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Title: Forty Thousand Miles Over Land and Water - The Journal of a Tour Through the British Empire and America
Author: Vincent, Lady (Ethel Gwendoline )
Language: English
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[Illustration: The White Terrace, Hot Lakes, New Zealand.

    _Frontispiece._     Page 119.]


FORTY THOUSAND MILES OVER LAND AND WATER

The Journal of a Tour Through the British Empire and America

by

MRS. HOWARD VINCENT

With Numerous Illustrations

Third and Cheaper Edition.



London:
Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington,
Crown Buildings, 188, Fleet Street.
1886.
[All rights reserved.]

London:
Printed by Gilbert and Rivington, Limited,
St. John's Square.



    TO

    OUR FRIENDS,

    THE CHILDREN OF THE METROPOLITAN AND CITY POLICE
    ORPHANAGE,

    This Journal is Dedicated

    BY

    THEIR CONSTANT WELL-WISHERS.



PREFACE.


My husband, during his six years' tenure of the office of Director of
Criminal Investigations, took the greatest interest in the Metropolitan
and City Police Orphanage.

In taking leave of his young friends he promised to keep for their
benefit a record of our travels through the British Empire and America.

I have endeavoured to the best of my power to relieve him of this task.

It is but a simple Journal of what we saw and did.

But if the Police will accept it, as a further proof of our admiration
and respect for them as a body, then I feel sure that others who may be
kind enough to read it will be lenient towards the shortcomings of a
first publication.

    ETHEL GWENDOLINE VINCENT.

    1, GROSVENOR SQUARE, LONDON.



CONTENTS.


                                                        PAGE

    CHAPTER I.

    ACROSS THE ATLANTIC                                    1

    CHAPTER II.

    NEW YORK, HUDSON RIVER, AND NIAGARA FALLS              4


    CHAPTER III.

    THE DOMINION OF CANADA                                17


    CHAPTER IV.

    THE AMERICAN LAKES, AND THE CENTRES OF LEARNING,
    FASHION, AND GOVERNMENT                               26


    CHAPTER V.

    TO THE FAR WEST                                       43


    CHAPTER VI.

    SAN FRANCISCO AND THE YOSEMITE VALLEY                 66


    CHAPTER VII.

    ACROSS THE PACIFIC                                    88


    CHAPTER VIII.

    COACHING THROUGH THE NORTH ISLAND OF NEW
    ZEALAND; ITS HOT LAKES AND GEYSERS                   102


    CHAPTER IX.

    THE SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND; ITS ALPS AND
    MOUNTAIN LAKES                                       146


    CHAPTER X.

    AUSTRALIA--TASMANIA, AND VICTORIA                    161


    CHAPTER XI.

    AUSTRALIA--NEW SOUTH WALES, AND QUEENSLAND           181


    CHAPTER XII.

    WITHIN THE BARRIER REEF, THROUGH TORRES
    STRAITS TO BATAVIA                                   200


    CHAPTER XIII.

    NETHERLANDS INDIA                                    212


    CHAPTER XIV.

    THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS                              235


    CHAPTER XV.

    THE METROPOLIS OF INDIA AND ITS HIMALAYAN
    SANATORIUM                                           250


    CHAPTER XVI.

    THE SHRINES OF THE HINDU FAITH                       274


    CHAPTER XVII.

    THE SCENES OF THE INDIAN MUTINY                      287


    CHAPTER XVIII.

    THE CITIES OF THE GREAT MOGUL                        304


    CHAPTER XIX.

    GWALIOR AND RAJPUTANA                                332


    CHAPTER XX.

    THE HOME OF THE PARSEES                              352


    CHAPTER XXI.

    THROUGH EGYPT--HOMEWARDS                             361



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                PAGE
    The White Terrace, Hot Lakes, New Zealand          _Frontispiece_

    Route Map                                         _to face_    1

    "That horrible fog-horn!"                                      1

    Elevated-Railway, New York                                     6

    Parliament Buildings, Ottawa                      _to face_   22

    The Capitol, Washington                                       40

    The Royal Gorge of the Arkansas                   _to face_   58

    The Sentinel, Yosemite Valley                        "        77

    The Cathedral Spires, Yosemite Valley                         79

    Big Tree, California                                          83

    Maori Chieftain                                              110

    Tuhuatahi Geyser, New Zealand                                128

    Lake Wakitipu, New Zealand                                   157

    Government House, Melbourne                       _to face_  165

    Sydney Harbour                                       "       182

    Govett's Leap, Blue Mountains                                191

    Zig-zag on Railway, Blue Mountains                _to face_  192

    Banyan Trees, Buitenzorg, Java                       "       227

    Traveller's Palm, Singapore                          "       236

    Jinricksha                                                   249

    The Hooghley, Calcutta                            _to face_  251

    The Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway                 "       263

    Benares Bathing Ghât                                 "       276

    The Residency, Lucknow                                       288

    The Imambara, Lucknow                             _to face_  291

    The Taj Mahal, Agra                                  "       312

    Column, Kutub Minar, Delhi                           "       329

    The Caves of Elephanta, Bombay                       "       356

    Cairene Woman                                                372

    The Sphinx                                        _to face_  377

[Illustration: ROUTE MAP TO "FORTY THOUSAND MILES OVER LAND AND WATER" BY
MRS. HOWARD VINCENT.

    _Route marked thus_ ----]



FORTY THOUSAND MILES OVER LAND AND WATER.



CHAPTER I.

ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.

[Illustration]

Lat. 43° 15´ N., Long. 50° 12´ W. All is intensely quiet. The revolution
even of the screw has ceased. We are wrapped in a fog so dense that we
feel almost unable to breathe.

We shudder as we look at the white pall drawn closely around us. The
decks and rigging are dripping, and everything on board is saturated
with moisture. We feel strangely alone. When hark! A discordant screech,
a hideous howl belches forth into the still air, to be immediately
smothered and lost in the fog. It is the warning cry of the fog-horn.

[Illustration: "That horrible fog-horn!"]

We are on board the White Star steamer _Germanic_, in mid-Atlantic, not
far off the great ice-banks of Newfoundland.

It was on Wednesday, the 2nd of July, that we left London, and embarked
from Liverpool on the 3rd.

I need not describe the previous bustle of preparation, the farewells to
be gone through for a long absence of nine months, the little crowd of
kind friends who came to see us off at Euston, nor our embarkation and
our last view of England.

I remember how dull and gloomy that first evening on board closed in, and
how a slight feeling of depression was not absent from us.

The next morning we were anchoring in Queenstown Harbour, and whilst
waiting for the arrival of the mails in the afternoon we went by train to
Cork.

The mails were on board the _Germanic_ by four o'clock. We weighed
anchor, and our voyage to America had commenced. The often advertised
quick passages across the Atlantic are only reckoned to and from
Queenstown. The sea-sick traveller hardly sees the point of this
computation of time, for the coasts of "ould Ireland" are as stormy and
of as much account as the remainder of the passage.

And now we have settled down into the usual idle life on board ship, a
life where eating and drinking plays the most important part. There is
a superfluity of concerts and literary entertainments, the proceeds in
one instance being devoted to the aid of a poor electrical engineer who
has had his arm fearfully torn in the machinery, and whose life was only
saved by the presence of mind of a comrade in cutting the strap.

Fine weather again at last, for we are past the banks so prolific in
storms and fog. The story goes that a certain captain much harassed by
the questioning of a passenger, who asked him "if it was always rough
here?" replied, "How should I know, sir? I don't live here."

We are nearing America, and may hope to land to-morrow.

The advent of the pilot is always an exciting event. There was a lottery
for his number and much betting upon the foot with which he would first
step on deck.

A boat came in sight early in the afternoon. There was general
excitement. But the captain refused this pilot as he had previously
nearly lost one of the company's ships. At this he stood up in his dinghy
and fiercely denounced us as we swept onwards, little heeding.

Another pilot came on board soon afterwards, but the news and papers he
brought us were very stale. These pilots have a very hard life; working
in firms of two or three, they often go out 500 miles in their cutters,
and lie about for days waiting to pick up vessels coming into port. The
fee varies according to the draught of the ship, but often exceeds 30_l._

At two o'clock a white line of surf is seen on the horizon. Land we know
is behind, and great is the joy of all on board.

We watched and waited till behind the white line appears a dark one,
which grew and grew, until Long Island and Fire Island lighthouse are
plainly visible.

Three hours more and we see the beautiful Highlands of the Navesink on
the New Jersey shore; then the long sandy plain with the lighthouse which
marks the entrance--and we cross the bar of Sandy Hook. As we do so the
sunset gun goes off, and tells us that we must pass yet another night on
board, for it closes the day of the officer of health.

We pass the quarantine station, a white house on a lonely rock--then
entering the Narrows, anchor in the dusk off lovely Statten Island.

The lights of Manhattan and New Brighton beach twinkle in the darkness.
Steamers with flashing signals ply swiftly backwards and forwards. A line
of electricity marks the beautiful span of Brooklyn Bridge, and over
all a storm is gathering, making the surrounding hills resound with the
cannon of its thunder and the sky bright with sheets of lightning.

And so we pass the night, within sight of the lights of New York, with
pleasurable excitement looking forward to our first impressions on the
morrow.

_Sunday, July 13th._--By six o'clock all is life on board the _Germanic_,
for a great steamer takes some time getting under weigh. Breakfast is a
general scramble, interspersed with declarations to the revenue officials
who are sitting in the saloon.

We pass the Old Fort on Governor's Island, now the military station, in
our upward progress, see the round tower of Castle Garden, the emigrants'
depôt, and by eight o'clock are safely moored alongside the company's
pier.

On the wharf are presently to be seen passengers sitting forlorn on their
trunks, awaiting the terrible inspection of the custom-house officer. The
one detailed to us showed signs of becoming offensive, being unwilling
to believe the statement that a dress some six months' old was not
being taken round the world for sale; but on making representations to
his superior we were able to throw the things back into the boxes and
"Express" them to the hotel.



CHAPTER II.

NEW YORK, HUDSON RIVER, AND NIAGARA FALLS.


As we drove over the rough streets of New York in the early hours of
Sunday morning, it appeared as a city of the dead. There was no sign
of life as our horses toiled along Broadway and up Fifth Avenue to the
Buckingham Hotel, where we had secured rooms.

This hotel, though comfortable, had the disadvantage of being too far up
town for short sojourners, but it has the merit of being conducted on the
European system--that is, the rooms and meals are charged for separately.
The American plan is to make an inclusive charge of from four to five
dollars a day, and it is often troublesome only being able to have meals
in the dining-room between certain hours. Besides, it is pleasant to
be able to visit the restaurants of New York, which are admirable, and
equal, if not superior to those of Paris. Delmonico's, where we dined one
evening, is particularly excellent.

We were glad when eleven o'clock came and we could go to St. Thomas'
Church, close by. It is one of the most frequented of the many beautiful
churches of all denominations in New York, and of very fine interior
proportions. Upon the dark oak carving is reflected in many hues the rich
stained glass. The service was rendered according to the ritual of the
English Church, which is followed by the Episcopal Church of America.
They succeed in America in uniting a non-ceremonial service with a bright
and hearty one. We listened to a very powerful sermon on St. Paul on the
Hill of Mars, in which the eloquent preacher boldly declared that the
political honesty of the Athenians 2000 years ago was superior to that of
the United States of to-day.

On our way back we went into the Roman Catholic Cathedral, which was
just opposite to our windows at the "Buckingham," a very large marble
building, but still unfinished.

We found four reporters waiting at the hotel to "interview" my husband.
He had eluded them on the landing-stage, but they would take no denial
here, and we were much harassed by others in the course of the day.

Our luggage arrived at noon. It is almost a necessity to employ the
Express Company for the conveyance of "baggage" throughout America, as
the hackney carriages and hotel omnibuses are not prepared to take it.
The charges are very high, and it is often extremely inconvenient having
to wait two, three, or even four hours for it, after arrival in a town.

The geography of New York is exceedingly simple, and is followed in
nearly every American city. "Avenues" traverse the length of the town,
which are called first, second, or third avenues, and the "streets" which
intersect them are also numbered consecutively, so that you have--Third
Street, Fifth Avenue, and know that it is the third street from the
commencement of Fifth Avenue.

The houses are built in blocks, and for the most part in the upper
portion of New York, of dark red sandstone.

There are ample means of cheap locomotion by two "elevated" railways,
and innumerable tramways. Each of the former runs the whole length of
the city, a distance of ten miles. They were built by rival companies
who afterwards amalgamated. A double line is laid upon iron piers in the
centre of the street on a level with the third stories of the houses on
each side. One wonders how the necessary powers to build such a line were
obtained, but in "free" America, vested interests and damage to property
are not taken into account, when financiers have a scheme to carry out.

It is said that the value of the surrounding houses has been increased
rather than otherwise by the proximity of the Elevated: more curiously,
the tram lines running below it, and which were formerly insolvent, are
now paying well.

The uniform fare is ten cents, except after four o'clock on Sundays, when
it is reduced to five cents, the same as the fare of the "trams." The
train consists of an engine and four light coaches, all of one class,
and fitted with comfortable cane seats. They succeed each other every
five minutes. A conductor is on the platform of every carriage, and opens
the iron gate at the end as soon as the train stops. There is a marked
absence of all confusion and haste, partly attributable to there being
no collection of tickets, which are dropped into a box on the platform
immediately after purchase.

Cabs are few in number and very expensive. They charge four and a half
dollars, or nearly 1_l._, from the quay to the hotels, without luggage,
and one dollar a mile, or a dollar and a half per hour.

[Illustration: Elevated Railway, New York.]

Independently of these exorbitant prices, driving is very unpleasant
from the streets being paved with blocks of granite, and being kept in
shocking repair.

It is alleged that the extremes of climate prevent the use of any other
material, but there is probably more truth in the statement that the
money voted by municipal councils for their paving finds its way into
other channels. Washington and Boston were the only towns we afterwards
saw with good pavements, without ruts or holes. Above the thoroughfares
is a rose of telegraph and telephone wires, and poles and standards
abound in the streets. At nearly every house there is a telephone to put
the inmates in connection with some place of business or some relative.

In the afternoon we went to Trinity Church, which may be called the
cathedral of New York. The service was just ending, and the choir were
filing out of the chancel under a blaze of golden glory from the sun
shining through the east end window, singing the hymn, "Angels of Jesus,
Angels of Light, Singing to welcome the pilgrims of the night."

The voices grew fainter and fainter, and finally died away on the
breathless stillness of the air. Then the huge organ, blown by
electricity, pealed forth, and the spell was broken.

Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Astor, and the Stewart family live in gorgeous
palaces, and one is struck how even this Republic cannot prevent a
monopoly of property and an accumulation of wealth. Mr. Vanderbilt has
three adjoining houses, forming a block, in Fifth Avenue, for himself and
his married children.

The squares and gardens are well kept, and it is pleasant to see them all
open, full of people sitting in them, without the railings which make
London squares so gloomy and of so little pleasure even to those who have
the _entrée_.

We drove round Central Park--a perfect triumph of landscape gardening,
with but little help from nature. The "Mall" and alleys were thronged
with gay crowds, listening to the band, and boats were plying on the
lake. There were not many carriages, the fashionable world having fled
from the fagging heat of New York; but those we saw had servants in
livery, a comparatively recent innovation, and one much disapproved of by
the people.

The cross-bar waggons in general use, weighing little over two
hundredweight, with their skeleton wheels, whirl along at a great pace,
but the horses all have a check-rein passing over the head, which is far
more cruel than even our gag bearing-rein.

_Monday, July 14th._--We began our wanderings by going over the beautiful
Brooklyn Bridge, which unites New York with its monster suburb, the home
of half a million of people, principally of the working classes, of whom
a large proportion are Irish. It is a marvellous structure, the finest
suspension bridge ever built, and a mile and a quarter long. So graceful
and light is the curve it describes that from a distance it seems to
be a spider's web suspended in mid-air. We had a long "tram" journey
through the dull and dirty streets to Greenwood Cemetery, the great
burial-place of New York. A gateway of much beauty marks the entrance,
and over the centre arch are the words, "Weep not, for the dead shall be
raised." A granite obelisk in the centre of a grass plot attracts our
attention. Below it lie the bodies of 103 persons who perished in the
burning of the Brooklyn Theatre in 1876. Under that green mound what a
mass of human passions were laid to rest! Some of the monuments are very
finely conceived in design, and execution; others were grotesque and
ugly. Nothing, however, mars the beauty of the whole--the shining river
running through this valley of the dead, the surroundings bright with
marble, flowers, and shrubs--only, a sweet garden where the people come
and walk in the evening cool, watching the sun sinking over the harbour,
and thinking, it may be, of how they too will likewise join those who lie
at rest here.

In the afternoon we paid a visit to Wall Street, the scene of so many
fortunes lost and won. The din in the Stock Exchange was deafening,
and the appearance of the frantic, yelling speculators anything but
attractive.

The "stores," or shops, in Broadway are very fine inside, but the windows
are not so well set out as in Paris or London. The goods for sale are
also more general in character, and nearly double in price. This arises
from the large duties or imposts in a great measure, but also because the
unit of a dollar (4_s._ 2_d._) is so high. It seems as easy to ask one
dollar as one shilling or one franc, and the former coin scarcely goes
farther than the latter throughout the States.

The _New York Herald_, _Times_, _World_, and other papers come out with
long accounts of the interviews given yesterday. They went into the most
precise details of dress, manners, and speech.

_Tuesday, July 15th._--We had a pleasant morning in seeing the
magnificent armoury of the "Seventh Regiment of the National Guard." The
Seventh Regiment includes in its ranks some of the best men in New York,
and the National Guard corresponds exactly to the Volunteer force of
England. The Drill Hall is 300 feet long and 200 feet broad, unbroken by
a pillar, and large enough to manoeuvre a battalion, having a solid
oaken floor so constructed as to prevent reverberation in marching. Each
company has a room for itself, and the officers' room, the library, and
the veterans' room, where those who have left the regiment come to meet
their sons and relatives now serving, are beautiful apartments, richly
furnished.

In the afternoon Sir Roderick Cameron kindly took us over to his charming
place on Statten Island. It is beautifully wooded, and when the salt
marshes are drained, and the mosquitoes reduced in numbers, his farm will
no doubt be the site of a populous suburb.

_Wednesday, July 16th._--By nine o'clock we were waiting on the shores of
the Hudson River for one of the floating palaces which ply to and from
Albany. The _C. Vibard_ was seen presently coming--a magnificent vessel
of colossal size, with three decks towering one above the other, and yet
drawing but six feet of water. What we were particularly struck with on
these river and lake steamers was that, although there is no distinction
of class, no inconvenience whatever results. All is orderly and quiet;
everybody is well-dressed and well-behaved. Indeed, throughout the
States, rowdyism seems to be as absent as pauperism, and the deference
paid to ladies might well be imitated in older countries. They have a
separate entrance at hotels, and a separate "guichet" at post-offices and
railway stations. A lady may travel with perfect comfort alone, and walk
in the streets without fear of any annoyance.

A fresh wind dappled the blue sky, and raised the muddy waters of the
grand old Hudson. Across from New Jersey and Hoboken, those thriving
suburbs of New York, came the busy hum of life. The well-wooded hills
were clothed with villas, whose domes or towers peep out from amongst the
dense foliage. Here and there, standing in a little park, were châlets,
or a cottage with gilt minarets, or, even in still more incongruous
taste, a Chinese pagoda. It is here the merchants from the great city
take their rest and pleasure, within ear-shot and easy reach of their
familiar haunts around Wall Street. On the opposite shore the great
wall of basaltic trap-rock, known to the early settlers by the name of
the "Great Chip Rock," but to their more practical successors as the
"Palisades," forms an impenetrable wall, rising in a sheer precipice
from the river, a height of from 300 to 600 feet.

Meandering along by its mighty brother, unseen on the other side, there
is another river, running at a lower level.

Historical associations crowd upon us as we sail up between the broad
banks, stretching from the memory of the early band of settlers who under
Hendrich Hudson, the Dutchman, made the first voyage of discovery up
the river to which he afterwards gave his name; to the little villages
of Tappan and Tarrytown, glowing with the memories of the brave but
ill-fated Major André. Need I repeat his well-known story? In the dead of
night he landed from the _Vulture_ at Stony Point to meet Arnold, who had
turned traitor, to arrange with him for the surrender of West Point, the
key of the position. André was captured in returning by land, searched,
the papers found on him, and executed, to the sorrow of both armies;
whilst Arnold, escaping to the _Vulture_, was rewarded with 6000_l._,
and became a Brigadier-General in the British army. Many know well the
monument afterwards erected to André in Westminster Abbey.

Sunnyside, a little white cottage, the home of Washington Irving, lies on
the hill, almost hidden by the surrounding trees. The front is covered
with ivy grown from a sprig that Sir Walter Scott sent from Abbotsford.
"Sleepy Hollow," the scene of so many of Washington Irving's charming
romances, is quite near. Every side of life is here represented. All
manner of men have found their greatest happiness in the quiet beauty
of the Hudson's banks. Besides authors and actors, such as Forrest, the
great tragedian--science, in the person of Professor Morse, of telegraph
fame, and the great merchant princes, such as Stewart, Astor, and Jay
Gould, have made their homes here. Miss Warner, authoress of the "Wide,
wide World," has a cottage near Teller's Point.

At Tappan Zee the river opens out into a lake ten miles broad. The
gloomy fortress of Sing Sing, the State prison, lies on an island near
the shore. Croton Lake is close by, and supplies New York with from
40,000,000 to 60,000,000 gallons daily, through an aqueduct thirty-three
miles long. The wooden sheds found at intervals along the banks are the
great storehouses where in winter the ice is cut and kept, ready to
supply the vast consumption of New York.

The beautiful bay of Haverstraw leads to the narrow defile and the
northern gate of the Highlands. In rugged and varied beauty the mountains
close us in on every side, overshadowing us with their wooded heights;
maple and sycamore mingling with darker belts of pine, or a thick
undergrowth of stunted oaks. They are so like the Highlands that you
look--but in vain--for the bracken and the furze.

"The glory of the Hudson is at West Point," says a well-known author, and
I suppose there could not be a more beautiful situation for the Military
College of the United States, the Sandhurst of America, than at West
Point. It stands on a commanding bluff, the river winding round three
sides of the promontory in an almost impregnable position.

From the southern gate of the Highlands, green marshy fields, with
weeping-willows trailing along the banks, form the chief feature of
the landscape, and we pass several thriving towns like Peekskill and
Poughkeepsie. In the afternoon, blue and purple in the far distance, we
saw the glorious range of the mighty Catskill Mountains, forming one
unbroken series of snow-capped domes, hiding in their deep recesses many
of Nature's grandest secrets. The evening was closing in as the steamer
passed under the swinging arch of the bridge at Albany, the chief town of
New York State.

Albany is chiefly remarkable for its very fine Capitol, which has been in
process of building since 1871, and is still far from finished, though
it has already cost an enormous sum. At the present time every one is
talking about Albany, owing to the fact that Grover Cleveland, the
newly-selected Democratic candidate for the Presidency, is the Governor.

Delaware House gave us shelter for the night; and at 8 a.m. the next
morning we were in the "cars" on our way to Niagara.

This was our first experience of American railways. There is no
distinction of classes in the railway company's fares, but greater
luxury is obtained by travelling in the drawing-room or sleeping car.
The former belong to the Wagner, the latter to the Pullman Company,
who make a separate charge, which is levied by the special conductor.
This is his only duty, except to make himself a nuisance, and generally
objectionable. The beds are made up by an obliging coloured porter. The
cars are very long, and run on sixteen wheels. There is communication
through the train, but it is only used by the condescendingly grand
officials and the numerous news and fruit vendors who torment you with
repeated exhibitions of their varied wares. The windows are so large,
that if opened dust and grit from the slack coal burnt by the engines
smother everything, so that with the car full (and they hold from twenty
to thirty) the atmosphere becomes terribly oppressive. In winter,
and when the stoves are lighted it is even worse. The Americans are
very proud of their railway system, but after travelling over most of
their lines, it is impossible to see that we have much to learn from
them. The traffic is conducted in a very happy-go-lucky style. There
is an absence of civility, with a superabundance of officials, and a
porter is not to be met with. The traveller must carry his hand-luggage
himself. The system of checking the baggage is, however, admirable.
A brass check attached to the trunk ensures its going safely to any
destination, however distant, and only being given up on presentation of
the duplicate, which is in possession of the passenger.

Our journey lay through the smiling valley of the Mohawk River. The
operation of hay-making was going on in many of the fields we passed. The
hay was cut, raked, turned over, unloaded, and stacked by machinery--the
most convincing proof of the absence of hand-labour. Throughout the vast
continent of America, from the farms of the east to the cattle ranches
of the west, there is the same cry for labour. Still greater is the
demand for domestic servants. American girls think nothing of serving in
a "store" or at a railway buffet, or even in an hotel. They have their
freedom at certain hours, and when their work is done they are their
own mistresses; but domestic service they look upon as degrading. It is
almost wholly confined to Irish immigrants. A gentleman told us of a
large mountain hotel where the waiting during the summer months of the
season was done by an entire school of young ladies, who at the end of
the time returned with their "salaries" (the term of "wages" is never
used) to pay for their winter's schooling.

At Syracuse we experienced for the first time the strange custom of
running the train through a street in the heart of the city. Many lives
are annually lost, and terrible accidents occur frequently at the level
crossings. "Look out for the locomotive" is on a large sign-board, but
the public depend more upon the shrill whistle or the ringing of the
engine bell. The effect of these engine bells is very melodious when,
deep-toned and loud-voiced, coming and going in a station they chime to
each other.

_Friday, July 18th, Clifton House, Niagara Falls._--"What a moment in a
lifetime is that in which we first behold Niagara!" And it is difficult
with a very feeble pen to say anything superior to such a commonplace
platitude, even when in the presence of one of Nature's most glorious
works.

Notwithstanding all written and said, imagined or described, Niagara
cannot be put into words; cannot be conveyed to the imagination through
the usual medium of pen and paper; can only be seen to be--even then but
partially--understood.

There is a blue river, two miles wide, without ripple or ruffle on
the surface, coming down from a great lake, pursuing its even course.
There are breakers ahead--little clouds, then white foam sprayed into
mid-air. The contagion spreads, until on the whole surface of the river
are troubled waves, noisily hurrying down, down, with ever-increasing
velocity, to the great Canadian fall. The mockery of those few yards of
clear, still water! In a suction green as an uncut emerald, a volume of
water, twenty fathoms deep, is hurled over a precipice 160 feet high.
One hundred million tons of water pass over every hour, with a roar that
can be heard ten miles away, and a reverberation that shakes the very
earth itself, into the seething cauldron below, shrouded in an eternal
mist:--"There is neither speech nor language, but their voices are heard."

In a minor key the American waters repeat the mighty cannonade, and
blending their voices, mirror the sea-green colour of the wooded
precipices as they flow on their onward course. Long serpent trails of
foam alone bear witness to the late convulsion.

The gorge is narrowing; the waters are compressed into a smaller space;
they are angry, and jostle each other. They hiss, they swirl; they
separate to rush together in shooting shower of spray, and so struggle
through the Rapids.

A gloomy pool, with darkling precipices of purple rocks, forms a basin.
The waters are rushing too surely into that iron-bound pool. The current
is checked and turned back on itself, to meet the oncoming stream. A
mighty Whirlpool forms. The waters divide under the current, and one
volume returns to eddy and swirl helplessly against the great barrier,
whilst the other volume, more happy, finds a cleft, broadened now into
a wide gateway, and gurgling and laughing to itself, glides away on a
smooth course, to lose its volume in Lake Ontario. What a world-renown
that stream will always have--a short course full of awful incident.

On the 25th of July, 1883, Captain Webb was drowned while attempting
to swim the rapids. Diving from a small boat about 300 yards above the
new cantilever bridge, he plunged into the stream. The force of the
current turned him over several times; then he threw up his arms and
sank, crushed to death, it is supposed, by the pressure of the water. The
enterprising owners of the restaurant at the rapids, have arranged with
his widow to come over during the season to sell photographs opposite the
spot where her husband perished.

Goat Island forms the division between the American and Canadian Falls.
The waters are rapidly eating away the banks, and the rocky promontory,
which forms such a principal feature, may some day disappear. What a
glorious junction it would be! Four years ago a large piece of rock in
the centre of the horse-shoe came away, and its symmetry was somewhat
marred. The three pretty little Sister Islands are joined by their
graceful suspension bridges to Goat Island. These islands, lying out
as they do amidst the roughest and most tumultuous part of the rapids,
have a magnificent view of the waters as they come tumbling down.
The Hermit's Cascade is connected with the pathetic story of a young
Englishman who, coming one day to see Niagara, remained day after day
overpoweringly fascinated. Unable to tear himself away, he lived year
after year for ever within sight and hearing of the falls. He is supposed
to have perished in their waters whilst bathing one day, but whether
intentionally or not was never known. I believe those who have sat and
watched those tumultuous waters for any great length of time would
understand the working of the spell on a sensitive brain.

Biddle's Stairs lead down to the "Cave of the Winds." It is awe-inspiring
to watch the fall from below, and yet this is only a streamlet of the
great volume of the fall. What must it be inside, when the beating of the
spray-like hail, the roaring of the winds, mingling with the thunder of
the cataract, form a combination of the majesty of the elements on earth.

After a morning spent amongst these terrifying wonders, we had a quiet
drive along the right bank of the river through Cedar Island. The thunder
and roar was succeeded by quiet pools and swiftly-flowing currents,
calm and clear, rippling in the afternoon sunlight. Weeping-willows,
long grasses, and bending reeds whispered in the cool breezes. From the
heights above we again surveyed the whole scene. And returning home once
more came under the spell of the Mermaid, looming white and mysterious in
the gloaming.

Niagara becomes very dear--a child of the affections; and to those who
are unfortunate enough to have to picture Niagara from description,
I should say efface mine quickly, quickly I say, and turn to that of
Anthony Trollope:--

"Of all the sights on this earth of ours which tourists travel to see--at
least, of all those which I have seen--I am inclined to give the palm to
the Falls of Niagara. In the catalogue of such sights I intend to include
all buildings, pictures, statues, and wonders of art made by men's hands,
and also all beauties of nature prepared by the Creator for the delight
of His creatures. I know no other one thing so beautiful, so glorious,
and so powerful.

       *       *       *       *       *

"We will go at once on to the glory, and the thunder, and the majesty,
and the wrath of that upper belt of waters.

"Go down to the end of that wooden bridge, seat yourself on the rail,
and there sit till all the outer world is lost to you. There is no
grander spot about Niagara than this. The waters are absolutely around
you. If you have that power of eye-control which is so necessary to the
full enjoyment of scenery, you will see nothing but the water. You will
certainly hear nothing else. And the sound, I beg you to remember, is not
an ear-cracking, agonized crash and clang of noises, but is melodious and
soft withal, though loud as thunder. It fills your ears, and, as it were,
envelopes them; but at the same time you can speak to your neighbour
without an effort. But at these places, and in these moments, the less of
speaking I should say the better. There is no grander spot than this.
Here, seated on the rail of the bridge, you will not see the whole depth
of the fall. In looking at the grandest works of nature, and of art too,
I fancy, it is never well to see all. There should be something left to
the imagination, and much should be half concealed in mystery.

"And so here, at Niagara, that converging rush of waters may fall down,
down at once into a hell of rivers for what the eye can see. It is
glorious to watch them in their first curve over the rocks. They come
green as a bank of emeralds, but with a fitful flying colour, as though
conscious that in one moment more they would be dashed into spray and
rise into air, pale as driven snow. The vapour rises high into the air,
and is gathered there, visible always as a permanent white cloud over the
cataract; but the bulk of the spray which fills the lower hollow of that
horse-shoe is like a tumult of snow.

"The head of it rises ever and anon out of that cauldron below, but the
cauldron itself will be invisible. It is ever so far down--far as your
own imagination can sink it. But your eyes will rest full upon the curve
of the waters. The shape you will be looking at is that of a horse-shoe,
but of a horse-shoe miraculously deep from toe to heel; and this depth
becomes greater as you sit there. That which at first was only great and
beautiful, becomes gigantic and sublime till the mind is at a loss to
find an epithet for its own use. To realize Niagara, you must sit there
till you see nothing else than that which you have come to see. You will
hear nothing else, and think of nothing else. At length you will be at
one with the tumbling river before you. You will find yourself among the
waters as though you belonged to them. The cool liquid green will run
through your veins, and the voice of the cataract will be the expression
of your own heart. You will fall as the bright waters fall, rushing down
into your new world with no hesitation and with no dismay; and you will
rise again as the spray rises, bright, beautiful, and pure. Then you will
flow away in your course to the uncompassed, distant, and eternal ocean.

"Oh! my friend, let there be no one there to speak to thee then; no, not
even a brother. As you stand there speak only to the waters!"



CHAPTER III.

THE DOMINION OF CANADA.


Since our arrival at Niagara we had been on Canadian soil, and in view of
the falls, which form Canada's greatest glory; but our first experience
of the Dominion only really commenced when we left Niagara Station by the
Grand Trunk Railway for Toronto.

It may have been prejudice, but we thought that the country bore signs of
greater prosperity than over the American border.

The farms are more English in character and the cattle in greater
abundance. The soil looks richer, and the pretty wooden zigzag fences,
which take the place of hedges or railings, look most picturesque. In
many places the blackened stumps of trees showed the recent clearing by
fire.

From Hamilton, a prosperous town, we ran for nearly forty miles along the
shores of Lake Ontario to Toronto.

Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario, the chief city of
Upper Canada, and the Queen City of the West. There is jealous rivalry
between Montreal and Toronto. The former has the shipping interest, and
for a long time held the lead; but Toronto is quickly gaining ground, and
is the centre for a rapidly increasing commercial interest. Five lines of
railway converge to her termini.

Hamilton and London, both rising places, centralize their commerce here.
Lake Ontario supplies water transit to Montreal and the ocean; and the
numerous banks do a thriving trade. In 1871 the census of the population
was 50,600; ten years later it was 80,445. Wide streets of great
length, avenues of trees, and churches are the chief characteristics of
Toronto. The churches are built from the voluntary subscriptions of the
congregations, the pastors being chosen and maintained by them. There is
no State Church, and the Dissenters have as fine places of worship as the
Episcopal body. The Metropolitan Methodist Church, with almost cathedral
proportions, was built by Mr. Puncheon, the American Spurgeon, and it
compares as advantageously to the Tabernacle as do the Churches to the
Chapels of England.

Toronto abounds in pretty suburbs, chief among them being Rosedale.
The comfortable wooden houses of the upper and middle orders convey an
idea of prosperity, with their neat gardens, a swinging hammock in the
creeper-covered verandah, and the family sitting out in the cool of the
evening.

The Provincial Parliament is a dingy building; but Osgood Hall--or the
Law Courts--opened in 1860 by the Prince of Wales, and called after
the Chief Justice of that day, is a very fine stone edifice, complete
in all its arrangements. There are full-length portraits of the Chief
Justices in succession, which being continued, will form a very complete
legal gallery of local talent. There are fourteen judges, receiving 5000
dollars a year, nominated by the Governor-General from local men. The
bar and solicitors are united as in America, and work together in firms,
and are both eligible for judicial preferment, and have a like right of
audience.

The Toronto University is second only to Harvard on the American
Continent. The lecture-rooms, hall, museum, and library are all worthy of
the fine Gothic building. There are 600 students, many of whose families
coming to reside in Toronto, add much to the pleasantness of society.
We stayed three days at Toronto. Mr. Hodgins, Q.C., Master in Chancery,
was most kind in introducing my husband to some of the chief political
men--to Mr. Mackenzie, the late Liberal Premier; Mr. Blake, the present
leader of the Opposition; Mr. Ross, the Minister of Public Education,
and others. The latter Minister showed us over the Normal School for the
Instruction of Teachers. It has a well-arranged library and museum, and
copies of many works of the old masters, and busts of the principal men
in British history. Toronto is considered the most English of all the
Canadian towns, and the Torontans pride themselves on this, and take a
keen interest in home affairs. The previous night's debate in Parliament
is on the breakfast-table: cabled over, and aided by the five hours'
difference between the time of Greenwich and that of the Dominion, it
appears in the first edition.

We dined with Mr. Goldwin Smith, the distinguished Oxford Professor of
History, who, after a long sojourn in the United States and Canada,
has settled with his wife at Toronto. Their house is delightfully
old-fashioned. Though in the centre of the town, the garden and some of
the original forest trees are still preserved to it; and it contains the
tail-end of family collections, valuable bits of China, busts by Canova
and Thorwaldsen, ivory carvings, morsels of jade, and some relics of the
first settlers. Amongst the latter are some wine-glasses belonging to
General Simcoe, the first Governor-General in 1794, which are without
feet,--"To be returned when empty."

_Wednesday, July 23rd._--We left Toronto in the afternoon by the steamer
_Algeria_, coasting along the low-lying country of the left bank of Lake
Ontario. Touching at the various thriving towns, we judged by the crowd
who came down to the pier that it was the usual thing for the population
to stroll down in the evening and watch for the arrival of the steamer.

All night we were crossing Lake Ontario, and at four o'clock the next
morning, in the grey dawn, touched at Kingston. We waited here an hour
for daylight, in which to approach the Thousand Islands. As we passed out
we saw the gilt dome of the famous Military College.

In the freshness of the early morning, with the sun just flushing the
waters and warming into life the bare and purple rocks, we wound in and
out of the narrow channel of the Thousand Islands. It is the largest
collective number of islands in the world. Some are formed of a few bare
rocks just appearing on the surface of the water, others are large enough
for a villa, a garden, and a boat-house, and others again for farming
purposes. Their uniform flatness causes some disappointment and mars
their collective beauty, though here and there one may be singled out for
the prettiness of its woods.

At Alexandra Bay, a familiar summer resort, with two monster hotels, the
St. Lawrence opens away from the lake, and we are descending between its
monotonous banks for some hours.

The increasing swiftness of the current and the prevailing thrill of
excitement of all on board, warns us of the approach of the Long Sault
Rapids. We see a stormy sea, heaving and surging in huge billows.

All steam is shut off, four men are required at the wheel to keep the
vessel steady, as we "shoot the rapid." One minute we are engulfed; the
next rising on the crest of the wave. Intense and breathless excitement
is combined with the exhilaration of being carried in a few minutes down
the nine miles of descent. Every now and again a peculiar motion is felt,
as if the ship was settling down, as she glides from one ledge of rock to
another.

We pass some smaller rapids; but it is late in the afternoon before
Baptiste, the Indian pilot, comes on board for the shooting of the great
Lachine Rapid. Whirlpools and a storm-lashed sea mingle in this reach,
for the shoal-water is hurled about among the rocks. The greatest care
and precision of skill are necessary, for with lightning speed we rush
between two rocks, jagged and cruel, lying in wait for the broaching of
the vessel. A steamer wrecked last year lies stranded away on the rocks
as a warning. These natural barriers to the water communication between
Montreal and the West, are overcome by canals running parallel with the
rapids.

The Ottawa forms a junction with the St. Lawrence at the pretty village
of St. Anne's, which has become famed by Moore's well-known Canadian
boat-song,--

    "Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
    The rapids are near and the daylight's past,
    Soon as the woods on shore grow dim,
    We'll sing at St. Anne's our evening hymn."

The Victoria Bridge, a triumph of engineering skill, spans the river
above Montreal. It is built of solid blocks of granite, a mile and three
quarters in length; and it is in passing under its noble arches that we
get our first view of Montreal, the metropolis of the Dominion.

A filmy mist lay over the "city of spires," spreading up even to the
sides of Mount Royal--the wooded mountain that rises abruptly and stands
solitary guard behind the city. The golden dome of the old market of
Bonsecours, and the twin spires of the cathedral of Notre Dame loomed
faintly out from its midst. Before us there is a sea frontage of three
miles--vessels of 5000 tons being able to anchor beside the quay.

One hundred and fifty years ago the French evacuated Montreal, but you
might think it was but yesterday, so tenaciously do the lower orders
cling to the tradition of their founder, Jacques Cartier. The quaint
gabled houses and crooked streets of the lower town, the clattering and
gesticulating of the white-capped women marketing in Bonsecours, remind
one of a typical Normandy town. Notices are posted in French and English,
and municipal and local affairs are conducted in both languages.

The post-office, the bank, and the assurance company make a fine block of
buildings as the nucleus of the principal street of Notre Dame, but all
the others are crooked, narrow, and ill-paved.

The Catholic Cathedral in the quiet square is very remarkable for its
double tier of galleries, and for being painted and decorated gaudily
from floor to roof. The Young Men's Christian Association has erected
another of its fine buildings at Montreal. The society seems to thrive
and to be doing an enormous work of good throughout the length and
breadth of the American Continent. We found it well-housed in every
considerable town we visited, and what was our surprise when later we
found it had penetrated even to the Sandwich Islands, and that the
Y.M.C.A. was one of Honolulu's finest buildings!

_Sunday, July 26th._--We went to morning service at the English Cathedral
of Christ Church. The interior is bare and unfinished at present, but
it is the best specimen of English Gothic architecture on the Western
continent. There was a good mixed choir of men and women.

We had a charming drive in the afternoon, up Mount Royal from which
the city takes its name. Fine houses and villas standing in their own
gardens, lie around the base, and the ascent, through luxuriant groves
of sycamore trees, is so well engineered as to be almost imperceptible.
You do not realize how high you are till the glorious panorama opens out
before you, and you stand on a platform--Montreal at your feet, the broad
river flowing to right and left, and the blue mountains on the horizon
line.

We returned by the cemetery, a square mile, laid out in avenues and
shady walks. Flowers blossoming on the graves and smooth-shaven turf,
made it a garden, and favourite drive and walk. At the entrance was a
notice--a sarcasm on human nature--desiring persons "wishing to return
from funerals by the mountain drive to remove their mourning badges!"

That evening we dined with Mr. and Mrs. George Stephen in their beautiful
house in Drummond Street. He is the President of the Canadian Pacific
Railway. In two years time this railway will run from ocean to ocean,
and will join the Atlantic and Pacific; opening up the unlimited lands
of the great North-West, so rich in mineral wealth, and containing the
best wheat-growing country in the world. This discovery of the North West
has altered the whole aspect of affairs in Canada, and by bringing into
habitation a country as large as the United States, laid the foundation
of an immense future for our great possession. Thirty-six thousand men
are now working on the railway, and it will be completed in half the time
of the contract, viz. five years instead of ten.

_Monday, July 27th._--Three hours by rail, through a thinly-populated
district and backwoods roughly cleared by burning, brought us to a
gloriously golden sunset against which rose the spires of the Dominion
Houses of Parliament at Ottawa.

Ottawa was only a small town with about 4000 inhabitants in 1867. All
ask, "Why was it chosen as the seat of government?" which previously
had been at Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto alternately. A minister's
wife travelling with us in the train, laughingly gave us the answer.
Quebec refused to vote for Montreal, Montreal for Quebec, and between
them there was always warring jealousy. Toronto "WOULD" have voted for
Montreal if Quebec had been willing to do the same. The authorities at
home--it is said the Queen herself--taking the map, pointed to Ottawa as
being equidistant from all, and on the borders of both Upper and Lower
Canada. A magnificent pile of buildings accordingly rose, containing
two legislative halls for the Senate and the House of Commons (both the
same size as their English originals), and other public offices. The
Parliament buildings are built of buff freestone with many towers and
miniature spires, and have a very fine frontage of 1200 feet, surmounted
by the iron crown of the Victoria Tower. The Octagonal Tower contains
a library of 40,000 books, open not only to members, but to all the
inhabitants of the town. In the centre stands a full-length marble statue
of the Queen, by Marshall Wood. The members speak in French or English at
will, and all notices of motions are in both languages.

[Illustration: Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.

    Page 22.]

Timber-lugging is the great trade of Ottawa. As seen from the upper
town, the lower presents the appearance of one vast timber-yard; masses
of piles line the banks, and cover the surface of the stream. These
piles are cut in the winter from the back forests, and floated down some
100 miles. At Ottawa they pass into the yards through what is called a
timber-slide, to avoid the dangerous channel of the Chaudière Falls.
Here they are lashed together to form rafts, houses being built for
the men who drift down on them to Quebec. From thence they are shipped
to all parts of the world, principally to England. We went over one of
these large timber-mills and Eddy's match manufactory, both immensely
interesting, with the perfection of machinery, entirely superseding any
manual dexterity, and driven by the neighbouring water-power.

The La Chaudière Falls, so called from the cauldron into which they
seethe and boil, though not of a great height, have been sounded to
300 feet without touching the bottom. They contain a very angry,
copper-coloured element.

We drove out to Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor-General, who
was away at the time. We found a very deserted, miserable building, about
which the only sign of life was a sleepy policeman. A tobogging-slide
seemed to usurp the greater part of the garden. The Ottawa public was
much offended by a recent prohibition forbidding entrance to the park,
which has hitherto been free to all. There is a little occurrence which
will always remain connected in our minds with Ottawa, an example
which we certainly found followed nowhere else. Our driver, even after
considerable pressure, refused to take more than his ordinary fare!

Ottawa, other than the Parliament buildings, which are alone worth coming
to see, is the dullest and most primitive of towns. C. was, however,
glad to have been there, as it gave him the opportunity of meeting the
Ministers of Inland Revenue, and Agriculture, and other authorities, and
hearing their views on the rapid development of Canada.

Returning to Montreal, we took the night boat to Quebec. A golden,
glorious sunset, sinking behind purple clouds, was reflected in the
water, and this was succeeded by a trail of silver light from the
newly-risen crescent moon.

_Tuesday, July 29th._--At 7 a.m. on a cloudy morning, from the deck of
the steamer we were looking up at Quebec, perched, Gibraltar like, on an
inaccessible promontory of precipitous rock, formed by the junction of
the River St. Charles with the St. Lawrence.

The narrow streets of the lower town, with their picturesque red-tiled
roofs and overhanging gables, seem at first sight as if they were
entirely cut off from the upper town by a shelving mass of rocks.

However, we were soon wending our way upwards by a street so steep that
it could only be likened to climbing a mountain. The houses on either
side seemed also to be climbing the roof of the houses above, the upper
storey being on a level with the second floor of its neighbour. Any sand
there ever has been was long ago washed down by the rain, leaving a stony
surface as a precarious foothold for the poor struggling horses. This was
the more circuitous route for carriages. A nearer one for pedestrians lay
in the perpendicular flight of steps cut out in the face of the rocks
leading immediately to Dufferin Terrace. This terrace was called after
Lord Dufferin, the most popular of Governors-General, and is built on
the old buttresses and platform formerly occupied by the Château of St.
Louis. It is a favourite resort of the townspeople, perhaps as being the
only level ground, so far as we could see in the town, but probably more
so on account of the beautiful view it commands over the river. Vessels
of all classes and sizes, coming from all parts of the world, but more
especially from England, were anchoring in the broad basin formed by the
confluence of the two rivers. Immediately beneath us were the wharves of
the old town, where we could see two or three colliers discharging coal,
and even hear in the still morning air the rattling of the chains as
the crane was swung to and fro. On the opposite side rose the fortified
bluff of Point Levy, and on the other the St. Charles winding away up
its peaceful valley. The white houses of Beaufort form a straggling line
almost as far as the Montmorenci Falls, which latter seem only a speck
in the distance. There was a light morning mist floating away over the
opposite heights, and the murmur of the busy hum of life reached us from
below.

The Governor's garden, facing the road on the opposite side, is only
an enclosure overgrown with rank weeds and grass, but it contains the
obelisk erected to the joint memory of Wolfe and Montcalm. It is a novel
idea to combine the names of the victorious and conquered, but it shows
a true appreciation of the two generals who each gave up their life for
their country in the hour of battle. In the Ursuline Convent, near by,
we see Montcalm's grave, said to have been made by the bursting of one
of the enemy's shells during the bombardment, with the inscription in
French--

    HONOUR TO MONTCALM.
    FATE,
    IN DEPRIVING HIM OF VICTORY,
    REWARDED HIM BY
    A GLORIOUS DEATH.

There are some very quaint old buildings and curious bits of architecture
in out-of-the-way corners, and the town altogether has an old-world look,
as if life were passing it by. The outside of the Catholic Cathedral is
homely and irregular, and very damp and musty inside; but attached to one
of the pillars is a fine "Crucifixion" by Van Dyke; and the adjoining
seminary has quite a large collection of pictures highly prized by the
inhabitants, though by artists unknown to fame. The Laval University,
chartered by the Queen in 1852, is the most modern building in Quebec.

The population is almost entirely French, and the maintenance of their
language and institutions was guaranteed to them at the conquest.
Descendants of the old noblesse still linger here, preserving among
themselves the traditions of their forefathers in a circle of society
renowned for its polish and refinement; preserving, too, in its entirety
the purity of the mother language. They do not mix at all with the
English.

The Citadel is gloriously situated on the high ground above the town,
surrounded by walls and ramparts, but our approach to it was under
the following untoward circumstances. We hired an ungainly cabriolet,
a vehicle on two wheels, with a narrow board in front, on which the
driver--a raw-boned Irish boy in our case--driving a sorry steed, was
seated. After going up a very steep hill, the entrance to the fortress
is over a wooden drawbridge guarded by massive chain gates. The hollow
sound of the wood frightened the horse beyond control, and we discovered
then that he could go, when he turned and bolted down the hill. We only
prevented ourselves from being pitched out head-foremost by clinging on
to the sides of the old-fashioned hood. The driver was powerless, and C.
eventually stooped over and jerked the reins happily with success. We
must have caused much amusement to the soldiers looking out from the
guard-house window.

The Governor-General's residence is part of the low stone building in
the courtyard, the remainder of the Citadel being used for barracks; the
windows on the river side command a superb view.

In the absence of Lord Lansdowne, Lord and Lady Melgund entertained us
most hospitably, and very kindly took us on the river in the police
launch after luncheon, near enough to obtain a good view of the beautiful
Montmorenci Falls. The volume of water is powerful in the first instance,
but dwindles into fringes, and evaporates altogether in mist at the base.

A storm was gathering on the heights as we returned, and a dense bank
of fog rolled down the river. The thunder muttered overhead, and a rift
in the clouds let a curious light stream over the roofs of the town;
and then, closing up, the black cloud swept towards us, creeping up
Diamond Cape, till the Citadel above loomed out white and ghostly from
the surrounding clearness. In a downpour of tropical rain we reached the
wharf.

We should liked to have managed an expedition from Quebec to the
beautiful Saguenay River, combining a visit to Sir John Macdonald, the
present Premier; but that great Nemesis, time, was already beginning
to pursue us. We left Quebec the next morning, passing again through
Montreal at five in the afternoon, and sleeping at Plattsburg, on the
shores of Lake Champlain.

It was a great disappointment to us not to be able to see more of
Canada, but we shall hope to pay it a more extended visit on some future
occasion. It offers as great attractions to the lover of nature as to the
sportsman, and affords a glorious and unlimited field for the emigration
of men and women since the opening up of the Far West by the Canadian
Pacific Railway.



CHAPTER IV.

THE AMERICAN LAKES, AND THE CENTRES OF LEARNING, FASHION, AND GOVERNMENT.


_Thursday, July 31st._--Up at 6 a.m. this morning to catch the steamer.
However early we rise for these matutinal starts there is always a rush
in the end to catch the train or boat. It is a depressing thought when we
think of what frequent occurrence they will be for the next few months.

We were soon plying our way over the placid bosom of Lake Champlain,
holding a central course. The shores on either side are flat and ugly,
for the beauty of the lake lies in the broad expanse of unruffled waters
reflecting the various changes of the sky, generally of a heavenly blue,
but on this morning taking the leaden hue of the low-lying clouds.

Numberless islands lay dotted on the calm surface, kept fresh and green
from the continued lapping of the waters around their indented shores.

The range of the green mountains of Vermont lay hidden by a transparent
haze, the sun shining brightly behind, and presently piercing through,
rising to gladden the gloomy morning.

After crossing the broad bay and touching at a further point in the
eastern shore--at Burlington, a thriving town--the waters narrowed
and flowed on the one side through flat green meadows, pretty though
uninteresting; but, on the other, rose in the full beauty of their
verdant summer foliage, the mountains of the Adirondacks. The steamer
threaded its way through the narrow channels, and we lay right under
their mighty shadows, looking into the calm depths of the quiet pools
formed by the boulders of rock, that in the course of ages have loosened
their hold and slipped down the precipitous sides.

We looked up into dark ravines, piercing through the heart of the
mountains, dividing one rounded peak from another. We followed the
undulating outline of the mountains, now bare and stony, or more often
fringed to the summit with pine forests. The dark green of these pines,
and the bright foliage of the stunted oaks, formed a brilliant contrast
to the orange lichen covering the grey protruding boulders.

Here and there we came upon a wall of rocks, descending in a sheer
precipice to the lake, reflecting purple shadows on the still water.

And so we passed on, one scene of beauty succeeding another, till we
reached Fort Ticonderoga. It was here during the Revolutionary War,
that the brave Eathan Allen with his celebrated band of Green Mountain
Boys surprised the British commander in the dead of night, and appearing
at his bedside demanded the immediate surrender of the fort. "In whose
name?" demanded De le Place. "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the
Continental Congress," replied Allen,--and the fort was surrendered.

An hour by rail brought us to the head of Lake George. The Indians gave
it the poetical name of "Horicon," or "Silvery Waters," from the great
purity of the water. Its peaceful shores have been the scene of many a
bloody battle in the great conflict between the Indian and the white man,
and the mountains have oft resounded to the war-whoop and battle-cry of
the savages and the despairing shriek of the captives whom they scalped
alive. Now a death-like stillness broods over the scene. The scenery
of Lake George is far grander than that of Champlain. The other only
leads up to and forms a preparation for this one. The mountains which
surround Lake George and close it in on all sides have a bolder, more
sweeping outline. Here and there one projects lone and solitary, forming
a promontory round which the steamer creeps, seeming to cling to its
densely-wooded sides. The dark whispering pine forests grow down to the
very edge of the waters, mingling their sighings with the rustling of the
waters over a shallow bottom. There are numberless islands, some mere
strips of sandy beach and rocks, dividing the silvery rapids on either
side, and others are wooded with a stunted undergrowth. We noticed one
curious conical-shaped mountain, formed of a sharp escarpment of rock
from the summit to the base, which is called "Roger's Slide." The story
goes that an Englishman, Major Rogers, being hotly pursued by the Indians
to the edge of the cliffs, suddenly bethought himself of reversing his
snow-shoes and retracing his steps by this means leaving no foot-prints.
The Indians tracked him to the brink of the precipice, and then concluded
he had slid down into the lake, under the protection of the "Great
Spirit."

As the steamer turned into the "Narrows" we saw a beautiful little
waterfall, falling down the ravine in a feathery shower of spray, spanned
in the afternoon light by a vivid rainbow. At Sabbath Day Point the
scenery is more striking and majestic. Think of the "Trosachs" in the
Highlands, and that will give the best idea of the grandeur of the scene
before us.

Adding to the beauty of all we saw that afternoon was the ceaseless play
of light and shadow on the mountains. I tried to carry away with me in
the mind's eye the picture of those mountains, dark and powerful as a
background, the quiet beauty and picturesqueness along the banks as a
foreground, and the deep calm blue waters of the lake all around.

Alas! a sudden storm came up and obscured the view before us, and we
ended our journey at Fort William in a blinding hurricane of rain and
wind. We were glad to find shelter from it in the train, which brought us
to Saratoga Springs by the evening.

_Friday, August 1st._--Saratoga is the Ems or Baden-Baden of America, the
most fashionable resort as a watering-place, only equalled by the more
select charms of Newport.

Seen on a sunny morning such as we had, nothing can surpass the
brightness and gaiety of the scene in Broadway. Along its broad shady
avenues stroll the collected beauty and fashion gathered at Saratoga,
and light cross-bar waggons and buggies bowl swiftly by. There are no
villas, but life is confined entirely to _pensions_, and the three
colossal hotels in Broadway. The "United States" is perhaps the finest
of them. It covers seven acres of ground, accommodates 1200 guests, and
gives employment to 150 black waiters. Built round three sides of a
quadrangle, there are broad covered piazzas running the entire length of
the building, opening on to a large and beautifully kept garden, gay with
flowers. Morning and evening the band plays here, when the piazza becomes
a fashionable promenade, visitors from all the other hotels congregating
in it.

American women are the best dressers in the world; for taste and skilful
combination, particularly in pale colours, they are unsurpassed. A change
of costume thrice daily is absolutely _de rigueur_ at Saratoga, and it
becomes at last quite exciting to see how many more varied dresses are
going to appear.

Illustrating a great feature in American life is the wing devoted to the
cottages where families come and live during the season, in separate
suites, everything being provided by the hotel. A good example of
the attendance which it is expected you will require can be gathered
from the notice in each room: "Ring once for the bell-man, twice for
stationery, and three times for iced water." The chamber-maid plays a
very unimportant part in any hotel, and a "bell-man" is attached to each
floor. The consumption of iced water is prodigious; not only is it placed
at your elbow at every meal, but large jugs of it are brought at stated
hours of the day to every room. At the "United States" it was quite
formidable walking the immense length of the dining-room, or venturing
across the vast spaces of the yellow satin-lined drawing-room. The lift
has been known to go up and down 300 times in the course of the afternoon.

Amid the shady groves and green lawns of Congress Park we found the
mineral springs bubbling up into artificial wells, with a few drinkers
idling about, and languidly sipping their waters, but we came to the
conclusion that visitors were not here so much for the purposes of health
as of amusement. The springs are of all kinds, Vichy, sulphur, iron,
magnesia, soda, &c., and it has often been necessary to bore down several
hundred feet before finding the water. Two or three of the most powerful
medicinal springs are some miles away, and these are bottled and brought
in fresh daily for the drinkers in town.

The fashionable afternoon drive is to the lake, some two miles away, and
is reached by a straight dusty road, bordered for the most part by rushes
and long grass, where the frogs maintain a cheerful chorus of chirping.
When you arrive there you find a primitive café, with groups sitting
about the tables under the trees, and the lake, pretty enough, lying in
the hollow, with small excursion steamers constantly plying from the
landing.

In the evening there is generally a "hop," or dance, advertised in one
or other of the hotels, but I confess that that evening we preferred the
good-humoured crowd and the fireworks in Congress Park to the hop at
Congress Hall Hotel. Alternating with the fireworks were the strains of
the band wafted from the pagoda in the centre of the lake, and all sat
about heedless of the heavy dew lying on the grass.

We were very sorry to leave Saratoga the next morning, and undergo a very
hot and dusty journey to Boston. We passed Pittsburg, as famed for its
great ladies' college, as its southern namesake is for its iron-works,
and late in the afternoon reached Boston, Massachusetts. A red and yellow
coach, suspended by straps to C springs, such as were in use in the last
century, conveyed us to the Hotel Vendôme.

I think Boston the most charming of all the American towns. The broad
sweeping avenues are bordered by houses of red sandstone, a soft mellow
colour, that contrasts well with the green avenues of trees and grass
borders. Commonwealth Avenue is the finest of these continuous "parks,"
and is a mile and a half long. The Common, with its avenues of fine
elm-trees, forms a large open space in the middle of the town, and
separated only by a road are the public gardens. A bronze statue of
Washington rises in the middle, surrounded by a brilliant flower-bed, the
colours blending in carpet-gardening to form a Moorish inscription, which
translated means "God is all-powerful," a very fitting motto for the
great hero. The gilded dome of the Massachusetts State House dominates
them from the eminence of Beacon Hill; but far more interesting than
this new erection is the venerable time-worn building of the "Old State
House," where some of the most stirring scenes of the Revolution were
enacted. From this balcony the Declaration of Independence was read to
the people. Our troops occupied the buildings during the Stamp Riots, but
at the close of the war Washington stood on its steps the chosen hero of
the exultant populace. So many of the buildings are closely associated
with humiliating remembrances of that fatal epoch in British history when
these fair provinces, owing to the lack of foresight and imbecility of
her leaders, were for ever lost to England.

There is the old Scotch church, so famous as the political meeting-place
of the Boston Tea Party; Tancred Hall, the "Cradle of Liberty," nurtured
by the patriotic orations of Adams, Everett, and above all of Daniel
Webster; the harbour, with its numerous shipping, where was lighted
the first straw of that great conflagration of the "Rebellion," by the
throwing overboard of those few chests of tea.

The city is rich in churches, there being no less than 150 belonging
to all denominations, who raise their spires heavenwards within its
precincts. But Trinity Church surpasses all in beauty and design. It
is built of granite and freestone in the form of a Latin cross, in
Romanesque style. The stained glass is rich in harmonious colouring,
depicting no subject, but blending into a mystery of blue, orange, and
purple. Some lancet windows, filled with iridescent glass of pale blue,
gave the appearance of shining steel.

We started early on that quiet Sunday morning for a drive to Cambridge in
one of the "Herdic Hansoms." These curious vehicles with their jolting
motion can only be described as covered two wheeled carts. We passed the
green hill on which stands Bunker's Hill Monument. It is inexpressibly
grand in its massive simplicity, being only huge blocks of granite
narrowing in such imperceptible proportion to the summit, that the
pyramidal ending seems in perfect accord with the broad base. No railing
surrounds it. There is no decoration or inscription: it stands alone in
its majesty, sufficiently raised to be a landmark to the whole town. Our
road led through Charlestown, where the seafaring population chiefly live
close to the harbour. A long, straight, dusty road, under a blazing sun
for three miles, brought us to Cambridge, the immediate approach to which
is through stately avenues of elm-trees.

The colleges of Harvard University are clustered together, forming an
irregular quadrangle. There was a delightfully quiet and studious look
about the dull red-brick buildings, low latticed windows, and ivy-covered
walls,--a look of antiquity unusual to America. In this comparatively
newly-risen continent so much is thought of age, that Harvard College,
the oldest of the fifteen of which the University consists, is prized
most highly for its foundation dating from 1636.

Chief amongst the colleges for beauty is the Gothic tower of Memorial
Hall, erected by the alumni in memory of the students who perished in the
War of Secession. It contains the great dining-hall with carved screens
and galleries, busts and portraits of the founders of the college, and
has stained-glass windows bearing the college and State arms. A theatre,
library, museum, scientific school, and chapel are in different parts
of the irregularly laid-out square, which is sacred to the University
buildings.

It was vacation time, and the place was utterly deserted, save by a few
straggling church-goers, their footsteps resounding on the narrow paved
walk, and lingering amongst the tenantless walls. It must be a different
scene in term, when 1300 students and forty-seven professors gather
under the classic shades of a university already numbering among its
former students such men as John Adams the second President of the United
States, Edward Everett, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John
Lathrop Motley, J. Russell Lowell, and Wendell Phillips. The University
course extends over four years. It may be interesting to know, in face of
the recent agitation at our own universities on the subject, that women
are not as yet admitted to the University lectures, though allowed to
matriculate and pass the different examinations.

Quite near the University is a battered elm-tree, whose shattered
branches are sustained by iron stanchions, and which marks the place
where General Washington took command of the rebellious colonists.
Further on we passed a plain, square, wooden house, with pointed roof,
and a small garden, surrounded by a high laurel hedge, a gravel path, and
little white gate leading to the verandah and entrance. There was nothing
particular to mark a house, homely enough in its exterior. But yet it was
here that in 1775 Washington established his headquarters, when it was
the scene of many warlike preparations and much enthusiasm. Later it has
been hallowed by the quiet presence of the great poet Longfellow.

    "The old house by the Lindens
    Stood silent in the shade,
    And on the gravell'd pathway
    The light and shadow play'd."

And it was in this quiet retreat that he passed away in 1882.

We followed the winding road, almost an avenue of willow-trees, to Mount
Auburn Cemetery, and with great difficulty found his last resting-place.
We were terribly disillusioned. Not a garden of flowers, tended by loving
hands; not a simple marble monument with short inscription, prompted by
a knowledge of the gentle, retiring, nature; but we found a great, ugly
block of sandstone, a huge sarcophagus, with a name and date on one side,
and an ingenious pattern on the other, taking X as a centre letter, and
forming a senseless device, and utterly inappropriate to the memory of
the great poet.

[Illustration]

No more beautiful garden than this cemetery could be conceived: grassy
slopes, planted with waving palms and the choicest plants; bright
flower-beds interspersed among the white marble crosses and memorials of
the dead; an air of quiet beauty and repose, mingling with the many signs
of respectful care on the different graves, such as bunches of newly-cut
flowers. Those who have served their country had a miniature flag of the
stars and stripes waving over their heads. The mortuary chapel stands on
the high ground, and opposite to it there is a magnificent marble sphinx
with this soul-stirring inscription,--

    "American Union Preserved,
    African Slavery Destroyed,
    By the Uprising of a Great People,
    By the Blood of Fallen Heroes."

Throughout the length and breadth of America this intense respect to
the dead may be seen in regard to their last resting-place. In strange
contrast is the irreverence shown in the removal of bodies. Several
times we saw coffins, travelling _at first-class fares_, placed in the
luggage-vans, piled under Saratoga trunks, and with the party of mourners
in the same train.

In returning from the cemetery we passed Mr. Russell Lowell's
country-house, standing in grounds fairly hidden by surrounding trees.

Boston is the great literary and scientific centre of America. The saying
goes that at Boston they ask you "_what you know_," in New York "_what
you have_," and at Philadelphia "_who you are_."

Fostered by its close neighbourhood to Harvard, Boston boasts more
literary institutions than any other town in America; whether in its
remarkably fine Public Library, its Atheneum (which corresponds to our
Royal Institution), its two museums, or the English High and Latin
School, the first public school in the States.

One of the celebrated steamers of the Fall River Line took us that
evening to Newport.

What fascination the word exercises over "the aristocracy" of America!
Filled throughout the summer months with society--select and fashionable,
hospitable to foreigners, but difficult of access to new-comers, and
closed to those who do not belong to the upper circle of finance. The
gay butterfly life is carried on in "cottages," or villas, as we should
call them--small houses, unattractive outside, standing in gardens
adjoining the road, too public and suburban for English taste. So also
is the life, entirely without privacy; morning calls are customary; and
beginning society thus early, does not prevent its being carried on at
high pressure for the remainder of the day.

There is a well-known and accommodating Frenchman, who undertakes not
only to supply a "cottage," but all the elaborate necessaries, servants,
linen, plate, &c., for a stay at Newport. The Ocean Drive and Bellevue
Avenue are daily crowded with joyous equipages and neat phætons, driven
by their fair owners, and equestrians.

The toilettes are very elaborate, and of unceasing variety. The cost must
be enormous, seeing that prices are double, if not treble those of London
and Paris. The profusion of lace and jewels is unending; but a feeling
is gaining ground that elaborate costumes and diamonds are a little out
of place in the morning. A coloured maid observed to her mistress, in
response to a rebuke, that she had been accustomed to live with "people
of quality." Pressed as to what she understood by people of quality, she
promptly replied, "they were those who dressed simply and wore no jewels
by day."

We had wretched weather; a sea fog which penetrated everything, and
succeeded in damping even the bright life of Newport. Polo and yachting
are very favourite amusements here. A dance was given at the Casino in
the evening, in honour of the yachts which managed to come round in the
course of the day from New Brighton, despite the thick fog, and to which
we went. These Casino dances take place two nights in the week; the entry
is only by payment, no vouchers are required. And yet I believe they are,
as the Newportians say, _quite select_. This fact may be cited as a proof
that no one not in "the set" attempts life at Newport. The latter place
and its inhabitants look down with ineffable scorn and covert sneer at
the rival watering-place of Saratoga.

A tempest of wind and rain, added to the discomforts of the Ocean House
(let no one be deceived by advertisements and a printed list of guests
in daily papers into thinking it a palatial abode), caused us to abandon
all idea of staying, and leaving numerous letters of introduction
unpresented, we packed up and made the best of our way back to New York
by a morning train.

_August 8th._--After a day spent in New York we left for Philadelphia,
crossing in the ferry to New Jersey City, where we saw the blackened
ruins of the Pennsylvania Station, burnt a few days previously. Three
hours' quick run brought us to Philadelphia, and the Hotel Lafayette.

Independence Hall is the centre of interest in Philadelphia; a low
stucco building, supported by pillars, it is fraught with precious
recollections of the great struggle for freedom. It was here that the
Declaration of Independence was signed, on the 4th of July, 1776, and
publicly announced from the centre steps. In the same chamber George
Washington was appointed commander of the army, and delivered a farewell
address, and here Congress afterwards held its sittings till 1797. In a
room facing the hall are some relics. Amongst a medley of autographs and
medals we singled out a cast of Washington's face taken after death, his
horn spectacles, and compass. We saw an earthenware pitcher, brought over
by one of the pilgrims of the _Mayflower_, and the old "Liberty Bell,"
that sounded to the people the first note of freedom, in the adoption of
the Declaration of Independence. "Proclaim Liberty throughout the land
unto all the inhabitants thereof," is the appropriate motto graven on its
mouldy green side.

The City Hall, yet unfinished, is of magnificent proportions. Square
built, its four sides face, and form the very centre of the town--the
point to which all the principal avenues converge. The blocks of marble
used in the construction are enormous, and the four gateways are
supported by colossal marble figures. Close by is the Masonic Temple,
with a tower of quaint turrets, and a beautiful Norman archway; and
opposite a church built of a curious green stone, called serpentine.

Many years ago a Frenchman, called Stephen Girard, came and settled in
Philadelphia. He conceived the idea of bequeathing his property to the
state. At his death it was valued at several millions; and a bequest
was especially left of 2,000,000 dollars to erect a college for orphan
children. His wish was carried out in the building of this magnificent
Corinthian marble edifice, called Girard College. It contains large
lecture and class rooms; the dormitories and professors' houses being in
two adjoining wings. There is no question of election. Any orphan boy
from Pennsylvania or New York State is eligible; and the number, now
1100, is yearly increasing, owing to the rise in value of the Girard
property. One curious restriction alone there is. In accordance with a
provision in the will, no religious teaching of any sort is allowed;
only the elements of morality are taught, and no clergyman of any sect
is given entrance to the college. A marble statue of the founder,
representing him as a little benevolent, wrinkled Frenchman, faces the
entrance, beneath which monument he lies buried.

The Pennsylvania Hospital, though otherwise uninteresting, has such a
very quaint inscription on the corner-stone, that I think it is quite
worth giving:--

"In the year of Christ MDCCLV., George the Second happily reigning (for
he sought the happiness of his people), Philadelphia flourishing (for its
inhabitants were public-spirited), this building, by the bounty of the
government and many private persons, was piously founded for relief of
the sick and miserable. May the God of mercies bless the undertaking!"

We had a pretty drive through Fairmount Park, and ascended by the
elevator (how great the Americans always are at any of these mechanical
contrivances for saving labour!) to a platform 250 feet high, where we
had a beautiful view of the 3000 wooded undulating acres that form one of
the largest parks in the world. To give an idea of its comparative size,
Windsor has only 1800 acres, the Bois de Boulogne 2158, the Prater 2500,
and Richmond 2468. It is five miles long and six broad.

We had not time to go and see the Memorial Hall Museum, in the park,
built in commemoration of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, and which
contains the nucleus of an art industrial collection after the model of
South Kensington.

A drive through Chestnut Street with a hurried glance at the fine
"stores," and we reached the station in time for the afternoon train to
Washington.

The towns of America, with their even square blocks so regularly and
precisely intersected at right angles leading to the Capitol, City Hall,
or State House, whichever is the presiding genius, are apt to become
wearisome in the extreme. How delightedly then we compared Washington
to these,--the beautiful "city of distances." It were worth coming some
way, if only to see the magnificent breadth of Pennsylvania Avenue at
Washington, paved with asphalte, and lighted by electricity, sweeping in
a perfectly straight line of one mile from the dome of the Capitol to
the Corinthian pillars of the Treasury. The other avenues and streets
are numerically as well as alphabetically named, commencing from the
Capitol. Fifteen of the principal avenues take the names of the fifteen
states which comprised the Union in 1799, when government first ordered
buildings to be erected for the President, Congress, and public offices,
and removed the seat of government to Washington.

The next morning was Sunday, and we went to service at St. John's, the
fashionable church in the precincts of Lafayette Square, where the
President attends, but a remarkably small dark edifice. We strolled back
to "Riggs' House" through the Square. Here stands the equestrian statue
to General Jackson, which is cast from the brass guns and mortars he
captured. The poise of the figure is very fine as he sits the horse,
which is represented as rearing. The balance of this position is only
maintained by the flanks and tail of the horse being filled with solid
metal.

The small red-brick houses in the square overshadowed by the neighbouring
trees, where most of the senators and members live, remind one of many a
story of "wire-pulling" and "place-hunting" exercised by the clever wives
of influential senators. It is a centre of intrigue during the session,
for the influence of women plays no unimportant part in American politics.

The White House is quite near. It is a low stucco building, standing in
a garden, a small strip only of which is kept private, the remainder
lying open to the public. From the entrance gate, where there are neither
military nor police on duty, a broad gravel drive sweeps under the
portico.

Inside there is a long corridor hung with portraits of former Presidents.
A screen of coloured glass divides this corridor from another, which
leads off to the principal sitting-rooms. It would be difficult to
imagine any official residence so simply appointed as the White House.
The state dining-room, which they say will hold thirty-five on occasion
(but it must be a tight fit), is most suitable for every-day use. A room
with terra-cotta walls is an ordinary drawing-room; the Blue Room is
circular, and here the President stands and receives at the _levées_,
which are open to all comers. The Green Room is a large drawing-room; and
a ball-room in white and gold, with enormous pendant chandeliers, forms
the entire suite. A back staircase at either end leads to the upper floor.

The State Department and the War and Navy have very fine buildings beyond
the White House. An obliging official, a groom of the chambers, who
descends in his office to successive Presidents, showed us through; but
as for seeing anything of the other public buildings in Washington on
Sunday we found it was utterly impossible. The further south you come the
more abundant are the black woolly heads of the negroes, with the flaming
colours they love to wear, the orange plume with the purple, green, or
alternating with stripes of red and yellow. The further south you come
also the stricter is the observance of the Sabbath.

We took the car and explored the dreary suburb of Georgetown. As we
approached a cross-street, the boom of muffled drums and the strains of a
funeral march were heard, and we stopped to allow of a long procession,
headed by various deputations, to pass. The open hearse, drawn by white
horses, was followed by some mourning-coaches. It was the funeral of one
of the unfortunate victims of Greely's Arctic Expedition. The press just
now are celebrating the honours of his return, and side by side is raised
a controversy on the awful doubt as to whether cannibalism was resorted
to or not. Certain it is that when the bodies were disinterred by the
rescue party to be brought home, the flesh was found stripped off the
bodies in many cases. Some said it was used as a bait for fishing, but
the more dreadful suspicion is that the survivors, pushed to the last
extremity, devoured it. In the case of Private Henry, shot for stealing
the stores, Greely is even accused by the relations of resorting to
that punishment in order to provide sustenance. It is hard, very hard
that after the intolerable dangers and hardships the brave little band
endured, such suspicions should be raised to meet them on arrival at
home.

Strolling about the avenue rather aimlessly, we came to an equestrian
statue. On inquiring about the original, a passer-by advised us if we
"wanted to see statues to go further on to the Circle." From here we
occupied a central position, looking down no less than eight broad
avenues, and seeing in them some six or all the principal statues of the
city in a _coup d'oeil_.

An ugly circular temple with an obelisk of granite, 550 feet high, is
being erected as a grand national monument to Washington. It stands
facing the semicircular portico of the back of the White House, between
that and the River Potomac.

[Illustration: The Capitol, Washington.]

_Monday, 11th of August, Washington._--We had to be up very early to
see the Capitol before leaving by a ten o'clock train. What a beautiful
building it is, standing as it does on the Capitol Hill, with its broad
stone terraces and grass slopes leading into a park. The west front, with
a flight of innumerable steps the length of the centre building, commands
the Plaza; and the newly-elected President, standing here, delivers his
inaugural address to the people below.

The first building, laid by Washington, was burnt in 1793, and the
present one was commenced twenty-eight years after. Daniel Webster laid
the corner-stone and inscribed on it an inscription grandly worthy of the
building that rose above it:--

"If, therefore, it shall be hereafter the will of God that this
structure shall fall from its base, that its foundation be upturned,
and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known that on
this day the Union of the United States of America stands firm, that
their Constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all its original
usefulness and glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the
affection of the great body of the American people, and attracting more
and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether
belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devoutly
thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and
happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this
deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and
entablatures, now to be erected over it, may endure for ever.

    "GOD SAVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."

The colossal bronze statue of Liberty crowns the iron dome, and under the
Corinthian portico are the bronze doors, almost as fine in workmanship as
those of the Baptistery at Florence. They represent Columbus's interview
with Ferdinand and Isabella, his landing in America, his battle with
the Indians, triumphant return, imprisonment and death. The Rotunda is
decorated with frescoes painted in such a way as to appear in bas-relief.
Under the dome is shown the stone where Garfield's body lay in state for
three days, visited by thousands of people. It was estimated that each
incoming train brought its hundreds into Washington during those few
days. The Americans were most deeply touched, and allude, even now, to
the wreath sent by the Queen. The two wings are given up, the one to the
Senate, and the other to the House of Representatives. The old senate
chamber is now used as the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest judicial
tribunal in America. The various lobbies and reception-rooms are very
gorgeous in different coloured marbles, and ceilings frescoed and gilded,
but the interior is hardly worthy of the plain but massive grandeur of
the exterior. The gallery in the House of Representatives will seat
1200, and it is not reserved only for reporters or friends of members,
but open to the public, and to any who care to hear the debates. There is
a ventilator underneath each member's seat which enables him to regulate
the hot air at will.

We were much amused at the ragged condition of the Speaker's table,
the blue cloth being hammered to pieces in the interests of "order." A
National Statue Gallery has been formed by the excellent idea of inviting
each state to send statues of two of its most representative men. I
admired particularly among the frescoes one by Leutze, called "Westward
Ho," very touching in its speaking significance of the hardships the
first emigrants endured. It represents the cart piled up with household
goods, the mother pale and dejected, with the baby sitting on the top,
the elder children plodding along unheeding, whilst the father points
hopefully towards the West; in the background other emigrants are
crowding along the track.

The Sergeant-at-Arms' room is small; too small they say for "pay" day,
when the members come to receive their salaries. Fancy paying your member
1000_l._ a year to represent your interests. He must be dearly bought in
many cases. The total comes to double our civil list. The President's
salary is only 10,000_l._--too meagre for the representative of such a
great nation--and the ministers and judges only receive the insufficient
salary of 1500_l._ per annum. Frequent scandals are the result of this
parsimony. Such a beautiful view is obtained of the broad avenues and
public buildings of the city from the windows of the west front, and the
silver band of the Potomac winding round the outskirts at the foot of the
green heights of Mount Vernon.

We should like to have found time to go to Mount Vernon, and have seen
the plain wooden house, in a lovely situation, overhanging the river,
which Washington made his home; also the key of the Bastille, given to
him by Lafayette, and the room where he died. The plain marble sarcophagi
near the landing-stage marks "the tombs of Washington, and Martha, his
wife." The house after his death was bought and presented to the nation
by "the women of America."

We had to give up all idea of seeing the Smithsonian Institute, a
Gothic building of red sandstone, standing in its own park, presented
to the city by Mr. Smithson, an Englishman. And the Patent Office we
found was not open at this early hour of the morning. Inventive genius
is here protected and encouraged. In tin boxes, labelled and kept in
pigeon-holes, is a model of every patent that has ever been taken out.
The fees are much smaller than in England, and contrivances for the most
homely details have thus been protected.



CHAPTER V.

TO THE FAR WEST.


It was ten o'clock on Monday, the 11th of August, when we arrived at
the station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which was to take us to
Chicago. We had great difficulty in threading our way amongst several
hundreds of negresses bent on a religious excursion. At first the train
followed the winding course of the Potomac, through a fertile country;
but presently we were going through a mountain gorge, wooded and
precipitous, through which the river rushed and foamed. We crossed an
iron bridge over the broad river to Harper's Ferry, the culminating point
of a very beautiful mountain scene. As the train drew up at the wooden
station, the absolute stillness, broken only by the sound of rushing
waters, enhanced the spell of the mountains, which seemed to close us in
on all sides.

At Cumberland the country then changed to long, undulating hills; and
soon after a halt was called, and dinner served at the station. When
further on a second engine was attached, a pleasurable excitement
prevailed throughout the cars, and there was an underhand scuffle for the
right-hand side of the carriage. We were approaching the glorious range
of the Alleghenies, and preparing to cross the mountains. It was a wild
scene of the greatest beauty, the glorious solitude of the vast range,
broken only by the hideous shriek of the engine, as we climbed the side
suspended over a fathomless precipice. As we rose the view extended over
many mountain-tops, a panoramic scene of great extent and beauty. We
were going up a gradient of sixteen feet to the mile for eighteen miles,
with curves so sharp that the middle of the train was doubled inwards or
outwards, until we, in the last car, were almost parallel to the engine.
We were hanging half way out of the windows, and in full enjoyment of the
glorious view, when a sharp angle cruelly shut it all out, and the summit
was reached. I was glad that the scene changed so completely at once. So
often the full effect of some specially beautiful masterpiece is spoilt
by a gradual preparation, Nature working herself up as she goes along;
but here the transition is sudden, and the open, park-like spaces present
a gentle contrast--golden as they were then in the setting sun.

It seemed as if the beautiful part of our journey was over, when we
found ourselves on a yet steeper ascent; and if the other was lovely,
far more so was this one. Grand and gloomy the mountains stood above
us. A line of silver and a gentle rushing sound alone told us of the
presence of the Cheat River, coursing many hundred feet below, through a
chasm in the rocks. The pine forests around us whispered softly. Some of
their blackened trunks, hideous and deformed, waving their ghostlike and
withered arms close to the line, tell of the fury of the storms confined
in these narrow mountain gorges.

In the growing dusk we rushed with maddening and increasing speed down
into the valley, the glowing furnaces of a manufacturing village sending
out a ruddy glow into the dark night.

We passed the night in the Pullman sleeping-car, and I slept soundly.
Indeed, there is no reason why you should not do so in these "sleepers."
The upper berth lets down from the roof; a sliding partition and an
ample curtain forms a "section;" and there are mattresses, pillows, and
blankets to form a very comfortable bed, whilst the black porter produces
clean sheets and pillow-cases. Dressing and undressing in a sitting
posture requires dexterity, which comes with practice. And nothing
is more amusing than looking down the length of the car--to see the
mysterious heaving and bulging of the curtains, and the protruding arms
and legs. I think the general scramble for the "Ladies' toilette" in the
chill of the early morning is perhaps the worst part of a night in the
cars. How I got to hate the large fringes and crimped bandeaux of the
American ladies, which required such an undue amount of care and time in
curling!

At Chicago Junction we were hurried out of the "Pullman" into one of the
ordinary cars. This meant a carriage, dirty as a London Metropolitan
third-class, crowded with thirty people of all degrees. We had been
dreading our long journey to the far West, of which this was the first
stage; and our fears were being realized. Terribly hot and wearisome was
the long day, stopping at every small station. Very dusty, tired, and hot
were we, as we skirted the blue shores of Lake Michigan at 7 p.m., and
neared the end of our journey, passing for the last four miles through
Hyde Park, a suburb of Chicago. We thought ourselves in the greatest
luxury when we arrived at length at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

_Chicago, August 13th._--"Schicago," as the Americans softly pronounce
it, is the great commercial capital of the West, receiving, as it
does, the chief bulk of the enormous grain-producing country lying
to the westward. Therefore do its streets present no fine buildings,
except those of mercantile banks, business offices, and warehouses; and
therefore are its streets blocked with drays and waggons, and present
generally a bustling activity.

The streets are laid with blocks of stone, and perhaps it is the best
kind of pavement after all, regarding health more than comfort. We found
the wood pavement, not being properly kept, was far from pleasant in
hot weather. The same might be said of the broad asphalte avenues of
Washington, which under a blazing sun perfumed the air with a pungent
smell of tar.

After the great fire of October, 1871, Chicago rose like a phoenix
from its ashes. A curious calculation resulted in the discovery that in
the period of six months one building, from four to six storeys high,
was completed each hour in a day of eight working hours. It certainly
presents an unprecedentedly rapid growth, and the population entirely
keeps pace with it.

Chicago is just settling down after the intense excitement of the
Convention, held here only the other day, when Blaine was chosen as
the Republican candidate, and Cleveland by the Democrats. Every four
years the whole country is convulsed with these Presidential elections,
a tenure of office far too short to allow of any settled policy to
attain to maturity. The country is blazoned with portraits of the rival
candidates; debased often to the use of advertisements, as when Mr.
Blaine (who is dyspeptic) is seen standing by a bottle as big as himself
of "Tippecande." The newspapers resound throughout the country with their
mutual vituperations. "Blaine is corrupt!" cry the Democrats; "Cleveland
is immoral!" retort the Republicans.

Party warfare descends even to the shape of the hat. In New York we had
several times noticed the predominating number of tall white hats. It
was explained they were Blaine's followers; whereas Cleveland's wore a
wider brim in a brown felt. In America, where _every_ adult male, be he
householder or not, has a vote, politics have a wider range, and are
discussed eagerly amongst all classes. We got at last to have quite a
"national" interest, and should like to have been in America during the
final struggle coming in November.

We went to see the Central Grain Elevator at a large warehouse, which
raises, weighs, and stores several thousand bushels of grain daily. The
working of the machinery is somewhat complicated, but one of the vats,
into which four wooden troughs converge and pour their contents, holds
seventy feet of grain, which is afterwards shot down by machinery into
railway waggons waiting in a siding below.

It was five miles to the Stockyards, which really constitute the great
sight of Chicago. The cable cars, running so swiftly and silently as if
by magic, by means of invisible underground machinery, down State Street,
conveyed us thither and back for the modest sum of 5_d._ The yards with
their well-filled pens on either side, presented a wild appearance.
Droves of cattle were being driven by men on horseback, galloping and
cracking their long whips, with the curious wooden stirrups and peaked
saddle of old Spanish Mexican make. We threaded our way through them to
Armour and Co.'s, one of the largest establishments, where daily many
thousands of pigs, sheep, and oxen are purchased, killed, cut up, cooked,
salted, and packed in the shortest possible space of time. We were
allowed to wander about the reeking, blood-stained floors, and thoroughly
sickened, and fearful that every turn would reveal more bloody horrors, I
stopped opposite a gory pile of horns being carted away, whilst C. went
to see the oxen killed. He described how they are driven in single file
through a narrow passage into separate pens, over the top of which runs
a broad plank, on which the "gentleman who does the shooting" stands
with a small rifle. The poor beast looks up a second after his admission
to the pen, and the rifle bullet fells him instantly stone dead. The
further door is opened, and the carcase dragged away by cords to the
cutting-up room. There could be no more merciful mode of killing without
any unnecessary brutality.

We were told that they stopped killing hogs at noon every day. These have
their throats cut (some say they are guillotined by machinery); and it is
possible that half an hour after the pig has been squealing in the pen,
it will be neatly packed in one of those enormous stacks of tins which we
passed on our way out.

We went for a stroll in the evening, and found the shop windows swarmed
over by a species of brown moth, with long bodies and gauzy wings, called
Canadian Soldiers. They come from the shores of the lake, and are quite
harmless, buzzing around the electric lights to their own destruction.
A clock, showing the various times of the different capitals in Europe,
carried us back in thoughts to London, which at that moment would be
sleeping like a city of the dead, dawn only beginning to break. There is
about six hours' difference in time, and yesterday we lost an hour in
going from the 30th meridian to the 46th.

_August 14th._--A very sultry morning; and to refresh us before starting
on our journey of two days and two nights in the cars, we had a charming
drive in Lincoln Park, along the shores of the lake. Broad gravelled
paths, bordered with trees, numberless flower-beds dotted about, and a
sheet of water, formed one of the prettiest parks imaginable. South Park,
leading from Michigan Avenue, is still finer; and altogether Chicago
possesses six of these beautiful parks, dedicated to the use of the
people. Returning home through the suburbs we passed the Waterworks. The
door was standing open, free to all comers, perhaps ready to inspire some
child's mind with a taste for machinery (how different to our ideas!),
and through it we saw the magnificent cylinders, revolving to the roof of
the building, and the tiny wheels and cogs all performing their appointed
motions. The water is supplied from "the crib" through a tunnel running
two miles under the bottom of the lake.

It was wonderful what a different impression we carried away of Chicago
after this drive. We should have liked now to have stayed another day
to have seen some "trotting races," and made an expedition to Pullman
City, the Utopian village erected by Mr. Pullman for his large colony
of workers, employed solely in the construction of his Palace Cars. The
clean, well-paved streets; the model houses, with improved ventilation
and sanitary methods; the fine gardens, and the complete absence of
poverty, renders the little village quite celebrated. We had a letter of
introduction to Mr. Pullman, through whose express permission alone the
works are viewed.

We left Chicago at noon, by the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy route,
familiarly known as the "C. B. and Q." A dining car attached to the
train provided luncheon, and we travelled in a Pullman, with inlaid and
polished panels, plush curtains, velvet cushions, and looking-glasses.
The heat was terrible, and we gasped and panted through the long hours
of the afternoon, taking refuge at last on the platform outside the car,
sitting on camp-stools, heedless of dust and grit, and the deafening
roar, as the on-rushing cars thundered over the rails, willing to endure
any discomfort for the chance of a breath of air. In the evening, at
dusk, we crossed the mile-long bridge over the Missisippi, and looked
into the rolling volume of turbid waters. "Blackie" gave us a little
supper, neatly and cleanly served on a movable table, of blackberries,
bread and butter, cold tongue and eggs, iced tea and lemonade--so much
nicer than the hurried meal at the railway buffet. The car was turned
upside down, and beds made up at 9 p.m.

We found ourselves the next morning on the muddy banks of the Missouri,
the second of America's great rivers and unnavigable, owing to the large
sandbanks which form between the swift currents. Soon we passed Council
Bluffs, with Omaha, a large town on the broad plateau just opposite.
Yesterday we were journeying through the State of Illinois, during the
night through that of Iowa, and now, through Nebraska, Lincoln, the
capital of which we had just passed.

I believe every one, from the days of early childhood, from books of
voyages and travel, forms some vague idea of the prairies. We were
nearing them now, and I was longing for my first sight of that vast
deserted plain, "the blankness of desolation." The scene was growing
wilder and wilder; dreary, uninhabited expanses were succeeded by wooden
shanties, clustering round a small store with a few cultivated fields and
low-lying marshes; horses and cows were hobbled in the vicinity of the
village to prevent their straying away to the plains. The sunflower, a
smaller kind than ours, flourished luxuriously in large patches; but that
was the only evidence of nature, usually so prolific, here so grim and
stingy. The day was cold and gloomy, with frequent scuds of rain.

At length we seemed to leave all human habitations behind; and in the
majesty of loneliness we were crossing the desert, on a single track, in
the midst of the lone prairie lands.

Those beautiful rolling plains--millions of acres, covered with the
short, yellow buffalo grass--extend to the horizon in undulating lines,
a wide, uninhabited, lifeless, uplifted solitude. The blue of the sky
overhead and the dried-up grass are the only blending of colours.
Monotonous as they are, there is the greatest fascination about the
prairies. Involuntarily you cannot help looking for some sign of life,
some tree or green plant. Sometimes too, far-distant specks resolve
themselves into the cattle, roaming at will over the boundless plain.

Buffaloes there are to be seen now and again, but they are dying out
fast. The indigenous prairie dog alone remains. These curious little
animals are of a grayish-brown colour, always fat, with the long body
and bushy tail of a dog, and the head of a ferret. They scamper away
at the first sign of the train to their "villages," uttering a short,
yelping bark. Their mounds are burrowed as much as two or three yards
underground; and the rattlesnake and the burrowing owl are supposed
always to share the home.

In the evening we had a grand sight, when a storm swept with terrific
force over the prairie. A dense blackness enveloped the previously lurid
sky, against which the forked lightning played in jagged edges, and the
thunder pealed overhead, mingling with the rattling of the hailstones.
The engine ploughed along,--we were swallowed up in darkness and gloom,
till the sky lightened and gradually broke, and from a confused mass of
purple clouds the rays of the setting sun converged into a pale gold mist
on the distant hills.

When the storm cleared we found ourselves in the fertile little valley
of the Platte River, the narrow stream winding and circling among green
meadow-land, the banks fringed with waving grass and rushes; a scene of
quiet beauty.

