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A fight with distances : the States, the Hawaiian Islands, Canada, British Columbia, Cuba, the Bahamas… Aubertin, J. J. (John James), 1818-1900 1888

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Array THE STATES  THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS    A FIGHT WITH   DISTANCES 
BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
A FLIGHT TO MEXICO. With 7 full-page
Illustrations and a Railway Map of Mexico. Crown
8vo, Js. 6d.
11 An instructive and entertaining book."—Spectator.
" Mr. Aubertin has the eye of a poet and a traveller for description."-—Saturday Review.
SIX MONTHS  IN   CAPE   COLONY  AND
NATAL.    With 6 Illustrations and Map.    Crown
8vo, 6s.
" A lively and pleasant book."—Academy.
" Very readable and instructive. . . . Full of graphic touches of
scenery."—Graphic.    	
THE LTJSIADS OF CAMOENS. Portuguese
Text, with Translation. Second Edition. 2 vols.
Crown 8vo, \is.
" In contact with his favourite poet, his language gains singular,
felicity and strength, rising at times to poetic elevation."—Times.
"Mr. Aubertins translation is definite."—Athenceum.
" The skill of Mr. Aubertin's translation is throughout admirable."
—St. James's Gazette.
SEVENTY SONNETS OF CAMOENS,
WITH ORIGINAL POEMS. Crown 8vo,
7-r. 6<i.
' A scholar-like version of Camoens' verse."—Graphic.
" Marvellously successful."—Academy.
London : Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.
■m\     A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES THE   STATES   
THE   HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS
CANADA, BRITISH  COLUMBIA, CUBA
THE   BAHAMAS
J.   J.   AUBERTIN
TRANSLATOR  OF  "THE LUSIADS,"  AND  "SEVENTY SONNETS  OF CAMOENS"
AND AUTHOR  OF  " A  FLIGHT TO  MEXICO,"   " SIX MONTHS  IN  CAPE COLONY," ETC
WITH   EIGHT   ILLUSTRATIONS  AND  TWO   MAPS
LONDON
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO.,  PATERNOSTER SQUARE
1888-  I DEDICATE
THIS CONVERSATIONAL RECORD
OF
MY LATE WIDE RAMBLE THROUGH THE WEST
TO ALL  THOSE WHO
FROM  TIME TO  TIME CONTRIBUTED
BY  THEIR   FELLOWSHIP
TO  RENDER  IT BRIGHT AND  PROSPEROUS.
April,  1888.  CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I
I.    Introductory,
The Route—What do you think of the States ?— Phrygia
and Pamphylia—Title...
II.   Liverpool to Quebec.
Out at Sea—Fellow-passengers—Sea-fogs—Icebergs
—The St. Lawrence—Cape Diamond
III.    Quebec to Niagara.
Quebec—The Heights of Abraham—Falls of Montmorency — Montreal — Home Rule — The Grand
Trunk Railway—Kingston—The Thousand Islands
—The Rapids—The Canadian Pacific Railway—
Ottawa—Toronto—Niagara—The Cave of the Winds
IV.   The States—Chicago—Minnesota.
The Northern Pacific Railway—Railway Time—Heat
and Dust—Chicago—Pig-killing—Hotels—Minneapolis and St. Paul—Dacota       ... ... ...    48
V.   Minneapolis to Tacoma.
James Town—Bad Lands—Yellowstone Park—The
Geysers — The Canon — Back to Livingston — A
Travelling Correspondent—Columbia River—Mount
Tacoma ... ... ... ...        gpl;*    ^2
VI.   British Columbia.
Victoria—The Canadian Pacific Railway—Hudson's
Bay Company—Yale—Mountain and River Scenery
—Calgari—Back to Victoria—Portland—Astoria—
To San Francisco        ... ... ... ... 106 VI11
CONTENTS.
CHAPTER FAL.fc
VII.    San Francisco—Yo Semite.
The Palace Hotel—The Chinese — Their Theatre—
Opium Dens—Restaurants—Yo Semite Valley—Inspiration Point—The Falls—The Big Trees, Mariposa 131
VIII.   The Hawaiian Islands.
Bound for Honolulu—Optical illusions—"Interviewed"
—A Drive to the Pali—The Crater of Kilauea—
Haleakala—The Prime Minister—King Kalakoua—
The Chinese — Education — Parliament House —
Drives—On the San Francisco Boat        ... ... 158
IX.    Manitou—Albany—Boston.
The Burlington Route—Nevada—Salt Lake and City—
The Denver and Rio Grande Railway—The Black
Canon—Marshall's Pass—The Royal George—Pike's
Peak—The Garden of the Gods—Albany—Lake
George—Cohoes—Lenox—Boston
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
209
X.   New York.
Fifth Avenue Hotel—Elevated Railways—Brooklyn
Bridge—Tram-cars—Post-office—Hudson River—
Statue of Liberty—Police—The Star Theatre—The
Streets—The Central Park—Advertisements
Philadelphia.
History — Public Buildings '•■
tinental Hotel
The Park —The Cc
236
265
Washington.
District of Columbia—Plan of the City—Congress—
Courts of Justice—Pensions—Luray Caves—Caves of
■ Kentucky — Back to Washington — Government
Offices—The Geometrical Lathe—At the Cosmos—
Army Medical Museum—Washington Monument—
Mount Vernon—The Evening Star
Florida.
Jacksonville—The Oldest Town in the States—Citra—
An Orange Grove—Orlando—Tampa—Key West ...
Cuba.
Havana—Cigars—A Bull-fight—Climate—Matanzas—
Cienfuegos—Santiago de Cuba—Nassau—New Providence—New York—Home
272
5i6 LIST  OF   ILLUSTRATIONS.
The Three Brothers, Yo Semite  ...
Raft on the St. Lawrence
Ottawa
Mammoth Hot Springs...
Old Faithful
Glimpse of the Great Falls   ...
The Grand CaSon, Yellowstone River
Map of Yo Semite Valley
Map of the Hawaiian Islands
Garden of the Gods, and Pike's Peak..
Map of Route
Frontispiece
To face page   26
32
86
90
94
96
137
163
222
At end  CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTORY.
In the calendar of life, while recalling memories of
certain impressions and events, we are at liberty to
carve out our own complete, space of twelvemonths
without being bound to the rigid tables of the
almanac; and, availing myself of this privilege, I
mark exactly one year, dating back from my now
taking up my pen for recording my experiences
during that period.
It was the ioth of June, 1886, when, with many
others, I sailed from Liverpool in the S.S. Parisian
(Captain J. Wylie), of the Allan Line, bound for
Quebec, with the intention of taking a long course,
to and fro, in the States, beginning with a visit to the
Dominion; and though, when we sailed out of port
to the distant West, I was very far from making my
first voyage at sea, yet I must confess to have felt a
striking sense of novelty and strangeness in the idea
that I was at last going to realize great North America
and the great States, across the great North Atlantic.
I You ought to have visited the States long ago,"
* ;
B 2 A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I have had said to me ; but I nevertheless feel that I
was not a day too late, and, moreover, that in a very
short space of time, unless I can go there again, I
shall believe that I have .been too soon. Every hour,
as it seems, makes a step towards surprising developments in this still young, though vastly grown country.
I had at first thought of a journey round the
world, continuing from San Francisco in our west
through our colonies to our east, but I soon found
that I had plenty to compass by remaining on the
great continent where I found myself; and, moreover,
I felt there would be a strange mixture of confused
impressions, incongruously mingled in the mind, had
I combined the old peoples and majesties of India
and China with the newest development of imported
mankind in North America. It is true, however, that
from San Francisco I managed a passage to the
Sandwich, or more properly Hawaiian Islands,
where I spent the month of September, visiting their
large active, and their still larger extinct, volcanoes.
These islands, however, with now only one week's
sail from the western coast, belong almost geographically, as indeed almost sympathetically, to the States
themselves.
When the wanderer's round is completed, and he
is at home again, it is not an ungrateful occupation
to open the map and trace out the-whole course of
his journey, while sitting at ease and released from
all the toil that his curiosity entailed on him for its
satisfaction.   This I am now tempted to do. INTROD UCTOR Y.
First, then, I landed in Quebec; visited Montreal,
Ottawa, and Toronto. Thence I crossed Lake
Ontario to Niagara Falls; and from the Falls I went
on to the States, entering at Detroit, in Michigan,
and stopping at Chicago. Thence I struck upwards
to the two already flourishing and still growing rival
cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and on my way
to Portland, Oregon, stopped at Cinnabar for a visit
to the Yellow Stone Park. From Portland I travelled
northwards to Victoria, in Vancouver's Island, going
over the mountain ranges of the Canadian Pacific
railway to Calgari, in British Columbia, and returning.
Once again at Portland, I took steamer for San
Francisco, whence I visited the Yo Semite Valley,
and on my return sailed for the Hawaiian Islands.
Once again at San Francisco I started for Salt Lake
City, and continued through the gorges of the Rio
Grande and Delver railway, stopping at Manitou
to see Colorado Springs and to make the ascent of
Pike's Peak in the Rockies. Hence I made the best
of my way by the Burlington Route to Chicago,
towards the New England States, a visit which I had
purposely delayed till now, in order that I might
realize the surpassing beauties of their autumn tints.
Having seen the two cities Albany and Boston, I
came down the beautiful Hudson to New York, and,
after a due sojourn in that city, continued southwards
to Philadelphia and Washington, passing' through
Florida, after visiting on my way the Mammoth
Caves of Kentucky.    Eventually, I left the States at A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Tacoma for Cuba, returning by the Bahamas to New
York ; and sailing thence by the Cunard boat Servia
(Captain McKay) for Liverpool, arrived there on a
downright raw day on the 3rd of April, 1887, having
been absent just ten months.
Not so very long ago travel like this would have
astonished, and its particulars have been studied
with avidity; and though it is not quite commonplace even now, yet the world is growing every day
so much smaller and so much more familiar to all,
even to those who stay at home (the number of those
who move about constantly increasing), that the
appetite of curiosity has been already fed by many
caterers, and it may be asked where are we to look for
sufficient novelty to engage attention, even in coursing
over the globe ? In some sort, Heligoland and Galapagos Island might excite more interest than New
York itself, whither men of business, day after day,
cross the Atlantic almost as familiarly as they cross
the Channel to France. In proportion, however, as
it has become more easy to see the world, the world
has had more to show—a result of people having
made their way, and opened the way, to formerly
untrodden scenes, and established life in all its varied
activity where mere curiosity had blankly gazed
before.
Still, it is not only novelty that can please, for
though " the first time" has always a charm peculiarly its own, either in seeing or hearing, so also is
there great  satisfaction  in  a revisit, or in  reading INTROD UCTOR Y.
an account by another's pen of scenes where we
have already wandered- Return you whence you
may, it is a fact that you are sure to be met by many
questions; so that it would seem the traveller's
tongue or pen should be always welcome or unwelcome by his own fault only.
I am quite sure I could not say how many times
the question has been put to me, | And what do you
think of the States ?" How could one answer this
very usual form of examination ? If your travel
has afforded no materials beyond those which would
supply a corresponding offhand answer, you would
indeed have very little to think, or even to talk, about.
And so many things there are to think and talk
about after a visit to the New World—still the New
World, even to its own self, notwithstanding all its
astonishing achievements—that it is difficult to know
where and under what title to begin relating one's
experiences and impressions. Certainly I shall not
attempt to be too profound—a very safely taken
resolution, perhaps. But it is, nevertheless, necessary
to establish this condition, for no one knows what
some people may expect as the fruits of a few months'
sojourn. I was, in truth, nearly knocked down by
one question, the form of which I remember with
some exactness, i Now that you have been there,
what would you say was your opinion of the effects
of republican institutions upon the morals, intellect,
and genius of a young and aspiring nation ? " When
I had recovered, I replied simply (in more senses than
m 6 A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
one, my interrogator may possibly have thought),
"My good sir, whatever the subject I may chance to
touch upon, I shall paint it only as a sketch."
And now for my title. It is easy to single out a
text and preach up to it; it is not always so easy to
give a title to a book. Sterne says somewhere, in his
usual flippant style, that if you chose your subject
well, and treat it well, I Phrygia and Pamphylia"
would be just as good a text as any other. Scarcely'
daring to be able to satisfy the above two conditions,
I have resolved to register a very abiding impression
that remains with me on my return, and therefore
entitle my book " A Fight with Distances." On
mentioning this to some Americans, they were much
amused, and one of them, taking up the thought, suggested, I Distances and Dust." CHAPTER  II.
LIVERPOOL TO  QUEBEC.
We sailed from Liverpool on Thursday, the ioth of
June, 1886, touching at Moville, Lough Foyle, for the
mail, from Holyhead to Dublin, of the previous night.
There was nothing to remark upon as to weather,
save, indeed, that the wind, which on land had been
long and steadfastly blowing from the east, imparting
to our " gentle spring " that peculiar " ethereal mildness I which is now that delightful season's usual
blessing, suddenly veered round at sea to the west,
and continued to blow steadfastly and coldly from
that direction during the whole passage, now and
then making the vessel pitch and the screw race.
She went along, however, well, and very steadily, this
last feature being attributed (as I understood) to her
double flange at or near the keel.
When fairly out at sea we were formally placed
at table, and I at once realized the fact that we can
scarcely be anywhere without finding or being found
out, for, by mistaHig one end of the table for the
other, I went to claim my seat at the wrong side, and A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
by doing so stumbled upon a passenger whom I had
never met before, but whose grandmother proved to
be my godmother! This was Colonel Ravenhill, of
the Artillery, who, with Colonel Philips of the 4th
Hussars, was going out to Canada, commissioned by
our Government to buy horses, accompanied by
Veterinary Surgeon (First-Class) Mathews of the
Blues. Colonel Philips was sitting opposite to my
real place, and in his case also we soon discovered
that we had common acquaintances.
It was a lady's -seat I was about to claim wrongfully, and she turned out to be a Mrs. Bird, who was
employing her life in educating English children,
and bringing them out in groups from time to time
for gaining their livelihood in Canada. She had
some of them on board at that moment, and the distinguishing feature of her system, she informed me,
is that she does not, like others, find them and propose to them to come out, but educates them in
England first, with the express purpose of emigration.
She has what she calls "Shelter Homes" in Liverpool,
and a "Distribution Home" in Canada, "very near
Montreal." I How far off? " I asked. I Could I visit
it ? " " Only some seventy-five miles." Thus it is
that they measure | very near " in vast Canada. She
registers all their names, and all their movements from
place to place and occupation to occupation, until they
are twenty-one or are married ; and there appears to
be a constant inquiry for her | shipments | at the
farmhouses and on the farms.    Surely this seems, on
mm LIVERPOOL  TO  QUEBEC.
more accounts than one, an excellent undertaking,
and the individuals who thus devote themselves should
be esteemed philanthropists—not sentimental merely,
but practical. Of course, it may be suspected that
they have perhaps thrown aside and are neglecting
more immediate and less ambitious duties for these
I higher calls," as they are termed. " Higher calls "
are now and then allowed to put lower ones aside
that ought to be the first attended to. It is very
difficult to resist the proneness of our dispositions,
and equally so to confess to ourselves that, even in
our higher aspirations, we are, after all, only feeding
a natural propensity. As regards Mrs. Bird's system,
it has this great advantage over some others of the
like class: she knows everything about the children
she brings out. They are virtually her own when
they come, and look on her as in some sort a mother;
and a motherly sort of person she appeared to be.
And how can I omit to mention one other
passenger, who from time to time kept company with
us even to Niagara ? always cheerful, always looking
out to do some good act in his own sphere, and with
an eye of resistance and command which now and
then stood us in good stead on shore—I mean the
Rev. E. A. Pitcairn Campbell, of Vicars' Cross,
Chester. Long may he live! and may we meet
again!
In the course of the voyage, conversations struck
up with various people, either of first or second class.
One of the latter I remember as a very intelligent io
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
individual, who, according to a rather vulgar phrase,
■ gassed" about everything colonial in the well-
known style. It conferred no benefit on the river
St. Lawrence that he did so, for I was led to expect
a great deal more than I found. The scenery on both
sides was to surpass anything anybody ever heard
or thought of, and people who had seen all the rivers
in Europe had told him they were a mere nothing.
What I really found the St. Lawrence to be, to my
own quiet capacities of judging at all events, I will
presently say, but one little item of our conversation
I cannot pass over. It was not only his river he was
so proud of.
I What part of our country do you belong to ?"
he asked.
I To no part," I replied.    " I come from England."
I Dear me ! " said he ; "I should never have supposed that."
"Why not?"
" Because of your mode of talking."
Here I felt somewhat humbled, but ventured a
dangerous question, and asked, " Don't I speak correctly, then ? J
I felt reinstated at once.
" Oh yes ! that's it. You talk so well;" but then
he added, "you talk like us."
I was almost going to say that I felt as if I had
been knocked down, and then picked up, and then
knocked down again. My friend had no particular
twang in his enunciation, but certainly showed no LIVERPOOL  TO  QUEBEC.
II
signs of superior education, and I was tempted to ask
him what were the defects of English talkers. He
thought that they did not know much of their own
language; and his answer on one point was a rather
curious one, and afterwards became particularly so to
me, because I heard it so often repeated in different
parts of the States—1 All the English that come over
here leave out their k's." It is a seemingly bold
accusation.
In the course of our passage we were subjected to
sea-fogs, and in those latitudes in June it is well
known what these mysterious visitors serve to
shroud. Accordingly we came into the neighbourhood of icebergs—objects totally new and marvellously interesting to me—those strange, huge, ghostly
masses of fresh-water ice that break away in gigantic
volume from the far-away solitudes of the glaciers
and ice-sheets that cover Greenland and Spitz-
bergen, and other polar lands, and sail out southward
to sea, to be gradually melted by warmer airs and
oceans.
Fortunately these intruders on our course were few,
and could be realized and enjoyed without the threat
of danger. This is always great when icebergs are
near and numerous; for the vast proportion of their
ice below water compared with that above—being
given as eight, and indeed nine, to one—and the
extremely irregular shape of them, as well as their
continual   change   of   equilibrium   from   the   rapid 12
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
melting under water, serve to make the apparent
distance of their hidden bulk deceptive, and to render
them liable to heel over suddenly and crush.
It was on the early morning of Wednesday, the
16th of June, that the foggy wind blew very cold, and
that the proximity of some of these masses was conjectured. Accordingly, about noon, when all was
again bright and clear, a low distant form was visible
to our south, off our port bow, and by-and-by a very
much larger one hove in sight in the same bearing.
To this latter one I owe my appreciation of what an
iceberg really is. It was some six miles distant, and
was pronounced by the captain to be a large one.
The distance was not so great as to detract materially
from its volume; on the contrary, it was just great
enough to bring it into good focus, and permit the
indulgence of imagination, in conjuring out its mysterious form. It was a beautiful object, particularly
when viewed through a binocular, and must have
been of great height. It was glittering and sparkling
in full sunshine, and I now first realized that peculiar
glitter in sunshine of ice and snow, pure and simple,
standing out high on water in brilliant air, against a
spotless blue background of sky, and presenting half-
transparencies. This iceberg's varying shapes as we
approached, came abreast of it, and then left it to its
melting fate behind us, were marvellous. At first it
looked like a vast, jagged, towering rock, crowned
with a feudal castle, where a large white flag was
flying.    How strange to be able to imagine thus of LIVERPOOL  TO  QUEBEC.
n
life where all was mere frozen solitude! Then as
we breasted it, still distant, the hinder part of the
rock discovered itself, deeply honeycombed to the eye
from base to summit; a long, rough flat extended
thence, and eventually ended in a smaller rock at
the stern. And over this vast flat we now saw the
breakers wildly dashing from the other side, throwing
up immense clouds of spray, and of course rapidly
destroying the huge invader. From such breakers,
it seems, the presence of an iceberg is most readily
discovered in dark hours or misty weather. At last,
the various features of our monster clubbed together ;
but even in the far distance, and to the last, it still
glittered, white with its own peculiar whiteness.
These sea-fogs from time to time brought us to a
standstill, or to very slow movement, and the dreary
and portentous fog-horn sounded more than once to
disturb and warn the night. This cost us several
hours, and, moreover, we could not pass by the strait
of Belle Isle—first explored by the Allan Company
—to enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the north
of Newfoundland, on account of the ice, but had to
make a deviation to the south, entering by Cape
Breton Island, thus adding more than a hundred
miles to our voyage, and bringing up the total
distance from Liverpool to Quebec to very nearly
three thousand. In these regions the fogs were very
heavy, and the fog-horn very constant, and this state
of affairs is characteristic of Newfoundland. On the
afternoon of Friday, the 18th, we left the island of H
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Anticosti to our north, and in the course of the
following morning were fairly in the vast river St.
Lawrence itself.
" Good morning, sir !" exclaimed a passenger with
a frightful twang, with whom I had talked before
and taken for an American, though he was a Canadian,
and who challenged me the moment I came on deck
—"good morning, sir!" he twanged out with great offhand rapidity. " Too late, too late ; lost all the best
of the scenery."
I Lost it all ?    Where and what was it all, then ? "
I About fifteen miles down stream."
| Was it very fine ?"
I Don't know at all, sir ; didn't see it myself."
This is the way so many of them talk. I am
well persuaded nobody had said a word to hrm on
the subject.
The St. Lawrence was now fairly before me, and
we were sailing ,up that noble breast of water, the
grand entrance to Canada, and the outlet to all the
six vast lakes above, which contain the greatest
body of fresh water in the world.
And this is the splendid St. Lawrence. In what
does its splendour consist ? It mainly consists in the
breadth and volume of its own magnificent bosom •
and not only so, but in the bright, clear sparkle of
its continuous mighty stream—no taint, no stain ;
all crystal. But this very breadth of water has an
opposing effect. It serves to minimize the scenery
of the banks—features so vital to the beauties of a LIVERPOOL  TO  QUEBEC.
IS
river. The hills are not, for the most part, particularly high, and they are some miles away from
you. From the real entrance to the river proper,
which is marked as ending between Pointe des Monts
and Cape Chat, up to Quebec, the width of the stream
is said to vary from ten to thirty miles, that distance
being about six hundred. And here, again, one is
wonderfully impressed with the reflection that the
great steamer you are sailing on can not only reach
Quebec, buf. steam up to Montreal, some two hundred
miles above. Virgil had not seen the St. Lawrence
when he wrote i Fluviorum Rex Eridanus."
To say that there is comparatively nothing to see
on either side of you would be to exaggerate in an
opposite direction from those who descant too largely
in the usual style of scene-describing sentences. But
if any one who had beheld the Columbia and Hudson
were led to expect the same class of beauty on both
sides of the St. Lawrence, proportionate with the
huge waters, he would be disappointed, and would be
looking in the wrong direction for the really grand
feature of the scene.
But apart from all these considerations, and above
them, are the sensations of the beholder, | for the first
time," in finding himself, after many days of blank
ocean, gazing on all about him in a still really New
World, far distant from the old familiar nest of
European countries, and occupied in all its vastness
by one people under one crown. All is distant, all
is new, all is vast, and all feels free. i6
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
It was early on the morning of Sunday, June the
20th, that the well-known Cape Diamond, rising
340 feet above the river, gradually rode out into the
view, and formed the great centre object in the perspective. Looking towards its towering and increasing form as we moved along between the banks,
the effect was grand. Surmounted by the citadel of
Quebec, it stood over Quebec itself, which with its
upper and lower towns spread down to the water's
edge below, and occupied with its wharfs the point
that is there formed by the confluence of the St.
Charles with the St. Lawrence. Familiar history,
and a well-known painting (rather more fanciful than
historical), came to the mind simultaneously with
this great object to the eye; and it seemed to me
that such associations could be more readily evoked
while gazing on the whole at this distance than by
wandering over the actual ground with every evidence
that all had been long since changed. Bold shores
surround, and the Isle of Orleans, which divides the
stream, enhances the beauty of the scene, and forces
your vessel to take a course which best serves to
display its varied and impressive attractions. mmmmm
CHAPTER  III.
.QUEBEC TO  NIAGARA.
So here we are in Canada. And on landing at
Quebec, you at once realize what you have to pay
for the pleasure of gazing on a noble rock. The
Colonels, the Divine, and the non-Divine, we all
clambered up through dust, and certainly not much
architectural beauty, to the St. Louis Hotel. It owns
a good entrance-hall, but we all know what old-
fashioned buildings in cities like Quebec must be ;
the rooms are necessarily all small, and some of them
curiously shaped, but we fared very well altogether.
One article we experienced in overflowing abundance
—that utterly intolerable and unclean nuisance called
the house-fly. This was inside the house, while on
the outside, immediately at the entrance, was another
—the fly-men. They all want you to be always
wanting a fly. You go across the street for something and come back—twice you are tormented ; so
that I came to say, at last, that I knew not which
were the greatest nuisance, the fly-men or the flies.
At the landing I somehow managed to be behind i8
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
my friends, and was nearly lost with my driver
there. The province of Quebec is mainly French—
the numbers given are 1,200,000 against 300,000 in
a population of a million and a half—but not one
word, or perhaps just one, could I understand among
the many that crowded round me and my portmanteau to engage me for the hotel. Though rather
irritating, the glorious babel was, nevertheless, grotesquely entertaining, and it was not till I came to
talk at the post-office and other recognized centres
that I was able really to understand why the people
are called French. However, there is, of course, a
good deal of English, good, bad, and indifferent,
spoken all around. The nominal charge for board
and lodging at the hotel was four dollars a day, but
the extras were almost as tiresome as the flies.
On the following morning the Colonels invited me
to accompany them on a visit to Colonel Turnbull,
commanding the cavalry, and we afterwards lunched
with Colonel Duchesne and the officers of the Quebec
garrison. The forenoon was occupied in driving over
the heights, under Colonel Turnbull's most courteous
guidance, and in realizing some of the extensive
views of the river and country round. The chief
characteristic of the scenery appeared to me to be its
vast extent. While on the heights—the Heights of
Abraham—it was again impossible not to recall those
events of which they were the scene in 1759, when
Wolfe, after a bold and brilliant assault, took and
kept possession of them against Montcalm, and died m^mm
FALLS OF MONTMORENCY.
19
where he had conquered. And in recalling these, my
own personal remembrances reverted to my recent
visit to the Amajuba Mountain, and the scenes of
a far different character that took place there, as
recounted in my | Six Months in Cape Colony."
In the afternoon we took a carriage to visit the
Falls of Montmorency, which we had seen on the
distant bank on our passage up the river. The
beauty of this drive has been much exaggerated, but,
if the traveller is in a pleasant humour, all that is
new is for the most part pleasing. The Falls are
grand. Their dimensions are given as of fifty feet in
width, and two hundred and fifty in height. They
therefore take their place among large and imposing
waterfalls; but the picture they present is not, to my
mind, of the first class, because they are, comparatively speaking, naked Falls. The rock over which
they pour is flat and but little clothed. Nevertheless,
the scene may be fairly called grand, and no one
possessed by ordinary curiosity would dream of
visiting Quebec without an excursion to realize them.
An immense framework of steps has been constructed
opposite to them, in order that visitors may see them
almost from the level of the river; but I think we all
agreed  that  the  best effect was obtained from  the
o
top. Within an easy walk the river above has
worked out a rather curious passage of " steps," and
these Colonel Philips and Mr. Mathews went to see,
joining us on the road afterwards.
As regards Quebec itself, after coursing it about,
1 20
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I cannot speak of its great beauties. And one
feature seemed to me to be. offensive—the spurious
glittering of tin roofs over many of the houses, and
even of some otherwise solidly put togethenlRThe
effect of this metal is even worse than that produced
by corrugated iron. If you would insist on metal
roofs, they should be of copper, both for durability
and beauty. Copper lasts well, and soon takes on
a most picturesque olive-green tint. A very striking
effect of copper roofing may be realized in a view of
Moscow, something very different indeed from that
produced by the tin roofing of Quebec. Though I
heard nothing but curious English and curious French
among the general frequenters of the streets, yet
there was something among many of them that reminded one, in their look and gait (though not particularly in their brogue), of Tipperary men.
Having resolved on finding my way gradually to
Victoria, in Vancouver's Island, I applied, before
leaving Quebec, to the great land navigator, Cook
(who follows at some faint distance, as he will allow,
our Captain Cook, the greatest navigator the globe
ever produced for itself), for information and assistance in the matter, and obtained all I required with
the usual exactness; and, armed with-the necessary
book of railway passports, I started, with the two
colonels and Mr. Mathews, at five o'clock, on the
afternoon of the 22nd of June, by water for Montreal.
We spent the time very comfortably on board the
paddle steamer Quebec, of the usual capacious Ameri- ■MPKHi
MONTREAL.
can construction, and covered over a hundred and
sixty miles by an early hour on the following morning.
The first view of this great city from the river
struck me as being flat and smoky, and particularly
so as coming immediately after Quebec. But this
deficiency in aspect proves its superiority as a living
and still growing city, the first sign of which is seen
in its magnificent stone quays and its lines of warehouses. The immense quantity of wood, planked and
stacked for sale, may be a common feature to a good
many persons, but it was most surprising to me. We
landed and found our way to the great Windsor
Hotel, an enormous house, and here we found evidence of the Parisian having safely arrived before
us by the presence of Captain Wylie, looking very
bright and jolly, and very glad to see us.
At this hotel I first realized the general features
of the great hotels of the States, of which I shall
have to speak by-and-by, so that I will not enter
into particulars on the subject here. And if I were
to begin to show how Montreal is a fine large city
with fine large buildings, and with a very great
number of churches, I might be met with the remark,
" Of course it is." But among the buildings most
spoken of, I must confess that the yet incomplete
Cathedral of St. Peter presented to me nothing that
could recall what it is declared to intend to represent
on a somewhat smaller scale—the great Basilica at
Rome.
If you would desire a fine and impressive view 22
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
of the city, you must ascend Mont Real (or Mount
Royal) behind, and survey the impressive scene,
reflecting on all the wealth and commerce that is in
active and constant movement among the thousands
below, belonging to the largest and most important
city of the Dominion. The well-wooded sides of the
mountain itself, rising 700 feet above the river, are
beautiful. Nor is it possible to overlook in the varied
and extensive prospect the vast Victoria Bridge,
striding across the river and connecting the city and
Lower Canada with the New England States and
New York—a connection which formerly was carried
on by Lake Champlain and the Hudson. The name
of the city as at present written shows a curtailment
as well as a corruption of its original one, the full
name having been La Ville Marie de Mont Real.
But the pronunciation of the name emphasizes the
corruption, for the last syllable must be broadened
out (as we all know) to " all"—Montreall!
The city itself was of course duly traversed, and
our engagements were varied by a visit to the Kennels
of the Montreal Hunt Club, whither the M.F.H.,
Mr. Hugh Paton, drove us gaily out in his four-in-
hand, Colonel Philips driving us back. I don't think
any of us were quite prepared to find things showing
so sportsmanlike an appearance as we witnessed, all
of which it was very cheering suddenly to come upon
so far away from those scenes with which hunting is
so intimately associated.
Among the inhabitants, French and English, there MPsstHe
■an
MONTREAL.
are naturally many Irish, and I could not but be
amused at a curious scene I encountered at a tailor's.
I went there—it was a leading shop—to have a safety
button-hole for my watch-chain cut in my waistcoat,
and for some small matter besides. This involved
waiting for a short time, and a little innocent conversation set in. Presently, however, one of the
assistants very politely asked me if I had seen the
morning's paper, and handed it to me. The very
first heading that happened to catch my eye was
" Home Rule " in large letters. " So," said I, without
thought, and laying the paper down, " do you discuss
< Home Rule' here ? "
Instantly the tall, strong young Irishman who was
helping me to adjust the alterations that had been
made for me, and was speaking in the blandest style
of the obliged tradesman, assumed that of the in*
dependent politician, and burst forth with a loud
patriotic voice and gesture, I Yes, sir, and mean to do
so !" Then, obsequiously again, as tradesman, " A
little higher, if you please, sir; thank you, sir." Then
loud as a patriot, "And Ireland will have it, sir."
Then obsequiously, " Oh, we should not think of
charging you anything for that, sir !" Then furiously,
" Mr. Gladstone has repented, sir, and is a great man,
sir!'
I could not but be vastly amused, but I in my
turn repented also in having unwittingly (to use an
elegant phrase) § put the fat in the fire." I could not
but say something in turn, but, the tailoring being 24
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
over, and there being, therefore, no chance of any
more lucid intervals, I diplomatized a swift "Good
morning," with thanks, and came away with the
memory of a tradesman's smile and a Home Ruler's
frown, but I fear the frown was last.
We were all bound for Ottawa and Toronto on
finally leaving Montreal, after which (save a chance
at being together at Niagara) I should have to take
my western track alone. But before bidding final
adieu to the 1 City of Churches," we were to make
. a return excursion higher up the river, going about
one hundred and seventy-two miles by railway to
Kingston, at the foot of Lake Ontario, for the purpose
of taking boat thence down stream again to Montreal,
and passing through what is called the Archipelago
of the Thousand Islands, immediately below Kingston, and the well-known Lachine Rapids immediately
above Montreal, which latter may be readily visited
by joining the boat at Lachine, should the distance to
Kingston for the whole excursion be inconvenient.
My land navigator's book of tickets was a little
thrown out of its reading by these arrangements as
far as Toronto ; but it should be known that in such
case all unused tickets are allowed for at the New
York head office, at a fair percentage of reduction,
and I will say here at once, that on my whole volume
I was readily reimbursed in Broadway, in a sum of
very nearly £$.
We were to go by the Grand Trunk Railway to
Kingston, and accordingly, at 8.30 on the morning of MONTREAL.
25
the 26th of June, 1 rendered ourselves "—why not that
French phrase, among others we are now so ridiculously translating into false English ?—to the station
of that well-known but not so well-favoured line, to
get our tickets. I have no pleasant associations with
this proceeding, for first I found the station about
the darkest and the dirtiest I ever entered ; then
there was permitted an indiscriminate rush into the
cars, and when we had squeezed, or rather been
squeezed, into what we were erroneously told was
ours, we were all turned out again. And there came
upon me the vulgar discovery that, in the squeeze,
some one among the heterogeneous had squeezed out
my pocket-book from a side pocket.
I Impossible ! | said my friends. " Of course !"
said an American or two. " How could they pick the
inside coat-pocket?" said my friends. "That is just
what they do pick," said the Americans. My chief
loss, however, was not money, for that I always carry
in an inside waistcoat-pocket; but I lost private
memoranda enough to make me angry enough to
record the incident. And all joking and all spleen
apart, I cannot but say that we all thought the then
condition of that station little less than vile. There
was another " of course " in the matter—new arrangements and improvements were about to be made. It
is a public question.
We started at nine o'clock. Our course lay
through a fertile but uninteresting country, wholly
naked  of the copses  and  hedgerows  that sweeten 26
A FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
our English scenery. This total absence of hedgerows throughout what I saw of Canada and the
States is a remarkable feature. I do not, however,
mean mere want of fencing, which is familiar to us all
in France and Germany, but open, rough, loose,
ragged timber fencing instead, put up as if in a
hurry and with scant hands, and yet all holding well
together. It illustrates, in some sort, free and
exploring man taking new possession of regions
destined to be subdued and fairly populated, but
only in a yet far-distant future, and gives a certain
curious look of liberty to the landscape. From time
to time we passed spreads of growing crops, with
large stumps of trees yet remaining all over the
surface, which at first created certain remonstrative
observations from Colonel Ravenhill, but which, as it
happened, were far from new, and far from being
matter for blame, to myself, who had seen the fight
with the forests of new coffee and maize planters in
Brazil. The wide extent of this aspect gradually
revealed to my friend the fact that to refuse to cultivate
till these stumps were torn out would be to refuse for
ever. True it is that a machine has been invented
for forcibly tearing out the monsters, and here and
there we saw one at work, the fencings being composed
of the vanquished roots, subsidized for that purpose ;
while everywhere else the rudely fashioned bones of
the trees themselves had served for constructing the
large, loose, zigzag divisions that now adorn the landscape with an  appearance so uncomfortable  to  the   THE   THOUSAND ISLANDS.
27
pampered eye of dwellers in small and over-populated
countries. .
