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Round the World by Andrew Carnegie

Part 4 out of 5

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its perfections, he adds--just after he had bravely done the
"design" and the "shadows"--"but the Taj is like a lovely woman:
abuse her as you please, the moment you come into her presence you
submit to her fascinations." Pretty criticism this for one who
wishes the faults of this beauty clearly set forth! I put this
lover of the Taj aside at once and try another writer, who does
indeed give me a page of preventive, well suited to one in my
condition, but upon turning over the page he too falls sadly away,
for here is his last line:

"The rare genius of the calm building finds its way unchallenged
to the heart."

Well, then, gentlemen, if all this be so, what's the use of your
petty criticism? If this marvel, before whose spell all men, even
you yourselves, must bow, has a "rigidity of outline," an "air of
littleness and luxury," a "poverty of relief," and if "the inlaid
work has been vulgarly employed," and the patterns are "meagre in
the extreme," wasn't it the highest aim that its builder could
probably have had in view, to entrance the world and give to it a
thing of beauty which is indeed a joy forever? and doesn't the Taj
do this so far beyond all other human structures that no one
thinks of naming another in comparison? And should not this
incontrovertible fact teach you a lesson--just a little bit of
modesty? No, gentlemen; it isn't the Taj that must be changed,
either in its outline or shadows, to conform to your canons of
criticism, but your canons of art that must be changed to embrace
the Taj, or rather to set it apart, as a stroke of original
genius, and consequently above and beyond the domain of criticism;
for criticism, like science, works solidly only upon what is
absolutely known, formulating its fixed decrees upon the past. All
great geniuses have encountered the critics of their day. How
Shakespeare violated the unities! and didn't Napoleon win battles
which he should have lost? Let these people then be silent, and
know that when a transcendent exhibition of original genius wins
success beyond the reach of measurement by their plumb and line
and square and compass, the higher law governing the seeming
miracle will be duly revealed: and the Taj is just such a miracle,
from all I can learn of its power.

The evidences of the intense summer heat are seen everywhere. The
railway carriages have false tops, leaving an air space of a foot
between the roof and the cover. Awnings cover the windows outside,
and there are posted up directions for the use of the cooling
apparatus applied to each first-class compartment; the frames for
punkas are seen in the railway waiting-rooms, and we notice in the
army regulations that during the hot season soldiers are required
to stay in-doors between the hours of eleven and three. We are
told of revolving fans being used to cool rooms, and that it is
very common to fill doors and windows with thick mats of scented
grass, which are kept constantly wet; the wind, passing through
these, is cooled to about ninety degrees, and large banana leaves
furnish a cool bed in extreme cases, from all of which, "Good
Lord, deliver us!" We thank our stars every day that we are doing
India when the heat, though great at midday, is not unbearable. We
are five hundred and fifty miles north of Calcutta, and find the
temperature much cooler. The people look stronger, and necessarily
wear more clothing, which means that another piece of coarse
bagging is wrapped around their shoulders. We are at the best
hotel in Agra, and I notice as remarkable, in the printed list of
prices, that a man to pull the punka in one's bedroom
all night can be obtained for the sum of three annas, or six
cents in silver. Washing costs two cents per piece, but while
these strike us as cheap, the next item tells us that each guest
during the hot season is chargeable with twenty cents per day for
ice used at table etc. It is very sparingly used, but yet the
little bit of ice you see costs as much as the labor of three men
all night. All the employees of the railways in India are required
to join the volunteer forces, and to drill under the supervision
of regular army officers, appointed by the government for this
purpose. An excellent auxiliary force numbering many thousands is
thus secured at trifling expense. One significant announcement
posted at stations attracted my attention, and gave me an insight
into one department in which India is in advance of us. This
placard set forth that certain employees having been found under
the influence of liquor while on duty, the district court had
sentenced them to six months' imprisonment. This betokens a
decided step forward, I take it, and one which it would be
advisable for us to follow. A captain, pilot, engineer, railway
conductor, or any one directly charged with the care of human
lives convicted of being drunk while on duty should be held guilty
of a criminal offence and punished by the State.

I have been admiring all through India three magnificent vines,
now in full bloom. One, the Begonia, resembles our honeysuckle,
but the flower is larger and hangs in large clusters; the second,
called the Bouganviella, is purple in color and like our morning-
glory, and the two are often seen climbing together up tall trees
almost to their very tops, covering them with a mass of flowers.
The third favorite, Poinsetta, is a leaf of rich magenta color.
These three are the special glories of India. Some of our own
flowers do tolerably well in this region, and the inherent love of
the English for flowers and plants is seen in the numerous pretty
plots and gardens.

Life in India is only rendered tolerable by the opportunity people
have to enjoy things which would be beyond their reach at home
without fortunes. All residences have grounds connected with them,
more or less extensive, and laid out in fine gardens. Lawn-tennis
and croquet grounds are the rule. Horses and carriages, or at
least a vehicle of some kind, are indispensable, and no one who
strolls around the European quarters in early morning and sees the
large staff of servants lounging about the spacious verandas,
awaiting the call of "Sahib" or "Mem Sahiba," can be at a loss to
account for the disappointment often experienced by those who,
after years of longing, at last go home to enjoy themselves in
their fancied Elysium. Alas! ten times the sum that supports them
here in style would not suffice in England. Here Sahib awakes and
drawls out, "Qui hi" (you of my people who are in waiting). There
is a stir among several servants who have lain the whole night
long at his door, to be in readiness, and the moaning reply comes,
"S-a-h-i-b," and he is surrounded by those who minister to his
slightest wish all day, leaving him again at night only to repeat
the performance on the morrow. When he drives his gig to town one
servant stands at his back to wait upon him, and Madame appears in
the afternoon upon the Mall in her grand equipage, two on the box
and two standing behind, as if she were a duchess. As a European
walks the streets he is salaamed by every native he chances to
look at. He moves about, one of a superior race and rank. As he
approaches a crowd, to look at a passing sight, a clear lane is
made for him; and if he steps into the post-office to ask for
letters, the natives instinctively fall back until Sahib is
served. All this spoils a man for residence at home, where "one
man is as good as another and a good deal better," unless a
tremendous fortune is at one's back to purchase precedence, which
nowadays is scarcely obtainable at any price even in England where
traces of by-gone days linger longest: and so it falls out that
many who have prayed for long years for the day to come for their
return to England, find the coveted change but Dead Sea fruit when
it is gained at last. A few even return to the land they had so
long prayed to be allowed to leave, and take up their final abode
among the hills. For these people I cannot help feeling deeply
sorry. It is impossible that their lives can be full and rich to
overflowing here. A tone of sadness, of vain regret, must pervade
the mind. The prize so ardently struggled for has been found
unsatisfactory, and at best their lives must draw to a close
tinged by a sense of partial failure.

How many human beings can the land maintain to the square mile?
About three hundred and fifty in Europe say the authorities,
provided the soil is fertile and climate good. This is close upon
the English and Belgian standard; but some parts of India are
cursed with more than double this number; indeed one district has
nearly eight hundred to the square mile. This seems to be the
limit even for India, as population does not increase beyond it,
and female infanticide begins to protrude its monstrous form
whenever population becomes so dense. In the Punjaub, for
instance, the males exceed the females sixteen per cent.--a
fearful revelation; but it is just the same in many parts of
China. All authorities agree that male children are tenderly cared
for, and even desired. This is especially so in China, for no
greater evil can befall a Chinaman than the absence of sons to
keep unbroken the worship. of ancestors. Death is nothing if he
passes away with dutiful sons around his bedside ready to perform
the sacred rites. To die without these is to send his soul forth a
wanderer without claims upon his gods. The commercial aspect,
however, has mostly to do with the question in India. Where is
food for the little mouths, to come from, and how can a girl be
reared by a family who live from day to day upon the brink of
starvation, even when every member labors like a slave?

One morning we drove to the jail--one of the sights of India--and
were fortunate in meeting the Inspector-General, Mr. Walker, an
authority on all matters relating to prison discipline, and Dr.
Tyler, the Chief for Agra. These officials kindly conducted us
through the vast establishment. The prison labor is not, as
generally with us, contracted out--a vicious plan which
necessitates the intercourse of outsiders with the criminals and
invariably leads to bad results. Here the prisoners deal with none
but their keepers; but what pleased me most was the admirable
system of rewards and promotions for good conduct which has been
established. Marks are given and worn upon the clothes which
shorten one's sentence from one day up to several, and it is
possible for a prisoner in this way to acquire marks enough to
take as much as one tenth from his imprisonment. The best behaved
of all can rise to the position of wardens. Several hundreds have
reached this prize, and are distinguished by better clothing, and
also by ornamental badges. These wardens are placed over the other
malefactors, and there is no difficulty experienced in enforcing
the strictest discipline through them. Foremen of shops and of the
various departments are all appointed from among the prisoners
themselves, and, with the exception of the one in charge of the
complicated machinery, there are no others employed in such
capacities. The armed guards are, however, not of this class. In
ordinary years the cost of maintenance per person is one rupee a
month (40 cents gold); clothing 75 cents a year, including cost of
supervision and all expenses of the jail department; prisoners in
India thus cost only about $14 per year each. This prison
maintains itself by the labor of its inmates, and last year showed
an actual profit of about $40,000. Twenty-three hundred prisoners
were confined within its walls when we were there. The total
number of inmates of the jail in this and the Northwest Province
is just now 39,000; but last year, owing to the famine, the number
rose to 42,000. This seems a great number, but I am informed that,
taking the population into account, it is not quite up to the
average in England. We saw the prisoners working the celebrated
Agra jail carpets and rugs, for which there is such demand that
orders given to-day cannot be filled for many months. A new
building has just been erected and filled with looms to increase
the supply. Native dyes and materials alone are used, and one can
thus rest assured that a carpet obtained here is genuine
throughout. France takes the finest qualities, and we saw some so
fine that the day's task of men sitting as close as they could the
entire width of the web was only one inch per day. These carpets,
which are really works of art, cost here $10 gold per square yard,
and certainly not less than double that when retailed in Paris. Of
the inmates about one hundred were women, their special crime
being that of child-stealing, which is very common in India, the
ornaments worn by the little ones being a strong temptation. We
saw two young lads sentenced for life for this crime. They had
stolen and robbed a child, and afterward thrown the body into a
well. We left Messrs. Walker and Tyler strongly imbued with the
feeling that we had seen the model prison of the world in Agra

India gives us valuable hints upon the land question. There is no
private tenure; at least it is not general, for when one speaks of
a continent with two hundred and fifty millions of people
possessed of different customs it is unsafe to say that anything
does not exist. Speaking generally, the land of India belongs to
village communities in which every family has its right. The State
first taxes a certain portion of the produce. Akbar the first
Mogul fixed it at one-third of the gross amount, which the head
man of each village was required first to set apart for
government. The remainder was divided among the community. For
untold generations these village communities have preserved intact
their traditions, which neither anarchy nor conquest have
abolished. Unfortunately the English in the early days were
disposed to introduce their system of landlord and tenant, and in
the Bengal province this has led to infinite trouble. Men had
arisen there who undertook the collection of the land tax of a
district and paid the government an agreed-upon sum. They were in
fact contractors (Zemindars); this was certainly the easiest mode
for the British Government to obtain the revenue, but in
recognizing these contractors it raised them virtually to the
position of landlord. The poor cultivator could not reach the
government at all. He was in the power of the Zemindar, who alone
dealt with the authorities. As was to have been expected, the
result was just as it has been found in Ireland. The Zemindars
squeezed every penny out of the poor farmer which he could be made
to yield, until finally the government was compelled to embark
upon that perilous sea, land legislation, tenant rights, judicial
rents, and all the rest of it.

