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Title: Mr. Oseba's Last Discovery
Author: Bell, George W.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mr. Oseba's Last Discovery" ***

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[Illustration: _MR. OSEBA._]



    MR. OSEBA'S
    LAST DISCOVERY.

                                             By GEO. W. BELL
                                   (Col. BELL, Seven Years U.S. Consul,
                                   At Sydney, Australia).

    _The conspicuous happiness and prosperity of a people, are the best
                       evidences of benign rule._

                           WELLINGTON, N.Z.:
           THE NEW ZEALAND TIMES CO., LTD., PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS.
                                 1904.

    _To the People of New Zealand, the most
    advanced community among men, the
    Author dedicates these erratic pages...._



_ERRATA._


Page 87, line 27, read "manor," not "manner." Page 150, line 18,
"£168,849,381," not "£120,981,599."--Later Year Book. An experienced
and painstaking friend has called my attention to several typographical
errors, and a few immaterial ones in grammar. These faults I deeply
regret, but considering my own imperfections, I am glad they are so few
and so immaterial.

    "Teach me to feel another's woe,
        To hide the fault I see.
    That mercy I to others show,
        That mercy show to me."

A NOTE.


Many regard the usual "preface" to a book as of questionable value, but
custom may justify the continuance of its use.

I had long been a student of Anglo-Saxon history, but until I went to
Australia in 1893, I had seen little hope for a realisation of the
higher aspirations of the race.

Being an individualist, a democrat of democrats, I hold that the unit
of society is its basic factor, and, while in those far-off lands,
I saw a vague recognition of this truth, I also saw a mergence of
democracy into socialism, that failed to satisfy my definitions.

I came to New Zealand in early 1903, on a lecture tour. I was well
received; and, as I could never remain in a place over night without
inquiring "who started the town," and for what purpose, I began an
inquiry into the situation.

I had heard and read that this colony was "submerged with socialism,"
and "given over to the falsehood of extremes," so I studied the
literature, I mingled with the people, I attended the parliamentary
sittings, and--took notes.

I found in the Press, a broad independence; in the people, a sturdy
self-reliance; and in the statesmen, a feeling that they were the
chosen servants of the public, by whom a ripened sentiment was to be
clothed in the forms, and vitalised with the force, of law.

I found that what the uninformed derisively-called "Socialism"
consisted chiefly in a series of co-operative measures, that seemed
to promise, not "nerveless socialism," but the most sturdy democracy
civilization had ever produced.

In my reveries, I reviewed the old books; I re-trod the path of human
progress; I re-measured the struggles and the achievements of the
Anglo-Saxon race, and, comparing the environing conditions with the
social forces now at work, I wrote.

Being a "stranger," I had no interest, save in seeing my long-cherished
theories on the way to realisation; having no acquaintances, I had no
friends to flatter or enemies to criticise; and, having no favors to
ask, I found it easy, in a free off-hand way, to note my impressions
with impartiality.

I clothed my subject in a garb of fiction, that I might wrest from
the reader the memories of the daily struggle with stubborn facts; I
adopted a style, that I believed would be appreciated for its audacious
novelty, and, though the eloquent flights of my chief character may
seem picturesque, he but expresses the impressions, the feelings, and,
further, the opinions of--

                                                            THE AUTHOR.



INDEX.


                                                                  PAGE

    SCENE I                                                       1-10

    A Stormy Voyage.--Leo Bergin Appears.--He has Discovered the Great
    Discoverer.--Sudden Separation.

    SCENE II                                                     11-17

    Leo Bergin Turns Up.--Foolishly Dies.--Comfortably Buried.--The
    Strange Diary.

    SCENE III                                                    18-61

    A Strange Story.--Unravelling a Romantic Career.--Over the Oval to
    Cavatorus.--The Man from Symmes' Hole.

    SCENE IV                                                     62-71

    First Discoveries of Mr. Oseba.--The Splendor of the City of
    Eurania.--Reports on His Discoveries.--Discovered Ah, Sin, Lu and
    Other "Inferior" Races.--Somewhat Discovers Europe.

    SCENE V                                                     72-86

    The British Isles "Discovered".--Classic Land.--The Briton, the
    Salt of the Earth.--Britain, the Salt Mine.--Africa and South
    America Discovered.--Essay on Rights _v._ Color.

    SCENE VI                                                    87-96

    America Discovered.--Others a Little Ahead.--Britain's Noblest
    Contribution.--Wonderful Progress.--A Sad Story, but a Pleasing
    Digression.

    SCENE VII                                                  98-108

    Australia Discovered.--Mr. Oseba is Encouraged.--Lauds Australia's
    Achievements.--Room To Let.--Slowing Down Under a Heavier Load.

    SCENE VIII.--ACT I.                                       109-136

    Mr. Oseba's Last Discovery.--New Zealand on the Map.--Zealandia,
    by the Poets.--Zelania, by the Shadowas.--Leo Bergin's
    Reveries.--Scenes so Grand that Words are Meaningless.--The Maoris
    Discovered.--Strange and Romantic.

    SCENE VIII.--ACT II.                                      137-160

    Appropriating the World.--Some Comparisons.--Allegiance of
    Love.--Happy Conditions.--Produce Noble Ideas.--Some Interesting
    Comparisons.--Mr. Oseba in Good Form, Spicy Spice.--Leo Bergin
    Pimples Out into Poetry.--Dividing the Land.--Barons _v._
    Settlers.--Sheep _v._ Children.--Sacred Rights.

    SCENE VIII.--ACT III.                                     161-175

    Utilitarian.--Acres and Flocks.--Profitable Exercise.--Public
    Utilities, Have, &c.--King Demus.--Cannonaded and
    Canonised.--Business.--Graduated Tax, an Eloquent
    Persuader.--Nature's Pleasing Freaks.

    SCENE VIII.--ACT IV.                                      176-198

    The Moral Side.--People Like to Live.--On the
    Make.--Inspiring.--Women Came, Result.--Mental
    Gymnastics.--Schools, Books, &c.--Other Tastes.--Social
    Progress.--Opinion's Sake.--Many Worships.--Toleration and Good
    Fellowship.

    SCENE VIII.--ACT V.                                      199-225

    Worthy of His Hire.--The Toiler Allowed to Live.--So Decreed by
    Law.--May not all be worthy.--Justice Elevates.--Some Leaders,
    but Public Sentiment the Force.--No High, and No Low.--Advanced
    Notions.--Old Age Pensions, &c.--Pleasing Outings Amid Wild
    Sport and Romantic Scenes.--Raising the Ideals, with a Climax.


INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.

Save that that of the Hon. R. J. Seddon is placed facing page 8, Sir
Joseph Ward facing page 16, the New Zealand Cabinet facing page 24,
and Mr. T. E. Donne facing page 32, all the illustrations are spaced
evenly through the work, classed or grouped consecutively, but owing to
evident impossibilities they do not conform strictly to the text. All
the illustrations are typically New Zealand.



_SCENE I._

INCONCLUSIVE ALLUSIONS.


This, being a true story, with the slight deviations necessary to the
preservation of a due sense of proportion, it is deemed proper to
casually introduce the characters on whom we must chiefly rely for the
truthfulness or otherwise, of a most romantic adventure.

In such an introduction, the Editor, or compiler--the "I" in these
pages--necessarily appears, but to the Chronicler himself, who has no
"poetic license," we must rely for the correctness of the recital.

Though without my aid this strange story might possibly have reached
the world, the manner of its coming into my hands has made me a
"curtain-shifter," as it were, in the scenes, and in this pleasing
task, fidelity shall be my only guide.

I was not "journeying towards Damascus," but being weary from many
wanderings, and desirous of returning to dear old London as soon as
possible, at Marseilles, I booked for Amsterdam on the fine passenger
steamer _Irene_--the voyage, however, to be broken for a brief stay
over at Lisbon.

It was midnight when we swung from our moorings and steamed out of the
harbor, and, the sea being rough and I a bad sailor, I did not venture
on the upper deck until nearly lunch time the following day. I was
not too well. The sea was not placid, the air was damp and chill,
and--well--I was not happy.

The decks were "sparsely populated," and as I was slowly zigzagging
my way along, in a sense of utter loneliness, raising my eyes, my
attention was aroused by the presence of what seemed a familiar figure.
It was the graceful form of a tall, well-proportioned young man. His
face was pale, his head was bent forward, he leaned heavily over the
starboard railing of the vessel, and I imagined that he, too, was
not well. I did not recognise him, but sympathy and curiosity, and,
perhaps, custom, lead me half unconsciously to his side. I said to him
soothingly, "It is rather rough to-day." He raised himself a little,
leaned a little further over the ship's railing, and made a convulsive
movement. He was "not well," but raising himself more erectly, he
turned towards me slightly, and ironically said, "Thanks, so I have
been informed." The "tone" of the expression was unkind, for my motives
were good and my conduct was as wise as the occasion would suggest.

His voice limped piteously, but it had something in it of old
familiarity. "You?" said I. My voice also had in it to him something
of old familiarity. I looked in his face. He returned my gaze. The
recognition was mutual.

"Leo Bergin!" said I.

"Sir Marmaduke!" said he.

"You have come to bring unholy memories," said I.

"And you have come to reproach me," said he, in tones of agony I shall
never forget.

"No," said I, "Leo Bergin, I give my hand. 'Let the dead past bury its
dead.' Look not sorrowfully over the past--it comes not again--but with
resolute heart and strong hand brave the future, and thou shall find a
crown or a grave. List--not another word of the past; but, Leo Bergin,
what of the future?"

"Thou art kind," said he, with bowed head, and in good Bible phrase,
"but I ill deserve your generosity."

"List," said I again, "Leo, what of the future?"

"The future?" said he, with bowed head, downcast eye, and awfully
solemn voice, "the future? Because I know the past I feign would die;
because I know not the future, I am cowardly enough to live. You know,
my friend, my benefactor, that I have talent, good looks, and industry,
but the world," said he more sadly, "is against me."

Yes, I had heard before that Leo Bergin had "talent, good looks, and
industry." In fact, Leo Bergin, on a memorable occasion, had himself
confessed to me as much. Ah! my brothers, what good opinions we have
of ourselves. All of us, men and women, think ourselves possessed of
talent, good looks and social merits; but here our self-satisfaction
ends, for the dull world, whom we could so well serve, failing to
appreciate us, we are left a prey to neglect, and often to despair.

Ah! my brothers, we forget that we are not impartial judges; that the
world is impartial and may be just in its conclusions. How kindly we
think of ourselves! In the person who readily agrees with us, what
noble qualities of soul and mind we discover. But 'tis well, for
conceit, foolish as it may seem, often saves us from despair.

Yes, Leo Bergin had talent, education, good looks, and industry; but
Leo Bergin, I had concluded from the occasion referred to, was erratic,
"a shingle short"--in fact, not "all there."

"But, Leo," said I, "where are you bound?"

"To h----," said he, in phrase quite jocular, in tones almost bitterly
sad.

"Ah!" said I, "pack your kit then and step off at old Cadiz, for that
is on the border."

But the bugle blew for lunch, and the association of ideas drove Leo
Bergin to his cabin, and, with a sickly promise to "come later," I was
left to ponder over the strange events of life--events that often lead
to such meetings; the meetings, in turn, to lead to other events, even
more strange and interesting.


A FRIEND IN NEED.

Well, my reader, while Leo Bergin is below, striving to compromise with
his digestion, I will relate to you some of his peculiarities, that you
may be prepared for his wonderful recital.

It was January 10th, 1898, as he entered my room on Great Russell
Street, just opposite the British Museum, London, that I first saw him.
He knocked at my door, gently; he entered my room, quietly; he sat
down familiarly, and he opened the interview, promptly. I will not say
Leo Bergin, on this occasion, was not modest; I will say he did not
hesitate.

Had Leo Bergin remained silent I would have known that he was out of
money, out of luck, out of friends, and almost out at the knees and
elbows. But he evidently doubted my powers of perception, for, with
superfluous frankness and eloquent volubility, he informed me that he
only wanted a "loan" for a short time until he could "get on his feet."

These stories were very common. They had been very "taking" with me,
but desiring to avoid occupying a like position I had grown impatient
and crusty, possibly a little hard-hearted, so I looked squarely into
his fine eyes, and asked him "to get on his feet" at once.

He arose, looked me in the face, not with defiance or humiliation, not
with shame or impudence, but like a man. He said, "I am down." That was
evident, but the soft saying of this had always cost me heavily, and,
softening again, I asked who he was and what he could do.

He said, "I am an American; I was born in Virginia, lived in
California, have done newspaper work in New Zealand, and as a
journalist I am in London--and down."

I weakened. The man who had been born in Virginia, lived in California,
and done newspaper work in New Zealand, could not be wholly depraved,
for the very air of these three favored spots would preserve some
semblance of virtue.

"I surrender," said I; "express your most fervent wish and it shall be
granted."

He betrayed little emotion. His countenance remained placid, but
he said, "I have talent, good looks, and industry, and I want
employment,--I desire to earn my living. I asked for a loan, but it
was in despair, and I desired to replace my lost revolver that I might
'quit this ghastly dream called life' before another week's board was
due. But under the spell of your words, 'a change came o'er the spirit
of my dream,' and now I must live."

"Must!" said I, "you assert this 'must' with such emphasis, perhaps
you would tell me why you _must_ live? For my part I see no actual
necessity for it--not the least."

A cloud was on his brow. He remained silent and immovable as a statue.

"Cheer up, old fellow," said I, "for if you desire to earn your living,
I will secure a position for you."

I knew who wanted a man, "talented, good-looking and industrious." I
gave Leo Bergin a suit of my clothes--just a little soiled, I confess,
for, as a fact, I never could obey that divine injunction regarding the
giving my brother a coat, until it was a little soiled. I gave him a
strong letter to a friend on Trafalgar Square, and Leo Bergin stepped
into a good position.

I was called to the Continent for a few months on important duty. Time
went on and within a few weeks I received a brief note.

                                                 "Trafalgar Square,
                                                               "London.

"To my Benefactor,

"Yours of ---- received. Glad,--you deserve it. I am well. I think my
employer is satisfied, but I am a little restless.

                                                               "LEO."

"Talent, good looks, and ambition, but a fool," said I, "and he will
never get on."

A few more weeks passed, and another note came from "Trafalgar Square,
London." This was less brief than the other. It read:--

                                                 "Trafalgar Square,
                                                               "London.

"Dear Sir,

"Leo Bergin is not at his desk. He has appropriated enough of my money
to enable him to take a vacation, and--he left no address. Talent, good
looks, and ambition Leo Bergin has, to some degree, but he is evidently
a d---- villain. What did you know about this fellow, anyway?

                                                        "D. J. FOLDER."

There seemed no vagueness in this note, but I pondered. What did I
know about him? Only that he was once born in Virginia, had lived in
California, and had done newspaper work in New Zealand. Musingly, I
said, "Perchance the villain lied." This solved the problem for the
time, for it seemed more likely that a man should even lie, than go
wrong with such a record.

For the time I lost all respect for Leo Bergin. To deliberately rob a
confiding employer is reprehensible, and if Leo Bergin in this had not
shown himself a thief, he had betrayed an entire lack of a sense of
proportion. This was one side of Leo Bergin's character.

But lapses, my brothers, do not establish total depravity, for it
is reported "of old" that a gentleman, on a very serious occasion,
prevaricated on a very potent fact, and when confronted, "he denied."
When pressed, "he denied with an oath," and yet this gentleman has been
kindly remembered and well spoken of.


TEMPESTUOUS.

The wind increased in violence. It was a wild night. The blue
Mediterranean was angry, but the good ship plunged ahead like a defiant
monster. For two days more, the decks were unoccupied save by the
careless sailors. The tables looked "lonesome," for the storm still
raged in fury.

The hours and the days, that seemed like weeks and months, wore away.
We rounded Cape Vincent, when immediately the wind ceased, the sea was
calm, the ship rode smoothly, the air was balmy, and the passengers,
like a section of the morning of resurrection, appeared plentifully
upon the broad clean decks, and were happy.

[Illustration: _The Right Hon. R. J. Seddon, P.C., LL.D., Prime
Minister, Colonial Treasurer, Minister of Defence, Minister of
Education and Minister of Labour. For over eleven years the sturdy
Leader of the most progressive democracy of all the ages._]

Leo Bergin also appeared on deck. His smile was feeble, his grasp
was languid, but he spoke earnestly of beef-steak and coffee, and I
felt that he was--"better." Old Cadiz had been passed, and he had
evidently concluded to try some climate other than the one previously
suggested. We sat--we chatted. I was to leave the ship at Lisbon,
finishing my journey by the next steamer. He?--I did not know.
Strange, when we do people a favour we at once feel an interest in
them. Possibly we feel somewhat responsible for such an one's conduct.
Possibly, too, and more likely, we desire their success, that we may
take to ourselves a little credit for a "happy career."

I had done Leo Bergin a favor, was interested in him, and asked as to
his "future." His glance was friendly, his smile doubtful; he drew his
chin lower on his bosom, drummed on a book with his gloved fingers, and
said, "Well, I have made an acquaintance with a mysterious personage.
I have talent, good looks, and ambition, but I am an outcast, and I
am going on a new venture. You know the Folder episode, and, to be
frank, after a serious review of the case, I question the propriety
of my action, and now that the money is gone, I have many qualms of
conscience."

I was not a little surprised, but I was glad to discover that he
believed himself to have a little conscience, for as "conscience does
make cowards of us all," I hoped for his reform.

We sat side by side, and planting his closed hand firmly on my knee by
way of emphasis, he said, "Yes, I have made a new acquaintance, that
of a mysterious personage, and I am now starting on the most reckless,
the most risky, the most irrational, and the most romantic venture ever
undertaken by mortal man, and if I succeed you shall hear from me;
but if I fail, oblivion will claim Leo Bergin, and the claim will be
promptly allowed. I made my new acquaintance and formed my new plans
but yesterday, and I stand at the dawn of the most enchanting dream
that ever lured a sensible man to ruin."

I begged him to unfold his tale, but he answered, "You are a practical
man, and you would regard my undertaking as so wild and visionary as to
indicate insanity, for you do not regard me as an imbecile. If I fail,
only another leaf, its stem nipped by the frost, flutters to the ground
to fertilise the soil. If I fail, the world, save you, knows not of my
folly. If I succeed, the facts that I shall reveal will be more strange
than fiction, and the results of my adventure will redound to the glory
of the land I love."

"Ill as I was," he continued, "I began my notes yesterday, October
5th, 1898, off the coast of Spain, and I shall keep a true record of
my doings and my observations. If I survive, which is hardly likely,
I shall find you and place my notes at your disposal. If I perish--if
possible you shall have them brought down to the last breath, and in
every page you shall have evidence of my gratitude and my integrity."

"But tell me," said I, with impatience. Here the whistle blew, we
saw all confusion, and we were entering the port of Lisbon. Time for
further explanation, there was none. We separated, I to follow out
well-laid plans for business and pleasure, he--well, to me it was an
unsolvable riddle; but I never lost faith that, some time and in some
place, Leo Bergin would again turn up.



_SCENE II._

LEO BERGIN "TURNS UP."


Two years had passed, and with all my professions of interest and
regard, for a full year of that time Leo Bergin had not entered my
mind, and for the whole two years, he had occupied very little of
my thoughts. As a fact, save on one occasion when D. J. Folder, in
forgiving jest told me that he needed a man, and asked if I could
recommend a young man with "talent, good looks and ambition," for the
position, I do not remember having thought of Leo Bergin.

Absence defaces memory. Ah! how quickly we are forgotten. We spend our
brief time upon this showy stage, assuming that we are necessary to the
world's success or pleasure, but when we drop to senseless dust, all
save a few, go merrily on, and even they, in a day or a few days, dry
their tears and join the happy throng again.

Later, in the autumn of 1900, I was called to Copenhagen on business,
and having made the acquaintance of a prominent physician there, I was
invited to visit one of the leading hospitals.

In going the rounds of the various wards, we were informed that several
new patients had just entered, brought from a ship which had returned
from a North Polar voyage. This would satisfy some curiosity, and soon
we were among the new patients. There were a dozen in all, mostly
Russians, Finns, and Danes, but at one side of the ward we noticed
there were two pale-looking fellows, conversing in English.

Instinctively I walked across to their presence, when to my
astonishment, gazing earnestly at me, I recognised the sad, pitiful
face, of emaciated, health-broken Leo Bergin.

His eyes brightened slightly, he smiled faintly, and reached a feeble
faltering hand to meet mine, in friendly greeting. There was time for
smiles of waning joy, time for sighs and tears of pity, but for words,
the time had well nigh sped, for Leo Bergin was close to the pearly
gates.

"Sit close," said he, "sit close, for I am sailing for another port,
and while I don't know the nature of the climate, there can be nothing
better, and nothing worse than I have had in this world, so let the
storm howl, and the ship plunge, I am not whining."

So saying, he slightly turned on his bed, and reaching a thin hand
under his pillow, he drew forth a package wrapped in some soft skin,
and tied about with twine.

"Here," said he faintly, "this tells the whole story. It is all good
'stuff,' but I place it at your disposal. If you think it better, you
may boil it down, and if you make anything out of it, well, pay Folder,
for I had a good time with his money, and now I have plenty to last
me through. I don't know how, but some way I knew I should find you,
and this,--it is all true, but the dreams of fiction never unfolded
anything half so strange."

I longed for a few more minutes, but the form of Leo Bergin lay limp
on the bed. His hands were lax, his brow wore a deathly pallor, and
his lips moved slowly in inaudible whispers. I touched his hand, for I
wanted one more word, and as he seemed to slightly revive, I said:

"'Tell my soul, with sorrow laden,' where have you been?"

He aroused a little, smiled, and pointing to the package, gaspingly
said, "It is all there, all there, and I--well, I have been to 'Symmes'
Hole,'"--and when I looked again upon that placid face, the soul of Leo
Bergin had sailed for the other "Port."


ADJUSTING THE CURTAINS.

Leo Bergin, with neatness and despatch, was comfortably buried, myself
being chief mourner, and "after life's fitful fever he sleeps well."
I was impatient to know the contents of the package, but desiring to
enjoy perfect leisure, while unravelling the mystery so intensified by
Leo's earnestness, I reluctantly laid it away, to wait my arrival in
London.

Time passed.

I was back at my old quarters in Great Russell Street, London. The
weather was so chill, dark, and foggy, that, at four, I had lighted
the gas. The fire burned lazily in the small grate. The room was not
uncomfortable, but in harmony with the gloomy surroundings. I was
touched by a feeling of depressing loneliness. I paced the not very
expansive floor, peered through the blackness into the dimly lighted
streets, paced again, lighted a cigar, sat and pondered.

Thrown back in an easy chair, dreamingly watching the graceful whirling
wreaths of my consoling Havana, my thoughts on random wing soared
aimlessly away, to gather up the memories of vanished days. Then, like
gladsome youths on holiday, came trooping along the casual incidents
of an easy life, my last visit to Venice, my run to Marseilles with
Monarco's party, the stormy voyage along the coast of Spain. Ah! here,
in flesh and blood with spare but athletic form, pale scholarly face,
pleasing but rather melancholy smile, gentle voice and cordial, arose
Leo Bergin; a thought! The form vanished, but the "package" was more
substantial, and I hurriedly unpacked my trunk, and drew it forth, just
as he had given it me fully three months earlier.

With a thrill of mingled pain and pleasure, I removed the rough twine,
and unrolled the leather wrapping. My heart throbbed with emotion, my
hand trembled, but my eager eyes beheld a large roll of manuscript
neatly tied with familiar tape.

While I had not even a glimpse of the nature of these notes, I did
not even guess, or attempt to guess, their character. I knew that Leo
Bergin, when quite alive, had talent and ambition--the good looks for
this occasion I will omit--and I knew this was a most interesting, if
not an important "find."

In contemplating the situation, as I leisurely removed all surplus or
superfluous covering, a small scrap of soiled and crumpled paper fell
to the floor, and on picking it up, I was not a little surprised to see
that it was an especial note. It was written in a feeble, but legible
hand, and read as follows:--

                                                   "Nowhere,
                                                       "November, 1900.

"To whoever may find the within,--

"As I am breathing my last, and I am a little anxious to be off, I pray
you to forward at once to Sir Marmaduke, Colonial Club, Whitehall,
London.

                                                           "LEO BERGIN.
                          "Richmond Virginia, late of 'Symmes' Hole.'"

This was another side of the character of Leo Bergin. Mentally, I was
in what may, I think with some propriety, be termed a state of deeply
interested confusion. I unrolled and exposed to view the whole package.
It was voluminous. It was composed of some twenty writing tablets, each
with a large number of thin sheets, foolscap size. These tablets were
consecutively numbered, the pages were closely written on one side, the
first few being in a round neat hand, the skill rather weakening as the
work proceeded.

I was too eager for a general inspection to deliberately peruse any
particular portion or feature of the whole, but there was a sufficient
mass of what seemed by the painstaking methods to make a large volume.

But the mystery still deepened. Where, for what purpose, and under what
circumstances, was the work done? There were here and there strange
names of places, strange personages and strange events recorded. Was
Leo Bergin mad? or was there, in fact, somewhere passing events that
were indeed stranger to us than fiction?

My cigar went out, the fire had "followed suit," I looked at my watch
with some impatience, and it showed the "wee sma' hours" had come. I
was perplexed, paced the floor, and looking out into the street, I saw
how the gusts of wind drove the snow and sleet along with the fury of
a demon. I shuddered as I paced the floor, but how could I unravel the
mystery, the mystery that perplexed me?

"Back into my chamber turning, all my soul within me burning," I said
again, "Where is the key?" for Leo Bergin had talent and ambition, and
while he seemed erratic, he was no visionary dreamer. While Leo Bergin
lacked a sense of proportion, even in his foibles he was practical, and
had at least one eye on the main chance.

"No," said I, "Leo Bergin was no dreamer," he had no fads, no
superstitions, and little imagination, and he was a true Bohemian. He
had a "nose for news," a genius for work, and a love for adventure
that all the fiends in and out of Hades could not thwart.

But how could I unravel the mystery? Where the de'il had he been for
two long years? Who was Symmes? And if Symmes had a hole, where was it?

[Illustration: _The Hon. Sir Joseph Ward, K.C.M.G., Colonial
Secretary, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce and Industries,
Postmaster-General, with Telegraphs, Minister in charge of Tourist and
Health Resorts, and Minister of Public Health. Rather complex, but Sir
Joseph's abilities are as versatile as his duties are varied._]

Here I paused--an idea struck me. "I am a fool," said I--but I would
rave should any one less informed regarding my weakness say so. Ah!
I have it. Here it is, for he said, on our parting, as he handed it
to me, "It is a record of every day's doings and events." Yes, and he
said, on our parting at Lisbon, "I made my new acquaintance, and laid
my plans for future action yesterday. I have begun my work, and I shall
keep a truthful record of every day's doings and events, and on my
return I will place it at your disposal."

"Plain enough, it is all there, and to-morrow I shall begin," said I,
"to unravel this mysterious story."



_SCENE III._

A STRANGE STORY.


"To-morrow" has come. The outside world seems glad to be alive. I--the
Editor--accustomed to mental ease and physical comfort, am confronted
with perplexing duties. My bills are paid, my health is good, and my
mind is clear, but, confound the idea of work! I never liked work, and
I fear even custom will not reconcile me to drudgery. But duty calls,
and, so far, duty has never called upon me in vain.

I--the Editor, remember--am ashamed that I forgot Leo Bergin for two
long years; I am more ashamed that I so nearly forgot the package, the
contents of which may bring pleasure to many a curious and careworn
soul, for, as a fact, I feel rebuked even by the presence of this
evidence of sturdy resolve, so wanting in myself. As a fact, I know,
when I care to be serious, that Leo Bergin, with his restless ambition,
his tireless industry, his dauntless courage, his reckless love of
adventure, and his almost insane determination to turn on a little more
light, with all his faults, was worth to his kind, more than a legion
of happy idlers, who, like myself, were born in wealth, and indolently
dallied in the soft lap of luxury, careless alike to the sorrows and
the joys of common humanity.

Well, as a compromise with my conscience--I think it must be
conscience, for the sensation is new to me--I am determined to unravel
the mystery of Leo Bergin's absence, and, if in the mass of labored
matter, there is one thought or fact or idea worthy of his fine
attainments and insane strife, the world shall find some compensation
for his many errors.

With comfortable surroundings, cheerful fire, easy chair, convenient
desk and table, fine cigars, ample library, a new found sense of duty,
an industry aroused by remorse, and with a sense of deep responsibility
I begin my work, feeling that the suggestion from the dying author to
"boil it down" has vastly augmented the difficulties that confront me.

I am abundantly aware that the age is athirst for fiction, whereas I
have for its patience but a plain unvarnished tale. I know the taste
for graceful periods, while I can give but labored phrase, and I know
the critics want only the "meat," while I must crave the indulgence of
an occasional flourish.

For the present, at least, I shall "boil down" the matter contained in
Leo Bergin's copious notes. In this I may do him an injustice, but I
shall save myself much toil and mental worry.

Of Leo Bergin I shall speak well. He is dead--and by the world's
philosophy, we should speak kindly of the dead. What a vile philosophy!
Why not speak kindly of the living? Why do we taunt, and harpoon, and
revile the erring soul, until it drops into senseless dust, and then,
when our poisoned shafts no longer sting, feel constrained to "speak
kindly of the dead!"

Oh! my brothers, be good to me while I am alive; you may encourage me,
aid me, save me, and when I am dead, you have a standing invitation to
my funeral, and your tongues will not grieve me.

But, goodbye, indolent reverie, goodbye dreamy speculation, goodbye
ease and careless waste of precious hours, and welcome toil, for I
am going to do penance, so welcome wearisome work, and welcome thou
confused mass of spoiled and rumpled paper, for I long to release the
winged words, held so sacredly in your perishable grasp.

'Tis a strange mystery, the power of words. Life is in them, and death.
A word may send the crimson current hurrying to the cheek, hurrying
with many meanings, or may turn it, cold and deadly, to the heart. And
yet, a word is but a breath of passing air. This is pretty--I hope it
is original, but I fear it is not--but here begins the diary, a full
record of the doings and observations of Leo Bergin for two eventful
years. Where is number one? Ah! here it is, a few little old crumpled
sheets I had not seen. No. 1 plain enough. He began on these, and laid
in his supply of paper later. I will quote _verbatim_ the first few
pages, as they may furnish the key to the whole.

Well, then, this is the starting of that career, I hope an interesting
one. It begins:--

                          "At sea, on board steamer _Irene_,
                                         "Off coast Spain,
                                                  "October 5th, 1898.

"Terrible storm! The purser said we were in 'imminent danger.' Danger!
how thrilling!--if a fellow were not so sick. Terrible storm! But, as
compared with my tempestuous soul, the angry Mediterranean is still.

"I regret having met Sir Marmaduke. He did me a kindness; I served
Folder well; Lucile, and I--a poor adventurer--became friends. _The
Times_ wanted me to go to Armenia; I borrowed the money from young
Folder in his father's absence; young Folder, it seems, took the money
from the firm's safe; he fell into disgrace with his father, accused
me, and--well, Folder and Sir Marmaduke and dear Lucile, all think me a
thief. Let the old Mediterranean howl, let her mountainous waves plough
the ground, until all the bones of all she has slain are washed up and
cast on the shores of bloody Spain, and until the Pillars of Hercules
are torn from their base, and I will laugh at raving Nature's petulant
moods, and go down smiling with the wreckage to death and eternal
night. But confound young Folder! and, but for Lucile, I would teach
him a sense of proportion. Sir Marmaduke shall sometime know that he
was not mistaken in me--and Lucile--well, maybe she'd rather think me a
villain, than to know her brother was one."

Well, well! "Oh, my prophetic soul!" Leo Bergin, forgive! Then, Leo
was not a thief, and I, like a common fool, now that the truth is out
should have known that Leo Bergin, with his fine attainments, his
superb vanity, and his indifference to wealth, could not stain his
hands with dishonor. Surely it was a foolish proceeding at such a
juncture for Leo Bergin to die. What fine material for a romance! But
we never romance. He continues:--

"This morning I discovered that I had a strange cabin mate. Physically,
he is the finest type of manly beauty I ever beheld; and, mentally, he
seems above our common human nature. That he is no fool is certain,
that he is not insane, I am fairly well persuaded, and that he is
mistaken seems hardly credible, yet as measured by all the supposed
knowledge of our generation, by the demonstrations of science and
the calculations of thinkers, he talks the most arrant nonsense. His
splendid personality, his easy graceful manners, and his general
intelligence interests one; his 'sublime gift of eloquent gab,' his
seeming logic, and his insinuating ideas are charming, but the seeming
boldness, not to say audacity of his statements astonishes one. But to
me, he is resistless; and for good or ill, success or failure, life or
death, I have cast my lot with him.

"Evening, later. Strange experience this--the storms have no terror for
me. Strange! but this mysterious cabin mate has captivated me. I was so
bewildered with his impossible statements and extravagant claims, and
with all his absolute indifference as to our incredulity, that I sought
refuge in the captain's room, and here, listening to an interesting
recital, I spent four of the most thrilling hours of my life.

"The captain is certainly a gentleman of superior parts. He has a fine
knowledge of astronomy, he is a master of geography, and is deeply
read in the broader and more general physical sciences, and yet, in the
presence of this stranger, as he seems not of our world in any sense
common to our understanding, he is dumb with astonishment.

"This strange being, surely a man, for he eats and drinks and smokes,
and worse, he snores, says he is Amoora Oseba, that he lives in a great
city called Eurania, in a country called Cavitorus, and that his people
are called Shadowas. Save that the mind wanders with an unconscious
effort to locate this country, city, and people, this statement seems
but commonplace.

