By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World
Author: Twain, Mark
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


                              THE EQUATOR
                       A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD
                               MARK TWAIN
                           SAMUEL L. CLEMENS
                         HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT

                               THIS BOOK
                     Is affectionately inscribed to
                            MY YOUNG FRIEND
                              HARRY ROGERS
                            WITH RECOGNITION
                           UPON THE MODEL OF
                              THE AUTHOR.

                         THE PUDD’NHEAD MAXIMS.
                   OBSERVATION.  TO BE GOOD IS NOBLE;
                         BUT TO SHOW OTHERS HOW
                          TO BE GOOD IS NOBLER
                            AND NO TROUBLE.


The Party--Across America to Vancouver--On Board the Warrimo--Steamer
Chairs--The Captain--Going Home under a Cloud--A Gritty Purser--The
Brightest Passenger--Remedy for Bad Habits--The Doctor and the Lumbago
--A Moral Pauper--Limited Smoking--Remittance-men.

Change of Costume--Fish, Snake, and Boomerang Stories--Tests of Memory
--A Brahmin Expert--General Grant’s Memory--A Delicately Improper Tale

Honolulu--Reminiscences of the Sandwich Islands--King Liholiho and His
Royal Equipment--The Tabu--The Population of the Island--A Kanaka Diver
--Cholera at Honolulu--Honolulu; Past and Present--The Leper Colony

Leaving Honolulu--Flying-fish--Approaching the Equator--Why the Ship Went
Slow--The Front Yard of the Ship--Crossing the Equator--Horse Billiards
or Shovel Board--The Waterbury Watch--Washing Decks--Ship Painters--The
Great Meridian--The Loss of a Day--A Babe without a Birthday

A lesson in Pronunciation--Reverence for Robert Burns--The Southern
Cross--Troublesome Constellations--Victoria for a Name--Islands on the
Map--Alofa and Fortuna--Recruiting for the Queensland Plantations
--Captain Warren’s NoteBook--Recruiting not thoroughly Popular

Missionaries Obstruct Business--The Sugar Planter and the Kanaka--The
Planter’s View--Civilizing the Kanaka--The Missionary’s View--The Result
--Repentant Kanakas--Wrinkles--The Death Rate in Queensland

The  Fiji Islands--Suva--The Ship from Duluth--Going Ashore--Midwinter in
Fiji--Seeing the Governor--Why Fiji was Ceded to England--Old time
Fijians--Convicts among the Fijians--A Case Where Marriage was a Failure-
Immortality with Limitations

A Wilderness of Islands--Two Men without a Country--A Naturalist from New
Zealand--The Fauna of Australasia--Animals, Insects, and Birds--The
Ornithorhynchus--Poetry and Plagiarism


Close to Australia--Porpoises at Night--Entrance to Sydney Harbor--The
Loss of the Duncan Dunbar--The Harbor--The City of Sydney--Spring-time in
Australia--The Climate--Information for Travelers--The Size of Australia
--A Dust-Storm and Hot Wind

The  Discovery of Australia--Transportation of Convicts--Discipline
--English Laws, Ancient and Modern--Flogging Prisoners to Death--Arrival
Settlers--New South Wales Corps--Rum Currency--Intemperance Everywhere
--$100,000 for One Gallon of Rum--Development of the Country--Immense

Hospitality of English-speaking People--Writers and their Gratitude--Mr.
Gane and the Panegyrics--Population of Sydney An English City with
American Trimming--“Squatters”--Palaces and Sheep Kingdoms--Wool and
Mutton--Australians and Americans--Costermonger Pronunciation--England is
“Home”--Table Talk--English and Colonial Audiences 124

Mr. X., a Missionary--Why Christianity Makes Slow Progress in India--A
Large Dream--Hindoo Miracles and Legends--Sampson and Hanuman--The
Sandstone Ridge--Where are the Gates?

Public Works in Australasia--Botanical Garden of Sydney--Four Special
Socialties--The Government House--A Governor and His Functions--The
Admiralty House--The Tour of the Harbor--Shark Fishing--Cecil Rhodes’
Shark and his First Fortune--Free Board for Sharks.

Bad Health--To Melbourne by Rail--Maps Defective--The Colony of Victoria
--A Round-trip Ticket from Sydney--Change Cars, from Wide to Narrow
Gauge, a Peculiarity at Albury--Customs-fences--“My Word”--The Blue
Mountains--Rabbit Piles--Government R. R. Restaurants--Duchesses for
Waiters--“Sheep-dip”--Railroad Coffee--Things Seen and Not Seen

Wagga-Wagga--The Tichborne Claimant--A Stock Mystery--The Plan of the
Romance--The Realization--The Henry Bascom Mystery--Bascom Hall--The
Author’s Death and Funeral

Melbourne and its Attractions--The Melbourne Cup Races--Cup Day--Great
Crowds--Clothes Regardless of Cost--The Australian Larrikin--Is He Dead?
--Australian Hospitality--Melbourne Wool-brokers--The Museums--The
--The Origin of Melbourne

The British Empire--Its Exports and Imports--The Trade of Australia--To
Adelaide--Broken Hill Silver Mine--A Roundabout road--The Scrub and its
Possibilities for the Novelist--The Aboriginal Tracker--A Test Case--How
Does One Cow-Track Differ from Another?

The Gum Trees--Unsociable Trees--Gorse and Broom--A universal Defect--An
Adventurer--Wanted L200, got L20,000,000--A Vast Land Scheme--The
Smash-up--The Corpse Got Up and Danced--A Unique Business by One Man
--Buying the Kangaroo Skin--The Approach to Adelaide--Everything Comes to
Him who Waits--A Healthy Religious Atmosphere--What is the Matter with


The Botanical Gardens--Contributions from all Countries--The
Zoological Gardens of Adelaide--The Laughing Jackass--The Dingo--A
Misnamed Province--Telegraphing from Melbourne to San Francisco--A Mania
for Holidays--The Temperature--The Death Rate--Celebration of the
Reading of the Proclamation of 1836--Some old Settlers at the
Commemoration--Their Staying Powers--The Intelligence of the Aboriginal
--The Antiquity of the Boomerang

A Caller--A Talk about Old Times--The Fox Hunt--An Accurate Judgment of
an Idiot--How We Passed the Custom Officers in Italy

The “Weet-Weet”--Keeping down the Population--Victoria--Killing the
Aboriginals--Pioneer Days in Queensland--Material for a Drama--The Bush
--Pudding with Arsenic--Revenge--A Right Spirit but a Wrong Method--Death
Donga Billy

Continued Description of Aboriginals--Manly Qualities--Dodging Balls
--Feats of Spring--Jumping--Where the Kangaroo Learned its Art--Well
Digging--Endurance--Surgery--Artistic Abilities--Fennimore Cooper’s Last
Chance--Australian Slang

To Horsham (Colony of Victoria)--Description of Horsham--At the Hotel
--Pepper Tree-The Agricultural College, Forty Pupils--High Temperature
--Width of Road in Chains, Perches, etc.--The Bird with a Forgettable
Name--The Magpie and the Lady--Fruit Trees--Soils--Sheep Shearing--To
--Gold Mining Country--$75,000 per Month Income and able to Keep House
--Fine Grapes and Wine--The Dryest Community on Earth--The Three Sisters
--Gum Trees and Water


Road to Ballarat--The City--Great Gold Strike, 1851--Rush for Australia
--“Great Nuggets”--Taxation--Revolt and Victory--Peter Lalor and the
Eureka Stockade--“Pencil Mark”--Fine Statuary at Ballarat--Population
--Ballarat English

Bound for Bendigo--The Priest at Castlemaine--Time Saved by Walking
--Description of Bendigo--A Valuable Nugget--Perseverence and Success
--Mr. Blank and His Influence--Conveyance of an Idea--I Had to Like the
Irishman--Corrigan Castle, and the Mark Twain Club--My Bascom Mystery

Where New Zealand Is--But Few Know--Things People Think They Know--The
Yale Professor and His Visitor from N. Z.

The South Pole Swell--Tasmania--Extermination of the Natives--The Picture
Proclamation--The Conciliator--The Formidable Sixteen

When the Moment Comes the Man Appears--Why Ed. Jackson called on
Commodore Vanderbilt--Their Interview--Welcome to the Child of His Friend
--A Big Time but under Inspection--Sent on Important Business--A Visit to
the Boys on the Boat

Tasmania, Early Days--Description of the Town of Hobart--An Englishman’s
Love of Home Surroundings--Neatest City on Earth--The Museum--A Parrot
with an Acquired Taste--Glass Arrow Beads--Refuge for the Indigent too

Arrival at Bluff, N. Z.--Where the Rabbit Plague Began--The Natural Enemy
of the Rabbit--Dunedin--A Lovely Town--Visit to Dr. Hockin--His Museum
--A Liquified Caterpillar--The Unperfected Tape Worm--The Public Museum
Picture Gallery

CHAPTER XXXI.  The Express Train--“A Hell of a Hotel at Maryborough”
 --Clocks and Bells--Railroad Service.

Description of the Town of Christ Church--A Fine Museum--Jade-stone
Trinkets--The Great Moa--The First Maori in New Zealand--Women Voters
--“Person” in New Zealand Law Includes Woman--Taming an Ornithorhynchus
--A Voyage in the ‘Flora’ from Lyttelton--Cattle Stalls for Everybody
--A Wonderful Time.

The Town of Nelson--“The Mongatapu Murders,” the Great Event of the Town
--Burgess’ Confession--Summit of Mount Eden--Rotorua and the Hot Lakes
and Geysers--Thermal Springs District--Kauri Gum--Tangariwa Mountains

The Bay of Gisborne--Taking in Passengers by the Yard Arm--The Green
Ballarat Fly--False Teeth--From Napier to Hastings by the Ballarat Fly
Train--Kauri Trees--A Case of Mental Telegraphy

Fifty Miles in Four Hours--Comfortable Cars--Town of Wauganui--Plenty of
Maoris--On the Increase--Compliments to the Maoris--The Missionary Ways
all Wrong--The Tabu among the Maoris--A Mysterious Sign--Curious

The Poems of Mrs. Moore--The Sad Fate of William Upson--A Fellow Traveler
Imitating the Prince of Wales--A Would-be Dude--Arrival at Sydney
--Curious Town Names with Poem

From Sydney for Ceylon--A Lascar Crew--A Fine Ship--Three Cats and a
Basket of Kittens--Dinner Conversations--Veuve Cliquot Wine--At Anchor in
King George’s Sound Albany Harbor--More Cats--A Vulture on Board--Nearing
the Equator again--Dressing for Dinner--Ceylon, Hotel Bristol--Servant
Brampy--A Feminine Man--Japanese Jinriksha or Cart--Scenes in Ceylon--A
Missionary School--Insincerity of Clothes

Steamer Rosetta to Bombay--Limes 14 cents a Barrel--Bombay, a Bewitching
City--Descriptions of People and Dress--Woman as a Road Decoration
--India, the Land of Dreams and Romance--Fourteen Porters to Carry
--Correcting a Servant--Killing a Slave--Arranging a Bedroom--Three
Work and a Terrible Racket--The Bird of Birds, the Indian Crow

God Vishnu, 108 Names--Change of Titles or Hunting for an Heir--Bombay as
a Kaleidoscope--The Native’s Man Servant--Servants’ Recommendations--How
Manuel got his Name and his English--Satan--A Visit from God

The Government House at Malabar Point--Mansion of Kumar Shri Samatsin Hji
Bahadur--The Indian Princess--A Difficult Game--Wardrobe and Jewels
--Ceremonials--Decorations when Leaving--The Towers of Silence--A Funeral

A Jain Temple--Mr. Roychand’s Bungalow--A Decorated Six-Gun Prince--Human
Fireworks--European Dress, Past and Present--Complexions--Advantages with
the Zulu--Festivities at the Bungalow--Nautch Dancers--Entrance of the
Prince--Address to the Prince

A Hindoo Betrothal, midnight, Sleepers on the ground, Home of the Bride
of Twelve Years Dressed as a Boy--Illumination--Nautch Girls--Imitating
Snakes--Later--Illuminated Porch Filled with Sleepers--The Plague

Murder Trial in Bombay--Confidence Swindlers--Some Specialities of India
--The Plague, Juggernaut, Suttee, etc.--Everything on Gigantic Scale
--India First in Everything--80 States, more Custom Houses than Cats--
Ground for Thug Society

Official Thug Book--Supplies for Traveling, Bedding, and other Freight--
Scene at
Railway Station--Making Way for White Man--Waiting Passengers, High and
Low Caste, Touch in the cars--Our Car--Beds made up--Dreaming of Thugs
--Baroda--Meet Friends--Indian Well--The Old Town--Narrow Streets--A Mad


Elephant Riding--Howdahs--The New Palace--The Prince’s Excursion--Gold
and Silver Artillery--A Vice-royal Visit--Remarkable Dog--The Bench Show
--Augustin Daly’s Back Door--Fakeer

The Thugs--Government Efforts to Exterminate them--Choking a Victim--A
Fakeer Spared--Thief Strangled

Thugs, Continued--Record of Murders--A Joy of Hunting and Killing Men
--Gordon Cumming--Killing an Elephant--Family Affection among Thugs
--Burial Places

Starting for Allahabad--Lower Berths in Sleepers--Elderly Ladies have
Preference of Berths--An American Lady Takes One Anyhow--How Smythe Lost
his Berth--How He Got Even--The Suttee

Pyjamas--Day Scene in India--Clothed in a Turban and a Pocket
Handkerchief--Land Parceled Out--Established Village Servants--Witches in
Families--Hereditary Midwifery--Destruction of Girl Babies--Wedding
Display--Tiger-Persuader--Hailstorm Discouragers--The Tyranny of the
Sweeper--Elephant Driver--Water Carrier--Curious Rivers--Arrival at
Allahabad--English Quarter--Lecture Hall Like a Snowstorm--Private
Carriages--A Milliner--Early Morning--The Squatting Servant--A Religious

On the Road to Benares--Dust and Waiting--The Bejeweled Crowd--A Native
Prince and his Guard--Zenana Lady--The Extremes of Fashion--The Hotel at
Benares--An Annex a Mile Away--Doors in India--The Peepul Tree--Warning
against Cold Baths--A Strange Fruit--Description of Benares--The
Beginning of Creation--Pilgrims to Benares--A Priest with a Good Business
Stand--Protestant Missionary--The Trinity Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu
--Religion the Business at Benares

Benares a Religious Temple--A Guide for Pilgrims to Save Time in Securing

A Curious Way to Secure Salvation--The Banks of the Ganges--Architecture
Represents Piety--A Trip on the River--Bathers and their Costumes
--Drinking the Water--A Scientific Test of the Nasty Purifier--Hindoo
Faith in the Ganges--A Cremation--Remembrances of the Suttee--All Life
Sacred Except Human Life--The Goddess Bhowanee, and the Sacrificers--
Sacred Monkeys--Ugly Idols Everywhere--Two White Minarets--A Great View
with a Monkey in it--A Picture on the Water

Still in Benares--Another Living God--Why Things are Wonderful--Sri 108
Utterly Perfect--How He Came so--Our Visit to Sri--A Friendly Deity
Exchanging Autographs and Books--Sri’s Pupil--An Interesting Man
--Reverence and Irreverence--Dancing in a Sepulchre

Rail to Calcutta--Population--The “City of Palaces”--A Fluted
Candle-stick--Ochterlony--Newspaper Correspondence--Average Knowledge of
Countries--A Wrong Idea of Chicago--Calcutta and the Black Hole
--Description of the Horrors--Those Who Lived--The Botanical Gardens--The
Afternoon Turnout--Grand Review--Military Tournament--Excursion on the
Hoogly--The Museum--What Winter Means in Calcutta

On the Road Again--Flannels in Order--Across Country--From Greenland’s
Icy Mountain--Swapping Civilization--No Field women in India--How it is
in Other Countries--Canvas-covered Cars--The Tiger Country--My First Hunt
--Some Wild Elephants Get Away--The Plains of India--The Ghurkas--Women
for Pack-Horses--A Substitute for a Cab--Darjeeling--The Hotel--The
Highest Thing in the Himalayas--The Club--Kinchinjunga and Mt. Everest
--Thibetans--The Prayer Wheel--People Going to the Bazar

On the Road Again--The Hand-Car--A Thirty-five-mile Slide--The Banyan
Tree--A Dramatic Performance--The Railroad Loop--The Half-way House--The
Brain Fever Bird--The Coppersmith Bird--Nightingales and Cue Owls

India the Most Extraordinary Country on Earth--Nothing Forgotten--The
Land of Wonders--Annual Statistics Everywhere about Violence--Tiger vs.
Man--A Handsome Fight--Annual Man Killing and Tiger Killing--Other
Animals--Snakes--Insurance and Snake Tables--The Cobra Bite--Muzaffurpore
--Dinapore--A Train that Stopped for Gossip--Six Hours for Thirty-five
Miles--A Rupee to the Engineer--Ninety Miles an Hour--Again to Benares,
the Piety Hiv--To Lucknow

The Great Mutiny--The Massacre in Cawnpore--Terrible Scenes in Lucknow
--The Residency--The Siege

A Visit to the Residency--Cawnpore--The Adjutant Bird and the Hindoo
Corpse--The Taj Mahal--The True Conception--The Ice Storm--True Gems
--Syrian Fountains--An Exaggerated Niagara

To Lahore--The Governor’s Elephant--Taking a Ride--No Danger from
Collision--Rawal Pindi--Back to Delhi--An Orientalized Englishman
--Monkeys and the Paint-pot--Monkey Crying over my Note-book--Arrival at
Jeypore--In Rajputana--Watching Servants--The Jeypore Hotel--Our Old and
New Satan--Satan as a Liar--The Museum--A Street Show--Blocks of Houses
--A Religious Procession

Methods in American Deaf and Dumb Asylums--Methods in the Public Schools
--A Letter from a Youth in Punjab--Highly Educated Service--A Damage to
the Country--A Little Book from Calcutta--Writing Poor English
--Embarrassed by a Beggar Girl--A Specimen Letter--An Application for
Employment--A Calcutta School Examination--Two Samples of

Sail from Calcutta to Madras--Thence to Ceylon--Thence for  Mauritius
--The Indian Ocean--Our Captain’s Peculiarity--The Scot Has One too--The
Flying-fish that Went Hunting in the Field--Fined for Smuggling--Lots of
Pets on Board--The Color of the Sea--The Most Important Member of
Nature’s Family--The Captain’s Story of Cold Weather--Omissions in the
Ship’s Library--Washing Decks--Pyjamas on Deck--The Cat’s Toilet--No
Interest in the Bulletin--Perfect Rest--The Milky Way and the Magellan
Clouds--Mauritius--Port Louis--A Hot Country--Under French Control
--A Variety of People and Complexions--Train to Curepipe--A Wonderful
Office-holder--The Wooden Peg Ornament--The Prominent Historical Event of
Mauritius--“Paul and Virginia”--One of Virginia’s Wedding Gifts--Heaven
Copied after Mauritius--Early History of Mauritius--Quarantines
--Population of all Kinds--What the World Consists of--Where Russia and
Germany are--A Picture of Milan Cathedral--Newspapers--The Language--Best
Sugar in the World--Literature of Mauritius

Port Louis--Matches no Good--Good Roads--Death Notices--Why European
Nations Rob Each Other--What Immigrants to Mauritius Do--Population
--Labor Wages--The Camaron--The Palmiste and other Eatables--Monkeys--The
Cyclone of 1892--Mauritius a Sunday Landscape

The Steamer “Arundel Castle”--Poor Beds in Ships--The Beds in Noah’s Ark
--Getting a Rest in Europe--Ship in Sight--Mozambique Channel--The
Engineer and the Band--Thackeray’s “Madagascar”--Africanders Going Home
--Singing on the After Deck--An Out-of-Place Story--Dynamite Explosion in
Johannesburg--Entering Delagoa Bay--Ashore--A Hot Winter--Small Town--No
Sights--No Carriages--Working Women--Barnum’s Purchase of Shakespeare’s
Birthplace, Jumbo, and the Nelson Monument--Arrival at Durban

Royal Hotel Durban--Bells that Did not Ring--Early Inquiries for Comforts
--Change of Temperature after Sunset--Rickhaws--The Hotel Chameleon
--Natives not out after the Bell--Preponderance of Blacks in Natal--Hair
Fashions in Natal--Zulus for Police--A Drive round the Berea--The Cactus
and other Trees--Religion a Vital Matter--Peculiar Views about Babies
--Zulu Kings--A Trappist Monastery--Transvaal Politics--Reasons why the
Trouble came About

Jameson over the Border--His Defeat and Capture--Sent to England for
Trial--Arrest of Citizens by the Boers--Commuted Sentences--Final Release
of all but Two--Interesting Days for a Stranger--Hard to Understand
Either Side--What the Reformers Expected to Accomplish--How They Proposed
to Do it--Testimonies a Year Later--A “Woman’s Part”--The Truth of the
South African Situation--“Jameson’s Ride”--A Poem

Jameson’s Raid--The Reform Committee’s Difficult Task--Possible Plans
--Advice that Jameson Ought to Have--The War of 1881 and its Lessons
--Statistics of Losses of the Combatants--Jameson’s Battles--Losses on
Sides--The Military Errors--How the Warfare Should Have Been Carried on
to Be Successful

Judicious Mr. Rhodes--What South Africa Consists of--Johannesburg--The
Gold Mines--The Heaven of American Engineers--What the Author Knows about
Mining--Description of the Boer--What Should be Expected of Him--What Was
A Dizzy Jump for Rhodes--Taxes--Rhodesian Method of Reducing Native
Population--Journeying in Cape Colony--The Cars--The Country--The
Weather--Tamed Blacks--Familiar Figures in King William’s Town--Boer
Dress--Boer Country Life--Sleeping Accommodations--The Reformers in Boer
Prison--Torturing a Black Prisoner

An Absorbing Novelty--The Kimberley Diamond Mines--Discovery of Diamonds
--The Wronged Stranger--Where the Gems Are--A Judicious Change of
Boundary--Modern Machinery and Appliances--Thrilling Excitement in
Finding a Diamond--Testing a Diamond--Fences--Deep Mining by Natives in
the Compound--Stealing--Reward for the Biggest Diamond--A Fortune in
Wine--The Great Diamond--Office of the De Beer Co.--Sorting the Gems
--Cape Town--The Most Imposing Man in British Provinces--Various Reasons
for his Supremacy--How He Makes Friends

Table Rock--Table Bay--The Castle--Government and Parliament--The Club
--Dutch Mansions and their Hospitality--Dr. John Barry and his Doings--On
the Ship Norman--Madeira--Arrived in Southampton

                          FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR


A man may have no bad habits and have worse.
                             --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The starting point of this lecturing-trip around the world was Paris,
where we had been living a year or two.

We sailed for America, and there made certain preparations.  This took
but little time.  Two members of my family elected to go with me.  Also a
carbuncle.  The dictionary says a carbuncle is a kind of jewel.  Humor is
out of place in a dictionary.

We started westward from New York in midsummer, with Major Pond to manage
the platform-business as far as the Pacific.  It was warm work, all the
way, and the last fortnight of it was suffocatingly smoky, for in Oregon
and British Columbia the forest fires were raging.  We had an added week
of smoke at the seaboard, where we were obliged to wait awhile for our
She had been getting herself ashore in the smoke, and she had to be
And repaired. We sailed at last; and so ended a snail-paced march across
the continent, which had lasted forty days.

We moved westward about mid-afternoon over a rippled and sparkling summer
sea; an enticing sea, a clean and cool sea, and apparently a welcome sea
to all on board; it certainly was to me, after the distressful dustings
and smokings and swelterings of the past weeks.  The voyage would furnish
a three-weeks holiday, with hardly a break in it.  We had the whole
Pacific Ocean in
front of us, with nothing to do but do nothing and be comfortable.  The
city of Victoria was twinkling dim in the deep heart of her smoke-cloud,
and getting ready to vanish and now we closed the field-glasses and sat
down on our steamer chairs contented and at peace.  But they went to
wreck and ruin under us and brought us to shame before all the
passengers.  They had been furnished by the largest furniture-dealing
house in Victoria, and were worth a couple of farthings a dozen, though
they had cost us the price of honest chairs.  In the Pacific and Indian
Oceans one must still bring his own deck-chair on board or go without,
just as in the old forgotten Atlantic times--those Dark Ages of sea

Ours was a reasonably comfortable ship, with the customary sea-going fare
--plenty of good food furnished by the Deity and cooked by the devil.
The discipline observable on board was perhaps as good as it is anywhere
in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  The ship was not very well arranged
for tropical service; but that is nothing, for this is the rule for ships
which ply in the tropics.  She had an over-supply of cockroaches, but
this is also the rule with ships doing business in the summer seas--at
least such as have been long in service.  Our young captain was a very
handsome man, tall and perfectly formed, the very figure to show up a
smart uniform’s finest effects.  He was a man of the best intentions and
was polite and courteous even to courtliness.  There was a soft grace and
finish about his manners which made whatever place he happened to be in
seem for the moment a drawing room.  He avoided the smoking room.  He had
no vices.  He did not smoke or chew tobacco or take snuff; he did not
swear, or use slang or rude, or coarse, or indelicate language, or make
puns, or tell anecdotes, or laugh intemperately, or raise his voice above
the moderate pitch enjoined by the canons of good form. When he gave an
order, his manner modified it into a request.  After dinner he and his
officers joined the ladies and gentlemen in the ladies’ saloon, and
shared in the singing and piano playing, and helped turn the music.  He
had a sweet and sympathetic tenor voice, and used it with taste and
effect. After the music he played whist there, always with the same
and opponents, until the ladies’ bedtime.  The electric lights burned
as late as the ladies and their friends might desire; but they were not
allowed to burn in the smoking-room after eleven.  There were many laws
on the ship’s statute book of course; but so far as I could see, this and
one other were the only ones that were rigidly enforced.  The captain
explained that he enforced this one because his own cabin adjoined the
smoking-room, and the smell of tobacco smoke made him sick.  I did not
see how our smoke could reach him, for the smoking-room and his cabin
were on the upper deck, targets for all the winds that blew; and besides
there was no crack of communication between them, no opening of any sort
in the solid intervening bulkhead.  Still, to a delicate stomach even
imaginary smoke can convey damage.

The captain, with his gentle nature, his polish, his sweetness, his moral
and verbal purity, seemed pathetically out of place in his rude and
autocratic vocation.  It seemed another instance of the irony of fate.

He was going home under a cloud.  The passengers knew about his trouble,
and were sorry for him.  Approaching Vancouver through a narrow and
difficult passage densely befogged with smoke from the forest fires, he
had had the ill-luck to lose his bearings and get his ship on the rocks.
A matter like this would rank merely as an error with you and me; it
ranks as a crime with the directors of steamship companies.  The captain
had been tried by the Admiralty Court at Vancouver, and its verdict had
acquitted him of blame.  But that was insufficient comfort.  A sterner
court would examine the case in Sydney--the Court of Directors, the lords
of a company in whose ships the captain had served as mate a number of
years.  This was his first voyage as captain.

The officers of our ship were hearty and companionable young men, and
they entered into the general amusements and helped the passengers pass
the time.  Voyages in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are but pleasure
excursions for all hands.  Our purser was a young Scotchman who was
equipped with a grit that was remarkable.  He was an invalid, and looked
it, as far as his body was concerned, but illness could not subdue his
spirit.  He was full of life, and had a gay and capable tongue.  To all
appearances he was a sick man without being aware of it, for he did not
talk about his ailments, and his bearing and conduct were those of a
person in robust health; yet he was the prey, at intervals, of ghastly
sieges of pain in his heart.  These lasted many hours, and while the
attack continued he could neither sit nor lie.  In one instance he stood
on his feet twenty-four hours fighting for his life with these sharp
agonies, and yet was as full of life and cheer and activity
the next day as if nothing had happened.

The brightest passenger in the ship, and the most interesting and
felicitous talker, was a young Canadian who was not able to let the
whisky bottle alone. He was of a rich and powerful family, and could have
had a distinguished career and abundance of effective help toward it if
he could have conquered his appetite for drink; but he could not do it,
so his great equipment of talent was of no use to him. He had often taken
the pledge to drink no more, and was a good sample of what that sort of
unwisdom can do for a man--for a man with anything short of an iron will.
The system is wrong in two ways: it does not strike at the root of the
trouble, for one thing, and to make a pledge of any kind is to declare
war against nature; for a pledge is a chain that is always clanking and
reminding the wearer of it that he is not a free man.

I have said that the system does not strike at the root of the trouble,
and I venture to repeat that. The root is not the drinking, but the
desire to drink.  These are very different things.  The one merely
requires will--and a great deal of it, both as to bulk and staying
capacity--the other merely requires watchfulness--and for no long time.
The desire of course precedes the act, and should have one’s first
attention; it can do but little good to refuse the act over and over
again, always leaving the desire unmolested, unconquered; the desire will
continue to assert itself, and will be almost sure to win in the long
run.  When the desire intrudes, it should be at once banished out of the
mind.  One should be on the watch for it all the time--otherwise it will
get in.  It must be taken in time and not allowed to get a lodgment.  A
desire constantly repulsed for a fortnight should die, then.  That should
cure the drinking habit.  The system of refusing the mere act of
drinking, and leaving the desire in full force, is unintelligent war
tactics, it seems to me.  I used to take pledges--and soon violate them.
My will was not strong, and I could not help it.  And then, to be tied in
any way naturally irks an otherwise free person and makes him chafe in
his bonds and want to get his liberty.  But when I finally ceased from
taking definite pledges, and merely resolved that I would kill an
injurious desire, but leave myself free to resume the desire and the
habit whenever I should choose to do so, I had no more trouble.  In five
days I drove out the desire to smoke and was not obliged to keep watch
after that; and I never experienced any strong desire to smoke again.  At
the end of a year and a quarter of idleness I began to write a book, and
presently found that the pen was strangely reluctant to go.  I tried a
smoke to see if that would help me out of the difficulty.  It did.  I
smoked eight or ten cigars and as many pipes a day for five months;
finished the book, and did not smoke again until a year had gone by and
another book had to be begun.

I can quit any of my nineteen injurious habits at any time, and without
discomfort or inconvenience.  I think that the Dr. Tanners and those
others who go forty days without eating do it by resolutely keeping out
the desire to eat, in the beginning, and that after a few hours the
desire is discouraged and comes no more.

Once I tried my scheme in a large medical way.  I had been confined to my
bed several days with lumbago.  My case refused to improve.  Finally the
doctor said,--

“My remedies have no fair chance.  Consider what they have to fight,
besides the lumbago.  You smoke extravagantly, don’t you?”


“You take coffee immoderately?”


“And some tea?”


“You eat all kinds of things that are dissatisfied with each other’s


“You drink two hot Scotches every night?”


“Very well, there you see what I have to contend against.  We can’t make
progress the way the matter stands.  You must make a reduction in these
things; you must cut down your consumption of them considerably for some

“I can’t, doctor.”

“Why can’t you.”

“I lack the will-power.  I can cut them off entirely, but I can’t merely
moderate them.”

He said that that would answer, and said he would come around in
twenty-four hours and begin work again.  He was taken ill himself and
could not come; but I did not need him.  I cut off all those things for
two days and nights; in fact, I cut off all kinds of food, too, and all
drinks except water, and at the end of the forty-eight hours the lumbago
was discouraged and left me.  I was a well man; so I gave thanks and took
to those delicacies again.

It seemed a valuable medical course, and I recommended it to a lady.  She
had run down and down and down, and had at last reached a point where
medicines no longer had any helpful effect upon her.  I said I knew I
could put her upon her feet in a week.  It brightened her up, it filled
her with hope, and she said she would do everything I told her to do.  So
I said she must stop swearing and drinking, and smoking and eating for
four days, and then she would be all right again.  And it would have
happened just so, I know it; but she said she could not stop swearing,
and smoking, and drinking, because she had never done those things.  So
there it was.  She had neglected her habits, and hadn’t any.  Now that
they would have come good, there were none in stock.  She had nothing to
fall back on.  She was a sinking vessel, with no freight in her to throw
overboard and lighten ship withal.  Why, even one or two little bad
could have saved her, but she was just a moral pauper. When she could
acquired them she was dissuaded by her parents, who were ignorant people
though reared in the best society, and it was too late to begin now.  It
seemed such a pity; but there was no help for it.  These things ought to
be attended to while a person is young; otherwise, when age and disease
come, there is nothing effectual to fight them with.

When I was a youth I used to take all kinds of pledges, and do my best to
keep them, but I never could, because I didn’t strike at the root of the
habit--the desire; I generally broke down within the month.  Once I tried
limiting a habit.  That worked tolerably well for a while.  I pledged
myself to smoke but one cigar a day.  I kept the cigar waiting until
bedtime, then I had a luxurious time with it.  But desire persecuted me
every day and all day long; so, within the week I found myself hunting
for larger cigars than I had been used to smoke; then larger ones still,
and still larger ones.  Within the fortnight I was getting cigars made
for me--on a yet larger pattern.  They still grew and grew in size.
Within the month my cigar had grown to such proportions that I could have
used it as a crutch.  It now seemed to me that a one-cigar limit was no
real protection to a person, so I knocked my pledge on the head and
resumed my liberty.

To go back to that young Canadian.  He was a “remittance man,” the first
one I had ever seen or heard of.  Passengers explained the term to me.
They said that dissipated ne’er-do-weels belonging to important families
in England and Canada were not cast off by their people while there was
any hope of reforming them, but when that last hope perished at last, the
ne’er-do-weel was sent abroad to get him out of the way.  He was shipped
off with just enough money in his pocket--no, in the purser’s pocket--for
the needs of the voyage--and when he reached his destined port he would
find a remittance awaiting him there.  Not a large one, but just enough
to keep him a month.  A similar remittance would come monthly thereafter.
It was the remittance-man’s custom to pay his month’s board and lodging
straightway--a duty which his landlord did not allow him to forget--then
spree away the rest of his money in a single night, then brood and mope
and grieve in idleness till the next remittance came.  It is a pathetic

We had other remittance-men on board, it was said.  At least they said
they were R. M.’s.  There were two.  But they did not resemble the
Canadian; they lacked his tidiness, and his brains, and his gentlemanly
ways, and his resolute spirit, and his humanities and generosities.  One
of them was a lad of nineteen or twenty, and he was a good deal of a
ruin, as to clothes, and morals, and general aspect.  He said he was a
scion of a ducal house in England, and had been shipped to Canada for the
house’s relief, that he had fallen into trouble there, and was now being
shipped to Australia.  He said he had no title.  Beyond this remark he
was economical of the truth.  The first thing he did in Australia was to
get into the lockup, and the next thing he did was to proclaim himself an
earl in the police court in the morning and fail to prove it.


When in doubt, tell the truth.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

About four days out from Victoria we plunged into hot weather, and all
the male passengers put on white linen clothes.  One or two days later we
crossed the 25th parallel of north latitude, and then, by order, the
officers of the ship laid away their blue uniforms and came out in white
linen ones.  All the ladies were in white by this time.  This prevalence
of snowy costumes gave the promenade deck an invitingly cool, and
cheerful and picnicky aspect.

From my diary:

There are several sorts of ills in the world from which a person can
never escape altogether, let him journey as far as he will.  One escapes
from one breed of an ill only to encounter another breed of it.  We have
come far from the snake liar and the fish liar, and there was rest and
peace in the thought; but now we have reached the realm of the boomerang
liar, and sorrow is with us once more.  The first officer has seen a man
try to escape from his enemy by getting behind a tree; but the enemy sent
his boomerang sailing into the sky far above and beyond the tree; then it
turned, descended, and killed the man.  The Australian passenger has seen
this thing done to two men, behind two trees--and by the one arrow.  This
being received with a large silence that suggested doubt, he buttressed
it with the statement that his brother once saw the boomerang kill a bird
away off a hundred yards and bring it to the thrower.  But these are ills
which must be borne.  There is no other way.

The talk passed from the boomerang to dreams--usually a fruitful subject,
afloat or ashore--but this time the output was poor.  Then it passed to
instances of extraordinary memory--with better results.  Blind Tom, the
negro pianist, was spoken of, and it was said that he could accurately
play any piece of music, howsoever long and difficult, after hearing it
once; and that six months later he could accurately play it again,
without having touched it in the interval.  One of the most striking of
the stories told was furnished by a gentleman who had served on the staff
of the Viceroy of India.  He read the details from his note-book, and
explained that he had written them down, right after the consummation of
the incident which they described, because he thought that if he did not
put them down in black and white he might presently come to think he had
dreamed them or invented them.

The Viceroy was making a progress, and among the shows offered by the
Maharajah of Mysore for his entertainment was a memory-exhibition.
The Viceroy and thirty gentlemen of his suite sat in a row, and the
memory-expert, a high-caste Brahmin, was brought in and seated on the
floor in front of them.  He said he knew but two languages, the English
and his own, but would not exclude any foreign tongue from the tests to
be applied to his memory.  Then he laid before the assemblage his program
--a sufficiently extraordinary one.  He proposed that one gentleman
should give him one word of a foreign sentence, and tell him its place in
the sentence.  He was furnished with the French word ‘est’, and was told
it was second in a sentence of three words.  The next gentleman gave him
the German word ‘verloren’ and said it was the third in a sentence of
four words.  He asked the next gentleman for one detail in a sum in
addition; another for one detail in a sum of subtraction; others for
single details in mathematical problems of various kinds; he got them.
Intermediates gave him single words from sentences in Greek, Latin,
Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and other languages, and told him their
places in the sentences.  When at last everybody had furnished him a
single rag from a foreign sentence or a figure from a problem, he went
over the ground again, and got a second word and a second figure and was
told their places in the sentences and the sums; and so on and so on.  He
went over the ground again and again until he had collected all the parts
of the sums and all the parts of the sentences--and all in disorder, of
course, not in their proper rotation.  This had occupied two hours.

The Brahmin now sat silent and thinking, a while, then began and repeated
all the sentences, placing the words in their proper order, and untangled
the disordered arithmetical problems and gave accurate answers to them

In the beginning he had asked the company to throw almonds at him during
the two hours, he to remember how many each gentleman had thrown; but
none were thrown, for the Viceroy said that the test would be a
sufficiently severe strain without adding that burden to it.

General Grant had a fine memory for all kinds of things, including even
names and faces, and I could have furnished an instance of it if I had
thought of it.  The first time I ever saw him was early in his first term
as President.  I had just arrived in Washington from the Pacific coast, a
stranger and wholly unknown to the public, and was passing the White
House one morning when I met a friend, a Senator from Nevada.  He asked
me if I would like to see the President.  I said I should be very glad;
so we entered.  I supposed that the President would be in the midst of a
crowd, and that I could look at him in peace and security from a
distance, as another stray cat might look at another king.  But it was in
the morning, and the Senator was using a privilege of his office which I
had not heard of--the privilege of intruding upon the Chief Magistrate’s
working hours.  Before I knew it, the Senator and I were in the presence,
and there was none there but we three.  General Grant got slowly up from
his table, put his pen down, and stood before me with the iron expression
of a man who had not smiled for seven years, and was not intending to
smile for another seven.  He looked me steadily in the eyes--mine lost
confidence and fell.  I had never confronted a great man before, and was
in a miserable state of funk and inefficiency.  The Senator said:--

“Mr. President, may I have the privilege of introducing Mr. Clemens?”

The President gave my hand an unsympathetic wag and dropped it.  He did
not say a word but just stood.  In my trouble I could not think of
anything to say, I merely wanted to resign.  There was an awkward pause,
a dreary pause, a horrible pause.  Then I thought of something, and
looked up into that unyielding face, and said timidly:--

“Mr. President, I--I am embarrassed.  Are you?”

His face broke--just a little--a wee glimmer, the momentary flicker of a
summer-lightning smile, seven years ahead of time--and I was out and gone
as soon as it was.

Ten years passed away before I saw him the second time.  Meantime I was
become better known; and was one of the people appointed to respond to
toasts at the banquet given to General Grant in Chicago--by the Army of
the Tennessee when he came back from his tour around the world.  I
arrived late at night and got up late in the morning.  All the corridors
of the hotel were crowded with people waiting to get a glimpse of General
Grant when he should pass to the place whence he was to review the great
procession.  I worked my way by the suite of packed drawing-rooms, and at
the corner of the house I found a window open where there was a roomy
platform decorated with flags, and carpeted.  I stepped out on it, and
saw below me millions of people blocking all the streets, and other
millions caked together in all the windows and on all the house-tops
around.  These masses took me for General Grant, and broke into volcanic
explosions and cheers; but it was a good place to see the procession, and
I stayed.  Presently I heard the distant blare of military music, and far
up the street I saw the procession come in sight, cleaving its way
through the huzzaing multitudes, with Sheridan, the most martial
figure of the War, riding at its head in the dress uniform of a

And now General Grant, arm-in-arm with Major Carter Harrison, stepped out
on the platform, followed two and two by the badged and uniformed
reception committee.  General Grant was looking exactly as he had looked
upon that trying occasion of ten years before--all iron and bronze
self-possession.  Mr. Harrison came over and led me to the General and
formally introduced me.  Before I could put together the proper remark,
General Grant said--

“Mr. Clemens, I am not embarrassed.  Are you?”--and that little
seven-year smile twinkled across his face again.

Seventeen years have gone by since then, and to-day, in New York, the
streets are a crush of people who are there to honor the remains of the
great soldier as they pass to their final resting-place under the
monument; and the air is heavy with dirges and the boom of artillery, and
all the millions of America are thinking of the man who restored the
Union and the flag, and gave to democratic government a new lease of
life, and, as we may hope and do believe, a permanent place among the
beneficent institutions of men.

We had one game in the ship which was a good time-passer--at least it was
at night in the smoking-room when the men were getting freshened up from
the day’s monotonies and dullnesses.  It was the completing of
non-complete stories.  That is to say, a man would tell all of a story
except the finish, then the others would try to supply the ending out of
their own invention.  When every one who wanted a chance had had it, the
man who had introduced the story would give it its original ending--then
you could take your choice.  Sometimes the new endings turned out to be
better than the old one.  But the story which called out the most
persistent and determined and ambitious effort was one which had no
ending, and so there was nothing to compare the new-made endings with.
The man who told it said he could furnish the particulars up to a certain
point only, because that was as much of the tale as he knew.  He had read
it in a volume of sketches twenty-five years ago, and was interrupted
before the end was reached.  He would give any one fifty dollars who
would finish the story to the satisfaction of a jury to be appointed by
ourselves.  We appointed a jury and wrestled with the tale.  We invented
plenty of endings, but the jury voted them all down.  The jury was right.
It was a tale which the author of it may possibly have completed
satisfactorily, and if he really had that good fortune I would like to
know what the ending was.  Any ordinary man will find that the story’s
strength is in its middle, and that there is apparently no way to
transfer it to the close, where of course it ought to be.  In substance
the storiette was as follows:

John Brown, aged thirty-one, good, gentle, bashful, timid, lived in a
quiet village in Missouri.  He was superintendent of the Presbyterian
Sunday-school.  It was but a humble distinction; still, it was his only
official one, and he was modestly proud of it and was devoted to its work
and its interests.  The extreme kindliness of his nature was recognized
by all; in fact, people said that he was made entirely out of good
impulses and bashfulness; that he could always be counted upon for help
when it was needed, and for bashfulness both when it was needed and when
it wasn’t.

Mary Taylor, twenty-three, modest, sweet, winning, and in character and
person beautiful, was all in all to him.  And he was very nearly all in
all to her.  She was wavering, his hopes were high.  Her mother had been
in opposition from the first.  But she was wavering, too; he could
see it.  She was being touched by his warm interest in her two
charity-proteges and by his contributions toward their support.  These
were two forlorn and aged sisters who lived in a log hut in a lonely
place up a cross road four miles from Mrs. Taylor’s farm.  One of the
sisters was crazy, and sometimes a little violent, but not often.

At last the time seemed ripe for a final advance, and Brown gathered his
courage together and resolved to make it.  He would take along a
contribution of double the usual size, and win the mother over; with her
opposition annulled, the rest of the conquest would be sure and prompt.

He took to the road in the middle of a placid Sunday afternoon in the
soft Missourian summer, and he was equipped properly for his mission.  He
was clothed all in white linen, with a blue ribbon for a necktie, and he
had on dressy tight boots.  His horse and buggy were the finest that the
livery stable could furnish.  The lap robe was of white linen, it was
new, and it had a hand-worked border that could not be rivaled in that
region for beauty and elaboration.

When he was four miles out on the lonely road and was walking his horse
over a wooden bridge, his straw hat blew off and fell in the creek, and
floated down and lodged against a bar.  He did not quite know what to do.
He must have the hat, that was manifest; but how was he to get it?

Then he had an idea.  The roads were empty, nobody was stirring.  Yes, he
would risk it.  He led the horse to the roadside and set it to cropping
the grass; then he undressed and put his clothes in the buggy, petted the
horse a moment to secure its compassion and its loyalty, then hurried to
the stream.  He swam out and soon had the hat.  When he got to the top of
the bank the horse was gone!

His legs almost gave way under him.  The horse was walking leisurely
along the road.  Brown trotted after it, saying, “Whoa, whoa, there’s a
good fellow;” but whenever he got near enough to chance a jump for the
buggy, the horse quickened its pace a little and defeated him.  And so
this went on, the naked man perishing with anxiety, and expecting every
moment to see people come in sight.  He tagged on and on, imploring the
horse, beseeching the horse, till he had left a mile behind him, and was
closing up on the Taylor premises; then at last he was successful, and
got into the buggy.  He flung on his shirt, his necktie, and his coat;
then reached for--but he was too late; he sat suddenly down and pulled up
the lap-robe, for he saw some one coming out of the gate--a woman; he
thought.  He wheeled the horse to the left, and struck briskly up the
cross-road.  It was perfectly straight, and exposed on both sides; but
there were woods and a sharp turn three miles ahead, and he was very
grateful when he got there.  As he passed around the turn he slowed down
to a walk, and reached for his tr---- too late again.

He had come upon Mrs. Enderby, Mrs.  Glossop, Mrs. Taylor, and Mary.
They were on foot, and seemed tired and excited.  They came at once to
the buggy and shook hands, and all spoke at once, and said eagerly and
earnestly, how glad they were that he was come, and how fortunate it was.
And Mrs. Enderby said, impressively:

“It looks like an accident, his coming at such a time; but let no one
profane it with such a name; he was sent--sent from on high.”

They were all moved, and Mrs. Glossop said in an awed voice:

“Sarah Enderby, you never said a truer word in your life.  This is no
accident, it is a special Providence.  He was sent.  He is an angel--an
angel as truly as ever angel was--an angel of deliverance.  I say angel,
Sarah Enderby, and will have no other word.  Don’t let any one ever say
to me again, that there’s no such thing as special Providences; for if
this isn’t one, let them account for it that can.”

“I know it’s so,” said Mrs. Taylor, fervently.  “John Brown, I could
worship you; I could go down on my knees to you.  Didn’t something tell
you?--didn’t you feel that you were sent?  I could kiss the hem of your

He was not able to speak; he was helpless with shame and fright.  Mrs.
Taylor went on:

“Why, just look at it all around, Julia Glossop.  Any person can see the
hand of Providence in it.  Here at noon what do we see?  We see the smoke
rising.  I speak up and say, ‘That’s the Old People’s cabin afire.’
Didn’t I, Julia Glossop?”

“The very words you said, Nancy Taylor.  I was as close to you as I am
now, and I heard them.  You may have said hut instead of cabin, but in
substance it’s the same.  And you were looking pale, too.”

“Pale?  I was that pale that if--why, you just compare it with this
laprobe.  Then the next thing I said was, ‘Mary Taylor, tell the hired
man to rig up the team-we’ll go to the rescue.’  And she said, ‘Mother,
don’t you know you told him he could drive to see his people, and stay
over Sunday?’  And it was just so.  I declare for it, I had forgotten it.
‘Then,’ said I, ‘we’ll go afoot.’  And go we did.  And found Sarah
Enderby on the road.”

“And we all went together,” said Mrs.  Enderby.  “And found the cabin set
fire to and burnt down by the crazy one, and the poor old things so old
and feeble that they couldn’t go afoot.  And we got them to a shady place
and made them as comfortable as we could, and began to wonder which way
to turn to find some way to get them conveyed to Nancy Taylor’s house.
And I spoke up and said--now what did I say?  Didn’t I say, ‘Providence
will provide’?”

“Why sure as you live, so you did!  I had forgotten it.”

“So had I,” said Mrs. Glossop and Mrs. Taylor; “but you certainly said
it.  Now wasn’t that remarkable?”

“Yes, I said it.  And then we went to Mr. Moseley’s, two miles, and all
of them were gone to the camp meeting over on Stony Fork; and then we
came all the way back, two miles, and then here, another mile--and
Providence has provided.  You see it yourselves.”

They gazed at each other awe-struck, and lifted their hands and said in

“It’s per-fectly wonderful.”

“And then,” said Mrs.  Glossop, “what do you think we had better do---let
Mr. Brown drive the Old People to Nancy Taylor’s one at a time, or put
both of them in the buggy, and him lead the horse?”

Brown gasped.

“Now, then, that’s a question,” said Mrs.  Enderby.  “You see, we are all
tired out, and any way we fix it it’s going to be difficult.  For if Mr.
Brown takes both of them, at least one of us must, go back to help him,
for he can’t load them into the buggy by himself, and they so helpless.”

“That is so,” said Mrs. Taylor.  “It doesn’t look-oh, how would this do?
--one of us drive there with Mr. Brown, and the rest of you go along to
my house and get things ready.  I’ll go with him.  He and I together can
lift one of the Old People into the buggy; then drive her to my house

“But who will take care of the other one?” said Mrs.  Enderby.  “We
musn’t leave her there in the woods alone, you know--especially the crazy
one.  There and back is eight miles, you see.”

They had all been sitting on the grass beside the buggy for a while, now,
trying to rest their weary bodies.  They fell silent a moment or two, and
struggled in thought over the baffling situation; then Mrs. Enderby
brightened and said:

“I think I’ve got the idea, now.  You see, we can’t walk any more.  Think
what we’ve done: four miles there, two to Moseley’s, is six, then back to
here--nine miles since noon, and not a bite to eat; I declare I don’t see
how we’ve done it; and as for me, I am just famishing.  Now, somebody’s
got to go back, to help Mr. Brown--there’s no getting around that; but
whoever goes has got to ride, not walk.  So my idea is this: one of us to
ride back with Mr. Brown, then ride to Nancy Taylor’s house with one of
the Old People, leaving Mr. Brown to keep the other old one company, you
all to go now to Nancy’s and rest and wait; then one of you drive back
and get the other one and drive her to Nancy’s, and Mr. Brown walk.”

“Splendid!” they all cried.  “Oh, that will do--that will answer
perfectly.”  And they all said that Mrs.  Enderby had the best head for
planning, in the company; and they said that they wondered that they
hadn’t thought of this simple plan themselves.  They hadn’t meant to take
back the compliment, good simple souls, and didn’t know they had done it.
After a consultation it was decided that Mrs. Enderby should drive back
with Brown, she being entitled to the distinction because she had
invented the plan.  Everything now being satisfactorily arranged and
settled, the ladies rose, relieved and happy, and brushed down their
gowns, and three of them started homeward; Mrs. Enderby set her foot on
the buggy-step and was about to climb in, when Brown found a remnant of
his voice and gasped out--

“Please Mrs. Enderby, call them back--I am very weak; I can’t walk, I
can’t, indeed.”

“Why, dear Mr. Brown!  You do look pale; I am ashamed of myself that I
didn’t notice it sooner.  Come back-all of you!  Mr. Brown is not well.
Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Brown?--I’m real sorry.  Are you
in pain?”

“No, madam, only weak; I am not sick, but only just weak--lately; not
long, but just lately.”

The others came back, and poured out their sympathies and commiserations,
and were full of self-reproaches for not having noticed how pale he was.

And they at once struck out a new plan, and soon agreed that it was by
far the best of all.  They would all go to Nancy Taylor’s house and see
to Brown’s needs first.  He could lie on the sofa in the parlor, and
while Mrs. Taylor and Mary took care of him the other two ladies would
take the buggy and go and get one of the Old People, and leave one of
themselves with the other one, and----

By this time, without any solicitation, they were at the horse’s head and
were beginning to turn him around.  The danger was imminent, but Brown
found his voice again and saved himself.  He said--

“But ladies, you are overlooking something which makes the plan
impracticable.  You see, if you bring one of them home, and one remains
behind with the other, there will be three persons there when one of you
comes back for that other, for some one must drive the buggy back, and
three can’t come home in it.”

They all exclaimed, “Why, sure-ly, that is so!” and they were, all
perplexed again.

“Dear, dear, what can we do?” said Mrs.  Glossop; “it is the most
mixed-up thing that ever was.  The fox and the goose and the corn and
things--Oh, dear, they are nothing to it.”

They sat wearily down once more, to further torture their tormented heads
for a plan that would work.  Presently Mary offered a plan; it was her
first effort.  She said:

“I am young and strong, and am refreshed, now.  Take Mr. Brown to our
house, and give him help--you see how plainly he needs it.  I will go
back and take care of the Old People; I can be there in twenty minutes.
You can go on and do what you first started to do--wait on the main road
at our house until somebody comes along with a wagon; then send and bring
away the three of us.  You won’t have to wait long; the farmers will soon
be coming back from town, now.  I will keep old Polly patient and cheered
up--the crazy one doesn’t need it.”

This plan was discussed and accepted; it seemed the best that could be
done, in the circumstances, and the Old People must be getting
discouraged by this time.

Brown felt relieved, and was deeply thankful.  Let him once get to the
main road and he would find a way to escape.

Then Mrs. Taylor said:

“The evening chill will be coming on, pretty soon, and those poor old
burnt-out things will need some kind of covering.  Take the lap-robe with
you, dear.”

“Very well, Mother, I will.”

She stepped to the buggy and put out her hand to take it----

That was the end of the tale.  The passenger who told it said that when
he read the story twenty-five years ago in a train he was interrupted at
that point--the train jumped off a bridge.

At first we thought we could finish the story quite easily, and we set to
work with confidence; but it soon began to appear that it was not a
simple thing, but difficult and baffling.  This was on account of Brown’s
character--great generosity and kindliness, but complicated with unusual
shyness and diffidence, particularly in the presence of ladies.  There
was his love for Mary, in a hopeful state but not yet secure--just in a
condition, indeed, where its affair must be handled with great tact, and
no mistakes made, no offense given.  And there was the mother wavering,
half willing-by adroit and flawless diplomacy to be won over, now, or
perhaps never at all.  Also, there were the helpless Old People yonder in
the woods waiting-their fate and Brown’s happiness to be determined by
what Brown should do within the next two seconds.  Mary was reaching for
the lap-robe; Brown must decide-there was no time to be lost.

Of course none but a happy ending of the story would be accepted by the
jury; the finish must find Brown in high credit with the ladies, his
behavior without blemish, his modesty unwounded, his character for self
sacrifice maintained, the Old People rescued through him, their
benefactor, all the party proud of him, happy in him, his praises on all
their tongues.

We tried to arrange this, but it was beset with persistent and
irreconcilable difficulties.  We saw that Brown’s shyness would not allow
him to give up the lap-robe.  This would offend Mary and her mother; and
it would surprise the other ladies, partly because this stinginess toward
the suffering Old People would be out of character with Brown, and partly
because he was a special Providence and could not properly act so.  If
asked to explain his conduct, his shyness would not allow him to tell the
truth, and lack of invention and practice would find him incapable of
contriving a lie that would wash.  We worked at the troublesome problem
until three in the morning.

Meantime Mary was still reaching for the lap-robe.  We gave it up, and
decided to let her continue to reach.  It is the reader’s privilege to
determine for himself how the thing came out.


It is more trouble to make a maxim than it is to do right.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

On the seventh day out we saw a dim vast bulk standing up out of the
wastes of the Pacific and knew that that spectral promontory was Diamond
Head, a piece of this world which I had not seen before for twenty-nine
years.  So we were nearing Honolulu, the capital city of the Sandwich
Islands--those islands which to me were Paradise; a Paradise which I had
been longing all those years to see again.  Not any other thing in the
world could have stirred me as the sight of that great rock did.

In the night we anchored a mile from shore.  Through my port I could see
the twinkling lights of Honolulu and the dark bulk of the mountain-range
that stretched away right and left.  I could not make out the beautiful
Nuuana valley, but I knew where it lay, and remembered how it used to
look in the old times.  We used to ride up it on horseback in those days
--we young people--and branch off and gather bones in a sandy region
where one of the first Kamehameha’s battles was fought.  He was a
remarkable man, for a king; and he was also a remarkable man for a
savage.  He was a mere kinglet and of little or no consequence at the
time of Captain Cook’s arrival in 1788; but about four years afterward he
conceived the idea of enlarging his sphere of influence.  That is a
courteous modern phrase which means robbing your neighbor--for your
neighbor’s benefit; and the great theater of its benevolences is Africa.
Kamehameha went to war, and in the course of ten years he whipped out all
the other kings and made himself master of every one of the nine or ten
islands that form the group.  But he did more than that.  He bought
ships, freighted them with sandal wood and other native products, and
sent them as far as South America and China; he sold to his savages the
foreign stuffs and tools and utensils which came back in these ships, and
started the march of civilization.  It is doubtful if the match to this
extraordinary thing is to be found in the history of any other savage.
Savages are eager to learn from the white man any new way to kill each
other, but it is not their habit to seize with avidity and apply with
energy the larger and nobler ideas which he offers them.  The details of
Kamehameha’s history show that he was always hospitably ready to examine
the white man’s ideas, and that he exercised a tidy discrimination in
making his selections from the samples placed on view.

A shrewder discrimination than was exhibited by his son and successor,
Liholiho, I think.  Liholiho could have qualified as a reformer, perhaps,
but as a king he was a mistake.  A mistake because he tried to be both
king and reformer.  This is mixing fire and gunpowder together.  A king
has no proper business with reforming.  His best policy is to keep things
as they are; and if he can’t do that, he ought to try to make them worse
than they are.  This is not guesswork; I have thought over this matter a
good deal, so that if I should ever have a chance to become a king I
would know how to conduct the business in the best way.

When Liholiho succeeded his father he found himself possessed of an
equipment of royal tools and safeguards which a wiser king would have
known how to husband, and judiciously employ, and make profitable.  The
entire country was under the one scepter, and his was that scepter.
There was an Established Church, and he was the head of it.  There was a
Standing Army, and he was the head of that; an Army of 114 privates under
command of 27 Generals and a Field Marshal.  There was a proud and
ancient Hereditary Nobility.  There was still one other asset.  This was
the tabu--an agent endowed with a mysterious and stupendous power, an
agent not found among the properties of any European monarch, a tool of
inestimable value in the business.  Liholiho was headmaster of the tabu.
The tabu was the most ingenious and effective of all the inventions that
has ever been devised for keeping a people’s privileges satisfactorily

It required the sexes to live in separate houses.  It did not allow
people to eat in either house; they must eat in another place.  It did
not allow a man’s woman-folk to enter his house.  It did not allow the
sexes to eat together; the men must eat first, and the women must wait on
them.  Then the women could eat what was left--if anything was left--and
wait on themselves.  I mean, if anything of a coarse or unpalatable sort
was left, the women could have it.  But not the good things, the fine
things, the choice things, such as pork, poultry, bananas, cocoanuts, the
choicer varieties of fish, and so on.  By the tabu, all these were sacred
to the men; the women spent their lives longing for them and wondering
what they might taste like; and they died without finding out.

These rules, as you see, were quite simple and clear.  It was easy to
remember them; and useful.  For the penalty for infringing any rule in
the whole list was death.  Those women easily learned to put up with
shark and taro and dog for a diet when the other things were so

It was death for any one to walk upon tabu’d ground; or defile a tabu’d
thing with his touch; or fail in due servility to a chief; or step upon
the king’s shadow.  The nobles and the King and the priests were always
suspending little rags here and there and yonder, to give notice to the
people that the decorated spot or thing was tabu, and death lurking near.
The struggle for life was difficult and chancy in the islands in those

Thus advantageously was the new king situated.  Will it be believed that
the first thing he did was to destroy his Established Church, root and
branch?  He did indeed do that.  To state the case figuratively, he was a
prosperous sailor who burnt his ship and took to a raft.  This Church was
a horrid thing.  It heavily oppressed the people; it kept them always
trembling in the gloom of mysterious threatenings; it slaughtered them in
sacrifice before its grotesque idols of wood and stone; it cowed them, it
terrorized them, it made them slaves to its priests, and through the
priests to the king.  It was the best friend a king could have, and the
most dependable.  To a professional reformer who should annihilate so
frightful and so devastating a power as this Church, reverence and praise
would be due; but to a king who should do it, could properly be due
nothing but reproach; reproach softened by sorrow; sorrow for his
unfitness for his position.

He destroyed his Established Church, and his kingdom is a republic today,
in consequence of that act.

When he destroyed the Church and burned the idols he did a mighty thing
for civilization and for his people’s weal--but it was not “business.”
 It was unkingly, it was inartistic.  It made trouble for his line.  The
American missionaries arrived while the burned idols were still smoking.
They found the nation without a religion, and they repaired the defect.
They offered their own religion and it was gladly received.  But it was
no support to arbitrary kingship, and so the kingly power began to weaken
from that day.  Forty-seven years later, when I was in the islands,
Kamehameha V.  was trying to repair Liholiho’s blunder, and not
succeeding.  He had set up an Established Church and made himself the
head of it.  But it was only a pinchbeck thing, an imitation, a bauble,
an empty show.  It had no power, no value for a king.  It could not harry
or burn or slay, it in no way resembled the admirable machine which
Liholiho destroyed.  It was an Established Church without an
Establishment; all the people were Dissenters.

Long before that, the kingship had itself become but a name, a show.  At
an early day the missionaries had turned it into something very much like
a republic; and here lately the business whites have turned it into
something exactly like it.

In Captain Cook’s time (1778), the native population of the islands was
estimated at 400,000; in 1836 at something short of 200,000, in 1866 at
50,000; it is to-day, per census, 25,000.  All intelligent people praise
Kamehameha I. and Liholiho for conferring upon their people the great
boon of civilization.  I would do it myself, but my intelligence is out
of repair, now, from over-work.

When I was in the islands nearly a generation ago, I was acquainted with
a young American couple who had among their belongings an attractive
little son of the age of seven--attractive but not practicably
companionable with me, because he knew no English.  He had played from
his birth with the little Kanakas on his father’s plantation, and had
preferred their language and would learn no other.  The family removed to
America a month after I arrived in the islands, and straightway the boy
began to lose his Kanaka and pick up English.  By the time he was twelve
he hadn’t a word of Kanaka left; the language had wholly departed from
his tongue and from his comprehension.  Nine years later, when he was
twenty-one, I came upon the family in one of the lake towns of New York,
and the mother told me about an adventure which her son had been having.
By trade he was now a professional diver.  A passenger boat had been
caught in a storm on the lake, and had gone down, carrying her people
with her.  A few days later the young diver descended, with his armor on,
and entered the berth-saloon of the boat, and stood at the foot of the
companionway, with his hand on the rail, peering through the dim water.
Presently something touched him on the shoulder, and he turned and found
a dead man swaying and bobbing about him and seemingly inspecting him
inquiringly.  He was paralyzed with fright.  His entry had disturbed the
water, and now he discerned a number of dim corpses making for him and
wagging their heads and swaying their bodies like sleepy people trying to
dance.  His senses forsook him, and in that condition he was drawn to the
surface.  He was put to bed at home, and was soon very ill.  During some
days he had seasons of delirium which lasted several hours at a time; and
while they lasted he talked Kanaka incessantly and glibly; and Kanaka
only.  He was still very ill, and he talked to me in that tongue; but I
did not understand it, of course.  The doctor-books tell us that cases
like this are not uncommon.  Then the doctors ought to study the cases
and find out how to multiply them.  Many languages and things get mislaid
in a person’s head, and stay mislaid for lack of this remedy.

Many memories of my former visit to the islands came up in my mind while
we lay at anchor in front of Honolulu that night.  And pictures--pictures
pictures--an enchanting procession of them!  I was impatient for the
morning to come.

When it came it brought disappointment, of course.  Cholera had broken
out in the town, and we were not allowed to have any communication with
the shore.  Thus suddenly did my dream of twenty-nine years go to ruin.
Messages came from friends, but the friends themselves I was not to have
any sight of.  My lecture-hall was ready, but I was not to see that,

Several of our passengers belonged in Honolulu, and these were sent
ashore; but nobody could go ashore and return.  There were people on
shore who were booked to go with us to Australia, but we could not
receive them; to do it would cost us a quarantine-term in Sydney.  They
could have escaped the day before, by ship to San Francisco; but the bars
had been put up, now, and they might have to wait weeks before any ship
could venture to give them a passage any whither.  And there were
hardships for others.  An elderly lady and her son, recreation-seekers
from Massachusetts, had wandered westward, further and further from home,
always intending to take the return track, but always concluding to go
still a little further; and now here they were at anchor before Honolulu
positively their last westward-bound indulgence--they had made up their
minds to that--but where is the use in making up your mind in this world?
It is usually a waste of time to do it.  These two would have to stay
with us as far as Australia.  Then they could go on around the world, or
go back the way they had come; the distance and the accommodations and
outlay of time would be just the same, whichever of the two routes they
might elect to take.  Think of it: a projected excursion of five hundred
miles gradually enlarged, without any elaborate degree of intention, to a
possible twenty-four thousand.  However, they were used to extensions by
this time, and did not mind this new one much.

And we had with us a lawyer from Victoria, who had been sent out by the
Government on an international matter, and he had brought his wife with
him and left the children at home with the servants and now what was to
be done?  Go ashore amongst the cholera and take the risks?  Most
certainly not.  They decided to go on, to the Fiji islands, wait there a
fortnight for the next ship, and then sail for home.  They couldn’t
foresee that they wouldn’t see a homeward-bound ship again for six weeks,
and that no word could come to them from the children, and no word go
from them to the children in all that time.  It is easy to make plans in
this world; even a cat can do it; and when one is out in those remote
oceans it is noticeable that a cat’s plans and a man’s are worth about
the same.  There is much the same shrinkage in both, in the matter of

There was nothing for us to do but sit about the decks in the shade of
the awnings and look at the distant shore.  We lay in luminous blue
water; shoreward the water was green-green and brilliant; at the shore
itself it broke in a long white ruffle, and with no crash, no sound that
we could hear.  The town was buried under a mat of foliage that looked
like a cushion of moss.  The silky mountains were clothed in soft, rich
splendors of melting color, and some of the cliffs were veiled in
slanting mists.  I recognized it all.  It was just as I had seen it long
before, with nothing of its beauty lost, nothing of its charm wanting.

A change had come, but that was political, and not visible from the ship.
The monarchy of my day was gone, and a republic was sitting in its seat.
It was not a material change.  The old imitation pomps, the fuss and
feathers, have departed, and the royal trademark--that is about all that
one could miss, I suppose.  That imitation monarchy, was grotesque
enough, in my time; if it had held on another thirty years it would have
been a monarchy without subjects of the king’s race.

We had a sunset of a very fine sort.  The vast plain of the sea was
marked off in bands of sharply-contrasted colors: great stretches of dark
blue, others of purple, others of polished bronze; the billowy mountains
showed all sorts of dainty browns and greens, blues and purples and
blacks, and the rounded velvety backs of certain of them made one want to
stroke them, as one would the sleek back of a cat.  The long, sloping
promontory projecting into the sea at the west turned dim and leaden and
spectral, then became suffused with pink--dissolved itself in a pink
dream, so to speak, it seemed so airy and unreal.  Presently the
cloud-rack was flooded with fiery splendors, and these were copied on the
surface of the sea, and it made one drunk with delight to look upon it.

From talks with certain of our passengers whose home was Honolulu, and
from a sketch by Mrs. Mary H. Krout, I was able to perceive what the
Honolulu of to-day is, as compared with the Honolulu of my time.  In my
time it was a beautiful little town, made up of snow-white wooden
cottages deliciously smothered in tropical vines and flowers and trees
and shrubs; and its coral roads and streets were hard and smooth, and as
white as the houses.  The outside aspects of the place suggested the
presence of a modest and comfortable prosperity--a general prosperity
--perhaps one might strengthen the term and say universal.  There were no
fine houses, no fine furniture.  There were no decorations.  Tallow
candles furnished the light for the bedrooms, a whale-oil lamp furnished
it for the parlor.  Native matting served as carpeting.  In the parlor
one would find two or three lithographs on the walls--portraits as a
rule: Kamehameha IV., Louis Kossuth, Jenny Lind; and may be an engraving
or two: Rebecca at the Well, Moses smiting the rock, Joseph’s servants
finding the cup in Benjamin’s sack.  There would be a center table, with
books of a tranquil sort on it: The Whole Duty of Man, Baxter’s Saints’
Rest, Fox’s Martyrs, Tupper’s Proverbial Philosophy, bound copies of The
Missionary Herald and of Father Damon’s Seaman’s Friend.  A melodeon; a
music stand, with ‘Willie, We have Missed You’, ‘Star of the Evening’,
‘Roll on Silver Moon’, ‘Are We Most There’, ‘I Would not Live Alway’, and
other songs of love and sentiment, together with an assortment of hymns.
A what-not with semi-globular glass paperweights, enclosing miniature
pictures of ships, New England rural snowstorms, and the like; sea-shells
with Bible texts carved on them in cameo style; native curios; whale’s
tooth with full-rigged ship carved on it.  There was nothing reminiscent
of foreign parts, for nobody had been abroad.  Trips were made to San
Francisco, but that could not be called going abroad.  Comprehensively
speaking, nobody traveled.

But Honolulu has grown wealthy since then, and of course wealth has
introduced changes; some of the old simplicities have disappeared.  Here
is a modern house, as pictured by Mrs.  Krout:

     “Almost every house is surrounded by extensive lawns and gardens
     enclosed by walls of volcanic stone or by thick hedges of the
     brilliant hibiscus.

     “The houses are most tastefully and comfortably furnished; the
     floors are either of hard wood covered with rugs or with fine Indian
     matting, while there is a preference, as in most warm countries, for
     rattan or bamboo furniture; there are the usual accessories of
     bric-a-brac, pictures, books, and curios from all parts of the
     for these island dwellers are indefatigable travelers.

     “Nearly every house has what is called a lanai.  It is a large
     apartment, roofed, floored, open on three sides, with a door or a
     draped archway opening into the drawing-room.  Frequently the roof
     is formed by the thick interlacing boughs of the hou tree,
     impervious to the sun and even to the rain, except in violent
     storms.  Vines are trained about the sides--the stephanotis or some
     one of the countless fragrant and blossoming trailers which abound
     in the islands.  There are also curtains of matting that may be
     drawn to exclude the sun or rain.  The floor is bare for coolness,
     or partially covered with rugs, and the lanai is prettily furnished
     with comfortable chairs, sofas, and tables loaded with flowers, or
     wonderful ferns in pots.

     “The lanai is the favorite reception room, and here at any social
     function the musical program is given and cakes and ices are served;
     here morning callers are received, or gay riding parties, the ladies
     in pretty divided skirts, worn for convenience in riding astride,
     --the universal mode adopted by Europeans and Americans, as well as
     by the natives.

     “The comfort and luxury of such an apartment, especially at a
     seashore villa, can hardly be imagined.  The soft breezes sweep
     across it, heavy with the fragrance of jasmine and gardenia, and
     through the swaying boughs of palm and mimosa there are glimpses of
     rugged mountains, their summits veiled in clouds, of purple sea with
     the white surf beating eternally against the reefs, whiter still in
     the yellow sunlight or the magical moonlight of the tropics.”

There: rugs, ices, pictures, lanais, worldly books, sinful bric-a-brac
fetched from everywhere.  And the ladies riding astride.  These are
changes, indeed.  In my time the native women rode astride, but the white
ones lacked the courage to adopt their wise custom.  In my time ice was
seldom seen in Honolulu.  It sometimes came in sailing vessels from New
England as ballast; and then, if there happened to be a man-of-war in
port and balls and suppers raging by consequence, the ballast was worth
six hundred dollars a ton, as is evidenced by reputable tradition.  But
the ice-machine has traveled all over the world, now, and brought ice
within everybody’s reach.  In Lapland and Spitzbergen no one uses native
ice in our day, except the bears and the walruses.

The bicycle is not mentioned.  It was not necessary.  We know that it is
there, without inquiring.  It is everywhere.  But for it, people could
never have had summer homes on the summit of Mont Blanc; before its day,
property up there had but a nominal value.  The ladies of the Hawaiian
capital learned too late the right way to occupy a horse--too late to get
much benefit from it.  The riding-horse is retiring from business
everywhere in the world.  In Honolulu a few years from now he will be
only a tradition.

We all know about Father Damien, the French priest who voluntarily
forsook the world and went to the leper island of Molokai to labor among
its population of sorrowful exiles who wait there, in slow-consuming
misery, for death to come and release them from their troubles; and we
know that the thing which he knew beforehand would happen, did happen:
that he became a leper himself, and died of that horrible disease.  There
was still another case of self-sacrifice, it appears.  I asked after
“Billy” Ragsdale, interpreter to the Parliament in my time--a half-white.
He was a brilliant young fellow, and very popular.  As an interpreter he
would have been hard to match anywhere.  He used to stand up in the
Parliament and turn the English speeches into Hawaiian and the Hawaiian
speeches into English with a readiness and a volubility that were
astonishing.  I asked after him, and was told that his prosperous career
was cut short in a sudden and unexpected way, just as he was about to
marry a beautiful half-caste girl.  He discovered, by some nearly
invisible sign about his skin, that the poison of leprosy was in him.
The secret was his own, and might be kept concealed for years; but he
would not be treacherous to the girl that loved him; he would not marry
her to a doom like his.  And so he put his affairs in order, and went
around to all his friends and bade them good-bye, and sailed in the leper
ship to Molokai.  There he died the loathsome and lingering death that
all lepers die.

In this place let me insert a paragraph or two from “The Paradise of
the Pacific” (Rev. H. H. Gowen)--

     “Poor lepers!  It is easy for those who have no relatives or friends
     among them to enforce the decree of segregation to the letter, but
     who can write of the terrible, the heart-breaking scenes which that
     enforcement has brought about?

     “A man upon Hawaii was suddenly taken away after a summary arrest,
     leaving behind him a helpless wife about to give birth to a babe.
     The devoted wife with great pain and risk came the whole journey to
     Honolulu, and pleaded until the authorities were unable to resist
     her entreaty that she might go and live like a leper with her leper

     “A woman in the prime of life and activity is condemned as an
     incipient leper, suddenly removed from her home, and her husband
     returns to find his two helpless babes moaning for their lost

     “Imagine it!  The case of the babies is hard, but its bitterness is
     a trifle--less than a trifle--less than nothing--compared to what
     the mother must suffer; and suffer minute by minute, hour by hour,
     day by day, month by month, year by year, without respite, relief,
     or any abatement of her pain till she dies.

     “One woman, Luka Kaaukau, has been living with her leper husband in
     the settlement for twelve years.  The man has scarcely a joint left,
     his limbs are only distorted ulcerated stumps, for four years his
     wife has put every particle of food into his mouth.  He wanted his
     wife to abandon his wretched carcass long ago, as she herself was
     sound and well, but Luka said that she was content to remain and
     wait on the man she loved till the spirit should be freed from its

     “I myself have known hard cases enough:--of a girl, apparently in
     full health, decorating the church with me at Easter, who before
     Christmas is taken away as a confirmed leper; of a mother hiding her
     child in the mountains for years so that not even her dearest
     friends knew that she had a child alive, that he might not be taken
     away; of a respectable white man taken away from his wife and
     family, and compelled to become a dweller in the Leper Settlement,
     where he is counted dead, even by the insurance companies.”

And one great pity of it all is, that these poor sufferers are innocent.
The leprosy does not come of sins which they committed, but of sins
committed by their ancestors, who escaped the curse of leprosy!

Mr. Gowan has made record of a certain very striking circumstance.  Would
you expect to find in that awful Leper Settlement a custom worthy to be
transplanted to your own country?  They have one such, and it is
inexpressibly touching and beautiful.  When death sets open the
prison-door of life there, the band salutes the freed soul with a burst
of glad music!


A dozen direct censures are easier to bear than one morganatic
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Sailed from Honolulu.--From diary:

Sept. 2.  Flocks of flying fish-slim, shapely, graceful, and intensely
white.  With the sun on them they look like a flight of silver
fruit-knives.  They are able to fly a hundred yards.

Sept. 3.  In 9 deg. 50’ north latitude, at breakfast.  Approaching the
equator on a long slant.  Those of us who have never seen the equator are
a good deal excited.  I think I would rather see it than any other thing
in the world.  We entered the “doldrums” last night--variable winds,
bursts of rain, intervals of calm, with chopping seas and a wobbly and
drunken motion to the ship--a condition of things findable in
other regions sometimes, but present in the doldrums always.  The
globe-girdling belt called the doldrums is 20 degrees wide, and the
thread called the equator lies along the middle of it.

Sept. 4.  Total eclipse of the moon last night.  At 7.30 it began to go
off.  At total--or about that--it was like a rich rosy cloud with a
tumbled surface framed in the circle and projecting from it--a bulge of
strawberry-ice, so to speak.  At half-eclipse the moon was like a gilded
acorn in its cup.

Sept. 5.  Closing in on the equator this noon.  A sailor explained to a
young girl that the ship’s speed is poor because we are climbing up the
bulge toward the center of the globe; but that when we should once get
over, at the equator, and start down-hill, we should fly.  When she asked
him the other day what the fore-yard was, he said it was the front yard,
the open area in the front end of the ship.  That man has a good deal of
learning stored up, and the girl is likely to get it all.

Afternoon.  Crossed the equator.  In the distance it looked like a blue
ribbon stretched across the ocean.  Several passengers kodak’d it.  We
had no fool ceremonies, no fantastics, no horse play.  All that sort of
thing has gone out.  In old times a sailor, dressed as Neptune, used to
come in over the bows, with his suite, and lather up and shave everybody
who was crossing the equator for the first time, and then cleanse these
unfortunates by swinging them from the yard-arm and ducking them three
times in the sea. This was considered funny.  Nobody knows why.  No, that
is not true.  We do know why.  Such a thing could never be funny on land;
no part of the old-time grotesque performances gotten up on shipboard to
celebrate the passage of the line could ever be funny on shore--they
would seem dreary and witless to shore people.  But the shore people
change their minds about it at sea, on a long voyage.  On such a voyage,
with its eternal monotonies, people’s intellects deteriorate; the owners
of the intellects soon reach a point where they almost seem to prefer
childish things to things of a maturer degree.  One is often surprised at
the juvenilities which grown people indulge in at sea, and the interest
they take in them, and the consuming enjoyment they get out of them.
This is on long voyages only.  The mind gradually becomes inert, dull,
blunted; it loses its accustomed interest in intellectual things; nothing
but horse-play can rouse it, nothing but wild and foolish grotesqueries
can entertain it.  On short voyages it makes no such exposure of itself;
it hasn’t time to slump down to this sorrowful level.

The short-voyage passenger gets his chief physical exercise out of
“horse-billiards”--shovel-board.  It is a good game.  We play it in this
ship.  A quartermaster chalks off a diagram like this-on the deck.

The player uses a cue that is like a broom-handle with a quarter-moon of
wood fastened to the end of it.  With this he shoves wooden disks the
size of a saucer--he gives the disk a vigorous shove and sends it fifteen
or twenty feet along the deck and lands it in one of the squares if he
can.  If it stays there till the inning is played out, it will count as
many points in the game as the figure in the square it has stopped in
represents.  The adversary plays to knock that disk out and leave his own
in its place--particularly if it rests upon the 9 or 10 or some other of
the high numbers; but if it rests in the “10off” he backs it up--lands
his disk behind it a foot or two, to make it difficult for its owner to
knock it out of that damaging place and improve his record.  When the
inning is played out it may be found that each adversary has placed his
four disks where they count; it may be found that some of them are
touching chalk lines and not counting; and very often it will be found
that there has been a general wreckage, and that not a disk has been left
within the diagram.  Anyway, the result is recorded, whatever it is, and
the game goes on.  The game is 100 points, and it takes from twenty
minutes to forty to play it, according to luck and the condition of the
sea.  It is an exciting game, and the crowd of spectators furnish
abundance of applause for fortunate shots and plenty of laughter for the
other kind.  It is a game of skill, but at the same time the uneasy
motion of the ship is constantly interfering with skill; this makes it a
chancy game, and the element of luck comes largely in.

We had a couple of grand tournaments, to determine who should be
“Champion of the Pacific”; they included among the participants nearly
all the passengers, of both sexes, and the officers of the ship, and they
afforded many days of stupendous interest and excitement, and murderous
exercise--for horse-billiards is a physically violent game.

The figures in the following record of some of the closing games in the
first tournament will show, better than any description, how very chancy
the game is.  The losers here represented had all been winners in the
previous games of the series, some of them by fine majorities:

Chase,102      Mrs.  D.,57    Mortimer, 105  The Surgeon, 92
Miss C.,105    Mrs.  T.,9     Clemens, 101   Taylor,92
Taylor,109     Davies,95      Miss C., 108   Mortimer,55
Thomas,102     Roper,76       Clemens, 111   Miss C.,89
Coomber, 106   Chase,98

And so on; until but three couples of winners were left.  Then I beat my
man, young Smith beat his man, and Thomas beat his.  This reduced the
combatants to three.  Smith and I took the deck, and I led off.  At the
close of the first inning I was 10 worse than nothing and Smith had
scored 7.  The luck continued against me.  When I was 57, Smith was 97
--within 3 of out.  The luck changed then.  He picked up a 10-off or so,
and couldn’t recover.  I beat him.

The next game would end tournament No. 1.

Mr. Thomas and I were the contestants.  He won the lead and went to the
bat--so to speak.  And there he stood, with the crotch of his cue resting
against his disk while the ship rose slowly up, sank slowly down, rose
again, sank again.  She never seemed to rise to suit him exactly.  She
started up once more; and when she was nearly ready for the turn, he let
drive and landed his disk just within the left-hand end of the 10.
(Applause).  The umpire proclaimed “a good 10,” and the game-keeper set
it down.  I played: my disk grazed the edge of Mr. Thomas’s disk, and
went out of the diagram.  (No applause.)

Mr. Thomas played again--and landed his second disk alongside of the
first, and almost touching its right-hand side.  “Good 10.” (Great

I played, and missed both of them.  (No applause.)

Mr. Thomas delivered his third shot and landed his disk just at the right
of the other two.  “Good 10.” (Immense applause.)

There they lay, side by side, the three in a row.  It did not seem
possible that anybody could miss them.  Still I did it.  (Immense

Mr. Thomas played his last disk.  It seems incredible, but he actually
landed that disk alongside of the others, and just to the right of them-a
straight solid row of 4 disks.  (Tumultuous and long-continued applause.)

Then I played my last disk.  Again it did not seem possible that anybody
could miss that row--a row which would have been 14 inches long if the
disks had been clamped together; whereas, with the spaces separating them
they made a longer row than that.  But I did it.  It may be that I was
getting nervous.

I think it unlikely that that innings has ever had its parallel in the
history of horse-billiards.  To place the four disks side by side in the
10 was an extraordinary feat; indeed, it was a kind of miracle.  To miss
them was another miracle.  It will take a century to produce another man
who can place the four disks in the 10; and longer than that to find a
man who can’t knock them out.  I was ashamed of my performance at the
time, but now that I reflect upon it I see that it was rather fine and

Mr. Thomas kept his luck, and won the game, and later the championship.

In a minor tournament I won the prize, which was a Waterbury watch.  I
put it in my trunk.  In Pretoria, South Africa, nine months afterward, my
proper watch broke down and I took the Waterbury out, wound it, set it by
the great clock on the Parliament House (8.05), then went back to my room
and went to bed, tired from a long railway journey.  The parliamentary
clock had a peculiarity which I was not aware of at the time
--a peculiarity which exists in no other clock, and would not exist in
one if it had been made by a sane person; on the half-hour it strikes the
succeeding hour, then strikes the hour again, at the proper time.  I lay
reading and smoking awhile; then, when I could hold my eyes open no
longer and was about to put out the light, the great clock began to boom,
and I counted ten.  I reached for the Waterbury to see how it was getting
along.  It was marking 9.30.  It seemed rather poor speed for a
three-dollar watch, but I supposed that the climate was affecting it.  I
shoved it half an hour ahead; and took to my book and waited to see what
would happen.  At 10 the great clock struck ten again.  I looked--the
Waterbury was marking half-past 10.  This was too much speed for the
money, and it troubled me.  I pushed the hands back a half hour, and
waited once more; I had to, for I was vexed and restless now, and my
sleepiness was gone. By and by the great clock struck 11.  The Waterbury
was marking 10.30.  I pushed it ahead half an hour, with some show of
temper.  By and by the great clock struck 11 again.  The Waterbury showed
up 11.30, now, and I beat her brains out against the bedstead.  I was
sorry next day, when I found out.

To return to the ship.

The average human being is a perverse creature; and when he isn’t that,
he is a practical joker.  The result to the other person concerned is
about the same: that is, he is made to suffer.  The washing down of the
decks begins at a very early hour in all ships; in but few ships are any
measures taken to protect the passengers, either by waking or warning
them, or by sending a steward to close their ports.  And so the
deckwashers have their opportunity, and they use it.  They send a bucket
of water slashing along the side of the ship and into the ports,
drenching the passenger’s clothes, and often the passenger himself.  This
good old custom prevailed in this ship, and under unusually favorable
circumstances, for in the blazing tropical regions a removable zinc thing
like a sugarshovel projects from the port to catch the wind and bring it
in; this thing catches the wash-water and brings it in, too--and in
flooding abundance.  Mrs. I., an invalid, had to sleep on the locker--
under her port, and every time she over-slept and thus failed to take
care of herself, the deck-washers drowned her out.

And the painters, what a good time they had!  This ship would be going
into dock for a month in Sydney for repairs; but no matter, painting was
going on all the time somewhere or other.  The ladies’ dresses were
constantly getting ruined, nevertheless protests and supplications went
for nothing.  Sometimes a lady, taking an afternoon nap on deck near a
ventilator or some other thing that didn’t need painting, would wake up
by and by and find that the humorous painter had been noiselessly daubing
that thing and had splattered her white gown all over with little greasy
yellow spots.

The blame for this untimely painting did not lie with the ship’s
officers, but with custom.  As far back as Noah’s time it became law that
ships must be constantly painted and fussed at when at sea; custom grew
out of the law, and at sea custom knows no death; this custom will
continue until the sea goes dry.

Sept. 8.--Sunday.  We are moving so nearly south that we cross only about
two meridians of longitude a day.  This morning we were in longitude 178
west from Greenwich, and 57 degrees west from San Francisco.  To-morrow
we shall be close to the center of the globe--the 180th degree of west
longitude and 180th degree of east longitude.

And then we must drop out a day-lose a day out of our lives, a day never
to be found again.  We shall all die one day earlier than from the
beginning of time we were foreordained to die.  We shall be a day
behindhand all through eternity.  We shall always be saying to the other
angels, “Fine day today,” and they will be always retorting, “But it
isn’t to-day, it’s tomorrow.” We shall be in a state of confusion all the
time and shall never know what true happiness is.

Next Day.  Sure enough, it has happened.  Yesterday it was September 8,
Sunday; to-day, per the bulletin-board at the head of the companionway,
it is September 10, Tuesday.  There is something uncanny about it.  And
uncomfortable.  In fact, nearly unthinkable, and wholly unrealizable,
when one comes to consider it.  While we were crossing the 180th meridian
it was Sunday in the stern of the ship where my family were, and Tuesday
in the bow where I was.  They were there eating the half of a fresh apple
on the 8th, and I was at the same time eating the other half of it on the
10th--and I could notice how stale it was, already.  The family were the
same age that they were when I had left them five minutes before, but I
was a day older now than I was then.  The day they were living in
stretched behind them half way round the globe, across the Pacific Ocean
and America and Europe; the day I was living in stretched in front of me
around the other half to meet it.  They were stupendous days for bulk and
stretch; apparently much larger days than we had ever been in before.
All previous days had been but shrunk-up little things by comparison.
The difference in temperature between the two days was very marked, their
day being hotter than mine because it was closer to the equator.

Along about the moment that we were crossing the Great Meridian a child
was born in the steerage, and now there is no way to tell which day it
was born on.  The nurse thinks it was Sunday, the surgeon thinks it was
Tuesday.  The child will never know its own birthday.  It will always be
choosing first one and then the other, and will never be able to make up
its mind permanently.  This will breed vacillation and uncertainty in its
opinions about religion, and politics, and business, and sweethearts, and
everything, and will undermine its principles, and rot them away, and
make the poor thing characterless, and its success in life impossible.
Every one in the ship says so.  And this is not all--in fact, not the
worst.  For there is an enormously rich brewer in the ship who said as
much as ten days ago, that if the child was born on his birthday he would
give it ten thousand dollars to start its little life with.  His birthday
was Monday, the 9th of September.

If the ships all moved in the one direction--westward, I mean--the world
would suffer a prodigious loss--in the matter of valuable time, through
the dumping overboard on the Great Meridian of such multitudes of days by
ships crews and passengers.  But fortunately the ships do not all sail
west, half of them sail east.  So there is no real loss.  These latter
pick up all the discarded days and add them to the world’s stock again;
and about as good as new, too; for of course the salt water preserves


Noise proves nothing.  Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as
if she had laid an asteroid.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11.  In this world we often make mistakes of judgment.
We do not as a rule get out of them sound and whole, but sometimes we do.
At dinner yesterday evening-present, a mixture of Scotch, English,
American, Canadian, and Australasian folk--a discussion broke out about
the pronunciation of certain Scottish words.  This was private ground,
and the non-Scotch nationalities, with one exception, discreetly kept
still.  But I am not discreet, and I took a hand.  I didn’t know anything
about the subject, but I took a hand just to have something to do.  At
that moment the word in dispute was the word three.  One Scotchman was
claiming that the peasantry of Scotland pronounced it three, his
adversaries claimed that they didn’t--that they pronounced it ‘thraw’.
The solitary Scot was having a sultry time of it, so I thought I would
enrich him with my help.  In my position I was necessarily quite
impartial, and was equally as well and as ill equipped to fight on the
one side as on the other.  So I spoke up and said the peasantry
pronounced the word three, not thraw.  It was an error of judgment.
There was a moment of astonished and ominous silence, then weather
ensued.  The storm rose and spread in a surprising way, and I was snowed
under in a very few minutes.  It was a bad defeat for me--a kind of
Waterloo.  It promised to remain so, and I wished I had had better sense
than to enter upon such a forlorn enterprise.  But just then I had a
saving thought--at least a thought that offered a chance.  While the
storm was still raging, I made up a Scotch couplet, and then spoke up and

“Very well, don’t say any more.  I confess defeat.  I thought I knew, but
I see my mistake.  I was deceived by one of your Scotch poets.”

“A Scotch poet!  O come!  Name him.”

“Robert Burns.”

It is wonderful the power of that name.  These men looked doubtful--but
paralyzed, all the same.  They were quite silent for a moment; then one
of them said--with the reverence in his voice which is always present in
a Scotchman’s tone when he utters the name.

“Does Robbie Burns say--what does he say?”

“This is what he says:

         ‘There were nae bairns but only three
         --Ane at the breast, twa at the knee.’”

It ended the discussion.  There was no man there profane enough, disloyal
enough, to say any word against a thing which Robert Burns had settled.
I shall always honor that great name for the salvation it brought me in
this time of my sore need.

It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with
confidence, stands a good chance to deceive.  There are people who think
that honesty is always the best policy.  This is a superstition; there
are times when the appearance of it is worth six of it.

We are moving steadily southward-getting further and further down under
the projecting paunch of the globe.  Yesterday evening we saw the Big
Dipper and the north star sink below the horizon and disappear from our
world.  No, not “we,” but they.  They saw it--somebody saw it--and told
me about it.  But it is no matter, I was not caring for those things, I
am tired of them, any way.  I think they are well enough, but one doesn’t
want them always hanging around.  My interest was all in the Southern
Cross.  I had never seen that.  I had heard about it all my life, and it
was but natural that I should be burning to see it.  No other
constellation makes so much talk.  I had nothing against the Big Dipper
--and naturally couldn’t have anything against it, since it is a citizen
our own sky, and the property of the United States--but I did want it to
move out of the way and give this foreigner a chance.  Judging by the
size of the talk which the Southern Cross had made, I supposed it would
need a sky all to itself.

But that was a mistake.  We saw the Cross to-night, and it is not large.
Not large, and not strikingly bright.  But it was low down toward the
horizon, and it may improve when it gets up higher in the sky.  It is
ingeniously named, for it looks just as a cross would look if it looked
like something else.  But that description does not describe; it is too
vague, too general, too indefinite.  It does after a fashion suggest a
cross -- a cross that is out of repair--or out of drawing; not correctly
shaped. It is long, with a short cross-bar, and the cross-bar is canted
out of the straight line.

It consists of four large stars and one little one.  The little one is
out of line and further damages the shape.  It should have been placed at
the intersection of the stem and the cross-bar.  If you do not draw an
imaginary line from star to star it does not suggest a cross--nor
anything in particular.

One must ignore the little star, and leave it out of the combination--it
confuses everything.  If you leave it out, then you can make out of the
four stars a sort of cross--out of true; or a sort of kite--out of true;
or a sort of coffin-out of true.

Constellations have always been troublesome things to name.  If you give
one of them a fanciful name, it will always refuse to live up to it; it
will always persist in not resembling the thing it has been named for.
Ultimately, to satisfy the public, the fanciful name has to be discarded
for a common-sense one, a manifestly descriptive one.  The Great Bear
remained the Great Bear--and unrecognizable as such--for thousands of
years; and people complained about it all the time, and quite properly;
but as soon as it became the property of the United States, Congress
changed it to the Big Dipper, and now every body is satisfied, and there
is no more talk about riots.  I would not change the Southern Cross to
the Southern Coffin, I would change it to the Southern Kite; for up there
in the general emptiness is the proper home of a kite, but not for
coffins and crosses and dippers.  In a little while, now--I cannot
tell exactly how long it will be--the globe will belong to the
English-speaking race; and of course the skies also.  Then the
constellations will be re-organized, and polished up, and re-named--the
most of them “Victoria,” I reckon, but this one will sail thereafter as
the Southern Kite, or go out of business.  Several towns and things, here
and there, have been named for Her Majesty already.

In these past few days we are plowing through a mighty Milky Way of
islands.  They are so thick on the map that one would hardly expect to
find room between them for a canoe; yet we seldom glimpse one.  Once we
saw the dim bulk of a couple of them, far away, spectral and dreamy
things; members of the Horne-Alofa and Fortuna.  On the larger one are
two rival native kings--and they have a time together.  They are
Catholics; so are their people.  The missionaries there are French

From the multitudinous islands in these regions the “recruits” for the
Queensland plantations were formerly drawn; are still drawn from them, I
believe.  Vessels fitted up like old-time slavers came here and carried
off the natives to serve as laborers in the great Australian province.
In the beginning it was plain, simple man-stealing, as per testimony of
the missionaries.  This has been denied, but not disproven.  Afterward it
was forbidden by law to “recruit” a native without his consent, and
governmental agents were sent in all recruiting vessels to see that the
law was obeyed--which they did, according to the recruiting people; and
which they sometimes didn’t, according to the missionaries.  A man could
be lawfully recruited for a three-years term of service; he could
volunteer for another term if he so chose; when his time was up he could
return to his island.  And would also have the means to do it; for the
government required the employer to put money in its hands for this
purpose before the recruit was delivered to him.

Captain Wawn was a recruiting ship-master during many years.  From his
pleasant book one gets the idea that the recruiting business was quite
popular with the islanders, as a rule.  And yet that did not make the
business wholly dull and uninteresting; for one finds rather frequent
little breaks in the monotony of it--like this, for instance:

     “The afternoon of our arrival at Leper Island the schooner was lying
     almost becalmed under the lee of the lofty central portion of the
     island, about three-quarters of a mile from the shore.  The boats
     were in sight at some distance.  The recruiter-boat had run into a
     small nook on the rocky coast, under a high bank, above which stood
     a solitary hut backed by dense forest.  The government agent and
     mate in the second boat lay about 400 yards to the westward.

     “Suddenly we heard the sound of firing, followed by yells from the
     natives on shore, and then we saw the recruiter-boat push out with a
     seemingly diminished crew.  The mate’s boat pulled quickly up, took
     her in tow, and presently brought her alongside, all her own crew
     being more or less hurt.  It seems the natives had called them into
     the place on pretence of friendship.  A crowd gathered about the
     stern of the boat, and several fellows even got into her.  All of a
     sudden our men were attacked with clubs and tomahawks.  The
     recruiter escaped the first blows aimed at him, making play with his
     fists until he had an opportunity to draw his revolver.  ‘Tom
     Sayers,’ a Mare man, received a tomahawk blow on the head which laid
     the scalp open but did not penetrate his skull, fortunately.  ‘Bobby
     Towns,’ another Mare boatman, had both his thumbs cut in warding off
     blows, one of them being so nearly severed from the hand that the
     doctors had to finish the operation.  Lihu, a Lifu boy, the
     recruiter’s special attendant, was cut and pricked in various
     places, but nowhere seriously.  Jack, an unlucky Tanna recruit, who
     had been engaged to act as boatman, received an arrow through his
     forearm, the head of which--apiece of bone seven or eight inches
     long--was still in the limb, protruding from both sides, when the
     boats returned.  The recruiter himself would have got off scot-free
     had not an arrow pinned one of his fingers to the loom of the
     steering-oar just as they were getting off.  The fight had been
     short but sharp.  The enemy lost two men, both shot dead.”

The truth is, Captain Wawn furnishes such a crowd of instances of fatal
encounters between natives and French and English recruiting-crews (for
the French are in the business for the plantations of New Caledonia),
that one is almost persuaded that recruiting is not thoroughly popular
among the islanders; else why this bristling string of attacks and
bloodcurdling slaughter?  The captain lays it all to “Exeter Hall
influence.”  But for the meddling philanthropists, the native fathers and
mothers would be fond of seeing their children carted into exile and now
and then the grave, instead of weeping about it and trying to kill the
kind recruiters.


He was as shy as a newspaper is when referring to its own merits.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Captain Wawn is crystal-clear on one point: He does not approve of
missionaries.  They obstruct his business.  They make “Recruiting,” as he
calls it (“Slave-Catching,” as they call it in their frank way) a trouble
when it ought to be just a picnic and a pleasure excursion.  The
missionaries have their opinion about the manner in which the Labor
Traffic is conducted, and about the recruiter’s evasions of the law of
the Traffic, and about the traffic itself--and it is distinctly
uncomplimentary to the Traffic and to everything connected with it,
including the law for its regulation.  Captain Wawn’s book is of very
recent date; I have by me a pamphlet of still later date--hot from the
press, in fact--by Rev. Wm. Gray, a missionary; and the book and the
pamphlet taken together make exceedingly interesting reading, to my mind.

Interesting, and easy to understand--except in one detail, which I will
mention presently.  It is easy to understand why the Queensland sugar
planter should want the Kanaka recruit: he is cheap.  Very cheap, in
fact.  These are the figures paid by the planter: L20 to the recruiter
for getting the Kanaka or “catching” him, as the missionary phrase goes;
L3 to the Queensland government for “superintending” the importation; L5
deposited with the Government for the Kanaka’s passage home when his
three years are up, in case he shall live that long; about L25 to the
Kanaka himself for three years’ wages and clothing; total payment for the
use of a man three years, L53; or, including diet, L60.  Altogether, a
hundred dollars a year.  One can understand why the recruiter is fond of
the business; the recruit costs him a few cheap presents (given to the
recruit’s relatives, not to the recruit himself), and the recruit is
worth L20 to the recruiter when delivered in Queensland.  All this is
clear enough; but
the thing that is not clear is, what there is about it all to persuade
the recruit.  He is young and brisk; life at home in his beautiful island
is one lazy, long holiday to him; or if he wants to work he can turn out
a couple of bags of copra per week and sell it for four or five shillings
a bag.  In Queensland he must get up at dawn and work from eight to
twelve hours a day in the canefields--in a much hotter climate than he is
used to--and get less than four shillings a week for it.

I cannot understand his willingness to go to Queensland.  It is a deep
puzzle to me.  Here is the explanation, from the planter’s point of view;
at least I gather from the missionary’s pamphlet that it is the

     “When he comes from his home he is a savage, pure and simple.  He
     feels no shame at his nakedness and want of adornment.  When he
     returns home he does so well dressed, sporting a Waterbury watch,
     collars, cuffs, boots, and jewelry.  He takes with him one or more
     boxes--[“Box” is English for trunk.]--well filled with clothing, a
     musical instrument or two, and perfumery and other articles of
     luxury he has learned to appreciate.”

For just one moment we have a seeming flash of comprehension of, the
Kanaka’s reason for exiling himself: he goes away to acquire
civilization.  Yes, he was naked and not ashamed, now he is clothed and
knows how to be ashamed; he was unenlightened; now he has a Waterbury
watch; he was unrefined, now he has jewelry, and something to make him
smell good; he was a nobody, a provincial, now he has been to far
countries and can show off.

It all looks plausible--for a moment.  Then the missionary takes hold of
this explanation and pulls it to pieces, and dances on it, and damages it
beyond recognition.

     “Admitting that the foregoing description is the average one, the
     average sequel is this: The cuffs and collars, if used at all, are
     carried off by youngsters, who fasten them round the leg, just below
     the knee, as ornaments.  The Waterbury, broken and dirty, finds its
     way to the trader, who gives a trifle for it; or the inside is taken
     out, the wheels strung on a thread and hung round the neck.  Knives,
     axes, calico, and handkerchiefs are divided among friends, and there
     is hardly one of these apiece.  The boxes, the keys often lost on
     the road home, can be bought for 2s. 6d.  They are to be seen
     rotting outside in almost any shore village on Tanna.  (I speak of
     what I have seen.) A returned Kanaka has been furiously angry with
     me because I would not buy his trousers, which he declared were just
     my fit.  He sold them afterwards to one of my Aniwan teachers for
     9d. worth of tobacco--a pair of trousers that probably cost him 8s.
     or 10s. in Queensland.  A coat or shirt is handy for cold weather.
     The white handkerchiefs, the ‘senet’ (perfumery), the umbrella, and
     perhaps the hat, are kept.  The boots have to take their chance, if
     they do not happen to fit the copra trader.  ‘Senet’ on the hair,
     streaks of paint on the face, a dirty white handkerchief round the
     neck, strips of turtle shell in the ears, a belt, a sheath and
     knife, and an umbrella constitute the rig of returned Kanaka at home
     the day after landing.”