In the Bombay presidency, however, wiser councils have prevailed.
The cultivator deals directly with the government; has a lease as
it were subject to revaluation every thirty years. In time the
poor cultivator will no doubt rise to the advantages of this
system by a process of natural selection. It was certain that many
unfit occupiers would be found, and this has been the case so far.
The plan is bound, however, to develop and sustain the most
competent, and this means that it is the right plan. The land
yields the government twenty-two millions sterling per annum
($110,000,000). Had the land owners of England not released
themselves while acting as M. P.'s of the tax under which till
then land was held by them, England would be in position to-day to
remit many taxes which bear heavily upon the people.

We had a talk to-day with an officer of the forest department of
India, which vainly strives to save the forests from wandering
tribes who practice nomadic agriculture, reaping indeed where they
sow, but rarely sowing twice in the same place, which is the
difficulty. These tribes inhabit the hills of India, and depend
for food solely upon crops grown in the forests. They make a
clearing by burning the timber and scatter the seed, rarely taking
the trouble to turn up the soil, although some tribes scratch the
surface with sticks. The virgin soil yields forty and fifty fold of
rice as a first crop. This is gathered and off go the gypsies to
another locality for next season. The destruction of timber upon
these small clearings is nothing, as our friend explained, compared
to that caused by the spread of the fires. The government imposes
heavy penalties upon these nomads, if discovered, but vast, tracts
remain where no restraint is possible. He was on his way to solitude
among the hills, which he preferred to even the plains with their
crowds. But England, England some day! was his dream. Ah, poor
fellow! the chances are that he will fall and lie in his Indian
forest; or, sadder yet, should fortune reach him and he realize his
dream, that he would find life in England intolerable and return to
die here a disappointed man. We have met several such, and for no
class am I so profoundly sorry. Never to realize one's life dream is
bad enough, but to have it sent you and then find it naught--that
seems to me the keenest thrust which can enter the soul of man.

Among the attractions of Agra are the palaces and tombs of the
Great Moguls, and we have been busy visiting them day after day.
This was the capital during the most brilliant period of that
extraordinary family's reign. The founder, Baber, lies buried at
Cabool, which was the chief place before the invaders penetrated
farther south. Six of these Moguls reigned, and no dynasty in
history has six consecutive names of equal power to boast.
Hereditary genius has strong support in the careers of these
illustrious men; besides this, Baber was a lineal descendant of
Tamerlane himself, on his father's side, and of a scarcely less
able Tartar leader on his mother's side. So much for blood.

The greatest of the six was Akbar, who proved to be that rare
combination, soldier and statesman in one. He, Mohammedan by
birth, dared to marry a Hindoo princess as an example for his
people to follow, but which, unfortunately, they have failed to
do. It is strange to remember that the Moguls were seated on their
thrones only three hundred years ago, Akbar being contemporaneous
with Henry VIII., and ruling India when Shakespeare was still on

Six successive generations of great men, like the Great Moguls,
cannot be matched, I think, elsewhere; but it would not be fair to
attribute this unbroken line altogether to the doctrine of
hereditary genius. Much lies in the fact that upon each of these
rulers in turn, depended the maintenance and success of his
empire. The Moguls were real powers, indeed the only powers, and
not only reigned but governed. Had the doctrine of the divine
right of kings been overthrown in India during the reign of even
the ablest of the six, and the heir to the throne been debarred
the exercise of power; taught from his infancy that his role was
to be wholly ornamental, a sham king whose chief end and use was
the opening of fancy bazaars or the laying of foundation stones,
he too would have developed into something suited for the purpose
in view, just as heirs apparent have done elsewhere. It was the
continual exercise of high functions which made the race great and
kept it so. To _play_ the part of king when one knows himself
the political valet of his prime minister, would soon have taken
manhood out of Akbar himself, if we can imagine such a man willing
to play the part.

I am not going to give a catalogue of what is to be seen in Agra,
having no notion of writing a guide-book or of filling notes with
long passages from such sources, as I see many writers have done;
but I must speak of three or four structures which have pleased me

The "Fort" is a most impressive pile of masonry, a Warwick Castle
upon a large scale, the ramparts being one and a quarter miles in
circumference. This was Akbar's principal palace, or rather series
of palaces, for it embraces the Pearl Mosque, Public Audience
Hall, and Jessamine Tower, all of which are within its walls.

The tomb of her father, built by that rare woman, Noor Mahal, she
who sleeps in the Taj, is a marble structure of exquisite
proportions, and quite unlike others because of the great number
and extent of the perforated screens of marble of which it is
principally composed. Up to the time we had seen this I think I
liked it the best of any; but then Noor Mahal had built it for her
father, and I was predisposed to like this proof of her filial

There is one romantic and perfect love story concerning her in the
annals of the Moguls. Akbar's son, the future ruler, fell
desperately in love with a young lady, but for reasons of state
she was not eligible, and the emperor quietly provided a husband
for her in the person of one of his generals. The young heir only
knew that she was married and he condemned to take to wife the
woman provided for him. Two years after he had become emperor the
husband of his first love died, and although she was then a
middle-aged woman, he, the emperor, sought her out and not only
married her (she could have been his slave), but raised her to the
throne with himself, stamping her image with his own upon the coin
of the realm. Such an unbounded influence did this capable and
high-spirited woman acquire over not only her devoted husband but
the circle of the court, that she became the constant adviser in
all important affairs; and that she might not be less thoroughly
feminine, I am glad to see it recorded that she introduced
improved modes of dress and manners among her ladies. The emperor
told his priests one day that until he had married this paragon he
had not known what marriage meant. But her grandest achievement is
yet to be told. The emperor had previously been dissolute,
probably from his first pure dream of love having been so cruelly
dispelled--who knows?--but Noor Mahal lifted him into higher
regions, and made him a better man. She loved him fervently, and,
on more than one occasion, when the emperor was attacked, she
imperilled her own life to save his. As they grew old they became
more and more to each other, and at her death was it any wonder
the emperor ordered that a tomb should rise excelling all previous
tombs as much, if possible, as Noor Mahal excelled all other
women? This tomb, the Taj Mahal (Diadem Tomb), is said to have
cost more than two millions sterling, which is equal to an
expenditure of fifty millions of dollars with us to-day. Truly a
costly monument, you say. No doubt, but if it has given to mankind
one proof that the loftiest ideal can be wrought out and realized
in practice, the Taj would be cheap even if its erection had
emptied the Comstock lode; and there are men--wise men too--who
affirm that it performs this miracle and inspires them with the
pleasing hope that in the far ages yet to come the real and the
ideal may grow closer together. The emperor built no tomb for
himself, as was customary, but as the kind fates decreed, he was
placed side by side with her who had been to him so much, and they
rest together, under the noblest canopy ever made by human hands.
Taking into account the degraded position accorded to women, and
remembering to what Noor Mahal raised herself, I think she must be
allowed to rank as the greatest woman who ever reigned, and
perhaps the greatest who ever lived, for no one has climbed from
such a depth to such a height as she, as far as I know. Assuming
that Cleopatra was all that Shakespeare has made her for us, a
human being of whom it could be truly said

"Age cannot wither nor custom stale her infinite variety,"

yet the Egyptian was born to the purple, a queen recognized by her
nation, and entitled to rule from the first. What was this
general's daughter in India? A woman, to begin with, which in
India meant an inferior being, and yet she rose to equality with
the Mogul and was consulted upon affairs of state--not simply
because she was, in a bad sense, the ruler's favorite, but by the
inherent force of her own abilities.

Akbar's Tomb amazes one by its gigantic size, which dwarfs all
other tombs. The amount of inlaid work, composed of jasper,
carnelian, and other precious stones, seen at every step, inclines
one to believe that it cost the fabulous sum stated. It should be
remembered that it was the custom among these monarchs always to
erect during their lives a palace in which great ceremonies took
place while they lived, and which became their tomb at their
death. A similar custom prevailed in Egypt, where each ruler began
a pyramid when he began his reign. It was in this way that so many
splendid structures were built. Akbar did not live to see this
vast building completed, but his son carried on the work. The
stern simplicity of Akbar's tomb, which is in the centre of the
building and under ground, pleased me. It is a plain solid block
of marble, without one word upon it, or mark of any kind; as if it
would say to all time, What need to tell the world that the great
Akbar lies here?

Speaking generally, the palaces and tombs of Agra are far finer
than I had imagined them to be, and the relief experienced in
getting away from the plaster shams of Lucknow--cheap
magnificence, to genuine grandeur at Agra--can be easily imagined.

Our train having been delayed in reaching Agra, we had arrived too
late to visit the Taj by moonlight; and in deference to the strong
remonstrance of every one we have met here, we have not yet
attempted to see the wonder. "Oh! don't think, please don't think
of seeing the Taj until the very last, because, if you do, every
thing else will seem so coarse," has been in substance the
exclamation of every friend. But now we are through with all else,
and we start, two o'clock P.M., February 14th, 1879. Vandy has
just come to announce that our carriage is ready. Good-bye! Am I
to be disappointed? Of course I am. I have made up my mind to
that, and having just had tiffin, and drank a whole pint of bitter
beer, I feel myself quite competent to criticise the Taj with the
best of them, and especially well fitted just now to stand no
nonsense. We met an American who was travelling as a matter of
duty, and had found, as far as travel was concerned, I suspect,
that he belonged to the class represented by the grumbler in
paradise, whose "halo didn't fit his head exactly." He had found
nothing in India, he said, but a lot of rubbish, but checked
himself at once, "except the Taj. Now that building--that
is--perfectly satisfactory," as if he had ordered a suit of
clothes from his tailor and had nothing to find fault with. On the
other hand, I have just come across a statement "that stern men,
overpowered by the sight of it, have been known to burst into
tears." It is this miracle of inanimate matter we are now to see.
But here comes Vandy again. "Come on, Andrew; carriage waiting."
I'm off--particulars in our next.

* * * * *

FRIDAY NIGHT, February 14.

We have seen it, but I am without the slightest desire to burst
into rapturous adjectives. Do not expect me to attempt a
description of it, or to try to express my feelings. There are
some subjects too sacred for analysis, or even for words, and I
now know that there is a human structure so exquisitely fine, or
unearthly, as to lift it into this holy domain. Let me say little
about it; only tell you that, lingering until the sun went down,
we turned in the noble gateway which forms a frame through which
you see the Taj in the distance, with only the blue sky in the
background, around and above it, and there took our last fond sad
farewell, as the shades of night were wrapping the lovely jewel in
their embrace, as if it were a charge too sweetly precious not to
be safely enveloped in night's black mantle, till it could again
shine forth at the dawn in all its beauty to adorn the earth. Full
in its face we gazed. How kindly it seemed to look upon us! And as
one parts for the last time from one whose eye glistens at his
glance, we turned never to look upon the Taj again, hiding our
eyes as the carriage rolled away, lest by any mischance a partial
view should intrude to mar the perfect image our mind has grasped
to tarry with us forever. We had been so deliciously sad, and at
the same time so thrillingly but yet so solemnly happy for hours,
and now came pain alone, the inevitable finale to all our joys on
earth--the parting forever. But till the day I die, amid mountain
streams or moonlight strolls in the forest, wherever and whenever
the mood comes, when all that is most sacred, most elevated, and
most pure recur to shed their radiance upon the tranquil mind,
there will be found among my treasures the memory of that lovely
charm--the Taj.