"But where is Cavitorus? Where is the City of Eurania? and who the
de'il are the Shadowas? Save that he might be regarded as a superior
sample, this Amoora Oseba--which sounds Arabian--might be taken easily
for a Russian, a Dane, a Scot, or a Yankee. But whence came he? Let him
tell us.

"At the captain's suggestion, I invited him to the fore-cabin, where,
seated around a table, our host, the chief engineer, a merchant from
Boston, a parson, my cabin mate and myself, were met for interesting
inquiry.

"The instruments having been brought and the glasses filled, the
captain looked in the face of Mr. Oseba, and said in manly business
tones, 'We have become interested in you, Mr. Oseba, and while your
statements seem most astounding to us, we have invited you to my cabin,
that we might persuade you to give us some explanation of your strange
theories; and as an introduction of the subject, I beg to inquire from
what country you hail, and what is your destination?'

"The question seemed rational, and to most men, how easily answered!
But here was a new experience. All eyes were turned on the handsome,
intelligent, earnest face of my new-made friend and fellow-passenger,
and he said: 'Mystery lies just beyond the visible horizon of the
knowable. Because I have explored the realms of your mental and visible
horizon, either of you could easily answer me such a question, and to
the satisfaction of all; but as my country lies beyond both your mental
and visible horizon, I can only answer by an explanation, moving or
advancing such lines.'

"Here Amoora Oseba took a globe in his hand, and remarked that as
educated men they regarded this as a 'counterfeit presentment' or model
of the world they inhabited. He explained that for millions of years,
our ancestors remained indifferent, and then disputed about the shape
or form of the world they inhabited; that in comparatively recent times
loving men cooked one another for believing the world to be round,
and that in times really but yesterday, the most advanced people had
nothing like a correct conception of the construction of the Universe.

[Illustration: _PREMIER SEDDON AND HIS POLITICAL FAMILY. From left--The
Honorables C. H. Mills, W. C. Walker, C.M.G., R. J. Seddon, P.C. LL.D.,
T. Duncan, J. Carroll, Sir J. G. Ward, K.C.M.G., W. Hall-Jones, J.
McGowan._]

"'In old, old times,' he said, 'our ancestors believed the world to
be flat. That question for thousands of years was considered settled.
For a comparatively brief time the world has been considered to
be round, a solid sphere. This, for this short period, has been the
"settled" notion.'

"But he assured us that the propositions were equally fallacious. The
whole party was inclined to laugh, but he continued. He reminded us
that we all believed in the nebular theory, that our earth, with the
other planets, had been thrown off by the sun's rapid rotary motion;
that in rapid revolution these masses had assumed forms peculiar to
their revolutionary velocity, that planets had in turn thrown off
masses that had become satellites, and that form was a result of
motion, mass, and volume. He reminded us of the natural tendency of
matter to fly from the surface of a rapidly revolving wheel, cylinder,
or globe.

"This was the case with our earth. While yet a yielding or molten mass,
it whirled very rapidly on its axis, the surface cooled and became
rigid, and the molten matter contracted. During this process, the
plastic interior moved towards the crust, the cooling mass requiring
less and less space. Thus the centre parted, and our earth became,
not a solid globe, as you were taught to believe, but an oval ring, a
hollow ball, revolving rapidly as do the rings of Saturn, formed under
the same law, but owing to the mass in her case being greater, the
gravitation of the interior held the central mass together as a planet.
'As a fact,' he said, taking a large apple in his hand, 'if the core
of this apple were removed with a care that would preserve the proper
curvature, I will venture to say "ovality," it would present an exact
model of our world. Then the world is hollow, not solid, and it is
habitable and inhabited over the oval.'

"The members of the party looked at each other with amused curiosity.
'Symmes!' said the captain; 'Hurra for old Kentuck!' said the Yankee;
'Logic!' said the engineer.

"'You smile,' said Oseba, 'but a man may smile and smile, he may even
sneer, and still be wrong.'

"He looked so undisturbed, so dignified and earnest, that levity
ceased, and he said 'As a rule, men accept their opinions ready
made, and they only search for corroborating evidence. When Galileo
proclaimed a new truth, he was silenced, by the frowns of authority.
Who was right? When Bruno proclaimed a great truth, he was cooked, by
authority. Who was right? All your schoolboys of to-day know.'

"'But when Symmes advanced a new theory, because the world had grown
more tolerant or less earnest, he was laughed out of court, while
those who imprisoned Galileo, and cooked Bruno, and ridiculed Columbus
and Magellan, having grown careless, amused themselves by writing of
Symmes' northern regions as "Symmes' Hole."'

"'Well, gentlemen,' said Mr. Oseba, 'I am from over the Oval, from
"Symmes' Hole," and after five years of constant travel and hard study
among the people of the outer world, whom we call Outeroos, I am
returning to "Symmes' Hole," and this young man,' turning to me, 'is
going with me to report.'

"There was no mirth, the captain drumming on the table said, 'Ahem!'
The Yankee said, as he looked quizzically at me, 'Well, I guess he'll
have to muffle himself up pretty good, and I think our house could give
him a proper outfit,' and the engineer said to me, 'raising the curtain
is the most interesting part of the performance.'

"'But this is so far outside of our experience and our observations,'
said the good-natured skipper.

"'Pardon,' said the calm Oseba, 'the observations of your men of
experience have but confirmed our contentions, though the evidence so
far, has not disturbed the hypotheses of your theorists. But what are
the observations of your men of hard experience? This leads to another
line of inquiry.'

"Save by an occasional question, the silence of the listeners had been
unbroken from the start. The subject had been profoundly discussed, and
as the hour was growing late, it was agreed that the party meet at once
after dinner on the following evening. All faces now looked serious.
The captain thanked the stranger, and said, 'We met to scoff, we
remained in rapt attention, we retire to meditate. To-morrow evening,'
said he, 'we will question you, our worthy guest, with a different
feeling. Good night.'

"What a unique experience! How I would like to have had Sir Marmaduke
with us. But Sir Marmaduke thinks I am a thief and unworthy of his
presence.

    "Well, goodbye old day,
    I'll throw me down and sleep my cares away."

By George! that is striking. The man from "Symmes' Hole." Ha! Ha! Well,
I wish I had been there. But Leo Bergin does me an injustice, for I
was too careless to think about his crime, or alleged crime, for, as a
fact, I liked him when I met him, and in his absence, I never thought
either of him or his folly.

"What fools we mortals be!" We are eternally worrying about what others
think of us, when, in fact, each of all the "others" is quite engaged
with his or her own affairs. What "everybody says" is usually only what
some idle meddler says, the busy world having no thought or care on the
matter. But Leo Bergin thought of me, well--

    "I'd give the lands of Deloraine,
    If Musgrove were alive again."

But,--"Never, never more."

Let us see what follows, for this is more interesting far, than a
courtship. Let's see--the next day I left the ship at Lisbon, in
response to mail from Hamburg. Let's see if I am forgotten as easily as
he was, and what the man from Symmes' Hole had to say at the adjourned
meeting. By my soul, this is rich! The notes read:--

                               "At sea, on board S.S. _Irene_,
                                           "Off coast of Portugal,
                                                   "October 7th, 1898.

"'Tis midnight's holy hour, and silence now is brooding o'er a still
and pulseless world.

"What an eventful day! In old Lisbon a few hours, made a few
purchases--paper to hold stuff enough to startle the world--saw Sir
Marmaduke on the steps of the Cathedral; he did not answer my salute.
If I live, he shall know me better. If--oh, that terrible 'if'! that
brief halt, that in all our hopes arises to console us, that brief halt
that excuses impotency for failure, chills me.

"Had a long chat with my chief, Oseba, _re_ our polar journey. Strange,
I speak of this with candour, and make my plans as if it were actual,
and yet my judgment scoffs at my foolish dreams, for, as a fact, it
must be the delusion of a madman. So I thought at 4 p.m.--

"Later.

"Promptly at eight, the party of last evening re-assembled in the
captain's cabin. All seated at the table, Amoora Oseba handed round
some fine cigars, the glasses were filled, and the skipper said, 'Now,
Mr. Oseba, we would like to hear further from you, for if you are
insane, there seems to be method in your madness. If you are a joker,
you are a most charming entertainer, but if you are sane and candid,
for the world's good you should remain quiet, only when necessary to
refresh yourself for further effort.'

"The captain had prepared a six-inch globe by removing the axial core,
and paring down the outer openings so as to leave it oval with the outer
curves for Mr. Oseba's convenience in making his illustrations--this was
Oseba's 'apple,' the core removed.

"On rising, Mr. Oseba thanked the captain for his courtesy, and raising
the globe, he reminded the party that he was to review the observations
of experienced men in support of what to him was more than a theory. He
asked his friends to fix in their minds the new form of our globe, for
that was important.

"He first called attention to the fact that all the extreme North Polar
regions were rich with the waste or remains of animal and vegetable
life. This was 'settled.' 'All navigators agree,' he said, 'that
hibernating animals, say above 80 or even 78°, go north to winter; and
that driftwood comes from the north with flowers unknown to botanists.
In high latitudes birds and swarms of insects come from the north in
spring, and Tyson's men killed many of these migrating birds for food
for his crew. In the craws of these birds there were found undigested
grains of wheat, some of which were planted and grew in California. The
kernel of this wheat was three times the common size, and California
seasons were too short for its ripening. Now, whence came the birds,
the wheat, and the insects? Plainly, from "Symmes' Hole." Greely found
the ice but four feet thick at 82°, and less than two feet at 84°, so
the ice would not bear the boats, and many navigators report an
open polar sea, and greatly agitated waters at high latitudes.

"'By the old theory, it must be known that, at the poles, the North
Star would be--must be--directly overhead, or in the zenith. But, as a
fact, all polar explorers know that the pole star is in the zenith at
about 80°, and that, at 83-4°, it is seen far towards the stern of the
ship. If the old theory were true, this phenomenon seen at 84° would
only appear after a ship had sailed past the Pole some ten or twelve
degrees.

"'The fact is,' said he, 'sailing north at 84°, the verge is past, the
curvature is sharper, and the ship is dipping into "Symmes' Hole."
Further, at 82° north, the horizon very sensibly contracts to the north
and south, and enormously lengthens east and west. This is on the
verge, at the point of sharpest curvature.'

"While these arguments were not entirely new to the captain, they
struck him with a new force, and the party remained silent. Assuming
that he had made out his case, the Sage assured us confidently that the
earth was hollow, with openings at the Poles; that the equatorial sides
are about 3000 miles thick; that the surface of the interior world,
like that of the outside, has mountains and plains, rivers and lakes;
that it has proportionately less habitable lands, an equatorial zone of
some 2000 miles being quite uninhabitable; that on either side of this
there is a habitable belt of variable width; that from the sun and its
reflections, and electrical phenomena, there are ample light and heat;
and that about 3000 miles north of the equator, just under and opposite
the Greenwich meridian, stands the City of Eurania--the most beautiful
and opulent on this planet--the capital of a great and wealthy country.

"Silence reigned for a few moments, when the deeply interested Boston
man, in the most inquisitive and earnest tones said, 'But, my dear Sir,
as we are evidently of about the same class of goods, and were probably
turned out of the same mill, how the de'il did you fellows get down
there? and how the de'il did you get out?'

"This discussion, so learned, so full, so logical, so eloquent, and so
earnest, should be preserved, even to the tones and expression, but I
am weary, and it is late, and if--there is that 'if' again--if I live,
nothing of that scene shall perish; and if I don't--and, I won't--I
will have spent time enough on it, for all will probably be lost, so I
will 'boil it down.'

"Well, in answer, Amoora Oseba said that it was now a well-settled
theory that, probably owing to periodic oscillations of the earth, the
course and character of which were not yet understood, there had been
great changes in the temperature of the polar regions. The moving down
and the receding of the polar ice limits, in no distant geological
times in the past are abundantly evident. The temperature at the
so-called Poles had materially varied, the ice-belt so oscillating that
at times animal and higher vegetable life flourished at high latitudes,
as is known by the abundant remains of undecayed animals still found in
the ice fields.


A PRETTY TALE.

"Then he related a tradition among his people, reciting that in the far
distant past--at a time probably when the polar regions were rather
temperate, and most of the human race were yet in barbarism--a small
tribe of peacefully disposed people inhabited a fertile region in an
open world, where the horizon stretched away alike in all directions.

[Illustration: _Mr. T. E. Donne, Superintendent of Tourist and Health
Resorts; Secretary of Department of Industry and Commerce; Secretary
for New Zealand Commercial Intelligence Department of the British Board
of Trade; Representative St. Louis Exposition. By his industry, ability
and modest candour, and the merits of his "enterprise," Mr. Donne is
becoming one of the best known Tourist Agents on the globe, and he is
one of the most competent and trusted of Sir Joseph Ward's carefully
selected staff._]

"The chief of these amiable people was an attractive and commanding
personality named Olif. This Olif had a most beautiful daughter, whose
mother, while gathering flowers for her child, had been strangled by
the orders of an envious and childless queen. The name of the daughter
was Eurania, which means "Sunbeam." But as she grew to womanhood she so
strongly resembled her father, and was so constantly at his side, that
the two beings seemed a double--but a single soul--and soon the people
idolised the damsel under the name of Oliffa. Olif and Oliffa, the
chief and his daughter, as guardian spirits, held supreme authority.

"At a great festival, in which many kindred tribes and nations met
to celebrate an historic event, a grim chieftain of a warlike tribe
became enamoured of Oliffa. He demanded her as one of his wives. Oliffa
declined--there was a rush to arms, and many of Olif's people were
slain.

"The great King Oonah took sides with his warlike chief. Oliffa was
taken by force, she was led to an altar in sight of her people, her
ankles were loaded with fetters, her whole tribe were condemned to
extinction, and preparations were being made for the general massacre.
When the King, beholding Oliffa that she was stately, beautiful, and
wise withal, said:

"'Let not Olif and his tribe be slain, but banished--banished; for 'tis
not well that so goodly a people should perish from the earth. I have
spoken.'

"But Olif and his followers gathered themselves together, and the
warriors, joining in one defiant voice, answered:

"'While we may not hope to resist the force of your savage chieftains
who would expel us, we will fight here until we all die, under the gaze
of Oliffa; and,' said they in thunderous tones, 'we have spoken.'

"Oliffa, heroic in her despair, raised herself to her full height, and,
lifting her hands imploringly to the National Gods, in a clear and
earnest voice that made the chieftain quail, said:

"'No, my father and my people, die not, but live for Oliffa--save a
remnant of the tribe of Olif. I am Oliffa--human virtue is greater
than kings or death. Go to the north, dwell in the hollow of my hand,
and, in the fulness of time, thou shalt return to embrace me.' She had
finished.

"With bowed head and in sorrow, Olif and his followers withdrew, and
slowly wended their way towards the unknown regions of the north. But
a party, with the angry chief Sawara, pursued, and coming to the verge
of the land, Olif and his band took refuge on what seemed to be a
small island. Here they repelled their pursuers, and soon they saw the
channel that separated them from the mainland widen, and they thanked
their deities for their deliverance.

"But, alas! they soon discovered that they were on an ice-floe, and
were moving north toward the open sea. Provisions soon gave out, they
prayed to their gods, they floated and suffered, and as the weaker
perished, cannibalism was resorted to--for madness possessed the
despairing party. Days and weeks passed, an impenetrable fog enveloped
them, and they gave themselves up to utter hopelessness.

"However, soon the atmosphere became milder, the distant breakers were
heard, the fog rose like a curtain, and behold! land was near. Nearer
yet they floated. Night came, the full moon shone, but it moved not
up from, but along the rim of the horizon. Morning came, bright and
balmy. The floe had entered a strange harbor, and soon the shores were
reached. It seemed a 'goodly land' with fertile soil and genial climate.

"'But a remnant of the peaceful tribe of Olif,' he said, 'were
saved--nine men, thirteen women and five children. They cut boughs and
built an habitation, and they said: "This shall be our dwelling place.
Our city shall be called Eurania, in honor of our lost one, and here we
will tarry until we return to the goddess Oliffa."'

"'This country,' said Oseba, 'was Cavitorus. These people were the
ancestors of my people, the Shadowas, and on the banks of a charming
harbour they built the City of Eurania, the most beautiful to-day on
this planet.'

"'Through all the ages, from barbarism to the present,' said Oseba,
'there has been a lingering tale, a faint tradition among the people
as related, and a vague idea that they dwelt in a shadow, in the
hollow of a hand, and that some time in after ages, or in after
life, they would return to an upper world, called in nursery tales
and by the superstitious, Oliffa, where the inhabitants are called
Outeroos--because they dwell on the outer world.'

Leo Bergin soliloquizes:--

"What astounding folly! and yet, I am on my way over the limitless
fields of ice and snow and dead men's bones, to this phantom city,
Eurania. Courage! who knows, for--

    'There are more things in heaven, and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'"

"'Well,' said Oseba, 'these few people were of an amiable race, and a
common danger, and a common sorrow, had made them brethren. Then the
animals of this country were many, strong, amiable, and easily tamed;
the mountains were accessible, the climate genial, and the soil so
fruitful that there was nothing to suggest savagery. All nature smiled,
and man progressed peacefully.'

"'The people,' he continued, 'increased, they were prosperous and
happy. They had no foes--so war was unknown. The animals of the chase
were tamed, and agriculture became an early occupation.'

"Traditions had been broken; back of the people there were but dead
walls. Interminable ice and snow, as well as time, separated them
from the past. With prosperous industry the population increased.
Colonies were planted along the interior sea shores, and commerce was
developed. There were no despots to despoil, no superstition to blight,
no wars to devastate, no idleness to waste, and wealth, such as the
Outeroos never dreamed of, followed as a result.

"The lands were held for the people, but the lands were limited, and as
the centuries came and went, and went and came, the population became
very dense. Civilisation and Science had come, but the population
began to press upon the means of subsistence. Opulent nations arose,
accumulated wealth was great, but room was becoming scarce. For a
time, inventive genius helped to solve the problem, but the sorrows
multiplied as the struggle was made more easy. Soon necessities
suggested remedies for growing evils, which not to use meant universal
destruction.

"The population crowded and the weak and deformed were 'removed.'
The remedy was but tentative, and gradually the pressure grew still
stronger. As the centuries passed, all the weak, the worthless, and the
unfit were sterilised. The pressure still increased. The State then
provided for taking charge of all the children, and only the most fit
were allowed to become parents.

"Under this policy, and under wise management, the State became the
'universal mother.' Parents knew not their offspring, nor the offspring
their parents, and the love of humanity and public duty became the
inspiring motives of human action. Under this policy, too, have the
leading nations of Cavitorus, with the Shadowas in the lead, developed
their present civilisation. Under such a policy they have been able to
adjust the population to the possibilities of the land, and thus while
they have been building their opulent present, they have developed
the finest type of people mentally, morally and physically, that ever
inhabited this planet.

"Oseba explained the quickness of the soil in Cavitorus, the length of
the seasons and of the days, with their peculiar irregularities. He
described the movements of the sun, its appearance at various seasons
of the year, and why it was never entirely dark in those regions.

"Then he recited a further tradition, relating that at the time the
people reached Cavitorus, the bright star Oree was the 'Pole Star,'
that it had moved gradually away, but that in about twenty thousand
years it was to return to its old position. Further, that on the return
of Oree--the tradition ran--the Shadowas would be released from their
seeming isolation, and be reunited with their brethren of the outer
world to the presence, or on the surface of, Oliffa.

"'You see,' said Oseba, 'in the development of all people their myths
and their heroes are strongly allied to, if they are not the actual
forces of, Nature, and all have a seasoning of truth as a basis.

"'The people had watched Oree; were waiting his return, and were alert
for signs of the coming change, or, as they put it, for a "deliverer."
They believed from this tradition, that they had been in Cavitorus
twenty thousand years, and a confidence in their future deliverance
was a deep-seated superstition, a real faith and hope.

"'Well, Oree, as seen from the spot where the first "pilgrims landed,"
as indicated by a peak on a distant mountain, appeared some twenty-five
years ago, and, as on the very night the observations were taken a
portion of a wrecked vessel was cast upon our shores, no wonder the
long-deferred hope found expression in a movement for inquiry and
exploration.

"'Later, a tame dog with a brass collar on his neck was taken from an
ice-floe. Later still, by a few months, a small box and a snow-shoe
drifted ashore. In your year 1890, the corpse of a white man, clothed
in furs, was found on the beach, and the next morning two bodies of
what are now known to have been Esquimaux, were found. As we lived on
the ocean front, we knew whence these came. At this the State took up
the work, made an appropriation, organised a party, and, well,' said
he, 'they abundantly equipped an expedition, put me in charge, and I am
here on my return to Cavitorus, after a five years' tour, covering the
countries of all the outer globe.'"

What masterly logic! What skill in the marshalling of details!

"Well," adds Leo Bergin, soliloquizing, "if it is true, and it must be,
for I am going there, how much stranger than fiction!"

The notes continue:--

"The captain inquired about the harbors along the coast of Cavitorus;
the Boston man inquired if there were any gold mines; the parson, how
high the Shadowas built their church spires; and the engineer, what
motive power was used in their transportation.

"To these Mr. Oseba answered: 'I fear, if I should tell you one half
the truth about these things we should be "discovered," to our sorrow.'

"The hour was late, and as all seemed dazed by the recital, the party
dispersed, to bed,--

    'To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub.'"


BOILING IT DOWN.

Well, that is rich! Leo had to cut it short, but he saved me a lot of
trouble. Let's see. Here is a lot of interesting details--interesting
if life were not so short--but I'll have to "boil it down," for "spice"
is the word.

The two adventurers left the _Irene_ at Amsterdam, ran to Hamburg,
where they remained over winter, and being joined by Oseba's
fellow-adventurers, they took a small steamer sent as a supply ship
for a polar party "frozen up" in the seas north of Spitzbergen.
Disembarking, they joined a party for the journey further north,
intending to strike the open sea at a known point. As would be
expected, "the cold was intense," but the party was splendidly
equipped, and progress, for polar travel, was rapid.

[Illustration: _Mitre Peak, Milford Sound_]

"Oseba," say the notes, "had recourse to a magazine he had supplied for
the purpose on his outward journey. Here were supplies of condensed
food, articles of raiment that bid defiance to cold, instruments which
by reflection converted light into warmth, and various scientific
appliances, some that practically rendered the party immune from cold,
and others that aided them in meeting many dangers."

Leo Bergin had not a reputation for underestimating the trials of any
adventure in which he embarked, but taking all in all, it seems from
his report that, under the lead of this wizard from "Symmes' Hole," a
visit to the jumping-off place at the north could be made with little
inconvenience or risk to life or health.

Only once in fifty pages of notes does Leo Bergin complain of hardship.
Not once does he express any regrets, and he never once loses faith in
his master. Only once does he say "the hardships are severe," and then
he adds, "but the genius of Oseba has made us so immune from Nature's
blasts, that, on the main point, we are almost comfortable."

There were seven of the returning party, five of the nine friends, who,
five years before, had crossed these frozen plains with Oseba, and the
two "star" adventurers.

Considering the tales written by North Pole hunters, the incidents of
this journey, from 80° over the "oval" or verge, to 60° inside, are
hardly worthy of extensive comment. So I'll throw the whole journey
across these trackless fields of ice and snow into the waste-paper
basket, or, better still, leave them here, consigned to more certain
oblivion.

Had Leo Bergin been a jester, a thousand richer tales than were ever
written by those who, in search of fame, have joined the throngs that
left their bones in the unknown regions of the North, could have been
found in these candid notes,

    "But Truth is a jewel so rich and so rare,
    When found should be cherished with martyr-like care."

So I shall metaphorically skip some fifty of Leo Bergin's pages, and
take up the story where the party arrived in the small but picturesque
harbor, on the shores of which stands the City of Eurania, the capital
of Cavitorus--just over the "oval."

Over five long years had passed, since the sage Oseba, the idol
of Cavitorus, and his nine brave friends had been commissioned to
explore the outer world, in search of truth, in search of laws or
customs by which the Shadowas might be more wisely guided, or to
find a country to which it might be possible, wise and well, to send
a colony of their children. Four had perished, and these were to be
fittingly mourned; but "the conquering heroes come," and they were
to be fittingly welcomed, and as their approach had been heralded,
thousands of richly-dressed people thronged the "water front," and the
beautiful city was in gala-day attire. The description of the streets,
and fountains, and parks, and statues of gold, and other eye-ravishing
objects, are dwelt upon in lavish detail, but "want of space," and the
love of ease, admonish me to "blue pencil" many pages of this fancy
fabric.

The superb personality and the gorgeous attire of the people, amazed
the practical Leo Bergin. I will here venture a quotation, then again
"boil it down."

He says:--

"The appearance of the people, as they crowd without confusion along
and away back the shore line, is most striking. They seem over-tall
and very symmetrical in form, and they move as gracefully as trained
actors. They have finely-chiselled features, deep, rather large and
expressive eyes, slightly bronzed complexions, and in every curious
look, gaze, or expression, there is an easy, modest dignity, such
as I have never before seen, even among the rarest few. In every
face there is a deep and real joy; but of enthusiasm, emotionalism,
or sensationalism, there is really none. This passion of the animal
has gone, and the pleasures of the intellect have re-moulded the
countenance. The face has become the mirror of an exalted soul. On no
countenance is there seen gravity, on none hilarity.

"Seeing no sadness, I said, 'Where are the friends of the four who
perished?'

"Alas! under their system none can know father or mother, sister or
brother, son or daughter. All are children of the State. In the success
of any one, there can be but a common joy; in failure, but a common
sorrow."

What nonsense, to talk of such a society! People who forget their own
children? But Herbert Spencer tells us of a people among whom the men
had more affection for the children of their sisters than for those of
their own wives! Mayhap, Herbert was wrong, for this seems unnatural.
Mayhap, Herbert was right, for what we call "natural" is really but
custom. However, "maybe" there were "reasons" in that case--experience.

Leo continues:--

"The attire, too, of these people was 'gorgeous beyond description.'
Array all the royalties, all the nobility, all the Popes and the
Cardinals, with all the courtly favorites and all the Rajahs and robber
chieftains of all the Indies, and all the flunkies, the fops and the
fools of all the capitals, great and small, of the pretentious upper
world, and marshal them for comparison in ranks facing these, and
they of the upper world would seem but a pitiable show, or at best an
amusing burlesque.

"Silks and splendid fabrics, not loud and gay, but rich and rare;
jewels resplendent with Nature's lustre, but worn as modestly as to
seem but articles of common use, were present in enormous profusion.
For jewels, for articles of personal adornment, for ornaments or
trimmings of wearing apparel, gold was too common, cheap and vulgar. In
carriages, in furniture, in statuary, in architectural adornments, it
was in use by the ton--yes, by the cord. Ye gods, if the Americans knew
this!

"Here, as superstition has not blighted, monopoly has not diverted,
despotism has not robbed, war has not wasted, vice has not withered,
wealth has grown with the ages.

"As our whole party were attired in very modest European dress, we must
have appeared rather uncouth to the people, but the absence of apparent
curiosity or inquisitiveness, was surprising."

The notes continue:--

"These people must be adepts in electrical science, for the air was
full of 'floaters,' or flying machines, each seating one or more
persons. They were as thick as blackbirds in a Missouri cornfield."

He noticed an entire absence of children from the throngs of people,
but soon an open space was formed by the crowd falling back, when
several thousand "youngsters" of both sexes, and all the tender ages,
came marching down the wharf, in charge of a few modest-looking
superintendents. As they came to a halt, the people raised their hats
in salutation, when the children, seemingly all of one accord, bent a
knee in acknowledgment.

The notes, observations, and running comments of the observing Leo
are worthy of full perusal, and indeed of preservation, but as I am
hurrying on to a definite purpose, brevity seems to be a necessity.

The reception of the party by the City Council and a joint committee
from the great college, of which Leo learned that Amoora Oseba was the
head, was most impressive, and when the master of ceremonies waved his
hand as a signal, there was an unanimous shout of "Welcome home, Oseba!
Welcome back to Eurania!"

This was the only noisy demonstration. "Every face," says the
chronicler, "looked respectful, grateful, gratified, and happy, but
there were no fire-crackers or bad breath."

Is not that marvellous? Think of such a people! Think of an occasion of
like character in London, New York--ah, ye gods!--in Paris or Berlin! I
wonder if this fellow was not spreading it on rather thick?

But, listen:--

"We were escorted to our carriages, one hundred gorgeous
electro-motors, literally made of gold and ivory, and adorned with
what appeared to be precious stones, but what proved to be common,
indeed. We were driven to the temple--and such a temple! The Palace of
Westminster, the Vatican, or the Washington Capitol would be 'nowhere.'"

But I must "boil it down." He tells us that the ceremony at the temple
was "splendid, but brief"; that the reception of Amoora Oseba was
sincere, and that the proceedings of the meeting of over five years
previous, commissioning him for the perilous journey, were read.

"Resolutions of regret" for the loss of members of the party were
passed, and a meeting was appointed at which Amoora Oseba should make
his report to a select committee, and through such committee to the
people of Eurania and Cavitorus.

Speaking in much praise of the almost depressing dignity of the
ceremony, the notes record that at the close of the announcement,
the chairman read the commission under which Oseba had acted, and on
the performance of which authorised duty he was to report. It read as
follows:--

                                     "City of Eurania, Cavitorus,
                                                    "Year 20993, P.C.

                     "To the well-beloved Amoora Oseba, Chief, National
                         Academy of Science.

"We, the representatives of the State, on behalf of all the Shadowas,
believing that the time is approaching when, according to our
traditions, we are to be reunited with our brethren of the outer
world, and recognising the necessity of discovering a broader field
for the expansion of our race, hereby authorise you to proceed to the
discovery of any country, to study the condition of any people on
this or any other world, to learn lessons of wisdom whereby we may be
better governed, or 'spy out' a land to which, if possible, we may
desire to send a colony of our surplus population, and to report at
your discretion. The time, the necessary means, the associates, and all
other matters pertaining to this unique enterprise, will be granted by
the State at your discretion, and may the gods favor your undertaking,
and send you back to us with improved health, increased knowledge, and
hopes that may guide the Shadowas in their future struggles for social
progress.

                       "Signed by a hundred of the National Committee."

My word! pretty good billet had this Amoora Oseba. No wonder Leo Bergin
was captivated by the fellow. But that journey over the "oval," as he
calls it--excuse me--it makes me shiver.

Well, according to the notes, it's a week before that meeting takes
place, a week to be thrown away, to wait. Queer, it seems almost as
though I was there. Let's see if there is anything in his notes to
bridge the time.

Yes, here he relates what a thrilling adventure he had in a "soar" over
the fifty-story houses in an electric air motor; that the buildings are
made of indestructible material; how their steel does not rust; how
light their machinery; how beautiful the girls. Ah, yes! And then he
says: "It might be nice not to have to 'ask papa,' for here no girl has
a father, a big brother, or a pretty sister--which may be convenient."
But from the luxury of a mother-in-law, the Shadowas are forever cut
off.

"The freedom of association between the sexes," he says, "is
surprising, but the social dignity and decorum are even more
surprising. The country, with every inch cultivated, is beautiful, and
the aspect of Nature, especially in the night, with the moon sweeping
along the opposite rim of the earth, the sweeping of the sun along the
horizon, the reflection of light from unknown sources, the wonderful
play of electric phenomena, are too awe-inspiring for description.

"Gold is more plentiful than iron is with us, and platinum more
plentiful than silver;" and he accounts for the great quantity
of these heavy metals on scientific theories. "As for diamonds
and other precious stones, it is only a matter of 'grinding;' but
the 'brilliants' are more beautiful than with us, owing to the
peculiarities of the light."

[Illustration: _Mount Cook, Mueller Valley._]

What fairy tales! And yet we don't "know." Nature tells some strange
stories. Yes, and so do people. There is something amusing or
interesting in the notes of every day, but let the week slide, for
we want to hear the report--we want to hear what Amoora Oseba thinks of
the people of the "upper crust."

    "Oh! wad some power the giftie gie us,
    To see oursels as ithers see us,
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us."

Possibly.

Here we come to that great meeting. Let's get down to date again, and
Leo Bergin's notes.

He says:--

                                            "Eurania, Cavitorus,
                                                        "October 5th.

"'To-morrow,' yes.

    "'To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
          The way to dusty death."

"To-morrow! the great event opens. How like a dream it all seems. But,

    "Dreams in their development have breath,
      And tears and tortures, and the touch of joy.
      They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
      They take a weight from off our waking toils.
                                ... They speak,
      Like symbols of the future.'

"Ah, this dreamy reverie! It brings back the vanished years, for

    ''Twas just one year ago to-day,
      That I remember well,'

when I began this record, at sea, on board the S.S. _Irene_. I wonder
if Sir Marmaduke ever thinks of me. If he does, he thinks me--well, it
doesn't much matter now. He was a good sort, however, and I will never
forget him."

Kind of you, Leo Bergin. By golly! that fellow has a heart, and a head,
too, for that matter, for he is rarely far wrong. He continues:--

"Yes, he was a generous old soul. Rich, good-natured and careless, but
just. He read everything, but--well, perhaps if I had read as much as
he, I would have thought and known as little."

Leo Bergin, I swear I had rather you had forgotten me. That's a nice
way to speak of an absent friend. There is evidently a coolness between
us. Yes, a cool belt, so I will keep my temper.

Proceed, Leo:--

"Had a note from Venesta to-day, and I don't know whether it gives me
more pleasure or sadness. Think of courting a girl, who never had a
father or a mother, a sister or a brother! Daughter of the State! Marry
the daughter of the State! Ye gods, what a mother-in-law!

"I have idled away the day, and how can I make amends, save by
confession and the forming of new resolutions? Well,

    "'I resolve! yes, I resolve!
    And then I sit me down
    And watch that resolution die.
    But, "To-morrow"--'

                                          "Eurania, Cavitorus,
                                                         "October 6th.

