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Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Annie Lawrence

Bombay.—Is on the way to see Booty in Mangalore. Refers to his sightseeing at Gwalior and Agra and his activities at Bombay.

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Transcript

Bombay.
Feb 24 98

My dear Annie.

I am just passing through Bombay on my way down to see Booty in Mangalore, & I was very pleased on my arrival to find a letter from Harry awaiting me. I had been expecting you to mention your trip abroad, & as you had not done so, was beginning to suppose you were going later in the year.

I am sending this home to 75 {1} to get forwarded, as Harry only says you will arrive at Nice next Saturday, & I don’t know whether you are going to make a really long stay there.

You will have had most of my news of my sight seeing in my last 2 letters, since then I have visited Gwalior a native state, where there is a magnificent fort, I drove out to it, & then went up it on an elephant & was shown round.

I think I mentioned the Taj at Agra in my letter to Harry, I was able to get a little model of it which I have packed off home to Mama, but I am very much afraid whether it will arrive safe.

This afternoon I have been out to see the Bombay Astronomer whom I met at Sahdol; he showed me all over his meteorological & magnetic instruments.

I have also been to see Prof Muller to whom I had a letter of introduction from Prof Marshall of Cambridge. He has taken up an immense number of subjects[,] practically all mine & a lot beside; he was 21st wrangler, & also took the history tripos, has done a good deal of natural science, church history, law, Political economy, knows several languages, paints, photograps†, & collects shells, stamps[,] relics of prehistoric man; & finally has done fabulous things in connection with the plague having at one time been made—as it were—“dictator” over a large section of Bombay!!!!!

What is my little list compared with that?

Ever Yours in excellent health
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} 75 Lancaster Gate, his mother’s home.

† Sic.

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Nellore, Madras, Calcutta, Muzaffarpur, Calcutta, Sahdol, Mozufferpore, Benares, Lucknow, Roorkee (with an excursion to Moradabad), Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, and Bombay.

(A continuation of 5/30a. Headed ‘Encyclical no. 2.’ This letter describes events from 14 Dec. onward, but it is clear that it was not begun till after the writer’s arrival at Muzaffarpur on the 23rd. It was completed by 23 Feb., when Lawrence enclosed the last section in a letter to his Aunt Edith (see 6/4). The contents may have been transmitted in as many as six instalments, comprising respectively pp. 35–8, 39–62, 63–70, 71–90, 91–4, 95–106.)

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Transcript

Encyclical no. 2.

Once more I take up the pen to write a little something of my doings; but I am rather at a loss to know where to begin. You all know that I could not bring myself to keep a diary, and I don’t believe that if I did, any of you would be in the least interested in what it contained. How would read a day spent up in Mozuffapore with my friend W. S. Adie? “Awakened at 7.15 by the native barber who shaves me in bed; 7.25 tea & toast; 7.35 get up assisted by Adie’s Chokra (lad) who does not know the proper way of putting on socks; 8 o’clock get on our bicycles, and go for a ride, perhaps with some other people in the station; 10 o’clock, or a little after, come back have a warm bath (ghusl with garum pani) {1} dress & have breakfast; lounge about, or go & see Adie try a case in his court, or go and pay calls, or so on; lunch at 2 or a little later; then lawn tennis or racquets; then back to tea at 5. 30, & then on to the club to play billiards till it is time to come back (& dress if we are going out) to dinner, & so to bed perhaps at 10.30.” Not much of a diary to write up when it is very similar from day to day. And perhaps you will say:—“If that is all you came out to India to do, you might just as well have done it at home.” I don’t know. I fancy somehow I got in this way to appreciate something of Anglo Indian life.

But, if I remember, I left myself, so to speak, at the end of my last encyclical, at Nellore, sitting disconsolate, with Campbell gone away, wondering how I am going to get up to Mozuffapore, getting up every now & again to gaze in silent contemplation of awe & doubt, at the vast accumulation of travelling goods & chattels which are contained in all my trunks, boxes, bags, rugs etc etc, & uncertain as to which of them it will be expedient to carry with me about India. Every now & again Campbell’s Hindustani servant comes along & after gesticulating for some time I discover what he wants, perhaps he opens his mouth & saying something (not mangez-moi) I gather he means, shall I be in to dinner? Or I have to tell him I want the things home from the wash.

So a day or two passes, I make my selection of clothing, & pack up. [16 Dec.] Then Ashworth comes back to the bungalow and with him his “chief” a Madras engineer; & I start off having with great difficulty encrated my bicycle for Madras, the engineer going by same train. I shall arrive in Madras early morning & propose to stop at the club & go on same evening by train probably 3 or 4 days journey to Mozuffapore. Mr Moore (the engineer) kindly looks after me & insists on my staying the day at his house instead of the club which I am very pleased to do. Meanwhile I have brought Campbell’s Hindustani servant along with me to send him back when I leave Madras.

On enquiry I find boat P & O S.S. Parramatta goes up from Madras to Calcutta leaving day after next. Much pleasanter journey; I decide to take it.

[17 Dec.] So I go back to the Moores’ & say that as I have altered my plans & have settled to stop 2 nights in Madras, I will of course go on to the club. But they (he & his wife) will not hear of it, and insist on my stopping with them till I go. So I spend the days in going to shops and making one or two arrangements, & in the afternoons I go to the club for tea, & meet Mr Moore who introduces me to some of his friends, among them Ellis to whom I had an introduction, & we play billiards & get home to dinner at 8. Friday evening we are by ourselves & have some music; [18 Dec.] Saturday a friend comes in to dinner & we all go on to a sort of variety entertainment which the Governor of Madras {2} is attending. What a business it is finding one’s carriage afterwards and in the rain too (for it has actually started raining & been going on for 24 hours or so); the plan is:—every one, who can, crowds into the doorway & then all the carriages drive past, and whenever anyone spots their carriage they hail it & get in. Somewhat primitive! but then you see they don’t as a rule get so many Europeans at the place. (Please excuse writing & style, as I am in a train with not too good illumination.) At last after waiting about ½ an hour we find our vehicle and get back about 1.30 A.M! For entertainments in this country don’t begin as a rule till 9.30 P.M.

Meanwhile I have had it explained to my servant that I want him to take all my luggage to the pier early in the morning; & I myself am to be called at 6 and follow on soon after. I found it always rather a difficulty telling my servant anything, I used to say to someone “Would you mind explaining to my boy such & such things”; it was really rather ludicrous; when I was out in a gari (cab) & thought the driver was not going where I wanted & could not explain, I used to stop in the street when I saw a white man (or more probably Eurasian) & ask him to make it clear; in this way I sometimes gathered quite a little crowd, & I have since heard other English people say they have done the same; for even if you know Hindustani I am not sure whether you will be able to make the Tamil-speaking people of Madras fully comprehend you.

[19 Dec.] Well, I got up Sunday morning bade goodbye with sincere gratitude for the most kind hospitality & arrived at the pier to find my boy there with all my baggage, & getting into a Mozaffee boat (I don’t think this is quite the right word; but they are marvellous craft, put together without any nails, the planks fastened to one another with string. They have about 15 men rowing & one man constantly bailing) I am rowed to the Parramatta. I settle up with my boy, & prepare myself for a quiet 3 days voyage. It is exactly a month since I left London & I find the Parramatta left London on the same day as I did {3}.

Not very much to describe of my life on board the ship. I found the people all very ready to be friendly, quite a small party only some 50 or 60, & I was not quite so much of an intruder as I had expected because a number of them had only come on at Colombo a day or so before.

I sit at meals next an American who is a thorough specimen of the globe trotting Yankee; & who succeeded in doing Madras during the few hours the boat stopped there, by just taking a trolly car from one end of the city to the other end and back again.

Though I got on board according to instructions, about 8 A.M. the boat has so much cargo to deal with that it does not get off till nearly 5 o’c in the afternoon.

[20–21 Dec.] Monday & Tuesday pass along easily enough with deck cricket in the afternoon, & Tuesday night we reach the mouth of the Hoogly (that branch of the Ganges Delta on which Calcutta lies) & remain till dawn, for the ascent of the river must be in daylight. [22 Dec.] Wednesday we slowly proceed up the river an operation which requires some care, as the bed of the river is constantly changing with the shifting sand {4}, & reach the landing stage about ½ past 3. The same night I go on by train to Mozufferpore [23 Dec.] reaching there about noon {5} & am glad to find Adie waiting for me on the platform.

Mozufferpore is a large station with perhaps 80 or a 100 Europeans but I don’t suppose they are ever there all at once, and at Xmas time, particularly, a number of them are away. When one speaks of the residents in an English town one would regard a person who had been there only a couple of years as quite a new comer; this is not at all the case with the stations in India; nearly all the Europeans are officials and they constantly are getting shifted on from one place to another; 2 years would represent an old inhabitant, a few months would cover a good number; and perhaps—I speak quite at random—only ½ the people would have been there over the year. Thus with the I.C.S people they get shifted about during their years in India all through a sort of division of their presidency, and get in time to know nearly everyone in it.

But of such general matters as these I shall be able to speak with more knowledge later on & I propose leaving a great number of them to write about in a final encyclical which I shall write on leaving India.

I may as well state here that I have booked passage (P & O) from Colombo in a boat which will probably leave April 29.

The last date to post letters to India for me will therefore be April 1 & up till then they should be sent | c/o Thos Cook & Son | Bombay.

It will probably be possible to post on to the Australian P & O by which I am going to be delivered to me ‘passenger from Colombo to Australia’, but I am not sure of the name of the boat. Afterwards letters should be sent | c/o Thos Cook & Son | 269 Collins St | Melbourne

As I said at the beginning I do not propose to say very much about my time spent at Mozufferpore because the actual incidents of it would read very much the same as those of easy life anywhere; except perhaps, you will say, the time of rising; well really in India one must get up early, because the hours just after sunrise, & the hour or two as the sun is setting are much the best of the day. But I consider we used to get up rather late at M—, I frequently get up at 6 or 6.30.

When I say ‘the hour or two as the sun is setting’ don’t imagine that we get anything to speak of in the way of twilight; probably at 4 o’clock it is still tremendously hot, & you have to wear your pith helmet against the heat of the sun, & by 6 o’c it is quite dark. When I was at Nellore there was only about an hour we could play lawn tennis; 50 minutes before sunset 10 minutes after.

[25 Dec.] On Xmas day we went to a dinner party at the Collector’s {6} (head Magistrate’s) house, & the whole party played a game of sort of dining room badminton afterwards; [27 Dec.] and on the following Monday we went there again to a jolly little dance. English Xmas fare was of course the order of the day at the dinner, & we pulled crackers & drank to absent friends. On the Monday I danced on into [28 Dec.] my birthday & went (cycled) home with the added weight of the 1st year of my second quarter century!

One day, an indigo planter {7} (there are a great many all round M—) came to stop a day with Adie and offered to take me back with him to spend a couple of nights at his “factory” (this term includes as well as the actual factory, his own house & grounds & I think all the land under indigo cultivation) & this I was pleased to do.

(This letter reminds me of the report of one [of] my speeches in the C. Union, given by the Review “Mr Lawrence with a halting delivery & lame sincerity spoke in contemptuous footnotes” The similarity refers to the footnotes, because I have put into the letter so many parentheses; the halting delivery too probably about hits the mark.)

There was not very much going on at the factory as the growing is in the spring and the manufacture in the summer, and at these times they are very busy; but there were large numbers of coolies at work in the fields & we rode round them inspecting; this the planter does every morning, because if there is no inspection work will be shirked, or the foreman will pretend to have employed more men than he actually has done.

I was interested in the sort of wages received; all the family seem to work, the man gets perhaps 10 pies a day, the woman 8 & the children 4 or 6; and 12 pies make one anna ie one penny! So that one is reminded of the workmen who worked for a penny a day. At the same time the man probably owns some little private land on which he can grow a few things for himself.

The planter is generally landlord as well as employer, and has the people under his thumb; & no doubt he drives a pretty good bargain for himself in many cases by methods which seem somewhat doubtful to English bred ears, but the people are probably surprised that being all powerful he does not make greater use of his opportunities; they would be worse treated under native rulers, & but for the feeling of subservience to a foreign race would prefer the present régime. (Of course you must remember in all these statements of native opinion I only speak from what I have been told, it would be quite impossible for me to get any idea of it direct from the people themselves).

I was also interested in the sort of life the planters lead, far far away from anyone but this extraordinary race of cringing people. A desolate sort of life, & my friend thoroughly disliked it; he seemed to regard India as a sort of trap into which people fell when they were young, & being once out here, found it too late to go back again & start life at home. I have found some other people who have held somewhat ths view and a great many who have held quite the opposite.

For my own part I don’t think I should care to live out here permanently; there is a spirit of unrest about the place which would be very trying.

It seemed funny out in such a lonely spot, to spend the afternoon in putting out & playing a game at croquet, with a set made by Ayers & Son of London.

My friend, the planter, was an old Cambridge man of the same year as myself, but as he belonged to Pembroke we did not find we had very many friends in common.

Adie was very kind to me & took me round to call upon all the people at M—; I think I have said that when a new person comes to a station, it is the custom for him to go round & call upon all the ladies of the station; the proper time to do this is between 12 and 2, as after that hour a great many ladies retire to sleep; the proper length of a call (this would suit Carry) is ten minutes; so every day—or a good many days—Adie & I were to be seen on bicycles performing a round.

One morning I went to see a village industry, blanket making; everything was done from the raw wool to the finished article—not very finished—& all the apparatus was of the most primitive kind: the weaving machine had only 1 beam & no comb, the man using a piece of bamboo cut like a large paper knife & thrusting alternately between the threads instead.

Another morning I went to see the jail, where the prisoners were engaged in various works, among others in making Persian Carpets.

[About 3 Jan.] {8} At the beginning of Jany I returned to Calcutta & one of the first things which I did was to engage a servant from Cooks. Specifically he is a “travelling boy” & speaks English very well; up to this point I had been studying up Hindustani, but now I am afraid I have left off learning it as I require it so little. The man I have got (for though he is called a “boy” he is old enough to be my father) is a Mussulman & seems extremely capable & so far as I can judge honest. He gets what is viewed out here as a fabulously large salary 2 or 3 times as much as most servants get; yet what seems very small from a European point of view. His wages are 35 rupees a month, and it appears all travelling boys of this kind get the same. For this he “finds” himself. He waits on me at table, looks after my clothes & is generally useful, but of course he is not prepared to do nearly as much as an English servant. He also dresses me, but this I think I could do as well without. His principal use is when I am travelling or stopping in hotels, as then nothing is safe from the hand of the despoiler. Later on I shall probably be able to give you a better description.

I spent about a fortnight in Calcutta, & while the first part of my time I found rather slow, leaving my letters of introduction etc, at the end I had so much to do it was difficult to get it all in: I suppose this must always be so more or less when one goes to a strange place, but I think it was partly my own fault, as I did not go & call upon all the people I might have done, at first.

Altogether I met a number of Old Caledonians & old Parramattans & they were a great help to me, & were very kind.

One day I went to tea with Babington Smith the Viceroy’s secretary who is a fellow of Trinity {9} & to whom I had a letter of introduction from the Master of Trinity {10}. [6 Jan.] Then I went to the large ball at the Government House where only Europeans came {11}, almost every one in Calcutta; [11 Jan.] & another evening to a party to which natives also were invited {12}; [13 Jan.] then another day there was the ceremony of the Investiture of different orders Commander of the Indian Empire (C I E) etc. {13} It is difficult for me to say very much in description; some of the costumes of the Indian princes were very magnificent & their jewels were superb. Those whom you have seen, & the pictures of them will probably enable you to get some idea.

Then one evening I went down to the Seaman’s Institute where there was a sort of social gathering and a little dance; it seemed quite like a workman’s club in England, & so funny to find it out here, so many English sailors; I enquired for any from Victoria docks way, but I could not find any.

[12 Jan.] Then one day I spent with a man of the Oxford Mission Rev F W Douglas† who took me round among the slums {14}; we saw the extraordinary images, they do poojah (worship) to; also we saw the place where they burnt their dead. Then too he took me to a Rajah’s palace, full of some really beautiful things & with magnificent floors; but everything lumped about just anyhow, mixed up with any amount of rubbish; on the outside a number of sort of scaffold poles were lying about, looking as though the house was just being done up; but I was assured that it was always so.

Douglas† himself looks after what is known as a “mess”, that is a place where a number of students who are working for their university exams, live together. His place was kept fairly in order & clean, but the places he took me too† where the students ran their messes on their own account might better be described by saying they “pigged” together. The cost for board & lodging is about 12 rupees a month (ie 4/– a week)! Then lectures etc cost them some small sum, & these are their total expenses; rather different from what we have to pay at the Varsity!

Then one day I was taken round the Opium dens by one of the Commissioners. He told me when I started that I might say anything I liked about them to friends, but I must not make use of what I saw to speak or write against government; it seems they have been bothered with a lot of people who have gone prying into the matter, knowing little or nothing, & have made a lot of trouble. These dens used to be licensed & then he could inspect them & see they were kept respectable; now these busybodies had stirred up sentiment & refused to license them any longer, so that unlicensed places grew up quite as numerous as before & much worse kept. Of course every now & then he comes down & catches them & has them fined; so they keep a man on the look out, who gives a note of warning & all the people in the den hurry out of the way. On this occasion my friend was only taking me round, & so he just said “he didn’t intend to catch them” & they seemed quite to trust him in a great number of cases, & remain just as they were. We saw first one class of dens where opium is mixed with a black powder & rolled up into little balls to smoke, and secondly the real opium smoking when the man gets a little opium melted in a flame, & puts it in his pipe, & then still holding his pipe over the flame, just has his 3 or 4 wiffs, & then begins again. My friend made me a present of one of these pipes which I shall show you one day.

Of course you must not confuse the selling of opium & the keeping of smoking dens; the 2 things are quite distinct, the former is allowed in licensed shops, the latter is now forbidden.

One day I went to call upon Mr Whitehead who is a brother of one of the fellows of Trinity {15}; he himself is head of the Bishops College, a school for instructing native Christians; I went to lunch there & was shown over the place; I also had some talk with him about the whole question of native Christianity, but it is a very difficult subject; at any rate it would seem that the work of soundly educating the children of native Christian parents cannot be anything but good. All the missionaries of the College & of the Oxford mission belong to the high church party, & there was staying with them an army man who was more or less of their way of thinking. I was interested in hearing his position, especially as I have known well several low church men in Cambridge. He also took me to his Church. As he had a good deal of time upon his hands I went about with him, sometimes cycling, sometimes going [in] the quaint little boats upon the river. One day we cycled and trained to Chandinagore which is one of the towns under French Jurisdiction. Another day we went across to the botanical gardens, where there are magnificent avenues of tropical trees, a splendid place for cycling. The French station was curious, it looked so funny to see “Rue de la Gare” stuck up and such like.

There was also a zoological gardens which I went to see, but our London Zoo rather spoils us for all other entertainments of a similar kind.

I went several times to the theatre while I was in Calcutta & saw among other things the Liliputian troop performing in Robinson Crusoe; one evening I made up a party of old Caledonians & we all went together and took a box.

Every afternoon as soon as the sun ceases to be hot, there is a special road where every body drives, known as the red road; then when it is dark the band plays in the Eden Gardens some people getting out of their carriages & walking about; but the great majority just have their carriages stop & sit in them, for people are very lazy about walking.

Another afternoon I went to play lawn tennis with some boat friends & spent a pleasant time.

Then I went to call upon Mr Mozoomdar who is one of the leading lights of the Bramo Somaj movement {16}; he insisted upon getting up a meeting of Bramo Somaj students for me, [16 Jan.] & I went there Sunday afternoon, & described to them, as I was requested, a little about Cambridge life. Our whole idea of a Varsity is very different from theirs; they merely look upon it as an institution for giving lectures & for examining. All the students work very hard, principally cramming; so far as I could judge there is very little real interest in the work. They were very much amused at the idea of some of our men going up to Cambridge mainly for the rowing or the cricket, and some of them asked questions. There were, besides students, several other Bramo Somaj people to whom Mr Mozoomdar introduced me, among them I met a man who had been up at Cambridge (a native I mean) & whom I knew slightly when I was there {17}. Then when the meeting was over they put a garland of flowers round my neck(!) which they say is an oriental custom, & gave me to taste of all kinds of native fruits & sweets. I was very glad to have the opportunity of tasting but I can’t say they were highly delectable; while I was going in for these things they didn’t eat but remained looking on & watching my face as I tried each new thing, a little embarrassing to say the least of it. I had come on my bicycle, & they almost wanted to me† wear my garland to ride home in, but I couldn’t quite swallow that, so I got them to do it up in a piece of paper & I hung it in my room at the hotel.

Altogether I enjoyed my stay in Calcutta very much; & was very glad to have the opportunity of studying native life. What with the Opium dens, the slums, the streets of the bazar† (one I drove through was so narrow that the vehicle almost touched both side houses at once) & my visit to the Bramo Somaj I felt I had really got just a little bit behind the scenes, & had ideas of some sides of Indian life of which many Anglo Indians even are ignorant.

One thing my friend Mr Douglas of the Oxford Mission said to me, which impressed me very much, while he was showing me the Students† messes. He said “These Hindoos have beautiful manners; now you would think from this apparent pleasure at seeing us, & the glad welcome they accord, they really liked our coming to see them. On the contrary they hate & dislike us. It is not altogether (or even mainly) fear which make[s] them treat us here as they do, it is simply their manners”. Of the country as a whole he said “We merely govern it by the sword & but for the impossibility of the people acting together we should not succeed; yet mark the marvellous order we are able to keep in the streets; & moreover remember a native would always prefer an Englishman to judge his quarrel”.

All these statements seem somewhat contradictory but I have found other people say almost exactly the same. I don’t know that they are really quite true, & of course you must not include people like the Bramo Somaj. One word more:—The Hindoo is exasperatingly dilatory & the Englishman curses him for it & treats him as a fool! (This is my own.)

{18} But I expect you will be most of all anxious to hear about the eclipse, so I write this at once in case I should not have another opportunity of writing. [17 Jan.] I left Calcutta on Monday evening 17th Jany & travelling continuously [18 Jan.] I arrived at Sahdol at eleven o’clock on Tuesday night. That is what I should call a nice easy pleasant journey, because I only had one change, & no time to wait at the changing station; whereas now on my way back to Mozuffapore, I am stranded here (Bankipore) with 7 —— hours to wait because the trains have just missed. One thinks a good deal in England of having to wait an hour or so at a station; here one just accepts the inevitable. The native sitting & waiting, is in his element & is perfectly happy. When I arrived at Sahdol I was met by a servant, who sent on my bedding with a coolie & a “peon” {19} showed me my way to a tent where my bedding was unfolded and I slept soundly till morn; when I awoke I saw no sign of my other luggage or my boy, till about 8 o’clock Campbell came & said I had really gone to the wrong tent. He himself had only just arrived as he had missed trains somewhere along the route & had been delayed a day; he had wired to the chief to have me met at the station. The tent I had slept in, belonged to a man who was coming up next day, so it was all right.

There were two parties in the Astronomical camp at Sahdol, 1stly the English party consisting of The Astronomer Royal (Christie), Turner & others, unfortunately Dr Common had decided at the last not to come {20}; & 2nd the Madras Party, with Michie Smith the Government Astronomer as chief, & several others among whom Campbell was one; it was this party which I joined, & as soon as I was introduced to Michie Smith he said he would like to make use of me during the eclipse as he was rather short of hands; I had not really quite wanted to be employed, as I had intended to get a good view of the phenomenon; still of course I could hardly refuse, especially as he added ‘you will be able to see the eclipse all right’; further, I was a little pleased at taking a real part (so to speak) in the observations.

During the days which elapsed before the eclipse we lived a rough & tumble sort of life, sleeping in our tents at night under a great pile of blankets, for it was very cold, & wearing thin clothes during the day because of the great heat. The range of shade temperature was from 80 to 30 and this hardly really gives an idea of the heat in the middle of the day, because it is the sun itself which makes it seem so warm. Hot at 5 PM at 5.30 the sun would set, at 6 one wanted a small coat & before 6.30 one needed an ulster, & we often dined in our ulsters in the evening.