We reached Kingston at four o'clock in the afternoon, and found our way to the " British-American
Hotel," where a quaint landlord seemed to combine
the humour belonging to both those adjectives, with
.plenty of the cheerful independence of the latterl
We were fairly fed and lodged, however, so far as
time would permit, for at four o'clock in the morning
we were called to be on board the steamer by five.
This agony was encountered and overcome, and down
the river to a fine newly risen sun on this Sunday
morning we steamed for our day's course to Montreal. We were soon in the midst of the Archipelago,
and found the islands all more or less very pretty,
with now and then an attempt among them to show
us something approaching to a rocky shore. But the
fact of being on the level of the water among them
confines the vision. You cannot at all realize the vast
grouping, and island after island appear merely as the
mainland shores of some narrow you are coursing
down. The only mode of realizing the doubtless
remarkable features of the scene in their full effect
that I can suggest, would be to mount in a captive
balloon and obtain a not too lofty bird's-eye view of
the whole display. Who does not know the exquisite
view of this class, looking on the enchanting Lakes of
Killarney, where they first break upon the sight on
the road from Kenmare ? There they lie far below
you, with bosses of islands on their waters, thickly 28
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
wooded with soft wild arbutus and graceful birch.
Some of the smaller islands, with their green carpet
and graceful timber, might be called, in the phrase of
delighted travellers, sweetly pretty, and are farther
adorned with graceful villas, an entire island of itself
being now and then rented by the dweller. Many
spots of the main banks of the St. Lawrence are also
pleasing in this respect, and it was curious to reflect
that we were looking on the margins of the United
States on the right bank of the stream.
After passing through these iooo islands, the
next subject of excitement and attraction is the
shooting of the various Rapids. Of these the chief
are only about nine miles above Montreal, near the
village of Lachine, which gives its name to them ;
and this name, La Chine, is said to have been given
by the first settlers, who thought, when they came to
this spot, they were on the road to China! Whether
this tradition is connected with that relating to
Columbus, who mistook the east coasts of America
for those of Asia, I know not; it is between Lachine
and Montreal, however, that the chief rapids are
passed, where the Lachine canal, of eight miles' length,
and with five locks, has  been  cut  for  purposes of
navigation.
Before coming to these, there are, I may say,
several. But the really important ones are those
called the Long Sault Rapids. They are nine miles
in length, and are flanked by the Cornwall Canal,
eleven miles long, with seven locks.    When, however, THE RAPIDS.
their force and rapidity are estimated as capable of
carrying a raft through in forty minutes, no very
fearful velocity is presented, and it is not very
difficult to believe (as you are assured) that no fatal
accident has ever occurred in the passage.
As you approach these Rapids you see a vast
mass of very turbulent waters before you, and you
scarcely know what sort of sensation you ought to
expect on entering them. But when our vessel did
so, all of our own party agreed that we experienced
no real sensation of descending, but simply that we
were in very rough water, which made the movement
of the steamer peculiarly choppy and unpleasant.
When the waters are more unruly than they are in
June, it is very possible that the passage may be more
impressive—it is possible it may be exciting; but I
am quite sure that upon our own occasion disappointment at not feeling alarmed was the real sensation.
For myself, I immediately recalled the feeble picture
of the descent of the first cataract of the Nile in a
Dahabeeyeh. On board, one looked at the other
(and we were a tolerably full number) with an expression of face that mutely said, | Is this all, after
all ? " and one good stout lady quietly, and wholly
without sarcasm, said to some one in ship's uniform,
" Ought we to be sea-sick ? " The last of the Rapids,
the Lachine, are by far the most impressive; but we
found them so much more so from the remarkable
mode in which the steamer must be guided down,
than from anything that could justify the monstrous 3°
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
language that writes of a 1 feverish degree of excitement, terrible to the faint-hearted and exhilarating to
the brave."
Before reaching them we came to a standstill, and
a little boat put off from the right bank with a certain
Indian on board, who, we understood, was the first
who ever managed to shoot them. That first venture
must have been a daring and an able feat indeed; but
the exploit has been now so often and often repeated,
that the captain of the steamer ought to be, and no
doubt is, able to steer through safely. But it is only
fair to keep up appearances, so the Indian boards
us and takes his place by the wheel on high. Our
passage presented much more of the strange than of
the terrible. When we began to descend—and this
descent was plainly perceptible—we put our nose
directly towards a great black centre rock, and
naturally before reaching it found ourselves quickly
turned side-ways from it and carried in a particular
manner round it; then by the help of a particular
rush of the water, into which we were carefully
steered, we performed a large curve, and came into
the everyday stream of the river below. What the
descent is I do not know, but, at all events, it does
not represent that of the Montmorency Falls, and
when it was all over, so small had been the excitement
caused (though, were I to revisit Lachine, I confess
I should try this particular descent again) that when
some one on board, being one of the number of those
who delight to express their joy by row, called for AN ENTHUSIAST.
3i
" three cheers for the Indian," his initiatory holiday
howl found itself unsupported, and ignominiously
subsided.
Thus we steamed along, leaving all terrors behind,
and came in close sight of that gigantic structure, the
Victoria Bridge, under whose iron tubes we passed,
sixty feet above us, and covering, with the huge abutments and twenty-four piers, a length of more than
a mile and a half. Then came the city of Montreal,
where we landed in the evening, and settled in the
Windsor Hotel again.
The Colonels' duties commanded their departure
for Ottawa on the Monday night. I was able to wait
for the more convenient nine-o'clock morning train of
Tuesday, the 29th, for the hundred and twenty miles
thither. From Montreal to Toronto I travelled by
the Canadian Pacific Railway, and was particularly
struck by the far superior arrangements of this company compared with those of the Grand Trunk line,
especially with the difference between the two stations
at Montreal. The journey of the hundred and twenty
miles was quite eventless, except that I fell into conversation with a passenger, who struck a small chord
already strung in my mind, but not yet drawn up to
tone—a thought to visit Florida. He was young,
and enthusiastic about orange - groves, and was
destined for that sandy delta with hopes as certainties ; and not then knowing enough of Florida to be
able to damp his ardour, his own was the better
qualified for exciting mine. 32
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES,
As, when I realized Montreal, I wondered why1
that city had not.been.chosen as the seat: of govern-"
ment, so, when I realized Ottawa, I wondered how;
and'why it had 'beenT|:High in' the air,• in the distance, I first caught sight of the elaborate and pretentious Government Buildings, and presently came to
compare with their somewhat garish style and highly
finished precincts the strangely opposite aspect of the
city below and around them. Ottawa is vulgarly,
called."Slab Town," arid, disavowing for my own part
the slightest possible of sneers which the name might
be thought to convey, I cannot pretend to wonder at
it's application. Was there ever such an overwhelming
labyrinth of heaps and- stacks of lumber—that is,
timber sawn for use—to be found anywhere else ?
Arid if you'-wish to view a scene of sawing industries
that produce all this profusion, go to the Chaudiere,
or Caldron Falls, and behold and hear the army of
saws that are set in motion by the impatient waters
of the Ottawa river, here narrowed by islands to a
width of some two hundred feet, and rushing down
for some forty feet over the brows of a rugged slope
of rock. This busy, noisy scene of saw and water is
sufficiently impressive both to eye. and ear, but all the
natural wild and boisterous beauty of the Rapids is
completely suffocated by the practical uses they are <
put to. In this point of'view, the scene reminded me
of Trollhattan Falls, on the river Gotha,' in Sweden,
the wild beauties-of which are likewise entirely spoiled
by the invasion of the surrounding saw-mills. <
<
I-
H
O  TORONTO.
I was comfortably lodged at the Russell Hotel,
where the large hall appeared to be much frequented
by lumber merchants, discussing business affairs, and
crowding round the entrance, where a large lettered
request was printed, begging them i respectfully " not
to do so. I was of course shown over the Government Buildings and through the gardens; but there
was little more to detain me, and therefore, on
Wednesday, the 30th of June, I left the city for
Toronto, and, driving to the Queen's Hotel, refound my
two I commanding officers " busied in their important
commission. The next day, July 1st, was Dominion
Day. All the world was lively ; races and other
public entertainments animated the day, and the
bright variety of girls' and mothers' hats (aunts' and
grandmothers' too) outshone, as poets would say,
the rays of Phoebus, though, as prosers would say,
without his rays they would not have shone at all.
Toronto already boasts a population of some
120,000, and is an active and fast-advancing city of
extensive commerce. Mr. W. J. McMaster, to whom
I had a letter of introduction, took me to see the
Secretary of the Board of Trade of the province of
Ontario, which title is given to the Commercial
Assembly; and he informed me that in a total
number of i960 members, Toronto is represented by
900. If I mention that I lunched at the club with
Mr. McMaster, it will be to make a note of a most
excellent fish called the " Muscalonge," a name which
all  who   know   Toronto   will   doubtless   recognize*
D 1
34
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
While there I found the breezes from Lake Ontario
exceedingly refreshing in the heat of the day ; and it
is obvious that this body of fine water must be a
great boon to the city in the summer. The province
of Toronto is the most populous and wealthy of all
the Dominion, and looking back again at Ottawa, the
question once more arises, If not Quebec, nor Montreal, why not Toronto for the seat of the Dominion
government ? But of course there were reasons
invisible to overrule the visible, because a more geographical centre is no sure guide as a practical one.
On Friday, the 2nd of July, my last day at
Toronto, two bright eyes, attended with a bright
voice, suddenly reappeared before us. They belonged
to our Divine, whose re-appearance gladdened the
scene. And more; some little difficulty arising at
the dinner-table, the eye blazed, the voice sounded,
and the waiters flew to obey.
I was now to leave Toronto for my visit to
Niagara, there to realize the world-famed Falls of the
river St. Lawrence, whose stream I had traced up
thus far from its end in ocean. Accordingly, at two
o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday, the 3rd of July,
I took the usual steamboat across the bright water
lake to the "Niagara station," on the Michigan Central
Railway. My destination was the Clifton House
Hotel, on the Canadian side of the river, where I
should have arrived a full hour earlier than I did, but
for that period's delay employed in the well-known
game of " kicking one's heels " at the station. NIAGARA.
35
I was alone, having left my friends behind at
Toronto, so that, while thus waiting, I set my mind
on fancying what I was to see; whether I should be
surprised, satisfied, or disappointed. At all events, I
had made up my mind thoroughly to realize the
gigantic phenomenon of the Falls as much as possible
according to my own impressions, without being
warped by the gigantic quantity that has been written
about them. This was, perhaps, a little difficult.
Sense and nonsense, obvious on the mere reading,
have found their way into print, and some writers
have but too evidently set themselves to work to see
how much they could say, what cataract of words, in
short, they would pour forth, rather seeking to outvie
one another in this not very facile contest, than to
analyze and honestly describe their own impressions.
Exaggeration in the description of scenery or in the
feelings excited on the spot give no proof of supe-*
rior powers of appreciation while viewing Nature's
pictures, either pleasing or sublime. As regards
Niagara, it has sometimes seemed to me that writers
have made use of the Falls merely to advertise their
pens. Far be it from me, however, to manifest the
very slightest sympathy with those who affect, or
(what is worse) really feel, indifference to Nature's
wonders. Such indifference constitutes a positive
mental defect. But each visitor to Niagara must speak
for himself. Dickens wrote, among other high-flown
phrases, that "he felt near his Creator:" why or wherefore I do not understand.   Mr. Froude, in his " Oceana," 36
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
who gives many more than one evidence of feeling
quite tired and wishing to get home when once
homeward bound, can be quoted on the subject only
in a negative sense, for he writes, " I did not even
turn aside, though it would have cost but three or
four hours to see Niagara." This may be pardoned
perhaps ; but I think it must be regretted that among
his many witty anecdotes he should record the merest
cockney nonsense of some " American host," " Why is
it wonderful that water should fall? The wonder
would be if it didn't fall." Against this way of
talking may be quoted, even as far superior, that other
American's recorded observation, who, after gazing
in silence, stupefied apparently with wonder, to the
delight of his guiding friend, suddenly stunned him
more than the noise of the Falls themselves with
the simple observation, "A marvellous water privilege to possess!" But for splendour and sublimity
of exaggeration, what says the useful guide-book
for which I paid fifty cents, entitled "All-Round
Route" ? I Who can forget his first view of this
grand and stupendous spectacle? The roaring is so
tremendous that it would seem that if all the lions
that had ever lived since the days of Daniel could join
their voices in one ' Hallelujah chorus,' they would
produce but a whisper in comparison with the deep
diapason of this most majestic of all Nature's pipes or
organs."    Is not that altogether worth the money ?
While casting all these things in my mind, the NIAGARA.
37
starting of the train for the Niagara Falls Station
cast them out of it, and with fourteen miles' run we
were there. Fortunately, I got into a carriage with a
companion who already knew Niagara, Mr. Arnold
Budgett, of Cotham House, Bristol, and for the next
day and a half we made companionship together for
my introduction to the mighty scene and the excursions round it. Shortly before reaching the station,
he startled me by saying, 1 There is the first view of
Niagara." On looking out, I caught sight, as we
passed, of the white ridge of a broad waterfall; but
this I knew at once could not be the grand Horseshoe
Fall, for the whiteness of the water showed a want of
depth and volume. It was the American Fall; and
presently we were on the omnibus that would take us
to the Clifton House Hotel, on the Canadian or left
side of the river. On driving up to the front of this
hotel we came into full view of the whole scene, and
this was one indeed for the hearing as well as for the
sight. But I have nothing to say about I thunder "
in speaking of the sound. I do not trace the
remotest analogy between the two. There it invades
your ears.—a full, uniform, sustained, unintermitting,
solemn, deep, monotonous, and even slightly moaning
roar; and yet, again, it is not a roar, for withal it is
mellow : it is the voice of Niagara—the solemn, deep,
majestic, somewhat mournful tone in which the vast
river's waters resign themselves to the lower level.
And thus only can I give my own description of
it,  though  I   may be  reminded  that we  translate 38
A  FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
Red   Indian  word   as  "the   Thunder  of
that   old
Waters."
Before moving from the front of the hotel, these
were the first impressions that possessed me, while
still in only comparative full view of the whole scene.
Then we went on to the beautiful Suspension Bridge,
which crosses the river a few paces down stream from
the hotel, and greatly adds to the general effect.
Here we stood in the middle. Hence the picture
is perfect for a first view, and for any other number
you please, and indeed for a last, independently of all
other chance and chosen points of observation. Your
height from the water is given as 190 feet, and the
wide, well-wooded gorge, worn out by the river itself,
up which you look to the Great Fall, runs at harmonious though varying altitude. On your left hand,
or the right hand of the river, at a distance up stream
of about a furlong, there rolls over the white American
Fall, which I had caught sight of from the railway.
To this a height is given of 164 feet, with a width
of rather more than 900 feet. Then comes the long
side of Goat Island, and beyond, perhaps at about
double the distance of the American Fall, or a little
more altogether, there faces you, straight in front, the
great centre figure of the scene.
The height of this giant is given at not more than
158 feet, and the width as 1900; but this measurement must follow the curve ; the river immediately
below is called 1000 feet wide. Do not suppose
that your object is. at too great a distance.   All is mm
NIAGARA.
in perfect focus, and the noble water gorge does not
intrude on either side on the width of the river.
Again, do not imagine that the great breadth must
necessarily cause disappointment as to the height, for
this breadth imparts great dignity and majesty to
the Fall. I have spoken of the whiteness of the
American Falls. Now here observe the difference
in colour that bespeaks the depth and volume of the
water. On either side there is the same white aspect,
denoting the quick breaking up into particles ; but
from the middle depths there shines forth one of the
most lovely semi-transparent greens that any eye has
ever rested on. In all this scene you may revel until
your first view is satiated ; and you may go away
and come again, but still the water will be as huge
before you, and still the same unceasing water-voice
will be sounding. And so for centuries it has been,
and so for centuries it will be.
I could not at all associate Niagara with the
general group of waterfalls that I have visited in
various regions. Though belonging to the family, it
stands quite alone. Nor do I find it possible to
coincide with the ideas of those who represent a
waterfall as an invading and attacking power, albeit
we all know its destructive power well enough ; but
I mean, for example, that I do not rank it with fire.
There we have indeed an invading element, which
mounts, attacks, grows and spreads, devouring where
it finds aught to devour. But in a waterfall, however
great, and even in Niagara, there has always appeared 4°
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
to me to be manifested a certain submission ; a certain
succumbing to an inevitable condition; and therefore
I have never quite appreciated the application of
epithets to waterfalls that seemed to me rather to
belong to fire. I have already said that in all the
sounds of Niagara I always seemed to hear an inward
moan. Thus we passed our first afternoon, and when
night came on, and we went to bed, the wind was
blowing from the Fall, and brought the sound-wave
against our doors and windows, which kept up an
intermittent tremour, at about the intervals of the
ticking of a church clock, under the mellow booming
of the waters.
I. was in good luck, or bad, as regards celebration
days. Dominion Day had taken place in Canada,
and when we woke the next morning, Sunday, the
4th of July, we were soon reminded that it was Independence Day in the States. Niagara, like North
Cape in Norway, where I had some time since the
satisfaction of landing with the captain only, should
be visited in silence. But this interruption was to be
easily forgiven, as I had two days more to spare,
expecting the Colonels and the Divine. So that I
was well content to have witnessed Dominion Day in
the Dominion, and Independence Day in the Republic.
The opposite shore, on the American side of the river,
was crowded with all the gaiety that hats, dresses,
and merry faces and dispositions could display; and
in the variety of design and colouring I think the
States outshone Canada. NIAGARA.
4i
Before going on to Goat Island, and over all
the various points above the Falls which American
ingenuity has already succeeded in opening to the
curious, we walked down the bank and got on board
The Maid of the Mist small steamer, which fights
its way up stream several times a day to the nearest
possible point of approach, towards the Horseshoe
Fall. The chief enjoyments of the crowd of which
we formed two items seemed to lie in the putting on
of the oilskin coats and caps, and, with that comparatively but not positively safe armour, courting the
splashing of the mists, driven high and wide by the
wind created on all sides by all the Falls. This
excursion is, of course, one of the | things to be done,"
but it is little more than a childish amusement. The
huge spray as you pass under the American Falls,
cardinal and supplemental, on your left, permit you
to behold them coming down from above into all the
mysterious confusion that they cause below ; but, as
regards the Great Fall, all we could make out was
how intensely blinding can be a great mist and a
great wetting.
The real interest of our day consisted in our visit
above. We afterwards crossed by the ferry, and went
up the inclined plain by steam, and thus to Goat
Island. Here there is abundance of charming woodland scenery, and on this occasion all was enlivened
by the Independence holiday-makers. Here you can
indulge in all varieties of views of the two Falls, and
going to what is called The Ledge, you can stand 42
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
at the very corner of the cataract as it pours over.
Bridges, shorter or longer, are laid between points
of rock here and there, and all the rushing of the
Rapids that takes place before the great catastrophe
occurs may be truly realized. Detail would only
confuse, and not only so, but it would detract from
what should be kept in view in these great scenes of
power—the General Effect. Go and see and survey
and contemplate it all, and fail not to note one
particular feature which forcibly struck us both—the
sharp, shrill, angry, impatient cries of these rushing
upper waters, contrasted with the solemn, patient, and
majestic tone in which the mighty mass of rivef
resigns itself to its tremendous fate below. They
occupy a length of three-quarters of a mile, with a
descent of fifty-two feet. After their fall the waters
seem to be themselves stunned and confounded, and
the current below cannot compare with that above.
When we had satiated ourselves with our wanderings and wonderings, we made a long walk back by
the Suspension Bridge, resolved that next morning
we would visit the Cave of the Winds, under the
American Fall. No one now spoke of going under
the Great Fall—that marvellous journey seems to
have become impossible. On the Suspension Bridge
we loitered for some time, and again appreciated the
whole scene, with the bright green colours on the
centre object, not uniform, but broken, and graduated ;
and intensified in the very centre.
The cliffs   on  both  sides  of the  river are well NIAGARA.
43
wooded, and the whole picture is well framed. I
know not who can have so utterly misled Mr. Froude
as to induce him to talk about " rocks painted in
gigantic letters, with advertisements of the last quack
medicine, or the latest literary prodigy." There • is
nothing whatever of the kind, and, what is more, the
Americans have on their side done more to sanctify
the scene than Canada has yet been able to do,
though the Canadian Government have secured their
right (subject to existing interests) to remove every
building, when the proper time comes, that, even to
a small extent, may be thought to mar the scene.
If exaggeration of appreciation is absurd, may not
exaggeration of indifference be equally or even more
so ? It is recorded, among the anecdotes of Carlyle,
that he lay in wait (probably from indigestion) at
a dinner-table, while some one was describing a very
large meteor that had astonished all vulgar minds,
and which he had seen, and then came forth the
unsocial sneer, "all about something composed of
merely this, that, and the other gases and metals."
The answer to this should have been, " And of what,
sir, is your own mighty self composed ? "
In the afternoon I drove down some two miles to
the "whirlpool." The might of noisy waters here is,
of course, astonishing; but I found there also a noisy
photographer, at the bottom of the " elevator" by
which you reach the level of the river, so that my
attention was divided by his importunities. Nor was
he very diplomatic in his appeals to me to sit for a 44
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
portrait, for the only inducement that he kept pressing
on   me was  "the  beautiful  background
Jokin
apart, however, I can scarcely say more than that the
scene is worth visiting; though one feature in the
hurly burly of the waters is most peculiar. Their
centre is driven up higher than their sides. On being
"elevated," I found myself in company with two
stout, buffalo-looking men, who, indeed, declared
themselves to be from Buffalo. Only a very few
observations had passed between us, and they walked
on at the top. I was delayed for about five minutes
by the driver before starting, and, on overtaking them
in the carriage, one cried out, with easy familiarity
and apparently in all good fellowship, " Good-bye,
old man !    Taking it easy ! "
And here are the Colonels and the Divine at the
hotel, and here we are all again at dinner—Colonel
Philips still objecting to the inveterate habit of the
blacks, of filling up the iced water in the tumbler for
every drop you sip; and the Divine smiling' and
cheerful, and sometimes commanding with a word
and a look, and often with only a look, and being
obeyed upon the instant.
On Monday, the 5th of July, Mr. Budgett and I
again crossed the Suspension Bridge to the station
of the Cave of the Winds. We had to take off
everygfiing and dress ourselves entirely in river-garb
—rough woollen underclothing throughout, and huge
oil-cloth covering over all—and down the deep stairs NIAGARA.
45
(called Biddle's Stairs) we went. The fight began
immediately, and at about the first step forward we
were wet completely through. Among boulders, and
afterwards over flat steps of rocks we passed, beaten
about with heavy sprays, and realizing a certain
feature of a large waterfall not contemplated until
experienced—the high, and even boisterous, wind that
the stormy water sets in buffeting movement. We
found our enterprise novel, surprising, and exciting to
the last degree—one of those experiences that serve
to variegate memory in after-life. The most impressive of the effects, so far as I was concerned, and to
which I particularly called my companion's attention,
was the looking up and seeing the forward curving of
the water over the edge. This was very grand ; but
do not suppose you can calmly contemplate it—
prepare for splashing of the eyes. After walking
through some pouring yards, we passed over to a
number of bridges, built from rock to rock, before
returning to the stairs. This is merely schoolboy fun,
but so exciting did Colonel Philips find it next day
that he did it twice out of mere enjoyment. Drenched
to the skin, we mounted and came to be dry animals
again; but, after all, we had been under only the
southern supplement of the American Fall, which,
however, some call the Central Fall.
Mr. Budgett left in the afternoon, and the rest
of the day and the next were spent with my friends,
driving about and realizing various points of view,
and, on the Tuesday's sunset, we were counting— 46
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
really having to count—the various rainbows that
adorned both Falls. A drive should be taken through
what is called the Private Park. On this excursion
you can obtain a long view up stream, and see where
the waters above Rapids seem to lie as quiet as if
they were asleep. In this park there is also to be
seen the lighting of natural gas. I looked down a
hole, and I saw a sort of rushlight in a tub. There
are also some hot springs, and—there are polished
agates to sell.    Whence come they ?
Thus I had now realized Niagara, after so many
years of hearing and reading about its wonders. It
has proved, as often happens, a reality quite different
from what I had supposed ; but disappointment I
did not once dream of, even for a moment. And
if, even now, with railways and hotels and all the
vulgar conveniences of travelling, the scene can work
strongly on so many imaginations, what must have
been its influence on its first solitary exploring discoverers ? You may fancy a wanderer and listener
in the forests hearing a distant, portentous sound,
and drawing nearer and nearer, and coming at last
upon the full display, in the days when the wild
Indian occupied alone, and chased the bear and the
buffalo through the wooded wilderness.
In I Lyell's First Visit to North America" there is
a highly interesting allusion to the impressions of the
French missionary, Father Hennepin, who witnessed
the scene in 1678, with a facsimile of his quaint drawing ;  and also an elaborate consideration of all the NIAGARA.
47
geological features, and of the probable changes, past
and to come, as regards the position and character
of the Falls themselves. As regards these, while at
the hotel, a man of a certain age assured me he
could point out a difference that had taken place
even within his own time on the Canadian side of the
Great Fall, the water having been drawn in towards
the centre by the falling away of some of the centre
rock. Strictly speaking, the form is no longer that of
a perfect horseshoe, for the centre has become an
angle. 48
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
CHAPTER IV.
THE  STATES—CHICAGO—MINNESOTA.
If
This morning (Wednesday), the 7th of June, I left
my friends and Canada for the States, which I
entered at Detroit, the capital of Michigan, and
lying on the west side of the channel which connects
the two lakes of Erie and Huron, at a distance of
225 miles from Nicaragua Station. I had at first
thought of going through Canada direct, by the
Canadian Pacific Line to British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, but, on reflection, preferred seeing
more of life and movement in my journey than this
course could have shown me, and therefore took
my course towards the west by Chicago. Moreover,
I was to see the Yellow Stone Park on my way,
and the Northern Pacific Railway was the proper
direction to take for that purpose.
On arriving at the station, and arranging my
passage by showing my Cook's ticket book, I
remarked that it was nearly nine o'clock, and I
supposed the train would soon be there.
" Yes," replied the booking-clerk, " the train will
be to time; but it is only eight by railway time." TO  CHICAGO.
49
" How can that be ? " I asked.
" Because you begin ' Central Time' here."
I then came to know that, in conducting traffic
over their several thousand miles directly westward,
the Companies had been obliged to divide their time
into four different spaces of fifteen degrees each, each
of these spaces containing one arbitrary hour: Eastern
Time, by which I had been travelling; Central Time,
into which I was about to enter; Mountain Time, again,
beyond ; and Pacific Time, again, beyond that—these
several spaces being separately counted as they stand
at five, six, seven, and eight hours behind Greenwich
time. Such is the ingenious mode adopted to meet
the difficulty of running to and fro with time and
steam from east to west, and west to east, across an
immense territory—a difficulty which we in England
have never been called upon to meet. Having calculated my hours on the line by marking the hour
we were advertised to arrive, I thus had to content
myself to submitting to one hour more upon the
road, being bound to count from eight o'clock instead
of nine. Nor was this a very agreeable reflection, for
the day was about to be very hot, and I had been
forewarned that it would be dusty too.
On getting into the car, I made these observations
about heat and dust half to myself, and immediately
heard two words behind me which sounded very like
" You bet." Not quite able to attach a direct meaning
to such a phrase, I opened the usual form of interrogation as to whether I had been spoken to. 5°
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
i
I Oh yes ! you spoke of heat and dust, and I said
' You bet,' for we'll have both pretty much, I guess."
So the meaning was that I might lay odds on my
prognostication, and this I soon found to be a very,
frequent mode of concurrence with any observation.
I You bet" turned out to be (as many others did)
a very pleasant travelling-companion, and I will here
at once remark that, through all the thousands of
miles that I eventually travelled over in the States,
I never  met with anything but  great  civility  and
good feeling, and, indeed, in some cases with attention
and  courtesy.     These last offerings might  perhaps
have made  me (as it might others) begin to think
there was something more than usually engaging in
my own manners ; but one fine day a certain observation led me to suspect the colour, or non-colour, of
my hair might possibly have something to do with it;
and had I propounded  this  misgiving to some one
like my first companion, it is not altogether unlikely
he  might have  replied,   "You   bet."     For  on  the
occasion I refer to, the passenger who had showed
me  almost  marked   attention   as  regards   stations,
seats,  and other  information, at  last,  benevolently
gazing at me in the face, politely said, " Time has
been growing rather familiar with you, sir, of late ? "
I That inexorable pursuer," I replied, " intrudes upon
us all.    But never mind ;   so long  as I am young
enough to move about, I am content to be old enough
to receive benevolent attention."
We had come by the Michigan Central line, and TO  CHICAGO.
51
the train "was politely stopped at the Falls, for a short
view. A two hundred and twenty-five mile course
took us to Detroit, where we passed over the water with
the whole train, divided into two parts, side by side,
on an immense steam ferry-boat; and where the
custom-house officers, noting at once that I was what
I professed to be, passed me through with civility.
Hence we travelled over another 311 miles, making
536 in all from Niagara Falls Station to Chicago.
This long journey gave me my first introduction to
the system of railway travelling in the States. It
had been the same in Canada. The long car
carriages, with side seats and a passage down the
middle, are already well known in England, though
used among us only as what are called " Pullman ';
or sleeping-cars. In the States, we also know, there
are only these carriages in use. At each end there
is a platform, and thus any passenger, so inclined,
may walk through the carriages from end to end of
the train. At each end there are also "toilet"
arrangements. Then comes the feeding question,
and this is managed by breakfast, dinner, or supper
cars being put on at and for so many hours, as may be
convenient. The penalty of early dinners and their
inevitable consequences of suffering afternoons (particularly in hot weather) must be endured ; and at the
usual hours of nine, twelve, and six, the conductor
walks through with a warning voice to declare that
the given meal is ready. There are always two
" calls " for every meal, with an interval of one hour I I'
52
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
between each. Sometimes the voice is quick,
I Dinner ! dinner! dinner!" and sometimes it is
■ Din—ner's rea—dy !" in a voice that threatens loss
of it if you don't get up and go—something like
I Mis-sus is a-coming ! " among servants.
I have now sufficient experience of day and night
travelling in the States to say—for myself, at all
events—that it would be impossible to bear it all over
their long distances unless you could thus move about,
and stand now and then on the platform for a change,
or sit down, as so many do, in the small end compartment and smoke for a while. These platforms,
also, give great facilities for getting off or on to a train
at stopping or starting-time, for they are very broad,
though now and then the steps are rather high. But it
must not be supposed that all is comfortable. In the
first place, each side is made for two, without division;
in the next, the back of the seats is always too low
for real rest, which in the sleeping-cars (of which anon,
when I have proved them) is especially essential. Again,
there is a constant to and fro in the centre passage,
and the tyrannical habit of banging the doors at
every entrance and exit; and this constant passing
up and down of all sorts sometimes becomes intolerable, particularly when (as seems almost always to be
the case) the conductors are in a hurry. I could wish,
also, that the fastenings of the window were not quite
such ingenious puzzles, and that when these are pushed
up the better to view any object, the bottom of the
frame did not fix itself so precisely in the sight-line. TO  CHICAGO.
ii
I mention all these apparently inevitable inconveniences as reasons against our hastily throwing
up our own carriages in our short distances. An
American clergyman, a great traveller and a repeated
visitor to England, told me how much he missed the
luxury of having his own separate seat, and being
able to lay his head quietly against the cushioned
division when only tired or when going to sleep.
In certain " drawing-room " cars, it is true, each has
his separate chair, which wheels upon a pivot, and
here there is more comfort.
Apart from all these considerations there is a
certain special consequence of this uninterrupted
passage all through the train. Vendors of books and
fruits buy the privilege of passing up and down and
pressing their goods upon you ; and the essentially
advertising propensities of the American tradesman
are everywhere alive. As regards books, the custom
cannot be wholly unpopular, for I was told by one
of the salesmen that the great News Association or
Union News Company of New York pay very heavy
annual sums for the privilege in question; moreover,
that the publishers pay these itinerants a very liberal
percentage, for that so many copies of books are thus
sold, that even when certain volumes get worn out
by being offered, new ones are readily given in exchange for them. Considering what a nuisance books
are to carry about with you, it is not every one who
would feel inclined to furnish his library between
New York and San Francisco and back again ; but 54-
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
one would almost suppose such an intention might
be counted on, for if you have been asleep, or have
been standing out on the platform, when you return
to ocular capacity you may find a heap of volumes
■ left upon approval." They are funny wags to talk
with, some of these itinerants, and would sometimes
seem fain to persuade you that the "Novum Organum"
is nice light reading for a railway car. If, after two
or three to's and fro's, the books have not been
touched, they are quietly taken up again. But it is
not the books; it is the walking to and fro. Stale
apples, at. the modest price of six cents a-piece, will
sometimes tempt a languid traveller; and fancy goods
of the most ridiculous hideosity need not despair of
finding a happy destiny with some unpretending family
group. Herein lies a peculiar failing which I have
observed among both Canadians and Americans: they
cannot (in my own phrase) leave things alone ; they
cannot bear a straight line ; they must look for art in
distortion; and this in everything. I have brought with
me, as a small example in point, an illustrated advertisement of Sohmer's pianoforte manufactory, at New
York. I need not doubt that the instruments are
good ; but, were the drawing before you, I would say,
look at the form, look at the over-curved lines, and,
oh! look at the legs and pedals, and ask yourself
whether the drawing does not suggest to you some
harmonious young lady sitting down, and suddenly
getting up with wounds in the knees from all the
projecting beauties of the design 1    But if this be CHICAGO. 55
the national taste, Sohmer and the rest are in their
rights-.
Heat and dust were our faithful companions, but
not our only trials, for we were delayed more than
once by hot bearings, and thus came into Chicago
late, but in the cool. The usual " express " agent was
" on board " to pass checks for claiming and delivering
baggage, for which purpose I handed over mine to
him and received his. Throughout my thousands of
miles I experienced great convenience and found
great exactness in the whole of this railway and
agency cheque system. At Chicago I went to the
large hotel, the " Grand Pacific," and, as it was then
something like ten o'clock, I went to bed and, I
believe, to sleep.
CHICAGO. That is a well-known name, and here
is the well-known city that owns it. Samuel Rogers,
in that somewhat faint but pretty book of his called
"Italy," says that when he waked in Rome he said
to himself, 11 am at Rome ! " Let me be supposed
to have said, " I am at Chicago!" The difference,
I will confess, is very great, the sentiments- aroused
very opposite. But in this case Chicago may serve
as a foil to the word " Rome," and thus be all the
more vividly shown forth for what it really is. A
raw, crowded, noisy, daring, busy, bustling, thriving
young republican city, affording a splendid scene and
flourish of trumpets for the first drawing up of the
curtain of  a visit to the States.    In this respect it A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
'■'■
!l
is far more to the purpose than New York, which is
upon the sea and at the very doorway of the country;
whereas Chicago is some thousand miles inland from
that city.
My first step on my first morning in this seething
city' was to pounce into the very centre of its whirlpools. I had a letter of introduction to Mr. George
Grove, the Secretary of the " Board of Trade" (or
what we should call the " Chamber of Commerce")
of Chicago, and I found that the great structure
bearing that name was only across the street from
the Grand Pacific Hotel; so thither I betook myself
after breakfast at once. It is stated to have cost
some ^350,000 in building, and,, with all the noise
and movement going on among all people and about
all things, it might almost be said to fill you with
350,000 impressions. The Great Hall is clamorous
with business, and everybody is running a race with
that very fast runner, Time. There is a gallery for
ladies to survey all this; but, on showing my letter
for Mr. Grove, I was allowed to pass in to buffet with
the waves of movement and hear the loud winds of
business. Two things also there are which I shall
not omit to mention : two stout women at each side
of the entrance, with bucketfuls of genuine lemonade
for fevered business men. Mr. Grove's rooms were
on an upper floor, which I had of course to find with
the almost only recognized American staircase, the
elevator. There is a row of these elevators here, and
they are constructed like open iron cages.   They are CHICAGO.
57
all run up and down the whole day long, and open
and shut with a metallic twang.
" Going up, sir ? Come in "—twang. Then, presently, " What floor ? "
" Mr. Grove's."
" Passed that.    Leave you coming down."
So up you go to the moon, and, almost before you
know where you are, you are down again. With the
rapid movements and the constant twangs " Mr.