We had engaged to meet some friends at the club as we drove
homeward, but was it any wonder that neither of us remembered this
until the stoppage of the carriage at our hotel awoke us from our
reveries! What was to be done? Vandy's reply expressed our
condition exactly: "Go out to enjoy myself when I feel that I want
to go and put on mourning! I couldn't do it." And we didn't. Our
friends will please accept this intimation.

In reading these pages at home so long after the visit one can
bring one's self to be a little prosaic in regard to this marvel,
and tell his readers just what the Taj is. As before stated, it is
the structure erected by the Emperor Jehanghir in memory of that
paragon Noor Mahal. That a tomb should be erected at all for a
woman in India is of itself significant, to begin with, and the
Roman Emperor who put his horse's head upon the coin and who is
supposed to have consulted him in political affairs did not take a
much wider departure from custom than did this true lover when he
put upon the coin a woman's image with his own.

The Taj is built of a light creamy marble, so that it does not
chill one as pure cold white marble does. It is warm and
sympathetic as a woman. One great critic has finely called the Taj
a feminine structure. There is nothing masculine about it, says
he; its charms are all feminine. This creamy marble is inlaid with
fine black marble lines, the entire Koran in Arabic letters, it is
said, being thus interwoven.

The following description is condensed from Fergusson: The
enclosure, which includes an inner and an outer court, the whole
about a fifth of a mile wide, extends along the banks of the Jumna
River one-third of a mile. The principal gateway, opening into the
inner court, is a hundred and forty feet high by a hundred and ten
feet wide. The mausoleum stands in the centre of a raised marble
platform, eighteen feet high, and exactly three hundred and
thirteen feet square. At each angle of this terrace rises a
minaret, a hundred and thirty-three feet high, and of exquisite
proportions, "more beautiful, perhaps," says Ferguson, "than any
other in India." The mausoleum itself is a square of one hundred
and eighty-six feet, with the corners cut off to the extent of
about thirty-four feet. In the centre is the principal dome,
fifty-eight feet in diameter, and eighty feet high, and at each
angle is a smaller dome surmounting a two-story apartment, about
twenty-seven feet in diameter.

The light to the central apartment is admitted through double
screens of white marble trellis-work of the most exquisite
designs. In any climate but that of India this would produce
darkness within, but here, in a building constructed wholly of
white marble, it serves to temper the glare of the blinding light.
No words can express the chastened beauty of that dim religious
light, the unearthly effect of the subdued sunshine, sparkling now
and then upon the brilliant stones of which the graceful mosaics,
vines and flowers are composed. Twenty thousand workmen are said
to have been employed upon this marvel for twenty-two years. I
would think the time and labor and money bestowed upon it well
spent had it been twenty times--aye, a hundred times--as great.
There is no price too dear to pay for perfection.

The mosaics of the interior are exquisitely graceful. Flowers and
fruits are represented by precious stones, formerly genuine
stones, but these having been stolen by the Jats and others, have
been replaced by glass, colored to represent the originals. In the
centre of the dome lie Noor Mahal and Jehanghir side by side, this
being, I believe, the only instance where any emperor of India has
condescended to be buried by the side of a woman. The sweetest
echo in the known world answers a call at the side of this tomb.
Of course the architect could not have had this attraction in view
when he planned the structure, and the natives who throng this
unique gem of architecture do well to ascribe this apparent voice
from heaven to the continual presence and approval of the good
gods who like to linger over the tomb of true lovers.

The guide steps forward without a word of warning and raises the
cry, "Great is God, and Mohammed is his prophet! Allah! Allah!" At
first three distinct musical notes are heard in the echo; I mean
different notes upon the musical scale, as distinct from each
other as "do, sol, do." These reverberate round the dome and
ascend until they reach the smaller dome, where they reunite and
escape from the temple as one tone. Some readers may recall the
echo in the baptistery at Pisa, as we did when we heard this new
delight in the Taj, but that echo compares with this, well, say as
the Taj compares to Milan Cathedral--and now I repent me for
comparing the Taj to any other material structure. It is not
proper to do so. We shall say as the piano compares with the

If I am ever sentenced to hard labor for life for some unlawful
outburst of my wild republicanism, I will make one request as I
throw myself upon the mercy of the court: Let me be transported to
India, and allowed to perform my daily task in beautifying and
preserving the Taj. This would be a labor of love, and I should
not be unhappy with my idol to worship, doing my part to hand it
down untarnished to future generations.

The Taj is really a very large temple, yet such is its grace, its
exquisite proportions, its unapproachable charm--it never occurs
to the beholder that it is of such great size. It is neither big
nor little, nor heavy nor light--it is simply perfect. You can't
tell why it is perfect, and you don't want to. You stand and look
at the gem through the great gateway which serves as a frame for
the picture, for the Taj is directly in front of the arch,
probably five hundred yards distant. A narrow walk, lined on both
sides with the choicest Indian plants, leads to it, but it is many
minutes before you can be induced to advance. Never before have
you gazed upon stone and lime which you deemed worthy of being
called beautiful. All you have seen becomes mean, coarse,
material; this alone is entirely worthy. There is grace and beauty
brought down to us from above, the realization of the ideal; it
really seems an inspiration. Vandy and I separated instinctively
without a word. You want to be with the Taj alone, for it leads
you captive and invites to secret communion. I wandered around
many hours, gazing at every turn, deliciously, not joyously happy;
there was no disposition to croon over a melody, nor any bracing
quality in my thoughts--not a trace of the heroic--but I was
filled with happiness which seemed to fall upon me gently as the
snow-flakes fall, as the zephyr comes when laden with sweet odors.
I sat down at length in the garden in full view of the Taj, but
had not rested long before an Englishman approached, and something
in our faces telling that we were both in the blissful state and
the worshipful mood, he came and sat down quietly, without
speaking a word, but with a slight and slow nod of recognition,
and broke out without one word of introduction--partly as if
talking to himself--as follows:

"I stayed away from this in England as long as I could. It is seven
years since I was here before. I have been here for two weeks
wandering about the grounds; I must tear myself away to-morrow and
my great grief is, that I know that I cannot take and carry with me
a perfect image--of _that_--and so I may have to return again." I
said that my feeling was the reverse, for I felt that its image
could never leave me. He envied me that, he said. I have often
regretted that I did not get the name and address of this worthy
devotee, but under the spell of the spirit neither he nor I cared
much for other companionship; but should this ever meet his eye
surely he will address me and perhaps we may shake hands in silence
over the memory of our idol.

It began to grow dark at length, and I thought of finding Vandy to
tell him--for no apology seemed necessary--that I could not
possibly resist the spell which had carried me away even from him
all the afternoon. I was at once relieved, for I found him in the
archway. He was first to speak. "A. C.," he said, "I'm very sorry.
I know I ought to have looked for you long ago, but really I could
not leave this spot. Look! there is no place like this." So it was
all right. When one is called upward by the spirit, even the
dearest of humanity must be left behind. But Vandy was in the
right place certainly for one to take his farewell. If ever an
inanimate object spoke to man, the Taj did to me when I said
farewell; the tear was not alone in the eye of the beholder as he
took his last fond look, for that spiritual face of the Taj seemed
to beam kindly in return. It said--yes, smile, reader, if you
will--I know it said, "This is not farewell, for we understand
each other." There never is a farewell between souls completely
sympathetic. They live forever in the bonds of a sacred friendship
which separation cannot break.

* * * * *

DELHI, Sunday, February 16.

Delhi at last--he Rome of Asia! Baber established his capital in
Agra, a hundred and forty miles south, and therefore farther into
India, but his son Humayun returned to Delhi because the summer
heats of Agra were found to be insupportable. But it had before
been the principal seat of the Pathans or Afghan kings, and, back
of them, of several Hindoo dynasties. There are ruins of palaces
and forts here dating to one hundred years before Christ, and for
eighteen hundred years we have the ruins of the structures of the
kings of Delhi and their most noted subordinates, comprising prime
ministers, favorite slaves, barbers, architects, etc. For eleven
miles along the Imperial Way, on both sides, these ruins stretch,
ending in the Kuttub Minar, the glory of Delhi, as the Taj is of
Agra. This is a tower standing alone, two hundred and forty feet
in height, fifty feet in diameter at the base, and tapering to
nine feet at the top. But pictures and photographs have made all
familiar with this superb monument. It and the tomb of Humayun,
father of the great Akbar, alone remain vividly impressed upon my
memory. A ruin now and then is acceptable, but eleven miles of
them in one or two days are rather embarrassing, and it is
impossible to examine them in detail and retain interest in the
work; besides this, a great similarity pervades the mass. It seems
to me the entire population must have been oppressed to the last
degree, and every surplus penny secured in some way to be expended
in the erection and maintenance of these palaces, and for the
support of the classes who occupied them.

One most important department of government in the management of a
conquered race is that of its police and intelligence bureau, and
this is admirably administered in India. A special department was
organized years ago, and specially gifted officers of the army
placed at its head. To the present chief, Major Henderson, whose
face we see in all the photographs of the Prince of Wales's party,
we are deeply indebted for Indian items. This department has
almost succeeded in stamping out the Thugs, and it is very seldom
that murders are now committed by these religious fanatics. Their
goddess Kali demanded blood, but she was fastidious; nothing but
human blood would meet her tastes, and so her devotees strangled
and waylaid and shot the victims marked out for sacrifice. Some
Thugs confessed to between seventy and eighty murders, and one to
the incredible number of one hundred and ninety-two (what saints
they would make!). The members of the sect-were classified into
spies, stranglers, and grave-diggers, the spies being in the first
stage and not ranking with the two more advanced degrees. Assuming
usually the garb of merchants or pilgrims, they often craved the
protection of their intended victims. Their favorite instrument
for strangulation was a handkerchief, in the use of which they
were most expert. The secret that these wretches were linked
together as a religious fraternity, bound by all the hopes of
future bliss and the terrors of eternal damnation as they
satisfied or failed to satisfy the craving of their horrible gods
for human blood, was not discovered until about a half century
ago. The government purchased the secret with the names and
address of every member and relative of a member of the sect,
arrested them all in 1837 and colonized them at Jubbulpore, where
they were taught trades. Their names and those of their
descendants remain on the list of persons suspect, and should
Thugism ever show its head again, the presence of any member near
the scene of the offence would be held almost conclusive evidence
against him.

The Major's department has on its records the names and
descriptions of more than four thousand of these people, and also
of nearly nine thousand professional gang robbers. Murder has been
done when the booty did not exceed six cents. But the systematic
hunting down of these dangerous classes is fast ridding India of
this curse. If a man will murder another for a sixpence he can be
induced to betray his fellow-murderers for a moderate sum. Is it
not a blessing for the race that evil disintegrates? Only for good
ends can men permanently combine; then no feared betrayal works
dismay. As great movements, whether for good or evil, require many
supporters, society has its safe-guard; nothing really good can be
destroyed by conspirators.

