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Title: Newfoundland to Cochin China - By the Golden Wave, New Nippon, and the Forbidden City
Author: Vincent, Ethel Gwendoline Moffatt, Lady
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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NEWFOUNDLAND TO

COCHIN CHINA.

[Illustration: TRAIN EMERGING FROM SNOW-SHED. Page 90.]



    NEWFOUNDLAND
    TO
    COCHIN CHINA

    _BY THE GOLDEN WAVE, NEW NIPPON,
    AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY_

    BY
    MRS. HOWARD VINCENT
    AUTHORESS OF "40,000 MILES OVER LAND AND WATER."

    WITH REPORTS ON BRITISH TRADE AND INTERESTS
    IN CANADA, JAPAN, AND CHINA

    By COL. HOWARD VINCENT, C.B., M.P.

    WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS

    LONDON
    SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY
    _Limited_
    St. Dunstan's House
    FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.C.
    1892
    [_All rights reserved_]



    TO MY CHILD

    VERA,

    IN THE HOPE THAT ONE DAY SHE MAY TRAVEL

    AS HER PARENTS HAVE DONE,

    AND

    WITH AS MUCH INSTRUCTION

    AND

    ENJOYMENT.


The favourable reception vouchsafed to "40,000 Miles over Land and
Water" has induced me to yield to the kind wishes of many Friends and
Constituents, and to record the impressions of my second circle round
the world.

    ETHEL GWENDOLINE VINCENT.

    1, Grosvenor Square.
    _May 31st, 1892._



CONTENTS.


    CHAPTER I.

                                                        PAGE

    OUR PREMIER COLONY                                     1


    CHAPTER II.

    THE MARITIME PROVINCES, AND THROUGH LAKE
     AND FOREST, TO THE QUEEN CITY                        21


    CHAPTER III.

    BY THE GOLDEN WAVE TO THE FAR WEST                    40


    CHAPTER IV.

    THE CANADIAN ROCKIES AND THE SELKIRKS                 70


    CHAPTER V.

    TO THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN                        105


    CHAPTER VI.

    NEW NIPPON                                           149


    CHAPTER VII.

    THE WESTERN CAPITAL AND INLAND SEA                   183


    CHAPTER VIII.

    THE YELLOW LAND                                      217


    CHAPTER IX.

    THE CELESTIAL CITY                                   247


    CHAPTER X.

    THE FORBIDDEN CITY                                   272


    CHAPTER XI.

    SHANGHAI AND HONG-KONG                               297


    CHAPTER XII.

    COCHIN CHINA                                         311


    APPENDIX.

    BRITISH AND AMERICAN TRADE IN CANADA                 325

    BRITISH TRADE WITH JAPAN                             337

    BRITISH INTERESTS IN CHINA                           348



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                        PAGE

    St. John's, Newfoundland                               3

    Plan of a Manitoban Township                          53

    The Ranche Pupil                                      66

    Howe Pass                                             70

    Kananaskis Falls                                      73

    Cascade Mountain, Banff                        74 and 75

    Bird's-eye View of Banff                              77

    Bow Valley                                            79

    Banff Springs Hotel, Canadian National Park           80

    The Pool, Hot Springs, Banff                          81

    Mount Stephen, the King of the Canadian Rockies       85

    Train emerging from Snow-shed                         90

    Great Glacier, Canadian Rockies                       92

    The Loops                                             94

    Frazer Cañon                                   97 and 98

    "A Little Mother"                                    129

    The Red Lacquer Bridge, Nikko                        139

    Pagoda of the Temple at Nikko                        142

    Mausoleum of Yeyásu                                  144

    An Imperial Garden, Tokio                            152

    A Typhoon                                            159

    Street of Enoshima, Japan                            163

    My Carriage at Kioto                                 189

    A Chinese Street                                     229

    Our Home on the Peiho                                235

    How I went to Peking                                 241

    A Gate of Peking                                     250

    A Street in Peking                                   261

    Her Ladyship's Foot                                  270

    All that is seen of the Forbidden City               278

    Homage to "The Son of Heaven"                        280

    The Great Wall                                       295

    Harbour of Hong-Kong                                 305

    Botanical Garden, Saigon                             314



NEWFOUNDLAND TO COCHIN CHINA.



CHAPTER I.

OUR PREMIER COLONY.


Land in sight when I awake at 5 a.m., a grey streak across the oval of
the port. With what intense satisfaction we gaze on the line of barren
rock, which has a suspicion of green horizon on the summit of the grey
cliffs, only those can picture who have been at sea for some time.

Presently we glide past Cape Race, with its neat signal station on
the cliffs, and know that in a few minutes the arrival of our ship,
the _Nova Scotian_, will be signalled at St. John's. We see a few
fish-curing sheds on the tiny bays of yellow sand, and some white
specks that represent cottages. They are dreary little settlements, and
near them the fishing-boats pass us, returning home after their rough
night's work, for this is the inhospitable coast of Newfoundland, the
Premier Colony of England.

As the morning wears on and the sun rises, it is a pretty scene. The
great blue restless ocean, with its mighty Atlantic swell, lashing
itself in spray and foam, with a long white line breaking and
disappearing, re-appearing and dying against the bleak rock-bound
coast. Sometimes the cliffs are formed of strata of grey lava or
limestone, at others they are of rich red sandstone, colours that are
intensified with the peculiar clearness of the atmosphere. Above all,
there is a pure blue sky, with white clouds chasing each other and
casting shadows along the coast. Now and again we pass large fishing
luggers sailing swiftly by in the brisk breeze. Some have tawny orange
or deep brown sails, others pure white ones, looking like wings spread
in the sunlight, gliding swiftly and silently past. It is a rich bit of
colouring to eyes tired and sad with the monotony of an impenetrable,
all-surrounding line of sky and ocean.

The approach to St. John's is romantic. The barrier of cliffs still
rises to larboard, without an apparent break or indentation, whilst
they say that we shall be anchored at the wharf in ten minutes. Another
scanning of the coast reveals at length two rocks rising higher than
the others, with a slight fall between them. The ship ploughs along
broadside, and until exactly opposite this opening. With a few final
plungings, and last rollings and tossings, she is brought sharply
round, and we face the harbour of St. John's. The great brown rocks,
sparsely sprinkled with green, rise up forbidding our entrance, and
inside these is another amphitheatre of granite against which the town
of St. John's is built. The line of wharves forms a black foundation.
The haven where we would be lies peaceful and blue in the midst. The
first sight of St. John's and the last, always include the twin red
towers of the Roman Catholic Cathedral standing out on a platform above
the town.

[Illustration: St. John's, Newfoundland.]

Now we are passing immediately under the cliffs, with which we make
very near acquaintance as we go through the Narrows. To add to the
difficulties of this passage, there is a rock at the narrowest part
called the Great Chain Rock, where in olden times a chain was fastened
across the harbour to guard the entrance. Another and greater danger,
a sunken rock, lies hidden under the smooth water. A gun is fired from
the lofty signal station, to tell anxious hearts of the incoming mail,
and with a large part of the population of St. John's on the wharf (for
they always gather to greet and speed the fortnightly steamer) we land
in Newfoundland.

On the kind invitation of Lady O'Brien and the Governor, we are driven
by Mr. Cecil Fane, his Excellency's aide-de-camp and able secretary,
to Government House. This is a handsome stone building, looking more
so amongst its surroundings of wooden houses, standing above the town
in its own grounds. The view from the house into the open country is
charming. In the far distance a range of purple mountains. Then patches
of dark pine forests, alternating with green, park-like spaces. The
Roman Catholic cemetery with its wooden crosses lying on a hillside.
Beneath it in a basin, the little blue lake of Quidi Vidi, which plays
such an important part in the social life of St. John's. Here they
yacht and boat, fish and bathe in summer. In winter they use it to
sleigh, skate, and toboggan on, but above all they hold their annual
regatta here. It is fixed for next week, and may be called the Epsom
of Newfoundland. The population from all parts of the Island gathers
to see it. In olden days each merchant chief had his yacht and crew of
employés, and partisanship ran high, but now the races belong to the
clubs in town, such as the Temperance, Athenæum, etc.

In the afternoon the Hon. Augustus Harvey took us for a beautiful
drive of twenty-eight miles across the Island. Who, seeing that bare
rocky coast in the morning, would have believed that the interior of
the Island could be so lovely! We drove along a good macadamized road,
passing the pretty white wooden houses with red roofs and neat palings,
the country residences of the merchants. Here is the one belonging to
Mr. Baird of lobster fame. Each house has a flagstaff and floating
flag; indeed, St. John's is called the city of flags, for everyone who
is anybody possesses one, and flies it proudly when in residence. There
are great clumps of purple iris growing wild by the roadside. We pass
through many plantations of fir trees, junipers and larches. The great
feature of Newfoundland scenery is water. It is everywhere. Flowing in
rivulets, covered with reeds by the roadside, enclosed in hollows in
the hills as lakes, hurrying from the mountains as a gushing torrent,
protesting angrily in rapids and foam against the rocks in its course.
It is the great feature and the great charm, and one-third of the
Island is said to be water. In one drive you may count as many as two
dozen lakes.

At times, as you look round, the country reminds you of Scotland, with
the purple blue mountains in the distance and the dark patches of fir
trees. At others there is a marshy and barren bit of bog land, with
cabins recalling the wilds of Connemara. Then some scene in the Tyrol
is brought before you; high mountains and deep valleys filled with
dense pine forests, a lake hidden in their midst. Frequently a chain
of mountains has a similar chain of lakes winding at its base. These
lakes are divided by a narrow isthmus of land, or connected by flowing
streams. They are full of fish of all descriptions. If England is the
paradise for horses, this is the paradise for fishermen. Other sport
can be obtained by the partridge-shooting in August and September. The
partridges resemble Scandinavian ptarmigan. There are also wild deer to
be had by stalking the mountains forty miles in the interior.

We always think of Newfoundland as the land of fog, lobster, and cod,
and know it best in connection with the breed of Newfoundland dogs.
This race is degenerating and threatened with extinction, and there
are scarcely any good specimens of these beautiful and intelligent
dogs left in the island. But I think few have any idea what extremely
beautiful scenery there is, and when there is no fog, the atmosphere
is remarkable for extreme dryness and clearness, giving the most vivid
colouring and the sharpest delineations to the mountains.

This was the case to-day; and as we drove to the Twenty Mile Lakes, so
called because they are twenty miles round, I thought I had rarely seen
brighter, prettier, or more varied landscape. The water of St. John's
comes from these lakes, and they claim to have the purest supply of any
town in the world. Instead of being bare and desolate, the country is
green and smiling. There are a few widely scattered farm-houses, but as
a whole not much cultivation is attempted.

After a long ascent, we gain a glimpse of the sea. We have been
driving across a narrow mainland, from the ocean to the ocean, and
before us, gleaming softly in the evening sunlight, is the beautiful
Bay of Conception. The surrounding cliffs are quite purple, the ocean
is a golden sea broken up by green islands. Far below us is a cluster
of houses, a fishing settlement, with a lobster factory and some flakes
run out over the rocks. There are boats idly rocking at the quay,
whilst others are catching bait for a fishing schooner, lying at anchor
in the bay. They told us of one of the governors who was brought here
within sight of this bay to die. He thought it so beautiful. So did we.
Then we drove home quickly in the dusk, late for dinner, but charmed
with the island. We found Sir Terence and Lady O'Brien just arrived
from a few days' cruise by the "Out-ports" on the coast. They give us
wonderful descriptions of the grandeur of the scenery. The government
steam yacht, in which they journeyed, will start with the judges on
circuit in a few days.

_Thursday, Aug. 6th._--We awoke to a lovely spring morning, with the
breeze whispering amongst the trees, and the Union Jack flapping gently
against the flagstaff in Government House garden. Spring has just
come. Asparagus and peas are coming up in the garden, strawberries are
ripening and the hay is ready to cut. We have gone back three months in
our season. The climate of Newfoundland is abominable. The winter is
interminably long and severe, lasting from the beginning of October to
May. There are incessant fogs, which envelop everything in a cold damp
pall.

Nor is the island exempt from these fogs even during its short summer.
The climate is also subject to extreme and rapid changes, from heat to
cold, in a few hours. The summer has been unusually delayed this year,
and had we come three weeks earlier, we should have seen an iceberg in
the middle of the harbour.

Newfoundland is about the size of Ireland, or one-third more. Its
population is some 200,000, but of this number 28,000 live at St.
John's, which is therefore the centre of all life, commercial,
political and social. The remainder of the population is chiefly
settled on the coast, in fishing villages called the "Out-ports",
whilst the interior of the island is sparsely settled, and in some
parts unexplored. The population is dwindling, and there is no
immigration, of which they are jealous, as reducing the means already
deficient of living, but there is emigration to Canada and the United
States.

The people are of English, Scotch and Irish descent, but those from
England are chiefly from the west coast and Devonshire. The Premier,
Sir William Whiteway, is a Devonian. And a curious little fact
exemplifies this. If you ask for cream, it is always Devonshire clotted
cream that is brought.

Newfoundland was the first of England's colonial possessions.
Sebastian Cabot discovered the island in 1497, and claimed it for
Henry VII. With the discovery of America, all nations came forward
to claim a share, but it was England and France who chiefly engaged
in the fisheries, which were then a source of great wealth. Sir
Gilbert Humphrey and Sir Walter Raleigh annexed the island for Queen
Elizabeth. Even at that time 100,000_l._ worth of fish were annually
exported. The ships left England in March, and returned in September,
and these voyages formed a nursery for English seamen. In 1635 the
French obtained permission from England to dry fish on the shores
of Newfoundland. This may be said to have laid the beginning of the
troubles which are now so active. The island was kept in a deserted
condition by the merchant adventurers up to 1729. They persuaded the
authorities at home that it was uninhabitable, in order that they might
retain the fishing rights in their own hands. Masters of vessels were
obliged to bring back to England each soul they embarked, under penalty
of 100_l._ When at length this tyranny gave way, a governor sent from
England, and the island colonized, the fishermen were still so poor
as to be in complete subjection to the merchants under the "supplying
system." This baneful "truck" practice begun so long ago, continues
in use unto this day, with equally evil results. The only support of
the fishermen (who form the bulk of the population) is fish. Upon the
result of the fishing season the year's comfort and prosperity depend.
But this, to be done on a profitable scale, requires a considerable
plant. There are only three classes in Newfoundland: the merchants,
the planters, and the fishermen. The last class are in durance to the
first, through the medium of the planter. The planter obtains from the
merchant the necessary outfit for the fishermen in clothes and goods,
and this is sold on credit. On his return from the fisheries (the
chief of which are off the Great Bank), he seizes the catch and repays
himself, and the merchant, who disposes of the fish. Thus the fishermen
are kept in a hopelessly poor and dependent position.

Of course, since our arrival, we have heard every side of this
much-vexed Fishery Question. But at least we can now fully understand
the "life-and-death" importance of the question to the island, of the
curtailment of their fishery grounds by the French shore dispute. The
life of the codfish and lobster is the life of the Newfoundlanders, and
to lessen their catch of fish is to lower proportionately their already
low standard of living. The question of the French obtaining bait and
erecting lobster factories is discussed at every dinner table. Mr.
Baird, by defying Sir Baldwin Walker, is called the village Hampden.
They feel deeply the apparent want of sympathy of the Home Government,
and indeed it cannot be easy for Her Majesty's Ministers to understand
the vital interests involved in this dispute to the islanders without a
personal visit to St. John's.

We should like to have visited the disputed fishing shore off the
islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, but it lies 135 miles down the
coast, and the only means of communication is by a fishing schooner.

We went sight-seeing in St. John's in the morning. Our first visit
was to the adjacent square stone building, the House of Assembly. It
is a miniature House of Commons, contained in a lofty room, with long
windows. There is the Speaker's chair, the table, the ministerial and
opposition benches, though the latter are only occupied by the eight
members in opposition, whilst the ministerial benches boast a cohort
of twenty-six, of whom all but two are said to be in receipt of an
official salary. There is also a Legislative Council, or Upper House;
and an Executive Council, or Cabinet, which meets weekly at Government
House.

Sir William Whiteway, the Premier, returns by the next steamer from the
Delegation to England, but his colleagues are here, and we meet them
all.

The Roman Catholic cathedral is the next most prominent building
at St. John's. Its situation on a plateau high above the town, and
facing the harbour, tells in its favour. Inside the railed-off square
there are four beautiful marble statues. The Cathedral is finely
proportioned inside, and over the high altar there is a fine bas-relief
representation of the Dying Christ. The more you travel, the more
struck you are with the activity of the Church of Rome in all parts
of the world, and particularly in the Colonies. We found it so in
Australia and New Zealand. In Eastern and Central Canada the finest
buildings in the cities are the Roman Catholic cathedrals. So it is
at Ottawa, at Montreal (where they are building one with a dome after
the model of St. Peter's), and at Halifax. Here it is the same. One
wonders whence the money comes, and whether it is true that the Roman
Catholics, with no State endowment, are more generous in the support
of their religion than us Protestants. We visited Bishop Power, for we
hold a circular autograph letter from Cardinal Manning (my husband's
godfather, now gone to his rest), written in Latin, and addressed to
all the Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy of the Roman hierarchy in all
parts of the globe. It ensures us a welcome from them everywhere.

We then went to the English cathedral, which lies lower down in the
city, and is a fine Gothic structure designed by Sir Gilbert Scott,
but it presents a sorry contrast to the other, as there is a blank
where the tower should be, and, save for a few stained glass windows,
it is bare and undecorated. There is a heavy debt of 20,000_l._ on the
cathedral, to meet which several public-spirited gentlemen have banded
together and insured their lives in its favour. They feel that they
have made sufficient sacrifices, and that having built the fabric, it
must be left to their sons to decorate it.

Then we descended to Water Street. It is the principal street, lying
parallel with the harbour, and a somewhat untidy and unsavoury avenue.
It is a real descent to reach it, for the other streets climb up
from it at right angles, and each one is a mountain to ascend. There
is one cab-stand here for the whole town. The vehicles on it are of
antiquated date, the seat for the driver dovetailing into a back
seat for a passenger. There are frequent stand pipes ready for the
fire brigade, who have stations with the horses standing ready under
suspended collars, and all the new improvements. The pressure of water
is so good that, with hoses attached, the jets will pass over the
cathedral. Thrice already destroyed by fire, St. John's now takes all
human precautions. There are several banks, a fine hotel, from without
at least, but which is said to defeat its exterior promise inside,
a general hospital, penitentiary, orphanages, sailors' homes, and a
technical and high school. The education of the island is in a far
advanced state, with compulsory and free education. The museum in the
post office contains specimens of the marble, coal and gypsum found in
the island. Newfoundland is rich in mineral wealth, and only requires
capital for its development.

We had a heavenly afternoon for a tea picnic to Logy's Bay. Indeed
the beautiful drives and expeditions seem endless, and Logy's Bay is
only one of the many lovely coves and bays that indent the coast. We
dip over the hill and look down on an exquisite little picture, with a
blue bay surrounded by headlands of red and green cliffs, and the sea
shimmering beyond. Far away on the horizon there is a gleaming white
pillar. It is a floating iceberg. We wish, oh! so much, as we eat
strawberries under the cliffs, that it was nearer to us.

Before we descended into Logy's Bay, we knew that it contained a
fishing settlement, by the pungent odours of highly flavoured fish
that ascended to us, and over the bay there are many extended flakes.
These flakes are formed by rough supports made of fir poles covered
with branches of fir-trees. Each codfish is split, salted and laid open
on these flakes. It takes six weeks of exposure to cure the fish, and
there is a good deal of labour involved. Each morning the cod must be
laid out on the flake. Each evening it must be gathered in, stacked and
covered with bark, to which stones are attached to keep it down. This
fish is then exported to Roman Catholic countries like Spain, Brazil,
Portugal, Austria and Italy, where it forms the staple of food for the
poorer population on fast days. It is worth about 2_d._ per lb. The
small boats that we see outside the bay, are busy collecting bait.
The bait they obtain to catch the cod are caplin, herring and squid,
according to the season. We have just missed seeing a lobster factory,
as they closed by law on August 5th. The factory, it appears, only
consists of an open shed and a stove. As the lobsters are only worth
here about three shillings per hundred, it seems that a large profit,
by exporting them fresh, might be made in England.

In returning, we drove round Lake Quidi-Vidi and on reaching the top
of a hill looked down on a typical fishing settlement. The granite
rocks of the coast shut it into a narrow cove, through which courses a
stream that finds a narrow outlet to the ocean. The wooden houses are
huddled together, finding foundations on and against the rocks, whilst
the flakes are run out in all directions over the stream, and men and
women are hard at work splitting, salting and drying the last arrived
boat-load of fish.

There was a dinner party at Government House in the evening, where we
met Lady Walker, wife of Sir Baldwin Walker, Mr. Bond, Mr. Harvey, and
other members of the Government, as well as Mr. Morine, the leader of
the opposition. The next day was Sunday, and we experienced a sudden
and disagreeable change of climate. It was bitterly cold, and we were
glad of fires. But we have not yet had a real Newfoundland fog.

We are in great difficulty as to how to leave the island, and find
ourselves steamer-bound. That tardy line, the Allan, has a fortnightly
service _via_ Halifax to St. John's, but we shall be obliged to take a
cargo boat.

_Monday, August 10th._--A mid night embarkation on the Black Diamond
Line s.s. _Coban_, from the deserted wharves of St. John's. The donkey
engine is at work all night, and in the cold grey of early dawn we
slipped out of the harbour. There ensued two days and nights of
abject misery, only relieved by the sight of land at seven o'clock on
Wednesday evening. We enter Glace Bay on the peninsula of Cape Breton.
The channel entrance is so narrow that we executed some wonderful
nautical manœuvres before anchoring at the wharf. We are landing on
a barren shore, the chief object of interest being a coal shoot with
some trucks of coal on it. We are near the great Sydney coal mines, and
the country is as bleak and desolate as our Black Country. The sun is
sinking, but the air is warm and moist.

We land at this uninviting place, and after some searchings amongst
a half-dazed population, who seem to show surprise, mingled with
resentment at our intrusion, we find a ramshackle country buggy, in
which to drive fourteen miles to Sydney. We are told the track is
rough. The light is fast failing. There is only one narrow seat for
the somewhat bulky driver and ourselves. For a moment I cannot see
where I am to sit. But every second it is growing darker, and with
no alternative I scrambled up, and fortunately being small, I was
wedged in securely, and during the very rough drive was perhaps the
less shaken. The four-year-old pony sorely tried my nerves at starting
by shying, and turning sharp round--a fatal thing in these lockless
buggies. Our good driver--the local constable--negotiated the worst
places, the holes and rocks and frail wooden bridges, with great care,
and saved us all he could. Still, we suffered severely.

We passed the two great coal mines of Sydney which supply all the coal
to Newfoundland, and much to Canada. It is soft and dirty fuel. We saw
the lights of the miners' cottages, and passed some of them returning
with an electric lamp in their caps. On and on we drove. The twilight
failed, and a pale crescent moon rose, but its dim light only added
half-seen terrors to the road, as we drove through dusky pine forests
and heard the rush of unseen waters, whilst the lamp of the luggage
cart in advance looked like a will-o'-the-wisp dancing up and down.
On and on for what seemed like hours. No dwelling-places in sight, no
human being seen, no sound heard, as we crossed in the darkness that
isthmus of land between Glace Bay and Sydney.

After a weary while we at last saw the welcome lights of Sydney, and
drove into a sleeping village, only to be told that every room in
the place was full. At length a priest and a commercial traveller,
fellow-passengers from the steamer, found a room, which they gave up to
me. It was in a little public-house, but the bed-room was lighted by
electricity!

We were up at 5 a.m., and in a torrent of rain drove to the station.
The Intercolonial Railway only opened this new line from Sydney across
Cape Breton eight months ago. It communicates with the magnificent
harbour of Sydney and the exceedingly beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes. We
travelled by the shores of several "guts," or inlets from the harbour.
Then opens out the broad expanse of the lake itself, surrounded by
mountains, along the foot of which we are creeping. The name Bras d'Or
has such a pretty origin. When the French, in exploring Cape Breton,
first saw the lake, it was autumn, and the shores were all golden in
their autumnal glory; hence they called it the Golden Arm. For miles we
are passing along its shores, which the waters are gently lapping under
a leaden sky, and the great mountains covered with fir forests, rise
gloomy and forbidding on the further shore, bathed in clouds and mists.
It is a beautiful, though depressing scene. The lake closes in, and its
banks nearly meet at the Narrows, which the train crosses on an iron
trestle bridge from one shore to the other. There is excellent fishing
in this lake, and now that the railway has opened it up, it is sure to
become known and largely visited.

At the Straits of Canso, the contents of the train, including
passengers, are embarked on a ferry, and cross the narrow strip of sea
that divides Cape Breton from the mainland of Canada. We disembark in
Nova Scotia.



CHAPTER II.

THE MARITIME PROVINCES, AND THROUGH LAKE AND FOREST TO THE QUEEN CITY.


A long railway journey. The light streaming into the berth of a sleeper
of the Intercolonial Railway awakes me, and a few minutes afterwards I
emerge from between the curtains, to see the morning sun on the dancing
waters of Bedford Basin, the land-locked harbour of Halifax. For about
ten miles we are skirting this harbour before running into the town.

Most people would agree in thinking Halifax a charming place. There
is nothing in the primitive city, with its straight, narrow streets
of wooden houses, most of which require a new coat of paint, to make
it so. There are few public buildings worthy of notice. But the charm
lies in its position on the peninsula of land, with the deep bend in
the North-west Arm on one side, and Chebuctoo Bay on the other, leading
into Bedford Basin. Thus there is water on every side.

Halifax has a large official society, and takes some pride in being
thought very English in its habits and ways. It owes this to being the
one military station left in Canada where there are British troops, and
also to its harbouring a naval station, with a resident Admiral and
three war-ships at anchor in the bay. The Lieut.-Governor also resides
here, and so Halifax[1] is full of official residences. Each province
in Canada has a lieut.-governor, who receives the appointment for five
years at the hands of the Governor-General, with a moderate salary and
an official residence. He is generally some prominent and popular local
man, who is thus rewarded for political services by the Premier of
the day, who advises the representative of the Crown, and practically
confers the post. Each province also has its local parliament, or
legislature, which is independent of the Dominion Parliament, and forms
its own laws of internal economy, constituting a body like our County
Councils. Thus, in Canadian capitals, their public buildings always
include the Parliament House, a Government House, and Ministerial
offices.

In the afternoon Mr. Francklyn came and took us for a drive in the
beautiful park at Point Pleasant. We skirt along the blue bay, dotted
with white sails, for there is a regatta in progress, until we reach
the well-named Point Pleasant. This promontory is covered with a
magnificent pine forest, through which wind miles of splendid roads,
made by companies of the Royal Engineers when stationed here.

On one side the park is bounded by a deep inlet of the sea, running a
long way inland, and which is called the North-west Arm. At a certain
point there is a sunlit vista looking up this narrow bay, which is very
beautiful. There are pleasant country-houses out here, in one of which
Mr. Francklyn resides. It is a perfect afternoon, with warm sunshine,
and a pleasant breeze whispering and sighing in the fir-trees.

_Sunday, August 2nd._--In the morning I went to church at St. Paul's.
This is a very old wooden building with a spire. There are the same
timbers as were used for its construction in 1794, when the Hon. E.
Cornwallis landed in Chebuctoo Bay with 2000 settlers. He planned
this site for the church, and built it on the design sent out by the
Imperial Government, which was on the model of St. Peter's, Vere
Street. In 1787, when the first Bishop was appointed, he took it for
his cathedral. It has taken part in all the great functions connected
with the history of Halifax; and the walls are covered with mural
tablets to the memory of the generals and admirals who have died on the
station.

We were told to go and see the public garden, which is very well laid
out with carpet beds and a miniature river. The gardener is a resident
of Halifax, and was sent home to England a short time ago, to model it
on our London parks. In the evening we attended the Presbyterian Church
to hear Principal Grant preach. He is the able, sympathetic and popular
Principal of the Kingston University. The Presbyterians have a strong
following, and fine churches throughout Canada, probably owing to the
large number of original Scotch settlers.

From Halifax we should have gone to St. John, New Brunswick, by
Annapolis, through the beautiful country celebrated by Longfellow, and
called the Land of Evangeline, and across the Bay of Fundi, but there
was doubt as to the hour of arrival of the steamer to be in time for
a meeting of the United Empire Trade League. I must here digress a
minute to explain that it was no part of our original Canadian tour
to practically be "stumping" the country from Halifax to Vancouver on
the subject of Imperial Preferential Trade. The meetings were thrust
upon my husband, and, once begun, each city claimed its meeting in
due course. Albeit, I must confess that he fell in gladly with the
arrangement. I may fairly say that for over six weeks in Canada, I was
the victim of the United Empire Trade League.

In our schoolroom days we learnt that St. John is the capital of New
Brunswick, and Halifax the capital of Nova Scotia. In the weariness of
a hot study and the drowsiness of a summer afternoon, we may vaguely
wonder of what use this, and much else that we learn, will ever be to
us. It is pleasant now to have knowledge triumphantly vindicated, and
geography by personal visits made easy.

Lying on several peninsulas formed by the river of St. John, the
harbour, and the Bay of Fundi, the city is surrounded by water. You
cannot be many minutes in the town without hearing of the fire of 1877,
that great epoch in local history. Beginning in a blacksmith's shop,
it destroyed nine miles of streets and an entire portion of the town.
We were shown the one building that was left untouched in the midst of
the conflagration, and for what reason no one has ever been able to
ascertain. The town was rebuilt with red sandstone, granite and brick.
It looks so handsome and substantial when compared to the wooden cities
of Halifax and other Canadian towns.

The Mayor (Mr. Peters), the President of the Board of Trade (Mr.
Robertson), met us at the station and drove us about the town, and
pointed out to us such public buildings as the Custom House, the
hospital, the asylum for the insane, etc. My experience goes to tell
that they are the same in all cities of the world. We passed rapidly
from the summit of one peninsula on to the next, looking down streets
that always seem to lead to water. There are pretty views from these
heights of the large city, containing 40,000 inhabitants, spread out
over these successions of hills, with the harbour dotted with sails
below. Far away into the country, the river is seen winding amongst
grey, overhanging cliffs and pine-clad mountains. They claim for it
scenery as fine as the Hudson.

But the prettiest view of all is from the Cantilever Bridge. Here the
wide mouth of the St. John river flows through the harbour to the sea,
interrupted by rocky islands, clothed in green. They have a great
curiosity here in the shape of a reversible waterfall. The tide at the
mouth of the river rises and falls as much as forty feet. As the river
flows seawards it is forced by the volume of water coming down the
river over a ridge of rock, and forms a waterfall into the harbour at
low tide. When the tide turns, the salt water is forced backwards up
the river, and forms a waterfall the reverse way.

St. John was founded by the United Loyalists. The other day there was
a touching incident of a brave boy who went out in a storm here and
saved the life of a child, perishing in the attempt. Subscriptions
poured in for the erection of a public monument. They proposed to
erect it on a spot we were shown, but in excavating they came upon the
well-preserved coffins of twenty of these United Loyalists.

The city is the centre of a great lumber trade; 30,000 yards of timber
are cut on the banks of the river annually and floated down to St.
John's. They have free and undenominational education. The streets are
paved with blocks of cedar. Electric light is in general and domestic
use. Altogether, St. John is a most enlightened and advanced city.

We got into the "cars" at night for a long journey of two days and two
nights to Toronto.

Through the State of Maine we sped at night; one of the two American
total Prohibitionist States. Though saving 200 miles by this route, it
seems a pity that the C. P. R. could not keep their line in Canadian
territory, as, in the event of war with America, or one in which she
was a neutral ally, her connections could be severed.

During this long journey of 1500 miles from Cape Breton, through the
Maritime Provinces, to the more cultivated and open country of Ontario,
the scenery has been beautiful but monotonous.

There are two features which repeat themselves over and over again to
the eye, the ear and the senses: they are that Canada is a land of many
forests, and that Canada is a land of many waters.

For many hundreds of miles we passed through the midst of these
enduring spruce forests, the narrow track whose path has been roughly
cleared by burning, extending with its thin thread of iron through
their densest growth, lost through their trackless depths. On either
side of the clearing though these, mighty forests, there is a belt of
blackened stumps of grey, armless stems, where the fire has passed over
them. Sometimes even there will be one green living tree left standing
among the dead. And these dull grey mutilated trees look quite pathetic
in their pale nakedness, leaning hither and thither, and finding
support across one another, as if falling in their last agony, or lying
dead and uprooted on the ground. They exercise quite a fascination as
they continue for mile after mile in their dying contortions, whilst
in the background there are their living brethren, so green, hardy and
dense in their growth. The ground beneath is strewn with blackened
snags that are partly covered with green moss and ferns, their fresh
growth mingling with these dark reminiscences of man's ruthless hands.
In sedgy places there are beds of waving bulrushes, and sometimes a few
wild flowers, such as the fox-glove, the mimosa, and the golden-rod.

Hundreds of acres of these lumber forests are on every side, and
indeed, a large proportion of the Dominion is covered with these
mighty stretches of pine and spruce. There are other varieties such as
maple, birch and poplar, but the spruce fir is the chief growth, as
it covers all the land that is not cleared or occupied by water. We
see piles of ready-cut timber, stacked for transport, or cars laden
with it at every station. The rivers and lakes are full of floating
timber, and abandoned rafts. Frequently the whole surface of the river
will be blocked with lumber, which, carried by the current, arranges
itself transversely in floating down. This generally happens near a
town or village. For miles away up these deep valleys, there are men
busy lumbering all the summer. They cut down and strip the trees of
bark and then float the lumber down to the nearest place for export.
We constantly pass sawing mills where water power is used for the
machinery. The bark is only useful for "kindling" or firewood. Some of
the wood is crushed to pulp and used for the manufacture of paper.

Occasionally in the middle of these forests the engine will startle
us with an unearthly whistle. It is a sign that we are approaching a
human habitation, and in a rough clearing we pass two or three wooden
huts, with a potato patch mingling with the black stumps, and women and
children at the door. One pities their solitary life, shut in by the
impenetrable forest, and wonders how they obtain supplies. Sometimes
there is a larger clearing with more attempts at farming, but where the
fields, though divided off, are still a mass of charred stumps.

This work of clearing by the Eastern settler must be terribly
disheartening. There is, first of all, a dense undergrowth to be hewn
through and piled up ready for burning. This when dry kindles the
conflagration which is to help so materially in the task. After a spell
of dry weather and with the wind in the direction he wishes to clear,
it must be joy to the settler to see the flames leaping up and hungrily
devouring the trees. The fiercer and longer the fire lasts and the
cleaner it burns, the more pleased he is, and when it dies down he must
look sadly around at the trees still standing, knowing that now each
one must be cut down by his own labour. Then each blackened stump and
snag must be grubbed up singly. This is work done by the sweat of the
brow. It is tedious, laborious and apparently endless. Occasionally you
come across a beautifully cleaned piece of ground, which is pleasant
to look upon, but generally the land is roughly cleared, in fact you
wonder how the few cows and sheep find sufficient green sustenance
among such a black outlook of burnt stumps. The enormous waste of
valuable timber by this rough-and-ready method of clearing seems to us
reckless prodigality, but the settler surrounded by miles of similar
forests cannot see it in this light.

The variety of rough wooden fences, with their ingenious inventions to
save labour and time, become a source of interest. The roughest kind
are formed of the roots of trees, turned on their sides, the roots
forming a thorny fence. It is picturesque, untidy, but practical for
its purpose, and is called a "snag" fence. Others are formed of timber
stakes of every description, some with barbed wire. This, however, is
too expensive to be largely used. But the prettiest of all are the
snake fences. Very easy of construction, they run along in graceful
zig-zags.

The land cleared, and the ground fenced off, the building of the
house comes next. This is a land of lumber, and of course the house
is made of wood. They are simple and easy of construction, being of
one story with a door in the centre and a window on either side. The
door must be covered with wire netting, for the flies in the forest
amount to a pest. They are lined with planked wood inside and out,
and the roof is covered with shingles or flat strips of wood nailed
on like tiles. Between the outside and inside there is a lining of
paper tarred thickly over. This makes the house air-tight. In Canada
a large proportion of the dwelling-houses are built of wood. Montreal
and Toronto have streets of handsome stone houses, and in all Canadian
towns the public buildings and offices in the city are of stone
or brick. Still, wooden houses largely predominate throughout the
Dominion. It seems curious, but arctic as the winters are, these wooden
houses are more suited than stone to the climate. In the latter the
mortar absorbs and gives off damp in a thaw, whilst the wooden houses
are dry, air-tight and extremely comfortable. Most of the houses have
furnaces in the basement, which heats the warm air in the pipes of each
room, or at all events a stove in the hall. This and double windows are
a necessity in the winter.

During this long journey, we are again impressed with the volume and
extent of the lakes and rivers. The country is absolutely fretted with
these fresh-water lakes, which are full of salmon and trout. Some are
very large, like Lake Megantic, which we pass, and which is twelve
miles long; or Moosehead, which is forty miles long and from one to
fifteen miles broad. Others are only like large ponds. Then there
are broad rivers, deep and strong; wide rivers, shallow and rapid,
and mountain torrents, brown and babbling. But it is always water
everywhere, still or running, silent or noisy, blue or green according
to its depth. If you read for a little while, or your attention is
turned away from the car window, on looking up again there is sure to
be more water in sight.

We now re-visited Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto in the interests of,
and for meetings of, the United Empire Trade League, after a lapse of
six years. At the capital kindly, enthusiastic, and hospitable was the
official and parliamentary welcome to my husband, but we heard much of
the "scandals," and of the loss to the country of Sir John Macdonald.
Of the former subject we weary, as of the extravagant language
which fills the papers, the following being a specimen of the daily
head-lines:--

"Boodle and Bungle." "The Slime of the Serpent is over Them All." "A
Story of Greed, Incompetence, Extravagance and Muddle." "Another Public
Works Scandal," etc.

Montreal, with its natural attractions of the St. Lawrence and the
Mountain, is little changed. But Toronto has grown enormously, and is
now approached through some miles of suburbs. The Torontonians claim
that their "Queen City" has increased in the last few years more than
any other on this Continent, not excepting any in the United States.
They may well be proud of it.

On Saturday, August 22nd, we left Toronto, and five hours in the cars
brought us to Owen Sound. This part of the line was laid by an English
engineer, who they say had never laid a railway before; it was taken
over by the C.P.R. and was incorporated into their great line. It is
not difficult to believe that this was the case, for the car narrowly
escapes derailment by the roughness of the road.

Owen Sound is the point of departure for the C.P.R. steamers across the
lakes of Huron and Superior. I think it is a preferable route to the
railway, as it saves two days and two nights in the cars. The steamers
are very comfortable and well arranged. They are constructed to carry
a large cargo. On this voyage the cargo consists of agricultural
machinery going out west for the harvest, and soon it will be the grain
of the north-west which they will be carrying to the east. They have a
capacity for 40,000 bushels of grain, and they are constructed in such
a way that the grain can be shipped direct to and from the steamer by
the grain elevator.

For several hours we steam through the Georgian Bay or southern
extremity of Lake Huron. It is a pretty inlet with forested banks, and
a great expanse of smooth blue water. It is difficult to realize the
vast area of space covered by these Canadian lakes. Lake Huron, which
we have been crossing all night, covers 28,000 square miles; Lake
Superior, which we are about to enter, has 30,000 square miles. Lakes
Erie, Winnipeg, Michigan, and Ontario, must be added to these miniature
oceans. And we are not surprised to find, that Canada claims to have
one quarter of the whole of the fresh water of the globe on her surface.

The next morning the banks of Lake Huron are drawing closer together,
leaving us a narrow channel staked out in the centre. We are passing a
regular procession of barges. There are as many as three being towed in
line, and as the passage is narrow and devious, we could shake hands in
passing. Also, as we salute each one, and are saluted, with a threefold
whistle, the noise is continuous and wearing. These barges are laden
chiefly with lumber, but some have coal, grain, and ore.

We enter the narrow mouth of the Sault Ste. Marie River, commonly
called by the Americans the "Soo." This river is the outlet between the
waters of Lake Huron and Lake Superior. There is a fall of forty-two
feet. It is a broad and muddy river, and on the right hand we have
American soil, and on the left Canadian. Perched on the bridge in
the crisp morning air, the views are very pretty. The mountains, as
always, are covered with the dark blue-green of the familiar pines. The
banks are clothed in brilliant green, just mellowing into yellow under
autumn's golden hand. We are shown a quarry of valuable variegated
marble in the mountain side, which is proving inexhaustible. Then we
pass the wreck of the _Pontiac_. She was run down by her sister ship
four weeks ago, and lies helplessly across the course, her bows stove
in, and the bridge and hurricane deck only above water. They are
pumping her out, gallons of water pouring from her rent side.

Ten miles of this ascent of the river, and bending round a corner,
we come in sight of Sault Ste. Marie. Like so many other places, the
town has been created by the developing energy of the C.P.R., whose
cantilever railway bridge we see crossing the river, but it is typical
of the energy and "go" of the Americans, that on their side of the
river there is a town, whilst on the Canadian it is only a village. At
Sault Ste. Marie there are some pretty rapids which you can shoot in a
canoe. Communication between the two great waterways of Lakes Superior
and Huron is by a lock, where the water rises and falls sixteen feet.
The lock is on the American side, but the Canadians are making a deeper
one of twenty-two feet. This Soo Canal is of the greatest commercial
importance. Sixty vessels, in the summer season, pass through it daily,
or more, they allege, than through the Suez Canal.

There was a long procession of steamers and barges waiting on either
side for their turn. It is so shallow that little way can be allowed
to the ships in passing in and out, and for two hours and a half we
sat and were quite amused watching the skill which packed three large
steam barges into this narrow canal. It must not be thought that these
steam barges are like our dirty barges on the Thames or on English
canals. They have a tonnage of 1500 or 2000 tons, and are as smart as
white paint and polished brass can make them, being lighted, too, by
electricity.

These great lakes have a complete through connection to the ocean by
means of rivers, locks, and canals. Recently the whale-back boat was
taken from Chicago by this route to the Atlantic and across to London.
But as the commerce from the West increases, the canals will require
widening and deepening. This through waterway will have an important
bearing on the commercial development of Canada. Its drawback is that
from November until April the lakes are frozen. We, who travel through
Canada in the summer, forget what a different aspect the country
assumes, when for six months of the year it is frost and snow bound.

A few hours after passing the Soo Canal, we had left the flat banks
behind us, and passed out on to the ocean-like waters of Lake Superior,
across which we steamed for ten hours.

At eight o'clock there is the great purple promontory of Cape Thunder
in sight. It is a bold outline against the pale morning sky, clear,
with a keen north wind. It shelters inside the circular bay of Thunder,
with Port Arthur at its head. We pass Silver Island, where thousands of
dollars' worth of silver have been raised and sunk again.

After the mine had been opened, the sea broke in, and a crib had to
be constructed. The silver is there, but the difficulties in raising
it seem insuperable. The whole of Cape Thunder is formed of mineral
deposits.

We land at Port Arthur. It is a sad place. The C.P.R. has ruined the
rising town by choosing Fort William, five miles further up the river,
for its lake port. The once thriving place is deserted, the shops
closing, the large hotel empty. Such is the power of a great monopoly;
it creates and destroys by a stroke of the pen.

Before leaving the _Alberta_ at Fort William, the time is put back an
hour. It recedes as we travel westward, and advances for east-bound
travellers. The time of the Dominion is taken from Montreal, and is
numbered, for convenience and business purposes, consecutively, that is
to say, they have no a.m. or p.m. to confuse their train-service, and
their watches have the double numbers, and one p.m. becomes thirteen,
and two p.m. fourteen, and so on. A proposition has just been made in
the Dominion Parliament to equalize the time, but it will not pass, at
all events, this session.

Fort William was one of the advanced posts of the Hudson Bay Company.
It is now a swamp laid out in streets at right angles, with wooden
houses, overshadowed by some enormous grain elevators. Doubtless it
has a great future before it. We wait here five long hours for the
west-bound train.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 1: Licence has been taken somewhat to alter the route
actually travelled in the Maritime Provinces, so as to fit it in better
as a continuation of my previous book, "Forty Thousand Miles over Land
and Water."]



CHAPTER III.

BY THE GOLDEN WAVE TO THE FAR WEST.


Our journey to the Far West, through golden wheat, began at Fort
William; from there the Canadian Pacific takes us across to the ocean.

The C.P.R., with its 2990 miles of railway, is the iron girdle that
binds Canada together from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. She
gives cohesion to this conglomerate whole, with its varieties of
climate and production. Every mile of the line is worth a mile of gold
to the country, for at every place where she lays down a station, that
place becomes a town, a centre of population, civilization, and wealth
to the surrounding district. This railway has been the great explorer,
the great colonizer, the great wealth producer of Canada. It is the
artery of the body of the Dominion.

One has constantly to remember that six or seven years ago all this
country through which we are passing was an unexplored wilderness. A
little band of plate-layers, headed by a surveyor, true pioneers, must
have forced their way through, hewing trees, blasting rock, and making
the silent woods resound with the voice of civilization, occasionally
coming across the track of some Indian encampment or the marks of a
bear. It must have required great forethought and organization from
headquarters to have the plant and stores ready to push on day by day,
whilst the railway in rear acted as the pioneers' single communication
with the outside world, as they plunged deeper and deeper into the
forests. The average speed of construction was about five miles a day,
and the greatest length laid in one day was twelve and a half miles.
The portion of line between Port Arthur and Fort William was the most
difficult to devise. Indeed, several times the engineers despaired. The
railway is divided into divisional sections, with a superintendent at
each. These again are divided into sections, with a surveyor in charge;
and we frequently pass their lonely section houses. Every portion of
the line is inspected once a day, the workmen using a trolly, which can
be lifted on and off the track. It is a single line, and there is only
one passenger train daily east and west.

The trains are very long and heavy, often consisting of eight or nine
cars some eighty feet in length, weighing as much as fifty tons each.
They would jump the track if lighter. Our train to-day was of this
length, and carried a human freight of 286 persons, exclusive of the
numerous officials. The sleepers or sleeping-cars are most elegant,
with their polished pine wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and their
pale sea-green brocade hangings.

The colonist cars on these trains are excellent, and always, we
noticed, well filled. They have berths like the sleeper, only with no
upholstery, but the colonist can buy a mattress and pillow at Montreal
for a dollar or two. They have a stove where they can cook their own
provisions, and on landing from the ocean steamers they get into this
car, live in it, and come as far west as they want to without change or
stoppage.

From Fort William we passed through a wild, rocky country, following
the line of the Kaministiquia, a shallow river scrambling over a rocky
course. There are a few of these soft liquid Indian names, embodying
some symbolical or romantic ideal, still left; but they are fast dying
out, and the practical settler is changing them to a more prosaic but
pronounceable nomenclature.

It was through this lonely district, then, unexplored by white man,
that for ninety-five days Wolseley, in 1870, led his troops against
the Indians. They marched 1000 miles from Fort William to Fort Garry,
utilizing the waterway of the lakes and rivers where possible. At
Savanne we see two of his flat-bottomed boats, lying rotting in the
stream near an Indian village.

We have dinner in the private car of Mr. Howland and Mr. Wilkie, the
chairman and general manager of the Imperial Bank of Toronto. Seated
at the end of the train, we watch the twin lines of railway uncoiling
themselves in a straight line for mile after mile. An occasional
section-house, a station, which is often only a wooden shed on a
platform, a board with the number of the section on it, and, at long
intervals, a huge red tank for watering the engine, is all we see.
Night closes in on this lonely country, and we sleep in our berths,
while the engine steams and pants along into the darkness, hour after
hour through the long, long night.

In the cold early morning we reach Rat Portage, passing from the state
of Ontario into Manitoba. Rat Portage is a wooden village of 1400
inhabitants (this is considered quite a goodly population for this
sparsely-peopled country); and has the largest flour mill in Canada. It
lies at the outlet of the beautiful Lake of the Woods, which is forty
miles long and studded with islands.

A brake has broken and the train is divided, the first half taking on
the dining-car. Hungry and impatient, the passengers wait for another
to be attached, and stand on the carriage platform ready to rush on
board. But, as it passes, a howl of disappointed hunger goes up, for
some knowing ones have jumped off the cars, and filled it before it
leaves the siding.

We are still travelling through the same rock-bound country, ungainly
masses of rock protruding through a scrub growth of dwarf trees. We
continually pass beautiful lakes, placid sheets of water hidden away
in hollows. This is succeeded by a run through some "muskeg" or black
peaty bog land, where flourish rank grasses against a background of
bushy poplar trees.

Thirty or forty miles from Winnipeg the country opens out and gradually
assumes a prairie character. The land is quite flat now, covered with
coarse yellow grasses, and sprinkled with wild flowers. It is a rich
feast of colours. There are great patches of gorgeous wild sunflowers,
masses of purple and white michaelmas daisies, growing more plenteously
here on the open prairie, than when cultivated in our cottage gardens
at home; there are bluebells and lupins, blue, pink, and white, marsh
mallows, cyclamen, and acres of that weed-like growth, the golden
rod. Isolated houses, becoming more frequent, tell us we are nearing
Winnipeg. We cross the Red river and are in the station.

Winnipeg is the old Fort Garry settlement of the Hudson Bay Company.
Twenty years ago, or in 1871, population was 100, now, in 1891, it is
30,000.

The town is set down in the midst of the prairie. Main street
follows the winding of the old Indian trail which takes in the deep
bend of the Red river. The City Hall in this street, or "on" as the
Canadians would say, is a very handsome new-looking structure. It
front of it stands the column erected to the memory of the soldiers
who fell in the North-West rebellion of 1870. It is surmounted by a
volunteer on guard, wrapped in his fur coat, and with his fur cap on
his head. The streets are paved with blocks of wood, but the foot
pavements are still boarded; indeed Winnipeg is a strange mixture,
with Eastern civilization meeting in this border city, the Western or
rough-and-ready methods of the settler. It is only interesting on this
account.

In the streets there are bullock carts bringing in cradles of hay from
the prairie; sulkies, which are constructed of two wheels and a tiny
board for a driver's seat; and buckboards, used for purposes of all
kinds. Nor must I forget the little carts with their tandems of dogs.
These are a mongrel breed, and are much used, especially in winter,
when they are driven four, six, or a dozen in hand in sleighs. As we
get further west, the breed of horses improves. There are country
yokels with burnt faces, coarse straw hat, and flannel shirt, gazing
open-mouthed at the store windows, for Winnipeg is to them what London
is to our country lads. Here is a family party of Indians emerging from
a shop with numerous parcels, to the evident joy of the squaw. But what
strikes you so much is, that you may pass from this handsome street of
fine stores, straight out on to the broad expanse of prairie.

On the block of Government land stands the fine group of stone
buildings of the Parliament House, together with the Ministerial
offices for the Province of Manitoba, the Governor's residence, and the
wooden barracks enclosed in a square. We stayed at the Clarendon Hotel,
whose days are I fear numbered, as the Northern Pacific Company are
just completing a magnificent red sandstone hostelry. It is shown as
one of the sights of Winnipeg.

Mrs. Adams, wife of an old Royal Welsh brother-officer of my
husband's, kindly took me for a drive in the afternoon. On the
outskirts of the town the Assiniboine river takes a deep bend, in
which there is some woodland. Trees are scarce on the prairie, and
what there are--poplar, oak and maple--are all stunted in their growth
from exposure to the north-west blast, which sweeps in winter across
the great waste, a piercing, biting wind blowing from over acres and
acres of snow. In this green belt there are many handsome houses, built
in an ambitious style of architecture, with towers and porticoes and
balustrades. They were chiefly constructed during the great "boom" of
nine years ago, a disastrous event that has left its mark. The town
still suffers from the troubles which quickly followed. Families are
yet living under the cloud of the financial bankruptcy which then
overtook them.

In 1872, Winnipeg, with a sudden awakening, realized the immense future
before her as the capital of the Far West. Land was quickly bought up.
Large prices given and realized. Houses were built on a magnificent
scale. Crowds flocked in from all parts of Canada to share in the
coming prosperity, A complete collapse followed. The bubble had burst.

The meaning of a "boom" may be thus simply exemplified. A buys a piece
of land from B, and pays half the price down as a first instalment. He
sells to C at an increased price, who, in his turn, does ditto to D. At
length B, the original seller, calls for payment. C and D are unable to
meet the call, and are ruined in endeavouring to do so, and the land is
thrown back on A, who is in the same position, and B has it thrown on
his hands, and never having in the first place received full payment,
is also ruined, for he has speculated with the money. All classes had
taken part in this "wild land speculation," and all were involved in
the collapse. Houses were closed (for they could not be sold, as there
were no purchasers) or are only, as we now see them, partially lived
in. Winnipeg is slowly recovering from this "boom," and with the youth
and energy of a young city will renew her prosperity.

Passing the ruined gateway of the old Fort Garry, we appropriately come
to the Hudson Bay Store. It is contained in a large block of buildings,
and is a new departure in the trade once absorbed by that great and
powerful fur-trading company. They first explored the country, owned
it, and kept up friendly relations with the Indians. It was one of
those great trading monopolies, owned by merchants, and which have done
so much for the wealth and commerce of England. The Hudson Bay Company
has accomplished in a minor degree for Canada, what the East India
Company did for India. This shop may truly be called the Army and Navy
stores of the West, for it contains everything from brocades and Paris
mantles (which are bought by the squaws) furs, carpets, groceries, to
Indian blankets, pipes and bead work. In this bead work the blending of
colours is exquisite. At the last Louis Riel rebellion, the wholesale
department outfitted and provisioned at twenty-four hours' notice, 600
soldiers for thirty days.

We then visited the tennis club. I am impressed with the immense
utility of this popular game, which, if useful in England, performs
a large social duty in all Canadian towns. It forms a mild daily
excitement, and a meeting place for all, and is especially useful
in a country where, with the impossibility of obtaining servants,
entertaining is a difficult matter.

Canon O'Meara took us one morning to the outskirts of the city to see
the cathedral. Lying out in the country and built of wood, it resembles
a simple village church. The surrounding cemetery is full of handsome
monuments, and here lie many victims of the boom. The most interesting
monument is the granite sarcophagus, engraved with seven names,
surrounded by laurel wreaths of the victims of the last rebellion.
Their remains were brought back here to be buried, with an impressive
public funeral.

We visited the Bishop of Rupert's Land in his adjoining house. He is
Metropolitan of eight bishoprics, and has an enormous diocese reaching
into the unexplored regions of the Mackenzie River. He has organized
a college on the model of an English University, and which confers
degrees.