Grove's floor " sounds, and out you go, the hinder foot
being already an inch or two on the descent before
you can pull it off the floor of the cage. And thus it
is twang, twang, twang, with all the various ascendings
and descendings, side by side, of the several elevators.
I found Mr. Grove in his room, and was received
with all courtesy and attention. After two or three
interviews and conversations, he presented me with
a book containing the twenty-eighth " Annual Report
of the Trade and Commerce of Chicago," for the year
ending December 31, 1885. It is a remarkable
volume, loaded with millions of figures, representing
millions of monies and measures.
As to the teeming city itself, it is in some places
scarcely less perplexing than the Board of Trade,
and I must leave it to describe itself by its well-
known name: it is Chicago. You may readily
traverse it, for there is an extensive construction of
the endless cable tramway system, the steel rope
being in constant movement, and the cars being
moved  or  stopped  by  clipping  or unclipping con-* H
58
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
nection with the chain underneath, in the centre of
the road, and running in an open groove. A very
large post-office—all in movement, of course—holds
its place in the city; and there are wide streets and
narrow streets, and large buildings and small buildings ; and (while I was there) every sort of advertisement, including, very ostentatiously, those of rival
railway companies, competing one against the other
at incredibly cheap fares for great distances, such as
some of us may remember, but on a somewhat
smaller scale, in the early days of our own English
railway system.
Chicago appears to deal in the superlative in all
matters. Some fifty years ago, it was only a small
Indian town. Going as far back as 1830, the report
I have referred to gives its population as only 70.
In 1850, it was 29,963. In 1885, it was estimated at
727,000. And this, in spite of two conflagrations :
that of 1871 one of the most destructive on record
anywhere. Its grain elevators and depots are
marvels. The water-works have been called one
of the wonders of the world, and its parks are of
magnificent extent. They are ten in number, and
contain altogether more than 2000 acres, with many
miles of carriage drives, besides those along the
extensive boulevards. It claims to be the third
manufacturing city in the States ; stands next to New
York in general commercial importance ; and to be
the greatest grain, live-stock, and lumber market in
the world.    Yet, says the report, "considering what CHICAGO.
59
must be the development of the vast States and
Territories, not yet really populated, which must
depend on Chicago for the outlet of their produce,
we must stand amazed at the future which is spread
out before this favoured city situated at the head of
a   mighty  chain  of inland  seas a highway
along which to distribute the multiform products of
an immense region, and by which in return to supply
the varied wants of an increasing civilisation."
Already twenty-six railways converge in the city.
But what, after all, do we most hear of about
Chicago ? It is about the pig-killing. Did I go to
see the pigs killed ? Yes, I did go to see the pigs
killed, and made a point of it, for it is as well to see
all things whatsoever in their gigantic scale, even
though this may be sometimes disagreeable. It
serves to help us to realize what we human beings
are, what we are doing, and what position we occupy
among other animals. We are by far and far the
greatest slaughterers in the world; we illustrate
beyond all others that death must be suffered by
some in order that life may be preserved in others ;
we are the only animals who make an art of killing
and eating, and we hold our chief rejoicings when our
tables are most crowded with the results of our
slaughter. So let us go and see the pigs killed
in shoals upon one small spot; a speck and a mere
small item, after all, compared with what is going
on everywhere, but still all this in one spot. And let
me further add that, July not being the full slaughter 6o
A FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
ms
season, I saw only one man at work instead of a row
of three.
Armour and Co. is the title of the great pig and
bullock killing establishment, which lies some short
distance out of the city. The bullocks are shot in
the forehead with a rifle—a vast improvement on the
horrid pole-axe—but I did not think it worth while
to witness their execution. The rapid destruction
of the pigs conveyed a more vivid impression of what
keeps going on everywhere. Mr. Grove gave me the
necessary letter of introduction, and, having found
my way to the end of the tramway that led towards
the premises, and being rather at a loss how to continue my road, a trotting-waggon came by which
proved to belong to the firm, and I availed myself
of its wheels to transport me to the scene. An order
being at once given, I was conducted to the chamber
of these incarnadined performances. The squealings
(but not of agony) might have guided me. A large
pen of pigs is kept in continuous repletion, and pig
after pig is hauled up by a rope attached to one hind
leg; hence the squealing; the animals are thus
passed along in line on pulleys, in close groups of
sixes, and thus come within reach of the executioner.
He, standing on scarlet floor, pulls back one of the
fore legs and strikes in his knife. There is no stopping
to do this; it is stab, stab, stab, and all keeps moving
on. Beyond him is a large, long tank of scalding
water, and souse into this pig after pig falls from its
pulley when it reaches the end of the bar, exanimisque CHICAGO.
61
tremens. Rolling over in the water, its body is in its
turn clutched by a huge hook and drawn under immense brushes (all being, of course, moved by steam),
on the other side of which it comes forth denuded of all
its hair, and white. Other necessary processes then go
on, and gradually the pig (now pork) is passed on
to its new world, washed and made clean, and transformed into that new state which any good jolly
housekeeper might admire as " a beauty of a pig."
Lines and lines of these carcases hang up to cool,
and are then cut in half, and then comes the freezing
cooling-room, whether for all cases or not I cannot
say; but if you go upstairs you may see your barrels
of joints, your machines for making sausages, the
girls finishing the tinning up, pasting the labels, and,
in short, an apparently interminable system of rapid
mechanical manual labour. Among those who are fond
of pork the revolted humanitarian from the slaughter
side of the house would become the approving epicure
on this, and, accepting the inevitable conditions of his
having to kill and eat in order to live, might be
pardoned for thinking, if not speaking, that inimitable
French phrase, | Que voulez vous ? "
" It seems terrible, after all," said an American
clergyman to me, | though we are all so fond of pork,
and pigs must be killed to be eaten."
I And do you know what passed in my mind at
the time ? " I asked.
I What was it ? I
I That it's all for the Christian." 62
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I have a business card of Armour and Co. for 1886
in my hand while I write, in which appears an item,
"Hogs killed, 1,133,479"—consider the squeakings !
Also another," Canned meats all kinds, 33,696,460"—
consider the girls pasting the labels ! Several other
items of millions occur: while in the Chicago live
stock statistics we find, " Hogs received in Chicago
(live) March, 1885-6, 6,863,678; cattle, 1,902,818;
sheep, 1,003,598."
Such are some of the statistics of Chicago, and
such are the features of Messrs. Armour and Co.'s
establishment. The idea, however, that the animals
are made into sausages offhand is an exaggeration.
Even here Time insists on being in some sort
attended to.
It was easy to conclude at Chicago that the
weather could be extremely hot and oppressive; but
for the two days that I was there the wind blew from
Lake Michigan, and the most delicious, refreshing
brushes of air continually modified the temperature.
In winter the effect must be of an opposite character.
How comes it that Chicago is not the capital of the
State of Illinois, considering its vast importance and
population ? Because long before it began to exist
Springfield had been already so designated. But
Illinois was not one of the original Thirteen States.
It was organized as a Territory in 1809, and was
admitted as a State in 1818.
Now, as the Grand Pacific Hotel was the first
large American hotel at which I sojourned, it occurs CHICAGO.
63
to me to speak of general hotel life in the States, for
there is more or less of identity throughout, the hotel
at Montreal being, as already observed, conducted
on the same plan. A dissertation on this subject is
not one of very abstract profundity, but it touches
a very vital question, no less than one of existence
itself, and forms a very considerable element in the
question of travelling, which cannot be indulged in
for our own or other people's benefits without means
of refreshment. Pope was not ashamed to express
a certain disappointment, on visiting the Duke of
Marlborough's house at Woodstock, because they
showed him only all the grand features of the building, but nothing of its comforts :
" ' Thanks, sir,' I cried, ' 'tis very fine ;
But where d'ye sleep, and where d'ye dine ?
I find, by all you have been telling,
That 'tis a house, but not a dwelling.'"
The large hotel system was invented in and has been
imitated from the States. The first feature is a well-
built house ; then a large entrance-hall, where people
stand about .or sit, smoke—chew and spit, alas!—
and discuss their affairs ; and all this without necessarily being lodgers there. There is always a good
bar for " drinks," which effectually contributes to
this habit of meeting and talking. There is almost
always a news bar and a cigar bar, and a railway
bar where all information and any amount of railway
tables can be had gratis; and what, is called the
" toilet" is large and extremely well arranged.    Lifts, 64
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I
or elevators, are of the most matter-of-course arrangements, sometimes in pairs; and even for the first
floors the staircase is scarcely ever made use of. Up
and down, up and down, the passengers go, and
workers are employed in turn for a stated number of
hours. The eating-room is large, sometimes very
large, furnished with numerous separate tables, each
of which may serve for a family or for two or three,
strangers to one another. The waiters that are
running about are generally coloured men, and
often serve under a head coloured man—sometimes
more than one—who struts to and fro, with becoming
pomposity and politeness suited to his position. On
your appearance at the door, he waves his hand
towards you, and walks you through a labyrinth of
occupied tables to any one he designs for you, the
particular reason for which you cannot trace. You
then have handed to you by a black, or a brown, a
large bill of fare, which is always on the table, and
which it would be impossible to fulfil unless it was
the same every day, according to given seasons.
There is so much variety, however, in the sameness
that no one can reasonably complain on that account.
Then your glass is forthwith filled with iced water,
and if you sip a little out of it, it is presently filled
up again. This, or iced tea, or iced milk, are the
general drinks at meals, whether the season be hot or
cold. Survey the vast group over the whole room.
If you happen to catch sight of a bottle or two here
and there, you may  be next to certain that there CHICAGO.
65
are foreigners dining there. Total abstainers may
consider this state of affairs very satisfactory, but for
two reasons it is not so: one which they might feel
inclined to dispute ; the other which they would at
once admit, and which, as it seems to me, springs
from the very abstinence they approve of; but this
suggestion they perhaps would dispute. Take this
last reason first: it is that drinking " drinks 1 or what
are called " cocktails" between meals, on the empty
stomach, has become a constant habit and has taken
the place of a wholesome glass of wine, or wine and
water, or beer, with food, when not only these things
do not disagree, but (as in so many thousand cases)
do good. The first reason is, that so much drinking
of iced liquids during eating is very injurious to the
digestive powers, and serves to paralyze the stomach.
It soon becomes a very enticing habit, and, indeed,
these liquids are themselves in a certain sense intoxicating, for they are so in the sense of being exciting
and provocative by the cold produced by the icing of
them. This is necessary to make them as palatable
as they are. Were they not so iced they would not
be so much drunk, and (paradoxical as it may seem
to say so) ice-drinking is, in its way, nearly as deleterious as spirit-drinking. The Americans cannot
claim to be mere plain water-drinkers, for they stimulate their plain drinks with ice, and thus create a
craving for drink.
At most hotels the eating is good, but there is
great difference in the meat.    I do not like the mode
F \
I I
66
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
of serving.   Everything comes in in portions, in small .
oval dishes, and from these you help yourself, now
and then to all, and now and then to only a part.
I never could relish meat thus served. But the
general mode of ordering is curious. The whole
dinner is recited off at once, and the waiter seems to
expect this to be done, so that he may go and come
once for all. There seems to be no popular objection
to things getting cold, as they must do when the
apple-pudding, for example, comes in with the soup,
and the semicircle of small dishes is displayed before
the eater; a sight that would serve me, of itself, for
dinner. I have not perceived that the Americans eat
much faster than other people, but I have often perceived that they do not understand intervals. I was
talking to one about this habit of complete ordering.
He agreed with me about it, but stated his own way :
II have my own list in my hand, and always order the
next following dish when I begin the one in hand, so
that I go right straight away through without waiting." All that was too quick for me. When the black
wanted to know " Which next ?" I always replied, " I
don't know till I've eaten this ;" and many a black
brain was no doubt astonished at so ignorant a mode
of devouring. In harmony with these two modes of
ordering and eating, there is also a waiter's well-
known question, which I must confess I could never
learn to tolerate—" Are you through ? " That means,
of course, " Have you finished ?" But the former is
the more appropriate, perhaps, for the idea in eating CHICAGO.
67
seems to be exactly that—to get through—not necessarily in a hurry, but without pause.
In the hall you will find a row of greater or
less length of servants, sitting down till summoned.
These are what are called " Bell-boys," none or very
few being really boys ; some white, some brown, and
some black. They are summoned when any bell
rings, and have to find their way up to any given
room at once. They are, in general, very active and
attentive, and the electric summons is rarely neglected.
As to the cost of living, you cannot count on less
than four dollars a day, board and lodging—sometimes four dollars fifty cents; and in San Francisco,
and in New York, at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, I paid
five dollars, and with a room on the top floor—a very
good ride indeed in the elevator. This sum includes
breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper; sometimes, in
the too-frequent early dinner system, lunch and
dinner go together. At the Fifth Avenue Hotel,
luncheon runs on into dinner without stopping.
Wine is, of course, an extra; dear and generally very
bad, for scarcely anybody drinks it. The best I ever
found, by the way, both for honest quality and honest
price, was a native wine of California—the red
Zinfandel. The so-called hocks, clarets, and burgundies are so by ticket and by price only.
But at all these hotels there is one serious and
curious extra, one which is never thought of as such
in England, or elsewhere than in America that I ever
heard of—boot-cleaning!    It forms no part or parcel 68
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
of hotel life in the States that you should walk about
in anything but rusty or dirty boots. If you are
otherwise disposed, you must seek the separate boot-
cleaning room, to that purpose specially provided,
and let to the artists in that line at a sufficient rent;
and, what is more, you must take your boots there on
your own feet. There you sit upon a throne—in the
leading hotels, sometimes three kings in a row—and
the most elaborate proceedings go forward. The
polish is resplendent as a rule ; but the most resplendent of all in my experience was at the Palace Hotel
in San Francisco, while the worst, laziest, and dullest
was at the Delavan at Albany. Of course, this involves an extra item of expense, for which you have
to pay a piece of silver of the value of ten cents,
or say five-pence, if content with only one cleaning
a day.    In the streets the work is done for five.
I heard one or two jokes upon this subject. In
one case, on a visitor asking.whether he could leave
his boots outside his door, he was surprised by the
unexpected answer—
| Oh yes, sir; nobody will touch them."
But I myself read a notice on the subject at one
of my hotels in this very different form—"Visitors
are cautioned that the proprietor is not responsible
for boots left outside the door." Then comes the best,
attributed to the historic character of many witty
sayings, the late President Lincoln. A friend of his,
in early life, paid a visit to England, and on returning
naturally told of many matters, small and great. CHICAGO.
69
" Do you know," said he, " that no one cleans his
own boots in England?"
" Doesn't he ?" said Lincoln ; " then, whose boots
does he clean ? "
It really seems that, unless this domestic process
is raised into a separate and comparatively expensive
trade, it is considered a degradation, and one American in a common station of life told me that at a
small tavern he had unwittingly offended the landlady by asking if the boy (her son as well as servant,
as it happened) could 1 give his boots a rub over" !
But as they all still consent to pay war taxes in time
of peace, so they consent to pay ten cents for boot-
cleaning, or clean for themselves, or go about rusty,
or wear polished leather.
So much for hotels.
At a short distance outside Chicago is the great
Pullman establishment, large and important enough
to give a name to a town—Pullmanstown—where so
many hundred hands are at work on skilled labour.
In my now-coming journey to St. Paul and Minneapolis, in Minnesota, I was to make my first experience
in the sleeping-cars. The long distances to be travelled
over through the States, as their gigantic system of
railways was pushed forward, soon made sleeping
accommodation of some kind or other necessary, and
great prosperity has rewarded great invention and
energy. You must travel through the States to be able
to appreciate the utility and vastness of this enterprise.
So on Friday afternoon, July 9th,   I  began  to ffl
70 A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
prepare for my departure for my four hundred and
fourteen miles of night journey to St. Paul; and after
all the material, noise, and tumult of Chicago, I left
it at last adorned with a philosophical discussion in
a quarter where I least expected it. It was not very
prolonged, but is worth remembering as a psychological fact. It was not held with any learned professor, but with one of the bell-boys—a well-grown
black, quite in his thirties, and very intelligent—and
it was inaugurated by him. I may here observe
that I found the coloured race, such as I came
in contact with, of a very different class from those
with whom I had held so many years' acquaintance
in Brazil. A great many of them seem to have
imbibed some of the mental energies which belong
to the white race they are among, and this man was
an example. Among my luggage—or baggage, as
you must always call it in the States—there were
several books, and as he took them up, one by one,
he now and then cast a glimpse at the inside, turning
now and then to ask questions about various matters.
At last he took up one and asked me pointedly
whether that was mine.
I No," I said ; " that belongs to the hotel. It is a
New Testament."
" Oh ! I beg your pardon, sir; but I suppose it is
your book too ? "
" What do you mean ? "
"Why, sir, I see you haven't got one with you,
but I suppose you have one at home ? " CHICAGO.
7i
He was provoking a disquisition with an evident
veneration for what he had been taught, but with an
equally evident tendency (having now a free body)
to that awful abomination, a free mind: or to use
the true, frightful phrase—free thought. I need not,
indeed cannot, remember all that passed, but I was
too much entertained, though busied with my portmanteau, by many of the stalwart fellow's shrewd but
timid observations to stop him.    At last I said—
"Well, my good fellow, we have not much time
for talking on these matters; what do you mean to
say you make of it all ? "
His answer was highly suggestive, particularly as
coming from a negro, and might be advantageously
remembered by many a preacher, particularly a
volunteer one. " Well, sir, to tell you the real truth,
when I try to think of all we are told by one and
the other, I find I begin to get pretty considerably
mixed up."
And this was my last conversation in Chicago,
which served me from time to time afterwards, among
other matters, to reflect on the possible future of the
black race in North America.
The train left Chicago at half-past seven in the
evening, and we arrived in St. Paul at eight o'clock
on the Saturday morning, where I put up at the great
Ryan Hotel, having had my first night's experience
in the Pullman car. It seemed very strange to me,
at first, to be all mixed together, male and female ;
but an imperative law of nature, such as sleep, very n
l '
i
72 A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
soon puts to flight any conventional, artifices, and,
besides this, there is a vast deal of curtaining.
Each pair of persons who occupy a given seat, side
by side, take the two beds belonging to it: one is
made up out of the seat, and the other is opened
above; in front comes the great curtain, and when
all the beds are made up, there is a curtained avenue
for the night. You have the option of choosing your
hour (in reason) for | going to bed." In the morning
you get your turn at the two washing basins at the
end of the car, with all the completeness that the
jerking of the train and the agitated water will permit of. The inconveniences ought to be assuaged by
the consideration that you are, at all events, not
losing time. I generally took the top bed, as being
furthest removed from the wheels ; the only objection
to this being the difficulty of getting up and down.
No doubt there is a hand ladder, but it cannot be
always at call, so the stout metal curtain-rail that
runs along can be grasped as occasion may require
for easing yourself down. It is now some few years
ago that, travelling about on board ship, I was induced to sleep in pyjamas, thus being able to come
up offhand on the fresh breezy deck on those many
bright lovely mornings that sweeten a long ride over
the sea; but I never even then found this dress so
admirably convenient as I found it on board a sleeping-car !
On this occasion I was only one night on board,
but I have had to pass two.    By looking out a little TO MINNESOTA.
and speaking to the conductor, and not stickling as to
whether I was the upper or the under sleeper (or say
bed-occupier), I never experienced any shrinking
influences as regards my companion above or under
me. Once only, after having been almost assured of a
whole division to myself, I was politely warned that
a telegram had been received at the last " depot" that
my second berth would be required at a given spot.
" By whom ? " I timidly demanded.
" By a lady," was the sentence pronounced upon
me.
Nor was there any hope of escape, for there was
one lady in every division, except where there were
two, and where some friends of three were occupying
one division among them. Vainly endeavouring to
persuade myself | there was nothing in it |—nor
would there have been the second time—I had not
resigned myself to my impending fate, though it
appeared inevitable, before we came to the dreaded
station. There was the general moving about in and
out, and in due time the conductor cried, or rather
said, I All aboard ! " This, by the way, is the only
notice you get of going on. If you wait for anything
like the piercing "En voitu—re messieurs, s'il vous
plait! I you will be left behind, though any one of
the platforms that happens to be nearest will serve to
take you to your own carriage. When I came back
to my seat, behold I still found myself alone, and on
inquiry of the conductor, he replied with amusement—
" All straight, sir; she wouldn't have it." 74
A  FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
I then remembered having seen a stout, middle-
aged, independent sort of female, who looked as if
she could manage two or three households together,
march in and march out; so that this shows that
even among Americans the system does now and
then find objectors. I entirely approved of that
feeling on this occasion.   Each was afraid of the other.
In speaking of St. Paul, I must combine with it
Minneapolis, at a few miles distant, both being in the
State of Minnesota ; the former its capital city, and
both rival and rapidly advancing cities, at rather more
than fourteen hundred miles from New York. The
rapidity of the growth of these two cities, as officially
reported, seems incredible. In i860, the total population of the two was but 16,222 ; in 1884, it had
grown to little short of 200,000 ; when I was there,
each was claiming 150,000. There are only ten miles
between them, and, in spite of their rivalry, a junction
is predicted of the two into one. Anything in the
shape of development appears to be possible in the
States. The Americans have not only introduced
new modes of spelling words, but they have given
them a new meaning, and a very extended one in
this instance. Nature, in the States, has permitted
the junction of two elements which she has been
justly charged with denying in other regions: a
strong race with a strong land. Here she can give
all she is properly asked for, and she is tolerably sure
of being asked for everything she has to give. That
by-and-by she will have a great many more to give ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS.
75
to than she has now on her hands out here is a
matter which must be left to the future to take care
of. Both cities are on the Mississippi, which, in
Indian language, signifies | The Father of Waters ;"
but it struck me that Minneapolis is the better placed
of the two, because it can make more use of the
mighty river than St. Paul can. I allude to the
water-power at what are called the Falls of St.
Anthony. It is round these falls that are constructed
the gigantic flour-mills of Messrs. Pilsbury, which
form the chief sight at Minneapolis, and where again
figures of millions are put forward. In 1879, the
millers there manipulated 7,514,364 bushels of wheat;
and in 1885, the returns gave 32,112,840. Another
calculation for 1885 is that the mills together are
capable of delivering 33,973 barrels (of 60 lb.) per day ;
an amount said to be equal to the day's necessities
of one-half of the population of Great Britain.
I of course visited Messrs. Pilsbury's mills, which
are the largest. I contrasted the sight, the beautiful
sight of grinding wheat, with that of the great pig-
killing process at Chicago. All white and pure—the
white against the red. Yet destruction was equally
going on. The wheat had been torn from the ears,
and had been ground into flour, and that flour was
again about to be destroyed and turned into bread,
and so forth. In short, look round on anything,
however beautiful it may be, and you will trace that
you have been a great destroyer to produce it. The
multitudinous   proceedings   and   the   intricacies   of 76
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
machinery throughout could not but produce confusion by astonishment on a first visit. You often
have to get rid of a great deal of initial astonishment
before you can begin to comprehend.
From the flat top of the mills—and very high
your elevators take you—the view is very striking.
The machinery is moved by two • turbines, or flat
water-wheels, during summer, and by steam during
winter. Large saw-mills are also planted above the
falls, and seem to impede the mills' full use of them ;
but these are to be moved up higher, under certain
new arrangements. On my asking how this could be
done without loss of the water-power for the saws, I
was told that in all saw-mills there is always refuse
enough to provide firing for engines. Government
has already laid out a good deal of money- on the
dam, and, in view of the vastly extended advantages
yet obtainable from the river, are proposing to lay
out a good deal more.
St. Paul, with all its large commerce, boasts of its
ornamental buildings. On putting a quiet question
on the subject at the hotel office, as to whether there
was anything worth seeing, a townsman, as I suppose,
blew a good thorough American trumpet-blast.
"Worth seeing? If you're going right straight
round for a drive, I guess you're going to see something that you never before saw in all your life!"
This was necessarily true in a literal sense, and
I was about to see it all, for a Mr. Heneage, an
Englishman at the hotel, had very kindly asked me ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS.
77
to accompany him. We were under the guidance of
the coachman, who took us to a point whence we
enjoyed a fairly striking view; but what seemed to
be chiefly in our coachman's mind, as it evidently was
in that of my trumpeter at the hotel, were the
continuous rows of the most elaborately cockney
dwellings, detached and semi-detached, with gardens
round, in the uselessly decorated architecture of
which (and of the most original, if not chaste, character) one seemed to fancy one owner had been vying
with the other in proving how much money he
had to throw away on bad taste. Even our present
English vulgar originalities were far surpassed, which
is saying a good deal.
These two cities have been called "the twin
columns of the eastern gateway to the magnificent
west," extending to Portland, Washington territory,
and Tacoma—a figure not much more intelligible to
me here than was that of Carlyle to me at North
Cape, when he calls the midnight sun " a porch-lamp
of the palace of the Eternal." These figures of magniloquence are, generally speaking, nonsense. As for
the two cities in question, you have to pass through
both of them in a line; a not very usual sort of
proceeding as regards the "columns" of a "gateway " for those who are desirous of getting through.
The producing powers of the State of Minnesota, and
particularly of the adjoining territory of Dacota, now
claiming to be admitted as a State, are enormous,
and their populations are as nothing.    1 Scratch the 78
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
h
Russian," said Napoleon, "and you will find the
Tartar." § Scratch the Frenchman," said Voltaire,
"and you will find the tiger." Without necessarily
concurring in either phrase, if all reports are true,
it might be said, " Scratch Dacota, and you will fill
your granaries.' These two tracts of country, in
comparison with the populations they could maintain,
are practically uninhabited. According to the American almanac, Dacota, in the census of 1885, contained
415,263 inhabitants, showing an increase since 1880
of 207*19 per cent. Minnesota, in 1885, contained
1,117,798, showing an increase in the same period of
43*17 per cent. According to the "Trade and Commerce Report for Chicago" for 1885, Minnesota, on
2,753,816 acres, produced 41,307,000 bushels of wheat
(which you must not call " corn " in America); and
Dacota, 22,330,000 on 1,540,200 acres. Minnesota, on
705,340 acres, 23,630,000 bushels of corn (maize) ; and
Dacota, on 465,000 acres, 13,950,000. Then follow
equally surprising tables of oats, rye, and barley.
Rapidity of work must be required where production is so abundant and labour is so scanty,
and this is supplied by that population with which
man has peopled earth—machinery. The long
processions of four-horse ploughs on wheels, each
armed with double shares, and driven by a man
who rides, are said to offer quite a striking scene
in Dacota as they sally forth. If the illustration
in the railway guide is correct, it must be something
like  that  of a  regiment  of  cavalry  going   out  to MINNESOTA AND DACOTA.
79
battle; and battle it is, though only to tear the
earth instead of fellow-creatures. I know not how
many of these ploughs work together. They start
in succession, each driver following the next before
him at just sufficient side-distance to make his furrows
coincide, and thus a long diagonal line of ploughs is
seen at work. The ground is flat, and of course
entirely open, and the broad expanse offers great
facility for work. It will be easily understood what
vast breadths of land and prairie are thus rapidly
ploughed up. Nor is the reaping less remarkable.
On my way along the line, after leaving Minnesota,
I was surprised by observing vast stretches of standing headless straw, with wheel-marks among it, and
was informed that all this wheat had been reaped by
what are called "headers." These machines are
horsed and driven as are the ploughing-machines,
and work after the like fashion. They are armed
with horizontal knives at the level of the ears, which
are thus cut off and carried along and deposited for
removal.
" Then, what do you do with all this straw ? "
" What can we do with it ? We leave it standing, and plough the most of it in again."
What would our farmers at home say to this ?
Thus, in these enormous wheat and corn-growing
districts is the inequality of forces illustrated. Earth,
in her newly discovered districts, teems with a bun-
dance where there are only few to feed, and forth
goes her abundant produce to other lands, where a M
80
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
kindred industry labours to support itself by the price
demanded for but a small produce where there are
many, perhaps too many, to supply. And this apparently must go on till the new lands are peopled
as the old ; for the facilities of carriage and communication increase every day, and it is impossible to
hinder these. We do not appear to have anticipated
the enormous consequences of this comparatively
new element. Only the magic wand could bring
about an immediate change—convert the millions
that inhabit virgin soil into tens and hundreds of
millions, and they will want their fruits for themselves.
Such days must gradually overtake America, and
bring her into line with the older and more crowded
countries.
Such a future must be far distant; its mutterings
can scarcely yet be heard ; yet it is somewhat interesting to note, in passing, the real importance of this
farming interest to the present wealth of the States.
I take the statement from one of the New York
papers, published while I was in America, that of the
entire exports, 84 per cent, comes from the ground,
and from mines, forests and fisheries, while only
16 per cent, is the product of machinery. The cotton
of the South and the grain of the West are stated
to hold a dual control over the national prosperity,
the loss of both which crops for one season only
would create a panic throughout Europe as well as at
home.
"There are in America," says the writer, "over ■HH
MINNESOTA AND DACOTA.
four million farms, large and small. They cover
nearly 300 million acres of improved land, and their
total value is something like 10,000 million dollars.
These figures are not, of course, comprehensible.
They simply convey the idea of vastness of area and
equal vastness of importance. The estimated value
of the yearly product of these farms is between
2000 and 3000 millions of dollars.
"What America takes out of the ground, therefore, has much to do with the prosperity and happiness of the nation. What helps the farmer helps us
all, and what hurts him hurts us all. His well tilled
acres are the heart of the Republic, and each pulse
drives the products of the country into every market
on the planet."
Congress, it appears, has been asked to establish
an experimental farm in every State and Territory. IN
In
ll
CHAPTER V.
MINNEAPOLIS TO TACOMA—YELLOW STONE
NATIONAL PARK.
I HAD thus made about my first thousand miles in
the States, counting from Niagara Station to Minneapolis, and was now to make another thousand, at
a run, as far as a station called Livingston, on my
road to Portland, in Oregon ; for at Livingston I was
to diverge south for about fifty miles, to a place called
Cinnabar, in order to visit the far-famed and widely
lauded "Yellow Stone National Park," in the territory
of Wyoming, and just verging into that of Montana
—which Wyoming, by the way, must not be confounded
with Campbell's " Gertrude of Wyoming," in Pennsylvania, " on Susquehanna's side." Accordingly I
joined the train on the evening of Tuesday, the
13th of July, and took my Pullman's sleeping-car
ticket, in addition to my " book," for two nights
1 aboard."
The famous Red River of the north, which forms
the boundary between Minnesota and Dacota, was
crossed in the night. This river flows northward into
Lake Winnipeg, and is quite navigable; it is the river MINNEAPOLIS TO  TACOMA.
■www
which gives the name to the railway scheme lately
successfully opposed by the Canadian Pacific Company. The first town, we came to in the morning
was James Town, a town built out upon the plain
prairie grass, as I have seen many villages in Russia ;
and thence, as before, we continued our course
through vast tracks of corn and wheat country, and
through Dalrymple's 87,000 acres, and Ryan's 120,000.
" Elevators," or warehouses of two or three stories,
and flat warehouses, were seen everywhere, containing
stores of wheat and corn, etc.; and while these testified to the wealth of the growths, the cheap wooden
huts, one or two half dug in the ground, with a
low roof peering out, showed what mere squatters
were the workmen. Bismark, the capital of Dacota,
appeared at a certain distance from its station, and
displayed, as its principal building, a large gaol. But
this did not, of course, prove that it was either full or
needful. A large alkaline lake looked ugly, and
much baked prairie air and prairie dust conspired to
oppress us.
Our second day (our second night having been
got rid of) continued hot and dusty, and showed us
an Indian camp, with the strange-looking, red-skinned,
straight-haired, and curiously decked people belonging to it. We also realized live and riding " cowboys." One was standing at a station, and afterwards
others were seen galloping along the plains ; and as
we advanced towards Livingston the snowy peaks of
the Rockies stretched out in line to our left.    It is on 84
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
the western boundary of Dacota that the line traverses
a district that is called | Bad Lands," the remarkable
features of which (highly interesting to geologists) are
not to be realized by a rapid run through them, and
to very few could it be worth while to stay for a
separate excursion. Where we saw them from the
line, they presented vast ugly masses of what looked
like terra cotta, with spaces of fine grass between
where cattle were feeding; and many spots were
smoking, being actually on fire, said to be produced
by underlying layers of lignite. This strange process
of smouldering heat is supposed to have been going
on for some thousand years. Their full title is, | The
Bad Lands of the Little Missouri."
Soon after one o'clock on the afternoon of
Thursday, the 15 th of July, we arrived at Livingston
Station, whence we were to take the railway to the
south, for fifty-one miles, to a place called Cinnabar ; and thence we were to go eight miles by coaches
to the first station of the Yellow Stone National
Park. We had heard enough of it on the railway
from the Union News people with their books; besides which the Company had distributed a brightly
coloured map of the district, with a brightly illustrated
description. This description was given in the form
of a very long letter, written by " Alice" to her
" Dearest Edith ;" and the title to the outside was
" Alice in the New Wonderland," with a charming (or
intended so to be) portrait of "Alice," in gay costume, and with a fine head of hair, and a binocular in YELLOW STONE PARK.
hand. Rocks and trees made up the background,
and all the capital letters were duly twisted and
twirled, so as to harmonize with Wonderland.
Somehow I could not bring myself to understand
what sort of sights we were going to see. Alice's
descriptions were, of course, enchanting ; but then, we
were not to be with Alice, and perhaps did not possess
so enthusiastic a mind as she. Other descriptions
were no doubt grand, and an extract from one of
them I must not fail to transcribe. It almost vies
with that about Daniel and the lions singing the
Hallelujah Chorus on Nature's pipes at Niagara.
" This realm of mighty marvels, within whose boundaries Nature, in frenzied mood, has wreaked her
most appalling freaks and wildest phantasies, will
never cease to attract thousands of yearly tourists
and wonder-seekers from all parts of the world."
In short, every inducement to pay a visit was prominently put forward before the " trave-ler," and who,
therefore, could refuse to stop at Livingston with a
railway to Cinnabar ?
I had begun a cross-questioning about it all with
a very intelligent railway servant at Livingston, who
was not quite so enthusiastic as charming "Alice,"
when he presently said—
& You should ask that gentleman standing there ;
he has returned only this morning."
Accordingly, while we were waiting for our train,
I found occasion to broach the subject. He was still
in his twenties, I should say, and therefore open to 86
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
n
the influence of novelty ;   but his- first observation
was not exciting—
" It is very fatiguing ; you have a long way to go
for everything you have to see."
That was not a good start; nor was the next step
much better; for, on asking whether the Park was
not as beautiful as " Alice" said it was, it became
evident he did not think it was.
I Well, then," said I, " do you really, after all, think
the place is worth going to see, with all the fatigue
involved ? "
I Um-m-m-m-m—yes," said he, in reply; I oh
yes; oh! it's certainly worth going to see, and particularly as you have come so far."
And with this impression I got into the Cinnabar
train.
I was not quite alone, for in the course of my
yesterday's journey I had made the acquaintance of
a pleasant American traveller, Mr. Foss by name,
who Was out for a run, and was equally bound for the
Park; and we kept companionship till our return to
Livingston.
This line of railway follows up the banks of the
Yellow Stone River. The Northern Pacific line, it
should be observed, had already run for several miles
along this river, which is the most important of the
tributaries of the Missouri. After leaving Livingston,
you presently find yourself among the mountains,
but of no very remarkable character. The chief
among them is called the Electric Peak, which rises Wl-'W/lfc
KWi-Jj-UK*
s*fi fc-w #&m!f
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87
to eleven thousand feet above the sea, but, of course,
shows nothing like that height from the spot I
speak of, though of a rather striking form. On the
Cinnabar mountain there is a strange-looking long
scar from top to bottom, of no great height, and
apparently a landslip. As it looks mysterious, the
good people here have followed old fables, and attributed it to the Evil One. It is called " The Devil's
Slide." Perhaps the most remarkable sight on the
line was a most furious storm that overtook us.
At the station there was a great scramble for the
carriages, and Mr. Foss and I managed to get on a
roof so as to see everything. The drive was interesting but not remarkable. When we came to the hotel
we were more or less among mountains, but the chief
object of attention was the huge mass of carbonate
of lime and magnesia, deposited through many ages
from the hot springs, which still run, or rather trickle.