The fort at Delhi resembles in its general features that of Agra,
but is famous as having been the receptacle of the Peacock Throne,
which was valued by a French jeweller at not less than six
millions sterling, say thirty millions of dollars. On such a
precious pedestal as this the Moguls sat and ruled this land. The
throne was plundered of its jewels by the Persians, but its frame
is still shown in the local museum. The fort remains in an
unusually good state of preservation, making it by far the most
satisfactory specimen of the gorgeous residences of the Moguls
that we have seen. The walls are of marble, inlaid in the interior
with genuine precious stones of various colors worked into the
forms of vines and flowers for a height of about six feet. The
floors are similarly decorated. The upper portions of the walls
have the same patterns, but these are painted, not inlaid. Every
part is gilded in the most elaborate manner, and, in short, here
alone of all places that I have seen, one could fancy himself
wandering through the resplendent wonders of the Arabian Nights.

Of course we did not neglect the many places rendered historical
by the mutiny. These are seen upon every side in this district,
but none was more interesting to me than the Cashmere Gate. The
rebels held the fort, and it was determined to assault it. Here is
the record of the men who volunteered to lay the train to the

"Salkfied laid his bags, but was shot through the arm and leg, and
fell back on the bridge, handing the portfire to Sergeant Burgess,
_bidding him light the fuse_. Burgess was instantly shot dead
in the attempt. Sergeant Carmichael then advanced, took up the
portfire, and succeeded in the attempt, but immediately fell
mortally wounded. Sergeant Smith, seeing him fall, advanced at a
run, but finding that the fuse was already burning, threw himself
into the ditch."

The age of miracles is admittedly past, but it is certain that the
age of heroes existed in 1857.

The finest mosque in Delhi, and one of the finest in the world, is
the Jumma Musjid. We happened to visit it just as the priests were
calling the faithful to prayer, which they do by ascending to the
foot of the minarets and turning toward Mecca and there chanting
the call. Numerous worshippers came, and having washed in the
pool, went to the Mosque and began their worship on their knees.
Our guide was a Mohammedan, and I asked him what a good man is
required to do daily in the way of external worship. Here is the
programme as he gave it to me: Five times each day he washes hands
and feet and prays; first in the morning when he rises, and then
at one, four, after sunset, and before he goes to bed, repeating
the prayer to Allah and some words from the Koran, and touching
the ground with his forehead no less than thirty-eight times
during the day. This must be done every day, Saturday and Sunday
alike. The prayers are simple exclamations reciting the greatness
of God and the insignificance of his servants, and _ask for
nothing_. How very close to their daily lives must this
constant appeal at short intervals, through each day, bring the
Unknown, unless, as is said to be the case, it becomes a more
matter of form, familiarity breeding contempt.

* * * * *


We are now _en route_ to Bombay from Delhi, a distance of
about thirteen hundred miles. We have been two nights in our
sleeping-car, and shall spend the night on the line and reach
Bombay in the morning. General Grant just passed us going toward
Calcutta, but there was no chance for us to get at him to shake
hands in India. This is the Pacific Railway of India, connecting
Calcutta and all the eastern portion with the western coast, upon
which Bombay is situated. The time between Calcutta and England
has been shortened almost a whole week by its construction. The
railways of India, of which there are at present about nine
thousand miles in operation, were principally constructed under a
guarantee of five per cent, by the Indian Government, and some of
them yield more than that already. In a short time there will be
none that will remain a charge upon the revenues. The government
retained the right, at intervals of twenty or twenty-five years,
to acquire possession and ownership of these lines upon certain
terms, and at no distant day will enjoy large revenues from its
railway property. If the days of guarantees and subsidies be not
hopelessly gone with us, here is an idea worth considering by our
government. Fancy what the ownership of the Union and Central
Pacific lines would mean as recompense for the amounts advanced.

The government has established several model farms in different
provinces, for the purpose of testing articles thought suitable
for cultivation in India, and of diffusing among the natives
improved methods of agriculture. Such farms under able scientific
management must eventually bring to the country what it is best
calculated to produce. The success attendant upon the growth of a
substitute for cinchona is significant. India must have quinine in
large quantities as a preventive of malaria. Experiments prove
that while the genuine article does not thrive here, a kindred
species, possessing nearly the same properties, although to a less
degree, will grow well. This has been cultivated in large
quantities, and I notice that the medical chief orders it to be
used in all dispensaries where quinine has hitherto been required,
although the medical officers are permitted in extreme cases to
order the dearer drug.

We are now traversing a level plain, and as this region was
blessed with rain in season, it seems much more fertile than some
other portions of the country; but the poorest harvests I ever saw
in any part of America would be rated as abundant here. We have
seen everywhere herds of buffaloes, bullocks, and sheep grazing in
fields which seemed to us entirely destitute of everything; not a
green leaf of any kind to be seen, and we could not understand how
animals could even get a mouthful of food in the brown parched
lands. But I am told they do nibble away at the short stalks and
roots of corn or sugar-cane left in the ground when the crop was
cut, and in this way manage to eke out a scanty existence. They
are at best little but skin and bone. When it is merely a question
of keeping life in the body, man and beast alike prove that but
little is required.

While everything about us partakes of a dusty clayey hue, we must
not forget that we see the plains of India in the winter. Let the
blessed Monsoon burst, and these fields, now so parched and dead,
are covered at once "as if the earth had given a subterranean
birth to heaven." As Roderick Dhu's host rose up at the blast of
his bugle, vegetation springs forth, and the land we now wonder at
is no longer barren, but teems with tropical luxuriance. Then come
the snakes and insects to poison and annoy. Last year, sixteen
thousand seven hundred and seventy human beings were reported
killed by snakes, while eight hundred and nineteen only were
killed by tigers.

One has difficulty in imagining such a change in any land as is
implied by these startling figures, for to-day as we travel not a
fly nor insect of any kind is to be seen. If it were not for the
intense heat, which I know I could not endure, I should like to
spend a summer in India, snakes notwithstanding, just to see so
complete a reversal of conditions, for no matter what reflection
may do to tell, as we see India only under winter conditions, we
shall always have a bias to rate it as the miserable, barren land
it appears to us. Travellers should be on their guard against this
tendency, for it leads to many false conclusions. If both sides of
a question need to be considered, all seasons of a country must be
experienced before a true judgment can be passed upon it. This is
especially true of India, where the change is, as it were, from
life to death.

We see wood-gatherers entering the cities, each with a bundle of
sticks, or twigs rather, on his head, the result of the day's
gathering--scarcely one of the sticks thicker than one's finger,
and the great bulk of the bundle composed of mere switches, so
closely is everything shaven in crowded Hindostan. To-day we stood
and looked at a native who had led his goat into the country to
pick up a meal. He bent the boughs of small trees one after
another so that the goat could strip them of their leaves. The
poor skeleton was ravenous. Nothing goes to waste in India, nor
anywhere in the East. Garbage and sewage have value, and all is
swept clean and kept clean in every hole and corner in
consequence. This simplifies life very much. Our elaborate system
of underground pipes, our sewers, drains, and modern conveniences
of all kinds, and our sanitary arrangements which are of such
prime importance to health, and to which we are fortunately giving
so much more attention--these the East wholly escapes. We have to
cure; they have prevention. Human labor at four or five cents per
day (2 to 2 1/2d.) changes the conditions of existence. It pays to
do so many things which, under our rates for labor, cannot be
thought of. I have mentioned that in Japan the refuse of all kinds
from a residence is not only taken away at any hours each day one
fixes, but a small sum is actually paid for it, which the servants
of the establishment consider a perquisite.

* * * * *

BOMBAY, Thursday, February 20.

We reached this city on time this morning, feeling not in the
least fatigued by our three nights in the train. In the evening we
were fortunate enough to stroll down to the pier, where the band
was playing. Nowhere have we seen so varied a concourse of people.
The drive at Calcutta has long been noted as excelling any other
scene in the gorgeousness of its oriental coloring, but this of
the pier at Bombay surpasses by far what we saw there. Calcutta
can boast no wealthy native Parsees, who attend here in large
numbers in fine equipages with servants in livery. The Parsee
ladies especially are resplendent in jewels and color; and the
rich turbaned Mohammedan adds to the variety. The assemblage moved
to and fro among the carriages and along the edges of the broad
pier chatting gayly, while the music seemed to set everything in
motion. Native boatmen in their picturesque garbs passed now and
then plying their trade, carrying a Sahib's portmanteau or a
lady's bundle. I sat down and imagined myself in the midst of all
that I had seen of pretty seaports in grand opera, the ship scene
in L'Africaine, the landing of Desdemona in the Isle of Cyprus,
the fishermen in Masaniello, and I thought I had never seen
anything of this description so pleasing. I lost Vandy in the
crowd, and sat drinking it all in till dark. Certainly among the
fine things in the East is to be ranked the music upon the Apollo
Bunder, Bombay.

* * * * *

FRIDAY, February 21.

We rose early, and were off before breakfast for a drive to the
"Tower of Silence." This is the mountain top where the Parsees
give their dead to be torn by the vultures. We shudder at
cremation, but the sacred fire of the funeral pile as it flames to
heaven has something awe-inspiring about it. Man sprung from the
dust mingles at last with the purer element of fire, and "vanishes
into air, into thin air," leaving no trace behind. But
deliberately to throw our dead out to be torn in pieces and
devoured by vultures--who can endure the thought! And yet many of
the inhabitants here would be most unhappy if denied the
consolation of believing that their bodies were to be served in
this manner. Nor are these poor and ignorant; on the contrary,
next to the English they are the best educated and the principal
merchants in the city. It is simply that they have been taught in
their youth that the earth must not be defiled by contact with the
dead. They cannot bury, therefore, neither can they burn, because
fire, one of the elements, is sacred; neither can they cast their
dead into the sea, for it, too, is holy. There seems to them no
way but this--of getting the birds of the air to come and take the
flesh. We were received at the foot of the mound by a Parsee
guide, who conducted us through every part. The towers, of which
there are five, are approached by long flights of easy stairs. We
entered a door at the top, and the first objects which struck our
eyes were the vultures. They sat motionless, as close together as
possible, on top of the wall of the round tower, with their tails
toward us and their beaks toward the centre of the tower where the
bodies are placed. The wall is about twenty feet high and fifty
feet in diameter. There did not appear to be room for one more
bird upon it, every inch of it being occupied, their bodies almost
touching each other. What a revolting coping they formed to the
otherwise plain round wall. More birds were perched on trees, and
on the other towers; and indeed everywhere we looked these
disgusting objects met our view. At ten o'clock every morning the
dead are taken from the dead-house, rich and poor alike being
previously divested of clothing; and were we to revisit the spot
at that hour, we are told the quiet stillness which pervaded the
grove would be found no longer. We inwardly congratulated
ourselves that the dreaded heat of a Bombay sun had sent us to
this place at so early an hour--ere the repast began--and rapidly
withdrew. It isn't much, yet I would not be robbed of it--such a
disposition of our dead as would still render it possible for us
to say with Laertes:

"_Lay her i' the earth_;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring."

Hard times are everywhere, and produce some strange changes. The
Banyan caste of Suerah has just resolved to abolish caste dinners
after funerals, but if a wealthy Hindoo still wishes to indulge in
these affairs he is permitted to do so after one year has elapsed.
I fear many of the dear departed will never be honored by the
feast after this interval. At marriages hereafter only one feast
is to be given, instead of four, which were formerly considered
the thing. Retrenchment is the word even where caste customs of
long standing are involved.