A hat, an umbrella, a belt, a neckerchief.  Otherwise stark naked.  All
in a day the hard-earned “civilization” has melted away to this.  And
even these perishable things must presently go.  Indeed, there is but a
single detail of his civilization that can be depended on to stay by him:
according to the missionary, he has learned to swear.  This is art, and
art is long, as the poet says.

In all countries the laws throw light upon the past.  The Queensland law
for the regulation of the Labor Traffic is a confession.  It is a
confession that the evils charged by the missionaries upon the traffic
had existed in the past, and that they still existed when the law was
made.  The missionaries make a further charge: that the law is evaded by
the recruiters, and that the Government Agent sometimes helps them to do
it.  Regulation 31 reveals two things: that sometimes a young fool of a
recruit gets his senses back, after being persuaded to sign away his
liberty for three years, and dearly wants to get out of the engagement
and stay at home with his own people; and that threats, intimidation, and
force are used to keep him on board the recruiting-ship, and to hold him
to his contract.  Regulation 31 forbids these coercions.  The law
requires that he shall be allowed to go free; and another clause of it
requires the recruiter to set him ashore--per boat, because of the
prevalence of sharks.  Testimony from Rev. Mr. Gray:

     “There are ‘wrinkles’ for taking the penitent Kanaka.  My first
     experience of the Traffic was a case of this kind in 1884.  A vessel
     anchored just out of sight of our station, word was brought to me
     that some boys were stolen, and the relatives wished me to go and
     get them back.  The facts were, as I found, that six boys had
     recruited, had rushed into the boat, the Government Agent informed
     me.  They had all ‘signed’; and, said the Government Agent, ‘on
     board they shall remain.’  I was assured that the six boys were of
     age and willing to go.  Yet on getting ready to leave the ship I
     found four of the lads ready to come ashore in the boat!  This I
     forbade.  One of them jumped into the water and persisted in coming
     ashore in my boat.  When appealed to, the Government Agent suggested
     that we go and leave him to be picked up by the ship’s boat, a
     quarter mile distant at the time!”

The law and the missionaries feel for the repentant recruit--and
properly, one may be permitted to think, for he is only a youth and
ignorant and persuadable to his hurt--but sympathy for him is not kept in
stock by the recruiter.  Rev. Mr. Gray says:

     “A captain many years in the traffic explained to me how a penitent
     could betaken.  ‘When a boy jumps overboard we just take a boat and
     pull ahead of him, then lie between him and the shore.  If he has
     not tired himself swimming, and passes the boat, keep on heading him
     in this way.  The dodge rarely fails.  The boy generally tires of
     swimming, gets into the boat of his own accord, and goes quietly on

Yes, exhaustion is likely to make a boy quiet.  If the distressed boy had
been the speaker’s son, and the captors savages, the speaker would have
been surprised to see how differently the thing looked from the new point
of view; however, it is not our custom to put ourselves in the other
person’s place.  Somehow there is something pathetic about that
disappointed young savage’s resignation.  I must explain, here, that in
the traffic dialect, “boy” does not always mean boy; it means a youth
above sixteen years of age.  That is by Queensland law the age of
consent, though it is held that recruiters allow themselves some latitude
in guessing at ages.

Captain Wawn of the free spirit chafes under the annoyance of “cast-iron
regulations.”  They and the missionaries have poisoned his life.  He
grieves for the good old days, vanished to come no more.  See him weep;
hear him cuss between the lines!

     “For a long time we were allowed to apprehend and detain all
     deserters who had signed the agreement on board ship, but the
     ‘cast-iron’ regulations of the Act of 1884 put a stop to that,
     allowing the Kanaka to sign the agreement for three years’ service,
     travel about in the ship in receipt of the regular rations, cadge
     all he could, and leave when he thought fit, so long as he did not
     extend his pleasure trip to Queensland.”

Rev. Mr. Gray calls this same restrictive cast-iron law a “farce.” “There
is as much cruelty and injustice done to natives by acts that are legal
as by deeds unlawful.  The regulations that exist are unjust and
inadequate--unjust and inadequate they must ever be.”  He furnishes his
reasons for his position, but they are too long for reproduction here.

However, if the most a Kanaka advantages himself by a three-years course
in civilization in Queensland, is a necklace and an umbrella and a showy
imperfection in the art of swearing, it must be that all the profit of
the traffic goes to the white man.  This could be twisted into a
plausible argument that the traffic ought to be squarely abolished.

However, there is reason for hope that that can be left alone to achieve
itself.  It is claimed that the traffic will depopulate its sources of
supply within the next twenty or thirty years.  Queensland is a very
healthy place for white people--death-rate 12 in 1,000 of the population
--but the Kanaka death-rate is away above that.  The vital statistics for
1893 place it at 52; for 1894 (Mackay district), 68.  The first six
months of the Kanaka’s exile are peculiarly perilous for him because of
the rigors of the new climate.  The death-rate among the new men has
reached as high as 180 in the 1,000.  In the Kanaka’s native home his
death-rate is 12 in time of peace, and 15 in time of war.  Thus exile to
Queensland--with the opportunity to acquire civilization, an umbrella,
and a pretty poor quality of profanity--is twelve times as deadly for him
as war.  Common Christian charity, common humanity, does seem to require,
not only that these people be returned to their homes, but that war,
pestilence, and famine be introduced among them for their preservation.

Concerning these Pacific isles and their peoples an eloquent prophet
spoke long years ago--five and fifty years ago.  In fact, he spoke a
little too early.  Prophecy is a good line of business, but it is full of
risks.  This prophet was the Right Rev. M. Russell, LL.D., D.C.L., of

     “Is the tide of civilization to roll only to the foot of the Rocky
     Mountains, and is the sun of knowledge to set at last in the waves
     of the Pacific?  No; the mighty day of four thousand years is
     drawing to its close; the sun of humanity has performed its destined
     course; but long ere its setting rays are extinguished in the west,
     its ascending beams have glittered on the isles of the eastern seas
     .  .  .  .  And now we see the race of Japhet setting forth to
     people the isles, and the seeds of another Europe and a second
     England sown in the regions of the sun.  But mark the words of the
     prophecy: ‘He shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be
     his servant.’  It is not said Canaan shall be his slave.  To the
     Anglo-Saxon race is given the scepter of the globe, but there is not
     given either the lash of the slave-driver or the rack of the
     executioner.  The East will not be stained with the same atrocities
     as the West; the frightful gangrene of an enthralled race is not to
     mar the destinies of the family of Japhet in the Oriental world;
     humanizing, not destroying, as they advance; uniting with, not
     enslaving, the inhabitants with whom they dwell, the British race
     may,”  etc., etc.

And he closes his vision with an invocation from Thomson:

          “Come, bright Improvement! on the car of Time,
          And rule the spacious world from clime to clime.”

Very well, Bright Improvement has arrived, you see, with her
civilization, and her Waterbury, and her umbrella, and her third-quality
profanity, and her humanizing-not-destroying machinery, and her
hundred-and-eighty death-rate, and everything is going along just as

But the prophet that speaks last has an advantage over the pioneer in the
business.  Rev. Mr. Gray says:

     “What I am concerned about is that we as a Christian nation should
     wipe out these races to enrich ourselves.”

And he closes his pamphlet with a grim Indictment which is as eloquent in
its flowerless straightforward English as is the hand-painted rhapsody of
the early prophet:

     “My indictment of the Queensland-Kanaka Labor Traffic is this

     “1. It generally demoralizes and always impoverishes the Kanaka,
     deprives him of his citizenship, and depopulates the islands fitted
     to his home.

     “2. It is felt to lower the dignity of the white agricultural
     laborer in Queensland, and beyond a doubt it lowers his wages there.

     “3. The whole system is fraught with danger to Australia and the
     islands on the score of health.

     “4. On social and political grounds the continuance of the
     Queensland Kanaka Labor Traffic must be a barrier to the true
     federation of the Australian colonies.

     “5. The Regulations under which the Traffic exists in Queensland are
     inadequate to prevent abuses, and in the nature of things they must
     remain so.

     “6. The whole system is contrary to the spirit and doctrine of the
     Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Gospel requires us to help the weak,
     but the Kanaka is fleeced and trodden down.

     “7. The bed-rock of this Traffic is that the life and liberty of a
     black man are of less value than those of a white man.  And a
     Traffic that has grown out of ‘slave-hunting’ will certainly remain
     to the end not unlike its origin.”


Truth is the most valuable thing we have.  Let us economize it.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

From Diary:--For a day or two we have been plowing among an invisible
vast wilderness of islands, catching now and then a shadowy glimpse of a
member of it.  There does seem to be a prodigious lot of islands this
year; the map of this region is freckled and fly-specked all over with
them.  Their number would seem to be uncountable.  We are moving among
the Fijis now--224 islands and islets in the group.  In front of us, to
the west, the wilderness stretches toward Australia, then curves upward
to New Guinea, and still up and up to Japan; behind us, to the east, the
wilderness stretches sixty degrees across the wastes of the Pacific;
south of us is New Zealand.  Somewhere or other among these myriads Samoa
is concealed, and not discoverable on the map.  Still, if you wish to go
there, you will have no trouble about finding it if you follow the
directions given by Robert Louis Stevenson to Dr. Conan Doyle and to Mr.
J. M. Barrie.  “You go to America, cross the continent to San Francisco,
and then it’s the second turning to the left.”  To get the full flavor of
the joke one must take a glance at the map.

Wednesday, September 11.--Yesterday we passed close to an island or so,
and recognized the published Fiji characteristics: a broad belt of clean
white coral sand around the island; back of it a graceful fringe of
leaning palms, with native huts nestling cosily among the shrubbery at
their bases; back of these a stretch of level land clothed in tropic
vegetation; back of that, rugged and picturesque mountains.  A detail
of the immediate foreground: a mouldering ship perched high up on a
reef-bench.  This completes the composition, and makes the picture
artistically perfect.

In the afternoon we sighted Suva, the capital of the group, and threaded
our way into the secluded little harbor--a placid basin of brilliant blue
and green water tucked snugly in among the sheltering hills.  A few ships
rode at anchor in it--one of them a sailing vessel flying the American
flag; and they said she came from Duluth!  There’s a journey!  Duluth is
several thousand miles from the sea, and yet she is entitled to the proud
name of Mistress of the Commercial Marine of the United States of
America.  There is only one free, independent, unsubsidized American ship
sailing the foreign seas, and Duluth owns it.  All by itself that ship is
the American fleet.  All by itself it causes the American name and power
to be respected in the far regions of the globe.  All by itself it
certifies to the world that the most populous civilized nation, in the
earth has a just pride in her stupendous stretch of sea-front, and is
determined to assert and maintain her rightful place as one of the Great
Maritime Powers of the Planet.  All by itself it is making foreign eyes
familiar with a Flag which they have not seen before for forty years,
outside of the museum.  For what Duluth has done, in building, equipping,
and maintaining at her sole expense the American Foreign Commercial
Fleet, and in thus rescuing the American name from shame and lifting it
high for the homage of the nations, we owe her a debt of gratitude which
our hearts shall confess with quickened beats whenever her name is named
henceforth.  Many national toasts will die in the lapse of time, but
while the flag flies and the Republic survives, they who live under their
shelter will still drink this one, standing and uncovered: Health and
prosperity to Thee, O Duluth, American Queen of the Alien Seas!

Row-boats began to flock from the shore; their crews were the first
natives we had seen.  These men carried no overplus of clothing, and this
was wise, for the weather was hot.  Handsome, great dusky men they were,
muscular, clean-limbed, and with faces full of character and
intelligence.  It would be hard to find their superiors anywhere among
the dark races, I should think.

Everybody went ashore to look around, and spy out the land, and have that
luxury of luxuries to sea-voyagers--a land-dinner.  And there we saw more
natives: Wrinkled old women, with their flat mammals flung over their
shoulders, or hanging down in front like the cold-weather drip from the
molasses-faucet; plump and smily young girls, blithe and content, easy
and graceful, a pleasure to look at; young matrons, tall, straight,
comely, nobly built, sweeping by with chin up, and a gait incomparable
for unconscious stateliness and dignity; majestic young men--athletes for
build and muscle--clothed in a loose arrangement of dazzling white, with
bronze breast and bronze legs naked, and the head a cannon-swab of solid
hair combed straight out from the skull and dyed a rich brick-red.  Only
sixty years ago they were sunk in darkness; now they have the bicycle.
We strolled about the streets of the white folks’ little town, and around
over the hills by paths and roads among European dwellings and gardens
and plantations, and past clumps of hibiscus that made a body blink, the
great blossoms were so intensely red; and by and by we stopped to ask an
elderly English colonist a question or two, and to sympathize with him
concerning the torrid weather; but he was surprised, and said:

“This?  This is not hot.  You ought to be here in the summer time once.”

“We supposed that this was summer; it has the ear-marks of it.  You could
take it to almost any country and deceive people with it.  But if it
isn’t summer, what does it lack?”

“It lacks half a year.  This is mid-winter.”

I had been suffering from colds for several months, and a sudden change
of season, like this, could hardly fail to do me hurt.  It brought on
another cold.  It is odd, these sudden jumps from season to season.  A
fortnight ago we left America in mid-summer, now it is midwinter; about a
week hence we shall arrive in Australia in the spring.

After dinner I found in the billiard-room a resident whom I had known
somewhere else in the world, and presently made some new friends and
drove with them out into the country to visit his Excellency the head of
the State, who was occupying his country residence, to escape the rigors
of the winter weather, I suppose, for it was on breezy high ground and
much more comfortable than the lower regions, where the town is, and
where the winter has full swing, and often sets a person’s hair afire
when he takes off his hat to bow.  There is a noble and beautiful view of
ocean and islands and castellated peaks from the governor’s high-placed
house, and its immediate surroundings lie drowsing in that dreamy repose
and serenity which are the charm of life in the Pacific Islands.

One of the new friends who went out there with me was a large man, and I
had been admiring his size all the way.  I was still admiring it as he
stood by the governor on the veranda, talking; then the Fijian butler
stepped out there to announce tea, and dwarfed him.  Maybe he did not
quite dwarf him, but at any rate the contrast was quite striking.
Perhaps that dark giant was a king in a condition of political
suspension.  I think that in the talk there on the veranda it was said
that in Fiji, as in the Sandwich Islands, native kings and chiefs are of
much grander size and build than the commoners.  This man was clothed in
flowing white vestments, and they were just the thing for him; they
comported well with his great stature and his kingly port and dignity.
European clothes would have degraded him and made him commonplace.  I
know that, because they do that with everybody that wears them.

It was said that the old-time devotion to chiefs and reverence for their
persons still survive in the native commoner, and in great force.  The
educated young gentleman who is chief of the tribe that live in the
region about the capital dresses in the fashion of high-class European
gentlemen, but even his clothes cannot damn him in the reverence of his
people.  Their pride in his lofty rank and ancient lineage lives on, in
spite of his lost authority and the evil magic of his tailor.  He has no
need to defile himself with work, or trouble his heart with the sordid
cares of life; the tribe will see to it that he shall not want, and that
he shall hold up his head and live like a gentleman.  I had a glimpse of
him down in the town.  Perhaps he is a descendant of the last king--the
king with the difficult name whose memory is preserved by a notable
monument of cut-stone which one sees in the enclosure in the middle of
the town.  Thakombau--I remember, now; that is the name.  It is easier to
preserve it on a granite block than in your head.

Fiji was ceded to England by this king in 1858.  One of the gentlemen
present at the governor’s quoted a remark made by the king at the time of
the session--a neat retort, and with a touch of pathos in it, too.  The
English Commissioner had offered a crumb of comfort to Thakombau by
saying that the transfer of the kingdom to Great Britain was merely “a
sort of hermit-crab formality, you know.”  “Yes,” said poor Thakombau,
“but with this difference--the crab moves into an unoccupied shell, but
mine isn’t.”

However, as far as I can make out from the books, the King was between
the devil and the deep sea at the time, and hadn’t much choice.  He owed
the United States a large debt--a debt which he could pay if allowed
time, but time was denied him.  He must pay up right away or the warships
would be upon him.  To protect his people from this disaster he ceded his
country to Britain, with a clause in the contract providing for the
ultimate payment of the American debt.

In old times the Fijians were fierce fighters; they were very religious,
and worshiped idols; the big chiefs were proud and haughty, and they were
men of great style in many ways; all chiefs had several wives, the
biggest chiefs sometimes had as many as fifty; when a chief was dead and
ready for burial, four or five of his wives were strangled and put into
the grave with him.  In 1804 twenty-seven British convicts escaped from
Australia to Fiji, and brought guns and ammunition with them.  Consider
what a power they were, armed like that, and what an opportunity they
had.  If they had been energetic men and sober, and had had brains and
known how to use them, they could have achieved the sovereignty of the
archipelago(--)twenty-seven kings and each with eight or nine islands
his scepter.  But nothing came of this chance.  They lived worthless
lives of sin and luxury, and died without honor--in most cases by
violence.  Only one of them had any ambition; he was an Irishman named
Connor.  He tried to raise a family of fifty children, and scored
forty-eight.  He died lamenting his failure.  It was a foolish sort
of avarice.  Many a father would have been rich enough with forty.

It is a fine race, the Fijians, with brains in their heads, and an
inquiring turn of mind.  It appears that their savage ancestors had a
doctrine of immortality in their scheme of religion--with limitations.
That is to say, their dead friend would go to a happy hereafter if he
could be accumulated, but not otherwise.  They drew the line; they
thought that the missionary’s doctrine was too sweeping, too
comprehensive.  They called his attention to certain facts.  For
instance, many of their friends had been devoured by sharks; the sharks,
in their turn, were caught and eaten by other men; later, these men were
captured in war, and eaten by the enemy.  The original persons had
entered into the composition of the sharks; next, they and the sharks had
become part of the flesh and blood and bone of the cannibals.  How, then,
could the particles of the original men be searched out from the final
conglomerate and put together again?  The inquirers were full of doubts,
and considered that the missionary had not examined the matter with the
gravity and attention which so serious a thing deserved.

The missionary taught these exacting savages many valuable things, and
got from them one--a very dainty and poetical idea: Those wild and
ignorant poor children of Nature believed that the flowers, after they
perish, rise on the winds and float away to the fair fields of heaven,
and flourish there forever in immortal beauty!


It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no
distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

When one glances at the map the members of the stupendous island
wilderness of the Pacific seem to crowd upon each other; but no, there is
no crowding, even in the center of a group; and between groups there are
lonely wide deserts of sea.  Not everything is known about the islands,
their peoples and their languages.  A startling reminder of this is
furnished by the fact that in Fiji, twenty years ago, were living two
strange and solitary beings who came from an unknown country and spoke an
unknown language.  “They were picked up by a passing vessel many hundreds
of miles from any known land, floating in the same tiny canoe in which
they had been blown out to sea.  When found they were but skin and bone.
No one could understand what they said, and they have never named their
country; or, if they have, the name does not correspond with that of any
island on any chart.  They are now fat and sleek, and as happy as the day
is long.  In the ship’s log there is an entry of the latitude and
longitude in which they were found, and this is probably all the clue
they will ever have to their lost homes.”--[Forbes’s “Two Years in

What a strange and romantic episode it is; and how one is tortured with
curiosity to know whence those mysterious creatures came, those Men
Without a Country, errant waifs who cannot name their lost home,
wandering Children of Nowhere.

Indeed, the Island Wilderness is the very home of romance and dreams and
mystery.  The loneliness, the solemnity, the beauty, and the deep repose
of this wilderness have a charm which is all their own for the bruised
spirit of men who have fought and failed in the struggle for life in the
great world; and for men who have been hunted out of the great world for
crime; and for other men who love an easy and indolent existence; and for
others who love a roving free life, and stir and change and adventure;
and for yet others who love an easy and comfortable career of trading and
money-getting, mixed with plenty of loose matrimony by purchase, divorce
without trial or expense, and limitless spreeing thrown in to make life
ideally perfect.

We sailed again, refreshed.

The most cultivated person in the ship was a young Englishman whose
home was in New Zealand.  He was a naturalist.  His learning in his
specialty was deep and thorough, his interest in his subject amounted to
a passion, he had an easy gift of speech; and so, when he talked about
animals it was a pleasure to listen to him.  And profitable, too, though
he was sometimes difficult to understand because now and then he used
scientific technicalities which were above the reach of some of us.  They
were pretty sure to be above my reach, but as he was quite willing to
explain them I always made it a point to get him to do it.  I had a fair
knowledge of his subject--layman’s knowledge--to begin with, but it was
his teachings which crystalized it into scientific form and clarity--in a
word, gave it value.

His special interest was the fauna of Australasia, and his knowledge of
the matter was as exhaustive as it was accurate.  I already knew a good
deal about the rabbits in Australasia and their marvelous fecundity, but
in my talks with him I found that my estimate of the great hindrance and
obstruction inflicted by the rabbit pest upon traffic and travel was far
short of the facts.  He told me that the first pair of rabbits imported
into Australasia bred so wonderfully that within six months rabbits were
so thick in the land that people had to dig trenches through them to get
from town to town.

He told me a great deal about worms, and the kangaroo, and other
coleoptera, and said he knew the history and ways of all such
pachydermata.  He said the kangaroo had pockets, and carried its young in
them when it couldn’t get apples.  And he said that the emu was as big as
an ostrich, and looked like one, and had an amorphous appetite and would
eat bricks.  Also, that the dingo was not a dingo at all, but just a wild
dog; and that the only difference between a dingo and a dodo was that
neither of them barked; otherwise they were just the same.  He said that
the only game-bird in Australia was the wombat, and the only song-bird
the larrikin, and that both were protected by government.  The most
beautiful of the native birds was the bird of Paradise.  Next came the
two kinds of lyres; not spelt the same.  He said the one kind was dying
out, the other thickening up.  He explained that the “Sundowner” was not
a bird it was a man; sundowner was merely the Australian equivalent of
our word, tramp.  He is a loafer, a hard drinker, and a sponge.  He
tramps across the country in the sheep-shearing season, pretending to
look for work; but he always times himself to arrive at a sheep-run just
at sundown, when the day’s labor ends; all he wants is whisky and supper
and bed and breakfast; he gets them and then disappears.  The naturalist
spoke of the bell bird, the creature that at short intervals all day
rings out its mellow and exquisite peal from the deeps of the forest.  It
is the favorite and best friend of the weary and thirsty sundowner; for
he knows that wherever the bell bird is, there is water; and he goes
somewhere else.  The naturalist said that the oddest bird in Australasia
was the Laughing Jackass, and the biggest the now extinct Great Moa.

The Moa stood thirteen feet high, and could step over an ordinary man’s
head or kick his hat off; and his head, too, for that matter.  He said it
was wingless, but a swift runner.  The natives used to ride it.  It could
make forty miles an hour, and keep it up for four hundred miles and come
out reasonably fresh.  It was still in existence when the railway was
introduced into New Zealand; still in existence, and carrying the mails.
The railroad began with the same schedule it has now: two expresses a
week-time, twenty miles an hour.  The company exterminated the moa to get
the mails.

Speaking of the indigenous coneys and bactrian camels, the naturalist
said that the coniferous and bacteriological output of Australasia was
remarkable for its many and curious departures from the accepted laws
governing these species of tubercles, but that in his opinion Nature’s
fondness for dabbling in the erratic was most notably exhibited in that
curious combination of bird, fish, amphibian, burrower, crawler,
quadruped, and Christian called the Ornithorhynchus--grotesquest of
animals, king of the animalculae of the world for versatility of
character and make-up.  Said he:

     “You can call it anything you want to, and be right.  It is a fish,
     for it lives in the river half the time; it is a land animal, for it
     resides on the land half the time; it is an amphibian, since it
     likes both and does not know which it prefers; it is a hybernian,
     for when times are dull and nothing much going on it buries itself
     under the mud at the bottom of a puddle and hybernates there a
     couple of weeks at a time; it is a kind of duck, for it has a
     duck-bill and four webbed paddles; it is a fish and quadruped
     together, for in the water it swims with the paddles and on shore it
     paws itself across country with them; it is a kind of seal, for it
     has a seal’s fur; it is carnivorous, herbivorous, insectivorous, and
     vermifuginous, for it eats fish and grass and butterflies, and in
     the season digs worms out of the mud and devours them; it is clearly
     a bird, for it lays eggs, and hatches them; it is clearly a mammal,
     for it nurses its young; and it is manifestly a kind of Christian,
     for it keeps the Sabbath when there is anybody around, and when
     there isn’t, doesn’t.  It has all the tastes there are except
     refined ones, it has all the habits there are except good ones.

     “It is a survival--a survival of the fittest.  Mr. Darwin invented
     the theory that goes by that name, but the Ornithorhynchus was the
     first to put it to actual experiment and prove that it could be
     done.  Hence it should have as much of the credit as Mr. Darwin.
     It was never in the Ark; you will find no mention of it there; it
     nobly stayed out and worked the theory.  Of all creatures in the
     world it was the only one properly equipped for the test.  The Ark
     was thirteen months afloat, and all the globe submerged; no land
     visible above the flood, no vegetation, no food for a mammal to eat,
     nor water for a mammal to drink; for all mammal food was destroyed,
     and when the pure floods from heaven and the salt oceans of the
     earth mingled their waters and rose above the mountain tops, the
     result was a drink which no bird or beast of ordinary construction
     could use and live.  But this combination was nuts for the
     Ornithorhynchus, if I may use a term like that without offense.
     Its river home had always been salted by the flood-tides of the sea.
     On the face of the Noachian deluge innumerable forest trees were
     floating.  Upon these the Ornithorhynchus voyaged in peace; voyaged
     from clime to clime, from hemisphere to hemisphere, in contentment
     and comfort, in virile interest in the constant change of scene, in
     humble thankfulness for its privileges, in ever-increasing
     enthusiasm in the development of the great theory upon whose
     validity it had staked its life, its fortunes, and its sacred honor,
     if I may use such expressions without impropriety in connection with
     an episode of this nature.

     “It lived the tranquil and luxurious life of a creature of
     independent means.  Of things actually necessary to its existence
     and its happiness not a detail was wanting.  When it wished to walk,
     it scrambled along the tree-trunk; it mused in the shade of the
     leaves by day, it slept in their shelter by night; when it wanted
     the refreshment of a swim, it had it; it ate leaves when it wanted a
     vegetable diet, it dug under the bark for worms and grubs; when it
     wanted fish it caught them, when it wanted eggs it laid them.  If
     the grubs gave out in one tree it swam to another; and as for fish,
     the very opulence of the supply was an embarrassment.  And finally,
     when it was thirsty it smacked its chops in gratitude over a blend
     that would have slain a crocodile.

     “When at last, after thirteen months of travel and research in all
     the Zones it went aground on a mountain-summit, it strode ashore,
     saying in its heart, ‘Let them that come after me invent theories
     and dream dreams about the Survival of the Fittest if they like, but
     I am the first that has done it!

     “This wonderful creature dates back like the kangaroo and many other
     Australian hydrocephalous invertebrates, to an age long anterior to
     the advent of man upon the earth; they date back, indeed, to a time
     when a causeway hundreds of miles wide, and thousands of miles long,
     joined Australia to Africa, and the animals of the two countries
     were alike, and all belonged to that remote geological epoch known
     to science as the Old Red Grindstone Post-Pleosaurian.  Later the
     causeway sank under the sea; subterranean convulsions lifted the
     African continent a thousand feet higher than it was before, but
     Australia kept her old level.  In Africa’s new climate the animals
     necessarily began to develop and shade off into new forms and
     families and species, but the animals of Australia as necessarily
     remained stationary, and have so remained until this day.  In the
     course of some millions of years the African Ornithorhynchus
     developed and developed and developed, and sluffed off detail after
     detail of its make-up until at last the creature became wholly
     disintegrated and scattered.  Whenever you see a bird or a beast or
     a seal or an otter in Africa you know that he is merely a sorry
     surviving fragment of that sublime original of whom I have been
     speaking--that creature which was everything in general and nothing
     in particular--the opulently endowed ‘e pluribus unum’ of the animal

     “Such is the history of the most hoary, the most ancient, the most
     venerable creature that exists in the earth today--Ornithorhynchus
     Platypus Extraordinariensis--whom God preserve!”

When he was strongly moved he could rise and soar like that with ease.
And not only in the prose form, but in the poetical as well.  He had
written many pieces of poetry in his time, and these manuscripts he lent
around among the passengers, and was willing to let them be copied.  It
seemed to me that the least technical one in the series, and the one
which reached the loftiest note, perhaps, was his:


     “Come forth from thy oozy couch,
     O Ornithorhynchus dear!
     And greet with a cordial claw
     The stranger that longs to hear

     “From thy own own lips the tale
     Of thy origin all unknown:
     Thy misplaced bone where flesh should be
     And flesh where should be bone;

     “And fishy fin where should be paw,
     And beaver-trowel tail,
     And snout of beast equip’d with teeth
     Where gills ought to prevail.

     “Come, Kangaroo, the good and true
     Foreshortened as to legs,
     And body tapered like a churn,
     And sack marsupial, i’ fegs,

     “And tells us why you linger here,
     Thou relic of a vanished time,
     When all your friends as fossils sleep,
     Immortalized in lime!”

Perhaps no poet is a conscious plagiarist; but there seems to be warrant
for suspecting that there is no poet who is not at one time or another an
unconscious one.  The above verses are indeed beautiful, and, in a way,
touching; but there is a haunting something about them which unavoidably
suggests the Sweet Singer of Michigan.  It can hardly be doubted that the
author had read the works of that poet and been impressed by them.  It is
not apparent that he has borrowed from them any word or yet any phrase,
but the style and swing and mastery and melody of the Sweet Singer all
are there.  Compare this Invocation with “Frank Dutton”--particularly
stanzas first and seventeenth--and I think the reader will feel convinced
that he who wrote the one had read the other:


    “Frank Dutton was as fine a lad
     As ever you wish to see,
     And he was drowned in Pine Island Lake
     On earth no more will he be,
     His age was near fifteen years,
     And he was a motherless boy,
     He was living with his grandmother
     When he was drowned, poor boy.”


    “He was drowned on Tuesday afternoon,
     On Sunday he was found,
     And the tidings of that drowned boy
     Was heard for miles around.
     His form was laid by his mother’s side,
     Beneath the cold, cold ground,
     His friends for him will drop a tear
     When they view his little mound.”

     The Sentimental Song Book.  By Mrs. Julia Moore, p. 36.


It is your human environment that makes climate.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Sept. 15--Night.  Close to Australia now.  Sydney 50 miles distant.

That note recalls an experience.  The passengers were sent for, to come
up in the bow and see a fine sight.  It was very dark.  One could not
follow with the eye the surface of the sea more than fifty yards in any
direction it dimmed away and became lost to sight at about that distance
from us.  But if you patiently gazed into the darkness a little while,
there was a sure reward for you.  Presently, a quarter of a mile away you
would see a blinding splash or explosion of light on the water--a flash
so sudden and so astonishingly brilliant that it would make you catch
your breath; then that blotch of light would instantly extend itself and
take the corkscrew shape and imposing length of the fabled sea-serpent,
with every curve of its body and the “break” spreading away from its
head, and the wake following behind its tail clothed in a fierce splendor
of living fire.  And my, but it was coming at a lightning gait!  Almost
before you could think, this monster of light, fifty feet long, would go
flaming and storming by, and suddenly disappear.  And out in the distance
whence he came you would see another flash; and another and another and
another, and see them turn into sea-serpents on the instant; and once
sixteen flashed up at the same time and came tearing towards us, a swarm
of wiggling curves, a moving conflagration, a vision of bewildering
beauty, a spectacle of fire and energy whose equal the most of those
people will not see again until after they are dead.

It was porpoises--porpoises aglow with phosphorescent light.  They
presently collected in a wild and magnificent jumble under the bows, and
there they played for an hour, leaping and frollicking and carrying on,
turning summersaults in front of the stem or across it and never getting
hit, never making a miscalculation, though the stem missed them only
about an inch, as a rule.  They were porpoises of the ordinary length
--eight or ten feet--but every twist of their bodies sent a long
procession of united and glowing curves astern.  That fiery jumble was
an enchanting thing to look at, and we stayed out the performance; one
cannot have such a show as that twice in a lifetime.  The porpoise is the
kitten of the sea; he never has a serious thought, he cares for nothing
but fun and play.  But I think I never saw him at his winsomest until
that night. It was near a center of civilization, and he could have been

By and by, when we had approached to somewhere within thirty miles of
Sydney Heads the great electric light that is posted on one of those
lofty ramparts began to show, and in time the little spark grew to a
great sun and pierced the firmament of darkness with a far-reaching sword
of light.

Sydney Harbor is shut in behind a precipice that extends some miles like
a wall, and exhibits no break to the ignorant stranger.  It has a break
in the middle, but it makes so little show that even Captain Cook sailed
by it without seeing it.  Near by that break is a false break which
resembles it, and which used to make trouble for the mariner at night, in
the early days before the place was lighted.  It caused the memorable
disaster to the Duncan Dunbar, one of the most pathetic tragedies in the
history of that pitiless ruffian, the sea.  The ship was a sailing
vessel; a fine and favorite passenger packet, commanded by a popular
captain of high reputation.  She was due from England, and Sydney was
waiting, and counting the hours; counting the hours, and making ready to
give her a heart-stirring welcome; for she was bringing back a great
company of mothers and daughters, the long-missed light and bloom of life
of Sydney homes; daughters that had been years absent at school, and
mothers that had been with them all that time watching over them.  Of all
the world only India and Australasia have by custom freighted ships and
fleets with their hearts, and know the tremendous meaning of that phrase;
only they know what the waiting is like when this freightage is entrusted
to the fickle winds, not steam, and what the joy is like when the ship
that is returning this treasure comes safe to port and the long dread is

On board the Duncan Dunbar, flying toward Sydney Heads in the waning
afternoon, the happy home-comers made busy preparation, for it was not
doubted that they would be in the arms of their friends before the day
was done; they put away their sea-going clothes and put on clothes meeter
for the meeting, their richest and their loveliest, these poor brides of
the grave.  But the wind lost force, or there was a miscalculation, and
before the Heads were sighted the darkness came on.  It was said that
ordinarily the captain would have made a safe offing and waited for the
morning; but this was no ordinary occasion; all about him were appealing
faces, faces pathetic with disappointment.  So his sympathy moved him to
try the dangerous passage in the dark.  He had entered the Heads
seventeen times, and believed he knew the ground.  So he steered straight
for the false opening, mistaking it for the true one.  He did not find
out that he was wrong until it was too late.  There was no saving the
ship.  The great seas swept her in and crushed her to splinters and
rubbish upon the rock tushes at the base of the precipice.  Not one of
all that fair and gracious company was ever seen again alive.  The tale
is told to every stranger that passes the spot, and it will continue to
be told to all that come, for generations; but it will never grow old,
custom cannot stale it, the heart-break that is in it can never perish
out of it.

There were two hundred persons in the ship, and but one survived the
disaster.  He was a sailor.  A huge sea flung him up the face of the
precipice and stretched him on a narrow shelf of rock midway between the
top and the bottom, and there he lay all night.  At any other time he
would have lain there for the rest of his life, without chance of
discovery; but the next morning the ghastly news swept through Sydney
that the Duncan Dunbar had gone down in sight of home, and straightway
the walls of the Heads were black with mourners; and one of these,
stretching himself out over the precipice to spy out what might be seen
below, discovered this miraculously preserved relic of the wreck.  Ropes
were brought and the nearly impossible feat of rescuing the man was
accomplished.  He was a person with a practical turn of mind, and he
hired a hall in Sydney and exhibited himself at sixpence a head till he
exhausted the output of the gold fields for that year.

We entered and cast anchor, and in the morning went oh-ing and ah-ing in
admiration up through the crooks and turns of the spacious and beautiful
harbor--a harbor which is the darling of Sydney and the wonder of the
world.  It is not surprising that the people are proud of it, nor that
they put their enthusiasm into eloquent words.  A returning citizen asked
me what I thought of it, and I testified with a cordiality which I judged
would be up to the market rate.  I said it was beautiful--superbly
beautiful.  Then by a natural impulse I gave God the praise.  The citizen
did not seem altogether satisfied.  He said:

“It is beautiful, of course it’s beautiful--the Harbor; but that isn’t
all of it, it’s only half of it; Sydney’s the other half, and it takes
both of them together to ring the supremacy-bell.  God made the Harbor,
and that’s all right; but Satan made Sydney.”

Of course I made an apology; and asked him to convey it to his friend.
He was right about Sydney being half of it.  It would be beautiful
without Sydney, but not above half as beautiful as it is now, with Sydney
added.  It is shaped somewhat like an oak-leaf--a roomy sheet of lovely
blue water, with narrow off-shoots of water running up into the country
on both sides between long fingers of land, high wooden ridges with sides
sloped like graves.  Handsome villas are perched here and there on these
ridges, snuggling amongst the foliage, and one catches alluring glimpses
of them as the ship swims by toward the city.  The city clothes a cluster
of hills and a ruffle of neighboring ridges with its undulating masses of
masonry, and out of these masses spring towers and spires and other
architectural dignities and grandeurs that break the flowing lines and
give picturesqueness to the general effect.

The narrow inlets which I have mentioned go wandering out into the land
everywhere and hiding themselves in it, and pleasure-launches are always
exploring them with picnic parties on board.  It is said by trustworthy
people that if you explore them all you will find that you have covered
700 miles of water passage.  But there are liars everywhere this year,
and they will double that when their works are in good going order.
October was close at hand, spring was come.  It was really spring
--everybody said so; but you could have sold it for summer in Canada, and
nobody would have suspected.  It was the very weather that makes our home
summers the perfection of climatic luxury; I mean, when you are out in
the wood or by the sea.  But these people said it was cool, now--a person
ought to see Sydney in the summer time if he wanted to know what warm
weather is; and he ought to go north ten or fifteen hundred miles if he
wanted to know what hot weather is.  They said that away up there toward
the equator the hens laid fried eggs.  Sydney is the place to go to get
information about other people’s climates.  It seems to me that the
occupation of Unbiased Traveler Seeking Information is the pleasantest
and most irresponsible trade there is.  The traveler can always find out
anything he wants to, merely by asking.  He can get at all the facts, and
more.  Everybody helps him, nobody hinders him.  Anybody who has an old
fact in stock that is no longer negotiable in the domestic market will
let him have it at his own price.  An accumulation of such goods is
easily and quickly made.  They cost almost nothing and they bring par in
the foreign market.  Travelers who come to America always freight up with
the same old nursery tales that their predecessors selected, and they
carry them back and always work them off without any trouble in the home

If the climates of the world were determined by parallels of latitude,
then we could know a place’s climate by its position on the map; and so
we should know that the climate of Sydney was the counterpart of the
climate of Columbia, S. C., and of Little Rock, Arkansas, since Sydney is
about the same distance south of the equator that those other towns are
north of-it--thirty-four degrees.  But no, climate disregards the
parallels of latitude.  In Arkansas they have a winter; in Sydney they
have the name of it, but not the thing itself.  I have seen the ice in
the Mississippi floating past the mouth of the Arkansas river; and at
Memphis, but a little way above, the Mississippi has been frozen over,
from bank to bank.  But they have never had a cold spell in Sydney which
brought the mercury down to freezing point.  Once in a mid-winter day
there, in the month of July, the mercury went down to 36 deg., and that
remains the memorable “cold day” in the history of the town.  No doubt
Little Rock has seen it below zero.  Once, in Sydney, in mid-summer,
about New Year’s Day, the mercury went up to 106 deg. in the shade, and
that is Sydney’s memorable hot day.  That would about tally with Little
Rock’s hottest day also, I imagine.  My Sydney figures are taken from a
government report, and are trustworthy.  In the matter of summer weather
Arkansas has no advantage over Sydney, perhaps, but when it comes to
winter weather, that is another affair.  You could cut up an Arkansas
winter into a hundred Sydney winters and have enough left for Arkansas
and the poor.

The whole narrow, hilly belt of the Pacific side of New South Wales has
the climate of its capital--a mean winter temperature of 54 deg. and a
mean summer one of 71 deg.  It is a climate which cannot be improved upon
for healthfulness.  But the experts say that 90 deg. in New South Wales
is harder to bear than 112 deg. in the neighboring colony of Victoria,
because the atmosphere of the former is humid, and of the latter dry.
The mean temperature of the southernmost point of New South Wales is the
same as that of Nice--60 deg.--yet Nice is further from the equator by
460 miles than is the former.

But Nature is always stingy of perfect climates; stingier in the case of
Australia than usual.  Apparently this vast continent has a really good
climate nowhere but around the edges.

If we look at a map of the world we are surprised to see how big
Australia is.  It is about two-thirds as large as the United States was
before we added Alaska.

But where as one finds a sufficiently good climate and fertile land
almost everywhere in the United States, it seems settled that inside of
the Australian border-belt one finds many deserts and in spots a climate
which nothing can stand except a few of the hardier kinds of rocks.  In
effect, Australia is as yet unoccupied.  If you take a map of the United
States and leave the Atlantic sea-board States in their places; also the
fringe of Southern States from Florida west to the Mouth of the
Mississippi; also a narrow, inhabited streak up the Mississippi half-way
to its head waters; also a narrow, inhabited border along the Pacific
coast: then take a brushful of paint and obliterate the whole remaining
mighty stretch of country that lies between the Atlantic States and the
Pacific-coast strip, your map will look like the latest map of Australia.

This stupendous blank is hot, not to say torrid; a part of it is fertile,
the rest is desert; it is not liberally watered; it has no towns.  One
has only to cross the mountains of New South Wales and descend into the
westward-lying regions to find that he has left the choice climate behind
him, and found a new one of a quite different character.  In fact, he
would not know by the thermometer that he was not in the blistering
Plains of India.  Captain Sturt, the great explorer, gives us a sample of
the heat.

     “The wind, which had been blowing all the morning from the N.E.,
     increased to a heavy gale, and I shall never forget its withering
     effect.  I sought shelter behind a large gum-tree, but the blasts of
     heat were so terrific that I wondered the very grass did not take
     fire.  This really was nothing ideal: everything both animate and
     inanimate gave way before it; the horses stood with their backs to
     the wind and their noses to the ground, without the muscular
     strength to raise their heads; the birds were mute, and the leaves
     of the trees under which we were sitting fell like a snow shower
     around us.  At noon I took a thermometer graded to 127 deg., out of
     my box, and observed that the mercury was up to 125.  Thinking that
     it had been unduly influenced, I put it in the fork of a tree close
     to me, sheltered alike from the wind and the sun.  I went to examine
     it about an hour afterwards, when I found the mercury had risen to
     the-top of the instrument and had burst the bulb, a circumstance
     that I believe no traveler has ever before had to record.  I cannot
     find language to convey to the reader’s mind an idea of the intense
     and oppressive nature of the heat that prevailed.”

That hot wind sweeps over Sydney sometimes, and brings with it what is
called a “dust-storm.”  It is said that most Australian towns are
acquainted with the dust-storm.  I think I know what it is like, for the
following description by Mr. Gane tallies very well with the alkali
duststorm of Nevada, if you leave out the “shovel” part.  Still the
shovel part is a pretty important part, and seems to indicate that my
Nevada storm is but a poor thing, after all.

     “As we proceeded the altitude became less, and the heat
     proportionately greater until we reached Dubbo, which is only 600
     feet above sea-level.  It is a pretty town, built on an extensive
     plain .  .  .  .  After the effects of a shower of rain have passed
     away the surface of the ground crumbles into a thick layer of dust,
     and occasionally, when the wind is in a particular quarter, it is
     lifted bodily from the ground in one long opaque cloud.  In the
     midst of such a storm nothing can be seen a few yards ahead, and the
     unlucky person who happens to be out at the time is compelled to
     seek the nearest retreat at hand.  When the thrifty housewife sees
     in the distance the dark column advancing in a steady whirl towards
     her house, she closes the doors and windows with all expedition.  A
     drawing-room, the window of which has been carelessly left open
     during a dust-storm, is indeed an extraordinary sight.  A lady who
     has resided in Dubbo for some years says that the dust lies so thick
     on the carpet that it is necessary to use a shovel to remove it.”

And probably a wagon.  I was mistaken; I have not seen a proper
duststorm.  To my mind the exterior aspects and character of Australia
are fascinating things to look at and think about, they are so strange,
so weird, so new, so uncommonplace, such a startling and interesting
contrast to the other sections of the planet, the sections that are known
to us all, familiar to us all.  In the matter of particulars--a detail
here, a detail there--we have had the choice climate of New South Wales’
seacoast; we have had the Australian heat as furnished by Captain Sturt;
we have had the wonderful dust-storm; and we have considered the
phenomenon of an almost empty hot wilderness half as big as the United
States, with a narrow belt of civilization, population, and good climate
around it.


Everything human is pathetic.  The secret source of Humor itself is not
joy but sorrow.  There is no humor in heaven.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Captain Cook found Australia in 1770, and eighteen years later the
British Government began to transport convicts to it.  Altogether, New
South Wales received 83,000 in 53 years.  The convicts wore heavy chains;
they were ill-fed and badly treated by the officers set over them; they
were heavily punished for even slight infractions of the rules; “the
cruelest discipline ever known” is one historian’s description of their
life.--[The Story of Australasia.  J. S. Laurie.]

English law was hard-hearted in those days.  For trifling offenses which
in our day would be punished by a small fine or a few days’ confinement,
men, women, and boys were sent to this other end of the earth to serve
terms of seven and fourteen years; and for serious crimes they were
transported for life.  Children were sent to the penal colonies for seven
years for stealing a rabbit!

When I was in London twenty-three years ago there was a new penalty in
force for diminishing garroting and wife-beating--25 lashes on the bare
back with the cat-o’-nine-tails.  It was said that this terrible
punishment was able to bring the stubbornest ruffians to terms; and that
no man had been found with grit enough to keep his emotions to himself
beyond the ninth blow; as a rule the man shrieked earlier.  That penalty
had a great and wholesome effect upon the garroters and wife-beaters; but
humane modern London could not endure it; it got its law rescinded.  Many
a bruised and battered English wife has since had occasion to deplore
that cruel achievement of sentimental “humanity.”

Twenty-five lashes!  In Australia and Tasmania they gave a convict fifty
for almost any little offense; and sometimes a brutal officer would add
fifty, and then another fifty, and so on, as long as the sufferer could
endure the torture and live.  In Tasmania I read the entry, in an old
manuscript official record, of a case where a convict was given three
hundred lashes--for stealing some silver spoons.  And men got more than
that, sometimes.  Who handled the cat?  Often it was another convict;
sometimes it was the culprit’s dearest comrade; and he had to lay on with
all his might; otherwise he would get a flogging himself for his mercy
--for he was under watch--and yet not do his friend any good: the friend
would be attended to by another hand and suffer no lack in the matter of
full punishment.

The convict life in Tasmania was so unendurable, and suicide so difficult
to accomplish that once or twice despairing men got together and drew
straws to determine which of them should kill another of the group--this
murder to secure death to the perpetrator and to the witnesses of it by
the hand of the hangman!

The incidents quoted above are mere hints, mere suggestions of what
convict life was like--they are but a couple of details tossed into view
out of a shoreless sea of such; or, to change the figure, they are but a
pair of flaming steeples photographed from a point which hides from sight
the burning city which stretches away from their bases on every hand.

Some of the convicts--indeed, a good many of them--were very bad people,
even for that day; but the most of them were probably not noticeably
worse than the average of the people they left behind them at home.  We
must believe this; we cannot avoid it.  We are obliged to believe that a
nation that could look on, unmoved, and see starving or freezing women
hanged for stealing twenty-six cents’ worth of bacon or rags, and boys
snatched from their mothers, and men from their families, and sent to the
other side of the world for long terms of years for similar trifling
offenses, was a nation to whom the term “civilized” could not in any
large way be applied.  And we must also believe that a nation that knew,
during more than forty years, what was happening to those exiles and was
still content with it, was not advancing in any showy way toward a higher
grade of civilization.

If we look into the characters and conduct of the officers and gentlemen
who had charge of the convicts and attended to their backs and stomachs,
we must grant again that as between the convict and his masters, and
between both and the nation at home, there was a quite noticeable
monotony of sameness.

Four years had gone by, and many convicts had come.  Respectable settlers
were beginning to arrive.  These two classes of colonists had to be
protected, in case of trouble among themselves or with the natives.  It
is proper to mention the natives, though they could hardly count they
were so scarce.  At a time when they had not as yet begun to be much
disturbed--not as yet being in the way--it was estimated that in New
South Wales there was but one native to 45,000 acres of territory.

People had to be protected.  Officers of the regular army did not want
this service--away off there where neither honor nor distinction was to
be gained.  So England recruited and officered a kind of militia force of
1,000 uniformed civilians called the “New South Wales Corps” and shipped

This was the worst blow of all.  The colony fairly staggered under it.
The Corps was an object-lesson of the moral condition of England outside
of the jails.  The colonists trembled.  It was feared that next there
would be an importation of the nobility.

In those early days the colony was non-supporting.  All the necessaries
of life--food, clothing, and all--were sent out from England, and kept in
great government store-houses, and given to the convicts and sold to the
settlers--sold at a trifling advance upon cost.  The Corps saw its
opportunity.  Its officers went into commerce, and in a most lawless way.
They went to importing rum, and also to manufacturing it in private
stills, in defiance of the government’s commands and protests.  They
leagued themselves together and ruled the market; they boycotted the
government and the other dealers; they established a close monopoly and
kept it strictly in their own hands.  When a vessel arrived with spirits,
they allowed nobody to buy but themselves, and they forced the owner to
sell to them at a price named by themselves--and it was always low
enough.  They bought rum at an average of two dollars a gallon and sold
it at an average of ten.  They made rum the currency of the country--for
there was little or no money--and they maintained their devastating hold
and kept the colony under their heel for eighteen or twenty years before
they were finally conquered and routed by the government.

Meantime, they had spread intemperance everywhere.  And they had squeezed
farm after farm out of the settlers hands for rum, and thus had
bountifully enriched themselves.  When a farmer was caught in the last
agonies of thirst they took advantage of him and sweated him for a drink.
In one instance they sold a man a gallon of rum worth two dollars for a
piece of property which was sold some years later for $100,000.
When the colony was about eighteen or twenty years old it was discovered
that the land was specially fitted for the wool-culture.  Prosperity
followed, commerce with the world began, by and by rich mines of the
noble metals were opened, immigrants flowed in, capital likewise.  The
result is the great and wealthy and enlightened commonwealth of New South

It is a country that is rich in mines, wool ranches, trams, railways,
steamship lines, schools, newspapers, botanical gardens, art galleries,
libraries, museums, hospitals, learned societies; it is the hospitable
home of every species of culture and of every species of material
enterprise, and there is a church at every man’s door, and a race-track
over the way.


We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is
in it--and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot
stove-lid.  She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again--and that is
well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

All English-speaking colonies are made up of lavishly hospitable people,
and New South Wales and its capital are like the rest in this.  The
English-speaking colony of the United States of America is always
called lavishly hospitable by the English traveler.  As to the other
English-speaking colonies throughout the world from Canada all around, I
know by experience that the description fits them.  I will not go more
particularly into this matter, for I find that when writers try to
distribute their gratitude here and there and yonder by detail they run
across difficulties and do some ungraceful stumbling.

Mr. Gane (“New South Wales and Victoria in 1885 “), tried to distribute
his gratitude, and was not lucky:

     “The inhabitants of Sydney are renowned for their hospitality.  The
     treatment which we experienced at the hands of this generous-hearted
     people will help more than anything else to make us recollect with
     pleasure our stay amongst them.  In the character of hosts and
     hostesses they excel.  The ‘new chum’ needs only the
     acquaintanceship of one of their number, and he becomes at once the
     happy recipient of numerous complimentary invitations and thoughtful
     kindnesses.  Of the towns it has been our good fortune to visit,
     none have portrayed home so faithfully as Sydney.”

Nobody could say it finer than that.  If he had put in his cork then, and
stayed away from Dubbo----but no; heedless man, he pulled it again.
Pulled it when he was away along in his book, and his memory of what he
had said about Sydney had grown dim:

     “We cannot quit the promising town of Dubbo without testifying, in
     warm praise, to the kind-hearted and hospitable usages of its
     inhabitants.  Sydney, though well deserving the character it bears
     of its kindly treatment of strangers, possesses a little formality
     and reserve.  In Dubbo, on the contrary, though the same congenial
     manners prevail, there is a pleasing degree of respectful
     familiarity which gives the town a homely comfort not often met with
     elsewhere.  In laying on one side our pen we feel contented in
     having been able, though so late in this work, to bestow a
     panegyric, however unpretentious, on a town which, though possessing
     no picturesque natural surroundings, nor interesting architectural
     productions, has yet a body of citizens whose hearts cannot but
     obtain for their town a reputation for benevolence and

I wonder what soured him on Sydney.  It seems strange that a pleasing
degree of three or four fingers of respectful familiarity should fill a
man up and give him the panegyrics so bad.  For he has them, the worst
way--any one can see that.  A man who is perfectly at himself does not
throw cold detraction at people’s architectural productions and
picturesque surroundings, and let on that what he prefers is a Dubbonese
dust-storm and a pleasing degree of respectful familiarity. No, these are
old, old symptoms; and when they appear we know that the man has got the

Sydney has a population of 400,000.  When a stranger from America steps
ashore there, the first thing that strikes him is that the place is eight
or nine times as large as he was expecting it to be; and the next thing
that strikes him is that it is an English city with American trimmings.
Later on, in Melbourne, he will find the American trimmings still more in
evidence; there, even the architecture will often suggest America; a
photograph of its stateliest business street might be passed upon him for
a picture of the finest street in a large American city.  I was told that
the most of the fine residences were the city residences of squatters.
The name seemed out of focus somehow.  When the explanation came, it
offered a new instance of the curious changes which words, as well as
animals, undergo through change of habitat and climate.  With us, when
you speak of a squatter you are always supposed to be speaking of a poor
man, but in Australia when you speak of a squatter you are supposed to be
speaking of a millionaire; in America the word indicates the possessor of
a few acres and a doubtful title, in Australia it indicates a man whose
landfront is as long as a railroad, and whose title has been perfected in
one way or another; in America the word indicates a man who owns a dozen
head of live stock, in Australia a man who owns anywhere from fifty
thousand up to half a million head; in America the word indicates a man
who is obscure and not important, in Australia a man who is prominent and
of the first importance; in America you take off your hat to no squatter,
in Australia you do; in America if your uncle is a squatter you keep it
dark, in Australia you advertise it; in America if your friend is a
squatter nothing comes of it, but with a squatter for your friend in
Australia you may sup with kings if there are any around.

In Australia it takes about two acres and a half of pastureland (some
people say twice as many), to support a sheep; and when the squatter has
half a million sheep his private domain is about as large as Rhode
Island, to speak in general terms.  His annual wool crop may be worth a
quarter or a half million dollars.

He will live in a palace in Melbourne or Sydney or some other of the
large cities, and make occasional trips to his sheep-kingdom several
hundred miles away in the great plains to look after his battalions of
riders and shepherds and other hands.  He has a commodious dwelling out
there, and if he approve of you he will invite you to spend a week in it,
and will make you at home and comfortable, and let you see the great
industry in all its details, and feed you and slake you and smoke you
with the best that money can buy.

On at least one of these vast estates there is a considerable town, with
all the various businesses and occupations that go to make an important
town; and the town and the land it stands upon are the property of the
squatters.  I have seen that town, and it is not unlikely that there are
other squatter-owned towns in Australia.

Australia supplies the world not only with fine wool, but with mutton
also.  The modern invention of cold storage and its application in ships
has created this great trade.  In Sydney I visited a huge establishment
where they kill and clean and solidly freeze a thousand sheep a day, for
shipment to England.

The Australians did not seem to me to differ noticeably from Americans,
either in dress, carriage, ways, pronunciation, inflections, or general
appearance.  There were fleeting and subtle suggestions of their English
origin, but these were not pronounced enough, as a rule, to catch one’s
attention.  The people have easy and cordial manners from the beginning
--from the moment that the introduction is completed.  This is American.
To put it in another way, it is English friendliness with the English
shyness and self-consciousness left out.

Now and then--but this is rare--one hears such words as piper for paper,
lydy for lady, and tyble for table fall from lips whence one would not
expect such pronunciations to come.  There is a superstition prevalent in
Sydney that this pronunciation is an Australianism, but people who have
been “home”--as the native reverently and lovingly calls England--know
better.  It is “costermonger.”  All over Australasia this pronunciation
is nearly as common among servants as it is in London among the
uneducated and the partially educated of all sorts and conditions of
people.  That mislaid ‘y’ is rather striking when a person gets enough of
it into a short sentence to enable it to show up.  In the hotel in Sydney
the chambermaid said, one morning:

“The tyble is set, and here is the piper; and if the lydy is ready I’ll
tell the wyter to bring up the breakfast.”

I have made passing mention, a moment ago, of the native Australasian’s
custom of speaking of England as “home.”  It was always pretty to hear
it, and often it was said in an unconsciously caressing way that made it
touching; in a way which transmuted a sentiment into an embodiment, and
made one seem to see Australasia as a young girl stroking mother
England’s old gray head.

In the Australasian home the table-talk is vivacious and unembarrassed;
it is without stiffness or restraint.  This does not remind one of
England so much as it does of America.  But Australasia is strictly
democratic, and reserves and restraints are things that are bred by
differences of rank.

English and colonial audiences are phenomenally alert and responsive.
Where masses of people are gathered together in England, caste is
submerged, and with it the English reserve; equality exists for the
moment, and every individual is free; so free from any consciousness of
fetters, indeed, that the Englishman’s habit of watching himself and
guarding himself against any injudicious exposure of his feelings is
forgotten, and falls into abeyance--and to such a degree indeed, that he
will bravely applaud all by himself if he wants to--an exhibition of
daring which is unusual elsewhere in the world.

But it is hard to move a new English acquaintance when he is by himself,
or when the company present is small and new to him.  He is on his guard
then, and his natural reserve is to the fore.  This has given him the
false reputation of being without humor and without the appreciation of

Americans are not Englishmen, and American humor is not English humor;
but both the American and his humor had their origin in England, and have
merely undergone changes brought about by changed conditions and a new
environment.  About the best humorous speeches I have yet heard were a
couple that were made in Australia at club suppers--one of them by an
Englishman, the other by an Australian.


There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and
shallow: Yet it was the schoolboy who said “Faith is believing what you
know ain’t so.”
                                   --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

In Sydney I had a large dream, and in the course of talk I told it to a
missionary from India who was on his way to visit some relatives in New
Zealand.  I dreamed that the visible universe is the physical person of
God; that the vast worlds that we see twinkling millions of miles apart
in the fields of space are the blood corpuscles in His veins; and that we
and the other creatures are the microbes that charge with multitudinous
life the corpuscles.

Mr. X., the missionary, considered the dream awhile, then said:

     “It is not surpassable for magnitude, since its metes and bounds are
     the metes and bounds of the universe itself; and it seems to me that
     it almost accounts for a thing which is otherwise nearly
     unaccountable--the origin of the sacred legends of the Hindoos.
     Perhaps they dream them, and then honestly believe them to be divine
     revelations of fact.  It looks like that, for the legends are built
     on so vast a scale that it does not seem reasonable that plodding
     priests would happen upon such colossal fancies when awake.”

He told some of the legends, and said that they were implicitly believed
by all classes of Hindoos, including those of high social position and
intelligence; and he said that this universal credulity was a great
hindrance to the missionary in his work.  Then he said something like

     “At home, people wonder why Christianity does not make faster
     progress in India.  They hear that the Indians believe easily, and
     that they have a natural trust in miracles and give them a
     hospitable reception.  Then they argue like this: since the Indian
     believes easily, place Christianity before them and they must
     believe; confirm its truths by the biblical miracles, and they will
     no longer doubt. The natural deduction is, that as Christianity
     makes but indifferent progress in India, the fault is with us: we
     are not fortunate in presenting the doctrines and the miracles.

     “But the truth is, we are not by any means so well equipped as they
     think.  We have not the easy task that they imagine.  To use a
     military figure, we are sent against the enemy with good powder in
     our guns, but only wads for bullets; that is to say, our miracles
     are not effective; the Hindoos do not care for them; they have more
     extraordinary ones of their own.  All the details of their own
     religion are proven and established by miracles; the details of ours
     must be proven in the same way.  When I first began my work in India
     I greatly underestimated the difficulties thus put upon my task.  A
     correction was not long in coming.  I thought as our friends think
     at home--that to prepare my childlike wonder-lovers to listen with
     favor to my grave message I only needed to charm the way to it with
     wonders, marvels, miracles.  With full confidence I told the wonders
     performed by Samson, the strongest man that had ever lived--for so I
     called him.

     “At first I saw lively anticipation and strong interest in the faces
     of my people, but as I moved along from incident to incident of the
     great story, I was distressed to see that I was steadily losing the
     sympathy of my audience.  I could not understand it.  It was a
     surprise to me, and a disappointment.  Before I was through, the
     fading sympathy had paled to indifference.  Thence to the end the
     indifference remained; I was not able to make any impression upon

     “A good old Hindoo gentleman told me where my trouble lay.  He said
     ‘We Hindoos recognize a god by the work of his hands--we accept no
     other testimony.  Apparently, this is also the rule with you
     Christians.  And we know when a man has his power from a god by the
     fact that he does things which he could not do, as a man, with the
     mere powers of a man.  Plainly, this is the Christian’s way also, of
     knowing when a man is working by a god’s power and not by his own.
     You saw that there was a supernatural property in the hair of
     Samson; for you perceived that when his hair was gone he was as
     other men.  It is our way, as I have said.  There are many nations
     in the world, and each group of nations has its own gods, and will
     pay no worship to the gods of the others.  Each group believes its
     own gods to be strongest, and it will not exchange them except for
     gods that shall be proven to be their superiors in power.  Man is
     but a weak creature, and needs the help of gods--he cannot do
     without it.  Shall he place his fate in the hands of weak gods when
     there may be stronger ones to be found?  That would be foolish.  No,
     if he hear of gods that are stronger than his own, he should not
     turn a deaf ear, for it is not a light matter that is at stake.  How
     then shall he determine which gods are the stronger, his own or
     those that preside over the concerns of other nations?  By comparing
     the known works of his own gods with the works of those others;
     there is no other way.  Now, when we make this comparison, we are
     not drawn towards the gods of any other nation.  Our gods are shown
     by their works to be the strongest, the most powerful.  The
     Christians have but few gods, and they are new--new, and not strong;
     as it seems to us.  They will increase in number, it is true, for
     this has happened with all gods, but that time is far away, many
     ages and decades of ages away, for gods multiply slowly, as is meet
     for beings to whom a thousand years is but a single moment.  Our own
     gods have been born millions of years apart.  The process is slow,
     the gathering of strength and power is similarly slow.  In the slow
     lapse of the ages the steadily accumulating power of our gods has at
     last become prodigious.  We have a thousand proofs of this in the
     colossal character of their personal acts and the acts of ordinary
     men to whom they have given supernatural qualities.  To your Samson
     was given supernatural power, and when he broke the withes, and slew
     the thousands with the jawbone of an ass, and carried away the
     gate’s of the city upon his shoulders, you were amazed--and also
     awed, for you recognized the divine source of his strength.  But it
     could not profit to place these things before your Hindoo
     congregation and invite their wonder; for they would compare them
     with the deed done by Hanuman, when our gods infused their divine
     strength into his muscles; and they would be indifferent to them--as
     you saw.  In the old, old times, ages and ages gone by, when our god
     Rama was warring with the demon god of Ceylon, Rama bethought him to
     bridge the sea and connect Ceylon with India, so that his armies
     might pass easily over; and he sent his general, Hanuman, inspired
     like your own Samson with divine strength, to bring the materials
     for the bridge.  In two days Hanuman strode fifteen hundred miles,
     to the Himalayas, and took upon his shoulder a range of those lofty
     mountains two hundred miles long, and started with it toward Ceylon.
     It was in the night; and, as he passed along the plain, the people
     of Govardhun heard the thunder of his tread and felt the earth
     rocking under it, and they ran out, and there, with their snowy
     summits piled to heaven, they saw the Himalayas passing by.  And as
     this huge continent swept along overshadowing the earth, upon its
     slopes they discerned the twinkling lights of a thousand sleeping
     villages, and it was as if the constellations were filing in
     procession through the sky.  While they were looking, Hanuman
     stumbled, and a small ridge of red sandstone twenty miles long was
     jolted loose and fell.  Half of its length has wasted away in the
     course of the ages, but the other ten miles of it remain in the
     plain by Govardhun to this day as proof of the might of the
     inspiration of our gods.  You must know, yourself, that Hanuman
     could not have carried those mountains to Ceylon except by the
     strength of the gods.  You know that it was not done by his own
     strength, therefore, you know that it was done by the strength of
     the gods, just as you know that Samson carried the gates by the
     divine strength and not by his own.  I think you must concede two
     things:  First, That in carrying the gates of the city upon his
     shoulders, Samson did not establish the superiority of his gods over
     ours; secondly, That his feat is not supported by any but verbal
     evidence, while Hanuman’s is not only supported by verbal evidence,
     but this evidence is confirmed, established, proven, by visible,
     tangible evidence, which is the strongest of all testimony.  We have
     the sandstone ridge, and while it remains we cannot doubt, and shall
     not.  Have you the gates?’”


The timid man yearns for full value and asks a tenth.  The bold man
strikes for double value and compromises on par.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

One is sure to be struck by the liberal way in which Australasia spends
money upon public works--such as legislative buildings, town halls,
hospitals, asylums, parks, and botanical gardens.  I should say that
where minor towns in America spend a hundred dollars on the town hall and
on public parks and gardens, the like towns in Australasia spend a
thousand.  And I think that this ratio will hold good in the matter of
hospitals, also.  I have seen a costly and well-equipped, and
architecturally handsome hospital in an Australian village of fifteen
hundred inhabitants.  It was built by private funds furnished by the
villagers and the neighboring planters, and its running expenses were
drawn from the same sources.  I suppose it would be hard to match this in
any country.  This village was about to close a contract for lighting its
streets with the electric light, when I was there.  That is ahead of
London.  London is still obscured by gas--gas pretty widely scattered,
too, in some of the districts; so widely indeed, that except on moonlight
nights it is difficult to find the gas lamps.

The botanical garden of Sydney covers thirty-eight acres, beautifully
laid out and rich with the spoil of all the lands and all the climes of
the world.  The garden is on high ground in the middle of the town,
overlooking the great harbor, and it adjoins the spacious grounds of
Government House--fifty-six acres; and at hand also, is a recreation
ground containing eighty-two acres.  In addition, there are the
zoological gardens, the race-course, and the great cricket-grounds where
the international matches are played.  Therefore there is plenty of room
for reposeful lazying and lounging, and for exercise too, for such as
like that kind of work.

There are four specialties attainable in the way of social pleasure.  If
you enter your name on the Visitor’s Book at Government House you will
receive an invitation to the next ball that takes place there, if nothing
can be proven against you.  And it will be very pleasant; for you will
see everybody except the Governor, and add a number of acquaintances and
several friends to your list.  The Governor will be in England.  He
always is.  The continent has four or five governors, and I do not know
how many it takes to govern the outlying archipelago; but anyway you will
not see them.  When they are appointed they come out from England and get
inaugurated, and give a ball, and help pray for rain, and get aboard ship
and go back home.  And so the Lieutenant-Governor has to do all the work.
I was in Australasia three months and a half, and saw only one Governor.
The others were at home.

The Australasian Governor would not be so restless, perhaps, if he had a
war, or a veto, or something like that to call for his reserve-energies,
but he hasn’t.  There isn’t any war, and there isn’t any veto in his
hands.  And so there is really little or nothing doing in his line.  The
country governs itself, and prefers to do it; and is so strenuous about
it and so jealous of its independence that it grows restive if even the
Imperial Government at home proposes to help; and so the Imperial veto,
while a fact, is yet mainly a name.

Thus the Governor’s functions are much more limited than are a Governor’s
functions with us.  And therefore more fatiguing.  He is the apparent
head of the State, he is the real head of Society.  He represents
culture, refinement, elevated sentiment, polite life, religion; and by
his example he propagates these, and they spread and flourish and bear
good fruit.  He creates the fashion, and leads it.  His ball is the ball
of balls, and his countenance makes the horse-race thrive.

He is usually a lord, and this is well; for his position compels him to
lead an expensive life, and an English lord is generally well equipped
for that.

Another of Sydney’s social pleasures is the visit to the Admiralty House;
which is nobly situated on high ground overlooking the water.  The trim
boats of the service convey the guests thither; and there, or on board
the flag-ship, they have the duplicate of the hospitalities of Government
House.  The Admiral commanding a station in British waters is a magnate
of the first degree, and he is sumptuously housed, as becomes the dignity
of his office.

Third in the list of special pleasures is the tour of the harbor in a
fine steam pleasure-launch.  Your richer friends own boats of this kind,
and they will invite you, and the joys of the trip will make a long day
seem short.

And finally comes the shark-fishing.  Sydney Harbor is populous with the
finest breeds of man-eating sharks in the world.  Some people make their
living catching them; for the Government pays a cash bounty on them.  The
larger the shark the larger the bounty, and some of the sharks are twenty
feet long.  You not only get the bounty, but everything that is in the
shark belongs to you.  Sometimes the contents are quite valuable.

The shark is the swiftest fish that swims.  The speed of the fastest
steamer afloat is poor compared to his.  And he is a great gad-about, and
roams far and wide in the oceans, and visits the shores of all of them,
ultimately, in the course of his restless excursions.  I have a tale to
tell now, which has not as yet been in print.  In 1870 a young stranger
arrived in Sydney, and set about finding something to do; but he knew no
one, and brought no recommendations, and the result was that he got no
employment.  He had aimed high, at first, but as time and his money
wasted away he grew less and less exacting, until at last he was willing
to serve in the humblest capacities if so he might get bread and shelter.
But luck was still against him; he could find no opening of any sort.
Finally his money was all gone.  He walked the streets all day, thinking;
he walked them all night, thinking, thinking, and growing hungrier and
hungrier.  At dawn he found himself well away from the town and drifting
aimlessly along the harbor shore.  As he was passing by a nodding
shark-fisher the man looked up and said----

“Say, young fellow, take my line a spell, and change my luck for me.”

“How do you know I won’t make it worse?”

“Because you can’t.  It has been at its worst all night.  If you can’t
change it, no harm’s done; if you do change it, it’s for the better,
of course.  Come.”

“All right, what will you give?”

“I’ll give you the shark, if you catch one.”

“And I will eat it, bones and all.  Give me the line.”

“Here you are.  I will get away, now, for awhile, so that my luck won’t
spoil yours; for many and many a time I’ve noticed that if----there, pull
in, pull in, man, you’ve got a bite!  I knew how it would be.  Why, I
knew you for a born son of luck the minute I saw you.  All right--he’s

It was an unusually large shark--“a full nineteen-footer,” the fisherman
said, as he laid the creature open with his knife.

“Now you rob him, young man, while I step to my hamper for a fresh bait.
There’s generally something in them worth going for.  You’ve changed my
luck, you see.  But my goodness, I hope you haven’t changed your own.”

“Oh, it wouldn’t matter; don’t worry about that.  Get your bait.  I’ll
rob him.”

When the fisherman got back the young man had just finished washing his
hands in the bay, and was starting away.

“What, you are not going?”

“Yes.  Good-bye.”

“But what about your shark?”

“The shark?  Why, what use is he to me?”

“What use is he?  I like that.  Don’t you know that we can go and report
him to Government, and you’ll get a clean solid eighty shillings bounty?
Hard cash, you know.  What do you think about it now?”

“Oh, well, you can collect it.”

“And keep it?  Is that what you mean?”


“Well, this is odd.  You’re one of those sort they call eccentrics, I
judge.  The saying is, you mustn’t judge a man by his clothes, and I’m
believing it now.  Why yours are looking just ratty, don’t you know; and
yet you must be rich.”

“I am.”

The young man walked slowly back to the town, deeply musing as he went.
He halted a moment in front of the best restaurant, then glanced at his
clothes and passed on, and got his breakfast at a “stand-up.”  There was
a good deal of it, and it cost five shillings.  He tendered a sovereign,
got his change, glanced at his silver, muttered to himself, “There isn’t
enough to buy clothes with,” and went his way.

At half-past nine the richest wool-broker in Sydney was sitting in his
morning-room at home, settling his breakfast with the morning paper.  A
servant put his head in and said:

“There’s a sundowner at the door wants to see you, sir.”

“What do you bring that kind of a message here for?  Send him about his

“He won’t go, sir.  I’ve tried.”

“He won’t go?  That’s--why, that’s unusual.  He’s one of two things,
then: he’s a remarkable person, or he’s crazy.  Is he crazy?”

“No, sir.  He don’t look it.”

“Then he’s remarkable.  What does he say he wants?”

“He won’t tell, sir; only says it’s very important.”

“And won’t go.  Does he say he won’t go?”

“Says he’ll stand there till he sees you, sir, if it’s all day.”

“And yet isn’t crazy.  Show him up.”

The sundowner was shown in.  The broker said to himself, “No, he’s not
crazy; that is easy to see; so he must be the other thing.”

Then aloud, “Well, my good fellow, be quick about it; don’t waste any
words; what is it you want?”

“I want to borrow a hundred thousand pounds.”

“Scott!  (It’s a mistake; he is crazy .  .  .  .  No--he can’t be--not
with that eye.) Why, you take my breath away.  Come, who are you?”

“Nobody that you know.”

“What is your name?”

“Cecil Rhodes.”

“No, I don’t remember hearing the name before.  Now then--just for
curiosity’s sake--what has sent you to me on this extraordinary errand?”

“The intention to make a hundred thousand pounds for you and as much for
myself within the next sixty days.”

“Well, well, well.  It is the most extraordinary idea that--sit down--you
interest me.  And somehow you--well, you fascinate me; I think that that
is about the word.  And it isn’t your proposition--no, that doesn’t
fascinate me; it’s something else, I don’t quite know what; something
that’s born in you and oozes out of you, I suppose.  Now then just for
curiosity’s sake again, nothing more: as I understand it, it is your
desire to bor----”

“I said intention.”

“Pardon, so you did.  I thought it was an unheedful use of the word--an
unheedful valuing of its strength, you know.”

“I knew its strength.”

“Well, I must say--but look here, let me walk the floor a little, my mind
is getting into a sort of whirl, though you don’t seem disturbed any.
(Plainly this young fellow isn’t crazy; but as to his being remarkable
--well, really he amounts to that, and something over.)  Now then, I
believe I am beyond the reach of further astonishment.  Strike, and spare
not.  What is your scheme?”

“To buy the wool crop--deliverable in sixty days.”

“What, the whole of it?”

“The whole of it.”

“No, I was not quite out of the reach of surprises, after all.  Why, how
you talk!  Do you know what our crop is going to foot up?”

“Two and a half million sterling--maybe a little more.”

“Well, you’ve got your statistics right, any way.  Now, then, do you know
what the margins would foot up, to buy it at sixty days?”

“The hundred thousand pounds I came here to get.”

“Right, once more.  Well, dear me, just to see what would happen, I wish
you had the money.  And if you had it, what would you do with it?”

“I shall make two hundred thousand pounds out of it in sixty days.”

“You mean, of course, that you might make it if----”

“I said ‘shall’.”

“Yes, by George, you did say ‘shall’!  You are the most definite devil I
ever saw, in the matter of language.  Dear, dear, dear, look here!
Definite speech means clarity of mind.  Upon my word I believe you’ve got
what you believe to be a rational reason, for venturing into this house,
an entire stranger, on this wild scheme of buying the wool crop of an
entire colony on speculation.  Bring it out--I am prepared--acclimatized,
if I may use the word.  Why would you buy the crop, and why would you
make that sum out of it?  That is to say, what makes you think you----”

“I don’t think--I know.”

“Definite again.  How do you know?”

“Because France has declared war against Germany, and wool has gone up
fourteen per cent. in London and is still rising.”

“Oh, in-deed?  Now then, I’ve got you!  Such a thunderbolt as you have
just let fly ought to have made me jump out of my chair, but it didn’t
stir me the least little bit, you see.  And for a very simple reason: I
have read the morning paper.  You can look at it if you want to.  The
fastest ship in the service arrived at eleven o’clock last night, fifty
days out from London.  All her news is printed here.  There are no
war-clouds anywhere; and as for wool, why, it is the low-spiritedest
commodity in the English market.  It is your turn to jump, now .  .  .  .
Well, why, don’t you jump?  Why do you sit there in that placid fashion,

“Because I have later news.”

“Later news?  Oh, come--later news than fifty days, brought steaming hot
from London by the----”

“My news is only ten days old.”

“Oh, Mun-chausen, hear the maniac talk!  Where did you get it?”

“Got it out of a shark.”

“Oh, oh, oh, this is too much!  Front! call the police bring the gun
--raise the town!  All the asylums in Christendom have broken loose in
single person of----”

“Sit down!  And collect yourself.  Where is the use in getting excited?
Am I excited?  There is nothing to get excited about.  When I make a
statement which I cannot prove, it will be time enough for you to begin
to offer hospitality to damaging fancies about me and my sanity.”

“Oh, a thousand, thousand pardons!  I ought to be ashamed of myself, and
I am ashamed of myself for thinking that a little bit of a circumstance
like sending a shark to England to fetch back a market report----”

“What does your middle initial stand for, sir?”

“Andrew.  What are you writing?”

“Wait a moment.  Proof about the shark--and another matter.  Only ten
lines.  There--now it is done.  Sign it.”

“Many thanks--many.  Let me see; it says--it says oh, come, this is
interesting!  Why--why--look here! prove what you say here, and I’ll put
up the money, and double as much, if necessary, and divide the winnings
with you, half and half.  There, now--I’ve signed; make your promise good
if you can.  Show me a copy of the London Times only ten days old.”

“Here it is--and with it these buttons and a memorandum book that
belonged to the man the shark swallowed.  Swallowed him in the Thames,
without a doubt; for you will notice that the last entry in the book is
dated ‘London,’ and is of the same date as the Times, and says, ‘Ber
confequentz der Kreigeseflarun, reife ich heute nach Deutchland ab, aur
bak ich mein leben auf dem Ultar meines Landes legen mag’----, as clean
native German as anybody can put upon paper, and means that in
consequence of the declaration of war, this loyal soul is leaving for
home to-day, to fight.  And he did leave, too, but the shark had him
before the day was done, poor fellow.”

“And a pity, too.  But there are times for mourning, and we will attend
to this case further on; other matters are pressing, now.  I will go down
and set the machinery in motion in a quiet way and buy the crop.  It will
cheer the drooping spirits of the boys, in a transitory way.  Everything
is transitory in this world.  Sixty days hence, when they are called to
deliver the goods, they will think they’ve been struck by lightning.  But
there is a time for mourning, and we will attend to that case along with
the other one.  Come along, I’ll take you to my tailor.  What did you say
your name is?”

“Cecil Rhodes.”

“It is hard to remember.  However, I think you will make it easier by and
by, if you live.  There are three kinds of people--Commonplace Men,
Remarkable Men, and Lunatics.  I’ll classify you with the Remarkables,
and take the chances.”

The deal went through, and secured to the young stranger the first
fortune he ever pocketed.

The people of Sydney ought to be afraid of the sharks, but for some
reason they do not seem to be.  On Saturdays the young men go out in
their boats, and sometimes the water is fairly covered with the little
sails.  A boat upsets now and then, by accident, a result of tumultuous
skylarking; sometimes the boys upset their boat for fun--such as it is
with sharks visibly waiting around for just such an occurrence.  The
young fellows scramble aboard whole--sometimes--not always.  Tragedies
have happened more than once.  While I was in Sydney it was reported that
a boy fell out of a boat in the mouth of the Paramatta river and screamed
for help and a boy jumped overboard from another boat to save him from
the assembling sharks; but the sharks made swift work with the lives of

The government pays a bounty for the shark; to get the bounty the
fishermen bait the hook or the seine with agreeable mutton; the news
spreads and the sharks come from all over the Pacific Ocean to get the
free board.  In time the shark culture will be one of the most successful
things in the colony.


We can secure other people’s approval, if we do right and try hard; but
our own is worth a hundred of it, and no way has been found out of
securing that.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

My health had broken down in New York in May; it had remained in a
doubtful but fairish condition during a succeeding period of 82 days; it
broke again on the Pacific.  It broke again in Sydney, but not until
after I had had a good outing, and had also filled my lecture
engagements.  This latest break lost me the chance of seeing Queensland.
In the circumstances, to go north toward hotter weather was not

So we moved south with a westward slant, 17 hours by rail to the capital
of the colony of Victoria, Melbourne--that juvenile city of sixty years,
and half a million inhabitants.  On the map the distance looked small;
but that is a trouble with all divisions of distance in such a vast
country as Australia.  The colony of Victoria itself looks small on the
map--looks like a county, in fact--yet it is about as large as England,
Scotland, and Wales combined.  Or, to get another focus upon it, it is
just 80 times as large as the state of Rhode Island, and one-third as
large as the State of Texas.

Outside of Melbourne, Victoria seems to be owned by a handful of
squatters, each with a Rhode Island for a sheep farm.  That is the
impression which one gathers from common talk, yet the wool industry of
Victoria is by no means so great as that of New South Wales.  The climate
of Victoria is favorable to other great industries--among others,
wheat-growing and the making of wine.

We took the train at Sydney at about four in the afternoon.  It was
American in one way, for we had a most rational sleeping car; also the
car was clean and fine and new--nothing about it to suggest the rolling
stock of the continent of Europe.  But our baggage was weighed, and extra
weight charged for.  That was continental.  Continental and troublesome.
Any detail of railroading that is not troublesome cannot honorably be
described as continental.

The tickets were round-trip ones--to Melbourne, and clear to Adelaide in
South Australia, and then all the way back to Sydney.  Twelve hundred
more miles than we really expected to make; but then as the round trip
wouldn’t cost much more than the single trip, it seemed well enough to
buy as many miles as one could afford, even if one was not likely to need
them.  A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing
than he needs.

Now comes a singular thing: the oddest thing, the strangest thing, the
most baffling and unaccountable marvel that Australasia can show.  At the
frontier between New South Wales and Victoria our multitude of passengers
were routed out of their snug beds by lantern-light in the morning in the
biting-cold of a high altitude to change cars on a road that has no break
in it from Sydney to Melbourne!  Think of the paralysis of intellect that
gave that idea birth; imagine the boulder it emerged from on some
petrified legislator’s shoulders.

It is a narrow-gage road to the frontier, and a broader gauge thence to
Melbourne.  The two governments were the builders of the road and are the
owners of it.  One or two reasons are given for this curious state of
things.  One is, that it represents the jealousy existing between the
colonies--the two most important colonies of Australasia.  What the other
one is, I have forgotten.  But it is of no consequence.  It could be but
another effort to explain the inexplicable.

All passengers fret at the double-gauge; all shippers of freight must of
course fret at it; unnecessary expense, delay, and annoyance are imposed
upon everybody concerned, and no one is benefitted.

Each Australian colony fences itself off from its neighbor with a
custom-house.  Personally, I have no objection, but it must be a good
deal of inconvenience to the people.  We have something resembling it
here and there in America, but it goes by another name.  The large empire
of the Pacific coast requires a world of iron machinery, and could
manufacture it economically on the spot if the imposts on foreign iron
were removed. But they are not.  Protection to Pennsylvania and Alabama
forbids it. The result to the Pacific coast is the same as if there were
several rows of custom-fences between the coast and the East.  Iron
carted across the American continent at luxurious railway rates would be
valuable enough to be coined when it arrived.

We changed cars.  This was at Albury.  And it was there, I think, that
the growing day and the early sun exposed the distant range called the
Blue Mountains.  Accurately named.  “My word!” as the Australians say,
but it was a stunning color, that blue.  Deep, strong, rich, exquisite;
towering and majestic masses of blue--a softly luminous blue, a
smouldering blue, as if vaguely lit by fires within.  It extinguished the
blue of the sky--made it pallid and unwholesome, whitey and washed-out.
A wonderful color--just divine.

A resident told me that those were not mountains; he said they were
rabbit-piles.  And explained that long exposure and the over-ripe
condition of the rabbits was what made them look so blue.  This man may
have been right, but much reading of books of travel has made me
distrustful of gratis information furnished by unofficial residents of a
country.  The facts which such people give to travelers are usually
erroneous, and often intemperately so.  The rabbit-plague has indeed been
very bad in Australia, and it could account for one mountain, but not for
a mountain range, it seems to me.  It is too large an order.

We breakfasted at the station.  A good breakfast, except the coffee; and
cheap.  The Government establishes the prices and placards them.  The
waiters were men, I think; but that is not usual in Australasia.  The
usual thing is to have girls.  No, not girls, young ladies--generally
duchesses.  Dress?  They would attract attention at any royal levee in
Europe.  Even empresses and queens do not dress as they do.  Not that
they could not afford it, perhaps, but they would not know how.

All the pleasant morning we slid smoothly along over the plains, through
thin--not thick--forests of great melancholy gum trees, with trunks
rugged with curled sheets of flaking bark--erysipelas convalescents, so
to speak, shedding their dead skins.  And all along were tiny cabins,
built sometimes of wood, sometimes of gray-blue corrugated iron; and
the doorsteps and fences were clogged with children--rugged little
simply-clad chaps that looked as if they had been imported from the
banks of the Mississippi without breaking bulk.

And there were little villages, with neat stations well placarded with
showy advertisements--mainly of almost too self-righteous brands of
“sheepdip.”  If that is the name--and I think it is.  It is a stuff like
tar, and is dabbed on to places where the shearer clips a piece out of
the sheep.  It bars out the flies, and has healing properties, and a nip
to it which makes the sheep skip like the cattle on a thousand hills.  It
is not good to eat.  That is, it is not good to eat except when mixed
with railroad coffee.  It improves railroad coffee.  Without it railroad
coffee is too vague.  But with it, it is quite assertive and
enthusiastic.  By itself, railroad coffee is too passive; but sheep-dip
makes it wake up and get down to business.  I wonder where they get
railroad coffee?

We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhynchus, not
a lecturer, not a native.  Indeed, the land seemed quite destitute of
game.  But I have misused the word native.  In Australia it is applied to
Australian-born whites only.  I should have said that we saw no
Aboriginals--no “blackfellows.”  And to this day I have never seen one.
In the great museums you will find all the other curiosities, but in the
curio of chiefest interest to the stranger all of them are lacking.  We
have at home an abundance of museums, and not an American Indian in them.
It is clearly an absurdity, but it never struck me before.


Truth is stranger than fiction--to some people, but I am measurably
familiar with it.
                             --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to
stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
                             --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The air was balmy and delicious, the sunshine radiant; it was a charming
excursion.  In the course of it we came to a town whose odd name was
famous all over the world a quarter of a century ago--Wagga-Wagga.  This
was because the Tichborne Claimant had kept a butcher-shop there.  It was
out of the midst of his humble collection of sausages and tripe that he
soared up into the zenith of notoriety and hung there in the wastes of
space a time, with the telescopes of all nations leveled at him in
unappeasable curiosity--curiosity as to which of the two long-missing
persons he was:  Arthur Orton, the mislaid roustabout of Wapping, or Sir
Roger Tichborne, the lost heir of a name and estates as old as English
history.  We all know now, but not a dozen people knew then; and the
dozen kept the mystery to themselves and allowed the most intricate and
fascinating and marvelous real-life romance that has ever been played
upon the world’s stage to unfold itself serenely, act by act, in a
British court by the long and laborious processes of judicial

When we recall the details of that great romance we marvel to see what
daring chances truth may freely take in constructing a tale, as compared
with the poor little conservative risks permitted to fiction.  The
fiction-artist could achieve no success with the materials of this
splendid Tichborne romance.

He would have to drop out the chief characters; the public would say such
people are impossible.  He would have to drop out a number of the most
picturesque incidents; the public would say such things could never
happen.  And yet the chief characters did exist, and the incidents did

It cost the Tichborne estates $400,000 to unmask the Claimant and drive
him out; and even after the exposure multitudes of Englishmen still
believed in him.  It cost the British Government another $400,000 to
convict him of perjury; and after the conviction the same old multitudes
still believed in him; and among these believers were many educated and
intelligent men; and some of them had personally known the real Sir
Roger.  The Claimant was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.  When he
got out of prison he went to New York and kept a whisky saloon in the
Bowery for a time, then disappeared from view.

He always claimed to be Sir Roger Tichborne until death called for him.
This was but a few months ago--not very much short of a generation since
he left Wagga-Wagga to go and possess himself of his estates.  On his
death-bed he yielded up his secret, and confessed in writing that he was
only Arthur Orton of Wapping, able seaman and butcher--that and nothing
more.  But it is scarcely to be doubted that there are people whom even
his dying confession will not convince.  The old habit of assimilating
incredibilities must have made strong food a necessity in their case; a
weaker article would probably disagree with them.

I was in London when the Claimant stood his trial for perjury.  I
attended one of his showy evenings in the sumptuous quarters provided for
him from the purses of his adherents and well-wishers.  He was in evening
dress, and I thought him a rather fine and stately creature.  There were
about twenty-five gentlemen present; educated men, men moving in good
society, none of them commonplace; some of them were men of distinction,
none of them were obscurities.  They were his cordial friends and
admirers.  It was “Sir Roger,” always “Sir Roger,” on all hands; no one
withheld the title, all turned it from the tongue with unction, and as if
it tasted good.

For many years I had had a mystery in stock.  Melbourne, and only
Melbourne, could unriddle it for me.  In 1873 I arrived in London with my
wife and young child, and presently received a note from Naples signed by
a name not familiar to me.  It was not Bascom, and it was not Henry; but
I will call it Henry Bascom for convenience’s sake.  This note, of about
six lines, was written on a strip of white paper whose end-edges were
ragged.  I came to be familiar with those strips in later years.  Their
size and pattern were always the same.  Their contents were usually to
the same effect: would I and mine come to the writer’s country-place in
England on such and such a date, by such and such a train, and stay
twelve days and depart by such and such a train at the end of the
specified time?  A carriage would meet us at the station.

These invitations were always for a long time ahead; if we were in
Europe, three months ahead; if we were in America, six to twelve months
ahead.  They always named the exact date and train for the beginning and
also for the end of the visit.

This first note invited us for a date three months in the future.  It
asked us to arrive by the 4.10 p.m. train from London, August 6th.  The
carriage would be waiting.  The carriage would take us away seven days
later-train specified.  And there were these words: “Speak to Tom

I showed the note to the author of “Tom Brown at Rugby,” and he said:
“Accept, and be thankful.”

He described Mr. Bascom as being a man of genius, a man of fine
attainments, a choice man in every way, a rare and beautiful character.
He said that Bascom Hall was a particularly fine example of the stately
manorial mansion of Elizabeth’s days, and that it was a house worth going
a long way to see--like Knowle; that Mr. B. was of a social disposition;
liked the company of agreeable people, and always had samples of the sort
coming and going.

We paid the visit.  We paid others, in later years--the last one in 1879.
Soon after that Mr. Bascom started on a voyage around the world in a
steam yacht--a long and leisurely trip, for he was making collections, in
all lands, of birds, butterflies, and such things.

The day that President Garfield was shot by the assassin Guiteau, we were
at a little watering place on Long Island Sound; and in the mail matter
of that day came a letter with the Melbourne post-mark on it.  It was for
my wife, but I recognized Mr. Bascom’s handwriting on the envelope, and
opened it.  It was the usual note--as to paucity of lines--and was
written on the customary strip of paper; but there was nothing usual
about the contents.  The note informed my wife that if it would be any
assuagement of her grief to know that her husband’s lecture-tour in
Australia was a satisfactory venture from the beginning to the end, he,
the writer, could testify that such was the case; also, that her
husband’s untimely death had been mourned by all classes, as she would
already know by the press telegrams, long before the reception of this
note; that the funeral was attended by the officials of the colonial and
city governments; and that while he, the writer, her friend and mine, had
not reached Melbourne in time to see the body, he had at least had the
sad privilege of acting as one of the pall-bearers.  Signed, “Henry

My first thought was, why didn’t he have the coffin opened?  He would
have seen that the corpse was an imposter, and he could have gone right
ahead and dried up the most of those tears, and comforted those sorrowing
governments, and sold the remains and sent me the money.

I did nothing about the matter.  I had set the law after living lecture
doubles of mine a couple of times in America, and the law had not been
able to catch them; others in my trade had tried to catch their
impostor-doubles and had failed.  Then where was the use in harrying a
ghost? None--and so I did not disturb it.  I had a curiosity to know
about that man’s lecture-tour and last moments, but that could wait.
When I should see Mr. Bascom he would tell me all about it.  But he
passed from life, and I never saw him again..  My curiosity faded away.

However, when I found that I was going to Australia it revived.  And
naturally: for if the people should say that I was a dull, poor thing
compared to what I was before I died, it would have a bad effect on
business.  Well, to my surprise the Sydney journalists had never heard of
that impostor!  I pressed them, but they were firm--they had never heard
of him, and didn’t believe in him.

I could not understand it; still, I thought it would all come right in
Melbourne.  The government would remember; and the other mourners.  At
the supper of the Institute of Journalists I should find out all about
the matter.  But no--it turned out that they had never heard of it.

So my mystery was a mystery still.  It was a great disappointment.  I
believed it would never be cleared up--in this life--so I dropped it out
of my mind.

But at last! just when I was least expecting it----

However, this is not the place for the rest of it; I shall come to the
matter again, in a far-distant chapter.


There is a Moral sense, and there is an Immoral Sense.  History shows us
that the Moral Sense enables us to perceive morality and how to avoid it,
and that the Immoral Sense enables us to perceive immorality and how to
enjoy it.
                              -Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Melbourne spreads around over an immense area of ground.  It is a stately
city architecturally as well as in magnitude.  It has an elaborate system
of cable-car service; it has museums, and colleges, and schools, and
public gardens, and electricity, and gas, and libraries, and theaters,
and mining centers, and wool centers, and centers of the arts and
sciences, and boards of trade, and ships, and railroads, and a harbor,
and social clubs, and journalistic clubs, and racing clubs, and a
squatter club sumptuously housed and appointed, and as many churches and
banks as can make a living.  In a word, it is equipped with everything
that goes to make the modern great city.  It is the largest city of
Australasia, and fills the post with honor and credit.  It has one
specialty; this must not be jumbled in with those other things.  It is
the mitred Metropolitan of the Horse-Racing Cult.  Its race-ground is the
Mecca of Australasia.  On the great annual day of sacrifice--the 5th of
November, Guy Fawkes’s Day--business is suspended over a stretch of land
and sea as wide as from New York to San Francisco, and deeper than from
the northern lakes to the Gulf of Mexico; and every man and woman, of
high degree or low, who can afford the expense, put away their other
duties and come.  They begin to swarm in by ship and rail a fortnight
before the day, and they swarm thicker and thicker day after day, until
all the vehicles of transportation are taxed to their uttermost to meet
the demands of the occasion, and all hotels and lodgings are bulging
outward because of the pressure from within.  They come a hundred
thousand strong, as all the best authorities say, and they pack the
spacious grounds and grandstands and make a spectacle such as is never to
be seen in Australasia elsewhere.

It is the “Melbourne Cup” that brings this multitude together.  Their
clothes have been ordered long ago, at unlimited cost, and without bounds
as to beauty and magnificence, and have been kept in concealment until
now, for unto this day are they consecrate.  I am speaking of the ladies’
clothes; but one might know that.

And so the grand-stands make a brilliant and wonderful spectacle, a
delirium of color, a vision of beauty.  The champagne flows, everybody is
vivacious, excited, happy; everybody bets, and gloves and fortunes change
hands right along, all the time.  Day after day the races go on, and the
fun and the excitement are kept at white heat; and when each day is done,
the people dance all night so as to be fresh for the race in the morning.
And at the end of the great week the swarms secure lodgings and
transportation for next year, then flock away to their remote homes and
count their gains and losses, and order next year’s Cup-clothes, and then
lie down and sleep two weeks, and get up sorry to reflect that a whole
year must be put in somehow or other before they can be wholly happy

The Melbourne Cup is the Australasian National Day.  It would be
difficult to overstate its importance.  It overshadows all other holidays
and specialized days of whatever sort in that congeries of colonies.
Overshadows them?  I might almost say it blots them out.  Each of them
gets attention, but not everybody’s; each of them evokes interest, but
not everybody’s; each of them rouses enthusiasm, but not everybody’s; in
each case a part of the attention, interest, and enthusiasm is a matter
of habit and custom, and another part of it is official and perfunctory.
Cup Day, and Cup Day only, commands an attention, an interest, and an
enthusiasm which are universal--and spontaneous, not perfunctory.  Cup
Day is supreme--it has no rival.  I can call to mind no specialized
day, in any country, which can be named by that large name--Supreme.  I
can call to mind no specialized annual day, in any country, whose
approach fires the whole land with a conflagration of conversation and
preparation and anticipation and jubilation.  No day save this one; but
this one does it.

In America we have no annual supreme day; no day whose approach makes the
whole nation glad.  We have the Fourth of July, and Christmas, and
Thanksgiving.  Neither of them can claim the primacy; neither of them can
arouse an enthusiasm which comes near to being universal.  Eight grown
Americans out of ten dread the coming of the Fourth, with its pandemonium
and its perils, and they rejoice when it is gone--if still alive.  The
approach of Christmas brings harassment and dread to many excellent
people.  They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know
what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard
and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so
dissatisfied with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit
down and cry.  Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a
year.  The observance of Thanksgiving Day--as a function--has become
general of late years.  The Thankfulness is not so general.  This is
natural.  Two-thirds of the nation have always had hard luck and a hard
time during the year, and this has a calming effect upon their

We have a supreme day--a sweeping and tremendous and tumultuous day, a
day which commands an absolute universality of interest and excitement;
but it is not annual.  It comes but once in four years; therefore it
cannot count as a rival of the Melbourne Cup.

In Great Britain and Ireland they have two great days--Christmas and the
Queen’s birthday.  But they are equally popular; there is no supremacy.

I think it must be conceded that the position of the Australasian Day is
unique, solitary, unfellowed; and likely to hold that high place a long

The next things which interest us when we travel are, first, the people;
next, the novelties; and finally the history of the places and countries
visited.  Novelties are rare in cities which represent the most advanced
civilization of the modern day.  When one is familiar with such cities in
the other parts of the world he is in effect familiar with the cities of
Australasia.  The outside aspects will furnish little that is new.  There
will be new names, but the things which they represent will sometimes be
found to be less new than their names.  There may be shades of
difference, but these can easily be too fine for detection by the
incompetent eye of the passing stranger.  In the larrikin he will not be
able to discover a new species, but only an old one met elsewhere, and
variously called loafer, rough, tough, bummer, or blatherskite, according
to his geographical distribution.  The larrikin differs by a shade from
those others, in that he is more sociable toward the stranger than they,
more kindly disposed, more hospitable, more hearty, more friendly.  At
least it seemed so to me, and I had opportunity to observe.  In Sydney,
at least.  In Melbourne I had to drive to and from the lecture-theater,
but in Sydney I was able to walk both ways, and did it.  Every night, on
my way home at ten, or a quarter past, I found the larrikin grouped in
considerable force at several of the street corners, and he always gave
me this pleasant salutation:

“Hello, Mark!”

“Here’s to you, old chap!

“Say--Mark!--is he dead?”--a reference to a passage in some book of mine,
though I did not detect, at that time, that that was its source.  And I
didn’t detect it afterward in Melbourne, when I came on the stage for the
first time, and the same question was dropped down upon me from the dizzy
height of the gallery.  It is always difficult to answer a sudden inquiry
like that, when you have come unprepared and don’t know what it means.
I will remark here--if it is not an indecorum--that the welcome which an
American lecturer gets from a British colonial audience is a thing which
will move him to his deepest deeps, and veil his sight and break his
voice.  And from Winnipeg to Africa, experience will teach him nothing;
he will never learn to expect it, it will catch him as a surprise each
time.  The war-cloud hanging black over England and America made no
trouble for me.  I was a prospective prisoner of war, but at dinners,
suppers, on the platform, and elsewhere, there was never anything to
remind me of it.  This was hospitality of the right metal, and would have
been prominently lacking in some countries, in the circumstances.

And speaking of the war-flurry, it seemed to me to bring to light the
unexpected, in a detail or two.  It seemed to relegate the war-talk to
the politicians on both sides of the water; whereas whenever a
prospective war between two nations had been in the air theretofore, the
public had done most of the talking and the bitterest.  The attitude of
the newspapers was new also.  I speak of those of Australasia and India,
for I had access to those only.  They treated the subject argumentatively
and with dignity, not with spite and anger.  That was a new spirit, too,
and not learned of the French and German press, either before Sedan or
since.  I heard many public speeches, and they reflected the moderation
of the journals.  The outlook is that the English-speaking race will
dominate the earth a hundred years from now, if its sections do not get
to fighting each other.  It would be a pity to spoil that prospect by
baffling and retarding wars when arbitration would settle their
differences so much better and also so much more definitely.

No, as I have suggested, novelties are rare in the great capitals of
modern times.  Even the wool exchange in Melbourne could not be told from
the familiar stock exchange of other countries.  Wool brokers are just
like stockbrokers; they all bounce from their seats and put up their
hands and yell in unison--no stranger can tell what--and the president
calmly says “Sold to Smith & Co., threpence farthing--next!”--when
probably nothing of the kind happened; for how should he know?

In the museums you will find acres of the most strange and fascinating
things; but all museums are fascinating, and they do so tire your eyes,
and break your back, and burn out your vitalities with their consuming
interest.  You always say you will never go again, but you do go.  The
palaces of the rich, in Melbourne, are much like the palaces of the rich
in America, and the life in them is the same; but there the resemblance
ends.  The grounds surrounding the American palace are not often large,
and not often beautiful, but in the Melbourne case the grounds are often
ducally spacious, and the climate and the gardeners together make them as
beautiful as a dream.  It is said that some of the country seats have
grounds--domains--about them which rival in charm and magnitude those
which surround the country mansion of an English lord; but I was not out
in the country; I had my hands full in town.