That night we longed to see a prairie fire, but I suppose such good
fortune rarely happens to any traveller. It must be an awful but
marvellously grand scene. The heavens and the horizon are first seen like
a furnace, and then the long line of flame, banked up with dark smoke
clouds, comes sweeping on its resistless course. The wonderful thing is
how they are ever checked, but most of these prairie fires are said to
burn themselves out. And when they approach within two or three miles'
range of the settler's ranch a counter fire is started, which eats up all
before it, and, joining with the greater fire, leaves it nothing to feed
upon. The flames will often travel twenty miles an hour, and leap angrily
into the air to a height of fifteen feet. Sometimes they are started by
the careless dropping of a match, or some ashes shaken from a pipe, but
more often from the spark of a locomotive. It touches the grass, dry as
tinder, and the breeze fans into life the little flame destined so soon
to burn millions of acres. There is a very curious feature in connection
with these prairie fires. So long as they rage, nothing but tufted or
prairie-grass will grow; but so soon as they cease, trees, shrubs, and
bushes of all sorts spring up spontaneously--in fact it ceases to be
prairie. "It is an ill-wind which blows nobody good," for the next year
the grass comes darker and richer than ever, and strange as it seems,
this burnt-up grass is the finest feeding pasture in the world for cattle
and horses. With this unfulfilled wish we lay down to sleep peacefully.

At three in the morning, we were awoke with a dreadful shock, under which
the car shivered and upheaved. We heard the crash of falling china, and
seemed to feel the furious application of the air brakes, which brought
us to a dead stop.

In the awful stillness that succeeded, the conductor rushed through the
cars and begged us to "keep still." Every head was protruded from between
the curtains, and there were frightened exclamations to be heard from all
sides. The suspense that ensued was terrible.

Too soon the truth came. There was our engine smashed to pieces off
the line, the tender high in the air, telescoping the luggage van.
Ten feet off was another engine of another passenger train. It was
eastward-bound, and therefore on the main track, waiting for us,
the westward train, to pass on to the siding. The signal, a covered
head-light, had gone out; the fireman moving to replace it, accidentally
waved a lighted lantern, which the driver of our train took as a signal
that the east-bound train had gone into the siding instead, and, at
the rate of twenty-five miles an hour, we continued running into the
stationary passenger-train! The drivers and firemen of both engines
saved themselves by jumping off, and we all had a providential escape
from what might have proved a terrible accident. We were forty miles
from a village, and eighty from a town and any surgical aid. A messenger
was sent to walk to the nearest telegraph station, six miles away, and
nothing remained to us but to wait. We looked out on the silent prairie,
the stars solemnly keeping watch in the deep blue vault of heaven,
thinking of the strange situation, till dawn broke and the sun rose. Then
we could penetrate to the scene of the disaster. There was much _débris_
scattered about the track, and the broken engines lay on the ground
facing each other. The corpses of some murdered fowls were inside the
luggage van, and, suspended in mid-air, I saw at once my new saratoga,
a last American acquisition. The remainder of the baggage was more or
less injured, and two trunks were completely wrecked, and their contents
strewn on the ground. We were resigned, and prepared to spend the day
on the prairie, when, sooner than we thought possible by the earliest
calculation, two relief engines arrived, and drew off each train. The
eastward-bound was first sent on its way rejoicing, and we followed.
The black porter had been very much to the fore about seven o'clock,
providing breakfast for all, as those bringing provisions had calculated
on arriving at Denver in the early morning. "Guess I'se best man on the
car this morning," he said, with a grin, showing his white teeth. For
the remainder of the journey we suffered dreadfully from the heat, and
the sand penetrated into every crevice and corner. How we strained our
aching eyes over that burnt, parched plain, in search of the vestige
of a shadow, or _any_ green thing to give relief! At last we did see
something, a mirage it almost seemed for the first moment, of dark blue
mountains, with dazzling crowns of snow. They were the glorious range of
"the Rockies" bounding the horizon, and Denver lay at their feet.

As we got out on the platform it seemed almost as if the atmosphere
inside the car were preferable to that outside, so sultry and oppressive
as it was; the heated pavement burnt the soles of our feet, and the trees
near the station were drooping and white with dust. However, we took
a more cheerful view after we had changed our dusty garments and been
refreshed with a bath--thought it, in fact, almost worth while having
felt so hot and weary, to be now so bright and fresh, and ready for a
drive in the cool of the evening. As we passed through those quiet,
orderly streets, it was very difficult to realize that Denver sprang
into existence with the discovery of the gold diggings, and twenty years
ago was peopled entirely by the lawless roughs brought thither by the
gold fever. They are being gradually superseded by a quiet, industrious
population, centring here from the country districts. Though often
even now you look into the face of many a man following some menial
occupation, who shows traces of not being "to the manner born," but who,
in the search for sudden wealth at the diggings, has left the little he
had below ground, and thankfully turned to any kind of work to earn a
bare livelihood.

We passed a fine house, with the proprietor sitting in the garden, our
driver pointed to him, "That 'ere man this time last year was a beggar,
to-day he is one of the richest men in Denver." In five weeks he had
made one million and a half of dollars at the diggings. The man spoke
bitterly, and we more than suspected he too had had his turn of ill luck
at them; and the like story might be told of most of its inhabitants.
There are a few streets, and the remainder of the town consists of pretty
little villas and cottages, each standing in a garden, kept fresh and
green by the unlimited use of water. They have an ingenious contrivance
for watering, consisting of a pipe attached to the hose, with a top
perforated with holes, that turning with the action of the water scatters
forth a shower of spray, and is left always playing upon the grass. Life
is carried on to a great extent out of doors, people working, meeting and
receiving guests in the verandahs. The houses are kept dark and cool by
shutters, and the fine wire doors are an absolutely necessary precaution
against the plague of flies.

Denver has not yet reached that stage in its development when it can have
any public buildings of interest, but they are moving in that direction,
as is shown by the fine City Hall they are just finishing erecting on the
hill.

We had the disagreeable business to be gone through of going down to the
station late in the evening, to receive the wreck of our luggage brought
on from the scene of the morning's accident by the next passenger train.
My Saratoga was levered down with some difficulty, and, with great care
exercised in the removal, happily lasted till it reached the hotel. C.'s
hat-box and its contents were reduced to an unrecognizable mass, and the
remainder of the baggage was more or less torn, and with locks broken.
I must say we thought the company behaved exceedingly well, as without
demur they gave us damages to the amount of 35 dollars; but we afterwards
learnt the reason, which was that if further injuries were discovered no
further compensation could be claimed.

_Sunday, August 17th, Denver, Colorado._--We went to the morning service
at the cathedral. It is a plain, brick building, at present cold and
bare inside, but it is intended to decorate it richly when the necessary
funds are forthcoming. The stained glass windows in the chancel are
really beautiful, copied from Vandyke's "Crucifixion" at Antwerp; the
organ is fine, and the singing of the well-trained choir of men and women
(the latter sitting behind a screen), quite worthy of it. We had a very
eloquent and sarcastic sermon from Dean Hart, an Englishman; he chose as
his text, "Balaam, the son of Beor."

Under the very shadow of "the Rockies," in the far West, how strange it
was to be listening to a full cathedral service; and the prayers of the
Church of England binding together both American and English!

The air was very sultry, with frequent storms in the afternoon. We went
by the circular railway to Jewell Park and enjoyed the beautiful sight of
the Rocky Mountains, swept with dark storms or momentarily emerging under
a brightly shining sun.

_Monday, August 18th._--We left Denver at 8 a.m., and our way lay for
many miles along the foot of the Rockies. Though twenty miles away, the
rarefied atmosphere of 5000 feet above the level of the sea brought
them apparently to within two or three miles of us. And now we could
understand their name of "Rockies," for boulders of rock and loose
stones, with the long scars where they have given way under the influence
of the snow, form their prominent characteristics. There were some little
patches of snow yet unmelted and nestling in the deep crevasses.

Buffalo grass was still to be seen on all sides, and the fat, brown
prairie dogs kept popping in and out of their holes, and, for the first
time, too, we noticed the cacti that grow in such wild profusion on
the prairie. We were imperceptibly mounting the Great Divide, and as
we reached the small lake at the summit, the country grew fresher and
greener, and the broad grass expanse, with groups of trees, gave to it
the appearance of a vast park. The remainder of the way lay through
cultivated fields, the great barrier of mountains on one side always
leaving to the imagination the pleasure of the great unknown beyond. We
were soon at Colorado Springs.

Here there was no sign of a village; we could only see the large hotel,
"The Antlers," through the over-arching trees of a long avenue. In the
afternoon we took a buggy and drove over to Manitou. The clear, dry
climate of this high altitude, draws many invalids to Manitou, and
there are several large hotels clustering in the neighbourhood of the
springs of soda, iron, and sulphur; also numerous boarding-houses, where
we observed many little white tents pitched in their neighbourhood, to
allow for an over-flow of boarders. One was very aptly called, "The Rocky
Rest," and was "to Rent."

Manitou lies under the shadow of the great Range. The rocks seem ready to
fall and crush the little village, and the pine forests cast their gloom
into the valley. From the many surrounding peaks, Pike's Peak raises its
giant head towering above the others, and the little black speck just
distinguishable on the summit if the clouds are not down, is the signal
station, whence three times daily weather reports are telegraphed to all
parts of the States, and the storms forwarded across the Atlantic to us.
The picturesque ascent of ten miles on mules is soon to be no more, for a
syndicate of four speculators are making a railway, taking a circuitous
route of thirty miles to the top, and already the dark line of earth and
the rows of telegraph poles tell of its progress.

We drove on, up the Ute Pass to the Rainbow Falls, but there were,
unfortunately, no iridescent beams from the sun that afternoon. If we
could have gone on climbing that beautiful cañon (pronounced canyon)
for 120 miles, we should have come suddenly upon one of those vast
open spaces or "parks" that form Colorado's greatest beauty. They
are comparatively unknown at present, owing to the want of railway
communication.

We had tea with Dr. and Mrs. Bell, who have built themselves a charming
house in Manitou; they live there all the year round, and say the winters
are comparatively mild.

We stayed so long that it was late before we drove on to the "Garden of
the Gods," but I was glad, for nothing could have been more beautiful
than the evening shadows creeping up the mountains, the blue gloom of
the pines, and before us a park with stunted oaks and masses of light
red sandstone. They are curled, twisted, writhing masses, strewn in
wild confusion on the ground, forming the most incongruous series of
objects. There was the old Scotchman in his Highland bonnet, two sheep
kissing each other, their idiotic noses distinctly seen in the act of
touching, the Newfoundland dog, the old man's cellar, the semicircle
of mushrooms, very perfect in form, and the magnificent outline of the
lion cut out on the face of the rock. You irresistibly give play to the
imagination--people this little kingdom with fairy fancies entering at
the Gate Beautiful.

A storm has swept down from the mountains, bringing a dark mist peopled
by the demons, dwelling in its hidden caverns. Whilst the storm rages
and the thunder crashes through the echoing mountains, and the lightning
flashes on the rugged peaks, the works of darkness are done, the
destruction wrought--the Garden of the Gods is so no longer. The name is
ironical. Some such dim idea floated through our minds, I suppose, as the
three glorious piles of the brightest red sandstone, rose before us 300
feet in height, forming the entrance called the Gate Beautiful; and the
cathedral is near by with delicate spires pointed heavenwards. Monuments,
they stand to last throughout eternity; and as we passed through the
portals and left the land of enchantment, what a dull, cold feeling
gathered round us! The warmth of the red glow inside was superseded by
gloom added to by that formation of cold white rock outside. Though it
was growing dark, we ventured up the weird gorge to Glen Eyrie, with
General Palmer's residence guarded by the three pillars, the one called
major domo being in the centre. We spied an eagle's nest built into a
split in the rock.

Then home we galloped across the plains, the horses hardly touching the
ground, darkness creeping over the prairie, clouds on Pike's Peak, and
Manitou in gloom.

After dinner we went out to see the stars, which are so beautiful in this
clear atmosphere, with the Milky Way, a trailing cloud across the sky.

_Tuesday, August 16th. In the train going to Salt Lake City._--We have
been spending the day in the Rocky Mountains, amongst some of the most
beautiful scenery in the world, awed and struck by the grandeur of the
scenes we have passed through.

We began in the early freshness of the morning with a drive up the
Cheyenne Pass, a wild gorge, penetrating for some miles into the heart
of the mountains. We passed first through prairie fields, where pink
anemones, wild larkspur, bluebells, sunflowers, large white poppies,
cornflowers, and a delicate pink flower, called here a primrose, grew in
wild luxuriance, over a very roughly-laid road, where only a carriage of
such light build as ours was could have been driven. The bridges over the
many freshets were made of the stems of pine-trees loosely laid together,
and as often as the horses stepped on one end the other rose up.

It was a scene of the wildest beauty as we penetrated ever deeper into
the contracting gorge. One of the great charms of this range is the rich
colour of their red sandstone masses, blackened and weather-stained in
parts by the action of centuries. We were surrounded, hemmed in, overhung
by those stupendous fragments, and masses of rocks leaning towards
each other, and leaving only a narrow streak of sky as a relief to the
surrounding gloom, which was heightened by the dark pines that clung and
found a footing on every narrow ledge. When we reached the end of the
cañon which by this time was so deep and dark as to form only a chasm
amongst the rocks, we were fairly spell-bound, breathless almost from the
astounding magnificence of the scene before us. Seven waterfalls falling
down the face of the black cliff, seven clouds of spray falling one under
each other, each into its dark pool below. We climbed up a frail, wooden
staircase, hung out from ledges in the rocks, looking into every little
hollow, following the fall of the water over each, till we traced it to
its source, where it first comes gliding over from the quiet, green pool
lying hid in a rocky basin above. This pool takes the reflection of the
dark pines on its calm depths.

We lingered, and tried to go--turned back, and at last left it, with a
gnawing pang of regret. We shall not soon forget that quiet spot away
from the haunts of man. We passed into the darkness of the chasm below,
retraced our steps, and were soon out in the open, under the bright
sunshine once more; and, before an hour was over, were speeding many
miles away in the train.

We found the train leaving Colorado Springs very crowded, adding to the
discomfort of the narrow gauge, with a proportionally narrowed car.

We kept the backbone of "the Rockies" in sight for a long way, now and
then drawing near to one of the outlying spurs. We dined at Pueblo, a
town standing on a bluff of bare rock destitute of vegetation; and its
Spanish origin is still evidenced by the fine breed of mules, brought
from their colonies in Mexico. We saw here the arrival of the "Pony
Express," with the leather mail-bags slung across the peak of the saddle,
to be carried on by the train; but its arrival now is very different to
that described by Mark Twain in his reminiscences in "Roughing It:"--

"In a little while all interest was taken up in stretching our necks
and watching for the 'pony rider'--the fleet messenger who sped across
the continent from St. Joe to Sacramento, carrying letters 1900 miles
in eight days. He got but little frivolous correspondence to carry--his
bag had business letters in it, mostly. The little flat mail-pockets,
strapped under the rider's thighs, would each hold about the bulk of a
child's primer. They held many and many an important business chapter
and newspaper letter, but these were written on paper as airy and thin
as gold-leaf. There were about eighty pony-riders in the saddle all the
time, night and day, stretching in a long, scattered precession from
Missouri to California, forty flying eastward, and forty towards the
west, and among them making 400 gallant horses earn a stirring livelihood.

"'Here he comes!'

"Every neck is stretched further, and every eye strained wider. Away
across the endless dead level of the prairie a black speck appears
against the sky, and it is plain that it moves. In a second or
two it becomes a horse and rider, rising and falling, rising and
falling--sweeping towards us nearer and nearer--growing more and more
distinct, more and more sharply defined, nearer and still nearer, and
the flutter of the hoofs comes faintly to the ear. Another instant a
whoop and a hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the rider's hand, but
no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces, and go winging
away like a belated fragment of a storm!

"So sudden is it all, and so like a flash of unreal fancy, that but for
a flake of white foam left quivering and perishing on a mail-sack after
the vision had passed by and disappeared, we might have doubted whether
we had seen any actual horse and man at all."

At 3 p.m. we were entering the great cañon of the Arkansas. The Royal
Gorge must have been formed by some great convulsion in nature, rending
the mountains from the top to the bottom, and leaving this deep chasm.
The muddy mountain torrent has burrowed a channel through for itself,
where it lashes and foams into fury against the obstructing rocks. It was
an ingenious idea, making the line on ground literally blasted out of the
rock or bridged over the torrent, while the precipices overhanging it
meet above. No green thing grows on their polished sides; but there was
a beautiful blending of colours in the red and blue and green veins of
the rocks. We were in the deepest shadow, from the depth of the gorge.
The train crept along only too quickly, and we were trying to enjoy to
our utmost the stupendous grandeur of the scene by hanging out of the
windows of the car, when we gradually became aware that it was fading.
And though for some time longer we were going through a succession of
mountain passes, which opened out before us, were passed, and looked back
upon, they paled by comparison with the Royal Gorge.

Late in the afternoon we were crossing an open plain, and, separated by
countless nearer summits, we saw the irregular snow-capped peaks of the
Sangre de Christo, I am not sure that I did not think this irregular,
indefinite view of green, far-stretching plains and blue haze on distant
mountains more beautiful than the solemn grandeur of the Royal Gorge.

[Illustration: The Royal Gorge of the Arkansas.

    Page 58.]

At the small station of Salida three engines were waiting for us, and the
train was broken into two, the baggage cars and one engine preceding us.
We watched with the greatest interest for the beginning of the ascent of
fourteen miles up the Marshall Pass, for the crossing of the Rockies, the
"Great Divide," as they are called, separating as they do the Atlantic
and Pacific continents. There was a grade of 217 feet to the mile, and
the engines puffed and panted, emitting alternately their black columns
of smoke, taking it in turns to pull us up the steep inclines---so
steep they were that everything in the cars slipped downwards, and
the conductor passing through appeared to be walking up-hill. Looking
upwards, the dark line of earth winding round the mountains showed us our
onward track, and we looked, almost incredulous of ever reaching there,
till sweeping round another curve, the length of the train often doubling
itself, we were brought on a level with it. But the most dangerous thing
appeared to us the crossing of the wide gullies in passing from one
mountain to another, the train describing one of its deep curves on a
frail wooden trestle-bridge, before continuing in the upward track.

We were climbing higher and higher, already above a lower range of
mountains, and soon touching the snow-line. One minute we were in the
dark tunnel of the numerous snow sheds, and the next in full view of what
is perhaps the most glorious, the most awe-inspiring scene, in its gaunt
loneliness and majesty, that we shall ever see in all our lives. A sea of
peaks around, and before, and behind, as far as the eye can reach; the
cold grey of the wan gloom, tinged with a rosy light, lingering yet long
after the sun had gone down; a scene of the greatest desolation, for fire
had swept the pine forests not long ago, destroying all vegetation, and
the blackened and charred stumps marked but too surely its devastating
path. We shivered involuntarily as we stopped for a short time at the
very summit, partly from the chilly dampness of the atmosphere, but as
much from a feeling of sheer loneliness and dread. We should have liked
to have been alone in the car,--left to ourselves for a few minutes, to
"realize" that majestic scene, and imprint it indelibly on the memory.

The engine shrieked, and we were carried away into gloom, losing all the
beauty of the descent in the gathering darkness,--to supper at a wayside
shanty by the uncertain light of guttering oil-lamps.

It seemed wonderful, as we lay down in our berths in the car that night,
to think that we had gone up the Rockies and come down on the other side
in an ordinary passenger train. Very different it must have been in the
old coaching days, when they toiled along the road, which we had traced
in a dim, white line in the far distance.

It was most annoying going through the Black Cañon of the Gunnison at
night; but I was fortunate enough to wake up at midnight, just as we were
passing through it, and, looking out, I could see the ghostly shadows
cast by the head-light of the engine in the deep chasm, and could trace
the outline of its chief beauty, the straight and slender needle point of
the Currecanti.

_Wednesday, August 20th. At Grand Junction Station._--We awoke at seven
in the morning, to find the car at a standstill, and also to hear that
it had been so since 3 a.m. There had been a "wash out" at Green River,
some 150 miles up the line. We soon found out what this expressive term
signifies; it means an indefinite waiting for an indefinite number of
hours--indefinite, I say, because it entirely depends on the subsidence
of the freshet and the reparation of a bridge. We learnt afterwards that
the Denver and Rio Grande line is particularly subject to these little
mishaps, and we noticed that the officials thought nothing at all of
the occurrence. The same thing had happened to some ladies now in the
train when going over the line two months previously. Adding insult to
injury, we were turned out of our Pullman, where we might have spent the
day comfortably enough, and the train returned eastwards, leaving the
passengers and their luggage a forlorn group on the platform of the Grand
Junction.

We found breakfast at a wooden shanty near the station, and fared better
than those who tried the hotel. The scene that lay before us was this. On
one side there was a collection of wooden huts forming the village, with
the grandiloquent name of Grand Junction, bought two years ago from the
Indians by the Government. It stands in a sandy desert, with a plentiful
sprinkling of alkali, bounded by a low chain of granite rocks; on the
other was a marshy ground leading to the river. C. bought some tackle in
the village, with a wild idea of fishing, but we found the hot sun on the
swampy banks was so unhealthy that we beat a hasty retreat. In writing
up my journal and reading, the morning passed, and we again repaired to
the shanty for luncheon. In the course of the afternoon we strolled into
the town, and laid in a store of biscuits against further accidents, and
ran back to the shelter of the station before a coming storm. The heavens
opened, and a water-spout came down in the distance, like a pillar of
cloud, seeming to draw the earth up to it, and gusts of wind blew up the
dust into clouds, sweeping over the little village like a real simoon of
the desert.

There was no one in authority to give us any information, and the most
intelligent individual about the station seemed to be the telegraph
clerk, who had only arrived the previous day from Chicago. He had just
made out from a telegram, as he thought, that we were to wait till seven
o'clock for a train, when we saw one coming into sight. I don't think any
one inquired where it was going, or whether it was the right one, but
we all jumped in, and sped joyfully across the dreary plain. We saw a
beautiful _double_ rainbow, the most vivid and perfect arcs I have ever
seen, just meeting each other where they touched the earth.

We had not been expected at Green River, and there was not much supper
forthcoming; but we did not care, as we had, in fear and trembling,
previously passed in safety over _the_ bridge.

The conductor, putting his head between the curtains at seven the next
morning with the announcement of "breakfast in ten minutes," awoke us,
and we looked out upon the beautiful valley of Utah, girdled with the
mountains, and abounding in rich farms and orchards, watered by several
pure streams of water. Nature seems to have smiled upon this sunny
spot; and here the "Mormons," wanderers on the face of the earth for
so long, chose a resting-place, and built their City by the Salt Lake.
The great range of the Wahsatch Mountains opens out here, and forms a
convenient site for a city at their feet; and as we approached we saw
that distinctive feature, the dome of the Tabernacle.

The streets of Salt Lake City are wide, too wide for the traffic, for
on either side they are overgrown thickly with weeds, forming in some
streets into grass borders. The houses are low and pretty, covered with
creepers, and the gardens luxuriate with bright flowers, that thrive
naturally in these sheltered spots. Swiftly-running water in the gutters
answers the double purpose of irrigation and drainage.

We naturally first wended our way to the Tabernacle. It is the dreariest
of whitewashed buildings inside. The rounded dome of the roof is
unsupported by any pillars, and faded evergreen wreaths and tawdry flags
are suspended from the centre, erected for Commemoration Day, some
fifteen years ago, and never since taken down. The organ ranks as the
third largest in the States. In the little wooden boxes, ranged in tiers
on the platform in a gradually descending scale, sit the President, the
Elders, and the Bishops. From here they call upon Brother So-and-So
to address the congregation. There is a most wonderful echo in the
Tabernacle; we distinctly heard a pin dropped at the further end to where
we were standing. The marble Temple, which is being built to replace the
old place of worship, has already cost 750,000_l._, but judging from
the few workmen in the sheds, we thought the funds had perhaps come to
an end. We went next to Zion's Co-operative Store; it is a fine stone
building, with the text "Holiness to the Lord" blazoned on a sign over
the door, and inside you might fancy yourself in the Army and Navy
Co-operative Stores--the same division of departments, including the lift
to each floor. An "elder" showed us through; and all those employed in
the buildings are Mormons. True believers are exhorted to deal solely at
the store.

There is a theatre, and the Walker Opera House; for they maintain,
and quite rightly, that, "As all people have a fondness for dramatic
representations, it is well to so regulate and govern such exhibitions,
that they may be instructive and purifying in their tendencies. If the
best people absent themselves, the worst will dictate the character of
the exercises."

Behind a high stone wall are the two houses that belonged to Brigham
Young, called the Bee and the Lion Houses, from the carved designs over
the doors; in the latter Brigham Young died. Exactly opposite is the
large stone house--the finest in the territory (Utah is not a state but
a territory)--which he built for his last and seventeenth wife and which
is now occupied by his successor, President Taylor. Asking to be shown
Brigham Young's grave, we were taken to a plot of grass, roughly walled
in, and in the centre was the grave, of loosely piled stones, marked
with a wooden cross. He was buried here, and not in the cemetery, as a
distinguishing mark of respect; but if so, his resting-place might, we
thought, have been better cared for. Many of the Mormon residences may be
recognized by their green gates and several entrances, for the separate
use of the different wives and families. At present the population of
Salt Lake City is 14,000, of which about 10,000 are Mormons, but the
mines in the Wahsatch range are bringing a great influx of Gentiles. The
Government have made many ineffectual attempts to convict the Mormons of
polygamy, but the prosecutions always languish for want of evidence, as
they are faithful to the tenets of their religion. Not even the unhappy
wives superseded, and often tormented by the last favourite, can be
brought to give evidence.

Many are followers of the religion of the "Latter Day Saints" without
necessarily becoming polygamists. We invested in some Mormon literature;
a pamphlet "On the Bible and Polygamy; a Discussion between Elder Orson
Pratt, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints, and the Rev. Dr. Newman, Chaplain of the United States'
Senate," in which it must be confessed, the former seemed to have rather
the best of the argument; also a Mormon Bible, which is divided into the
four books of Nephi, and ten others. The Bible seems to have been taken
as the foundation for many chapters, and worked into the tenets of the
Mormon faith, forms a curious medley. In the Catechism, which we also
got, we found that the question and answer was generally authenticated by
a text, quoted from the Scriptures and the Mormon Bible, and placed side
by side. This catechism consists of eighteen chapters, and seems more
to be a full exposition of faith than for the instruction of children.
I give a few extracts from the last chapter, which I think may be
interesting:--

"1. _Q._ Has God given any particular revelation in these last days for
the preservation of their lives and health to His people?

"_A._ Yes. He gave a revelation to Joseph Smith on this subject.

"2. _Q._ What is this revelation called?

"_A._ A Word of Wisdom.

"7. _Q._ What does the first paragraph or verse of this Word of Wisdom
teach us?

"_A._ That it is not good to drink wine or strong drinks, excepting in
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and then it should be home-made grape
wine; that it is not good to drink hot drinks, or chew or smoke tobacco;
that strong drinks are for the washing of the body, and that tobacco is
an herb for bruises and sick cattle.

"8. _Q._ What does the second paragraph teach us?

"_A._ That herbs and fruits are for the food of man; that grain is for
the food of man, and beasts, and fowls; and that flesh is not to be eaten
by man, excepting in times of winter, cold, and famine.

"11. _Q._ Why is it not good to drink wine or strong drinks?

"_A._ Because they excite men unnaturally, inflame their stomachs,
vitiate their appetites, and disorder their whole systems.

"13. _Q._ Why is it not good to smoke or chew tobacco?

"_A._ Because those habits are very filthy, and tobacco is of a poisonous
nature, and the use of it debases men.

"14. _Q._ Why should flesh be eaten by man in winter, and in times of
famine, and not at other times?

"_A._ Flesh is heating to the human system, therefore it is not good to
eat flesh in summer; but God allows His people to eat it in winter, and
in times of famine, because all animals suffer death naturally, if they
do not by the hand of man."

We left Salt Lake City in the afternoon, and skirted along the shores in
the train of the Great Salt Lake--the Dead Sea of America. Two feet of
pure salt lie encrusted round its shores; the water contains 20 per cent.
of it, and the evaporation of four barrels of water leaves one of salt.
The atmosphere is always bluish and hazy from the effects of this active
evaporation. No fish or fowl can live in the lake, and it is impossible
to drown, so great is the buoyancy of the water, though death can easily
be caused by strangulation.

We arrived at Ogden at three o'clock, the junction where a connection
with the Central Pacific Railway is made. And here there ensued a very
weary waiting of four hours for another Denver and Rio Grande train. When
it did arrive we made up a train of twelve cars, with the arrears of
passengers and baggage from the late "wash out."

In the year 1844 when Fremont made his first exploration across the vast
prairies, there was not a single line of railway west of the Alleghanies.
The discovery of gold in California drew attention to the enormous wealth
lying to the Far West, and Congress made a grant for an exploration,
which resulted in the commencement of the Central Pacific line, this
great junction between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. On the 10th of
May, 1869, the lines from the east and west met in the middle of the
prairie, and the last tie, a silver one, was laid in commemoration of the
event.

All through that night we were passing through the great American Desert
of 600 square miles, once the bed of a vast saline lake. The next morning
there was still nothing to be seen but mud-dried plains with here and
there a little sage brush, the ground being cracked and parched under the
burning sun. In some parts there were fields of white alkali, making the
lips salt and the eyes smart painfully.

I verily believe nothing could surpass the terrific, fiery heat of that
day in the cars; we could not read or talk, but sat with parched lips,
panting, the sand floating into the car in a white cloud that soon made
us and all around invisible. One poor old woman in the next car nearly
died; they fanned her all day, whilst she wailed piteously for one breath
of air.

At some of the stations we passed there were groups of the Piute Indians,
clothed in striped blankets with bead necklaces, and one mother brought
her "papoose" (baby), slung on to her back in a long basket, that had
the characteristic features of the race--the pear-shaped eyes and the
drawn-down corners of the mouth--ridiculously strongly marked in its wee,
brown face. The mother begged for "two bits for the wee papoose."

We had luncheon in the middle of the day at Humboldt, a few green trees
about the station forming a very oasis in the desert; the exertion of
getting out made us, if possible, a little hotter. We thought then of
the awful sufferings endured by the early emigrants, as they toiled day
after day over these alkali plains. Along earlier stages of the line the
"Old Emigrant Trail" can frequently be seen, with here and there a rude
wooden cross marking the lonely grave of some emigrant or freighter, who,
overcome by sickness and weariness, lay down and died.

We lived through the long hours of that day as best we could, and about
seven o'clock we thought it was perhaps _just_ a little cooler, and the
glare of the sun not _quite_ so angry. We tried to ventilate the cars by
opening all the windows, and standing outside on the platforms before
turning in for the night. It was wonderful how mutual sufferings had
brought the passengers together, and how friendly we had all become. One
charming American lady, the wife of a clergyman, brought us each a most
refreshing cup of "real English tea."

After such a trying day it was particularly aggravating to be entering
the magnificent scenery of the Sierra Nevadas, and to be crossing them,
during the night.

We were in the beautiful valley of the Sacramento the next morning, among
its corn-fields, vineyards, and orchards, catching already glimpses of
the blue waters of the Bay of San Francisco, running far inland. We
crossed the Carthagena Straits on one of those wonderful steam ferries
that are capable of carrying four loaded trains. The train was slowed,
run on, and before we knew anything had happened, we were halfway
across, and able to get down from the car, and going to the side of the
ferry, look down into the muddy waters. The platforms at either end are
hydraulically raised or lowered, according to the state of the tide,
to the level of the ferry. For many miles we continued skirting the
bay, partly crossing it on trestle bridges till we reached Oakland, so
called from its beautiful groves of oaks; and which, though separated
from San Francisco by the bay, is one of its suburbs. We crossed over
from Oakland Ferry, and were at San Francisco, our journey to the Far
West--across the continent of America, 4000 miles from ocean to ocean,
traversing the ten states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa,
Nebraska, Colorado, the territory of Utah Nevada, into California--safely
accomplished.



CHAPTER VI.

SAN FRANCISCO AND THE YOSEMITE VALLEY.


I think we never felt more dirty or forlorn in our lives than on that
bright morning when, crossing the bay in one of the palatial Oakland
ferry steamers, sitting in the deck saloon, we were surrounded by a
crowd of smartly-dressed "Frisco" ladies, particularly humiliated by the
appearance of two of our fellow-travellers in the cars, in fresh morning
toilettes. A bitter east wind was blowing in our teeth, and raising the
muddy waters of the bay into "white horses," and the town with its
straight lines running perpendicularly up the hill, showing the division
of the streets into regular blocks, looked bleak and grey under the
wintry sky.

We could not help being struck by the wonderful precision with which they
run these enormous ferry-boats into a dock, fitted with exact nicety to
their dimensions, rarely "bumping" against the floating piles, which,
however give slightly to a pressure on either side as required.

As your foot is set on the wharf, an army of hotel "touts" besiege
you, ready to devour you and your small hand-baggage, and it is with
difficulty, and only after some display of firmness and decision, that
you are allowed to select the natural choice of a first visit to San
Francisco--the Palace Hotel. Rejecting the omnibus or large yellow coach,
we took a carriage, to be as quickly as possible installed in a charming
suite of rooms; all our possessions, from which we have been so long
separated, once more gathered around us--luxury again after the four days
of heat and discomfort in "the cars."

We have all heard so much, and for so long of "The Palace," that it is
hard to be disenchanted. When the hotel was first built, it _was_ a
marvel of magnificence, but since then others as beautiful, as gigantic,
as costly, have sprung up, by the side of which its celebrity is paling.
The arches and white pillars repeat themselves seven times one above the
other, round the four sides of the covered courtyard, and when lighted in
the evening by the single pendant electric light, form a very brilliant
and pretty sight. The attendance, as might be expected, is only moderate,
increasing the feeling ever present of being only a unit among the host
of visitors. You have the option of the American or European system, and
there is an excellent restaurant, but the courtyard, the piazza, the long
corridors leading to the ladies' entrance and waiting-rooms, are filled
with groups of men lounging and hanging about; it is, in fact, a general
meeting-place for the citizens, which renders it unpleasant for ladies.
The rooms are not numbered according to floors, but the hotel is divided
into blocks, called according to the street towards which it faces, and
each block, with its separate lift and numbering, forms a house of itself.

It may be mentioned in passing that the proprietor, Mr. Sharon, is at
present defendant in a tremendous divorce case, which has been occupying
the court and local press for the last eighty days; the leading counsel
on either side is a "colonel" for the petitioner, and a "general" for the
respondent. We spent the afternoon in wandering about among the splendid
stores, and in re-hatting C., who was much reduced by the loss of one hat
in the early days of our travels, and by the collapse of the remainder
in the railway accident. At first surprised by the beautiful furs and
sealskin paletots of the ladies we met in the streets, we soon understood
the wisdom of their winter wraps when at four o'clock we were driven home
by the cold wind, and raw sea fog, hanging about the city.

_Sunday, August 24th. Palace Hotel, San Francisco._--We arrived in church
in time for the second lesson, having met with a shake of the head, and
in one case an honest confession "that he never went to church," in
answer to our inquiries for Trinity Church.

We made an unsuccessful attempt to reach Cliff House by the Cable Cars
in the afternoon. An expedition there is the favourite Sunday amusement.
You go out, over the bleak downs, along the edge of the cliffs, to the
small hotel, where a few seals are to be seen disporting themselves on
the rocks beneath, sounding their monotonous "bark" or call. The wind
was blowing in our faces, and the mist driving before us, and at last,
as we seemed about to penetrate into a cloud which had descended on the
further hill, we called a halt, as we were passing a return car. We had
seen part of one of the pretty suburbs that are San Francisco's greatest
attractions, where the villas of her Bonanza or railway kings centre--men
whose fortunes were made in the gold beds of the tributaries to the San
Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, barely forty years ago. Then San Francisco
was but a village of shanties which they called "Yerba Buena" or good
hut, and the "hoodlum" element predominated, traces of which are still to
be found but too frequently in many of the low quarters of the city. Not
so very long ago it was necessary to carry a revolver about. It was worn
daily as a matter of course, and an unintentional raising of the hand to
the place where it was secreted might prove fatal, causing an opponent to
draw his under suspicion, and in supposed self-defence.

There are many evident traces of the quick rise to wealth that has
been the ordinary lot of the inhabitants of the city. You notice it
particularly in the extraordinary number of jewellers' stores, and the
display of diamonds, in the expensive upholsterers, with their superb if
gaudy furniture, in the marvellous curios of Chinese and Japanese art,
that here find a ready sale.

Disgusted with the climate of San Francisco, we fully expected to be
told the usual story about "phenomenal weather." Every one has observed
how exceptional the weather generally is when they happen to visit a
certain place. But no, we found it is the rule here for the bright, sunny
mornings to change to cold wind and sea fog in the afternoon throughout
the summer months. During the winter the climate is warm and equable,
and it therefore possesses the advantage of having no great extremes
throughout the year.

_Monday, August 25th. San Francisco._--A morning of indecision, angry
agents, each "touting" for their route, a hurrying about from one office
to the other.

The question under consideration was an expedition to the Yosemite
Valley. A telegram from New York confirmed the date of the 30th as the
arrival of the mails and the departure of the Pacific Mail Steamboat, the
_Australia_, for New Zealand. This left us exactly four days in which
to carry out the expedition, one and a half to go into the valley, the
afternoon there, and two days to come out again. I confess now that it
is all over, that it was a mad idea to think it practicable. Five years
ago I had heard my first description of this wonderland, and been seized
with an unreasoning desire to see it. All through the continent I had
been hurrying and pushing on, particularly towards the last, chafing
feverishly against the delays caused by our mishaps on the railways;
fearful lest time should fail us at the last for the Yosemite Valley.
Was it to be so after all? It was just possible. My earnest entreaties
prevailed, and we went.

Miller, generally considered the popular agent, and supported by the
powerful influence of the chief clerk of the Palace, drew us out
programme No. 1, returning us to San Francisco on Saturday morning
in time to catch the steamer. Walton, the rival agent, drew us out
programme No. 2, which possessed the advantage of bringing us back on
Friday evening, the day before the departure of the steamer. Miller
said Walton was underhorsed and undertimed; Walton read us out a letter
from an Englishman praising his route and saying he had found Miller
"an unmitigated liar." We went to Miller's office, and as we turned
the corner were pounced upon by Walton. This might have lasted out the
day had we not trenched matters, by deciding to go into the valley by
Miller's route, and come out by Walton's, who solemnly promised to stake
his reputation on bringing us back on the Friday evening. I packed all
our luggage in the morning in readiness to be sent down to the wharf,
arranged our cabin boxes for the voyage, and, taking only hand-bags, we
started on the expedition.

Mr. Lee, a fellow-traveller, and with whom we became friendly during the
long day spent together in the Desert at Grand Junction, came with us;
to add greatly to our pleasure by his uniform Irish cheerfulness and
imperturbable good temper, under the most trying circumstances.

The first stage of the journey was made in the train, sleeping in the
Pullman Car, which was slipped at 11 p.m. and left standing on the rails
all night. At 4 a.m. the next morning, we hurried across in the grey dawn
to the inn opposite for breakfast. We looked critically at the coach and
team of six horses that were standing ready at the door. The vehicle
perhaps might be more properly described as a large red _char-à-banc_
swung on leathern straps, with a cover overhead. Later on in the morning
we blessed that cover, not only for its grateful protection from the sun,
but for the support that its upright iron stanchions afforded us. We
clung to them convulsively, for to say that we jolted and bumped would
be to give no adequate idea of the violent exercise we went through. We
collided with one another, and slipped up and down the seat, we were
thrown up in the air to come down again with a thud that jarred the
whole system. In vain we grasped the front seat, or clung round the iron
standards, planting the feet firmly on the footboard, determined not to
go up with the next bound of the coach. It was all to no purpose, and by
the end of the first hour we were sore and aching, looking at each other
in blank dismay, with the knowledge of the seventy miles' coaching to be
gone through that day. I remember that it was our shoulder-blades that
suffered most, and that it was impossible to keep the air cushions we
tried, as a relief, in their place. It was not the pitching of the coach,
though we often saw it rise up above the leaders and then descend till
the wheelers were visible again, that we dreaded, but the large stones
over which the wheels passed with a relentless jar which communicated
itself to the whole nervous system.

But the most trying thing of all was the dust, which under the
twenty-four hoofs of our six horses, rose in clouds around us. Sometimes
for a moment we were so enshrouded as to be invisible to each other,
and then as it cleared off, and we drew breath freely again, mouth and
nostril were full of the fine sand which we tasted and smelt. It was,
too, of a peculiar red colour, imparting its ruddy tinge to everything we
wore; in fact, our things never recovered that expedition, and for long
afterwards, notwithstanding the vigorous brushings, which I gave with
an unstinting hand on our return, we used to detect its traces and say,
"Some of the Yosemite dust!" A soft woollen shawl which we had with us,
absorbed such an immense quantity, that it even now responds to a gentle
shake by giving forth a little cloud of dust. We used to arrive each
night at our destination enshrouded in a film of the same, and there was
difficulty amongst the passengers in claiming their small hand-baggage
from amongst a pile of dust-smothered luggage.

We began our journey by crossing over a flat plain, and our curiosity
was excited by a wooden aqueduct running parallel with the road. We kept
it in sight for many miles, and never really lost it throughout the
whole day, passing it again late in the afternoon. It was a plane or
wooden trough, constructed on a slight incline, filled with a stream of
water, flowing at the rate of five miles an hour, and down which lumber
was floated a distance of seventy miles. This ingenious contrivance is
the means of utilizing much of the splendid timber that lies rotting
in the mountain forests, useless because of the enormous labour and
expense of transporting it to the abode of man. Several experiments were
necessary before the "flume" was perfected, the V shape being adopted,
as it was found in the square troughs that the lumber in floating down
would be driven transversely, and so occasion a block. We presently
exchanged the prairie-like plain for a more hilly country abounding in a
stunted undergrowth of dwarf oak, cork, myrtle, and ilex trees, freely
interspersed with large masses of rock, in such isolated positions, that
we could not help wondering how they ever came there. The blue range of
mountains that we were to cross later in the afternoon were becoming
more distinct. At a very early hour in the morning the sun had become
powerful; we were hungry after our five o'clock breakfast, depressed at
the prospect before us, and by eleven o'clock, when we made our first
halt to change horses, we had reached a pitch of great misery.

There were some tame rattlesnakes shedding their skins outside the inn,
and we were able to get a large cornucopia of sweet white grapes to
refresh us.

The Californian coach-drivers are famed for their skilful driving; they
are hardly worked with four days a week, driving continuously seventy
miles, but they receive high pay, ranging from seventy to eighty dollars
a month. It is nice to watch their care and interest in the horses;
knowing the peculiarities of each one, husbanding their strength, and
frequently stopping to water them from the iron pail that clanks in the
boot behind. They are well known on the road, and it is amusing to hear
their various merits discussed. They need to be careful and experienced
men when you think of the sharp corners turned at a hand gallop, and
the roads, which for the most part are made overhanging the precipice.
More danger might be feared from the footpads, or "road agents" as they
are called, who have frequently stopped the coach and robbed the mails.
This occurred only last year, and no traces have ever been found of the
robbers.

Another three hours of growing discomfort brought us to Coarse Gold
Gulch, where we rested for luncheon. We were received by the German
daughters of the house in the cool trellised verandah covered with vines,
with long feather brooms, and the outer layer of dust was prudently
removed before we were allowed to enter the house. We waited a weary
while for the coach returning from the valley, and when it did arrive it
was comforting to see others in a condition as bad as ourselves; to hear
that we had got over the most scorching and dusty bit of road; to be told
of the glories of the valley by those still under its influence; and to
be given advice on the best way of spending our one afternoon there.

We discovered at once a passenger booked like ourselves for the
_Australia_, Mr. Davidson, of Edinburgh, who proved, in our subsequent
journeyings together, such a pleasant and intelligent travelling
companion.

We began gently ascending again, when we continued our journey, for the
most part through a shady ravine, till we crossed what was apparently an
outlying spur, and began the tedious climb of the larger range. At times
the horses seemed hardly to make any progress, and they crawled along
with the coach lumbering and creaking after them. Then for the first time
we saw specimens of the Sequoia Gigantea, that wonderful genus peculiar
to California. Presently we were passing through miles of its forests,
their purple and pink-streaked stems, straight and slim, reaching to
an enormous height before striking out into long branching arms, which
interlace to form a feathery network against the sky. This closely packed
array of mighty giants, stretching away into long vistas of upright stems
in the dim distance, gives one a feeling of being surrounded by conscious
though inanimate beings; they give a feeling of strength in repose,
increased by the stillness and silence of all around; for the wheels move
noiselessly over the thick carpet of fir needles, and there is only a
rustling murmur of the breeze in the pines overhead.

There are no singing birds here, and the only sign of animal life is a
ground squirrel darting across the road, and scampering up the nearest
tree.

Here and there we emerged into sunlight from the cool depths of the
forest, to see the range of mountains forming part of the great Coast
Range, looking thin and hazy in the warm afternoon sun. Fire had wrought
destruction amongst many of the trees, leaving charred and blackened
stumps, decaying into curious and weird forms, Sometimes the trunks and
branches, scathed by the fire, remain a beautiful silver grey; in others
the trunks would be completely hollowed, and yet still able to support an
immense framework above. In one case I remember a pine was burnt through
at the base, hollowed out so as to form a perfect V shape.

There appear to be two theories as to the origin of these forest fires;
some say that the trees fire themselves in the fall from extreme dryness;
the other, which would seem the more probable, that the mischief
originates from a spark of the woodman's pipe, or perhaps a brand left
burning from the camper's fire. There is no doubt that this is sometimes
the cause of the terrible devastation wrought, and it is no uncommon
thing to see far away the blue wreaths of smoke curling up from the very
heart of a forest that betokens one of these conflagrations.

It is very difficult to convey any idea of the gigantic height of the
sequoias by simple measurement or figures, but I know that many of them
took root in the ravine so far below, that we in the coach overhanging
the precipice, and leaning over, could not trace their origin; whilst
the tops would just be on a level with the road. But all this time we
were toiling upwards, and the shades of evening were beginning to close
around us in gloom, surrounded as we were by the dark pines. We reached
the top about 6 p.m. Just one view of a grand, white mountain, with dark,
purple shadows lying on its jagged peak touched with a few last rays of
light, and we began a mad rush, wild and headlong, down into the valley
in the gathering darkness. The horses swung round the zigzag turns at a
gallop, the leaders all but over the precipice to allow of room for the
remaining four, and for the coach to graze round the corner. Ten, twelve,
fifteen miles an hour, the speed gradually increasing, until, breathless
and unconscious, save of flying through the air, you gave up at last the
anxious watch on the horses, and resigned yourself to the care of the
driver.

Mr. Lee, seeing my terrified face, tried to reassure me by saying, "I
have perfect confidence in the driver, and in the horses, but hope the
vehicle will hold together,"--words that were hardly uttered, when
convulsively the driver was seen straining at the reins, and trying to
pull up suddenly. One of the powerful brakes had given way, and the
horses, feeling the coach at their heels, were preparing to rush madly
round the corner we were just coming to, when they were checked--and
we were saved. The wheel after that had to be dragged with a chain and
straps, and we walked down the remainder of the way, a relief to our
overstrained nerves; but the driver looked crestfallen on arriving at
Clarke's without the usual flourish round the circular drive, pulling up
the steaming horses at the exact arch in the verandah opposite the door.

We slept in the valley that night, guarded by the mountains on every
side, with the sound of a gurgling stream in our ears, dimly seen by the
light of the crescent moon.

_Wednesday, August 27th._--We were off at six the next morning (which
meant getting up at five), ascending the mountains, and soon many feet
above our last night's resting-place in the valley, looking at the lovely
blue mist wreathing and curling up the opposite mountains, out of the
dark shadows of the pine forests. We had a still, quiet morning among
the giant forest trees and shady glades. Down their gullies trickled
sparkling streams, burrowing underground and then flowing out again,
forming tiny cascades over a few rocks and sprinkling the surrounding
ferns with dewdrops. Some of them were so hidden that we only heard
a rustling amongst the green bed by which we traced their course.
Everything in nature could not help looking lovely on that bright morning
with the keen freshness of the early day yet in the air, and the sunlight
peeping through the dark pines, to play in golden cobwebs on the brown
carpet below; but again we missed all sign of life in the absence of
singing birds, and the stillness became almost oppressive. One of the
most beautiful things in these forests are the bright green mosses, that
hang like lichens from the branches of the trees, looking most vivid
against those that are blackened by the fire. The fir cones that lie on
the ground in hundreds are remarkable for their perfect formation and
great length, frequently attaining to a foot or more.

All the morning we alternated in a slow and tedious progress up-hill, and
one of the quick rushes downhill, when we would accomplish in half an
hour the same distance that it had taken us three hours before to mount.
But about twelve o'clock we emerged from the forest on to a level winding
road, overhanging a terrible precipice on the one side, from which was
a view unequalled in beauty and extent in all California. And this is
saying something; for throughout these two days' drives we had been
enjoying a series of superb and magnificent mountain scenes, that taken
singly would alone have been worth coming to see. But here was something
that surpassed them all. The valley at our feet was so deep that the eye
became giddy in following the downward line of the vertical precipice of
rock. You followed the upward slope of dark green mountains rising on
either side of the entrance of the valley, till you gradually let the eye
float away and away over the blue lines that each indicated a separate
mountain range growing fainter as they reached the horizon. This was the
great Sierra Nevada Range.

A more frantic and perilous rush than usual, over a rough, shingly road,
somewhat damped our keen look-out and eager expectation for the first
sight of the longed-for Valley, till we drew up point blank opposite a
sign board,--"Inspiration Point."

This is the most memorable incident in a visit to Yosemite, for in this
first comprehensive glance you take an impression of the Valley, _the
one_ which is to remain always with you, and for all time.

I think this Valley ought to be counted as one of the wonders of the
world, and that this Inspiration Point ought to have a world-wide fame;
to see it should be counted as much an event in a man's life as "to see
Naples and die."

I hope we were not like the gentleman "who had written largely and
felicitously on many subjects," but who exclaimed as he reached this
point, "My God! self-convicted as a spendthrift in words, the only terms
applicable to this spot I have wasted on minor scenes," but I know that
we felt awestruck and stunned for a moment by the beauty before us. We
were on a platform that projected, so that we saw ourselves hanging
over the precipice, just midway between the valley which seemed some
immeasurable distance below, and those strangely human rocks above. Six
miles long, but at no part broader than one mile, the Valley is simply
formed of a cleft or gorge in one of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. It
is full of gigantic sequoias, dwarfed into ordinary fir-trees when seen
from this tremendous height.

We traced the green waters of the Merced, whose source is in the
imperishable fields of ice and snow, of some far-away peak, in its
wayward wanderings, through the centre of the flat valley.

But the grandeur and sublimity of the valley lie above us in those
marvellous configurations, those fanciful phantoms and wayward fancies
placed there by nature. For centuries and centuries since the foundation
of the world, they have stood there alone in their solemn glory, unseen
by civilized eye, unknown until some thirty years ago.

[Illustration: The Sentinel, Yosemite Valley.

    Page 77.]

Facing us there is El Capitan, called by the Indians Totokohula, or great
chief of the valley, the most matchless piece of masonry in the world.
The Twin Brothers are there, the Three Graces, the Sentinel Rock, the
Cathedral with its graceful Spires, the Bridal Veil, the Dome, and the
Half Dome.

"Hundreds have gazed enraptured upon these natural wonders, and return
again and yet again to drink their fill of Nature's handiwork; and
looking 'from Nature up to Nature's God,' thank Him that He has traced
with Almighty hand so many pictures of wondrous and unspeakable grandeur
and beauty. In the course of years, countless beholders will feel their
souls expand to the dimensions of their Almighty Architect as they gaze
upon this incomparable valley."

We drove down over a road invisible from the valley, and stopped just
on the bridge under which flows the stream from the "Bridal Veil." The
Indians gave it the name of "Pohono," or Spirit of the Evil Wind. You
can almost see the single drops falling against the side of the dark
rock, as the spray-like foam, far more beautiful than the "Staubbach" in
Switzerland, comes over the left side of the Cathedral Rock. It falls in
an unbroken sheet, 630 feet, then dashing from the _débris_ of rocks some
200 feet more, flows in a succession of tiny cataracts. The fancifully
pretty name came from the body of water, which, when falling lightly over
the cliff, is swayed to and fro by the pressure of the wind striking the
long column, often giving to it the appearance of a fluttering veil. I
thought it the most beautiful object in the valley.

There are several small inns, but we stopped at Barnard's, which lies
immediately under the Falls which give their name to the Valley. A
hurried consultation with the landlord resulted in the decision to go up
to Glacier Point, which has the most extensive and complete view of all
the different points of interest in the valley. The ascent was to take
us three hours, when it would be possible for us to drive afterwards to
Mirror Lake in time to see the sunset. We started immediately on a pony
and two mules (Mr. Lee being of the party) up the steep trail, preceded
by the guide, who turned out to be surly, useless, and disobliging. The
sun glared fiercely in our eyes, blurring out the view of the valley
below. I tried with ill-success the shelter of a sun-umbrella, the pony
shying violently, and turning round on the narrow path to look me in the
face. We became impatient with the slow progress, and weary of urging on
the animals, and at last, by dint of persistent questioning, I found out
from the guide that Glacier Point was six miles from the valley, or about
six hours' expedition there and back! Mirror Lake disappeared entirely
from our programme, and we even began to think of contenting ourselves
with Union Point. We reached there at 4.30, having taken two hours for
the four miles, and the guide assured us we must allow the same time for
returning. After some discussion the matter was finally settled for us,
by looking at the soft haze about the sun, and seeing that the brightness
of the afternoon was passing away. We decided to give up Glacier Point,
and be contented with the less extensive, though I can hardly believe
less beautiful, view.

At Union Point we were 2200 feet up, and on the platform immediately
facing us stood the beautiful Agassiz Column, a spiral fragment of rock
raised up on end. There was a great solemnity and grandeur in the silence
and stillness of the valley below. We were above the hum and stir of
life, away from mankind, from the petty aims and ambitions of the world
beneath us, left alone with the grand mountains. The evening shadows,
with their soft blue lights, fell on the surrounding points even as we
looked, and the valley itself lay in shadow below. Immediately above and
inclining down towards us were the Three Brothers, their Indian name
signifying "mountains playing leap-frog," giving the truest description
of their triple zigzag peaks. We knew that on the other side of the
rock, only 200 feet lower down, there was a similar formation--the
Three Graces, or the sweet "Wakwahlena" of the Mona dialect. We saw the
Sentinel or Watch Tower of the Indians, a mass of perpendicular granite
tapering into a peak that seemingly points its summit _into_ the sky, and
which for ever stands watching, keeping guard over the valley. Again,
on the same side, the beautiful Cathedral Spires were just to be seen
tapering to a height of 500 feet above the massive roof of the Cathedral
Rock, which is itself a piece of unified granite of 2660 feet in height.
These spires are the most graceful specimens of natural masonry and
architecture in the valley, and at times when the wind soughs and moans
amongst the crevices, and round about the spires, they say you can hear
the deep tones as of some minor organ wailing "The Miserere of lost
souls."

[Illustration: The Cathedral Spires, Yosemite Valley.]

Turning away from this side and looking on the other, in the far distance
we saw the Dome; and a very perfectly rounded dome it is. It seems to
be made up of prodigious concentric plates of granite, on one side
suggesting the formation of what are called, the "Royal Arches." But
towering so far above it, that it is completely dwarfed by comparison, is
the half dome, the "Goddess of the Valley," the most remarkable formation
amongst the many that are in this valley of marvels. It is a symmetrical
dome of bare rock, scarred and worn with the storms that gather and play
about its mighty head--"storm-written hieroglyphics,"--they have rightly
been called, rising 4737 feet above the valley, the valley itself being
4000 feet above the level of the sea. But instead of sloping away on
both sides, this dome, on the left, is cut completely away, and descends
in an absolutely vertical line of 1800 feet or more, thus producing a
perfect half dome. Some great convulsion of Nature seems to have split
it directly in two, and the western half has disappeared, no one knows
where. The valley is here narrowed to its smallest limit, and this tends
to add to the stupendous majesty of this "imperfect" dome. To give some
idea of its vast height, it is not once, nor twice, nor thrice, but
fifteen times the height of St. Peter's at Rome--all rock, nothing but
rock! "And God's hand built it--not in masses of slow-mounting masonry,
gaining adventurously and toilsomely, foot by foot, and pushing its
scaffolding ever higher to keep command of the work, and straining its
enginery to swing aloft the chiselled and ponderous blocks to their
place--but with one lift, without break of course, or any gradation
of rising completeness, the Supreme Builder set the domed mountain in
its place, foundation wall, and top-stone--one sublime integral whole,
unprofaned by craftsmen's tools, untrod by foot of man."

Beneath the Half Dome, but hidden from us, lies the Mirror Lake, where on
a surface absolutely motionless, at sunset and at sunrise, are reflected
all the magnificent surroundings in perfection. Cloud's Rest is the
culminating mountain-top in this part of the valley.

And now, after we have been looking at these far-off points, our eyes
fall down to those nearer home, and we look opposite at El Capitan. We
follow upwards the lines that seem interminable in their length, from
the base to the brow of this wall of rock, this mass of immensity. "El
Capitan imposes on us by its stupendous bulk, which seems as if hewn from
the mountains on purpose to stand as the type of eternal massiveness."
"Wipe out the beautiful Merced with its snow-fed streams, let the fierce
summer heat dry up the waterfalls, blast as with a curse the whole
valley, El Capitan would still smite you with his austere silence." The
spire of Strasburg Cathedral, that masterpiece of Gothic architecture,
is 468 feet high, and still the compound height of seven such cathedrals
would not equal the height of this granite mass.

Over a recess in a dim corner, during the earlier months of the year,
pour the "Ribbon Falls," or "Virgin's Tears," (the "Long and Slender" of
the Indians), though in summer it dwindles down into what we saw it, a
single ribbon string.

Much the same may be said of the Yosemite Falls, from which the Valley
takes its name, signifying in Indian "large Grizzly Bear," which are very
beautiful from the months of March till July, when they likewise dwindle
into insignificance. These may also be said to be divided into three
distinct falls; with a perpendicular descent of 1500 feet, a 600 feet of
cataracts over a shelving rock, and a final fall of 400 feet ending in
spray and foam.

The great advantage of the further ascent to Glacier Point is that you
have the more complete view of the valley which includes the Vernal and
Nevada Falls, two very beautiful falls of 400 and 600 feet each, some
way up the Cañon of the Merced; the Sentinel Dome, which is a mile and a
half above the point; the Washington Column or "Watching Eye," and a very
far-reaching view over the further side of the valley--of the "little
Yosemite," and the higher peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

This view from Union Point proved our only hope of carrying away with
us some general idea of the wonderful formations of the valley in the
short space of time we could allow, and after trying, with some success,
I since think, to print them indelibly in our mind's eye, we turned our
thoughts towards the descent.

My pony had come down on his knees at a very early period of the
expedition, and I greatly mistrusted his powers of holding up down the
steep stony trail, not counting the discomfort of feeling the legs of the
animal sliding away in front, and subsiding behind, whilst simultaneously
being pitched forward at a _very_ inclined angle. I declined to ride
down the first and steepest part of the trail, and eventually it ended
in my running down the four miles, and resting at the bottom for half
an hour for the others to come up. We returned to Barnard's decidedly
crestfallen, and with very different feelings to those of pleasurable
excitement with which we had started out earlier in the afternoon. We
went to bed quite worn out after such a long day, but--there was to
be no sleep for us that night. Mosquitoes and the hardest beds I ever
slept on were small drawbacks when compared to the weekly ball that
was going on immediately underneath us. Every sound was heard through
the thin partitions, and we could only lie and listen to the Master of
the Ceremonies with his "Figure number one, and cross over, turn, face
partner, ladies' chain, sides," &c., the scraping of the fiddle, and the
shuffling of the feet.

Weary and dispirited, we left the valley the next morning at 6 a.m.,
taking our farewell view from the top of the mountain which we had
been winding up the side of for three hours. We had in the coach with
us Mrs. McCauley, who kept the inn at Glacier Point, and one of the
first inhabitants of the valley. She told us that there was general
complaint about the meagre compensation that Government had given to
the inhabitants since they had taken possession. The early settlers had
expended much toil on the formation of the first and most dangerous
trails to the principal points, charging some small fee. It was in
1864 that Congress granted the valley to the State of California, as
"the cleft or gorge in the granite peak of the Sierra Nevada," under
the express condition that it was to be kept for "the benefit of the
people, for their use, resort, and recreation, and especially to
hold them inalienable for all time." And so it always is in America,
parks, gardens, all places are kept and maintained for the _people_.
Congress has just taken possession of the comparatively newly discovered
Yellowstone Park, for the nation, preparatory to developing its wonders
and making it accessible "for the people." A guardian and commissioners
were appointed for the valley, who have since done wonders in making the
points of interest more approachable by new roads, bridges, and trails.

We had another of those magnificent forest drives, looking over the
valleys and the mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada from the opposite
side to that on which we had entered the valley; but the coach was of a
smaller build than the others we had been in; it was more than unusually
laden with passengers, and the heat was very great. We arrived cramped
and somewhat cross at Mrs. Crocker's, a Nottinghamshire woman, where we
found a charming luncheon provided in a cool, neat cottage.

In the afternoon we drove through the trunk of one of the monster trees,
"the Dead Giant," where there was room for the six horses and coach to
pass at a full trot, describing a slight curve of the road in passing
through the aperture, but it required the fine skilful driving that we
had, to do it.

[Illustration: Big Tree, California.]

Then we pictured to ourselves those marvellous groves of big trees near
the Yosemite, the Calaveras and Mariposa and south groves, wonders which
we had missed altogether, without which no description of the valley is
complete. I therefore give a rough outline gathered from those who have
seen them.

The discovery of this new tree of sequoia occasioned much excitement; at
first it was supposed to be of the species of Redwood or Wellingtonia,
but eventually it was given a genus of its own and called after a
Cherokee Indian, _Gigantea Sequoia_. It is limited exclusively to the
Sierra Nevada Range, as the Redwood is to the Sea Coast Range, and both
are Californian natives.

The Calaveras grove contains the most celebrated of these monarchs
of the forest; and nearly all have received names from numerous
hero-worshippers. They attain to a height varying from 250 to 300 feet,
and to a diameter of from 20 to 30 feet. Their age is assigned to be
from two to three thousand years, and this is judged from the number
of their concentric rings. So many of them are partially destroyed by
fire, that it has given rise to a theory that a thousand years ago there
must have been a terrible fire which raged among the sequoias alone; and
this is supported by the fact that sugar pines and other old trees now
side by side with these, show no signs of fire, proving that they had no
existence at the time.

On entering the grove the three leading generals of the Union Army,
Grant, Sherman, and McPherson, stand facing you; the "Pride of the
Forest," the "Miner's Cabin," blown down in a gale in November, 1860, and
the "Three Graces," a beautiful cluster, are quite near; others lie all
around, each known by its own name.

The "Mother" and the "Twins" are succeeded by the "Father of the Forest."
The "Father" long since bowed his head in the dust, yet how stupendous he
is even in his ruin! A hollow chamber or burnt cavity extends through the
trunk, large enough for a person to ride through, and near its base is a
never-failing spring of water.

There are "Richard Cobden," "John Bright," "Daniel O'Connell," the
"Sequoia Queen," and her "Maids of Honour," the "Old Maid," and the "Old
Bachelor," "Daniel Webster," "George Washington," and very many others,
and perhaps what is best of all to see, many other young sequoias growing
up with promise of the same gigantic proportions, that may be middle-aged
trees of their kind in about a thousand years.

In the south grove, extending for three miles and a half, there are 1300
trees. One of them still standing and growing has the interior portion so
burned out, that there is a room large enough to contain sixteen men on
horseback at the same time, and yet enough is left of the outer rim to
support the colossal proportions above. In this grove traces of the great
fire are most visible, and "Noah's Ark" and "Old Goliath," two of the
giants, are prone upon the ground. A limb alone of the latter measures
twelve feet in circumference, and, standing in the trunk, it is easy to
believe you are on the deck of some large ship; meantime the base is used
as a stable for horses.

The Mariposa grove is about two miles square, and is divided into an
upper and lower grove. "The Grizzly Giant" is its great sequoia, but
its upper part is much battered and torn away. Some who have seen these
groves concur in a feeling of disappointment about the size of the trees,
which is attributable to the two causes of their close proximity, and
isolation from other trees, there being no others to compare their height
with, and so few of the trees continue complete to the top, nearly all
being broken off or withered. But others are very beautiful, and one who
has seen them writes:--

"It is impossible for pen to convey or tongue to tell the feeling of
shadowy mystery that invites the gazer into the solemn and mighty forests
to enter and explore. Little by little the light before begins to pale
and dim, and the trunks to grow grander in proportion, the height vaster,
until at last one stands in reverence before the silent and ancient
monarchs themselves. It is twilight. No breeze whispers through the
branches of these forest gods, that climb seemingly to the zenith in
their search for space and light. All the eloquence that has stirred
and electrified the civilized world, fails utterly to hold spell-bound
and attentive the man, as does the mute appeal of these monsters to the
truth, 'I am the Lord thy God.' Yosemite is grand, terrific, beautiful,
but is stone. These--the trees--'live.' Their tops, as the ocean breeze
wafts through them, sigh a mournful requiem of the Ages they have
witnessed, of the suffering, the toil and the little recompense of man.
What stories could they tell of nations, peoples, cities, born and
decayed on this our continent before Columbus came from the rising sun to
people with a new race a long-lost world! Do they hold the future of our
nation, the destiny of our children, in the grasp of their knowledge, and
look mute and pityingly down upon a pride, a glory, that, like all other
prides and glories, pomps and circumstances, whether of nations or men,
shall surely fade?"

To return to that hot afternoon during which we went coaching on,
leaving the mountains behind us, and coming to a dead level country,
which was interesting from its being the scene of some of the earliest
of the Californian gold diggings. The ground was of a brilliant reddish
colour, and in some parts gulched and undermined in all directions.
These diggings are deserted now, but traces of the gold fever are left
in the numerous and scattered population,--men who came out expecting
sudden riches, remaining in the bitterness of disappointment to work
for daily bread. We had dinner about five o'clock at Priest's, and then
a long moonlight drive afterwards of twenty miles. We descended into
a valley to cross the Tuolumne river, coach and horses being driven
on to the ferry-boat, which was worked by a man by means of a rope
suspended in mid-air across the river. The heat in this valley was
intense, nor was it much better when we got up on to the open plain,
and galloped along with the shadow of the coach rolling round and round
after us in the moonlight; nor yet when we arrived at Chinese Camp, our
night's resting-place. We all spent a sleepless night in our small,
barely-furnished rooms, with insect companionship, and were glad when
the first streaks of daylight came, and we made another early start, in
the grey dawn this time, for it was 4 a.m. We had twenty-eight miles to
drive to catch the 10.50 train at Milton. It was pleasant after such a
bad night to feel the cool breeze of the early morning, and to know the
sun had risen behind the hill by the pinky tinge of the sky.

When we stopped for breakfast at Sonora, we found a Noah's Ark waiting
to receive us, in place of our coach, which went no further. It was an
ancient vehicle lined with greasy yellow leather, with neither door nor
window, but curtains that rolled up and down and did duty instead. The
way was through a baking piece of prairie, over a road "not" made with
hands, and we suffered very bitterly. It was a crowning misery, for
we felt that the expedition had been somewhat of a failure. Vainly we
strained our eyes across the dreary waste for miles around, in search of
what it seemed hopeless to find--a railway station. We did not breathe,
we panted breathlessly; we did not sit, we rolled helplessly, and C.
_quite_ felt, whilst I _almost_ did, that no Yosemite could be worth such
terrible misery. We were near to Milton before we saw it, and found the
station, and the train waiting. We were positively ashamed of the dust
that we brought into the railway carriage to the other passengers, and
certainly were not less so when we arrived at Stockton, and drove to the
hotel for luncheon; and a great deal more so when we came to Oakland
Ferry, and crossed in the ferry-boat, driving to the "Palace" once more.

We spent that evening in trying to remove some of the traces of our
expedition. The rooms seemed almost oppressively luxurious to us, the
fare sumptuous after our late experiences, and bed very like an earthly
paradise.

_Saturday, August 29th._--It was a beautiful sunny morning, and I wanted
to carry away with me a happier impression of San Francisco, and so
determined to go up Telegraph Hill for a bird's-eye view. The cable-car
accomplishes the almost perpendicular ascent in three minutes, and it is
so steep that you slip down on to your next-door neighbour unless you
hold on. I had a beautiful view of the town on either side; the broad,
muddy-coloured bay beneath, with the islands of Alcatraz and Angel; and,
beyond all, the Golden Gate, through which we should be passing that
afternoon.

I returned to the worry and fuss that seems an inevitable accompaniment
to the "going on board." I suppose it is partly that there is no fixed
time, and that you may go at any time in the morning, that there are
deck chairs to be thought of, and the luggage for the hold, and the
luggage that is "wanted in state-room" to be set specially apart. We
had a further cause for anxiety in some washing which a Chinaman (an
unauthorized washerman, it appeared) had walked off with, and which on
inquiry was not forthcoming. The bell-man had told us he would send
the washerman, and we naturally confided it to the first Chinaman who
appeared and asked for it. I gave it up for lost but the policeman
stationed in the courtyard of the Palace, ready to show strangers
through the Chinese quarters, spent the morning there searching for it,
and brought it forth at the last minute. I was sorry to be going away
from San Francisco without seeing one of the most interesting features
of the city, the Chinese quarter. In the length of three streets live
all the Chinese who swarm about the city. They inhabit cells burrowed
underneath the streets, below the level of the drainage, sleeping in
bunks placed one above the other. The sights and smells are sickening,
but the chief interest of Chinese Town lies in its theatres, temples,
gambling houses, restaurants, and opium dens. Wherever the Chinese goes,
with his toiling and long-suffering patience, there is the price of
labour immediately cheapened; and so strong is the feeling among the
lower classes against them that the State of California has been obliged
to pass a law forbidding the immigration of any Chinese labourer. Any
Chinaman on landing now has to go before a magistrate and prove that he
is a merchant, or in possession of property, and that he has come solely
for the purposes of trading.

We drove down to the Docks at one o'clock, and went on board the
_Australia_ at once.

It was the closing of the first era in our travels, to have thus
journeyed over the first of our great continents, to have seen the first
of our new worlds, and to have gained the knowledge of a new people with
their manners and customs. Though a little marred by the shortness of
time, we look back with very great pleasure to our seven weeks spent in
America and Canada.

We said our farewell to America as we sailed out of the Golden Gate,
regret tempered in leaving her shores by the excitement of going forth on
the ocean, in search of other lands and other peoples.



CHAPTER VII.

ACROSS THE PACIFIC.


At 1.30 p.m. the _Australia_ was crowded with a motley throng of
passengers and weeping friends, who were rushing up and down in search
of the cabins they were to occupy, claiming the same by the depositing
of bags and parcels. There was the luggage coming on board, the chief
steward receiving contributions of fresh provisions, a last supply of
water being given, apparently to the hold of the ship, by means of a long
hose on the wharf, and finally at the eleventh hour arrived the mails.

The warning bell rang; the decks were at last cleared; "All ashore!" rang
out. A few parting words from those leaning over the bulwarks to those
on the wharf, a rush of the excited crowd to the end of the pier, and
we were left in little groups standing on the hurricane-deck, looking
suspiciously at each other, in our floating home for the next few weeks.

The _Australia_ looked a noble ship as she steamed through the bay,
coasting slowly round the promontory on which San Francisco lies. The
captain, the officer of the watch, and the pilot were standing on
the bridge, the sun shining on the white sails, the various flags of
departure, of the company, and the Union Jack floating from her masts.
We sailed between the Angel Island and that of Alcatraz, saw the cliff
house, with the waves dashing over the Seal Rocks, looking very desolate
and dreary, surrounded by its burnt, dried-up downs. We passed out
through the "Golden Gates" into the deep blue ocean. Alas! alas! for
those "white horses" and for indifferent sailors. The ship began to roll
more and more; she pitched and tossed helplessly in a short, choppy sea,
and those already faint-hearted and unhappy at parting with friends on
shore lost no time in giving themselves up to _mal de mer_ and--misery.

Needless to say that C. was among the first to succumb.

The table at dinner presented but a dreary series of vacant spaces. An
old lady, a great-grandmother to three generations on board, was the only
one besides myself to put in an appearance. I confess that I could only
just manage to sit through that interminable dinner, and then I too gave
in, and crept into my berth very cold and miserable.

At the first start I think everything on board a ship seems depressing.
You look suspiciously into dingy corners of the cabins, on to the shabby
strip of carpet. The space seems impossibly small for any degree of
comfort; the blue moreen curtains, with their yellow cords, jar upon
the senses; the water you wash in smells of bilge oil; the towels are
marked with plentiful iron-moulds; the washstand is discoloured with much
use; the pillows are more like bolsters; and the last straw seems to be
the printed regulations, hung up in each cabin of the ship rules, which
appear superlatively irksome.

I feel sure nearly all on board would have echoed these sentiments on
that gloomy Sunday succeeding our start, when the tolling of the bell
at 11 a.m. vainly called us to prayer. The next day brought a slight
improvement to some, but the leaden sky and cold wind kept all below in
the saloon. The third day there was encouragement for all. The sun rose
warm and bright, and brought the poor sick creatures, creeping out on
to the decks to sun themselves, looking pale and languid. After this we
settled down into the routine of daily life on board ship, a more regular
one than one could ever hope to pursue on shore.

It was really pleasant day after day sitting on the hurricane-deck, under
the thick double awnings, a hot sun with a cool breeze blowing, dreaming
and idling away many a long hour. It was pure enjoyment to look at a
sky of opaque blue, and at water varying from the purest ultramarine
to the fullest and deepest of indigo dyes. We talk and think of the
"Mediterranean blue" as the typical perfection of colour for sky and
sea, but it paled into insignificance by comparison with this perfectly
heavenly Pacific colour.

We never tired of looking "forward" at the path of foam which we cut
cleanly asunder in those dark-blue depths, throwing it up to either side
of us, or of the green feathery bubbles left aft by the revolutions of
the screw. I have seen in the afternoon the most lovely little rainbows,
just reflected for one minute on the foam of the crest of the wave as
it rose up to break away. Then in the evening, after we had entered the
tropical latitudes, there was always the phosphorescence on the water,
looking like a multitude of glow-worms, appearing and disappearing, and
twinkling under the darkness of the ocean. For the first few days out we
were followed by flights of gulls and albatross, wheeling and circling
around us with their powerful wings, which outstretched measure some four
feet across from tip to tip. But after we had come beyond even their
range, we were left with nothing to look upon but that wonderful circular
line, almost imperceptible, where sea touches sky,--left alone on that
vast expanse of water those ten thousand miles of ocean which were to the
right hand and to the left of us, which lay down below us in a straight
line down, down to the depth of three miles. Then we were made to realize
the extraordinary lonely, yet exalted, feeling that comes over you as
you raise your eyes to the only boundary, the only limit to the sea--the
horizon. Lonely, I say, you must feel because you are the one living
thing "that moves upon the face of the Waters," and exalted because you
know you are feeling to your inmost soul God's most wonderful creation.

We were a little family collected together from all parts of the earth,
thrown together very closely for the time, very soon to be separated
and to go each our own way; all travelling on different errands, for
different reasons--some for business, some for pleasure, some in search
of health, some even in search of love, like the three young ladies we
were bringing over to Sydney to be married! We had the American Consul at
Auckland, Mr. Griffin, on board, step-uncle to Miss Mary Anderson, and
who gave us a most interesting account of his adventures at Tutuila, one
of the group of Navigator Islands, when he was left there virtually a
prisoner for ten months, unable during that time to communicate with his
government. We met at meals, and then dispersed about, so much so that
going up on the decks, and finding them nearly deserted, you wondered
where everybody _did_ go to. In the afternoon, and immediately after
luncheon, there was the sort of quiet and lazy cessation from work that
sometimes comes unconsciously even on shore, when I believe many took a
nap, and then by four there would come a gradual awakening and stirring
up, with a sharp turn and brisk walk before the dressing-bell at 5.30,
and once more the re-assembling for dinner.

We had a particularly nice set of officers; and Captain Guest was
most agreeable and well-informed, very solicitous for the comfort and
amusement of his passengers. We sat one on each side of him, with
Mr. Davidson on my other side, and there was always a good deal of
information flying across me between them. We also all had the advantage
of being waited on partly by "Tonga," his Chinese servant, dressed in
national costume.

All the sailors were Chinese, with English quarter-masters. They make
most efficient, hard-working tars, and are allowed to wear their native
dress, rolling up their pigtails under their skull-caps when at work.

_September 4th._--It was beginning to get rather warm, as we had entered
the Tropic of Cancer.

The captain's patent windsail in the saloon was brought into use with
great success, except on one very hot night, when its canvas sails hung
limp and flabby, and there was absolutely not one breath of wind to swell
it to its usually large dimensions.

We were now within the influence of the trade winds, those hot damp
winds that flow on either side of the Equator within a radius of three
days' steaming. Whilst they lasted we were never dry; we lived in a
perpetual Turkish bath, everything we touched was damp and sticky, the
awning dripped in the early morning or after sundown as if there was a
heavy dew; scissors, razors, knitting-needles, even the very pins in the
pin-cushion became rusted.

_Saturday, September 5th._--A blurred outline against the sky seen since
early morning, growing into the arid island of Molokai, the place of
banishment of six hundred lepers, exiled there to live and die by inches,
was the first island of the Sandwich group which we saw. There are eleven
in all, only six of which are habitable; these are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai,
Lauai, Mani, and Hawaii, which contains the volcano of Kilauea. By the
afternoon we were passing under the lee of the island of Oahu, on which
lies the capital of the group, Honolulu. Oahu has a magnificent outline
of jagged peaks, seared and scored by volcanic action; whose precipices
dark and gloomy run sheer down into the sea, and form at their base a
rocky breakwater against which the sea vainly lashes itself into fury,
rising into the air in a cloud of foam. The promontory called Diamond
Head stands boldly out into the sea, and rising from the centre of the
island is the sharp mountain peak of Pali.

The mouths of extinct craters can be easily traced by the utter
barrenness around, and in sharp contrasts to the lava and scoria are
the rich valleys running up into the interior of the island, where all
grows in tropical luxuriance. There were patches of deep brown on the
mountain sides, alternating with others of yellow-green grass; tall
straggling cocoa-nut palms waving their feathery arms along the shore,
where the intensely blue line of the sea touches the fringe of yellow
sand. In a quiet little cove we distinguished a tall manufacturing
chimney standing in the midst of its sugar-cane plantation, and further
on we passed Waikiki, the favourite watering-place of the Hawaiians, with
its vast cocoa-nut grove growing to the water's edge. Amongst them we
could see a few flat roofs, with the grey palace of the king standing out
prominently. We are going now round the frowning brow of Cape Diamond,
and Honolulu comes in sight. It lies on a very dead level, and is a
long-drawn-out collection of flat-roofed houses, famous for its many
spires.

Mr. McIntyre, the pilot, who for forty years has been bringing ships
along the buoyed course and over the dangers of the coral reef
which surrounds the bay in which Honolulu lies, boarded us from the
flat-bottomed boat, as did all its stalwart native rowers. Inside the
reef we saw an iron tripod that supported a small conical-shaped box;
from this issued forth a troop of little nut-brown native boys, who with
wild whoops plunged into the water and swam towards us, and twisting
about like eels, dived after the dimes we dropped over and brought them
up successfully. Water seems the natural element of the Hawaiians, and
all bathe once if not twice a day, fearless of the sharks who sometimes
penetrate within the reef.

How beautiful are these island coral reefs, bringing forth as they do
and blending within their shallow depths every unsurpassed and heavenly
shade of colour that the ever-varying ocean shows! From the dull purple
line near the shore, and within the bay they pass into a delicate opaque
sea-green, near the coral reef where the line is abruptly broken by
curling circlets of foam, fading away in an indistinct line of sky blue
shaded in the distance to cerulean, and then ultramarine, and dying on
the horizon to the most exquisite sapphire.

Mr. McIntyre having brought us safely into dock, we took a "buggy" to
drive about for the two hours the _Australia_ stayed in port.

Honolulu is a town containing 15,000 inhabitants. With the native
population there is an admixture of Germans and Chinese. The American
element, too, is very strong, and American manners and customs have
strongly influenced the Hawaiians. The roads are of the best macadam,
the town is lighted with gas, there is a public telephone office which
shows how general is the use of that instrument; and fire-plugs testify
to their precautions against fire.

The Parliament House is of stone with handsome colonnades. Before it
stands the gold figure of King Kamehameha I., first king of the Sandwich
Islands, wrapped in the famous "00" mantle. This mantle descended from
generation to generation; it was made from the feathers of a rare black
bird, of the tribe of honey-suckers. Under each wing only two or three
feathers of the required shade were found, so that it took scores of
years to collect the necessary quantity, as the mantle measured some four
feet long and eleven feet wide at the bottom widths when spread out.

The palace, surrounded by high walls, stands in beautiful gardens, as
does also the Palace of Queen Emma. There is a college, and a native
cathedral, built twenty-five years only after the introduction of
Christianity; the English church, as yet only four bare walls, the Queen
Emma Hospital, the prison, the theatre, and a comfortable hotel. But the
gardens, how beautiful they seemed to us--a fairy vision almost--as our
first sight of tropical vegetation--I longed to know the name of each and
every strange bright blossom I saw.

There was the straight broad leaf of the palm, the jagged one of the
banana, the cocoa-nut palm with its straggling arms and brown nuts, the
feathery algeroba, and glossy-leaved mango and monkey pod, the dark-green
koa, and very many others I had never heard of. And these formed the
dark-green background for scarlet bunches of ohias, and the vivid crimson
blossom of the hibiscus, for magnolias, and orange trees, and gardenias,
heliotrope, roses, and honeysuckle, for thickets of mimosa, trailing
passion-flowers and tropical parasites of all kinds.

Women in their native garment, the long, loose flowing skirt, gathered
into a yoke at the shoulders, but unconfined at the waist, bestriding
their horses, floated by, bright with many hues and garlanded with
flowers. Sailor hats were perched on the erection of jet black hair,
shining from the plentiful use of cocoa-nut oil, and their stockingless
feet were encased in elaborately embroidered slippers. It is considered a
beauty for the women to be inordinately fat, and their figures are shown
off to advantage by the loose garment which they wear, and the bright
masses of blue, orange, purple, and green, which are the colours they
particularly affect. The men vie in brightness of colouring by their
neckcloths, and by the garlands of flowers strung together, twisted round
their hats, or worn as a necklace. Some gave us the native salutation as
we passed the soft "aloha," which, literally translated, means "My love
to you." We found the post-office, where we went to mail some letters,
crowded with an eager throng, waiting for the distribution of the post
which we had just brought with us in the _Australia_.

We glanced in at the market, and noticed the pretty custom that they have
of wrapping up the provisions in fresh leaves to be carried away.

I was very anxious to taste the native dish of poi, and our driver said
he would take us to a place where we could get some. He stopped at a
backway leading into a narrow yard, opposite the Chinese quarter, and,
leaving us, he returned in a few minutes asking us into his own house.
There we found spread out on a clean cloth on the floor, a large bowl,
full of a thick pink paste. His woman-folk stood round, and watched us
delightedly as we plunged one finger into the bowl, and after a dexterous
turn of the same, to disconnect the hanging fibres, conveyed it to our
mouths. It seemed to me to have no particular taste. This poi is made
from the root of the taro, which grows in large beds under water, and
only requires boiling to be ready for eating. It is carried about the
streets in calabashes, ready for sale, and is the great national dish,
the chief support of the lower classes, who eat it with tiny raw fish,
easily caught inside the reef.

Kava is another favourite native refreshment which it is customary to
offer to all who cross the threshold, with, alas! but too often evil
results, as it contains very intoxicating properties. It is made from the
root of a shrub which grows to a height of from six to seven feet. After
being cleaned it is well pounded, by the curious means of mastication,
young girls with the whitest teeth being chosen to chew it to a fine
pulp. It is thus prepared for eating, and tastes like a combination of
weak tea with soap-suds.

Our two hours were over, and we returned to the wharf, where we found the
native band playing, consisting of thirty men in white uniform, in honour
of some musical guests who were coming away in the _Australia_. Many
friends came down to see them off, and Herr Remini, the great Hungarian
violinist, came on board, garlanded with wreaths of flowers. They played
a sad plaintive native air, singing alternate verses, with "God save the
Queen," as a compliment to the English, as we drew away from the wharf.
The last notes died away as we crossed the reef and went out to the open
sea.

Our last view of Honolulu was under the soft afternoon light, with the
Punch Bowl towering above and enveloped in a thick cloud of mist, with a
rainbow playing over the gentle darkness of the summit and spanning the
intermediate valley.

After such an unusual excitement on board, it seemed a relief to have the
ship to ourselves again, for the natives had crowded in whilst we were
in harbour, and to go down immediately to dinner as usual.

_Sunday, September 6th._--There was a parade of all the officers and
crew on deck at 10 a.m., the sailors in their clean white suits, and the
officers in blue frock coats; after which we had morning service, the
captain reading the prayers, and the doctor the lessons.

We were able to see the Southern Cross for the first time, with the tail
of the Great Bear above the horizon. The stars have been very beautiful
on some of these still clear nights, but we have lost the moon that we
had at first.

_Thursday, September 12th._--A man in the steerage died yesterday
afternoon of acute rheumatism, aggravated by the damp of the trade winds
during the last few days. He suffered terribly.

I awoke with the tolling of the bell at seven this morning. The body,
sewn up in canvas, and covered with a Union Jack, lay on the deck, and in
the grey of the early dawn a reverend little crowd was collected round
it; the captain, in the centre, reading the service, and the officers
and a few of the passengers standing round. At the words, "We therefore
commit his body to the deep," the sailors, in their white Sunday suits,
lifted the heavily-weighted plank on which the body lay, and it slid over
the side of the ship, falling with a dull thud and splash into the waters.

_Friday, September 13th._--All this time we have been in the Tropic of
Cancer, and now that we are going through that much-dreaded three or
four days of crossing the Equator, we learn that it is not absolutely
necessary to suffer so terribly from the heat. Our deck-cabins being on
the port side, we have always had a pleasant breeze flowing in, night and
day. Having accomplished that great feat of the traveller, "the crossing
of the line," we can never again be troubled with any nonsense about
"Neptune coming on board." We are now entering the Tropic of Capricorn.

There is a sound on board ship which it is always pleasant to hear,--the
bell tolling the hour of the "watches." The day is divided into three
watches of four hours each. The last watch of from 4 to 8 p.m. is divided
into two, and is called the dog watch; it prevents the necessity of one
officer always coming on duty at the same hour every day.

The ship was supposed not to be making satisfactory progress, only
running from 280 to 300 miles a day, notwithstanding a daily consumption
of fifty tons of coal. The officers think her bottom must be foul.

_Sunday, September 14th._--On the 15th day out we again sighted land in
the Navigator or Samoan group, and we passed within a mile of one of the
islands to receive and send off a mail.

This Island looked of unsurpassed beauty. It has an undulating sky-line
with a shore deeply indented by many inland creeks. A curious needle
projection of rocks finishes the land on one side. The brightest tropical
vegetation covered the entire island, finding its foothold on the
shelving rocks that dipped into the sea, marking a brilliant line of foam
along the dark ridge. On a shining white beach in a small bay, a few
extinguisher-topped huts form Tutuila, while a palm grove, and a white
road running through it, can be seen behind.

The greatest excitement prevailed on board, as a large flat-bottomed
boat, impelled by paddles, filled with natives, put off, and came
alongside of us. What magnificent men these Samoans were, with skins
not dusky but a light brown, the lower part of their bodies wonderfully
tattooed in patterns of blue! The Samoans consider it a sign of manhood,
and endure the agony of tatooing unflinchingly whilst still boys. Their
hair was stiffened and wiry, dyed with a preparation of lime to a bright
yellow ochre, that somehow seems quite in keeping with the fresh oily
colour of their skins. Some wore the tail of a bird stuck through it.

Whilst the mails were being delivered over the side to the rowing
boat that came off from a schooner flying the stars and stripes, they
swarmed up the rope ladder, pushing each other off into the water,
vociferating and gesticulating, wildly offering for sale shells, coloured
bead-baskets, battle-axes, and spear-heads of their own manufacture. The
transactions were made under difficult circumstances, they in their boat
bobbing up and down, and we hanging over the side of the ship, or putting
our heads out of the port-holes; but we found that they had a very full
understanding of the "dollar," knew the value of their own articles,
refused to take less, or to resign the object on board till the money
had been handed over. We bought a very cunningly inlaid battle-axe for
"hal-a-dollar."

A line of black shiny rocks at the furthermost point of the island joins
the great conical-shaped Bass Rock to the mainland, through which you
get a peep of the blue ocean, fretted by rocks and narrow channels. One
solitary palm-tree rears a graceful head on one of these rocks. The great
"Bass" is simply covered with a mass of tropical vegetation, with a grove
of palm-trees fringing the top. The parasites and creepers hang over a
dark cave hollowed out under the cliff, through which the waves dash in
and out with a rushing swirl. Some conical-shaped red rocks, standing
out solitary in the ocean, reminded me of those in "Anstey's Cove," at
Torquay. The water round about the shore takes a beautiful aquamarine,
mingling imperceptibly with the darker blue of the sea, so that you
cannot see where it begins or ends.

Coming round the Bass Rock, the view of the other side of the island
opened out, and looking in the distance from the dotted clumps, like one
vast banana plantation, tapering at the far end to a rocky cape. Through
glasses I could see at regular intervals a column of spray shot up high
into the air, through what may have been a "blow-hole," or an opening at
the end of a cave, through which, when the water rushes in, it spouts
with tremendous force; or it may have been only a mighty rock against
which the powerful swell of the Pacific sent up a column of spray.

It is one of the charms of touching at these islands, they leave such an
impression of dim wonderland, such a vision of tropical forests which we
people in imagination with the descriptive pages in books of travel.

Beautiful Tutuila fading already on the horizon as I write. How we longed
to linger on her shores for a time!

_Monday, September 15th._--During the night we have been passing near the
scattered group of the Society Islands. From the course mapped out on the
chart in the companion-way you would think we threaded our way amongst
them, but we did not sight land.

We have a sudden change in the temperature to-day; the thermometer has
fallen from 85° to 74°, the warm breeze is replaced by a cold wind, and
the blue sky by drifting clouds. The sullen rolling waves are again
tipped with white horses. We have left behind us the balmy atmosphere,
and the bright colour of sea and sky on leaving the tropics.

Before night we were having a good tossing, and we held a concert in the
saloon, with the wind playing an accompaniment in the rigging overhead.
Ten pounds were collected for the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society of
Australia.

Some athletic sports had been organized on board, some sack-racing and
ring-tilting for the gentlemen, and quoits and an egg-race (running with
an egg in a spoon) for the ladies. The captain promised a bouquet to the
winner of the latter race, which turned out to be myself, and it was
to be presented on this occasion. There had been great speculation on
board about the production of flowers after being at sea ten days; the
captain would only say it "was growing." The purser brought it in with
some ceremony, a flat bouquet, of a beautiful pale green colour, with a
delicate suspicion of pink stripes. There was a low murmur of admiration
and surprise, and it turned out to be--only a cabbage! A young man of
artistic tastes in the steerage had originated the idea, and coloured it
slightly with cochineal.

_Tuesday, September 16th._--A dull leaden sky, with a heavy swell, the
remains of the gale of yesterday. There is nothing more solemn than to
lie awake on a rough night like last night, feeling the reverberation
of the heavy seas striking the ship broadside. Hearing the creaking and
straining of every plank, feeling the bound the ship gives as she leaps
into the trough of the sea, and is raised again on the breaker. It makes
us think how slight is the framework sustaining some 250 people on an
angry sea, how a leak the size of the little finger would be enough to
sink every one of us on board. We have had another short run, and are
doing no better with a head wind and sea to-day.

_Wednesday, September 17th._--I saw the sun rise this morning, with the
most delicate rose-colour tints, but this was not the most beautiful
part of the sky; it was the lovely form of the clouds, billowy masses,
delicately delineated with pink, shading into the palest salmon colour.