We saw something of Christie & Turner & the others of their party; their instruments were especial eclipse instruments, & were similar to the ones I had seen in Norway the summer before last {21}. Our instruments, on the other hand were all general observatory instruments & had to be adapted for eclipse work.

M. Smith himself used a heliostat which was erected on a mound he had had made, some 15 ft high which went by the name of “Mount Sahdol” in the camp. I don’t propose to give a detailed description, but the heliostat is in the main a revolving mirror, & this one reflected the sun down a long 40 ft tube & so by means of lenses to an image on a photographic plate. M Smith & several of the party worked at this; & Campbell was put in charge of another instrument with your humble servant to assist him. This instrument consisted of an ordinary equatorial telescope, with an apparatus (at the end, where the eye would usually be placed) for photographic plates. An “equatorial” I may describe as an ordinary telescope which can be turned towards the sun or a star, & which by means of clock work is made to move so that it continually points towards the same object while the earth goes round its axis during the day. The photographic arrangement was made so as to enable a number of plates to be exposed in succession.

[Alongside the following words is a rough sketch of the telescope and case.] I am afraid my powers of drawing are quite unequal to making you understand even the principle of the thing. The first picture is intended to be a diagrammatic sketch of the telescope & case for the plates {22}. [Alongside the following words is a rough sketch of the case.] The second to show the case for the plates alone. In this the telescope is supposed to be pointing through the paper, with the eye piece end in contact with the plate marked A; then by turning the case round by means of the handles B, each of the plate† successively could be brought into the same position.

Campbell’s business it was to turn the case round, & call out to me the times of exposure, while I stood on a couple of packing cases, & did the exposures by taking off & on my straw hat (!) at the end C.

During the days before the eclipse I was given a good many calculations to do, & worked out from formulae the times of 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th contacts [Alongside the following words are diagrams of the four contacts between sun and moon] ie, the times of commencement of eclipse, commencement of totality, end of totality, & end of eclipse. These times seem to have been verified pretty closely by observation, but they could not be very accurate, as we were not quite certain of our longitude. The totality was about 103 seconds; and the whole eclipse began about 0h–13m–9s & ended 3h–1m–46s local time. The last day before the eclipse we had several practices of the work we had to do. The programme for our instrument was as follows: A few seconds before totality I take off the real cap of the instrument & replace it by my straw hat; then totality having begun, Campbell opens the shutter & calls out “½” whereupon I expose for a guessed ½ second, Campbell rotates the case & calls out “1” & I expose for about a second; then 2, 4, 8, 16, 8, 4, 1, in succession, the longer times I count with a bell which is ringing out seconds. And during the longer exposures I am to have time to look at the eclipse. We find that we have just nice time to get through these 10 exposures during the 103 seconds. After that, Campbell shuts the shutter, I put on the real cap, & afterwards ½ a minute after totality is over, give a very rapid exposure of the partial phase by means of a slit (Campbell raising the shutter meanwhile).

I have not mentioned that the place where we were encamped was in a clearing which had been made right in the middle of the jungle; one day a man brought home a tiger which he had shot less than 2 miles from the camp!

[22 Jan.] Saturday all is ready; & about the calculated time the eclipse begins in a cloudless sky.

During the partial phase I noticed several things the exact opposite of what I saw in Norway; in the first place whereas there the light seemed to remain about the same up to within a minute or two of totality & then to get rapidly darker, here the light seemed to get gradually less all the way through; secondly whereas there the horns of the solar crescent were particularly pointed I noted here that they appeared cut off—no doubt an optical effect.

Thus at Vadsö phases were [There follow sketches of three phases of the solar crescent] here they seemed to be more like this [There follow sketches of five phases, the first and last crossed through.]

It is getting darker, only a few seconds remain to totality.

“There’s Venus!” cries M. Smith.

“There’s the Corona.”

Our work begins.

————————————

It’s all over & it’s getting light again.

What have we seen? In the first place let me say that our work somewhat interfered with our appreciation of the phenomenon as a whole; but—though this has to be borne in mind—I am compelled to admit (& I know that I am open to the charge of want of artistic sense in saying it) I was disappointed! I think that was probably because I had been led to expect so much. This feeling of mine was shared by a good many of those observers who were seeing an eclipse for the first time.

To begin with, it never got really very dark, I don’t think it was as dark even as totality in Norway; in the second place there was no shadow to be seen; & thirdly there were hardly any colour effects.

Having said all this, I have probably said too much. We saw the corona, we saw at least one prominence, & we saw Venus & I think Mars & Mercury. The Corona itself is somewhat less tangible or real than one is led to imagine, & looks really much more like the extending rays of the sun which one sometimes sees in England. It is very often drawn like this [There follows a sketch of the sun with rays, or streamers, radiating from it] which gives you an idea that the lines of the streamers go in the directions of the lines drawn. In reality what is shown above is only intended as an outline of all the streamers that there are; I should attempt to draw it as below. [There follows another similar sketch, with a greater number of radial streamers.] all the streamers appearing radial.

The picture I have just drawn represents somewhat the corona of the present eclipse. Out in the direction A was to be seen Venus shining very brightly; & somewhat further on & a little above were Mercury & Mars. When the sun’s disc was covered, a very bright spot could be seen at B. To some this appeared of the same colour as the sun itself, & it flashed through their mind that it might be Vulcan, the conjectured inner planet, but for my own part at any rate this idea was immediately dismissed, 1stly because it was much too bright, 2nd because it was much too big. Other observers saw the spot a brilliant red. It was in fact an exceptionally fine prominence. It comes out well in the 2 photographs which I saw developed, before I left Sahdol; & there are a number of other mushroom shaped prominences to be seen in them as well.

The colour of the corona was, as one is always told, a sort of milky white, & objects on the earth were a dull slate colour.

The horizon, or parts of it, appeared to be bright all through the phenomenon, but some people saw cloudlike shadows on distant hills.

Altogether it was a very fine eclipse, & I was very pleased to have an opportunity of seeing it & taking part in the observations. It was only as a stupendously grand phenomenon, which should indelibly imprint itself upon the mind, & remain there as the most wonderful thing ever seen, that it seemed to me not to fulfil one’s expectation. This impression appears to be shared by the great majority (from what I hear now) of those who saw it.

The fact that we never saw the shadow moving is perhaps to be accounted for by the fact that we only commanded a very limited horizon; but I was given to understand than† one man who had gone up a hill, had not observed it either. Perhaps it is to be connected with the gradual withdrawal of light; but this term is only relative. Moreover people viewing it from other places seem to have observed a sudden withdrawal {23}. Lastly as to colour effects, I suppose it would always be difficult to account satisfactorily for their appearance or non-appearance. Some people apparently saw changes of colour of the inner corona; these I had no opportunity of observing; but in any case I don’t believe they can be seen well unless one deliberately shuts or covers one’s eyes for several minutes before totality begins.

{24} This sheet is by way of being a sort of postscript to my second encyclical. A few pages back I described to you how I had to wait 7 hours at Bankipore; at the present moment I am in a still worse predicament, because I am stranded here (Bankipore again) till my luggage turns up. I saw it booked & labelled at Mozuffapore, but even so it never seems to have been put into the train; & I dare not go any further without it lest I should be divorced from it altogether. Rather hopeless! but I keep the official busy telegraphing & it may ultimately turn up. You can perhaps imagine that the frame of mind I am in is not very conducive to letter writing, & especially is delay disagreeable to me as just at the present, I want all the time I can get, in order to put in everything that I ought to do up here, before going down to join Booty {25} by Feby 26. As you know he lives in S. Canara & in order to avoid the possibility of plague quarantine I shall probably have to go all round by Calcutta Madras & Calicut.

I have just spent a very jolly 2 or 3 days with Adie {26}, coming in for the tail of Mozuffapore week. Sports, tournaments, races, dances all formed part of the programme, & crowds of people as one thinks out here (perhaps 3 or 4 hundred) had come into the station from the surrounding country. [26 Jan.] The last evening, Wednesday, we had a delightful fancy dress ball; of course having stopped 10 days at M— at Xmas time I knew quite a number of people & enjoyed myself immensely. A Pierrot costume is very much more pleasant to dance in than dress clothes. [27 Jan.] I stayed over Thursday & went out to dinner that night, & left by train 1.30 A.M, intending to get on to Benares this morning; but alas man proposes and ——. Every now & again I take train down to the river & take steamer across to meet the trains coming from Mozuffapore, but so far I have met with no success.

[2 Feb.] Roorkee Feby 2. Well you see here I am & not without my luggage! The last occasion of my crossing the river, for which this description was broken off, ended in my finding my luggage come by the Mozuffapore train; I returned with it in triumph, went & looked up a man in Bankipore whom I had met at M—, had dinner with him & caught night train on to Benares. Now I expect you will want a detailed description of what I saw in Benares, and this is just what you won’t get. The really fine thing is the view of the city from the Ganges. I got on to a small boat & was paddled very slowly down. You see the banks are high & slope down into the water; all the temples and Rajahs’ palaces are built at a normal height on the side away from the river; then they have a great wall & steps down on the river side, so that from the water they stand up perhaps 100 feet or more. Then there are a great number of people bathing & washing clothes in the Ganges because it is the sacred river, though you may be sure it is dirty enough really. I am afraid I have made this really grand & impressive Oriental sight only appear ridiculous.

I think in the last page I was speaking of Benares {27}, the great feature of which is the view of the city from the river. Of course there are temples without number, & among them is the monkey temple, where monkeys roam about at their pleasure & issue forth to steal from the surrounding suburb. Then there is the learned holy man who alone of all the holy men one comes across is not prepared to receive a gratuity; he shakes hands with you & presents you with a copy of his commentary on the Vedas.

Lucknow must always be memorable for the successful defence of the Residency during 5 months of siege. I was shown all over the Residency compound & received instruction from the native who is in charge, & who frequently brought his sentences to a close with “and outside there were 50,000 & inside but 2000 men”. And then I went into the grave yard where are buried those who fell during the siege; into this none but Europeans are allowed to go. There I found the famous tomb with the inscription

Here lies
Henry Lawrence
Who tried to do his duty

Altogether the graves were very simple, & the whole effect very impressive.

At Lucknow I also saw the great palace of the king of Oudh; a huge quadrangle all coloured with saffron, not really very fine art, but a thing not to be forgotten.

And so I went on to Roorkee & arriving 4.50 A.M found my friend Tipple awaiting me at the railway station; awfully good of him I thought, especially as it was quite dark & I subsequently found he didn’t as a rule get up till 7.30. “But” said he “it isn’t everyday I get a visitor come & see me, in fact you are the first & I have been out here nearly a year.” Tipple is Professor at Roorkee Thomason College, & during the day while he was occupied, I went also to the labs and spent my time in trying without much success to arrange an apparatus for distilling some very dirty mercury. Then when work was over we played lawn tennis or rowed or rode; & in the evening we either dined alone & talked of old times or we went around to the R.E officers’ mess of which I was courteously made an honorary member during my stay at Roorkee. Altogether a quiet time but very pleasant.

One day Tipple was talking & said that one of the disadvantages of the place was that there was nowhere to get away to from Saturday to Monday. The next day I got a letter from Hutchinson—who came out with me on the Caledonia—saying he was assistant magistrate at Moradabad & his chief was H. S. Rix another old friend of mine. Now Moradabad is quite close to Roorkee, & I found Tipple knew both the men too; so we at once settled to make a Sat–Mon trip over there. [5–7 Feb.] You will perhaps modify your idea of what I call “quite close” when you hear that it took us 7 hours to get over there, & 4 hours in the middle of the night, to come back; the distance was in fact 100 miles, but to a globe trotter who has covered some 2000 miles in the previous 3 weeks c’est une bagatelle. It was rather a relief to be travelling without all my baggage, for my boy by careful subdivision of packages has brought the number up to 14 in all including two of his own. And we spent an extremely pleasant little week end, & it seemed quite like dear Old Cambridge again. {28}

And so I went back to Roorkee, & finished out my stay there & started for Delhi having spent a very pleasant week.

(Before I forget, did I tell you that one day at Calcutta when I was driving through a very narrow street of the bazaar, it got so bad that the driver had to take the horse out to get the small victoria round one of the narrow corners?)

I had a letter of introduction to one of the members of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, from the Master of Trinity; so when I went to Delhi I stopped at the Mission House, which was once a Rajah’s palace & is a fine old place in a quaint compound.

I do not propose to say anything—at any rate now—on the subject of Mission work, but it was very jolly meeting so many old Cambridge men. I found one man who was up in Trinity in my year. And there was also a layman there who was able to go about a bit with me as he had not much to do.

But my sight seeing in Delhi was somewhat spoilt by the rain, & I am afraid my recollections of the town will always be mixed up with mud & slush. Of course in reality Delhi is not more favoured with rain than other places, & that which they had when I was there was the only rain since October. Arrangements in India are not intended for rain—at any rate in the winter—the interiors of bungalows become very dark, & of course there is little or nothing to be done outside. I suppose however that rain is always “the deluge!”—so to speak—to an idle globetrotter.

The interest of Delhi is of 3 kinds:—1st reminiscences of the mutiny 2nd buildings of the town 3rd the ruins to the south & the Kutb.

Of the reminiscences of the mutiny I do not propose to say anything because no short words of mine can bring them vividly before you. A mixture of sadness & pride must always fill the mind whenever they are exhibited, & these cannot be conveyed in words.

Of the buildings of the town, the fort or palace, & the great wall which runs all round Delhi are relics of the past, while the Jumna Musjid (or Friday Mosque) is used still by Mohammedans; [11 Feb.] I went there Friday morning & at 1 o’clock the mosque itself & the great open court yard which faces it was crowded with worshippers. {29} All men. At a signal they stood up. At a signal they knelt upright. At a signal they knelt with their foreheads touching the ground. A wonderful sight 2 or 4 thousand men all taking part in worship, all acting together. Rather a different thing from the way people get up to sing a hymn in our churches at home.

Some 10 miles south of the city is the great Kutb {30}, a monument some 240 ft high, built of red sandstone with a little marble in places & wonderfully carved. Truly a fine sight & worth coming 10 miles to see; it is in 5 storeys, & there is supposed to be some arithmetic relation between the height of the separate storeys. (I have just read through what I have written & have come to the conclusion that it is utterly fatuous & futile to attempt to describe—at least for me—& the only thing to do would be to copy out the guide book & this I don’t intend to do.)

Between the city & the Kutb are ruins of former cities & tombs, ruins & tombs, tombs & ruins. Some of the tombs are stately marble buildings, some are of the universal red sandstone, all have the dome of the mosque, being tombs of Mohammedan rulers. (an unintentional hexameter)

Of ancient appearance: one dreams of pyramidal antiquity, & it is rather a surprise to learn that they don’t date back as many hundreds as the pyramids† thousands of years.

But if Delhi was perhaps a little disappointing (that was no doubt due partly to the weather), Agra I felt to be most beautiful. And of all things the Taj. The tomb erected by Shah Jehan for his favourite wife. Wondrous structure of white marble of colossal dimensions, of perfect proportions, of the most delicate workmanship. Exquisite carving, labour of years of thousands of skilled men.

The Taj gardens surround it & there in the shade it is possible to sit & gaze & gaze upon the sublime structure.

Many other beautiful things I saw in Agra, & one day I cycled out to a wonderful old Palace at Fatehpur Sikri, sleeping the night there. The next day I wandered about among the ruins & inspected the tomb surrounded by marble screens of beautiful trellis work; & in the evening I returned home.

I was fortunate in coming across several old Varsity men, also globe trotting; 2 Cambridge men & an Oxford man; none of them I knew before, but of course I found we had many friends in common.

From Agra I went to Gwalior where I slept a night. Gwalior is in a Native State, but there is an English Resident there & the whole place seemed to me quite as English if not more so than the English territory. I stayed at the Guest House which is a kind of Hotel, but more like an English Country house than the ordinary Indian Hotel; & I was the only person there.

I drove out to the foot of the fort, & then I rode on an elephant up to the top & was shown all round. It is a grand place & looks quite impregnable, but I am told that at the present day it can be reached by artillery from the distant hills. I also drove to the Palace. The Maharajah is very fond of trains, & has a little private line which runs right into the palace.

Now here I am at Bombay {31} (did I mention before that some of the tram horses here wear hats!) & I sail for Mangalore to see Booty on Friday Feb 25

—————

Square brackets in the MS have been replaced in the transcript by round brackets.

{1} ‘Ghusl’ is, strictly speaking, a form of Islamic ritual washing; ‘garum pani’ is Hindi for hot water.

{2} Sir Arthur Havelock.

{3} Friday, 19 November. See The Times, 15 Nov. 1897, p. 6.

{4} In his autobiography Lawrence added: ‘“All passengers on deck” was called out at the danger point where a former ship, the William and Mary, had been sunk with passengers trapped below. But we encountered no trouble and arrived safely in port.’ (Fate Has Been Kind, p. 38.)

{5} Lawrence apparently crossed the Ganges by steamer at Bankipore (Patna) earlier in the day. See 6/11.

{6} Not identified.

{7} This man has not been identified, though Lawrence later recorded (see p. 53) that he was a Cambridge man of the same year as himself who had been at Pembroke College.

{8} Lawrence probably left Muzaffarpur on 3 or 4 January, which was the intention he expressed in a letter to his sister Ellen on 27 December (6/16), but it does not appear possible to be precise. His letter from Calcutta to his father on 5 January (6/11) gives the impression that he had only just arrived there, and he later recorded (p. 56) that he stayed at Calcutta for ‘about a fortnight’ (he left on the 17th). This evidence cannot be reconciled precisely with his statements elsewhere (6/11; p. 93) that he was at Muzaffarpur for only ten days (this would indicate that he left on the 1 or 2 January), but perhaps these were simply rough estimates.

{9} Henry Babington Smith. He had been elected a fellow of Trinity in 1890 and was in India from 1894 to 1899 as private secretary to the Earl of Elgin.

{10} H. M. Butler.

{11} See 6/11.

{12} See 6/11, 6/3. This party too was held at Government House.

{13} See 6/3 and the Times of India, 17 Jan. 1898, p. 5.

{14} See 6/3. Douglass (sic) had been at the Oxford Mission in Calcutta since 1892. See The Times, 25 July 1949, p. 7.

{15} Henry Whitehead, Principal of Bishop’s College and Superior of the Oxford Mission, Calcutta; afterwards Bishop of Madras. He was brother of the mathematician and philosopher A. N. Whitehead, a Fellow of Trinity.

{16} This visit was made before Lawrence wrote to his aunt on the 12th. See 6/3.

{17} This man has not been identified.

{18} A new gathering (pp. 71–90) begins here, the contents of which were evidently written during Lawrence’s seven-hour wait at Bankipore station during his journey from Sahdol to Mozuffapore, about 26 January. This section contains a number of later annotations in pencil, evidently made in the process of producing an edited report of the eclipse, but the purpose for which this was done is not known.

{19} An attendant or messenger.

{20} The report of the expedition led by Sir William Christie, with a plan of the site, was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, lxiv (17 Nov. 1898–16 Mar. 1899), 1–21, and as an appendix to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. lviii (1898). See also Christie’s papers in the Cambridge University Library (RGO 7/198).

{21} At Vadsö. See Fate Has Been Kind, pp. 36–7.

{22} ‘telescope … plates’ written above ‘whole without showing the supports or the clock’, struck through.

{23} ‘a sudden withdrawal’ written above ‘the opposite’, struck through.

{24} A new folded sheet (pp. 91–4) begins here. The first two paragraphs were written on 28 January, while Lawrence was at Bankipore waiting for his luggage.

{25} Percy Abbey Booty, a friend of Lawrence’s from Trinity. He had entered the ICS in 1894, and at the time of Lawrence’s tour was Head Assistant Magistrate and Collector at Mangalore.

{26} Lawrence probably arrived at Mazuffapur about 25 January. In a letter to his Uncle Edwin on 5 January Lawrence had written that he would probably return there from the 23rd to the 28th, ‘when the special Mozuffapore week is on’. But it would appear that his stay was not as long as he had intended, perhaps owing to his delay at Bankipore. He left for Benares very early on the morning of the 28th (p. 94).

{27} This suggests that the previous part of the letter was despatched before this one was begun.

{28} The ink changes here.

{29} The ink changes here.

{30} Lawrence drove out to the Kut’b on 11 February. See 6/17.

{31} Lawrence arrived at Bombay some time between 20 February, when he was still in the train from Agra (p. 140), and the 23rd, when he wrote from Bombay to his aunt enclosing the conclusion of this encyclical (6/4). For some of his activities there see 6/21.

† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

In the train from Madras to Tuticorin.—Explains his views on titles of honour, and encloses part of an ‘encyclical’. Refers to his stay at Madras, where Michie Smith showed him the results of the eclipse work.

—————

Transcript

Train from Madras to Tuticorin
April 27. 98

My dear Tante.

I have been meaning to write to you for a long time to answer your letter of March 3, but somehow I have always had something to write to the Vunculus about, on business, & so have waited till now.

There is only one point in your letter to which I want to refer; you say you had feared I shared my sister’s prejudices on the subject of title. No: I have always believed very strongly that a title is one of the few recognitions of desert which a grateful nation can bestow. What I am somewhat opposed to is hereditary title, though I am always prepared to admit that it is not without its advantages. Personally however I am very glad that none ever fell to my lot.

The sheet of my encyclical which I enclose tells the tale of my stay at Nellore, altogether I had a very jolly time there, & some of my equestrian experiences were great fun. I think I had a glimpse of the feeling of those who have said that they wanted to spend their life in the saddle & die at last by breaking their neck at a fall, a sentiment which I never understood at all before,—& one which even now I have no intention of attempting to put into practice!

I had a very pleasant two days in Madras, & saw most of the people I had met before. Michie Smith was very kind to me, & showed me all his instruments & the results of the eclipse work, he also gave me some prints of the corona taken by our instrument, one of which I have sent home to Mother. It was exposed 4 seconds very nearly at the commencement of totality. You will see, looking round the edge of the sun, one very bright point, this is a prominence, & should be set to the left hand; the approach of the moon was from the bottom right hand corner, & you will notice that though it has covered the whole body of the sun proper, yet there is a white rim in left hand top, the portion of the solar atmosphere not yet covered. The corona shows extended some way.

I also have a group of the Madras party which I will send home later. A miscellaneous collection of photos has also gone home, mostly representing different places out here, but there are one or two of Cambridge which Booty gave me.

M. Smith has a very large compound, & by joining with his neighbours, he has made one of the best golf links I have seen out here. I played Monday morning with him & 2 of his friends all of whom were rather good; fortunately I played up & did not make a fool of myself. That is really the great thing at golf, that the better people you play with, the better you play: you see while you learn by watching their good strokes, their play does not in any way interfere with yours.

I am now journeying steadily South, & am in lower latitudes than I have been before, I expect to reach Tuticorin this afternoon & then I go on board a boat which should land me in Colombo to-morrow morning. As I shall have a day or two to spare in Ceylon, I shall run up country, to Kandy & shall try & get a glimpse of J. Parkin who has just come out; he is a Trinity man of my year, & tried for a fellowship last October.

I hope to send a word to some one before I sail; after that as I shall not send a wire from Australia, you will not hear from me for some weeks. But I daresay that will not be much of an affliction after this train-written scrawl. I enclose a slip for E.L

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Bombay, Mangalore, Kundapur, Kota, Purdur (and other centres in South Canara), Mangalore, Nellore, Madras, Tuticorin, Colombo, Kandy, and Colombo.

(A continuation of 5/30b. Identified in the first sentence as ‘an encyclical … the third of the series’. The letter was begun some time between 3 and 10 April, and finished on the 30th.)