And what was the origin of this majestic city and its efflorescence of
palatial town houses and country seats?  Its first brick was laid and
its first house built by a passing convict.  Australian history is almost
always picturesque; indeed, it is so curious and strange, that it is
itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer, and so it pushes
the other novelties into second and third place.  It does not read like
history, but like the most beautiful lies.  And all of a fresh new sort,
no mouldy old stale ones.  It is full of surprises, and adventures, and
incongruities, and contradictions, and incredibilities; but they are all
true, they all happened.


The English are mentioned in the Bible: Blessed are the meek, for they
shall inherit the earth.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

When we consider the immensity of the British Empire in territory,
population, and trade, it requires a stern exercise of faith to believe
in the figures which represent Australasia’s contribution to the Empire’s
commercial grandeur.  As compared with the landed estate of the British
Empire, the landed estate dominated by any other Power except one
--Russia--is not very impressive for size.  My authorities make the
Empire not much short of a fourth larger than the Russian Empire.
Roughly proportioned, if you will allow your entire hand to represent the
British Empire, you may then cut off the fingers a trifle above the
middle joint of the middle finger, and what is left of the hand will
represent Russia.  The populations ruled by Great Britain and China are
about the same--400,000,000 each.  No other Power approaches these
figures.  Even Russia is left far behind.

The population of Australasia--4,000,000--sinks into nothingness, and is
lost from sight in that British ocean of 400,000,000.  Yet the statistics
indicate that it rises again and shows up very conspicuously when its
share of the Empire’s commerce is the matter under consideration.  The
value of England’s annual exports and imports is stated at three billions
of dollars,--[New South Wales Blue Book.]--and it is claimed that more
than one-tenth of this great aggregate is represented by Australasia’s
exports to England and imports from England.  In addition to this,
Australasia does a trade with countries other than England, amounting to
a hundred million dollars a year, and a domestic intercolonial trade
amounting to a hundred and fifty millions.

In round numbers the 4,000,000 buy and sell about $600,000,000 worth of
goods a year.  It is claimed that about half of this represents
commodities of Australasian production.  The products exported annually
by India are worth a trifle over $500,000,000.  Now, here are some
faith-straining figures:

Indian production (300,000,000 population), $500,000,000.

Australasian production (4,000,000 population), $300,000,000.

That is to say, the product of the individual Indian, annually (for
export some whither), is worth $1.75; that of the individual
Australasian (for export some whither), $75! Or, to put it in another
way, the Indian family of man and wife and three children sends away an
annual result worth $8.75, while the Australasian family sends away $375

There are trustworthy statistics furnished by Sir Richard Temple and
others, which show that the individual Indian’s whole annual product,
both for export and home use, is worth in gold only $7.50; or, $37.50
for the family-aggregate.  Ciphered out on a like ratio of
multiplication, the Australasian family’s aggregate production would be
nearly $1,600.  Truly, nothing is so astonishing as figures, if they once
get started.

We left Melbourne by rail for Adelaide, the capital of the vast Province
of South Australia--a seventeen-hour excursion.  On the train we found
several Sydney friends; among them a Judge who was going out on circuit,
and was going to hold court at Broken Hill, where the celebrated silver
mine is.  It seemed a curious road to take to get to that region.  Broken
Hill is close to the western border of New South Wales, and Sydney is on
the eastern border.  A fairly straight line, 700 miles long, drawn
westward from Sydney, would strike Broken Hill, just as a somewhat
shorter one drawn west from Boston would strike Buffalo.  The way the
Judge was traveling would carry him over 2,000 miles by rail, he said;
southwest from Sydney down to Melbourne, then northward up to Adelaide,
then a cant back northeastward and over the border into New South Wales
once more--to Broken Hill.  It was like going from Boston southwest to
Richmond, Virginia, then northwest up to Erie, Pennsylvania, then a cant
back northeast and over the border--to Buffalo, New York.

But the explanation was simple.  Years ago the fabulously rich silver
discovery at Broken Hill burst suddenly upon an unexpectant world.  Its
stocks started at shillings, and went by leaps and bounds to the most
fanciful figures.  It was one of those cases where the cook puts a
month’s wages into shares, and comes next month and buys your house at
your own price, and moves into it herself; where the coachman takes a few
shares, and next month sets up a bank; and where the common sailor
invests the price of a spree, and the next month buys out the steamship
company and goes into business on his own hook.  In a word, it was one of
those excitements which bring multitudes of people to a common center
with a rush, and whose needs must be supplied, and at once.  Adelaide was
close by, Sydney was far away.  Adelaide threw a short railway across the
border before Sydney had time to arrange for a long one; it was not worth
while for Sydney to arrange at all.  The whole vast trade-profit of
Broken Hill fell into Adelaide’s hands, irrevocably.  New South Wales
furnishes law for Broken Hill and sends her Judges 2,000 miles--mainly
through alien countries--to administer it, but Adelaide takes the
dividends and makes no moan.

We started at 4.20 in the afternoon, and moved across level plains until
night. In the morning we had a stretch of “scrub” country--the kind of
which is so useful to the Australian novelist.  In the scrub the hostile
aboriginal lurks, and flits mysteriously about, slipping out from time to
time to surprise and slaughter the settler; then slipping back again, and
leaving no track that the white man can follow.  In the scrub the
novelist’s heroine gets lost, search fails of result; she wanders here
and there, and finally sinks down exhausted and unconscious, and the
searchers pass within a yard or two of her, not suspecting that she is
near, and by and by some rambler finds her bones and the pathetic diary
which she had scribbled with her failing hand and left behind.  Nobody
can find a lost heroine in the scrub but the aboriginal “tracker,” and he
will not lend himself to the scheme if it will interfere with the
novelist’s plot.  The scrub stretches miles and miles in all directions,
and looks like a level roof of bush-tops without a break or a crack in it
--as seamless as a blanket, to all appearance.  One might as well walk
under water and hope to guess out a route and stick to it, I should
think.  Yet it is claimed that the aboriginal “tracker” was able to hunt
out people lost in the scrub.  Also in the “bush”; also in the desert;
and even follow them over patches of bare rocks and over alluvial ground
which had to all appearance been washed clear of footprints.

From reading Australian books and talking with the people, I became
convinced that the aboriginal tracker’s performances evince a craft, a
penetration, a luminous sagacity, and a minuteness and accuracy of
observation in the matter of detective-work not found in nearly so
remarkable a degree in any other people, white or colored.  In an
official account of the blacks of Australia published by the government
of Victoria, one reads that the aboriginal not only notices the faint
marks left on the bark of a tree by the claws of a climbing opossum, but
knows in some way or other whether the marks were made to-day or

And there is the case, on record where A., a settler, makes a bet with
B., that B. may lose a cow as effectually as he can, and A. will produce
an aboriginal who will find her.  B. selects a cow and lets the tracker
see the cow’s footprint, then be put under guard.  B. then drives the cow
a few miles over a course which drifts in all directions, and frequently
doubles back upon itself; and he selects difficult ground all the time,
and once or twice even drives the cow through herds of other cows, and
mingles her tracks in the wide confusion of theirs.  He finally brings
his cow home; the aboriginal is set at liberty, and at once moves around
in a great circle, examining all cow-tracks until he finds the one he is
after; then sets off and follows it throughout its erratic course, and
ultimately tracks it to the stable where B. has hidden the cow.  Now
wherein does one cow-track differ from another?  There must be a
difference, or the tracker could not have performed the feat; a
difference minute, shadowy, and not detectible by you or me, or by the
late Sherlock Holmes, and yet discernible by a member of a race charged
by some people with occupying the bottom place in the gradations of human


It is easier to stay out than get out.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The train was now exploring a beautiful hill country, and went twisting
in and out through lovely little green valleys.  There were several
varieties of gum trees; among them many giants.  Some of them were bodied
and barked like the sycamore; some were of fantastic aspect, and reminded
one of the quaint apple trees in Japanese pictures.  And there was one
peculiarly beautiful tree whose name and breed I did not know.  The
foliage seemed to consist of big bunches of pine-spines, the lower half
of each bunch a rich brown or old-gold color, the upper half a most vivid
and strenuous and shouting green.  The effect was altogether bewitching.
The tree was apparently rare.  I should say that the first and last
samples of it seen by us were not more than half an hour apart.  There
was another tree of striking aspect, a kind of pine, we were told.  Its
foliage was as fine as hair, apparently, and its mass sphered itself
above the naked straight stem like an explosion of misty smoke.  It was
not a sociable sort; it did not gather in groups or couples, but each
individual stood far away from its nearest neighbor.  It scattered itself
in this spacious and exclusive fashion about the slopes of swelling
grassy great knolls, and stood in the full flood of the wonderful
sunshine; and as far as you could see the tree itself you could also see
the ink-black blot of its shadow on the shining green carpet at its feet.

On some part of this railway journey we saw gorse and broom--importations
from England--and a gentleman who came into our compartment on a visit
tried to tell me which--was which; but as he didn’t know, he had
difficulty.  He said he was ashamed of his ignorance, but that he had
never been confronted with the question before during the fifty years and
more that he had spent in Australia, and so he had never happened to get
interested in the matter.  But there was no need to be ashamed.  The most
of us have his defect.  We take a natural interest in novelties, but it
is against nature to take an interest in familiar things.  The gorse and
the broom were a fine accent in the landscape.  Here and there they burst
out in sudden conflagrations of vivid yellow against a background of
sober or sombre color, with a so startling effect as to make a body catch
his breath with the happy surprise of it.  And then there was the wattle,
a native bush or tree, an inspiring cloud of sumptuous yellow bloom.  It
is a favorite with the Australians, and has a fine fragrance, a quality
usually wanting in Australian blossoms.

The gentleman who enriched me with the poverty of his information about
gorse and the broom told me that he came out from England a youth of
twenty and entered the Province of South Australia with thirty-six
shillings in his pocket--an adventurer without trade, profession, or
friends, but with a clearly-defined purpose in his head: he would stay
until he was worth L200, then go back home.  He would allow himself five
years for the accumulation of this fortune.

“That was more than fifty years ago,” said he.  “And here I am, yet.”

As he went out at the door he met a friend, and turned and introduced him
to me, and the friend and I had a talk and a smoke.  I spoke of the
previous conversation and said there was something very pathetic about
half century of exile, and that I wished the L200 scheme had succeeded.

“With him?  Oh, it did.  It’s not so sad a case.  He is modest, and he
left out some of the particulars.  The lad reached South Australia just
in time to help discover the Burra-Burra copper mines.  They turned out
L700,000 in the first three years.  Up to now they have yielded
L20,000,000.  He has had his share.  Before that boy had been in the
country two years he could have gone home and bought a village; he could
go now and buy a city, I think.  No, there is nothing very pathetic about
his case.  He and his copper arrived at just a handy time to save South
Australia.  It had got mashed pretty flat under the collapse of a land
boom a while before.”  There it is again; picturesque history
--Australia’s specialty.  In 1829 South Australia hadn’t a white man in
In 1836 the British Parliament erected it--still a solitude--into a
Province, and gave it a governor and other governmental machinery.
Speculators took hold, now, and inaugurated a vast land scheme, and
invited immigration, encouraging it with lurid promises of sudden wealth.
It was well worked in London; and bishops, statesmen, and all sorts of
people made a rush for the land company’s shares.  Immigrants soon began
to pour into the region of Adelaide and select town lots and farms in the
sand and the mangrove swamps by the sea.  The crowds continued to come,
prices of land rose high, then higher and still higher, everybody was
prosperous and happy, the boom swelled into gigantic proportions.  A
village of sheet iron huts and clapboard sheds sprang up in the sand, and
in these wigwams fashion made display; richly-dressed ladies played on
costly pianos, London swells in evening dress and patent-leather boots
were abundant, and this fine society drank champagne, and in other ways
conducted itself in this capital of humble sheds as it had been
accustomed to do in the aristocratic quarters of the metropolis of the
world.  The provincial government put up expensive buildings for its own
use, and a palace with gardens for the use of its governor.  The governor
had a guard, and maintained a court.  Roads, wharves, and hospitals were
built.  All this on credit, on paper, on wind, on inflated and fictitious
values--on the boom’s moonshine, in fact.  This went on handsomely during
four or five years.  Then all of a sudden came a smash.  Bills for a huge
amount drawn by the governor upon the Treasury were dishonored, land
company’s credit went up in smoke, a panic followed, values fell with a
rush, the frightened immigrants seized their gripsacks and fled to other
lands, leaving behind them a good imitation of a solitude, where lately
had been a buzzing and populous hive of men.

Adelaide was indeed almost empty; its population had fallen to 3,000.
During two years or more the death-trance continued.  Prospect of revival
there was none; hope of it ceased.  Then, as suddenly as the paralysis
had come, came the resurrection from it.  Those astonishingly rich copper
mines were discovered, and the corpse got up and danced.

The wool production began to grow; grain-raising followed--followed so
vigorously, too, that four or five years after the copper discovery, this
little colony, which had had to import its breadstuffs formerly, and pay
hard prices for them--once $50 a barrel for flour--had become an exporter
of grain.

The prosperities continued.  After many years Providence, desiring to
show especial regard for New South Wales and exhibit a loving interest in
its welfare which should certify to all nations the recognition of that
colony’s conspicuous righteousness and distinguished well-deserving,
conferred upon it that treasury of inconceivable riches, Broken Hill; and
South Australia went over the border and took it, giving thanks.

Among our passengers was an American with a unique vocation.  Unique is a
strong word, but I use it justifiably if I did not misconceive what the
American told me; for I understood him to say that in the world there was
not another man engaged in the business which he was following.  He was
buying the kangaroo-skin crop; buying all of it, both the Australian crop
and the Tasmanian; and buying it for an American house in New York.  The
prices were not high, as there was no competition, but the year’s
aggregate of skins would cost him L30,000.  I had had the idea that the
kangaroo was about extinct in Tasmania and well thinned out on the
continent.  In America the skins are tanned and made into shoes.  After
the tanning, the leather takes a new name--which I have forgotten--I only
remember that the new name does not indicate that the kangaroo furnishes
the leather.  There was a German competition for a while, some years ago,
but that has ceased.  The Germans failed to arrive at the secret of
tanning the skins successfully, and they withdrew from the business.  Now
then, I suppose that I have seen a man whose occupation is really
entitled to bear that high epithet--unique.  And I suppose that there is
not another occupation in the world that is restricted to the hands of a
sole person.  I can think of no instance of it.  There is more than one
Pope, there is more than one Emperor, there is even more than one living
god, walking upon the earth and worshiped in all sincerity by large
populations of men.  I have seen and talked with two of these Beings
myself in India, and I have the autograph of one of them.  It can come
good, by and by, I reckon, if I attach it to a “permit.”

Approaching Adelaide we dismounted from the train, as the French say, and
were driven in an open carriage over the hills and along their slopes to
the city.  It was an excursion of an hour or two, and the charm of it
could not be overstated, I think.  The road wound around gaps and gorges,
and offered all varieties of scenery and prospect--mountains, crags,
country homes, gardens, forests--color, color, color everywhere, and the
air fine and fresh, the skies blue, and not a shred of cloud to mar the
downpour of the brilliant sunshine.  And finally the mountain gateway
opened, and the immense plain lay spread out below and stretching away
into dim distances on every hand, soft and delicate and dainty and
beautiful.  On its near edge reposed the city.

We descended and entered.  There was nothing to remind one of the humble
capital, of huts and sheds of the long-vanished day of the land-boom.
No, this was a modern city, with wide streets, compactly built; with fine
homes everywhere, embowered in foliage and flowers, and with imposing
masses of public buildings nobly grouped and architecturally beautiful.

There was prosperity, in the air; for another boom was on.  Providence,
desiring to show especial regard for the neighboring colony on the west
called Western Australia--and exhibit a loving interest in its welfare
which should certify to all nations the recognition of that colony’s
conspicuous righteousness and distinguished well-deserving, had recently
conferred upon it that majestic treasury of golden riches, Coolgardie;
and now South Australia had gone around the corner and taken it, giving
thanks.  Everything comes to him who is patient and good, and waits.

But South Australia deserves much, for apparently she is a hospitable
home for every alien who chooses to come; and for his religion, too.
She has a population, as per the latest census, of only 320,000-odd, and
yet her varieties of religion indicate the presence within her borders of
samples of people from pretty nearly every part of the globe you can
think of.  Tabulated, these varieties of religion make a remarkable show.
One would have to go far to find its match.  I copy here this
cosmopolitan curiosity, and it comes from the published census:

Church of England,........... 89,271
Roman Catholic,.............. 47,179
Wesleyan,.................... 49,159
Lutheran,.................... 23,328
Presbyterian,................ 18,206
Congregationalist,........... 11,882
Bible Christian,............. 15,762
Primitive Methodist,......... 11,654
Baptist,..................... 17,547
Christian Brethren,..........    465
Methodist New Connexion,.....     39
Unitarian,...................    688
Church of Christ,............  3,367
Society of Friends,..........    100
Salvation Army,..............  4,356
New Jerusalem Church,........    168
Jews,........................    840
Protestants (undefined),.....  5,532
Mohammedans,.................    299
Confucians, etc.,............  3,884
Other religions,.............  1,719
Object,......................  6,940
Not stated,..................  8,046


The item in the above list “Other religions” includes the following as

Agnostics, 50
Atheists, 22
Believers in Christ, 4
Buddhists, 52
Calvinists, 46
Christadelphians, 134
Christians, 308
Christ’s Chapel, 9
Christian Israelites, 2
Christian Socialists, 6
Church of God, 6
Cosmopolitans, 3
Deists, 14
Evangelists, 60
Exclusive Brethren, 8
Free Church, 21
Free Methodists, 5
Freethinkers, 258
Followers of Christ, 8
Gospel Meetings, 11
Greek Church, 44
Infidels, 9
Maronites, 2
Memnonists, 1
Moravians, 139
Mormons, 4
Naturalists, 2
Orthodox, 4
Others (indefinite), 17
Pagans, 20
Pantheists, 3
Plymouth Brethren, 111
Rationalists, 4
Reformers, 7
Secularists, 12
Seventh-day Adventists, 203
Shaker, 1
Shintoists, 24
Spiritualists, 37
Theosophists, 9
Town (City) Mission, 16
Welsh Church, 27
Huguenot, 2
Hussite, 1
Zoroastrians, 2
Zwinglian, 1

About 64 roads to the other world.  You see how healthy the religious
atmosphere is.  Anything can live in it.  Agnostics, Atheists,
Freethinkers, Infidels, Mormons, Pagans, Indefinites they are all there.
And all the big sects of the world can do more than merely live in it:
they can spread, flourish, prosper.  All except the Spiritualists and the
Theosophists.  That is the most curious feature of this curious table.
What is the matter with the specter?  Why do they puff him away?  He is a
welcome toy everywhere else in the world.


Pity is for the living, Envy is for the dead.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The successor of the sheet-iron hamlet of the mangrove marshes has that
other Australian specialty, the Botanical Gardens.  We cannot have these
paradises.  The best we could do would be to cover a vast acreage under
glass and apply steam heat.  But it would be inadequate, the lacks would
still be so great: the confined sense, the sense of suffocation, the
atmospheric dimness, the sweaty heat--these would all be there, in place
of the Australian openness to the sky, the sunshine and the breeze.
Whatever will grow under glass with us will flourish rampantly out of
doors in Australia.--[The greatest heat in Victoria, that there is an
authoritative record of, was at Sandhurst, in January, 1862.  The
thermometer then registered 117 degrees in the shade.  In January, 1880,
the heat at Adelaide, South Australia, was 172 degrees in the sun.]

When the white man came the continent was nearly as poor, in variety of
vegetation, as the desert of Sahara; now it has everything that grows on
the earth.  In fact, not Australia only, but all Australasia has levied
tribute upon the flora of the rest of the world; and wherever one goes
the results appear, in gardens private and public, in the woodsy walls of
the highways, and in even the forests.  If you see a curious or beautiful
tree or bush or flower, and ask about it, the people, answering, usually
name a foreign country as the place of its origin--India, Africa, Japan,
China, England, America, Java, Sumatra, New Guinea, Polynesia, and so on.

In the Zoological Gardens of Adelaide I saw the only laughing jackass
that ever showed any disposition to be courteous to me.  This one opened
his head wide and laughed like a demon; or like a maniac who was consumed
with humorous scorn over a cheap and degraded pun.  It was a very human
laugh.  If he had been out of sight I could have believed that the
laughter came from a man.  It is an odd-looking bird, with a head and
beak that are much too large for its body.  In time man will exterminate
the rest of the wild creatures of Australia, but this one will probably
survive, for man is his friend and lets him alone.  Man always has a good
reason for his charities towards wild things, human or animal when he has
any.  In this case the bird is spared because he kills snakes.  If L. J.
will take my advice he will not kill all of them.

In that garden I also saw the wild Australian dog--the dingo.  He was a
beautiful creature--shapely, graceful, a little wolfish in some of his
aspects, but with a most friendly eye and sociable disposition.  The
dingo is not an importation; he was present in great force when the
whites first came to the continent.  It may be that he is the oldest dog
in the universe; his origin, his descent, the place where his ancestors
first appeared, are as unknown and as untraceable as are the camel’s.
He is the most precious dog in the world, for he does not bark.  But in
an evil hour he got to raiding the sheep-runs to appease his hunger, and
that sealed his doom.  He is hunted, now, just as if he were a wolf.
He has been sentenced to extermination, and the sentence will be carried
out.  This is all right, and not objectionable.  The world was made for
man--the white man.

South Australia is confusingly named.  All of the colonies have a
southern exposure except one--Queensland.  Properly speaking, South
Australia is middle Australia.  It extends straight up through the center
of the continent like the middle board in a center-table.  It is 2,000
miles high, from south to north, and about a third as wide.  A wee little
spot down in its southeastern corner contains eight or nine-tenths of its
population; the other one or two-tenths are elsewhere--as elsewhere as
they could be in the United States with all the country between Denver
and Chicago, and Canada and the Gulf of Mexico to scatter over.  There is
plenty of room.

A telegraph line stretches straight up north through that 2,000 miles of
wilderness and desert from Adelaide to Port Darwin on the edge of the
upper ocean.  South Australia built the line; and did it in 1871-2 when
her population numbered only 185,000.  It was a great work; for there
were no roads, no paths; 1,300 miles of the route had been traversed but
once before by white men; provisions, wire, and poles had to be carried
over immense stretches of desert; wells had to be dug along the route to
supply the men and cattle with water.

A cable had been previously laid from Port Darwin to Java and thence to
India, and there was telegraphic communication with England from India.
And so, if Adelaide could make connection with Port Darwin it meant
connection with the whole world.  The enterprise succeeded.  One could
watch the London markets daily, now; the profit to the wool-growers of
Australia was instant and enormous.

A telegram from Melbourne to San Francisco covers approximately 20,000
miles--the equivalent of five-sixths of the way around the globe.  It has
to halt along the way a good many times and be repeated; still, but
little time is lost.  These halts, and the distances between them, are
here tabulated.--[From “Round the Empire.” (George R.  Parkin), all but
the last two.]


Melbourne-Mount Gambier,.......300
Mount Gambier-Adelaide,........270
Adelaide-Port Augusta,.........200
Port Augusta-Alice Springs...1,036
Alice Springs-Port Darwin,.....898
Port Darwin-Banjoewangie,... 1,150
London-New York,.............2,500
New York-San Francisco,......3,500

I was in Adelaide again, some months later, and saw the multitudes gather
in the neighboring city of Glenelg to commemorate the Reading of the
Proclamation--in 1836--which founded the Province.  If I have at any time
called it a Colony, I withdraw the discourtesy.  It is not a Colony, it
is a Province; and officially so.  Moreover, it is the only one so named
in Australasia.  There was great enthusiasm; it was the Province’s
national holiday, its Fourth of July, so to speak.  It is the pre-eminent
holiday; and that is saying much, in a country where they seem to have a
most un-English mania for holidays.  Mainly they are workingmen’s
holidays; for in South Australia the workingman is sovereign; his vote is
the desire of the politician--indeed, it is the very breath of the
politician’s being; the parliament exists to deliver the will of the
workingman, and the government exists to execute it.  The workingman is a
great power everywhere in Australia, but South Australia is his paradise.
He has had a hard time in this world, and has earned a paradise.  I am
glad he has found it.  The holidays there are frequent enough to be
bewildering to the stranger.  I tried to get the hang of the system, but
was not able to do it.

You have seen that the Province is tolerant, religious-wise.  It is so
politically, also.  One of the speakers at the Commemoration banquet--the
Minister of Public Works-was an American, born and reared in New England.
There is nothing narrow about the Province, politically, or in any other
way that I know of.  Sixty-four religions and a Yankee cabinet minister.
No amount of horse-racing can damn this community.

The mean temperature of the Province is 62 deg.  The death-rate is 13 in
the 1,000--about half what it is in the city of New York, I should think,
and New York is a healthy city.  Thirteen is the death-rate for the
average citizen of the Province, but there seems to be no death-rate for
the old people.  There were people at the Commemoration banquet who could
remember Cromwell.  There were six of them.  These Old Settlers had all
been present at the original Reading of the Proclamation, in 1836.  They
showed signs of the blightings and blastings of time, in their outward
aspect, but they were young within; young and cheerful, and ready to
talk; ready to talk, and talk all you wanted; in their turn, and out of
it.  They were down for six speeches, and they made 42.  The governor and
the cabinet and the mayor were down for 42 speeches, and they made 6.
They have splendid grit, the Old Settlers, splendid staying power.  But
they do not hear well, and when they see the mayor going through motions
which they recognize as the introducing of a speaker, they think they are
the one, and they all get up together, and begin to respond, in the most
animated way; and the more the mayor gesticulates, and shouts “Sit down!
Sit down!” the more they take it for applause, and the more excited and
reminiscent and enthusiastic they get; and next, when they see the whole
house laughing and crying, three of them think it is about the bitter
old-time hardships they are describing, and the other three think the
laughter is caused by the jokes they have been uncorking--jokes of the
vintage of 1836--and then the way they do go on!  And finally when ushers
come and plead, and beg, and gently and reverently crowd them down into
their seats, they say, “Oh, I’m not tired--I could bang along a week!”
 and they sit there looking simple and childlike, and gentle, and proud of
their oratory, and wholly unconscious of what is going on at the other
end of the room.  And so one of the great dignitaries gets a chance, and
begins his carefully prepared speech, impressively and with solemnity--

     “When we, now great and prosperous and powerful, bow our heads in
     reverent wonder in the contemplation of those sublimities of energy,
     of wisdom, of forethought, of----”

Up come the immortal six again, in a body, with a joyous “Hey, I’ve
thought of another one!” and at it they go, with might and main, hearing
not a whisper of the pandemonium that salutes them, but taking all the
visible violences for applause, as before, and hammering joyously away
till the imploring ushers pray them into their seats again.  And a pity,
too; for those lovely old boys did so enjoy living their heroic youth
over, in these days of their honored antiquity; and certainly the things
they had to tell were usually worth the telling and the hearing.

It was a stirring spectacle; stirring in more ways than one, for it was
amazingly funny, and at the same time deeply pathetic; for they had seen
so much, these time-worn veterans, and had suffered so much; and had
built so strongly and well, and laid the foundations of their
commonwealth so deep, in liberty and tolerance; and had lived to see the
structure rise to such state and dignity and hear themselves so praised
for their honorable work.

One of these old gentlemen told me some things of interest afterward;
things about the aboriginals, mainly.  He thought them intelligent
--remarkably so in some directions--and he said that along with their
unpleasant qualities they had some exceedingly good ones; and he
considered it a great pity that the race had died out.  He instanced
their invention of the boomerang and the “weet-weet” as evidences of
their brightness; and as another evidence of it he said he had never seen
a white man who had cleverness enough to learn to do the miracles with
those two toys that the aboriginals achieved.  He said that even the
smartest whites had been obliged to confess that they could not learn the
trick of the boomerang in perfection; that it had possibilities which
they could not master.  The white man could not control its motions,
could not make it obey him; but the aboriginal could.  He told me some
wonderful things--some almost incredible things--which he had seen the
blacks do with the boomerang and the weet-weet.  They have been confirmed
to me since by other early settlers and by trustworthy books.

It is contended--and may be said to be conceded--that the boomerang was
known to certain savage tribes in Europe in Roman times.  In support of
this, Virgil and two other Roman poets are quoted.  It is also contended
that it was known to the ancient Egyptians.

One of two things is then apparent: either some one with a boomerang
arrived in Australia in the days of antiquity before European knowledge
of the thing had been lost, or the Australian aboriginal reinvented it.
It will take some time to find out which of these two propositions is the
fact.  But there is no hurry.


It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three
unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either of them.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

From diary:

Mr. G.  called.  I had not seen him since Nauheim, Germany--several years
ago; the time that the cholera broke out at Hamburg.  We talked of the
people we had known there, or had casually met; and G. said:

“Do you remember my introducing you to an earl--the Earl of C.?”

“Yes.  That was the last time I saw you.  You and he were in a carriage,
just starting--belated--for the train.  I remember it.”

“I remember it too, because of a thing which happened then which I was
not looking for.  He had told me a while before, about a remarkable and
interesting Californian whom he had met and who was a friend of yours,
and said that if he should ever meet you he would ask you for some
particulars about that Californian.  The subject was not mentioned that
day at Nauheim, for we were hurrying away, and there was no time; but the
thing that surprised me was this: when I introduced you, you said, ‘I am
glad to meet your lordship--again.’  The ‘again’ was the surprise.  He is
a little hard of hearing, and didn’t catch that word, and I thought you
hadn’t intended that he should.  As we drove off I had only time to say,
‘Why, what do you know about him?’ and I understood you to say, ‘Oh,
nothing, except that he is the quickest judge of----’  Then we were gone,
and I didn’t get the rest.  I wondered what it was that he was such a
quick judge of.  I have thought of it many times since, and still
wondered what it could be.  He and I talked it over, but could not guess
it out.  He thought it must be fox-hounds or horses, for he is a good
judge of those--no one is a better.  But you couldn’t know that, because
you didn’t know him; you had mistaken him for some one else; it must be
that, he said, because he knew you had never met him before.  And of
course you hadn’t had you?”

“Yes, I had.”

“Is that so?  Where?”

“At a fox-hunt, in England.”

“How curious that is.  Why, he hadn’t the least recollection of it.  Had
you any conversation with him?”


“Well, it left not the least impression upon him.  What did you talk

“About the fox.  I think that was all.”

“Why, that would interest him; that ought to have left an impression.
What did he talk about?”

“The fox.”

It’s very curious.  I don’t understand it.  Did what he said leave an
impression upon you?”

“Yes.  It showed me that he was a quick judge of--however, I will tell
you all about it, then you will understand.  It was a quarter of a
century ago 1873 or ‘74.  I had an American friend in London named F.,
who was fond of hunting, and his friends the Blanks invited him and me to
come out to a hunt and be their guests at their country place.  In the
morning the mounts were provided, but when I saw the horses I changed my
mind and asked permission to walk.  I had never seen an English hunter
before, and it seemed to me that I could hunt a fox safer on the ground.
I had always been diffident about horses, anyway, even those of the
common altitudes, and I did not feel competent to hunt on a horse that
went on stilts.  So then Mrs. Blank came to my help and said I could go
with her in the dog-cart and we would drive to a place she knew of, and
there we should have a good glimpse of the hunt as it went by.

“When we got to that place I got out and went and leaned my elbows on a
low stone wall which enclosed a turfy and beautiful great field with
heavy wood on all its sides except ours.  Mrs. Blank sat in the dog-cart
fifty yards away, which was as near as she could get with the vehicle.
I was full of interest, for I had never seen a fox-hunt.  I waited,
dreaming and imagining, in the deep stillness and impressive tranquility
which reigned in that retired spot.  Presently, from away off in the
forest on the left, a mellow bugle-note came floating; then all of a
sudden a multitude of dogs burst out of that forest and went tearing by
and disappeared in the forest on the right; there was a pause, and then
a cloud of horsemen in black caps and crimson coats plunged out of the
left-hand forest and went flaming across the field like a prairie-fire,
a stirring sight to see.  There was one man ahead of the rest, and he
came spurring straight at me.  He was fiercely excited.  It was fine to
see him ride; he was a master horseman.  He came like a storm till he
was within seven feet of me, where I was leaning on the wall, then he
stood his horse straight up in the air on his hind toe-nails, and shouted
like a demon:

“‘Which way’d the fox go?’

“I didn’t much like the tone, but I did not let on; for he was excited,
you know.  But I was calm; so I said softly, and without acrimony:

“‘Which fox?’

“It seemed to anger him.  I don’t know why; and he thundered out:

“‘WHICH fox?  Why, THE fox?  Which way did the FOX go?’

“I said, with great gentleness--even argumentatively:

“‘If you could be a little more definite--a little less vague--because I
am a stranger, and there are many foxes, as you will know even better
than I, and unless I know which one it is that you desire to identify,

“‘You’re certainly the damdest idiot that has escaped in a thousand
years!’ and he snatched his great horse around as easily as I would
snatch a cat, and was away like a hurricane.  A very excitable man.

“I went back to Mrs. Blank, and she was excited, too--oh, all alive.  She

“‘He spoke to you!--didn’t he?’

“‘Yes, it is what happened.’

“‘I knew it! I couldn’t hear what he said, but I knew he spoke to you! Do
you know who it was?  It was Lord C., and he is Master of the Buckhounds!
Tell me--what do you think of him?’

“‘Him?  Well, for sizing-up a stranger, he’s got the most sudden and
accurate judgment of any man I ever saw.’

“It pleased her.  I thought it would.”

G. got away from Nauheim just in time to escape being shut in by the
quarantine-bars on the frontiers; and so did we, for we left the next
day.  But G. had a great deal of trouble in getting by the Italian
custom-house, and we should have fared likewise but for the
thoughtfulness of our consul-general in Frankfort.  He introduced me to
the Italian consul-general, and I brought away from that consulate a
letter which made our way smooth.  It was a dozen lines merely commending
me in a general way to the courtesies of servants in his Italian
Majesty’s service, but it was more powerful than it looked.  In addition
to a raft of ordinary baggage, we had six or eight trunks which were
filled exclusively with dutiable stuff--household goods purchased in
Frankfort for use in Florence, where we had taken a house.  I was going
to ship these through by express; but at the last moment an order went
throughout Germany forbidding the moving of any parcels by train unless
the owner went with them.  This was a bad outlook.  We must take these
things along, and the delay sure to be caused by the examination of them
in the custom-house might lose us our train.  I imagined all sorts of
terrors, and enlarged them steadily as we approached the Italian
frontier.  We were six in number, clogged with all that baggage, and I
was courier for the party--the most incapable one they ever employed.

We arrived, and pressed with the crowd into the immense custom-house, and
the usual worries began; everybody crowding to the counter and begging to
have his baggage examined first, and all hands clattering and chattering
at once.  It seemed to me that I could do nothing; it would be better to
give it all up and go away and leave the baggage.  I couldn’t speak the
language; I should never accomplish anything.  Just then a tall handsome
man in a fine uniform was passing by and I knew he must be the
station-master--and that reminded me of my letter.  I ran to him and put
it into his hands.  He took it out of the envelope, and the moment his
eye caught the royal coat of arms printed at its top, he took off his cap
and made a beautiful bow to me, and said in English:

“Which is your baggage?  Please show it to me.”

I showed him the mountain.  Nobody was disturbing it; nobody was
interested in it; all the family’s attempts to get attention to it had
failed--except in the case of one of the trunks containing the dutiable
goods.  It was just being opened.  My officer said:

“There, let that alone! Lock it.  Now chalk it.  Chalk all of the lot.
Now please come and show me the hand-baggage.”

He plowed through the waiting crowd, I following, to the counter, and he
gave orders again, in his emphatic military way:

“Chalk these.  Chalk all of them.”

Then he took off his cap and made that beautiful bow again, and went his
way.  By this time these attentions had attracted the wonder of that acre
of passengers, and the whisper had gone around that the royal family were
present getting their baggage chalked; and as we passed down in review on
our way to the door, I was conscious of a pervading atmosphere of envy
which gave me deep satisfaction.

But soon there was an accident.  My overcoat pockets were stuffed with
German cigars and linen packages of American smoking tobacco, and a
porter was following us around with this overcoat on his arm, and
gradually getting it upside down.  Just as I, in the rear of my family,
moved by the sentinels at the door, about three hatfuls of the tobacco
tumbled out on the floor.  One of the soldiers pounced upon it, gathered
it up in his arms, pointed back whence I had come, and marched me ahead
of him past that long wall of passengers again--he chattering and
exulting like a devil, they smiling in peaceful joy, and I trying to look
as if my pride was not hurt, and as if I did not mind being brought to
shame before these pleased people who had so lately envied me.  But at
heart I was cruelly humbled.

When I had been marched two-thirds of the long distance and the misery of
it was at the worst, the stately station-master stepped out from
somewhere, and the soldier left me and darted after him and overtook him;
and I could see by the soldier’s excited gestures that he was betraying
to him the whole shabby business.  The station-master was plainly very
angry.  He came striding down toward me, and when he was come near he
began to pour out a stream of indignant Italian; then suddenly took off
his hat and made that beautiful bow and said:

“Oh, it is you! I beg a thousands pardons!  This idiot here---” He turned
to the exulting soldier and burst out with a flood of white-hot Italian
lava, and the next moment he was bowing, and the soldier and I were
moving in procession again--he in the lead and ashamed, this time, I with
my chin up.  And so we marched by the crowd of fascinated passengers, and
I went forth to the train with the honors of war.  Tobacco and all.


Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to
get himself envied.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Before I saw Australia I had never heard of the “weet-weet” at all.
I met but few men who had seen it thrown--at least I met but few who
mentioned having seen it thrown.  Roughly described, it is a fat wooden
cigar with its butt-end fastened to a flexible twig.  The whole thing is
only a couple of feet long, and weighs less than two ounces.  This
feather--so to call it--is not thrown through the air, but is flung with
an underhanded throw and made to strike the ground a little way in front
of the thrower; then it glances and makes a long skip; glances again,
skips again, and again and again, like the flat stone which a boy sends
skating over the water.  The water is smooth, and the stone has a good
chance; so a strong man may make it travel fifty or seventy-five yards;
but the weet-weet has no such good chance, for it strikes sand, grass,
and earth in its course.  Yet an expert aboriginal has sent it a measured
distance of two hundred and twenty yards.  It would have gone even
further but it encountered rank ferns and underwood on its passage and
they damaged its speed.  Two hundred and twenty yards; and so weightless
a toy--a mouse on the end of a bit of wire, in effect; and not sailing
through the accommodating air, but encountering grass and sand and stuff
at every jump.  It looks wholly impossible; but Mr. Brough Smyth saw the
feat and did the measuring, and set down the facts in his book about
aboriginal life, which he wrote by command of the Victorian Government.

What is the secret of the feat?  No one explains.  It cannot be physical
strength, for that could not drive such a feather-weight any distance.
It must be art.  But no one explains what the art of it is; nor how it
gets around that law of nature which says you shall not throw any
two-ounce thing 220 yards, either through the air or bumping along the
ground.  Rev. J. G. Woods says:

“The distance to which the weet-weet or kangaroo-rat can be thrown is
truly astonishing.  I have seen an Australian stand at one side of
Kennington Oval and throw the kangaroo rat completely across it.” (Width
of Kennington Oval not stated.)  “It darts through the air with the sharp
and menacing hiss of a rifle-ball, its greatest height from the ground
being some seven or eight feet .  .  .  .  .  .  When properly thrown it
looks just like a living animal leaping along .  .  .  .  .  .  Its
movements have a wonderful resemblance to the long leaps of a
kangaroo-rat fleeing in alarm, with its long tail trailing behind it.”

The Old Settler said that he had seen distances made by the weet-weet, in
the early days, which almost convinced him that it was as extraordinary
an instrument as the boomerang.

There must have been a large distribution of acuteness among those naked
skinny aboriginals, or they couldn’t have been such unapproachable
trackers and boomerangers and weet-weeters.  It must have been
race-aversion that put upon them a good deal of the low-rate intellectual
reputation which they bear and have borne this long time in the world’s
estimate of them.

They were lazy--always lazy.  Perhaps that was their trouble.  It is a
killing defect.  Surely they could have invented and built a competent
house, but they didn’t.  And they could have invented and developed the
agricultural arts, but they didn’t.  They went naked and houseless, and
lived on fish and grubs and worms and wild fruits, and were just plain
savages, for all their smartness.

With a country as big as the United States to live and multiply in, and
with no epidemic diseases among them till the white man came with those
and his other appliances of civilization, it is quite probable that there
was never a day in his history when he could muster 100,000 of his race
in all Australia.  He diligently and deliberately kept population down by
infanticide--largely; but mainly by certain other methods.  He did not
need to practise these artificialities any more after the white man came.
The white man knew ways of keeping down population which were worth
several of his.  The white man knew ways of reducing a native population
80 percent. in 20 years.  The native had never seen anything as fine as
that before.

For example, there is the case of the country now called Victoria--a
country eighty times as large as Rhode Island, as I have already said.
By the best official guess there were 4,500 aboriginals in it when the
whites came along in the middle of the ‘Thirties.  Of these, 1,000 lived
in Gippsland, a patch of territory the size of fifteen or sixteen Rhode
Islands: they did not diminish as fast as some of the other communities;
indeed, at the end of forty years there were still 200 of them left.  The
Geelong tribe diminished more satisfactorily: from 173 persons it faded
to 34 in twenty years; at the end of another twenty the tribe numbered
one person altogether.  The two Melbourne tribes could muster almost 300
when the white man came; they could muster but twenty, thirty-seven years
later, in 1875.  In that year there were still odds and ends of tribes
scattered about the colony of Victoria, but I was told that natives of
full blood are very scarce now.  It is said that the aboriginals continue
in some force in the huge territory called Queensland.

The early whites were not used to savages.  They could not understand the
primary law of savage life: that if a man do you a wrong, his whole tribe
is responsible--each individual of it--and you may take your change out
of any individual of it, without bothering to seek out the guilty one.
When a white killed an aboriginal, the tribe applied the ancient law, and
killed the first white they came across.  To the whites this was a
monstrous thing.  Extermination seemed to be the proper medicine for such
creatures as this.  They did not kill all the blacks, but they promptly
killed enough of them to make their own persons safe.  From the dawn of
civilization down to this day the white man has always used that very
precaution.  Mrs. Campbell Praed lived in Queensland, as a child, in the
early days, and in her “Sketches of Australian life,” we get informing
pictures of the early struggles of the white and the black to reform each

Speaking of pioneer days in the mighty wilderness of Queensland, Mrs.
Praed says:

     “At first the natives retreated before the whites; and, except that
     they every now and then speared a beast in one of the herds, gave
     little cause for uneasiness.  But, as the number of squatters
     increased, each one taking up miles of country and bringing two or
     three men in his train, so that shepherds’ huts and stockmen’s camps
     lay far apart, and defenseless in the midst of hostile tribes, the
     Blacks’ depredations became more frequent and murder was no unusual

     “The loneliness of the Australian bush can hardly be painted in
     words.  Here extends mile after mile of primeval forest where
     perhaps foot of white man has never trod--interminable vistas where
     the eucalyptus trees rear their lofty trunks and spread forth their
     lanky limbs, from which the red gum oozes and hangs in fantastic
     pendants like crimson stalactites; ravines along the sides of which
     the long-bladed grass grows rankly; level untimbered plains
     alternating with undulating tracts of pasture, here and there broken
     by a stony ridge, steep gully, or dried-up creek.  All wild, vast
     and desolate; all the same monotonous gray coloring, except where
     the wattle, when in blossom, shows patches of feathery gold, or a
     belt of scrub lies green, glossy, and impenetrable as Indian jungle.

     “The solitude seems intensified by the strange sounds of reptiles,
     birds, and insects, and by the absence of larger creatures; of which
     in the day-time, the only audible signs are the stampede of a herd
     of kangaroo, or the rustle of a wallabi, or a dingo stirring the
     grass as it creeps to its lair.  But there are the whirring of
     locusts, the demoniac chuckle of the laughing jack-ass, the
     screeching of cockatoos and parrots, the hissing of the frilled
     lizard, and the buzzing of innumerable insects hidden under the
     dense undergrowth. And then at night, the melancholy wailing of the
     curlews, the dismal howling of dingoes, the discordant croaking of
     tree-frogs, might well shake the nerves of the solitary watcher.”

That is the theater for the drama.  When you comprehend one or two other
details, you will perceive how well suited for trouble it was, and how
loudly it invited it.  The cattlemen’s stations were scattered over that
profound wilderness miles and miles apart--at each station half a dozen
persons.  There was a plenty of cattle, the black natives were always
ill-nourished and hungry.  The land belonged to them.  The whites had not
bought it, and couldn’t buy it; for the tribes had no chiefs, nobody in
authority, nobody competent to sell and convey; and the tribes themselves
had no comprehension of the idea of transferable ownership of land.  The
ousted owners were despised by the white interlopers, and this opinion
was not hidden under a bushel.  More promising materials for a tragedy
could not have been collated.  Let Mrs. Praed speak:

     “At Nie Nie station, one dark night, the unsuspecting hut-keeper,
     having, as he believed, secured himself against assault, was lying
     wrapped in his blankets sleeping profoundly.  The Blacks crept
     stealthily down the chimney and battered in his skull while he

One could guess the whole drama from that little text.  The curtain was
up.  It would not fall until the mastership of one party or the other was
determined--and permanently:

     “There was treachery on both sides.  The Blacks killed the Whites
     when they found them defenseless, and the Whites slew the Blacks in
     a wholesale and promiscuous fashion which offended against my
     childish sense of justice.

     “They were regarded as little above the level of brutes, and in some
     cases were destroyed like vermin.

     “Here is an instance.  A squatter, whose station was surrounded by
     Blacks, whom he suspected to be hostile and from whom he feared an
     attack, parleyed with them from his house-door.  He told them it was
     Christmas-time--a time at which all men, black or white, feasted;
     that there were flour, sugar-plums, good things in plenty in the
     store, and that he would make for them such a pudding as they had
     never dreamed of--a great pudding of which all might eat and be
     filled.  The Blacks listened and were lost.  The pudding was made
     and distributed.  Next morning there was howling in the camp, for it
     had been sweetened with sugar and arsenic!”

The white man’s spirit was right, but his method was wrong.  His spirit
was the spirit which the civilized white has always exhibited toward the
savage, but the use of poison was a departure from custom.  True, it was
merely a technical departure, not a real one; still, it was a departure,
and therefore a mistake, in my opinion.  It was better, kinder, swifter,
and much more humane than a number of the methods which have been
sanctified by custom, but that does not justify its employment.  That is,
it does not wholly justify it.  Its unusual nature makes it stand out and
attract an amount of attention which it is not entitled to.  It takes
hold upon morbid imaginations and they work it up into a sort of
exhibition of cruelty, and this smirches the good name of our
civilization, whereas one of the old harsher methods would have had no
such effect because usage has made those methods familiar to us and
innocent.  In many countries we have chained the savage and starved him
to death; and this we do not care for, because custom has inured us to
it; yet a quick death by poison is lovingkindness to it.  In many
countries we have burned the savage at the stake; and this we do not care
for, because custom has inured us to it; yet a quick death is
loving-kindness to it.  In more than one country we have hunted the
savage and his little children and their mother with dogs and guns
through the woods and swamps for an afternoon’s sport, and filled the
region with happy laughter over their sprawling and stumbling flight, and
their wild supplications for mercy; but this method we do not mind,
because custom has inured us to it; yet a quick death by poison is
lovingkindness to it.  In many countries we have taken the savage’s land
from him, and made him our slave, and lashed him every day, and broken
his pride, and made death his only friend, and overworked him till he
dropped in his tracks; and this we do not care for, because custom has
inured us to it; yet a quick death by poison is lovingkindness to it.
In the Matabeleland today--why, there we are confining ourselves to
sanctified custom, we Rhodes-Beit millionaires in South Africa and Dukes
in London; and nobody cares, because we are used to the old holy customs,
and all we ask is that no notice-inviting new ones shall be intruded upon
the attention of our comfortable consciences.  Mrs. Praed says of the
poisoner, “That squatter deserves to have his name handed down to the
contempt of posterity.”

I am sorry to hear her say that.  I myself blame him for one thing, and
severely, but I stop there.  I blame him for, the indiscretion of
introducing a novelty which was calculated to attract attention to our
civilization.  There was no occasion to do that.  It was his duty, and it
is every loyal man’s duty to protect that heritage in every way he can;
and the best way to do that is to attract attention elsewhere.  The
squatter’s judgment was bad--that is plain; but his heart was right.  He
is almost the only pioneering representative of civilization in history
who has risen above the prejudices of his caste and his heredity and
tried to introduce the element of mercy into the superior race’s dealings
with the savage.  His name is lost, and it is a pity; for it deserves to
be handed down to posterity with homage and reverence.

This paragraph is from a London journal:

     “To learn what France is doing to spread the blessings of
     civilization in her distant dependencies we may turn with advantage
     to New Caledonia.  With a view to attracting free settlers to that
     penal colony, M. Feillet, the Governor, forcibly expropriated the
     Kanaka cultivators from the best of their plantations, with a
     derisory compensation, in spite of the protests of the Council
     General of the island.  Such immigrants as could be induced to cross
     the seas thus found themselves in possession of thousands of coffee,
     cocoa, banana, and bread-fruit trees, the raising of which had cost
     the wretched natives years of toil whilst the latter had a few
     five-franc pieces to spend in the liquor stores of Noumea.”

You observe the combination?  It is robbery, humiliation, and slow, slow
murder, through poverty and the white man’s whisky.  The savage’s gentle
friend, the savage’s noble friend, the only magnanimous and unselfish
friend the savage has ever had, was not there with the merciful swift
release of his poisoned pudding.

There are many humorous things in the world; among them the white man’s
notion that he is less savage than the other savages.--[See Chapter on
Tasmania, post.]


Nothing is so ignorant as a man’s left hand, except a lady’s watch.

                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

You notice that Mrs. Praed knows her art.  She can place a thing before
you so that you can see it.  She is not alone in that.  Australia is
fertile in writers whose books are faithful mirrors of the life of the
country and of its history.  The materials were surprisingly rich, both
in quality and in mass, and Marcus Clarke, Rolph Boldrewood, Gordon,
Kendall, and the others, have built out of them a brilliant and vigorous
literature, and one which must endure.  Materials--there is no end to
them!  Why, a literature might be made out of the aboriginal all by
himself, his character and ways are so freckled with varieties--varieties
not staled by familiarity, but new to us.  You do not need to invent any
picturesquenesses; whatever you want in that line he can furnish you; and
they will not be fancies and doubtful, but realities and authentic.  In
his history, as preserved by the white man’s official records, he is
everything--everything that a human creature can be.  He covers the
entire ground.  He is a coward--there are a thousand fact to prove it.
He is brave--there are a thousand facts to prove it.  He is treacherous
--oh, beyond imagination! he is faithful, loyal, true--the white man’s
records supply you with a harvest of instances of it that are noble,
worshipful, and pathetically beautiful.  He kills the starving stranger
who comes begging for food and shelter there is proof of it.  He succors,
and feeds, and guides to safety, to-day, the lost stranger who fired on
him only yesterday--there is proof of it.  He takes his reluctant bride
by force, he courts her with a club, then loves her faithfully through a
long life--it is of record.  He gathers to himself another wife by the
same processes, beats and bangs her as a daily diversion, and by and by
lays down his life in defending her from some outside harm--it is of
record.  He will face a hundred hostiles to rescue one of his children,
and will kill another of his children because the family is large enough
without it.  His delicate stomach turns, at certain details of the white
man’s food; but he likes over-ripe fish, and brazed dog, and cat, and
rat, and will eat his own uncle with relish.  He is a sociable animal,
yet he turns aside and hides behind his shield when his mother-in-law
goes by.  He is childishly afraid of ghosts and other trivialities that
menace his soul, but dread of physical pain is a weakness which he is not
acquainted with.  He knows all the great and many of the little
constellations, and has names for them; he has a symbol-writing by means
of which he can convey messages far and wide among the tribes; he has a
correct eye for form and expression, and draws a good picture; he can
track a fugitive by delicate traces which the white man’s eye cannot
discern, and by methods which the finest white intelligence cannot
master; he makes a missile which science itself cannot duplicate without
the model--if with it; a missile whose secret baffled and defeated the
searchings and theorizings of the white mathematicians for seventy years;
and by an art all his own he performs miracles with it which the white
man cannot approach untaught, nor parallel after teaching.  Within
certain limits this savage’s intellect is the alertest and the brightest
known to history or tradition; and yet the poor creature was never able
to invent a counting system that would reach above five, nor a vessel
that he could boil water in.  He is the prize-curiosity of all the races.
To all intents and purposes he is dead--in the body; but he has features
that will live in literature.

Mr. Philip Chauncy, an officer of the Victorian Government, contributed
to its archives a report of his personal observations of the aboriginals
which has in it some things which I wish to condense slightly and insert
here.  He speaks of the quickness of their eyes and the accuracy of their
judgment of the direction of approaching missiles as being quite
extraordinary, and of the answering suppleness and accuracy of limb and
muscle in avoiding the missile as being extraordinary also.  He has seen
an aboriginal stand as a target for cricket-balls thrown with great force
ten or fifteen yards, by professional bowlers, and successfully dodge
them or parry them with his shield during about half an hour.  One of
those balls, properly placed, could have killed him; “Yet he depended,
with the utmost self-possession, on the quickness of his eye and his

The shield was the customary war-shield of his race, and would not be a
protection to you or to me.  It is no broader than a stovepipe, and is
about as long as a man’s arm.  The opposing surface is not flat, but
slopes away from the centerline like a boat’s bow.  The difficulty about
a cricket-ball that has been thrown with a scientific “twist” is, that it
suddenly changes its course when it is close to its target and comes
straight for the mark when apparently it was going overhead or to one
side.  I should not be able to protect myself from such balls for
half-an-hour, or less.

Mr. Chauncy once saw “a little native man” throw a cricket-ball 119
yards.  This is said to beat the English professional record by thirteen

We have all seen the circus-man bound into the air from a spring-board
and make a somersault over eight horses standing side by side.  Mr.
Chauncy saw an aboriginal do it over eleven; and was assured that he had
sometimes done it over fourteen.  But what is that to this:

     “I saw the same man leap from the ground, and in going over he
     dipped his head, unaided by his hands, into a hat placed in an
     inverted position on the top of the head of another man sitting
     upright on horseback--both man and horse being of the average size.
     The native landed on the other side of the horse with the hat fairly
     on his head.  The prodigious height of the leap, and the precision
     with which it was taken so as to enable him to dip his head into the
     hat, exceeded any feat of the kind I have ever beheld.”

I should think so!  On board a ship lately I saw a young Oxford athlete
run four steps and spring into the air and squirm his hips by a
side-twist over a bar that was five and one-half feet high; but he could
not have stood still and cleared a bar that was four feet high.  I know
this, because I tried it myself.

One can see now where the kangaroo learned its art.

Sir George Grey and Mr. Eyre testify that the natives dug wells fourteen
or fifteen feet deep and two feet in diameter at the bore--dug them in
the sand--wells that were “quite circular, carried straight down, and the
work beautifully executed.”

Their tools were their hands and feet.  How did they throw sand out from
such a depth?  How could they stoop down and get it, with only two feet
of space to stoop in?  How did they keep that sand-pipe from caving in
on them?  I do not know.  Still, they did manage those seeming
impossibilities.  Swallowed the sand, may be.

Mr. Chauncy speaks highly of the patience and skill and alert
intelligence of the native huntsman when he is stalking the emu, the
kangaroo, and other game:

     “As he walks through the bush his step is light, elastic, and
     noiseless; every track on the earth catches his keen eye; a leaf, or
     fragment of a stick turned, or a blade of grass recently bent by the
     tread of one of the lower animals, instantly arrests his attention;
     in fact, nothing escapes his quick and powerful sight on the ground,
     in the trees, or in the distance, which may supply him with a meal
     or warn him of danger.  A little examination of the trunk of a tree
     which may be nearly covered with the scratches of opossums ascending
     and descending is sufficient to inform him whether one went up the
     night before without coming down again or not.”

Fennimore Cooper lost his chance.  He would have known how to value these
people.  He wouldn’t have traded the dullest of them for the brightest
Mohawk he ever invented.

All savages draw outline pictures upon bark; but the resemblances are not
close, and expression is usually lacking.  But the Australian
aboriginal’s pictures of animals were nicely accurate in form, attitude,
carriage; and he put spirit into them, and expression.  And his pictures
of white people and natives were pretty nearly as good as his pictures of
the other animals.  He dressed his whites in the fashion of their day,
both the ladies and the gentlemen.  As an untaught wielder of the pencil
it is not likely that he has his equal among savage people.

His place in art--as to drawing, not color-work--is well up, all things
considered.  His art is not to be classified with savage art at all, but
on a plane two degrees above it and one degree above the lowest plane of
civilized art.  To be exact, his place in art is between Botticelli and
De Maurier.  That is to say, he could not draw as well as De Maurier but
better than Boticelli.  In feeling, he resembles both; also in grouping
and in his preferences in the matter of subjects.  His “corrobboree” of
the Australian wilds reappears in De Maurier’s Belgravian ballrooms, with
clothes and the smirk of civilization added; Botticelli’s “Spring” is the
“corrobboree” further idealized, but with fewer clothes and more smirk.
And well enough as to intention, but--my word!

The aboriginal can make a fire by friction.  I have tried that.

All savages are able to stand a good deal of physical pain.  The
Australian aboriginal has this quality in a well-developed degree.  Do
not read the following instances if horrors are not pleasant to you.
They were recorded by the Rev. Henry N. Wolloston, of Melbourne, who had
been a surgeon before he became a clergyman:

     1.  “In the summer of 1852 I started on horseback from Albany, King
     George’s Sound, to visit at Cape Riche, accompanied by a native on
     foot.  We traveled about forty miles the first day, then camped by a
     water-hole for the night.  After cooking and eating our supper, I
     observed the native, who had said nothing to me on the subject,
     collect the hot embers of the fire together, and deliberately place
     his right foot in the glowing mass for a moment, then suddenly
     withdraw it, stamping on the ground and uttering a long-drawn
     guttural sound of mingled pain and satisfaction.  This operation he
     repeated several times.  On my inquiring the meaning of his strange
     conduct, he only said, ‘Me carpenter-make ‘em’ [‘I am mending my
     foot’), and then showed me his charred great toe, the nail of which
     had been torn off by a tea-tree stump, in which it had been caught
     during the journey, and the pain of which he had borne with stoical
     composure until the evening, when he had an opportunity of
     cauterizing the wound in the primitive manner above described.”

And he proceeded on the journey the next day, “as if nothing had
happened”--and walked thirty miles.  It was a strange idea, to keep a
surgeon and then do his own surgery.

     2.  “A native about twenty-five years of age once applied to me, as
     a doctor, to extract the wooden barb of a spear, which, during a
     fight in the bush some four months previously, had entered his
     chest, just missing the heart, and penetrated the viscera to a
     considerable depth.  The spear had been cut off, leaving the barb
     behind, which continued to force its way by muscular action
     gradually toward the back; and when I examined him I could feel a
     hard substance between the ribs below the left blade-bone.  I made a
     deep incision, and with a pair of forceps extracted the barb, which
     was made, as usual, of hard wood about four inches long and from
     half an inch to an inch thick.  It was very smooth, and partly
     digested, so to speak, by the maceration to which it had been
     exposed during its four months’ journey through the body.  The wound
     made by the spear had long since healed, leaving only a small
     cicatrix; and after the operation, which the native bore without
     flinching, he appeared to suffer no pain.  Indeed, judging from his
     good state of health, the presence of the foreign matter did not
     materially annoy him.  He was perfectly well in a few days.”

But No. 3 is my favorite.  Whenever I read it I seem to enjoy all that
the patient enjoyed--whatever it was:

     3.  “Once at King George’s Sound a native presented himself to me
     with one leg only, and requested me to supply him with a wooden leg.
     He had traveled in this maimed state about ninety-six miles, for
     this purpose.  I examined the limb, which had been severed just
     below the knee, and found that it had been charred by fire, while
     about two inches of the partially calcined bone protruded through
     the flesh.  I at once removed this with the saw; and having made as
     presentable a stump of it as I could, covered the amputated end of
     the bone with a surrounding of muscle, and kept the patient a few
     days under my care to allow the wound to heal.  On inquiring, the
     native told me that in a fight with other black-fellows a spear had
     struck his leg and penetrated the bone below the knee.  Finding it
     was serious, he had recourse to the following crude and barbarous
     operation, which it appears is not uncommon among these people in
     their native state.  He made a fire, and dug a hole in the earth
     only sufficiently large to admit his leg, and deep enough to allow
     the wounded part to be on a level with the surface of the ground.
     He then surrounded the limb with the live coals or charcoal, which
     was replenished until the leg was literally burnt off.  The
     cauterization thus applied completely checked the hemorrhage, and he
     was able in a day or two to hobble down to the Sound, with the aid
     of a long stout stick, although he was more than a week on the

But he was a fastidious native.  He soon discarded the wooden leg made
for him by the doctor, because “it had no feeling in it.”  It must have
had as much as the one he burnt off, I should think.

So much for the Aboriginals.  It is difficult for me to let them alone.
They are marvelously interesting creatures.  For a quarter of a century,
now, the several colonial governments have housed their remnants in
comfortable stations, and fed them well and taken good care of them in
every way.  If I had found this out while I was in Australia I could have
seen some of those people--but I didn’t.  I would walk thirty miles to
see a stuffed one.

Australia has a slang of its own.  This is a matter of course.  The vast
cattle and sheep industries, the strange aspects of the country, and the
strange native animals, brute and human, are matters which would
naturally breed a local slang.  I have notes of this slang somewhere, but
at the moment I can call to mind only a few of the words and phrases.
They are expressive ones.  The wide, sterile, unpeopled deserts have
created eloquent phrases like “No Man’s Land” and the “Never-never
Country.”  Also this felicitous form: “She lives in the Never-never
Country”--that is, she is an old maid.  And this one is not without
merit: “heifer-paddock”--young ladies’ seminary.  “Bail up” and “stick
up” equivalent of our highwayman-term to “hold up” a stage-coach or a
train.  “New-chum” is the equivalent of our “tenderfoot”--new arrival.

And then there is the immortal “My word!” We must import it.
“M-y word!”

In cold print it is the equivalent of our “Ger-rreat Caesar!” but spoken
with the proper Australian unction and fervency, it is worth six of it
for grace and charm and expressiveness.  Our form is rude and explosive;
it is not suited to the drawing-room or the heifer-paddock; but “M-y
word!” is, and is music to the ear, too, when the utterer knows how to
say it.  I saw it in print several times on the Pacific Ocean, but it
struck me coldly, it aroused no sympathy.  That was because it was the
dead corpse of the thing, the soul was not there--the tones were
lacking--the informing spirit--the deep feeling--the eloquence.  But the
first time I heard an Australian say it, it was positively thrilling.


Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We left Adelaide in due course, and went to Horsham, in the colony of
Victoria; a good deal of a journey, if I remember rightly, but pleasant.
Horsham sits in a plain which is as level as a floor--one of those famous
dead levels which Australian books describe so often; gray, bare, sombre,
melancholy, baked, cracked, in the tedious long drouths, but a
horizonless ocean of vivid green grass the day after a rain.  A country
town, peaceful, reposeful, inviting, full of snug homes, with garden
plots, and plenty of shrubbery and flowers.

“Horsham, October 17.
At the hotel.  The weather divine.  Across the way, in front of the
London Bank of Australia, is a very handsome cottonwood.  It is in
opulent leaf, and every leaf perfect.  The full power of the on-rushing
spring is upon it, and I imagine I can see it grow.  Alongside the bank
and a little way back in the garden there is a row of soaring
fountain-sprays of delicate feathery foliage quivering in the breeze, and
mottled with flashes of light that shift and play through the mass like
flash-lights through an opal--a most beautiful tree, and a striking
contrast to the cottonwood.  Every leaf of the cottonwood is distinctly
defined--it is a kodak for faithful, hard, unsentimental detail; the
other an impressionist picture, delicious to look upon, full of a subtle
and exquisite charm, but all details fused in a swoon of vague and soft

It turned out, upon inquiry, to be a pepper tree--an importation from
China.  It has a silky sheen, soft and rich.  I saw some that had long
red bunches of currant-like berries ambushed among the foliage.  At a
distance, in certain lights, they give the tree a pinkish tint and a new

There is an agricultural college eight miles from Horsham.  We were
driven out to it by its chief.  The conveyance was an open wagon; the
time, noonday; no wind; the sky without a cloud, the sunshine brilliant
--and the mercury at 92 deg. in the shade.  In some countries an indolent
unsheltered drive of an hour and a half under such conditions would have
been a sweltering and prostrating experience; but there was nothing of
that in this case.  It is a climate that is perfect.  There was no sense
of heat; indeed, there was no heat; the air was fine and pure and
exhilarating; if the drive had lasted half a day I think we should not
have felt any discomfort, or grown silent or droopy or tired.  Of course,
the secret of it was the exceeding dryness of the atmosphere.  In that
plain 112 deg. in the shade is without doubt no harder upon a man than is
88 or 90 deg. in New York.

The road lay through the middle of an empty space which seemed to me to
be a hundred yards wide between the fences.  I was not given the width in
yards, but only in chains and perches--and furlongs, I think.  I would
have given a good deal to know what the width was, but I did not pursue
the matter.  I think it is best to put up with information the way you
get it; and seem satisfied with it, and surprised at it, and grateful for
it, and say, “My word!” and never let on.  It was a wide space; I could
tell you how wide, in chains and perches and furlongs and things, but
that would not help you any.  Those things sound well, but they are
shadowy and indefinite, like troy weight and avoirdupois; nobody knows
what they mean.  When you buy a pound of a drug and the man asks you
which you want, troy or avoirdupois, it is best to say “Yes,” and shift
the subject.

They said that the wide space dates from the earliest sheep and
cattle-raising days.  People had to drive their stock long distances
--immense journeys--from worn-out places to new ones where were water
and fresh pasturage; and this wide space had to be left in grass and
unfenced, or the stock would have starved to death in the transit.

On the way we saw the usual birds--the beautiful little green parrots,
the magpie, and some others; and also the slender native bird of modest
plumage and the eternally-forgettable name--the bird that is the smartest
among birds, and can give a parrot 30 to 1 in the game and then talk him
to death.  I cannot recall that bird’s name.  I think it begins with M.
I wish it began with G. or something that a person can remember.

The magpie was out in great force, in the fields and on the fences.  He
is a handsome large creature, with snowy white decorations, and is a
singer; he has a murmurous rich note that is lovely.  He was once modest,
even diffident; but he lost all that when he found out that he was
Australia’s sole musical bird.  He has talent, and cuteness, and
impudence; and in his tame state he is a most satisfactory pet--never
coming when he is called, always coming when he isn’t, and studying
disobedience as an accomplishment.  He is not confined, but loafs all
over the house and grounds, like the laughing jackass.  I think he learns
to talk, I know he learns to sing tunes, and his friends say that he
knows how to steal without learning.  I was acquainted with a tame magpie
in Melbourne.  He had lived in a lady’s house several years, and believed
he owned it.  The lady had tamed him, and in return he had tamed the
lady.  He was always on deck when not wanted, always having his own way,
always tyrannizing over the dog, and always making the cat’s life a slow
sorrow and a martyrdom.  He knew a number of tunes and could sing them in
perfect time and tune; and would do it, too, at any time that silence was
wanted; and then encore himself and do it again; but if he was asked to
sing he would go out and take a walk.

It was long believed that fruit trees would not grow in that baked and
waterless plain around Horsham, but the agricultural college has
dissipated that idea.  Its ample nurseries were producing oranges,
apricots, lemons, almonds, peaches, cherries, 48 varieties of apples--in
fact, all manner of fruits, and in abundance.  The trees did not seem to
miss the water; they were in vigorous and flourishing condition.

Experiments are made with different soils, to see what things thrive best
in them and what climates are best for them.  A man who is ignorantly
trying to produce upon his farm things not suited to its soil and its
other conditions can make a journey to the college from anywhere in
Australia, and go back with a change of scheme which will make his farm
productive and profitable.

There were forty pupils there--a few of them farmers, relearning their
trade, the rest young men mainly from the cities--novices.  It seemed a
strange thing that an agricultural college should have an attraction for
city-bred youths, but such is the fact.  They are good stuff, too; they
are above the agricultural average of intelligence, and they come without
any inherited prejudices in favor of hoary ignorances made sacred by long

The students work all day in the fields, the nurseries, and the
shearing-sheds, learning and doing all the practical work of the
business--three days in a week.  On the other three they study and hear
lectures.  They are taught the beginnings of such sciences as bear upon
agriculture--like chemistry, for instance.  We saw the sophomore class in
sheep-shearing shear a dozen sheep.  They did it by hand, not with the
machine.  The sheep was seized and flung down on his side and held there;
and the students took off his coat with great celerity and adroitness.
Sometimes they clipped off a sample of the sheep, but that is customary
with shearers, and they don’t mind it; they don’t even mind it as much as
the sheep.  They dab a splotch of sheep-dip on the place and go right

The coat of wool was unbelievably thick.  Before the shearing the sheep
looked like the fat woman in the circus; after it he looked like a bench.
He was clipped to the skin; and smoothly and uniformly.  The fleece comes
from him all in one piece and has the spread of a blanket.

The college was flying the Australian flag--the gridiron of England
smuggled up in the northwest corner of a big red field that had the
random stars of the Southern Cross wandering around over it.

From Horsham we went to Stawell.  By rail.  Still in the colony of
Victoria.  Stawell is in the gold-mining country.  In the bank-safe was
half a peck of surface-gold--gold dust, grain gold; rich; pure in fact,
and pleasant to sift through one’s fingers; and would be pleasanter if it
would stick.  And there were a couple of gold bricks, very heavy to
handle, and worth $7,500 a piece.  They were from a very valuable quartz
mine; a lady owns two-thirds of it; she has an income of $75,000 a month
from it, and is able to keep house.

The Stawell region is not productive of gold only; it has great
vineyards, and produces exceptionally fine wines.  One of these
vineyards--the Great Western, owned by Mr. Irving--is regarded as a
model.  Its product has reputation abroad.  It yields a choice champagne
and a fine claret, and its hock took a prize in France two or three years
ago.  The champagne is kept in a maze of passages under ground, cut in
the rock, to secure it an even temperature during the three-year term
required to perfect it.  In those vaults I saw 120,000 bottles of
champagne.  The colony of Victoria has a population of 1,000,000, and
those people are said to drink 25,000,000 bottles of champagne per year.
The dryest community on the earth.  The government has lately reduced the
duty upon foreign wines.  That is one of the unkindnesses of Protection.
A man invests years of work and a vast sum of money in a worthy
enterprise, upon the faith of existing laws; then the law is changed, and
the man is robbed by his own government.

On the way back to Stawell we had a chance to see a group of boulders
called the Three Sisters--a curiosity oddly located; for it was upon high
ground, with the land sloping away from it, and no height above it from
whence the boulders could have rolled down.  Relics of an early
ice-drift, perhaps.  They are noble boulders.  One of them has the size
and smoothness and plump sphericity of a balloon of the biggest pattern.

The road led through a forest of great gum-trees, lean and scraggy and
sorrowful.  The road was cream-white--a clayey kind of earth, apparently.
Along it toiled occasional freight wagons, drawn by long double files of
oxen.  Those wagons were going a journey of two hundred miles, I was
told, and were running a successful opposition to the railway!  The
railways are owned and run by the government.

Those sad gums stood up out of the dry white clay, pictures of patience
and resignation.  It is a tree that can get along without water; still it
is fond of it--ravenously so.  It is a very intelligent tree and will
detect the presence of hidden water at a distance of fifty feet, and send
out slender long root-fibres to prospect it.  They will find it; and will
also get at it even through a cement wall six inches thick.  Once a
cement water-pipe under ground at Stawell began to gradually reduce its
output, and finally ceased altogether to deliver water.  Upon examining
into the matter it was found stopped up, wadded compactly with a mass of
root-fibres, delicate and hair-like.  How this stuff had gotten into the
pipe was a puzzle for some little time; finally it was found that it had
crept in through a crack that was almost invisible to the eye.  A gum
tree forty feet away had tapped the pipe and was drinking the water.


There is no such thing as “the Queen’s English.” The property has gone
into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Frequently, in Australia, one has cloud-effects of an unfamiliar sort.
We had this kind of scenery, finely staged, all the way to Ballarat.
Consequently we saw more sky than country on that journey.  At one time a
great stretch of the vault was densely flecked with wee ragged-edged
flakes of painfully white cloud-stuff, all of one shape and size, and
equidistant apart, with narrow cracks of adorable blue showing between.
The whole was suggestive of a hurricane of snow-flakes drifting across
the skies.  By and by these flakes fused themselves together in
interminable lines, with shady faint hollows between the lines, the long
satin-surfaced rollers following each other in simulated movement, and
enchantingly counterfeiting the majestic march of a flowing sea.  Later,
the sea solidified itself; then gradually broke up its mass into
innumerable lofty white pillars of about one size, and ranged these
across the firmament, in receding and fading perspective, in the
similitude of a stupendous colonnade--a mirage without a doubt flung from
the far Gates of the Hereafter.

The approaches to Ballarat were beautiful.  The features, great green
expanses of rolling pasture-land, bisected by eye-contenting hedges of
commingled new-gold and old-gold gorse--and a lovely lake.  One must put
in the pause, there, to fetch the reader up with a slight jolt, and keep
him from gliding by without noticing the lake.  One must notice it; for a
lovely lake is not as common a thing along the railways of Australia as
are the dry places.  Ninety-two in the shade again, but balmy and
comfortable, fresh and bracing.  A perfect climate.

Forty-five years ago the site now occupied by the City of Ballarat was a
sylvan solitude as quiet as Eden and as lovely.  Nobody had ever heard of
it.  On the 25th of August, 1851, the first great gold-strike made in
Australia was made here.  The wandering prospectors who made it scraped
up two pounds and a half of gold the first day-worth $600.  A few days
later the place was a hive--a town.  The news of the strike spread
everywhere in a sort of instantaneous way--spread like a flash to the
very ends of the earth.  A celebrity so prompt and so universal has
hardly been paralleled in history, perhaps.  It was as if the name
BALLARAT had suddenly been written on the sky, where all the world could
read it at once.

The smaller discoveries made in the colony of New South Wales three
months before had already started emigrants toward Australia; they had
been coming as a stream, but they came as a flood, now.  A hundred
thousand people poured into Melbourne from England and other countries in
a single month, and flocked away to the mines.  The crews of the ships
that brought them flocked with them; the clerks in the government offices
followed; so did the cooks, the maids, the coachmen, the butlers, and the
other domestic servants; so did the carpenters, the smiths, the plumbers,
the painters, the reporters, the editors, the lawyers, the clients, the
barkeepers, the bummers, the blacklegs, the thieves, the loose women, the
grocers, the butchers, the bakers, the doctors, the druggists, the
nurses; so did the police; even officials of high and hitherto envied
place threw up their positions and joined the procession.  This roaring
avalanche swept out of Melbourne and left it desolate, Sunday-like,
paralyzed, everything at a stand-still, the ships lying idle at anchor,
all signs of life departed, all sounds stilled save the rasping of the
cloud-shadows as they scraped across the vacant streets.

That grassy and leafy paradise at Ballarat was soon ripped open, and
lacerated and scarified and gutted, in the feverish search for its hidden
riches.  There is nothing like surface-mining to snatch the graces and
beauties and benignities out of a paradise, and make an odious and
repulsive spectacle of it.

What fortunes were made!  Immigrants got rich while the ship unloaded and
reloaded--and went back home for good in the same cabin they had come out
in!  Not all of them.  Only some.  I saw the others in Ballarat myself,
forty-five years later--what were left of them by time and death and the
disposition to rove.  They were young and gay, then; they are patriarchal
and grave, now; and they do not get excited any more.  They talk of the
Past.  They live in it.  Their life is a dream, a retrospection.

Ballarat was a great region for “nuggets.” No such nuggets were found in
California as Ballarat produced.  In fact, the Ballarat region has
yielded the largest ones known to history.  Two of them weighed about 180
pounds each, and together were worth $90,000.  They were offered to any
poor person who would shoulder them and carry them away.  Gold was so
plentiful that it made people liberal like that.

Ballarat was a swarming city of tents in the early days.  Everybody was
happy, for a time, and apparently prosperous.  Then came trouble.  The
government swooped down with a mining tax.  And in its worst form, too;
for it was not a tax upon what the miner had taken out, but upon what he
was going to take out--if he could find it.  It was a license tax--
to work his claim--and it had to be paid before he could begin digging.

Consider the situation.  No business is so uncertain as surface-mining.
Your claim may be good, and it may be worthless.  It may make you well
off in a month; and then again you may have to dig and slave for half a
year, at heavy expense, only to find out at last that the gold is not
there in cost-paying quantity, and that your time and your hard work have
been thrown away.  It might be wise policy to advance the miner a monthly
sum to encourage him to develop the country’s riches; but to tax him
monthly in advance instead--why, such a thing was never dreamed of in
America.  There, neither the claim itself nor its products, howsoever
rich or poor, were taxed.

The Ballarat miners protested, petitioned, complained--it was of no use;
the government held its ground, and went on collecting the tax.  And not
by pleasant methods, but by ways which must have been very galling to
free people.  The rumblings of a coming storm began to be audible.

By and by there was a result; and I think it may be called the finest
thing in Australasian history.  It was a revolution--small in size; but
great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for a
principle, a stand against injustice and oppression.  It was the Barons
and John, over again; it was Hampden and Ship-Money; it was Concord and
Lexington; small beginnings, all of them, but all of them great in
political results, all of them epoch-making.  It is another instance of a
victory won by a lost battle.  It adds an honorable page to history; the
people know it and are proud of it.  They keep green the memory of the
men who fell at the Eureka Stockade, and Peter Lalor has his monument.

The surface-soil of Ballarat was full of gold.  This soil the miners
ripped and tore and trenched and harried and disembowled, and made it
yield up its immense treasure.  Then they went down into the earth with
deep shafts, seeking the gravelly beds of ancient rivers and brooks--and
found them.  They followed the courses of these streams, and gutted them,
sending the gravel up in buckets to the upper world, and washing out of
it its enormous deposits of gold.  The next biggest of the two monster
nuggets mentioned above came from an old river-channel 180 feet under

Finally the quartz lodes were attacked.  That is not poor-man’s mining.
Quartz-mining and milling require capital, and staying-power, and
patience.  Big companies were formed, and for several decades, now, the
lodes have been successfully worked, and have yielded great wealth.
Since the gold discovery in 1853 the Ballarat mines--taking the three
kinds of mining together--have contributed to the world’s pocket
something over three hundred millions of dollars, which is to say that
this nearly invisible little spot on the earth’s surface has yielded
about one-fourth as much gold in forty-four years as all California has
yielded in forty-seven.  The Californian aggregate, from 1848 to 1895,
inclusive, as reported by the Statistician of the United States Mint, is

A citizen told me a curious thing about those mines.  With all my
experience of mining I had never heard of anything of the sort before.
The main gold reef runs about north and south--of course--for that is the
custom of a rich gold reef.  At Ballarat its course is between walls of
slate.  Now the citizen told me that throughout a stretch of twelve miles
along the reef, the reef is crossed at intervals by a straight black
streak of a carbonaceous nature--a streak in the slate; a streak no
thicker than a pencil--and that wherever it crosses the reef you will
certainly find gold at the junction.  It is called the Indicator.  Thirty
feet on each side of the Indicator (and down in the slate, of course) is
a still finer streak--a streak as fine as a pencil mark; and indeed, that
is its name Pencil Mark.  Whenever you find the Pencil Mark you know that
thirty feet from it is the Indicator; you measure the distance, excavate,
find the Indicator, trace it straight to the reef, and sink your shaft;
your fortune is made, for certain.  If that is true, it is curious.  And
it is curious anyway.

Ballarat is a town of only 40,000 population; and yet, since it is in
Australia, it has every essential of an advanced and enlightened big
city.  This is pure matter of course.  I must stop dwelling upon these
things.  It is hard to keep from dwelling upon them, though; for it is
difficult to get away from the surprise of it.  I will let the other
details go, this time, but I must allow myself to mention that this
little town has a park of 326 acres; a flower garden of 83 acres, with an
elaborate and expensive fernery in it and some costly and unusually fine
statuary; and an artificial lake covering 600 acres, equipped with a
fleet of 200 shells, small sail boats, and little steam yachts.

At this point I strike out some other praiseful things which I was
tempted to add.  I do not strike them out because they were not true or
not well said, but because I find them better said by another man--and a
man more competent to testify, too, because he belongs on the ground, and
knows.  I clip them from a chatty speech delivered some years ago by Mr.
William Little, who was at that time mayor of Ballarat:

     “The language of our citizens, in this as in other parts of
     Australasia, is mostly healthy Anglo-Saxon, free from Americanisms,
     vulgarisms, and the conflicting dialects of our Fatherland, and is
     pure enough to suit a Trench or a Latham.  Our youth, aided by
     climatic influence, are in point of physique and comeliness
     unsurpassed in the Sunny South.  Our young men are well ordered; and
     our maidens, ‘not stepping over the bounds of modesty,’ are as fair
     as Psyches, dispensing smiles as charming as November flowers.”

The closing clause has the seeming of a rather frosty compliment, but
that is apparent only, not real.  November is summer-time there.

His compliment to the local purity of the language is warranted.  It is
quite free from impurities; this is acknowledged far and wide.  As in the
German Empire all cultivated people claim to speak Hanovarian German, so
in Australasia all cultivated people claim to speak Ballarat English.
Even in England this cult has made considerable progress, and now that it
is favored by the two great Universities, the time is not far away when
Ballarat English will come into general use among the educated classes of
Great Britain at large.  Its great merit is, that it is shorter than
ordinary English--that is, it is more compressed.  At first you have some
difficulty in understanding it when it is spoken as rapidly as the orator
whom I have quoted speaks it.  An illustration will show what I mean.
When he called and I handed him a chair, he bowed and said:


Presently, when we were lighting our cigars, he held a match to mine and
I said:

“Thank you,” and he said:


Then I saw.  ‘Q’ is the end of the phrase “I thank you” ‘Km’  is the end
of the phrase “You are welcome.”  Mr. Little puts no emphasis upon either
of them, but delivers them so reduced that they hardly have a sound.  All
Ballarat English is like that, and the effect is very soft and pleasant;
it takes all the hardness and harshness out of our tongue and gives to it
a delicate whispery and vanishing cadence which charms the ear like the
faint rustling of the forest leaves.


“Classic.”  A book which people praise and don’t read.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

On the rail again--bound for Bendigo.  From diary:

October 23.  Got up at 6, left at 7.30; soon reached Castlemaine, one of
the rich gold-fields of the early days; waited several hours for a train;
left at 3.40 and reached Bendigo in an hour.  For comrade, a Catholic
priest who was better than I was, but didn’t seem to know it--a man full
of graces of the heart, the mind, and the spirit; a lovable man.  He will
rise.  He will be a bishop some day.  Later an Archbishop.  Later a
Cardinal.  Finally an Archangel, I hope.  And then he will recall me when
I say, “Do you remember that trip we made from Ballarat to Bendigo, when
you were nothing but Father C., and I was nothing to what I am now?”
 It has actually taken nine hours to come from Ballarat to Bendigo.  We
could have saved seven by walking.  However, there was no hurry.

Bendigo was another of the rich strikes of the early days.  It does a
great quartz-mining business, now--that business which, more than any
other that I know of, teaches patience, and requires grit and a steady
nerve.  The town is full of towering chimney-stacks, and hoisting-works,
and looks like a petroleum-city.  Speaking of patience; for example, one
of the local companies went steadily on with its deep borings and
searchings without show of gold or a penny of reward for eleven years
--then struck it, and became suddenly rich.  The eleven years’ work had
cost $55,000, and the first gold found was a grain the size of a pin’s
head.  It is kept under locks and bars, as a precious thing, and is
reverently shown to the visitor, “hats off.”  When I saw it I had not
heard its history.

“It is gold.  Examine it--take the glass.  Now how much should you say it
is worth?”

I said:

“I should say about two cents; or in your English dialect, four

“Well, it cost L11,000.”

“Oh, come!”

“Yes, it did.  Ballarat and Bendigo have produced the three monumental
nuggets of the world, and this one is the monumentalest one of the three.
The other two represent L9,000 a piece; this one a couple of thousand
more.  It is small, and not much to look at, but it is entitled to (its)
name--Adam.  It is the Adam-nugget of this mine, and its children run up
into the millions.”

Speaking of patience again, another of the mines was worked, under heavy
expenses, during 17 years before pay was struck, and still another one
compelled a wait of 21 years before pay was struck; then, in both
instances, the outlay was all back in a year or two, with compound

Bendigo has turned out even more gold than Ballarat.  The two together
have produced $650,000,000 worth--which is half as much as California

It was through Mr. Blank--not to go into particulars about his name--it
was mainly through Mr. Blank that my stay in Bendigo was made memorably
pleasant and interesting.  He explained this to me himself.  He told me
that it was through his influence that the city government invited me to
the town-hall to hear complimentary speeches and respond to them; that it
was through his influence that I had been taken on a long pleasure-drive
through the city and shown its notable features; that it was through his
influence that I was invited to visit the great mines; that it was
through his influence that I was taken to the hospital and allowed to see
the convalescent Chinaman who had been attacked at midnight in his lonely
hut eight weeks before by robbers, and stabbed forty-six times and
scalped besides; that it was through his influence that when I arrived
this awful spectacle of piecings and patchings and bandagings was sitting
up in his cot letting on to read one of my books; that it was through his
influence that efforts had been made to get the Catholic Archbishop of
Bendigo to invite me to dinner; that it was through his influence that
efforts had been made to get the Anglican Bishop of Bendigo to ask me to
supper; that it was through his influence that the dean of the editorial
fraternity had driven me through the woodsy outlying country and shown
me, from the summit of Lone Tree Hill, the mightiest and loveliest
expanse of forest-clad mountain and valley that I had seen in all
Australia.  And when he asked me what had most impressed me in Bendigo
and I answered and said it was the taste and the public spirit which had
adorned the streets with 105 miles of shade trees, he said that it was
through his influence that it had been done.

But I am not representing him quite correctly.  He did not say it was
through his influence that all these things had happened--for that would
have been coarse; he merely conveyed that idea; conveyed it so subtly
that I only caught it fleetingly, as one catches vagrant faint breaths of
perfume when one traverses the meadows in summer; conveyed it without
offense and without any suggestion of egoism or ostentation--but conveyed
it, nevertheless.

He was an Irishman; an educated gentleman; grave, and kindly, and
courteous; a bachelor, and about forty-five or possibly fifty years old,
apparently.  He called upon me at the hotel, and it was there that we had
this talk.  He made me like him, and did it without trouble.  This was
partly through his winning and gentle ways, but mainly through the
amazing familiarity with my books which his conversation showed.  He was
down to date with them, too; and if he had made them the study of his
life he could hardly have been better posted as to their contents than he
was.  He made me better satisfied with myself than I had ever been
before.  It was plain that he had a deep fondness for humor, yet he never
laughed; he never even chuckled; in fact, humor could not win to outward
expression on his face at all.  No, he was always grave--tenderly,
pensively grave; but he made me laugh, all along; and this was very
trying--and very pleasant at the same time--for it was at quotations from
my own books.

When he was going, he turned and said:

“You don’t remember me?”

“I?  Why, no.  Have we met before?”

“No, it was a matter of correspondence.”


“Yes, many years ago.  Twelve or fifteen.  Oh, longer than that.  But of
course you----”  A musing pause.  Then he said:

“Do you remember Corrigan Castle?”

“N-no, I believe I don’t.  I don’t seem to recall the name.”

He waited a moment, pondering, with the door-knob in his hand, then
started out; but turned back and said that I had once been interested in
Corrigan Castle, and asked me if I would go with him to his quarters in
the evening and take a hot Scotch and talk it over.  I was a teetotaler
and liked relaxation, so I said I would.

We drove from the lecture-hall together about half-past ten.  He had a
most comfortably and tastefully furnished parlor, with good pictures on
the walls, Indian and Japanese ornaments on the mantel, and here and
there, and books everywhere-largely mine; which made me proud.  The light
was brilliant, the easy chairs were deep-cushioned, the arrangements for
brewing and smoking were all there.  We brewed and lit up; then he passed
a sheet of note-paper to me and said--

“Do you remember that?”

“Oh, yes, indeed!”

The paper was of a sumptuous quality.  At the top was a twisted and
interlaced monogram printed from steel dies in gold and blue and red, in
the ornate English fashion of long years ago; and under it, in neat
gothic capitals was this--printed in blue:

                          THE MARK TWAIN CLUB
                            CORRIGAN CASTLE

“My!” said I, “how did you come by this?”

“I was President of it.”

“No!--you don’t mean it.”

“It is true.  I was its first President.  I was re-elected annually as
long as its meetings were held in my castle--Corrigan--which was five

Then he showed me an album with twenty-three photographs of me in it.
Five of them were of old dates, the others of various later crops; the
list closed with a picture taken by Falk in Sydney a month before.

“You sent us the first five; the rest were bought.”

This was paradise!  We ran late, and talked, talked, talked--subject, the
Mark Twain Club of Corrigan Castle, Ireland.

My first knowledge of that Club dates away back; all of twenty years, I
should say.  It came to me in the form of a courteous letter, written on
the note-paper which I have described, and signed “By order of the
President; C. PEMBROKE, Secretary.”  It conveyed the fact that the Club
had been created in my honor, and added the hope that this token of
appreciation of my work would meet with my approval.

I answered, with thanks; and did what I could to keep my gratification
from over-exposure.

It was then that the long correspondence began.  A letter came back, by
order of the President, furnishing me the names of the members-thirty-two
in number.  With it came a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws, in
pamphlet form, and artistically printed.  The initiation fee and dues
were in their proper place; also, schedule of meetings--monthly--for
essays upon works of mine, followed by discussions; quarterly for
business and a supper, without essays, but with after-supper speeches;
also there was a list of the officers: President, Vice-President,
Secretary, Treasurer, etc.  The letter was brief, but it was pleasant
reading, for it told me about the strong interest which the membership
took in their new venture, etc., etc.  It also asked me for a photograph
--a special one.  I went down and sat for it and sent it--with a letter,
of course.

Presently came the badge of the Club, and very dainty and pretty it was;
and very artistic.  It was a frog peeping out from a graceful tangle of
grass-sprays and rushes, and was done in enamels on a gold basis, and had
a gold pin back of it.  After I had petted it, and played with it, and
caressed it, and enjoyed it a couple of hours, the light happened to fall
upon it at a new angle, and revealed to me a cunning new detail; with the
light just right, certain delicate shadings of the grass-blades and
rush-stems wove themselves into a monogram--mine!  You can see that that
jewel was a work of art.  And when you come to consider the intrinsic
value of it, you must concede that it is not every literary club that
could afford a badge like that.  It was easily worth $75, in the opinion
of Messrs. Marcus and Ward of New York.  They said they could not
duplicate it for that and make a profit.  By this time the Club was well
under way; and from that time forth its secretary kept my off-hours well
supplied with business.  He reported the Club’s discussions of my books
with laborious fullness, and did his work with great spirit and ability.
As a, rule, he synopsized; but when a speech was especially brilliant, he
short-handed it and gave me the best passages from it, written out.
There were five speakers whom he particularly favored in that way:
Palmer, Forbes, Naylor, Norris, and Calder.  Palmer and Forbes could
never get through a speech without attacking each other, and each in his
own way was formidably effective--Palmer in virile and eloquent abuse,
Forbes in courtly and elegant but scalding satire.  I could always tell
which of them was talking without looking for his name.  Naylor had a
polished style and a happy knack at felicitous metaphor; Norris’s style
was wholly without ornament, but enviably compact, lucid, and strong.
But after all, Calder was the gem.  He never spoke when sober, he spoke
continuously when he wasn’t.  And certainly they were the drunkest
speeches that a man ever uttered.  They were full of good things, but so
incredibly mixed up and wandering that it made one’s head swim to follow
him.  They were not intended to be funny, but they were,--funny for the
very gravity which the speaker put into his flowing miracles of
incongruity.  In the course of five years I came to know the styles of
the five orators as well as I knew the style of any speaker in my own
club at home.

These reports came every month.  They were written on foolscap, 600 words
to the page, and usually about twenty-five pages in a report--a good
15,000 words, I should say,--a solid week’s work.  The reports were
absorbingly entertaining, long as they were; but, unfortunately for me,
they did not come alone.  They were always accompanied by a lot of
questions about passages and purposes in my books, which the Club wanted
answered; and additionally accompanied every quarter by the Treasurer’s
report, and the Auditor’s report, and the Committee’s report, and the
President’s review, and my opinion of these was always desired; also
suggestions for the good of the Club, if any occurred to me.

By and by I came to dread those things; and this dread grew and grew and
grew; grew until I got to anticipating them with a cold horror.  For I
was an indolent man, and not fond of letter-writing, and whenever these
things came I had to put everything by and sit down--for my own peace of
mind--and dig and dig until I got something out of my head which would
answer for a reply.  I got along fairly well the first year; but for the
succeeding four years the Mark Twain Club of Corrigan Castle was my
curse, my nightmare, the grief and misery of my life.  And I got so, so
sick of sitting for photographs.  I sat every year for five years, trying
to satisfy that insatiable organization.  Then at last I rose in revolt.
I could endure my oppressions no longer.  I pulled my fortitude together
and tore off my chains, and was a free man again, and happy.  From that
day I burned the secretary’s fat envelopes the moment they arrived, and
by and by they ceased to come.

Well, in the sociable frankness of that night in Bendigo I brought this
all out in full confession.  Then Mr. Blank came out in the same frank
way, and with a preliminary word of gentle apology said that he was the
Mark Twain Club, and the only member it had ever had!

Why, it was matter for anger, but I didn’t feel any.  He said he never
had to work for a living, and that by the time he was thirty life had
become a bore and a weariness to him.  He had no interests left; they had
paled and perished, one by one, and left him desolate.  He had begun to
think of suicide.  Then all of a sudden he thought of that happy idea of
starting an imaginary club, and went straightway to work at it, with
enthusiasm and love.  He was charmed with it; it gave him something to
do.  It elaborated itself on his hands;--it became twenty times more
complex and formidable than was his first rude draft of it.  Every new
addition to his original plan which cropped up in his mind gave him a
fresh interest and a new pleasure.  He designed the Club badge himself,
and worked over it, altering and improving it, a number of days and
nights; then sent to London and had it made.  It was the only one that
was made.  It was made for me; the “rest of the Club” went without.

He invented the thirty-two members and their names.  He invented the five
favorite speakers and their five separate styles.  He invented their
speeches, and reported them himself.  He would have kept that Club going
until now, if I hadn’t deserted, he said.  He said he worked like a slave
over those reports; each of them cost him from a week to a fortnight’s
work, and the work gave him pleasure and kept him alive and willing to be
alive.  It was a bitter blow to him when the Club died.

Finally, there wasn’t any Corrigan Castle.  He had invented that, too.

It was wonderful--the whole thing; and altogether the most ingenious and
laborious and cheerful and painstaking practical joke I have ever heard
of.  And I liked it; liked to hear him tell about it; yet I have been a
hater of practical jokes from as long back as I can remember.  Finally he

“Do you remember a note from Melbourne fourteen or fifteen years ago,
telling about your lecture tour in Australia, and your death and burial
in Melbourne?--a note from Henry Bascomb, of Bascomb Hall, Upper
Holywell, Hants.”


“I wrote it.”


“Yes, I did it.  I don’t know why.  I just took the notion, and carried
it out without stopping to think.  It was wrong.  It could have done
harm.  I was always sorry about it afterward.  You must forgive me.  I
was Mr. Bascom’s guest on his yacht, on his voyage around the world.  He
often spoke of you, and of the pleasant times you had had together in his
home; and the notion took me, there in Melbourne, and I imitated his
hand, and wrote the letter.”

So the mystery was cleared up, after so many, many years.


There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one! keep
from telling their happinesses to the unhappy.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

After visits to Maryborough and some other Australian towns, we presently
took passage for New Zealand.  If it would not look too much like showing
off, I would tell the reader where New Zealand is; for he is as I was; he
thinks he knows.  And he thinks he knows where Hertzegovina is; and how
to pronounce pariah; and how to use the word unique without exposing
himself to the derision of the dictionary.  But in truth, he knows none
of these things.  There are but four or five people in the world who
possess this knowledge, and these make their living out of it.  They
travel from place to place, visiting literary assemblages, geographical
societies, and seats of learning, and springing sudden bets that these
people do not know these things.  Since all people think they know them,
they are an easy prey to these adventurers.  Or rather they were an easy
prey until the law interfered, three months ago, and a New York court
decided that this kind of gambling is illegal, “because it traverses
Article IV, Section 9, of the Constitution of the United States, which
forbids betting on a sure thing.”  This decision was rendered by the full
Bench of the New York Supreme Court, after a test sprung upon the court
by counsel for the prosecution, which showed that none of the nine Judges
was able to answer any of the four questions.

All people think that New Zealand is close to Australia or Asia, or
somewhere, and that you cross to it on a bridge.  But that is not so.  It
is not close to anything, but lies by itself, out in the water.  It is
nearest to Australia, but still not near.  The gap between is very wide.
It will be a surprise to the reader, as it was to me, to learn that the
distance from Australia to New Zealand is really twelve or thirteen
hundred miles, and that there is no bridge.  I learned this from
Professor X., of Yale University, whom I met in the steamer on the great
lakes when I was crossing the continent to sail across the Pacific.  I
asked him about New Zealand, in order to make conversation.  I supposed
he would generalize a little without compromising himself, and then turn
the subject to something he was acquainted with, and my object would then
be attained; the ice would be broken, and we could go smoothly on, and
get acquainted, and have a pleasant time.  But, to my surprise, he was
not only not embarrassed by my question, but seemed to welcome it, and to
take a distinct interest in it.  He began to talk--fluently, confidently,
comfortably; and as he talked, my admiration grew and grew; for as the
subject developed under his hands, I saw that he not only knew where New
Zealand was, but that he was minutely familiar with every detail of its
history, politics, religions, and commerce, its fauna, flora, geology,
products, and climatic peculiarities.  When he was done, I was lost in
wonder and admiration, and said to myself, he knows everything; in the
domain of human knowledge he is king.

I wanted to see him do more miracles; and so, just for the pleasure of
hearing him answer, I asked him about Hertzegovina, and pariah, and
unique.  But he began to generalize then, and show distress.  I saw that
with New Zealand gone, he was a Samson shorn of his locks; he was as
other men.  This was a curious and interesting mystery, and I was frank
with him, and asked him to explain it.

He tried to avoid it at first; but then laughed and said that after all,
the matter was not worth concealment, so he would let me into the secret.
In substance, this is his story:

“Last autumn I was at work one morning at home, when a card came up--the
card of a stranger.  Under the name was printed a line which showed that
this visitor was Professor of Theological Engineering in Wellington
University, New Zealand.  I was troubled--troubled, I mean, by the
shortness of the notice.  College etiquette required that he be at once
invited to dinner by some member of the Faculty--invited to dine on that
day--not, put off till a subsequent day.  I did not quite know what to
do.  College etiquette requires, in the case of a foreign guest, that the
dinner-talk shall begin with complimentary references to his country, its
great men, its services to civilization, its seats of learning, and
things like that; and of course the host is responsible, and must either
begin this talk himself or see that it is done by some one else.  I was
in great difficulty; and the more I searched my memory, the more my
trouble grew.  I found that I knew nothing about New Zealand.  I thought
I knew where it was, and that was all.  I had an impression that it was
close to Australia, or Asia, or somewhere, and that one went over to it
on a bridge.  This might turn out to be incorrect; and even if correct,
it would not furnish matter enough for the purpose at the dinner, and I
should expose my College to shame before my guest; he would see that I, a
member of the Faculty of the first University in America, was wholly
ignorant of his country, and he would go away and tell this, and laugh at
it.  The thought of it made my face burn.

“I sent for my wife and told her how I was situated, and asked for her
help, and she thought of a thing which I might have thought of myself, if
I had not been excited and worried.  She said she would go and tell the
visitor that I was out but would be in in a few minutes; and she would
talk, and keep him busy while I got out the back way and hurried over and
make Professor Lawson give the dinner.  For Lawson knew everything, and
could meet the guest in a creditable way and save the reputation of the
University.  I ran to Lawson, but was disappointed.  He did not know
anything about New Zealand.  He said that, as far as his recollection
went it was close to Australia, or Asia, or somewhere, and you go over to
it on a bridge; but that was all he knew.  It was too bad.  Lawson was a
perfect encyclopedia of abstruse learning; but now in this hour of our
need, it turned out that he did not know any useful thing.

“We consulted.  He saw that the reputation of the University was in very
real peril, and he walked the floor in anxiety, talking, and trying to
think out some way to meet the difficulty.  Presently he decided that we
must try the rest of the Faculty--some of them might know about New
Zealand.  So we went to the telephone and called up the professor of
astronomy and asked him, and he said that all he knew was, that it was
close to Australia, or Asia, or somewhere, and you went over to it on----

“We shut him off and called up the professor of biology, and he said that
all he knew was that it was close to Aus----.

“We shut him off, and sat down, worried and disheartened, to see if we
could think up some other scheme.  We shortly hit upon one which promised
well, and this one we adopted, and set its machinery going at once.  It
was this.  Lawson must give the dinner.  The Faculty must be notified by
telephone to prepare.  We must all get to work diligently, and at the end
of eight hours and a half we must come to dinner acquainted with New
Zealand; at least well enough informed to appear without discredit before
this native.  To seem properly intelligent we should have to know about
New Zealand’s population, and politics, and form of government, and
commerce, and taxes, and products, and ancient history, and modern
history, and varieties of religion, and nature of the laws, and their
codification, and amount of revenue, and whence drawn, and methods of
collection, and percentage of loss, and character of climate, and--well,
a lot of things like that; we must suck the maps and cyclopedias dry.
And while we posted up in this way, the Faculty’s wives must flock over,
one after the other, in a studiedly casual way, and help my wife keep the
New Zealander quiet, and not let him get out and come interfering with
our studies.  The scheme worked admirably; but it stopped business,
stopped it entirely.