Studying the working of the Church in Canada, one recognizes some
arguments in favour of Disestablishment. In Canada there is no State
endowment, and the clergy are supported by voluntary contributions.
This money comes partly from pew rents, and is greatly assisted by
the envelope system. By this method the parishioner covenants to give
a certain sum a year for the maintenance of his church, by fixed
weekly Sunday instalments. He is furnished with fifty-two envelopes,
on which his name is printed, and these contributions are entered in
a book. There appears to be no difficulty in raising funds by these
means, particularly if the clergyman is popular. If he is unpopular,
or his doctrines unacceptable or extreme, he suffers by the falling
off of his income. This system, moreover, has the advantage of giving
every man an interest in his church. A clergyman observed that several
members of his congregation appeared at church for the first time on
the establishment of this envelope system. "Oh, yes," they said, in
response to his remark, "we have got some stock in this concern now."

It works particularly smoothly where the bishop, adapting himself to
the needs of a new country, admits the principle that those who pay
must choose. They require, however, a Clergy Discipline Act as much as
we do.

Mr. Robinson took us in the afternoon for a drive across the prairie
to Sir Donald Smith's model farm at Silver Heights, where there are
three splendid specimens of the now extinct buffalo, some of the few
left of those vast herds that used to roam the prairie. The farm takes
its name from the adjoining wood of silver poplar trees.

C. visited the venerable French Archbishop Taché. He told him that he
came out forty-six years ago, and that it took him then sixty-two days
to travel from Montreal, what he can now perform in sixty-two hours. He
showed the inkstand from which his uncle, the Premier of Quebec, Sir
Etienne Taché, signed the Confederation Act of Canada.

_Thursday, August 27th._--Before leaving Winnipeg Major Heward gave us
an early inspection at the barracks of the Mounted Infantry. They are
smart and well-mounted on brancho horses, reared in the west. We also
inspected the chief of the three fire stations. They have a chemical
steamer. In this the water is mixed with carbolic acid gas. Fire being
supported by oxygen, the carbolic gas, when thrown on it, extinguishes
the supply of oxygen, and with it the fire. The fire bell, in sounding,
throws open the stable door and the horses trot out by themselves and
place their necks under the suspended collar, which descends and is
fastened by a patent bolt.

The west-bound trains all stop at Winnipeg for five hours to allow
time for the colonists to visit the Railway and Dominion Land Offices,
and to obtain information respecting selections of lands. The land in
the North-West Provinces has now been surveyed and allotted thus for
twenty-four miles each side of the line. In a township of thirty-six
sections of 640 acres, or one square mile to each section, the Dominion
retains roughly one half, whilst the C.P.R. retains the other. There
are two sections reserved for school purposes, that the value of the
land may make the schools free and self-supporting, two sections
for the Hudson Bay Company, and the Canada North-West Land Company
have bought others. The diagram on page 53 will show the division of
sections.

The station was crowded with large parties of emigrants, as many
settlers leave their families here, whilst choosing their sections
further west. There are bundles of bedding, tin cooking utensils, with
bird cages and babies in promiscuous heaps.

As we pass out of the station we see the enormous plant and rolling
stock of the C.P.R., which has here its half-way depot between Montreal
and Vancouver. They have twenty miles of sidings, which are now full of
plant waiting to be pressed forward, to bring down the harvest to the
coast.

[Illustration: TOWNSHIP DIAGRAM.

The above diagram shows the manner in which the country is surveyed.
It represents a township--that is, a tract of land six miles square,
containing 36 sections of one mile square each. These sections are
subdivided into quarter sections of 160 acres each.]

We are out on the prairie at once, on that great billowy sea of brown
and yellow grass; monotonous it is, and yet pleasing in its quiet,
rich, monotones of colour. The virgin soil is of rich black loam. The
belt of unsettled land round Winnipeg is caused by the land being held
by speculators, but after that we pass many pleasant farms, clustering
more thickly around Portage le Prairie, a rising town. We pass a
freight train entirely composed of refrigerator cars, containing that
bright pink salmon from British Columbia, which is a luxury in the east
and a drug in the west. The engine bears a trophy of a sheaf of corn,
to show that the harvest in the west has already begun.

Out of the whole year we could not have chosen a more favourable moment
for visiting the North-West, as the harvest is in full swing. We are
at this moment passing through a sea of golden grain, acre after acre
extending in an unbroken line to the horizon. Indeed we are told that
these wheat fields form a continuous belt some forty miles deep on
either side of the railway.

It would be difficult for anyone living even in the east of Canada,
to realize the enormous interest shown in the crops and weather out
here. For months and weeks beforehand it forms a general topic of
conversation, but, as August closes in, it becomes the one and all
absorbing concern. The newspapers are scanned for the daily weather
reports. Warnings are telegraphed broadcast through the land. As
Professor Goldwin Smith says, in his book "Canada and the Canadian
Question," "Just before the harvest the weather is no commonplace
topic, and a deep anxiety broods over the land."

The interests at stake are enormous, involving as they do the question
to many of prosperity or ruin. One cold night, or one touch of frost
may destroy the labour of a year. This year the promise is exceptional,
and the prospect was bright until a week ago. Then there were ominous
whispers of frost. These early and late frosts are the scourge of the
farmer, and the lateness of the harvest, owing to an exceptionally
cold summer, increases the anxiety. Day by day, hour by hour, the
temperature is discussed with earnestness, increasing with intensity as
evening approaches. The other night there were people in Winnipeg going
up and down Main Street all night and striking matches to look at the
thermometer placed there. The interest to all was so vital that they
could not rest. There are warnings published in bulletins to farmers,
to light smudge fires to keep the frost from the wheat. These fires of
stubble, lighted to the north or north-west of the fields, by raising
the temperature two or three degrees, keep off the frost, and the dread
of smutted wheat. We see these smudge fires smouldering as we pass
along.

The virgin soil will yield as much as forty to fifty bushels of wheat
an acre, and from fifty to sixty of oats. Manures are unknown and
unwanted by these western farmers. The land has only to be "scratched
with a plough," and the field will often yield a rich harvest of 500
acres of wheat. The hum of the harvest is heard in all the land, and
we see for miles the golden grain waiting to be gathered, and the
"reapers and binders" hard at work. This machine is an ingenious
American invention, which cuts and binds at the same time. There is a
string inside which is given a twist, a knife comes down and cuts the
strings and throws out the sheaf. It is pretty to watch the rhythmical
precision with which sheaf after sheaf, thus cut and tied, is thrown
out on the track of the machine. The sheaves are then piled into
generous stacks and left for a fortnight to dry. Labour is at a premium
throughout Canada, and machinery, chiefly of American manufacture, is
more largely used than in England. Sometimes two chums will farm 200
acres alone. Nearly all this grain we see is the far-famed Manitoba No.
1 hard. It is the finest wheat in the world.

We are now approaching Brandon, which is a great wheat centre. This
town has the largest grain market in Manitoba, as is shown by five
elevators. "It is the distributing centre for an extensive and well
settled country." We should have stayed here, but were deterred by
accounts of the hotel accommodation. Then came the pleasure of an
orange sunset, gilding the grain into more golden glory. We passed the
celebrated Bell Farm at night where the furrows are usually four miles
long, and the work is done by military organization, "ploughing by
brigades, and reaping by divisions."

At five o'clock we are left cold and shivering in the just broken
dawn on the prairie side at Regina. We look wistfully after the
disappearing train, with the warm berths inside the car. Deceived by
the high-sounding designation of Capital of the North-West Provinces,
we had broken our journey at Regina. There is a frontage to the line
of some wooden houses and stores, which extends but a little way back,
for the population of Regina is only as yet 2000. The prairie extends
to the sky line on every side. It is a dreary prospect, and we are
mutually depressed.

There being nothing else to do, I retire to bed for some hours--the
Sheffield-born landlady giving us a true Sheffield welcome.

At one o'clock matters seem brighter, for Colonel Herchmer, commanding
the Mounted Police of the North-West Territory, has kindly sent a team
for us to drive two miles out across the prairie to the barracks. From
the distance, the dark red buildings look quite a town, surmounted by
the tower of the riding school. This force is organized on military
lines, and consists of 1000 men, who maintain order over the Indian
Reservations, and an area of 800 miles. Their uniform of scarlet
patrol-jacket and black forage cap, with long riding-boots is extremely
smart. You meet them in all parts of the North-West Provinces.

After lunching with Mrs. Herchmer, we inspected the officers' and
men's mess rooms, the canteen, store room, kitchens and forge, the
reading-room, bowling alley and theatre, and the guard room, where we
were shown the cell in which Louis Riel was kept after his capture. The
force is under strict military discipline. They have a football and
cricket team, and a musical ride equal to that of the Life Guards.

The horses are all "bronchos," or prairie horses, bred chiefly from
Indian ponies. They cost 100 dols. to 120 dols. each, and are short
and wiry. They need to be strong, for the men must be five feet eight
inches in height, and measure thirty-five inches round the chest, while
the Californian saddles they use are very heavy. These saddles are
after the model of the Spanish South American ones, with a high pommel
in front and a triangular wooden stirrup. The horses are guaranteed
to go forty miles a day. There are many gentlemen in the ranks of the
force, some of whom have failed in ranching and other walks of life.
The wild roving life on the out-stations may be pleasant, but there is
no promotion from the ranks.

A drive of two miles further out on to the prairie brought us to
one of the Dominion Schools, kept for the children of the Indian
Reservations. Mr. Hayter Reed, the Government Inspector, who showed us
over the school, told us that they do not force the parents to give up
the children, but persuade them. It is uphill work at first, civilizing
and teaching English to the little brown, bright-eyed children, with
lank black hair, whom we saw in the schoolrooms. The bath and the
wearing of boots is a severe trial to these gipsy children at first.

The Government acknowledges in the building of these schools its
responsibility towards the natives. They made treaties with the
Indians, giving them rations, and setting apart certain lands or
Reservations for them, such as the Black Foot and the Sarcee. The
Americans did the same with their Indians, but did not keep their
treaties as we have done. However, like all other "indigenes," they
are dying out with the advance of the white man's civilization. We
drove home past Government House, and in the evening M. Royat, the
Lieut.-Governor, presided over an enthusiastic meeting of the United
Empire Trade League.

Since very early morning, and all through this interminably long hot
day, we have been crossing the great desert prairie. Hour after hour
has dragged wearily on, and still we look out from the car on to the
symmetrical lines of the rolling plains.

For over 400 miles, from Regina to Medicine Hat, this vast steppe
extends. There is no green thing on it--not a tree, or bush, or
shrub--but it is covered with coarse grass, burnt to a sere yellow.
The prairie is trackless as a desert; lonely as the ocean; vast
and colourless as a summer sky. And yet the prairie pleases, its
loneliness fascinates, its very monotony charms, the deep stillness
soothes, the tints are so pale and quiet. There is the faded yellow
of the grass, and the faint blue of the sky meeting on the horizon in
that never-ending undulating line, unbroken and uninterrupted. The
atmosphere is so clear that the blades of grass stand out alone, and a
distant sage bush is intensely blue. Occasionally the haze makes the
mirage of an ocean on the sky line. The only variety to this unvarying
scene are the great saline lakes we frequently pass. A blue haze hangs
over them, caused by the active evaporation, and now and again we see
a shining patch of pure white crystal, which is the crust of salt left
from an exhausted lake. At other times these dry basins are carpeted
with a rich red and purple weed, that forms an oasis in the wilderness
of burnt-out hues.

We see many buffalo trails, for though these animals have been extinct
for some years, their prancings beat the trail so hard, that they are
still in existence. As many as 160,000 were killed yearly, and with
them disappeared the chief sustenance of the Indians. The prairie is
strewn with their bleached skulls and carcasses. By the side of the
stations there are stacks of their gigantic bones, artistically built
up with the skulls facing outwards. Gophers start up and skurry away at
the noise of the train. They correspond to the prairie dog of America,
but are smaller and about the size of a rabbit.

We are impressed with the comparative fertility of the Canadian
prairie, when contrasted with the similar belt of saline desert in
America, for barren as this looks, parts of it are good for cattle
ranching. We do, later in the day, occasionally pass a few settlers'
dwellings, and presently the first of the Canadian Agricultural
Company's farms. There are ten of these farms, consisting of 10,000
acres each, and situated at intervals of thirty miles between this and
Calgary. We see on them frequent "fire breaks," or a ploughed acre left
bare to prevent a fire from spreading in the crops. There are men, too,
stationed along the line firing the grass, so that a spark dropped from
the engine should not, by blazing this grass, spread to the ripening
corn.

We inquire what is the use of the mounds by the tracks, and are told
these are snow brakes. In this flat country the smallest rise is
sufficient to make a drift, against which the snow piles to a great
height.

We pass Moosejaw. The name is an abridgment of the Indian one, which
literally means, "The-creek-where-the-white-man-mended-the-cart
with-a-moose-jaw-bone." At Maple Creek there are large stock yards,
where the cattle are brought down from far distant ranches, and even
from over the American border at Montana, and put on the train to
Montreal and exported to England.

The car had been up to 95°, but the intense heat was beginning to
subside. With the refreshing coolness and the sun declining, we are
also gladdened by the sight of a gradually rising slope on the dead
level of the plain. It is the beginning of the Cypress range. Then we
see a bush, some trees, some prairie flowers, and soon we are dropping
down into the comparatively fruitful valley of the South Saskatchawan,
and, crossing its broad river, we reach Medicine Hat.

It is delightful after the stifling atmosphere of the cars to get
out and stroll in the station garden, which is full of old-fashioned
English flowers, stocks, geraniums, verbenas, floxes, and mignonette.
There are a picturesque party of Indians with their squaws and papooses
on the platform. We have seen some at all the stations selling polished
buffalo horns, mocassins and bead work; but try and "kodak" them as we
often did--and the instant they saw the small black box, the men turned
away and the women put their shawls over their heads.

On leaving Medicine Hat, we ascended the valley above the river and
passed on to a more fertile prairie. There was just here a great
meeting-place for the buffaloes, and the ground is full of their
"wallows" or hollows made by the weight of their unwieldly bodies. Alas,
that the law against their slaughter came four years after they had all
been wantonly killed!

We reach Calgary at the atrocious hour of two a.m., and turn out of a
warm berth into a cold bed at the hotel.

_Sunday, August 30th._--We attended morning service at the pretty
little wooden church, the Bishop of Saskatchawan officiating.

Calgary is the capital of Alberta and is in the centre of a great
ranche country. Like all these towns out west it is an unfinished
conglomeration of houses, laid out in imaginary streets at right
angles, in which there are few houses and more gaps. The whole is
held together by a principal street, in which there are two or three
pretentious new stone buildings. From here the houses straggle away
into the country, the unoccupied lots being joined to them by a boarded
foot-path. These towns have no depth, they are all surface and length.
Laid down on the prairie there are no trees near them and they have a
bare unfinished ugliness, peculiar to their new growth.

You are reminded at every turn of the reason for Calgary's existence,
for its shops indicate the ranchers' wants. There are many saddlers,
displaying Californian saddles, stock whips and lassoos; others have
camp bedding and furniture; canned goods, that stand-by of the rancher,
are evidently in great demand. The dry-goods stores are full of flannel
shirts, slouching broad-brimmed hats and "chaps," or the cowboy's
leather leggings reaching to the thigh. Nearly everyone you meet is
English, there are few born Canadians.

The streets are full of cowboys riding their long-tailed, half-groomed
bronchos at a hand gallop, or of sulkies with the unmistakable rancher,
with shirt open at the throat, slouch hat, and tanned face. The chief
subject of conversation is the dimensions of the ranches, the number of
head of cattle and horses on each.

In the afternoon a Police team came with Mrs. McIllree, to drive us out
to see one of these ranches. Out here anything from a single horse to a
four-in-hand is called a "team," but this was one in our sense of the
term.

We galloped across a trail on the prairie, and then wound through a
"coolie," as they call the little valleys lying in between the rolling
hills, and which are so frequent in this country. There are hundreds of
gophers popping out of their holes, and as we see them close, sitting
up with their long bodies, they look like tiny kangaroos. We espy
coveys of prairie chickens, which are like our grouse.

As we reach the open ground there is a splendid country spread out
before us. Far as the eye can reach, extending into the foot-hills at
the base of the Rockies, there are miles and miles of rolling upland
pastures, that resemble our Wiltshire downs. The whole of this vast
area has been "taken up," and is a succession of ranches. We can see
the little wooden houses with their outbuildings, scattered at long
intervals. Those innumerable specks on the downs are the cattle and
horses, literally "feeding on a thousand hills." We are following the
sweeping bends of the Elbow river, which lies below us in a cool green
ravine, full of trees, in pleasant contrast to the brown hills around.

[Illustration: The Ranche Pupil.]

The ranche we are going to belongs to Mr. Robinson, and used to
be called the Elbow Ranche, but has lately changed its name to the
Chippenham, in accordance with the idea of calling the ranches
hereabouts after the great English hunts. Messrs. Martin, Jameson, and
Gordon-Cumming (the latter of whom we met at the hotel with his pet
black bear), have called their ranche the Quorn. One ranche differs
not from the other, except in degrees of comfort. They are all built
of wood, generally with verandahs, and after the simplest model of
a square house, with a door in the centre and windows on each side.
There are no trees or shrubs, or creepers scarcely even an attempt at
a garden; a rough paling alone divides them from the prairie. Dogs
walk in and out and are part of the family. The plains are bare. Yet
what a world of romance lingers round the expression, "out ranching in
the West." We dream of sunrise and sunset on the open prairie, of wild
gallops in the early morning with the dew on the grass, of camping out
under the starlight. But I trow the reality is far removed from the
ideal, and that it ends with a bunk in the cowboy's hut wrapped up in
a blanket, with tough prairie beef and doughy bread for their fare. I
am sure if some fond mother could see her darling boy in his cowboy's
dress, and his quarters in the log hut, she would never be happy until
she had him by her side again. It is clearly a case of "where ignorance
is bliss," etc. But still, for a strong constitution there is nothing
to fear, and sobriety and industry may lead to fortune.

We look at the "corral" or wooden pen, subdivided into partitions,
where, after the animals have been driven in, the one required is
gradually separated by being shut off in pen after pen, until a narrow
passage is reached. Here wooden barriers are let down and he is thus
confined in a cage. They can then brand him with an iron stamped with
the mark of the ranche. If it is a colt to be broken, they saddle,
bridle and mount him before leaving the pen. Then comes the struggle,
in which the rough rider requires great skill, tact, and experience,
for a horse will do anything to unseat his rider the first time.
Unmercifully sharp bits are used, but the horse is guided more by
the rein on the neck. The boys ride loosely when galloping over the
prairie, leaving the horse to look out for the holes, and he rarely
makes a mistake.

The horses on this ranche are bronchos, but they have not sufficient
blood for the English market, and, added to this, the branding detracts
from their value. They are worth about 120 dols. each. This firing is
said to be a necessity, as the ranches are often 500 acres in extent.
The animals roam at will, with perhaps a couple of men, living in a log
hut twenty miles away from the ranche, told off to look after them.
Twice a year they "round up;" that is, the owners meet and appoint a
place, where the cattle are driven in and claimed by their owners, who
know them by their brands, and colts and calves are then marked. This
rounding up is done in the spring and the fall of every year, and is
beginning now. The brands are some of them very ingenious in device.
Settlers advertise in the newspapers for lost animals, giving their
brands, which are well known to all the country round.

Does ranching pay? They tell us it can and does, but, as in every
other walk of life, hard work, capital and experience are required.
Those who are wise, before beginning ranching on their own account, go
through a cowboy apprenticeship on some ranche. Our driver in Calgary
confided to us "that them young men didn't do no good to themselves
out here, but they did good to the country, for they freely spent the
remittances from home."

We came home by the Indian Sarcee Reserve. On an open space over the
river we saw some poles placed together with a suspended hook. It is
the place where the Indians "make their braves." In this terrible
ordeal their young men have this hook twisted into the muscles of
their chests and are drawn up by it. They must utter no cry of pain.
Indian encampments are met with all over the prairie. You know their
"topee" tents, by the poles sticking up in the centre, in distinction
to the ordinary tents of the half-breeds. They have numerous horses and
cattle, which are rounded up with others. They are kept by an inspector
within their reserves, and there is a large fine for anyone selling
them intoxicating drink. They appear innocent and harmless, and only
given to paltry thieving.



CHAPTER IV.

THE CANADIAN ROCKIES AND THE SELKIRKS.


[Illustration: Howe Pass.]

Since our arrival at Calgary we have been manœuvring to see by what
means we could escape the start at 2 o'clock in the morning. As the
C.P.R. has only one train westward each day, you must continue your
journey at the same time as you previously arrived. Now we have
received permission to travel by a freight train, and Mr. Niblock, the
Superintendent of the division, has kindly lent us his private car.

The freight train was due between six and seven o'clock, and it was
somewhat annoying, as we had risen at 5 o'clock, to have to wait about
the platform at the station until nine. Early as it was, the town was
astir with sportsmen in their buggies with their guns and dogs, off for
a day's shooting on the prairie. For this bright morning is the 1st of
September, _their 12th of August_, and there will be massacre amongst
the prairie chickens ere nightfall. The shooting is open to all, and
you may roam over anybody's land.

We can see the "Rockies" for the first time this morning. Since we
have been at Calgary the mountains have sulked in clouds and mist, and
Calgary does not, as some people would have you believe, lie _under_
the Rockies, but fifty miles away. In the clear morning air, they
appear nearer to us than they really are.

We are soon well into the foot-hills, those grassy rounded slopes,
which are the first rising ground from off the prairie, and which lead
up to and end in the Rocky Mountains. The blue Bow river flows merrily
in the valley; there are hundreds of horses and cattle feeding on these
river terraces, for there are ranches lying up to and under the foot of
the Rockies.

The great amphitheatre of mountains, which has been coming nearer by
leaps and bounds, is beginning to impress us with its barren purple
scars, and just as we are entering among them our guard stops the
train, and takes us out to see the Kananaskis Falls in the Bow river.
We hear their dull and distant thunder before we see the clear mountain
torrent, sliding down over ledges of rock, forming a long white-flecked
rapid, before taking a final leap over a precipice. The conductor then
invites us to climb up into the caboose, and scrambling up, we are
perched inside the turret of the van, where there are windows that
command the view on all sides. We share this elevated position with the
brakesman, who is ready to run along the platform on the top of the
waggons, and turn on the brakes, for each waggon has a separate one,
connected with a wheel at the top. We subsequently discussed whether to
give this amiable conductor a tip, but came to the conclusion that it
was superfluous, on learning from the car attendant that his salary,
calculated at three cents a mile, gave him an income of 500_l._ a year.

We are now breaking through the outer barrier of the Rockies, and
penetrating deeper into the mountains by a valley. The railway is
challenging the monarchs, for they rise up on every side and could so
easily crush us, as we wander through the green valley by the side
of the Bow river, our travelling comrade for many days to come. Its
waters are pale emerald green now, but later on will be milk-blue with
the melting snow and ground-up moraine, brought down by its mountain
tributaries.

[Illustration: Kananaskis Falls.]

We shoot "the gap," described as "two vertical walls of dizzy height."
It would be truer to say that the line turns sharply round a projection
of rock, whilst a mountain approaches from the other side. It is a
fraud! At Canmore we rest an hour. As we get out of the cars, the
intense stillness of the valley strikes us. We look up to, and are
covered by the shadows of the three well-defined slanting peaks of the
Three Sisters and the Wind mountain. When we start again the mountains
continue to increase in grandeur, though I think that Baroness
Macdonald's rhapsodies quoted in the Annotated Time Table, exaggerate
the beauty of this part of the Rockies. It is curious to notice the
remarkable difference between the two ranges we are passing through.
Those to the left are fantastically broken into varied shapes and forms
penetrated by crevasses, full of deep blue and purple-red shadows.
Whilst the range to the right is formed of grey and white hoary-headed
peaks, and look brilliantly cold and white, in the strong sunlight.

[Illustration: Cascade Mountain.]

We approach the Cascade Mountain. "This enormous mass seems to advance
towards us and meet us." It entirely blocks our further progress, and
the train seems to be going to travel up it. We appear to touch it, but
in reality it is many miles away. This Cascade Mountain gives you more
idea than anything else of the colossal proportion of the mountains,
which you lose by proximity, and by their uniformly large scale. It
also shows you the deception caused by the clearness of the atmosphere.
For the silver cascade which we see falling down its side is ten feet
across, and yet it looks like a thread of cotton. The mountain we could
well-nigh touch is five miles or more away. It is a striking sensation.

[Illustration: Cascade Mountain, Banff.]

Another half-hour and we reach Banff. As a whole, I think this part of
the scenery disappointing, but people talk so much about it, because it
is their first experience of the mountains, coming as it does too after
a thousand miles of prairie.

We are hot and tired after our journey, and have long to wait for "the
rig," which is repeatedly telephoned for. When it does appear it is
drawn by a vicious roan, fresh from a ranche, which shies and bolts in
a terrifying way. There are two miles of a badish road, which we do not
see for the clouds of dust that accompany us. This dust is the drawback
to Banff. The mountains have not come up to our expectations. Will it
be so also with Banff? To-morrow will show.

_Wednesday, September 2nd._--A day to be remembered. A day of complete
satisfaction.

Cradled in the stillness of the mountains, closed in by them in
solemnity and darkness, the babble of the Bow River joining its waters
with the Spray, we fell asleep. This morning, the sun of a most perfect
day awakes us, and the sound of the rushing waters is the first to
greet our ears. My windows form two sides of the room, and I dress with
the sun streaming in at the one and the breeze at the other, and a
panorama of mountains seen from them both. The air is exhilarating to
intoxication; the atmosphere intensely clear. We do nothing all day, we
live in the companionship of the mountains.

We have been with them in the early morning, when the pale-rose tints,
the opalescent blue, the delicate pearl-grey, lay lightly on their
rugged summits, and made them seem so near and tender. We have seen
them in the heat of noon, looking strong and hard, with black shadows
in the crevasses and their great stony veins and muscles standing out
in relief in the sunshine. They seem full of manhood, defiant, and
self-sufficient. We have watched these same mountains in the glamour of
declining days, soften again as the shadows steal up the pine woods,
leaving patches of sunlight. One side of the valley is in gloom, whilst
the other is bathed in golden light. Their grey peaks stand out as if
cut with a sharp-edged knife against the even paleness of the sky. A
few fir trees at their summit look like green needle-points, and the
trail of pines climbing up the mountain, like soldiers marching in
single file trying to scale the fortress heights.

[Illustration: BIRDS EYE VIEW OF BANFF FROM TUNNEL MTN.]

In the centre of the valley, there are two great mountains, and as
I write they are becoming wrapped in purple-blue gloom, with sable
shadows in their granite sides, and whilst the valley is in darkness,
the peaks are still bright with the last gleams of fading daylight.
Behind this mountain again, there are three acute peaks, which stand
from behind its dark shoulder, and they are rosy-red with an Alpine
after-glow.

As we sit out after dinner in the gloaming, the mountains are still
dimly visible. They have lost their individuality, and their soft full
outlines are limned against the luminous sky. Stars rise from behind
them; there is one of intense brightness, and several shooting ones
make a bright pathway across the mountains.

There are mountains of every description at Banff. It is this variety
that gives such charm to the place. Some are entirely clothed with
pines, others partly so, with barren summits. Others again are nothing
but rock and granite from base to summit, from earth _almost_ to
heaven, and down their sides there are marked deep slides, where the
rock and limestone has crumbled into an avalanche of stone and dust.
The changes on their unchanging surfaces are the most beautiful.
Like human nature, hard on the surface, they have hidden soft and
susceptible moods. The pine-clad mountains are sunnier and more
pleasing, but it is those of adamantine rock that fascinate you.

They say that no view is perfect without water. The Bow River here
gives the poetry of motion, and makes music to echo against the hills.
It has the most perfect miniature falls I ever saw. They are pretty,
yet not tame; they are noisy, yet not thundering; they murmur and
quarrel without producing soul-agonizing sounds. They charm, but do not
exercise the dangerous fascination of Niagara. Their water is creamy
blue in the sunlight, and cerulean in the shadow of the ravine, down
which in bars and trails of foam it rushes, until it throws itself over
the fall, in a snow-white cloud, flecking the rocks on the banks with
froth.

[Illustration: BOW VALLEY.]

All the mountains have names--such as the Twin Brothers, the Sentinel,
the Devil's head; but these names are meaningless. You know and grow
to love each by its own individual characteristic. The hotel in their
midst scarcely mars the scene, for it is a picturesque structure
perched on a natural platform, built of yellow wood, and with a roof of
warm red shingles, and green trellises to cover the foundations. Its
situation is so perfect that you scarcely improve your view, or want
to drive about the valleys. You may, perhaps, come a little nearer to
the mountains, or see their reverse sides. There is one, however, the
Twin Brethren, which gains by coming near to it, because you can stand
absolutely under a mammoth rampart of granite, shot straight into mid
air, horizontally upward. It strikes fear into you as you gaze up to
it, and as with these mountains comparison is the only thing which
gives you even the remotest idea of their superb size, a great rock,
as big as a small hill in itself, broke off some years ago and lies on
the ground, amid smaller stones, as we ought to call them, but which
are really large rocks. We can trace the exact place where it cracked
away from the symmetry of rock, leaving an unseemly cavity and a long
moraine of _débris_. The air is so dry that everything is like tinder.
Forest fires are frequent, and we mark their track up the mountain
sides and see the smoke of one or two. A few mutilated trees are all
that are left of the magnificent primeval forest, and the pines we see
are a second and third growth.

[Illustration: BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL, CANADIAN NATIONAL PARK.]

Though the mountains stand around so silent and stately, there is a
great unrest beneath them. A volcano burns below, which may break forth
at any time, for Banff has several hot mineral pools and springs, sure
indication that the earth here is only an upper crust, with hell-fire
beneath.

The temperature of these springs is 127 degrees Fahrenheit, and there
are baths for the outer man, and taps of water for the inner.

[Illustration: The Pool. Hot Springs, Banff.]

_Thursday, September 3rd._--A day of blankest disappointment. A cruel
change from yesterday. From early morning the mountains have been
blurred and blotted out by an impenetrable haze of smoke. The sun,
though ready to give us all it did yesterday, has not shone, and has
been only a fiery ball suspended in the air. It is caused by a forest
fire raging destruction, it may be, many miles from here, but the
smoke, from the smouldering, spreads and hangs like a curtain, lasting
often for many days. We canoed up the Bow River to the pretty Vermilion
Lakes.

_Friday, September 4th._--I could not resist a peep out of my window
at four o'clock. The outlook was more promising I thought, and went
back to bed cheered. We left the hotel at six. Cold despair settled on
us all, for the mountains loomed gloomily through a colourless haze.
Exceedingly cold and depressed, we huddled into the sheltered corner
of the Observation Car, a car for the view, open on all sides. I had
heard so much of the magnificent scenery that I had looked forward
keenly to this crossing of the Rockies, and it seemed I was to be
disappointed. After all, it is only like the disappointments you meet
with in life, as, nine times out of ten, the thing most wished for, is
a disillusionment when it comes.

Range after range of mountains is unfolding before us. They approach:
we pass immediately under them, and they recede, only to give place
to others as grand and massive. All are of solid rock, colossal
masonry piled up to magnificent proportions, their zeniths crowned
with pinnacles and spires, with square and round and pointed towers.
In one place you distinctly see the steps leading up to a broken
column. The most impressive one is Castle Mountain, though the
isolated helmet-shaped peak of Lefroy, 11,200 feet, is the loftiest.
This mountain stands in solitary majesty by itself in the valley.
There is no ascending or descending range near it. You can see the
battlements, with their loop-holes regularly jagged out at the summit
of the bastions, and a tower at either end. They are faintly yet
clearly discernible. It is truly a Giant's Keep, and I think the finest
mountain in the range, though they are all so sublime and grand in this
wonderful valley that it is scarcely fair to discriminate. Running
concurrently with the track is our dear old friend, the Bow. We have
lived continuously with it for three days, and feel quite friendly
towards it.

Soon we see the beginning of the glacier range, and feel the awe
inspired by those eternal ice-bound regions where winter reigns for
ever, and none can live, and where even nature cannot vegetate. The
glaciers lie frozen on to their surface, finding foothold in a crevasse
or basin, hollowed out probably by their own action. Under one of these
glaciers lie the Trinity of Lakes, called the Lonely Lakes of the
Rocky Mountains, one beneath the other, with Lake Agnes touched by the
glacier. At Laggan we have a heavier engine attached, and extra bolts
and brakes screwed on.

We begin the ascent of the Rockies; the crossing of the Great Divide.
It is gradual and not nearly such a dramatic incident as the crossing
of the Great Divide of the Americans. In fact, the gradients are so
gently engineered that, though the engine makes a great noise about
it, you scarcely believe you have reached the top, and are looking for
something more exciting when you see the wooden arch at the summit,
on which is inscribed "The Great Divide." In this case it alludes
mockingly to the tiny stream which here divides and flows towards the
Atlantic on one side, and the Pacific on the other. There is here a
deep green lake, called Summit Lake.

We begin the descent by a succession of perfectly equal curves that
incline first to the right and then to the left, bearing us downwards
all the time. And now comes what is by far the most memorable scene in
the Rockies. It is deeply impressive, and is only too swiftly passed.
It is called the Kicking Horse Pass. We must turn for a moment from
the sublime to the ridiculous for the origin of this name. When the
party of surveyors reached the summit of the pass a white pony kicked
off its pack. This gave it the name, which will now always cling to
it. We cross the Wapta river on to its left side, and plunge wildly,
recklessly, into a deep gorge. Deeper and deeper we rush down into the
canyon, darker and more impressive the situation becomes as we cling
to the mountain side, whilst the river tears down yet deeper than us,
until it appears a caldron of foaming silver in the gloom at the bottom
of the gorge. And, look, up on one side is a perpendicular mountain
of which, so far down are we, we cannot see the summit; on the other,
there are those supremely graceful spires of Cathedral Mount, pointing
with silent finger to the sky. If you look down into that immensity
of depth, and then up as far as the eye can reach, this is what you
see. First, the silver river gleaming in its black channel; on a level
and opposite to you a bank of bright green moss and ferns and tangled
growth; then tiers and tiers of pine trees wending skywards, until
they reach the base of the rock, whence spring those airy towers.
The great Duomo head of Mount Stephen beyond forms a superb dome to
these sentinel spires that are so light and gracefully poised in such
close proximity to heaven. Straight, in front, and shutting in this
marvellous gorge, is the angular peak of Mount Field. Just past the
summit there are a number of graves of men who died of mountain fever,
which broke out whilst they were making the line.

[Illustration: MOUNT STEPHEN, THE KING OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES.]

Mount Stephen, called after the first President of the Railway, Lord
Mount-Stephen, absorbs our attention next. It is certainly the most
superb mountain of the Rockies. On its "swelling shoulder" is seen
a shining green glacier, "which is slowly pressing forward and over
a vertical cliff of great height." The cyclopean masses of rock are
richly veined in red and purple. As the train humbly creeps round the
base, the summit is entirely lost to us. Opposite are the swelling
mountains of the Van Horne range; they touch the muddy, shingly bed of
a river.

We breakfast at the pretty hotel at Field, and feel disgusted that
the claims of nature must be satisfied, whilst Mount Stephen in its
glorious might and strength, and its limitless surface of adamantine
rock, raises its hoary zenith immediately above us. We made the
greatest mistake in not staying a day here, and, by ascending a
neighbouring mountain, being still more impressed with its colossal
proportions.

On leaving Field, we travel between the "orderly array of peaks of the
two ranges of Otter-Tail and the Beaver Foots."

At Palliser, the driver allows us to ride on the engine through the
Second Kicking Horse Pass. It runs madly down into growing darkness,
closer and higher the mountains draw. The boiling river disputes the
narrow chasm with us, and it is a hand-to-hand struggle in which the
line has frequently to give up to the river, and to cross over from
side to side to gain a footing. The engine tears wildly down hill,
reeling round the sharp curves at an angle of 20°, with the train
doubling itself. You cannot hear yourself speak for the noise of the
foaming river and the panting of the engine. As we plunge into the
dread darkness of a tunnel, the engine whistles, and the echo is dying,
dying, dead, to us--as we are lost in blackness. It is wonderful to
see the driver control this huge, puffing, black monster by a gentle
pressure on two valve handles, which it resents with an indignant
snort. We emerge into light and space again at Golden. We come suddenly
back to a commonplace life, as represented by this wooden mining
village. It is farewell to the Rockies.

I think most people have an idea that the engineering feats of the
Pacific Railway were performed in the crossing of the Rockies. They
do not realize, any more than we did, that we have another and far
more difficult range to surmount, before reaching the Pacific coast.
The Selkirk range is more beautiful and grander. It has more snow and
glacier peaks than the Rockies.

We are in a green valley, with the Selkirks dimly seen to the left,
whilst the Rockies are diminishing to a low range to the right, and we
have found a new river in the broad Columbia. We are reminded that we
have crossed the Great Dividing Watershed, for this river is running
the opposite way down to the ocean.

It is but a short breathing space, for almost at once the mountains
close together, and we are in another of those lovely gorges, each one
of which, would make famous any railway. Through a perfectly formed
natural gateway of rock, so narrow that it can be crossed by a slender
sapling, the tempestuous waters of the Beaver River hurry to join the
Columbia. This is a smiling little valley, full of blue-green pines,
mingling with the tender greens of young poplars, and the yellow moss
and lichens covering the rocks. From this valley we pass into the heart
of the Selkirks.

We have become accustomed to the line climbing up the mountain side,
and we can tell how rapidly we are now doing this by the dwindling of
the Beaver River, by whose side we were a minute ago, and which is now
far away down in the valley. Its pale green waters trace out the most
perfect curves of the letter S, and flow in a park with pine woods. And
it is all so far away--down, down--and would be such a terrific fall.
Immediately opposite to us are the mountains, and we are equal to about
half way up them, and through the haze they appear to us so very near,
and so very large. The panorama is magnificent; the detailed picture
is impressive, when, from gazing down boundless depths, the eye is
lifted through miles of pine forests, up to grey crags, too high for
vegetation.

Growing by the side of the line there are gigantic pines, Douglas fir
and cedar. They are so straight, without curve, or be knot, that one
cannot help thinking what splendid masts they would make for some big
ship. Many of their tops are on a level with us, whilst, by peering
down, we can with difficulty see their roots. But like all these
Canadian forests, the finest trees are dismembered or mutilated by
burning, and their graceful, fringe-like foliage is often brown and
singed.

The railway is now going to cross several deep gullies on wooden
trestle-bridges. These bridges appear frail and weak for the purpose,
the valleys being deep, and the trains so heavy. They creak and groan
ominously as the train passes on them. Water-butts and a watcher
are stationed on them, in case of fire from a spark of the engine.
The Stony Creek Bridge, over a sleep V-shaped valley, is one of the
loftiest railway bridges in the world; hundreds of square yards of
timber were used in its construction, and it rests on three piers, 295
feet above the ravine. We have enchanting peeps up these bright green
gullies, with their noisy rills jumping and scrambling down anyhow, so
long as they reach the bottom of the valley, and we rush to one side of
the car to be pleased by this, and then to the other, to be frightened
by gazing into space.

Roger's Pass, the culminating beauty of the Selkirks--named after the
engineer--is approaching. There are two mountains, Mount Macdonald
and Mount Hermit, but they are so mighty, that if you have not seen
them you have no chance of picturing them to yourself. To give you
some idea of their colossal proportions, Mount Macdonald is one mile
and a quarter in a vertical line above the railway. The bottom is
a stone's throw from the car. Mount Hermit is equal in size on the
other side. These mountains were united, but some great convulsion of
nature has split them apart. This is a moment in your existence, and
you would give much to prolong it; the scene is indescribable. The
other mountains of this pass are covered with snow, and seven or eight
thousand feet above us are many glistening glaciers, pure as crystal.

It is sad that this part of the line is spoilt by the snow-sheds,
constructed of massive timber, and into which we are shot and blinded
with smoke and coal grit, emerging frequently to get glimpses of these
wonderful mountains, with their pale-blue and green glaciers hanging
above us,--glimpses which are imprinted on the memory for long, as we
shoot into another of these exasperating snow-sheds. It is ungrateful
to grumble at them, for the difficulties of this part of the line, with
snow in winter, are enormous, and we must always bear in mind that were
it not for the enterprise of the Company we should not at this moment
be sitting comfortably in a car, passing through the finest scenery in
the world. There may be grander, but it has yet to be discovered.

Emerging from Roger's Pass, by a deep bend on the mountain side, we
have a sudden transition into the fir-clad valley of the Illicilliwaet,
the river of this name far below, and for many miles seeking the bottom
of the valley, the railway doing likewise. Straight ahead the white
ghost of the great glacier of the Selkirks.

We left the train here, and stayed at the pretty Swiss chalet of the
Glacier house. It lies half-way up the valley and under the glacier,
with the hoary peak of Sir Donald frowning down on it.

The afternoon had cleared up, there was even a gleam of sunshine,
and the first thing to do was to walk up to the Glacier, through a
beautiful pine forest, whose interlacing branches are covered with
hanging trails of white moss, resembling an old man's beard. The ground
is soft, and covered with a bright-brown saw-dust from the decaying
trunks that lie around. We cross the path of a mighty avalanche, which,
sweeping down from a mountain below Sir Donald, hurled itself across
the valley, huge rocks, trunks of trees and _débris_ being piled across
the pathway. The green moraine on the mountain shows how soon nature
recoups herself. There are wild gooseberry and currant bushes, and we
eat plentifully of wild raspberries and blueberries.

As you stand under the Glacier, you see that it has filled in the side
between two mountains, and the white rounded outline at the summit is
exquisitely pure. It is where it joins the crumbling moraine that it
is most beautiful, because here there are caves of intense blue, of
pale green, and of that indescribable opaque aquamarine, only seen in
perfection in the horseshoe bend at Niagara. From these ice caverns,
from under the glacier, torrents of water are always pouring forth.
It is the echo from the mountains, that makes such a little volume of
water cause such a roaring, rushing sound. Looking down in proud cold
sadness on the glacier, is the blue-grey peak of Sir Donald. It is such
a cold, unsympathetic peak, rearing its barren head so proudly above
its compatriots. Facing homewards, there is that other snow-capped
range, with Ross peak and an immense glacier on its shoulder. They are
fields of ice and snow untrodden by the foot of man, and covered with
eternal snows. As you look round this perfect valley, you are so shut
out from the world, that you wonder how you ever entered it. The two
iron bands at the platform by the hotel form the only link beyond those
impassable walls.

A gentle gloom settles down over the valley. We stroll about after
dinner, amidst the deathlike stillness of the mountains, broken only by
the murmuring from out the darkness of the ice stream. Looming closely
above us, overhanging as if it would slide down, is the dead and white
ghost of the glacier. We sleep under its shadow.

[Illustration: GREAT GLACIER, CANADIAN ROCKIES.]

The glorious morning sunshine is touching Sir Donald and the snow
peaks, whilst the valley we are in lies so deep down, that it is still
in shadow. The pleasure of awakening in such glorious surroundings
makes us feel the pleasure of living.

We spend the morning in climbing a mountain to Mirror Lake, winding up
and up in the shade Of the red-stemmed cedars, and at each precipitous
curve, the snow-sheets on the line dwindle, and we seem to get more on
a level with the surrounding mountains. The Ross Peak and Range look
specially beautiful to-day. The crevasses are so strongly marked with
blue shadows, the peaks are such a soft silver grey, and in the very
bosom of Mount Ross is the virgin snow of a pure glacier, fit house
for the Ice Maiden. I have never any wish to explore mountains such
as these. There is a feeling that we desecrate them by trying to come
nearer to them, and that nature never meant us to know them, except
from below, and then only with admiration akin to awe. I like to feel
that their summits are untrodden by human foot, that they have been so
for ages, and will continue so until the end of time.

On descending, we were glad to find we had two more hours at Glacier,
the west-bound train being late.

[Illustration: The Loops.]

Directly the train leaves Glacier it begins to drop down into the
valley below, by leaps and bounds, so quickly do we run from side
to side of the valley by "the Loops." These Loops describe circles
across the valley, and first we face and touch the base of the Ross
Peak, then return, by doubling back a mile or more, until we lie under
the Glacier House. We describe yet one more loop, and then the train
shoots head-foremost into the valley. Looking back and marvelling how
the train can possibly mount up this deep pine-filled ravine, you
see the great gashes cut across it by the railway embankment. We are
rushing downwards at great speed, but not at greater speed than the
Illicilliwaet River, which races us. It foams and gushes as we steam
and whistle, and so we go down the gorge together, until we are deep in
the gloom of its cold shades. We thunder through snow-sheds and over
delicate trestle-bridges until we are buried in the Albert Canyon. Here
we get out to see the Illicilliwaet compressed into a rocky defile
of inky depth and blackness. It foams with anger. We pass other and
similar canyons, and so on for another hour, with ever varying and
beautiful scenery.

Then a change creeps over the mountains, they are all round on their
summits and mostly covered entirely with dense fir forests. There are
no more rock and ice-bound peaks. They are opening out a little. Now,
as we get lower down, we begin to see some specimens of those splendid
fir trees, for which British Columbia is famous. Again, these dreadful
forest fires have ravaged them. The river and railway have descended
the valley together, and continue side by side on the plain, until at
length the last curve is rounded, and we run into Revelstoke. As we
walk on the platform we feel such a difference in the temperature. The
Pacific air is so soft and warm after the keen dryness of the mountain
atmosphere. We meet the Columbia River again after a day's absence. It
has been flowing round the northern extremity of the Selkirks, whilst
we have been crossing their summit, and has grown into a navigable
river. The observation car is taken off, sure sign that the crossing of
the Selkirks is a thing of the past.

Before finishing with this part of our travels, I should recommend
anyone to profit by our experience, and to stay one day at Field, and
to allow of sufficient time for two days at Glacier, as I think anyone
would consider it quite worth while to take a freight train back to
Golden, returning a second time over the Selkirks by the next day's
train. There is a great want (which is, I believe, in process of being
supplied) of a detailed guidebook, and by next year doubtless the
increased traffic will warrant an additional train a day.

We think that we have seen the last of the mountains, but a few minutes
after leaving Revelstoke, and crossing the Columbia, we are entering
the Gold Range.

It is getting dusk, we are satiated with mountains, and I am as weary
of writing about them as you, forbearing reader, of reading these
descriptions. Night comes to relieve us both. One is glad, however, to
think that this Gold Range "seems to have been provided by nature for
the railway, in compensation perhaps for the enormous difficulties that
had to be overcome in the Rockies and Selkirks." At Craigellachie the
last spike of the Canadian Pacific Line was driven on November 7th,
1885. With what rejoicings and triumph the surveyors and engineers must
have seen the finish of their long and desperate struggle. We pass
through a forest fire this night, and see isolated trunks smouldering
like fiery cones, whilst others in falling send out a shower of sparks,
that kindle fresh flames in many places.

[Illustration: Frazer Cañon above Spuzzum.]

We awake the next morning in the Fraser Canyon, and are going through
magnificent scenery for many hours. We hang over the side of the
canyon, and look down on the waters swirling and rushing at our feet,
whilst over and over again the rocks seem to bar our progress, and we
either rush into a tunnel, or creep round them on ledges of rock with
the help of trestle-bridges. Breakfast at North Bend, like everything
that the C.P.R. does, is excellent, for when they are not able to run a
dining car over the mountains, they provide excellent meals at hotels,
such as this, and those at Field and Glacier, all of which are run by
the company.

[Illustration: Frazer Cañon.]

[Illustration: Frazer Cañon.]

We fly over the fertile plains of Columbia, and run on to Burrard's
Inlet by Port Moody. This is the beginning of the sea,--so soon to
be our home for some time. We see much lumber lying about the low
wooded banks opposite, and floating by the shore. We turn a corner,
run quickly by the railway workshops, and amidst clouds of dust reach
Vancouver. It is a great comfort to wash, unpack, and to settle down
for two quiet days.

"And what do you think of our city?" is the question addressed to
all newcomers by the residents of Vancouver. This question is the
invariable opening to a conversation, we have noticed, by the residents
of all new cities. In this case it is very pardonable, as five years
ago the site of Vancouver was a smoking plain. A fire had swept away
the newly-risen city. As soon as it was known that the C.P.R. intended
Vancouver to be the terminus to their 3000 miles of railway, building
recommenced with renewed vigour. Like everyone else, we are astonished
by the number of streets and handsome stone buildings. The vacant
building sites that we see amongst them, are the object of much booming
and land speculation. Cordova is now the principal street, but, as
it is low down on the wharf, at no distant date it will probably be
abandoned to offices and wholesale warehouses, whilst Hastings Street,
on the block higher up, will be the fashionable avenue. Real Estate
offices abound in Vancouver, and everyone appears to dabble more or
less in land speculation. Newcomers are always bitten, and up to the
moment of sailing we hesitated (but finally rejected) about becoming
possessors of a corner block in Cordova Street. There have been many
successful speculations and large sums made in an incredibly short
space of time. Ten per cent. is what everybody expects on their
investments. Opinions are still divided as to whether Vancouver really
has so great a future before it. Some say it is already over-built.

The harbour of Vancouver is thought sufficiently beautiful to be
compared to that of Sydney. It is a perfect site for a city, with the
wooded ranges of mountains rising on the further shore of the harbour,
though it was not until sunset of the second day of our arrival, that
the clouds rolled away sufficiently for us to see them. The two peaks,
called the Lions, are wonderfully faithful outlines of the lions in
Trafalgar Square. The Indian Mission village lying under the mountains,
looks clean and bright.

Vancouver has a beautiful park. We drove eight miles round one
afternoon and were delighted with it. It is the virgin forest preserved
in its natural forest glades, with magnificent Douglas firs, spruce,
white pine, cypress, aspen poplar, mountain ash, and giant cedar,
whilst bracken ferns and moss grow luxuriantly on the decaying trunks.
The road is traced by the side of the sea and English Bay, and the
smell of the salt water mingles with the fragrance of the pines and
cedars. Some of these pines are colossal in girth and height, though
not equal to the big trees of the Yosemite. The cedars are great in
circumference, but not of such height, and the finest specimens are
sadly mutilated by lightning.

The seeds of eternal enmity were sown between Vancouver and Victoria
when the former became the port of the railway. This animosity is
carried to great extremes. A Victoria man will not ensure his life
in a Vancouver office. Sarah Bernhardt is coming here next week, but
because she refused the Victorians' offer of $1000 more, Victoria
has determined to boycott the performance at Vancouver, and make it
a failure. Their childish jealousy may be likened to that between
Melbourne and Sydney, and Toronto and Montreal. We are sorry not to
have time to go to Victoria. I believe it is very pretty, for everybody
out here has said: "Oh! you must see Victoria, it is so pretty, and so
_very_ English." This, abroad, is not precisely a recommendation in our
eyes.

Our last afternoon in Vancouver, we went across to Burrard's Inlet,
to see the Moodyville Saw Mills. The enormous trunks are raised,
attached to hooks, by a pulley out of the water on one side, passed
under a saw whose two wheels whirl through and cut up the timber in a
few minutes. It is sawn into three planks by another machine, laid on
rollers, passed down on the other side of the mill and shipped into the
steamer loading at the wharf. In three minutes a tree that has taken
300 years to grow (you can reckon its age, if you have patience, in the
concentric rings on the trunk), will be sawn up; in fifteen minutes
it will be cut, planed and shipped. The trees we saw operated on were
chiefly Oregon pines.

Before leaving Canadian soil, there are several things to mention,
which we have observed in travelling across the continent. Canada is
in many ways quite as much American as English. They have the American
system at hotels of making a fixed and inclusive charge of from three
to four dollars per day. They also have the varied _ménu_, which I
counted at one hotel to include fifty items. True, Oolong, Ceylon,
besides English breakfast, tea, and fancy bread of all sorts, is put
down to swell the items. Still we have often wished that the assortment
of food was smaller, but better served. The Canadians use as much ice
water, and consume as largely of fruit at all meals, as the Americans.
Carriages are as expensive as in America, the reason being that
tramways and electric cars are universally used as means of locomotion.
Their railway system of drawing-room cars, sleepers, and dining cars
are identical. Nor can their mode of speech be wholly excepted, for
true born and bred Canadian often speaks with an equally pronounced
accent as any American, and makes use of many of their expressions,
such as "on such a street, a dry-goods store," etc.

In the universal and domestic use of electric light, Canada, like
America, is twenty years ahead of us. Each little city has it, but
then this is a new country and there are no great monopolies as in
England to be considered. It is the same with the telephone. All public
buildings, offices, shops, and almost every private house in a city has
its telephone. A great amount of business is transacted through it, and
ladies use it for their daily orders to tradesmen. The convenience is
great, but the incessant tinkling of the bell invades the sanctity of
home, viz. privacy. A lady recently arrived from England rightly called
it "the scourge of the country."

As in America, domestic servants are scarcely obtainable. I found most
Canadian ladies thought themselves lucky with one servant, and in
luxury with two. A nurse is an unknown necessity to many mothers, who
tend their children entirely. This accounts for the number of children
travelling (we counted nineteen in two cars on one journey) and in
hotels. There is no one to leave them with at home. If unavoidable,
they are none the less a noisy nuisance.

Canada, if she is to be developed, requires a better line of steamers
than the Allan to compete in speed and luxury with the great New York
liners. She must be populated, and so long as the White Star and
other lines offer such far superior accommodation for the same rates
(four pounds) so long will the emigrants select that route. Every
trip the 1000 emigrants landed at New York, are 1000 able-bodied
English, Scotch, or Irish men lost to Canada. A strong government
should initiate a large immigration scheme, vote a handsome subsidy and
ask the Imperial Government to contribute a similar one. As we have
travelled from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we have passed through
thousands of miles abounding in natural resources, of mineral wealth
and lumber, lying in their primeval state, undeveloped and unpopulated,
whilst her rivals across the border are increasing rapidly the wealth
and prosperity of their country by a free immigration, only wisely
refusing to be made, like England, the "dumping" ground for the paupers
of other nations.

Canada languishes for the want of population and capital. Give them to
her, and she will become the finest country in the world, and our most
prosperous as well as most loyal colony--British to the heart.



CHAPTER V.

TO THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN.


On Wednesday, September 9th, 1891, we embarked on board the Pacific
s.s. _Empress of Japan_. We congratulate ourselves upon having a roomy
cabin exactly amidships on the main deck, and the unprecedented luxury
of two drawers and two cupboards. Otherwise our voyage does not promise
well. The C.P.R. thoroughly understands its opportunities, and their
putting on three new steamships, the _Empresses of Japan_, _India_, and
_China_, is justified by the large number of saloon passengers. Thirty
passengers have been their average up to the last voyage, when it was
sixty, and this time it is 130. We hope that the resources of the ship
will not break down under this strain, but consider it doubtful. The
stewards are all Chinese, and excellent they appear, especially our
table steward, who boasted the aristocratic name of "Guy."