—————

Transcript

Once more I start to write an encyclical; this the third of the series, & the last which I shall write about India. At the present moment {1} I am at Katpadi Railway station where I was deposited soon after 3 A.M. Finding no suitable place to go to bed again, & not feeling very sleepy I had some tea & toast (a very early chota hazri) & started to take a little exercise up & down the platform watching the full moon getting lower & lower down, & finally the dawn of day & the rising of the sun just before 6 o’clock. Now I have an hour or two to spare before I shall have breakfast & then at 9.40 my train starts to carry me to Nellore. Probably it would amuse you if you could see me sitting here right out on the platform (on the shady side) in my deck chair writing on a little stool, with the ubiquitous native hanging about all round. Did I ever tell you how the native goes by train? He takes his rug & his cooking pot, & his few rupees tied up in the ends of his turban, & gets to the station; perhaps there is a train just gone, perhaps there will be one going soon, but in that case very likely he misses it by not getting (or not being able to get) his ticket in time; do you think he cares? Not a bit of it. He just sits him down, & perhaps rolls himself up in his rug and goes to sleep; later on when he feels inclined he buys a little food & cooks it & eats it, then he goes to sleep again; he probably won’t get a train for 12 hours very likely not for 24, but it doesn’t make any difference; he is just as happy at the Railway Station as anywhere else, perhaps happier because he has nothing to think about & nothing to do. So it comes about that whatever time of the day or night you arrive at a Railway Station you will probably see a number of bolster like objects strewn about some on the platform some in the sort of native waiting room. On closer inspection these objects turn out to be natives wrapt up head & all in their sheet or blanket. Shall I tell you how the European goes by train? Even he has probably to arrive ½ an hour beforehand to take the tickets & get his luggage booked, unless he allows his boy to do this. In the meanwhile his servants have come with all his luggage brought by coolies or on a bullock cart. One or two big things are very likely booked & sent in the van, the rest are poured pall mall into the carriage under the directions of the boy. The typical Mrs Brown or whoever it is that is jeered at it in England for having big box, little box, .… brown paper parcel, travels quite free handed compared with the ordinary European in India. The first class railway carriage here is generally something like the sleeping carriages of GNR {2} at home, & each compartment can sleep 4 at a pinch (upper & lower berths); but you generally consider yourselves a bit aggrieved if you have to sit more than 2 even during the day for any distance. (Here a native barber has come & shaved me just where I sit) Yesterday coming from Calicut we were 3; every available space under the seats was filled up (& they are very broad) all the space between the seats, in addition to packages on the seats & in the racks; I should think in all they must have got well into the thirties at any rate; every man having 1 or 2 bundles of rugs, one or two bags 2 or 3 despatch boxes, umbrellas, tiffin baskets, bundle of hats (this last may surprise you, my boy always insists on carrying all mine—I don’t include top hat—roll[e]d up in a pillow case) etc etc etc. I used to know at one time how many I had, but I have given that up long ago; I think my boy’s motto must be “Divide et Impera”. I calc’late he will be somewhat surprised when I insist on compressing them well within the single digit before I start for Australia.

While I am on the subject of trains there are two or three things more I want to mention: 1stly most of the lines here are broad gauges 5ft 6in (4-8½ at home) so that there is plenty of room; a few however including the line to Nellore are narrow gauge (metre). Another rather curious thing is that even the main lines (except in one or two places) are only single line & are run almost entirely on the staff system or a modification of it. Generally speaking there is only one fast train in the day along a line each way, & that is the mail. The others are immeasurably slow in comparison, so much so that unless you are only going a short distance you will generally get sooner to your destination by waiting for the mail of the following day. Moreover as distances are long, the mail must pass through many stations at night, thus frequently in travelling you are compelled to start or arrive in the middle of your night’s rest.

The fast mails go 20 to 30 miles an hour[,] stops included; & where there are no fast trains one perhaps covers 10 or 15; so to-day though it is only about 150 miles from here to Nellore I dont† arrive till 8.30 P.M. The stops for meals are definite & marked, the guard or station master wires on how many dinners etc will be required, & when you get out you find all the 1st class passengers assembling in the refreshment room. I think it is time to go & have my breakfast now, & as I am rather hungry perhaps you will excuse my running away to take it! {3}

I write now from Nellore—my 12 hour journey by narrow gauge proved as you may imagine somewhat tedious especially as in the middle of the day it got extremely hot; still I had all the carriage to myself so I did not do so badly.

Before giving you any more general descriptions I will now try & fill up with a few pictures the gap which there is between the date of my writing my last encyclical, & the present.

I think I told you that there were two ways of getting down from Bombay to Mangalore, one by the B.I {4} boat which goes straight, & the other by the little Shepherd steamers {5} which stop at some dozen ports along the coast; the former is in every way superior, but is very uncertain as to time. And so it came about that as Booty was particular as to time when I should reach him, I came to the conclusion at the last minute that I must go by Shepherd {6}. Certainly these boats are very so so but perhaps hardly quite so terrible as the Anglo Indian seems inclined to make them out; nevertheless inundated with natives, & full of cockroaches. Anglo Indians take their servants with them who cook their food for them, but as my boy is not a cook I had to make special arrangements with the Co[mpan]y (who do not as a rule provide anything) to supply me with meals.

[26 Feb.] Reached Marmagoa† Saturday afternoon & fell in with a man who drove me out to Vasco da Gama in a bullock dummy & subsequently gave me dinner before the boat started on again southwards. From there we stopped at all the little ports on the way; but we did not go along side & there was not time to get off.

[27 Feb.] Sunday afternoon I reached Kundapur which is in the South Canara district & [28 Feb.] early next morning we anchored outside the bar at Mangalore. Leaving my Boy with my luggage on board, as I had heard from Booty that he proposed going back to Kundapur in the boat that evening, I went ashore in the launch. I say “went ashore” but in reality I was landed first upon an island where I was disinfected from any chance of carrying plague by being sprinkled with 3 drops of very dilute corrosive sublimate!! After this I was allowed to sail accross† to the mainland, & there found a brougham drawn by two bullocks which conveyed me up to its master’s bungalow—the home of P A Booty.

I hadn’t seen Percy for 2½ years, but he did not seem very much changed, a little thinner perhaps.

“My dear fellow what induced you to put on a linen shirt & a collar; we never do that here except at a dinner party; let me lend you a tennis shirt.”

No sooner said than done; & never again was I so misguided in a district which is the wettest & stickiest I was ever introduced to.

But I have not told you what a pleasure it was to see again Mrs P. A. Booty & to be introduced to the first crowd baby. Query:—am I now Great Grandpapa? Answer:—No: because Percy was always known as “PA”. Unlike the Jerome K Jeromian infant “lots of hair”. “More hair than poor Grandpa haven’t you baby?”

So a pleasant few hours; & then Percy & I are carried away to the Shepherd steamer. Percy regards 3 days on the boat {7} as the 8th wonder of the world. It also tickles him to see me. For my own part, [I am] getting used to finding friends scattered about the vast peninsular.

The Anglo Indian takes beds chairs, table, & servants on board who provide meals. For the Indian cook can cook anywhere; one frying pan is all he wants & will serve you up a dinner of 6 courses. Moreover you can have it at any time. The correct hour is always 8; but if you call out at 6.30, 7, 7.30, 8, 8.30[,] 9.0, 9.30, 10.0 “Boy bring dinner”. Dinner comes.

And so we dine & I am initiated into the mysteries of picquet, sleep on deck, have chota hazri & [1 Mar.] reach Kundapur. Fine bungalow, coming right down to the water’s edge, magnificent view across the backwater—Booty’s head quarters. Sing the glory of the cocoanut palm; all the banks & all the islands of all the rivers of S. Canara are cocoanut palms, cocoanut palms, cocoanut palms. You look North & you see cocoanut palms, you look South & you see cocoanut palms you look East & you see cocoanut palms you look West & you see cocoanut palms; Mangalore is cocoanut palms. Great feathery fans of green resting on brown trunks. This is South Canara.

I have said Kundapur is Booty’s head quarters, but no other Europeans live there; so his wife stays at Mangalore when he goes out into camp. Mangalore is chief station of district, & head quarters of Collector & assistant Collector, but Booty is head assistant Collector & has head quarters of his own[;] he is also head assistant magistrate—the two things always go together—unlike Campbell & Adie who being a year junior are only assistant collectors & assistant magistrates. By the way, though, I should say that this is only an “acting” appointment of Booty’s; but you will find out when you have been in India some time that people are very rarely what they seem, they are only “acting”. Do not read a double entendre!

A ride in the morning, Booty tries cases, lawn tennis, dinner, picquet & bed; so a few days at Kundapur. [5 Mar.] Then out into camp {8}.

Now as “going into camp” is a thing which nearly all Government servants out here, have to do for a large part of their time, perhaps a few words in explanation may not be amiss.

In the first place you will observe that whether a man is in the ICS, is “forest officer”, or “policeman” or a multitude of other things his work will range over a considerable area, & though he will have a head quarters at a station, if his work is to be properly done he will frequently have to spend days & nights (for transit is slow) away from that station. No doubt some men might be inclined to shirk outside work & stay in a sociable station as long as possible. To prevent this there are a† certain regulations. In the first place ICS men are obliged to spend I believe at least 5 months out of a year in camp, & I think most other services have a similar rule. Moreover when out in camp a man draws T.A (Travelling Allowance), so many rupees a day according to his position, or if he “marches” more than 20 miles in the day so much per mile.

You will at once perceive that this is reasonable because he has to keep up his establishment at head quarters as well as that which he takes with him & the object is to encourage rather than discourage going out into camp. A man is “out in camp” whenever he is away from his head quarters, whether he is stopping at a friend’s bungalow, in a “traveller’s bungalow”, or actually under canvas.

Now get out of your head all such things as hotels, inns, restaurants, & general shops, & you will see that it is necessary to carry your whole house about with you;—tents, tables, chairs, beds, bedding, cooking utensils, bread, butter, biscuits, jam, soda water & all the required European stores to say nothing of your servants themselves & your personal luggage. Chickens, rice, & a few similar things you will be able to obtain wherever you go.

The sum total of all the things you have to carry about with you is known down in these parts as your “Saman”. The only method of carrying saman is by bullock cart & as the average rate of progression by one of these is 2 miles an hour, you will see at once that you will not be able to cover any great distance in a day, & further that one part of your saman must precede & another follow you.

If you can avoid it you do not travel in the middle of the day, so that marches are of 2 kinds[,] morning marches & evening marches.

Booty is to do “Jamabundy” {9} in the Udipi taluk (a taluk is something like a county). So after breakfast his boy & his cook start off with one bandy (cart) containing inter alia:—beds & bedding table & chairs, cooking utensils & most of European stores, to go to Kota about 7 miles off. Thither after tea drive Percy & I in dog cart, & after a bit we dine, play picquet & go to bed. In the meantime my boy & Booty’s Peons arrive with the rest of the Saman in another cart.

In most places in S. Canara there is a traveller’s bungalow, looked after by a caretaker, & possibly containing some furniture; at Kota it is out of repair, so Booty has previously had tents sent on. In addition to all this, Booty’s “Office” ie his Office Clerks, & his official books, table etc, etc all follow him about from place; his second sais {10} has brought his second horse; one of his Peons (these are official servants) has brought my bicycle.

After dinner Cook & boy start on again 8 miles to Bremarwaer {11} crossing a ferry on the way, & [6 Mar.] Booty & I proceed in the morning in dog cart, & stay there all day. Next march is to be 15 miles into Purdur {12} where is first centre for Jamabundy. We settle to drive first half, & ride, Percy on horse, self on bike, the second half.

[7 Mar.] We make an early start & at the end of 7 miles find Booty’s horse & my bicycle awaiting us; & so we ride on together till within 2 or 3 miles of Purdur, & then I determine to ride on ahead to get my bath before Booty turns up. So I go on & at the end of another mile I notice a man on in front with a horn, & I gradually become aware that he is making a point of keeping in front of me; every now & then he turns round, sees me & hastens on blowing the horn.

At last I pass him & come upon a conclave of villages holding up a triumphal arch for me to pass under; the Tasseldar {13} is at their head; all respectfully salaam, the tom toms beat the native musicians play their strange harmonies; & so with every sign of reverent appreciation accompanying me I pass onwards to the bungalow clad in blue cycling shorts & socks, a flannel shirt & a topi.

At the time, I supposed they had mistaken me for the Head Assistant Collector for of course they did it all over again when he turned up; but I am not so certain about it now, for knowing that I was with him they could hardly have done less.

In this land a white face always commands respect, & it has often seemed odd to me—who am not really connected in any way with the Raj—that as I passed along the road on my bicycle the native[s] should bow down before me on all sides. But these things are beginning to cease to surprise me.

A few words about clothing. All European clothing is, of course, utterly different from native costumes, & accordingly I don’t suppose one set of clothes appears to the native more odd or more proper than any other.

I suppose it is quite likely that certain fond people at home imagine that the magistrate of a district turns up to his court in a top hat & black coat or at least in a linen shirt & a respectable suit of clothes, whereas as a matter of fact he wears just what he commentably well pleases, which will probably mean a tennis shirt & a suit which a self respecting artisan might think twice before putting on.

Booty has come & we have had Chota. This brings me to say that on the subject of meals of which I wrote in my first encyclical I have yet another variation to give which prevails in S. Canara viz:—“Early tea” (tea & toast) on rising say at 6.30. Chota hazri (Buttered eggs, toast marmalade etc with coffee) after the morning’s exercise say at 9 o’c; Breakfast—a substantial meal—at 12 with wet {14} drinks—you will understand this ridiculous remark—tea at 5 & dinner at 8. “What a lot to eat in a day in a hot climate” You† probably say, & so it is; personally I always used to try to cut down the amount of breakfast.

“Jamabundy”!—spelt up here Jamabandy according to the prevalent method of spelling—“what on earth is that?” {15} Well I wasn’t in much better position myself, for when I had asked about it, people had talked in a vague sort of way about revenue—land settlement—potehls {16}—shanbhogues {17}. And so this afternoon we were to start doing Jamabundy; I think there is a sort of fascination about the word & I will talk about nothing for a little in order to give you time to conjure up all sorts of weird things in connection with it, to piece together all the odd assortment of ideas which you have got in connection with the duties of the collector of a district. Go to sleep & dream about it—Jam—a—bundy!

——————————

[8 Mar.] Wake up! It is time to go down to the temple square where Jamabundy is to be held! Arrived: a crowd of comparatively well dressed natives sitting inside, & of worse dressed waiting outside having badges on; we go inside & walk to the end where there are 3 chairs, 2 for us, & one for the Tasseldar (the head of the taluk), the others squatting as is their wont on the floor. Who are these? Are these the potehls & the shanbhogues respectively? No the potehls & shanbhogues are all inside. Those Outside† are the Ugranis {18}. What is an Ugrani?

To-day we only do preliminary work; vague talk about things I do not understand “Stitiberries” or something of that sort, & occasionally a shanbhogue or a potehl comes up to make explanations; the next afternoon we set to work to go through the papers; & I gradually find out what it is all about. The potehl is the headman of the village & it is his business to collect the land revenue. I believe all the land in the Madras Presidency belongs to the government & everyone pays rent for what they have. The potehl makes out a return, showing a few general statistics;—the number of people in the village, the revenue due, the number of people unvaccinated, of cattle killed by wild beasts etc etc. Then several of these reports go together, & the shanbhogue who is an accountant attends to the accounts. For each set of villages Booty has the shanbhogue, the potehls & the Ugranis who are their official servants up before him, sees whether they are fit for their work, & puts a few questions to them connected with the reports, & in fact general[ly] “inspects”.

Nothing very romantic! But if you like, you can say that these people are the fingers of the great Raj—meaning thereby the English Government—of which the Indian Civil Servants are the hands. It is by these people that the rural villagers who perhaps have never seen the white man, come ultimately in contact with his rule. And Jamabundy reduced to its elements is the inspection of revenue collecting, & it is in his capacity of revenue collector that the chief ICS man in a district is known as The Collector, while at the same time he is Head Magistrate, & President of Taluk boards.

One day the Tasseldar said that there was a special festival on at the temple with a temple play, & would we come down & see it; Booty said that the last time he had been to see one of these performances, he had not got back till daylight; the Tasseldar said that if it would please his honour to come, he would see that it began early. So after dinner about 9.30 we saw coming up the hill a torchlight procession, who—having waited till we had finished the particular partie of picquet in which we were engaged—conducted us down to the back of the temple, where there was a sort of broad pathway lined on both sides by rows of spectators, & at the end 3 or 4 chairs for ourselves, & for the more important of the natives who sat down on being so requested by the head assistant collector.

Our position may be perhaps call[e]d the Royal Box, the broad pathway was the stage, & for the footlights, a native on either hand held out a metal pan of oil in which floated a wick. Between us & the “stage” a vase of tapers glowed with odoriferous light, over our heads swung the punkah, strange figures of natives squatted all around among the artificially planted palms, & slowly as the strange play proceeded, ebbed away the hours of night.

The play was an old mythological story of battle, & nearly all the characters were warriors, but such women as there were were represented by boys. Of course there was little or none of what we understand by acting, & there was something more of the pantomime than of the drama. Tom tom[,] tom tom, tom tom, went on all the time & all the warriors danced. You know how excited a boy gets—a boy of 10 or 12 say—when he gets an unexpected holiday or something of the sort, how he jumps up turns round, dances about; so danced these warriors to the sound of the tom tom. Each new player before coming on to the stage stands behind a curtain, which allows you to see his legs & his head, stands with his back to the audience & proceeds to jump about like mad; the greater warrior he is the more he jumps about before he is allowed to come on; at last the tom tom waxes wild & furious & with a yell & a whoop he flings aside the curtain & rushes forward on to the stage jumping & twisting & comes suddenly to a dead stand.

The dialogue of the play was conducted in strict Classical Canarese, and there was a certain amount of definite plot carried into execution, but by far the greater amount of time was taken up by the dances. Thus four warriors would be determining to go out to fight & they would come in & dance round the stage to the accompaniment of tom tóm tom, tom tóm tom, .…, & they would go out again & come in & dance (or rather jump) round to tóm tom tom, tóm tom tom, tóm tom tom, .… & then again to tom tom tóm, tom tom tóm, & again to tóm tititititi tóm tititititi tóm .…, & so on perhaps twenty different processions round the stage ending up with something very fast & furious quite unrepresentable in words with a final tóm with which to come to an abrupt conclusion.

So the play played itself on, every now [&] again one of the human footlights (who took care always to keep his lamp in front of the performers) would come forward & get fresh oil or a fresh wick, every now & again someone would bring us fresh tapers, every now & again the tom tom would stop or change its rhythm. At last the first part of the play comes to and end, and engarlanded & accompanied by torches we reach again our bungalow in time to get 2 or 3 hours sleep before the first grey sign of an early dawn, undisturbed by the distant sound of the tom tom which plays on to the second part till daylight is broad & distinct.

What more have I to tell you of my life in South Canara, of our early marches starting by the light of the opalescent moon, of the welcomes that we received at the various centres, of the bananas with which we were presented, of the tender cocoanuts which we drank, of the temples & statues which we saw, behold you must endeavour to picture them to yourselves out of your imagination.

Neither shall I stop to tell you of [21 x 26 Mar.] our return to Mangalore {19}, of the surprising growth of Doris Marjorie, of golf, of the club, of the calls which I paid in Booty’s bullock carriage or [4 x 9 Apr.] of my departure by B.I steamer after a vast amount of uncertainty as to its arrival.

Steamer, Calicut, Katpadi, fade out of view, & it is 9.15 PM when a tired & famished traveller who has journeyed 150 miles in 12 hours & enjoyed all the warmth that the tropics can provide in April, is put out at the flag station Nellore.

With him is a small bag which a coolie starts to carry, & while the light of the moon prevents the possibility of any mutually unpleasant meeting with the creature that walks on its belly, he explains to the coolie “Mr Campbell’s bungalow”—“Captain Ashworth’s bungalow” & the coolie nods. Presently while the traveller proposes to go straight on, the coolie points to turn off to the left. Can the traveller have forgotten, or have C & A moved? the traveller takes the coolie’s word for it, & soon arrives at a strange bungalow where he only just fails to be embraced by a lady—young & beautiful—who takes him for her husband. Thence a straight march to the right place where Ashworth—but no Campbell—& also dinner. “I hope you haven’t waited dinner.” “Yes I have, but its† not very late; I am afraid you have walked, I sent a bandy to the station, wash & let us set to.” And the traveller did so. It might perhaps seem, that there would be some awkwardness in arriving at the house of a friend, when that friend was absent, having sent no word that you were coming—I had wired both Ashworth & Campbell [not] knowing the latter was out in camp with no telegraph station—& in stopping there several days without any news from him. But this is not so in India. Of course as it was, I knew several of the people in Nellore, & in particular Ashworth with whom I was living; but even without these advantages there would have been nothing particularly strange. On the contrary it seemed the most natural thing in the world.

I went down to the club & played lawn tennis & billiards, I rode out on my bicycle, I played round the links at golf, I dined out, in company with Ashworth, [10 Apr.] I went to church on Easter Sunday, the first time since I left Delhi (Oh Oh Oh, 1st in train Agra–Bombay, 2nd on steamer to Mangalore 3rd 4th 5th out in camp, 6th & 7th in Mangalore where church is being retiled!) & last but not least I joined in the gymkhana which was held on the polo ground. This gymkhana was great fun, & as most of the events included riding I was but a pony (all except very big horses are called ponies here) of an absentee, & took part in the tie tying race, surprise parcel race, hitting polo ball & other things. The first two of these, consisted in galoping† up to a lady who tied on an evening tie, or arrayed you in wondrous costume, mount again & round the flag home; hitting the polo ball I found could not be done with great rapidity; a leisurely walk was all I could manage & even so I sometimes missed it. I also went in for & won a bicycle tortoise race.

So I went along very comfortably, & in the meantime I had a letter from Campbell who had just got word from me, (one of the wires I sent him having been lost), saying he was coming in to the station in a day or two, & it was not worth while for me to join him in camp. So he came in, & it was very pleasant to see him again.

One day we both played polo; of course you can imagine how excessively brilliant my own play was. He, too, is only just beginning, but is practising now assiduously. Four years ago what should we have said if anyone had foretold.

[23 Apr.] And so another week has slipped away, & I have repacked my greater & lesser trunks for a new voyage. To-morrow} to Madras where I shall stop with Michie Smith; then to Ceylon where possibly I shall meet an old friend of my year {20} who I see has just been put in a high position in the Botanical Gardens at Perideniya, & then on to the Britannia {21} where I hope to find P. Alden {22}.

I think being in a station (on a holiday) is a little like being on board ship, one doesn’t have anything to bother about. One never carries any money with one, nor any papers of any kind. One just goes on vegetating. A short space now of having to think & then a return to a placed state of torpor.

A few general impressions I will give before I conclude.

In my first encyclical I think I described an Indian bungalow as a place with outer walls more or less, but with no inner walls to speak of. One is led to this idea because the vast lattice windows & lattice doors seem to occupy the greater part of the wall, & in winter in the south are always open; so that the walls might be described as a “number of openings joined together with masonry”. In the summer, however, one shuts up the house during the day, to keep out the heat, just as in England (in Winter) one shuts it up to keep out the cold, & then one finds that the outer walls can be made pretty tight. Inside, one sits under a punkah, & so long as the night is cool you will see one is able to obtain a very fairly comfortable temperature—probably well over 80°—indoors. But the rub comes when the nights get hot too. I was told that I should get a taste of the hot weather if I stayed in India through April; but I understand that this year it can hardly be said quite to have come yet (April 23) & though the day temperature is about 100° & the night about 74°, I do not find that I notice the heat as much as when I came before in December when the thermometer stood very much lower. This is partly because I have grown into an Indian method of existence & partly because I came here from S Canara where though the temperature did not go above 90° in the day, it scarcely went below 80° in the night, & where if the breeze or the punkah ceased for 2 minutes one’s hands presented the appearance of a morning field after a heavy dew.

I have written above that I have grown into an Indian method of existence; this refers a little bit to the clothes which I wear; it came to me as a surprise the other day that what my boy was calling my thick grey suit, was what I had had especially made in England to be cool, & my tailor called it a “tropical”. Also the calm determination to attempt nothing at all in the middle of the day: thus from 10–4 one would never think of going out of doors unless it was absolutely necessary, of course if a man had to go to office or anything of the kind, he would go, but he would do so extremely leisurely, & would wear sun spectacles. One hardly ever thinks of walking here at all, & in the middle of the day it would be ridiculous.

(I am writing now in the train, so please excuse all defects).