"How balmy the air! How grandly the old sun sweeps along the rim of
this great world! For one such scene New York would give a 'million,'
and every eye would dim with watching the face of the flaming wheel,
and every neck would ache, and every soul would shudder with awe. But,
would not the Shadowas like to see Old Sol passing over their heads
every twenty-four hours, and give them three-hundred and sixty-five
days during the year, instead of having him whirl about their heads,
hip high, giving one night seven months long, and but a hundred and
sixty days of variable length? But it's all in being used to things.

"Well, I must off to the meeting. I am invited to the platform, and I
shall have plenty to record this evening, for to-day is nineteen hours
long. Oh, how weird!

"Later, evening.

"What o'clock is it? I don't know. I know it was nineteen hours after
the old sun first flitted around Mt. Lena, that it finally retired, and
how can a 'new chum' keep track of his running on such erratic lines?
To make it more confusing, this is the self same old sun that mine eyes
have been looking upon for, lo! these thirty wasted years. Who would
have thought that sedate old watchman could ever play such pranks?
Then, too, on the same little old world! Am I waking? Am I sane, or is
this but a hideous delirium?

"I feel sure that all is unreal, that I am the sport of some jesting
destiny--but I will play my part; then, if the vision be not a mockery,
I will not have wasted too much time.

"What an eventful day! Yet, as long as it has been, or even seems to
have been, every hour has been crowded with bewildering incidents--only
bewildering to me, however, for how unlike the hurry, the confusion,
the bustle, the noise and hilarity seen on such occasions on the upper
crust! How different from a horse-race in England, an election-day in
France, or a Fourth of July in America!

"What a happy, orderly, handsome, and amiable people, these. Even their
Deities are amiable. Their temples of worship breathe, not only hope
for the future, but appreciation for the blessings of to-day. With
them, it is not a crown of glory afterwhile, but a living joy. Without
the sorrow of Gautama, the gods of this under-world are as loving and
as amiable. But why should not the Deities be amiable?

    "'God made man,' the preacher saith,
    'From a handful of dust, by a whiff of breath.'
    'No,' say the sages, 'man made God,
    From nothing at all, by creative nod;
    Organ for organ, and limb for limb,
    In the image of man, created he Him.

"These people evidently made their Gods, for they admit it. I wonder if
we made ours?"

Careful Leo!

"What a wonderful city is Eurania! What a wonderful country is
Cavitorus! What a wonderful people are the Shadowas!

"But that meeting! The calm dignity of those four hundred Councillors
of State was amazing. What marvellous dispassionate interest is
taken by the enormous throngs of people, who occupy the main body and
galleries of the Temple.

"Proud Oseba! Well may I call thee 'master.' Oh! how I wish the
appreciative Sir Marmaduke were here."

Yes, Leo, I would like to have been with you, but, maybe, that would
have meant that I would be with you now, out of the cold, poor fellow!

But here the fellow strings it out as though our days were also
nineteen hours long, and our lives a thousand years. He keeps us on so
high a key, that we begin to wonder what there is in it for him. I will
"blue pencil." For the once impatient Leo Bergin has forgotten, I fear,
the customs of this upper world, and that every ear is attuned to the
popular rush.

    If you've something good to say,
                Get a move!
    If you'd have us go your way,
                Get a move!
    If it's goods, fling out your sample,
    If religion, show it's ample,
                But--Get a move.

'Pon my word! Leo's "borrowed lines" inspire me with a poetic vein. But
Leo is becoming as tedious as an Australian drought, a West Coast "wet
spell," or a debate on a "no-confidence motion," so I shall here draw
my critical pencil through many lines. Leo Bergin is clearness itself,
and from his language there flows, to the intelligent brain, a true
conception of the situation; but for the sake of brevity--from vanity,
maybe--I shall condense, in my own language.

Well, at the appointed time and place the people assembled. The
four-hundred members of the Council of State occupied favoured seats
in front of the platform, while many thousands of the citizens filled
the stalls and ample galleries. It was an impressive scene. The meeting
once called to order, "Music, such as heard outside of Eurania or
heaven was never, burst upon the ear."

That's Leo's, but I shall be more prosy and more brief.

When the last strains of music had died away, and the applause ceased,
the chairman arose, and after giving a brief but comprehensive review
of the national traditions, the discoveries and events that led to
these unparalleled adventures, he re-read the commission under which
Amoora Oseba acted, and impressed upon the audience the importance of
the report from the lips of Eurania's most gifted son, and the world's
most intrepid explorer.

The chairman said, in opening the proceedings, that while little real
attention had been given to the vague traditions that had floated down
the centuries, there had always been a feeling among the Shadowas that
they were in a most peculiar situation, and that science would some
time solve the mystery that seemed to hang over them.

He said, since the dawn of civilisation there was an "absolute
knowledge" that they were on the inner surface of a hollow planet,
and there was a vague belief that there were like beings on the outer
surface.

He explained that, through the enterprise of the Council of State, and
the intrepidity of Amoora Oseba and his brave comrades, that question,
the most momentous in the long history of Cavitorus, it was hoped, had
been solved, and they had met to hear a report on that most interesting
matter.

He said, as the Committee had given the most careful attention to the
books, maps, charts, and globes brought by the returned party, and
having had the generous assistance of Oseba himself, and Leo Bergin, a
native of the upper world, they had familiarized themselves somewhat
with the geography, history, customs and manners of the various nations
of the upper world, by the assistance of the views to be presented, a
fair understanding would be easily reached. Then, too, as the press
had been generous and enterprising, he thought the people were quite
prepared for an intelligent appreciation of the gifted traveller's
oration. "Mr. Oseba, the father of the new philosophy," said he, "will
now speak to us, as to his children."

However, as the people had requested that the poetess Vauline be
permitted to ask for occasional explanations, this was provided for.

Here the record tells us--I have boiled out twenty pages of delightful
"toffy"--that the chairman introduced Amoora Oseba as: "The most
intrepid explorer the world ever knew," at the same time inviting Leo
Bergin and the other members of the returned party to the platform.

Of this episode of the ceremony, the modest Leo Bergin says: "I was
embarrassed."

A fine canvas, some sixty feet square, had previously been raised at
the end of the hall, and, with the assistance of attendants, a large
instrument, from which could be thrown moveable views of the earth's
surface, was properly adjusted. With an explanation all too brief, as
Leo himself thinks, the first picture was thrown on the wall. It was
our planet, represented by a globe forty feet in diameter, revolving
slowly on its axis. It was a true model of our globe, on Symmes'
theory, the angle to the axis being 23°, with the north opening plainly
visible, and Cavitorus was easily located.

This, we are told, was entirely novel, even to the Committee; but
so skilful are the mechanics of Eurania, that from a small model
or instrument taken across by the party, this wonderful piece of
complicated mechanism was perfected.

What a revelation this must have been, bursting so unexpectedly upon
the astonished gaze of these strange people!

But as in the magic hand of the "loved and lost" Leo Bergin there are
both pen and brush, I here invoke his genius, for my pen falters.

He says:--

"As the vast assembly gazed in almost breathless awe, the master said:
'This is Oliffa, our own planet, as it is hurled through space at
68,000 miles an hour, with this brief forty feet expanded to 8,000
miles.'

[Illustration: _The Drop Scene, Wanganui River._]

"I looked into the faces of the most intellectual, the least emotional,
and most observing people I have ever seen, and yet no pen, no brush,
no imagination could reproduce that scene. Considering the intelligence
and the unemotional character of this vast audience, the evidence of
surprise was really alarming. For once, these people acted almost like
we fools of the 'upper crust.'"

Humph! it makes me crawl.

"The sitting was adjourned."

I'm glad of it, for it makes me shiver. But it seems to me, considering
the cool intellectuality of the Shadowas, that Leo Bergin is drawing
that rather long. Let's see! These Shadowas are a very intellectual,
a very thoughtful, a very cultivated and civilised people. But let us
reason this out. They were utilitarian; amiable as their environment,
and learned, in what was necessary for their happiness, or within their
reach. Yes, but nine-tenths of the universe--of the outer world--was
shut off from them. They, for 21,000 years, had been on one side--the
inside--of a great tube. Practically back of them, the world lifted
abruptly up; front of them, they could but see above the rim of the
bowl of which they were well toward the bottom.

The field of observation was narrow, the visible facts of Nature were
few. At the near opening of the "tube" there was eternal ice and snow,
an endless expanse of frozen mystery; while at the other, there could
sometimes be seen many weird clusters of stars, but, usually, only
clouds and storms, and desert and mountains, and dangerous whirlpools.

They had no telescopes; their point of view was too narrow for the
study of astronomy, and, as all thoughts, all ideas, all conceptions
of all natural objects must be formed from observation--from sensuous
impressions--how could they draw anything like correct conclusions
regarding the outside worlds? Intellectuality does not always, if ever,
mean universal, or even very great, knowledge.

Well, then, maybe Leo was even drawing it mildly. Maybe, a vision so
strange, a view of a known thing from so surprisingly unexpected a
standpoint, at a time, too, when the public imagination was at a high
tension, presenting so strange a phenomenon, would affect the fine but
impressive mind more than it would the less thoughtful. Maybe, I say,
Leo is right, but it seems a little lofty.

But let's back to Leo's notes. He says:--

"After lunch"--that sounds familiar--"the meeting recommenced, and the
people, having conversed fully and freely over the matter, seemed in
their normal condition.

"Oseba turned the globe slowly, explained the nature of the earth and
of the sun, why the days were 'thusly'; then the 'outside' conditions,
and why it was not all eternal frost, as they had imagined. He showed
the map of land and water, how there were on the outside of our
planet, or Oliffa, 1,400,000,000 of people--a few of them very decent
fellows--and suggested the enormous importance of communicating with
them.

"Then he showed a globe, with continents, islands, seas, rivers, and
the geographical divisions of the land as claimed by nations, empires,
states, and communities, making suitable remarks, that his impressions
might lack nothing in clearness.

"He explained that the varied blocks and patches, distinguished by
colored lines, marked the 'possessions' and claims of various races,
nations, or political communities. He here described the enormous
waste of water, and mountains, and uninhabitable land, and how little
really desirable country there was on the outer surface of Oliffa.
Yet, he told his audience that the Outeroos did not dwell in peace
together, but divided the land according to might, and lived isolated
in semi-hostile communities. 'These,' said he, 'are the lands, the
countries, and the peoples I have "discovered."'

"But, he said, while the nature and necessity, the hopes, the
aspirations, and the desires of all men were much the same, there
existed on the outer surface of Oliffa such a variety in customs and
manners adopted for the accomplishment of desired ends, that only by
a visit to, and a study of, all countries, could the object of his
mission be fulfilled, so for five years he and his companions had
wandered, observed, and taken notes, and now it was only by reviewing
the situation with some detail that an intelligent understanding could
be conveyed.

"Here he pointed out on the maps the localities of the various
countries, briefly describing the climate, soil, and style of
government in general, and said he would now discuss a little more
fully the merits of the various countries and peoples--with his
conclusions from the inquiry--for his discoveries had been important
and many.

"He reminded his audience of the prime purpose. His mission was to gain
from the outer world a knowledge that might aid them in the better
management of their domestic affairs; to discover, if possible, a
country to which they might send a colony of the surplus population,
and to find a people with whom they could open communications, that
they might become co-workers to the mutual happiness of the newer and
the older inhabitants of the world.

"Oseba," says the record, "re-arranged his instruments, saying that
he would show us, as occasion required, the globe as a whole or a
sectional map. He would begin his review with a country, probably the
oldest settled, and certainly the most populous, on the outer surface
of Oliffa--that of the Chinese Empire."

Here, I may remark that I have carefully studied the notes of poor
Leo Bergin. They are full, carefully revised, and show a masterly
understanding of the situation, but they are too copious for even
extensive quotation. From many closely and well-written pages, the
notes report Oseba's orations, with hardly a break or comment. For the
sake of brevity, I shall appropriate Oseba's story, and, save by a few
pointed quotations, I shall use my own language in the review of the
next scene. I realise that by this method the story will be marred, the
language will be less picturesque and expressive, and probably less
correct, but it will be economy of space, and, what is of importance to
me, "economy" in the expenditure of intellectual force. That is worthy
of consideration!

The imaginative Leo seemed to be absorbed in the changing scenes of the
unique situation. During a lull in the proceedings he notes:--

"How like a dream! Oh, my soul, how I do hope!"

But, probably being again confronted by that "if," he seems to hang his
head, halt, and ponder, for he writes:--

"Hopes, like joys and promising children, grow into regrets, or wither
and die."



_SCENE IV._

FIRST "DISCOVERY."


SIZING UP AH SIN, AND LU.

The sage Oseba, after locating China on the globe, threw a view of
the map of the Empire on the wall. He explained that this country
"embraced" 4,000,000 square miles of the surface of Oliffa, and
contained about 400,000,000 "souls," or nearly one-third of all the
Outeroos. But this includes the Mandarins, who are not supposed to have
"souls."

With amusing speech, he reviewed the history, the social, political,
and industrial conditions of this "peculiar" people.

It was in China that Oseba became first acquainted with the
aggressiveness, the pretentiousness, and the real power of the European
or Occidental Nations. As a race, these "foreign devils" were taller
in stature, stronger of limb, and lighter in complexion, and they had
better opinions of themselves than the Orientals. Conceit is a strong
factor in all these mighty games.

The clergymen, or missionaries, were among his first acquaintances from
over the seas.

A mischievous consular clerk, he says, who seemed to have a grievance,
used to sing:--

    "They came in shoals,
    To save the souls,
    Of Hop, Lee, Sing, and Wu.
    They gathered gear,
    Both far and near,
    As you or I would do."

These "solemn men," as Oseba called them, apologising for the
digression, came first of their countrymen, not for "filthy lucre,"
but to "save all the sons of Confucius and to take them to Heaven,
where, together, they could sing and associate forever, and forever,
and forever." "This," said Oseba, "seemed kind of them," but he soon
learned that the nations who sent these agents to prepare the social
situation for "the sweet by-and-bye," were "not at home," to Hop, Lee,
Sing, or Wu, during their brief stay on the surface of Oliffa.

"We love you," said the genteel agents of a hundred disputing creeds,
"go with us to a land that is better than day."

"Velly well," says Hop, Lee, Sing, and Wu, "we likely go 'Melica."

"Nay, nay!" says the good shepherd, "afterwhile, in the sweet
by-and-bye. 'Tis of a better world we speak--patience, meekness, and
love."

"Why," asked the poetess Vauline, "are the other Outeroos not 'at home'
to the Chinese while they are quite alive?"

With a smile, Oseba said, "The Chinese, my children, are very
industrious and frugal."

"Are they an inferior race?" asked the poetess Vauline.

"They are 'different,'" said Oseba, "but every race, people, nation,
tribe, or creed on Oliffa, thinks itself 'superior' to any and all
others. Vanity is absent--with few of the Outeroos."

At considerable length, he reviewed the political, social, and
industrial situation of China, and said:--

"All the outer world might learn lessons of patient industry from
China, but for us, there is nothing in China."

After a brief review of the social and political situation of each, he
dismissed all the countries of Continental Asia, but he said Hongkong
and Singapore, two of the world's modern wonders, had done much to
apprise the world of the hidden treasures in these Tartarean regions.

He drew attention to his discovery of Japan, as it appeared on the map
with Asia, and then removing this, he threw the globe on the canvas.
He dwelt in almost raptures on the beauty of the country he was now to
examine. Of the Japanese, of whose condition he would first inquire,
he said they had an old history. They had been isolated for many
centuries. They dreamed in their narrow world, played in their little
backyards, worshipped their monarch, and had been happy; but recently,
touched by the magic wand of modern civilisation, they aroused, and
having for a brief spell cast about them, they "girded up their
loins"--tightened their belts--and hurried to join the front ranks of
the army of progress, with an enthusiasm, and even a wisdom, never
before known on this little globe.

[Illustration: _Cathedral Peaks, Lake Manapouri_]

Once aroused by the exhilarating thrill of progress, they as readily
adjusted themselves to the peculiar conditions of their natural
environments as children to a new playground. The mountains suggest
liberty, the seas adventure, and to the fearless adventurers of those
inhabiting the indented shores of the water-front, are the Outeroos
indebted for all the blessings of modern progress--for civilisation is
the ripened fruit of ocean commerce.

"But," said the sage Oseba, "the present 42,000,000 Japs have but
147,000 square miles of dirt, half of which is waste. Under the
delirium of modern conditions the population is rapidly increasing, and
thus are the inhabitants already beginning to crowd each other. The
nation is becoming wealthy, while the people are becoming poor. The
real estate on little Oliffa is already staked out, and conspicuously
adorned with that strange device--'keep off the grass.' There is no
vacant corner for the surplus population, my children, and the Japs are
land animals."

The sage Oseba told his audience that "Many nations among the Outeroos
regarded the 'Japs' as an 'inferior race,' but if the achievements of
man is the measure of the soul and the intellect, the Japs have no
superiors on little Oliffa, for her recent progress pales the lustre of
the world's authentic history; but,

    'If the zenith of strife, sheds a mystical lore,
    And coming events cast their shadows before,'"

said the sage, as he tortured the immortal Thomas, the brilliancy
of Japanese story may soon wane, and as, owing to lack of room, her
only path to glory is through unfashionable war, the prospects are not
rosy. Though that nation may, for a long time, remain flamboyant, the
people may soon writhe in a lower misery than 'pagan Japan' ever knew.

However, should the little brown man clip the claws from the Russian
bear, and send him back, lame and growling, to his northern lair,
and then arouse China, and, by the skill of his wonderful capacity,
organize it, Eastern Asia may remember a few thousands of the "insults"
heaped upon her people during the last half-century, and conclude to
test the question of "superiority" by other than industrial methods.

Of the known Monarchies of Asia, he said, the people were ignorant and
impoverished, the officials were insolent and corrupt, the rulers were
vicious and despotic, and the governments rotten beyond cure.

As to India, the sage Oseba spoke with sympathy. "Britain," he said,
"is the only country capable of governing an 'inferior' race. She has
done much to rescue the country from periodic, if not from almost
constant war, and famine, and despair; but the 'people,' the offspring
of thousands of years of misrule and oppression, have reached a
condition of crystallized non-progressiveness, and they must finally
die out, as they cannot adjust themselves to modern conditions. Its
past is sad, its future is hopeless. It will long be a country in which
a few cunning bees may load themselves with golden honey, that their
far away hives may be filled; but slowly and sadly that strange brown
people must pass away. They have reached their ultimate. In them
the oak and the steel, necessary for the contests of the future, are
wanting."


EUROPE, SOMEWHAT "DISCOVERED."

The globe was so adjusted as to give a perfect view of the Continent
of Europe, and, in interesting speech, were the countries and their
peoples described.

Referring to the influence of environment, the orator explained how the
comparative smallness of this continent, the fertility of the soil,
the variety of plant and animal life, the mountains, and plains, and
indented shore lines, with enormous stretch of water-front, together
with its extensive river systems and healthful, but erratic climatic
conditions, marked this as the garden and nursery for the most active,
sturdy, intelligent, and emotional of all peoples on the globe.

Continental Europe covers an area of 3,500,000 square miles, and
supports, in various degrees of opulence and wretchedness, some
380,000,000 people--chiefly men, women, and clergymen--with 20,000,000
men in "uniform," who seem well seized with their own importance. These
latter are very influential personages, as they are equipped with very
persuasive arguments.

The orator explained that the many-hued and irregular patches on the
map represented the possessions and the rule, of as many nations, all
of whom had good opinions of themselves, and stood ready to back their
pretensions.

These countries were ruled by persons who were fortunate in the
selection of parents, or who, at least, were furnished with proper
birth certificates.

But with her many governments and nationalities, he said, there was
constant confusion. There were fear and oppression, for all these
imaginary lines had to be guarded. The armies had to be kept up; the
5,000,000 soldiers must be in constant readiness for slaughter, for
only by this means could the people be sufficiently impressed with the
validity of the birth certificate.

Asked by the poetess Vauline, what these so-called soldiers did for a
living, Mr. Oseba answered:--

"They kill folks, for, short as are the lives of the Outeroos among the
superior nations, wholesale murder is the most honored of all pursuits."

Oseba said: "All the civilised nations keep these armed men, whose
duty it is to kill somebody--to whom they may never have been
introduced--when their ruler has a grievance, and has no time to attend
to the matter himself.

"These armies, too, are potent in diplomatic controversies. When a
monarch has a little misunderstanding with one of his class from a
neighboring paddock, he says in deep tones:--

"'Sire, these are the facts, and if you don't believe it, Sire,
look!'--and he points to his ready battalions.

"To a people who never knew of war or poverty--among whom probably not
one man would care to be killed, or could find a person to accommodate
him if he should, these statements seemed most amazing."

Mr. Oseba concluded, from the conspicuousness of military show, that
every toiler in Europe carried a soldier on his back. And worse--he
had to feed him, to clothe him, to pay him, and then to constantly
submit to his insolence. From every home and fireside in Europe the
most sturdy supporter, and the best loved one, was taken for target
practice; and the burden imposed upon industry for showy barbarism, was
crushing the whole of Europe and driving the people into revolution,
anarchy and ruin.

"Tell us," said the poetess Vauline, "are you speaking of the superior,
the Christian or civilised peoples?"

"Rather," said the Sage, "for only the Christian nations could enjoy,
and only the superior nations could afford such heroic entertainments.
As a fact, the size of the army and range of the gun are the true tests
of a country's civilisation and 'superiority.'

"Strange, my children, but the 'superior' peoples, those worshipping
Him who said, 'Thou shalt not kill,' have the longest guns, and the
strongest battalions, and they are most ready to kill on the least
provocation."

The audience, say the notes, was most impressed when told that these
arguments--loaded--were aimed by the most civilised nations at each
other. Oseba continues:--"The guns and the military show, help to
amuse the people; they regulate home prices, and guard the dignity of
the managers. They are practically the 'keep off the grass' notice;
but, as a fact, my children, they are kept to-day more to overawe the
people who pay the bills than to ward off any external danger.

"But there is a marked difference between the Oriental and the
Occidental. The Oriental is selfish--he wants peace, and is indifferent
to the fate of others. The Oriental don't care what a man believes, or
what god he worships, so long as he pays the liken, and moves on; while
the superior races are deeply concerned about the soul, and they want
to discover all other people, and get them to join them--afterwhile.

"As social units, the Occidentals are more progressive and free, but
less secure; they are more sympathetic, but less just; more interested
in others, but less tolerant; and more inclined to action, and less to
meditation than the Orientals.

"While there is a vast difference in the degree of oppression in
Continental Europe, between class assumption, military despotism,
official insolence, and creed interference, save for those for
whom custom would render hell salubrious, there is no room for a
liberty-loving man--especially is it no place for a people with
the lofty aspirations of the Shadowas. But, oh, the poverty, the
misery, the humiliating sorrow! Oh, my children! If the faith of
those pretentious mortals be not folly, if there be somewhere an
all-powerful God of Love and Justice, if kneeling at His throne there
be hosts of saints and angels, who behold the bloody conflicts, see the
widow's tears and the agonizing gasp of want; who hear the sighs of the
over-worked slave, the groans of poverty and the prayers that go up to
heaven from the white lips of innocence, let the Shadowas implore the
masters of Europe's millions to grant mercy, or the beseeching hearts
of heaven will break, and the tears of the angels will drown the world."

But, like Uphus swinging the doors to welcome the dawn of a new day, we
turn to more pleasing scenes.



_SCENE V._

THE BRITISH ISLES DISCOVERED.


At this stage of the proceedings the Sage Oseba seemed to be in fine
form and in most cheerful spirits.

He remarked that he was now to give his people a brief view of the
"Country of Countries," an island region, just off the humming hive of
uniformed Europe. Here the globe revolved until the British Isles were
conspicuously in view.

"This," said Oseba, "of all the fertile dirt on the surface of Oliffa,
is the most interesting. This, among the countries of the Outeroos,
is the classic land of liberty, the sheet-anchor of Europe for more
than three hundred years. These rock-bound Isles, with a fertile
soil, a salubrious climate, indented shores--fortunately placed
geographically--are by nature the best suited for the development of
the ideal man of any spot on the surface of Oliffa, and having been
peopled by sturdy tribes, all the suggestive hopes of Nature have been
realised."

He told his people that the British Isles embraced 124,000 square
miles, and contained 40,000,000 inhabitants; and that, on these few
acres, there were more muscle and brain, and intellectual force and
stubbornness and haughty pretension, than on any other spot of like
dimensions on the surface of Oliffa.

[Illustration: _Mount Egmont._]

"These sturdy Britons, my children, who have resistlessly held these
historic Islands against all comers for many centuries, have done
more to elevate, to educate, to emancipate, to civilise and to unite
humanity; to free the brain from superstition, the limbs from fetters,
and the world from bondage, than any other nation or race that ever
inscribed its achievements on the pages of human history.

"Britain, my children, has conquered many foes, but her chief glory has
been her conquests in the arts of peace. She has conquered climate, and
famine, and pestilence, and the idolatry that would crucify the new
upon the mouldering cross of the old régime.

"Britain has given Oliffa its industrial and commercial methods, the
tone of its present civilisation, and she is rapidly giving to the
whole race her erstwhile scorned language, and in this there seems
a magic spell that infects all who imbibe its spirit with a burning
desire for liberty. To lisp the English tongue, is to feel--a king.

"Let me tell you a little story, my children, of the most interesting,
the most wonderful--yes, even the most marvellous of all the doings of
man on this most erratic little planet.

"These British Isles are separated from the Continent of Europe by a
damp streak, and they are inhabited by the mixed offspring of a dozen
sturdy and virile tribes, all from the northern water-front. All these
virile tribes, whether natives or invaders, were strongly imbued with
the spirit of liberty--as they understood it. They loved peace--if they
had to fight for it. They loved liberty--to squeeze the other fellow.
But in the fibre of these people there was a sublime stubbornness that
often made things awkward for the authorities.

"Everybody wanted to boss, so nobody would wear the collar. Everybody
wanted to be free, but the feeling was so unanimous that there was
abundance of officers but no privates, so it took many centuries of
disputes, and quarrels, and conflicts, and wars, before they had
accumulated sufficient 'grey matter' to comprehend the fact that
civilised government is a compromise; that where any can be oppressed,
none can be secure; and that liberty, which must halt at the gate of
the other fellow's paddock, is the inalienable right of man.

"But the British can learn, and they have so well mastered this problem
that the highest now yield the most ready obedience to the law, and the
strongest most readily defend the rights of the weak. Though it took
Britain, with her sturdy conceit, centuries to learn this, and though
she, by her fibre and her position as a coloniser, was the legitimate
successor of Phoenicia and Greece, she was rather backward about coming
forward, for after the discovery of America, when all the other nations
were madly participating in western exploits, she stood aloof for over
a hundred years to complete her preparations.

"Then she came with a lunch basket, she came with both feet, she came
to stay, and her achievements find no parallel in the history of human
progress. Before she opened her foreign real estate office, the new
world had been parcelled out. Others had staked their claims--many
over-lapping--and there were plentiful notices to 'keep off the grass,'
but she was undaunted.

"In 1607 she planted her first colony in America. Soon there were
thirteen--an unlucky number--then she foolishly taxed them into revolt,
and here she learned a valuable lesson. Since then, she has never
oppressed a colony; since then, she has never taken one backward step;
since then, she has gradually extended her beneficent hand over the
earth, until over one-fifth of the land is painted red--her favorite
hue--and over one-fourth of the human race bow a willing allegiance to
her flag."

"Oh," says Leo's notes, "would not that please dear old Sir Marmaduke!"

"America, my children, of which I shall soon speak, was Britain's
noblest contribution to human progress, for though the two nations
have moved under different colours for more than a century, their
mutual enterprise has revolutionised the industrial world, and brought
humanity in touch.

"Marvel of marvels! When other nations, now in business, boasted
of world-conquest, the British were but a 'handful,' inhabiting
these rock-bound islands, but as mountains suggest freedom and seas
adventure, looking over the waters, her daring sons went forth--not to
conquer, not to exploit or to devastate, but to develop the world, and
to build homes, and colonies, and states, and empires.

"If Britain took a gun in her outings--and she often did--it was to
level a place for a home, a shop, or a factory. Where she plants her
feet the soil becomes more fertile, and when she meets a savage, he
stands more proudly erect--after the first few sermons.

"She is the motherland of America, and, by mutual efforts, the two have
become the paragons of civilised progress. She saved old India from the
rajahs, robbers, and priests, from famine and pestilence, and made it
a paradise--as compared with its former condition. She saved strange,
beloved, dreamy, half-mythical old Egypt from rot and ruin, and made
it a marvel of hope and progress. She is saving 'Darkest Africa' from
slavery, superstition, and fratricidal war; and, with diamonds on its
golden clasps, she is handing it over to civilisation.

"She gave to civilisation Canada, with its splendid people, its fertile
fields, and its stupendous 'ice-plant'; and she gave to civilisation
the seven colonies of Australasia, with the most wealthy, the most
commercial, the most progressive, the most advanced, educated,
civilised, and free people on the whole outer surface of the planet.

"Then, to show her small respect for dirt, save as a place to
fasten down upon--and her marvellous ambition for industrial
development--behold! the modern commercial wonders, Hongkong and
Singapore! Many nations complain of 'Britain's land-greed,' and that
John Bull--as these sturdy Britons are lovingly called--always carries
a bucket and a brush, and is everywhere painting the world red; but
wherever the carmine shines, liberty and progress are assured. Every
inch of soil wrested from darkness by British valour is handed over to
civilisation--free to all comers.

"And, marvel of marvels, my children! In her more than a hundred
wars--save by her mistake in striving to coerce her own children in
America--she has never lost an inch of important dirt by force. And,
more glorious still, every inch won from barbarism by her blood and
valor, has been handed over to civilisation and human progress.

"But, no! She won much in war, which, to the infinite loss of the
world, she gave back in peace.

"She took Cuba in war, restored order, and gave it back in peace.
Better for the world had she kept it.

"She took by war, and gave back in peace, the Philippines, Cape Colony,
Java, Sumatra, Senegal, Pondicheri, and more than twenty other valuable
possessions, all to the loss of the world--and yet she has been accused
of territorial avarice--of 'land hunger.'"

Right! Mr. Oseba, and had the politicians in Downing Street properly
backed the sturdy British wanderers, most of Oliffa would have been
painted red and done up in a shawl strap long ere this, and the
Brito-Yankee race would have been in a position to guarantee peace
among all nations.

"But, my children," he continued, "there are often sombre linings to
many resplendent clouds, and lest you may all conclude to rush out of
Cavitorus to these wonderful islands, I must show you a few of the less
attractive pictures.

"Remember, that for modern civilisation among the Outeroos, the world
is indebted to the colonial enterprise and success of Britain; but
remember, too, that it is not always the 'colonising nations,' but the
'colonists' of the 'colonising nations,' that carry the standard of
social progress to advanced grounds.

"The basis of modern colonial success, was, of course, in the fibre
of the British race; but for the resistlessness of British colonial
enterprise much was due to flagrant faults in Britain's domestic policy.

"We are land animals--we live on, and from the land, and Britain had
but 124,000 square miles of dirt. 'Room' was scarce, so people had
a 'far-away look.' But worse, a very few in the Motherland 'owned'
most all this meagre surface, so people saw opportunity only in a
change--for a deep love of liberty forced the evils of monopoly upon
their attention.

"Well these sturdy Britons, with the mixed blood of the rugged Danes,
Jutes, Celts, Saxons, Angles and others did not feel at home as guests,
serfs or tenants, so they began to roam around."

The orator said he would present a few little "reasons" why the
Shadowas would not care to "flock" to the British Isles, and also a
review of conditions that might have had some influence in arousing the
spirit of foreign adventure.

"They discovered," said he, "that of the 76,000,000 acres of dirt on
the whole British Isles, one man--great only in his possessions--owned
1,350,000 acres, while another owned 460,000 acres, the two being the
born owners of over 2 per cent. of the whole, upon which 40,000,000 men
were compelled to live.

"They found that about two hundred families owned about half of all the
land; that less than one per cent. of the people owned over 99 per
cent. of the land, and that more than 90 per cent. of the people were
absolutely landless.

"It is amusing, my children, to hear these sturdy British boast about
'my country,' when a few families own so much of all the land on which
all must live--if they remain at home. But observing the enormous power
enjoyed by the holders of vast estates in the old world, too many
sought by cornering the lands, to acquire like advantages in the new,
and in the correction of this ancient error, the best statesmanship of
the age is still required."

Mr. Oseba proceeded to explain that as from many seemingly indefensible
situations beneficent results often arise, it could hardly be doubted
that the inherited curse of British landlordism has, in a most imposing
"disguise," been a "blessing" to civilisation.

It impressed the thoughtful "subject" with the incomparable importance
of the land to life itself, especially when population began to
crowd; and it forced upon the attention, even of the thoughtless, the
enormous influence and real power wielded by the possessors of large
estates. The class inequalities that arose through the inheritance by
the few of the source from which all must live, drove hosts of the
most intelligent, sturdy, and self-reliant of the people to distant
countries, and determined them to provide in the new home against the
evils that had expelled them from the old.

    From loathsome slime we clutch the glittering prize,
    And grand results from hard conditions rise.

As these emigrants loved the Motherland, they desired to remain loyal;
as they had learned the advantages of land holdings, each desired to
secure his own home; but remembering the past, they sought to provide
that the limits of each to live from another's toil should be narrowed.
Not by violating the rights of property "owners," but by securing the
rights of property "creators," were new ideas popularised.

"But these inheriting world-owners," said the orator, "as a rule, have
a pretty good time, though none of them have been permitted to remain
long enough on their particular slice of Oliffa for it to get stale."

Reluctant to leave Britain, but anxious to pick up some of her
wandering children, he closes our mother's case with this fond caress:--

"While these people of Britain are the salt of the earth, it is the
offspring, and not the land-owner, who is to lead in the future social
contests.