I note that yesterday a native was fined ten rupees for driving a
lame horse. What a singular race he must think these English!
Before their day he could have done what he liked with horse or
servant, male or female, "because he bought them," and now he
can't even be the judge when to use his horse. The more I see of
the thoroughness of the English Government in the East--its
attention to the minutest details, the exceptional ability of its
officials as evinced in the excellence of the courts, jails,
hospitals, dispensaries, schools, roads, railways, canals,
etc.,--the more I am amazed. I had before no idea of what was
implied by the government of India. It would have been madness for
any other people than the English to undertake it. Not that we
have not in America a class of men of equal organizing power, but
these have careers at home open to them, and could not be induced
to leave their own land. Even if this were not so, America
requires an improved civil service to bring its ablest men
forward. I am sure no such body of officials exists as that
comprising the civil service of India, whether judged by its
purity or its ability.

The British army has been reformed of late years in India to a
degree beyond popular knowledge of the subject. Every one agrees
in attributing the spread of the great mutiny to the fact that
there were at two or three critical points superannuated veterans,
unable to take before it was too late the most obvious measures
for its suppression. In short, it was here just as it was in
Washington when the Civil War began. I remember seeing General
Scott, the commander-in-chief, when Bull Run was lost, carried or
assisted from his carriage across the pavement to his office, he
being too old and infirm to walk. There were others scarcely less
feeble in charge of departments. It was just so in India; but now
mark the change. No man can retain the command of a regiment in
the British army more than five years, nor can generals serve
longer. These officers retire on pensions, and the next in
seniority takes his turn, always provided he passes successfully
the most searching examination at each successive promotion. I was
told that upon a recent examination only two officers out of
thirteen passed. No favoritism is shown, and I have met young men
related to the highest officials to whom it has been kindly
intimated that another career than the army had better be sought.
I have met many officers, and the impression made upon me is an
exceedingly favorable one. I do not believe that in case of war
now the blunder of those in command would have to be atoned for by
the superior fighting qualities of the rank and file, as was
notoriously the case during the Crimean War. The promotion of
General Wolseley means business. The Duke of Cambridge, because he
is a royal duke, is allowed to reign, but Wolseley is to govern.

I was struck with the full length portraits of the real man and
the sham in last year's Royal Academy. General Winfield Scott in
all his glory was not more brilliant than the duke, military hat
in hand with its white waving plumes, booted and spurred, his
breast a mass of decorations, "Old Fuss and Feathers" over again.
Beside him was a man in plain attire, about as ornamental as
General Grant; but this was the man of war, one of those very rare
characters who does what there is to do--in Egypt as in
Abyssinia--and never fails.

Bombay and Calcutta are again rivals for supremacy. Bombay Island,
upon which Bombay City stands, another of the keys of the world,
was given to Britain by Portugal as part of the dower of Catherine
of Braganza when she married Charles II. Think of a woman giving
anything for the privilege of marrying such a wretch! but so
little was it esteemed that the government gave it in 1688 to the
East India Company for a rental of £10 per annum. It was
subsequently made the principal seat of their power, but it had no
access to the interior, and Calcutta, which stands at the mouth of
a river system of inland transportation rivalled only by that of
our smoky Pittsburgh, soon eclipsed it. There was no chance for
Bombay against this natural advantage, and she had to succumb; but
now, since railways have penetrated the interior, and especially
since the opening of the Suez Canal route has brought Bombay so
very much nearer to Europe, the struggle for supremacy has begun
anew. The European traffic now goes mainly to her, and Calcutta
gets her portion by rail through her ancient rival. In 1872 the
exports and imports of Bombay were £50,000,000, and those of
Calcutta £54,000,000; so you see it is not going to be a walk over
for Calcutta, though her population still exceeds that of her
challenger by about a hundred thousand. It is water _vs_.
rail on a large scale, and the result will be looked for with
interest. I think the former capital, once dethroned, will
eventually regain the crown; but there is plenty of room for both,
and the rivalry between them should be a generous one.

Bombay is by far the finest city in the East, but it has been
inflated more than any other, and is now undergoing severe
contraction. Its public buildings would do credit to any European
capital. Government concluded to sell the land fronting on the bay,
which had been used as the site of an antiquated fort, and such was
the rage for speculation at the time that five million dollars'
worth of land was disposed of and enough retained to give Bombay a
beautiful little park and a long drive along the beach. Government
took the money and erected on part of the land retained the
magnificent buildings referred to. We met one gentleman who had
bought one hundred thousand dollars' worth of the new lots, for
which he admitted he could not get today more than twenty thousand
dollars. But Bombay is only learning the universal lesson which the
world seems to need to have repeated every ten or twelve years. It
is fortunate that this city is our last in India, because it so far
excels any other. Nowhere else is such oriental richness to be seen.
The colors of the masses as they move rapidly to and fro remind you
of the combinations of the kaleidoscope. The native women of the
lowest order work in gangs, and it is their dress which chiefly
brightens the scene. A dark-green tight-fitting jacket, a magenta
mantle festooned about the body and legs in some very graceful
manner and reaching to the knees, the feet and legs bare to the
knees, a purple veil on the head but thrown back over the
shoulders--this is the dress as well as I can describe it. The habit
of carrying loads upon the head makes them as straight as arrows,
and as they march along with majestic stride they completely eclipse
the poor-looking male, who seems to have had his manhood ground out
of him by generations of oppression, while his companion has passed
through subjugation without losing her personal dignity.

It seems homelike to see street railways, of which there are
several prosperous lines here. For this enterprise an American
gentleman has to be thanked. All classes ride together, and caste
in Bombay gets serious knocks in consequence. From Bombay as a
centre civilization is destined to radiate. A palpable breach has
already been made in the solid walls which have hitherto shut
India from the entrance of new ideas, and through this gate the
assaulting columns must eventually gain possession; but it will
not be within the span of men now living, nor for several
generations to come. The Sailors' Home and the hospitals of the
city are highly creditable, and among the charitable institutions
I must not forget the Hindoo hospital for wretched animals, where
some of each kind are tenderly cared for, to signify the reverence
paid by this sect to all kinds of life, for the meanest form is
sacred to them. We had a curious illustration of this while in
Benares examining the richest specimens of the delicate
embroideries for which that city is celebrated. A little nasty
intruder showed itself on one of the finest, and a gentleman with
us involuntarily reached forth to kill it, but the three Hindoos
caught his arm at once, and exhibited great anxiety to save the
insect. One of them did get it, and taking it to the window set it
at liberty. It was Uncle Toby and the troublesome fly over again,
as immortalized by the genius of Sterne: "Get thee gone, poor
devil! there is room enough in the world for thee and for me,"
quoth Uncle Toby. And does not Cowper say--

"I would not enter on my list of friends
(Though graced with polish'd manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm."

Well, these Hindoos wouldn't do it either. Let them be credited
accordingly, heathen though they be.

It begins to grow too hot here; I could not live one season in
India--that I am convinced of. The tropical sun has no mercy,
piercing through thick pith helmet, white umbrella, and driving
one into the house. We are to leave none too soon. This evening we
were surprised to see, as we strolled along the beach, more
Parsees than ever before, and more Parsee ladies richly dressed;
all seemed wending their way to the sea. It was the first of the
new moon, a period sacred to these worshippers of the elements;
and here on the shores of the ocean, as the sun was sinking in the
sea, and the slender silver thread of the crescent moon was
faintly shining in the horizon, they congregated to perform their
religious rites. Fire was there in its grandest form--the sun--and
water in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean outstretched before
them. The earth was under their feet, and wafted across the sea
the air came laden with the perfumes of "Araby the Blest." Surely
no time nor place could be more fitly chosen than this for lifting
up the soul to the realms beyond sense. I could not but
participate with these worshippers in what was so grandly
beautiful. There was no music save the solemn moan of the waves as
they broke into foam on the beach,

"With their ain eerie croon
Working their appointed work,
And never, never done."

But where shall we find so mighty an organ, or so grand an anthem?
How inexpressibly sublime the scene appeared to me, and how
insignificant and unworthy of the Unknown seemed even our
cathedrals, "made with human hands," when compared to this looking
up through Nature unto Nature's God! I stood and drank in the
serene happiness which seemed to fill the air. I have seen many
modes and forms of worship, some disgusting, others saddening, a
few elevating when the organ pealed forth its tones, but all poor
in comparison to this. Nor do I ever expect in all my life to
witness a religious ceremony which will so powerfully affect me as
that of the Parsees on the beach at Bombay. While I gazed upon the
scene I stood conscious only that I was privileged to catch a
glimpse of something that was not of the earth, but, as I
sauntered homeward, Wordsworth's lines came to me as the fittest
expression of my feelings. The passage is too long to quote at
length; besides I have to confess I cannot at this moment recall
it all. But he tells first how in his youth Nature was all in all
to him, "nor needed a moral sense unborrowed from the eye," but
later the inner light came; and hear him in his maturer years:

"For I have learned
To look on Nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A Presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things."

"The still sad music of humanity!"--it was that I heard sounding
in the prayers of those devout Parsees and in the moan of that
mighty sea. Sweet, refreshing it was, though tinged with sadness,
as all our more precious musings must be, "since all we know is,
nothing can be known."

In one of my strolls along the beach I met a Parsee gentleman who
spoke excellent English. From him I learned that the disciples of
Zoroaster number only about two hundred thousand, and of those no
fewer than fifty thousand are in Bombay. They were driven from
Persia by the Mohammedans and settled here, where they have

They do not intermarry with other sects, believe in one God, and
worship the sun, moon, earth, and stars only as being the visible
angels of God, as he termed them. In themselves these are nothing,
but are the best steps by which we can ascend to God. Good men will
be happy forever; bad men will be unhappy for a long time after
death, and very bad men will be severely punished. But I was
delighted to be assured that no one will be punished forever, all
life being sacred to God because he made it, and all life must
eventually be purified, return to its Maker, and be merged in Him.
Parsees cannot burn the dead, because fire should not be prostituted
to so vile a use. They cannot bury, because the earth should not be
desecrated with the dead, neither should the sea; and therefore God
has provided vultures, which cannot be defiled, to absorb the flesh
of the dead. I said to him that the mere thought of violence offered
to our dead caused us to shudder. "Then what do you think of the
worms?" he asked. This was certainly an effective estoppel. "It
comes to this," he continued, "a question of birds or worms." "You
are right" (I had to admit it), I said; "after all, it's not worth
disputing about." When I had asked him a great many questions, I
suppose he thought turn-about was fair play, and he began to
cross-examine me upon many points of Christian doctrine, which I did
my best to put in the proper form. We finally agreed that no good
men or good women of any form of religion would be eternally
miserable, and upon this platform we said good-bye and parted.

On looking around, I saw that we had become the centre of quite a
circle of Parsees, Hindoos, and Mohammedans, who had been
attracted by our conversation, their earnest bronze faces,
surmounted by the flaming red turbans, so very close to mine,
forming with the gorgeous colors of their flowing robes, a picture
I shall not soon forget. They opened a way of egress, and Sahib
passed out of the throng amid their salaams, evidently an object
of intense curiosity.

Our excursion to the Caves of Elephanta was very enjoyable. They
are decidedly worth seeing. Here is the strongest contrast to the
grand open-air worship of the Parsees, for the Hindoos sought to
hide their worship in caves which shut out the light of day, and
to seek their gods in the dark recesses. The carved figures and
columns of the Temple are fine, the principal idol being of great
size--a huge representation of the Hindoo Trinity of Brahma,
Vishnu, and Siva, which make the three-headed god. The effect of
such a monster, seen dimly by the lighted torch, upon ignorant
natures, could not but be overpowering. When examined closely
there is nothing repulsive in the faces; on the contrary, the
expression of all three is rather pleasing than otherwise, like
that of Buddha. It is evident that the gods of the Hindoos are
good natured, kind, and disposed to forgiveness.