It was a miserable day, the rain coming down in torrents, and under
the wet awnings we dawdled about until the mails, five hours late,
arrived. At six o'clock we left the wharf and went "forward" to see
this ship of 4000 tons pass through the confined channel of "The
Narrows." We could almost have touched the overhanging branches of the
trees in the park, so closely did the ship hug the bank. At midnight
we stopped opposite to Victoria to take on board some more passengers.
They were in a sorry plight, for they had been sitting on an open barge
in pitch darkness, and in pouring rain, for six hours.

The next day was cold, gloomy, and rough. Scarcely a soul but was sick
and sorry. The usual whale excited but a feeble interest along the row
of deck chairs, occupied by people in varying stages of _malaise_. We
must expect bad weather. In truth we had a miserably cold cheerless
voyage across this Northern Pacific Ocean, and it was such a contrast
to our bright and sunny passage across the South Pacific, from San
Francisco to Auckand, six years ago. The ship takes a northerly course
until we get to the mouth of the Behring Sea. Here we had a miserable
Sunday. Such an angry grey sea, crested with white horses, seething
and boiling around us. It was abominably rough. Everybody was sea-sick
again, and, to complete the tale of woe, there was a dense sea-fog, the
decks dripping with this clammy moisture and from the spray, as the
_Empress's_ nose was buried in the ocean's waves and, quivering from
stem to stern, she rose and shook herself. The discordant shriek of the
fog-horn was heard all day. Everybody agrees that life on board ship is
bearable if you can be on deck, some even may go so far as to enjoy it,
though I cannot say that we belong to that number, but when, as on this
occasion, that refuge was denied to us, we were indeed miserable. We
had service in the saloon, the little remnant able to appear, and all
joined in those familiar prayers, that seem to bind us together on the
stormy ocean as "one family in heaven and earth." The Bishop of Exeter,
who, with his son, the Bishop of Japan, is on board, preached the
sermon. Weary of being knocked about at the mercy of the waves, there
was not a soul on board but was thankful when night came, and we sought
such rest as we could find in our berths.

We shall have a Wednesday missing all our lives, that of Wednesday,
September 17th, and we have lost a whole day, besides sundry and many
half-hours by the putting back of the ship's clock. We are now just
half-way round the world from the Greenwich meridian.

The next day we saw one island of the Aleutian group, and the "early
birds" saw a snow-cone on it. These islands extend for many miles at
the entrance to the Behring Sea, and we discover that in the event of a
shipwreck our boats have orders to steer for this island. There are a
number of missionaries, from thirty to forty, on board, who, with their
wives and numerous families are bound for China. Some of them are very
intolerant, as was shown when the officers got up a dance, and there
was some question as to where the piano would come from: "Oh!" said
one, "the devil will be sure to provide that."

The last two days we experience a sudden change from the intense cold.
We awake one morning to find a tropical downpour, accompanied by a damp
heat that enervates everybody, and this is accompanied by the tail end
of a typhoon, and a grand sea. All ports are closed, the heat below
is terrific, and the ship labours and rolls heavily. And thus ends a
most disagreeable and lonely voyage, for we have not seen a single sail
since leaving Vancouver.

There is no sensation in the world more delightful than landing in a
new country, and especially when it is in such a different corner of
the world as Japan.

Our expectations are vague and enthusiastic, but, alas! the approach
to Yokohama through the beautiful channel of islands is lost to us.
We are on deck at 5 a.m., only to see the lights of the numerous
lighthouses on the coast extinguished, and then blotted out in blinding
mists of rain. Fugi, the sacred mountain, whose cone, dominating the
whole island, we had been taught to watch for in our first view of
Japan, is lost to us. Sullen clouds and the gloomiest grey sky hang
over Yokohama.

The departure from the _Empress of Japan_ is a scene of more than
usual confusion, but we get safely down the one gangway, thronged with
passengers and their luggage, and into the steam-launch sent for us
by the Government, and are soon speeding along the pretty Bund to the
Grand Hotel. The first morning on shore after a long voyage is always a
harassing one. There are letters to be posted, the money of the country
to be obtained, departure of the next steamer to be ascertained, and
here in Japan, above all, passports to be seen about, for you cannot
leave the Treaty Ports without one. We afterwards found that in an
incredibly short space after arriving in any town, the police always
came to inquire for a passport. Then we had to engage a guide, without
which you are assured you cannot travel in Japan. I may at once say
that, though we had an excellent guide, we found him an unnecessary
nuisance, and parted with him in a few days. In going into the interior
of the country you require one to cook and arrange, but keeping to the
more beaten tracks you can comfortably manage without.

Of course we have spent the whole of our first day in Japan in
jinrikishas. Everyone does so. Nor can we resist a visit to the curio
shops, though we harden ourselves against temptations, knowing that
we shall have but too many opportunities to spend in the future. We
were glad of this afterwards, for we heard that the curio dealers,
on learning the large number of passengers leaving Vancouver on the
_Empress of Japan_, had met together and by agreement raised their
prices. In the afternoon we went for a drive round the Bluff, or
European Settlement. Yokohama is a treaty port, and at these ports,
which were first opened by the efforts of Commodore Perry to foreigners
in 1868, a concession of land was allotted to the Europeans, where
alone they are allowed to reside. And very charming houses they have
built here, coloured red and green, or grey, and buff, with well-kept
roads and pretty gardens, fenced in with bamboo hedges. We drive round
by the racecourse, with its grand stand and white railings just like
our Epsom course. The Mikado visits Yokohama once a year to come to the
races, and we see his private box on the top of the stand. Then home by
the sea-shore and across a plain of rice fields, descending through the
Settlement once more.

Yokohama is a cosmopolitan place and enjoys the glamour of being the
landing-place in a new country and the first sight of a new nation,
hut it contains nothing of interest. Along the Bund or sea wall is a
row of grey verandahed houses, looking very Eastern amongst their palm
trees. Behind the sea front there are two or three streets, chiefly
containing curio shops, interspersed with many grey walled godowns with
their forbidding barred and shuttered windows. People stay at Yokohama,
some because the hotel is comfortable, some, like the American ladies,
who, though bringing large boxes of dresses, are so fascinated by the
Chinese tailors' prices, that they stay to have more made, others
again to haunt the curio shops, and really the selection of articles
made with a view to the wants of the ordinary traveller is so good,
that you can scarcely do better, we determined afterwards, than shop
at Yokohama. Others again are so foolish as to be marked for life, by
employing the services of Hori-Chigo, whose advertisement runs thus:
"The celebrated Tattooer, patronized by T.R.H. Princes Albert Victor
and George, and known all over the world for his fine and artistic
work. Designs and samples can be seen at the Tattooing Rooms."

_Thursday, September 24th._--Such a glorious day, and we took a sudden
determination to go at once to Tokio, a short hour's journey. We found,
on arriving at the station, our luggage surrounded by a group of the
smallest of porters in neat blue uniforms, and caps with yellow bands,
dubiously surveying my large basket, which was ultimately transported
by the help of all. The railways in Japan were built by English
engineers, and worked by them, until the Japanese learnt to do it for
themselves. They are perfectly English, and the names of stations,
directions, even the mile posts are written in both languages. The
fares are extraordinarily cheap, and the third-class crowded, whilst
the one first-class carriage on each train is almost exclusively used
by Europeans. There are newspapers in the waiting-rooms; they have the
French system of locking you in the latter until shortly before the
arrival of the train; and the American check system for luggage. There
was a funny little toy train waiting for us on the very narrow gauge,
drawn by a tiny black and yellow engine. The long carriages with their
seats lengthways have as many as twenty-two windows, and they are lined
with Lincrusta-Walton paper. There is a wooden tray with a tea-pot
filled with hot water, and glasses for the tea, which the Japanese are
always drinking. When we stop at the stations there is such a cheerful
chorus of clicking high-heeled clogs, as the men and the little ladies,
with their smiling brown babies on their bent backs, tippet and shuffle
along.

The short run between Tokio and Yokohama is perfectly flat, with
nothing but rice fields, or if there is a little eminence it is crowned
by the dwarf forestry, which is the peculiar feature of Japanese
scenery.

Tokio or Tokyo, is the official capital of Japan. It is the old Yedo
of our schoolroom geography. The Minister of Foreign Affairs had sent
his secretary to meet us at the station, with a carriage similar to an
English victoria, drawn by pretty thick-set black Japanese ponies, and
with the Indian custom of a running sayce, who jumps off and clears the
way at the corners. To the right of the broad canal, along which we are
driving, we see a grand structure, which we suppose to be an official
building at least, and are surprised when we are told that it is the
Imperial Hotel. It is as palatial inside, with its broad staircase
and passages, and marble dining hall, and its crowds of obsequious
servants, who, hands on knees, slide down in deep bows at every corner,
and that drawing in of the breath like a gentle gasp, which in Japan is
a sign of great respect. The government have shown much enterprise in
assisting to build several of these large hotels by grants of lands and
subsidies, thus encouraging foreign travellers to come and stay. They
serve also as places where imperial guests, like the Duke and Duchess
of Connaught (who stayed here), and the Czarewitch, can be entertained,
as the palaces, owing to their complete absence of furniture, according
to the custom of the country, cannot be rendered habitable for the
reception of Europeans.

Tokio, beautiful Tokio, with its multitudinous little brown-eaved
houses, crowded in lowly company together, its broad moats, with the
green water, over which the mists gather at night and disperse in the
early morning sun, its great walls, formed of blocks of stone piled up
obliquely without the aid of mortar that guard the Shogun's Castle,
and the pale-blue grey skies, with the clear bright atmosphere, which
lends such a charm and softness to the picturesque scenes around. The
charm of Tokio is undefinable. It is so subtle as only to be felt. But
wherever you go, you will be always coming back to those miles of solid
masonry and those moats with their grassy banks, with a single row of
twisted dragon-shaped fir trees at the top--trees, that like all else
in Japan, are dwarfed, and where perhaps two or three solemn rooks will
perch and caw hoarsely, or even a red-legged stork, with outstretched
wings, will flap idly across.

I shall never forget the delight of our first drive in Tokio. It was
enough to be drawn swiftly and silently along in the midst of those
broad white roads, shaded by avenues of graceful willows, and see all
the strangely fascinating life of every-day Japan passing swiftly by,
without going to see anything in particular. For the motion of these
jinrikishas, the only practicable mode of progression in Japan, is
delightfully easy and pleasant. The coolies in their dark blue cotton
breeches and loose jacket and large mushroom-shaped hats, go at an
easy trot of six miles an hour, and they will do forty miles in one
day. This patient, toiling, perspiring race never seem to tire, and
their bare brown legs, with their large muscular development, with
sinews and veins standing out, and their high regular action, trot as
steadily as the rough docile ponies. Their feet are bare, or covered
with a straw sandal, kept on by a ribbon passed round the great toe.
We see many shops hung with hundreds of these sandals. Their cost is
infinitesimally small, but the roads are strewn with cast-off ones, for
they only last for a few journeys.

We are driving along by the Inner Moat; for there are three separate
moats surrounding the Castle, and then crossing over a bridge we pass
under an ancient stone gateway, and find ourselves, between this and
another one, equally massive and with iron-plated doors studded with
nails. We are shut in by these curious walls of obsolete masonry. Huge
blocks of granite are piled up obliquely, one resting on the other for
support, without being filled in by earth or mortar. They are broader
at the base, slope inwards, and stand by their own weight. Again
and again we came upon these Titanic walls in the ancient buildings
of Japan, and never ceased wondering how they were first placed in
position and then held so, for centuries. Passing through the second
archway, we are in a great open space, and above us are the white walls
and brown crinkled roofs of the Mikado's palace. There is the grey
stone bridge lighted by clusters of electric lamps, across which the
121st Mikado and the successor of the Shoguns passes to the palace,
around which linger mysteries leaving the imagination free to picture
the interior, for it is invisible to everyone. The authors of that
delightful "Social Departure," it is true, saw it, but they dare not
record how the permission was obtained. It is said that Mr. Liberty
was the last to see this enchanted abode, but then his visit was from
a professional view, to give his opinion on the decorations, as one of
the great æsthetic decorators of the day.

The office of the Imperial Household, whither we were bound to call
on Monsieur Nagasaki, the Emperor's Master of the Ceremonies, lies
under the Imperial Palace. The sentry at the gateway stopped us, but
after some parleying we were allowed to proceed on foot, as none but
titled Japanese are allowed to pass in a jinrikisha. The officer who
accompanied us was typical of the politeness which is the pleasantest
feature of the Japanese, and requested a souvenir of our visit in a
visiting card. In coming away we passed the Minister of Justice in a
victoria, with a jinrikisha roped behind, containing his detective.

Tokio is one of the ten largest cities in the world, and with its
population of 1,400,000 spread out over an extended area, the distances
are great. It has tramways, drawn by the diminutive ponies, and
an ear-piercing horn heralds an antique omnibus in the principal
thoroughfares. It has electric light, gas, and telephones. Nor is it
wanting in handsome public buildings and offices like the Admiralty,
the Ministry for Foreign and Home Affairs. The Houses of Parliament are
a skeleton of poles, for, just completed last year, they were burnt
down immediately and are now rebuilding. We are passing an enclosure
with rows of white-washed buildings, little barracks, suited to the
little soldiers we see marching bravely along in the streets, and
crowned with the sixteen-petalled chrysanthemum, the royal insignia,
which is everywhere and on everything.

Before the afternoon light fails we visit the temples at Shiba Park,
the park being a grove of trees under which picturesque groups of
children and nurses wander, or ladies stroll about, with their
jinrikishas following them.

The entrance to this succession of mortuary chapels, where the remains
of the 7th and 9th Shoguns are buried, is by a gorgeous gate of red
and green and gold--a gate such as we grew to be familiar with, in
the ceaseless succession of temples in Japan, for all these Buddhist
shrines have a wearisome sameness in common, however beautiful they
may individually be. There is a quiet court inside, filled with rows
of stone pillars, with a circular pagoda with open holes at the top.
They are lanterns offered as a mark of respect by the Daimyos or great
nobles to their master. Every August, from the 12th to the 16th, lights
are kept burning there to entice the spirits to return during their
time of wandering, and not to journey by mistake to hell. Another stone
court with more lanterns, and a pagoda-erection to a Minister of War,
whither, should a war occur, they hope his spirit would return to watch
over it and bring them luck.

We approach the Temple, with its black roof of crenellated copper,
and the overhanging eaves, from each up-curved point of which hangs a
tinkling bronze bell, and we can see that this sombre outside is only
a wooden shell to preserve the gilding and brilliant colours of the
exterior.

Our feet are bound up in cotton shoes, and we enter by a side door
into an exquisite little sanctum, where the roof is all of lacquer,
inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and the panels on the walls are carved
in marvellous _repoussé_ work, with flowers and animals. A softened
light comes through the open door, and the gold and red and blue and
green, melt into a harmony of rich colouring, whilst the petal of each
flower, the stalk of every leaf, the plumage on the wings of the birds,
stand out in startling relief; and these panels represent storks, with
their long red legs, doves with their silver-grey plumage, parrots
with red and green tails, and peacocks with fan-spread tails. Or there
are such flowers as the sacred lotus, the emblem of Buddhism, the
chrysanthemum and the pink peony. One panel of exceptional beauty, is
an exquisite spray of tiger lilies, carved in high relief. Tradition
says that this was so greatly esteemed by the Shogun, and that the two
nails we see were used to hang a cover over it, that no one should see
it but himself. The priest throws open the golden trellis-work of a
shrine, and shows us three memorial tablets with the Shogun's names
inscribed on them. Around it there is a collection of china vases,
paper lanterns, and lacquer stands. Passing behind the screen formed
of bamboo bound with silken cords, we come to a square room covered as
usual with matting, and with the same florid decoration, where there
is a row of lacquer boxes each tied up with a cord. They contain the
Buddhist books, and are used for the daily prayers.

Through a grove of glossy-leaved camellias we pass, and mount up some
flights of ancient steps to another temple. This is the Praying Room
in front of the Shogun's Tomb, and is only entered by the Mikado and
Archbishop, when they come to worship the great departed on the day
of his decease. We pass behind this, and ascend yet more moss-grown
steps, to the tomb of the Great Shogun, which is surmounted by a
bronze urn, and enclosed within stone parapets and iron railings. The
tomb bears the three-leaved asarum, which is the crest of the House,
and is seen on many buildings of the date of that dynasty. Since the
fall of the Shoguns--or military usurpers of executive power--and
the re-establishment to the Imperial City of the present dynasty of
Mikados, it has been replaced by the Imperial Chrysanthemum. All is so
quiet and solemn here, and the memorial above the tomb is so simple, as
compared with the magnificence that goes before, that as Mitford says,
"The sermon may have been preached by design, or it may have been by
accident, but the lesson is there." The 9th, 12th and 14th Shoguns are
buried at Shiba, and their three temples, their three praying rooms,
and their three bronze urns, stand in precisely similar lines with the
one we are at present by.

In the evening we take jinrikishas and go into the native quarters.
If Tokio is charming in daylight, it is simply a fairyland at night.
There are no lamps, save for a few electric beacons, that send out
their far-reaching flashes over all the city, but the streets are
lighted by innumerable pendulous drops of light, that dance and quiver
and dart about, and cross and disappear quickly round corners. They
are the paper lanterns which hang from the shafts of hundreds of
jinrikishas, or are carried by pedestrians, for everyone in Japan
carries his own lantern after dark; and some are pale pink and others
red or blue. Now their soft light is reflected on the waters of the
moat, or glides quickly and noiselessly round the stone ramparts and
reappears like glow-worms on the other side. Now we pass the crimson
light streaming out of the little box-like police station, or the
barrow of the street vendor with the bulb of light shining mysteriously
from behind his hanging curtains. Soft even light falls across the
street from the windows of opaque paper, and we can trace the shadows
crossing them. Then as we stealthily fly past, we see the dark interior
of a shop lighted by a single lamp, under which squats a Rembrandt-like
figure, intently working, for in these busy human hives late at night
and early morning sees them still at work, or again the leaping flames
of fire in the centre of the floor light up a family group. Then there
is the street vendor, with his flaring torches, and his wares spread
out against a wall. There is a festival held in some particular street,
lighted with lunging designs of crimson paper lanterns, slung from
bamboo poles, to the god of writing. Then as we return home through
the dark quiet alleys, we hear the frequent and melancholy sound of
the bamboo flute of the blind shampooer, as he feels his way, stick in
hand, along the street. He sounds but two notes, but they have the wail
of a world of sorrow in them, that goes to the heart.

Early the next morning we climbed up some steps and passed into the
lovely groves of Ueno Park. The evergreen trees are still here, but
the avenue of cherry trees is bare and leafless, "which presents a
uniquely beautiful sight during the blossom season, when the air seems
to be filled with pink clouds," and you can scarcely pass under the
trees for the showers of falling blossoms. A little farther on there
is a sheet of water covered with flat green leaves, which three weeks
ago was a mass of pink and white lotus bloom. The blossoming of the
cherry, plum, lotus or chrysanthemum are looked upon by the Japanese as
national festivals. In fact they are their only holidays, for they have
no Sunday or day of rest. The Japanese may be said to have little or no
religion. The upper classes never worship at all, and the lower orders
are either Buddhists or Shintoists (Shintoism being the worship of many
gods), but they practically only go to the temples to offer prayers,
accompanied by money to the gods, if they have any special request to
make, such as for a good harvest, or recovery from sickness.

There are many little tea-houses at Ueno Park, and waiting damsels
smile in a friendly manner and beckon us in, but we cross the road
and leave this pleasant corner of the park, where the simple people
come to drink tea and amuse themselves, and pass under one of those
solemn archways hewn out of single blocks of stone, a torii or bird's
rest. They are such grand yet simple monuments of a dead past, and are
found at the entrance to all the temples in Japan. We wander up the
stone-paved avenue, through the solemn illness of the great cryptomeria
avenue, towards the Buddhist Temple at the end. This Temple, with its
neighbouring pagoda, is more than usually brilliant, being recently
restored, but the charm lies in its surroundings--in the quiet fir
groves, and the clumps of camellia trees, in the pink blossoms of the
monkey tree, and the solemn cawing of the rooks, in the click-click of
the wooden sandals of the dear little waddling ladies as they saunter
along the pavement, with their close-shaven children by their sides,
so exactly like the Japanese dolls we know at home. But in the centre
of this peaceful scene is a switchback railway, whose noisy clatter
profanes the stillness, but of which the Japanese are truly proud. We
pass a fortune stone. It is old and chipped, covered with hieroglyphics
and bespattered with dirty pellets of paper, which are chewed first
into a pulp and then thrown at it. If they adhere, it is considered a
lucky omen.

After quickly passing through the Museum, a white Moorish building
erected for the Exhibition, and which is as dull as museums usually
are, we had one of those fascinating drives through the streets to the
shop of the most celebrated cloisonné maker in Japan, and by special
appointment to the Mikado. There was nothing exposed in the shop
front, but leading us to the inmost recesses at the back, one by one
with reverent care, each article was produced from its wooden case and
foldings of crêpe and cotton wool, and placed with justifiable pride
before us, for this prince of designers, Namikawa, is the greatest
living artist in Japan, and exists only for the production of the
masterpieces of his art. The exceeding tenderness of the pale grey,
darkening into lilac, forming the background for a cock whose plumage,
faithfully delineated, is shown by the outline of every feather, the
rose pink, the translucent yellow--it is impossible to convey the
delicate tones of colour, or the life-like drawing of his plaques and
vases.

We subsequently saw the many processes through which cloisonné passes,
and it is not until you have seen the skill and delicate workmanship
required, that you really begin to appreciate cloisonné. And the
same may be said about lacquer, which requires knowing to be fully
understood. First the vase must be fashioned in copper, then the
designer must delineate from memory some intricate design of flowers
or birds or landscape. This again has to be reproduced in tiny pieces
of wire, pinched and twisted deftly into shape and soldered on to the
copper. The interstices of the wire are filled in with the brilliant
colours that we see in the saucers by the side of the workers, and the
mixing of these is the secret which ensures success. Five times the
colours are "filled," and five times burnt in the kilns, and then the
polisher with his different coarsenesses of stones polishes it into a
burnished and chaste work of art.

Apart from temples, there is not much to see at Tokio, but it is the
streets which fascinate you so completely, that waking and sleeping
you dream of these, and you want to be always out and amongst the
bright life that flows through them. To get any idea of Japan you
must always remember that everything is so ridiculously small. Life
here is in miniature. Everything is lilliputian; beginning with the
little houses, continuing with the little men and women and their tiny
children, and ending with the little ponies, for there are no horses
in Japan. And so to imagine a Japanese street, you must picture to
yourself rows of little brown houses, many of only one storey, with
large overhanging eaves. The interior is wide open and only raised one
step from the street, and you look across the brightly burnished floor
through the opening of the paper sliding screens, which are thrown
back in the daytime, and catch pretty glimpses of the home life in the
back yard. Many of the shops are hung with funereal-looking purple and
black hangings, inscribed with white hieroglyphics giving the names
and nature of their wares. You recognize the chemist's shop by the
gold tablets setting forth the details of the pharmacopœia within.
There are barbers' shops, with a half-shaven customer with upturned
chin seated in the chair; drapers' with samples of bright-coloured
stuffs hung round a revolving wheel outside; toy-shops where are sold
those paper kites and tiniest of shuttlecocks, or hobgoblin horses and
animals of impossible shape and size, with which the children play in
the street. There are others hung with nothing but strings of straw
sandals, or wooden clogs; grain shops where the clean white green and
red seeds are sorted into baskets of samples. Here is one for the
sale of saké, the brandy of Japan, piled up with huge barrels, and
with those tapering blue and white bottles which we are accustomed to
use for flower-vases, but which are really manufactured to hold this
popular beverage. And then the china shops; they are an incessant
delight, with their hundreds of dear little common blue and white rice
bowls, their artistic tea-pots of pale green ware with a spray of apple
blossom, their hibachis, or china flower-pots of deep blue, green or
bronze ware, which are used for the hot ashes to light the pipe with,
and are found on the floor of all tea-houses. Again, we must look at
this stationer's, where that soft crinkled tissue paper is sold, and
the brushes with which the Japanese write so swiftly and deftly, that
the ink is absorbed without blotting into the paper. In Japan they do
everything upside down. The horses stand with their tails in their
mangers and their heads where their tails should be. Locks revolve
contrariwise, and the carpenters plane towards, instead of away from
the person. So with writing; they write from the bottom of the page to
the top, and from right to left, and the number of their characters
is appalling. You must know from 3000 to 4000 characters to write
Japanese at all, and an educated man will require some 6000; and the
disappointing thing is that when a foreigner has mastered this, the
literature opened up to him offers no reward for his labour, as it
practically does not as yet exist.

See this fruit shop, where bunches of pale grey-green water-grapes,
brown pears, and plentiful supplies of green figs are spread temptingly
out, interspersed with bunches of those luscious orange persimmons
that melt in the mouth, and taste like a ripe apricot; this umbrella
emporium, where paper umbrellas, oiled to make them waterproof, are
open inviting inspection; a tea-shop, where the tea is kept in gigantic
jars striped purple and green; a greengrocer's, with oblong sweet
potatoes in their pink skins, and turnips of abnormal length; a basket
shop, where bamboo baskets of every shape and size are to be had;
or a fishmonger's, where the delicate pink and rainbow scaled fish,
are exposed daintily for sale on bright blue and green china dishes.
Nor must I forget the confectioners' shops, where from a tiny oven
heated by charcoal, we see the most attractive little pink, green,
chocolate and white sugared cakes turned out and placed in alternate
rows on trays. It is most amusing to see the extreme economy of the
heating arrangements. Four tiny pieces of charcoal, turned over and
husbanded together by a pair of iron tongs, suffice to cook a meal.
The Government do not allow shops to sell European and Japanese goods
together, so that now and again you pass one full of Manchester
atrocities, gaudy stuffs, ill-shaped English umbrellas, cheap lamps,
boots, hats, and underclothing, which you turn away from, to seek once
more the tasteful display of the native stores.

[Illustration: "A LITTLE MOTHER."]

And what a medley of scenes there are, and what a flow of life
confined in these narrow streets with their one-storeyed houses.
Coolies harnessed by ropes to drays full of rice, answering one another
with their musical patient cry of Huydah-Houdah; itinerant vendors with
bamboo poles slung across the shoulder, and suspended trays filled with
every imaginable variety of article; Buddhist priests with their shaven
heads, and white dresses with flowing sleeves, covered with black crêpe.

Mingling with the crowd of dear little men and women in their graceful
flapping kimonos, are the little girl "mothers," who at the age of
ten bend their backs and have a baby brother or sister tied on. Happy
babies they are, brown and contented, as are their scantily-clothed
kindred, who obey an instinct of nature in making mud pies and dust
castles by the roadside. Here is a closed van on wheels, painted black,
being drawn by policemen. It is a "Maria" with a prisoner peering out
between the bars.

Every now and again we meet a funeral. The coffin is a square deal
box, slung on bamboo poles, for the deceased has been placed in it in a
sitting posture with the knees up to the chin. It is only another form
of the economy of material, that forms such an especial feature in all
things Japanese. However, this people understood long before we did,
the use of lovely wreaths of coloured flowers, to mitigate the gloom
of mourning, and the coffin is hung with them. Ancestor-worship takes
a prominent part in Japanese religion, and now we understand at last
the use of those elaborate gold and lacquer cabinets, with outer and
inner folding doors, that you so often see in England. These cabinets
are intended as the shrines where the little golden memorial tablets,
in the form of small gravestones, and engraved with the name of the
deceased, are kept at home. The deceased is always given a posthumous
name, as, not believing in the immortality of the soul, but rather in
its transmigration into an animal, they say that he has ceased to exist
altogether, and has changed his state and lives under a new name. These
memorial cabinets are found in all the houses of the upper classes.

The pictures that we know of these little Japanese ladies are the
most faithful reproductions. Wrapped tightly round in their kimonos,
with the bunch of the obi formed by its folding over at the back,
their figures take the graceful bend and curve we see pourtrayed. The
loose flowing sleeves, and the soft folds around the neck, and open
at the throat, are so pretty. Their underclothing consists of several
loose garments of crêpe, which is the material exclusively used by the
upper classes, and their hips are so tightly bound that no European
woman could stand it. They treat their hips as we do our waists, their
object being to be perfectly straight. When this was explained to me,
I understood how it was that an extra breadth is put into the kimonos
bought by Europeans. It is curious that, though the Japanese bathe so
frequently, they are not particular as to changing their underclothing.
The women wear white stockings with a pocket for the great toe, and
"getas" formed of a sole of wood, perched on two high clogs of the
same, and kept on by a leash. Thus, when they enter a house, they leave
their clogs at the door, and go about on the spotless matting in their
stockings. As they sit and eat off the floors, they cannot allow the
dirt of outside boots to be brought in, and all Japanese houses are
scrupulously clean.

The kimonos of ladies are made in delicate quiet-toned stuffs of pale
grey or fawn colour; but simple as some of them appear, the stuffs of
which they are made are so costly that, even unembroidered, they will
cost as much as 300 dollars. And then their obis, those broad sashes
of the richest brocades and satins--on them they lavish all their
pride and money, and they often descend as heirlooms in a family. The
dressing of their hair is one long-continued source of admiration; it
is such black glossy hair, and the coils are so immaculately smooth.
There are but two styles of headdress for the whole country--one for
the married ladies, and one for the single; and so you can always
distinguish their state in life at a glance. The married women have it
dressed in a single extended roll, with inlaid combs and coral-headed
pins placed round; whilst the unmarried ladies wear their hair divided
by a silk or gauze ribbon into two flat coils placed on either side of
the head, and have still more decoration in the way of glass bead pins.
And as to the little girls, they are the counterpart of their mothers,
and from the earliest ages wear theirs in a similar manner. It used
to be the custom for married women to have their teeth blackened, to
prevent their receiving admiration from men other than their husbands;
but this is dying out, and you now only see old married women in
country districts following this obsolete fashion. No Japanese woman
ever walks. She shuffles, she scuffles, she tippets along, balancing on
her high-heeled getas; but step out the necessary stride for a walk,
no, they cannot do that, for their kimonos are so narrow that they
cannot move otherwise than with their knees knocking together. They are
not pretty, these meek, gentle-looking, brown-skinned creatures, yet
their sweet deprecating manners are very attractive. They are excellent
mothers; more excellent wives, in their complete subjection and utter
want of initiative. The sum total of their education is implicit
reverence and obedience, first to parents, subsequently to husbands;
and at the Peeress' school at Tokio, we are told that they are so
afraid that the modern education given there to the daughters of the
nobles will militate against this ideal, that particular lectures are
given on the subject.

The men, so long as they wear the native dress, are dark,
pleasant-looking little men; but when you see them, as you frequently
do now, with a kimono surmounted by a brown or black pot-hat, a solar
topee, or even a tweed stalking-cap, they are positively evil and
unpleasant to look at.

Viscount Okabé, so long Minister in London, took us for a drive in the
afternoon, and then we had time, before a pleasant dinner with Mr. and
Mrs. Fraser at the British Legation, to go to the Theatre.

The corridor is covered with piles of sandles and umbrellas, whilst
from the adjoining kitchens come savoury and nauseous smells. The floor
of the Theatre slopes upwards from the stage, and is divided into
square compartments, neatly matted, and intended for family boxes. The
galleries are divided in the same way. And here groups of ladies and
gentlemen are encamped for the whole day, for a Japanese theatre begins
at 9 a.m. and lasts for ten hours; nor is this all, for the same piece
may be continued from day to day, and last for six weeks. It is now
five in the afternoon, and yet the audience maintain a deep interest
and breathless gaze on the stage.

This is the outline of the story. The lank, die-away lady we see
trailing across the stage has retired to a wood, with a rill of crystal
water, to live in a temple, there, to mourn the death of her father
in a war. The young man who was (unknown to her) his murderer, passes
casually along and she falls in love with him. This love-making, in
the drawling nasal accents, and its tediously slow movements, is most
unreal, and as they drink the loving cup of saké together, the father's
disapproving spirit, in a rushing flame of fire, blazes up from the
temple. Darkness drowns the applause, and warriors rush on the scene
and begin to fight the maiden, who mesmerizes them, until one by one
they fall at her feet.

The orchestra is represented by five musicians, perched up on a rock. I
may say at once that, artistic as is the nature of the Japanese, their
idea of music is absolutely _nil_. It consists of a series of grunts
and groans, or of nasal notes in a bass key, or of falsetto in a high
one.

But the interest lies to us in the audience, who, in the interval of
twenty minutes, eat their evening meal. Some have brought their food
with them, and nearly all their own china tea-pots, for a constant
supply of tea. Others buy theirs, and are provided with a succession
of little wooden bowls piled on each other, and for which they have to
pay the usual theatre price of ten cents, or double the ordinary one.
In each box there is a hibachi, or china bowl full of hot ashes, where
they light their pipes, for men and women are continually smoking, and
their pipes have the smallest bowl, the size of a thimble--two whiffs
and it is empty again; but it is sufficient for their modest wants.

_September 26th._--I am writing in the most delightful real Japanese
house, far away in the midst of these beautiful mountains of Nikko.

The thin wooden frame of the house is covered with luminous parchment
paper, and these are the walls that divide us from the outside world.
They are not permanent ones, for they slide back one behind the other,
a succession of paper screens, until the house is open to the street
and there is only the shell of a habitation left in the roof, and one
paper wall behind. The second-floor storey (if there is one) is marked
by a long balcony running completely round, and here in cupboards at
either end are kept the wooden shutters that slide into grooves and
close in the balconies, in winter and at night, and give to all the
houses the dull appearance of a blank wooden wall at sundown. Inside,
the roof and floors are of white wood, and the latter is covered
with spotless matting; but I am glad to say that there are European
concessions here, in the shape of a table, chair, and washstand and
bed, on which is laid a clean starched kimono to go to the bath in. In
a Japanese house we should find no furniture at all. Their rooms are
absolutely bare; they eat, sit and sleep on the floor, and from out of
a cupboard in a recess will come the "futons," or thick wadded quilts,
and the square piece of wood with a hollow for the neck, where a soft
wad of paper is inserted, and which is used for a pillow by the ladies
to save their elaborate headdress from getting deranged. As they cannot
dress their hair themselves, it is only done occasionally, and must
thus be considered even when sleeping.

The construction of these houses is so delightfully simple, for,
excepting the polished ladder which leads upstairs, there is no plan of
the rooms. They are made larger or smaller, more or less, according to
the want of the hour, by means of those successions of sliding screens,
and a little pushing and sliding will make the large room you are
using, into five or six smaller ones in a second. These tea-houses are
charming in their compact simplicity, their faultless cleanliness, and
particular neatness.

It was at four o'clock this afternoon that we arrived at Nikko, and
drove from the station through the end of the great cryptomeria avenue,
past the village, until the jinrikisha was suddenly shot round a
corner, down a narrow passage, and stopped at the courtyard step of the
Suzuki Hotel. Here quite a little crowd of bowing attendants received
us with many deep salaams, and sucking-in of breath; one relieved me of
an umbrella, another of a cloak, and another of a book, and went before
us, encouraging us with graceful gesticulations and faces wreathed in
smiles to enter the house, impressing us in an indescribably charming
manner that we were showing them but too much honour in doing so. Of
course we drank tea--it is the first ceremony on entering any Japanese
house; and then came the second one--the solemn ceremony of the bath.

Bathing is the passion and pastime of the Japanese, and they bathe
as often as two or three times a day. In all towns there are public
baths, where, in the evening, the population meet to gossip and take a
bath for the modest price of two cents. Not long ago men and women in
a state of nature bathed together, but Government has forbidden this
now. However, we visited one where a wall separated the bath, but still
left the entrance to both open to the public view. In villages there
will be a tub or barrel outside every door, and one evening we saw a
man preparing his bath, with a fire kindling under the zinc bottom of
his tub. They take their baths as hot as 110° Fahrenheit, and for some
unexplained reason foreigners find that cold or lukewarm baths are
unsuited to the climate, and adopt the native temperature. The rule at
hotels is that the first arrival is entitled to the first use of the
bath.

To take up the thread of the story, we left Tokio at eleven this
morning, the Foreign Office sending a carriage to take us to Ueno
station.

Through groves of cryptomeria, maple, fir, willow, wild cherry and
Spanish chestnuts we travel. Past great clumps of bamboo, which to see
only is to be able to picture the mighty growth of their graceful,
feathery foliage; by picturesque villages, with their angular brown
thatched roofs crowding low down over their mud-wattled walls, nestling
amongst banyon groves interspersed with persimmon trees, bare of leaves
but laden with bunches of golden fruit. Then we emerge on to the open
country, where the cultivation is so exquisitely neat that it resembles
a succession of kitchen gardens. There are no hedges, and no grass, but
the whole land is taken up by small patches of onions, turnips, maize,
millet, sweet potatoes, and the broad caladium-like leaf of another
species of potatoes, whose English equivalent to the Japanese name I
failed to discover. These alternate with rice fields, where the bright
yellow tells of the ripening and bursting of the grain. The soil is
rich and black, and labour is done by hand-spade, but the absence of
pasture strikes us. However, there are few cows or oxen, and no sheep,
numberless experiments failing to rear them; and the ponies live on
chopped straw, beans and the refuse of grain.

[Illustration: THE RED LACQUER BRIDGE, NIKKO.]

An hour before reaching Nikko we pass into the mountains. It is such a
picturesque, well-wooded range, this Nikko chain of mountains, and they
all bear that peculiar Japanese characteristic of rising straight out
of the plain, ending with sharp three-sided cones, and like all else in
this country, though lofty, they are on a small scale, toy mountains
that seem to fit in with the miniature picture.

We had time after our arrival at Nikko, and before dusk, to pass
through the village, across the wonderful red lacquer bridge, and
following a grass path to come to a Waterfall. On the rock opposite is
inscribed the word Hammôn, and the legend goes, that as no one could,
as we see, possibly cross the fall to write it, an artist threw his pen
at the rock and it inscribed this Sanskrit word. And now in the growing
twilight we pass along under the shadow of a row of mutilated grey
idols, each squatted on his pedestal with crossed hands, looking over
the stream. I counted 120 figures, but no two people have ever been
known to make the same number. At the head of this solemn avenue of
gods there is a larger one facing the others. They are supposed to be
the Judges before whom the spirits of the departed pass, and are judged
whether they shall go to heaven or hell; and hence they are covered
with many paper labels, the prayers of relatives for the deceased, that
grace may be granted them by the gods. It is a solemn tribunal, with
its presiding judge, and each face is different in expression, and
yet they are such mobile, expressionless faces, as if to represent a
dispassionate and unbiassed judgment.

After dinner we adjourned into an empty room, when a man appeared
with a card, and before we could look round the whole room was full
of merchants producing out of their cotton bundles, beautiful carved
ivories, bronzes, silver, china, lacquer, and furs, for Nikko produces
excellent ones. They are so persuasive, and ingratiate their wares all
round into your hands, that it is with difficulty we escape; and making
our airy chambers a little less so by having the shutters run out of
their cupboard, we are soothed to sleep by the wailing sounds of the
samisen, that comes from the brightly-lighted little tea-house on the
opposite hill.

It is amusing the next morning to dress with the wall of the room
thrown back, and to hear the constant shuffle of sandals, or the
clatter of the clogs as these little men and women in their flapping
draperies cross the yard; and this courtyard is so characteristic. It
is but a few square feet in dimensions, yet there is a dragon-shaped
fir-tree in the centre, whose outstretched arms are supported by bamboo
poles, which form a little arbour with a seat in it; then there is a
stone lantern and a bronze stork, a lamp-post and a wandering paved
pathway, that gives a great idea of distance.

We go directly after breakfast to the Temples to see the tombs of
the Shoguns. They are three hundred years old, and as beautiful as
carving, colour and design can make them. We ascend up a winding
flight of stone steps through the gloom of a magnificent avenue of
cryptomerias. They are tremendously tall, impressive trees, with
their moss-grown trunks and stems, and these steps wind through their
midst, a fit leading up to the great mausoleums. Passing the courts
of a monastery, we are first shown a Buddhist temple where, hidden
behind the silk-bound bamboo blinds, there are three colossal gold
Buddhas seated cross-legged on lotus leaves. In the mysterious gloom,
they look solemnly and indifferently into space. On the platform by
this temple there is suspended a big bronze bell, which is sounded by
a pole propelled against the side. As we stand there it gives forth
its sonorous musical toll, and at every hour of the day its sweet and
solemn note echoes over the valley. Then, seated in a semicircle, the
priests of Buddha begin to chant the morning orisons, droning in a
nasal tone, and with the accompanying tom-tom of a drum. We leave them
to pass on to the tomb of the great warrior Shogun, Yeyásu.

The wide road, bordered by those walls of mortarless blocks of
stone, leads up to the flight of steps and an elaborate Sammon or
gateway, the entrance to the first temple. There are a number of
wooden tablets outside, on which are inscribed the names of the
subscribers to the fabric of the temple. The inner court is full of
interest, for you must imagine that all the buildings it contains are
covered with decorations and paintings. One of the storehouses where
pictures, furniture, and other articles belonging to Yeyásu are kept,
has carvings in relief of elephants, in which the joints of the hind
legs are turned in the wrong direction. There is the tree which the
Shogun carried about in his palanquin with him when it was still small
enough to travel in a flowerpot, and the stable for the sacred white
pony, kept for the use of the god; over which is a very clever group of
three monkeys, representing the three countries of India, China, and
Japan. One monkey shows he is blind by covering his eyes with his hand,
another deaf by stopping his ears, and a third dumb by closing his
mouth. The one signifies that you must see no evil; the other that you
must hear no evil; the last that you must speak no evil.

[Illustration: PAGODA OF THE TEMPLE AT NIKKO.]

The water cistern, hung round as is usual in these temples with
coloured rags, is formed of a single block of granite, so evenly cut
that the water flowing over it is a glassy, imperceptible surface.
Next to it is a library, where through the grating we see a revolving
book-case made of lacquer with gilt columns, containing a complete
collection of the Buddhist scriptures.

And now we come to the exquisitely beautiful gate of the Yomeimon,
with its graceful arabesques founded upon the peony pattern, its
niches and columns, its golden clawed dragons and groups of Chinese
sages, which leads into the inner court of the temple. Surrounded by
open trellis-work screens, we pass up several flights of steps, and
take off our boots by the huge bronze money-box waiting for offerings.
The interior is filled with a dim light, but you are in the midst of
a place so rich in subdued soft colour, so embroidered in elaborate
designs and harmonizing tones, that it is some minutes before you can
at all appreciate the full beauty. The ceiling is formed of squares
divided by ribs of black lacquer and enamelled in peacock blue and
green; there are gilt carved screens, where perch birds of paradise,
doves, parrots, ducks, peacocks; others where the asarum or peony, the
royal flower, the lily, and the lotus, are carved in high relief. And
the ante-chambers on either side are equally perfect; in one there is a
carved and painted ceiling with an angel surrounded by a chrysanthemum,
and some boldly executed eagles; in another, pictures of unicorns on a
gold ground, and some phœnixes.

[Illustration: Mausoleum of Yeyásu.]

In an adjoining temple a woman in scarlet and white draperies
performed a sacred dance. It is a slow and graceful movement; the bells
in her hand keep rhythmical time, while she amuses and charms away the
evil spirit from the dead Shogun. We have now a long pilgrimage to
perform, up to the platform on high, where rests the body of Yeyásu.
The ancient stone stairs, the balustrade and columns, are clothed
in the most vivid green moss, whilst the cryptomerias form a dark
archway above. There is complete silence around. The place is damp and
deserted. We might, from their moss-grown appearance, be the first to
tread these steps for a thousand years, and slowly mounting them, we
feel we are breaking the spell that has hung over them, as we find
ourselves on the stone terrace at the top. Here there is a praying
temple, and we pass round to the tomb at the back. It is a simple
bronze urn, shaped like a small pagoda, with a stone table in front, on
which is placed a bronze stork with a candle in its mouth, an incense
burner, and a vase of artificial lotus flowers. Such is the end of all
greatness.

Returning home, we took jinrikishas for the mountain expedition to
Lake Chữzenji. For some miles we travel by the side of the river's
bed and between the mountains, meeting many pack-ponies laden with
merchandise, shod like the men with straw sandals. It looks rainy, and
the men have donned their waterproof coats, and these consist of a
straw mantle formed like a thatch; when you see a fisherman standing
in the water with his legs immersed, and only this thatch above, it
produces the most comical effect of a floating haystack. As we begin
climbing the mountain road, we see many strange and beautiful new
shrubs, flowers, and trailing creepers growing amongst the rocks. Soon
a tea-house comes in sight, with the front entirely open, and pretty
sliding screens of blue paper. Cushions are placed on the floor and
tea brought by a welcome-smiling damsel. It is pale, straw-coloured
tea made from the young undried shoot of the tea-plant, and it is not
allowed to infuse, but is poured straight into the tiny handleless
cups, with two or three leaves at the bottom, and served on a lacquer
tray with pink and white sweetmeats. But how artistic is the design
on the common bronze kettle hanging over the open fire in the centre
of the room, and kept always boiling for tea to be quickly made; how
delicate the pale blue colour of the thin eggshell cups, with the spray
of cherry blossom. It is one of the many charms of Japan, that art is
brought to use in all the appurtenances of daily life.

The ascent to Chữzenji, right into the heart of the mountains, is
perfectly lovely. I have never seen grander or more charming scenery.
When we rest for a minute at one of the many tea-houses, there is such
a splendid view of two cascades flowing down a rocky precipice. It
is the meeting-place of several valleys, and the joining of several
mountain spurs, and there is an open park-like space, which looks so
green and smiling amid these rugged fastnesses. There is a movement
in those bushes in the valley! It is a troop of monkeys jumping from
branch to branch; for Japan is a strange mixture of tropical and hardy
growths. You find the flowers and plants of north latitudes growing
beside the palms and fruits of the tropics. The ascent becomes more
and more trying, though this good, new road was hurried over, to be
finished for the visit of the Czarewitch last year, which never took
place, owing to his attempted assassination by a fanatic near Kyoto.

Clouds came down as we reached the pretty fall at the summit, so we
only heard its roar, dulled by the thick mist; but they cleared away
again, as we came to the shores of the lake, 4375 feet above the sea.
The deserted houses in the village are used by the pilgrims who come
here in August. We rested on the balcony of a tea-house overhanging the
lake, and then the descent was accomplished in one unbroken run, one
coolie acting as a drag behind, whilst the other in the shafts steadied
the jinrikisha round the sharp curves.

_September 28th._--We spent a long morning amongst the Tombs again,
and we shall carry away with us such a vision of picturesquely pointed
black roofs, outlined in gold and red, and graceful bamboo groves, of
moss-grown flights of steps under the shadow of stately avenues of
cryptomerias, of ancient stone walls with a vista leading to massive
torii. We shall dream of the many solemn rows of stone lanterns, of
gateways bright with rainbow hues and guarded by dragon monsters, of
the bronze urns hidden away up on those quiet nooks in the mountains,
and above all of the enchanted atmosphere, the deep stillness, the
solemn peace that rests over these shrines of the dead.

We waited on the steps of the temple to hear the big bronze bell slowly
send out its voice once more at midday across the valley, and then came
home.

On our return journey to Tokio in the afternoon we took jinrikishas to
Imaicho, the station beyond Nikko, so as to drive five miles through
the magnificent cryptomeria grove that runs parallel with the railway.
The avenue extends for fifty miles, and was used by the envoy of the
Mikado when he sent to offer presents at the tomb of Yeyásu. These
cryptomerias are grand trees, with their stately trunks shooting up in
regular lines, whilst their long branches only grow from their summits,
and intertwining make a dim twilight below.

On arriving at Tokio, we had a drive through the fairyland of its
glimmering streets.



CHAPTER VI.

NEW NIPPON.


We were up early to get a glimpse of the Mikado as he passes to open
some new barracks. His route is lined with policemen, pigmy but
efficient guardians of the peace, with their white duck uniforms and
large swords. The morning mists are floating off the grey green moats,
as we pass into quite a new quarter of Tokio, where the noblemen have
their palaces, amid gardens green with willows and acacias. We drive
past the red brick buildings of the Peeress' School, the New Police
Buildings, and the Dowager Empress' Palace, guarded by sentries, until
we come out on the exercising ground before the barracks.

Scattered about this plain are companies of infantry and cavalry,
mounted on small black ponies, whilst a band is being marched inside
the barrack square, where are anxious-looking groups of officers in
gala dress, ablaze with decorations of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
and Rising Sun, awaiting their sovereign's arrival. It is an apathetic
crowd, which shows no excitement as the advance guard with an outrider
in green and gold livery appears, quickly followed by two closed
barouches, the first of which is surrounded by a company of Lancers
with flying pennons. We just catch a passing glimpse of a dark man with
a beard, rather stout, and looking more than his age of forty. The band
plays the National Anthem and the gates close on the procession.

And this is the 121st Sovereign of Japan, the first commencing his
reign in 660 B.C., as the preamble to the Constitution runs: "Having
by virtue of the glories of our ancestor ascended the throne of a
lineal succession unbroken for ages eternal." In connection with the
ancestor-worship, which is the only form of worship performed by the
upper classes, the Emperor's oath on his accession is interesting.
"We, the successor to the prosperous throne of our Predecessors, do
humbly and solemnly swear to the Imperial Founder of our House, and
to our other Imperial Ancestors, that in pursuance of a great policy,
co-extensive with the Heaven and with the Earth, we shall maintain, and
secure from decline, the ancient form of government.

"That we have been so fortunate in our reign in keeping with the
tendency of the times as to accomplish this work, we owe to the
glorious spirits of the Imperial Founder of our House and our other
Imperial Founders. We now reverently make prayer to them and to our
Illustrious Father and implore help of their sacred spirits, and make
to them solemn oath, never at this time, nor in the future, to fail to
be an example to our subjects in the observance of the Law."

At eleven o'clock, Mr. Nagasaki, Master of the Ceremonies in the
Imperial Household, calls for us in a royal carriage to show us the
country Palace of Sheba, whose gardens lie by the sea-shore. Side by
side in the grounds, which are approached by a very unpretentious drive
and entrance, stand the European Palace, furnished, and the Japanese
one of paper screens and matting covered floor, though we are shown
here into a carpeted room, with heliotrope satin covered chairs and
sofa. It is the custom now in Japanese houses of the upper ten, to have
one European furnished room, which is only used for the reception of
foreigners. As we take tea out of the little eggshell cups, we do not
think the garden looks large, but by the time we have followed the blue
uniformed janitor, with the eternal chrysanthemum on his cap, in his up
and down wanderings, we feel as if we had walked miles.

The Japanese ideal of landscape gardening is to have a different
view from every point, and to this end they make a miniature park.
These knolls, mounted by wooden steps on one side and descended on the
other, represent hills; the pond crossed by a stone bridge made out
of two stones, is a lake; the island in its midst is formed of a rock
and one tree; the timber is represented by some dwarfed and distorted
fir trees, for the smaller and more spreading, the more valuable they
become. The Japanese take great pains with these deformed trees,
pruning them back, and picking out the fir needles one by one. They
give large sums of money for an old tree, and we were shown a tiny
fir in a pot over eighty years old. And yet these Japanese gardens,
twisted and deformed as they are, with no open green lawns or bright
flower-beds, are very quaint and attractive in their own way. Then we
drove on to the Euryo-kwan, another Imperial Palace, where the Emperor
and Empress hold their annual cherry blossom party in April, and when
the arched avenue we are standing under, is a mass of pink and white
bloom. The chrysanthemum garden party at the Palace is in November, and
very beautiful, from all accounts it must be, the plants trained into
every shape and device, of ships, pagodas, and umbrellas.

[Illustration: AN IMPERIAL GARDEN, TOKIO.]

Mr. Nagasaki told us a great deal of the bitterness of the struggle
of old Japan against the sudden inroad of European custom, a struggle
that is apparent everywhere, but more especially in the capital at
Tokio. The next generation will be altogether European. The Court
is modelled on the etiquette of our English Court, and the Emperor
has the same court officials as the Queen, whilst the Empress holds
Drawing Rooms, and has her ladies in waiting, everyone wearing European
and low evening dresses. We found that all gentlemen wear European
clothes, whilst their wives yet cling to the far more comfortable and
graceful kimono. English is taught in all the upper-class, schools, and
spoken very generally in shops, where the names are also written up in
English, though there are only 3000 Europeans altogether resident in
Japan. The Mikado has a son of twelve, and two little girls, and the
former is soon to have an English tutor.

We drove to Ueno Park, to a luncheon given in our honour by the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Viscount Enomotto. This restaurant is
the "Berkeley" of Tokio, and it was a most elaborate repast, though
we could have wished that it had been in a Japanese house. However,
Viscount Enomotto, Viscount Okabé, Mr. Nagasaki, and M. Haryashi
Tadasu, had brought their wives, Viscountess Okabé being a charming
bride who spoke English. These ladies wore kimonos in pale blue, fawn
and grey, and their costly embroidered obis were clasped round with a
single jewel. They had diamond rings and brooches, and their glossy
hair arranged in wonderfully glossy coques with tortoiseshell combs;
and such sweet gracious ladies as they were, shyly putting out their
hands, and bowing so low and gracefully, and speaking in such soft,
caressing tones. Even here, though, European influences were at work,
for I saw a pair of high-heeled French shoes, and even a pair of carpet
slippers peeping out from under the kimonos.

The room had such beautiful vases of flowers, arranged as only Japanese
can, not put together, but as if growing in natural sprays. After much
drinking of healths and ceremonious compliments, we adjourned to the
neighbouring Technical School of Art, where we saw specimens of lacquer
work, and some of the thirty-five processes through which it passes
before completion. The natural taste for art in the nation comes out
in the work of these 190 students, who pay ten yen a year for their
instruction, for their wood carvings and drawings from life are of
extraordinary excellence, and executed too with the roughest tools.

The same evening we visited the Maple Leaf Club, to see a performance
of "geisha" or dancing girls.