[Illustration: _Waterfall, Waikaremoana._]

"Come to think of it, it is not 'Britain,' but the 'Briton,' that, like
Atlas, carries the world on his shoulders; and 'tis the 'Briton' who
is the 'salt of the earth,' while 'Britain' is the salt mine."


"DARKEST AFRICA" FINALLY DISCOVERED.

Oseba then turned his instruments on Africa. He told his audience that
while along the fringe of this half-mythical land there were glimpses
of a very ancient movement, the vast interior, until almost yesterday,
was a veritable _terra incognito_, and to-day it is not easy to
separate the grain of truth concerning its history from the cartload of
fiction.

But Britain was now rolling up the sombre curtain, and opening the
doors of her fabulous treasure-house that the "grateful" (?) nations
might enter and take rooms.

Africa, the sage told his audience, covered one-fifth of the land
surface of the outer globe, and had a population of 150,000,000 souls,
or more than live in all the Americas and their islands. It has a
doubtful history, thousands of years old. It was once so "civilised"
that it housed three-hundred Christian Bishops, yet, to-day there
is but a small portion--the Cape--that can claim more than a mere
introduction to modern civilisation.

The orator informed the people, as he threw a series of pictures on the
canvas, that many of the European nations were striving to extend their
borders in Africa, and to the sorrow of the natives, they were now
being pretty generally "discovered."


HUMAN RIGHTS.

    Oh! sacred rights of man, ordained of God, yet only won by blood,
    and tears, and toil.

Here there was a digression, and an essay on "the rights of man,"
for the poetess Vauline inquired by what "right" the Europeans were
"portioning out Africa," if that country had already 150,000,000 people?

"This," said the sage Oseba, as he moved his eyes from his admiring
critic to his audience, "this is a pertinent question; but remember, my
children, most of the inhabitants of Africa are black--they are very
black."

"But is that an answer to my question?" said the poetess Vauline.

"Well," said Oseba, "it would be so deemed among the Outeroos, for
questions of right and wrong do not apply to people who are unbleached."

This created great surprise, for the Shadowas had not gone entirely
through the bleaching process.

"But why, among so-called civilised people, have the blacks no rights?"
said the poetess Vauline.

"Plain enough," said Mr. Oseba, "for black people have no
blunderbusses, and among the most civilised Outeroos 'rights' are
measured by the carrying power of the guns and the skill of the men
behind them. Among all the 'civilised nations' on Oliffa 'right' is
measured, not by the pleadings of the master, not by the demands of
humanity or justice, but in the first instance by color, for this
indicates the capacity of the blunderbusses, and the nerve of the
gunner.

"Yellow have rather more rights than black people, for they sometimes
have a few guns and some saltpetre. 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Thou
shalt not steal' apply only to white men; and even then, only to small
neighborhoods or in police affairs, for 'nations' are above these
honeyed ravings, and expediency, not right, becomes the patriotic guide.

"But, my children, as John Bull is rapidly painting Africa red, we will
preserve an open mind regarding that much-talked-of and little known
country, though for the present it is no place for saints or Shadowas.

"I may say, in referring to colour in the discussion of questions of
right, that 'red' is considerably respected. Then, too, of recent
years, with improved tastes among the nations, 'red, white and
blue,' thusly arranged is quite respected, while 'yellow' is very
unfashionable, and 'green' is mostly admired when in uniform.

"That black Africa will, ere long, be about all red, about all
British--at least in language, in sentiment, in human sympathy, in
social, industrial and political methods and aspiration, if not in
allegiance--can hardly be doubted; and as her ideals alone of all the
races on the upper crust would satisfy us, our children may hope for
further communication with these British-African colonies."


SPANISH AMERICA "DISCOVERED."

The orator here hesitated, then threw the map of what he termed
"Spanish America" on the screen.

"This, my children," said he, "is Spanish America, with an
area--including Central America and Mexico--of over 8,000,000 square
miles, and a population of about 50,000,000 souls. This is a 'new'
country, called 'new' by the Outeroos because it had been little
improved since the old occupiers were blessed and sent to heaven."

The orator claimed that, in forest, in soil, in mineral wealth, and in
all the resources of Nature necessary to the subsistence of a great
population, South was probably superior to North America; yet, behold
the mighty difference! The world had never presented so conspicuous an
opportunity for weighing the merits of different races as colonisers
and civilisers as are shown in the present conditions of South and
North America, and all these marvellous disparities lie in the
character of the invading or colonising races.

North America sprang from the loins of Britain; South, from the
loins of Spain. That tells the story. But a comparison in all the
late colonial enterprises of the world, shows Britain to hold an
equally favorable position, for of all the "foreign" dependencies
of all the other nations of the globe, there is not one that enjoys
a sufficient degree of liberty and social progress to render it
self-supporting--possibly, save Java, held by the Dutch.

The 50,000,000 Spanish-Americans, he observes, write less than one-half
the number of letters written by 5,000,000 Canadians, and they have
less commerce than 4,500,000 Australians, and less newspapers than
800,000 New Zealanders--and education and commerce means civilisation.


A TEMPEST.

Here the sage amusingly described a Spanish-American revolution.

He said:--

"When the young men of any city become weary with the more common
excitements, the theatre and the bullfight, they organise a
'revolution.' For this 'outing' they call together their friends, arm
themselves, establish a camp on the outlying hills, and make ready
for 'slaughter.' The 'loyalists'--salaried clerks usually, with a
few hangers-on--rush out to meet the belligerents, and approach to
within a reasonably safe distance, when both sides 'fall in,' fire
simultaneously--each over the others' heads--when all break and run for
the treasury.

"If the 'loyalists' win the race they vote themselves extra pay, smoke
a cigar, and enjoy a _siesta_; while if the others win, the treasury is
looted, a new set of clerks installed, the taxes are raised to repair
the damages, and the new 'push' enjoy the _siesta_.

"The security of the public from too frequent changes rests in the fact
that usually the camp of the 'loyalists' is taken up between that of
the insurgents and the treasury, so the 'loyalists' have a shorter run
to make in the home stretch.

"Think, my children, what civilisation would have been to-day had the
British been content to remain on their Island home, or had both the
Americas been permanently held by the Spanish race--or, to judge by
later history, by any other than the Anglo-Saxon.

"Well, my friends, I have no interest in booming any country, but if I
had owned all Spanish-America in 'fee simple,' and had a long lease on
Hades, I would rent my freehold out, and reside on my other holding."

(Leo remarks:--"Oh, for a laugh with Sir Marmaduke.")

"No," said the sage, "there is nothing worthy of imitation in
Spanish-America, and there is no room under the present rule in these
countries for the staid virtues of the Shadowas."



_SCENE VI._

AMERICA "DISCOVERED."


Oseba said he was now to return to rather favourite pastures. He was
now to review the situation of a country unanimously admitted, by
all its millions of proud and patriotic people, to be the "greatest
country," not only on this earth, but in the Universe--and this, of
course, meant America.

Leo Bergin, having been born in America, seemed to be "at home" to
these graceful compliments.

Oseba said that before he reached America, that country had been
somewhat "discovered" by a Mr. Morgan, who had much of it done up in a
shawl strap, but that it was still considerably in business.

This American nation, he said, sprang from the loins of Britain, and
its founders had inherited their fibre from that "classic land of
liberty." Being strongly imbued with the British spirit, and being
impressed by their novel surroundings, they broke the thread of
tradition, and, having established a government based upon the consent
of the governed, they demonstrated the possibility of a civilised state
without a king or a bishop.

Here the orator grew eloquent, "as if to the manner born," and I
quote:--

"America--North America--is the noblest country ever given by God to
his children--a country saved through all the progressive ages of
the world for a new experiment in human government, and here some
British adventurers opened a branch office. That they might 'worship
God according to the dictates of their own conscience,' they hurled
themselves in their frail barques, turned their prows--the ships'
prows--to three thousand miles of boisterous waves, and landed on
Plymouth's rock-bound shores. Here, defying titanic difficulties, they
scaled the mountains, levelled the forests, tamed the soil, and, from
the jaws of many defeats, they snatched a glorious victory. Here, they
erected new altars, blazed out a new destiny, and, rocked in the cradle
of Liberty by the untrammelled winds of heaven, they built a temple at
whose shrines the unborn generations could freely worship."

Here, the notes record that a young man in the audience smiled, while
poetess Vauline seemed good-naturedly surprised; noticing which, Amoora
Oseba faltered, and said:--

"Well, my children, those remarks would be very tame in America, and a
man who could not soar higher on a 'fitting occasion' would certainly
not be returned at the head of the poll."

But in material prosperity, the orator said that during the first
century of America's national life, she achieved not only unparalleled,
but unapproached success, and during the last half of that period
she accumulated more wealth than was ever possessed by any other
nation. With nearly half of the railways of the globe, she furnished
half the food and raiment products, and manufactured more goods than
any other four nations--aside from Britain--and by the brightest
inventive genius the world ever knew, she had furnished more of the
cunning devices that ease the care and toil of man, than all the world
besides.

[Illustration: _Queenstown, The Remarkables in the distance._]

In moral progress, she has been equally successful, for she had about
two-fifths of all the newspapers of the world; 72,000 post offices,
180,000 churches, 450,000 school teachers, and more libraries and
more readers than any other country; while more than half of the
institutions of higher learning on the globe were hers, and counting
only the real Americans, more enterprising, ingenious, intelligent and
educated people, than any other nation.

"Verily," said Oseba, "America was Britain's greatest contribution to
the world's progress. These two kindred countries flourished through
reciprocal interests; by their industrial methods they have lifted the
world from medieval barbarism, and they are destined to give their
language, their civilisation and their notions of liberty to the whole
human race."

Here the poetess Vauline inquired why America, with all her great
wealth and opportunities, would not be a desirable country to which to
send a colony of the Shadowas?

"A cloud was on his brow."

Oseba answered, "I love that great and wonderful country so deeply,
and I so much admire its splendid audacity, that I would gladly speak
kindly, even of its faults; but, my children, it is not all 'rosewater
and glycerine' in Yankeedom.

"In wealth, in enterprise, in education, in intelligence, and in
opportunities for further progress, America may justly claim to be the
foremost nation on the globe, and she has 'rights' no other would care
to dispute. But,--

    'The people, Oh! the people,
    Those much lower than the steeple.'

It is they, of whom we may profitably inquire. A nation may be rich,
though the people may be poor; a nation may be strong, while the people
are weak; a nation may be feared because the people can be relied upon
to obey designing masters, but the true greatness of a nation must ever
depend upon the quality of the individuals composing the nation.

"In America, my children, they sing many choruses. Listening across the
sea, the groans of despair are heard, mingled with the inspiring chants
of robed priests, and, the public heart being touched with pity, the
bandmaster mounts his pedestal, looks serenely benevolent, and, raising
his baton with gracefully curving signals, the populace join in one
voice:--

        'Come, ye, from lands oppressed,
        Come, ye, from east and west,
        Come, join our happy throng,
        Come, join in joyous song,--
    For in this goodly land, nor want, nor poor,
    No kings oppress, no beggars seek the door.
    In Plenty's beauteous lap we wile the days away,
    Come, 'walk into our trap'--why need you long delay?'

"These dulcet tones were always supposed to help fill the immigrant
ships, the vacancies caused by the strike, and the land-boomer's
pockets, but just as the last faint echoes die away, there arises from
the narrow lane 'hard by'--just off Broadway--the plaintive wail:--

    'Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
        E'er the sorrow comes with years?
    They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
        And _that_ cannot stop their tears.
    The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
        The young birds are chirping in the nest,
    The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
        The young flowers are blowing toward the West,--
    But the young, young children, O my brothers,
        They are weeping bitterly!
    They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
        In the country of the free.'

"Of course, my children, these borrowed lamentations may come from
the fellows who were left out in the cold at the last elections, for
one 'can't most always sometimes tell,' in America, whence come the
inspiring motives of the entertainment.

"Let me tell you a little story, my children.

"One November afternoon, while on a west-bound train, I had as a
travelling companion a very intelligent, patriotic, and sorrowful man.
His manner was subdued, his voice was plaintive, and he spoke earnestly
of the condition of his country.

"Skipping his most emphatic words, and toning down portions of his
most lurid sentences, I will recite to you the substance of his fervid
oration as we hurried over the plains to overtake the rapidly sinking
sun.

"Speaking of the greatness of America, my friend said, 'Some qualifying
words may be necessary, or the ideas sought to be conveyed may be
confusing. We Americans,' said he, 'boast of "equality before the law,"
yet in no other civilised country has favoritism been carried to more
deplorable extremes. We boast of freedom, yet in no country does a
smaller number of men control the conditions under which all must live,
and we boast of our constitutionally guarded rights, yet the accidental
head of a party may exercise a power unthinkable by any constitutional
monarch of Europe.'

"'But with so intelligent a people, may not these abuses be remedied?'

"'Intelligent?' said he, with a sigh. 'The people in America are
frequently informed that they are very intelligent and free, but would
a very intelligent people shovel coal so furiously into the furnace of
a locomotive that was rapidly running their train to the devil?'

"'In theory, the Americans have erected the most symmetrical political
temple, at whose altars the devout head of patriotism ever bowed a
humble allegiance; but in practice,' said he with emotion, 'well, the
upper rooms are occupied by schemers and the halls are crowded by a
more rapacious set of money-changers than the Master whipped from the
temple of Jerusalem.'

"'Dollars, dollars,' said he bitterly, 'there is nothing in America
more potent than a million dollars.' Then after a moment's silence he
muttered, 'yes, five millions are more potent.'

"'However, it would be mockingly absurd,' he sorrowfully continued,
'for any American to hoist a danger signal, for the pleasures of
the occasion must not be marred; but,' said he, with a gleam of
satisfaction, 'while Belshazzar is playing high jinks at the feast,
Daniel is changing his slippers, making ready for a call. As a fact,'
said my companion, 'America is being looted by her caretakers, and,
while the Philistines are packing away the booty, the silly Samsons are
sleeping in the lap of Delilah.'

"My friend was eloquent and impressive--his language was lurid and
expressive, his manner was quite American, and I sympathised with him,
for 'tis sad to behold the patriot, sitting with bowed head and solemn
visage, contemplating the waning glory of his own proud country, and he
seemed very earnest.

"Well," said Oseba, "we pulled up at a pretty city where there was
confusion, and my friend disenrailed. As he stepped off, he met
some friends. They, too, looked unhappy, and, feeling inquisitive,
I alighted, and observing a pleasant looking fellow on the platform
I approached him, and waving toward my late companion's party, I
interrogatively said: 'Funeral?'

"The man actually laughed, and observing my seriousness, and that I
was not of his country, he laughed again, and glancing at my friend's
group, he said:--

"'Funeral, stranger! We've had an election, and it was the d----st
landslide ever seen in these parts, and he--ha! ha!--is out in the
cold.'"

Oseba, the notes say, remarked that the bell rang, he "waved" to his
companion, re-entered his train, dropped into his seat and--thought.


A DIGRESSION.

The notes indicate that Mr. Oseba was deeply affected by the
revelations of his "travelling companion." He need not despair.

This race has been rather prominently before the footlights for some
time, and it is of such a mixed and sturdy stock that it seems endowed
with the spirit, if not of "perpetual," at least, of long-continued
youth.

The Anglo-Saxon has not yet filled his mission, and surely America
should not, so early in its unparalleled career, betray evidence of
decadence. While "grow quick, decay quick," seems to be a law of
nations, as well as of Nature, while wealth is often an evidence of
injustice, and while in numbers there are often germs of weakness,
with America still in her vigorous youth, there must be virtue in her
strength sufficient to meet these very apparent difficulties.

It must be remembered, too, that America, though she had great
opportunities, had a stupendous task before her at her birth as a
nation. In vindication of an inherited British instinct, the "British
colonies" revolted against a king, too Dutch to appreciate a British
sentiment, and a parliament, too weak to resist him, and the "British
American" colonies became the "American nation."

But the responsibilities of the new nation were as tremendous as her
opportunities were fabulous. Politically, she was adrift without pilot
or compass, and she set about to erect a temple on whose altars her
people might worship, and, without law or precedent, she built, better
than she knew, a theory of government the astonishment, the pride, and
the admiration of a hopeful world.

Well might the heads of the people have been a little turned, but lured
by the most tempting opportunities ever offered to man, they hurled
an awakened energy against the doors of the treasure house of Nature,
and soon marched among the leaders of industrial art--yes, away in the
vanguard. In defence of her commerce, her little navy was the first
to humble the Barbary pirates that for centuries had levied blackmail
upon the whole Mediterranean trade. Her flag was soon seen in every
port, and from the profits of trade in her products, Britain laid
the foundation of a stupendous industrial system, that made her the
commercial mistress of the world.

Her pursuits were industrial, her ways were ways of peace. Soon she
carried one-third of the ocean tonnage, and the struggles of the whole
human race were being eased by her inventions.

During these formative stages of development, real poverty was unknown,
and great fortunes--such as are being heaped up to-day--had never been
dreamed of.

But what a period, and what a country for the development of character!
In those peaceful but industrious and frugal days arose that splendid
school of writers, poets, essayists, philosophers, publicists and
reformers of New England, and the orators, statesmen, and patriots of
the young days of the Republic. With such achievements, Mr. Oseba,
liberty cannot perish from the earth. The grotesque anomalies in
America are incidents of the changing times and will soon disappear.

But to the notes:--

"Room for a colony? Quantity, my children, but no tempting quality for
us.

"No," said Oseba, "earnestly I love America and her splendid people,
but the flag of social progress has been transferred to other lands, so
America must hold the 'phone, while others of that splendid race--more
strays from the Classic Isles--answer the calls of Justice and lead
Humanity to a broader, higher and nobler liberty.

"Well, I will ring off America, for while every phase of the recital
is so charming that one is inclined to loiter, we catch a glimpse of
coming scenes that hurry our hopes for a pleasing goal.

"From great and grand America, I took a long ocean voyage, my children,
and on the 'other side' I found the beginning of the end of my task,
for here, all the dreams of all my weary wanderings, and all the hopes
of all my fancied visions of better things, found realisation, and with
a glad heart I turned my thoughts to the friends of Cavitorus."

[Illustration: _The Lion Rock, 5000ft. high, Milford Sound_]



SCENE VII.

AUSTRALASIA DISCOVERED.

    And they sent ships to distant lands, and brought gold, and copper,
    and fine wool, and the merchants made much gains.


At this juncture the loved and lost Leo Bergin notes a short
intermission, for, as there is everywhere a limit to human endurance,
Oseba had grown weary.

During the recess, the notes inform us, there were many whisperings,
many doubtful shakes of the head, and many real fears expressed as to
results regarding the conclusions of the report.

"We have gone over the globe," said a learned-looking matron, "and we
have no encouragement."

"Better know the truth," said another.

"It is a matter of no small importance to Cavitorus," said a third.

The people stood, or sat, in groups and conversed earnestly, some
consulting a small globe which stood on the edge of the rostrum. At the
expiration of an hour, the people resumed their seats, Amoora Oseba
took the platform, and the audience was all attention.

When he arose, he told the people that he understood their feelings,
their hopes, their fears, and their anxieties. He had done his best,
and his devoted comrades had been as solicitous as he for their
beloved country and its cause. To err is human, but it were better
to be over-cautious than over-anxious for a change. Not all changes
mean progress, though this is not always understood, even by the world
leaders.

He told his audience they were not finished--Oliffa had not yet been
wholly reported upon, for they had made other discoveries. There were
yet two countries to inspect, and he bid them be of good cheer. He said
the countries to which he was now to call attention were quite "new" in
the sense that they had been known, even to the Outeroos themselves,
but a comparatively short time. He then turned on the light, exposed
the full globe, and proceeded:--

"The earth has practically been circumnavigated, and, when you have
seen all, I hope you will be satisfied with my efforts.

"We have visited all countries inhabited by man, and my discoveries
have revealed many interesting facts, suggesting many conclusions.

"Mankind," argued Mr. Oseba, "is akin. All sorts and conditions of
men emerged from a common ancestry. The vast differences in form,
color, language, custom and mentality have been caused by the varied
environing conditions slowly working throughout many ages. From common
passions, common wants and common efforts for their gratification,
has man slowly pressed forward, the pace varying as Nature invited or
forbade the movement.

"But genius has annihilated time and space. The world is being brought
in touch, and the race that improved the cunning of the hand, and
aroused the inquiry of the brain, is destined to guide, unify, and
dominate the world.

"The Anglo-Saxon is a peculiar compound of many mixed and sturdy
tribes, and in the genius of race, there is the magic potion that is
giving tone, language and inspiration to humanity.

"But the modern Briton is the finished product of Anglo-Saxon aims,
and inherited aspiration. The Briton is a trinity composed of English,
Irish and Scotch, a compound of the most stubborn vices and most sturdy
virtues ever found in an organised society.

"Janus was not a Briton; the Briton has but one face, and it is always
looking to the front. The Briton is sturdy, so he presses forward;
he is weary, and he never runs; he is tenacious, and he appropriates
everything having one loose end. Having more wants than industry, he
invents that he may be satisfied. He adjusts himself to new conditions,
so he hoists his flag over his new cabin and annexes all in sight.
Being dull as a linguist, the people of all climes have to learn his
speech, or abstain from the banquet of the present, and--the future.

"Yes, the British are of a sturdy race. They were developed in a
fine climate. But people can't live on climate, and these people had
appetites. No _thing_ can come from nothing. Thoughts and actions are
'products,' but the finished goods always reveal the character of the
raw material. Strange," he argued, "but as a man eats, so is he. The
Frenchman eats frog, and he dances; the Italian eats macaroni and he
runs a hand organ; while the Briton as a regular diet takes beef-steak
and lion, so he wanders about, and--paints the world red.

"In less time than it took the old nations to build a city, the
inhabitants of the small British Isles had pre-empted more than
one-fifth of the surface of the planet, and were masters of the
affections of a fourth of the human race. But the noblest works
accomplished by this resistless people are now to be revealed, for the
admiration of my countrymen."

Here he turned on the great forty-foot sphere to an axial angle of
twenty-three degrees, well exposing the Southern Hemisphere. After
noticing the southern orifice--the back door of Symmes' Hole--and the
difference in the distribution of land and water near the respective
poles, he turned the globe so as to give a fair exposure of Australasia.

In Oseba's more cheerful demeanor, his more ready speech, and his
radiant countenance, there was a gleam of joy, and when once the full
import of this new scene was appreciated, there was a generous burst of
applause--Leo notes, "almost enthusiasm."

"This," said the sage Oseba, "is the 'Austral climes,' the last dry
dirt on the surface of Oliffa, wholly rescued from darkness and devoted
to civilisation.

"Its color indicates its social condition--it is civilised and free,
for on Oliffa, my children, 'red' is the emblem of hope. 'Painting the
world red,' means turning on the light, and John Bull always carries a
bucket of carmine--and he often has a 'brush.'"

Oseba said that in the whole inquiry he had endeavoured to follow
an example set, many centuries ago, by a Personage whose advice is
constantly quoted on Oliffa--and more constantly ignored--of keeping
the best to the last.

Australia was of old called an island, but as in area it about equalled
the United States of America, and almost that of Europe--having near
3,000,000 square miles--it was now regarded as a "continent," though it
had less than 4,000,000 people.

"Room for a colony?" said the poetess Vauline, with something bordering
emotion.

"Yes," said Oseba.

But let us proceed cautiously. I boil down.

He said there was plenty of "room," and for sometime there would be
"room to let," but as a fact, while a lovely land, inhabited by a
splendid people, it was not quite all it seemed on the map. On the
borders of the "Australian continent," and reaching back long hundreds
of miles, there was much beautiful country, but there was a vast
interior, which, though red on the map, was almost too thin even to
hold the paint.

As a fact, much of the surface of Australia was afflicted, like many of
her people, with an insatiable thirst. To the uninformed, this "dry"
and hot interior gave Australia a "bad name," as people are usually
influenced by "sound," and they rarely stop to reflect how many grand
empires might be carved out from these fertile borders and plains.

He described how Cook "found" Australia in 1770, and how, by the
directions of Sydney, Colonial Secretary, it was first "colonised" in
1779. He recorded its struggles and growth during the silent years;
how colonial authority was exercised; how self rule, or so-called
"responsible government" was established; and how, to reach more remote
portions of the country from convenient seats of authority, several
autonomous colonies were formed.

Owing to the large expense of coming, immigrants were usually of the
better class; and, owing to the distance from central authority, the
colonist became self-reliant, and soon began to apply new ideas to new
conditions.

He dwelt with evident pleasure upon the development of the cities of
the continental colonies as splendid centres of wealth and population,
and praised the spirit that was ready to cast tradition to the winds,
and boldly experiment upon various expedients, that seemed a solution
for some pressing problem.

In describing Australasian cities, he declared that Sydney was the
most beautiful city on earth, having a society which, for culture
and character, equalled that of any other country. He admired the
competitive spirit as between the different or several political
centres, and of the many departures from old notions.

The courage of the people in the adoption of new political methods,
and their re-arrangement of the relations between governments and
industrial forces, seemed to please him greatly.

He declared that "these self-governing autonomous colonies, aroused by
inviting opportunities of a novel environment, inspired by a sphere of
undefined liberty, with reckless readiness to resort to new expedients
for the accomplishment of new purposes, had produced in Australasia, in
all the essentials of true worth, the highest average type of man and
womanhood on the surface of Oliffa--with the more isolated New Zealand
probably leading."

Oseba said the Australasians enjoyed a higher average plane of living
than any other people; they were better educated, better clothed,
better fed, and better housed, and, with comparisons made on the same
or like basis, they were the greatest commercial people on the globe,
with proportionately much greater banking power than any other people.
In proportion to population, these 4,500,000 Australasians had four
times the capital of the people of other leading countries, and their
commerce was four times larger.

He applauded the tendency towards holding the lands at nominal or
low rents for the use of the people; the construction, ownership and
management of the railways, telegraphs, telephones and other public
utilities, by the government for the convenience and use of the
governed, as the acme of political wisdom.

He claimed that the Australasians had confirmed every lesson of
history, for all experience taught that only through colonial
enterprise were experiments in legislation safe, and advanced ideas
crystallised into law. Small communities might safely experiment, and
when the people bore sway, the dangers possible from rapid changes were
preferable to the mildew of stagnation.

In political and social progress, in material prosperity and moral
worth, the people of Australasia were conspicuously at the head of the
procession.

Only through the influence of colonial enterprise, had real liberty
ever gained a substantial victory, and only through expedients
suggested by colonial necessities, had great economic changes hurriedly
come.

America, in her free and fearless youth, far excelled the motherland
in liberal legislation and economic progress, but the millstone
of aggregated wealth and "vested interests" weighed her down,
and she retired from the leadership, while Australasia, with her
novel surroundings and the experience of all the former ages to
contemplate, proposed to sail a little further over the inviting
seas of social progress, and her success had vindicated the wisdom
of her determination. At a time when many other nations were almost
madly pushing colonial experiments, she had written a new volume
corroborating the evidence of the centuries, that Britain alone, of
all modern nations, possessed the requisite qualities for successful
colonisation.

"Australasia deserves well of the world," said Oseba, "for under the
separate standards of her many colonial chiefs, she has moved the
people on to a most advanced position.

[Illustration: _Looking down the Mueller Glacier from Ball Pass, Mount
Cook._]

"But in Australia proper there has recently come a change that must
necessarily check the rapidity of Australian progress. Six of the
Australasian colonies--New Zealand not joining--have left the
skirmish-line, and formed into a less mobile mass. The light infantry
have buckled on heavy knapsacks--the flying artillery have been re-cast
into siege guns. The 'states' are now anchored to the past, and the
'Commonwealth' must be unwieldy. The members of this compact may chafe,
but the chains are unyielding, and the ponderous hulk, in which all the
luggage has been tossed, will be found cumbrously slow in its movements.

"As social groups, the Australians, in their 'free colonies,' were in
their vigorous youth--they were buoyant and ambitious. They looked
abroad, beheld what others had done, and said, 'Let us take another
step,' and being free and self-ruling, they were able to hurriedly
adjust their political machine to their local requirements.

"Inspired by novel environments, great opportunities and hard
necessities, the Phoenicians and the Greeks, as colonisers, gave to
Europe its commercial instincts; and, inspired by like opportunities
and necessities, the British have not only made the dreams of the
ancients a reality but they have created and firmly established modern
civilisation. America is the Carthage of Phoenicia. Australasia is the
_Magna Grecia_ of Greece. Australia has played well her part.

"But a new king has come, my children, 'who knew not Joseph,' and
no Moses can lead the people rapidly out from the shadow of the
'Commonwealth.'

"Australia has a genial climate; she has broad, fertile acres enough
to support a grand empire; she has a magnificent people, and she has
advanced the standard of social progress many a league, but a 'tribal'
exuberance has been hampered by allegiance to a central authority, so
the leadership in social progress must be passed to less incumbered
hands.

"The world stands in mute admiration at Australia's social
achievements; but, to gratify the ambition of a few men who desired a
broader field for the display of a splendid talent, she has lost her
'innings,' and 'New Zealand' has the bat.

"When the Commonwealth band struck up, it was whispered across 1,200
miles of sea to New Zealand, 'Will you walk into my parlor?' but the
sturdy Seddon answered, 'No, thanks! we will go ahead, and turn on a
little more light.'

"Then, while I love the Australians and shall ever hope for their
future prosperity, we will 'ring off,' and review the last, the
loveliest, and the most free and inviting field ever explored by man,
for already the colors are in worthy hands, and the leaders have
proposed to take another step."

Summing up for a conclusion, the sage Oseba said that China, even with
"opportunities," presented no varieties; and while Japan had variety,
she had no room. Europe was too strongly wedded to militarism for
healthy mental growth; Britain has become a park for her nobles; Africa
had the black plague; America was owned by the trusts, and was managed
in their interests by the party bosses; and Australia, like a child
crying for bracelets, had put on hand-cuffs.

"So, none of these answer the requirements of our commission," said
the orator, "and I now invite you, my children, to another series of
pictures in our elaborate gallery--'tis of my last 'discovery.'"

Here, pending the re-adjustment of the instruments, the audience
indulged in a few moments of lively conversation, for the promises
seemed to be more encouraging. But soon Mr. Oseba stepped to the front
with a confident dignity, and in a pleasing voice said:--

"My learned colleagues, and you, my beloved countrymen and women, I
have detained you long, and, that you might appreciate my conclusions,
I have gone somewhat into details in my extensive review. I have shown
you many of my discoveries, on the outer surface of our planet; I have
explained the political systems of many peoples, and I have observed
the play of your emotions as the conditions of men were portrayed; but
I now promise you only pleasing revelations, for in beauty, in climate,
in soil and social situation, I am going to show you the paradise of
Oliffa, and this means a portion of Australasia that declined to join
the federation of which I have spoken--it means New Zealand, on the
map, 'Zealandia,' with the poets, but Zelania, as it would be called in
our more musical speech, and by this euphonious title shall we speak
of that charming land. This, my children, was my last discovery, and
while many people on Oliffa don't care to be discovered at all, I hope
the 'Zelanians' will never regret my having landed on their blissful
shores."



_SCENE VIII.--Act I._

ZELANIA--MR. OSEBA'S LAST DISCOVERY.


Blue pencilling several eloquent pages, I am here constrained to use
the discretion generously given me, by choosing for myself the methods
of introducing the scenes of Mr. Oseba's last discovery.

It has been previously mentioned that Leo Bergin had "done newspaper
work in New Zealand," and here seems a proper place to re-refer to this
pleasing fact.

Leo notes that, pending a re-arrangement of the stage, there was a
brief intermission, and later, that having become weary from strained
attention, and drowsy from the soothing pleasures of the occasion,
his thoughts flitted back over the silent years, and falling into
a half-unconscious reverie, he seized the thread and wove from the
thrilling scenes of the past the panorama of a pleasing dream. In his
chant, we catch the echoes of a farewell to his native land, and,
floating away into aimless realms, he follows the devious path of other
days, where vaguely arise the fleeting phantoms of pleasures forever
gone.

[Illustration: _Hinemoa's Bath, of Legendary Fame_]

We know not the mystery of a dream, but in Leo Bergin's brain the
hoary mountains rise, the restless seas moan, and the scenes of
ever-enchanting Zelania unroll like a magic scroll. In modest phrase he
sings the memories of early wanderings, and that through his mental
gleams we may reach a higher appreciation of the unfolding views, I
quote his rippling rhymes:--


LEO BERGIN'S REVERIE.

    Sweet home, adieu! With vent'rous crew,
      I'm sailing o'er the ocean blue.

    As on we leap, the eye doth sweep
      The curving borders of the deep.

    The days glide by, I gaze and sigh,
      But nought appears, save sea and sky.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Behold! there rise, 'neath Southern skies,
      Green Isles that greet our glad surprise.

    Oh! lovely Isles, where Nature smiles,
      And beckons to the "afterwhiles."

    Here fancy drew, from old and new,
      To give the soul extended view.

    With air so mild, and scenery wild,
      The Fates persuaded, led and smiled.

    O! Craggy peak! O! Earthquakes freak,
      Had I but words of you to speak.

    Our course we take, through broom and brake,
      To view the fern-embroidered lake.

    Those lakes, so sweet, at mountain's feet,
      Where weary strangers, strangers meet.

    The waters blue, with swift canoe,
      We skim, for glimpses weird and new.

    We lift the eye to mountain high,
      To where the snow-peaks kiss the sky.

    O'er gorges deep, where shadows creep,
      dark clouds cluster, pause and weep.

    In dreamy mood, we pause and brood,
      'Midst awe-inspiring solitude.

    We list--a roar, that cometh o'er,
      From danger scenes we would explore.

    For ah! the spell! the geyser's well,
      That hurls the sulphurous fumes from hell;

    That flings on high, with thund'rous sigh,
      Huge rocks, that smite the cloud-flecked sky.