The mass is, indeed, enormous, but somewhat shapeless and unsightly; it, in fact, gives the name to the
hotel—the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel—being itself
exactly that, a mammoth. We did not explore this
giant till our return, but at the moment were only
somewhat astonished that what we saw should look
so symmetrical and so white in its photograph. But
portraits are always flattering.
We found it best to fall in with the general
arrangements, and to take the wide open car of
several cross seats. Our I round ticket" was for six
days from and back to Cinnabar, including a visit to the 88
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I;    \t
I
Grand Cafion, or gorge, of the Yellow Stone River, and
the time was best distributed by keeping to the cars.
So we started on the morning of Friday, the 16th,
for the upper basin of the Great Geysers, this being,
as it turned out, the one only great curiosity worth
the long visit, except the cafion; and whoever goes
to the Yellow Stone Park must decide for himself
what the real amount of interest he is likely to take
in such a phenomenon. We began by a long toiling
pull with our four horses, and came at last to what
is called—and it is as well always to give a good
name—"The Golden Gate." This represents a stream
of water falling over rocks and covering them with
lichens of various colours, and principally bright
yellow. This object would be well worth a pleasant
walk to see, but we had toiled up by a forest of
insignificant pine trees, wholly uninteresting and disappointing to me and to my companion ; and I will
here say at once that, during the whole fifty-four
miles to the Upper Geysers, only the same class of
timber, all small, and many burnt barren, were to be
seen, while the prairies were rough and coarse, and
the hills wholly without engaging feature.
At early dinner hour we arrived at what is called
Norris Basin, where we dined. Thence we went on
to what is called Firehole Hotel, and here we changed
everything, coachman, car, and horses. The coachman Harris, at whose side I sat, had been very civil,
but had an ugly habit—it was only that of pulling
a large biscuit out of his pocket and tearing off a YELLOW STONE PARK.
89
mouthful; but, then, that biscuit was tobacco. Of this
habit by-and-by; if scarcely excusable in a Yellow
Stone coachman, how abhorrent in a frequenter of
drawing-rooms ! Our next man—of whom anon—
was called Lambert. We presently came to what
are called the Lower Geysers, not worth the journey,
and to what are called " The Paint-Pots," because the
boiling waters in two open cauldrons are coloured by
the sulphur, or what not, with which they are charged.
We might have passed through what is more graphically than delicately described as Hell's Half Acre,
but this was specially reserved for the next day, as
we were rather late. As we came nearer and nearer
to the Upper Geysers, the stunted forests showed
more and more signs of having been largely burnt,
and this was explained as having been an act of the
so-called Indians when driven out of these fastnesses,
who burned the forest behind them to prevent the
pursuit of the American army.
We came to our destination at about six or
perhaps seven o'clock, for supper, and, passing along
part of the Great Geyser bed, stood at last on the
verandah of the hotel, and had a full view of the
scene before us. The enormous extent of the white
formation, and the grouping of the projections whence
the geysers from time to time play, must be unique
in the world. All lies in front of the hotel, and it
involves a very long walk to visit all the surface.
The geysers, large and small, extending over this (so
to  speak) white territory,  are  said   to  be fifty in 9o
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
lit
number; the large ones bear the several curious names
of Old Faithful, the Bee-Hive, Castle, Splendid,
Grand, Giantess, Giant, Lion, Lioness and Cubs, etc.,
etc. But herein lies the great disappointment and
drawback : they never go off altogether except in a
picture. You may even lose days to see nothing but
the ridiculously named " Old Faithful;" and thus
the impression of this visit to what we are told is the
I grandest country, spectacularly, God Almighty has
made," and that it is "the Supreme Builder's own
design and completion," turns out disappointing. For
our own part, we were not over-fortunate ; Old Faithful, of course, we saw, for he goes off every seventy
minutes or so, and is scarcely five minutes from the
hotel. He is the mainstay of the visit, and yet, if you
want to see the others, he at last begins to be almost
a sort of nuisance. For ourselves, the first thing we
heard on our arrival was that the Castle had just
gone off, "about an hour ago," and that the Grand
had played "yesterday." On the Saturday morning
we were told that the Grand and the Giant had both
been playing in the night; while the Beehive was
disappointing everybody, as it had never been quiet
for so long an interval. All that was accorded to
us was a sudden call at supper on this last day, when
some one came rushing in to say the large Cub had
begun, and that the little one and the Lioness were
sure to follow. And so they did ; but the Lioness
gave little more than a growl and lay down again,
while the Cubs only behaved like cubs. OLD   FAITHFUL.  YELLOW STONE PARK.
9*
But on the afternoon of the Saturday we took a
long walk over the vast formation with the deputy
superintendent, Mr. Weimar, and, even without the
geysers, the numerous cauldrons of water, more than
boiling and clear as crystal, were most interesting and
astonishing to behold. Some little movement did
take place with the Castle, but not worth seeing; in
the upper distance, however, Old Faithful looked remarkably well, and it so happened that one of his
bursts took place just as a setting sun shone full upon
him, and painted all his spray with an aerial mass of
prismatic colouring.
No doubt, when you have seen one geyser you
have seen all. Old Faithful rises from 120 to 150
feet, and exhibits all the characteristics of the group.
Yet when you have come so far, and there might be
so much to see, you naturally want to see it, or at
least some decent portion of it. What a pity it is
some electric current cannot be set in motion so as to
set all the geysers spouting!—something like the usual
dwarf at a wax-work show, who stamps his wand
upon the ground and sets all the eyes a-rolling and
all the chins a-chopping. But Nature gives this one
severe lesson to that so great item of hers, called Man.
She is utterly careless about calling attention to
herself. She cares not if nobody be looking at her
when she performs, and she cares not to perform
when she is being stared at by Expectation.
Among those who had come at the same time
as ourselves, but with his own party, was a tall man 92
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
in black, with a tall hat and narrow shirt-collar, whom
I took for a " reverend " of some sort. He had seen
nothing more than we had, and was going " right
straight away back," without visiting the Grand
Canon, but was expressing himself as mightily pleased
at I all | he had seen.
11 shall tell that to all my friends, how mighty
pleased I've been."
" That man is acting up to his own preaching of
content and thankfulness," I said.
I What do you mean ? " asked Mr. Foss.
" Why didn't you hear what this parson said ? i
| Parson ! He's no parson ; he's a railway swell,
and has an interest in all our tickets to this place."
Thus was I confuted and his virtues well explained.
I remember, some many years ago, at Warwick,
having been permitted to join the warm commercial
room as a " foreigner," and a coxcombical little man
coming in, and highly praising the tea, and talking of
his "client." When he went out I said to a jolly,
unaffected, redfaced linen commercial, "That man's
not a lawyer."
" No such thing, sir."
"Then what does he mean by talking of his
' client' ?"
" Oh, it's a foolish way he has ! He's in the tea
line, sir, and was praising his own goods."
Thus was tea at Warwick vaunted, and thus these
disappointing geysers at Yellow Stone Park follow in
the same wake.    But why this ecclesiastical garb ? YELLOW STONE PARK.
93
I understand that very warm disputes and discussions have been going on as to whether all this
vast phenomenon is the result of volcanic, or only of
chemical, action. Certainly the whiteness of the
whole formation and the total absence of sulphur is
to be noted as peculiar. One little man was there,
of a dry and disputative-looking disposition, who was
strongly of the chemical persuasion. He had also
been much put out by the obstinate silence of the
Beehive—a silence, however, which coincided with his
views, as, if chemical only, the action will wear out.
" How tiresome this Beehive is," I said.
" Bah ! " replied he. " The thing is done for; it
will never play again."
He afterwards followed me to see Old Faithful,
and while there still continued his views upon the
subject, growing warmer and warmer, as if I had contradicted him, who was rather drawing him out, when
suddenly the prefatory grumbling began, and the
great geyser mounted, as if in derision and contradiction. This was too much for him altogether; he
shook his stick and cried, " Nothing but a chemical,
after all! " It appeared he was in the habit of thus
holding forth to strangers. He turned away and
left me, and the unabashed Old Faithful played his
accustomed part and sank down for his accustomed
interval of repose, certain to rise again.
Our time being now exhausted for the geysers, we
started on Sunday morning, the 18th of July, for the
Grand Canon, the upper and lower Falls of the Yellow 94
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Stone River. The weather was rainy. For this
course we had to return to the Fire Hole Hotel, and
ought to have seen what is called Hell's Half Acre on
our way. I was inside, and Mr. Foss was on the box.
How it happened I cannot say, but the coachman,
Lambert, in utter violation of express arrangement,
and for some unknown reason, carried us by without
stopping. It was a distinct imposition, and when we
arrived at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel again,
we reported him by letter to the general manager,
whom, however, I could not get to see. What steps
were taken in the matter I know not; but I record the
fact, for if travellers are liable to have these tricks
played upon them by saucy coachmen, the excursion,
and those who arrange it at a price, will fall into disrepute. Everybody else was very civil and obliging:'
This Half Acre, however, depends for its attractions
upon an immense geyser which, like the rest, is
very capricious in its action, while in its mere self
the Half Acre cannot be otherwise than such a
formation as we had already seen.
, Of the drive to the cafion I cannot say more than
I have done of our former one. It cost us forty-six
miles, and was of the same dreary and uninteresting
character. At last we came to the hotel, a wooden
house in the wood. The afternoon was wet, but we
mounted our ponies and rode for the river with the
guide' to the " points." The visit was not a satisfactory one, as more time should be allowed; but of
the great beauty of the two Falls, most especially GLIMPSE   OF   THE   GREAT   FALLS. I
•■»■! YELLOW STONE PARK.
95
of the great Fall, there can be no question. The
canon, which is really Spanish for § a tube," consists
of lofty banks on both sides of the rushing stream,
composed of disintegrated rocks and earth, the
precipices being some fourteen or fifteen hundred
feet high, and tinted with every colour. I can give
no better idea of this last particular feature than by
making a comparison with the colours of little Alum
Bay in the Isle of Wight. You must get off your
horse and get on to projecting heads in order to look
down. The views thus obtained are quite astonishing. You have a long perspective scene up stream,
with the waterfall at the head, the height of which
is given as 362 feet. " Inspiration Point" (an expression which is as popular as | Golden Gate " among
the Americans) is the farthest point you are taken to ;
but, being here, I saw that a little farther on a singularly picturesque formation of integral rocks would
be brought to view, and persuaded the guide to take
us there, charging him thenceforth to take every one
to the same spot. With a bright shining sun, with
which we were not favoured, the whole variegated
grandeur must be here enchanting. The rain kept
interrupting us, but I could not resist drawing on
the patience of Mr. Foss, who had been too patient
with the saucy coachman, and at last, after a final
stretch of our necks, we galloped back through the
wood to the hotel. It is, indeed, altogether rather
a stretch-neck piece of scenery. We did not ascend
Mount Washburn, which is so much talked about, and 96
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I feel pretty certain (at all events, according to my
own ideas of viewing scenery) that you would be too
high for catching the real beauties. As to the
general panorama round, I cannot understand in
what its enchantment can consist, considering the
ugly country we had passed through, though Professor Hayden, in his report to Congress, is quoted as
having written of the "throbbing heart" and "the
fearless eye " and " the soul expanding " as " you look
around you." The canon itself is the speciality.
However, perhaps Congress wanted waking up for the
occasion of granting money for improvements, this
being the object of the report.
On Monday morning, the 19th, we prepared to
start in our large car for the Mammoth Hot Springs
Hotel again, but on coming out to take our seats, we
observed that something was wrong with certain
other passengers who had arrived in their own
carriage. The case turned out to be that, during
the night, their horses had been stolen or had
strayed—a very ugly predicament indeed for people
to find themselves in, and a matter which ought to be
known for the caution of others.
Our twelve miles to Norris' Basin lav through a
Wood, the road or passage' (it was not the first, and
scarcely the second) having been only just cut, and
full of stumps, which were outnumbered only by the
mosquitos. We, however, managed to reach Norris,
and thence returned to the Mammoth. I confess
that, for my own part, I felt heartily glad when all- Ui
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[ILL YELLOW STONE PARK.
97
these distances had been accomplished, and I was off
the wheels and on my legs again.
We spent Tuesday, the 20th, at the Mammoth,
and went over the huge deposit with Mr. Hornyold and
Mr. Adeane, two very pleasant English travellers,
who had come through America from India on their
way home, and whom we had met once or twice in
the Park. I don't think their estimate of it would
differ greatly from my own. As regards the deposit,
its great characteristic is its enormous size; it is
enormous. Its beauty, however, is quite another
question, or not one at all. It contains a hot " Devil's
Kitchen." Mammoth is its real name. My memory
of travels took me back by comparison to the baths,
Hammam Meskoutine, near Bone, in Algeria. There,
indeed, is beauty as well as strangeness, and among
other objects one can never be obliterated—a large
and lovely solid Fall, once of water, but now of solid
carbonate of lime, so largely deposited from the hot
springs that the waters literally stopped up their own
course at last, and had to find another outlet.
On Wednesday morning, the 21st, we all went
down together by coach to Cinnabar, and thence to
Livingston again—my companions to join the main
line, I alone for the far west still.
Thus ended the excursion to the Yellow Stone
National Park. It occupied six days to and from
Livingston with a round ticket, costing forty dollars,
or about £8, and it involved in all a distance to and
fro of 260 miles.    If I were asked what I asked my
H 98
A  FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
:i-
;.■ '
I
friend at Livingston before starting, I fancy the reply
might be the same : I Um-m-m-m-m—yes, oh yes !
it's certainly worth going to see." And this, notwithstanding the fact that, just as we were leaving, there
came in a taunting telegram from above—"The
Beehive is in full play."
From Livingston, accordingly, we started at 1.23
in  the  afternoon—I  for   Portland,   and   thence   to
Tacoma, for Victoria, in Vancouver's Island, another
distance through of 1025 miles, being 880 miles to
Portland, and  145 more to Tacoma.    This involved
two more nights " on board," that is to say, until after
six o'clock on the evening of Friday, the 23rd.  But the
long journey was to be sweetened by a vast variety
of very fine country, and especially by a some hours'
run along the charming banks of the justly far-famed
Columbia river, where it divides the two territories of
Washington and Oregon, after flowing down from its
far-away sources  among the   Rocky  Mountains  of
British  Columbia.    And  all  through  these  remote
western districts, while we are snatched along from
beauty to beauty amidst streams and mountains with
so much facility, and even comparative luxury, one's
thoughts  return  to the two great explorers, Lewis
and Clarke, who, in the now distant year of 1805, over
ragged hills and rocks  and precipices, over naked,
sunburnt plains, hot, worn out, hungry and thirsty,
and almost without resources, found their way through
districts   where   the   now   comparatively   pampered
traveller   can  with   ease   indulge in  his  sport,  his
Mlv LIVINGSTON TO  TACOMA.
99
curiosity, and his pleasure. For those whose object
it is to loiter among imposing scenes of Nature, there
is enough in Montana, Washington, and Oregon to
engage attention and secure delight for months, and
the two illustrated books which the Northern Pacific
Railway Company put into their travellers' hands,
written by Mr. Fee, of St. Paul, their general passenger agent, offer an admirably suggestive outline.
This thrusting through of a railway to the shores of
the Pacific was indeed a mighty enterprise ; but all,
even now, is new, and the future will have a future,
and again another future, before these regions will
really know their powers and have made them known.
Independently, however, of being a mere wanderer
among these scenes, the traveller who is whirled
through them is still privileged to great enjoyment of
them. If he has not dwelt minutely upon certain
points and exhausted certain entire districts, he remembers at the end of his day's journey an enormous
number of crowded delights, while at the same time
he has had the satisfaction of being rapidly carried
over stretches of country from time to time wholly
uninteresting, as must occur everywhere ; and this
will surely be the reflection of any one who runs
through the whole course, at once, between Livingston
and Tacoma.
We arrived at Helena, the capital of Montana,
surrounded by its mountains, at about half-past seven
in the evening. There my companions left me, and
shortly afterwards daylight followed their example. TOO
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Thus we ran through the curtained night of Pullman's
cars, naturally missing some of the fine scenery, the
whole of which it was quite impossible to realize,
until morning broke, and all was again full sunshine
about a station bearing the happy name of "Paradise"—a happy valley. At Heron, however, we
were put back an hour on our onward course, for
we passed out of Mountain Time into Pacific Time.
Thus it came to be that, after arriving there at ten
minutes past ten, and staying a quarter of an hour for
breakfast, we left at twenty-five minutes past nine.
Let me call special attention to the scenery about
the river, Clarke's Fork, and the lake called Pend
d'Oreille, and take the rest for granted till we come
to the choice scenery of the lower Columbia river at
the Dalles, in Oregon, which we did not reach until
peep of day—at half-past four on the Friday morning.
Meanwhile Thursday, the 22nd, ran on, like the
train, with its heat and dust and jolting, but with
well-appointed meals in the dining-cars, and pleasant
passengers—all ready to oblige and full of information, and with every now and then a talk about " the
old country;" for one or two had been there, and
had returned well pleased with all they had seen,
and with the manner in which they had been treated.
Among other passengers there was one of an
evidently very inquiring and even cross-questioning
mind, who, after certain casual remarks, seemed
anxious to engage me in conversation, particularly
on finding out that I had been to the Yellow Stone LIVINGSTON TO  TACOMA.
Park, which he had not seen, but wanted to see. I
could not help putting him a sort of home question
as to his motives in moving about, when he declared
himself to be a travelling correspondent for one of
the New York papers, picking up notes on all things,
seen or unseen. I told him my own opinion as
already expressed, and in the course of my remarks
used the word § hideous" as regarded the prairie
parts, and the word " toothpicks" as regarded the
pine-trees. These two expressions seemed highly to
amuse him, and when I afterwards used the word
" ugly," he pulled me up at once, and said—
" No, sir, no ; hideous, if you please. A good
word that; I like it—hideous."
Perhaps it was a strong one, but if really so, the
guide-book exaggerations are to be blamed for it.
Our conversation branched off into various topics.
He would find, or try to find, some keen observation
about everything, and had an amusing habit of screwing up his face, and winking an eye, and chuckling
with enjoyment. Among other matters I mentioned
to him, as belonging to the Press, the somewhat
coarse mode of heading paragraphs, of which he did
not seem to feel at all aware.
I Give me one," he said. " We're not so over-particular, and it is necessary to attract attention."
"Well," I replied, "in your police reports the
other day I read a very funny one. A man was
fined for insulting a female, and the heading was ' He
■hugged the wrong woman.'" 102
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
The facial twist, the winking eye, and the relishing
chuckle immediately displayed themselves.
I Don't you write like that in the old country ?
That's spicy!    Give me another."
I Butler cocks his eye."
"Good again."
One or two others of the same class followed,
concerning which he more or less concurred, but
still enjoyed my repetition of. But one he quite
supported, and could not understand the objection.
It was on the report of a case in court where an
attorney had incurred the censure of the judge for
his conduct of a certain suit—surely a serious subject.
But what was the heading ? " Judge Tulley gives
an Iowa attorney a good [ going over.'" That
he thought was quite | c'rrect." And of these eccentricities the American Press throughout is full. That
is the point—people's attention must be attracted,
and the heading is the bait, spiced for the palate.
He left the train in the course of the afternoon, and
I lost a very amusing companion. On bidding
me good-day, he waved his hand and cried—" But
remember, sir, remember—' hideous' and ' toothpicks,'
'hideous' and 'toothpicks.'" And thus, in fond
appreciation, I obey him, and if he sees this book he
will see these words.
At dawn on the Friday, as I have said, our train
reached the Dalles, and here the grand scenery of the
Columbia river begins, and lasts for some three hours,
by railway.     Round curves, through short tunnels, COLUMBIA  RIVER.
103
over grand tressel bridges you are carried on, with
a never-ending succession of the most impressive
pictures. At the station some four or five of the
passengers left us, as seems to be the fashion, to
take boat upon the river itself, and rather pressed
me to join them. But I declined, for, whatever the
beauty of a river may be, I have long since decided
for myself that if you can get a fair sloping foreground in front of you, and look down upon the
bosom of the winding stream itself, illuminating all
things round with that special beauty which a river
peculiarly imparts, you ought not to be upon the
water itself. As regards the Columbia, this is
strikingly the case, for the line always runs higher
than the river, and you look down upon it as
a perfect object in the midst of bold and lofty
surroundings. But you should be upon the platform of the car, and you should be ever ready to
lean over at any given point to catch the beauties
of your course. No objection can be fairly taken
that you thus see only one side of the river; for the
line winds about on shore, to meet the engineering
difficulties of the winding stream in so serpentine
a manner that you are constantly enabled to look
for miles down the very centre of the current from
the very spot where you stand. At the Dalles we
caught sight of the snow-capped Mount Hood to
our left; and further onwards, near Portland, in turn,
Mounts Jefferson, Adams, and St. Helen's came into
view.    At Multnomah Falls station, where we arrived 104
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
at about half-past eight, the train was stopped for a
certain time to allow of our walking up to the Falls,
which are close by. They are well worth visiting, for
they do not consist merely of a naked rush of water
over a naked rock. They lie in a beautifully clothed
and beautifully coloured apse of rock; the Falls are
double ; the highest, of seven hundred feet, descends
into a lovely circular pool, the overflowings of which
make the second, which roll over another dressed and
variegated precipice of some hundred and sixty feet.
The scene at the skirt of the wood at the bottom is
exquisitely picturesque, while, to obtain a full view of
the pool, an open range of wooden steps has been
carefully erected so as not to interfere or offend. The
Northern Pacific do well to make this special halt,
but where they woefully fall short of both their duty
and interest is in their neglect to put on an Observation Car at the Dalles. It is an omission that calls
out loudly for remedy.
Those of us who were bound for Tacoma passed
through Portland (which I afterwards visited), without
stopping, and joined the train for Tacoma. Mount
Adams, with all his snow, shone forth gloriously on
our right in making this last journey, and we arrived
at the appointed time at the large hotel at Tacoma.
From this very rising, but to the stranger somewhat
uninteresting town of already 8000 inhabitants, it had
been my intention to start on the following day,
Saturday. But there was no daily boat on that day,
because at Victoria they do not like Sunday arrivals, TACOMA.
10;
though they do not object to Sunday departures; and,
therefore, neither thence nor hence could the return
boats work on the Saturday. But on the evening of
Sunday we were released, and sailed forth on Puget
Sound. One object in the distance, however, there
was which engaged and, indeed, monopolized my
attention—Mount Tacoma. As a fine snow and
glacier mountain, it stands in the very first rank of
all my own mountain remembrances. Towards
sunset it took on the very choicest of hues, partly
owing to an atmospheric effect produced by the
smoke arising from the forest fires, so frequent and
so extensive in these regions at this particular period
of the year. But this colouring of the air is too
often deepened into gloom, and conceals rather than
adorns. On my second evening, Saturday, the smoke
was far too dense for the picture, and' I missed my
sunset gaze while sitting in the long open verandah
of the hotel, yearning after the view of the Friday.
This was most disappointing, but perhaps has served
to render all the more vivid my one recollection of
Mount Tacoma. CHAPTER VI.
BRITISH  COLUMBIA—THE  CANADIAN   PACIFIC
RAILWAY.
Sunday, the 25th of July, was a dull, heavy day, nor
did the depressing view of a large, shallow salt-water
lake in front of the hotel serve to enliven its hours,
which hung upon us till half-past six in the evening,
when we went on board the steamer for Victoria.
Thus I left the States, but only to return after I had
paid my visit to British Columbia. I must confess
that I had not prepared myself for any fine scenery
in Puget Sound, and I realized my anticipations in
this respect. We passed what I should describe as
merely low islands, very numerous and flat, and
covered with dull dark pine trees, of no striking
character in themselves. Whether the scene might
have been enlivened by mountain scenery beyond,
I know not, for the forest fires had spread their
smoke abroad to a very disagreeable extent. We
touched at Seattle on our way, and arrived at Victoria
at about one o'clock in the afternoon on Monday,
the 26th. Here I went to the Driard House Hotel,
kept by Messrs. Redon and Hartnagel, where I found BRITISH COLUMBIA.
107
everybody very attentive, but every room unfortunately occupied. This so happened because all the
intending excursionists to Alaska were still crowded
there, the expected periodical steamer not having
arrived at its appointed time from Portland to take
them on. Nor was it until quite towards the night
that a private lodging could be found for me. Not
only were the Alaska passengers a burden to the
hotel, as they were, of course, to themselves, but it so
happened that Sir John Macdonald was there, as well
as Sir George Stephen and Mr. Van Home of the
Canadian Pacific Line. This, though an advantage
in itself, contributed to the pressure of the moment;
while, to soothe any impatience natural to a newly
arrived traveller with his baggage, I was facetiously
informed that "even the U.S. Chief Justice Waite
had had to wait." While it is said that it is not
unpleasant, being yourself at ease, to behold another's
difficulties, this sort of feeling is not equally excited
by merely knowing that you are in only equal difficulties with others, and as my—perhaps—chief object
in coming to Vancouver's Island had been to course
over the vast mountain ranges of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, I made up my mind to get out of the
pressure and to be off upon this mission as soon as
possible. I therefore went to call on Mr. Alexander
Munro, the manager of the Hudson's Bay Company,
to whom Mr. Armitt, the secretary in London, had
been good enough to give me a letter of introduction.    On  seeking  my way there, I was labouring 1
It  U
108
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
under a piece of ignorance which (like so many
others) travelling about has helped to remove. For
forth I went with this great hunting Company's name
upon my mind, expecting to find a glorious display
of nothing but surpassing furs; whereas, what I
found was a large storekeeper's magazine, containing
almost everything, great and small. I had had no
notion of the varied business carried on by this
Company, nor to what extent these remote western
districts were dependent on them for their manifold
necessities. Mr. Munro received me with all courtesy,
and, hearing of my wishes, immediately took me to
the offices of the Steam Packet Company that
worked to Port Moody. There I learned that
Captain J. Irving, also connected with the railway,
was going across on the following (Tuesday) night
to meet Mr. Abbot, the general manager of the line,
to whom also I held a letter, so that I immediately
took my ticket to accompany him.
The whole of Tuesday being before me, I availed
myself of letters which the chairman of the Hudson's
Bay Company had been good enough to furnish me
with, and called on Sir John Macdonald, with whom
I had a long and pleasant interview, in the course of
which he- strongly recommended me to go as far as
Calgari on the line—that is, completely through the
mountain ranges, and on to the fertile plains below.
The advice was excellent, and the distance six
hundred and thirty miles. I don't think I did much
more that whole day than gaze upon the beautiful
M.S BRITISH COLUMBIA.
109
Olympian range of mountains, bold and sharp in
outline, and of dark blue rock, decked with adorning
snow. I wandered about the town, and wandered
only, for there could not be much of very striking
interest in Victoria, outside the interest that one
must naturally take in the dawn of a far west young
city, precursor of its undoubted day. The boat did
not actually start till two o'clock on the Wednesday
morning. I had, therefore, no more grievances to growl-
about as regards a settled "location," for I went on
board the usual form of saloon boats out there after
dinner, and passed the night in a very comfortable bed.
At about one o'clock in the afternoon we arrived
at Port Moody, after a passage without any incident
that rests on the memory, and Captain Irving at
once introduced me to Mr. Harry Abbot, who at once
furnished me with a pass for Calgari. The train was
also a matter of | at once," for it ran in connection
with the boat, and it was a case of "Jump up, jump
up !" Mr. Abbot told me, to my great content, that
he and Captain Irving were coming on together the
next day, and he recommended me, therefore, to stop
at a place called Yale, about ninety miles on, and
there wait for them to go on together to Donald, four
hundred and forty-six miles, where they would stop
on business. Meanwhile, my journey of to-day was
brightened by the companionship of Mr. Lacey
Johnson, the master mechanic of the line.
We arrived at Yale at the appointed hour, five
minutes past seventeen o'clock.    That  is  the hour no
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I
I
III 11    !
marked upon the Time Table; for the Canadian
Pacific Company, in view of the long distances over
which the line extends, have adopted the very sensible plan of numbering the hours all through the
twenty-four, without stopping at noon to begin again.
The fact is, that this last mode of counting is very
puzzling in long journeys, so much so that the
Northern Pacific Company and the Burlington Line
have resorted to the system of printing the afternoon
hours in what they call " heavy figures," the morning
hours being printed in " light figures." But the system
of the Canadian Line is more scientific and more
convenient—a curious coincidence, by the way.
At Yale I went to the modest hotel which faces
the rapidly rolling river Fraser, of which I saw more
anon. On the road hither the Pitt river shows
certain scenery worth observing as you pass, but you
may expect more from the Fraser. Yale is now but
a poor place, yet there is a good station of the
Hudson's Bay Company, where I bought several
small articles I stood in need of. The place (like
many others) had been lively and prosperous while
the railway was in course of construction, and before
it was a constituted station. Since receiving its title,
however, its prosperity has dwindled. During the
Thursday, and until five o'clock in the evening,
when I was to meet my friends from Port Moody,
I walked out at some small distance to see a
remarkably picturesque waterfall, at a pool at the
end of a wooded gorge.    The mode of getting there BRITISH COLUMBIA.
in
was new to me. My directions were, " Go over this
hill, and then go over that, till you catch sight of
a flume, and then your best way is to get into the.
flume, and walk straight up it, till you come to the
rocks and the pool, and there you will find the Fall."
What is a flume ? It is a very large long flat wooden
trough, built on uprights at a slope, and is used for
carrying down large timber by means of rushing
water. When not in use, the water is diverted, and
the flume is left perfectly dry. In this state I found
it a by no means unpleasant path, which, when filled
with rushing water bearing down rushing logs, it is
easy to understand it could not well be.
Five o'clock, or rather, seventeen o'clock, came at
last, and with it came Mr. Abbott and Captain
Irving; and then began our journey onward to
Donald. The first feature of the road was our
entrance, at a short distance, into an ascending
narrow gorge of the wildest possible lofty rock
scenery, where we met the Fraser river tearing down
below us on our right hand, a huge, frothing, hurrying,
roaring mountain torrent. A certain mixture of gray
strata gave a peculiar effect to the wet masses through
and over which it was dashing and spreading polish.
Here and there complete islands of rock opposed
the waters, and again a very narrow channel chafed
them into redoubled rage. Meanwhile, we puffed and
snorted along with our own rattling, now in, and now
out of short tunnels, realizing one of those wild scenes
which are to be found on vast continents, but are 112
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
beyond the scope of our own small and modest
island, and which, on railways, are rather more
entertaining to the curious traveller than to the
shareholder. At twenty o'clock (for, as we are on
the Canadian line, you must read accordingly) we
reached the Cisco station, and after passing through
a short tunnel beyond, crossed the Fraser, boiling far
beneath us, by a fine and daring iron bridge.
This was the first exhibition of the varied mountain and river scenery which I had come to see; nor
merely to see, but also to realize, unscientifically, the
amount of engineering skill, and the enterprising spirit
with which this mighty line had been thrust through
apparently unpracticable regions—and this not for a
small distance only, but for a round six hundred miles
—before reaching the level prairies. These begin with
Canada proper in the neighbourhood of Calgari, and
extend for some thirteen hundred miles eastward
before any serious works are again encountered.
One would naturally reverse this picture, and calculate from Montreal to the Rockies ; but, in point of
fact, the great difficulties of construction were encountered first. The line was worked from west to east, so
that, instead of the streams and mountains avenging
themselves on the intruders for former facilities, it
was the prairies that rewarded them for having overcome the almost unparalleled obstructions of the
mountain ranges.
Of these mountain ranges, the line, as it starts
from Port Moody for Calgari, has  to encounter no BRITISH COLUMBIA.
"3
less than four—the Cascades, the Gold Range, the
Selkirks, and the Rockies ; and of torrential rivers
it has to encounter no less than five—the Fraser,
the Thompson, the Illecillewaet (or, Raging Water),
the Beaver, the Columbia, and the Kicking Horse.
Though rivers are for the most part a guide to the
engineer, and point out to him, like a guide, how he
is to pass through by following them, yet it is necessary that this should be done with some sort of
civility. Your mountain torrent gives as much
trouble as it can, and often seems to say, " Follow me,
if you can." There is very much of this seeming
disposition among the above-named five; while as
regards mountains, who are invariably surly hindrances, the above - named ranges are stalwart
vindicators of their race, demanding in the Rockies>
at a point called "Stephen," after Sir George Stephen,
no less than a height of 5296 feet (the highest point
of all), before opening a passage for the rails.
To attempt a full description of all I saw would
be tedious, even if possible ; and I may here candidly
say, that if any intending traveller wishes to inform
himself minutely upon the subject, he cannot do
better than read the letters lately published by a
correspondent in the Times, and now in brochure,
wherein he will find all that can be detailed of this
most remarkable railway district. I have just been
reading his account, which has served to remind
me vividly of my excursion, except as regards
the absurdly named Kicking Horse Pass, for both "4
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
in going and coming our train passed through that
district in the dark. Otherwise, I had a double
opportunity as regards the rest; for in going I was in
the stern car, with Mr. Abbott and Captain Irving,
who put up with all my requests for particulars
as Mr. Johnson had already done; and in returning, also in a stern car, I had the hind platform
all to myself, my only fellow-passenger being an
uncle of the late Mr. Caldecott All, therefore, that
I personally know of the Kicking Horse Pass is its
name, and that I have twice passed over it in the
dark. This name, by the way, seems to have been
given (as many names are) from an absurd event.
A certain Dr. Hector appears to have been kicked by
a horse while engaged in an exploring party, and
thus a noble work of art in a noble scene of nature is
stamped with an ignoble name.
" How fleet is the glance of the mind 1"
I am suddenly brought to "think of my own
native land " in connection with this theme, where a
royal incident is said to have given a name to a not
noble quarter—Horsleydown. The association is by
contrariety. Many years ago I was being led through
that district (I believe I was still in jackets), through
the astounding smells of tan yards, with their heaps
of green skins, for the purpose of being shown an
old-fashioned sign-board, perpetuating the incident
that local legend asserts gave the original name in
question.   While King Charles (some say King John) BRITISH COLUMBIA.
n«
was riding through the quondam meadows there, his
horse suddenly lay down. There the scene is painted,
and thence the corrupted name springs, or is curiously
supposed by some to spring.
The mind being fleet enough to get back again to
the British Columbian ranges, I cannot but particularly mention the scenery about " Ross Peak Siding "
and " Glacier Hotel," in the Selkirk range. It was on
Friday, the 30th of July, at about half-past nine in
the morning, that we began this ascent, ushered
in by forests of very large pine trees, extending for
many miles, and mixed with magnificent cedar trees—
not the aristocratic fan-branched tree, but of another
species, chiefly remarkable for vast, straight, lofty
trunks. By-and-by glacier mountains began to
appear, and we to ascend the great loop-line of the
railway. In the lower part of this was a huge
curving tressel bridge. There are five miles of loop,
with a rise of about 1800 feet. When you come to
the top you are at the Glacier Hotel, where we
found the Company were building an extra wooden
one. The mountains round are glorious ; Ross Peak,
Mount Hermit, Carrol Mountain, Macdonald Peak,
and others, this latter (not too large to harmonize
with the others) claiming an altitude of some 11,000
feet; while immediately in front of you, and behind
the new hotel, is displayed a wide-extending glacier,
by far the largest of all, and large enough to take
a leading place in Switzerland. It is very easy of
access,  appears  to be  singularly free of crevasses, it
'■!(
1   i   I
116
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
and, in any well-peopled districts, would, I am sure,
be constantly covered with excursionists. With all
this majesty of nature surrounding you, walk back and
look down into the chasm whence you have mounted.
There goes the loop, folding some half-dozen times,
like a long, rope curving to and fro ; and while I look,
behold a goods train coming slowly up ; and now it is
passing over the largest of the many tressel bridges.
What scenery could this whole scene not claim to
rank with ? But there are some persons, perhaps, who
would rather be reading some black-letter jargon about
mere brain-pictures. The summits of the Selkirk
Pass I have marked as being at a height of 4300 feet.
By-and-by we come to the Beaver gorges, and,
according to my notes, it is in these districts that,
while that river is roaring along at a vast depth on
our right, we cross one of its tributaries rushing from
above, at Beaver Creek or Stony Creek, by the largest
tressel bridge in the world, being 284 feet in height,
and 600 feet in length. There is another even longer,
but not quite so high. In short, through scenes like
these, as you defiantly move along among the exciting
chaos, there is a species of delight in the very confusion of the impressions that are produced, and
haggling about measurements and localities appears
a desecration. At last we are on the flats at Donald,
and I leave my friends behind me.