* * * * *

BOMBAY, Monday, February 24.

We sailed at six in the evening by the splendid Peninsula and
Oriental mail steamer Pekin. The city was bathed in the rays of a
brilliant sunset as we steamed slowly out of the harbor, and we
bade farewell to India when it looked the fairest.

And now for something on the great Indian Question, for it would
never do for a traveller to visit India and not to have his
decided opinion upon matters and things there, and his clearly-
defined policy embracing the management of the most intricate
problems involved in the government of two hundred and fifty
millions of the most ignorant races known, and all founded upon a
few weeks' hurried travel among them. There is, however, a much
more extensive class who are even more presumptuous, for they have
just as complete a policy upon this subject, although they have
never seen India at all.

The vast country we know as India, then, is held and governed, not
as one country, but district by district. One province, for
instance, has a native ruler with whom England has nothing
whatever to do except that, by right of treaty, she sends a
political agent to his court, supported in some cases, and in
others not, by a certain number of soldiers. This Resident is
expected to confer with and advise the Rajah, and keep him and his
officials from outrageous courses. Especially are they prevented
from warring upon neighboring States. In extreme cases, when
counsel and remonstrance avail not, the government has had either
to depose the ruling Rajah and substitute another, as in the
recent affair of the Rajah of Baroda, or to confiscate the
province and merge it in the Empire, as in the case of the King of
Oude. But what must be borne in mind is that no two native rulers
govern alike. Laws and customs prevailing in one province are
unknown in another. Land is held by one tenure in one place, and
by an entirely different system in another. India is therefore not
one nation, but a vast conglomeration of different races and
principalities, each independent of the other, differing as much
as France does from Germany, and much more than England does from
America. Add to this the fact that the people of any one district
are not a homogeneous community, but subdivided into distinct
castes, which refuse to intermarry or even to eat with one
another, and a faint idea of the magnitude of the Indian question
will begin to dawn upon one.

It is this mass which England has to rule and keep firmly in order
with her sixty thousand troops, and which constitutes the
government of India the most difficult problem with which, I
believe, statesmen have to deal. The amount of knowledge,
statesmanship, tact, temper, patience and resource absolutely put
in requisition by the men who rule India equals, I feel sure, that
required for the government of the whole of civilized Europe
combined; for it is always easy to govern a homogeneous people,
the rulers being of the people themselves, and having the good of
their respective countries at heart. It seems to me that an
unnecessary element of danger arises from the fact that these
Rajahs are permitted to maintain no fewer than three hundred
thousand native troops, mainly to swell their importance. The
question of enforcing reductions in these armaments is now under
consideration, I observe, but I should decidedly say with Hamlet.

"Oh! reform it altogether."

I would not allow a Rajah to keep more than one hundred armed
troops, except as a body-guard, beyond the number actually
required to enforce order. Upon this point I have decided views.

The existence of Rajahs is perhaps a necessary evil. They are
maintained in consequence of a well-grounded reluctance on the
part of the government to assume the task of governing more
territory. It is to be regretted that it has been necessary to
extend the sway so far already; nevertheless, the day will come
when the petty courts must be swept away, as they have been in
Japan and Germany, and the whole country given the benefits of
uniform rule. It is estimated that the Rajahs tax the people to an
extent equal to the revenues of the government--about $300,000,000
per annum: of this much is squandered in upholding their state--a
grievous exaction from so poor a country. This will soon be one of
the burning questions of India.

The Rajah of Jeypoor draws from the people $6,000,000 per annum,
and one or two others exceed this sum. Poor fellow! the other day
he had to marry his tenth wife--a sister of two of his previous
wives, for whom no suitable husband could be found. There were but
two families in the realm, I believe, of the proper rank, and
neither happened just then to have a nice young man on hand. The
disgrace of having an unmarried woman in the family was not to be
borne, and the old Rajah had to husband her, as he had her other
sister some time ago. Although so well provided with wives, he has
never been blessed with an heir, and at his death his first wife
will adopt a son, who will be his successor.

What do I think of India? is asked me every day; but I feel that
one accustomed to the exceptional fertility and advantages of
America--a land so wonderfully endowed that it seems to me more
and more the special favorite of fortune--is very apt to underrate
India. We saw it after two years of bad harvests, and a third most
unpromising one coming on. Judged from what I saw, I can only say
that I, as a lover of England, find it impossible to repress the
wish that springs up at every turn, Would she were safely and
honorably out of it! Retiring now is out of the question; she has
abolished the native system in large districts, and must perforce
continue the glorious task of giving to these millions the
blessings of order.

Her withdrawal would be the signal for internecine strife, and
such a saturnalia of blood and rapine as the world has never
known; but were the question whether Britain should to-day accept
India as a gift, and I had the privilege of replying, then,
"Declined with thanks;" and yet it is the fashion just now to call
India "the brightest jewel in the crown." The glitter of that
jewel may be red again some day. I have heard only two reasons
advanced in favor of India as an English possession. The first is,
it furnishes official station and employment for a large number
who would otherwise have no field; but I think there is yet plenty
of unoccupied territory in which these gentlemen can find work if
they can hold their own in the struggle for existence. Besides,
the official class requires less protection, not greater, than it
has hitherto been favored with, if the true interest of England is
to be considered.

The second reason is a commercial one, and it is pointed out that
the trade of England is thereby extended; to which it may be said
in reply that the occupation of foreign countries and the
subjugation of foreign races are in no measure required by the
demands of trade. The possession of small islands at proper points
secures all this. Hong Kong and a small strip at Shanghai and one
or two other ports, afford all the facilities required for England
to obtain the trade. Penang on the west of the Malay Peninsula,
Singapore at the south end, do the same. All of these have the
precious silver thread surrounding them, and can be held easily by
Britannia against the world without and native races struggling
within for independence, as they are bound to do some day.

There is another view to be taken of this question by a well-
wisher of Britain which cannot be ignored. She, the mother of
nations and champion of oppressed nationalities, necessarily
occupies a false position in India; there she must assume the
_rôle_ of the conqueror. I do not speak of this to disapprove
of it, or even of the Press Laws recently adopted; to avert still
greater evils she is compelled to go to any length. Nevertheless,
it is a false position; the stars in their courses fight against
it, and sooner or later England will retire from it. In short, the
pole-star of Indian policy is to bend every energy to the sowing
of seed which will produce a native class capable at first of
participating in the government, and which will eventually become
such as can be trusted with entire control, so that England may
stand to India as she stands to-day to Canada and Australia. There
is one course for England, and one only, and this let her adopt
speedily. Let her call around her Indian government the best men
of India, explain to them her aim and end, show them how noble her
aspirations are; point to Canada and Australia as proofs of her
colonial system, and say, To this condition we hope to bring your
country. Can you resist our appeal to come and help us?

Since all this was written the Ilbert bill question has arisen. It
will be understood at once that such a measure is believed by me
to be emphatically a step not only in the right direction, but in
the only direction, if grave dangers are to be avoided in India.
Let me tell my English readers that, travelling as I did, an
American, and not, in Indian parlance, as one of the governing
class--one of the usurpers--I had many opportunities of hearing
educated natives speak the thoughts of their hearts, which to an
Englishman's ears would have been treason. Such trustworthy
indications of the forces moving under the crust should be
considered as invaluable by the rulers of India. While, therefore,
educated natives give assent to the claims made for English rule,
that it keeps order and enforces justice as far as its courts can
reach, they are yet antagonistic to it. It is the old story: You
have taught people to read, and placed before them as types of
highest excellence our rebels, Cromwell, Hampden, Sidney, Russell,
Washington, Franklin. In so far as a native Indian dwells
contentedly while his country is ruled by a foreign race, by just
so much do we despise him in our heart, for loyalty to England
means treachery to his country, and one cannot depend upon

If India were told that the chief delight of England was not to
hold dependencies but to bring forth nations competent to govern
themselves--a much grander mission--and were England slowly, but
steadily to introduce, little by little, the native element in
government whenever practicable--and that it is practicable to do
so in every department to a greater or less degree I am
convinced--then I should feel that sufficient pressure had been
relieved to give hope that peace would reign there. The greatest
danger England will have to contend with in every measure taken
toward this great end will be the violent opposition of the Anglo-
Indian. It will be difficult to carry reform against the advice of
The only class which seems competent to advise, viz., such
Englishmen as have had experience of India. I hold such to be
Totally incompetent as a class to take proper views of Indian
problems--such men as Sir Richard Temple are the exception. His
articles upon India seem to me most salutary and to denote a
statesmanlike grasp of a subject of paramount importance to
England. The reason why the Englishman in India is likely to be
entirely wrong in his views of Indian government is because he
sits on the safety valve of the terrible boiler. He hears every
now and then the sharp rush of the confined steam, which startles
the ear as it passes. When it is proposed to relieve the pressure
and allow more steam to escape he is frightened, and protests that
his position would thereby become unendurable.

But we who stand afar off and know the play of the forces in that
boiler, as I know them from sources sealed to him, see that the
steam must be allowed vent in constantly increasing volume if a
terrible catastrophe is to be averted. John Bright, of all English
public men of the first rank, seems to me to understand the Indian
problem best; hence the interest he takes in it--an interest which
every public man would share did he realize the situation England
occupies in Hindostan.

I have before referred to the fact that the Anglo-Indian
authorities protested against railway travel being conducted
without special reference to caste, and that they were overruled
by the Home Government. The result is that more impression has
been made upon caste, and is made daily and hourly, by the rush of
every grade to get the best seats in the same carriage, than by
all other influences combined. The Home Office judged more wisely
than those who were too close to the problem to get a clear view;
and so it must be in every measure calculated to elevate the
people of India to a higher stage of civilization. In my opinion
England can scarcely move too rapidly in the imperative task of
attaching able natives, as these arise, to her side, and giving
them power--at least the danger is that she will move too slowly
rather than too fast.

The business of colonizing, as a whole, does not appear to me to
pay. As a mission there is none so noble or to be compared with
it, next to governing well at home; but beyond this England's
share of the material good looks small. If the colony is rich and
prosperous it sets up for itself; if weak and unsuccessful, it
becomes a Natal, and calls upon the generous-hearted mother for
assistance. The gain to the colonies is obvious; nothing could be
finer for them; and if it be clearly understood that England
elects to play the tender nurse and receive her reward in the
consciousness of doing good--all right. Let her continue! But if
it be thought that these dependencies enhance her own power and
promote her prosperity, the sooner the books are balanced the
better. Only one prayer, May heaven keep America from the
colonizing craze! Cuba! Santo Domingo! avaunt, and quit our sight!

From another point of view one keeps inquiring whether all the
advantages flowing from the introduction of English ideas, as far
as these can really be introduced in the government of subject
races--whether, after all, the result is, upon the whole, for the
real permanent good of these inferior races. To the uninformed
man, who has never been beyond his own island, it seems fanciful,
perhaps, to raise this question. English civilization, freedom,
civil and religious liberty, order, law, Christianity--these not
beneficial, think you! Softly, my friend, softly. These may be
growths admirable for English-speaking people who can assimilate
them, but yet unsuitable for the Hottentot. You press man's food
upon babes to their injury, may be. The true evolutionist must
regard these attempts with sorrow.

Speaking broadly, I do not believe that it is in the power of
England--and of course much less of any other country--to confer
upon another race benefits which are not more than cancelled by
the evil which usually follows from her interference. Rob even the
lowest people in development today of the necessity of governing
themselves, take this responsibility away from them, as
interference does take it away, and the natural growth of that
people is not only checked, but it is diverted into channels
foreign to it.