    But list, ye bands from other lands,
      This monument of splendor stands,

    In South Seas hurled, with flag unfurled,
      "The scenic wonder of the world."

           *       *       *       *       *

    As here we scan old Nature's plan,
      We seek her last, best work--a man.

    Lo! he appears! nor hopes nor fears
      Have vexed his soul through all the years.

    With haughty pride--nor priest nor guide--
      He ruled the land, as warrior tried.

    Here chieftain brave, here King and slave,
      Their lives to war and foray gave.

    Here, dusky maid was ne'er afraid
      To join the fray, in copse or glade.

    With waving hair, and beauty rare,
      Brave hearts these maidens did ensnare.

    When beauty wild a chief beguiled,
      He gazed in liquid eyes, and smiled.

    Love makes amends, and often blends,
      Wild warring factions into friends.

    But strong the will, with tribesmen's skill,
      The Maori was unconquered still.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Where Nature, kind, unfolds the mind,
      Man is to nobler thoughts inclined.

    Though brave, he's meek; he aids the weak,
      And high companionship doth seek.

    In social train, by hand and brain,
      He wins and holds a vast domain.

    He builds a State; 'tis weak or great,
      As based on love, or fosters hate.

    If Wisdom's eyes survey the skies,
      Before their magic touch arise

    Industrial arts, where loyal hearts
      May rear and fill commercial marts.

    If strong and just, and true to trust,
      The coin of Truth can never rust;

    And wise men see that none are free,
      Save where there's large equality--

    Where Law commands, that sturdy hands,
      Shall freely cultivate the lands;

    No coward slave, but free and brave,
      Shall ever ready be to save.

    Thus honest worth, o'er all the earth,
      Conditions make, e'en more than birth.

           *       *       *       *       *

    'Twas said by Fate, these Isles must wait,
      The builders of an ideal State.

    Then with the breeze, 'cross Southern seas,
      The Briton came, with high decrees.

    New scenes arose, old wounds they close,
      And friendship reigns 'mong ancient foes.

    For Maori hate, by skill and--"fate"--
      Was merged into the British "State."

    United, free, they now agree
      To dwell in peace,--"So mote it be."

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then of this man, and if we can,
      We'll follow out his mystic plan.

    For wise it seems, e'en in our dreams,
      To build, with care, prophetic themes.

    Then let us gauge the Seer and Sage,
      As pass they o'er Life's mystic stage.

    First, of the dead, it may be said,
      While warm of heart and cool of head,

    They saw the new, and though but few,
      They laid foundations, strong and true,

    On which to rear, without a fear,
      This temple,--so imposing here.

    By words sublime, in prose and rhyme,
      They taught, for all-enduring time.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then Seddon came, without whose name
      This temple were unfinished frame.

    But in his care, with graceful air,
      The structure rose, with finish fair.

    His sturdy stroke the times awoke,
      As from Tradition's rules he broke.

    Upon the land he scattered bands,
      With willing hearts and sturdy hands.

    To those once rent with discontent,
      He even-handed Justice sent.

    Now o'er the State, nor fear nor hate
      Could find companion, small or great.

    Look o'er the land, from peak to strand,
      There's happiness on every hand.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Here Cities rare, exceeding fair,
      Zealania boasts, with modest air.

    At eve or dawn, we gaze upon
      The busy, "blowy" Wellington.

    Here, products great for ships await,
      And here repose the powers of State.

    Here, founding laws, for mighty cause,
      The statesman long the session draws.

    Here modest worth and homely mirth
      Find more respect than rank or birth.

           *       *       *       *       *

    There's Auckland, too--'twixt me and you--
      A beauty spot, excelled by few.

    Round this fair cove, old Nature strove
      To show the fickle feats of Jove.

    Volcanic smoke in fury broke,
      Until the heavens all awoke.

    When cleared the skies, there did arise
      A seat for earthly Paradise.

    At mountains' feet, where lavas meet,
      There Auckland sits, serene and sweet.

    With seas afore, just off her door,
      Where proud ships ride for evermore.

           *       *       *       *       *

    We note with care, with Christchurch, there
      Are few that safely may compare.

    For pride of race, for social grace,
      She holds a high and honored place.

    'Mid fertile plain of waving grain,
      We search for lovelier spot, in vain.

    Here, soul and brain; here, maid and swain,
      A pure companionship maintain.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Dunedin stands, on favored lands,
      'Twixt mountains high and ocean sands.

    On beauty's spot, the "Canny Scot"
      Has cast his ever happy lot.

    With taste and skill, from rock to rill,
      Dunedin reaches 'long the hill.

    With vision free--upon the lee--
      Dunedin gazes o'er the sea.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Full many more, 'tween hill and shore,
      Are worthy of the poet's lore.

    Though hard I seek, the words are weak,
      Of nobler beauties now to speak.

    While cities were, with beauty rare,
      Contrived by man, with studied care,

    The vale, the glen, the lake, the fen,
      Were made by Him who maketh men.

    The fields of grain, where honest swain
      Earns honest bread, wave not in vain.

    For West and East, both man and beast
      Await to join Zealania's feast.

    And from all lands, by skilful hands,
      White sails are bent for Austral strands.

    Here, finest wheat, by many a fleet
      Is sent, the foreign marts to meet.

    And finest fleece--in war or peace--
      They shear, that wealth they may increase.

    With choicest meat, both rare and sweet,
      In "Merry England," they compete.

    In farm or mine, with food or wine,
      To lead the leaders they incline.

           *       *       *       *       *

    By skill they coil the threads of toil
      Around the riches of the soil.

    And, for the sake of gain to make,
      Great enterprise they undertake.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Well, far and near, we've gathered here,
      And all in all it doth appear

    That higher goals and nobler souls
      Are here, than elsewhere 'tween the poles.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now wake, my Muse, do not refuse
      To pay "my hostess" honest dues.

    For ladies fair, with beauty rare,
      Zealania boasts, beyond compare.

    And smiles more sweet we'll never meet
      Until we bow at Peter's feet.

    Awake again and listen, when
      Beholding strong Zealania's men.

    'Tis writ by Fate, men only great
      Could constitute this noble State.

    Then sing for all, both great and small,
      Each in fit place, that none may fall.

    The dreams of seers, the hopes and fears,
      Have gathered 'long the silent years,

    And on these Isles, with radiant smiles,
      Were cast the hoarded "afterwhiles."

           *       *       *       *       *

    Zealania fair, thou art the heir
      Of all the cries of ancient prayer.

    Here sturdy bands, with gen'rous hands,
    Are guardians of these favored lands.

    Then hail thee thrice--let this suffice,
      Thou art Creation's Paradise.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Oh! float away--like mist in May,
      Or rainbow tints 'mid ocean spray.

    "I wake to sense--please, no offence,--
      Forgive my drowsy indolence."

Well, indeed that is pretty; but let us down from Leo's fancies to Mr.
Oseba's facts, and while I shall strive to retain a seasoning of Mr.
Oseba's richness, time and the love of ease whisper persuasively of the
virtues of the blue pencil.

With more animated eloquence, Mr. Oseba resumed his oration. "The
audience," says Leo Bergin, "gave the most profound attention."

"Knowledge," said Mr. Oseba, "is a priceless treasure, but," with
a smile he continued, "many a good story has been spoiled by
over-inquisitiveness. Poetic fancy suffers from flirtations with cause
and conscience. Unless inquiry has been thorough, my children, it is
wiser, in most cases, to note impressions than to assume to record
facts, so I shall give you but a 'bird's-eye' view of these enchanting
isles, with the characters as they appeared before the visual camera
when I made my observations.

"Had I gone fossicking among the weary ones of Zelania, I should
doubtless have found many excellent people who, in some phase of the
inquiry, would have questioned the correctness of my conclusions. I
might have heard some sighs, amid the almost universal joy--some smiles
with the general congratulations, and some discordant groans mingled
with the generous applause--but where there is not sufficient diversity
of interest to produce mental friction, there is more danger from
decomposition than from revolution.

"Yes, I incline to think had I stood on the corner and listened I would
have met some well-to-do gentlemen who disliked the land tax; some
business men who disliked the labor laws; some farmers, who wanted a
free ride and no rent; some patriotic men who failed to admire many
of 'Richard's' taking ways. I might also have found healthy gentlemen
from 'Home' who, though their conditions were bettered by coming,
have little love for 'the colonials,' and who, by virtue of their
unwillingness to grasp the true situation, regard every statement of a
fact as an extravagance, and every forward movement as a revolution.
Then, I should have felt it necessary to inquire how much of such
criticism was due to private interest, to defeated ambition, to party
or factional prejudice, or to differences in opinion as to who would
best grace the conspicuous chair.

"For this I had neither time nor inclination. Man can equivocate, can
even lie, 'tis said, but visible conditions never deceive an observing
stranger, and when I considered the brief history of that country and
compared its early social and political policy with the present free,
happy and prosperous situation, I had little care to banquet with
private grievance or public criticism.

"I was concerned, not in the salaries of the public servants, but in
the character of the public conscience; not in who, for the time being,
guided the ship of state, but how the passengers and the crew were
being brought to their destination.

"On a lonely elevation, far removed from the murmuring crowd, I
levelled my glass, and, without sampling the fluids from which the
stage actors drew their inspiration, I noted my 'impressions.' They
were favorable, and if I'm guilty of nothing worse than failing to
note the faults of those chosen by themselves as ringmasters of the
performance, I feel that the Zelanians will not regret my having
'discovered them.'

"As the beauties of Zelania so far transcend the powers of the
painter's brush and the poet's metaphor, I pay her homage of my
admiration, in modest speech."


IN SILENT WONDER.

"In scenic wonders, these playful Isles present a peculiar series of
thrilling charms, which seem to satisfy best the yearnings of those who
have visited other lands.

"In geography, Zelania is beautifully isolated, as every beach is
washed by more than a thousand miles of sea. Its borders are so
erratic, so indented by bays, harbors, and inlets, that its shore-lines
are over 4,000 miles in extent, and, in altitude, it reaches from the
sea-shore to the clouds.

"Configuratively, it is milder than a dream, and topographically, it
presents a most romantic and pleasing aspect. In scenic beauty, the
Isles of Greece, the Lakes of Ireland, or the 'Vales of Cashmere' do
not surpass it, and in the awe-inspiring wildness of its mountain
grandeur, it rivals the noblest of Norway or Alaskan scenes.

"In bold magnificence, the glacial glories of the Swiss Alps are tame
comparisons, and its geysers, its boiling lakes, its roaring vents from
subterranean fires, its hundreds of spouting caldrons, its grottos and
waterfalls, could not be surpassed, if all the rest of Oliffa's wonders
were brought together and placed on exhibition--such a congerie of
curiosities has Nature thrown in young Zelania's lap.

"When Nature made Oliffa, my children, she nourished a sly intent to
show her skill when in the flower of training. With this in view, as
she deftly moulded other lands and tempered them from her laboratory,
she tossed aside the choice bits of material, and took notes on
'effect.' Then, after finishing the rest, and 'behold it was very
good,' with a glance to the gallery gods, she said, 'Now look at me!'

[Illustration: _Waimangu Geyser.--Semiquiescent._]

"Then, like the sculptor who has many models for one figure--one from
which to copy the most perfect arm, one the hand, another the
knee, and still another for the foot--so, she, selecting from the most
perfect of all her former works, improved on each, and in her happiest
mood she fashioned Zelania, and anchored it in these southern seas.
Then she smiled, and--took a _siesta_."

[Illustration: _Waimangu Geyser playing to a height of 1500ft. The
second wonder of the world._]

"Geologically," said Oseba, "Zelania is an ancient pile of dirt, but
here all the games that frisky Nature played in her boisterous youth,
before 'Atlantus' sank from the Ocean bosom, before the Mediterranean
burst through the Pillars of Hercules, before the sun and winds drank
the waters from the Sahara, and possibly before great Chimborazo was,
she still keeps on the stage for the edification or the terror of gods
and men."

"At Rotorua, that trysting place of fairies and fiends, man may play
with Nature as did the deities of old with the daughters of men; while
at Waimangu, the mightiest geyser on the globe, one may safely stand
within a few yards' distance and behold a scene of thrilling awe that
banishes all consciousness--save that of dread and power.

"To stand near the verge and behold this acre of dark world as it is
hurled a thousand feet into the air, is worth a trip round this little
globe. Language gives but a faint gleam of human passion, and every
effort to describe this scene brings but a pathetic consciousness of
human frailty. Beholding this mighty convulsion, even the thoughtless
stand motionless and mute, and as Milton is dead, Waimangu will never
be described in words.

"The countless mountain lakes, the wild fiords--from whose deep
recesses one but rarely sees the sun--the shady solitudes, so painfully
still that one shudders with a chilling sense of loneliness, and the
easily-approached glaciers and waterfalls--many with a plunge of over
a thousand feet, that amaze the Alpine traveller--thrill and fill the
beholder with astonishment.

"But for one who enjoys the gun and the rod, there are such tempting
opportunities for the diversion of the attention, that the imagination
finds ready relaxation, and thus the body and mind gain vigor as the
scenes and the days pass by.

"Then, Zelania's wonders may be visited with ease, comfort, and perfect
safety. Her furies are on their good behaviour, and save on the borders
of her terrors, her aspects are as serene as heaven's azure sky. Her
mountains are rarely disturbed by the ravings of Pluto, her great
geysers are forcible, but not dangerously erratic, and her boiling
springs are so amiable that they may be studied and safely observed at
short range.

    "Zelania, thou art by far the most beauteous land,
    E'er dreamed of fate, or reared by Nature's cunning hand.
    You've heaven-piercing peaks, crowned with eternal snow,
    A thousand boiling caldrons--heated from below.
    You've glaciers dwarfing Alpine scenes, and fiords more wild
    Than Norway boasts. When fashioned, God beheld and smiled.

"That Nature rather recklessly managed this country in early geological
times is abundantly evident, but save the activity of the geysers
and boiling lakes--which play for the amusement of visitors--and the
occasional listing when some great personage steps too close to the
edge, _terra_ has been satisfactorily _firma_ ever since the present
managers were commissioned in the early '90's.

"In every natural feature, this is a country of boundless variety.
In climate, it varies from Finland to Italy; and in production, by
intelligent transplanting, most of the necessities of civilised life
are here."

Here the notes say the poetess Vauline inquired whether Mr. Oseba had
not minutely described some of these marvellous scenes in his report.
With reverential mien, the sage replied:--

"No, my children, to attempt this, were to profane the gift and the
giver of speech. Only one who beholds these wonders can appreciate
them. When confronted, the grandeur of the infinite may be felt by a
sensitive soul, but through an interpreter all attempts fail. Beholding
one scene, I uncovered and bowed my head in silence.[A] Words! they
were meaningless."

Yes, and I will help Mr. Oseba out, for I have observed these things,
and I have read somewhere how some sort "rush in" where even the angels
incline to hesitate.

    _The Painter came!_

    Folding his arms, he raised his drooping head, and gazed in awful
            thought.
    He stood in rapturous dream; "Oh God, if I could grasp that scene,
            the noblest fame e'er bought
    By toil were mine!" With eager hand he clutched the brush. With
            anxious eye
    He gazed. Lo! the eye dimmed, the brain reeled, the hand fell, and
            with a sigh
    He dropped the brush. In deep despair he turned and said, "Alas,
            good-bye!
    'Tis an unpainted picture. Ye gods of solitude, good-bye!"

    _The Poet came!_

    With streaming hair, pale brow, and nervous tread he hither came
            to brood
    O'er Nature's vastest works, to wrench the beauties from this
            solitude,
    And weave in mystic rhyme these wond'rous scenes for common
            mortals' gaze.
    Entranced, he seized his pen. Anon he wrote--methinks he wrote
            in praise.
    Then pensively he stood, and mutt'ring said: "Words suit well the
            minstrel's lays,
    But, 'tis an unwritten poem, to tempt the soul through endless
            days."

    _The Fool came!_

    He smiled. On good terms with himself he seemed, as one who owned
            the world.
    In jocund speech he cried, "'Tis ours!" and in mock haste his flag
            unfurled.
    On ancient log he rests. He laughs, he jokes, and chats. Behold
            him look!
    'Tis for a match; he faggots brings, he lights a fire--a meal to
            cook.
    Says he: "Extr'ordinary! Ar'nt this grand? By gol! old fel, I'll
            write a book."
    Then words like snow-flakes fall--like snow-flakes in a brook.


A DIGRESSION.

"Now, my children," said Oseba, "permit me to make a few observations
based upon my study among the Outeroos, which will apply to the country
under review.

"Remember, all terms expressing quality--such as good and evil, right
and wrong, truth and error--are relative, and, as affecting men, the
definition to each individual depends upon his environment. As a fact,
the rules expressing these ideas are largely fictions established by
society for its own purpose, but, in their general application, they
must be allowed considerable latitude.

"A country is good or bad, as it offers or withholds opportunity for
earning a livelihood, and for the development of the mental faculties
by the application of reasonable efforts; and a government is good or
bad, as it withholds or encourages such opportunities and aspirations.
'When the wise rule, the people rejoice'--even in the barren districts.
It is a matter--well, it is a matter--largely of 'grey matter.' As a
rule, Nature has not been niggard in the distribution of her blessings.
And, as a rule, the term good or bad, when applied to a country,
applies less to the soil than to the society. It is college _versus_
cannon, or inquiry _versus_ credulity. Under a reign of benign justice,
from a barren soil may arise an earthly paradise, while bigotry, war,
and oppression will make a hell of the fairest valley.

    'The gods wondered, and Viehnu said to Bel,
    "With seven wise men shalt thou enter hell,
    Or with five fools, pass into paradise."
    "Give me," said Bel, "hell with the wise,
    For that is heaven, where they do dwell,
    While fools would make of Heaven itself a hell."'

"The subject, my children, always bears the image of the law, the
expression of custom, and customs are established by cunning for the
rule of credulity. By custom, one is born the owner of many broad
acres; and by custom, ten thousand toil without enjoying, that one may
enjoy without toil. But Nature usually lends herself freely to man's
designs. In a vast monotonous country, despotism is a usual system of
government, Nature suggesting no change; the leader becomes the chief,
the chief becomes the monarch, the monarch becomes a despot, and the
despot a god.

"On the contrary, in a smaller country with diversified aspects,
indented shore-lines and water-front, scaleable mountains and erratic
climate, Nature suggests--change. A holy discontent appears, the despot
becomes a constitutional monarch, a parliament serves the people, a
cabinet advises the king; and then, as mountains suggest liberty and
seas adventure, distant colonies, in which custom and precedent are
ignored, are established on lines in harmony with environing conditions.

"Human liberty, my children, rarely gains a victory in an old, wealthy,
populous and well-established country or government. Society, under
such conditions, becomes conservative; the rulers love power, the
cunning want no change, the wealthy are satisfied, and the people,
being adjusted to the changeless conditions, are 'loyal' and contented.

"Further, every defeat of despotism, every entrenchment upon the
'divine' territory, every victory of human liberty, has been due to
the restless inhabitants of the water-front; and remember, for all
the progressive movements of all the ages, and for what the centuries
call modern civilisation, the world is indebted to colonial enterprise,
conspicuously led by Phoenicia, Greece, and modern Britain."


BACK TO ZELANIA.

"But let us, my children," Oseba continued, "return to Zelania,
Nature's choicest, last, and most successful effort, and to where these
principles apply. In her geographical situation, her configuration, her
soil and climate, she offers man everything to toughen the fibre, to
quicken the perception, and to strengthen the imagination.

"She has the climate, the fertility, the production, the
picturesqueness of Greece, and all in greater variety."

Oseba here led his audience into a most interesting inquiry regarding
climatic influence in the development of a people. He said man was a
part of, and strongly allied to, Nature, and that he could not escape
the influence of his environment.

In interior tropical regions Nature puts a black skin and black hair
on her people, and, as a joke, she usually flattens the nose. In vast
interior and warm regions, the complexion are tawny, with black or
tawny hair and oblique eyes, that shunt the direct rays of light.

"Then, too," he says, "island or sea-shore people are lighter in
color than those of the interior, and not only is the complexion of
man, but his physical proportions, stature and temperament, modified
by climatic conditions. In interior countries men gradually assume
a type--they are lithe, and rather small of stature, and so alike
that they seem cast in the same mould; while those living on islands
along the water-front, or among the mountains, are more sturdy, they
vary more in build, size and deftness, and they are mentally more
inquisitive, venturesome, impetuous and brave."

He said that by far the most sturdy, virile, impulsive and enterprising
people on Oliffa inhabited the British Isles. Of course, the race had
much to do with modern movements, but the earlier climatic conditions
of the country produced the racial distinctions.

"By the rule of Nature, then," he continued, "Zelania, with the proper
stock to begin with, in complexion, form, feature, temperament, and
mental endowments, should produce the finest type of man and womanhood
on the planet."

He compared the Maoris with the aboriginals of interior Australia, and
said both were modified by their environment.

Here Leo Bergin remarked that Mr. Oseba was certainly greatly taken and
impressed by his "colonial" experience. However, it is not improbable
that while travelling in New Zealand Mr. Oseba received sufficient
courtesies to impress him deeply with the matchless hospitality of the
people.

[Illustration: _The Moa of Maoriland. The skeleton of this particular
Moa stands about 12ft. high, and is a curious but substantial fact, but
as the Moa, the dinornis--as the learned folks call it--permanently
retired from New Zealand, possibly before the Maoris came, the plumage
and plumpness are the works of the artistic naturalist._]

"But, enough," says Leo Bergin, "my master is worthy of my whole
attention," and the notes run:--

"But let me return, my children, and pick up the theme of Zelania, for
in her--with my tours over her romantic islands--I found balm for all
my earlier disappointments.

"Zelania has certainly not worried her soul in life-producing efforts.
In botany, she is not rich in species; in mammals she is more allied
to South America, over six thousand miles distant, than to Australia,
but twelve hundred miles, justifying my conviction that this paragon of
beauty was an after-thought of the creative power.

"In mammals she has but a little rat--a poor little weakling that has
not yet been tamed or learned to board with the people--and two little
half-developed bats. Of reptiles, there are a few lazy lizards, but
whether some 'Patrick' or 'Denis' had banished them, I could not say;
but snakes, there are none."

He said there were some land birds, but as there were no animals to
"make them afraid," the more indolent of them had lost their wings and
their natural characteristics had changed.

The moa was probably--some time ago--a pretty respectable bird, but
there being no danger from which to "flee" and no long flights to
procure food, it cast off its wings and strutted about until its bones
became as heavy as those of a reindeer, and it stretched up its head
until it stood twelve feet high. But having no cares nor anxieties, no
fears nor ambition, it failed to develop "grey matter," so when the
Maori came it "surrendered," and, having taken off its flesh as well
as its wings, it is now resting in the museums. Without the rod or the
bun, there seems to be no effort, and without effort there seems to be
little progress with any created thing.


THE MAORIS "DISCOVERED."

    "And the great god Morduch heaved the earth from its watery bed,
    and peopled its shores according to his will."

As Oseba evidently meant to proceed upon his discourse in some
predesigned order, he here gave some interesting attention to the
Maoris, the natives--or, so-called, aboriginals--of New Zealand.

The orator, in his inimitable manner, described the Maoris with
amusing detail. He calls them a fine race of romantic savages, whose
physique had undoubtedly been greatly improved by the winning smiles
of Zelania's climate and general aspects; for 'tis said they have been
loafing around there for 500 years. "A large, heavy, dark brown people
are these Maoris, who, in their own picturesque costume, often looked
gracefully noble. Brave and ferocious while untamed, they are usually
amiable and indolent when subjected to civilising influences."

Many of the young women were very pretty, and the children were quick
in wit and movement. He did not think that tattooing the under lips of
the women had really improved their beauty. Many of the half-castes
were very intelligent, and not a few had made excellent reputations,
in politics and other "professions." Many of them, too, had a sublime
gift of "gab," and this trait is shared--even by the men.

Intellectually the Maoris were, Oseba thought, superior to any other
tamed savage; but, like other barbarians, when touched by civilisation,
they learned and accepted the vices more readily than the virtues. This
was noticeable in all civilising movements. Oseba remarked that it was
often observed among the Outeroos when speaking of such people, that
the "Christian vices" killed them.

"This," he says, "was natural, for while it takes time to teach the
'brethren' the real advantages to be derived from the practices of
Christian virtue, the 'Christian vices' yield 'immediate returns.'
'Thou shalt not steal' to a savage produces a peculiarly disagreeable
confusion of ideas, and the advantages are not readily apparent,
but two drinks of whisky rarely failed to impress. This is a custom
peculiar to 'Christian culture' that is 'taking.'

"To judge by the conspicuous exhibitions of artistic effort and the
countless displays by the photo fiend in many of Zelania's towns,
a stranger would conclude that the Maoris were the 'superior' and
dominant race, though there are but a little over 43,000 in the whole
country, mostly on the north or warmer island, and it is said they are
about stationary in numbers and in morals."

He told his audience that these Maoris, when originally discovered,
were a stalwart, brave and rather superior race of savages; that war
was the only argument that appealed to their perverted consciences, and
he quoted an admiring New Zealand poet to prove the "amiable" heroism
of the Maori "ladies."

    "E'en woman, formed for sweetness, for love, and tender art
    Here showed the tiger instinct, the hard and ruthless heart;
    Her's was the task in battle, the wounded braves to slay,
    And cook the reeking corpses for the feast that closed the fray."

"Yes, the Maori women were brave, very brave, but, my children, in all
Zelania there was not a mouse.

"Of these Maoris, there are several tribes," he says, "who, when free
from the meddlesome 'white man's yoke,' are usually engaged in slaying
and stewing each other, and, besides carving with their greenstone
cleavers their cooked brethren and their own faces, they practised much
in wood-carving. In this, while the workmanship is fair, there is a
manifest lack of a sense of proportion, that amuses the connoisseur as
it delighted the amateur in art.

"Like the more common, or at least more numerous and more pretentious
white fellow-citizen, these Maoris go to church some, and to school,
and to the drink-shop and to jail, but as the Maoris have a little
creed of their own, they don't go to church very much. But if the
Maori goes less to church, to school, and to Parliament, he also goes
less to jail and to the hotel than his more pretentious white British
fellow-citizen.

"The Maoris are picturesque, especially at the more popular tourist
resorts, where their presence lends a particularly charming romance to
the occasion. The emotional tourist--especially if a young gentleman
from 'Home'--who is safely piloted by the alert, polite, and loquacious
'Maggie' among the roaring and exploding geysers of that charming
compromise between awe-inspiring beauty and terror, that unpreached
sermon, that unsung song, that unwritten poem, that section of hell
in an earthly paradise, Rotorua, in whose weird precincts are seen
and heard and smelled, at close range, the seething fires of 'Pluto's
dread abode,' he will cherish a generous respect for Maori hospitality
forever. Under Maggie's watchful guidance, the most unsophisticated
tourist could safely approach the yawning mouth of these boiling
caldrons without endangering life or health or appetite; though,
unless one heeds the cautious guide, the boot soles are in danger of
shrinking, and in these sulphurous regions 'kuss words' flow from pious
lips.

"Nature," Oseba argued, "was a unity and is consistent. She ignores
individuals, and strives, oblivious to time, for universals. No created
thing ever escapes the influence of environment. But Nature carries out
her works with the instruments at hand. Whence came these Maoris is
a guess, but as in character, stature, proportion, personal bearing,
and mental possibilities, no other savage on the globe compares with
them, they must have been sufficiently long in Zelania to have become
modified by, and made to conform to, the luring conditions of that
wonderful country."

But I must continue:--

As there were no indigenous grains or tameable animals, and as no
people ever worked out a civilisation without the assistance of
tameable animals, the Maori could only remain a savage, but the climate
and general aspect of Nature, the peculiar environing conditions, gave
him the noblest soul and most fertile intellect ever housed in the
brain of a barbarian. The conduct of the Maoris in defence of their
country, considering the relative conditions of the contending forces,
found no parallel in history or romance.

They had all the cunning and duplicity of the Greek, the stubborn
courage of the ancient Briton, and the stoical disdain for death of
the North American Indian. While in the whirligig of the great world's
doings a contest between the most skilful of all warriors and a few
small tribes of savages, in so remote a country, could excite no very
great interest among the far-away nations, to the watchful student of
events there were few pages of history more interesting than the Maori
wars in Zelania.

Socially, the Maori was of a peculiar mould. A communist in property,
he was an aristocrat by nature, and in his soul there was a haughty
exuberance of spirit that rendered tribal discipline difficult, and
domestic peace precarious. In war, the Maori was brave; in diplomacy,
shrewd; in council, a born orator.

The Maori remained a savage in Zelania because there was nothing to
tame him, but in his nature there was the diamond, and, by a little
grinding, its brilliancy always burst forth. His native environment had
given him everything of a superior mould but the final touch. I quote:--

"Already from the grim huts of these late savages have come forth the
orator, the lawyer, the statesman, and the successful business man.
'From the cannibal feast to the Cabinet,' is almost true of the Maori.

"The fate of the Maoris?

"Well, my children, I don't know, but the grafting of civilisation on
such a stock may work wonders, and to study these most picturesque of
all the sons of Nature, is worth a journey around this little world.

"It is most interesting," continued Oseba, "to study the aboriginals
of any country, and it is pathetic to observe their gradual retirement
from the earth's fair face; but the Maori--the handsome, haughty,
aristocratic and eloquent Maori--is as different from all other
uncivilised races as his enchanting island home is different from all
other countries on the surface of Oliffa.

"If bare-handed Nature in Zelania, with no animals for the chase, none
for herds or for servants of industry, and practically no grain or
fruit, could spank the savage, common to other lands into this shape,
what may it not do for civilised man, who brings with him all the aids
of all the ages?"

Oseba explained that before he called on Zelania he had visited
every other country on Oliffa, and had studied the "inferior" races
carefully, but the Maoris stood solitary and alone. All others lacked
physical fibre and mental stamina, and for them to remain in contact
with the superior races meant many generations for doubtful growth, or
a few generations for extinction.

But the Maoris had now attained full manhood. They were "different"
from the whites, and this was more proper than to say they were very
much "inferior." They had enjoyed none of the advantages of outside
communication, no aid from tameable animals, no experiences by the
chase, no traditions of industrial art, during probably more than five
hundred years. Yet the Maori seems to have attained to a surprising
degree a fairly full mental and physical stature. He has eloquence,
perception, inquisitiveness and acquisitiveness. He has everything
but--civilisation. He has the soul, but it needs tuning; the material,
but it needs shaking-up and seasoning. The magic touch of a newer,
a higher inspiration is needed, and that is being injected into his
awakening consciousness by a benign social sentiment.

"To-day," said Oseba, "the Zelania Maori, as seen in his grotesque
works of art, in his struggle for wild independence, in his weird
religious ceremony, in his common avocations as toiler, professional
man or politician, is the most picturesque human being on the planet,
and his presence in Zelania gives a seasoning of romance to be studied
and enjoyed in no other land."

[Illustration: _Tattooed Maori Chief.--"Maori Carving."_]



_SCENE VIII.--Act II._

APPROPRIATING A WORLD.


All being in readiness, a number of very perfect maps were thrown on
the canvas, showing the plains, valleys, mountains, lakes, and rivers
of Zelania, with the nature of the production of each island; and a
careful and detailed description as to location and resources was given
by the orator.

Then, calling the attention of his audience, Oseba notified the people
that he was now reaching the closing chapter of his report, or in our
refined phrase he was on "the home stretch." He said:--

"Now, my children, at this stage of our inquiry, I desire to remind
you again how closely man is allied to Nature; how he is adjusted to
all the environing conditions; how the fresh breezes of a temperate
zone give him a fair skin; how a varied and pleasing aspect gives him
a cheerful temperament; how the mountains suggest to him freedom, and
the seas adventure; how climate depresses or exhilarates; how pastoral
pursuits awaken the romantic in his nature; agriculture, patience
and sturdy industry; and the search for precious metals, a careless
independence and intelligence.

"Then, for this last, let the Titans wrest from Nature all that
conspired to make the Phoenician, the Greek, the Norse, and the
Briton, and mould them artistically into the most pleasing form, and
lo! Zelania would appear in her pristine glory to--fashion a man."

Here he briefly described the workings of the government of Zelania,
how it had adopted the parliamentary system of Britain, and that,
while it acknowledged a proud allegiance to the British crown, it was
probably the most unmitigated democracy the world had ever beheld.

"As a member of a compact," Oseba said, "Zelania owes but a loose
allegiance to the Motherland, for she is at liberty to part the cable
at any time and float away with the parental blessings. But, as a fact,
she is held by a sentiment stronger than bands of steel; and by the
voluntary sacrifice of many of her noblest sons on distant fields, she
has proven, not only her loyalty to the Crown, but her love for the
Empire and her devotion to British aspiration. Theirs is not merely
the loyalty of the subject--'tis the tender regard of children for the
generous kindred of homeland.

"Now, my children," continued the orator, "I am going to show you
another series of views, some the works of man, and some the works of
Nature, that have influenced my actions. Glance through the album I
have given you, and you will see the style of men, who, on the lines
so strongly suggested by the inviting environment, have fashioned the
social creeds of the country.

"It is a grand thing to behold men strong enough and brave enough to
lead the people up, not to where they may 'see the promised land,' but
to secure for them and their children a nobler heritage than Joshua
ever saw or Moses ever dreamed of."

The orator claimed that though the mightiest imagination could not
reach a comprehension of these enchanting scenes, he felt that the
views presented would justify his claim that of all lands Zelania was
the most wonderful on the globe.

And now he proceeded to call attention to the human side--how the
denizens of this most favored country were using their peerless
opportunities, and this was even more wonderful, for Nature followed
rules and precedents, while these people broke them.