You will see moreover from all this, that life out here does not tend to make one prepared for warm weather at home; whether it be the heat of the sun, for at home one has no topi; whether it be exercise in the middle of the day, for here one never takes it; whether its be for hot nights, for out here one sleeps out in the open air or under a punkah; whether it be to curb ones† thirst, for out here 6 or 7 large sodas (& they are large compared with our biggest at home) is a by no means uncommon daily allowance, & I am told that in the hot weather it may amount to double that figure.

It is rather a curious thing that people seem so very rarely to have cold food to eat. And I remember being very much surprised at home when I was told by a man who sold hot water dishes & the like that he sent a great many out to India. The first may perhaps be accounted for by the rapidity with which many things go bad, & the latter by the fact that there is a tendency for things to cool very quickly owing to the constant draught which there is in the rooms; & nothing is more unpleasant in hot weather than tepid food.

Let me turn to quite another subject:—the Rupee. Don’t be alarmed I am not going to discuss bimetallism or the gold standard, but to speak of its general effective value out here. When you come out, you find you get somewhere about 15 rupees for a sovereign, each of them looks like a two bob bit, but you [are] inclined to reckon them as a little over a shilling. And then each rupee is divided into 16 annas—at present almost exactly pence—& each anna into 12 pies.

When you learn that you can buy a chicken for 2 annas or send a coolie across Calcutta & back for the same sum, & that the wages of a good cook are perhaps 12 rupees a month—& finds himself—you begin to think that living out here must be very cheap, & that the Rupee goes a very long way. But India is essentially the place where pies mount up into annas, & annas into rupees, & moreover of course all “European stores” are abnormally expensive. Things which you could get for 6d at home you will very likely be called on to pay one Rupee for out here. And so gradually one builds up for oneself a new system of relative values & the rupee figures among them on its own lines & one forgets that there is such a thing as an exchange rate which make[s] so many rupees worth a pound.

It is amusing to note that at home one pays 1d for soda bottles & 2d or so for their contents; out here the empty bottles are reckoned often at 5 annas each, while the contents are only worth 8 or 10 annas a dozen. Of course these are not strictly “European stores”, because the soda water is made out here (& it does not contain as I believe it does in England carbonate of soda itself)

“Native servants” might form the subject of a book in itself. The Anglo Indian is fond of remarking on their incompetence, & when you first come out you expect to see them bungle everything. As a matter of fact they don’t, & gradually you begin to build up out of your experience a belief that the Anglo Indian is very hard to please, & that his servant is a very well meaning & intelligent person; but the moment you have got to regard him in this light you begin to see how often he fails, & what a lot of valuable things he spoils by his stupidity & carelessness.

There is rather a good story told which illustrates the “boy”’s method of packing for travelling. A man had a new lamp with glass chimney & globe, & wishing to go into camp he had a special case made to hold the glass parts to prevent breaking, & explained to his boy that he must never carry them about (travelling) without carefully putting them in the case. The boy said he understood. But at the next halt came to him with a long face saying they were quite smashed. On enquiry it was found he had packed them very carefully in the case, but finding just before starting that he had an empty soda water bottle not packed, he wrapped that up in paper & put it inside also! Little acts of petty larceny are particularly attractive to them, while valuable things they will very rarely steal partly I suppose because of the probability of detection. Even on your behalf they will sometimes make strenuous endeavours to save a few annas, perhaps by fair means perhaps not. I remember a lady saying that when she got home from a visit, her bearer (who had been with her of course) showed her a boot polishing brush in great triumph, which he had bagged from the bearer of another visitor.

One other point about servants may surprise you. In the North when you go out to dinner you always take your boy with you.

Of course one never believes anything that a native says if he has any reason for perverting the truth. This is the great difficulty in hearing cases; the evidence is almost always conflicting & it is only a question of which of either is to be believed. A missionary himself told me the following; one day he—or one of his colleagues—went down to talk—I think, to some of their converts—upon the Christian Virtue of Truth; after he had talked & had answered questions for some time, he said to them;—“now supposing I was charged with an offence which you knew I had committed, what would you do?” “The sahib” they answered with one voice “is our father & our mother what could we do but swear he was innocent”

The hindu† mind could never feel this was doubtful for one moment; to him, to abandon a friend in the hour of need that would be base, to defend him would be the only possible course, even at the risk of incurring the penalties for perjury which a fastidious & fatuous Raj may endeavour to inflict.

And now as I have mentioned the missionary I suppose I may as well say a few words about him. In the first place don’t confuse him with the Padré who is the Church of England parson provided by the government for the spiritual requirements of the English speaking population; so far as I am aware he is never a missionary in any sense of the word.

The true missionary is the man who is sent out by private societies to convert the native to Christianity. I don’t know how he really feels, but I can’t help supposing that if he is quite honest he must be prepared to admit that he is somewhat of a failure. He comes out prepared to treat the native as a brother, he finds that unless he rules him with a firm hand he is regarded as a fool; that what he intends for kindness is regarded as fear; that unless he adopts forcible measures his punkah rope is not pulled properly, that he is cheated by his servants, & imposed upon all round. He expects to find opposition to Christianity, he finds indifference. He expects at any rate to make some converts among men of caste, he succeeds in attracting a few among the leather-workers & sweepers, men who have no caste to lose, men who are so low in the scale that the crossing-sweeper in England is high compared with them, men who having nothing to lose & everything to gain by adopting another religion. With these he spends hours of his day arguing out some abstruse doctrinal point. Converted to Christianity these men are freed from the old ethical regulations—feeble as they were—& are hardly constrained by the new.

In his educational work, he tries to inculcate moral principles as well as intellectual, he finds that his students profiting by the position they are able to obtain through their intellectual achievements, make use of it—as the native almost invariably does—for the purpose of tyranny & extortion.

Can it be wondered at that I say that when he is honest he must regard himself somewhat as a failure.

No doubt I have exaggerated, no doubt my ignorance is very great, but the fact remains that the results are very minute. He consoles himself with the thought that he is sowing the good seed, & it is not in his power to determine the fruit which is to be produced.

I am not saying that I disapprove of the missionary or his works; & you must remember that it is not he who is undermining the old religion & any little good it may do but the force of circumstance, the inroad of education, which is I suppose inevitable. The more educated have ceased to believe in Hinduism; are we going to give them anything else?

It has been said that the Anglo Indian is to blame for not intermingling more with the Native. Practically all the upper class Englishmen in India are Officials. Among them the taking of a bribe is almost absolutely unknown. The native always takes bribes; as a whole he is about the most corrupt person in that way you could wish to see in the world. He is not above accepting a bribe from the poorest & meanest, or from forcing a contribution of 25 per cent of the small government dole presented to the starving famine stricken peasant. It is hardly to be wondered at that the white man views him with contempt.

A few short descriptive notes on different points:—

The Presidency of Madras stands out from the rest of India; it has its own way of doing things. By the rest it is regarded as benighted, but it (I of course refer to the Anglo Indian world) is quite sati[s]fied with itself. As it is the home of a vast variety of languages, nearly all the “boys” speak English. It is very rarely cold in Madras.

It should never be forgotten that the Mohammedan & the Hindu exist side by side, the former being generally the conquering race; they are always antagonistic. Both are equally unscrupulous, the Mahommedan† perhaps more intelligently crafty, the Hindu more obese!

In speaking of the native going by train I think I forgot to be† mention how devoted he always is to travelling.

If a coolie brings a note or something to you from a friend & you are out when he arrives, he does not leave it & go away, but sits down & waits even if it be several hours; this he does not regard in any sense as a hardship.

The night punkah coolie is fond of going to sleep (you have 2 for the night), then you wake very damp & perhaps bitten by mosquitoes; to rouse him by voice would rouse the house & ruin your lungs, the only safe thing is a basin of water.

There is no such thing as privacy in India; you can’t shut your door & draw your chair up to the fire; you can never be certain at any hour of the day or night that a native has not pushed aside the curtain, entered with his noiseless feet, come up beside you waiting with some note or paper till it shall be your good pleasure to attend to him.

It was not without a good deal of sadness that I set my face to say goodbye to India, the land in which I had renewed so many old friendships, had made so many new ones, & had been treated with such universal kindness.

India is a marvellous monument to England’s greatness. The immense power which she has, the immense amount of work which she has done in so vast a country, in so short a time, with such a handful of her citizens. The extraordinary justice honour & fidelity of her officials [must leave] {23} an imprint upon history which the finger of time can never obliterate.

The official in India—& under this title must be included the Educationalist & the Railway people as well as the others—stands for trustworthiness as the native stands for corruption.

The Anglo Indian is thoroughly English,—one is surprised perhaps at first to find him not in any sense a Colonial—& as such he possesses the English faults as well as the English virtues but he is charmingly hospitable, & he undoubtedly does his best for the native & endeavours to carry out the task which has been set before him.

The native is the very reverse, docile, & beautifully courteous he fawns upon strength & oppresses weakness.

Such are the races which fate has layed† one across the other like the knife across the fork. Who can predict how it will end? {24}

A couple of quasi postscripts must end my third encyclical.

[24 Apr.] I left Nellore on Sunday morning April 24, driving a friend’s dog cart to the railway station in the dark at 4.30 A.M; & I bid goodbye to Campbell on the platform, & left him standing there looking just as he had done when I arrived nearly 5 months before.

After a warm days railway journey I reached Madras & drove straight to Michie Smith’s house. He has a large compound of 11 acres, & in this & the next he has made a golf course of no mean dimensions. He took me about his grounds & showed me his flowers & trees, & presently we went to the club where I met Moore—who had so kindly entertained me on the previous occasion—& several other friends.

[25 Apr.] Next morning early I played golf with M. Smith & 2 of his friends all of whom played pretty well but fortunately I did not make a fool of myself, & drove over ponds etc much to my own surprise.

In the day I did some shopping & in the afternoon called on Mrs Moore & went on to the club, & came back & met at dinner a mathematician—Stuart—whom M. Smith had kindly asked to meet me.

[26 Apr.] And so next day the time wore on for me to go; & M. Smith had been very good to me, had shown me all over his instruments, & had given me some photographs taken at the eclipse by our instrument, & I had had a very pleasant time.

And I took train, & a day brought me [27 Apr.] to Tuticorin, & a nights passage with rather rough weather [28 Apr.] to Colombo.

And now my second postscript must be about Ceylon.

One always had thought of Ceylon as a sort of appendage to India like the I of Wight to England, & even though I knew it was under the foreign office & not the India Office I still imagined it would be much the same.

Well I landed & went to an hotel where I found electric punkahs.

Then to Cook’s agency about my passage, & wired up to Parkin saying I should be passing through Peradeniya on my way up to Kandy at 6 P.M & could stop if he met me.

He did meet me, he & the Director of the Botanical Gardens—a Mr Willis of Caius Coll. Cambridge {25}. & they made me get out & come to the bungalow. There I found Mrs Willis late of Girton {26}, so we were all Cambridge. And I stopped there the couple of nights I had to spare, & [29 Apr.] the first morning I drove into Kandy with Parkin & we saw the famous temple & the casket in which is Buddha’s tooth, & we looked down upon the great artificial lake. In the afternoon we walked through the Botanical gardens & then played tennis before dinner.

[30 Apr.] This morning we all drove out & had marvellous views & saw a rock temple with a reclining Buddha.

Then we went over a tea factory. And so after a most delightful 2 days, I come down here {27}, & am writing this before going to bed; to-morrow early to the Britannia!

Ceylon is an enchanting place; everywhere are vast masses of verdure, & trees of every description. The Botanical gardens which are famous throughout the world mainly consist of trees; all kinds of palm, rubber trees, giant bamboos, & multitudes of others, extremely beautiful. The mountain views are grand, & it is not nothing to see tea growing everywhere, & coffee & cocoa scattered about. The only place in India a bit like it to look at that I saw was S. Canara.

Here the S.W. Monsoon is on, with an extra large quantity of rain. So it is comparatively cool. I said I had expected to find Ceylon a mere adjunct of India; but it is in reality much more English; it is not necessary to take one’s bed about with one or even to have a boy. English is understood everywhere (ie I do not know anything about out of the way places).

A most delightful place & with 3 fellow Cantabs a parodise†. Really I think if I had had ½ a dozen friends & had had to put them down in India & Ceylon, so as to be most serviceable to myself I don’t think I could have done better than putting them where they are.

Goodbye India, Goodbye Ceylon.

—————

{1} Some time between 3 April, when Lawrence was still in Mangalore, and the 10th, by which time he had arrived at Nellore. See p. 140.

{2} Great Northern Railway.

{3} The ink changes here.

{4} British-India Steam Navigation Company.

{5} The boats of the Bombay Steam Navigation Company, managed by J. A. Shepherd. See W. H. Coates, The Old ‘Country Trade’ of the East Indies (1911).

{6} Lawrence probably set sail on 25 February. See pp. 106, 115.

{7} i.e. Lawrence’s three days on the boat, 25–28 February.

{8} See 6/18.

{9} The process of settling the amount of land-revenue due from a village, etc., or a written statement of the same. See OED, s.v. jumma, and Hobson-Jobson, s.v. jummabundee.

{10} ‘A servant who attends to horses, a groom’ (OED).

{11} The reading of this word is uncertain. In Fate Has Been Kind, where this passage is quoted, the word is printed simply ‘B—’, so evidently Lawrence or the typesetter couldn’t read the word either. The usual spelling of the place in question is now Brahmavar.

{12} This place-name is now usually spelt Perdur.

{13} The chief (native) revenue official of a tahsil or taluk (administrative divisions). See OED, s.v. tahsildar, and Hobson-Jobson, s.v. tahseeldar.

{14} This probably means ‘alcoholic’. Cf. OED, wet, n.2.

{15} Followed by ‘I expect you have been thinking for some time’, struck through.

{16} A potehl is the head-man of a village. See OED and Hobson-Jobson, s.v. patel.

{17} A shanbhogue is a village clerk or account. See Hobson-Jobson, s.v. shambogue.

{18} The first sentence of this sentence was interlined. A ugrani is a village peon under a patel. See Männer’s Tulu-English Dictionary (1886). Lawrence later describes ugranis as ‘official servants’ of the shambogues and patels.

{19} Lawrence was still ‘in camp’ on 20 March, but had returned to Mangalore by the 27th. See p. 140.

{20} John Parkin.

{21} The RMS Britannia, a P. & O. steamer of 6525 tons.

{22} Percy (later Sir Percy) Alden (1865–1944), social worker and politician; warden of the Mansfield House University Settlement at Canning Town, 1891–1901.

{23} ‘which’ interlined after ‘officials’ and struck through. The words ‘must leave’ have also been struck through, but they appear to be required.

{24} The ink changes here.

{25} John Christopher Willis (1868–1958), Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Ceylon, 1896–1912.

{26} Minnie Willis (née Baldwin). She married J. C. Willis in 1897.

{27} i.e. to Colombo.

† Sic.

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Nellore, Madras, Calcutta, Mozufferpore, Calcutta, Sahdol, Mozufferpore, Benares, Lucknow, Roorkee (with an excursion to Moradabad), Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, and Bombay.

(A continuation of 5/30c. Headed ‘4th encyclical’. The first section of this letter (pp. 167–70) was written just before leaving Adelaide on 18 May, the second (pp. 171–5 and the first ten words on p. 176) at Blackheath, between 28 and 30 May. The rest was written before leaving for New Zealand on 2 June.)

—————

Transcript

4th encyclical

A short time is open to me to write & catch the mail here at Adelaide, before starting off to catch the train to Melbourne.

[2 May] I found P. Alden on board the Britannia at Colombo, we went ashore & drove out to Mt Lavinia & back, & after a pleasant day returned to the boat for dinner {1}.

Then passed 10 days with very little of especial interest to note; only a very small number of passengers; so games of quoits, conversation, books & meals were the only thing which relieved the monotony of an expanse of Ocean.

[12 May] At last we reached Albany at day break Thursday 12th, went on shore to breakfast, & climbed up the hill at the back of the town & got a fine view of the harbour. Then back to the boat & off again before lunch {2}. A fair number of extra people had joined us at Albany, many of whom were going on to Sydney a passage of 8 or 9 days(!).

We settled to get off at Adelaide & go on by train which would give us more time. We expected to get in Sunday afternoon {3}; but at 2 AM the Captain who had not been able to see sun or stars for 2 days, did not like to venture further in a very strong wind, with rocks not far away, & a mist hanging all about. So we turned right round, & beat against the wind running back towards Albany at about a knot or two an hour; this till 10 AM then round again, slowly for another 6 hours, & so on through the day; [16 May] about 6 AM Monday we were able to get along, & got in here about 8 PM.

The waves all the time had been very big, & we rolled a great deal; I think it would have been a great deal more, if we had tried to get along, & the wind had been broadside on. We had had the fiddles off and on all the way from Colombo {4}, but on Sunday things nearly jumped out of them. The waves were nearly as fierce as in my journey across to U.S.A in the “Gallia” {5}.

We got away & came up by train to the town & to this hotel.

[17 May] Yesterday I went to call at Government House & was invited to stay to lunch; I found the Buxtons {6} very pleasant, the son whom I know was not there but was expected in a few days.

[18 May] This morning we drove up to the hills & got a grand view; & I went to lunch afterwards with the Bishop {9} to whom also I had a letter from the Master of Trinity {10}.

{9) I am writing to you from “Blackheath”, not the Blackheath of our native land, & yet not the Blackheath of a foreigner, for the Australians are not foreigners, but a Blackheath up in the Blue Mountains—a very beautiful Blackheath; here are Percy & I with a Professor of the Sydney University {12} in a little cottage belonging to him: I have just had a game of chess with the Professor & another with a friend of his {13} who is staying here also, & now while I am writing this they are playing against one another. The last I wrote you was from Adelaide & I gave a hasty exposition of events up to the time of writing; I think I said there was not much to relate about our voyage, & that was about true, but perhaps I might have mentioned the chief engineer who used to sit at our table. He possessed such an abysmal ignorance of any & every subject that he was a great treat. We wanted to know once how long it would take to get from Sydney to Hong Kong; “Well” said he “I daresay about 8 days, you see the boats are very slow & they stop at a large number of ports” We found out afterwards that he had even had a daughter who had lived & died in the Manillas. On another occasion he thought that the population of Scotland was about 30 million. But his great feat was his method of parrying questions; asked whether supposing we got in at daybreak at a port we should get away again before 12, he would say “we aren’t in at daybreak yet” & consider that that absolutely settled the matter.

There was also an old man whom we called the Ancient Mariner, because he had a habit of fixing his gaze upon you stopping you, & narrating a long yarn; only as people said, he stopped more than one of three. Moreover his yarns generally took the form of an argument, in which the only part in the performance you were allowed to play was that of yessing & noing. At times however when it was a tale, he filled in every particular, & the most fastidious enquirer need not have gone away without receiving full information upon the antecedent & surviving relatives of every one of the principal characters. “I wonder whether you ever met a man of the name of Henson” he would say “a very charming young fellow”—you hastily endeavour to quell the approaching narrative by pointing out that unluckily you never had the pleasure—“ah I used to know his father before he was married —————— at last returning to our friend we have the story of his life & death—he left a widow & 3 children, the eldest was a girl who went out to Melbourne & there she married ——— till all surviving members of the family have been exhausted—Ah he was a charming fellow, it is a pity you never met him”.

There was an Australian & her daughter—quite harmless but inclined to exaggeration.

“You will like Melbourne, & I am sure you will admire our women”—said the old lady, once, who by the way was one of the ugliest people I have ever seen—“they are the most beautiful women in the world; & they know how how† to dress, & what’s more they’ve got the money to do it!”

But you must not take her as a typical Australian.

Of the rest, there was an English girl, a married couple from Madras, & a few others, but no one very exciting.

At Albany got on somewhat of a scratch lot, but among them some very decent fellows who told us a good deal about gold mines.

I don’t think there is a† very much to add about the storm; we were landed in a huddle at Adelaide with all our luggage except my bicycle & big trunk & our deck chairs leaving these to be put off at Sydney which they dont seem as how they have been being probably at Melbourne; fortunately I am not in a hurry for them.

After our two days at Adelaide we took the night train on to Melbourne {14}. The meal arrangements seemed funny to me after my experience in India, for when we stopped for dinner, we got out in crowds, instead of the 2 or 3 first class passengers to which I had been accustomed; & closely packed sleeping accomodation† with railway conductor to make up the beds seemed unlike the extensive apartment generally all to oneself in the Indian railways.

Melbourne customs very rigorous, & they made me pay 10/– on a pair of new boots & a pair of new shoes which were in my trunk. Lucky I did not bring bike & large trunk; otherwise I should have become bankrupt.

Menzies Hotel very pleasant & comfortable though not the luxurious palace, we had been told about; not in the same street with any of the American hotels or even with the “Australia Hotel” at Sydney. Perhaps the word “even” in the last sentence should go out, for the Sydney hotel is really extremely fine.

Cook, the traveller’s friend, [was] of great service in every way, {15} & insisted upon our taking then & there tickets home to London, via Hong Kong, Yokohama & go-as-you-please-in-America; really a very great saving of expense; you see there is a competition between this route, the Cape Horn route, & the P & O. We also fixed up definitely our points up to our arrival in America: you see this was necessary in order to let A.J.L. {16} know when to start if she proposes to meet me in California. In order to see the wonders of the Western States it is necessary to arrive there in September; so it became a question whether we should arrive there in that month, or else cut them altogether. Counsel for the latter urged that we might in this way see more of Australasia, & that the other place must inevitably reduce our time in China to a minimum. Counsel for the former urged that 2 months were enough for Australasia, & that the present year was not the time to do much inland travel in China. In the end the latter counsels prevailed especially as Percy in any case would go on to U.S.A. in time to reach home in October. So we leave here on July 2, reach Hong Kong July 22, go and visit Canton, & leave again about July 26; then boat stopping in passing at the Chinese ports, & finally arrive at Kobe; then after 3 weeks in Japan, take O & O boat via Honolulu to Frisco, which we reach September 10. Percy goes nearly straight home, but I expect to stay in the states till nearly the end of the year.

Melbourne has excellent cable cars, & by riding in the “dummy” we were able to see a good deal of the city: the cars are much better than the Chicago ones, a start & stop with very little jerk. The city itself is something between an American and an English town; but like the former has its 12 storey buildings standing in juxtaposition to little bits of cottages.

[20 May] Federation is in the air all round; the first day we arrived, there was a meeting of the delegates invited by the Mayor from surrounding cities of Victoria {15}. We went, & found no one but delegates were admitted, but Percy sent in his card as deputy Mayor of West Ham, & we were allowed in. [21 May] We also went to a public meeting the next day. Altogether it was very interesting to hear what was to be said. You know there is to be a Referendum on the question at the end of this week. The expectation is that Victoria, S. Australia & West Aus[trali]a & also Tasmania will carry it without difficulty, but that N. S. Wales may refuse it (Queensland is not in it at all) principally owing to underrepresentation in the Senate, & to the probable introduction of protective duties. Of course the bill abolishes (in course of time) the intercolonial duties, but Sydney is afraid that her free trade (with the outside world) which has brought her such prosperity will be forced from her.

One day we went to Ballarat to see a gold mine; we spent 10 hours getting there & back & had 4 hours there, but as it was thoroughly wet while we were in the train, & quite fine while we were there, & we saw all we wanted to, we were quite satisfied. In the first place I was thoroughly disabused of any idea I might have had of finding a semi barbarous village; Ballarat is as civilised a town as you would find anywhere, with comfortable hotels, & I am told that this is nearly equally true of any gold mining centre which has been “going” for the greater part of a year.—Of course Ballarat is several years old—. First we were taken over the machinery—great big vast machinery to crush large quantities of rock, to get out a little tiny quantity of the greedy metal. Something had gone wrong with the works, so the mining was not going on there, & we were taken across to another “claim” which was in working order. First we took off all our clothes & donned mining costume; Percy looked exactly like a cutthroat & he tries to make out I was worse because all the buttons were off my shirt; anyhow I don’t think either of us looked the sort of chap you would care to meet in an out of the way place in a dark night. Then we were crammed into a cage & went down. A much more rough & tumble place than a coal mine: quite warm: gold exists in intrusion quartz: quartz in a narrow band: shaft first sunk to the bottom of it & as dug out, debris falls to the ground & men rise to a higher level: two or three big pumps kept continually working to keep free of water.

So back & up & dress & home.