_Thursday, September 18th_, was not for us, as we were crossing the 180th
meridian, that curious phenomenal feature which you meet with in going
round the world. Difficult to understand, well-nigh impossible for the
unscientific to put into words.

"This is _Friday, September 19th_," said a notice on the companion-way,
on what should have been Thursday. We may be in to-morrow, or at latest
the day after. We are nearing our journey's end, and already beginning
to think with dread of the packing and early starts, the constant "move
on," from which we have had such a complete rest. What an interminable
time those three weeks seemed when we left "'Frisco,"--how short they
have really been!

I have been writing for many hours every day, putting into shape and
form all the rough notes and journal of our travels across America, and
I look round with regretful happiness at my little cabin, where I have
spent so many happy hours, sitting before the table (improvised out of
the washing-stand), lurching about on a camp-stool, trying to be steady
enough to write. It is nearly over now, and we are very sorry.

A squall came up very suddenly in the afternoon, and we had a grand storm
for an hour, which still further delayed our progress.

_Saturday, September 20th._--Endless speculations were going on all day
as to what time we should get into Auckland. We were still battling
against a head wind, and the "nine o'clock at night" was changed to
ten, and the ten to a dubious eleven. It seemed impossible to settle to
anything, and we wandered aimlessly about, after packing all in readiness
to land.

At about 4 p.m. land was sighted long before there was any tangible line
on the horizon for the unpractised to see, which grew and grew till there
"was" an outline visible. By dinner-time we were passing under the lee of
a rocky coast, of what we supposed was part of the island of New Zealand,
but which was really the Great outer Barrier, a succession of rocky
islands which protect the coast and harbour.

In the dusk we saw the revolving spark of the lighthouse on Tiri-tiri
Point, some twenty miles away from Auckland, and the blue light of the
pilot's boat quivered on the water in the distance. Soon after we took
him on board. The mails were piled up and crowded the decks ready for
landing.

We became more and more miserable waiting about in uncertainty whether
we were to land that night or not. The great advantage of these mail
steamers is that you know you are going as fast as steam can carry you,
with the bonus awaiting them of 10_l._ for every hour the mails arrive
before contract time; but then, on the other hand, at whatever time of
the day or night the ship arrives in port they only wait to unload cargo,
and then steam off. The general opinion at 11 p.m. seemed to be that
we need _not_ land, as they would unload all night and not leave till
six the next morning. So we went to bed, but not to sleep. There was
a pandemonium of stamping children overhead, a general meeting in the
companion-way outside, a rocket fizzing up into the air, and the cannon
being let off as we entered the harbour. Then as we drew alongside of the
wharf there was the shouting of the flymen, mingling with the general din.

The purser came to tell us we must land. We dressed and put our things
together in the dark, for the lamps had been put out, and then we stood
on the deck and looked despairingly around.

We were landing in a strange country, in an unknown town, we knew not
where to go at this midnight hour, when we heard a voice asking for us,
and Captain Daveney, secretary of the Northern Club, appeared, having
very kindly come down at that late hour on learning the steamer was
signalled. The hotels in Auckland are impossibly bad, and at the instance
of a friend in England he had secured good rooms for us.

What a warm welcome to New Zealand we had after all! The very cabmen
seemed to be expecting us, and whilst one drove to the rooms to give
warning of our arrival, two more conveyed our luggage and ourselves from
the wharf, and the custom-house officials passed us without demur.

There was no time for any good-byes on the steamer, all was darkness
and confusion there, and we were off in a few minutes from the shouting
and struggling on the wharf. Very strange it seemed to be immediately
afterwards driving swiftly through the quiet streets of Auckland by
moonlight, at one o'clock in the morning.

Captain Daveney and I had driven on, leaving C. to follow, and after we
had obtained entrance, at the cost of a broken bell, to one of the low
white houses, I was left to myself in the midst of a midnight stillness.
It gave me quite an "eerie" feeling to see on the tables around in this
far-off land of the Maoris the catalogue of this year's Academy, a photo
of Mary Anderson, and the last new valse. I took up Black's Handbook to
Killarney, and began reading without understanding about the beauties
of Bantry and Glengariff, till the sound of approaching wheels told me
of C.'s arrival. I went out on the steps to meet him, and with the
help of the flyman he brought in the luggage. As we bolted the door the
_Australia_ gave us a parting screech, letting off steam in the wharf far
below us.



CHAPTER VIII.

COACHING THROUGH THE NORTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND; ITS HOT LAKES AND
GEYSERS.


_Sunday, September 21st. Auckland._---The day following our landing was a
clear, spring morning, for summer is coming to these parts of the world,
and we were completely charmed by the view of Auckland from the top of
Princes Street, where we were staying. The harbour still and blue lay
before us, looking like an inland lake from the law, flat hills that run
out into the sea and nearly surround it. It is dotted with islands, the
chief of which is Kawau, Sir George Grey's island home, and Rangitoto,
with its three volcanic cone-like peaks. From the hill on which we were
standing there was one mass of foliage stretching down to the edge of the
harbour, and the houses seemed to have been put down promiscuously in
the midst, forming white dots from among the surrounding green. The town
and wharves lay hidden under the long, sloping hill, on the shoulder of
which stands the fine stone building of the Northern Club, with its broad
terraces, commanding the view seawards. A little higher up, nearly at the
top of Princes Street, is Government House, only tenanted for a few weeks
in summer since the removal of the capital.

The houses at Auckland are so pretty--all built of wood, all low, and two
storeyed, with double verandahs on each floor and not straight verandahs,
upheld at regular intervals by white posts, but gracefully arched, and
carved with fretwork. The wooden fences to the gardens and the houses are
painted a dead white, which stands out in dazzling brightness from the
dark foliage.

There seems to be some curious anomaly, some contending element in the
vegetation of New Zealand. We saw semi-hardy and semi-tropical plants
growing side by side, a Scotch fir by a palm, an india-rubber-tree by a
laurel; but the tropical in the end predominates. There were geraniums
in the hedges, camellias and azaleas blooming in the open air, orange and
lemon trees, and clumps of arum or Egyptian lilies growing wild in cool
and shady places. The principal trees are the eucalypti and the Norfolk
Island pine, which grows nowhere better than at Auckland. It branches
straightly out, with a succession of hard, prickly fingers inclining
upward towards the ends, and is of a rich dark green.

The editor of the _New Zealand Herald_, a very ably conducted paper,
found us out on our return from church, and interviewed C. In the
afternoon we drove out to Remuera, one of the pretty suburbs of which
Auckland has so many. Passing through the Khyber Pass, a road dug
out in the rock, we came through Newmarket, its bit of untidy common
giving one a sarcastic reminder of the Newmarket of the world, on to
the Remuera road. From here we could see the surrounding country, flat
and cultivated, with a few low hills looking peculiarly English, the
race-course of Ellerslie, where spring and autumn race meetings are held,
and the harbour, for wherever you go in Auckland you always have a view
of that. We had a warm welcome at the pretty cottage of an uncle of my
husband's, Mr. William Young, a fine old gentleman, who has been more
than forty years in the colony. He had not known of our arrival, and was
quite overcome with joy at seeing us for the first time.

Whilst I was sitting writing in the evening, I suddenly heard all the
watch-bells of the city ringing a fire alarm, and going out on to the
upper verandah, saw the lurid flames of a fire down in the town. By the
vivid illumination I could distinguish the upturned faces of the crowd,
and for ten minutes it burnt fiercely, reducing the little wooden house,
which was fortunately detached, to a few charred beams. Fires are of
frequent occurrence, and are terribly serious among this town of wooden
tenements. They have alarm bells erected in wooden penthouses in the most
crowded parts of the town, and the fire brigade is kept in a full state
of efficiency.

_Monday, September 22nd._--We drove ten miles out to Sylvia Park, a great
stud farm belonging to the New Zealand Stock and Pedigree Company, and
managed by Major Walmsley. The road lay through a very wild, desolate
country, roughly enclosed by stone walls loosely put together from the
mass of scoria and volcanic rocks, which literally strewed the ground for
miles. It is supposed to be the _débris_ thrown up from the craters of
the volcanoes, and the short, sweet grass, so peculiarly fitted for the
feeding of sheep, crops up between. These extinct volcanoes, with their
round, flat tops, of which there are no less than thirty-nine in the
immediate vicinity of Auckland, form a distinctive feature of the country.

When we arrived at our destination we found a square wooden house,
surrounded by spacious paddocks with splendid pasture. I was strongly
reminded of the Downs, looking round at the many miles of rolling green
hills, and by the utter stillness and loneliness.

There are in all some 150 horses, not including the constant additions
to the stock like the half-a-dozen foals we saw, just a fortnight old,
turned out into a paddock with their mothers. The horses are chiefly
thoroughbred, and they have some blood relations to celebrated winners of
the turf. At their annual sale last year at Melbourne they realized an
average price of 300_l._ We saw their celebrated mare Sylvia, twenty-one
years old, from whom the farm is named, and whose offspring are numerous
and well known in racing annals; as are those also of Martini-Henry,
the winner of both the Derby and Melbourne Cup, who here saw the light.
Major Walmsley mentioned to us one amusing peculiarity. It has always
been noticed that, on the introduction of new blood from England, the
colonials separate themselves from the new-comers, and keep to the other
side of the paddock.

Rain came on, and we said good-bye to our kind host, and drove home
through a heavy downpour.

_Tuesday, September 23rd._--We are charmed by the kindness of all at
Auckland, their open hospitality and cordial welcome. We are overwhelmed
with invitations, and are only sorry that the shortness of our stay
obliges us to refuse many. Consul Griffin (who had been on board the
_Australia_ with us) brought me in last night three lovely bunches of
flowers; one was made entirely of native flowers, and all were sent
with pressing invitations to come and see the place where they grew.
Messengers with invitations are arriving all day, walking in at the
open door, for all the doors in New Zealand stand wide open, and you
never think of knocking. To-day we have had luncheon at the Hon. James
Williamson's, at "The Pah," the Maori name for house. The garden is
considered one of the best about Auckland, and is very beautiful with its
large camellia-trees, double, single, striped and plain, white or red,
azaleas of all colours, double geraniums, roses, violets, heliotrope,
fuchsias, and daphne, large aloes, and cacti, maidenhair fern, and heath,
growing wild in brilliant purple-pink clumps. There is an orange and
lemon grove, guava-trees, and the silver fir, a native of New Zealand.
This very pretty tree has a long, pointed, silver leaf, with a bright,
velvety cone, and produces from a distance the effect of a tree of
shimmering silver. The orchard was in full blossom, as with us in May; it
is so difficult to realize that this September, our autumn month, is the
beginning of their spring.

In New Zealand, with their temperate climate, they have flowers all the
year round. During the winter there is little or no snow, but much rain;
and though there are never any great extremes of either heat or cold,
some find the damp heat of the summer very enervating.

We afterwards went to tea at Mr. Firth's, the "Castle." The garden there
is terraced into the side of the hill, which must have been one of the
extinct volcanoes, as the soil is entirely scoria. We saw a picture of
the present Maori king, Tawhiao, now in England, and another, a very
remarkable portrait of the great King-maker, who, twenty-five years ago,
gave over to Mr. Firth 60,000 acres of land, in fee simple, whereof to
form a beautiful estate.

_Wednesday, September 24th._--We spent the morning in the town. Queen
Street, with a few arterial streets, forms the town, and contains all
the shops, the theatre, and the six thriving banks. It looked busy and
prosperous, with the streets full of men on rough ponies, going at a
hand gallop; for in New Zealand they seem to have no medium between
galloping and walking, and they generally choose the latter. There are a
few tramway lines, but they have not yet superseded the lumbering yellow
omnibus, lined with red moreen, that ply between the suburbs and the town.

Auckland is the northern capital of New Zealand, as Dunedin is of the
south. It received a severe check when the seat of government was removed
to Wellington, but it is recovering from this, and spreading rapidly into
its several suburbs of Parnell, Remuera, Newton, Newmarket, and Khyber
Pass.

It is roughly estimated that each emigrant ship, arriving every
fortnight, brings to Auckland 300 emigrants, who create a demand for
sixty new houses. Another proof of the rising prosperity may be given
from the Savings' Bank deposits, which average 1000_l_. a week.

The necessaries of life are extraordinarily cheap; for instance, meat is
from threepence to fourpence per pound; all woollen goods and ordinary
wearing apparel are the same; but anything not strictly within this
province is proportionately dear.

There are the most delicious oysters at Auckland, as small and delicately
flavoured as "natives," and they are to be had for the trouble of picking
them off the rocks in the harbour.

A "baby show" had been largely advertised to take place in the afternoon
in the theatre, and we determined to go to it. There were prizes given
for the handsomest baby, the best all-round baby, for the finest twins,
and the lightest and heaviest baby, for curliest-haired, and prettiest
dark-eyed, and lastly, for the plainest, and reddest-haired baby.

Afterwards we drove to the bottom of Mount Eden, and walked up the grass
drive to the top, looking down into the huge crater, which is now a
green and sheltered hollow, where cattle feed. We had a very sweeping
view, though a little hazy, over the two harbours--ours of the east
coast, and Manakau on the west. There was water wherever we looked, with
long, streaky lines showing the "barriers," or swampy bits of plain or
sandbanks. At our feet, on one side, was Auckland, stretched out in
dotted white lines; on the other, there were houses and gardens, nestling
under the shelter of Mount Eden, forming the far-extending district known
by that name, with rich flats of cultivated fields, interrupted only by
the mounds of the volcanoes.

In returning we walked through the "Domain," a pretty wood of native
trees, with bridle paths, and then went home to prepare for our rough
expedition to the Hot Lake district, to begin on the morrow.

We have been very much struck how all out here cling to England, looking
upon and calling her "home," always hoping to return some day to the old
country, if only for a short visit. It is quite the usual question to
ask, "And how long is it since you were in England?" and the answer often
is, "Twenty years ago, but we hope to go there again soon." All have near
relations there, and it is considered a great thing to be able to send
the children home to be educated.

We find everywhere the same keen longing and anxiety that England should
know and realize how prosperous, how civilized, how replete in comfort
and luxury, her colonies are. They complain that justice is not done
them, and express a wish that some of the prominent men in the old
country would come out and visit them, and see it for themselves. One
lady said to me, "I believe they think at home that we are living in the
midst of cannibals, and certainly in a state of rude civilization and
semi-barbarism." Another said, when we were expressing our appreciation
of all the kindness we were receiving, "We are very homely folks out
here; but only too glad to give any one from the old country a hearty
welcome."

Even those who are rich keep up quite simple establishments, servants
being a very difficult luxury, hard to obtain, still harder to keep
beyond a few months, and commanding exorbitant wages. As a natural
consequence of this, all the daughters are brought up to do the lighter
parts of the house work. I think colonial mothers are the best in the
world. The only nurses to be had are rough colonial girls, and so mothers
are accustomed to have their children always with them from infancy.
These two circumstances combine to make the girls, what they generally
are, frank and open in their manners, very independent in character, and
old for their age.

The telephone is in general and more frequent use here than in England.
The postal rate of 2_d._ is uniform throughout the colonies, but the
most perfect system is that in the telegraphic department of "delayed
telegrams." This is an arrangement whereby by paying only 6_d._ you can
have a telegram sent in the course of the day and delivered from the
receiving office by post, the ordinary telegram having the preference.[1]

We were so sorry to be leaving Auckland without seeing a Kauri pine
forest. These Kauri pines are _only_ found north of Auckland, and the
nearest forest is some fifteen miles away. They grow to a great height,
and are chiefly valuable for the purity of the gum, which exudes in great
quantities from the bark, and is highly prized for mixing with varnish
and for tanning purposes. It formed at one time the most valuable of New
Zealand exports. Large lumps of this exquisite clear golden substance are
dug up from the ground, under the pines, containing a clear cloud-like
substance, that fades after exposure to the air. We brought away with us
several pieces, some in the rough and others polished.

_Friday, September 25th._--We were down at the station by 8 a.m.,
and joined there by Mr. Davidson, our fellow-passenger on board the
_Australia_; Mr. Robert Graham also came with us, the proprietor of
Wairakei, and of Waiwera, the pretty little watering-place, with hot
springs, twenty miles away from Auckland, which we had not found time to
visit.

There was quite a feeling of adventure in starting out on this expedition
to the Hot Lakes. Scarcely any one from Auckland has been; on the
principle, I suppose, that those nearest the place of interest never do
go, though people may think it worth while coming all the way out from
England to see it. Many tried to dissuade us, by alarming accounts of the
roads after the winter rains, and the roughness and fatigue of coaching
from early morning till late at night; and at one time I had wavered.

We were experiencing one of the New Zealand railways for the first time,
and could not say much for the smoothness of the locomotion. The train
moves on with a terrific jerk after each stoppage; till, at last, you
come to look for it. This carriage was very long, with a passage down
the centre, and differed from the American cars only in having seats
lengthways, instead of crosswise, thus producing the effect of the inside
of an omnibus. Afterwards we found that many of them were like the
American cars. The trains are very, very slow, only going from fifteen to
twenty miles an hour; the gauge is narrow, and the line single.

After passing through the suburbs we emerged out into an open country,
bounded on either side by low hills, and almost entirely covered by
manuka, or ti-tree scrub, producing the dark rich brown colour of a
moor. One-third of the north island is covered with this manuka; it
flourishes on all the uncultivated sandy soil, and is the most monotonous
of shrubs to look at, with its spiky black twigs, and sparse feathery
green. It is only pretty when in bloom, and covered with myriads of white
starry flowers; but we were too early to see this. I grew very weary of
the miles and miles we passed through of it during the next few days.
Here and there, in sheltered hollows, were bits of native bush, with
the characteristic grey stem shooting branchless to a great height, and
ending in a clump of green at the top. Many of them had bunches of gigi,
which looked like mistletoe, growing on the stems. Underneath these there
would be a thick undergrowth of cabbage-palms and tree-ferns.

At the small station where we stopped to have luncheon we were offered
whitebait! but it turned out to be only some minnows, caught in the
neighbouring stream, and served in a very pulpy condition.

We were soon following a range of hills, worthy to be dignified with the
name of mountains, and the broad river of the Waikato was flowing to our
right. The Waikato became quite an old friend at last. We followed it in
so many of its windings, leaving it to find it again, after a few days,
grown and increased in volume, and flowing ever more swiftly towards
the sea. We passed some marshy belts of land, opening out into broad
pools, bordered by bulrushes, with plenty of wild ducks and prairie-hens
skimming about on them. Then Rangiriri came in sight, with its green
knoll and flagstaff marking the spot where the natives, in 1864, held
at bay and shelled the English troops, under Colonel Campbell, in the
swamp below. For many years the Maoris defied the British from their
strongholds in the bush, the war on the English side being, it is said,
much mismanaged. The struggle raged most fiercely at Taranaki, breaking
out again there after the other parts of the island were subdued. At
the end of the war, government took possession of all the land, and the
Maoris retreated into the district known as the King Country. They have
now collected enough money, and sent their King, Tawhiao, to England,
with the hopeless task of submitting their grievance to the Colonial
Office. His mission will, of course, be useless, and he will return as
empty-handed as he went.

We arrived at Hamilton at 3 p.m. By courtesy it is called a town, but
it consists of one short street, with the hotel facing the bank, above
which is the office of the local paper. The ancient yellow coach in
which it was proposed we should drive the twelve miles to Cambridge was
overcrowded, so we took a waggonette, and were driven by Mr. Johnstone,
the coach proprietor on this road, who handled his quadruple ribbons in
the most masterly manner.

[Illustration: Maori Chieftain.]

I can see now the road winding through that little pass, the hills on
either side covered with gorse and bracken; the running mountain stream
by the side of the road, crossed by a wooden hedge, and bordered by
whispering willows. Through a gap in the distant mountains came a rush of
yellow light, leaving them themselves in gloom.

We emerged into the great flat plains which are considered so good for
agricultural purposes. All the land is let out to leaseholders in small
lots of from 100 to 150 acres; though, if the matter came to be examined
into, it is thought that nearly the whole of this and many other tracts
of land would be found to belong to the Bank of New Zealand, being
heavily mortgaged to it at the rate of eight per cent. This is the usual
rate of interest here. Fir-trees were planted along the sides of the
fields as a shelter for the cattle against the wind. A farmer requires
about 5000_l._ capital to make a successful start, and must be prepared
to unlearn all English ideas of farming, and learn those adapted to the
soil and climate, unless he wants "to run a mucker," as the phrase goes.

Two hours brought us to Cambridge, where we found a clean little inn. The
town was full of Maoris, gathered from far and near, to attend one of
the Land Courts, which are held from time to time to arrange differences
about landmarks, and to effect the sale of lands. The natives were lying
about the street, wrapped in their striped blankets, or in plaids and
tartans of bright colours, which covered them from head to foot. The
women are generally seen in a crouching attitude, squatting on their
heels, and their lips and chins are tattooed in patterns; some of the men
are likewise decorated in rings all over the face, and wear a long piece
of greenstone depending from the ear by a string of black ribbon.

We had a strange example of "how small the world is" this evening; when a
schoolfellow of C.'s, not seen since the old days at Westminster, turned
up at Cambridge. He emigrated at the time of the gold fever in the Thames
river (not far from here), and has been for six years a member of the
Legislative Assembly,--is now a leading lawyer, a lumber merchant, and
the proprietor and editor of two newspapers.

_Saturday, September 27th._--We left Cambridge at seven this morning
in a downpour of rain, that seemed to prophesy a hopelessly wet day.
There was a preliminary difficulty about starting. The light buggy with
four horses, and a narrow seat back and front, proved too small to hold
ourselves and the very small quantity of luggage we had brought. We
looked blankly at the small space, to see if we could contrive to pack
in, and after some demur on the part of the driver, he promised to try
and horse another buggy for us. He had come over the road on the previous
day, and reported it to be in a terrible state, but how terrible it was
we had no idea till later in the day, or I doubt whether we should have
persevered.

Some miles of flat road, passing a pretty house belonging to Sir James
Fergusson, now governor of Bombay and formerly of New Zealand, and we
turned off the main road, into that leading to Ohinemutu. The difference
in the road was perceptible at once; the one belonged to the township,
and the other was under government management. It was of dark sticky
clay, not only full of ruts but of holes, and we soon began what was to
be our ordinary mode of proceeding, viz. "floundering."

The surrounding country was tame, with low hills and open spaces,
alternating with patches of dense manuka scrub, showing the natural
state of the land before clearing. Then we began to wind through passes
with wild Highland scenery. The colouring was a beautiful grey-green or
grey-brown, catching its tone from the decaying bracken; and this is
such feathery bracken and so peculiarly crisp and hard to the touch. The
Waikato could be heard rushing and gurgling over rocky impediments in its
course, but so deep down in the ravine, and between such high banks, that
we only got occasional glances of its swiftly running waters.

The most striking feature of the country here are the distinctly formed
terraces, running in tiers down to the present bed of the river, and
which is supposed to show the different levels of the Waikato during the
course of centuries.

All the land about belongs to various companies. The New Zealand Stock
Pedigree Company have a large tract for their farm, but they are not
succeeding well, as the farmers, struggling under the disadvantages of
the first breaking of the ground, cannot afford to study the breed of
their stock. By degrees we entered the country held by natives, where all
signs of cultivation and the abodes of man ceased. We occasionally met a
solitary horseman, a weird-looking figure in slouch hat and blanket--some
Maori going down to attend the Land Court at Cambridge.

It would be very difficult to give any adequate idea of the state of the
road. The four horses were up to their flanks in the liquid mud, and
the carriage sunk in axle-deep. To behold only is to believe in such a
case. Looking at the sea of soft mud in front, it seemed as if it would
be impassable. Kerr, our splendid Jehu, saved us many a bump by his
first-rate driving, drawing the horses carefully off, and easing them
at bad ruts; but as it was, the buggy often balanced on two wheels and
sank deeply down, the other two being high in the air, and the vehicle
hesitating whether to recover itself or not. There were not a few such
critical moments. Sometimes we got into such a slough that the pole of
the carriage touched the mud, and the horses, in trying to draw out their
fore feet from the slippery mass, would miss their footing, and flounder
hopelessly for a moment or two. Then Kerr would draw himself together,
and by main force drag them out with the reins.

We were obliged often to cling on to the front seat, to avoid being
thrown bodily out, and in one unexpected jolt, when we were both
impelled, _nolens volens_, suddenly forward, C. came down with his full
weight on my thumb, and sprained it slightly.

We were looking forward to arriving at the township of Oxford, for the
excitement and anxiety of this fearful road was tiring, and the going
very slow and tedious. From over a bare plain we approached the hotel;
not a single house was to be seen, and we found that this _was_ the
township. The railway that is being made is finished up to here, and an
enterprising man has built the hotel, foreseeing the custom that will
come, when it is opened next season, and forms the starting-point for the
coaches to the Lake district. The second buggy overtook us at Oxford, and
we found that they had fared much worse than we had. The spring of the
back seat had given way, and Mr. Graham had been precipitated into the
mud.

We coached on for another three hours, the horses so dead beat that it
was only by many exhortations to "get up," and the frequent use of the
whip, that we progressed at all.

We had one alarm when Kerr, after leaning over several times to listen,
got down to examine a back wheel. Awful thoughts of a screw becoming
loose in such a much-tried vehicle had been ever present with us all the
way. But it proved to be only some sand, which if left in the axle to
grate with each revolution would have set fire to the wheel. The wheel
had to be taken off and fresh grease applied.

Soon after this little incident torrents of rain came down, in which we
drove up to the door of a hut in the backwoods, kept by some Berkshire
people, and where we ate the luncheon we had brought.

For the next twelve miles we were driving through the bush, the damp
steaming up on all sides and showing the vegetation in all the glory of
its luxuriance, the leaves and moss shining with the dripping raindrops.
Nature was perspiring at every pore, and putting forth a new growth in
the moist heat.

At first we missed the familiar foliage of the oak, or elm, or beach, but
soon you grow accustomed to the grey skeleton trunks, branching off so
high in the stem of the native tree. There was the Karaka, a tree with
thick glossy foliage, and a red berry which the natives eat, the Puriri,
which is the hardest of New Zealand woods, the Katukatea, or white pine,
and the Totara. This tree has the bright olive-green foliage that imparts
so much vividness to the bush. It has a durable wood, which worms never
touch, and for that reason is much used for the piles of wharves. Then
there is the Rimu which, when the bark is stripped off, is found to be of
a blood red inside. It produced the beautiful effect we saw as we passed
along, when sections of these trees rotting on the ground, mingled their
crimson blood with the yellow mosses and lichen.

Again and again we remarked that great curiosity of the Rata, which is
found throughout both islands. The Rata begins like a creeper, hanging
down in tendrils from the branches, and joining together below them, to
form a stem about one-third of the size of the trunk. Growing gradually
downwards, it circles round, and closes in "_under_" the roots, gradually
eating into and sucking the life from the tree. It performs the part of
an ungrateful child, who kills the parent who gave it life. Along the
coast the same curious formation is found about the trees, but there it
is called Pohutukawa, and grows in exactly the opposite way, striking
from the roots upwards, and performing the same work of death, with its
fibrous arms. Sometimes this Pohutukawa is also called the Christmas
tree, from the bright red blossom that flowers at Christmas. They say
the effect of the bush at a distance, and when the trees are intertwined
by this scarlet mass of blossom, is very beautiful. The general idea is
that the Rata and Pohutukawa are produced by a species of caterpillar
about a foot long, but we found many of the islanders do not agree with
the theory. We brought one of these caterpillars home with us, and it is
still preserved in a tin case.

The giji, a small rush or coarse grass, growing in isolated clumps on the
trunks of the trees, forms another special feature of the bush. But the
chief is that wonderful tangled mass of tropical undergrowth, and the
tree ferns which grow in large clumps. Their fibrous black trunks attain
to a height of six feet, expanding at the top into feathery arms, long
and graceful in their sweeping curves. Nestling under their broad shadows
are every other species of fern; the beautiful crape fern, so called from
the crisp double texture of the fronds, the Hiane or creeping Lycopodium,
the Kioko or Polypodium, the Panaka or Asplenium, and the Mangemange or
creeping fern. Then there are all kinds of parasites, like the Tararamoa
or climbing bramble; the latter has a red or yellow berry, and a prickly
bristling leaf, which has given to it the name of the lawyer's plant, or
bush lawyer; there is the Kareao, a climbing wiry vine, the "Supple Jack"
of the Colonists, the Kiekie, Kohia, and Pikiarero or clematis; and the
Hinau which blossoms with a white flower, and has an astringent pulp, the
bark furnishing a black dye to the natives. Beneath all there is a carpet
of bright green moss, three inches thick.

It is very difficult to give any adequate idea of the extraordinary
luxuriance of these bush forests; I could hardly have believed before
what wonderful shades of colouring could be contained in a single tangle
of green. There is something about the bush which prevents your saying
it is tropical, partly on account of the trees which look sparse and
hardy, partly on account of the damp climate, but it is, nevertheless, as
beautiful as any tropical jungle.

We were very much struck by the oppressive silence and the absence of all
bird life. We heard the whirr of two wood pigeons, and the twitter of a
tui once or twice.

It was getting dusk as we emerged from the bush, and quite dark before we
saw the black waters of Lake Rotorua. Clouds of steam and vapour rising
from the hot sulphur and mineral springs, told us the whereabouts of
Ohinemutu.

I confess that the last part of the drive Nature had been asserting
herself, and I was too tired, hungry, and sore from the jolting to feel
interest in anything but an arrival at the Lake House.

We found the coach and party from Tauranga (the other route to the Hot
Lakes) had just arrived there, and on comparing notes, we saw that our
road had been infinitely worse, but that we had been saved from a tossing
last night on the sea, in a miserable little steamer. We had coached
fifty miles during that day.

Ohinemutu is in the centre of the Hot Lake district; it lies on the
shores of Lake Rotorua, a sheet of water twenty-seven miles broad. Mr.
Robert Graham has built his hotel, the Lake House, in the midst of a
Maori settlement, surrounded by sulphur fumes. In the garden he has
enclosed several hot springs, to form medicinal baths; but Sulphur
Point, the site of the Government sanatorium, and the proposed township
of Rotorua, contains the greatest wonders. Here is Te Kanhangi, "The
Painkiller," a bath of dark-coloured water; the "Priest's Bath," Oawhata,
a clear pool of bubbling hot water, and Madame Rachel's bath. In all of
these the water is at boiling point. They possess the most wonderful
curative properties for those suffering from rheumatism, sciatica,
lumbago, spinal disorders, cutaneous diseases, &c. Analysis shows the
water to contain chloride of sodium, potassium and lithium, sulphate of
soda, silicate of soda, lime and magnesia, iron and alumina oxides, and
sulphuric acid.

The stories told of the wonderful cures effected are endless; and as they
become more generally known there can be no doubt that Ohinemutu will
become the great health resort from neighbouring countries, and indeed
from Europe.

Near Sulphur Point are the Cream Cups, the Sulphur Cups, the Coffee Pot,
and the Fumaroles, pools of white, boiling mud, impregnated with sulphur
and arsenic. In cold weather the natives will sit for hours up to their
chins, in these hot mud-holes, for the sake of the warmth; and winter
and summer they are always bathing in the warm water of the bay in Lake
Rotorua.

Tired as we were, we went out in the evening to see the Maori Temple in
the settlement. It is of weather-board, with a corrugated iron roof;
but inside it contains the most grotesque and hideous monstrosities.
The Maori idea of religion takes the form of a carved wooden ancestor,
stunted and deformed, with the eyes of mutton-fish shell starting out of
the head. They stand in rows round the temple. The beams of the ceiling
and the carved pillar in the centre of the temple are painted in ochre
and hematite, producing a gaudy and startling effect. We looked into
one or two of the native "wharries" or huts, as we came home. They are
miserable hovels built on the ground, with the uncovered earth as a
floor. A litter of grass or rushes forms the bed, and all have a wooden
bolster, with a place hollowed out for the neck to rest in.

I cannot say much for the comfort of Lake House, there is one long
passage down the centre, which is divided on either side into square
boxes about six feet by six; these have uncarpeted floors, and are most
primitively furnished.

_Sunday, September 28th._--It was a fine morning, and it had been
agreed overnight that in that case, we must for once overcome all
Sabbath-keeping scruples, get up at five in the morning, and leave in the
coach at six.

Driving by the shores of Rotorua, we were rewarded for our early start
by the beauty of the lights and shadows playing on the mountain sides,
reflected from the floating cloudlets above--by the first freshness of
the keen morning air, and by that subtle feeling that comes with an early
rise of being superior to one's neighbour. We had need to sustain these
sensations, during the course of the next few days, with their successive
early starts, varying from 5 to 7 a.m. Out in the middle of the lake we
saw the island of Mokoia, in connection with which is told the pretty
little Maori legend of Hinemoa. Charmed it is said by the notes of the
lute of Tutanekai, her lover, she fastened six empty gourds round her
back, and floated across from the mainland to Mokoia, hiding herself
in Hinemoa's bath, until a favourable opportunity presented itself of
appearing before Tutaneka.

When I say we were in the Highlands, I shall have described the first
five of the ten miles' drive to Wairoa. It ended with a bold mountain,
burnt black and bare, with a deep gully winding round its base, following
a pass through the mountains. We suddenly came out on an open moor, and
then plunged into the dense forest of the Tikitapu bush. It is a glorious
bit of bush, with the tree ferns growing to an enormous height. The road
is cut through its midst; and overhead the trees close in and form a cool
twilight. Through this avenue we caught our first glimpse of the blue
waters of Tikitere or the Blue Lake. It is only a sheet of very clear
blue water, lying in the hollow of the mountains, which are covered with
brown, feathery bracken, and yet we were all attracted and fascinated by
it. There was nothing grand or striking, but we said and thought it was
"lovely." The road runs round on a level with the lake, and we saw that
the mountains dwindle into a low hill, to a point where the road and the
lake meet.

This hill is all that divides the Blue Lake from Rotokakahi or the Green
Lake. It lies at a level of eighty feet lower than the Blue Lake, and it
was very strange, just at this spot, being able to compare the visible
descent between the blue water on the one hand and the green on the
other. Strange it is that the Green Lake does not in the least attract
the eye like its Blue sister.

As we came near the village of Wairoa, a smell of sweetbriar from the
hedges bordering the road on either side perfumed the air for nearly
a quarter of a mile. We passed the temple and some wharries, made of
rushes hung and plaited from a pole in the centre. The natives rushed
excitedly out of these and followed the carriage, clothed in their one
white garment, with striped blankets, blue, yellow, and red, thrown
loosely round them. By the time we drew up at the Terrace Hotel we were
the centre of a motley group of Maoris, chattering, gesticulating, and
"whining"--the Maori way of expressing pleasure; Mr. Graham had no
difficulty in picking out a fine, strong-looking crew to man our boat
across Lake Tarawera.

We ran down the steep winding path which led us to the rough boat-house
in the creek, on Lake Tarawera. Here there was a great delay, whilst the
crew, led by "Sophia," the native guide, were mustering, and it was then
discovered that our party was one too many for the licensed number of the
large flat-bottomed boat. This proved to be the beginning of our troubles
with a very fat old gentleman, with a broad Northumbrian dialect, who,
having joined himself on, uninvited, to our party, proved always the one
_de trop_. No one need feel sorry for him, or think he was neglected;
for he took good care of himself; was always to be found the first to be
seated in the boat, and in the best place; he helped himself freely to
the luncheon _we_ had bought, and required no pressure to take his full
share of the whisky bottle.

Once we were out on the lake, we were delighted with the grand rugged
beauty of the surrounding mountains. The three flat cones of the
Tarawera Mountains loomed in the distance, and somewhere hidden away in
that range, we were told, there was a curious natural bridge, sacred to
the Maoris for a burial place. About two years ago the water of Lake
Tarawera suddenly changed and became green and muddy, remaining so for a
year; it then returned to its natural state, being perfectly clear and
wholesome for drinking.

The natives rowed very slowly and unevenly, playing with their oars,
while they munched hunches of bread, and took deep draughts from the
lake for breakfast. The first breath of wind was the excuse for hoisting
a primitive sail, fastened by a string of green flax. A blue veil
attached to the hat of one of the natives gave rise to a laugh about
the Blue Riband movement, which they quite appreciated and joined in,
when translated to them by Mr. Graham. We were anxious to push on, and
should never have accomplished the ten miles row without Mr. Graham's
encouraging, "Go! go!" in Maori, and a bottle of rum, which he gave to
the chief to dole out. We turned into an arm of the lake running up
between the hills, and passing a Maori settlement in a damp hollow,
we saw before us a cloud of white steam rising from the midst of the
mountains, and we knew where it came from, and longed for our first sight
of those beautiful terraces of Rotomahana. They are unique in the world,
and comparable to no other wonder of Nature. They are one of her most
perfect works--perfect in conception, in form, and in colour.

After landing we almost ran the mile and a quarter, through the bracken
and manuka scrub, hurrying on to each knoll to have the first view,
and then disappointed, running down that one and on to the next. We
were heedless of the blue and purple mountains around, ungrateful for
what Nature in her ordinary course had provided, looking only for her
eccentricities.

At last we could see them, in their general outline, a silica formation
of white terraces in circular steps. We thought it disappointing;--but
not openly allowing so, we waded through the lukewarm water, about an
inch deep, and stood at the bottom of Te Tarata, or the White Terrace.

At the first step we came to, we were petrified with delight for a
moment.

Set in a basin of pure white silica, delicately carved and fretted, lay
a pool of pale blue water, so pure in colour, so opaque in substance.
I wish I could convey to the sight of those who read this, the merest
reflection of that heavenly colour, that pale tint found nowhere else
upon earth.

As we climbed upwards, we saw terrace upon terrace, with each circular
brim hanging with beautiful stalactites, and sponge and coral formation.
The sun shining through the lace-like fringe on the coral-tipped edges,
sent forth a hundred reflections, and we were dazzled by the snowy
whiteness of the silica. The water percolates and trickles gently over
the petrified drapery of each little cup and basin; each drop leaving
its tiny deposit of silica, which in the course of ages has formed the
Terrace.

We waded through the warm water, picking our way along the little edges
of the pools, lost in wonder at the delicate workmanship. The temperature
rose gradually, and we found it nearly boiling as we reached the crater
at the top. Again the pool was of that indescribable blue, more beautiful
when seen in such a large mass, but at the further end the cloud of
vapour and steam we had seen rising in the distance partially hid from
us a dark, angry mass of boiling water, that was heaving and surging
against the opposite crust of the crater. Te Tarata is not always active,
sometimes the crater is perfectly dry, as it had been the previous week
to our coming. We discovered here some ferns, and morsels of branches
petrified with silica, each leaf being perfectly encased, and preserved
with the glistening substance; but we found that they were too brittle
for transport, and had to leave them there in their beauty and to their
natural home.

We came down the Terrace, step by step, lingering and turning back at
every point to look under the overhanging lip, at some still more curious
formation of stalactite, some new beauty hidden away in a quiet corner.

Still wading through the water, we came down the left side of the
Terrace, and saw what I thought was almost the most beautiful part, a
succession of little cups, formed as regularly as the cells in a large
honeycomb, each containing its little pool of cerulean water. After
leaving the Terrace we went through a glen, in which the manuka scrub
grew high above our heads, and the carpet of bright green moss was hot to
touch. One of the charms of Rotomahana and its Terraces is the bright
luxuriant vegetation, in the midst of a tremendous volcanic action; where
you would expect to see lava scoria, you find a tropical growth of ferns
and parasites.

Climbing up to the top of a hill, we looked down into the crater of
"Ngahapu," a geyser which spouts up furiously every few minutes. We
gasped as we looked down into the black boiling water which ceaselessly
gathers itself into a swirling mass, and throws up a jet of water, and
then recoiling rushes on to the sides. We skirted round another, which
was still more active, and which we had to be careful to get to leeward
of, to avoid being sprinkled with boiling spray. Above, to a fissure in
the rock we traced the ceaseless throbbing noise of the "Steamer." It
sounds as if inside here the waterworks of the geyser were being pumped
up. The manuka all round was encrusted with orange from the sulphur
fumes, and the ground was inlaid with different bits of brilliant
colouring, in the red and green clay of mineral deposits.

We found luncheon spread out for us by two natives near the lake. It was
rather a "hot" corner to have chosen, for in front of us there was a
boiling mud-hole--and behind and all round bubbling pools of hot water,
with steam issuing from the ground. We sat on some rocks coloured pale
yellow from the action of sulphur and ate the most delicious baked
potatoes and kouras, the native shell fish, that had been cooked in a few
minutes by the easy process of holding them in nets in one of the hot
pools. I think we all thoroughly enjoyed that luncheon.

Then the gentlemen were taken across the lake in the canoe to have their
bath in the pool at the top, before the ladies arrived. We waited under
the care of "Sophia" for the return of the canoe.

Sophia was a most attractive half-caste Maori, speaking English very
prettily. Dressed in a red and black check skirt, with a blue jacket
bordered by red; her black wavy hair flowing loosely from under a
Tyrolese hat, she presented a most picturesque reminder of "Meg
Merrilees." Her lips, like those of all the Maori women, were tattooed;
but hers were only done in straight lines, as they had become too sore
to continue with the down strokes, which usually reach to the dimple of
the chin. She described to us the process of tattooing. Small holes are
tapped into the skin with a sharp-pointed instrument, and then filled
with the prepared juice of the Kauri gum, boiled down to a dark blue
substance. The mouth is fearfully sore for several days, causing even
death sometimes from gangrene and mortification, The girls always go down
to a town to have the operation carefully performed, and then make it a
ceremonious holiday.

Sophia wore a beautiful piece of greenstone called Tiki, roughly carved,
that had been, she said, in her family for 400 years; she also wore
suspended round her neck by a black ribbon a "Maori button," made of a
piece of circular bone, bored through the centre, and about the size of
a crown piece.

We saw the canoe returning across the lake, and dreaded the idea of
getting in. It was a native canoe formed out of the hollow trunk of a
totara-tree, and shaped at both ends. A rough wooden paddle was used by
the old Maori for working it along. We had to get in cautiously one by
one, and lie down in the bracken at the bottom, and when we were all
in, we were certainly not more than three inches from the water. Every
motion in this frail bark was felt; if any one moved hand or arm, there
was an exclamation of alarm, and when some one sneezed, we felt as if the
convulsive moment must capsize us. On the reeds in the middle of the lake
we saw many wild ducks, and the pretty Pukeko, with its dark blue plumage
and red bill. The steam rising as we approached the shore alone indicated
the marvellous wonder that greeted us as we suddenly rounded the sharp
corner that brought us into the cove where the water was boiling and
bubbling brightly--and the glories of the Pink Terrace were unfolded
before us.

The truth must be told, and our first view of them was somewhat marred by
the outline of figures that were creeping along the horizon after their
bath!

It is very beautiful. Terrace after terrace shelving down to the water's
edge; with the same delicate and curious formation, the same tender blue
in the pools, but not the same dazzling whiteness; for these are coloured
with a most delicate shade of pink, streaked in places with carmine. It
is caused by the water previously running over red clay, which, becoming
diluted, leaves a pink deposit of silica on the Terrace. I thought the
Pink Terrace or Otukapurangi Maori, quite as beautiful and more curious
than the white, but most people prefer the latter, and undoubtedly it
has the finest silica formation.

Where the water ran down in some little hollows, the sun shining over the
pink produced the effect of a shower of opals, and again in the little
pools, as the drops trickled over the brim of the basin, there were a
succession of minute rainbows, seen for an instant and gone as soon.
A dash of green-coloured clay lay along either side, before the dense
border of manuka scrub was reached, forming altogether a curious variety
of pale shades, in pink, blue and green.

We saw the place in the Centre Terrace where the Duke of Edinburgh had
carved his name. The natives have cut out the original, and inserted
instead a small tablet to show their appreciation of the honour, but
at the same time they thought that by thus writing his name, his Royal
Highness implied a possession of the Terraces. The lovely porcelain
surfaces of both terraces are disfigured by names scribbled in pencil
underneath the water. Government has now protected them by prohibiting
this, and laying a heavy penalty on all those who chip or carry away
fragments of the silica. The smell of sulphur here was as pregnantly
strong as in the White Terrace, but the water is only hot, and does not
boil. We felt we should never see the Terrace again, and lingered.

A tremendous shower of rain came on as we were packing again into the
canoes; it seemed heavy enough to have filled and swamped them. We
recrossed Rotomahana to the river, and then glided down the swift current
of "Kaiwaka," or canoe destroyer, so called because of its rapids and
sharp curves, so dangerous to the equilibrium of canoes. The natives
paddled us most skilfully from the stern, and we lay at full length
basking in the warm afternoon sun, and noting the embryo terraces that
have formed along its ti-covered banks. Some of the gentlemen of the
party ventured down the rapids. One canoe containing Mr. Graham and C.
was nearly lost--the stream carrying it down stern first, before the
native had time to get to his place to steer. He cried out to Mr. Graham,
"We are lost!" but amid intense excitement they did get through and land
in safety. We changed our shoes and stockings for the dry ones which we
had been warned to bring with us, for we had been walking for several
hours in warm water.

We had a nasty head wind, with a heavy sea running as we returned across
Lake Tarawera, but the natives worked well and sang us some native airs;
all joined in a chorus with gesticulations, led by Sophia. We had a very
damp drive home, rain falling in sheets; the beauty vanished which we had
admired so much that morning.

The fat gentleman whom I mentioned before was the subject of much
amusement to the Maoris. The native who acted as guide, looked at him as
he entered his bath and said, "If you had been here forty years ago, you
would have made a nice pie." It was translated to him, and we thought
that we had had our revenge.

It had seemed such a long day, and I went to bed worn out, and with my
brain bewildered with all the wonderful things I had seen.

_Monday, September 29th._--We were up at 5 a.m., and leaving Ohinemutu in
a buggy to coach fifty-four miles to Wairakei.

It was a very cold morning with a wind blowing from the direction of the
south pole. Passing Sulphur Point, we came to Whakarewarewa (pronounced
about like this, "walk her over, over"), whose sulphur fumes from the
numerous mud-holes we had seen rising in the distance yesterday. Then
we travelled for some time beside Waikorowhiti, the "Whistling Stream,"
a mountain torrent that rushes through the Hemo Gorge. A few more miles
brought us to Horo Horo. It is a high narrow ridge of rock, that sweeps
in one unbroken line from the coast of Coromandel Bay to the east of
Auckland, and ends suddenly here, standing out against the sky, as
one precipitous line of unbroken rock. A slender stately column which
distinctly presents the outline of a female figure is called by the
Maories "Hinemoa." The natives think Horo Horo has the appearance of
a mighty monster fallen from Heaven, and so call it Fallen Fallen. It
reminded us exactly of the Palisades on the Hudson River, U.S.A. We had
magnificent scenery all the way, ranges of mountains before and behind
us, that only varied in shape and beauty; all clothed with the dull green
or brown of the bracken fern. But the country was all so much alike,
that I felt if I had begun a sketch at the beginning of the journey, I
could have finished it almost as well at the end. The country was totally
uninhabited and uncultivated, save for a few scattered Maori settlements,
and these wharries were so like the coarse grass growing round them
that they were hardly to be distinguished from it. They generally lay
under the shelter of some hill, or on the outskirts of a bit of bush, and
would be roughly fenced round, with some pigs or a couple of rough horses
about, as the only sign of life. We saw but one white man's house, and
that was only building, during the whole day. Now and again we came upon
a herd of wild horses, who galloped away at the sound of our approach.
The skeleton head of an ox fixed upright on a hill producing a most weird
effect, and a gravestone by the roadside, marking the spot where some
traveller's favourite horse had lain down to die, were the only other
objects of interest we passed during the morning. There was a striking
peculiarity in the way in which the ground was terraced into deep winding
gullies, evidently showing the bed of some river, flowing in bygone ages.

The road was good-going all the way, except for a few "ruts," which
required all "Mac's" care to avoid, as they were deep enough to overturn
the carriage. When going over the edge of one of these we used all to
lean over, to throw our whole weight on to the opposite side of the
carriage, and watch anxiously to see whether the earth would hold or slip
away from under us. Mac, our new driver, was a French Canadian, whose
ancestors had come over with Jacques Cartier and settled in Montreal. We
had no change of horses for the whole of that fifty-four miles' drive,
and it was wonderful to see how skilfully he spared his horses, watering
them frequently from wayside streams. We kept ourselves from cramped
weariness, and saved the horses, by walking up the steepest hills. All
the wooden bridges about here are laid with planks _lengthways_ instead
of _crossways_, and if they are rotten, there is great danger of the
wheels going bodily through. Once this nearly happened to us, and we
escaped with a shave; and again when a horse put his foot into one of the
holes, and drew it out without breaking it.

We had luncheon at Ateamuri, under the shadow of the great vertical
rock that stands 300 feet high on the plain, called Pohaturoa, or the
"Rat's Tooth," from the jagged edges at the top. A Maori legend tells
of a defeated tribe who fled to the summit of this rock, and were
besieged there for a week, living on the roots of ferns, and hurling
down rocks on their enemies. They found a pool of water at the top, and
only surrendered after burying sixteen of their number, whose graves
are still to be seen up there. Here we found our old friend the Waikato
again, and we laid out our luncheon on its banks, under the shade of a
weeping willow. Mr. Graham met here the widow of the chief who had given
him Wairakei.

We coached on all through the afternoon, and towards five o'clock we
turned off the high road, across a rough grass-track to Wairakei.
Presently we seemed to be driving at random over stumps and bushes of
ti-tree, and about to plunge down into a valley by a road leading down
the side of a precipice. We declined to go down this on other than our
own legs, and I think the horses could not have held the carriage back
without being lightened of our load. In the far distance, in the hollow,
a native wharrie, with two out-sheds, was pointed out to us as Wairakei!

Wairakei is the property of Mr. Robert Graham.[2] Under the guidance of
a native, he was the first _white_ man who ever visited these wonderful
geysers, mineral springs, and hot rivers. On expressing his admiration to
the chief of the tribe, he was presented with Wairakei, for Mr. Graham
speaks Maori like a native, and is very popular with them. I believe
afterwards the tribe, as also the government, objected to this gift of
the chief, and Mr. Graham made due compensation, and by purchase added
4000 acres to the estate. It is a most valuable property, with enormous
natural advantages as a health resort, and only requires capital and
enterprise for its future development. It lies on a flat plain surrounded
by mountains, and already a proposed township has been described with
imaginary lines. The hot mineral stream that flows through the plain has
been made use of to erect two baths, one hot and the other cold. A large
pool further on is used for the cure of animals, and the geysers lie in
a valley two miles away.

Mr. and Mrs. Cullen were in sole possession, and received us at the door
of the wharrie. He is the bailiff and general factotum about the place.
An engineer, he speaks a smattering of eleven languages, and can turn
his hand to anything. He has just erected the rough shed, with a row of
stables on one side, and some extra bedrooms on the other; he has fenced
and dammed the water for the baths, and will cement the bottom some day;
he has made all the fences, paths, and gates about the place, and all
with the help of one Irish boy, while Mrs. Cullen performs the work of
three servants about the house.

The wharrie was a real native one, thatched on the roof and sides with
the coarse native grass, and lined inside with "raupo"--rushes growing
in swamps. There was a blazing wood fire of logs on the open fireplace
in the general sitting-room, out of which three bedrooms opened, all
furnished very scantily. We were in the rough, and thoroughly enjoying
it under such temporary circumstances. I helped Mrs. Cullen to lay the
table and spread the provisions we had brought with us--tins of preserved
butter, Swiss milk and jam--and ran backwards and forwards between the
kitchen out of doors and the wharrie.

We sat down to "high tea," Mr. Mac, our driver, joining us as a matter of
course. The hut was light and airy, but I must say we suffered somewhat
from the cold at night, the moon shining down through the crevices in the
roof, and through the blindless and curtainless window.

_Tuesday, September 30th._--I was up at 6 a.m., and, running down to
the bottom of the garden, plunged into the warm bath. It was perfectly
delightful swimming about in the hot, pale-blue stream, and then
gradually creeping round the wooden platform to where the water became
tepid, and then cold, till the final "cure" was under the shower-bath at
the end! A cold stream is brought down on one side of the bathing-house,
and the natural hot stream flows on the other, so thus you have a choice
of every temperature. The mineral properties are the same as those at
Ohinemutu, unequalled for the cure of rheumatism and all cutaneous
disorders.

The waters are equally valuable for animals, as we had the means of
testing. Our four-year old mare, the near leader of yesterday, was sick
and off her feed. Mac took her to bathe twice in the course of the day,
and gave her three bucketfuls to drink, and by the evening she was
perfectly well.

After breakfast I got on to a rough pony called Molly, and we rode over
the hill, through a track in the bracken to the "geysers."

Looking down over a green and well-wooded valley, we saw columns of
steam, now dying, now increasing in density, and heard all kinds of
underground rumbling and mysterious hissings and splashings. We tied up
Molly, and descended into the little valley, through the undershrub of
ti-tree, walking over a hot, spongy soil.

Terekereke Was the first wonder we came to. It is a large pool of dark
blue water enclosed by black rocks, and encrusted with sinter. The
ceaseless bubbling of the water above and below the surface gives it
the more ordinary name of the "champagne" pool. Occasionally the action
increases, and masses of boiling water are thrown against the rocks,
accompanied by clouds of sulphuric steam, and then it quiets down again
to its usual effervescent surface.

[Illustration: Tuhuatahi Geyser, New Zealand.]

Tuhuatahi, the most active geyser in the valley, we arrived at next.
Looking over into a fissure of the rock, we saw a small quantity of
boiling water; and, even as we looked, we heard a distinct underground
crashing. It was the first warning. We retreated to a corner which we
knew to be safe, from the greenness of the vegetation. Another warning
louder than before followed after a minute's interval, and was still more
quickly succeeded by a third one.

It was the signal for the waters to begin heaving and surging, boiling
over the edge of the basin, and running down the terrace on which we
stood. It threw up a small column, and then one higher and still higher,
emitting dense clouds of steam, in the midst of which we caught glimpses
of a silvery column, playing to a height of ten feet above us. Detached
drops were thrown up still higher, shining out from against the black
wall of rock which forms a most striking background. We watched this
boiling column anxiously, feeling that at any moment a gust of wind
might scatter its contents over us; and then we looked wistfully at the
reducing force of the convulsion, and the grumbling subsidence of the
element within the crater, till the gentle lapping of the water against
the sides told us there was peace within once more. Again and again we
waited to see the great Tuhuatahi come forth from his cavernous depths,
with always those same three warnings, those three underground grumblings
and mutterings. They come quite regularly at intervals of seven minutes,
and the action of the geyser itself lasts about three minutes. All around
them were little embryo terraces, incrustated with pale pink, saffron
and green, fringed with silica crystals; and the spongy rocks scattered
about were coloured to a dark red, brown, or a brilliant orange, from the
strong sulphur impregnating all that comes within its reach.

We crossed the boiling stream Te Wairakei (the same which runs by the
wharrie), at the bottom of this volcanic valley. As we ascended we
heard the continuous thud of the "Donkey Engine," which has a pulsating
throb reverberating like the thud of a steam-engine working "in" the
hill underneath us. The origin of the "Donkey Engine" has not yet been
discovered.

From the other side of the valley we looked down into the mouth of the
"Great Wairakei." It has a curious triangular crater of spongy masses
of light brown sinter projecting out from the rock. The apex of the
triangle is formed by a large incrusted rock, something in the shape of
an arm-chair. Great Wairakei was not very active to-day, and we waited
long before he gave any signs of life.

Then we wandered on to Little Wairakei, a blue lake concealed in a quiet
corner behind manuka bushes; but this pale blue water is of a dangerous
nature, being 210° Fahrenheit. Below were the mud volcanoes--several
patches of creamy-looking mud. At every instant they bubbled up in little
cones, bobbing up and down in the most comical fashion. Then there was
the pool called the Coffee Pot, which literally boiled over every few
minutes.

After this we had a terribly rough scramble of half an hour, through tall
ti-trees, clinging to the branches down steep banks where the earth was
quite hot. We had to pick our way across a boiling pool on loose stones,
and climb over sinter rocks, whose crinkled edges cut mercilessly at
hands and feet unless care was used, and then we found ourselves standing
on a ledge literally surrounded by active geysers. Not one minute passed,
after we had walked over the three blow-holes in the rock called "the
Prince of Wales' Feathers," than they were playing away brightly in a
tripled feathery spray. I sat down on a projecting stone, and feeling
myself being scorched underneath, discovered I was sitting _over_ a steam
hole! As I got up Nga Ma-hanga, or The Twins, began to play vigorously.
They have a large pear-shaped basin of sinter, divided into two portions,
and resemble a huge Turkey sponge in their creamy perforated substance.
They are surrounded by masses of white and orange silica, and explode
in violent outbursts at intervals of four or five minutes. No sooner
had they finished, than "The Whistler" began to be active and throw up
from a black cavernous mouth, accompanied by a small water-spout, which
acts simultaneously with "the Whistler," at intervals of ten minutes.
We watched to see "the Boilers" perform. These from a rock-bound pool
covered with green shiny algæ, partially separated by a narrow chasm,
send up spasmodically a column of water from six to eight feet in height.

And then we began to feel that if we waited there any longer, with these
geysers playing alternately around us, the ground might open beneath our
feet, and ourselves be engulphed in a fiery furnace and pit of hell, so
we scrambled away.

Afterwards we had a long hunt for the "Eagle's Nest," which is one of
the most beautiful geysers in the valley. Wandering among the manuka,
clinging to rocks, to support us over the crumbling surface, we found
it at last hidden away amongst the trees. The nest is formed of long
sticks that have fallen crossways over the cone of the geyser, and
become gradually frosted, from the deposit of silica left by the action
of the feathery spray playing from the same. It is so beautifully and
delicately made, one can hardly believe it has been formed by an accident
in nature.

We had to cross Te Wairakei to reach the opposite side of the valley to
return home. In doing so we came to a quiet pool, where the hot stream
opens out into a small lake. Here we sat down to rest on a large red clay
rock.

"Rap, tap!" came from inside the rock, and we all jumped up. The rock was
distinctly shaken, the ground under our feet reverberated slightly, and
the echo extended to the neighbouring rocks. It was the wonderful "Steam
Hammer." The thud of this titanic forge has been going on for centuries,
and will continue for many more; yet the secret must ever remain a
mystery. Should any one dare to unravel the mystery or tamper with the
inside mechanism it will doubtless stop for ever. The theory at present
started about the Steam Hammer is, that the sharp tap is caused by water
rushing through some small aperture in the rock; but it is a very crude
one, and when Wairakei becomes better known other more possible solutions
will be propounded. At times the hammer is louder or softer, but we could
hear it distinctly as we climbed up the valley on the other side, and
with a favourable wind and clear atmosphere it can be heard on some days
a mile off.

After luncheon the "faithful Molly" was brought round again, and the
gentlemen mounted three rough-coated horses.

Half-an-hour's riding, going up and down small precipices while crossing
some gullies, and a canter through the bracken, brought us to the Huka
Falls.

The Waikato here is a beautiful broad river, flowing swiftly between low
banks 120 feet apart. It suddenly runs into a narrow rocky channel only
thirty feet wide. Imagine this enormous volume of water compressed and
fighting through the deep trough; the fierce struggle at the entrance,
the long green slide of the waters in their gradual descent, the angry,
turbulent rapids where the channel becomes still narrower, and, at the
last, the sudden shoot over of the mighty waters, between two large rocks.

We lay face downwards, hanging over the precipice, to look down on the
Fall. The waters, as they fell over, took the shape of a mill wheel; it
seemed as if there must be one underneath churning them into a foaming
circle. Just at the edge they became that intense sea-green colour seen
only to perfection at Niagara.

From the point where we were standing, we commanded all the changes of
the hues; from their muddy colour in the river, to their pale green in
the narrow ravine; from the mass of flake-like foam in the fall, to the
dark blue of the pool into which they tumble. And here, as the river
widens out, they eddy and swirl in a passionate turmoil, and are far on
their course before they settle down to their even natural flow.

The Huka Falls have no great height, but it is the immensity of the
volume of water which constitutes their greatest charm.

The story is told of sixteen natives of a strange tribe who came to visit
the Huka Falls, and boasted that they could go down them in a canoe. The
natives of Taupo dared them to try, and they embarked. One changed his
mind at the last minute, and escaped by jumping out on to the rocks, but
the others went over the fall, and were never seen again. Many years
afterwards some fragments of the canoe were found jammed between the
rocks; but not one of the bodies ever rose to the surface, sucked under
by the current of the whirlpool.

Mr. Kerry Nicholls has recently tried to penetrate under the Huka Falls
from both sides. He has conclusively proved that it is impossible to pass
through, but he found a small ledge in the rock _under_ the falls, on
which you can stand with safety.

There is a cave lined with maidenhair and other ferns, difficult of
access, and which was only discovered a few days ago. Mr. Graham had not
yet been in it, and he christened it that afternoon after me, the "Ethel
Cave."

We rode up to a high knoll, whilst the boy who had come in charge of the
horses was told to light the bracken below, so that we had a splendid
view of a clearing fire, the flames shooting up to an enormous height in
forked tongues, and some raupo burning with a loud crackling. The wind
was blowing our way, bearing us bits of blackened furze, and we retreated
before the stifling clouds of smoke.

Then we went on to the Venus Bath, a warm pool of pleasant temperature.
Looking through the clear depths, we saw the bottom, enamelled with
beautiful green moss, and it is called the Venus Bath from its wonderful
beautifying properties, which removes all freckles and blotches from
the skin. We tested it, and it is quite certain that the hands we held
in the water became much whiter. Mr. Graham and Mr. Davidson rode to a
mile and a half further away, to see "Okurawai," the coloured springs--a
collection of hot springs in pools that look like pots of red, pink,
orange, and yellow paint, but C. and I turned homewards, the clouds and
mountains foretelling rain.

There is no doubt that by nature Wairakei is intended as a great health
and pleasure resort for "_all nations_," and that, properly developed, it
will become the most valuable of properties. Mr. Graham also possesses
the watering place of Waiwera, that lies to the north of Auckland, and
on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf, and the Lake House, with some of the
hot springs at Ohinemutu. If these three were worked together by one
company, there would be a splendid future for them all. In Australia
they have no summer resort, with the exception of Hobart in Tasmania;
and round trips to the Hot Lake districts, organized from Melbourne and
Sydney, would bring hundreds of tourists every year. As it is, with the
numerous drawbacks of bad roads, indifferent coach service, and rough
accommodation, they come in yearly increasing numbers. Properly known
and advertised, and with the direct mail service that is now established
between New Zealand and England, many would visit the Hot Lake district,
escaping the rigour of the winter at home. They would come out to enjoy
the glory of the New Zealand summer when the climate is perfection. At
that time of the year all the baths and waters in Europe are closed, and
Wairakei and Ohinemutu ought to become, in time, the winter Ems or Spa.
The long sea voyage of fifty days or so would be no drawback to many
invalids. At present Wairakei is almost unknown. I am only the second
lady _from_ England who has been there, and it is very little visited by
the colonists.

Miss Gordon Cumming's prophecy that "this district will be a vast
sanatorium, to which sufferers from all manner of diseases will be sent
to Nature's own dispensary to find the healing waters suited to their
need," will now at some no distant date become true.

When you think that the waters at Ohinemutu and Wairakei are so strongly
mineral and medicinal that they can be said to be an infallible cure,
with sufficient patience, for rheumatism and all cutaneous diseases, how
can they help becoming the great world-curing establishment? Think of
the fortune that alone could be made from the bottling and exportation
throughout the world of the water of the "Venus bath," a sure cure for
blotches and freckles, or of that of "Kiriokinekai," the Maori for new
skin, another of the hot streams at Wairakei, which has a wonderful
effect in restoring the growth of the hair on bald heads!

C. was very much interested, in a conversation with Cullen, to find out
that he had accompanied the Imperial Russian Survey of officers, as an
engineer, in an expedition towards the Indian frontier. He affirms that
there is no obstacle whatever to the advancement of an army from Merv to
Herat; clearly showing that the difficulty of Russian aggression on India
does not lie in natural barriers, as has been alleged.

_Wednesday, October 1st._--We left Wairakei in the afternoon, to drive
ten miles to Taupo. The rain came on and prevented our turning off
the road, by an orchard which although but just planted is already
blossoming, so great is the fertility of the soil, to see Pirorirori or
the Blue Lake, a sheet of blue water lying amongst the white clay cliffs.

From a great distance we saw the steam of the great and awful "Karapiti"
rising up on the flat plain, with the uncertain action of these volcanic
blow-holes. We arrived early in Taupo, being anxious to secure the best
seats in the mail coach for to-morrow's drive.

Taupo lies on the shore of the lake, and consists of the Telegraph
station, the Lake House (the hotel), one general store, and the
neat white buildings, surrounded by an earthen outwork of the Armed
Constabulary Force. There are about fifteen of these "A. C." stationed
here. They were formerly established in defence against the natives, and
are now employed as police and in mending or making the roads. Those
we have been travelling over are mostly made by the A. C., aided by
contracts with Maori labourers.

On this afternoon "_the_" store was closed, the proprietor enjoying the
weekly event of the arrival of the newspaper by the mail.

Whilst C. went to see the chief of the A. C., Major Scanlan, I wandered
along the shore of Lake Taupo, with "Mac," picking up pieces of pumice
stone of beautifully fine texture and light weight. Their colours were
lovely salmon pink, ochre, pale green, or a silvery pearly grey.

We shall be leaving the King Country to-morrow, and I must here say a few
words about the Maoris. There are altogether some 15,000 in the North
Island, while in the South Island they only number 2000. The large tracts
of bare pumice country which we have been passing through all belong to
the Maoris. The land is utterly useless to them, as they attempt no kind
of cultivation. As a race, the men have a fine physique; and although
naturally lazy, they are capable of vigorous exertions, as was seen
during the years of the war. The women are treated as slaves, and are,
as a rule, small and ill-developed. All agree in saying that the Maoris
are a gentle, harmless people, with few vices, but contact with the white
man deteriorates them, and they become cunning and untruthful. The fusion
of the Maori race with the whites is impossible. The half-castes are
said never to live beyond the age of forty. The Maoris are dying out,
particularly in the South Island, where contact with civilization induces
them to adopt European habits and dress, and the latter is the cause
of the consumption which carries off a large proportion of them. Their
land is being gradually bought up by the government or by settlers, and
the introduction of this system has been most baneful to them, inducing
them to depend on the sale of their land, instead of their labour, for
subsistence.

They seem to have little idea of religion, and that is, in its crudest
form, mixed up with mythology and legendary heroes, handed down from
generation to generation. Nor have they any particular reverence for
the Tohunga or priest. They believe in immortality. "The road to their
heaven is through Reinga, a cave in a cliff at the North Cape of the
island, whence they think that the departed spirits pass to the realms
above, using the roots of the Pohutukawa-tree as a ladder." They make
the "tangi," or funeral, the occasion of a great feast. The mourners are
wreathed with fern and lycopodium, and cry and wail for many hours, after
which they begin on the enormous feast which has been prepared.

A tangi lasts for three days, during which all the kouru and riwai
(potatoes) and poaka (pigs) collected in the neighbourhood are consumed,
leaving them very short of provisions for some weeks afterwards.

Many of the natives acknowledge the Queen as their sovereign in
preference to their own "King," who is only followed by certain tribes.
They have a great reverence for the "paheka" (European), and English is
taught in most of the Maori schools.

The tattooing common to all is done in imitation of the scales of a fish.
The origin of the curious mythological sign of the three fingers which is
found on all the carved wooden images in the temples is unknown. A vague
theory exists which is as follows: These wooden figures, which generally
have a smaller one inserted underneath, are supposed to represent
an ancestor. At any time the chief might come and say it was "tapu"
(belonged to him, or sacred), but the three fingers were a deformity;
and nothing can be "tapu" that is deformed. The Maori language is sweet
and soft-sounding. The alphabet consists of only fourteen letters. The
consonants being G, H, K, M, N, P, R, T, and W; and the vowels are the
same as ours. A characteristic feature of the language is their fondness
for the double repetition of the syllable in words, such as, Ruru, an
owl; Titi, the mutton bird; Wiwi, a swamp rush; and Toetoe, grass.

All Maori names are chosen on the sensible plan of describing the object
they name, such as Rotomahana, the hot lake; the Huka Falls, snowy
foam; Kiriokinekai, new skin, &c. Wai means water, and so Waiwera (the
watering-place near Auckland) means hot water; Wairoa, long water;
Waikato, drawn-out water, on account of the length of the river;
Waitangi, weeping water; and Wairakei, water in motion, on account of the
volcanic action about there.

_Thursday, October 3rd._--We left Taupo in the coach at six the next
morning, driving for some miles along the shore of the lake. To our right
we saw the high, conical peak of Tongariro, from whose crater for ever
issues a black cloud of smoke, and a little further on the mountain of
Tauhara, the "Lone Lover" of the Maoris, and Mount Ruahepu. The whole
range of mountains were covered with the purest snow, and so veiled in
clouds, that the summits often peeped out from above or mingled with the
low-lying clouds.

All through the morning we were driving through an intensely dreary
stretch of pumice country, and on whichever side you looked there was
nothing but the coarse, yellow grass tufted with raupo; nothing but
wide expanses of Wiwi, or mata or toetoe grass, mingled with clumps
of _Phormium tenax_, the flax-plant of New Zealand. This plant has a
broad sword-like rush, and flowers either a dark red or pale yellow. It
grows in swamps on marshy places to a height of from four to eight feet.
The fibre is used for rope, but unfortunately it rots with damp; and
experiments prove that it is only reliable when mixed with other fibres.

Every now and again we came upon a little stream forming a green strip
amid the yellow desert by the hanea or watercress growing along its
banks, but the dreariness of those endless miles of pumice country, only
limited in their vastness by low mountain ranges, I shall never forget.
The only object of interest was to watch and trace the windings of our
road away among the yellow tufts.

The coach was miserably horsed. Two speckled horses, with a pony and a
mule for the leaders, formed a very weedy team. At the first hill we came
to they began jibbing, not from vice, but from sheer inability to drag
the coach, with its heavy load of eight passengers, up the hill; and
these were the horses that were to take us fifty miles before the day was
over! We were terribly packed both inside and out, and were all glad to
walk as much as possible. The coach was of a very ancient date, and swung
on leathern straps in place of springs. There were no doors or windows,
but old yellow leather curtains that rolled up. The top of the roof in
front was ornamented with three black lanterns, resembling a Prince of
Wales' feathers, that produced a most hearse-like effect from a distance.

The poles of the telegraph wires kept us company, disappearing
occasionally to take some short cut. We saw no "pale-face" dwelling all
day, and only passed three or four Maori settlements. It was pointed out
to me how, for some unknown reason, the door in the "wharrie" is always
back or front, and never at the side. At one of these settlements we saw
a cart, with a man on horseback, in charge of the body of a dead chief,
which was lying, wrapped in a piece of sacking, at the bottom. He was
taking it thirty miles away, to be buried by the tribe of the deceased.
We had luncheon, stopping for an hour in the middle of the pumice plain
by a stream that watered the horses.

Late in the afternoon we found ourselves serpenting along the edge of
a magnificent gorge. It was so deep and straightly precipitous that we
could not see the stream, which we heard brawling at the bottom of the
ravine. We were soon enjoying one of the downward rushes, so pleasant
after the weary crawling up-hill, with the coach groaning, and creaking,
and making but little progress. I think the team enjoyed it as much as
we did, for they galloped away, with the coach at their heels, hardly
slackening at the sharp curves in the zigzag roads. It was pleasurable
excitement mingled with terror. We were getting impatient, and anxious to
arrive at our night's shelter, for the sun had set, the air was growing
chill around us, and the gorges darkening into impenetrable gloom.

Over the hill we saw the lurid light of a fire, with tongues of flame
shooting up, and showing momentarily the darkened patches left by its
devastating work. Rounding the corner, the beautiful vision of a golden
zigzag of lines of flame met us, swept by the wind in ever-varying
brightness up and down the hill-side.

The "only three miles more" of Griffith, the driver, were becoming six
as we found ourselves in the dark, and about to ascend another long
hill. The wheels locked at a sudden sharp turn, and we all bundled out
of the coach, and then walked, taking short cuts up the winding road.
The moon came up, and we ended by sliding down a bank of white sand,
that glistened under the rays of the moon, on to the road, and walking
on until Griffith overtook us, just in time to save his reputation and
prevent our arriving on foot at the inn at Tarawera.

We were to sleep in this beautiful valley, hemmed in by mountains that
would keep their watch over us through the long night hours. How romantic
and charming it sounded, and what prosaic discomfort there was in the
reality!

The inn consisted of one living room, where the village smoked and drank.
A ladder staircase led to a loft roughly partitioned off into bedrooms,
where every sound through the whole length of the passage could be heard.
Seven men, with their colley dogs, driving sheep from Auckland to Napier,
arrived after us, and had to be accommodated, so the gentlemen slept that
night three in one room.

I am bound to say that these small inns are perfectly clean, and that
the fare, if homely, is substantial. There is always a good joint of
meat (and the beef in New Zealand is the best I have ever eaten),
with vegetables and bread and cheese, or sometimes a more ambitious
attempt in the way of jam tartlets or rice pudding. But it seems quite
extraordinary that there should be no cows in villages where there is
such abundance of rich pasture, and that we should find everywhere in use
the "Anglo-Swiss Condensed," and tinned butter.

The next morning we were on the road again by 6 a.m., and in the
midst of the grand mountain scenery of the previous night. It was one
succession of toiling up mountains for three hours, to rush down on them
on the other side in half an hour. In the course of the day we crossed
no less than two distinct ranges--the Hukiuni, or Great Head, and the
Maunyaharuru, or Rumbling Mountains. It was weary work this crawling up
the side of these, each zigzag bringing us so many feet higher up, to
lose again by the descent what we had but just so painfully gained.

One scene among many others impressed itself vividly on my mind that
day. It was soon after we started, when we had climbed some height above
Tarawera, that I looked back to a low range of pine-covered hills leading
up to some rocky mountain tops. Immediately beneath there was a green
common, with some white specks, that was the village of Tarawera. Some
bare, stony headlands closed in this first gorge. Then looking from
the mountain, on to the sides of which the coach was hanging, down the
precipice below, the eye on the opposite side followed upwards, upwards
from the dense, blue mist to the thick vegetation, and beyond to the
grey, stony patches of the highest peaks, shot with a pinky grey.

A bit of bush, and flying down hill for eight miles, brought us on to
the side of another mountain. We saw nothing from here but a sea of grey
peaks stretching for miles, their outline marked by the deep shadows in
their cleft and pointed sides.

Another three hours amid very bare mountain scenery, and the country
opened out. We were shown the narrow fertile valley leading to the sea,
while some white dots were pointed out as the houses of Napier. Very far
away they looked, some thirty miles from where we were.

We had luncheon at Griffith's "Stables," in a one-roomed hut, that was
entirely papered with pictures from the _Illustrated_ and the _Graphic_.
It formed a most interesting and thrilling wall-paper, choosing, as had
been done, all the most telling national events of the years '81 to '83.

We passed the afternoon in fording a swift stream, called the Esk,
crossing it from one bank to another no less than forty-five times in
two hours. Then we hailed with delight the green, verdant pasture-lands,
the thriving stock, and comfortable farm-houses, with their rows of
willow-trees, that lay scattered through the valley; glad to see these
homelike signs of cultivation after the wild, desolate scenes of the last
seven days.

Six miles of galloping over a pretty beach road on a tongue of land,
formed by the broad basin of Hawke's Bay on the one hand, and an arm of
inland sea on the other, brought us to the V-shaped wooden bridge. This
bridge of three-quarters of a mile, bridges over the gap formed by the
sea running round the promontory on which Napier stands. We drove along
the marshy bit of plain looking up at the white houses of the town above,
and the horses had a long climb before pulling up at the "Criterion
Hotel."

We were very, very tired after the week's coaching, but at the same time
we enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction that we had accomplished a most
successful expedition to the Hot Lakes, and had seen the greater part of
the North Island by coaching 250 miles through it.

I sat down to dinner this evening, the only lady amongst some twenty
men, come in from the town. It could not be helped, as there were no
private sitting-rooms. Before we left England we had been told how
rough we should find the hotels in New Zealand. Not only is there this
difficulty about a private room, but the bar at all the hotels is placed
at the entrance, so that on arriving you often think you have come to a
public-house. The best of them are not better than our "commercial hotel"
in England, and they will remain so until a greater influx of travellers
calls for better accommodation. Much the same complaint may be made about
the means of travelling in New Zealand, especially in the North Island.
There are very few railways at present, and communication is maintained
by coasting steamers and coaches at the rate of fifty miles per day. No
through connection between these means, or choice of evils, is attempted.

_Saturday, October 4th._--A lovely morning for a drive about the town.
Napier is such a pretty place, with no level spot within the township;
it is all up and down hill, with houses and gardens perched on the high
ground. Placed on the promontory there is a view of the sea from all
sides, and from one a glimpse of the distant range of low mountains, with
Hawke's Bay and the harbour below. The white surf is for ever rolling
heavily in along the beach road. On the low, marshy plain, which is being
gradually reclaimed from the sea, lie the villages of Clive, Hastings,
and Havelock, showing by their names the date of their foundation.
The roads are hard and good, but made of limestone, and the glare and
dazzling whiteness obliges many to wear blue spectacles. We drove
about to see the view from all sides, and then home through the town,
stopping at a shop to see some of the native woods when manufactured
into furniture. There are so many different kinds of woods, some light
and some dark, that a great variety in patterns can be obtained; but the
mottled wood of the kauri pine is the prettiest, and it is curious to
think that this wood is only mottled when diseased.

There was a repetition of "the ordinary" at the hotel at 1 p.m., clerks
and business men coming in from the town, and directly afterwards we
drove down to the wharf and embarked on the tender, that was to take us
on board the Union Steamship Company's steamer _Tarawera_. The tender
bobbed up and down, and shipped water freely. It was most alarming to
see the huge billows bearing down on us, and it seemed as if we must be
swamped by the surf, when going over the bar of the harbour. But when we
came alongside the _Tarawera_, the proceedings to be gone through there
were far worse. A gangway was lowered, but the swell carried the tender
hither and thither. At one moment the plank touched the deck, and the
next would be swinging far above us. The difficulty was for the passenger
to hit the exact moment at which to rush on to the gangway, and then to
cling on and struggle up it whilst left hanging in mid-air. It was a very
laughable affair for those looking over the bulwarks, but not so for us
in the tender, and there was a good deal of difficulty as to who would
venture first.

The _Tarawera_, like all the Company's ships, is beautifully fitted with
inlaid panels, stained glass skylights, and plush cushions. The social
hall is a gallery with seats running round the saloon, containing an
organ and piano at either end; but the cabins and saloon are aft, and
the proximity of the screw terrible. The Union Steamship Company have a
monopoly of the New Zealand ports, and own a large fleet of fair-sized
steamers, all called by Maori names. We were coasting along the North
Island during the night.

By ten o'clock the next morning we were alongside the wharf at
Wellington, and drove to rooms at the "Empire Hotel," previously engaged
for us. The outside was dingy and uninviting, and the inside not less so,
though the people were most civil and anxious to please.

Mr. Tolhurst, the manager of the Bank of New Zealand, immediately called
for us, and proposed taking us to the Cathedral Church for morning
service, and afterwards to his house for luncheon.

Sunday is a particularly unfortunate day to arrive anywhere in the
colonies, as it is a blank day as regards domestic service; our luggage,
too, which had come from Auckland in the _Southern Cross_, was not
obtainable. Sir William Drummond Jervois, the Governor, came and called
during the afternoon, and very kindly insisted upon our removing the
following day to Government House.

_Monday, October 6th._--We were greeted by a typical Wellington day;
a blowing and blustering wind raising clouds of dust in the streets.
Wellington lies on a strip of land between the hills, which rise
immediately behind the town, and the sea. For some reason it seems to
be a funnel or trap-hole for the wind to blow through on all sides, and
they say you can always "tell a Wellington man anywhere, by the way in
which he clutches at his hat round the street corners." All the buildings
and houses are of wood, on account of the frequent shocks of earthquake
which visited Wellington at one time. Old inhabitants declare that they
remember the time when the earthquakes were of weekly occurrence; and in
the earlier days of the settlement they thought seriously of removing it
elsewhere. The town has a busy, prosperous look in the principal street,
called Lambton Quay, except on Saturday afternoon, when Wellington has a
curiously deserted appearance, and every one goes out into the country.

Standing a little above the town are the cluster of Government buildings.
The Government offices form the largest wooden building in the world,
with the exception of the Sublime Porte at Stamboul. The Houses of
Parliament are a Gothic structure, and Government House, with the garden,
lies between. This is a large, comfortable house, surmounted by a wooden
tower and flagstaff; and when inside it is almost impossible to believe
that the large, lofty rooms, broad corridors, ball-room, and handsome
staircase, belong to a wooden tenement.

We drove up there in the course of the afternoon, and Lady Jervois and
Miss Jervois received us most kindly. We were introduced to the staff,
who consisted of Mr. Pennefather, the private secretary, and Major
Eccles, the aide-de-camp.

After dinner the governor went to a meeting for founding a Society for
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. C. went with him, and made a short
speech, being on the council of the Society in London.

Later, we all went to a masonic ball; the grandmaster of the lodge
and other masons, in their full insignia, receiving the Governor at
the entrance, when we formed into procession to enter the ball-room,
under the arch of intertwined masonic wands. C. met the past
deputy-grandmaster, who had been entertained at the lodge of which he was
master the year before last in London--so small is the world.

_Tuesday, October 7th._--A tremendous storm and peal of thunder woke
me at 6 a.m. Rain, storm, and wind seem to be more excessive in their
quantities in New Zealand than in England.

We went to see Dr. Buller's very perfect collection of Maori curiosities,
at his house on the Terrace; it is one of the finest extant. Portraits
of Maori chiefs are hung round the room; there were feather mantles and
native mats, the orange-painted staff of a chieftain, fringed with the
white hair of the native dog, the sharp instrument used for tatooing, and
some very beautiful greenstone meri meris. This meri is formed of a piece
of greenstone about a foot long, and fined down and broadened out to a
flat, thin edge. The merit meri is used by the chiefs to split open the
skull of a rebellious subject.

At Mr. Köhn's we found another collection of Maori South Sea curiosities.
He is a German, and possesses within the recesses of his back premises
on Lambton Quay some very wonderful South Sea curios, brought to him
by German men-of-war. He has already sold one collection for 500_l._,
and has sent some curiosities home to the museum at Berlin, against the
authorities of which he has a righteous grievance, in that they were
never even acknowledged! We saw battle-axes with red and yellow handles,
spears, bows, and arrows barbed with poison from decomposed bodies,
strings of white and black beads for money, war masks formed of skulls,
made hideous with splashes of paint, and held inside the mouth by an
iron bar, shells, and cocoa-nut matting, with fringes of the same worn
round the waist, and considered "full dress" by the ladies of the South
Sea Islands. But the most interesting thing of all was a rough coffin,
covered with a strip of parchment, containing the burnt figure of a South
Sea Islander. The skull had the most peculiar pointed formation, and was
exactly an inch in thickness at the back of the head. The body had been
stuffed and burnt, till the skin was black and hard as brick. On the face
there was a ghastly grin. Another day we went to see the Museum, which
Dr. Hector has been mainly instrumental in starting. The total absence of
mammalia forms a remarkable feature of New Zealand, the only indigenous
animals found being a bat and a small rat. There is a fine collection
of native birds. Amongst them the kea, or green field parrot. This bird
was formerly a vegetarian, but it now kills and eats sheep. Sitting on
the back of the animal, it picks with his long beak till it pierces and
reaches the kidney fat, which it eats, thus killing the sheep.

The members of both Houses of Parliament are at Wellington, the session
being in progress. The flutter of excitement consequent on three changes
of ministry during the last month is just subsiding. C. met and has had
much conversation with Mr. Stout, the present premier, Sir Julius Vogel,
the late premier, and present colonial treasurer, Sir George Grey, and
all the other ministers and prominent political men of New Zealand. One
day he was present at an interview between the Governor and the two
Maori representatives in the House, who sought his advice as to whether
they should go to England, and endeavour to obtain the Queen's assent
to the abolition of the native court, and the principle of dealing with
the native laws. His Excellency showed them in the clearest way that the
Maoris of New Zealand had more than equal rights of making and altering
laws, appointing and deposing governments, by their parliamentary
representatives, and that the Home Government left the administration
of New Zealand entirely in the hands of the inhabitants, including the
Maoris, on equal terms.

Wellington does not possess so good a newspaper as some of the other
places. Each town and province in New Zealand has its own local paper.
This is necessitated by the distance, want of centralization, and means
of communication; for instance, it takes seven days by steamer from
Auckland to Wellington. These papers are all pretty much alike from
Auckland to Invercargill. They have the same cablegrams and English news,
and the same parliamentary and general intelligence; they only differ in
local paragraphs. We thought the best daily papers were the _New Zealand
Herald_ of Auckland and the _Lyttleton Times_ of Christchurch; and the
best weekly paper the _Canterbury Times_, which is like our _Queen_ and
_Field_ compiled into one.

_Thursday, October 9th._--There was a ball at Government House in the
evening, preceded by a large parliamentary dinner. About 300 invitations
had been issued, and the guests were asked from 8.30 to 12 o'clock.
Long before the hour named carriages were driving up, but this was
accounted for by the scarcity of flys, each having to do duty for many
families that night. The married women dance as vigorously as the girls,
and it must be a pleasure giving a dance where all seem to enjoy it so
thoroughly.

_Monday, October 13th._--We said good-bye to the Governor and Lady
Jervois, and left Government House with much regret, after a very
pleasant visit of a week. The Hon. Robert Stout, Premier, the Hon. E.
Richardson, Minister of Public Works, Mr. Ross, Mr. Wakefield, and other
members of the House of Representatives were waiting on the wharf to wish
us good-bye, and see us on board the _Waihora_.

Anchor was weighed at 3 p.m., and we steamed out of the deep, natural
harbour, in which Wellington lies, through the narrow channel at its
entrance into Cook's Strait. We were soon driven below by the cold wind,
and passed a wretched night, sleepless and very ill, with groans from
C. in the berth above, and sighs from me in the one below. We rose and
dressed wearily the next morning, and waited about in the "social-hall,"
with cold blasts coming down through the open skylights, till the train
at Lyttleton was ready, when we walked across to the station. Snow had
fallen during the night, and the hills were plentifully besprinkled with
white, and it was the wind blowing off them which had brought us such
bitter cold. Lyttleton is the port for Christchurch, and half an hour in
the train, passing through a long tunnel, brought us thither.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: This was written before the introduction of the 6_d._
telegram in England.]

[Footnote 2: As I correct the proofs, we are grieved to hear of the death
of this genial and kind-hearted man.]



CHAPTER IX.

THE SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND: ITS ALPS AND MOUNTAIN LAKES.


Very cold and miserable we looked and felt as we stood on the platform of
the station at Christchurch that morning, when Mr. Scott, who had read
for the bar at the same time as my husband, having heard of our probable
arrival, greeted and took us off to Coker's Hotel.

He came at twelve o'clock again, and drove us down Manchester Street,
which looks exactly like the High Street of some pretty, quiet English
town, to the Cathedral of Christchurch. It is the only cathedral in New
Zealand, and is built from a design of Sir Gilbert Scott's. The transepts
and the chancel are in process of building as the funds come in, and the
nave is finely proportioned, but the interior as yet presents a very
bare, unfinished appearance. We ascended the tower, which has a fine peal
of bells, and going out on each of the four balconies on either side,
we had as many bird's-eye views of the town and surrounding country.
The main streets are cruciform, converging and meeting in the cathedral
square. The conformation of the city is laid out on the following plan.
In the centre are the streets and shops and public buildings, then a
broad belt of parks and public gardens; and now that Christchurch numbers
a population of 50,000, it has overflowed beyond into suburbs, which
are becoming as populous as the town itself. There are steam and horse
tramways, and an abundance of hansom cabs.

We drove out to Riccarton, a suburb three miles away, to see the Hon.
George and Mrs. Rodney, friends in England, and then to Ilam, Mr.
Leonard Harper's pretty gabled house, with the large English garden, and
tennis-grounds, through which runs the swift stream of the Avon. Mr.
Scott then took us on to have tea with Mr. and Mrs. Lance at Oakover.
Mr. Lance is one of the proprietors of the Middle Park stud, which has
done so much to improve the breed of horses in Canterbury. They have nine
horses in training for the November races at Christchurch, and were most
anxious for us to go out there one day to see the early morning gallop.
It is very remarkable how passionately fond every one in Australasia is
of horse-racing, and all the chief towns have their race-course, with
spring and autumn meetings.

_Wednesday, October 15th._--Arrangements had been made for us from
Wellington to make an expedition to Horsley Down, to see a sheep-run
belonging to Mr. Lance. We started at 7 a.m. in a blinding snow-storm,
doubtful as to the wisdom of the start under such circumstances.

We meandered along in the train over the flat Canterbury plain, which is
overrun with beautiful yellow gorse. So profuse has become its growth,
that, though it is useful to them for hedges, the farmers look upon it as
a nuisance. It has been remarked that they are truly ungrateful about it;
for thirty years ago this rich plain was one vast field of tussock grass,
with not a bush or shrub growing on it, and the gorse was planted by the
first settlers to form some protection for the crops and cattle. The
whole of the Canterbury Plain is let in small holdings, varying from 200
to 500 acres, and the farms look most thriving and prosperous. All the
cottages, farm-houses, and station premises are roofed with corrugated
iron zinc, and our loathing of this wearisome material that is used in
such prodigious quantities in the colonies began. With a felt lining it
forms a warm, durable, and cheap roofing, easily erected without skilled
labour. When whole houses were erected of it I could never lose the
idea that they were the mission chapels of dissent at home. The North
Island is a barren and sterile desert when compared to the prosperity and
population of the South Island, but then the North Island belongs chiefly
to the Maoris, and this to the English in the north, and the Scotch in
the south. To have seen only the North Island would be to see New Zealand
in its primitive state; to have seen the South Island--New Zealand in
the full vigour of a rapid development. The fact that the great shipping
and commercial interest of the Islands is at Dunedin, and the great
educational and agricultural centre at Christchurch, alone evidences the
superiority of the south.

We left the plain, and began a gradual ascent, through a pass in the
hills, where the scene grew wild and bleak, and by 11 p.m. we were at
the small station of Waikari. Mr. Lance met us with a smart dog-cart and
tandem, and we had a beautiful though bitterly cold drive, going along
a smooth flat road for seven miles, to the station at Horsley Down. We
passed a few huts and tumble-down shanties, belonging to "croppers," or
men who break up and "crop" the land for a couple of years, at a rent of
ten shillings per acre, after which it is sown in grass for the owner,
the cropper moving elsewhere.

It was wonderful in this bleak, hilly country, generally called "tussock
land," to see what changes of colour and vivid bits of colouring there
were; a patch of bright green against the dark earth of a newly-ploughed
field, the yellow of the tussock-grass against the bit of chalky grey
cliff, and over all the clear wintry sky flecked with clouds. The range
of Southern Alps before us were clothed in a pure white covering of newly
fallen snow, looking blue in the shadows of the gullies; their highest
peaks rise to a height of from 7000 to 10,000 feet, and as we approached
nearer to their dazzling whiteness we saw the station lying underneath
them, the "run" stretching up to the lower ranges.

Mr. Lance, with his brother, has 120,000 acres, on which he runs 70,000
merino sheep. The sheep are managed by an overseer and six shepherds,
all Highlanders, who earn 70_l_. a year each. Except the stud sheep, the
flocks are rarely seen from one shearing-time to another, living out on
the hills, on the tussock-grass, which gives them excellent pasture.
It was strange to think that thousands were lying out in the snow on
those hills, and that yet the loss is only two per cent., or the same as
cattle-ranching in America when the cattle remain out all the winter. The
house was a small lodge, with an Italian fountain in front, which looked
singularly out of place, facing towards the range called the Black Hills.
There was a thick plantation of tall Scotch firs and eucalypti, growing
round the house as a shelter from the fierce winds that blow across these
exposed plains. The shearing had been delayed owing to the bad weather,
but was to commence the following Friday in the large shed holding
thirty-two shearers. These shearers travel about the country, going from
one station to another during the shearing season. They are given their
"tucker" and bunks in a shed fitted up for that purpose, and are paid
at the rate of 1_l._ per every 100 sheep shorn; and a very good man can
shear 100 a day.