"A man may famish," said Oseba, "surrounded by the most dazzling
splendor; he may starve, amid the most wild, weird and stupendous
beauty; but when erratic Nature has strewn in the same garden that
which most elevates the soul and administers most to the nourishment
of the body, man should tender the tribute of his admiration and
gratitude, and--'go to work.'"

In Zelania, as I interpret the orator's meaning, the gods have
conspired to do all this, and to make the lot of man a happy one. But
in a life so frail and so full of wants, the practical side deserves
consideration, for while the Deity may furnish the paddock, he will not
throw blood oranges on fern trees, or grow "A No. 1" cauliflower on
ground not subdued by the spade or the plough.

After having made so fine an exhibition of the choice spots of Zelania,
Oseba commented upon the peculiar notions of the Outeroos regarding
their visits to other lands. He said by the Outeroos' measure, he
himself had been the world's greatest "discoverer," for he had found
and charted the whole outer surface. He had "discovered" China, Japan,
Russia, and other countries; he had discovered Africa, America,
Australia, and finally the "Paradise of Oliffa"--Zelania.

Many people on Oliffa did not care to be "discovered"--in fact, would
rather not have been, and, among these, were not improbably, those
fading Maoris of Zelania. The "discoverer" had been the bane of many a
people--remember the color-line!

Oseba told his people that "Zelania was once discovered by Tasman in
1642, and that it was not discovered again for more than a hundred
years, when Cook found it in 1769. Later, to the temporary joy and
final regret of the Maoris, the French also 'discovered' the country,
and soon some gentlemen from Sydney called, and in 1814 the 'parsons'
found it, since which time the collections have been regular. I," said
he, "am Zelania's last 'discoverer,' and my report shall be a modest
one.

"In 1840 the Union Jack was permanently nailed up in queenly Auckland,
Zelania being made a province of New South Wales, and the next year the
country was erected into a colony, with a good billet for the favorite
of a British Premier.

"In 1865 the capital was removed to Wellington, a very breezy city,
with fine 'sloping' hills at no great distance from the water-front.

"As in other British colonies, government here meant liberty, and, as
in all habitable countries liberty means progress, Zelania has had a
full measure of prosperity, practically from the beginning.

"If," proceeded Oseba, "the Outeroos ever evolve a generation of
thinking men, the mystery of mysteries to them will be how a people
as educated and business-like as the generation, who discovered and
developed steam and electricity, and the modern commercial systems
could be stupid enough to give away or sell to a few of the people
the land upon--and from--which all the people must necessarily live.
Further, it will be interesting to inquire by what course of reasoning
the temporary custodians of the public domain arrived at a conclusion
that they could rightfully alienate it, ignoring the will and the right
of all who might come by the next train.

"As broad, as almost limitless, as is the meaning of supreme authority
among the Outeroos, by no compromise with expediency, by no stretch
of the imagination, can any human power consign the future generation
to a madhouse, or to homelessness, or to a condition of serfdom under
the heirs of the more fortunate few; but to grant the lands to a
small number of persons is to pawn the cage in which the animals are
eternally locked.

"Unfortunately, before the 'rulers' of Zelania had been broadened by
the pure air of this wonderland, they had parcelled out much of the
better lands to a comparatively few persons. But the grapes fed by the
early rulers to the parents of the colonials, set the teeth of the
children on edge.

"The area of Zelania is 104,000 square miles, as against 124,000
for the United Kingdom; and the population is 800,000, as against
40,000,000 for the United Kingdom.

"But, behold the growing wisdom of the generations! In the United
Kingdom, by inheritance, by the crimes of authority, a few hundred
families, or less than one out of every 2,000 of the population, 'own'
nearly one-half of the whole country; while in this new world, the
smaller follies of earlier rulers are already being corrected, and
the lands are being rescued from baronial control and held for 'the
people,' regardless of the time of the arrival of their train.

"As the Outeroos are mostly land animals, my children, and as we have
learned how important the land is to human happiness, I will give
you briefly this phase of the social situation of Zelania as being
developed by its present leaders."

Then he reminded his audience that Zelania embraced 104,000 square
miles or about 66,000,000 acres of land.

Mr. Oseba claimed that the British Isles, with 79,000,000 acres, with
a considerable area of waste, support nearly 40,000,000 people; Italy
with about 70,000,000 acres, with much waste, supports 30,000,000
people; Prussia, with about 90,000,000 acres, large areas of waste,
supports 31,000,000 people; France, with about 125,000,000 acres, with
extensive mountain regions, supports nearly 40,000,000 people; and
that Belgium and Holland, with about 18,000,000 acres, and much waste,
support over 10,000,000 people.

He argued that if the estimates were approximately correct, this most
favored of all lands on the surface of Oliffa would support, on a like
plane of living of the Italians, 22,000,000 of people; on a like plane
of the French, 12,000,000 people; and on a like plane of the British
Isles, at least 10,000,000 of people.

But he explained that with a like population of these countries a like
plane of living would be inevitable; so, for the happiness of Zelania,
he thought, it was fortunate that many splendid obstacles stood in the
way of a rapid increase in population. The cry for population was the
most delusive mockery that ever lured a people to the verge of misery.

Here I quote the intrepid discoverer:--

"B-i-g does not spell 'great.' China has what most of the new countries
of Oliffa are screaming for--'population.' Yet China is not considered
'great.' India, even with British rule, as a people or a race is not
'great.' The true greatness of a nation consists in the greatness of
the individual units composing the nation, and not in their numbers.
America is great as a nation, but the real average 'greatness' of the
individual American has been declining for many years. Better travel
comfortably with a select party than rush to ruin in a crowded train.

"There is no relation between size and value. Even the most ambitious
Outeroo would hardly claim Lambert, who weighed forty stone, to have
been 'greater' than little Pope, who looked like an interrogation point
and weighed but eight. So, as there is no virtue in avoirdupois, there
is no 'greatness' in mere numbers. Better flirt with one healthy girl,
than take a dozen sour old maids to the pantomime."

Mr. Oseba might have mentioned, had he known the facts, that
Phoenicia, that gave to the world the ship and the alphabet, and
anticipated modern commercial methods, occupied but a small strip of
country--mostly sterile--from eight to twenty-five miles wide, and less
than a hundred and eighty miles long; that Attica, at the feet of whose
philosophers we still sit, from whose artists we still copy, and to
whose orators we still listen, embraced but seven hundred square miles;
and that the population of Sparta, while in her glory, probably never
exceeded ten thousand souls.

"No, my children," said Oseba, "b-i-g, does not spell 'great,' and any
Zelanian who is caught howling for 'population' should be compelled to
'shout' for the whole crowd until he goes 'broke,' and has to hunt a
billet to enable him to buy a beer and a bun. The desirable cannot be
bribed--others should not be wanted."

[Illustration: THE MAORI MAID OF ROTORUA.

    Did you ever see Maggie of Rotoru'?
    You would never imagine what she can do
          For the mouths of hell,
          With a magic spell,
          This little brown maid--
          As I have said--
    Will lead you over, and under and through.

    This little brown damsel of Rotoru'
    Will laugh at the fates, and smile at you.
          Like a fairy dream,
          Through the caldron's steam,
          In gleeful wit.
          She'll gaily flit--
    Yet careful, stranger, how you pursue.

    With this little brown maid of Rotoru'
    You scramble and gaze and wonder, too.
          You stand appalled,
          Your soul's enthralled,
          For scenes so weird,
          Have here appeared--
    You wonder if h---- isn't bursting through.

           *       *       *       *       *

    While much of this danger, my friends, is sham
    God tempers the winds to the little shorn lamb.
          But wild Nature raves
          In dark hidden caves,
          And 'tis romance, you know,
          To Roto' you go,
    So leave some "memory" in Maggie's palm.]

Here, Leo Bergin, with a deep love for Zelania, "pimples out into
poetry"--"on his own," as follows:--

ZELANIA'S GREETING.

    Zelania's stores are rich in wine,
    Zelania's air is sweet with flowers,
    Zelania's sons are rich in kine,
    Zelania's maidens wile the hours,
            'Mid scenes of matchless beauty.
    Zelania's valleys waive with grain,
    Zelania's hills are white with sheep,
    Zelania's sons are skilled in gain,
    Zelania's maidens ever keep
            The path that leads to duty.

    Zelania's crown is rich and rare,
    Zelania's laws are wise and free,
    Zelania's sons and daughters care,
    Zelania's door to ever see
            Swung open wide, and then--
    Zelania speaks across the seas,
    Zelania calls in welcome voice,
    Zelania sends by every breeze
    Zelania's greeting to the choice--
            Of earth's deserving men.

Well, that is as refreshing as it is novel. Mr. Oseba and Leo are both
right, and I say, "Well done!" for a popular gentleman of old said: "He
that provideth not for his own household has denied the faith, and is
worse than an infidel," and if this was Paul, he was not far "beside"
himself on this occasion.

It is very pleasing mental recreation to talk about the "brotherhood of
man" and the equal rights of "all the children of God" to play anywhere
on the surface of His "footstool," but Nature suggests that "every
living creature" shall hold down its claim or it will be crowded out,
and this same cruel, relentless, unsympathising "Nature"--that always
"barracks" for her longest-clawed children--helps to shovel the weak
into the compost heap.

With the achievements of modern times, with industrial progress,
specialised effort and rapid transit, the many-hued people of the earth
may enjoy the fruits of all lands without practising at the same bar or
sitting at the same table.

That "God made all men equal" is pretty--it is very pretty; but
it lacks the merit of scientific truth, and while it may be
desirable--profitable--to deal with the outside "barbarian," and to
aid, educate, and elevate him, none but a fool or a fanatic would bring
a hoard of park loafers into his dining-room and seat them at his
table, to the exclusion of his own children--or his wife's relations.

We may do justice by a "brother" man without boarding him or converting
him into a brother-in-law.

Mr. Oseba said:--

"Zelania's needed population will arrive in due season, for, besides
her own resistless attractions, Oliffa must be more densely covered;
but in 'filling up the country' from abroad, the heads should be
weighed and not counted. Zelania may select her own coming population,
for whether for health, for profit, for pleasure, for curiosity, or
to study lessons of the highest social and political wisdom, she is
curiosity's magnetic pole, and with prudent management on the part of
her 'rulers' she will soon become the happy loitering place for the
leisure-loving, wealthy, and well-to-do of all lands. Then, thousands
of those who 'call' will be so charmed with her faultless climate, her
romantic scenery, her hospitable people, and her splendid opportunities
for domestic happiness and private gain, that they will cast their lots
in this ever-enchanting land.

"Nature points to Zelania and says to all her children:--

"'Come and see what I did when I had my hand in.' Then, my children,
let me anticipate, for I desire that you may now have a glimpse of the
goal to which I am leading you.

"Well, I may tell you these British people to whom I have briefly
referred, composed almost exclusively in this case of English, Irish
and Scotch, being far removed from central authority, so strongly
tempted by new opportunities, and so resistlessly influenced by new
and pressing demands, have amazed the world by the boldness of their
political conceptions and by their marvellous achievements in social
experiments."

From Mr. Oseba's oration one would conclude that never did a colony of
loyal people more readily depart from traditional usages, never did a
community enter into the possession of a new country who so readily
adjusted themselves by their customs, their laws, and their rules of
action to the requirements of a novel environment as did the settlers
of this peerless land.

He claimed that, in little more than half a century, before they were
three-quarters of a million souls, by their achievements in social
evolution the Zelanians had excited the interest and won the admiration
of the civilised world.

"Selfishness," he argued, "is the mainspring of human action, and
the actuating motive of every human being is to secure the greatest
possible happiness with the least possible expenditure of physical toil.

"Though the social instincts of man help to tame him, all social and
political systems in the world are based upon very human traits. The
savage, for his own happiness, by force appropriates whatever he wants
or can get. The half-civilised man cunningly appropriates the land,
that its fruit may ripen in his granary, that himself and family may be
happy, while the really civilised man would divide the opportunities
among all, and his happiness is found in the general joy. The Zelanians
are being civilised by evolution and parliamentary enactments.

    "And they allotted the land as each had need."

Oseba reaffirmed his conclusions that no people ever took possession of
a new country who shaped the land laws with a due regard to those who
came later--with rights just as holy--save the Zelanians. In this they
were more nearly complying with the rational demands of justice than
any other people.

"I will give you," said he, "a glimpse of the policy now in vogue, and
how it seems to satisfy the hopes of its sponsors, for this will deeply
interest you."

The orator here began a review of the land system of Zelania, and,
with a view to brevity, the notes will be "boiled down" to the lowest
possible comprehensive space.

As the country was originally divided into some nine provinces with
as many governing bodies, each vested with authority to deal with and
dispose of the public domain, there naturally arose a system that
resulted in great inequality, as well as in great confusion. Then as
all the provinces were in need of roads, bridges, schools, and other
public improvements, they vied with each other in offering inducements
for immigration or new population, and with a hand exceedingly lavish,
the lands were alienated--often in large tracts.

When the Colonial Parliament took over the public property--by an
abolition of provincial authority--the land question at once assumed
a new importance. This came about at the most intense stage of the
modern transitionary period. "Industrial progress" had ushered in the
most resistless spirit of commercial expansion in all countries. Then
population became a "necessity" and railway construction became almost
a mania everywhere.

The contagion struck Zelania. Public improvements were an absolute
necessity, and the lands were the chief assets and "capital." For
a time the lands were recklessly sold, but the mania for internal
improvements became so unconquerable that foreign capital was called,
and by a resort to the seemingly most reckless borrowing policy ever
indulged in by a sane people, the lands were partially saved for a
better future.

I quote:--

"Of the 66,000,000 acres there are said to be 35,500,000 'occupied,'
and of this, 16,000,000 acres are 'freehold,' 11,000,000 are held under
various crown leases, while the rest is leased from private owners,
or from the natives--who own, as a people, several million acres. As
the Maoris are usually tired, these lands are mostly leased to the
'superior race,' who do the work.

"The number of holdings is 115,713, with an improved value of
£120,981,599. This is good. It shows an unparalleled proportion of
land-holders, but it is not enough, and the 'Government' is making
strenuous efforts to increase proportionately the population of rural
districts, and of 'land holders,' if not of land 'owners.'

"Under an old system, the lands were so recklessly disposed of
that even yet fully one-fourth of those 'occupied' are 'owned' by
comparatively few people; but the Government has applied a strong
'persuader'--graduated land tax--and the great inequality will
gradually disappear. The issue now is, 'custom _versus_ justice,' and
with the face turned to the new, the old loses its potency. The burden
should be more on the land and less on the laundry.

"The laws and rules applied to the land of Zelania of late years, not
only take into consideration the desires and requirements of would-be
occupiers, but also the class of the land--the holdings for the better
to be smaller in area than those for the poorer tracts. Of good or
first-class land, under certain tenures, 640 acres only may be taken or
held, and of second-class, 2,000 acres.

"There are several tenures under which 'crown lands' in Zelania may
be acquired--one by purchase for cash; one with lease and right to
purchase, rent to be 5 per cent. on unimproved value; and one, an
eternal lease (999 years) with a rent of 4 per cent. during this
period on original capital value--unimproved. Compulsory residence of
the holder is enjoined during the currency of the lease in leasehold
tenures.

"Under the _ægis_ of the law, if wise and just, people are encouraged
and assisted by the Government in forming small agricultural
communities of not less than twelve heads of families--for the
Outeroos have families--and this group may have set apart for them a
suitable block of land upon which to settle. This secures educational
advantages, for in every community the Government not only establishes
schools, but compels parents to send their children for instruction.

"But when conscience was thoroughly aroused, it became evident to the
most casual observer, that the great estates not only stood in the way
of social progress, but that holding vast areas out of cultivation
was a menace to the future liberties of the people. And further, that
though there were considerable Crown lands suitable for occupation, the
conditions for 'closer settlement' on them were not over favorable;
and, further still, that every successful effort to settle these lands
not only vastly increased the value of the great estates, but increased
the temptation of the large owner to further extend his domain.

"Under the earlier _régime_ the follies of the old rapidly spread over
the new world, and by 1890 most of the better lands in Zelania were
parcelled out in lordly estates and owned by a few persons.

"Almost before the people were aware of the tendencies of the times, a
gigantic land monopoly threatened to overshadow the country. But being
14,000 miles from central authority, the affections of the people for
hoary customs had weakened, and vested rights in ancient wrongs soon
began to find earnest protestation.

"The rights of imminent domain were understood, the people had no
notion of erecting a landed aristocracy, and a few bold souls, who,
by the force of inherent genius had arisen from the industrial ranks,
conceived the idea of writing another chapter in the history of human
progress.

[Illustration: _A Maori Beauty._]

"No people," Mr. Oseba argued, "ever yet revolted against a despot who
ruled with smiling diplomacy, but having learned in the old home the
power of the world owners, and knowing that the liberties of none are
secure where a few are vested with the instruments of oppression,
people in this new and strange country felt the weight of the lordly
hand possibly before it was ungloved for action.

"The land barons, with their sheep, inhabited the fertile valleys,
while the people with their children, roamed over the sterile hills.
But with the squeezing of the people into the bush there was a rush of
brains to the head, and the chosen guardians of the public weal said:
'Zaccheus, come down.'

"Though New Zealand mutton was of good quality and wool bore a good
price, some healthy gentlemen concluded that men and women and children
were about as good as sheep, especially when the sheep belonged to the
other fellow, and as the barons had no blunderbusses and the people had
votes, the world-owners were called down to pay a little more of the
taxes, and the people were called up to earn a square meal.

"Then the show was opened--without a prayer or a corkscrew--and some
very sensible men who stood on firm ground suggested that any man who
had muscle and a mouth should have an opportunity to exercise the one
for the satisfaction of the other, and when the world-owners declined
to 'set a price,' the agents of this brave democracy came with a
persuader, and the revolution was begun.[B]

"The land barons were treated honorably. The values created by the
coming of a progressive population, by the settlement on Crown lands,
and by the construction of the highways, were generously allowed
them; but when asked to move off the grass and make room for closer
settlement, they learned to accept the situation, and the laws had a
soothing influence.

"The graduated land tax is a powerful persuader, and already there have
been about seventy of the great estates resumed and divided into small
allotments among an intelligent, industrious and progressive people.
And still the work goes on with success, and even profit in nearly
every case.

"In Zelania has been demonstrated, not only the possibility but the
wisdom of State landlordism. To-day the State is a landlord to the
extent of over 15,000,000 acres, it has 16,000 tenants, and in all
these resumptions, divisions, settlements, rent collections and
management, there has been no loss, few grievances and fewer scandals.

"Then, too, when the estates are cut up and divided among settlers,
schools are established, post offices are opened, roads are made,
and--when needed by the settlers--money is loaned to them by the State
at a reasonably low interest; and, so far, these laws have been to
the infinite advantage of the people, and a profit to the State--the
'profits' used to further the general scheme.

"With this policy of graduated land tax and discretionary resumptions,
exorbitant rents and land speculations are inconvenient, and with the
'loan to the settler policy' the money sharks can't squeeze the people,
'they can't.'

"In Zelania, the State, or the people in their organised capacity, aids
from the general store the people in their individual capacity--to help
themselves.

"The State gives nothing. There is humiliating charity nowhere, but
elevating justice everywhere. The State puts a man on a farm, loans him
money, helps him up hill, and then demands that he play the Hercules.
It will loan him a spade--not to lean upon or to pawn, but to dig
with--and he must keep it bright and pay for its use.

"The idea in Zelania, my children, is to have no lords and no
paupers--that all men shall be producers, and not vagrants; tax-payers,
and not tax-eaters--and that every citizen shall become a sturdy
democrat, who will honorably strive as a stock-holder in a paying
concern.

"Joint encouragement is given," said he, "and that may be called
socialistic; but individual action is demanded, and that is democratic.

"Many persons in Zelania think that the government train is rushing
ahead too rapidly, but these should observe the tendencies of the
times, and realise the advantages of the general prosperity. Many
others think the train moves too slowly, but these should realise
the conservatism of wealth, the dangers of exploring uncharted seas,
and they should remember that to-day, in all the essentials of human
progress, they are by far the most advanced of all peoples.

"Of course, there are occasional failures in Zelania, enough to furnish
healthy examples; for while any man who will hustle may thrive, the
Almighty does not line up the jerseys for every lout that likes cream
in his chocolate. Even in Zelania, the man who claims that this world
owes him a living must make some effort to collect that little bill.

"As a fact, in Zelania they furnish a fellow with about everything but
brains. This, doubtless, they would willingly do, but as there are a
few things in which Nature seems to practice economy, so far there has
appeared no surplus of brains--no, not even in Zelania."

Here I cluster some of Mr. Oseba's graphic conclusions into my own
"chaste" language:--

Having become familiar with the serene security of the man of acres
in other lands, it is curiously interesting to observe that people in
Zelania--common and no account as they are in most countries--are held
in considerable respect, regardless of their bank accounts, or the
social position of their father-in-law.

In most countries, on Oliffa, the people are "moved on" to make room
for animals, and, in most countries on Oliffa, the larger the "estate,"
the more easily can it be made larger; but in Zelania, when too many
people are "out in the cold," some fellow with a big paddock is
requested to "set a price," and the stray "sheep" are soon comfortably
quartered and employed.

Under the old system such "estates" were always held "sacred," but
in Zelania, among the most "sacred" of all recognised rights is the
"sacred right" of "man to live"; and it has been discovered that to
talk of the "sacred right" of a man to live, without an opportunity
to earn something upon which to live, is an insult to God's noblest
creatures; and the graduated land tax has so conciliated the lordly
inheritors, that the "blessed" who "hunger and thirst" are not asked
to wait for the platter of "charity," but they are "filled" from the
products of their own strong hands.

Here I quote:--

"The Christian Outeroos, my children, all think they are in the world
by the special desire and fiat of God, and yet of all the civilised
Outeroos, the Zelanians alone have had courage enough to demand
standing room on a world where God had placed them.

"They assume to think their deity made the world and then made them
to people it, yet most of them have been persuaded that 'He made the
world' for just a few of them, who are privileged to put up the notice
'Keep off the grass.' The Zelanians alone have removed the 'notice.'

"While to us, my children, so far away, with so long a history behind
us, even these measures seem but the cautious experiments of amateurs,
they are the most advanced known to the Outeroos; and the Zelanians,
in their numerical 'fewness,' their national youth, and their splendid
isolation, are more courageously grappling with the difficulties that
have baffled the noblest statesmanship of all the ages, than any other
social group in the world's progressive history.

"Zelania, my children, is the most unmitigated democracy ever known
to the outer world of this planet, yet her people have just gained a
glimpse, not a realisation, of human liberty. But the divine flame from
the sacred torch is spreading, the public conscience is aroused, the
public intellect is alert, and the social train is moving rapidly.

"What the dreamers, the poets, and the academicians of other lands laud
as social ideals, the tradesmen, the farmers, and the mechanics of
Zelania discuss as every-day matters of practical politics.

"'Touch not the Lord's anointed' hath saved the head of many a despot,
and touching appeals for the observance of the 'sacred rights'--in
hoary wrongs--hath larded the ribs of idleness for a very protracted
season, but the Zelanians, in the exuberance of a novel situation,
are indulging in mental gymnastics, and putting on grey matter--with
results.

"A shipwrecked mariner, tossed on a lone island, rich with food, and
shelter, and material for raiment, may 'own' that little world--for
a time. His rights are supreme. He has a 'vested interest.' He
'discovered' it. As a contribution to the world's wealth he had
practically created that patch of dirt. It is his. But suppose the next
morning another fellow from the same or some other ship is tossed on
the island. Well, number one must 'divvy.' The social conditions have
changed. 'Right' has a new definition--unless the first enslaves the
other.

"Definitions change. Right and wrong as expressing the various social
theories, are fictions established by society for its own use, and
if a rule established by society for the benefit of itself cannot be
modified by society for the benefit of a larger social self, one man
might own all the people who might be cast on the island--even if the
island became a continent.

"The Zelanians have discovered that despotism consists chiefly in
a loyal observance of ancient customs, and they are giving new
definitions to old terms--and then adjusting society upon the new
definitions. In no country are human rights more respected, or vested
interests more sacredly guarded, than in Zelania, but the outposts are
extended, and no longer is the power of the few to legally wrong the
many, sanctified as a sacred right.

"In Zelania it has been decreed," said the sage Oseba, "that one
man's rights must stop where another's begins--especially if there
are several of the 'others.' In Zelania it has been decreed that the
interests of 'all of us' are paramount to the interests of 'a few of
us,' and, though the rights of no man must be infringed, the equal
rights of the many must not be withheld.

"Man is a social being, and how much of his rights--as defined by
himself--he may be called upon to yield for the happiness of many--as
defined by themselves--has nowhere been determined.

"In Zelania, my children, the people have ideas, and the people rule.
In Zelania the people may ask the lucky fellow who first struck the
lonely island to 'set up a price.' They may ask that he who toils shall
enjoy, that the size of a paddock be decreased, that the distance
between drinks be increased, and, in Zelania, the statesmen with
fidelity carry out the will of the people as expressed under the rules
prescribed.

"Now, my children, I have dwelt with some detail on the land system of
Zelania, for of all nations on the surface of Oliffa, the Zelanians are
gradually adjusting themselves most wisely to the permanent happiness
of the people--and we may desire to send thither a 'colony.'

"Zelania is a lovely land, my children, and, were there no principle
involved, I would like to own it myself; but, alas! no 'principle'
should be violated for so transient a pleasure."

[Illustration: _Maori Woman and Child. Fashionably tattooed lip._]



_SCENE VIII--Act III._

UTILITARIAN.


Here the notes record that there had been a half-hour's recess, during
which Leo Bergin mentions that he enjoyed a pleasant chat with the
poetess Vauline, that she was very charmingly inquisitive, and that
while he confessed his lack of eloquence as compared with that of
Oseba, he thought Zelania had lost nothing through his modesty.

Leo remarks that he showed the poetess many photos of the outer world,
especially some fine ones of Zelania--among others, some of the leading
statesmen and jurists--"all at the same sitting."

But I will ring off Leo Bergin, and have Amoora Oseba continue his
observations, as per Leo's notes boiled down--by the fire of genius.

Mr. Oseba, on rising, is noted to have observed that men were human, to
which I partially agree.

Taking from the immortal Robert as a text,

    "Man's inhumanity to man
    Makes countless thousands mourn,"

he delivered a long and eloquent oration on man's relations to this
world; how the earth is the storehouse of Nature; how all that we call
wealth, and the things that contribute to our health, comfort, and
well-being are the products of the toil of men; and he then observed
how few of us get much exercise out of this useful occupation.

As a fact, he conveyed the rather startling information that, as
relating to actual production, fully nine-tenths of us were on
vacation, or, to put a point on it, that every toiler was carrying
about nine more easy-going souls on his back. These remarks applied to
general productive industry.

Mr. Oseba explains "how in sparsely settled countries, where there are
animals, primitive man lives by the chase, where there are tameable
animals he becomes partially tamed and lives by his flocks, and where
there is good soil--as population increased--the people turn to
agriculture, and with more culture and more people industry becomes
specialised, and commerce arises to put on the finishing touches.

"But," he argued, "as man clings to the muscles with which his
ancestors flapped their ears, so he clings to all the habits practised
by man in the past. He lives by the chase as long as there is room,
he reduces nomadic industry to a science, and by co-operation all
contribute to the advancement of the higher ideal.

"In Zelania, save for sport, the chase has been abandoned, and the
living and wealth come from herding on, delving into, or cultivating
the soil."

I gather from Leo's notes, that of some 66,000,000 acres of
land in Zelania, there are but 6,000,000 subdued by the plough,
1,400,000 acres in crops, 4,600,000 acres in grass, and 7,000,000
unploughed--also in exotic grasses--and that chiefly from this source
of wealth 800,000 of the best fed, best clothed, best housed, best
educated and best satisfied, most progressive, healthy, happy and free
people, that ever loafed about on the surface of this planet are quite
alive, and satisfied to remain--_sine die_.

In grain and root crops, etc, the soil yields more abundantly than that
of any other country. In pasture it carries more stock, in fruit it
is promising, and as for the dairy, Denmark must fight to retain her
laurels.

It will be seen that but a small portion of the land of Zelania is
devoted to its "best use," so there is room for many millions of
people, whose lot there should be blessed indeed, for in no country is
the fortune of the land dweller so happy a one. His soil is fertile,
his climate is genial, his seasons are reliable, his health is perfect,
he has the best implements in use, his taxes are light, and his prices
are always good. Happy Zelania's farmer!


SOME THAT ADAM NAMED.

    "And God made the beasts of the earth after his kind, and cattle
    after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after
    his kind, and God saw that it was good."

But only a few miserable little "creeping things" got to Zelania, until
the British brought others.

Oseba, in a review of the "animal business," remarked, that as all
animals--save the long-wooled goat herded on the desert and mountain
sides--had long retired from Cavitorus to make room for people, he
would use the terms common among the Outeroos in his present statement,
leaving the more minute explanation to be studied in his published
report.

He claimed again that man had never been able to work out a
civilisation without the use of tameable animals, and many of the
Outeroos had been most fortunate in these aids of Nature.

Where man had the association, company and use of the camel, the horse,
the ox, the sheep, and the dog, he had been able to keep up the march
towards a higher goal. The animals became at once servants, beasts of
burden, motive force, food and raiment.

The people about the Mediterranean, for many thousands of years,
had all these amiable and useful animals. These animals carried
civilisation to the remotest parts of the world, and from servants they
became more a source of commerce, food and raiment, than of motive
force.

Rearing these animals became the chief industry of Zelania early in her
colonial days, for the fertility of the soil, the healthfulness of the
country, the geniality of the climate, and the ever reliability of the
seasons, made this--of all lands--the most suited for flocks and herds.

"Ah, my children," said Oseba, with animation, "had the Maoris
possessed the horse, the ox, and the sheep centuries ago, the dark
republic of the South Seas might have sent the most eloquent diplomats
to the opulent courts of the Old World--but the Maori was alone."

But let us back to the animals--and "boil them down." These 800,000
Zelanians have 20,250,000 sheep, 1,360,000 cattle, 280,000 horses, and
224,000 swine; and--well, there are a few thousand, more or less, dogs.
These 20,000,000 sheep are of a fine breed, reared with the dual idea
of good wool and good mutton; they belong to about 19,000 persons, and
they yield, from export, an annual income of about £5,000,000. There
are 11,700 flocks of less than 500 per flock, and 138 of over 20,000.
The Zelanians confess to having the best mutton in the world.

I quote:--

"Zelania is a country of big things, only when taken on the average.
She has no millionaires and no paupers. She has no sheep kings or sheep
thieves. She has big geysers, and big Premiers, big yields, big people
and big ideas, but few big fortunes. They have 'trusts' in Zelania, but
they are in God and--the people."


PROFITABLE EXERCISE.

Among the most pleasant as well as most profitable industries anywhere,
I conclude from the notes, are dairying and fruit-growing, and Mr.
Oseba thinks that in no country or climate on the upper crust of
our planet are these industries more promising or more profitable,
especially the former. The absence of cold winters, the purity of the
atmosphere, the nutritiousness of the grasses, and the frequency of
rain, all "work together for good" to those who attend to business.

I quote:--

"The relative area of land in Zelania specially suitable for this
purpose is enormous, and as the fertility of the soil is improved
instead of being impoverished by this industry, the possibilities of
its development are incalculable.

"For a person with moderate means this seems the most tempting industry
in this charming land. Mining, too, with its variety of products, the
generous laws, the healthful climate, the abundance of water, is a most
interesting and remunerative industry.

"The mining laws and regulations are as generous as the land laws, and
in every undertaking of this nature the policy of the Government is,
'arm energy with the implements of industry that wealth may come in
response to the kindly invitation.'

"As the Zelanians were among the most commercial people of the globe,
considering population, they entered into the spirit of railway
building in early times with great enthusiasm. The railway mania began
during the reign of provincialism, and each province commenced its
little system without regard to the plans of the others."

Here a map was thrown on the wall, showing different railway systems,
with their different routes and purposes. Considering the nearness
of the sea to every populous centre, and the accessibility of these
points for steamers, the construction of costly railways evidenced a
commendable spirit of enterprise.

Doubtless, provincial pride and a willingness to bid high for
population in former times, that rents on fine estates might be raised,
had much to do in stimulating this enterprise.

The railway lines were expensive, but they have proved a good
investment. I conclude that at present Zelania has 2,325 miles of
railway. The road-bed is good, the rolling-stock fair; travelling is
about as comfortable as in other countries, and the average passenger
fare is lower than in America. For the benefit of the joint owners--the
people--all "profits" go to the general lowering of rates.

The wisdom of the Australasian colonies in constructing, managing, and
owning the transportation lines cannot be too much admired, Mr. Oseba
thinks, especially as it was "contrary to the world's experience."

The orator argued logically, and in detail, the wisdom of the public
ownership of public utilities, claiming that, as transportation was of
so vital an importance to all commercial people, unless the Government
owned and operated the railways, the railways would, by some means, own
and operate the Government.

He proceeded:--

"The railways in Zelania are a valuable asset. Their construction has
doubled the value of the public lands, and, as at cheap rates they are
yielding a good per cent. on the total cost, they are worth to-day the
full amount of the investment.

"The railways are being extended and improved as rapidly as the
demands require, and the finances justify; and with the post offices,
telegraphs and telephones, they are under the watchful eye and control
of a Cabinet Minister--at present Sir Joseph Ward--the early evidence
of whose sagacity was shown in his having selected these antipodean
regions as a country in which to endure life's fitful dream.

"Sir Joseph is an ornament too, as well as a pillar in, the political
and social structure of Zelania. He is affable, polished, ambitious and
patriotic. He is brilliant in his business conceptions, and, possessing
a pleasing personality and persuasive speech, he rarely fails in the
execution of his well organised designs. While he has hardly passed the
noon of life, he has long been the skilful lieutenant of the sturdy
Seddon, and if the chief, at whose side he has so unfalteringly stood,
should weary under the burden of public cares, it would seem most
fitting that the mantle of leadership should fall upon the trained
shoulders of this able and versatile statesman.