“It is in the official log-book of Yale, to be read and wondered at by
future generations--the account of the Great Blank Day--the memorable
Blank Day--the day wherein the wheels of culture were stopped, a Sunday
silence prevailed all about, and the whole University stood still while
the Faculty read-up and qualified itself to sit at meat, without shame,
in the presence of the Professor of Theological Engineering from New

“When we assembled at the dinner we were miserably tired and worn--but we
were posted.  Yes, it is fair to claim that.  In fact, erudition is a
pale name for it.  New Zealand was the only subject; and it was just
beautiful to hear us ripple it out.  And with such an air of
unembarrassed ease, and unostentatious familiarity with detail, and
trained and seasoned mastery of the subject-and oh, the grace and fluency
of it!

“Well, finally somebody happened to notice that the guest was looking
dazed, and wasn’t saying anything.  So they stirred him up, of course.
Then that man came out with a good, honest, eloquent compliment that made
the Faculty blush.  He said he was not worthy to sit in the company of
men like these; that he had been silent from admiration; that he had been
silent from another cause also--silent from shame--silent from ignorance!
‘For,’ said he, ‘I, who have lived eighteen years in New Zealand and have
served five in a professorship, and ought to know much about that
country, perceive, now, that I know almost nothing about it.  I say it
with shame, that I have learned fifty times, yes, a hundred times more
about New Zealand in these two hours at this table than I ever knew
before in all the eighteen years put together.  I was silent because I
could not help myself.  What I knew about taxes, and policies, and laws,
and revenue, and products, and history, and all that multitude of things,
was but general, and ordinary, and vague-unscientific, in a word--and it
would have been insanity to expose it here to the searching glare of your
amazingly accurate and all-comprehensive knowledge of those matters,
gentlemen.  I beg you to let me sit silent--as becomes me.  But do not
change the subject; I can at least follow you, in this one; whereas if
you change to one which shall call out the full strength of your mighty
erudition, I shall be as one lost.  If you know all this about a remote
little inconsequent patch like New Zealand, ah, what wouldn’t you know
about any other Subject!’”


Man is the Only Animal that Blushes.  Or needs to.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what
there is of it.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


November 1--noon.   A fine day, a brilliant sun.  Warm in the sun, cold
in the shade--an icy breeze blowing out of the south.  A solemn long
swell rolling up northward.  It comes from the South Pole, with nothing
in the way to obstruct its march and tone its energy down.  I have read
somewhere that an acute observer among the early explorers--Cook? or
Tasman?--accepted this majestic swell as trustworthy circumstantial
evidence that no important land lay to the southward, and so did not
waste time on a useless quest in that direction, but changed his course
and went searching elsewhere.

Afternoon.   Passing between Tasmania (formerly Van Diemen’s Land) and
neighboring islands--islands whence the poor exiled Tasmanian savages
used to gaze at their lost homeland and cry; and die of broken hearts.
How glad I am that all these native races are dead and gone, or nearly
so.  The work was mercifully swift and horrible in some portions of
Australia.  As far as Tasmania is concerned, the extermination was
complete: not a native is left.  It was a strife of years, and decades of
years.  The Whites and the Blacks hunted each other, ambushed each other,
butchered each other.  The Blacks were not numerous.  But they were wary,
alert, cunning, and they knew their country well.  They lasted a long
time, few as they were, and inflicted much slaughter upon the Whites.

The Government wanted to save the Blacks from ultimate extermination, if
possible.  One of its schemes was to capture them and coop them up, on a
neighboring island, under guard.  Bodies of Whites volunteered for the
hunt, for the pay was good--L5 for each Black captured and delivered, but
the success achieved was not very satisfactory.  The Black was naked, and
his body was greased.  It was hard to get a grip on him that would hold.
The Whites moved about in armed bodies, and surprised little families of
natives, and did make captures; but it was suspected that in these
surprises half a dozen natives were killed to one caught--and that was
not what the Government desired.

Another scheme was to drive the natives into a corner of the island and
fence them in by a cordon of men placed in line across the country; but
the natives managed to slip through, constantly, and continue their
murders and arsons.

The governor warned these unlettered savages by printed proclamation that
they must stay in the desolate region officially appointed for them!  The
proclamation was a dead letter; the savages could not read it.  Afterward
a picture-proclamation was issued.  It was painted up on boards, and
these were nailed to trees in the forest.  Herewith is a photographic
reproduction of this fashion-plate.  Substantially it means:

1.  The Governor wishes the Whites and the Blacks to love each other;

2.  He loves his black subjects;

3.  Blacks who kill Whites will be hanged;

4.  Whites who kill Blacks will be hanged.

Upon its several schemes the Government spent L30,000 and employed the
labors and ingenuities of several thousand Whites for a long time with
failure as a result.  Then, at last, a quarter of a century after the
beginning of the troubles between the two races, the right man was found.
No, he found himself.  This was George Augustus Robinson, called in
history “The Conciliator.”  He was not educated, and not conspicuous in
any way.  He was a working bricklayer, in Hobart Town.  But he must have
been an amazing personality; a man worth traveling far to see.  It may be
his counterpart appears in history, but I do not know where to look for

He set himself this incredible task: to go out into the wilderness, the
jungle, and the mountain-retreats where the hunted and implacable savages
were hidden, and appear among them unarmed, speak the language of love
and of kindness to them, and persuade them to forsake their homes and the
wild free life that was so dear to them, and go with him and surrender to
the hated Whites and live under their watch and ward, and upon their
charity the rest of their lives!  On its face it was the dream of a

In the beginning, his moral-suasion project was sarcastically dubbed the
sugar plum speculation.  If the scheme was striking, and new to the
world’s experience, the situation was not less so.  It was this.  The
White population numbered 40,000 in 1831; the Black population numbered
three hundred.  Not 300 warriors, but 300 men, women, and children.  The
Whites were armed with guns, the Blacks with clubs and spears.  The
Whites had fought the Blacks for a quarter of a century, and had tried
every thinkable way to capture, kill, or subdue them; and could not do
it.  If white men of any race could have done it, these would have
accomplished it.  But every scheme had failed, the splendid 300, the
matchless 300 were unconquered, and manifestly unconquerable.  They would
not yield, they would listen to no terms, they would fight to the bitter
end.  Yet they had no poet to keep up their heart, and sing the marvel of
their magnificent patriotism.

At the end of five-and-twenty years of hard fighting, the surviving 300
naked patriots were still defiant, still persistent, still efficacious
with their rude weapons, and the Gove7rnor and the 40,000 knew not which
way to turn, nor what to do.

Then the Bricklayer--that wonderful man--proposed to go out into the
wilderness, with no weapon but his tongue, and no protection but his
honest eye and his humane heart; and track those embittered savages to
their lairs in the gloomy forests and among the mountain snows.
Naturally, he was considered a crank.  But he was not quite that.  In
fact, he was a good way short of that.  He was building upon his long and
intimate knowledge of the native character.  The deriders of his project
were right--from their standpoint--for they believed the natives to be
mere wild beasts; and Robinson was right, from his standpoint--for he
believed the natives to be human beings.  The truth did really lie
between the two.  The event proved that Robinson’s judgment was soundest;
but about once a month for four years the event came near to giving the
verdict to the deriders, for about that frequently Robinson barely
escaped falling under the native spears.

But history shows that he had a thinking head, and was not a mere wild
sentimentalist.  For instance, he wanted the war parties called in
before he started unarmed upon his mission of peace.  He wanted the best
chance of success--not a half-chance.  And he was very willing to have
help; and so, high rewards were advertised, for any who would go unarmed
with him.  This opportunity was declined.  Robinson persuaded some tamed
natives of both sexes to go with him--a strong evidence of his persuasive
powers, for those natives well knew that their destruction would be
almost certain.  As it turned out, they had to face death over and over

Robinson and his little party had a difficult undertaking upon their
hands.  They could not ride off, horseback, comfortably into the woods
and call Leonidas and his 300 together for a talk and a treaty the
following day; for the wild men were not in a body; they were scattered,
immense distances apart, over regions so desolate that even the birds
could not make a living with the chances offered--scattered in groups of
twenty, a dozen, half a dozen, even in groups of three.  And the mission
must go on foot.  Mr. Bonwick furnishes a description of those horrible
regions, whereby it will be seen that even fugitive gangs of the hardiest
and choicest human devils the world has seen--the convicts set apart to
people the “Hell of Macquarrie Harbor Station”--were never able, but
once, to survive the horrors of a march through them, but starving and
struggling, and fainting and failing, ate each other, and died:

“Onward, still onward, was the order of the indomitable Robinson.  No one
ignorant of the western country of Tasmania can form a correct idea of
the traveling difficulties.  While I was resident in Hobart Town, the
Governor, Sir John Franklin, and his lady, undertook the western journey
to Macquarrie Harbor, and suffered terribly.  One man who assisted to
carry her ladyship through the swamps, gave me his bitter experience of
its miseries.  Several were disabled for life.  No wonder that but one
party, escaping from Macquarrie Harbor convict settlement, arrived at the
civilized region in safety.  Men perished in the scrub, were lost in
snow, or were devoured by their companions.  This was the territory
traversed by Mr. Robinson and his Black guides.  All honor to his
intrepidity, and their wonderful fidelity!  When they had, in the depth
of winter, to cross deep and rapid rivers, pass among mountains six
thousand feet high, pierce dangerous thickets, and find food in a country
forsaken even by birds, we can realize their hardships.

“After a frightful journey by Cradle Mountain, and over the lofty plateau
of Middlesex Plains, the travelers experienced unwonted misery, and the
circumstances called forth the best qualities of the noble little band.
Mr. Robinson wrote afterwards to Mr. Secretary Burnett some details of
this passage of horrors.  In that letter, of Oct 2, 1834, he states that
his Natives were very reluctant to go over the dreadful mountain passes;
that ‘for seven successive days we continued traveling over one solid
body of snow;’  that ‘the snows were of incredible depth;’  that ‘the
Natives were frequently up to their middle in snow.’  But still the
ill-clad, ill-fed, diseased, and way-worn men and women were sustained by
the cheerful voice of their unconquerable friend, and responded most
nobly to his call.”

Mr. Bonwick says that Robinson’s friendly capture of the Big River tribe
remember, it was a whole tribe--“was by far the grandest feature of the
war, and the crowning glory of his efforts.” The word “war” was not well
chosen, and is misleading.  There was war still, but only the Blacks were
conducting it--the Whites were holding off until Robinson could give his
scheme a fair trial.  I think that we are to understand that the friendly
capture of that tribe was by far the most important thing, the highest in
value, that happened during the whole thirty years of truceless
hostilities; that it was a decisive thing, a peaceful Waterloo, the
surrender of the native Napoleon and his dreaded forces, the happy ending
of the long strife.  For “that tribe was the terror of the colony,” its
chief “the Black Douglas of Bush households.”

Robinson knew that these formidable people were lurking somewhere, in
some remote corner of the hideous regions just described, and he and his
unarmed little party started on a tedious and perilous hunt for them.  At
last, “there, under the shadows of the Frenchman’s Cap, whose grim cone
rose five thousand feet in the uninhabited westward interior,” they were
found.  It was a serious moment.  Robinson himself believed, for once,
that his mission, successful until now, was to end here in failure, and
that his own death-hour had struck.

The redoubtable chief stood in menacing attitude, with his eighteen-foot
spear poised; his warriors stood massed at his back, armed for battle,
their faces eloquent with their long-cherished loathing for white men.
“They rattled their spears and shouted their war-cry.”  Their women were
back of them, laden with supplies of weapons, and keeping their 150 eager
dogs quiet until the chief should give the signal to fall on.

“I think we shall soon be in the resurrection,” whispered a member of
Robinson’s little party.

“I think we shall,” answered Robinson; then plucked up heart and began
his persuasions--in the tribe’s own dialect, which surprised and pleased
the chief.  Presently there was an interruption by the chief:

“Who are you?”

“We are gentlemen.”

“Where are your guns?”

“We have none.”

The warrior was astonished.

“Where your little guns?” (pistols).

“We have none.”

A few minutes passed--in by-play--suspense--discussion among the
tribesmen--Robinson’s tamed squaws ventured to cross the line and begin
persuasions upon the wild squaws.  Then the chief stepped back “to confer
with the old women--the real arbiters of savage war.”  Mr. Bonwick

     “As the fallen gladiator in the arena looks for the signal of life
     or death from the president of the amphitheatre, so waited our
     friends in anxious suspense while the conference continued.  In a
     few minutes, before a word was uttered, the women of the tribe threw
     up their arms three times.  This was the inviolable sign of peace!
     Down fell the spears.  Forward, with a heavy sigh of relief, and
     upward glance of gratitude, came the friends of peace.  The
     impulsive natives rushed forth with tears and cries, as each saw in
     the other’s rank a loved one of the past.

     “It was a jubilee of joy.  A festival followed.  And, while tears
     flowed at the recital of woe, a corrobory of pleasant laughter
     closed the eventful day.”

In four years, without the spilling of a drop of blood, Robinson brought
them all in, willing captives, and delivered them to the white governor,
and ended the war which powder and bullets, and thousands of men to use
them, had prosecuted without result since 1804.

Marsyas charming the wild beasts with his music--that is fable; but the
miracle wrought by Robinson is fact.  It is history--and authentic; and
surely, there is nothing greater, nothing more reverence-compelling in
the history of any country, ancient or modern.

And in memory of the greatest man Australasia ever developed or ever will
develop, there is a stately monument to George Augustus Robinson, the
Conciliator in--no, it is to another man, I forget his name.

However, Robertson’s own generation honored him, and in manifesting it
honored themselves.  The Government gave him a money-reward and a
thousand acres of land; and the people held mass-meetings and praised him
and emphasized their praise with a large subscription of money.

A good dramatic situation; but the curtain fell on another:

     “When this desperate tribe was thus captured, there was much
     surprise to find that the L30,000 of a little earlier day had been
     spent, and the whole population of the colony placed under arms, in
     contention with an opposing force of sixteen men with wooden spears!
     Yet such was the fact.  The celebrated Big River tribe, that had
     been raised by European fears to a host, consisted of sixteen men,
     nine women, and one child.  With a knowledge of the mischief done by
     these few, their wonderful marches and their widespread aggressions,
     their enemies cannot deny to them the attributes of courage and
     military tact.  A Wallace might harass a large army with a small and
     determined band; but the contending parties were at least equal in
     arms and civilization.  The Zulus who fought us in Africa, the
     Maories in New Zealand, the Arabs in the Soudan, were far better
     provided with weapons, more advanced in the science of war, and
     considerably more numerous, than the naked Tasmanians.  Governor
     Arthur rightly termed them a noble race.”

These were indeed wonderful people, the natives.  They ought not to have
been wasted.  They should have been crossed with the Whites.  It would
have improved the Whites and done the Natives no harm.

But the Natives were wasted, poor heroic wild creatures.  They were
gathered together in little settlements on neighboring islands, and
paternally cared for by the Government, and instructed in religion, and
deprived of tobacco, because the superintendent of the Sunday-school was
not a smoker, and so considered smoking immoral.

The Natives were not used to clothes, and houses, and regular hours, and
church, and school, and Sunday-school, and work, and the other misplaced
persecutions of civilization, and they pined for their lost home and
their wild free life.  Too late they repented that they had traded that
heaven for this hell.  They sat homesick on their alien crags, and day by
day gazed out through their tears over the sea with unappeasable longing
toward the hazy bulk which was the specter of what had been their
paradise; one by one their hearts broke and they died.

In a very few years nothing but a scant remnant remained alive.  A
handful lingered along into age.  In 1864 the last man died, in 1876 the
last woman died, and the Spartans of Australasia were extinct.

The Whites always mean well when they take human fish out of the ocean
and try to make them dry and warm and happy and comfortable in a chicken
coop; but the kindest-hearted white man can always be depended on to
prove himself inadequate when he deals with savages.  He cannot turn the
situation around and imagine how he would like it to have a well-meaning
savage transfer him from his house and his church and his clothes and his
books and his choice food to a hideous wilderness of sand and rocks and
snow, and ice and sleet and storm and blistering sun, with no shelter, no
bed, no covering for his and his family’s naked bodies, and nothing to
eat but snakes and grubs and ‘offal.  This would be a hell to him; and if
he had any wisdom he would know that his own civilization is a hell to
the savage--but he hasn’t any, and has never had any; and for lack of it
he shut up those poor natives in the unimaginable perdition of his
civilization, committing his crime with the very best intentions, and saw
those poor creatures waste away under his tortures; and gazed at it,
vaguely troubled and sorrowful, and wondered what could be the matter
with them.  One is almost betrayed into respecting those criminals, they
were so sincerely kind, and tender, and humane; and well-meaning.

They didn’t know why those exiled savages faded away, and they did their
honest best to reason it out.  And one man, in a like case in New South
Wales, did reason it out and arrive at a solution:

     “It is from the wrath of God, which is revealed from heaven against
     cold ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”

That settles it.


Let us be thankful for the fools.  But for them the rest of us could not
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The aphorism does really seem true: “Given the Circumstances, the Man
will appear.”  But the man musn’t appear ahead of time, or it will spoil
everything.  In Robinson’s case the Moment had been approaching for a
quarter of a century--and meantime the future Conciliator was tranquilly
laying bricks in Hobart.  When all other means had failed, the Moment had
arrived, and the Bricklayer put down his trowel and came forward.
Earlier he would have been jeered back to his trowel again.  It reminds
me of a tale that was told me by a Kentuckian on the train when we were
crossing Montana.  He said the tale was current in Louisville years ago.
He thought it had been in print, but could not remember.  At any rate, in
substance it was this, as nearly as I can call it back to mind.

A few years before the outbreak of the Civil War it began to appear that
Memphis, Tennessee, was going to be a great tobacco entrepot--the wise
could see the signs of it.  At that time Memphis had a wharf boat, of
course.  There was a paved sloping wharf, for the accommodation of
freight, but the steamers landed on the outside of the wharfboat, and all
loading and unloading was done across it, between steamer and shore.  A
number of wharfboat clerks were needed, and part of the time, every day,
they were very busy, and part of the time tediously idle.  They were
boiling over with youth and spirits, and they had to make the intervals
of idleness endurable in some way; and as a rule, they did it by
contriving practical jokes and playing them upon each other.

The favorite butt for the jokes was Ed Jackson, because he played none
himself, and was easy game for other people’s--for he always believed
whatever was told him.

One day he told the others his scheme for his holiday.  He was not going
fishing or hunting this time--no, he had thought out a better plan.  Out
of his $40 a month he had saved enough for his purpose, in an economical
way, and he was going to have a look at New York.

It was a great and surprising idea.  It meant travel--immense travel--in
those days it meant seeing the world; it was the equivalent of a voyage
around it in ours.  At first the other youths thought his mind was
affected, but when they found that he was in earnest, the next thing to
be thought of was, what sort of opportunity this venture might afford for
a practical joke.

The young men studied over the matter, then held a secret consultation
and made a plan.  The idea was, that one of the conspirators should offer
Ed a letter of introduction to Commodore Vanderbilt, and trick him into
delivering it.  It would be easy to do this.  But what would Ed do when
he got back to Memphis?  That was a serious matter.  He was good-hearted,
and had always taken the jokes patiently; but they had been jokes which
did not humiliate him, did not bring him to shame; whereas, this would be
a cruel one in that way, and to play it was to meddle with fire; for with
all his good nature, Ed was a Southerner--and the English of that was,
that when he came back he would kill as many of the conspirators as he
could before falling himself.  However, the chances must be taken--it
wouldn’t do to waste such a joke as that.

So the letter was prepared with great care and elaboration.  It was
signed Alfred Fairchild, and was written in an easy and friendly spirit.
It stated that the bearer was the bosom friend of the writer’s son, and
was of good parts and sterling character, and it begged the Commodore to
be kind to the young stranger for the writer’s sake.  It went on to say,
“You may have forgotten me, in this long stretch of time, but you will
easily call me back out of your boyhood memories when I remind you of how
we robbed old Stevenson’s orchard that night; and how, while he was
chasing down the road after us, we cut across the field and doubled back
and sold his own apples to his own cook for a hat-full of doughnuts; and
the time that we----” and so forth and so on, bringing in names of
imaginary comrades, and detailing all sorts of wild and absurd and, of
course, wholly imaginary schoolboy pranks and adventures, but putting
them into lively and telling shape.

With all gravity Ed was asked if he would like to have a letter to
Commodore Vanderbilt, the great millionaire.  It was expected that the
question would astonish Ed, and it did.

“What?  Do you know that extraordinary man?”

“No; but my father does.  They were schoolboys together.  And if you
like, I’ll write and ask father.  I know he’ll be glad to give it to you
for my sake.”

Ed could not find words capable of expressing his gratitude and delight.
The three days passed, and the letter was put into his bands.  He started
on his trip, still pouring out his thanks while he shook good-bye all
around.  And when he was out of sight his comrades let fly their laughter
in a storm of happy satisfaction--and then quieted down, and were less
happy, less satisfied.  For the old doubts as to the wisdom of this
deception began to intrude again.

Arrived in New York, Ed found his way to Commodore Vanderbilt’s business
quarters, and was ushered into a large anteroom, where a score of people
were patiently awaiting their turn for a two-minute interview with the
millionaire in his private office.  A servant asked for Ed’s card, and
got the letter instead.  Ed was sent for a moment later, and found Mr.
Vanderbilt alone, with the letter--open--in his hand.

“Pray sit down, Mr. --er--”


“Ah--sit down, Mr. Jackson.  By the opening sentences it seems to be a
letter from an old friend.  Allow me--I will run my eye through it.  He
says he says--why, who is it?” He turned the sheet and found the
signature.  “Alfred Fairchild--hm--Fairchild--I don’t recall the name.
But that is nothing--a thousand names have gone from me.  He says--he
says-hm-hmoh, dear, but it’s good!  Oh, it’s rare!  I don’t quite
remember it, but I seem to it’ll all come back to me presently.  He says
--he says--hm--hm-oh, but that was a game!  Oh, spl-endid!  How it
carries me back!  It’s all dim, of course it’s a long time ago--and the
names--some of the names are wavery and indistinct--but sho’, I know it
happened--I can feel it! and lord, how it warms my heart, and brings
back my lost youth!  Well, well, well, I’ve got to come back into this
work-a-day world now--business presses and people are waiting--I’ll keep
the rest for bed to-night, and live my youth over again.  And you’ll
thank Fairchild for me when you see him--I used to call him Alf, I think
--and you’ll give him my gratitude for--what this letter has done for the
tired spirit of a hard-worked man; and tell him there isn’t anything that
I can do for him or any friend of his that I won’t do.  And as for you,
my lad, you are my guest; you can’t stop at any hotel in New York.  Sit.
where you are a little while, till I get through with these people, then
we’ll go home.  I’ll take care of you, my boy--make yourself easy as to

Ed stayed a week, and had an immense time--and never suspected that the
Commodore’s shrewd eye was on him, and that he was daily being weighed
and measured and analyzed and tried and tested.

Yes, he had an immense time; and never wrote home, but saved it all up to
tell when he should get back.  Twice, with proper modesty and decency, he
proposed to end his visit, but the Commodore said, “No--wait; leave it to
me; I’ll tell you when to go.”

In those days the Commodore was making some of those vast combinations of
his--consolidations of warring odds and ends of railroads into harmonious
systems, and concentrations of floating and rudderless commerce in
effective centers--and among other things his farseeing eye had detected
the convergence of that huge tobacco-commerce, already spoken of, toward
Memphis, and he had resolved to set his grasp upon it and make it his

The week came to an end.  Then the Commodore said:

“Now you can start home.  But first we will have some more talk about
that tobacco matter.  I know you now.  I know your abilities as well as
you know them yourself--perhaps better.  You understand that tobacco
matter; you understand that I am going to take possession of it, and you
also understand the plans which I have matured for doing it.  What I want
is a man who knows my mind, and is qualified to represent me in Memphis,
and be in supreme command of that important business--and I appoint you.”


“Yes.  Your salary will be high--of course-for you are representing me.
Later you will earn increases of it, and will get them.  You will need a
small army of assistants; choose them yourself--and carefully.  Take no
man for friendship’s sake; but, all things being equal, take the man you
know, take your friend, in preference to the stranger.”  After some
further talk under this head, the Commodore said:

“Good-bye, my boy, and thank Alf for me, for sending you to me.”

When Ed reached Memphis he rushed down to the wharf in a fever to tell
his great news and thank the boys over and over again for thinking to
give him the letter to Mr. Vanderbilt.  It happened to be one of those
idle times.  Blazing hot noonday, and no sign of life on the wharf.  But
as Ed threaded his way among the freight piles, he saw a white linen
figure stretched in slumber upon a pile of grain-sacks under an awning,
and said to himself, “That’s one of them,” and hastened his step; next,
he said, “It’s Charley--it’s Fairchild good”; and the next moment laid an
affectionate hand on the sleeper’s shoulder.  The eyes opened lazily,
took one glance, the face blanched, the form whirled itself from the
sack-pile, and in an instant Ed was alone and Fairchild was flying for
the wharf-boat like the wind!

Ed was dazed, stupefied.  Was Fairchild crazy?  What could be the meaning
of this?  He started slow and dreamily down toward the wharf-boat; turned
the corner of a freight-pile and came suddenly upon two of the boys.
They were lightly laughing over some pleasant matter; they heard his
step, and glanced up just as he discovered them; the laugh died abruptly;
and before Ed could speak they were off, and sailing over barrels and
bales like hunted deer.  Again Ed was paralyzed.  Had the boys all gone
mad?  What could be the explanation of this extraordinary conduct?  And
so, dreaming along, he reached the wharf-boat, and stepped aboard--
but silence there, and vacancy.  He crossed the deck, turned the corner
to go down the outer guard, heard a fervent--

“O lord!” and saw a white linen form plunge overboard.

The youth came up coughing and strangling, and cried out--

“Go ‘way from here!  You let me alone.  I didn’t do it, I swear I

“Didn’t do what?”

“Give you the----”

“Never mind what you didn’t do--come out of that!  What makes you all act
so?  What have I done?”

“You?  Why you haven’t done anything.  But----”

“Well, then, what have you got against me?  What do you all treat me so

“I--er--but haven’t you got anything against us?”

“Of course not.  What put such a thing into your head?”

“Honor bright--you haven’t?

“Honor bright.”

“Swear it!”

“I don’t know what in the world you mean, but I swear it, anyway.”

“And you’ll shake hands with me?”

“Goodness knows I’ll be glad to!  Why, I’m just starving to shake hands
with somebody!”

The swimmer muttered, “Hang him, he smelt a rat and never delivered the
letter!--but it’s all right, I’m not going to fetch up the subject.”  And
he crawled out and came dripping and draining to shake hands.  First one
and then another of the conspirators showed up cautiously--armed to the
teeth--took in the amicable situation, then ventured warily forward and
joined the love-feast.

And to Ed’s eager inquiry as to what made them act as they had been
acting, they answered evasively, and pretended that they had put it up as
a joke, to see what he would do.  It was the best explanation they could
invent at such short notice.  And each said to himself, “He never
delivered that letter, and the joke is on us, if he only knew it or we
were dull enough to come out and tell.”

Then, of course, they wanted to know all about the trip; and he said--

“Come right up on the boiler deck and order the drinks--it’s my treat.
I’m going to tell you all about it.  And to-night it’s my treat again
--and we’ll have oysters and a time!”

When the drinks were brought and cigars lighted, Ed said:

“Well, when I delivered the letter to Mr. Vanderbilt----”

“Great Scott!”

“Gracious, how you scared me.  What’s the matter?”

“Oh--er--nothing.  Nothing--it was a tack in the chair-seat,” said one.

“But you all said it.  However, no matter.  When I delivered the

“Did you deliver it?”  And they looked at each other as people might who
thought that maybe they were dreaming.

Then they settled to listening; and as the story deepened and its marvels
grew, the amazement of it made them dumb, and the interest of it took
their breath.  They hardly uttered a whisper during two hours, but sat
like petrifactions and drank in the immortal romance.  At last the tale
was ended, and Ed said--

“And it’s all owing to you, boys, and you’ll never find me ungrateful
--bless your hearts, the best friends a fellow ever had!  You’ll all have
places; I want every one of you.  I know you--I know you ‘by the back,’
as the gamblers say.  You’re jokers, and all that, but you’re sterling,
with the hallmark on.  And Charley Fairchild, you shall be my first
assistant and right hand, because of your first-class ability, and
because you got me the letter, and for your father’s sake who wrote it
for me, and to please Mr. Vanderbilt, who said it would!  And here’s to
that great man--drink hearty!”

Yes, when the Moment comes, the Man appears--even if he is a thousand
miles away, and has to be discovered by a practical joke.


When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in
his private heart no man much respects himself.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Necessarily, the human interest is the first interest in the log-book of
any country.  The annals of Tasmania, in whose shadow we were sailing,
are lurid with that feature.  Tasmania was a convict-dump, in old times;
this has been indicated in the account of the Conciliator, where
reference is made to vain attempts of desperate convicts to win to
permanent freedom, after escaping from Macquarrie Harbor and the “Gates
of Hell.” In the early days Tasmania had a great population of convicts,
of both sexes and all ages, and a bitter hard life they had.  In one spot
there was a settlement of juvenile convicts--children--who had been sent
thither from their home and their friends on the other side of the globe
to expiate their “crimes.”

In due course our ship entered the estuary called the Derwent, at whose
head stands Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.  The Derwent’s shores
furnish scenery of an interesting sort.  The historian Laurie, whose
book, “The Story of Australasia,” is just out, invoices its features with
considerable truth and intemperance: “The marvelous picturesqueness of
every point of view, combined with the clear balmy atmosphere and the
transparency of the ocean depths, must have delighted and deeply
impressed” the early explorers.  “If the rock-bound coasts, sullen,
defiant, and lowering, seemed uninviting, these were occasionally broken
into charmingly alluring coves floored with golden sand, clad with
evergreen shrubbery, and adorned with every variety of indigenous wattle,
she-oak, wild flower, and fern, from the delicately graceful
‘maiden-hair’ to the palm-like ‘old man’; while the majestic gum-tree,
clean and smooth as the mast of ‘some tall ammiral’ pierces the clear air
to the height of 230 feet or more.”

It looked so to me.  “Coasting along Tasman’s Peninsula, what a shock of
pleasant wonder must have struck the early mariner on suddenly sighting
Cape Pillar, with its cluster of black-ribbed basaltic columns rising to
a height of 900 feet, the hydra head wreathed in a turban of fleecy
cloud, the base lashed by jealous waves spouting angry fountains of

That is well enough, but I did not suppose those snags were 900 feet
high.  Still they were a very fine show.  They stood boldly out by
themselves, and made a fascinatingly odd spectacle.  But there was
nothing about their appearance to suggest the heads of a hydra.  They
looked like a row of lofty slabs with their upper ends tapered to the
shape of a carving-knife point; in fact, the early voyager, ignorant of
their great height, might have mistaken them for a rusty old rank of
piles that had sagged this way and that out of the perpendicular.

The Peninsula is lofty, rocky, and densely clothed with scrub, or brush,
or both.  It is joined to the main by a low neck.  At this junction was
formerly a convict station called Port Arthur--a place hard to escape
from.  Behind it was the wilderness of scrub, in which a fugitive would
soon starve; in front was the narrow neck, with a cordon of chained dogs
across it, and a line of lanterns, and a fence of living guards, armed.
We saw the place as we swept by--that is, we had a glimpse of what we
were told was the entrance to Port Arthur.  The glimpse was worth
something, as a remembrancer, but that was all.

The voyage thence up the Derwent Frith displays a grand succession of
fairy visions, in its entire length elsewhere unequaled.  In gliding over
the deep blue sea studded with lovely islets luxuriant to the water’s
edge, one is at a loss which scene to choose for contemplation and to
admire most.  When the Huon and Bruni have been passed, there seems no
possible chance of a rival; but suddenly Mount Wellington, massive and
noble like his brother Etna, literally heaves in sight, sternly guarded
on either hand by Mounts Nelson and Rumney; presently we arrive at
Sullivan’s Cove--Hobart!

It is an attractive town.  It sits on low hills that slope to the harbor
--a harbor that looks like a river, and is as smooth as one.  Its still
surface is pictured with dainty reflections of boats and grassy banks and
luxuriant foliage.  Back of the town rise highlands that are clothed in
woodland loveliness, and over the way is that noble mountain, Wellington,
a stately bulk, a most majestic pile.  How beautiful is the whole region,
for form, and grouping, and opulence, and freshness of foliage, and
variety of color, and grace and shapeliness of the hills, the capes, the
promontories; and then, the splendor of the sunlight, the dim rich
distances, the charm of the water-glimpses!  And it was in this paradise
that the yellow-liveried convicts were landed, and the Corps-bandits
quartered, and the wanton slaughter of the kangaroo-chasing black
innocents consummated on that autumn day in May, in the brutish old time.
It was all out of keeping with the place, a sort of bringing of heaven
and hell together.

The remembrance of this paradise reminds me that it was at Hobart that we
struck the head of the procession of Junior Englands.  We were to
encounter other sections of it in New Zealand, presently, and others
later in Natal.  Wherever the exiled Englishman can find in his new home
resemblances to his old one, he is touched to the marrow of his being;
the love that is in his heart inspires his imagination, and these allied
forces transfigure those resemblances into authentic duplicates of the
revered originals.  It is beautiful, the feeling which works this
enchantment, and it compels one’s homage; compels it, and also compels
one’s assent--compels it always--even when, as happens sometimes, one
does not see the resemblances as clearly as does the exile who is
pointing them out.

The resemblances do exist, it is quite true; and often they cunningly
approximate the originals--but after all, in the matter of certain
physical patent rights there is only one England.  Now that I have
sampled the globe, I am not in doubt.  There is a beauty of Switzerland,
and it is repeated in the glaciers and snowy ranges of many parts of the
earth; there is a beauty of the fiord, and it is repeated in New Zealand
and Alaska; there is a beauty of Hawaii, and it is repeated in ten
thousand islands of the Southern seas; there is a beauty of the prairie
and the plain, and it is repeated here and there in the earth; each of
these is worshipful, each is perfect in its way, yet holds no monopoly of
its beauty; but that beauty which is England is alone--it has no

It is made up of very simple details--just grass, and trees, and shrubs,
and roads, and hedges, and gardens, and houses, and vines, and churches,
and castles, and here and there a ruin--and over it all a mellow
dream-haze of history.  But its beauty is incomparable, and all its own.

Hobart has a peculiarity--it is the neatest town that the sun shines on;
and I incline to believe that it is also the cleanest.  However that may
be, its supremacy in neatness is not to be questioned.  There cannot be
another town in the world that has no shabby exteriors; no rickety gates
and fences, no neglected houses crumbling to ruin, no crazy and unsightly
sheds, no weed-grown front-yards of the poor, no back-yards littered with
tin cans and old boots and empty bottles, no rubbish in the gutters, no
clutter on the sidewalks, no outer-borders fraying out into dirty lanes
and tin-patched huts.  No, in Hobart all the aspects are tidy, and all a
comfort to the eye; the modestest cottage looks combed and brushed, and
has its vines, its flowers, its neat fence, its neat gate, its comely cat
asleep on the window ledge.

We had a glimpse of the museum, by courtesy of the American gentleman who
is curator of it.  It has samples of half-a-dozen different kinds of
marsupials--[A marsupial is a plantigrade vertebrate whose specialty is
its pocket.  In some countries it is extinct, in the others it is rare.
The first American marsupials were Stephen Girard, Mr. Astor and the
opossum; the principal marsupials of the Southern Hemisphere are Mr.
Rhodes, and the kangaroo.  I, myself, am the latest marsupial.  Also, I
might boast that I have the largest pocket of them all.  But there is
nothing in that.]--one, the “Tasmanian devil;” that is, I think he was
one of them.  And there was a fish with lungs.  When the water dries up
it can live in the mud.  Most curious of all was a parrot that kills
sheep.  On one great sheep-run this bird killed a thousand sheep in a
whole year.  He doesn’t want the whole sheep, but only the kidney-fat.
This restricted taste makes him an expensive bird to support.  To get the
fat he drives his beak in and rips it out; the wound is mortal.  This
parrot furnishes a notable example of evolution brought about by changed
conditions.  When the sheep culture was introduced, it presently brought
famine to the parrot by exterminating a kind of grub which had always
thitherto been the parrot’s diet.  The miseries of hunger made the bird
willing to eat raw flesh, since it could get no other food, and it began
to pick remnants of meat from sheep skins hung out on the fences to dry.
It soon came to prefer sheep meat to any other food, and by and by it
came to prefer the kidney-fat to any other detail of the sheep.  The
parrot’s bill was not well shaped for digging out the fat, but Nature
fixed that matter; she altered the bill’s shape, and now the parrot can
dig out kidney-fat better than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or
anybody else, for that matter--even an Admiral.

And there was another curiosity--quite a stunning one, I thought:
Arrow-heads and knives just like those which Primeval Man made out of
flint, and thought he had done such a wonderful thing--yes, and has been
humored and coddled in that superstition by this age of admiring
scientists until there is probably no living with him in the other world
by now.  Yet here is his finest and nicest work exactly duplicated in our
day; and by people who have never heard of him or his works: by
aborigines who lived in the islands of these seas, within our time.  And
they not only duplicated those works of art but did it in the brittlest
and most treacherous of substances--glass: made them out of old brandy
bottles flung out of the British camps; millions of tons of them.  It is
time for Primeval Man to make a little less noise, now.  He has had his
day.  He is not what he used to be.  We had a drive through a bloomy and
odorous fairy-land, to the Refuge for the Indigent--a spacious and
comfortable home, with hospitals, etc., for both sexes.  There was a
crowd there, of the oldest people I have ever seen.  It was like being
suddenly set down in a new world--a weird world where Youth has never
been, a world sacred to Age, and bowed forms, and wrinkles.  Out of the
359 persons present, 223 were ex-convicts, and could have told stirring
tales, no doubt, if they had been minded to talk; 42 of the 359 were past
80, and several were close upon 90; the average age at death there is 76
years. As for me, I have no use for that place; it is too healthy.
Seventy is old enough--after that, there is too much risk.  Youth and
gaiety might vanish, any day--and then, what is left?  Death in life;
death without its privileges, death without its benefits.  There were 185
women in that Refuge, and 81 of them were ex-convicts.

The steamer disappointed us.  Instead of making a long visit at Hobart,
as usual, she made a short one.  So we got but a glimpse of Tasmania, and
then moved on.


Nature makes the locust with an appetite for crops; man would have made
him with an appetite for sand.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We spent part of an afternoon and a night at sea, and reached Bluff, in
New Zealand, early in the morning.  Bluff is at the bottom of the middle
island, and is away down south, nearly fort y-seven degrees below the
equator.  It lies as far south of the line as Quebec lies north of it,
and the climates of the two should be alike; but for some reason or other
it has not been so arranged.  Quebec is hot in the summer and cold in the
winter, but Bluff’s climate is less intense; the cold weather is not very
cold, the hot weather is not very hot; and the difference between the
hottest month and the coldest is but 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

In New Zealand the rabbit plague began at Bluff.  The man who introduced
the rabbit there was banqueted and lauded; but they would hang him, now,
if they could get him. In England the natural enemy of the rabbit is
detested and persecuted; in the Bluff region the natural enemy of the
rabbit is honored, and his person is sacred.  The rabbit’s natural enemy
in England is the poacher, in Bluff its natural enemy is the stoat, the
weasel, the ferret, the cat, and the mongoose.  In England any person
below the Heir who is caught with a rabbit in his possession must
satisfactorily explain how it got there, or he will suffer fine and
imprisonment, together with extinction of his peerage; in Bluff, the cat
found with a rabbit in its possession does not have to explain--everybody
looks the other way; the person caught noticing would suffer fine and
imprisonment, with extinction of peerage.  This is a sure way to
undermine the moral fabric of a cat.  Thirty years from now there will
not be a moral cat in New Zealand.  Some think there is none there now.
In England the poacher is watched, tracked, hunted--he dare not show his
face; in Bluff the cat, the weasel, the stoat, and the mongoose go up and
down, whither they will, unmolested.  By a law of the legislature, posted
where all may read, it is decreed that any person found in possession of
one of these creatures (dead) must satisfactorily explain the
circumstances or pay a fine of not less than L5, nor more than L20.  The
revenue from this source is not large.  Persons who want to pay a hundred
dollars for a dead cat are getting rarer and rarer every day.  This is
bad, for the revenue was to go to the endowment of a University.  All
governments are more or less short-sighted: in England they fine the
poacher, whereas he ought to be banished to New Zealand.  New Zealand
would pay his way, and give him wages.

It was from Bluff that we ought to have cut across to the west coast and
visited the New Zealand Switzerland, a land of superb scenery, made up of
snowy grandeurs, anal mighty glaciers, and beautiful lakes; and over
there, also, are the wonderful rivals of the Norwegian and Alaskan
fiords; and for neighbor, a waterfall of 1,900 feet; but we were obliged
to postpone the trip to some later and indefinite time.

November 6.  A lovely summer morning; brilliant blue sky.  A few miles
out from Invercargill, passed through vast level green expanses snowed
over with sheep.  Fine to see.  The green, deep and very vivid sometimes;
at other times less so, but delicate and lovely.  A passenger reminds me
that I am in “the England of the Far South.”

Dunedin, same date.  The town justifies Michael Davitt’s praises.
The people are Scotch.  They stopped here on their way from home to
heaven-thinking they had arrived.  The population is stated at 40,000, by
Malcolm Ross, journalist; stated by an M. P. at 60,000.  A journalist
cannot lie.

To the residence of Dr. Hockin.  He has a fine collection of books
relating to New Zealand; and his house is a museum of Maori art and
antiquities.  He has pictures and prints in color of many native chiefs
of the past--some of them of note in history.  There is nothing of the
savage in the faces; nothing could be finer than these men’s features,
nothing more intellectual than these faces, nothing more masculine,
nothing nobler than their aspect.  The aboriginals of Australia and
Tasmania looked the savage, but these chiefs looked like Roman
patricians.  The tattooing in these portraits ought to suggest the
savage, of course, but it does not.  The designs are so flowing and
graceful and beautiful that they are a most satisfactory decoration.  It
takes but fifteen minutes to get reconciled to the tattooing, and but
fifteen more to perceive that it is just the thing.  After that, the
undecorated European face is unpleasant and ignoble.

Dr. Hockin gave us a ghastly curiosity--a lignified caterpillar with a
plant growing out of the back of its neck--a plant with a slender stem 4
inches high.  It happened not by accident, but by design--Nature’s
design.  This caterpillar was in the act of loyally carrying out a law
inflicted upon him by Nature--a law purposely inflicted upon him to get
him into trouble--a law which was a trap; in pursuance of this law he
made the proper preparations for turning himself into a night-moth; that
is to say, he dug a little trench, a little grave, and then stretched
himself out in it on his stomach and partially buried himself--then
Nature was ready for him.  She blew the spores of a peculiar fungus
through the air with a purpose.  Some of them fell into a crease in the
back of the caterpillar’s neck, and began to sprout and grow--for there
was soil there--he had not washed his neck.  The roots forced themselves
down into the worm’s person, and rearward along through its body, sucking
up the creature’s juices for sap; the worm slowly died, and turned to
wood.  And here he was now, a wooden caterpillar, with every detail of
his former physique delicately and exactly preserved and perpetuated, and
with that stem standing up out of him for his monument--monument
commemorative of his own loyalty and of Nature’s unfair return for it.

Nature is always acting like that.  Mrs. X. said (of course) that the
caterpillar was not conscious and didn’t suffer.  She should have known
better.  No caterpillar can deceive Nature.  If this one couldn’t suffer,
Nature would have known it and would have hunted up another caterpillar.
Not that she would have let this one go, merely because it was defective.
No.  She would have waited and let him turn into a night-moth; and then
fried him in the candle.

Nature cakes a fish’s eyes over with parasites, so that it shan’t be able
to avoid its enemies or find its food.  She sends parasites into a
star-fish’s system, which clog up its prongs and swell them and make them
so uncomfortable that the poor creature delivers itself from the prong to
ease its misery; and presently it has to part with another prong for the
sake of comfort, and finally with a third.  If it re-grows the prongs,
the parasite returns and the same thing is repeated.  And finally, when
the ability to reproduce prongs is lost through age, that poor old
star-fish can’t get around any more, and so it dies of starvation.

In Australia is prevalent a horrible disease due to an “unperfected
tapeworm.”  Unperfected--that is what they call it, I do not know why,
for it transacts business just as well as if it were finished and
frescoed and gilded, and all that.

November 9.  To the museum and public picture gallery with the president
of the Society of Artists.  Some fine pictures there, lent by the S. of
A. several of them they bought, the others came to them by gift.  Next,
to the gallery of the S. of A.--annual exhibition--just opened.  Fine.
Think of a town like this having two such collections as this, and a
Society of Artists.  It is so all over Australasia.  If it were a
monarchy one might understand it.  I mean an absolute monarchy, where it
isn’t necessary to vote money, but take it.  Then art flourishes.  But
these colonies are republics--republics with a wide suffrage; voters of
both sexes, this one of New Zealand.  In republics, neither the
government nor the rich private citizen is much given to propagating art.
All over Australasia pictures by famous European artists are bought for
the public galleries by the State and by societies of citizens.  Living
citizens--not dead ones.  They rob themselves to give, not their heirs.
This S. of A. here owns its building--built it by subscription.


The spirit of wrath--not the words--is the sin; and the spirit of wrath
is cursing.  We begin to swear before we can talk.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

November 11.  On the road.  This train-express goes twenty and one-half
miles an hour, schedule time; but it is fast enough, the outlook upon sea
and land is so interesting, and the cars so comfortable.  They are not
English, and not American; they are the Swiss combination of the two.
A narrow and railed porch along the side, where a person can walk
up and down.  A lavatory in each car.  This is progress; this is
nineteenth-century spirit. In New Zealand, these fast expresses run twice
a week. It is well to know this if you want to be a bird and fly through
the country at a 20-mile gait; otherwise you may start on one of the five
wrong days, and then you will get a train that can’t overtake its own

By contrast, these pleasant cars call to mind the branch-road cars at
Maryborough, Australia, and the passengers’ talk about the branch-road
and the hotel.

Somewhere on the road to Maryborough I changed for a while to a
smoking-carriage.  There were two gentlemen there; both riding backward,
one at each end of the compartment.  They were acquaintances of each
other.  I sat down facing the one that sat at the starboard window.  He
had a good face, and a friendly look, and I judged from his dress that he
was a dissenting minister.  He was along toward fifty.  Of his own motion
he struck a match, and shaded it with his hand for me to light my cigar.
I take the rest from my diary:

In order to start conversation I asked him something about Maryborough.
He said, in a most pleasant--even musical voice, but with quiet and
cultured decision:

“It’s a charming town, with a hell of a hotel.”

I was astonished.  It seemed so odd to hear a minister swear out loud.
He went placidly on:

“It’s the worst hotel in Australia.  Well, one may go further, and say in

“Bad beds?”

“No--none at all.  Just sand-bags.”

“The pillows, too?”

“Yes, the pillows, too.  Just sand.  And not a good quality of sand.  It
packs too hard, and has never been screened.  There is too much gravel in
it.  It is like sleeping on nuts.”

“Isn’t there any good sand?”

“Plenty of it.  There is as good bed-sand in this region as the world can
furnish.  Aerated sand--and loose; but they won’t buy it.  They want
something that will pack solid, and petrify.”

“How are the rooms?”

“Eight feet square; and a sheet of iced oil-cloth to step on in the
morning when you get out of the sand-quarry.”

“As to lights?”

“Coal-oil lamp.”

“A good one?”

“No.  It’s the kind that sheds a gloom.”

“I like a lamp that burns all night.”

“This one won’t.  You must blow it out early.”

“That is bad.  One might want it again in the night.  Can’t find it in
the dark.”

“There’s no trouble; you can find it by the stench.”


“Two nails on the door to hang seven suits of clothes on if you’ve got


“There aren’t any.”

“What do you do when you want service?”

“Shout.  But it won’t fetch anybody.”

“Suppose you want the chambermaid to empty the slopjar?”

“There isn’t any slop-jar.  The hotels don’t keep them.  That is, outside
of Sydney and Melbourne.”

“Yes, I knew that.  I was only talking.  It’s the oddest thing in
Australia.  Another thing: I’ve got to get up in the dark, in the
morning, to take the 5 o’clock train.  Now if the boots----”

“There isn’t any.”

“Well, the porter.”

“There isn’t any.”

“But who will call me?”

“Nobody.  You’ll call yourself.  And you’ll light yourself, too.
There’ll not be a light burning in the halls or anywhere.  And if you
don’t carry a light, you’ll break your neck.”

“But who will help me down with my baggage?”

“Nobody.  However, I will tell you what to do.  In Maryborough there’s an
American who has lived there half a lifetime; a fine man, and prosperous
and popular.  He will be on the lookout for you; you won’t have any
trouble.  Sleep in peace; he will rout you out, and you will make your
train.  Where is your manager?”

“I left him at Ballarat, studying the language.  And besides, he had to
go to Melbourne and get us ready for New Zealand.  I’ve not tried to
pilot myself before, and it doesn’t look easy.”

“Easy!  You’ve selected the very most difficult piece of railroad in
Australia for your experiment.  There are twelve miles of this road which
no man without good executive ability can ever hope--tell me, have you
good executive ability? first-rate executive ability?”

“I--well, I think so, but----”

“That settles it.  The tone of----oh, you wouldn’t ever make it in the
world.  However, that American will point you right, and you’ll go.
You’ve got tickets?”

“Yes--round trip; all the way to Sydney.”

“Ah, there it is, you see!  You are going in the 5 o’clock by
Castlemaine--twelve miles--instead of the 7.15 by Ballarat--in order to
save two hours of fooling along the road.  Now then, don’t interrupt--let
me have the floor.  You’re going to save the government a deal of
hauling, but that’s nothing; your ticket is by Ballarat, and it isn’t
good over that twelve miles, and so----”

“But why should the government care which way I go?”

“Goodness knows!  Ask of the winds that far away with fragments strewed
the sea, as the boy that stood on the burning deck used to say.  The
government chooses to do its railway business in its own way, and it
doesn’t know as much about it as the French.  In the beginning they tried
idiots; then they imported the French--which was going backwards, you
see; now it runs the roads itself--which is going backwards again, you
see.  Why, do you know, in order to curry favor with the voters, the
government puts down a road wherever anybody wants it--anybody that owns
two sheep and a dog; and by consequence we’ve got, in the colony of
Victoria, 800 railway stations, and the business done at eighty of them
doesn’t foot up twenty shillings a week.”

“Five dollars?  Oh, come!”

“It’s true.  It’s the absolute truth.”

“Why, there are three or four men on wages at every station.”

“I know it.  And the station-business doesn’t pay for the sheep-dip to
sanctify their coffee with.  It’s just as I say.  And accommodating?
Why, if you shake a rag the train will stop in the midst of the
wilderness to pick you up.  All that kind of politics costs, you see.
And then, besides, any town that has a good many votes and wants a fine
station, gets it.  Don’t you overlook that Maryborough station, if you
take an interest in governmental curiosities.  Why, you can put the whole
population of Maryborough into it, and give them a sofa apiece, and have
room for more.  You haven’t fifteen stations in America that are as big,
and you probably haven’t five that are half as fine.  Why, it’s
perfectly elegant.  And the clock!  Everybody will show you the clock.
There isn’t a station in Europe that’s got such a clock.  It doesn’t
strike--and that’s one mercy.  It hasn’t any bell; and as you’ll have
cause to remember, if you keep your reason, all Australia is simply
bedamned with bells.  On every quarter-hour, night and day, they jingle a
tiresome chime of half a dozen notes--all the clocks in town at once, all
the clocks in Australasia at once, and all the very same notes; first,
downward scale: mi, re, do, sol--then upward scale: sol, si, re, do--down
again: mi, re, do, sol--up again: sol, si, re, do--then the clock--say at
midnight clang--clang--clang--clang--clang--clang--clang--clang--clang
--clang--clang--clang----and, by that time you’re--hello, what’s all this
excitement about? Oh I see--a runaway--scared by the train; why, you
wouldn’t think this train could scare anything.  Well, of course, when
they build
and run eighty stations at a loss and a lot of palace-stations and clocks
like Maryborough’s at another loss, the government has got to economize
somewhere hasn’t it?  Very well look at the rolling stock.  That’s where
they save the money.  Why, that train from Maryborough will consist of
eighteen freight-cars and two passenger-kennels; cheap, poor, shabby,
slovenly; no drinking water,
no sanitary arrangements, every imaginable inconvenience; and slow?--oh,
gait of cold molasses; no air-brake, no springs, and they’ll jolt your
head off every time they start or stop.  That’s where they make their
little economies, you see.  They spend tons of money to house you
palatially while you wait fifteen minutes for a train, then degrade you
to six hours’ convict-transportation to get the foolish outlay back.
What a rational man really needs is discomfort while he’s waiting, then
his journey in a nice train would be a grateful change.  But no, that
would be common sense--and out of place in a government.  And then,
besides, they save in that other little detail, you know--repudiate their
own tickets, and collect a poor little illegitimate extra shilling out of
you for that twelve miles, and----”

“Well, in any case----”

“Wait--there’s more.  Leave that American out of the account and see what
would happen.  There’s nobody on hand to examine your ticket when you
arrive.  But the conductor will come and examine it when the train is
ready to start.  It is too late to buy your extra ticket now; the train
can’t wait, and won’t.  You must climb out.”

“But can’t I pay the conductor?”

“No, he is not authorized to receive the money, and he won’t.  You must
climb out.  There’s no other way.  I tell you, the railway management is
about the only thoroughly European thing here--continentally European I
mean, not English.  It’s the continental business in perfection; down
fine.  Oh, yes, even to the peanut-commerce of weighing baggage.”

The train slowed up at his place.  As he stepped out he said:

“Yes, you’ll like Maryborough.  Plenty of intelligence there.  It’s a
charming place--with a hell of a hotel.”

Then he was gone.  I turned to the other gentleman:

“Is your friend in the ministry?”

“No--studying for it.”


The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

It was Junior England all the way to Christchurch--in fact, just a
garden.  And Christchurch is an English town, with an English-park annex,
and a winding English brook just like the Avon--and named the Avon; but
from a man, not from Shakespeare’s river.  Its grassy banks are bordered
by the stateliest and most impressive weeping willows to be found in the
world, I suppose.  They continue the line of a great ancestor; they were
grown from sprouts of the willow that sheltered Napoleon’s grave in St.
Helena.  It is a settled old community, with all the serenities, the
graces, the conveniences, and the comforts of the ideal home-life.  If it
had an established Church and social inequality it would be England over
again with hardly a lack.

In the museum we saw many curious and interesting things; among others a
fine native house of the olden time, with all the details true to the
facts, and the showy colors right and in their proper places.  All the
details: the fine mats and rugs and things; the elaborate and wonderful
wood carvings--wonderful, surely, considering who did them--wonderful in
design and particularly in execution, for they were done with admirable
sharpness and exactness, and yet with no better tools than flint and jade
and shell could furnish; and the totem-posts were there, ancestor above
ancestor, with tongues protruded and hands clasped comfortably over
bellies containing other people’s ancestors--grotesque and ugly devils,
every one, but lovingly carved, and ably; and the stuffed natives were
present, in their proper places, and looking as natural as life; and the
housekeeping utensils were there, too, and close at hand the carved and
finely ornamented war canoe.

And we saw little jade gods, to hang around the neck--not everybody’s,
but sacred to the necks of natives of rank.  Also jade weapons, and many
kinds of jade trinkets--all made out of that excessively hard stone
without the help of any tool of iron.  And some of these things had small
round holes bored through them--nobody knows how it was done; a mystery,
a lost art.  I think it was said that if you want such a hole bored in a
piece of jade now, you must send it to London or Amsterdam where the
lapidaries are.

Also we saw a complete skeleton of the giant Moa.  It stood ten feet
high, and must have been a sight to look at when it was a living  bird.
It was a kicker, like the ostrich; in fight it did not use its beak, but
its foot.  It must have been a convincing kind of kick.  If a person had
his back to the bird and did not see who it was that did it, he would
think he had been kicked by a wind-mill.

There must have been a sufficiency of moas in the old forgotten days when
his breed walked the earth.  His bones are found in vast masses, all
crammed together in huge graves.  They are not in caves, but in the
ground.  Nobody knows how they happened to get concentrated there.  Mind,
they are bones, not fossils.  This means that the moa has not been
extinct very long.  Still, this is the only New Zealand creature which
has no mention in that otherwise comprehensive literature, the native
legends.  This is a significant detail, and is good circumstantial
evidence that the moa has been extinct 500 years, since the Maori has
himself--by tradition--been in New Zealand since the end of the fifteenth
century.  He came from an unknown land--the first Maori did--then sailed
back in his canoe and brought his tribe, and they removed the aboriginal
peoples into the sea and into the ground and took the land.  That is the
tradition.  That that first Maori could come, is understandable, for
anybody can come to a place when he isn’t trying to; but how that
discoverer found his way back home again without a compass is his secret,
and he died with it in him.  His language indicates that he came from
Polynesia.  He told where he came from, but he couldn’t spell well, so
one can’t find the place on the map, because people who could spell
better than he could, spelt the resemblance all out of it when they made
the map.  However, it is better to have a map that is spelt right than
one that has information in it.

In New Zealand women have the right to vote for members of the
legislature, but they cannot be members themselves.  The law extending
the suffrage to them went into effect in 1893.  The population of
Christchurch (census of 1891) was 31,454.  The first election under the
law was held in November of that year.  Number of men who voted, 6,313;
number of women who voted, 5,989.  These figures ought to convince us
that women are not as indifferent about politics as some people would
have us believe.  In New Zealand as a whole, the estimated adult female
population was 139,915; of these 109,461 qualified and registered their
names on the rolls 78.23 per cent. of the whole.  Of these, 90,290 went
to the polls and voted--85.18 per cent.  Do men ever turn out better than
that--in America or elsewhere?  Here is a remark to the other sex’s
credit, too--I take it from the official report:

“A feature of the election was the orderliness and sobriety of the
people.  Women were in no way molested.”

At home, a standing argument against woman suffrage has always been that
women could not go to the polls without being insulted.  The arguments
against woman suffrage have always taken the easy form of prophecy.  The
prophets have been prophesying ever since the woman’s rights movement
began in 1848--and in forty-seven years they have never scored a hit.

Men ought to begin to feel a sort of respect for their mothers and wives
and sisters by this time.  The women deserve a change of attitude like
that, for they have wrought well.  In forty-seven years they have swept
an imposingly large number of unfair laws from the statute books of
America.  In that brief time these serfs have set themselves free--
essentially.  Men could not have done so much for themselves in that time
without bloodshed--at least they never have; and that is argument that
they didn’t know how.  The women have accomplished a peaceful revolution,
and a very beneficent one; and yet that has not convinced the average man
that they are intelligent, and have courage and energy and perseverance
and fortitude.  It takes much to convince the average man of anything;
and perhaps nothing can ever make him realize that he is the average
woman’s inferior--yet in several important details the evidence seems to
show that that is what he is.  Man has ruled the human race from the
beginning--but he should remember that up to the middle of the present
century it was a dull world, and ignorant and stupid; but it is not such
a dull world now, and is growing less and less dull all the time.  This
is woman’s opportunity--she has had none before.  I wonder where man will
be in another forty-seven years?

In the New Zealand law occurs this: “The word person wherever it occurs
throughout the Act includes woman.”

That is promotion, you see.  By that enlargement of the word, the matron
with the garnered wisdom and experience of fifty years becomes at one
jump the political equal of her callow kid of twenty-one.  The white
population of the colony is 626,000, the Maori population is 42,000.  The
whites elect seventy members of the House of Representatives, the Maoris
four.  The Maori women vote for their four members.

November 16.   After four pleasant days in Christchurch, we are to leave
at midnight to-night.  Mr. Kinsey gave me an ornithorhynchus, and I am
taming it.

Sunday, 17th.  Sailed last night in the Flora, from Lyttelton.

So we did.  I remember it yet.  The people who sailed in the Flora that
night may forget some other things if they live a good while, but they
will not live long enough to forget that.  The Flora is about the
equivalent of a cattle-scow; but when the Union Company find it
inconvenient to keep a contract and lucrative to break it, they smuggle
her into passenger service, and “keep the change.”

They give no notice of their projected depredation; you innocently buy
tickets for the advertised passenger boat, and when you get down to
Lyttelton at midnight, you find that they have substituted the scow.
They have plenty of good boats, but no competition--and that is the
trouble.  It is too late now to make other arrangements if you have
engagements ahead.

It is a powerful company, it has a monopoly, and everybody is afraid of
it--including the government’s representative, who stands at the end of
the stage-plank to tally the passengers and see that no boat receives a
greater number than the law allows her to carry.  This conveniently-blind
representative saw the scow receive a number which was far in excess of
its privilege, and winked a politic wink and said nothing.  The
passengers bore with meekness the cheat which had been put upon them, and
made no complaint.

It was like being at home in America, where abused passengers act in just
the same way.  A few days before, the Union Company had discharged a
captain for getting a boat into danger, and had advertised this act as
evidence of its vigilance in looking after the safety of the passengers
--for thugging a captain costs the company nothing, but when opportunity
offered to send this dangerously overcrowded tub to sea and save a little
trouble and a tidy penny by it, it forgot to worry about the passenger’s

The first officer told me that the Flora was privileged to carry 125
passengers.  She must have had all of 200 on board.  All the cabins were
full, all the cattle-stalls in the main stable were full, the spaces at
the heads of companionways were full, every inch of floor and table in
the swill-room was packed with sleeping men and remained so until the
place was required for breakfast, all the chairs and benches on the
hurricane deck were occupied, and still there were people who had to walk
about all night!

If the Flora had gone down that night, half of the people on board would
have been wholly without means of escape.

The owners of that boat were not technically guilty of conspiracy to
commit murder, but they were morally guilty of it.

I had a cattle-stall in the main stable--a cavern fitted up with a long
double file of two-storied bunks, the files separated by a calico
partition--twenty men and boys on one side of it, twenty women and girls
on the other.  The place was as dark as the soul of the Union Company,
and smelt like a kennel.  When the vessel got out into the heavy seas and
began to pitch and wallow, the cavern prisoners became immediately
seasick, and then the peculiar results that ensued laid all my previous
experiences of the kind well away in the shade.  And the wails, the
groans, the cries, the shrieks, the strange ejaculations--it was

The women and children and some of the men and boys spent the night in
that place, for they were too ill to leave it; but the rest of us got up,
by and by, and finished the night on the hurricane-deck.

That boat was the foulest I was ever in; and the smell of the breakfast
saloon when we threaded our way among the layers of steaming passengers
stretched upon its floor and its tables was incomparable for efficiency.

A good many of us got ashore at the first way-port to seek another ship.
After a wait of three hours we got good rooms in the Mahinapua, a wee
little bridal-parlor of a boat--only 205 tons burthen; clean and
comfortable; good service; good beds; good table, and no crowding.  The
seas danced her about like a duck, but she was safe and capable.

Next morning early she went through the French Pass--a narrow gateway of
rock, between bold headlands--so narrow, in fact, that it seemed no wider
than a street.  The current tore through there like a mill-race, and the
boat darted through like a telegram.  The passage was made in half a
minute; then we were in a wide place where noble vast eddies swept
grandly round and round in shoal water, and I wondered what they would do
with the little boat.  They did as they pleased with her.  They picked
her up and flung her around like nothing and landed her gently on the
solid, smooth bottom of sand--so gently, indeed, that we barely felt her
touch it, barely felt her quiver when she came to a standstill.  The
water was as clear as glass, the sand on the bottom was vividly distinct,
and the fishes seemed to be swimming about in nothing.  Fishing lines
were brought out, but before we could bait the hooks the boat was off and
away again.


Let us be grateful to Adam our benefactor.  He cut us out of the
“blessing of idleness,” and won for us the “curse of labor.”
                                   --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We soon reached the town of Nelson, and spent the most of the day there,
visiting acquaintances and driving with them about the garden--the whole
region is a garden, excepting the scene of the “Maungatapu Murders,” of
thirty years ago.  That is a wild place--wild and lonely; an ideal place
for a murder.  It is at the base of a vast, rugged, densely timbered
mountain.  In the deep twilight of that forest solitude four desperate
rascals--Burgess, Sullivan, Levy, and Kelley--ambushed themselves beside
the mountain-trail to murder and rob four travelers--Kempthorne, Mathieu,
Dudley, and De Pontius, the latter a New Yorker. A harmless old laboring
man came wandering along, and as his presence was an embarrassment, they
choked him, hid him, and then resumed their watch for the four.  They had
to wait a while, but eventually everything turned out as they desired.

That dark episode is the one large event in the history of Nelson.  The
fame of it traveled far.  Burgess made a confession.  It is a remarkable
paper.  For brevity, succinctness, and concentration, it is perhaps
without its peer in the literature of murder.  There are no waste words
in it; there is no obtrusion of matter not pertinent to the occasion, nor
any departure from the dispassionate tone proper to a formal business
statement--for that is what it is: a business statement of a murder, by
the chief engineer of it, or superintendent, or foreman, or whatever one
may prefer to call him.

     “We were getting impatient, when we saw four men and a pack-horse
     coming.  I left my cover and had a look at the men, for Levy had
     told me that Mathieu was a small man and wore a large beard, and
     that it was a chestnut horse.  I said, ‘Here they come.’  They were
     then a good distance away; I took the caps off my gun, and put fresh
     ones on.  I said, ‘You keep where you are, I’ll put them up, and you
     give me your gun while you tie them.’  It was arranged as I have
     described.  The men came; they arrived within about fifteen yards
     when I stepped up and said, ‘Stand! bail up!’  That means all of
     them to get together.  I made them fall back on the upper side of
     the road with their faces up the range, and Sullivan brought me his
     gun, and then tied their hands behind them.  The horse was very
     quiet all the time, he did not move.  When they were all tied,
     Sullivan took the horse up the hill, and put him in the bush; he cut
     the rope and let the swags--[A “swag” is a kit, a pack, small
     baggage.]--fall on the ground, and then came to me.  We then marched
     the men down the incline to the creek; the water at this time barely
     running.  Up this creek we took the men; we went, I daresay, five or
     six hundred yards up it, which took us nearly half-an-hour to
     accomplish.  Then we turned to the right up the range; we went, I
     daresay, one hundred and fifty yards from the creek, and there we
     sat down with the men.  I said to Sullivan, ‘Put down your gun and
     search these men,’ which he did.  I asked them their several names;
     they told me.  I asked them if they were expected at Nelson.  They
     said, ‘No.’  If such their lives would have been spared.  In money
     we took L60 odd.  I said, ‘Is this all you have?  You had better
     tell me.’ Sullivan said, ‘Here is a bag of gold.’ I said, ‘What’s on
     that pack-horse?  Is there any gold?’ when Kempthorne said, ‘Yes,
     my gold is in the portmanteau, and I trust you will not take it
     all.’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘we must take you away one at a time, because
     the range is steep just here, and then we will let you go.’ They
     said, ‘All right,’ most cheerfully.  We tied their feet, and took
     Dudley with us; we went about sixty yards with him.  This was
     through a scrub.  It was arranged the night previously that it would
     be best to choke them, in case the report of the arms might be heard
     from the road, and if they were missed they never would be found.
     So we tied a handkerchief over his eyes, when Sullivan took the sash
     off his waist, put it round his neck, and so strangled him.
     Sullivan, after I had killed the old laboring man, found fault with
     the way he was choked.  He said, ‘The next we do I’ll show you my
     way.’  I said, ‘I have never done such a thing before.  I have shot
     a man, but never choked one.’  We returned to the others, when
     Kempthorne said, ‘What noise was that?’  I said it was caused by
     breaking through the scrub.  This was taking too much time, so it
     was agreed to shoot them.  With that I said, ‘We’ll take you no
     further, but separate you, and then loose one of you, and he can
     relieve the others.’  So with that, Sullivan took De Pontius to the
     left of where Kempthorne was sitting.  I took Mathieu to the right.
     I tied a strap round his legs, and shot him with a revolver.  He
     yelled, I ran from him with my gun in my hand, I sighted Kempthorne,
     who had risen to his feet.  I presented the gun, and shot him behind
     the right ear; his life’s blood welled from him, and he died
     instantaneously.  Sullivan had shot De Pontius in the meantime,
     and then came to me.  I said, ‘Look to Mathieu,’ indicating the spot
     where he lay.  He shortly returned and said, ‘I had to “chiv” that
     fellow, he was not dead,’ a cant word, meaning that he had to stab
     him.  Returning to the road we passed where De Pontius lay and was
     dead.  Sullivan said, ‘This is the digger, the others were all
     storekeepers; this is the digger, let’s cover him up, for should the
     others be found, they’ll think he done it and sloped,’ meaning he
     had gone.  So with that we threw all the stones on him, and then
     left him.  This bloody work took nearly an hour and a half from the
     time we stopped the men.”

Anyone who reads that confession will think that the man who wrote it was
destitute of emotions, destitute of feeling.  That is partly true.  As
regarded others he was plainly without feeling--utterly cold and
pitiless; but as regarded himself the case was different.  While he cared
nothing for the future of the murdered men, he cared a great deal for his
own.  It makes one’s flesh creep to read the introduction to his
confession.  The judge on the bench characterized it as “scandalously
blasphemous,” and it certainly reads so, but Burgess meant no blasphemy.
He was merely a brute, and whatever he said or wrote was sure to expose
the fact.  His redemption was a very real thing to him, and he was as
jubilantly happy on the gallows as ever was Christian martyr at the
stake.  We dwellers in this world are strangely made, and mysteriously
circumstanced.  We have to suppose that the murdered men are lost, and
that Burgess is saved; but we cannot suppress our natural regrets.

     “Written in my dungeon drear this 7th of August, in the year of
     Grace, 1866.  To God be ascribed all power and glory in subduing the
     rebellious spirit of a most guilty wretch, who has been brought,
     through the instrumentality of a faithful follower of Christ, to see
     his wretched and guilty state, inasmuch as hitherto he has led an
     awful and wretched life, and through the assurance of this faithful
     soldier of Christ, he has been led and also believes that Christ
     will yet receive and cleanse him from all his deep-dyed and bloody
     sins.  I lie under the imputation which says, ‘Come now and let us
     reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet,
     they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
     they shall be as wool.’ On this promise I rely.”

We sailed in the afternoon late, spent a few hours at New Plymouth, then
sailed again and reached Auckland the next day, November 20th, and
remained in that fine city several days.  Its situation is commanding,
and the sea-view is superb.  There are charming drives all about, and by
courtesy of friends we had opportunity to enjoy them.  From the grassy
crater-summit of Mount Eden one’s eye ranges over a grand sweep and
variety of scenery--forests clothed in luxuriant foliage, rolling green
fields, conflagrations of flowers, receding and dimming stretches of
green plain, broken by lofty and symmetrical old craters--then the blue
bays twinkling and sparkling away into the dreamy distances where the
mountains loom spiritual in their veils of haze.

It is from Auckland that one goes to Rotorua, the region of the renowned
hot lakes and geysers--one of the chief wonders of New Zealand; but I was
not well enough to make the trip.  The government has a sanitorium there,
and everything is comfortable for the tourist and the invalid.  The
government’s official physician is almost over-cautious in his estimates
of the efficacy of the baths, when he is talking about rheumatism, gout,
paralysis, and such things; but when he is talking about the
effectiveness of the waters in eradicating the whisky-habit, he seems to
have no reserves.  The baths will cure the drinking-habit no matter how
chronic it is--and cure it so effectually that even the desire to drink
intoxicants will come no more.  There should be a rush from Europe and
America to that place; and when the victims of alcoholism find out what
they can get by going there, the rush will begin.

The Thermal-springs District of New Zealand comprises an area of upwards
of 600,000 acres, or close on 1,000 square miles.  Rotorua is the
favorite place.  It is the center of a rich field of lake and mountain
scenery; from Rotorua as a base the pleasure-seeker makes excursions.
The crowd of sick people is great, and growing.  Rotorua is the Carlsbad
of Australasia.

It is from Auckland that the Kauri gum is shipped.  For a long time now
about 8,000 tons of it have been brought into the town per year.  It is
worth about $300 per ton, unassorted; assorted, the finest grades are
worth about $1,000.  It goes to America, chiefly.  It is in lumps, and is
hard and smooth, and looks like amber--the light-colored like new amber,
and the dark brown like rich old amber.  And it has the pleasant feel of
amber, too.  Some of the light-colored samples were a tolerably fair
counterfeit of uncut South African diamonds, they were so perfectly
smooth and polished and transparent.  It is manufactured into varnish; a
varnish which answers for copal varnish and is cheaper.

The gum is dug up out of the ground; it has been there for ages.  It is
the sap of the Kauri tree.  Dr. Campbell of Auckland told me he sent a
cargo of it to England fifty years ago, but nothing came of the venture.
Nobody knew what to do with it; so it was sold at L5 a ton, to light
fires with.

November 26--3 P.M., sailed.  Vast and beautiful harbor.  Land all about
for hours.  Tangariwa, the mountain that “has the same shape from every
point of view.”  That is the common belief in Auckland.  And so it has
--from every point of view except thirteen.  Perfect summer weather.
school of whales in the distance.  Nothing could be daintier than the
puffs of vapor they spout up, when seen against the pink glory of the
sinking sun, or against the dark mass of an island reposing in the deep
blue shadow of a storm cloud .  .  .  .  Great Barrier rock standing up
out of the sea away to the left.  Sometime ago a ship hit it full speed
in a fog--20 miles out of her course--140 lives lost; the captain
committed suicide without waiting a moment.  He knew that, whether he was
to blame or not, the company owning the vessel would discharge him and
make a devotion--to--passengers’ safety advertisement out of it, and his
chance to make a livelihood would be permanently gone.


Let us not be too particular.  It is better to have old second-hand
diamonds than none at all.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

November 27.   To-day we reached Gisborne, and anchored in a big bay;
there was a heavy sea on, so we remained on board.

We were a mile from shore; a little steam-tug put out from the land; she
was an object of thrilling interest; she would climb to the summit of a
billow, reel drunkenly there a moment, dim and gray in the driving storm
of spindrift, then make a plunge like a diver and remain out of sight
until one had given her up, then up she would dart again, on a steep
slant toward the sky, shedding Niagaras of water from her forecastle--and
this she kept up, all the way out to us.  She brought twenty-five
passengers in her stomach--men and women--mainly a traveling dramatic
company.  In sight on deck were the crew, in sou’westers, yellow
waterproof canvas suits, and boots to the thigh.  The deck was never
quiet for a moment, and seldom nearer level than a ladder, and noble were
the seas which leapt aboard and went flooding aft.  We rove a long line
to the yard-arm, hung a most primitive basketchair to it and swung it out
into the spacious air of heaven, and there it swayed, pendulum-fashion,
waiting for its chance--then down it shot, skillfully aimed, and was
grabbed by the two men on the forecastle.  A young fellow belonging to
our crew was in the chair, to be a protection to the lady-comers.  At
once a couple of ladies appeared from below, took seats in his lap, we
hoisted them into the sky, waited a moment till the roll of the ship
brought them in overhead, then we lowered suddenly away, and seized the
chair as it struck the deck.  We took the twenty-five aboard, and
delivered twenty-five into the tug--among them several aged ladies, and
one blind one--and all without accident.  It was a fine piece of work.

Ours is a nice ship, roomy, comfortable, well-ordered, and satisfactory.
Now and then we step on a rat in a hotel, but we have had no rats on
shipboard lately; unless, perhaps in the Flora; we had more serious
things to think of there, and did not notice.  I have noticed that it is
only in ships and hotels which still employ the odious Chinese gong, that
you find rats.  The reason would seem to be, that as a rat cannot tell
the time of day by a clock, he won’t stay where he cannot find out when
dinner is ready.

November 29.  The doctor tells me of several old drunkards, one
spiritless loafer, and several far-gone moral wrecks who have been
reclaimed by the Salvation Army and have remained staunch people and hard
workers these two years.  Wherever one goes, these testimonials to the
Army’s efficiency are forthcoming .  .  .  .  This morning we had one of
those whizzing green Ballarat flies in the room, with his stunning
buzz-saw noise--the swiftest creature in the world except the
lightning-flash. It is a stupendous force that is stored up in that
little body. If we had it in a ship in the same proportion, we could spin
from Liverpool to New York in the space of an hour--the time it takes to
eat luncheon.  The New Zealand express train is called the Ballarat Fly
.  .  .  .  Bad teeth in the colonies.  A citizen told me they don’t have
teeth filled, but pull them out and put in false ones, and that now and
then one sees a young lady with a full set.  She is fortunate.  I wish I
had been born with false teeth and a false liver and false carbuncles.
I should get along better.

December 2.  Monday.  Left Napier in the Ballarat Fly the one that goes
twice a week.  From Napier to Hastings, twelve miles; time, fifty-five
minutes--not so far short of thirteen miles an hour .  .  .  .  A perfect
summer day; cool breeze, brilliant sky, rich vegetation.  Two or three
times during the afternoon we saw wonderfully dense and beautiful
forests, tumultuously piled skyward on the broken highlands--not the
customary roof-like slant of a hillside, where the trees are all the same
height.  The noblest of these trees were of the Kauri breed, we were told
--the timber that is now furnishing the wood-paving for Europe, and is
best of all wood for that purpose.  Sometimes these towering upheavals of
forestry were festooned and garlanded with vine-cables, and sometimes the
masses of undergrowth were cocooned in another sort of vine of a delicate
cobwebby texture--they call it the “supplejack,” I think.  Tree ferns
everywhere--a stem fifteen feet high, with a graceful chalice of
fern-fronds sprouting from its top--a lovely forest ornament.  And there
was a ten-foot reed with a flowing suit of what looked like yellow hair
hanging from its upper end.  I do not know its name, but if there is such
a thing as a scalp-plant, this is it.  A romantic gorge, with a brook
flowing in its bottom, approaching Palmerston North.

Waitukurau.   Twenty minutes for luncheon.  With me sat my wife and
daughter, and my manager, Mr. Carlyle Smythe.  I sat at the head of the
table, and could see the right-hand wall; the others had their backs to
it.  On that wall, at a good distance away, were a couple of framed
pictures.  I could not see them clearly, but from the groupings of the
figures I fancied that they represented the killing of Napoleon III’s son
by the Zulus in South Africa.  I broke into the conversation, which was
about poetry and cabbage and art, and said to my wife--

“Do you remember when the news came to Paris----”

“Of the killing of the Prince?”

(Those were the very words I had in my mind.) “Yes, but what Prince?”

“Napoleon.  Lulu.”

“What made you think of that?”

“I don’t know.”

There was no collusion.  She had not seen the pictures, and they had not
been mentioned.  She ought to have thought of some recent news that came
to Paris, for we were but seven months from there and had been living
there a couple of years when we started on this trip; but instead of that
she thought of an incident of our brief sojourn in Paris of sixteen years

Here was a clear case of mental telegraphy; of mind-transference; of my
mind telegraphing a thought into hers.  How do I know?  Because I
telegraphed an error.  For it turned out that the pictures did not
represent the killing of Lulu at all, nor anything connected with Lulu.
She had to get the error from my head--it existed nowhere else.


The Autocrat of Russia possesses more power than any other man in the
earth; but he cannot stop a sneeze.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

WAUGANUI, December 3.  A pleasant trip, yesterday, per Ballarat Fly.
Four hours.  I do not know the distance, but it must have been well along
toward fifty miles.  The Fly could have spun it out to eight hours and
not discommoded me; for where there is comfort, and no need for hurry,
speed is of no value--at least to me; and nothing that goes on wheels can
be more comfortable, more satisfactory, than the New Zealand trains.
Outside of America there are no cars that are so rationally devised.
When you add the constant presence of charming scenery and the nearly
constant absence of dust--well, if one is not content then, he ought to
get out and walk.  That would change his spirit, perhaps?  I think so.
At the end of an hour you would find him waiting humbly beside the track,
and glad to be taken aboard again.

Much horseback riding, in and around this town; many comely girls in cool
and pretty summer gowns; much Salvation Army; lots of Maoris; the faces
and bodies of some of the old ones very tastefully frescoed.  Maori
Council House over the river--large, strong, carpeted from end to end
matting, and decorated with elaborate wood carvings, artistically
executed.  The Maoris were very polite.

I was assured by a member of the House of Representatives that the native
race is not decreasing, but actually increasing slightly.  It is another
evidence that they are a superior breed of savages.  I do not call to
mind any savage race that built such good houses, or such strong and
ingenious and scientific fortresses, or gave so much attention to
agriculture, or had military arts and devices which so nearly approached
the white man’s.  These, taken together with their high abilities in
boat-building, and their tastes and capacities in the ornamental arts
modify their savagery to a semi-civilization--or at least to,
a quarter-civilization.

It is a compliment to them that the British did not exterminate them, as
they did the Australians and the Tasmanians, but were content with
subduing them, and showed no desire to go further.  And it is another
compliment to them that the British did not take the whole of their
choicest lands, but left them a considerable part, and then went further
and protected them from the rapacities of landsharks--a protection which
the New Zealand Government still extends to them.  And it is still
another compliment to the Maoris that the Government allows native
representation--in both the legislature and the cabinet, and gives both
sexes the vote.  And in doing these things the Government also
compliments itself; it has not been the custom of the world for
conquerors to act in this large spirit toward the conquered.

The highest class white men who lived among the Maoris in the earliest
time had a high opinion of them and a strong affection for them.  Among
the whites of this sort was the author of “Old New Zealand;” and Dr.
Campbell of Auckland was another.  Dr. Campbell was a close friend of
several chiefs, and has many pleasant things to say of their fidelity,
their magnanimity, and their generosity.  Also of their quaint notions
about the white man’s queer civilization, and their equally quaint
comments upon it.  One of them thought the missionary had got everything
wrong end first and upside down.  “Why, he wants us to stop worshiping
and supplicating the evil gods, and go to worshiping and supplicating the
Good One!  There is no sense in that. A good god is not going to do us
any harm.”

The Maoris had the tabu; and had it on a Polynesian scale of
comprehensiveness and elaboration.  Some of its features could have been
importations from India and Judea.  Neither the Maori nor the Hindoo of
common degree could cook by a fire that a person of higher caste had
used, nor could the high Maori or high Hindoo employ fire that had served
a man of low grade; if a low-grade Maori or Hindoo drank from a vessel
belonging to a high-grade man, the vessel was defiled, and had to be
destroyed.  There were other resemblances between Maori tabu and Hindoo

Yesterday a lunatic burst into my quarters and warned me that the Jesuits
were going to “cook” (poison) me in my food, or kill me on the stage at
night.  He said a mysterious sign was visible upon my posters and meant
my death.  He said he saved Rev. Mr. Haweis’s life by warning him that
there were three men on his platform who would kill him if he took his
eyes off them for a moment during his lecture.  The same men were in my
audience last night, but they saw that he was there.  “Will they be there
again to-night?”  He hesitated; then said no, he thought they would
rather take a rest and chance the poison.  This lunatic has no delicacy.
But he was not uninteresting.  He told me a lot of things.  He said he
had “saved so many lecturers in twenty years, that they put him in the
asylum.”  I think he has less refinement than any lunatic I have met.

December 8.  A couple of curious war-monuments here at Wanganui.  One is
in honor of white men “who fell in defence of law and order against
fanaticism and barbarism.”  Fanaticism.  We Americans are English in
blood, English in speech, English in religion, English in the essentials
of our governmental system, English in the essentials of our
civilization; and so, let us hope, for the honor of the blend, for the
honor of the blood, for the honor of the race, that that word got there
through lack of heedfulness, and will not be suffered to remain.  If you
carve it at Thermopylae, or where Winkelried died, or upon Bunker Hill
monument, and read it again “who fell in defence of law and order against
fanaticism” you will perceive what the word means, and how mischosen it
is.  Patriotism is Patriotism.  Calling it Fanaticism cannot degrade it;
nothing can degrade it.  Even though it be a political mistake, and a
thousand times a political mistake, that does not affect it; it is
honorabl--always honorable, always noble--and privileged to hold its head
up and look the nations in the face.  It is right to praise these brave
white men who fell in the Maori war--they deserve it; but the presence of
that word detracts from the dignity of their cause and their deeds, and
makes them appear to have spilt their blood in a conflict with ignoble
men, men not worthy of that costly sacrifice.  But the men were worthy.
It was no shame to fight them.  They fought for their homes, they fought
for their country; they bravely fought and bravely fell; and it would
take nothing from the honor of the brave Englishmen who lie under the
monument, but add to it, to say that they died in defense of English laws
and English homes against men worthy of the sacrifice--the Maori

The other monument cannot be rectified.  Except with dynamite.  It is a
mistake all through, and a strangely thoughtless one.  It is a monument
erected by white men to Maoris who fell fighting with the whites and
against their own people, in the Maori war.  “Sacred to the memory of the
brave men who fell on the 14th of May, 1864,” etc.  On one side are the
names of about twenty Maoris.  It is not a fancy of mine; the monument
exists.  I saw it.  It is an object-lesson to the rising generation.  It
invites to treachery, disloyalty, unpatriotism.  Its lesson, in frank
terms is, “Desert your flag, slay your people, burn their homes, shame
your nationality--we honor such.”

December 9.  Wellington.  Ten hours from Wanganui by the Fly.
December 12.  It is a fine city and nobly situated.  A busy place, and
full of life and movement.  Have spent the three days partly in walking
about, partly in enjoying social privileges, and largely in idling around
the magnificent garden at Hutt, a little distance away, around the shore.
I suppose we shall not see such another one soon.

We are packing to-night for the return-voyage to Australia.  Our stay in
New Zealand has been too brief; still, we are not unthankful for the
glimpse which we have had of it.

The sturdy Maoris made the settlement of the country by the whites rather
difficult.  Not at first--but later.  At first they welcomed the whites,
and were eager to trade with them--particularly for muskets; for their
pastime was internecine war, and they greatly preferred the white man’s
weapons to their own.  War was their pastime--I use the word advisedly.
They often met and slaughtered each other just for a lark, and when there
was no quarrel.  The author of “Old New Zealand” mentions a case where a
victorious army could have followed up its advantage and exterminated the
opposing army, but declined to do it; explaining naively that “if we did
that, there couldn’t be any more fighting.”  In another battle one army
sent word that it was out of ammunition, and would be obliged to stop
unless the opposing army would send some.  It was sent, and the fight
went on.

In the early days things went well enough.  The natives sold land without
clearly understanding the terms of exchange, and the whites bought it
without being much disturbed about the native’s confusion of mind.  But
by and by the Maori began to comprehend that he was being wronged; then
there was trouble, for he was not the man to swallow a wrong and go aside
and cry about it.  He had the Tasmanian’s spirit and endurance, and a
notable share of military science besides; and so he rose against the
oppressor, did this gallant “fanatic,” and started a war that was not
brought to a definite end until more than a generation had sped.


There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Names are not always what they seem.  The common Welsh name Bzjxxllwep is
pronounced Jackson.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Friday, December 13.   Sailed, at 3 p.m., in the ‘Mararoa’.  Summer seas
and a good ship--life has nothing better.

Monday.  Three days of paradise.  Warm and sunny and smooth; the sea a
luminous Mediterranean blue .  .  .  .  One lolls in a long chair all day
under deck-awnings, and reads and smokes, in measureless content.  One
does not read prose at such a time, but poetry.  I have been reading the
poems of Mrs. Julia A. Moore, again, and I find in them the same grace
and melody that attracted me when they were first published, twenty years
ago, and have held me in happy bonds ever since.

“The Sentimental Song Book” has long been out of print, and has been
forgotten by the world in general, but not by me.  I carry it with me
always--it and Goldsmith’s deathless story.

Indeed, it has the same deep charm for me that the Vicar of Wakefield
has, and I find in it the same subtle touch--the touch that makes an
intentionally humorous episode pathetic and an intentionally pathetic one
funny.  In her time Mrs. Moore was called “the Sweet Singer of Michigan,”
 and was best known by that name.  I have read her book through twice
today, with the purpose of determining which of her pieces has most
merit, and I am persuaded that for wide grasp and sustained power,
“William Upson” may claim first place:


Air--“The Major’s Only Son.”
 Come all good people far and near,
Oh, come and see what you can hear,
It’s of a young man true and brave,
That is now sleeping in his grave.

Now, William Upson was his name
If it’s not that, it’s all the same
He did enlist in a cruel strife,
And it caused him to lose his life.

He was Perry Upson’s eldest son,
His father loved his noble son,
This son was nineteen years of age
When first in the rebellion he engaged.

His father said that he might go,
But his dear mother she said no,
“Oh! stay at home, dear Billy,” she said,
But she could not turn his head.

He went to Nashville, in Tennessee,
There his kind friends he could not see;
He died among strangers, so far away,
They did not know where his body lay.

He was taken sick and lived four weeks,
And Oh! how his parents weep,
But now they must in sorrow mourn,
For Billy has gone to his heavenly home.

Oh! if his mother could have seen her son,
For she loved him, her darling son;
If she could heard his dying prayer,
It would ease her heart till she met him there.

How it would relieve his mother’s heart
To see her son from this world depart,
And hear his noble words of love,
As he left this world for that above.

Now it will relieve his mother’s heart,
For her son is laid in our graveyard;
For now she knows that his grave is near,
She will not shed so many tears.

Although she knows not that it was her son,
For his coffin could not be opened
It might be someone in his place,
For she could not see his noble face.

December, 17.  Reached Sydney.

December, 19.  In the train.  Fellow of 30 with four valises; a slim
creature, with teeth which made his mouth look like a neglected
churchyard.  He had solidified hair--solidified with pomatum; it was all
one shell.  He smoked the most extraordinary cigarettes--made of some
kind of manure, apparently.  These and his hair made him smell like the
very nation.  He had a low-cut vest on, which exposed a deal of frayed
and broken and unclean shirtfront.  Showy studs, of imitation gold--they
had made black disks on the linen.  Oversized sleeve buttons of imitation
gold, the copper base showing through.  Ponderous watch-chain of
imitation gold.  I judge that he couldn’t tell the time by it, for he
asked Smythe what time it was, once.  He wore a coat which had been gay
when it was young; 5-o’clock-tea-trousers of a light tint, and
marvelously soiled; yellow mustache with a dashing upward whirl at the
ends; foxy shoes, imitation patent leather.  He was a novelty--an
imitation dude.  He would have been a real one if he could have afforded
it.  But he was satisfied with himself.  You could see it in his
expression, and in all his attitudes and movements.  He was living in a
dude dreamland where all his squalid shams were genuine, and himself a
sincerity.  It disarmed criticism, it mollified spite, to see him so
enjoy his imitation languors, and arts, and airs, and his studied
daintinesses of gesture and misbegotten refinements.  It was plain to me
that he was imagining himself the Prince of Wales, and was doing
everything the way he thought the Prince would do it.  For bringing his
four valises aboard and stowing them in the nettings, he gave his porter
four cents, and lightly apologized for the smallness of the gratuity
--just with the condescendingest little royal air in the world.  He
stretched himself out on the front seat and rested his pomatum-cake on
the middle arm, and stuck his feet out of the window, and began to pose
as the Prince and work his dreams and languors for exhibition; and he
would indolently watch the blue films curling up from his cigarette, and
inhale the stench, and look so grateful; and would flip the ash away with
the daintiest gesture, unintentionally displaying his brass ring in the
most intentional way; why, it was as good as being in Marlborough House
itself to see him do it so like.

There was other scenery in the trip.  That of the Hawksbury river, in the
National Park region, fine--extraordinarily fine, with spacious views of
stream and lake imposingly framed in woody hills; and every now and then
the noblest groupings of mountains, and the most enchanting
rearrangements of the water effects.  Further along, green flats, thinly
covered with gum forests, with here and there the huts and cabins of
small farmers engaged in raising children.  Still further along, arid
stretches, lifeless and melancholy.  Then Newcastle, a rushing town,
capital of the rich coal regions.  Approaching Scone, wide farming and
grazing levels, with pretty frequent glimpses of a troublesome plant--a
particularly devilish little prickly pear, daily damned in the orisons of
the agriculturist; imported by a lady of sentiment, and contributed
gratis to the colony. Blazing hot, all day.

December 20.  Back to Sydney.  Blazing hot again.  From the newspaper,
and from the map, I have made a collection of curious names of
Australasian towns, with the idea of making a poem out of them:

Munno Para


It may be best to build the poem now, and make the weather help

                    A SWELTERING DAY IN AUSTRALIA.

          (To be read soft and low, with the lights turned down.)

               The Bombola faints in the hot Bowral tree,
               Where fierce Mullengudgery’s smothering fires
               Far from the breezes of Coolgardie
               Burn ghastly and blue as the day expires;

               And Murriwillumba complaineth in song
               For the garlanded bowers of Woolloomooloo,
               And the Ballarat Fly and the lone Wollongong
               They dream of the gardens of Jamberoo;

               The wallabi sighs for the Murrubidgee,
               For the velvety sod of the Munno Parah,
               Where the waters of healing from Muloowurtie
               Flow dim in the gloaming by Yaranyackah;

               The Koppio sorrows for lost Wolloway,
               And sigheth in secret for Murrurundi,
               The Whangeroo wombat lamenteth the day
               That made him an exile from Jerrilderie;

               The Teawamute Tumut from Wirrega’s glade,
               The Nangkita swallow, the Wallaroo swan,
               They long for the peace of the Timaru shade
               And thy balmy soft airs, O sweet Mittagong!

               The Kooringa buffalo pants in the sun,
               The Kondoparinga lies gaping for breath,
               The Kongorong Camaum to the shadow has won,
               But the Goomeroo sinks in the slumber of death;

               In the weltering hell of the Moorooroo plain
               The Yatala Wangary withers and dies,
               And the Worrow Wanilla, demented with pain,
               To the Woolgoolga woodlands despairingly flies;

               Sweet Nangwarry’s desolate, Coonamble wails,
               And Tungkillo Kuito in sables is drest,
               For the Whangerei winds fall asleep in the sails
               And the Booleroo life-breeze is dead in the west.

               Mypongo, Kapunda, O slumber no more
               Yankalilla, Parawirra, be warned
               There’s death in the air!
               Killanoola, wherefore
               Shall the prayer of Penola be scorned?

               Cootamundra, and Takee, and Wakatipu,
               Toowoomba, Kaikoura are lost
               From Onkaparinga to far Oamaru
               All burn in this hell’s holocaust!

               Paramatta and Binnum are gone to their rest
               In the vale of Tapanni Taroom,
               Kawakawa, Deniliquin--all that was best
               In the earth are but graves and a tomb!

               Narrandera mourns, Cameron answers not
               When the roll of the scathless we cry
               Tongariro, Goondiwindi, Woolundunga, the spot
               Is mute and forlorn where ye lie.

Those are good words for poetry.  Among the best I have ever seen.
There are 81 in the list.  I did not need them all, but I have knocked
down 66 of them; which is a good bag, it seems to me, for a person not in
the business.  Perhaps a poet laureate could do better, but a poet
laureate gets wages, and that is different.  When I write poetry I do not
get any wages; often I lose money by it.  The best word in that list, and
the most musical and gurgly, is Woolloomoolloo.  It is a place near
Sydney, and is a favorite pleasure-resort.  It has eight O’s in it.


To succeed in the other trades, capacity must be shown; in the law,
concealment of it will do.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

MONDAY,--December 23, 1895.  Sailed from Sydney for Ceylon in the P. & O.
steamer ‘Oceana’.  A Lascar crew mans this ship--the first I have seen.
White cotton petticoat and pants; barefoot; red shawl for belt; straw
cap, brimless, on head, with red scarf wound around it; complexion a rich
dark brown; short straight black hair; whiskers fine and silky; lustrous
and intensely black.  Mild, good faces; willing and obedient people;
capable, too; but are said to go into hopeless panics when there is
danger.  They are from Bombay and the coast thereabouts.  Left some of
the trunks in Sydney, to be shipped to South Africa by a vessel
advertised to sail three months hence.  The proverb says: “Separate not
yourself from your baggage.”

This ‘Oceana’ is a stately big ship, luxuriously appointed.  She has
spacious promenade decks.  Large rooms; a surpassingly comfortable ship.
The officers’ library is well selected; a ship’s library is not usually
that .  .  .  .  For meals, the bugle call, man-of-war fashion; a
pleasant change from the terrible gong .  .  .  .  Three big cats--very
friendly loafers; they wander all over the ship; the white one follows
the chief steward around like a dog.  There is also a basket of kittens.
One of these cats goes ashore, in port, in England, Australia, and India,
to see how his various families are getting along, and is seen no more
till the ship is ready to sail.  No one knows how he finds out the
sailing date, but no doubt he comes down to the dock every day and takes
a look, and when he sees baggage and passengers flocking in, recognizes
that it is time to get aboard.  This is what the sailors believe.  The
Chief Engineer has been in the China and India trade thirty three years,
and has had but three Christmases at home in that time .  .  .  .
Conversational items at dinner, “Mocha! sold all over the world!  It is
not true.  In fact, very few foreigners except the Emperor of Russia have
ever seen a grain of it, or ever will, while they live.”  Another man
said: “There is no sale in Australia for Australian wine.  But it goes to
France and comes back with a French label on it, and then they buy it.”
 I have heard that the most of the French-labeled claret in New York is
made in California.  And I remember what Professor S. told me once about
Veuve Cliquot--if that was the wine, and I think it was.  He was the
guest of a great wine merchant whose town was quite near that vineyard,
and this merchant asked him if very much V. C. was drunk in America.

“Oh, yes,” said S., “a great abundance of it.”

“Is it easy to be had?”

“Oh, yes--easy as water.  All first and second-class hotels have it.”

“What do you pay for it?”

“It depends on the style of the hotel--from fifteen to twenty-five francs
a bottle.”

“Oh, fortunate country!  Why, it’s worth 100 francs right here on the



“Do you mean that we are drinking a bogus Veuve-Cliquot over there?”

“Yes--and there was never a bottle of the genuine in America since
Columbus’s time.  That wine all comes from a little bit of a patch of
ground which isn’t big enough to raise many bottles; and all of it that
is produced goes every year to one person--the Emperor of Russia.  He
takes the whole crop in advance, be it big or little.”

January 4, 1896.   Christmas in Melbourne, New Year’s Day in Adelaide,
and saw most of the friends again in both places .  .  .  .  Lying here
at anchor all day--Albany (King George’s Sound), Western Australia.  It
is a perfectly landlocked harbor, or roadstead--spacious to look at, but
not deep water.  Desolate-looking rocks and scarred hills.  Plenty of
ships arriving now, rushing to the new gold-fields.  The papers are full
of wonderful tales of the sort always to be heard in connection with new
gold diggings.  A sample: a youth staked out a claim and tried to sell
half for L5; no takers; he stuck to it fourteen days, starving, then
struck it rich and sold out for L10,000 .  .  .  . About sunset, strong
breeze blowing, got up the anchor.  We were in a small deep puddle, with
a narrow channel leading out of it, minutely buoyed, to the sea.

I stayed on deck to see how we were going to manage it with such a big
ship and such a strong wind.  On the bridge our giant captain, in
uniform; at his side a little pilot in elaborately gold-laced uniform; on
the forecastle a white mate and quartermaster or two, and a brilliant
crowd of lascars standing by for business.  Our stern was pointing
straight at the head of the channel; so we must turn entirely around in
the puddle--and the wind blowing as described.  It was done, and
beautifully.  It was done by help of a jib.  We stirred up much mud, but
did not touch the bottom.  We turned right around in our tracks--a
seeming impossibility.  We had several casts of quarter-less 5, and one
cast of half 4--27 feet; we were drawing 26 astern.  By the time we were
entirely around and pointed, the first buoy was not more than a hundred
yards in front of us.  It was a fine piece of work, and I was the only
passenger that saw it.  However, the others got their dinner; the P. & O.
Company got mine .  .  .  .  More cats developed.  Smythe says it is a
British law that they must be carried; and he instanced a case of a ship
not allowed to sail till she sent for a couple.  The bill came, too:
“Debtor, to 2 cats, 20 shillings.” .  .  .  News comes that within this
week Siam has acknowledged herself to be, in effect, a French province.
It seems plain that all savage and semi-civilized countries are going to
be grabbed .  .  .  .  A vulture on board; bald, red, queer-shaped head,
featherless red places here and there on his body, intense great black
eyes set in featherless rims of inflamed flesh; dissipated look; a
businesslike style, a selfish, conscienceless, murderous aspect--the very
look of a professional assassin, and yet a bird which does no murder.
What was the use of getting him up in that tragic style for so innocent a
trade as his?  For this one isn’t the sort that wars upon the living, his
diet is offal--and the more out of date it is the better he likes it.
Nature should give him a suit of rusty black; then he would be all right,
for he would look like an undertaker and would harmonize with his
business; whereas the way he is now he is horribly out of true.

January 5.   At 9 this morning we passed Cape Leeuwin (lioness) and
ceased from our long due-west course along the southern shore of
Australia.  Turning this extreme southwestern corner, we now take a long
straight slant nearly N. W., without a break, for Ceylon.  As we speed
northward it will grow hotter very fast--but it isn’t chilly, now. . . .
The vulture is from the public menagerie at Adelaide--a great and
interesting collection.  It was there that we saw the baby tiger solemnly
spreading its mouth and trying to roar like its majestic mother.  It
swaggered, scowling, back and forth on its short legs just as it had seen
her do on her long ones, and now and then snarling viciously, exposing
its teeth, with a threatening lift of its upper lip and bristling
moustache; and when it thought it was impressing the visitors, it would
spread its mouth wide and do that screechy cry which it meant for a roar,
but which did not deceive.  It took itself quite seriously, and was
lovably comical.  And there was a hyena--an ugly creature; as ugly as the
tiger-kitty was pretty.  It repeatedly arched its back and delivered
itself of such a human cry; a startling resemblance; a cry which was just
that of a grown person badly hurt.  In the dark one would assuredly go to
its assistance--and be disappointed .  .  .  .  Many friends of
Australasian Federation on board.  They feel sure that the good day is
not far off, now.  But there seems to be a party that would go further
--have Australasia cut loose from the British Empire and set up
housekeeping on her own hook.  It seems an unwise idea.  They point to
the United States, but it seems to me that the cases lack a good deal of
being alike.  Australasia governs herself wholly--there is no
interference; and her commerce and manufactures are not oppressed in any
way.  If our case had been the same we should not have gone out when we

January 13.   Unspeakably hot.  The equator is arriving again.  We are
within eight degrees of it.  Ceylon present.  Dear me, it is beautiful!
And most sumptuously tropical, as to character of foliage and opulence of
it.  “What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle”--an
eloquent line, an incomparable line; it says little, but conveys whole
libraries of sentiment, and Oriental charm and mystery, and tropic
deliciousness--a line that quivers and tingles with a thousand
unexpressed and inexpressible things, things that haunt one and find no
articulate voice .  .  .  .  Colombo, the capital.  An Oriental town,
most manifestly; and fascinating.