If colonization can follow occupation it is a different matter--
the interference is temporary, and Australians, Canadians and
Americans soon come forth and govern themselves, the native-born
soon grow patriotic, and work out their own destiny. In such
cases England's share is her glory, a glory of which no other
nation partakes, for she alone is the grand old mother of nations,
God bless her! It is different with India. No one pretends that
Our race can ever obtain a foothold there. Conquerors the English
are, and conquerors they must remain as long as they remain at
all, which I ardently trust may not be long; not longer than the
natives are willing to accept the task of self-government.
Meanwhile surely no further rash responsibilities should be taken
upon herself by England. She can do most good by example. The
little islands of Hong Kong and Singapore, and the other Straits
Settlements, Shanghai, and even Ceylon, which is not too
big--these teach the races of the East what western civilization
means, and serve as models to which they can move with such
differentiation as circumstances require and without losing the
inestimable advantages of thinking and acting for themselves. Even
Christianity will make more progress from such examples than if
through the efforts of a paid propaganda we try to _force_ it
upon people. Rob them of this freedom to act, to accept, and to
reject, and all that England can give in return will not atone for
the injury she inflicts. A nation should have much to offer in
exchange, more than I see that any nation has, which stifles in
the breast of the most ignorant people in the world the sacred
germ of self-development.

The total acreage under wheat in India is not much, if any, less
than that of the United States, and the average yield about the
same--thirteen bushels per acre. The quality is excellent. America
cannot afford to ignore this potential rival. The cheaper labor of
India is quite an element in her favor, but cheap labor is not
always cheap. One educated Minnesotan, with his machinery, must
count for many spindle-shanked Hindoos with their wooden rakes.
India's remoteness from Europe and the lack of inland
transportation facilities, give America the vantage-ground. The
present low price of wheat in Liverpool today, however, warns our
western friends that there are other great sources of supply.
Until 1873, only ten years ago, an export duty was laid upon
Indian wheat. The amount exported in that year was valued at only
£167,000; last year, 1882, the exports were £8,869,000
($45,000,000), more than one-third as much as the United States
exported in that year ($112,000,000), to which, however, should be
added $35,000,000 worth of wheat flour exported, making the total
United States export $157,000,000. It must be remembered that
India has scarcely yet entered the race with us for the supremacy
in this department, for while we have 110,000 miles of railway
with 55,000,000 of people, she has 250,000,000 of people with only
10,000 miles of rail. This may seem alarming to the untravelled
Yankee, but let him possess his soul in patience. It is a very
safe wager that notwithstanding this seemingly uncalled-for
disparity in railway facilities, the American railway system is
still to increase at a far greater ratio than the Indian. Last
year only three hundred and eighty-seven miles of line were built
in India as against our six thousand, and even my friend, William
Fowler, M.P., in his most interesting article in the
_Fortnightly Review_ for February, 1884, "India, Her Wheat,
and Her Railways," to which I beg to refer such of my readers as
are specially interested in this subject--even he only suggests
that twelve hundred miles should be built every year in India; to
secure which he urges the government to give a guarantee upon
$50,000,000 per year, in order to obtain the necessary capital,
which he admits cannot be obtained otherwise. This the government
is not likely to do until the people rule England and sweep away
the privileged classes, who live mainly through wars, and would be
relegated to obscurity were the resources of England once spent
for peaceful development, as those of Republican America are.
Friend Fowler will get a vote to add millions to England's burden
by an Afghan or Zulu war, or even to squander her means upon
worthless members of a more than useless royal family and its
dependents of the court long before he will get a pound for his
Indian railways. The Republic will hold control of the world's
wheat market for a hundred years and more, but prices must rule
lower in consequence of India. Beyond that let posterity wrestle
with the question.

As to cotton, of which America holds a firmer grasp upon the
world's supply than it appears she does of wheat, India is not an
impossible second if from any cause the American supply were
forced to extreme prices. During the civil war in the United
States, cotton cultivation in India, as I have before said,
reached an extraordinary development. In 1866 the exports amounted
to thirty-seven millions of pounds sterling, $185,000,000; now the
average has fallen to about $40,000,000 per year. If the staple
were equal to the American, India would be formidable as a rival,
but it is not, and consequently the growth of cotton in the South
seems sure to increase as rapidly as ever.

After six days' delightful sail we had our first glimpse of Arabia
this morning, and are now skirting the Arabian coast. Aden was
reached Sunday morning, and we drove out to the native town and
saw the tanks said to have been constructed thousands of years
ago. It rains only once in every year or two, and a supply of
water is obtained by storing the torrents which then flow from the
hills. A more desolate desert than that which surrounds the city
surely does not exist. Aden itself illustrates how the whirligig
of time revolves. Before the discovery of the passage round the
Cape of Good Hope it was the chief entrepôt for the trade between
Europe and Asia. It fell into insignificance when the stream of
traffic left for the new route around the Cape of Good Hope; but
now the Suez Canal, which restores the original route via the Red
Sea, to its former supremacy, once more raises Aden to her former
commanding position. The population, which in 1839 had dwindled to
fewer than a thousand, now numbers nearly thirty thousand.

Aden is just one of those natural keys of the world which England
should hold, and I doubt not will hold to the last. The town
stands upon a narrow peninsula composed of desolate volcanic
rocks, five miles long from east to west, and three from north to
south, connected with the main land by a neck of flat sandy ground
only a few feet high. The town itself is surrounded by precipitous
rocks, which really make it a natural fortress impregnable against
attack. All that I urge against conquest in general is
inapplicable here, and I say let England guard such spots. As long
as she does she is mistress of the sea. Her influence at such
points is always for good. The thirty thousand natives of Aden,
for instance, may now be considered subjects of Britain by their
own act. They have flocked to the town attracted by the advantages
to be derived from a residence there, just as the Chinese have
done at Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. There is no coercion in
the matter. One foreigner electing to come under the British flag
is worth ten thousand held down by force, whether considered as an
element of strength to the Empire, or as conducive to its glory.

This is the market of the world for ostrich feathers. We saw
droves of the birds wandering about Aden and its suburbs at home
in the sand. The natives keep ostriches as their chief dependence,
and we are besieged at every turn with offers of rare
feathers--feathers--feathers--nothing but feathers.

Our trip on the Pekin was the most delightful we ever had at sea;
even Vandy was well, and gained by the journey. We had very
agreeable company on board, and were especially fortunate in our
neighbors, Mr., Mrs., and Miss G., of Edinburgh, at table. The
ship was crowded with officers and officers' wives and children
returning from India to England, for children must be taken home
out of the climate of India. Nothing can exceed the discipline and
general management of the Peninsula and Oriental ships. Promotion
from the ranks is the rule, and they certainly are served by a
class of men which it would be difficult to equal elsewhere. The
Cunard line is probably the only counterpart of the Peninsula and
Oriental line in existence.

This was our first experience of life upon a vessel crowded with
various ranks of English people. On the Atlantic our steamer
acquaintances are with few exceptions Americans. The contrast is
great in one respect: the tendency of the English passengers is to
form themselves into a great number of small cliques. No doubt
this tendency prevails to some extent upon the Atlantic also, but
then congenial tastes and education form the divisions there and
every one is in his proper sphere. Upon the Pekin we found that
rank and position formed a strong element in the case--regardless
of merit. Vandy and I being republicans, not caring a rap about
either birth or position, and without social status in England,
seemed to be the only cosmopolitans on board. From the major-
general and family down to the clerk of a mercantile house and his
nice wife and children, we had the free run of the ship. But when
we met intelligent and interesting people in one or the other
grade, and proposed to make them known to others, as, had both
parties been Americans, would have given much pleasure, and from
whose acquaintance mutual benefit would have resulted, we found
that the miserable barriers of artificial distinction stood in the

I wished two young ladies to know each other, for they were akin
in education, manners, feelings, and accomplishments, and one
morning I said to the one who surely was not the less desirable
acquaintance: "You and Miss----should know each other; would you
not like to make her acquaintance? If so, I shall ask her, and I
am sure she would be pleased to make yours. Both will be the

"Mr. Carnegie, excuse me, but she is a major-general's daughter,
the advance must come from her. If she ever expresses a wish to
know me, then you come to me and I'll tell you. This is the proper
thing, you know."

Happy American young ladies, into whose pretty heads the thought
would never enter that another would be so silly as to stand upon
position, and if by any chance it did momentarily arise, it would
be scouted as inconsistent with one's own self-respect as a woman.
England will never be truly homogeneous till throne and
aristocracy give place to the higher republican form.

India claims many victims. We had yesterday a young man near us
who had been in India only a short time, and who was returning
invalided. Poor fellow! He lay in the hatchway in his easy-chair
from morning until night, gazing wistfully over the sea toward his
beloved England. There he would soon get well. Only last night as
I passed to bed I stopped to encourage him, telling him how finely
we were dancing along homeward. At dawn I heard the pulsations of
the engine cease for a few moments only, but in those moments he
had been cast into the sea. Scarcely any one knew of his death
except the doctor and a few of the crew; not a soul on board knew
anything of him; he was an entire stranger to all. But think of
the mother and sisters who were to meet him on arrival and convey
him "to the green lanes of Surrey!" See them hastening on board
and casting anxious glances around! No one will know them, but
every one will suspect who they are, and what their errand, and
instinctively avoid them--for who would be the messenger to strike
a mother down with a word? The death and burial were sad--sad
enough; but the real tragedy is yet to be played in Southampton,
when the living are to envy the fate of the dead, who, "after
life's fitful fever," sleeps so well in the depths of the Indian

* * * * *

SUEZ, Friday, February 28.

We reached Suez at six o'clock in the morning, and anchored within
the bay. An enterprising sailboat captain came alongside and
offered to take us across the bay to the town in time to catch the
only train leaving for Cairo for twenty-four hours. It was two
long hours' sail, but the breeze was strong, and Vandy and I
resolved to try it, bargaining with the captain, however, upon the
basis of no train no pay. The few passengers on deck at that early
hour gathered to give the adventurers a farewell cheer, and we
were off. We made it just in time, and grasping a bottle of wine
and some bread at the station--for we had had no breakfast--we
started for Cairo.

The railway runs parallel to the Suez Canal, which, by the way,
was a canal in the days of the Pharaohs, but, of course, much
smaller and only used for irrigation. We saw the top-masts of
several steamers above the sandy banks as they crawled slowly
through the desert. How great the traffic already is and with what
strides it grows is well known. Its capacity can at any time be
doubled by lighting it with electricity, but at present vessels
are compelled by rule to lie still after sunset. All is dead
through the night. In a few years this will be changed; and indeed
the canal must be widened ere long and made a double track
throughout to accommodate the continual stream of ships plying
between the East and the West. At present it is just like one of
our single-track railways with sidings or passing places. The
distance from end to end is only about a hundred miles, but ships
sometimes take three and even four days to squeeze through. This
must be remedied. Twenty-four hours seems to be about the proper
time-table. When past Ismailia, the line leaves the canal and runs
westward through the land of Goshen. After the parched plains of
India, it was refreshing once more to look upon "deep waving
fields and pastures green." We were within the regions watered by
the Nile, and the harvests resembled those of the carse of Gowrie.