"Then the construction of all the railways, with all their _et
ceteras_--the highways, bridges, and other public works--is also
directed by a Cabinet Minister.

[Illustration: _"Hongi," Maori Salutation._]

"Well, from all the 'millions' that have been spent under this tireless
guardian in the promotion of these stupendous improvements, in a
country, too, in which very many intelligent people would sit up 'all
hours' to find something to criticise, there is probably not one person
who could be persuaded that there was ever a sixpence coined in
His Majesty's Mint sufficiently nimble to find its way into the wrong
pocket.

"This 'Minister of Works' works twice as many hours per day as any one
of the thousands of men in his employ, and the thought of his being
influenced by any consideration save that of the public good, could not
be advanced to the debatable stage in any company in Zelania. These
people trust their 'servants,' and rarely, indeed, is their trust
betrayed. This is a Zelanian 'trust.'

"Nearly all these great works are carried on under a co-operative
policy, with a wage based on individual capacity to earn, the work
being usually given to the 'unemployed' nearest the productive
operations. It is claimed that this policy has been no more costly than
the old contract system. It is of the people, for the people, by the
people.

    'Who will not sing "God Save the King"
        Shall hang as high's the steeple.
    But while we sing "God Save the King,"
        We'll ne'er forget the people.'"

Here, the notes record, the poetess Vauline suggested that the sage
Oseba give the audience a little further information regarding Zelanian
statesmen, their relation to the Motherland, and their hold upon the
affections of the people.

In interesting detail, Mr. Oseba explained that while Zelania claimed
allegiance to the British Crown, and that in defence of Britain's honor
she would pour out her blood and treasure with Spartan valor, she was
so proudly free that should the same "loved mother" demand a penny per
pound tax on her tea, the next rising sun would kiss a thousand emblems
of a new-born republic. For the Motherland, Zelania would sacrifice
all--save honor--but it must be as a partner, and not as a vassal.

"I have no desire," said the orator, "to applaud the star performers
of this great social drama, for such leaders are but the chosen
instruments of the people, and as no other power had conspicuously
succeeded in establishing justice among men, the people have the
innings, and may--yea, must--be trusted.

"But the chosen are not sure to enjoy the 'affections of all,' for as
long as a man is alive and in business," Mr. Oseba concludes, "there
will be marked differences of opinion regarding his mental and moral
worth."

Mr. Oseba "caught on" alright, for he soon discovered that among the
Outeroos the real live man is always in somebody's way; that the fellow
who reached the persimmons, or "got there"--at the top of the poll--was
bad, and that if such a one ever did a proper thing it was through
inadvertence, or from unholy motives.

While a man "is quite alive" and wants something, we scoff at his
ability, we laugh at his language, we question his motives, and we
wound him with our poisoned shafts. But let him die once, and what a
wondrous change! As long as he is in our way, as long as his quivering
heart can feel, we cannonade him; then, when we have wrapped him in
the habiliments of eternal silence, we feel subdued, we magnify his
virtues, and--_canonise_ him.

Among a free and educated people, on questions of domestic policy,
there are always differences of opinion among men, and this is no
imputation either on the intelligence or the patriotism of the
disputants; but Mr. Oseba rather likes the man who gets there while the
other fellow is holding his caucus.

From these opposing opinions arise party prejudices and factional
strife, and earnestness should be reckoned a virtue, even should the
reasoning finally prove faulty. Democracy, then, instead of raising men
above the human, not infrequently reminds us how far men fall short of
the divine.

But on this point Mr. Oseba closes thus:--

"While Zelania is a conspicuous jewel of the British Crown and very
red on the map, and her government is of, for, and by the people,
any praise of her statesmen is a compliment to the character and
intelligence of the 'ultimate power'--the people."


LET'S TO BUSINESS.

Here, for the sake of brevity, I condense many eloquent pages, and for
the sake of clearness I make Mr. Oseba's story my own, quoting when we
pass the general argument.

Commercially, I conclude, Zelania, on a population basis, is one of the
leading countries on the upper crust, her annual exports and imports
amounting to about £24,000,000. To furnish financial convenience for
the great industrial and commercial enterprise of the country, there
are provided excellent banking facilities. As a fact, the capital
invested in banking, for so small a society, seems fabulous. The
banking laws are explicit, and while the banks have provided for their
own perfect safety, they cannot, if they should desire, oppress the
people. But the fact that advances by these banks amount to about £20
per cap. of the whole people shows to what extent they are patronised.

Referring to a review of the political side of this country, it
appears that the Zelanians, all in all, have the most rational system
of taxation of any people anywhere. With a desire to encourage "home
industry," and also influenced by custom, the laws provide that the
necessary revenue be raised by the usual methods, direct and indirect
taxation, but it is of the former I shall chiefly speak. Of the total,
say £3,113,000, about 74 per cent. is raised by indirect methods, or
from taxes on imports and excises, while 26 per cent. is raised by a
direct tax on land and income.

On land and income the taxes are graduated, the rates increasing with
the increase of the income, or the value of the estate--those on land
being on the unimproved value. This system of graduated taxation is
a new departure, a reversal of the history of the ages. It is based
upon the idea of social defence of personal rights. It is plain that
the more property a person possesses the greater are his claims upon
society for protection, and the graduated tax is simply demanding
extra rent for extra room, or extra charge for the extra expense for
the extra security given. In fact, it is extra insurance for extra
risks.

The justice of the idea has been clear to thoughtful men--who had
nothing to tax--for many years; but in Zelania--to discover a new truth
means to occupy a new position. Zelania does not allow her intellectual
jewels to rust in the brains of the academician.

Under Zelania's novel policy the books show her to be carrying a public
debt greater in proportion to population than any other country, but
for every shilling of her debt she has more than two shillings in
valuable assets, and for most of it she has a reproductive asset. So,
as a fact, the burden helps to carry the people. Like other "heavily
involved" Australasian States, if measured by the rule of other
nations, she is among the least burdened of all people.

    "And these people were cunning in handicraft."

Oseba tells his audience at some length about the manufacturing
industries of Zelania, but a small space will suffice, as it is better
to remember the haste of the age. The pith is, that considering
the newness of the country, and the narrow limits of the markets,
there has been a laudable advance in manufacturing enterprise. The
chief industries, of course, have developed from the most common and
profitable material resources of the country.

"My children," said Oseba, "we are never done with Zelania's wonders.
While she offers the most tempting rewards for effort, she gives
nothing ready-made. In all Zelania there was, and is, nothing of the
'Arise, Peter, slay and eat' to be found, but everywhere there is seen:
'In my treasure-house there are many jewels, and he who cannot open my
door and unlock my chest would be an unsafe custodian of my riches,
an unworthy recipient of my favors.' Or, like the gay and mischievous
maiden who says, 'Catch me, and you have a kiss,' she keeps all her
promises. Relying on Nature without effort, any man in Zelania might
genteelly starve; but relying on effort with Nature's aid, any man in
Zelania may live like a prince.

"Zelania had no indigenous animals, and really no indigenous grasses,
and her fruits were meagre, but she had the magic force of fecundity,
and she said:--

    'I am the nourisher. Like the wise virgins
    I have long waited a worthy wooer.
    By action, arose I from the mad seas' bosom.
    By action, arose my heaven-piercing mountains.
    By action, were my rivers dug, and plains fertilised.
    By action, created I and concealed my mineral wealth;
    And, loving "action," to him who gives an ounce of sweat,
    I pledge a pound of glittering gold.'

"Yes, as Zelania's laws give pound for pound of private contribution to
worthy causes, so Zelania's goddess of fortune gives to honest toil a
reward of many fold.

"Zelania offers nothing for sloth, everything for industry. Her
treasures are all hidden, but a plough reveals them. Tickle a field
with a harrow, and it laughs with a crop of a hundred bushels to the
acre. Remove a fern, a sprig of clover comes. Bring a little rabbit to
'amuse the boys,' and, lo! Nature is so pleased that the 'boys' have to
hustle to save the crops.

"Well, as Zelania, by every feature of her nature, suggests action,
her people are exploring every field of industrial enterprise. Though
wages are high and the market for most of the manufactured goods very
limited, there has been reasonable success in many branches of the arts
productive.

"Of course, the chief of these industries," he says, "relate to what
might be called raw pastoral products: meat, wool, butter, and cheese.
The list of manufactures include some twenty general classes, covering
over one hundred sub-classes.

"As a rule, the manufacturing plants are fairly well equipped--the
machinery for the meat and dairy works being especially up to date.
The wages of the 41,000 persons employed are, high. Nearly £8,000,000
are invested in plant, and the annual output amounts to £17,000,000.
Certainly these facts speak strongly for the enterprise of so new a
people.

    "But, Zelania, 'twas not thy 'riches' nor thy trade,
    'Twas not thy fields, thy fruits, thy wool that made
    Thee loved of gods and men, nor gold; nor stately domes.
    'Twas 'justice,' inscribed on the portals of thy homes.
    For thou first learned that men and women must be great,
    Else folly only boasts the grandeur of a State."



_SCENE VIII.--Act IV._

THE MORAL SIDE.


Relating to the moral side of Zelania's progress, the notes were very
full, but the story will be briefly and chiefly told in the less chaste
style of Marmaduke:--

As a rule, the people of Zelania, if the great discoverer is correct,
enjoy excellent health--or should enjoy it--though we rarely "enjoy"
anything that is very common. Of course, Zelania has not yet evolved
a type, though she has begun her task, for while the Zelanians are of
excellent stock, the "born Zelanian" is said to be superior, both in
physical fibre and mental perception, to the average person of the
Motherland. Nature, Mr. Oseba thinks, will preserve the "sorrel hair,"
the white skin, the florid complexion, the fine shoulders and the firm
"understanding."

The Zelanians are loyal to the Motherland. They speak of Britain as
"Home," and, as a compliment to her, the color with which she paints
her dependencies is conspicuously present in the cheeks of Zelanian
ladies.

Unless Zelania dilutes her blood by hurried accessions to her
population, she will, in a few generations, furnish the finest type of
mental and physical man and womanhood that ever kicked a football, or
"did the block," on the surface of Oliffa.

[Illustration: _Maori Wharepuni._]

In the care of the unfortunate, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, and the
lunatics, Zelania is already on the "fortunate" side, as Mr. Oseba
abundantly testifies.

Oseba says:--

"As an evidence of the satisfaction of the people of Zelania with their
present condition, it is only necessary to remark the low death rate
among the people. This for the last eleven years has averaged less than
ten persons per thousand. For the same period, the rates in Denmark,
Norway, and Sweden, were about sixteen per thousand; in the United
Kingdom, over eighteen per thousand; in Germany and France, about
twenty-two per thousand; in Italy, about twenty-five; and in Austria,
over twenty-seven per thousand. Then it appears that of all people the
Zelanians are best satisfied with their present situation.--Mayhap,
some tarry even a little too long.

"While these people are all earnest, and want to go to
heaven--afterwhile--they seem to be in no hurry about starting, and
have little desire for risking climatic changes.

"With other matchless wonders, had Nature been attending properly to
business, she would have placed the 'Fountain of Youth' in some of
these charming spots, for the 'untimely taking off' of a person in
Zelania seems quite unjustifiable. A person willingly leaving any
other country might be justified in making the change, but when anyone
permanently retires from Zelania it means there has been coercion, an
exercise of some extraneous power.

"Strange, but the books show seventy-nine suicides to have been
committed in one year in Zelania, though it seems incredible that any
person in Zelania should voluntarily retire. Of course, they may have
desired to get to heaven ahead of some of their neighbors, for in
Zelania they like to be considered a little advanced.

"To insure or secure the public health, there are wise sanitary laws,
charitable institutions and hospitals; the practice of medicine is
wisely guarded, and carried on by able physicians. In all these public
affairs, the Government--which means the people in their organised
capacity--is most generous in its assistance.

"In local hospitals, or charitable enterprise, the Government usually
gives pound for pound for all private contributions, and the many
institutions of the kind in all Australasia furnish a pleasing surprise
to observing travellers."


"ON THE MAKE."

Mr. Oseba was greatly interested in the "enterprise" of the Outeroos. I
quote:--

"I have visited all the countries of the upper crust of Oliffa, and I
have observed that the Outeroos are taking a lot of physical exercise.
They are engaged in a mad scramble for dollars. Just why any man should
want so many 'dollars' is not very clear, but it is very clear that
they do want them. Men with very many dollars are, in most things, much
like the men with very few dollars; they are alarmed at smallpox, the
cold and the heat make them thirsty, and the shapely actress turns
alike their shallow heads. Then, too, the grim chariot that carries
waste from the 'City of Confusion' and deposits it in the 'City of the
Silent,' calls about as promptly at the mansion of Lady Bountiful as at
the hovel of the laundress.

"When the man of dollars dies, he is about as dead as his
footman--under like circumstances. He'll be dead about as long, and
whatever his facilities for the transfer of wealth while in active
business, he can take none of it with him. But, maybe, 'tis well, for
if the old story be true, it would probably melt.

"The world has been aroused by the magic force of modern genius, and
is being unified by Anglo-Saxon commercial enterprise. The nations
are growing wealthy; gold is the sole object of ambition, of toil,
of production, of trade. For gold the industrious strive, the duke
marries, the boss robs, the politician 'negotiates,' the lawyer
deceives, the judge decrees, the noble cheats, and the 'parson'--takes
up a collection. In this enormous confusion, a great many people get a
lot of exercise--a few, 'clip the coupons,' and are happy.

"But the superior Outeroos are only veneered pagans, my children, and
gold is the universal god. When Moses smashed the 'golden calf' the
fragments must have been many, and each tiny piece must have multiplied
into many full-grown bullocks.

"This deity, however, should never grow 'jealous.' His worshippers have
at least one sturdy virtue, for among all the millions of them, there
kneels not one hypocrite. While the other deities are occasionally
scoffed and often neglected, the 'golden calf' is always in evidence.
But he attends to business, and in all places he hath wonderful potency.

"Genius has quickened the hand of toil," said Oseba, "but it has not
removed the callous, and almost everywhere on the surface of Oliffa the
opulence of the mansion tells the wretchedness of the hovel. The owner
of the one schemes, the tenant of the other toils. The man who toils,
toils for another; the man who 'schemes'--well, the other fellow goes
to him for a cheque at the end of the week. Until the great democracies
of the Antipodes were established, every government of the world,
regardless of title, style or form, conspired with cunning to rob
credulity, with the schemer to rob the toiler.

"I have thus reasoned, my children, that you might realise by 'looking
upon this picture and then upon this,' that Zelania has introduced to
the world a social policy under which the people, in their organised
capacity, have secured to the people, in their individual capacity, a
fuller measure of the fruits of their mental and physical efforts than
was ever enjoyed in any other country under the sun.

"It is not even a policy of the 'greatest good to the greatest number,'
for, as the purest happiness consists in a participation of the general
joy, it is a policy of the greatest good to all.

"Zelania's motto is: 'He who earns shall have, and he who strives shall
enjoy.' In this, the people builded better than they knew, and soon
Zelania will be the most conspicuously conspicuous spot on Oliffa, and
thousands of people will visit her marvellous shores, not more to enjoy
the museums of the gods than to study the customs and the character of
the first nation of emancipated men.

"Zelania, though she is now the foremost among the world's social
pioneers, was practically wrested from Nature by the present generation
of men. The Zelanian Isles were Nature's last best gift to the noblest
race of her noblest creatures--the gods seeming to have waited for a
proper tenantry for these more than Elysian fields.

"Zelania, my children, is the John in the Wilderness--the prophesied
of old, the prophet of the new. She is the beacon of the present, the
divine torch of the future."

Oh, that is inspiring! Let's take an amateur "soar."

    To the Goddess of Justice their prayers are read.
    To that Goddess Zelanians bow low the head;
    For she gave the Zelanians, nor seer nor priest,
    She gave them the custom of Galilee's feast.
    For rich though her gifts to the present and past,
    She saved for these Britons the "best for the last."

    Here built they a temple--'twas built on the plan
    That he is most noble that's most of a man;
    They laid as foundations the "love of their kind";
    For strength of the structure, firm held they in mind
    That no fortune or creed, but justice alone,
    Should ever remain as the chief corner stone.

    They builded the temple--'twas builded by men
    Who were called from the shop, from the mountain and glen.
    'Twas builded for men--not for some, as of yore--
    'Twas builded of men, from the spires to the floor.
    'Twas builded too strong for the strong to transgress,
    But 'twas builded too weak, the most weak to oppress.

Pardon; let's back to Leo's notes, for Mr. Oseba's modest candour
better suits this prosy age.


SHE CAME--FINALLY.

    "And the Lord God said, 'It is not well that man should be alone; I
    will make him a help-meet for him.'"

Without irreverence, I would regard this as an excellent idea.

Mr. Oseba, say the notes, gave a most pleasing review of the domestic
relations of the Outeroos, with special reference to the position of
women.

The notes on this pleasing phase of the oration were full and spirited,
but in boiling down some dozen pages I will array the orator's
impressions in my own garb, as though I myself had learned something on
this interesting theme.

The stronger and more haughty among the Outeroos are called men, while
the more frail, gentle and loquacious are called wo-man, which means
that in some way these latter are to be "wooed and won" before reaching
the final end of existence.

In old times, man won these fair creatures in a race for life. They
"wooed them" with a bludgeon, captured, and dragged them to a hut,
and chained them to the door-post until they were "persuaded" to stew
the oysters. But this woman, with a shrewdness she is said to have
retained even to this day, cunningly devised a trap into which she
knew her "lord and master"--an epithet that has survived the wreck of
empires--would place his brogan.

From the waste of the "kitchen" she fertilised the soil at the roots
of a heavy grass, and it grew into a grain. She moistened a plant, and
it opened into a fruit. She tamed the young animal--brought for the
stew--and it became the faithful dog. By a cushion of moss she softened
the log used by her lord as a pillow, and, on his return with terrapin
and salmon berries, she looked into his swarthy face and smiled.

He was impressed. He took her gently by the hand, pressed her to his
palpitating bosom, and, looking into her deep liquid eyes, he said, "I
love you." He broke the chains that bound her, and, the wrist fetters
being stubborn, he polished them into bracelets--and these are still
worn as a rudiment of the earlier times. What "Papa" might say came
later. The twain became one flesh--which one, has always been debatable.

Then it was arranged, with very considerable limitation, that they
should be partners. She, the wooed-man, or woman, was to love, to
serve, to obey, while he--furnished the superintendence.

The old system dropped out of use many centuries ago, and the new was a
change, largely in form, hardly in fact.

The old fetters have rusted in the museums of the past. The club,
that potent persuader of old, has been presented to the champion of
the base-ball team, and the woman is at large. But as the priest now
signs and sanctifies the bond, the change, in most countries, is still
chiefly in the character of the fetters.

All people have traditions that help to justify the stronger in acts of
oppression, and to conciliate the weaker in their vassalage.

But civilisation has grown--only with the emancipation of women.
Just as the fetters have been removed from the brain, and soul, and
conscience of woman, has the social ideal risen, has arbitrary force
weakened, and have feeling and reason prevailed. The woman is the
mother; from hereditary and prenatal influences come form and character.

How can a mother, with the feeling of inferiority, a feeling of subdued
dependence, with no courage nor conscious individuality, bring forth
brave, independent, high-minded offspring? Only by emancipated mothers
can full-statured men be reared, and thus has the race crawled slowly
forward.

For the snail-like pace of human progress, the world is more indebted
to the past and political inequalities of the sexes than to all other
retarding influences combined.

With the progress of science, with the physical forces of Nature
harnessed by mental exploits, the relative positions of human muscle
and human sentiment are changing, and, with a cultured reason, deeper
affections and higher ideals invariably appear.

[Illustration: _Champagne Caldron at Wairakei, near Taupo._]

Here I quote:--

"In Zelania, women are 'people,'" said Mr. Oseba, "and liberty and
social rights are not limited to any particular cut of the garments.
In Zelania, the mother, the wife, and the daughter stand proudly erect
with the father, the husband, and the brother--and still the seasons
come and go, the showers are as usual damp, the fruits ripen in due
course of time, the fair 'fellow-elector' is as greatly surprised at
the suddenness of the long-hoped-for question, papa is invoked as of
yore, and the gay old world swings merrily on her uneventful voyage.

"In Zelania, my children, the women vote, and claim equal political
rights with those who buy the opera tickets and set up the ice cream.
Of course, they don't go to Parliament, save at the sittings, to which
they bring their loving smiles and their sewing but they are on their
way, and they will get there all the same.

"But with the coming of women few changes have been noted--so few of
the hopes or fears of the ages have been realised. Woman does not
wear spurs--she has not got out of her place--and she does not do the
sights, as does her hubby, and swear she was detained at the 'ledger.'
She has not become masculine, for she is still the gentle mother of the
children, and she is still the same dear old mother, or wife, sister,
or lover as of yore, when Zeus said, 'Behold! when the fair smile,
victory is nigh.'

"But neither have all the hopes, so confidently cherished, been
fully realised. It has not been discovered--so 'tis said--that the
'political atmosphere' has materially changed; that legislators are
greatly altered in personal character; that social ethics have been
revolutionised; or, to the surprise of many, that the distance between
drinks has been materially lengthened. But, whatever the means, great
changes come slowly.

"As a fact, the experience of Zelania, at three parliamentary
elections, rather indicates that on social, political, economic, and
moral questions, the men and women of the country are 'tarred' with
about the same brush.

"But in this reform there is a sense of justice and a conscious
largeness of soul that is mentally exhilarating, and must result
favorably to society everywhere. In the air of Zelania all fetters rust
away, and the flag of a new victory, won over traditional custom and
selfishness, having been unfurled in this noble land, people afar will
first dream, then hesitate, then inquire, and then conclude to have a
reshuffling of the cards in this doubtful game of life."


INTELLECTUAL TASTES.

"If Zelania is proud of her system of education, she may be forgiven,"
was Oseba's first reference to the intellectual ambition of her people.
He was eloquent on this subject. As any thinker could "guess," the
Zelanians were certainly not slow in efforts to elevate the mental
tastes or in making provisions for the education of the future
citizens.

The foundation of the present excellent school system was laid by the
old provincial authorities, and the best hopes of the pioneers, those
who believed in "teaching the young ideas how to shoot," are being
beautifully realised.

The orator says:--

"At present 82 per cent. of the people of Zelania have the rudiments
of education, which, considering the pioneer character of the country,
'speaks volumes' for the community.

"There are over 2,000 schools in the colony, with an attendance of
about 150,000 pupils. Of these schools some 1,600 are free, and all
children from seven to fourteen years of age are required to attend
them. The natives, also, are supplied with 96 of these free primary
schools, at which 4,500 pupils attend. Rather new; but the railways
carry the children free to and from the nearest school.

"In the primary schools, besides the usual branches, such as reading,
writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, and history, the elementary
sciences, and drawing, the girls are taught sewing and domestic
economy, and the boys are drilled as 'military heroes.'

"Besides these free primary schools there are many higher secondary
schools, supported partly by the Government and partly by 'fees,' and
many more private and denominational schools of a very good order. As
a rule, one religious denomination--the Roman Catholics--decline to
very generally patronise the public schools, and this church supports
independently a large number of excellent educational institutions.
There are eight technical or art schools, at which some 3,000 young
persons attend, a majority of them finishing their school life at
this stage. The branches taught at these schools, and the subjects of
examination, cover a broad field, and the young person who becomes
proficient in them may be regarded as fairly well equipped for most
of the battles of this active age. At these schools a young person is
armed with the 'practical,' with little danger of being over 'stuffed.'

"As a fact, my children," said Mr. Oseba, "many countries on the upper
crust are filled with educated dunces, who are mentally deformed
by over-cramming, and who are inspired by the hopes of living on
'sheepskin'; but as Zelania has practically no rich or leisured class,
the basic idea of school-day training is to fit the rising generation,
not for ornamental, but for practical service.

"Zelania, as a capstone of her educational edifice, has a university,
which was instituted by Act of Parliament in 1874, not for the purpose
of teaching, but for encouraging a liberal education. This university
is an examining, scholarship-awarding, and degree-granting institution,
and the responsibility for the success of university work rest mainly
with the four affiliated teaching colleges, which have a curricula in
science, arts, medicine, law, mining, engineering and agriculture.

"Then there are industrial schools, schools for the blind, deaf, and
dumb, which, taken all in all, constitute a splendid system, all
being carried on at heavy expense to the State. But the general high
character of the people, their usual bearing and manners, the average
moral tone, and absence, in the main, of coarseness and vulgarity, tell
strongly for the merits of the educational system of the country, as
well as for the natural and social influences that mould society."


OTHER "TASTES."

With the next phase of Zelanian life, according to the notes of Leo
Bergin, Oseba was deeply impressed and pleased, for he said:--

"As might be expected, my children, in a land so blessed by Nature,
occupied by so noble a race, and ruled by such incomparably wise and
generous laws, the word 'pauper' is not found in Zelanian statistics,
and the 'criminals,' considering the newness of the country, are few
indeed."

Speaking of the character of crime, Oseba said:--

"Vice and virtue, my children, are largely questions of sensation.
The actions of men that produce disagreeable sensations--immediate or
remote--we call vices, while the opposite we call virtues. We are the
product of experience. Vice is the guide board to virtue--the danger
signal. Without vice there would be no definition for virtue.

"But taste has much to do in guiding a people. The Zelanians have a
taste for knowledge, but they have other tastes. The Christian Outeroos
are thirsty, and the Zelanians are Outeroos. Strange, but in a single
year there were over 7,000 of these noble Zelanians arrested for
their earnest efforts to satisfy this peculiar infatuation. This seems
incredible, for while there are several persons in Zelania who are
never known to be thirsty, there are about 7,000,000 gallons of beer
used annually in filling the 'alimentary canal' of the Zelanians. Just
why, with so goodly a supply, with so short a distance, both in time
and space, between drinks, this peculiar sensation should turn the
heads of men, is not very clear.

"Many very well-meaning people believe there would be less 'arrests'
for these peculiar freaks should the distance between drinks be
extended, but others, having considerable interest in the matter, hold
that most of these confused persons are 'taken in' during their long
search for somebody to do the 'shouting.'

"However," Oseba said, "there is a pleasing side, for while 51 per
cent. of the population over fifteen years of age were born in Zelania,
this portion is said to have furnished but 17 per cent. of the Court's
takings for this confusing recreation.

"For other crimes, the 51 per cent. of native-born furnish but 28 per
cent. of the law breakers.

"It may be, my children, that the 49 per cent. of the foreign born,
who are said to furnish the other per cent. of the 'takings,' are only
celebrating their arrival in so glorious a country--a country in which
a day's earnings, it is said, will pay for many beers. At any rate, the
native-born Zelanian seems the better man, for he either 'calls' less
frequently or 'carries his load' better than the 'new chum.'"

But all are thirsty, Mr. Oseba, and the "practice at the bar," if not
profitable, is exhilarating.

    They think they want a drink.
    When it's wet they want a drink.
    When it's dry they want a drink.
    When it's warm, and when it's cold;
    When they're young and when they're old--
    They think, and when they think,
    They want a drink.
    When they're sick, and when they're well,
    Bound for heaven or for ----,
    Then they think--they want a drink.
    But do they think when e'er they drink?
    Or does the drink confuse the think?

"But the fact," said Mr. Oseba, "that in one year there were twelve
homicides is most surprising to the inquiring stranger. Surely no man
well 'quartered' in Zelania should care to be killed, and the reckless
head that would plan, or the ruthless hand that would execute a design
to close a life in Zelania, should in some manner be restrained from
so fell a purpose. Deducting the homicides of foreign birth, however,
it leaves for the Zelanians the cleanest record in the 'Christian'
world--as one would expect.

"The Zelanians, my children, are usually glad they are alive, and,
too, they are usually willing to allow others to remain and enjoy the
entertainment."


INTELLECTUAL GYMNASTICS.

The notes relating to Zelanian art and literature were very full,
and they were complimentary. 'Tis said that art develops only
with age, and that while the aspect of Nature may appeal to the
poetic or artistic imagination, art arises from dominant ideas,
from deeply-seated sentiments, and as in new, active, progressive,
and commercial countries the dominant ideas do not lend themselves
to reverie, and could not be feelingly expressed on canvas, art in
Zelania must be "imported" for a season. But literature has come, and
literature is civilisation.

The notes continue:--

"Literature, or, to broaden the theme and say the taste for knowledge
and for general reading in Zelania, deserves many compliments. While
there is not, as yet, a literature bearing a distinctive stamp of
Zelanian genius, many volumes with real merit, both in prose and verse,
have been written, and the topics show a versatile taste, knowledge,
and imagination.

"While from the very nature of things Zelania must be a land of
romance, poesy, and song, of the stage, of the race, and the hall, yet
from the sturdiness of the stock there must first come a sufficiency of
works of a graver character as the present exuberance of society tones
down toward restful meditation. To-day Zelania is 'waltzing,' to-morrow
she will walk, and next week she will think.

"Zelania has many well-managed libraries, and, considering the
population, the Zelanians buy, pay for, and read, more books than any
other people on earth. The kind of books? Well, just the kind that
any student would expect--trash, the most of it, as trashy trash is the
taste of the times, everywhere.

[Illustration: _Silica Terraces, Orakei Korako, between Rotorua and
Taupo._]

"But it shows the desire for reading, and, as these children grow
older, a more sober class of books will find its way from the shelves
to the desk of the reader. Even now in Zelania the taste for blood
and thunder literature is waning, while gay and chaste humour, with
glimpses of the philosophy of life, is in growing favor. The heart of
a nation may be seen through its laws, but the heart, and the soul,
and the laws are the product of national literature. Literature is
civilisation.

"The Zelanians are a new community--the people have but recently come
together--society is in a 'stew,' as the members have but little mutual
'acquaintance,' and as the new environment, the air, and the aspect of
Nature suggest hilarity, all the sermonising in the world would not
convert this Zelanian 'holiday' into a prayer-meeting. In the Zelanian
character there appears the sparkling diamond, and in the Zelanian
fibre there are also the oak and the steel that will tell in the
morrows.

"As an evidence of the mental appetite, or the reading habit, the
800,000 Zelanians have and support 200 newspapers, several of which
rank with the great journals of the globe, and the average tone of no
press in the world is higher than that of Zelania.

"True to the racial defects," Oseba said, "the Zelanians, like the
Australians and the Americans, are not linguists. These wonderful
people seem neither desirous nor capable of speaking 'strange tongues.'
With brief experience, I thought this unfortunate, but I gradually
changed my mind, for not only is the world coming to the use of the
English speech,[C] but as 'silence is golden,' and it is manifestly
easier to keep quiet in one than in several languages, this weakness
has a virtuous side.

"I have often noticed while abroad how prone are the masters of many
tongues, when striving to keep silent in one, to break out in some less
euphoneous speech, and thus give themselves away, or at least arouse a
contagious smile of good-natured disapproval.

"But mental gymnastics in Zelania have produced a high order of visible
results.

"Though the country is very new in all phases of modern being,
political, social, judicial, educational and religious, it possesses
a wonderfully symmetrical form. For its present splendid condition
the country is indebted to the efforts of men who were themselves the
products of hard but happy and interesting colonial life.

"New and distant as this country is, narrow as has been the political,
industrial and social horizon, by the vigor of inherited pluck and the
resistless persuasiveness of the romantic environment, in physical
courage, in moral stamina and in intellectual force, Zelania's leading
men will compare well with those trained in the great world's historic
centres.

"The present Premier, who has guided the ship of State during more
than ten years of its most wonderful progress, graduated in the rugged
school of industrial activity, and, casting off the implements of
custom and delusion, he not only made Zelania a more conspicuously red
patch on the world's map, but himself became a recognised force in the
Councils of Empire.

"But with others than her progressive statesmen, Zelania is rich in
sturdy manhood and ability--grey matter. Her schools and colleges rank
well with the educational institutions of older and richer countries;
her instructors are profoundly learned; her judiciary, with its
present head, would adorn the bench of the Motherland itself; and her
professionals in law and medicine, if cast in a body in any other
country, would not lower the average.

"Of course, my children, as yet not all the milestones are statues;
not all who loaf in the parks are poets, nor are all who stroll in
the streets philosophers, but according to the prevailing notion in
Zelania, this noble aspiration will soon be realised.

"These, my children, though I drank not with the statesmen, I came not
before the courts, I 'feed' no solicitor, and my health was perfect
during my sojourn in Zelania, were my impressions on these themes."


FOR OPINION'S SAKE.

    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
    works." (Usually obeyed.--Ed.)

Under this head the notes were full and clear, but as life grows
shorter and space less, I will condense greatly.

Amoora Oseba informs his audience that the Zelanians have considerable
religion--in fact, there seems to be nearly enough to go round, for all
save a very few are reported to have it in some of its various forms.

"Of the 800,000 people, nearly all," he says, "belong to some religious
society, and about all who claim God as a father, seem to think it
necessary to regard the church as a mother--so few do business direct.

"Of the various creeds, the Church of England claims about 40 per cent.
of the whole; the Presbyterian 22; and the Roman Catholic, 14 per cent.
There are nearly 1,000 clergymen in Zelania, said to be gentlemen of
excellent attainments.

"As would be expected from so free and civilised a people, there is
among all classes and creeds in Zelania a commendable spirit of common
brotherhood and toleration. As a fact, members of the various creeds
drink at the same bar and attend the same football match, though, being
so reared, they desire to go to heaven by different trains. All seem
to strive together for the general good, dividing, by common consent,
as to methods for the accomplishment of the one desired aim. The Roman
Catholics, however, that their followers may be so instructed that they
will be sure to 'select the proper train,' usually provide their own
schools, while contributing, through general taxation, to the support
of most of the others. Probably in no country so universally religious
is there so little creed prejudice or intolerance.