In this palatial ship the passengers dress for dinner.  The ladies’
toilettes make a fine display of color, and this is in keeping with the
elegance of the vessel’s furnishings and the flooding brilliancies of the
electric light.  On the stormy Atlantic one never sees a man in evening
dress, except at the rarest intervals; and then there is only one, not
two; and he shows up but once on the voyage--the night before the ship
makes port--the night when they have the “concert” and do the amateur
wailings and recitations.  He is the tenor, as a rule .  .  .  .  There
has been a deal of cricket-playing on board; it seems a queer game for a
ship, but they enclose the promenade deck with nettings and keep the ball
from flying overboard, and the sport goes very well, and is properly
violent and exciting .  .  .  .  We must part from this vessel here.

January 14.   Hotel Bristol.  Servant Brompy.  Alert, gentle, smiling,
winning young brown creature as ever was.  Beautiful shining black hair
combed back like a woman’s, and knotted at the back of his head
--tortoise-shell comb in it, sign that he is a Singhalese; slender,
form; jacket; under it is a beltless and flowing white cotton gown--from
neck straight to heel; he and his outfit quite unmasculine.  It was an
embarrassment to undress before him.

We drove to the market, using the Japanese jinriksha--our first
acquaintanceship with it.  It is a light cart, with a native to draw it.
He makes good speed for half-an-hour, but it is hard work for him; he is
too slight for it.  After the half-hour there is no more pleasure for
you; your attention is all on the man, just as it would be on a tired
horse, and necessarily your sympathy is there too.  There’s a plenty of
these ‘rickshas, and the tariff is incredibly cheap.

I was in Cairo years ago.  That was Oriental, but there was a lack.  When
you are in Florida or New Orleans you are in the South--that is granted;
but you are not in the South; you are in a modified South, a tempered
South.  Cairo was a tempered Orient--an Orient with an indefinite
something wanting.  That feeling was not present in Ceylon.  Ceylon was
Oriental in the last measure of completeness--utterly Oriental; also
utterly tropical; and indeed to one’s unreasoning spiritual sense the two
things belong together.  All the requisites were present.  The costumes
were right; the black and brown exposures, unconscious of immodesty, were
right; the juggler was there, with his basket, his snakes, his mongoose,
and his arrangements for growing a tree from seed to foliage and ripe
fruitage before one’s eyes; in sight were plants and flowers familiar to
one on books but in no other way--celebrated, desirable, strange, but in
production restricted to the hot belt of the equator; and out a little
way in the country were the proper deadly snakes, and fierce beasts of
prey, and the wild elephant and the monkey.  And there was that swoon in
the air which one associates with the tropics, and that smother of heat,
heavy with odors of unknown flowers, and that sudden invasion of purple
gloom fissured with lightnings,--then the tumult of crashing thunder and
the downpour and presently all sunny and smiling again; all these things
were there; the conditions were complete, nothing was lacking.  And away
off in the deeps of the jungle and in the remotenesses of the mountains
were the ruined cities and mouldering temples, mysterious relics of the
pomps of a forgotten time and a vanished race--and this was as it should
be, also, for nothing is quite satisfyingly Oriental that lacks the
somber and impressive qualities of mystery and antiquity.

The drive through the town and out to the Galle Face by the seashore,
what a dream it was of tropical splendors of bloom and blossom, and
Oriental conflagrations of costume!  The walking groups of men, women,
boys, girls, babies--each individual was a flame, each group a house
afire for color.  And such stunning colors, such intensely vivid colors,
such rich and exquisite minglings and fusings of rainbows and lightnings!
And all harmonious, all in perfect taste; never a discordant note; never
a color on any person swearing at another color on him or failing to
harmonize faultlessly with the colors of any group the wearer might join.
The stuffs were silk--thin, soft, delicate, clinging; and, as a rule,
piece a solid color: a splendid green, a splendid blue, a splendid
yellow, a splendid purple, a splendid ruby, deep, and rich with
smouldering fires--they swept continuously by in crowds and legions and
multitudes, glowing, flashing, burning, radiant; and every five seconds
came a burst of blinding red that made a body catch his breath, and
filled his heart with joy.  And then, the unimaginable grace of those
costumes!  Sometimes a woman’s whole dress was but a scarf wound about
her person and her head, sometimes a man’s was but a turban and a
careless rag or two--in both cases generous areas of polished dark skin
showing--but always the arrangement compelled the homage of the eye and
made the heart sing for gladness.

I can see it to this day, that radiant panorama, that wilderness of rich
color, that incomparable dissolving-view of harmonious tints, and lithe
half-covered forms, and beautiful brown faces, and gracious and graceful
gestures and attitudes and movements, free, unstudied, barren of
stiffness and restraint, and--

Just then, into this dream of fairyland and paradise a grating dissonance
was injected.

Out of a missionary school came marching, two and two, sixteen prim and
pious little Christian black girls, Europeanly clothed--dressed, to the
last detail, as they would have been dressed on a summer Sunday in an
English or American village.  Those clothes--oh, they were unspeakably
ugly!  Ugly, barbarous, destitute of taste, destitute of grace, repulsive
as a shroud.  I looked at my womenfolk’s clothes--just full-grown
duplicates of the outrages disguising those poor little abused creatures
--and was ashamed to be seen in the street with them.  Then I looked at
my own clothes, and was ashamed to be seen in the street with myself.

However, we must put up with our clothes as they are--they have their
reason for existing.  They are on us to expose us--to advertise what we
wear them to conceal.  They are a sign; a sign of insincerity; a sign of
suppressed vanity; a pretense that we despise gorgeous colors and the
graces of harmony and form; and we put them on to propagate that lie and
back it up.  But we do not deceive our neighbor; and when we step into
Ceylon we realize that we have not even deceived ourselves.  We do love
brilliant colors and graceful costumes; and at home we will turn out in a
storm to see them when the procession goes by--and envy the wearers.  We
go to the theater to look at them and grieve that we can’t be clothed
like that.  We go to the King’s ball, when we get a chance, and are glad
of a sight of the splendid uniforms and the glittering orders.  When we
are granted permission to attend an imperial drawing-room we shut
ourselves up in private and parade around in the theatrical court-dress
by the hour, and admire ourselves in the glass, and are utterly happy;
and every member of every governor’s staff in democratic America does the
same with his grand new uniform--and if he is not watched he will get
himself photographed in it, too.  When I see the Lord Mayor’s footman I
am dissatisfied with my lot.  Yes, our clothes are a lie, and have been
nothing short of that these hundred years.  They are insincere, they are
the ugly and appropriate outward exposure of an inward sham and a moral

The last little brown boy I chanced to notice in the crowds and swarms of
Colombo had nothing on but a twine string around his waist, but in my
memory the frank honesty of his costume still stands out in pleasant
contrast with the odious flummery in which the little Sunday-school
dowdies were masquerading.


Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

EVENING--14th.   Sailed in the Rosetta.  This is a poor old ship, and
ought to be insured and sunk.  As in the ‘Oceana’, just so here:
everybody dresses for dinner; they make it a sort of pious duty.  These
fine and formal costumes are a rather conspicuous contrast to the poverty
and shabbiness of the surroundings .  .  .  .  If you want a slice of a
lime at four o’clock tea, you must sign an order on the bar.  Limes cost
14 cents a barrel.

January 18th.   We have been running up the Arabian Sea, latterly.
Closing up on Bombay now, and due to arrive this evening.

January 20th.   Bombay!  A bewitching place, a bewildering place, an
enchanting place--the Arabian Nights come again?  It is a vast city;
contains about a million inhabitants.  Natives, they are, with a slight
sprinkling of white people--not enough to have the slightest modifying
effect upon the massed dark complexion of the public.  It is winter here,
yet the weather is the divine weather of June, and the foliage is the
fresh and heavenly foliage of June.  There is a rank of noble great shade
trees across the way from the hotel, and under them sit groups of
picturesque natives of both sexes; and the juggler in his turban is there
with his snakes and his magic; and all day long the cabs and the
multitudinous varieties of costumes flock by.  It does not seem as if one
could ever get tired of watching this moving show, this shining and
shifting spectacle .  .  .  .  In the great bazar the pack and jam of
natives was marvelous, the sea of rich-colored turbans and draperies an
inspiring sight, and the quaint and showy Indian architecture was just
the right setting for it.  Toward sunset another show; this is the drive
around the sea-shore to Malabar Point, where Lord Sandhurst, the Governor
of the Bombay Presidency, lives.  Parsee palaces all along the first part
of the drive; and past them all the world is driving; the private
carriages of wealthy Englishmen and natives of rank are manned by a
driver and three footmen in stunning oriental liveries--two of these
turbaned statues standing up behind, as fine as monuments.  Sometimes
even the public carriages have this superabundant crew, slightly
modified--one to drive, one to sit by and see it done, and one to stand
up behind and yell--yell when there is anybody in the way, and for
practice when there isn’t.  It all helps to keep up the liveliness and
augment the general sense of swiftness and energy and confusion and

In the region of Scandal Point--felicitous name--where there are handy
rocks to sit on and a noble view of the sea on the one hand, and on the
other the passing and repassing whirl and tumult of gay carriages, are
great groups of comfortably-off Parsee women--perfect flower-beds of
brilliant color, a fascinating spectacle.  Tramp, tramp, tramping along
the road, in singles, couples, groups, and gangs, you have the
working-man and the working-woman--but not clothed like ours.  Usually
the man is a nobly-built great athlete, with not a rag on but his
loin-handkerchief; his color a deep dark brown, his skin satin, his
rounded muscles knobbing it as if it had eggs under it.  Usually the
woman is a slender and shapely creature, as erect as a lightning-rod, and
she has but one thing on--a bright-colored piece of stuff which is wound
about her head and her body down nearly half-way to her knees, and which
clings like her own skin.  Her legs and feet are bare, and so are her
arms, except for her fanciful bunches of loose silver rings on her ankles
and on her arms. She has jewelry bunched on the side of her nose also,
and showy clusterings on her toes.  When she undresses for bed she takes
off her jewelry, I suppose.  If she took off anything more she would
catch cold. As a rule she has a large shiney brass water jar of graceful
shape on her head, and one of her naked arms curves up and the hand holds
it there. She is so straight, so erect, and she steps with such style,
and such easy grace and dignity; and her curved arm and her brazen jar
are such a help to the picture--indeed, our working-women cannot begin
with her as a road-decoration.

It is all color, bewitching color, enchanting color--everywhere all
around--all the way around the curving great opaline bay clear to
Government House, where the turbaned big native ‘chuprassies’ stand
grouped in state at the door in their robes of fiery red, and do most
properly and stunningly finish up the splendid show and make it
theatrically complete.  I wish I were a ‘chuprassy’.

This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth
and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of
famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers
and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations
and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods,
cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history,
grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays
bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations--the
one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable
interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant,
wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men
desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give
that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.
Even now, after the lapse of a year, the delirium of those days in Bombay
has not left me, and I hope never will.  It was all new, no detail of it
hackneyed.  And India did not wait for morning, it began at the hotel
--straight away.  The lobbies and halls were full of turbaned, and fez’d
and embroidered, cap’d, and barefooted, and cotton-clad dark natives,
some of them rushing about, others at rest squatting, or sitting on the
ground; some of them chattering with energy, others still and dreamy; in
the dining-room every man’s own private native servant standing behind
his chair, and dressed for a part in the Arabian Nights.

Our rooms were high up, on the front.  A white man--he was a burly German
--went up with us, and brought three natives along to see to arranging
things.  About fourteen others followed in procession, with the
hand-baggage; each carried an article--and only one; a bag, in some
cases, in other cases less.  One strong native carried my overcoat,
another a parasol, another a box of cigars, another a novel, and the last
man in the procession had no load but a fan.  It was all done with
earnestness and sincerity, there was not a smile in the procession from
the head of it to the tail of it.  Each man waited patiently, tranquilly,
in no sort of hurry, till one of us found time to give him a copper, then
he bent his head reverently, touched his forehead with his fingers, and
went his way.  They seemed a soft and gentle race, and there was
something both winning and touching about their demeanor.

There was a vast glazed door which opened upon the balcony.  It needed
closing, or cleaning, or something, and a native got down on his knees
and went to work at it.  He seemed to be doing it well enough, but
perhaps he wasn’t, for the burly German put on a look that betrayed
dissatisfaction, then without explaining what was wrong, gave the native
a brisk cuff on the jaw and then told him where the defect was.  It
seemed such a shame to do that before us all.  The native took it with
meekness, saying nothing, and not showing in his face or manner any
resentment.  I had not seen the like of this for fifty years.  It carried
me back to my boyhood, and flashed upon me the forgotten fact that this
was the usual way of explaining one’s desires to a slave.  I was able to
remember that the method seemed right and natural to me in those days, I
being born to it and unaware that elsewhere there were other methods; but
I was also able to remember that those unresented cuffings made me sorry
for the victim and ashamed for the punisher.  My father was a refined and
kindly gentleman, very grave, rather austere, of rigid probity, a sternly
just and upright man, albeit he attended no church and never spoke of
religious matters, and had no part nor lot in the pious joys of his
Presbyterian family, nor ever seemed to suffer from this deprivation.  He
laid his hand upon me in punishment only twice in his life, and then not
heavily; once for telling him a lie--which surprised me, and showed me
how unsuspicious he was, for that was not my maiden effort.  He punished
me those two times only, and never any other member of the family at all;
yet every now and then he cuffed our harmless slave boy, Lewis, for
trifling little blunders and awkwardnesses.  My father had passed his
among the slaves from his cradle up, and his cuffings proceeded from the
custom of the time, not from his nature.  When I was ten years old I saw
a man fling a lump of iron-ore at a slaveman in anger, for merely doing
something awkwardly--as if that were a crime.  It bounded from the man’s
skull, and the man fell and never spoke again.  He was dead in an hour.
I knew the man had a right to kill his slave if he wanted to, and yet it
seemed a pitiful thing and somehow wrong, though why wrong I was not deep
enough to explain if I had been asked to do it.  Nobody in the village
approved of that murder, but of course no one said much about it.

It is curious--the space-annihilating power of thought.  For just one
second, all that goes to make the me in me was in a Missourian village,
on the other side of the globe, vividly seeing again these forgotten
pictures of fifty years ago, and wholly unconscious of all things but
just those; and in the next second I was back in Bombay, and that
kneeling native’s smitten cheek was not done tingling yet!  Back to
boyhood--fifty years; back to age again, another fifty; and a flight
equal to the circumference of the globe-all in two seconds by the watch!

Some natives--I don’t remember how many--went into my bedroom, now, and
put things to rights and arranged the mosquito-bar, and I went to bed to
nurse my cough.  It was about nine in the evening.  What a state of
things!  For three hours the yelling and shouting of natives in the hall
continued, along with the velvety patter of their swift bare feet--what a
racket it was!  They were yelling orders and messages down three flights.
Why, in the matter of noise it amounted to a riot, an insurrection, a
revolution.  And then there were other noises mixed up with these and at
intervals tremendously accenting them--roofs falling in, I judged,
windows smashing, persons being murdered, crows squawking, and deriding,
and cursing, canaries screeching, monkeys jabbering, macaws blaspheming,
and every now and then fiendish bursts of laughter and explosions of
dynamite.  By midnight I had suffered all the different kinds of shocks
there are, and knew that I could never more be disturbed by them, either
isolated or in combination.  Then came peace--stillness deep and solemn
and lasted till five.

Then it all broke loose again.  And who re-started it?  The Bird of Birds
the Indian crow.  I came to know him well, by and by, and be infatuated
with him.  I suppose he is the hardest lot that wears feathers.  Yes, and
the cheerfulest, and the best satisfied with himself.  He never arrived
at what he is by any careless process, or any sudden one; he is a work of
art, and “art is long”; he is the product of immemorial ages, and of deep
calculation; one can’t make a bird like that in a day.  He has been
reincarnated more times than Shiva; and he has kept a sample of each
incarnation, and fused it into his constitution.  In the course of his
evolutionary promotions, his sublime march toward ultimate perfection, he
has been a gambler, a low comedian, a dissolute priest, a fussy woman, a
blackguard, a scoffer, a liar, a thief, a spy, an informer, a trading
politician, a swindler, a professional hypocrite, a patriot for cash, a
reformer, a lecturer, a lawyer, a conspirator, a rebel, a royalist, a
democrat, a practicer and propagator of irreverence, a meddler, an
intruder, a busybody, an infidel, and a wallower in sin for the mere love
of it.  The strange result, the incredible result, of this patient
accumulation of all damnable traits is, that he does not know what care
is, he does not know what sorrow is, he does not know what remorse is,
his life is one long thundering ecstasy of happiness, and he will go to
his death untroubled, knowing that he will soon turn up again as an
author or something, and be even more intolerably capable and comfortable
than ever he was before.

In his straddling wide forward-step, and his springy side-wise series of
hops, and his impudent air, and his cunning way of canting his head to
one side upon occasion, he reminds one of the American blackbird.  But
the sharp resemblances stop there.  He is much bigger than the blackbird;
and he lacks the blackbird’s trim and slender and beautiful build and
shapely beak; and of course his sober garb of gray and rusty black is a
poor and humble thing compared with the splendid lustre of the
blackbird’s metallic sables and shifting and flashing bronze glories.
The blackbird is a perfect gentleman, in deportment and attire, and is
not noisy, I believe, except when holding religious services and
political conventions in a tree; but this Indian sham Quaker is just a
rowdy, and is always noisy when awake--always chaffing, scolding,
scoffing, laughing, ripping, and cursing, and carrying on about something
or other.  I never saw such a bird for delivering opinions.  Nothing
escapes him; he notices everything that happens, and brings out his
opinion about it, particularly if it is a matter that is none of his
business.  And it is never a mild opinion, but always violent--violent
and profane--the presence of ladies does not affect him.  His opinions
are not the outcome of reflection, for he never thinks about anything,
but heaves out the opinion that is on top in his mind, and which is often
an opinion about some quite different thing and does not fit the case.
But that is his way; his main idea is to get out an opinion, and if he
stopped to think he would lose chances.

I suppose he has no enemies among men.  The whites and Mohammedans never
seemed to molest him; and the Hindoos, because of their religion, never
take the life of any creature, but spare even the snakes and tigers and
fleas and rats.  If I sat on one end of the balcony, the crows would
gather on the railing at the other end and talk about me; and edge
closer, little by little, till I could almost reach them; and they would
sit there, in the most unabashed way, and talk about my clothes, and my
hair, and my complexion, and probable character and vocation and
politics, and how I came to be in India, and what I  had been doing, and
how many days I had got for it, and how I had happened to go unhanged
so long, and when would it probably come off, and might there be more of
my sort where I came from, and when would they be hanged,--and so on, and
so on, until I could not longer endure the embarrassment of it; then I
would shoo them away, and they would circle around in the air a little
while, laughing and deriding and mocking, and presently settle on the
rail and do it all over again.

They were very sociable when there was anything to eat--oppressively so.
With a little encouragement they would come in and light on the table and
help me eat my breakfast; and once when I was in the other room and they
found themselves alone, they carried off everything they could lift; and
they were particular to choose things which they could make no use of
after they got them.  In India their number is beyond estimate, and their
noise is in proportion.  I suppose they cost the country more than the
government does; yet that is not a light matter.  Still, they pay; their
company pays; it would sadden the land to take their cheerful voice out
of it.


By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity.  Another man’s,
I mean.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

You soon find your long-ago dreams of India rising in a sort of vague and
luscious moonlight above the horizon-rim of your opaque consciousness,
and softly lighting up a thousand forgotten details which were parts of a
vision that had once been vivid to you when you were a boy, and steeped
your spirit in tales of the East.  The barbaric gorgeousnesses, for
instance; and the princely titles, the sumptuous titles, the sounding
titles,--how good they taste in the mouth!  The Nizam of Hyderabad; the
Maharajah of Travancore; the Nabob of Jubbelpore; the Begum of Bhopal;
the Nawab of Mysore; the Ranee of Gulnare; the Ahkoond of Swat’s; the Rao
of Rohilkund; the Gaikwar of Baroda.  Indeed, it is a country that runs
richly to name.  The great god Vishnu has 108--108 special ones--108
peculiarly holy ones--names just for Sunday use only.  I learned the
whole of Vishnu’s 108 by heart once, but they wouldn’t stay; I don’t
remember any of them now but John W.

And the romances connected with those princely native houses--to this
day they are always turning up, just as in the old, old times.  They were
sweating out a romance in an English court in Bombay a while before we
were there.  In this case a native prince, 16 1/2 years old, who has been
enjoying his titles and dignities and estates unmolested for fourteen
years, is suddenly haled into court on the charge that he is rightfully
no prince at all, but a pauper peasant; that the real prince died when
two and one-half years old; that the death was concealed, and a peasant
child smuggled into the royal cradle, and that this present incumbent was
that smuggled substitute.  This is the very material that so many
oriental tales have been made of.

The case of that great prince, the Gaikwar of Baroda, is a reversal of
the theme.  When that throne fell vacant, no heir could be found for some
time, but at last one was found in the person of a peasant child who was
making mud pies in a village street, and having an innocent good time.
But his pedigree was straight; he was the true prince, and he has reigned
ever since, with none to dispute his right.

Lately there was another hunt for an heir to another princely house, and
one was found who was circumstanced about as the Gaikwar had been.  His
fathers were traced back, in humble life, along a branch of the ancestral
tree to the point where it joined the stem fourteen generations ago, and
his heirship was thereby squarely established.  The tracing was done by
means of the records of one of the great Hindoo shrines, where princes on
pilgrimage record their names and the date of their visit.  This is to
keep the prince’s religious account straight, and his spiritual person
safe; but the record has the added value of keeping the pedigree
authentic, too.

When I think of Bombay now, at this distance of time, I seem to have a
kaleidoscope at my eye; and I hear the clash of the glass bits as the
splendid figures change, and fall apart, and flash into new forms, figure
after figure, and with the birth of each new form I feel my skin crinkle
and my nerve-web tingle with a new thrill of wonder and delight.  These
remembered pictures float past me in a sequence of contracts; following
the same order always, and always whirling by and disappearing with the
swiftness of a dream, leaving me with the sense that the actuality was
the experience of an hour, at most, whereas it really covered days, I

The series begins with the hiring of a “bearer”--native man-servant--a
person who should be selected with some care, because as long as he is in
your employ he will be about as near to you as your clothes.

In India your day may be said to begin with the “bearer’s” knock on the
bedroom door, accompanied by a formula of words--a formula which is
intended to mean that the bath is ready.  It doesn’t really seem to mean
anything at all.  But that is because you are not used to “bearer”
 English.  You will presently understand.

Where he gets his English is his own secret.  There is nothing like it
elsewhere in the earth; or even in paradise, perhaps, but the other place
is probably full of it.  You hire him as soon as you touch Indian soil;
for no matter what your sex is, you cannot do without him.  He is
messenger, valet, chambermaid, table-waiter, lady’s maid, courier--he is
everything.  He carries a coarse linen clothes-bag and a quilt; he sleeps
on the stone floor outside your chamber door, and gets his meals you do
not know where nor when; you only know that he is not fed on the
premises, either when you are in a hotel or when you are a guest in a
private house.  His wages are large--from an Indian point of view--and he
feeds and clothes himself out of them.  We had three of him in two and a
half months.  The first one’s rate was thirty rupees a month that is to
say, twenty-seven cents a day; the rate of the others, Rs. 40 (40 rupees)
a month.  A princely sum; for the native switchman on a railway and the
native servant in a private family get only Rs. 7 per month, and the
farm-hand only 4.  The two former feed and clothe themselves and their
families on their $1.90 per month; but I cannot believe that the farmhand
has to feed himself on his $1.08.  I think the farm probably feeds him,
and that the whole of his wages, except a trifle for the priest, go to
the support of his family.  That is, to the feeding of his family; for
they live in a mud hut, hand-made, and, doubtless, rent-free, and they
wear no clothes; at least, nothing more than a rag.  And not much of a
rag at that, in the case of the males.  However, these are handsome times
for the farm-hand; he was not always the child of luxury that he is now.
The Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces, in a recent official
utterance wherein he was rebuking a native deputation for complaining of
hard times, reminded them that they could easily remember when a
farm-hand’s wages were only half a rupee (former value) a month--that
is to say, less than a cent a day; nearly $2.90 a year.  If such a
wage-earner had a good deal of a family--and they all have that, for God
is very good to these poor natives in some ways--he would save a profit
of fifteen cents, clean and clear, out of his year’s toil; I mean a
frugal, thrifty person would, not one given to display and ostentation.
And if he owed $13.50 and took good care of his health, he could pay it
off in ninety years.  Then he could hold up his head, and look his
creditors in the face again.

Think of these facts and what they mean.  India does not consist of
cities.  There are no cities in India--to speak of.  Its stupendous
population consists of farm-laborers.  India is one vast farm--one almost
interminable stretch of fields with mud fences between. . .  Think of the
above facts; and consider what an incredible aggregate of poverty they
place before you.

The first Bearer that applied, waited below and sent up his
recommendations.  That was the first morning in Bombay.  We read them
over; carefully, cautiously, thoughtfully.  There was not a fault to find
with them--except one; they were all from Americans.  Is that a slur?
If it is, it is a deserved one.  In my experience, an American’s
recommendation of a servant is not usually valuable.  We are too
good-natured a race; we hate to say the unpleasant thing; we shrink from
speaking the unkind truth about a poor fellow whose bread depends upon
our verdict; so we speak of his good points only, thus not scrupling to
tell a lie--a silent lie--for in not mentioning his bad ones we as good
as say he hasn’t any.  The only difference that I know of between a
silent lie and a spoken one is, that the silent lie is a less respectable
one than the other.  And it can deceive, whereas the other can’t--as a
rule.  We not only tell the silent lie as to a servant’s faults, but we
sin in another way: we overpraise his merits; for when it comes to
writing recommendations of servants we are a nation of gushers.  And we
have not the Frenchman’s excuse.  In France you must give the departing
servant a good recommendation; and you must conceal his faults; you have
no choice.  If you mention his faults for the protection of the next
candidate for his services, he can sue you for damages; and the court
will award them, too; and, moreover, the judge will give you a sharp
dressing-down from the bench for trying to destroy a poor man’s
character, and rob him of his bread.  I do not state this on my own
authority, I got it from a French physician of fame and repute--a man who
was born in Paris, and had practiced there all his life.  And he said
that he spoke not merely from common knowledge, but from exasperating
personal experience.

As I was saying, the Bearer’s recommendations were all from American
tourists; and St. Peter would have admitted him to the fields of the
blest on them--I mean if he is as unfamiliar with our people and our ways
as I suppose he is.  According to these recommendations, Manuel X. was
supreme in all the arts connected with his complex trade; and these
manifold arts were mentioned--and praised-in detail.  His English was
spoken of in terms of warm admiration--admiration verging upon rapture.
I took pleased note of that, and hoped that some of it might be true.

We had to have some one right away; so the family went down stairs and
took him a week on trial; then sent him up to me and departed on their
affairs.  I was shut up in my quarters with a bronchial cough, and glad
to have something fresh to look at, something new to play with.  Manuel
filled the bill; Manuel was very welcome.  He was toward fifty years old,
tall, slender, with a slight stoop--an artificial stoop, a deferential
stoop, a stoop rigidified by long habit--with face of European mould;
short hair intensely black; gentle black eyes, timid black eyes, indeed;
complexion very dark, nearly black in fact; face smooth-shaven.  He was
bareheaded and barefooted, and was never otherwise while his week with us
lasted; his clothing was European, cheap, flimsy, and showed much wear.

He stood before me and inclined his head (and body) in the pathetic
Indian way, touching his forehead with the finger-ends of his right
hand, in salute.  I said:

“Manuel, you are evidently Indian, but you seem to have a Spanish name
when you put it all together.  How is that?”

A perplexed look gathered in his face; it was plain that he had not
understood--but he didn’t let on.  He spoke back placidly.

“Name, Manuel.  Yes, master.”

“I know; but how did you get the name?”

“Oh, yes, I suppose.  Think happen so.  Father same name, not mother.”

I saw that I must simplify my language and spread my words apart, if I
would be understood by this English scholar.

“Well--then--how--did--your--father--get--his name?”

“Oh, he,”--brightening a little--“he Christian--Portygee; live in Goa; I
born Goa; mother not Portygee, mother native-high-caste Brahmin--Coolin
Brahmin; highest caste; no other so high caste.  I high-caste Brahmin,
too.  Christian, too, same like father; high-caste Christian Brahmin,
master--Salvation Army.”

All this haltingly, and with difficulty.  Then he had an inspiration, and
began to pour out a flood of words that I could make nothing of; so I

“There--don’t do that.  I can’t understand Hindostani.”

“Not Hindostani, master--English.  Always I speaking English sometimes
when I talking every day all the time at you.”

“Very well, stick to that; that is intelligible.  It is not up to my
hopes, it is not up to the promise of the recommendations, still it is
English, and I understand it.  Don’t elaborate it; I don’t like
elaborations when they are crippled by uncertainty of touch.”


“Oh, never mind; it was only a random thought; I didn’t expect you to
understand it.  How did you get your English; is it an acquirement, or
just a gift of God?”

After some hesitation--piously:

“Yes, he very good.  Christian god very good, Hindoo god very good, too.
Two million Hindoo god, one Christian god--make two million and one.  All
mine; two million and one god.  I got a plenty.  Sometime I pray all time
at those, keep it up, go all time every day; give something at shrine,
all good for me, make me better man; good for me, good for my family, dam

Then he had another inspiration, and went rambling off into fervent
confusions and incoherencies, and I had to stop him again.  I thought we
had talked enough, so I told him to go to the bathroom and clean it up
and remove the slops--this to get rid of him.  He went away, seeming to
understand, and got out some of my clothes and began to brush them.  I
repeated my desire several times, simplifying and re-simplifying it, and
at last he got the idea.  Then he went away and put a coolie at the work,
and explained that he would lose caste if he did it himself; it would be
pollution, by the law of his caste, and it would cost him a deal of fuss
and trouble to purify himself and accomplish his rehabilitation.  He said
that that kind of work was strictly forbidden to persons of caste, and as
strictly restricted to the very bottom layer of Hindoo society--the
despised ‘Sudra’ (the toiler, the laborer).  He was right; and apparently
the poor Sudra has been content with his strange lot, his insulting
distinction, for ages and ages--clear back to the beginning of things, so
to speak.  Buckle says that his name--laborer--is a term of contempt;
that it is ordained by the Institutes of Menu (900 B.C.) that if a Sudra
sit on a level with his superior he shall be exiled or branded--[Without
going into particulars I will remark that as a rule they wear no clothing
that would conceal the brand.--M. T.] .  .  .  if he speak
contemptuously of his superior or insult him he shall suffer death; if he
listen to the reading of the sacred books he shall have burning oil
poured in his ears; if he memorize passages from them he shall be killed;
if he marry his daughter to a Brahmin the husband shall go to hell for
defiling himself by contact with a woman so infinitely his inferior; and
that it is forbidden to a Sudra to acquire wealth.  “The bulk of the
population of India,” says Bucklet--[Population to-day, 300,000,000.]
--“is the Sudras--the workers, the farmers, the creators of wealth.”

Manuel was a failure, poor old fellow.  His age was against him.  He was
desperately slow and phenomenally forgetful.  When he went three blocks
on an errand he would be gone two hours, and then forget what it was he
went for.  When he packed a trunk it took him forever, and the trunk’s
contents were an unimaginable chaos when he got done.  He couldn’t wait
satisfactorily at table--a prime defect, for if you haven’t your own
servant in an Indian hotel you are likely to have a slow time of it and
go away hungry.  We couldn’t understand his English; he couldn’t
understand ours; and when we found that he couldn’t understand his own,
it seemed time for us to part.  I had to discharge him; there was no help
for it.  But I did it as kindly as I could, and as gently.  We must part,
said I, but I hoped we should meet again in a better world.  It was not
true, but it was only a little thing to say, and saved his feelings and
cost me nothing.

But now that he was gone, and was off my mind and heart, my spirits began
to rise at once, and I was soon feeling brisk and ready to go out and
have adventures.  Then his newly-hired successor flitted in, touched his
forehead, and began to fly around here, there, and everywhere, on his
velvet feet, and in five minutes he had everything in the room
“ship-shape and Bristol fashion,” as the sailors say, and was standing at
the salute, waiting for orders.  Dear me, what a rustler he was after the
slumbrous way of Manuel, poor old slug!  All my heart, all my affection,
all my admiration, went out spontaneously to this frisky little forked
black thing, this compact and compressed incarnation of energy and force
and promptness and celerity and confidence, this smart, smily, engaging,
shiney-eyed little devil, feruled on his upper end by a gleaming
fire-coal of a fez with a red-hot tassel dangling from it.  I said,
with deep satisfaction--

“You’ll suit.  What is your name?”

He reeled it mellowly off.

“Let me see if I can make a selection out of it--for business uses, I
mean; we will keep the rest for Sundays.  Give it to me in installments.”

He did it.  But there did not seem to be any short ones, except
Mousa--which suggested mouse.  It was out of character; it was too soft,
too quiet, too conservative; it didn’t fit his splendid style.  I
considered, and said--

“Mousa is short enough, but I don’t quite like it.  It seems colorless
--inharmonious--inadequate; and I am sensitive to such things.  How do
think Satan would do?”

“Yes, master.  Satan do wair good.”

It was his way of saying “very good.”

There was a rap at the door.  Satan covered the ground with a single
skip; there was a word or two of Hindostani, then he disappeared.  Three
minutes later he was before me again, militarily erect, and waiting for
me to speak first.

“What is it, Satan?”

“God want to see you.”


“God.  I show him up, master?”

“Why, this is so unusual, that--that--well, you see indeed I am so
unprepared--I don’t quite know what I do mean.  Dear me, can’t you
explain?  Don’t you see that this is a most ex----”

“Here his card, master.”

Wasn’t it curious--and amazing, and tremendous, and all that?  Such a
personage going around calling on such as I, and sending up his card,
like a mortal--sending it up by Satan.  It was a bewildering collision of
the impossibles.  But this was the land of the Arabian Nights, this was
India! and what is it that cannot happen in India?

We had the interview.  Satan was right--the Visitor was indeed a God in
the conviction of his multitudinous followers, and was worshiped by them
in sincerity and humble adoration.  They are troubled by no doubts as to
his divine origin and office.  They believe in him, they pray to him,
they make offerings to him, they beg of him remission of sins; to them
his person, together with everything connected with it, is sacred; from
his barber they buy the parings of his nails and set them in gold, and
wear them as precious amulets.

I tried to seem tranquilly conversational and at rest, but I was not.
Would you have been?  I was in a suppressed frenzy of excitement and
curiosity and glad wonder.  I could not keep my eyes off him.  I was
looking upon a god, an actual god, a recognized and accepted god; and
every detail of his person and his dress had a consuming interest for me.
And the thought went floating through my head, “He is worshiped--think of
it--he is not a recipient of the pale homage called compliment, wherewith
the highest human clay must make shift to be satisfied, but of an
infinitely richer spiritual food: adoration, worship!--men and women lay
their cares and their griefs and their broken hearts at his feet; and he
gives them his peace; and they go away healed.”

And just then the Awful Visitor said, in the simplest way--“There is a
feature of the philosophy of Huck Finn which”--and went luminously on
with the construction of a compact and nicely-discriminated literary

It is a land of surprises--India!  I had had my ambitions--I had hoped,
and almost expected, to be read by kings and presidents and emperors--but
I had never looked so high as That.  It would be false modesty to pretend
that I was not inordinately pleased.  I was.  I was much more pleased
than I should have been with a compliment from a man.

He remained half an hour, and I found him a most courteous and charming
gentleman.  The godship has been in his family a good while, but I do not
know how long.  He is a Mohammedan deity; by earthly rank he is a prince;
not an Indian but a Persian prince.  He is a direct descendant of the
Prophet’s line.  He is comely; also young--for a god; not forty, perhaps
not above thirty-five years old.  He wears his immense honors with
tranquil grace, and with a dignity proper to his awful calling.  He
speaks English with the ease and purity of a person born to it.  I think
I am not overstating this.  He was the only god I had ever seen, and I
was very favorably impressed.  When he rose to say good-bye, the door
swung open and I caught the flash of a red fez, and heard these words,
reverently said--

“Satan see God out?”

“Yes.” And these mis-mated Beings passed from view Satan in the lead and
The Other following after.


Few of us can stand prosperity.  Another man’s, I mean.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The next picture in my mind is Government House, on Malabar Point, with
the wide sea-view from the windows and broad balconies; abode of His
Excellency the Governor of the Bombay Presidency--a residence which is
European in everything but the native guards and servants, and is a home
and a palace of state harmoniously combined.

That was England, the English power, the English civilization, the modern
civilization--with the quiet elegancies and quiet colors and quiet tastes
and quiet dignity that are the outcome of the modern cultivation.  And
following it came a picture of the ancient civilization of India--an hour
in the mansion of a native prince: Kumar Schri Samatsinhji Bahadur of the
Palitana State.

The young lad, his heir, was with the prince; also, the lad’s sister, a
wee brown sprite, very pretty, very serious, very winning, delicately
moulded, costumed like the daintiest butterfly, a dear little fairyland
princess, gravely willing to be friendly with the strangers, but in the
beginning preferring to hold her father’s hand until she could take stock
of them and determine how far they were to be trusted.  She must have
been eight years old; so in the natural (Indian) order of things she
would be a bride in three or four years from now, and then this free
contact with the sun and the air and the other belongings of out-door
nature and comradeship with visiting male folk would end, and she would
shut herself up in the zenana for life, like her mother, and by inherited
habit of mind would be happy in that seclusion and not look upon it as an
irksome restraint and a weary captivity.

The game which the prince amuses his leisure with--however, never mind
it, I should never be able to describe it intelligibly.  I tried to get
an idea of it while my wife and daughter visited the princess in the
zenana, a lady of charming graces and a fluent speaker of English, but I
did not make it out.  It is a complicated game, and I believe it is said
that nobody can learn to play it well--but an Indian.  And I was not able
to learn how to wind a turban.  It seemed a simple art and easy; but that
was a deception.  It is a piece of thin, delicate stuff a foot wide or
more, and forty or fifty feet long; and the exhibitor of the art takes
one end of it in his two hands, and winds it in and out intricately about
head,  twisting it as he goes, and in a minute or two the thing is
finished, and is neat and symmetrical and fits as snugly as a mould.

We were interested in the wardrobe and the jewels, and in the silverware,
and its grace of shape and beauty and delicacy of ornamentation.  The
silverware is kept locked up, except at meal-times, and none but the
chief butler and the prince have keys to the safe.  I did not clearly
understand why, but it was not for the protection of the silver.  It was
either to protect the prince from the contamination which his caste would
suffer if the vessels were touched by low-caste hands, or it was to
protect his highness from poison.  Possibly it was both.  I believe a
salaried taster has to taste everything before the prince ventures it--an
ancient and judicious custom in the East, and has thinned out the tasters
a good deal, for of course it is the cook that puts the poison in.  If I
were an Indian prince I would not go to the expense of a taster, I would
eat with the cook.

Ceremonials are always interesting; and I noted that the Indian
good-morning is a ceremonial, whereas ours doesn’t amount to that.  In
salutation the son reverently touches the father’s forehead with a small
silver implement tipped with vermillion paste which leaves a red spot
there, and in return the son receives the father’s blessing.  Our good
morning is well enough for the rowdy West, perhaps, but would be too
brusque for the soft and ceremonious East.

After being properly necklaced, according to custom, with great garlands
made of yellow flowers, and provided with betel-nut to chew, this
pleasant visit closed, and we passed thence to a scene of a different
sort: from this glow of color and this sunny life to those grim
receptacles of the Parsee dead, the Towers of Silence.  There is
something stately about that name, and an impressiveness which sinks
deep; the hush of death is in it.  We have the Grave, the Tomb, the
Mausoleum, God’s Acre, the Cemetery; and association has made them
eloquent with solemn meaning; but we have no name that is so majestic as
that one, or lingers upon the ear with such deep and haunting pathos.

On lofty ground, in the midst of a paradise of tropical foliage and
flowers, remote from the world and its turmoil and noise, they stood--the
Towers of Silence; and away below was spread the wide groves of cocoa
palms, then the city, mile on mile, then the ocean with its fleets of
creeping ships all steeped in a stillness as deep as the hush that
hallowed this high place of the dead.  The vultures were there.  They
stood close together in a great circle all around the rim of a massive
low tower--waiting; stood as motionless as sculptured ornaments, and
indeed almost deceived one into the belief that that was what they were.
Presently there was a slight stir among the score of persons present, and
all moved reverently out of the path and ceased from talking.  A funeral
procession entered the great gate, marching two and two, and moved
silently by, toward the Tower.  The corpse lay in a shallow shell, and
was under cover of a white cloth, but was otherwise naked.  The bearers
of the body were separated by an interval of thirty feet from the
mourners.  They, and also the mourners, were draped all in pure white,
and each couple of mourners was figuratively bound together by a piece of
white rope or a handkerchief--though they merely held the ends of it in
their hands.  Behind the procession followed a dog, which was led in a
leash.  When the mourners had reached the neighborhood of the Tower
--neither they nor any other human being but the bearers of the dead must
approach within thirty feet of it--they turned and went back to one of
the prayer-houses within the gates, to pray for the spirit of their dead.
The bearers unlocked the Tower’s sole door and disappeared from view
within.  In a little while they came out bringing the bier and the white
covering-cloth, and locked the door again.  Then the ring of vultures
rose, flapping their wings, and swooped down into the Tower to devour the
body.  Nothing was left of it but a clean-picked skeleton when they
flocked-out again a few minutes afterward.

The principle which underlies and orders everything connected with a
Parsee funeral is Purity.  By the tenets of the Zoroastrian religion, the
elements, Earth, Fire, and Water, are sacred, and must not be
contaminated by contact with a dead body.  Hence corpses must not be
burned, neither must they be buried.  None may touch the dead or enter
the Towers where they repose except certain men who are officially
appointed for that purpose.  They receive high pay, but theirs is a
dismal life, for they must live apart from their species, because their
commerce with the dead defiles them, and any who should associate with
them would share their defilement.  When they come out of the Tower the
clothes they are wearing are exchanged for others, in a building within
the grounds, and the ones which they have taken off are left behind, for
they are contaminated, and must never be used again or suffered to go
outside the grounds.  These bearers come to every funeral in new
garments.  So far as is known, no human being, other than an official
corpse-bearer--save one--has ever entered a Tower of Silence after its
consecration.  Just a hundred years ago a European rushed in behind the
bearers and fed his brutal curiosity with a glimpse of the forbidden
mysteries of the place.  This shabby savage’s name is not given; his
quality is also concealed.  These two details, taken in connection with
the fact that for his extraordinary offense the only punishment he got
from the East India Company’s Government was a solemn official
“reprimand”--suggest the suspicion that he was a European of consequence.
The same public document which contained the reprimand gave warning that
future offenders of his sort, if in the Company’s service, would be
dismissed; and if merchants, suffer revocation of license and exile to

The Towers are not tall, but are low in proportion to their
circumference, like a gasometer.  If you should fill a gasometer half way
up with solid granite masonry, then drive a wide and deep well down
through the center of this mass of masonry, you would have the idea of a
Tower of Silence.  On the masonry surrounding the well the bodies lie, in
shallow trenches which radiate like wheel-spokes from the well.  The
trenches slant toward the well and carry into it the rainfall.
Underground drains, with charcoal filters in them, carry off this water
from the bottom of the well.

When a skeleton has lain in the Tower exposed to the rain and the flaming
sun a month it is perfectly dry and clean.  Then the same bearers that
brought it there come gloved and take it up with tongs and throw it into
the well.  There it turns to dust.  It is never seen again, never touched
again, in the world.  Other peoples separate their dead, and preserve and
continue social distinctions in the grave--the skeletons of kings and
statesmen and generals in temples and pantheons proper to skeletons of
their degree, and the skeletons of the commonplace and the poor in places
suited to their meaner estate; but the Parsees hold that all men rank
alike in death--all are humble, all poor, all destitute.  In sign of
their poverty they are sent to their grave naked, in sign of their
equality the bones of the rich, the poor, the illustrious and the obscure
are flung into the common well together.  At a Parsee funeral there are
no vehicles; all concerned must walk, both rich and poor, howsoever great
the distance to be traversed may be.  In the wells of the Five Towers of
Silence is mingled the dust of all the Parsee men and women and children
who have died in Bombay and its vicinity during the two centuries which
have elapsed since the Mohammedan conquerors drove the Parsees out of
Persia, and into that region of India.  The earliest of the five towers
was built by the Modi family something more than 200 years ago, and it is
now reserved to the heirs of that house; none but the dead of that blood
are carried thither.

The origin of at least one of the details of a Parsee funeral is not now
known--the presence of the dog.  Before a corpse is borne from the house
of mourning it must be uncovered and exposed to the gaze of a dog; a dog
must also be led in the rear of the funeral.  Mr. Nusserwanjee Byramjee,
Secretary to the Parsee Punchayet, said that these formalities had once
had a meaning and a reason for their institution, but that they were
survivals whose origin none could now account for.  Custom and tradition
continue them in force, antiquity hallows them.  It is thought that in
ancient times in Persia the dog was a sacred animal and could guide souls
to heaven; also that his eye had the power of purifying objects which had
been contaminated by the touch of the dead; and that hence his presence
with the funeral cortege provides an ever-applicable remedy in case of

The Parsees claim that their method of disposing of the dead is an
effective protection of the living; that it disseminates no corruption,
no impurities of any sort, no disease-germs; that no wrap, no garment
which has touched the dead is allowed to touch the living afterward; that
from the Towers of Silence nothing proceeds which can carry harm to the
outside world.  These are just claims, I think.  As a sanitary measure,
their system seems to be about the equivalent of cremation, and as sure.
We are drifting slowly--but hopefully--toward cremation in these days.
It could not be expected that this progress should be swift, but if it be
steady and continuous, even if slow, that will suffice.  When cremation
becomes the rule we shall cease to shudder at it; we should shudder at
burial if we allowed ourselves to think what goes on in the grave.

The dog was an impressive figure to me, representing as he did a mystery
whose key is lost.  He was humble, and apparently depressed; and he let
his head droop pensively, and looked as if he might be trying to call
back to his mind what it was that he had used to symbolize ages ago when
he began his function.  There was another impressive thing close at hand,
but I was not privileged to see it.  That was the sacred fire--a fire
which is supposed to have been burning without interruption for more than
two centuries; and so, living by the same heat that was imparted to it so
long ago.

The Parsees are a remarkable community.  There are only about 60,000 in
Bombay, and only about half as many as that in the rest of India; but
they make up in importance what they lack in numbers.  They are highly
educated, energetic, enterprising, progressive, rich, and the Jew himself
is not more lavish or catholic in his charities and benevolences.  The
Parsees build and endow hospitals, for both men and animals; and they and
their womenkind keep an open purse for all great and good objects.  They
are a political force, and a valued support to the government.  They have
a pure and lofty religion, and they preserve it in its integrity and
order their lives by it.

We took a final sweep of the wonderful view of plain and city and ocean,
and so ended our visit to the garden and the Towers of Silence; and the
last thing I noticed was another symbol--a voluntary symbol this one; it
was a vulture standing on the sawed-off top of a tall and slender and
branchless palm in an open space in the ground; he was perfectly
motionless, and looked like a piece of sculpture on a pillar.  And he had
a mortuary look, too, which was in keeping with the place.


There is an old-time toast which is golden for its beauty.
“When you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend.”
                                   --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The next picture that drifts across the field of my memory is one which
is connected with religious things.  We were taken by friends to see a
Jain temple.  It was small, and had many flags or streamers flying from
poles standing above its roof; and its little battlements supported a
great many small idols or images.  Upstairs, inside, a solitary Jain was
praying or reciting aloud in the middle of the room.  Our presence did
not interrupt him, nor even incommode him or modify his fervor.  Ten or
twelve feet in front of him was the idol, a small figure in a sitting
posture.  It had the pinkish look of a wax doll, but lacked the doll’s
roundness of limb and approximation to correctness of form and justness
of proportion.  Mr. Gandhi explained every thing to us.  He was delegate
to the Chicago Fair Congress of Religions.  It was lucidly done, in
masterly English, but in time it faded from me, and now I have nothing
left of that episode but an impression: a dim idea of a religious belief
clothed in subtle intellectual forms, lofty and clean, barren of fleshly
grossnesses; and with this another dim impression which connects that
intellectual system somehow with that crude image, that inadequate idol
--how, I do not know. Properly they do not seem to belong together.
Apparently the idol symbolized a person who had become a saint or a god
through accessions of steadily augmenting holiness acquired through a
series of reincarnations and promotions extending over many ages; and was
now at last a saint and qualified to vicariously receive worship and
transmit it to heaven’s chancellery.  Was that it?

And thence we went to Mr. Premchand Roychand’s bungalow, in Lovelane,
Byculla, where an Indian prince was to receive a deputation of the Jain
community who desired to congratulate him upon a high honor lately
conferred upon him by his sovereign, Victoria, Empress of India.  She had
made him a knight of the order of the Star of India.  It would seem that
even the grandest Indian prince is glad to add the modest title “Sir” to
his ancient native grandeurs, and is willing to do valuable service to
win it.  He will remit taxes liberally, and will spend money freely upon
the betterment of the condition of his subjects, if there is a knighthood
to be gotten by it.  And he will also do good work and a deal of it to
get a gun added to the salute allowed him by the British Government.
Every year the Empress distributes knighthoods and adds guns for public
services done by native princes.  The salute of a small prince is three
or four guns; princes of greater consequence have salutes that run higher
and higher, gun by gun,--oh, clear away up to eleven; possibly more, but
I did not hear of any above eleven-gun princes.  I was told that when a
four-gun prince gets a gun added, he is pretty troublesome for a while,
till the novelty wears off, for he likes the music, and keeps hunting up
pretexts to get himself saluted.  It may be that supremely grand folk,
like the Nyzam of Hyderabad and the Gaikwar of Baroda, have more than
eleven guns, but I don’t know.

When we arrived at the bungalow, the large hall on the ground floor was
already about full, and carriages were still flowing into the grounds.
The company present made a fine show, an exhibition of human fireworks,
so to speak, in the matters of costume and comminglings of brilliant
color.  The variety of form noticeable in the display of turbans was
remarkable.  We were told that the explanation of this was, that this
Jain delegation was drawn from many parts of India, and that each man
wore the turban that was in vogue in his own region.  This diversity of
turbans made a beautiful effect.

I could have wished to start a rival exhibition there, of Christian hats
and clothes.  I would have cleared one side of the room of its Indian
splendors and repacked the space with Christians drawn from America,
England, and the Colonies, dressed in the hats and habits of now, and of
twenty and forty and fifty years ago.  It would have been a hideous
exhibition, a thoroughly devilish spectacle.  Then there would have been
the added disadvantage of the white complexion.  It is not an unbearably
unpleasant complexion when it keeps to itself, but when it comes into
competition with masses of brown and black the fact is betrayed that it
is endurable only because we are used to it.  Nearly all black and brown
skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare.  How rare, one
may learn by walking down a street in Paris, New York, or London on a
week-day--particularly an unfashionable street--and keeping count of the
satisfactory complexions encountered in the course of a mile.  Where dark
complexions are massed, they make the whites look bleached-out,
unwholesome, and sometimes frankly ghastly.  I could notice this as a
boy, down South in the slavery days before the war.  The splendid black
satin skin of the South African Zulus of Durban seemed to me to come very
close to perfection.  I can see those Zulus yet--‘ricksha athletes
waiting in front of the hotel for custom; handsome and intensely black
creatures, moderately clothed in loose summer stuffs whose snowy
whiteness made the black all the blacker by contrast.  Keeping that group
in my mind, I can compare those complexions with the white ones which are
streaming past this London window now:

     A lady.  Complexion, new parchment.  Another lady.  Complexion, old

     Another.  Pink and white, very fine.

     Man.  Grayish skin, with purple areas.

     Man.  Unwholesome fish-belly skin.

     Girl.  Sallow face, sprinkled with freckles.

     Old woman.  Face whitey-gray.

     Young butcher.  Face a general red flush.

     Jaundiced man--mustard yellow.

     Elderly lady.  Colorless skin, with two conspicuous moles.

     Elderly man--a drinker.  Boiled-cauliflower nose in a flabby face
     veined with purple crinklings.

     Healthy young gentleman.  Fine fresh complexion.

     Sick young man.  His face a ghastly white.

No end of people whose skins are dull and characterless modifications of
the tint which we miscall white.  Some of these faces are pimply; some
exhibit other signs of diseased blood; some show scars of a tint out of a
harmony with the surrounding shades of color.  The white man’s complexion
makes no concealments.  It can’t.  It seemed to have been designed as a
catch-all for everything that can damage it.  Ladies have to paint it,
and powder it, and cosmetic it, and diet it with arsenic, and enamel it,
and be always enticing it, and persuading it, and pestering it, and
fussing at it, to make it beautiful; and they do not succeed.  But these
efforts show what they think of the natural complexion, as distributed.
As distributed it needs these helps.  The complexion which they try to
counterfeit is one which nature restricts to the few--to the very few.
To ninety-nine persons she gives a bad complexion, to the hundredth a
good one.  The hundredth can keep it--how long?  Ten years, perhaps.

The advantage is with the Zulu, I think.  He starts with a beautiful
complexion, and it will last him through.  And as for the Indian brown
--firm, smooth, blemishless, pleasant and restful to the eye, afraid of
color, harmonizing with all colors and adding a grace to them all--I
think there is no sort of chance for the average white complexion against
that rich and perfect tint.

To return to the bungalow.  The most gorgeous costumes present were worn
by some children.  They seemed to blaze, so bright were the colors, and
so brilliant the jewels strung over the rich materials.  These children
were professional nautch-dancers, and looked like girls, but they were
boys. They got up by ones and twos and fours, and danced and sang to an
accompaniment of weird music.  Their posturings and gesturings were
elaborate and graceful, but their voices were stringently raspy and
unpleasant, and there was a good deal of monotony about the tune.

By and by there was a burst of shouts and cheers outside and the prince
with his train entered in fine dramatic style.  He was a stately man, he
was ideally costumed, and fairly festooned with ropes of gems; some of
the ropes were of pearls, some were of uncut great emeralds--emeralds
renowned in Bombay for their quality and value.  Their size was
marvelous, and enticing to the eye, those rocks.  A boy--a princeling
--was with the prince, and he also was a radiant exhibition.

The ceremonies were not tedious.  The prince strode to his throne with
the port and majesty--and the sternness--of a Julius Caesar coming to
receive and receipt for a back-country kingdom and have it over and get
out, and no fooling.  There was a throne for the young prince, too, and
the two sat there, side by side, with their officers grouped at either
hand and most accurately and creditably reproducing the pictures which
one sees in the books--pictures which people in the prince’s line of
business have been furnishing ever since Solomon received the Queen of
Sheba and showed her his things.  The chief of the Jain delegation read
his paper of congratulations, then pushed it into a beautifully engraved
silver cylinder, which was delivered with ceremony into the prince’s
hands and at once delivered by him without ceremony into the hands of an
officer.  I will copy the address here.  It is interesting, as showing
what an Indian prince’s subject may have opportunity to thank him for in
these days of modern English rule, as contrasted with what his ancestor
would have given them opportunity to thank him for a century and a half
ago--the days of freedom unhampered by English interference.  A century
and a half ago an address of thanks could have been put into small space.
It would have thanked the prince--

     1.  For not slaughtering too many of his people upon mere caprice;

     2.  For not stripping them bare by sudden and arbitrary tax levies,
     and bringing famine upon them;

     3.  For not upon empty pretext destroying the rich and seizing their

     4.  For not killing, blinding, imprisoning, or banishing the
     relatives of the royal house to protect the throne from possible

     5.  For not betraying the subject secretly, for a bribe, into the
     hands of bands of professional Thugs, to be murdered and robbed in
     the prince’s back lot.

Those were rather common princely industries in the old times, but they
and some others of a harsh sort ceased long ago under English rule.
Better industries have taken their place, as this Address from the Jain
community will show:

     “Your Highness,--We the undersigned members of the Jain community of
     Bombay have the pleasure to approach your Highness with the
     expression of our heartfelt congratulations on the recent conference
     on your Highness of the Knighthood of the Most Exalted Order of the
     Star of India.  Ten years ago we had the pleasure and privilege of
     welcoming your Highness to this city under circumstances which have
     made a memorable epoch in the history of your State, for had it not
     been for a generous and reasonable spirit that your Highness
     displayed in the negotiations between the Palitana Durbar and the
     Jain community, the conciliatory spirit that animated our people
     could not have borne fruit.  That was the first step in your
     Highness’s administration, and it fitly elicited the praise of the
     Jain community, and of the Bombay Government.  A decade of your
     Highness’s administration, combined with the abilities, training,
     and acquirements that your Highness brought to bear upon it, has
     justly earned for your Highness the unique and honourable
     distinction--the Knighthood of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of
     India, which we understand your Highness is the first to enjoy among
     Chiefs of your Highness’s rank and standing.  And we assure your
     Highness that for this mark of honour that has been conferred on you
     by Her Most Gracious Majesty, the Queen-Empress, we feel no less
     proud than your Highness.  Establishment of commercial factories,
     schools, hospitals, etc., by your Highness in your State has marked
     your Highness’s career during these ten years, and we trust that
     your Highness will be spared to rule over your people with wisdom
     and foresight, and foster the many reforms that your Highness has
     been pleased to introduce in your State.  We again offer your
     Highness our warmest felicitations for the honour that has been
     conferred on you.  We beg to remain your Highness’s obedient

Factories, schools, hospitals, reforms.  The prince propagates that kind
of things in the modern times, and gets knighthood and guns for it.

After the address the prince responded with snap and brevity; spoke a
moment with half a dozen guests in English, and with an official or two
in a native tongue; then the garlands were distributed as usual, and the
function ended.


Each person is born to one possession which outvalues all his others--his
last breath.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Toward midnight, that night, there was another function.  This was a
Hindoo wedding--no, I think it was a betrothal ceremony.  Always before,
we had driven through streets that were multitudinous and tumultuous with
picturesque native life, but now there was nothing of that.  We seemed to
move through a city of the dead.  There was hardly a suggestion of life
in those still and vacant streets.  Even the crows were silent.  But
everywhere on the ground lay sleeping natives-hundreds and hundreds.
They lay stretched at full length and tightly wrapped in blankets, heads
and all.  Their attitude and their rigidity counterfeited death.  The
plague was not in Bombay then, but it is devastating the city now.  The
shops are deserted, now, half of the people have fled, and of the
remainder the smitten perish by shoals every day.  No doubt the city
looks now in the daytime as it looked then at night.  When we had pierced
deep into the native quarter and were threading its narrow dim lanes, we
had to go carefully, for men were stretched asleep all about and there
was hardly room to drive between them.  And every now and then a swarm of
rats would scamper across past the horses’ feet in the vague light--the
forbears of the rats that are carrying the plague from house to house in
Bombay now. The shops were but sheds, little booths open to the street;
and the goods had been removed, and on the counters families were
sleeping, usually with an oil lamp present.  Recurrent dead  watches, it
looked like.

But at last we turned a corner and saw a great glare of light ahead.  It
was the home of the bride, wrapped in a perfect conflagration of
illuminations,--mainly gas-work designs, gotten up specially for the
occasion.  Within was abundance of brilliancy--flames, costumes, colors,
decorations, mirrors--it was another Aladdin show.

The bride was a trim and comely little thing of twelve years, dressed as
we would dress a boy, though more expensively than we should do it, of
course.  She moved about very much at her ease, and stopped and talked
with the guests and allowed her wedding jewelry to be examined.  It was
very fine.  Particularly a rope of great diamonds, a lovely thing to look
at and handle.  It had a great emerald hanging to it.

The bridegroom was not present.  He was having betrothal festivities of
his own at his father’s house.  As I understood it, he and the bride were
to entertain company every night and nearly all night for a week or more,
then get married, if alive.  Both of the children were a little elderly,
as brides and grooms go, in India--twelve; they ought to have been
married a year or two sooner; still to a stranger twelve seems quite
young enough.

A while after midnight a couple of celebrated and high-priced
nautch-girls appeared in the gorgeous place, and danced and sang.  With
them were men who played upon strange instruments which made uncanny
noises of a sort to make one’s flesh creep.  One of these instruments was
a pipe, and to its music the girls went through a performance which
represented snake charming.  It seemed a doubtful sort of music to charm
anything with, but a native gentleman assured me that snakes like it and
will come out of their holes and listen to it with every evidence of
refreshment and gratitude.  He said that at an entertainment in his
grounds once, the pipe brought out half a dozen snakes, and the music had
to be stopped before they would be persuaded to go.  Nobody wanted their
company, for they were bold, familiar, and dangerous; but no one would
kill them, of course, for it is sinful for a Hindoo to kill any kind of a

We withdrew from the festivities at two in the morning.  Another picture,
then--but it has lodged itself in my memory rather as a stage-scene than
as a reality.  It is of a porch and short flight of steps crowded with
dark faces and ghostly-white draperies flooded with the strong glare from
the dazzling concentration of illuminations; and midway of the steps one
conspicuous figure for accent--a turbaned giant, with a name according to
his size: Rao Bahadur Baskirao Balinkanje Pitale, Vakeel to his Highness
the Gaikwar of Baroda.  Without him the picture would not have been
complete; and if his name had been merely Smith, he wouldn’t have
answered.  Close at hand on house-fronts on both sides of the narrow
street were illuminations of a kind commonly employed by the natives
--scores of glass tumblers (containing tapers) fastened a few inches
apart all over great latticed frames, forming starry constellations which
showed out vividly against their black backgrounds.  As we  drew away
into the distance down the dim lanes the illuminations gathered together
into a single mass, and glowed out of the enveloping darkness like a sun.

Then again the deep silence, the skurrying rats, the dim forms stretched
everywhere on the ground; and on either hand those open booths
counterfeiting sepulchres, with counterfeit corpses sleeping motionless
in the flicker of the counterfeit death lamps.  And now, a year later,
when I read the cablegrams I seem to be reading of what I myself partly
saw--saw before it happened--in a prophetic dream, as it were.  One
cablegram says, “Business in the native town is about suspended.  Except
the wailing and the tramp of the funerals.  There is but little life or
movement.  The closed shops exceed in number those that remain open.”
 Another says that 325,000 of the people have fled the city and are
carrying the plague to the country.  Three days later comes the news,
“The population is reduced by half.”  The refugees have carried the
disease to Karachi; “220 cases, 214 deaths.”  A day or two later, “52
fresh cases, all of which proved fatal.”

The plague carries with it a terror which no other disease can excite;
for of all diseases known to men it is the deadliest--by far the
deadliest.  “Fifty-two fresh cases--all fatal.”  It is the Black Death
alone that slays like that.  We can all imagine, after a fashion, the
desolation of a plague-stricken city, and the stupor of stillness broken
at intervals by distant bursts of wailing, marking the passing of
funerals, here and there and yonder, but I suppose it is not possible for
us to realize to ourselves the nightmare of dread and fear that possesses
the living who are present in such a place and cannot get away.  That
half million fled from Bombay in a wild panic suggests to us something of
what they were feeling, but perhaps not even they could realize what the
half million were feeling whom they left stranded behind to face the
stalking horror without chance of escape.  Kinglake was in Cairo many
years ago during an epidemic of the Black Death, and he has imagined the
terrors that creep into a man’s heart at such a time and follow him until
they themselves breed the fatal sign in the armpit, and then the delirium
with confused images, and home-dreams, and reeling billiard-tables, and
then the sudden blank of death:

     “To the contagionist, filled as he is with the dread of final
     causes, having no faith in destiny, nor in the fixed will of God,
     and with none of the devil-may-care indifference which might stand
     him instead of creeds--to such one, every rag that shivers in the
     breeze of a plague-stricken city has this sort of sublimity.  If by
     any terrible ordinance he be forced to venture forth, he sees death
     dangling from every sleeve; and, as he creeps forward, he poises his
     shuddering limbs between the imminent jacket that is stabbing at his
     right elbow and the murderous pelisse that threatens to mow him
     clean down as it sweeps along on his left.  But most of all he
     dreads that which most of all he should love--the touch of a woman’s
     dress; for mothers and wives, hurrying forth on kindly errands from
     the bedsides of the dying, go slouching along through the streets
     more willfully and less courteously than the men.  For a while it
     may be that the caution of the poor Levantine may enable him to
     avoid contact, but sooner or later, perhaps, the dreaded chance
     arrives; that bundle of linen, with the dark tearful eyes at the top
     of it, that labors along with the voluptuous clumsiness of Grisi
     --she has touched the poor Levantine with the hem of her sleeve!
     that dread moment his peace is gone; his mind for ever hanging upon
     the fatal touch invites the blow which he fears; he watches for the
     symptoms of plague so carefully, that sooner or later they come in
     truth.  The parched mouth is a sign--his mouth is parched; the
     throbbing brain--his brain does throb; the rapid pulse--he touches
     his own wrist (for he dares not ask counsel of any man lest he be
     deserted), he touches his wrist, and feels how his frighted blood
     goes galloping out of his heart.  There is nothing but the fatal
     swelling that is wanting to make his sad conviction complete;
     immediately, he has an odd feel under the arm--no pain, but a little
     straining of the skin; he would to God it were his fancy that were
     strong enough to give him that sensation; this is the worst of all.
     It now seems to him that he could be happy and contented with his
     parched mouth, and his throbbing brain, and his rapid pulse, if only
     he could know that there were no swelling under the left arm; but
     dares he try?--in a moment of calmness and deliberation he dares
     not; but when for a while he has writhed under the torture of
     suspense, a sudden strength of will drives him to seek and know his
     fate; he touches the gland, and finds the skin sane and sound but
     under the cuticle there lies a small lump like a pistol-bullet, that
     moves as he pushes it.  Oh! but is this for all certainty, is this
     the sentence of death?  Feel the gland of the other arm.  There is
     not the same lump exactly, yet something a little like it.  Have not
     some people glands naturally enlarged?--would to heaven he were one!
     So he does for himself the work of the plague, and when the Angel of
     Death thus courted does indeed and in truth come, he has only to
     finish that which has been so well begun; he passes his fiery hand
     over the brain of the victim, and lets him rave for a season, but
     all chance-wise, of people and things once dear, or of people and
     things indifferent.  Once more the poor fellow is back at his home
     in fair Provence, and sees the sundial that stood in his childhood’s
     garden--sees his mother, and the long-since forgotten face of that
     little dear sister--(he sees her, he says, on a Sunday morning, for
     all the church bells are ringing); he looks up and down through the
     universe, and owns it well piled with bales upon bales of cotton,
     and cotton eternal--so much so that he feels--he knows--he swears he
     could make that winning hazard, if the billiard-table would not
     slant upwards, and if the cue were a cue worth playing with; but it
     is not--it’s a cue that won’t move--his own arm won’t move--in
     short, there’s the devil to pay in the brain of the poor Levantine;
     and perhaps, the next night but one he becomes the ‘life and the
     soul’ of some squalling jackal family, who fish him out by the foot
     from his shallow and sandy grave.”


Hunger is the handmaid of genius
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

One day during our stay in Bombay there was a criminal trial of a most
interesting sort, a terribly realistic chapter out of the “Arabian
Nights,” a strange mixture of simplicities and pieties and murderous
practicalities, which brought back the forgotten days of Thuggee and made
them live again; in fact, even made them believable.  It was a case where
a young girl had been assassinated for the sake of her trifling
ornaments, things not worth a laborer’s day’s wages in America.  This
thing could have been done in many other countries, but hardly with the
cold business-like depravity, absence of fear, absence of caution,
destitution of the sense of horror, repentance, remorse, exhibited in
this case.  Elsewhere the murderer would have done his crime secretly, by
night, and without witnesses; his fears would have allowed him no peace
while the dead body was in his neighborhood; he would not have rested
until he had gotten it safe out of the way and hidden as effectually as
he could hide it.  But this Indian murderer does his deed in the full
light of day, cares nothing for the society of witnesses, is in no way
incommoded by the presence of the corpse, takes his own time about
disposing of it, and the whole party are so indifferent, so phlegmatic,
that they take their regular sleep as if nothing was happening and no
halters hanging over them; and these five bland people close the episode
with a religious service. The thing reads like a Meadows-Taylor Thug-tale
of half a century ago, as may be seen by the official report of the

     “At the Mazagon Police Court yesterday, Superintendent Nolan again
     charged Tookaram Suntoo Savat Baya, woman, her daughter Krishni, and
     Gopal Vithoo Bhanayker, before Mr. Phiroze Hoshang Dastur, Fourth
     Presidency Magistrate, under sections 302 and 109 of the Code, with
     having on the night of the 30th of December last murdered a Hindoo
     girl named Cassi, aged 12, by strangulation, in the room of a chawl
     at Jakaria Bunder, on the Sewriroad, and also with aiding and
     abetting each other in the commission of the offense.

     “Mr. F. A. Little, Public Prosecutor, conducted the case on behalf
     of the Crown, the accused being undefended.

     “Mr. Little applied under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure
     Code to tender pardon to one of the accused, Krishni, woman, aged
     22, on her undertaking to make a true and full statement of facts
     under which the deceased girl Cassi was murdered.

     “The Magistrate having granted the Public Prosecutor’s application,
     the accused Krishni went into the witness-box, and, on being
     examined by Mr. Little, made the following confession:--I am a
     mill-hand employed at the Jubilee Mill.  I recollect the day
     (Tuesday); on which the body of the deceased Cassi was found.
     Previous to that I attended the mill for half a day, and then
     returned home at 3 in the afternoon, when I saw five persons in the
     house, viz.: the first accused Tookaram, who is my paramour, my
     mother, the second accused Baya, the accused Gopal, and two guests
     named Ramji Daji and Annaji Gungaram.  Tookaram rented the room of
     the chawl situated at Jakaria Bunder-road from its owner,
     Girdharilal Radhakishan, and in that room I, my paramour, Tookaram,
     and his younger brother, Yesso Mahadhoo, live.  Since his arrival in
     Bombay from his native country Yesso came and lived with us.  When I
     returned from the mill on the afternoon of that day, I saw the two
     guests seated on a cot in the veranda, and a few minutes after the
     accused Gopal came and took his seat by their side, while I and my
     mother were seated inside the room.  Tookaram, who had gone out to
     fetch some ‘pan’ and betelnuts, on his return home had brought the
     two guests with him.  After returning home he gave them ‘pan
     supari’.  While they were eating it my mother came out of the room
     and inquired of one of the guests, Ramji, what had happened to his
     foot, when he replied that he had tried many remedies, but they had
     done him no good.  My mother then took some rice in her hand and
     prophesied that the disease which Ramji was suffering from would not
     be cured until he returned to his native country.  In the meantime
     the deceased Casi came from the direction of an out-house, and stood
     in front on the threshold of our room with a ‘lota’ in her hand.
     Tookaram then told his two guests to leave the room, and they then
     went up the steps towards the quarry.  After the guests had gone
     away, Tookaram seized the deceased, who had come into the room, and
     he afterwards put a waistband around her, and tied her to a post
     which supports a loft. After doing this, he pressed the girl’s
     throat, and, having tied her mouth with the ‘dhotur’ (now shown in
     Court), fastened it to the post.  Having killed the girl, Tookaram
     removed her gold head ornament and a gold ‘putlee’, and also took
     charge of her ‘lota’. Besides these two ornaments Cassi had on her
     person ear-studs, a nose-ring, some silver toe-rings, two necklaces,
     a pair of silver anklets and bracelets.  Tookaram afterwards tried
     to remove the silver amulets, the ear-studs, and the nose-ring; but
     he failed in his attempt.  While he was doing so, I, my mother, and
     Gopal were present.  After removing the two gold ornaments, he
     handed them over to Gopal, who was at the time standing near me.
     When he killed Cassi, Tookaram threatened to strangle me also if I
     informed any one of this.  Gopal and myself were then standing at
     the door of our room, and we both were threatened by Tookaram.  My
     mother, Baya, had seized the legs of the deceased at the time she
     was killed, and whilst she was being tied to the post.  Cassi then
     made a noise. Tookaram and my mother took part in killing the girl.
     After the murder her body was wrapped up in a mattress and kept on
     the loft over the door of our room.  When Cassi was strangled, the
     door of the room was fastened from the inside by Tookaram.  This
     deed was committed shortly after my return home from work in the
     mill. Tookaram put the body of the deceased in the mattress, and,
     after it was left on the loft, he went to have his head shaved by a
     barber named Sambhoo Raghoo, who lives only one door away from me.
     My mother and myself then remained in the possession of the
     information.  I was slapped and threatened by my paramour, Tookaram,
     and that was the only reason why I did not inform any one at that
     time.  When I told Tookaram that I would give information of the
     occurrence, he slapped me.  The accused Gopal was asked by Tookaram
     to go back to his room, and he did so, taking away with him the two
     gold ornaments and the ‘lota’.  Yesso Mahadhoo, a brother-in-law of
     Tookaram, came to the house and asked Tookaram why he was washing,
     the water-pipe being just opposite.  Tookaram replied that he was
     washing his dhotur, as a fowl had polluted it.  About 6 o’clock of
     the evening of that day my mother gave me three pice and asked me to
     buy a cocoanut, and I gave the money to Yessoo, who went and fetched
     a cocoanut and some betel leaves.  When Yessoo and others were in
     the room I was bathing, and, after I finished my bath, my mother
     took the cocoanut and the betel leaves from Yessoo, and we five went
     to the sea.  The party consisted of Tookaram, my mother, Yessoo,
     Tookaram’s younger brother, and myself.  On reaching the seashore,
     my mother made the offering to the sea, and prayed to be pardoned
     for what we had done.  Before we went to the sea, some one came to
     inquire after the girl Cassi.  The police and other people came to
     make these inquiries both before and after we left the house for the
     seashore.  The police questioned my mother about the girl, and she
     replied that Cassi had come to her door, but had left.  The next day
     the police questioned Tookaram, and he, too, gave a similar reply.
     This was said the same night when the search was made for the girl.
     After the offering was made to the sea, we partook of the cocoanut
     and returned home, when my mother gave me some food; but Tookaram
     did not partake of any food that night.  After dinner I and my
     mother slept inside the room, and Tookaram slept on a cot near his
     brother-in-law, Yessoo Mahadhoo, just outside the door.  That was
     not the usual place where Tookaram slept.  He usually slept inside
     the room.  The body of the deceased remained on the loft when I went
     to sleep.  The room in which we slept was locked, and I heard that
     my paramour, Tookaram, was restless outside.  About 3 o’clock the
     following morning Tookaram knocked at the door, when both myself and
     my mother opened it.  He then told me to go to the steps leading to
     the quarry, and see if any one was about.  Those steps lead to a
     stable, through which we go to the quarry at the back of the
     compound.  When I got to the steps I saw no one there.  Tookaram
     asked me if any one was there, and I replied that I could see no one
     about.  He then took the body of the deceased from the loft, and
     having wrapped it up in his saree, asked me to accompany him to the
     steps of the quarry, and I did so.  The ‘saree’ now produced here
     was the same.  Besides the ‘saree’, there was also a ‘cholee’ on the
     body.  He then carried the body in his arms, and went up the steps,
     through the stable, and then to the right hand towards a Sahib’s
     bungalow, where Tookaram placed the body near a wall.  All the time
     I and my mother were with him.  When the body was taken down, Yessoo
     was lying on the cot.  After depositing the body under the wall, we
     all returned home, and soon after 5 a.m.  the police again came and
     took Tookaram away.  About an hour after they returned and took me
     and my mother away.  We were questioned about it, when I made a
     statement.  Two hours later I was taken to the room, and I pointed
     out this waistband, the ‘dhotur’, the mattress, and the wooden post
     to Superintendent Nolan and Inspectors Roberts and Rashanali, in the
     presence of my mother and Tookaram.  Tookaram killed the girl Cassi
     for her ornaments, which he wanted for the girl to whom he was
     shortly going to be married.  The body was found in the same place
     where it was deposited by Tookaram.”

The criminal side of the native has always been picturesque, always
readable.  The Thuggee and one or two other particularly outrageous
features of it have been suppressed by the English, but there is enough
of it left to keep it darkly interesting.  One finds evidence of these
survivals in the newspapers.  Macaulay has a light-throwing passage upon
this matter in his great historical sketch of Warren Hastings, where he
is describing some effects which followed the temporary paralysis of
Hastings’ powerful government brought about by Sir Philip Francis and his

     “The natives considered Hastings as a fallen man; and they acted
     after their kind.  Some of our readers may have seen, in India, a
     cloud of crows pecking a sick vulture to death--no bad type of what
     happens in that country as often as fortune deserts one who has been
     great and dreaded.  In an instant all the sycophants, who had lately
     been ready to lie for him, to forge for him, to pander for him, to
     poison for him, hasten to purchase the favor of his victorious
     enemies by accusing him.  An Indian government has only to let it be
     understood that it wishes a particular man to be ruined, and in
     twenty-four hours it will be furnished with grave charges, supported
     by depositions so full and circumstantial that any person
     unaccustomed to Asiatic mendacity would regard them as decisive.  It
     is well if the signature of the destined victim is not counterfeited
     at the foot of some illegal compact, and if some treasonable paper
     is not slipped into a hiding-place in his house.”

That was nearly a century and a quarter ago.  An article in one of the
chief journals of India (the Pioneer) shows that in some respects the
native of to-day is just what his ancestor was then.  Here are niceties
of so subtle and delicate a sort that they lift their breed of rascality
to a place among the fine arts, and almost entitle it to respect:

     “The records of the Indian courts might certainly be relied upon to
     prove that swindlers as a class in the East come very close to, if
     they do not surpass, in brilliancy of execution and originality of
     design the most expert of their fraternity in Europe and America.
     India in especial is the home of forgery.  There are some particular
     districts which are noted as marts for the finest specimens of the
     forger’s handiwork.  The business is carried on by firms who possess
     stores of stamped papers to suit every emergency.  They habitually
     lay in a store of fresh stamped papers every year, and some of the
     older and more thriving houses can supply documents for the past
     forty years, bearing the proper water-mark and possessing the
     genuine appearance of age.  Other districts have earned notoriety
     for skilled perjury, a pre-eminence that excites a respectful
     admiration when one thinks of the universal prevalence of the art,
     and persons desirous of succeeding in false suits are ready to pay
     handsomely to avail themselves of the services of these local
     experts as witnesses.”

Various instances illustrative of the methods of these swindlers are
given.  They exhibit deep cunning and total depravity on the part of the
swindler and his pals, and more obtuseness on the part of the victim than
one would expect to find in a country where suspicion of your neighbor
must surely be one of the earliest things learned.  The favorite subject
is the young fool who has just come into a fortune and is trying to see
how poor a use he can put it to.  I will quote one example:

     “Sometimes another form of confidence trick is adopted, which is
     invariably successful.  The particular pigeon is spotted, and, his
     acquaintance having been made, he is encouraged in every form of
     vice.  When the friendship is thoroughly established, the swindler
     remarks to the young man that he has a brother who has asked him to
     lend him Rs.10,000.  The swindler says he has the money and would
     lend it; but, as the borrower is his brother, he cannot charge
     interest.  So he proposes that he should hand the dupe the money,
     and the latter should lend it to the swindler’s brother, exacting a
     heavy pre-payment of interest which, it is pointed out, they may
     equally enjoy in dissipation.  The dupe sees no objection, and on
     the appointed day receives Rs.7,000 from the swindler, which he
     hands over to the confederate.  The latter is profuse in his thanks,
     and executes a promissory note for Rs.10,000, payable to bearer.
     The swindler allows the scheme to remain quiescent for a time, and
     then suggests that, as the money has not been repaid and as it would
     be unpleasant to sue his brother, it would be better to sell the
     note in the bazaar.  The dupe hands the note over, for the money he
     advanced was not his, and, on being informed that it would be
     necessary to have his signature on the back so as to render the
     security negotiable, he signs without any hesitation.  The swindler
     passes it on to confederates, and the latter employ a respectable
     firm of solicitors to ask the dupe if his signature is genuine.  He
     admits it at once, and his fate is sealed.  A suit is filed by a
     confederate against the dupe, two accomplices being made
     co-defendants.  They admit their Signatures as indorsers, and the
     one swears he bought the note for value from the dupe.  The latter
     has no defense, for no court would believe the apparently idle
     explanation of the manner in which he came to endorse the note.”

There is only one India!  It is the only country that has a monopoly of
grand and imposing specialties.  When another country has a remarkable
thing, it cannot have it all to itself--some other country has a
duplicate.  But India--that is different.  Its marvels are its own; the
patents cannot be infringed; imitations are not possible.  And think of
the size of them, the majesty of them, the weird and outlandish character
of the most of them!

There is the Plague, the Black Death: India invented it; India is the
cradle of that mighty birth.

The Car of Juggernaut was India’s invention.

So was the Suttee; and within the time of men still living eight hundred
widows willingly, and, in fact, rejoicingly, burned themselves to death
on the bodies of their dead husbands in a single year.  Eight hundred
would do it this year if the British government would let them.

Famine is India’s specialty.  Elsewhere famines are inconsequential
incidents--in India they are devastating cataclysms; in one case they
annihilate hundreds; in the other, millions.

India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all.  In religion all other
countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.

With her everything is on a giant scale--even her poverty; no other
country can show anything to compare with it.  And she has been used to
wealth on so vast a scale that she has to shorten to single words the
expressions describing great sums.  She describes 100,000 with one word
--a ‘lahk’; she describes ten millions with one word--a ‘crore’.

In the bowels of the granite mountains she has patiently carved out
dozens of vast temples, and made them glorious with sculptured colonnades
and stately groups of statuary, and has adorned the eternal walls with
noble paintings.  She has built fortresses of such magnitude that the
show-strongholds of the rest of the world are but modest little things by
comparison; palaces that are wonders for rarity of materials, delicacy
and beauty of workmanship, and for cost; and one tomb which men go around
the globe to see.  It takes eighty nations, speaking eighty languages, to
people her, and they number three hundred millions.

On top of all this she is the mother and home of that wonder of wonders--
caste--and of that mystery of mysteries, the satanic brotherhood of the

India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things.  She
had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material
wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects; she
had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil.  It would seem as if she
should have kept the lead, and should be to-day not the meek dependent of
an alien master, but mistress of the world, and delivering law and
command to every tribe and nation in it.  But, in truth, there was never
any possibility of such supremacy for her.  If there had been but one
India and one language--but there were eighty of them!  Where there are
eighty nations and several hundred governments, fighting and quarreling
must be the common business of life; unity of purpose and policy are
impossible; out of such elements supremacy in the world cannot come.
Even caste itself could have had the defeating effect of a multiplicity
of tongues, no doubt; for it separates a people into layers, and layers,
and still other layers, that have no community of feeling with each
other; and in such a condition of things as that, patriotism can have no
healthy growth.

It was the division of the country into so many States and nations that
made Thuggee possible and prosperous.  It is difficult to realize the
situation.  But perhaps one may approximate it by imagining the States of
our Union peopled by separate nations, speaking separate languages, with
guards and custom-houses strung along all frontiers, plenty of
interruptions for travelers and traders, interpreters able to handle all
the languages very rare or non-existent, and a few wars always going on
here and there and yonder as a further embarrassment to commerce and
excursioning.  It would make intercommunication in a measure ungeneral.
India had eighty languages, and more custom-houses than cats.  No clever
man with the instinct of a highway robber could fail to notice what a
chance for business was here offered.  India was full of clever men with
the highwayman instinct, and so, quite naturally, the brotherhood of the
Thugs came into being to meet the long-felt want.

How long ago that was nobody knows--centuries, it is supposed.  One of
chiefest wonders connected with it was the success with which it kept its
secret.  The English trader did business in India two hundred years and
more before he ever heard of it; and yet it was assassinating its
thousands all around him every year, the whole time.


The old saw says, “Let a sleeping dog lie.”  Right....  Still, when there
is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


January 28.   I learned of an official Thug-book the other day.  I was
not aware before that there was such a thing.  I am allowed the temporary
use of it.  We are making preparations for travel.  Mainly the
preparations are purchases of bedding.  This is to be used in sleeping
berths in the trains; in private houses sometimes; and in nine-tenths of
the hotels.  It is not realizable; and yet it is true.  It is a survival;
an apparently unnecessary thing which in some strange way has outlived
the conditions which once made it necessary.  It comes down from a time
when the railway and the hotel did not exist; when the occasional white
traveler went horseback or by bullock-cart, and stopped over night in the
small dak-bungalow provided at easy distances by the government--a
shelter, merely, and nothing more.  He had to carry bedding along, or do
without.  The dwellings of the English residents are spacious and
comfortable and commodiously furnished, and surely it must be an odd
sight to see half a dozen guests come filing into such a place and
dumping blankets and pillows here and there and everywhere.  But custom
makes incongruous things congruous.

One buys the bedding, with waterproof hold-all for it at almost any shop
--there is no difficulty about it.

January 30.  What a spectacle the railway station was, at train-time!  It
was a very large station, yet when we arrived it seemed as if the whole
world was present--half of it inside, the other half outside, and both
halves, bearing mountainous head-loads of bedding and other freight,
trying simultaneously to pass each other, in opposing floods, in one
narrow door.  These opposing floods were patient, gentle, long-suffering
natives, with whites scattered among them at rare intervals; and wherever
a white man’s native servant appeared, that native seemed to have put
aside his natural gentleness for the time and invested himself with the
white man’s privilege of making a way for himself by promptly shoving all
intervening black things out of it.  In these exhibitions of authority
Satan was scandalous.  He was probably a Thug in one of his former

Inside the great station, tides upon tides of rainbow-costumed natives
swept along, this way and that, in massed and bewildering confusion,
eager, anxious, belated, distressed; and washed up to the long trains and
flowed into them with their packs and bundles, and disappeared, followed
at once by the next wash, the next wave.  And here and there, in the
midst of this hurly-burly, and seemingly undisturbed by it, sat great
groups of natives on the bare stone floor,--young, slender brown women,
old, gray wrinkled women, little soft brown babies, old men, young men,
boys; all poor people, but all the females among them, both big and
little, bejeweled with cheap and showy nose-rings, toe-rings, leglets,
and armlets, these things constituting all their wealth, no doubt.  These
silent crowds sat there with their humble bundles and baskets and small
household gear about them, and patiently waited--for what?  A train that
was to start at some time or other during the day or night!  They hadn’t
timed themselves well, but that was no matter--the thing had been so
ordered from on high, therefore why worry?  There was plenty of time,
hours and hours of it, and the thing that was to happen would happen
--there was no hurrying it.

The natives traveled third class, and at marvelously cheap rates.  They
were packed and crammed into cars that held each about fifty; and it was
said that often a Brahmin of the highest caste was thus brought into
personal touch, and consequent defilement, with persons of the lowest
castes--no doubt a very shocking thing if a body could understand it and
properly appreciate it.  Yes, a Brahmin who didn’t own a rupee and
couldn’t borrow one, might have to touch elbows with a rich hereditary
lord of inferior caste, inheritor of an ancient title a couple of yards
long, and he would just have to stand it; for if either of the two was
allowed to go in the cars where the sacred white people were, it probably
wouldn’t be the august poor Brahmin.  There was an immense string of
those third-class cars, for the natives travel by hordes; and a weary
hard night of it the occupants would have, no doubt.

When we reached our car, Satan and Barney had already arrived there with
their train of porters carrying bedding and parasols and cigar boxes, and
were at work.  We named him Barney for short; we couldn’t use his real
name, there wasn’t time.

It was a car that promised comfort; indeed, luxury.  Yet the cost of it
--well, economy could no further go; even in France; not even in Italy.
was built of the plainest and cheapest partially-smoothed boards, with a
coating of dull paint on them, and there was nowhere a thought of
decoration.  The floor was bare, but would not long remain so when the
dust should begin to fly.  Across one end of the compartment ran a
netting for the accommodation of hand-baggage; at the other end was a
door which would shut, upon compulsion, but wouldn’t stay shut; it opened
into a narrow little closet which had a wash-bowl in one end of it, and a
place to put a towel, in case you had one with you--and you would be sure
to have towels, because you buy them with the bedding, knowing that the
railway doesn’t furnish them.  On each side of the car, and running fore
and aft, was a broad leather-covered sofa to sit on in the day and sleep
on at night.  Over each sofa hung, by straps, a wide, flat,
leather-covered shelf--to sleep on.  In the daytime you can hitch it up
against the wall, out of the way--and then you have a big unencumbered
and most comfortable room to spread out in.  No car in any country is
quite its equal for comfort (and privacy) I think. For usually there are
but two persons in it; and even when there are four there is but little
sense of impaired privacy.  Our own cars at home can surpass the railway
world in all details but that one: they have no cosiness; there are too
many people together.

At the foot of each sofa was a side-door, for entrance and exit.
Along the whole length of the sofa on each side of the car ran a row of
large single-plate windows, of a blue tint--blue to soften the bitter
glare of the sun and protect one’s eyes from torture.  These could be let
down out of the way when one wanted the breeze.  In the roof were two oil
lamps which gave a light strong enough to read by; each had a green-cloth
attachment by which it could be covered when the light should be no
longer needed.

While we talked outside with friends, Barney and Satan placed the
hand-baggage, books, fruits, and soda-bottles in the racks, and the
hold-alls and heavy baggage in the closet, hung the overcoats and
sun-helmets and towels on the hooks, hoisted the two bed-shelves up out
of the way, then shouldered their bedding and retired to the third class.

Now then, you see what a handsome, spacious, light, airy, homelike place
it was, wherein to walk up and down, or sit and write, or stretch out and
read and smoke.  A central door in the forward end of the compartment
opened into a similar compartment.  It was occupied by my wife and
daughter.  About nine in the evening, while we halted a while at a
station, Barney and Satan came and undid the clumsy big hold-alls, and
spread the bedding on the sofas in both compartments--mattresses, sheets,
gay coverlets, pillows, all complete; there are no chambermaids in India
--apparently it was an office that was never heard of.  Then they
closed the communicating door, nimbly tidied up our place, put the
night-clothing on the beds and the slippers under them, then returned
to their own quarters.

January 31.  It was novel and pleasant, and I stayed awake as long as I
could, to enjoy it, and to read about those strange people the Thugs.  In
my sleep they remained with me, and tried to strangle me.  The leader of
the gang was that giant Hindoo who was such a picture in the strong light
when we were leaving those Hindoo betrothal festivities at two o’clock in
the morning--Rao Bahadur Baskirao Balinkanje Pitale, Vakeel to the
Gaikwar of Baroda.  It was he that brought me the invitation from his
master to go to Baroda and lecture to that prince--and now he was
misbehaving in my dreams.  But all things can happen in dreams.  It is
indeed as the Sweet Singer of Michigan says--irrelevantly, of course, for
the one and unfailing great quality which distinguishes her poetry from
Shakespeare’s and makes it precious to us is its stern and simple

               My heart was gay and happy,
               This was ever in my mind,
               There is better times a coming,
               And I hope some day to find
               Myself capable of composing,
               It was my heart’s delight
               To compose on a sentimental subject
               If it came in my mind just right.

--[“The Sentimental Song Book,” p. 49; theme, “The Author’s Early Life,”
 19th stanza.]

Barroda.   Arrived at 7 this morning.  The dawn was just beginning to
show.  It was forlorn to have to turn out in a strange place at such a
time, and the blinking lights in the station made it seem night still.
But the gentlemen who had come to receive us were there with their
servants, and they make quick work; there was no lost time.  We were soon
outside and moving swiftly through the soft gray light, and presently
were comfortably housed--with more servants to help than we were used to,
and with rather embarassingly important officials to direct them.  But it
was custom; they spoke Ballarat English, their bearing was charming and
hospitable, and so all went well.

Breakfast was a satisfaction.  Across the lawns was visible in the
distance through the open window an Indian well, with two oxen tramping
leisurely up and down long inclines, drawing water; and out of the
stillness came the suffering screech of the machinery--not quite musical,
and yet soothingly melancholy and dreamy and reposeful--a wail of lost
spirits, one might imagine.  And commemorative and reminiscent, perhaps;
for of course the Thugs used to throw people down that well when they
were done with them.

After breakfast the day began, a sufficiently busy one.  We were driven
by winding roads through a vast park, with noble forests of great trees,
and with tangles and jungles of lovely growths of a humbler sort; and at
one place three large gray apes came out and pranced across the road--a
good deal of a surprise and an unpleasant one, for such creatures belong
in the menagerie, and they look artificial and out of place in a

We came to the city, by and by, and drove all through it.  Intensely
Indian, it was, and crumbly, and mouldering, and immemorially old, to all
appearance.  And the houses--oh, indescribably quaint and curious they
were, with their fronts an elaborate lace-work of intricate and beautiful
wood-carving, and now and then further adorned with rude pictures of
elephants and princes and gods done in shouting colors; and all the
ground floors along these cramped and narrow lanes occupied as shops
--shops unbelievably small and impossibly packed with merchantable
and with nine-tenths-naked natives squatting at their work of hammering,
pounding, brazing, soldering, sewing, designing, cooking, measuring out
grain, grinding it, repairing idols--and then the swarm of ragged and
noisy humanity under the horses’ feet and everywhere, and the pervading
reek and fume and smell!  It was all wonderful and delightful.

Imagine a file of elephants marching through such a crevice of a street
and scraping the paint off both sides of it with their hides.  How big
they must look, and how little they must make the houses look; and when
the elephants are in their glittering court costume, what a contrast they
must make with the humble and sordid surroundings.  And when a mad
elephant goes raging through, belting right and left with his trunk, how
do these swarms of people get out of the way?  I suppose it is a thing
which happens now and then in the mad season (for elephants have a mad

I wonder how old the town is.  There are patches of building--massive
structures, monuments, apparently--that are so battered and worn, and
seemingly so tired and so burdened with the weight of age, and so dulled
and stupefied with trying to remember things they forgot before history
began, that they give one the feeling that they must have been a part of
original Creation.  This is indeed one of the oldest of the princedoms of
India, and has always been celebrated for its barbaric pomps and
splendors, and for the wealth of its princes.


It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the
heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Out of the town again; a long drive through open country, by winding
roads among secluded villages nestling in the inviting shade of tropic
vegetation, a Sabbath stillness everywhere, sometimes a pervading sense
of solitude, but always barefoot natives gliding by like spirits, without
sound of footfall, and others in the distance dissolving away and
vanishing like the creatures of dreams.  Now and then a string of stately
camels passed by--always interesting things to look at--and they were
velvet-shod by nature, and made no noise.  Indeed, there were no noises
of any sort in this paradise.  Yes, once there was one, for a moment: a
file of native convicts passed along in charge of an officer, and we
caught the soft clink of their chains.  In a retired spot, resting
himself under a tree, was a holy person--a naked black fakeer, thin and
skinny, and whitey-gray all over with ashes.

By and by to the elephant stables, and I took a ride; but it was by
request--I did not ask for it, and didn’t want it; but I took it, because
otherwise they would have thought I was afraid, which I was.  The
elephant kneels down, by command--one end of him at a time--and you climb
the ladder and get into the howdah, and then he gets up, one end at a
time, just as a ship gets up over a wave; and after that, as he strides
monstrously about, his motion is much like a ship’s motion.  The mahout
bores into the back of his head with a great iron prod and you wonder at
his temerity and at the elephant’s patience, and you think that perhaps
the patience will not last; but it does, and nothing happens.  The mahout
talks to the elephant in a low voice all the time, and the elephant seems
to understand it all and to be pleased with it; and he obeys every order
in the most contented and docile way.  Among these twenty-five elephants
were two which were larger than any I had ever seen before, and if I had
thought I could learn to not be afraid, I would have taken one of them
while the police were not looking.

In the howdah-house there were many howdahs that were made of silver, one
of gold, and one of old ivory, and equipped with cushions and canopies of
rich and costly stuffs.  The wardrobe of the elephants was there, too;
vast velvet covers stiff and heavy with gold embroidery; and bells of
silver and gold; and ropes of these metals for fastening the things on--
harness, so to speak; and monster hoops of massive gold for the elephant
to wear on his ankles when he is out in procession on business of state.

But we did not see the treasury of crown jewels, and that was a
disappointment, for in mass and richness it ranks only second in India.
By mistake we were taken to see the new palace instead, and we used up
the last remnant of our spare time there.  It was a pity, too; for the
new palace is mixed modern American-European, and has not a merit except
costliness.  It is wholly foreign to India, and impudent and out of
place.  The architect has escaped.  This comes of overdoing the
suppression of the Thugs; they had their merits.  The old palace is
oriental and charming, and in consonance with the country.  The old
palace would still be great if there were nothing of it but the spacious
and lofty hall where the durbars are held.  It is not a good place to
lecture in, on account of the echoes, but it is a good place to hold
durbars in and regulate the affairs of a kingdom, and that is what it is
for.  If I had it I would have a durbar every day, instead of once or
twice a year.

The prince is an educated gentleman.  His culture is European.  He has
been in Europe five times.  People say that this is costly amusement for
him, since in crossing the sea he must sometimes be obliged to drink
water from vessels that are more or less public, and thus damage his
caste.  To get it purified again he must make pilgrimage to some renowned
Hindoo temples and contribute a fortune or two to them.  His people are
like the other Hindoos, profoundly religious; and they could not be
content with a master who was impure.

We failed to see the jewels, but we saw the gold cannon and the silver
one--they seemed to be six-pounders.  They were not designed for
business, but for salutes upon rare and particularly important state
occasions.  An ancestor of the present Gaikwar had the silver one made,
and a subsequent ancestor had the gold one made, in order to outdo him.

This sort of artillery is in keeping with the traditions of Baroda, which
was of old famous for style and show.  It used to entertain visiting
rajahs and viceroys with tiger-fights, elephant-fights, illuminations,
and elephant-processions of the most glittering and gorgeous character.

It makes the circus a pale, poor thing.

In the train, during a part of the return journey from Baroda, we had the
company of a gentleman who had with him a remarkable looking dog.  I had
not seen one of its kind before, as far as I could remember; though of
course I might have seen one and not noticed it, for I am not acquainted
with dogs, but only with cats.  This dog’s coat was smooth and shiny and
black, and I think it had tan trimmings around the edges of the dog, and
perhaps underneath.  It was a long, low dog, with very short, strange
legs--legs that curved inboard, something like parentheses turned the
wrong way (.
Indeed, it was made on the plan of a bench for length and lowness.  It
seemed to be satisfied, but I thought the plan poor, and structurally
weak, on account of the distance between the forward supports and those
abaft.  With age the dog’s back was likely to sag; and it seemed to me
that it would have been a stronger and more practicable dog if it had had
some more legs.  It had not begun to sag yet, but the shape of the legs
showed that the undue weight imposed upon them was beginning to tell.
It had a long nose, and floppy ears that hung down, and a resigned
expression of countenance.  I did not like to ask what kind of a dog it
was, or how it came to be deformed, for it was plain that the gentleman
was very fond of it, and naturally he could be sensitive about it.  From
delicacy I thought it best not to seem to notice it too much.  No doubt a
man with a dog like that feels just as a person does who has a child that
is out of true.  The gentleman was not merely fond of the dog, he was
also proud of it--just the same again, as a mother feels about her
child when it is an idiot.  I could see that he was proud of it,
not-withstanding it was such a long dog and looked so resigned and pious.
It had been all over the world with him, and had been pilgriming like
that for years and years.  It had traveled 50,000 miles by sea and rail,
and had ridden in front of him on his horse 8,000.  It had a silver medal
from the Geographical Society of Great Britain for its travels, and I saw
it.  It had won prizes in dog shows, both in India and in England--I saw
them.  He said its pedigree was on record in the Kennel Club, and that it
was a well-known dog.  He said a great many people in London could
recognize it the moment they saw it.  I did not say anything, but I did
not think it anything strange; I should know that dog again, myself, yet
I am not careful about noticing dogs.  He said that when he walked along
in London, people often stopped and looked at the dog.  Of course I did
not say anything, for I did not want to hurt his feelings, but I could
have explained to him that if you take a great long low dog like that and
waddle it along the street anywhere in the world and not charge anything,
people will stop and look.  He was gratified because the dog took prizes.
But that was nothing; if I were built like that I could take prizes
myself.  I wished I knew what kind of a dog it was, and what it was for,
but I could not very well ask, for that would show that I did not know.
Not that I want a dog like that, but only to know the secret of its

I think he was going to hunt elephants with it, because I know, from
remarks dropped by him, that he has hunted large game in India and
Africa, and likes it.  But I think that if he tries to hunt elephants
with it, he is going to be disappointed.

I do not believe that it is suited for elephants.  It lacks energy, it
lacks force of character, it lacks bitterness.  These things all show in
the meekness and resignation of its expression.  It would not attack an
elephant, I am sure of it.  It might not run if it saw one coming, but it
looked to me like a dog that would sit down and pray.

I wish he had told me what breed it was, if there are others; but I shall
know the dog next time, and then if I can bring myself to it I will put
delicacy aside and ask.  If I seem strangely interested in dogs, I have a
reason for it; for a dog saved me from an embarrassing position once, and
that has made me grateful to these animals; and if by study I could learn
to tell some of the kinds from the others, I should be greatly pleased.
I only know one kind apart, yet, and that is the kind that saved me that
time.  I always know that kind when I meet it, and if it is hungry or
lost I take care of it.  The matter happened in this way:

It was years and years ago.  I had received a note from Mr. Augustin Daly
of the Fifth Avenue Theatre, asking me to call the next time I should be
in New York.  I was writing plays, in those days, and he was admiring
them and trying to get me a chance to get them played in Siberia.  I took
the first train--the early one--the one that leaves Hartford at 8.29 in
the morning.  At New Haven I bought a paper, and found it filled with
glaring display-lines about a “bench-show” there.  I had often heard of
bench-shows, but had never felt any interest in them, because I supposed
they were lectures that were not well attended.  It turned out, now, that
it was not that, but a dog-show.  There was a double-leaded column about
the king-feature of this one, which was called a Saint Bernard, and was
worth $10,000, and was known to be the largest and finest of his species
in the world.  I read all this with interest, because out of my
school-boy readings I dimly remembered how the priests and pilgrims of
St. Bernard used to go out in the storms and dig these dogs out of the
snowdrifts when lost and exhausted, and give them brandy and save their
lives, and drag them to the monastery and restore them with gruel.