We saw the skirting-board on which the fleece is laid out, the locks
clipped and rolled up. There it is passed to the judge, who, by the
quality of the texture, classifies it into one of the four divisions. So
great is the dexterity of this classifier, that a glance will tell him
the quality of the staple. A curious story is told in evidence of this.
At a large agricultural show held at Christchurch not long ago, the best
judge was shown a staple of wool coming _from Australia_. He immediately
identified it as the wool of a brother of "Jason," the celebrated stud
ram, which we saw, belonging to Mr. Lance, who gave between 300 and 400
guineas for him.

We saw the pressing machine for packing the bales for export, and "the
race," along which the sheep pass in single file, on to the slanting
board at the end, from which they involuntarily slide down into the
trough filled with Cooper's Sulphuric Mixture. After being dipped in
this, and made to swim the length of the trough, they land on another
slanting board, that the dip may run off, and none of Cooper's precious
mixture be lost. Then they are taken into a shed and branded, those that
have been badly cut by the shearer (which but rarely happens) having tar
rubbed into the cuts.

Each sheep shorn is accounted worth five shillings. Mr. Lance also kills
for export, and recently sent 13,000 frozen carcases to England, which
sold for 4½_d._ per pound. Immediately afterwards the price went up to
6½_d._ Freight has to be paid before departure, and all risks are with
the owner. Merino sheep give the finest wool, but it is less long in the
staple than Lincoln's. Their meat, on account of the dark colour, is not
much liked in England; but we had an excellent saddle of it for luncheon.
Everything about the station was very rough and untidy--they say it is
the only way to make it pay; and there were quantities of horses and
dogs--but none of good breed or quality. We passed some "swaggers" on
the way back to Waikara. These men walk the country with their packs or
"swags" on their backs, rolled up in a blanket, and get board and lodging
at the stations they pass through. They are never refused a night's
shelter and food (for the good reason that a revenge, such as firing the
stacks, is dreaded), and there is always accommodation for them in the
bunks for the shearers. With shearers, "swaggers," and odd men about the
place, there are sometimes 100 extra to feed on the "run," but they are
given no beer, and tea is the favourite drink.

We returned to Christchurch, and were home late that evening.

_Thursday, October 16th._--I went to the museum in the morning; it is
considered the best arranged in the colonies, and owes it to Dr. von
Haast. He has obtained specimens from all parts of the world by the
exchange of Moa bones, which are found exclusively about Christchurch.

This native bird has been extinct for over 1000 years, but they
have several perfect skeletons in the museum, the largest standing
twenty-seven feet high.

Then I wandered through the gardens, where there are pretty walks
following the windings of the Avon. Whispering avenues of willow-trees
overhang the river, and they are nearly always green, only out of leaf
for six weeks of the year.

The mayor and Mr. Charles Bowen, who has been prominent in the promotion
of education, took C. over the University of New Zealand, Christ College,
the High School for boys and girls, and the Normal Schools.

The university has affiliated colleges in Dunedin and Auckland. The
degrees it grants are of the first order, and the examinations are
conducted by English professors, through the post. Christ's College
is a first-rate public school. It has 200 pupils, and boarders and
day-boys. The terms are moderate, its premises very fine, and its system
unequalled. At the High School for girls a first-rate education is given
for sixteen guineas a year. C. found the president, a young lady of no
small personal attraction, arrayed in a Master of Arts gown, teaching a
class of girls the sixth book of Euclid; and another lady-professor was
eloquently lecturing on the Latin derivation of French verbs. At the
Normal Schools, an absolutely free and admirable education is given by
the state to 1200 boys and girls, including many whose parents are in
prosperous if not affluent circumstances.

There is very pleasant genial society at Christchurch, and it is by far
the most English of all the towns in Australasia. We agreed afterwards
in thinking that we should have chosen to live there, were we coming to
settle in the colonies.

_Friday, October 17th._--We left Christchurch by the express at 8 a.m.
for Dunedin. It is called express only by comparison with the usual speed
of fifteen miles, and I suppose travels about twenty miles an hour,
taking just twelve hours to reach Dunedin.

We passed over the Canterbury Plains with their golden lines of yellow
gorse hedges, bounded on one side by the Southern Alps,--that mighty
backbone of the South Island, covered with freshly fallen snow--and by
the ocean on the other.

The line gradually converged towards the sea, until we ran along the
shore, as we reached Timaru.

After leaving Timaru, we ought to have seen the weather-worn peak of
Mount Cook, the highest (10,000 feet) point of the Southern Alps, and
familiar to many now, from the reading of Mr. Green's interesting account
in the High Alps of New Zealand, of his ascent of Mount Cook.

After crossing the stony bed of the Waitaki, which forms the
boundary-line between the provinces of Canterbury and Otago, the country
may be said to be peopled and owned by the Scotch, who form in the
province of Otago one large settlement.

We arrived at Oamaru in the course of the afternoon. The town is very
remarkable for these parts, being built of cream-coloured stone, quarried
in the neighbourhood and easy to work. It produced such a handsome, solid
effect to us, accustomed by this time to the usual frail tenements of
wood. A saloon carriage had been sent up from Dunedin for us, and was
attached to the train, and I ought to have mentioned that the minister of
public works had given us a free pass over all the New Zealand Railways.
The railways throughout the country are under the control of government,
and do not belong to companies. We noticed how the English names
predominated in the stations along the Canterbury portion of the line,
showing in many cases the homes of the first settlers in the old country,
such as, Norwood, Chertsey, Ealing, Winchester, Richmond, Goodwood, and
many others. It was unlike the North Island, where the names are chiefly
Maori.

A very wild, beautiful bit of country, noticing the wonderful harbours
nature has provided along the deeply indented coast and the train went
over the Blueskin Cliffs.

Port Chalmers, with its large dockyard and wharves, looked a pretty
seafaring little town, half-built on the peninsula formed by the sea on
one side, and the arm of it that runs inland, on the other, making a
broad river that passes by Dunedin. A concrete wall has been made, to
force the current into a channel which is being gradually deepened, so
that vessels of large draught will be able to anchor at the city wharfs.
The citizens fully realize the immense importance of this work, and are
showing great energy and enterprise, and expending large sums of money
on the scheme. Skirting along by the sea, lighted buoys marking the
course of the channel, we saw a dark hill before us, illuminated with
innumerable bright spots of light, clustering thickly at the bottom, and
at 8 p.m. we ran into the station of Dunedin.

The Grand Hotel here is the largest and most handsomely furnished hotel,
not only in New Zealand but in the whole of Australasia. The proprietor
has to pay 2000_l_. a year for his ground-rent alone, and thirty years
ago that same plot of land is said to have been given in exchange for a
cow.

_Saturday, October 18th._--The mayor called and took C. over the gaol,
the Town Hall, and the new High School. At noon we drove out with Mr.
Weldon, the head of the police, and Mr. Cargill, the son of Captain
Cargill, the first leader of the colony of Otago, to Burnside, the
manufacturing suburb of Dunedin, to see the works of the New Zealand Meat
Freezing Company.

The sheep are slaughtered in a line, by eight butchers, who can each kill
his fifty a day. The carcases hang for twenty-four hours, and are then
placed in the freezing chambers, in a temperature ten or twelve degrees
below freezing-point. By means of machinery the air is compressed and
reduced to freezing-point, and pumped into the freezing rooms, which
are of different degrees of temperature. Putting on extra wraps, we
went into these rooms. The thick, misty air was intensely cold, icicles
hung from the roof, and the carcases were frosted with ice. We passed
between rows and rows of the ghastly carcases, their truncated bodies
drooping pathetically towards the ground. Lighted only by a lantern,
there was something awful in looking round in the misty dusk and seeing
nothing but the pink carcases of hundreds of dead sheep. We tapped them
with a hammer, and they resounded like wood. After two days in the
freezing-rooms, each carcase is tied into a sack, and is then ready for
export. A branch line to the railway runs into the shed, and they are
killed, frozen, and shipped at the rate of 1_s._ 2_d._ per pound.

On board ship the store chambers are maintained at 20° Fahrenheit, and
the meat will keep for any length of time, until thawed.

The meat-freezing trade ought to form one of New Zealand's great exports,
with her rich pasture and sheep runs, and small home consumption; but
several large meat-freezing companies have lately temporarily suspended
operations, owing to the fall in price of the English market. The
exporters say it cannot pay them unless the price is maintained between
6_d._ and 7_d._ per pound.

We had luncheon with Mr. and Mrs. Cargill at "The Cliffs." It is a
concrete house, built on the top of a hill at the cliffs, and commanding
a fine view of the coast for many miles. On the ocean beach below, the
surf of the South Pacific is for ever rolling in, in long breakers that
leave their track of foam on the sandy shore of the cove.

Dunedin was founded in 1848, by a colony of Scotch settlers, under the
leadership of Captain Cargill, who, at the instance of the late Thomas
Chambers, called the town Dunedin, the ancient name for Edinburgh. It is
the largest of the New Zealand towns, is the great centre of commercial
activity, and has the finest stone buildings. Princes' Street is broad
and handsome, and contains the magnificent structure of the Bank of New
Zealand. Besides, there is the Museum, the Post Office, the Hospital, the
High School, the University and Government Buildings, all built of the
same cream-coloured Bath stone.

There are nine separate municipalities within Dunedin and its suburbs.
The entire population is Scotch; and when you think that it is only
thirty years ago since the first settlers arrived in Otago, and founded
Dunedin, the enterprising citizens may well be proud of

    "Our own romantic town."

It is stated that Captain Cargill used to send back and pay the return
passage of any emigrants other than Scotch who were landed; and another
amusing story is told on this subject apropos of a Chinaman:--

The municipality sent out tenders for some building, and a John MacIver
sent in one amongst others. His was accepted, and subsequently he turned
out to be a "John Chinaman." When asked why he had assumed that name,
he answered, "That no other than a Scotchman or with a Mac before his
name had a chance of succeeding here." This story reminds me that nearly
all the market-gardening in New Zealand is done by Chinamen. They lay
out their gardens on the principle of having no square plots or straight
lines, but all in angles and corners; and on a barren acre of land they
succeed, where no one else would, in producing an abundant supply of
vegetables.

_Sunday, October 19th. Dunedin._--A cold, windy Sunday, with frequent
storms of hail and sleet. We went to church at St. Paul's, meeting the
Salvation Army, which has taken as great a hold on the people out here as
it has at home. All the principal churches are of course Presbyterian;
the one with the beautiful tapering spire is called the New Church, and
another the old Knox Church.

We took the cable car to the top of the hill, to have luncheon with Mr.
Twopenny, editor of the _Otago Daily Times_, and one of the principal
organizers of the Melbourne Exhibition; meeting there Mr. Justice
Williams, Judge of the Supreme Court.

In the afternoon we drove with the mayor through the Botanical Gardens.
They are very prettily laid out, with some bits of native bush left to
grow in their own wild luxuriance among the cultivated bushes and shrubs,
intertwined with wild clematis, which here has a flower as large and waxy
as stephanotis. We also drove along the Port Chalmers Road, cut out on
the side of a hill overlooking the valley.

Returning to tea at the mayor's house, we met there the master of the
High School, Mr. Wilson, a very clever man. In talking of immigration
they said that no member dares to support or advocate it on any platform.
The feeling and outcry against it is so strong throughout the country
among the working class, who fear the importation of hands will lower the
high rate of wages at present existing. A farm labourer earns easily from
seven to eight shillings a day, and carpenters, bricklayers, and masons
command ten shillings a day; and this is with a comparatively cheap rate
of living.

_Monday, October 20th._--We left Dunedin by the eight o'clock train for
Invercargill, having the same saloon attached, and Mr. Weldon kindly went
part of the way with us, returning on a luggage train.

The same bleak, windy weather as yesterday, made the tussock country
look, if possible, drearier than ever.

We reached Invercargill at 5 p.m., and went for a walk about the
town. The dusty streets stretching out in their dreary length to the
flat country beyond, looked peculiarly bare and uninviting. And this
impression was increased by the blinds of all the houses being halfway
down, for the funeral of the late surveyor-general. The trees do not
seem to have had time to grow up, and there is a crude, half-finished
look about Invercargill. I must say in a less degree we noticed the same
at Dunedin. Both these towns have the sparse, frugal look of the people
who inhabit them. The Albion Hotel, where we stayed, was in the High
Street, and very commercial. C. went in the evening with some members of
the municipality to a volunteer drill. He looked in afterwards at the
Athenæum Club opposite, which is well-arranged and organized, and is open
for the use of ladies also.

_Tuesday, October 21st._--We left Invercargill by the 6.45 train in the
morning, to make an expedition to Lake Wakitipu (pronounced Wakitip). The
train was very slow, though there are many stations along the line, where
they only stop if there are passengers, a whole list in Bradshaw being
"starred" for this purpose. Passing through one of the many sheep runs, a
flock had got loose on the line, and we ran over an old ewe in spite of
all precautions.

There was a notice put up at one of the stations, about the rabbit pest,
which is nearly as bad here as in Australia, giving warning that after
the 1st of November, poisoning by laying down phosphorescent corn was
to begin. This method of poisoning was invented by a man who was being
ruined by the devastation of rabbits on his property. The discovery
came too late to save him, and he went bankrupt; but now he devotes all
his time to trying to save others by disseminating the knowledge of his
discovery.

Ranges of hills covered with snow, now succeeded to the flat plains.
We were quite near the snow line, and I noticed how the hills, without
sloping, descended sheer down on to the plain. We arrived at Kingston
at the head of Lake Wakitipu, and found the steamer, the _Mountaineer_,
moored at the wharf. There ensued a very long waiting, whilst the cargo
was leisurely put on board.

It was two hours after the train had come in, before the last whistle
sounded, to be quadrupled by the echo from the surrounding mountains; and
we were off.

We had the most heavenly afternoon for our trip up the lake, with no
wind, and the perfect stillness allowing the outline of the mountains to
be faithfully mirrored and reflected back on the calm surface of the lake.

To the right there is a wild range of rocky terraces known as the
"Devil's Staircase," and here the water was of an ordinary blue, but on
the other, and under the lee of the dark mountains, it was of transparent
marine green, very beautiful to behold.

Lake Wakitipu is sixty miles long, varying from three to four miles in
width. The surface of the lake is 1000 feet above the level of the sea,
but its bed is 300 feet below. The water is intensely cold, and any
one drowned in this lake never comes to the surface again. The body is
believed to become frozen before it reaches the bottom, so great is the
depth and so icy the temperature.

The great peculiarity and remarkable beauty of Lake Wakitipu lies in the
precipitous mountains that descend sheer into the lake in one straight
line, varying from 3000 to 9000 feet. There are no undulating slopes or
breaks in the range; no peeps of the country outside the mountains, which
rise up as a fixed and impassable barrier, shutting us in whichever side
we turn--making us unconsciously long for a glimpse of the outer world.

The captain of the _Mountaineer_ told me that it is believed (from
soundings) that the formation of the bed of the lake assumes the same
shape as the mountains above; therefore, if we could look down into their
icy depths, we should see the phenomenon of mountains turned upside down.
It struck me as being a very pretty but fantastic theory.

We had been too early in the year for the other parts of the islands, but
at Wakitipu we had come exactly at the right time, for the mountains were
yet covered with snow. They looked so beautiful with it lying in smooth
unbroken surfaces on the summits, and dwindling down to lie along the
ridges, or in isolated patches below the snow line. Underneath that again
there lay a moraine of stones and rocks, or a bit of bush flourishing in
a ravine. The lights and shadows had full play on the rounded arms and
jutting peaks of the mountains that afternoon, and sitting on the deck in
the warm sun, we thoroughly enjoyed the two hours' trip to Queenstown.

[Illustration: Lake Wakitipu, New Zealand.]

We entered the natural harbour, and passed at the entrance the wooden
triangle, with the black line, showing the height of the flood some years
ago, which nearly destroyed the township. It was caused by a freshet,
from the sudden melting of the snow after several days of unusual heat.

The cragged top of Ben Lomond, wreathed with snow, and that splendid
range of "The Remarkables," form a wonderfully grand background to the
humble roofs of the charming little village of Queenstown.

There is a sleepy look about the few stragglers on the wharf, waiting for
the steamer to come in, and a primitive air about the little hotel just
opposite, with a stout landlady standing on the steps, to see what guests
will arrive.

The peninsula with the tall eucalyptus trees jutting out into the lake is
called "the park." You go over a bridge and through a turnstile to reach
it, and find a disused cannon at the end, pointed down the lake. It is
all very quiet and dull, and sounds uninteresting, but we thought it so
pretty, and that Queenstown was one of the few places we had come to that
we should care to linger in.

There are beautiful walks and drives by the side of the lake, up the
mountains, or through the pass that leads to the village of Arrowtown.

Queenstown is the centre of the Otago gold diggings, mining operations
being carried on in some of the mountains round about, and many is the
story we heard of a sudden leap into wealth by the accidental find of
gold. These "finds" are often rendered valueless by the want of water
for working them, but the "claim" which the owner takes out, by paying a
small sum to the government, entitles him to the first use of the water
nearest the digging.

Trout have been introduced, and they are annually hatching 160,000 of
salmon ova to be turned into the lake, in the hope that it may become
a large industry, as with a freezing apparatus they could be sent home
to England. A law was passed that trout were only to be caught with a
line, but now they have become so large, weighing from eighteen to twenty
pounds, that government is to be petitioned to legalize the already
surreptitiously used net.

_Wednesday, October 22nd._--We spent a quiet morning, one of the first
we have had for a long time, with nothing particular to do but wander
along the shore of the lake. The weather looked unpromising and rough for
the proposed trip to the head of the lake later on, but it changes here
with the wind, which may be said to shift round twenty or thirty times a
day--and by the afternoon the lake was calm and the weather bright.

The steamer was late in being signalled, and when she came alongside the
jetty there was a flock of sheep to be disembarked, refusing in a body
to move, till one was dragged off as a "decoy," when they all followed
"_like_ a flock of sheep." Altogether we were two hours late in starting.
The captain, the engineer, and the steward, greeted us again as old
friends, and we felt quite at home on the _Mountaineer_.

We had not realized till we got away from Queenstown what a splendid
range "the Remarkables" were, with their serrated peaks and depressed
edges filled with snow, running in ridges of downwards or crossway lines.
The mountains were grander and gloomier, rising to a greater height here
than in the lower part of the lake.

The flattened top of the Necklace Mountain forms the landmark where the
steamer turns the White Point into the upper end of the lake. We had
to go six miles out of our course to land a shepherd on a small pier,
throwing his dog overboard to swim after him. The steamer stops wherever
it is wanted, and a fire is lighted as a signal on the shore, or two in
cases of sickness.

We were very glad of this divergence, because our course took us straight
_across_ the lake, in full view of all the glory and beauty of that grand
collection of snow domes which shut in the lake at the head.

Monarch above all rose Mount Earnslaw, 9000 feet above the sea level,
with his long saddle of pure white snow leading up on the one side to the
arrête, and the small conical peak of the summit. The long descent on the
other side is formed of innumerable peaks, and curved round in the shape
of a circular basin.

Inside this there is a glacier of many thousand acres in extent, from
under a glassy portal in whose side issues a stream called the Rees. In
the summer, after the snow has melted away, the glacier takes a beautiful
lake-green colour, such as those who have seen it affirm is found nowhere
else.

Mr. Green gives a most interesting account, in "The High Alps of New
Zealand," of his ascent of Mount Earnslaw, but he only accomplished 6000
feet, and was surpassed last summer by Mr. Walker of Dunedin, who made
a further ascent of 300 feet. It is wonderful to think of those eternal
glaciers and iron-bound peaks, untouched by the foot of man, for ever
destined to be beyond his range.

On either side of us were the Humboldt Range and the picturesque Cosmos,
with their sides terraced into steps which are supposed to show the
different levels of the glacier lake.

We had not seen a single fine sunset whilst in New Zealand, and if we
were destined to see but one, it was well for us that it came on this
particular evening. We beheld a sky mottled at first with beautiful opal
tints, and then changing to a pearly grey, streaked with pale blue,
succeeded in its turn by crimson clouds, that left their rosy traces
on the hills, for we had a real Alpine "after-glow" reflected on the
dazzling purity of the snow.

The ruddy tinge still lingered on a few high peaks, long after the others
were in shade, and we watched regretfully the last warm colouring fade
away, and leave them lifeless, cold, and grey, ghastly in the gathering
gloom.

We sat on deck muffled in shawls, till Orion and the Southern Cross came
up, and the cold wind drove us down into the stuffy little cabin, with
its swinging oil lamp.

We arrived at Kinloch in total darkness about 9 p.m. We could only see
the wooden pier by the light of the lantern held by an old man (we found
it was full of holes the next morning), and we stumbled after him up a
rough pathway. The _Mountaineer_ sent forth a shrill shriek on the still
night air, that echoed from the mountains round, and in the darkness we
heard the steamer ploughing her way across the lake to Garlochie, her
night's resting-place. Two girls came out of a hut at the old man's call,
and led us up to a deserted cottage on the hill. One brought a shovelful
of coals, and lighted the fire, while another found some ends of candle.
The house smelt musty and damp, as if it had long been uninhabited. I
passed a very disturbed night, thinking I heard sounds outside, and the
situation was strange and lonely, for we were in a deserted house, in an
isolated spot, and with the front door standing wide open all night.

We were called at half-past five for the steamer, which we heard giving
warning whistles, and saw coming across from Garlochie. We had a
delicious morning for our return journey down the lake, seeing One Tree
and Pidgeon Islands, which we had missed in the darkness last night, and
Mount Earnslaw for the last time, looking superb in the clear morning air.

Twenty-five miles away lie the beautiful Sounds of the West Coast, but
the road between the lake and the coast is as yet unpierced. I have seen
pictures and heard descriptions of Milford and Dusky Sounds, and they
must be very beautiful, but at present the Union S.S. Company only run
one excursion steamer there during the year.

We stayed an hour at Queenstown, and reached Kingston at 1 p.m. The train
left half an hour afterwards, and we arrived at Invercargill at eight
that evening to find a gale blowing that augured badly for the morrow.

Lake Wakitipu will soon become the favourite resort for the business
men of Dunedin, and we thought it as beautiful as Lucerne or any of
the Italian lakes; not so _pretty_ perhaps, on account of the want of
vegetation, but grander and more sublime in the outline of the mountains.

We were leaving New Zealand the next day, and with the greatest regret.
The homely geniality and hospitality that we had met with during our
sojourn in both islands had made the few weeks spent there full of
pleasant recollections. Afterwards, when our travels were all over and we
were home once more, I found we always looked back to New Zealand as the
happiest part of our travels; so thoroughly had we enjoyed our expedition
to the Hot Lakes and geysers in the North Island, and to Lake Wakitipu in
the South.



CHAPTER X.

TASMANIA AND VICTORIA.


_Friday, October 24th, Invercargill._--The morning had come on which we
were leaving New Zealand, and it was blowing a terrible hurricane.

As we went in the train down to the "Bluff," we received no encouragement
as to the abatement of the wind in the waving of the tussock-grass and
ti-tree waste we passed through. A simoon was being raised on the vast
sand dunes in the distance.

Arrived at the "Bluff," we found the greatest difficulty, from the
violence of the wind, in walking along the wooden pier to where we saw
the red funnel of the Union S.S. Company's _Manapouri_. It blinded and
deafened us, and we narrowly escaped a terrible accident with an engine
that was tearing down upon C., who was walking between the rails on the
pier. The driver was not looking, and the noise of the wind carried away
all sound of the approaching locomotive. I happened to turn round at the
moment when it was just on him, and, with a shriek of horror, was just in
time to seize and pull him out of the way.

The "Bluff" is the most detestable place--a cape lying out into the sea
where a perpetual gale rages.

The steamer would not sail till six in the evening, having only arrived
late that morning, after a terrible night at sea, in the teeth of a
head-wind. The passengers in the Social Hall certainly looked as if much
suffering had been their lot. All the afternoon the crew were lading
grain, and taking on board a large number of cattle. The poor beasts were
slung off the railway-trucks and lowered on to the decks by means of a
steam-winch, and ropes passed round the body. It was piteous to see their
look of terror when suspended in mid-air.

Never were ship people more thoughtful for the comfort of their
passengers than on this occasion, when they gave us dinner at half-past
five instead of six, that we might have it over before starting; for
I venture to say that twenty minutes after starting nearly all the
passengers were prostrate in their berths.

No one thought of looking out for the coast-line of Stewart's Island,
which is sometimes called the South Island and the other the Middle
Island. We had a most terrible night's tossing in the Foveaux Straits,
all so very, very ill. We had the advantage of having two cabins opposite
each other, but they were very far forward, quite in the bows of the
boat, and so we had the full benefit of the motion.

Saturday, the 25th, and Sunday, the 26th, were very blank days for us
both, lying miserably ill in our berths. We heard in the distance the
strains of the morning and evening service, and around us the more
melancholy sounds of many sufferers. To add to our deep depression, C.
remembered, and called feebly out to me, that we were thus miserably
keeping an anniversary of our wedding-day.

Generally I can count myself a fair sailor, but during this voyage of
four days I was pitilessly ill, and C. ate absolutely nothing the whole
time.

We were under water for the first forty-eight hours, the waves washing
over the hurricane and main decks, and a port-hole having been "stove in"
at our end, the water swished down through the passage and into some of
the cabins.

_Tuesday, October 28th._--Since daylight the coast of Tasmania had been
in sight, and going up on deck after breakfast we were just passing by
the headland of a curious formation, exactly resembling the Giant's
Causeway, or Iona and Staffa. Here we entered the bay formed by the River
Derwent opening out to the sea; on which river twelve miles higher up
lies the town of Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.

We were alongside the wharf by 10.30, and in haste to set foot on
terra-firma.

I explored the chief street of the town--Manchester Street--whilst C.
went to call on the Governor, Sir George Strahan. We found that his
Excellency and his Private Secretary, the Hon. John Wallop, were coming
by the steamer to Melbourne. Hobart has a very dull, sleepy look, and the
people we met in the streets seemed to be chiefly the passengers off the
_Manapouri_. The town, like the whole of Tasmania, is utterly devoid of
enterprise. The colony contains 127,000 inhabitants, of whom 2000 are in
Hobart. So little has been done to improve the land, that the beef and
mutton for home consumption have to be imported from New Zealand--witness
our cargo of cattle--and the only flourishing industry is the jam trade,
of which 150,000 lbs. are annually sent to Victoria.

Tasmania is an island rich in beautiful scenery--_extremely_ beautiful
all Australians tell you,--its mountain-ranges culminate in the lofty
peaks of the Cradle Mountain, Ben Lomond, and Mount Humboldt. It is
clothed with forests, in which the gum-trees attain to an extraordinary
height. The climate is perfect, with a clear atmosphere and cool breeze,
so that Tasmania has come to be the great sanatorium of Australia. When
the heat of the summer declares itself in Melbourne and Sydney, there
is a general exodus to Tasmania, and Hobart is gay during its season
of three months. It seemed to me as if the Australians must be rather
pushed to it for a watering-place if they make Hobart their principal one.

The _Manapouri_ had gone round to the cattle-wharf to swim the cattle
ashore, and, thus stranded, we wandered about exploring the dull
sleepiness of the little town. Then we went for a drive through the
Domain in order that I might see Government House. It is a beautiful
castellated mansion, built in the old days of transportation to Van
Diemen's Land, and when convict labour was cheap. The gardens run down
to the Derwent, whose waters are so still and broad that you quite think
it is a lake in the park. We drove next through Macquarie Street, an
interminable street, called after a former governor, who gave his name to
many places, perpetuating it seemingly as far and as long as possible.
On either side were the fashionable residences of Hobart, small houses
standing back from the road, like suburban villas. Already we saw no tree
but the "eternal gum-tree," which alone flourishes in Australia. Its dull
blue foliage formed the covering to the extreme summit of the rounded
dome of Mount Wellington. Our drive to the Cascade ended in the Cascade
Brewery, the waterfall being a walk of a mile farther.

C. paid a long visit to Mr. Solly, the Under-Secretary, who gave him a
great deal of information about Tasmania. The Premier, the Hon. Adye
Douglas, was unfortunately out of town for the day, but he came on board
later in the evening. We went at four to the House of Assembly. They
accommodated us with chairs on the floor of the House, and it was most
uncomfortably shy work, passing before the Speaker's chair to reach them
in the face of the assembled members.

We took on board an immense theatrical troupe of sixty, and their
paraphernalia and scenery, which had to be lowered scene by scene into
the hold, delaying us for two hours, so that it was eight o'clock before
we left Hobart.

We had half thought of going overland from Hobart to Launceston, so as to
see the interior of Tasmania, but we were deterred by the twelve hours'
crossing of Bass's Straits in a wretched steamer. We bought some of the
pretty Tasmanian shells, but I was disappointed in not being able to get
any of the native cat-skins, whose soft dark fur with white spots makes
such pretty trimmings. They are scarce now, as Government has protected
them from the too great depredations that were being practised. The same
protection has also had to be extended to the opossums to save them from
total annihilation.

[Illustration: Government House, Melbourne.

    Page 165.]

_Thursday, October 30th._--About 11 a.m. we entered the Heads at Port
Phillip, passing into the beautiful Hobson's Bay, which extends for
forty miles on either side of us, and is forty miles in length from the
Heads to the mouth of the Yarra. The weather became instantly warmer
in the bay, and every one came up on deck to sun themselves. We passed
the little island on which lies the watering-place of Queenscliff,
a few houses, with a monster hotel. Later on the Quarantine Station
and Sorrento, a favourite resort for holiday-makers, and then we saw
Melbourne, or rather its two suburbs of Brighton and St. Kilda. Twenty
miles off there were the dark ranges of Dandenong, a spur of the Gipps
Land Mountains forming a gloomy background to Melbourne, and to the
west Geelong on the Bay of Como, with the single peak of the "Anakies."
All vessels have to pass ten miles up the Yarra, and anchor at the
docks at Williamstown. At the mouth of the river opposite Sandridge
we stopped to take the pilot on board, and the steam launch, with the
Governor's Aide-de-camp, sent to meet the Governor of Tasmania, came
alongside. Captain Hughes was the bearer of a letter from the Governor,
Sir Henry Brougham Loch, with a cordial invitation to us to Government
House. We landed at the wharf at Sandridge. There was a guard of
honour of the Victorian Permanent Artillery Force drawn up to salute
the Governor, and Mr. Chomley, the Chief Commissioner of the Victoria
Constabulary, welcomed us. Long before we arrived at Government House
we saw the enormous pile of buildings, with the tower which forms the
finest Government House of the colonies, and is the largest stone
dwelling-house in Australasia. Some people think the building extremely
ugly, and talk of the tower as the "chimney of a manufactory," but in
any case it presents a suitably imposing appearance. Passing through
the stone gateway, with the carved armorial bearings, and the lodge
used as a guard-house, we drove up to one of the several handsome
portico entrances. The arrangement of the reception-rooms is excellent.
They are entirely apart from the everyday rooms, and have two separate
entrances (one of which is kept as the _entrée_), that leads to the
yellow satin-lined drawing-room, the state dining-room, and magnificent
ball-room, which is twenty feet longer than that of Buckingham Palace.

The party staying in the house were Sir William Robinson, Governor
of South Australia, and Miss Robinson, with Mr. Williams as A.D.C.,
Sir George Strahan and Mr. Wallop, Lord William Nevill and the staff,
consisting of Lord Castlerosse, Captain Trail, Captain Seymour Hughes,
and Mr. Sturgis.

C. and I went into the town in the afternoon to fetch our letters at
the post-office, and were gladdened by a large budget of home news. We
were struck with the excellent arrangements for obtaining the letters,
and the post-office is a magnificent building outside. It seemed so
strange and bewildering at first, to see crowded streets once more, the
carriages going in single file, and the people jostling each other on the
pavements; for all the country-folk are in town just now, come up for
"the Cup" and the race-week.

In the evening we went to a grand fancy ball, given by Sir William and
Lady Clarke at the Town Hall, which was beautifully decorated with
flowers; the platform at the end being made into a bower of tree-ferns.
The ball was a magnificent sight, with 1200 people in costumes of every
period, interspersed with uniforms of the navies and armies of several
nations. The dresses were much more elaborate and expensive than you
would generally see at a fancy ball in England.

It was very strange to think that night of our first introduction to
Australia--a fancy ball in Melbourne; very strange to think of a round
of gaieties going on in the Antipodes, with not less "rush" than in the
London season at home.

Saturday, November 1st, was the "Derby Day" of the Melbourne races. We
left Government House at noon, a party of fourteen on the coach, with
the Governor driving. They had considerately watered the roads, and we
did not suffer from the dust, which usually rises in clouds in the broad
streets of Melbourne. We drove round to the members' entrance, and up
the centre of the course, pulling up opposite to the judge's stand. The
Governor and Lady Loch were conducted to the vice-regal box in the centre
of the stand by the stewards and the secretary of the Victoria Racing
Club, Mr. Byron Moore, the band playing "God save the Queen;" and the
first race, fixed for 1 p.m., then came off. There was general interest
taken in this race, on account of many of the horses running in it being
entered for "the Cup."

The Flemington race-course is extremely pretty, much more so than the
course at Ascot, and the arrangements for the races are quite perfect in
every respect. There is a beautiful lawn in front of the grand stand,
on which the band plays, with a raised concrete terrace leading to the
stand. Above that again is the artificial hill on which you see placarded
sundry numbers. These numbers indicate the rendezvous of the smaller
bookmakers after the race, for which privilege they pay a yearly rent
of 10_l_. There are luncheon and refreshment rooms, and the ladies'
cloakrooms are large and spacious, with every toilette requisite, even
down to the pin-cushion with needles ready threaded with different shades
of silk, and which we were shown with great pride, as an example of the
completeness of the minor details. The charge for the stand is only 10s.,
all inclusive. There is a separate room for the Press, communicating
with the top of the stand, where they have their own operators and
telegraph-line. Thus they can come down from the stand and send off the
result instantly after witnessing the race. There is no rowdyism and no
crowding; everybody is well-dressed and well-behaved. The betting-ring
is away from the stand and lawn, and bookmakers are not allowed beyond
the board marked "Silence!" There is a machine on the judge's stand, the
spring of which the starter presses as the horses are off, and the hand
goes round during the race, marking the minutes and seconds. The course
was capitally cleared by the mounted police.

It was a very pretty sight, warm and sunny on the lawn and not
unpleasantly crowded. People were magnificently, and, with a very few
glaring exceptions, tastefully dressed. The tendency here is always
towards bright and rather too striking contrasts; but pretty faces and
pretty gowns were plentiful. The Racing Club provided the luncheon for
the Governor and his party in the reserved room at the back of the stand,
and there was a profusion of invitations to tea in the tents by the
reserved space for carriages and the two or three four-in-hands which
appeared.

The great race of the day, the "Derby of Australasia," was run at 3.30.
Bargo was the hot favourite, but came in at the finish nowhere, and Rufus
proved the winner of the Derby, amid intense excitement.

We left immediately afterwards, the Governor being cheered as he drove
off the course.

We went to the Bijou Theatre in the evening, when Miss de Grey's Company
performed "Moths" by "vice-regal command," as we learnt by the white
satin printed programmes.

As we came out we heard the sound of dull cheers at the entrance, and
the police with difficulty kept the path open for the Governor and Lady
Loch; the enthusiastic crowd broke through as they drove off, and a most
exciting scene ensued, the policemen vainly pommelling and fisticuffing
the good-natured roughs, and we entered the carriage amid a general
scrimmage. It was only the true "larrikin" element, showing itself after
the races and on a Saturday night.

_Sunday, November 2nd._--We went to a church, chiefly remarkable for the
extraordinary height of its pulpit; and walked to it along the dusty
bit of the St. Kilda road, and over the cranky wooden bridge. There is
a dispute between the town and the adjoining municipality about the
possession of this particular piece of road, and neither will allow its
watering-carts to go over it--with destructive results.

The Botanical Gardens which we went through in the afternoon are most
beautifully kept, with acres of mown grass, bright borders of flowers,
and shrubs and trees of all kinds. There is a very pretty fern-tree
gully, and a large artificial sheet of water, forming a lake in the
centre. The gardens lie on the slope of two hills, and the paths winding
in and out give it a very extensive appearance. They adjoin the garden
of Government House, and Baron von Mueller has been greatly instrumental
in their attaining to their present excellence. Such brilliant masses
of flowers we saw growing in wild luxuriance. There were rose-bushes
trailing on the ground, orange and lemon groves, camellias, and
magnolias, bougainvillea and boronia, mixing with all our familiar
commoner kinds, as geranium, verbena, lobelia, heliotrope, convolvulus,
oleander, larkspur, cape jessamine, and many others.

_Monday, November 3rd._--We determined not to let another day pass
without seeing something of Melbourne and its public buildings. We took
a hansom and drove down Swanston, Collins, and Bourke Streets. Collins
Street is the fashionable promenade, and crowded in the afternoon. One
of the most noticeable things about the streets of a town like this is
the absence of tramways, only omnibuses and hansoms ply, and that curious
"growler" of Melbourne, the two-wheeled, covered waggonette. They are
laying wood pavement in Collins Street, and are talking of having cable
cars. There is a strict "rule of the road" here which obliges drivers to
walk across all crossings. We passed the Mint and the new Law Courts;
drove up to Sir Samuel Wilson's beautiful hall, which he has built and
presented to the town at a cost of 30,000_l._; round the Medical College
and Museum; and beyond to Ormond College, built by Mr. Ormond. We saw
Exhibition Buildings, where the International Melbourne Exhibition was
held in 1800-81; the Roman Catholic Cathedral; and then we came to the
Parliamentary Buildings.

Mr. Jenkins, Clerk of the House, showed us through these. They are at
present unfinished; but from the model that we saw in the hall, they will
be a splendid pile of buildings when finished, surmounted by a dome, and
estimated to cost 1,200,000_l._ The contract will soon be decided on,
but for the past three years the members from various parts of Victoria
have been disagreeing over the material for the building, each member
advocating the stone found in his particular district. The library is
a fine room, with a gallery upstairs devoted to the local newspapers
interesting to the individual members. The house of assembly is very
commonplace; but the Legislative Council chamber is rather original,
decorated in crimson and gold and lighted from the half-domes in the
ceiling. It looks like the room of some old Italian palace. The Council
is elected by the people for five years, differing in this from New
Zealand and some of the other colonies of Australia, where the members
of the Legislative Council are nominated by the Governor for life. The
Legislative Assembly is elected by universal suffrage, and the members
receive a salary of 300_l._ a year. The vestibule is very fine and
painted dead white, with a marble statue of the Queen in the centre.
There is of course a dining-room and bar attached; but there is also the
unusual provision of two billiard-tables. They affirm that it operates
as the best "whip," and that Government and Opposition members are
thrown together by it, and lose somewhat of their mutual acerbity in the
friendly conflict of the billiard-balls.

We next drove to the Public Library, a low stone building with a broad
flight of steps; it includes the Picture Gallery and Museum. In the
latter there are models of some splendid nuggets found in Victoria,
including those of the famous "Blanche Barkly" and "Welcome" nuggets,
that weigh over 2000 ounces each. The Picture Gallery is the nucleus of
a good national collection which is forming. They have several pictures
by our R.A.'s, and the latest addition to it has been Miss Thompson's
"Roll Call," for which they have given the sum of 4000_l._[3]

The Library is much frequented by all classes, especially in the
newspaper-room, where we saw many working-men looking at the papers. It
contains some very interesting and valuable books and prints, many of
which have been collected and arranged by Sir George Verdon, who takes
great personal interest in the Library.

Melbourne has no drainage of any kind; but yet its deathrate is only the
same as in London. The Van Yean waterworks, sixteen miles away, supply
water to the town. The reservoir contains over six billions of water.

And now, having seen Melbourne, the great metropolis of Australasia--its
public buildings, its busy thoroughfares and general "go a-head" look--we
must be continually thinking and remembering that it is little more than
fifty years ago since the Hentys, sons of Mr. Thomas Henty, a banker in
Sussex, were the first settlers in Victoria, and less than fifty years
ago since John Fawkner "pitched his tent on the rising ground" of the
future site of Melbourne. We met Mr. Henty whilst in Melbourne, the
descendant of these first settlers, and owner now of many thousands of
acres in Victoria.

My husband had already seen the Premier, Mr. Service, who was most
cordial; and all the ministers expressed a wish to be of use to him,
or to give him any information in their power. The _Daily Telegraph_,
the _Herald_, and other papers had interviewed him. Melbourne possesses
the best paper in the colonies in the _Melbourne Argus_, and has the
advantage of having Mr. Julian Thomas, the well-known author of the
"Vagabond Papers," among its contributors. The _Age_ is also a most
excellent paper. The _Australasian_ and _Federal Australian_ are the best
weekly papers, and are ably edited.

_Tuesday, November 4th._--To-day was the "Cup Day," the greatest event in
the racing calendar of Australasia, the "blue ribbon" of their turf.

Melbourne was _en fête_, with its shops closed and work suspended
everywhere--a general holiday. Those who were not at the races, were in
the streets looking at those who _were_ going, and there was a look of
generally suppressed excitement as to how the event of the day would turn
out.

It is very difficult for us at home, with our interest spread over such
a much larger area, to realize the intense, the concentrated interest
that is felt throughout Australia on the result of "The Cup." It has
been the object of speculation, of discussion, and of incessant anxiety
to millions for the past few weeks. The excitement is reaching the
culminating point to-day, and there are not a few whose interest at stake
is so large that they tremble and long for the day to be over--in short,
it is the red-letter day of the Australasian Year Book.

We joined in the general feeling of expectation, as we drove along in the
stream of carriages that from every sidestreet and road converged to the
main one, flowing towards Flemington race-course. As we neared the scene,
we saw that the hill behind the stand was black with the mass of human
beings upon it, and the lawn and the terrace were crowded. In our royal
progress up the course, the Governor received an ovation of loyalty in
the cheers and enthusiasm of the densely packed crowd.

The first race was over hurdles, and after the second we went to
luncheon. It was not quite such a pleasant day as the previous Saturday,
on account of the great crowd. The pretty toilettes were not so well
seen, being lost among the many ugly ones, for the "country cousin"
contingent were in strong force to-day.

"The Cup" was run at 4 p.m. Never shall I forget the strain and tension
on every face as the cry passed up, "They are off!" the few quick
observations that escaped some as the horses passed the stand, and then
the strange stillness that prevailed as we watched the coloured specks
flying along the horizon, as the horses settled down to their work. The
minutes were ages! Life seemed suspended in that mass of human beings.
The strain and tension suddenly gave way as the horses were "_round the
corner_," and a faint hum ran along far away down the black line, "They
are coming!" and the murmur rose into cheers, and the cheers into shouts,
and the shouts ended by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, as, amidst
the most intense and extraordinary excitement, "Malua," the winner of The
Cup of 1884, flew past the judge's box. "Commotion" ran second.

We took up life again where we had left it, and breathed freely once more.

Rushing down, we pushed our way through the crowds in time to see the
horses "weighed in" in the paddock, by special permission from one
of the stewards. A royal progress "Malua" made back to the paddock.
The crowd leaned over the barrier and cheered, and vociferated, "Well
done, 'Malua;' well done!" and her jockey raised his cap many a time
in acknowledging the cheers of the populace, for "Malua" had been the
general favourite.

We saw all the horses weighed in. The jockeys looked such mere
stable-boys out of the saddle, and came on to the scales with saddle,
cloth, and bridle in their hands. Many of them had to ride with lead
weights to bring them up to scale. We drove off the course before the
last race--the crowds melting and streaming away over the open plain as
soon as "The Cup," the excitement of the day, was over.

_Wednesday, November 5th._--Preparations for the ball at Government House
that evening were going on all day.

At 10 p.m. the Governor and Lady Loch, with the guests staying in the
house and the staff--entered the ball-room and passed down to the dais
at the end, whilst the band played "God save the Queen." Eleven hundred
invitations had been sent out, but the magnificent ball-room was not too
crowded, and Herr Ploch's band in the gallery sent forth dreamy strains.
It was nearly 3 a.m. before one of the most successful balls ever given
in Government House at Melbourne was finished. It was succeeded the next
night by an excellent concert, given by the Metropolitan Liedertafel,
under the directorship of Mr. Herz.

_Thursday, November 6th._--I went with Lady Loch in the afternoon to
an organ recital at the Town Hall. It is a magnificent organ, very
celebrated in the colonies, and finer than that of the Albert Hall.
Driving through the town afterwards, the streets were so full, and the
air so fresh and bright that it seemed like some spring afternoon in
London, with the season beginning.

Mr. Service, the Premier, Lady Stawell, wife of the Chief Justice, and
others, dined in the evening. Some of the party disappeared early to go
to a dance in the neighbourhood. There are known to be thirty dances in
Melbourne fixed for this month of November. Another favourite form of
amusement are large theatre parties. The host invites some twenty or
thirty friends to meet him at the theatre on such a night, by a little
card printed expressly for this purpose, with R.S.V.P. in the corner.
He takes the tickets, but it is the exception for there to be a supper
afterwards; and the point of the entertainment appears to be "in whom
sits next to who."

Melbourne society is dreadfully divided into cliques and sets, which
may be partly attributed to the many suburbs into which the town is
partitioned. There are the suburbs of St. Kilda, Brighton, South Yarra,
Toorak, Hawthorn, &c.; and drawing an imaginary line from the Town Hall,
they may be said to extend out round the town to a distance of six
miles. I heard many complaints about the great distances, and the social
inconvenience occasioned thereby. We saw Melbourne during its carnival of
the race-week, and it would not be fair to judge of its gaieties, which
were overwhelming just at that time; but I believe it is a fact that all
who possibly can, do give dances, small and frequently. There are two
houses in which dancing floors have been laid on carriage springs, and
all the large houses have their separate ball-room. We were surprised to
find how beautifully appointed were most of these houses, though outside
they all look much the same, and merely handsome villa residences. Dress
is much thought of, and people in Melbourne dress very handsomely, very
expensively, but too brilliantly. Not a few of its residents have their
gowns and bonnets out from the best London houses.

[Illustration]

Buck-jumping was the order for Friday, November 7th. At three in the
afternoon, besides ourselves, some fifty others were collected in the
paddock to see the famous "buck-jumping" of Australian horses. Those
that we saw were provided by Mr. Chomley, picked out from the police
paddock at Dandenong; but though they may have been picked buck-jumpers,
most Australian horses, for reasons unknown, are born with buck-jumping
propensities, which are only knocked out of them by the "rough-riders."
So successful are these trainers, that a fortnight after the exhibition
we were seeing, they will be used on patrol duty. The first process of
difficulty is the saddling and mounting, for which the horse has to be
blindfolded on the near side. No sooner do they feel their rider vaulting
into the saddle with his knees firmly inserted under the "croppers," or
large pommels which you see in all colonial saddles, than they rise up
into the air, and descend with their fore-legs stiffened straight out,
and, tucking their head between them, kick viciously out behind. One
horse always tried to kick the spur, which has to be pretty freely used,
for if once they stood still, they would buck their rider out of the
saddle in a trice; and it is found to be of great importance that they
should be mastered at the first try. Another horse whinnied, quivering
with suppressed rage, and after some convulsive wriggling, rushed
headlong at the fence behind which we were standing. The rough-riders
ride so splendidly that they seem part of the horse, rising and falling
with the movement of the bucking. Sometimes, when the horse cannot rid
himself of them in any other way, he _has_ been known to wriggle himself
out of the saddle, causing it to slip over his head.

A most excellent account of the buck-jumping appeared in the _Argus_ of
the next morning, from which I give the following extracts:--

"The first mount was given to Evans, one of the rough-riders. He had to
deal with a rakish-looking bay with a wicked eye, who arched his back
like a hedgehog when the saddle was put on him. As soon as Evans vaulted
into the saddle, the brute gracefully waltzed round three times to gird
up his loins, and then, putting his head between his fore-legs, charged
into the fence, bucking all the way. Evans slipped adroitly from the
saddle as the horse came to the ground, and quickly remounting him, stuck
to the saddle like a centaur till the animal was perfectly subdued. The
next comer was a bay mare, who showed the most accomplished tactics,
but Priestly, a Sale trooper, was an adept in all the artifices of 'pig
jumping,' and spinning on all fours, with perplexing gymnastics to vary
the programme. A grey half-bred Arab showed the fire in his blood as
soon as he was led out, but Fawkner got safely into his seat while the
girths were threatening to part, and enjoyed a jump of twenty-five feet
and a teetotum-like twirl at the first bound, as a sample of what was
to come. But the greatest treat was to come. Simpson, a professional
horsebreaker, got on a brown, blue light mare, which submitted to be
saddled as quietly as a lady's palfrey, but as soon as she felt Simpson's
weight, she wildly rose upright, and went right across the paddock in
a series of the wildest rearing freaks. Simpson rode stirrupless for
fear the horse should fall back upon him, and by a combination of the
rarest pluck, judgment, grip, and nerve, kept his balance apparently as
easily as if he was sitting in a rocking-chair. Each time the maddened
creature sprang up erect, he coolly clasped his hands under the mare's
neck, and swayed as gracefully as a circus-track performer. When at last
he rode back with the mare quite under control, he was loudly applauded.
Priestly then rode a bay, which, getting under weigh at full gallop,
darted for the fence, taking imaginary fences on the journey, while the
trooper sat well back, the model of a close, firm seat. After colliding
with the fence, the bay broke away across the paddock, but was safely
brought up at the lower end. The last exhibitor was old Anchorite, a
faithful performer in harness for sixteen years, but a twenty-year-old
bucker. Since he was sold to the department, rough-riders innumerable
have tried to subdue the old warrior's aversion to the saddle, but with
how little success we saw yesterday. Anchorite is not so lissom as some
of his younger competitors for evil distinction, but he has learned a few
lessons which would be peculiarly disconcerting to a novice. He fell with
Simpson, in making a supreme effort to stand upon his nose, but seeing
this trooper's performance in the previous round, the spectators were
satisfied that nothing quadrupedal which would keep upon its legs would
unseat him. As a matter of fact none of the riders were thrown, although
several of their horses came down; and it is gratifying to be able to say
that the Australian sport of riding buck-jumpers was, with the exception
of Evans, displayed by Australian-born riders."

_Saturday, November 8th._--We went to the last day of the races, the
"Steeple-chase Day," as it is called, because of the second race on the
card. At the wooden fence of 4 ft. 7 in., which was immediately succeeded
by a stone wall, and opposite the stand, we saw two horses come down. One
jockey recovered, and went on over the stone wall in such a plucky manner
that he was loudly applauded. A little farther on poor "Friendless," a
favourite horse, broke his shoulder over the hurdles, and had to be shot.

The Canterbury Plate caused great interest, because "Malua" and
"Commotion," the first and second winners of the "cup," were to meet
again. Amid a scene of great excitement "Malua" was beaten, and
"Commotion" came in first.

It was a bright, warm day, but the pretty toilettes were exhausted, and
the novelty of the scene had passed away. The Victoria Racing Clubs set a
good example to other race-meetings by extending their four days' racing
over the space of a week.

_Monday, November 10th._--The Prince of Wales's birthday, and observed as
a public holiday throughout the colonies.

What an excellent thing it would be if His Royal Highness and the
Princess of Wales were to visit Australasia. They would receive the
unanimous welcome of a mighty people such as _even they_ have not yet
known.

The Governor and his staff started with C. and Mr. Wallop for Brighton,
where there was a grand review of the Victorian naval and military
forces, ending in a sham fight, the enemy landing from nine vessels of
war, and being repulsed by the militia on shore. It was terribly sultry
and close, and they all came home late, very dusty, tired and hot, to
go to a state banquet, given by the Mayor elect at the Town Hall that
evening.

_Tuesday, November 11th._--We made an expedition for the day to Ballarat
to see the gold-mine belonging to the Band and Albion Company. Captain
Dale, of H.M.S. _Diamond_, came with us, and we left Spencer Street
Terminus at 11 a.m. Two hours in the train brought us to Geelong, where
we stopped fifteen minutes for luncheon.

Geelong is prettily situated on Corio Bay, a continuation of Port
Phillip. It has 23,000 inhabitants now, but once it hoped to rival
Melbourne. The country we passed through was flat and uninteresting,
though all under cultivation; but here you would rather require six acres
for one sheep, instead of the six sheep to one acre of some parts of New
Zealand.

Now we were able fully to realize the exceeding monotony of the blue gum,
which we had previously heard so much about. Nature has fixed upon the
gum or eucalyptus-tree as the tree appropriate to Australian soil, and
wherever you look you see its straggling branches, and dull, ineffective,
blue foliage, with light grey stems. They grow too luxuriantly, as in
many places we saw fields that were being cleared of them by "barking"
or cutting a ring on the trunk, some four feet above the ground, causing
death through the non-communication of the sap. But it is a noticeable
fact that much that is imported or grows in Australia, seems to flourish
too freely. Take the cacti, the thistles, the sweetbriar, all of which
are a plague to the farmer. Look at the "rabbit pest," which has ruined
many owners of land, and which still remains the great problem of
Australian agriculture. Each separate Government has spent thousands
annually in trying to reduce the pest, but to no avail, as it appears
the more they are destroyed the more they generate. They are now talking
of building at an enormous cost a rabbit-proof wall all along the border
of South Australia and New South Wales. Several station owners combined
together, and spent in one year the sum of 20,000_l._ on the extirpation
of rabbits, and on one run 1,000,000 were destroyed in a year, or over
27,000 per day.

Some of the houses in the villages we passed through were roofed with
"shingles" or narrow strips of wood. They are cheap and easily obtained,
but calculated only to last some five or six years.

We arrived at Ballarat at 3 p.m., and found Mr. Tyrell, the
Superintendent of the Police, waiting at the station for us with his
buggy. He drove us quickly out to the Band and Albion Mine.

We had to wait whilst the night "shift" at four o'clock went down the
shaft, and we watched the windlass, which winds the cage up and down by
machinery, and which in this case is made of wire rope of one single
piece, in place of the manilla rope usually used in mines. I had to
dress up in an old petticoat and loose jacket, with waterproof boots;
and looked like an old bathing woman when ready to go down the shaft.
The mine manager was there, and he and I and C. got into the cage. Three
planks of wood, with an iron bar in the centre, to which was attached a
hook for the rope, suspended us over the shaft. There was room for two
on either side, and we had to stand quite still and straight. Down we
shot into pitch darkness, through the narrow hole just large enough for
the platform which grated against the sides, so exact was the fit, and
often jerked with the uneven winding of the pulley. Down we went into the
bowels of the earth, 1005 feet below the surface.

The most curious sensation of descending the shaft is that in the
darkness, though you cannot see, you feel that the walls are being passed
upwards and not downwards. We flew by the doors of many galleries, going
down to the tenth and the last finished shaft. They are sinking yet
another now, and were getting rid of the water by sending a tank of fifty
gallons to the surface, suspended beneath the cage in each of its upward
journeys.

We found ourselves in a cavern at the bottom, lighted by one candle,
where the trucks with the quartz were standing ready to be hauled to the
surface. At this moment the tank by accident overturned and emptied its
contents with an alarming rush at our feet. By the light of our candles
we groped along the narrow galleries, three feet wide by five feet seven
inches broad laid with a track for the waggons. The slush and mud were
ankle deep, and, at a particularly bad place, the old manager, without
saying anything, quietly lifted me into a trolly, and ran me along to the
end of the gallery. Here there were two miners at work, pickaxing the
quartz, and one had just cut a hole for the powder to blast away a large
piece of quartz rock, and was about to insert the fuze, which burns two
or three minutes before the explosion to allow of the men having time to
escape. We marked the dark line in the quartz, within which lies hidden
the precious metal, and the roof overhead shone and glistened with bright
sparks of gold. In an upper gallery there was an archway formed by a
valuable vein, still unworked. Some time ago a "fault" was found in some
earth extending for twenty feet. The Company can go on working their
claim for some distance further on one side and almost interminably on
the other, always supposing that the ore still continues. The miners
work in shifts of eight hours each, receiving two pounds a week without
rations, and they warm their "billy," or tin can of tea, which they bring
down with them, over a candle.

The relief of coming up to the open air again from the damp, muggy
atmosphere was great. The cheerful light of day seemed a return to life
from a living death. One feels curiously nervous of accidents in a mine,
though there can be no more danger there than in a railway tunnel.
We heartily pitied all those poor men who spend their lives in the
underground pit.

We next visited the gold-crushing works. The quartz is crushed by
steam-hammers, each weighing 16 tons, and striking with a force of 8½
cwt. It is then passed through water mingled with quicksilver, which
detaches the gold. Subsequently some further gold is extracted from the
pyrites, the remainder being valuable for knife polish, and a dark red
paint.

The Band and Albion Mine has about 600 acres superficial area. Upwards of
4,000,000_l._ of gold have already been taken from the mine, and it now
pays thirty per cent. Geologists affirmed that gold could not be found
at such depths, but the quartz from the lowest level yields an ounce per
ton.

We drove quickly round the town, and through its principal thoroughfares,
out to Lake Wendouree, bordered with the pretty public gardens. We saw in
the distance the Eureka Stockade, where the miners made their celebrated
defence against the authorities.

It was thirty years ago that the first discovery of gold was made at
Ballarat. Melbourne was deserted, and crowds flocked to "the diggings,"
arriving in Ballarat at the rate of 500 a day. "Canvas Town" sprang up,
and hundreds were sleeping in the streets. Since then Ballarat has become
a thriving town of 40,000 inhabitants. Signs of the diggings are to be
seen in the country round, which is gulched and mined in all directions.
Huge mounds have been raised for the sinking of shafts, and some of
the diggings deserted by the miners in quest of a more quickly earned
reward have been taken possession of by the patient Chinese, who contrive
still to get some good pickings out of them. Sandhurst, Castlemaine,
Maryborough, Stawell, and Creswick are other centres of great mining
interests.

At the bottom of Start Street, at Ballarat, stands the well-known
eight-hours' monument, with this inscription:--

    "Eight hours' work,
    Eight hours' play,
    Eight hours for sleep,
    Eight bob a day."

We dined at Craig's Hotel; left Ballarat at seven o'clock, and were back
in Melbourne by eleven.

_Thursday, November 13th._--We left Melbourne. It was the afternoon
of Lady Loch's weekly reception at Government House, and we found it
difficult, in the midst of it, to be able sufficiently to express to Sir
Henry and Lady Loch our appreciation of their kindness and hospitality
extended to us during our fortnight's stay at Melbourne.

Whilst there, several propositions had been made for us to see something
of the interior of Victoria, while Sir William and Lady Clarke had
very kindly asked us to stay with them at their country-place, and Mr.
and Mrs. Ryan to go and see their celebrated gardens on Mount Macedon.
Another expedition thwarted by time was to St. Hubert's vineyard. Here
we should have seen the best vineyard for the making of Australian wine,
for Messrs. De Castella and Rowan carried off the Emperor of Germany's
prize at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1881. At this competition the _best_
wines of Germany and France were numbered for the highest class 21 and
20, and the second at 19 and 18; the samples from St. Hubert's vineyard
were ranked as high as 19 points, or equal to France and Germany. This
vineyard has 250 acres of vines under cultivation, and produces about
70,000 gallons per annum. The Australian wines are both red and white,
but there has been a complaint that too much alcohol has hitherto been
used in their manufacture, and that they are strong and heady. This,
however, is being remedied, and ere long Australian vineyards will
rival those of Bordeaux. At Melbourne, too, we were obliged to come to
a decision as to whether we should accept Sir William Robinson's kind
invitation to Government House at Adelaide, and visit South Australia.

[Illustration: Sydney Harbour.

    _Page 181._]

But after much hesitation, we decided to give up South Australia, partly
on account of several days in the steamer in the much dreaded "bight"
off the Australian coast, but mostly by reason of the pressure of time
and a fear that a General Election at home would possibly come, to cut
off the remainder of our travels. The latter reason also prevented my
husband from acceding to the request of the Chief Secretary, the Hon.
Graham Berry, that he would inquire into the organization of the police
and penal establishments, and assist the Victorian Government with his
advice.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 3: Since proved to be a forgery.]



CHAPTER XI.

NEW SOUTH WALES AND QUEENSLAND.


We left the Spencer Street Station by five o'clock, and began the long,
tedious journey of eighteen hours by rail to Sydney. We dined at Seymour,
and arrived at Albury at 11 p.m., where we changed into the sleeping-car,
the "Lady Parkes." These cars are much better arranged than those in
America. The berths are wider and higher, and the four at the end of
the carriage are reserved for ladies and divided off by a curtain. At
Albury we crossed the boundary-line between Victoria and New South Wales,
formed by the Murray, the greatest Australian river. After a course of
2400 miles, receiving the waters of six large rivers, it discharges the
drainage of one-half the continent upon the south-western shore near
Adelaide. Fortunately we were coming from Victoria into New South Wales,
instead of _vice versâ_, or we should here have had our trunks searched
by the custom-house officials, for Victoria labours under the iron hand
of strict protective duties, whereas New South Wales is governed by
comparatively free trade principles. It is partly these heavy duties that
make Melbourne such an extortionate town. At Albury also the line changes
from the broad to the narrow gauge, neither New South Wales nor Victoria
being willing to adjust it to each other. We passed Wagga Wagga, of
Tichborne fame, during the night, where "Roger" kept his butcher's shop;
strange that we had only just been reading of his release in the English
cablegrams.

After passing the wide stretch of country called the Riverina, we had
breakfast at Goulburn, the seat of a bishopric. These are the barren
plains, which extend 900 miles to the west of Sydney, and form the
centre of the great pastoral industry. The country became more populous
as we approached Sydney towards twelve o'clock. We found the carriage
waiting at the station to take us to Government House, where we received
a most cordial welcome from Lord and Lady Augustus Loftus, who had
known C. in St. Petersburg and Berlin, where his Excellency had been
ambassador. After luncheon they proposed that we should have some fresh
air, and take our first impression of Sydney from its beautiful harbour,
by going out in the _Nea_, the steam-launch.

Sydney Cove was alive with launches, steamers, and yachts, and with
the large ferry-boats that ply to and fro to the North Shore. Vessels
belonging to every nation in the world were lying in its docks, or at
anchor in the Cove. We passed the _Carthage_, of the Peninsular and
Oriental Company, bearing down the harbour out to sea, and from the
windows of Government House the arrival of a mail steamer is a frequent
object of interest. We saw many a vessel painted entirely white, that
had come from the tropical climates of Chili, Peru, or the South Sea
Islands. Wool warehouses, sugar manufactories, and timber-yards line the
banks, giving us some idea of the vast shipping and commercial interest
that centres in Sydney. We gathered, too, some idea of the size of the
town from the straggling suburbs that extend out a long way up the
Parramatta. Bearing up this river, we passed Cockatoo Island, famous in
the convict annals of earlier days, a remembrance of which still lingers
in the stone sentinel box of the keeper in charge of the gangs. It is
now used as a dock for war-ships, and another island farther up as a
gunpowder magazine. Leaving all traces of the busy town-life behind
us, we were out in the country; the low river-banks bordered with gum
trees, and houses with their gardens sloping down to the water's edge.
Once we were suddenly transported back to some happy days spent on the
beautiful shores of the Italian lakes; for a stone terrace with pillars
and steps down to the water made us exclaim,--"Isola Bella!" We turned
homewards under the huge Lunatic Asylum standing on the hill, and where
the Claimant's brother is now confined.

Government House is an architecturally picturesque building of Bath
stone, built by convict labour. The entrance is very pretty, driving up
under the archway of the tower. The windows of the central hail are
filled with stained glass, and the walls hung with full-length portraits
of former governors. The grounds overlook the harbour, and slope down to
the water from all sides of the promontory on which Government House is
built. But the accommodation is inadequate to the requirements of the
house, as is also the ball-room for entertaining. The Government House at
Melbourne is far more imposing, but for comfort and every day living the
one at Sydney is far preferable.

I went out into the verandah in the evening after dinner, to see the
powerful revolving electric light of the lighthouse on the "Heads" at the
entrance to the Harbour. At first you see only a glimmer of light, and
then the broad rays coming sweeping round, shimmering in the darkness,
till the full blaze of light dazzles the eyes for a moment. But the
charms of sitting out in this verandah and garden are spoilt by the
plague of mosquitoes, and for the first time I was obliged to sleep
within the filmy shadow of the mosquito-curtain.

_Saturday, November 15th._--A bright morning, promising to be very hot
during the day. The view from our sitting-room window was beautiful
this morning; the haze over the distant hills, and the blue water of
the harbour, dancing and glinting in the sunlight. From the garden
beneath there came up through the open window the sweet, sickly smell
from a magnificent magnolia-tree, thirty feet high, and from the beds of
gardenias, which bloom at the rate of 100 a day during the summer months.

We took a hansom after breakfast, to explore the streets of Sydney.
Macquarie Street faces the open space where the Exhibition buildings
stood which were burnt down, the large hospital, which remains unfinished
for want of funds, the Mint, and the Houses of Parliament. It ends in
Hyde Park, where, within the railings, stands the bronze statue of Albert
the Good, and opposite is the granite pedestal in the square, laid by
the Princes Albert Victor and George, when they visited Sydney in the
_Bacchante_, awaiting the statue of her Majesty the Queen.

The streets of Sydney are narrow and crooked, but it is a prettier and
more interesting town than Melbourne; it has, too, a much more old-world
look. The most notable feature in the streets are the huge silent
locomotives, black monsters, that come gliding noiselessly round the
corners. These steam tramways appear most dangerous to strangers, as
the level crossings are unguarded, and there is no warning whistle. They
consist of a "traction" engine, and two large omnibus cars, and there is
a covered station where they start from. Omnibuses, which ply every hour
between the suburbs and the town, and hansoms are the other vehicles most
in use. The latter are very unsuitable for the steep streets in the town
and the hills in the suburbs, throwing as they do all the weight when
going down hill upon the horses' fore-legs.

The shops are moderately good, and though not actually so expensive
as those at Melbourne, are in reality more so, when the comparative
absence of duty is taken into account. With the exception of Macquarie
Street and Macleay Street, all "society" lives without the town in the
suburbs, clustering on the points or round the bays of "Our Harbour,"
such as on Darling Point, and Pott's Point, or Rose Bay, Double Bay, and
Wooloomooloo. There is, too, the "North Shore," a very beautiful suburb,
lying between the harbour and the sea, and only communicating with Sydney
by a ferry at present, though before long there will be a bridge built.

The jealousy between Victoria and New South Wales is carried to the most
ludicrous pitch. The Sydney people declare that when they built any
institution, Melbourne copied them in it, only building one larger and
finer. Melbourne points to its buildings, and Sydney to its harbour; and
it reached a culminating point last year, when New South Wales talked of
the Victorians as "Our friends in the cabbage garden." Having just come
from the "cabbage garden," we were close questioned as to our impressions
by comparison with Sydney; I was very glad that we had been to Melbourne
first, for I honestly preferred the former town.

Lady Augustus Loftus had a garden-party in the afternoon; the excellent
band of the Permanent Force, which has since furnished the splendid
contingent for the Soudan, playing in the garden. I was very much struck
how far quieter and less well-dressed the people in Sydney were, how much
more "behind the times," when compared to their sisters in the rival city.

I played "mattador" in the evening with Lord Augustus. It is an
Australian game, played with dominoes, but has been stopped at the clubs
on account of its enormous gambling facilities. C. went to see Mr.
Semple, a wonderful American breaker of horse. He undertakes to subdue
the wildest horses, by the simple but somewhat cruel method of lightly
securing their heads to their tails, when they spin round and round till
they fall to the ground giddy and exhausted. He has had wonderful success
hitherto, and his classes of instruction are largely attended.

_Sunday, November 16th._--I went to the cathedral in the morning, and was
much disappointed in the cold, semi-choral service and the bare interior
of the building. The Primate, Dr. Barry, was away, performing country
confirmations, so I did not hear him preach.

_Monday, November 17th._--We went over H.M.S. _Miranda_, a man-of-war,
anchored in front of Government House. The boat, manned by a crew in
white jackets, came off to the jetty to fetch us on board, and the
commander, Captain Acland, showed us over. The sailors' quarters appeared
to me miserable; they have all to cook, sleep, eat, and sit in one room
in the hold of the ship.

Lady Augustus, on our return, took me to the Picture Gallery, which is a
poor wooden building, but contains a good collection of water-colours,
and some pictures that have been exhibited in our Academy, including
works by Leighton, Goodall, Vicat Cole, &c. Their latest addition has
been De Neuville's "Rorke's Drift;" and 5000_l._ is now yearly put aside
out of the estimates for fresh purchases in England.

They have in the gallery two or three of Marshall Wood's statues,
including the beautiful one called the "Song of the Shirt." He is the
sculptor of the Queen's statue in the Parliament Buildings at Ottawa,
which we admired so much.

In the afternoon we drove through the Domain, to the rocky promontory at
the end that is called Lady Macquarie's chair; it is a small park formed
of the strip of land running out into the harbour.

_Tuesday, November 18th._--I went into the Botanical Gardens, which are
the most lovely I have ever seen. A terrace overhangs the bay in the
harbour round which the gardens lie, and there is something in the smooth
lawns and the endless shady walks that give to it a romantic beauty of
its own. C. then took me to the magnificent Government buildings in
Macquarie Street, to see Mr. Vernon, Secretary of the Railways, who had
come across the Pacific with us in the _Australia_, but I could not see
the Council Chamber, as the Council were sitting at that moment.

There was a dinner-party in the evening, including Sir George--one of
the Judges--and Lady Innes, Professor and Mrs. Smith, Mr. Fosbery, the
Chief of the Police, and Mr. Dalley, Attorney-General and Acting Colonial
Secretary to the present Government, a most accomplished and clever man.

To-day there has been one of the north-east winds that make the climate
of Sydney so damp and relaxing, but they are nothing when compared
to the north-west or hot wind, which is intensely dreaded. These hot
winds are caused by the wind blowing over the parched deserts of the
interior of Australia, when they bring with them a fiery blast that
burns and shrivels up all before it; night or day there is no relief,
during the two or three days that they remain. When the change comes,
it is generally with a "southerly burster," or tremendous storm. Sydney
suffers most from these, but I never shall forget how terrible was the
oppressiveness of one that we had at Melbourne, for a few hours only,
whilst we were there.

_Wednesday, November 19th._--To the opening of the Legislature by
commission at twelve o'clock. The Governor did not elect to go in state,
having closed the Parliament in person only the previous fortnight; this
being a short session for the passing of the estimates only.

We went over the houses afterwards, which are small and inconvenient, and
built of wood; but they are about to erect new ones.

Then to luncheon with Sir Alfred and Lady Stephen, who presently drove us
out to see the Alfred Hospital. The foundation-stone was laid by the Duke
of Edinburgh, after whom it is named, and the handsome stone building
cost 120,000_l._ All the appointments of the hospital are excellent. The
house surgeon begged to be excused from taking us over as he had seven
operations to perform that afternoon, and sent for Mrs. Murray, the
matron, a charming woman, to do so instead. Near the Alfred Hospital is
the University, the first that was founded in the southern hemisphere,
and around are the affiliated colleges of St. Paul and St. Andrew,
belonging to the Church of England and the Presbyterian body, where
religious instruction is given, none being allowed at the University.

Sir Alfred Stephen is Lieutenant-Governor, and the late Chief Justice.
Aged eighty-two, he has had eighteen children, to whom the number of nine
has been always attached; so curious is the coincidence, that I append
some lines written by himself "in court in 1859, during a very long
speech by counsel in the trial of a squatting action, which had lasted
four days":--

"'TWICE NINE;' OR, JUDICIAL IMPARTIALITY EXEMPLIFIED.

    "Of children this knight had no less than eighteen;
    Twice nine little heads, with a marriage between.
    He had nine when a barrister, nine when a judge;
    And of '_sex_'--since to Nature he owed not a grudge--
    Nine exactly were girls, the other half boys,
    An equal division 'twixt quiet and noise;
    While if by marriage the number he reckoned,
    There were nine of the first, and nine of the second.
    Nine in Tasmania, nine New South Wales;
    Then (to show with what justice he still held the scales)
    Since 'nine' it was clear he could not divide
    (A third sex yet having never been tried),
    Five sons and four daughters in Hobart were born,
    That four sons, five daughters might Sydney adorn!
    Twin daughters, twin sons, complete the strange story
    Of this patron of wigs, though constant old Tory."

There was an evening party at Government House, followed by a small
dance; the verandah looking so pretty, lighted with coloured Chinese
lanterns.

_Thursday, November 20th._--Lady Augustus had very kindly arranged a
picnic for us to see the Middle Harbour.

"Our harbour" is very beautiful, but you tire somewhat of the incessant
repetition of the fact that is required from all new arrivals to Sydney.
Perhaps the idea of the officers on board a newly arrived man-of-war was
the best, when they hung over the side of their ship a board painted in
large letters, "We have seen your harbour and admire it!"

We left the jetty in two launches on a gloriously bright morning, a party
of twenty pleasant people. We passed by several of the sheltered bays,
where so many of the pretty houses lie; first the one with the soft
complex name of Wooloomooloo, and afterwards Darling Point, followed by
Double and Rose Bays; and then we put in at a little sandy cove, and
some of the party, including ourselves, climbed up the hill to the
camp of the Permanent Artillery at the top. Colonel Roberts showed us
over the canteen, mess, store, and officers' huts, and C. went over the
fortifications, which are very strong.

We re-embarked, noticing the lighthouse, whose friendly beacon we
watch every night. Before us were the bold bluffs on either side the
"Heads," which form such a beautiful natural opening to the harbour.
Passing through them we should have been in the open sea. We, however,
took a turn to the right to go up the part of the harbour called the
"Middle Harbour," and leaving Manley Beach, the Margate of Sydney, to
the right, we got safely past the sandy shoals of the spit, and laid to
in a sheltered cove for luncheon. It is a grievous pity that the sparse
foliage of the gum is the only vegetation on the banks, and gives to
them such a dull, monotonous colouring. But very pretty are the little
headlands that jut out into the water, or the larger necks that enclose
some bay or inland sea, that gives one an idea of endless little harbours
unexplored within the larger one. I think the harbour, or Port Jackson
as it is officially called, with its seventy miles of frontage, made up
by the windings and turnings, may be likened to a beautiful lake; but
how Anthony Trollope thought it "so inexpressibly lovely, that it makes
a man ask himself whether it would not be worth his while to remove his
household gods, that he might look on it as long as he can look upon
anything," I cannot understand.

After luncheon was over we tried some fishing, but too much _débris_ from
the feast had already been sent overboard for the fish to do other than
nibble at the bait.

In coming home, Clontarf, the spot where the Duke of Edinburgh was shot
at, was pointed out to us. We landed two passengers at the camp, anchored
for tea in Chowder Bay; then went slowly home, disembarking members of
the party at various piers. As we neared our wharf we saw the little
Noah's Ark belonging to the American man-of-war plying backwards and
forwards with guests returning from the afternoon dance they were giving
on board.

C. had a very pleasant dinner at the House that evening, given to him
by Mr. Burdett Smith, meeting Sir John Robertson, the Speaker, and many
other prominent politicians.

The next day he made an expedition to Parramatta, to see the Premier,
Mr. Stuart, who had gone there for change of air after his recent attack
of illness.

_Saturday, November 22nd._--We left Redfern Station at 8 a.m., in a
special train provided for us by the Government, to make an expedition up
the Blue Mountains. The party consisted of Sir Alfred Stephen, the Hon.
George Dibbs, Colonial Treasurer, Mr. Critchett Walker, Principal Under
Secretary, Mr. Barton, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Harnett,
Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Fosbery, Commissioner of Police, and Mr. Loftus; as
well as of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Joseph, who had been most kind in asking
us to stay with them at Double Bay, and four other ladies.

Breakfast was served on board the dining-car attached to the train
immediately after starting, and if the truth ought to be told, we were
eating all day long, with the wherewithal so close at hand. We passed
Parramatta, or Rose Hill, the ancient Sydney, and saw its old Government
House, now used as a lodging-house, and the church, with its two little
towers, which was to have been a cathedral church.

At Penrith Station we were at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, and had
our first comprehensive and beautiful view of them, tracing at the same
time our zig-zag line up their sides. Soon we crossed the Nepean, or the
more familiar Hawkesbury on a stone bridge, which has so lately been the
scene of Canadian Hanlan's rowing feats. After passing Emu Plains, so
called from the herds of emus that used to roam over them, we reached the
first zig-zag. In eight minutes more we had ascended 600 feet.

The train at the zig-zag is run to the end of the gradient, points being
shifted by the guard, and then run up the gradual ascent of the next
level. It certainly is a much simpler method than that in America, where
the train _describes a circle round the corner_, whilst clinging to the
mountain side. We had a beautiful view over the rich cultivated fields
of the lowlands in the country of Cumberland--a changing, ever-shifting
view, as we ran along the side of the mountain, and then turned upwards
to face the opposite way.

The air felt brisker and colder as we got up into higher altitudes. After
reaching the summit we went through many miles of gum-tree woods, the
young, tender shoots yet crimson in their spring foliage. Lovely glimpses
of deep gorges we had, dimly defined by the trees sloping downwards into
the shadow of the ravine, but with that all-pervading dull greeny-grey
blue, produced by their dense covering of gum forests. It seems to me
that no scenery in Australia can appear very beautiful. One view must be
much like another on account of the terrible monotony of the gum-tree.
How we longed to-day to see some of these deep gorges in the mountains
clothed with the different shades of green produced by our oak or beech
or chestnut!

We passed Faulconbridge, the beautiful mountain home of Sir Henry Parkes,
who had very kindly asked us to spend part of the day with him, but we
were anxious to go on to the Lithgow and the second zig-zag. Katoomba,
with the Great Western Hotel, is the spot where most of the visitors
from Sydney stay, its great attraction being its splendid situation
overlooking the Cunimbla Valley.

At Blackheath we got out of the train, and found a break waiting to
take us the two miles to Govett's Leap. We drove along a sandy road,
looking at the masses of wild flowers that bordered it, or grew in the
underscrub. We noticed particularly among them the wild lobelia, and the
blue iris, and the Australian "edelweiss," which they call the "flannel
plant," and which has a varying number of petals, from seven to fourteen;
but above all there was the beautiful waratah, that wiry flower, glorious
in its deep crimson colour, and resembling an artichoke dipped into
cochineal, as one of our party remarked. As we were looking and talking
about the flowers, quite unexpectedly, and with a sudden alarm, we found
ourselves on the edge of the precipice of what is called "Govett's
Leap." Twelve hundred feet below us there was a plain, shut in on all
sides by titanic walls of granite rock. I call it a plain, for it seemed
so by comparison to where it narrowed imperceptibly to the gorge, only
wide enough for a narrow river to flow through, and which lost itself
to us under the blue haze of the distance. This plain was covered with
sassafras, or spinnefex, a stunted undergrowth, amongst which peeped up
the bare heads of rocks, and all around and beyond them was only the
grey-blue undulations of a sea of gums. Just to our right there was the
black shiny cliff, over which trickles the falling mist of the waterfall
called Govett's Leap. It is dignified you perceive into a waterfall, but
here droughts are so frequent, and water so scarce, that drops trickling
over a rock must be so called, or none would remain in existence. The
waterfall is not called Govett's Leap, as many would suppose, after some
legendary convict's leap, escaping from the pursuit of his gaolers, but
after the name of the first surveyor of the Blue Mountains.

[Illustration: Govett's Leap, Blue Mountains.]

The great beauty of the scenery in these mountains lies in the grand
expanse of the valleys that open out sheer at your feet, under precipices
of from 300 to 500 feet and in the curious formation of rock that
generally surrounds them, standing out into their midst in jagged masses
or formations that take the shape of something human.

Certainly there are these grand and glorious views in the Blue
Mountains, these vast panoramas as at Govett's Leap, or at the
"Weatherboard;" but taking them as a whole I think their monotonous
beauty is somewhat exaggerated by the fact that Australia is so poor in
beautiful scenery. Going through Mount Victoria Pass we came to Mount
Victoria, which has a fine hotel, and is over 3000 feet above the sea
level. It is generally taken as the headquarters from whence tourists
can explore the mountains. Then we reached the second, or the "Great
Zig-zag," the marvel of the engineering feats. At one point we looked
down and saw below us _three_ distinct lines of railway, and these had
only been made after tunnelling and blasting the rock away sometimes
to a depth of forty or fifty feet. But I think it looked still more
wonderful when we looked _up_ to it from the bottom, and wondered how we
should ever reach the top again. The cost of this part of the railway was
between 20,000_l._ and 25,000_l._ a mile.

Lithgow formed our terminus, and we had luncheon in a siding, and some
of the party went to see the pottery works opposite, and returned with
bricks which they had seen baked in the oven, and tiles, and little
brown earthenware teapots, valued at 7½_d._ These pottery works were
started almost accidentally by the Lithgow Valley Colliery Company, who
began by baking bricks for a chimney to their furnace in connection with
their large coal-mining operations, and finding clay suitable for pottery
purposes in the neighbourhood they continued. Nearly the whole of the
pretty Lithgow Valley is spoilt by being used for manufacturing purposes,
coal being found in large quantities and worked by several companies.

We ran back quickly, though the return journey seemed much Longer.
At Mount Victoria we experienced a curiously sudden change in the
atmosphere. A little damp mist rising from the valleys spread so quickly
that the warm, bright afternoon was suddenly clouded over, and changed
to drizzling rain and a chill, clinging mist. We had fortunately seen
the views in the morning, in brightness and sunshine, for now in the
afternoon they were totally obliterated. We heard afterwards that we
narrowly avoided a collision with another passenger train at Parramatta
when returning, and we were saved by the presence of mind of our
engineer, who ran us into the siding just in time. We reached Sydney, and
were back at Government House by 8 p.m.

[Illustration: Zig-zag on railway, Blue Mountains.

    Page 192.]

_Sunday, November 23rd._--We had luncheon in Macleay Street with the
Chief Justice, Sir James, and Lady Martin. Sir James has never been out
of New South Wales, but he has read so extensively and to such purpose,
that he knows Europe almost better than any traveller, and will tell you
the exact position of any of the celebrated pictures in the galleries
of Rome or Florence. Their house has a narrow garden, with a succession
of beautifully-planted stone terraces leading down to the edge of the
harbour.

We drove out afterwards to Rose Bay to see the Hon. James White's
beautiful house. Mr. White is the owner of a celebrated stud, and had
that morning taken C. out to the race-course at Randwick to see his
stables. The garden is very beautiful, and from it the harbour presents
the appearance of two distinct lakes, caused by the jutting out of Point
Piper. Mr. William Cooper's, Mr. Mitchell's, and Sir Wigram Allen's are
the finest houses at Sydney after Mr. White's. I think Sydney is a far
preferable place to Melbourne to live in. It has not the American "go"
and tone of the latter, nor the same amount of society; but the place
is so much prettier, and the climate so bright, that the blue waters of
the harbour have often reminded us of the Mediterranean--indeed the mean
temperature of Sydney is found to be exactly equal to that of Toulon.

The Government of Melbourne is termed the "blue ribbon" of the colonial
service, and has a salary attached to it of 10,000_l._; but Sydney, with
its salary of 7000_l._, should be, I think, the more popular of the two.

Sir John Robertson has very kindly asked us whilst here to make an
expedition up the Hawkesbury, to stay with him, but the steamer for
Brisbane is leaving to-morrow. C. was also very anxious to have made
a trip from Sydney over to New Caledonia; but the twenty-one days of
strictest quarantine imposed by the French Government on all vessels
arriving at Noruma from Sydney, on account of the small-pox here, has
rendered it impossible. He has been fortunate, however, in meeting French
officers, who have given him all the necessary information, and he has
obtained many official papers concerning the French penal settlement.

_Tuesday, November 25th._--We bade farewell to Lord and Lady Augustus
Loftus in the afternoon, and went down to the wharf, where lay the
_Ly-ee-moon_, of the Australian Steam Navigation Company, with the
"blue peter" flying. Mr. Loftus, Mr. Unwin, and Dr. Garran, the editor
of the _Sydney Morning Herald_, came to see us off. We went down the
harbour, saying good-bye to Government House as we passed its windows,
but seeing nothing, to our disappointment, of the race that was going on
between boats' crews of H.M.S. _Miranda_ and the American man-of-war.
We passed out through "the Heads" into the open sea, which had a heavy
swell on, the remains of a "southerly burster" of the previous night.
The _Ly-ee-moon_ is a dirty little steamer of 600 tons; she is fast,
but rolls terribly. After it got dark and cold on deck nothing remained
but to go below, and plunge, without asking questions, into the dusky
recesses of the bunk in the cabin.

_Wednesday, November 26th._--On board S.S. _Ly-ee-moon_, off the coast
of Queensland. Coasting all day along a country covered as far the eye
could see into the interior with gum-trees. It gives one some idea of the
density of the forests before the country is opened up. Sea smooth, but
many ill; _cuisine_ disgusting, and passengers noisy and objectionable.
I wrote letters for home all day.

_Thursday, November 27th._--The stewardess came into my cabin at seven
o'clock, to say that we had been at anchor for an hour or more in the
River Brisbane, waiting for the doctor to come off and pass us. The
ascent up the Brisbane for thirty miles took us nearly two hours. The
river is so deep and broad that large vessels are able to come up to
Brisbane, and anchor at the wharves. The banks are low and pretty, but
little we saw of their beauty that morning for the dense mist caused by
the downpour of rain.

Mr. Prichard, the Governor's aide-de-camp, was waiting for us on the
wharf with the carriage, and we drove past the Government buildings,
which are very fine, and the Club House, with its broad verandahs, to
Government House. Here Sir Anthony and Lady Musgrave received us most
kindly. Government House is a low, ugly stone building, with numberless
verandahs, into which the rooms open out. The servants' quarters are
quite separate, in a bungalow apart from the house. The house lies on a
peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the river, and the road which
leads past the houses ends at Government House as a _cul de sac_.

The deluge of rain lasted all the afternoon, but cleared up enough in
the evening for Lady Musgrave and her three boys to take me into the
adjoining Botanical Gardens. The climate at Brisbane is nearly tropical,
and these gardens are proportionately more luxuriant than those of
either Melbourne or Sydney. There is a beautiful avenue of bunyea-trees
bordering the walk by the river. On the pond in the centre grow the most
lovely blue and pink water-lilies; the latter is "the sacred lotus" of
the Egyptians, a plant that, besides Australia, only inhabits China,
Japan, Persia, the Malay Peninsula, and the Philippine Islands. The
lawns feel short and springy to the tread from the crisp buffalo-grass.
There is a grove of tall bamboo-trees, interspersed with palms, the
bread-fruit tree, or the traveller's tree--a species of palm which gives
water when tapped by the traveller in the desert; on some of these grow
the stag-horn ferns, so called because it is a fern which branches out
like the horns of a stag. There were thickets of mimosa; the common
sensitive plant, whose leaves curl up at the touch; interspersed with the
candlenut-tree, the castor-oil plant, Moreton Bay figs, or wattle-trees,
and every one of the fifty-four species of eucalypti or blue gum that
flourish in Queensland. In the borders grow ohias, and hibiscus, white
or red, single or double; seringea, boronia, crimson pointsettias,
red-purple bougainvillea; jackerandia, like our purple wisteria; and
daturas, with their pure white blossom, growing amid a cluster of dark
green leaves. There were all the commoner sorts of flowers, and hundreds
of others of which I did not know or could not learn the names.

The suite of rooms we have are connected by a succession of verandahs.
Doors and windows open to the ground, giving in the evening a terrible
invitation to the mosquitoes to enter, of which they avail themselves
freely, humming and buzzing round in a maddening dance. Fortunately we
are too early for the sandflies, a tiny insect which hops like a flea,
and whose bite is very vicious and painful; they have been known to
worry a horse almost to death. The frogs, with their sometimes deafening
chirping, are heard in the early morning or after sundown, the same as
we used to hear the locusts at Sydney. The hoarse laugh of the "jackass"
often rings out on the night air.

_Friday, November 28th._--Lady Musgrave took me to the Museum in the
morning, where they have a good collection of native birds. Following the
example of hot climates, for the heat in Brisbane is intense, though we
are early enough to escape the worst, which is between this month and
April, we stayed quiet during the afternoon, and went out driving in the
evening. We drove through the town and principal streets of George and
Queen Streets to the Acclimatization Gardens, reserved solely for that
purpose, and being so far removed from the town that they are little
used. Thence to the Girls' High School, and the Grammar School; and
afterwards coming down one of the fine "terraces" or roads overlooking
the town, we drove out to Kangaroo Point. Then I was able to master and
understand the difficult geography of Brisbane, caused by the windings in
the river, which puzzle you as to which side of it you are on. The river
winds round the town, so that in one street you can see it at the top
and again at the bottom. Brisbane is a thoroughly uninteresting and ugly
town. C. met the Premier, Mr. Griffiths; Sir Arthur Palmer, Speaker of
the Legislative Council; Sir Thomas MacIlwraith and Mr. Morehead, Leaders
of the Opposition, yesterday.

_Saturday, November 29th._--We did some shopping in the town in the
morning for the voyage, buying deck-chairs and table, &c., and a box to
send home to England. C. had a long talk with the Premier, detailing his
Massachusetts Probation Scheme, for the probation of prisoners who have
been convicted of a first offence only. An article written by him on the
subject has just appeared in the Melbourne _Victorian Review_; and the
three other colonies that we have visited, New Zealand, Victoria, and
New South Wales, are about to adopt it as being very economical, and
advantageous in preventing the manufacture of habitual criminals.

Lady Musgrave held her weekly afternoon reception.

On all sides we are hearing such terrible accounts of the drought,
which has ruined and is still ruining many owners of "sheep runs" in
Queensland. In some places it is two years since a single drop of rain
has fallen. No water can be obtained for drinking purposes without
sending many miles for it, and even in that case a serious difficulty
presents itself, for the horses are dying or dead from want of food. The
ground is described as being like a vast bed of sand or gravel, without
grass or green thing left growing on it. One lady told me this afternoon
that a relative of hers had just gone up country, and wrote to say that
they had had no water to wash with for four days, scarcely any to drink,
and that at last she had washed her baby in soda water! Sheep can be
seen who have staggered to some creek where water had formerly been
running, and sinking into the mud, perished, too weak to draw themselves
out. Others, again, coming down would get piled dead on the top, forming
a ghastly heap. It is computed that between two and three millions of
sheep have perished during this drought, and as many as 20,000 on a
single run. The rainfall here is very partial, and that which falls on
the seaboard often does not penetrate up country.

Advent Sunday at Brisbane, _November 30th._--In the midst of this
torrid heat, the Advent of Christmas comes unseasonably round. We
had a hot and dull morning service in the church, half a mile away.
During the afternoon I was reading Anthony Trollope's "Australia and
New Zealand:" what a terribly narrow and one-sided view he took of
things! A thunderstorm came in the evening to clear the oppressive
atmosphere, and we sat out under the verandah after dinner, and watched
the lights twinkling among the houses and on the wharf opposite, with
the phosphorescent sheet lightning sweeping the sky. It seems well-nigh
impossible to realize the murky skies and cold gloom of the November of
home, and Advent Sunday has come as an awakening of this fact. C. had
luncheon with his cousin, Mr. Gilbert Primrose, at his pretty little
place outside the town.

_Monday, December 1st._--Still very hot and oppressive. Sir Anthony took
me for a drive in the evening in a phaeton with pretty cream-coloured
ponies, out along the Ipswich road. There were some ranges of hills in
the distance, and it was a pretty drive, but a typical Australian look
was given to much of the surrounding country by the scrub of dwarfed
gums, and by the wooden houses perched on piles, partly for ventilation
and dryness, but more to facilitate an easy search after the white ant,
the serious drawback to these wooden tenements. Queensland is still
in the period of much zinc roofing. There was a large dinner party of
pleasant people in the evening, after which we had to pack for two hours
to be ready for the morrow's start.

Queensland is the youngest of the Australian Colonies, and so great is
its extent, that it is the same size as England, Scotland, Ireland,
France, Belgium and Denmark would be if added together. It is bisected
by the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs nearly through the centre. The
south is devoted, as in the other colonies, to pastoral interests. On
the Darling and Peak Downs the sheep runs are fenced in, and luxuries
even are found in the houses, but on the Thompson and the Herbert, the
Warrego and Barcoo, the flocks roam at pleasure, and "boundary riders,"
or men who once or twice in the week ride round the outside of the run,
are still in use.