"But political and social emancipation everywhere gives a man a
conscious dignity and worth that places him in closer harmony with
the infinite, and tells for sympathy, love, and charity. The people
are religious, but not bigoted. The are religious, but they do not
superstitiously cringe, and, as they have been specially guided, they
express no disfavor with the methods of the Deity.

"As a fact, like all well regulated people, the Zelanians pray, but,
instead of prostrating themselves, they stand bravely erect, and,
considering themselves the crowning act of the creative power, they
congratulate the Almighty on the excellence of His handiwork."

Here the poetess Vauline inquired if all the people among the superior
Outeroos worshipped the same deity.

"Yes, my children," said the sage Oseba, with candor, "on Sundays.
On Sundays the Christian Outeroos meet in comfortable places and
worship the one true God. On the other days, many people give a lot of
attention to another deity. This every-day deity--by persons who praise
lavish generosity in other people--is spoken of very slightingly.

"This deity is worshipped by many people under many names, but the
Americans, among whom it is said--abroad--he hath great influence,
spell it this way--$. It may be doubtful, however, if the Americans
really care more for the smiles of this deity than others, but they get
up earlier. From tradition the Christian Outeroos call him Mammon, and
though he is denounced very much by pious lips, he is considerably in
evidence in very holy places.

"Of course, my children, these observations do not apply to the
Zelanians. But the Outeroos are growing wiser, stronger, nobler, and
better, and the people are inclining to the notion that he who serves
man most, pleases God best."

Right, Mr. Oseba! The world grows better, and more truly religious as
it grows wiser.

    When our skies are filled with demons--
      In famine or in feast--
    We cower before the lightning,
      And we kneel before the priest;
    When we grovel in the caverns,
      The laying on of hands,
    Our service and our substance,
      Our faith and fear, commands.
    But we peer into the heavens--
      Recking not the frown nor rod--
    Till we gain a glimpse of Euclid,
      Then we're face to face with God.



_SCENE VIII.--Act V._

"WORTHY OF HIS HIRE."

    And it was decreed that the lives of those who wrought should be
    spared.


As Leo Bergin, before he retired, himself took a deep interest in all
industrial affairs, he reported Oseba in profusive detail as the labor
situation of Zelania was discussed.

There had been an intermission and lunch, and the audience, feeling
refreshed, showed deep interest in a problem, the solution of which had
taxed the best energies of the ablest statesmen in many countries for
many generations. As a text for his pleasing sermon, Oseba said:--

"To you, my children, to the Shadowas of Cavitorus, it will seem
strange, but among the Christian Outeroos there is industrial confusion
about everywhere, with little prospect of early harmony--for Zelania
alone is a land without strikes, without class hatred, and, of those
having parliaments, without a labor party in the legislature."

I conclude from the notes:--

Zelania was settled by an excellent class of people, and though too
much of the better lands, as before remarked, were at first allowed
to fall into few hands, influenced by the isolation and distance
from the scenes that created the old precedent, by the novelty of
the environment, from the necessities of discovering new expedients
to satisfy the new demands or conditions, and from the quickening
influence of new competition in a new, free, and exhilarating climate,
there was a rush of brains to the head in Zelania, and a new shuffle of
the cards was called.

Where none were rich, and all had to hustle, the "grafter" was
respected. A community of interests arose, and he who wrote and he who
wrought marched shoulder to shoulder, choosing from among themselves
the instruments or servants through which the public conscience should
find expression in law.

In questions of colonial policy, none invoked the "shades of honored
sires," none appealed to the "experience of the ages," none asked or
cared what Britain or America was doing, but "how can we construct the
most comfortable edifice from the material at hand?" was the problem
they sought to solve.

If all those who have prayed, struggled, fought, and died for liberty,
from Otanes, the Persian, down to the swarthy sons of Cuba or the
Philippines, could behold this scene, they might well say--not in the
words of Mr. Oseba--"Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in
peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation."

In Zelania there were no class contests. There was no social revolution
in the story, but the people "rose to the occasion," they looked around
inquiringly, yielded to the logic of the situation, and--were.

[Illustration: _Boiling Fountains, Lake Rotomahana._]

Here the people saw clearly the fundamental theory, or basic essentials
of production. Here they saw Nature's treasure-house filled with
tempting rewards, and they soon realised that toil was the open sesame
to which Nature responded promptly, and with a lavish hand.

They saw that "labor and land," after a long divorce, must re-wed--for
the children's sake--and that "wealth," instead of being a partial
god that sprang from magic caves to aid the cunning in squeezing
humanity, was really but the savings or net products of "yesterday's"
toil, and capital but that part of wealth devoted to improving the
implements with which toil may more easily coin more wealth from the
stores of material, offered by Nature free to her inquiring children.
Who "corners" the raw material, insults dame Nature, and assassinates
liberty.

There being some considerable unanimity of feeling on these questions
in Zelania, it was deemed wise to arrange some equitable rules for
the working of the various factors, cogs, wheels and pulleys of this
complex machine. Of course, a few persons who felt strongly that they
were entitled to complimentary passes to all the public entertainments
objected; but these gentlemen were asked to stand by and "hold the
'phone" while the inquiry was being made.

Mr. Oseba said: "So near is the Government of Zelania to the doors of
the people that the laws are really but the recorded conclusions of the
community."

The people had learned--I conclude from the notes--that in all
countries and in all ages, a monopolisation of the land with legal
privileges had resulted in insolent class distinctions, poverty,
misery, and oppression, and they proposed to take up a collection, and
erect a new lighting-plant. For--

    Not for booty came the Briton, but for a home;
    And he built a State, from foundation to dome.
    In honor of his sire he "grew." To the "old chimes"
    He listened, but he hewed and carved, to fit the "times."
    As oracles, he inquired of "Justice." "Glory"
    To him was naught, "but works," said he, "live in story."

Mr. Oseba reminded his audience of the rules regulating land tenure
and "settlement," which held in view the broadening of the base of the
social pyramid, and he said the labor laws were but extending the same
principles to other members of the productive or industrial machines.

"The labor laws of Zelania," says he, "are unique; but they are only
'unique' in ignoring the 'experience of darker ages,' in their purpose
to equitably distribute the burdens and profits of industry, and in
the desire of the framers to secure permanent industrial peace and
intelligent social co-operation.

"The labor laws of Zelania may be said to be but rules provided for the
better understanding between, and the better security of the employer
and employee, as joint promoters of industrial enterprise, and nowhere
is the holder of wealth given an undue advantage over the creator of
wealth.

"The labor legislation of Zelania comprises about thirty-five distinct
Acts, and in tone they are usually almost more advisory than
mandatory. There are no general laws regulating the hours of labor, or
providing a minimum wage, but in the interest of open-handed justice,
certain courts may exercise considerable power when called upon to
settle questions of this character.[D] The labor legislation began in
Zelania as early as 1865, in 'The Master and Apprentice Act,' and has
at least kept pace with the rational demands of the community ever
since.

"The labor laws of Zelania, like her industries, have grown gradually
with the country's requirements, as suggested by the industrial
unfoldment of the country. As it is an industrial and commercial
community, the laws are designed to cover every phase of business
activity, to be specific in their directions, simple in their
application, and speedy and inexpensive in their execution."

Uttering a truth, but possibly misquoting, Mr. Oseba remarked:--

"As a despairing statesman once said, 'Rome realises no danger, nay,
she heeds no warning, until the enemy is thundering at her gates, when
she must act without deliberation,' so, in like manner, the industrial
Acts of other countries are usually formulated and passed to meet
pressing emergencies, while the sagacity of Zelania prepares, not for
emergencies, but that emergencies may not arise.

"While labor is the chief factor in the production of all wealth, from
a time to which the 'memory' of man runneth not to the contrary, the
select few, who cunningly possessed themselves of the wealth, have
treated with scant courtesy those who created it.

"In Zelania, this 'time-honored custom' has been changed, for it
has been ordained that he who coins his sweat into the things that
administer to human wants, shall not be forgotten by those who coin
their cunning into magnets for drawing the price of those things to
their commodious pockets.

"In Zelania, my children, people who toil, who build houses, make
corkscrews, and grow asparagus, are regarded as considerably human,
even outside of Sunday-school and prayer meeting.

"Here the power of one to toil and to produce is considered his
capital. His family, in whom the community has an interest, is to be
considered and supported from this source, and, if in the employ of
another, such a person meets with--or is overtaken by--an accident--his
capital impaired--he must be 'compensated.'[E] This, for a time, seemed
a hardship on employers--all changes being hardships--but experience
has proven otherwise, for the practice not only produced a nobler
'fellow-feeling,' but mutual interest between the employer and the
employed.

"Every change necessitates other changes, and every new light exposes
some defects that call for improvement.

"In this measure there was a glimpse of justice, but to obviate
apparent hardships, the State undertook to insure the laborer,
and then it was seen that private companies could find a lot
of--financially--healthy exercise in the same line, and thus the
industrial machine became more symmetrical.[F]

"To the casual observer, or to him who regards the torch-bearer as an
innovator luring away his fetish, and to the wise-looking owl that sits
on the cemetery gate hooting at the passing train of progress, these
novel experiments seem mischievous and revolutionary; but in the early
future, the long-eared politicians of many lands will have to face the
inquiry, 'What has made Zelania the industrial paradise of the world?
Give us a smile from her canteen.'

"She is changing the ideal, she is blessing the brick and the mortar of
which the Temple of State is built.

    "If the State is made for woman and for man,
    You should make the man and woman--best you can.

"The fact that for a dozen years, the industrial machine of Zelania
has worked smoothly, and that, while in other lands there has been
much confusion, she has enjoyed an era of unparalleled progress and
prosperity, should be some answer to the fears of those who, because
'of old' they made much gains in furnishing Diana with her stage
outfit, are now feeling weary.

"However, should these laws fail to satisfy the aspirations of an
educated people," Mr. Oseba argued, "the agents of the ultimate
authority would be instructed to adjust them to the popular needs of
society, and the new patents would be issued.

"As a fact, of all people the Zelanians alone receive as much from, as
they contribute to, their Government.

"I am not sure my children, not very sure, that in all cases these
liberal laws have quickened the employee's stroke. I am not sure that
all employees are endowed with sufficient grey matter to appreciate
the fact that every security or privilege conferred by law imposes
reciprocal obligations. To emancipate a man, should ennoble him.

"A free man should scorn to soil his palm with an unearned penny. The
law that raised the eyes of labor did not intend to direct them to the
face of the town clock, and the law that forbade an employer demanding
twenty shillings worth of work for fourteen shillings in truck goods,
never meant that labor should take from its employer a gold sovereign
for fourteen shillings' worth of work.

"Justice and security should elevate the soul, sharpen the sense of
right, awaken the energies and quicken the pace of all who fall under
these benign influences.

"I am not sure, not very sure, that all the people of Zelania are
worthy participators in these noble benefactions; I am only explaining
the facts of the situation, the generous sentiment that so largely
prevails among the people, and the purposes and intentions of the
makers of the law.

"Of course Zelanian statesmen may need to remind the people, that
increased effort will be demanded for every opportunity given, and that
for personal success, energy, self reliance and hustle must be wholly
relied upon, or there may be some misunderstanding."

Whoever leans heavily upon the Government--not the language of the
chaste Oseba--usually gets tired easy, so while it is well to furnish
every passenger with a life preserver, the fellow who is too lazy to
kick deserves to die at sea, to save funeral expenses.

"But, my children," says Mr. Oseba, with rather a human smile, "as
it is much less wearisome to put on avoirdupois than to put on grey
matter, the social millennium has not yet become firmly seated, even in
Zelania."

But, Mr. Oseba, they are steaming up and they will get there all the
same, for now that the light has been turned on, the audience will
encourage the players to grander performances.

In all changes in life there are sorrows. We come into, and go out
of life with pain. In every advance some are left behind, by every
improvement some hand is left idle, until it is trained to a new duty.
Every economic advance violates some custom under which hoary wrongs
found an honored refuge.

But I conclude, from many pages, that Zelania's labor laws are still
imperfect, as the leaders themselves recognise, by further improving
them. But she is safe in her situation, and these eternal principles of
justice are destined to exercise a wide influence throughout the world,
for improved light always gives the whole plant a more symmetrical
growth.

To the undeviating progress of the industrial situation of Zelania,
the world is indebted, first, of course, to her unparalleled natural
conditions, second to the intelligence of her people, then to her
progressive statesmen, and especially to R. J. Seddon and the able men
who have constituted his political family. These, without tradition,
history or precedent, have raised the industrial plane of the country
to a condition approaching the social ideal--as per mandate.

Like Bolivar and Lincoln and many other of humanity's torch bearers,
Mr. Seddon, by the force of his own genius, arose from the industrial
walks of life. His was not a meteor flight bursting resplendently upon
a startled world; but faithfully biding his time, he came prepared, and
evidently he came to stay--for the time of his leave-taking has not yet
been announced.

[Illustration: _Kiwi._]

"Mr. Seddon was born a true Briton. He was toughened by colonial
experience, his hands were calloused with honest toil, his muscles were
hardened with heroic struggles, his intellect was developed by a broad
and intelligent observation of interesting events; and he belonged to,
arose from, and came forward to serve the people.

[Illustration: _Milford Sound._]

"He knew but one rank, that of the free citizen; but one guide, the
people's voice; but one master, that of duty--as he understood the
command.

"Well, an upper seat became vacant, and, having a ripe experience in
parliamentary affairs, appreciative authority, with inviting tones,
remarked, 'Richard, come up higher,' and he joined a strong Cabinet.
He did his duty as he felt it, and was a part of Zelania's most
progressive laws. He ripened with the ever-changing seasons.

"Events hastened; the public appetite was whetted, and said, 'More!'
Mr. Ballance, a beloved Premier, foolishly died, a still higher seat
was vacant, and again appreciative authority said, 'Richard, come
up higher.' He became Premier--the most responsible position in any
country ruled under the British parliamentary system--in 1893, and for
ten years, with the strength of a Hercules, the courage of an Ajax,
and the industry of an Ixion, he has courageously worked in extending,
amending, pruning and consolidating the industrial rules of Zelania,
until the world that first looked on with amusement, and then with
inquiring interest, now beholds with admiration the successful workings
of an industrial theory that gives hope to humanity.

"He was a product of the times. The opportunities came, and he
harmonised the conditions with the interests and the aspirations of his
countrymen, and, without the use of an elevator, he has reached the
dome of the temple.

"The labor laws, like the land laws, are based upon the enlightened
selfishness of the people in their organised capacity, the idea being,
not that everyone may, but that everyone must, earn his or her own
living--must be a producer and not a pauper, a tax-payer and not a
vagrant. This is democracy.

"The people are not kept, but they are allowed opportunities to keep
themselves; they are not aided as a charity, but they are enabled, as a
right, to earn and to have, and to contribute to the general well-being
of the country.

"In Zelania the soil is a basis of wealth; capital and labor are the
active factors, and society, for the good of each and all, proposes
that these factors shall peacefully pursue the joint enterprise of
production, according to the dictates of justice and humanity.

"It is selfish, of course. Capital must be secure, and industry must
necessarily move her tireless wheels. Then society, as a whole, having
an interest in each of its members, and a stake in the proceeds, must
be the arbiter in all industrial disputes, and the interested parties,
being loyal members of the social compact, must yield obedience to the
public will."

Well, that is worth embalming!

    They numbered the people. If high or low,
    Was not worth asking; enough to know
    That each had wants; and, that all might live,
    Those receiving must willingly give.
    Then strove they in love, and not in hate,
    To build for aye this matchless State;
    For they knew that a temple could not endure
    That enriched the baron, and crushed the poor.

"Society," continued the sage, "made up of the industrial cells,
requires the security of every shilling, the service of every member,
and the peaceful co-operation of all the factors in every industrial
enterprise, and as it has not yet been determined how much of our
imagined 'natural rights' we may be called upon to yield for the
general good, the passionless decision of the public will, for the time
being at least, must be the only guide.

"Under the benign _ægis_ of a rule, bearing the lengthened legend, 'The
Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act,' there serenely reposes
the most perfect industrial security known in this discontented world.
The Labour Laws of Zelania may be 'experimental,' but they sprang from
the soul of the public conscience, they were moulded by a desire to
secure impartial justice, and for many years they have given a degree
of industrial peace, stability, and prosperity, that has won the favour
of the general citizenship, and is now exciting the surprise and
winning the admiration of the world.

"Then, to cap the climax, my children," said Mr. Oseba, "of all the
measures ever calculated to confirm the claims of the Master as to
the 'brotherhood' of man, it has been ordained in Zelania that, under
liberal provisions, all persons above the full age of sixty-five years,
shall be entitled to a life pension."

In harmony with other liberal legislation, support for these measures
was asked, Oseba informs his people, not as a matter of charity,
but of justice, for it seems to have been held that as members of an
industrial community, all worthy persons were supposed to have entitled
themselves to a living, and that those who found themselves indigent
at that age, had either met with misfortune, or had failed to receive
a just equivalent for his or her contribution to the public wealth.
There, it seems to be recognised that the world owes, to all men, a
living, and that these pensions are advances made to those who have
failed to "collect" what was properly due to them. Rather new.[G]

A public sentiment that, above the taint of charity, coins its "respect
for worthy old age" into sovereigns, that may be "demanded as a
right," by the deserving, stands as far above the pious cant of other
countries--as philosophy stands above superstition.

Indolence, poverty, sorrow and want are common to human society, and
benevolence and charity have been lauded as saving virtues for many
ages; but here, where new ideas seem to generate spontaneously, there
has arisen a novel notion--that so closely is the world akin, that the
very fact of a person having taken the pains to be born, to behave
pretty well, to float to Zelania at the proper time and to exist for
sixty-five years, justly entitles him or her to £18 worth of annual
"respect."

"This is novel indeed," says Mr. Oseba, "and this notion, in
its conceptions of human relationship, social duty and moral
responsibility, is nobler than all the sermons--save one--ever preached
on this little globe.

"R. J. Seddon is no saint; I am told, my children, he gets
angry, he storms, and he may use cuss words, but no poet, priest
or philanthropist ever uttered nobler thoughts than he, in his
championship of this progressive measure. Only the dreamer can realise
the far-reaching moral grandeur, not of the measure itself, but of the
lofty sentiment upon which it is based--and the Premier claimed to
speak 'for the people.'

"Considering the general backwardness of the Outeroos in breaking old
traditions and especially in the direction of a greater recognition
of human brotherhood, or the rights of the individual as a unit of
society, the Zelanians have another rule, even more surprising, as you
will see, for it is not only the offspring of a sentiment or idea, as
novel in its nobility of conception as that upon which grew the old age
pension, but it is so radical a departure from old British customs, as
to startle a student with its audacious demands.

"In the older lands the desire, as well as the custom, is to
erect commanding fortunes and to perpetuate wealthy and powerful
families--though many of the kindred struggle through miserable lives
in poverty; but in Zelania, should a person who contemplates permanent
'retirement,' endeavor by will or 'last testament,' to leave all his
belongings to the 'white headed boy,' or otherwise fail to provide,
according to his means, for the 'proper maintenance and support'
of any of his dependents, the Courts 'may go back of the returns,'
inquire into the matter, practically annul 'said will,' and make such
provisions as 'shall seem fit,' according to the demands of open-handed
justice.

"Zelania recognises every person as an integral part of the social
group, with reciprocal rights and duties. An individual may pray with
and prey upon the community and acquire 'much riches,' and, as the
legal custodian of this 'lucre,' he has considerable latitude; but,
as a fact, he is only a trustee, and when he leaves his money in this
world--lest it should melt--he is not allowed to deprive any of his
dependents who may remain for a time as members of the community, of
all 'consolation' for his departure.[H]

"Contrary to the general notions of outside barbarians, the advanced
legislation in Zelania is not the result of an erratic temperament, but
of advanced thought, of a nobler conception of human duty, and a higher
ideal of social progress.

"Zelania as a social entity is not a commanding empire. She points to
no glorious traditions, to no rivers of blood, to no ancient splendors
with ruined aqueducts, fallen columns or ivy-grown temples; no chained
captives and moss-grown universities, where hoots the hooded owl;
but representing a new phase of intellectual aspiration, her sturdy
statesmen have planted the banner of social progress beyond the dreams
of other lands, and they have made her the most interesting, the most
hopeful, and, socially, the most conspicuous spot on the broad surface
of Oliffa."

Eloquent in his recital, Mr. Oseba closed this topic:--

"The time is hurriedly coming, my children, when the statues of
Zelanian statesmen who have pushed to their full realisation the noble
principles, towards which humanity has been vainly struggling for
countless ages, will adorn the most popular niches, galleries, and
squares of the world's most civilised centres."


SOME PLEASANT OUTINGS.

Here Mr. Oseba runs off on a pleasing tangent, and he leads us to the
conclusion that a tour of Zelania is a jaunt of unrivalled pleasure;
so full of change, of variety and surprising incidents, that curiosity
lashes one forward, and physical vigor so rapidly improves as to banish
all thought of weariness. On these tours good health is actually
"catching," and the appetite always arrives before meal time.

He describes in interesting detail the ease, safety and comfort, as
well as the jocund hilarity, of these kaleidoscopic gyrations, and how
easily, with a word and a wire from Mr. T. E. Donne, the candid and
competent tourist manager, one may find the path to the noblest scenes.

"That time may not hang heavily on the spring bathers, millions of
fish--better than Peter ever hauled from the Sea of Galilee--are
waiting in many lakes for the tempting fly, and if one tires of glacier
climbing in the South, the woods are full of red deer, and other nimble
game, waiting to give him a wilder sport.

"As for climate, I conclude that one may choose that as he chooses his
drinks, for he may have sunshine or shower, chilling glacier or burning
valley, frozen or boiling lakes, simply by switching on or off a new
path. The weather is 'almost always' good, and as one may dodge a storm
by going fishing, instead of going mountain climbing, or a hot wave by
stalking deer instead of hunting geysers or Maori maidens, bad weather
is not worth talking about."

Then he turns the globe and shows that Zelania is in the Southern
Hemisphere, and he expects that as soon as his discoveries are made
known, many thousands of people--to avoid the severe cold winters of
Europe and America--will spend a season of eternal spring among those
romantic scenes. Here Mr. Oseba grows eloquent. I quote:--

"As bare-handed Nature, by her almost infinite allurements, spanked the
rude savage of Zelania into an eloquent politician, so she improves
upon every animal turned loose upon her palpitating bosom. Bring a
little starved rabbit to Zelania--well, it does not become a tiger the
same afternoon, but it soon begins business, and in a brief period it
has the 'lord of creation' on the defensive--for it is eating him out.

[Illustration: _A Stag's Head_]

"The offspring of every animal, every bird, every lake, brook or river
fish, brought to Zelania, in a very short time greatly improves in size
and beauty. Well, so it is with people."


ENCORE ZELANIA.

    Again thy face, Sapho, though thou hast won the crown,
    The moon hangs high, return, let's laugh till she goes down.

The notes of Leo Bergin record no sign of weariness, either on the
part of the audience or the orator. The sittings had been prolonged,
but a cheerful and most intelligent interest seemed to have been
preserved throughout, and the closing scenes in the review of Zelania
had almost aroused enthusiasm. The curtain had been rolled down for a
brief intermission, and as it was known that the last act was now to be
staged, all the anxiety and freshness of a new sitting were manifest in
the audience.

The lantern appliances had been removed, and it was evident that the
conclusions of these unique proceedings were very near. The notes say:--

"Oseba arose, and when he stepped to the footlights, and indicated his
readiness to proceed, he was greeted with an applause well becoming a
Boston audience on the appearance of a Webster."

Here the poetess Vauline, apologising for the interruption at so
late a stage in the proceedings, ventured to inquire by what course
of reasoning the sage Oseba had reached his conclusions that the
Anglo-Saxon was destined to a universal supremacy, and why the
Zelanians should now be regarded as the torch-bearers of the future
ages?

With a smile of approval Mr. Oseba answered:--

"The question is timely and important. Following the laws of natural
progress up to a certain point, survival depends largely on the
thickness of the skin and the length of the claws, but, above that
point, it is a question of grey matter, and the Anglo-Saxon has brains
in his head. Well, the Zelanians are a picked squad on the skirmish
line of the Anglo-Saxon legions."

Here again I "boil down," and note my own conclusions from Mr. Oseba's
argument:--

The Anglo-Saxon intellect is the product of more than 1,400 years of
unparalleled vicissitudes, and by its inherent virtue it has resistless
force. Progress is a question of intellectual development, of
susceptibility, adaptability, and adjustability of a people, and in the
constitution of this racial brain are found all these traits in full
measure. Besides, in the Anglo-Saxon character there are found a solid
sincerity and love of justice, that inspire a respect and confidence
that are irresistible. It is a matter of brain--of ideal.

The ideals of Assyria, Persia, and Babylonia were Empire--military
conquest, and we see passing over the stage but kingly splendor,
and, as a background, the gods that lashed the people--if there were
any--into loyal obedience.

The ideal of Egypt was durability--to eternise the works of
kings--based upon a religious idea, and she erected the Pyramids, still
the wonder of the world's wonders.

The ideal of Phoenicia was commerce, and the ship was the type of her
realised dream. Here the city was greater than the empire, and the
merchant was greater than the king.

The ideal of Greece was beauty--then personal beauty--in form and
character. Under the reign of this ideal came her noblest achievements.
But the Greek brain was erratic; the Greek heroes were soon deified.
The artist came, and when the marble statue became the ideal and also
the idol, the Greek philosopher became a sophist, and Greece fell a
prey to a more practical race.

The ideal of Rome was power, force and the glamour of Patrician
splendor. That the lower orders might fight more bravely for the
further aggrandisement of the holy city, they were fed on barley buns
and flattered with an imaginary freedom, but the ideal of Rome was
force.

The ideals of Venice and Genoa were wealth, luxury and art, and
their palaces and cathedrals--still the wonder and admiration of the
world--became their realised dreams; but only these, and the folly of
the Doge, remain to us.

The ideal of Spain--in her greatness--was royal splendor, propped by
the spiritual authority, with subject colonies to furnish places for
favorites and revenues for the State.

The ideals of Britain were trade, the factory, the shop, the ship, and
the "old family"--to occupy the easy seats. But these British ideals
developed individual enterprise, and soon it was discovered that in
Britain there were people. Save for a few brief periods in Attica,
from the fall of Israel to the rise of Britain the _people_ cut little
figure in recorded history.

The ideal of America, say up to the passing of Lincoln, was personal
liberty, and under this sentiment she produced some of the noblest
characters that ever stood erect and wore the image of God. But the
gates were turned in, millions came from afar, the earlier sentiments
were perverted, great wealth became the master motive, and dollars have
become the national ideal.

All these countries have succeeded, if Mr. Oseba's arguments are valid,
in some measure in developing the "master motive," or in realising the
national ideal.

"Well, my children," said Oseba, "the force of Zelania as a social
leader is also in her ideals, and as the conspicuous happiness and
prosperity of a people are the best evidence of a benign rule, the
appreciation of her ideals has proved their utilitarian virtues.

"Well, by some exploit in mental gymnastics, the Zelanians have
chosen the highest possible ideal, Justice--the enthronement of the
individual--and with the inherited instincts of the race and a most
favorable environment, it was to be expected that, with the ripening of
the yearnings of man, humanity should find its highest type in these
Romantic Isles.

"In closing, allow me briefly to recall to your minds a few of the more
important features of my argument on these most interesting themes.

"I have reminded you, my children, that liberty never gained a victory
in an old, well-established, and wealthy nation.

"I have reminded you that with great wealth and population people
become conservative, the rulers cling to inherited power, the wealthy
fear change, and the mass, by custom becoming loyal, reform is
impossible--or at best, progress is slow indeed.

"I have reminded you that commerce is the basis of modern civilisation,
but that only people inhabiting the water-front have ever become
sufficiently commercial to materially influence any considerable
portion of mankind; and I have reminded you that it was only through
the colonial enterprise of commercial nations that the great
progressive movements have been carried on.

"Further, I have reminded you that only in the colonies, in new and
isolated communities, far removed from central authority, where novel
conditions required novel methods, is self-reliance nourished, liberty
aroused, and social progress made possible.

"And, I have also further reminded you, that of all the tribes, races,
or nations that ever loafed about the earth's surface, those of
Phoenicia, Greece, and Britain were alone capable of breaking away from
inherited customs, and asserting freedom of action, or of so adjusting
themselves to the requirements of a new environment as to develop a
state of society differing materially from that of the old order of
things.

"Then, too, I have shown you the social outposts of all the nations,
and how improbable it is that they should advance any further by their
own inherent force.

"I have reminded you also, that the total or aggregate of human rights
is the same in all states, regardless of form or population, that, like
elbow-room, individual rights decrease as the numbers participating
increase, and that of all things a great population is least to be
desired, and an over-population the most to be dreaded.

"But Zelania occupies a unique position. She has no traditions, she has
no overlord, no organised trusts, no vested rights in hoary wrongs;
she has no withering precedents, no millionaire monopolies howling for
victims, and having room for many millions she may bide her time, and
if she cares for more people she may make her own selection.

"With her numberless wonders to attract the tourist, her splendid
opportunities for profitable industry, and her more wonderful social
situation to attract the inquiring thousands from many lands, she
will soon become, with sagacious management, the Mecca of the world's
leisured wealthy, and from these will come the best of all 'invaders.'

"My children, with all these splendid facts, I would not advise the
empty-handed to rush to Zelania, hoping to secure an easy livelihood;
but no person with an inquiring mind who loves Nature, who feels an
interest in the social progress of his race, and who is possessed of
moderate means, should allow himself to quit this fair and interesting
life, without visiting this most charming of all lands, this paragon of
social happiness, this paradise of Oliffa.

"Many of you, my children, after having read my report, and having
meditated more deeply upon the pleasures and profits of travel and
observation, will make this pleasing visit, and should the hospitable
people of Zelania meet any quiet, dignified, well-regulated stranger,
who says little, but sees and hears everything, who inquires without
criticising, admires without flattery, lends freely to all his friends,
and pays his own bills, they may 'guess' that he is a 'gentleman' from
'Symmes' Hole.'

"Measures, my children, the character of which would shock the tender
sensibilities of those who assume to be the saviours of society, have
vindicated the wisdom of Zelania's statesmen--by the demonstrated
applicability of these measures to the necessities of modern progress.

"Of all spots on the surface of Oliffa, this Zelania is most charming,
and of all people on the surface of Oliffa, these Zelanians have made
the greatest social advance, and occupy the most favored position for
future usefulness.

"Then, with all these masterful advantages, with an ideal country,
capable of supporting many millions of people, she holds--with a small
number of the choicest of the race--her own destinies in her own hands.

"So, my children, there is hope for the world. Genius has annihilated
time and space, commerce has brought humanity so in touch, that the
light of inspiration may come from without, and seeing the beacon from
afar, the oppressed of many nations will arouse and demand 'a little
more light.'"

Great idea, Mr. Oseba, worthy of the "Poet's Lore," for though the
watchman on the tower may be slow in gaining a glimpse, his keen eye
will finally behold its glowing effulgence.

    With faith he hath struggled for reason and right,
    Withdrew from the darkness in search of the light;
    With face to the morning, and gazing afar,
    O'er Southern horizons he spies a new star,
    And cries, "Hail, Zelania! though distant thou be,
    Welcome thy light shining over the sea;
    Welcome thy flag, to the heavens unfurled,
    The beacon, the guide, and the hope of the world."

"Zelania is like unto another prophet, teaching from the mountain top.
The blaze of her divine torch is not of a fitful glare, but the genial
rays of its steady glow are so spreading over all the earth, that the
people of all lands may soon behold and wonder, and inquire, and then
emulate.

[Illustration: _Stage Road, Buller Gorge._]

"Well, my children, the tales of my strange adventures are well-nigh
told. The curtain will soon fall, and while the lessons from these
happy sittings will remain with us as but fading memories, the
wonders of this enchanting land will thrill and fill the inquiring
souls of men for all time--for the day of Zelania is just at the dawn.

"Inspired by an inherited instinct, and guided by Anglo-Saxon genius,
civilisation has won more victories since the crowning of Victoria than
during all the generations from 'Saul of Tarsus' to Paul of Pretoria,
and Zelania is away in the vanguard of the great progressive social
force that is destined to enlighten the brain and unfetter the limbs of
humanity.

"It is manifest destiny that Anglo-Saxon aspiration, language, and
civilisation should dominate the world. With the realisation of
this hope, business interests will prevent war; despotism will be
good-naturedly hissed from the stage; Europe will be commercially
united; production and exchange will be so adjusted as to employ all
willing hands; the arsenals will become factories; the great guns will
be stood erect as pillars in historic museums; the muskets will be cast
into gas pipes, and swords into sheep-shears, and the gods will look
down and smile upon the first generation of truly civilised men!

"Then, at the consummation of these noble purposes, when a monument
shall have been erected in honor of those who led in the emancipation
of humanity, on the highest tablet on the Temple of Eternal Fame, and
in letters of imperishable splendor, shall be emblazoned,--

                           'ZELANIA.'"



FOOTNOTES

[A] The Remarkable Mountains, on the easterly side of Lake Wakatipu, S.
Island.

[B] Lands for Settlement Act.

[C] During the 19th century the common use of the English language
increased over 500 per cent., as against 150 per cent. for the German,
102 for the Italian, and about 66 for the French and Spanish. It is
practically the business, and is rapidly becoming the "polite" language
of the "civilised" world.

[D] The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1900, with
amendments.

[E] Employers Liability Act, 1882, practically superseded by The
Workers Compensation for Accident, 1900, Act.

[F] Government Accident Insurance Act, 1899.

[G] Old Age Pension Act, 1898.

[H] Testators' Family Maintenance Act.





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