Hence I started at 16 o'clock—that is, 4, by vulgar
time, in the afternoon—and began the Rockies district
only towards dusk in the  evening.    What I did see BRITISH COLUMBIA.
IT7
by no means equalled what I had seen ; but I will
say no more, because I saw no more. We arrived at
Calgari at three o'clock in the morning, on Saturday,
the 31st of July.
And now, if Calgari by-and-by becomes a large
city, I shall be able to say (if still alive) that I saw
it in its very beginnings. I have certainly seen, in
reality, a city trying to begin, and already the hotel,
only partly built, is called "The Royal." There is
also a newspaper, and there are stores. Plenty of
the well-known corrugated iron is converted into use,
if not beauty. I verily believe, from all I could
gather, that this spot, situated as it is in the northwest of Canada, with almost unbounded capacities
for corn and cattle around, is destined to become the
focus of an immense thriving population. The grazing lands are spoken of as embracing four thousand
square miles. Cattle already abound. The beef I
ate from the rude kitchen was excellent. Americans
are coming in to secure land, and on the .very day
I was there one of them arrived for the purpose of
I locating " five hundred horses. They have not yet
any great building which they call their Law Courts,
and if they cannot have anything better than the
cumbrous and inconvenient lump of ugliness that now
adorns the neighbourhood of our Temple Bar, God
forbid they ever should have!
I naturally did not stay long at Calgari, but took
the return train, the time of which—23 o'clock—I
could not control; and therefore, as before observed, nS
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I again passed the Rockies in the dark. No scene
suffered by the repetition, and that of the Glacier
Station showed to greater advantage in returning.
On the Sunday night we saw vast stretches of the
pine forests in flames, showing fire such as turpentine
can produce ; and in the course of the afternoon, being
startled by a sudden furnace heat that came upon
us, we presently found ourselves flying by a large
burning cord of wood at the roadside. These blazing
masses are very dangerous, and on one occasion some
of the Company's cars were burned from this cause.
The number of snowsheds, as so many of us have
seen them in the Italian Passes, also struck me on my
return ; not so much so, however, as the number that
would to all appearances be still required. The line,
also, from Port Moody to Savonas, which the Dominion
Government had constructed by way of a subsidy,
looked very loose and ragged in many of its cuttings,
and would not, in that state, have been accepted of
a contractor by any engineer. No doubt all this will
be set right. A line is not made till it is finished
according to all the rules of slopes, etc., which constitute safety. Since I was there the railway has been
finally completed to Vancouver Town, its natural and
necessary terminus, at a distance of 2900 and odd
miles from Montreal. Here a late fire has afforded
an opportunity of building in a becoming manner
what will now be called the " Terminal City." Here,
also, there is a fine and protected roadstead, surely
soon to appear full of the life of commerce; nor shall BRITISH COLUMBIA.
119
I forget in connection with this subject that I saw
the first cargo of tea from the east (their west) pass
up the line in two separate goods trains, the greater
part of which, I was informed to my surprise, was
destined for New York. On the evening of Monday
I came as far as Port Hammond, and passed a bright,
quiet evening on the pretty Fraser river down to
New Westminster. On Tuesday morning, the 3rd of
August, I took the boat at seven o'clock, and we
arrived at Victoria at about two in the afternoon,
with a fine stream to run us down.
At Victoria I, of course, found all the Alaska party
long gone away, and plenty of room at the hotel,
where every attention and civility were paid. But
Victoria is not yet old enough to offer such house
accommodation as is to be found at the Montreal
hotel. In this respect the traveller experiences a great
falling off in more cases than one. Victoria, however, must be allowed time to grow. She has hitherto
been comparatively unknown; but the Canadian
Pacific Railway being now open throughout, and intercourse with the States through their north-western
ports being certain to become important, a few years
only should serve to create a large and prosperous
city, with which a visitor of to-day, returning after an
interval, would find it difficult to associate the mere
infancy of to-day.
It was at Victoria that I first found the Chinese
doing all the service of the hotel, instead of the negro.
They are very quiet and attentive, and, among the 120
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
very mixed population of Victoria, form an important
feature in all domestic requirements. That their
presence should excite jealousies is very natural, but
there is room for all.
It is curious to note that this Vancouver's Island,
though more distant than the mainland of British
Columbia, was constituted a colony nine years before
the latter, the two dates being 1849 and 1858. In
1866 they were united under the name of British
Columbia. This title is still held, but in 1871 the
whole district, extending on the mainland of the
eastern ridges of the Rockies, became a province of
Canada. In a pamphlet, full of information, published
by the Dominion Government, British Columbia is
called "The western face of Canada." It has a
coast line of about six hundred miles on the Pacific
Ocean, comprising innumerable bays, harbours, and
inlets, with an area of 341,305 square miles; it also
enjoys a fine climate. The dimensions of Vancouver's
Island (so named from the navigator, George Vancouver, who had served as a midshipman under the
famous Captain Cook) are given as of three hundred
miles in length, with an average breadth of sixty
miles, containing an area of about 20,000 square miles.
Minerals of all sorts form the chief resource of the
province, and a few days after I left, the island railway
to Nanaima, about seventy-five miles distant on the
eastern coast, where the principal coal pits are worked,
was inaugurated in the presence of Sir John Macdonald.    In quality the Vancouver Island bituminous BRITISH COLUMBIA.
121
coal is said to be superior for all practical purposes
to any other on the Pacific coast; so much so that
nearly two-thirds of the sea-borne Pacific coast coals
received annually at San Francisco are from Vancouver's Island. An interesting excursion may be
made from Victoria to the harbour of Esquimault, to
the west of Victoria, used from time to time as a
British naval station; and on Thursday, the 4th of
August, all was alive there with a great holiday,
when many of the natives displayed their pastimes,
manners and capacities.
I did not leave Victoria before Tuesday, the 10th
of August, but should not have stayed so many days
except from a desire to accompany the next excursion to Alaska. The periodical boats start from
Portland, and the company have an office at Victoria,
where they always touch. But I soon found it was
a sort of I touch and go " whether you could rely on
any exact information there ; in short, I gave up
this little I voyage of discovery" as being very profitless and misleading, and commenced telegraphing
to Portland. Even so, I soon found that, under the
circumstances then existing, the only mode of ensuring a cabin to Alaska was not only by taking it
from Portland, but by taking it at Portland. I do
not care to record all the " to's and fro's," but such
was my desire to visit that arctic scene of solitude
and silence, and to realize the stupendous and imposing
glaciers that adorn its ocean, that I would not
abandon my hope until the last.    And at the last 122
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
there came a telegram to say that a certain cabin
had been reserved for me, with the words added,
I Speak to the purser."
On the ioth the Ancon arrived, and forthwith I
went down to "speak to the purser."
" You have a cabin reserved for me," I said.
" Yes, sir, I have," said the purser. So far, so
good ; but he also added words, " But I don't think
you'll like it."
This from the purser himself rather shot through
me.    " What do you mean ? " I asked.
"Well, sir, it is very small, and close to the
paddles."
" Can I see it ?"
I Oh yes ; but not at the present moment, for it's
full of our potatoes !"
Imagine the scene! All he could say more was
that, if I would wait till we were out at sea, he would
try (but could not promise) to do better for me. The
thought would have immediately come to any one
that if I trusted to that sort of speculation I might
find myself § at sea" in a double sense when it was
too late to retreat, so I flung up Alaska altogether,
telegraphed to Portland that their potato-cabin was
an insult, and began to think more definitely of what
had been smouldering in my mind—a visit to the
Sandwich Islands instead. To this I had been
moved yet a little more and more by conversations
with Mr. Hutchinson, an American merchant of
San Francisco, who had been there some years pre- BRITISH COLUMBIA.
\2"i
viously, and who had given me the encouraging
information that the passage was one of only seven
days from San Francisco, whereas I had supposed it
to last a fortnight. Within the next hour, therefore,
my ticket was taken for that night back to Tacoma,
on my road to Portland, and I was bound for the
Islands. Returning to the hotel, and further conferring with Mr. Hutchinson on my resolution, he at
once suggested that I should wait for his return to
San Francisco in ten days or a fortnight, when he
would be able to give me letters of introduction. As
I should not require ten days to see San Francisco,
and as I was measuring out my time so as to be
able to visit the New England States during the
glories of their autumnal foliage, I settled to make
my excursion to the Yo Semite Valley before Mr.
Hutchinson's arrival, and he accordingly furnished
me with a letter to Mr. Miller, of the " Yo Semite
Tour Co."
During the few days I was at Victoria I had an
opportunity of making various acquaintances, and
among the number that of Mr. McLagan, of the
Victoria Times. I had also the opportunity of another
interview with Sir John Macdonald, and was, moreover, fortunate enough to meet Sir George Stephen
and Mr. Van Home, President and Vice-President
of the Canadian Pacific Company, to whom I had
letters for delivery at Montreal, but they were absent
when I was there. Their views of the future of
the line were bright, and were confidently expressed, 124
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
and they both seemed to me to be large-headed
men (particularly the latter), who understood what
they had been doing, and what they were going to
do. Hope is apt to be too speculative, but distrust
is very far indeed from being always wisdom. The
world could never get on with only that sort of
wisdom; and, for my own part, I could not leave Victoria without feeling instinctively certain that there is
to be an active and extensive development in the near
future of these now newly-awakened districts of the
globe. We call them remote, but remote from what ?
From ourselves ; but we likewise were once called
remote. Who does not remember the old Virgilian
line ?—
" Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos."
Yet we have since grown into wealth and power
which were never so much as dreamed of by those
who scarce would recognize us. If, then, Berkeley's
theory, that the " course of empire" is moving westward, be realized, and the vast continent of North
America come to be occupied by as many hundreds
of millions as it could support, may it not also
come to pass that Europe may be spoken of as the
remote ? But with all the present and still growing
appliances for extending and quickening means of
carriage and communication, the word " remote" will
never again bear its older meaning; and the distances
on this earth-ball (as the Germans call it, though, after
all, it is more of a water-ball) will be practically so
diminished that we shall be enabled more clearly to TO PORTLAND.
125
comprehend the very insignificant speck indeed which
it can present to its sun's really remote eye. And
since my visit a grand step has been taken by the
English Government, in the establishment, with a
grant of State aid, of an Empire mail route to our
East by the Canadian Pacific Railway—" The Queen's
Highway from Ocean to Ocean"— whereby an
immense commercial current will be eventually
poured through these regions.
I went on board the Tacoma boat at about ten
o'clock at night of the Tuesday, for it was to leave at
six o'clock the next morning, which it did, and I
found myself at Tacoma again at about five in the
afternoon. The next morning's train left at 7.20,
against which I Jiad nothing to say, for the forest
fires completely shrouded the Tacoma mountain-, of
which literally nothing could be seen. But there is a
certain disappointment in getting up at a bustling
hour of the morning for only a slow train ; and the
one to Portland was a very slow one, besides stopping
at every station. Many of these stations evidenced a
totally new country. They were cut out from forests,
and what houses were visible were built on grass
plains. A good deal of marsh land was visible, and
signs of high-water floods. Meanwhile, imagination
might indulge itself by ranging among the dark surrounding solitudes. As we approached Portland the
river scenery became very impressive. We ran along
the Cowlitz, and crossed the Columbia—here sometimes called the Oregon—at the junction of the two, 126
A FIGHT WITH .DISTANCES.
where a mighty breast of waters was spread before us.
Then, running on to Portland over many low tressel-
bridges and amid much lumber, we came to that
city on the banks of another great tributary of the
Columbia—the Willamette—which waters the great
Willamette valley, the largest valley in the State.
At about twelve miles above the confluence with
the Columbia, on the west bank, Portland is finely
situated, and no other city can more vividly exemplify the effects of railway development. In the year
1870 it contained a population of only 1100; by 1880,
as a result of the construction of the eastern section
of the Northern Pacific line, and the approaching
completion of the great transcontinental system, the
number had increased to 23,000. But in 1883 the
population was given as nearly 40,000. Although one
hundred miles from the coast, Portland is virtually a
seaport, and vessels of 3000 tons may be seen loading
at its wharfs; and in the busy season a perfect fleet
of merchantmen is employed in shipping the great
wheat crop of Oregon to Europe. The trade in tinned
salmon from the Columbia is also very large; but,
considering the immense destruction that is going on
amidst the almost fabulous abundance of this fish in
all these western waters, it seems possible that this
item of commerce may not be continuously so extensive. Its position is attractive and picturesque. " It
is a novel experience," writes Mr. Fee in his pamphlet,
from which some of these particulars are taken, "to
Stand in the primaeval  forest  which  hugs  the  city PORTLAND.
I21;
closely on all sides, and look down upon the bustling
activity of trade and pleasure. Here are the tall
pines and the dark thicket; there the masts, the
smoky chimneys, and the dusty streets." From
Robinson's Hill the view comprises the rivers and all
the five mountains : Mounts Jefferson and Hood, in
Oregon, and, to the north, Mounts Adams and St.
Helen's, with Tacoma at a greater distance. There
are many resident thriving merchants, whose villas
bespeak their wealth and adorn the suburbs. The
climate is commendable as partaking of the softness
of the Pacific, in contrast with the harshness of the
Atlantic Ocean ; and it is customary to compare the
two Portlands in this respect. Portland in Maine is of
rather a lower latitude than Portland in Oregon, the
former standing at about 430 north, and the latter
at about 460. But the difference between the two
climates, in favour of the latter, is so marked, and was
so often mentioned to me, that I offered the following
distich :—
While Portland, Maine, lies wrapt in snow,
In Portland, Oregon, the roses blow.
The boat for San Francisco, The State of California, was to start at midnight on Friday, the 13th of
August, and I left my hotel accordingly—the Esmond
—at something earlier than that ghostly hour to get on
board and go to bed. The morning of Saturday was
fine, and we soon came to Astoria, where we stayed
for some time, in order to ship a large cargo of tinned
salmon.    Here associations  immediately arose con- 128
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
nected with all the events of 1811, recounted by
Washington Irving in his " Astoria "—of the original
founding of it under the mission of John Jacob
Astor, in connection with the fur trade; of the
dreadful fate of Captain Thorn and his crew off a
place called Neweetee, in Vancouver's Island ; and
the subsequent blowing up of the Tonquin, crowded
with natives, by Mr. Lewis, who himself fell a
voluntary self-victim in the explosion. On this spot,
finally agreed upon, Astoria was founded, under great
difficulties and dangers, by McDougal, who obtained
the title among the native tribes, " the Great Smallpox Chief," from his having successfully threatened
to let the small-pox out of a bottle, which he produced,
if they showed any hostility, the loss of the Tonquin
having greatly tempted them to attack. Here, then,
Astoria was founded, and here it has grown in trade
to what it appears to-day. This tinning trade in
salmon recalls in some sort the pork trade in Chicago,
in connection with the vast slaughter of salmon that
takes place, and the rapidity of the tinning. There
are several tinning establishments along this lower part
of the river, which presents no features in scenery that
can be spoken of in comparison with those above.
Washington Irving copies from the second volume of
Lewis and Clarke's work an account of how the
natives dried and packed their fish, the drying
reminding me of what I had seen in Norway; but
the figures of to-day appear fabulous. For example,
I was told that in 1881, 600,000 boxes were shipped,
\\x TO SAN FRANCISCO.
129
each containing 40 tins, and each tin 8 lbs., so that in
all there were 24,000,000 tins, and 192,000,000 lbs. of
salmon. What is to become of the salmon ? At our
own halt I thought we should never end taking in
boxes, but was told that the last season had been a
poor one, and that our cargo was but small!
Our passage down to Frisco (for thus is the sacred
name of the Saint Francisco irreverently, though conveniently, vulgarized) lasted us till seven o'clock on
the morning of Monday, the 16th of August. Our
vessel trembled and shook to an unpleasant degree;
but this, we were informed, was owing to the great
strength of her engines, a quality not reasonably to
be complained of;—otherwise it was without event.
The meeting of certain steamers, however, was an
important feature of the passage, both in itself and in
the reflections it gave rise to. We had been warned
that large holiday parties of what is called The Grand
Army were visiting California, and that we might
find ourselves 1 crowded out." In every sense, therefore, we were delighted to be meeting boatfuls of
these warriors, and quite sincerely responded to their
retreating cheers. This Grand Army is a remarkable
institution. It is composed exclusively of those who
fought for the North in the late War of Secession, and
has been constantly increasing in numbers, amounting
now (I was told) to some 250,000. Yet, I was assured,
no animosities are thus kept alive; on the contrary,
good feeling seems to grow; and the following remarkable notice from Philadelphia, taken from the
K 130
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Times of the 5th of July, 1887, strongly testifies to
this fact:—
" The 4th of July has been celebrated with the
usual patriotic demonstrations throughout the United
States. A special feature of the celebration was a
reunion of Federal and Confederate soldiers on the
Gettysburg battle-field, the occasion being the dedication of monuments marking the positions on the field
where the Philadelphia brigade of the Union troops
met and repulsed Pickett's charge. Eight hundred
survivors of the Philadelphia brigade and three hundred survivors of Pickett's charging column met on
the field, where many thousands of spectators had
assembled, and held joint ceremonies, each side testifying to the burial of animosities. Mrs. Pickett came
with her husband's troops. The festivities were continued all day, both organizations being encamped on
the field."
Hence it would appear that North and South
both combine in this leading sentiment of to-day—
Union before all things. (    i3i    )
CHAPTER VII.
SAN FRANCISCO—YO SEMITE—MARIPOSA.
BUT if the absence of the Grand Army Detachments
was a relief, the. presence of something else was a
great disappointment to me ; for on rounding to enter
San Francisco bay by the " Golden Gate"—that
frequent, but here fairly applied, title—we found
everything (as too often happens) in fog, and I was
consequently deprived of realizing what every one
describes as a very grand entrance.
The Palace Hotel is the leading one of the city
and it is built like a palace. I found here the best
bedrooms and baths in all the States, and, let me add,
the best shoe-cleaning, though always at the standard
price. Chinese were again the serving-men for the
rooms. On entering the large centre quadrangle, you
survey all the galleries of the inside rooms to the very
top. These are all let at a lower figure by a dollar
than the outside ones, for one of which, with bath, etc.,
I believe I paid five dollars a day, board and lodging
included. So up in the elevator you go, and your
baggage follows.    But first, as usual, your name is 132
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
entered at the large open bar called the office, where
everybody is " glad to see you, sir."
This hotel was built by a very enterprising man
of the name of Ralston. He was a great speculator,
and a man of high notions. His hotel shows that
what he undertook to do he had the disposition to do
well, and he appears to have been much respected.
But he overreached himself at last, and his end was not
a happy one. He has left a fine establishment behind
him, which will maintain its character through many
a year's increasing importance of this surprising city.
My first step was to find out Mr. Miller, of the
Yo Semite, which was not difficult, for his office was
but a few paces off, at the corner of the great long
street called Market Street, and my first surprise was
to see the number of tramcars in the wide space
opposite, crossing and recrossing according to their
rails, and all worked on the underground chain system. It had a most dangerous appearance, but accidents are rarely heard of. This system, I shortly came
to know, is wonderfully extensive in Frisco and the
suburbs, and I had the opportunity of riding out, for
even several miles, up hill and down at the same uniform pace, curiously doubting now and then whether
a sharp incline might not be dangerous. In no other
city of the world is this system so widely adopted as
at Frisco. At the Yo Semite office I found Mr.
Miller, and took the usual round ticket for six days
at some reasonable price which I forget; and I also
went down the long Market Street to the steam-
1 i
'<W. M^-v«
SAN FRANCISCO.
packet office, and secured a berth for the Hawaiian
Islands, to start on the 28th of August, which would
give Mr. Hutchinson plenty of time to appear.
Now, the Chinese form a very important element
in the population of Frisco, so three of us at the hotel
arranged, with a police guide, to visit their quarters
on Monday evening, the 16th. The first scene we
realized was- their theatre, where we paid four " bits "
(the audience pay two), and were taken on to the
stage, thus finding ourselves standing almost among
the actors, and with a full view of the whole house.
It was crowded. Now, a large mass of faces is always
a curious picture to look at, but a large mass of
Chinese faces was most particularly curious. The
general appearance was, at first sight, one rather of
stolidity, partly arising perhaps from the small eyes
of the race, and the sort of absent look that attends
them, to which add the flatness and yellowness of the
countenance. But now and then a Chinese laugh
showed that these faces were quite alive to what was
being offered them for their amusement, and, what is
more, we were told that they are really very critical
and exacting as to what they get for their money.
The performance was most extraordinary. Only one
woman acted among the six or eight; for the rest,
males appeared for both sexes. The faces were highly
painted, and the voices entirely put on, sounding
in high and rather squeaking notes. Meanwhile, there
was plenty of jocose gesture, but not much movement.
Singing in low notes went on almost the whole time 134
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
\     .1
behind the actors, and there was a continuous accompaniment, also in a low key, of softly clanging cymbals,
small drums, and half-mute violins, and there was no
change of scene. The dresses were very handsome,
and on being admitted into their Green. Room we
found some really splendid specimens, and of great
value, all of which had been worked in China and
imported. The whole scene and mode of performance were most extraordinary—an impression intensified by the fact that we had not the remotest notion of
what was going on. We were informed that the best
actors get their thousand dollars, or about two hundred
guineas a year. They live below—an arrangement
which made one tremble to think of, for the passages
are tortuous and the structure entirely of wood.
Having satisfied our curiosity as to this exhibition,
which we were given to understand we could have
been permitted thus to witness only under the guidance of the police, we were then taken to the opium
dens. If the wooden passages in the theatre were
intricate, what shall be said of these ? and if the
aspect of the theatrical actors was extraordinary,
what shall be said of that of the opium actors and
of their dwellings? All were in unventilated and
crowded places—even, say, holes and corners—in
wooden divisions, each belonging to each, and lighted
only by the candle that served them for melting and
burning their opium. Some were fairly enjoying
themselves under the best of these conditions ; but
others (perhaps not less enjoying' themselves) were SAN FRANCISCO.
M5
doubled up like shrivelled rabbits in a hutch. The
process of enjoyment was curious. The prepared
opium is softened in the candle, and then pushed
through a very small pin-hole at the top of the pipe's
bowl by a needle. When full, the pipe is taken into
the mouth, the hole applied to the candle, and every
atom of smoke drawn closely down into the lungs by
successive breathings. There it remains, till it comes
out again like smoke from a volcano. This process
is continued ad libitum, and the filling of the pipe
takes much more time than the smoking: consumption is diversified with preparation. The enjoyment
is intense, and many appear to the stranger as lost
to everything else (as some older hands are), who,
nevertheless, can work well and gain money when
not lying curled up and given over to their strange
delights. We were quite satisfied when we retraced
our steps through the close wooden labyrinths, and I
could not but reflect on what these places must be on
hot nights, for our night was cold, with one of Frisco's
well-known fogs.
Hence we were taken to a very opposite scene—
to the really magnificent chief Chinese restaurants.
The deep and elaborate gilded carvings which adorn
these interiors all come from China ; framed marbles
of curious veinings, handsome wooden and inlaid
tables, are plentiful, and the dinners that are sometimes given to friends were described to us as costly
and luxurious ; for there are many wealthy Chinese in
Frisco among the merchants.     At one of these re- 136
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
staurants we had a Chinese tea—green tea, and of
the most delicate flavour I remember to have ever
tasted—except on one certain special occasion, by
the way, and that in London, after dining with a
China merchant. Here we felt ourselves in China.
There was sugar, but no vulgar milk, and no vulgar
teapot—begging that most respectable article's pardon
for the momentary slight. All was of the finest
china. Then in what was the tea made ? It was
made as we make it in the teapot, but in a rather
large elegantly shaped china basin, covered over with
what looked like an inverted saucer, of course of
the same ware. When ready, the Chinaman took the
basin gracefully in his hand, and, pressing down the
cover with one finger, made an opening, and poured
out the tea into the cups. He offered us something
to eat, but as the Chinese cannot pronounce the r,
he called it "blead." We all agreed, however, that
the flavour of the tea was too delicate to be interrupted by any other ; and, indeed, the really true tea-
drinker would not have permitted even the small
intrusion of sugar that we indulged in.
The Chinese of all grades are numerous in Frisco ;
in short, the American government have at last
placed restriction on their importation. They are
said to number 35,000 in all, and we were credibly
informed, of what seemed incredible, that there are
not even a thousand women among the number.
Certain it is, however, that I saw only two mothers
with their infants among all.    The lower classes live >»« > -
w
►—J
u^4
i/i
O
>     0- YO SEMITE.
liJ
economically, except as regards those who indulge in
opium, and their habit, in general, is to keep sending
their money to China until they can afford to follow it.
They crowd together in their dwellings. I scarcely
could believe our guide when he pointed out a large
house—it was a large one—and assured us that two
thousand of them found means of living there. In
the common eating-houses their eating is'not elegant
in appearance; and one of them, at the-signifying of
my request, exhibited the mode of eating his basin of
rice with chop-sticks. The process would not teach me
to like rice. Their shops are enticing, and we were
tempted to buy some small scarfs and handkerchiefs
of Kwong Shew Lun and Co. I must not omit to add
that we were also admitted to their Joss House—a
small interior, with a figure of Confucius, before whom,
as in other and later religions, candles were burning, and
incense—in this case from the joss-stick—was smoking.
And now for YO SEMITE—a name which was
given to the Great Waterfall by the indigenes, and is
said to mean "The large grizzly bear." Hence the name
of the valley—Yo Semite Valley, which here, and here
only, I write thus to secure the proper pronunciation.
We started at half-past three o'clock on Wednesday, the 18th of August, across the bay, and took the
railway to a place called Berenda, where we stopped
for thd night, and slept in a Pullman stand-still car.
At half-past six on Thursday we continued our railway course to Raymond, where we found a meagre
breakfast, and mounted the open-seated four-in-hand N
138
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
car, low-built, with a roof, that was to take us on to
the Valley. Our length of railway, through a totally
uninteresting and somewhat dusty country, was two
hundred miles, and our first day's journey in the car
was to be thirty-four miles farther, to Clark's Hotel,
kept by Mr. Washbourne. Our car was large, and our
party of excursionists consisted of some dozen or so,
all of whom, I think, found room on the several cross
benches; but I am not quite sure that two young
Dutchmen, who intensely enjoyed everything, and
whom I christened, to their amusement, Amsterdam
and Rotterdam, were not upon a second car. All the
rest were Americans, who christened me in turn,
calling me "England." As we were all a very
pleasant party, I shall put down the names as they
were entered at Clark's. There was the relationship
of father and daughter and, I believe, niece or young
friend, among them, and these two young ladies kept
up an unceasing chaff with 1 England" all through.
The rest were of the older stamp, with whom " Time "
was beginning " to grow familiar."
The first half of our road was dull and fearfully
dusty, of which latter character I had been forewarned. Merely dry, stunted growths of the evergreen oak helped to monotonize the scene; but by-
and-by the forest grew upon us, or rather, we entered
it by degrees, and we reached a height of 5200 feet
before getting down to Clark's. This drive down
was somewhat exciting, for we went at full pace, and
swept round the zigzag curves now and then, to the yo SEMITE.
139
alarm of some of us ; but it was evident that our
centre of gravity lay very low, and that our skilled
coachman, George Monro, and his horses too, had been
always doing the same. To have attempted anything
of the kind with the top hamper of our old four-horse
coaches, loaded outside, would have been to have produced the effect of tilting a loaded wheelbarrow.
We passed the night at Clark's, arriving there at
evening, and here the names were entered thus:
D. H. Jacob, J. S. Maxwell, Waldo S. Harwood,
C. C. Park, Lissie Park, Carrie Headley, W. H. Park,
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, H. J. Coster and friend (Amsterdam and Rotterdam), and must speak for themselves.
But among the number I particularly remember a
good lady who was a great appreciator of scenery,
and was often pointing out scenes and objects well
worthy of observation, whom I used to call, in my
own thoughts, the Matron.
Now, it is from this same Clark's Hotel that a forenoon's excursion is made to see "the Big Trees" at
Mariposa Grove. I had supposed, with others,that these
were to be found in the Valley—but it is no such thing.
They lie some few miles away from this spot, in quite
a different direction. We did not visit them on going,
so that on the morning of Friday, the 20th of August,
we continued our journey for another twenty-six
miles to the Valley. In this day's course we reached
a height of 6300 feet, and the forest was fine, but
somewhat monotonous. It may readily be understood that our mileage per hour was not very great A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
with these heights to reach, though counted, of course,
from the sea ; and change of horses were from time to
time necessary. Of these I happen to remember one
more than any of the others from a curious incident.
We met the return car coming back, and one of our
party, having gone to see whether he could recognize
any one upon it, came back presently with quick,
indignant steps.
"What is it?" I asked.
" Didn't you hear that fellow behind ? He looked
me full in the face, and said, ' Here you are! More
fools, more fools, more fools !'"
So that was his idea of what he had made of
himself by the excursion, and no wonder our co-
passenger was somewhat thrown off his equilibrium.
It was on one or the other of these two days,
also, that I was made acquainted with the mining
meaning of two words, to which, in England, we
attach a very different one. They have not an
elegant sound, being nothing less than " grub " and
"gulch." Yet these two words were largely written
on the front of a roadside inn where we stopped,
though not to change. " Grub," then, means to explore, or I prospect;" and " gulch " means the gulley
or gorge "prospected." The innocent meaning of
these two words simply indicated that there existed
a partnership between the owner and the explorer, in
illustration of which there was a flume to bring down
water from some mining works several miles away.
We continued our road with regularity, and were YO SEMITE.
141
covered with dust whether in or out of the forests,
and were jolted in our seats by lumps of rock in the
road, but were promised a reward for all when we
came to a spot marked by a name already known
in these pages, " Inspiration Point." And at last,
high up in the forest, and almost before we were
aware of it, the coachman made a wide curve, and,
bringing us sidelong upon the brow of the deep
descent, fringed with trees, cried, "Inspiration Point!"
I do not believe there was one of us who was not
stricken with astonishment at this first view. At all
events, we were all silent; no noise, happily—no exclamation. And then presently there came a quiet
voice, and it was from the Lady Matron.
" Well, how any one can look at that and doubt
the existence of a God, I cannot tell!"
I give this exclamation—and it was scarcely one
—because it came quietly and naturally. Dickens,
at Niagara, at all events, could have found no fault
with it; and it serves to show that there was really
something to astonish. But as Hamlet's reflections
at Ophelia's grave were mingled with the grave-
digger's songs, so this quiet, solemn phrase was
closely followed by another, very often addressed to
me while in the States—"Have you got anything like
that in England ?"
This " Inspiration Point" is indeed the point, the
one, and the only one, whence you can take in the
whole length and breadth of the Valley, and the various
grand granite mountains that form its two precipitous 142
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
sides, at an average height of 4000 feet. You are
yourself at a great height—about 1200 feet above the
Valley—and you look completely along it, even to its
end. What is the form of the Valley, so called? I had
supposed it to be a wide undulating space with rocks,
meadows, mountains, and waterfalls interspersed.
But it is no such thing. It is a straight gorge; its
floor, as it is called, running eight or ten miles in
length, not counting what is called "the Little Yo
Semite " beyond, and having an average width of not
more than one mile. The best short description of
its shape that I can give of the whole scene is that it
looks as if the rocky earth had been suddenly torn
asunder to a great depth, and that the Valley had
gradually fertilized between the gigantic precipices,
all remarkably perpendicular. This is the grand first
view that breaks upon you ; and they who would
realize the finest impression that the excursion can
impart should not be persuaded to come into the Yo
Semite by any other road. We were told that the
railway is to be prolonged in some way that will avoid
this glorious height, whence we continued to gaze for
as long as it was possible to delay the car. For my own
part, I would not be persuaded to repeat my visit if
I could not repeat the scene from " Inspiration Point."
The vast rock called the Capitan—there are many
Spanish names—rising 7000 feet above the sea (the
valley stands at between 3500 and 4000), juts forth to
your left as you look down ; and corresponding crags
upon the opposite side seem to form together the vast YO SEMITE.
M-
portal whence both lines of varied precipices run back,
among which what is called the half-dome, 8800 feet
above the sea, shows forth with especial grandeur.
When we had satiated ourselves with the first
view, we were swung down into the valley, just as we
had been swung down to Clark's, and (as may be
imagined) all these grand objects before us continually took up new shapes, and new objects likewise came in view. Finally, we came to our hotel,
which was, I believe, called Cook's. There are two
or three along the valley, but their leases will shortly
expire, and the Government is building a large one
which will then take the place of all, and afford, it is to
be hoped, ample accommodation of all requisite kinds.
We had plenty of time to take a drive round that
same afternoon, crossing the Valley, which is quite
flat, and is correctly called "the floor," passing under
graceful foliage from time to time, and following the
rippling crystal water of the river, also bearing a
Spanish name, the Merced. The Yo Seiuite Fall lies
immediately opposite to the hotel we were staying at.
In the month of August its waters are, of course, at
about their lowest, and, therefore, its main feature
of force and volume was lost. Its effect, so far as
these features are concerned, must be imposing, for
the upper fall is given as of 1500 feet, its middle of
559, and its lower of 487, some 2500 feet in all; and,
seen from the front, these three appear almost one.
On a profile view, however, the great upper fall is
said to show a distance of as much as a quarter of 144
A FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
a mile behind the middle one, towards which it rushes
over cascades to the middle one, and thence again,
after a certain distance, to the lower. But it is a
naked fall over a naked rock, and for my own part
I am not greatly enamoured of waterfalls of this
class. But Yo Semite Fall has another characteristic
when in volume, beside the rush of its waters—it
roars. In a conversation I had with Mr. Hill, the
well-known artist in those districts, on my return to
Clark's, we spoke of this, and he told me that he
attributed it to there being an immense cave in the
rock behind the water, which was made to resound
by the wind caused by the Fall. I remembered then
the winds at Niagara, and could quite believe in the
theory. Moreover, a rather aged man in the Valley
told me that many years before, when quite young,
he had clambered up into this cave and been overtaken by night, so that he was a prisoner till the
morning. He also mentioned how the noise on the
spot had confounded and astonished him. The
Indians of old knew all these things, and in their
mystified fear gave all their names.
This leads me to speak of another waterfall, now
known by the affected name of the Bridal Veil. Its
height is 860 feet, and in August the diminished
waters may perhaps represent something like a
long white veil. But its real character and the aboriginal name are wholly different. Its name as
of old is Po-ho-no; and this name, far from being
associated with brides and veils, signifies nor more YO SEMITE.
145
nor less than "the Spirit of the Evil Wind." Mr. Hill
was again my interpreter here. In talking to him, I
had mentioned having noticed a very curious spray
rising every now and then, apparently without cause,
at the very top of the fall, which I could not get
explained to me, and he then solved the difficulty.
That spray, he said, was only the very mildest
exhibition in summer of what takes place in the
stormy seasons; for then, by some mysterious
action of currents of wind, the whole body of water
is whirled into* the air at the curve of the Fall, is
carried out horizontally for some distance, and is
then precipitated to the ground in an overwhelming
mass. Hence the wild natives gave their name, Po-
ho-no : " the Spirit of the Evil Wind."
We finished a very pleasing drive, and so arranged
as to be at Po-ho-no at a proper moment and at a
proper angle, when the setting sun showed not only
a rainbow, but a large sheet of prismatic colours
over the surface of the Fall, for at about half-way
down, the comparatively small quantity of water was
from time to time unable to resist in its descent the
side force of an intermittent gust of wind, and was
blown into an abounding spray.
Our next day, Saturday, the 21st, was devoted to
the inevitable occupation of excursion, and we started
in cars at an early hour to see the Mirror Lake, and
especially the sunrise on it. The lake in itself—at all
events, at this time of year—is a comparatively
insignificant piece of water, but it is surrounded by ill
146
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
majestic precipices, rising into some thousands of
feet. The water presents a clear surface, and is
fairly called a mirror. The morning breaks to your
right, as you stand at the lower bank where the boat
is moored, and sheds its light toward the rocks upon
your left, which are most beautifully reflected in the
water immediately below them. This scene might
compare with many spots in the Fjords of Norway,
but not with those where the precipices rise directly
from the water, and make it impossible, at a fair distance, to discern where rock ends and reflection begins,
thus causing the charming delusion that the rock is
continuous, and is displaying an opposite crest inverted far below.
You do not require the actual sun for the enjoy-,
ment of this picture, but the particular effect of the
rising itself which you come to see is this : that
gazing still on the lake as the sun comes up, he first
appears in the water as a star of the least magnitude
at the top of the darkly reflected rocks on the eastern
side, and gradually becomes a splendid star before he
blazes out as himself. This effect is at first observed
from quite the other end of the lake, whence you see
nothing of the mirror I have described, while you are
waiting; whereas, if you remain near the boat, you
by-and-by have the advantage of that picture, for the
star will presently appear a second time at this same
spot. Therefore the Lady Matron and I, and Rotterdam and Amsterdam, did not move thence, whereas
all the rest of the party followed the regulation method, YO SEMITE.
H7
and lost their time in the dark. No greater sign of
their having nothing to engage their attention can be
given than that they at last began to throw stones,
into their end of the lake—a proceeding, however,
which they immediately saw the impropriety of, and
stopped, on hearing the shouts of protest, male and
female, that rang across the water; for, of course, with
the slightest ripple, all the charm of reflection is dispersed. When they came round to us, to see the
second appearing of the star, it was time to go, and
they missed the mirrored rocks, which are the real
sight to see. The growing star in the water, however,
ought to be seen, though there may be something of
a tinge of childishness in making very much of it.
By remaining at the boat you see all, and the star is
not worth seeing twice if you lose the mirror.
Hence we all went on horseback to the Vernal
Fall, properly called Pi-wa-ack, or Cataract of
Diamonds. What poets these wild men were ! Here
we witnessed a beautifully wooded scene, illuminated
by a rainbowed Fall from a height of 236 feet. The
lights and shades were exquisite, especially aided by
two most brilliant mountain-peaks in full sunshine,
peeping from the distance into our shrouded sanctuary.
Hence we continued to the Nevada Fall, of 600 feet;
but this is a bare rock Fall. We were tempted by
the guide to climb and clamber to the top, whence
the look down is doubtless very impressive ; but I
am yet in doubt whether the agonies of the climbing
up and the jerking down were not rather more so. i
148
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
We then sent on our horses to Pi-wa-ack, in order to
walk back and meet them there, going by what are
called "the Ladders." Were I ever to revisit Yo
Semite, I should not do this again. I rather fancy so
thought we all, and I said, "We have nothing like
that in England."
The rest of the day was spent in getting back to
the hotel, with another short stay at the Pi-wa-ack,
where we found our horses. The sunset was of gold,
and the evening of silver, and I do not forget being
suddenly called from a somewhat unengaging dinner-
supper by the Lady Matron, to witness an exquisite
effect. Behind a dark dressing of foreground rocks
a double-peaked mountain was washed by the setting
sun with the very richest of rose-madder colouring.
The next day, Sunday, the 22nd, was destined to
witness our departure from the Valley ; not, however,
by the way we came, but by the other end, passing
over what is called Glacier Point, 7200 feet above the
sea; and, although we were departing, this journey
really constituted another leading excursion. We
had to start at about five o'clock in the morning, and
were in our saddles at that hour. The whole party,
however, did not undertake this journey, for some returned as we had come. It would have taken much to
persuade me to break my first impressions of Inspiration Point, by only gradually getting up to it again
and then looking back.   No; approach it and behold !
We were in our saddles, I say. I am very far
indeed from ever having had a dislike to the saddle, MARIPOSA.
149
but in this case my only desire was to be off again.
The American cavalry saddle and stirrups are a
torture, and with the wear and tear of the yesterday
my discomfort was redoubled. You cannot get the
ball of your foot well into the stirrup—an indispensable
condition for mere fatigue riding—and the stirrups are
backward, and throw you forward. But there was
nought else to be had, and we were soon upon what
is called the Trail; that is, the steep pathway up the
mountain-side. The first outlook point we came to
was Union Point, whence the Valley (as I rather
anticipated) is disappointing. But in front you get
a full view of the lesser valley, which presents a
very impressive winding mountain gorge. Further
up there are positions on the precipices somewhat
startling, but the two young ladies were quite at
home throughout. At length we were on the "Point,"
and came in full view of the long distant range of the
Sierra Nevada. The only drawback here was that
the morning sun was on the wrong side. Evening
would be the fitting hour here, with a night passed at
the hotel a-top. Hence we had a long suffering ride
through the forest to meet the car which was to take
us back to Clark's, and glad enough indeed was one,
at all events, of the party to throw his right leg to
the left over his horse's back. On arriving there, the
next movement on the card was to visit the " Big
Trees"—a round drive, there and back,' of some
seven or eight miles. But the'afternoon was hot and
dusty; and though my declining to go till the next I 111
150
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
morning, in the cool and at my ease, drew loud
protestations from the loaded car, yet the flesh was
this time too strong for the spirit, which could not be
shamed into this real warfare. I remained to receive
their report, and we all sat down to a late meal
together on their return.
That same evening Mr. Tuttle, of Illinois, had
arrived, bound for this excursion; so he and I started
together at half-past five o'clock for our drive to the
Mariposa forest, in the dark recesses of which are
to be seen the " Big Trees." There is no other name
for them, though this scarcely sounds a respectful
one for Nature's prodigies. The hour was an
early one, but all my former companions had been
earlier, for they had left at the time marked for my
own departure on the morrow, viz. three o'clock. Our
drive was cool and pleasant, and, with the sand we
had to traverse, I was well content with not having
encountered its reflected heat of the yesterday. The
road soon enters the forest, through which from time
to time we continued to pass remarkably fine pines
and forest cedars, such as would have excited great
attention had we not been in pursuit of larger game.
In due time we came upon the first and largest of the
number. He stands out alone, in position as well as
size, on a broad open space, and there is quite room
enough to place him in fitting perspective. The size is
so large that no single visit enables one to realize it,
particularly as you are to do a certain round in more
or less a certain time, and that you keep going on MARIPOSA.
151
from one point to another. The huge gnarled trunk
that carries all the jagged limbs above measures thirty-
three feet in diameter; the height is not given, but
at ninety feet above the ground he sends out one of
his lower branches—for branches they must be called—
measuring six feet in diameter. His tops are bare
and withered, as if his roots had finally met some
soil that had affected his growth. He is called (I
know not on what authority) " the Grizzly Giant; " and
he is a cedar, but not of the fan-branched species that
adorn so many of our garden lawns in England. His
foliage is very small, and in this respect he reminded
me of Montezuma's vast cedar trees at Chapultepec,
near Mexico ; a stroll beneath the numerous group
of which is, however, far more impressive, and of
which I have already spoken in my " Flight to
Mexico." It is not only as a big tree that you look
upon this giant. You become giddy, as it were, in
trying to imagine the enormous lapse of time that it
must have required to continue and complete its
growth—this mighty growth, still slowly and imperceptibly going on, perhaps—and you seem carried
back into the myths of pre-historic time. His trunk is
scorched with marks of a lighted fire, and of this anon.
I have been particular in describing this one tree,
because the description will serve for all the others.
There is only a special difference as to one of them,
namely, that an opening has been cut through it,
through which you pass easily with your carriage and
horses ; but, for myself, I did not find that this arrange- J:I
152
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
ment aided one at all in realizing proportions. By-
and-by you come to a second giant; and then again to
certain groups of three or four, all huge, but not so
huge ; and all, or nearly all, are scorched with fire, as
indeed are hundreds of lesser growth, while some of
lesser still have been completely burned. These
large trees are grouped about the forest—how it can
be called a "grove" I know not—and besides the
several that give an assured measurement of some
ninety or a hundred feet circumference, it is said
there are as many as one hundred and twenty-five
that will give a measurement of forty. We drove
down a considerable distance to the log house, of the
forest guardian, standing in, what I should call, a
large Forest Hall of Pine-tree Columns. There,
specimens from the trees can be purchased. After
making a round, we returned again by the giant for
another view, and so departed.
Now, as regards these scorchings on so many
scores of these trees. The scars were found upon
the giant and the rest when the forest was first
explored and the trees discovered. I have a theory
myself that they were caused by those who, in years
gone by, wandered and dwelt among these dark
retreats, making their fires of the trees, and using the
large trunks indiscriminately for their fuel. What
other mode could they resort to? There are no
small sticks and branches lying about, and the upright trunk, being filled with turpentine, was a ready-
made log in the best of positions to make a fire of. SAN FRANCISCO.
That some of the trees were thus destroyed would
be a matter of course, and need not imply mere
objectless mischief; for the fire, being once lighted,
could not in many cases be again extinguished, and
must have been left to burn. Thus I believe all these
scars to have arisen from the trees being made use of
as the best fuel at hand by ancient dwellers or hunters
in the forest. The rest of the day was quietly spent
in Clark's, and, for my own part, in a visit to Mr.
Hall's studio, and in conversations with him, two
pieces of information obtained-in the course of which
I have already related.
On the morning of Tuesday, the 24th, the same
fate that attended my companions yesterday awaited
me also in turn. Before three o'clock I was roused,
in order to take coach and get to the San Francisco
train. It is a pity that this forced and long return
should be the last impression left of the excursion.
The train was forty minutes late, and when I reached
the Palace Hotel, hot and tired, I found a luxury in
my bed and bath-room, No. 124. The whole journey
round will give a total of little short of six hundred
miles. It is quite enough to undergo ; but if I met
any party going there, I certainly should not be
coarse enough to say, nor foolish enough to think,
" More fools, more fools, more fools ! "
So here at Frisco I found myself again on the
25th, now pondering on my passage to the Hawaiian
Islands on Saturday, the 28th. My first thought,
of course, was to pay my ten cents and get my boots 154
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
cleaned, and when I had accomplished this, and was
walking brilliant-footed up and down the grand
quadrangle, I was met by an American whom I had
seen at Portland. He was returning to New York,
and asked me if I was doing the same.
I No," I replied ; " I am going to the Hawaiian
Islands on Saturday."
I Dear me!" said he ; " the Hawaiian Islands !
What a globe-trotter you are! i
1 At all events," quoth I, " don't call me by that
name."
" Surely it is a good one !    Do you know Portu
guese |
-for you will find some Portuguese there."
| Well, I do ; but am not very likely to be talking
it to any one out here or in the Islands."
But observe! Scarcely had he left me, scarcely
were these words out of my mouth, when my
shoulder was tapped by some one who had run up
to me, and on looking round I beheld a young
Brazilian, whose family I had known from my first
arrival in Brazil, and whom, too many years ago—for
me, if not for him—I had remembered as quite a child
at his mother's side, but who was now Dr. E. Prado.
In the very language, therefore, for which I had just
said I should find no use, we now cordially hailed one
another. He was not only there, but was going to
Auckland, and was sailing on the Saturday like
myself! This was an agreeable coincidence, and
forth we went together to the steamboat office, and
made the best bargain we could for a cabin—cabin A SAN FRANCISCO.
JS!
on deck—I paying for a return ticket $130 to Honolulu and back. The Mariposa was the boat ; so that
from the Mariposa forest I was transferred to the
Mariposa steamer.
Of course I went to seek my friend, Mr. Hutchinson, who had arrived already. He furnished me with
letters of introduction, and took me to call on Mr.
Spreckels, the owner of the Mariposa, and a very
large sugar-grower in the island of Maui. He gave
me a letter to His Excellency Robert J. Creighton, then
Minister of Foreign Affairs, which was of much value
.to me. Thus I was ready on all points for embarking, with just Friday on hand, which I thought I
would devote to a visit to the Seal Island. This
enabled me to test the rope tramway, over which
I travelled up hill and down dale for some miles
towards the Park, whence I continued by rail to
Cliff House Hotel, where there ought to be a good
view of Seal Island and of the Golden Gate. Here,
for the second time, fog baulked me ! Scarcely could
I see the seals, a matter which did not so much disappoint me. I did just see them crowding about up
and down, and standing upright now and then upon
the rocks, and I just heard them barking; and came
away. These fogs are constantly enveloping Frisco ;
a day may be three times clear and three times
clouded; but there is a season, they told me, when
fogs disappear.
One small fog of my own I managed to clear
before returning.    In the long, large lettered list of 156
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
what the hotel would furnish, I saw the to me mystical
notice 1 Clam Chowder." But when I came to have
it interpreted and saw it, another matter was quite
clear—that I could not relish it. But this shellfish
clam—new to me—when made into thick soup called
chowder, of a mixture of biscuit, pork, onions, etc.,
is a very popular dish in the States, though not
among other English persons besides myself; for
at the hotel I saw a lady trying a clam, which had
been offered her to taste, and which she was biting
and swallowing, but all the while exclaiming—
I No more, thank you. Oh, dear me—very nasty,
very nasty indeed! "
A matter of philology arose out of this; for on
telling the anecdote toan American lady, she laughed,
but said immediately, " The lady could not have been
American, because we never use that word ' nasty' in
that sense; it would be far too strong, a great deal
too strong among us."
I What would you be likely to say, then, in such
a case
ig!"
"Well, we might say 'disgusting
We in England should think this stronger still.
There is another word of an opposite class which is
often used, particularly in New York, as we do not
use it—" elegant." You will hear that peaches are
" elegant," that weather is " elegant," or that a scene or
a day's pleasure were quite " elegant." So much for
clam chowder; offering another example of how
much knowledge we may obtain which, after all, is SAN FRANCISCO.
157
of no use to us, for I never could hold clam chowder
to be " elegant."
On returning to the city, after taking a circuit in
Golden Gate Park, I made a longer round for the
purpose of yet further realizing the vast extent of
ground over which this endless chain traffic extends.
It is now all taken for granted among the inhabitants;
but to the stranger, if he is one who observes or
thinks twice, it must surely cause surprise and admiration. The one continuous rate of movement is
quite a new sensation, and the absence of horses
imparts a curious feeling of relief from all notion
of overworking animals. Thus, among other streets,
I was enabled to descend California Street, observing
at leisure the very strange aspect it presented. It is
adorned on both sides with villas, and almost palaces,
of the wealthy. Porticoes, fluted columns, Composite
and Corinthian and Ionic capitals, abound to even
crowding. And now comes the curious—all is in
wood, pure and simple wood. i58
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
CHAPTER VIII.
THE HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.
To-DAY, Saturday, the 28th of August, I again left
the States, but again to return. All was ready in
due time, and at half-past three in the afternoon my
friend Dr. Prado and I got on board the Mariposa—
Captain Hayward—and took possession of cabin A
on deck, bound for Honolulu in Oa.hu (accented only
for pronunciation), not the largest island in the group,
but the seat of Government, so chosen because of
its harbour. Our steamer was of 3000 tons burden ;
the distance to cover was 2080 knots, and our average
speed was counted at about thirteen knots an hour.
We found our decks tolerably well lined from end to
end with boxes of cargo—so far as I remember, of
onions; and the entrance to the saloon below, with
seats, and pianoforte, etc., round the staircase, was
entitled, as I found was the general style in American
steamers, "Social hall." The vessel was lighted
throughout with the electric light, a great convenience
for reading in the saloon, where the light was thus
permitted to fall full on the table without the shadow
of all those heavy ornaments usually crammed upon
hanging lamps by false art—of which  there is  so THE HA WAIIAN ISLANDS.
159
much about everywhere—and which serve to hinder
by their teasing shadow the very use for which lamps
are required. But there was no "bar" where you
could apply for a glass of wine, etc., at need—a
strange arrangement, especially on board an American vessel, I thought. If you wanted anything
besides water you must order a whole bottle, or go
without—a regulation doubly disagreeable where the
wine is higher by a good deal in price than in cru.
Music and singing were occasional during our passage,
and one among the number engaged his hearers with
the novelty of whistling to the accompaniment. We
had on board, among the number, the Honourable
Mr. Carter, the Hawaiian minister to the United
States, who was visiting Honolulu on leave, whose
acquaintance was afterwards of great advantage to
me at Washington, and also a Rev. Mr. Peck, the
Presbyterian minister of Waterville, New York, whose
pleasant companionship throughout my sojourn in
the Islands greatly contributed to its enjoyment.
It was with some anxiety that I looked forward
to a view of the Golden Gate Harbour on this my
second passage through it. But no! all was again
fog, and so continued through the whole of Sunday
and until the afternoon of Monday, when we were
permitted (graciously, of course), at nearly six hundred
miles at sea, to behold the first violet colours of the
Pacific. But this somewhat uncertain atmosphere
stood me in one stead on the following night. It
has often been my custom at sea, when the mysteri- i6o
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
ous dusks of late evening or night fall upon us, to
trace out and conjure up ocular illusions, conversing
with the clouds and waters. On this occasion, as
we were moving steadily along at night, walking
towards the prow of the vessel, I did not really figure
to myself, but I suddenly beheld, at about a knot
before us, a large forest sloping down to a large sandbank, and a shore extending far to our right. The
general aspect of the sky was indeed most strange,
and the dashes of light most singularly interspersed.
Dr. Prado was close by, and, on calling his attention
to the vision, he was equally struck with the illusion.
11 will really call the captain," I said; and forthwith
to his cabin I went.
It was a bold step, for he was surrounded by a
group, partly of ladies, in full conversation, as was
his pleasant wont.
" Captain," I said, summoning up courage, | do
you know you're running us straight (I did not say
" right straight") on to a sandbank and a large forest?"
" Obliged for the information, friend."
" Do come and see."
Forth they all came, and, to my great satisfaction,
were quite excited with the appearance, one lady
even quickly discovering a longer trace of sandbanks
than I had given myself time to look for. We stayed
full ten minutes, teasing ourselves with the illusion
before leaving it, and that evening, at least, was
relieved by an incident.
Many a time, at many an  evening  or  nightly THE HAWAIIAN ISLAADS.
161
hour, these phantastic pictures may be painted in the
sky and clouds, and on the very following evening
my friend and I, immediately after a glowing sunset,
sat conjuring out an enormous canvas of golden sands
and dark rocks and sea-shrubs, a large lake and
shores with islands standing out in an immense sea
(the sky) beyond. It was a dissolving view changing
again and again.
In our propitious passage there was no change ;
all went smoothly. One night, sitting talking to the
captain, and making an observation on this happy
circumstance as characteristic of these seas, I was
struck by his reply.
" Yes," he said ; " and I can talk as quietly as the
sea with you, for I know all is right below."
" Is it not so always ?"
" It depends on whom I have in my engine-room.
I have Chinese at present, who are always docile and
can always do what they are told ; but if I get Irish
there, I never feel sure either that they are not going
to get into a fight with one another or with me as to
who is to be master."
I asked him if he could not get Americans, but
he said the occupation was exceedingly distasteful
to them, and that in general Americans were averse
to going to sea; that line of life was not a national
propensity.
I did not find that our dinner-table was adorned
with very first-rate food, though the fruit was, as a
general rule, good.    Hard indeed it would have been
M :'fii
162
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
to have found it otherwise in gifted California. I
had the good fortune, however, to be seated opposite
two very pleasant girls, evidently devoted friends,
who were on their way from the States to the Islands,
for the purpose of undertaking teaching as members
of the staff of Honolulu college—an establishment
which I had much pleasure in visiting later on with
Mr. Peck, but with the displeasure of finding that the
two young ladies were at that moment absent on duty,
and more seriously occupied than in entertaining us.
On the night of Friday, September 3, Captain
Hayward offered to have me called to see our
approach to Honolulu, which he calculated would be
at very early dawn ; which suggestion I eagerly
embraced, particularly as the weather was now bright,
after our having suffered some of those heavy warm-
water rains, with which I had in times past made
unwilling acquaintance in the equatorial doldrums.
Exquisite was the morning air, magically recalling
Gray's line in fullest sense—
" The breezy call of incense-breathing morn."
And exquisite was the modest colouring, gradually
blooming into sunrise, as we came to Diamond Head.
Here we caught first sight of Honolulu, lying in an
open valley, backed by singularly green serrated and
convoluted hills or mountains; and presently all
seemed to wake at the actual moment of the rising
of the sun, who shed abroad those lovely orange
clouds peculiar to the tropics, painting his canvas
of sky as only at his rising and setting even he can  ?
I THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
161
paint it. Now a wide curve to avoid the reefs ; now
at right angles, straight imp Breakfast on board,
good-bye to the captain, bound for Auckland, and in
a carriage to the Royal Honolulu Hotel, where I
found a handsome building in handsome grounds.
Why delay the first impressions of the city?
Beautifully planted with flowering shrubs and trees
already known as well as unknown, among which let
me mention my old Brazilian friends, the Algaroba,
the lovely Bougainville, the Tamarind, the Hibiscus,
and the Ponciana. Dr. Prado had gone before, and
had secured me a good room in the ground balcony,
where I found myself at full leisure to sit out of doors
or in, and close to the luxury of a bath.
I am quite content to be finding myself, even in
memory, in the soft and balmy air of Honolulu again,
for after some months' interruption of my work, I find
myself now writing in the not so genial atmosphere of
a London winter ; and although none
'' Can wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat,"
yet the mind can always help the body by its
associations. So it is with pleasure that I will now
walk out again with Mr. Peck, and stroll through
Honolulu for a first inspection.
No one can begin his walk without being immediately struck by the somewhat vulgar object of the
electric wire. These wires are running in abundance
over everything, and appear incongruous amidst
scenes that would naturally provoke to idleness, and 11
164
A  FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
belonging to a race yet innocent of the hurry of
existence. But they bespeak what you very soon
come to know—that although you are geographically
in Honolulu, you are morally in America. A strong
atmosphere of this awakening influence pervades and
still invades. It is natural and inevitable ; it is an
example of Darwin's survival by natural selection,
the stronger gradually eating up the weaker. These
wires belong to the telephone, with which Honolulu
is supplied to an extent to be envied by many a more
pretentious city. It seemed very difficult to associate
these things with all the fruits and trees and flowers
that adorned the scene, and all the loose-robed
women, with their easy hot-weather gait, dark skin,
and straight black hair, lit up with the glowing scarlet
of the Hibiscus. To this picture add the native men.
We were soon among the flowers and fruits, and
though eating at a stall would not be considered one
of the politest things to be guilty of in London, yet
both Mr. Peck and I attracted no attention, and felt
no blush in pouncing offhand upon some tempting
mangoes offered at a corner.
Our walk had not been confined to ourselves.
Let me say that I had not been many minutes
toiletted after arrival, when a brisk young gentleman
presented himself before me in my room, as the
representative of The Daily Bulletin, to welcome
me to the Islands, and (to use a certain atrocious
phrase, not yet felonious by Act of Parliament) to
I interview   me."     This   shows   again   the
stirring THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
16s
American element that pervades Honolulu. And
as we three walked out together, we were met by the
proprietor himself, and made a pleasant party of four.
Next day we were each duly paragraphed, one as a
clerical, and the other as a literary arrival; and
though I involuntarily appeared as pledged to write
impressions of my visit, Mr. Peck was protected by
his short answer to the question whether he meant to
preach—" a very emphatic No."
In the course of our conversation, it naturally
very quickly transpired that we had come to see
the volcanoes in the Island of Hawaii. Who comes
to stay three weeks in the Sandwich Islands (forgive
the old Captain Cook title now and then) without
going to see the volcanoes ? And our good friends at
once informed us that the Kinau, a small steamer of
the Wilder Company, was to sail at half-past four on
Monday afternoon, whereupon we at once decided
that by the Kinau we must go, for our return boat
from Auckland to Frisco was expected at Honolulu
on the 25th. My friend, Dr. Edouardo Prado, was
bound for Auckland, and had departed ; but one of
our fellow-passengers, quite young, a Mr. Darren, was
volcano-bound like ourselves, so on sitting down to
dinner the three were one as to Monday.
On the Sunday there was a lively show of colour
among the church-goers, as among the fuchsias,
oleanders, and other flowering masses; and Mr.
Darren was good enough to ask my company in
a drive he was to make to the Pali (or Precipice), m
166
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
this being the regulation excursion from Honolulu.
We drove in a single horse buggy, and here again
was the American element displayed in the style of
the horse's going, a strained trot; but of that by-and-
by. The animal did his duty by us, and his driver
by him. The drive opened to our view, before
leaving the city, a succession of private dwellings,
protected from the sun by large bread-fruit and other
trees, and draped with flowering shrubs. Some were
built in more open ground ; but if I were bound to
build in Honolulu, I should first buy my group of
trees, and then build accordingly. Every arrangement in these houses is made for ensuring a full
enjoyment of the open air throughout, with spacious
verandahs sometimes running nearly all round the
dwelling. The mountain-sides to your right as you
approach the Pali are sure to attract attention.
They are singularly grooved or furrowed from the
top throughout, and in the long hollows between the
vertical ridges there grow in abundance, and in long
lines, trees called Kukui. There is also a singular
aspect in the foliage of those trees. It is very thick ;
the leaves are large and of a dark green, but the
green is full of high lights, imparting a most attractive effect. The Kukui produces a large black oily
nut, of which ornamental necklaces are made, sold
abundantly in Honolulu. From these is extracted
oil for lamps, and hence the natives have come to call
lamps kukuis.-
At nearly the top of the pass  you leave your THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
i6t
vehicle and walk up a few paces to the ridge. Here
the rocks take on very varied and broken spiral
forms, and suddenly the whole view opens before
you, far below, and abruptly below, for the precipices
are very steep. There is, however, a winding road
which is traversed, horse and foot, without difficulty.
The general effect must not be depreciated; it is very
impressive. At the same time I should be careful of
using flaming language to any one who knew some
of the Swiss precipices and passes. Nevertheless, it
is on an island far out in the Pacific, and one must
be very dull to mental impulses upon whom this
reflection fails to cause special impression.
On Monday morning, the 6th of September, I
was employed in delivering my letters before taking
my ticket for Hawaii. Everybody was out, but I
luckily called a second time on Mr. H. A. Berger,
Hawaiian Consul-General for Norway and Sweden,
and found him in. I say luckily, because, on informing him of my volcanic intentions, he suggested to me
that on my return from Hawaii I should stop at
Maaleia Bay, in the island of Maui, and avail myself
of the hospitality of Major Cornwell, who owned a
large sugar estate a few miles inland, in order to make
the ascent of Haliakala, the largest inactive crater in
the world. I gladly accepted the offer, Mr. Berger
not only giving me a letter, but also writing direct
himself, so as to prepare the Major for my appearance
on the return of the boat. I therefore took my round
ticket for Hawaii (not,  of course, including Maui), It
168
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
and paid fifty dollars for the passage and all included.
In the evening, therefore, at the appointed hour, Mr.
Peck, Mr. Darren, and I found our way down to the
wharf, and got on board the Kinau, where we found
Captain King, a jolly Scotch captain, in command.
Mauna Kea, 13,805 feet high, and Mauna Loa,
13,675 feet high, are the two great volcanoes of Hawaii;
but it is its famous crater of Kilauea that attracts the
traveller to its shores. This crater, as the map will
show, stands at a height of only 4040 feet; it is
situated on the slopes of the vast Mauna Loa, but is
nevertheless as independent and separate an existence
as either of the others. Mauna Kea appears to have
been a very quiet mountain, but Mauna Loa has from
time to time poured forth lava, and sometimes to a
very destructive extent; indeed, since our visit it
has burst forth with all its well-known fury. To the
crater of Kilauea we were therefore bound, of the
astonishing and unique fury of which so many mouths
have spoken and so many pens have written, there
being no doubt that in its history it has obtained the
rank of the largest active volcano in the world. We
were warned, however, that we were not to expect
such manifestations as would justify its full character.
Its activity, like that of human beings, must necessarily
be subject to intermissions ; but in 1886 it was labouring under a very remarkable subsidence, connected, or,
at all events, contemporary with, the volcanic eruptions in New Zealand. We were credibly informed
that during these commotions the crater of Kilauea THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
169
became completely empty to the eye ; that the whole
of the boiling sea of fire—for every one I spoke to
concurred in that description, and confirmed Miss
Bird's description of it—disappeared, and that on
probing the horrible chasm to the depth of no less
than 600 feet no bottom could be found. Since that
period it had been gradually rising again, and such
as it had come to be such were we to find it. But
under any circumstances the excursion could scarcely
have been declined.
Barring the captain and one or two fellow-
passengers, I cannot say the passage displayed anything very agreeable. The steamer was a rolling one,
and the sea was nasty. Between these islands, so
justly vaunted as being gems, the seas generally are
so, and in this respect they put me in mind of my
passage among the famed isles of Greece in 1879—
disagreeable. And on board the Kinau there was
an extra " disagreeable," in that there was little or
nothing to drink but poor coffee, and that virtuous
mixture, weak tea. Prohibition is rather rampant, it
appears, and a licence to sell intoxicating liquors—a
term too often used with the insinuation that nobody
can ever drink them without getting intoxicated—
would cost the company a thousand dollars. There
sat opposite to me, however, a guardian angel (for
such I esteemed him), who at once proffered in all
goodness of heart to pander to my vice.
■ Never mind, sir," he said. " I have brought my
own beer, and you shall share it with me." kM'I
II 1
If
11
170
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
This turned out to be  Mr. W. C. Parke, who for
- thirty-four years had filled the position of Marshal of
the kingdom, but who had lately retired, and is now
in the enjoyment of a good service pension, of which
fact I beg to express my not " intoxicated " approval.
On Tuesday, the 7th, we touched at Mahukona,
and here we had a full view of the two great and the
one lesser mountains on Hawaii—Kea, Loa, and
Hualalai, as also of Haleakala—the " House of the
Sun "—on Maui, which we had left behind, marked
as having a height of 10,030 feet. I must confess
myself to have been disappointed with the aspect
of all these mountains, considering their height. I
had come with memories of those I had seen
in Oregon and Washington, especially Tacoma, and
rather absurdly had expected something of the same
impressive character. But volcanic mountains are of
a different class; whatever their height, their angles
are generally obtuse, rising from an immense base ;
and in this respect I remember to have been equally
disappointed with my first view of Mount Etna.
Nevertheless, of the Peak of Tenerife, especially as I
have lately scaled its angle, I dare not say the same.
However, here I was certainly rather thrown back in
my expectations, and the more so that at this period
of the year there was no snow to aid the imagination.
The summit of Mauna Loa—the Great Mountain—
is described as being almost a flat plain, five and a
half miles long, and nearly four wide. This sounds
strange for one so lofty.    But as regards the height THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
i/i
of both this mountain and Mauna Kea, Captain C. E.
Dutton, of the United States Geological Survey (whose
acquaintance I afterwards made at Washington),
makes this remarkable observation in a lecture delivered there, that while their summits are nearly
14,000 feet above the ocean, their bases, at about thirty
miles out at sea, can be traced at from 15,000 to
18,000 feet beneath; thus giving them altogether a
greater height than any of the Himalayas.
We passed along the windward coast of Hawaii,
and noted the most remarkable massive green precipices among which the Waipio Valley lies—a class of
scenery said to be almost bewitching by its eccentric
beauties. At length we came to Laupahoehoe, a
place detested by even the captain, and certainly by
our own party. Further on we took in Mr. and
Mrs. Patrick Ross, of Hamakua, who became our
co-excursionists to Kilauea.
In stopping at these several stations we witnessed
great variety in the coming and going of the boatfuls
of natives ; and particularly picturesque some were.
The Hawaiians have a poetical habit of covering
their friends who are leaving them with copious
wreaths of their abounding beautiful flowers. All
these boatfuls were more or less so adorned. But
one in particular attracted my attention. It was
too full to allow of an oarsman inside, and was
propelled by a man standing at the stern. The
majority of the passengers were of the warm com-
plexioned   women,   who,   besides   being   copiously ft
II
172
A   FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
wreathed, carried the Hibiscus in their straight black
hair. The group made a huge nosegay floating on
the blue waters.
We passed Hilo in the dark, and rounding the
island by Cape Kumukahi, we stood before Keauhou,
where we were to disembark at about six o'clock
in the morning of Wednesday, the 8th. Then a
strange scene met our gaze. It was an immense
mountainous expanse of rough dark lava, and up the
sides thereof we were to climb on horses that were
waiting for us at the barren base. All this, however,
has nothing to do with Kilauea; it is only the first
part of the road to that crater. We landed in boats,
and got upon our horses, and made up our minds for
the ride. It was about six miles in length, zigzagging
through all the harsh and hideous inequalities, and
I cannot doubt that we must at last have compassed
a height of some 4000 feet. We then came to a level
ground, where was a station kept by a Mr. Pogue and
his wife, who entertained us with some hot coffee, etc.,
and put us into one-horse vehicles, very low in the
axle, and here called " breaks." Each held two, and
Mr. Peck trusted himself to my reins. A drive of
some eight miles over more or less level ground, and
through a more or less picturesque wood, called
Louhala Grove, brought us to our domicile, " Volcano
House," a hotel standing out alone (and it was not
likely to be much otherwise placed), at a given
altitude of four thousand and some few hundred
(variously  stated)  feet  above  the sea.     The  front
II THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
17:
faces directly towards Kilauea, with a long verandah,
so that you can sit and see the distant smoke by
day, and the distant red by night. The excursion
thither was to be made that afternoon, and there
were some pros and cons as to the hour of starting,
in reference to the effect by day or by night of such
fire and burning lava as we were to be privileged, or
only permitted, to behold. Finally, it was decided to
be off after eating (generally an uncomfortable proceeding), for we were to make up our minds to wait
at the crater, and to come back in the dark. So off
we started, each with a lantern in his hand.
Now, I shall use the word " crater " exclusively as
applied to the burning double lake of fire, and shall
plainly describe our journey. At a few hundred
yards from the hotel we began to descend, rather
steeply, into an immense wooded hollow covered with
growths of all kinds, and showing, as sides, cliffs
extending for a long distance. The depth of this
descent is given as 560 feet. As we approached the
bottom, there opened before us what I can best
describe as a vast wide, solid, wavy ocean of black
lava. The walking down to the edge of it was
precisely like the walking down to the breakers from
a sloping shore ; and, associating this most strange
scene with that most common one, I confess to have
experienced an almost giddy sense of illusion. On
to these black solid waves we walked, following our
guide, now mounting a little and now again descending, precisely as if a stiffish  breeze were on a sea. ill
174
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
And for exactly one hour by the watch we so
walked, coming at last to the edge of the crater
Kilauea.
We all made a sort of last run to the brittle rocky
edges, and I think we were tolerably unanimous in
giving the depth as about three hundred feet to the
surface of the terrible contents of the cauldron. The
forewarning that we should not behold the tossing,
stormy waves of burning lava that so many have
seen, turned out to be as true as we had appre-
.hended it would. We looked down, however, on a
scene wonderful in itself. There was a huge crust;
and crossing it in every direction were vast irregular cracks showing red hot lava underneath. Here
and there small oozings took place, and there was
one not large cone all brimful of fire, but not
spouting. Another burning irregularity showed a
very white fire, and had we not expected a chance
of seeing more, we should have thought a great deal
more of all we did see. We hung round with
much persistency till dark and drizzle came on, and
Mr. Peck and I sat down on some warm lumps
through which steam kindly fizzed. At last I voted
a return, to which Mr. Patrick Ross still prayerfully
demurred, and scarcely was prayer (or words) out of
his mouth when exclamation followed, " Look ! look !
look!" A sudden red light beamed all round, and
on looking down we beheld two large continents (I
can call them nothing else) of burning lava oozing
and spreading themselves abroad.    The colour was THE HA WAIT AN ISLANDS.
175
altogether a new sensation.    It stands alone.    It is
the colour of burning lava spread forth in a sheet
Nor was the gradual cooling and transition of colouring, and the turning of the surface into ropes less
remarkable.    We had passed many of these rope-
formations in  our walk, and   also  masses  of what
looked like black hair.    This is called Pele's hair j
she   being   the   unseen   goddess   whom   Hawaiian
religion  has  created   as  holding  her  court  at  this
volcano, called " Halemaumau," or "The House of
Everlasting Fire."    This fiery burst I speak of was
certainly worth staying for; but it was all the sign
of its own special forces that Kilauea gave us.    Its
whole aspect was, of course, impressive and astonishing, and the whole excursion, with its characteristics,
must be fairly taken into account.     Otherwise, as
regards the crater itself,   I certainly was not more
astonished at the sight of it (perhaps not so much)
as I had been when gazing into that of Vesuvius
in  1857, before that then most astonishing  phenomenon had been completely broken up and spoiled
by subsequent irruptions and consequent disturbances
in formation.    As we went, so we returned, except,
that we were more tired.    Our walk back over Lava
Sea took us again   exactly an hour by the watch.
It was,  of course,  fatiguing.     We passed  by one
or   two   strange   formations  and   one   or   two  hot
regions,   and   no   wonder.      Otherwise,   there   was
nothing   that   prominently  manifested   itself  above
and beyond the general marvellous aspect of these 176
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
vast invasions from the mysterious centre of our
earth. When we came ashore there was the remaining climb of the 560 feet, and one of the party, at
all events, was well pleased to be carrying his shoulders
on level ground again.
I have marked the next day, Thursday, as a long,
wet, useless day, and such I remember it was. In the
ordinary course of affairs we should have gone down
and taken our steamer in the afternoon, but it had
been arranged (partly, I suspect, to suit the purser's
affairs) to return by Hilo, and this involved losing
a day at "Volcano House," and getting up at a
frightful hour the next morning. A Mr. Waterhouse,
however (one of the youngest of our party), availed
himself of the delay, and paid another visit with the
guide to Kilauea cauldron; he went for some set
purpose of exploring, but as to the scene itself, he
could only report it, as from a sick-room, | somewhat
better to-day." At night, however, there was great
reflection, and for our comfort and satisfaction one
of the company, who passed for an authority, took care
to assure us that " there must be a great deal going
on." So, in bidding adieu, I thought the fire at
Kilauea had treated me as badly as did the water
at the " Yellow Stone."
We made ourselves as merry as we could in the
evening, in the course of which a party of several
came in from Hilo. It is a long ride thence, and they
were very tired. There were some ladies among
them, and three of the worthies  that accompanied THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
177
them were, between them, judges and ex-judges. I
could not but look on them with amusement. They
were all three on rocking-chairs; and here again was
a sign of the prevailing American element, for all the
judges are Americans, trained in law in the United
States. Your American is very fond of a rocking-
chair; and these three sat communing together with
faces looking " as wise as Thurlow looked," and rocking to and fro with all the regularity of a catch—
"White sand and gray sand," for example—and still
they rocked and prosed, till the solemnity of the scene
took me, by contrast, back to those far, far distant
days, when the rocking, broad-hipped old nurse used
to sing or hum—
" See saw,
Margery daw,
The hen flew over the hen-house."
The night was miserable outside—not in—and as we
went to bed, in doubtful mood and weather—
"We bitterly thought of the morrow."
We were called at two o'clock, and were informed
it was not raining; but when we had got up and were
offered a not late breakfast of steak and onions,
which some had the audacity to relish, behold! it
rained hard. If it was raining hard, then, by some
arrangement, we were not to be forced to go ; but it
stopped, though it was very dark. That, however,
was not to prevent us, and, in a row of "breaks," we
went off in the dark, each break having a lamp, and
Mr. Peck by my side as before.    By Jove ! it was no
N 178
A  FIGHT  WITH DISTANCES.
joke getting safe along with a ditch on each side of
a narrow forest road. However, we all did it, and
came in daylight to Mr. and Mrs. Pogue's genial
welcome again. Plot coffee—warm coffee is horrible—
again regaled us, and all except Mr. Peck and I got
on horseback. He wished for wheels a little farther
on, and I mention the fact in order to record the
wonderful advantage of a very low axle over boulder
roads. We were at an angle of 50 more than once,
but were as far from going over on that account as
we should have been on a flat Brighton road fifty
years ago. So soon as we were on the horses the rain
was on us—spit, spit, spit; drizzle, drizzle, drizzle!
Serve you right for " leaving home." And down those
six miles of steep rugged lava was worse than up ;
but "gracias a Dios," there lay the boat, waiting
for us, and not looking much less than ourselves like
a wet chicken. Mrs. Ross was as good as any of us,
and better than some. As it happened, I was the first
down, and was somewhat surprised to find by my side
one of our companions who had passed as " the silent
man." He had shown no energy whatever in either
word or deed, and some of us wondered why he had
Come at all. However, there he was, and somehow here
he was. Several people were waiting for the boat, and
I declared my intention of starting off at once, and
getting into shelter. He squeezed out concurrence,
and we went to the jetty together. There was a disagreeable swell on, and I jumped in as best I could ;
he was close behind me, but so also were one or two THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
179
good fat round native women, who seemed to think
it a lark to roll about like suet puddings. How they
all came tumbling in together I know not; but what
I know is that one of the hugest, losing her balance,
and laying hold of Dry-as-dust to support her—as if
a ton should lay hold of an ounce—both came down
together and bowled over two other women, so that
my friend lay for a few moments under a triple
featherbed of all these laughing females! Still he
was quite silent. At last we rolled on board, and
when I found myself by his side on deck I ventured
a provocative remark. He had not uttered one word
all this time. It was of no use to wait for one.
" Well," said I, "here we are on board at last! "
" Then burst his mighty soul." " Yes," he replied ;
"and I'm not at all sorry that we've done with it."
And those " were the last words of Marmion."
When we came to Hilo the rain was pouring
down in torrents, and I steadfastly refused to accompany the bishop on shore. I was sorry for this, for
Hilo is so well spoken of. The bishop, however, had
other calls with some of his co-ecclesiastics, and had
been invited to stay some days among them, while I
had invited myself to Major Cornwell's for Haleakala.
So here we parted, to meet again in the boat of
Friday, the 17th, for Honolulu. We arrived at
Maalaea Bay at night, and, going on shore in the
boat, I was immediately called by name. Major Corn-
well was going to Honolulu by this same steamer,
but had arranged everything for my reception.    A i8o
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
two-horse public conveyance took me through the
dark to his house, where a lady in charge and his
cousin welcomed me to supper and repose.
In leaving Hawaii I confess to have felt some
disappointment in not having the opportunity of
landing at Kealakeakua Bay, where our renowned
navigator Cook lost his life. But I could not have
managed this by the line of steamers that I sailed
with, nor could I have availed myself of the other
line, whose vessels touch there, without doubling the
inconveniences of a visit to Kilauea, not reckoning
the inconvenience of time. But, after all, this class of
visits is often exceedingly unsatisfactory and disappointing. The scene is altered; buildings are erected
where all was solitude ; even a restaurant may stand
on an exact historic spot. Something of the kind, I
was given to understand, has taken place at Kealakeakua Bay. Where there are visitors there must
be coffee ; so, altogether, I consoled myself with
having, at all events, visited the island. Of the
details that surrounded the catastrophe there are
many versions ; of the catastrophe itself there is but
one. Captain Cook was killed ; and at his early age
of 51, England, in 1779, lost one of the four greatest
navigators that the world has ever seen.
On waking in the morning I found myself in a
pleasant house, the front of which looked full on
Haleakala—the object of my visit. But, again, he
was no such mountain as I had anticipated. His
base was of enormous width, and his head, standing- THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
i8i
confusedly among many nearer and lateral projections,
required some discernment to select it when pointed
out. These features detracted greatly from the optical
effect which an altitude of 10,000 feet would be
naturally expected to produce. And yet he stood to
the greatest advantage, because Major Cornwell's
house stands but little above the level of the sea.
These were my first impressions of the great extinct
volcano who had lured me to Maui to scale his sides
and gaze upon his gigantic, ghastly crater.
Major Cornwell's house and property are called
Wairapu, near Waipuku, and lie about half-way on the
neck of land that extends in a width of about fourteen
miles between Maalaea and Wailuku, and nothing can
be finer than the air he breathes. His occupation is that
of sugar cultivation ; and from his verandah you look
over his own domain, as well as over the vast spreads
of that same fresh green, but unpicturesque growth, the
sugar-cane, that belongs to Mr. Claus Spreckels. This
same sugar is the well-known staple product of these
islands, and, for more than one reason, has been a source
of profit here, while it has yielded little or nothing elsewhere. In the first place, Hawaiian sugar is admitted
duty free at San Francisco ; in the second place, the
rate of produce surpasses that of any other country. I
repeat the information given me by Major Cornwell
himself, and confirmed by others of equal authority,
that the average yield shows four tons per acre, and
that on some acres as many as five, six, and even
seven  have been  cropped.     On this point I made I)
I Ik I HI
IS2
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
special inquiry as to whether these acres were not virgin
soil, and was answered " No ;" even on established
properties this result had been obtained. For my own
part, I could be no judge of these figures, but I take
care to state my authority for them, because in a
conversation that led up to the subject one day in the
coffee-room of an English hotel, with some one who
turned out to be a sugar-grower himself, he displayed
the liveliest interest in the statement, exclaiming at first,
I Impossible!" He had rarely heard of more than
two tons to the acre. Yet in this bright picture there
is to be introduced the cold shadow that the 150
dollars per ton in price has gradually come down to
82 or 84 dollars. The whole produce of the islands
is given at about 100,000 tons.
On Sunday, the 12th, Major Cornwell's cousin
took me a drive to consult with a stable-keeper of
the name of Ross, as to making the excursion to
Haliakala ; for this we went to Wailuku. I hope, my
friend and reader, you are not puzzled with these
three names. But perhaps I had better define them :
Waipuku is the name of the estate ; Wailuku is the
name of the next town ; and Waikuku is the name of
the port. If I should see you putting on such a face
about them as this Mr. Ross put on when I began to
ask him about arrangements, I should expect to find
you as puzzled as I found him. So we contented ourselves with having had a pleasant drive, and agreed
to take another the next day to see a Mr. Mossman.
All this will have to be borne in mind (besides the THE HA WAI1AN ISLANDS.
183
names) by whoever goes to Wairapu, Waipuku, Wailuku, and Waikuku for Haleakala. We did more with
Mr. Mossman than with Mr. Ross, but I was hampered,
nevertheless. There are two great drawbacks to
visiting any remarkable spot ; one is, that everybody
is going there ; and the other is, that nobody is going
there. And, in my case, I was the only nobody.
Mr. Mossman was to write to Mr. Anderson, who
kept a store at a place called Macawa, to tell him to
prepare horses; and I was to start from Waipuku the
next morning in a carriage, to be sent thither by the
puzzled Mr. Ross.
Before returning with Mr. Cornwell, I made up
my mind to take a ride up the valley of Iao, lying in
the close neighbourhood, and this I arranged with
one " Harry " Ross, car-driver to Maalaea, who had
driven me thence on the Friday night. I was amply
repaid ; but in one small incident not agreeably so,
for very soon after we had began our course, I suddenly experienced a violent blow on the thigh, and a
very heavy something rolled down upon the ground.
A very natural exclamation escaped me, and I am
shocked to say that " Harry " burst into a real laugh.
The incident was readily explained. We were riding
under some bread-fruit trees, and one of those large
fruits, not yet ripe even, had managed to fall from
a height at the very moment that I was passing
vertically under its branch. Joking apart, I might
have been lamed, besides (as I was) bruised for a
few days.     And this took my memory back to a I
184
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
-very nicely arranged little poem of Tommy Moore's,
wherein he represents an atheist laughing at so small
a fruit as an acorn growing on so large a tree as
an oak; then falling to sleep under the tree, and
having an acorn fall upon his eye, etc.! If Tommy
Moore had had a bread-fruit fall upon his thigh, he
would not have written that homespun and really
mischievous nonsense. After a short time, and before
my pain ceased, the valley narrowed into an intensely
wooded mountain glen, hemmed in by vertical cliffs
of what might almost be called a grotesquely picturesque form and outline, ragged, precipitous, and
imposing. A stony, prattling stream rushes down the
middle, which we often had to cross before reaching
(as I insisted on doing) the very last practicable-
standing-place. Then, to add to the romance of the
spot, I Harry," pointing to the mass of timbered rocks
in front, told me how some explorers had lost their
way among the dark fastnesses, and had been found
just in time to save their lives ; and how among those
dark recesses there could be still found caverns with old
chiefs' bones who had been buried there. The kukuis,
of which trees I have already spoken, swarmed the
mountains' sides, and lower down were an abundance of the guava tree, loaded with fruit, hanging
close over our heads, and filling the sunlit air with
their well-known aromatic perfume.
When we returned to Waipuku, it occurred to me
that I might be very much at a loss if I made my
mountain excursion alone, where I should not be able THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
185
to understand what was said to me, so I asked leave for
"Willie" (a very nice lad, who spoke Kanaka, engaged
in Major Cornwell's thorough-bred stables) to accompany me; and accordingly, when the carriage came at
eight o'clock the next morning, we started together.
The distance to Makawa was about sixteen miles,
and the drive was uninteresting. On our way I took
care to supply myself with some beer and brandy,
which was sedulously brought out to me, bottle by
bottle, with a certain religious interval between each
delivery.
" Why don't you bring all at once ? "
" Daren't, sir; it is against the (prohibition) law.
Only one bottle allowed to be sold at a time to one
person."
Divine legislators ! How I gloated over the petty
fraud that I was instrumental in creating! And do
you think I would have starved upon the mountain
to prevent it ? So on we went, through cactus everywhere, but no timber, and at about noon arrived at
Mr. Anderson's store, which we happily found full of
provisions.
And what of the letter ? Of course the horses
were all saddled and waiting ! But there was neither
letter nor horse ! And about a quarter of an hour after
we had come, there came the letter to announce that
we were coming. My idea had been that we might
manage the mountain after arrival, on the same afternoon, and leave again on the following morning.
Perhaps that was too bold an intention under the m i
186
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
best of circumstances, and certainly was impossible of
execution under the worst; so the journey rested for
the morrow; and altogether this was best, for, though
it involved a night's ride up, it secured a superb
realization of my anticipations.
The afternoon, therefore, was to be devoted to
making arrangements, and afforded ample time for so
doing. For everything on this score, as well as for
food, we depended on Mr. Anderson, who fulfilled
that office to his best; but that best (as he himself
remarked) was little better than bad, for he had to
deal with a dark skinned, stubborn brute about the
horses, who knew me to be in his power and meant
to make the best of me. Kouna was his name. Bull-
headed, bull-bodied, and bull-minded, he was just one
of those animals whose mere appearance would have
summarily dispersed in an instant all lofty impressions
with which a recent reader of Addison's soliloquy
might have been inspired, and have suddenly converted " It must be so" into " It cannot be so."
Three horses at ten dollars each, or none at all, and
no overruling providence of competition to protect
me ! It wasn't the money ! Oh no, of course not!
Well, not the money only, but more. The creature
was robbing me of just half that sum, and knew it,
as he stolidly kept looking just half a quarter of an
inch outside my eyes.
" I have called him every name I could think of to
shame him," said Mr. Anderson.
"Say no more," said Mr. Aubertin.     "Tell the
IbL THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
187
brute to bring the horses at two o'clock precisely,
to-morrow morning."
At one o'clock on Wednesday morning, the 15th,
Willie shook me as I lay in my plaid upon the floor, and
we struggled up and out. I armed myself with two
bottles of cold coffee, and some biscuits and brandy—
the beer was for below—and the horses being there,
we began our journey. The sky was bright and the
moon was full, and the mountain lay clear before us.
There was a fair road leading up to a place called
Olinda, a not capacious city, for it consisted of just one
house, tight closed and ghostly looking. Soon afterwards Willie's horse began to fail, and, making use of
him as an interpreter, I desired him to tell Kouna
that he must change horses, giving up his white one.
This proceeding took place, certainly not to the disadvantage of the white, but much to that of Willie's,
which, under the lump of Kouna, shortly failed altogether and left him on his legs. By-and-by our course
became very rough and rugged ; steep, with loose
boulders and large holes. My own horse was good
and clever, and the moonlight was a charm. But all
so cold and silent! and a moon seems never sympathetic. Her shadows, too, are so curious. They are
so black and deceptive. I believe the sun's shadows
—daylight shadows—are never really black. I am
sure the moon's are so ; and there is this peculiarity
about them also—they yield no penumbra, or half-
shadow. Look before you, and all is silver-brilliant;
turn and look back, and everything is dark and lost; 188 A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
while it is the light of the full moon before you, it is
the darkness of the new moon behind you. And the
shadows of the mountain-side were as deceptive as
possible. Every shrub and bush seemed to have
deep holes about them ; and as the day began to
dawn, and that mysterious mixture of the two lights
began to show, this effect became even more intensified. But my horse paid no attention to it all, and
stepped into no holes, nor thought of any—proving
what a hindrance is the human intellect sometimes.
We passed what is called the Cave a little before
five; here people sometimes sleep, and were the
mountain now and then visited, and such an arrangement fairly practicable, it would be the best. We, however, had no affinity with the cave, and still clambered
on. It was now broad daylight, and up and up
Willie and I went, leaving Kouna and his boy with
both their bad horses quite behind, and with the
huge ridge of the vast volcano standing sharply and
raggedly out above us and beyond us. At about the
last half-hour below we also left our horses, and toiled
up on foot. And at last, and at last, we reached the
brink, and just as we appeared there, the rising sun
appeared there too.
What did I behold ? A sea of silvery cloud.
The cold enormous crater, twenty-four miles in circumference, and two thousand feet deep at its deepest
point, was filled throughout with white mountain
mist, on which I looked down from some hundreds
of feet  above.     This  sight was in itself  a glorious THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
189
one ; nor were the misty glories confined to this crater
alone. On these the sun had not yet begun to
shine, but on seas and seas of other surrounding
mists—the tops of clouds—he was in full blaze. In
the far distance, in the island of Hawaii that I had
left, I saw the crests of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa
standing out above their swan-downed necks against
the spotless sky. We were all quite separated from
the world below; and as I gazed on these two giants,
each in turn, there came to me a line from Wordsworth, not indeed addressed to a mountain crag, but
to a soaring skylark—
" A privacy of glorious light is thine."
I did not experience the slightest misgiving amidst all
this shroud of silvery vapour, because I felt that we
had the whole day before us, and I knew from the
weather, and from such mountain experience as I
possessed, that all these white luminous mists must
by-and-by take their way.
There is a great deal in repeating a scene. I
could not do this here by time, but I could by sleep ;
so when I had gazed enough on all before me, leaving
my companion to do much as he pleased, I took
some coffee and biscuits and brandy and dozed off
into a three-parts sleep. I was waked in about
half an hour by a gentle breeze that had sprung up,
and, looking over the brink again, I found the sun
was shining on a large extent of the crater cloud, and
that the whole of that mantle was in the beginnings i go
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I
of a general movement. The wind came in from the
south-east or Kaupo Gap, and blew all before it very
gradually towards the angle to my right, and onwards
to the Koolai Gap on the north. I have never looked
upon any scene of this character among mountains,
so immense, so solemn, so mysterious and imposing.
It seemed as if the great crater was by condescension
allowing itself to be seen ; not by a regular unveiling
of itself, but by greater and lesser withdrawings of
the veil, and then by a renewal of the concealment.
But the main of the movement was to clear. At last
the whole was a shining scene, and the enormous
picture lay open before and below me, containing in
its gigantic womb several large cones, of which one
measures in height 750 feet from the unequal flooring.
The deepest part was to my left, towards the Koulau
Gap, and though it may sometimes be a childish act to
throw stones into a great depth, yet here the dislodging a huge mass at the edge and sending it
headlong down served to realize in a startling manner
the actual profundity. Down went the crag, loudly
vociferating at first; then softer in sound ; and at
last, still bounding helplessly along, visible to the
eye, but wholly silent to the ear.
From first to last I stayed on my craggy throne
for some three hours, gazing and dozing by turns,
appealing to my coffee, and thus renewing at intervals my impressions. At last it was time to go, and
Kauna and his boy having come up and gone to
sleep, but with  only  one  of   their   horses,  we  all THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
191
marched off together. I have no pseiido-%c\evA\^c
observations to make upon Haleakala. I sought it,
and saw it as a wonder; and as a wonder, and far
from a mere blank wonder, it will remain with me
for life.
A long, fatiguing downward ride (during which
we picked up the derelict horse) brought us below
Olinda, where we found relief in a good natural gallop
to the store. We took some food and finished the
beer with Mr. Anderson, bid him good-bye, cursed
Kouna,*and departed. When we arrived at Waikupu,
I found Major Cornwell at home. After his explosion of indignation at the thirty dollars, we went to
dinner, and fell into a long and interesting conversation about mountains and sugar, and about his horses,
which we were to visit in their meadows to-morrow.
" And so " to bed, without the duty of Haleakala to
summon me up at one o'clock o' the morning. On
the contrary, the next day's duties were very light.
The large, low prairie, with the horses and cattle and
drinking-troughs, were visited. Major Cornwell is
a breeder, and in his stable has one very fine racehorse. I did not go over the sugar works, for I had
already seen so much of these in Brazil; but in the
evening walked up the hill behind, with his two
children, to see the house and garden belonging to
Major Cornwell's mother. Walking back again, I
was surprised to observe the improved aspect of
Haleakala. The dip of the valley was more apparent
from where I stood, and he seemed to start from 192
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
lower down; a curious result that from mounting
higher yourself you should thus give greater apparent height to the distant object.    But so it was.
On the Friday night both Major Cornwell and
myself were bound for Honolulu by the steamer
Kinau. We were therefore driven down by " Harry "
in the public car, who informed me, with much glee,
that Kouna had "got drunk" with his ill-gotten
dollars, and had been locked up in consequence. I
expected and found on board my friend the bishop.
We received each other with open arms, and I again
greeted Captain King. The night was beautiful, and
at seven o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 18th,
we found ourselves at Honolulu, and made our way
to our old quarters at the hotel.
The bishop and I had exactly one week before us
at Honolulu before the arrival of the return boat to
San Francisco, and each made the best of his time,
the bishop in his own line. For myself, I had but
very shortly arrived when I received another visit
from the energetic representative of the Daily Bulletin,
who called to know how we had fared, and how we
were impressed with our volcanic excursion. Mr.
Creighton also called on his way to attend his Majesty
King Kalakoua on a royal visit to the Japanese
vessel then in port, and fixed an appointment for
presenting me to the Honourable Mr. Gibson, then
Prime Minister, with a view to my being presented
to his Majesty.
The interview with  Mr. Gibson  took  place on THE HA WAIT AN ISLANDS.
193
Sunday morning, and was long and interesting. He
bears the name of " The Shepherd of Lanai," having
been a great breeder of sheep in that small island,
from his first coming to the kingdom, and he naturally
dwelt upon that theme. But what took me quite by
surprise was to find him speaking of a small work,
intended to precede a larger one, which he had written
" on that poor lone island amidst the care of flocks,"
and a copy of which he produced and presented to
me, engaging me on the subject. He was aware (but
I know not how) that I had translated "The Lusiads"
into English verse, and thus I suddenly found myself,
even in the Hawaiian Islands, talking of Camoens!
In that small work of his he speaks of "the strifes
and toils of a very chequered career," a phrase which
must be held to have gained additional force since I
returned from the islands, for he has been driven
thence, and not only from power, but in actual fear
for his life; nay, more, while these sheets are going
through the press his death is announced from San
Francisco.
At the close of our interview it was arranged that
I should be presented to his Majesty next morning;
and returning with Mr. Creighton, my already existing
desire to visit New Zealand was enhanced by his
showing me a portfolio of beautiful views in that
island, which he had received as a present in remembrance of his fifteen years' residence there, during ten
of which he was a representative. On that same
Sunday evening an important event occurred ;  the
O I    !
194
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
bishop broke his word, and cancelling his " emphatic
No," he preached ! Neither he, however, nor those
who heard him, could find difficulty in forgiving, for
he preached to a large congregation, and the approval
and gratification were unanimous.
On Monday, the 20th, Mr. Gibson paid me an early
call, and appointed me to meet him in the Parliament
House at eleven, when he took me to the handsome
Iolani palace and presented me to his Majesty, King
Kalakoua. My reception and interview were extremely pleasant. The first thing that struck me was
that his Majesty had a very pleasant voice ; and here
it occurs to me to say that all the Hawaiians have
pleasant soft voices—all who ever spoke to me, and
all whom I have heard speak. I mean the real
Hawaiian. And what a gift this is ! So many good
people have unpleasant voices, which is a great drawback. I do not include loud talkers, who are exceptionally unpleasant. In short, loud talkers and
bangers of doors are exceptional nuisances. The next
point was his Majesty's facile English ; it ran without
an effort. His first observation, too, I should recall.
I When I saw your name," he said, " as coming from
England, I sent to inquire for you directly, but heard
you had gone to Hawaii. I was anxious to see you, for
I never shall forget the great kindness and hospitality
with which I was received when I visited your country."
The interview was rather prolonged, and his Majesty-
conversed upon a variety of topics, showing much
general  knowledge  and  much  diplomatic capacity. THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
195
And on my departing he said he should send for me
again, as he had some things to show me. Accordingly,
the next morning, Colonel Curtis P. Iaukea, of his
Majesty's staff, and Brigade-Major Burrell Hayley
(whom I recognized as a son and nephew of two
brothers, clergymen, of my acquaintance in England),
called to take me to the palace, when his Majesty
showed me a large collection of maps, tracing his own
workings out of the geographical genealogy of the
islands; also the soundings of the ocean to San
Francisco, in reference to submarine telegraphic
communication. He also spoke of a probable telegraphic line to Vancouver, so as to obtain a connection with England and Europe through the Queen's
dominions. He then took me into the next room, and
showed me a most beautiful spread of the old feather
cloaks and tippets, all made from the feathers of a bird
called the Oo. The delicate richness of these robes
is quite unique, and the artistic arrangements of the
golds and scarlets and yellows most striking, not only
in themselves, but as showing a great amount of
purely natural art which Europeans might envy.
That art is lost, and the king told me he was making
every possible effort to revive it. The mode in which,
the feathers were worked in from behind was as
striking in its way as the front. To see these things.
Honolulu must be seen ; they are to be found nowhere
else. " Poor birds!" one is tempted to exclaim; but it
is the same old story everywhere. Wherever Nature
shows beauty, we grasp it at all cost, and turn it to
m 196
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
our own selfish purposes, covering this natural propensity by laying it to the account of a Creator who
made all things for our use. And so we shall go on
ad infinitum. So soon as I could take my eyes off
these beautiful objects, his Majesty bid me accompany
him to his Prime Minister's, where he was going to
luncheon, and afterwards (which act of condescension
I was bound to obey) drove me to the hotel.
When I returned I found the bishop, with an
invitation to us both to join an evening party at the
house of Mr. F. W. Damon, the superintendent of the
Chinese Mission in these islands, where we met a
large party, several of whom had travelled the world
about and were full of information ; and Mrs. Damon
gave me a sprig of small leaves gathered by Mr.
Damon at Camoens' Grotto at Macao. It would be
difficult to find any one more earnest in his pursuit
than Mr. Damon, and I should gather that he is as
persuasive as earnest. But it must be a hard and
trying task. I find by the " Honolulu Almanac and
Directory for 1886," edited and compiled by Mr.
Creighton—an admirable work, by the way—that
according to the census of 1884, out of 17,939 of this
nationality living in the kingdom, there were but
300 reported by Mr. Damon himself as being Christians. These Chinese form a considerable element in
the population of the whole kingdom. That total is
given in 1884 as 80,578, of whom 17,939, or rather more
than a fifth, are Chinese. And here, again, is that same
surprising disproportion between males and females
"Mai, THE HA WAIT AN ISLANDS.
197
that I was almost afraid to write in reference to San
Francisco, for with 17,068 males there are only
871 females. In Honolulu itself the males are given
as 4,712, and the females only as 513. A Chinese
baby, however, is worth a dozen to look at!
The Chinese are great gardeners; 1060 are
numbered in Honolulu as agriculturists ; they are also
astute traders, showing 1146 as shop and storekeepers,
and the Hawaiians cannot compete with them. One
more leading item is that of labourers, showing 730
under that head. They are the great laundrymen
also, numbering under that head 325. Their linen is
sent home in charming style, as I can personally
testify ; but I am not quite sure they do not use
some sly damaging matter. Be that as it may, Ching
Wong washed remarkably welL
There is a great deal of general education going
on among the Hawaiians; " there are excellent
government schools with free compulsory education,"
and I the native Hawaiians are above the average in
educational acquirements, in proportion to population." As regards other sources of instruction, the
bishop and I were exceedingly gratified by a visit
to the Oahu College and Punahou Preparatory
School, on the invitation of the worthy president,
the Rev. W. C. Merritt. It is this college that the
two young ladies of whom I have already spoken
came to join as teachers. The admirable school and
dwelling buildings are at Punahou (two miles distant
from Honolulu), a charming park-like property.    The 198
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
meaning of that word is the pleasant sounding one
of " The New Spring ;" and the institution fairly calls
itself a the highest seminary of learning in this young
Hawaiian kingdom." Male and female pupils are
equally educated on most reasonable terms, and
teachers attend pupils at their dwellings. Every
branch of education appears to have a place, and an
admirable and increasing library is at the service of
all. On looking over what is called the " Catalogue
of the College," it would be difficult to say what
branch of instruction was overlooked. The very best
wishes must be entertained for such an institution as
this, and the lively interest that Mr. Merritt takes in
his office, is of itself sufficient to attract sympathy.
As regards political education, it is kept alive by
several newspapers. Of the energetic Daily Bulletin
I have already spoken. The Pacific Commercial
Advertizer is graced with the pen of my friend,
Mr. Creighton. Mr. Atkinson edits the independent
and outspoken Hawaiian Gazette, and Mr. Reginald
Nuttall conducts the Daily Standard. The government of the kingdom is, as is well known, a constitutional monarchy, and the legislative power of the
kingdom is vested in the king and the legislature,
which consists of the nobles and representatives
sitting together in one chamber.
Since I was in the islands a great crisis has taken
place, into the particulars of which I naturally do not,
as a foreigner, enter, further than to say that I have
had sent to me (for which I am greatly obliged) a THE HA WAIIAN ISLANDS.
199
full copy of the new constitution, sworn to by the
king on the 6th day of July, 1887, together with a
copy of the Hawaiian Gazette of the 12th of the same
month, containing much wholesome matter.
Neither king nor people will have cause to regret
this new constitution accepted by his Majesty, if it
proves his people, from whom it has emanated, to be
strong and enlightened enough to insist on taking
a worthy position among the greater nations, and
correspondingly to add dignity to his crown. As
regards the fundamental principle, however, to which
I have referred, that remains the same as it was.
At the invitation of Mr. Creighton, then Minister of
Foreign Affairs, I went down to witness the session
at Parliament House. Naturally associating such
assemblies with our own, I was rather timid at taking
the seat by the side of the Prime Minister, and only
very little out of line, to which I was invited. But
there I sat, appreciating the proceedings for some
twenty minutes. All, as is needless to say, was
conducted with great decorum ; but as there must be
ever something to amuse wherever you go, I found
something here. The debates are conducted in both
languages, Hawaiian and English, and this fact
naturally requires an interpreter. While I was there
the orator of the moment was speaking in English,
and when he had given vent to such an amount of
matter as the interpreter could hold together he
stopped, and the interpretation was delivered. Piece
by piece this went on.    It was curious, and I thought 20O
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
must terribly hamper the orator. But what much
amused me was to notice the interpreter. He was
no mere schoolboy echoer, as many men are, by the
way, who read lectures, which nobody ought to be
allowed to do. He took up the parable splendidly.
He spoke with gesture and cadence marked and emphatic, as if he himself had been the representative
and was speaking from his heart. Nay, he much
surpassed the speaker; and if I had not known what
was going on, I should have supposed his unknown
phrases were persistent protests against what had
been said in English, instead of an adorned and
emphatic repetition of it.
The scene recalled to my mind one that I remember
at Brighton a number of years ago. There was then
a Rev. Mr. Trocke who officiated at Chapel Royal. He
read with that curious artificial, cramped monotony
of voice (I don't say the present speaker did that)
that some clergymen think it as most decorous and
reverent to assume ; while his clerk, by way of contrast, mouthed out the responses and the alternate
verses with all possible, and almost impossible, turnings and twistings both of voice and eye. I am not
at all prepared to say, however, that the interpreter
in this case erred by exaggeration. "Action, action,
and again action." It was curious to see the House
of Lords and Commons, so to say, all "sitting together."
One day after our return to Honolulu a book of
very beautiful readings was put into my hands.    It THE HA WAIIAN ISLANDS.
201
was a carefully prepared collection of some of the
most exquisite ferns I ever saw. Yet my eyes had
had some experience in these plants, though I do not
presume to be a botanist; for some years ago I sent
home from Brazil a very choice selection of them,
which had been very carefully put together for me.
The truth is that the Hawaiian Islands are unrivalled
in their ferns. They even defy New Zealand. I am
told there are some three hundred species of them ;
and among these there appear, in singular profusion,
that most graceful growth, the Tree Fern. These
trees are abundant in the Brazilian forests, but in
certain parts of the Hawaiian Islands they would
appear to constitute almost a forest of themselves.
My stay at the capital was greatly enlivened by
various drives with Captain Burrell Hayley, in his
four-in-hand open car ; and it was a separate pleasure
to see how well he kept his team together, tutored by
his own hand. In one of our excursions he took me
to call on H.R.H. Princess Lydia Kamakaeha
Liliuokalani, heir presumptive to the throne, and
married to His Excellency John Owen Dominis,
Governor of Oahu, and of Maui and its dependencies,
and Member of the House of Nobles and of the Privy
Council of State. This was a most pleasing call.
Madame Dominis, always with the Hawaiian voice,
was surrounded with a variety of old national ornaments, and took pleasure in showing them and explaining them, always speaking in admirable English.
In particular I remember the large feather ornaments t
2 02
A  FIGHT   WITH DISTANCES.
called kahilis, made also from the Oo, and carried, I
believe, in processions. In short, so associated did
I insensibly become with all I saw, that when we
came away, I told Captain Hayley that he had driven
me into Old Hawaii. We also called on the British
Commissioner and Consul-General, Major Wood-
house ; and all these gentlemen I had the pleasure of
meeting at a dinner to which Mr. Creighton was good
enough to invite me.
These drives also enabled me to see much of the
surroundings of Honolulu, and to note the abundant
horticulture. Among other cultivations is to be
specially noted that of the kilo, or taro, out of which
is made the great native food called poi. The plant
itself put me in mind of the yam, and it is grown in
flooded ground, standing in water, like rice. When
gathered, however, the root is about the driest I ever
saw, and seemed to me to contrast so strangely with
the water melon in this respect. Grown in wet it
ripens dry; whereas the other, growing (as I have
seen it) in the hottest and driest of soils, ripens into
little else than liquid. Poi is to the Hawaiians what
pulque is to the Mexicans, which I have explained
in a former book. The natives grind it and boil it
into a thick substance very like thick paste. The
lower classes eat it in Arab fashion. They dip their
forefinger into it, and suck it off. The only person
that I ever saw eating it was the native purser on
board the Kinau, who pursued a slightly less inelegant
method.    He eat it off a fork, dipping that spiked THE HA WAIIAN ISLANDS.
203
article into it and turning it quickly round on its way
to his mouth, as you might with thick honey, to
prevent its dropping. The food is reported as highly
nutritious, and looked disagreeable enough to be
recommended by the Faculty.
One of the most melancholy objects which I saw
in Honolulu—the most, I am bound to say, and the
only melancholy one, perhaps—was the small unfinished fragment of an intended Anglican cathedral.
It looked so like an example of " This man began
to build, and was not able to finish." Nothing, after
all, is more mistaken in building than the adopting
the style of a great structure for a small one. But
the desolate appearance of this fragment seemed to
me to suggest the question, " What do they want out
here with a cathedral?" And this question might
possibly seem to suggest another.
Waikiki, under the brow of Cape Diamond, was
a spot to be visited, and an agreeable opportunity for
doing this occurred to my bishop and myself in
receiving an invitation from Mr. Hall to dine with
his wife and family one evening. The spot is charming, and some strange growths of cocoanut trees,
leaning and bending about as if they might with ease
be broken, amused me much. The house we found
most romantically built. We dined in a large
verandah, and indeed room, embracing under its roof
a number of huge trees, producing a most novel,
romantic effect. And one arrangement was a striking:
example of what recourses necessity will enforce.    In ri.il/
1
204
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
the middle was a structure which I can compare with
nothing else than a gigantic meat-safe, planted on
the floor.
" What on earth is that ? "
" Get inside ; it is a large cage to protect us from
the mosquitos, and here we often sit."
I may here say, in passing, that I was not particularly troubled with this irritating insect during
my sojourn in the islands.    But seasons differ.
It is not often that you call on a friend to do
something for you because you have dined with him,
but it did happen to me to behave in this fashion
towards my friend, Mr. Berger. For while tasting
some excellent coffee after dinner, at his picturesque
Honolulu dwelling, where he lives happily, the
consort of an Hawaiian lady, and with a family, I was
curious to know whence it came. It was " Kona
coffee" from that district in Hawaii—Kona meaning
South-west—and so my mind was set on taking
home this sort of remembrance of. my visit. It has
fully maintained its character in London, as possessing a most delicate, aromatic flavour, and it is my
selfish pleasure to be able to say to somebody who
asks where I got it, meaning thereby " Where can I
get it ? " to answer plump, " At Kona, in the Hawaiian
Islands." Why is it that we derive an extra pleasure
in having pleased from knowing that others can't do
the same thing? This theme would well serve to
provoke the well-known cut and dried phrase in the
sermon, "Now, all this is  very sad, but so  it is." THE HA WAIIAN ISLANDS.
2Qi,
Why more coffee is not cultivated, and why more
tobacco also, I do not know. Rice stands next to
sugar-cane. I wish I could have visited fertile Kauai;
and had I been a doctor I might have gone to Molo-
kai, and talked of leprosy.
The Francisco ■ boat having been signalled early
on the morning of Saturday, the 25th, I went to the
palace to pay my last respects to his Majesty, and
in the afternoon Major Hayley drove me down to the
quay, where the bishop and I got on board the
Alameda—Captain Morse—having bid good-bye to
Honolulu and to all the good folks we had known
there. This was not the last, however, for behold,
I presently saw the bishop, full of smiles and flowers,
shaking hands with my two young friends of the Mariposa, who had come on board from the college to bestow their flowery farewell. It was, of course, quite as
much as I could do to squeeze in as his mere deacon,
but I managed a corner, and I believe got one flower,
pulled out of his nosegay for me! And, of course,
again, there were mutual regrets that I had visited
the college in their absence. I really believe I felt
a secret pang at parting, though perhaps not such
a one as those two might feel in parting from one
another. If they see these pages, and see anything to
contradict in them, I hope they will write to me.
Bomb ! I The king is here and wants to see you."
We appeared to be on shore again; so many had
come off to see friends, and champagne was doing its
best  to  stifle  tears.    In  my turn, I  bowed   to his mint III
206
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
Majesty's "bon voyage," and was presently greeted
with a handshake of regret in the person of Mr.
Newton, formerly Attorney-General. The regret here
was mutual; that we had never met on shore. And
so at last a general " Farewell" all round. Our vessel
then made her first stroke for home upon the water,
and at the same moment a band on shore began to
play. The scheme here arranged might sound somewhat theatrical, but still it was well conceived; for,
under orders, the national air of each of the nations
represented by the various passengers on board was
played in turn : " God Save the Queen" of course
among the number. So farewell to beautiful Honolulu and all kind hospitable friends, and presently
farewell to Diamond Point. But it was not only in
coming and going that I had looked on Diamond
Point; for many a time at about sunset I had mounted
into the lantern of the hotel for the purpose of enjoying the view thence. You have the varied green apse
of mountains before you, looking towards the Pali ;
the noble Waianae range to your left; and the noble
Diamond Head to your right. The golden sun is
gilding all. What a climate these beautiful islands
enjoy! Between the heights and the hollows you
may choose ; but all is benignant, and Pomona vies
with Flora.
So at sea with Captain Morse for a pleasant
voyage, and not less " at sea " on the next (Sunday)
evening at a volunteer lecture. Mr. Carter, the
Hawaiian Minister to Washington, also returned with THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
207
us, and I had thus afterwards an opportunity of confirming an acquaintance which proved to be of the
most friendly assistance to me on visiting that city.
It was on this passage that I realized for the first
time, after many thousand miles of ocean, a funeral at
sea; indeed, there were two. On Monday, the 27th, a
man was tilted offinto the waves, and on the following
day an infant's body took the like course. We had
not seen either, both having come on board very ill,
so that the effect, so often described, of one out of
a few being missed, was not experienced. But there
was something of a strange sensation in looking over
the bulwarks, seeing the sack half-way out on a plank
below, first covered with the flag, then the flag drawn
away, and at the given moment the object tilted off
and going down out of sight in the dark depths of
ocean.
Our passage was enlivened by many meetings in
Captain Morse's cabin of an evening, discussing all
sorts of matters, and on one occasion at night he also,
like Captain Hayward, was called out to witness
something singular—a light on our starboard side
which betokened some strange "something." This
time, however, the call was not successful. We all
came out to see; but Captain Morse, to our disappointment, coolly remarked, " No doubt it's moving,
and a little later you'll see it a little higher." It was
a huge star—but not of Bethlehem; it was not
Venus.
. The weather had continued so fair with us that 208
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I now felt quite sure of a grand view of the Golden
Gate and San Francisco Bay. Deluded man! At
an early hour on Saturday morning, the 2nd of
October, we entered bay and fog at the same time.
So my third and last hope in this regard was gone,
and I had only to get to the Palace Hotel.
"Will you tell me," I asked of a condoling American, I in what season Frisco Bay is not foggy and
your railway journeys are not dusty ?"
Thus, with a distance to and fro of 4200 miles,
I was back from Honolulu and in the States again
at Frisco. And now my object was New England,
while yet in time to see her dressed in all the
golden glories of her tints of autumn, or, as they
picturesquely call it in America, the Fall. CHAPTER IX.
MAN1TOU—ALBANY—BOSTON.
HAVING nothing to detain me on my second visit
to this  great American city with  a  Spanish name,
my first object was to arrange for my journey as far
as Albany, and thence to move onwards to Boston.
Accordingly, I was about to address myself to the
office of the great land navigators upon that subject,
when a most  active  and  energetic  gentleman, Mr.
T.  D.  McKay,  " Pacific  Coast   Passenger   Agent,"
presented himself, instinctively divining that I was
eastward  bound.    The whole  affair was, of course,
to him no matter at all;  " Come with me, sir, and
it's done; I know them all, and they all know me."
This was quite the fact, and away we went together
to Cook and Sons, in Montgomery Street, close by.
I The Burlington Route "—that was the word—" The
Burlington Route."    A "through ticket" to Albany
was bought and paid for.    All would be smooth and
comfortable, and the whole distance was 3563 miles.
It  is  of no  use  looking  at  figures  that  represent
distances  when   you   are   travelling in  the  States.
Besides which, you  are  not  bound to swallow the
whole dish, or drink the whole dozen of wine, at a ffl
2IO
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
sitting. You have licence to stop here and there to
take breath; and again I must remark upon the
concentration of attention given in the States to
keep everybody moving about, with all sorts of
information at hand besides. Another suggestion
was also made to me (and to this I shall have to
refer when I speak of leaving New York for
Liverpool in March) as regards my passage to
England. Seeing that I had arrived by the Australian steamer, though not from Australia, I was
entitled to a " White Star " ticket, if taken at Frisco,
at a reduced price; and it would be good for twelve
months.    So I took it.
Thus fortified, I bid good-bye to Mr. Hutchinson,
to whom I recounted all my success in the islands
connected with his letters, and started by the Central
Pacific line at 3.30 on Tuesday, the 5th of October,
for Ogden, in Utah, passing through Sacramento, the
capital city of the State of California. Mr. Carter
was also in the train, and Mr. Brewer, of Boston, to
whom he opportunely introduced me. He told me
of a curious fact connected with Nevada, the first
State we passed through after leaving California. ■
The mining interest so increased its population, that
in 1861 it was admitted as a State. Now, however,
it is too thinly populated to justify that honour, but
cannot be put back as a Territory again. This journey
was to compass 883 miles out of my total; and at
Ogden we were to leave Pacific Time and take up
Mountain Time, thus being put forward an hour by the SALT LAKE AND   CITY.
211
clock.   We passed two nights on this journey, arriving
at Ogden at eight o'clock on Thursday morning, the
7th.   These forty hours or so comprehended two nights,
and  though a home  bed is better  than a Pullman
car bed, yet two nights in a Pullman car bed were
better than  two  whole   days  and  a  night,  for  so
dreary, dusty, and wearying a stretch of country I
never saw before.    Nothing much more than harsh,
dry sage-bush appeared.    If we were not within the
actual precincts of what is most justly called The
Great American Desert, then the district we passed
over ought to be added to that ill-omened region.
It is already large enough.    The maps mark it just to
the south of the railway, and its dimensions are given
in the last edition of Appleton's guide-book (A. and C.
Black, Edinburgh)—which, unfortunately for me, has
been  published  only since* my return—as of sixty
miles square;   not of sixty square miles only, but
§ about sixty miles long, and of the same width."    Talk
of the wilderness of Judaea!    Add to this that the
average rate of the train was only some twenty-one
miles   or   so   per hour,  and   you  will  scarcely  be
inclined to apply American magniloquent adjectives
about scenery, except in a contrary sense, or in contrary language.    Hence Mr. Carter went on straight
to  New York, but  Mr. Brewer and I continued to
Salt Lake City, about another forty miles, and lodged
ourselves at the Walker House Hotel.
For a certain period before arriving at Ogden, and
thence to Salt Lake City, there was something more 212
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
of interest attaching to the journey, in that we skirted
the Great Salt Lake ; properly called " great," for its
measurements, according to some, show 3150 square
miles of water—ninety miles in length, with an
average width of thirty-five. Others give seventy-five
miles by thirty. It stands 4200 feet above the sea ;
several streams flow into it; it has no outlet, and its
waters are intensely briny. All the minute descriptions concerning its qualities, including bathing in it,
coincide very much with those of the Dead Sea in
Syria ; but though I bathed in the former, after insisting that I would not, I kept to this insistance as
regards the Great Salt Lake. Some of the mountains
round are grand, but all are dry ; and, large as the lake
is, many striking dry margins- are pointed out, which
appear to show that it has been a great deal larger.
As to Salt Lake City itself, what is there now to
be said of it ? Suppose I were to say it was becoming quite demoralized ; that would mean, in one sense,
that it was losing its original character; but in
another sense, that it was gaining character by losing
its polygamy. That much, we are all given to
understand, is the fact; nor is it to be wondered at.
However honest and honourable polygamy may be
among other races—and we all very well know that
it ever has been so, and still is—yet among our own
it is wholly strange, and indeed abhorrent, because
discordant. It is a transplanted tree that must
wither. There is no room for it; and, at all events,
it would certainly puzzle the Chinese in the States SALT LAKE  CITY.
213
and the Islands to practise it among themselves.
During our short stay we had neither opportunity
nor inclination to talk much about it, and what would
be the use of copying all that has been said already ?
But in short conversations the observation was constantly and emphatically repeated, that Utah will
never be raised to the dignity of a State while polygamy exists within it.
As regards the city itself, it is built upon a sandy
flat, with very wide, straight streets laid out at right
angles to one another, and of some 120 feet wide.
They are planted, and have running water on both
sides. The blocks are divided into lots of about an
acre each, and the dwellings are generally surrounded
by gardens and orchards. In these respects, where
will you find a city laid out with such care and such
consideration for health and comfort ?
The distinctive building is, of course, the Tabernacle, with its wonderful acoustic properties. It is
oval in shape, and the great waggon-head roof is
supported by an outside peristyle, of as many as
forty-six very large sandstone pillars. It must be
the only building which the world has yet seen in
which every one of 15,000 listeners can hear what is
said to them. There is also the still incomplete
Temple which, when its roof and pinnacles are added,
will be an imposing building; and there is, again, the
Endowment House. Appleton says that the Temple
is to cost #10,000,000, or more than .£2,000,000
sterling. Pill
I
214
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
From Salt Lake City, Mr. Brewer returned to
Ogden, on his way to Boston, and I prepared myself
for a journey over the Denver and Rio Grande line,
where I expected to be rewarded for the dreary
country I had hitherto passed through. I therefore
went to the office and obtained an outline as to times
and spots, and at ten minutes past eleven on Friday
morning, October 8th, the train started for Denver, a
distance of 735 miles. We were very soon winding
among dry mountains, jagged and picturesque, but
not lofty ; but by-and-by we came to what is called the
Castle Gate and Castle Cafion. The Gate consists of
two huge pillars, standing out integrally from a huge
mass of rocks behind, to a height, one of 500, and the
other of 450 feet. They are of a rich-coloured sandstone, and are dressed in parts with dark fir-trees. The
impression as you pass between them, if you stand on
the footboard, is very striking; great effect being
caused by the rushing Price river, that stream and
the train crowding one another, as it were, side by
side, as they both rush through. Hence during the
whole afternoon the rugged scenery was constantly
presenting some new grouping of interest, until sunset
approached and threatened us with darkness. But
sunset contributed its share to the effects.
A very remarkable dappled sky gradually grew
into strong colouring, presenting, as was remarked
by more than one of us, the appearance of a large
Turkey carpet spread semi-transparently over the
west.    Then a long range of rather distant mountains DENVER AND RIO  GRANDE RAILWAY. 215
took on that very favourite colour, rose-madder, of
which I have seen so much on arid surfaces, such
as those on the Egyptian mountains and the Andes.
I could not but give vent to the expression that we
might fancy ourselves on the Nile, when a lady,
suddenly turning round, said, " I was making the very
same remark to my husband : we have both been
there." There seems to be a peculiar property in
dry and friable surfaces for producing this especial
colour. Presently all these tints were transferred to
a then spotless sky, and gradually died away; and
so came on the night.
Early in the morning we were to wake to see the
Black Canon of the Gunnis'on river; and we accordingly breakfasted very early at a station . called
Cimarron. Here an open " observation car" was
put on the end of the train. There are fifteen miles
of this canon ; so that for enjoyment of all the
varieties of red rock and tree, rushing water of the
river running towards us so close that it seemed trying
to wash us back again from our intrusion, chasms,
heights, sharp curves threatening catastrophe to the
astonished eye—for the enjoyment of all these varieties,
there was ample time. The morning, it is true, was
cold, and several of us, though unable to resist the
open car, crouched as nearly as possible to the forepart, so as to get the protection of the next carriage.
But, of course, this cost them a great part of the scenic
effects. One saw directly that the proper place was
as far back as possible (and the car was a very long A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
one), so as to secure a view as far forward as possible.
And in taking such a place I was greatly impressed
by leaning over from side to side at times, in order to
lose sight of the locomotive round a rapid curve of
rocks, where the rest of our train was to follow it.
At about ten o'clock we began the ascent of the
Marshall's Pass, which rises at last to a height of
10,800 feet above the sea. The engineering skill displayed here is a matter of just pride, and as you look
back over the curves you can see the long tressel
bridge over which you have passed with more self-
control than you could now command in doing so
after having seen it. But it is to be observed over
this part of the line that the views are much obstructed by the long galleries which it has been
deemed necessary to build in order to secure safety
to the service.
At Salida we came to an early dinner, after which
our second great adventure in the " observation car "
was to be through what is called the Grand Cafion.
This Pass is eight miles in length, and in traversing
it the train follows the line of the Arkansas river.
We travelled against stream by the side of the
Gunnison in the Black Canon, but here we "were
running down stream with the Arkansas, and the
effect thus produced is, in my own idea, much
enhanced. Always work down a pass if you can ;
there is far more illusion in descent than in ascent
when the path you take is dark and threatening.
Here the effect of the scenery may be in general DENVER AND RIO  GRANDE RAILWAY.
217
classed with that of the Black Cafion, until you
come to the lower portion, which is called the Royal
Gorge. Here the passage becomes little more than
a large fissure, and you descend deeper and deeper into
the rocky darkness, and the river foams along between
cliffs of a sheer thousand feet perpendicular height, as
bare as lonely. Surely no sunshine ever penetrated
into parts of these dark passages ! One wonders now
and then how the line could ever have been driven
through, especially at a spot where a long iron bridge
of a most ingenious construction hangs suspended
from the beetling sides. In one sense, it might be
desired to loiter through these fastnesses and dwell
at leisure on their surly grandeur; but in another,
there is an increase of excitement, giving double life
to the journey in the roar and rapidity of the train,
competing, as it were, with the roar and rapidity of
the stream, and hurrying along with a defiant and
victorious echo through regions that might be deemed
to have boasted themselves inaccessible to the ingenuities of art. Most true it is that the whole of this
. day's course appeared to me to be worthy of a special
journey of no mean distance in order to realize the
majestic scenery that it unfolded.
I was bound for Denver, but falling into conversation with a gentleman who was travelling with his
niece, and whom I afterwards overtook in the Bahamas
—Sir Edward Synge Hutchinson,—I was induced by
what he told me to diverge at the station of South
Pueblo, and take Manitou on my way. !lS
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
By his advice I went to the " Iron Springs Hotel,"
and there decided that I would make the ascent of
a mountain called Pike's Peak, 14,000 feet high. The
valley of Manitou itself, however, is already 6500
above the sea, so that I had 7500 to ascend, the
journey being considered of ten miles' length.
Thus, on the following day, Sunday, October 10th,
a guide and horses were arranged for me, and I started
to spend the night at the government meteorological
station. The ascent is not romantic. The first zigzags are wooded, but you soon come to sparse trees,
and afterwards to a completely barren side, where
wind is very frequent. The climb is stiff, and the air
is very cold, and at the station I found snow. The
view from the summit was poor, considering the height
of the mountain; and, indeed, taking into account
the very uninteresting country I had passed through,
I was not prepared for any very gorgeous reward for
my exertions. As evening drew on, the atmosphere
was in keeping with the scene, and the sunset was
a nothing. The government station was in the keeping of a very pleasant young German-American, and,,
with a fine stove and some tinned food, he made me
and my guide as comfortable as he could; but I have
never yet felt the effect of rarefied air as I did that
night. It produced a general discomfort and a qualm,
which onj|r brandy in small doses served to alleviate.
My host^ald me that almost everybody was provoked
to vomiting, but that catastrophe I escaped. At the
same height on the Andes I had not so suffered, but PIKE'S PEAK.
219
then, I had not passed a night there. Yet again, at
Puno, by Lake Titicaca, I had done so without suffering ; at which town, though two thousand feet lower,
I had (as recorded elsewhere) fallen against a wall in
attempting to run. My own belief is that there is something very peculiar in the air at Pike's Peak, and that
the difference in my experience did not arise from the
difference of my own condition. The air at | Manitou
Springs " itself is, indeed, of a very exhilarating character. It is like champagne, and one might imagine
it as bubbling, like its own delicious waters. They do
not have much rain there, and#they have a very curious
description of it when it does come ; they call it " dry
rain." People who ridicule (and with some show of
reason) the expression " dry wine " are fairly entitled
to reject this ; and even the others may be startled.
But the meaning is that the rains never seem to leave
the air wet; a very striking antithesis to those that
abound in the doldrums.
Why the mountain is called a peak, I know not;
it presents no peak at all. It may rather be compared to a bristly hog's back ; but certainly not at all
reminding me of our own " Hog's Back," leading out
of my beautiful county of Surrey into Hampshire.
The roughest masses cover the whole top surface, and
are of a very disagreeable character for walking ; too
small for stepping-stones, and just large enough to
worry the ankles.
I waked very early in the morning, and was not
discontented at so doing, for on looking out towards 220
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
H '
't
•i
the east I beheld a forerunner of sunrise totally new
to me; and this, again, I attribute to the peculiarity
of the atmosphere. An enormous space of the
hemisphere was covered with long, regular, serrated
clouds, and these were all profusely coloured with
deep, dead, lack-lustre crimson. A savage or a
Calvinist might have deemed the sight as a manifestation of the wrath of God. The very early hour and
the great height may have possibly intensified my
appreciation. If they did so they were still legitimate
adjuncts of the moment, and the sun's gold presently
dispersed this strange picture, and made me think of
getting up and getting off.
The air was piercing, and, when we left, our
host informed us that his instrument showed the wind
as blowing at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour.
" We shall have it worse," said my guide, " when we
are getting round the dome, and—then we shall be
all right." If I myself may be taken as the " instrument," I beg to " indicate-" that it must have been so,
and I was very glad indeed to find myself " all right."
And so I left Pike's Peak ; I cannot say that I thought
it " elegant," nor had it said to me, " Have you anything like that in England ? "
Getting back at an early hour to the hotel, and
the train for Denver not leaving till late in the afternoon, I had plenty of time to look about me. There
are plenty of small excursions to be made in the
neighbourhood of Manitou, but the grand one is to
a scene about two miles distant, called " The Garden GARDEN OF THE  GODS.
221
of the Gods." It may be at first supposed that this
is a mere fancy name, but it is no such thing. It is
a solemn name, bestowed with all the awe belonging
to the worship of the Unknown. These words are
a translation of the superstitious or religious title
given to their sanctuary by the Ute Indians ; and
I must confess they seem to me to have proved themselves true poets when they chose the scene and gave
the name.
Impressed with all these associations, founded on
information given me on the spot, and banishing, as
far as possible, all mere travellers' curiosity, I hired
an open one-horse carriage and sat myself by the
owner's side, a Manitou man and a Manitou pro-
claimer, who would fain have persuaded me, in the
usual style, to stay and see everything; but I have
long since come to know that the exhaustive is exhausting. At the same time, if some grand object is
exhausting, nevertheless, try and accomplish it, for it
is galling enough to find yourself far away at home
again, and I wishing you had done it."
This " Garden of the Gods " is a strange district,
of which the dimensions are given as of about five
hundred acres, hemmed in by Nature almost in a
manner that might suggest that development of her
called Art, with mountains and ravines separating it
from outside scenery; and its surprising features consist of a large undulating meadow-ground, ornamented in an almost confusing manner with isolated
upright rocks, all towering, and some rising to three A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
hundred and fifty feet. These rocks are not of dull
granite, but they are of sandstone, and they display
as much colouring as that material can so abundantly
afford. As you.bid your driver walk slowly through
the strangely captivating scene, you may allow yourself to become completely rapt by your surroundings,
and be brought to confess that here old superstitions,
were, at the least, as poetical as the new. The
scenery culminated till the last, as we went out by
what is called The Gate, consisting of two tremendous
natural pylons of every colour.
■ Why did you not bring. me in this way ?" I
impatiently asked..
I Some do prefer this way," was the only answer.
How much is often lost by taking objects at the
reverse ! May I not add, how few appreciate the
difference!
On turning round to look back upon what should
at first have struck my astonished sight, I beheld a
grand perspective view of the whole scene, backed by
middle-distance mountains, over all of which rose
Pike's Peak, yet farther still beyond ; while, in the
Garden, on my left, there ran a long, broad, undulating,' rising line of grass, strangely bordered by
integral rocks, and presenting, paradoxically, a not
remote image of the gigantic ruins of some pre-his-
toric gigantic cathedral. ■ Well, the reverse course of
my drive had, at all events, this good result; my
chief impression was my last. Still, my advice to all
would be, I Enter by the Gate." ™» Pi
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1 TO ALBANY AND BOSTON.
223
My drive was a round one, so we continued our
course, and again one small advantage of the direction we had taken turned up in the shape of a house
where something could be got for sustaining the
flesh, now somewhat exhausted by the spirit, whatever that may be. So we pulled up at this somewhat rare style of house in these quarters, and, among
other things, I asked for a bottle of Milwaukee lager
beer—the best sort in all the States. Oh yes ! they
had some; but the girl who had said this brought me
St. Louis beer, one more in vogue, as I believe.
They had no other, in truth, so I took it. She was an
intelligent American young lady, and as I paid her,
and was going, she looked very quietly at me, and
said, " Are you folk from Milwaukee ? "
On my return to the hotel, it was already time to
prepare for starting on the "balance " of my journey of
3600 miles from Frisco to Albany, through Chicago.
I choose the word " balance " here, as it is a familiar
American phrase. At one of our railway meals I
heard it used curiously. I had helped some one to
a piece of meat-pie; but in doing so, the piece of
crust I had cut off broke, and part of it fell back.
When the plate was handed to him, he held it out
again, and said, " I'll ask you for a little more gravy,
if you please, and the balance of that crust." It is
not every balance that can so readily be satisfied, and
I confess that I felt the "balance" of my journey to
be quite as large a one as I cared to have to pay, for
it was likely to prove but a very uninteresting one. u
^   [\[\\
224
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
We passed through Nebrasca and Iowa into Illinois,
and arrived at Chicago about three in the afternoon
of the second day (Wednesday), the 13th of October,
without any incident worth recording, unless it be
that of dining at Lincoln, Nebrasca.   On the Tuesday,
I horrified everybody by asking for some Milwaukee
lager.     The girl looked as astonied as Nebuchadnezzar.     I What's  the  matter with  her ?"  said  an
American (a favourite  phrase  that).     | You  spoke'
plainly enough."    But she had disappeared.    In her
place there came the landlady, and asked me, in a
tone that showed me she already knew, " what it was I
had asked for."    I told her it was a pint bottle of ale
or beer.    She had loaded her gun and marked her
game by her question ; so  putting  on  the  sort  of
countenance  that  you  might  suppose  to  have belonged to   the sourest  saint in  the  calendar,   she
squeezed out from between her compressed lips, " We
have no such thing on the premises," and followed
the example of the girl.    Feeling I must already be
a lost soul for my wickedness, I did not hesitate to
commit the further sin of consenting to be guided to
where I could obtain the forbidden liquor " on the
sly," and I paid my guide, moreover, for thus contributing to my I demnition."
I had no motive for stopping again at Chicago, and
therefore took the next fast train for the remainder
of the journey to Albany, where I lodged myself at
the Delavan House. So here I found myself in the
capital city of the State of New York, which, after LAKE  GEORGE.
the manner of Montreal, calls itself, not Albany, but
Allbany; a name (I know not of the pronunciation)
bestowed upon it so long ago as 1664, in honour of
our James II., then Duke of York and Albany, this
word " Albany i being the ancient name of the
Scottish Highlands.
Now, I had fought my way up into these districts
with only one town besides Albany in view, and that
was Boston ; not to analyze it and describe it, by any
manner of means, but to see it, and in so doing to
redeem my pledge of finding out my companion to
Salt City. But my great and enticing object was to
travel through such immediate districts of the country
as would serve to show me something of its renowned
autumnal foliage ; and again, combined with this, to
see the Hudson River.
The first move, therefore, that I decided on
making from Albany was to go to the well-known
Lake George. The railway took me through Saratoga Springs, the well-known, and, perhaps, the
most frequented summer resort of Americans, and of
foreigners likewise. Appleton's Guide tells us that
in the season its resident population of 11,000
swells to 30,000. But the season was over before
my date of getting there; the enormous hotels, the
largest in the world, were closed, and I was fain (in
both its senses) to forego the brilliancy of the vast
moving kaleidoscope of " the height of the season"
for those variegated woodland beauties that wait till
these have faded before they come forth to. adorn the
Q rm
A  FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
I Fall." But for its abounding springs, I don't think
Saratoga of itself, about one hundred and eighty miles
north of New York, would have attracted much attention ; but by virtue of its springs it has obtained yet
another title to celebrity in the well-known " Saratoga chips," a peculiarly delicately fried biscuit, or
even wafer, of potato, brought to the dinner-table
on a special plate, and eaten with fingers, and not
forks.
No disappointment could possibly be felt about
Lake George. Here, again, is a spot of great resort
in the summer, and no wonder. Its length is given
as of thirty-three miles, while its width varies from one
to four miles. Of its waters it is enough to say that
the Indians (we must for ever call them so, as we must
for ever stupidly talk of Cinderella's glass (!) slipper)
named this lovely lake " Horicon," which means
1 silver water." These wild tribes in every region
seem to have proved themselves Nature's poets by
the charming names they gave to striking scenes and
objects; while, as in hideous contrast with them, in
this case, comes the sycophantic snobbism of the
civilized tribe of Europe, who took away this charming name, and stuck on, in its place, the vulgar one
it is doomed to bear, in honour of—George II.! Its
bosom is adorned with islands here and there; its
wooded banks slope closely to the water, and were
coloured over with all the tints that autumn can
bestow, now lying in the shadow and now lighted up
by the sunshine of a broken sky.    When I left to LAKE  GEORGE.
227
come back to Albany, and take another course, I
brought with me a religious prayer that the Americans
would give back the name of Horicon.
Oh ! give me hack the pristine name
That still my Silvery Waters claim,
Which they who loved bestowed of yore,
Who roamed around my wooded shore ;
For harsh, and of discordant ring
Is name of strange, uncaring king..
Whether I should return by railway was the
question; but I was finally persuaded to take my
seat by the side of an American, a Mr. Hamilton,
who was on his return journey through Albany, in
his open carriage with a remarkably nice pair of black
ponies. I dare say I paid enough for this, but the
drive was to repay me, and it certainly proved much
more diversified than the line of railway. On the
first day, we drove our fifty miles, stopping for the
night at a hideous town, called Cohoes, a city of the
knitting trade, where 45,000 people were said to be
at that moment out of employ in consequence of
strikes ; the " Knights of Labour "—bombastic title—
being hard at work among the workers.
This was certainly a very ugly ending to a very
pleasing day's drive, during which the undulating
landscape was ever varying, and groupings of autumnal trees ever fascinating with their surprising tints :
Maples—sugar and hard; oaks of various species;
walnuts; chestnuts; hickory; sumac; and I know
not how many more. The tint that bears the palm
of all is that of the sugar-maple.    I scarcely know 11
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A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
what to compare it with, but the nearest I can suggest
is this : let any fair young girl, whose blood still bears
that exquisite vermilion of real youth, hold her hand
before a table lamp, and observe the colour of her
semi-transparent fingers towards the tips; then she
will see something like the tints of the sugar-maple
when its leaves shine semi-transparent in the sun,
and, moreover, gently flutter to the breeze. There
will be different degrees of colour, too, on the same
tree, and, of course, even more on a group of trees.
These may be backed by the wonderful maroon of
the oaks, and then, as if purposely planted there, a
dark yew will intensify the picture. I know not why
all these colours should be so exquisite, but it is
true. Beautiful as are our own autumnal tints, even
our known trees in America (independently of those
we know not) are more gorgeously clothed in their
decaying foliage than in our own England. In
some of the towns we passed through there are historical records, as well as local beauties. Near Glens
Falls we passed by what is called the Bloody Pond,
where in years gone by the French were massacred
by the Indians, having been treacherously decoyed
down under a flag of truce. That was the legend as
recounted to me by Mr. Hamilton. Again, at a
place called by the curious name of Schauylerville
where we dined, I read upon a stone, still standing
firm, " British Camp Ground, 1777." As I write this
(after many interruptions), our year carries three 8's
instead of three fk    And the spot—!
■i LAKE  GEORGE.
229
We followed the banks of the Hudson for miles,
but farther up the river than where its beauties are
displayed, which I afterwards realized ; and on the
stream I was surprised to observe from time to time
large masses of fine floating timber. These, my
conductor informed me, were all duly ticketed and
directed, and found their way down stream at leisure,
rapid delivery not being necessary. Some indeed had
run aground, but these would get off in time. Another
curious sight upon the water were from time to time
perfect shoals of small cuttings of wood, driven to
the sides by the stream; and these, I was informed,
were the waste of several saw-mills above, thus confirming what was told me about waste from sawmills at Minnesota, and, moreover, again exhibiting the
awful waste of forces that exists on earth. Warmth
for thousands lay about the waters, with no one to
care to take the fuel up ; while thousands elsewhere
are starving with cold, and fuel is beyond means of
attainment. The wanted is where the wanter is not,
and waste in one district, and starvation in another,
are the consequence.
One more curiosity engaged my attention on the
road. Milestone after milestone we passed"'1''with
figures marked upon them not coinciding with our
own journey. At last, on my asking what the town
indicated was, Mr. Hamilton pulled up at the next
to let me read the writing. Imagine the impudence!
It was an advertisement! Truly, America has taught
the  world  to  advertise.    And this interesting indi- ff» / fl
230
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
vidual had thought, and perhaps found, it was worth
his while to set up milestones along the road, indicating the distances to—his magazine.
At Cohoes, all the beauty of our road had ceased,
and thence on the next morning, Sunday, the 17th of
October, we passed through West Troy, famous for
rough folks and prize-fighters, and came on to Albany
again, where I was dropped at the Delavan House,
my driver continuing on his road.
Though I was bound for Boston, I had no intention of going there direct, and my next departure was
to Great Barrington, in Massachusetts, still seeking
converse with the autumn colours along the Housatonic
Valley and on the Berkshire hills ; and, on the second
day I left Great Barrington, driving across a beautiful country, through Stockbridge, to Lenox. From
Lenox, on the following day, I took the public car to
Pittsfield, a distance of seven miles, thus joining the
railway to Boston. But I must dwell for a few lines
on Lenox. Its scenery is sweet as well as beautiful ;
it is charmingly adorned with trees, and its air is
pure and sparkling. Appleton quotes a saying of
Mrs. Fanny Kemble about its graveyard, but it would
not occur to me to suggest those associations, nor
do I much admire the saying ; but I will copy it,
so that I may meet with my due censure if I am
wrong—" I will not rise to trouble any one if they
will let me sleep here. I will only ask to be permitted, once in a while, to raise my head and look
out upon this glorious scene."    The hotel, Curtis's, is B.i
BOSTON.
231
quite in accordance with the place ; it has no spick
and span about it, but is very good. It gives you the
idea of a house where the weary have come to vegetate, and all is quiet and intended so to be. There is a
certain covert aristocracy, too, about those who resort
there, and there is a certain sort of English appearance
in the driving about of carriages and pairs. When I
heard the station was seven miles away, I remarked
that they were not very well provided with railway
accommodation.
"And we don't want to be," was the reply, which
immediately fixed the class of life here sought for.
" You don't want holiday-makers, with their return
tickets ?"
"That's just the very case."
And assuredly any invasion of that kind would
totally disperse the atmosphere that pervades this
favourite retreat, as well as resort. How different
from Saratoga ! And visitors to the one place would
never affect the other.
It was a rustic " quite good enough " sort of public
car that served for my drive to Pittsfield, and if in
the course of my whole journey thence to Boston
by the railway, I had been called upon to point out
what part was not pleasing, I do not think I could have
done so. I was inclined to say to myself from time
to time, " If I had known all that was to be seen on
this line, I think I should have been content to have
come direct from Albany." Sweeping hillsides of
almost blazing colours  were constantly repeated as 232
A FIGHT WITH DISTANCES.
ml
we whirled along, so that at the journey's end I
rather coarsely expressed myself as being drunk with
colour. Nor were small blue water lakes here and
there wanting on our left, necklaced with dipping forest
trees, and bossed with wooded islands in their midst.
When I arrived at Boston, I went, as I had been
recommended to do, to the Revere House Hotel,
managed by an Englishman, Mr. Amos, formerly of
Chester. The journey cost us five hours, for the
rails were very slippery, and we were consequently
late. On arriving at Boston, there was a sort of satisfaction in knowing that this great, busy, thriving city
was really the capital of its state, Massachusetts ; it
is the chief city of the States that make up New
England. I am writing now under impressions subsequent as well as prior to my visit to Boston in
reference to this point. Previously to Boston, I had
found Chicago, not the capital of Illinois, but Springfield ; Portland, not the capital of Oregon, but Salem ;
and San Francisco, not the capital of California, but
Sacramento. Afterwards, there was New York, not
the capital of New York State, but Albany ; and
Philadelphia, not the capital of Pennsylvania, but
Harrisburg.
Boston deserves to be a capital city, which is the
fullest description of it that I mean to give. I had
no intention of traversing it. Had I been so inclined,
I might have found abundant opportunities for so
doing in the wonderful system of tram-cars. But
then, it must have taken some time, for I have never BOSTON.
seen anywhere else such crowded lines of these conveyances. I told somebody it seemed to me that a
man might lay a wager to walk a good quarter of a
mile on the tops of the cars. It all looked as if the
traffic would shortly require the aid of elevated railways, in order to enable passengers to move about at
average pace from point to point. A remarkable
feature in the city itself is what is called the Common
—a park of about fifty acres, in its very heart, undulating, timbered, and lawned, furnishing, indeed, not
only a lung, but a pair of lungs.
Of course I called upon my friend Mr. Brewer,
who took me out to his house at Milton, affording a
charming drive, including an interesting visit to the
observatory of his father-in-law, Mr. Slocum. The
views above and round Boston are extensive and
impressive.