There is much talk at present going on about the division of Queensland,
as the north complains that the seat of Government at Brisbane is too
far distant, and that their interests are not identical with those of
the south. This is so far true, on account of the tropical climate of
the north, which is only suitable for the growth of sugar, cotton,
pine-apple, banana, or guava plantations.

Agitation is also at present being made for the abolition of island
labour, without which it is impossible for the plantations of the north
to be worked, as no European can long stand the tropical heat of the
midday sun. The cry of the south is "Queensland for the white man," and
many think that this crucial point will lead to the separation of the
north.

The Queensland Government is the only one in Australasia which is at
present actively engaged in peopling the vast unoccupied regions of
the continent. It has agents in England, and partly under a system of
nomination by those already in the colony, partly by the selection
of their officers, about 400 emigrants are sent out from England
gratuitously every fortnight, under contract with the British India Steam
Navigation Company. Mechanics of sober, industrious habits find their
wages augmented in their new homes by 300, 400, and even 500 per cent.
Single women find good situations almost before the vessel is moored
alongside the wharf at Brisbane. Even a maid of all work, if she can
cook, receives out here nearly a pound a week for wages. There is no
opening for town loafers or clerks, but ordinary labourers are frequently
in demand, and Government does what it can to find them employment, and
keeps them for a time at the depôts.

Before leaving Australia (though politics are not within my province),
I must say that throughout Australasia there is a strong feeling among
all classes for a closer union with the mother country. The loyalty
of the people to the Crown and the Empire is unbounded; but Australia
finds herself strong, and should any coldness be displayed by the Home
Government, a cry for separation may soon be raised, and we should
never forget that, "as a field for British trade, as an outlet for our
surplus population, and as producers of our food, our colonies are to us
indispensable."

It is with regret that we are obliged to leave Australia without seeing
something of the squatter's life in the back country, but the long sea
voyage before us renders it impossible for us to wait four weeks for
the next mail. If we had gone up country, I fancy previous ideas of the
roughing it, and hardships of bush life, with its traditional "damper"
and eternal haunch of mutton, would have disappeared before the luxury
and comfort which in all but the very recently settled districts now
prevail.

My husband has, however, been fortunate enough to meet most of the
politicians and leading public men, for at Melbourne, Sydney, and
Brisbane the Parliaments have been in session, and this, after all,
is the main object of our visit to the colonies. I have before given
our reasons for not attempting to visit South Australia; and the Crown
Colony of Western Australia, with its capital of Perth and still barren
settlements, one would hardly go to except under compulsion. The few
emigrants who arrive there rarely remain, and 25,000 numbers the entire
population of Western Australia. Although its territory is enormous, it
consists chiefly of a sandy waste, and a "Yankee" who landed there is
said to have made the observation "that it was the best country he ever
saw to run through an hour-glass!"

To my great sorrow we are abandoning our original intention of visiting
China and Japan. The war with France would make the former difficult,
and the season of the year would be unfavourable for the latter. These
are not, however, the chief reasons, so much as a half-formed scheme we
are revolving in our minds, to come home by the Cape and South Africa.
We have given ourselves till next May for travelling, and it would
not be possible to accomplish China, Japan, as well as British India,
Netherlands India, the Straits Settlements, and the Cape. Even as it is
the latter may fall through from want of time, or the absence of good
steamer connection between Bombay and Natal. But We hope for the best as
we take leave of Australasia and set sail for Hindoostan.



CHAPTER XII.

WITHIN THE BARRIER REEF, THROUGH TORRES' STRAITS TO BATAVIA.


[Illustration]

Queensland, farewell! A hurried breakfast, a hasty departure from
Government House, and we were down at the wharf and on board the tender,
hardly realizing that we were leaving Australia's shores for ever.

It took us nearly two hours to steam the thirty miles down the river,
to get out to the open sea, and the breezes kept ever freshening, and
the tender ever more heavily rolling. The banks grew flatter and uglier,
tapering off to the sandbanks of St. Helena, where the low buildings of
the convict station are seen. The grand circular basin of Moreton Bay
opened out before us.

Two miles out at sea lay the _Merkara_, one of the British India Steam
Navigation Company's ships, seeming steady even in the heavy sea, which
was making our little tug jump about. It was enough to make some of
the friends who had come to see the passengers off suffer for their
devotion. Luncheon was ready for all as we came on board, and when last
farewells and tears had been gone through, and a cheer given by those in
the departing tender, the deck was clear, and we were left to ourselves,
a very small party consisting only of Lord and Lady Henry Phipps, and
their four children, and two other passengers. The Royal Mail steamship
_Merkara_ is intended for, and sacrificed, as far as the comfort of
saloon passengers is concerned, to the emigrant service, bringing out
as she does from 300 to 500 each voyage to Queensland. The saloon is
shortened for the quarters of the single women aft, and narrowed by
having the cabins ranged on either side. On the return voyage, when there
are no emigrants, and the deck is clear, there are plenty of quiet places
for reading and erecting deck tables and chairs, and a camp bed, which we
have brought with us, in the event of sleeping on deck. So smooth was our
passage that we only once had the opportunity of testing the _Merkara's_
sea-going capacities, and that was in the heavy sea now running as we
left Moreton Bay. She was perfectly steady, and, though the measuring
machine in the engine-room told us she could roll eighteen degrees, we
never experienced one severe roll. Her steadiness is attributed to the
extraordinary length, of nearly 400 feet, which enables her to ride on
the top of two or three waves at the same time without pitching up and
down in their troughs.

We had a curious mixture of races on board, with Portuguese stewards
from Goa, converted to Roman Catholics, a deck crew of Hindoos, and
Mohammedans in the engine-rooms. The "boys," or stewards, were most
excellent, and there was nothing to complain of in the _cuisine_. The
exploration of a ship which is to be one's resting-place for three weeks
is always a matter of some interest.

By 4 p.m. we were out of the shelter of Moreton Bay, and Captain Phillips
(who did all in his power for the comfort of the passengers) pointed
out to me the curious low range of conical-shaped hills called the
"Glass-houses," from their sparkling appearance when the sun shines
on them, and which is caused by the mixture of mica with the quartz;
but to-day they were veiled in mist. The last of the sandbanks to our
starboard disappeared, our course was altered, but for the next nine days
we shall still have land on the port side as we coast along, calling at
various ports in Queensland, and waiting for the mails at Cooktown.

_Wednesday, December 3rd._--Everybody felt languid and unsettled on the
first morning. I managed some writing, however, in the course of the
day. We passed the group of Bunker Islands, near one of which there was
a wreck, and by 4 p.m. we were inside the great Barrier Reef.

These detached masses of coral form a gigantic Wall, stretching along the
coast of Queensland for 1300 miles, varying in depth from 600 to 1000
feet.

It has been ascertained and deduced from the depth of the soundings that
originally the Barrier Reef formed part of the coast of Australia. Under
the level of the lowest tide, but exposed to the force of the wave, these
coral polyps and reef-building zoophytes extract by their tentacles the
corpuscules in the surrounding water necessary for their existence, and
separate one by one the atoms of lime, either in the form of sulphate,
chloride, or carbonate, held in solution in the ocean. With these they
hold up their beautiful submerged ocean gardens of trees, and flowers,
and plants, or structures with domes and towers, forming a world within
the world of ocean life. The lifelong struggle between the living mass
of coral and the breakers of the ocean for ever continues; "myriads and
myriads engaged from age to age" in repairing the damage to the outer
wall by the action of the ocean. Each zoophyte possesses tentacle, mouth,
and stomach, but here their individuality ceases, and a calcareous tissue
forms the means of living communication and nutrition to the whole
community, and it is this interior stalk by which they are united, of a
bright red colour, which forms the pink coral. Various swarms of fish or
mollusci, chief among the latter being the Holuthuriæ, or _bêche-de-mer_,
are formidable enemies to the polyps.

As we sat on deck at dusk there was a beautiful effect from the chain
lightning, which was supposed to be either the reflection of a storm
elsewhere or the phosphorescence of the sky, the same as that we were
looking at on the water over the side of the ship. We passed the
revolving lighthouse on Cape Capricorn, just opposite which we were
crossing the line of the Tropic of Capricorn. We had a grand scene here,
for the sea was wild and stormy from the break in the Barrier Reef, and
there were banks of black cloud lying on the horizon, with the frowning
brow of Capricorn coming out into the sea, lighted by the bright spark
from the alternating beacon of the lighthouse.

We hung out a limelight from the bridge as a signal for them to telegraph
our approach to Rockhampton, and then describing a very wide circle
round an unseen reef, and going some nine miles up the Fitzroy River, we
anchored there at 10 p.m.

Rockhampton lies forty-eight miles further up, but the river is
unnavigable for large ships, and the passengers come down in a tender,
and the cargo in lighters.

A terrible night we passed from 3 a.m., when the lighters came alongside,
and the steam-winch worked over our heads; and worse was it when morning
came, and the heat of the sun beat down on the far-extending mangrove
swamps. The last bale of wool was stowed away in the stern hold after
breakfast, and order was restored to our deck, but several hundreds still
remained for the hold forward. Vainly the captain offered the lightermen
two bottles of "grog" to go on working during the dinner hour; they
were proof against the bribe, and it was late in the afternoon before
we weighed anchor and went out to sea again, in a storm of thunder and
lightning. The evening was intensely close and oppressive, for with the
decks and double awning dripping from the deluge of rain, we were all
obliged to crowd into the deck-house. We began to dread the heat of the
Torres' Straits route, of which we had been previously warned.

_Friday, December 5th._--As I awoke at 7 a.m. I found we were going
half-speed, and almost immediately afterwards we stopped and swung round
to our anchor in the Pioneer River, some miles below Port Mackay. How
annoying it was waiting there till twelve for one passenger, because
the tide was too low for the tender to come down! During the afternoon
we were passing a succession of pretty little islands, called the
Blacksmith, Goldsmith, Silversmith, Tinsmith, Bellows, Anvil, Forge, &c.,
all the names connected with the trade, and later on a mountain called
Mount "Merkara," from the _Merkara_ having once sent help and provisions
to some lost surveyors.

Towards evening we went through part of the beautiful Whit-Sunday
passage, but to our disappointment not the most beautiful, because of
the dark clouds and the lateness of the hour. There the channel is so
narrow that you almost touch the wooded banks on either side, but Captain
Hannah, the pilot provided by the Government for the Queensland coast, is
well known for his prudence. The mainland on one side, the long wooded
island of Whit-Sunday with its solitary white lighthouse on the other,
while peninsulas of other islands, meeting in the sea, and forming quiet
backwaters, shut out the ocean. We imagined ourselves for a short time
in a landlocked lake, with beautiful shoal-green water. Further on we
passed the remarkable rock called Pentecost Island, which resembles a
lion couchant, and both this island and Whit-Sunday Passage were named
so by Captain Cook, who probably sighted them on the Day of Pentecost
and Whit-Sunday. We had one of the most gorgeous sunsets I ever remember
after dinner this evening.

A pale blue, melting into opal, when again it merged into pink, and
the pink into purple. Then a delicate saffron suffused the sky, gently
effacing the other pale hues, before becoming a glorious golden red
sky,--a sea of fiery liquid gold, floating over the dark purple range of
hills, flecked with tiny cloudlets, like ships sailing over the moulten
gold. A flat plain of shimmering moonlight blue was the sea, and in
the foreground rose two huge pyramidal islands of rock, densest black,
against the yellow background. We watched it silently, and still sat on
long after it had faded, and the remembrance only remained to us.

_Saturday, December 6th._--We touched at Bowen during the night, and
anchored again at Townsville in the afternoon, about nine miles from
the town, in the open roadstead. Townsville is the most rising place
of the north of Queensland, and, should it secede from the south, will
become the capital. The town lies in the little plain at the foot of the
hills, Castle Hill rising 1000 feet in its rear, and the surroundings
of our anchorage were very pretty, wooded hills and shoal-green water.
The Custom House launch and the lighters came alongside, but no launch
or boat for the passengers to land, and we were all disappointed of our
previous intention. It seems the most shortsighted policy and want of
enterprise on the part of the townspeople providing no facilities or
encouragement to strangers to land. We were again and again disappointed
in this in the Torres' Straits route, for we had hoped to be able to
land and thus see the Queensland towns and ports. The heat was awful,
the saloon for dinner almost unbearable even with the punkahs working
briskly, and we sat on deck gasping and wearily wondering where to sleep,
with the heat in the cabins up to 100 degrees, and the deafening whirring
of the steam-winch on deck.

_Sunday, December 7th._--A fresher morning to my own especial and every
one else's delight. It has often been a hard struggle to persevere with
my writing when the saloon and cabins were out of the question from a
degree of heat indescribable, and when the glare and heat, and frequent
interruptions on deck were very harassing.

Our 800 bales of wool and many little bags of silver ore were shipped,
and we waited only to take on board one passenger, the American lady
doctor, Dr. Anna Potts, M.D., who has been delivering lectures in
Australia to audiences of 6000 with great success. The lightermen at
these ports are well paid, earning from 15_s._ to 1_l._ per day. They get
2_s._ extra for loading on Sunday, or working over hours--after 6 p.m. I
pitied the crew and officers, who were up all night loading without extra
pay, particularly those who were down in the hold. None but a lascar crew
would work as these do all day and all night without complaint.

There was no service on this Sunday, as we were in port in the morning,
but we sung some hymns in the evening.

_Monday, December 5th._--Very early in the morning we passed Cape Weary
and Cape Tribulation, and rounding the hill of granite and sandstone
rock, called Mount Cook, we anchored opposite Cooktown and the celebrated
Endeavour Beach. This part of the coast is fraught with great interest
in the travels of Captain Cook. It was here at Endeavour Beach, in 1769,
that he beached his little vessel, having run on some of the reefs. Again
she stranded at Cape Tribulation, and yet once again at Cape Weary, which
must have seemed to them by this time but too truly named. An obelisk
is to be erected just above the beach to the honour of Captain Cook,
Government having just voted 1000_l_. for this object. It is a tardy
recognition of his indomitable courage and perseverance, but, with the
exception of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand seems to be singularly
ungrateful to the great explorer and founder of their country.

It was curious to remark on the surrounding hills the bare patches of
earth, showing where the violence of the wind destroys all vegetation.

Until 1874 Cooktown remained in the possession of the aboriginals, and
as Cook had found and left it, but gold diggings discovered then on the
Palmer attracted the white man. Thousands of Chinese, as being the first
port of call in Queensland, landed here, there being at one time 20,000
of them at the Palmer Diggings.

A boat took us ashore to Cooktown in the afternoon. There were no
carriages to be had, and after struggling halfway along the dusty road
which forms the town, the heat was so intense that we sunk down on a
bench (I fear it was outside a public-house), the few people about of
the population of 4000 looking indolent and oppressed by the heat, which
is too great for the white man in the north. The few aboriginals that
we saw were repulsive in the extreme, and our sense of smell rendered
it desirable to keep at a distance from them. Strange that they should
say and do the same to all white men. These aboriginals are not allowed
to live in the town, but are turned out at sundown, when they swim two
miles across to the opposite shore to the aboriginal settlement. We
were glad when, after two hours' "tacking" against a contrary wind, we
reached the steamer again, feeling we had had a fruitless and vexatious
afternoon's expedition. Inspector Fitzgerald came off the next morning,
with a sub-inspector of native police and six black trackers in neat blue
and scarlet uniforms. The skill of these trackers in scenting a track
in the bush is marvellous, and where a white man will see nothing they
will be able to tell the mark of a foot, even the colour and sex of the
imprinter. In the settled country they are valueless, but in the wilds of
North Queensland, their powers, which excel those of the bloodhound, are
invaluable in tracing stolen cattle, and tracking and bringing to justice
the wild, intractable natives, thousands of whom still remain, and who
are all of a predatory character.

We tried some shark-fishing, many of the green monsters having being seen
swimming around the ship. One was hooked, but being six feet in length,
we failed to land him on board. It is a curious fact that sharks never
eat the blacks.

Since 2 p.m., the earliest possible date of the arrival of the mails
from Brisbane (which came up in a fast steamer in two days), we had been
constantly on the watch for her rounding the Cape.

It was not till 5 p.m. that we were released from our anchorage, the
little boat in three journeys bringing the mails to us from the steamer,
and as the last bag was thrown on board we steamed away. After dinner we
had another blue and crimson sunset, and when that had died away we saw
the light of two bush fires burning in the darkness along the coast.

The mail boat has brought us most agreeable addition to our party in
the Rev. C. Barton, chaplain to the Bishop of North Queensland, and a
clergyman at Townsville. The Church of England has no dissent to contend
with in Queensland, but we gather that drink is the curse of the country,
sixty per cent. being "hard" drinkers.

_Wednesday, December 10th._--Up on deck at 8 a.m., when the captain
called me up on to the bridge to see some of the coral reefs of the great
Barrier. It was low tide, and we could see the formation of the reef by
the lovely blue-green water inside. How we longed to go and paddle about,
peering down into their wonderful forests! At high-water mark they are
hidden, but the spot is marked by posts.

The passage between these shoals and reefs is so intricate, that the
pilot refused that night to go through them in the dark, and we anchored
at 11 p.m. till the moon rose at two in the morning.

_Thursday, December 11th._--We were summoned hastily on deck, all the
ladies appearing in déshabille, and the gentlemen in their many-coloured
pyjamas, to-see the Albany Pass. The mainland is flat and ugly, as are
the islands which form the pass, but on all there were curious bright
red cones, from four to five feet in height. These are huge ant-hills
raised by the ants in the red earth. We could only judge their size by
comparing them to a white horse which was feeding by them, and which they
completely dwarfed.

Mr. Jardine, one of the partners in the great pearl fisheries, has a
house in this lonely pass; he lives there surrounded by the aboriginals.
He ran up a flag on the flagstaff in front of his house to greet us as we
passed, and we saw his little yacht buoyed in the cove below the house.

Almost immediately afterwards we passed Cape York, the northernmost point
of Queensland. It is only a strip of land, for the Gulf of Carpentaria
describes a deep circle in the coast on the other side, leaving Cape York
jutting out in lonely grandeur into the sea.

It makes us realize the vast size of Australia when we think that, during
the last nine days, it is 1400 miles of the coast of Queensland _alone_
that we have been travelling along, and South Australia and Western
Australia are equally remarkable in their proportions.

At twelve we anchored off Thursday Island, opposite to the three or four
white houses called the village. All round the bay is dotted with small
settlements, and it presented a very bright scene, boats of all kinds
putting off to us; for the arrival of a steamer at Thursday Island is
hailed with peculiar joy; and why? because by begging and praying they
hope to be able to obtain a few pounds of fresh meat. There are 100
English living in Thursday Island; they have no sheep or cattle, for
there is nothing in this sterile spot for them to feed on; no fruit,
no milk, no vegetables. There is neither church nor clergyman; but the
Roman Catholics have founded a convent, testifying to the activity of the
Church of Rome. They have no doctor, and ours from the _Merkara_ went off
to extract a bullet out of a man who had been shot three weeks ago, and
after dinner a lady came on board to have a tooth extracted! The climate
is atrocious,--always the same tropical sun, winter and summer, without
the charms of tropical foliage and life. The children suffer dreadfully
from prickly heat, but indeed all children in Queensland are more or less
disfigured by this rash. There is no water supply, and they are entirely
dependent on the rainfall. A shower sent its blessings on them yesterday
for the first time for six months, and did something towards replenishing
the empty tanks.

We landed at four o'clock, being carried ashore from the boat by the
crew. The sandy beach was over our ankles and there was nothing to be
seen but the wooden pier running into the sea, and a few corrugated zinc
houses belonging to the motley nationality of Thursday Island, Cingalese,
Malays, Kanakas, Chinese, and Japanese. To escape from the intense heat
of the sun we went into Burn Phelps and Co.'s large store. They have a
small schooner, the _Elsie_, which trades between Thursday Island and New
Guinea, and we were fortunate enough to get some New Guinea spears, bow
and arrows, and one of the celebrated New Guinea birds of paradise, with
the long feathery orange tail and blood-red breast.

Thursday Island lies in the midst of the Torres Straits, and is only
distant sixty miles from New Guinea. There exists little doubt that
originally Australia and New Guinea formed one continent, for as it is,
they are now nearly connected by the reefs of the Great Barrier, the
soundings never exceeding sixty feet in depth.

A great trade is carried on in the _bêche-de-mer_ which is found on
the coast of New Guinea and transported to Thursday Island for export
to China. This holuthuriea, or sea-cucumber, trepang or _bêche-de-mer_
(a corruption from the Portuguese _bicho-do-mar_, or sea-worm), is a
slug about six inches long, and "effects its locomotion by rows of
ambulaced-tubed feet, or by the alternate contraction and expansion of
its worm-like body." The natives are employed by the colonists in diving
after these slugs, and after being boiled, they are dried by the heat of
the sun. The _bêche-de-mer_ is considered in China the same luxury as the
edible bird's nest, and 100_l._ to 150_l._ a ton are given for it. I was
shown a piece of it, which looked like black leather, with a disagreeably
strong ozone smell.

Thursday Island is also the centre of a great pearl-fishery. The
pearl-shell, when brought to the surface by divers, is sent to London
to be manufactured. To each ship there is allotted one diver, who can
generally obtain from three to four tons a month, each ton being valued
at 180_l._ These divers go down to a depth of fifteen fathoms; but they
are well paid, often making 500_l._ a year. It is supposed, too, that
they often extract the pearl out of the shell before returning to the
surface.

When in port, ship-life becomes sadly disorganized. Every one had friends
on board to dinner, and the piano was moved out on to the deck for
music afterwards. The steam-winch kept up a running accompaniment. The
culminating point of heat and patient endurance were reached that night.
The saloon _was_ the black hole of Calcutta, all ports in the cabins were
closed, and the smell from the discharging lighter most noxious.

We were gasping and panting on deck, and could hardly manage to stay ten
minutes in the cabin to undress. Of course we all slept on deck; the
skylights and deck were strewn with mattresses and figures lying at full
length. We all suffered and passed a terrible night, sleep being for the
most part out of the question, with the shouts of the lightermen and the
groaning of the winch.

Morning, in the early grey dawn, found us weary and unrefreshed. We
loitered about on deck, not daring to venture downstairs until the ports
were open, when the second officer ordered us down, as "against all
orders," and very much aggrieved we felt as we descended.

Things assumed a brighter aspect when, at 7.30 we steamed out of the bay,
with a refreshing breeze, thankful to see the last of Thursday Island,
and the last of the Queensland ports.

We soon lost sight of land going out into the centre of the Torres
Straits, or Arafura Sea. I cannot help thinking that every one is happier
now that we have entirely lost sight of land, and settles down better to
the routine on board ship.

At noon we stopped opposite the Proud Foot shoal lightship, to send off
provisions to the three men who live here, in the centre of the Torres
Straits, thirty miles away from land.

_Saturday, December 13th._--Dull and threatening, with more swell on the
sea. We have grown so much accustomed to the lake-like aspect of the sea,
that we consider it a hardship now to see a white horse, or feel a little
swell. Our "run" was 317 miles.

_Sunday, December 14th._--A most miserable day. We had no service, though
Mr. Barlow offered to read one with the captain's permission. Tropical
sheets of rain came down, driving the gentlemen into their smoking-room,
and the children to make a pandemonium of the deck-house. To add to the
general depression and misery the sea got up, and all ports had to be
closed, the waves washing over the port side of the deck. There can be
nothing more wretched than being on a ship where there is no quiet or
dry corner to sit in. Though it was such a stormy night we were obliged
to sleep in the music-room: I think we should not have done so if we
had heard the story told the next morning at breakfast, how once on the
_Merkara_, in the Bay of Biscay, this deck-house had been washed bodily
away, and two passengers who were in it drowned.

_Tuesday, December 16th._--Tons of lava ashes have been floating by us
all day, still the remains of the great eruption of Krakatau, eighteen
months ago. Just before dinner we passed the _Roma_, another of the
B.I.S.N. ships, and dipped flags with her. Her decks were black with the
crowd of emigrants.

_Thursday, December 18th._--Yesterday we passed the island of Rotti
(Hindustani for bread) and the islands of Sandal-wood and Timor, a
possession divided between the Dutch and Portuguese, and which supplies
Java with a good breed of small but timid ponies. To-day we seem in
sight of land again from the succession of islands--Sumbawa, Lombok, and
Baly, all belonging to the Dutch. In the two latter we saw very high
mountains, ranging in Lombok to 12,000 feet, and in Baly to 10,000.
It is a continuation of the great volcanic range that runs through
the entire islands of Sumatra and Java. Mr. Alfred Wallace, the great
naturalist, divides the islands of this archipelago into two distinct
divisions--those that from their characteristics and productions are
identified with Australia, and those that may be classed as belonging
to Asia. The line is distinctly drawn between the islands of Lombok and
Baly, which are divided only by the narrow strait of fifteen miles. After
dinner, and against the apple-green sunset, we saw the dark line of the
coast of Java. Night after night we have been having these most glorious
sunsets, gorgeous in their Eastern magnificence of colouring, and the
phosphorescence of the water is far more brilliant than when we were in
the tropics crossing the Pacific. Shoals of flying-fish have kept us
company during the voyage, not counting sharks and porpoises.

At 10 p.m. we sent up a rocket, and waited at the entrance to the narrow
Straits of Baly for the pilot to come off from Banjoewangi. We passed
through the narrow passage at midnight, not seeing the tropical jungle,
which here touches the water's edge, nor hearing the roar of the leopards
and panthers who infest the shores.

_Friday, December 19th._--We are in the Sea of Java. Numerous
kattamarangs and canoes, with their outrigged frames that keep them
steady in the water, tell us we are within reach of busy life again.
Bamboo rods, with several lines attached for fishing, protrude out of the
water, and speak of hungry humanity once more. In the afternoon we lose
sight of Java, going on the outside of the island of Madura, as the water
is not deep enough for us inside.

On the last evening of our voyage we went down to the engine-room. The
two cylinders sliding up and down as fast as the eye can follow them
are wonderful, but more interesting is the tunnel, running quite aft,
containing the revolving cylinder of the screw. None but Orientals could
stand the intense heat of the furnaces, the normal temperature being
never less than 120°.

We went half-speed towards evening, so as not to arrive at Batavia before
daylight to-morrow morning; and we shall be able to leave the ship
immediately after breakfast.

There _are_ voyages in which one is sorry when the journey is nearing an
end, but this may not be counted as one of them.

The advantage of the Torres Straits route is that you may insure a calm
sea usually as far as Aden, whereas in that by South Australia it is
always as rough as in the Bay of Biscay in the Australian Bight; but the
heat in the Torres Straits is intensely great, travelling as you are for
days on a line with the Equator, and but few degrees removed from it.



CHAPTER XIII.

NETHERLANDS INDIA.


Our first voyage across the Atlantic began the fate which has since
pursued us, of arriving at our destination on Sunday. We have landed at
New York, at Auckland, at Wellington on Sunday, and now, after our three
weeks' voyage through the Torres Straits, the Arafura Sea, and Indian
Ocean, we find ourselves at anchor early on a Sunday morning inside the
little breakwater of Tandjong Priok, the harbour of Batavia.

The scene which greets me as I go up on deck is truly Dutch. I see low
stretches of flat, marshy land, barely redeemed from the ocean, with
a group of red-tiled roofs, hidden among some tall, straight trees in
the foreground, and the peculiar watery-grey sky so dear to the Dutch
landscape painters.

Terrible confusion reigns on board as we leave. Hatches are battened
down, ports closed, skylights carefully covered over, for a dozen
lighters are alongside preparing for the dreaded operation of coaling.
A little steam-tug is bringing them up as fast as it can, lashed
together in single file, with ten more barges, with cargo and provisions
to be taken on board, on the other side. The natives--Javanese and
Malays--have paddled out in their canoes, bringing contributions of fruit
and vegetables "on spec," and are climbing up the side of the ship or
swarming on the decks.

All on board the _Merkara_ envy us deeply as we say good-bye to them, for
they have the present prospect of the horrors of coaling, and prospective
ones in the five weeks' voyage, with the tossing in the Bay of Biscay
that still remains to them before arrival in England. The tender takes
us off and lands us opposite the station, a bamboo shed, by the side of
the single line of rails. We find here a group of Fathers and Sisters,
but just landed from the ship which came in and anchored after us this
morning, from Holland.

The railway-carriages are painted a dismal grey, and two doors lead to
the three seats running lengthways down the carriage, the additional
one being placed in the centre. The carriages were so dirty that even a
Javanese wiped the seat before sitting down. The new docks at Tandjong
Priok have recently been made by blasting the land away with dynamite
to the required size, when the sea was allowed to rush in. We travelled
along by the side of the canal, which has been made for the carriage of
merchandise from the docks to the town. Dense jungle--our first sight of
real tropical jungle--skirted the towing-path, along which barges were
being towed, while boats, with their one clumsy sail, passed up and down.
We arrived at another bamboo shed--the station of Batavia.

Batavia is the capital of Java, and with its 1,000,000 of inhabitants,
80,000 of whom are Chinese, is second in importance and size only to
Calcutta, and therefore may be called the second town in the East. It
is also the chief city of Netherlands India, or the Dutch East Indies.
Their possessions in this Eastern Archipelago are numerous, including as
they do the west coast of Sumatra, part of the coast of New Guinea and
of Borneo, the four islands of the Moluccas and Celebes, the islands of
Madura, Sambawa, Lombok, and Baly, and part of Timor, the five latter
of which we passed in the Torres Straits, and Banka and Riou, near the
Straits Settlements.

Outside the station there was a crowd of little two-wheeled carriages,
or victorias, drawn by the funniest little ponies, that could only be
dignified by the name of "rats." They are about the size or smaller than
our Shetland ponies, and are nearly all imported from Timor. They go
like the wind when once they are fairly off, but they jib horribly at
starting. You often see the ridiculous sight of two or three natives
standing helpless before the persistent jibbing of one of these rats,
when you know that they could lift them up with ease.

A drive through China Town by the side of a canal brought us to the
"Hotel der Niederlanden." Here, under the circular portico, was a
marble floor, with chairs and tables arranged in groups, where John
the Chinaman never wearies of coming with his wares for sale, tied up
in large pocket-handkerchiefs, day after day, showing you the same
bright-coloured cotton pyjamas, and sarongs, or cambric handkerchiefs,
with gold-embroidered slippers, soap, or carved ivories, scent or
sandalwood boxes. It matters not that you frown and scowl, or push the
things away, he still persists in thrusting them under your nose, and
when he goes his place is immediately taken by another, not discouraged
by his non-success and the identity of the wares. The prices asked are
exorbitant in the first instance; one-fourth is, however, gladly accepted
in the end. On a centre table stands gin-bitters (without charge), as
a welcome to new arrivals. Upstairs we found musty corridors, dark and
rambling, untidy and uncarpeted, with native servants squatting outside
their master's doors, blacking boots, or playing at games amongst each
other. The dining-room is a kind of loggia, built out, with the roof
supported by pillars, leaving the sides entirely open to the courtyard,
and these are protected by green and white blinds. Round this courtyard,
under the low red-tiled roof and _pavé_, the Dutch ladies and gentlemen
spend their day, lounging, writing, and reading, whilst their "boys," or
Javanese women, are washing or busy around them.

We sat down to the "reis tag," or midday "rice meal," at a long, bare
table. A deep soup-plate was put before one, into which you lay a layer
of rice two inches thick; then in succession are handed to you eight or
nine dishes containing little messes--strips of omelette, kromeskies,
gherkin, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, dried fish, an orange sauce (which I
never ventured on), lobster salad, fried potatoes, and pickles. A round
tray with many divisions is also offered, with chili, chutney, cucumber,
and cayenne pepper, caviare, and relishes of all sorts. You see a Dutch
lady sitting with the rice before her, and choosing leisurely first
from one dish and then from another, and when she has done so mixing
and chopping it all up together. The custom of the "reis tag" prevails
throughout the whole of the Netherlands India, and though it is not a
purely Dutch custom, the curious mixture has its origin from Holland, and
the rice and fruit which follows from the East.

Between the hours of 1 and 5 p.m. life at Batavia pauses. Sleep settles
down on the community; no sound is heard in the house, and the streets
are deserted. A general awakening for the enjoyment of the cool of the
evening comes with the tea, brought at five o'clock. The heat in Java,
situated 6° from the Equator, is always tropical, and never varies from
one end of the year to the other, beyond that, in the rainy season, which
lasts during December and January, it is more oppressive and unhealthy.
Java in general, and Batavia especially, bears a very bad name for
malaria. In Batavia it is greatly increased by the canals which the
Dutch could not fail to introduce from the mother country. The canals
are freely used by the natives for bathing and washing in, and even the
horses are brought down here to be cleaned. The dark, brackish water was
also formerly used for drinking purposes. Artesian wells have been lately
sunk all over the city; since then there has been no epidemic of cholera,
which constantly prevailed in Batavia to a terrible extent up to that
time.

Mr. MacNeill, the English consul, was most kind in sending his carriage
for us in the evening.

We drove along under the broad avenues of trees, overhanging the canals,
and shading the pathway of red tiles. All is scrupulously clean, and the
roads well kept and carefully watered. The houses have an extraordinary
similarity; as brilliant as whitewash and paint can make them, they have
all the same high pointed roofs, covered with red tiles, that seem out
of proportion to the one storey of the house below, almost hidden under
the shade of the projecting verandah. A gravel drive, with a grass-plot
and one bed of brilliant and variegated crotons in the centre, forms the
unvarying approach. A marble post at the gateless entrance bears the name
of the owner, so that every visitor easily finds the house he seeks. The
doors and windows stand always open, and you have such charming glimpses
of the cool, dark interiors, and take away some little incident of
domestic life within as you pass along. People go away for months, we are
told, and leave doors unlocked and windows shutterless, for robbers in
Batavia are unknown. In the marble verandahs stands the familiar round
table, with the four rocking-chairs, in their dear old-fashioned white
dimity "nightcaps," set primly round. In the evening they are brightly
lighted, and tenanted with people receiving their friends.

We drove along the Königsplein, or park, bordered by the palace of the
Governor-General and many of the prettiest houses, to the Zoological
Gardens. They are really bare and ill-kept; but the beauty of the
tropical vegetation reigns supreme everywhere, and we were charmed by
all the curious shrubs and plants, trees and flowers, new to us--so
common here, with the rich pink and crimson of the huge hybiscus bushes,
and the purple and yellow of the allamandas, so like the gloxsinia,
that I mistook it at first. The collection of animals includes some of
our common brown ducks, guinea-fowls, and deer. We saw an albino idiot
monkey, that chattered and mumbled to himself, gesticulating from the
corner of the cage; also a shed full of cockatoos, and two splendid
orange-colour ourang-outangs. Their name of ourang-outang is the Malay
for "The Man of the Wood."

There was a pretty tropical scene looking down the stream with jungle,
where some natives were tumbling and splashing about in the water.
We passed the marble palace belonging to the commander-in-chief, the
principal Dutch church, with its dome and latticed window, and drove on
to Waterloo Plain. The Government buildings, a row of ugly whitewashed
houses, without so much as a projecting cornice, or scrap of ornamented
plaster-work, forms one side of the square. Just opposite is the hideous
thick pillar, with the stunted beast at the top, erected to the joint
memory of the Dutch and Belgians who fell at Waterloo. The inscription
and joint dedication is intended as a "sop" to the pride of the Belgians,
and as a false exaltation of themselves as a nation before the Javanese,
for no mention is made of English or Prussians. The barracks are here;
and the officers' quarters--pretty bungalows--surround the other three
sides of the Waterloo Plain. As we came home the Königsplein was crowded
with smart victorias and landaus, drawn by the fine carriage-horses
that are imported from Australia. The native coachmen and footmen wear
liveries of black and scarlet-striped cottons with turbans, two syces
standing up behind, with fly-wisps, and ready to rush to the horses'
heads at the slightest sign of restiveness. For instance, they always
jump off at the approach of a steam train (for there _are_ steam tramways
in Batavia), and the native coachmen invariably look afraid of their
horses. A few people have been foolish enough to put their Malay coachmen
into tall hats, with gold lace, when the turban and black face peeping
out from underneath looks utterly ridiculous. The Dutch ladies never
think of driving or walking in hat or bonnet, and the smartly dressed
ladies that we passed, with their round, pasty, good-natured faces, were
all bareheaded. The gentlemen, too, go about with gloves and stick, but
no hat.

As we passed the Weltervreden Station, there was a hearse waiting outside
for the arrival of the train. The driver, with "ducks" and black hat with
white band, and the six little "rats," covered entirely by long black
clothes, produced a somewhat curious effect. Gay crowds were strolling
along the shady canals, which are the "boulevards" of Batavia, as we
returned home, forming a bright parti-coloured stream and strange mixture
with the vivid colours and olive skins of the Javanese and Malays, and
the white faces and ordinary European clothing of the Dutch. There are
only forty-five English in Batavia, but they are very energetic amongst
themselves with their racing, cricket, tennis and theatrical clubs; they
also have a pretty church, but no clergyman at present.

I cannot say much for the domestic comfort produced by the combination of
Dutch and Malay customs. Our room is large and airy, with French windows.
Bamboo matting covers the floor, but it is not made in strips, but
plaited in one piece to the size of the room. A row of pegs on a stand,
covered with white curtains, forms a cupboard. The beds are swathed in
mosquito-curtains, which are let down from their tortoise-shell hooks
early in the afternoon. Indeed they are sorely needed by the evening,
and you only feel safe when within their grateful shelter from the
plague of insects, not only mosquitoes, that swarm in when the candles
are lighted. They penetrate everywhere, more particularly nesting in
one's hair-brushes; and I have had to give up writing near the light on
account of the number falling and leaving their trails in the wet ink of
the letters! But the beds are most interesting. There is not a vestige
of sheet, or blanket, or counterpane on them, but in the centre of each
bed lies the "Dutch wife." This bolster is placed with the object of
providing a cool substance to lie against, one side being turned over
when the other becomes hot.

They do not understand here the true meaning of a bath, but you have to
descend to one of the tiled rooms, where there is a wooden tub, with a
tin pot with which to throw the water over you. The lamps in the passages
are a series of glass tumblers, with a wick and some oil floating in them.

_Monday, December 22nd._--We must be truly grateful for the fine morning
which we have, as the wet season is now here.

Life at Batavia seems to be a _dolce far niente_ existence, a very easy,
lazy life adapted to the climate. We could see this in the costume of the
ladies appearing at the breakfast-table.

They have the reprehensible habit of wearing the "saronga" and "kabayah."
The sarongs, or sarong, is a bright-coloured square of calico, with an
oriental pattern in black and orange. The natives wear the same to all
appearance, but there is really a great difference in their texture
and manufacture, the good ones being woven by hand, and coloured by a
laborious process of laying on the colour separately in oil for each
line of the red, black, and yellow pattern. I was surprised to learn
that these sarongs, which look like cheap Birmingham or Manchester
wares--as indeed the common ones are, being specially manufactured for
the Malay market--cost as much as from fifteen to twenty guilders. This
sarong is wrapped _tightly_ round the figure as a short petticoat; and
worn with the kabayah, or loose cotton bed-jacket, with bare legs and
feet slipped into heelless slippers. Many ladies wear their hair down
in this costume, and when sitting at table they present the appearance
of being in their night garments. The sarong in hotels as well as in
private life is worn, not only at breakfast, but also at the "reis tag."
The strange transformation that takes place at five, when these same
strange _negligés_ figures appear with their hair coiled up in the latest
fashion, and "clothed" (and "in their right minds," I might add) is
wonderful to behold. Then the ladies go for their drive in the park, and
spend the evening in paying visits, going from one house to another as
they see their friends are at home by the brilliancy of additional light
in the verandah, and the carriages waiting outside. Their life, it seems
to me, consists of the very early morning and the darkness of night, for
in this equatorial latitude the light is the same all the year round;
there is no twilight, but darkness falls almost suddenly from a quarter
to half-past six.

There is a great deal of pleasant society in Batavia. Rich Dutch
merchants who have come out in their earlier years to make money, go
home to settle; but the cold gloom of Holland sends them back to warmth
and tropical life in Java. Though Java is to the Dutch what India is to
us, unlike our Indian officials, who stay in India but to make enough
money to go home to England, the Dutchman lives and returns to die in his
adopted home.

This morning we had a victoria with a pair of rats to drive down to
the English Consulate, some three miles off, and which lies on the
commercial wharfs. I sat outside watching the ships being slowly towed
up the canals, and the lading and unlading of the merchandise on to
bullock-carts. Much of the charm of the streets of Batavia consists in
the mixture of races, with their various national costumes.

We drove first through China Camp, that most quaint and picturesque
of towns within a town. Wherever the Chinese go--that is all the
world over--you find that there they cluster together, and form
their own quarter. The different trades of carpentering, shoemaking,
umbrella-making, &c., are all carried on on a counter exposed to the
streets; even the barbers' shops are open, and you see "John" in the
different stages of being lathered, shaved, and of having his pigtail
plaited with white, blue, or red cords that fringe and lengthen its wispy
end. The top of the head requires shaving as often as his face (which
is always kept hairless, and which gives to it the almost childlike
look so common to John), because the growth of the pigtail is from the
patch on the back of the head, and all round is clean shaven. China
Town always reminds me of a rabbit warren, there seem to be so many
Chinamen swarming in and out of the little huts, and about the confined
quarters. All so active and busy about their own concerns, all living on
a handful of rice--no wonder they succeed where others fail, with their
ceaseless energy and thrifty habits. We passed by numbers of fascinating
little Chinese tea-gardens, walled round and approached by a drive; the
balconies and roofs were gilded and ornamented with porcelain flowers of
blue and green, and made to look as attractive as possible. We saw, too,
the vague, dark interiors of several joss-houses. Numbers of mangy dogs
were snuffing about, and bantam-cocks were plentiful, for cock-fighting
is a favourite amusement with the Chinese.

The lower end of the town seemed consecrated to the undertakers, for the
curious wooden coffins, copies of the ancient sarcophagi of the Greeks,
were lying in piles before the doors. The Chinese devote a great deal
of thought and attention to their coffins, and keep them in readiness
for years in their houses. Forges abounded too, for the Chinese are
celebrated as the best blacksmiths of the world.

The Javanese are distinguished from the Malays by the black locks of
matted hair escaping from under the turban; but both Javanese and Malay
dress in the same fashion. The bright-coloured sarong is the only garment
worn, or sometimes only a short pair of "inexpressibles," when the large
bamboo "soup-plate" hat looks ridiculously large by comparison with the
slim brown figure beneath its mighty shade. Sometimes the bamboo hat is
replaced by an oval piece of wood, with a rim fitting the head inside,
and the colouring of these wooden hats is most fanciful, red and green,
or bronze with yellow stripes. A Malay of higher rank would add to the
sarong a loose white jacket, and a turban. These turbans are formed of a
gay pocket-handkerchief cleverly wound to the shape of the head, with two
corners twisted in front to form a pair of horns. You hardly see a Malay
without the pole slung across the shoulder, with the two plaited bamboo
baskets or trays, containing anything and everything, suspended at the
end. The butcher goes about from door to door with his meat and chopper
in them; the baker with his bread; more often you see the bright scarlet
of the chili on the tray; and all the marketing is done with these bamboo
baskets.

They stagger along, with their long legs bending under the weight of
the baskets, always appearing on the point of sinking, and yet managing
to struggle on yet a little further, and they really go like this for
miles. But the natural walk of the natives, how splendidly free and easy
it is, as they swing along the street with limbs unconfined, and free
play given to their bare feet! Many of the faces we saw were seamed and
wrinkled with such characteristic lines and marks, and all have rather a
wild, fierce look. What wonderful combinations of colour, too, we saw
in the streets--such daring blendings of sage green with orange, pink
with crimson, scarlet with purple; and I see that after all our latest
fashionable colour, "crushed strawberry," has long been a prevailing hue
with the Javanese.

There were the bright sarongs of the Malays, with the dark indigo-blue
workaday suit of active John Chinaman, the long robe of bright green
or blue of the Armenians (for there are many of them here), with the
delicate pink and green of the Chinese ladies daintily picking their way
along shaded with their paper umbrellas.

The Malanese and Javanese women wear the sarong equally with the men. A
loose calico jacket of bright colours (cherry and pink being preferred)
is worn over it, open at the throat and waist. They are small of stature,
and have a nut-brown skin, with almond-shaped eyes, black and twinkling.
Their shining black hair is worn in the smooth knot at the back, that is
deftly twisted in such a way that no hair-pins are required to secure it.
Many of the married women have their front teeth cut off at the roots,
and this is done by a careful husband when his wife is inclined to become
"fast," to remind every one that she is a married woman.

Men and women alike have the disgusting habit of chewing and spitting
betel-nut, which dyes their teeth and lips a bright vermillion. This
explained to us the red marks on the tiled pavement, which at first we
thought was blood. This habit is not confined to the lower classes, the
native princes and nobles are addicted to it, when it is rendered none
the less repulsive by the use of golden spittoons.

The Dutch use the Malays exclusively for their servants. They are very
patient, waiting outside their masters' doors for hours, squatting in the
peculiar manner habitual to them, and which was formerly the attitude
of respect they adopted when in the presence of a superior. Even now in
the interior of the country the natives come and squat before you as you
pass along. I never saw a Malay or Javanese sit; they always crouch or
lie. They make by no means faithful servants, appearing to possess no
feelings of attachment; after ten years' service they leave you without
an emotion. Their pay is from twelve to twenty guilders a month, and
the custom is for their families to live in the courtyard which usually
surround the houses. The master does not concern himself about their
maintenance, but then any native can live comfortably on a penny a day.

Since the evacuation of the English, in 1813, Java has remained
stationary as regards the progress of civilization. The Netherlands
Government discourages education, and prevents the natives from learning
Dutch. A policy of reducing the natives to a nonentity as regards
having a voice in the government of their country has been successfully
followed. They are a happy, ignorant people, but a conquered race,
governed with a hand of iron as regards the payment of taxes and levies
of contributions. To such an extent is this repressing policy pursued,
that should any native official or prince learn Dutch, the Government
official is strictly forbidden to speak any other language but Malay.
Thus it follows as a natural consequence that before receiving any Civil
Service appointment, however low, the Dutch official must have passed the
examination in Malay, which is part of the accepted curriculum of Breda
College in Holland. The Malay spoken here is a different dialect to that
in use in the Straits Settlements.

Afterwards when we came to visit India, it was most curious and
interesting to see the results of the different policies pursued by the
two nations towards the conquered race. Ours, the enlightened policy--the
education of the native, raising him to a state fit to govern or
participate in the government of his country. That of the Dutch, a policy
of repression, reducing the native to the part of the hired labourer,
making themselves into simple tax-gatherers.

It is to Governor-General van Bosch that Java owes its great prosperity.
He it was who developed the magnificent resources of the rich island
by the introduction of the culture system. I would refer any who are
interested in this subject to Mr. Money's excellent book, "Java; or, How
to govern a Colony."

We suffered much in Java from the inconvenience of Dutch and Malay being
the only two languages spoken. No interpreter was obtainable, and even at
the booksellers which we went to in the afternoon there was no guidebook
to be found in English, French, or German.

Sauntering along the canal, we saw the primitive mode they have here of
watering the streets. A man with two large watering-pots slung over each
shoulder runs along with the rose inclined forwards. I need not say that
the watering-pots are soon exhausted, though the supply is always at
hand in the canal; but it struck us that the man spent most of his time
in running up and down the steps to the water. It must be so pleasant
to have a bath whenever you feel inclined, as the Malay women do by
stripping off the loose jacket and plunging in, washing the sarong at the
same time as themselves in the stream. When we got home, "Ali," the old
Malay servant assigned to us, with his cock-eye and pleased grin, brought
us five o'clock tea--as great an institution in Java as England. The
cups and saucers stand always ready in each bedroom, and the water and
milk (for it is always hot milk) are boiled at the cooking-stove, round
which the "boys" are busy in the passage. Ali does not know one word of
English, but quickly guesses our signs, and with the Malays in making
oneself understood it is more often than not a question that "there are
none so deaf as those who won't hear."

The Governor-General, Herr von Rees, gave us an audience at the Palace
in the evening. The Palace gives us an idea of oriental magnificence,
with marble halls and galleries, and reception-rooms hung with costly
upholstery. The balcony is lighted with crystal chandeliers, and crowds
of servants in the scarlet uniform of the Government are waiting about
within call. The Governor-General is an exceedingly shrewd, clever man,
who has raised himself from the lowest position in the Civil Service. The
salary is 14,000_l._ a year, and the position of Governor of such great
possessions as the Netherlands Indies is one of so much importance that
it may be compared to the Vice-royalty of Hindoostan. Java alone sends
home a surplus revenue of 3,000,000_l._ yearly to the mother country,
or has done so, I ought to say, until now, for the interminable war in
Acheen has swallowed up her surplus this year, and bids fair to do so for
many more. The interior of the country is governed by Dutch residents,
who give their instructions to a native prince or regent, who carries
out the details. Coffee, tea, cochineal, and sugar are the chief produce
and exports, though there has been great depression in the latter trade
during the last year, which has given rise to a commercial crisis, when
several very old-established houses have been included in the general
crash. Cinchona calisaya, or quinine, is also largely exported.

We dined with Mr. MacNeill, the English Consul, in his pretty house.
We had not been seated at dinner above a few minutes before the white
tablecloth was covered with every species of insect in the animal
world--moths with yellow wings, ants, mosquitoes, beetles great and
beetles small. Tortoiseshell covers were provided to keep them out of the
wine-glasses, and many green lizards capered on the white wall opposite.
Blessed above other countries is England in this much, that with her cold
moist atmosphere, one is not troubled with the invasion of a plague of
insects. It surely is the great drawback to the charms of tropical life,
enjoyed mostly in the cool of the evening, when the insects are also most
actively enjoying themselves.

We tasted a mangosteen for the first time this evening. It is a dark
purple fruit with a thick rind, the size of an apple. The fruit inside
is white, and has the most delicate flavour. I should call it an
insidious flavour, for you hardly know in what it consists, but it is
most delicious. Better than the mangosteen I like the mango, a long
pear-shaped fruit with a yellow skin, full of juice, and most luscious.
The taste reminded me of the fruit of the passion-creeper, which when
ripe and shrivelled is excellent, only much more acrid than the mango.
Another fruit which is very common here has brilliant red hairy bristles,
and contains inside a white fruit, the size of a plover's egg, but I
am ashamed to say I never mastered its name. Pine-apples, cut into
lumps, and bananas, very different in their size and taste to the little
shrivelled bananas of export we are accustomed to at home, are served at
every meal.

Mr. MacNeill after dinner took us to a representation of "Il Barbière"
by an Italian opera company subsidized from Italy with Government help.
The Governor came in state, and on his entrance the Dutch national anthem
was played. The doors of the theatre stand open on to the broad piazza,
where people promenade between the acts, and some have their servants
waiting with wine and refreshments. Ladies wear morning dress, but with
the gentlemen a black coat is _de rigueur_, though "ducks" may be worn
underneath. The galleries were full of half-castes, who here take a good
position, the Javanese still continuing to wear the native costume.
Beginning at 8 p.m., it was eleven before the ballet was over.

_Tuesday, December 23rd._--We left the Weltervreden Station on
the Königsplein at ten in the morning. The stations are large and
whitewashed, tiled in blocks of wood, since tiling of some sort the
Dutch must have. The carriages are on the American plan, save that the
first-class have morocco-covered armchairs. We passed through a portion
of the native quarter on the outskirts of the town. The mat huts are
made of plaited palm branches, and thatched with the same unplaited.
Bamboo poles form the framework and support the projecting roof, which
gives shade to the house. These huts lay hidden in a jungle formed of
bamboo groves, whose straight spiky branches look like the fingers of
an outstretched hand pointing downwards. Banana-trees there were, whose
palm leaves, fringed and jagged, are only distinguished by this from
the ordinary palm, and cocoa-nut groves. These had their golden halo of
fruit under the shade of their fringing, feathery arms, and notches cut
in their slender stems by the natives, who climb up by them to gather the
fruit.

The country we passed through was under cultivation for rice-fields,
which we saw in their different stages of development. The ground is made
into terraces, every one a little lower than the other, and carefully
fenced round with earthwork. Each one is a bed of water, in which the
rice is growing, some already coming up in tender green shoots, and
others like a field of grass growing some feet high. The water is kept
trickling over from each little dyke into the next bed. Some we saw
being ploughed by dun and smoke-coloured buffaloes, with their humps and
straight black horns turned back, that gives such a blank and idiotic
look to their faces. The colour of the earth was in some parts such a
brilliant red, that in California it would be said to denote the presence
of gold.

We arrived at Buitenzorg at noon. This place is noted for the Botanical
Gardens, which are thought to be the finest in the world. It is the
mountain resort of the Batavians, but is really only 300 feet higher than
the town. One of the high two-wheeled carts drawn by one pony, whilst
another is roped outside the shafts to help in pulling, took us up to the
Bellevue Hotel.

At the Bellevue from the verandah at the back there is a celebrated view.
It _is_ certainly one of the most enchanting and superb views possible to
imagine. I will try to describe it.

The mountains are in the distance, tropical jungle creeping to their very
summits, though always hidden during the rainy seasons by clouds. Jungle,
jungle, varying only in depth and shade, till we begin to distinguish yet
in the far distance some of the bananas and palms which form its densest
undergrowth. Then tall palms raise up their graceful heads quite near,
swaying them gently in answer to the soft summer breeze. Away over there
in the corner there are red-tiled roofs, in the midst of the cocoa-nut
grove, with dots of colour flitting about. In front of us the muddy yet
silvery waters of the Tjidani River come flowing straight towards us,
till the stream suddenly turns at right angles to itself, and hurries
away in its changed course. A little bamboo house, belonging to the
cultivators of the cocoa-nut grove, forms the apex of the triangle.
Shouts and merry laughter come up all day from the brown figures who
swim, and dive, and duck about in the shallow water beneath.

It was very beautiful, and we sat out in the verandah all the afternoon,
talking with an old Dutch naturalist, who was delighted with his bottles
containing a lovely chameleon and some scorpions newly captured.
Meanwhile the strange afternoon stillness reigned round the lifeless
courtyard.

In the evening we had a lovely drive in the Botanical, or Palace Gardens,
as they are now called. We drove into the shade of a mighty avenue, the
trees meeting at the top, and leaving us a perspective vista that faded
into green dimness. The stems of the trees were not seen, for ferns
and creepers grew up them, and tropical parasites circled and hung in
festoons from the branches of one tree to another. We came unexpectedly
at the end to the palace and the lake.

The palace with its little squat dome and turrets, produces a general
effect of black and white. How fond the Dutch are of black and white,
whether in their marble pavements, or in the stripes on the wooden
flower-pots in the garden, whether in the shutters of the houses, or in
the lines on the sashes and skirtings of their houses. At the side of
the palace we left the carriage, and were told to wander through the
bamboo grove. Here we found hidden away in a garden some old monuments,
weather-beaten and stained, of an English officer and one or two of the
Governors, it seemed a strange little burying-ground.

[Illustration: Banyan-trees, Buitenzorg, Java.

    Page 227.]

A Malay boy hovered around us, and offered by signs to climb a tree,
as we thought, taking us for that purpose down a secluded path. At
length, after much fruitless gesticulating, he took the petal of a
leaf I had picked up, from my hand and laid it against a tree. Then we
understood. It was the famous orchids of Buitenzorg Gardens that he was
offering to show us. He led us to a retired spot where there were some
leafless stumps of shrubs, and on to these, after careful examination,
we discovered, engrafted and growing in bamboo baskets, about 4000 of
the finest specimens of orchids. True that few were in flower, but those
few we should have treasured under glass cases at home. We came back to
the carriage by a bye-way where there was a fountain playing over a pool
of water-lilies in the midst of a green thicket. And so it is at these
Buitenzorg Gardens, one beautiful spot after another, unsuspected before,
can be discovered in lengthened wanderings.

A broad park, bordered by a curious row of palm-trees that grow in a
descending and ascending scale, forming a perfect zig-zag, surrounds
the front of the palace, and here there were a treasured herd of deer
feeding. By the park-gates are a group of marvellous banyan-trees.
Branches were growing down from them like the stem of another tree, or
clustering like a ring of small trees around the trunk, and swelling it
to enormous dimensions. In other trees we saw the roots hanging down from
the branches like a network of fibres or strings that reached to the
ground. Again we saw the roots of the same trees grown outwards from the
ground, and forming a rocky network round the base of the trunk.

Another magnificent avenue tapers away from the entrance of the park,
ending in a black and white marble obelisk, with the Netherlands arms
upon it, and the mystifying initials of T. T.

We drove past the barracks and officers' quarters, and stopped at the
Roman Catholic Cemetery, where the handsome monuments are all protected
by zinc covers.

We noticed that many of the houses, with their neatly-clipped hybiscus
hedge, had the stable as part of the house, the two or three stalls being
open along the front. Crossing over the bridge, we looked down into a
scene of great beauty, the jungle closing in the banks of the howling
river, and then we came back to the gardens once more.

How utterly impossible it is to describe "tropical vegetation." A string
of names (even if I knew them) conveys no idea of the extraordinary
beauty and curiosity of the many new-shaped leaves, and plants, and
shrubs, and trees, and parasites of a jungle. I know we wished the drive
could have lasted very much longer than it did, for we were amid the
scenes read of in all books of travels--groves of cocoa-nut palms and
pomegranates, of sago and betel-nut palms, with the meliosnea, and every
other species of tropical beauty. With the exception of some roses, with
the outside petals a dark crimson, shaded to pale pink inside, there are
no beds of flowers in these gardens. There are plenty of brilliant shrub
flowers like the crimson hibiscus (which when crushed yields a kind of
blacking I am told), but no garden or cultivated flowers. It is the same
throughout Java, no flowers, only tropical creepers and shrubs.

I tried to do some writing after dinner, but the insects forbad it; an
ant, a large animal with gauzy wings, being particularly troublesome.
This is really the white ant grown to a harmless size. In its earlier
stages (when it is eaten by the black ant) the destruction it works in a
single night is terrible. Literally it "eats you out of house and home"
by perforating the timbers of the house with holes till they become
rotten. It eats through a box, and leaves no trace of any clothes ever
having been in it, or penetrates through the corks and drinks up a
cellarful of wine. There is no finality to the mischief the white ant can
and does work in a house. Safety against it is only obtained by a daily
inspection and airing of anything and everything.

A very curious custom prevails throughout Java, which we only found out
this evening. We frequently passed gardos, or watch-houses, a white
building by the roadside, open on all sides. From the centre of the house
hangs a billet of wood partially hollowed out, which, when struck, gives
forth a piercing, mournful sound. Day and night a watchman is stationed
here, sounding the watches every hour. It is a wonderful thought that
throughout an island as large as England and Wales, these watches are
re-echoed throughout the country every mile, and every hour becoming
later and later as it reaches the interior of the country. It is cheering
in the stillness of the night, hearing the sound of the watch struck
from the gardo nearest the station, taken up by the next one, and so on
all through the town, spreading and dying away into the country. The
Malays and Javanese are not allowed to be in the streets between the
hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a passport to show to the watchman,
who calls and demands it as they pass. The watchman is provided with
a two-pronged, upward-toothed fork, with which he can "run in" any
refractory member of society by the neck; and he has the power to detain
any one not giving satisfactory reasons for being about at that hour.
If a robbery or crime occurs, the first thing is to give notice at the
nearest guard-house, which, by a code of signals, is able to pass on the
news to the next guard-house, and so it spreads through the country.
Each watchman knows what passports and on what business every one has
passed during the night, and suspicion thus often falls on the right
person. The services of these watchmen are unpaid, it being the duty of
each village-chief to allot the hours to each member of the community,
who may provide a substitute if he please. Java is divided into campos
or villages, governed by chiefs who are responsible for the good conduct
of each individual of their division: any complaint of man, woman, or
child is referred to the chief of the campo. Thus the government of the
people is done by themselves, and there are but a very few native police,
irregularly parading the streets in their blue and orange uniforms.

_Wednesday, December 24th._--We got up very early in the morning, not
from compulsion, but for pleasure, to enjoy to our utmost the delicious
first freshness of the morning air; but early as it was, blue as the mist
lay over our glorious view of the valley, ladies in their sarongas were
coming in from their morning walk. I went down to the bath, or rather
the well, where you throw the bucket of cold water over you, picking
a purple gloxinia from the hedge close by. Alas! it was like too many
of the tropical beauties in flowers and plants, spoilt by the nest of
insects hidden in the delicate waxwork of its recesses. Breakfast is
always going from the very early hour of 6 a.m., so we had no need to
order it specially, and at 8 a.m. we were in the hotel break, driving
past the gardens to the station. We felt very much tempted then to wait
a week for the French mail, instead of taking the Dutch boat to-morrow,
and making an expedition up into the interior of the country to Samarang
or Soerbaja.

By 10 a.m. we were back in Batavia, and we drove from the Weltervreden
Station to the Museum.

The green lawn in the front of the Museum is ornamented with a white
pedestal, on which stands a black marble elephant. The circular temple,
barricaded with black and gold gates, that faces us as we enter, contains
a grotesque collection of Hindu gods found in the island, for the natives
were formerly Hindus; now they are Mussulmans. Other rooms are full of
Borneo and Sumatra weapons, collections from the South Sea Islands,
of medals and signet rings, Chinese earrings and images. There is the
model of a curious saddle covered with black cloth, formerly in use in
Java; and musical instruments of all sorts, including tom-toms, cymbals,
&c.; but the two things that interested us most were a guillotine and
a Chinese chair of torture. The framework of the latter was of scarlet
wood, but the back was formed of three swords with the edges placed
outwards; three more of the same formed the seat, and three were
placed at each elbow, and three for the footboard; and the victim was
strapped into this chair, sitting on the blades of the swords, being
cut deeper with every movement. It was in the library that we came upon
some curiously interesting documents, copies of the _Java Government
Gazette_, an English newspaper brought out during our four years'
(1811-15) occupation of Java before its restoration to the Dutch. We very
cautiously opened the ant-eaten pages, which are nearly destroyed in
some places, and a few years hence will have disappeared entirely unless
some precautions are taken against their ravages. On the first page that
we opened on by chance I read the following, dated from London, July
6th, 1814: "The _Gazette_ of yesterday announced the appointment of the
Duke of Wellington as Ambassador to France, and Lord Fitzroy Somerset as
Secretary of the Legation." A following paragraph contained the account
of the Duke's formal farewell to the House of Commons previous to his
departure for Paris, and tells "how the members remained standing, with
their hats off, and cheered whilst he left the house." The news then took
seven months to reach Java, whereas now the mail arrives in twenty-six
days. Further on the _Gazette_ had an account of the discussion before
the House on the Princess of Wales' letter, asking that her Royal
Highness' allowance might be reduced from 50,000_l._ to 34,000_l._, "in
order that the burdens of the people may not be increased," as she says;
and again, "The Emperor of Russia, previous to his quitting London,
wished that Dr. Jenner should visit him. His Majesty presented him to
his family and made him a present, styling him the benefactor of Russia,
for vaccination has produced the most happy results in the empire, where
small-pox has often made great havoc."

In the poet's corner, for even a Government _Gazette_ in 1815 was
allowed that interesting journalistic feature, we found a little poem
by Mrs. Opie, on "The Death of a Hero who died in Action;" in another a
poem by Lord Byron on the death of a Sir Peter Parker. One verse from
an anonymous writer I cannot resist giving, prefaced by the following
letter:--

     "MR. EDITOR,--Should you deem the following effusion on shooting a
     brace of ring-necked doves worthy a place in your paper, you will
     greatly oblige

    COMICUS."

It began as follows:--

    "The amorous dove, with ardent love,
    Expects her gentle mate;
    But * * * * keen, with eye serene,
    Decides her hapless fate."

Inserted between the issue of a later copy of the same paper was a
reprint of the conditions of the Treaty of Paris which had just been
signed by the Allies, and a triumphant leading article on the "Great
Tyrant's" downfall. We dared not linger any longer, as the custodian
of the library was becoming impatient, and evidently suspicious of the
copious extracts we were making. I resigned it with a sigh, guessing how
much more of interest we might have found with a longer perusal.

We had a pleasant drive in the evening to the outskirts of Batavia,
passing country-houses, which I suppose called themselves so because they
stood in their own grounds, with some attempt at an avenue or drive up to
the house. It was our last evening in Batavia, and we were regretfully
sad.

_December 25th._--A delicate rosy flushing sunrise, with saffron and pale
green tints on an orange sea, where the sun was presently to rise in the
majesty of tropical heat, was the strange sight which greeted us on this
Christmas morning; for we were getting up at 5 a.m., and, leaving the
hotel wrapped in slumber, were driving through the already busy streets
of China Camp to the Heimraden Plein Station.

A gay scene met us there, for a company of soldiers in marching array
and some officers were being sent off to reinforce the army at Acheen,
in the north of Sumatra, where the Dutch have a war of some years'
standing. A crowd of officers in their pretty dark blue uniform, with
orange scarves, the stars on their collars denoting the rank, had come to
see their comrades off, and the general himself was superintending their
embarkation. A file of convicts, in their prison dress, under the charge
of their jailors, were being taken in the train to work on the line. The
carriages, that hold eighty-seven even under ordinary circumstance, were
crowded beyond that number, and the heat and fumes of tobacco were very
trying. We altogether had a weary waiting of nearly two hours in them,
standing stationary at the terminus.

A still gayer scene was awaiting us on arrival at Tandjong Priok, for
crowds of natives were sauntering about under the bamboo station;
and a ship, moored alongside the wharf, was swarming with soldiers,
European and native, who had just arrived from the west coast of Borneo;
their band was playing on the deck in honour of the general. The
_Governor-General Meyer_, the mail of the Netherlands India Company,
lay anchored further away. Whilst we were waiting to start my thoughts
recurred to Christmas morning and church, with snow on the ground at
home, but it was hard to keep up any semblance of recollection among the
strange surroundings. Four natives, such weak specimens of humanity,
coming along staggering under the weight of my Saratoga trunk, which one
man had always shouldered before; officers were having a last bottle of
champagne with their departing comrades, the treble shriek of the warning
whistles, the bright medley of Malays, Javanese, Soudanese, Hindus,
and Chinese, all rendered it impossible, and Christmas Day this year
will only be remembered by us by the inconvenience occasioned by the
uncertainty of the vessel starting at all on that day, and the Sunday
train not leaving the station nearest the hotel as usual.

The flat coast-line was behind us by 9 a.m., and we were passing the
sandy dots upon the ocean of the 1000 islands of the Eastern Archipelago.
We came upon a bed of scoria ashes, stretching for about a mile on either
side of us. It is still the remains of the great volcanic eruption on the
island of Krakatau, in the Straits of Sunda, eighteen months ago. The
island was totally destroyed, and 70,000 lives were lost. On the 20th
of August, 1883, total darkness reigned in Batavia, though 2000 miles
distant from Krakatau, from the density of the shower of ashes falling,
and terrific claps of thunder from the cracking of the explosion. Ships
had to alter their course after the eruption, and even a year afterwards
passed through a thick sea of pumice ashes stretching as far as the eye
could reach. When five days out from Java, in the _Merkara_, it was this
pumice ash floating by on the sea that made the captain think there had
been a fresh eruption.

A most interesting phenomenon is now in process at Merapi, a mountain in
Central Java. Government surveyors are there watching the rise of the
lava in a volcano from day to day, and it is calculated that in about
three months from now it must burst. Should it be a powerful eruption, it
is feared it will divide the Island of Java into two parts.

Merapi is in the same volcanic range that extends through Sumatra,
Krakatau, Java, Lombok, and Bali. It will be very curious to see what
really happens.

After passing the Island of Lucepara we left the Sea of Java, and were
for a short time in the Straits of Sunda.

The _Governor-General Meyer_ is very slow, only going between six and
eight knots an hour. The foredeck is curtained off, leaving an archway in
the canvas through which we get a picturesque glimpse of the Malay and
Chinese passengers, the latter always alternately sleeping and eating
rice with their chopsticks. The Dutch officers are our only companions,
and two of them speak a little English. Most amusing instructions are
hung up in the saloon as to the wearing of the sarong and kabaya. A
literal translation from the Dutch says: "It is allowed to the ladies
to wear them at breakfast and the 'reis tag,' but after 5.30 p.m. it is
requested that they will be dressed till after dinner." Certainly the
Dutch hours of seven o'clock dinner on board ship is a great improvement
on the six o'clock English one. I slept the afternoon away, and a
Christmas cake and some mummying among the Dutch sailors gave us a final
reminder of Christmas evening.

_Friday, December 26th._--We are coasting along by Sumatra, which looks
a very flat island. Sumatra is celebrated for its tobacco plantations,
which supply the outer leaf for Havana cigars, being of very fine
quality, and burning white and clean. The tobacco is exported to
Amsterdam, which is one of the greatest emporiums in the world for this
article. We enter the Straits of Banka, which are formed by the island of
this name (belonging to the Dutch) and the Island of Sumatra. The water
here is a curious colour, olive-green, growing more muddy as we approach
the entrance of the Talemjan River, on the Sumatra coast. We reached
Muntok, the chief town of Banka, at night, where we had some cargo to put
off. Muntok is the centre of a great tin track, worked by Chinese, who
are brought there under contract.

_Saturday, December 27th._--Last night we were stationary by the
lighthouse for three hours, the _Governor-General_ being unable to make
headway with full steam against the tremendously strong current running
there, and this morning we are catching a breeze from the north-east
monsoon which prevails at this time of the year in the China Sea, and
are being further delayed. In the Indian Ocean and China Sea the monsoon
or strong trade wind usually blows from the south-west from April to
October, and from the north-east from October to April. Typhoons and
cyclones, or circular hurricanes are frequent during the former in the
Indian Ocean, and during the latter in the China Sea.

We crossed the equator this afternoon. The novelty of this feat has
passed away after the first performance of it in the Pacific. How strange
it must be living in a town like Pontianak, in West Borneo, where the
equator passes through the main street! "The house on the line" must be
quite a show place to the inhabitants. The heat on the afternoon was very
great.

_Sunday, December 28th._--We were at anchor before Rhio (or Riow in
Dutch spelling), a settlement among the palm-trees. Rhio is a port of
some importance, the Dutch having made it a free port, contrary to their
principles, when Singapore was thrown open by the English, hoping thus to
attract some part of the commerce of the Eastern Archipelago.

We are passing through the pretty Straits of Rhio, with its wooded banks
and straggling cocoa-palms. A terribly dangerous reef is marked by a curl
of foam. The date of our arrival in Singapore has been growing steadily
later, but we shall really be there this afternoon, landing on the Sunday
as usual.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS.


The Straits Settlements, which comprise Singapore, Penang, and Malacca,
besides the protected states of Salangore Perak, and Sungeilljong,
contain about 1500 square miles, and nearly half a million of
inhabitants. They were transferred from the control of the Indian
Government to that of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1867.
Singapore is an island about twenty-seven miles long, situated at the
southern extremity of the Malay Peninsula. It is a port of call for
_all_ vessels to the east, and 100,000 tons of coal are always kept in
readiness on the wharves of the coaling stations.

The approach to Singapore through the Straits of Rhio gives you a very
disappointing idea of the town, which looks flat and ugly. Very different
are the first impressions,--which count for so much when travelling, and
perpetually seeing new places, when Singapore is approached from the
western entrance to the harbour.

We took one of the little gharries, that may be called the carriage of
India and its dependencies, to drive to the Hôtel de l'Europe. They
resemble a light build of four-wheeler, only in place of glass windows
there are venetian shutters. The small ponies are driven by Malays, who
sit generally not on the high box seat, but on the footboard of the
carriage.

We found ourselves driving through another Chinatown, for the Chinese
swarm and predominate in the population as much in Singapore as they
do in Batavia. The Hôtel de l'Europe, with its rambling succession of
houses, is well known by many hundreds of travellers, for Singapore is a
great central depôt where travellers meet going from Europe to Australia,
China, and Japan.

We drove up to Government House, passing through its park of lawns
studded with shrubs and the beautiful Traveller's Palm, of which each
branch spreads itself out at the top to form such a perfect fan shape.

Government House stands upon a hill, and though a very handsome building,
it produces a curious combination of colours. I suppose the primary
colour is the buff of the stone, but it is hidden by the chocolate of the
shutters forming the upper part of the very lofty windows, which below
are shaded by green venetians. The effect is uncommon and pretty. The
entrance also is striking, the marble steps of the hall and staircase
being bordered by palms, the blue and yellow stripes of the carpet
showing out between. Several peons, in their long white tunics, with the
gold scarlet cords wound round the waist, and scarlet hats, were waiting
about. The Governor, Sir Frederick Weld, is at present away, but Mr.
and Mrs. Cecil Smith received us very kindly, and asked us to stay at
Government House.

I looked forward to evening service in the cathedral, for three
Sundays had passed without any service for us. The cathedral stands
in a quadrangle amongst trees, and has a pretty tower and nave, but
the stone is not weather-proof, and has turned mouldy in dark patches.
Outside there were rows of men standing round the building pulling the
cord that passes through the hole in the frame, and inside I saw that
comical effect of punkahs in a church for the first time. Through the
length of the church the punkahs were swinging alternately on either
side, and those in the chancel were only waiting for the entrance of the
choir to begin waving likewise. We heard the sermon on the approaching
death of the old year, and caught glimpses of the clergyman between the
flying backwards and forwards of the punkahs. The Bishop of Singapore
and Sarawak was there, arrived that morning from a distant part of his
diocese, which extends into Borneo.

[Illustration: Traveller's Palm, Singapore.

    Page 236.]

The heat in Singapore varies but little throughout the year. Lying on
the Equator we should imagine it was terrific, but in those hot climates
there are all kinds of arrangements for draughts and currents of air,
which we forget when thinking about them in England. Nearly all the rooms
are only partially partitioned off from the passage outside, allowing
a free current of air to pass over the top of the screen. Some have a
wooden shutter that folds back _under_ the window and gives another
draught. Curtains are hung before the doorway, or shutters halfway up, so
that the door need not be closed. Abundance of servants, even in small
establishments, take away the necessity of doing anything for yourself.
Punkahs are hung in different parts of the room, and the punkah-wallah,
specially kept for that purpose, keeps you in a fresh current of air
whilst reading or writing.

_Monday, December 29th._--A gharry took us into the town in the morning.
The plain is a broad belt of park flanking the seashore, and round it
cluster the hotel, the High Street, the cathedral, the Raffles College,
and the handsome grey stone court-house, with the traditional elephant in
marble in front. Round the little square of Raffles Place lie the shops.
The streets of Singapore are narrow, and very foreign-looking. They have
a peculiar way of circling round the corner, that is to say, the houses
are built so as to "round the corner." The upper storey has a projecting
balcony, which forms with its many arches a piazza. Underneath here the
wares of the shops are displayed on counters in the street, and it forms
a cool and shady promenade.

There is a great charm about these streets in the wonderful mixture of
races, and their characteristic costumes. You see the Hindu with his
white muslin dress and turban; the Cingalee with a bright saronga and
tortoise-shell comb in the hair; the Parsee with his peculiar black
conical hat; Arabs and Hadjis, recognized by the long flowing robe that
evidences a pilgrimage to Mecca; "Chitties," or money-lenders, with
shaven heads, dressed all in white; Klings with their lank black hair;
Japanese and Chinese in their indigo dyed tunics. All were dark, but the
colour of the skin varied from ebony to olive-brown; all were scantily
clothed, but all added to the picturesqueness of the scene by some bright
bit of colour, particularly the Chinamen with their red and purple paper
umbrellas. Drays drawn by bullocks, gharries, and many jinrickshas, of
which there are some 2000 in Singapore, flocked the streets.

I had plenty of time to observe all this while waiting outside the
shipping agencies for C., who was trying to obtain some definite
information about a steamer to Rangoon. We found we had, after all, to
give up British Burmah and the temple at Rangoon, inlaid with sapphires
and diamonds, because we found it entailed six days' waiting at
Moulmein, three days at Rangoon, and three changes of steamers, besides
a great expenditure of time.

We drove to the Botanical Gardens in the evening, which are celebrated
for their beauty, but I was decidedly disappointed in them. We saw there
the sago palm, which has such a beautiful grey fern leaf. When the branch
is cut open the seeds are found inside that form the sago. Also the
betel-nut palm, which has the thin grey stem with a tuft of palm leaves
at the top, and hundreds of those green berries hanging down, which the
natives love to chew. We saw a clove-tree, which is about the size, and
has the same shaped leaf as the orange-tree. These leaves when bruised
have the spicy smell of the clove, Amid all the calladiums, crotons,
and maidenhair ferns, it seems so strange to see no real flowers. The
Malay Peninsula has none except those like the alamander, bugenvillea or
pathodoea, and hibiscus, which are large blossoms, and grow on shrubs
and trees. All the vegetables in Singapore have, too, to be imported
either from China, or else from Hong Kong.

We drove home by the "Ladies' Mile," an avenue of palm-trees extending
for one mile.

Disappointed of seeing China proper, I am anxious to see all I can of
Chinese customs, in some of their camps. It had been arranged for us
to go to a Chinese theatre after dinner. Mr. Maxwell, the head of the
police, and a son of Sir Benson Maxwell, of Egyptian fame, very kindly
accompanied us.

The drive through Chinatown was so bright and picturesque, the streets
being alive with hundreds of jinrickshas, whose lamps flitted by us, in
a procession of ladies taking the evening air in a drive round the town
for the moderate sum of five cents. Flaming torches displayed the wares
in the streets, and lighted the temporary stands whereon were laid the
symposiums or suppers, for sale.

Arrived at the theatre, we went through a dark entrance up a ladder to
a gallery where carpets and chairs with refreshments were laid out. Two
little Chinese maidens with flattened noses and rouged and powdered
cheeks, with curious bead head-dresses, were told off to fan us. The
stage was lighted by five gas lights hung over the stage, and the general
tone of brown and gold colouring was sombre and handsome. But all
illusion is cast to the winds at once by the orchestra, in blue trowsers
and nankeen coats, sitting in the centre of the stage, smoking and
talking between whiles. The great feature of the evening is the noise.
The tom-tom, the drum, and the chopsticks are made to deafen, and now and
again when the scene reaches a culminating point, one of the musicians
stands up, and dredges with all his might on the aforesaid tom-tom.

When we entered a Chinese lady who was about to become a priestess, was
clasping her hands together in prayer on the stage, and singing a doleful
song.

Again and again during the hour we stayed the mournful wail reappeared
at different periods, and we were told that it was the favourite
opera air of the Chinese. The dialogues and singing are carried on in
falsetto, and the high-pitched nasal twang is most unpleasant to hear.
The dresses are very beautiful, all made of valuable embroideries, and
those that were brought up to us to see had no tinsel about them, but
small looking-glasses instead, let in to brighten them on the stage. All
the time during the nasal song of the priestess lady, which lasted an
interminable time, people were walking casually across the stage, and the
imagination has to be highly exalted to recognize that a man throwing his
leg in the air represents mounting and riding on horseback. The Chinese
are great adepts in tumbling, and certainly it was difficult to conceive
how the man we saw, mounted on the top of three tables and one chair,
could throw himself over backwards, turn a somersault in the air, and
land on his feet without breaking his back. The tumbling was interpolated
in the middle of the play, but it did not matter as there were no acts,
and no dropping of the curtain.

The story rambled on about an emperor that was taken captive. A lady
who was about to become a fish and return to the sea, gave her husband
a charm by which he would be able to release the emperor. Then followed
his appearance and the declaration of his mission before the chief
Mandarins. The same story often lasts several weeks and it is wonderful
how the interest is maintained, especially considering that the play is
spoken in Mandarin, the dialect of the upper classes, and which is not
understood by the lower. The dark and dirty pit, with one light, was
empty, but it would fill up towards twelve o'clock, we were told, and
the play is going on from the afternoon till two or three in the morning.
Most of the theatres are now "starring," or giving public performances
in the streets. The last we saw of the play was a free fight with a man
left dead on the stage. Some one considerately went and fetched a pillow
to place under his head to make him more comfortable, and after a decent
lapse of time he got up and walked off the stage!

In an inner room off the gallery we were taken to see some opium-smoking.
The process of preparing the opium is lengthy. It is held over a lamp on
a piece of wire till it frizzles and swells into a bubble, and it is then
manipulated on the outside of the ivory, before being plugged into the
small hole. The woman, who was one of the actresses, drew at it gently,
exhaling the smoke through the nostrils. The Chinese meanwhile stood
round in an admiring group. They are delighted when strangers come to see
their theatre, as was evinced by the preparations and curiosity shown
about us, and by the heads peeping round the corner of the gallery.

We had but a short night's rest, for we had to be up at five the
following morning.

By six we were driving out fifteen miles to breakfast with the
Maharajah[4] of Johore, in a carriage he had sent for us. A malarious
mist rose from the town of Singapore beneath us. The road into the
country was alive with bullock carts, and natives with their bamboo
baskets bringing in produce for the town market. The flat road is hard
and smooth, and the cocoa-nut palms and bamboo groves made us feel as if
we were driving through a beautiful garden for nearly two hours.

We arrived at the Tibrau, or the old Straits, the route formerly taken
by steamers going to China and Japan. The placid sheet of water puzzled
us at first as to whether it was lake or river, for the wooded banks and
promontories closing in around, made it seem unlike the "wide salt sea."
A collection of huts were here, built on piles placed in the water. It
seems strange why, with so much dry land at his disposal, John Chinaman
should choose to erect his tenement hanging over the water. The low white
building opposite with the red-tiled roof was Istana.

The Maharajah's steam-launch took us across the Straits and landed us
under the gilded pagoda, ornamented with the crescent and the star, the
Maharatic emblems of royalty. His Highness's secretary met us, and we
walked across the road and up some steps to the garden, for it is not in
any way fenced off from the road. The palace of Istana has two stories,
and the broad verandahs and balconies surrounding it give to it many a
broad shadow and cool depth. The entrance is a marble hall open on two
sides, through which you look down a vista of little domes and arches of
a pale blue tint. Up and down the archway on the other side paces the
sentry, clad in loose brown holland uniform and gaiters, with a red fez
and orange fringe.

The Maharajah of Johore is a man of about fifty years of age, with
iron-grey hair and whiskers, and a full oriental face. He is Maharajah,
or Great Rajah, because he governs his princedom of Johore without the
assistance of a resident. He was dressed in a loose English gentleman's
shooting suit, but wore the silk sarong, twisted round underneath the
coat, and a braided smoking-cap. Six magnificent diamond and emerald
rings glittered on the fingers of one hand, and six ruby and diamond
on the other. The Maharajah has been a great traveller, and speaks
English fairly well, though understanding it better. He intends to
visit England again next year. Istana was hastily built for the visit
of the Duke of Edinburgh, but it shows no traces of this. On the marble
staircase hangs a portrait of Mr. Gladstone, whom the Maharajah learnt
to admire, he says, during his last visit to England. The drawing-rooms
are dark and handsome. Rows of lovely Japanese vases, with their own
peculiar dull colours of brick-red, olive-green, and dull blue, line
the room. A wonderful collection of Japanese spears and swords inlaid
with mother-of-pearl, are arranged on the walls of an outside balcony or
corridor, and all these the Maharajah brought back from his recent tour
in Japan.

In the ball-room are full-length portraits of the Queen and Prince
Albert, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of
Edinburgh, with two smaller portraits of George I. and II. over the
door. The bedrooms were like any that you would find in an English
country-house.

Some marble steps led to the grounds, where, in the space between the
tennis court and the audience chamber, some Klings and Sikhs were being
drilled. All the marble about the palace had to be imported from Europe.
The Maharajah drives a break with four in hand, and has an English
coachman and some English grooms. He is fond of shooting, and there is
plenty of big game in the jungles of Johore, and tiger hunts are easily
arranged. We had breakfast in the long, narrow dining-room. Some Chinese
beans were served, and a Singapore dish consisting of sampan or sago,
with cocoa-nut milk and sugar-cane sauce--a thick treacle--otherwise the
food was completely European.

The Maharanee, a Chinese lady, was in town, for the Maharajah has two
houses in Singapore, connected with Istana by a telephone. On leaving he
gave us two pretty sarongs, but we did not say good-bye here, for his
Highness drove back into town with us.

We were late in getting home, and had rather a rush to get off our
luggage in a bullock-cart, and say good-bye at Government House, to be
down in time at the wharf. Up to the last minute we thought we should
miss the steamer, for the Malay servants could not find the wharf at
which the _Japan_ was lying. It was a relief to be on board at last
and able to rest. Yesterday afternoon we did not know we were to leave
Singapore to-day, and since then we have seen the Botanical Gardens,
packed at intervals as we could, gone to the Chinese theatre, and that
morning driven thirty miles out and seen Istana.

The agent was late in coming down, and it was five o'clock before we
slipped our moorings. The entrance to the harbour on this, the western
side, is beautiful. Wooded islands and the little hills above Singapore
form a pretty channel. Even the P. and O. and French coaling stations,
with their red-tiled roofs, look picturesque, as do the settlement of
huts built on stakes into the water, and the houses nestling amongst
the palms. Opposite the entrance to the channel, which is formed of red
sandstone cliffs, stands the flagstaff of the signal station, where flags
of every nation are run up, showing the departure and arrival of their
ships.

A most exciting incident occurred just before the pilot left us. Two
Chinese jumped overboard, and swam ashore to escape their articles. Their
employers ship them on board, advancing them some money as a pledge, and
then, when they are clear of the harbour, they escape by swimming on
shore, or by having a boat waiting to pick them up. Their employers have
no redress.

The _Japan_ belongs to Apcar and Co., of Calcutta, and is employed
in the opium trade between Calcutta and Hong Kong. The opium is
government-grown in India, and it forms the most valuable of cargoes,
2400 chests being usually put on board, each of the approximate value of
1200 pounds.

The _Japan_ has small accommodation, but some Parsees and an Armenian
priest are our only passengers. Captain and Mrs. Gardner do the honours
of their ship most pleasantly.

_Wednesday, December 31st._--We were pointed out the coast of Malacca,
but saw it so dimly that I should call it "distinguishing by intuition,"
as we knew we were in the straits of that name.

On our port bow were the Heads of Acheen, which we looked at with
interest, when papers so lately have been talking about the rescue of the
_Nisero_ crew, seized by the Sultan of Acheen. The Dutch have good reason
to hate this paltry little potentate, for not only have they had to pay
the 40,000_l._ as the ransom for a British shipwrecked crew, but the war
is swallowing up the 3,000,000_l._ surplus revenue which we heard so much
about when in Java. We passed Pulo Jara, or Broom Island, after dinner,
the point of departure, and where ships alter their course 4° for Penang.

We sat up on the deck in the moonlight on this the last night of the old
year--and so ended our year of 1884.

_January 1st, 1885._--The New Year came in for us at five in the morning,
with three prolonged whistles from the funnel of the _Japan_ as we came
to the lovely entrance to the Penang roadstead. I hurried up on deck
in _déshabille_, and found the chill of night yet on the beautifully
wooded island where the lighthouse sends forth a brilliant light. The
full yellow moon in the dark blue sky was just standing over it, and as
we looked a shooting star fell down to earth. On the other hand faint
tinges of red and yellow in the east told of the coming morn. With that
strangely rapid change of the tropics, dawn turned to sunrise over the
sugar plantations of Province Wellesley. We saw the native pilot, with
his red petticoat fluttering in the breeze, on the bridge. We passed
the large island, which is sacred to the leper hospital, of which
there are some 300, chiefly among the Chinese immigrants. Some little
fishing-vessels, that had been out all night, with their light still
burning in the bows, were hovering about the patches of bamboo stakes.
The sun rose, and we saw the red and white roofs of Penang clustering
thickly on the flat peninsula, backed by the hill of 2000 feet, a mass of
jungle.

We had a cup of early tea on deck, and then I went down to dress,
and none too soon as it turned out. As we anchored within half a
mile of the shore Mr. Harwood, the Registrar of the Supreme Court,
came on board, with an invitation from Colonel Dunlop, the Resident
Councillor of Penang, to spend the day at the Government bungalow on
the hill. All arrangements had been made for us, and by six o'clock
the harbour-master's gig had landed us on the wharf. A gharry drove
us through the town, past the Roman Catholic church, whose tapers
were lighted and bell tolling, along by the green lawn that forms a
cricket-ground, bordered by the sea.

The Chinese are as supreme here in numbers as at Singapore. They were
driving the patient white bullocks toiling along with the ox-cart, or
more strange still, the huge grey buffalo guided by a ring passed through
the nose; they were tailoring or tinkering in their open shops, and
carrying on the trade of Penang in their bamboo baskets, slung across
the shoulders. We saw many a picturesque bit of native life outside the
mat hut: Klings or Madrassee women lounging about, with their nostrils
pierced with bright gold coins, and wrapped in the thin strip of gauze.

We were driving along a beautiful road, where the palm-trees and
cocoa-nuts arched overhead, and it was most delicious and enjoyable in
the cool morning air. Arrived at the bottom of the hill, the promised
chairs and coolies were nowhere to be seen, and we felt rather blank for
a few minutes, until we determined to walk to _the Waterfall_.

We wandered along a shady path passing between the decayed pillars of a
former gateway. In a neighbouring cocoa grove some natives were laying
out the bare ground for a garden. The Waterfall is the celebrated beauty
of Penang, and when we only saw some streams of water trickling down the
side of a mountain between the jungle, we were greatly disappointed.

Our chairs and coolies were waiting for us on our return, the leaders
being distinguished by their white vests. The coolie proper wears nothing
but the sarong folded like a short petticoat, and caught up in front
in the belt when walking. It is to be noted that these natives, who
consider so little ordinary clothing necessary, invariably have the
head covered by a heavy turban or cap. We got into the chairs, and six
coolies prepared to carry us up the hill: two in front "tandem" between
the shafts, which they support by a bamboo pole slung between their
shoulders, and two in the same manner behind; one walked on either side
to steady the chair. The motion is so easy and pleasant, and the coolies
swing along at a great pace, though not attempting to keep step. We
enjoyed a very charming two hours, being carried round the zigzags of
the hill, in the midst of jungle that might be called virgin jungle, so
tropical and dense was the vegetation. It was an ideal of the Indian life
we read about--the early morning, the jungle, and the coolies! Sometimes
the coolies would accomplish one of the steep gradients by a sudden run,
but at all times they worked patiently along, perspiring from every pore,
and some of them blowing lustily.

It was becoming very hot as we reached the top of the hill, and we
found that Colonel Dunlop was not staying at the Government, but at the
Convalescent Bungalow, a little further on. Here on the verandah he
welcomed us, with Mr. Justice Wood, an old Westminster; Major Coffee,
in command of the detachment of the Inniskillen Fusiliers, stationed at
Penang; and Mr. Maxwell, another of Sir Benson's sons. Mr. Maxwell is
Commissioner of Lands, and was recently sent over to Acheen to arrange
for the release of the _Nisero_ crew.

Jaded officials and business men from Singapore and Penang come up 2000
feet to one of these bungalows on the Hill, and recruit amid the perfect
stillness and beautiful monotony of life up here. Beneath lies ever a
most superb and glorious view of Penang on its peninsula, separated by
an arm of the sea from the cocoa-nut groves and sugar-canes of Province
Wellesley. Below and around them are hills of varying size, showing
in places the poverty of the soil, but for the most part covered with
jungle. The two islands in the sea look almost artificial, so unnaturally
glassy is the water around them. In the garden at the back, where our
coolies were sleeping in the blaze of the sun, after their struggle up
the hill, we see a repetition of the view--the hills and the sea, but
without Penang. In the centre of this garden a huge block of granite,
on which trees and ferns are growing, raises its Druidical head. Some
"Goth" the other day proposed to blast it away, for it destroys all
prospect of lawn-tennis.

After "tiffin" we went for a stroll in the woods below the bungalow. In
the jungle there we saw many new tropical specimens; the wild cocoa-nut
palm, which bears no fruit; the monkey's cup, which is something like the
slipper orchid, and contains in its dark red cup shut with a lid, a small
quantity of water. A black rock, with a tree growing out of it, without
any apparent hold for the roots, was marked with roller indentations,
that seemed to indicate the glacier action of past ages. We also saw the
atap, a creeper which is the dread of the jungle explorer: it throws out
a shoot with thin, green leaves, resembling a straggling branch of palm,
but when seen near there are three sharp little claws, which tear and cut
pitilessly when brushed against. This jungle is full of monkeys, who sit
chattering on the branches of the trees in the early morning and evening,
but we saw none now, as they were resting during the midday heat.

On returning to the bungalow we had a feast of English newspapers,
reading and resting in the verandah. Dr. Hampshire, the colonial surgeon,
telephoned up from Penang an invitation to dinner that evening, which
we accepted through the same medium. Remembering the shortness of the
tropical twilight, we collected our troop of coolies around us about five
o'clock, and walked a little way down, accompanied by the gentlemen, to
see a magnificent view.

The descent in the cool of the evening was very pleasant, the coolies
swinging down hill at a great pace, whilst the two supporters acted as
drags round the steep corners. The road is splendidly made, with ridges
to prevent the rain washing down the sand. The light did not last, and
ere we reached the bottom of the hill we were wrapped in the gloom and
great stillness of the forest.

Here a similar disaster to the non-appearance of the chairs in the
morning awaited us. There was no gharry. The coolies, however, made signs
to us to get into the chairs again, and that they would take us on, but
only, as it turned out, to the first hotel. Here they rebelled, and
refused to go further, and we were powerless to remonstrate, not speaking
the language. The hotel was small and ill-looking, kept by a Chinaman,
but we entered in the hope of finding some one who would understand us
enough to send off for a gharry. It was quite dark, and Dr. Hampshire's
house a long way off. Two German gentlemen were inside; they said there
were no gharries to be had, but they volunteered to give us each a seat
in the two traps that we had seen waiting outside, and to deposit us at
our destination. It was a happy way for us out of our dilemma, and we
were much indebted to our "friends in need, friends indeed."

We dined and spent a very pleasant evening, suffering from the heat
of Penang after the cool air of the mountain. A gharry took us to the
landing-pier, and so late as it was, we had no choice but to take a
"sampan" to row across in the moonlight to the ship. The tide was running
very strong, and the sampan is but a frail bark, propelled by the native
standing up. We first narrowly escaped striking the rudder of the ship in
coming round to the further side, and then the current swept us away from
the gangway. However, we were landed safely on board by eleven o'clock,
very tired after a day beginning at 5 a.m. Nevertheless we felt we had
thoroughly enjoyed a very novel and pleasant New Year's Day.

_Friday, January 2nd._--We went off with the captain in the ship's
boat directly after breakfast, and were fortunate enough in finding an
interpreter on the wharf. Malay is the current language of the Straits
Settlements, among the variety of nationalities which gather in their
towns. It is an easily learnt language, and from its soft, sweet accent
is called the "Italian of the East."

Beach Street is very narrow and picturesque, gay with the wares displayed
on counters in the street, and the motley crowd of variously coloured
skins. I went with C. to the bank. The large, whitewashed room with
the green cloth table in the centre, has not exactly the business-like
look of our banks. All the cashiers are Chinese, who count out the
heavy silver dollar pieces with great rapidity. The dollar here is
worth three shillings and sixpence, but they suffer much in the Straits
Settlements from having only twenty, fifteen, and ten cent. pieces, and
no half-dollar.

It is strange to notice that wherever the dollar or a high monetary unit
exists, there the necessaries of life become proportionately dear. It is
so throughout America, and here in the Straits Settlements, especially
at Singapore and Penang, which are very expensive places to live in.
The officials are apt to complain that when apportioning their salaries
Government did not make sufficient allowance for this. The favourite mode
of payment, however, in the Straits is by "chits," or an I.O.U. You give
the driver of your gharry a chit as much as you do your tradesman; and
at the end of the month they employ a "chitty," who charges some small
percentage to collect these chits.

We saw some more of the curious life in Chinatown, that is compressed
into the usual nutshell, at Penang, and also went into a Joss-house. The
roof of a Joss-house is curiously pointed at the ends, with a sweeping
depression in the centre, and is adorned with blue and green dragons,
and other carvings. Inside there was a lofty temple, with a dark oak
ceiling supported by gilded pillars; also a bronze table, with a great
deal of gaudy, tawdry decoration upon it, just such as you would imagine
the Chinese would introduce into their religion. The Joss, or idol, was
guarded by a screen, between which you passed to see the case, hung with
green curtains, containing the hideous, wizened figure, arrayed in blue
and orange. Numbers of sandal-wood tapers, or joss-sticks, were being
burnt in handfuls before him, supplied free by the man at the door, and
their sweet, sickly smell pervaded the air.

We were led into a courtyard at the back, where the walls were entirely
covered with green and gold and black wooden squares, engraved with
Chinese writing. They are tablets erected to the memory of their dead.
Here there is another shrine, with three idols. Perhaps the centre one,
or patriarch, was Jain, the brother of Buddha, whom they worship, for
most of the Chinese are really Buddhists. The priest, who can be known
by his shaven head, without pigtail, showed this one to us, and gave me
a bundle of the joss-sticks. The joss-house was spoilt by its untidy and
neglected state, boards and planks filling up the courtyard, and showing
in strange contrast against the costly mountings of the temple. We passed
through a round hole in the wall of the courtyard to the garden of the
joss, a little plot filled with marigolds and chrysanthemums. Some trees
cut into figures, a wooden head and hands being added, looked curiously
life-like.

After peeping in at the court-house, where we saw that the jury and the
judge are allowed their special punkah, and buying some photographs, we
returned to the pier, not in the gharry, but in a jinricksha. We had some
difficulty in finding one, for the cool of the evening, when the Chinese
ladies take the air, is the time of their harvest.

The jinricksha is a high bath-chair, and, translated from the Chinese,
signifies "pull-man's" car, from "jin," a man, and "rick," to pull. They
go along silently and at a great pace. The motion is made pleasant by the
high action and regular swing of the shoulders that accompanies the trot
of the drawer. Neither Japanese nor Chinese think the work derogatory,
unlike the Scotch, who, when a gentleman took home a jinricksha and
"puller" to Edinburgh, rose in rebellion at a man being degraded into a
horse.

[Illustration: Jinricksha.]

The steamer was to go at twelve, but after all we might have stayed on
shore, and had luncheon, as he had kindly asked us to, with Mr. Harwood,
for one of the officers had gone snipe-shooting in the morning, and shot
a Chinaman by accident. He was arrested by the police, and the captain
had to go ashore, arrange the compensation, procure his release, and go
bail, causing us a delay of two hours. It was 4 p.m. when we rounded the
hill and lost sight of pretty little Penang--which I like so much better
than Singapore.

_Saturday, January 3rd._--We are in the Andaman Sea to-day, so called
from the Andaman group of islands, celebrated as the place where Lord
Mayo was murdered. The smoothness of the sea is broken by white horses,
which are found here when nowhere else. Captain Gardner holds a theory
that the disturbance is caused by an underground passage communicating
between two volcanic islands, which are now inactive.

We bought yesterday in Penang a durian, which we experimented upon
to-day. Every one was immediately aware of its presence as it came on
board. Outside it looks like a green hedgehog, and inside the thick
rind there are about eight or nine custard eggs. The smell is like
assafoetid acid and garlic proportioned in equal parts. It is an
acquired taste, if ever it is really liked as much as people say.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 4: Now Sultan.]



CHAPTER XV.

THE METROPOLIS OF INDIA AND ITS HIMALAYAN SANATORIUM.


On this bright, yet foggy morning of January 7, 1885, we find ourselves
at anchor in the mouth of the Hooghley--that vast delta and network of
channels where the most ancient of historical rivers, the Ganges, loses
itself in the ocean.

The sun is struggling through the bank of fog, and as it slowly lifts, it
is difficult to believe that the broad expanse of dun-coloured waters,
with its dim outline of mud-banks forming a shore, is a river and not
the sea. The white tower of the lighthouse of Saugor gleams in the far
distance, and the pilot and his leadsman are on board.

It is 156 miles from the mouth of the Hooghley to the wharves at
Calcutta, and all through the morning we are making a slow and tedious
progress, stopping frequently to take soundings. The Hooghley is well
known as a most "ticklish" piece of navigation, and altogether three
pilots take charge of the ship in its upward course. The pilot with his
accompanying leadsman, who after five years' apprenticeship is qualified
as such himself, takes the ship to Garden Reach, and then hands over the
charge to the harbour-master to take her into dock and the moorings.

[Illustration: The Hooghly, Calcutta.

    Page 251.]

For the first hundred miles the Hooghley is exceedingly ugly, being
merely a succession of mud-banks, the deposit of silt and sand left by
the river as it struggles in various channels across the flat plain of
the delta; but after passing Diamond Harbour, the signal station, where
the arrival and departure of ships to and from Calcutta are telegraphed,
the scene changes gradually. Isolated palm-trees are seen at intervals
along the banks, succeeded by groves and a few mud huts. We pass barges
or budgeroes laden with cargo, rowed by four natives, who step backwards
and forwards, keeping time together. We observe occasionally a group of
pilgrims forming a picturesque encampment on the banks, come down here
for the religious ceremony of bathing.

Not seldom is a dead body seen floating down the stream, with vultures
sitting on it and picking at the flesh, for notwithstanding all
prohibitions, the Hindu still sometimes puts a corpse in the sacred river.

It was interesting passing here the _Indus_, a ship employed in the
transport of Australian horses for the Indian market, and which we had
last seen in dock in Sydney Harbour!

I was sitting quietly writing in my cabin in the middle of the afternoon,
when I heard a tremendous scuffle overhead, accompanied by a rush to the
stern. Immediately afterwards there was that peculiar rushing of water
which indicates that the rudder is being put hard-a-port or starboard,
and, running out, I saw all the officer and sailors spinning the wheel
round as hard as they could. The severe strain had snapped a link in the
chain of the steering gear on the bridge, but, fortunately, that at the
stern was in order. Intensely anxious was the moment when we waited to
see whether she _would_ answer to her helm in time. Slowly the vessel's
head came round, and we floated away from the sandbank on to which she
was fast drifting. The sandbanks here are quicksands, and vessels which
strand are sucked down and heard of no more!

The afternoon sun shone brightly as we drew near to the sea of masts and
rigging that lie at anchor along the wharves, which border the Maidan of
Calcutta.

All around us is a scene of the greatest animation. The river banks are
lined with ships coaling or undergoing repairs, while others lie in
mid-stream, with "flats," or broad boats with shallow bottoms, piled up
with merchandise discharging cargo on either side.

A steamship is passing us on its way out to sea, while behind us an
American vessel is being towed up to dock. Hulks, budgeroes, steam-tugs,
and dingies are threading their way amongst this maze of shipping, and
a goodly crowd of the latter are hovering or clinging on to our ship by
means of rope and hooks, making a dash at us with the latter as we pass.

These budgeroes with their painted prows and covered stern resemble the
gondola of Venice, but instead of the funereal black of the latter, they
are painted in bright colours, blue and red and yellow, and steered
by means of an oar roughly fastened by reeds to the stern. Generally
the steersman is represented by a picturesque figure wrapped in a gay
counterpane, or swathed in the graceful folds of muslin, thrown loosely
over the shoulders. We pass many factories of sugar, jute, and paper, and
some pottery works.

Opposite Garden Reach stands the palace of the ex-King of Oude, with
its green jalousies and balconies, and its terrace overhanging the
water, guarded at either end by a caged lion and tiger. Long before we
approached it, we saw flocks of pigeons, white and speckled, whirling
in the air. An attendant standing in the tower with a red flag was
waving them home, and at the understood signal they were all circling
round and setting on the flat roofs of the palace. It was the former
residence of Sir Lawrence Peel, but now the palace and the beautiful
suburb is abandoned to the eccentricities of the ex-king with his swarm
of followers, who lives here on a yearly pension of 120,000_l._ granted
by our Government.

Facing the palace at Seebpore is Bishop's College, now used as a school
for engineers, and the Botanical Gardens here border the river. Passing
Chandpal Ghât, the landing-place, "where India welcomes" and speeds away
her rulers; "where Governors-General, Commanders-in-Chief, Judges of the
High Court, Bishops, all entitled to it, receive the royal salute from
Fort William on setting foot in the metropolis," we anchored for the
night. The harbour-master refused to take the _Japan_ to her moorings
till the morning.

Amid great confusion we embarked ourselves and our luggage in one of the
frail and leaking dingies. Colliding and being collided with several
times, an unhealthy mist rising and enveloping us from the river,
darkness overtaking us, we had a very uncomfortable half-hour's row to
the landing-stage.

In the darkness of the half gas-lighted streets, the natives muffled
up to the eyes in their long white garments, the bullock-carts, the
palanquins, the gharries, all looked so strange and foreign, and the
noise and bustle of the streets was oppressive to us after the dead
stillness of the steamer.

Of course we went to the Great Eastern Hotel. Alas! there is no choice
of hotels for travellers, and the company, having the monopoly, do not
exert themselves for the comfort of their visitors. The table-d'hôte
was bewildering from the extraordinary number of servants in the room,
there being from sixty to 100 guests. The "boys," or personal servants,
made one row by standing each behind his master's chair, and the hotel
servants another whilst handing the dishes, not counting those who were
hurrying in all directions. The noise in the Great Eastern is a perpetual
torment, the doors being only protected by curtains, voices and footsteps
echo through the bare, marble-paved corridors. Khitmutgârs and Chuprassis
creep in noiselessly from behind the curtains, and you look up suddenly
to find them there, and to wonder how long they have been standing
staring at you. Ayahs and tailors come to offer their services, and
bric-à-brac vendors are always pushing their way into the sitting-room.

_Thursday, January 8th._--A fine spring morning to greet us for our first
day in India,--not too warm, for we are fortunate in being here during
one of the only three temperate months of the Indian year.

Calcutta used to be known by the name of "the Ditch," but now it is
called the "City of Palaces." I should say that the former name well
applies to the native quarters and bazaars, which lie in such close
juxtaposition to the handsome buildings and are so unusually narrow,
crowded, and dirty. The latter speaks truly of that splendid range of
buildings around Dalhousie Square, and that block facing the Maidan,
formed by the High Court and Government House.

Dalhousie Square is the old Tank Square, or, earlier still, was called
"the green before the fort," for the ancient fort stood on the spot where
now we see the magnificent dome of the Post Office.

Inside an arched gateway, at the side of this building, there are some
remnants of the old walls of the fort. A plain square of pavement here
shows the exact size and spot of the Black Hole of Calcutta. A short
and business-like inscription is placed over the archway recording
"how 123 victims perished during the night of June 20th, 1757, only 23
being found alive in the morning, confined there by order of the rebel,
Suraj-ud-Dowlah."

There are besides in Dalhousie Square the block of government buildings
occupying the entire length of one side of it, built of dull red brick
faced with yellow stone and ending at the corner with an octagonal tower;
also the Telegraph Office, and the Dalhousie Institute.

Government House is a vast yellow structure, with a small dome, standing
within railed gardens. The approach is very handsome, with a broad
flight of steps leading to the entrance under a portico with Corinthian
pillars; but it appears, this is only for use on state occasions, as you
are driven up to the unpretentious doorway _under_ the entrance. Four
roads with lion-guarded gateways lead up to the four entrances, there
being one to each side of the house; and the Sepoy sentries, the mounted
escort waiting in attendance, and the chuprassies running hither and
thither--scarlet messengers with the royal insignia that you meet in all
parts of the city, form a truly Vice-regal surrounding.

The houses in Calcutta have a very Eastern appearance, being painted a
pale pink or buff colour, contrasting with the bright green of jalousies
and balconies. Added to this, there is the strange, vivid-coloured
flow of life going on in the streets below. There are Mohammedans with
short-waisted linen tunic, tight trowsers, and huge unwieldly turban;
Hindus with the wisp of hair at the back of the head, and the hideous
caste mark or patch of clay smeared on the forehead, wrapped in the
square of variegated cotton, the corner thrown over the shoulder; coolies
naked, save for the single strip of muslin. A few Armenians, Chinese, and
Parsees, the latter with the curious semi-conical hat peculiar to that
sect, mingle in the heterogeneous crowd of a great Indian metropolis.

The women look so graceful in their flowing "sari," draped loosely about
the figure and drawn over the head, with the bright pieces of metal
in the forehead or the chin, with rings in noses and ears, and silver
bangles worn above the elbow--in masses on the wrist, and circling round
their ankles, jangling with each movement. All the women and nearly all
the men wear rings on their toes. Generally the "sari" is of white muslin
bordered with a strip of red, but sometimes also it is of pink or green
or even of a bright yellow gauze--a single strip that is wound round so
deftly as to form an entire covering for the figure.

Gharries, ticca gharries (or a gharry of the second class) ply the
streets for hire, looking with their closed, sliding doors like a
miniature Black Maria, so grim is the appearance of this windowless
carriage. There are many palankeens, the familiar "palkee," painted
black, and supported by four hurrying, staggering coolies. Through
the half-closed doors you see the full-length figure of a luxurious
native swell, smoking his hookah. Many private carriages, broughams and
victorias, are about the streets occupied by the Anglo-Indian in his
never-failing solar topee or tirai hat, for _no one_ thinks of walking
the length of the street in India. As you drive along, you are much
bothered by natives with a miscellaneous collection of goods, beginning
with Japanese trays and peacock screens, and ending with shaving-brushes,
soap, and hair-pins, running along and thrusting their wares into the
carriage.

In the afternoon we drove through the native quarter of Calcutta, through
the Burra Bazaar, on our way to visit the Maharajah of Tagore.

The bazaar in every Indian town is a never-failing source of interest. It
is always narrow, dirty, crowded, the inhabitants popping in and out of
their filthy dens, in numbers like swarms in a beehive. But the wonderful
eye for colour, and the inborn taste of architecture that belongs to
every Indian, makes them marvellously picturesque and interesting. There
are the carved gateways, which generally lead into the chowk, or narrow
street, where no carriage can enter; the curiously wrought overhanging
balconies with scarlet striped blinds, from behind which peep out
dark-eyed nautch girls. There is the minaret of a mosque in one corner,
and the carved remains of a Hindu temple in the other. Here a group of
men and women squatting over a hole in the earth, where they are pounding
millet; there some children gnawing a stick of raw sugar-cane. Donkeys,
goats, and sacred bulls with bead necklaces hung around their necks
wander at will about the streets. Sometimes you see a school, with the
scholars squatting around their moonshee under the balcony, sing-songing
in that curious monotone the Hindustanee lesson. All the manufactures
are carried on in the open street, whether it be spinning or dyeing,
tinkering or tailoring, or that elaborate kincob work of embroidering in
gold thread. All the goods are exposed for sale on the raised step along
the street, whilst the owner sits cross-legged, keeping guard over them,
never in the least anxious to sell. Here you find all Indian treasures,
such as Cashmere and Ramudpugger shawls, exquisite embroideries in silk
and gold, Benares work, and gold and silver ornaments and bangles. I
was disappointed not to see a greater variety of the latter, but it was
explained to me that the women generally bring their own silver in rupees
to be made into bangles, thus ensuring the true weight of the silver.
You see quantities of the coarse millets, such as goat and bajra, which
form the chief food of the natives, spread out to dry in green and yellow
heaps in the street. Rice is too expensive in Bengal and in many parts
of India for it to be a staple food for the lower orders, and on these
millets a native subsists on an average of one penny per day.

In the chowk, family women are allowed to walk, because down this inner
street of the native quarter or bazaar no gharry can come, but even many
of these cover their faces when abroad. Young married women and girls are
only allowed to go in a "sedan" chair, which is a small seat carefully
curtained, suspended in the shape of a tripod from a pole. Sometimes
these latter peep cautiously out, but modestly withdraw at sight of us;
or, again, standing at the door of their huts, women cover and flee at
the approach of the "Feringis" (Europeans).

The bustees, or native villages, are a collection of mud huts, cramped
together on the damp earth, devoid of ventilation and drainage. They are
often built round a tank or pond, which serves as a deposit for their
filth and refuse, the water being used at the same time for cooking and
washing purposes. During the rains the natives suffer much, their mud
huts, without foundations, settling about them, and the miasmic vapours
of the over-populated village causing a yearly epidemic of cholera.
The baboos, or wealthier class, live in two-storied houses, built so
as to form a hollow square, the upper story being alone used for the
living-rooms, and the lower one as a stable for goats and bullocks.

The Indian city, if possible, generally lies along a riverbank, and then
the bathing-ghât forms a great feature to the native quarter. Men and
women bathe daily, and some of the most picturesque and typical scenes of
Indian life are to be seen in the early morning at these ghâts.

But to return to the Burra Bazaar. All this and a great deal more we saw,
and the entire novelty added to our zest of the enjoyment of the gay
surroundings. One sad little scene was taking place in a quiet corner.
Under a rude canopy stood the coffin of a child, covered with a pink
pall, while some women were busy laying flowers about it, and hanging up
tawdry bits of decoration.

The Maharajah of Tajore's palace is in the midst of this native quarter.
We were led through whitewashed passages, where numberless attendants
were lounging about, through a balcony into a magnificent drawing-room,
but which was swathed even to the chandeliers in brown holland. We
thought it a typical exemplification of Eastern life, magnificence with
meanness, luxury with squalor and dirt.

The maharajah appeared in morning dress, consisting of a loose drab
Cashmere shawl covering him from head to foot. He is a man of about
forty-five, speaks perfect English, expressing himself with great ease
and fluency, and he takes the most enlightened views on the subject of
English administration. The conversation lasted for upward of two hours,
for my husband is most anxious during our visit to India to hear as much
as possible of the _native_ views on Indian affairs. The maharajah is
trustee of the vernacular newspaper called the _Hindu Patriot_, whose
editor C. went to see in British India Street, which may be called
the Fleet Street of Calcutta--so many members of the press are there
established here.

In the Maidan centres all the attractions of Calcutta. This broad plain
is truly called "the lung of Calcutta," and is bordered on one side by
Chowringee Road and a succession of fine palaces, and on the other by
the Strand Road, the Esplanade and the Hooghley, with its sea of masts
and rigging. In the centre of the Maidan stands Fort William. The High
Court and Government House looks over its broad expanse. Here, too, are
the Eden Gardens, and that collection of statues increased with each
outgoing viceroy. The inscriptions on some of them are very fine, and
full of patriotic enthusiasm. That on the equestrian statue of Lord Mayo
is grand:--"To the honoured and beloved memory of the Earl of Mayo,
Humane, Courteous, Resolute, and Enlightened, struck down in the Midst
of a Patriotic and Beneficent Career on the 18th of February, 1872, by
the treacherous hand of an Assassin. The People of India, mourning and
indignant, raise this Statue." So also is that to Sir James Outram, where
they say:--"His Life was given to India; in early Manhood he reclaimed
wild Races by winning their hearts; Ghazni, Khelat, the Indian Caucasus,
witnessed the daring deeds of his prime; Persia brought to sue for peace;
Lucknow relieved, defended, and recovered, were fields of his later
glories. Faithful servant of England, large-minded and kindly ruler of
her subjects; in all the True Knight; 'The Bayard of the East.'"

It is towards five o'clock in the afternoon, when the miasmic mist that
rises daily at this hour, and only lifts the following morning at nine
o'clock, that the Maidan is seen to perfection.

Then appear those magnificent equipages, the lumbering barouche, with
the pair of "Walers" (so called because they are horses imported from
New South Wales), with their attendant "syces." These native servants in
their long coats, girded with a sash of cords, and flat-brimmed hats, are
dressed in all kinds of fanciful liveries. Free play is given to pretty
combinations of colour, such as brown with old gold, purple with scarlet,
green and orange, blue and silver, black and white. The number of these
syces walking beside the horses, or standing up behind the carriage,
flourishing fly-wisps, gives an idea of Oriental magnificence.

The Eden Garden; so called after the sisters of Lord Auckland, who caused
them to be made, are the rendezvous at that hour for all the children of
Calcutta, and you see these pampered little darlings, dressed up in plush
and satins, arriving in their own carriages, in charge of their ayahs,
with one, or even sometimes two, men-servants in attendance, ready to
play at ball or cricket with them.

On the Maidan, too, is seen the familiar sight of the troops of
"bheesties" watering the roads at sundown. This primitive way of laying
the dust becomes a great nuisance in crowded thoroughfares, when the
bheestie is as likely as not to spurt the contents of his skin into the
carriage.

Very curious figures these bheesties look as they come up from the
riverside with their inverted goat-skin, the outline of the legs still
seen, and slung, full to bursting, on their backs. They then begin to run
along the road, ejecting the water to right and left of them by opening
and closing sharply the small aperture. One would almost think that the
municipality of Calcutta might have imported some watering-carts by this
time.

It is a very funny sight to see a native squatted on the ground before
his horse in a beseeching attitude, holding up to him a handful of hay;
or, again, whilst the carriages wait by the Eden Gardens, to see the
servants collected around a "hubble-bubble," drawing at it and passing it
round in turns.

There is generally a camp near the fort in the Maidan, and polo is played
there in the afternoon. Passing the rank and fashion of Anglo-Indian
society, we drove to the Belvidere, the official residence of the
Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Henry Riders Thompson. It is a very beautiful
house, and was the favourite residence of Warren Hastings. We came home
round the other side of the Maidan, by Chowringee Road. The prison is
the first building in this road, "and No. 1, Chowringee" has become a
familiar name for it.

_Friday, January 9th._--Morning after morning the sun rises in an
unclouded sky, and this is the only advantage of the Indian climate. You
may depend on fine weather, "may settle," as some one said to me, "the
exact date of a picnic two months beforehand," without fears for the
weather. The rainfall of the year is condensed into the three months of
July, August, and September--the rainy season, the season of malarious
fevers.

We went out early, and drove to Fort William. Inside those palisaded
defences and once strong walls and towers, you find broad gravelled roads
laid out round the quiet quadrangles, with neat barracks and arsenals,
magazines, and storerooms. There are six gateways with drawbridges,
and over each is a house for the commander-in-chief and the officers.
The fort church and the Catholic chapel complete the military and
non-bellicose-looking little town. In the centre there is the circular
pillar with the sliding boom that daily drops at the hour of 1 p.m.

"Abdullah," our guide and native servant, then took us through the
bathing-ghât on the Hooghley, and stopped before a space walled in, from
the centre of which issued smoke. It was the "Nimtolla Burning-Chat," or
crematorium, where the bodies of the natives are burnt.

In the centre of the square there was a burning pile, on which, face
downwards, with the arms crossed behind the back, lay a body. The legs
were also doubled up, but as we looked, first one and then the other
relaxed with the heat and dropped down. A little further on there was
a smouldering pile, where another body had been reduced to ashes, and
in a corner a stretcher with a body covered over awaiting cremation. It
takes three hours for each body to burn, and after it has been reduced
to ashes, they are gathered up and cast into the sacred waters of the
Hooghley. The Hindu lays the body on the pile, and places the fire in
the mouth, but the Mohammedan (who has no caste) does the meaner parts
of lighting and attending to the funeral pile. Government provides the
wood and the attendants, making a charge of three rupees, seven annas,
for an adult, with a reduced scale for children. Strange and wrong as
it may seem to say so, there is no doubt that the horror of seeing the
process seemed greatly lessened by the shade of the skin; were it white,
we should not get over the ghastly sight for many a day.

That afternoon we drove out to the Botanical Gardens, crossing the
Hooghley on a wooden bridge, and driving through the busy manufacturing
suburb of Howrah, and the village of Seebpore. They are five miles
from the town, and their beauty is consequently lost to Calcutta. Not
one single person did we meet there that afternoon. The triad of noble
trees, the banyan, with the peepul on either side, the glorious avenue of
Palmyra palms, with others of asoke and mahogany branching off, are truly
"wasting their freshness on a desert air."

There are groups of casuarina-trees about the lake, draped with tropical
"climbers," or rattans, and a palmetum, or palm nursery, where different
species of the family are tended and reared. We went into the cool,
shady retreat, where the light struggles dimly through the cocoa-fibre
netting on to the festoons of tropical parasites, the orchids and the
ferns, forming a beautiful, natural outdoor conservatory. Passing the
marble urn which bears an inscription by Bishop Heber to Dr. Roxburgh,
curator of the garden, and to which so many avenues converge, we come to
a grove. Under this we walked along, looking at the network of trunks,
as we thought; but as we came to trace them home, we discovered that
they were but gigantic roots, depending from the branches--part of
the stupendous banyan-tree, that thus extends its monstrous bulk to a
diameter of 800 feet. This grove is very beautiful, formed as it is of a
colonnade of branches--of the 170 aërial depending roots.

As we drove home we were overtaken by one of those unhealthy river mists,
densest in the villages we passed through, owing to the smoke of their
dung fires being unable to rise through the pall.

_Saturday, January 10th._--C. went out to Dum-Dum, the military
cantonment of Calcutta, to see a battalion of his old regiment, the 23rd
Royal Welsh Fusiliers, quartered there. Later in the day we went to the
Memorial Meeting at the Town Hall, in honour of the memory of the "Great
Hindu Patriot," the late Kristodas Pal. The Maharajah of Tagore assented
to my wish to go, but on being led up to the platform, I was not prepared
to find myself the only lady amongst the thousands, chiefly natives,
assembled. However, I was rewarded for the discomfort of the situation by
the great interest of a speech delivered by Dr. Mohendra Lal Sircar, a
homoeopathic doctor, after those of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Chief
Justice, Sir Richard Garth, and Sir Stewart Bayley, member of council,
&c., which for eloquence and impressiveness was most remarkable.

Kristodas Pal was editor of the _Hindu Patriot_, a member of the
Legislative Council, and a man of most brilliant parts and oratorical
gifts--respected equally by European and native, as the representative
meeting of that day testified, including as it did the highest European
officials and members of council, with a large number of maharajahs and
rajahs. It was terribly hot, and the meeting lasted for over two hours.

_Sunday, January 11th._--To the cathedral for morning service.
The exterior of the Gothic architecture is entirely spoilt by the
discoloration of the stone by stress of weather, and the interior
produces a curious effect in the morning light, which comes reflected
through bright, blue glass. The finest part of the cathedral is the
vestry or entrance, containing some beautiful tablets and the statue of
Bishop Heber. As no one in India thinks of walking, not even to church,
it is here that the waiting crowd, with the police manoeuvring at
the file of carriages, somewhat resembles the getting away after an
entertainment.

We left Calcutta by the Sealdah terminus that afternoon on an expedition
to Darjeeling, the hill station in the Himalayas.

The journey across some burnt-up plains, with occasional settlements of
mud huts in the neighbourhood of a gheel, or a mango tope, was very hot
and dirty. At sundown we were obliged to close the windows, on account
of the malarious mist rising from the marshes. A fellow-passenger, an
indigo-planter, left the carriage at one of the small stations, who was
going to be carried thirty-three miles in a "palkee" by sixteen coolies
in relays. He told us he should sleep comfortably in the bed prepared
inside, whilst they carried him all through the night over hill and dale,
and across four rivers in boats.

At eight in the evening we arrived at Damookdea, and embarked on a
steamer to cross the Ganges, meanwhile having dinner on board. At Sara,
on the opposite side, we settled ourselves for the night in the short,
narrow carriage running on the mètre-gauge line, and which oscillates so
very unpleasantly. There are no sleeping-cars on the Indian railways, but
with a carriage to ourselves we managed seven or eight hours' sleep--not
bad, when we think of the random rolling we experienced. Here is where
the rezai and pillow rolled up in a strap in the daytime are an absolute
necessity for travelling in India. Every one has them and not only are
they useful for railway travelling, but invaluable also in hotels. Many
is the bitter, cold night on which we have arrived, and been shown into
a grateless and fireless room, with only a single sheet on the bed.

[Illustration: The Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway.

Page 263.]

Chota hazri and a wash at Siliguri the next morning sent us on our way
rejoicing, in the little toy-train of the Darjeeling and Himalayan
Railway. It is in reality a steam tramway, and runs along by the side of
the old cart hillroad, on a gauge only two feet in width. The first class
compartments are divided by a trellis-work, and the second and third are
open cars. They run along smoothly and swiftly, raised but a few inches
off the ground.

This railway is considered a great, by some "the greatest," engineering
feat, mounting as it does 7000 feet into the heart of the Himalayas, with
a gradient as steep as one in twenty, and radii of one to sixteen. It was
undertaken chiefly for the humane purpose of giving work to the natives
during the great Bengal famine of 1874. Two years saw its completion, at
the moderate cost of 3000_l._ a mile.

Creeping cautiously across the Mahanuddi River, on the crankiest of
wooden bridges, we ran rapidly over the plain for nine miles, and then
entered an avenue in the forest.

The ascent began through a sâl forest, densely overgrown with jungle,
and then proceeded to a forest more varied with birch, maple, oak, and
wild mango. The trunks of these huge trees were clothed with epiphytes, a
creeper of large green leaves, of much the same shape as our "lords and
ladies." It was curious to note how the higher we ascended the hardier
became the species of trees. Thus in one day we were to pass through
varying vegetation and varying climes; from the oppressive heat of the
plain to the moist rarified atmosphere of the mountain altitudes; from
the tropical wealth of vegetation to the hardier kinds of trees and
shrubs. Strangely enough, in these latter you do not see the pine, spruce
fir, or larch, for the hardiest species found in the Himalayan peaks are
magnolia, laurel, holly, olive, maple, and oak.

On and on through this forest-clad side of the mountain we travelled,
fascinated by the dense tangle of jungle on either hand. These
impenetrable depths we knew were the lair of the leopard and cheetah. We
longed to see the glare of green eyes in the undergrowth, and to hear the
crash of an elephant's approach. But a mild pleasure lay in the monkeys,
who crept out in great numbers, and swung on the branches of the trees
overhead, jabbering and mocking us as we passed. The gullies were filled
with wild banana-trees, yielding a bitter, acrid fruit.

All this time we were rising rapidly above the vast plain of Bengal, that
lay like a shining sheet at our feet, melting away into golden mist. We
were now coming to the first of the great engineering wonders of this
line of wonders--the circle. Passing _under_ a bridge, we described a
distinct circle round the circumference of a small hill, and, gradually
ascending round the further curve, were immediately afterwards passing
_over_ the same identical bridge.

Here, as with all the Himalayan range, the Sikkim Hills run in tiers, one
above the other, rising in the first instance sheer out of the plain.
There opened before us one of those gorgeous amphitheatres of hills, seen
so often during the ascent. You come upon an immeasurable hollow, and
lying literally in amphitheatrical tiers beneath are ranges of mountains
within the mountains, dwindling so far away, down, down, into hills,
and the hills again into mere knolls, by comparison with the gigantic
monsters of the background.

Frequently looking down into this crater, filled with hilltops, we saw
perched up on one a planter's bungalow and factory, with the tea-garden
terracing up and down the side of the mountain--the regular lines of the
stunted bushes, with the space of earth between.

Once for many miles we swept round the mighty circle of the amphitheatre,
clinging halfway up on the sides of the depthless gorge; then passing
from one mountain to another, gradually rising, we described a double
curve, one line of rails above the other, and passing away behind the
mountains, ascended others higher and farther upwards.

Thus we crept stealthily upwards, through the long morning hours.

After Gyabari, we reached the "Goompties," or long zigzags on the sides
of the hill, and then came in quick succession several "reversing
stations." Here the train goes backwards and forwards in short zigzags,
helping us to rise some hundred feet in a very few minutes. How wonderful
the Australians think their three zigzags on the Blue Mountains. What
would they say to these? Again, further on, we described a perfect figure
of 8. But our twistings and curvings were so wonderful, that at last we
seemed to grow accustomed to see the line we were to pass just above us,
the line we _had_ passed just below.

Many and many were the so-called "agony points," where the carriage was
projecting over the precipice, so close the rail was laid to the edge;
some were rendered more excruciatingly anxious by the train taking a
sharp curve on this precarious foothold.

It is a grand and exalted feeling that takes possession of you now,
when you have lost sight of the plain, and the work-a-day life being
carried on there, when you are alone looking down into the spur ranges,
a tumultuous mass of peaks below, and then raise the eye to the
storm-beaten ones above, so near the sky as to be known only to the eye
of their Creator. The Himalayas, meaning in Sanskrit the "abode of snow,"
are the grandest mountain-wall that Nature has ever raised.

It was becoming keenly cold. What was our agony to see creeping down the
mountain-side a wall of fog and mist. We passed into the cloud, and gloom
and dampness enveloped us. Darjeeling, we are always told, is "up in
the clouds," and we anxiously thought how it might remain so in reality
during our stay there. Our enthusiasm was suddenly quenched, and our
disappointment very keen at losing all the glorious views--wiped out so
ruthlessly in those few seconds. For the remainder of the journey clouds
swept around us, lifting occasionally for a minute to show us the valley,
where more clouds lay floating below.

We had luncheon, at an elevation of 4000 feet, at Kursiong, where the
platform runs alongside of the neat hotel. At Sonadah we did not grumble
at the fog so much, for at all times the air here is thick and cold, from
the condensed moisture of the vast forests that cover the western slopes
of Mount Sinchul.

Up and up we climbed, the temperature rapidly falling and the cold ever
increasing. The rails became greasy from the moisture, and necessitated
constant stoppages to allow of the zemyndras running in front with
handfuls of sand.

Occasionally we passed through the midst of some very dirty bazaar, or
settlement of tumble-down huts, crowded together for warmth, and the
mutual support afforded to the mud and bamboo-framed walls, which prevail
even in these high latitudes. Here live the picturesque and varied
mountain tribes belonging to the frontier provinces around Darjeeling, a
sturdy, independent population. There are the tall Bhooteas, the short
and stunted Lepchas and Limboos, Nepaulese, Cabulese, and stalwart
Thibetans, dashing by on their hardy mountain ponies. For the time being,
with the cold atmosphere, and amongst these hardy northern tribes, we
feel transported into Norway, Lapland, or Finland.

The Lepchas, the aboriginals of Sikkim, are the most picturesque among
the medley of races. They are of very small stature, and thick-set
frame, with a broad, flat face, oblique eyes, and high cheek-bones.
The men wear their coarse black hair in one pigtail, and the women in
two--often the only distinguishing feature between the sexes. The Lepcha
is an arrant coward, but a born naturalist, and has a name for every
shrub and plant in Sikkim. Their dress consists "of a robe of blue and
white-striped cloth, woven by the women, crossed over the breast, and
gathered in with an ornamented girdle." Into this is stuck the kukerie,
or short sword, which none are without. They wear a coloured woollen
comforter wound around their caps; and altogether their dwarf stature,
flattened faces, and excessive dirt remind one of the Laplanders.

The Limboos can always be known by their mass of black uncombed hair,
hanging in elfin locks about their yellow faces. They are gross feeders,
being particularly fond of pork.

The Nepaulese emigrate in large numbers to British Sikkim, where they
find ready employment in the tea-gardens. British Sikkim has been called
a "Cave of Adullam" for Nepaul, whose draconian laws cause offenders to
flee across the border for safety.

The Bhootea race is chiefly interesting from its woman-kind. Tall and
handsome are the Bhootea women, with a circlet of gold or silver framing
their broad, beaming faces. They wear magnificent silver girdles, and
curiously wrought necklaces, with earrings so massive that the thin strip
of flesh, drawn out in the lobe of the ear, barely supports their weight.
They have curious amulets set with turquoise-stones which, though much
cracked and flawed, suit the quaint setting and design. The Bhooteas
are followers of the red-capped sect of Lamas, a kind of Buddhism, but
they offer propitiatory sacrifices to evil spirits, as may be seen by
the array of bamboo staffs about their huts, from which float cotton
streamers and rags with type prayers, set up to frighten the spirits away.

These Bhootea women have an enormous capacity for carrying weights, being
usually employed as porters at the station. They support the whole weight
on their heads, suspending it by a string passed round the forehead. It
is told how a Bhootea woman once carried a grand piano from Pukabari to
Darjeeling in three days, and arrived quite fresh!

During the winter many Thibetans may be seen, coming through that
mysterious and forbidden pass into Sikkim for trading purposes. In their
encampments it is common to see one woman in the same tent with five
or six men, as polyandry prevails among the Thibetans. Most of those
rough little ponies, with their creels balanced on either side with
merchandise, that we met toiling up in files, come from Thibet.

Ghoom, the highest railway station in the Old World, if not in the
universe, was reached in fog. It is 7400 feet above the level of the sea.
From here we ran downhill for four miles, till a turn round the angle
of a jutting rock brought Darjeeling in view. A gleam of sunshine, weak
and watery owing to the vapoury clouds it pierced through, showed us the
hill-side, dotted with innumerable pretty bungalows.

Darjeeling lies partly in a basin formed by the mountains, and here is
the bazaar and native quarter. On a mount which you would almost think
Nature had purposely thrown up midway in the valley for it, stands the
Eden Sanatorium. Such a pretty, ornate building it is, where people
suffering from the fever of the plains come up to be nursed by the clever
Sisters of Mercy from Clewer. There is accommodation for first, second,
and third class patients, so all degrees can avail themselves of the
Sanatorium.

Immediately under the high mount of the Observatory Hill, on the highest
ground of all, lies the pretty stone church and the white villa mansion
called the Shrubberies, the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor.

Darjeeling was originally established as a sanatorium for the invalid
soldiers of all the British troops in India. A cantonment was founded at
Jellaphor, 700 feet higher than Darjeeling, making in all a height of
7969 feet above the level of the sea. There was a time when for soldiers
to come to India, meant it was very questionable whether they would ever
return. Darjeeling has been the means of restoration to thousands of
England's sons, fever stricken on the plains of Bengal.

Arrived at the barnlike station, the porters--two Bhootea women, carried
our luggage up to Woodland's Hotel. The dreariness of this abode could
hardly be overdrawn. Dark and chill were the rooms, scant and bad the
fare, and great depression ensued under such sad circumstances.

We walked down to the post-office and past the club, saw some of the
rows of villas built as a speculation, and which command such exorbitant
prices (1000 to 2000 rupees per month) during the season, and then the
clouds returned with the close of day and we could see no more. I had
got a severe chill and touch of fever from our night journey across the
plain, and went to bed shivering, and very miserable.

_Tuesday, January 13th._--Everybody comes up to Darjeeling with hearts
full of bright promise of seeing the most glorious "snowy range"
that exists in the world. Very few but go down sadder and wiser. The
view, as seen from Mount Sinchul, of the range is described as almost
unparalleled,--a panorama of pure white peaks as far as the eye can
reach. And then, rising from among this sea of snow and ice, is seen the
highest mountain in the world--Mount Everest (29,000 feet), lying in
Nepaul, about eighty miles away as the crow flies. The small peak takes
the appearance of a soldier's helmet without the spike.

It is a lottery whether travellers going for a few days up to Darjeeling
will ever have the chance of seeing the snowy range; very fortunate are
those few who do.

Thus, on this morning we talked of getting up early and trying the
expedition to Mount Sinchul. Of course it is a question of riding, for at
these hill-stations there are no carriages, and you must ride, be carried
in a "dandy" or in a "palkee," or perhaps be drawn in a jinricksha. There
was however, a thick fog at Darjeeling, and the hope was at best so
forlorn of a glimpse, that we gave up the idea.

C. went up to the cantonment to breakfast with an old brother-officer
of the 23rd, and when he came back we decided that it was more prudent,
on my account (for I was feeling very unwell), to descend to more
comfortable quarters in lower altitudes.

The train was full, but the station-master offered to take us down to
Kursiong on a trolly. The trolly was attached to the train and we were
dragged the four miles up-hill to Ghoom. Then, after shunting and getting
in front of the train, we were let loose--down the hill.

Oh, the awful sensation of that first rush downhill! We lost our breath.
We were blind. We were cutting the air in twain, so sharp was our
concussion against the element. We clung on for our lives. We swung round
the corners, raising a cloud of dust to mark our fleeting course. After
the first alarm it was delightful.

Wrapped up to the nose in our rezais, the exhilaration and excitement
were entrancing. We scudded down the hill, increasing the speed from
fifteen to twenty miles an hour. The break put on just before a curve
steadied the trolly round it, and then removed, with fresh impetus we
dashed along the level incline. We scattered all before us: affrighted
children hid their faces, cocks and hens flew at our approach, and dogs
slunk away. The entire population of the bazaars rushed out to gape
open-mouthed at us. Ponies and horses shied and plunged violently, being
far more frightened by our little Flying Dutchman than by any train. Whiz
and whir, and they were all left far behind.

The air was bitterly cold, and C.'s moustache was freezing hard; but we
thought not of this, but of keeping our breath and our seats. Now we were
wrapped in a cloud, unable to see more than a few yards before us; the
next instant under the influence of a gleam of sunshine.

We drew up at a signal-box at Toon. The descent to earth was too cruelly
sudden, and all that remained to us of our glorious ride on a trolly were
the tingling sensations in every limb,--the quickened flow of blood in
our veins.

The sudden check came in the form of an announcement from the signalman
that a luggage-train had just left the lower station, and we were an
instant too late to stop it. We were asked if we were afraid to risk
meeting it on the single line. Wound up to a "dare devil" mood, we
scorned the idea, and taking on board a man to wave the red flag of
danger we started off again. But now we were cautiously creeping round
the fog-hidden corners. In the twistings of the line we might any moment
find ourselves face to face with the engine; besides, the mist deadened
the sound of the approaching train, and obscured any distant view.
We listened with all our might, strained every nerve to keep a sharp
look-out, only indulging in a feeble "run" on the straight.

Just as we were once doing this, a man breaking stones on the road sprang
forward to stop us, and, pulling up sharply, for the trolly is fitted
with a break that brings it to a dead stop within six yards, we heard the
labouring puff, puff of the engine quite close upon us, and the black
monster loomed through the fog. It was the work of a minute to lift the
trolly off the line. The train passed, and we reached Kursiong a few
minutes afterwards. We had done twenty miles under the hour, and gained
fifty minutes on the mail-train.

This gave us just the time we wanted for a visit to one of the
tea-gardens in the valley.

It was too early for operations to be going on, but the whole process
was kindly explained to us by the manager in the Kursiong Tea Company's
plantation.

After the seed is planted it requires three years before attaining to
full growth and production, and altogether six years must elapse without
profit to the planter. At the end of this period the stem is from three
to four feet in height. It is then pruned during the months of November
to February, when the sap is down, to two feet in height, and this is an
operation requiring great care. "Flushes," viz. new shoots, will continue
to appear at intervals varying from fifteen to twenty days during these
months. Each "flush" is plucked as it comes on, the principle in plucking
being to leave the bud at the axis of each leaf intact, and ready for
the next shoot to start from. According to the leaves plucked are the
different classifications of tea. For instance, in a flush of four
leaves, the first would be called Orange or Flowery Pekoe, the second
Souchong, the third Congou, and the fourth Bohea or broken tea. The
classification varies with the different districts.

At five o'clock in the evening the factory gong sounds, and the pluckers
bring their baskets to the withering-loft, where the leaves are laid in
thin layers on the floor till the following morning. Then the test of its
being dry, by seeing whether the leaf is still green enough to crackle
is applied, after which it is put into the rolling machine. This machine
is a heavy weight, which moves alternately to one corner of the square
slab, and then returns to the opposite one; thus giving the leaf a double
twist. It is hand-rolled afterwards if necessary. Then it is left to
ferment, the process of fermentation being the most delicate and crucial
operation for the tea. Great experience is necessary to know the exact
moment when fermentation should be stopped. The leaf is spread in thin
layers over a charcoal fire, and finally sifted by means of a machine,
which has trays of different degrees of coarseness, allowing the finest
tea, or Pekoe, to pass to the lowest division. The remaining, or broken
tea, is then put through a breaking machine, and sold as coarse tea.
Lastly the tea is packed in lead, and in boxes containing eighty maunds
exported to England. There is great depression in the Indian tea-trade,
owing to its being found impossible to compete with the cheaper
production of China. Darjeeling is one of the great centres for Indian
tea, Assam being the other.

We got places in the mail at Kursiong, and all through the afternoon
were gently descending, thoroughly enjoying the splendour of the views
we had missed in the fog coming up. Every 1000 feet of descent brought
an atmosphere twenty degrees warmer: very pleasant to us after our
sufferings from the cold. The wheels being heavily dragged made a
strangely melodious music (impossible as it may seem), like that produced
by running the finger round the edge of a glass.

At Teendaria, where the railway workshops are situated, the engine-driver
asked us to come on to the engine, and we had a charming ride perched up
one on each side of the brakesman. The engine was turned back foremost,
that the driver might the better be enabled to see the steep gradients,
and we had a magnificent view from our post of observation. Every time
that we passed under a bridge, lest any passenger should protrude his
head, I blew the whistle thrice; and I was only sorry when we reached
Siliguri, and the journey was at an end. Here we had dinner, and were
fortunate enough to get a saloon to ourselves, where we slept soundly
till we reached Sara at 6.30 the next morning. Embarking once more on
the steam-ferry, crossing the Ganges, and seeing the sun rise over its
waters, we reached Calcutta at twelve the same morning.

_Thursday, January 15th._--At the invitation of Mr. Rustumjee, the head
of a large Parsee family, well known and respected in commercial circles,
we paid a visit to his house on Chowringee. We found the members of the
family, twenty-three all told, including three generations, gathered
under the paternal roof. The Parsee dress for women is very graceful
and becoming. A robe of soft material, generally silk, covers the head,
falling away from one shoulder, drawn over the other, and descending in
graceful folds to the ankles. A white band across the forehead, like that
of a nun's, gives a grave and sad look to the face. The colours chosen
among the upper classes are usually soft greys, or browns, or purples;
but amongst the lower orders you see the bright sea-green and cerise
colours peculiar to the Parsee women. The children wear little silk
pantaloons; even those of the poorer classes are made of silk, and no
inferior material is used; the long white tunic of muslin, the "shasta,"
which no Parsee is without, the short jacket, usually of velvet, and the
embroidered skull-cap. The men for the most part wear European dress, and
are distinguished only by that square, receding hat of black or purple
satin, that I could not help remarking was useful on one occasion as a
pin-cushion, and on another as a card-case, during the few times that we
were with Parsee gentlemen.

The daughters of the house spoke English perfectly, and were well read
and well informed. Fifteen years ago, Parsee ladies were "purdah women,"
or confined to the zenana; but the restriction has been gradually lapsing
as their views become more enlarged.

We dined in the evening at Government House to meet the Duke and Duchess
of Connaught; a state dinner of seventy, followed by a reception.

The next morning we were up at 6 a.m., and drove on to the Maidan to see
a review. The fog was so dense that the whereabouts of the troops was
undiscoverable at first. Fortunately it lifted just before the arrival
of the vice-regal carriage containing the Duchess and Lady Dufferin,
which took up its position by the royal standard. In the march past the
naval brigade came first, followed by the volunteers, who possess a
unique feature in their fine body of mounted infantry, and then followed
our troops. But what excited our admiration most was the magnificent
marching of the native infantry from the Punjaub. Men of grand physique
and carriage; nothing could exceed the perfect unity and compactness of
the line, as with one foot they marched, with one body they moved. Their
uniform of scarlet faced with buff, with loose trowsers gathered in by
white gaiters, added to their general smartness.

We were home to breakfast at nine o'clock. Afterwards C. went to a
meeting of the Legislative Council, and heard the now celebrated Mr.
Ilbert speak, and we then visited together the High School on Chowringee
for the free education of Eurasians--the name given by Lord Auckland to
half-castes, or those whose parents come the one from Europe, the other
from Asia.

In the afternoon we drove across Tolly's Nullah, or the canal excavated
at the expense of Colonel Tolly, to the very dreary and deserted
Zoological Gardens. Every maharajah has his own band, in uniform, which
they permit to play in the Eden Gardens and in public places. It was
that of the Maharajah of Cooch Bahar that was playing in the gardens
this afternoon. The latter, well known in society circles at Calcutta,
is considered a most promising young man. Educated by an English tutor,
he has been completely Europeanized; recites, plays polo, tennis, and
cricket, and dances like an Englishman.

Driving home by my favourite Maidan, we saw anchored by the banks the
_Palgrave_, 3400 tons, the largest sailing-vessel afloat in the world.

In the evening we went to the ball given at Government House in honour of
the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, and the first of the new viceroyalty.
The display of costly robes, magnificent jewels, and diamond aigrettes
worn by the Maharajahs and Rajahs, both this evening and the previous
one, added much to the brilliancy of the rooms. Eight hundred were able
to sit down at the same moment to supper in the marble halls, a feat only
equalled, I believe, at the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg.

_Saturday, January 17th._--We went to a presentation of prizes at the
City College, for natives, in Mirzapore Street. It was interesting
to hear the scholars sing a Bengali hymn of welcome, and recite a
very lively dialogue, which, after listening to for some minutes, we
discovered was a scene from "Uncle Tom's Cabin." With gesticulation and
expression far happier than would be found in English schools, they
represented the scene where Topsy is brought before Mrs. Walker as
incorrigible. Then a Bengali scholar knelt on the corner of the platform,
and with hands clasped, and his large liquid eyes upturned, repeated,
"Abide with me." There was something very curious in hearing thus the old
familiar words repeated so earnestly, yet in such strong guttural accents
that it was well-nigh unrecognizable.

One of the sudden "dust storms" to which Calcutta is subject came up
after this, obscuring the air, and whirling the dust in a typhoon in the
streets. It cooled the air by several degrees, but prevented us from
fulfilling our wish of finding out in the churchyard of St. John's the
grave of Job Charnoch, the real founder of Calcutta.

On the eve of our departure from Calcutta we dismissed the native servant
we had engaged for our tour in the North-West Provinces, and whom we had
been told was absolutely necessary for travelling in India. We found we
were always running after him, instead of he after us, and we determined
to adhere to our original plan, hitherto so successful, of travelling
without the encumbrance of servants.

We left Calcutta that evening at eight o'clock, that is by Madras time,
which the East India Railway follows, or at 8.30 by Calcutta time. There
was a great crowd at the Howrah Terminus, on account of Saturday being
one of the nights on which the mail-train leaves for Bombay, and we were
unlucky in not getting a carriage to ourselves.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE SHRINES OF THE HINDU FAITH.


The next morning we awoke to find ourselves on the fruitful and
cultivated plain of Bengal. We were flying by mud settlements, and
passing through numberless paddy-fields, rice, pân, or betel-nut
plantations. Here and there we came upon a field white with the poppy
of the opium plant, or with a tall, standing crop of castor-oil shrub.
Others again were filled with barley, and those coarse millets on which
the natives subsist; and all the crops were kept alive and green by that
terribly laborious process of irrigation. How familiar we became with the
inclined causeway, up and down which the yoke of oxen toil, the native
riding on the rope which draws the water up in leathern bags, and empties
it into the irrigating channels. Each patch of cultivation, each field,
has to be watered by this toilsome method.

One unconsciously acquires the idea that India is a country covered with
vast primeval forest and jungle. Rather disappointing therefore are the
two thousand miles or so one travels across from ocean to ocean, from
Bombay to Calcutta, without seeing a vestige of either. Often we saw a
herd of buffaloes, or a troop of monkeys, while paroquets, the little
green love-birds, and other tropical species of the feathered tribe,
perched along the telegraph wire. Here and there also a solitary heron,
with grey wings and red bill, standing solemnly on the edge of a marshy
pool.

The trains are heavy and enormously long, on account of the immense
numbers of natives travelling, their rates being as low as one-third the
first-class fares. The native servants are locked into a compartment
next to the first class, where their masters are. There are outside
venetian shutters to all the carriages, and every other window of the
long carriage has blue or coloured glass--very charming, doubtless, for
the glare of summer, but a great nuisance now, with short days and an
early twilight. The refreshment-rooms on all the lines are exceptionally
good; we have often dined there in preference to the hotel; but as for
the luxuries of Indian travelling you often hear about, we did not find
them. True, the Anglo-Indian invariably travels with an army of servants,
a well-stored hamper, and thinks sixty pounds of ice in the carriage
indispensable, but he is an exceptional mortal. A triangle, or fork of
steel, thrice struck, and which gives forth a clear, melodious tone, is
the signal at the stations for the "all aboard." Such is a description
which fairly answers to all our succession of long railway journeys in
India.

At 1 p.m. we crossed the bridge over the Kurumnasa, a river abhorred by
the Indians, hence its name, signifying "virtue destroyer," and which
forms the boundary-line between Bengal and the North-West Provinces. A
branch line brought us to Rajghat, the station for Benares, as the city
lies away on the further bank of the Ganges.

We crossed the Ganges on a bridge of boats, and from here obtained that
magnificent _coup-d'oeil_ of the river frontage, with its palaces,
its mosques and temples, its terraces and flights of steps, that is so
striking. Rising above all the confused mass of buildings are the two
beautiful minarets of the Mosque of Aurungzebe, slightly turned eastwards
to catch the first gleams of the rising sun over the sacred waters.

It is four miles to Sekrole, the European quarter, and to reach it we
drove through the narrow, crowded lanes of the native town, clustering
most thickly near the river. Mud has been a mighty factor in the making
of Benares. It is of mud that the walls of the huts are built; mud that
forms the fence around fields and compounds; mud that protects the newly
planted trees; and, lastly, it is mud in which the little brown babies in
the streets are dabbling to their heart's content.

There are hedges and bushes--rather trees I should call them--of cacti
growing in all directions. Here we saw weaving being carried on by the
roadside, in a very primitive fashion. A double row of stakes were placed
at long intervals, and women, walking up and down, were winding the
thread in and out. It produced a very pretty effect when the thread was
of bright red, and the simple loom some yards in extent. Then we saw for
the first time that comical little native carriage called the ekka. The
trappings of the pony are gaudy, and the bamboo shafts are attached by
coloured cords to the high-peaked Spanish collar. The carriage itself is
like a diminutive gig with a bamboo head, producing exactly the effect of
a "curricle" standing on end.

On arriving at Clark's Hotel we found we were just in time for evening
service, for which the bell was tolling from the church in the compound
opposite.

_Monday, January 19th._--By seven o'clock we found ourselves driving
down to the banks of the Ganges, to see one of the most animated and
picturesque sights of India.

The bathing-ghât is a bright-coloured hive, swarming with a religious
people performing the ceremony of bathing in the sacred waters. A
"budgerow," or ancient barge, glides slowly with us up and down along
this splendid river frontage. For one mile these palaces and temples
line the bank, facing every way, joining each other at right angles,
with ancient stairways and broken walls hidden under the foliage of some
sacred peepul or feathery tamarind.

These palaces take pink or green or yellow tints--those tender shades,
those pale varieties, seen only in eastern climes, under the true azure
clearness of an eastern sky. The dark weather stains and the crumbling
cornices are all in harmony. The basement of these palaces presents a
plain surface of wall, and the living rooms are in the two upper stories,
whence spring the arches and the pillars, the fretwork of the balconies,
the carvings,--all those varieties and medleys of architecture which
render these palaces so quaintly curious. For the most part they belong
to the native princes, the maharajahs and rajahs, who, beside their
provincial palaces, each have one at Benares, where they come yearly to
perform a cleansing pilgrimage. The women of the zenana and the members
of the household are brought here also to die.

[Illustration: Benares Bathing Ghât.

Page 276.]

On the broad steps of the ghât, and on the hundreds of platforms running
out into the river, the entire population of Benares are gathered to
bathe at this early hour of the morning. A gorgeous _coup-d'oeil_ the
banks present. The steps are bright with the thousands of brass pots
which each worshipper brings down with him. Rainbow patches are seen at
frequent intervals, where the pink and yellow, green and orange saris,
spread out to dry on the beach, form long streaks of colour. And these
are repeated above in the same gay streamers depending from the windows
and balconies of the palaces, and that are floating lazily in the breeze.
A brilliant spectacle it is, which, when examined in detail, presents at
every turn some strange picture, some new feature of the Hindu religion.

On the steps are squatted men, with eyes tightly shut, saying their
prayers towards the rising sun, laying their fingers to their noses,
touching the water with their foreheads three times. An old Shastri up
there is chanting the sacred words in droning tones, another is seated
under the shade of one of the bamboo umbrellas that dot the banks,
selling garlands for offerings to the gods, or ready with his clay to
remake the caste mark after bathing. Many, with upturned chins, are
having a cold shave; some washing their heads with mud, which lathers
up, and does not make such a bad substitute for soap after all. They
are using the toothbrush, or substituting a finger for the same. There
are Brahmins, generally bathing in batches together, and known by the
white thread around their necks: here are some women preparing their
little offerings of leaves and flowers to throw into the river, the whole
surface of which is strewn with the orange marigolds thus sacrificed.
There are three women coming down the steps, a brilliant study of orange,
amber, and russet: here a whole family-party bathing together. From one
of the palaces above proceeds forth weird, deep-toned, and monotonous
music, sounding forth over the heads of this vast multitude, reaching
even to the few coolies who are bathing from the mud banks on the further
shore.

Under the gilt dome and square red pagoda of the Nepaulese temple, that
lies under the shadow of the King of Nepaul's palace, there are a file
of pilgrims but just arrived from their distant border country. In the
midst, and not in the least apart from the careless, chattering throng,
is the Manikarnika Ghât, the most sacred of all the burning-ghâts of
the Ganges. The charred remains of one body are on the smouldering pile,
and another, the body of a woman, wrapped in a bright violet sari, lies
floating feet foremost in the water. The head is uncovered, for the
priests are shaving the hair, and placing the clay in the mouth.

A fleet of budgerows like our own are drifting along the bank, and here
and there we see moored a "mohrpunkee," or peacock barge. The head of
the peacock forms the handsome prow, while the tail is represented along
either side, a very favourite and sacred boat with the Hindus. Here the
steps are sinking slantways into the water, and we are shown the Leaning
Temple, which is quite out of the perpendicular, gradually subsiding into
the river, but only like several others around it. A huge yellow monster
sits propped against the wall, the thankoffering of a paralytic cured
by bathing in the Ganges. Numberless Hindu temples, known always by the
tower of crenelated _smaller_ towers tapering to the largest and crowning
one, are seen behind and in between the palaces. They are found in every
part and corner of the sacred city. Above all is always seen the landmark
formed by the slender minars of the Great Mosque.

We went up into one of the palaces, and you are surprised at the
beautiful carving of the pillars leading into the inner courts, the
carved doors and lattice-work, the rambling dimensions, and the
rabbit-warren propensities of the building.

We then climbed up a mountain by steps to reach the Man Mandil
Observatory. Here we saw a most wonderful collection of rude astronomical
instruments, constructed 150 years ago. On the flat roof of the building
there are several charts of the heavens drawn roughly into the stone,
and still traceable. There are some instruments of gigantic size, which
include two enormous arcs, reached by a stone staircase in the centre,
belonging to the "gnomon," an instrument for ascertaining the declination
and distance of any star or planet from the meridian. Then there is the
mural quadrant, for taking the sun's altitude, which has walls eleven
feet high and nine broad, built in the plane of the meridian. The
observatory brought us out by some narrow back streets to the carriage,
and we were glad to think of returning home for breakfast.

Before visiting any of these "shrines of the Hindu faith," I will
just give the outline of the Hindu religion. Like all mythology, it is
infinitely complex, but two great divisions are distinguished, in the
followers of Siva and the followers of Vishnu. Under various names, and
in varied forms, these are the two gods most worshipped.

Siva is at once the Destroyer and the Reproducer, the emblem of life and
death--the god of sound philosophical doctrine. In a more terrible aspect
he is worshipped as the Roarer, the Dread One. He is represented with a
human head with five faces, and a body with four arms, with a club and
necklace of skulls. His wife is Devi, the goddess, worshipped as the
gentle "Una," or "Light," or in the terrible form of Kali, or Durga, "a
black fury, dripping with blood, hung with skulls." The Brahmins, true to
the higher instincts of their caste, worship Siva as the destroyer and
reproducer of life, hanging garlands about the god, and leaving the lower
castes to pour out the blood of their victims before the terrible Kali.

Vishnu, or the Unconquerable Preserver, has ten or twenty-two
incarnations, or avatars, on earth, which give rise to an almost equal
number of pretty legends. He is an easy-going god, very human, and the
popular deity. He is worshipped under the various names of Krishna, Ráma,
Jaganath or the "Lord of the World," and Ganesh, when he is represented
with an elephant's head.

Buddhism claims many of the nation as its followers, and its birthplace
was at Benares. Gautama Buddha, "the Enlightened," was born near Benares
in 543 B.C. He preached to the low caste, and taught "that the state
of a man in this life, in all previous and in all future lives, is the
result solely of his own acts." He advocated no sacrifices, but great
duties, combined with perfect self-control. No wonder that, with a
religion approaching so nearly to the true one, he still numbers in Asia
500 millions of followers. Buddhism has more adherents than any other
religion in the world.

Very closely connected with the subject of religion is that of caste,
which forms the basis of all society and religion in India.

There may be said to be four great divisions of caste. The Brahmins or
priests; the Kshattriyas or Rajputs, who are warriors; the Vaisyas or
husbandmen; and the Sudras or serfs. The Brahmin in ancient days was the
priest, the poet, the philosopher, physician, astronomer, and musician
of the people. For twenty-two centuries he was the writer and thinker
for the whole nation; he formed its grammar and literature. Even now
he is distinguished by his slim figure, fair skin, and long thin hands
unaccustomed to work, from the flat nose and thick lips of the low caste.

The Brahmin used to say, that at the beginning of the world "the Brahmin
proceeded from the mouth of the Creator, the Kshattriya from his arms,
the Vaisya from his thighs or belly, and the Sudra from his feet."
The legend is so far true, that the Brahmins were the brain-power of
the Indian people, the Kshattriyas its armed hands, the Vaisyas the
food-growers, and the Sudras, the down-trodden serfs.

The castes may not intermarry. None of the higher caste may eat of the
food cooked by a man of lower caste. The greatest punishment that can
be inflicted upon a Hindu is to be turned out of his caste. All Hindus
are vegetarians. They nearly all wear the disfiguring caste marks, white
stripes across the forehead and breast, or a white and red spot in the
centre of the forehead.

In its social aspect, caste divides the Hindus into guilds, each trade
belonging to a different caste and forming a guild for the mutual support
of its members. These guilds act also as a kind of trades' union, and its
members have been known to strike, if necessary. All domestic servants
such as syces, kitmutgars, and bheesties belong to a low caste. Caste
is a very complex question, depending as it does upon three divisions,
viz. "upon race, occupation, and geographical position." Besides the four
great castes above mentioned, there are more than 3000 other minor caste
divisions.[5]

The Mahommedans form an important unit in the population of India. Of
the 200 millions of people under British rule they number forty-five
millions. The Mussulman may be distinguished from the Hindu by two
features in his dress. His coat is fastened on the left side, in
contradistinction to the right side of the Hindu. His turban is formed of
yards of stuff loosely wound round his head, while that of the Hindu is
generally tightly wreathed or plaited.

The city of Benares is a "holy of the holies" to the Hindu. Half a
million gods are said to be worshipped in the shrines and niches lying
in and round about the city for some miles. One thousand temples are
within her walls. The streets are full of the aged and dying, brought
here to expire, for they think Benares is "the gate of heaven." Hundreds
of thousands of pilgrims come annually to bathe in the waters. Those
afflicted with that terrible deformity of elephantiasis take refuge
here, and lepers lie about in the streets exciting the compassion and
alms of pilgrims. Leprosy is seen in both its forms; that one, the most
painful and agonizing, too revolting for description, and the other,
when the skin literally becomes "white as snow," presenting a very awful
appearance when seen in partial effect on the dark skin of the natives.

After tiffin we resumed our sight-seeing, beginning again with that long
dusty drive to the city, of which we were wearying already. Threading our
way through a lane of the native quarter, pursued by the hungry crowd
of beggars and guides, all greedy for endless backsheesh, we entered a
small square. Here, under a red temple in the centre, was a well, into
which women were casting flowers. It was the child-bearing well, where
childless women come with floral offerings to propitiate the goddess.
Just in front stood a huge stone bull, the sacred bull of the Hindu
worship. In every part of the city you see tame bulls, roaming about at
will, who are yet never killed by the Hindu. They live in the temples and
mosques, and share with the flocks of goats kept for sacrificial purposes
the refuse of the city.

The filth, the dirt, the smells of these temples are indescribable.
After passing through one which had a curious cupola and a minaret at
each corner, with fine open-work carving, we mounted some steps and
stood opposite the Golden Temple. The spire of the central dome, and the
four smaller domes flanking each corner, are covered with pure plates
of gold. This is in accordance with the bequest of one Ranjeet Singh.
The temple is dedicated to Siva, the presiding deity of Benares, and in
each division we find a "mahadeo" or monolith, a plain conical stone set
upright. The mahadeo is the symbol of the "linga," or creative principle,
and is found in every temple or shrine, in every niche set up by the
roadside, throughout India. It becomes a familiar object of the Hindu
worship.

After this we had a long drive to the Durga Kund, the celebrated Monkey
Temple.

The antiquity of everything in India strikes us very much. The women in
their muslin draperies drawing water at the wells bring to mind some
Biblical picture. Their earthenware jars and pitchers resemble the old
Egyptian vessels, while the rude ox-carts, with their clumsy wooden
wheels, are like the Roman chariots.

As we drive along we are delighted with quaint carvings over gateways,
wayside temples, and rude drawings on the wall, representing hydra-headed
monsters, or blue and scarlet elephants, meeting with their trunks in
deadly combat.

We are first aware of being in the neighbourhood of the temple, by the
monkeys who are perching on the housetops and swinging in the trees. Fed
regularly by the attendants, numbers swarm in and about the temple, fat,
portly fellows of a rich orange colour, all "living deities" to the Hindu.

The Durga Kund is built in a graceful pyramidal form, quaintly carved
with all the animals of the Hindu mythology. It is painted a dark red
colour, and the porch at the entrance is brought into relief by silver
lines. Here hangs a large bronze bell, the gift, it is said, of a
European magistrate. The silver goddess is seated inside a shrine, and
before the Revengeful Durga stands a bowl of blood, mingling with some
floral offerings, The fat Brahmins in charge collected a crowd of monkeys
in the court by scattering some grain. From all parts they sprang up,
mothers with their babes clinging round their bodies, and patriarchal
monkeys gibbering and swinging down from the airy pinnacles of the
temple. Outside we noticed the wooden block and hatchet, smeared with
blood, where the kids are killed for sacrifice; and the monkey-tree, a
hollow tree where all the baby monkeys are born.

There was no time to visit any more of the 1000 temples of Benares, many
of which are dedicated to strange uses; such as that of the Goddess of
Hunger, where a large number of beggars are daily fed; that of Dandpan,
the policeman of Benares, whose priest chastises the offender against law
and order with a birch of peacock's feathers; or the Manikarnika, a well
of putrid water, held very sacred, and supposed to have been filled in
the first instance by the perspiration of Vishnu; nor the Well of Jali,
where the future is seen reflected in the water at noon, the only hour
when the sun's rays reach its surface.

Then we visited a bazaar or chowk. It is a picturesque little world,
very busy about its own business, and confined in a thoroughfare only
a few feet wide. Above, the gables of the houses nearly meet, and
the overhanging balconies with wooden carvings obscure the light.
Cross-legged on the step over the street sat hundreds of active workers,
with their varied merchandise spread out before them, open to the street.
Of course we were in search of the Benares brass-work, and with great
interest we watched the simple method by which the elaborate patterns are
traced. An ordinary nail run deftly up and down, and gently hammered on
the brass vase or bowl, forms the fretted ground, while the pattern is
picked out carefully afterwards. Quite young boys were employed on this
and on the kincob work, the gold and filagree embroidery on cloth for
which Benares is also famous. "Up two pair back," and in dark workshops,
we found and chose what we wanted.

Whilst the inevitable waiting for the packing up ensued, we were summoned
to the balcony by the sound of the tom-tom, and the shrill and plaintive
note of the bagpipe flute. Down the narrow mediæval street, carrying us
back to the twelfth century, came a gay procession, preceded by a merry
crowd, pushing a way for itself. It was a wedding-party returning after
the ceremony. The boy bridegroom mounted on a white horse was being led
in the centre, the girl bride followed in the same way, and then there
came the relations and friends carrying the presents and offerings in
kind and produce.

Returning home through the bird-market we saw a disgusting act of
cruelty. Four crows were lying on their backs on the ground, their feet
and wings tied together, while a fiendish old man with white hair kept
watch over them. For two or three days he would have kept them like this,
without food or water, trembling with fright, on the chance of some pious
Hindu passing by and paying a few pice for their release. We indignantly
gave him an anna, and had the real happiness of seeing them all released
and fly away, though one we feared still had his feet tied together, as
he only just reached and dropped on to the wall in safety. The natives
are hideously cruel to animals. They twist the tail of a bullock round
and round till you hear the muscles and sinews cracking. It is rare to
see a cart drawn by a bullock without some running sore where the yoke
chafes, and donkeys and horses are so tightly hobbled that they cannot
move or lie down.

A gentleman truly remarked to us, "There are three stages through which
Englishmen pass when travelling or living in India. First there is
extreme sympathy with the native, and surprise at the rough treatment of
the Anglo-Indian; this is followed by intense disgust at their cruelty,
laziness, and ingratitude; and, lastly, he passes into an indifferent
state, accepting the native as he is." This second stage I think we
reached to-day, after having certainly gone through the first on landing.

The Grand Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg Schwerin, with Don Carlos,
the unsuccessful candidate for the Spanish throne, are staying in the
hotel. When we arrived home this evening we found the balcony covered
with baskets of fruit and vegetables, bouquets of flowers, with baked
sweet-meats, brought to them as offerings of respect by the natives.
The laughing of jackals around the house, and the trumpeting of a
neighbouring elephant, made night hideous for us.

_Tuesday, January 20th._--We had again to be up very early, and drive
down to the ghât, where the Secretary of the Maharajah of Benares (the
Maharajah himself being away on a pilgrimage to Allahabad) had promised
to have a boat in readiness to take us across the river to the Old Fort
and Palace. Through some misunderstanding we failed to find the boat, but
we were just as happy and interested in again rowing up and down the ghât
for two hours, seeing a repetition of yesterday's gay scene, till it was
time to go to the station for the train to Allahabad.

At the junction of Mogul Serai we saw an amusing scene. Some purdah
ladies on a pilgrimage to Benares were hurried out of their compartments,
and, with their heads completely covered, hustled across the platform and
pushed into a reserved carriage. Here a curtain was hastily hung up over
the open grating which alone divides the third-class carriages.

During the afternoon we passed Chunar, celebrated for its quarries of
fine yellow durable stone, and Mirzapore, a large cotton-manufacturing
town. At five o'clock we were crossing the Jumna on a magnificent bridge,
and about to reach Allahabad.

Allahabad, or the "City of Allah," is a very sacred place, situated as
it is on a tongue of land formed by the junction of two such hallowed
rivers as the Ganges and the Jumna. The Hindus say there is a third river
which is invisible, flowing direct from heaven, and adding its waters
unseen to the others. We are fortunate in being here now, as January
and February are the great months of pilgrimage, and during that time
hundreds of thousands come down to bathe. Allahabad is known to the
ordinary and non-religious world as the seat of the Government of the
North-West Provinces and Oude.

In the dusk we explored the compound, where polo was just ending, and the
wandering length of miles about Canning Town. Up and down the broad and
dreary roads bordering the burnt-up plains of grass we drove in search
of Mr. Lawrence's, the District Commissioner's bungalow, which we found,
only to be told he was away. Quite familiar we became that evening with
the principal feature of Allahabad, the long straight military and civil
lines, with their rows of bungalows.

_Wednesday, January 21st._--A cold, bright morning. After that
indispensable meal of the Anglo-Indian, chota hazri, or early tea and
toast, we drove out to the Fort. Such a wonderful spectacle presented
itself to us as we emerged out into the open. Across the broad plain
flocked thousands of pilgrims, in one continuous stream, all going down
in the early morning to bathe at that sacred spot where the Ganges and
Jumna effect a junction. They formed a bright ribbon of rainbow colours,
streaming across the flat plain, winding with the turnings of the road.
For a mile or more the line extended, and the throng was constantly
swelled by stragglers hurrying across the plain to join them. As we drew
near we saw what a motley procession it formed. Crowded ekkas with the
members of an entire family perched up or clinging to its sides, solitary
horsemen, children mounted on donkeys, vendors and mountebanks, mingling
with the throng of pedestrians,--of men, women, and children, all bound
on the same errand, all hurrying to the same spot.

From the earthen ramparts of the Fort we looked down on the curious
sight. The delta of sand was covered with a rude encampment, and at the
furthermost point where the rivers joined, the banks were invisible from
the swarm of human beings. This is where the stream we had followed along
the plain became absorbed in the black moving mass. The pilgrim, on
arrival here, sits down on the bank, and has his head and body shaved,
allowing each hair to fall separately into the water, in sure belief in
the promise of the sacred writings, which tells him that for every hair
thus deposited a million years' residence in heaven is secured.

The redstone Fort was built by Akbar in 1572, but it presents but a very
modern appearance now, filled with the scarlet coats of our regiments,
and the "carkee" of the sepoys, whilst the magnificent bullocks of the
Transport Department occupy a corner of the compound. In the centre of
the Fort stands a beautiful monolith, surrounded by a garden. The jagged
top shows it has been broken off short, and there are two very ancient
Pali inscriptions, barely decipherable on the polished sides. It is one
of the "three Asoka's columns," dating from 235 B.C.; the second we had
seen at Benares, and the other has been recently set up at Delhi.

In one corner of the Fort we saw a group of natives, who were being
admitted in parties through a gateway, and conducted by a sepoy through
a subterranean passage. Down this we went, and found ourselves in a
crypt underground, quite dark, and with walls green and mouldy from the
trickling damp. By the light of the sticks, laid in a brass pan of oil,
we saw some hideous deformities representing gods, smeared with red
paint, and many mahadeos, set up amongst the pillars of this underground
temple. As we turned round one of the arches in wandering about, a weird
picture appeared to us. Before a burning brazier crouched some figures,
illuminated by its fitful light. The flames caught the reflection of the
tinsel and gaudy decoration, lighted up the brass-headed god behind,
and showed the branching trunk of a tree. This is the old banyan-tree,
at least 1500 years old, and which is still worshipped by the natives.
We contributed our quota to the little pile of money already spread out
before the god.

During the Mutiny the Europeans took refuge in the Fort, where many of
them died of cholera and privations.

Allahabad is a favourite military station, though the heat reflected
from the surrounding plains is terrific in summer. Once more we explored
its dreary lengths of road, of which we learnt there are no less than
seventy-nine miles in the city and immediate suburbs. We passed the
Memorial Hall to Lord Mayo, whose tower, with that of the Town Hall now
building, are prominent landmarks in the surrounding flatness, and
returned to Lawrie's Hotel to breakfast.

We left Allahabad at noon, and travelled through the rich valley of the
Doab, 100 miles, to Cawnpore. Leaving Cawnpore to visit on our return
journey, we changed to the Oude and Rohilkund, a miserable line of
railway, and arrived at Lucknow late at night.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 5: I am mainly indebted to Dr. Hunter's "History of the Indian
People" for the above facts.]



CHAPTER XVII.

THE SCENES OF THE INDIAN MUTINY.


_Thursday, January 22nd._--Lucknow has been given by the natives the
pretty name of the "City of Roses."

It is needless to say that on this our first morning in Lucknow, our
steps were naturally directed to the Residency, before whose grand and
grim remembrances the gimcrack beauty of the palaces, the mosques, and
the tombs, pale into uninteresting insignificance.

A bright, chill October morning it was, and I say October because,
added to the keenness of the air, the leafless and withered branches of
the trees gave to Lucknow an autumnal look. The terrific storm of hail
which passed over the city fourteen days ago, and which during its five
minutes' visitation played such havoc amongst the trees, has stripped and
left them leafless.

[Illustration: The Residency, Lucknow.]

The Residency is not in the least disappointing. It is like what we
should imagine and picture to ourselves. An unimposing gateway, flanked
by two turret towers, with broken walls and ditches. Nothing grand
or striking about it, for it was only a fortified barrack; but the
surrounding walls and buildings riddled with shot, and showing large
cavities where a shell has burst, tell its simple but awful tale of
bitter suffering. Here for five long months a little band of 1800 heroic
Englishmen, with 400 or 500 faithful sepoys, defended themselves bravely,
starvation staring them in the face, looking day by day for the relief
which so tardily came. So closely invested were they by the ferocious
hordes of rebels, that the sepoys within were taunted by the rebels
without the entrenchment. Morning after morning the enemy's battery
opened fire, weakening day by day their feeble defences, attacking
first one position and then another, always repulsed, but always with
some ill-spared loss to the small body of defenders. The Residency ruins
extend for a mile and a half, and looking round now at the low walls,
in no part more than four feet high, and the shallow trenches, it seems
well-nigh impossible how the defenders kept at bay the rebels so long as
they did. Everything is left as far as possible as it was at the time
of "the Relief." At the suggestion of the Prince of Wales, tablets have
been let into the walls, and posts erected at all the famous points
of defence. We trace thus the position of each regiment, and even the
rooms in the several houses in the Residency enclosure, occupied by the
officers' wives before the siege.

Grand as the study of the general outline is--of each spot memorable for
some gallant defence--of one more life from the heroic little band laid
down--the intensity of interest concentrates in certain spots: such as
Dr. Fayrer's House, where Sir Henry Lawrence was brought after his leg
was fractured by a bullet, and the four walls are shown (for the roof
and floor are gone) of the room where he died. Also the room where the
walls, battered with shot, fell in, burying some soldiers of the 32nd;
the underground apartments where the women and children were kept for
safety, and where so many of them died from privation and disease. In
another room we saw the hole made by a shell, which entered the window
and exploded against the opposite wall, killing an officer's wife on the
spot from the shock and fright. Then there is the world-renowned Baillie
Guard Gate, the scene of the deadliest repulses and corresponding deeds
of courage.

The flagstaff on the tower of the Residency is the same as was there
during the siege. Broken in half by a bullet one day, it was riveted
together as we now see it. The flag was kept flying during the whole
of those five months. Every Sunday it is now raised again. Adjoining
the tower we see the ruins of the cook-house and the well, which was
accessible during the siege by a covered way. In the centre of this
quadrangle, on a raised mound, stands the exceedingly beautiful Greek
cross, erected to the memory of Sir Henry Lawrence and his comrades in
arms who fell.

All praise is due, we think, to Lord Northbrook, for having during his
viceroyalty added to the monuments which are erected to our soldiers,
who only died doing their duty, by presenting an obelisk to the memory
of the sepoys who, amid the general rise of their countrymen, remained
faithful to the British. The inscriptions on the four sides are in
English, Hindustani, Persian, and Oudhee. Another cross has been erected
to the memory of the 93rd Highlanders, giving the names and the different
entrenchments where their men fell, and engraved with the crests of the
regiment--an elephant and a stag.

The grey building, broken and unroofed, where all is so quiet and neat,
is soothing after the terrible tale of hardship and bloodshed we have
just been tracing out amongst its walls.

The masses of begonia hanging from the tower, the lawns and gardens, the
gravel paths, would efface such memories, but yet the ghastly reminders
always remain in those riddled walls, those sudden gaps, where the masses
of masonry have been torn away by shot and shell. It is as well perhaps
for them to remain--to warn us of the blood already shed to retain our
hold on our Indian empire. It is as well that they should remain, to
tell us to ask ourselves, should occasion in the future arise, "Shall
we pour out the blood of the nation again to keep that which we have
unflinchingly gotten?"

We were more than charmed with the Residency. The complex memories which
it leaves with us will linger harmoniously for many a day. It is one of
the things which has interested and pleased us most in all our travels.

Passing along the road where the mutineers first gathered in force, and
showed a spirit of hostility, we see the iron bridge where their quarters
were.

Two unfinished works of Muhammed Ali Shah are before us. One is the Watch
Tower or Sut Khunda, of which only four stories of the seven projected
were finished. It stands there rotting away, a monument to the finger of
death, which respects not the designs or intentions of man. The other is
the "musjid" or mosque, intended to surpass the famous Jumna Musjid of
Delhi, and which also remains incomplete, the scaffolding rotting away,
as it was left eighteen years ago at the time of the Shah's death.

Muhammed Ali Shah at length succeeded in accomplishing a finished work
in the Husainabad, but, as will be seen, one can hardly say, after all
his endeavours, that his name will be handed worthily down to posterity.
Entering under a gateway, we are met by the stone figures of two women,
holding the chains hanging from the archway, and which is gaudily
decorated with green fishes and dolphins against a yellow ground. We find
ourselves in a pretty court with a garden crowded with a great variety of
buildings; among others a bad model of the Taj, a very terrible object
for those who are still looking forward to see the beauties of that
matchless tomb for the first time. The tank in the centre is guarded
at intervals with painted wooden figures. There are centaur women,
soldiers in uniform, like the Highlanders of tobacco shops, and maidens
representative of the figure-heads of barges. At the further end of the
garden is the palace, containing a wonderful collection of rubbish. There
are glass chandeliers swathed in linen covers and priced at 6000 rupees,
models of pagodas and temples in ivory and wood under glass cases. A
bottle containing a carved figure, suggesting the riddle how it ever
got inside, is shown as a priceless treasure. There are gilded thrones
and chairs, and the temple modelled entirely in coloured wax, which is
carried in procession at the festival of Muhurrum and destroyed yearly.

[Illustration: The Imambara, Lucknow.

    Page 291.]

In the midst of these tawdry and gilded surroundings sleep Muhammed
Ali and his mother, under their canopied tombs, surrounded by gilded
railings. Disgusted with this incongruous mass we passed into another
small building. Here we see a collection of full-length portraits of many
kings of Oude--bright, realistic paintings, in each of which the artist
has flattered the oriental vanity of his subject by painting him as large
and as blazoned as possible.

Opposite the Husainabad stands the Musa Bagh, or the "Tomb of the Rat."
Two curious origins are attributed to it. One says that the Nawab
Asaf-ud-Daulah, when out riding one day, crushed a rat under his horse's
feet, and erected this tomb over it; the other says that it was built by
a Frenchman, whose name is lost to posterity, but which tradition tries
to preserve in the Musa, or corruption of monsieur!

After this we looked into the Jumna Mosque, and I experienced the feeling
of disappointment which I suppose nearly every one does on entering a
mosque for the first time. The interior is so utterly bare, so cold
and uninteresting. I expected to see rich drapings and hanging lights,
instead of the bare marble pavement, with the kibla as the only sign of
the worship performed there. I admired, however, the delicate triangle
device in blue and green, traced on the inside of the three domes, the
unfailing characteristic of all mosques.

And then we went to that gem of architecture, the great Imambara.
Few things exceed in beauty, in the conception of the design and in
execution, the great prize springing from the competition offered by
Asaf-ud-Daulah. The result has been prodigious in the perfection of
delicacy. It is as if the imagination of all the great architects of
our generation had united together, and each contributing his own idea
formed the perfect whole. It is almost impossible to believe that from
the brain of one man could have emanated such a multitude of fanciful
styles of architecture. I speak of the delicate arches crowning the
massive walls, and which, open to the daylight, trace their delicate
proportions against the blue sky; of the row upon row of tiny domes that
crown each arch, while these again, repeated in tiers above and below
each other, line the three sides of the quadrangle. And again, the walls
which support these airy structures are a study in themselves, replete
with carving and coloured with pale tints of cream or pink.

The Imambara forms one immense square. Entering under a gateway you find
yourself in a court, paved and vast. On this archway we see the green
fishes and dolphins, the never-wanting emblem of good luck on all these
ancient buildings, and without which the superstitious Oriental would
hardly care to continue the work. Three sides of the square are parallel
and at right angles to each other, but the fourth is cut slanting-wise
by the mosque with its gilded dome, from whence spring those slender
minarets, the pride and landmarks of the city. They also add their
graceful proportions to perfect the whole. Facing us there is another of
those beautiful Saracenic rows of arches, and we think we see the whole.
But no, there is yet another court within this court, and this gateway,
through which we gain access to it, was used by the harem. Passing
through, we come to the last grand conception. Standing on a marble
platform, the beauty of the frontage is seen to its greatest advantage.
We look wonderingly at the labour expended upon the carvings of the
twisted pilasters, the open fretwork of the little galleries, and the
coping-stones that crown the turrets. If executed in a model miniature,
the fretwork and carving would be delicate enough to form one of those
Chinese toy-houses in ivory carving. And yet all this is worked in
concrete, for there is no wood used in the construction of the Imambara.

The interior is as grand, One stupendous regal hall, divided by arches
on either side to break the otherwise oppressive size. White, vast, and
void. White, for the walls are painted a dead, uninterrupted white, and
the arched roof is the same, save where delicate lines trace out the
successive niches in the form of millions of domes; vast, for the hall
measures 300 feet from end to end; void, for the walls are totally
without decoration, and stand out to add to the vagueness by their
blankness and flatness. There are no mural obstructions, no projections
(save those ugly red boxes); but stay--not quite empty. Two objects are
in the centre, almost lost amidst the oppressive vastness. Standing
slantwise across the hall is a silken canopy, suspended over a silver
railed enclosure. It is the tomb of the Vizier Nawab, and the plain slab
is covered with a gorgeous pall with flowers laid on it. It is rather
gaudy, but yet it strikes one as strange and solemn, such a grand spot as
a last resting-place amid such intense silence.

Not far from this is the execrable, the tormenting spectacle of a tazia,
a tower literally manufactured out of paste-board and coloured paper,
of tinsel and ribbons,--the tazia of the last Muhurrum. This Muhurrum
is a religious festival commencing on the evening of the new moon in
January, and lasting for ten days. It is observed by only one sect of
the Mahommedans. On the last day of the festival the tazia is taken and
burnt in the streets, a new one being supplied ready for the following
year, The Muhurrum may truly be considered a great evil to Lucknow. The
beauty of its palaces and tombs are destroyed by the coloured lamps
and glass chandeliers hung there for use during the Festival, whilst
gateways and archways are disfigured by the masses of nails left after
the illuminations.

In one of the galleries of the hall there is a "priest's chair" of
ebony, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. But the so-called chair is merely a
succession of steps, with a wider one for a seat at the top. The little
balconies, or red boxes as they look, hung out from the roof, form a
dreadful mareye to the grand beauty. They connect with a gallery running
round the hall, and are pointed out as the favourite place in which the
Begums played hide and seek.

A fit ending to the grand simplicity of the hall is the octagonal room at
the farthest end. Here the moulded archings find a common centre under
the apex of the dome, and spread themselves out in a fanlike shape to
the floor. This building was commenced in a time of famine, and work was
carried on at night to enable the higher class to labour without being
seen or known.

We were so delighted with the Imambara that we allowed ourselves the
luxury (seldom possible) of a second visit to it. This time it was in
the afternoon, and it looked cold and somewhat gloomy in the falling
light and shadows. Some priests were sitting around the tomb of the
vizier chanting in their musical monotonous tones verses out of the
Koran. As one finished the other took up the theme, and the different
tones, some shriller, others richer, yet all reciting on one note,
repeated by the echo were very effective. I carried away with me a deeper
and yet more pleasing impression of the Imambara.

In fit proximity, and so near as to mingle its beauty with that of
the Imambara, is the Rûmî Darwaza, or Turkish gate. In fact, from the
precincts of the courts the gate is seen rising so immediately behind,
and between the minars of the mosque as to appear to form part of it. An
imitation of acanthus-leaves, which radiate above the line of the wall,
is the curious feature of this gateway. It is flanked by four minarets,
and ornamented balustrades projecting outwardly from several tiers. The
whole is crowned by a miniature temple with pillars and dome, and around
this the leaves strike out in spikes, forming a halo about the summit, or
looking like the shafts of a rose window without the circle.

The red-brick clock-tower erected as a memorial to Sir George Cooper is
a veritable eyesore, lying as it does in the midst of these monuments of
antiquity.

In the afternoon we drove out to the Dilkusha, a hunting residence and
park belonging formerly to Saadut Ali Khán, and called by him "Heart's
Delight." It is now a ruin standing in a quiet garden, but was the
scene of a terrible struggle in the Mutiny between the forces of Sir
Colin Campbell and the rebels. He was advancing to the relief of the
Residency, and the rebels made a desperate stand here. Later on it was
the death-place of Sir Henry Havelock as the forces were retreating to
Alum Bagh. There are the tombs of two officers amongst the ruins.

We drove on to the Martinière, or the Mansion of Constantin. It is a
school for Europeans and Eurasians, founded by Martin, a French soldier
who came over with Count Lally to one of the French settlements. A
magnificent and very peculiar building. No one could possibly suppose
it had been built for the present purpose, but it was the private
residence of Martin himself. First of all, in the centre of a lake,
which is supplied from a canal from the neighbouring River Goomptie,
rises the enormous fluted column, which from the distance one imagines
to be part of the building. The whole design of the college is as
fantastic as possible. On all sides Corinthian columns, plain or fluted,
little towers with crenelated tops, and a mass of kiosks meet the eye.
Lions rampant are mounted on the battlements, whilst curious gargoyles
protrude from every corner. From story to story we have the rise of the
central tower, each platform being marked by the octagonal towers at
the corners, and the winding flight of stairs. The dome which crowns
the top is formed by the "intersection of two semicircular arches built
up with steps and balustrades, which look not unlike arcs boutant or
flying buttresses." Each story seems to reproduce some different style of
florid architecture, whether it be Corinthian, or Tuscan, or Gothic. The
whole stands on a large platform, and the two wings are built back in a
semicircular form, either end being on a level with the central building.

The bell was tolling for afternoon prayers in the chapel, and we joined
the boys and choristers who were trooping in. The rich stained-glass
window at the east end, which I admired so much, I was told afterwards
was only diaphanous paper! Then we went to see the marble bust of General
Martin, which stands in the vestibule. It represents a small, wizened
face, with the _queue_ and silk bow of the eighteenth century. In the
vault below we were shown his tomb, and the large bell he had cast; but
it is very uncertain whether the handsome sarcophagus really contains his
bones, as the tomb was opened at the time of the Mutiny, and the four
soldiers in mourning attitudes guarding the tomb, and made of brick, were
then destroyed. Upstairs we went through floor upon floor of dormitories,
the monotonous row of red quilts, peculiar to such institutions,
contrasting strangely with the very beautiful Moorish decoration in
pale green and pink on the ceilings. There are about 250 boys here, of
all ages up to twenty-three. Principals and masters are English. It is
a very rich institution, as the sum left by General Martin has always
been in excess of the wants of the college, and an accumulated surplus
of a million is now in the hands of the trustees. The Martinière forms
a village in itself, as we saw when we came away, with its outlying mud
settlement where the servants live, the mighty range of bath-rooms, and
the gymnasium. It is surrounded by the Martinière Park, where, by the
roadside, is the stone tomb of Major Hodson of "Hodson's Horse."

After this we explored Wingfield Park, a most dreary place of recreation,
and then went to the bazaar to buy some of the little wooden figures, so
carefully and correctly carved, that show the costumes of the different
native servants; the dhobie with his bundle of linen, the bheestie
with his goat-skin, the ayah, the khitmutgar, &c. They are quite a
_specialité_ of Lucknow.

On returning home we found a kind invitation to dinner from the
Commissioner, Mr. Quinn, for that evening; but we were destined not to
avail ourselves of it without first experiencing a little adventure. We
were driving along in our gharry in the dark with the shutters (viz.
windows) closed to avoid the raw fog, when we were thrown suddenly
forward, with a terrible shock, and came to a dead stop. We thumped at
the door (which of course under the circumstances stuck fast, and kept us
imprisoned in pitch darkness), and scrambled out at length on to the road
to behold a sad sight. Our driver lay on the ground groaning, thrown some
yards away by the force of the concussion; the two horses formed a medley
of legs turned uppermost, and lay as still as if they were killed; the
forepart of the gharry was stove in. The trunk of a tree, the remains of
the storm, lay partially across the road, and against this the horses had
come in full force. We were in a difficult strait. It was quite dark, we
were on an unknown road, and, worst of all, unable to speak the language.
Fortunately we heard some natives coming, and one of them, a baboo,
speaking a few words of English, hurried on with me to show the way to
the bungalow (which happily was quite close), and from whence I sent back
relief to C., who kept guard over the injured party. It was found that
the driver recovered quickly on the presentation of some rupees, and the
horses were disentangled and got up, much cut about the knees.

_Friday, January 23rd._--We are terribly startled and disturbed by the
news in this morning's _Pioneer_, which tells of the battle of Abu Klea,
in the Soudan, as my brother-in-law (Col. Hon. George Gough), commanding
the Mounted Infantry, was, we see, engaged in it.[6] We set to work at
a second day's sight-seeing therefore with heavy hearts and distracted
minds. It may have been this which made the places we saw to-day less
interesting than those of yesterday.

Najaf Ashraf contains the tomb of the first King of Oude. You pass
under a gateway bright with yellow ochre, and which has depicted on it
two brown monsters with their paws meeting over the arch. This leads
to a "square" building with a "round" dome. Inside you behold a sea of
chandeliers swathed in Turkey twill bags (literally), with green and
red and blue globes hanging from the ceiling, all remains of the last
Mohurrum. The king and his wife are buried in the centre, in the midst of
the usual decorations of gilt railings, of canopies with silver fringes,
and beautifully embroidered silk palls; but hanging on the walls at
the entrance are some very curious frames containing a collection of
miniatures of the Kings of Oude, with another set of their wives. The
flowers and birds of these frames are exquisitely represented, and the
portraits themselves are very perfect, with the different expressions,
the jewels and the ornaments very delicately delineated. We felt obliged
to go and see Secunder Bagh, for though it is only a small enclosure with
high walls, broken in places, every inch of this spot must have been
saturated with blood, when the 2000 rebel Sepoys were slaughtered to a
man by the 93rd Highlanders and 53rd Foot, a terrible retribution for the
fire with which they had been harassing us previously. Its original use,
as a garden given by the Nawab Wajid Ali to a favourite wife, was very
different from the slaughter-house it is now known as.

On the banks of the muddy Goomptie are the Chuttur Munzil and the
Kaisur Pusund. The former is used as a club, and the latter as the High
Court of Justice. Both buildings are remarkable from the little gilt
umbrellas, or "chutturs," which surmount the various towers, and which
make them easily known from the mass of other buildings. The club was
originally a seraglio. It has a pretty exterior, with a carved belt of
stone, painted red to contrast with the prevailing whiteness; and the
magnificent banqueting-hall inside, hung with numerous chandeliers, must
be particularly appropriate to its present use, however wrong that "use"
was in the first instance. On the opposite side of the road is Lall
Baradaree, or the Museum, whose verandah is supported by the figures
of negroes standing with arms folded, and bearing the pillars on their
heads. It is painted bright red both inside and out. It used to be the
throne-room, where was held the durbar when the president enthroned a
new king. Now it is full of glass cases containing rubbish, and only
interesting from the large model of the Siege of the Residency, the red
and green flags showing in what close proximity the armies were.

The Kaiser Bagh is a very marvellous collection of buildings. Standing in
their midst, in the court, whether it be the medley of architecture, or
the crudeness of the yellow-ochre walls, relieved with pink, and mingling
with the green lines of the venetian shutters, the effect is startling.
We see in these two-storied buildings, Italian windows between Corinthian
pillars, and these surmounted by Saracenic arcades, or irregular openings
of no style whatever.

The Chandiwalli Baradaree, a stone building in the centre, is used now
as a town hall or concert-room (I notice that the residents of Lucknow
have a very practical idea of turning these ancient buildings, the glory
of the city, to their own uses). There is the Jilokhana, or place where
the royal processions used to start from; the Cheeni Bagh, so called
because of the China vases that used to decorate it; and the Hazrat Bagh,
guarded by green mermaids. Farther on there are the buildings built by
the royal barber, and sold by him to the king for his harem. It was here
the rebel Begum held her court, and kept our prisoners confined in a
stable near by. Yet further still there is the tree, with the roots paved
with marble, where Shah Wajid Ali, clothed in the yellow rags of a fakir
(beggar), sat during the great fair. It was the chief work of the present
ex-king of Oude. We finished up our morning by a visit to the chowk.
Driving there we passed the "House of the Sun" (now the Martinière Girls'
School), and which is interesting just now, because at the time of the
Mutiny it was captured from the rebels "by a company of the 90th, under
Captain (now Lord) Wolseley," with some other troops.

In the afternoon we revisited the Residency and the Imambara. Returning
from the latter we stopped to watch a band of prisoners at work on a new
railway embankment, in charge of their orange clad gaolers. They were all
heavily chained, and whilst carrying the earth to and fro in baskets and
throwing it down at the feet of the overseer, we could not help thinking
that the gaolers were unnecessarily harsh, the use of the switch in
their hands too frequent, with the often-repeated "chillau." We waited
to see them marched away from their work, hand in hand, the road being
previously kept clear of the friends who were waiting to catch a glimpse
of them at a distance. Some of the men were very old and tired, whilst
others only walked with great difficulty, on account of the tightness of
their chains.

We drove through the lines of the Cantonment, the military and civil,
with their rows of bungalows, all with that untidy and temporary look
which characterizes the bungalow. It is very strange, when driving up to
one to call, to draw up opposite the drawing-room window in the verandah.
Indian society under these circumstances gives you no opportunity for
the polite untruth of "not at home." Many of the bungalows we went into
in the course of our Indian travels were very pretty with their bright
foulquaries and striped purdahs, but I can never grow accustomed to the
lazy necessity of ground-floor bedrooms, opening to and separated from
the drawing-room only by a curtain. Of course there are all manner of
appliances against the heat--a punkah, pulled day and night by relays
of "wallahs;" shutter-doors and windows, to keep the rooms dark and yet
cool; chicks, or fine wooden venetian blinds; and "tatties" placed in
windows and doorways. These latter are formed of the root of a grass,
and, kept constantly moist, freshen the air which passes through them
into the room. It is also strange, when you wish to buy anything, to be
driven by an avenue up to a bungalow--the shop.

We called on General Dillon, who is at present commanding the division
here, and then driving down "the Mall," the inevitable accompaniment to
"the lines," we listened to the band playing till the malarious mist
drove us home. We noticed the church of Christchurch, whose pinnacles
were being repaired after the damage done them by the storm as we came
home, and the more humble structure of the American Presbyterian Mission
Church.

It is said that these missions do far more good than the S.P.G. or C.M.S.
Societies of the Church of England, on account of the divisions of High
and Low Church of the latter, for the natives come and ask if they are of
different religions.

C. went to see Lord Randolph Churchill, who arrived in Lucknow early
this morning, and who is having a splendid reception from Europeans and
natives wherever he goes. Every spot in and about Lucknow is marked by
reminiscences of the Mutiny, some position of the enemy snatched from
them by our troops, some palace or garden more hotly disputed; but
you need to be an enthusiastic tactician to thoroughly appreciate the
interest which attaches to Lucknow, the city and centre of the scenes of
the Mutiny.

_Saturday, January 24th._--Getting up this morning at 6 a.m., and
dressing by the modest light of one candle, was a miserable struggle. The
extreme changes of temperature which one is subjected to during one day's
travelling in India is very trying. From the intense cold of the early
start we warm into life at 10 a.m., and by noon are suffering from the
heat. At sundown the chill creeps on again, and by night the bitter cold
returns, Through the day we are alternating from ulster to dust-cloak,
and returning at last to the warmth of our morning friend.

We had reached the second state of temperature by the time we arrived
at Cawnpore, where we were to spend the day. The Railway Hotel, kept
by Mr. Lee, is atrociously bad, and certainly ought not to be taken
as a fair specimen of a Dâk Bungalow, as usually, and especially when
under Government management, they are excellent. The Dâk Bungalow is an
important feature in Indian travelling. Maintained by the Government, a
fixed charge is made, and the traveller enters in a book the sum paid,
with date of departure and arrival. He is only entitled to shelter for
forty-eight hours, in accordance with the postal rules. A miserable
breakfast determined us to take refuge at the station for dinner. We had
a pleasant rest of some hours sitting reading in the verandah, before
starting.

Cawnpore may be described as a dreary plain, across which in dotted lines
run the cantonment barracks, whilst clouds of dust trace the numerous
roads which intersect it in all directions. A single bullock-cart raises
for the moment an impenetrable wall of sand.

The Memorial Church of All Souls stands out conspicuously amongst
a cluster of trees on the plain. It is of red brick, faced with
white stone, and looks like a handsome village church. The inside is
disappointing. The mural tablets to those who fell during the Mutiny
cover the walls, the only fine one in marble being that erected to the
Engineers. One cannot help wishing that instead of the usual ugly white
tablet in the form of a tomb or urn bordered with black, some great, some
beautiful monument had been designed with a grand inscription, like the
one we were to see presently in the garden. The black dome of the chancel
is somewhat curious, being intended to represent the heavens, with the
constellations in gold. Fourteen memorial tablets form the semicircle of
the chancel, giving the name of each and every one who died during the
siege. The inscription opens as follows:--

"To the glory of God: and in memory of more than 1000 Christian people
who met their deaths hard by between the 6th June and the 15th July,
1857."

By the side of the church there is a flat slab, paved round with blue
and white marble, with the inscription in raised letters, arranged so as
to form a cross. Here Major Vibart with seventy officers and soldiers
are buried, who, after escaping from the massacre, were recaptured and
murdered. We were now within Wheeler's Entrenchment, the small enclosure,
protected only by a mud wall of four feet high, hastily thrown up, and
where the besieged maintained themselves for twenty-one days. We could
trace the entrenchment exactly by means of the small posts set up, with
"W. E." on them. Then we came to another monument, built on the site
where St. John's Church stood at the time of the siege. Here seventy-five
Eurasians and natives, with their families, had taken refuge after the
evacuation of the entrenchment, and were murdered to a man by order of
Nana Sahib. Our interest is still further deepened when we see the stone
well, riddled with shot, yet used, where the oxen still toil up and down
the inclined causeway. It lies just outside the entrenchment, and was the
only water the besieged could obtain. Every drop was fetched at the risk
of life, with shots dropping at random over the open space that had to be
traversed.

Next we go some distance away to the well, where an awful memory still
clings of the midnight parties bringing each night the bodies of victims
who had died of cholera, heat, apoplexy, small-pox, or wounds during the
day. They were thrown into the well as the only means of safe disposal
for the survivors; and Captain Jenkins, who still held the bungalow
commanding the position, kept up a covering fire for these parties. The
spot is now made into a garden, and marked by a Byzantine cross, with
this inscription:--"Under this cross were laid, by the hands of their
fellows in suffering, the bodies of those men, women, and children, who
died near by during the heroic defence of Wheeler's Entrenchment, when
beleaguered by the rebel Nana, June 6th to 27th, A.D. 1857." And on the
pedestal of the cross,--"'Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth,
as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth; but our eyes are
unto thee, O God the Lord.'--Psalm cxli." Four smaller crosses at the
corners give the names of the officers and the men of their regiments
whose bodies were thrown into the well. Captain Jenkins is one of them,
and it is told how Private Murphy was the only individual of the C
company of the 84th Regiment who escaped.

Then we drove about a mile away to the deep ravine called the Suttee
Chowra Ghât. Here were the very steps, shaded by the same peepul-tree,
where the men, women, and children went down on their way to embark from
the ghât on the river. They had surrendered to Nana Sahib, as will be
remembered, on the condition of being transported in boats up the Ganges
to Allahabad. The women and children had embarked in the open boats, and
been pushed into the middle of the stream. The stone platform flanked by
two archways was crowded with others. There was a cry of "Treachery!"
and the soldiers of Nana Sahib, acting under his orders, opened fire.
Volley after volley was fired upon the helpless occupants of each boat;
a hidden battery of guns behind a tree being brought to bear upon those
on the landing-stage. It became a wholesale butchery. The women and
children who were captured and not massacred were taken that night to the
Assembly Rooms. Here atrocities were committed such as even the page of
history cannot detail, until a century has passed, and the victims and
their near relations shall be laid to rest; some cannot ever be mentioned
in the ears of ladies, but the world learnt then, if it never learnt
before, what our sex can endure. One lady killed the native with his own
sword, when he attempted, with Nana's permission, to take her away to his
house. Thus they remained for upwards of a fortnight, when, at Havelock's
approach, Nana Sahib ordered a general massacre at the Assembly Rooms,
the "House of Massacre" as it came to be called. The natives would not
hold the Europeans whilst their throats were cut, because it was against
their caste, and then Nana ordered his officers to get men to cut or
fire them down. One hundred were told off for the men, one hundred for
the women. After incessant firing for several hours, whether on purpose
or not was never known, only two were found to have been killed. At last
Nana found five butchers, belonging to the Bhowrie, or lowest caste of
all, who undertook the bloody slaughter. For five hours, from five till
ten in the morning, they cut and slashed, till few were left. The bodies
were cast into a well. This well became so full that, the water causing
the bodies to swell, many rose above the surface, when branches of trees
were laid across to keep them under.

It is on this awful spot that the most perfect monument, full of beauty
and peace, has been so fitly erected.

In the centre of the memorial garden stands the lovely statue of
Marochetti. It is a white marble figure, draped, with head downcast
and eyes full of tender sorrow. The hands are crossed on the breast,
each holding the palm-branch of victory, and the large curving wings
are unfolded. The delicate delineation of each feather on the latter
shows the perfect finish of the whole. The palm-branches rise over each
shoulder, from the declivity of the wings, where they are joined behind,
and in the centre there is a white marble cross, against which the
figure is supposed to be leaning. The drooping attitude and the gentle
expression of sorrow are very touching.

The angel figure seems to be declaring to us the inscription over the
entrance, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have
washed their robes."

The carved octagonal screen, showing daylight between its delicate
tracery, is worthy of the beautiful monument it surrounds and guards. The
harmony of the whole is maintained by the repetition of the octagonal
form. The screen is octagonal, and so are the steps which descend to
the richly carved pillar. The three tiers of marble, the pedestal of
the figure, are also octagonal. The purity and beauty of the memorial
is completed by the inscription: "Sacred to the Perpetual Memory of a
Great Company of Christian People, chiefly Women and Children, who near
this spot were cruelly massacred by the Followers of the Rebel Nana,
Dhoondopoor of Bithoor, and cast, the Dying with the Dead, into this
well below on the 15th day of July, 1857."

The "House of Massacre" is below the slope of the memorial, and is marked
by a white cross on a black marble base. The original little cross is
shown inside the burial-ground, the base of which marked the well, and
the cross at the top the House of Massacre--a poor but touching little
memorial, "raised by twenty men of the same regiment, who were passing
through Cawnpore" some time afterwards, as it tells us. The burial-ground
is on the spot where two bungalows adjoining the Assembly Rooms were
found, whose walls were written in blood, describing the agonies of the
prisoners. They were destroyed by Havelock's soldiers, and the spot
selected for the cemetery as the ground was soft for digging. It took
the men four days to bury the dead. Now the spot is enclosed with a
handsome railing, and it presents the appearance of a garden of tangled
roses and creepers, which cover the graves. There are seventy-two mounds
in all, but many of them are nameless graves; and it is known that four
were often buried in one grave. Immediately opposite them is another
three-cornered piece of ground railed in, where more of the mutilated
remains of the women and children were collected and interred. It is
a very noticeable fact that none of the dates on the memorial stones
of the "Mutiny" agree. They vary in fixing it as breaking out on the
15th, 17th, or 18th of June. The garden, which is really part of the old
Assembly Garden, is beautifully kept. Broad carriage-drives lead down the
palm-avenues, and amongst the bright masses of flower-beds.

We left Cawnpore at six o'clock. Half an hour after midnight we had
to change carriages at Tundla Junction, and we arrived at Agra at the
ghastly hour of two in the Morning. As I sat in the gharry outside the
station, waiting for C. with the luggage to appear, for the natives were
half asleep at that late hour, I could see the red battlements of the
fort rising opposite against the half-moonlit sky.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 6: After several days of continual anxiety, we heard that at
the very commencement of the engagement he had been slightly wounded.]



CHAPTER XVIII.

THE CITIES OF THE GREAT MOGUL.


_Monday, January 25th._--Agra is essentially the city of Akbar, the great
Mogul. Founded and created by him in 1506, it had no previously known
history. Here he established his metropolis--his palace within the fort.
One looks forward to seeing some of the splendour with which we have
always learnt to associate the name of the greatest of ancient emperors,
save only Alexander the Great. Nor ought one to be disappointed.

The fort is a superb structure, recalling the days of barbarous
warfare in the substantiality of its walls. It is entirely built of
red granite--not sandstone as at first appears, for that would be too
easy and crumbling a substance for such massive walls and ramparts.
The entrance through the Delhi Gate is very imposing. The hill leads
up to the gateway, flanked by two towers, and guarded by portcullis
and drawbridge, and over all floats a tiny Union Jack. The gates in
themselves are curious, being studded with nails and bits of old iron.
Under the dome of the entrance are the sepoys on duty, who stand at
attention as we pass. Amongst all this massiveness the details are not
overlooked, and there are some very delicately carved niches and windows
filled with fretwork to be seen high up in this dome. A glissade, sunk
between high walls, leads to yet another gateway, formed by two octagonal
towers, which allow of two domes under the entrance, and then we find
ourselves in a barren waste.

The Moti Musjid--the Pearl Mosque--with its three bulbous domes of purest
marble, truly appears in the distance like "pearls of great price" set
in the red walls. In common with many of these buildings, it stands on a
large platform raised high above the road, and ascended to by flights of
steps. It suggests the beautiful idea of the going up from the street,
and leaving its cares behind to go into a purer atmosphere for prayer.
As the gates are thrown open a sea of marble against the cloudless blue
sky meets the eye. Such is the first impression; and then by degrees we
turn our attention to the small courtyard, paved with marble, to the
marble cloisters which close it in on both sides, and lastly to the pearl
itself, with its gem-like towerets, alternating with the three domes, "It
is of the purest Saracenic architecture, though it has the simplicity of
Doric art." There is a vista of horse-shoe arches; one, two, three, four,
we see receding successively, with the same repeated in perspective by
the rows of pillars. These pillars are formed of four single blocks of
marble, one block to each of the sides. The inscription in Persian over
the arches tells us it was built by Shah Jehan in 1656, and the intense
purity of the marble after two centuries have thus passed, without crack
or weather-stain, seems marvellous. Under the central dome you look up
to a ceiling covered with a raised device of triangles laid crossways,
a decoration identified with all mosques. Each of the four pillars
with its dome forms a perfect little mosque within the larger one. The
marble floor is covered with squares just the size of the Mahommedan
prayer-carpet, and 570 can kneel side by side at the same time. The
three apart in the Kibla, or Central Niche, are for the Mullah, with one
for the King and Vizier, or Prime Minister, on either hand. There is a
beautiful carved marble screen at one end, behind which the Begum and the
women of the zenana stood when attending prayer. The floriated design of
this screen is carved out of marble quite two inches thick. Some one has
said, "It is a sanctuary so pure and stainless, revealing so exalted a
spirit of worship, that one feels humbled, as a Christian, to think that
our noble religion has never inspired its architects to surpass this
temple to God and Mahommed."

And then we pass on to the palace, of which the Pearl Mosque is the
fitting sanctuary.

Akbar, the Great Mogul, the greatest of barbarian kings, built for
himself a palace worthy of his great renown. Quarries of marble were
used in its construction, and tons of precious stones. Agate, porphyry,
and carnelian were thought not too costly for the inlaying and mosaic of
the apartments used by the emperor. It was built within the fort, which
thus enclosed the little world gathered about Akbar the Great. Passing
along we see the old gateway which led to the chowk, or bazaar, reserved
for the emperor's own use, and then one enters the Carousal, or Tilt
Yard. Here stands the Dewan-i-Am, or Audience Hall. It is an open loggia
supported on marble pillars, and the decoration of red and gold is still
vivid. The slab of marble in the centre is where Akbar sat in judgment,
and behind in the wall there is an alcove deep enough to form a room,
where the court sat in waiting for their master. This room is exquisitely
inlaid with flowers in precious stones, and the recesses, or pigeon-holes
in the wall, were used for burning incense and sweet-scented woods.
This leads us into the interior, or private courts of the palace, and
we find ourselves in a maze of these. Those beautiful marble trellises
seem to have been let into every window, or form the grating over every
doorway, and the embroidery in precious stones on the marble amazes us
with its costly magnificence. Quiet courts, still gardens, abound. All is
harmonious and preserved, left just as it was 300 years ago. The rooms
are empty, it is true, but one hardly notices it, for these eastern
palaces are always cold and void. A few carpet-mats strewn on the marble
floor, some looking-glasses and chandeliers, are all the furnishing you
look to find in them.

The palace is washed by the waters of the sacred Jumna on one side, and
the windows and loggias took down on the river, while frequently we came
upon water-gates leading down underground passages to give access for
bathing in the stream.

Apart from all the beauty of the palace, it is most precious to us as a
living record of the domestic life of those times. In the zenana we see
the baths, on which the greatest care has been lavished, the cold bath
being in the basin of the open court, with the hot bath in the covered
recess. Here is the mosque apart for the ladies of the zenana, with the
court below where a bazaar was kept also for their separate use. We see
the walled entrance to the passage, which is supposed to lead underground
to the Taj. It was through here the unfaithful begums disappeared, to be
seen no more. We can trace it all so distinctly that we can repeople the
harem with its dusky beauties.

Then we come to the inner court, the Dewan-i-Khas, or Hall of Select or
Private Audience. On a platform open to the river there are two thrones,
one of black marble and the other of white. It is on the black takt,
or throne, that Akbar sat in state. When the Mahrattas took Agra, and
the foreign Rajah seated himself on the throne, it cracked (so runs the
legend) from end to end, and blood gushed out. When Lord Ellenborough, as
Governor-General, seated himself on it, blood again came forth, and two
dark stains with the crack attest these "truths" to all good Mahommedans!
On the white throne opposite, tradition says that the king's jester
seated himself and burlesqued his royal master. Below this we look down
into the arena where the wild-beast fights took place, the king viewing
them from the platform above. The emperor's bedroom has a fresco round
the ceiling of great beauty. On a gold background are inlaid sprays of
flowers in precious stones. A portion of one corner was restored for the
visit of the Prince of Wales, but the cost of 5000 rupees was too heavy
for it to be continued. Near the dining-hall are the famous Somnath Gates
captured by Lord Ellenborough in the Afghan campaign, and which gave
rise to a well-known controversy. We saw in them the three metal bosses
supposed to have been taken from Mahmoud's shield.

The Khas Mahl, or Belvedere, overhanging the Jumna, is a little gem, with
its delicate rows of cusped arches, and the niches and groinings of its
walls. It is open on three sides, and commands a splendid view over the
river, with the snowy domes of the Taj in the distance. It was here that
the emperor sat in the rainy season.

Then we go down to the little court, paved in squares of black and white
marble, called the Pachise, or backgammon and chessboard. There were no
pieces used for this colossal board, but Akbar's wives trotted about at
his bidding from square to square, thus performing each move. Above this
there is the lovely Jasmine Tower, or the Boudoir of the Chief Sultana,
most exquisitely inlaid with turquoise and carnelian. We discovered
near here a charming little mosque hidden up some steps, called the
"Children's Mosque," and where the children were taken separately to
pray. It was in the Anguri Bagh that the British officers and their
families were confined during that terrible summer of 1857, and here Mr.
Russell Colvin, the Lieutenant-Governor, died--worn out with anxiety--and
was buried in the marble tomb we saw just now opposite the Audience Hall.

We then descended to a garden, where, in a cool grotto, we found the
Shish Mahal, or the Palace of Glass. It is an oriental bath, and the
decoration is very eccentric and fantastic. It consists of hundreds of
thousands of tiny mirrors covering the walls and ceiling. On entering
it is like being in a silver cave. The chunar stone of which it is made
is covered with filagree, and the looking-glasses arranged in rows and
patterns produce a wonderful effect. We lighted a match in a dark corner,
and the effect was bewilderingly dazzling, the gleam of light being
reflected and flashed back in our faces a hundred times. The marble
baths all round are much carved, but the most beautiful sight of all
must have been the bath where the water from the Jumna fell over some
recesses lined with looking-glass, which gave back in radiated colours
the reflection of the tiny waterfall. About here we see some entrances
to underground passages, where, it is said, during the midday heat, the
wives and concubines of the king disported themselves in the original
garb of Eve before their royal master, causing the corridors to resound
again with their merry shouts of laughter.

The Jahangir Mahal, or Palace of Jahangir, Akbar's son, adjoins the
palace. The red courts, particularly that called the Begum's Court, with
their massive pillars supported by Hindu brackets, and carvings of birds
and flowers, looked coarse and heavy after the chaste beauties we have
just been seeing.

As we see so often repeated in history, and in our own times, the great
palace which Akbar founded as the abode of his dynasty, was destined to
be inhabited but for a very short time. Jahangir, his son and successor,
lived and died in northern latitudes, and Shah Juhan, his son, began the
palace at Delhi. The race lay under a cloud, for the latter emperor was
dethroned by his son Aurungzebe, and under him the fort became merely a
citadel and the residence of a Mogul governor. It changed hands during
the Mahratta war several times, and was finally held by General Lake
after the defeat of the Mahratta power at Delhi.

To the founder of the short but brilliant Mogul dynasty, was it given
first to call into existence a nationality among the people. On ascending
the throne at the age of fifteen, Akbar, by raising the Hindus and
refusing to favour the Mussulmans, welded the people into one nation. His
latitude in religious matters is shown by the Hindu god and goddesses at
Futtehpore Sikri, the Windsor of Agra as it has been called. There is
even here a palace called the Palace of the Christian Woman.

It is to Akbar that we owe the most deeply interesting city of India, and
to his successors the second, that is, Delhi.

The Jumma Musjid, or Cathedral Mosque, stands opposite, and slightly
turned eastwards away from the Fort. It is the second largest mosque in
India, but though of vaster proportions, it can claim no pre-eminence to
beauty. It stands on the usual platform, and the inside is inlaid with
black and red marble. The inscription over the central arch tells us that
it was built by Shah Jahan in 1653, in honour of the Princess Juhanara,
whose tomb we shall see later on at Delhi. However, the colouring of the
three domes is highly peculiar and remarkable. They are of deep red, and
the white lines meeting up and down them at right angles form a zigzag,
and resemble from a distance the stripes of a zebra.

In the afternoon we drove through a bit of the native quarter to
reach the pontoon bridge, and crossing over it came to the tomb of
Itmud-ud-Daulah, or Ghias Beg.

Ghias Beg was the grandfather of the beautiful Muntâz of the Taj, and
Vizier to the Emperor Jahangir, who honoured him after death by this
mausoleum. He was a poet also, and it is told how, when the emperor
visited him on his deathbed, and he was asked if he recognized his royal
master, the minister replied by a quotation from a Persian poet:--

    "Even if the mother-Hindman happened to be present now,
    He himself would surely know thee by the splendour of thy brow."

The mausoleum is a little gem set in a green garden, and overawed by four
red gateways, quite out of proportion and keeping with it. The front
presents the appearance of carved ivory, so delicate is the lacework
of the marble tracery. Like the other buildings of Agra the outside
and inside are embroidered with stones, but these are not so precious,
being chiefly plum-pudding or agate stones. The design and finish of the
work are however most remarkable. There is a slender vase in blue and
green with serpent handles; a basin in blue and white, resembling the
old willow-patterned plate; a cup with a spray of flowers, or vase with
an outspread peacock's tail. The ceilings, though sadly weather-worn,
still show what a splendid and gorgeous mass of colouring and variegated
patterns they were. The mausoleum is divided into a succession of courts
opening one out of the other, and each is the death-chamber of one or
more. Following the melancholy circle of the building, we see the narrow
marble sarcophagi of brothers, sisters, a whole family, descending even
to the second generation, who find their tombs within this narrow circle.

It is at the top, on the marble chabutra, or platform, that we find the
tomb of Itmud-ud-Daulah himself, lying under the canopy of marble, and
surrounded by the marble trellis screens.

These Mahommedan tombs always indicate the sex of the person beneath by
a very small raised slab, some six inches long by two wide for the man,
whilst that for the woman is the same, with the addition of a mitre-like
head.

We went home after this, for we were dreadfully tired, and I especially,
almost knocked up by another slight attack of fever, brought on last
night in the train by a selfish fellow-passenger, who _would_ keep the
window on his side of the carriage open.

Bright and fresh we rose the next morning, under the influence of looking
forward to seeing the Taj for the first time. We all know "that it is
worth coming to India, if only to see the Taj;" and we thought of this as
we drove down the well-known road constructed during the famine of 1838.

The Taj Mahal is, I think, the most beautiful, the most heavenly of all
earthly conceptions--of all earthly creations, of all works raised by
the hand of man. In the midst of this land of glorious monuments the
Taj shines forth as the one thing of "perfect beauty." Apart from the
loveliness of its outward and earthly form, it stands there as "some
silent finger pointing to the sky," an intuition of the quiet beauty of
death. It is as if Shah Jahan, even in his heathen darkness, conceived
some vague idea of a higher world, another life; as if he felt that
by transferring the remains of his loved one to _the_ most beautiful
resting-place on earth he was lifting her up to a higher sphere.

He seems to have tried to embody some such idea in the monument which
will immortalize his name and the memory of the lovely Mumtaz to whose
honour it was erected. It was his way of showing the passion of his love,
the erecting of this most beautiful mausoleum that the world had ever
seen. We may think it was the work of an ignorant and barbarous mind, but
after all it is the form of expression of sorrow which is unhappily must
common with us until this day.

The Taj was built in 1648. No wood or stone was used in its
construction, for it was built _entirely_ with Jeypore marble, which
still retains its pristine purity of whiteness.

The approach to the Taj by the straight Strand Road, with the first
view of the marble dome over some trees, communicates a pang of
disappointment; but as we pass under an old stone gateway and find
ourselves in a quaint native court, the scene grows more in harmony. This
court leads us out before the great red gateway. It is very handsome.
Formed of red granite, inlaid with white marble, it is topped with a
series of little cupolas or umbrellas, that count the curiously uneven
number of eleven. Two slender towers that flank the gateway look spiral
from their running zig-zag pattern. The broad square which frames the
arch is covered with sentences from the Koran, those being chosen which
speak of comfort and consolation to the mourning. The irregular and
disjointed letters of the Arabic alphabet form a very effective and bold
decoration to the arch, and the contrast between the white and red marble
is most striking. Passing through we are under the great dome of this
gateway, which is covered with the mosque-pattern of crossed triangles.
A man with designs of the Florentine mosaic on plates and vases, &c.,
distracts our attention.

We turn,--and see the mirage of a pure white temple--the glory of the Taj.

The gateway forms a grand frame, the scimitar crossing the dome just
touches the keystone of the arch, and the sides seem to widen out just
enough to admit of a complete view of the furthest outlying cupola and
tower. The first startling effect of dazzling brilliancy is very great,
and deep, and lasting. It is here that the Taj became indelibly imprinted
on my memory. It is as seen from here that I always recall its now
familiar lines.

The stupendous marble dome, crowned with the golden scimitar, is the
central object, the first that absorbs the attention of the eye; but
gradually the towers and the cupolas around the dome begin to be
recognized--to force themselves into the picture. We see that the
irregularity of their number is caused by the foreshortening of those on
the further side, making them appear in between the fixed four square
lines of the others. There are four, like outlying sentries, guarding the
marble platform, and four others rise from the platform, from whence in
its turn springs the dome.

[Illustration: The Taj Mahal, Agra.

    Page 312.]

Then you glance at the exceeding beauty of the idea, that has planned
the effect of the cypress avenue, the paved walks bordering the strip
of water, that all converge, and lead the eye up to the chabutra, or
vast marble platform, whereon stands the Taj. There are no steps in this
platform, no visible means of approach.

The three archways under the dome are recessed, and in them the carving
is so pure and delicate that even from this distance it looks like the
carving on one of those ivory caskets from China. The perfection of
finish is astounding. Then, even as we look, the picture is enhanced
by some specks of bright colour, which stream out of the shadow of the
doorway, some women with saris of peacock-blue, and sea-green, and
salmon-pink, tender tints giving a flash of life and light to the silent
and awing grandeur--almost sternness, I had said, of the cold marble.

As you approach, as you reach a middle distance, the Taj loses in effect;
but here the cruciform pavements meet, and your attention is diverted to
two red gateways at the ends amongst the trees. Thus you have behind you
the great gateway; on either hand these smaller ones complete the square;
whilst before you are the still unexplored mysteries of the Taj.

As we emerge up through the opening on to the great chabutra, blinded by
the dazzling brightness of the sun on the marble, which seems to collect
and radiate every ray of sun about itself--it is like the purity of
driven snow on mountain heights. As we stand under the semi-dome of the
entrance, in its relieving shadow, we are conscious of a work almost too
superhuman for humanity.

The frieze of marble is delicately carved in bas-relief with
lotus-flowers, each piston and stamen of the flower, each vein in every
leaf, being delineated with scrupulous exactness. Over this entrance
leading into the abode of death is a sentence in Arabic characters from
the Koran finishing up the verses of consolation, with an invitation "to
the pure of heart to enter the Garden of Paradise."

We pass through the wrought cedar-wood doors.

Through the dim solemn light let in high up in the dome, and struggling
through the heavy marble trellis-work, we see the cenotaph--the central
romance that gave rise to this "poem in marble."

The beautiful Mumtaz Mahal, the Exalted One of the Palace, was the
wife of Shah Jahan, then heir-apparent to the throne. The chosen wife
of his youth, the "beloved one" among all his harem, she bore him
seven children, and died at the birth of the eighth, when accompanying
her husband on a campaign to the Deccan against the tribe of Lodi.
Anguish-stricken, his grief found expression in a monument of purity,
"after the eastern idea of beauty, which considers as full dress a simple
white robe, with an aigrette of precious stones." It has been truly said,
"The Taj is not a great national temple erected by a free and united
people; it owes its creation to the whim of an absolute ruler, who was
free to squander the resources of the state in commemorating his personal
sorrows."

The cenotaph is surrounded by a screen of jali, and the entrance to it
is just opposite to us. Within the screen she lies, in the centre. The
simpler and large tomb of the king has had to be placed at the side, to
the left, so that that of the queen is the only one seen on entering.
Shah Jahan originally intended to build for himself a similar monument
on the opposite bank of the Jumna, and to unite the two by a bridge.
He ended his reign in captivity, and, "thus," says Mr. Taylor, "fate
conceded to love what was denied to vanity." These are the cenotaphs
erected, after the Oriental manner, for show; the real tombs are in the
vault below.

The screen is a network of "geometrical combination," rare, intricate,
and unique in the world, all carved to the depth of two inches out of
solid marble. The open-work fringe of lace at the top has been added at
a later date.

On this and on the walls around are what calls forth our most
enthusiastic admiration, our greatest expressions of delight.

The cenotaph, the screen, the walls, are inlaid with flowers, and designs
in precious stones, agates, and coloured marble. Each leaf, each petal,
each stalk, is shaded by the different tones and colours of the stones.
Each is perfect in the minute details of drawing, shading, and colouring.
Every spray stands out from its marble background; not a turn of a leaf,
not the shade of a half-open calyx but what is delicately indicated.
Thirty separate pieces are used in every flower, and each spray has three
of such. We see thus represented the lotus, the lily, and the iris.
They are formed of precious stone; of cornelian, coral, lapis-lazuli,
bloodstone, jasper, garnets, turquoise, amethyst, crystal, sapphire,
onyx, malachite, and agates. It is an Indian _Pietra dura_, and differs
from the Florentine only in that the latter is in bas-relief.

It took seventeen years collecting the materials for the building of
the Taj, and 20,000 workmen were employed in its construction for
twenty-three years. It cost over 2,000,000_l._ Workmen came from all
parts, from Turkey, Persia, Delhi, and the Punjaub. The "head master"
was Isa Muhammed, the illuminator was an inhabitant of Shiraz, and the
master mason came from Bagdad. Many different countries were drawn upon
for contributions of precious stones. The crystal came from China,
cornelian from Bagdad, turquoises from Thibet, sapphires and lapis-lazuli
from Ceylon, coral from Arabia and the Red Sea, garnets from Bundelkund,
plum-pudding stone from Jassilmere, rock-spar from Nirbudda, the onyx and
amethyst from Persia; and there are many other stones used that we have
no knowledge of, nor name for in our language.

A terrible old desperado was the Rajah of Bhurtpore, who caused many of
the gems and precious stones to be picked out of the Taj. Government has
replaced many of these, and restored a whole corner which was removed by
this regal robber; but, though exactly the same when examined closely,
the general effect looks coarse beside the original.

The solemn light that glimmers down gives a holy, reverend look to this
chamber of beauty and death, and the lotus frieze stands out grandly in
the half light. Up there the dome seems to lose itself in space, and
looks intensely blue from deep shadows on the cold marble. Each of the
octagon arches is crowned by a sentence from the Koran, and outside and
inside the writing is so frequently repeated that it has often been
declared that the whole of the Koran is thus inlaid in the Taj.

Not the least beautiful and wonderful thing about the mausoleum is the
echo that during fifteen seconds lingers on the air, dying away as if
with retreating steps down endless cloisters--dying so gently that you
know not when it ceases. It is a finer echo than that in the Baptistery
at Pisa, which is thought to be the finest in Europe. The echo is so
sharp and quick that only one note should be sounded, and this will be
multiplied in the distance till you recognize not your own single tone.
It is this that causes the discordant sound of voices speaking in the
Taj, the echo repeating and mixing the different voices.

"I pictured to myself the effect of an Arabic or Persian lament for the
lovely Muntâz sung over her tomb. The responses that would come from
above in the pauses of the song must resemble the harmonies of angels in
paradise," writes one who has heard it.

We descend into the vault by the long sloping marble-lined corridor. A
sweet and sickly smell is wafted along it towards us, the subtle odour of
otta of roses perfuming the air. Here is where the royal dust and ashes
really rest, and it is very characteristic of the perfection and finish
displayed throughout the Taj, that though unseen, and in total darkness,
the finish is just as elaborate, the walls, the cenotaph, the frieze of
the purest marble; the mosaic of pietra dura as lovely and precious. The
tomb of the queen is inscribed with the sentences of praise usual in
Persian monuments, but that of the king bears a curious eulogium:--"The
magnificent tomb of the King inhabitant of the two paradises; the most
sublime sitter on the throne in Illeeyn (the starry heaven), dweller in
Firdos (paradise), Shah Jahan Pâdishâh-i-Gazi, peace to his remains,
heaven is for him; his death took place on 26th day of Rajab, in the year
1076 of the Hijri (or 1665 A.D.). From this transitory world eternity has
marched him off to the next."

The two mosques that flank the platform are of red sandstone inlaid with
marble, and face east and west. The western one only is used for prayer,
and the eastern one was built as a "jawab," or "answer" to the other,
showing how strong was the feeling for preserving the symmetry of the Taj.

We wander round the platform, which dwarfs everything with its immense
size, and makes us look like little black specks crossing its glistening
surface, and look over into the muddy waters of the Jumna, which washes
the red sandstone platform of the Taj on two sides. In all distant views
this platform spoils the effect of the Taj, appearing like a red brick
wall, on which the white dome alone is seen resting. We look over the
river to where higher up we see shining the temples and pavilions of the
Aram Bagh, or the Garden of Rest.

Bishop Heber truly expresses and sums up the glorious loveliness of the
Taj, when he says, "It was designed by Titans and finished by Jewellers."

Four times in all we visited the Taj. Once again in the afternoon's light
and shade, and yet once more by moonlight; but I still thought that
nothing could exceed the beauty of that _first_ glimpse through the red
gateway. The defects (for what of human make is without?) appear more
distinct each time. One long absorbing visit to the Taj is what I would
recommend.

All the same by moonlight, what you lose in detail you gain in the
overwhelming solitude, the solemnity of the scene. The pure dome shows
out against the dark blue vault of heaven, the brilliancy of the
silver-tipped turret towers eclipses the shining of the stars. The Taj
looks then truly majestic. You fear to break the silence by the echo
of your footsteps as you steal quickly round in the deep shadows, and
come out on the dazzling platform, in the glory of the full moon by
the riverside. At night you feel it is not a monumental palace, but a
burial-place; the smell of the tomb is close and vault-like, and you
shudder at the vast silence as you escape into the open once more. One
curious effect is then always remarked. As you approach the Taj by
moonlight it seems to dwindle and recede, and you only realize suddenly
that you are near, and almost under the platform.

In the afternoon we drove along a road which has been called the "Appian
Way" of Agra, from the tombs and mausoleums which we see along the five
miles road to the village of Secundra or Sikandria. We are going to the
mausoleum of the great Akbar himself.

Entering under a gateway, which is a veritable study in red and white and
other coloured marbles, we find ourselves in a small park. The feeling
of disappointment occasioned so often by the ruin and decay around these
Indian monuments is absent here, for Secundra delights us with a certain
finish and completeness. The trees bordering the broad paved causeway
form as effective an avenue, as the cyprus at the Taj, to the pyramidal
tomb at their end. Four grand causeways coming from four of these marble
and sandstone gateways meet at the marble platform on which stands the
mausoleum. The idea of the mausoleum is peculiar and original, as will be
seen. The semicircular dome of the entrance, which is whitewashed, forms
an incongruity which mars the general effect of the façade.

Down a dim, gradually sloping passage we descend to the underground
vault. At its entrance, by the pale light from the doorway, we see the
plain marble sarcophagus, surmounted by a wreath of fresh flowers which
contains the dust of Akbar, the founder of the great Mogul Empire, the
mightiest sovereign of a mighty race.

Under the central dome it stands alone, without name or inscription,
marking by its simplicity the chosen tomb of the great monarch.

We climb up one after another the four chabutras. Each one has the
staircase unseen at first, but discovered in a corner, and which leads
up to the trap-hole, through which we reappear on to the next platform.
Thus each one you attain to seems to be the last. We are looking down
upon tiers of minarets, and upon the four canopies, pillar-supported,
which face each way of the compass. At length we climb the last flight,
and find ourselves at the summit on the white marble chabutra that crowns
the whole.

All is of marble, white and pure. Here, surrounded by one of those
exquisite filagree marble screens open to the heavens, stand the whitest
of sarcophagi, hewn out of one single block of marble, wrought, and
carved, and fretted until it is like the carving of a sandal-wood box.
The ninety-nine names of God in Arabic are inscribed within and around
the scroll-work of the tomb, and it bears also the Salutation of the
Faith, "Allaho Akbar! Jilli Julali Hoo." The court is surrounded by a
cloister with Saracenic arches showing glimpses of the distant view.
Tradition says that the sort of half pillar at the head of the tomb was
intended for a setting for the Koh-i-Noor diamond, and that it really
stood there for some time.

The _first_ view of Secundra brings dissatisfaction. The creator of
Futtehpore Sikri, the builder of the Fort and palace of Agra, the founder
of the Pearl Mosque, we look to see something more magnificent than this
self-chosen resting-place, for by the subtle leading up and preparation
we only realize the beauty of the summit, when we look at that jointless
tomb, that court of purest marble; its only canopy--that of nature,
heaven's blue sky.

On the way home we paid a visit to the prison, which is quite a special
sight of India, on account of the carpet manufactures carried on there.

The prisoners sit before a screen, or woof, with the bobbins of coloured
worsted hanging in rows above. Each thread has to be tied separately into
the string of the woof, cut, combed, or pressed down, and the scissors
and combs used are of the rudest order. A reader chants or sings songs
out the colours of the pattern at intervals, saying, "So many white
threads, so many red or blue," and the ground is filled in afterwards.
From fifteen to twenty men are squatted on the bench at work on the same
carpet, and an inch and a half is the usual daily advance. The blending
of colours and designs of these carpets are very rich and handsome, and
the borders especially fine. This prison is the principal one in India,
and their carpets are much sought after. They are sold to the Magasins du
Louvre and the Bon Marché at Paris, and supplied also to a Bond Street
firm. One that we saw in progress was an order from the Duke of Connaught
for a present to the Queen, and another is being made for the Empress
Eugenie.

There are only three European warders in this prison, and nearly all
the remainder are good-conduct prisoners. One who accompanied us,
holding a huge umbrella over my head, had thrown a man down a well in a
fit of temper. In the cook-house we saw them busy baking thousands of
chapatties, or flat cakes, of coarse meal, the only food they require.
The difficulty of caste is got over here, by the Brahmins, or highest
caste, being alone employed for the cooking.

We bought some very pretty ornaments to-day made of soapstone, a clay of
a warm grey tint, and which forms beautifully clean raised patterns on
boxes, and card-trays, &c.

_Monday, January 26th._--We began our morning with a disappointment.
We had intended to drive out twenty-three miles to Futtehpore Sikri,
to see the village of palaces and princely buildings of Akbar's
first metropolis, abandoned for the fort at Agra on account of its
unhealthiness; but we were confronted with the tiresome detail of not
having given notice the previous day for relays of horses along the road.
Hoping perhaps to return to Agra, we determined to leave for Delhi by the
midday train.

In going to the station, we saw a touching sight. A bier covered
with flowers was set on the ground, and a little group were squatted
resignedly around--mute, not weeping, but looking helplessly and
steadfastly at the bier. The chief mourner had taken his place at the
head. And this is the sight you often see as you pass down some quiet
avenue, or near approach to the river banks--a mournful little party,
a few bearers carrying the bier uplifted, and hurrying down towards
the sacred river with their burden, crying as they pass along that
mournful wail, "The name of God is true. If you speak true, it will bring
salvation."

Eight hours' journey brought us in the evening to Delhi. We found the
"Northbrook" so full of Americans (for we meet such numbers of them
travelling in India, come across from "Frisco" to Japan and China, and
taking India on their way to Europe, generally bent on arriving to Rome
for Easter week), so we took refuge at the United Service Hotel. Here
there is the officious, though, be it said, intelligent guide, Baboo
Dass, well known to travellers at Delhi.

A word about the hotels. An Indian hotel is the embodiment of dirt and
discomfort. There is nothing to complain of in the food, but the rooms
are damp and cellar-like, with whitewashed walls, and the barest amount
of furniture. Dressing is a lengthy process, when you have to divide your
toilette between a brick-floored bath-room, and a dressing-room with
one looking glass and a chair, and a bedroom equally dismal. Moreover,
they are built solely with regard to the heat, and in the cold nights
and frosty mornings you suffer bitterly from the draught of air-traps
from skylights in the roof, and doors and windows that refuse, and are
never intended to close tightly. Added to this there are the multitude
of servants from whose incessant attention you suffer much annoyance, no
one man doing the same thing. On leaving an hotel a crowd of at least six
are awaiting backsheesh--the Khitmutgar, the Sirdar, the Bheestie, the
Sweeper, &c. No exception can be made for any one hotel. We found them
all equally atrocious, even including those of Bombay and Calcutta.

_Tuesday, January 27th._--We drove along the Mall of the civil lines,
where was lying the encampment of a collector or other provincial officer
travelling on his annual round of inspection. We passed under the
battered portals of the Cashmere Gate, so famed for its noble defence
during the Mutiny. Just on the other side of this is Skinner's Church.
Colonel Skinner married first, as was natural, an Englishwoman, and built
this church; but, secondly, he married a Mohammedan, and then the mosque
opposite was built; but, last of all, he espoused a Hindu, when the Hindu
temple, a little way off, came into existence. He used to say that when
he died he would be sure of going to the heaven of the best religion.

Delhi has a fort, containing a palace, a Dewas-i-Khas, a Dewas-i-Am, a
pearl mosque, and a Jâma Musjid, similar and in the same position as
at Agra. But all, with the exception of the mosque, are but a feeble
reproduction of the latter. Shah Jahan, as we know, founded Delhi, but
the works he accomplished were but a feeble and poor imitation of those
of his noble grandfather Akbar at Agra.

The four splendid gateways of the Fort, with their grand red colouring
and coping of domes, would appear to be copied from the gateway of the
Taj.

We entered by the Lahore gate, and passed under the vaulted causeway
known as the chattahs, or umbrella of the king, and where the military
bazaar now maintains a certain air of picturesqueness.

The Dewan-i-Am, the Hall of Public Audience, is the usual marble loggia.
It has only a cumbrous canopy of marble over the marble throne, but the
wall behind is most beautifully inlaid with mosaic. The colours are still
extraordinarily bright, and show the green plumage of the parakeets, the
blue of the humming-birds, while groups of flowers and clusters of fruit
complete a rare panel of beauty.

The Dewan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, is at present disfigured
by trusses of hay wrapped round the inlaid pillars, whilst the work of
reparation is being carried on. Government proposes to spend three laks
of rupees in restoring the original marvels that existed of gold and
silver filagree work, the pillars having been plated with sheets of gold,
and the ceiling covered with silver. It is estimated that this ceiling,
which was part of the spoil of the Mahratta Invasion of 1759, produced
170,000_l._ worth of silver.

The inscription in the corner of the ceiling is the well-known and very
beautiful, "If there is a Paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here,
it is here." The famous Peacock Throne was in this hall. "The throne
was six feet long and four feet broad, composed of solid gold, inlaid
with precious gems. The back was formed of jewelled representations of
peacock's tails. It was surmounted by a gold canopy on twelve pillars
of the same material. Around the canopy hung a fringe of pearls, and on
each side of the throne stood two chattahs, or umbrellas, the symbol of
royalty. They were formed of crimson velvet, richly embroidered with
gold thread and pearls, and had handles, eight feet long, of solid gold
studded with diamonds. This unparalleled achievement of the jeweller's
art was constructed by a Frenchman, Austin de Bordeaux. The value of the
throne is estimated by Tavernier, himself a professional jeweller, at
6,000,000_l._ sterling." The Peacock throne was taken away by the Persian
Nadir Shah.

Then we are taken to the palace and into a little room, three-cornered
in shape, and with its windows open towards the river. Inlaid in mosaic
there is here the sweet little inscription, "Sigh not, for good times
are at hand." The scales of Justice are represented in another place in
inlaid marbles over the trellis door, which leads into the Zenana. Here
every care has been lavished upon the beauty of the decoration of the
various rooms, though the red and green flowers and running patterns look
coarse and gorgeous to our eyes, so lately accustomed to the delicacy
and minuteness of the Agra pietra dura. Here again we see how Shah
Jahan failed to produce the minute beauty of Akbar's palace. Still the
colouring is interesting for being so well preserved, showing out as if
it was finished but yesterday, and one is glad to see that any attempt
was made to lighten the prison house and the dull lives of its inmates.

The bath-rooms, as in all eastern palaces, are the great feature, and
occupy the largest portion of this palace. Running round the centre
room there is a shallow channel, inlaid with an ingenious serpenting
pattern in black, and the water coursing swiftly over this, produces
the effect of fishes swimming about in the water. In other rooms we see
the children's smaller baths, and the shower-bath formed by a fountain
springing up through the floor. The centre hall contains a pool inlaid
with jade. It was here the ladies came to drink after the bath, and the
water filtering through the holes of jade was supposed to be purified
and cooled by it. This was an old Eastern idea, for we are told that
kings always had their drinking-cups of jade. The bath in the king's
apartments had hot and cold water laid on, and was used by the Prince of
Wales when on his visit to Delhi.

The pearl mosque is almost a perfect model in miniature proportions of
the Moti Musjid of Agra, but this one was kept only for the use of the
king and his family. The paving of this court is very pretty, the squares
being indicated by double black lines, and those under the mosque are
fringed at the top with three delicate sprays of jasmine flowers. The
remainder of the Fort is occupied by the barracks of our troops.

Passing out between the formidable spikes of the Delhi gate, we drive up
before the Jamma Musjid, the finest mosque in India.

It is called Jamma, or the Friday Mosque, because Friday is the sacred
day of the week according to the Moslem religion. Escaping two Albino
beggars--most repulsive objects--we ascend up the magnificent flight
of broad shallow steps--those steps which on three sides form such a
splendid approach to the imposing grandeur within. The wooden gates at
the entrance are interesting on account of their immense thickness, and
their age, which is over 200 years. When inside the court we see that it
is entirely paved with white marble, with black lines, which has a very
striking effect when extended over such a vast space. In the centre there
is the usual marble reservoir, where some Mohammedans are washing their
feet preparatory to praying. Three cupolas of white marble, crowned by
gilded culices, rise over the red arches, and pillars that form the open
loggia of the mosque. The centre cupola is partly hidden by the great
square of the principal entrance, in which the pointed gothic arch is
splendidly described. The cornices of this pointed archway are divided
into ten compartments, each ten feet broad, which contain inscriptions in
black marble on a white ground. Following the usual construction the two
minarets that flank the mosque seem almost of an exaggerated height. They
are inlaid with the white and red marble stripes placed vertically, and
are as always the pride and beauty of the city. For miles around their
graceful proportions can be seen isolated, reaching towards the sky, when
all other parts of the city are unseen. A colonnade of red sandstone
surrounds the court, and the whole beauty of the mosque lies in the
splendid contrast of the rich red sandstone against the white marble
court.

To enhance the scene here are a long row of worshippers, bending and
rising in union, saluting the earth and crying out with one voice, in
response to the priest who is under the portico; and other bare-footed
worshippers are hurrying from the tank, after performing their ablutions,
to join them. On every Friday some 10,000 souls cover the court of the
Friday mosque. The tak, or niche of the kibla, is beautifully carved,
and the pulpit, consisting of three panels, is hewn out of one splendid
block of marble. It is from here that the priest gives the well-known
salutation of the faith: "Allaho Allah!" And the response comes intoned
back from the multitude, "Jilli Julali!"

In a corner of the court they opened a casket of relics for us to see--a
parchment written by Hussein and Hassein, the grandsons of Mahomet, a
shoe of the prophet, his footprint on a stone, left whilst healing the
sick; and, lastly, most precious of all, a single hair from his beard.
Mahomet must have had a very red beard.

The beggars of Delhi are proverbial for their importunity, and on the
steps of the mosque they glean a rich harvest. The maimed, the halt, the
blind, pursued us till we were fain to take refuge in the carriage from
the armless stumps, the twisted and distorted limbs, that were thrust
forward, to excite our pity. Not less troublesome are the hawkers and
vendors, who swarm everywhere in the verandahs of the hotels, but nowhere
worse than at Delhi. They leave you no peace, pursue you everywhere, and
even insinuate themselves in at your bedroom door. They are the pest of
Indian travellers.

Driving in the afternoon through the Queen's Gardens, the abode of the
horrid yellow pariah dogs of the city, we reached the outskirts of the
town, and came to the old fort, made 500 years old. It consists of
some ruined walls, so massive that, judging from the aperture of the
loopholes, they must be at least eleven feet thick. On the top of a large
pile of ruins, nobly placed, stands the Lat, or Staff of Feroz Shah,
another of Asoka's columns. It is like those we have seen at Benares and
Allahabad, only this one is of more ancient date, being 2200 years old.
The Lat is a single shaft of sandstone tapering very slightly towards the
top. The inscription in Pali, the oldest language in India, is almost
illegible, but it consists of "certain edicts for the furtherance of
religion and virtue, enacted by a king called Dhumma Asoka Piyadasi," who
must have changed his character after ascending the throne, which he only
reached by the murder of the ninety relations who had prior claims. A
kite perched on its broken summit, looked curiously monumental, and there
were others sitting in solemn rows on the ruins around, with heads turned
towards the commissariat building below, whence they were expecting their
daily meal of refuse. Others were also swooping around the river banks,
waiting for one of the dead bodies which are so frequently seen floating
down the Jumna.

We returned to the town, and found our way through a very slummy lane to
a beautiful little gem, a Jain temple, most exquisitely carved outside,
though this was almost hidden and lost in the narrow street and the
shadow of the overhanging houses. We pass the passage leading round to
the further side of the temple, where the women worship apart from the
men. Lately we have been seeing many mosques and temples with cupolas,
domes, and minarets of all sizes and forms, but now we see one of a
totally different design. There is a kind of cupola with a gilded top,
but it is a very squat one, and the effect produced is as by a cushion
crushed down by the weight of a crown.

The idol, with legs doubled under him, is sitting cross-legged under the
canopy inlaid with gold leaf. Jain, the god, was naked, and in this he
differs from the Hindu gods, who are always represented clothed. This
used to give rise to serious riots on the day in the year when Jain was
paraded through the streets in procession, the Hindus pelting him with
mud, and a free fight generally ensuing between the different followers.
A military force is brought out now on this day of the year for the
protection of Jain, at the expense of his believers.

The Hindus also parade their god Ganesh once a year, on June 17th, and
we went to see the Juggernaut car used on this occasion, and kept in
a stable adjoining the Jamma Mosque. The car is entirely covered with
gold leaf, and cost, it is said, 25,000_l._ We noticed particularly the
several railings which surrounded the seat of the god, placed there by
the priests to catch the money thrown to him in the streets. It is drawn
by four prize bullocks, who have been previously fattened on an allowance
of from four to five pounds of melted butter daily, conveyed to them
through the trough of a hollow stick.

On our way home we drove through the Chandi Chowk. It is the finest
native bazaar in India, the street being a mile long, and so broad that
there is room for four avenues, with two roads, and three pavements. In
the Chowk there is the Kotvale and the little mosque perched up among
the roofs of the houses, where Nadir Shah sat and ordered the massacre
in which he killed 100,000 people. Midway the street is intersected,
and the harmony of the quaint old houses with their overhanging wooden
balconies, much disturbed by the modern red building of the Delhi Museum
and Institute, and by the Gothic clock-tower immediately opposite. It
was in the Chandi Chowk that we bought some of those lovely embroideries
in gold and silver thread on satin and velvet, for which Delhi is justly
celebrated. We saw also some very valuable Cashmere shawls, one being
valued at 4000 rupees.

_Wednesday, January 28th._--A tremendous thunderstorm, with hailstones
as large as beans, kept us awake during part of the night. The lightning
shone in from the little windows high up in the wall, and was the most
vivid I have ever seen. When morning came, we thought the weather was
going to fail us for the first time since we have been in India, so
violent was the downpour of rain; but by eleven it cleared, and we were
able to start with a fine sky for our eleven miles' drive to the Kutub
Column.

There are a multitude of things to be seen on the way, and it would be
hard to surpass in interest the drives about Delhi. Endless are the
antiquarian remains that are scattered about the plain for miles around,
They are all ruins of old Delhis, for nine separate cities have at
different times been built and abandoned within a radius of twenty miles
of the present one. Thus, as you drive along, the ruin of an old fort, or
the remains of a city wall, are pointed out to you as Delhi number four
or Delhi number eight.

Our driver chose that we should not stop, as is customary, outside the
grand fort of the "old" Delhi, the most ancient of all the ruins, and
see the mosque inside the Octagonal Library, where the Emperor Humayoon
met his death by falling down the stairs of the tower. A mile further
on we come to the tomb of the emperor, a splendid mausoleum, standing
in a garden. It is rendered so imposing from the huge chabutra of red
sandstone on which it stands, open to the surrounding country. In the
centre of the circular room under the dome is the plain sarcophagus of
the emperor, the father of Akbar. As usual, the surrounding rooms forming
the corners of the circular room are full of the tombs of the wives,
sons, and daughters of the great man, and in one corner, side by side,
are the tombs of five mullahs. The trellis-work is shown of one of the
windows where it was broken by Captain Hodgson at the capture of the
King of Delhi in 1857. The king had taken refuge in the corner pointed
out, behind a bronze door, and the window was broken as being an easier
access. A bright blue enamelled dome near here is supposed to have been
the residence of the Begum's bangle-seller, and a brick one adjoining,
that of the royal barber. This might have been the case, for these
Eastern mausoleums were often used as palaces, previous to the death of
the person by whom they were built.

Then we drove on to a spot which is literally a village of the dead, so
closely serried are the marble sarcophagi, and where little courts and
mosques and mausoleums are visible in all directions.

Our chief wish in coming here was to see the grave of Jehanara Begum, the
eldest daughter of Shah Jahan, whose story is so simple and touching.
She became a _religieuse_ very young, and declared her intention of
never marrying. On her father's disgrace, Jehanara shared his prison and
captivity. She is buried here, and her grave is a plain grass one, and
the inscription at its head, dictated by herself, tells us the reason. It
says: "Let no rich canopy cover my grave. This grass is the best covering
for the tomb of the poor spirit. The humble, the transitory Jehanara, the
disciple of the sect of the Chistîs, the daughter of the Emperor Shah
Jahan."

Here also Prince Jehangir, a son of Akbar II., is buried, who was exiled
by the English Government on account of his frequent attempts to murder
his brother, and who is said to have died from his excessive love of
cherry-brandy. He was the favourite son of the emperor, who always
believed that he died of "sighing."

The celebrated Persian poet, Amir Khusran, lies near by, and these, with
many other tombs, are surrounded by that exquisite marble trellis-work
that forms the most beautiful feature of Mussulman architecture. These
tombs lie around or _in_ a small marble court of great purity, from the
centre of which rises a tiny dome of marble, whose octagonal angles
are marked with black lines. An open colonnade with Satacenic arches
richly carved, shows us the tomb of that most sacred Mohammedan saint,
Nizam-ud-din, within, whose sanctity still draws bands of pilgrims
to his tomb. The wooden canopy of the tomb is inlaid with exquisite
mother-of-pearl, that in the dim light looked iridescent, with opal tints
of blue and green and purple. A row of ostrich eggs were hung around,
and a Koran stood open at his head. The mosque, 600 years old, and very
quaintly carved, completes this little world, where so much of interest
lies gathered into such small compass. The Chausat Kumba is near by, the
sixty-four pillared hall, as it is called, which number is only made up
by the cunning device of counting the four sides to each of the square
pillars. Returning we look into a baoli or well, a deep tank walled in
all round, containing green and slimy water.

The crowd of natives who always accompany the Feringis (Europeans) point
upwards, and on the summit of the kiosk of a mosque, forty feet above
us we see a man, who, as we look, takes a run and a header into the
water. It seems quite a minute that we watch him falling through the
air, with his legs wide apart, bringing them quickly together just as he
plumps into the water with such thudding force, that you think he must
be crushed or cracked by the volition of his own weight. He is up in a
moment. The tank being very deep, the diver only goes a few feet down,
and does not reach the bottom; then he comes up the steps, shivering and
with teeth chattering, for his backsheesh. On account of the height of
the surrounding buildings the sun never reaches this tank for more than
three or four hours each day, and the water is intensely cold.

And now we have a drive of some four or five miles before us. The ruins
cluster thickly about the country here, and we see many of the small
mosques which mark the site of a Mohammedan cemetery, with their old
grave-stones and white pillars, which show, they say, the spot of a
"suttee" over the grave. A tremendous storm overtook us before we reached
the Dâk Bungalow, where we were to have "tiffin."

[Illustration: Column, Kutub Minar, Delhi.

    Page 329.]

We went at once to the Kutub Minar, or Pillar, the loftiest column in
the world, or 234 feet high. But its chief interest is not derived from
this, but from its extreme beauty and unique character. Pillars and
columns there are all over the world, from the Pillars of Hercules to the
Monument near London Bridge, but none so beautiful, so original, so rich,
as the Kutub Minar of Delhi.

In the first place it is built of full-coloured red sandstone, and in the
second it is fluted; but the "fluting" does not convey the curious and
effective pattern, seen nowhere else I think, of a fluting alternately
"round" and "angular." The Kutub tapers, as all such mighty erections
must, that the laws of equilibrium may be carried out in their broad
base. It is divided into five stories by the balconies which run round
in a zigzag, and which are supported by a bracket where each angle
touches the column; but "the distance between these balconies diminishes
in proportion to the diameter of the shaft, thus adding to the apparent
height of the column by exaggerated perspective."

The first story, or the ground floor, is polygonal, with the fluting in
alternate rows of acute angles and rounded semicircles; the second is
entirely semicircle; the third all acute angles; the fourth is a circle
of white marble (a curious anomaly); and the fifth is just a band of
carving surmounted by the railed enclosure of the summit. These alternate
flutings give an irregular appearance to the "horizontal" lines of the
pillar when seen at a little distance off, and the base also appears to
bulge out much at the sides, where it enters the ground. Maintaining the
idea of the symmetry of the gradually ascending but decreasing scale, all
the delicate Arabic inscriptions, the bands of the Koran surrounding the
Minar, are arranged as follows:--Six are on the lowest, two are on the
second, and one on the third story, but none above on the next, where
the marble band replaces them. The top band on the lower story gives
the ninety-nine names of God in Arabic, and the remainder are variously
verses from the Koran, or praises of Muhammed bin Sám.

Twice the Kutub has been struck by lightning, once in 1068 and again
in 1503, as recorded in an inscription; but now it is made safe from
such damages by the lightning-rod which we see at the bottom and meet
again at the top of the 375 steps. Some idea is given of its narrowing
proportions, when I say that three men can easily stand abreast on the
lower steps, whereas here at the summit one man can with difficulty pass.
The view over the plain of Delhi in its utter flatness, reaching even
to the horizon, is very uninteresting and disappointing, on account of
the weary toil up. The Hindus claim the Kutub as of their erection, and
say it was made by Prithie Rajah to enable his daughter to see over the
plains to the sacred Ganges. Others think it is Mohammedan, and certainly
the inscriptions must have been added by them. Looking up to the Kutub
we noticed a curious effect--that the clouds moving quickly across the
sky gave to the tower the appearance of shifting instead. Near the Kutub
Minar is a similar column, commenced to match the other; but, left
unfinished, it is now falling into decay.

As usual, minor antiquities cluster round the greater one, and near
the Kutub is the tomb of the Emperor Altinash, the supposed builder
of the column, and the palace of the Emperor Alâ-ud-din, which has a
very beautiful horse-shoe arch. This is considered the first specimen
of Pathan architecture extant. But the principal interest here is a
mosque constructed from the remains of twenty-seven Hindu temples by
the first Mohammedan King of Delhi in 1193. The Hindu columns that have
been used by their successors to form a thick row of cloisters are most
admirably and quaintly carved. Gods and mythological figures form the
chief feature; but in one corner we see a bullock-cart, where the tire
and spokes of the wheel are very distinct; in another some men pounding
millet; while monkeys form the brackets, or the head of a bull the
ornamentation for a capital.

In the centre of this ruined temple stands the Iron Pillar of the famous
legend. It rises twenty-two feet above the ground, and it has been proved
by excavation that its foundation is at least sixty-two feet below the
surface.

Rajah Pithora consulted the Brahmins, or priests, as to the length of
his dynasty. They replied that if he could sink an iron shaft into the
earth, and pierce the snake-god Lishay, who upheld the earth, it would
endure for ever. Time elapsed, and the Rajah became curious to know the
result of the sinking of his iron shaft, and against all the Brahminical
warnings had the pillar uprooted. Great was the consternation when it was
found that the end was covered with blood. It was hastily put back again
into the earth, but the charm was broken. The kingdom of Pithora was
shortly conquered, his life was taken, and no Hindu king has ever reigned
in Delhi since.

It was a pretty sight to see the sacred goats living about the temple,
looking down over the ruined wall on a caravan of camels, whose drivers
had gone up the tower, where some took the opportunity for saying their
prayers.

When they came down again, I suddenly thought what a good opportunity
this would be to try riding on a camel. Seated on the edge and hindermost
point of his back, it was an awful moment when the camel sat forward on
his front knees, and then rose to the full length of his fore-legs. Then
I was at a very acute and ticklish angle, and he took his time, too, to
raise his hind-legs and bring me to a comfortable level once more. The
motion is easy and pleasant (though it makes your head "waggle" in a
ridiculous way) when taken at the slow deliberate walk that the driver
carefully led me; but I can well imagine the agony of the trot, when no
action of your body can keep time or swing with such an incomprehensible
motion. The worst part undoubtedly is the getting off. Down goes the
first division of the animal, the legs to the knees, and then the second,
at which the body rests on the ground, when you are in danger of being
precipitated over his head. Lastly the hind-legs subside, and you slide
off over his tail. At the word of command he performs these various
evolutions, but it is generally accompanied by a discontented snort
and grunt. I like the deliberate way the beast always walks, with that
affected turning of the head from side to side, and the nose disdainfully
held high in the air.

In returning home we passed the beautiful white dome of the mausoleum
of Sajdar Jang; but though beautiful outside, there is nothing to see
in the interior, and we were fairly weary of mosques, mausoleums, and
tombs to-day. Nor did we linger at the Junter Mundir, or Observatory, as
we had seen that finer one of Benares. From the distance we traced its
gigantic sun-dial, and the two towers exactly alike, with the pillars
that mark the 360°, so that one observation could be corrected by the
other. Needless to say that we were extremely tired at nightfall.

_Thursday, January 29th._--We drove up on to the Ridge, seeing Ludlow
Castle, of Mutiny fame, in front of which was stationed battery No. 2,
which was to open the main breach by which the city was stormed. Here
also is the Flagstaff Tower, to which the ladies of the station were
first taken when the hope of speedy relief from Meerut was yet with
them. It is a fitting and commanding situation for the red brick monument
erected to the British and native troops who "died in action, of wounds,
or of disease" during the mutiny "by their comrades, who lament their
loss, and the Government they served so well." "The Ridge" is also
celebrated for a well-known pacific measure of our times, for it saw the
great Durbar of the 1st of January, 1877, when The Queen was proclaimed
Empress of India. It and the surrounding plain presented a marvellous
sight, covered with the tents of rajahs and maharajahs, and of the
thousands gathered there, forming the largest camp that had ever been
seen.

We left Delhi that morning. In the afternoon we had a very interesting
meeting at Gaziabad with Syed Ahméd Khán, C.S.I., the founder and
Honorary Secretary of the Mohammedan Oriental College, and who is looked
up to by all the Mohammedans of India as their intellectual head. He came
thus far to meet us, and travelled back with us to Allyghur, where the
college is situated, as being most central for all parts of India. This
allowed of C. having two hours' conversation with him, and learning much
about the great Mohammedan community of India.

We reached Agra late that evening, about ten o'clock, when we made our
visit to the Taj by moonlight.



CHAPTER XIX.

GWALIOR AND RAJPUTANA.


_Friday, January 30th._--Left Agra at 7.30 on our way to Gwalior.

After crossing the Chumbla on one of the finest bridges in India, we
came to a very strange bit of country. Every foot of the bare ground was
gulched, upturned, upheaved, into conical mounds. We saw a quantity of
curious little sugar-loaf cones, apparently of natural origin, and the
whole represents a series of miniature valleys and mountains. This broken
ground alone would form a formidable obstacle to the enemy's approach to
Gwalior, without its celebrated fort.

Long before we reached Gwalior we saw the great ridge of rock some two
miles in length, though only one in width, which rises up out of the
plain. It is the Gibraltar of India, and, standing out of the plain
instead of out of the sea, was called, before modern cannon brought the
fort within range of neighbouring heights, the key of Hindustan. It is a
grand rampart of nature, and the range of fortress walls which crown the
summit well become the site. They frown down upon the palace of Sindhia
himself, lying immediately underneath, in mockery guarding his territory,
for though the maharajah's standard floats from the flagstaff, British
soldiers occupy the stronghold.[7]

Sir Lepel Griffin, the Governor-General's agent to the princes of Central
India, was on his annual tour, and in camp at Morar, the adjacent
military station. He had asked us to stay with him at Indore, Holkar's
capital, where he is permanently located, and now offered us the
hospitality of his camp. But all our ideas of having to rough it melted
before the Oriental luxury of the temporary town.

We drove through a neat "street" of tents, and were set down before a
handsome pavilion. This was the entrance-hall with visitors' book, and
where the scarlet-clad chuprassies are in constant attendance. Through
this we passed into a drawing-room lined with brocade, thickly carpeted
with rugs, full of easy-chairs and of tables covered with photographs,
books, newspapers, flowers, &c. An anteroom, again, leads into the
dining-room. The tents for the remainder of the party are ranged on
either side of the pavilion.

Here we are in far greater luxury than in any Indian hotel, and save for
the supporting-pole in the centre, and the pebbles crunching under the
carpet, we might think ourselves in a comfortable room. All around there
are the cheerful sounds of camp-life, the chattering of servants, the
stamping of the picketed horses, or the whistling proceeding from your
opposite neighbour's tent. Some officers of the regiment are playing polo
in the adjoining ground, and their horses' feet resound as they scamper
about on the hard earth.

All commissioners and collectors have to camp out for one or two months
in the year on their tours of inspection, and so it comes to be quite a
feature of Indian life. The rule then is for one set of tents to be sent
on in advance over night. The _réveillé_ is sounded at 5 a.m., or some
such early hour, and the ten miles' march is accomplished before the heat
of the day, and they sit down to breakfast on the new camping-ground,
with the tents ready pitched. Not the least wonderful part of the camp
is the kitchen. Everything is cooked out in the open, and there is but
one tent for the culinary department. There are one or two mud ovens and
holes in the ground filled with charcoal, and with this and a very few
pots and pans a native cook manages to turn out a most elegant dinner for
eighteen. Rarely, if ever, are the dishes or sauces smoked, even when a
contrary wind is blowing.

We went to a small tennis party in the evening, and returning home along
the "Mall," Sir Lepel stopped and took us into the club, where there
is one room set aside for the use of the ladies. It is a most popular
institution, and prevails at many of the stations. The ladies walk down
here in the evening before dinner, and have a gossip, or read the papers,
whilst their husbands are playing billiards in an adjoining room.

This reminds me also of another, but a very different kind of club,--the
"Mutton Club," which exists at most stations. There are few butchers in
India, as none are called for among the Hindu population. So the ladies
on a station frequently join together and keep their own flock of sheep
and a shepherd, which supplies them with meat twice a week, and they take
it in turns for the prime joints. Some energetic member of the community
keeps the accounts and collects the subscriptions.

There was a dinner party in the evening, and during dinner the band of
the native infantry regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own, played outside
the tent, and afterwards conjurors performed some well-known Indian
tricks. It strikes you as curious at first, when you step out of your
tent into the moonlight in full evening dress, and walk across to the
pavilion to dinner, to see the guests arriving up the "street," which
looks so pretty with its row of lamps.

_Saturday, January 31st. In camp at Gwalior._--Awoke at 7 a.m. to the
merry noises of an awakening camp--bugles braying, horses neighing, a
band playing in the distance, soldiers parading on the plain near by
under their officers' shouts of command, and gongs sounding at intervals
from all sides.

It was very chilly work turning out, for in the early morning and late at
night the cold in the tents is intense.

At eight o'clock we started, muffled up in winter wraps, yet shivering
much, and drove to the bottom of the Gwalior hill. Here we found one of
the Maharajah's elephants waiting to take us up the very steep climb to
the fort, which it is impossible to ascend in a carriage. Those who have
been on an elephant know well the first sensation of fright that comes
with the acute angle, as the beast raises himself on his hind-legs, when
his fore-legs bring us to a level; and then we seem to be on a height
which is dwarfing to all below us. The motion is a painfully uneven one,
to which you never seem able to find a corresponding one for your body,
and the howdah becomes anything but a comfortable seat, however pleased
you may be at first with the novelty of the situation. I think the
mahout, with his two-pronged fork, sitting astride the elephant's neck,
and guiding him by the pressure of his knees under the flopping ears, has
the more comfortable position of the two.

"The Little Fairy," as the elephant was poetically and inappropriately
termed, was very slow, and our progress proportionally tedious. Our party
must have presented a very picturesque appearance, as perched aloft
on the red and yellow trappings of the howdah, our bell sounding out
melodiously with the deliberate swaying walk of the elephant, we wound up
under the walls of the old fort.

The strength of the position is marvellous, and we do not wonder that the
chiefs of India would hardly believe when told that it had fallen into
our hands, a little more than a century ago.

We passed through two gateways, and then were beneath the castellated
walls, where under the protection of each battlement is a row of
glazed tiles of bright colours, in blue and green. One wonders how the
decoration, so strangely out of place, ever came there, and in other
parts of the fort it appears again. In one place, yellow geese are
represented by these means, walking in single file along the length of a
wall.

The whole of this narrow ridge is taken up with cantonments and barracks
laid in parallel lines on its perfectly flat surface. It is so narrow
that passing along the road in the centre you can almost see down on to
the plain immediately below on either hand.

One beautiful bit of antiquity still remains inside the fort in a
wonderful Hindu temple, surrounded by a museum of ancient outdoor
monuments, stone mummies, Jain idols, and monstrosities of hydra-headed
beasts, looking at each other from over a pillar. The temple is very
high, square, and narrow--a peculiar kind of formation, and unlike most
Hindu temples, which taper towards the top. It is built of small stones,
which seem to form Gothic arches in out-of-the-way corners, and the whole
temple presents an intricate mass of irregularities. To finish all,
it is covered in at the top by a modern addition, a huge white stone
semicircular roof, ending squarely, and looking entirely like a huge
sarcophagus.

As we passed the parade ground we saw the general reviewing a body of
troops. The tramp of their feet, and their regular lines, with bayonets
gleaming in the morning sun, was a cheerful sight.

The views from the fort are magnificent. There is old Gwalior lying away
among its sprinkling of trees, with the open space where the large square
of buildings shows the Maharajah's palace and gardens. The mud huts of
the large village of Lashkar, the city proper of Gwalior, is at our feet,
and away to the left is the defile of the Urwai Gorge, whose summit, on
a level with the fort, is the only weak point in the defences.

We had breakfast on returning at eleven o'clock, a very usual hour, when
chota hazri supplies all earlier wants, and from 12 p.m. a string of
callers were coming and going. The Indian etiquette requires calls to be
paid between the hottest hours of the day, from 12 till 2 p.m.

A combat of animals had been organized for that afternoon for us.
The natives squatting round formed a bright ring of colour, and
somewhat against our will we were obliged to witness a typical Indian
entertainment.

Some cocks were the first to appear on the arena, but, save one couple,
were not at all "game." Then some little partridges were brought, loudly
calling challenges to each other from their wicker cages; but when
brought face to face they only showed us a succession of clever dodgings.
They were followed by a pair of bul-buls, those fluffy-headed bullfinches
whom we hear chirping in the trees in the evening with such a deafening
noise. But the rams showed the best fight. Let fly from opposite ends of
the circle, they met in the centre with tremendous force, the repeated
dull thud of their horns echoing for days after in our ears. Provided
that they meet with their heads well down, it is their horns that have
the full force of the concussion, and it does not hurt them. A white ram
was produced, which was held back with difficulty, springing and showing
fight to all the rams that came near him. He proved too strong and heavy
for all the others, and they fled in terror before him, and could hardly
be persuaded to meet him. Then he would take a mean advantage of their
retreat and go after them, butting at their backs and sides, and turning
them contemptuously over.

We saw a snake pitted against a mongoose, but, curiously enough, little
fury as the mongoose is, he refused to touch the very handsome spotted
snake, and retreated at every hiss. The second and smaller one, however,
he succeeded in apparently killing, flattening his neck, till blood
poured out of his mouth. This was the signal for a wonderful exhibition.
The man declared he could bring the snake to life again, and, making
a hole in the earth, he laid the head in, and poured water on it. The
effect was magical; the neck stiffened and moved, and gradually the
serpent reared its head. Then the cure was completed by the sweet
dirge-like music charming the snake, and making it wave its head in time,
intently following each undulation--unconscious of all save the magic
music.

A buffalo-fight was tried in another part of the camp, but it was evident
that they, in common with the other animals, had no natural animosity for
one another.

Later in the afternoon we went to the cantonment to see some tent-pegging
by the Fourth Bengal Native Cavalry. This was a very different kind
of tent-pegging to any performance of the kind that you see at the
Agricultural Hall at Islington. Here the men were on a large open space,
and flew by at full speed with a wild rush, balancing the long spear low,
and carrying off the tiny peg (almost lost in such a space) by piercing
it through.

The dress of the native cavalry is splendid: scarlet coats, or more
crimson perhaps, with blue and white striped turbans; white that of the
infantry is buff with dark-blue turbans and facings. We walked through
the cavalry lines of horse pickets, and the horses of this regiment are
exceptionally fine, either "country-bred" or "Australians." Each man
is obliged to keep a grass-cutter for his horse, and a pony or mule is
shared by two, which goes out in the early morning and returns to camp at
night with the next day's load of grass.

We drove home through the bazaar, which is considered almost the model
bazaar of India. It is hardly credible what order and brightness by
whitewashing and a uniformity of red-striped blinds has been introduced
by the encouragement of Brigadier-General Massey, of Crimean fame, when
he commanded here. A great deal of the native-carved woodwork has been
used with great effect in balconies and over gateways, particularly in
that of the "serai," or the house of hospitality for native travellers,
which you find in all villages.

We drove out to dinner by moonlight that evening in an open carriage, the
usual way at "mofussil" stations, where a close carriage is so rarely
wanted. The word "mo_fussil_" sounded so funny to me at first, but it is
very expressive of the station and up-country life of India.

_Sunday, February 1st._--To church in the morning. The scarlet of the
infantry in the nave, and the blue of the artillery lining the transepts,
made a very effective addition to the congregation. The choir was formed
of soldiers, and accompanied by a brass band.

Captain Robertson, First Assistant to the Agent, showed us to-day a
kharita, or a letter to a native prince. The paper is specially made for
this purpose, and is sprinkled with gold leaf. Only the last few lines
of the somewhat lengthy document contain the purport of the letter,
while the remainder is made up of the usual roundabout and complimentary
phrases. It is folded in a peculiar way, with the flaps outwards, and
inserted into a muslin bag, and this latter into one of crimson and gold
tint, with a slip-knot of gold thread, attached to which is a ponderous
seal. The superscription and address on a slip of paper is passed into
the bag between this latter and the muslin one. I have given these
details in full, because they are important to Indian epistolary art, as,
should any of them be omitted, it would be thought that an insult had
been offered to the person addressed.

It may not be generally known that the native States still extant in
India are 800, though out of them only 200 are of any importance. The
Nizam of Hyderabad, the Maharajahs Sindhia and Holkar, each have an
income of over a million sterling a year; and the kingdom of the first
named is as large as Italy. This gives us some idea of the importance
and power which still remains in the hands of the native princes--added
to which, many of them maintain their own army, consisting of several
regiments. This is the Maharajah Sindhia's great pride--the strength and
efficiency of his army; and we were so sorry to have come a few days too
late to see the review which he had just held, when he commanded his
troops in person, and also to have missed the durbar, when his Highness
was received in state by Sir Lepel. Since then he has been laid up with
fever, and we were, therefore, unable to see him or his palace which
contains one of the finest durbar-halls in India.

We left the camp at daybreak the next morning, and this will ever be
remembered as the coldest and most disagreeable of our many early morning
starts, collecting our things, and leaving as we did in the dark. We
returned to Agra for the third and last time, where we spent the night.
Again all the next day we were travelling on the Rajpootana State Railway
to Jeypore, which we reached at six in the evening.

The country around Jeypore is of that peculiar formation which presents
a flat plain of untold limits, interrupted at frequent intervals by
conical-shaped hills that often attain to the height of mountains.
Surrounded by a semicircle of these mountains, lying in the hollow of
their midst, is Jeypore.

The white walls and towers of the great Tiger Fort, accessible only from
this one side, stands guard over the city. Beneath it, on the rocks, has
been painted in gigantic letters the one word "Welcome," inscribed there
for the visit of the Prince of Wales.

Jeypore, the city of victory, as its name implies, is considered the
model city of a native State, and it also carries off the palm for
picturesqueness amongst all those artist-loved cities of India.

The native quarter, surrounded by a wall, forms a city within the city.
The broad streets of its bazaar are wider and different to anything of
the kind that we have seen before. The low shops are surmounted by a
trellis carving, uniform throughout the long street, and all are coloured
that soft Eastern pink, deep enough here to be a terra-cotta colour. The
square market-place, with its marble fountain in the centre, and flocks
of pigeons, looks like some old Italian piazza, and the story is told
that it was built to please the Italian love of one of the Maharajahs
of Jeypore. In keeping with the cleanliness and the air of brightness
that generally pervades Jeypore, are the painted horns in red and green
of the bullocks, the spirited and caparisoned horses of the Maharajah's
attendants and messengers, and the bullock-carts and smartly curtained
ekkas, with their magnificent yokes of trotting-bullocks. A more than
ordinarily large number of sacred bulls seem to be lying or wandering
about the streets. There is the unusual sight of familiar rows of
lamp-posts once more, for Jeypore is the only city of a native State that
is lighted with gas, and presently we pass the smoky chimney of "His
Highness the Maharajah's Gasworks," as the inscription over the gate
tells us. It is the late Maharajah who has made Jeypore what it is.

Jeypore seems too more advanced in art, education, and culture, looking
at its school of art, where the native manufactures of pottery are sold,
the public library in the square, and the museum. This latter is formed
by the specimens of native manufactures, such as kincob, Benares and
Moorshabad work, Multan and other potteries, exhibited at the Jeypore
Exhibition two years ago, and which owes its origin and tasteful
arrangement chiefly to Dr. Hendley, the Civil Surgeon.

At the end of a long street is the "Palace of the Moon," which is
attractive from its name, but not from anything in its interior. There
are the usual ranges of courtyards, and two durbar-halls, gaudy in the
extreme, of a glaring mural decoration of flowers and fruit. We were
taken to the bottom of the garden, which commands a fine view of the
Tiger Fort, and were rather disgusted to find it was only to see a
billiard-room in the pavilion. The zenana, a palace in buff and blue, in
the form of a roof of terraces ascending and diminishing towards the gold
moon at the summit, is the prettiest thing about the Palace of the Moon.
Adjoining is the large courtyard with the tower in the centre, round
which the maharajah's 300 horses are stabled.

Facing the palace at the other end of the long street is a cage, where
seven magnificent tigers are kept for the amusement of the public.
Bars not as thick as the little finger are alone between us and these
ferocious animals. They crouch and glower in the furthermost corner,
and then spring forward as the keeper approaches, with a wild roar that
re-echoes down the street, making the cage quiver with its reverberation.
The grandest tiger of all alone has double bars, having once broken two
with a forward spring.

Then we drove to the "Palace of the Winds," a charmingly poetic name,
in keeping and resembling the fantastic façade in pink and white. A
series of little turrets, with trellis-work windows filled in with green
gratings, allow of the wind passing freely through. The palace ends with
a succession of steps, each one being crowned with a flag on a golden
staff, till they meet in the crowning step, the keystone of the façade.
It stands at the top of a hill, and is used as a summer residence. There
is nothing to see inside; the whole idea has been exhausted on the
exterior.

The history of the present Maharajah of Jeypore is somewhat romantic.
Formerly living in exile on an allowance of 1_l._ per month, he one day
found himself raised to the throne and the possessor of an income of
half a million sterling. His predecessor only settled the succession
three hours previous to his death, a usual custom among these Eastern
potentates, on account of the fear of poison from a rival for favour,
and out of some hundred relatives with equal claims, to the surprise of
all, he chose the present one, who is now only twenty-three years of age.
In addition to the annual income there was found in the treasury half a
million sterling in solid silver, which took Dr. Hendley twenty-three
days to count over.

It has been our usual fate throughout our Indian travels to find
commissioners and officials of all sorts away in camp on their
inspections, which have to be got through just after the cold weather and
before the advent of the hot; maharajahs and rajahs have been absent on
pilgrimages or a visit of welcome to Lord Dufferin.

So it is in the present instance. The Maharajah is at Calcutta,
performing this duty; and it will be remembered that Sindhia was ill, the
Maharajah of Benares returning the day after we left Benares, and later
on we were destined similarly to miss seeing the Nizam of Hyderabad.

In the afternoon by special arrangement Miss Joyce, the lady
superintendent of the girls' school, kindly took me to see a zenana, in
fulfilment of my great wish. There had been a death amongst the rajputs
or great nobles at Jeypore--that of a promising young lad, educated at
Mayo College--and the elder ladies had gone to pay a visit of condolence
to the family, and during their absence the younger ones were not
permitted to receive; added to which, until the twelfth day was over,
mourning or very plain dress would be _de rigueur_.

It was not in ancient days the custom for the Hindu women to be kept
in the zenana, or to be "in purdah" (literally behind the curtain).
The Hindus first began to adopt the plan after the Mohammedan invasion
in imitation of their harem, and now all the castes keep the women in
purdah, save those only of the very poor class who cannot afford it.

The house we went to was that of Sri Lachman Dat, the high priest of
the Court. We were received in a small room on the ground floor of the
palace, which, in true oriental fashion, was so much out of repair as to
be tumbling down. This room was soon crowded with the brothers, sons,
sons-in-law, and the numerous poor relations who are always hangers-on
in the house of their richer kin. Altogether they were a family of
fifty, and with over 100 servants it brought up this one household to
150 persons, who all found shelter in the palace. Miss Joyce acted as
interpreter, and a desultory conversation was maintained. The priest
inquired our names, and C. handed him a visiting-card, whereupon he
called for paper and pen, and had his name written by his chaplain in
exact imitation. The shastri said "that there were several members of his
family ill, but that our visit was better than any doctor's, and would
make them well," &c., &c.

At last a move was made, and the room cleared, the shutters closed, and
C. taken away. When he had been deposited on the roof of the house by the
gentlemen of the family--a position where he would be sure to be well
out of sight, one after another, the ladies slipped in to us. They were
all dusky, dark-eyed girls, some beautiful and others that would have
been so with their lustrous eyes, but for coarse lips and thick noses.
You would almost think they had arranged their dresses so as to form a
pleasing contrast, for one was dressed in pale-yellow with silver, the
other in orange with scarlet, and another in pink and gold--gorgeous
gowns they were, with the most extensive skirts. Miss Joyce pulled one
of them out for me to see, and they are so finely gathered that an
infinity of yards of stuff are compressed into one breadth, and this
makes them project, at the bottom, and swing like a crinoline. All wore
the sari over the head, completely covering the neck and shoulders, and
the short-sleeved bodice underneath, which just crosses the breast and
nothing more. They were laden with ornaments, and only too delighted
to take off each one separately to show me--their bead necklaces with
gold fringes, their amulets, their bangles on the ankles, the arms, and
above the elbow; their earrings, two inches long, weighed down with gold
tassels; their nose-rings, as large as a bangle-ring, and which one took
out of her cartilage, allowing that it hurt her. Their feet gave the
appearance of being covered with a silver toe-piece, so massive were the
rings and ornaments on each toe. The rings for their hands were made
joined, for two fingers to pass through at once. Families of children
and babies were brought and gathered into the room by degrees with their
attendants, who are treated quite on an equality, and it was becoming
very crowded when an adjournment was suggested by Miss Joyce.

We were each taken by the hand, and led upstairs to the zenana
apartments; here the rooms were small, but very neat and clean. The
floors were all wadded, and covered with linen, to enable them to sit
comfortably cross-legged on it. There were a few pictures on the wall,
and they showed me a common cottage clock in a corner, which they
evidently considered most curious, and of priceless value. They took
me into their sleeping apartments, and made me sit down on their bed,
lifting up the curtains and showing me their curious little cheek pillows
laid against the bolster. And then they went up some narrow flights
of stairs, and passed a courtyard being repaired, whence the men had
been carefully cleared by the eunuch, and only fled when warned of C.'s
existence on the top of the roof!

All this time left alone, he had been carrying on a conversation by
means of animated signs, and they had been examining his watch, hat, and
gloves with interest. In descending we were shown the Dunbar hall, and
one of the living rooms--such a bare, dirty dungeon.

On returning to the room the usual ceremony was gone through of the
presentation of baskets of fruit; the garland of flowers being thrown
over our heads, and the sticky paste of sandal-wood and otto of roses
smeared on the hands by the host, and returned by the guest.

The zenana women are allowed very occasionally to drive out in a gharry
with the shutters closed, and with muslin again hung before these, but
none of the servants or men of the household are even then allowed to
see them, save those only they have brought from their father's house.
It takes a long time before a chief can be persuaded to allow his zenana
to be visited by a European lady, and the present Maharajah refused
entrance to his zenana to the Duchess of Connaught, because several of
the other rajput maharajahs have not allowed their zenanas to be seen by
any European woman.

Here then, I say, is the opportunity for the lady doctors of England.
When tired of struggling against the blind prejudice that continues
to bar their way to advancement at home, here is the wide field of
usefulness, the work of charity for their suffering and imprisoned
sex--these poor zenana women.[8] When the European doctor is called in
(and it is only in very bad cases) he feels the pulse of the patient
through the purdah, or sometimes through three or four. The women suffer
terribly, and die from the want of ordinary skill and care, particularly
in their confinements, when no doctor can be called in.

We visited the Raj school, established for girls, and which corresponds
to that of the college for boys. Miss Joyce has enrolled on her books
pupils who are classed as follows, "Unmarried, married, or widows!" The
Hindu girls are married as early as ten years of age. The education
is supposed to be entirely secular, but she has a class for religious
instruction--a Sunday-school at her bungalow on Sunday.

We drove home through the Zoological Gardens, which are extremely pretty
and well laid-out. At their entrance is the Mayo Hospital, dedicated to
Lord Mayo by the late Maharajah, who was his personal friend, and further
on is the Albert Hall, or Town Hall, the memorial of the Prince of Wales'
visit. Jeypore is celebrated for its marble quarries, of which so many of
the beautiful buildings in India are built, notably the Taj.

We left Jeypore that evening, and arrived at Ajmere at the inconvenient
hour of midnight. This did not prevent Major Loch, the Principal of
the Mayo College, in his kindness, coming to meet us at the station,
and driving us to his abode inside the grounds. He has a most charming
"_house_," for bungalow it cannot be called, as it possesses the
remarkable feature for India of a staircase.

Mayo College was founded by the late Lord Mayo for the education of
the sons of rajahs. It was a grand and statesmanlike idea, this scheme
for the education of the native ruler, under the immediate guidance of
English master minds, thereby engendering a patriotism and attachment to
England as a mother country, raising and elevating the tone and domestic
life of the native prince, who in his turn was being prepared to wield
power humanely, and make the influence of his bringing up felt on those
around him. It was the stone dropped in the pool, with ever-widening and
concentric influence.

The College is very happily situated under the lee of an amphitheatre
of hills, that rise, like all those in this part of the country, sheer
out of the plain. It is a very charming feature of the College, the ten
houses, of such very varied architecture and style, that lie about the
compound, for each state has built and endowed its own college, for the
use of the sons of its nobles. There has been a certain amount of rivalry
exhibited in their erection. Some have marble cupolas, others arches, and
others towers; some are of pure white marble, others a mixture of white
and red stone; all are tasteful and uncommon. In the centre, and holding
them together as a mother university, is the College Hall, with its clock
tower, entirely built of white marble, but rough hewn and unpolished.
In the centre hall stands the statue of Lord Mayo; the class-rooms
lie around it. The white, green, pink, and black marbles used for the
decorations of the hall are all quarried within a radius of fifteen miles
around Ajmere.

These colleges are really boarding-houses, where each prince brings his
own establishment of servants. One lately admitted, brought twenty-two
retainers, which, with some difficulty, Major Loch reduced to eleven.
They ride, play cricket, tennis, and football, and are encouraged to
be as European in manners and habits as possible. With all this Major
Loch does not approve or encourage their being sent to England when
their education is complete, as they return impressed with a sense of
their own importance; of the number of their servants, their jewels,
their state and magnificence compared to that of the same class in
England. The native states represented by their colleges at Ajmere are
as follows:--Jeypore, Alwar, Bhurtpoor, Ajmere, Tonk Bikanir, Toohpur
or Narwar, Kotah, Thallawar, and Udaipur. It is often observed that the
College of Jeypore stands apart from the others. The late Maharajah of
Jeypore was very angry with Dholpore being allowed the first choice of
site, and so he built his college outside the compound. It is only lately
that Major Loch has succeeded in smoothing his vanity, and been allowed
to include Jeypore, thus completing the circle.

After seeing the College we drove through the walled city of the native
population, as Ajmere bazaar is particularly picturesque and dirty. It
lies on the hill-side, and the glimpse of mountains as a background to
the narrow streets adds to this effect.

There is a very curious tank here, filled with slimy green water, which
lies in a natural hollow on the hill-side. Houses lie above it; and the
marble courts and gilded minarets of a mosque overhang it on one side.
The only access to the tank is by innumerable flights of irregular steps
running up and down in all directions. Up and down these steps are always
staggering innumerable bheesties, bent under the weight of their bursting
skins, and disappearing through the archway of the passage tunnelled
through to the street.

Then we drove on to the Adhai-din-ka-Ghompra, which is very interesting,
on account of its being a Hindu Temple, with the facing of a Mohammedan
mosque. The signification of its long-drawn-out name literally is, "the
screen of two and a half days," which is generally supposed to mean that
it was built in that short space of time; but Major Loch and others take
a more practical view, in suggesting that it meant compulsory labour from
every man of two and a half days. The lofty arches are most splendidly
carved, and verses of the Koran are introduced among the bold design of
the tracery. Inside you see irregular rows of Hindu pillars, carved with
that grotesque figure-life of the gods of Hindu religion. These pillars
are easily detected to be in three separate pieces, and were doubtless
piled on each other to give the necessary height for a Mohammedan mosque,
by comparison with the low, intricate structure of pillars of a Hindu
temple. General Cunningham, the archæologist, considers this mosque the
most interesting piece of antiquity in India.

We are much struck, as are all new arrivals in India, with the ridiculous
number of servants required in one establishment. All say it is
unavoidable, as each servant will only undertake one duty, and the wages
given are extremely small; and there is another thing, you never know
what your servant eats, nor where he sleeps--he "finds" himself in a very
comprehensive sense of the term. The caste compels the first institution,
and the second is in accordance with the habit of all natives. I thought
it very strange at first to see the verandahs full of recumbent figures
wrapped in their quilts and striped blankets, and looking like so many
corpses. They sleep on the mats outside the door, under a tree, or on the
road--it is all the same to them where it is, so long as they may sleep
long and heavily, for all natives are very somnolent.

I think it may perhaps be interesting to give a complete list of servants
necessary for the _smallest_ Indian establishment:--

    One sirdár-bearer (body-servant and valet).

    Two maté-bearers (under-bearers, one to wait on child and ayah).

    One or two ayahs (maid and nurse).

    One khansamah (literally "Lord of the stores"), butler and head
    table-servant.

    Two khitmutgars (under table-servants).

    One coachman.

    Two syces, or grooms for one pair of horses (the allowance being
    one syce and one grass-cutter to _every_ horse).

    Two ghasiaras (grass-cutters).

    One chuprássi (literally badge-bearer), carrier of letters and
    messages.

    One sirdár-mati (head-gardener).

    One or two máte-matés (under-gardeners).

    One bheestie (water-carrier).

    One masátchi (literally torchbearer), scullion.

    One cook.

    One mihtu (sweeper).

    One mithráni (sweeper-woman).

    One dhobi (washerman).

In all twenty-three, and it must be remembered that all are absolutely
necessary, as, for instance, no khitmutgar or máti-bearer would take a
note or message in place of the chuprássi, and above all, one native in a
garden or elsewhere would do a fraction only of the work of the same man
in England.

Anglo-Indians are inordinate "grumblers." There is much to be said on
their side; the exile for the best years of their life, the return then
to England to be looked down upon as a "dried-up Indian official," the
separation entailed from children, the same imposed upon wife from
either husband or child, the exigencies of the climate, &c.; but on
the other hand it ought to be remembered that the salaries are very
large, the pensions fairly so in proportion, and that they are enabled
to have far more luxuries in India than they could possibly hope for at
home--abundance of horses and carriages, superabundance (I had almost
said) of servants, at any rate sufficient to enable no Anglo-Indian ever
to do or move for himself, and horses enough never to walk. I found a
few, but yet a very few who took this view of the case, allowing that at
home they would keep two, or at the most three, servants, and have no
carriages or horses.

In the afternoon we drove to the lake, which is a beautiful feature of
Ajmere. It is a lovely sheet of water--an Italian lake in miniature,
with its marble balconies and platforms, with its white houses hanging
over the water on the city side, while the other is formed by a range
of mountains. It looked particularly smiling this afternoon, with a
declining sun, as we toiled up to the Residency. This bungalow has a
most perfect situation, built high up on a rocky platform, with broad
verandah-rooms overlooking the lake. It seemed a pity that Colonel
Bradford, the Resident, is only able to reside here for two months in the
year.

In returning we passed the handsome stone building of the offices of the
Rajputana-Malwar Railway, whose headquarters are at Ajmere. The adjoining
bungalows of officials and clerks form quite a "line" to themselves. In
the evening we performed the customary programme of going to the club
for an hour, and then the drive home in the dark was made romantically
beautiful by the illumination of the tomb of an old saint on the
mountain-side, the lights seeming to glimmer and twinkle in mid-air in
the density of the darkness.

We left Ajmere that evening, catching up the mail train again at
midnight, and travelling for eighteen hours all night and through the
day, till we reached Ahmedabad at five this afternoon.

_Saturday, February 6th._--Chota hazri after the usual Indian custom, and
then a morning's sight-seeing before breakfast at 10 a.m.

Ahmedabad ranks in population as the second town in the Bombay
Presidency; and the native quarters, as usual enclosed within a city
wall, entered by no less than seventeen gateways, is very large. There is
very little of interest to be seen at Ahmedabad. We drove first to the
Mogul Viceroy's palace, that of Azim Khán, which has two massive Norman
towers flanking the gateway. It forms now a very suitable entrance for
its present purpose, for the _ci-devant_ palace is now the jail of the
district.

On the other side lies the European quarter, the jail thus forming the
boundary-line between the native and European populations. By the side
of the walls, hidden away in a corner, are the celebrated windows of
the Bhadar. They represent the trunk, branches, and foliage of a single
tree in each window, in the carved and fretted stone-work. They are
exceedingly beautiful, so much so, that copies of them are in the South
Kensington Museum.

The Kankariya Tank is very pretty, and, with its raised causeway leading
to the garden island in its midst, has become a favourite evening resort.
Near here are seen to rise the beautiful minars of the mosque of Shah
Alam, the spiritual adviser and friend of Sultan Ahméd, the founder
of the city. Within the court lies the tomb, with double galleries of
fretwork--its chief beauty--and it is remarkable that each panel of the
double screens is carved in a different pattern and device. The canopy
is of oak, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, precious now, as it has become a
lost art to the workmen of Ahmedabad.

They have the uncomfortable custom here of covering the marble sarcophagi
with precious stuffs; thus, on entering one of these tombs the effect
produced is as of a row of coffins covered with palls, more especially
when, as frequently, wreaths are laid on them.

Then we followed the usual round of mosques, tombs, and temples, of which
we, as well as my readers, I am sure, are wearying--the mosques being
represented by the Jamma Mosque--a Hindu temple with Mohammedan arches
and network of pillars (date 1567); the tombs by those of Ahméd Shah,
the aforesaid founder of the city, and those of his queens; the temples
by a purely Hindu one, now called the mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri.
Monkeys swarm in the city, and look upon these temples and tombs as their
rightful inheritance.

We notice a great difference amongst the lower orders now that we are
in the Bombay Presidency as compared to that of Bengal. The natives
look more well-to-do, are more clothed. There are fewer of those
"savage-clothed" coolies, with their single strip of muslin around the
loins. The neatly-plaited Hindu turban supersedes the hitherto more
common loosely-wound Mohammedan one.

We left Ahmedabad by the ten o'clock train, and reached Baroda at 4.30 in
the afternoon. Here we stayed five hours to catch up the mail train in
the evening to Bombay.

We were reduced to taking a curious native cart at the station for a
drive round the city. It was not quite an ekka, nor yet quite a tea-cart,
but a cross between the two; and the small plank seats were put crossways
and not lengthways, one behind the other. We jolted about in this for two
hours till we suffered severely from a feeling of dislocation in many of
our joints.

Baroda is a small and pretty city without any pretensions to special
interest, save as the capital and residence of the celebrated Gaekwar
of Baroda. We drove first to the pretty garden where stands his
summer-house, and his cage of wild beasts. The native quarter is very
large--more than usually picturesque, and the four main streets meet
in the lines of a cross at a gateway, a lofty structure in white and
yellow plaster. Here the guard keeps watch, a single sentry on the lofty
platform of its tower commanding the whole view of the city. From his
post of observation we saw a sight unequalled for the artist-loving
eye--for at the moment a wedding procession was slowly threading its way
from under the gateway below us, streaming away down the street in gay
ribbons, narrowing with the perspective, and finally disappearing
through a grey gateway further away. The block in the streets occasioned
by the motley procession of ekkas and bullock-carts, and the acclamations
of the crowd, further added to the striking scene.

Just beyond this gateway is the grand, grim, grey old palace of the
Gaekwar. A covered gallery leads to the blue and yellow quarters of the
zenana, seeming to tell of the "airy-fairy," do-nothing life of the
zenana ladies by comparison with the sterner duties of the men--as if the
Gaekwar liked to pass from the duties of the grey palace to the light
pleasures and recreation of the gay-coloured zenana. The green buildings
of the barracks are near, and the orange and yellow verandah of the
police-station lower down, together forming a vivid collection of colour.
The Gaekwar's cavalry paraded the streets in twos and threes, and a guard
was in waiting outside the palace gate to accompany his carriage. We
drove on further to see the gold and silver cannon. There are four gold
cannon mounted on silver carriages! kept in a yard, where many _white_
horses are stabled round, for in the prince's stables none but white
horses are found.

In returning to the station we were fortunate enough to see another
curious sight, during our few hours' stay only at Baroda. Heralded by a
mounted body-guard, and a running, shouting escort, the ladies of the
harem passed swiftly by. The barouche was carefully closed and curtained,
with a duenna standing up with the eunuch behind. The guard from the
guard-house turned out to salute, bugle, and beat a tattoo.

We passed repeatedly leopards being paraded through the streets by their
keepers, the pariah or "pi" dogs barking furiously at them. The animal
strained at his chains, and walking with stealthy, springing step,
glaring cautiously around for his prey, but the people do not fear their
escaping, and are very proud of their Gaekwar's wild beasts. There is an
arena at Baroda where he occasionally holds a wild-beast fight.

We came back to the station by a beautiful and stately avenue of
banyan-trees.

Leaving Baroda by the mail train that night, at seven the next morning we
found ourselves stopping at the various stations along the great Queen's
Road of Bombay, bordered by the sea.

We drove to Watson's Hotel on the Esplanade, kept by the same proprietor,
and a counterpart of the discomfort and dirt of the Great Eastern at
Calcutta.

We spent a quiet day driving out to Government House at Parell, six miles
away from the town, and a far from pleasant drive through some native
quarter. Sir James Fergusson is away at Calcutta, paying a farewell visit
to the Viceroy, as he leaves India early in March.

We went to the cathedral in the evening for service, as following the
usual custom of always "thinking it hot," the morning service is held at
7 a.m.

It is to be observed that all Anglo-Indians labour under the idea of a
perpetual and unabated heat in India. They always suggest you should
start in the morning at some very early hour, "to be home before it is
hot," and at all stations, and in Calcutta and Bombay, the habit prevails
of never going out driving in the evening till just before sunset and
darkness, as there is little twilight in these southern latitudes. For
ourselves we have suffered more from the cold than the heat in India,
but travelling in the winter gives, I am willing to allow, an erroneous
idea of the climate, and gives you also no appreciable idea of the heat.
Suffice it to say, oh! Anglo-Indians, that it is _not_ always hot in
India.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 7: The Fortress has now been given back to the Maharajah.]

[Footnote 8: Since this was written, Lady Dufferin has founded a society
with this excellent object in view.]



CHAPTER XX.

THE HOME OF THE PARSEES.


_Monday, February 9th._--Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeeboy very kindly called
for us in the morning with his break and magnificent pair of English
carriage-horses, undertaking to show us something of Bombay.

Sir Jamsetjee is the well-known and respected head of the Parsees, whose
home may be said to be in Bombay. The Parsees claim to follow the oldest
religion in the world, that of the Persian religion of Zoroaster the Fire
Worshipper, and of the 100,000 which their sect numbers, 60,000 live in
Bombay.

"Rampart Row" leads to the banyan-bordered avenue of the maidan or park,
but leaving this to our right, we drove on to the Esplanade, the broad
open space facing the sea which contains such a magnificent series of
public buildings. Here are the Secretariat, the University Hall and
Library designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, the post-office, the Clock Tower
with its carillons, the municipal offices and the High Court--all pretty
edifices in architectural fancifulness of colour and design--of buff
brick with red, of interlacing arches and pillars. We surveyed this fine
block from the parade-ground, where a small body of troops were being
exercised, and some young ladies enjoying their early morning canter,
for it was as yet but 7 a.m. Then we drove along Queen's Road, the
fashionable evening drive. I was going to say it bordered the seashore,
but, unfortunately, the line of the railway intervenes between it and the
sea. This is the road which might be paved with gold, so great was the
amount of the funds sunk by the company formed for the reclamation of
this strip of land. It was the scene of ruin and despair for many of the
Bombay citizens whose fortunes disappeared with the progress of the road.

We looked into the Crawford Markets for a minute, and were surprised at
the order and cleanliness, the exception to the rule that "where the
native reigns there, there is filth, disorder, and uncleanness." Then
Sir Jamsetjee took us to the Art School, founded by his grandfather, the
first baronet, by the gift of a lak of rupees (10,000_l._). Mr. Griffith,
an old South Kensingtonian, showed us through the various rooms where,
beginning with freehand drawing up to modelling from their own designs,
we saw classes of pupils receiving lessons here at the nominal fee of one
rupee per month. Then we went across to the pottery works where "Bombay
ware" is manufactured. This is a speciality of the city. The antique
shapes of the vases and pots are often designed from the frescoes found
in the Caves of Ajunta, and they are coloured in rich and peculiar blues,
browns, and greens. It is very interesting to watch the pupils at work,
for each article is drawn and coloured separately by hand.

We drove through and in and out of the native quarter, which is much
broader and cleaner than that at Calcutta. Hindu temples abound,
with their throng of worshippers passing constantly, up and down the
steps, and touching as they enter the deep-toned bell; thus keeping it
ceaselessly tolling. One street was quite blocked by an immense crowd
streaming down a narrow by-way. They were Hindus going to pay their daily
visit, rarely omitted, to present a customary offering in kind to their
bishop, a fat old man who sits almost naked in the court to receive
their homage. Remains of the enthusiastic admiration for Lord Ripon on
his departure from Bombay, still remain in the "Long live, Ripon!" "Dear
Empress, send us another Ripon!" "A grateful people admire thee, oh
Ripon!" inscribed over the doorways of the native houses. They say that
no sight has ever equalled the extraordinary enthusiasm, the enormous
crowds that lined the six miles of road from Government House at Parell,
to the Apollo Bunder at Bombay. Not even on the occasion of the Prince of
Wales' arrival were such masses of human beings seen.

Then we went to the Hospital and Home for Animals, a very novel
institution, also founded and endowed by Sir Jamsetjee's father, for a
sum of ten laks of rupees. To understand its full use and the benevolence
of its purpose, it must be remembered that, according to the law of their
religion, no Hindu is allowed to kill an animal. It may be tortured in
agony, it may be blind and lame, or if unable to work, turned out into
the streets to be ill-used, starve, and die, but never must it be put out
of its misery. A pious Hindu will often pay some rupees to save an animal
about to be slaughtered by the butcher, and will afterwards bring it here
to the Home. All animals lamed or maimed are received into this "general
hospital," and attended to by a veterinary surgeon. In the stalls full of
oxen, we saw some with a foot amputated, others with sore backs, or skin
diseases, others blind, or otherwise injured. Horses, oxen, dogs, goats,
cats, fowls, ducks--even two porcupines and a tortoise are sheltered in
this "refuge." There is the hospital where those are sent who are very
ill, and it is quite pathetic to see the poor animals here turning and
looking dumbly at us, as if asking for compassion. When convalescent or
the case is pronounced incurable they are sent up to the "mofussil,"
or country home, for change of air, or else to pass the remainder of
their natural term of existence, leading an easy, pleasant life in the
compound. Those cured are sometimes given to people who are known to be
humane, but never sent back to work.

Such are the peculiar provisions and working of the Hospital for Animals.

We are certainly very much pleased with Bombay when compared to Calcutta.
There is so much more to see, so many more places to drive to. How
charming we thought the quaint little corner by the sea, the well-known
Apollo Bunder, jutting out in three-cornered fashion from the wharf!
How familiar we became with two characteristic features of Bombay, the
Arab horses, that are used almost exclusively, and the high cones of the
peculiar Parsee "helmet!" There is always Back Bay to look at, with the
quiet expanse of water at high tide, the slush with mussel-shells at low
tide, lying and taking a generous sweep inwards, between the projecting
promontories of Colaba and Malabar, or between the Government House on
the latter point, and the lighthouse on the tongue of the former. The
Queen's Road, with the high walls of the Burning Ghât, whence at night
issues a lurid flame, runs round to the bottom of Malabar Hill.

All the Europeans reside on Malabar Hill, and the many handsome bungalows
(hardly bungalows they can be called, considering that they are nearly
all two-storied) lie about among the palm groves facing seawards, and
overlooking the harbour. The sea surrounds Malabar Point, thus from
both sides they catch stray breezes wandering about in summer time. At
the prettiest bungalow on Malabar Hill, that of the Commissioner of
Police, Sir Frank Souter, with whom lives the Chief Justice, Sir Charles
Sargeant, we were destined subsequently to spend a very pleasant evening.
The ladies' gymkana is a special feature of "the hill," and here tennis
and badminton in covered courts is played every evening, whilst the
children hold their own reception amongst the swings and merry-go-rounds,
arriving on their donkeys and ponies with their numerous attendants.

When seen, as we did this evening, with the crimson sunset over the
sea, the light just appearing in the clock-tower of the Secretariat
away down in Bombay, with the single bright lights dotted along Queen's
Road--Malabar Hill looked very beautiful. And then as we came down the
steep hill, and met all the residents returning home in the dusk after
listening to the band on the Esplanade, we looked up and saw the three
electric lights which have just been placed at the summit of the hill
with such striking effect.

_Wednesday, February 11th._--At 10 a.m. we embarked in the police
launch, kindly lent us by Sir Frank Souter, for a visit to the "Caves of
Elephanta."

Ten miles' quick steaming across the harbour, navigated by the smart crew
in the pretty uniform of navy-blue with scarlet sash and fez, brought
us to the so-called jetty. It consists of blocks of stone run out some
distance into the sea, but with large spaces left for it to wash between.
Hopping over these interstices we landed, and were carried up the hill in
a dandy.

These wonderful Caves are in the hill-side, that is to say, they have
been sculptured out of the solid wall of rock in its side, having a roof
several hundred feet thick. The pillars seem to support the upper mass,
but they do not really do so, as in several instances, capitals like
huge stalactites are left suspended, the pillar beneath having entirely
disappeared. On entering we find ourselves confronted by monster figures,
mythological giants carved in relief on the wall, and in the recesses of
the cave.

One group represents the Amazon goddess, Durga, the wife of Siva, with a
single breast. She is riding on the sacred bull, and the face of passive
endurance, the large meek eyes of the animal, are very characteristic. In
a recess apart we see a god and goddess, with arms close together, the
hands broken, but showing that they were joined. The goddess stands at
his right hand (in ancient days, the position in marriage), and on both
faces there is such a happy expression, the face of the god in particular
beaming with a smile, that it leads one to believe they were in the act
of being united. There is a crescent concealed in a corner here, while a
cross, probably unintentional, can be traced in the bas-relief opposite.
In this latter there is a beautiful allegorical picture. The upper part
represents a fresco of angels or beings employed in doing good--this is
immortality, the higher and better part of life; whilst below on earth
stands Durga in revengeful attitude, holding the bowl for the blood of
the victim being sacrificed to her--that is the mortal, the cruel, the
lower representation of the Hindu religion.

The preservation of these caves is most remarkable; you see palm-trees,
demons, skulls, the beads of a necklace, the protruding bumps on the
forehead of a god, all distinctly preserved, while, on the other hand,
pillars, and legs and arms of the figures are entirely wanting. One
wonders how, and by what means the one was destroyed, and the other
preserved.

[Illustration: The Caves of Elephanta, Bombay.

    Page 356.]

Two inscriptions have been discovered, but are at present undecipherable,
and the exact date of the cave remains therefore in mystery. They are,
however, generally supposed to be about 4000 years old, and without doubt
were originally joined to the mainland.

In the afternoon Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeeboy took us to the Parsee Towers of
Silence.

Many think the rite of burial as performed by the Parsees by exposing the
body on an open tower to be devoured by vultures, is not only wanting
in respect to the dead, but is a revolting and disgusting feature of
their religion. I know that the European inhabitants of Bombay cordially
participate in the latter feeling. For ourselves, whatever we may have
thought or heard previously, after visiting and having explained to us
the Tower of Silence, we came away greatly impressed with the beauty of
many of the thoughts it suggested. It can hardly be believed what living
significance each act has, nor what tender and solemn thoughts rest
around the poetic name of the "Tower of Silence."

Five round white towers stand in different parts of a garden, situated
amid the palm-groves of the hill-top. It is surrounded on two sides
by the sea, and the fresh salt breezes are for ever blowing over the
peninsula, and rustling among the palm-trees, sighing in the utter
stillness and silence of all around.

According to the Zoroastrian religion, earth, fire, and water are sacred,
and very useful to mankind; and in order to avoid their pollution by
contact with putrefying flesh, the faith strictly enjoins that the dead
bodies shall not be buried in the ground, or burnt, or thrown into
the sea, rivers, &c. Therefore, in accordance with these religious
injunctions, the Towers of Silence are always situated on some hill or
eminence away from the city. No expense is spared in their construction,
that they may last for centuries without the possibility of polluting of
the earth, or contaminating any living beings dwelling therein.

No single soul since the consecration and use of the towers has been
allowed to go or see inside them, save only the corpse-bearers. These
latter are men kept sacred for the purpose, and they are divided into two
classes, named Nassalars and Khadhias. The former having gone through
certain religious ceremonies, are alone privileged to carry the corpse
into the towers, whilst the latter act as bearers at the funeral.

The model of the tower in the garden shows us their construction. There
is a circular platform inside about 300 feet in circumference, which is
entirely paved with stone slabs, and divided into three rows of shallow
open receptacles, corresponding with the three moral precepts of the
Zoroastrian religion, "good deeds," "good words," "good thoughts." The
first row is for corpses of males; the second row is for corpses of
females; the third row is for corpses of children. They diminish towards
the centre in size. Footpaths are left for the corpse-bearers to move
about on.

The clothes wrapped round the bodies are removed and destroyed by being
cast into a pit of chloride of lime. "Naked we came into this world, and
naked we ought to leave it," the Parsees maintain.

A deep central well in the tower, the sides and bottom of which are also
paved with stone slabs, is used for depositing the dry bones. The corpse
is completely stripped of its flesh by vultures within an hour or two of
being deposited, and the bones of the denuded skeleton, when perfectly
dried up by atmospheric influences and the powerful heat of the tropical
sun, are thrown into this well, where they crumble into dust--thus the
rich and the poor meet together on one level of equality after death.

To observe the tenet of the Zoroastrian belief, that "the mother earth
shall not be defiled," this well is constructed on the following
principle: there are holes in the inner sides of the well, through which
the rain-water is carried into four underground drains at the base of
the tower, for it must be remembered that the well, like the rest of the
tower, is all exposed and open to the air. At the end of each of these
drains pieces of charcoal and sandstone are placed to act as a filter,
thus purifying the water before it enters into the ground.

The vultures (nature's scavengers) do their work much more expeditiously
than millions of insects would do if dead bodies were buried in the
ground. By this rapid process putrefaction, with all its concomitant
evils, is most effectually prevented.

Along the straight white road, up the steps, winds the procession, always
on foot. The mourners and friends are all clothed in pure white, wear
"flowing full-dress robes," walking in pairs, and each couple are hand
in hand, and joined together by holding a handkerchief between them in
token of "sympathetic grief." The body is carried on an iron bier by the
appointed bearers.

At the gate of the garden it is borne away out of their sight to the
chosen tower, where generally some other relative has been previously
laid. The mourners may follow it no longer, and turn towards the room
kept for that purpose, where a religious service is held. It is within
sight of the temple, where the sacred fire of Zoroaster is eternally kept
burning, glimmering out in the silence and darkness of the night to the
towers of the dead, shadowing forth the glimmer of truth, which is yet
found in this ancient religion.

Quoting, as I have previously done, from the description of the model
of the Tower of Silence, as drawn up by the able Parsee secretary, he
sums up their religion in the following simple words: "According to the
Zoroastrian religion the soul is immortal. Men and women are free moral
agents, and are responsible to the great Creator for their acts and
deeds. In proportion to their good or bad acts and deeds, they meet with
rewards or punishments in the next world. Pious and virtuous persons meet
with happiness, but the wicked and sinful suffer pain and misery."

Thus, as will be seen in the Parsee Towers of Silence, each act, each
form of ceremony shows forth some Scriptural type--some moral reason,
suggests some holy truth. Apart from these there is the other important
consideration of the benefit thereby obtained to the living.

In these latter days when over crowded cemeteries and the levelling of
graveyards in the midst of our metropolis have called forth the cry
of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust," by some new means, and some means
quicker than the old; when even cremation has come within the bounds of
possibility, surely the Parsee mode of burial will commend itself to
many foreseeing minds. True that we do not like to think of the vultures
hovering around the funeral procession for the last few miles, nor of
others awaiting it, perched on, and greedily gazing down into, the tower;
but is it so much worse than "the millions of insects of the ground"
of our burial, of which the Parsee speaks with such horror? All morbid
feelings, aggravated by frequent visits to the graveyard, are thus
avoided. We are told that one hour after the body has passed through that
small hole in the tower it is reduced to its natural state. No gradual
decay, no mouldering, scarce any remains. It is known that, according to
the Parsee burial, each body is reduced to one handful of dust. Thus,
within the last half-century, more than 50,000 persons have been buried
in these towers, and yet there is no end to their capacity for room.

The Parsees, as a body, are most enlightened and civilized, and not to
be named with the Hindus. They are European in comparison. And, without
doubt, it is in great measure owing to their true and moral religion, of
which the rite of burial--the Tower of Silence--is the most beautiful
feature.

_Thursday, February 12th._--C. met a large and influential gathering of
representative natives and editors of the vernacular press at the Native
Public Library, called together by the Hon. K. Telang. They explained to
him their views upon the leading Indian questions of the day, and dwelt
strongly upon the urgent necessity of education for their women.

We had a drive in the evening out to Byculla, where many rich Parsee
merchants have houses, It was one of those beautiful seashore drives,
with salt breezes and waving palm-trees, that makes Bombay, I think, such
a pleasant place of residence.

Our last day in India had come. It was our farewell remembrance, and
India has been by far the most interesting country of our travels
hitherto. Who could help being charmed and engrossed with the multitude
and antiquity of the monuments of the past? It is not the intention of
this volume to give more than a simple account of our travels; but for
those who care to study the mystic poetry and religion that is interwoven
with the history of the wild tribes who, horde after horde, race after
race, pierced through the passes of Afghanistan and from Central Asia.,
"that breeding-place of all nations," poured down upon this vast country,
there is literature enough already.

It is truly said, "India forms a great museum of all races, in which
we can study man from his lowest to the highest stages of culture. The
specimens are not fossils or dry bones, but living tribes, each with its
own set of curious customs and rites."

I have, however, been very unfavourably impressed with an Anglo-Indian
life, not so much from a man's, perhaps, as from a woman's point of view.

If of active temperament, health will in time suffer from exertion during
the hot season, and, if otherwise inclined, it is a life of such utter
laziness as to unfit any one for life at home afterwards. The social life
at civil and military stations is, and must always be, _cliquée_ in the
extreme.

We had grumbled ceaselessly at the atrocious hotels, with their cold
comfort; at the life and habits in general; at many things, Indian and
Anglo-Indian, and yet now turning homewards, our feelings were softened,
and we were sorry to think of leaving another of the new countries seen,
and to think that another period of proscribed time had slipped away so
quickly.

Henceforth our travels were destined to be on beaten tracks.

With a sigh of pleasurable regret we stood on the deck of the P. and O.
steamer _Peshawur_, and steamed past the ugly docks and frontage, which
must create such an unfavourable impression on new arrivals to Bombay;
looked our last on Back Bay and on Colaba Lighthouse, on Malabar Point
and Malabar Hill. We stood out to sea, and lost sight of Indian soil in
the growing dusk of twilight.



CHAPTER XXI.

THROUGH EGYPT--HOMEWARDS.


Life on board the well-known decks of the P. and O. is too familiar to
require much record.

"A swell from the coast," on the first day, is the usual experience, and
ours proved no exception. Few were ill, but all, including ourselves,
felt more or less uncomfortable.

Fortunately we are too early for the swarm of Indian mothers who, with
their tribes of spoilt and sickly children, will be setting homewards
next month, before the heat begins; for seventy children is no uncommon
number at that season of the year.

Five days slipped by thus pleasantly, and on Thursday morning, the 19th,
at 5.30, we were lying off Aden.

I looked out of my port-hole and saw the jagged, smoke-coloured peaks
of Little Aden, dull against the rosy-flushed clouds. Presently, when I
could get dressed, and escape through the clouds of coal-dust, outside my
deck-cabin door, I saw the yet grander and picturesque peaks of the rock
mountains of Aden proper. The decks were seatless, and smeared with sand,
and everything in a pitiable condition from the coaling operations. On a
very dull, cloudy morning, Aden looked more than usually dreary.

C. had gone ashore to find out the latest news on the reopening of
Parliament, as upon that depended whether we should continue homewards
in the _Peshawur_, or disembark and await the Messageries' boat for the
Cape, _viâ_ Mauritius, at Aden. He returned reassured, and we gladly
accepted the kind hospitality tendered to us by General Blair, the
Resident.

To the passing traveller, from the deck of the P. and O., Aden presents
the appearance of a small station, with some white, low-roofed buildings
and military lines--utter sterility, utter desolation, exposed to the
baking heat of tropical sun, reflected in tenfold intensity from the
rocks around.

Yet the magnificent rough-hewn boulders of rocks piled up into mountains
behind Aden have a certain stern beauty and wild grandeur of their own.
It is like what one imagines Mount Sinai to be on a near approach, only
darker, and more awe-inspiring--less humanly attainable.

Among the deep clefts and along the bold crags of the sky-line, you can
trace strange profiles of unknown faces or the outline of an animal, and
the longer you look the more distinct and life-like they become. On the
sombre purple-blue colours of these mountains are reflected the glowing
colours of the sunset, changing them to warm madder, brown, and pink.

There is no sign of vegetation. No green thing will grow, withered by
the hot winds that blow across the sandy wastes of Arabia; but what Aden
loses by living Nature, she gains from her in artificial means. The glory
of the sunset and the sunrise over the Indian Ocean is unparalleled.

Again I say Aden has beauties of her own, which, like others, we had
imagined very much absent. The formation of the peninsula is a very
puzzling bit of geography, but the cliffs and capes formed of those
loosely-bound masses of boulder, jut out strikingly and unexpectedly
into the sea. Their blue-grey tints dip into the turquoise-coloured
ocean, and with a strip of yellow sand, form the only three colours that
can be found at Aden.

It would hardly be believed what natural signal-stations are ready to
hand. The mounds, not of earth, but of rocks, seem naturally to taper
into the crowning flagstaff. A grand command of the Gates of the Red Sea,
the Coast of Arabia, and the Indian Ocean, has the signal-station on the
summit of the highest point, 1300 feet sheer up.

In the afternoon Mrs. Blair took us for a drive--the one drive it must be
confessed--along the Bunder, or seashore, to the military depôt at the
Isthmus.

Descending into the hollow, we saw the sapper and miners' lines, the
barracks and the hospital, the church, and the bungalows of the P. and
O. and Messageries' agents, who form the civilian community of Aden;
then driving along the seashore, the "town," with its hotels and shops,
contained in the one sweep of the Prince of Wales' Crescent.

Camels striding over the sandy desert by the roadside, and a strange
mingling of desert tribes, seemed the natural accompaniments to this sand
of Arabia.

We saw sturdy Arabs with their thick legs and short-set frame, Persians,
Indians, Somales, Soudanese, and Nubians--the two latter tribes as
black as soot--Jews, whom we knew by their funny little corkscrew
curls, bobbing on either side of the face, and who are still here the
down-trodden race of the 12th century, degraded and trampled upon by the
Arab. Then there are a tribe of fishermen called the Eastern Pirates,
and most romantic-looking with their wild, dare-devil faces, and long,
smoked-yellow robe, the colour of one of their own weather-worn sails.

The Arabs have their heads plastered with white clay, found along the
coast, which turns the colour of the hair to a bright yellow, making
it at the same time stiff and frizzy. The Arab women have their faces
covered with a thin spotted handkerchief, but even without this you would
single them out by their easy swinging walk. Women of other tribes wear
their hair _en chignon_, covered with black muslin, and red or orange
saris crossed over the chest, to leave their black arms free.

We drove along the rocky rampart, which reminds me much of a smaller, a
very much smaller range of Rocky Mountains. You soon grow accustomed
to expect nothing but rocky surfaces and sand at Aden, and are quite
surprised at the suspicion of green under the lee of the range; a little
wild mignonette, snapdragon, or lupin--a pretty flower with a terrible
odour--which are trying to exist there.

We pass several unenclosed and disused Mohammedan cemeteries by the
roadside, and at last see the end of the three straight miles of Bunder
in the rock fortress, ironically named "The last Refuge." Three hundred
and seventy-five steps lead up the face of the rock to its isolated
summit, where provisionless, though impregnable, the fortress would
quickly surrender. By the side of this fortress we pass under a gateway,
and are in "The Camp of the Isthmus." The regiment of British infantry
and the native troops quartered at Aden are divided into three camps,
that at the Isthmus, the camp in the Crater, and the camp at Aden itself.
This foolish separation gives rise to much inconvenience and consequent
grumbling amongst the officers; where the community is so small, it seems
a pity they should be so unsociably distant. We watched the cricket match
that was being played by the sons of the military against the sons of
civilians. The ground was curiously white and glistening, from the salt
which exudes after rain from the earth, and which makes it very slippery.

The stillness when driving home again was quite extraordinary, not a
breath to stir a ripple on the water.

_Friday, February 20th._--Every afternoon at three o'clock the danger
flag is hoisted opposite the Presidency, and a great bombardment
commences. The fortifications, so long needed, are in progress, and
every day the entrenchments are blasted away by gunpowder. From the one
nearest, the first explosion is heard, sending up clouds of smoke and a
shower of stones into the air, which rattle and roll down a rocky ravine
on to the beach. One report after another follows quickly, and then when
these begin to decrease and die away, those from the opposite fort take
up the roll of artillery, the smoke, the rattle of hailstone-shot.

We drove that afternoon to the crater--to the camp inside the crater, a
unique position in the world for one, I should say. From the inevitable
drive along the Bunder we turned off, and made our way up a zig-zagging
hill of great steepness, towards an archway very far above us, built
into the rocks. The road ended in a wall of rock, and the entrance under
the gateway was not seen till you reached it, because it was immediately
on the right-hand, at a sharp angle. Here then we found ourselves in
"The Pass," a very grand and striking one, from the vertical height of
the crags and the depth we were sunk in below them. The arch we passed
under was formed to bridge over the gulf and connect the two lines of
fortifications running up on either mountain-side. This pass was pickaxed
out of the mountain rock, and very beautiful is the blood-red granite and
the green serpentine colours it has exposed to view. Here and there we
see a vertical strata of lava embedded in the rock.

We are inside the crater now; a wonderful scene it is. Black rocks of
lava and scoria, irregular and jagged at the top like the mouth of a
crater, rise up all around; and down in the hollow, in their midst, lies
the camp and village, a collection of white buildings. The dull red
colour of the scoria gives one the impression that the flames have been
of very recent date. There are the caverns, the caves, the cones of lava
left by the eruption, the formation of a volcano but active the other
day. The heights are bristling with cannon pointed seawards. A tunnel
connects with the camp at the Isthmus, which really is only on the other
side.

We pass through the native quarter and the camel market. Here we see the
Aden white sheep with black heads, and the lumps of fat protruding from
each haunch.

Far up in the side of the crater lie the wonderful tanks, the one object
of interest in Aden. Supposed to have been made somewhere about 400 B.C.,
their existence was never suspected till 1851, some twenty years after
our occupation. A freshet of water after the rains coming down the side
of the rock, led to their discovery.

The tanks are on a platform, and there are six of them, mounting higher
and higher into the gulley in the crater. They are all enormously deep,
and communicate by channels, and all have been cut out in the rock. They
are capable of holding 4,000,000 gallons of water when filled during the
rainy season.

The water is then gathered up behind a sluice, and a native climbing
up by the rail and ropes we saw, opens it and lets the water down with
a rush, which generally fills the first three or four tanks. At this
season of the year they are dry, and we saw the yellow chunar-mortar
that the tanks are whitewashed with, and the natural formation of rocks,
rounded and worn by the action of the water.

Not the least charming part about these tanks is the green peepul-tree,
looking, oh! _so_ fresh and green, growing in its crevasse by the tanks,
and shading a well. It is the one green spot in the midst of scoria,
dust, and ashes.

I remarked how healthy the children in the camp looked, having lately
come from India, but was told that it is a fact that troops coming
from there are always known to improve and pick up at Aden. It seems
strange to say so of such a climate, for we ourselves found the heat and
breathless stillness at night very trying. I believe the good health
of the station is attributable to the water which is all condensed,
and therefore very pure, and very precious also, being doled out in an
allowance of three gallons per person daily.

The storm-clouds gathering round the crater at sunset produced a
wonderfully grand and gloomy effect, and then the drive home by
moonlight, with a last glimpse back at the "Camp in the Crater" from the
Pass, the swift gallop along the Bunder behind the pretty Arab horses,
brought us quickly home.

At last! After being for four days in that most uncomfortable of all
conditions, viz. unable to make up one's mind, our plans have been
decided for us by the arrival of the Messageries' boat this afternoon.

The question appeared simple enough--should we go one day south to the
Cape, in the Messageries' boat, or the next day north, through the
Red Sea homewards, in a P. and O.? In reality it was very complex. We
longed to complete our tour round the British Empire, to see the last of
our great ruled dominions, the Cape; but then, on the other hand, the
political horizon was cloudy, and a vote of censure on the Gladstone
Administration pending.

We should have, we found, to wait twenty-five days at the Mauritius, to
which there is no cable, before getting a steamer to take us to Natal and
Cape Town. This would sever us from telegraphic news, and effectually
prevent any immediate and sudden return home in case of a dissolution.
We decided therefore against the Cape project, and great as was the
disappointment at the time, events have so far justified our decision
that we cannot wholly regret it.

At 5 p.m. the next afternoon the P. and O. _Brindisi_ was signalled,
and soon afterwards we saw her from the Residency windows, anchoring in
the bay. It was not long before we rowed out to her and were on board.
Coaling operations, added to the disorganization always attendant on a
ship in port, gave us rather an uncomfortable evening.

At nine o'clock we saw an Italian man-of-war, bound for Massowah,
stealing out to sea, so noiselessly she moved, as the huge ship loomed
black in the dusk to our starboard. The heat was very great downstairs in
the cabins, and we got no rest till eleven o'clock, when we cleared away
from Aden.

_Wednesday, 25th._--"The captain's compliments, and we are passing
Perim," shouted at my cabin door at 7 a.m. the next morning, summoned me
hastily on deck to see that rocky island at the mouth of the Red Sea.

The morning sun shone brightly and brought out in full relief its
excessive barrenness. We ran up our flag in response to the salute from
the stone fort which looks appropriately cold and ugly. The two ships
wrecked on the rocks around Perim tell how inhospitable are her shores.
The Italian war-ship of the night before was just disappearing round the
corner of the island to take the broader channel. I prudently refrain
from mentioning the two well-known little stories of the capture of Perim
and of one of the officers who subsequently occupied, or rather was
non-resident there. Notwithstanding all its natural disadvantages, Perim
is destined very soon now to rise into importance as a port of call.

From the reap in early childhood we are taught to seek the Red Sea as a
narrow strip of blue against the yellow outline of Egypt and Arabia. It
is difficult then to realize you are in such a well-known spot when on
neither hand is there any coast-line. We only know we are on the great
highway, and that its limits are confined, from the numerous ships we are
constantly passing. One day four P. and O.'s were actually in sight of
one another, an almost unprecedented event, I believe.

We have a good sea running, but the ship is splendidly steady, and there
is a following wind, the one most dreaded in the Red Sea, but it is too
early in the year to be very hot.

We passed the "Three Brothers" in the afternoon, and the "Twelve
Apostles" in the evening. All these islands are covered with white sand,
which glistens in the sunlight by day and the moonlight by night.

_Thursday, 26th._--Passed Suakim (unseen), whither transports without
number are hurrying at this moment.

At five o'clock this morning was sighted Mount Sinai, but to my intense
disappointment I had forgotten to ask overnight the time, and when I came
up on deck at eight o'clock, I could only see the range. It is forty-five
miles away, and rarely seen clearly, but had been to-day.

On this quiet Sunday morning the service on deck seemed peculiarly
appropriate, when almost within view of the Holy Mount and those sandy
shores of Arabia, that are fraught with such holy memories.

The sea is narrowing; we have a coast-line now on either hand: the pale
yellow sand of Arabia against the faint blue of the sky, gives a look of
such atmospheric heat, so like what we have always pictured to ourselves
the Holy Land. On the other are the more rugged mountains, bare and
rocky, of the coast of Egypt--mountains that have a very purple hue--that
are grand and solemn in their outline, which occasionally open out to
show a glimpse of the desert beyond.

Narrower and narrower grows our channel, the land is closing in as
towards 5 p.m. we approach Suez, and see in the distance the few
buildings, with the large storehouse, which marks the entrance to the
canal. We anchor opposite a Messagerie vessel, and, soon after we have
taken up our position, are followed by another P. and O., the _Ballarat_
from Australia.

Who could conceive the loveliness of the sunset tints that evening? I for
one have never seen, nor could imagine that such heavenly shades in such
inextricable harmony could have existed in nature.

On the "fair coast of Arabia" there was seen the most delicate electric
blue, with just such a suspicion of mauve that you knew not whether it
was there or not, with a distinct dash of pink,--distinct because it
clashed with the streak of yellow sand. It was sublime.

The usual indecision followed as to whether to land at once or not,
but being hastily decided in the negative we spent a moonlight evening
on board. Sleep came with difficulty that night, for, strange as it
seems, we missed the lullaby of the throb of the engines and the noisy
revolution of the screw.

It was at five the next morning that we got up, in the middle of the
night, as it appeared, and dressed hastily for the steam-launch which
was to come at 5.30. The captain was weighing anchor and preparing to go
into the canal. At daybreak we collected our goods and stumbled, cold and
sleepy, into the launch.

As we crossed the harbour we saw sunrise over the Egyptian hills, and
watched it gradually eclipsing the moonlight.

At Suez there were sixty ships hired as transports by the
Government--ships of all sorts, rusty, paintless, and out of date, but
pressed into service for this emergency. Two thousand camels, whose humpy
backs in the dawn at first gave the appearance of a line of sandhills,
were waiting on the Isthmus for transportation to Suakim; and the wharf,
covered with tents and military stores, showed the bustle and activity of
war.

At this wharf we waited for two weary hours and a half, cold and
breakfastless, till a train, dirtier than any we have ever previously
seen, arrived to take us to Suez.

"Old, familiar Suez," say some of the passengers; "just the same as
ever," with her awful wastes, her salt marshes, strewn with rusty bolts
and ends of iron, her mud huts and pariah dogs,--the dreary desert scene.

At Suez we looked forward to breakfast. Rejecting the offer of the
donkey-boy, pointing to his donkey with a persuasive "Quite a masher,"
we walked through the road, ankle-deep in sand, when "Bond Street" led
us to the "Hotel de Suez," on the quay. Small chance was there among the
collective passengers of three ships just arrived of getting anything
like a comfortable breakfast, and the scramble for food that ensued was
a painful sight. We felt glad we had not left the ship to sleep at the
hotel last night when we heard that a few nights ago three generals
had been "doubled up" (as it was expressively told us by a soldier) in
one room, and three colonels in the next. The place was swarming with
soldiers, military chests, tin cases, bundles of bedding, &c., just
landed and awaiting orders to proceed to Suakim.

At length we started in the train over the line which gives us our
first impression of the desert. The vast expanse of waterless, wasteless
sand, parched and glaring, weary even unto death, where life can have no
attraction left for man or beast, where all is desolate and dead to life.
How intense then must be the longing for the "shadow of the Great Rock in
the weary land!"

Yet under the influence of the late Sir Herbert Stewart's brilliant march
through the desert, yet under the excitement of our hard-won victory at
Abu Klea, and later, that at Metammeh, we think with a realizing anguish
of the horrors of the prolonged marches, the deadly thirst our men must
have endured.

Here our eyes find some relief in patches of bulrushes and the blue strip
of water of the canal, where we see the line of steamers slowly passing
along in single file, each appearing to chafe at the slow progress of the
foremost one. The _Messagerie_ leads the way, followed by our _Brindisi_,
in its turn followed by the _Ballarat_--in the order in which they
entered the canal this morning. At its widest part the canal opens out
into an inland lake.

Again our hearts are stirred as we approach the scene of the battle of
Tel-el-Kebir--as we see the roughly thrown-up entrenchments behind which
the Arabs lay hidden as our troops came ever onwards, cautiously and
noiselessly, for it was the night of the now famous "Silent March." We
could hear the British cheer, the maddening rush, the wild swoop which
carried all before it. We saw the bridge over which the frantic retreat
was made; we saw, too, the green cemetery by the line, where a few white
stones mark the graves of those who were left still and cold on that
battle-field.

There are no remains to be seen from the railway line, no carcases or
bleached bones, no skeletons of camels or broken weapons, but only the
long, long rows of low entrenchments, like a sandbank, extending for two
or three miles.

At Zagazig we had luncheon, and a very dirty journey brought us to within
sight of Cairo, whose first and distant view is disenchanting. It looks
little more than a large native village, with a citadel and a few minaret
towers. My husband's brother--the Financial Adviser to the Egyptian
Government, met us at the station and we drove to his house--made
beautiful by his splendid collection of embroideries that have been
drawn from the wealth of such stores in the bazaars of Constantinople,
Broussa, Egypt, and Arabia.

We feel in the world once more; we have returned to civilization.

The sound of the war-tramp echoes through Cairo.

The streets are full of officers, transport-waggons, and stores.

The almost historical balcony of "Shepheards" is peopled with a military
throng--with officers eager to go to "the front," with others awaiting
"further orders." All connected with "the service" have additional
importance in their own and every one's eyes just now. Wives and
relations are in Cairo, as nearer the seat of war, and within earlier
reach of news, though, as a matter of fact, the news of the fall of
Khartoum the other day was known a day earlier in London.

Rumours and panics of defeat--repulse--surprise--are rife, and all is
excitement and anxious flurry.

Colonel Swaine, C.B., Military Secretary to Lord Wolseley, came here
early this morning on his way home on sick leave; he will be the first
to arrive from the camp at Korti in London. He gave us some interesting
particulars about the battle of Abu Klea.

Cairo strikes me as being so French in tone, with the parquet floors and
the French windows, with its French population, with Parisian fashions.
But after all one must disillusion oneself from the natural idea that
Cairo is now English. Cairo is above all things an international
metropolis.

During our week's stay there we saw most of the principal sights, but I
have not the smallest intention of boring my readers with attempting any
minute description (save of the Pyramids and the Dancing Dervishes) of
what has been told in glowing, life-like pictures by other writers of
name and fame.

[Illustration: Cairene Woman.]

I will not write of the streets, with their motley crowd of Arabs, Copts,
Syrians, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Nubians, Cairenes proper, with their
thousands of donkeys and accompanying hâmmars, handsome animals cruelly
bitted and curbed, ridden alike by grave official in Turkish bags,
embroidered jacket, and fez, or by Arab ladies with balloon of silk, and
feet tucked up in front. Nor of the pretty street-cries, "God will make
them light O! lemons," "Odours of Paradise O! flowers of Henna." Nor yet
even of the bazaar, where are spread out the treasures of gold and silver
of Arabia, Persia, and Syria, of Damascus and Bagdad--the Cairo Bazaar
unique in the world. It is terrible to see the number of those afflicted
with eye-diseases in Cairo, and the many blind men led about the streets,
crying, "O! Awakener of Pity, O! Master," or "I am the guest of God and
the Prophet;" and then the answer comes, "God will succour, or give thee
succour." It makes one's heart ache, too, to see the babies with the
flies--the proverbially persistent fly of Egypt--settled black on the
child's eye, and with no attempt being made to brush them away, causing
the eye to close by a process too frightful to describe. The children are
always sucking sugar-cane, and it is the sticky sweetness which causes
the flies to settle so thickly on their cheeks.

We were much struck with the fineness of the mosques in Cairo after
seeing those of India.

As Mohammedanism was only a later introduction into India--a faith
struggling in a new land--so are its mosques but a feeble reproduction of
those in the land of the Prophet--the home of Mahomet.

The mosque of Sultan Hassan is a grand spot for worship. It is not
beautiful, nor curious, nor interesting, but it is simply majestically
imposing, from the height of its walls. They present an immeasurable
surface, pierced only by lancet recesses, which, by their narrow length,
add only to the grandeur of the wall. It is from the ancient to the
modern we proceed as we go to the alabaster mosque of Mahomet Ali at the
citadel, where all is gaudy and modern: Turkey carpets, coloured-glass
windows, and rows of glass globes.

We look lastly at the celebrated "view from the citadel," which is
certainly most beautiful.

_Thursday, March 5th._--At six in the morning we started on our
expedition to the Pyramids. Passing the enormous square of the
Kasr-er-Nil barracks, and crossing the lion-guarded bridge of the same
name, we soon distanced the town.

Coming in from the surrounding country, all along the roads, we met
trains of camels and troops of donkeys laden with the day's forage for
Cairo. The green grass looked rich and succulent, swaying in mountainous
stacks on either side the camel, and balancing across the donkeys in
loads that hid all except their four legs walking underneath.

Sandy and barren as is the desert of Egypt, where irrigation is brought
into use, the crops are extraordinarily rich and luxuriant--added to
which, they cut with impunity crop after crop of clover and green food,
without dreaming of allowing the ground to lie fallow during any part of
the year. Thus it is that around Cairo, though really only the desert,
it looks a green and cultivated plain. The canals are cracked and dry,
but will fill with the rising of the Nile which, irrigating the land and
overflowing with its muddy waters, leaves that rich alluvial deposit of
fertility.

The last four miles' approach to the Pyramids is over a road shaded by an
avenue of tamarinds, so straight that you can see a man--a speck--at the
end.

We read, we imbibe unconsciously, we listen eagerly to the account of
impressions of some world-wonder, some object of exceptional beauty or
interest.

We cannot help longing to see "that" object, we cannot help feeling some
excitement when we are nearing "that" wonder which we have been picturing
to ourselves for so long--when we are nearing the realization of an
oft-expressed wish since childhood.

Thus it is. And thus it is that we often realize _some_ disenchantment.
I had often done so, but nothing will ever come up to the keen intensity
of my disappointment, or the bitter revulsion of feeling as we approached
the Pyramids and obtained a good view of them.

"They may grow grander as we come nearer," I said. But no; I think
they really diminished rather than increased on a nearer approach. The
Pyramids stand on a natural platform of rock. The three are in a line:
the second, or Pyramid of Chephren, touches the angle of the first, or
that of Cheops; and that of the third, the Pyramid of Mycerinus, that of
Chephren.

Thus, as you draw near, it becomes a line of perspective, in which each
pyramid recedes and recedes behind the greater one, till only Cheops is
left in solitary glory.

But even thus he does not seem stupendous; he does not seem to crush you
with his size, to be ungraspable from height, to be immeasurable for
width. He does not impress you with a feeling of your own insignificance.
He is _very_ large--that is all.

Even when we had driven up the last steep ascent and stood under his very
shadow, I felt scarcely more impressed. There was a peculiar effect of
following with the eye some way up, and then suddenly feeling that the
pyramid was receding from your sight--when you saw that you were looking
at its cone.

You must gaze upon the Pyramids, bearing in your mind's eye all the time
the grand idea that called them into existence; the despotic monarch
who thought to build for himself an everlasting monument, who thought,
by the stupendousness of the work, to preserve his body when all others
should have perished, to perpetuate the memory of his reign to worlds of
generation.

The vanity of all human aims and desires! The tomb was opened, sacked for
the treasures of gold and silver that so great a builder would surely
have interred with his remains. And the bones of Cheops--where are they
now? Consigned to the sand of the desert, to the dust whence he came.

It is wonderful to think that this outer pyramid is only the covering for
a number of similar ones inside; how many, is only conjectured by the
size of the outer one. When the building of a pyramid was commenced, a
piece of rock, it is said, was taken as the centre to form the support
of the apex of the first tiny pyramid, and then a space was hollowed out
in the rock wherein the sarcophagus would rest some day. The pyramid
grew with the length of the reign of the royal builder. Year by year its
growth increased, and at his death it was finished off at the point it
had then reached.

Various theories have been advanced as to the use of the Pyramids. Some
have thought they were for astronomical purposes. One, that it was
simply a meterological monument, large enough to serve for all kinds of
measurements; but Egyptologists are now agreed in thinking they are tombs
"hermetically sealed everywhere, the for ever impenetrable casing of a
mummy."

There are many who will share in Lord Lindsay's beautiful but mystic idea
of their origin, but I for one do not.

"Temples or tombs, monuments of tyranny or of priestly wisdom, no theory
as to the 'meaning' of the Pyramids, those glorious works of fine
intelligence" has been broached so beautiful to my mind as old Sandy's,
who, like Milton and the ancients, believing them modelled in imitation
of "that formless, form-taking substance, fire," conceives them to
express the "original things." "For as the pyramid, beginning at a point,
little by little dilateth into all parts, so nature, proceeding from an
individual fountain, even God, the Sovereign Essence, receiveth diversity
of form, effused into several kinds and multitudes of figures uniting
all in the supreme head from whence all excellences issue."

We are soon surrounded, and the prey of the body of Bedouins who squat
in a group at the corner of the Great Pyramid; but at the bidding of the
all-powerful sheik, six men are singled out for the ascent.

The steps, if such they can be called, are blocks from two to four feet
high, and come nearly up to the waist, of such a small person as myself.
Therefore you stand and look doubtful as to how to ascend the first one;
but there is no time for much thought before the guides have seized you
with a grasp that leaves its mark, and by main force you are lifted and
dragged up, while at some of those still higher, the guide behind gives a
heaving help and push. The exercise is violent; the sockets of your arms
feel elongated; the muscles of the legs, particularly at the back, are
aching; you feel that the disposal of your petticoats is getting higher
than you like; but there is no time to stay, you scramble on somehow,
hardly knowing how you are going to reach the next step, before you _are_
there.

The Bedouins take you up at a tremendous pace, and hardly give you time
to breathe in occasional halts; but it is a good plan, in that you have
no time to hesitate whether you will turn back, daunted. It is very
dizzy work looking down on such layers and layers, such rows upon rows
of yellow steps below--added to which, the sudden change of temperature
500 feet higher makes respiration more difficult. When you arrive at the
summit, on the platform, you are too breathless and exhausted to enjoy
the view much.

The fertile valley of the Nile is on one side, but on the other there
is that huge, vast, arid desert, the Great Sahara. It is that which
determined me to ascend the Pyramids. I wanted to gain the idea of what
a desert can be when that and that alone is seen. _It is very terrible._

The Bedouins clamoured around me, including the Sakka, or water-carrier,
who always accompanies the ascent, for backsheesh and the sale of coins;
and as C., having been up before, had stopped halfway, I was alone at the
top, and was fain to descend to be rid of them.

The descent is far worse than the ascent. The jar to the system of
jumping from step to step is very trying, and it is really best to sit
down on the step and slide over, however inelegant.

[Illustration: The Sphinx.

    Page 377.]

The entrance to the pyramid is a little way up in the centre of one side.
The steps here are sunk in sideways, so as to form a slanting platform
to a small aperture. Over this there are two enormous blocks of marble
laid pent-ways, to form an arch in the pyramid, and to support its weight
on the roof of the passage. You slip and slide down the steep passage,
feeling you are going down into the bowels of the earth, "the entrails of
the Great Pyramid," and a last long slide brings you into the chamber.
Here you see the material of which the Pyramids are constructed, a rock
called nummulite limestone, often containing fossil remains. In one place
it is rough and glistening, in another smooth and polished, as if worn
away--by what means is not known. In the roof there is a recess, where
the sarcophagus is supposed to have stood, but none was found when it was
opened for the first time, as was supposed. In reality the tomb had been
opened and sacked, probably not such an untold number of years after the
death of Cheops.

Then we walked ankle-deep in sand a quarter of a mile away to the
south-east of the Great Pyramid, to where the Sphinx stands. Her
whereabouts is only decided by a mass of rock that looks at first
sight (please excuse the familiar simile) like the Toadstool Rock at
Tunbridge Wells, for it is only a mass of rock supported on a column. As
we approach, however, and finally stand under the Sphinx, we begin to
understand the fascination she exercises.

We see the Egyptian helmet with the long flaps, under which are the
protruding ears, so very distinct. Then we notice the eyes, the forehead,
the broken, flattened nose, and the thick lips. It is in the lips lies
the expression of the Sphinx, the disdainful, haughty look, or anon
the smile that parts them. The remainder of the face follows the mood
expressed on the lips. But at all times the Sphinx is unsympathetic, cold
as the stone she is carved in. With face turned towards the rising waters
of the Nile, she changes not with the ruddy glow of sunset, nor the blush
of morning, reflected from its waters. She is human, but relentless. The
animal body of the Sphinx is _again_ buried in the sand--for once, a
century ago, excavation revealed it. Between the front paws it was then
found there was an altar, where sacrifices must have been offered under
the very head of the Sphinx herself, and a sanctuary with some tablets
was discovered under the breast.

Stanley said, "Its situation and significance are worthy of the Sphinx;
if it was the giant representative of royalty, then it fitly guards the
greatest of royal sepulchres, and with its half-human and half-animal
form is the best welcome and the best farewell to the history and
religion of Egypt."

Connected as it was supposed to be with her worship, the Temple of the
Sphinx is peculiarly appropriate to her in its massidity. The enormous
blocks of granite and alabaster, laid lengthways across other blocks,
on which we look down, gives to it the appearance of the crypt of a
cathedral.

The two remaining pyramids have no special interest, nor yet the two or
three others, very small ones by comparison, lying about the greater. The
latter are evidences of a very short reign, or perhaps were only intended
to serve as a monument of sufficient height, to ensure their never being
sunk or overwhelmed with the sand typhoon of the desert.

On Friday afternoon, the Sabbath of the Moslems, we went to see the
religious service held by the sect of Howling Dervishes.

Passing through a quiet court where the musicians were taking their
places, through an outer room, we came into a whitewashed mosque, whose
unornamented dome, as we shall presently see, has a splendid echo. A
goat-skin mat is arranged round in a circle, on which the twenty or
thirty worshippers enter one by one and kneel. The sheik squats in the
kibla or niche, and we sit on chairs ranged round the wall.

The priest or sheik intones some prayers, to which they all respond, the
echo lingering and repeating the sonorous tones of the response, till it
forms an accompaniment to the following prayer.

Then they begin repeating the same word or phrase, Allah, Allah, Allah,
with a gentle inclination of the body. This action gradually increases
with the rise of the voices, which, if they unconsciously flag for a
minute, are vigorously taken up and maintained again. At a given sign
from the sheik they cease. All stand up.

Then the same recommences with increased exercise, and an occasional
howl from some more devout worshipper, while soft wild music is heard
outside. Gradually you are fascinated by this circle of men, all bowing
at the same moment, all intoning on one note; and now it is a groaning
noise they make, and it grows and grows, till the raising of the sheik's
hands stops it once more.

Then they take off their clothes, their turbans, and undo their long
hair, and the real work of worship commences. The sheik touches a man on
the shoulder, and singles him out to stand in the centre. The swaying
recommences, but with the violence where they left off as the first
stage, and the dervish in the centre leads, swaying, bending, all in
time. Music strikes up, the tom-tom of large tambourines--a deafening,
discordant pandemonium, to which they are moving in time, urged on by
the increase and swell of the music faster, ever increasing, louder the
music, deafening its sound. A circle of wild magnetic creatures tossing
their locks of hair, unconscious, mechanical, holding a mesmerized
look on the dervish, who with closed eyes performs with ecstasy the
exercise of his salvation. Another steps into the circle, and begins,
with arms outstretched, slowly to turn and twirl round and round and
round--never moving from the exact spot of ground where he first took his
stand--gently at first, increasing slowly, becoming fast, faster--a whirl
now. All is utter confusion. Chaos has come. The scene swims before your
eyes; the wild fanatical little body of surging, swaying dervishes is
becoming indistinct, when a sudden raising of the finger brings it all to
a close in an instant; only one last resounding thud of the tom-tom, one
prolonged howl lingers on the echo. The spinning dervish sinks exhausted
to the ground.

_Saturday, March 7th._--Lady Baring took me to the Vicereine's "at
home" on Saturday afternoon at the Atchin Palace. We entered by a
private way and back staircase, and were shown through a succession of
reception-rooms to a small drawing-room or boudoir, where her Highness
sat.

She is still young and has pretty features--all say she is most pleasant
and good-natured; but she has grown, and is growing, enormously stout.
The Vicereine was arrayed in a Parisian toilette of black, and, save for
the representative feature of a bunch of red roses and diamond ornaments,
looked completely European. The slaves, too, were dressed in English
materials of old gold, blue, and pink silks, with gilt waistbands and
bunches of roses, and not as one had looked to see them, in some graceful
Oriental costume. We all sat round in a circle for the prescribed time,
and cigarettes were offered and coffee brought, that nasty, bitter
Arabian coffee, in tiny cups with Turkish stands.

The same afternoon we called on M. Camille Barrère at the French
Agency, the most beautiful house in Cairo, just purchased by the French
Government. There are some very unique ceilings and mosaic dados in it,
and a great quantity of the pretty mushrebeeyah.

We dined in the evening with Nubar Pasha, the Prime Minister, and Madame
Nubar; and after dinner went to a Turkish piece at the theatre. Quite
half the galleries were curtained for the ladies of the harem, behind
which, we could see, they were crowded; and when everybody left the house
between the acts, it was from thence came the clouds of smoke that filled
the theatre. Nubar Pasha is a very charming and courteous man.

_Sunday, March 8th._--The Premier very kindly lent us his dahabeeyah to
go up the Nile.

One always has a very mistaken idea about the beauty of the Nile. It
is an exceedingly ugly river, with shoals and sandbanks lying about in
its course. Going up only a little way from Cairo, there is a fine view
of the Mokattam Range, the citadel, with the mosque of Mahomet Ali,
whose slender minars tower as high again above the hills. Warehouses
and manufactories, followed by mud villages, render the banks utterly
hideous and uninteresting. The nuggars, with their sharp-angled sails and
enormously tall, slanting masts, are alone pretty and picturesque. We
returned to Cairo as the sun was setting.

_Wednesday, March 11th._--Got up early, packed, drove to the station,
took our seats in the train for Suez, to embark on board the P. and O.
_Tasmania_ for Malta, Gibraltar, and Spain. Three minutes before the
train started, bag and baggage we bundled out again. I saw in the paper
there were fresh earthquakes in Spain, and particularly at Malaga, where
we must have landed from Gibraltar.

We spent the day in Cairo, and left again in the evening by the mail to
Alexandria, to go _viâ_ Brindisi to Cannes.

We drove through the streets of Alexandria by gaslight, seeing the
remains of the bombardment on all sides. What a national reproach are
the ruins and the houses partially riddled with cannon-shot, the neat
piles of broken brick and stone by the road. They are only just beginning
to rebuild Alexandria after the lapse of two years.

We got on board the P. and O. mail steamer _Assam_ at eleven o'clock, and
weighed anchor early next morning.

_Thursday._--Sea flat, calm.

_Friday._--The shores of Crete and Candia in view, the bold outline of
her mountains covered with snow.

_Saturday._--Within sight of beautiful Zanté, an island of the Ionian
Group.

A very rough night on board, half a gale blowing, and the next morning
we are at Brindisi. Dear little Brindisi (though few will agree in this
term of endearment), desolate and dreary as she is, greeting us with a
snowstorm as she did, looked homelike and sweet to us, if only because
she was so near home--a distance of no account after what we have done.
The trees about the harbour were budding and breaking into blossom,
notwithstanding the grey north-easter blowing.

All day we were travelling along the leg of Italy, by the storm swept
ocean breaking in angry breakers along the shores, across the fertile
plains of Tuscany--Bologna reached at one in the morning. Left the next
day, to arrive at Genoa the same evening. Then a day spent in crawling
along the beautiful Riviera, its orange-groves, olive-yards, and flowers
smiling us a sunshiny greeting. Cannes reached at length that evening.
Hearty welcomes. Home-like feelings. Renewing acquaintance with our
little daughter Vera.

A fortnight's pleasant rest after our long journey, a gathering up of the
thread of events, domestic and otherwise, since we left England in July
last, and London reached on the 1st of April. Home at last.

We had been absent not quite nine months, had travelled rather more than
40,000 miles, visited America and Canada, Australia and New Zealand,
Netherlands India, the Malay Peninsula, India, and Egypt, gained useful
information without end, and laid up stores of knowledge that will never
cease to be precious till our lives' end; had many and many a pleasant
recollection left of little adventures, anecdotes, and incidents such
as happen in common to all travellers, and made not a few interesting
acquaintances.

Let me finally take this opportunity of expressing to all the many kind
friends, particularly those in the colonies, our gratitude for the hearty
welcome and cheery hospitality extended to us by all.

Should any one wish for nine months, or, better still, a year of perfect
enjoyment, of rest and relief from the weary round of duty and so-called
pleasure, which is the life and lot of so many of us--I say, Go a tour,
_not_ round the world, not mere globe-trotting, but a complete tour of
study through the glorious British empire, such as we have tried to
do, and failed only in that the Cape was, for circumstances already
mentioned, impossible for us.

In Greater Britain, all who are countrymen or women, all coming from
the mother country, are sure of the same kindness and warm reception we
experienced; all are sure of great enjoyment, all are sure of a wealth of
bright, pleasant memories for the future. Such has been our experience.
To all I would say, "Go and do thou likewise."

Written under circumstances of some difficulty, chiefly on board ship,
in cabins close and dark, tossed and swung about, this journal has been
put together. Poor little journal as it is, the first production of an
unskilful pen, I am but too fully conscious of its defects.

It is up to date now, the last entry has been made, and, with a sigh, it
has been confided to the hands of the printer and publisher. May they and
the public be merciful to it!

    THE END.

GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE, LONDON.



WORKS

BY

=C. E. HOWARD VINCENT, Esq., C.B., M.P.=

    A POLICE CODE AND MANUAL OF THE CRIMINAL
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    _For Public Institutions and Schools._

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    PROCEDURE D'EXTRADITION.

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    HACHETTE ET CIE.


    THE LAW OF CRITICISM AND LIBEL.

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    RUSSIA'S ADVANCE EASTWARD.

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    _A Catalogue of American and Foreign Books Published or
    Imported by_ MESSRS. SAMPSON LOW & CO. _can
    be had on application._

    _Crown Buildings, 188, Fleet Street London,
        October, 1885._

A Selection from the List of Books

PUBLISHED BY

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON.


ALPHABETICAL LIST.

     _About Some Fellows._ By an Eton Boy, Author of "A Day of my
     Life." Cloth limp, square 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Adams_ (_C.K._) _Manual of Historical Literature._ Cr. 8vo, 12_s._
     6_d._

     _Alcott_ (_Louisa M._) _Jack and Jill._ 16mo, 5_s._

     ---- _Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Day._ 3_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _Proverb Stories._ 16mo, 3_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _Spinning-Wheel Stories._ 16mo, 5_s._

     ---- See also "Rose Library."

     _Alden_ (_W. L._) _Adventures of Jimmy Brown, written by himself._
     Illustrated, Small crown 8vo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Aldrich_ (_T. B._) _Friar Jerome's Beautiful Book, &c._ Very
     choicely printed on hand-made paper, parchment cover, 3_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _Poetical Works. Edition de Luxe._ 8vo, 21_s._

     _Alford_ (_Lady Marian_) _Needlework as Art._ With over 100
     Woodcuts, Photogravures, &c. Royal 8vo, 42_s._; large paper, 84_s._

     _Amateur Angler's Days in Dove Dale: Three Weeks' Holiday_ in July
     and August, 1884. By E. M. Printed by Whittingham, at the Chiswick
     Press. Cloth gilt, 1_s._ 6_d._; fancy boards, 1_s._

     _American Men of Letters._ Thoreau, Irving, Webster. 2_s._ 6_d._
     each.

     _Anderson_ (_W._) _Pictorial Arts of Japan._ With 80 full-page and
     other Plates, 16 of them in Colours. Large imp. 4to, gilt binding,
     gilt edges, 8_l._ 8_s._; or in four parts, 2_l._ 2_s._ each.

     _Angler's Strange Experiences (An)._ By COTSWOLD ISYS. With
     numerous Illustrations, 4to, 5_s._ New Edition, 3_s._ 6_d._

     _Angling._ See Amateur, "British Fisheries Directory,"
     "Cut-cliffe," "Martin," "Stevens," "Theakston," "Walton," and
     "Wells."

     _Arnold_ (_Edwin_) _Birthday Book._ 4_s._ 6_d._

     _Art Education._ See "Biographies of Great Artists," "Illustrated
     Text Books," "Mollett's Dictionary."

     _Artists at Home._ Photographed by J. P. MAYALL, and reproduced in
     Facsimile. Letterpress by F. G. STEPHENS. Imp. folio, 42_s._

     _Audsley_ (_G. A._) _Ornamental Arts of Japan._ 90 Plates, 74 in
     Colours and Gold, with General and Descriptive Text. 2 vols.,
     folio, £15 15_s._ On the issue of Part III. the price will be
     further advanced.

     ---- _The Art of Chromo-Lithography._ Coloured Plates and Text.
     Folio, 63_s._

     _Auerbach_ (_B._) _Brigitta._ Illustrated. 2_s._

     ---- _On the Heights._ 3 vols., 6_s._

     ---- _Spinoza._ Translated. 2 vols., 18mo, 4_s._


     _BALDWIN_ (_J._) _Story of Siegfried._ 6_s._

     ---- _Story of Roland._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

     _Ballin_ (_Ada S., Lecturer to the National Health Society_) Science
     of Dress in Theory and Practice. Illustrated, 6_s._

     _Barlow_ (_Alfred_) _Weaving by Hand and by Power._ With several
     hundred Illustrations. Third Edition, royal 8Vo, 1_l._ 5_s._

     _Barlow_ (_William_) _New Theories of Matter and Force._ 2vols., 8vo.


THE BAYARD SERIES.

Edited by the late J. HAIN FRISWELL.

Comprising Pleasures Books of Literature produced in the Choicest Style
as Companionable Volumes at Home and Abroad.

     "We can hardly imagine better books for boys to read or for men to
     ponder over."--_Times._

_Price 2s. 6d. each Volume, complete in itself, flexible cloth extra,
gilt edges, with silk Headbands and Registers._

     The Story of the Chevalier Bayard. By M. De Berville.

     De Joinville's St. Louis, King of France.

     The Essays of Abraham Cowley, including all his Prose Works.

     Abdallah; or, The Four Leaves. By Edouard Laboullaye.

     Table-Talk and Opinions of Napoleon Bonaparte.

     Vathek: An Oriental Romance. By William Beckford.

     Words of Wellington: Maxims and Opinions of the Great Duke.

     Dr. Johnson's Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia. With Notes.

     Hazlitt's Round Table. With Biographical Introduction.

     The Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend. By
     Sir Thomas Browne, Knt.

     Ballad Poetry of the Affections. By Robert Buchanan.

     Coleridge's Christabel, and other Imaginative Poems. With Preface
     by Algernon C. Swinburne.

     Lord Chesterfield's Letters, Sentences, and Maxims. With
     Introduction by the Editor, and Essay on Chesterfield by M. de
     Ste.-Beuve, of the French Academy.

     The King and the Commons. A Selection of Cavalier and Puritan
     Songs. Edited by Professor Morley.

     Essays in Mosaic. By Thos. Ballantyne.

     My Uncle Toby; his Story and his Friends. Edited by P. Fitzgerald.

     Reflections; or Moral Sentences and Maxims of the Duke de la
     Rochefoucauld.

     Socrates: Memoirs for English Readers from Xenophon's Memorabilia.
     By Edw. Levien.

     Prince Albert's Golden Precepts.

_A Case containing 12 Volumes, price 31s. 6d.; or the Case separately,
price 3s. 6d._


     _Behnke and Browne._ _Child's Voice._ Small 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

     _Bickersteth_ (_Bishop E. H._) _The Clergyman in his Home._ Small
     post 8vo, 1_s._

     ---- _Evangelical Churchmanship and Evangelical Eclecticism._ 8vo,
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     ---- _From Year to Year: Original Poetical Pieces._ Small post
     8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._; roan, 6_s._ and 5_s_; calf or morocco, 10_s._
     6_d._

     ---- _Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer._ May be had
     in various styles and bindings from 1_d._ to 31_s._ 6_d._ _Price
     List and Prospectus will be forwarded on application._

     ---- _The Master's Home-Call; or, Brief Memorials of Alice_
     Frances Bickersteth. 20th Thousand. 32mo, cloth gilt, 1_s._

     ---- _The Master's Will._ A Funeral Sermon preached on the Death
     of Mrs. S. Gurney Buxton. Sewn, 6_d._; cloth gilt, 1_s._

     ---- _The Reef, and other Parables._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _The Shadow of the Rock._ A Selection of Religious Poetry.
     18mo, cloth extra, 2_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _The Shadowed Home and the Light Beyond._ New Edition, crown
     8vo, cloth extra, 5_s._

     _Biographies of the Great Artists (Illustrated)._ Crown 8vo,
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     price is given.

       Claude Lorrain.[9]
       Correggio, by M. E. Heaton, 2_s._ 6_d._
       Della Robbia and Cellini, 2_s._ 6_d._
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       Figure Painters of Holland.
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       Gainsborough and Constable.
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       Tintoretto, by W. R. Osler.
       Titian, by R. F. Heath.
       Turner, by Cosmo Monkhouse.
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       Vernet and Delaroche, by J. Rees.
       Watteau, by J. W. Mollett, 2s. 6d.
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     _Bird_ (_F. J._) _American Practical Dyer's Companion._ 8vo, 42_s._

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     _Black_ (_Wm._) _Novels._ See "Low's Standard Library."

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     _Blackburn_ (_Henry_) _Breton Folk._ With 171 Illust. by RANDOLPH
     CALDECOTT. Imperial 8vo, gilt edges, 21_s._; plainer binding,
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     ---- _Pyrenees (The)._ With 100 Illustrations by GUSTAVE DORÉ,
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     _Blackmore_ (_R. D._) _Lorna Doone. Edition de luxe._ Crown 4to,
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     ---- _Novels._ See "Low's Standard Library."

     _Blaikie_ (_William_) _How to get Strong and how to Stay so._
     Rational, Physical, Gymnastic, &c., Exercises. Illust., sm. post
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     ---- _Sound Bodies for our Boys and Girls._ 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Bonwich_ (_Jos._) _British Colonies and their Resources._ 1 vol.,
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     _Boussenard_ (_L._) _Crusoes of Guiana._ Illustrated. 5_s._

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     _Bradshaw_ (_J._) _New Zealand as it is._ 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

     _Brassey_ (_Lady_) _Tahiti._ With 31 Autotype Illustrations after
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     _Bright_ (_John_) _Public Letters._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

     _Brisse_ (_Baron_) _Ménus_ (_366_). A _ménu_, in French and English,
     for every Day in the Year. Translated by Mrs. MATTHEW CLARKE. 2nd
     Edition. Crown 8vo, 5_s._

     _British Fisheries Directory, 1883-84._ Small 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Brittany._ See BLACKBURN.

     _Brown._ _Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas_,
     and Martyr of Virginia. By F. B. SANBORN. Illustrated. 8vo, 12_s._
     6_d._

     _Browne_ (_G. Lennox_) _Voice Use and Stimulants._ Sm. 8vo, 3_s._
     6_d._

     ---- _and Behnke_ (_Emil_) _Voice, Song, and Speech._ Illustrated,
     3rd Edition, medium 8vo, 15_s._

     _Bryant_ (_W. C._) _and Gay_ (_S. H._) _History of the United States._
     4 vols., royal 8vo, profusely Illustrated, 60_s._

     _Bryce_ (_Rev. Professor_) _Manitoba._ With Illustrations and Maps.
     Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

     _Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress._ With 138 original Woodcuts. Small
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     _Burnaby_ (_Capt._) _On Horseback through Asia Minor._ 2 vols., 8vo,
     38_s._ Cheaper Edition, 1 vol., crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

     _Burnaby_ (_Mrs. F._) _High Alps in Winter; or, Mountaineering_
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     _Butler_ (_W. F._) _The Great Lone Land; an Account of the Red_
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     ---- _Invasion of England, told twenty years after, by an Old_
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     ---- _Red Cloud; or, the Solitary Sioux._ Imperial 16mo, numerous
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     ---- _The Wild North Land; the Story of a Winter Journey_ with
     Dogs across Northern North America. 8vo, 18_s._ Cr. 8vo, 7_s._
     6_d._

     _Buxton_ (_H. F. W._) _Painting, English and American._ Crown 8vo,
     5_s._


     _Cadogan_ (_Lady A._) _Illustrated Games of Patience._ Twenty-four
     Diagrams in Colours, with Text. Fcap. 4to, 12_s._ 6_d._

     _California._ See "Nordhoff."

     _Cambridge Staircase (A)._ By the Author of "A Day of my Life at
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     _Cambridge Trifles; from an Undergraduate Pen._ By the Author of
     "A Day of my Life at Eton," &c. 16mo, cloth extra, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Carleton_ (_Will_) _Farm Ballads, Farm Festivals, and Farm_
     Legends. 1 vol., small post 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

     ---- _City Ballads._ With Illustrations. 12_s._ 6_d._

     ---- See also "Rose Library."

     _Carnegie_ (_A._) _American Four-in-Hand in Britain._ Small 4to,
     Illustrated, 10_s._ 6_d._ Popular Edition, 1_s._

     ---- _Round the World._ 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

     _Chairman's Handbook (The)._ By R. F. D. PALGRAVE, Clerk of the
     Table of the House of Commons. 5th Edition, 2_s._

     _Changed Cross_ (_The_), and other Religious Poems. 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._

     _Charities of London._ See Low's.

     _Chattock_ (_R. S._) _Practical Notes on Etching._ Sec. Ed., 8vo,
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     _Chess._ See BIRD (H. E.).

     _Children's Praises. Hymns for Sunday-Schools and Services._
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     _Choice Editions of Choice Books._ 2_s._ 6_d._ each. Illustrated
     by C. W. COPE, R.A., T. CRESWICK, R.A., E. DUNCAN, BIRKET FOSTER,
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      Bloomfield's Farmer's Boy.
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      Elizabethan Poets.
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     "Such works are a glorious beatification for a poet."--_Athenæum._

_Christ in Song._ By PHILIP SCHAFF. New Ed., gilt edges, 6_s._

_Chromo-Lithography._ See "Audsley."

_Collingwood_ (_Harry_) _Under the Meteor Flag._ The Log of a Midshipman.
Illustrated, small post 8vo, gilt, 6_s._; plainer, 5_s._

---- _The Voyage of the "Aurora."_ Illustrated, small post 8vo, gilt,
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_Colvile_ (_H. E._) _Accursed Land: Water Way of Edom._ 10_s._ 6_d._

_Composers._ See "Great Musicians."

_Confessions of a Frivolous Girl._ Cr. 8vo, 6_s._ Paper boards, 1_s._

_Cook_ (_Dutton_) _Book of the Play._ New Edition. 1 vol., 3_s._ 6_d._

---- _On the Stage: Studies of Theatrical History and the_ Actor's Art.
2 vols., 8vo, cloth, 24_s._

_Costume._ See SMITH (J. MOYR).

_Cowen_ (_Jos., M.P._) _Life and Speeches._ By MAJOR JONES. 8vo, 14_s._

_Curtis_ (_C. B._) _Velazquez and Murillo._ With Etchings, &c. Royal 8vo,
31_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 63_s._

_Custer_ (_E. B._) _Boots and Saddles. Life in Dakota with General Custer._
Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

_Cut-cliffe_ (_H. C._) _Trout Fishing in Rapid Streams._ Cr. 8vo, 3_s._
6_d._


_D'anvers_ (_N._) _An Elementary History of Art._ Crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

---- _Elementary History of Music._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

---- _Handbooks of Elementary Art--Architecture; Sculpture; Old Masters;
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_Davis_ (_C. T._) _Manufacture of Bricks, Tiles, Terra-Cotta, &c._
Illustrated. 8vo, 25_s._

---- _Manufacture of Leather._ With many Illustrations. 52_s._ 6_d._

_Dawidowsky_ (_F._) _Glue, Gelatine, Isinglass, Cements, &c._ 8vo, 12_s._
6_d._

_Day of My Life_ (_A_); _or, Every-Day Experiences at Eton._ By an ETON
BOY. 16mo, cloth extra, 2_s._ 6_d._

_Day's Collacon: an Encyclopædia of Prose Quotations._ Imperial 8vo,
cloth, 31_s._ 6_d._

_Decoration._ Vols. II. to IX. New Series, folio, 7_s._ 6_d._ each.

_Dogs in Disease: their Management and Treatment._ By ASHMONT. Crown 8vo,
7_s._ 6_d._

_Donnelly_ (_Ignatius_) _Atlantis; or, the Antediluvian World._ 7th
Edition, crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

---- _Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel._ Illustrated. Crown 8vo,
12_s._ 6_d._

_Doré_ (_Gustave_) _Life and Reminiscences._ By BLANCHE ROOSEVELT. With
numerous Illustrations from the Artist's previously unpublished Drawings.
Medium 8vo, 24_s._

_Dougall_ (_James Dalziel_) _Shooting: its Appliances, Practice, and
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     "The book is admirable in every way.... We wish it every
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     "A very complete treatise.... Likely to take high rank as an
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_Drama._ See COOK (DUTTON).

_Dyeing._ See BIRD (F. J.).


_EDUCATIONAL Works_ published in Great Britain. A Classified Catalogue.
Second Edition, 8vo, cloth extra, 5_s._

_Egypt._ See "De Leon," "Foreign Countries."

_Eight Months on the Gran Ciacco of the Argentine Republic._ 8vo, 12_s._
6_d._

_Electricity._ See GORDON.

_Elliot_ (_Adm. Sir G._) _Future Naval Battles, and how to Fight them._
Numerous Illustrations. Royal 8vo, 14_s._

_Emerson_ (_R. W._) _Life._ By G. W. COOKE. Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

_English Catalogue of Books._ Vol. III., 1872-1880. Royal 8vo,
half-morocco, 42_s._ See also "Index."

_English Etchings._ A Periodical published Monthly.

_English Philosophers._ Edited by E. B. IVAN MÜLLER, M.A.

A series intended to give a concise view of the works and lives of
English thinkers. Crown 8vo volumes of 180 or 200 pp., price 3s. 6d. each.

    Francis Bacon, by Thomas Fowler.
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    Hartley and James Mill, by G. S. Bower.
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    Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, by Professor Fowler.
    Adam Smith, by J. A. Farrer.

_Esmarch_ (_Dr. Friedrich_) _Treatment of the Wounded in War._ Numerous
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_Etching._ See CHATTOCK, and ENGLISH ETCHINGS.

_Etchings_ (_Modern_) _of Celebrated Paintings._ 4to, 31_s._ 6_d._


_Farm Ballads, Festivals, and Legends._ See "Rose Library."

_Fauriel_ (_Claude_) _Last Days of the Consulate._ Cr. 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Fawcett_ (_Edgar_) _A Gentleman of Leisure._ 1_s._

_Feilden_ (_H. St. C._) _Some Public Schools, their Cost and Scholarships._
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_Fenn_ (_G. Manville_) _Off to the Wilds: A Story for Boys._ Profusely
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_Fennell_ (_Greville_) _Book of the Roach._ New Edition, 12mo, 2_s._

_Ferns._ See HEATH.

_Fields_ (_J. T._) _Yesterdays with Authors._ New Ed., 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

_Fleming_ (_Sandford_) _England and Canada: a Summer Tour._ Crown 8vo,
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    France, by Miss M. Roberts.
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FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 9: _Not yet published._]

[Footnote 10: Not yet published.]

[Footnote 11: _Not ready yet._]

[Footnote 12: _In preparation._]

       *       *       *       *       *

    LONDON:

    SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,
    CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET, E.C.



       *       *       *       *       *



+--------------------------------------------------------------+
| Transcriber's note:                                          |
|                                                              |
| P.72. 'cornucopeia' changed to 'cornucopia'.                 |
| P.88. 'Chinee' changed to 'Chinese'.                         |
| P.97. 'tatooed' is 'tattooed' elsewhere, changed.            |
| P.188. 'Permament' changed to 'Permanent'.                   |
| P.228. 'hybiscus' changed to 'hibiscus'.                     |
| P.238. 'hybiscus' changed to 'hibiscus'.                     |
| P.237. 'story' changed to 'storey'.                          |
| P.265. 'enthusiam' changed to 'enthusiasm'.                  |
| P.270. 'These is' changed to 'There is'.                     |
| P.279. 'avaturs' changed to 'avatars'                        |
| P.366. 'healthly' changed to 'healthy'.                      |
| P.374. 'pesert' changed to 'desert'.                         |
| Add P.20. 'pape' changed to 'page'.                          |
| Add P.29. 'Cown' changed to 'Crown'.                         |
| 'Paramatta' should be 'Parramatta', changed four.            |
| Various zig-zag and zigzag, leaving.                         |
| Added missing punctuation in adds.                           |
+--------------------------------------------------------------+





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