We reached Cairo on time, and our first inquiries were about our
friends, Mr. H., Miss N., and party, who were expected there from
their three months' excursion upon the Nile. Fortunately, we found
their dalbeah anchored in the stream, and we drove to it without
delay. Sure enough, as we reached the bank, there lay the Nubia,
that little gem, with the Stars and Stripes floating above her. We
were rowed on board only to find that our friends were in the
city. However, we made ourselves at home in the charming saloon,
and awaited their return. Unfortunately, some sailor on shore had
told them of two strangers going aboard, and there was not the
entire surprise we had intended; but if there was no surprise
there was no lack of cordial welcome, and we realized to the
fullest extent what a world of meaning lies in the quaint simile,
"as the face of a friend in a far-off country."

This reunion at Cairo was one of the fine incidents of our tour.
Many months ago we had parted from Mr. H. and family, and half in
jest appointed Cairo as our next meeting-place. They went in one
direction, we in another, and without special reference to each
other's movements it had so turned out that we caught them here.
It was a narrow hit, however, as they were to leave next day for
Alexandria; and had we remained on the Pekin, as all the other
passengers did, and not undertaken the sail across the bay, we
should have missed them. We grasped hands once more and sat down
to dinner, the Nile gurgling past, the Pyramids with their forty
centuries looking down upon us, and here was one more happy band
drawing more closely to each other since separated from friends at
home, enacting over again such scenes as the famous river has
witnessed upon its bosom for thousands of years--one generation
going and another coming, but the mysterious Nile remaining to
welcome each succeeding host; and thus,

"Thro' plots and counterplots--
Thro' gain and loss--thro' glory and disgrace--
...still the holy stream
Of human happiness glides on!"

Today sight-seeing was subordinated to the rare pleasure of
enjoying the company of our friends, but we all drove through
Cairo streets and saw one memorable sight--the great college of
Islam, where more than ten thousand students are constantly under
preparation as priests of the Prophet. We saw them in hundreds
sitting on their mats in the extensive open courts, all busily
engaged in learning to recite the Koran to masters, or listening
to professors who expounded it. Their intense earnestness soon
impresses you. From this centre radiate every year thousands of
these propagandists, scattering themselves over Arabia and to the
farthest boundaries of Islam, and even beyond, warring upon
idolatry and proclaiming the unity of God. No one can fail, I
think, to receive from such a visit as we paid a much higher
estimate of the vitality of Mohammedanism, and, having seen what
it has to supplant, we cannot refrain from wishing these
missionaries God-speed. The race rises step by step, never by
leaps and bounds. Upon this point I am much impressed by a
paragraph from a lecture delivered by Marcus Dodd, D.D., at the
Presbyterian College, London, which seems to me to take a wider
and sounder view than one usually finds from such a source, and is
therefore specially pleasing. He says: "The great lesson in
comparative religion which we learn from the connection of Judaism
and Christianity is that men are not always ripe for the highest
religion; that there is a fulness of time which it may take four
thousand years to produce. The Mosaic religion, imperfect as it
was, compared with Christianity, was better for Israel during its
period and preparation than the religion of Christ would have
been." Then, referring to the Mohammedan religion, he says: "It is
not denied that this religion did at once effect reforms which
Christianity had failed to effect. It accomplished more for Arabia
in a few years than Christianity had accomplished for centuries.
It abolished at a stroke the idolatry which Christianity had
fought in vain." It is to such men as Mr. Dodd that we are to look
to keep religion abreast of the age.

Max Müller says: "In one sense every religion was a true religion,
being the only religion which was possible at the time, which was
compatible with the language, the thoughts, and the sentiments of
each generation, which was appropriate to the age of the world."
The Brahman has found the same truth. "Men of an enlightened
understanding well know," says he, "that the Supreme has imparted
to each nation the doctrine most suitable for it, and He,
therefore, beholds with satisfaction the various ways in which He
is worshipped." In other words, religion is the highest expression
of which a people is capable. There is no reason why we should not
try to prepare a people for a better one, but note this, _they
must be prepared_. To _force_ new religions upon any race
is a sad mistake. In a late address on missionary methods in
India, Rev. Phillips Brooks said: "That which makes people
distrust foreign missions is the testimony that the Europeans in
India will not trust the Christianized Indian. It is not strange
that some poor creature should bring discredit on the religion he
professes. He worships in strange houses and in a strange way. He
kneels in American-style churches and is taught by men full of
American ideas. Christianity will never be the religion of India
until it comes there imbued with the spirit of the day. In time
there must come forth an Indian Christianity, rich, full of power
and goodness. The missionaries want this, and are perfectly aware
it must come. The influence that now goes to India carries with it
the curse as well as the blessing. Let the divisions of church
creeds be kept at home, and _let the Indian religion be
developed from within_."

We visited several mosques, but they are such poor affairs
compared to those of India that we took little interest in them.
While the other countries we have thus far visited have all
appeared stranger than expected, this is not so with Egypt.
Everything seems to be just as I had imagined it. We know too much
about the land of the Pharaohs to be taken thoroughly by surprise.
Perhaps there is something in our having seen so much that our
perceptions are no longer as keen as when we landed in Japan. The
appetite for sight-seeing becomes sated, like any other, and I
fear we are not as impressionable as before. So we decide not to
visit Turkey and Greece upon this trip but to take these when
fresh. The crowds of squalid wretches who surround us at every
turn, clamoring for backsheesh; the mud hovels in which they
manage to live, and the coarse food upon which they exist; the
mass of greasy, unwashed rags which hang loosely upon them--such
things no longer excite our wonder, or even our pity. We have seen
so much of such misery before that I fear we begin to grow

Cairo, as a city, is most picturesque, with its commanding
citadel, and its hundreds of mosques with their slender spires and
conspicuous minarets; while surrounding all this in the desert lie
the ruins of older cities and of tombs and temples innumerable.
The Desert of Sahara reaches to the very gates of the city on the
east. The city lies between that and the Nile; then comes a narrow
strip of green about ten miles in width, and after that the
boundless Libyan Desert. The Pyramids stand upon the very edge of
this desert, so that it is sand, sand, sand! everywhere around the
city of the Caliphs, save and except this little green border
along the Nile. But indeed the whole of Egypt is only a narrow
green ribbon stretching along the river for some six hundred
miles, and widening at the delta, where the waters divide and
reach the sea by various channels. All the rest is sand. Egypt has
not more cultivable soil than Belgium, and would not make a fair
sized State with us.

The Khedive Ismail was determined to make Cairo a miniature Paris,
and we see much that recalls Paris to us. The new boulevards, the
opera-house, circus, cafés, new hotel--all show how much has
already been done in this direction; but he is in hard straits
just now, and the cry there, as elsewhere, is for retrenchment and
reform. The new streets are Parisian, but it is in the old, narrow
streets of the city that one sees oriental life distinctively
Egyptian in its character. Indeed these are sights of Cairo which
I enjoy most. Muffled ladies pass by, resembling nothing I can
think of so much as big black bats as they sit man-fashion on
their donkeys, wrapped in black silk cloaks; men in gorgeous
silks, also on donkeys, ride along, while laden camels and asses
carrying large panniers of clover slowly pick their way through
the crowd. Harem ladies, too (there is the weight which pulls
Egypt down), roll slowly by in their covered carriages, preceded
by the running Lyces. I never saw such a miscellaneous throng in
any street before.

The great event of a visit to Cairo is Pyramid Day. The Pyramids
are eight miles distant, and an early start has to be made to
insure a return in season. Yesterday was our day. These wonders do
not impress one at first--few really stupendous works ever do; and
even when at their base you think but meanly of their magnitude,
so much so that you never hesitate as to whether you will ascend
Cheops, the largest. Three Arabs, whose duty it is to assist you,
are at once assigned to you by the Sheikh; two of these take your
hands, while the third stands behind to "boost" you up at the
moment the others pull. It is a hard climb even when so assisted,
and many who start are fain to content themselves with getting up
one third the distance. I think I rested three times in making the
ascent, and each time I found my feeling of disappointment growing
beautifully less; while by the time the shout came from my Arabs
announcing that they were on the top stone, I was filled with
respectful admiration for Cheops, I assure you, and whatever one
may say about the equator, I feel sure no one will ever hear me
speak disrespectfully of the Pyramids.

They are without doubt the greatest masses ever built by man.
Cheops is four hundred and fifty feet high, and covers thirteen
acres at the base, tapering to the top, which is only about thirty
feet square, where one false step would be certain death, as,
contrary to my opinion at first, I saw that one in falling could
not possibly rest on any of the layers of projecting stone. I do
not like high places, and I felt, while on the top, I would give a
handsome sum just to be safe on level ground again. But I got
down, or rather was taken down by my three attendants, without
much difficulty, and after luncheon we went into the centre of the
pile--a work of considerable trouble--and saw the sarcophagus.
Attempts have been made to invest the Pyramids with some
mysterious meaning, but, I take it, there will be no more of this,
since an explanation is now given which meets every objection.
They are simply the tombs of various kings, and differ in size
because the kings ruled for different periods of time. The mode of
procedure was this: When a king came to the throne he began to
build his tomb; perhaps this was an excellent way of keeping
before him the fact that he also must surely die, and that ere
long; successive courses of stone were built around the pile, one
course per year, and when the king died the building ceased, his
successor taking care to finish the course under progress at the
death of his predecessor; hence the great size of Cheops, for the
monarch who constructed it reigned forty-two years and built his
forty-two courses. This Pyramid is either sixty-five hundred or
five thousand years old, according as you decide for one or
another mode of computation. Either date will, however, entitle it
to the honors of a hoary old age. The old Arabian proverb, "That
all things fear Time, but Time fears the Pyramids," holds good no
longer, for "the tooth of Time" is slowly but surely
disintegrating even these masses. The entire finishing course of
huge stone blocks, from top to bottom of Cheops, has already
crumbled away, and lies in dust at the base. This is also the case
with the second in size, except that a portion still clings around
its top; this will fall some day, and leave it stripped like its
greater neighbor.

Our Arab guide told us, as he pointed to the numerous monograms
carved on the top of Cheops, that a lover who cuts the initials of
his adored there, and calls upon Allah to prosper his suit, is
certain to win her. Would you believe it, soon after this I saw
Vandy secretly carving away.

The Sphinx--the mysterious Sphinx--which has baffled all
inquisitive inquirers for centuries without number, stands in the
sand only a. short distance from Cheops. Imagine, if you can, with
what feelings one gazes upon it. It is as old as the Pyramids,
perhaps older, and there it still looks out upon the green and
fertile banks of the Nile with the Libyan Desert behind. Its
countenance has the same benignant cast, but it tells neither of
sorrow nor of anger, neither of triumph nor of defeat. It tells
you of no human passion, and yet seems to tell you of all--_the
end of all_--and yet it is not a sad face. It is every thing
and yet nothing. I never was so utterly unable to vivify an image
with at least some imaginings. It could be made one thing or
another, but no sooner had I thought it indicated one sentiment
than a second look made the idea seem absurd. Like so many
countless thousands before me, I gave it up. You cannot extract
anything from that face. I thought the lesson might be in its
position, and I pleased myself with drawing one from that. There
this mystery stands, gazing only upon what is rich and fertile and
instinct with life, the life-giving Nile rolling before it, and
the fields of golden grain in view. Its back turned resolutely to
the dreary sandy waste of death behind; and so it said to me as
plainly as if it could speak, This is your lesson: let the dead
past bury its dead; look forward only upon that which has life and
grows steadily towards perfection. It is upon the bright things of
life we must fix our gaze if we would be of use in our day and

When in Alexandria we visited with deep interest the site of the

Book of the day: