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- Round the World - 4/46 -


before--in the interior of New Guinea--and has seen strange things. He tells us that the birds of paradise take seven years to develop. The first year male and female are alike, but year after year the male acquires brighter feathers, until it becomes the superb bird we know. Some one remarked that it is just the reverse with the birds of paradise in man's creation. Here our Eve puts on gayer plumage year after year until finally she develops into a still more superb bird, while the male remains the same sober-suited fowl he was at first; but this was from a bachelor, I think.

We are in a new world, and the talk is all of people and islands and animals we never heard of. Do you know, for instance, that such a potentate as the Sultan of Terantor exists? and, ambitious ruler that he is, that he now claims tribute from the whole of New Guinea? Then, again, let me tell you that the Sultan of Burnei gets $6,000 per year tribute from Setwanak, and, like a grasping tyrant, demands more; hence the wars which rage in that quarter of the globe. The Setwanaks have appealed to the "God of Battles," and are no doubt shouting on all hands that "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God;" and "Millions for defence; not a cent for tribute." Look out for their forthcoming declaration of independence; and why shouldn't they have their "_Whereases_" as well as your even Christian? The only trouble is that when monarchs fight nothing is settled as a rule; what one loses to-day, he tries to win back to-morrow, and so the masses are kept in a state of perpetual war, or preparation for war, equally expensive. If Herbert Spencer had never formulated anything but the law underlying these sad contentions between man and man, he would have deserved to rank as one of our greatest benefactors. "When power is arbitrarily held by chief or king, the military spirit is developed, and wars of conquest and dynasties ensue; and just in proportion as power is obtained by the people, the industrial type is developed and peace ensues." Therefore the greatest thinker of the age is a republican. I quote from memory, but the substance is there, and it is because this law is true that there is hope for the future of the world, for everywhere the people are marching to political power. England is yet the world's greatest offender, because she is still ruled by the few, her boasted representative system being only a sham. When the masses do really govern, England will be pacific and make friends throughout the world instead of enemies, "and sing the songs of peace to all her neighbors."

The Dutch have 35,000,000 under their sway in Java and the other Malay Islands; as many as Great Britain has within her borders. The world gets most of its spices and its coffee from these people. So the Dutch are not to be credited only with having taken Holland, you see.

Another Chinaman is reported gone to-day: all have to be embalmed, of course, and the doctor gets as his fee $12.50 for each corpse. He complained to me the other day that these people would not take his medicines, and, Scotchman--like, didn't see the point I made--that they might naturally hesitate to swallow the potions of one whose highest reward arose from a fatal result. The Heathen Chinee is not a fool. The coffins of the dead on the wheel-house begin to make quite a show; they are covered with canvas, but one will sometimes see the pile. Not one of these men could ever have been induced to leave his home without satisfactory assurance that in case of death his remains would be carried back and carefully buried in the spot where he first drew breath. I remember reading in MacLeod's "Highland Parish" that so strongly implanted is this sentiment in the Highlanders that even a wife who marries out of her clan is brought home at her death and buried among her own kith and kin. I confess to a strange sympathy with this feeling myself. It seems to agree with the eternal fitness of things, that where we first saw day we should rest after the race is run. Yes, the old song is right:

"Wherever we wander in life's stormy ways May our paths lead to home ere the close of our days, And our evening of life in serenity close In the Isle where the bones of our Fathers repose."

One of our company has kindly shown me "some things in waves" which I have always passed over before. Hereafter they will have a new interest and a new beauty for me. I now watch by the hour for some rare effect and colors to which I was before stone-blind. Some of the rarest jewels are rated by comparison with the emerald and aqua-marine tints shown by the pure waves of the ocean. Thanks, my fellow-traveller, for a new sense awakened.

The albatrosses, which follow us in large numbers, are a source of pleasure. These are not the sacred birds of the Ancient Mariner, but are of the same species. They excel all other birds, I think, in power and gracefulness of flight. It is rather a glide than a fly, as they appear scarcely ever to flap their wings, but sail on as it were "by the sole act of their unlorded will." No wonder such woe befell the Ancient Mariner through killing one. They are too grand to destroy. Last evening I had a treat in seeing these birds gathering for the night on the waters in the hollow of a deep wave. A dozen were already in the nest as our ship swept past, and others were coming every moment from all directions to the fold; probably thirty birds would thus nestle together through the long night in the middle of this waste of waters. I was glad for their sakes, poor wanderers, that their lonely lives were brightened at night by the companionship of their fellows.

Our second Sunday at sea. As I write, the bell tolls for church. Our missionary will have a small congregation, for there are only twenty-two passengers. I trust he will be moved to speak to us, away in mid-ocean, of the great works of the Unknown, the mighty deep, the universe, the stars, at which we nightly wonder, and not drag us down to the level of dogmas we can know nothing of, and about which we care less. The sermon is over. Pshaw! He spent the morning attempting to prove to us that the wine Christ made at the marriage feast was not fermented, as if it mattered, or as if this could ever be known! and I was in the mood to preach such a magnificent sermon myself, too, if I had had his place. No; I shall never forgive him--never!

It is an even chance that this missionary will one day inflict such frivolous stuff upon the heathen as part of the divine message; for of the majesty, the sweetness, and the reforming power of Christ's teaching and character, he seems to have not the faintest conception. To the enquiry one constantly hears in the East, why churches send forth as missionaries such inferior men as they generally do, whose task is to eradicate error and plant truth--there is this to be said: churches must take the best material at their disposal, and men who have the ability to influence their fellows through the pulpit find their best and highest work at home. This leaves the incapables for foreign service. The other class from which missionaries must be drawn are the over-zealous, who have plenty of enthusiastic emotional fervor, but combined in most cases with narrow, dogmatic views--the very kind of men to irritate the people to whom they are sent, and the least likely to win their hearts or reach their understanding. There are notable exceptions, able men who still go at duty's call; but such generally see that they can be ill spared from more pressing home work.

* * * * *

MONDAY, November 4.

Our course is the southerly one, 5,120 miles to Yokohama, some five hundred miles farther than that of the great circle; but for the increased distance we have full compensation in the delightful weather and calm seas we experience. The water is about 72, the air 73, so that it is genial on deck. We are really in summer weather--something so different from Atlantic sailing that I get accustomed to it with difficulty. Last night at ten o'clock we passed the half-way point ten days and eight hours out. The captain showed us his chart to-day, and it was reassuring to see that to-morrow we shall pass within 120 miles of land--the Midway Islands. Upon one of this coral group the Pacific Mail Company has deposited 3,000 tons of coal and a large amount of mess pork as a reserve supply in case any steamer should be disabled. We passed the Sandwich Islands, not more than 450 miles to the southward, when one quarter of the way over, and the Bonin Islands occupy about the same relative position in our course to the eastward, so that the immense distance between San Francisco and Yokohama is finely provided for in case of accident. You have but to sail southward and find a port of refuge. Indeed, there is along this entire parallel of latitude a new strip of land under process of manufacture. A good chart shows islands dotting the South Pacific Ocean, all of coral formation; these millions of toilers are hard at work, and it is only a question of time when our posterity will run by rail from the Sandwich to the Philippine Islands, always provided that the work of these little builders is not interfered with by forces which destroy. Thus the grand, never-ending work of creation goes on, cycle upon cycle, revealing new wonders at every turn and knowing no rest or pause.

Gone, November 5th, 1878, a _dies non_, which never was born. Lost, strayed, or stolen--a rare diadem, composed of twenty-four precious gems--some diamonds bright, some rubies rare, some jet as black as night. It was to have been displayed at midnight to an admiring few who nightly gaze upon the stars, but when looked for it was nowhere to be found. A well-known party, familiarly known as Old Sol, is thought to be concerned in the matter, but chiefly is suspected a notorious thief who has stolen many precious jewels--Old Father Time. Oh! many an hour has that thief stolen, but this gobbling up of a whole day and night at one fell swoop seems out of all reason. Yet he has done it! We have no 5th of November. An amusing story is told of some clergymen returning to America, in which case a day is gained, and it is necessary to have two days of the same date instead of omitting one, as in our case. The line was crossed on Sunday, and the captain, never thinking, called out to the chief officer to make another Sunday to-morrow. One of the clergymen was Scotch, and Presbyterian at that. "Mak a Sawbath--mak the holy Sawbath; ma conscience!" The order had been given, however, and two Sundays were observed; but our scandalized friend could never be reconciled to the captain who had presumed to have a holy Sabbath of his "ain making."

* * * * *

THURSDAY, November 7.

These nights were not made for sleep, nor these days either, for that matter; but of all the nights I have ever seen I think this one excels. The moon is overhead and at the full, casting her mellow light around, suffusing with a soft glory the heavens above, and lending to the dancing, foaming waves a silvery shimmer. Jupiter is on the western horizon, fading out of sight, but how lustrous! Lyra, Arcturus, Aldebaran, seem of gigantic size. All sails are set, and a fair, balmy wind from the sweet south makes the Belgic glide through the rushing waters. We are only twenty miles from the Morrell Islands. How I long for a


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