its riches on one side, and the Amazon on the
other. In such close proximity to the United States, and with so obvious
a common interest, her place seems naturally to be within our own
constellation of stars.

But as regards the final destiny of Cuba, that question will be settled
by certain economic laws which are as sure in their operation as are
those of gravitation. No matter what our individual wishes may be in
this matter, such feelings are as nothing when arraigned against natural
laws. The commerce of the island is a stronger factor in the problem
than is mere politics; it is the active agent of civilization all over
the world. It is not cannon, but ships; not gunpowder, but peaceful
freights which settle the great questions of mercantile communities. As
the United States take over ninety per cent of her entire exports,
towards this country Cuba naturally looks for fellowship and protection.
The world's centre of commercial gravity is changing very fast by reason
of the rapid development of the United States, and all lands surrounding
the Union must conform, sooner or later, to the prevailing lines of
motion.

[Illustration: Shell.]





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