Also, there was a picture of this prize-dog in the paper, a noble great
creature with a benignant countenance, standing by a table.  He was
placed in that way so that one could get a right idea of his great
dimensions.  You could see that he was just a shade higher than the
table--indeed, a huge fellow for a dog.  Then there was a description
which went into the details.  It gave his enormous weight--150 1/2
pounds, and his length 4 feet 2 inches, from stem to stern-post; and his
height--3 feet 1 inch, to the top of his back.  The pictures and the
figures so impressed me, that I could see the beautiful colossus before
me, and I kept on thinking about him for the next two hours; then I
reached New York, and he dropped out of my mind.

In the swirl and tumult of the hotel lobby I ran across Mr. Daly’s
comedian, the late James Lewis, of beloved memory, and I casually
mentioned that I was going to call upon Mr. Daly in the evening at 8.
He looked surprised, and said he reckoned not.  For answer I handed him
Mr. Daly’s note.  Its substance was: “Come to my private den, over the
theater, where we cannot be interrupted.  And come by the back way, not
the front.  No. 642 Sixth Avenue is a cigar shop; pass through it and you
are in a paved court, with high buildings all around; enter the second
door on the left, and come up stairs.”

“Is this all?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, you’ll never get in”


“Because you won’t.  Or if you do you can draw on me for a hundred
dollars; for you will be the first man that has accomplished it in
twenty-five years.  I can’t think what Mr. Daly can have been absorbed
in.  He has forgotten a most important detail, and he will feel
humiliated in the morning when he finds that you tried to get in and

“Why, what is the trouble?”

“I’ll tell you.  You see----”

At that point we were swept apart by the crowd, somebody detained me with
a moment’s talk, and we did not get together again.  But it did not
matter; I believed he was joking, anyway.

At eight in the evening I passed through the cigar shop and into the
court and knocked at the second door.

“Come in!”

I entered.  It was a small room, carpetless, dusty, with a naked deal
table, and two cheap wooden chairs for furniture.  A giant Irishman was
standing there, with shirt collar and vest unbuttoned, and no coat on.  I
put my hat on the table, and was about to say something, when the
Irishman took the innings himself.  And not with marked courtesy of tone:

“Well, sor, what will you have?”

I was a little disconcerted, and my easy confidence suffered a shrinkage.
The man stood as motionless as Gibraltar, and kept his unblinking eye
upon me.  It was very embarrassing, very humiliating.  I stammered at a
false start or two; then----

“I have just run down from----”

“Av ye plaze, ye’ll not smoke here, ye understand.”

I laid my cigar on the window-ledge; chased my flighty thoughts a moment,
then said in a placating manner:

“I--I have come to see Mr. Daly.”

“Oh, ye have, have ye?”


“Well, ye’ll not see him.”

“But he asked me to come.”

“Oh, he did, did he?”

“Yes, he sent me this note, and----”

“Lemme see it.”

For a moment I fancied there would be a change in the atmosphere, now;
but this idea was premature.  The big man was examining the note
searchingly under the gas-jet.  A glance showed me that he had it upside
down--disheartening evidence that he could not read.

“Is ut his own handwrite?”

“Yes--he wrote it himself.”

“He did, did he?”


“H’m.  Well, then, why ud he write it like that?”

“How do you mean?”

“I mane, why wudn’t he put his naime to ut?”

“His name is to it.  That’s not it--you are looking at my name.”

I thought that that was a home shot, but he did not betray that he had
been hit.  He said:

“It’s not an aisy one to spell; how do you pronounce ut?”

“Mark Twain.”

“H’m.  H’m.  Mike Train.  H’m.  I don’t remember ut.  What is it ye want
to see him about?”

“It isn’t I that want to see him, he wants to see me.”

“Oh, he does, does he?”


“What does he want to see ye about?”

“I don’t know.”

“Ye don’t know!  And ye confess it, becod!  Well, I can tell ye wan
thing--ye’ll not see him.  Are ye in the business?”

“What business?”

“The show business.”

A fatal question.  I recognized that I was defeated.  If I answered no,
he would cut the matter short and wave me to the door without the grace
of a word--I saw it in his uncompromising eye; if I said I was a
lecturer, he would despise me, and dismiss me with opprobrious words; if
I said I was a dramatist, he would throw me out of the window.  I saw
that my case was hopeless, so I chose the course which seemed least
humiliating: I would pocket my shame and glide out without answering.
The silence was growing lengthy.

“I’ll ask ye again.  Are ye in the show business yerself?”


I said it with splendid confidence; for in that moment the very twin of
that grand New Haven dog loafed into the room, and I saw that Irishman’s
eye light eloquently with pride and affection.

“Ye are?  And what is it?”

“I’ve got a bench-show in New Haven.”

The weather did change then.

“You don’t say, sir!  And that’s your show, sir!  Oh, it’s a grand show,
it’s a wonderful show, sir, and a proud man I am to see your honor this
day.  And ye’ll be an expert, sir, and ye’ll know all about dogs--more
than ever they know theirselves, I’ll take me oath to ut.”

I said, with modesty:

“I believe I have some reputation that way.  In fact, my business
requires it.”

“Ye have some reputation, your honor!  Bedad I believe you!  There’s not
a jintleman in the worrld that can lay over ye in the judgmint of a dog,
sir.  Now I’ll vinture that your honor’ll know that dog’s dimensions
there better than he knows them his own self, and just by the casting of
your educated eye upon him.  Would you mind giving a guess, if ye’ll be
so good?”

I knew that upon my answer would depend my fate.  If I made this dog
bigger than the prize-dog, it would be bad diplomacy, and suspicious; if
I fell too far short of the prizedog, that would be equally damaging.
The dog was standing by the table, and I believed I knew the difference
between him and the one whose picture I had seen in the newspaper to a
shade.  I spoke promptly up and said:

“It’s no trouble to guess this noble creature’s figures: height, three
feet; length, four feet and three-quarters of an inch; weight, a hundred
and forty-eight and a quarter.”

The man snatched his hat from its peg and danced on it with joy,

“Ye’ve hardly missed it the hair’s breadth, hardly the shade of a shade,
your honor!  Oh, it’s the miraculous eye ye’ve got, for the judgmint of a

And still pouring out his admiration of my capacities, he snatched off
his vest and scoured off one of the wooden chairs with it, and scrubbed
it and polished it, and said:

“There, sit down, your honor, I’m ashamed of meself that I forgot ye were
standing all this time; and do put on your hat, ye mustn’t take cold,
it’s a drafty place; and here is your cigar, sir, a getting cold, I’ll
give ye a light.  There.  The place is all yours, sir, and if ye’ll just
put your feet on the table and make yourself at home, I’ll stir around
and get a candle and light ye up the ould crazy stairs and see that ye
don’t come to anny harm, for be this time Mr. Daly’ll be that impatient
to see your honor that he’ll be taking the roof off.”

He conducted me cautiously and tenderly up the stairs, lighting the way
and protecting me with friendly warnings, then pushed the door open and
bowed me in and went his way, mumbling hearty things about my wonderful
eye for points of a dog.  Mr. Daly was writing and had his back to me.
He glanced over his shoulder presently, then jumped up and said--

“Oh, dear me, I forgot all about giving instructions.  I was just writing
you to beg a thousand pardons.  But how is it you are here?  How did you
get by that Irishman?  You are the first man that’s done it in five and
twenty years.  You didn’t bribe him, I know that; there’s not money
enough in New York to do it.  And you didn’t persuade him; he is all ice
and iron: there isn’t a soft place nor a warm one in him anywhere.  What
is your secret?  Look here; you owe me a hundred dollars for
unintentionally giving you a chance to perform a miracle--for it is a
miracle that you’ve done.”

“That is all right,” I said, “collect it of Jimmy Lewis.”

That good dog not only did me that good turn in the time of my need, but
he won for me the envious reputation among all the theatrical people from
the Atlantic to the Pacific of being the only man in history who had ever
run the blockade of Augustin Daly’s back door.


If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together,
who would escape hanging.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

On the Train.  Fifty years ago, when I was a boy in the then remote and
sparsely peopled Mississippi valley, vague tales and rumors of a
mysterious body of professional murderers came wandering in from a
country which was constructively as far from us as the constellations
blinking in space--India; vague tales and rumors of a sect called Thugs,
who waylaid travelers in lonely places and killed them for the
contentment of a god whom they worshiped; tales which everybody liked to
listen to and nobody believed, except with reservations.  It was
considered that the stories had gathered bulk on their travels.  The
matter died down and a lull followed.  Then Eugene Sue’s “Wandering Jew”
 appeared, and made great talk for a while.  One character in it was a
chief of Thugs--“Feringhea”--a mysterious and terrible Indian who was as
slippery and sly as a serpent, and as deadly; and he stirred up the Thug
interest once more.  But it did not last.  It presently died again this
time to stay dead.

At first glance it seems strange that this should have happened; but
really it was not strange--on the contrary--it was natural; I mean on
our side of the water.  For the source whence the Thug tales mainly came
was a Government Report, and without doubt was not republished in
America; it was probably never even seen there.  Government Reports have
no general circulation.  They are distributed to the few, and are not
always read by those few.  I heard of this Report for the first time a
day or two ago, and borrowed it.  It is full of fascinations; and it
turns those dim, dark fairy tales of my boyhood days into realities.

The Report was made in 1839 by Major Sleeman, of the Indian Service, and
was printed in Calcutta in 1840.  It is a clumsy, great, fat, poor sample
of the printer’s art, but good enough for a government printing-office in
that old day and in that remote region, perhaps.  To Major Sleeman was
given the general superintendence of the giant task of ridding India of
Thuggee, and he and his seventeen assistants accomplished it.  It was the
Augean Stables over again.  Captain Vallancey, writing in a Madras
journal in those old times, makes this remark:

     “The day that sees this far-spread evil eradicated from India and
     known only in name, will greatly tend to immortalize British rule in
     the East.”

He did not overestimate the magnitude and difficulty of the work, nor the
immensity of the credit which would justly be due to British rule in case
it was accomplished.

Thuggee became known to the British authorities in India about 1810, but
its wide prevalence was not suspected; it was not regarded as a serious
matter, and no systematic measures were taken for its suppression until
about 1830.  About that time Major Sleeman captured Eugene Sue’s
Thug-chief, “Feringhea,” and got him to turn King’s evidence.  The
revelations were so stupefying that Sleeman was not able to believe them.
Sleeman thought he knew every criminal within his jurisdiction, and that
the worst of them were merely thieves; but Feringhea told him that he was
in reality living in the midst of a swarm of professional murderers; that
they had been all about him for many years, and that they buried their
dead close by.  These seemed insane tales; but Feringhea said come and
see--and he took him to a grave and dug up a hundred bodies, and told him
all the circumstances of the killings, and named the Thugs who had done
the work.  It was a staggering business.  Sleeman captured some of these
Thugs and proceeded to examine them separately, and with proper
precautions against collusion; for he would not believe any Indian’s
unsupported word.  The evidence gathered proved the truth of what
Feringhea had said, and also revealed the fact that gangs of Thugs were
plying their trade all over India.  The astonished government now took
hold of Thuggee, and for ten years made systematic and relentless war
upon it, and finally destroyed it.  Gang after gang was captured, tried,
and punished.  The Thugs were harried and hunted from one end of India to
the other.  The government got all their secrets out of them; and also
got the names of the members of the bands, and recorded them in a book,
together with their birthplaces and places of residence.

The Thugs were worshipers of Bhowanee; and to this god they sacrificed
anybody that came handy; but they kept the dead man’s things themselves,
for the god cared for nothing but the corpse.  Men were initiated into
the sect with solemn ceremonies.  Then they were taught how to strangle a
person with the sacred choke-cloth, but were not allowed to perform
officially with it until after long practice.  No half-educated strangler
could choke a man to death quickly enough to keep him from uttering a
sound--a muffled scream, gurgle, gasp, moan, or something of the sort;
but the expert’s work was instantaneous: the cloth was whipped around the
victim’s neck, there was a sudden twist, and the head fell silently
forward, the eyes starting from the sockets; and all was over.  The Thug
carefully guarded against resistance.  It was usual to to get the victims
to sit down, for that was the handiest position for business.

If the Thug had planned India itself it could not have been more
conveniently arranged for the needs of his occupation.

There were no public conveyances.  There were no conveyances for hire.
The traveler went on foot or in a bullock cart or on a horse which he
bought for the purpose.  As soon as he was out of his own little State or
principality he was among strangers; nobody knew him, nobody took note of
him, and from that time his movements could no longer be traced.  He did
not stop in towns or villages, but camped outside of them and sent his
servants in to buy provisions.  There were no habitations between
villages.  Whenever he was between villages he was an easy prey,
particularly as he usually traveled by night, to avoid the heat.  He was
always being overtaken by strangers who offered him the protection of
their company, or asked for the protection of his--and these strangers
were often Thugs, as he presently found out to his cost.  The
landholders, the native police, the petty princes, the village officials,
the customs officers were in many cases protectors and harborers of the
Thugs, and betrayed travelers to them for a share of the spoil.  At first
this condition of things made it next to impossible for the government to
catch the marauders; they were spirited away by these watchful friends.
All through a vast continent, thus infested, helpless people of every
caste and kind moved along the paths and trails in couples and groups
silently by night, carrying the commerce of the country--treasure,
jewels, money, and petty batches of silks, spices, and all manner of
wares.  It was a paradise for the Thug.

When the autumn opened, the Thugs began to gather together by
pre-concert.  Other people had to have interpreters at every turn, but
not the Thugs; they could talk together, no matter how far apart they
were born, for they had a language of their own, and they had secret
signs by which they knew each other for Thugs; and they were always
friends.  Even their diversities of religion and caste were sunk in
devotion to their calling, and the Moslem and the high-caste and
low-caste Hindoo were staunch and affectionate brothers in Thuggery.

When a gang had been assembled, they had religious worship, and waited
for an omen.  They had definite notions about the omens.  The cries of
certain animals were good omens, the cries of certain other creatures
were bad omens.  A bad omen would stop proceedings and send the men home.

The sword and the strangling-cloth were sacred emblems.  The Thugs
worshiped the sword at home before going out to the assembling-place; the
strangling-cloth was worshiped at the place of assembly.  The chiefs of
most of the bands performed the religious ceremonies themselves; but the
Kaets delegated them to certain official stranglers (Chaurs).  The rites
of the Kaets were so holy that no one but the Chaur was allowed to touch
the vessels and other things used in them.

Thug methods exhibit a curious mixture of caution and the absence of it;
cold business calculation and sudden, unreflecting impulse; but there
were two details which were constant, and not subject to caprice: patient
persistence in following up the prey, and pitilessness when the time came
to act.

Caution was exhibited in the strength of the bands.  They never felt
comfortable and confident unless their strength exceeded that of any
party of travelers they were likely to meet by four or fivefold.  Yet it
was never their purpose to attack openly, but only when the victims were
off their guard.  When they got hold of a party of travelers they often
moved along in their company several days, using all manner of arts to
win their friendship and get their confidence.  At last, when this was
accomplished to their satisfaction, the real business began.  A few Thugs
were privately detached and sent forward in the dark to select a good
killing-place and dig the graves.  When the rest reached the spot a halt
was called, for a rest or a smoke.  The travelers were invited to sit.
By signs, the chief appointed certain Thugs to sit down in front of the
travelers as if to wait upon them, others to sit down beside them and
engage them in conversation, and certain expert stranglers to stand
behind the travelers and be ready when the signal was given.  The signal
was usually some commonplace remark, like “Bring the tobacco.”  Sometimes
a considerable wait ensued after all the actors were in their places--the
chief was biding his time, in order to make everything sure.  Meantime,
the talk droned on, dim figures moved about in the dull light, peace and
tranquility reigned, the travelers resigned themselves to the pleasant
reposefulness and comfort of the situation, unconscious of the
death-angels standing motionless at their backs.  The time was ripe, now,
and the signal came: “Bring the tobacco.”  There was a mute swift
movement, all in the same instant the men at each victim’s sides seized
his hands, the man in front seized his feet, and pulled, the man at his
back whipped the cloth around his neck and gave it a twist--the head sunk
forward, the tragedy was over.  The bodies were stripped and covered up
in the graves, the spoil packed for transportation, then the Thugs gave
pious thanks to Bhowanee, and departed on further holy service.

The Report shows that the travelers moved in exceedingly small groups
--twos, threes, fours, as a rule; a party with a dozen in it was rare.
Thugs themselves seem to have been the only people who moved in force.
They went about in gangs of 10, 15, 25, 40, 60, 100, 150, 200, 250, and
one gang of 310 is mentioned.  Considering their numbers, their catch was
not extraordinary--particularly when you consider that they were not in
the least fastidious, but took anybody they could get, whether rich or
poor, and sometimes even killed children.  Now and then they killed
women, but it was considered sinful to do it, and unlucky.  The “season”
 was six or eight months long.  One season the half dozen Bundelkand and
Gwalior gangs aggregated 712 men, and they murdered 210 people.  One
season the Malwa and Kandeish gangs aggregated 702 men, and they murdered
232.  One season the Kandeish and Berar gangs aggregated 963 men, and
they murdered 385 people.

Here is the tally-sheet of a gang of sixty Thugs for a whole season--gang
under two noted chiefs, “Chotee and Sheik Nungoo from Gwalior”:

     “Left Poora, in Jhansee, and on arrival at Sarora murdered a

     “On nearly reaching Bhopal, met 3 Brahmins, and murdered them.

     “Cross the Nerbudda; at a village called Hutteea, murdered a Hindoo.

     “Went through Aurungabad to Walagow; there met a Havildar of the
     barber caste and 5 sepoys (native soldiers); in the evening came to
     Jokur, and in the morning killed them near the place where the
     treasure-bearers were killed the year before.

     “Between Jokur and Dholeea met a sepoy of the shepherd caste; killed
     him in the jungle.

     “Passed through Dholeea and lodged in a village; two miles beyond,
     on the road to Indore, met a Byragee (beggar-holy mendicant);
     murdered him at the Thapa.

     “In the morning, beyond the Thapa, fell in with 3 Marwarie
     travelers; murdered them.

     “Near a village on the banks of the Taptee met 4 travelers and
     killed them.

     “Between Choupra and Dhoreea met a Marwarie; murdered him.

     “At Dhoreea met 3 Marwaries; took them two miles and murdered them.

     “Two miles further on, overtaken by three treasure-bearers; took
     them two miles and murdered them in the jungle.

     “Came on to Khurgore Bateesa in Indore, divided spoil, and

     “A total of 27 men murdered on one expedition.”

Chotee (to save his neck) was informer, and furnished these facts.
Several things are noticeable about his resume.  1. Business brevity;
2, absence of emotion; 3, smallness of the parties encountered by the 60;
4, variety in character and quality of the game captured; 5, Hindoo and
Mohammedan chiefs in business together for Bhowanee; 6, the sacred caste
of the Brahmins not respected by either; 7, nor yet the character of that
mendicant, that Byragee.

A beggar is a holy creature, and some of the gangs spared him on that
account, no matter how slack business might be; but other gangs
slaughtered not only him, but even that sacredest of sacred creatures,
the fakeer--that repulsive skin-and-bone thing that goes around naked and
mats his bushy hair with dust and dirt, and so beflours his lean body
with ashes that he looks like a specter.  Sometimes a fakeer trusted a
shade too far in the protection of his sacredness.  In the middle of a
tally-sheet of Feringhea’s, who had been out with forty Thugs, I find a
case of the kind.  After the killing of thirty-nine men and one woman,
the fakeer appears on the scene:

     “Approaching Doregow, met 3 pundits; also a fakeer, mounted on a
     pony; he was plastered over with sugar to collect flies, and was
     covered with them.  Drove off the fakeer, and killed the other

     “Leaving Doregow, the fakeer joined again, and went on in company to
     Raojana; met 6 Khutries on their way from Bombay to Nagpore.  Drove
     off the fakeer with stones, and killed the 6 men in camp, and buried
     them in the grove.

     “Next day the fakeer joined again; made him leave at Mana.  Beyond
     there, fell in with two Kahars and a sepoy, and came on towards the
     place selected for the murder.  When near it, the fakeer came again.
     Losing all patience with him, gave Mithoo, one of the gang, 5 rupees
     ($2.50) to murder him, and take the sin upon himself.  All four were
     strangled, including the fakeer.  Surprised to find among the
     fakeer’s effects 30 pounds of coral, 350 strings of small pearls, 15
     strings of large pearls, and a gilt necklace.”

It it curious, the little effect that time has upon a really interesting
circumstance.  This one, so old, so long ago gone down into oblivion,
reads with the same freshness and charm that attach to the news in the
morning paper; one’s spirits go up, then down, then up again, following
the chances which the fakeer is running; now you hope, now you despair,
now you hope again; and at last everything comes out right, and you feel
a great wave of personal satisfaction go weltering through you, and
without thinking, you put out your hand to pat Mithoo on the back, when
--puff! the whole thing has vanished away, there is nothing there; Mithoo
and all the crowd have been dust and ashes and forgotten, oh, so many,
many, many lagging years!  And then comes a sense of injury: you don’t
know whether Mithoo got the swag, along with the sin, or had to divide up
the swag and keep all the sin himself.  There is no literary art about a
government report.  It stops a story right in the most interesting place.

These reports of Thug expeditions run along interminably in one
monotonous tune: “Met a sepoy--killed him; met 5 pundits--killed them;
met 4 Rajpoots and a woman--killed them”--and so on, till the statistics
get to be pretty dry.  But this small trip of Feringhea’s Forty had some
little variety about it.  Once they came across a man hiding in a grave
--a thief; he had stolen 1,100 rupees from Dhunroj Seith of Parowtee.
They strangled him and took the money.  They had no patience with
They killed two treasure-bearers, and got 4,000 rupees.  They came across
two bullocks “laden with copper pice,” and killed the four drivers and
took the money.  There must have been half a ton of it.  I think it takes
a double handful of pice to make an anna, and 16 annas to make a rupee;
and even in those days the rupee was worth only half a dollar.  Coming
back over their tracks from Baroda, they had another picturesque stroke
of luck:  “‘The Lohars of Oodeypore’ put a traveler in their charge for
safety.”  Dear, dear, across this abyssmal gulf of time we still see
Feringhea’s lips uncover his teeth, and through the dim haze we catch the
incandescent glimmer of his smile.  He accepted that trust, good man; and
so we know what went with the traveler.

Even Rajahs had no terrors for Feringhea; he came across an
elephant-driver belonging to the Rajah of Oodeypore and promptly
strangled him.

“A total of 100 men and 5 women murdered on this expedition.”

Among the reports of expeditions we find mention of victims of almost
every quality and estate:

Native soldiers.
Holy-water carriers.
Policemen (native).
Pastry cooks.
Mecca pilgrims.

Male servants seeking work.
Women servants seeking work.

Also a prince’s cook; and even the water-carrier of that sublime lord of
lords and king of kings, the Governor-General of India!  How broad they
were in their tastes!  They also murdered actors--poor wandering
barnstormers.  There are two instances recorded; the first one by a gang
of Thugs under a chief who soils a great name borne by a better man
--Kipling’s deathless “Gungadin”:

     “After murdering 4 sepoys, going on toward Indore, met 4 strolling
     players, and persuaded them to come with us, on the pretense that we
     would see their performance at the next stage.  Murdered them at a
     temple near Bhopal.”

Second instance:

     “At Deohuttee, joined by comedians.  Murdered them eastward of that

But this gang was a particularly bad crew.  On that expedition they
murdered a fakeer and twelve beggars.  And yet Bhowanee protected them;
for once when they were strangling a man in a wood when a crowd was going
by close at hand and the noose slipped and the man screamed, Bhowanee
made a camel burst out at the same moment with a roar that drowned the
scream; and before the man could repeat it the breath was choked out of
his body.

The cow is so sacred in India that to kill her keeper is an awful
sacrilege, and even the Thugs recognized this; yet now and then the lust
for blood was too strong, and so they did kill a few cow-keepers.  In one
of these instances the witness who killed the cowherd said, “In Thuggee
this is strictly forbidden, and is an act from which no good can come.  I
was ill of a fever for ten days afterward.  I do believe that evil will
follow the murder of a man with a cow.  If there be no cow it does not
signify.”  Another Thug said he held the cowherd’s feet while this
witness did the strangling.  He felt no concern, “because the bad fortune
of such a deed is upon the strangler and not upon the assistants; even if
there should be a hundred of them.”

There were thousands of Thugs roving over India constantly, during many
generations.  They made Thuggee a hereditary vocation and taught it to
their sons and to their son’s sons.  Boys were in full membership as
early as 16 years of age; veterans were still at work at 70.  What was
the fascination, what was the impulse?  Apparently, it was partly piety,
largely gain, and there is reason to suspect that the sport afforded was
the chiefest fascination of all.  Meadows Taylor makes a Thug in one of
his books claim that the pleasure of killing men was the white man’s
beast-hunting instinct enlarged, refined, ennobled.  I will quote the


Simple rules for saving money: To save half, when you are fired by an
eager impulse to contribute to a charity, wait, and count forty.  To save
three-quarters, count sixty.  To save it all, count sixty-five.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The Thug said:

“How many of you English are passionately devoted to sporting!  Your days
and months are passed in its excitement.  A tiger, a panther, a buffalo
or a hog rouses your utmost energies for its destruction--you even risk
your lives in its pursuit.  How much higher game is a Thug’s!”

That must really be the secret of the rise and development of Thuggee.
The joy of killing! the joy of seeing killing done--these are traits of
the human race at large.  We white people are merely modified Thugs;
Thugs fretting under the restraints of a not very thick skin of
civilization; Thugs who long ago enjoyed the slaughter of the Roman
arena, and later the burning of doubtful Christians by authentic
Christians in the public squares, and who now, with the Thugs of Spain
and Nimes, flock to enjoy the blood and misery of the bullring.  We have
no tourists of either sex or any religion who are able to resist the
delights of the bull-ring when opportunity offers; and we are gentle
Thugs in the hunting-season, and love to chase a tame rabbit and kill it.
Still, we have made some progress-microscopic, and in truth scarcely
worth mentioning, and certainly nothing to be proud of--still, it is
progress: we no longer take pleasure in slaughtering or burning helpless
men.  We have reached a little altitude where we may look down upon the
Indian Thugs with a complacent shudder; and we may even hope for a day,
many centuries hence, when our posterity will look down upon us in the
same way.

There are many indications that the Thug often hunted men for the mere
sport of it; that the fright and pain of the quarry were no more to him
than are the fright and pain of the rabbit or the stag to us; and that he
was no more ashamed of beguiling his game with deceits and abusing its
trust than are we when we have imitated a wild animal’s call and shot it
when it honored us with its confidence and came to see what we wanted:

     “Madara, son of Nihal, and I, Ramzam, set out from Kotdee in the
     cold weather and followed the high road for about twenty days in
     search of travelers, until we came to Selempore, where we met a very
     old man going to the east.  We won his confidence in this manner: he
     carried a load which was too heavy for his old age; I said to him,
     ‘You are an old man, I will aid you in carrying your load, as you
     are from my part of the country.’  He said, ‘Very well, take me with
     you.’  So we took him with us to Selempore, where we slept that
     night.  We woke him next morning before dawn and set out, and at the
     distance of three miles we seated him to rest while it was still
     very dark.  Madara was ready behind him, and strangled him.  He
     never spoke a word.  He was about 60 or 70 years of age.”

Another gang fell in with a couple of barbers and persuaded them to come
along in their company by promising them the job of shaving the whole
crew--30 Thugs.  At the place appointed for the murder 15 got shaved, and
actually paid the barbers for their work.  Then killed them and took back
the money.

A gang of forty-two Thugs came across two Brahmins and a shopkeeper on
the road, beguiled them into a grove and got up a concert for their
entertainment.  While these poor fellows were listening to the music the
stranglers were standing behind them; and at the proper moment for
dramatic effect they applied the noose.

The most devoted fisherman must have a bite at least as often as once
a week or his passion will cool and he will put up his tackle.  The
tiger-sportsman must find a tiger at least once a fortnight or he will
tired and quit.  The elephant-hunter’s enthusiasm will waste away little
by little, and his zeal will perish at last if he plod around a month
without finding a member of that noble family to assassinate.

But when the lust in the hunter’s heart is for the noblest of all
quarries, man, how different is the case! and how watery and poor is the
zeal and how childish the endurance of those other hunters by comparison.
Then, neither hunger, nor thirst, nor fatigue, nor deferred hope, nor
monotonous disappointment, nor leaden-footed lapse of time can conquer
the hunter’s patience or weaken the joy of his quest or cool the splendid
rage of his desire.  Of all the hunting-passions that burn in the breast
of man, there is none that can lift him superior to discouragements like
these but the one--the royal sport, the supreme sport, whose quarry is
his brother.  By comparison, tiger-hunting is a colorless poor thing, for
all it has been so bragged about.

Why, the Thug was content to tramp patiently along, afoot, in the wasting
heat of India, week after week, at an average of nine or ten miles a day,
if he might but hope to find game some time or other and refresh his
longing soul with blood.  Here is an instance:

     “I (Ramzam) and Hyder set out, for the purpose of strangling
     travelers, from Guddapore, and proceeded via the Fort of Julalabad,
     Newulgunge, Bangermow, on the banks of the Ganges (upwards of 100
     miles), from whence we returned by another route.  Still no
     travelers! till we reached Bowaneegunge, where we fell in with a
     traveler, a boatman; we inveigled him and about two miles east of
     there Hyder strangled him as he stood--for he was troubled and
     afraid, and would not sit.  We then made a long journey (about 130
     miles) and reached Hussunpore Bundwa, where at the tank we fell in
     with a traveler--he slept there that night; next morning we followed
     him and tried to win his confidence; at the distance of two miles we
     endeavored to induce him to sit down--but he would not, having
     become aware of us.  I attempted to strangle him as he walked along,
     but did not succeed; both of us then fell upon him, he made a great
     outcry, ‘They are murdering me!’ at length we strangled him and
     flung his body into a well.  After this we returned to our homes,
     having been out a month and traveled about 260 miles.  A total of
     two men murdered on the expedition.”

And here is another case-related by the terrible Futty Khan, a man with a
tremendous record, to be re-mentioned by and by:

     “I, with three others, traveled for about 45 days a distance of
     about 200 miles in search of victims along the highway to Bundwa and
     returned by Davodpore (another 200 miles) during which journey we
     had only one murder, which happened in this manner.  Four miles to
     the east of Noubustaghat we fell in with a traveler, an old man.  I,
     with Koshal and Hyder, inveigled him and accompanied him that day
     within 3 miles of Rampoor, where, after dark, in a lonely place, we
     got him to sit down and rest; and while I kept him in talk, seated
     before him, Hyder behind strangled him: he made no resistance.
     Koshal stabbed him under the arms and in the throat, and we flung
     the body into a running stream.  We got about 4 or 5 rupees each ($2
     or $2.50).  We then proceeded homewards.  A total of one man
     murdered on this expedition.”

There.  They tramped 400 miles, were gone about three months, and
harvested two dollars and a half apiece.  But the mere pleasure of the
hunt was sufficient.  That was pay enough.  They did no grumbling.

Every now and then in this big book one comes across that pathetic
remark: “we tried to get him to sit down but he would not.”  It tells the
whole story.  Some accident had awakened the suspicion in him that these
smooth friends who had been petting and coddling him and making him feel
so safe and so fortunate after his forlorn and lonely wanderings were the
dreaded Thugs; and now their ghastly invitation to “sit and rest” had
confirmed its truth.  He knew there was no help for him, and that he was
looking his last upon earthly things, but “he would not sit.”  No, not
that--it was too awful to think of!

There are a number of instances which indicate that when a man had once
tasted the regal joys of man-hunting he could not be content with the
dull monotony of a crimeless life after ward.  Example, from a Thug’s

     “We passed through to Kurnaul, where we found a former Thug named
     Junooa, an old comrade of ours, who had turned religious mendicant
     and become a disciple and holy.  He came to us in the serai and
     weeping with joy returned to his old trade.”

Neither wealth nor honors nor dignities could satisfy a reformed Thug for
long.  He would throw them all away, someday, and go back to the lurid
pleasures of hunting men, and being hunted himself by the British.

Ramzam was taken into a great native grandee’s service and given
authority over five villages.  “My authority extended over these people
to summons them to my presence, to make them stand or sit.  I dressed
well, rode my pony, and had two sepoys, a scribe and a village guard to
attend me.  During three years I used to pay each village a monthly
visit, and no one suspected that I was a Thug!  The chief man used to
wait on me to transact business, and as I passed along, old and young
made their salaam to me.”

And yet during that very three years he got leave of absence “to attend a
wedding,” and instead went off on a Thugging lark with six other Thugs
and hunted the highway for fifteen days!--with satisfactory results.

Afterwards he held a great office under a Rajah.  There he had ten miles
of country under his command and a military guard of fifteen men, with
authority to call out 2,000 more upon occasion.  But the British got on
his track, and they crowded him so that he had to give himself up.  See
what a figure he was when he was gotten up for style and had all his
things on: “I was fully armed--a sword, shield, pistols, a matchlock
musket and a flint gun, for I was fond of being thus arrayed, and when so
armed feared not though forty men stood before me.”

He gave himself up and proudly proclaimed himself a Thug.  Then by
request he agreed to betray his friend and pal, Buhram, a Thug with the
most tremendous record in India.  “I went to the house where Buhram slept
(often has he led our gangs!) I woke him, he knew me well, and came
outside to me.  It was a cold night, so under pretence of warming myself,
but in reality to have light for his seizure by the guards, I lighted
some straw and made a blaze.  We were warming our hands.  The guards drew
around us.  I said to them, ‘This is Buhram,’ and he was seized just as a
cat seizes a mouse.  Then Buhram said, ‘I am a Thug! my father was a
Thug, my grandfather was a Thug, and I have thugged with many!’”

So spoke the mighty hunter, the mightiest of the mighty, the Gordon
Cumming of his day.  Not much regret noticeable in it.--[“Having planted
a bullet in the shoulder-bone of an elephant, and caused the agonized
creature to lean for support against a tree, I proceeded to brew some
coffee.  Having refreshed myself, taking observations of the elephant’s
spasms and writhings between the sips, I resolved to make experiments on
vulnerable points, and, approaching very near, I fired several bullets at
different parts of his enormous skull.  He only acknowledged the shots by
a salaam-like movement of his trunk, with the point of which he gently
touched the wounds with a striking and peculiar action.  Surprised and
shocked to find that I was only prolonging the suffering of the noble
beast, which bore its trials with such dignified composure, I resolved to
finish the proceeding with all possible despatch, and accordingly opened
fire upon him from the left side.  Aiming at the shoulder, I fired six
shots with the two-grooved rifle, which must have eventually proved
mortal, after which I fired six shots at the same part with the Dutch
six-founder.  Large tears now trickled down from his eyes, which he
slowly shut and opened, his colossal frame shivered convulsively, and
falling on his side he expired.”--Gordon Cumming.]

So many many times this Official Report leaves one’s curiosity
unsatisfied.  For instance, here is a little paragraph out of the record
of a certain band of 193 Thugs, which has that defect:

     “Fell in with Lall Sing Subahdar and his family, consisting of nine
     persons.  Traveled with them two days, and the third put them all to
     death except the two children, little boys of one and a half years

There it stops.  What did they do with those poor little fellows?  What
was their subsequent history?  Did they purpose training them up as
Thugs?  How could they take care of such little creatures on a march
which stretched over several months?  No one seems to have cared to ask
any questions about the babies.  But I do wish I knew.

One would be apt to imagine that the Thugs were utterly callous, utterly
destitute of human feelings, heartless toward their own families as well
as toward other people’s; but this was not so.  Like all other Indians,
they had a passionate love for their kin.  A shrewd British officer who
knew the Indian character, took that characteristic into account in
laying his plans for the capture of Eugene Sue’s famous Feringhea.  He
found out Feringhea’s hiding-place, and sent a guard by night to seize
him, but the squad was awkward and he got away.  However, they got the
rest of the family--the mother, wife, child, and brother--and brought
them to the officer, at Jubbulpore; the officer did not fret, but bided
his time: “I knew Feringhea would not go far while links so dear to him
were in my hands.”  He was right.  Feringhea knew all the danger he was
running by staying in the neighborhood, still he could not tear himself
away.  The officer found that he divided his time between five villages
where he had relatives and friends who could get news for him from his
family in Jubbulpore jail; and that he never slept two consecutive nights
in the same village.  The officer traced out his several haunts, then
pounced upon all the five villages on the one night and at the same hour,
and got his man.

Another example of family affection.  A little while previously to the
capture of Feringhea’s family, the British officer had captured
Feringhea’s foster-brother, leader of a gang of ten, and had tried the
eleven and condemned them to be hanged.  Feringhea’s captured family
arrived at the jail the day before the execution was to take place.  The
foster-brother, Jhurhoo, entreated to be allowed to see the aged mother
and the others.  The prayer was granted, and this is what took place--it
is the British officer who speaks:

     “In the morning, just before going to the scaffold, the interview
     took place before me.  He fell at the old woman’s feet and begged
     that she would relieve him from the obligations of the milk with
     which she had nourished him from infancy, as he was about to die
     before he could fulfill any of them.  She placed her hands on his
     head, and he knelt, and she said she forgave him all, and bid him
     die like a man.”

If a capable artist should make a picture of it, it would be full of
dignity and solemnity and pathos; and it could touch you.  You would
imagine it to be anything but what it was.  There is reverence there, and
tenderness, and gratefulness, and compassion, and resignation, and
fortitude, and self-respect--and no sense of disgrace, no thought of
dishonor.  Everything is there that goes to make a noble parting, and
give it a moving grace and beauty and dignity.  And yet one of these
people is a Thug and the other a mother of Thugs!  The incongruities of
our human nature seem to reach their limit here.

I wish to make note of one curious thing while I think of it.  One of the
very commonest remarks to be found in this bewildering array of Thug
confessions is this:

“Strangled him and threw him in a well!”  In one case they threw sixteen
into a well--and they had thrown others in the same well before.  It
makes a body thirsty to read about it.

And there is another very curious thing.  The bands of Thugs had private
graveyards.  They did not like to kill and bury at random, here and there
and everywhere.  They preferred to wait, and toll the victims along, and
get to one of their regular burying-places [‘bheels’) if they could.  In
the little kingdom of Oude, which was about half as big as Ireland and
about as big as the State of Maine, they had two hundred and seventy-four
‘bheels’.  They were scattered along fourteen hundred miles of road, at
an average of only five miles apart, and the British government traced
out and located each and every one of them and set them down on the map.

The Oude bands seldom went out of their own country, but they did a
thriving business within its borders.  So did outside bands who came in
and helped.  Some of the Thug leaders of Oude were noted for their
successful careers.  Each of four of them confessed to above 300 murders;
another to nearly 400; our friend Ramzam to 604--he is the one who got
leave of absence to attend a wedding and went thugging instead; and he is
also the one who betrayed Buhram to the British.

But the biggest records of all were the murder-lists of Futty Khan and
Buhram.  Futty Khan’s number is smaller than Ramzam’s, but he is placed
at the head because his average is the best in Oude-Thug history per year
of service.  His slaughter was 508 men in twenty years, and he was still
a young man when the British stopped his industry.  Buhram’s list was 931
murders, but it took him forty years.  His average was one man and nearly
all of another man per month for forty years, but Futty Khan’s average
was two men and a little of another man per month during his twenty years
of usefulness.

There is one very striking thing which I wish to call attention to.  You
have surmised from the listed callings followed by the victims of the
Thugs that nobody could travel the Indian roads unprotected and live to
get through; that the Thugs respected no quality, no vocation, no
religion, nobody; that they killed every unarmed man that came in their
way.  That is wholly true--with one reservation.  In all the long file of
Thug confessions an English traveler is mentioned but once--and this is
what the Thug says of the circumstance:

     “He was on his way from Mhow to Bombay.  We studiously avoided him.
     He proceeded next morning with a number of travelers who had sought
     his protection, and they took the road to Baroda.”

We do not know who he was; he flits across the page of this rusty old
book and disappears in the obscurity beyond; but he is an impressive
figure, moving through that valley of death serene and unafraid, clothed
in the might of the English name.

We have now followed the big official book through, and we understand
what Thuggee was, what a bloody terror it was, what a desolating scourge
it was.  In 1830 the English found this cancerous organization imbedded
in the vitals of the empire, doing its devastating work in secrecy, and
assisted, protected, sheltered, and hidden by innumerable confederates
--big and little native chiefs, customs officers, village officials, and
native police, all ready to lie for it, and the mass of the people,
through fear, persistently pretending to know nothing about its doings;
and this condition of things had existed for generations, and was
formidable with the sanctions of age and old custom.  If ever there was
an unpromising task, if ever there was a hopeless task in the world,
surely it was offered here--the task of conquering Thuggee.  But that
little handful of English officials in India set their sturdy and
confident grip upon it, and ripped it out, root and branch!  How modest
do Captain Vallancey’s words sound now, when we read them again, knowing
what we know:

     “The day that sees this far-spread evil completely eradicated from
     India, and known only in name, will greatly tend to immortalize
     British rule in the East.”

It would be hard to word a claim more modestly than that for this most
noble work.


Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you
must have somebody to divide it with.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We left Bombay for Allahabad by a night train.  It is the custom of the
country to avoid day travel when it can conveniently be done.  But there
is one trouble: while you can seemingly “secure” the two lower berths by
making early application, there is no ticket as witness of it, and no
other producible evidence in case your proprietorship shall chance to be
challenged.  The word “engaged” appears on the window, but it doesn’t
state who the compartment is engaged, for.  If your Satan and your Barney
arrive before somebody else’s servants, and spread the bedding on the two
sofas and then stand guard till you come, all will be well; but if they
step aside on an errand, they may find the beds promoted to the two
shelves, and somebody else’s demons standing guard over their master’s
beds, which in the meantime have been spread upon your sofas.

You do not pay anything extra for your sleeping place; that is where the
trouble lies.  If you buy a fare-ticket and fail to use it, there is room
thus made available for someone else; but if the place were secured to
you it would remain vacant, and yet your ticket would secure you another
place when you were presently ready to travel.

However, no explanation of such a system can make it seem quite rational
to a person who has been used to a more rational system.  If our people
had the arranging of it, we should charge extra for securing the place,
and then the road would suffer no loss if the purchaser did not occupy

The present system encourages good manners--and also discourages them.
If a young girl has a lower berth and an elderly lady comes in, it is
usual for the girl to offer her place to this late comer; and it is usual
for the late comer to thank her courteously and take it.  But the thing
happens differently sometimes.  When we were ready to leave Bombay my
daughter’s satchels were holding possession of her berth--a lower one.
At the last moment, a middle-aged American lady swarmed into the
compartment, followed by native porters laden with her baggage.  She was
growling and snarling and scolding, and trying to make herself
phenomenally disagreeable; and succeeding.  Without a word, she hoisted
the satchels into the hanging shelf, and took possession of that lower

On one of our trips Mr. Smythe and I got out at a station to walk up and
down, and when we came back Smythe’s bed was in the hanging shelf and an
English cavalry officer was in bed on the sofa which he had lately been
occupying.  It was mean to be glad about it, but it is the way we are
made; I could not have been gladder if it had been my enemy that had
suffered this misfortune.  We all like to see people in trouble, if it
doesn’t cost us anything.  I was so happy over Mr. Smythe’s chagrin that
I couldn’t go to sleep for thinking of it and enjoying it.  I knew he
supposed the officer had committed the robbery himself, whereas without a
doubt the officer’s servant had done it without his knowledge.  Mr.
Smythe kept this incident warm in his heart, and longed for a chance to
get even with somebody for it.  Sometime afterward the opportunity came,
in Calcutta.  We were leaving on a 24-hour journey to Darjeeling.  Mr.
Barclay, the general superintendent, has made special provision for our
accommodation, Mr. Smythe said; so there was no need to hurry about
getting to the train; consequently, we were a little late.

When we arrived, the usual immense turmoil and confusion of a great
Indian station were in full blast.  It was an immoderately long train,
for all the natives of India were going by it somewhither, and the native
officials were being pestered to frenzy by belated and anxious people.
They didn’t know where our car was, and couldn’t remember having received
any orders about it.  It was a deep disappointment; moreover, it looked
as if our half of our party would be left behind altogether.  Then Satan
came running and said he had found a compartment with one shelf and one
sofa unoccupied, and had made our beds and had stowed our baggage.  We
rushed to the place, and just as the train was ready to pull out and the
porters were slamming the doors to, all down the line, an officer of the
Indian Civil Service, a good friend of ours, put his head in and said:--

“I have been hunting for you everywhere.  What are you doing here?  Don’t
you know----”

The train started before he could finish.  Mr. Smythe’s opportunity was
come.  His bedding, on the shelf, at once changed places with the
bedding--a stranger’s--that was occupying the sofa that was opposite to
mine.  About ten o’clock we stopped somewhere, and a large Englishman of
official military bearing stepped in.  We pretended to be asleep.  The
lamps were covered, but there was light enough for us to note his look of
surprise.  He stood there, grand and fine, peering down at Smythe, and
wondering in silence at the situation.  After a bit he said:--

“Well!” And that was all.

But that was enough.  It was easy to understand.  It meant: “This is
extraordinary.  This is high-handed.  I haven’t had an experience like
this before.”

He sat down on his baggage, and for twenty minutes we watched him through
our eyelashes, rocking and swaying there to the motion of the train.
Then we came to a station, and he got up and went out, muttering: “I must
find a lower berth, or wait over.” His servant came presently and carried
away his things.

Mr. Smythe’s sore place was healed, his hunger for revenge was satisfied.
But he couldn’t sleep, and neither could I; for this was a venerable old
car, and nothing about it was taut.  The closet door slammed all night,
and defied every fastening we could invent.  We got up very much jaded,
at dawn, and stepped out at a way station; and, while we were taking a
cup of coffee, that Englishman ranged up alongside, and somebody said to

“So you didn’t stop off, after all?”

“No.  The guard found a place for me that had been engaged and not
occupied.  I had a whole saloon car all to myself--oh, quite palatial!
I never had such luck in my life.”

That was our car, you see.  We moved into it, straight off, the family
and all.  But I asked the English gentleman to remain, and he did.  A
pleasant man, an infantry colonel; and doesn’t know, yet, that Smythe
robbed him of his berth, but thinks it was done by Smythe’s servant
without Smythe’s knowledge.  He was assisted in gathering this

The Indian trains are manned by natives exclusively.  The Indian stations
except very large and important ones--are manned entirely by natives, and
so are the posts and telegraphs.  The rank and file of the police are
natives.  All these people are pleasant and accommodating.  One day I
left an express train to lounge about in that perennially ravishing show,
the ebb and flow and whirl of gaudy natives, that is always surging up
and down the spacious platform of a great Indian station; and I lost
myself in the ecstasy of it, and when I turned, the train was moving
swiftly away.  I was going to sit down and wait for another train, as I
would have done at home; I had no thought of any other course.  But a
native official, who had a green flag in his hand, saw me, and said

“Don’t you belong in the train, sir?”

“Yes.” I said.

He waved his flag, and the train came back!  And he put me aboard with as
much ceremony as if I had been the General Superintendent.  They are
kindly people, the natives.  The face and the bearing that indicate a
surly spirit and a bad heart seemed to me to be so rare among Indians--so
nearly non-existent, in fact--that I sometimes wondered if Thuggee wasn’t
a dream, and not a reality.  The bad hearts are there, but I believe that
they are in a small, poor minority.  One thing is sure: They are much the
most interesting people in the world--and the nearest to being
incomprehensible.  At any rate, the hardest to account for.  Their
character and their history, their customs and their religion, confront
you with riddles at every turn-riddles which are a trifle more perplexing
after they are explained than they were before.  You can get the facts of
a custom--like caste, and Suttee, and Thuggee, and so on--and with the
facts a theory which tries to explain, but never quite does it to your
satisfaction.  You can never quite understand how so strange a thing
could have been born, nor why.

For instance--the Suttee.  This is the explanation of it:

A woman who throws away her life when her husband dies is instantly
joined to him again, and is forever afterward happy with him in heaven;
her family will build a little monument to her, or a temple, and will
hold her in honor, and, indeed, worship her memory always; they will
themselves be held in honor by the public; the woman’s self-sacrifice has
conferred a noble and lasting distinction upon her posterity.  And,
besides, see what she has escaped: If she had elected to live, she would
be a disgraced person; she could not remarry; her family would despise
her and disown her; she would be a friendless outcast, and miserable all
her days.

Very well, you say, but the explanation is not complete yet.  How did
people come to drift into such a strange custom?  What was the origin of
the idea?  “Well, nobody knows; it was probably a revelation sent down by
the gods.”  One more thing: Why was such a cruel death chosen--why
wouldn’t a gentle one have answered?  “Nobody knows; maybe that was a
revelation, too.”

No--you can never understand it.  It all seems impossible.  You resolve
to believe that a widow never burnt herself willingly, but went to her
death because she was afraid to defy public opinion.  But you are not
able to keep that position.  History drives you from it.  Major Sleeman
has a convincing case in one of his books.  In his government on the
Nerbudda he made a brave attempt on the 28th of March, 1828, to put down
Suttee on his own hook and without warrant from the Supreme Government of
India.  He could not foresee that the Government would put it down itself
eight months later.  The only backing he had was a bold nature and a
compassionate heart.  He issued his proclamation abolishing the Suttee in
his district.  On the morning of Tuesday--note the day of the week--the
24th of the following November, Ummed Singh Upadhya, head of the most
respectable and most extensive Brahmin family in the district, died, and
presently came a deputation of his sons and grandsons to beg that his old
widow might be allowed to burn herself upon his pyre.  Sleeman threatened
to enforce his order, and punish severely any man who assisted; and he
placed a police guard to see that no one did so.  From the early morning
the old widow of sixty-five had been sitting on the bank of the sacred
river by her dead, waiting through the long hours for the permission; and
at last the refusal came instead.  In one little sentence Sleeman gives
you a pathetic picture of this lonely old gray figure: all day and all
night “she remained sitting by the edge of the water without eating or
drinking.”  The next morning the body of the husband was burned to ashes
in a pit eight feet square and three or four feet deep, in the view of
several thousand spectators.  Then the widow waded out to a bare rock in
the river, and everybody went away but her sons and other relations.  All
day she sat there on her rock in the blazing sun without food or drink,
and with no clothing but a sheet over her shoulders.

The relatives remained with her and all tried to persuade her to desist
from her purpose, for they deeply loved her.  She steadily refused.  Then
a part of the family went to Sleeman’s house, ten miles away, and tried
again to get him to let her burn herself.  He refused, hoping to save her

All that day she scorched in her sheet on the rock, and all that night
she kept her vigil there in the bitter cold.  Thursday morning, in the
sight of her relatives, she went through a ceremonial which said more to
them than any words could have done; she put on the dhaja (a coarse red
turban) and broke her bracelets in pieces.  By these acts she became a
dead person in the eye of the law, and excluded from her caste forever.
By the iron rule of ancient custom, if she should now choose to live she
could never return to her family.  Sleeman was in deep trouble.  If she
starved herself to death her family would be disgraced; and, moreover,
starving would be a more lingering misery than the death by fire.  He
went back in the evening thoroughly worried.  The old woman remained on
her rock, and there in the morning he found her with her dhaja still on
her head.  “She talked very collectedly, telling me that she had
determined to mix her ashes with those of her departed husband, and
should patiently wait my permission to do so, assured that God would
enable her to sustain life till that was given, though she dared not eat
or drink.  Looking at the sun, then rising before her over a long and
beautiful reach of the river, she said calmly, ‘My soul has been for five
days with my husband’s near that sun; nothing but my earthly frame is
left; and this, I know, you will in time suffer to be mixed with his
ashes in yonder pit, because it is not in your nature or usage wantonly
to prolong the miseries of a poor old woman.’”

He assured her that it was his desire and duty to save her, and to urge
her to live, and to keep her family from the disgrace of being thought
her murderers.  But she said she “was not afraid of their being thought
so; that they had all, like good children, done everything in their power
to induce her to live, and to abide with them;  and if I should consent I
know they would love and honor me, but my duties to them have now ended.
I commit them all to your care, and I go to attend my husband, Ummed
Singh Upadhya, with whose ashes on the funeral pile mine have been
already three times mixed.”

She believed that she and he had been upon the earth three several times
as wife and husband, and that she had burned herself to death three times
upon his pyre.  That is why she said that strange thing.  Since she had
broken her bracelets and put on the red turban she regarded herself as a
corpse; otherwise she would not have allowed herself to do her husband
the irreverence of pronouncing his name.  “This was the first time in her
long life that she had ever uttered her husband’s name, for in India no
woman, high or low, ever pronounces the name of her husband.”

Major Sleeman still tried to shake her purpose.  He promised to build her
a fine house among the temples of her ancestors upon the bank of the
river and make handsome provision for her out of rent-free lands if she
would consent to live; and if she wouldn’t he would allow no stone or
brick to ever mark the place where she died.  But she only smiled and
said, “My pulse has long ceased to beat, my spirit has departed; I shall
suffer nothing in the burning; and if you wish proof, order some fire and
you shall see this arm consumed without giving me any pain.”

Sleeman was now satisfied that he could not alter her purpose.  He sent
for all the chief members of the family and said he would suffer her to
burn herself if they would enter into a written engagement to abandon the
suttee in their family thenceforth.  They agreed; the papers were drawn
out and signed, and at noon, Saturday, word was sent to the poor old
woman.  She seemed greatly pleased.  The ceremonies of bathing were gone
through with, and by three o’clock she was ready and the fire was briskly
burning in the pit.  She had now gone without food or drink during more
than four days and a half.  She came ashore from her rock, first wetting
her sheet in the waters of the sacred river, for without that safeguard
any shadow which might fall upon her would convey impurity to her; then
she walked to the pit, leaning upon one of her sons and a nephew--the
distance was a hundred and fifty yards.

“I had sentries placed all around, and no other person was allowed to
approach within five paces.  She came on with a calm and cheerful
countenance, stopped once, and casting her eyes upwards, said, ‘Why have
they kept me five days from thee, my husband?’  On coming to the sentries
her supporters stopped and remained standing; she moved on, and walked
once around the pit, paused a moment, and while muttering a prayer, threw
some flowers into the fire.  She then walked up deliberately and steadily
to the brink, stepped into the centre of the flame, sat down, and leaning
back in the midst as if reposing upon a couch, was consumed without
uttering a shriek or betraying one sign of agony.”

It is fine and beautiful.  It compels one’s reverence and respect--no,
has it freely, and without compulsion.  We see how the custom, once
started, could continue, for the soul of it is that stupendous power,
Faith; faith brought to the pitch of effectiveness by the cumulative
force of example and long use and custom; but we cannot understand how
the first widows came to take to it.  That is a perplexing detail.

Sleeman says that it was usual to play music at the suttee, but that the
white man’s notion that this was to drown the screams of the martyr is
not correct; that it had a quite different purpose.  It was believed that
the martyr died prophecying; that the prophecies sometimes foretold
disaster, and it was considered a kindness to those upon whom it was to
fall to drown the voice and keep them in ignorance of the misfortune that
was to come.


He had had much experience of physicians, and said “the only way to keep
your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like,
and do what you’d druther not.”
                                   --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

It was a long journey--two nights, one day, and part of another day, from
Bombay eastward to Allahabad; but it was always interesting, and it was
not fatiguing.  At first the night travel promised to be fatiguing, but
that was on account of pyjamas.  This foolish night-dress consists of
jacket and drawers.  Sometimes they are made of silk, sometimes of a
raspy, scratchy, slazy woolen material with a sandpaper surface.  The
drawers are loose elephant-legged and elephant-waisted things, and
instead of buttoning around the body there is a drawstring to produce the
required shrinkage.  The jacket is roomy, and one buttons it in front.
Pyjamas are hot on a hot night and cold on a cold night--defects which a
nightshirt is free from.  I tried the pyjamas in order to be in the
fashion; but I was obliged to give them up, I couldn’t stand them.  There
was no sufficient change from day-gear to night-gear.  I missed the
refreshing and luxurious sense, induced by the night-gown, of being
undressed, emancipated, set free from restraints and trammels.  In place
of that, I had the worried, confined, oppressed, suffocated sense of
being abed with my clothes on.  All through the warm half of the night
the coarse surfaces irritated my skin and made it feel baked and
feverish, and the dreams which came in the fitful flurries of slumber
were such as distress the sleep of the damned, or ought to; and all
through the cold other half of the night I could get no time for sleep
because I had to employ it all in stealing blankets.  But blankets are of
no value at such a time; the higher they are piled the more effectively
they cork the cold in and keep it from getting out.  The result is that
your legs are ice, and you know how you will feel by and by when you are
buried.  In a sane interval I discarded the pyjamas, and led a rational
and comfortable life thenceforth.

Out in the country in India, the day begins early.  One sees a plain,
perfectly flat, dust-colored and brick-yardy, stretching limitlessly away
on every side in the dim gray light, striped everywhere with hard-beaten
narrow paths, the vast flatness broken at wide intervals by bunches of
spectral trees that mark where villages are; and along all the paths are
slender women and the black forms of lanky naked men moving, to their
work, the women with brass water-jars on their heads, the men carrying
hoes.  The man is not entirely naked; always there is a bit of white rag,
a loin-cloth; it amounts to a bandage, and is a white accent on his black
person, like the silver band around the middle of a pipe-stem.  Sometimes
he also wears a fluffy and voluminous white turban, and this adds a
second accent.  He then answers properly to Miss Gordon Cumming’s
flash-light picture of him--as a person who is dressed in “a turban
and a pocket handkerchief.”

All day long one has this monotony of dust-colored dead levels and
scattering bunches of trees and mud villages.  You soon realize that
India is not beautiful; still there is an enchantment about it that is
beguiling, and which does not pall.  You cannot tell just what it is that
makes the spell, perhaps, but you feel it and confess it, nevertheless.
Of course, at bottom, you know in a vague way that it is history; it is
that that affects you, a haunting sense of the myriads of human lives
that have blossomed, and withered, and perished here, repeating and
repeating and repeating, century after century, and age after age, the
barren and meaningless process; it is this sense that gives to this
forlorn, uncomely land power to speak to the spirit and make friends with
it; to speak to it with a voice bitter with satire, but eloquent with
melancholy.  The deserts of Australia and the ice-barrens of Greenland
have no speech, for they have no venerable history; with nothing to tell
of man and his vanities, his fleeting glories and his miseries, they have
nothing wherewith to spiritualize their ugliness and veil it with a

There is nothing pretty about an Indian village--a mud one--and I do not
remember that we saw any but mud ones on that long flight to Allahabad.
It is a little bunch of dirt-colored mud hovels jammed together within a
mud wall.  As a rule, the rains had beaten down parts of some of the
houses, and this gave the village the aspect of a mouldering and hoary
ruin.  I believe the cattle and the vermin live inside the wall; for I
saw cattle coming out and cattle going in; and whenever I saw a villager,
he was scratching.  This last is only circumstantial evidence, but I
think it has value.  The village has a battered little temple or two, big
enough to hold an idol, and with custom enough to fat-up a priest and
keep him comfortable.  Where there are Mohammedans there are generally a
few sorry tombs outside the village that have a decayed and neglected
look.  The villages interested me because of things which Major Sleeman
says about them in his books--particularly what he says about the
division of labor in them.  He says that the whole face of India is
parceled out into estates of villages; that nine-tenths of the vast
population of the land consist of cultivators of the soil; that it is
these cultivators who inhabit the villages; that there are certain
“established” village servants--mechanics and others who are apparently
paid a wage by the village at large, and whose callings remain in certain
families and are handed down from father to son, like an estate.  He
gives a list of these established servants: Priest, blacksmith,
carpenter, accountant, washerman, basketmaker, potter, watchman, barber,
shoemaker, brazier, confectioner, weaver, dyer, etc.  In his day witches
abounded, and it was not thought good business wisdom for a man to marry
his daughter into a family that hadn’t a witch in it, for she would need
a witch on the premises to protect her children from the evil spells
which would certainly be cast upon them by the witches connected with the
neighboring families.

The office of midwife was hereditary in the family of the basket-maker.
It belonged to his wife.  She might not be competent, but the office was
hers, anyway.  Her pay was not high--25 cents for a boy, and half as much
for a girl.  The girl was not desired, because she would be a disastrous
expense by and by.  As soon as she should be old enough to begin to wear
clothes for propriety’s sake, it would be a disgrace to the family if she
were not married; and to marry her meant financial ruin; for by custom
the father must spend upon feasting and wedding-display everything he had
and all he could borrow--in fact, reduce himself to a condition of
poverty which he might never more recover from.

It was the dread of this prospective ruin which made the killing of
girl-babies so prevalent in India in the old days before England laid the
iron hand of her prohibitions upon the piteous slaughter.  One may judge
of how prevalent the custom was, by one of Sleeman’s casual electrical
remarks, when he speaks of children at play in villages--where
girl-voices were never heard!

The wedding-display folly is still in full force in India, and by
consequence the destruction of girl-babies is still furtively practiced;
but not largely, because of the vigilance of the government and the
sternness of the penalties it levies.

In some parts of India the village keeps in its pay three other servants:
an astrologer to tell the villager when he may plant his crop, or make a
journey, or marry a wife, or strangle a child, or borrow a dog, or climb
a tree, or catch a rat, or swindle a neighbor, without offending the
alert and solicitous heavens; and what his dream means, if he has had one
and was not bright enough to interpret it himself by the details of his
dinner; the two other established servants were the tiger-persuader and
the hailstorm discourager.  The one kept away the tigers if he could, and
collected the wages anyway, and the other kept off the hailstorms, or
explained why he failed.  He charged the same for explaining a failure
that he did for scoring a success.  A man is an idiot who can’t earn a
living in India.

Major Sleeman reveals the fact that the trade union and the boycott are
antiquities in India.  India seems to have originated everything.  The
“sweeper” belongs to the bottom caste; he is the lowest of the low--all
other castes despise him and scorn his office.  But that does not trouble
him.  His caste is a caste, and that is sufficient for him, and so he is
proud of it, not ashamed.  Sleeman says:

     “It is perhaps not known to many of my countrymen, even in India,
     that in every town and city in the country the right of sweeping the
     houses and streets is a monopoly, and is supported entirely by the
     pride of castes among the scavengers, who are all of the lowest
     class.  The right of sweeping within a certain range is recognized
     by the caste to belong to a certain member; and if any other member
     presumes to sweep within that range, he is excommunicated--no other
     member will smoke out of his pipe or drink out of his jug; and he
     can get restored to caste only by a feast to the whole body of
     sweepers.  If any housekeeper within a particular circle happens to
     offend the sweeper of that range, none of his filth will be removed
     till he pacifies him, because no other sweeper will dare to touch
     it; and the people of a town are often more tyrannized over by these
     people than by any other.”

A footnote by Major Sleeman’s editor, Mr. Vincent Arthur Smith, says that
in our day this tyranny of the sweepers’ guild is one of the many
difficulties which bar the progress of Indian sanitary reform.  Think of

     “The sweepers cannot be readily coerced, because no Hindoo or
     Mussulman would do their work to save his life, nor will he pollute
     himself by beating the refractory scavenger.”

They certainly do seem to have the whip-hand; it would be difficult to
imagine a more impregnable position.  “The vested rights described in the
text are so fully recognized in practice that they are frequently the
subject of sale or mortgage.”

Just like a milk-route; or like a London crossing-sweepership.  It is
said that the London crossing-sweeper’s right to his crossing is
recognized by the rest of the guild; that they protect him in its
possession; that certain choice crossings are valuable property, and are
saleable at high figures.  I have noticed that the man who sweeps in
front of the Army and Navy Stores has a wealthy South African
aristocratic style about him; and when he is off his guard, he has
exactly that look on his face which you always see in the face of a man
who is saving up his daughter to marry her to a duke.

It appears from Sleeman that in India the occupation of elephant-driver
is confined to Mohammedans.  I wonder why that is.  The water-carrier
[‘bheestie’) is a Mohammedan, but it is said that the reason of that is,
that the Hindoo’s religion does not allow him to touch the skin of dead
kine, and that is what the water-sack is made of; it would defile him.
And it doesn’t allow him to eat meat; the animal that furnished the meat
was murdered, and to take any creature’s life is a sin.  It is a good and
gentle religion, but inconvenient.

A great Indian river, at low water, suggests the familiar anatomical
picture of a skinned human body, the intricate mesh of interwoven muscles
and tendons to stand for water-channels, and the archipelagoes of fat and
flesh inclosed by them to stand for the sandbars.  Somewhere on this
journey we passed such a river, and on a later journey we saw in the
Sutlej the duplicate of that river.  Curious rivers they are; low shores
a dizzy distance apart, with nothing between but an enormous acreage of
sand-flats with sluggish little veins of water dribbling around amongst
them; Saharas of sand, smallpox-pitted with footprints punctured in belts
as straight as the equator clear from the one shore to the other (barring
the channel-interruptions)--a dry-shod ferry, you see.  Long railway
bridges are required for this sort of rivers, and India has them.  You
approach Allahabad by a very long one.  It was now carrying us across the
bed of the Jumna, a bed which did not seem to have been slept in for one
while or more.  It wasn’t all river-bed--most of it was overflow ground.

Allahabad means “City of God.” I get this from the books.  From a printed
curiosity--a letter written by one of those brave and confident Hindoo
strugglers with the English tongue, called a “babu”--I got a more
compressed translation: “Godville.” It is perfectly correct, but that is
the most that can be said for it.

We arrived in the forenoon, and short-handed; for Satan got left behind
somewhere that morning, and did not overtake us until after nightfall.
It seemed very peaceful without him.  The world seemed asleep and

I did not see the native town, I think.  I do not remember why; for an
incident connects it with the Great Mutiny, and that is enough to make
any place interesting.  But I saw the English part of the city.  It is a
town of wide avenues and noble distances, and is comely and alluring, and
full of suggestions of comfort and leisure, and of the serenity which a
good conscience buttressed by a sufficient bank account gives.  The
bungalows (dwellings) stand well back in the seclusion and privacy of
large enclosed compounds (private grounds, as we should say) and in the
shade and shelter of trees.  Even the photographer and the prosperous
merchant ply their industries in the elegant reserve of big compounds,
and the citizens drive in there upon their business occasions.  And not
cabs--no; in the Indian cities cabs are for the drifting stranger; all
the white citizens have private carriages; and each carriage has a flock
of white-turbaned black footmen and drivers all over it.  The vicinity of
a lecture-hall looks like a snowstorm,--and makes the lecturer feel like
an opera.  India has many names, and they are correctly descriptive.  It
is the Land of Contradictions, the Land of Subtlety and Superstition, the
Land of Wealth and Poverty, the Land of Splendor and Desolation, the Land
of Plague and Famine, the Land of the Thug and the Poisoner, and of the
Meek and the Patient, the Land of the Suttee, the Land of the
Unreinstatable Widow, the Land where All Life is Holy, the Land of
Cremation, the Land where the Vulture is a Grave and a Monument, the Land
of the Multitudinous Gods; and if signs go for anything, it is the Land
of the Private Carriage.

In Bombay the forewoman of a millinery shop came to the hotel in her
private carriage to take the measure for a gown--not for me, but for
another.  She had come out to India to make a temporary stay, but was
extending it indefinitely; indeed, she was purposing to end her days
there.  In London, she said, her work had been hard, her hours long; for
economy’s sake she had had to live in shabby rooms and far away from the
shop, watch the pennies, deny herself many of the common comforts of
life, restrict herself in effect to its bare necessities, eschew cabs,
travel third-class by underground train to and from her work, swallowing
coal-smoke and cinders all the way, and sometimes troubled with the
society of men and women who were less desirable than the smoke and the
cinders.  But in Bombay, on almost any kind of wages, she could live in
comfort, and keep her carriage, and have six servants in place of the
woman-of-all-work she had had in her English home.  Later, in Calcutta, I
found that the Standard Oil clerks had small one-horse vehicles, and did
no walking; and I was told that the clerks of the other large concerns
there had the like equipment.  But to return to Allahabad.

I was up at dawn, the next morning.  In India the tourist’s servant does
not sleep in a room in the hotel, but rolls himself up head and ears in
his blanket and stretches himself on the veranda, across the front of his
master’s door, and spends the night there.  I don’t believe anybody’s
servant occupies a room.  Apparently, the bungalow servants sleep on the
veranda; it is roomy, and goes all around the house.  I speak of
menservants; I saw none of the other sex.  I think there are none, except
child-nurses.  I was up at dawn, and walked around the veranda, past the
rows of sleepers.  In front of one door a Hindoo servant was squatting,
waiting for his master to call him.  He had polished the yellow shoes and
placed them by the door, and now he had nothing to do but wait.  It was
freezing cold, but there he was, as motionless as a sculptured image, and
as patient.  It troubled me.  I wanted to say to him, “Don’t crouch there
like that and freeze; nobody requires it of you; stir around and get
warm.”  But I hadn’t the words.  I thought of saying ‘jeldy jow’, but I
couldn’t remember what it meant, so I didn’t say it.  I knew another
phrase, but it wouldn’t come to my mind.  I moved on, purposing to
dismiss him from my thoughts, but his bare legs and bare feet kept him
there.  They kept drawing me back from the sunny side to a point whence I
could see him.  At the end of an hour he had not changed his attitude in
the least degree.  It was a curious and impressive exhibition of meekness
and patience, or fortitude or indifference, I did not know which.  But it
worried me, and it was spoiling my morning.  In fact, it spoiled two
hours of it quite thoroughly.  I quitted this vicinity, then, and left
him to punish himself as much as he might want to.  But up to that time
the man had not changed his attitude a hair.  He will always remain with
me, I suppose; his figure never grows vague in my memory.  Whenever I
read of Indian resignation, Indian patience under wrongs, hardships, and
misfortunes, he comes before me.  He becomes a personification, and
stands for India in trouble.  And for untold ages India in trouble has
been pursued with the very remark which I was going to utter but didn’t,
because its meaning had slipped me: “Jeldy jow!”  (“Come, shove along!”)

Why, it was the very thing.

In the early brightness we made a long drive out to the Fort.  Part of
the way was beautiful.  It led under stately trees and through groups of
native houses and by the usual village well, where the picturesque gangs
are always flocking to and fro and laughing and chattering; and this time
brawny men were deluging their bronze bodies with the limpid water, and
making a refreshing and enticing show of it; enticing, for the sun was
already transacting business, firing India up for the day.  There was
plenty of this early bathing going on, for it was getting toward
breakfast time, and with an unpurified body the Hindoo must not eat.

Then we struck into the hot plain, and found the roads crowded with
pilgrims of both sexes, for one of the great religious fairs of India was
being held, just beyond the Fort, at the junction of the sacred rivers,
the Ganges and the Jumna.  Three sacred rivers, I should have said, for
there is a subterranean one.  Nobody has seen it, but that doesn’t
signify.  The fact that it is there is enough.  These pilgrims had come
from all over India; some of them had been months on the way, plodding
patiently along in the heat and dust, worn, poor, hungry, but supported
and sustained by an unwavering faith and belief; they were supremely
happy and content, now; their full and sufficient reward was at hand;
they were going to be cleansed from every vestige of sin and corruption
by these holy waters which make utterly pure whatsoever thing they touch,
even the dead and rotten.  It is wonderful, the power of a faith like
that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and
the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such
incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining.
It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is.
No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination
marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.  There are choice great
natures among us that could exhibit the equivalent of this prodigious
self-sacrifice, but the rest of us know that we should not be equal to
anything approaching it.  Still, we all talk self-sacrifice, and this
makes me hope that we are large enough to honor it in the Hindoo.

Two millions of natives arrive at this fair every year.  How many start,
and die on the road, from age and fatigue and disease and scanty
nourishment, and how many die on the return, from the same causes, no one
knows; but the tale is great, one may say enormous.  Every twelfth year
is held to be a year of peculiar grace; a greatly augmented volume of
pilgrims results then.  The twelfth year has held this distinction since
the remotest times, it is said.  It is said also that there is to be but
one more twelfth year--for the Ganges.  After that, that holiest of all
sacred rivers will cease to be holy, and will be abandoned by the pilgrim
for many centuries; how many, the wise men have not stated.  At the end
of that interval it will become holy again.  Meantime, the data will be
arranged by those people who have charge of all such matters, the great
chief Brahmins.  It will be like shutting down a mint.  At a first glance
it looks most unbrahminically uncommercial, but I am not disturbed, being
soothed and tranquilized by their reputation.  “Brer fox he lay low,” as
Uncle Remus says; and at the judicious time he will spring something on
the Indian public which will show that he was not financially asleep when
he took the Ganges out of the market.

Great numbers of the natives along the roads were bringing away holy
water from the rivers.  They would carry it far and wide in India and
sell it.  Tavernier, the French traveler (17th century), notes that
Ganges water is often given at weddings, “each guest receiving a cup or
two, according to the liberality of the host; sometimes 2,000 or 3,000
rupees’ worth of it is consumed at a wedding.”

The Fort is a huge old structure, and has had a large experience in
religions.  In its great court stands a monolith which was placed there
more than 2,000 years ago to preach (Budhism) by its pious inscription;
the Fort was built three centuries ago by a Mohammedan Emperor--a
resanctification of the place in the interest of that religion.  There is
a Hindoo temple, too, with subterranean ramifications stocked with
shrines and idols; and now the Fort belongs to the English, it contains a
Christian Church.  Insured in all the companies.

From the lofty ramparts one has a fine view of the sacred rivers.  They
join at that point--the pale blue Jumna, apparently clean and clear, and
the muddy Ganges, dull yellow and not clean.  On a long curved spit
between the rivers, towns of tents were visible, with a multitude of
fluttering pennons, and a mighty swarm of pilgrims.  It was a troublesome
place to get down to, and not a quiet place when you arrived; but it was
interesting.  There was a world of activity and turmoil and noise, partly
religious, partly commercial; for the Mohammedans were there to curse and
sell, and the Hindoos to buy and pray.  It is a fair as well as a
religious festival.  Crowds were bathing, praying, and drinking the
purifying waters, and many sick pilgrims had come long journeys in
palanquins to be healed of their maladies by a bath; or if that might not
be, then to die on the blessed banks and so make sure of heaven.  There
were fakeers in plenty, with their bodies dusted over with ashes and
their long hair caked together with cow-dung; for the cow is holy and so
is the rest of it; so holy that the good Hindoo peasant frescoes the
walls of his hut with this refuse, and also constructs ornamental figures
out of it for the gracing of his dirt floor.  There were seated families,
fearfully and wonderfully painted, who by attitude and grouping
represented the families of certain great gods.  There was a holy man who
sat naked by the day and by the week on a cluster of iron spikes, and did
not seem to mind it; and another holy man, who stood all day holding his
withered arms motionless aloft, and was said to have been doing it for
years.  All of these performers have a cloth on the ground beside them
for the reception of contributions, and even the poorest of the people
give a trifle and hope that the sacrifice will be blessed to him.  At
last came a procession of naked holy people marching by and chanting, and
I wrenched myself away.


The man who is ostentatious of his modesty is twin to the statue that
wears a fig-leaf.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The journey to Benares was all in daylight, and occupied but a few hours.
It was admirably dusty.  The dust settled upon you in a thick ashy layer
and turned you into a fakeer, with nothing lacking to the role but the
cow manure and the sense of holiness.  There was a change of cars about
mid-afternoon at Moghul-serai--if that was the name--and a wait of two
hours there for the Benares train.  We could have found a carriage and
driven to the sacred city, but we should have lost the wait.  In other
countries a long wait at a station is a dull thing and tedious, but one
has no right to have that feeling in India.  You have the monster crowd
of bejeweled natives, the stir, the bustle, the confusion, the shifting
splendors of the costumes--dear me, the delight of it, the charm of it
are beyond speech.  The two-hour wait was over too soon.  Among other
satisfying things to look at was a minor native prince from the backwoods
somewhere, with his guard of honor, a ragged but wonderfully gaudy gang
of fifty dark barbarians armed with rusty flint-lock muskets.  The
general show came so near to exhausting variety that one would have said
that no addition to it could be conspicuous, but when this Falstaff and
his motleys marched through it one saw that that seeming impossibility
had happened.

We got away by and by, and soon reached the outer edge of Benares; then
there was another wait; but, as usual, with something to look at.  This
was a cluster of little canvas-boxes--palanquins.  A canvas-box is not
much of a sight--when empty; but when there is a lady in it, it is an
object of interest.  These boxes were grouped apart, in the full blaze of
the terrible sun during the three-quarters of an hour that we tarried
there. They contained zenana ladies.  They had to sit up; there was not
room enough to stretch out.  They probably did not mind it.  They are
used to the close captivity of their dwellings all their lives; when they
go a journey they are carried to the train in these boxes; in the train
they have to be secluded from inspection.  Many people pity them, and I
always did it myself and never charged anything; but it is doubtful if
this compassion is valued.  While we were in India some good-hearted
Europeans in one of the cities proposed to restrict a large park to the
use of zenana ladies, so that they could go there and in assured privacy
go about unveiled and enjoy the sunshine and air as they had never
enjoyed them before.  The good intentions back of the proposition were
recognized, and sincere thanks returned for it, but the proposition
itself met with a prompt declination at the hands of those who were
authorized to speak for the zenana ladies.  Apparently, the idea was
shocking to the ladies--indeed, it was quite manifestly shocking.  Was
that proposition the equivalent of inviting European ladies to assemble
scantily and scandalously clothed in the seclusion of a private park?  It
seemed to be about that.

Without doubt modesty is nothing less than a holy feeling; and without
doubt the person whose rule of modesty has been transgressed feels the
same sort of wound that he would feel if something made holy to him by
his religion had suffered a desecration.  I say “rule of modesty” because
there are about a million rules in the world, and this makes a million
standards to be looked out for.  Major Sleeman mentions the case of some
high-caste veiled ladies who were profoundly scandalized when some
English young ladies passed by with faces bare to the world; so
scandalized that they spoke out with strong indignation and wondered that
people could be so shameless as to expose their persons like that.  And
yet “the legs of the objectors were naked to mid-thigh.”  Both parties
were clean-minded and irreproachably modest, while abiding by their
separate rules, but they couldn’t have traded rules for a change without
suffering considerable discomfort.  All human rules are more or less
idiotic, I suppose.  It is best so, no doubt.  The way it is now, the
asylums can hold the sane people, but if we tried to shut up the insane
we should run out of building materials.

You have a long drive through the outskirts of Benares before you get to
the hotel.  And all the aspects are melancholy.  It is a vision of dusty
sterility, decaying temples, crumbling tombs, broken mud walls, shabby
huts.  The whole region seems to ache with age and penury.  It must take
ten thousand years of want to produce such an aspect.  We were still
outside of the great native city when we reached the hotel.  It was a
quiet and homelike house, inviting, and manifestly comfortable.  But we
liked its annex better, and went thither.  It was a mile away, perhaps,
and stood in the midst of a large compound, and was built bungalow
fashion, everything on the ground floor, and a veranda all around.  They
have doors in India, but I don’t know why.  They don’t fasten, and they
stand open, as a rule, with a curtain hanging in the doorspace to keep
out the glare of the sun.  Still, there is plenty of privacy, for no
white person will come in without notice, of course.  The native men
servants will, but they don’t seem to count.  They glide in, barefoot and
noiseless, and are in the midst before one knows it.  At first this is a
shock, and sometimes it is an embarrassment; but one has to get used to
it, and does.

There was one tree in the compound, and a monkey lived in it.  At first I
was strongly interested in the tree, for I was told that it was the
renowned peepul--the tree in whose shadow you cannot tell a lie.  This
one failed to stand the test, and I went away from it disappointed.
There was a softly creaking well close by, and a couple of oxen drew
water from it by the hour, superintended by two natives dressed in the
usual “turban and pocket-handkerchief.”  The tree and the well were the
only scenery, and so the compound was a soothing and lonesome and
satisfying place; and very restful after so many activities.  There was
nobody in our bungalow but ourselves; the other guests were in the next
one, where the table d’hote was furnished.  A body could not be more
pleasantly situated.  Each room had the customary bath attached--a room
ten or twelve feet square, with a roomy stone-paved pit in it and
abundance of water.  One could not easily improve upon this arrangement,
except by furnishing it with cold water and excluding the hot, in
deference to the fervency of the climate; but that is forbidden.  It
would damage the bather’s health.  The stranger is warned against taking
cold baths in India, but even the most intelligent strangers are fools,
and they do not obey, and so they presently get laid up.  I was the most
intelligent fool that passed through, that year.  But I am still more
intelligent now.  Now that it is too late.

I wonder if the ‘dorian’, if that is the name of it, is another
superstition, like the peepul tree.  There was a great abundance and
variety of tropical fruits, but the dorian was never in evidence.  It was
never the season for the dorian.  It was always going to arrive from
Burma sometime or other, but it never did.  By all accounts it was a most
strange fruit, and incomparably delicious to the taste, but not to the
smell.  Its rind was said to exude a stench of so atrocious a nature that
when a dorian was in the room even the presence of a polecat was a
refreshment.  We found many who had eaten the dorian, and they all spoke
of it with a sort of rapture.  They said that if you could hold your nose
until the fruit was in your mouth a sacred joy would suffuse you from
head to foot that would make you oblivious to the smell of the rind, but
that if your grip slipped and you caught the smell of the rind before the
fruit was in your mouth, you would faint.  There is a fortune in that
rind.  Some day somebody will import it into Europe and sell it for

Benares was not a disappointment.  It justified its reputation as a
curiosity.  It is on high ground, and overhangs a grand curve of the
Ganges.  It is a vast mass of building, compactly crusting a hill, and is
cloven in all directions by an intricate confusion of cracks which stand
for streets.  Tall, slim minarets and beflagged temple-spires rise out of
it and give it picturesqueness, viewed from the river.  The city is as
busy as an ant-hill, and the hurly-burly of human life swarming along the
web of narrow streets reminds one of the ants.  The sacred cow swarms
along, too, and goes whither she pleases, and takes toll of the
grain-shops, and is very much in the way, and is a good deal of a
nuisance, since she must not be molested.

Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than
legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.  From a
Hindoo statement quoted in Rev. Mr. Parker’s compact and lucid Guide to
Benares, I find that the site of the town was the beginning-place of the
Creation.  It was merely an upright “lingam,” at first, no larger than a
stove-pipe, and stood in the midst of a shoreless ocean.  This was the
work of the God Vishnu.  Later he spread the lingam out till its surface
was ten miles across.  Still it was not large enough for the business;
therefore he presently built the globe around it.  Benares is thus the
center of the earth.  This is considered an advantage.

It has had a tumultuous history, both materially and spiritually.  It
started Brahminically, many ages ago; then by and by Buddha came in
recent times 2,500 years ago, and after that it was Buddhist during many
centuries--twelve, perhaps--but the Brahmins got the upper hand again,
then, and have held it ever since.  It is unspeakably sacred in Hindoo
eyes, and is as unsanitary as it is sacred, and smells like the rind of
the dorian.  It is the headquarters of the Brahmin faith, and one-eighth
of the population are priests of that church.  But it is not an
overstock, for they have all India as a prey.  All India flocks thither
on pilgrimage, and pours its savings into the pockets of the priests in a
generous stream, which never fails.  A priest with a good stand on the
shore of the Ganges is much better off than the sweeper of the best
crossing in London.  A good stand is worth a world of money.  The holy
proprietor of it sits under his grand spectacular umbrella and blesses
people all his life, and collects his commission, and grows fat and rich;
and the stand passes from father to son, down and down and down through
the ages, and remains a permanent and lucrative estate in the family.  As
Mr. Parker suggests, it can become a subject of dispute, at one time or
another, and then the matter will be settled, not by prayer and fasting
and consultations with Vishnu, but by the intervention of a much more
puissant power--an English court.  In Bombay I was told by an American
missionary that in India there are 640 Protestant missionaries at work.
At first it seemed an immense force, but of course that was a thoughtless
idea.  One missionary to 500,000 natives--no, that is not a force; it is
the reverse of it; 640 marching against an intrenched camp of
300,000,000--the odds are too great.  A force of 640 in Benares alone
would have its hands over-full with 8,000 Brahmin priests for adversary.
Missionaries need to be well equipped with hope and confidence, and this
equipment they seem to have always had in all parts of the world.  Mr.
Parker has it.  It enables him to get a favorable outlook out of
statistics which might add up differently with other mathematicians.  For

“During the past few years competent observers declare that the number of
pilgrims to Benares has increased.”

And then he adds up this fact and gets this conclusion:

“But the revival, if so it may be called, has in it the marks of death.
It is a spasmodic struggle before dissolution.”

In this world we have seen the Roman Catholic power dying, upon these
same terms, for many centuries.  Many a time we have gotten all ready for
the funeral and found it postponed again, on account of the weather or
something.  Taught by experience, we ought not to put on our things for
this Brahminical one till we see the procession move.  Apparently one of
the most uncertain things in the world is the funeral of a religion.

I should have been glad to acquire some sort of idea of Hindoo theology,
but the difficulties were too great, the matter was too intricate.  Even
the mere A, B, C of it is baffling.

There is a trinity--Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu--independent powers,
apparently, though one cannot feel quite sure of that, because in one of
the temples there is an image where an attempt has been made to
concentrate the three in one person.  The three have other names and
plenty of them, and this makes confusion in one’s mind.  The three have
wives and the wives have several names, and this increases the confusion.
There are children, the children have many names, and thus the confusion
goes on and on.  It is not worth while to try to get any grip upon the
cloud of minor gods, there are too many of them.

It is even a justifiable economy to leave Brahma, the chiefest god of
all, out of your studies, for he seems to cut no great figure in India.
The vast bulk of the national worship is lavished upon Shiva and Vishnu
and their families.  Shiva’s symbol--the “lingam” with which Vishnu began
the Creation--is worshiped by everybody, apparently.  It is the commonest
object in Benares.  It is on view everywhere, it is garlanded with
flowers, offerings are made to it, it suffers no neglect.  Commonly it is
an upright stone, shaped like a thimble--sometimes like an elongated
thimble.  This priapus-worship, then, is older than history.  Mr. Parker
says that the lingams in Benares “outnumber the inhabitants.”

In Benares there are many Mohammedan mosques.  There are Hindoo temples
without number--these quaintly shaped and elaborately sculptured little
stone jugs crowd all the lanes.  The Ganges itself and every individual
drop of water in it are temples.  Religion, then, is the business of
Benares, just as gold-production is the business of Johannesburg.  Other
industries count for nothing as compared with the vast and all-absorbing
rush and drive and boom of the town’s specialty.  Benares is the
sacredest of sacred cities.  The moment you step across the
sharply-defined line which separates it from the rest of the globe, you
stand upon ineffably and unspeakably holy ground.  Mr. Parker says: “It
is impossible to convey any adequate idea of the intense feelings of
veneration and affection with which the pious Hindoo regards ‘Holy Kashi’
(Benares).” And then he gives you this vivid and moving picture:

     “Let a Hindoo regiment be marched through the district, and as soon
     as they cross the line and enter the limits of the holy place they
     rend the air with cries of ‘Kashi ji ki jai--jai!  (Holy
     Kashi!  Hail to thee!  Hail!  Hail!  Hail)’.  The weary pilgrim
     scarcely able to stand, with age and weakness, blinded by the dust
     and heat, and almost dead with fatigue, crawls out of the oven-like
     railway carriage and as soon as his feet touch the ground he lifts
     up his withered hands and utters the same pious exclamation.  Let a
     European in some distant city in casual talk in the bazar mention
     the fact that he has lived at Benares, and at once voices will be
     raised to call down blessings on his head, for a dweller in Benares
     is of all men most blessed.”

It makes our own religious enthusiasm seem pale and cold.  Inasmuch as
the life of religion is in the heart, not the head, Mr. Parker’s touching
picture seems to promise a sort of indefinite postponement of that


Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its
laws or its songs either.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Yes, the city of Benares is in effect just a big church, a religious
hive, whose every cell is a temple, a shrine or a mosque, and whose every
conceivable earthly and heavenly good is procurable under one roof, so to
speak--a sort of Army and Navy Stores, theologically stocked.

I will make out a little itinerary for the pilgrim; then you will see how
handy the system is, how convenient, how comprehensive.  If you go to
Benares with a serious desire to spiritually benefit yourself, you will
find it valuable.  I got some of the facts from conversations with the
Rev. Mr. Parker and the others from his Guide to Benares; they are
therefore trustworthy.

1. Purification.  At sunrise you must go down to the Ganges and bathe,
pray, and drink some of the water.  This is for your general

2. Protection against Hunger.  Next, you must fortify yourself against
the sorrowful earthly ill just named.  This you will do by worshiping for
a moment in the Cow Temple.  By the door of it you will find an image of
Ganesh, son of Shiva; it has the head of an elephant on a human body; its
face and hands are of silver.  You will worship it a little, and pass on,
into a covered veranda, where you will find devotees reciting from the
sacred books, with the help of instructors.  In this place are groups of
rude and dismal idols.  You may contribute something for their support;
then pass into the temple, a grim and stenchy place, for it is populous
with sacred cows and with beggars.  You will give something to the
beggars, and “reverently kiss the tails” of such cows as pass along, for
these cows are peculiarly holy, and this act of worship will secure you
from hunger for the day.

3. “The Poor Man’s Friend.”  You will next worship this god.  He is at
the bottom of a stone cistern in the temple of Dalbhyeswar, under the
shade of a noble peepul tree on the bluff overlooking the Ganges, so you
must go back to the river.  The Poor Man’s Friend is the god of material
prosperity in general, and the god of the rain in particular.  You will
secure material prosperity, or both, by worshiping him.  He is Shiva,
under a new alias, and he abides in the bottom of that cistern, in the
form of a stone lingam.  You pour Ganges water over him, and in return
for this homage you get the promised benefits.  If there is any delay
about the rain, you must pour water in until the cistern is full; the
rain will then be sure to come.

4. Fever.  At the Kedar Ghat you will find a long flight of stone steps
leading down to the river.  Half way down is a tank filled with sewage.
Drink as much of it as you want.  It is for fever.

5. Smallpox.  Go straight from there to the central Ghat.  At its
upstream end you will find a small whitewashed building, which is a
temple sacred to Sitala, goddess of smallpox.  Her under-study is there
--a rude human figure behind a brass screen.  You will worship this for
reasons to be furnished presently.

6. The Well of Fate.  For certain reasons you will next go and do homage
at this well.  You will find it in the Dandpan Temple, in the city.  The
sunlight falls into it from a square hole in the masonry above.  You will
approach it with awe, for your life is now at stake.  You will bend over
and look.  If the fates are propitious, you will see your face pictured
in the water far down in the well.  If matters have been otherwise
ordered, a sudden cloud will mask the sun and you will see nothing.  This
means that you have not six months to live.  If you are already at the
point of death, your circumstances are now serious.  There is no time to
lose.  Let this world go, arrange for the next one.  Handily situated, at
your very elbow, is opportunity for this.  You turn and worship the image
of Maha Kal, the Great Fate, and happiness in the life to come is
secured.  If there is breath in your body yet, you should now make an
effort to get a further lease of the present life.  You have a chance.
There is a chance for everything in this admirably stocked and
wonderfully systemized Spiritual and Temporal Army and Navy Store.  You
must get yourself carried to the

7. Well of Long Life.  This is within the precincts of the mouldering and
venerable Briddhkal Temple, which is one of the oldest in Benares.  You
pass in by a stone image of the monkey god, Hanuman, and there, among the
ruined courtyards, you will find a shallow pool of stagnant sewage.  It
smells like the best limburger cheese, and is filthy with the washings of
rotting lepers, but that is nothing, bathe in it; bathe in it gratefully
and worshipfully, for this is the Fountain of Youth; these are the Waters
of Long Life.  Your gray hairs will disappear, and with them your
wrinkles and your rheumatism, the burdens of care and the weariness of
age, and you will come out young, fresh, elastic, and full of eagerness
for the new race of life.  Now will come flooding upon you the manifold
desires that haunt the dear dreams of the morning of life.  You will go
whither you will find

8. Fulfillment of Desire.  To wit, to the Kameshwar Temple, sacred to
Shiva as the Lord of Desires.  Arrange for yours there.  And if you like
to look at idols among the pack and jam of temples, there you will find
enough to stock a museum.  You will begin to commit sins now with a
fresh, new vivacity; therefore, it will be well to go frequently to a
place where you can get

9. Temporary Cleansing from Sin.  To wit, to the Well of the Earring.
You must approach this with the profoundest reverence, for it is
unutterably sacred.  It is, indeed, the most sacred place in Benares, the
very Holy of Holies, in the estimation of the people.  It is a railed
tank, with stone stairways leading down to the water.  The water is not
clean.  Of course it could not be, for people are always bathing in it.
As long as you choose to stand and look, you will see the files of
sinners descending and ascending--descending soiled with sin, ascending
purged from it.  “The liar, the thief, the murderer, and the adulterer
may here wash and be clean,” says the Rev. Mr. Parker, in his book.  Very
well.  I know Mr. Parker, and I believe it; but if anybody else had said
it, I should consider him a person who had better go down in the tank and
take another wash.  The god Vishnu dug this tank.  He had nothing to dig
with but his “discus.” I do not know what a discus is, but I know it is a
poor thing to dig tanks with, because, by the time this one was finished,
it was full of sweat--Vishnu’s sweat.  He constructed the site that
Benares stands on, and afterward built the globe around it, and thought
nothing of it, yet sweated like that over a little thing like this tank.
One of these statements is doubtful.  I do not know which one it is, but
I think it difficult not to believe that a god who could build a world
around Benares would not be intelligent enough to build it around the
tank too, and not have to dig it.  Youth, long life, temporary
purification from sin, salvation through propitiation of the Great Fate
--these are all good.  But you must do something more.  You must

10. Make Salvation Sure.  There are several ways.  To get drowned in
the Ganges is one, but that is not pleasant.  To die within the limits of
Benares is another; but that is a risky one, because you might be out of
town when your time came.  The best one of all is the Pilgrimage Around
the City.  You must walk; also, you must go barefoot.  The tramp is
forty-four miles, for the road winds out into the country a piece, and
you will be marching five or six days.  But you will have plenty of
company.  You will move with throngs and hosts of happy pilgrims whose
radiant costumes will make the spectacle beautiful and whose glad songs
and holy pans of triumph will banish your fatigues and cheer your spirit;
and at intervals there will be temples where you may sleep and be
refreshed with food.  The pilgrimage completed, you have purchased
salvation, and paid for it.  But you may not get it unless you

11. Get Your Redemption Recorded.  You can get this done at the Sakhi
Binayak Temple, and it is best to do it, for otherwise you might not be
able to prove that you had made the pilgrimage in case the matter should
some day come to be disputed.  That temple is in a lane back of the Cow
Temple.  Over the door is a red image of Ganesh of the elephant head, son
and heir of Shiva, and Prince of Wales to the Theological Monarchy, so to
speak.  Within is a god whose office it is to record your pilgrimage and
be responsible for you.  You will not see him, but you will see a Brahmin
who will attend to the matter and take the money.  If he should forget to
collect the money, you can remind him.  HE  knows that your salvation is
now secure, but of course you would like to know it yourself.  You have
nothing to do but go and pray, and pay at the

12.  Well of the Knowledge of Salvation.  It is close to the Golden
Temple.  There you will see, sculptured out of a single piece of black
marble, a bull which is much larger than any living bull you have ever
seen, and yet is not a good likeness after all.  And there also you will
see a very uncommon thing--an image of Shiva.  You have seen his lingam
fifty thousand times already, but this is Shiva himself, and said to be a
good likeness.  It has three eyes.  He is the only god in the firm that
has three.  “The well is covered by a fine canopy of stone supported by
forty pillars,” and around it you will find what you have already seen at
almost every shrine you have visited in Benares, a mob of devout and
eager pilgrims.  The sacred water is being ladled out to them; with it
comes to them the knowledge, clear, thrilling, absolute, that they are
saved; and you can see by their faces that there is one happiness in this
world which is supreme, and to which no other joy is comparable.  You
receive your water, you make your deposit, and now what more would you
have?  Gold, diamonds, power, fame?  All in a single moment these things
have withered to dirt, dust, ashes.  The world has nothing to give you
now.  For you it is bankrupt.

I do not claim that the pilgrims do their acts of worship in the order
and sequence above charted out in this Itinerary of mine, but I think
logic suggests that they ought to do so.  Instead of a helter-skelter
worship, we then have a definite starting-place, and a march which
carries the pilgrim steadily forward by reasoned and logical progression
to a definite goal.  Thus, his Ganges bath in the early morning gives him
an appetite; he kisses the cow-tails, and that removes it.  It is now
business hours, and longings for material prosperity rise in his mind,
and he goes and pours water over Shiva’s symbol; this insures the
prosperity, but also brings on a rain, which gives him a fever.  Then he
drinks the sewage at the Kedar Ghat to cure the fever; it cures the fever
but gives him the smallpox.  He wishes to know how it is going to turn
out; he goes to the Dandpan Temple and looks down the well.  A clouded
sun shows him that death is near.  Logically his best course for the
present, since he cannot tell at what moment he may die, is to secure a
happy hereafter; this he does, through the agency of the Great Fate.  He
is safe, now, for heaven; his next move will naturally be to keep out of
it as long as he can.  Therefore he goes to the Briddhkal Temple and
secures Youth and long life by bathing in a puddle of leper-pus which
would kill a microbe.  Logically, Youth has re-equipped him for sin and
with the disposition to commit it; he will naturally go to the fane which
is consecrated to the Fulfillment of Desires, and make arrangements.
Logically, he will now go to the Well of the Earring from time to time to
unload and freshen up for further banned enjoyments.  But first and last
and all the time he is human, and therefore in his reflective intervals
he will always be speculating in “futures.”  He will make the Great
Pilgrimage around the city and so make his salvation absolutely sure; he
will also have record made of it, so that it may remain absolutely sure
and not be forgotten or repudiated in the confusion of the Final
Settlement.  Logically, also, he will wish to have satisfying and
tranquilizing personal knowledge that that salvation is secure; therefore
he goes to the Well of the Knowledge of Salvation, adds that completing
detail, and then goes about his affairs serene and content; serene and
content, for he is now royally endowed with an advantage which no
religion in this world could give him but his own; for henceforth he may
commit as many million sins as he wants to and nothing can come of it.

Thus the system, properly and logically ordered, is neat, compact,
clearly defined, and covers the whole ground.  I desire to recommend it
to such as find the other systems too difficult, exacting, and irksome
for the uses of this fretful brief life of ours.

However, let me not deceive any one.  My Itinerary lacks a detail.  I
must put it in.  The truth is, that after the pilgrim has faithfully
followed the requirements of the Itinerary through to the end and has
secured his salvation and also the personal knowledge of that fact, there
is still an accident possible to him which can annul the whole thing.  If
he should ever cross to the other side of the Ganges and get caught out
and die there he would at once come to life again in the form of an ass.
Think of that, after all this trouble and expense.  You see how
capricious and uncertain salvation is there.  The Hindoo has a childish
and unreasoning aversion to being turned into an ass.  It is hard to tell
why.  One could properly expect an ass to have an aversion to being
turned into a Hindoo.  One could understand that he could lose dignity by
it; also self-respect, and nine-tenths of his intelligence.  But the
Hindoo changed into an ass wouldn’t lose anything, unless you count his
religion.  And he would gain much--release from his slavery to two
million gods and twenty million priests, fakeers, holy mendicants, and
other sacred bacilli; he would escape the Hindoo hell; he would also
escape the Hindoo heaven.  These are advantages which the Hindoo ought to
consider; then he would go over and die on the other side.

Benares is a religious Vesuvius.  In its bowels the theological forces
have been heaving and tossing, rumbling, thundering and quaking, boiling,
and weltering and flaming and smoking for ages.  But a little group of
missionaries have taken post at its base, and they have hopes.  There are
the Baptist Missionary Society, the Church Missionary Society, the London
Missionary Society, the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and the Zenana Bible
and Medical Mission.  They have schools, and the principal work seems to
be among the children.  And no doubt that part of the work prospers best,
for grown people everywhere are always likely to cling to the religion
they were brought up in.


Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

In one of those Benares temples we saw a devotee working for salvation in
a curious way.  He had a huge wad of clay beside him and was making it up
into little wee gods no bigger than carpet tacks.  He stuck a grain of
rice into each--to represent the lingam, I think.  He turned them out
nimbly, for he had had long practice and had acquired great facility.
Every day he made 2,000 gods, then threw them into the holy Ganges.  This
act of homage brought him the profound homage of the pious--also their
coppers.  He had a sure living here, and was earning a high place in the

The Ganges front is the supreme show-place of Benares.  Its tall bluffs
are solidly caked from water to summit, along a stretch of three miles,
with a splendid jumble of massive and picturesque masonry, a bewildering
and beautiful confusion of stone platforms, temples, stair-flights, rich
and stately palaces--nowhere a break, nowhere a glimpse of the bluff
itself; all the long face of it is compactly walled from sight by this
crammed perspective of platforms, soaring stairways, sculptured temples,
majestic palaces, softening away into the distances; and there is
movement, motion, human life everywhere, and brilliantly costumed
--streaming in rainbows up and down the lofty stairways, and massed in
metaphorical flower-gardens on the miles of great platforms at the
river’s edge.

All this masonry, all this architecture represents piety.  The palaces
were built by native princes whose homes, as a rule, are far from
Benares, but who go there from time to time to refresh their souls with
the sight and touch of the Ganges, the river of their idolatry.  The
stairways are records of acts of piety; the crowd of costly little
temples are tokens of money spent by rich men for present credit and hope
of future reward.  Apparently, the rich Christian who spends large sums
upon his religion is conspicuous with us, by his rarity, but the rich
Hindoo who doesn’t spend large sums upon his religion is seemingly
non-existent.  With us the poor spend money on their religion, but they
keep back some to live on.  Apparently, in India, the poor bankrupt
themselves daily for their religion.  The rich Hindoo can afford his
pious outlays; he gets much glory for his spendings, yet keeps back a
sufficiency of his income for temporal purposes; but the poor Hindoo is
entitled to compassion, for his spendings keep him poor, yet get him no

We made the usual trip up and down the river, seated in chairs under an
awning on the deck of the usual commodious hand-propelled ark; made it
two or three times, and could have made it with increasing interest and
enjoyment many times more; for, of course, the palaces and temples would
grow more and more beautiful every time one saw them, for that happens
with all such things; also, I think one would not get tired of the
bathers, nor their costumes, nor of their ingenuities in getting out of
them and into them again without exposing too much bronze, nor of their
devotional gesticulations and absorbed bead-tellings.

But I should get tired of seeing them wash their mouths with that
dreadful water and drink it.  In fact, I did get tired of it, and very
early, too.  At one place where we halted for a while, the foul gush from
a sewer was making the water turbid and murky all around, and there was a
random corpse slopping around in it that had floated down from up
country.  Ten steps below that place stood a crowd of men, women, and
comely young maidens waist deep in the water-and they were scooping it up
in their hands and drinking it.  Faith can certainly do wonders, and this
is an instance of it.  Those people were not drinking that fearful stuff
to assuage thirst, but in order to purify their souls and the interior of
their bodies.  According to their creed, the Ganges water makes
everything pure that it touches--instantly and utterly pure.  The sewer
water was not an offence to them, the corpse did not revolt them; the
sacred water had touched both, and both were now snow-pure, and could
defile no one.  The memory of that sight will always stay by me; but not
by request.

A word further concerning the nasty but all-purifying Ganges water.  When
we went to Agra, by and by, we happened there just in time to be in at
the birth of a marvel--a memorable scientific discovery--the discovery
that in certain ways the foul and derided Ganges water is the most
puissant purifier in the world!  This curious fact, as I have said, had
just been added to the treasury of modern science.  It had long been
noted as a strange thing that while Benares is often afflicted with the
cholera she does not spread it beyond her borders.  This could not be
accounted for.  Mr. Henkin, the scientist in the employ of the government
of Agra, concluded to examine the water.  He went to Benares and made his
tests.  He got water at the mouths of the sewers where they empty into
the river at the bathing ghats; a cubic centimetre of it contained
millions of germs; at the end of six hours they were all dead.  He caught
a floating corpse, towed it to the shore, and from beside it he dipped up
water that was swarming with cholera germs; at the end of six hours they
were all dead.  He added swarm after swarm of cholera germs to this
water; within the six hours they always died, to the last sample.
Repeatedly, he took pure well water which was barren of animal life, and
put into it a few cholera germs; they always began to propagate at once,
and always within six hours they swarmed--and were numberable by millions
upon millions.

For ages and ages the Hindoos have had absolute faith that the water of
the Ganges was absolutely pure, could not be defiled by any contact
whatsoever, and infallibly made pure and clean whatsoever thing touched
it.  They still believe it, and that is why they bathe in it and drink
it, caring nothing for its seeming filthiness and the floating corpses.
The Hindoos have been laughed at, these many generations, but the
laughter will need to modify itself a little from now on.  How did
they find out the water’s secret in those ancient ages?  Had they
germ-scientists then?  We do not know.  We only know that they had a
civilization long before we emerged from savagery.  But to return to
where I was before; I was about to speak of the burning-ghat.

They do not burn fakeers--those revered mendicants.  They are so holy
that they can get to their place without that sacrament, provided they be
consigned to the consecrating river.  We saw one carried to mid-stream
and thrown overboard.  He was sandwiched between two great slabs of

We lay off the cremation-ghat half an hour and saw nine corpses burned.
I should not wish to see any more of it, unless I might select the
parties.  The mourners follow the bier through the town and down to the
ghat; then the bier-bearers deliver the body to some low-caste natives
--Doms--and the mourners turn about and go back home.  I heard no crying
and saw no tears, there was no ceremony of parting.  Apparently, these
expressions of grief and affection are reserved for the privacy of the
home.  The dead women came draped in red, the men in white.  They are
laid in the water at the river’s edge while the pyre is being prepared.

The first subject was a man.  When the Doms unswathed him to wash him, he
proved to be a sturdily built, well-nourished and handsome old gentleman,
with not a sign about him to suggest that he had ever been ill.  Dry wood
was brought and built up into a loose pile; the corpse was laid upon it
and covered over with fuel.  Then a naked holy man who was sitting on
high ground a little distance away began to talk and shout with great
energy, and he kept up this noise right along.  It may have been the
funeral sermon, and probably was.  I forgot to say that one of the
mourners remained behind when the others went away.  This was the dead
man’s son, a boy of ten or twelve, brown and handsome, grave and
self-possessed, and clothed in flowing white.  He was there to burn his
father.  He was given a torch, and while he slowly walked seven times
around the pyre the naked black man on the high ground poured out his
sermon more clamorously than ever.  The seventh circuit completed, the
boy applied the torch at his father’s head, then at his feet; the flames
sprang briskly up with a sharp crackling noise, and the lad went away.
Hindoos do not want daughters, because their weddings make such a ruinous
expense; but they want sons, so that at death they may have honorable
exit from the world; and there is no honor equal to the honor of having
one’s pyre lighted by one’s son.  The father who dies sonless is in a
grievous situation indeed, and is pitied.  Life being uncertain, the
Hindoo marries while he is still a boy, in the hope that he will have a
son ready when the day of his need shall come.  But if he have no son, he
will adopt one.  This answers every purpose.

Meantime the corpse is burning, also several others.  It is a dismal
business.  The stokers did not sit down in idleness, but moved briskly
about, punching up the fires with long poles, and now and then adding
fuel.  Sometimes they hoisted the half of a skeleton into the air, then
slammed it down and beat it with the pole, breaking it up so that it
would burn better.  They hoisted skulls up in the same way and banged and
battered them.  The sight was hard to bear; it would have been harder if
the mourners had stayed to witness it.  I had but a moderate desire to
see a cremation, so it was soon satisfied.  For sanitary reasons it would
be well if cremation were universal; but this form is revolting, and not
to be recommended.

The fire used is sacred, of course--for there is money in it.  Ordinary
fire is forbidden; there is no money in it.  I was told that this sacred
fire is all furnished by one person, and that he has a monopoly of it and
charges a good price for it.  Sometimes a rich mourner pays a thousand
rupees for it.  To get to paradise from India is an expensive thing.
Every detail connected with the matter costs something, and helps to
fatten a priest.  I suppose it is quite safe to conclude that that
fire-bug is in holy orders.

Close to the cremation-ground stand a few time-worn stones which are
remembrances of the suttee.  Each has a rough carving upon it,
representing a man and a woman standing or walking hand in hand, and
marks the spot where a widow went to her death by fire in the days when
the suttee flourished.  Mr. Parker said that widows would burn themselves
now if the government would allow it.  The family that can point to one
of these little memorials and say: “She who burned herself there was an
ancestress of ours,” is envied.

It is a curious people.  With them, all life seems to be sacred except
human life.  Even the life of vermin is sacred, and must not be taken.
The good Jain wipes off a seat before using it, lest he cause the death
of-some valueless insect by sitting down on it.  It grieves him to have
to drink water, because the provisions in his stomach may not agree with
the microbes.  Yet India invented Thuggery and the Suttee.  India is a
hard country to understand.  We went to the temple of the Thug goddess,
Bhowanee, or Kali, or Durga.  She has these names and others.  She is the
only god to whom living sacrifices are made.  Goats are sacrificed to
her.  Monkeys would be cheaper.  There are plenty of them about the
place.  Being sacred, they make themselves very free, and scramble around
wherever they please.  The temple and its porch are beautifully carved,
but this is not the case with the idol.  Bhowanee is not pleasant to look
at.  She has a silver face, and a projecting swollen  tongue painted a
deep red.  She wears a necklace of skulls.

In fact, none of the idols in Benares are handsome or attractive.  And
what a swarm of them there is!  The town is a vast museum of idols--and
all of them crude, misshapen, and ugly.  They flock through one’s dreams
at night, a wild mob of nightmares.  When you get tired of them in the
temples and take a trip on the river, you find idol giants, flashily
painted, stretched out side by side on the shore.  And apparently
wherever there is room for one more lingam, a lingam is there.  If Vishnu
had foreseen what his town was going to be, he would have called it
Idolville or Lingamburg.

The most conspicuous feature of Benares is the pair of slender white
minarets which tower like masts from the great Mosque of Aurangzeb.  They
seem to be always in sight, from everywhere, those airy, graceful,
inspiring things.  But masts is not the right word, for masts have a
perceptible taper, while these minarets have not.  They are 142 feet
high, and only 8 1/2 feet in diameter at the base, and 7 1/2 at the
summit--scarcely any taper at all.  These are the proportions of a
candle; and fair and fairylike candles these are.  Will be, anyway, some
day, when the Christians inherit them and top them with the electric
light.  There is a great view from up there--a wonderful view.  A large
gray monkey was part of it, and damaged it.  A monkey has no judgment.
This one was skipping about the upper great heights of the mosque
--skipping across empty yawning intervals which were almost too wide for
him, and which he only just barely cleared, each time, by the skin of his
teeth.  He got me so nervous that I couldn’t look at the view.  I
couldn’t look at anything but him.  Every time he went sailing over one
of those abysses my breath stood still, and when he grabbed for the perch
he was going for, I grabbed too, in sympathy.  And he was perfectly
indifferent, perfectly unconcerned, and I did all the panting myself.
He came within an ace of losing his life a dozen times, and I was so
troubled about him that I would have shot him if I had had anything to do
it with.  But I strongly recommend the view.  There is more monkey than
view, and there is always going to be more monkey while that idiot
survives, but what view you get is superb.  All Benares, the river, and
the region round about are spread before you.  Take a gun, and look at
the view.

The next thing I saw was more reposeful.  It was a new kind of art.  It
was a picture painted on water.  It was done by a native.  He sprinkled
fine dust of various colors on the still surface of a basin of water, and
out of these sprinklings a dainty and pretty picture gradually grew, a
picture which a breath could destroy.  Somehow it was impressive, after
so much browsing among massive and battered and decaying fanes that rest
upon ruins, and those ruins upon still other ruins, and those upon still
others again.  It was a sermon, an allegory, a symbol of Instability.
Those creations in stone were only a kind of water pictures, after all.

A prominent episode in the Indian career of Warren Hastings had Benares
for its theater.  Wherever that extraordinary man set his foot, he left
his mark.  He came to Benares in 1781 to collect a fine of L500,000 which
he had levied upon its Rajah, Cheit Singh, on behalf of the East India
Company.  Hastings was a long way from home and help.  There were,
probably, not a dozen Englishmen within reach; the Rajah was in his fort
with his myriads around him.  But no matter.  From his little camp in a
neighboring garden, Hastings sent a party to arrest the sovereign.  He
sent on this daring mission a couple of hundred native soldiers--sepoys
--under command of three young English lieutenants.  The Rajah submitted
without a word.  The incident lights up the Indian situation
electrically, and gives one a vivid sense of the strides which the
English had made and the mastership they had acquired in the land since
the date of Clive’s great victory.  In a quarter of a century, from being
nobodies, and feared by none, they were become confessed lords and
masters, feared by all, sovereigns included, and served by all,
sovereigns included.  It makes the fairy tales sound true.  The English
had not been afraid to enlist native soldiers to fight against their own
people and keep them obedient.  And now Hastings was not afraid to come
away out to this remote place with a handful of such soldiers and send
them to arrest a native sovereign.

The lieutenants imprisoned the Rajah in his own fort.  It was beautiful,
the pluckiness of it, the impudence of it.  The arrest enraged the
Rajah’s people, and all Benares came storming about the place and
threatening vengeance.  And yet, but for an accident, nothing important
would have resulted, perhaps.  The mob found out a most strange thing, an
almost incredible thing--that this handful of soldiers had come on this
hardy errand with empty guns and no ammunition.  This has been attributed
to thoughtlessness, but it could hardly have been that, for in such large
emergencies as this, intelligent people do think.  It must have been
indifference, an over-confidence born of the proved submissiveness of the
native character, when confronted by even one or two stern Britons in
their war paint.  But, however that may be, it was a fatal discovery that
the mob had made.  They were full of courage, now, and they broke into
the fort and massacred the helpless soldiers and their officers.
Hastings escaped from Benares by night and got safely away, leaving the
principality in a state of wild insurrection; but he was back again
within the month, and quieted it down in his prompt and virile way, and
took the Rajah’s throne away from him and gave it to another man.  He was
a capable kind of person was Warren Hastings.  This was the only time he
was ever out of ammunition.  Some of his acts have left stains upon his
name which can never be washed away, but he saved to England the Indian
Empire, and that was the best service that was ever done to the Indians
themselves, those wretched heirs of a hundred centuries of pitiless
oppression and abuse.


True irreverence is disrespect for another man’s god.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

It was in Benares that I saw another living god.  That makes two.
I believe I have seen most of the greater and lesser wonders of the
world, but I do not remember that any of them interested me so
overwhelmingly as did that pair of gods.

When I try to account for this effect I find no difficulty about it.
I find that, as a rule, when a thing is a wonder to us it is not because
of what we see in it, but because of what others have seen in it.  We get
almost all our wonders at second hand.  We are eager to see any
celebrated thing--and we never fail of our reward; just the deep
privilege of gazing upon an object which has stirred the enthusiasm or
evoked the reverence or affection or admiration of multitudes of our race
is a thing which we value; we are profoundly glad that we have seen it,
we are permanently enriched from having seen it, we would not part with
the memory of that experience for a great price.  And yet that very
spectacle may be the Taj.  You cannot keep your enthusiasms down, you
cannot keep your emotions within bounds when that soaring bubble of
marble breaks upon your view.  But these are not your enthusiasms and
emotions--they are the accumulated emotions and enthusiasms of a thousand
fervid writers, who have been slowly and steadily storing them up in your
heart day by day and year by year all your life; and now they burst out
in a flood and overwhelm you; and you could not be a whit happier if they
were your very own.  By and by you sober down, and then you perceive that
you have been drunk on the smell of somebody else’s cork.  For ever and
ever the memory of my distant first glimpse of the Taj will compensate me
for creeping around the globe to have that great privilege.

But the Taj--with all your inflation of delusive emotions, acquired at
second-hand from people to whom in the majority of cases they were also
delusions acquired at second-hand--a thing which you fortunately did not
think of or it might have made you doubtful of what you imagined were
your own what is the Taj as a marvel, a spectacle and an uplifting and
overpowering wonder, compared with a living, breathing, speaking
personage whom several millions of human beings devoutly and sincerely
and unquestioningly believe to be a God, and humbly and gratefully
worship as a God?

He was sixty years old when I saw him.  He is called Sri 108 Swami
Bhaskarananda Saraswati.  That is one form of it.  I think that that is
what you would call him in speaking to him--because it is short.  But you
would use more of his name in addressing a letter to him; courtesy would
require this.  Even then you would not have to use all of it, but only
this much:

Sri 108 Matparamahansrzpairivrajakacharyaswamibhaskaranandasaraswati.

You do not put “Esq.” after it, for that is not necessary.  The word
which opens the volley is itself a title of honor “Sri.”  The “108”
 stands for the rest of his names, I believe.  Vishnu has 108 names which
he does not use in business, and no doubt it is a custom of gods and a
privilege sacred to their order to keep 108 extra ones in stock.  Just
the restricted name set down above is a handsome property, without the
108.  By my count it has 58 letters in it.  This removes the long German
words from competition; they are permanently out of the race.

Sri 108 S. B. Saraswati has attained to what among the Hindoos is called
the “state of perfection.”  It is a state which other Hindoos reach by
being born again and again, and over and over again into this world,
through one re-incarnation after another--a tiresome long job covering
centuries and decades of centuries, and one that is full of risks, too,
like the accident of dying on the wrong side of the Ganges some time or
other and waking up in the form of an ass, with a fresh start necessary
and the numerous trips to be made all over again.  But in reaching
perfection, Sri 108 S. B. S.  has escaped all that.  He is no longer a
part or a feature of this world; his substance has changed, all
earthiness has departed out of it; he is utterly holy, utterly pure;
nothing can desecrate this holiness or stain this purity; he is no longer
of the earth, its concerns are matters foreign to him, its pains and
griefs and troubles cannot reach him.  When he dies, Nirvana is his; he
will be absorbed into the substance of the Supreme Deity and be at peace

The Hindoo Scriptures point out how this state is to be reached, but it
is only once in a thousand years, perhaps, that candidate accomplishes
it.  This one has traversed the course required, stage by stage, from the
beginning to the end, and now has nothing left to do but wait for the
call which shall release him from a world in which he has now no part nor
lot.  First, he passed through the student stage, and became learned in
the holy books.  Next he became citizen, householder, husband, and
father.  That was the required second stage.  Then--like John Bunyan’s
Christian he bade perpetual good-bye to his family, as required, and went
wandering away.  He went far into the desert and served a term as hermit.
Next, he became a beggar, “in accordance with the rites laid down in the
Scriptures,” and wandered about India eating the bread of mendicancy.  A
quarter of a century ago he reached the stage of purity.  This needs no
garment; its symbol is nudity; he discarded the waist-cloth which he had
previously worn.  He could resume it now if he chose, for neither that
nor any other contact can defile him; but he does not choose.

There are several other stages, I believe, but I do not remember what
they are.  But he has been through them.  Throughout the long course he
was perfecting himself in holy learning, and writing commentaries upon
the sacred books.  He was also meditating upon Brahma, and he does that

White marble relief-portraits of him are sold all about India.  He lives
in a good house in a noble great garden in Benares, all meet and proper
to his stupendous rank.  Necessarily he does not go abroad in the
streets.  Deities would never be able to move about handily in any
country.  If one whom we recognized and adored as a god should go abroad
in our streets, and the day it was to happen were known, all traffic
would be blocked and business would come to a standstill.

This god is comfortably housed, and yet modestly, all things considered,
for if he wanted to live in a palace he would only need to speak and his
worshipers would gladly build it.  Sometimes he sees devotees for a
moment, and comforts them and blesses them, and they kiss his feet and go
away happy.  Rank is nothing to him, he being a god.  To him all men are
alike.  He sees whom he pleases and denies himself to whom he pleases.
Sometimes he sees a prince and denies himself to a pauper; at other times
he receives the pauper and turns the prince away.  However, he does not
receive many of either class.  He has to husband his time for his
meditations.  I think he would receive Rev. Mr. Parker at any time.  I
think he is sorry for Mr. Parker, and I think Mr. Parker is sorry for
him; and no doubt this compassion is good for both of them.

When we arrived we had to stand around in the garden a little while and
wait, and the outlook was not good, for he had been turning away
Maharajas that day and receiving only the riff-raff, and we belonged in
between, somewhere.  But presently, a servant came out saying it was all
right, he was coming.

And sure enough, he came, and I saw him--that object of the worship of
millions.  It was a strange sensation, and thrilling.  I wish I could
feel it stream through my veins again.  And yet, to me he was not a god,
he was only a Taj.  The thrill was not my thrill, but had come to me
secondhand from those invisible millions of believers.  By a hand-shake
with their god I had ground-circuited their wire and got their monster
battery’s whole charge.

He was tall and slender, indeed emaciated.  He had a clean cut and
conspicuously intellectual face, and a deep and kindly eye.  He looked
many years older than he really was, but much study and meditation and
fasting and prayer, with the arid life he had led as hermit and beggar,
could account for that.  He is wholly nude when he receives natives, of
whatever rank they may be, but he had white cloth around his loins now, a
concession to Mr. Parker’s European prejudices, no doubt.

As soon as I had sobered down a little we got along very well together,
and I found him a most pleasant and friendly deity.  He had heard a deal
about Chicago, and showed a quite remarkable interest in it, for a god.
It all came of the World’s Fair and the Congress of Religions.  If India
knows about nothing else American, she knows about those, and will keep
them in mind one while.

He proposed an exchange of autographs, a delicate attention which made me
believe in him, but I had been having my doubts before.  He wrote his in
his book, and I have a reverent regard for that book, though the words
run from right to left, and so I can’t read it.  It was a mistake to
print in that way.  It contains his voluminous comments on the Hindoo
holy writings, and if I could make them out I would try for perfection
myself.  I gave him a copy of Huckleberry Finn.  I thought it might rest
him up a little to mix it in along with his meditations on Brahma, for he
looked tired, and I knew that if it didn’t do him any good it wouldn’t do
him any harm.

He has a scholar meditating under him--Mina Bahadur Rana--but we did not
see him.  He wears clothes and is very imperfect.  He has written a
little pamphlet about his master, and I have that.  It contains a
wood-cut of the master and himself seated on a rug in the garden.  The
portrait of the master is very good indeed.  The posture is exactly that
which Brahma himself affects, and it requires long arms and limber legs,
and can be accumulated only by gods and the india-rubber man.  There is a
life-size marble relief of Shri 108, S.B.S.  in the garden.  It
represents him in this same posture.

Dear me!  It is a strange world.  Particularly the Indian division of it.
This pupil, Mina Bahadur Rana, is not a commonplace person, but a man of
distinguished capacities and attainments, and, apparently, he had a fine
worldly career in front of him.  He was serving the Nepal Government in a
high capacity at the Court of the Viceroy of India, twenty years ago.  He
was an able man, educated, a thinker, a man of property.  But the longing
to devote himself to a religious life came upon him, and he resigned his
place, turned his back upon the vanities and comforts of the world, and
went away into the solitudes to live in a hut and study the sacred
writings and meditate upon virtue and holiness and seek to attain them.
This sort of religion resembles ours.  Christ recommended the rich to
give away all their property and follow Him in poverty, not in worldly
comfort.  American and English millionaires do it every day, and thus
verify and confirm to the world the tremendous forces that lie in
religion.  Yet many people scoff at them for this loyalty to duty, and
many will scoff at Mina Bahadur Rana and call him a crank.  Like many
Christians of great character and intellect, he has made the study of his
Scriptures and the writing of books of commentaries upon them the loving
labor of his life.  Like them, he has believed that his was not an idle
and foolish waste of his life, but a most worthy and honorable employment
of it.  Yet, there are many people who will see in those others, men
worthy of homage and deep reverence, but in him merely a crank.  But I
shall not.  He has my reverence.  And I don’t offer it as a common thing
and poor, but as an unusual thing and of value.  The ordinary reverence,
the reverence defined and explained by the dictionary costs nothing.
Reverence for one’s own sacred things--parents, religion, flag, laws, and
respect for one’s own beliefs--these are feelings which we cannot even
help.  They come natural to us; they are involuntary, like breathing.
There is no personal merit in breathing.  But the reverence which is
difficult, and which has personal merit in it, is the respect which you
pay, without compulsion, to the political or religious attitude of a man
whose beliefs are not yours.  You can’t revere his gods or his politics,
and no one expects you to do that, but you could respect his belief in
them if you tried hard enough; and you could respect him, too, if you
tried hard enough.  But it is very, very difficult; it is next to
impossible, and so we hardly ever try.  If the man doesn’t believe as we
do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it.  I mean it does nowadays,
because now we can’t burn him.

We are always canting about people’s “irreverence,” always charging this
offense upon somebody or other, and thereby intimating that we are better
than that person and do not commit that offense ourselves.  Whenever we
do this we are in a lying attitude, and our speech is cant; for none of
us are reverent--in a meritorious way; deep down in our hearts we are all
irreverent.  There is probably not a single exception to this rule in the
earth.  There is probably not one person whose reverence rises higher
than respect for his own sacred things; and therefore, it is not a thing
to boast about and be proud of, since the most degraded savage has that
--and, like the best of us, has nothing higher.  To speak plainly, we
despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the
pale of our own list of sacred things.  And yet, with strange
inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the
things which are holy to us.  Suppose we should meet with a paragraph
like the following, in the newspapers:

“Yesterday a visiting party of the British nobility had a picnic at Mount
Vernon, and in the tomb of Washington they ate their luncheon, sang
popular songs, played games, and danced waltzes and polkas.”

Should we be shocked?  Should we feel outraged?  Should we be amazed?
Should we call the performance a desecration?  Yes, that would all
happen.  We should denounce those people in round terms, and call them
hard names.

And suppose we found this paragraph in the newspapers:

“Yesterday a visiting party of American pork-millionaires had a picnic in
Westminster Abbey, and in that sacred place they ate their luncheon, sang
popular songs, played games, and danced waltzes and polkas.”

Would the English be shocked?  Would they feel outraged?  Would they be
amazed?  Would they call the performance a desecration?  That would all
happen.  The pork-millionaires would be denounced in round terms; they
would be called hard names.

In the tomb at Mount Vernon lie the ashes of America’s most honored son;
in the Abbey, the ashes of England’s greatest dead; the tomb of tombs,
the costliest in the earth, the wonder of the world, the Taj, was built
by a great Emperor to honor the memory of a perfect wife and perfect
mother, one in whom there was no spot or blemish, whose love was his stay
and support, whose life was the light of the world to him; in it her
ashes lie, and to the Mohammedan millions of India it is a holy place; to
them it is what Mount Vernon is to Americans, it is what the Abbey is to
the English.

Major Sleeman wrote forty or fifty years ago (the italics are mine):

     “I would here enter my humble protest against the quadrille and
     lunch parties which are sometimes given to European ladies and
     gentlemen of the station at this imperial tomb; drinking and dancing
     are no doubt very good things in their season, but they are sadly
     out of place in a sepulchre.”

Were there any Americans among those lunch parties?  If they were
invited, there were.

If my imagined lunch-parties in Westminster and the tomb of Washington
should take place, the incident would cause a vast outbreak of bitter
eloquence about Barbarism and Irreverence; and it would come from two
sets of people who would go next day and dance in the Taj if they had a

As we took our leave of the Benares god and started away we noticed a
group of natives waiting respectfully just within the gate--a Rajah from
somewhere in India, and some people of lesser consequence.  The god
beckoned them to come, and as we passed out the Rajah was kneeling and
reverently kissing his sacred feet.

If Barnum--but Barnum’s ambitions are at rest.  This god will remain in
the holy peace and seclusion of his garden, undisturbed.  Barnum could
not have gotten him, anyway.  Still, he would have found a substitute
that would answer.


Do not undervalue the headache.  While it is at its sharpest it seems a
bad investment; but when relief begins, the unexpired remainder is worth
$4 a minute.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

A comfortable railway journey of seventeen and a half hours brought us to
the capital of India, which is likewise the capital of Bengal--Calcutta.
Like Bombay, it has a population of nearly a million natives and a small
gathering of white people.  It is a huge city and fine, and is called the
City of Palaces.  It is rich in historical memories; rich in British
achievement--military, political, commercial; rich in the results of the
miracles done by that brace of mighty magicians, Clive and Hastings.  And
has a cloud kissing monument to one Ochterlony.

It is a fluted candlestick 250 feet high.  This lingam is the only large
monument in Calcutta, I believe.  It is a fine ornament, and will keep
Ochterlony in mind.

Wherever you are, in Calcutta, and for miles around, you can see it; and
always when you see it you think of Ochterlony.  And so there is not an
hour in the day that you do not think of Ochterlony and wonder who he
was.  It is good that Clive cannot come back, for he would think it was
for Plassey; and then that great spirit would be wounded when the
revelation came that it was not.  Clive would find out that it was for
Ochterlony; and he would think Ochterlony was a battle.  And he would
think it was a great one, too, and he would say, “With three thousand I
whipped sixty thousand and founded the Empire--and there is no monument;
this other soldier must have whipped a billion with a dozen and saved the

But he would be mistaken.  Ochterlony was a man, not a battle.  And he
did good and honorable service, too; as good and honorable service as has
been done in India by seventy-five or a hundred other Englishmen of
courage, rectitude, and distinguished capacity.  For India has been a
fertile breeding-ground of such men, and remains so; great men, both in
war and in the civil service, and as modest as great.  But they have no
monuments, and were not expecting any.  Ochterlony could not have been
expecting one, and it is not at all likely that he desired one--certainly
not until Clive and Hastings should be supplied.  Every day Clive and
Hastings lean on the battlements of heaven and look down and wonder which
of the two the monument is for; and they fret and worry because they
cannot find out, and so the peace of heaven is spoiled for them and lost.
But not for Ochterlony.  Ochterlony is not troubled.  He doesn’t suspect
that it is his monument.  Heaven is sweet and peaceful to him.  There is
a sort of unfairness about it all.

Indeed, if monuments were always given in India for high achievements,
duty straitly performed, and smirchless records, the landscape would be
monotonous with them.  The handful of English in India govern the Indian
myriads with apparent ease, and without noticeable friction, through
tact, training, and distinguished administrative ability, reinforced by
just and liberal laws--and by keeping their word to the native whenever
they give it.

England is far from India and knows little about the eminent services
performed by her servants there, for it is the newspaper correspondent
who makes fame, and he is not sent to India but to the continent, to
report the doings of the princelets and the dukelets, and where they are
visiting and whom they are marrying.  Often a British official spends
thirty or forty years in India, climbing from grade to grade by services
which would make him celebrated anywhere else, and finishes as a
vice-sovereign, governing a great realm and millions of subjects; then he
goes home to England substantially unknown and unheard of, and settles
down in some modest corner, and is as one extinguished.  Ten years later
there is a twenty-line obituary in the London papers, and the reader is
paralyzed by the splendors of a career which he is not sure that he had
ever heard of before.  But meanwhile he has learned all about the
continental princelets and dukelets.

The average man is profoundly ignorant of countries that lie remote from
his own.  When they are mentioned in his presence one or two facts and
maybe a couple of names rise like torches in his mind, lighting up an
inch or two of it and leaving the rest all dark.  The mention of Egypt
suggests some Biblical facts and the Pyramids-nothing more.  The mention
of South Africa suggests Kimberly and the diamonds and there an end.
Formerly the mention, to a Hindoo, of America suggested a name--George
Washington--with that his familiarity with our country was exhausted.
Latterly his familiarity with it has doubled in bulk; so that when
America is mentioned now, two torches flare up in the dark caverns of his
mind and he says, “Ah, the country of the great man Washington; and of
the Holy City--Chicago.”  For he knows about the Congress of Religion,
this has enabled him to get an erroneous impression of Chicago.

When India is mentioned to the citizen of a far country it suggests
Clive, Hastings, the Mutiny, Kipling, and a number of other great events;
and the mention of Calcutta infallibly brings up the Black Hole.  And so,
when that citizen finds himself in the capital of India he goes first of
all to see the Black Hole of Calcutta--and is disappointed.

The Black Hole was not preserved; it is gone, long, long ago.  It is
strange.  Just as it stood, it was itself a monument; a ready-made one.
It was finished, it was complete, its materials were strong and lasting,
it needed no furbishing up, no repairs; it merely needed to be let alone.
It was the first brick, the Foundation Stone, upon which was reared a
mighty Empire--the Indian Empire of Great Britain.  It was the ghastly
episode of the Black Hole that maddened the British and brought Clive,
that young military marvel, raging up from Madras; it was the seed from
which sprung Plassey; and it was that extraordinary battle, whose like
had not been seen in the earth since Agincourt, that laid deep and strong
the foundations of England’s colossal Indian sovereignty.

And yet within the time of men who still live, the Black Hole was torn
down and thrown away as carelessly as if its bricks were common clay, not
ingots of historic gold.  There is no accounting for human beings.

The supposed site of the Black Hole is marked by an engraved plate.  I
saw that; and better that than nothing.  The Black Hole was a prison--a
cell is nearer the right word--eighteen feet square, the dimensions of an
ordinary bedchamber; and into this place the victorious Nabob of Bengal
packed 146 of his English prisoners.  There was hardly standing room for
them; scarcely a breath of air was to be got; the time was night, the
weather sweltering hot.  Before the dawn came, the captives were all dead
but twenty-three.  Mr. Holwell’s long account of the awful episode was
familiar to the world a hundred years ago, but one seldom sees in print
even an extract from it in our day.  Among the striking things in it is
this.  Mr. Holwell, perishing with thirst, kept himself alive by sucking
the perspiration from his sleeves.  It gives one a vivid idea of the
situation.  He presently found that while he was busy drawing life from
one of his sleeves a young English gentleman was stealing supplies from
the other one.  Holwell was an unselfish man, a man of the most generous
impulses; he lived and died famous for these fine and rare qualities; yet
when he found out what was happening to that unwatched sleeve, he took
the precaution to suck that one dry first.  The miseries of the Black
Hole were able to change even a nature like his.  But that young
gentleman was one of the twenty-three survivors, and he said it was the
stolen perspiration that saved his life.  From the middle of Mr.
Holwell’s narrative I will make a brief excerpt:

     “Then a general prayer to Heaven, to hasten the approach of the
     flames to the right and left of us, and put a period to our misery.
     But these failing, they whose strength and spirits were quite
     exhausted laid themselves down and expired quietly upon their
     fellows: others who had yet some strength and vigor left made a last
     effort at the windows, and several succeeded by leaping and
     scrambling over the backs and heads of those in the first rank, and
     got hold of the bars, from which there was no removing them.  Many
     to the right and left sunk with the violent pressure, and were soon
     suffocated; for now a steam arose from the living and the dead,
     which affected us in all its circumstances as if we were forcibly
     held with our heads over a bowl full of strong volatile spirit of
     hartshorn, until suffocated; nor could the effluvia of the one be
     distinguished from the other, and frequently, when I was forced by
     the load upon my head and shoulders to hold my face down, I was
     obliged, near as I was to the window, instantly to raise it again to
     avoid suffocation.  I need not, my dear friend, ask your
     commiseration, when I tell you, that in this plight, from half an
     hour past eleven till near two in the morning, I sustained the
     weight of a heavy man, with his knees in my back, and the pressure
     of his whole body on my head.  A Dutch surgeon who had taken his
     seat upon my left shoulder, and a Topaz (a black Christian soldier)
     bearing on my right; all which nothing could have enabled me to
     support but the props and pressure equally sustaining me all around.
     The two latter I frequently dislodged by shifting my hold on the
     bars and driving my knuckles into their ribs; but my friend above
     stuck fast, held immovable by two bars.

     “I exerted anew my strength and fortitude; but the repeated trials
     and efforts I made to dislodge the insufferable incumbrances upon me
     at last quite exhausted me; and towards two o’clock, finding I must
     quit the window or sink where I was, I resolved on the former,
     having bore, truly for the sake of others, infinitely more for life
     than the best of it is worth.  In the rank close behind me was an
     officer of one of the ships, whose name was Cary, and who had
     behaved with much bravery during the siege (his wife, a fine woman,
     though country born, would not quit him, but accompanied him into
     the prison, and was one who survived).  This poor wretch had been
     long raving for water and air; I told him I was determined to give
     up life, and recommended his gaining my station.  On my quitting it
     he made a fruitless attempt to get my place; but the Dutch surgeon,
     who sat on my shoulder, supplanted him.  Poor Cary expressed his
     thankfulness, and said he would give up life too; but it was with
     the utmost labor we forced our way from the window (several in the
     inner ranks appearing to me dead standing, unable to fall by the
     throng and equal pressure around).  He laid himself down to die; and
     his death, I believe, was very sudden; for he was a short, full,
     sanguine man.  His strength was great; and, I imagine, had he not
     retired with me, I should never have been able to force my way.  I
     was at this time sensible of no pain, and little uneasiness; I can
     give you no better idea of my situation than by repeating my simile
     of the bowl of spirit of hartshorn.  I found a stupor coming on
     apace, and laid myself down by that gallant old man, the Rev. Mr.
     Jervas Bellamy, who laid dead with his son, the lieutenant, hand in
     hand, near the southernmost wall of the prison.  When I had lain
     there some little time, I still had reflection enough to suffer some
     uneasiness in the thought that I should be trampled upon, when dead,
     as I myself had done to others.  With some difficulty I raised
     myself, and gained the platform a second time, where I presently
     lost all sensation; the last trace of sensibility that I have been
     able to recollect after my laying down, was my sash being uneasy
     about my waist, which I untied, and threw from me.  Of what passed
     in this interval, to the time of my resurrection from this hole of
     horrors, I can give you no account.”

There was plenty to see in Calcutta, but there was not plenty of time for
it.  I saw the fort that Clive built; and the place where Warren Hastings
and the author of the Junius Letters fought their duel; and the great
botanical gardens; and the fashionable afternoon turnout in the Maidan;
and a grand review of the garrison in a great plain at sunrise; and a
military tournament in which great bodies of native soldiery exhibited
the perfection of their drill at all arms, a spectacular and beautiful
show occupying several nights and closing with the mimic storming of a
native fort which was as good as the reality for thrilling and accurate
detail, and better than the reality for security and comfort; we had a
pleasure excursion on the ‘Hoogly’ by courtesy of friends, and devoted
the rest of the time to social life and the Indian museum.  One should
spend a month in the museum, an enchanted palace of Indian antiquities.
Indeed, a person might spend half a year among the beautiful and
wonderful things without exhausting their interest.

It was winter.  We were of Kipling’s “hosts of tourists who travel up and
down India in the cold weather showing how things ought to be managed.”
 It is a common expression there, “the cold weather,” and the people think
there is such a thing.  It is because they have lived there half a
lifetime, and their perceptions have become blunted.  When a person is
accustomed to 138 in the shade, his ideas about cold weather are not
valuable.  I had read, in the histories, that the June marches made
between Lucknow and Cawnpore by the British forces in the time of the
Mutiny were made in that kind of weather--138 in the shade--and had taken
it for historical embroidery.  I had read it again in Serjeant-Major
Forbes-Mitchell’s account of his military experiences in the Mutiny
--at least I thought I had--and in Calcutta I asked him if it was true,
and he said it was.  An officer of high rank who had been in the thick of
the Mutiny said the same.  As long as those men were talking about what
they knew, they were trustworthy, and I believed them; but when they said
it was now “cold weather,” I saw that they had traveled outside of their
sphere of knowledge and were floundering.  I believe that in India “cold
weather” is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through
the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which
will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.
It was observable that brass ones were in use while I was in Calcutta,
showing that it was not yet time to change to porcelain; I was told the
change to porcelain was not usually made until May.  But this cold
weather was too warm for us; so we started to Darjeeling, in the
Himalayas--a twenty-four hour journey.


There are 869 different forms of lying, but only one of them has been
squarely forbidden.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


February 14.  We left at 4:30 P.M.  Until dark we moved through rich
vegetation, then changed to a boat and crossed the Ganges.

February 15.  Up with the sun.  A brilliant morning, and frosty.  A
double suit of flannels is found necessary.  The plain is perfectly
level, and seems to stretch away and away and away, dimming and
softening, to the uttermost bounds of nowhere.  What a soaring,
strenuous, gushing fountain spray of delicate greenery a bunch of bamboo
is!  As far as the eye can reach, these grand vegetable geysers grace the
view, their spoutings refined to steam by distance.  And there are fields
of bananas, with the sunshine glancing from the varnished surface of
their drooping vast leaves.  And there are frequent groves of palm; and
an effective accent is given to the landscape by isolated individuals of
this picturesque family, towering, clean-stemmed, their plumes broken and
hanging ragged, Nature’s imitation of an umbrella that has been out to
see what a cyclone is like and is trying not to look disappointed.  And
everywhere through the soft morning vistas we glimpse the villages, the
countless villages, the myriad villages, thatched, built of clean new
matting, snuggling among grouped palms and sheaves of bamboo; villages,
villages, no end of villages, not three hundred yards apart, and dozens
and dozens of them in sight all the time; a mighty City, hundreds of
miles long, hundreds of miles broad, made all of villages, the biggest
city in the earth, and as populous as a European kingdom.  I have seen no
such city as this before.  And there is a continuously repeated and
replenished multitude of naked men in view on both sides and ahead.  We
fly through it mile after mile, but still it is always there, on both
sides and ahead--brown-bodied, naked men and boys, plowing in the fields.
But not a woman.  In these two hours I have not seen a woman or a girl
working in the fields.

              “From Greenland’s icy mountains,
               From India’s coral strand,
               Where Afric’s sunny fountains
               Roll down their golden sand.
               From many an ancient river,
               From many a palmy plain,
               They call us to deliver
               Their land from error’s chain.”

Those are beautiful verses, and they have remained in my memory all my
life.  But if the closing lines are true, let us hope that when we come
to answer the call and deliver the land from its errors, we shall secrete
from it some of our high-civilization ways, and at the same time borrow
some of its pagan ways to enrich our high system with.  We have a right
to do this.  If we lift those people up, we have a right to lift
ourselves up nine or ten grades or so, at their expense.  A few years ago
I spent several weeks at Tolz, in Bavaria.  It is a Roman Catholic
region, and not even Benares is more deeply or pervasively or
intelligently devout.  In my diary of those days I find this:

     “We took a long drive yesterday around about the lovely country
     roads.  But it was a drive whose pleasure was damaged in a couple of
     ways: by the dreadful shrines and by the shameful spectacle of gray
     and venerable old grandmothers toiling in the fields.  The shrines
     were frequent along the roads--figures of the Saviour nailed to the
     cross and streaming with blood from the wounds of the nails and the

     “When missionaries go from here do they find fault with the pagan
     idols?  I saw many women seventy and even eighty years old mowing
     and binding in the fields, and pitchforking the loads into the

I was in Austria later, and in Munich.  In Munich I saw gray old women
pushing trucks up hill and down, long distances, trucks laden with
barrels of beer, incredible loads.  In my Austrian diary I find this:

     “In the fields I often see a woman and a cow harnessed to the plow,
     and a man driving.

     “In the public street of Marienbad to-day, I saw an old, bent,
     gray-headed woman, in harness with a dog, drawing a laden sled over
     bare dirt roads and bare pavements; and at his ease walked the
     driver, smoking his pipe, a hale fellow not thirty years old.”

Five or six years ago I bought an open boat, made a kind of a canvas
wagon-roof over the stern of it to shelter me from sun and rain; hired a
courier and a boatman, and made a twelve-day floating voyage down the
Rhone from Lake Bourget to Marseilles.  In my diary of that trip I find
this entry.  I was far down the Rhone then:

     “Passing St. Etienne, 2:15 P.M.  On a distant ridge inland, a tall
     openwork structure commandingly situated, with a statue of the
     Virgin standing on it.  A devout country.  All down this river,
     wherever there is a crag there is a statue of the Virgin on it.  I
     believe I have seen a hundred of them.  And yet, in many respects,
     the peasantry seem to be mere pagans, and destitute of any
     considerable degree of civilization.

     “ .  .  .  .  We reached a not very promising looking village about
     4 o’clock, and I concluded to tie up for the day; munching fruit and
     fogging the hood with pipe-smoke had grown monotonous; I could not
     have the hood furled, because the floods of rain fell unceasingly.
     The tavern was on the river bank, as is the custom.  It was dull
     there, and melancholy--nothing to do but look out of the window into
     the drenching rain, and shiver; one could do that, for it was bleak
     and cold and windy, and country France furnishes no fire.  Winter
     overcoats did not help me much; they had to be supplemented with
     rugs.  The raindrops were so large and struck the river with such
     force that they knocked up the water like pebble-splashes.

     “With the exception of a very occasional woodenshod peasant, nobody
     was abroad in this bitter weather--I mean nobody of our sex.  But
     all weathers are alike to the women in these continental countries.
     To them and the other animals, life is serious; nothing interrupts
     their slavery.  Three of them were washing clothes in the river
     under the window when I arrived, and they continued at it as long as
     there was light to work by.  One was apparently thirty; another--the
     mother!--above fifty; the third--grandmother!--so old and worn and
     gray she could have passed for eighty; I took her to be that old.
     They had no waterproofs nor rubbers, of course; over their shoulders
     they wore gunnysacks--simply conductors for rivers of water; some of
     the volume reached the ground; the rest soaked in on the way.

     “At last a vigorous fellow of thirty-five arrived, dry and
     comfortable, smoking his pipe under his big umbrella in an open
     donkey-cart-husband, son, and grandson of those women!  He stood up
     in the cart, sheltering himself, and began to superintend, issuing
     his orders in a masterly tone of command, and showing temper when
     they were not obeyed swiftly enough.

     “Without complaint or murmur the drowned women patiently carried out
     the orders, lifting the immense baskets of soggy, wrung-out clothing
     into the cart and stowing them to the man’s satisfaction.  There
     were six of the great baskets, and a man of mere ordinary strength
     could not have lifted any one of them.  The cart being full now, the
     Frenchman descended, still sheltered by his umbrella, entered the
     tavern, and the women went drooping homeward, trudging in the wake
     of the cart, and soon were blended with the deluge and lost to

     “When I went down into the public room, the Frenchman had his bottle
     of wine and plate of food on a bare table black with grease, and was
     ‘chomping’ like a horse.  He had the little religious paper which is
     in everybody’s hands on the Rhone borders, and was enlightening
     himself with the histories of French saints who used to flee to the
     desert in the Middle Ages to escape the contamination of woman.  For
     two hundred years France has been sending missionaries to other
     savage lands.  To spare to the needy from poverty like hers is fine
     and true generosity.”

But to get back to India--where, as my favorite poem says--

              “Every prospect pleases,
               And only man is vile.”

It is because Bavaria and Austria and France have not introduced their
civilization to him yet.  But Bavaria and Austria and France are on their
way.  They are coming.  They will rescue him; they will refine the
vileness out of him.

Some time during the forenoon, approaching the mountains, we changed from
the regular train to one composed of little canvas-sheltered cars that
skimmed along within a foot of the ground and seemed to be going fifty
miles an hour when they were really making about twenty.  Each car had
seating capacity for half-a-dozen persons; and when the curtains were up
one was substantially out of doors, and could see everywhere, and get all
the breeze, and be luxuriously comfortable.  It was not a pleasure
excursion in name only, but in fact.

After a while we stopped at a little wooden coop of a station just
within the curtain of the sombre jungle, a place with a deep and dense
forest of great trees and scrub and vines all about it.  The royal Bengal
tiger is in great force there, and is very bold and unconventional.  From
this lonely little station a message once went to the railway manager in
Calcutta: “Tiger eating station-master on front porch; telegraph

It was there that I had my first tiger hunt.  I killed thirteen.  We were
presently away again, and the train began to climb the mountains.  In one
place seven wild elephants crossed the track, but two of them got away
before I could overtake them.  The railway journey up the mountain is
forty miles, and it takes eight hours to make it.  It is so wild and
interesting and exciting and enchanting that it ought to take a week.  As
for the vegetation, it is a museum.  The jungle seemed to contain samples
of every rare and curious tree and bush that we had ever seen or heard
of.  It is from that museum, I think, that the globe must have been
supplied with the trees and vines and shrubs that it holds precious.

The road is infinitely and charmingly crooked.  It goes winding in and
out under lofty cliffs that are smothered in vines and foliage, and
around the edges of bottomless chasms; and all the way one glides by
files of picturesque natives, some carrying burdens up, others going down
from their work in the tea-gardens; and once there was a gaudy wedding
procession, all bright tinsel and color, and a bride, comely and girlish,
who peeped out from the curtains of her palanquin, exposing her face with
that pure delight which the young and happy take in sin for sin’s own

By and by we were well up in the region of the clouds, and from that
breezy height we looked down and afar over a wonderful picture--the
Plains of India, stretching to the horizon, soft and fair, level as a
floor, shimmering with heat, mottled with cloud-shadows, and cloven with
shining rivers.  Immediately below us, and receding down, down, down,
toward the valley, was a shaven confusion of hilltops, with ribbony roads
and paths squirming and snaking cream-yellow all over them and about
them, every curve and twist sharply distinct.

At an elevation of 6,000 feet we entered a thick cloud, and it shut out
the world and kept it shut out.  We climbed 1,000 feet higher, then began
to descend, and presently got down to Darjeeling, which is 6,000 feet
above the level of the Plains.

We had passed many a mountain village on the way up, and seen some new
kinds of natives, among them many samples of the fighting Ghurkas.  They
are not large men, but they are strong and resolute.  There are no better
soldiers among Britain’s native troops.  And we had passed shoals of
their women climbing the forty miles of steep road from the valley to
their mountain homes, with tall baskets on their backs hitched to their
foreheads by a band, and containing a freightage weighing--I will not say
how many hundreds of pounds, for the sum is unbelievable.  These were
young women, and they strode smartly along under these astonishing
burdens with the air of people out for a holiday.  I was told that a
woman will carry a piano on her back all the way up the mountain; and
that more than once a woman had done it.  If these were old women I
should regard the Ghurkas as no more civilized than the Europeans.
At the railway station at Darjeeling you find plenty of cab-substitutes
--open coffins, in which you sit, and are then borne on men’s shoulders
the steep roads into the town.

Up there we found a fairly comfortable hotel, the property of an
indiscriminate and incoherent landlord, who looks after nothing, but
leaves everything to his army of Indian servants.  No, he does look after
the bill--to be just to him--and the tourist cannot do better than follow
his example.  I was told by a resident that the summit of Kinchinjunga is
often hidden in the clouds, and that sometimes a tourist has waited
twenty-two days and then been obliged to go away without a sight of it.
And yet went not disappointed; for when he got his hotel bill he
recognized that he was now seeing the highest thing in the Himalayas.
But this is probably a lie.

After lecturing I went to the Club that night, and that was a comfortable
place.  It is loftily situated, and looks out over a vast spread of
scenery; from it you can see where the boundaries of three countries come
together, some thirty miles away; Thibet is one of them, Nepaul another,
and I think Herzegovina was the other.  Apparently, in every town and
city in India the gentlemen of the British civil and military service
have a club; sometimes it is a palatial one, always it is pleasant and
homelike.  The hotels are not always as good as they might be, and the
stranger who has access to the Club is grateful for his privilege and
knows how to value it.

Next day was Sunday.  Friends came in the gray dawn with horses, and my
party rode away to a distant point where Kinchinjunga and Mount Everest
show up best, but I stayed at home for a private view; for it was very
cold, and I was not acquainted with the horses, any way.  I got a pipe
and a few blankets and sat for two hours at the window, and saw the sun
drive away the veiling gray and touch up the snow-peaks one after another
with pale pink splashes and delicate washes of gold, and finally flood
the whole mighty convulsion of snow-mountains with a deluge of rich

Kinchinjunga’s peak was but fitfully visible, but in the between times it
was vividly clear against the sky--away up there in the blue dome more
than 28,000 feet above sea level--the loftiest land I had ever seen, by
12,000 feet or more.  It was 45 miles away.  Mount Everest is a thousand
feet higher, but it was not a part of that sea of mountains piled up
there before me, so I did not see it; but I did not care, because I think
that mountains that are as high as that are disagreeable.

I changed from the back to the front of the house and spent the rest of
the morning there, watching the swarthy strange tribes flock by from
their far homes in the Himalayas.  All ages and both sexes were
represented, and the breeds were quite new to me, though the costumes of
the Thibetans made them look a good deal like Chinamen.  The prayer-wheel
was a frequent feature.  It brought me near to these people, and made
them seem kinfolk of mine.  Through our preacher we do much of our
praying by proxy.  We do not whirl him around a stick, as they do, but
that is merely a detail.  The swarm swung briskly by, hour after hour, a
strange and striking pageant.  It was wasted there, and it seemed a pity.
It should have been sent streaming through the cities of Europe or
America, to refresh eyes weary of the pale monotonies of the
circus-pageant.  These people were bound for the bazar, with things to
sell.  We went down there, later, and saw that novel congress of the wild
peoples, and plowed here and there through it, and concluded that it
would be worth coming from Calcutta to see, even if there were no
Kinchinjunga and Everest.


There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he
can’t afford it, and when he can.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

On Monday and Tuesday at sunrise we again had fair-to-middling views of
the stupendous mountains; then, being well cooled off and refreshed, we
were ready to chance the weather of the lower world once more.

We traveled up hill by the regular train five miles to the summit, then
changed to a little canvas-canopied hand-car for the 35-mile descent.  It
was the size of a sleigh, it had six seats and was so low that it seemed
to rest on the ground.  It had no engine or other propelling power, and
needed none to help it fly down those steep inclines.  It only needed a
strong brake, to modify its flight, and it had that.  There was a story
of a disastrous trip made down the mountain once in this little car by
the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, when the car jumped the track and
threw its passengers over a precipice.  It was not true, but the story
had value for me, for it made me nervous, and nervousness wakes a person
up and makes him alive and alert, and heightens the thrill of a new and
doubtful experience.  The car could really jump the track, of course; a
pebble on the track, placed there by either accident or malice, at a
sharp curve where one might strike it before the eye could discover it,
could derail the car and fling it down into India; and the fact that the
lieutenant-governor had escaped was no proof that I would have the same
luck.  And standing there, looking down upon the Indian Empire from the
airy altitude of 7,000 feet, it seemed unpleasantly far, dangerously far,
to be flung from a handcar.

But after all, there was but small danger--for me.  What there was, was
for Mr. Pugh, inspector of a division of the Indian police, in whose
company and protection we had come from Calcutta.  He had seen long
service as an artillery officer, was less nervous than I was, and so he
was to go ahead of us in a pilot hand-car, with a Ghurka and another
native; and the plan was that when we should see his car jump over a
precipice we must put on our break [sp.] and send for another pilot.
It was a good arrangement.  Also Mr. Barnard, chief engineer of the
mountain-division of the road, was to take personal charge of our car,
and he had been down the mountain in it many a time.

Everything looked safe.  Indeed, there was but one questionable detail
left: the regular train was to follow us as soon as we should start, and
it might run over us.  Privately, I thought it would.

The road fell sharply down in front of us and went corkscrewing in and
out around the crags and precipices, down, down, forever down, suggesting
nothing so exactly or so uncomfortably as a crooked toboggan slide with
no end to it.  Mr. Pugh waved his flag and started, like an arrow from a
bow, and before I could get out of the car we were gone too.  I had
previously had but one sensation like the shock of that departure, and
that was the gaspy shock that took my breath away the first time that I
was discharged from the summit of a toboggan slide.  But in both
instances the sensation was pleasurable--intensely so; it was a sudden
and immense exaltation, a mixed ecstasy of deadly fright and unimaginable
joy.  I believe that this combination makes the perfection of human

The pilot car’s flight down the mountain suggested the swoop of a swallow
that is skimming the ground, so swiftly and smoothly and gracefully it
swept down the long straight reaches and soared in and out of the bends
and around the corners.  We raced after it, and seemed to flash by the
capes and crags with the speed of light; and now and then we almost
overtook it--and had hopes; but it was only playing with us; when we got
near, it released its brake, made a spring around a corner, and the next
time it spun into view, a few seconds later, it looked as small as a
wheelbarrow, it was so far away.  We played with the train in the same
way.  We often got out to gather flowers or sit on a precipice and look
at the scenery, then presently we would hear a dull and growing roar, and
the long coils of the train would come into sight behind and above us;
but we did not need to start till the locomotive was close down upon us
--then we soon left it far behind.  It had to stop at every station,
therefore it was not an embarrassment to us.  Our brake was a good piece
of machinery; it could bring the car to a standstill on a slope as steep
as a house-roof.

The scenery was grand and varied and beautiful, and there was no hurry;
we could always stop and examine it.  There was abundance of time.  We
did not need to hamper the train; if it wanted the road, we could switch
off and let it go by, then overtake it and pass it later.  We stopped at
one place to see the Gladstone Cliff, a great crag which the ages and the
weather have sculptured into a recognizable portrait of the venerable
statesman.  Mr. Gladstone is a stockholder in the road, and Nature began
this portrait ten thousand years ago, with the idea of having the
compliment ready in time for the event.

We saw a banyan tree which sent down supporting stems from branches which
were sixty feet above the ground.  That is, I suppose it was a banyan;
its bark resembled that of the great banyan in the botanical gardens at
Calcutta, that spider-legged thing with its wilderness of vegetable
columns.  And there were frequent glimpses of a totally leafless tree
upon whose innumerable twigs and branches a cloud of crimson butterflies
had lighted--apparently.  In fact these brilliant red butterflies were
flowers, but the illusion was good.  Afterward in South Africa, I saw
another splendid effect made by red flowers.  This flower was probably
called the torch-plant--should have been so named, anyway.  It had a
slender stem several feet high, and from its top stood up a single tongue
of flame, an intensely red flower of the size and shape of a small
corn-cob.  The stems stood three or four feet apart all over a great
hill-slope that was a mile long, and make one think of what the Place
de la Concorde would be if its myriad lights were red instead of white
and yellow.

A few miles down the mountain we stopped half an hour to see a Thibetan
dramatic performance.  It was in the open air on the hillside.  The
audience was composed of Thibetans, Ghurkas, and other unusual people.
The costumes of the actors were in the last degree outlandish, and the
performance was in keeping with the clothes.  To an accompaniment of
barbarous noises the actors stepped out one after another and began to
spin around with immense swiftness and vigor and violence, chanting the
while, and soon the whole troupe would be spinning and chanting and
raising the dust.  They were performing an ancient and celebrated
historical play, and a Chinaman explained it to me in pidjin English as
it went along.  The play was obscure enough without the explanation; with
the explanation added, it was (opake).  As a drama this ancient
historical work of art was defective, I thought, but as a wild and
barbarous spectacle the representation was beyond criticism.
Far down the mountain we got out to look at a piece of remarkable
loop-engineering--a spiral where the road curves upon itself with such
abruptness that when the regular train came down and entered the loop, we
stood over it and saw the locomotive disappear under our bridge, then in
a few moments appear again, chasing its own tail; and we saw it gain on
it, overtake it, draw ahead past the rear cars, and run a race with that
end of the train.  It was like a snake swallowing itself.

Half-way down the mountain we stopped about an hour at Mr. Barnard’s
house for refreshments, and while we were sitting on the veranda looking
at the distant panorama of hills through a gap in the forest, we came
very near seeing a leopard kill a calf.--[It killed it the day before.]
--It is a wild place and lovely.  From the woods all about came the songs
of birds,--among them the contributions of a couple of birds which I was
not then acquainted with: the brain-fever bird and the coppersmith.  The
song of the brain-fever demon starts on a low but steadily rising key,
and is a spiral twist which augments in intensity and severity with each
added spiral, growing sharper and sharper, and more and more painful,
more and more agonizing, more and more maddening, intolerable,
unendurable, as it bores deeper and deeper and deeper into the listener’s
brain, until at last the brain fever comes as a relief and the man dies.
I am bringing some of these birds home to America.  They will be a great
curiosity there, and it is believed that in our climate they will
multiply like rabbits.

The coppersmith bird’s note at a certain distance away has the ring of a
sledge on granite; at a certain other distance the hammering has a more
metallic ring, and you might think that the bird was mending a copper
kettle; at another distance it has a more woodeny thump, but it is a
thump that is full of energy, and sounds just like starting a bung.  So
he is a hard bird to name with a single name; he is a stone-breaker,
coppersmith, and bung-starter, and even then he is not completely named,
for when he is close by you find that there is a soft, deep, melodious
quality in his thump, and for that no satisfying name occurs to you.  You
will not mind his other notes, but when he camps near enough for you to
hear that one, you presently find that his measured and monotonous
repetition of it is beginning to disturb you; next it will weary you,
soon it will distress you, and before long each thump will hurt your
head; if this goes on, you will lose your mind with the pain and misery
of it, and go crazy.  I am bringing some of these birds home to America.
There is nothing like them there.  They will be a great surprise, and it
is said that in a climate like ours they will surpass expectation for

I am bringing some nightingales, too, and some cue-owls.  I got them in
Italy.  The song of the nightingale is the deadliest known to
ornithology.  That demoniacal shriek can kill at thirty yards.  The note
of the cue-owl is infinitely soft and sweet--soft and sweet as the
whisper of a flute.  But penetrating--oh, beyond belief; it can bore
through boiler-iron.  It is a lingering note, and comes in triplets, on
the one unchanging key: hoo-o-o, hoo-o-o, hoo-o-o; then a silence of
fifteen seconds, then the triplet again; and so on, all night.  At first
it is divine; then less so; then trying; then distressing; then
excruciating; then agonizing, and at the end of two hours the listener is
a maniac.

And so, presently we took to the hand-car and went flying down the
mountain again; flying and stopping, flying and stopping, till at last we
were in the plain once more and stowed for Calcutta in the regular train.
That was the most enjoyable day I have spent in the earth.  For rousing,
tingling, rapturous pleasure there is no holiday trip that approaches the
bird-flight down the Himalayas in a hand-car.  It has no fault, no
blemish, no lack, except that there are only thirty-five miles of it
instead of five hundred.


She was not quite what you would call refined.  She was not quite what
you would call unrefined.  She was the kind of person that keeps a
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man
or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun
visits on his round.  Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing over
looked.  Always, when you think you have come to the end of her
tremendous specialties and have finished hanging tags upon her as the
Land of the Thug, the Land of the Plague, the Land of Famine, the Land of
Giant Illusions, the Land of Stupendous Mountains, and so forth, another
specialty crops up and another tag is required.  I have been overlooking
the fact that India is by an unapproachable supremacy--the Land of
Murderous Wild Creatures.  Perhaps it will be simplest to throw away the
tags and generalize her with one all-comprehensive name, as the Land of

For many years the British Indian Government has been trying to destroy
the murderous wild creatures, and has spent a great deal of money in the
effort.  The annual official returns show that the undertaking is a
difficult one.

These returns exhibit a curious annual uniformity in results; the sort of
uniformity which you find in the annual output of suicides in the world’s
capitals, and the proportions of deaths by this, that, and the other
disease.  You can always come close to foretelling how many suicides will
occur in Paris, London, and New York, next year, and also how many deaths
will result from cancer, consumption, dog-bite, falling out of the
window, getting run over by cabs, etc., if you know the statistics of
those matters for the present year.  In the same way, with one year’s
Indian statistics before you, you can guess closely at how many people
were killed in that Empire by tigers during the previous year, and the
year before that, and the year before that, and at how many were killed
in each of those years by bears, how many by wolves, and how many by
snakes; and you can also guess closely at how many people are going to be
killed each year for the coming five years by each of those agencies.
You can also guess closely at how many of each agency the government is
going to kill each year for the next five years.

I have before me statistics covering a period of six consecutive years.
By these, I know that in India the tiger kills something over 800 persons
every year, and that the government responds by killing about double as
many tigers every year.  In four of the six years referred to, the tiger
got 800 odd; in one of the remaining two years he got only 700, but in
the other remaining year he made his average good by scoring 917.  He is
always sure of his average.  Anyone who bets that the tiger will kill
2,400 people in India in any three consecutive years has invested his
money in a certainty; anyone who bets that he will kill 2,600 in any
three consecutive years, is absolutely sure to lose.

As strikingly uniform as are the statistics of suicide, they are not any
more so than are those of the tiger’s annual output of slaughtered human
beings in India.  The government’s work is quite uniform, too; it about
doubles the tiger’s average.  In six years the tiger killed 5,000
persons, minus 50; in the same six years 10,000 tigers were killed, minus

The wolf kills nearly as many people as the tiger--700 a year to the
tiger’s 800 odd--but while he is doing it, more than 5,000 of his tribe

The leopard kills an average of 230 people per year, but loses 3,300 of
his own mess while he is doing it.

The bear kills 100 people per year at a cost of 1,250 of his own tribe.

The tiger, as the figures show, makes a very handsome fight against man.
But it is nothing to the elephant’s fight.  The king of beasts, the lord
of the jungle, loses four of his mess per year, but he kills forty--five
persons to make up for it.

But when it comes to killing cattle, the lord of the jungle is not
interested.  He kills but 100 in six years--horses of hunters, no doubt
--but in the same six the tiger kills more than 84,000, the leopard
100,000, the bear 4,000, the wolf 70,000, the hyena more than 13,000,
other wild beasts 27,000, and the snakes 19,000, a grand total of more
than 300,000; an average of 50,000 head per year.

In response, the government kills, in the six years, a total of 3,201,232
wild beasts and snakes.  Ten for one.

It will be perceived that the snakes are not much interested in cattle;
they kill only 3,000 odd per year.  The snakes are much more interested
in man.  India swarms with deadly snakes.  At the head of the list is the
cobra, the deadliest known to the world, a snake whose bite kills where
the rattlesnake’s bite merely entertains.

In India, the annual man-killings by snakes are as uniform, as regular,
and as forecastable as are the tiger-average and the suicide-average.
Anyone who bets that in India, in any three consecutive years the snakes
will kill 49,500 persons, will win his bet; and anyone who bets that in
India in any three consecutive years, the snakes will kill 53,500
persons, will lose his bet.  In India the snakes kill 17,000 people a
year; they hardly ever fall short of it; they as seldom exceed it.  An
insurance actuary could take the Indian census tables and the
government’s snake tables and tell you within sixpence how much it would
be worth to insure a man against death by snake-bite there.  If I had a
dollar for every person killed per year in India, I would rather have it
than any other property, as it is the only property in the world not
subject to shrinkage.

I should like to have a royalty on the government-end of the snake
business, too, and am in London now trying to get it; but when I get it
it is not going to be as regular an income as the other will be if I get
that; I have applied for it.  The snakes transact their end of the
business in a more orderly and systematic way than the government
transacts its end of it, because the snakes have had a long experience
and know all about the traffic.  You can make sure that the government
will never kill fewer than 110,000 snakes in a year, and that it will
newer quite reach 300,000--too much room for oscillation; good
speculative stock, to bear or bull, and buy and sell long and short, and
all that kind of thing, but not eligible for investment like the other.
The man that speculates in the government’s snake crop wants to go
carefully.  I would not advise a man to buy a single crop at all--I mean
a crop of futures for the possible wobble is something quite
extraordinary.  If he can buy six future crops in a bunch, seller to
deliver 1,500,000 altogether, that is another matter.  I do not know what
snakes are worth now, but I know what they would be worth then, for the
statistics show that the seller could not come within 427,000 of carrying
out his contract.  However, I think that a person who speculates in
snakes is a fool, anyway.  He always regrets it afterwards.

To finish the statistics.  In six years the wild beasts kill 20,000
persons, and the snakes kill 103,000.  In the same six the government
kills 1,073,546 snakes.  Plenty left.

There are narrow escapes in India.  In the very jungle where I killed
sixteen tigers and all those elephants, a cobra bit me but it got well;
everyone was surprised.  This could not happen twice in ten years,
perhaps.  Usually death would result in fifteen minutes.

We struck out westward or northwestward from Calcutta on an itinerary of
a zig-zag sort, which would in the course of time carry us across India
to its northwestern corner and the border of Afghanistan.  The first part
of the trip carried us through a great region which was an endless
garden--miles and miles of the beautiful flower from whose juices comes
the opium, and at Muzaffurpore we were in the midst of the indigo
culture; thence by a branch road to the Ganges at a point near Dinapore,
and by a train which would have missed the connection by a week but for
the thoughtfulness of some British officers who were along, and who knew
the ways of trains that are run by natives without white supervision.
This train stopped at every village; for no purpose connected with
business, apparently.  We put out nothing, we took nothing aboard.  The
train bands stepped ashore and gossiped with friends a quarter of an
hour, then pulled out and repeated this at the succeeding villages.  We
had thirty-five miles to go and six hours to do it in, but it was plain
that we were not going to make it.  It was then that the English officers
said it was now necessary to turn this gravel train into an express.  So
they gave the engine-driver a rupee and told him to fly.  It was a simple
remedy.  After that we made ninety miles an hour.  We crossed the Ganges
just at dawn, made our connection, and went to Benares, where we stayed
twenty-four hours and inspected that strange and fascinating piety-hive
again; then left for Lucknow, a city which is perhaps the most
conspicuous of the many monuments of British fortitude and valor that are
scattered about the earth.

The heat was pitiless, the flat plains were destitute of grass, and baked
dry by the sun they were the color of pale dust, which was flying in
clouds.  But it was much hotter than this when the relieving forces
marched to Lucknow in the time of the Mutiny.  Those were the days of 138
deg. in the shade.


Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do.
This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty
without pain.
                             --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

It seems to be settled, now, that among the many causes from which the
Great Mutiny sprang, the main one was the annexation of the kingdom of
Oudh by the East India Company--characterized by Sir Henry Lawrence as
“the most unrighteous act that was ever committed.”  In the spring of
1857, a mutinous spirit was observable in many of the native garrisons,
and it grew day by day and spread wider and wider.  The younger military
men saw something very serious in it, and would have liked to take hold
of it vigorously and stamp it out promptly; but they were not in
authority. Old men were in the high places of the army--men who should
have been retired long before, because of their great age--and they
regarded the matter as a thing of no consequence.  They loved their
native soldiers, and would not believe that anything could move them to
revolt.  Everywhere these obstinate veterans listened serenely to the
rumbling of the volcanoes under them, and said it was nothing.

And so the propagators of mutiny had everything their own way.  They
moved from camp to camp undisturbed, and painted to the native soldier
the wrongs his people were suffering at the hands of the English, and
made his heart burn for revenge.  They were able to point to two facts of
formidable value as backers of their persuasions: In Clive’s day, native
armies were incoherent mobs, and without effective arms; therefore, they
were weak against Clive’s organized handful of well-armed men, but the
thing was the other way, now.  The British forces were native; they had
been trained by the British, organized by the British, armed by the
British, all the power was in their hands--they were a club made by
British hands to beat out British brains with.  There was nothing to
oppose their mass, nothing but a few weak battalions of British soldiers
scattered about India, a force not worth speaking of.  This argument,
taken alone, might not have succeeded, for the bravest and best Indian
troops had a wholesome dread of the white soldier, whether he was weak or
strong; but the agitators backed it with their second and best point--
prophecy--a prophecy a hundred years old.  The Indian is open to prophecy
at all times; argument may fail to convince him, but not prophecy.  There
was a prophecy that a hundred years from the year of that battle of
Clive’s which founded the British Indian Empire, the British power would
be overthrown and swept away by the natives.

The Mutiny broke out at Meerut on the 10th of May, 1857, and fired a
train of tremendous historical explosions.  Nana Sahib’s massacre of the
surrendered garrison of Cawnpore occurred in June, and the long siege of
Lucknow began.  The military history of England is old and great, but I
think it must be granted that the crushing of the Mutiny is the greatest
chapter in it.  The British were caught asleep and unprepared.  They were
a few thousands, swallowed up in an ocean of hostile populations.  It
would take months to inform England and get help, but they did not falter
or stop to count the odds, but with English resolution and English
devotion they took up their task, and went stubbornly on with it, through
good fortune and bad, and fought the most unpromising fight that one may
read of in fiction or out of it, and won it thoroughly.

The Mutiny broke out so suddenly, and spread with such rapidity that
there was but little time for occupants of weak outlying stations to
escape to places of safety.  Attempts were made, of course, but they were
attended by hardships as bitter as death in the few cases which were
successful; for the heat ranged between 120 and 138 in the shade; the way
led through hostile peoples, and food and water were hardly to be had.
For ladies and children accustomed to ease and comfort and plenty, such a
journey must have been a cruel experience.  Sir G. O.  Trevelyan quotes
an example:

     “This is what befell Mrs. M----, the wife of the surgeon at a
     certain station on the southern confines of the insurrection.  ‘I
     heard,’ she says, ‘a number of shots fired, and, looking out, I saw
     my husband driving furiously from the mess-house, waving his whip.
     I ran to him, and, seeing a bearer with my child in his arms, I
     caught her up, and got into the buggy.  At the mess-house we found
     all the officers assembled, together with sixty sepoys, who had
     remained faithful.  We went off in one large party, amidst a general
     conflagration of our late homes.  We reached the caravanserai at
     Chattapore the next morning, and thence started for Callinger.  At
     this point our sepoy escort deserted us.  We were fired upon by
     match-lockmen, and one officer was shot dead.  We heard, likewise,
     that the people had risen at Callinger, so we returned and walked
     back ten miles that day.  M---- and I carried the child alternately.
     Presently Mrs. Smalley died of sunstroke.  We had no food amongst
     us.  An officer kindly lent us a horse.  We were very faint.  The
     Major died, and was buried; also the Sergeant-major and some women.
     The bandsmen left us on the nineteenth of June.  We were fired at
     again by match-lockmen, and changed direction for Allahabad.  Our
     party consisted of nine gentlemen, two children, the sergeant and
     his wife.  On the morning of the twentieth, Captain Scott took
     Lottie on to his horse.  I was riding behind my husband, and she was
     so crushed between us.  She was two years old on the first of the
     month.  We were both weak through want of food and the effect of the
     sun.  Lottie and I had no head covering.  M---- had a sepoy’s cap I
     found on the ground.  Soon after sunrise we were followed by
     villagers armed with clubs and spears.  One of them struck Captain
     Scott’s horse on the leg.  He galloped off with Lottie, and my poor
     husband never saw his child again.  We rode on several miles,
     keeping away from villages, and then crossed the river.  Our thirst
     was extreme.  M---- had dreadful cramps, so that I had to hold him
     on the horse.  I was very uneasy about him.  The day before I saw
     the drummer’s wife eating chupatties, and asked her to give a piece
     to the child, which she did.  I now saw water in a ravine.  The
     descent was steep, and our only drinking-vessel was M----‘s cap.
	Our horse got water, and I bathed my neck.  I had no stockings, and
     my feet were torn and blistered.  Two peasants came in sight, and we
     were frightened and rode off.  The sergeant held our horse, and
     M---- put me up and mounted.  I think he must have got suddenly
faint for I fell and he over me, on the road, when the horse started off.
     Some time before he said, and Barber, too, that he could not live
     many hours.  I felt he was dying before we came to the ravine.  He
     told me his wishes about his children and myself, and took leave.
     My brain seemed burnt up.  No tears came.  As soon as we fell, the
     sergeant let go the horse, and it went off; so that escape was cut
     off.  We sat down on the ground waiting for death.  Poor fellow! he
     was very weak; his thirst was frightful, and I went to get him
     water.  Some villagers came, and took my rupees and watch.  I took
     off my wedding-ring, and twisted it in my hair, and replaced the
     guard.  I tore off the skirt of my dress to bring water in, but was
     no use, for when I returned my beloved’s eyes were fixed, and,
     though I called and tried to restore him, and poured water into his
     mouth, it only rattled in his throat.  He never spoke to me again.
     I held him in my arms till he sank gradually down.  I felt frantic,
     but could not cry.  I was alone.  I bound his head and face in my
     dress, for there was no earth to bury him.  The pain in my hands and
     feet was dreadful.  I went down to the ravine, and sat in the water
     on a stone, hoping to get off at night and look for Lottie.  When I
     came back from the water, I saw that they had not taken her little
     watch, chain, and seals, so I tied them under my petticoat.  In an
     hour, about thirty villagers came, they dragged me out of the
     ravine, and took off my jacket, and found the little chain.  They
     then dragged me to a village, mocking me all the way, and disputing
     as to whom I was to belong to.  The whole population came to look at
     me.  I asked for a bedstead, and lay down outside the door of a hut.
     They had a dozen of cows, and yet refused me milk.  When night came,
     and the village was quiet, some old woman brought me a leafful of
     rice.  I was too parched to eat, and they gave me water.  The
     morning after a neighboring Rajah sent a palanquin and a horseman to
     fetch me, who told me that a little child and three Sahibs had come
     to his master’s house.  And so the poor mother found her lost one,
     ‘greatly blistered,’ poor little creature.  It is not for Europeans
     in India to pray that their flight be not in the winter.”

In the first days of June the aged general, Sir Hugh Wheeler commanding
the forces at Cawnpore, was deserted by his native troops; then he moved
out of the fort and into an exposed patch of open flat ground and built a
four-foot mud wall around it.  He had with him a few hundred white
soldiers and officers, and apparently more women and children than
soldiers.  He was short of provisions, short of arms, short of
ammunition, short of military wisdom, short of everything but courage and
devotion to duty.  The defense of that open lot through twenty-one days
and nights of hunger, thirst, Indian heat, and a never-ceasing storm of
bullets, bombs, and cannon-balls--a defense conducted, not by the aged
and infirm general, but by a young officer named Moore--is one of the
most heroic episodes in history.  When at last the Nana found it
impossible to conquer these starving men and women with powder and ball,
he resorted to treachery, and that succeeded.  He agreed to supply them
with food and send them to Allahabad in boats.  Their mud wall and their
barracks were in ruins, their provisions were at the point of exhaustion,
they had done all that the brave could do, they had conquered an
honorable compromise,--their forces had been fearfully reduced by
casualties and by disease, they were not able to continue the contest
longer.  They came forth helpless but suspecting no treachery, the Nana’s
host closed around them, and at a signal from a trumpet the massacre
began.  About two hundred women and children were spared--for the
present--but all the men except three or four were killed.  Among the
incidents of the massacre quoted by Sir G. O. Trevelyan, is this:

     “When, after the lapse of some twenty minutes, the dead began to
     outnumber the living;--when the fire slackened, as the marks grew
     few and far between; then the troopers who had been drawn up to the
     right of the temple plunged into the river, sabre between teeth, and
     pistol in hand.  Thereupon two half-caste Christian women, the wives
     of musicians in the band of the Fifty-sixth, witnessed a scene which
     should not be related at second-hand.  ‘In the boat where I was to
     have gone,’ says Mrs. Bradshaw, confirmed throughout by Mrs. Setts,
     ‘was the school-mistress and twenty-two misses.  General Wheeler
     came last in a palkee.  They carried him into the water near the
     boat.  I stood close by.  He said, ‘Carry me a little further
     towards the boat.’ But a trooper said, ‘No, get out here.’  As the
     General got out of the palkee, head-foremost, the trooper gave him a
     cut with his sword into the neck, and he fell into the water.  My
     son was killed near him.  I saw it; alas! alas!  Some were stabbed
     with bayonets; others cut down.  Little infants were torn in pieces.
     We saw it; we did; and tell you only what we saw.  Other children
     were stabbed and thrown into the river.  The schoolgirls were burnt
     to death.  I saw their clothes and hair catch fire.  In the water, a
     few paces off, by the next boat, we saw the youngest daughter of
     Colonel Williams.  A sepoy was going to kill her with his bayonet.
     She said, ‘My father was always kind to sepoys.’  He turned away,
     and just then a villager struck her on the head with a club, and she
     fell into the water.  These people likewise saw good Mr. Moncrieff,
     the clergyman, take a book from his pocket that he never had leisure
     to open, and heard him commence a prayer for mercy which he was not
     permitted to conclude.  Another deponent observed an European making
     for a drain like a scared water-rat, when some boatmen, armed with
     cudgels, cut off his retreat, and beat him down dead into the mud.”

The women and children who had been reserved from the massacre were
imprisoned during a fortnight in a small building, one story high--a
cramped place, a slightly modified Black Hole of Calcutta.  They were
waiting in suspense; there was none who could forecast their fate.
Meantime the news of the massacre had traveled far and an army of
rescuers with Havelock at its head was on its way--at least an army which
hoped to be rescuers.  It was crossing the country by forced marches, and
strewing its way with its own dead--men struck down by cholera, and by a
heat which reached 135 deg.  It was in a vengeful fury, and it stopped
for nothing--neither heat, nor fatigue, nor disease, nor human
It tore its impetuous way through hostile forces, winning victory after
victory, but still striding on and on, not halting to count results.  And
at last, after this extraordinary march, it arrived before the walls of
Cawnpore, met the Nana’s massed strength, delivered a crushing defeat,
and entered.

But too late--only a few hours too late.  For at the last moment the Nana
had decided upon the massacre of the captive women and children, and had
commissioned three Mohammedans and two Hindoos to do the work.  Sir G.
O. Trevelyan says:

     “Thereupon the five men entered.  It was the short gloaming of
     Hindostan--the hour when ladies take their evening drive.  She who
     had accosted the officer was standing in the doorway.  With her were
     the native doctor and two Hindoo menials.  That much of the business
     might be seen from the veranda, but all else was concealed amidst
     the interior gloom.  Shrieks and scuffling acquainted those without
     that the journeymen were earning their hire.  Survur Khan soon
     emerged with his sword broken off at the hilt.  He procured another
     from the Nana’s house, and a few minutes after appeared again on the
     same errand.  The third blade was of better temper; or perhaps the
     thick of the work was already over.  By the time darkness had closed
     in, the men came forth and locked up the house for the night.  Then
     the screams ceased, but the groans lasted till morning.

     “The sun rose as usual.  When he had been up nearly three hours the
     five repaired to the scene of their labors over night.  They were
     attended by a few sweepers, who proceeded to transfer the contents
     of the house to a dry well situated behind some trees which grew
     hard by.  ‘The bodies,’ says one who was present throughout, ‘were
     dragged out, most of them by the hair of the head.  Those who had
     clothing worth taking were stripped.  Some of the women were alive.
     I cannot say how many; but three could speak.  They prayed for the
     sake of God that an end might be put to their sufferings.  I
     remarked one very stout woman, a half-caste, who was severely
     wounded in both arms, who entreated to be killed.  She and two or
     three others were placed against the bank of the cut by which
     bullocks go down in drawing water.  The dead were first thrown in.
     Yes: there was a great crowd looking on; they were standing along
     the walls of the compound.  They were principally city people and
     villagers.  Yes: there were also sepoys.  Three boys were alive.
     They were fair children.  The eldest, I think, must have been six or
     seven, and the youngest five years.  They were running around the
     well (where else could they go to?), and there was none to save
     them.  No: none said a word or tried to save them.’

     “At length the smallest of them made an infantile attempt to get
     away.  The little thing had been frightened past bearing by the
     murder of one of the surviving ladies.  He thus attracted the
     observation of a native who flung him and his companions down the

The soldiers had made a march of eighteen days, almost without rest, to
save the women and the children, and now they were too late--all were
dead and the assassin had flown.  What happened then, Trevelyan hesitated
to put into words.  “Of what took place, the less said is the better.”

Then he continues:

     “But there was a spectacle to witness which might excuse much.
     Those who, straight from the contested field, wandered sobbing
     through the rooms of the ladies’ house, saw what it were well could
     the outraged earth have straightway hidden.  The inner apartment was
     ankle-deep in blood.  The plaster was scored with sword-cuts; not
     high up as where men have fought, but low down, and about the
     corners, as if a creature had crouched to avoid the blow.  Strips of
     dresses, vainly tied around the handles of the doors, signified the
     contrivance to which feminine despair had resorted as a means of
     keeping out the murderers.  Broken combs were there, and the frills
     of children’s trousers, and torn cuffs and pinafores, and little
     round hats, and one or two shoes with burst latchets, and one or two
     daguerreotype cases with cracked glasses.  An officer picked up a
     few curls, preserved in a bit of cardboard, and marked ‘Ned’s hair,
     with love’; but around were strewn locks, some near a yard in
     length, dissevered, not as a keepsake, by quite other scissors.”

The battle of Waterloo was fought on the 18th of June, 1815.  I do not
state this fact as a reminder to the reader, but as news to him.  For a
forgotten fact is news when it comes again.  Writers of books have the
fashion of whizzing by vast and renowned historical events with the
remark, “The details of this tremendous episode are too familiar to the
reader to need repeating here.”  They know that that is not true.  It is
a low kind of flattery.  They know that the reader has forgotten every
detail of it, and that nothing of the tremendous event is left in his
mind but a vague and formless luminous smudge.  Aside from the desire to
flatter the reader, they have another reason for making the remark-two
reasons, indeed.  They do not remember the details themselves, and do not
want the trouble of hunting them up and copying them out; also, they are
afraid that if they search them out and print them they will be scoffed
at by the book-reviewers for retelling those worn old things which are
familiar to everybody.  They should not mind the reviewer’s jeer; he
doesn’t remember any of the worn old things until the book which he is
reviewing has retold them to him.

I have made the quoted remark myself, at one time and another, but I was
not doing it to flatter the reader; I was merely doing it to save work.
If I had known the details without brushing up, I would have put them in;
but I didn’t, and I did not want the labor of posting myself; so I said,
“The details of this tremendous episode are too familiar to the reader to
need repeating here.”  I do not like that kind of a lie; still, it does
save work.

I am not trying to get out of repeating the details of the Siege of
Lucknow in fear of the reviewer; I am not leaving them out in fear that
they would not interest the reader; I am leaving them out partly to save
work; mainly for lack of room.  It is a pity, too; for there is not a
dull place anywhere in the great story.

Ten days before the outbreak (May 10th) of the Mutiny, all was serene at
Lucknow, the huge capital of Oudh, the kingdom which had recently been
seized by the India Company.  There was a great garrison, composed of
about 7,000 native troops and between 700 and 800 whites.  These white
soldiers and their families were probably the only people of their race
there; at their elbow was that swarming population of warlike natives, a
race of born soldiers, brave, daring, and fond of fighting.  On high
ground just outside the city stood the palace of that great personage,
the Resident, the representative of British power and authority.  It
stood in the midst of spacious grounds, with its due complement of
outbuildings, and the grounds were enclosed by a wall--a wall not for
defense, but for privacy.  The mutinous spirit was in the air, but the
whites were not afraid, and did not feel much troubled.

Then came the outbreak at Meerut, then the capture of Delhi by the
mutineers; in June came the three-weeks leaguer of Sir Hugh Wheeler in
his open lot at Cawnpore--40 miles distant from Lucknow--then the
treacherous massacre of that gallant little garrison; and now the great
revolt was in full flower, and the comfortable condition of things at
Lucknow was instantly changed.

There was an outbreak there, and Sir Henry Lawrence marched out of the
Residency on the 30th of June to put it down, but was defeated with heavy
loss, and had difficulty in getting back again.  That night the memorable
siege of the Residency--called the siege of Lucknow--began.  Sir Henry
was killed three days later, and Brigadier Inglis succeeded him in

Outside of the Residency fence was an immense host of hostile and
confident native besiegers; inside it were 480 loyal native soldiers, 730
white ones, and 500 women and children.

In those days the English garrisons always managed to hamper themselves
sufficiently with women and children.

The natives established themselves in houses close at hand and began to
rain bullets and cannon-balls into the Residency; and this they kept up,
night and day, during four months and a half, the little garrison
industriously replying all the time.  The women and children soon became
so used to the roar of the guns that it ceased to disturb their sleep.
The children imitated siege and defense in their play.  The women--with
any pretext, or with none--would sally out into the storm-swept grounds.
The defense was kept up week after week, with stubborn fortitude, in the
midst of death, which came in many forms--by bullet, small-pox, cholera,
and by various diseases induced by unpalatable and insufficient food, by
the long hours of wearying and exhausting overwork in the daily and
nightly battle in the oppressive Indian heat, and by the broken rest
caused by the intolerable pest of mosquitoes, flies, mice, rats, and

Six weeks after the beginning of the siege more than one-half of the
original force of white soldiers was dead, and close upon three-fifths of
the original native force.

But the fighting went on just the same.  The enemy mined, the English
counter-mined, and, turn about, they blew up each other’s posts.  The
Residency grounds were honey-combed with the enemy’s tunnels.  Deadly
courtesies were constantly exchanged--sorties by the English in the
night; rushes by the enemy in the night--rushes whose purpose was to
breach the walls or scale them; rushes which cost heavily, and always

The ladies got used to all the horrors of war--the shrieks of mutilated
men, the sight of blood and death.  Lady Inglis makes this mention in her

     “Mrs. Bruere’s nurse was carried past our door to-day, wounded in
     the eye.  To extract the bullet it was found necessary to take out
     the eye--a fearful operation.  Her mistress held her while it was

The first relieving force failed to relieve.  It was under Havelock and
Outram; and arrived when the siege had been going on for three months.
It fought its desperate way to Lucknow, then fought its way through the
city against odds of a hundred to one, and entered the Residency; but
there was not enough left of it, then, to do any good.  It lost more men
in its last fight than it found in the Residency when it got in.  It
became captive itself.

The fighting and starving and dying by bullets and disease went steadily
on.  Both sides fought with energy and industry.  Captain Birch puts this
striking incident in evidence.  He is speaking of the third month of the

     “As an instance of the heavy firing brought to bear on our position
     this month may be mentioned the cutting down of the upper story of a
     brick building simply by musketry firing.  This building was in a
     most exposed position.  All the shots which just missed the top of
     the rampart cut into the dead wall pretty much in a straight line,
     and at length cut right through and brought the upper story tumbling
     down.  The upper structure on the top of the brigade-mess also fell
     in.  The Residency house was a wreck.  Captain Anderson’s post had
     long ago been knocked down, and Innes’ post also fell in.  These two
     were riddled with round shot.  As many as 200 were picked up by
     Colonel Masters.”

The exhausted garrison fought doggedly on all through the next month--
October.  Then, November 2d, news came Sir Colin Campbell’s relieving
force would soon be on its way from Cawnpore.

On the 12th the boom of his guns was heard.

On the 13th the sounds came nearer--he was slowly, but steadily, cutting
his way through, storming one stronghold after another.

On the 14th he captured the Martiniere College, and ran up the British
flag there.  It was seen from the Residency.

Next he took the Dilkoosha.

On the 17th he took the former mess-house of the 32d regiment--a
fortified building, and very strong.  “A most exciting, anxious day,”
 writes Lady Inglis in her diary.  “About 4 P.M., two strange officers
walked through our yard, leading their horses”--and by that sign she knew
that communication was established between the forces, that the relief
was real, this time, and that the long siege of Lucknow was ended.

The last eight or ten miles of Sir Colin Campbell’s march was through
seas of blood.  The weapon mainly used was the bayonet, the fighting was
desperate.  The way was mile-stoned with detached strong buildings of
stone, fortified, and heavily garrisoned, and these had to be taken by
assault.  Neither side asked for quarter, and neither gave it.  At the
Secundrabagh, where nearly two thousand of the enemy occupied a great
stone house in a garden, the work of slaughter was continued until every
man was killed.  That is a sample of the character of that devastating

There were but few trees in the plain at that time, and from the
Residency the progress of the march, step by step, victory by victory,
could be noted; the ascending clouds of battle-smoke marked the way to
the eye, and the thunder of the guns marked it to the ear.

Sir Colin Campbell had not come to Lucknow to hold it, but to save the
occupants of the Residency, and bring them away.  Four or five days after
his arrival the secret evacuation by the troops took place, in the middle
of a dark night, by the principal gate, (the Bailie Guard).  The two
hundred women and two hundred and fifty children had been previously
removed.  Captain Birch says:

     “And now commenced a movement of the most perfect arrangement and
     successful generalship--the withdrawal of the whole of the various
     forces, a combined movement requiring the greatest care and skill.
     First, the garrison in immediate contact with the enemy at the
     furthest extremity of the Residency position was marched out.  Every
     other garrison in turn fell in behind it, and so passed out through
     the Bailie Guard gate, till the whole of our position was evacuated.
     Then Havelock’s force was similarly withdrawn, post by post,
     marching in rear of our garrison.  After them in turn came the
     forces of the Commander-in-Chief, which joined on in the rear of
     Havelock’s force.  Regiment by regiment was withdrawn with the
     utmost order and regularity.  The whole operation resembled the
     movement of a telescope.  Stern silence was kept, and the enemy took
     no alarm.”

Lady Inglis, referring to her husband and to General Sir James Outram,
sets down the closing detail of this impressive midnight retreat, in
darkness and by stealth, of this shadowy host through the gate which it
had defended so long and so well:

     “At twelve precisely they marched out, John and Sir James Outram
     remaining till all had passed, and then they took off their hats to
     the Bailie Guard, the scene of as noble a defense as I think history
     will ever have to relate.”


Don’t part with your illusions.  When they are gone you may still exist
but you have ceased to live.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We were driven over Sir Colin Campbell’s route by a British officer, and
when I arrived at the Residency I was so familiar with the road that I
could have led a retreat over it myself; but the compass in my head has
been out of order from my birth, and so, as soon as I was within the
battered Bailie Guard and turned about to review the march and imagine
the relieving forces storming their way along it, everything was upside
down and wrong end first in a moment, and I was never able to get
straightened out again.  And now, when I look at the battle-plan, the
confusion remains.  In me the east was born west, the battle-plans which
have the east on the right-hand side are of no use to me.

The Residency ruins are draped with flowering vines, and are impressive
and beautiful.  They and the grounds are sacred now, and will suffer no
neglect nor be profaned by any sordid or commercial use while the British
remain masters of India.  Within the grounds are buried the dead who gave
up their lives there in the long siege.

After a fashion, I was able to imagine the fiery storm that raged night
and day over the place during so many months, and after a fashion I could
imagine the men moving through it, but I could not satisfactorily place
the 200 women, and I could do nothing at all with the 250 children.  I
knew by Lady Inglis’ diary that the children carried on their small
affairs very much as if blood and carnage and the crash and thunder of a
siege were natural and proper features of nursery life, and I tried to
realize it; but when her little Johnny came rushing, all excitement,
through the din and smoke, shouting, “Oh, mamma, the white hen has laid
an egg!”  I saw that I could not do it.  Johnny’s place was under the
bed.  I could imagine him there, because I could imagine myself there;
and I think I should not have been interested in a hen that was laying an
egg; my interest would have been with the parties that were laying the
bombshells.  I sat at dinner with one of those children in the Club’s
Indian palace, and I knew that all through the siege he was perfecting
his teething and learning to talk; and while to me he was the most
impressive object in Lucknow after the Residency ruins, I was not able to
imagine what his life had been during that tempestuous infancy of his,
nor what sort of a curious surprise it must have been to him to be
marched suddenly out into a strange dumb world where there wasn’t any
noise, and nothing going on.  He was only forty-one when I saw him, a
strangely youthful link to connect the present with so ancient an episode
as the Great Mutiny.

By and by we saw Cawnpore, and the open lot which was the scene of
Moore’s memorable defense, and the spot on the shore of the Ganges where
the massacre of the betrayed garrison occurred, and the small Indian
temple whence the bugle-signal notified the assassins to fall on.  This
latter was a lonely spot, and silent.  The sluggish river drifted by,
almost currentless.  It was dead low water, narrow channels with vast
sandbars between, all the way across the wide bed; and the only living
thing in sight was that grotesque and solemn bald-headed bird, the
Adjutant, standing on his six-foot stilts, solitary on a distant bar,
with his head sunk between his shoulders, thinking; thinking of his
prize, I suppose--the dead Hindoo that lay awash at his feet, and whether
to eat him alone or invite friends.  He and his prey were a proper accent
to that mournful place.  They were in keeping with it, they emphasized
its loneliness and its solemnity.

And we saw the scene of the slaughter of the helpless women and children,
and also the costly memorial that is built over the well which contains
their remains.  The Black Hole of Calcutta is gone, but a more reverent
age is come, and whatever remembrancer still exists of the moving and
heroic sufferings and achievements of the garrisons of Lucknow and
Cawnpore will be guarded and preserved.

In Agra and its neighborhood, and afterwards at Delhi, we saw forts,
mosques, and tombs, which were built in the great days of the Mohammedan
emperors, and which are marvels of cost, magnitude, and richness of
materials and ornamentation, creations of surpassing grandeur, wonders
which do indeed make the like things in the rest of the world seem tame
and inconsequential by comparison.  I am not purposing to describe them.
By good fortune I had not read too much about them, and therefore was
able to get a natural and rational focus upon them, with the result that
they thrilled, blessed, and exalted me.  But if I had previously
overheated my imagination by drinking too much pestilential literary hot
Scotch, I should have suffered disappointment and sorrow.

I mean to speak of only one of these many world-renowned buildings, the
Taj Mahal, the most celebrated construction in the earth.  I had read a
great deal too much about it.  I saw it in the daytime, I saw it in the
moonlight, I saw it near at hand, I saw it from a distance; and I knew
all the time, that of its kind it was the wonder of THE world, with no
competitor now and no possible future competitor; and yet, it was not MY
Taj.  My Taj had been built by excitable literary people; it was solidly
lodged in my head, and I could not blast it out.

I wish to place before the reader some of the usual descriptions of the
Taj, and ask him to take note of the impressions left in his mind.  These
descriptions do really state the truth--as nearly as the limitations of
language will allow.  But language is a treacherous thing, a most unsure
vehicle, and it can seldom arrange descriptive words in such a way that
they will not inflate the facts--by help of the reader’s imagination,
which is always ready to take a hand, and work for nothing, and do the
bulk of it at that.

I will begin with a few sentences from the excellent little local
guide-book of Mr. Satya Chandra Mukerji.  I take them from here and there
in his description:

     “The inlaid work of the Taj and the flowers and petals that are to
     be found on all sides on the surface of the marble evince a most
     delicate touch.”

That is true.

     “The inlaid work, the marble, the flowers, the buds, the leaves, the
     petals, and the lotus stems are almost without a rival in the whole
     of the civilized world.”

     “The work of inlaying with stones and gems is found in the highest
     perfection in the Taj.”

Gems, inlaid flowers, buds, and leaves to be found on all sides.  What do
you see before you?  Is the fairy structure growing?  Is it becoming a
jewel casket?

     “The whole of the Taj produces a wonderful effect that is equally
     sublime and beautiful.”

Then Sir William Wilson Hunter:

     “The Taj Mahal with its beautiful domes, ‘a dream of marble,’ rises
     on the river bank.”

     “The materials are white marble and red sandstone.”

     “The complexity of its design and the delicate intricacy of the
     workmanship baffle description.”

Sir William continues.  I will italicize some of his words:

     “The mausoleum stands on a raised marble platform at each of whose
     corners rises a tall and slender minaret of graceful proportions and
     of exquisite beauty.  Beyond the platform stretch the two wings, one
     of which is itself a mosque of great architectural merit.  In the
     center of the whole design the mausoleum occupies a square of 186
     feet, with the angles deeply truncated so as to form an unequal
     octagon.  The main feature in this central pile is the great dome,
     which swells upward to nearly two-thirds of a sphere and tapers at
     its extremity into a pointed spire crowned by a crescent.  Beneath
     it an enclosure of marble trellis-work surrounds the tomb of the
     princess and of her husband, the Emperor.  Each corner of the
     mausoleum is covered by a similar though much smaller dome erected
     on a pediment pierced with graceful Saracenic arches.  Light is
     admitted into the interior through a double screen of pierced
     marble, which tempers the glare of an Indian sky while its whiteness
     prevents the mellow effect from degenerating into gloom.  The
     internal decorations consist of inlaid work in precious stones, such
     as agate, jasper, etc., with which every squandril or salient point
     in the architecture is richly fretted.  Brown and violet marble is
     also freely employed in wreaths, scrolls, and lintels to relieve the
     monotony of white wall.  In regard to color and design, the interior
     of the Taj may rank first in the world for purely decorative
     workmanship; while the perfect symmetry of its exterior, once seen
     can never be forgotten, nor the aerial grace of its domes, rising
     like marble bubbles into the clear sky.  The Taj represents the most
     highly elaborated stage of ornamentation reached by the
     Indo-Mohammedan builders, the stage in which the architect ends and
     the jeweler begins.  In its magnificent gateway the diagonal
     ornamentation at the corners, which satisfied the designers of the
     gateways of Itimad-ud-doulah and Sikandra mausoleums is superseded
     by fine marble cables, in bold twists, strong and handsome.  The
     triangular insertions of white marble and large flowers have in like
     manner given place to fine inlaid work.  Firm perpendicular lines in
     black marble with well proportioned panels of the same material are
     effectively used in the interior of the gateway.  On its top the
     Hindu brackets and monolithic architraves of Sikandra are replaced
     by Moorish carped arches, usually single blocks of red sandstone, in
     the Kiosks and pavilions which adorn the roof.  From the pillared
     pavilions a magnificent view is obtained of the Taj gardens below,
     with the noble Jumna river at their farther end, and the city and
     fort of Agra in the distance.  From this beautiful and splendid
     gateway one passes up a straight alley shaded by evergreen trees
     cooled by a broad shallow piece of water running along the middle of
     the path to the Taj itself.  The Taj is entirely of marble and gems.
     The red sandstone of the other Mohammedan buildings has entirely
     disappeared, or rather the red sandstone which used to form the
     thickness of the walls, is in the Taj itself overlaid completely
     with white marble, and the white marble is itself inlaid with
     precious stones arranged in lovely patterns of flowers.  A feeling
     of purity impresses itself on the eye and the mind from the absence
     of the coarser material which forms so invariable a material in Agra
     architecture.  The lower wall and panels are covered with tulips,
     oleanders, and fullblown lilies, in flat carving on the white
     marble; and although the inlaid work of flowers done in gems is very
     brilliant when looked at closely, there is on the whole but little
     color, and the all-prevailing sentiment is one of whiteness,
     silence, and calm.  The whiteness is broken only by the fine color
     of the inlaid gems, by lines in black marble, and by delicately
     written inscriptions, also in black, from the Koran.  Under the dome
     of the vast mausoleum a high and beautiful screen of open tracery in
     white marble rises around the two tombs, or rather cenotaphs of the
     emperor and his princess; and in this marvel of marble the carving
     has advanced from the old geometrical patterns to a trellis-work of
     flowers and foliage, handled with great freedom and spirit.  The two
     cenotaphs in the center of the exquisite enclosure have no carving
     except the plain Kalamdan or oblong pen-box on the tomb of Emperor
     Shah Jehan.  But both cenotaphs are inlaid with flowers made of
     costly gems, and with the ever graceful oleander scroll.”

Bayard Taylor, after describing the details of the Taj, goes on to say:

     “On both sides the palm, the banyan, and the feathery bamboo mingle
     their foliage; the song of birds meets your ears, and the odor of
     roses and lemon flowers sweetens the air.  Down such a vista and
     over such a foreground rises the Taj.  There is no mystery, no sense
     of partial failure about the Taj.  A thing of perfect beauty and of
     absolute finish in every detail, it might pass for the work of genii
     who knew naught of the weaknesses and ills with which mankind are

All of these details are true.  But, taken together, they state a
falsehood--to you.  You cannot add them up correctly.  Those writers know
the values of their words and phrases, but to you the words and phrases
convey other and uncertain values.  To those writers their phrases have
values which I think I am now acquainted with; and for the help of the
reader I will here repeat certain of those words and phrases, and follow
them with numerals which shall represent those values--then we shall see
the difference between a writer’s ciphering and a mistaken reader’s--

Precious stones, such as agate, jasper, etc.--5.

With which every salient point is richly fretted--5.

First in the world for purely decorative workmanship--9.

The Taj represents the stage where the architect ends and the jeweler

The Taj is entirely of marble and gems--7.

Inlaid with precious stones in lovely patterns of flowers--5.

The inlaid work of flowers done in gems is very brilliant
(followed by a most important modification which the reader is sure to
read too carelessly)--2.

The vast mausoleum--5.

This marvel of marble--5.

The exquisite enclosure--5.

Inlaid with flowers made of costly gems--5.

A thing of perfect beauty and absolute finish--5.

Those details are correct; the figures which I have placed after them
represent quite fairly their individual, values.  Then why, as a whole,
do they convey a false impression to the reader?  It is because the
reader--beguiled by his heated imagination--masses them in the wrong
way.  The writer would mass the first three figures in the following way,
and they would speak the truth.

But the reader masses them thus--and then they tell a lie--559.

The writer would add all of his twelve numerals together, and then the
sum would express the whole truth about the Taj, and the truth only--63.

But the reader--always helped by his imagination--would put the figures
in a row one after the other, and get this sum, which would tell him a
noble big lie:


You must put in the commas yourself; I have to go on with my work.

The reader will always be sure to put the figures together in that wrong
way, and then as surely before him will stand, sparkling in the sun, a
gem-crusted Taj tall as the Matterhorn.

I had to visit Niagara fifteen times before I succeeded in getting my
imaginary Falls gauged to the actuality and could begin to sanely and
wholesomely wonder at them for what they were, not what I had expected
them to be.  When I first approached them it was with my face lifted
toward the sky, for I thought I was going to see an Atlantic ocean
pouring down thence over cloud-vexed Himalayan heights, a sea-green wall
of water sixty miles front and six miles high, and so, when the toy
reality came suddenly into view--that beruffled little wet apron hanging
out to dry--the shock was too much for me, and I fell with a dull thud.

Yet slowly, surely, steadily, in the course of my fifteen visits, the
proportions adjusted themselves to the facts, and I came at last to
realize that a waterfall a hundred and sixty-five feet high and a quarter
of a mile wide was an impressive thing.  It was not a dipperful to my
vanished great vision, but it would answer.

I know that I ought to do with the Taj as I was obliged to do with
Niagara--see it fifteen times, and let my mind gradually get rid of the
Taj built in it by its describers, by help of my imagination, and
substitute for it the Taj of fact.  It would be noble and fine, then, and
a marvel; not the marvel which it replaced, but still a marvel, and fine
enough.  I am a careless reader, I suppose--an impressionist reader; an
impressionist reader of what is not an impressionist picture; a reader
who overlooks the informing details or masses their sum improperly, and
gets only a large splashy, general effect--an effect which is not
correct, and which is not warranted by the particulars placed before me--
particulars which I did not examine, and whose meanings I did not
cautiously and carefully estimate.  It is an effect which is some
thirty-five or forty times finer than the reality, and is therefore a
great deal better and more valuable than the reality; and so, I ought
never to hunt up the reality, but stay miles away from it, and thus
preserve undamaged my own private mighty Niagara tumbling out of the
vault of heaven, and my own ineffable Taj, built of tinted mists upon
jeweled arches of rainbows supported by colonnades of moonlight.  It is a
mistake for a person with an unregulated imagination to go and look at an
illustrious world’s wonder.

I suppose that many, many years ago I gathered the idea that the Taj’s
place in the achievements of man was exactly the place of the ice-storm
in the achievements of Nature; that the Taj represented man’s supremest
possibility in the creation of grace and beauty and exquisiteness and
splendor, just as the ice-storm represents Nature’s supremest possibility
in the combination of those same qualities.  I do not know how long ago
that idea was bred in me, but I know that I cannot remember back to a
time when the thought of either of these symbols of gracious and
unapproachable perfection did not at once suggest the other.  If I
thought of the ice-storm, the Taj rose before me divinely beautiful; if I
thought of the Taj, with its encrustings and inlayings of jewels, the
vision of the ice-storm rose.  And so, to me, all these years, the Taj
has had no rival among the temples and palaces of men, none that even
remotely approached it--it was man’s architectural ice-storm.

Here in London the other night I was talking with some Scotch and English
friends, and I mentioned the ice-storm, using it as a figure--a figure
which failed, for none of them had heard of the ice-storm.  One
gentleman, who was very familiar with American literature, said he had
never seen it mentioned in any book.  That is strange.  And I, myself,
was not able to say that I had seen it mentioned in a book; and yet the
autumn foliage, with all other American scenery, has received full and
competent attention.

The oversight is strange, for in America the ice-storm is an event.  And
it is not an event which one is careless about.  When it comes, the news
flies from room to room in the house, there are bangings on the doors,
and shoutings, “The ice-storm! the ice-storm!” and even the laziest
sleepers throw off the covers and join the rush for the windows.  The
ice-storm occurs in midwinter, and usually its enchantments are wrought
in the silence and the darkness of the night.  A fine drizzling rain
falls hour after hour upon the naked twigs and branches of the trees, and
as it falls it freezes.  In time the trunk and every branch and twig are
incased in hard pure ice; so that the tree looks like a skeleton tree
made all of glass--glass that is crystal-clear.  All along the underside
of every branch and twig is a comb of little icicles--the frozen drip.
Sometimes these pendants do not quite amount to icicles, but are round
beads--frozen tears.

The weather clears, toward dawn, and leaves a brisk pure atmosphere and a
sky without a shred of cloud in it--and everything is still, there is not
a breath of wind.  The dawn breaks and spreads, the news of the storm
goes about the house, and the little and the big, in wraps and blankets,
flock to the window and press together there, and gaze intently out upon
the great white ghost in the grounds, and nobody says a word, nobody
stirs.  All are waiting; they know what is coming, and they are waiting
waiting for the miracle.  The minutes drift on and on and on, with not a
sound but the ticking of the clock; at last the sun fires a sudden sheaf
of rays into the ghostly tree and turns it into a white splendor of
glittering diamonds.  Everybody catches his breath, and feels a swelling
in his throat and a moisture in his eyes-but waits again; for he knows
what is coming; there is more yet.  The sun climbs higher, and still
higher, flooding the tree from its loftiest spread of branches to its
lowest, turning it to a glory of white fire; then in a moment, without
warning, comes the great miracle, the supreme miracle, the miracle
without its fellow in the earth; a gust of wind sets every branch and
twig to swaying, and in an instant turns the whole white tree into a
spouting and spraying explosion of flashing gems of every conceivable
color; and there it stands and sways this way and that, flash! flash!
flash! a dancing and glancing world of rubies, emeralds, diamonds,
sapphires, the most radiant spectacle, the most blinding spectacle, the
divinest, the most exquisite, the most intoxicating vision of fire and
color and intolerable and unimaginable splendor that ever any eye has
rested upon in this world, or will ever rest upon outside of the gates of

By all my senses, all my faculties, I know that the icestorm is Nature’s
supremest achievement in the domain of the superb and the beautiful; and
by my reason, at least, I know that the Taj is man’s ice-storm.

In the ice-storm every one of the myriad ice-beads pendant from twig and
branch is an individual gem, and changes color with every motion caused
by the wind; each tree carries a million, and a forest-front exhibits the
splendors of the single tree multiplied by a thousand.

It occurs to me now that I have never seen the ice-storm put upon canvas,
and have not heard that any painter has tried to do it.  I wonder why
that is.  Is it that paint cannot counterfeit the intense blaze of a
sun-flooded jewel?  There should be, and must be, a reason, and a good
why the most enchanting sight that Nature has created has been neglected
by the brush.

Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict
truth.  The describers of the Taj have used the word gem in its strictest
sense--its scientific sense.  In that sense it is a mild word, and
promises but little to the eye--nothing bright, nothing brilliant,
nothing sparkling, nothing splendid in the way of color.  It accurately
describes the sober and unobtrusive gem-work of the Taj; that is, to the
very highly-educated one person in a thousand; but it most falsely
describes it to the 999.  But the 999 are the people who ought to be
especially taken care of, and to them it does not mean quiet-colored
designs wrought in carnelians, or agates, or such things; they know the
word in its wide and ordinary sense only, and so to them it means
diamonds and rubies and opals and their kindred, and the moment their
eyes fall upon it in print they see a vision of glorious colors clothed
in fire.

These describers are writing for the “general,” and so, in order to make
sure of being understood, they ought to use words in their ordinary
sense, or else explain.  The word fountain means one thing in Syria,
where there is but a handful of people; it means quite another thing in
North America, where there are 75,000,000.  If I were describing some
Syrian scenery, and should exclaim, “Within the narrow space of a quarter
of a mile square I saw, in the glory of the flooding moonlight, two
hundred noble fountains--imagine the spectacle!” the North American would
have a vision of clustering columns of water soaring aloft, bending over
in graceful arches, bursting in beaded spray and raining white fire in
the moonlight-and he would be deceived.  But the Syrian would not be
deceived; he would merely see two hundred fresh-water springs--two
hundred drowsing puddles, as level and unpretentious and unexcited as so
many door-mats, and even with the help of the moonlight he would not lose
his grip in the presence of the exhibition.  My word “fountain” would be
correct; it would speak the strict truth; and it would convey the strict
truth to the handful of Syrians, and the strictest misinformation to the
North American millions.  With their gems--and gems--and more gems--and
gems again--and still other gems--the describers of the Taj are within
their legal but not their moral rights; they are dealing in the strictest
scientific truth; and in doing it they succeed to admiration in telling
“what ain’t so.”


SATAN (impatiently) to NEW-COMER.  The trouble with you Chicago people
is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are
merely the most numerous.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We wandered contentedly around here and there in India; to Lahore, among
other places, where the Lieutenant-Governor lent me an elephant.  This
hospitality stands out in my experiences in a stately isolation.  It was
a fine elephant, affable, gentlemanly, educated, and I was not afraid of
it.  I even rode it with confidence through the crowded lanes of the
native city, where it scared all the horses out of their senses, and
where children were always just escaping its feet.  It took the middle of
the road in a fine independent way, and left it to the world to get out
of the way or take the consequences.  I am used to being afraid of
collisions when I ride or drive, but when one is on top of an elephant
that feeling is absent.  I could have ridden in comfort through a
regiment of runaway teams.  I could easily learn to prefer an elephant to
any other vehicle, partly because of that immunity from collisions, and
partly because of the fine view one has from up there, and partly because
of the dignity one feels in that high place, and partly because one can
look in at the windows and see what is going on privately among the
family.  The Lahore horses were used to elephants, but they were
rapturously afraid of them just the same.  It seemed curious.  Perhaps
the better they know the elephant the more they respect him in that
peculiar way.  In our own case--we are not afraid of dynamite till we get
acquainted with it.

We drifted as far as Rawal Pindi, away up on the Afghan frontier--I think
it was the Afghan frontier, but it may have been Hertzegovina--it was
around there somewhere--and down again to Delhi, to see the ancient
architectural wonders there and in Old Delhi and not describe them, and
also to see the scene of the illustrious assault, in the Mutiny days,
when the British carried Delhi by storm, one of the marvels of history
for impudent daring and immortal valor.

We had a refreshing rest, there in Delhi, in a great old mansion which
possessed historical interest.  It was built by a rich Englishman who had
become orientalized--so much so that he had a zenana.  But he was a
broadminded man, and remained so.  To please his harem he built a mosque;
to please himself he built an English church.  That kind of a man will
arrive, somewhere.  In the Mutiny days the mansion was the British
general’s headquarters.  It stands in a great garden--oriental fashion
--and about it are many noble trees.  The trees harbor monkeys; and they
are monkeys of a watchful and enterprising sort, and not much troubled
with fear.  They invade the house whenever they get a chance, and carry
off everything they don’t want.  One morning the master of the house was
in his bath, and the window was open.  Near it stood a pot of yellow
paint and a brush.  Some monkeys appeared in the window; to scare them
away, the gentleman threw his sponge at them.  They did not scare at all;
they jumped into the room and threw yellow paint all over him from the
brush, and drove him out; then they painted the walls and the floor and
the tank and the windows and the furniture yellow, and were in the
dressing-room painting that when help arrived and routed them.

Two of these creatures came into my room in the early morning, through a
window whose shutters I had left open, and when I woke one of them was
before the glass brushing his hair, and the other one had my note-book,
and was reading a page of humorous notes and crying.  I did not mind the
one with the hair-brush, but the conduct of the other one hurt me; it
hurts me yet.  I threw something at him, and that was wrong, for my host
had told me that the monkeys were best left alone.  They threw everything
at me that they could lift, and then went into the bathroom to get some
more things, and I shut the door on them.

At Jeypore, in Rajputana, we made a considerable stay.  We were not in
the native city, but several miles from it, in the small European
official suburb.  There were but few Europeans--only fourteen but they
were all kind and hospitable, and it amounted to being at home.  In
Jeypore we found again what we had found all about India--that while the
Indian servant is in his way a very real treasure, he will sometimes bear
watching, and the Englishman watches him.  If he sends him on an errand,
he wants more than the man’s word for it that he did the errand.  When
fruit and vegetables were sent to us, a “chit” came with them--a receipt
for us to sign; otherwise the things might not arrive.  If a gentleman
sent up his carriage, the chit stated “from” such-and-such an hour “to”
 such-and-such an hour--which made it unhandy for the coachman and his two
or three subordinates to put us off with a part of the allotted time and
devote the rest of it to a lark of their own.

We were pleasantly situated in a small two-storied inn, in an empty large
compound which was surrounded by a mud wall as high as a man’s head.  The
inn was kept by nine Hindoo brothers, its owners.  They lived, with their
families, in a one-storied building within the compound, but off to one
side, and there was always a long pile of their little comely brown
children loosely stacked in its veranda, and a detachment of the parents
wedged among them, smoking the hookah or the howdah, or whatever they
call it.  By the veranda stood a palm, and a monkey lived in it, and led
a lonesome life, and always looked sad and weary, and the crows bothered
him a good deal.

The inn cow poked about the compound and emphasized the secluded and
country air of the place, and there was a dog of no particular breed, who
was always present in the compound, and always asleep, always stretched
out baking in the sun and adding to the deep tranquility and
reposefulness of the place, when the crows were away on business.
White-draperied servants were coming and going all the time, but they
seemed only spirits, for their feet were bare and made no sound.  Down
the lane a piece lived an elephant in the shade of a noble tree, and
rocked and rocked, and reached about with his trunk, begging of his brown
mistress or fumbling the children playing at his feet.  And there were
camels about, but they go on velvet feet, and were proper to the silence
and serenity of the surroundings.

The Satan mentioned at the head of this chapter was not our Satan, but
the other one.  Our Satan was lost to us.  In these later days he had
passed out of our life--lamented by me, and sincerely.  I was missing
him; I am missing him yet, after all these months.  He was an astonishing
creature to fly around and do things.  He didn’t always do them quite
right, but he did them, and did them suddenly.  There was no time wasted.
You would say:

“Pack the trunks and bags, Satan.”

“Wair good” (very good).

Then there would be a brief sound of thrashing and slashing and humming
and buzzing, and a spectacle as of a whirlwind spinning gowns and jackets
and coats and boots and things through the air, and then with bow and

“Awready, master.”

It was wonderful.  It made one dizzy.  He crumpled dresses a good deal,
and he had no particular plan about the work--at first--except to put
each article into the trunk it didn’t belong in.  But he soon reformed,
in this matter.  Not entirely; for, to the last, he would cram into the
satchel sacred to literature any odds and ends of rubbish that he
couldn’t find a handy place for elsewhere.  When threatened with death
for this, it did not trouble him; he only looked pleasant, saluted with
soldierly grace, said “Wair good,” and did it again next day.

He was always busy; kept the rooms tidied up, the boots polished, the
clothes brushed, the wash-basin full of clean water, my dress clothes
laid out and ready for the lecture-hall an hour ahead of time; and he
dressed me from head to heel in spite of my determination to do it
myself, according to my lifelong custom.

He was a born boss, and loved to command, and to jaw and dispute with
inferiors and harry them and bullyrag them.  He was fine at the railway
station--yes, he was at his finest there.  He would shoulder and plunge
and paw his violent way through the packed multitude of natives with
nineteen coolies at his tail, each bearing a trifle of luggage--one a
trunk, another a parasol, another a shawl, another a fan, and so on; one
article to each, and the longer the procession, the better he was suited
--and he was sure to make for some engaged sleeper and begin to hurl the
owner’s things out of it, swearing that it was ours and that there had
been a mistake.  Arrived at our own sleeper, he would undo the
bedding-bundles and make the beds and put everything to rights and
shipshape in two minutes; then put his head out at a window and have a
restful good time abusing his gang of coolies and disputing their bill
until we arrived and made him pay them and stop his noise.

Speaking of noise, he certainly was the noisest little devil in India
--and that is saying much, very much, indeed.  I loved him for his noise,
but the family detested him for it.  They could not abide it; they could
not get reconciled to it.  It humiliated them.  As a rule, when we got
within six hundred yards of one of those big railway stations, a mighty
racket of screaming and shrieking and shouting and storming would break
upon us, and I would be happy to myself, and the family would say, with

“There--that’s Satan.  Why do you keep him?”

And, sure enough, there in the whirling midst of fifteen hundred
wondering people we would find that little scrap of a creature
gesticulating like a spider with the colic, his black eyes snapping, his
fez-tassel dancing, his jaws pouring out floods of billingsgate upon his
gang of beseeching and astonished coolies.

I loved him; I couldn’t help it; but the family--why, they could hardly
speak of him with patience.  To this day I regret his loss, and wish I
had him back; but they--it is different with them.  He was a native, and
came from Surat.  Twenty degrees of latitude lay between his birthplace
and Manuel’s, and fifteen hundred between their ways and characters and
dispositions.  I only liked Manuel, but I loved Satan.  This latter’s
real name was intensely Indian.  I could not quite get the hang of it,
but it sounded like Bunder Rao Ram Chunder Clam Chowder.  It was too long
for handy use, anyway; so I reduced it.

When he had been with us two or three weeks, he began to make mistakes
which I had difficulty in patching up for him.  Approaching Benares one
day, he got out of the train to see if he could get up a misunderstanding
with somebody, for it had been a weary, long journey and he wanted to
freshen up.  He found what he was after, but kept up his pow-wow a shade
too long and got left.  So there we were in a strange city and no
chambermaid.  It was awkward for us, and we told him he must not do so
any more.  He saluted and said in his dear, pleasant way, “Wair good.”
 Then at Lucknow he got drunk.  I said it was a fever, and got the
family’s compassion, and solicitude aroused; so they gave him a
teaspoonful of liquid quinine and it set his vitals on fire.  He made
several grimaces which gave me a better idea of the Lisbon earthquake
than any I have ever got of it from paintings and descriptions.  His
drunk was still portentously solid next morning, but I could have pulled
him through with the family if he would only have taken another spoonful
of that remedy; but no, although he was stupefied, his memory still had
flickerings of life; so he smiled a divinely dull smile and said,
fumblingly saluting:

“Scoose me, mem Saheb, scoose me, Missy Saheb; Satan not prefer it,

Then some instinct revealed to them that he was drunk.  They gave him
prompt notice that next time this happened he must go.  He got out a
maudlin and most gentle “Wair good,” and saluted indefinitely.

Only one short week later he fell again.  And oh, sorrow! not in a hotel
this time, but in an English gentleman’s private house.  And in Agra, of
all places.  So he had to go.  When I told him, he said patiently, “Wair
good,” and made his parting salute, and went out from us to return no
more forever.  Dear me!  I would rather have lost a hundred angels than
that one poor lovely devil.  What style he used to put on, in a swell
hotel or in a private house--snow-white muslin from his chin to his bare
feet, a crimson sash embroidered with gold thread around his waist, and
on his head a great sea-green turban like to the turban of the Grand

He was not a liar; but he will become one if he keeps on.  He told me
once that he used to crack cocoanuts with his teeth when he was a boy;
and when I asked how he got them into his mouth, he said he was upward of
six feet high at that time, and had an unusual mouth.  And when I
followed him up and asked him what had become of that other foot, he said
a house fell on him and he was never able to get his stature back again.
Swervings like these from the strict line of fact often beguile a
truthful man on and on until he eventually becomes a liar.

His successor was a Mohammedan, Sahadat Mohammed Khan; very dark, very
tall, very grave.  He went always in flowing masses of white, from the
top of his big turban down to his bare feet.  His voice was low.  He
glided about in a noiseless way, and looked like a ghost.  He was
competent and satisfactory.  But where he was, it seemed always Sunday.
It was not so in Satan’s time.

Jeypore is intensely Indian, but it has two or three features which
indicate the presence of European science and European interest in the
weal of the common public, such as the liberal water-supply furnished by
great works built at the State’s expense; good sanitation, resulting in a
degree of healthfulness unusually high for India; a noble pleasure
garden, with privileged days for women; schools for the instruction of
native youth in advanced art, both ornamental and utilitarian; and a new
and beautiful palace stocked with a museum of extraordinary interest and
value.  Without the Maharaja’s sympathy and purse these beneficences
could not have been created; but he is a man of wide views and large
generosities, and all such matters find hospitality with him.

We drove often to the city from the hotel Kaiser-i-Hind, a journey which
was always full of interest, both night and day, for that country road
was never quiet, never empty, but was always India in motion, always a
streaming flood of brown people clothed in smouchings from the rainbow, a
tossing and moiling flood, happy, noisy, a charming and satisfying
confusion of strange human and strange animal life and equally strange
and outlandish vehicles.

And the city itself is a curiosity.  Any Indian city is that, but this
one is not like any other that we saw.  It is shut up in a lofty turreted
wall; the main body of it is divided into six parts by perfectly straight
streets that are more than a hundred feet wide; the blocks of houses
exhibit a long frontage of the most taking architectural quaintnesses,
the straight lines being broken everywhere by pretty little balconies,
pillared and highly ornamented, and other cunning and cozy and inviting
perches and projections, and many of the fronts are curiously pictured by
the brush, and the whole of them have the soft rich tint of strawberry
ice-cream.  One cannot look down the far stretch of the chief street and
persuade himself that these are real houses, and that it is all out of
doors--the impression that it is an unreality, a picture, a scene in a
theater, is the only one that will take hold.

Then there came a great day when this illusion was more pronounced than
ever.  A rich Hindoo had been spending a fortune upon the manufacture of
a crowd of idols and accompanying paraphernalia whose purpose was to
illustrate scenes in the life of his especial god or saint, and this fine
show was to be brought through the town in processional state at ten in
the morning.  As we passed through the great public pleasure garden on
our way to the city we found it crowded with natives.  That was one
sight.  Then there was another.  In the midst of the spacious lawns
stands the palace which contains the museum--a beautiful construction of
stone which shows arched colonnades, one above another, and receding,
terrace-fashion, toward the sky.  Every one of these terraces, all the
way to the top one, was packed and jammed with natives.  One must try to
imagine those solid masses of splendid color, one above another, up and
up, against the blue sky, and the Indian sun turning them all to beds of
fire and flame.

Later, when we reached the city, and glanced down the chief avenue,
smouldering in its crushed-strawberry tint, those splendid effects were
repeated; for every balcony, and every fanciful bird-cage of a snuggery
countersunk in the house-fronts, and all the long lines of roofs were
crowded with people, and each crowd was an explosion of brilliant color.

Then the wide street itself, away down and down and down into the
distance, was alive with gorgeously-clothed people not still, but moving,
swaying, drifting, eddying, a delirious display of all colors and all
shades of color, delicate, lovely, pale, soft, strong, stunning, vivid,
brilliant, a sort of storm of sweetpea blossoms passing on the wings of a
hurricane; and presently, through this storm of color, came swaying and
swinging the majestic elephants, clothed in their Sunday best of
gaudinesses, and the long procession of fanciful trucks freighted with
their groups of curious and costly images, and then the long rearguard of
stately camels, with their picturesque riders.

For color, and picturesqueness, and novelty, and outlandishness, and
sustained interest and fascination, it was the most satisfying show I had
ever seen, and I suppose I shall not have the privilege of looking upon
its like again.


In the first place God made idiots.  This was for practice.  Then He made
School Boards.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Suppose we applied no more ingenuity to the instruction of deaf and dumb
and blind children than we sometimes apply in our American public schools
to the instruction of children who are in possession of all their
faculties?  The result would be that the deaf and dumb and blind would
acquire nothing.  They would live and die as ignorant as bricks and
stones.  The methods used in the asylums are rational.  The teacher
exactly measures the child’s capacity, to begin with; and from thence
onwards the tasks imposed are nicely gauged to the gradual development of
that capacity, the tasks keep pace with the steps of the child’s
progress, they don’t jump miles and leagues ahead of it by irrational
caprice and land in vacancy--according to the average public-school plan.
In the public school, apparently, they teach the child to spell cat, then
ask it to calculate an eclipse; when it can read words of two syllables,
they require it to explain the circulation of the blood; when it reaches
the head of the infant class they bully it with conundrums that cover the
domain of universal knowledge.  This sounds extravagant--and is; yet it
goes no great way beyond the facts.

I received a curious letter one day, from the Punjab (you must pronounce
it Punjawb).  The handwriting was excellent, and the wording was English
--English, and yet not exactly English.  The style was easy and smooth
and flowing, yet there was something subtly foreign about it--something
tropically ornate and sentimental and rhetorical.  It turned out to be
the work of a Hindoo youth, the holder of a humble clerical billet in a
railway office.  He had been educated in one of the numerous colleges of
India.  Upon inquiry I was told that the country was full of young
fellows of his like.  They had been educated away up to the snow-summits
of learning--and the market for all this elaborate cultivation was
minutely out of proportion to the vastness of the product.  This market
consisted of some thousands of small clerical posts under the government
--the supply of material for it was multitudinous.  If this youth with
flowing style and the blossoming English was occupying a small railway
clerkship, it meant that there were hundreds and hundreds as capable as
he, or he would be in a high place; and it certainly meant that there
were thousands whose education and capacity had fallen a little short,
and that they would have to go without places.  Apparently, then, the
colleges of India were doing what our high schools have long been doing
--richly over-supplying the market for highly-educated service; and
doing a damage to the scholar, and through him to the country.

At home I once made a speech deploring the injuries inflicted by the high
school in making handicrafts distasteful to boys who would have been
willing to make a living at trades and agriculture if they had but had
the good luck to stop with the common school.  But I made no converts.
Not one, in a community overrun with educated idlers who were above
following their fathers’ mechanical trades, yet could find no market for
their book-knowledge.  The same mail that brought me the letter from the
Punjab, brought also a little book published by Messrs. Thacker, Spink &
Co., of Calcutta, which interested me, for both its preface and its
contents treated of this matter of over-education.  In the preface occurs
this paragraph from the Calcutta Review.  For “Government office” read
“drygoods clerkship” and it will fit more than one region of America:

     “The education that we give makes the boys a little less clownish in
     their manners, and more intelligent when spoken to by strangers.  On
     the other hand, it has made them less contented with their lot in
     life, and less willing to work with their hands.  The form which
     discontent takes in this country is not of a healthy kind; for, the
     Natives of India consider that the only occupation worthy of an
     educated man is that of a writership in some office, and especially
     in a Government office.  The village schoolboy goes back to the plow
     with the greatest reluctance; and the town schoolboy carries the
     same discontent and inefficiency into his father’s workshop.
     Sometimes these ex-students positively refuse at first to work; and
     more than once parents have openly expressed their regret that they
     ever allowed their sons to be inveigled to school.”

The little book which I am quoting from is called “Indo-Anglian
Literature,” and is well stocked with “baboo” English--clerkly English,
booky English, acquired in the schools.  Some of it is very funny,
--almost as funny, perhaps, as what you and I produce when we try to
write in a language not our own; but much of it is surprisingly correct
and free.  If I were going to quote good English--but I am not.  India is
well stocked with natives who speak it and write it as well as the best
of us.  I merely wish to show some of the quaint imperfect attempts at
the use of our tongue.  There are many letters in the book; poverty
imploring help--bread, money, kindness, office--generally an office, a
clerkship, some way to get food and a rag out of the applicant’s
unmarketable education; and food not for himself alone, but sometimes for
a dozen helpless relations in addition to his own family; for those
people are astonishingly unselfish, and admirably faithful to their ties
of kinship.  Among us I think there is nothing approaching it.  Strange
as some of these wailing and supplicating letters are, humble and even
groveling as some of them are, and quaintly funny and confused as a
goodly number of them are, there is still a pathos about them, as a rule,
that checks the rising laugh and reproaches it.  In the following letter
“father” is not to be read literally.  In Ceylon a little native
beggar-girl embarrassed me by calling me father, although I knew she was
mistaken.  I was so new that I did not know that she was merely following
the custom of the dependent and the supplicant.


     “I pray please to give me some action (work) for I am very poor boy
     I have no one to help me even so father for it so it seemed in thy
     good sight, you give the Telegraph Office, and another work what is
     your wish I am very poor boy, this understand what is your wish you
     my father I am your son this understand what is your wish.

     “Your Sirvent, P. C. B.”

Through ages of debasing oppression suffered by these people at the hands
of their native rulers, they come legitimately by the attitude and
language of fawning and flattery, and one must remember this in
mitigation when passing judgment upon the native character.  It is common
in these letters to find the petitioner furtively trying to get at the
white man’s soft religious side; even this poor boy baits his hook with a
macerated Bible-text in the hope that it may catch something if all else

Here is an application for the post of instructor in English to some

     “My Dear Sir or Gentleman, that your Petitioner has much
     qualification in the Language of English to instruct the young boys;
     I was given to understand that your of suitable children has to
     acquire the knowledge of English language.”

As a sample of the flowery Eastern style, I will take a sentence or two
from a long letter written by a young native to the Lieutenant-Governor
of Bengal--an application for employment:


     “I hope your honor will condescend to hear the tale of this poor
     creature.  I shall overflow with gratitude at this mark of your
     royal condescension.  The bird-like happiness has flown away from my
     nest-like heart and has not hitherto returned from the period whence
     the rose of my father’s life suffered the autumnal breath of death,
     in plain English he passed through the gates of Grave, and from that
     hour the phantom of delight has never danced before me.”

It is all school-English, book-English, you see; and good enough, too,
all things considered.  If the native boy had but that one study he would
shine, he would dazzle, no doubt.  But that is not the case.  He is
situated as are our public-school children--loaded down with an
over-freightage of other studies; and frequently they are as far beyond
the actual point of progress reached by him and suited to the stage of
development attained, as could be imagined by the insanest fancy.
Apparently--like our public-school boy--he must work, work, work, in
school and out, and play but little.  Apparently--like our public-school
boy--his “education” consists in learning things, not the meaning of
them; he is fed upon the husks, not the corn.  From several essays
written by native schoolboys in answer to the question of how they spend
their day, I select one--the one which goes most into detail:

     “66.  At the break of day I rises from my own bed and finish my
     daily duty, then I employ myself till 8 o’clock, after which I
     employ myself to bathe, then take for my body some sweet meat, and
     just at 9 1/2 I came to school to attend my class duty, then at
     2 1/2 P. M.  I return from school and engage myself to do my natural
     duty, then, I engage for a quarter to take my tiffin, then I study
     till 5 P. M., after which I began to play anything which comes in
     my head.  After 8 1/2, half pass to eight we are began to sleep,
     before sleeping I told a constable just 11 o’ he came and rose us
     from half pass eleven we began to read still morning.”

It is not perfectly clear, now that I come to cipher upon it.  He gets up
at about 5 in the morning, or along there somewhere, and goes to bed
about fifteen or sixteen hours afterward--that much of it seems straight;
but why he should rise again three hours later and resume his studies
till morning is puzzling.

I think it is because he is studying history.  History requires a world
of time and bitter hard work when your “education” is no further advanced
than the cat’s; when you are merely stuffing yourself with a mixed-up
mess of empty names and random incidents and elusive dates, which no one
teaches you how to interpret, and which, uninterpreted, pay you not a
farthing’s value for your waste of time.  Yes, I think he had to get up
at halfpast 11 P.M.  in order to be sure to be perfect with his history
lesson by noon.  With results as follows--from a Calcutta school

“Q.  Who was Cardinal Wolsey?

“Cardinal Wolsey was an Editor of a paper named North Briton.  No. 45 of
his publication he charged the King of uttering a lie from the throne.
He was arrested and cast into prison; and after releasing went to France.

“3.  As Bishop of York but died in disentry in a church on his way to be

“8.  Cardinal Wolsey was the son of Edward IV, after his father’s death
he himself ascended the throne at the age of (10) ten only, but when he
surpassed or when he was fallen in his twenty years of age at that time
he wished to make a journey in his countries under him, but he was
opposed by his mother to do journey, and according to his mother’s
example he remained in the home, and then became King.  After many times
obstacles and many confusion he become King and afterwards his brother.”

There is probably not a word of truth in that.

“Q.  What is the meaning of ‘Ich Dien’?

“10.  An honor conferred on the first or eldest sons of English
Sovereigns.  It is nothing more than some feathers.

“11.  Ich Dien was the word which was written on the feathers of the
blind King who came to fight, being interlaced with the bridles of the

“13.  Ich Dien is a title given to Henry VII by the Pope of Rome, when he
forwarded the Reformation of Cardinal Wolsy to Rome, and for this reason
he was called Commander of the faith.”

A dozen or so of this kind of insane answers are quoted in the book from
that examination.  Each answer is sweeping proof, all by itself, that the
person uttering it was pushed ahead of where he belonged when he was put
into history; proof that he had been put to the task of acquiring history
before he had had a single lesson in the art of acquiring it, which is
the equivalent of dumping a pupil into geometry before he has learned the
progressive steps which lead up to it and make its acquirement possible.
Those Calcutta novices had no business with history.  There was no excuse
for examining them in it, no excuse for exposing them and their teachers.
They were totally empty; there was nothing to “examine.”

Helen Keller has been dumb, stone deaf, and stone blind, ever since she
was a little baby a year-and-a-half old; and now at sixteen years of age
this miraculous creature, this wonder of all the ages, passes the Harvard
University examination in Latin, German, French history, belles lettres,
and such things, and does it brilliantly, too, not in a commonplace
fashion.  She doesn’t know merely things, she is splendidly familiar with
the meanings of them.  When she writes an essay on a Shakespearean
character, her English is fine and strong, her grasp of the subject is
the grasp of one who knows, and her page is electric with light.  Has
Miss Sullivan taught her by the methods of India and the American public
school?  No, oh, no; for then she would be deafer and dumber and blinder
than she was before.  It is a pity that we can’t educate all the children
in the asylums.

To continue the Calcutta exposure:

“What is the meaning of a Sheriff?”

“25.  Sheriff is a post opened in the time of John.  The duty of Sheriff
here in Calcutta, to look out and catch those carriages which is rashly
driven out by the coachman; but it is a high post in England.

“26.  Sheriff was the English bill of common prayer.

“27.  The man with whom the accusative persons are placed is called

“28.  Sheriff--Latin term for ‘shrub,’ we called broom, worn by the first
earl of Enjue, as an emblem of humility when they went to the pilgrimage,
and from this their hairs took their crest and surname.

“29.  Sheriff is a kind of titlous sect of people, as Barons, Nobles,

“30.  Sheriff; a tittle given on those persons who were respective and
pious in England.”

The students were examined in the following bulky matters: Geometry, the
Solar Spectrum, the Habeas Corpus Act, the British Parliament, and in
Metaphysics they were asked to trace the progress of skepticism from
Descartes to Hume.  It is within bounds to say that some of the results
were astonishing.  Without doubt, there were students present who
justified their teacher’s wisdom in introducing them to these studies;
but the fact is also evident that others had been pushed into these
studies to waste their time over them when they could have been
profitably employed in hunting smaller game.  Under the head of Geometry,
one of the answers is this:

“49.  The whole BD = the whole CA, and so-so-so-so-so-so-so.”

To me this is cloudy, but I was never well up in geometry.  That was the
only effort made among the five students who appeared for examination in
geometry; the other four wailed and surrendered without a fight.  They
are piteous wails, too, wails of despair; and one of them is an eloquent
reproach; it comes from a poor fellow who has been laden beyond his
strength by a stupid teacher, and is eloquent in spite of the poverty of
its English.  The poor chap finds himself required to explain riddles
which even Sir Isaac Newton was not able to understand:

“50.  Oh my dear father examiner you my father and you kindly give a
number of pass you my great father.

“51.  I am a poor boy and have no means to support my mother and two
brothers who are suffering much for want of food.  I get four rupees
monthly from charity fund of this place, from which I send two rupees for
their support, and keep two for my own support.  Father, if I relate the
unlucky circumstance under which we are placed, then, I think, you will
not be able to suppress the tender tear.

“52.  Sir which Sir Isaac Newton and other experienced mathematicians
cannot understand I being third of Entrance Class can understand these
which is too impossible to imagine.  And my examiner also has put very
tiresome and very heavy propositions to prove.”

We must remember that these pupils had to do their thinking in one
language, and express themselves in another and alien one.  It was a
heavy handicap.  I have by me “English as She is Taught”--a collection of
American examinations made in the public schools of Brooklyn by one of
the teachers, Miss Caroline B. Le Row.  An extract or two from its pages
will show that when the American pupil is using but one language, and
that one his own, his performance is no whit better than his Indian


“Christopher Columbus was called the father of his Country.  Queen
Isabella of Spain sold her watch and chain and other millinery so that
Columbus could discover America.

“The Indian wars were very desecrating to the country.

“The Indians pursued their warfare by hiding in the bushes and then
scalping them.

“Captain John Smith has been styled the father of his country.  His life
was saved by his daughter Pochahantas.

“The Puritans found an insane asylum in the wilds of America.

“The Stamp Act was to make everybody stamp all materials so they should
be null and void.

“Washington died in Spain almost broken-hearted.  His remains were taken
to the cathedral in Havana.

“Gorilla warfare was where men rode on gorillas.”

In Brooklyn, as in India, they examine a pupil, and when they find out he
doesn’t know anything, they put him into literature, or geometry, or
astronomy, or government, or something like that, so that he can properly
display the assification of the whole system--


“‘Bracebridge Hall’ was written by Henry Irving.

“Edgar A. Poe was a very curdling writer.

“Beowulf wrote the Scriptures.

“Ben Johnson survived Shakespeare in some respects.

“In the ‘Canterbury Tale’ it gives account of King Alfred on his way to
the shrine of Thomas Bucket.

“Chaucer was the father of English pottery.

“Chaucer was succeeded by H. Wads. Longfellow.”

We will finish with a couple of samples of “literature,” one from
America, the other from India.  The first is a Brooklyn public-school
boy’s attempt to turn a few verses of the “Lady of the Lake” into prose.
You will have to concede that he did it:

“The man who rode on the horse performed the whip and an instrument made
of steel alone with strong ardor not diminishing, for, being tired from
the time passed with hard labor overworked with anger and ignorant with
weariness, while every breath for labor he drew with cries full of
sorrow, the young deer made imperfect who worked hard filtered in sight.”

The following paragraph is from a little book which is famous in India
--the biography of a distinguished Hindoo judge, Onoocool Chunder
Mookerjee; it was written by his nephew, and is unintentionally funny-in
fact, exceedingly so.  I offer here the closing scene.  If you would like
to sample the rest of the book, it can be had by applying to the
publishers, Messrs.  Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta

     “And having said these words he hermetically sealed his lips not to
     open them again.  All the well-known doctors of Calcutta that could
     be procured for a man of his position and wealth were brought,
     --Doctors Payne, Fayrer, and Nilmadhub Mookerjee and others; they
     what they could do, with their puissance and knack of medical
     knowledge, but it proved after all as if to milk the ram!  His wife
     and children had not the mournful consolation to hear his last
     words; he remained sotto voce for a few hours, and then was taken
     from us at 6.12 P.m.  according to the caprice of God which passeth


There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined ones.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

We sailed from Calcutta toward the end of March; stopped a day at Madras;
two or three days in Ceylon; then sailed westward on a long flight for
Mauritius.  From my diary:

April 7.  We are far abroad upon the smooth waters of the Indian Ocean,
now; it is shady and pleasant and peaceful under the vast spread of the
awnings, and life is perfect again--ideal.

The difference between a river and the sea is, that the river looks
fluid, the sea solid--usually looks as if you could step out and walk on

The captain has this peculiarity--he cannot tell the truth in a plausible
way.  In this he is the very opposite of the austere Scot who sits midway
of the table; he cannot tell a lie in an unplausible way.  When the
captain finishes a statement the passengers glance at each other
privately, as who should say, “Do you believe that?”  When the Scot
finishes one, the look says, “How strange and interesting.”  The whole
secret is in the manner and method of the two men.  The captain is a
little shy and diffident, and he states the simplest fact as if he were a
little afraid of it, while the Scot delivers himself of the most
abandoned lie with such an air of stern veracity that one is forced to
believe it although one knows it isn’t so.  For instance, the Scot told
about a pet flying-fish he once owned, that lived in a little fountain in
his conservatory, and supported itself by catching birds and frogs and
rats in the neighboring fields.  It was plain that no one at the table
doubted this statement.

By and by, in the course of some talk about custom-house annoyances, the
captain brought out the following simple everyday incident, but through
his infirmity of style managed to tell it in such a way that it got no
credence.  He said:

     “I went ashore at Naples one voyage when I was in that trade, and
     stood around helping my passengers, for I could speak a little
     Italian.  Two or three times, at intervals, the officer asked me if
     I had anything dutiable about me, and seemed more and more put out
     and disappointed every time I told him no.  Finally a passenger whom
     I had helped through asked me to come out and take something.  I
     thanked him, but excused myself, saying I had taken a whisky just
     before I came ashore.

     “It was a fatal admission.  The officer at once made me pay sixpence
     import-duty on the whisky-just from ship to shore, you see; and he
     fined me L5 for not declaring the goods, another L5 for falsely
     denying that I had anything dutiable about me, also L5 for
     concealing the goods, and L50 for smuggling, which is the maximum
     penalty for unlawfully bringing in goods under the value of
     sevenpence ha’penny.  Altogether, sixty-five pounds sixpence for a
     little thing like that.”

The Scot is always believed, yet he never tells anything but lies;
whereas the captain is never believed, although he never tells a lie, so
far as I can judge.  If he should say his uncle was a male person, he
would probably say it in such a way that nobody would believe it; at the
same time the Scot could claim that he had a female uncle and not stir a
doubt in anybody’s mind.  My own luck has been curious all my literary
life; I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that
anybody would believe.

Lots of pets on board--birds and things.  In these far countries the
white people do seem to run remarkably to pets.  Our host in Cawnpore had
a fine collection of birds--the finest we saw in a private house in
India.  And in Colombo, Dr. Murray’s great compound and commodious
bungalow were well populated with domesticated company from the woods:
frisky little squirrels; a Ceylon mina walking sociably about the house;
a small green parrot that whistled a single urgent note of call without
motion of its beak; also chuckled; a monkey in a cage on the back
veranda, and some more out in the trees; also a number of beautiful
macaws in the trees; and various and sundry birds and animals of breeds
not known to me.  But no cat.  Yet a cat would have liked that place.

April 9.  Tea-planting is the great business in Ceylon, now.  A passenger
says it often pays 40 per cent. on the investment.  Says there is a boom.

April 10.  The sea is a Mediterranean blue; and I believe that that is
about the divinest color known to nature.

It is strange and fine--Nature’s lavish generosities to her creatures.
At least to all of them except man.  For those that fly she has provided
a home that is nobly spacious--a home which is forty miles deep and
envelops the whole globe, and has not an obstruction in it.  For those
that swim she has provided a more than imperial domain--a domain which is
miles deep and covers four-fifths of the globe.  But as for man, she has
cut him off with the mere odds and ends of the creation.  She has given
him the thin skin, the meagre skin which is stretched over the remaining
one-fifth--the naked bones stick up through it in most places.  On the
one-half of this domain he can raise snow, ice, sand, rocks, and nothing
else.  So the valuable part of his inheritance really consists of but a
single fifth of the family estate; and out of it he has to grub hard to
get enough to keep him alive and provide kings and soldiers and powder to
extend the blessings of civilization with.  Yet man, in his simplicity
and complacency and inability to cipher, thinks Nature regards him as the
important member of the family--in fact, her favorite.  Surely, it must
occur to even his dull head, sometimes, that she has a curious way of
showing it.

Afternoon.  The captain has been telling how, in one of his Arctic
voyages, it was so cold that the mate’s shadow froze fast to the deck and
had to be ripped loose by main strength.  And even then he got only about
two-thirds of it back.  Nobody said anything, and the captain went away.
I think he is becoming disheartened .  .  .  .  Also, to be fair, there
is another word of praise due to this ship’s library: it contains no copy
of the Vicar of Wakefield, that strange menagerie of complacent
hypocrites and idiots, of theatrical cheap-john heroes and heroines, who
are always showing off, of bad people who are not interesting, and good
people who are fatiguing.  A singular book.  Not a sincere line in it,
and not a character that invites respect; a book which is one long
waste-pipe discharge of goody-goody puerilities and dreary moralities; a
book which is full of pathos which revolts, and humor which grieves the
heart. There are few things in literature that are more piteous, more
pathetic, than the celebrated “humorous” incident of Moses and the
spectacles. Jane Austen’s books, too, are absent from this library.  Just
that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library
that hadn’t a book in it.

Customs in tropic seas.  At 5 in the morning they pipe to wash down the
decks, and at once the ladies who are sleeping there turn out and they
and their beds go below.  Then one after another the men come up from the
bath in their pyjamas, and walk the decks an hour or two with bare legs
and bare feet.  Coffee and fruit served.  The ship cat and her kitten now
appear and get about their toilets; next the barber comes and flays us on
the breezy deck.  Breakfast at 9.30, and the day begins.  I do not know
how a day could be more reposeful: no motion; a level blue sea; nothing
in sight from horizon to horizon; the speed of the ship furnishes a
cooling breeze; there is no mail to read and answer; no newspapers to
excite you; no telegrams to fret you or fright you--the world is far, far
away; it has ceased to exist for you--seemed a fading dream, along in the
first days; has dissolved to an unreality now; it is gone from your mind
with all its businesses and ambitions, its prosperities and disasters,
its exultations and despairs, its joys and griefs and cares and worries.
They are no concern of yours any more; they have gone out of your life;
they are a storm which has passed and left a deep calm behind.  The
people group themselves about the decks in their snowy white linen, and
read, smoke, sew, play cards, talk, nap, and so on.  In other ships the
passengers are always ciphering about when they are going to arrive; out
in these seas it is rare, very rare, to hear that subject broached.  In
other ships there is always an eager rush to the bulletin board at noon
to find out what the “run” has been; in these seas the bulletin seems to
attract no interest; I have seen no one visit it; in thirteen days I have
visited it only once.  Then I happened to notice the figures of the day’s
run.  On that day there happened to be talk, at dinner, about the speed
of modern ships.  I was the only passenger present who knew this ship’s
gait.  Necessarily, the Atlantic custom of betting on the ship’s run is
not a custom here--nobody ever mentions it.

I myself am wholly indifferent as to when we are going to “get in”; if
any one else feels interested in the matter he has not indicated it in my
hearing.  If I had my way we should never get in at all.  This sort of
sea life is charged with an indestructible charm.  There is no weariness,
no fatigue, no worry, no responsibility, no work, no depression of
spirits.  There is nothing like this serenity, this comfort, this peace,
this deep contentment, to be found anywhere on land.  If I had my way I
would sail on for ever and never go to live on the solid ground again.

One of Kipling’s ballads has delivered the aspect and sentiment of this
bewitching sea correctly:

               “The Injian Ocean sets an’ smiles
               So sof’, so bright, so bloomin’ blue;
               There aren’t a wave for miles an’ miles
               Excep’ the jiggle from the screw.”

April 14.  It turns out that the astronomical apprentice worked off a
section of the Milky Way on me for the Magellan Clouds.  A man of more
experience in the business showed one of them to me last night.  It was
small and faint and delicate, and looked like the ghost of a bunch of
white smoke left floating in the sky by an exploded bombshell.

Wednesday, April 15.  Mauritius.  Arrived and anchored off Port Louis
2 A. M.  Rugged clusters of crags and peaks, green to their summits; from
their bases to the sea a green plain with just tilt enough to it to make
the water drain off.  I believe it is in 56 degrees E. and 22 degrees S.
--a hot tropical country.  The green plain has an inviting look; has
scattering dwellings nestling among the greenery.  Scene of the
sentimental adventure of Paul and Virginia.

Island under French control--which means a community which depends upon
quarantines, not sanitation, for its health.

Thursday, April 16.  Went ashore in the forenoon at Port Louis, a little
town, but with the largest variety of nationalities and complexions we
have encountered yet.  French, English, Chinese, Arabs, Africans with
wool, blacks with straight hair, East Indians, half-whites, quadroons
--and great varieties in costumes and colors.

Took the train for Curepipe at 1.30--two hours’ run, gradually uphill.
What a contrast, this frantic luxuriance of vegetation, with the arid
plains of India; these architecturally picturesque crags and knobs and
miniature mountains, with the monotony of the Indian dead-levels.

A native pointed out a handsome swarthy man of grave and dignified
bearing, and said in an awed tone, “That is so-and-so; has held office of
one sort or another under this government for 37 years--he is known all
over this whole island and in the other countries of the world perhaps
--who knows?  One thing is certain; you can speak his name anywhere in
whole island, and you will find not one grown person that has not heard
it.  It is a wonderful thing to be so celebrated; yet look at him; it
makes no change in him; he does not even seem to know it.”

Curepipe (means Pincushion or Pegtown, probably).  Sixteen miles (two
hours) by rail from Port Louis.  At each end of every roof and on the
apex of every dormer window a wooden peg two feet high stands up; in some
cases its top is blunt, in others the peg is sharp and looks like a
toothpick.  The passion for this humble ornament is universal.

Apparently, there has been only one prominent event in the history of
Mauritius, and that one didn’t happen.  I refer to the romantic sojourn
of Paul and Virginia here.  It was that story that made Mauritius known
to the world, made the name familiar to everybody, the geographical
position of it to nobody.

A clergyman was asked to guess what was in a box on a table.  It was a
vellum fan painted with the shipwreck, and was “one of Virginia’s wedding

April 18.  This is the only country in the world where the stranger is
not asked “How do you like this place?”  This is indeed a large
distinction.  Here the citizen does the talking about the country
himself; the stranger is not asked to help.  You get all sorts of
information.  From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was
made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.
Another one tells you that this is an exaggeration; that the two chief
villages, Port Louis and Curepipe, fall short of heavenly perfection;
that nobody lives in Port Louis except upon compulsion, and that Curepipe
is the wettest and rainiest place in the world.  An English citizen said:

     “In the early part of this century Mauritius was used by the French
     as a basis from which to operate against England’s Indian
     merchantmen; so England captured the island and also the neighbor,
     Bourbon, to stop that annoyance.  England gave Bourbon back; the
     government in London did not want any more possessions in the West
     Indies.  If the government had had a better quality of geography in
     stock it would not have wasted Bourbon in that foolish way.  A big
     war will temporarily shut up the Suez Canal some day and the English
     ships will have to go to India around the Cape of Good Hope again;
     then England will have to have Bourbon and will take it.

     “Mauritius was a crown colony until 20 years ago, with a governor
     appointed by the Crown and assisted by a Council appointed by
     himself; but Pope Hennessey came out as Governor then, and he worked
     hard to get a part of the council made elective, and succeeded.  So
     now the whole council is French, and in all ordinary matters of
     legislation they vote together and in the French interest, not the
     English. The English population is very slender; it has not votes
     enough to elect a legislator.  Half a dozen rich French families
     elect the legislature.  Pope Hennessey was an Irishman, a Catholic,
     a Home Ruler, M.P., a hater of England and the English, a very
     troublesome person and a serious incumbrance at Westminster; so it
     was decided to send him out to govern unhealthy countries, in hope
     that something would happen to him.  But nothing did.  The first
     experiment was not merely a failure, it was more than a failure.  He
     proved to be more of a disease himself than any he was sent to
     encounter.  The next experiment was here.  The dark scheme failed
     again.  It was an off-season and there was nothing but measles here
     at the time.  Pope Hennessey’s health was not affected.  He worked
     with the French and for the French and against the English, and he
     made the English very tired and the French very happy, and lived to
     have the joy of seeing the flag he served publicly hissed.  His
     memory is held in worshipful reverence and affection by the French.

     “It is a land of extraordinary quarantines.  They quarantine a ship
     for anything or for nothing; quarantine her for 20 and even 30 days.
     They once quarantined a ship because her captain had had the
     smallpox when he was a boy.  That and because he was English.

     “The population is very small; small to insignificance.  The
     majority is East Indian; then mongrels; then negroes (descendants of
     the slaves of the French times); then French; then English.  There
     was an American, but he is dead or mislaid.  The mongrels are the
     result of all kinds of mixtures; black and white, mulatto and white,
     quadroon and white, octoroon and white.  And so there is every shade
     of complexion; ebony, old mahogany, horsechestnut, sorrel,
     molasses-candy, clouded amber, clear amber, old-ivory white,
     new-ivory white, fish-belly white--this latter the leprous
     frequent with the Anglo-Saxon long resident in tropical climates.

     “You wouldn’t expect a person to be proud of being a Mauritian, now
     would you?  But it is so.  The most of them have never been out of
     the island, and haven’t read much or studied much, and they think
     the world consists of three principal countries--Judaea, France, and
     Mauritius; so they are very proud of belonging to one of the three
     grand divisions of the globe.  They think that Russia and Germany
     are in England, and that England does not amount to much.  They have
     heard vaguely about the United States and the equator, but they
     think both of them are monarchies.  They think Mount Peter Botte is
     the highest mountain in the world, and if you show one of them a
     picture of Milan Cathedral he will swell up with satisfaction and
     say that the idea of that jungle of spires was stolen from the
     forest of peg-tops and toothpicks that makes the roofs of Curepipe
     look so fine and prickly.

     “There is not much trade in books.  The newspapers educate and
     entertain the people.  Mainly the latter.  They have two pages of
     large-print reading-matter-one of them English, the other French.
     The English page is a translation of the French one.  The typography
     is super-extra primitive--in this quality it has not its equal
     anywhere.  There is no proof-reader now; he is dead.

     “Where do they get matter to fill up a page in this little island
     lost in the wastes of the Indian Ocean?  Oh, Madagascar.  They
     discuss Madagascar and France.  That is the bulk.  Then they chock
     up the rest with advice to the Government.  Also, slurs upon the
     English administration.  The papers are all owned and edited by

     “The language of the country is French.  Everybody speaks it--has
     to.  You have to know French particularly mongrel French, the patois
     spoken by Tom, Dick, and Harry of the multiform complexions--or you
     can’t get along.

“This was a flourishing country in former days, for it made then and
still makes the best sugar in the world; but first the Suez Canal severed
it from the world and left it out in the cold and next the beetroot sugar
helped by bounties, captured the European markets.  Sugar is the life of
Mauritius, and it is losing its grip. Its downward course was checked by
the depreciation of the rupee--for the planter pays wages in rupees but
sells his crop for gold--and the insurrection in Cuba and paralyzation of
the sugar industry there have given our prices here a life-saving lift;
but the outlook has nothing permanently favorable about it.  It takes a
year to mature the canes--on the high ground three and six months longer
--and there is always a chance that the annual cyclone will rip the
profit out of the crop.  In recent times a cyclone took the whole crop,
as you may say; and the island never saw a finer one.  Some of the
noblest sugar estates in the island are in deep difficulties.  A dozen of
them are investments of English capital; and the companies that own them
are at work now, trying to settle up and get out with a saving of half
the money they put in.  You know, in these days, when a country begins to
introduce the tea culture, it means that its own specialty has gone back
on it.  Look at Bengal; look at Ceylon.  Well, they’ve begun to introduce
the tea culture, here.

“Many copies of Paul and Virginia are sold every year in Mauritius.  No
other book is so popular here except the Bible.  By many it is supposed
to be a part of the Bible.  All the missionaries work up their French on
it when they come here to pervert the Catholic mongrel.  It is the
greatest story that was ever written about Mauritius, and the only one.”


The principal difference between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only
nine lives.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

April 20.--The cyclone of 1892 killed and crippled hundreds of people;
it was accompanied by a deluge of rain, which drowned Port Louis and
produced a water famine.  Quite true; for it burst the reservoir and the
water-pipes; and for a time after the flood had disappeared there was
much distress from want of water.

This is the only place in the world where no breed of matches can stand
the damp.  Only one match in 16 will light.

The roads are hard and smooth; some of the compounds are spacious, some
of the bungalows commodious, and the roadways are walled by tall bamboo
hedges, trim and green and beautiful; and there are azalea hedges, too,
both the white and the red; I never saw that before.

As to healthiness: I translate from to-day’s (April 20) Merchants’ and
Planters’ Gazette, from the article of a regular contributor, “Carminge,”
 concerning the death of the nephew of a prominent citizen:

     “Sad and lugubrious existence, this which we lead in Mauritius; I
     believe there is no other country in the world where one dies more
     easily than among us.  The least indisposition becomes a mortal
     malady; a simple headache develops into meningitis; a cold into
     pneumonia, and presently, when we are least expecting it, death is a
     guest in our home.”

This daily paper has a meteorological report which tells you what the
weather was day before yesterday.

One is never pestered by a beggar or a peddler in this town, so far as I
can see.  This is pleasantly different from India.

April 22.  To such as believe that the quaint product called French
civilization would be an improvement upon the civilization of New Guinea
and the like, the snatching of Madagascar and the laying on of French
civilization there will be fully justified.  But why did the English
allow the French to have Madagascar?  Did she respect a theft of a couple
of centuries ago?  Dear me, robbery by European nations of each other’s
territories has never been a sin, is not a sin to-day.  To the several
cabinets the several political establishments of the world are
clotheslines; and a large part of the official duty of these cabinets is
to keep an eye on each other’s wash and grab what they can of it as
opportunity offers.  All the territorial possessions of all the political
establishments in the earth--including America, of course--consist of
pilferings from other people’s wash.  No tribe, howsoever insignificant,
and no nation, howsoever mighty, occupies a foot of land that was not
stolen.  When the English, the French, and the Spaniards reached America,
the Indian tribes had been raiding each other’s territorial clothes-lines
for ages, and every acre of ground in the continent had been stolen and
re-stolen 500 times.  The English, the French, and the Spaniards went to
work and stole it all over again; and when that was satisfactorily
accomplished they went diligently to work and stole it from each other.
In Europe and Asia and Africa every acre of ground has been stolen
several millions of times.  A crime persevered in a thousand centuries
ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue.  This is the law of custom,
and custom supersedes all other forms of law.  Christian governments are
as frank to-day, as open and above-board, in discussing projects for
raiding each other’s clothes-lines as ever they were before the Golden
Rule came smiling into this inhospitable world and couldn’t get a night’s
lodging anywhere.  In 150 years England has beneficently retired garment
after garment from the Indian lines, until there is hardly a rag of the
original wash left dangling anywhere.  In 800 years an obscure
tribe of Muscovite savages has risen to the dazzling position of
Land-Robber-in-Chief; she found a quarter of the world hanging out to dry
on a hundred parallels of latitude, and she scooped in the whole wash.
She keeps a sharp eye on a multitude of little lines that stretch along
the northern boundaries of India, and every now and then she snatches a
hip-rag or a pair of pyjamas.  It is England’s prospective property, and
Russia knows it; but Russia cares nothing for that.  In fact, in our day
land-robbery, claim-jumping, is become a European governmental frenzy.
Some have been hard at it in the borders of China, in Burma, in Siam, and
the islands of the sea; and all have been at it in Africa.  Africa has
been as coolly divided up and portioned out among the gang as if they had
bought it and paid for it.  And now straightway they are beginning the
old game again--to steal each other’s grabbings.  Germany found a vast
slice of Central Africa with the English flag and the English missionary
and the English trader scattered all over it, but with certain
formalities neglected--no signs up, “Keep off the grass,”
 “Trespassers-forbidden,” etc.--and she stepped in with a cold calm smile
and put up the signs herself, and swept those English pioneers promptly
out of the country.

There is a tremendous point there.  It can be put into the form of a
maxim: Get your formalities right--never mind about the moralities.

It was an impudent thing; but England had to put up with it.  Now, in the
case of Madagascar, the formalities had originally been observed, but by
neglect they had fallen into desuetude ages ago.  England should have
snatched Madagascar from the French clothes-line.  Without an effort she
could have saved those harmless natives from the calamity of French
civilization, and she did not do it.  Now it is too late.

The signs of the times show plainly enough what is going to happen.  All
the savage lands in the world are going to be brought under subjection to
the Christian governments of Europe.  I am not sorry, but glad.  This
coming fate might have been a calamity to those savage peoples two
hundred years ago; but now it will in some cases be a benefaction.  The
sooner the seizure is consummated, the better for the savages.

The dreary and dragging ages of bloodshed and disorder and oppression
will give place to peace and order and the reign of law.  When one
considers what India was under her Hindoo and Mohammedan rulers, and what
she is now; when he remembers the miseries of her millions then and the
protections and humanities which they enjoy now, he must concede that the
most fortunate thing that has ever befallen that empire was the
establishment of British supremacy there.  The savage lands of the world
are to pass to alien possession, their peoples to the mercies of alien
rulers.  Let us hope and believe that they will all benefit by the

April 23.  “The first year they gather shells; the second year they
gather shells and drink; the third year they do not gather shells.” (Said
of immigrants to Mauritius.)

Population 375,000.  120 sugar factories.

Population 1851, 185,000.  The increase is due mainly to the introduction
of Indian coolies.  They now apparently form the great majority of the
population.  They are admirable breeders; their homes are always hazy
with children.  Great savers of money.  A British officer told me that in
India he paid his servant 10 rupees a month, and he had 11 cousins,
uncles, parents, etc., dependent upon him, and he supported them on his
wages.  These thrifty coolies are said to be acquiring land a trifle at a
time, and cultivating it; and may own the island by and by.

The Indian women do very hard labor for wages running from  40 one
hundredths of a rupee for twelve hours’ work to 50 one hundredths of a
rupee. They carry mats of sugar on their heads (70 pounds) all
day lading ships, for half a rupee, and work at gardening all day for

The camaron is a fresh water creature like a cray-fish.  It is regarded
here as the world’s chiefest delicacy--and certainly it is good.  Guards
patrol the streams to prevent poaching it.  A fine of Rs.200 or 300
(they say) for poaching.  Bait is thrown in the water; the camaron goes
for it; the fisher drops his loop in and works it around and about the
camaron he has selected, till he gets it over its tail; then there’s a
jerk or something to certify the camaron that it is his turn now; he
suddenly backs away, which moves the loop still further up his person and
draws it taut, and his days are ended.

Another dish, called palmiste, is like raw turnip-shavings and tastes
like green almonds; is very delicate and good.  Costs the life of a palm
tree 12 to 20 years old--for it is the pith.

Another dish--looks like greens or a tangle of fine seaweed--is a
preparation of the deadly nightshade.  Good enough.

The monkeys live in the dense forests on the flanks of the toy mountains,
and they flock down nights and raid the sugar-fields.  Also on other
estates they come down and destroy a sort of bean-crop--just for fun,
apparently--tear off the pods and throw them down.

The cyclone of 1892 tore down two great blocks of stone buildings in the
center of Port Louis--the chief architectural feature--and left the
uncomely and apparently frail blocks standing.  Everywhere in its track
it annihilated houses, tore off roofs, destroyed trees and crops.  The
men were in the towns, the women and children at home in the country
getting crippled, killed, frightened to insanity; and the rain deluging
them, the wind howling, the thunder crashing, the lightning glaring.
This for an hour or so.  Then a lull and sunshine; many ventured out of
safe shelter; then suddenly here it came again from the opposite point
and renewed and completed the devastation.  It is said the Chinese fed
the sufferers for days on free rice.

Whole streets in Port Louis were laid flat--wrecked.  During a minute and
a half the wind blew 123 miles an hour; no official record made after
that, when it may have reached 150.  It cut down an obelisk.  It carried
an American ship into the woods after breaking the chains of two anchors.
They now use four-two forward, two astern.  Common report says it killed
1,200 in Port Louis alone, in half an hour.  Then came the lull of the
central calm--people did not know the barometer was still going down
--then suddenly all perdition broke loose again while people were rushing
around seeking friends and rescuing the wounded.  The noise was
comparable to nothing; there is nothing resembling it but thunder and
cannon, and these are feeble in comparison.

What there is of Mauritius is beautiful.  You have undulating wide
expanses of sugar-cane--a fine, fresh green and very pleasant to the eye;
and everywhere else you have a ragged luxuriance of tropic vegetation of
vivid greens of varying shades, a wild tangle of underbrush, with
graceful tall palms lifting their crippled plumes high above it; and you
have stretches of shady dense forest with limpid streams frolicking
through them, continually glimpsed and lost and glimpsed again in the
pleasantest hide-and-seek fashion; and you have some tiny mountains,
some quaint and picturesque groups of toy peaks, and a dainty little
vest-pocket Matterhorn; and here and there and now and then a strip of
sea with a white ruffle of surf breaks into the view.

That is Mauritius; and pretty enough.  The details are few, the massed
result is charming, but not imposing; not riotous, not exciting; it is a
Sunday landscape.  Perspective, and the enchantments wrought by distance,
are wanting.  There are no distances; there is no perspective, so to
speak.  Fifteen miles as the crow flies is the usual limit of vision.
Mauritius is a garden and a park combined.  It affects one’s emotions as
parks and gardens affect them.  The surfaces of one’s spiritual deeps are
pleasantly played upon, the deeps themselves are not reached, not
stirred.  Spaciousness, remote altitudes, the sense of mystery which
haunts apparently inaccessible mountain domes and summits reposing in the
sky--these are the things which exalt the spirit and move it to see
visions and dream dreams.

The Sandwich Islands remain my ideal of the perfect thing in the matter
of tropical islands.  I would add another story to Mauna Loa’s 16,000
feet if I could, and make it particularly bold and steep and craggy and
forbidding and snowy; and I would make the volcano spout its lava-floods
out of its summit instead of its sides; but aside from these
non-essentials I have no corrections to suggest.  I hope these will be
attended to; I do not wish to have to speak of it again.


When your watch gets out of order you have choice of two things to do:
throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker.  The former is the
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

The Arundel Castle is the finest boat I have seen in these seas.  She is
thoroughly modern, and that statement covers a great deal of ground.  She
has the usual defect, the common defect, the universal defect, the defect
that has never been missing from any ship that ever sailed--she has
imperfect beds.  Many ships have good beds, but no ship has very good
ones.  In the matter of beds all ships have been badly edited, ignorantly
edited, from the beginning.  The selection of the beds is given to some
hearty, strong-backed, self-made man, when it ought to be given to a
frail woman accustomed from girlhood to backaches and insomnia.  Nothing
is so rare, on either side of the ocean, as a perfect bed; nothing is so
difficult to make.  Some of the hotels on both sides provide it, but no
ship ever does or ever did.  In Noah’s Ark the beds were simply
scandalous.  Noah set the fashion, and it will endure in one degree of
modification or another till the next flood.

8 A.M.  Passing Isle de Bourbon.  Broken-up sky-line of volcanic
mountains in the middle.  Surely it would not cost much to repair them,
and it seems inexcusable neglect to leave them as they are.

It seems stupid to send tired men to Europe to rest.  It is no proper
rest for the mind to clatter from town to town in the dust and cinders,
and examine galleries and architecture, and be always meeting people and
lunching and teaing and dining, and receiving worrying cables and
letters.  And a sea voyage on the Atlantic is of no use--voyage too
short, sea too rough.  The peaceful Indian and Pacific Oceans and the
long stretches of time are the healing thing.

May 2, AM.  A fair, great ship in sight, almost the first we have seen in
these weeks of lonely voyaging.  We are now in the Mozambique Channel,
between Madagascar and South Africa, sailing straight west for Delagoa

Last night, the burly chief engineer, middle-aged, was standing telling a
spirited seafaring tale, and had reached the most exciting place, where a
man overboard was washing swiftly astern on the great seas, and uplifting
despairing cries, everybody racing aft in a frenzy of excitement and
fading hope, when the band, which had been silent a moment, began
impressively its closing piece, the English national anthem.  As simply
as if he was unconscious of what he was doing, he stopped his story,
uncovered, laid his laced cap against his breast, and slightly bent his
grizzled head.  The few bars finished, he put on his cap and took up his
tale again, as naturally as if that interjection of music had been a part
of it.  There was something touching and fine about it, and it was moving
to reflect that he was one of a myriad, scattered over every part of the
globe, who by turn was doing as he was doing every hour of the
twenty-four--those awake doing it while the others slept--those
impressive bars forever floating up out of the various climes, never
silent and never lacking reverent listeners.

All that I remember about Madagascar is that Thackeray’s little Billie
went up to the top of the mast and there knelt him upon his knee, saying,
“I see

               “Jerusalem and Madagascar,
               And North and South Amerikee.”

May 3.  Sunday.  Fifteen or twenty Africanders who will end their voyage
to-day and strike for their several homes from Delagoa Bay to-morrow, sat
up singing on the afterdeck in the moonlight till 3 A.M.  Good fun and
wholesome.  And the songs were clean songs, and some of them were
hallowed by tender associations.  Finally, in a pause, a man asked, “Have
you heard about the fellow that kept a diary crossing the Atlantic?”
 It was a discord, a wet blanket.  The men were not in the mood for
humorous dirt.  The songs had carried them to their homes, and in spirit
they sat by those far hearthstones, and saw faces and heard voices other
than those that were about them.  And so this disposition to drag in an
old indecent anecdote got no welcome; nobody answered.  The poor man
hadn’t wit enough to see that he had blundered, but asked his question
again.  Again there was no response.  It was embarrassing for him.  In
his confusion he chose the wrong course, did the wrong thing--began the
anecdote.  Began it in a deep and hostile stillness, where had been such
life and stir and warm comradeship before.  He delivered himself of the
brief details of the diary’s first day, and did it with some confidence
and a fair degree of eagerness.  It fell flat.  There was an awkward
pause.  The two rows of men sat like statues.  There was no movement, no
sound.  He had to go on; there was no other way, at least none that an
animal of his calibre could think of.  At the close of each day’s diary,
the same dismal silence followed.  When at last he finished his tale and
sprung the indelicate surprise which is wont to fetch a crash of
laughter, not a ripple of sound resulted.  It was as if the tale had been
told to dead men.  After what seemed a long, long time, somebody sighed,
somebody else stirred in his seat; presently, the men dropped into a low
murmur of confidential talk, each with his neighbor, and the incident was
closed.  There were indications that that man was fond of his anecdote;
that it was his pet, his standby, his shot that never missed, his
reputation-maker.  But he will never tell it again.  No doubt he will
think of it sometimes, for that cannot well be helped; and then he will
see a picture, and always the same picture--the double rank of dead men;
the vacant deck stretching away in dimming perspective beyond them, the
wide desert of smooth sea all abroad; the rim of the moon spying from
behind a rag of black cloud; the remote top of the mizzenmast shearing a
zigzag path through the fields of stars in the deeps of space; and this
soft picture will remind him of the time that he sat in the midst of it
and told his poor little tale and felt so lonesome when he got through.

Fifty Indians and Chinamen asleep in a big tent in the waist of the ship
forward; they lie side by side with no space between; the former wrapped
up, head and all, as in the Indian streets, the Chinamen uncovered; the
lamp and things for opium smoking in the center.

A passenger said it was ten 2-ton truck loads of dynamite that lately
exploded at Johannesburg.  Hundreds killed; he doesn’t know how many;
limbs picked up for miles around.  Glass shattered, and roofs swept away
or collapsed 200 yards off; fragment of iron flung three and a half

It occurred at 3 p.m.; at 6, L65,000 had been subscribed.  When this
passenger left, L35,000 had been voted by city and state governments and
L100,000 by citizens and business corporations.  When news of the
disaster was telephoned to the Exchange L35,000 were subscribed in the
first five minutes.  Subscribing was still going on when he left; the
papers had ceased the names, only the amounts--too many names; not enough
room.  L100,000 subscribed by companies and citizens; if this is true, it
must be what they call in Australia “a record”--the biggest instance of a
spontaneous outpour for charity in history, considering the size of the
population it was drawn from, $8 or $10 for each white resident, babies
at the breast included.

Monday, May 4.  Steaming slowly in the stupendous Delagoa Bay, its dim
arms stretching far away and disappearing on both sides.  It could
furnish plenty of room for all the ships in the world, but it is shoal.
The lead has given us 3 1/2 fathoms several times and we are drawing
that, lacking 6 inches.

A bold headland--precipitous wall, 150 feet high, very strong, red color,
stretching a mile or so.  A man said it was Portuguese blood--battle
fought here with the natives last year.  I think this doubtful.  Pretty
cluster of houses on the tableland above the red--and rolling stretches
of grass and groups of trees, like England.

The Portuguese have the railroad (one passenger train a day) to the
border--70 miles--then the Netherlands Company have it.  Thousands of
tons of freight on the shore--no cover.  This is Portuguese allover
--indolence, piousness, poverty, impotence.

Crews of small boats and tugs, all jet black woolly heads and very

Winter.  The South African winter is just beginning now, but nobody but
an expert can tell it from summer.  However, I am tired of summer; we
have had it unbroken for eleven months.  We spent the afternoon on shore,
Delagoa Bay.  A small town--no sights.  No carriages.  Three ‘rickshas,
but we couldn’t get them--apparently private.  These Portuguese are a
rich brown, like some of the Indians.  Some of the blacks have the long
horse heads and very long chins of the negroes of the picture books; but
most of them are exactly like the negroes of our Southern States round
faces, flat noses, good-natured, and easy laughers.

Flocks of black women passed along, carrying outrageously heavy bags of
freight on their heads. The quiver of their leg as the foot was planted
and the strain exhibited by their bodies showed what a tax upon their
strength the load was.  They were stevedores and doing full stevedore’s
work.  They were very erect when unladden--from carrying weights on
their heads--just like the Indian women. It gives them a proud fine

Sometimes one saw a woman carrying on her head a laden and top-heavy
basket the shape of an inverted pyramid--its top the size of a soup-
plate, its base the diameter of a teacup.  It required nice balancing--
and got it.

No bright colors; yet there were a good many Hindoos.

The Second Class Passenger came over as usual at “lights out” (11) and we
lounged along the spacious vague solitudes of the deck and smoked the
peaceful pipe and talked.  He told me an incident in Mr. Barnum’s life
which was evidently characteristic of that great showman in several ways:

This was Barnum’s purchase of Shakespeare’s birthplace, a quarter of a
century ago.  The Second Class Passenger was in Jamrach’s employ at the
time and knew Barnum well.  He said the thing began in this way.  One
morning Barnum and Jamrach were in Jamrach’s little private snuggery back
of the wilderness of caged monkeys and snakes and other commonplaces of
Jamrach’s stock in trade, refreshing themselves after an arduous stroke
of business, Jamrach with something orthodox, Barnum with something
heterodox--for Barnum was a teetotaler.  The stroke of business was in
the elephant line.  Jamrach had contracted to deliver to Barnum in New
York 18 elephants for $360,000 in time for the next season’s opening.
Then it occurred to Mr. Barnum that he needed a “card.” He suggested
Jumbo.  Jamrach said he would have to think of something else--Jumbo
couldn’t be had; the Zoo wouldn’t part with that elephant.  Barnum said
he was willing to pay a fortune for Jumbo if he could get him.  Jamrach
said it was no use to think about it; that Jumbo was as popular as the
Prince of Wales and the Zoo wouldn’t dare to sell him; all England would
be outraged at the idea; Jumbo was an English institution; he was part of
the national glory; one might as well think of buying the Nelson
monument.  Barnum spoke up with vivacity and said:

“It’s a first-rate idea.  I’ll buy the Monument.”

Jamrach was speechless for a second.  Then he said, like one ashamed
“You caught me.  I was napping.  For a moment I thought you were in

Barnum said pleasantly--

“I was in earnest.  I know they won’t sell it, but no matter, I will not
throw away a good idea for all that.  All I want is a big advertisement.
I will keep the thing in mind, and if nothing better turns up I will
offer to buy it.  That will answer every purpose.  It will furnish me a
couple of columns of gratis advertising in every English and American
paper for a couple of months, and give my show the biggest boom a show
ever had in this world.”

Jamrach started to deliver a burst of admiration, but was interrupted by
Barnum, who said:

“Here is a state of things!  England ought to blush.”

His eye had fallen upon something in the newspaper.  He read it through
to himself, then read it aloud.  It said that the house that Shakespeare
was born in at Stratford-on-Avon was falling gradually to ruin through
neglect; that the room where the poet first saw the light was now serving
as a butcher’s shop; that all appeals to England to contribute money (the
requisite sum stated) to buy and repair the house and place it in the
care of salaried and trustworthy keepers had fallen resultless.  Then
Barnum said:

“There’s my chance.  Let Jumbo and the Monument alone for the present
--they’ll keep.  I’ll buy Shakespeare’s house.  I’ll set it up in my
Museum in New York and put a glass case around it and make a sacred thing
of it; and you’ll see all America flock there to worship; yes, and
pilgrims from the whole earth; and I’ll make them take their hats off,
too.  In America we know how to value anything that Shakespeare’s touch
has made holy. You’ll see.”

In conclusion the S. C. P.  said:

“That is the way the thing came about.  Barnum did buy Shakespeare’s
house.  He paid the price asked, and received the properly attested
documents of sale.  Then there was an explosion, I can tell you.  England
rose!  What, the birthplace of the master-genius of all the ages and all
the climes--that priceless possession of Britain--to be carted out of the
country like so much old lumber and set up for sixpenny desecration in a
Yankee show-shop--the idea was not to be tolerated for a moment.  England
rose in her indignation; and Barnum was glad to relinquish his prize and
offer apologies.  However, he stood out for a compromise; he claimed a
concession--England must let him have Jumbo.  And England consented, but
not cheerfully.”

It shows how, by help of time, a story can grow--even after Barnum has
had the first innings in the telling of it.  Mr. Barnum told me the story
himself, years ago.  He said that the permission to buy Jumbo was not a
concession; the purchase was made and the animal delivered before the
public knew anything about it.  Also, that the securing of Jumbo was all
the advertisement he needed.  It produced many columns of newspaper talk,
free of cost, and he was satisfied.  He said that if he had failed to get
Jumbo he would have caused his notion of buying the Nelson Monument to be
treacherously smuggled into print by some trusty friend, and after he had
gotten a few hundred pages of gratuitous advertising out of it, he would
have come out with a blundering, obtuse, but warm-hearted letter of
apology, and in a postscript to it would have naively proposed to let the
Monument go, and take Stonehenge in place of it at the same price.

It was his opinion that such a letter, written with well-simulated
asinine innocence and gush would have gotten his ignorance and stupidity
an amount of newspaper abuse worth six fortunes to him, and not
purchasable for twice the money.

I knew Mr. Barnum well, and I placed every confidence in the account
which he gave me of the Shakespeare birthplace episode.  He said he found
the house neglected and going-to decay, and he inquired into the matter
and was told that many times earnest efforts had been made to raise money
for its proper repair and preservation, but without success.  He then
proposed to buy it.  The proposition was entertained, and a price named
--$50,000, I think; but whatever it was, Barnum paid the money down,
without remark, and the papers were drawn up and executed.  He said that
it had been his purpose to set up the house in his Museum, keep it in
repair, protect it from name-scribblers and other desecrators, and leave
it by bequest to the safe and perpetual guardianship of the Smithsonian
Institute at Washington.

But as soon as it was found that Shakespeare’s house had passed into
foreign hands and was going to be carried across the ocean, England was
stirred as no appeal from the custodians of the relic had ever stirred
England before, and protests came flowing in--and money, too, to stop the
outrage.  Offers of repurchase were made--offers of double the money that
Mr. Barnum had paid for the house.  He handed the house back, but took
only the sum which it had cost him--but on the condition that an
endowment sufficient for the future safeguarding and maintenance of the
sacred relic should be raised.  This condition was fulfilled.

That was Barnum’s account of the episode; and to the end of his days he
claimed with pride and satisfaction that not England, but America
--represented by him--saved the birthplace of Shakespeare from

At 3 P.M., May 6th, the ship slowed down, off the land, and thoughtfully
and cautiously picked her way into the snug harbor of Durban, South


In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


Royal Hotel.  Comfortable, good table, good service of natives and
Madrasis.  Curious jumble of modern and ancient city and village,
primitiveness and the other thing.  Electric bells, but they don’t ring.
Asked why they didn’t, the watchman in the office said he thought they
must be out of order; he thought so because some of them rang, but most
of them didn’t.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put them in order?  He
hesitated--like one who isn’t quite sure--then conceded the point.

May 7.  A bang on the door at 6.  Did I want my boots cleaned?  Fifteen
minutes later another bang.  Did we want coffee?  Fifteen later, bang
again, my wife’s bath ready; 15 later, my bath ready.  Two other bangs;
I forget what they were about.  Then lots of shouting back and forth,
among the servants just as in an Indian hotel.

Evening.  At 4 P.M.  it was unpleasantly warm.  Half-hour after sunset
one needed a spring overcoat; by 8 a winter one.

Durban is a neat and clean town.  One notices that without having his
attention called to it.

Rickshaws drawn by splendidly built black Zulus, so overflowing with
strength, seemingly, that it is a pleasure, not a pain, to see them
snatch a rickshaw along.  They smile and laugh and show their teeth--a
good-natured lot.  Not allowed to drink; 2s per hour for one person; 3s
for two; 3d for a course--one person.

The chameleon in the hotel court.  He is fat and indolent and
contemplative; but is business-like and capable when a fly comes about
--reaches out a tongue like a teaspoon and takes him in.  He gums his
tongue first.  He is always pious, in his looks.  And pious and thankful
both, when Providence or one of us sends him a fly.  He has a froggy
head, and a back like a new grave--for shape; and hands like a bird’s
toes that have been frostbitten.  But his eyes are his exhibition
feature.  A couple of skinny cones project from the sides of his head,
with a wee shiny bead of an eye set in the apex of each; and these cones
turn bodily like pivot-guns and point every-which-way, and they are
independent of each other; each has its own exclusive machinery.  When I
am behind him and C. in front of him, he whirls one eye rearwards and the
other forwards--which gives him a most Congressional expression (one eye
on the constituency and one on the swag); and then if something happens
above and below him he shoots out one eye upward like a telescope and the
other downward--and this changes his expression, but does not improve it.

Natives must not be out after the curfew bell without a pass.  In Natal
there are ten blacks to one white.

Sturdy plump creatures are the women.  They comb their wool up to a peak
and keep it in position by stiffening it with brown-red clay--half of
this tower colored, denotes engagement; the whole of it colored denotes

None but heathen Zulus on the police; Christian ones not allowed.

May 9.  A drive yesterday with friends over the Berea.  Very fine roads
and lofty, overlooking the whole town, the harbor, and the sea-beautiful
views.  Residences all along, set in the midst of green lawns with shrubs
and generally one or two intensely red outbursts of poinsettia--the
flaming splotch of blinding red a stunning contrast with the world of
surrounding green.  The cactus tree--candelabrum-like; and one twisted
like gray writhing serpents.  The “flat-crown” (should be flat-roof)
--half a dozen naked branches full of elbows, slant upward like
supports, and fling a roof of delicate foliage out in a horizontal
platform as flat as a floor; and you look up through this thin floor as
through a green cobweb or veil.  The branches are japanesich.  All about
you is a bewildering variety of unfamiliar and beautiful trees; one sort
wonderfully dense foliage and very dark green--so dark that you notice it
at once, notwithstanding there are so many orange trees.  The
“flamboyant”--not in flower, now, but when in flower lives up to its
name, we are told.  Another tree with a lovely upright tassel scattered
among its rich greenery, red and glowing as a firecoal.  Here and there a
gum-tree; half a dozen lofty Norfolk Island pines lifting their fronded
arms skyward.  Groups of tall bamboo.

Saw one bird.  Not many birds here, and they have no music--and the
flowers not much smell, they grow so fast.

Everything neat and trim and clean like the town.  The loveliest trees
and the greatest variety I have ever seen anywhere, except approaching
Darjeeling.  Have not heard anyone call Natal the garden of South Africa,
but that is what it probably is.

It was when Bishop of Natal that Colenso raised such a storm in the
religious world.  The concerns of religion are a vital matter here yet.
A vigilant eye is kept upon Sunday.  Museums and other dangerous resorts
are not allowed to be open.  You may sail on the Bay, but it is wicked to
play cricket.  For a while a Sunday concert was tolerated, upon condition
that it must be admission free and the money taken by collection.  But
the collection was alarmingly large and that stopped the matter.  They
are particular about babies.  A clergyman would not bury a child
according to the sacred rites because it had not been baptized.  The
Hindoo is more liberal.  He burns no child under three, holding that it
does not need purifying.

The King of the Zulus, a fine fellow of 30, was banished six years ago
for a term of seven years.  He is occupying Napoleon’s old stand--St.
Helena.  The people are a little nervous about having him come back, and
they may well be, for Zulu kings have been terrible people sometimes
--like Tchaka, Dingaan, and Cetewayo.

There is a large Trappist monastery two hours from Durban, over the
country roads, and in company with Mr. Milligan and Mr. Hunter, general
manager of the Natal government railways, who knew the heads of it, we
went out to see it.

There it all was, just as one reads about it in books and cannot believe
that it is so--I mean the rough, hard work, the impossible hours, the
scanty food, the coarse raiment, the Maryborough beds, the tabu of human
speech, of social intercourse, of relaxation, of amusement, of
entertainment, of the presence of woman in the men’s establishment.
There it all was.  It was not a dream, it was not a lie.  And yet with
the fact before one’s face it was still incredible.  It is such a
sweeping suppression of human instincts, such an extinction of the man as
an individual.

La Trappe must have known the human race well.  The scheme which he
invented hunts out everything that a man wants and values--and withholds
it from him.  Apparently there is no detail that can help make life worth
living that has not been carefully ascertained and placed out of the
Trappist’s reach.  La Trappe must have known that there were men who
would enjoy this kind of misery, but how did he find it out?

If he had consulted you or me he would have been told that his scheme
lacked too many attractions; that it was impossible; that it could never
be floated.  But there in the monastery was proof that he knew the human
race better than it knew itself.  He set his foot upon every desire that
a man has--yet he floated his project, and it has prospered for two
hundred years, and will go on prospering forever, no doubt.

Man likes personal distinction--there in the monastery it is obliterated.
He likes delicious food--there he gets beans and bread and tea, and not
enough of it.  He likes to lie softly--there he lies on a sand mattress,
and has a pillow and a blanket, but no sheet.  When he is dining, in a
great company of friends, he likes to laugh and chat--there a monk reads
a holy book aloud during meals, and nobody speaks or laughs.  When a man
has a hundred friends about him, evenings, he likes to have a good time
and run late--there he and the rest go silently to bed at 8; and in the
dark, too; there is but a loose brown robe to discard, there are no
night-clothes to put on, a light is not needed.  Man likes to lie abed
late--there he gets up once or twice in the night to perform some
religious office, and gets up finally for the day at two in the morning.
Man likes light work or none at all--there he labors all day in the
field, or in the blacksmith shop or the other shops devoted to the
mechanical trades, such as shoemaking, saddlery, carpentry, and so on.
Man likes the society of girls and women--there he never has it.  He
likes to have his children about him, and pet them and play with them
--there he has none.  He likes billiards--there is no table there.  He
likes outdoor sports and indoor dramatic and musical and social
entertainments--there are none there.  He likes to bet on things--I was
told that betting is forbidden there.  When a man’s temper is up he likes
to pour it out upon somebody there this is not allowed.  A man likes
animals--pets; there are none there.  He likes to smoke--there he cannot
do it.  He likes to read the news--no papers or magazines come there.  A
man likes to know how his parents and brothers and sisters are getting
along when he is away, and if they miss him--there he cannot know.  A man
likes a pretty house, and pretty furniture, and pretty things, and pretty
colors--there he has nothing but naked aridity and sombre colors.  A man
likes--name it yourself: whatever it is, it is absent from that place.

From what I could learn, all that a man gets for this is merely the
saving of his soul.

It all seems strange, incredible, impossible.  But La Trappe knew the
race.  He knew the powerful attraction of unattractiveness; he knew that
no life could be imagined, howsoever comfortless and forbidding, but
somebody would want to try it.

This parent establishment of Germans began its work fifteen years ago,
strangers, poor, and unencouraged; it owns 15,000 acres of land now, and
raises grain and fruit, and makes wines, and manufactures all manner of
things, and has native apprentices in its shops, and sends them forth
able to read and write, and also well equipped to earn their living by
their trades.  And this young establishment has set up eleven branches in
South Africa, and in them they are christianizing and educating and
teaching wage-yielding mechanical trades to 1,200 boys and girls.
Protestant Missionary work is coldly regarded by the commercial white
colonist all over the heathen world, as a rule, and its product is
nicknamed “rice-Christians” (occupationless incapables who join the
church for revenue only), but I think it would be difficult to pick a
flaw in the work of these Catholic monks, and I believe that the
disposition to attempt it has not shown itself.

Tuesday, May 12.  Transvaal politics in a confused condition.  First the
sentencing of the Johannesburg Reformers startled England by its
severity; on the top of this came Kruger’s exposure of the cipher
correspondence, which showed that the invasion of the Transvaal, with the
design of seizing that country and adding it to the British Empire, was
planned by Cecil Rhodes and Beit--which made a revulsion in English
feeling, and brought out a storm against Rhodes and the Chartered Company
for degrading British honor.  For a good while I couldn’t seem to get at
a clear comprehension of it, it was so tangled.  But at last by patient
study I have managed it, I believe.  As I understand it, the Uitlanders
and other Dutchmen were dissatisfied because the English would not allow
them to take any part in the government except to pay taxes.  Next, as I
understand it, Dr. Kruger and Dr. Jameson, not having been able to make
the medical business pay, made a raid into Matabeleland with the
intention of capturing the capital, Johannesburg, and holding the women
and children to ransom until the Uitlanders and the other Boers should
grant to them and the Chartered Company the political rights which had
been withheld from them.  They would have succeeded in this great scheme,
as I understand it, but for the interference of Cecil Rhodes and Mr.
Beit, and other Chiefs of the Matabele, who persuaded their countrymen to
revolt and throw off their allegiance to Germany.  This, in turn, as I
understand it, provoked the King of Abyssinia to destroy the Italian army
and fall back upon Johannesburg; this at the instigation of Rhodes, to
bull the stock market.


Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

When I scribbled in my note-book a year ago the paragraph which ends the
preceding chapter, it was meant to indicate, in an extravagant form, two
things: the conflicting nature of the information conveyed by the citizen
to the stranger concerning South African politics, and the resulting
confusion created in the stranger’s mind thereby.

But it does not seem so very extravagant now.  Nothing could in that
disturbed and excited time make South African politics clear or quite
rational to the citizen of the country because his personal interest and
his political prejudices were in his way; and nothing could make those
politics clear or rational to the stranger, the sources of his
information being such as they were.

I was in South Africa some little time.  When I arrived there the
political pot was boiling fiercely.  Four months previously, Jameson had
plunged over the Transvaal border with about 600 armed horsemen at his
back, to go to the “relief of the women and children” of Johannesburg; on
the fourth day of his march the Boers had defeated him in battle, and
carried him and his men to Pretoria, the capital, as prisoners; the Boer
government had turned Jameson and his officers over to the British
government for trial, and shipped them to England; next, it had arrested
64 important citizens of Johannesburg as raid-conspirators, condemned
their four leaders to death, then commuted the sentences, and now the 64
were waiting, in jail, for further results.  Before midsummer they were
all out excepting two, who refused to sign the petitions for release; 58
had been fined $10,000 each and enlarged, and the four leaders had gotten
off with fines of $125,000 each with permanent exile added, in one case.

Those were wonderfully interesting days for a stranger, and I was glad
to be in the thick of the excitement.  Everybody was talking, and I
expected to understand the whole of one side of it in a very little

I was disappointed.  There were singularities, perplexities,
unaccountabilities about it which I was not able to master.  I had no
personal access to Boers--their side was a secret to me, aside from what
I was able to gather of it from published statements.  My sympathies were
soon with the Reformers in the Pretoria jail, with their friends, and
with their cause.  By diligent inquiry in Johannesburg I found out
--apparently--all the details of their side of the quarrel except one--
they expected to accomplish by an armed rising.

Nobody seemed to know.

The reason why the Reformers were discontented and wanted some changes
made, seemed quite clear.  In Johannesburg it was claimed that the
Uitlanders (strangers, foreigners) paid thirteen-fifteenths of the
Transvaal taxes, yet got little or nothing for it.  Their city had no
charter; it had no municipal government; it could levy no taxes for
drainage, water-supply, paving, cleaning, sanitation, policing.  There
was a police force, but it was composed of Boers, it was furnished by the
State Government, and the city had no control over it.  Mining was very
costly; the government enormously increased the cost by putting
burdensome taxes upon the mines, the output, the machinery, the
buildings; by burdensome imposts upon incoming materials; by burdensome
railway-freight-charges.  Hardest of all to bear, the government reserved
to itself a monopoly in that essential thing, dynamite, and burdened it
with an extravagant price.  The detested Hollander from over the water
held all the public offices.  The government was rank with corruption.
The Uitlander had no vote, and must live in the State ten or twelve years
before he could get one.  He was not represented in the Raad
(legislature) that oppressed him and fleeced him.  Religion was not free.
There were no schools where the teaching was in English, yet the great
majority of the white population of the State knew no tongue but that.
The State would not pass a liquor law; but allowed a great trade in cheap
vile brandy among the blacks, with the result that 25 per cent. of the
50,000 blacks employed in the mines were usually drunk and incapable of

There--it was plain enough that the reasons for wanting some changes made
were abundant and reasonable, if this statement of the existing
grievances was correct.

What the Uitlanders wanted was reform--under the existing Republic.

What they proposed to do was to secure these reforms by, prayer,
petition, and persuasion.

They did petition.  Also, they issued a Manifesto, whose very first note
is a bugle-blast of loyalty: “We want the establishment of this Republic
as a true Republic.”

Could anything be clearer than the Uitlander’s statement of the
grievances and oppressions under which they were suffering?  Could
anything be more legal and citizen-like and law-respecting than their
attitude as expressed by their Manifesto?  No.  Those things were
perfectly clear, perfectly comprehensible.

But at this point the puzzles and riddles and confusions begin to flock
in.  You have arrived at a place which you cannot quite understand.

For you find that as a preparation for this loyal, lawful, and in every
way unexceptionable attempt to persuade the government to right their
grievances, the Uitlanders had smuggled a Maxim gun or two and 1,500
muskets into the town, concealed in oil tanks and coal cars, and had
begun to form and drill military companies composed of clerks, merchants,
and citizens generally.

What was their idea?  Did they suppose that the Boers would attack them
for petitioning, for redress?  That could not be.

Did they suppose that the Boers would attack them even for issuing a
Manifesto demanding relief under the existing government?

Yes, they apparently believed so, because the air was full of talk of
forcing the government to grant redress if it were not granted

The Reformers were men of high intelligence.  If they were in earnest,
they were taking extraordinary risks.  They had enormously valuable
properties to defend; their town was full of women and children; their
mines and compounds were packed with thousands upon thousands of sturdy
blacks.  If the Boers attacked, the mines would close, the blacks would
swarm out and get drunk; riot and conflagration and the Boers together
might lose the Reformers more in a day, in money, blood, and suffering,
than the desired political relief could compensate in ten years if they
won the fight and secured the reforms.

It is May, 1897, now; a year has gone by, and the confusions of that day
have been to a considerable degree cleared away.  Mr. Cecil Rhodes, Dr.
Jameson, and others responsible for the Raid, have testified before the
Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry in London, and so have Mr. Lionel
Phillips and other Johannesburg Reformers, monthly-nurses of the
Revolution which was born dead.  These testimonies have thrown light.
Three books have added much to this light:

“South Africa As It Is,” by Mr. Statham, an able writer partial to the
Boers; “The Story of an African Crisis,” by Mr. Garrett, a brilliant
writer partial to Rhodes; and “A Woman’s Part in a Revolution,” by Mrs.
John Hays Hammond, a vigorous and vivid diarist, partial to the
Reformers.  By liquifying the evidence of the prejudiced books and of the
prejudiced parliamentary witnesses and stirring the whole together and
pouring it into my own (prejudiced) moulds, I have got at the truth of
that puzzling South African situation, which is this:

1.  The capitalists and other chief men of Johannesburg were fretting
under various political and financial burdens imposed by the State (the
South African Republic, sometimes called “the Transvaal”) and desired to
procure by peaceful means a modification of the laws.

2.  Mr. Cecil Rhodes, Premier of the British Cape Colony, millionaire,
creator and managing director of the territorially-immense and
financially unproductive South Africa Company; projector of vast schemes
for the unification and consolidation of all the South African States
into one imposing commonwealth or empire under the shadow and general
protection of the British flag, thought he saw an opportunity to make
profitable use of the Uitlander discontent above mentioned--make the
Johannesburg cat help pull out one of his consolidation chestnuts for
him.  With this view he set himself the task of warming the lawful and
legitimate petitions and supplications of the Uitlanders into seditious
talk, and their frettings into threatenings--the final outcome to be
revolt and armed rebellion.  If he could bring about a bloody collision
between those people and the Boer government, Great Britain would have to
interfere; her interference would be resisted by the Boers; she would
chastise them and add the Transvaal to her South African possessions.  It
was not a foolish idea, but a rational and practical one.

After a couple of years of judicious plotting, Mr. Rhodes had his reward;
the revolutionary kettle was briskly boiling in Johannesburg, and the
Uitlander leaders were backing their appeals to the government--now
hardened into demands--by threats of force and bloodshed.  By the middle
of December, 1895, the explosion seemed imminent.  Mr. Rhodes was
diligently helping, from his distant post in Cape Town.  He was helping
to procure arms for Johannesburg; he was also arranging to have Jameson
break over the border and come to Johannesburg with 600 mounted men at
his back.  Jameson--as per instructions from Rhodes, perhaps--wanted a
letter from the Reformers requesting him to come to their aid.  It was a
good idea.  It would throw a considerable share of the responsibility of
his invasion upon the Reformers.  He got the letter--that famous one
urging him to fly to the rescue of the women and children.  He got it two
months before he flew.  The Reformers seem to have thought it over and
concluded that they had not done wisely; for the next day after giving
Jameson the implicating document they wanted to withdraw it and leave the
women and children in danger; but they were told that it was too late.
The original had gone to Mr. Rhodes at the Cape.  Jameson had kept a
copy, though.

From that time until the 29th of December, a good deal of the Reformers’
time was taken up with energetic efforts to keep Jameson from coming to
their assistance.  Jameson’s invasion had been set for the 26th.  The
Reformers were not ready.  The town was not united.  Some wanted a fight,
some wanted peace; some wanted a new government, some wanted the existing
one reformed; apparently very few wanted the revolution to take place in
the interest and under the ultimate shelter of the Imperial flag
--British; yet a report began to spread that Mr. Rhodes’s embarrassing
assistance had for its end this latter object.

Jameson was away up on the frontier tugging at his leash, fretting to
burst over the border.  By hard work the Reformers got his starting-date
postponed a little, and wanted to get it postponed eleven days.
Apparently, Rhodes’s agents were seconding their efforts--in fact wearing
out the telegraph wires trying to hold him back.  Rhodes was himself the
only man who could have effectively postponed Jameson, but that would
have been a disadvantage to his scheme; indeed, it could spoil his whole
two years’ work.

Jameson endured postponement three days, then resolved to wait no longer.
Without any orders--excepting Mr. Rhodes’s significant silence--he cut
the telegraph wires on the 29th, and made his plunge that night, to go to
the rescue of the women and children, by urgent request of a letter now
nine days old--as per date,--a couple of months old, in fact.  He read
the letter to his men, and it affected them.  It did not affect all of
them alike.  Some saw in it a piece of piracy of doubtful wisdom, and
were sorry to find that they had been assembled to violate friendly
territory instead of to raid native kraals, as they had supposed.

Jameson would have to ride 150 miles.  He knew that there were suspicions
abroad in the Transvaal concerning him, but he expected to get through to
Johannesburg before they should become general and obstructive. But a
telegraph wire had been overlooked and not cut.  It spread the news of
his invasion far and wide, and a few hours after his start the Boer
farmers were riding hard from every direction to intercept him.

As soon as it was known in Johannesburg that he was on his way to rescue
the women and children, the grateful people put the women and children in
a train and rushed them for Australia.  In fact, the approach of
Johannesburg’s saviour created panic and consternation there, and a
multitude of males of peaceable disposition swept to the trains like a
sand-storm.  The early ones fared best; they secured seats--by sitting in
them--eight hours before the first train was timed to leave.

Mr. Rhodes lost no time.  He cabled the renowned Johannesburg letter of
invitation to the London press--the gray-headedest piece of ancient
history that ever went over a cable.

The new poet laureate lost no time.  He came out with a rousing poem
lauding Jameson’s prompt and splendid heroism in flying to the rescue of
the women and children; for the poet could not know that he did not fly
until two months after the invitation.  He was deceived by the false date
of the letter, which was December 20th.

Jameson was intercepted by the Boers on New Year’s Day, and on the next
day he surrendered.  He had carried his copy of the letter along, and if
his instructions required him--in case of emergency--to see that it fell
into the hands of the Boers, he loyally carried them out.  Mrs. Hammond
gives him a sharp rap for his supposed carelessness, and emphasizes her
feeling about it with burning italics: “It was picked up on the
battle-field in a leathern pouch, supposed to be Dr. Jameson’s saddle-
bag. Why, in the name of all that is discreet and honorable, didn’t he
eat it!”

She requires too much.  He was not in the service of the Reformers
--excepting ostensibly; he was in the service of Mr. Rhodes.  It was the
only plain English document, undarkened by ciphers and mysteries, and
responsibly signed and authenticated, which squarely implicated the
Reformers in the raid, and it was not to Mr. Rhodes’s interest that it
should be eaten.  Besides, that letter was not the original, it was only
a copy.  Mr. Rhodes had the original--and didn’t eat it.  He cabled it to
the London press.  It had already been read in England and America and
all over Europe before Jameson dropped it on the battlefield.  If the
subordinate’s knuckles deserved a rap, the principal’s deserved as many
as a couple of them.

That letter is a juicily dramatic incident and is entitled to all its
celebrity, because of the odd and variegated effects which it produced.
All within the space of a single week it had made Jameson an illustrious
hero in England, a pirate in Pretoria, and an ass without discretion or
honor in Johannesburg; also it had produced a poet-laureatic explosion of
colored fireworks which filled the world’s sky with giddy splendors, and,
the knowledge that Jameson was coming with it to rescue the women and
children emptied Johannesburg of that detail of the population.  For an
old letter, this was much.  For a letter two months old, it did marvels;
if it had been a year old it would have done miracles.


First catch your Boer, then kick him.
                                  --Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.

Those latter days were days of bitter worry and trouble for the harassed

From Mrs. Hammond we learn that on the 31st (the day after Johannesburg
heard of the invasion), “The Reform Committee repudiates Dr. Jameson’s

It also publishes its intention to adhere to the Manifesto.

It also earnestly desires that the inhabitants shall refrain from overt
acts against the Boer government.

It also “distributes arms” at the Court House, and furnishes horses “to
the newly-enrolled volunteers.”

It also brings a Transvaal flag into the committee-room, and the entire
body swear allegiance to it “with uncovered heads and upraised arms.”

Also “one thousand Lee-Metford rifles have been given out”--to rebels.

Also, in a s