This fashionable club was founded by the Nobles, for the preservation
of Japanese customs, and as a protest against the general use of
European ones. Thirty dancing girls are maintained, educated and kept
in strict discipline from the age of fourteen, in the premises of the
club. We are ushered through numerous dimly-lighted corridors, on our
stockinged feet, into a large matted room, bare of furniture, where we
squat on cushions on the floor. A Japanese dinner is served, course
after course being brought in lacquer bowls. A row of maidens, with
their almond eyes dancing with laughter, squat before us and smile
gleefully as we vainly struggle with our chopsticks, and try with
frantic efforts to swallow the recherché dinner, for as Murray truly
says: "Europeans cannot eat Japanese food." And this was the ménu.
Sweet cakes of rice and sugar, served on plates with the monogram of
a maple leaf; soup, a brown liquid with floating lumps of fish; an
omelette (of ancient eggs) with fish sauce; a hot trout with upturned
tail, with grated cheese coloured pink, a stewed fig, and a finger-like
radish that tasted like ginger; more fish with a nasty sauce and stewed
seaweed. As will be seen, fish formed a large item of the dinner, for
the Japanese eat all that comes out of the sea. Saké is served from the
long-necked blue and white bottles into tiny cups. Despair was gaining
upon us at the ceaseless arrival of more lacquer bowls, when the work
of the evening commenced.

Three demure damsels, in quiet kimonos, with their samisens or
guitars, enter, and begin to play and sing. From behind a screen, their
faces hidden by their fans, steal in three geishas, dressed in the
loveliest grey and pink kimonos, embroidered with the crimson leaf of
the maple. Slowly they girate, their clinging garments trailing around
their turned-in toes. Deliberate and graceful are their slow motions,
and the three figures act as one piece, and not only do their arms move
in unison, but their faces do so too, and they elevate the eyebrows and
close the eyes with the rise and fall of the body. In pretty imagery
they tell the pathetic little story of the maple leaf: its birth and
growth, its mature glory, and its death, the dance ending by the fans
being thrown upon the floor, even as it falls to the ground and dies. A
second performance is a clever mimicry, by the aid of masks, of an old
man, his wife and daughter; and the last dance, with the floating gauze
streamers that wave rhythmically with the music, is most elegant. These
geishas are the favourite form of amusement, and in all villages you
pass houses with mysterious gratings, enclosing a floor, where nightly
the gentle wail of the samisen is heard and the graceful performance of
the geishas is seen.

_October 1st._--We have had a terrible experience of a typhoon. It
began with a thunder-storm last night, accompanied by violent showers
of tropical rain, the drops being as large as small marbles, whilst
the thunder claps crackled and boomed overhead, and the dazzling
lightning was blinding. The air was full of electricity, and a feeling
of restless foreboding took possession of all. This morning the air was
so damp and close that you felt scarcely able to breathe. Violent gusts
of wind, increasing in succession, alternate with strange pauses of
breathless stillness. There is no twitter of bird or hum of beautiful
dragon fly, for they are forewarned by these signals of danger, and
have crept into safety. The force of the wind increases, and it is
blowing a hurricane, as in our ignorance of these dreadful phenomena
of typhoons (a word formed from the Japanese meaning "great wind,") we
leave the Imperial Hotel at Tokio, on our return journey to Yokohama,
just as it reaches its height.

Trying to walk to the station, I was blown away at the first corner,
and then two men with a jinrikisha began a hand-to-hand struggle with
the wind, making scarcely any progress, and across the open spaces
being literally blown backwards, and only able to steady the jinrikisha
from going bodily over. How we reached the Shimbashi station I never
understood, but I know that we arrived breathless, blinded, and soaked
through with the rain, with dishevelled hair and battered hats,
thankful only for the shelter of the station; and just as we seated
ourselves in the carriage, a lady was brought in very much bruised
and hurt by the overturning of her jinrikisha, which had been blown
away over an embankment into the canal. You may read descriptions
of typhoons, but until you have seen one, I defy anyone to have the
smallest idea of its awful power.

The fury of the wind was terrible. The train stood quite still at
times, unable to steam, however slowly, against the wind, whilst the
carriages trembled and rocked on the narrow gauge with every blast of
wind, and we thought more than once that it must be blown over. The
sea was carried in long spindrifts or lashed into brown whirlpools; an
awfully angry sea, boiling and hungry, lashing up in mist and spray
against the breakwater we were on. And here are several heartrending
sights, for one sampan has been washed up and completely broken on
the breakwater, whilst others are being wrecked against its sides,
and we can see the horror-stricken faces of the men clinging in agony
to it; whilst other sampans are fast drifting on to it, and we watch
with awful fear their frantic efforts to save themselves. Houses are
unroofed or blown down, trees bent double or uprooted as we look,
hedges collapse, crops are laid low, and we in this little carriage
are out in its midst, with nothing to break the full fury of the
elements. But even as we begin to wonder what to do on our arrival at
Yokohama, we see that the crisis is past and the gale subsiding. At
Yokohama the streets are strewn with the débris of the typhoon, and all
vessels in the harbour still have their steam up, should their anchors
drag. In two hours the most extraordinary change had taken place. The
waters of the harbour had become blue, and tranquilly lapped the shore,
the sun shone out, the wind died to a breeze. It was a perfect summer's
afternoon. The wind when we left Tokio was blowing at 76·8 miles an
hour; four hours afterwards it had fallen to 40, and soon after died
away.

[Illustration: A Typhoon.]

We spend a happy afternoon in the curio shops, at Messrs. Kühn and
Messrs. Welsh, whom we consider have the best things, and then visit,
with Mr. Hall, a nursery garden on the Bluff, for we think of having
one of those prim little Japanese gardens at home.

The next morning we leave Yokohama, and make an expedition to Kamakura,
a pretty seaside village, to see the great Diabutsu. The approach to
the Buddha is through a gateway which bears the following beautiful
inscription,--

Kotoku Monastery: "Stranger, whosoever thou art, and whatsoever be thy
creed, when thou enterest this sanctuary, remember thou treadest upon
ground hallowed by the worship of ages.

"This is the Temple of Buddha, and the gate of the Eternal, and should
therefore be entered with reverence.--By order of the Prior."

And with this grand exhortation in our ears we pass into the quiet
garden, with its avenue of cherry and plum trees, lying under the hills
in the sunshine, a perfect stillness all around, and where we see the
half-opened eyes of the colossal Buddha bent forward, as if in passive
contemplation of this quiet scene. There under the stars, amid storm
and wind, mist or tropical sun, he has sat for ages, apathetic, but not
unconscious. The hands lie on his crossed knees, the thumbs meeting at
the finger-tips, and forming two complete circles.

The Diabutsu is cast in bronze. Time and weather, the stress of the
elements, have mellowed the bronze to the most beautiful grey blue,
streaked with pale green. To appreciate his solemn grandeur, you must
visit him again and again, and each time he is more impressive than
the last. It is quite impossible to grasp the colossal proportions,
but these are the exact measurements:--Height, 49ft. 7in., length of
face, 8ft. 5in., width from ear to ear, 17ft. 9in. The round boss on
the forehead, which appears like a tiny white spot, is really 1ft.
3in. The length of eye and the elevated eyebrows about 4ft., of the
lobe-distended ears 6ft. 6in., and of the nose, with its wide-opened
nostrils, 3ft. 9in. The eyes are of pure gold, and the boss is of
silver weighing 30lbs. Inside, in the hollow of the image, there is a
shrine, and from the gloom of the neck of the Diabutsu stands out in
relief a small golden image. The chanting of the priest below, whose
rhythmic tones ascend muffled to us inside the image, mingling with
the incense of the burning joss sticks, impresses us with a religious
melancholy, when we reflect on the ideal religion set before them by
this great teacher, and the utter indifference, even to outward forms
of worship, manifested by this people.

The Diabutsu "gives such an impression of majesty, so truly symbolizes
the central idea of Buddhism--the intellectual calm which comes of
perfected knowledge, and the subjugation of all passion."

Then we took jinrikishas to drive to the pretty little Island of
Enoshima--a wooded hill rising out of the ocean and connected with the
mainland by a spit of sand. The road winds amongst the sand dunes,
along the beach of the sea-shore, where the great waves of the Pacific,
still agitated by yesterday's typhoon, are dashing on to the sands.
Lovely pale green and cerulean tints streak the sea, whilst naked brown
figures plunge and dive under the surf, bringing in great bunches of
brown seaweed, which they cast in shining heaps on the sand. We pass by
a fishing village, strewn with nets hung up to dry, and large bamboo
crails for catching the fish, which we see laid out to cure in the sun.
They are bringing in the harvest too, and women, scantily clothed, and
naked children, whose fat brown bodies look so sleek and comfortable,
are busy seated on the ground threshing out the grain, either by
pounding it with a wooden mallet, or with a rough bamboo flail. The
dull thud of these primitive threshing machines is in all the air, and
the ground outside each hut is spread with mats, on which piles of the
clean yellow grain are placed to dry.

[Illustration: STREET OF ENOSHIMA, JAPAN.]

Charming Enoshima is in sight; its green woods, with the temple
roofs peeping out, standing far out in the ocean, its coral reefs
washed by the ocean spray. An island for legend and romance, fit home
for an idyll of medieval ages.

We go across the sands amid piles of seaweed, picking up lovely
trophies of the deep in mother-of-pearl and pink shells, until we reach
the black wooden torii at the base of the island. What a picturesque
entry into the island it is, for we walk through the quaintest and
narrowest village street, where the upper stories of the houses nearly
meet, and where below, there is that strange medley of the every-day
life of a people carried on in full view of the public eye. Up we
climb, pass the shops full of shells, corals and marine curiosities,
until we reach many winding flights of mossy steps. We make a veritable
pilgrimage up these, until we emerge on to the platform of one of the
many tea-houses. There is a glorious view over the sea at our feet,
divided by its causeway of golden sands, over this side of the Isle
of Nippon with its ranges of purple mountains, jagged-edged, that run
in slanting directions across the island. A walk round Enoshima gives
a succession of equally pretty views, but we cannot get into the cave
on the further side because the bridge was blown down by yesterday's
furious gale. Returning to Kamakura, we had tiffin at the Sanatorium on
the sea-shore, amongst the pines, paid a last lingering visit to the
Diabutsu, and took the train to Kōzu.

There was a tiresome wait at a junction for the up train, for as yet
the railways in Japan have but a single line, so that it was getting
dusk as we got into the tramway at Kōzu. For ten miles we ran along a
country road and through long straggling villages, whose lights shine
out into the darkness, or show us picturesque interiors. Past Odawara,
celebrated for the manufacture of a wondrous medicine, supposed to be
a remedy for all the ills flesh is heir too; under the ruined walls
of the Castle, scene of many bloody conflicts, until we reach Yumoto.
It is now quite dark and raining heavily. We take jinrikishas, with
three coolies to each one, to push us up the steep mountain road to
Miyanoshita. We present a picturesque sight, akin to weirdness, as the
transparent lights of the coolies wave in the darkness, and six willing
men push and pant, shout and encourage one another, up the steep
windings of the mountain paths. Against the twilight of the starry sky,
I can just trace the outline of the mountains we are winding round
about and amongst, and hear the frequent roar of falling cataracts
sometimes far below, and at others dashing spray across the road. We
feel we miss much by the darkness.

After what seems a weary while, we at last reach the Fugiya Hotel, the
prettiest of wooden structures, with a succession of outside glazed
verandahs, and the brilliant illumination of its electric lights go
forth to greet us in the darkness, as tired, cold, hungry and wet,
our panting coolies land us at the steps. As a smart London coachman
whips up his horses, and draws up with a dash, so do these coolies,
regardless of even such a severe pull as this, come up to their
destination with a brisk flourish.

Miyanoshita is a fascinating place.

We awoke this morning to find ourselves in the mountains, to look down
over the heavy thatched houses of the village, and the road so far, and
yet immediately below us, where some young mothers with their babies
on their backs are waddling along. What a quaint little place it is,
perched up in the middle of ranges of mountains, with their green
slopes as a never-changing background, a village scooped out of their
sides. The shops are full of the wood inlaid like mosaic, and carved as
only can a naturally gifted Japanese, into every kind of article, from
a napkin-ring to an elaborate escritoire.

Any number of mountain climbs, more or less difficult (so suited to
all) can be made from Miyanoshita. We have just returned from a lovely
expedition to Lake Hakone and the hot district of Ojigoku. Leaving the
hotel at midday in bamboo chairs attached to poles and each carried by
four coolies, we ascend the mountains. The motion is smooth and easy,
as they all keep step together, to a melodious chorus of grunts, the
front coolies answering the hind ones.

These grass mountains that we are in the midst of, are so beautiful.
They have scarcely any trees, but their gradual slopes are covered with
the pale, sickly green of rush or bamboo grass, that imparts to them a
peculiarly pleasing, even effect. Frequently there is a column of smoke
curling up their sides, from some hot spring, for all this district is
intensely volcanic, and at the village of Ashinoyu, where we rest and
give tea to the men, there are numerous hot springs and baths. It is
a desolate place, and is made more so by the clouds coming down and
completely damping us and the view. It is rather dreary jogging along
with these human ponies in a dense mist, out of which loom palely
the foremost bearers, when, as suddenly as we came into it, the fog
lifted, leaving us the most beautiful cloud effects of white filmy
vapours, trailing low down on the mountain side, with a patch of blue
sky just beginning to show, and the sun shining up there behind those
opaque masses of cloud and mist, making them appear so fleecy and
transparent. It is now a lovely summer's afternoon above and around us,
and immediately afterwards we have below, an enchanting view of Hakone
and its deep blue lake, so deep that, though it has been fathomed for
five miles, the bottom has yet to be found. We see the green wooded
peninsula, jutting so boldly out into the lake, that from this distance
we think it is an island, and on this ideal spot, hidden far away from
the burdensome etiquette of public life, the Mikado is building himself
a palace, that is approached by the beautiful cryptomeria avenue, that
also leads to Hakone. Whilst we are waiting at the village below for
our chairs and coolies to be shipped on a boat, we "kodak" a charming
group of Japanese children; one of our coolies actively assisted in
arranging them, and I noticed took good care to include himself in the
picture, for this useful and companionable little instrument has become
familiar even to the Japanese, and later on the men were so pleased
when we did a group of them in the prow of the boat, smoking and
eating their rice out of bamboo baskets, with a division for a _bonne
bouche_ of some morsels of fish. These coolies are delightfully merry
fellows, always willing, always cheerful, whether tired or hungry,
never shirking work, and ready to help each other, laughing and seeing
the fun of any little passing incident. Most of them speak a few words
of English, the object of every coolie in Japan being to learn it, as
they earn so much more money from foreigners. You constantly find,
that whilst waiting, they study a blue Japanese-English phrase book,
exceptionally badly compiled.

We are rowing three miles across the lake in a sampan, with an upturned
prow, propelled by some oarsmen, and which much resembles a picture of
an old Roman galley. Their wooden oars, a long blade tied to a piece of
wood, are fixed to the gunwale, in rowlocks formed of a pin of wood,
and on this they roll over and back each time, a clumsy but effectual
movement. The surrounding view is wondrously beautiful. The green
pointed mountains with their sharp edges coming down directly into the
lake on one side; the other covered with shrubs and some overhanging
trees, under whose sweeping arms we glide to the landing stage, in the
lights and shadows of a still glorious afternoon. It sounds but a tame
description, and yet in reality it is sublime, and, for some reason
hard to discover, it is absolutely different, and because of that much
more charming than any other lake I have ever seen.

We begin a long ascent, with a continued view, looking backward, where
translucent clouds float down the mountain sides, which are mirrored
faithfully in the green waters, and as we plunge into a dense wood of
bamboos, we take our last farewell look back at Lake Hakone. It is a
stony and steep path, cut in zig-zags through the thick undergrowth
where there is no room for the long poles of the chair to turn, so we
have to walk. Suddenly we come across a little square village, built
round a wooden bath house, where the whole population of invalids are
bathing together in the warm mineral spring.

As we ascend, the scene grows wilder. Vegetation decreases, and masses
of barren rock appear. The earth is warm and steaming, nor must you
leave the path, as these treacherous brown curling scales of earth are
only a crumbling upper crust, over the furnace below, and lives have
more than once been lost here. The air reeks of sulphurous fumes, a
strong overpowering stench. And this curious volcanic scene continues,
until we reach the abomination of desolation. Here, standing above, we
look far away down into a vast cauldron of steam, that rises up and
envelops us in suffocating fumes of sulphur, so strong that, wheezing
and coughing, we have to turn backwards to get fresh breath, so dense
that we can only dimly see the great masses of rock around us. More
often they are not rocks, but clumps of crumbling lava, loosely welded
together in fantastic shapes, and that take the most wonderfully bright
colours from the surrounding mineral substances, of orange, carmine,
blue, madder and brown. In one place there is a little stream, in which
the sulphur deposit is so thick that there is a rich coating round of
green, bright as malachite. The boiling water of many streams swells
the vapour that rises from this fitly-named Ojigoku, or Big Hell.

We scramble and grope our way down, ever deeper into this apparently
bottomless pit, into this boiling smoking abyss, where the
evil-smelling fumes wrap us round so effectually that we can scarcely
trace our path, and choking and blinded, we wonder vaguely, if we shall
ever emerge into light and air once more. But after we have made a
long and devious descent, we branch off to the left, and when we feel
ourselves in comparative safety, and in a clearer atmosphere, we turn
round to look back to see the wreathing masses of smoke that eternally
ascend from this hell. And there, behind this blank desolation, rises
at the head of the valley the graceful acute peak of Kammurigatake,
with the dense green forests covering it from top to bottom, formed by
a thick undergrowth of small box and andromeda japonica. It reminds
us of the hot springs of New Zealand, of those beautiful pink and
white terraces, which, alas! are no more, where mingling as here with
volcanic rocks and steam, there is the additional charm of a luxuriant
wealth of semi-tropical vegetation.

We have a very long descent to make, over the roughest path of loose
rock and stones, and across several streams, where the obliging coolie
makes a bridge of his back, and when we have nearly reached the bottom
and made the circuit of the valley on the path cut out midway on the
mountain side, we pass round into another valley with wide amphitheatre
of mountains. It is through the midst of these, at the end of a long
vista formed by their green slopes, that we see the smooth waters of
the Pacific, spread out like a looking-glass in the closing afternoon
light, and beautiful as had been the views and scenery all day, I think
this glimpse of sea and mountains exceeded all. A long winding descent
to Miyanoshita in the dusk, which we reach just as they were sending
out two messengers with lanterns, to light us home.

_Friday, October 3rd._--We went up Sengeuyama, the wooded hill, 1000
feet above, and at the back of the hotel, carried in a kagos or Chinese
chair, a most luxurious way of ascending a mountain. It was a glorious
morning, with not a cloud in the sky; one of those days when you feel
that everything is beautiful, and the views of the mountains at every
zig-zag changing and appearing more and more splendid, as at each turn
we rise more on a level with them. And then those beautiful thickets of
bamboos, the trees of delicately-pointed maple leaves, the laurels and
evergreens, the azaleas and hibiscus, the creepers and tendrils, the
great clumps of red spiky wild lotus, of purple everlastings, of blue
lupus, and yellow snapdragon all growing in wild confusion, fresh with
the morning's dew.

There is a little tea-house hung with flags on the platform at the top,
and such a view over Odiwara Bay, and of the panorama of mountains with
their smooth, pale-green slopes, and there, between those two peaks,
in the gap, we ought to get a view of Fujiyama, only, as she so often
does, she is hiding herself to-day behind the clouds. No sooner do we
reach the bottom than we have to leave Miyanoshita for Yumoto, with a
parting pang of regret that our stay is so short. The Fujiya Hotel,
though kept by a Japanese, is most comfortable, with excellent mineral
baths, which never seem so pleasant as after a long day's excursion,
nor must I forget to mention the little Japanese waiting damsels, who
giggle and waddle about in their tightly-drawn kimonos, struggling with
the details of the French ménu.

We speed quickly down the magnificent mountain road, which we came
up before in the dark. It is cut out from the cliff, and has those
glorious views, growing grander as we descend into the valley of the
mountain, views that make Miyanoshita the most charming of mountain
resorts. Even when we get into the tramway at Yumoto, and travel along
the plain, there is such a pretty picture of the sea-shore, where the
sea looks as green as a lagoon at Venice. We pass again through the
long-continued street of villages, where the high thatched roofs are
crowned at the top with a cage of poles, on which tufts of grass are
growing, and through the blinds of bamboo canes catch glimpses of the
washing, the eating, the hairdressing, and the cooking, the every-day
busy life of the little people inside. We take the train from Kōzu to
Nagoya.

A most lovely journey it is, for the line runs through and crosses
a pass in the midst of the mountains, which look radiantly beautiful
with their immense variety of foliage--dark evergreens, mingling with
the yellower autumn tints. They are always the same, these mountains
in Japan; conical in shape, with sharp-edged shoulders perfectly
formed in miniature, rising very straight up from the level. There
are numberless waterfalls, foaming torrents gushing down where the
valley parts a little. At Gotemba we have two engines to the train, one
behind to push, the other in front to pull, for the pass here rises
to 1500 feet. Then we come out into an open valley where there are
thousands of little yellow paddy fields, with many bamboo groves, whose
light-green feathery fingers wave above heavier groups of dead-green
cryptomerias; where the villages, with their heavy black roofs, nestle
under the mountains, and tea-houses with their flag poles are perched
on many a little eminence, and endless black torii lead to the temples,
surrounded by groves of trees. I had often heard of the exquisite
scenery of Japan, but this comes up to, and exceeds all expectation.

We journey on. Suddenly in the sky we see suspended a great purple
cone. The base is cut off by a sky of clouds. It is the beautiful
summit of Fujiyama.

Fuji dominates the island, and you have so many views of it from every
side, that it seemed to me that we were constantly spending our time
in looking for the cone amongst the clouds. It is very rare to have
a perfectly unclouded view of the mountain, but this we now nearly
succeeded in doing. Perhaps it is because it is so often veiled in
clouds that the Japanese have surrounded it with such a sacred mystery.
It seems such a familiar friend now, this cone of Fuji, for we have
seen it depicted upon numberless scrolls and screens, on tea services
and china plaques, on cloisonné and lacquer, since we came to Japan.

This view of Fuji is superb. The mountains break away and leave a
vast plain, out of which it sweeps up solitary, colossal. The crater
at the top looks like the jagged edges of a tooth, down which streams
of lava have streaked their course. And as we follow the sweeping
lines of the great pyramid up 13,000 feet of height, the clouds that
lay half-way down, roll away. Only a few fleecy ones float ethereally
along the summit, whilst the Sacred Mountain, deep purple pink, stands
revealed in all the glory of a sunset evening, against a pale primrose
sky, deepening into lilac overhead. Then we realize whence the Japanese
acquire their idea of colour. Their artists are only reproducing the
realities of nature as constantly present to them in the half tones of
their island sky and sea, and it is from such sunsets as these that
they faithfully copy the translucent shades of rose-pink, grey-blue,
lilac and apple-green, that form the background of those beautiful
cloisonné plaques and china vases. The halo of romance woven around
this poetical mountain, the object of reverence to thousands of
pilgrims, who painfully climb up the nine stages to enter the crater
at the top, is increased by this view of it, which will, to me, at any
moment recall the lovely splendour of Fuji.

The plain is formed of the rich alluvial deposits of lava from the
many eruptions of Fuji, and is a splendid agricultural district,
where that neat "carpet" cultivation is seen to perfection, and where
the harvest is now in full swing. Columns of smoke, rising from the
surrounding mountain sides, show this district is volcanic, and shocks
of earthquake are frequent all over Japan, but particularly at Yokohama.

Soon the railway runs along the sea-shore, where there is just room for
it between the pebbly beach and the deeply wooded mountains--a pretty
bit of travelling. We look across the pale green bay to the little
range of lilac hills opposite, and listen to the idle lapping of the
waves, and see the sampans putting out to sea for the night's fishing,
as darkness, the quickly falling dusk of a tropical climate, closes
over all.

I must say that travelling in Japan presents an uncomfortable feature
in being obliged to carry your provisions with you, as only Japanese
eatables can be obtained at the stations. Fortunately the distances are
not great, but when it happens, as on this occasion, that two parties,
one of Germans, besides ourselves, all dined out of paper parcels, the
car presents a very unpleasant appearance.

We reached Nagoya at midnight. Two jinrikishas bore us swiftly
through the deserted streets, all dull and dark, because the paper
lanterns of the passers-by are gone home, and there is no attempt at
street-lighting. We are sent flying round a dark corner to be deposited
before a barred and shuttered door. There is a great noise within, much
whispering and unbolting of doors, rather a mysterious arrival, and
then a stream of light pours forth, and shows the usual crowd of little
bowing men and women, who escort us in a body up the polished stair
to our rooms _à la Japonaise_, where we sleep with the light shining
through the paper walls.

We are awakened the next morning by the shuffle of stockinged feet over
the polished boards, and one of the waddling little waiting-maids, with
the most brilliant pink and white cheeks, flicking the dust away with a
wisp of papers tied on to a stick, two of the same escorting C. to the
bath, a wooden tub of boiling water placed on an earthern floor.

There is a delightful outlook from the glazed screens, a European
concession, which probably will be general a few years hence, showing
how easily the Japanese assimilate all foreign improvements, over
the dark crinkled roofs across the wall of the street, into a seed
merchant's opposite, where golden bunches of persimmons mingle with the
sample baskets of grain. A dozen pairs of inquisitive eyes from the
open balcony opposite, watch me brush my hair. Then we breakfast in a
room, or rather, I should say, in five rooms, for the sliding screens
are all thrown back, and, free and open as a summer-house, there are
vistas of rooms on either side; and these screens are decorated with
such artistic designs, a spray of bamboo with a red-legged stork; a
branch of crimson maple with hanging tendrils, or a purple iris and
some water-rushes. There is a bronze vase, too, filled with fresh wild
flowers on the table. Then come the curio vendors, and, spreading their
handkerchiefs on the floor, produce their treasures one by one.

Nagoya is celebrated for its magnificent feudal Castle. A police
emissary, with silver-mounted jinrikishas, comes to conduct us over it,
and it is as well, as there appears to be much red tape formality in
admission to these royal domains.

Across the courtyard--a typical one, where the three yards to the gate
is made by the winding paving-stones to appear quite a long distance,
we sally forth into those kaleidoscopic streets, towards the great
white donjon-keep, with its golden dolphins dominating the town.

The Castle has three moats; the outer one, with its green slopes and
single row of fir trees, is given up to barracks and parade grounds,
for there are upwards of 3000 troops at Nagoya, and being a holiday,
the streets are full of their white uniforms and yellow-banded caps.
The white walls of the Castle are raised from the moat on parapets
formed of gigantic stones, and roofed with crenellated bronze tiles,
whilst at the corners rise pagoda-shaped towers. These walls are the
most wonderful part of the Castle, for many of the stories are six
and nine feet long, and proportionately broad, and can be traced
out, as length ways, slantways, across, they are piled up on a broad
base, shelving backwards, without cement or earth, supported by their
own weight. On many of the largest corner-stones are engraved marks
and designs, to show that they were the contribution of the Daimyos,
for the Castle was erected in 1610, by twenty barons, to serve as a
residence for Yeyasu's son. Crossing the moat, which is dry, and used
for tame deer, over a drawbridge, we enter the courtyard through a
massive gateway.

The decorations inside the palace are exquisite, though the rooms are
bare and uncared-for, and many of the paintings are defaced. In the
first chamber, the fusumas, or sliding screens, are of dull gold, and
painted on them are the most life-like lions, panthers, and leopards,
the spots of the latter being specially well delineated; with glaring
eyes, fierce whiskers, and lashing tails, they crouch in life-like
attitudes, ready to spring; or in another group are mothers with their
young ones gambolling around them. In another screen the bamboo trees
have the joints of their stems faithful to life, and an adjoining one
has a straggling fir-tree, just like one of those on the moat wall
outside, with a blinking owl perched on the topmost branch. There are
others with weeping willows, and red-leaved maples, and pink-and-white
lotus; one in particular we noticed that had painted on it a
tiger-lily, with yellow spots, a crimson peony, a blue convolvulus, and
a white daisy, forming a peculiarly beautiful panel. Next to this is a
spray, a mass of snow-white plum blossom, against a dull gold ground.

Nor are the animals less faithfully depicted, for there are pheasants
with eyes on their tails, wild ducks flying across a pale-blue ground,
with their flapping, outstretched wings, and webbed feet; a stork with
red legs on which the sinuous rings are so life-like. In one room,
which was especially reserved for the use of the Shogun when he came to
visit his kinsman, the decorations are especially gorgeous, and here
there are ideal Chinese scenes, which exactly resemble the familiar
willow-pattern plate. There is the five-storied pagoda, the willow
trees, and the high curve of the bamboo bridge. The roofs of these
rooms are of black lacquer, inlaid with gold, whilst the windows are
made of that geometrically carved lattice work, covered with opaque
paper.

But perhaps the most beautiful thing of all is the open wood carving
on the ramma, or ventilating screens, between the rooms, for here, that
great Japanese artist, Hidara Jingoro, has carved the most exquisitely
faithful representations of a white crane, a tortoise, a hen with
her little ones, parrots, and birds of paradise. There is one that
excites everybody's admiration. It is a cock perched on a drum, its
beak wide open in the act of crowing, so natural, that you expect to
hear the "Cock-a-doodle-doo." The red, erect coxcomb, and the brown
and blue iridescence of the tail are life-like. And when we look round
on this mass of gorgeous paintings and carvings, we marvel that their
resplendent colours are undimmed by the lapse of three hundred years,
that some are as bright to-day, as when they were executed three
decades ago.

We ascend the great, gloomy, five-storied Keep, which is built up
inside on massive beams of wood, whole tree trunks being used as
supports. From the gallery at the top we have a charming view of the
brown roofs of Nagoya, lying around the castle, of the military prison
below, where the prisoners are exercising in the yard, of the heavy
square roof of the temple rising up majestically above the squat
houses--of the wide-reaching plain, and the circling mountains. The
precious golden dolphins, covered over with wire netting, are above us,
glittering resplendent in the sun. They measure eight feet in height,
and are valued at 180,000 dols. One of them was sent to the Vienna
Exhibition of 1873, and great was the despair of the citizens when,
on its return voyage, it was wrecked in the Messageries steamer, the
_Nil_. However, it was recovered from the deep, with great difficulty,
and proudly restored to its original position.

Then we went for a drive, and I am not sure that the great centre
street of Nagoya was not the most fascinating and absorbing one that we
saw in Japan, and the whole town was charming in its bright cleanliness
and bustling streets.

It is with a peculiar feeling of sadness that I write this description
of Nagoya and recall its pleasant reminiscence, because the terrible
news has just reached us in far off China, that an earthquake has
destroyed this thriving town. It makes one's heart ache with pity to
think of those smiling streets, that happy swarm of industrious people
suddenly left homeless, the survivors surrounded by their dead or dying
relatives, whilst the muffled booming, the precursor of the earthquake
shocks, tell them that they might be the next victims.

In this dreadful earthquake 8000 people were killed, 10,000 injured,
and 100,000 houses destroyed. Nagoya experienced 6600 earth-spasms,
or an average of thirty shocks an hour. Fortunately the ancient
castle--monument of an extinct dynasty--is unharmed, saved by its
massive walls, and the decreasing size of its pagoda storeys.

We left the hotel amid many "Sayonaras" (farewells), reached the
station by the drooping avenue of willows, and, with five hours in the
train, arrived at Kioto, and settled ourselves into its excellent new
Hotel, with palatially proportioned rooms.



CHAPTER VII.

THE WESTERN CAPITAL AND INLAND SEA.


Kioto is the western metropolis of Japan, and was the only capital from
793 until twenty years ago, when the present Mikado re-established his
supremacy over the Shoguns, and selected Tokio as the metropolis of the
Empire.

We began the next day by doing our duty by the sights of Kioto, and
commenced with His Majesty's palace, of Gosho, for which a special
permission had been sent us. This is now the third Imperial palace that
we have visited. I think we were foolish to come, because by this time
we might have known that there is really nothing worthy of interest to
see.

The palace is enclosed by high walls and covers an area of twenty-six
acres. At the gate of "the August Kitchen," we went through an
elaborate ceremony of inscribing our names in the lacquer and gold
tasselled visiting book of the Mikado, whilst two exceedingly unkempt
officials, in rusty black kimonos, superintended our movements. Of
course this palace, like the others, is bare of furniture, carpets or
hangings. The fusumas, or screens are decorated with splashes of blue
paint and green mountains, or with funny little pictures of Japanese
life, drawn with a total neglect of perspective. A lot of old women
in wicker hats were raking, with bamboo claws, His Imperial Majesty's
courtyards. The garden is scarcely so good as the one at the Hotel,
with its pond on which floated an unpainted wooden gondola. The whole
produces an impression of discomfort.

We pass first into the Seiryoden, or "Pure and Cool Hall," where the
square of cement in the corner was every morning strewn with earth,
so that the Mikado could worship his ancestors on the earth without
leaving the palace. Then into the Audience hall, in the centre of which
is the Imperial throne, hung with white silken curtains and a pattern
meant to represent the bark of a pine tree. The stools on either
side of the throne were for the Imperial insignia, the sword and the
jewel. On the eighteen steps stood the eighteen grades into which the
Mikado's officials were divided. Then we see the Imperial study, where
His Majesty's tutors delivered lectures. The suite of rooms called the
"August Three Rooms," where Nō performances, a kind of lyric drama,
were performed, and lastly a suite of eleven rooms, where the Mikados,
when Kioto was the capital, lived and died. We see the Imperial
sitting-room with the bed-room behind, completely surrounded by other
apartments, so that no one should approach His Majesty without the
knowledge of his attendants. This sounds perhaps interesting enough,
and having read Murray's elaborate description we were eager to see
Gosho, but the reality is a succession of ordinary Japanese rooms, dark
and bare, without the redeeming feature of well painted fusumas.

The obnoxious janitors, notwithstanding our credentials, obstinately
refused to show us the only thing of interest, namely the present
Imperial living rooms, on the plea that they are being now prepared
for the reception of the Heir Apparent who arrives in a few days, and
we see bales of furniture covered with green and blue cloths, bearing
the royal insignia of the chrysanthemum, being dragged across the inner
courts.

The Nijo Palace is surrounded by a moat and pagoda-guarded wall of
Cyclopean masonry. It is undergoing repair, and we can therefore only
see the handsome outer gateway formed of lacquer and beaten gold, and
the beautifully worked gilt fastenings to the gates, but inside the
descriptions read like a dream of beauty, which we should be most
anxious to see, were it not for the experience we have just gone
through at the other palace of Gosho.

Kioto has its Diabutsu, its big bronze bell, its pagodas, palaces,
gardens and monasteries, but above all it has its temples--temples
large and small, decorated and plain, dull and uninteresting. You might
easily spend a week at Kioto seeing nothing save these, but of temples
I confess we are by this time thoroughly sick and tired. The sight of
a torii makes us turn wearily away, and from a sāmmon (or gateway)
we hastily flee. Everyone who visits Japan ends by experiencing this
satiety of temples, a feeling induced by their monotonous identity and
entire want of originality. Still we feel that we must visit some of
the sights, so somewhat half-heartedly we go forth towards the Show
Temple of Nishi Hongwanji, the headquarters of the western branch
of the Hongwanji Buddhist sect, a dark massive structure. In the
courtyard is the large tree which, "by discharging showers of water,"
protects the temple from fire in the vicinity. We wander through the
state rooms, the minor shrines, and the big temple; and in truth the
decorations are marvellously beautiful, but I will not weary you with
the detailed descriptions of lacquer-ribbed ceilings, golden pillars,
of kakemonos (hanging scrolls) over 200 years old, of cornices wrought
in coloured arabesques, and shrines painted and carved in floral
designs. Again there are those most exquisitely painted scenes on the
sliding screens, of peacocks and peahens seated on a peach tree with
white blossoms; of wild geese on a dead-gold ground, of scroll patterns
carved in the design of the peony or chrysanthemum leaf and flower, nor
of the angels in full relief that gaze down upon us from the ceiling.
But I must make especial mention of the gilt trellised folding-doors,
opening back to disclose a wintry scene of life-sized bamboo and plum
trees, and of pine with dark-spreading branches covered with snow.

We wander through the peaceful stillness of the monastery garden, where
the jostle and noise of the thick crowding streets around comes over
the wall in a dull hum, feed the gold fishes in a pond from the cool
cloister, and climb up to a little tower--or pavilion of the flying
clouds--where, on kneeling on the ground, we can trace a few pencil
lines on a gold ground, supposed to be the work of the great artist,
Kana Molonobii.

Then, passing the Hijashi Hongwangi, which, when finished, will be the
largest Buddhist temple of Japan, we go on through a narrow street,
under an archway, and pass into an enclosure, where booths of gay
trifles line the road running to the Sanjūsangendo, or the temple of
33,333 images of Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy, where a thousand gilt
images of five feet rise in tiers above each other, the number being
completed by the smaller effigies engraved on the face and hands of
the larger ones. Near by the great Buddha, twin to the Kamakura one,
is dwarfed into a building where his head touches the ceiling, and
you can only gaze up from underneath at his colossal sleepy features.
To the right, hung under a belfry, is one of the two largest bronze
bells in the Island, and immediately under it is a little open temple,
where five Buddhist priests, squatted in a semicircle, monotone the
evensong. We return home with that comfortable feeling that comes of
duty performed, and proceed to enjoy ourselves by a drive in the dusk
through the fairy lighted streets.

Kioto is a fascinating place, but, as I have said, it is not the
sights that make it so. The attraction partly lies, as it always does
in Japan, in those wonderful little brown streets, with their wide
eaved and diminutive two-storied dolls' houses, hung with original sign
posts of fans, monster paper lanterns and gay flags, that stand out in
sharp relief down a long vista, from the purple mountains. Kioto is on
the plain surrounded by a circle of mountains, and at the end of all
the streets, face which way you will, there is always this effective
background to the toy town. If you mount a little way up them, you can
look back and have a panoramic view over thousands of brown-roofed
huts, presenting a perfectly level surface, except when a temple roof,
square and dark, overshadows the others.

[Illustration: My carriage at Kioto.]

We had thought Tokio the most fascinating imaginable place, but,
except for its grass-grown moats, reflecting waters, and cawing
rooks, Kioto is even more enticing. The streets are narrower and more
untouched by that dreaded European taint, showing itself at Tokio in
small drapers' shops, and cheap lamp and umbrella stores. Life is more
primitive, the people are more unsophisticated, as we know by the
little crowd, polite and interested, that attends us in our shoppings,
and that makes the dusk in the shops darker, by the blackness of their
gathering round. The gay china shops, the chemists, blacksmiths,
booksellers, the fish and fruit stores cease not to interest us; the
walking picture, coming to meet us of a Japanese lady with shapely,
tightly-girt figure, with the baby on her inclined back, sheltered
under a paper umbrella, charms us as much as ever. The wee children in
their blue and white kimonos or wadded jackets, their heads shaved,
with a bald circle on the crown, just like the Japanese doll of a toy
shop; the little ten-year-old nurses with their brown babies asleep,
and heads waddling from side to side as they shuffle along; the ladies,
in handsome dress, taking an afternoon airing with their husbands in
a double jinrikisha; the sellers crying their goods and attracting
attention by the help of a bell, gong, drum, or whistle: all these
things, though we seem to have been in their midst for so long, almost
at times to have lived all our lives with them, are a never-ending
source of interest. But a new charm has been added to these, one that
exceeds them all, one that is all-absorbing. We throw temples, palaces,
gardens, sight-seeing to the winds, and resolve to devote the few
remaining hours of our stay in Japan, to shopping and the curio shops.

We drive through many winding streets and draw up in one not
different to the others, and, lifting up the black draperies, enter.
There may, perhaps, be a few bronze or lacquer articles spread
about, but nothing to indicate the priceless art-treasures that we
are presently going to see. With hands on knees, sliding down with
bows of reverence, and the gasping produced by sucking in of breath
between the teeth, stands the proprietor, surrounded by a background of
assistants. With deferential encouragement he leads you to the backmost
recesses of the shop, through winding passages, across paved squares,
until you come to the prettiest little picture of a garden made out
of a courtyard of a few square feet, and here in rooms opening out of
this, surrounded by fire-proof godowns, far away from the eyes of an
inquisitive crowd of passers-by, he shows forth his precious treasures.
This courtyard is so artfully arranged as to deserve description. There
will be, perhaps, a clump of bamboos in one corner, a stone lantern on
one side, a piece of water with gold fish in it in the centre, and an
azalea on bamboo supports trained round it; a bronze urn with drinking
water and a wooden scoop by it, and a green metal stork. First of all
tea is brought, and the smoking boxes, which contain the hot ashes in
a bronze or china urn, and the bamboo trough for the used ashes; then
the real work commences. An art museum, the labour of hundreds of years
ago, when a man devoted his life-time to the production of one or two
works of art, are laid on the matting before you.

From behind cabinets, from underneath tables, boxes are silently
produced, and from out of folds of soft crêpe or flannel, and many
paper wrappers come lovely objects, lovingly, caressingly fingered and
stroked by their owner. There are vases of rock crystal, jade, plaques,
and trays of the most exquisite cloisonné, when a magnifying glass is
gently pushed into your hands that you may enter into the minutest
details of the minute work. Bronzes, and satsuma china, inro or lacquer
medicine boxes, with their succession of trays for powders, and those
lovely Netsuke or carved ivories where each wrinkle and hair, each line
and feature are so faithfully graven in the quaint heads and groups.
The prices asked are fabulous, but I often scarcely thought that the
dealer wanted to part with his curios, he seemed so proudly fond of
them.

I confess that our taste inclined often to the baser kind of shops,
where the goods were of doubtful origin, but Japan has, in the last few
years, been so overrun with curio buyers and Americans, that the few
really antique things left are scarce, and hard to find. The Japanese,
like the Chinese, always reserve their best things to the last, and
then somewhat reluctantly produce them. We haunted the old shops
where great golden Buddhas sat enthroned amidst a most miscellaneous
collection--men in armour, memorial cabinets, huge bronze vases,
inlaid swords with quaint tsuba, or sword guards, mingling with lovely
china vases, which, if modern, are nevertheless a joy for ever to
possess--to feast your eyes on their delicate shiny surfaces of ruby
_sang-de-bœuf_, imperial yellow, lilac, blue, apple-green, or rose
pink, strewn with a spray of snowy blossom or a spiky shaft of bamboo,
where little birds fly across the pale sea of colour, or solemn storks
perch beside some waving reeds.

Again and again we are made to wonder how these small shops, so meagre
and unpretentious outside, find the capital and become possessed of
such wondrous treasures. Hours you can spend there, and hours they will
be pleased to show you these, for in Japan no one is ever in a hurry.
Life is very leisurely.

The "curio fever" is upon us. To anyone who has visited Japan the
description of a Canadian authoress is but "too intensely true."

"You don't 'shop' in this country. Shopping implies premeditation,
and premeditation is in vain in Japan. If you know what you want,
your knowledge is set aside in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
and your purchases gratify anticipations that you never had, to be
paradoxical. And you never fully know the joy of buying until you buy
in Japan. Life condenses itself into one long desire, keener and more
intense than any want you ever had before--the desire of paying and
possessing. The loftiest aims are swallowed up in this; the sternest
scientist, or political economist, or social theorist that was ever set
ashore at Yokohama straightway loses life's chief end among the curios,
and it is at least six weeks before he finds it again. And as to the
ordinary individual, without the guidance of superior aims, time is no
more for him, nor things temporal; he is lost in contemplation of the
ancient and the beautiful in the art of Nippon, and though he sell his
boots and pawn his grandfather's watch, he will carry it off with him
to the extent of his uttermost farthing...."

And so we felt.

But of course it is the crêpe and silk shops that woman-like
fascinate me most. Those lovely, soft, crisp, textiles, in rose-pink,
coral, lilac, blue, and silver-grey, in sea-green, mignonette, and
chrysanthemum-yellow, shades that you can find in no other country,
because the secret of these heavenly dyes is known only to the
Japanese. Oh! they are things to make your coveteousness strong,
your heart ache, unless your purse is full and deep. Then there are
the common washing crêpes, with their graceful running designs so
artistically disposed, their harmony of colouring, and of which I order
kimonos for dressing-gowns for all the children of the family. There
is a lovely crêpe with rainbow stripes, not as you who have seen the
brilliant orange-green and purple rays of the original would imagine,
for it is a white filmy texture, with only a suspicion of pale melting
zephyr stripes, slanting across it.

Then there are the silks and crêpes embroidered with blood-red autumn
sprays, with butterflies, pink dolphins and sea-shells, or panels
of satin of such exquisite workmanship, with ever recurring views
of Fuji, and hanging kakemonos and screens and coverlets, all so
beautiful, and of such faithful artistic merit. We are shown specimens
of a newly-revived industry, handed down from ancient dyers, where
pictures rich and soft are raised in velvet, against a pale silk or
satin ground. By an ingenious process of wires, running parallel with
the hard thread of the woof, bearing the outline of the picture in
velvet, which are, after the dyeing and steaming cut out, these quaint
pictures, which at first you think painted, are produced. Everything
you see in Japan is art. It is brought into the manufacture of the
commonest things of daily life, and seen to perfection in these cut
velvets and rich embroideries. It is in the air they breathe. For even
as we pass out from this rich inner sanctum, into the open street
shop, where the crowd of customers, each seated on cushions on the
counter step, with a salesman squatted before him, swiftly running
the counters of his abaca up and down, multiplying and dividing like
lightning by this ingenious machine, we see piles of coloured goods,
of quite common quality only one degree less delightful in colour and
design, than those we have chosen from. I must not forget to mention
in our shoppings the photographs, which are extraordinarily good and
very cheap. It might also be of use to someone to know that we found
at Kioto, Daimaruicha and Co., and Takashimaya Ilda and Co., the best
shops for crêpes, silk, embroideries, and kimonos, made to order, and
Nishimura for the cut velvets, these shops having but one price, and
with the goods marked in plain figures.

We get up early the next morning, for now that we are so soon leaving
Japan, we feel that every hour is wasted that we are not out and about,
drinking in last scenes from these bewitching streets. We direct our
jinrikishas into a distant quarter of far-reaching Kioto, into the
meanest and dirtiest of streets, where most of the shops are full of
old iron, and hung round with second-hand goods like a pawnbroker's,
but where we are told that the real old-fashioned curio-shops, not got
up collections of curio for the circumnavigator, still exist. I must
say that they seemed full of impossible rubbish.

In the afternoon, somewhat satiated with buying, we drove out to
Shugaku--one of the Mikado's summer villas. It was an intensely hot
afternoon, but the first disagreeably warm day that we have had, as our
weather has been perfect, with no rain and sunny skies day after day.
October and November are always delicious months in Japan.

The villa consisted of an absolutely bare, undecorated, matted,
tea-house, of modest, you might in the case of this, its royal owner,
say mean dimensions, but the garden is a gem. From it there is a near
view of purple hills, all in little crinkled edges, running in lines
one below the other, made nearer to us by the warm still atmosphere,
whilst behind the garden rises a formal hill; truly Japanese in its
conical structure, covered with pine trees, whose pink and purple stems
gleam out from the dark fir needles. There is the usual figurative mile
upon mile of winding paths, the steep hills to descend and climb up by
stone steps, the familiar bridges, one with pagoda-covered roof, and
the other of bamboo and turfed, crossing the neatly devised harbours
and bays of the artificial lake, whose banks are covered with palms,
but it is the hedges that are worth coming to see. They are of azalea
and camellia, and honeysuckle, cut low, so that they spread out to an
enormous thickness, to a breadth of twenty feet, and it is over these
green open ramparts, that you look out on the lovely view.

We refused in coming home, though we had time to spare, to visit any
more temples, and we spent the last evening in going to a fair, given
in honour of the God of Water. As at Tokio, where we saw a similar
festival for the God of Writing, it was held in a special quarter. The
dark, narrow streets are outlined in coloured lamps, with arches, the
light glowing through the paper, and the varieties of colour--red,
green, blue, and pink, forming a soft and effective illumination, not
surpassed by many more elaborate Jubilee ones. Many of the houses are
decorated with wonderful marine representations of blue waves, with
fishes and dolphins, and fir trees placed at intervals, with more
lanterns and red paper devices. The locality is _en fête_, and the
entire population is thronging the streets, which we wander delightedly
through. There are performances of monkeys and dogs proceeding, and
a crowd outside trying to look over the partitions; geishas, with
the accompanying twang of the Samisens, are going through their slow
performances behind the open bars. Children are flattening their noses
against the glass cases of the confectioners', with their sweetmeats
and temptingly sugared cakes, or group round the vendors of paper toys
stuck on pieces of wood, whilst the women gaze as longingly at the
cheap combs, tawdry hair-pins, and gaudy flowers, laid out under the
hawkers' glaring oil lamps. There are booths for the sale of cheap
soap, cutlery, sandals, glass, jewellery, and candles. The tea-houses
are doing an enormous trade, and the naturally contented people look
supremely happy.

We left Kioto to pay a flying visit to Osaka on our way to Kobe. Each
town seems prettier than the last, and Osaka is no exception. Our chief
object in going there was to visit the Arsenal, and according to the
special instructions of the Minister of War, we were most courteously
received by the chief, Colonel Ota, and given tea at his official
residence before being conducted over the arsenal.

We are much struck that instead of having to teach Japan, there is
something that we can learn from her. Her civilization, coming, as it
has, so late in the decade, breaking in suddenly upon centuries of
dark ages, she has benefited by the experience of other nations, and
constructed her civilization on the best systems of other countries.
Here in this arsenal we see the newest improvements of science in
machines of every nation. Some are from England, some from Italy,
France, or Germany. The Arsenal is in beautiful order and keeps
employed a large number of workmen. They manufacture their own cannon,
and we passed through the large workshops, the smelting furnaces, and
saw mouldings and castings, the making and filling of cartridges. The
arsenal is inside the outer moat or glacis of the castle, and, with
canals and rivers, has through water communication to the sea and to
the forts on the coast.

It is this rapid civilization, of which the arsenal is only an
example, that fills the traveller with admiration. Japan was only
opened to foreigners in 1868, and with the fall of the last Shogun and
the beginning of the present Mikado's reign European customs rapidly
spread. Some say that Japan has gone too fast, and has absorbed and
not digested sufficiently the forms of civilized life. The Japanese
went to Prussia for a constitution, and call their Parliament the
Diet; to England for their railway system, which was built, organized,
and worked at first by English engineers and firemen. They went to
France and Germany for an army organization, borrowing their blue and
scarlet infantry uniforms with white leggings from the French, and
their artillery uniform of blue and yellow from Germany. To France
again for their culinary art; for which these Japanese have a latent
talent, making excellent cooks. To England again for her model of Court
etiquette and nobles' titles, and then again to Germany for medicine.
The great reaction that followed naturally in the course of this rapid
innovation is not yet dead. The struggle is still going on, as one can
easily see, but a few years hence the revolution will be complete,
and Japan will cease to be so intensely fascinating to foreigners. It
presents, perhaps, the most wonderful page in the history of the world:
this deposition of the Shogun, the reinstatement of the old dynasty,
a great revolution in a remarkable intelligent country, perfectly
bloodless, of short duration, and changing the whole face and destinies
of the land.

But these Japanese civilize so fast, that now there is scarcely a
European employed in their State departments. They are very proud of
this, and gradually European agents for their steamships, companies,
the managers of banks and commercial houses are being dismissed, or
superseded by Japanese, who take the management into their own hands.

But to return to Osaka. If the castle at Nagoya is so well worth
seeing, this one of Osaka is equally so, for it is the exact
counterpart of the other, only minus the keep and the dolphins. There
are the same outer and inner moats, the same white plaster walls
edged with crenellated bronze tiles, resting on stone walls, guarded
at the four corners with those square towers, loopholed in several
storeys; but I think that the perfectly gigantic stones of the walls
are even more colossal than at Nagoya, for there are several opposite
the entrance by the gateway and the guard-room, that measure at least
twelve feet square. It will always remain one of the wonders of Japan,
how these stones, with the primitive appliances of the earlier Shoguns,
were ever placed in position. The open square of the inner moat is
now a garden, and the palace has been used to accommodate the General
and his staff. It is worth climbing up to the top of the walls for
the splendid view over the plain, always bordered by those chains of
mountains, that run as a prickly backbone from north to south of Japan.

Osaka is a charming town. It is called the Venice of Japan, and with
its flowing rivers and canals intersecting the streets, its high,
arched bridges thrown across on a single sweep, its grassy banks and
avenues of weeping willows, it is fitly likened to that Queen City of
the sea. The houses are built on piles projecting over the water, and
narrow passages in between, lead down to the stone steps, where there
are multitudes of boats.

To stand on one of the bridges and watch the ceaseless ebb and flow of
the changing stream of life, is a dream of delight, only to be compared
to standing on the Bridge of Galata at Constantinople. Blue-coated
coolies, with their bare brown legs, roped to heavy carts, with their
encouraging grunts; itinerant sellers slung with bamboo trays of
vegetables; jinrikishas by the hundred, pedestrians jostled from side
to side, closed sedan chairs, from behind the curtains of which peer
out priests whose way is cleared by running attendants, for it is a
day of ceremony, with much coming and going from the temples--all this
kaleidoscopic stream, accompanied by the warning cries, and the dull
thud of the echoing wood pavement, is what we see. And then look up
and down the river, with a vista of bridges, and see the irregular
mass of brown houses, winding round the bend of the stream, with poles
on the roof, hung with waving blue cottons, placed there to dry, and
the overhanging balconies, from which men are fishing. And then the
scenes of river life--the brown shiny figures bathing and plunging in a
cool bath, the hundreds of sampans moored by the banks, where reside a
large aquatic population, and the high-peaked prows of others, which,
propelled along by six oarsmen, again remind one of the gondolas of
Venice. There are other sampans, which, with one square brown sail
set, come skimming down the canals before the afternoon breeze. Yes,
Osaka is a charming place, and these river scenes passed in crossing
the bridges, add to the never-ending joys of the dark, narrow streets,
compressed on to the restricted peninsulas of land.

Having done our duty by the arsenal, and to our good constituents at
Sheffield, we sit out and have tea on the balcony of the hotel, and
then go for a prowl in the dusk round the streets.

Then succeeded one of those lovely evenings. I shall never forget
those sunsets and twilight evenings, with their pale, washed skies,
that we had in Japan. They only last for a short half hour, but they
are entrancing. If you watch carefully, you may see the shadows
lengthening, but after the brightest and hottest afternoon, suddenly
the colour of the sun seems to go out of everything, and in its place
steal up soft shadows, the vista of streets grow dim, and darkness
falls into the little open shop fronts, whilst the sky is suffused with
the palest wash of lilac or saffron. The jinrikisha bulbous lights come
out, one by one, like glow-worms, and the single lamp lights a dark
interior. And then as we pass across some street, which lies to the
west, we see a blaze of orange, lying low on the horizon, where the sun
has just dipped. It becomes cold and chilly for an hour, and then begin
the fairy scenes of night, in a Japanese town.

It is an hour in the train from Osaka to Kobe, where we arrived at
eight o'clock.

Kobe is a pretty seaport, girt round, close at hand, by great
mountains, up into which the streets run. It is too cosmopolitan
and European to be very interesting. But from the handsome Oriental
houses, with their pale buff and grey tints, the deep balconies with
green blinds of the foreign consulates on the Bund--from the curio
shops, Europeanized like Yokohama, you can pass into the quaintest
and brightest native bazaar, where from feeling yourself in Europe
(especially if you are staying at the French Oriental Hotel), you can
suddenly plunge back again into native Japan. We find the steamer of
the Nippon Company in quarantine, by reason of a cholera death on board
and coming from Shanghai, an infected port; so we have to wait for two
days.

On one afternoon we went up to the waterfall in one of the green
mountains, crowned with straggling pine trees, to see sunset over
the harbour. After having hovered round and inspected half the gold
Buddhas for sale in Japan, now that we have reached the last place of
departure, we have at length bought one. Of course, directly we had
done so, we immediately saw a much better one in an adjacent shop. I
cannot help feeling that it is a matter for thankfulness that we are
leaving this seductive country, not ruined, it is true, but greatly
impoverished!

I was glad that to the end the enchantment continued, and we shall
carry away the memory of that last evening in Japan on board the
Japanese Mail Company's steamer, the _Saikio Maru_. This line is
excellent and the ships the perfection of comfort.

We saw the sunset from the deck, behind the peaked mountains of
Kobe, with their dragon-armed fir trees outlined atop, and against
the hundred masts of a fleet of sampans, the pale grey-green sky
so deliciously soft and milky. There was a little white Japanese
man-of-war mysteriously covered over, and ships of all nations coming
from all parts of the world, in port; and from over the dark waters of
the harbour, comes the low crooning chant from the sampans, towing in a
huge junk.

As the darkness gathered the lights from Kobe, came out against the
sable background of lofty mountains clustering thickly along the
Bund, and reflecting shining dots in the water, whilst arcs of light
march up the ascending roads. Black monsters, marked by red and green
eyes, are darting about the harbour, whilst puffing steam launches,
black lighters, and oar-propelled sampans are dimly seen. Over this
bewitching scene rises a crescent moon, with a trailing path of silver
on the waters, and in our last view of Japan, as is only right, there
are the jinrikisha lights on shore, drawn by their patient human
horses, their soft quivering lights running swiftly, hither and
thither, up and down.

We have been for the last twenty hours on the Inland Sea of Japan. I
have spent the whole day on the bridge or in the bows of the _Saikio
Maru_, and the sea in its incomparable beauty surpasses all ideas
formed by written pictures. It is a succession of the most perfect
inland lakes, varying in breadth from forty miles to a few yards,
and with mountains rising around the shores. These mountains have a
peculiar look that I have seen nowhere else so marked. They have great
zig-zags of sands running up and down their sides, indicated by a
sparse vegetation. It gives to them a mottled and zebra appearance, and
this feature is common to them all. Many of their castle-like crags are
fringed with fir trees, whilst often their sides are deeply terraced
to the water's edge, and planted with paddy and sweet potatoes. Little
brown thatched villages, with their big roofs crowding down over the
mud walls, lie hidden up the many inlets and winding channels, or
nestle on the beach of the sea-shore.

Time and again we look back on the undulating track of our course,
and cannot see the winding entrance now shut out by islands. We look
forward; there is a rounded shore. It is a perfect lake. Just as we
enter the narrowest and therefore most beautiful passage, the Captain
points out a barren cone, well ensconced behind several mainlands of
islands. Not so very long hence we shall be passing underneath, but
on the other side of that mountainous peak, and so it goes on, one
intricate strait succeeding another.

The Inland Sea is a long procession of islands. The Japanese reckon
several thousands, but it would be an impossible task to count them,
as one by one they unfold themselves to us, as we steam among their
fantastic shapes. For there are islands of every imaginable form and
size, square and round with sugar-loaf cones, or extinguisher tops with
castellated summits, or small and four-sided like a floating haystack.
Some are so large that they are like the mainland, and others mere
thimble points. Here, there are three tiny islands formed of three
little rocks, with a tuft of palms, and joined by a spit of sand;
there, a barren heap of sand with a solitary fir tree on the top; or,
again, it is a mountain island with deep evergreens.

Hundreds of junks come sailing by, with the pleasant swish of the water
against their keels, whilst even here they have screens of paper,
covering the wooden trellises of their sides. They are a perpetual
delight, these curious whimsically-fashioned vessels, with their
ancient prows standing high out of the water, recalling as they do the
old prints of the fleet of the Spanish Armada, of which they are exact
reproductions. Their one square sail is attached to a single mast, and
pulls up and down like a curtain on running strings, and the black
patch sewn on it denotes the owner's name.

What makes the Inland Sea so beautiful? The Japanese themselves have
no name for it, nor have their poets ever sung its praises. I suppose
we must say it is the innumerable islands, though many of these are the
reverse of beautiful in themselves. Or is it the great ocean steamer
threading so swiftly the successive intricate windings and snake-like
passages? No. I think it is perhaps the ceaseless variety. Every minute
the scene changes; it is never the same for more than a few seconds,
and is often so beautiful that you want to look on both sides at once.
Certainly in the course of our many wanderings, we have never been
more pleased than with this Inland Sea. All the morning the sky was
overcast, and a purple haze rested lightly on the mountains, and the
sea was pale green. But in the afternoon, just as we reached the most
charming part by the northern course, the sun broke through, and we had
the long afternoon shadows, with softened sunlight, on this scene of
rare beauty.

We have had, too, a wonderful conjunction of pleasures in a superb
sunrise, and a more exquisite sunset in one day. This morning at
Kobe I saw sunrise. At six o'clock the sky was heralded with crimson
glory. To-night the sun, as it always does in these Eastern latitudes,
sinks suddenly--a golden ball into an orange bed. It is going, going
slowly, until gone behind that purple range, and just as it is dying
the symmetry of the orb is cut into and spoilt by a jutting rock on
the mountains. Then, whilst darkness falls over the land, the golden
bed begins to glow and palpitate with colour, and spreads and spreads,
until the exquisite pink, and lilac and green, melt into the cobalt
vault above. The sea is extended in a tremulous sheet of dazzling
gold, and the black prows and the figures on the junks are cut in
Vandyck relief out of this gilded background. The silver moon rises
over a lighthouse on the other side of the ship. Soon little mackerel
clouds separate themselves, and float over the sky, and as we watch a
ruddy glow succeeds, growing blood-red, and bathing sky and sea in a
crimson flood, which dies, oh! so lingeringly and wistfully into purple
darkness.

Nor is this all, for by-and-by, as we are looking over the bulwarks,
perhaps still a little awe-bound by this superb display of nature, a
great, green, electric wave rises up from the dark sea, thrown aside
by the ships' bows, and breaks away in gleaming particles. It is the
brilliant phosphorescence of the spawn of the sardine, which in daytime
is spread out like red dust upon the waves. Sometimes it is so bright
that the whole sea is alight, and in passing a channel ships have to
stop, being unable to see the coast.

At two o'clock in the morning we stop to coal at Shimonoseki, in the
straits between the main island of Nippon and that of Kyushu. A party
of geishas, or dancing girls, come on board and go over the ship, and
I get up in time to see a row of little policemen with their coloured
lanterns going down the gangway.

The next day, at midday, we again come into an even more beautiful
inland channel. Islands of emerald green are seen across a
white-flecked sapphire ocean on a glorious day--a line of white creamy
foam denting the black rock-bound coast, above which rise volcanic
strata of grey and black cliff of the most wonderful formations,
deformed and twisted into spinular columns and basaltic contortions,
and the unwieldy mass of the huge ship is made to double round sharp
angles, and avoid the conical islands sticking so irritatingly out in
the mid-ocean passage. In one place there is a lighthouse towering on a
rock so rugged and steep, that no path can be cut in the cliffs, and we
see the derrick and the basket which are used for letting people up and
down, from the boats to the platform of the phare.

We are pointed out the place, where, in this far-distant island
of Japan, François de Xavier, in 1549, first landed to try and
Christianize the natives. We are in an inner channel. Far, far away,
beyond two grey islands on the sky line, lies Corea. Whichever way we
look there is a dotted circuit of islands, always of those whimsical
shapes. Occasionally, miles ahead, one little island will stand all
solitary amid the ocean, or in another you can see the half that has
fallen away, leaving a clear cut scar, an abrupt termination to the
island. But the most curious of all is an enormous bell-shaped rock,
standing erect in the ocean with a perfect arch through it.

Captain Connor, the best and most genial of commanders, puts the ship
about that we may "kodak" it, and by degrees the slit of light opens
out into a perfect archway.

Over the archipelago of islands, under a green mountain, lies Nagasaki,
and we find an entrance--a blind and mysterious one--into its harbour.

The harbour of Nagasaki is very beautiful. It is "long and narrow,
winding in among the mountains like a Scotch firth." Every separate
mountain is terraced in green circles down to the water's edge, and
in each little conical hill the circles get narrower at the top. In
some, there are wooded knolls crowned by a chapel, with winding stone
steps, that lead up from the black torii on the banks, where prayers
are offered for sailors and the safe return of the fishing junks. We
pass at the entrance the round island of Pappenburg, where we can still
see the flight of steps, down which the Christians were thrown into the
sea 300 years ago. We get safely past the quarantine station, pitying
a British ship lying bound, with the yellow flag hoisted on her mast.
There are red lights, in the shape of a cross, strung from the masts
of a sunken vessel across our passage, for last week the captain of
this 400-ton brig took out the ballast, and a few hours afterwards she
suddenly heeled over and sank, drowning the captain's wife, who was in
the cabin, and the first officer.

As we breast this landed-locked harbour, under the opal hues of a
delicate sunset, we give to it the palm (always excepting Sydney) over
all other harbours. At the head of the bay we see the town and the
handsome houses of the consulates on the Bund, and above that again
many more pleasantly situated houses, equally handsome and belonging to
missionaries.

I do not wish to make any observations on the missionary question,
which, without special knowledge, it would be wrong to speak of, but I
must say that we have never heard any _resident_ of any foreign country
speak a single word in favour of the missionaries. On the contrary,
we are struck how they generally condemn them, I hope unjustly, as
mischievous, idle, and luxurious.

As we come to our buoy opposite the town, thousands of lights, running
out in zig-zag lines into the harbour, seem to come out with one
accord, creeping in scattered dots of fire up the mountain sides, and
there with these myriads of twinkling lights, winking and blinking at
us like a thousand eyes, and with the dull splash of oars in the water,
we get such unrestful sleep as is possible on a ship in port. Now we
can well imagine the scene described thus:--

"Every year, from the 13th to the 15th of August, the whole population
of Nagasaki celebrate the Bon Matsuri, or the Feast of the Dead. The
first night all the tombs of those who died in the past year are
illuminated with bright-coloured paper lanterns. On the second and
third nights all the graves without exception are so illuminated, and
the families of Nagasaki install themselves in the cemeteries, where
they give themselves up, in honour of their ancestors, to plentiful
libations. The bursts of uproarious gaiety resound from terrace to
terrace, and rockets fired at intervals seem to blend with the giddy
human noises the echoes of the celestial vault. The European residents
repair to the ships in the bay to see from the distance the fairy
spectacle of the hills, all resplendent with rose-coloured lights.

"But on the third night, suddenly, at about two o'clock in the
morning, long processions of bright lanterns are seen to descend from
the heights, and group themselves on the shore of the bay, while the
mountains gradually return to obscurity and silence. It is fated that
the dead embark and disappear before twilight. The living have plaited
them thousands of little ships of straw, each provisioned with some
fruit and a few pieces of money. The frail embarkations are charged
with all the coloured lanterns which were used for the illumination
of the cemeteries; the small sails of matting are spread to the
wind, and the morning breeze scatters them round the bay, where they
are not long in taking fire. It is thus that the entire flotilla is
consumed, tracing in all directions large trails of fire. The dead
depart rapidly. Soon the last ship has foundered, the last light is
extinguished, and the last soul has taken its departure again from this
earth."

The next morning we were ashore before breakfast to see the fish
market, for Nagasaki is one of the largest fishing ports in the world,
and it has been proved that there are 600 specimens of fish brought
into this market, by a gentleman who has drawn them and written a book
on the subject.

Nagasaki has several canals, and is a quaint little town developed from
a fishing village, but with nothing of much interest in it. We spend
the day as usual in the shops, plunging with a desperation born of the
feeling that it is really our last chance of buying in Japan; we are in
an agony of fear up to the last minute lest our purchases should not
arrive before the steamer sails at 4 o'clock.

And it is in the dull light of a clouded afternoon that we glide out
of the beautiful harbour of Nagasaki, and in a few hours even the
coast line is lost to us, and fair Nippon, the Land of the Rising Sun
(such an appropriate name for the swiftly progressing Island Empire)
is a remembrance of the past. Bright memories will linger with us in a
medley dream, of rosy sunsets, of clear skies in those marvellous pale
washes, of gaudy temples with their moss-grown steps, hallowed by the
solemn hush around, mingling with the pictures of those queer, dark
little shops, of tiny gardens comprised in tiny courtyards, of gentle
little men and women in flapping cotton garments, of golden lacquer,
red and black, of gorgeous kakemonos, bronzes, cloisonné, of delicately
tinted textures, and above all of solemn gilt Buddhas, seated on
lotus-leaved pedestals, and gleaming at us from out dark corners.

We pass out into the grey space of the Yellow Sea.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE YELLOW LAND.


The turbid orange-coloured waters of the great Yangtze are around
us--"the river of the golden sands," far too poetical a name for the
muddy waters, that with a strong current swish and eddy against the
ship's side.

The spirit of travel that rises strong within you as you approach the
landing to a new country, is discouraged by that thin line of flat,
ugly land, which is all we see on that dull October morning, through a
mist of rain, of the coast of China.

The Yellow Land! Rightly named, indeed. The sea is yellow, the rivers
are yellow, the land is yellow, the people, too, are yellow--and the
Dragon Flag is yellow. Yellow, too, might China be with gold if only
her rulers, the mandarins, would let her people give scope to their
abilities, develop the rich resources of an as yet barely touched
country, and strike ahead among the nations of the world.

We had anchored at the Saddles, some little Islands with a fancied
resemblance to that equine article, and then moved up with the tide,
opposite to the fleet of sampan masts at Woosung; but still the water
on the bar is too low, and they whistle for a steam tug to take us
off the Saikio Maru, and up fifteen miles of the deadly uninteresting
reaches of the Wung-Poo--the last tributary of the Yangtze--to Shanghai.

What a mighty river this Yangtze is. The name signifies the Child
of the Ocean, and the Chinese have various others for it, such as
"The Father of Rivers," "The Girdle of China." "It is the richest
river in the world--richest in navigable waters, in mighty cities, in
industrious human beings, in affluent tributaries, in wide margins
of cultivated lands of inexhaustible fertility. This vast expanse of
turpid fresh water is saturated with the loam of fields 1500 miles
away." The Yangtze rises in Central Asia, and drains an area of 600,000
square miles of Midland China.

We pass hundreds of junks, the quaintest ships afloat in the world,
with their sides decorated with brilliant blue and red frescoes, and
sails of bamboo matting; the all-seeing black and white eye is in the
bow of the boat, for no Chinese junk would sail without this occult
protection.

Lost to us are the beauties of the palm and flower-covered Bund, the
pride of Shanghai (on this first occasion), for we land in a drenching
rain, and seek shelter in a dirty jinrikisha lined with green and red
oilskin, and drawn by a feeble coolie--and this began the first of
our disadvantageous comparisons between China and Japan. By all means
let everyone visit China first, with its dirty mud villages, devoid
ever of picturesqueness, its swarming, grasping, sullen people, and
leave Japan--dear, clean, little Japan, with its picturesque streets,
and charming, willing little fairies to the last. From that moment of
landing I took a repugnance to China, and the more I saw of it the more
the dislike grew.

An hour after reaching Shanghai, we were told of a steamer leaving for
Tientsin immediately--a cargo boat, it was true, but the captain was
willing to take us. The last bale of goods was being lowered into the
hold, the Blue Peter flying at her masthead; a hasty decision being
necessary without more reflection, and, being most anxious to push on
to Peking, we embarked on board.

The _Chïng Ping_ is a Chinese collier of 500 tons, trading between the
coast ports, and with a single cabin for a chance passenger. A glance
was sufficient to show us the fate in store for us for the next few
days, but it was then too late. As we scudded out into the Yellow Sea,
in a storm of wind and rain we began to suffer. The horrors of that
long night are yet like a bad dream. We heard bell after bell strike,
and thought that dawn would never break, for the _Chïng Ping_ rolled to
desperation, shipping heavy seas, whilst the wind blew like a hurricane
through the "alloway" under which was our cabin, blowing showers of
spray in at the door, while on closing it we were suffocated. We were
unable to move, for it was impossible to stand, and in total darkness,
for the matches had early disappeared amid the chaos of articles on the
floor, which we helplessly heard rolling about and bounding against
the walls. Nor was this the worst; for the rain and spray leaked
through the woodwork of the cabin, and soon our berths and clothes were
saturated, and deadly sick, with no dry place in which to place our
heads, we lay drenched through the weary hours of that dreadful night.

It was a sorry sight, a scene of wreckage and despair, that good
Captain Crowlie looked in upon the next morning, when we begged to be
put ashore anywhere, at any cost, rather than spend such another night
on board. He was so kind to us, taking us up and establishing us in his
own cabin on the hurricane deck, where we passed the remainder of the
voyage.

For the past few days we had been crossing the stormy Gulf of Pechele,
with the now grey, now purple, coast-line of the great province of
Chihli to port. It is late on the fourth afternoon that we are on the
bridge with the captain, all anxiety to know whether we shall cross the
bar at the mouth of the Peiho to-night, for he fears that we are just
two hours too late to catch the flood tide.

The entrance to the Peiho is most extraordinary; for there is no sign
of land, no banks visible to indicate that it is a river, but only the
bulbous buoy of the lighter opposite the bar, rising above the horizon,
growing clearer every minute. It is determined to make a desperate
effort, and everybody is on the alert; officers at their various posts,
the engineer putting on all steam, the steering-gear connected to the
upper bridge, whilst the leadsman, a quaint Chinese figure perched out
on an overhanging gangway, is set to work. At each call the water gets
shallower, and decreases at every throw from fifteen feet to thirteen
feet down to nine, and then the flat bottom of the _Chïng Ping_
ensconces itself comfortably on the bed of mud, and the fatal "Let go
anchor" sounds from the bridge. We stay there for the night, a sudden
silence falling on the ship in the silver moonlight, save for the
convulsive sobbing of the engines, giving forth their last oppression
of steam. Alas! we shall not sleep in Tientsin to-night.

At 2 o'clock in the morning the commotion, as we get under weigh,
begins afresh, and no sleep is possible after that, for there is the
frantic whirring of the steering-gear just outside the cabin, as the
sharp commands from the bridge, make the wheel race from port to
starboard. We stop opposite the Taku Custom House, and whistle ever
louder and more angrily for the sleeping officer, who eventually
comes reluctantly on board. And then in the moonlight we glide by the
crumbling banks, past mud villages, silent as the grave, lying in deep
shadows, until morning glimmers in the purple red of the sky, and we
pay our morning orisons to the rising sun, in its glory, over the
well-cultivated, intensely flat plains, and the cracked mud banks of
the great Peiho.

The navigation of this river is the most wonderful series of nautical
evolutions. The steamers are especially built with flat bottoms for
the service, and must not draw more than ten feet of water. It is
without exception the most exasperating bit of navigation, calling
forth the anathemas alike of captain and passengers. There is first
of all the bar, where at high water there is often only from ten to
eleven feet. Here it is possible to wait for several days before there
is enough water for a steamer to cross, and in most cases the cargo
has to be taken out to lighten the ship on one side, and replaced on
the other, or again sometimes it may be too rough for the lighters to
come alongside. Then commence the windings, so sharp that steam is shut
off, whilst the bows of the ship are across the stream, and the stern
is all but on the bank, the dangers of going aground being considerably
increased by the shallowness of the water. To give an idea of the
serpentine course of the river--a steamer which we passed in a bend on
the port side, two hundred yards further on will be to starboard. The
effect produced by this is, that the large sails of the sampans are a
succession of ships sailing inland, in contrary directions.

We pass the mud forts of Taku, where the great battle of 1860 took
place, when the allied forces were on their march to Peking. The
Chinese idea of fortifications, as a rule, consists largely of walls
of mud with a hard battened surface, and these forts are intended for
the protection of the Peiho, but really their best one rests in the bar
at its mouth. There is the embankment yonder of China's only railway.
It runs from Taku to Tientsin. Fancy a country of four million square
miles, with a population of as many millions as there are days in the
year, with but one single railway of a few miles! Yet such is the case;
China is still in the shadow of the dark ages.

The morning mists gather into a thin vapour and roll upwards, showing
miles of fields, cultivated like kitchen gardens, interspersed with
mud villages, where the houses are made of wattles plastered over with
the earth they stand on, with chimneys formed of a cone of mud, and
paper windows. In wet weather and floods these houses often partially
dissolve, or subside altogether. But then they are so easily rebuilt.
Here the urchins come out and revel in the murky wash in our wake,
whilst the sampan propellers push hurriedly off from the bank, lest
we land them, as indeed we did one, high and dry after our swell
had subsided. Hundreds of coolies are trudging along, with their
bamboo poles slung across their shoulders, whilst others squatted
on the ground occupied with that B.C., or ancient Eastern method of
irrigation, the automatically worked water-wheel.

We now have the disagreeable excitement of going aground, a gentle
bump on a flat bank, where we stick fast, and recall all the stories
which we have been hearing, of steamers staying aground for a week or
ten days. Meanwhile the screw churns away at the liquid mud, and a
crowd collects on the causeway above, and yet we remain fast. It is
after half an hour's manœuvring that we get off and proceed through
the few more perilous bends still left, with a few more hair-breadth
escapes. We see the tall chimneys, covering a large area, of the
Arsenal, and then the Pagoda, with its white umbrellas, overlooking
the fort and military exercise ground for the troops, and then we are
nearing Tientsin. It is pleasant in the first view of Tientsin to
be greeted by a familiar remembrance of England, in the towers of a
miniature Windsor Castle, the Victoria Hall of the English Settlement,
that tower above the dust-coloured hovels. It is in strange contrast
to the two cages on the banks, fixed on the top of tall bamboo poles,
where are seen the heads of two criminals. Doubtless they were executed
on the spot where the crime was committed, as is the Chinese custom.

We anchor in the river, and amid a deafening roar, and the shoving,
scraping and pushing of hundreds of filthy sampans, we land on the Bund
of Tientsin, and are settling into the somewhat uninviting quarters of
the Astor House, when Mr. Byron Brennan, H. M.'s Consul, kindly sends
for us, and in an hour we are installed in luxury, and have washed away
the unpleasant reminiscences of our journey across the Yellow Sea in a
collier.

The English Consulate looks out over the Bund, but it is such a
different Bund to the usual one of handsome houses and gardens touching
the water's edge. This one is piled up with merchandise; great bales
of goods, covered with matting, are stacked under the trees or strewn
about the ground, and through the wide-opened windows come all day
the shouts and cries of the strong-limbed coolies, as they lade and
unlade the ships. A strange silence falls over the busy scene of the
day, at night. But in another month or two the Bund will be a model
of neatness, swept and clean, and all this bustling scene will be
hushed under the spell of winter, for the Peiho freezes in the end of
November or beginning of December. Merchants are now hurrying to send
away the last of their merchandise, and residents are receiving their
last supplies before the river is closed. During those winter months
Tientsin is entirely cut off from the outer world, save for the mails
which are brought overland. No one can enter or leave the town to go
south, and business is at a standstill until spring breaks up the ice.
This isolation comes suddenly, for we heard of a steamer that went
aground below Tientsin, and in one night was frozen in by a coat of
ice a foot thick. A British gunboat is anchored under the Consulate,
sent up since the late riots at Wuhu, and it is a great comfort to the
English residents to feel that she is to spend the winter here.

We passed a quiet forenoon with a regular feast of the _Times_ and of
home news. Then in the evening Mrs. Brennan took me for a walk round
the European Concession, down Consulate Road, where the consulates
of the various nations are situated, to the Gordon Hall and Victoria
Gardens. Five years ago this was a mud-dried waste--strange contrast to
these pretty zoological gardens, with its tennis courts, and well laid
out paths, and Chinese band playing. The Hall is the centre of social
life, where dances and public entertainments are held, and it has a
capital Library and Reading-room. At the entrance are stands of guns,
belonging to the Volunteer corps of foreign gentlemen, who are ready to
come to arms should necessity arise.

Like so many other places of this kind, Tientsin has but one drive out
into the country, and along this we go up on to the city wall. We stand
on the high elevation of the deeply arched bridge, and look out on the
flat swamps of mudland, on the surrounding marshy and unhealthy pools.
It is mud in some shape or form whichever way you look, it is seen
alike in houses, walls and roads, and it is certainly very like what I
pictured China from reading books of travel.

The Europeans on their small spotty Chinese ponies, or driving in
their cabriolet carriages, are returning from their evening exercise.
Tientsin seems to be a pleasant place socially, particularly in the
cold though bright winter, when business is slack on account of
the frozen river, and the little community join together to amuse
themselves with skating and sailing of ice-boats. And so soon as the
first dust storm spoils the river ice, they enclose this pond we are
passing, and make a covered skating rink.

My husband has just returned from a visit to the great Viceroy, Li
Hung Chang, who sent soon after our arrival to say that he would be
glad to see him. So at five o'clock he and Mr. Brennan started out in
state-green palanquins, the official colour being green in distinction
to the ordinary blue, with a numerous retinue and an outrider on a
white horse to clear the way, and present the Chinese card, a single
sheet of long pink paper. On arrival at the Viceregal Yâmen, exterior
and surroundings of which were little in keeping with the high offices
of state held by His Excellency, the chairs were carried into an inner
courtyard, flanked by wooden shields, bearing all the titles of the
Viceroy. The visitors were conducted to the small foreign reception
rooms, where His Excellency immediately joined them.

Li Hung Chang is a tall handsome man of seventy, six feet four inches
high, and was dressed in a grey plush robe. He is frequently styled the
Bismarck of China, and is certainly the most prominent and influential
statesman of this vast Chinese Empire. For many years Li, the Viceroy,
has held his present post of Governor-General of the large Province of
Chihli, and unites with it that of Grand Secretary, Guardian of the
Heir Apparent, and what is most important of all to us, Commissioner
for Trade, in which capacity all Foreign Affairs are referred to him
from Peking. In the conversation, His Excellency placed great stress
upon his sincere desire to develop closer trade relations with England,
and took great interest in the details of the trade of the British
Empire which C. gave him. The interview lasted about an hour, the
Viceroy conducting his guests back to their chairs, and sending me his
photograph.

[Illustration: A Chinese Street.]

There are two ways of reaching Peking. You may ride or drive in those
terrible country carts the eighty miles, staying one or two nights in
an indescribably dirty Chinese inn, or go, as we decided, in a house
boat, 120 miles up the Peiho.

At two o'clock the next afternoon, we drove in jinrikishas for an
hour through the heart of the native quarter. This is my first view
of a real Chinese city, and my early impressions are comprised in
the all-pervading, all-powerful, smothering filth and dirt, in the
revolting smells and disgusting sights; my next, in the jostling of
crowds of coolies wheeling enormous iron-bound bales on wheelbarrows,
of carts drawn by teams of mules, donkeys or oxen, of equestrians,
pedestrians, jinrikishas, and sedan chairs, crowded into a six-foot
wide street, curtained with bamboo mats above, producing a bewildering
pandemonium. Passing the particularly squalid corner where is situated
the Yâmen, we see the twin towers of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. They
stand there as a solemn reminder of the dangers which yet threaten the
Settlement, and of the fanatical people they are surrounded by, for it
was here in 1870 that there was that awful massacre of Roman Catholic
nuns, followed by the pillage of the Convent and Cathedral.

On arrival at the bridge of boats, we find our house-boat, Chinese boy,
provisions, luggage and crew of coolies safely on board, and after many
objurations from the delayed passengers, a passage by the removal of
one of the boats is made for us, and we begin our long journey up the
Peiho.

This house-boat is very comprehensive on a small scale, for we have a
sitting-room and bed-room and kitchen. There is a tiny promenade deck
in the bows, then down two steps and you are in a room with a bench,
a table and two stools, the door being formed of movable planks of
wood. Through an elegant arabesque of woodwork, screened with paper, we
can see the raised floor on which are spread our mattresses with red
quilts. Behind a similar screen is the kitchen, a few square inches,
under the shadow of the helm, where our clever "Boy," who is cook,
valet and interpreter in one, turns out the most deliciously cooked
and varied dishes, with a _batterie de cuisine_, consisting of a few
tin saucepans and an iron brazier of charcoal. As for the crew, they
sleep on deck anywhere, and keep their provisions in the hold. The
flat-bottomed boat has an arched roof of matting laid on bamboo sticks.
It is clean, for I only saw one black-beetle, but is only moderately
air and water-tight. Our tiny domicile is dominated by an enormous sail
which is hoisted up and down on running strings. We either tow or pole,
or sail, according to the wind and stream.

The vast and varied river life is before us. The banks for some miles
above Tientsin are lined with these ugly sampans, their tattered
sails hanging in ribbons, their decks strewn with _débris_ where the
naked children disport themselves, and the women steer at the helm;
for in these sampans generations are born, live, and die, and they
are coated too with the dirt of many decades. There are fishermen on
the bank where, projecting out of the little hut which he inhabits,
is a net stretched wide on bamboo poles, baited with the white of egg
spread on the meshes. He lowers it slowly up and down, and at each
dip we see the little silver-scaled fish jumping about in the net.
There are children dabbling in the mud, true mud-larks, and women
washing their clothes. We espy a bridge over a tributary, with a
single graceful arch, so curved as to be half an oval, and with some
houses, a willow tree and pig-tailed Chinaman, calling to remembrance
the willow-patterned plate of our childhood. We pass several covered
Chinese gun-boats,--war-junks,--with their blue and white striped
awnings, and a Maxim gun in the bows kept for the defence of the Peiho,
and the patrolling of the river.

We get out into the country at length, between high mud banks, and by
a continuous succession of villages, their brown dusty walls abutting
on to the hard-trodden towing path, whilst around is that careful
cultivation resembling a succession of kitchen gardens, with its plots
of lettuces of enormous size, of cabbages, turnips and onions; and
the vertical pole of the water tank is always amongst them. A place
is hollowed out in the bank, where, from a cross plank, the bucket
attached to the pole is pulled down to the water, when the weighted
end bears the bucket up and the water is emptied into the channels
that surround each plot. Morning and evening you see hundreds of these
automatically-working figures, thus irrigating their fields. The
population appear ill-disposed towards foreigners, they collect in the
villages and on the sampans and point and jeer at me, for the Chinese
keep their women at home, and are shocked at the way "Barbarians," as
they call us, travel with their wives.

After punting for a little while, three of the coolies begin to tow,
but it is tedious work, as our line has constantly to be undone or
passed round the masts of other sampans. Indeed, all the way there are
processions of these vessels crawling up the river heavily laden with
cargoes of rice, salt, camels' hair, sheep's wool, and vegetables, with
their four or six towers, whose brown figures are bent double against
the line, patiently staggering along for mile after mile against the
current. Our coolies are very willing and cheerful, springing ashore
to begin that weary work of tacking against stream, and subsisting on
scanty meals of rice, cabbage and maccaroni, which we watch them, at
midday and sunset, tucking rapidly into their mouths with chop sticks.
Sometimes they sing in chorus to encourage themselves, with a soft
crooning chant.

As evening approaches, columns of smoke rise from the stern of the
sampans, showing the preparation of the evening meal, and the mists
gather low over the villages. We see the great high road to Peking,
raised on a mud embankment, that now and again keeps company with the
river; it is bordered here with an avenue of whispering willows, and
against the orange sunset come such picturesque figures along it. Now a
little lady, with her pantaloons reaching to her little feet, tippeting
along as if she must fall at every step, a horseman on a shaggy
white pony, _running_ along without rising in the saddle, a big man
overshadowing a tiny donkey, a jinrikisha, a country cart with oxen, or
one of those ancient wooden cabriolets, all outlined in black relief
against the yellow sky.

We go to sleep with the sound of the water gently gurgling against the
bottom of the boat, the croaking of the frogs on the banks, whilst our
patient coolies plod automatically along. They anchor for a few hours
in the middle of the night opposite a large village, whence the regular
muffled tom-tom of the watchman, a deep and solemn tone, is wafted
across to us. At three in the morning there is a rushing sound as of
wind and water, and to our great joy we find that we are sailing before
a brisk wind.

The scenery of the Peiho is repelling in its ugliness, and wearisome
from its extreme monotony. The country is absolutely flat, and there
is nothing, now that the harvest is carried in, but a parched saline
plain, of mud and yellow grass, extending for hundreds of miles all
around.

[Illustration: Our Home on the Peiho.]

The only hills are those of the graves--these unwieldy mounds of
battened earth, that stand in rows along the bank, or are collected
in a field--a family burial place, with mounds of varying sizes. The
greater the man, the larger is the tumulus raised over him. Then
there are other and more disagreeable ones, where the coffin has been
temporarily earthed above ground, awaiting perhaps a favourable moment
for burial, or sufficient funds to take the deceased back to the place
of his birth; for this is the dearly cherished hope of every Chinaman,
and often, when old age approaches, he returns to his native place to
be ready to die there. An even more objectionable custom is that of
putting coffins down in open fields, or along the roads. We saw one
covered in red standing like this, just outside a village, and you find
them in the same way all over China. There is a superstition that it
is lucky to bury within sight of water or in a place which commands a
view, and that is why we see such rows of graves for miles and miles by
the river bank. To the Chinese their burial is the most important thing
of life. They prepare their coffins and keep them in their houses for
years beforehand, though their unwieldy size and solidity take up much
ill-spared space, and the object of every woman of the poorest class is
to save enough for her grave-clothes. It has been truly said that the
whole face of China is burrowed under by these graves.

The turpid yellow waters of the Peiho swirl against our boat,
particularly at the reaches, where the current is strongest. The
harvest is over, the poppy fields are bare, and there are only a few
tall straggly castor-oil plants along the banks. A few, very few
coolies, in loose blue cotton garments, are at work, ploughing with
ancient and rude ploughshares. The teams they use are delightfully
mixed. You may often see an ox and horse, a donkey and a mule all
pulling together. And the same useful mixture is seen in the carts
that resemble old Roman chariots, crawling along the towing path,
where a bull with a tandem donkey is a favourite team. These donkeys
are beautiful animals; small, but with sleek grey, brown and black
coats, with the well-marked neck rings, and line down the centre of
the back. We meet solitary pedestrians trudging along with their heads
down against the wind, and we wonder whence they came and whither they
are going, for we are now only passing isolated villages at great
distances. In some of the few we sail by, the mud walls surrounding the
villages have a graceful openwork arabesque at the top, and in one, to
the sound of much tom-tomming, a festival was progressing, at which all
the inhabitants (as there were none to be seen) are evidently assisting.

The windings described by the Peiho are aggravating. The actual
distance traversed, after a series of bends, being equal to about half
a mile as the crow flies. Again and again we see the extraordinary
phenomenon of a row of sails walking inland; and how picturesque these
brown-patched sails look, as extended by the wind they glide in single
file against the sky line. The wind is a subject of great anxiety
on the Peiho, because if it is ahead one the crew make fast to the
bank at once, and await a favourable change; and even if it is, as
to-day, behind us, the river winds so much that we box every point of
the compass, and so it is not always to our advantage. We watch our
progress with great interest; and now we are scudding gaily before a
lovely fresh breeze, with the pleasant sound of rushing water under the
keel, whilst the big sail overhead balloons out and swells hopefully.
To this succeeds a calm, when a little punting with the long poles is
necessary, or a deep bend when the wind and stream are ahead of us,
and which means a painful slow bit of tacking, when the men strain the
whole weight of their bodies against the tow line, to progress at all.
Again a pleasant rush, the puff of wind catching our ponderous sail,
and we scud merrily past the banks. And how our coolies enjoy this;
stretching themselves out, and, sunning on the deck, smoke their pipes.
So it goes on all day.

We passed several gaily-decorated junks belonging to a great mandarin
with the peacock's feather over the door, generally accompanied by
another with the household; also the ex-French _Chargé d'Affaires_,
Monsieur Ristelhueber, and his family, returning to France from Peking,
and with whom we afterwards had the pleasure of travelling homewards
for a month on the French mail.

The approach to Peking, which signifies the "Gate of Heaven," is
indeed synonymous with the biblical definition in one particular, for
it is narrow. This morning the Peiho has dwindled into a ditch between
extensive mud flats, and we are constantly aground, our five brown
coolies struggling and sweating in the quagmire of soft mud under a
broiling sun. It is weary, weary work this slow progress, and we chafe
at all the delays of crossing the tow line from one bank to another,
to avoid the now continuous succession of sampans, many of which are
in worse condition than ourselves, for the men have to get out into
the water to push the boat along; for should we not arrive at Tungchau
by noon, we must abandon all hope of reaching Peking to-night, as the
gates close at sunset. There is a head wind, with a strong current
racing down the narrow channel against us, and we sadly mark how
crawling is our progress by the landmarks on the bank. And so the long
hours of morning pass, and, just as we are losing hope, we see the blue
tower of the pagoda at Tungchau, rising up from the plain, and there
are only seven miles more with an hour to do it in, and we shall be at
our journey's end. We afterwards found that, favoured by the wind, we
had made almost, if not quite, a record passage of forty-six hours, and
that many boats take from four to five days in coming up from Tientsin.

We find an anchorage at Tungchau among fleets of sampans, and in
half an hour our boy has procured three carts, packed in our luggage,
and we are ready to begin the fifteen miles journey to Peking. Let
me describe these carts. The body is formed of a few planks of wood,
with a hood covered in blue or black stuff. The wheels are of circular
pieces of wood, they are guiltless of springs, and are drawn by mules.
They resemble an old mediæval chariot, and indeed they date from and
are exactly the same as were in use in the tenth century. There is no
seat inside, and instead of sitting on the floor, it is easiest to
ride on the shaft, with your legs hanging over; but I did not know
this in time. Before you have been half an hour in this vehicle you
cry out for mercy--for an instant's cessation of this agonizing mode
of progression, from the unbearable bumping and concussion. And when
at length you become numbed by the pain and discomfort, the intense
weariness that succeeds, makes you sure that another jolt will be
unbearable, until at last you close your eyes, feeling that nothing
but the end of the journey is of the remotest consequence. The roads
are somewhat softened by the loose dust. Still, when you tumble into
a ditch on one side, with a jar that is felt to your most internal
depths, and are then run up on to a bank on the other, you can have
some idea of what we suffered during that journey from Tungchau to
Peking. What must have been the agonies endured by Sir Harry Parkes,
and our old friend Sir Henry Loch, as they journeyed in these same
springless carts to Peking, but with their hands bound behind them and
over _the stone road_ that takes a more circuitous route!

[Illustration: How I went to Peking.]

We passed through the outskirts of Tungchau, through some blind lanes
of mud walls, with doors in them leading to the courts, round which the
houses are built. Soon we are out on the road--no, it is not a road,
but a rough track with several trails, and made of millions of tons
of dust, that rise in impenetrable clouds by the passing of a single
donkey--dust that smells and tastes of the garbage of China proper,
that envelops everything in a white mist, that, easily raised, subsides
as lingeringly. The embankments are crumbling into dust, as are the
numerous walls of these hideous earth villages which line the road, and
are perched on the top of them. The whole face of the land is parched
and burnt. The willows are streamers of dust, and the other trees are
coated grey with the same. And the road: it is a succession of deep
gutters, of holes, of upheavals of sandbanks, running in the middle or
across the road, scarcely defined from the surrounding fields--and this
is the great highway to the Great City of the unknown Emperor.

We pass cavalcades of carts, and the gaudily-dressed and painted
Chinese women inside peer out curiously at us; bullock carts laden with
merchandise, parties of horsemen, a caravan of camels, and endless
strings of donkeys, bearing away the last of the students from the
late annual examinations at the capital. Many of these wear goggle
spectacles, the glasses of which are at least four inches in diameter,
and enclosed in broad tortoiseshell rims. With their loose coats they
tower over and bulge out above their tiny quadrupeds, but these sleek,
good-looking little donkeys go cheerfully jig-jogging along, with
their blue-coated owners urging them from behind. In the oasis of a
few trees, the mules are occasionally watered from the tubs that stand
ready filled, for the traffic along this highway is ceaseless.

The sun, as it got lower, scorched mercilessly into the hood, and the
dust in its parching aridity became still more trying. The mule began
to tire, and the driver cruelly flogged it, while the monotonous waste
seems endless.

Absolute indifference, with a deadly weariness, had long since taken
possession of me. The clammy chill of sunset was of no consequence,
though I tried to huddle something round me. I was only roused by the
sight, over some tree tops, of a little bit of black crenellated wall.
The approach to Peking is thus an absolute disappointment, for, instead
of seeing the grand walls from afar standing up out of the yellow
plain, here we were creeping round a corner to them. In a few minutes
we were under the gloom and darkness of this vast mass of stones, piled
up on high centuries ago. But, alas! that at such a moment imagination
and sentiment, increased by the difficulties and tediousness of the
journey, should succumb before an increased ordeal of pain, as we
now join the stone road, and jar over the great crevasses the paved
way. At last, turning the corner, we enter under the massive arch or
gateway, deep with many feet of thickness, called by the poetical name
of Hatamen, or the "Gate of Sublime Learning." We are within the outer
walls of The Forbidden City.

Then we find ourselves in a sandy waste, bordered by the wall of the
Tartar City on one side and the canal on the other. Little clouds
of dust rising in the distance tell of some cart or donkey, and we
ourselves continue enveloped in the same as we choose any track we
please, for there is, of course, again no road for another weary mile
or so. Some flag-poles in the distance bring a ray of comfort, for I
shrewdly hope that they mean the quarter of the Legations. Nor is my
hope ill-founded, for, passing through a dirty passage, we emerge into
the moving streets and are soon in Legation Street, so called from
the lion-guarded entrances of the various legations, for the French,
the American, the German, and the Russian Envoys are grouped here. We
find accommodation in one of the numerous courts of the French hotel
in this aristocratic street. The sense of comfort of sitting still and
not momentarily expecting a concussion is simply delicious. We are
full of admiration for the physical bravery and endurance of the many
travellers, who for two days or for eighty miles go in these carts from
Tungchau to Peking, through such a prolonged torture.

The British Legation is over the bridge with an entrance off the Yu-ho
canal. And here, the next morning, Sir John and Lady Walsham sent for
us and received us most hospitably.

This beautiful Legation was formerly a Palace belonging to a member
of the Imperial Family, as is shown by its green roof. The approach
to the entrance is through an aisle and raised pavement, formed by
two magnificent open gateways supported by pillars, and gorgeously
decorated in gold, scarlet, green, and blue. The palace wanders round
the spacious enclosure of a courtyard; and the reception-rooms, with
their lofty ceilings inlaid like a temple in green and gold squares,
with their hanging screens of that beautiful Chinese black oak carving,
are magnificent. The walls are of open work filled in with dull gold
papers, and furnished, as these rooms are, with handsome brocades, soft
carpets, and rich hangings, chosen to harmonize with the surroundings,
the whole is truly regal.

The compound is large, and contains the bungalows and houses of
the Legation Staff, and the separate apartments of the Student
Interpreters, of whom there are six. And a very happy little community
of twenty-two persons they appear to be, led by Lady Walsham, who is
most hospitably inclined, and living their life within the four walls
of the compound, which they rarely leave, except for social duties, to
pass into the outside filth and dust.

From the windows of our rooms, overshadowed by the deep eaves
supported on enormous red wooden pillars, we look out on a succession
of peaked roofs, inlaid with green tiles and blue decorations, with
rows of pretty little green dragons perched on the ridges, whilst
crescent-shaped ornaments depending from the roof, wave with each
breath of wind.



CHAPTER IX.

THE CELESTIAL CITY.


A curious difficulty arises in The Celestial City. It is that of
locomotion. How are we to get about with no carriages, and only those
abominable agonizing carts to drive in? We end by taking refuge on the
humble donkey, and every time we went out messengers had to be sent to
the walls to charter the best attainable animals.

Great mandarins and ministers-plenipotentiary go in chairs, but
smaller fry are not allowed to use them, besides which they are
prohibitorily expensive. Even the late Marquis Tsêng, when he returned
from his embassy to Europe, was at first denied the privilege of a
chair, that he might understand that, although great in England, he
was small in China. For the Secretaries, ponies are the chosen mode of
locomotion by day, and fifty ponies stand in the Legation stables. At
night all must walk, lantern in hand, or go in a cart. So it is with
the ladies. Carriages are unknown and impossible, with the result that
the majority make, as I have said, a sweet prison of the compound, and
lawn tennis has votaries among all ages.

The sky is clear and blue, with a north wind bringing a deliciously
crisp feeling into the air, suitable to this October month. The climate
of Peking offers a redeeming feature to the Europeans who are isolated
here. For the next six months this cloudless sky is uninterrupted. Rain
is unknown for nine months together, from July to April, and the worst
season is the rainy one of May and June, when the steamy heat is most
trying. The winter is perfect--cold, but with warm sun in the middle of
the day, and the snow that falls, but occasionally, is soon dispersed
by the wind.

Moreover, Peking is fortunate in having a summer resort close at hand
in the Western Hills, some fifteen miles distant. Here the Legation
lives for the hot months, in a privately-rented group of Temples. The
dust storms are the scourge of the town; from the crumbling "loess" and
alkaline nature of the soil, they sweep in blinding clouds over the
plain, and are most irritating in their fortnightly recurrence. The air
is so intensely bracing and dry, as to unpleasantly affect the skin.

The first thing to do is to grasp the topography of the Celestial
Metropolis, with its city within city, and wall within wall. We return
to the Gate of Sublime Learning, and ascend by it on to the great
Tartar Wall.

Peking is spread out at our feet. We can trace out the four Walls,
each containing a separate town. The outer and lower ramparts surround
the Chinese city. The next exclude the abodes of the conquered from
those of the Conqueror. Here upon the higher ground were assigned,
two hundred and fifty years ago, spacious residences for the Tartar
Bannermen. Within the Tartar town again, and surrounded by its
defenders, is the Imperial city, and enclosed again, securely inside
this, with further moats and guard-houses, is the Wall of the Forbidden
City itself.

These Walls are from fifty feet high, to forty and sixty feet wide.
They are built on massive stone foundations, but the walls themselves
are of brick, filled in with mud. How have these common black bricks
survived the crumbling of ages? But, except where the base has been
marauded for the saké of the yellow clay of the mortar, they are as
solid as the day they were constructed. At intervals of three hundred
yards there are massive flying buttresses, and a crenellated parapet
crowns the summit. They are pierced with many gateways, for there
are nine to the Tartar city, and eight for the Chinese. Each gate is
surmounted by a square tower of many storeys, loopholed for archers and
musketeers, and with quaint heavy black roofs, decorated often in gay
colours.

Poetical names mark these Gates, such as "The Eastern Straight Gate,"
"The Gate of Peace and Tranquillity," "Of Attained Victory," "The Gate
of Just Law," "The Western and Eastern Gate of Expediency." These
vast fortifications extend for twenty miles, and enclose an area of
twenty-five square miles. They are all that you see from whichever side
you approach the city, for they are loftier than the loftiest interior
pagoda or tower. They are the most impressive and venerable sight, and
alone would be worth coming to see.

We are walking on the top of this Wall of the Tartar city--over
the ancient grass-grown pavement--commanding a splendid view of the
Chinese capital, in the early morning light. The pale grey haze over
the Western Mountains points the direction where lie the ruins of that
beautiful Summer Palace, magnificent even in its decaying fragments,
standing for ever as a reproach to the allies, but fit judgment on the
barbarous cruelty of a civilized nation. From this bird's-eye view,
Peking appears so buried in trees, that it is hard to believe that its
teeming streets, with a population variously estimated at from 400,000
to 800,000, is immediately below. We are so far above it, that even the
street cries and calls come up in a softened murmur.

[Illustration: A GATE OF PEKING.]

We can distinguish the black roofs of several temples, and the bright
green-tiled ones that denote the abode of a Prince of the Blood, called
the First or the Tenth Prince, in gradation of propinquity. Over there
now the sun is shining and gleaming from the many yellow-tiled roofs of
the Imperial palaces of that Forbidden City, where shrouded in mystery,
unseen by his people, dwells the Emperor who holds sway over a fourth
of the human race.

For about two miles we walk upon the ramparts, which would make a
splendid promenade, turning the corner of the square by the Eastern
Straight Gate, which is beautiful with its pagoda newly-decorated
for the recent passage of the Sovereign. The roof is formed of dark
crenellated tiles, with deep outward curving lines, underneath which is
a lovely inlaid mosaic in vivid blue and green tiles, whilst the green
bronze dragons with twisted tails are perched in single file along
the curving sweep. From point to point of the gracefully arched line,
suspend crescent-shaped eyes, that tremble in the breeze. And each of
the numerous gates have equally fine pagodas, so that in our wanderings
we were always coming back to one of these familiar features.

But a difficulty occurs. We wish to descend from the wall. There is a
ramp; but at the bottom a locked and spiked gate. We call for a ladder,
without result. Pulled by the guide, pushed from below, we scramble
up and over a nine-foot wall. It was not dignified, and the crowd was
amused at our quandary.

We are making our way towards the Tower which leans against the City
Wall, belonging to the observatory.

We pass into a shady courtyard to gaze upon the very instruments
whereat Marco Polo wondered in his famous travels. There are two
planispheres, an Astrolabe of great size, cast in bronze, and supported
on twisted dragons of exquisite workmanship, and which are probably the
best specimens of bronze work in Eastern Asia. Ascending up some damp
stone steps, we find ourselves on the top of the Tower, and inside a
finely wrought iron railing, where there is a gigantic Globe of the
Heavens, with the planets yet marked in relief on the surface. Also a
quadrant, sextant, and sundial; while the large Azimuth instrument in
the corner was a present to the Emperor Kanghai from Louis XIV.

And these instruments are as perfect as they were when placed here 300
years ago. Indeed, some of these are still used by the Astronomical
Board for their observations. It brings home to us the fact that we
must never ignore for a moment, whilst living in China, that in the
earliest centuries she was far ahead in civilization of any country
in the world. But while the West has gone rapidly onward, overtaking
and outstripping the East, China, self-contained and shut off from
contact with all other nations, has remained stationary, so that
much we see around us dates from that era. The Chinese are under the
impression that there is no nation equal to theirs. They suppose
themselves the centre of civilization for the last 2000 years, and
claim that China knew the art of printing, invented gunpowder, and
was learned in astronomy, long before us. They consider that China is
the middle of the Universe, as is shown by the name, which, in their
language, signifies "The Middle Kingdom." They look upon themselves as
superior to us, as we think ourselves to them, calling us Barbarians,
and considering all European nations as such. As a nation they never
travel, and are down-trodden by the conservatism of the Mandarins, who,
risen from the people, wish to retain their superiority by keeping the
lower classes under.

The real interest of Peking lies in its intense age. The city is 4000
years old. Conquered by the Mongols, or the "Golden Horde," who, in
their turn were overthrown by the Tartars, Peking of the present day
is built, like Rome, upon the ruins of many cities. The description of
the famous Venetian traveller is as true to-day as it was when written
in the thirteenth century. It is in this wondrously preserved life
of the middle ages that the curiosity remains; it is because we see
the streets under their primitive conditions of dirt, before ideas of
sanitation were dreamt of, because we can look on the carts that were
in use at a period corresponding with our conquest by the Norman--on
the wheelbarrows with the single wheel, which creaks as loudly now as
it did then, on the wells with their Eastern earthenware jars, and
the water drawn as in the pictures of Isaac and Rebecca--on those
great Walls, then necessary for protection from the wild hordes that
scoured the plains, and where the gates are still closed, in accordance
with the ancient custom, at sundown. It is all the same. We might
have fallen into a Rip Van Winkle sleep at Tientsin, and awoke in the
streets of the Celestial Capital in the middle of the dark ages.

There is one thing which impresses itself indelibly on the mind, and is
called to remembrance with the first mention of Peking. It is the dirt!
the dirt! the dirt!

It is impossible to conceive of such awful filth, and, unless you have
seen it, I defy anyone to have the faintest idea of the sights and
smells of this city of the Flowery Land. The condition of the streets
is the same as it was B.C. If they were described faithfully and in
detail, common decencies would be violated, even as they are but too
openly. Let it suffice to say that they reek with refuse, garbage, and
decaying matter of every description; that the houses throw out into
dry pits, dug anywhere in the road, their pig's wash and offal, and
that the putrefaction and decay fills the air with noisome smells that
overpower you at every turn. Filth and refuse you soon grow hardened to
in Peking, but occasionally some particularly nauseous sight, such as
a dead dog in a far advanced stage of decomposition, or a cat with the
entrails protruding, unnerves you again.

Wherever there is water you may be sure that it is a stagnant pool
of liquid filth, covered with green slime, and containing untold
horrors if stirred up. Also, if you pass down even the comparatively
clean Legation Street, in the wake of the watering-cart, the stench
from the stirred-up dust is unbearable. Men are seen going along with
baskets on their backs, carefully collecting with a bamboo pronged fork
every morsel of manure, for this is the only kind that the Chinese
use, chemical fertilizers being unknown. Fortunately, too, there are
hundreds of pariah dogs, many evil-looking beasts, who, with their
sharp noses, are busy turning over the most unsavoury heaps, or lie
asleep gorged in the middle of the narrow roads. Also the pigs, great
coarse-haired masses of fat (the Chinese pig is a peculiarly revolting
species) wallowing in the foul slush. Enough! In every place and corner
are revolting sights, unfit for a civilized community.

Then there is the dust. It adds to the unpleasantness of going about.
Such dust as it is, all-pervading, all-penetrating, leaving a pungent
smell in your clothes, so that I soon found out that it is necessary
to keep a special costume to face it. Once outside the Compound, you
find yourself in the jostle and crowd, the shouts and disorder of the
streets, and as a cart or horseman passes, a cloud is raised that
obscures everything for the moment; and so it is that, for half the
time you are out you see nothing for the dust, and for the other half
only through a dim veil of the same. At sundown the state of affairs is
made worse by the succession of mules, purposely loosened to roll over
and over.

Lastly there is the incredible state of the roads, with their deep
holes in the very middle of the busiest thoroughfares, with huge stones
lying across, or a steep embankment, round which you must diverge.
There is this excuse, that the soil, owing to its light and porous
nature, aided by the extreme dryness of many months of the year, easily
shifts with the wind. If the dust is intolerable, what must it be in
winter, when it is turned into a quagmire of black mud or sludge? It
is no uncommon thing for a mule to be drowned in the streets. He falls
into this soft morass and, unable to get a footing, perishes within
sight of the bystanders.

There is yet another and a more unpleasant drawback to be met with, in
going about the streets of Peking. The Chinese, but particularly the
Tartar and Manchu part of the population, dislike Europeans, and openly
insult us as we pass along, jeering and laughing in a most offensive
manner, and obviously making the rudest observations. Even the little
children come out and call us foul names, of which Barbarian and
Foreign or Red-Haired Devils are the mildest terms--language which they
must have become familiar with by hearing it used by their parents.
There are several places where Europeans are almost invariably stoned,
and public feeling has been intensified by these late unfortunate riots
on the Yangtze.

In the afternoon we go into the Chinese town, passing through the
great Chien-men or Front Gate. Inside this there is a large blank
square, formed by the meeting walls of the Chinese and Tartar cities,
which are pierced by four archways. The centre entrance is only opened
and used by the Emperor on the occasion of his yearly visit to the
Temple of Heaven. But through the others that connect the towns, there
is a constant moving, hurrying crush of people, the two streams meeting
and blocking in the arch.

We lift up and pass under some black draperies and find ourselves
in the Chinese bazaar--in a passage one yard wide and completely
covered in. The shops are a succession of rooms, raised on a step
from the earth passage and all open in front, where you can buy fancy
articles and artificial flowers. There are the pretty jade pins,
which form the centre for the shiny coil of hair worn by the Chinese
women, long earrings and bracelets of the same, mandarin buttons in
coloured stones, clocks, porcelain, shoes, and silk embroideries. It
is the quaintest and prettiest of Eastern arcades, with the afternoon
sun penetrating the bamboo blinds in shafts of light, lighting the
picturesque groups of buyers and sellers squatted on the floors. The
three-foot passage is blocked by a curious crowd, assisting in our
purchases.

We penetrate yet further into the Chinese city, across a stone bridge
and through a dangerous open square--a meeting of ways--where crates
of merchandise, carts drawn by tandem bullocks and mules, palanquins,
wheelbarrows with baskets of liquid manure running over, horses and
donkeys, are all mingled together, going and coming in different
directions. Yes! Sir Edwin Arnold, you speak truly of

    "The painted streets alive with hum of words,
    The traders cross-legged, mid their spice and grain,
    The buyers with their money in the cloth,
    The war of words to cheapen this or that,
    The shout to clear the road, the huge stone wheels,
    The strong slow oxen and their rustling loads,
    The singing bearers with their palanquins,
    The broad-necked hâmals sweating in the sun."

Then we go up a narrow street, tortuous and dirty, to another bazaar
where there are nothing but lantern, fan, and picture shops.

Half an hour in these streets gives you more idea of Chinese life than
all the books of travel you may read in a life-time.

Peking beggars description, still let me try to give some idea of what
we see.

Here we are in a narrow lane. This is the aristocratic quarter
where the mandarins and officials live. There are a succession of
mud-plastered walls, roofed at the top and presenting an absolutely
blind appearance to the road, which, when combined with the always
dilapidated condition of the latter, gives the most deserted and
squalid impression. Opposite the entrance are hung tablets, indicating
the offices and titles of the householder. They are on a blank wall,
for you must observe that the entrance into a Chinese house is never
straight. It always winds, and this is supposed to be a defence against
the incursion of evil spirits, for the latter can happily only go
straight. For the same reason we see the little children wearing their
pig-tails plaited at the side of the head, so that the evil spirit,
not finding anything to grip at the back, is unable to catch hold of
them. In the houses of poor people, who cannot afford such elaborate
precautions, there is always a mud screen erected in front of the
door. Let us go inside. We find ourselves in a succession of courts,
surrounded by low buildings, where a family and its branches reside,
to the number sometimes of 200 persons. There are separate buildings
for the cooking, eating, sleeping, and living, but the family all live
together. As our "boy" said, when we inquired about these houses,
"Family man live there." Truly one, indeed. Yet there is something
to be admired about this family life, this care of aged parents and
luckless relations.

The streets with shops, present the most wonderful vista of untidy
ends of tattered rags flying from poles, of dingy decorations of strips
of paper or cloth hanging over the doorways. The houses have a mean
appearance, being only of one story, and their walls, unless they are
of mud, consist of carved wood openwork, covered in with tattered
yellow paper. I think I may truly say that I never saw one, where
the paper was not torn and discoloured. Occasionally you come upon a
shop, bright with the names of the goods written in gold and scarlet
or green. They were originally all like this, and this one is only
recently finished, yet in a few months will become as dull and dirty
as the rest. Everything is allowed to run to decay. The Chinese never
seem to think it necessary to repair or re-decorate, and the climate
powerfully aids in this destruction.

[Illustration: A street in Peking.]

In many of the streets, the road is raised on an embankment of loose
dust, and then bordered by an empty space, where the garbage of the
dwelling-house is increased by the refuse from the various trades
pursued in it, and which is thrown out indiscriminately to fester and
decay in the hot sun, or it is occupied by cheap-jacks who lay their
goods in the dust, hawking and crying their wares. Here are rows of
lanterns with a primitive wooden receptacle for the lamp, filled in
with opaque paper, and frequent watch-houses, whence the watchmen
patrol the city at night with the muffled beat of a gong.

The life in these streets, straggling, ill-compacted, and grimy as
they are, is yet full of vivid interest. Not that these open shop
fronts, or grimy pig-tailed men, can compare with the fascinating
life of a dear little Japanese street. Here is a tea-house, with the
distinguishing sign of ornamental green and gold wooden drums outside,
and inside a crowd sitting cross-legged on benches, each with a bowl
and chopsticks held within an inch of his nose, shovelling his food
rapidly into his mouth. There a man with rows of little black balls
spread out before his shop; he is a coal and these balls are made of
clay mixed with coal dust--a most economical method of firing. That
house in the middle with glazed windows is a bank, and whenever we see
a particularly bright exterior, we may be sure that it belongs to a
pawnbroker, for he does a large business, the Chinese being ever ready
to pawn their all for a good gamble or perhaps a whiff of opium, as
some unfortunates at home will do for a last drink. There is a man
squatted on the ground, shaking some sticks in a bamboo-holder. He is
largely patronized, men coming and going and choosing out a stick and
putting it back with either a pleasing or dissatisfied look. He is a
fortune-teller. Or there is a group intent on a game of hazard, when
the stakes in question are a few cash. Yes! these Chinese are certainly
inveterate gamblers, and would gamble their food, their clothing,
anything away. Or it is a juggler with a simple apparatus giving
a street performance, and many of our best tricks are, as we see,
borrowed from the Chinese conjuror.

Then the coffin shops, piled high with those ponderous sarcophagi
hewn out of a single tree-trunk, so thick, so substantial, warranted
to last for generations, and there is no sending for one in a hurry,
for generally the coffin has been waiting in the house for years for
its occupant. The funeral furnishers also do a thriving business, for
we see many of them, hung inside with the green paraphernalia, the
lanterns, carrying pagodas and poles that make up such an imposing
procession. So do the wedding contractors, which we distinguish from
the undertakers by their red decorations.

Then there are the carpenters and ironmongers, the blacksmiths and the
book-shops, the laundries and the barbers, and those of other trades,
all of which are easily distinguished at a glance, in the open shops,
where the work is carried on within view of the world, adding tenfold
to the interest of the streets. The travelling cobbler is frequently
seated at the corner of a thoroughfare, repairing the soft felt soles
of the Chinese shoes. The itinerant musician is seen under an awning
with his book and drum, singing to an attentive audience seated round
a table. In all these shops, there is a whirligig round which an
incense-burning tube is smouldering, and which marks the flight of
time. Watch this shopman give change. He produces often from up his
sleeve, or from round his neck, heavy strings of copper "cash." Now as
1200 of these go to make up a dollar, the counting of the change is
a matter of patience. It is a cumbrous monetary system, but well in
keeping with all that is Chinese.

We are in the midst of a moving scene of life. Here the descendant of
the Tartar soldiery carrying a cage of performing birds, or a stick
with a chaffinch tied to it. It is the thing perhaps that he values
most of all his possessions, and you will often see the Manchu kneeling
on the grass, collecting grasshoppers on which to feed his favourite.
Very cruel to them also they often are, sewing up their eyes so that
they cannot see to escape. There is a soldier in uniform of bright
Imperial yellow bordered with crimson, carrying an antique matchlock
with long stock, and a flint in his belt. Soon after another passes on
a pony with arquebus and arrows slung across his back, for all Chinese
soldiers must, as in the days of Agincourt, be expert archers.

Here is a caravan of camels bearing loads of tea (and connoisseurs
always prefer that which has thus travelled overland, to the tea
transported by sea), with their slow, stealthy, deliberate walk, and
contemptuous turned-up noses, tied together by the rope passed through
the ring in the nose, attached to the tail of the preceding one. The
last of the string has a bell which keeps slow and solemn time with
his dignified walk, and the driver does not trouble about the end of
the file, unless the stopping of the bell tells him there is something
amiss. A flock of sheep are being driven down that walled lane. They
are white with black spots, and have the great lumps of fat on their
haunches peculiar to the breed of Eastern sheep. If we follow to where
they are going, to the butcher's shop, we shall see the disgusting
scene presented by a slaughter-house open to the street. The animals
will be torn asunder, joint by joint, whilst still warm, with the blood
streaming, and entrails laid bare.

A blue palanquin, with many bearers, is being carried along. There
is a great mandarin squatted inside on the floor, and we can just see
the handsome magnate with his embroidered robes lined with sable, his
turned-up velvet hat with the peacock's feather stuck out straight
behind, the red, blue, or white button on which indicates his rank. He
wears the red, and is going to the Yâmen or Ministry. He is preceded by
a retinue of mounted servants, who summarily clear the way, with the
whip if necessary, and their number announces to the world the rank
and importance of their master. Now there gallop past us a party of
wild-looking Tartars, veritable barbarians they look, with their yellow
faces, short lank hair and fur caps. Comes along next, a wheelbarrow,
with the excruciating squeak of the single front wheel, while the
merchandise is neatly balanced in baskets on either side. It is a
perpetual wonder how they maintain their equilibrium, especially when,
as at Shanghai, they are used for passengers, and there is only _one_
seated on the side.

Now we must make way for this long cart, crowded with passengers,
which corresponds to our omnibus; also for that uncouth-looking waggon,
with its piebald team of a single pony in the shafts, with a troika of
two donkeys and a mule roped in front. Again and again these curiously
mixed teams excite our mirth, the wheeler being often the smaller
animal of the whole. Then there is the never-ceasing stream of those
blue and black covered carts, of which we retain such a lively horror
since our journey from Tungchau, and out of many, jeer the Chinese
ladies, looking with scorn at the "Barbarian's wife" riding a donkey,
whilst they are boxed up safely inside, with a curtain in front, and
guarded by an armah (or maid) seated on the shafts.

Add to all these sights, crowds of donkeys, small and wiry, with
their padded saddles on a wooden frame, with a bulging Chinaman with
swinging pigtail seated far back, and with his legs tucked up, trotting
along--of horsemen on rough Tartar ponies, generally white in colour,
and which run along at a great pace, so that there is no rising in the
saddle, and lastly the mules, a beautiful breed, large and strong, with
glossy coats, cruelly bitted, with a double bit and wire over the upper
gums.

We have grown so accustomed to John Chinaman, with his innocent yellow
face, so smooth and hairless,--except when as a grandfather he wears
a moustache,--his obliquely-slit eyes, and his flowing pigtail, with
plaited ends of cord and tassels, that we have ceased to observe him.
We are now quite familiar with his baggy pantaloons, which sometimes he
binds tightly to the ankle--with his turned-up hat with velvet brim, or
eight-sided cap, always with coloured button atop--with his loose blue
coat fastened by two buttons on one shoulder, with the sleeves hanging
long over the hands, and that serve him as pockets. It is beginning
to get cold, so that the wadded coats worn in winter are coming into
general use. Whilst there is a level monotony of colour in the lower
classes, the upper have the most gorgeous brocaded coats of crimson,
blue, and purple, with pantaloons of other colours, that combine in
pleasing effect. Some of the men have the long claw nail, but only
on the little finger, in token that they do no manual labour, and a
disgusting sight it is to see this transparent substance of several
inches in length, bending backwards and forwards, as they use their
hands.

The pigtail! What is it for? What is its origin? It is simple. The
Tartars were few, the Chinese many. Let not the latter see this and
be tempted to say: "Arise, drive out the conqueror." Let them shave
three-fourths of the head; let the back hair grow long and braid it
into a bridle as is the Tartar custom. The pigtail was intended as a
mark of subjection to signify to the Chinese that, even as it resembled
a horse's tail, so might they be driven like one, whilst the cuff of
the official sleeve to this day is cut into the shape of a horseshoe.

Such, says tradition, was the Manchu order, and off came at a stroke
the heads of the disobedient. Two generations pass, and the Chinese
love the pigtail, as they do to-day, and dread the agents of the Secret
Society snipping it here and there, as an insult to the Tartar.

The Chinese ladies are plain. They wear their black hair plastered
from a flat parting on either side of the face, and with bunches of
artificial flowers and tinsel stuck in, behind the ear, from which
depend long green jade earrings. Others have their hair drawn up
over a comb, to form a top knot, rising about four inches above the
head. There is yet a still more curious fashion of dressing the hair
into a plait wired, so as to stand out from the nape of the neck in
a stiff curve, just like the tail of a cat. It has a most peculiar
appearance. Has it ever struck you, when travelling, as it has me, how
very nearly all the nations of the world have black hair, the English,
Germans and Swedes being nearly the only exceptions? The Chinese women
smear their faces with rouge, beginning by placing one brilliant
vermilion spot under the lower lip. They wear the same dress as the
men, loose trousers and coats, and their clothes are of the brightest
colours--violent greens, blues and purples, richly embroidered in gold
or silver tissue, and rainbow tints. They wear many bangles and rings
of jade or crystal, and a silver circle round the neck. They too have
the long nails, but on all their fingers. We bought some of the pretty
silver claws of immense curving length, which they use as shields.

[Illustration: Her Ladyship's Foot.]

Oh! to see these poor women totter along, just balancing, ready to
fall at every step, with their poor little crippled feet. The weight
of a fair-sized woman is supported on a pair of green or blue pointed
boots, measuring not more than four inches in length. If we could
look inside, we should find the toes laid flat under the sole of the
foot, the great toe meeting the heel. From the moment the bandages are
put on the children, which is at the age of three or four, they are
never removed, however painful the swelling, but drawn tighter and
tighter until the deformity is complete. In the upper classes many of
the ladies have to be carried or supported on either side by an armah
when they walk. And yet they are so proud of their feet, they are such
a marriageable commodity, for big feet are sufficient ground, even
to-day, for a refusal to proceed with a contract of matrimony, that
many are solely deterred from adopting Christianity by the obligations,
imposed by the missionaries, of ordinary feet. A Chinese mandarin who
had studied "England: as she was, and as she is," said to a friend:
"You English seem very fond of your Queen--but is it possible that you
allow yourselves to be governed by a woman, however good, with big
feet?"

It is a comfort here, to meet with the larger and handsomer Manchu
women, who come from Manchuria in Northern China, and are not thus
deformed. We always distinguish these latter by their wonderful
headdress, which consists of a piece of jade, one foot long, and
exactly resembling a paper cutter placed across the head to project
from ear to ear, and round which the hair is twisted.



CHAPTER X.

THE FORBIDDEN CITY.


Now for some of the sights of Peking.

A long hour and a half's ride on donkeys from the British Legation,
brings us to the vicinity of the great temple of Confucius.

We find ourselves on a straight, dusty road, with a gateway at the end.
It was through that gateway, and down this same road, that the British
troops passed, when in 1860 they marched into Peking.

We are frequently seeing painted wooden archways, called Peilaus.
These memorial arches are found all over China. They are only erected
by express permission of the Emperor, to good and public-spirited
persons--to a great man who has given a large sum of money (often
solely for this object), or to a widow who has been sufficiently
virtuous to remain faithful to her husband's memory. Like everything
else, they are generally crumbling or falling crooked.

The approach to the Temple is through a road with a succession of
blank walls, the temple itself being equally well surrounded. Here we
see a man doing penance, shut up in a yellow box, and striking a bell
with a wooden lever at intervals. His punishment will last a month,
and if we could see inside, very likely the box is lined with spikes
or nails, so arranged that they prick the sinner if he changes his
position. Sometimes it is a means resorted to to obtain money to build
a temple. "Give, oh! give. 1000_l._ I must collect before I am released
from this cell."

Foreigners are often refused entrance to the Confucian Temple. We
parley, too, through a crack in the door, and are told "No, big man
is coming." But as usual, greed, in the shape of the golden key
that accomplishes most things, conquers, and amid a rush of dirty
on-lookers, who find entrance with us as the gate is opened, we pass
inside the court of the temple of the Great Teacher. This court is
solemn and silent, neglected and deserted, with its dusky groves of
cryptomerias and cooing grey doves. The paved pathway leads up to
some steps, that pass on either side of a raised stone slab, covered
with ancient hieroglyphics, and embossed dragons with wonderfully
twisted tails. In the inner court is the temple itself, with a roof of
brilliant yellow tiles, and surrounded by pagodas and smaller halls
similarly tiled.

We ascend to a marble terrace with balustrades. The door of the temple
is thrown open, and forth rushes a smell of damp air, and as the gloom
dissipates we cross some matting, raising clouds of dust. By degrees
the lofty proportions of the massive hall, with its roof of blue and
green, supported on colossal teak pillars of wood, painted a dull red,
begin to dawn upon us. We see in the centre the shrine to Confucius,
a humble red wooden tablet, set on a table, bearing this inscription:
"The Tablet of the Soul of the Most Holy Ancestral Teacher, Confucius."
On either side are tablets to the four most distinguished sages, whilst
the others, in a lower position, are for the next best celebrated men
of the Confucianist school. And this is the Literary Temple in which
the Example and Teacher of all Ages, and ten of his great disciples,
worshipped. "All is simple, quiet, and cheerless, fit place for
contemplation, and suitable for the Great Thought-giver."

The Emperor comes here twice a year to worship the venerated sage,
and every sovereign, in token of veneration, presents a "Tablet of
Praise." Each inscription is different, and presents some aspect of
his influence; he is called, "Of all men the Unrivalled," "Equal to
Heaven and Earth," and "Example and Teacher of all Ages." In another
court are seen the celebrated stone drums. They are ten in number, of
grey granite or stone, and are believed to date from the eighth century
B.C., or to be about 2700 years old. The writing on them is in the old
Seal character, and consists of stanzas relating to King Süen's hunting
expeditions. They are the oldest things in a country where everything
is of such antiquity.

On the opposite side of the court is the Hall of the Triennial
Examinations for the highest Literary Degree, the Chinese Doctor of
Literature. "In commemoration of each examination, a stone is erected
with the names of all the doctors. The oldest are three of the Mongol
dynasty, and the Peking University has therefore a complete list for
500 years of its graduates."

Then we cross over to the Classic Hall, where the Emperor meets
the literati and graduates to hear, and sometimes theoretically to
pronounce a literary address. In the centre of the court there is a
pagoda, crowned with a wonderful gold knob (like a mandarin's button at
the top of his hat), and surrounded by an extremely gracefully-wrought
marble trellis-work, enclosing a moat of sluggish green water. Opposite
to it is a beautiful yellow porcelain arch, in three divisions,
interwoven with green tiles, forming a vivid contrast, yet blending
into a harmonious whole. There are other pagodas, containing those
curious memorials, of a pyramidal stone resting on the back of a
tortoise. These are, of course, also to the memory of distinguished
literati. Open sheds surround the court, and inside the black palings,
are the benches where the students sit, when the Emperor comes to hear
the address delivered, and behind, against the wall, the 300 precious
tablets, on which are engraved the authorized texts of the classics,
the oldest remains of ancient Chinese literature. Plenty of other
temples for ordinary worshippers we see, and always know them by the
two poles outside, with gold knobs on the top.

We return to the city down a road which leads past the Drum and Bell
towers, great pagoda-like structures, pierced by solid archways on each
side, standing near together, both 100 feet high. The drum is sounded
at every hour through the long night watches, and can be heard all over
the city. A clepsidra is still kept to mark the time, a good instance
of Chinese conservatism. Near here is the temple where Sir Harry Parkes
and Sir Henry Loch were confined for the latter part of the time they
were prisoners in Peking. Until recently their names could still be
seen written on the wall, which, however, has lately been white-washed,
perhaps purposely. Just before turning into the Meishan we catch a
glimpse, in the far distance, of the beautiful Marble Bridge, spanning
a lake filled with lotus. "Standing on this bridge, one overlooks a
great part of the Imperial palace. The banks of the lake are studded
with castles, temples, and gardens," but this, alas! like so much else
in Peking, is closed to foreigners.

We now pass into the Imperial City, which is guarded within a wall
seven miles in length, and go down a straight road raised in the
centre, the sandy waste between it and the shops being in possession
of cheap-Jacks and old-clothes' men. This road is in wonderful repair.
The Emperor has recently passed over it, and the lanterns are freshly
papered and water-butts are set ready at intervals. Thus the sovereign
remains ignorant of the usual state of the roads, and knows nothing
of the misapplication of public funds. The governor of the city or of
the provinces is responsible for the condition of the roads, but were
His Majesty to elect to make frequent journeys, the "squeezes" of the
mandarins would be ruinous.

The Chinese legal and moral code is of the highest--on paper--but in
practice there is a system of "squeeze," which rules through the length
and breadth of the land; which pervades all business dealings, and
every department of the government, undermining the integrity of the
country. Everybody must have his "squeeze" out of every transaction.
The Viceroy "squeezes"; the Governor "squeezes"; the judge, the
taotaï, the smaller mandarins "squeeze"; for so they live. The pay
is little or nothing. The office is valuable in proportion to its
power to "squeeze." Our "boy" squeezes us, and back again there is a
"squeezissima" within the Royal City itself.

[Illustration: All that is seen of the Forbidden City.]

And now we stand under the walls of the Forbidden City. They are
covered with Imperial yellow tiles, a deep moat surrounds them, and
they are guarded by bannermen. There are but two entrances. There,
straight before us is the Coal Hill, surmounted by a pavilion, within
which the last of the Ming dynasty terminated the life of himself
and his Imperial house, when the victories of the Tartar invader,
the capture of the capital, the submission of the provinces, were
completed. It is an artificial mound, 150 feet high, and as we proceed
round the square of the walls, we see behind, amid the woods, the five
summits, crowned with the five gleaming roofs of peacock blue, green
and yellow of the pavilions and temples of the Prohibited City. Within
its walls are a park and lake.

Little else is to be seen beyond the upper walls and the yellow roofs
of the palaces. There are many of them, none apparently of great size.
But in the centre hall is seated Kwang-Su, "The Son of Heaven," "The
Lord of ten thousand years." The youth of twenty-two, who in his sixth
year, upon "His Majesty the Emperor Tung-che suddenly ascending upon
the Dragon to be a guest on high," was called unexpectedly, like our
own Queen Victoria, from his bed in a distant part of the city to be
saluted, in default of a direct heir, as Emperor of China. Is he the
happier? The Imperial life must be dull and monotonous beyond bearing
for one so young. In the Forbidden City his Majesty must find all
his distractions. To go into the provinces would thrice beggar the
exchequer.

There is the Hall of Highest Peace, where his Majesty gave rare
audience to the representatives of foreign powers. Once only! and what
negotiations it took to bring about! At length, yes! the Son of Heaven
would let the envoys of the outer world look on him. But they must
"kotow" thrice on their knees, touch the ground with their foreheads,
and let the Chinese people take it as the bearing of tribute. No, the
British Lion, and the eagles of Monarchs and Republics, cannot bend the
knee. The point is carried at length. "But," says the Council of State,
"it is only in that outer pavilion that our Lord Buddha will greet you."

The trained consuls report that this again is a mark of contempt, and
must not be allowed. A more fitting place is decided upon. Then shall
the Prince Ching present the letters of credit of the foreign envoys on
his knees? No, that cannot be suffered either. Hand to hand must be the
communication of monarch with monarch.

At length all was arranged. Their Excellencies in stars and orders,
repair to the palace with their staffs. A long wait, with sweetmeats
served, and then the audience.

The German minister, as the senior, reads a short address, and the
envoys are named. Prince Ching takes their several letters of credit,
and places them before the Son of Heaven. He kneels, and the Imperial
youth speaks low a few words.

[Illustration: HOMAGE TO "THE SON OF HEAVEN."]

The president of the Tsung Li Yâmen goes to the ministers, and
repeats them. The audience is over--the spell is broken. But even now
our old friend the Austrian minister, Baron Biegeleben, is finding
great difficulty in arranging for the fitting reception of his Imperial
and Apostolic Majesty's Commission.

It is time this nonsense ceased. If China is within the pale of
nations, she must do as other nations do. If she is not within the roll
of civilized States, she must be dealt with differently. Of two things,
one!

Here is the Hall of Central Peace, where the Emperor examines and
sanctions the prayers for state worship; the Hall of Secure Peace,
where the highest literary degrees are conferred; and the palace of
Heavenly Purity, where the Emperor in the still morning hour of three,
transacts business with his ministers, and which no one enters or
leaves without his express permission.

Here at sunrise, the petitions from the six Boards controlling Imperial
affairs are submitted to the Vermilion Pencil of the Throne; the
prayers also for present and posthumous honours.

Beyond stands the palace of Earth's Repose, where "Heaven's Consort"
rules over her miniature court. Adjoining this is a flower garden. Then
the Hall of Intense Thought; where sacrifices are made to Confucius,
the teacher and thinker. There are other palaces and offices, amongst
them a printing office, for the city is self-contained and need have no
communication with the outer world. No one knows the population inside
this Prohibited City, whether it is great or small. It is wrapped in
mystery, and the imagination is free to float round the holy of holies,
this Unknown Capital of the Flowery Land.

There are said to be beautiful gardens, with fountains and cascades.
But what can make up for the want of variety? Occasionally "the Son of
Heaven" goes forth to worship the ashes of his ancestors, or the earth
and the moon, at this or that temple.

Then the way is cleared of all persons--and matting is put up on
either side of the roadway to prevent the Celestial eyes falling on
the people, or the people from seeing their sovereign. The foreign
ministers are required to warn their nationals to keep away from the
neighbourhood.

Unfortunate Majesty! How the young Emperor must yearn for some
knowledge and experience of the outer world, something more than the
views of the aged mandarins around him, to guide him in his decisions.
Small wonder that he should reject the suggestion recently made of the
censor (who is permitted even to rebuke the throne), that for some
hours in each day he should, in addition, have the ancient classics
read to him. They say that his youthful Majesty is not wanting in
intelligence and ability, and it is even whispered that some of the
rescripts of the Imperial _Gazette_ of Peking issue from his own hand.
Perhaps too he may look wistfully towards the mausolea being prepared
for the Empresses-Dowager, and wonder if they will prove true to their
names: "Happy Homes for a myriad years."

We meet a wedding procession as we proceed; indeed, we are constantly
getting mixed up in these straggling processions, for both yesterday
and to-day the horoscope has cast as lucky, and they have perhaps been
long waited for. The one is the Fête of the God of Wealth and the
Golden Dragon King; the other of the God of Fire and the Inventor of
Writing. Everything is scarlet. First come the bannermen, bearing aloft
on poles red boards, on which are inscribed the titles of the father of
the bride. They are generally a string of dirty men and boys, the scum
of the city, dressed in scarlet, with black hats and feathers sticking
up like a Red Indian. More men follow, carrying lanterns and draped
pagodas, and a cage with white ducks, an emblem of conjugal fidelity.
Next comes the band, with enormous drums, draped in red and yellow
silk, and ludicrous gilt trombones, which the musician puffs valiantly
into, only to produce a sound like the wheeze of a bagpipe. Lastly
comes the closed palanquin, richly gilt and embroidered, followed
by another containing the parents. It is the day of triumph for the
almond-eyed one with the little feet, within the closely-curtained
vermilion palanquin. With blare of trumpets and songs of joy she is
borne through the streets, securely locked, to the bridegroom's house,
where the mother delivers her up with the key of the chair, to the
husband, to whom in childhood's innocent hours she was affianced.

All day we are passing houses, outside which are lanterns on red poles,
arranged in a square, with archways and decorations, and waiting
palanquins and carts, whilst the feast is proceeding inside. In the
afternoon we see several whence the guests are streaming away from the
festivity, the ladies of small feet being carried by their attendants
to their palanquins. It is the prerogative of every poor relation and
connection to attend this feast, and often the parents can ill afford
such an expense; still, it must be done, or "face" will be lost. Like
the "squeeze," this "face," or prestige, is another prominent feature
of Chinese life. It is as pronounced as the caste difficulty in India,
and pervades every detail of life. The most roundabout methods and
transparent deceits are resorted to, to save a man's "face," viz. his
credit, or renown.

A funeral is an equally elaborate ceremony. We saw preparations for
one in a village, coming up the Peiho. Outside the deceased's house
were erected straw archways, whilst a catafalque of enormous dimensions
was waiting at the door. As we watched, a life-sized wooden horse, with
a sham rider, arrived, drawn on a board, to figure in the procession.
The mourners will all wear white, and as many as sixty-four men will
aid in carrying the coffin to its resting-place. Food and money will be
offered to the evil spirits to propitiate them, and every care taken
that the spirit of the deceased shall rest in peace.

Then the tablet will be placed in the family memorial chamber, and
sons and grandsons, and great granddaughters and their children, will
come in the ages of the future, to tell the spirit of the departed,
of the marriage, of the illness, of the promotion, or the fall of a
descendant. It may be, too, that a future scion of the house may render
service to the State--be made a Viceroy, a President of a Board, a
Member of the Grand Council. Will his Imperial Master reward him with
title to descend in a few months to an unworthy son? No, the peerage,
the honour, will be posthumously rendered by decree of the emperor
to the ancestor, be so notified in the Peking _Gazette_, and, amid a
gathering of all kindred, be heralded unto the great Unknown in the
Memorial Hall. "Great is the son who bringeth his father honour."

For this ancestor-worship seems to be the only religion which the
people practise. Some are Confucians, some Buddhists, some Taoists,
but they are held as only moral and perfunctory faiths, whereas this
worship of the dead is very real to them, and faithfully performed.
They do right, because they fear to disturb the spirits of their
forefathers, who will haunt their homes and cause evil to fall on their
families, if they do wrong.

We return home by an even dirtier and more slovenly road, past the
various Yâmens of the Board of Works, the Board of War, and the Navy,
and the Board of Punishments, which obtained such a bad notoriety for
the cruelties perpetrated in 1860. There is nothing, however, to see
from outside, but an archway leading to several courts.

We spent the afternoon in visiting the various Missionary
Establishments of the different nationalities, which have their
headquarters at Peking. First to the spacious compound of the American
Methodist Episcopal Church, where we saw the boys' and girls' school,
the sleeping apartments and dining halls, for they feed and house, but
do not clothe them. Their method is to admit the scholars and give
them a Christian education, with good influences, without, however,
obliging them to become Christians. But whether the writing of essays
in English, and the teaching of the piano to girls, is conducive to or
comes under the head of missionary work, I am not competent to judge. I
should think it better if the teachers were to learn Chinese, and teach
the children in their own language, a knowledge of English not being
essential to their becoming Christians.

Next we visited a branch of the French Roman Catholic Mission, which,
under the able leadership of Père Favier, has done much good work.
The school with its day scholar's enclosure, lies under the beautiful
Roman Catholic Church, with its twin pinnacles and splendid interior,
the altar being inlaid with cloisonné. The organ was bought with the
proceeds of the sale of a valuable carpet that came into the hands of
the Fathers. The cathedral and bishop are at Peitang on the other side
of the city. Since the early days of the Jesuit Fathers, the Roman
Catholics have always been active in China. They claim to have 700,000
converts. Their success, in comparison with other sects, may perhaps be
attributed to the fact, that their ritual and gaily decorated churches
are more attractive, and in accordance with the Buddhist religion and
temples; but it must also be said, that the priests go amongst the
people, adopt their life, and wear Chinese clothes, including the
pigtail. Aided by the nuns, they minister to the temporal wants of
the population, as well as the spiritual. Also these priests, when
they leave France, come out for life and receive only 100 taels, or
20_l._ a year, whilst the American missionaries are reputed to receive
100 taels _a month_, and 200 taels a year for every child. Perhaps
this may account for their numerous families. The S.P.G. Branch of
mission work under Bishop Scott boasts, alas! few converts in their
schools, but as they are thorough, and refuse to have any suspicion of
"rice Christians," as the doubtful converts are called, this can be
accounted for. The London Mission does good work, but perhaps the most
successful of all is the China Inland Mission, owing its existence to
its north-country founder--Hudson Taylor--a man unknown to great fame,
but who has done, and is doing a great work in this far-distant corner
of the world.

We expected to hear a great deal about these late riots at Wuhu, or
Wusueh, when we came to Peking. We had read the alarming articles in
the North China _Daily News_ of the excited state of the country, the
imminent dangers hanging over the European population at the Treaty
Ports, and of the arming of the British Legation here. We are almost
disappointed to find a serene atmosphere of safety.

There are some who are found to attribute the pretext for the
commencement of these riots to the Roman Catholic nuns, who by
succouring the foundlings, especially the despised females, to educate
in their convent schools, arouse the suspicion of kidnapping them for
the purposes of witchcraft. The mortality being high, they are even
accused of taking out the eyes of children to make an elixir of life,
and of other atrocities. The same charge brought about the dreadful
massacre of Tientsin in 1870. More probably, however, this is only an
excuse for a rising, which is really fomented by one of those secret
societies, like the Kalao Hui, which honeycomb China.

Peking is celebrated for its furs, particularly for sables. London is
the great market of the world, receiving the supplies of the Hudson Bay
Company and Canada, but whenever an emperor or prince or great noble in
Russia requires a fur, it is to Peking that they send. The sables are
wonderfully cheap, only costing from 6 to 8 dollars each, but, owing
to a difference of treatment in smoking, they are not so dark as those
we call Russian sables. They have also a good many white hairs. There
are squirrel skins of soft, brown fur, thousands being sewn together to
form a single coat. Then there are black and white astrakans, beaver,
and otter, and that lovely, silky white fur, the wool of the Tibet
sheep. We were offered a mandarin's sable robe, perhaps a booty from
the looting of the Summer Palace, for 300 dollars, and I think we shall
always regret that we did not invest in it as an heirloom.

We came out of the Legation Hall one morning, to find a picturesque
sight of curio dealers squatted beside their blue bundles, or spreading
their bright-coloured embroideries, under the open pagoda porches of
this princely palace.

Peking is known for the antiquity and splendour of its
embroideries,--the best in China; but I cannot fancy golden dragons
on cerise satin grounds, or pink flowers on an ultramarine blue,
nor yet all the flaming purples, crimsons and oranges (the Imperial
yellow alone being beautiful), after the delicate half-tones, and
pale tints of the Japanese embroideries. It is always the same in
China. Everything is ugly, the colouring and designs hideous. They are
grotesque and not quaint, gaudy and not brilliant. And we have visited
many curio shops, only to leave them in despair. The single beautiful
things are the _objets de vertu_ in jade and crystal, tiny cups and
vases, snuff bottles, carved images, all so delicately wrought, but
charged for as if worth their weight in gold.

Then tiffen with Sir Robert Hart, the chief of the Imperial Maritime
Customs. He has been out here for 30 years, and knows as much as any
man, probably a thousand-fold more, about China. His conversation was
most interesting. His position is unique, for Sir Robert collects and
has absolute control over all the levies on foreign goods; and a large
part of the finances of China pass through his hands.

We proceed to see the Examination Hall of the second and third degrees,
that for the first being held under the Emperor's eyes.

This Examination is a remarkable feature in Chinese life. It is the
ambition of every man, whatever his position or calling, to become a
student, for it is the avenue to all greatness, and the means whereby
all posts of honour or emolument are to be obtained.

Strange it is that in this stronghold of conservatism, there should
be found such a radical feature, whereby the humblest-born may raise
himself by his own efforts to the rank of "big" mandarin. Very
honourable it is, too, that the greatest attainment, the highest
ambition and reward which the country offers, is the possession of this
much coveted "First Degree." Year after year, the same men come up,
and it must be a noble and touching sight, when, as is sometimes the
case, an old man of ninety will offer himself. Though after a certain
age, three trials entitle aged candidates to a degree _honoris causa_.
These examinations are held in each province, and consist entirely in
the writing of essays on classical subjects. The successful ones are
afterwards published, and the victorious candidates accorded public and
local honours.

We pass through some empty courts, under several peilaus, erected in
honour of great scholars, once gay with rainbow paint, but now, of
course, dusty and decaying. We can go no further--for across the great
doors is placed an official seal, consisting of two strips of red paper
placed crossways. We presume that the examination is still proceeding;
10,400 students from this great province of Chihli having presented
themselves this year. The great expense, and the slow, tedious journey
to Peking, does not deter the aspirants. For fourteen days and nights
they are shut up in separate cells, with desk, chair, paper, pen and
ink, their provisions being handed to them through a trap door in the
wall. Thankful they must be when the ordeal is over.

We went on the last afternoon to see the Tsungli Yâmen, or Foreign
Office--the Board which alone has dealings with the representatives of
foreign countries. We pity these in their frequent pilgrimages thither;
for to reach it we passed through a succession of the filthiest lanes,
tortuous and narrow, bordered with stinking heaps of rubbish. In one
of these was the green lion-guarded residence of the Emperor's cousin,
Prince Tung, and all these fashionable dwelling-houses with their
crumbling walls, from which the coatings of whitewash are peeling, are
surrounded by these disgusting passages. Arrived at the Tsungli Yâmen,
I only see the outer gateways of green and gold, for of course its
desecration by feminine feet is not to be thought of.

Peking is for this reason a disappointment. There is so much to
see, and yet so little that can be seen. Of recent years they have
closed nearly everything to foreigners, and the bitter feeling against
Europeans seems to be increasing. The Lama Temple you cannot visit
on account of the hostile attitude of the people. Closed are all
the Imperial buildings of the Prohibited City. The Marble Bridge,
the Temple of Agriculture, where the emperor ploughs a furrow in
springtime, but above all, invisible is the Temple of Heaven.

This latter temple is the most interesting sight of the Chinese
City. Its name properly speaking, means, "the Altar of Heaven," for
the Emperor attends here to sacrifice twice a year. It is said that
"The worship of the Heaven or Supreme Ruler is the most important
of all the state observances in China", before the rationalism of
the Confucianists and the polytheistic superstition of Buddhism
predominated. There are no images of any kind in the temple, and the
offering of whole burnt bullocks, strikingly reminds us of the ancient
custom of western religions, as that of the Hebrews and Greeks. The
ceremonies of the sacrifices are kept with the utmost severity, and are
of a very complicated nature.

The chief sacrifice is at the winter solstice. On the 20th day of
December, the offerings and an elephant carriage are sent with great
array to the temple, and on the 21st the Emperor follows in a sedan
chair, covered with yellow silk, and carried by thirty-two men; he is
preceded by a band of musicians, and followed by an immense retinue,
including the princes, high officials, "big" and "little" mandarins,
all on horseback. Having arrived at the temple, His Majesty offers
incense to Heaven and to his ancestors, and inspects the offerings;
then he is conveyed on the elephant carriage to the Palace of
Abstinence, where he is not allowed to take any animal food or wine,
nor to sleep. Next morning, seven quarters before sunrise, he puts
on his sacrificial robes and goes to the southern gate of the outer
enclosure, dismounts from the carriage and walks to the great altar,
where an Imperial yellow tent has been erected on the second terrace.
At the moment he arrives at the spot where he kneels, the fire of the
sacrifice is kindled and music is heard. The Emperor then proceeds
to the upper terrace of the altar, kneels and burns incense before
Heaven and also presents incense to his ancestors. Then he makes three
genuflections, and one prostration, and offers bundles of silk, jade
cups and other gifts, music being heard all the time. Afterwards he
kneels at another point of the altar, where an officer reads a prayer
aloud. At last he receives kneeling the "cup of happiness" and the
"flesh of happiness." With the first dawn the whole party return to the
palace. Foreigners, who watched the party when passing the Ch'ien-men
from the city wall, speak highly of the splendid appearance of the
whole procession: hundreds of officials in brilliant robes of state and
numberless followers on horseback, among them a company of the Imperial
Life Guards.

[Illustration: THE GREAT WALL.]

A similar sacrifice takes place at the spring solstice, with the same
ceremonies, at the northern altar, but the motive is the special prayer
for a prosperous harvest, whilst the winter sacrifice is offered for a
blessing upon the whole empire.

We cannot see the ruins of the Summer Palace, the Yuan-ming-yuan,
or Round and Splendid Garden, and which is distant about ten miles
from Peking. "It is a delightful park with a rich variety of groves,
temples, lakes, palaces and pavilions," and must from the photographs
be very beautiful. It stands there for ever, as a memorial left to
embitter the Chinese against us, yet who could say but that Lord Elgin,
by destroying the Palace of their thrice sacred monarch, brought home
to them a fit and righteous judgment?

But our greatest disappointment of all is that we must give up a five
days' expedition to the Great Wall if we would take the French mail
from Shanghai. "Fancy going to Peking and not seeing _the_ Wall!" I
can hear someone exclaim. Well, we shall not be all unique in this,
for three-fourths of the hundred foreigners who live in Peking have
never been, nor ever intend to go. An artificial interest, all out of
proportion to the reality, is created by its great antiquity. Finished
in 204. B.C. (for it took ten years in building) for 1500 miles this
great wall, which was intended to keep out all the enemies of China,
runs up and down the northern face of the country, in one place over a
peak of 5225 feet high. It is constructed of earth and stones. It has
been truly said: "that looking over the surface of our globe, it is the
only artificial structure that would arrest the gaze."

The grapes are sour. For after all, the visitors who go do not see the
real Great Wall, but only a spur of more modern date. Also the walls of
Peking are considerably higher and more imposing.

As is only fit and proper, for they are the most interesting feature
of the city, we make our farewell to Peking from those grand Walls.



CHAPTER XI.

SHANGHAI AND HONG-KONG.


We left Peking at dawn. Through the silent streets of the Tartar
City we drove, passing for the last time through the Gate of Sublime
Learning on to the sandy waste outside, jolting along under the great
Walls, with the sun rising to meet us.

We are returning to Tungchau by the Canal, and so saving the penalties
of the road and the dust, but owing to the numerous locks, we have
to transship no less than five times from one boat to another. This
waterway is in connection with the great Imperial canal, another,
like the Great Wall, of those time-enduring monuments of the industry
of a great people--and serves to transport the tribute of rice from
the south to Peking. The locks are very picturesque, being built of
yellow blocks of stone, over which the running water forms a waterfall
overshadowed by trees. It is a quaint slow mode of travelling, gently
rippling along over the mirror surface of the water, past great
rustling beds of pampas grass twelve feet high, opposite one of which
some Chinese sportsmen, with their matchlocks and lighted fuses, are
crouched ready to fire at the wild ducks that abound in these watery
marshes. Amongst the groves of trees, which look golden in their autumn
foliage against a clear blue sky, we see many memorial peilaus, and
those other monuments of stone pyramids springing from the back of a
huge tortoise. The air is still and clear as early autumn, and the
sounds from the mud villages we pass, are borne clearly to us. The
walls of Peking, with their crenellated gateways, are just fading away
into the blue haze.

Five hours of tedious progress makes our eyes glad to see the beautiful
carved bridge of Palikiao, where the combat in 1860 took place, and
the damage then done to the bridge has never been repaired. In a few
minutes more the pagoda of Tungchau looms up, and the canal rapidly
narrows.

We reach Tungchau in a veritable dust-storm, that blows the loose sand
by the banks into spiral columns and pillars, and embark once more
on the house-boat. It seems quite like coming home. Then we begin
the Peiho's weary succession of winding reaches, with the endless
continuation of mud banks and yellow water.

The prospect next morning was disheartening. The wind was strong and
dead ahead, and though our men had worked all night, certain landmarks
told us that our progress was far from satisfactory. All through that
long day we crawled along; weary work it was for our poor tired crew.
As bend after bend opened out before us and receded, each one so
exactly like the other, we registered a hope that we might never more
see the Peiho. Evening closed in, night succeeded, and we yet vainly
looked for the lights of Tientsin. As so often happens after a long
watching, we seemed to arrive suddenly. Our plank door was removed, and
we found ourselves at Tientsin and the Bridge of Boats, and amid the
grateful "kotows" of our men for a gratuity well earned by such patient
toil, we sped in jinrikishas through the dimly-lighted city, where
everyone carries his own swinging coloured lantern, to the Consulate
once more.

We found a China Merchant's steamer, the _Shin Sheng_, leaving
Tientsin the next morning, and embarked at once. Two unsuccessful
attempts at turning the steamer opposite the wharf we made; the third
succeeded, but when she was broadside across the stream, stem and stern
touched the banks. We passed safely through the perilous bends of the
river, only grounding occasionally, but once the bows of the _Shin
Sheng_ ran up on to the bank, and cut clean away quite ten feet of it.
A little mud-house stood on the angle, and the old village harpy to
whom it belonged, came out and shook her fist at the captain on the
bridge, showering imprecations on his head, and small wonder, for some
time previously the bows of his ship had gone _into_ her house and
wrecked it! We breathed more freely when the forts of Taku passed, the
Bar, or "Heaven-sent Barrier," crossed, and the pilot left behind, we
emerged without mishap into the Yellow Sea.

We had a fearful tossing in the Gulf of Pecheli. At Chefoo we called
for cargo. It is a pretty seaside place, with a splendid beach and
bathing sands, a boon to the residents of Shanghai, who either come
here or go to Japan for the summer months. It was too rough for the
lighters to come off, so we anchored for the night. The next morning
a gale was blowing in the roadstead--the breaking of the north-east
monsoon--and we had to move round under the lea of the bluff. Our
hearts sink within us, and we despair of catching the French mail,
which means waiting at Shanghai a week for the P. and O. Returning when
the gale moderated, the agent sent off to say that we were to start
at once and not wait for the cargo, so we have wasted eighteen hours
rolling and knocking about for nothing.

We had not gone more than two miles out, when the engineer sent to say
that a valve was leaking; this necessitated putting back again, and a
further delay. At last we get really off. Certainly we have endured
much to see Peking. Two days afterwards we are in the mouth of the
Yangtze, anxiously looking for the black funnels of the _Messageries_
boat. We know she should have left at noon to-day, and it is just that
hour. Yes, it is all right. She is still there, surrounded by lighters,
and we steam close to find out that she sails in twenty hours. There
has been a delay of one day, luckily for us.

We proceed up the Woosung tributary of the Yangtze. It is a glorious
morning. The junks, painted in gaudy colours, with the all-seeing,
staring white and black eye, glide past us. The banks are lined with a
fort, factories, dock and ship-building yard, a gay scene of thriving
commercial activity. Before us now opens out the bright green lawn of
the Bund, of Shanghai, with its blue-roofed pagoda for the band, backed
by a row of handsome oriental-looking houses and "hongs," with green
blinds and deep verandas. There is the buff and grey of the German
consulate, and the grey and red of the Japanese, whilst the French
tricolour flies over, and indicates the French settlement, and in the
far corner, to the right, is the British flag over our own consulate
and garden. The numerous tributaries of the Yangtze are bridged over,
and join the quay together.

One of the prettiest sights in coming up to Shanghai, or "upper Sea,"
is to see the men-of-war and gun-boats of all nations, lying side by
side in the river before the Bund. There are English, American, French,
German, Spanish, and Japanese men-of-war and a Chinese gunboat, each
floating their star and stripes, tricolour, Union Jack, Black Eagle,
red ball on a white ground (Japanese) and the Imperial Dragon.

Shanghai is a gay, bright clean place, where upwards of 4000 Europeans
reside, the majority being British. These claim for it the title of
the Paris of the East, and the shops and broad well-kept streets make
it worthy of the name. You have, too, the picturesque element of
Chinese life without the accompanying dirt and squalor, for the typical
Chinese town with its filthy narrow streets is relegated to the back
of the settlement. All life centres on the Bund, which we and everyone
else are always passing up and down; and here amongst the smart
little broughams, that are like Indian gharries, and the Victorias,
dog-carts, and phaetons, with their scarlet-clad mafoos and syces,
mingle the sedan-chairs of magnates, the Chinese wheelbarrow, with the
passengers balancing on either side, and the brightly lined green and
red jinricksha. There is the same cosmopolitan crowd on the pavements
overflowing into the road, for the white "ducks" and flannels of the
Europeans, mingle with the bright blue, green, maroon, crimson, brown
and yellow coats of the merchants and compradores. For many of the
hongs (as the places of business are called) are on the Bund--whilst
the loose coats and shiny trousers of the Chinese ladies, with their
smooth coils of black hair interlaced with green jade hair-pins and
long pendant earrings, are seen side by side with the flowing robes and
turbaned heads of an Indian.

We called at the British consulate, which lies in an enclosure of
spacious green lawn with palms and flower-beds. There stands here a
superb granite cross erected to the memory of the five victims, and
companions of Sir Harry Parkes, and to avenge whose murder, the Summer
Palace was burnt and looted by the French. Further along, on the Bund,
is the statue to Sir Harry Parkes, a little man with large whiskers,
but a very able diplomatist, whose death was universally mourned by
the Europeans in China. The English cathedral and deanery lie at the
back of the Bund. The streets are so broad and clean, the roads so
firm, that it is a pleasure to be on them, particularly after those
of Peking. It is because they are under the supervision of an English
Municipal Council, and they deserve for them the greatest credit.

At four o'clock we went to a meet of the Tandem Club, the last of the
season, held in front of the bank. There are fifteen members, but ten
only turned out, and were led off by the only tandem of horses. The
other teams were all of the short-necked, thick-set, Chinese ponies
driven in a modified dog-cart. Then we strolled along on the grass
under the trees to the gardens, to listen to the Manila band. These
gardens slope with green lawns to the water's edge, and the wandering
paths lead by beds, bright with heliotrope, geraniums, chrysanthemums,
and tropical growths of banyan trees, palms, magnolias, indiarubber
and castor-oil plants, amidst which pale-faced children are playing in
charge of their Chinese amahs. In the evening we dined with Mr. and
Mrs. Robert Little. He is the able editor of the _North China Daily
News_.

On a lovely Sunday morning we embark on the steam tug, and once more,
for the third and last time, go down to Woosung. In an hour we are
on board the Messageries Maritime's s.s. _Calédonien_, critically
surveying our home for the next five weeks.

The Messageries line has the advantage of the P. and O. in that they
are more generous in giving separate cabins, the cuisine is said to be
better, and indeed they take trouble to make it so, sending the cooks
every two years back to a restaurant in Paris. It is also an immense
boon (which everybody who has travelled much will appreciate) to have
fixed places for dinner only, and at the other meals a free choice of
companions. The saloon is spacious, and there is a splendid promenade
deck, which is, however, somewhat spoilt by the influx of too numerous,
second-class passengers, who share the privilege of using it.

[Illustration: Harbour of Hong-Kong.]

The north-east monsoon is with us, and in two days and a half from
leaving Shanghai, and after passing through the Straits of Formosa,
between the mainland of China and the island of that name, past Foochow
and Amoy, which are too far distant to be seen, we anchor at Hong Kong
at midnight. Though dark, it is a starlight night. Hong Kong, or "Good
Harbour," presents itself to us in bright electric arches of light,
thrown far up on the sides of the peak, whilst its beautiful harbour
is traced out for us by the twinkle of lights from the sampans, moored
in hundreds along the wharf, by the swiftly moving jinricksha lights
coursing along the road of the sea-shore, and the dots of lights on the
rocking masts or the gleaming eyes of steam-tugs in the harbour.

We have decided to give up Canton, see what we can of Hong Kong in the
time the steamer stays, and not wait a week for the next mail.

I was once told that no one has ever done justice to the beauties of
Hong Kong, and as we landed at sunrise on the quay I was inclined to
agree to this. The deep verandas of the Eastern-looking houses, with
their pale pink and drab tints, the cool arcades, and above all the
tropical wealth of vegetation, makes Hong Kong the prettiest of Eastern
cities.

Leaving Queen's Road, we are carried up in chairs under a lovely
overhanging avenue of banyan trees, whose huge knotted roots lie round
the path, whilst from the grateful shade of their thick leaves above,
depend the long thread-like tendrils, forming a transparent curtain.
Past the grey, weather-stained cathedral we go, hidden away in a little
recess under the hills, past the barracks, whence sound the bagpipes of
Princess Louise's Highlanders, to the station of the mountain railway
up the peak. "The Peak"--what would Hong Kong be without this prominent
feature? True, by keeping off the sea-breezes and by penning the town
in the narrow strip between the harbour and the mountain, it makes
it steamy, unhealthy, fever-stricken and well-nigh uninhabitable in
summer, but then it provides a sanatorium on the many summits of its
heights, where every available platform is occupied by a house.

Unflinchingly straight up runs the line of the railway, and as we
ascend, we look down on the roofs of the houses, perched without any
sequence, up and down the side of the hills, into gardens and tennis
courts, and the green waters of a reservoir below; over the black
and white speckled mass that stands for the town, further out to the
harbour, a blue pond studded with black spots by the steamers, whilst
the sampans are brown dots. The range of barren rocky mountains close
round the harbour, and there is Koolong, with its wharves and godowns,
on the Chinese mainland, whilst we are on the Island of British soil.
It is a beautiful view, this bird's-eye panorama of the town and
harbour, from Victoria gap.

You must see the Peak to realize its real height, its scarcely sloping
shoulders, covered with tropical growth in the valley, growing scantier
and scantier, until you reach the summit, bare and rocky. Two enormous
hotels, and many houses, populate the spacy crest. And the peep over
the other side of green rounded hills, running down to the sea, is
simply lovely, whilst the views from every point are far-reaching and
exhaustive. We take chairs and go to the point, but one degree lower
than the topmost one, where stands the signal station, to the bungalow
of Government House. Early as it is, and late in the season, we find
the heat terrific. Everyone is obliged to come and live up here in the
summer, the nights in Hong Kong bringing no relief, and the difference
in the temperature is often as much as 9°. As we return we meet all the
business men, in the coolest of white costumes, being carried in chairs
by coolies in smart uniforms of white with blue or scarlet sashes, to
the station, going down to town for the day's work.

In descending, we return to the main thoroughfare of Queen's Road,
and after some shopping, go to the City Hall, and the marble palace
of the Shanghai and Hong Kong bank, where I wait outside to watch
the ever-varying stream of passers-by. Chinamen in their cool cotton
jackets and glazed pantaloons, coolies with their bamboo-slung burdens,
sedan-chairs, jinrickshas, wheelbarrows, chairs, Sikh policemen with
their scarlet turbans, Cinghalese, Parsees, mingling with our own
officers and soldiers, under the shadow of the trees.

And then we drive out to the Happy Valley, and come suddenly upon that
beautiful green lawn, lying so naturally in the midst of luxuriantly
wooded hills. It is truly a felicitous little spot, with its racecourse
marked out by white railing and its Grand Stand. But it is the cemetery
which fills us with admiration, and one would fain that the Happy
Valley were not desecrated by the racecourse, but rather consecrated to
the peaceful repose of the dead. They are separated only by the breadth
of the road.

Of all the God's acres in all parts of the world, including the
beautiful one of Mount Auburn, at Boston, but perhaps excepting the
English cemetery on the heights of Scutari, at Constantinople, or
that at Cannes, this one of the Happy Valley is the most perfect.
Entering by a gate in the walls, you find yourself in a tropical
garden, skilfully laid out, and growing around you in profuse
luxuriance,--palms with graceful waving arms, mighty clumps of
feathery bamboos, delicate spreading tree ferns, crotons of orange
and yellow and variegated green, hibiscus with their single blood-red
blossom, colias, camellia and azaleas, bushes of flowering wax-like
alamanders, trailing masses of purple buganvillea, all the hot-house
flowers we prize at home, and that grow so unwillingly with us, when
compared to this almost oppressive wealth of nature. Amongst the bright
gravel paths and green lawns, rise massive pillars, granite crosses
and cenotaphs, memorials erected by soldiers and sailors to their
comrades--to many who, alas! have perished from the deadly effects of a
climate which yet produces all this beauty that is around us.

We return to luncheon at Government House, on the kindly invitation of
General and Mrs. Barker, the acting-governor until Sir William Robinson
arrives next month. With a scramble, and the aid of the Government
steam-launch, we just catch the _Calédonien_ as she weighs anchor. We
passed out through the southern passage of the Island, on our way to
Saigon, the capital of French Cochin China.



CHAPTER XII.

COCHIN CHINA.


For the last two days we have been in sight of the coast of Annam.

When shall we be at Cape St. Jacques? Shall we lose the tide? This is
the question which one asks of the other on board. And by 6 a.m. we
find ourselves at rest, waiting outside the bar of the river Dannai,
for the tide to turn, to ascend inland to Saigon. Saigon is the French
capital of Cochin China, or Indo-China, as it is called, and is the
chief city of the provinces of Annam, Tonquin, and before long of
Gambogia, when the present King dies.

Cape St. Jacques is a pretty green foreland, jutting out into the
sea, fringed with cocoa-nut palms, and has a large white hotel, built
by the Pilot. Surely by this roadstead upon the hills, courting the
breezes of the north-east monsoon, with the ample anchorage in the
rear, the French might have fixed the capital of Cochin China. But
no. They placed it, as in olden time, far up a tortuous river, with a
narrow channel. The delay, and the pilotage, frighten away the ocean
greyhounds of commerce.

We weigh anchor. It is one o'clock. The sun is blazing hot, and there
is not a breath of air. But it is cool, they say, compared to what
Saigon will be. We shall see. Now we are in the winding channel. North,
south, east, west, we steer. Larboard! Triboard! Four hours we steam up
the river Dannai, with its flat banks of mangrove swamps, and tangle of
tropical vegetation, where they say tigers come out to sun themselves
on the sands. We sight at length the cathedral towers of Saigon.
They are to the right of us. In another instant they will be to the
left. Then we appear to have passed them, for we see the town on the
starboard quarter.

But at five we are at the quay, which is shaded by avenues of trees,
with the hibiscus, blossoming garden of the agent's house opposite--an
old temple with rows of fierce-tailed dragons guarding the roof. On the
wharf, the usual motley crowd thickening every minute as the news of
our arrival spreads, whilst Victorias, drawn by those beautiful, though
rat-like, ponies that are bred in Tonquin, are in waiting. These latter
only come out at five in the evening, and in the daytime we must be
content with the malabars, as the shuttered gharries are called, from
the Annamite name of the coachman.

We take the fashionable drive of Saigon, the _tour d'inspection_. Off
we go, flying as the wind, past some native houses, built on piles over
a green swamp, with waving palms above them. Here flourish the Cochin
China pig, the real pig of original breed, with its pink, bow-shaped
back, and earth-touching stomach, and the bright-plumaged Cochin China
fowls. We should like to buy specimens of the animals that have made
Cochin China celebrate at home, but doubt the warmth of our reception
on board-ship if we return with them. We cross the bridge, and look
over the hundreds of sampans that swarm up this creek of the river;
then drive along for a few yards by the steam tramway which connects
the China town of Cholons with Saigon, out under the cool wide avenues
of the Quai du Commerce, with its arsenal and Bureaux d'Affaires. The
roads are as flat and firm as a billiard table.

Beautiful boulevards, wide streets, great cafés, where pale-faced
Frenchmen sip absinthe and petits verres. It is Paris. Bravo, La
France! But it would be much better for these gay causeurs, to play
lawn-tennis, and football, cricket, rackets and rounders, as do the
English at Hong Kong, Singapore, and Colombo, thus defying, in large
measure, or at least postponing, the action of the tropics. It is
thirty years since the French acquired Saigon and Cochin China. At
one time it promised to be a prosperous colony. But that day is past.
Commercial depression reigns supreme, and France wearies of the large
subsidies swallowed up without results by Tonquin. That, though, is not
our business. We rather admire the feats of engineering, of laying out,
and the horticultural skill.

[Illustration: BOTANICAL GARDEN, SAIGON.]

We see this in perfection in the Jardin d'Acclimitasion, but with a
wealth of natural vegetation, how easy it is to make a garden such a
paradise as is this. In the deep bend of the river are the green lawns
and forest-trees of this botanical garden. There are banyan trees with
their trellise curtains of roots sweeping the ground, cacti in a mighty
spiky group, standing apart. Single aloes, with their blooming crests,
and the palms--they form a palmery of themselves, with the various
specimens of cocoa or tree palms, their straight grey stems tufted at
the top; of sago palms, with their graceful curving arms, shadowing the
lawns; of travellers, with their hands of mighty fingers outspread from
the single stem, all and every kind luxuriantly magnificent, a single
one of which would assist in making the fortune of a London florist,
such as we who see them dwarfed and frozen when exiled to our northern
climes, are scarcely able to realize that they are of the same species.
There are magnolias and camellias, growing to the height of our
forest trees, bamboo clumps, whose single-jointed stems spring equally
high, and mimosa trees, with their tender sensitive leaf, as spreading
as our chestnuts. And all these trees are banked up with and grow out
of brilliant beds of variegated green and yellow crotons, of caladiums,
with their enormous boat-shaped leaves of pink oleanders, of crimson
hibiscus, and purple bougainvillea, and cconvolvulus, whilst orange
and lemon trees, India rubber and mangoes, mingle with the heavy green
and yellow melon-like fruit of the pommelo. In the midst of this is an
aviary, and cages of rare animals, natives of these tropical regions.
We particularly notice the white pigeon, with the single blood-red spot
on the bosom.

We wander about in the dusky growth of overpowering luxuriance,
which to us appears so supremely beautiful, but which they say in its
monotonous green, palls upon you when you live amongst it. We come upon
a cool arbour, formed of green lattices overgrown with creepers and
passion flower, containing an exquisite fernery, damp and green, with
a collection of orchids of the rarest kinds--indeed, we saw several
specimens of the hardier ones in purple and yellow, growing on the
trees near the wharf. The twilight of this little open-air conservatory
is made darker by the enormous bananas outside, under whose pale green
sword-like leaves, cluster such heavy bunches of fruit, fifty or sixty
on a single stalk.

Night though closes quickly in, and if we would see the Annamite
suburbs we must give rein to our impatient little black steeds and bowl
swiftly out into the country, by some fields of brilliant pale green
rice, where the monster grey water buffaloes, with branching horns laid
backwards, strong and patient, are being driven home from working in
them, by coolies, hidden under bamboo hats the size of umbrellas. The
marshes have been in a measure drained, but the miasma rises thickly
from the rice fields, near which cluster the wretched huts of thatched
bamboo.

On we go, now through an avenue entirely composed of the glossy leaved
magnolia or another of feathery mimosa, broken only by groves of
tufted cocoa palms. Then we reach the military boundary, and returning
homewards another way, pass the cemetery where many a Frenchman lies
low. Along these shady avenues, deep and cool, we see the walled
compounds and overgrown gardens of the bungalows of officers and
merchants, of whom about 1700 reside in Saigon. We meet many of them
out for their evening drive, flying along in Victorias, to gain as
much air as possible. There are many smart-looking officers in white
uniforms, with their wives by their side--pale French ladies, but in
Parisian fashions. Poor things, they appear sickly and enervated, yet
robust compared to the shop-keepers, who look, if they do not say so,
as if it was trouble enough to rise on the entrance of a customer,
without serving them.

But it should be a great colony. The Governor-General's palace is
magnificent--a Versailles, with its long flights of steps and spacious
balconies. But his Excellency is always at Hanoi, vainly endeavouring
to get things straight in Tonquin. The Cathedral, with its dim aisles
and stained glass; the Grecian colonnades of the Palais de Justice;
the post-offices; the theatre, with its bi-weekly performances; the
Officers' Club, where the punkahs are lyslow waving to and fro in the
balconies,--all betoken the great intentions of its founders.

And there are statues of Francis Garnier, the intrepid and disavowed
explorer of the way to south-western China, and in the centre of the
great boulevard, leading to the Governor's palace, we distinguish a
very large stout man on a great pedestal, his stomach far protruding.
When we come near, we see whom it represents: Gambetta in the fur coat
worn in the balloon whence he escaped from Paris during the siege,
to instil life into France, with his outstretched finger pointing in
the direction of Tonquin, as in the memorable day when he came to the
Chamber, and said, 'Messieurs, au Tonkin!' A dying soldier, in the act
of falling, is on one side, and a sailor, with a bayonet peeping round
as if in search of the enemy, on the other. The reverse side of this
fine monument bears the legend: "À Gambetta, le patriote, défenseur de
la politique coloniale."

In the evening some went to the opera, Traviata, played by the
subsidized company, to distract the garrison. The sight, however, of
the house with its myriad waving fans, was enough for us. We could not
face the heat.

What an awful night we passed on board! Four steam winches in charge
of seventy shouting French, with ports shut, tropical heat, and
mosquitoes by the million. It was over at sunrise like a bad dream. But
a sorry sight, the languid heavy-eyed passengers, with not a face but
was severely wounded, presented next morning; for none had slept, and
all had come off worsted in the conflict with those venomous brutes.
Glad we were of daylight to go on shore, and set off in a gharry at
seven o'clock to the open arcades where the curio shops are. The
black woodwork inlaid with mother-of-pearl that comes from Tonquin is
very pretty, but otherwise we only see curiosities common to other
countries. We drive past gardens, which, as in France, are unrailed
and open to the public, to the market square, with its deep red-roofed
market hall, where a busy scene of buying and selling is progressing.
We notice many French cafés, the familiar little marble-topped tables,
looking strange among the palm trees of the gardens. There are many
French officers, in solar topees and cotton umbrellas, strolling in
the streets, but though the French element predominates, there is a
wonderful mixture of races--of Chinese, Annamites with their heads
bound in red cloths, Cinghalese with high tortoiseshell comb, and
Indians in sarong; and the languages are as varied, for here the
Chinese and natives have learnt French, instead of pigeon English.

By nine o'clock the sun on the top of the gharry is overpowering. We
are quite overcome by the heat, and abandoning all idea of going by
the steam tramway to Cholons, the neighbouring emporium of the Rice
of Annam, return on board. But at eleven o'clock the thermometer in
the shade registered 95° Fahrenheit, and in the sun about 130°, and we
lay on the deck ready to succumb to the awful breathless heat, just
existing through the long midday hours of the worst part of the day.

The tropical vegetation of Saigon had entranced us, but its charms
faded before the experience of this equatorial temperature by which
alone it can be produced. We were grateful when at five o'clock the
twenty-four hours' sojourn required by the Government contract were
over, and we left Cochin China on our homeward voyage.

It is a long, long journey home to England, this one of 10,000 miles
from Shanghai to London--lasting for five weeks.

Day after day goes by with the same routine, until we feel that we are
automatons. Passengers come and go at the various ports, but "we go on
for ever." Night and day there is heard the ceaseless throbbing of the
engines, like the beating heart of some great monster. It lulls you to
sleep, keeps you company in the silence of the night, and greets you
in the morning, and when we are in port, we unconsciously feel that
something is wanting. It is a cheering noise, for every revolution of
the screw brings us nearer home; 4368 times does it revolve in one
hour, and it takes 3,600,000 revolutions to bring us to Marseilles.
We consume 52 tons of coal a day, or 1800 tons for the whole voyage,
whilst 8000 kilos of oil are used for the machinery.

The ship is like a floating city with a cosmopolitan population,
for we have over twenty different nationalities on board: French,
English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Dutch,
Austrians, Arabians, Indians, etc., and yet all goes smoothly, save for
the passing incident of a passionate Frenchman, who came to ask the
captain's permission to fight a duel with an officer from Tonquin, for
usurping his place at table.

It is a monotonous thirty-six days of life at sea, alternating with
frantic rushes to land, when in port, and sometimes sleeping on shore,
where, like at Singapore and Colombo, the ship is hermetically sealed
for coaling. Then there is dire confusion on board, everyone loses his
head, the stewards are beside themselves, and the organization becomes
sadly out of gear. We are thankful to put out to sea once more, into
the breeze and calm, to sail away into that great trackless space
so well defined "as a circle whose centre is everywhere, and whose
circumference nowhere."

We touch at Singapore, and spend the night at Government House,
noting the growth of the town, and the great improvements since we
were there six years ago. Through the Straits of Malacca, past Acheen
Head, the extreme westerly point of Sumatra to Colombo--Colombo with
its beautiful sea-shore, where amidst palm groves, the blue breakers of
the Indian Ocean are ever rolling in, and casting their surf and foam
on the golden sands. Through its tropical avenues we drive, past the
barracks, where the pipe of the bagpipes is heard, wailing in their far
exile, and the handsome Cingalese merchants, with their checked sarongs
and tortoiseshell combs, tempt us with precious stones. Mount Adam,
with his pillar-like peak, in the centre of Ceylon, does us honour by
showing himself (a rare occurrence) as we put out once more to sea,
through the magnificent breakwater of Colombo.

Six days' steaming, and we cast anchor under rocky Aden, whose peaks so
barren and sterile, are yet picturesquely deformed, and glowing with
warm tints of cobalt and carmine. Then we enter the Red Sea, through
the Straits of Babelmandeb, by England's key to the Eastern hemisphere,
the Island of Perim, and pass fragrant Mocha on the sandy shore.

One hundred hours through this inland sea, and we are at Suez waiting
our turn to enter that great highway of nations, that sandy ditch cut
through the desert, that connects the eastern with the western globe.
In the daytime we have that strange fascination linked to the boundless
plain of sand--the mirage flickering on the horizon, the clear pale
blue and pink shades that steal over the desert at sundown, with the
golden glory of the sunset sinking slowly into the waters of the Bitter
Lake, whilst at night the banks of the canal are illuminated by the
broad shafts of light, that sweep from the electric lamp in the bows of
every ship.

We spend a dreary Sunday at Port Said, amid its dirty streets, rubbishy
oriental shops, thievish donkey-boys, and a population which gathers in
the scum of the earth.

The Harbour of Alexandria is entered at sunrise next day, and we look
in the dull chill of early morning on its quays and forts, its mosqued
domes and windmills, but ere the day is really begun we are on our way
joyfully cleaving the waters of the Mediterranean, near, so near home
now. The chill winds and the grey atmosphere would make us know we are
in Europe once more. The hard even-coloured skies of the East, burning
with brazen sun, have been left on the other side of the Canal, and now
the skies are full of grey and purple clouds, silver-edged, soft and
rounded. The Southern Cross has sunk below the horizon, the brilliant
starlight nights, with the purple vault of heaven gemmed with diamond
stars, have faded into the past.

Now the snow-clad mountains of Candia or Crete rise up from the ocean
above low-lying clouds. Then, the danger of avoiding Charybdis to be
wrecked on Scylla safely passed, we thread the green Straits of Messina
between the toe of Italy and the Island of Sicily. The smoking cone of
Etna is invisible, but the little island volcano of Stromboli shoots
forth its black column of lava.

The beacon lighthouses of the Straits of Bonifacio mark out our course
between the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. And by the next afternoon
the vine-terraced mountains and sunny shores of the Corniche are near
at hand, with the white villas of Toulon shining in the sunlight.

The last day on board, the last packing, the last dinner, the last
evening. What a pleasant bustle of departure, what a feeling of _bonne
camaraderie_ prevails! With the contagious sympathy of joy, passengers
speak to each other who have held aloof for the whole month's voyage.
We are all restless and excited, and only able to discuss the hour of
arrival--no, not the hour, it is the half-hours and quarters that we
dispute and wager about.

The sun goes down. The great white cliffs--for they are very near to
us now--loom up ghostly in the dim twilight; these are bathed in pink
reflections from the rosy sky. We see the little chapel perched on
high, where the sailors implore the protection of the sainted Mary ere
commencing a voyage--the gloomy dungeon fortress of Château d'If on its
island, and with the last gleams of daylight we sight the green Prado,
the cathedral towers of Notre Dame, and the large seaport of Marseilles.

For two days we linger in the sunny south, under blue skies and warm
sunshine, amid the palms, cacti, and hedges of roses.

We reach Paris in time to see the gorgeous obsequies at the Madeleine
of Dom Pedro, the ex-Emperor of Brazil. Then ends our second journey
round the world with a fearful gale in the English Channel, reaching
Charing Cross in the raw cold and fog of a December night.



APPENDIX.

BY

C. E. HOWARD VINCENT, C.B., M.P.



BRITISH AND AMERICAN TRADE IN CANADA.

MEMORANDUM

    _Addressed to the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacture of Sheffield
    upon British and American Trade in the Dominion of Canada and the
    McKinley Tariff in the United States._

_September, 1891._


INTERNAL TRADE.

1.--It is necessary in the first place to state that the internal
trade of Canada has made vast progress during the past decade. Not only
is this evident from the numerous factories at the principal centres,
but it is corroborated by the rapid extension and development of
Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and other towns. Manufacture has taken such
rapid strides that not only is a very large proportion of the articles
in daily use of home make, but the whole of the iron bridges and much
of the plant upon the gigantic railway system, and the greater part of
the agricultural machinery are of Canadian construction, but there is a
surplusage for export of certain manufactured goods, amounting in the
fiscal year ending June, 1890, to 5-3/4 million dollars--upwards of
two-fifths of which were purchased by the British flag.


INCREASE OF EXTERNAL TRADE.

2.--The external trade (imports and exports) has also increased from
153 million dollars in 1879, when the "National Policy" was inaugurated
by the late Right Honourable Sir John Macdonald, to 218 million dollars
in the last statistical year.


IMPORTS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE EMPIRE.

3.--The imports from the United Kingdom of British and Irish produce
have increased from 5,040,524_l._ in 1879, to 7,702,798_l._ in 1889.

In the twelve months, July 1st, 1889, to June 30th, 1890, the purchases
by Canada from the British Empire amounted to 45-3/4 million dollars,
or only 6-1/2 million dollars less than from the United States with
their 60,000,000 of people and conterminous frontier of over 3000
miles, running especially close to the more settled and affluent
portions of the Dominion.

This is the more satisfactory when it is considered that less than
one-fourth of the British imports were admitted free of a duty
averaging 25 per cent. ad valorem, while two-fifths of the American
imports were from their nature untaxed.


COMPETITION BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN FLAGS.

4.--The Union Jack upon the one hand, and the Stars and Stripes upon
the other, are practically the only two competitors for the custom of
Canada, and they absorb between them 98 million dollars worth of the
import trade out of a total of 112 million dollars.


SUPERIORITY OF ENGLAND.

5.--In most of the great lines of manufactured goods, such as in the
manufactures of iron and steel: of cutlery; of cotton and silk; of wool
and linen; of lead, paper and fur; of hemp, twine and earthenware, as
also in hats, gloves, combs, umbrellas, embroideries, ribbons, crapes,
oilcloth, iron furniture, fancy articles, and in bottled ale, beer and
porter, England more than holds her own against the American Republic.


FOREIGN INTERMIXTURE.

6.--At the same time it is right to observe that a considerable and
increasing proportion of the imports officially attributed to British
production were in reality of German, French, or other foreign origin,
and this to an amount exceeding last year six million dollars.

They were obtained, however, through English distributing houses
instead of direct, partly by reason of transit facilities, but mostly
on account of the long credit readily accorded.


LEAD OF THE UNITED STATES.

7.--The United States on the other hand take the lead with manufactures
of brass and copper; of gutta-percha and India-rubber; of slate,
stone, and wood; of cork and glass; of leather and tin ware, as also
in edge tools, Britannia metal, bells, brushes, buttons, carriages,
clocks and watches, jewellery, musical and surgical instruments, and in
agricultural implements.


SHEFFIELD TRADE IN CANADA.

8.--In the staple trades of Sheffield, with the exception of
edge-tools, the ascendency of England is fairly well maintained.


CUTLERY.

9.--Especially is this the case with regard to cutlery. Out of 311,897
dollars (say 62,500_l._) worth of table knives, jack knives, pocket
knives, and other cutlery imported into the Dominion during the past
year, about two-thirds came from the United Kingdom.

Of the remainder the United States supplied 27,900 dollars worth, and
Germany 43,500 dollars worth.

Not a few importers of Sheffield cutlery speak anxiously,
however, of the growing competition of Newark (New Jersey) and of
Germany--especially in the production of attractively got up and
elegantly carded knives at low prices.

In Canada itself only one attempt has, I believe, been made to
establish a cutlery factory, and this recently at Halifax by a young
Sheffield man, assisted by six or eight Sheffield trained artisans.
They speak hopefully of their prospects and are meeting with much local
encouragement.


PLATED CUTLERY.

It is right to add that although throughout the Dominion the table
cutlery bears the names of the leading Sheffield houses, the more
easily cleaned plated cutlery is coming into some use. During the past
year 919 dozen were imported, to which the United States contributed
774 dozen and Great Britain only 140.


FILES.

10.--In files and rasps the import from England amounted to 34,358
dollars (say 6800_l._), and from the United States to 45,724 dollars.


SAWS.

11.--In saws the United States made even greater headway with a total
consignment amounting to 14,000_l._, while Great Britain sent scarcely
600_l._ worth.


EDGE TOOLS.

12.--A like disproportion occurs with regard to edge tools, of which
the United States supplied 15,000 dollars worth out of a total external
purchase by the Dominion of 18,279 dollars.

This has been explained by the untiring efforts constantly made by
American manufacturers and their employés to make all tools more and
more adapted for the purpose in view, lighter and more facile to the
hand, without the slightest regard to former use, old ideas or customs.


AXES.

13.--It is frequently alleged that Sheffield lost the Canadian axe
trade by adherence to the opinion that it was a better judge of
the shape of the handle or the chopper than the backwoodsmen whose
livelihood depended upon the skilful use of the axe.

This must, however, be legendary, for I am told we never had the
Dominion axe trade.

In any case, at the present time nearly all the axes used in the vast
lumber industry are of Canadian make, and out of a total import of 6751
dollars worth last year, the whole came from the United States, with
the exception of a single axe contributed by France.


SPADES AND SHOVELS.

14.--Of spades and shovels 4000 dollars worth were imported from Great
Britain against 6259 dollars worth from the United States.


SCYTHES.

In scythes the two countries each supplied one half of a total import
of 6731 dollars worth.


AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS.

15.--But in other agricultural implements--ploughs, drills, harrows,
forks, rakes, mowing machines, harvesters, etc., America supplied no
less than 117,000 dollars worth, against only 4000 dollars worth, from
Great Britain.

The explanation given is similar to that I have often heard in
Australasia, that the high-priced, solid made, somewhat heavy and
durable machines and implements which find favour in England, are
unsuitable for Colonists with small capital, who want a cheap, handy
and light implement which can be replaced as soon as a year or two
brings easier means, and sees improvements perfected.

It is indeed stated in proof of the adoption of like ideas in the
mother country that more Ontario-made self-binding reapers have been
sold this year in Great Britain than any of English manufacture.


BAR IRON, PIGS, RAILS, ETC.

16.--It is, however, in bar iron; in boiler or other plate iron; in
hoop, band, or scroll iron; in iron, in slabs, blooms, etc.; in iron
pigs; in railway bars, rails and fish plates; in rolled iron or steel
angles, beams, girders, etc.; in sheet iron, and in wrought iron or
steel tubing that the United Kingdom asserts the greatest predominance
with an importation last year into Canada amounting to 2,356,523
dollars against 642,129 dollars worth from the United States--that is,
nearly fourfold.

At Londonderry in Nova Scotia important rolling mills have been
established, and at Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario there are
prosperous foundries.


MACHINERY.

17.--England though falls back again seriously in machinery, composed
wholly or in part of iron, in locomotive, fire, or other engines, and
in cast iron vessels, plates, etc., as also in builders', cabinet
makers', carriage and harness makers' hardware, and in house furnishing
hardware.

In these lines Great Britain supplied Canada with only about
100,000_l._ worth, compared to 500,000_l._ from the United States.

In connection with machinery it may not be amiss to mention the
almost invariable practice, throughout the American continent, for
all machinery under the control either of the State or public bodies
being kept spotlessly clean and as attractive as possible, and, in
the case of all stationary engines, allowing the public to see them
in operation, from a gallery or other suitable place, so that humble
mechanical genius may feast its eyes, and think out problems or
improvements, which may advance their authors to wealth, and place
further names upon the roll of the world's inventors.


ELECTRO-PLATE AND BRITANNIA METAL.

18.--In electro-plated ware and gilt ware of all kinds the import from
Great Britain amounted last year to 51,041 dollars, and to 98,669
dollars from the United States, while in manufactures of Britannia
metal (not plated) the importation from America amounted to 40,000
dollars, or eight times that from Great Britain.


PREDOMINANCE OF BRITISH MANUFACTURES OF COTTON AND WOOL.

19.--It is not necessary to examine in like detail the relative
trade in the Dominion of Great Britain and the United States in
the manufactures which are not located in Sheffield. But it may be
mentioned that the purchases by Canada of British cotton goods exceeded
three million dollars last year against one-fifth that amount from
the United States, in velveteens exceeded 82,000 dollars from Britain
against only 356 dollars from America: while the sale to Canadians of
British manufactures of wool were over ten million dollars, or too
times that of the States.


THE EMPIRE, CANADA'S BEST CUSTOMER.

20.--While, as has been shown, Canada bought last year of Great
Britain and Ireland, and British possessions, to an amount exceeding
forty-five millions of dollars, the Empire was in return the best
customer of the Dominion, purchasing no less than 44,479,992 dollars
worth of Canadian products, or 11,156,785 dollars worth more than the
United States, and admitting nearly the whole free of all duty.


PREFERENTIAL TRADE WITHIN THE EMPIRE.

21.--It is hardly to be expected that Canada, with her scanty and
hard-working population could, with the example of every nation or
colony (save one) before her, attempt to raise by direct taxation the
twenty-four million dollars of public revenue she now derives from
customs duties.

But there can be little doubt that if a preference was obtained for
British over foreign goods in the tariff, it would give just that
pecuniary advantage calculated to stimulate the undoubted partiality of
most British colonists for British made goods, if they themselves are
unable to produce them in adequate quantity.

Such preferential trade, large public meetings I have recently
addressed in all the principal commercial centres, on behalf of the
United Empire Trade League, have declared with practical unanimity and
much support from both political parties, that Canada is willing to
exchange with the mother country and the Empire, so soon as foreign
treaty hindrances (treaties with Belgium and Germany of 1862 and 1865)
are removed--it being calculated that no policy would more certainly
advance the prosperity, peopling and capitalization of the whole
country and the consequent augmentation of customers.


MEANS OF COMMERCIAL NEGOTIATION.

22.--No more effective means either could probably be found to bring
about that reduction of the United States tariff wall, so much desired
both by the Dominion of Canada and the mother country, for it would
furnish her Majesty's representatives with a weapon of commercial
persuasion they now wholly lack in negotiating with foreign countries.


EFFECT OF THE MCKINLEY TARIFF.

23.--It may be too early perhaps to judge definitely as to the effect
of the McKinley tariff upon British trade in the United States, There
can, however, be no doubt that in many industries, and especially among
the receivers of wages in the United Kingdom, it will be very serious,
and tend still further to extend the disproportion between the sales of
America to Great Britain and the purchases by America of British goods,
which have stood for some time in the adverse ratio of three to one.


MUCH CHANGE NOT TO BE EXPECTED.

24.--It is necessary, therefore, to say that while the organs of
the democratic party in the United States and the sanguine views of
American importers who are in personal or correspondence relations with
England, encourage a hope that the McKinley tariff will be repealed
or considerably modified in the near future, I am convinced that, as
matters stand, such belief is to a great extent delusive.

In the first place the democratic majority in the House of
Representatives, as at present constituted, is practically powerless in
the face of a strong and hostile Senate, with an equal mandate from the
people, and in the face too of an antagonistic President, to a great
extent independent of either, with all his Ministers and machinery of
government.

In the second place democratic leaders and advocates in every locality
are eager to protest that they do not now desire free trade, do not
dream of admitting duty free the productions of competing foreign
workmen, and that they aim only at a reduction of the tariff.

Again, it is now well understood that the alleged rise in prices at
the time of the election last year for Congress was artificial and
impressed upon voters by skilful wire-pulling--such as the hiring
of itinerant pedlars to perambulate the agricultural districts with
household wares marked up at double cost; by urging democratic retail
dealers to serve their party (and their tills) by demanding greatly
increased sums for all goods during the campaign "in consequence of the
new tariff."


INDUSTRIAL PROSPERITY IN THE UNITED STATES.

25.--There appears to be little doubt that the Federal Commission
now sitting will find that, although in some districts there may
have been speculating failures, employment was never upon the whole
more plentiful or better remunerated than at the present time. As in
Canada so in the United States, it is work which is everywhere seeking
hands--and not, as with us, men searching, too often vainly, for
employment.

On both sides of the border between Canada and the United States the
necessaries of life--wheat, flour, bread, meat, are extraordinarily
cheap and excellent, while artisan clothing, so often reputed dear and
pressing upon the family purse, is readily obtainable, so old Sheffield
men have assured me, in very fair quality at from 8 dollars 50 cents.
to 12 or 14 dollars per suit, that is 1_l._ 14_s._ to 2_l._ 16_s._
Indeed, before me is the advertisement of a New York house offering
"Jersey Cloth (silk finish, new), blue, black or brown, per suit 14
dollars, quality XXX."

Beyond question the whole standard of industrial life is higher than in
Europe--higher too, I am sorry to have to admit, than in Great Britain.
Neither poverty nor distress are visible, while drunkenness, so far as
it may exist, is kept carefully out of sight.


AMERICAN RECIPROCITY TREATIES.

26.--It will be probably less, however, on the industrial prosperity
of American workers, on the success of the high tariff in compelling
competitors for the custom of the American people, to employ their
capital within the United States, to pay wages to Americans, and use
American materials, that the Republican party will appeal next year
for a new Presidential lease of power (with what chance of success I
do not pretend to prophecy), than upon the unexpected triumph that has
attended Section III., or the Reciprocity clause of the McKinley Tariff
Act in the hands of Mr. Secretary Blaine.

Already under its provisions free entry for American productions and
manufactures has been secured into Brazil--a market taking in 1889
6,232,316_l._ worth of British goods--in exchange for the free entry
of the raw materials and other commodities of that Republic so rich in
natural wealth.

The same result has been achieved, and will shortly come into force
with regard to Spanish possessions, taking together 8,000,000_l._ worth
of British products every year.


TO BREAK UP BRITISH TRADE.

27.--This latter treaty is viewed with especial concern in Canada, and
the notice of terminating the Anglo-Spanish treaty of commerce which
has been given, gives rise to a fear that the Americans will secure the
trade with the Spanish Indies heretofore enjoyed by the Dominion.

Both treaties will also very injuriously affect the interests of the
fishermen of Newfoundland, who among the Catholic population of Brazil
and the territories of Spain seek the principal market for that dried
fish, the sale of which, until improved fish trade and other mercantile
relations are established with England, as they might easily be,
constitutes their principal means of existence.

A like treaty has been concluded with San Domingo, and others are in
active negotiation.

The vaunted object is "the breaking up piece-meal of British foreign
trade," and whether or no it obtains that aim, the untoward influence
these treaties, placing American trade upon a preferential basis, are
calculated to exert in that direction, is not, I fear, a circumstance
well calculated to induce the masses of the American people, in their
present frame of mind, very speedily to destroy the instrument.


EFFECT OF BRITISH INACTION.

28.--It is a paramount duty to direct the attention of the Sheffield
Chamber of Manufacture, as a body representative of the commercial and
industrial community of Great Britain and Ireland, to this practical
aspect of the present situation, lest buoyed up by a vain hope that the
markets of the United States will be thrown open, England allows all
opportunity to pass of following the example of America and Central
Europe in establishing preferential trading relations on mutually
advantageous terms. A commercial union richer in its prospects than
any attainable by whatever phalanx of foreign nations, lies now, but
not for much longer, ready to her hand--that of the British Empire, of
a fifth of the entire world, peopled or fostered by her own people,
capitalized by her own capital.

Inaction much longer maintained on the part of the mother country
will be ascribed by the energetic minds of Greater Britain to callous
indifference to Imperial responsibilities, and can have no other effect
than to expose Canada, Newfoundland, the West Indies, British Guiana
and British Honduras, aggregating not much short of half the area of
the Empire, and not impossibly other Colonies, to the temptation of
entering instead into commercial alliance with the United States,
involving discrimination in favour of foreigners against the British
flag, which even the loyalty of the most loyal Colonial subjects of her
Majesty the Queen may not, with due regard to their material interests,
be able to resist.


AMERICAN PIONEERS OF COMMERCE.

29.--But in any event I must note the amazing energy and push shown
by American business houses. On every journey in nearly every quarter
of the globe you meet their representatives, who lose no opportunity
of skilfully advancing American trade; and while Germany, backed by a
vigilant Government, is following closely in the same direction with
astonishing results, the reports of her Majesty's Consular officers
agree in declaring that the appearance of an English commercial
traveller becomes more and more rare.


BOARDS OF TRADE.

30.--American Boards of Trade, corresponding to our Chambers of
Commerce, are also very active organizations, sparing neither expense
nor trouble.

They occupy a like position in Canada, and in Toronto the Board
of Trade--an enthusiastic meeting whereof I had the honour of
addressing--has erected a palatial building, where business men meet
daily for the mutual exchange of information and views. The turn of
the market is recorded from hour to hour from the centres of commerce,
and among the members there exists an admirable system of mutual life
insurance.


CANADA AS A FIELD FOR BRITISH CAPITAL AND IMMIGRATION.

31.--In conclusion, it is hardly possible to speak of Canada in
exaggerated terms as a source from which Great Britain may most readily
obtain the larger portion of the supply of corn, meat, and dairy
produce, her increased population and diminished agriculture oblige her
to purchase from over the sea.

The extremely fertile and virgin soil of the vast region occupied
by Manitoba, the North-West Territories, and British Columbia--half
the size of Europe, and lying between Lake Superior and the Pacific
Ocean--has now been provided by British Canadian enterprise with
a complete network of railways, bringing it, so soon as Atlantic
communication by Nova Scotia and Newfoundland has been improved, to
within fourteen days' steam of Liverpool.

Capital and immigration are alone needed for their development.

A better field for the former could not be found if British Commercial
Union made the market secure of foreign caprice, while for steady
industry under the old flag, under like institutions, under the same
law, no wider scope exists in the universe.



BRITISH TRADE WITH JAPAN.

MEMORANDUM

ADDRESSED TO THE CUTLERS' COMPANY OF HALLAMSHIRE, UPON

BRITISH TRADE WITH JAPAN.


PROGRESS OF JAPAN.

1.--Little idea can be formed of the progress and development of Japan
without a personal visit. That the Japanese Empire should have been
brought in less than a quarter of a century from barbaric darkness and
isolation to a leading place in the civilized world, is not the least
remarkable event of the present generation. The fact that this great
revolution has been accomplished without the pressure of external war,
and practically without internal riot or bloodshed, renders it the more
extraordinary.

Some may affect to prefer the old order of things, may think that the
transition has been dangerously rapid, may sneer at the wonderful
adaptive faculty displayed. This is, however, certain, that in good
order and sobriety, in cleanliness and politeness, in industry and
contentment, the Japanese are already in the van of nations.

The police, postal, telegraphic, and educational systems are tributes
to their capacity, while over 1400 miles of railway are being
efficiently worked by native employés.

Care and caution will be undoubtedly very necessary for many years
to come. But if reliance upon indigenous talent, and the new law that
Japanese industrial undertakings must be represented by Japanese, are
not carried to an extravagant point, the next decade or two may see the
vast reforms not only matured, but carried onwards to a summit undreamt
of, when, in 1868, the country was released from the chains of ages;
or even when a score of years later his present Imperial Majesty, the
121st Mikado and Emperor of his race, voluntarily gave the nation one
of the clearest constitutions in existence "in consideration of the
progressive tendency of the course of human affairs and in parallel
with the advance of civilization."


CONCURRENT GROWTH OF BRITISH INTERESTS.

2.--There is nothing more striking in this transformation than the
constant growth of British interests in the Empire, with which it has
been attended.

    ILLUSTRATED BY LARGE NUMBERS OF BRITISH RESIDENTS AND MERCANTILE
    FIRMS AND PROPORTION OF TRADE AND SHIPPING.

This is clearly illustrated by the following notable facts:--

(_a_) That British residents, numbering 1500 souls, of which two-thirds
are males, equal numerically the representatives in Japan of the whole
of the rest of the world, excluding the adjacent Chinese.

(_b_) That a like state of affairs exists with regard not only to the
number of foreign mercantile firms, located in Japan, but also in the
proportion borne by the British flag of the external trade.

(_c_) That since 1868, the first year of the new Japanese era, British
shipping in the waters of Japan has, according to the calculation
of her Majesty's Consul at Kobé, increased threefold in number and
fifteenfold in tonnage. It carried last year two-thirds of the (extra
Chinese) foreign trade, and 71 per cent. of the whole, in over 1000
ships inwards and outwards, giving employment to more than 25,000
persons, and this notwithstanding the harassing exclusion of foreign
vessels from any share in the large coasting trade between other than
the six open ports.


VOLUME OF JAPANESE EXTERNAL TRADE.

3.--The external trade (imports and exports) of Japan has more than
doubled in the past ten years. It amounted in 1890 to 138-1/4 millions
of silver yen or dollars[2] (say 21,000,000_l._ sterling) against
62-1/4 million yens in 1881. The exports, of which the British Empire
took nearly a third, amounted to 54-3/4 million dollars; the imports to
81-3/4 millions.


THE FOREIGN ELEMENT AS A SOURCE OF WEALTH TO JAPAN.

4.--The financial value to the Empire of the foreign commercial houses
is shown by the passage, through their agency, of 110 million dollars
worth of the total external trade.

There is in addition the expenditure of many thousands of foreign
visitors to the natural beauties of the country--of which 70 per cent.
are calculated by Mr. Gubbins, secretary for Japanese to Her Majesty's
Legation, to be British,--a sum estimated at an extreme minimum of
three million dollars a year, or about 500,000_l._


THE PASSPORT SYSTEM AND DISABILITY OF FOREIGNERS.

There is hope that these important considerations may lead ere long
to a modification of the stringent passport regulations, and of the
disability attaching to the alien tenure of real estate, hindering as
it must do the permanent investment of capital.


PROPORTION OF EXTERNAL TRADE WITH SEVERAL FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

5.--Foreign countries shared or divided in 1890 the external trade of
Japan in the following proportions:--

    (_a_) Great Britain,                32·0 million dollars.
    (_b_) British Colonial Empire,      27·0    "       "

                         Total British Flag, 59,000,000. dols.

    (_c_) United States,                26·0 million dollars.
    (_d_) China,                        14·8    "       "
    (_e_) France,                       14·0    "       "
    (_f_) German,                        9·0    "       "
    (_g_) Corea (adjacent),              5·6    "       "
    (_h_) Belgium,                       1·0    "       "

    All other countries less than
      one million dollars each,
      and aggregating,                   9·4    "       "


PURCHASES BY JAPAN OF BRITISH GOODS.

6.--The purchases by Japan from the British Empire exceeded 41 million
dollars (say 6,750,000_l._), of which 26-1/2 millions worth were
obtained from the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, however, a not inconsiderable proportion of the imports
credited to Great Britain, are stated to have been of German, Belgian,
or other foreign make, and although obtained through English houses,
the advantage to the artisan community at home was thereby materially
reduced.


FALSE MARKING.

The observations on this head of Consul Longford, in his report for
1886, are still deserving of attention:--

"While fully recognizing that it is only reasonable and right that
English merchants in Japan should go to those producing centres which
show the greatest readiness to meet and satisfy their demands, it is
at the same time unfortunate that they should import the goods which
they obtained from Germany with English marks and chops on them, even
though the latter are only intended to acquaint native dealers with the
name of the firm supplying them and not in any sense to designate the
country of origin or production... for means are thus placed in the
hands of the Japanese middlemen or the ultimate retailer, which may aid
him considerably in selling (inferior goods) as English."


MERCHANDISE MARKS ACTS.

The enactment in the United Kingdom of the Merchandise Marks Act of
1887, so largely due to the Cutlers' Company, has no doubt modified
this evil at its base. It has not, however, stamped it out, partly
because foreign goods can still be imported into England, plain and
devoid of any indication of origin, and the detection of subsequent
false marking by the few dishonest, prior to home sale or foreign
exportation, is practically impossible; and partly because few foreign
nations have adopted a corresponding law, or if they have, it is rarely
enforced.

The Japanese Trade Mark Regulations of October, 1884, do not touch the
question, and moreover have been judicially held, so Mr. Consul Hall
informs me, not to apply to foreigners or foreign goods.


PURCHASES BY JAPAN OF SHEFFIELD GOODS.

7.--The purchases by Japan from Great Britain of those productions of
iron, steel, and hardware, in which Sheffield is mainly interested,
compare favourably with those from other foreign nations.


IRON PIG, BARS, RODS, RAILS, ETC.

8.--In pig iron, iron bars, rods, plates, sheets, and rails, Japan
bought last year from England 1,424,000 dollars worth (say 235,000_l_.)
against one-fourth that amount from Germany, and only 20,000 dollars
worth from France. Even this large figure shows some shrinkage on the
British import in 1888-89, while the German, although so far behind,
has increased.


PIPES AND TUBES.

9.--In iron pipes and tubes Great Britain supplied Japan in 1890 with
159,000 _yen_ worth, out of a total purchase of 166,000 dollars--an
increase of 98,000 dollars worth in two years.


NAILS.

10.--In nails, however, Great Britain has fallen behind and given place
to Germany. Indeed, her Majesty's Consul at Yokohama says in his report
for last year:--

"The consumption of wire nails is steadily increasing. The demand for
nail rod is now almost extinct--manufactured nails being taken instead.
These nails are now mostly of German, and a few of Belgian origin."

This is corroborated by the purchase from England of nails having
fallen from 342,000 dollars worth in 1888 to 134,000 dollars worth in
1890.


SCREWS.

This is the more remarkable as in iron screws, Great Britain holds the
market with a supply of 70,000 dollars worth in 1890, against only 2000
dollars worth by Germany, and a like amount by France.


STEEL.

11.--In steel 162,000 dollars worth was obtained from England out of a
gross importation amounting to 194,000, France supplying 23,300 dollars
worth, and Germany, subject to the observations in paragraph 6, only
3900 dollars.

Mr. Consul Troup has observed "that the steel imported by the
Government for the making of barrels at the small-arms factory at
Tokio, and for the Osaka arsenal is mostly French, German, or Italian,
and at the Yokosuka dockyard there is a certain preference for Creuzot
steel."

With the approval of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, whose great
courtesy I take leave to acknowledge, and by permission of the Minister
of War, I visited the Osaka arsenal to ascertain the cause.


OSAKA ARSENAL.

12.--It is an admirably organized institution with canal service direct
to the sea, provided with the best English, German, French, Italian,
and Austrian machinery, employing 1400 hands at an average wage of ten
pence for a ten hours' day, and turning out 24-ton guns, besides all
other material for a standing army, 80,000 strong, formed on the French
model with German improvements, and reserves 240,000 in number, but
deficient in officers.


ADVANTAGE OF THE METRIC SCALE.

The Director, Lieutenant-Colonel T. Ota of the Imperial Artillery and
European trained, was so good as to give me for the Cutlers' Company,
on hearing that it included the members of the great iron and steel
firms, a complete set of photographs, illustrating the workshops,
the guns, and the target experiments. He expressed himself as fully
sensible of the excellence of the metal manufactures of Sheffield, and
their superiority, both in cost, quality, and workmanship, for original
productions. Upon the other hand, though, he frankly said that there
was so much risk of error in the measurement by "feet" and by "inches,"
that it saved much anxiety and trouble, when specific and exact size
was required to order from Creuzot, or from Krupp, in the metric
scale, adopted by Japan of "mètres and millimètres." One well-known
English firm has in consequence, I understand, determined to follow the
German example, and to render specifications to foreign governments or
individuals in their own lineal and currency calculations.


PARTIALITY OF STUDENTS FOR COUNTRY OF EDUCATION.

13.--In this connection the Consul at Yokohama calls attention to
another important matter. He says "the Government official prefers the
material of the country where he has received his training."

The Japanese authorities have in the last fifteen years sent large
numbers of students to Europe. Many have given since their return solid
proof of their industry, perseverance, and natural aptitude. More
than one Continental Cabinet has taken an active interest in these
students. But not so, I understand, her Majesty's Government. Several
have consequently gone to France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, who
might with advantage have come to England, as well as those studying
ship-building and engineering. It is a matter not to be lost sight
of in the future, for there are other backward lands likely to be
stimulated by the bright example of Japan, and to endeavour to follow
it.


CUTLERY, TABLE KNIVES.

14.--The imports of cutlery have averaged 21,000 dollars (say 3000_l._)
during each of the past three years, and practically the whole came
from Sheffield. It is a trade capable, I believe, of great development.
At the present time, the use of table cutlery is confined to the
foreign population and visitors, and to a small proportion of the
Japanese, perhaps 100,000 out of the forty millions.

But this number is likely to increase every year, and, indeed, every
day, as European ideas, habits, and costume, encouraged, by the
imperial Court, the nobility, and the leaders of commerce and thought,
gain a firmer foothold. It is illustrated _inter alia_ by the wide
adoption of English head gear on the Lop of the native costume, and the
consequent importation of a million dollars worth of English hats and
caps in the last triennial period.


ENCOURAGEMENT OF TABLE CUTLERY.

At a recent industrial conference with some of my constituents, an
artisan asked if nothing could be done to encourage Eastern races to
abandon "chop sticks" in favour of knives and forks. The question
created some amusement, but it showed much intelligence and acumen. It
has since occurred to me that possibly advantage might be taken of the
Japanese and Oriental generous custom of present-giving to stimulate
a taste for our cutlery, by enabling donors to obtain at a small cost
a gift knife and fork, attractively got up either upon a card or in a
case. In any case an experiment would not be ruinous.


RAZORS, SCISSORS, AND POCKET KNIVES.

15.--I have obtained for the information of the Sheffield trade,
specimens of the razors, scissors, and pocket knives now in use among
the Japanese, and shall on my return forward them to the Cutlers' Hall.
As will be seen, they are of a very rough and primitive description.


SKILL OF JAPANESE AS CUTLERS.

Time was when, according to Professor Rein, the German scientist sent
by the Prussian Government to report upon "The Industries of Japan,"
"among the nations of Eastern Asia the Japanese were known as skilful
workers in iron, which their celebrated armourers transformed into
famous weapons of excellent steel. The forging and polishing of swords
was a wearisome work demanding much skill and practice. The tempering
of the edge was carefully done in the charcoal furnace, the softer
backs and sides being surrounded up to a certain point by fire clay,
so that only the edge remained outside. The cooling was in cold water.
Skilful sword cutlers gained for themselves high social position, and
won great glory and fame with their swords."

It now survives only in collections of old weapons. An Imperial edict
forbade the carrying of swords, and in a few weeks the most costly arms
were a glut in the market.


DEMAND FOR RAZORS.

It is noteworthy that the Japanese very rarely allow any hair to grow
upon the face, and the humblest peasant is regularly shaved by the
barber, "dry," and with a rude handleless razor.

There is scope here. Indeed, a contract has just been concluded with
an English house in Japan, for the supply of a considerable quantity
of soft "German" steel, for the blocking out of razors, and I noticed
one considerable shop-keeper announcing himself as "manufacturer of all
kinds of European hardware."


LOCOMOTIVE AND OTHER ENGINES.

16.--In locomotive engines Great Britain supplied Japan in 1890 with
474,000 dollars worth out of a total of 659,000 dollars, Germany
following with 81,000 dollars worth, and the United States with rather
more than half that sum. In other engines and boilers 253,000 dollars
worth came from England out of a total import of 345,000 dollars, while
of railway carriages the United Kingdom supplied 10,000_l._ worth, or
the whole save 600_l._


ZINC.

17.--In zinc, however, Germany took the lead with consignments
amounting to 141,000 dollars against 89,000 from Great Britain. As the
prosperity of the country advances the use of zinc, especially for
roofing purposes, is likely to increase.


WOOLLENS AND FLANNELS.

18. While in woollen cloths England holds her own in Japan with
the supply of three-fifths of a gross import exceeding last year a
million dollars, she falls far behind in woollen yarns and flannels.
In the former Germany led in the proportion of 3-1/2 to 1, and in the
latter by a sale of 715,000 dollars worth out of 927,000 dollars,
and I understand that the representative of a well-known English
house recently found the trade much overrun and business exceedingly
difficult.


APPREHENDED DECLINE OF ENGLISH COTTON TRADE.

19.--It is, however, the cotton trade of Lancashire which is likely
to feel a serious change ere long in its relations with Japan. Her
Majesty's commercial representatives have given warning of it for
some time, and shown not only the danger to be apprehended by English
operatives from the competition and cheap labour of India, but also
from the establishment of cotton spinning factories in Japan, and the
growing preference for the home made article.

In 1885 there were only 62,000 Japanese spindles at work. Now there are
over 313,000 in 35 mills. Some have not done well owing to defective
management. But others are working day and night. The importation of
raw cotton has quadrupled in the last three years, while that of cotton
on the seeds has doubled. A million dollars worth of the most improved
British spinning machinery was laid down last year, and much attention
is being given to the cultivation of the cotton plant, although, owing
to the typhoons, with indifferent success.

While British cotton velvets, satins, and handkerchiefs have not lost
ground, and grey shirtings, T cloths, and Italian cloths came almost
entirely from England, as also turkey reds and victoria lawns, the work
of the Japanese mills is evidenced by a decline in the importation of
cotton yarns by over three million dollars since 1888, of which two
million fell on Great Britain, and a diminution in the purchase of
foreign cotton drills by two-thirds. In shawls also there has been a
shrinkage.


A FRESH MARKET FOR LANCASHIRE.

It is clear, therefore, that Manchester will have before long to a
great extent to replace her Japanese market, of which she had, until
lately, a monopoly. This may probably be done most advantageously and
effectively in the direction of United Empire trade.


PROPOSED INCREASE OF JAPANESE TARIFF.

20.--Closely allied with this question is the almost certain increase
in a year or two of the Japanese tariff. The amount collected at the
present time by the Customs Bureau (whose returns are compiled with
much care and despatch) comes to about 5 per cent. _ad valorem_ (60
cents per 100 catties or 133-1/3lbs. of steel, and 30 cents per 100
catties of manufactured iron in rods, bars, etc., and 15 cents per 100
catties of pig), and yielded last year 4,488,384 dollars, or nearly
double the customs revenue of 1881.

It is highly probable that this rate will be doubled, or even increased
to 11 or 12 per cent. in accordance with the demand of national
manufacturers and operatives.


POWERLESSNESS OF HER MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT. PARTIALITY OF THE JAPANESE
FOR THE ENGLISH.

21.--Under present fiscal conditions in the United Kingdom Her
Majesty's Government is powerless to negotiate for a special
arrangement as regards England. Were we differently situated it is
not impossible that the Emperor's Government might be willing to
treat preferentially with Great Britain, not only by reason of the
preponderance of British interests in Japan and Japanese waters, but
also on account of the popular partiality throughout the empire for our
countrymen and their productions. This is evidenced in a thousand ways
in the national life of this most attractive people, and not least of
all by the adoption of English as the secondary official and commercial
language, to an extent so great as to render it ample for travel in all
but the remote districts.


A CLOSE ALLIANCE WITH JAPAN MOST DESIRABLE.

22.--It is much to be desired that this feeling may receive all
possible encouragement. No question is likely to disturb the harmony
of Anglo-Japanese relations, and no alliance is calculated to be of
greater mutual advantage to both nations.

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 2: The figures are expressed in yen as being more accurate
than the taking of an arbitrary rate of exchange, when it is constantly
varying to the great inconvenience of commerce. A Japanese yen or
dollar fluctuates in value between 3_s._ 2_d._ to 3_s._ 4_d._ An
average of 6 dollars 20 cents. is usually obtained for the sovereign.]



"BRITISH INTERESTS IN CHINA."

REPORT TO CENTRAL SHEFFIELD.


Having regard to the apprehension caused by the danger in which
foreigners in China have been lately placed, many of my constituents
desire to know the result of recent inquiries at Peking and elsewhere,
into the condition of affairs as affecting BRITISH TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL
EMPLOYMENT. I have the honour, therefore, to submit the following
report.

The details have been collected partly from official sources and partly
from the views of authorities in various spheres who have favoured me
with opinions founded for the most part upon long personal experience.


EXTENT OF CHINESE EMPIRE.

1.--It may be desirable, in the first place, to call to mind the area
and population of the Chinese Dominions, and the system of government.

The Empire of China proper is about 1,500,000 square miles in extent,
or twelve and a half times the size of the United Kingdom; sevenfold
the area of France or of Germany; yet less than one-sixth the British
Empire. To this must be added the dependencies of Mongolia, Manchuria,
Thibet, &c., say 2,000,000 square miles.


POPULATION.

2.--This vast and productive Empire, bordered upon the West and
South-West by the possessions of the British in India and Burmah, and
by Thibet; upon the North by Asiatic Russia, and upon the South-East by
French Indo-China, is estimated to contain about four hundred millions
of what an English authority has described as "the most cheerfully
industrious, orderly, and wealthy nation in Asia."


THE EMPEROR OF CHINA.

3.--Over them despotically reigns, from the absolute seclusion enforced
by tradition of The Forbidden City at Peking, the youthful descendant
of The Conqueror who, two centuries and a half ago, placed for the
second time the Tartar sceptre over the Chinese, and assumed the style
of "The Son of Heaven."

The Crown does not devolve by primogeniture, but by the posthumously
declared selection of the reigning Emperor among the male members of a
younger line of the Imperial House.


THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT.

4.--The Central Government is regulated by an Inner Chamber, a Grand
Council, and the following six Ministries or Boards: (_a_) Civil
Office, (_b_) Revenue, (_c_) War, (_d_) Works, (_e_) Ceremonies, (_f_)
Punishments. Each Board is composed of Manchus (Tartars) and Chinese in
equal numbers, with two Presidents--a system excluding individual power
or responsibility.

The executive orders go from the Throne, and are obtained, according
to ancient custom, on petitions presented by the Presidents of Boards
or Members of the Grand Council, upon their knees, at or before
sunrise,--the course of the Vermilion Pencil of the sovereign being,
it is said, much influenced by the Empress Dowager, who, during the
Imperial minority of seventeen years, skilfully administered the
Regency.


FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

5.--The relations of China with Foreign Powers are conducted through
a special Board or office--the "Tsung-Li-Yamen,"--consisting of
eleven members of the Grand Council and six Chief Secretaries, a
considerable number of whom, with a large retinue of servants, receive,
round a sweetmeat-covered table, the official visits of diplomatic
representatives. This collective conduct of state business, added to
the difficulties of a language which, although monosyllabic, contains
over 20,000 characters, and the necessity of all communications passing
through interpreters (except in the case of the French Minister,
who speaks Chinese), much restrains and practically prohibits the
confidential and personal negotiations which, in other countries, so
much facilitate the satisfactory conclusion of public affairs.


PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION.

6.--For purposes of provincial administration, China is divided into
several Viceroyalties, each invested with a large amount of sovereign
power, including taxation, internal order and defence. It is subject,
however, to many ingenious checks. In the first place, a Tartar General
is attached to each Viceroy, in a semi-independent position, and his
assent to many administrative matters is essential. Secondly, there is
a rule against the appointment of a Chinese Viceroy over any province
or provinces whereof he is a native. There is also the vigilance of
a Board of Censors, established 160 years B.C., and theoretically
consisting "of the most enlightened, righteous, and firm persons,"
whose duty it is to warn the Emperor direct of anything done to the
public detriment, not excepting even Imperial laches; for the Chinese
maxim runs--"To violate the law is the same crime in the Emperor as in
a subject."

There are, within the Viceroyalties, 18 provinces, over each of
which is an Imperially-appointed Governor, a Treasurer, a Judge
and Comptrollers of the Salt Monopoly and the Grain Tribute. Every
province is again subdivided into prefectures, departments, districts,
and townships under small Mandarins, and into village communes under
Headmen.

The territories of Mongolia and Manchuria are administered martially;
in Thibet and Corea there are "Residents" representing the Chinese
Suzerain.


THE MANDARINATE.

7.--The Mandarinate is not hereditary, save in the case of a few
princely families, largely debarred from public life, and the still
surviving house of Confucius, which was elevated to a Dukedom, 1500
years after the death of its founder, in 479 B.C.


PUBLIC OFFICES.

Public Offices are filled by nominated Mandarins of various grades.
They obtain their posts partly by proficiency in successive urban,
provincial, metropolitan, and palace open competitive examinations in
Chinese classical lore, and partly by purchase or judicious bribery.

The former literary tests were established twelve centuries ago, and
at least 1100 years before merit or study had much place in European
patronage.

The brilliant graduate of humble origin rarely lacks, moreover, the
pecuniary support necessary for the prosecution of his studies, or for
official recognition of his examination laurels. Localities, banks,
and capitalists are usually ready to stand behind a man of promise, as
an investment, to be liberally recouped by ulterior "squeeze,"--on his
attaining place,--smally paid in itself, however exalted, but prolific
in indirect sources of enrichment.


INFLUENCE OF THE LITERATI.

8.--Nothing is declared to press so heavily upon the social, political,
and national progress of China, as the adverse influence of the
"educated" classes. So it was even in the time of the great monarch
who, 200 years before Christ, consolidated the Chinese Empire, and
built the still-enduring Great Wall, in hopes of thereby defeating
Tartar incursions. To overcome the opposition of the Literati, he
ordered all their books to be destroyed. But the fact remains that the
vigorous heads among the people, who, in other lands, have had to carve
their forward path, by agitation and revolution, through the barriers
of social rank, caste, and the privileges of wealth, have had for ages
in China an open avenue to advancement.

Thus it is that the student tendency, instead of being, as in every
other part of the world, in the direction of reform, is applied to the
most absolute maintenance of the present system, and to the rejection
alike of the methods and appliances of the Western world.


STUDENTS SENT TO EUROPE.

9.--It is true that a few youths have, from time to time, been sent
to Europe and America, but their studies have been either cut short,
or the palace circle has succeeded in relegating them, on return, to
distant posts. Some also have gone back, not imbued, like the Japanese,
with ardent enthusiasm for reforms, but apparently more embittered than
ever against the foreigner.[3] How little influence they have had,
and how little is really known of the West, may be illustrated by the
belief said to have been expressed by a provincial functionary in high
office, that foreigners came to China, from the barren rock of Europe,
to obtain "rice" as a means of subsistence; and to the opinion of
another, that we owed scientific progress, not to our own discoveries,
but to having obtained a copy of the ancient Chinese classics, saved
from the above-mentioned Imperial destruction.


NATIONAL RESULT.

10.--The national result is that, although recent events have hastened
forward the completion of a telegraph system, there is throughout the
Chinese Empire but one short railway, no proper road communication, and
defective attention to the unrivalled waterways, no uniform system of
taxation, no reliable administration of justice, no Chinese currency
(other than brass cash), no postal system, and little regard for the
public health and welfare; yet, wherewithal, there is great respect for
private property and the due transmission of the small holdings into
which the land is divided.


PROSPECT OF REFORM.

11.--That a people sometimes accounted "the active race of mankind";
as keen and reliable in business as any in the universe; the reputed
first inventors of the mariner's compass, of gunpowder, of ink,
printing, and paper (which have contributed so much to England's
greatness), should be content with such a condition of things may
well pass belief. Ambassadors have of late been sent to Europe,
Diplomatists, consuls, traders, and missionaries have endeavoured
to show the light. The example of Japan is at hand. Yet no man can
say, upon any foundation of actual fact, that a change is probable or
imminent.

It is true that fully two millions of industrious Chinese emigrants
can testify to their speedy acquirement of comparative wealth under
happier conditions, despite laws of exclusion in America. The majority
are said, however, to return quietly home and settle down (awaiting
interment in one of the family burial places which cover the surface
of the country and much prevent the sale of land) to that worship of
ancestors, filial obedience, and veneration for authority, which are
quoted with pride as contrasting favourably "with a society where each
generation despises the one which immediately preceded it, and strains
after the future without respect to the past."


WANT OF LEADERS.

12.--There is also an undoubted want of men willing to champion, or
capable of leading, a party of reform.

The two most conspicuous statesmen in the Empire--and, indeed, the only
ones--are the Viceroy of the Metropolitan Province of Chilhi, and the
Viceroy of Hupeh.

The former is His Excellency Li Hung Chang, who, for 40 years, has
possessed a great and beneficial influence. To the viceregal functions
are united those of Grand Secretary of the Empire and Commissioner for
Northern Trade, in which capacity His Excellency is consulted on all
foreign and naval matters. He has the forts on the Peiho in good order,
the troops well trained and armed--not with matchlocks or bows and
arrows, as in other viceroyalties, but with modern weapons, replenished
from arsenals at Tientsin, under foreign direction. A railway[4] runs,
moreover, under English management, to the Gulf of Pechilhi, and
its extension to within 14 miles of Peking was once authorized, but
subsequently disallowed.

Unfortunately, Li Hung Chang, who has given not a few proofs of his
good-will and preference for England, is over 70 years of age, and
his brother, the Viceroy of Canton, who also vainly seeks to build a
railway to Kowloon, opposite Hong Kong, is still older.

His Excellency Chang Chili Tung, Viceroy of Hupeh and Houan, is a
different stamp of man, in the prime of life, and energetic. But the
regeneration of the Chinese must be, he contends, by the Chinese, and
not by foreigners. To carry out his project of a railway from Hankow
to Peking, he was transferred from a superior viceroyalty, and to
this end an iron foundry has been established at Hanvang. The rails
and the plant are all, however, to be of Chinese make, so that the
commencement, not to say the opening of the line, is still in the Greek
Kalends.


SECRET SOCIETIES.

13.--The influence of secret societies is also prejudicial to reform.
They exist in every province, but their objects are often merely local
and devoid of revolutionary aims. Their existence has, however, been
put forward upon more than one occasion in extenuation of popular
excesses.

Some, moreover, like the "Kolao Hui," or Association of Elder Brethren,
mainly formed of disbanded soldiers eager for employment, have spread
widely, and could bring about serious trouble. Others, like the "Broken
Coffin Society," so well repressed by the British among the vast
Chinese population of the Straits Settlements, have predatory aims.

It is not, however, thought that the overthrow of the system of
government, or of a dynasty, which has exterminated its rival, is held
in serious contemplation, except by extremists, who may, however, get
the upper hand. Very summary proceedings and execution tend to damp the
enthusiasm of active agitation. Moreover, the difficulty the Southern
Provinces, speaking Cantonese, or the Centre and Western Districts,
speaking other dialects, have in making themselves understood by
Northerners, speaking Mandarin, or the official language,[5] coupled
with the practical absence of a press (besides the Official Gazette),
restrains revolutionary propaganda by means more effectual than police
edicts.


INTERCOURSE WITH FOREIGN NATIONS.

14.--At the same time the intercourse of China with the outer world
has undergone frequent change, and especially during the present
generation. The leading incentor to French activity in the Far East,
says--"Yesterday Chinese trade did not exist for Europe, but to-day it
puts thousands of arms in motion in England, and amounts to millions."

This is literally true. The Dutch and the Portuguese were before us.
Even as early as A.D. 971, a superintendent was appointed at Ningpo to
overlook foreign trade, and before that, there was such a functionary
stationed at Canton. Until the latter part of the last century the
British flag had hardly appeared. But now we have outstripped the
competition of the whole of the world.

Fifty years ago England sent to China barely half a million worth of
goods. The first war Her Majesty was obliged to wage in the interests
of British trade, brought about the opening of new ports, and in
1844 the English exports to the China Sea exceeded £2,300,000. Then
were forced upon us the operations of 1857-58, and the war of 1860,
resulting in the Treaty of Peking. Within the next decade British
commerce rose to £9,000,000 a year. Now it is half as much again.
Apart, then, from the indemnity, and the anterior cession of Hong Kong,
become one of the greatest, as well as most beautiful, ports in the
world, the cost of the operations has been defrayed many times over in
increased wages to British artisans.


BENEFIT TO CHINA.

15.--Nor has the advantage been one-sided. The gain to China has
been even greater. The value of the Chinese foreign trade for 1890
is given by Sir Robert Hart, the Inspector-General of the imperial
Maritime Customs (an Englishman whose eminent services to China receive
universal recognition), at 214 million Haikwan taels (the average value
of which, for last year, was 5_s._ 2-1/4_d._), say, in round numbers,
£53,000,000, or double the total of a few years age, while in the last
decennial period the imports have increased by 48 million taels, and
the exports by 9 millions.


TREATY PORTS.

16.--Under various treaties, mainly negotiated by England, twenty-one
ports and places have been opened for foreign trade and residence, of
which five are on the River Yangtze, penetrating over a thousand miles
into the heart of the interior. Two other places were added in 1889,
under agreement with France.

At most treaty ports a portion of the urban area has been assigned
to the foreign community, who are left free to provide for its
regulations--a duty which is usually discharged by the help of tolls on
shipping and house rates, as to roads, lighting, public conveyances,
and buildings, in a manner which sets the most successful example of
municipal work to the neighbouring native administration.


DUTY UPON FOREIGN GOODS.

17.--An import and an export duty, each averaging 5 per cent. _ad
valorem_, is levied upon goods conveyed in foreign vessels, which are,
upon the other hand, exempted from the "Likin" or war tax, and freely
granted transit passes, clearing them from the prefectural tolls, which
do not a little to embarrass the native trader in the interior.

The duty upon foreign goods is collected by the Imperial Maritime
Customs--a splendid service, employing 700 Europeans and 4000 Chinese.
It yielded, in 1890, a revenue of 22 million taels (say £5,500,000) to
the Chinese Government, or a third more than ten years ago, and further
supervises the lighting and buoying of the coast.


DUTY UPON NATIVE GOODS.

18.--The import and the export duty upon goods conveyed in Chinese
junks is levied by the Chinese Customs Service; and it is said that
many shipments are so made to escape the vigilance and the higher
taxation of the European Administration, and are subsequently
transferred to foreign bottoms at Hong Kong or elsewhere.


BRITISH SHARE OF FOREIGN TRADE.

19.--Three-fourths of the entire foreign trade of China fell, last
year, to the share of the British Empire, or more, by three million
taels, than that done by the entire Continent of Europe and the United
States of America. The trade with the United Kingdom, including that
passing through Hong Kong, exceeded £15,000,000.

The Commissioners of Customs at Tientsin, Newchwang, Ningpo, and other
treaty ports, all speak of "the increased demand for British goods," in
spite of much distress last year, owing to floods in many places; and
while Shanghai reports that "German figures fall off decidedly," the
Commissioner at Kinkiang states that "the British and Chinese had all
the trade to themselves."


BRITISH SHIPPING IN CHINESE WATERS.

20.--This fortunate state of affairs is strikingly illustrated by the
British shipping in Chinese waters. The red ensign of England, which
appeared on the first steamer in the Yellow Sea, in 1830, floated
in 1890 upon 16,897 of the 20,530 foreign vessels which entered and
cleared at Chinese ports, while the British tonnage amounted to 8/9ths
of the whole.

Our next competitors were the Germans, with whom we have so much in
common, and who are sparing no effort to develop their China trade.
They entered and cleared 2140 vessels last year, or 622 fewer than in
1888, with a diminution of 227,000 tons burthen.

A good proportion of the coast-carrying trade was also done by
British-built steamers, carrying the dragon flag, and wholly owned by
Chinese merchants. But, with very few exceptions, insurance companies
and underwriters insist upon such vessels being commanded and officered
by British or Americans. Besides this, the majority of the pilots on
the Peiho and other rivers are British, a state of affairs pointing to
the necessity of nothing being omitted by the Board of Trade to afford
every possible facility to the merchant marine to acquire the technical
knowledge necessary to maintain this world-wide reputation of the
English for superior nautical skill.


PREPONDERANCE OF BRITISH INTERESTS.

21.--These facts show the enormous preponderance of British interests
in China,--a condition of things existing also in Japan,--not only over
those of the whole world, but especially as regards those of France,
Germany, Russia, or any other European power.

They are corroborated by the establishment in China of 327 British
firms, or double the number of the mercantile houses of every other
nation, and by the residence at the treaty ports of over 3300 British
subjects, out of a total foreign population of about 8000.

Germany comes next with 80 firms and 640 residents; following her,
America, with 32 firms; and then France, with 19 firms and 590 persons.


REPRESENTATION OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE.

22.--Under such circumstances the British public cannot be otherwise
than glad that Her Majesty the Queen is fitly represented at Peking
by what is not unfrequently described in the vernacular as "The Great
English Legation."

The consular service of Britain in China is also manned by some
three-score officers, each one of whom is an accomplished Chinese
scholar, a large majority having passed through the arduous Student
Interpreter Course, which is ready to fill junior vacancies, as they
occur, with young men evidently as well selected as they are carefully
trained.


DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR ASSISTANCE TO BRITISH TRADES.

23.--At the same time it would be idle to deny that, in spite of
recent improvements, British traders generally complain in China,
as elsewhere, of the lack of diplomatic and consular assistance in
the advancement of English trade, and the apparently little official
interest shown therein.

The French have a like grievance, and the work of German
representatives for their nationals is often cited with envy. It is
said, though probably with exaggerated truth, that German Ministers and
Consuls are unflagging in their efforts to advance German commercial
interests, to show that German traders have government recognition and
approval, and that the employment of Germans, instead of English or
French, is much appreciated by the Emperor William.

It is possible that the out-of-date view that diplomatic and
consular officers are purely political agents may be excessively
retained in some instances, and that the assistance rendered by Her
Majesty's Consuls to British trade might advantageously receive more
encouragement and departmental recognition.

There can be no doubt, however, of the difficulty which would ensue
by consular espousal of the interests of a particular firm to the
inevitable prejudice of a rival house.

Nor is the prestige small or unimportant which Her Majesty's service
derives from the fact that any expressions of opinion, or any advice
tendered, are known to be wholly free from any interested motives.


IRON AND STEEL TRADE IN CHINA.

24.--In examining the position in China of particular industries,
attention must first be directed to the iron, steel, and hardware trade.

The standard work (Williams' "Middle Kingdom") says:--"Handicraftsmen
of every name are content with coarse-looking tools compared with
those turned out at Sheffield; but the work produced by some of them
is far from contemptible. The bench of the carpenter is a low, narrow,
inclined frame, on which he sits to plane, groove, and work his boards,
using his feet and toes to steady them. His augers, bits, and gimlets
are worked with a bow; but most of the edge-tools employed by him and
the blacksmith are similar in shape, but less convenient than our own.
They are sharpened with bows, on grindstones, and also with a cold
steel like a spokeshave, with which the edge is scraped thin.

"Steel is everywhere manufactured in a rude way, but the foreign
importation is gradually supplying a better article."


IMPORTATION OF METALS.

25.--This is illustrated by the importation, in 1890, of 242,000 taels
(60,500_l._) worth of steel, besides 800,000 taels worth of iron
sheets, plates, bars, hoops, nail rod, pig and old iron, and 500,000
taels worth of copper bars, nails, wire, &c.,--a purchase exceeding
400,000_l._,--the greater part of which was from the United Kingdom.

The Statistical Secretary of the Imperial Maritime Customs states
that "iron of all kinds maintained, in 1890, a steady consumption of
1,100,000 piculs (each picul equals 133-1/2 lbs.), and steel rose from
39,000 to 56,000 piculs,--an increase of 43 per cent.,--although it is
noticeable that the import is very variable from year to year."

The Commissioner at Newchwang states that "importations of metals
advanced to the enormous extent of 113 per cent. over 1889--the most
conspicuous being nail rod;" while his colleague at Tientsin speaks of
"the increasing demand for manufactured iron nails, which are cheaper
and better than those made by native blacksmiths;" and Chin-kiang
states, from the Central Provinces--"For iron of all kinds, 1890 totals
have not been equalled."


SHEFFIELD ENTERPRISE.

26.--The enterprise of Sheffield has not been behindhand. In 1843,
after the Northern ports had been opened, a _Times_ correspondent
reported "that an eminent Sheffield firm sent out a large consignment
of knives and forks, and declared themselves prepared to supply all
China with cutlery. The Chinamen, who knew not the use of knives and
forks (or, as they say, abandoned the use of them when they became
civilized), but toss the rice into their mouths with chopsticks, would
not look at these best balanced knives. They were sold at prices which
scarcely realized their freight, and shops were for years afterwards
adorned with them, formed into devices, like guns in an armoury."

A somewhat similar fate has attended the efforts of another prominent,
but younger firm, whose dust-covered sample cards were shown me in
Shanghai.

Although in 1885 Germany sent a considerable quantity of cutlery to
Tientsin, Chefoo, and elsewhere, Sheffield evidently meets the demand
of foreign residents as regards table articles, for some of our leading
names are present at every meal.


DEMAND FOR RAZORS.

27.--The demand for razors is, however, enormous. It is stated that,
having regard to the artificially caused excess of the male population,
some 180 or 200 millions of men have their heads and faces "painfully"
shaved once a week by a razor of the rude specimen I am sending,
with others, to the Cutlers' Hall, and which cost about 5 cents, or
2-1/2_d._ Three-quarters of a Chinaman's head is always kept closely
shaved, and custom prohibits either whiskers or beards, and even
moustaches, unless before then a grandfather!

At Canton, a well-known Hallamshire trade-mark is reported as selling
freely on razors at 20 cents. But in other places, more removed from
British example, I was assured that it is quite hopeless to induce
Chinese barbers to adopt the Sheffield shapes, unless they wish to
empty their crowded shops. For the Sheffield-made _Chinese pattern_,
however, a vast demand might possibly be brought about by careful
agents, if only it can be done at the low price the Chinese are willing
to pay.


DEMAND FOR LARGE FORGINGS.

28.--There is already a considerable request for large forgings, and
the arsenals under the control of Englishmen are steadfast believers in
the undoubted superiority of English manufacture. But all agree that it
is nothing compared to what will come when China really begins to go
ahead, and to open up for her people the vast wealth of the Empire. The
representatives of Messrs. Krupp and of M. Creuzot are very vigilant,
active, and skilful.


ADOPTION OF METRICAL MEASUREMENT.

29.--In connection with this matter, it is important to mention that
a recommendation is about to go forward from a high authority, to
whom attention is paid, that China should adopt, as Japan has already
done, the metrical system of measurement of France and Germany. Unless
this is fully realized, there may be a loss of valuable business, for
although there are measures which render feet and inches in mètres and
millimètres with the utmost nicety, foreigners contend that there is
sometimes an inevitable plus or minus, which upsets calculations.


WANT OF UNIFORM MONETARY STANDARD.

30.--In the same direction, too, it may not be amiss to give expression
to the general mercantile complaint of the absence of a uniform and
international decimal monetary system. Not only are many firms ruined
by unexpected and often unaccountable fluctuations of exchange between
the 29 principal currencies of the world, but the clerical labour
involved, not to speak of constant misunderstandings, is stated to be
most prejudicial.

This can be appreciated when it is considered that trade in the
East is conducted in rupees, piastres, Mexican and American dollars,
Japanese yen, silver shoes, shapes, and bars; Haikwan, Shanghai, and
Tientsin taels--the latter unrepresented by coins or notes, and all
varying in value from day to day. The Shanghai tael, for instance,
which was worth 4_s._ 3-1/8_d._, on February 28th, 1890, rose to 5_s._
3-1/8_d._, by September 5th,--a difference of 23 per cent.,--and fell
back again 13 per cent. in the next two months. The rupee, too, worth
2_s._ at par, was at a discount of eightpence in 1889, but early in
1890 all but touched 1_s._ 9_d._, until, in November, it fell to 1_s._
5-1/2_d._--each penny of fall occasioning not only great loss to
individuals, but it is calculated many thousand lacs of rupees to the
Indian Government.

It is difficult to say which decimal system has the most
advocates,--probably dollars and cents,--but all agree that pounds,
shillings and pence, and English coins on which the value is not
stated, entail more trouble than any standard.


COTTON GOODS.

31.--The vast present and the enormous future interest Lancashire has
in China, as also the British capitalist in India, is shown by the
Imperial customs report for 1890. It runs thus:--"Cotton goods bounded
upwards in value from 36 million taels in 1889, to 45 millions (say
11,000,000_l._) in 1890--an increase of 25 per cent. Cotton goods
of nearly every texture were infected with the general contagion of
increase, and expanding in quantity and value, while cotton yarn, and
more particularly that from India, poured into China in a higher ratio
of increase than ever heretofore, having risen from 108,000 piculs in
1878, to over a million piculs in 1890, representing 19-1/3 millions
of taels (say nearly 5,000,000_l._), or 50 per cent. more than in the
previous year."

It is not necessary to add anything to this authoritative statement,
unless it be that the French efforts to force their "cotonnade"
upon the Annamites, by prohibitory duties upon all foreign goods in
Indo-China, are unavailing, and that the prospect before Manchester is
unlimited so soon as the South-West of China is opened from Burmah. It
is tempered only by the establishment of mills to turn Chinese-grown
cotton into yarn.


WOLLENS.

32.--In woollen goods there was, in 1890, an importation of 3-1/2
million taels worth--a slight falling off compared with the previous
year, mainly in English camlets and lastings.


EXPORT OF SILK.

33.--Nothing, perhaps, more eloquently exhibits the importance of
China as a commercial factor in the world, and the necessity of foreign
trade to her people, than the silk industry, which employs many tens
of thousands of persons. Fifty years ago not a bale was exported, at
least to England; but last year over 30-1/4 million taels' worth were
sent abroad. Even that large quantity showed a falling away, owing to
transient circumstances, of 16 per cent. over the previous year.


THE TEA TRADE.

34.--The staple export of China, and the one with which the Celestial
Empire is most closely identified in the popular mind, is, of course,
her tea.

In 1670, eighty pounds of China tea were exported into England, and,
despite export duties, varying in China and in the United Kingdom from
400 per cent. on the productive cost to 100 per cent. at the present
time, the trade increased to 108 million pounds in 1880.


INDIA TEA.

35.--Since then there has, however, been a serious decline, increasing
so much, from year to year, as to jeopardize the entire industry.
This is declared to be mainly owing to the fortuitous development of
tea-planting in India and Ceylon, and to the preference shown by the
English consumer for tea of British growth.

Twelve months after the Queen's accession, 400 lbs. of Indian tea were
sent to England as an experiment. In 1890 the consignment was over
100,000,000 lbs., and Ceylon sent nearly half as much. The effect has
been that, while, in 1865, out of every 100 lbs. of tea sold in England
97 lbs. were Chinese and only 3 lbs. Indian, in 1890 the Chinese
proportion had fallen by about 50 per cent., and the cost to the
British tea drinker was also in like degree reduced.

One reason put forward by the experts, consulted by the Maritime
Customs, is that "a good stout tea, that will stand several waterings,
is what suits the mass of English consumers, and this India provides
much better than China." The English merchants at Shanghai and Foochow
affirm, however, that this greater strength is purchased by the
retention of deleterious properties.


APATHY OF THE CHINESE.

36.--It is in vain that the attention of Chinese cultivators has been
called to the condition of the tea industry by all concerned. Moreover,
four years ago, the Inspector-General of Customs thus addressed the
Imperial authorities:--

"To a government, its people's industries must be of higher importance
than revenue. I would, therefore, advise that taxes be remitted, in
order that industries may be preserved. Think for the people, and
forego revenue. Export duties ought to be light, in order that the
surplus production of a people may go for sale elsewhere. Import
duties, on the contrary, are the duties which ought to be retained;
but the use to be made of each commodity ought to be well weighed. If
it is something people cannot do without, it ought to be exempt from
duty; but if it is a luxury, it ought to be heavily taxed. On the right
application of these principles depend the nation's wealth, and the
people's too."

Nothing whatever has been done. From Foochow the export has declined
by one-half in ten years, and deprived the revenue of a million taels
a year, and the people of five million taels in wages. The opinion is
indeed general "that the gradual extinction of the China tea trade
is practically assured, unless something retards Indian and Ceylon
production, or drastic measures are adopted."

The "Shanli," or hill tax; the "Likin," or war tax, and the export
duty, are all maintained intact, and the unfortunate Chinese growers
have to compete with the untaxed tea of India and Ceylon. What distress
is likely soon to ensue may be gathered from the fact that the
production of one-half only of the output of the Assam Company, with
its few hundred employés, affords the main sustenance of 4500 Chinese
families, or, say, about 20,000 persons. They are themselves, moreover,
so apprehensive that the introduction of the machinery in vogue in
India and Ceylon will diminish employment that the Government has not
felt itself strong enough to protect its use.


FOREIGN OPIUM TRAFFIC.

37.--The opium question excites much interest in England. Some
philanthropists have feared that the revenue of over 5,000,000_l._
a year, derived by the Indian Government from the licensed and
carefully-restricted cultivation of the raw material of the valuable
drug, is in major degree responsible for the reported influence upon
the Chinese of opium smoking. They may be somewhat reassured by the
result of a careful European inquiry, officially instituted throughout
the Empire. It shows that imported opium is only smoked by the
affluent, the luxurious, and well-to-do, or, at most, by one-third of
one per cent. of the population; that is, by about three per thousand.

The annual importation used to amount to an average of 100,000 chests,
yielding, for smoking, about 4000 tons of boiled opium. They cost the
consumers upwards of 17,000,000_l._, of which 3,000,000_l._ went to
the Chinese revenue. But it is a rapidly declining element in Chinese
finances, and the deficit may, before long, have to be made up by
increasing the duties upon other imports.


NATIVE OPIUM.

38.--Native opium was known, produced, and used in China long before
any Europeans began the sale of the foreign drug. The records of the
10th century prove this; and opium figures as an item in the tariff
of 1589, and again in a customs list of the 17th century. Hundreds
of square miles are devoted to the cultivation of the poppy, which,
according to the late Dr. Williams, "is now grown in every province,
without any real restraint being anywhere put on it." Native opium
sells for half the price of the foreign article, and its smokers are
consequently more numerous among the people and younger practitioners
(_i.e._, those from 25 to 35 years of age). It is, in short, say the
latest reports, "forcing foreign opium out of consumption with triple
energy."


NUMBER OF OPIUM SMOKERS.

39.--The best authorities concur that the whole of the smokers, of
either foreign or native opium, do not exceed two-thirds of one per
cent. of the population, or adding a margin, say, seven per thousand
(Replies to Circular No. 64, Second Series, Inspectorate General of
Customs)--a state of affairs which is corroborated from the great
town of Tientsin, with its million of inhabitants. The Commissioner
of Customs reports "that but little opium is consumed, owing to the
growing influence of Abstention Societies, the 40,000 members of which
neither smoke the drug or tobacco, nor drink liquors of any kind."


EFFECT OF OPIUM-SMOKING.

40.--The effect of opium-smoking, injurious and wasting of vital power
though it may be, is certainly not apparent to the ordinary traveller;
and the American clergyman, whose work on China, founded on the
experience of a life-time, aided by keenest judgment, has been adopted
by every foreign legation as the Text Book for aspiring Consuls, thus
records his opinion:--

"A dose of opium does not produce the intoxication of ardent spirits,
and, so far as the peace of the community and his family are concerned,
the smoker is less troublesome than the drunkard. The former never
throws the chairs and tables about the room, or drives his wife out of
doors in his furious rage; he never goes reeling through the streets
or takes lodgings in the gutter, but, contrariwise, he is quiet and
pleasant, and fretful only when the effects of the pipe are gone."


MISSIONARY WORK IN CHINA.

41.--The missionary work of endeavouring to reclaim China from the
faith which was first introduced 65 years before Christ, and whereof
the leading principles are stated as the worship of ancestors and of
sky and earth, has become, during the last 30 years, of political as
well as of religious importance, for it constantly gives rise, and has
done so very lately, to serious international difficulties.

Although there are many who regard the missionaries as doing valuable
secular service in accustoming the native population in remote
districts to the sight of European faces, and in prompting inquiry as
to the source of their evenly balanced and steady lives, constituting
them thus as pioneers of trade, it is undoubted that the great majority
of foreign residents are openly sceptical as to the fertility of the
missionary field. They are especially apprehensive of the effect when
the ground is tilled by fragile mothers and young ladies in the teeth
of deep and apparently ineradicable prejudice against the public work
of women, and particularly in conjunction with the opposite sex, for
as an incendiary proclamation, calling on Wuhu "to chase out all the
barbarian thieves," ran, "This breach of morality and custom is in
itself a violation of the fixed laws of the State."


ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES.

42.--The first missionary labourers were the Italian Jesuits. They
came to China three centuries ago, and by toleration some of the least
objectionable tenets of Buddhism, and a malicious employment of their
European learning, obtained such imperial favour as to be put at
the head of the Astronomical Board, and to be employed to build the
celebrated summer palace. There seemed, indeed, every possibility,
at one time, of the wholesale conversion of the Chinese to the Roman
Catholic Church, termed by the Emperor, K'anghi, "the Sect of the Lord
of the Sky." But then came Christian dissension, and following it soon,
as in Japan, their persecution, slaughter, and expulsion.

Now the Church of Rome is stated to have, in China, 60 Bishops or
Vicars Apostolic, some 600 European Priests (of whom 65 per cent.
are French), and about 400 Chinese clergy. It claims, also, close
upon 700,000 adherents (in Japan the proportion is one in every 905
persons)--a calculation which should, however, be read probably in
conjunction with the officially published fact, that of 13,684 baptisms
in the metropolitan diocese between August 15th, 1891, and August 14th,
1891, 11,583 were "_baptismi puerorum infidelium in articulo mortis_."

At the same time recognition should be given to the general respect
entertained by foreigners of opposing Christian creeds for the
life-long devotion to their task, on the slenderest stipend, of the
Roman priesthood. Their success as to numbers is also said to be
much aided by their care of the mundane interests of the converted,
who, loath to continue subscribing to family memorial halls for
communication with ancestors, and to extravagant funeral rites, if not
also to that support of aged parents which is obligatory on Chinese
Buddhists, are shunned by their kindred, and often find private
employment, even in foreign families, as impossible to obtain as a
public office.


PROTESTANT MISSIONS.

43.--Nor have the Protestant Churches, although later in the field,
been backward in sending out representatives. A considerable proportion
of the _thirteen hundred thousand_ pounds, which is on an average
annually subscribed in the United Kingdom for the support of Foreign
Missions, goes from "Darkest England" to China. The United States are
even more liberal, and school buildings have been erected by Americans,
on an extensive scale, in many places.

Forty-one Protestant Societies were represented in 1890, by 589 men,
391 wives, and 316 single ladies,--a total of 1296 persons, of whom
724 were British, 513 American, and 59 Continental,--assisted by 1660
natives. These numbers may now be slightly larger.

As regards persuasions, 7 per cent. of the Protestant Missions belong
to the Church of England, 20 per cent. are Presbyterian, 14 per cent.
Methodist, 12 per cent. Congregational, 9 per cent. Baptist, and the
larger number, or 38 per cent., unclassified.

There are upwards of 550 Protestant Churches, distributing, in 1889,
700,000 Bibles and 1,200,000 tracts, and over 60 hospitals and 50
dispensaries.

The result of the work since 1842, reported to the Protestant
Conference, held in 1890, was, in round numbers, 37,300 communicants
(of whom over two-thirds are stated to be Nonconformists), or about
one in ten thousand of the population; 19,800 pupils; while 348,000
persons were returned as having received medical aid, or at least to
have visited a missionary dispensary--a work which is acknowledged by
all to be of the utmost value, to be of real national benefit, and
to be appreciated by the people. It is much encouraged by the Rev.
Hudson Taylor, himself a surgeon and native of Barnsley, who from
Shanghai directs, with great tact, the undenominational China Inland
Mission, the members of which adopt, like the Roman Catholics, the
Chinese costume, and, like them, are smally remunerated, the expenses
of the Mission, exceeding £38,000 a year, being met by unsolicited
contributions.


THE RECENT DISTURBANCES.

44.--The disturbances on the Yangtze in 1891, like those at Tientsin
in 1870, had for ostensible cause the fixed popular suspicion that
the succour of foundlings by the Roman Catholic sisterhoods is for
nefarious medicinal purposes. Many of the female children, purposely
exposed to die, are necessarily, as indeed in Europe, in a moribund
condition when brought in, and the mortality is very high. This is
confirmed by the baptismal figures above quoted. The freedom of access,
anywhere and to anybody, which is inseparable from Chinese life, and is
tolerated, however disagreeable, by the most experienced missionaries,
has also sometimes been attended, it is alleged, with difficulty,
especially from native converts, and irritation has resulted.

The facts disclosed in the British Parliamentary Paper (C. 6431)
appear to be that, on May 9th, 1891, two Chinese nuns were visiting a
sick family at Wuhsueh, on the river Yangtze. As the disease of the
parents was infectious, they removed the children. On the way to the
Mission they met a relation, who demanded their restoration. This being
refused, the nuns were taken before a magistrate, who, however, on the
requisition of the fathers, immediately released them.

This excited much popular agitation, and three days afterwards,
a woman came to the Mission to claim a child alleged to have died
therein. As she was accompanied by a small crowd, which assembles in
the narrow teeming streets of China on the slightest pretext, admission
was _apparently_ refused. Then commenced the work of destruction,
costing two Englishmen, who gallantly went from some distance to
render help, their lives, and imperilling many others, not only in the
locality itself, but, later on, elsewhere on the river. Much foreign
property was destroyed, and a very serious state of affairs seemed
likely to supervene, for, as _The Times_ recently wrote, and experience
has often shown, "Native feelings of hostility, once roused against
the white man and whetted by the intoxication of success, cannot be
expected to take account of an imaginary dividing line between two
spheres."


ANTI-FOREIGN FEELING.

45.--In attributing the outbreak to Chinese hatred of the foreigner,
two observations appear in this instance to claim consideration. The
first is by Mr. Consul Gardner, in his despatch of June 9:--

"The mob was composed of many hostile from mere ignorance, many
from the force of contagion, some from fear of others, a few really
friendly, who, like the soldiers, led a lady to a place of safety under
pretence of robbing her of a ring, and others who sheltered them from
blows, while very few deliberately meant mischief."

The other is by the Rev. David Hill, a Wesleyan missionary of much
experience, who was officially employed to inquire into the facts.
Under date June 12th. 1891, he writes:--

"One thing which the sight of the house impressed on me was the
evidence which it gave of the hold on the people's mind which the
rumours as to the destruction of infant life have gained. On the upper
story, the ceiling had been inspected by means of a ladder, which
evidently had been brought up for the purpose. On the ground floor the
boards of one of the rooms had been fired, and a large aperture made.
Below the ground floor the ventilators outside had been torn open, as
though search had been made for missing infants, and, of course, the
lath and plaster walls in all the rooms where they might be found were
pierced."

This latter view is confirmed by the Rev. Father de Quellec, who,
writing in the _Missions Catholiques_, describes how, at another place,
on the night of May 23rd, a dead child, from whom the eyes had been
removed, was placed on vacant land near the Mission. A crowd assembling
next morning, cried out, "It is the European devil who has torn out the
eyes and heart of this child!" The house was stormed, but fortunately
a magistrate arrived with troops more under command than is usual in
China, and the mob was dispersed. "But," adds the Father, "eight out of
ten believe that we take out the eyes and store them in the cellars of
the Mission."

It is contended that, under such antagonistic circumstances, rescue
work should be guided by the greatest care, for otherwise its use,
to the prejudice of both missionary efforts and European trade,
by reactionaries, is _inevitable_. Their sinister influence, once
asserted, may at any moment call into fatally destructive play, as
indeed recently, the anti-foreign feeling entertained by a large
proportion of the Chinese.

That this anti-foreign feeling exists all agree. It is urged that it
must never be forgotten--for what renders it especially serious in
China, is the frequent evidence of its being fanned from above--and
that the authorities have no efficient machinery of civil order on
which reliance can be placed. Nor is the Central Government always
able to enforce its will on distant provincial authorities, or even to
prevent their varying the orders of the Throne.

At the same time, say others, the hostility may be exaggerated. The
employment of over 100,000 Chinese by foreign residents, many in highly
confidential capacities, both in the office and the household, and as
many more on board foreign ships, tends to confirm the general verdict
that the people, in an individual sense, are civil, obliging, and even
hospitable towards the foreigner, and well-disposed especially towards
the English trader, who treats them fairly good-humouredly, and without
offending their national prejudices. This is supported, even from Wuhu
itself, for the last Trade Report says: "The trade in goods classed
under Foreign Sundries has increased rapidly during the past two years,
and shows a gain of 70 per cent."


SUMMARY OF BRITISH POSITION IN CHINA.

46.--It remains but to summarize the position of affairs as regards
British interests in China, so far as I have been able to grasp it.

    (_a_) That three-fourths of the foreign trade is in British hands,
    and a still larger proportion of the shipping in Chinese waters.

    (_b_) That British commercial firms and residents are in a large
    majority among the foreign population.

    (_c_) That the contiguity to China of British India, Burmah, and
    Hong Kong, and the large numbers of Chinese residents in British
    territories, give England an especial interest in the welfare of
    the Empire, and in the gradual opening of the vast markets in the
    West, South-West, and Centre.

    (_d_) That while British interests outweigh, in their magnitude,
    variety, and extent, not only those of every other Great Power,
    but those also of the whole world, Russia upon the North and
    North-West, and from her adjacent port of Vladivostock; France, her
    ally, upon the South from Tonquin; and Germany upon the coast, are
    anxious and watchful competitors.


POLICY OF BRITAIN.

47.--The course of policy best calculated, under such a condition of
things, to maintain and extend British commerce is a matter for the
Electorate to decide. Those who share the feeling of the majority in
Sheffield, that the undeviating conduct of the foreign affairs of the
Empire is essential to the expansion of foreign trade and its wealth of
home employment, will probably consider--

    (_a_) That the British Industrial interests at stake in China,
    and also in Japan, are too great to be necessarily linked to the
    comparatively trivial concerns of any other nation.

    (_b_) That as they are mainly dependent upon the safety of the
    resident standard bearers of British trade, Her Majesty's ships
    in Eastern waters[6] should always be sufficiently numerous and
    ready at any moment to protect them, unaided, in their persons and
    property.

    (_c_) That the trade route from Europe to Asia, and its line of
    defence--Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Egypt, Aden, Ceylon, Singapore,
    and Hong Kong--should always be kept in British hands, and secure
    against any possible attack.

    (_d_) That at the same time, no accession of friendly territory
    being desired, and only mutuality of commerce on equitable terms,
    the Emperor of China and the Imperial Government should be enabled,
    by the Queen's representatives, to feel that the support of England
    will always be forthcoming in any step for the advancement of the
    Chinese nation, the development of amicable relations, and the
    security of the Empire against any unwarranted maritime aggression.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 3: A Chinese literate, who had been to Paris for study,
expressed his opinions of Europe in the following terms. He freely
acknowledged the superiority of our intellectual enterprise, without
being at all persuaded that it was a thing for which we were to be
envied:--"The eyes of your intelligence," he used to say, "are more
piercing than ours, but you look so far that you do not see about you.
You have a bold spirit which must make you successful in many things;
but you have not enough respect for what deserves to be respected.
This perpetual agitation in which you live, this constant want of
diversion, clearly indicates that you are not happy. With you, a man
is always as if he were on a journey, whereas we like to be at rest.
As to your governments, I am willing to believe they have some good
in them; but if they suited you as well as ours suits us, you would
not change them so often as you do. I am quite sure to find, when I go
back to my country, the same institutions as when I left it; and I see
that not one of you would guarantee me, for even a couple of years, the
solidarity of your government as it is to-day."]

[Footnote 4: Owing to the multitudes of men who find employment in
China by tracking or towing junks and boats up and down the rivers,
canals, and other waterways, once in a splendid condition, but now much
neglected, as also in carrying tea, salt, and other produce on their
backs, over paths inaccessible to horse or cart, there is as much, or
more, popular prejudice against railways as prevailed in England 60
years ago. One writer says:--"Whenever the effects of our scientific
machinery in abridging labour are explained to a Chinaman, the first
idea that strikes him is the disastrous effect that such a system would
work upon his over-peopled country, if suddenly introduced into it, and
he never fails to deprecate such an innovation as the most calamitous
of visitations."]

[Footnote 5: It is very common to find that Chinese, meeting on board
ship, or elsewhere, with distant countrymen, are obliged to resort to
"Pidgeon" or English business jargon as their only means of linguistic
communication.]

[Footnote 6: Her Majesty's fleet round China and Japan consists,
exclusive of torpedo boats, of 22 ships, aggregating 45,100 tons, with
137 large guns. The next naval power is Russia, with 8 ships and 18,100
tons, and 61 guns. The Japanese have 29 vessels; the Chinese 20, but
all with native officers.]



MEMORANDUM UPON THE BRITISH TRADE ROAD TO THE FAR EAST.

    1.--The nearest trade road from Europe to the Far East lies through
    the Suez Canal, down the Red Sea, past Perim, to Aden; thence to
    Ceylon; from there to Singapore, and to Hong Kong in the China Sea.

    2.--As three-quarters of the external trade of both China and Japan
    is in British hands; as the British residents are nearly equal,
    numerically, to those of all foreign nations combined; and as
    British ocean steamers are more numerous than those of the whole
    world, and eightfold those of Germany, the second on the list, it
    is only fitting, independently of the possession of India, that
    this trade route should always be retained, as at the present time,
    in the hands of England, whose position is greatly strengthened by
    the possession of Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus in the Mediterranean.

    3.--So long as this sea road is held intact and properly defended,
    Great Britain remains the dominant commercial and naval power in
    the China Sea.

    4.--To pass Perim or Aden in the Red Sea, and so gain access to the
    Indian Ocean, would be almost impossible for any European power at
    war with England.

    5.--Singapore likewise commands, to a great extent, the entrance
    to, and exit from, the China Sea.

    6.--Apart, though, altogether from the active power of
    fortifications and artillery, torpedoes and submarine mines, there
    is the equally effective one of want of coal.

    7.--Even supposing that Germany, Russia, Austria, or Italy
    were able to coal at Port Said,--a state of affairs which,
    while we occupy Egypt, would not be possible in a state of
    belligerency,--their steamers could not traverse the 7000 miles to
    the coast of China without fresh fuel; and, against the will of
    England, this would not be attainable.

    8.--France alone, by coaling at Brock, opposite Aden, and
    Pondicherry, might take the outer channel of Singapore, and so
    reach Saigon, a distance of 2300 miles; or even Haiphong, in
    Tonquin, an additional 600 miles; but the vessels could only steam
    very slowly.

    9.--The defensive value to the Empire of the Colonies guarding this
    great trade road is therefore clear.

    10.--But these prosperous Colonies are also commercially valuable
    to the Empire in themselves, and particularly Ceylon, the Straits
    Settlements, and Hong Kong.

    11.--Ceylon does a trade of 6,000,000_l._ a year with the Empire,
    whereof half is with the United Kingdom, which she is now supplying
    with 50,000,000 lbs. of tea annually.

    12.--The Straits Settlements have a population of 507,000; and of
    the external trade of 178 million dollars, 78 millions are with
    the Empire. There is no public debt, and the Colony contributes
    (as also Ceylon and Hong Kong) 100,000_l._ a year for its defence,
    which is now, for the first time, upon a proper footing.

    13.--Hong Kong, ceded to the British 50 years ago, has become a
    port of first-class importance. Although, not barring the approach
    to the Upper China Sea, the Yellow Sea, and the waters of Japan,
    it does so to a large extent, in a practical sense owing to the
    coaling difficulty.

    14.--The shipping trade of Hong Kong has doubled in the past 20
    years. Of 130 million tons of shipping, passing in and out of the
    harbour in 1890, 7 million tons were British, 4 million Chinese,
    and 2-1/2 million foreign. British ships numbered 5500 (an increase
    of 136, and 400,000 tons in three years); foreign ships numbered
    2600 (an increase of 307, and 225,000 tons), and Chinese junks
    55,600--a total of 64,000 vessels.

    15.--The population of Hong Kong is about 200,000, of which 10,000
    are European, and the remainder Chinese. Emigrants from China, to
    the number of 42,000, passed through the port, and of these, 36,000
    were bound for places under the British flag, while 850,000 Chinese
    visited the island in the course of the year.

    16.--The general impression of Hong Kong, in a commercial, maritime,
    defensive, and picturesque sense, has been fittingly summed up
    by the late Governor: "It may be doubted whether the evidence of
    material and moral achievement make, anywhere, a more forcible
    appeal to eye and imagination, and whether any other spot on the
    earth is thus more likely to excite, or more fully justifies, pride
    in the name of Englishman."

    17.--Provided, therefore, the British hold firmly by this trade
    route, and, in friendly alliance with China, do all that is
    possible to develop mutual trade between Burmah and the Yunnan
    district, there is nothing to fear from the rivalry of any other
    power, for so long as South Africa remains loyal to the Empire, the
    long sea road by the Cape is absolutely impossible to any other
    nation. If, however, the short route be cut off at its base, by
    the British abandonment of the magnificent mercantile position
    established in Egypt, not only will the labour of ten years be
    thrown away, but the whole of the gigantic trade with the East be
    imperilled.

    18.--The only foreign powers capable of injuring us, in a naval
    sense, in Chinese waters are Russia and the United States. The
    former has a formidable fleet, based upon the splendid fortified
    harbour of Vladivostock, and could move land forces upon Corea.
    The reinforcement of the squadron from Europe should, however, be
    impracticable. As regards the United States, hostility is happily
    not a likely contingency; but, in any case, the 4500 miles across
    the stormy Pacific Ocean, devoid of any coaling station, unless it
    be Honolulu, is a formidable barrier.

    C. E. HOWARD VINCENT.

    21, 12, 1891.



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    CORREGGIO. See Great Artists.

    COWLEY. See Bayard Series.

    COX, DAVID. See Great Artists.

    COZZENS, F., _American Yachts_, pfs. 21_l._; art. pfs. 31_l._ 10_s._

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    _Written to Order_, 6_s._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 7: _Are not yet published._]



BOOKS BY JULES VERNE.


  ------------------------------+------------------+-----------------------
                                |{Containing 350 to| Containing the whole
                                |{600 pp. and from |  of the  text with
         LARGE CROWN 8VO.       |{50 to 100        |
                                | full-page        |  some illustrations.
                                |{illustrations.   |
  ------------------------------+--------+---------+-----------+-----------
                                |Handsome|         |Cloth     |
                                | cloth  |Plainer  |binding,  |
              WORKS.            |binding,|binding,|gilt edges,| Limp cloth.
                                |  gilt  | plain   |smaller   |
                                | edges. | edges.  |type.     |
  ------------------------------+--------+---------|----------+------------
                                | _s. d._| _s. d._ | _s.  d._ | _s.  d._
                                |        |         |          |
  20,000 Leagues under the      |        |         |          |
    Sea.                        |}10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    |  2   0
    Parts I. and II.            |}       |         |          |
  Hector Servadac               | 10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    |  2   0
  The Fur Country               | 10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    |  2   0
  The Earth to the Moon and a   |}10  6  |  5  0   |{2 vols., |  2 vols.,}
    Trip round it               |}       |         |{2_s._ ea.| 1_s._ ea.}
  Michael Strogoff              | 10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    |  2   0
  Dick Sands, the Boy Captain   | 10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    |  2   0
  Five Weeks in a Balloon       |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  Adventures of Three           |}       |         |          |
    Englishmen and              |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
    Three Russians              |}       |         |          |
  Round the World in Eighty     |        |         |          |
    Days                        |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  A Floating City               |} 7  6  |  3  6   | {2  0    |  1   0
  The Blockade Runners          |}       |         | {2  0    |  1   0
  Dr. Ox's Experiment           |   --   |   --    |  2  0    |  1   0
  A Winter amid the Ice         |   --   |   --    |  2  0    |  1   0
  Survivors of the "Chancellor" |} 7  6  |  3  6   | {3  6    | {2   0
  Martin Paz                    |}       |         | {2  0    | {1   0
  The Mysterious Island,        |}       |         |          |
    3 vols.:--                  |}22  6  | 10  6   |  6  0    |  3   0
     I. Dropped from the Clouds |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
    II. Abandoned               |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
   III. Secret of the Island    |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Child of the Cavern       |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Begum's Fortune           |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Tribulations of a Chinaman|  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Steam House, 2 vols.:--   |}       |         |          |
    I. Demon of Cawnpore        |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
   II. Tigers and Traitors      |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Giant Raft, 2 vols.:--    |}       |         |          |
    I. 800 Leagues on the Amazon|} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
   II. The Cryptogram           |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Green Ray                 |  5  0  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  Godfrey Morgan                |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  Kéraban the Inflexible:--     |}       |         |          |
    I. Captain of the "Guidara" |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
   II. Scarpante the Spy        |} 7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Archipelago on Fire       |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Vanished Diamond          |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  Mathias Sandorf               | 10  6  |  5  0   |  3  6    | 2 vols
                                |        |         |          |  1   0 each
  Lottery Ticket                |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  The Clipper of the Clouds     |  7  6  |  3  6   |  2  0    |  1   0
  North against South           |  7  6  |  3  6   |          |
  Adrift in the Pacific         |  6  0  |  3  6   |          |
  The Flight to France          |  7  6  |  3  6   |          |
  The Purchase of the North Pole|  6  0  |         |          |
  A Family without a Name       |  6  0  |         |          |
  César Cascabel                |  6  0  |         |          |
  ------------------------------+--------+---------+----------+------------

CELEBRATED TRAVELS AND TRAVELLERS. 3 vols. 8vo, 600 pp., 100 full-page
illustrations, 7_s._ 6_d._, gilt edges, 9_s._ each:--(1) THE
EXPLORATION OF THE WORLD. (2) THE GREAT NAVIGATORS OF THE EIGHTEENTH
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    LONDON: SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY, LIMITED,
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       *       *       *       *       *
  +--------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |                                                                    |
  |                      Transcriber notes:                            |
  |                                                                    |
  | P.15. 'these flakes are formd', changed formd to 'formed'.         |
  | P.169. 'we came aross', changed 'aross' to 'across'.               |
  | P.170. 'pink and white' in another edition, missing 'and'.         |
  | P.174. 'Fugiyama' & 'Fugi', changed to 'Fujiama' & Fuji'.          |
  | P.195. 'Fugi' changed to 'Fuji'.                                   |
  | P.214. 'instal themselves', changed 'instal' to 'install'.         |
  | P.266. 'our ominibus' changed to 'ominibus' to 'omnibus'.          |
  | P.276. 'A clepsdra', changed 'clepsra' to 'clepsidra'.             |
  | P.286. 'return home' in another edition, missing 'home'.           |
  | P.287. 'reputed ro receive' changed 'ro' to 'to'.                  |
  | P.289. 'Thibet sheep' changed 'Thibet' to 'Tibet'.                 |
  | P.315. 'purple buganvillea', changed 'buganvillea' to              |
  |    'bougainvillea'.                                                |
  | P.315. 'and convolvolus', changed 'convolvolus' to 'convolvulus'.  |
  | P.319. 'high tortoisehell', changed 'tortoisehell' to              |
  |    'tortoiseshell'.                                                |
  | P.340. 'credited to Great Britian', changed 'Britian' to 'Britain'.|
  | P.341. 'and tubes Great Britian', changed 'Britian' to 'Britain'.  |
  | P.363. 'at Shangai', changed 'Shangai' to 'Shanghai'.              |
  | Adds. P.27. 'Autobio-autobigraphy' changed to 'Autobigraphy'.      |
  | Changed all incidences of 'Hongkong' to 'Hong Kong'.               |
  | Fixed various punctuation.                                         |
  |                                                                    |
  | Tags that surround the words: _Gazette_ indicate italics, and      |
  |   tags that surround the words: =Price= indicate bold              |
  |                                                                    |
  +--------------------------------------------------------------------+





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