In the train meet some pleasant University dons: learn that my friend Naylor {19} on whom I had called is away from Melbourne for a few days.

One evening to the theatre to see Wilson Bennett† in The Manxman;—the book I read while I was on the Britannia—don’t care much for the dramatisation; & only good acting done by Maud Jeffreys {17}.

[22 x 27 May] Train to Sydney by night. Had found it really cold at Melbourne, & very cold in train; Sydney warm again as at Adelaide. Very energetic, pay a number of calls on day of arrival, start the ball rolling; & can pick up some of threads on return from New Zealand. Practically all Percy’s friends. Robjohns {22} & his family of whom son is at Mansfield House, Dunstan {23}, MacArthur {24}, Sir J Fairfax {25} & others; also Wood his fellow student at Balliol {26}, & Scott his old tutor both professors of the University in Sydney. The latter invites us up to his cottage at Blackheath in the blue mountains which we gladly accept for Sat–Mon. We hire bicycles for the week & find them very handy: but streets of Sydney odd sorts of things. Town is much more like an English town except that it is on a peninsular like N. York & all traffic into the city flows one way. Principal locomotion effected by what are euphemiously described as trams, but would more correctly be called street trains; in addition to these there are large omnibuses, & the streets are narrow. However the annual number of killed & wounded does not seem enough for alterations to be made. Centennial park outside the city is a fine place to cycle in. Sydney harbour the finest in the world is a marvel & very beautiful.

[28 May] Away to Blackheath, & find capital weather, & though 3,500 feet up quite balmy. Delightful cottage: afternoon walk on Saturday, & [29 May] day trip taking lunch with us on Sunday. Impossible to give an idea of the scenery. Up on a plateau, looking down wonderful gorges with precipitous rocks of sandstone. Everywhere the white trunk & dark leaves of the gum tree. Miles look like feet; & ‘a little way off’ a long walk scrambling through the bush. Percy says it is something like the Rockies.

A game of lawn tennis & back to Sydney charmed with the Blue Mountains, & charmed also to have had some “Ekker” {28}.

To the theatre to see the “Squire of Dames” {29} jolly little piece & well acted.

And now we are off to New Zealand. When I was at home I used to imagine that this was either a part of Australia or at any rate only separated from it by a narrow channel. I fancy other people know better than this, but I doubt whether they realise that it takes very nearly as long to get there direct from here as to cross the Atlantic! Nevertheless we are starting away to get there with about the same feeling as if we were crossing the British channel for 10 days in Paris, & all the luggage I am to be allowed to take is two rags & a b—I mean two rugs & a bag, or rather two bags & a rug.

We are going to confine ourselves to the North Island in order not to be too much rushed, & we shall probably stop a few days in Wellington where we have several friends; & spend about a fortnight in New Zealand altogether. They tell us we shall find the climate very much like England.

In the meantime as you won’t get any further letters for a long while, I propose to conclude my 4th encyclical leaving it for my 5th to take us up to the date of our departure for Hong Kong.

As to letters to me, I dont think it will be safe to address to Yokohama (Chartered Bank of India Australia & China) after July 12, & after that date as I shall be homeward bound all letters sent up till Aug 26 or at any rate Aug 23 should reach me on the same date viz on Sept 10 when I arrive at San Francisco (address c/o T. Cook & Son.)

In concluding, a few words about my impression of Australia & Australians as far as I have gone. I think the following expresses the matter

Australia = 1/3 English, 1/3 American, 1/3 ——
Australians = 1/2 ——, 1/4 ——, 1/4 ——

by this I don’t mean that there are Americans living here, but I am trying to give you an idea of what Australia is like by comparing it with U.S.A.

But perhaps I should add that Sydney is much more English than even the above estimate & planted here unawares one might suppose oneself in an English Provincial town.

—————

{1} The Britannia left Colombo on 2 May. See The Argus (Melbourne), 4 May 1898, p. 5.

{2} The Britannia arrived at Albany at 6 a.m. and sailed for Adelaide at noon. See the South Australian Register, 13 May 1898, p. 5, which gives a list of the passengers in the saloon.

{3} On 18 May the South Australian Register reported (p. 3): ‘Anxiety was felt on account of the non-arrival of the R.M.S. Britannia at Largs Bay on Sunday, May 15. The vessel was expected to arrive at 3 p.m. on that day, but did not reach the anchorage until 7 o’clock on Monday evening, May 16. Heavy weather caused the delay.’

{4} A fiddle is ‘a contrivance to prevent things from rolling off the table in bad weather’. See W. H. Smyth, Sailor’s Word-Book (1867).

{5} Cf. Fate Has Been Kind, p. 36.

{6} Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 3rd Bt (1837–1915), Governor of South Australia, 1895–1899, and his wife Lady Victoria (née Noel) (1839–1916).

{7} John Reginald Harmer (1857–1944), Bishop of Adelaide, 1895–1905; a Fellow of Corpus Christi, Cambridge.

{8} H. M. Butler. The ink changes here.

{9} This section was begun some time between 28 and 30 May.

{10} Walter Scott (1855–1925), Professor of Classics at the University of Sydney, 1885–1900. He had been Percy Alden’s tutor at Balliol, 1884–1885, and like Alden and Lawrence was involved in the settlement movement. He was President of the Toynbee Guild, a settlement at Sydney, in 1897.

{11} Probably G. A. Wood.

{12} They arrived at Adelaide late on 16 May and spent two days there, taking a night train to Melbourne, which suggests they probably arrived on 19 May, but Lawrence referred to the 20th as ‘the first day we arrived’ (p. 178); perhaps he meant the first full day.

{13} The ink changes here, which may explain the confused grammar of the sentence.

{14} Annie Jane Lawrence.

{15} This event, which took place on 20 May in the form of a luncheon in the Town Hall, was widely reported. About 200 delegates attended. See, e.g. The Argus, 21 May 1898, p. 11. The Mayor referred to was Malcolm McEacharn, the shipping magnate, who was Mayor of Melbourne from 1897–1900.

{16} H. Darnley Naylor, lecturer in classics at Ormond College, Melbourne University; a contemporary of Lawrence’s at Trinity.

{17} The Wilson Barrett (sic) Company produced The Manxman—Barrett’s own adaptation of Hall Caine’s novel of 1894—at the Princess Theatre from 21 May to 2 June. Maud Jeffries (sic), Barrett’s leading lady, was born in the USA but spent the latter part of her life in New Zealand.

{18} The Rev. H. T. Robjohns was born at Tavistock, but in 1883 he was appointed an agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society in Australia and he and his family emigrated to that country, where he became pastor of the Hunter’s Hill Congregational Church. His son Leonard, who also became a Congregationalist minister, was at Mansfield College from about 1895 but in July 1898 accepted a call to become pastor of the Rose Park Congregational Church at Adelaide. See The Advertiser (Adelaide), 8 July 1898, p. 15, which contains a few biographical notes.

{19} The Rev. E. T. Dunstan was born at Kilkhampton in Cornwall but emigrated to Australia to take charge of the Trinity Congregational Church at Perth. Afterwards (till 1902) he was pastor of the Pitt Street Congregational Church in Sydney.

{20} Not identified.

{21} Sir James Fairfax, proprietor of the Sydney Morning Herald. He was connected with the Pitt Street Congregational Church.

{22} G. A. Wood, Challis Professor of History in the University of Sydney.

{23} Exercise (university slang).

{24} The Squire of Dames, an English version by R. C. Carton of the play L’Ami des femmes by Alexandre Dumas fils, was produced at the Criterion Theatre, Sydney, from 28 May to 3 June, by Charles Cartwright and his company, who were touring Australia. For a review see the Sydney Morning Herald, 30 May, p. 3.

† Sic.

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Colombo, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne and Ballarat, Sydney, Blackheath, and Sydney.

(A continuation of 5/30d. The first sentence is ‘A fifth encyclical!’ This letter was begun after 2 June and finished about 3 July.)

—————

Transcript

A fifth encyclical! From the Antipodes! Ridiculously short stay. Percy also is writing what with doubtful financial accuracy he terms a circular note; &—must I reveal—referring constantly to his Murray. Tell it not!

[2 June.] A boat two days late starting from Sydney. {1} A somewhat scratch lot of passengers. A combined smell of kerosene oil & oranges. A steward who unnecessarily shuts our port hole & rouses us at dawn of day. Alas luxurious P & O what has† thou done for us that we have become so particular? Where is thy lengthy promenade? Where thy spacious saloon, thy sumptuous cuisine? Not here on the Talune of the Union S S Co. And yet are we not well cared for? Do we not feast on “ox palate” “pig’s face” & “sheep’s head”? Does not the company in its magnificence supply us with deck chairs at its own expense. The passengers starting as I have said from scratch, do they not come in well at the finish? Of musical talent there is abundance; & out of 5 nights we occupy 3 with concerts.

A New Zealand senator finding our interest in social questions, furnishes us with many particulars, & gives letters of introduction to many of the high & mighty. Grace is his name & graceful his actions. He writes us a letter to make us honorary members of the club.

[5 June] So we come in sight of the South Island on the fourth day & watch the snow mountains; then at length on the port side a conical cloud,—so it must be surely—; yet never a cloud so still, so stately; this is Egmont the highest, grandest mountain of the North Island.

To bed, to sleep, perchance to dream, two figures of men are seated on the couch, the electric light is on. Voices. Will you come ashore now? T’is midnight. These are our friends come down to welcome us, & we go ashore & sleep in comfort with no ruthless steward.

Our friends, but in the beginning Percy’s: one is young Atkinson son of a late Premier {2}, the other a friend of his, Evans {3} who runs a quasi settlement.

[6 June] On the morrow we arrange to stop at the club during our stay at Wellington; friends offering hospitality but admitting suburban residence inconvenient. Charming plan in New Zealand of putting up visitors as honorary members of club, & enabling them to make use of it as a very superior hotel.

Busy arranging interviews with the great. Percy is tremendous at obtaining information & makes great use of his letters of introduction to learn all about social & political affairs. To some I go with him & while he is with others I go & see the Bishop {4} an old Cambridge man who was proctor while I was there. Percy says the first man I go & see whenever we arrive anywhere is the Bishop! I also bear my (public &) private letter of introduction to the Governor {5}, but alas he is away touring & will not be back. I have been unlucky with Governors.

Shall I write you a discourse upon New Zealand politics & social matters? I have read Oceana {6}, & desist; out here the author is pitied not disliked.

Wellington is a very poor town “an English watering place out of season” though it is the seat of Government. Of course we didn’t say so. Nevertheless Wellingtonians apologised for it in advance; “you must remember it is all reclaimed land.” Magnificent harbour.

[7–9 June] Tuesday Wednesday Thursday all wet; business (in the shape of interviews) got through. Also high tea & argumentativeness, dinner & Maori tales. Fine intelligent people the Maoris seem to be & particularly to have been; in no way looked down upon as inferior by the white race. Best claim among them to title of land “this land belonged to the chief & people of the tribe X & behold now they are here & he strokes the lower part of his tunic”.

[9 June] Thursday a gathering at the settlement, of interested ladies & gentlemen to welcome ourselves & to hear of work in England. {7} I limit Percy—as he is away for his health—to 20 minutes, & add a few words myself. O marvellous day, & marvellous paper in which I am described as “modest & frank”.

[10 June] Friday to golf, & it is fine; glorious view of harbour; jolly to get first class exercise & jolly game: but our play; Oh the insufficiency of human speech!

Back to the town & to “at home” at the Grace’s†. Miss Grace: “I hear you thought I was 19” “Who told you that?” “Never mind” “Well how old do you suppose I am?” “34” “You are worse out than I was”—we are the same age to within a year. Dr Grace has kindly insisted on having us put up for the club at Napier & also at Auckland, & with renewed thanks to him & anticipatory good wishes to Miss G on her approaching nuptials we bid farewell.

A merry evening at the Atkinson’s† with many a tale, & the last day of our stay in Wellington comes to an end. Many have been the friends we have made even in so brief a visit.

On the morrow we are to start our tour—our grand tour of a week—through the island to Auckland, & to commence with a 12½ hour train journey to Napier.

[11 June] So Saturday morning while it is yet dark we rise & breakfast, & reach the railway station in time to catch the 6.50 train; there to bid us adieu is the kindly indefatigable Atkinson.

A 12½ hour journey is usually dull especially when you are only covering a little over 200 miles, but this fact does not admit of mathematical proof. We were very lucky in meeting a cousin of Atkinson’s at about 9 o’c who was travelling all the way to Napier, so we were not at all dull.

Hospitable club at Napier; I forget whether I told you that as Percy is away for his health I have to keep him amused; it is very trying having to play billiards with him in the evenings when there are so many other things we might be doing; under my able tutelage he is rapidly learning to beat his tutor—“till at last the old man ..[”] but by the way he is the older of the two, though my few remaining locks are blanching & falling off.

From Napier we are to coach thro’ the island for several days doing 160 miles in all, & see the sights.

[13 June] So Monday we make another early start, the coach leaving soon after 6.30; a bright frosty morning. Percy & I are the only passengers & have box seats. The total distance is 52 miles for the day, but the greater part of it consists in going up & down hills, getting magnificent views. So though only an hour’s stop for lunch darkness has set in before we arrive at Tarawera Percy & I have been able to get some exercise & keep ourselves warm. {8}

I haven’t much to tell you of Tarawera, because it is merely a small inn right among the hills; & as we had been out in the open all day & were to make another early start next morning, we turned in soon after our evening meal.

[14 June.] Before the coach, a start to get warm; & for 3 or 4 hours our experience of the previous day is repeated, then up on to the plateau, a plain 2000 [feet] above sea level. So to drive across it during the rest of the day with an interval for lunch. Up on the box seat; an endless stretch of dead level, treeless, barren, hideous. Uninterrupted monotony is only broken by the sight of what appears to be the steam from an engine: “that” says our driver “is a blowhole”.

So at last about 5 o’clock to Taupo[.] Time to have a hot bath in the grounds before dinner: for here we are in the hot lake district. Stay in some time playing about, & not unnaturally catch something of a cold. Not much to see at Taupo & [15 June] early next morning drive on to Weiraki {9}.

Geysers: little geysers: big geysers: water geysers: mud geysers: bubbling pools: champagne pools: blue pond: green pond: purple pond. Why here’s pool which actually has cold water! So dinner & to bed to dream of all things imaginable.

[16 June.] Once more to coach over the plain, all day, interminable: then as darkness descends, Rotorua, a railway terminus, & civilisation. A walk, dinner, & pills {10}—of ivory—& so to bed.

[17 June.] A lake, a legend, a spring starting[,] a river, the fires of h—, & so back by coach. Another day is concluded.

[18 June.] A wet day on the way to Auckland; train goes at such a rate we fear it will be bad for the engine; stop at one point because a cow is on the line in front of the train; a few miles later another stop is made because the same cow is in the way again. Nevertheless the enormous distance of 170 miles is covered in only a little more than 12 hours & we drive up to the Northern club {11}.

[19 June.] We have one day to spare in Auckland, which we employ in climbing to the top of Mt Eden from which the view of the whole place is charming—as of course it ought to be—& in crossing over the harbour & duly admiring.

[20 June] The next morning in accordance with Percy’s dictum I go & call on the bishop {12}; & the boat leaves in the afternoon {13}.

O trip of 4 days back to Sydney with what a light heart were you started upon, with what piteous discomfort were you enshrouded from start to finish.

A big list, a big roll. Two deck chairs lengthwise against the edge of the boat. Two prostrate figures. A minimum of good accomodation†. Unpleasantness & leave-untouchedness of diet. Draw a veil.

[24 June.] The day of our arrival in Sydney {14}; a bit more cheerful, walking up and down: what were we discussing think you, on our return from that land of experiment; that land where social problems are dealt with after their manner, that land of the triple 8 [Footnote: ‘8 shillings a day, 8 hours a day, 8 hours for play’], that land where the working men rules†? I will tell you: we were discussing the probability of the boat getting in in time for dinner at the Australia hotel; & it did by a second. So carnal are the minds of men.

Of our time in Sydney on our return I shall not write at length: of our letter of introduction from Sir J. Abbot† the Speaker}, & of how we sat in the House, & listened to a discussion & of how we were afterwards introduced to Reid the Premier: of how we went out to lunch with an elderly lady & met 7 other elderly ladies & 2 men: of our dinner with Mr & Mrs Wise {15} the former of whom will probably be a minister in the next government[:] of all these I will say nothing {16} but will bring you on to [30 June] Thursday morning, to the time of our departure from the capital {17}. We are to spend the day in travelling up to Quirindy, on the way to Brisbane, & there we are to see all over a sheep farm. So man proposes but …: for when we arrive having been fortified in our tedious hotel by the thought of the instruction of the morrow, we learn that owing to the rain, it is impossible to drive along the road, so a sheep farm is not to be one of the sights seen by F.W.L. Instead, our friend takes us up into a mountain & shows us all the k—I mean we ride up & he instructs us as to the country we see around. Also we get a little exercise by chopping wood for the fire.

[1 or 2 July.] {18} So playing pills we catch the 2.40 A.M train & travelling for the rest of the night & all the next day with some friends to amuse us, we arrive at Brisbane from which this the concluding portion of my fifth encyclical is written. Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane; so have we made the circuit of the capitals, & Brisbane is one of the brightest of them all. Of other parts of Australia do we know much? Now we start upon voyages untold till at last we shall reach U.S.A. For the voyages we have laid in great stock of chairs & a table & expect to do an immense amount of reading, who shall say?

One thing I have not mentioned, Sydney harbour of which the inhabitants are justly proud. No words of mine can adequately describe its glory its beauty & its magnificence.

—————

{1} Lawrence and Alden sailed to New Zealand on board the steamship Talune, 2020 tons, of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand. It left Sydney on 2 June and arrived at Wellington on the evening of the 6th. See the Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June, p. 4, where a list of the passengers is given, and 8 June, p. 6. A short article announcing Alden’s imminent arrival was printed in the Wellington Evening Post on 6 June (p. 4).

{2} Sir Harry Atkinson, the former Premier of New Zealand, had five sons, named (in the order of their birth) Harry Dunstan, Edmund Tudor, Alfred Charles, Samuel Arnold, and Harry Temple. An Arthur Richmond Atkinson, best known as a temperance campaigner, was closely associated with W. A. Evans in the Forward Movement (see next note) and spoke at the meeting held for Percy Alden on the 6th.

{3} The Rev. W. A. Evans, a Congregationalist minister, was born in Wales but went to New Zealand for the sake of his health, where he founded the Forward Movement, a philanthropic and educational body, at Wellington in 1893.

{4} Frederic Wallis. He was senior proctor at Cambridge in 1892.

{5} Lord Ranfurly, an alumnus of Trinity.

{6} J. A. Froude, Oceana, or England and Her Colonies (1886).

{7} This meeting, which, as indicated, was styled a ‘welcome’ to Percy Alden, was held at the Forward Movement Hall, Manners Street, at 8 p.m. It was announced the previous day (the 8th) in the (Wellington) Evening Post, which carried both a small notice and an advertisement stating that ‘All Friends of Reform’ were invited (p. 4). On the 10th the same newspaper printed an account of the meeting (p. 1) and a related editorial (p. 4), which alluded to the limit im-posed on the length of Alden’s speech for the sake of his health. The source of the compliment to Lawrence’s speech is unknown; the Evening Post described it as ‘humorous and sympathetic’.

{8} The ink changes here.

{9} This place-name is now usually spelt Wairakei.

{10} i.e. billiards.

{11} A gentleman’s club in Princes Street, founded in 1869.

{12} W. G. Cowie, an alumnus of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

{13} Lawrence and Alden sailed from Auckland aboard the steamship Waihora on the evening of Monday, 20 June. See the Auckland Star, 21 June, p. 4, where some of the passengers are listed.

{14} The boat arrived in the evening of the 24th, ‘in time’, as Lawrence notes, ‘for dinner’. See the Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June, p. 12.

{15} B. R. Wise and his wife Lilian.

{16} It may be added that Alden addressed a meeting of the Toynbee Guild at the School of Arts on 28 June (Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June, p. 9).

{17} Lawrence and Alden left their luggage at Sydney to be put aboard the Omi Maru when it called there. See 5/30f.

{18} It is not clear how much time was spent at Quirindi.

† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Mary Elizabeth Lawrence

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island.—Sends a brief greeting. Is about to begin a ten days’ run without port to Hong Kong.

—————

Transcript

Hotel Metropole, Thursday Island
July 11 1898 {1}

My dear Mother.

Just a line from this corner of the world where all nationalities meet.

From here we have 10 days run without port to Hong Kong. It begins to get a bit warm, & will I expect get still hotter all the way.

I dont know when you will get this

Yours ever
Fredk W Lawrence.

—————

{1} The first three figures of the year are printed.

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Brisbane, Townsville, Thursday Island, Hong Kong, Canton, Hong Kong and Kowloon, Amoy, and Shanghai.

(A continuation of 5/30e. Identified in the first sentence as the writer’s ‘sixth encyclical’. This letter was begun after Lawrence’s departure from Hong Kong and probably completed before his arrival at Nagasaki.)

—————

Transcript

The Southern Sun is shining on the China sea, as with a gentle breeze on the “Belgic” {1} I start to write my sixth encyclical.

A vast rush of impressions & experiences crowded into a brief space of time, are beginning to sort themselves out & take distinct shape in my mind, so that I hope to be able to present them to you in something other than a confused jumble; & at the same time to portray oriental existence freed from the unnatural tint of rapidity which the spectacles of the globe trotter impress upon it.

But I cannot pass over without some description the days which were spent on board the Omi Maru on the way up from Brisbane to Hong Kong. I think I told you that we were to get away by the tender at 8 o’clock in the morning to go down the river; so making an early breakfast we got on board & steamed slowly down. At last after 4 hours we came in sight of the Omi right out at sea {2}, & were not altogether pleased to learn that after being prevented from spending the morning in Brisbane we were not to get really off till dawn of the following day. However on arrival on board we were gratified to find that all our belongings—trunks, bags, bundles, books, bicycle, chairs & table—had been duly deposited there in accordance with the mighty swears we had exacted from all concerned in Sydney, & we settled ourselves down, undepressed, to an afternoon of quoits & reading.

The number of passengers including ourselves were only just able to reach into double figures {3}, & of these, 3 were to leave us at Thursday Island; the remainder were capable of classification in a great many ways: thus we were, 3 from S. Africa, 2 from Melbourne, 2 from England; 4 women & 3 men; 3 invalids, 3 nurses and a supernumerary. Perhaps you are at a loss for a moment to see how Percy & I figure in this last numeration, but a recollection of his fondness for break downs will not leave you long in doubt; I always say when I see him racing up hill at a break neck speed that the only thing he retains is a “good heart”.

The first week of our voyage was spent in getting up to Thursday Island; & we kept land in sight nearly all the way. Right out to sea was the great barrier reef, too far away to be visible; but every now & again the ship passed groups of islands on either side. We had a Pilot on board, a grumpy old man, very cautious in his old age, who used to insist upon anchoring nearly every night owing to the narrowness of the channel. A stern breeze (ie a breeze from the stern) assisted the movement of the ship & made our “aft” accomodation† a blessing rather than the reverse.

Every day was very much like its fellow; still not hot enough to have to make one’s bed on deck, a comfortable sleep in our “spacious” cabin could be enjoyed right up till breakfast time, when the Japanese Stewards attended to our requirements after their own peculiar manner. Then would come reading from the library which Percy & I—in our forethought—had brought on board, perhaps a German exercise, & the diurnal contests at Quoits—Percy v self, Percy v “Jim”, “Jim” v self—always ending in a double victory for the Champion, Percy. So would come lunch, & a repetition of events with a pleasant tea on deck; darkness, dinner, a talk with the Captain {4}, dreaminess, & bed.

In the midst of this, Townsville as a diversion.

[7 July] Off in a launch to shore, after an early tea. Would like to “get our hairs cut” but Thursday afternoon is barber’s holiday, so cannot be; fine hill overlooking the harbour, must mount to the top. 1800 feet a good climb for Latitude 16 but not impossible, & magnificent view of land & sea amply repays the effort. Scramble down again to the Queen’s hotel in the speedy gloom of evening, sit in the tropical verandah, dine pleasantly off “land” food with “grenadilloes” {5} for dessert, a quiet smoke, a “hundred up” in 20 minutes & so catch the launch back to the ship, before long to sleep in spite of the continuous disturbance produced by lading. A seagoer’s holiday!

But in the morning the ship is under way again, & the diurnal recreations pursue their course with unaltered regularity; nevertheless it begins to get warmer, & though the Punkah still remains inert, a doubled awning protects the deck. To take “early tea” & get up an hour before breakfast becomes a more reasonable course to pursue; while “flannels” give place to “cottons”, & redundant clothing is altogether discarded. And so the few remaining days go by till [11 July] Thursday Island is reached {6}. Here I go ashore alone to see the sights of the place; & find a wonderfully cosmopolitan town.

Townsville had been interesting as a place well within the boundary of the tropics & yet inhabited almost entirely by the white race; Thursday Island presented an utterly different appearance,—Japanese, Chinese, Philipinos† & multitudes of other races all unite with the Australian to make up the 2000 of its inhabitants, to work its pearl fisheries & to carry on the shipping trade of the most northerly Port of Australia. An hour on land & then back to the ship to sail for China & Japan, to cross once more the famous line.

And now we begin to be surrounded in real earnest by the essentials of the tropics; the warmth of the nights compels us to sleep on deck, the punkah in vain endeavours to cool our meal hours, while the all eternal peg slakes our oriental thirst. In the evening we all gather together & read the tales of “Many Cargoes” {7}, while the Captain listens with no feigned amusement. In the early mornings we stroll about in pyjamas on the deck or play leap frog with “Jim” & so at last come the dress & to breakfast & a short game of quoits, then the day begins to get hot (though the monsoon saves us from anything very severe) & we labour at peaceful occupations till the going down of the sun. Sometimes the Captain talks to us of Japan, sometimes “Jim” retails experiences for our amusement; sometimes we have much to gaze upon in the passing islands.

But who or what is “Jim”? Some six feet of untidiness, a pair of grey trousers braced over a flannel shirt, a pair of brown boots, a shockhead of hair surmounting a weather beaten countenance, 30 years of childlike simplicity combined with farming adroitness, is this all that is to be said of Jim? By no means; an Englishman of S. Africa covered with the veneer of the Dutch, intelligent, good natured, anxious to learn but uncertain what is knowledge; now add to all this a deep fraternal devotion to a consumptive sister obeying as a dog, commands from her or from her nurse, & you have nearly, but not quite, Jim.

Of his sister & her nurse there is not very much to tell, except that they were always having their port hole open & getting their cabin swamped. The 2 remaining passengers were sisters from Melbourne, who had a house there & another place in Tasmania; one of them was an invalid & nervous & so naturally quiet, the other posed as coming under the latter adjective. So we could not be said to have a wildly exciting time, still the days passed away very smoothly.

The boat, as you know, belonged to a Japanese Company, & the only Englishmen on board besides the passengers were the Captain Chief Officer & first engineer; the Captain was a jolly sort of fellow who used to invite us up on to the bridge whenever there was anything to see; we lent & gave him several books of our library & he in his turn added to our store. As for the rest of the officers we did not come much into contact with them. The stewards used to amuse us very much. All very little men, they used to bob & curtsey about whenever they did anything for us, & they used to make a good deal of difficulty in understanding; at the same time they took a lot of trouble to please. The Japanese sailors all looked like boys, but they were pretty sharp about their work & did whatever they were told. Since arriving in China we have heard many tales of difficulties arrising† on boats of this line between the Japanese Crews & English Captains who are said to be only nominally in charge, placed there to satisfy the requirements of the Insurance Companies; of course we don’t know how far these may be true or not, but for our own part we found everything very satisfactory, & aided by smooth weather we made an excellent passage.

We had hoped to get some sort of sight of Manilla, but 20 miles out at 8 o’clock at night does not conduce to much instruction, & ‘divil a bit’ of town of men or of ships did we come across. For all we learnt we might as well have been at the other end of the globe; far better indeed such position if it had been in connection with a telegraph wire.

And so island after island has been passed, & day by day it has grown warmer & warmer & now [21 July?] we were in the China sea on the eve of our arrival in Hong Kong {8}; no boisterous typhoon disturbs the tranquillity of our progress, while once again the Great Bear illumines the Northern sky. So have we come back Westward & Northward from the newest civilisation in the world to the oldest & most decayed. What though there be hundreds of millions of this old world race, is it not rather a trouble after our weeks of tranquillity to rush in amongst them? What can we hope to learn of them in afew† days of sojourn? (what indeed, though it were weeks or months, or years or lifetimes?) Had we not better save our energies for the sprightlier race that lives so close at hand, & turn upon this rabbit-like population a doubtful but unenquiring gaze?

And all the while, steadily but surely the Omi is ploughing her way towards the island of Hong Kong, though in the darkness of the night the myriad toilers of the land rest from their labours in peaceful dreamless sleep.

China at last.

Dawn is breaking in the East, the balmy dawn of the tropics; outside the harbour of Hong Kong is the Omi at anchor. But with daylight she is again under weigh, & we steam slowly through amid the great multitude of craft, past the great sugar works until we anchor again right over against the town.

I suppose the first thing which must strike anyone in seeing Hong Kong is the fact that [it] is all hills; only just along the very front is there anything like level ground, & even there, but a very narrow strip, so that men are endeavouring to reclaim from the sea what nature has denied them on the shore. A large part of the town is built up on the side of the hills, & to this must be added a little colony who live up on the “peak”; in order that they may be able to make an easy & rapid ascent a funicular railway has been built by which you can get up to the level of 1500 feet in about 7 minutes. This is a much more wonderful thing than the ordinary railway of the kind; for instead of a straight run up & a straight run down, it winds in and out & is sometimes steep & sometimes nearly level. Close to the upper terminus is the Peak Hotel which is largely patronised by residents, who gain in coolness of the atmosphere what they lose in convenience, & even seem to find little difficulty in running up there every day for lunch.

We however determined to patronise the Hong Kong hotel which is on the shore, & as we were right in the centre of things & very well looked after, we were glad we had done so. Landing in the hotel launch before breakfast, we found that the rainy season was now on which kept the whole place in an incessant state of moisture, so we promptly invested in suitable clothing of white cotton & found ourselves thoroughly repaid in comfort for having done so.

Nevertheless you may imagine that a continuous temperature of 81 & 82 in a stew bath is not particularly adapted to walking about; & after making the requisite enquiries about our journey on to Japan etc, we took greedily to the rickshaw as an easy, comfortable & inexpensive method of locomotion. We first went to see Mr Smith of Butterfield & Swire’s to whom I had a letter of introduction; he advised us to go away to Canton the same evening while the fine weather held out, & invited us to come up to lunch with him soon after our return. We next set off for a missionary {9} to whom Percy had a letter, & we were directed up the hill; for this the rickshaw is unsuited & we started off to walk, after a little I began to get exhausted & upon being continually pressed by Percy I subsided moist & sticky into a chair & consented to be carried in that, while he walked triumphant at the side. I may add here that this was the last occasion of his triumph, for ever afterwards he always proceeded in like fashion in going any considerable distance where the rickshaw is unable to proceed. By considerable distance I mean perhaps ½ a mile, & for this purpose you have 2 coolies, marvellously strong little chaps who, unlike the Swiss, carry the chair rods upon the shoulders, & so render the motion very steady; they have tremendous calves, &—like Percy himself in a cooler climate—will go up a steep hill at quite a rapid pace. The most picturesque thing about them, I should say, is their hats; in Hong Kong these are blue & of a pretty fair size, while in Canton they are of brown straw & about as big as a small umbrella; when they have them on, they look perfectly wonderful, & Percy & I used to meditate upon the effect in England of ourselves photographed with these environments. Alas we never quite brought ourselves to adopt the still more extraordinary locomotion which can be had in Shanghai; if we had done so, I am sure the mere convulsions of our laughter would have caused us to fall off the … the …. wheelbarrow. These extraordinary conveyances which are wheeled by a single man have on either side of the big wheel an arrangement like the knifeboard of an old fashioned omnibus—where bales can be put or people can sit—; factory girls make use of them in going to their work & as many as 8 or 9 have been counted on the same barrow! Percy himself saw as many as 5 people, & I have seen 4 large bales which I should estimate at little under 2 cwt each. [There follows a sketch of the vehicle in question.] I wish I could draw well enough to give you an idea of the thing in motion, but as I have not succeeded in drawing it correctly even at rest, that is out of the question. [There follows another sketch of the vehicle.] The man of course holds the 2 handles in his hands, but he has also a strap attached to them which goes over his shoulders; residents say the squeak of them coming along, is like the despairing cry of the dying pig; others explain that it is the manner in which a man can move the heaviest load.

Well ultimately after asking the way of nearly everyone we met, (quite a fatuous proceeding so far as the Chinese were concerned, especially as Percy always insisted on spelling the name of the street to those who did not understand) we reach our destination to find our friend out, but his wife at home; so after a short call we descended to the hotel & had lunch. The afternoon was spent in writing a few letters, & fetching the remainder of our luggage off the Omi; then we rickshawed down to the “night” boat to Canton, & were able to have a few words with Dr Pearce (the missionary) & his wife, who had come to see us off, before the boat started.

There were only 2 other first class passengers on board, both men, & one of them came up to me & said “Do you know if the plague is bad in Canton now” “No, but I suppose Europeans are immune as they are in Bombay” “Oh have you been in India?” “Yes I spend† some months there with friends from Trin Coll Camb” “Oh are you a Trinity man, so am I”. Then after a little more; “I think I have heard of you; did you not stop with Willis at Peradéniya, I was there a short time after you left, my name is Reynolds {10}.” And so we had a long talk about all sorts of things; & it turned out afterwards that the fourth passenger was from Magdalene Oxford.

At dinner the Captain told us a lot about the Chinese & about Canton in particular, he said he had some 800 Chinese on board then, & often had a good many more; as a rule they were a very peaceable set & gave no trouble at all; he recommended us to employ Wong Yew as guide on the morrow. [24 July.] At daybreak we were passing through the outlying districts of Canton, & at 6 o’clock we were made fast to the wharf; all around us, busy as bees were the floating population: now a junk with its huge rectilinear sail, now a sampan with father mother & children living their lives out upon it, now a mighty stern wheeler, with its paddle rotated by a hundred human feet—climbing climbing climbing from dawn till dark on each succeeding day—. How many think you, this river population? A few hundred? A few thousand? Try again: Put all the population of Oxford, & all the population of Cambridge, & hardly so will you have reached to the number of those who live & die in boats upon this river, this little part of the river where it flows past Canton.

Surely one might spend days gazing gazing upon this countless crew, & it is well that we have an hour at any rate to inspect; for Wong Yew has told us that, contrary to my expectation, it is better to wait till after breakfast to go ashore & view the city. At last at 8.30 we make a start, Wong Yew putting all of us & himself into chairs; he & Percy have 3 coolies each while Reynolds & myself have 4 each, being supposed—not without truth—to be heavier. [There follows a sketch of four coolies carrying, on poles, a man in a chair.]

And so we go away through the streets to inspect many different shops: who will ever be able to describe the streets to one who has not seen them? Narrow of course,—not wider than the pavement of an average London street—flagged, & often surmounted by a kind of matting to keep off the sun, they were bordered on either side by the “signs” of the shops; signs consisting of narrow vertical boards painted with chinese characters & bearing such inscriptions as “Honesty is the best Policy” & the like. Our method of procedure in single file did not admit of our putting questions, while we went along, to the guide; but everything on the route was of interest & all our senses except that of taste were called into play. Shops of all kinds we stopped to inspect, temples of Buddha, of Tao, of ancestors, the great Doctor temple & the temple of the Emperor, all these we beheld in their glory & decay; but ever to me the most interesting sight was the people, whether to watch the differing types of countenance, to note upon many the signs of culture & of intellectuality, whether to return the stare of the children gazing open mouthed at the foreignor†, or else to admire the skill of the chair coolies in getting round the narrow corners or in avoiding the basket carriers who everywhere abounded. [There follows a sketch of a person carrying two baskets on a pole.] Now & again a Chinese was having shaved the front of his head, or combing out his splendid raven hair, or plaiting it into the famous pigtail; occasionally a high class woman hobbling along on her feet or carried in her chair; but everywhere the incessant stream of human beings, men here & men there & a few women of the common rank with their smooth hair & their uncontorted feet showing bare beneath their trousers.

At last we mounted to the top of the 5 storeyed pagoda & seated at lunch we looked down upon the city; there spread out before us, seemed one continuous mass, filling an area perhaps hardly as large as Derby & yet containing nearly 2 million of living human souls. {11}

And so we came down & the tour of our inspection of the city was continued; one thing in especial we impressed upon our guide that we were anxious of beholding & that was the Examination Hall. At length we were within its classic walls; a long central pathway leads up from the gateway to the dais of the examiners & on either side are rows upon rows of tiny cells. Into one of these on the morning of the first day marches the candidate; his age is not limited by the Psalmist’s allotted span of life, no iron regulation determines the number of his possible attempts. He marches within, & straightway he is immured; from thenceforth no sound reaches his excited consciousness but the stealthy tread of the watchman. The fierce noontide of the hot summer’s day comes & goes, & finds his task but just begun; his daily allowance of food is lowered into his cell, & the lamp of evening has been lit, and still but a mere fragment of his dissertation has been completed. The night wears through, & another long day drags out its torrid course; perhaps he eats a little, perhaps he sleeps a little, perhaps in the excitement of his labour he forgets to do either. Again another night; will he survive another day? For a few more hours he must labour; & then as the sun sinks below the horizon the walls are pulled down, & from each cell there issues forth one bearing the fruit of his exertion,—from all save here a cell & there a cell whence comes no living form, but where there is seen the prostrate figure of what was once a man. So at length for all, the task is finished! For what is the prize awarded? For knowledge of the classics, for elegance of diction, for beauty of style; for everything—in which an essay on a set subject can excel—except for originality or for scientific knowledge. What is this prize which is so coveted a possession; which is one of the highest expressions of filial piety, which ennobles the whole backward pedigree? The prize is the admission of the candidate into the list of those who will become mandarins; & each year in Canton 50 or 60 (??) out of some 2000 competitors achieve the coveted distinction. Room there would be in the spacious “hall” for many many more to make the fateful endeavour, for it has been estimated that the total number of cells hardly falls short of 15 thousand!

As a matter of fact the word “hall”, hardly conveys the correct idea, for the place is quite open to the sky; & while we were there, down part of the long central Avenue, an examination in archery was being conducted. This is part of the examination for military mandarins; & 2 by 2 the students in gorgeous robes came forward upon the dais to fire off their three shots; whether the distance was greater than it appeared, or whether their bows were of a peculiarly awkward pattern, or finally whether the unseen presence of the boorish foreignor† exercised a mystic spell over their movements, I am unable to say, but in my immature judgment proficiency seemed to be remarkable by its absence. At length we had seen enough; & with mixed feelings we bade farewell to the most ancient relic of the system of competitive examination.

A few more shops of curios & another temple were to end our round of Canton; but last but not least we visited a pawnbroker’s. All over the city may be seen certain brick buildings towering up into the sky; 12 or 13 short storeys with narrow barred windows, in each storey stacks upon stacks of neatly tied up parcels with little wooden Chinese labels. Thus is the pawnbroker an institution as well recognised here as in the lands of the west; rules & regulations are very similar, but perhaps quite a large amount of the depositing is done with a view simply to placing the articles in safe custody.

The return to the boat about 4 o’clock in the afternoon concluded one of the hardest days of pure sight seeing I have ever “put in”; & a peaceful night on board, with many discussions upon diverse subjects brought us back [25 July] to Hong Kong. There we were now to remain several days, & in spite of a great deal of rain we were able to accomplish nearly everything we wanted.

One day we took tram up the peak & walked from the upper terminus to the top of the hill, from whence we got a magnificent view all round the island; the harbour is very grand & is capable of containing a large number of vessels simultaneously. To give some idea of the amount of shipping which passes through, it is perhaps worth while mentioning that on the day of our arrival, five boats of the P & O Company alone were riding there at anchor; & I have heard it said that Hong Kong stands second only to London in the quantity of its annual tonnage.

One day we crossed over to the mainland, & visited Kowloon, which, to the regret of everyone on the spot, the British government has left under Chinese jurisdiction while obtaining for England the fine piece of territory in which it is situated. One day Dr Pearce took us over the prison & showed us the Chinese prisoners under the supervision of English & Indian officials. Another day we went up to dinner with him & met a native Chinese doctor, who took us, later on, to a native theatre; we sat in seats upon the stage & were extremely interested both in the spectators & in the drama itself which the doctor was kind enough to explain to us. All the actors are men, but they manage to imitate women very cleverly, when required, both in voice & in their manner of walking; one of the several plays acted during the evening, described the attraction felt by a young lady for the scholar who was instructing her brother! The actors converse in the Mandarin dialect which must be unintelligible to quite a large portion of the audience; nevertheless as the plays run more or less upon fixed lines, they have no difficulty in following them, & scenes such as that in which the young lady titivates herself with a view of compelling the admiration of the scholar, are watched with keen delight.

Another day we went up with Mr Smith to lunch on the peak; from the top of tram line we took chairs to his house which we found very pleasant & cool. Then after lunch we descended in the same way walking down to his office from the foot of the line; in this manner the total time away from office can be reduced well within 2 hours. In the afternoon I went on to see over the greatest sugar factory in the world & was duly impressed.

Another day—I notice I have said this sometimes when it was really the same day—we went on to the Omi again for a short time to bid adiew† to our friends; we found all the passengers rather tired of staying in the harbour, some of them wishing that they had come ashore to a hotel, nevertheless they were looking forward to starting away for Japan the next day.

Another day we visited the “Happy Valley” where the remains of the English race who have died in this spot so far from home are laid at rest; perhaps in the care with which this is tended, if in this alone, the reserve sentiment of “l’Anglais phlegmatique” is attested.

So with one thing & another, not omitting the gentle game of pills at the hotel, our time at Hong Kong passed away; & we found ourselves once more upon a boat {12}, bound for Shanghai & Japan. Stopping for a short time at Amoy to take on a cargo of tea, we reached Shanghai after 3 days sailing, & were pleased to find that we were to have more than a whole day before it would be necessary to get away again; so we proceeded at once, in a manner characteristic of ourselves, to get a lot of information by going & calling upon different people. I hope to be able to narrate to you, presently, a few of the things we heard then & at other times, so as to give you a few ideas about the Chinese; but of course you will remember that they represent only the second hand opinions of a few people coupled with a very minute amount of direct observation, & as such are to be accepted with the greatest caution. Nevertheless as proof that some of what we gathered was good in its foundation, I may perhaps mention that a lady who had been a doctor in China for many years, & was discussing things Chinese with Percy for some time, said at length “you must have stayed a very long time in China”.

These last two sentences must be taken as as kind of interlude representing the time we spent in talking to people, before I mention the things we actually saw & did. Late in the afternoon of the day of our arrival, we went out to the Recreation Ground going by way of one of the principal streets (ie of the foreign settlement, of course); on the way we were very much interested in how things “went along”. Mentally I compared the place with the presidency towns of India; but there were many differences; in some cases Chinese ladies driving about in open carriages, as I only saw of the Parsees in Bombay; in one case I noticed a European coachman driving a couple of Chinese gentlemen; all along the route were Chinese men sitting in rows upon the balconies, watching the foreigner driving down at his accustomed hour to his athletics. Victorias, Dog Carts, bicycles, rickshaws, even Wheelbarrows jostled one another along the road; while occasionally one would catch a glimpse of the Chinese lady with her cramped up feet. At length we reached the recreation ground itself & were struck dumb with admiration; almost every form of athletics & recreation was there displayed; so that so far as I am aware the ground is absolutely unrivalled in the whole world. While we were there, cricket, lawn tennis, bowls[,] quoits, & other games were all going on, & in the winter some of these give place to football & other things; in addition to these all the paths make splendid bicycle tracks, & polo golf & base ball are constantly played. [The preceding sentence is written around a plan of the recreation ground.] The whole enclosure must be something like a hundred acres.

The next morning we started away for an inspection of the Chinese city under the guidance of Mr Box a Missionary; after strolling round a little way on the walls we descended & saw all manner of strange & wonderful things. Here was a temple with god & goddess before whom was spread out a repast of all kinds of real food; of course these are afterwards sold, & eaten by the people, reminding one of “meats offered to idols”. Here was the plaint of weeping women; “this”, said Mr Box, “must mean either a death or a family quarrel[”]. And sure enough as we got nearer we saw them burning the little paper house for the use of the dead man, & with it large masses of paper money made to imitate silver & copper; these with a real suit of clothes were all added to the conflagration. Many things we noticed similar to those we had seen in Canton, & in many cases we learnt their meaning for the first time; but perhaps the most interesting thing we did was to go up to tea in the “willow” tea house. Call up to your consciousness the willow pattern & put it into reality in your mind, then imagine Percy & myself existent there in the flesh, crossing the little bridge & mounting to the top of the little tea house! At first Box gave no sign of knowing the language; but when the proprietor tried to “do” us, he amused every one very much by quoting a Chinese proverb “It is good to skin the foreigner”. He afterwards had a long conversation with the man at the next table, introducing us as 2 scholars from England. At a Chinese tea house, you take neither sugar nor milk, & you pay so much for one “go” of tea; you can have this replenished with hot water as often as you like, & may stay there half the day if you are so minded; for my own part I found it very refreshing. So with interesting & delightful experiences—only marred by the mosquito—we spent our time in Shanghai, where—though there is no absolutely British concession—there are, I believe, more British & American residents than in Bombay or Madras or even in Hong Kong itself.

And now for a few words on China and the Chinese in general; let me take the following points in order:

The pig-tail. Somehow or other I always imagined the pigtail would be a very ugly thing; I was surprised therefore to find that in a great many cases it is really quite the reverse; Percy describes the Chinese “boys” on board the Belgic, with their glossy black pigtails hanging down over their blue blouses as “perfectly fascinating”. I was also under the impression that loss of pigtail in this life was supposed to imply loss of heaven in the next world; this too is quite erroneous, the only thing that it really brings is loss of “face” (which means something rather more than loss of dignity) & it is the greatest loss of “face” which a man can be subjected to; it is a curious custom, & in view of the fact that it is not many centuries ago that it was introduced, & was then a mark of servitude, it goes to show that the Chinese are not quite so slow to change as some people are wont to suppose.

People often get confused about the religion of the Chinese; in point of fact the great mass of them are Buddhists, Taoists, Ancestor worshippers & nature worshippers all combined and par excellence Confucianists. Few among the men would profess much about the former, but nearly all would admit themselves to be disciples of Confucius; & really they might do a great deal worse, for as a system of ethics, his teachings are admitted on all hands, to be of a very high order. What the missionaries aim largely at doing, is to supplant the superstitions of the other religions & particularly of Taoism, the practices of which are continued though there is little or no belief in them retained by the male portion of the population.—In this sentence I have considerably over-stated the position. This brings me as usual on to the inevitable subject of the missionary. Of course there are always objections raised everywhere, but so far as I could gather, the missionary in China is regarded with a good deal more favour by outsiders than he is in other places; in the first place he is almost the only one who is thoroughly conversant with the language, & he is prepared to do a great deal in addition to strictly evangelical work. Commercial men admit that he “opens up” the country; & newspaper men acknowledge the vast debt which they owe the missionary for the amount of news which he is willing to provide for them.

Moreover there are signs that the younger men, at any rate, are beginning to avoid preaching Christianity as the one inspired religion (I had almost said mythology) whose acceptance is a safeguard against all the evils of this world & the next; but instead, they are endeavouring to encourage education & to supplement the deficiencies of the Confucian system with the best parts of Christianity. If and so far as they do this, I believe they will receive support from the Chinese; & there is no reason why their influence should not be extremely beneficial. {13}

A very natural thing for me, was to attempt to compare the Chinese with the Indian, & in this I found a great number of interesting points of difference. Take for instance some of the small everyday matters:—in India it is a sign of great want of respect to a superior, if a man does not remove his shoes & stockings when he comes into your presence, in China it is exactly the reverse; in China head gear is hardly worn at all among the lower orders and where it is, it is merely a protection against the sun, which must be removed in the house, in India on the other hand, the turban is worn indoors as well as out. Then of course caste in any strict sense does not exist in China, & theoretically at any rate there is no reason why a man should not rise from the lowest position to high estate in the country. Turning to the poorest part of the population I was unable to learn of any one earning such small wages as I had observed in the Indigo districts of India (something under a penny a day for a man), but I do not think this at all proves that in out of the way districts there may not be Chinese Coolies earning this wage or even less. At the other end of the scale, Chinese merchants appear to be respected by every one, & their business honesty is world famous; in this way they are contrasted with the Japanese whose merchants are unfortunately regarded with considerable suspicion. {14} The Chinese mandarin is famous for his “squeezes” which spelt vulgarly amounts to nearly the same thing as “bribery & corruption”; defences are allowed to go to rack & ruin because the mandarin whose business it is to look after them, keeps most of the money, intended for the purpose, in his own pocket; the very shells for the guns are often purloined & sold, & dummies are put in their place, while the numbers of a garrison are rarely up to their correct figure in order that the mandarin may pocket the pay of the men who do not exist. The great mass of people, however, suffer very much less from the wholesale official corruption than might have been supposed; so far as the military mandarins are concerned the people care nothing for their military prestige, & even with the civil mandarins they come less into direct contact than might be supposed. Lawsuits they avoid except as a form of murder & suicide (cf Court of Chancery in England); & being of a peaceable nature they are little interfered with except in the matter of a somewhat excessive taxation which they have come to regard as normal.

The Chinese consider the foreigner as essentially a person of no manners; the same attitude in a more or less degree is held with regard to the European all through the East; & if one cannot help realising everywhere that it is true in part one is bound to acknowledge it more particularly in China. Manners, ceremonial, dignity of carriage, a “grave & thoughtful countenance” (which being translated gives “a smile that is childlike & bland”)—in all these things it would be difficult to deny that the Chinese is preeminent; at the same time under this external may lie cruelty, rudeness, & deceit. How far these hidden vices do exist, it is impossible to judge; while those who have the best right to form an opinion differ considerably in their estimate. The erudition of the scholars in works of antiquity is very great; & even the common coolies may often be seen reading the proclamations in the streets written not infrequently in recondite characters.

Taken as a whole I was more favourably impressed with the Chinese than with the Indian; but against this general statement must be set a great many cautions & modifications. In the first place when I speak of “the Indian” I lump together in my mind the people of Bengal Bombay & Madras, leaving out of account altogether the Sikhs, the people of the Punjab, & the people of the Hills who are generally said to be the best people in the country; and secondly I am afraid one must admit with most Orientals that as a rule the better one knows them the less one likes them, & my knowledge of India is very much greater than that of China. Nevertheless taking the opinions of those who know more than myself I believe that my general proposition is to be substantiated.

A few words upon the political outlook will bring this encyclical to a close. I have already spoken of the feeling in reference to Kowloon, this refers to the relations with China itself, but by far the most important points arrise† out of our attitude towards other foreign powers. On all hands it is strenuously urged that we ought to show a bolder front towards Russia, that we ought to put forward a definite position & stick to it, that we ought to be prepared to support China in her opposition to the demands of the Great Bear. They say that there can be no doubt that the Chinese would stand by us if they thought we were prepared to stand by them; on the other hand it must be remembered that Li Hung Chang & the Dowager Empress are directly in the pay of Russia.

People in China complain than† those at home do not appreciate the true state of affairs in the far east; & do not realise how strong Great Britain is & how easily she could enforce her demands. But the editor of a newspaper who was most strenuous in this position & who was in things Chinese extremely well informed, showed that he too was not quite conversant—in my opinion—in the state of affairs in distant countries when he took for granted that if Russia & France were against us Germany would take our side, & Australia would prove to us of very real assistance.

As regards Wei-hai-wai opinions seem to differ a good deal, but the great majority seemed to be of opinion that it would prove of very small value to us. On the other hand I have heard it stated that if we are prepared to spend a large sum of money in fortifying it & keep there a considerable garrison, it may be made a very strong place.

For my own part I feel that China is of immense importance; it is nearer home to-day than India was but a few years ago. It has a vast almost homogeneous population capable of nearly anything. Looking to the future, we should not allow it to fall into the hands of unscrupulous foreign nations, neither for its own sake nor for our own. Let us make ourselves as strong as possible, let us make just demands & see that they are adhered to through everything. We are the only country in the world who can administer a foreign nation; on our resolution to-day must hang the future of China, and may depend the whole destiny of the world.

End of encyclical VI.

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{1} The steamship Belgic was built in 1885 for the White Star Line.

{2} The steamer Omi Maru belonged to the Nippon Yusen Kaisha. It stopped at Sydney from 26 June to 2 July, then on the 4th called at Moreton Bay, near Brisbane, where Lawrence and Alden boarded it. It was due to set off again the same day but did not actually go till early on the 5th. See the Brisbane Courier, 5 July, pp. 1 and 3, and 6 July, p. 3.

{3} The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 2 July (p. 10): ‘The following passages have been engaged by the Omi Maru, sailing for Hongkong and Japan, via ports, from west side of Circular Quay [Sydney] at noon to-day in the Nippon Yusen line:—Mr. F. W. Lawrence, Mr. Alden, Dr. Agassiz, Mr. G. Fischer, Mrs. A. Lewis, Mr. H. Arnheim, Miss Parkes, Miss Tyre, Miss Nicholson, Miss Nicholson [sic], and Mr. J. F. Parkes, and a number of Chinese in the steerage.’ This list includes eleven non-Chinese passengers, whereas Lawrence only refers to ten, but perhaps one of the number either did not board or left the ship before Brisbane. ‘Jim’, mentioned subsequently, must be Mr J. F. Parkes, Miss Parkes being his sister. The Miss Nicholsons are the sisters from Melbourne mentioned on p. 208. Miss Parkes’s nurse was either Mrs Lewis or Miss Tyre, probably the latter. Those who left at Thursday Island were clearly Dr Agassiz, Mr Fischer, and either Mrs Lewis or Miss Tyre.

{4} Christopher Young (d. 1907), steamship captain of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha; born at Heligoland. See the Eastern Daily Mail and Straits Morning Advertiser, 15 Apr. 1907, p. 1.

{5} The fruit of the passion-flower; see OED, s. v. granadilla | grenadilla, which, curiously enough, cites the phrase ‘The tropical verandah, with the grenadillas trained along the lattice-work’ from The Times, 31 Jan. 1894, p. 13.

{6} The ship left the island the same day. See 6/14 and The Queenslander, 12 July, p. 103.

{7} A collection of humorous sea stories by W. W. Jacobs, first published in 1896.

{8} They were due to arrive on the 22nd (see p. 177), but according to the Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 25 July, p. 3, and The Standard (London), 25 July, p. 8, the ship did not arrive there till the next day.

{9} Thomas William Pearce.

{10} Leetham Reynolds.

{11} The ink changes here.

{12} The S.S. Belgic.

{13} The ink changes here.

{14} The ink changes here.

† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Describes his arrival and activities in Japan, and encloses part of his sixth ‘encyclical’.

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Transcript

Oriental Hotel | Kobe
Aug 3. 98

My dear Ellen

Here you see us actually arrived in Japan, having had a day at Nagasaki & a day here; so far we have found the Japanese a pleasing little people.

I forget whether I told you I had arranged to have a guide here, as in this way we should be able to do more in the time at our disposal; F. Takagaki met us this morning on the Belgic & seems a very pleasant man.

I enclose you part of my 6th encyclical; {1} the first 4 pages have gone to Lady D.L. & the rest of the encyc shall follow in due course; the part you have not begins with an account of the voyage up from Brisbane & takes you as far as Townsville where we are supposed to be on page 205.

We expect to get to Yokohama via Kiyoto in about 10 days, & then we go off to Tokio.

There will probably be no mail from here for another 2 or 3 weeks.

Glad to hear of plans as to 26 & look forward to meeting Annie.

With love to all

Your affte Brother
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 205–20.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

The Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Encloses part of an encyclical, and refers to his visits to China and Japan.

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Transcript

The Oriental Hotel, Limited, Kobe, Japan
P.O. Box 55

Aug 3. 98

My dear Tante.

I send you a few lines from here to accompany the commencement of my 6th encyclical {1} which treats of China; the 4 pages which I send you, however, are, I am afraid rather ancient history, but you will get the later pages from home. I find a tremendous lot to write about China though I was only there such a short time; of course any opinions I have formed are in consequence liable to great error. Those who are on the spot do not seem very well satisfied with the action of the home government, & seem to think England ought to have taken some definite principle on which to stand, & to have stuck to it; of course they cannot see altogether the difficulties at home. I shall make further allusion in the end of my encyclical.

Japan is a very bright pretty country & we hope to have a very jolly time here under the able auspices of our guide F. Takagaki.

I hope Aug 1 bank holiday was a great success; we spent the day in Nagasaki.

We are off this morning (Aug. 4) to Kiyoto & after travelling about a bit get on to Yokohama in a few days more.

Hoping you all flourish including Dora

With love to all & kisses to her

Believe me
Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 1–4.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’. Refers to letters received from home and to his visit to Yosemite, and asks about Ellen’s own travels.

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Transcript

In the train | Frisco to Salt Lake
Sept 20 98

My dear Lel

Knowing your interest in Japan I meant to have sent to you the first portion of my encyclical on the subject, but as I forgot to do so, I send you this part along now, {1} & hope you may get some amusement from it; I don’t anticipate there will be a great deal to follow.

Perhaps when you see this letter you may expect to hear that I have met Annie, but if you do “I guess” you will be disappointed, for she does not get to Salt Lake till after the mail has gone out.

I found a great many letters awaiting me when I got to Frisco[,] among them those from Mama & Carry from Pontresina, also one from Harry & a little later I received yours; many thanks for all of them which I enjoyed reading very much, if Harry is with you please tell him, I will write to him soon.

Our passage across the Pacific ended very pleasantly, as it had been most of the way across; & Percy & I soon made up our minds to go down to the Yosemite almost at once. So after spending 3 days in San Francisco & had a delightful though somewhat dusty time. {2}

The Yosemite valley is grand where Japan is pretty & the great trees are stupendous.

I gather from your letter that by this time you will be just about returning to England; I hope your jolly time continued to the end.

The accident to the Hopkinsons was very sad, I trust it did not make any of your party nervous about your smaller excursions

With love to all

Your affte Bro
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} Part of PETH 5/30f.

{2} The grammar of this sentence is a little confused.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Theodora Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Is on the way to meet Annie. Describes his train, promises to give her some stamps, and hopes she is enjoying Wales.

(With an envelope.)

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In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City
Sept 20 1898

My dear Dora

I am writing you a letter from the train, as I am going along to meet Cousin Annie at Salt Lake City; & as the train jogs about a good deal, some of my words are not quite straight, but run about all over the place. “I guess” you will think Salt Lake City a very funny name for a place; it is a City that was built close to a very salt lake, so salt that no fish can live in it at all. And it is such a fine train, quite different from most of our trains in England. Instead of each carriage being divided up into little compartments, it is open all the way along; & while the train is moving you can walk all the way down the carriage, & even step from one carriage on to the next. If you have ever been in a Pullman Car you will understand something of what I mean. Then one of the carriages is a dining room & when our time for meals come† round we walk along to that. The seats of the carriage in which we sit can be made into beds, so that we sleep here at night I got into the train yesterday evening at ½ past 6, & I shall be in the train all day to-day, & shall not get to Salt Lake City till 7 o’clock to-morrow morning. I daresay you will think that a very long time, but the man who is travelling with me will go on in the train all day to-morrow, all that night, then another day & another night before he gets to Chicago; 3 days & 4 nights in the train!

I was very pleased to receive your letter from Ascot written soon after the big Bank Holiday; when it got to San Francisco I was still travelling about in Japan, & after that I was 17 days on a boat crossing the Pacific Ocean. When I get back to England I will show you the album of stamps which I collected when I was at school; & I have a few there, & a few which I have been setting aside since I started travelling, which I shall be able to give you for your book.

I hope you & Miss Berry have been having a jolly time in Wales; I wonder whether you will be still there when this reaches you. If you are, show this letter to Mrs Jones & ask her whether you are like what I used to be.

Best wishes to everyone, & looking forward to seeing you all again.

Your affectionate Cousin
Fredk W Lawrence

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Shanghai, Nagasaki, Kobe, Kyoto (with excursions to Nara, Lake Biwa, and Arashiyama), Nagoya, Shizuoka, Gotemba, Miyanoshita, Yokohama, Tokyo, Nikko, Lake Chūzenji, Yumotu, Nikko, Tokyo, and Yokohama.

(A continuation of 5/30f. Headed ‘Encyclical VII’. Since the first part of the letter is written on the writing-paper of the S.S. Coptic, it was presumably begun after Lawrence boarded that ship about 23 Aug., though the events narrated begin on 1 Aug. and finish before he went aboard. The latter section was sent to Ellen Lawrence on 20 Sept. (see 6/20).)

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Transcript

Encyclical VII

Once more the scene is changed; instead of the ports of China, are the villages of Japan: instead of the close packed streets, are the mountains & the cottages and the rice fields. Instead of the pigtail is the close cropped hair; instead of the bland unfathomability of the Chinaman is the ready cheerfulness of the Japanese. Where here one walks in stately robe with delicate felt shoes, or glides on newest bicycle with pigtail in pocket; there trudges along on géta (pattens) the sturdy little Jap or laughingly bestrides his machine. No longer is there to be seen the Chinese woman in her black cotton trousers with her sad face & smooth hair, but bright & gay is the Japanese girl, petite et mince, de coiffeur magnifique!

To “Nippon”, this land of wonders, we are hastened in the good ship Belgic; but ere we arrive in port let me tell you a short story about Manilla which I heard while I was upon the way. Before the days of American interference, there lived in one of the towns of the Philippines a little telegraph clerk who was an Englishman a person of no great importance. And it came to pass that certain Spanish soldiers having been worsted in an engagement & being pursued by the rebels took refuge in the telegraph station; now this same telegraph station being quite unfortified could easily have been destroyed by the rebels who quickly surrounded it, but they refrained saying “It is British property, we will leave it alone”. So they sent to the telegraph clerk & said “Come out to us” & he came out, & they said “Give up these our enemies who have taken refuge with you”; but he would not, yet would they not destroy the place because it was British property. So it came to pass that after some time there came to that town the flower of the Spanish army with Commander & Captains great & honourable; & with one accord all the inhabitants of that place fled into the country. Then was the Spanish army in a sore strait, because with the utmost difficulty could they obtain the bare necessities of life.

So the Commander of the Spanish army called to the little English telegraph clerk & said unto him: “Behold now we are in a sore strait because all these villagers have fled, & if they would return I would assure unto them that no harm should befall them; yet if I were to issue a proclamation on this wise, would they distrust my word, so now do you proclaim this matter unto them.” Then in the presence of the Lord Commander of the Spanish force did this little clerk (who was an Englishman) take paper & stamp it with his own private seal, & he issued a proclamation to the villagers & he signed it with his own individual name. And he wrote unto them that if they would return to the village no harm should befall them; and it came to pass that they trusted his word & returned, & the Spaniards molested them not, because they were afraid.

[1 Aug.] It is only some 36 hours since we left Shanghai & we are arriving early in the morning at Nagasaki—first glimpse of Japan {1}. Ashore in a Sampan & away in Jinrickisha—to give rickshaw its full name—to the shrine of the gods. But to pass through the streets is a delight, an experience, an education. Everyone seems to have climbed down out of a picture book—a Japanese picture book. Can these be real these ridiculous little men? Can these be real these still more ridiculous little women? Can—no surely not—these children be—why no they must be little Japanese dolls—in the supremity of their ridiculosity with their brilliant colours & circular hair! And yet the Kurumaya can pull the jinrickisha as no Chinaman could pull it; is he the only substance in a land of shadows? Are these people all around capable of any hard work or are they merely charming puppets, smiling impossibilities, resident upon earth to cheer a labouring world? {2}

And all the while we are drawing nearer to our first sight of a Japanese temple. Arrived, we mount up, up, steep stone steps & gain the summit; all around are the pretty hills, in front of us the beautiful curves of Japanese architecture. Descending, a Japanese teahouse gives us our first taste of Japanese tea;—somewhat disappointing; instead of the rich refreshing beverage of China, a weak decoction of green tea “flavoured hot water”—& 2 little girls perform a dance for our edification. All very quaint & unreal. So back to the ship & watch the operation of coaling; here are Japanese men in great numbers & not a few Japanese women, all smiling, & standing hour in & hour out passing along little baskets of coal. Here in Nagasaki coaling is done by “conduction”, in Port Said by “convection”. But what a difference in the appearance of the “coalies”; though the amount of clotting cannot be described as excessive, everyone succeeds in looking clean & almost neat, while many of the women wear their hair elaborately dressed underneath a loose pocket handkerchief. Altogether the process is a rapid one, for though the baskets are small they make frequent transits to & fro. So at length the work is done; with cheerful faces the workers are rowed away, & we start on our voyage through the inland sea.

[2 Aug.] All through the following day the slopes of the hills are in sight, everywhere are the level terraces indicating the culture of rice; now the water passage is reduced to a narrow strait, now it broadens out till the southern shore is lost to view. Here can be seen a Japanese village; & here out in the water are hundreds of small craft, from junks down to tiny canoes, all inclined to get in the way till the “wow” of the steam whistle warns them that a greater than they is there. Everything is pretty: the mountains, the rice fields, the ships, the roofs of the cottages nestling in among the trees, the occasional view of the inhabitants themselves. So the day passes away while all the while we are drawing nearer & nearer to Kobe where we are to disembark for our 3 weeks visit to Japan. I forget whether I told you that we had decided to go through the country with a guide, & had written from Sydney for a special one who had been recommended to me—a Mr F Takagaki; I mentioned this fact to a gentleman on the boat who was talking to me about Japan & he said “That’s a great mistake, he will be no use to you at all, will only be in your way & will cause you a lot of extra expense”. We have since come to the conclusion that that man must have been a monomaniac upon this point; for he can only be supposed to have spoken truly on the following peculiar assumptions. That to have all worries & bothers about trains, luggage, hotels, tickets, jinrickishas etc etc taken off one[’s] shoulders in a land where only a few people understand a limited amount of English is absolutely no use; that to have any amount of time saved in making arrangements, to be prevented from doing a lot of things that aren’t worth while, that to avoid a number of irritating muddles; that to have everyone with whom we had to do handsomely paid but not ridiculously overpaid,—that all these things are fatuous & futile. Of course I should be the last to deny that by having a guide one does lose something that one would gain by direct contact with the natives; but this is immensely outweighed not only by the direct information which one can obtain from the man himself but also by the fact that with him one is able to go where alone as a foreigner unacquainted with the language one would be ceremoniously dismissed. Add to this that in a country where standards are widely different from our own he knows exactly what is what, & enables one to do all that is amusingly unconventional while avoiding that which one would wish to avoid, & you have a few out of the many advantages which are to be obtained from a guide.

[3 Aug.] Early on the morning of Aug 3rd while we were yet in pyjamas Takagaki put in his appearance & introduced himself to us; then assisting us to pack he convoyed† us ashore, got our baggage through the customs & landed us at the hotel. There we were glad to have breakfast & to spread ourselves out into two rooms; & spent the morning making a few necessary arrangements, writing to the British Consulate at Tokio (enclosing letter of introduction) for permission to view the palaces, & inspecting Kobe from the seat of a jinrickisha. In the afternoon we rode out to view one of the great bronze Buddhas & then on to see the famous waterfall; getting out of our rickshaws at the foot of the hill we zigzagged up, & came at last right out on one of the numberless charming spots of the Islands of Japan. Of course a little tea house at the place, & seated there shoeless upon the matting we watched the splash of the waters, drank up tiny little cups of tea brought us by a smiling damsel, & lazily smoked. Then noticing that a number of coolies were bathing in the basin at the foot of the fall, we went in and joined them & had a delightful swim; and so on this our first day we inaugurated that principle of bathing upon every possible available occasion which was the amusement if it was the secret sorrow of the Takagaki’s heart. The Japanese are peculiarly cleanly people & everyone down to the commonest coolie thinks himself aggrieved if he cannot get two—if not 3 or more—baths in the day; but that a foreigner should be so inclined, & to bathe with common coolies too, such a thing is somewhat strange. Once at Shizuoka—but that is another story.

[4 Aug.] On the morrow we trained it to Kiyoto passing through Osaka the great manufacturing centre on the way. The trains are rather like those in New Zealand, with a 3 ft 6 in gauge, but they don’t go quite so slowly, & they have the continental plan of managing station platforms…… Up to the Yaami hotel. From our rooms upon the verandah we could gaze upon a view far too pretty to be put into words. There lay the ancient capital before us, all its small wooden houses scattered in & out among the trees; here a stately temple, with the sublime outline of its roof, rose into the sky, &, behind all, the hills rising range behind range formed a fitting couch for the sun when it sank to rest. Here we tarried several days, now wandering through the streets in the cool of the evening, now going to gaze upon a temple; verily the art of beauty is not lost, for here newest of all stands the great temple built by the myriad contributions of the peasant. Vast in its faultless architecture, with its curved roof resting upon columns of unvarnished cedar, so great, so heavy that it is said that only that† rope of human hair could raise them into their places. In wonder we gaze; in wonder might one meditate upon the strange coequal reverence for Buddha, Emperor, & Parent. What weird self immolation will they not undertake for their emperor? what awful sacrifice will they refuse to make at parental command?

At the Yaami hotel I fell in with Mr & Mrs Sidebottom fellow passengers of the “Norse King” {3} who have been making a tour of the world in almost exactly the same way as myself; a little bit curious that I never came across them before, however we soon found out that we were to be fellow passengers on the Coptic. We made Kiyoto the head quarters for a number of excursions, & halted each day for lunch at some delightful little tea house, where reclining at full length we partook of the victuals we had brought with us, & reposefully admired the scenery. So one day found us at Nara gazing upon the great Daibutsu (or image of Buddha) now but a wooden counterfeit of the once tremendous bronze statue. In one of the Korean wars the Government, short of money had melted down this vast statue & turned it into small coin; to the Japanese there was nothing impious in this act, & to this day these coins exist in great number and are fitting offerings from the peasant to the temple. A few he gives whenever he worships, the priest exchanges them for larger money & by & bye they find their way back into the peasant’s hand.

One day we rode round the Biwa lake, & bathed—of course—in its delightful waters; then came back to Kiyoto on the great canal {4}. This wonderful piece of engineering was achieved by a student still at college, who tunnelling through mountains brought Biwa into connection with the lower lakes of Kiyoto, irrigating fields, conveying cargo, illuminating the city in one effort.

Or again in a jinrickisha to the Golden Pavilion, the charming summer garden of the emperor. If there is one thing more than any other which the Japanese understand, it is the making of a garden. What else, you may ask, is the whole country? Still even in gardens there is positive, comparative, & superlative…… A garden within a garden! Great trees they transplant, little ponds they dig out, gold fish they import, till in a few months a ridiculous ugly spot is transformed into a wee fairy land hundreds of years old! Of these, the garden of the Golden Pavilion is chief & king; in it stands the Pavilion itself[,] still faced over with the gold with which it was once so richly embellished. To visitors is given tea, not the more ordinary beverage but a foaming mixture made of the powdered leaves; exquisite, even intoxicating; this is the tea of ceremony—ceremonial tea. Away, to the rapids of Arashi-yama, to a little tea house overlooking the flowing waters; there we spend the mid-day hours, now descending & bathing in the stream, now lunching in our little room while a smiling maiden laughs at the odd ways of the foreigner, now lazily smoking & watching the crowds of native trippers who fill the house with pleasing laughter. Then back once more to Kiyoto as the afternoon wanes, & before darkness shuts out sight, we inspect some of the famous Satsuma ware, admire, & promise to return.

Perhaps you wonder why a lazy midday & a bathe occupy such a prominent place in our existence; then learn that in this fairy land of delight there were two things of which we might have sung:—

“We thank thee Lord, that here our joy is mixed with pain”

These two were the heat & the mosquitoes. Of the former not much need be said except that a temperature of 85° at night in a breezeless spot is not peculiarly adapted for repose; as to the latter, well! Construct for yourselves a little figure rampant upon a bed, candle in left hand (little caring of danger to the mosquito nets) towel in right; now a cry of despair; now of exultation as a carcase of another mosquito is added to the slain. At first in our folly had we stept blindly within our curtains at nightfall; & as the long hours wore through found our hands & our feet variegated in relief. So now each evening did the figure of the Percy perform in pyjamas the double war dance; so now each night did we vainly endeavour to prevent an insidious intruder from forcing a baneful entry within the sacred precincts.

The Palace of the Mikado—embodiment of simplicity—the castle of the ancient Shogun with panels of liquid art, shops of Cloisonné, of embroidery, of Satsuma, purchases (contrary to my wont) of a few of the most delightful specimens, & we are journeying on again once more to Nagoya where side by side with the jinrickisha the electric tram hurries through the streets. Here another Shogun’s castle rises high into heaven, & from its lofty battlements we look down upon another ancient capital; but, see! over there the troops are drilling. How many this army? “400,000 strong, & 300,000 tonnage the navy; in 6 years we shall be ready to fight the Russians, aye & we shall beat them”—what if the cup of Russian iniquity is then full!

We travel on, & at last there comes in sight the peerless mountain, Fujiyama the magnificent. Shizuoka to break the journey; & early in the morning to Gotemba, the lofty peak rising higher & higher. Up to the summit of an adjoining hill & thence gaze upon the wondrous cone, rising its 12 000 feet straight up from the lowland plain beneath. Now clear from summit to base, now with a fleecy cloud clinging like a ribbon about the neck; then as we descend upon the other side it is lost to view. Once again was I to behold the peerless mountain, once again, once only. It is Tokio, the sun is sinking in the west, there in the far far distance, towering up into the sky stands Fujiyama; what matter the intervening mountains, what matter one hundred & twenty miles? Graceful in its solitary grandeur, as Egmont with its cap of snow, who dare say that it is unworthy of the worship with which it has been honoured from time unknown?

But we are making the descent to Miyanoshita, to find civilisation & a crowd, & are driven not unwillingly into the Japanese annex.

A rainy day impels us after a visit to the waterfalls, to spend the afternoon in training it to Yokohama; & there we find our room, looking out upon the harbour, cool & pleasant because there is a breeze, though the temperature is still 84°. A morning of business & an afternoon spent in rowing out to see the swimming match between the Japanese & the foreigner. There, are gathered together a large number of the people of Yokohama, & the contest evokes great interest; two out of the 3 races are won by the natives, but a powerful Englishman carries off the one remaining. So we go on to Tokio there to spend for the present only half a day, during which I run off to call on Kentaro Kaneyko† {5}; & Percy taking advantage of my absence, pledges himself to speak at any number of meetings on our return to the city. And once again we are puffing away, this time to Nikko—the beautiful.

The temple of Nikko, the burial place of a Shogun {6}, these are the sights which the Japanese rank as the most exquisite; a proverb forbids anyone to say they have seen the beautiful (ekko) until they have visited Nekko†. But it is not for me to describe the indescribable, to tell of all the faultless outline of the exterior, of the gorgeous lacquer work that is displayed within; rather let me point out to you the stately groves of Cryptomerias & leave you to fill in the edifice from the recesses of your imagination. We wander through, & later on, pay a visit to a waterfall, a spot venerated by the Japanese who come & burn a candle & fasten their visiting card up against the rock!

Next day we start off to the country, walking up to the Lake of Chusenji {7} & then on from there to Yumotu {8}; the first part of our journey is a climb of 2 or 3 thousand feet with waterfalls & the charming green of Japanese scenery all around. But even more interesting to us than all this, were the numbers of Japanese pilgrims, going up to worship on the top of one of the mountains. Only two others share with Fujiyama the honour of supreme worship, & of these one towers above the lake of Chusenji. Thither in one week of September come pilgrims from all over Japan; ascending, they watch the rising of the sun, offer up prayers of intercession for themselves & their village; the priest stamps upon their Kimōno the emblem of their visit & each man returns whence he came. In front of us & behind us & all around us on the road, they press on; some young some old, some quick, some slow & footsore, but all alike wearing the white kimono & white stockings, the rude straw hat, & the great straw matting which serves in the day to protect their back from the heat of the sun & at night forms a bed upon which to lay them down. Here are pedestrians with their long white staves, & here a few are riding on horseback perched up on their high saddles while their horses are led by peasant girl grooms in variegated attire. Now they stop & rest at a tea house, drink their tea, eat their rice & swallow their vermicelli after their own somewhat inelegant fashion; now they pursue the uneven tenour of their way.

A cool lake, a hotel full of Europeans, & we are marching on, now unaccompanied, another 8 miles, another 1000 feet to Yumotu. A fashionable Japanese watering place, if you like; an unconventional village where the European can walk about in Kimono and géta—& feel somewhat of a fool too if he hasn’t done it before—& everyone bathes in hot sulphur springs nearly all day. A hotel Europeo-Japanese, where one can have all the charm of a Japanese apartment without being subjected to the somewhat noxious decoctions which they call food; a refreshing atmosphere, a beautiful lake & commanding mountains.

Alas that we have only two days to spend here, away from the rush & hurry of the world; how easily a week—a fortnight—a month. How many the rambles that there might be; but only one, over the mountain & down to the mine. And the 2 days are passed & we are starting early in the morning to walk away back to Nikko. {9}

So again a little time, & back to Tokio, where Percy sets himself to labour without ceasing; to find out in 4 days all that anyone ever knew or ever might know about social questions in Japan; to pump dry of information every somebody & nobody who could by any possibility have any knowledge upon this or upon any other subject of interest; and at the same time to visit every place in the city where anything beautiful or instructive could be discovered. In this extraordinary attempt I believe he would have been entirely successful, but that Tokio being a garden instead of a town,—though containing nearly two million souls—even a two-manned rickshaw would not infrequently take a full hour at breakneck speed in going from point to point.

However he did succeed in meeting every eminent man who was in or near Tokio at the time, in visiting a prison, an almshouse, a printing press a spinning factory—North, South, East, West of the city—& in giving three addresses, not to speak of taking meals with friends & strangers, dining at the Maple Club, going to see crowds of other things and traversing all the twenty one thousand miles of streets & slums ten times over.

In this race Katayama (who runs a small settlement in some imitation of Mansfield House {10}) & Murai {11} were his trainers, while I came in puffing & blowing a somewhat poor second, with Takagaki nowhere.

I dread to think of even a part of this knowledge leaking out someday, for as I myself feel both like the Queen of Sheba & King Solomon in my attitude to Japan, I expect that in him the preponderance of the latter will be so marked, that the unfastening of the sluices would let loose a stream which would inundate the whole world. {12}

If you go to Japan, you should in no case miss the Maple Club; to dinner there you can invite any Japanese you will—we ourselves took Takagaki. Dinner at a club one usually associates with sitting at one table with a lot of others in the room at which sit members & guests. Not so here. A pretty large room to ourselves. No sign of any furniture, but 3 cushions one on top of the other are offered us for seats. These we scorn, for though we cannot sit kneeling, as do the Japanese, at least we can occupy the floor in some less graceful manner.

So we start away at a Japanese repast served to us by 5 Japanese little girls. There are many things we have to learn. At first we eat ahead in the usual Occidental fashion as though we hadn’t set eyes upon food for several months; this is quite incorrect. A Japanese banquet should last 5, 6 or 7 hours & you may be eating on and off the whole time. Now you might light a cigarette & smoke peacefully for several minutes; now hold out your little cup, for the young lady to pour you out some warm sackie (spelling?) {13} which tastes like a kind of sherry negus.

But see, here are 4 girls with musical instruments, & a troupe of others come in & dance in costume. Quite a little wee operetta for our benefit alone.

All these, says Takagaki, are the daughters of respectable Merchants, they are sent here to learn how to entertain guests; some play, some dance, some do the serving of the food & drink. Every Japanese wife is expected to be ready to wait in person upon her husband’s most distinguished guests.

Now, an you feel minded, you ask for the little water bowl, & dipping in & out your cup, you hand it to the young lady & pouring out sackie, you bid her drink. Smiling she accepts. Percy’s victuals borne upon chopsticks held in his unaccustomed fingers do not always perform their full journey correctly. He has to be taught. I am flattered—& Percy equally depressed—by being told that I handle the strange weapons as though I had eaten with them all my life. This & other scraps of conversation through the medium of Takagaki. All the rest is panto-mime.

Thus a couple of hours or more pass amusingly along while now [one] & now another little operetta is gracefully performed, & elicits our applause; & so we bid farewell to the maple club.

More pretentious though less amusing was our—or rather Percy’s—reception at which we met most of the leading men of Japan, & speeches abounded, like stars in a summer sky. The hot weather provoked diversity of costume; here the cool native dress, here a starched collar & frock coat, now a serge suit (with a potential bowler), now a flannel shirt & cycling knickerbockers. But these were merely the superficial surroundings of leading journalists, leading politicians, leading thinkers who entertained & instructed us, & listened attentively to Percy’s oration, & to my subsequent modest & frank few words.

Or again a hall full of working men: a speech: and a few words—both translated, of course, by an interpreter—: a Japanese “Three cheers”.

Or again a spinning factory of 40,000 spindles. Girls get, at best, about 4/6 a month together with board & lodging; this for 12 hours shifts & 28 working days out of 30,—no Sundays. If any failure to come up to scratch, they only make about 1/6.

Once more to Yokohama—leaving Alden to interview the Prime Minister {14} in Tokio; a day with another old Balliol man; & the hour for our departure draws nigh {15}. But ere we leave this picturesque country let me write a word or so of men & things.

I have spoken of the artistic appearance of all things native, have I mentioned the extreme politeness between man & man; always a smile, always a bow, always the honorific address; if this be once abandoned disruption is complete, even murder & suicide may follow. But chivalrous treatment of women by men is unknown; women stand, to make room for men in a car, & are expected to offer to carry an awkward or burdensome parcel! A wife is a sort of head servant, to show obedience to her lord, but more especially to her mother-in-law; for when a woman’s sons marry her servitude is over & her period of tyranny begins.

Of course among the lower classes where the pinch is felt, necessity steps in to equalize, & gives the rule to the greater brain. Here you will find husband & wife toiling together, now stooping low in the rice fields now tugging along the road the heavy cart. Wonderful the loads that a man will draw; wonderful the distance & the pace that a Kurumaya will run. Thirty or forty miles in the day & he will turn & smile upon his face as though he had gone about 50 yards. Strange, smiling, great-legged, thin-armed, rice-eating, little-caring Kurumaya, go & read your eulogy not undeserved in Miss Bacon’s book on “Japanese girls & women”, though why you figure there I cannot tell.

Industrially the Japanese are rushing eyes open into the revolution which has swept over Europe during the nineteenth century. Hounding their peasants into the towns, I muchly fear whether they will in any wise escape the evils which that transition entailed for us and from some of which we are still suffering to-day.

As a nation they are strong; “point out” said Kentaro Kaneyko†, “to people in England the powerfulness of our position in this part of the world. How long would it take Russia or England to get anything of an army into China? We could place 100,000 men there in less than a week. Our great navy could be brought into operation in a few days. Whichever nation we assisted must be rendered supreme”.

The question comes in, have they the Anglo Saxon doggedness clearsightedness & determination. A Japanese who had spent 5 of his best years at Cambridge said that when he returned to his own country with English eyes, he seemed to see in it a people more resembling the French than the English.

Nevertheless a great nation they undoubtedly are with a patriotism that is a religion: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” is a positive & not a negative sentiment. With many faults, they have many virtues, with some weaknesses they have much strength; & it cannot but be that as years go by they will take an increasingly important position in the comity of nations.

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{1} Lawrence and Alden visited Nagasaki on 1 August (see 6/6), and must therefore have left Shanghai late on 30 July.

{2} The ink changes here.

{3} Lawrence travelled on the Norse King when he went to Norway in 1896. See Fate Has Been Kind, p. 37.

{4} The Lake Biwa Canal, constructed between 1885 and 1890.

{5} Count Kaneko (sic) Kentarō.

{6} Nikkō Tōshō-gū, a Shinto shrine, is the burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616), founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.

{7} The usual spelling is now Chūzenji.

{8} Yumoto Onsen.

{9} The ink changes here.

{10} Kingsley Hall, founded by Katayama in 1897.

{11} Murai Tomoyoshi.

{12} The ink changes here.

{13} Saké, of course.

{14} Okuma Shigenobu. An article by Alden on ‘The Future of Japan’, based on this visit, was published in The Outlook, 22 Oct. 1898, pp. 482–5.

{15} Lawrence and Alden left Yokohama about 23 August, and arrived at San Francisco on 10 October, after a journey of 18 days. See 5/30h.

† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

In the train from Ogden to San Francisco.—Has parted from Alden and met Annie (his sister). Describes his crossing of the Pacific and visits to Yosemite, Salt Lake City, and Yellowstone Park.

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Transcript

In the train from Ogden to San Francisco
Oct 3. 98

My dear Tante.

We are coming back from the Yellowstone Park, & at last after all this delay I start to write you a letter.

The great meeting took place at Salt Lake City & seemed to me the most natural thing in the world; Annie was brisk & shining & had enjoyed her voyage across with her triple escort, I had parted from Alden only a few hours before at Ogden.

I don’t know how far I shall write an encyclical of all my doings in the States, but in any case as I seem to have got rather behindhand, you will probably like to hear something in advance.

A capital voyage across with a day’s stop at Honolulu brought us to San Francisco where we only remained long enough to get a squint around & then went down to the Yosemite. After a day and a half’s coaching we arrived smothered in dust, & spent our time in the valley climbing up to different points of observation. The valley is tremendous with its great slabs of rock, & must look even finer when there is water flowing over the different falls. From Yosemite to Wawona & the giant trees, then back to San Francisco & away to meet Annie at Salt Lake.

There we viewed the Mormon tabernacle & were shown the various points of interest, bathed in the sulphur springs, & floated in the dense waters of the lake. The city is splendidly laid out with streets 150 feet broad & shady avenue trees; & you can ride your wheel on the sidewalk whenever the road is bad!

The week we have had in the Yellowstone has been very jolly; If Japan is pretty, & Yosemite is grand the Yellowstone park is handsome & the geysers are captivating—the memory of Old Faithful is quite that of a departed friend. Perhaps 70 miles in a coach in driving snow is not the happiest method of spending a day; still we did get to Monida, the railway station, whence we returned to Ogden & now I am on my way to the west coast once more.

To the 5 hours which the train started late it has added 2½ more, owing to the buffet car becoming somewhat damaged; it has been quite an excitement watching the broken part being repaired; the loss of time will only mean that we spend to-night in the train instead of at the Palace Hotel.

Many thanks for all the letters received at San Francisco; I sent Sir E.L a scrawl from Yosemite, & Dora a letter from the train, & now this tardy recognition of your own. Somehow with a biweekly mail one does not make it so imperative to get a letter off! I expect Annie & I shall look up the Cohens shortly after our arrival, & then after a few days in S.F go down to Del Monte & Los Angeles & then slowly work our way across[.] We have not quite made [up] our minds about staing the States over Xmas but of course if we do, we shall gladly accept Dr Collyer’s invitation; in any case we will send him a line in a few days’ time.

c/o T Cook & Son. New York will probably be the best address for letters for either of us all the time we are over here.

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

Circular letter by F. W. Lawrence

Account of a journey via Yokohama, Honolulu, San Francisco, Yosemite Valley, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone Park, Monida, Ogden, San Francisco (with excursions), Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Jacksonville and St Augustine, Asheville, Washington, New York, Chicago(?), Niagara Falls(?), Boston, and New York.

(A continuation of 5/30g. Headed ‘Encyclical VIII.’ This letter was begun some time after Lawrence’s arrival in the United States on 10 Sept. and completed some time in December.)

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Transcript

Encyclical VIII.

I start now upon my last encyclical and it should be rapid to illustrate the country in which it is written; & yet sometimes I stop & wonder whether this country is as rapid as it is generally supposed. In spite of all some people say, the trains do not run at one express speed, to eat a meal at many hotels is often a lesson in patience, to be shaved is to take a Turkish Bath with all the ceremony & delay attached thereto; but then compare their street cars with our buses & trams (a voice says “What about the London hansom?”), their elevators with our lifts—or absence of the same—their workmen (as employers maintain) with our own; and, well, I am not quite sure what result you come to. But not of all these things did Alden and I think as standing on the deck of the Coptic in drenching rain, we bade farewell to our friends in Yokohama. So the time came that we were to spend 18 days on board ship, crossing the Pacific.

At first we found it slow enough; nobody would do anything, & the Quarter Masters could not be induced to spend the little time required to enable us to play our one game of quoits. The fellow passengers as a whole were uncongenial & the diet was second rate yet the weather was magnificent. So passed away nearly a week; then at last everyone seemed to wake up. The Captain ordered up the swimming tank which he had said he should not allow during the voyage, the Doctor started cricket of a more exciting kind than I have seen on board ship, the quartermasters made our quoits, a game of skittles was introduced, and we formed on[e] or two pleasant acquaintances. So sped away the few remaining days to Honolulu; but I must not forget the doubled day the reward of all the little sacrifices of half hours and twenty minutes, so ungrudgingly given and apparently so heedlessly received.

Honolulu so newly American. Athirst for exercise, we cycle over to the sea baths, bathe & return; a shore dinner, a shore bed—saved only by curtains from a myriad invaders—up to the great pass on our machines to see the view, down again, a “milk shake” & on to the ship at noon thoroughly exercised.

The Japanese steerage passengers who had thronged our fore deck are gone, but in their stead are cabin passengers till the quota is full; all is confusion on board.

Farewell to the bright beautiful islands of Hawaii, farewell for the last time in my travels to the lands of the tropics.

Yale & Harvard men returning to their terms add pleasure to the rest of our voyage; books, games, discussions, music fill up the time; the ship’s engines do their best in a calm sea, and [10 Sept.?] we ride peacefully into San Francisco a day before our scheduled time. {1}

Here then at last have we reached the States, the famous West, for the Orient is left far behind. For ever? I trust not, for the recollection is very pleasant. The absorbing interest of China, the beauty of Japan, & greatest of all, India & all my friends from there, seem to call me to come again; some day perhaps, but not for many years.

How to describe San Francisco? How to delineate its individual character? Quite an established city, altogether civilized. Perhaps you expected something rough, lawless. Not at all, it is quite like an Eastern town (ie a town of the Eastern States) & yet not quite; here on the main street is a fifteen storey building adjoining a one and a half storey wooden shanty; here the road way is about as even as—as an old woman’s apple store which has been half upset—Alas I fear this does not separate it so much from the Eastern cities, but see they are actually making it level & putting down clean firm asphalt! Pleasant atmosphere, warm in the sun cool in the shade, but gives Alden neuralgia in the face. A visit to the Golden Gate Park, to Pres. Jordan of the Stanford Leyland† University, a lunch at the Bohemian Club, and we are leaving the sumptuousness of the mighty Palace Hotel, to go down to the Yosemite Valley. A night in the train, & in the morning we are at Raymond. Then at 7 starts the coach & for 5 hours heat intense and dust unspeakable. So a brush down and a wash and a lunch, & we are off again another 5 hours—the last 3 cooler as we reach an altitude of 4000 feet—& dusty to the marrow we arrive at Wawona which being interpreted means “big tree”.

So a night’s rest and another early start to reach the famous valley at midday. Up up we climb, six thousand feet are scaled & now the great sight bursts upon our view. Near us upon our left is El Capitan that vast slab of rock bare, bold, barren; acres in extent is that cold grey perpendicular face. There to our right a little further on should be a mighty waterfall, but not now is there more than a mere trickle of water. But see in the distance that is the vast Half Dome, awe inspiring tremendous—who will venture to describe? Rapidly we descend to the floor of the valley, level, green, three and a half thousand feet above the sea, walled in with walls of three thousand feet! Four miles & we are at the hotel in this strange unearthly place. From there we wander out, one day along the valley, another to the Eagle’s Peak, another high up to the Clouds Rest—a full day’s climb—another to the Glacier Point; from each we get a different view of the might rocks. Would that the smoke of a forest fire were less obstructive to our vision. So we take a final gaze & return to Wawona.

With the rising sun we are driving out to the giant trees of the Mariposa Grove. Like all big things, their size confuses; it is not till one has climbed up many rungs of a ladder to the top of a prostrate monster, has driven coach & all through another, has seen a third standing side by side with an ordinary huge tree that one appreciates at all what they are; not till then, & then not fully. But the coach is carrying us away back to Ahwanee back to Raymond, & the train takes us an hour along the line to Berenda, where we sleep at a wayside inn, & on the morrow return to San Francisco. A few hours preparations, & [19 Sept.] we are again in the train {2} [,] Alden to Chicago & myself to Salt Lake City; for 36 hours, to Ogden, we travel together, then it is “goodbye”. For 5 months we have been united, our interests have been one, our pleasures in common; & now we part. A few hours & I have the delight of welcoming Annie. So one comes & another goes. “Is that not true of life?” I had hoped that at least for a day I might have had the pleasure of welcoming the coming guest before sorrowing for the parting,—a three cornered day—but it was not to be.

A charming city, the city of the Mormons, fine spacious streets with shady trees on either hand. We visit the Mormon Tabernacle & look upon the Temple from the outside, we are shown round the city with its relics of its old Mormon leaders. We take the car out to the great Salt Lake itself & bathe in its sustaining waters which allow you to float head, shoulders, feet all out of water!

Then we are off to the great Yellowstone Park. A few inconveniences of travel, and we are entering the Park at the Mammoth Hot Springs. A drive round a park, may be you imagine, is a matter of an afternoon, or perhaps, taking it leisurely, a whole day. Not so the Yellowstone. The regular drive round, tots up to something not very far short of 150 miles, & takes 5 days, or as many more as you like to spend. First the Mammoth Springs; terraces of the most delicate colours—white, pink, blue, green, brown or black. Of such were the great terraces of Rotorua New Zealand (destroyed alas volcanically, a few years ago) the wonder of the world. Wonderful indeed are these, as the boiling water pours over their flowery faces, beautiful, strange. The weather is delightful; warm but not too hot, and we congratulate ourselves upon the time of our visit. Now begins our drive, and at Norris a jovial host provides our lunch, then a first glimpse of the geysers. To Annie they are something quite new; I have seen the small ones of New Zealand. But let me wait to describe till we reach the finest of their race.

Fountain Hotel receives us before the sun has set, and the clerk at the office says to us “The bears will come down at 6 and the geysers will play at 8” much as though he had spoken of the arrival of guests & the performance of a brass band—so Annie remarks to me. So at six we go out with the hotel porter who daily spreads out the odds & ends of food at a little distance from the hotel, & shortly out of the wood comes big brown bruin to partake. The Zoo has prevented surprise, but it is the first time we have seen a fellow like that quite free & quite close. A little before 8 the geyser—“the little fountain”—goes through its performance spurting water right up into the sky.

The next day is the great field day for geysers; we drive out to the Upper Basin where they flourish in all their magnificence. From afar we behold one of them in action, & coming near we find the “castle” is performing; from its great turreted orifice it is throwing up water & steam. Like a fountain, and yet not like a fountain; for is not the water boiling hot, does it not mount in irregular violent outpourings, does not the crater gurgle and grunt? Arrived at the lunch station we find in the parlour [These words are followed by a box containing the words ‘Old Faithful will play at’ above a drawing of a clock showing the time 11.06.] So during the day is set a clock at the time of the next display. Every 70 minutes does Old Faithful perform his ceremony; & while seasons, droughts & various calamities affect other greater & less geysers, he remains alone, constant, unchanging, reliable. The time is drawing near, we approach his threshold; he gives a slight gurgle, then he spurts up. At first ten, then twenty, thirty … eighty, a hundred feet or more, into the air. For a minute or two we see him, then once more he lapses into silence, into obscurity within his crater.

Then a guide comes and takes us over the geyser field & tells us tales of some of the folk he has shown through before. Here is the “beehive” which enterprising tourists have soaped (literally) so much in the past that now it plays no more. Here is the “giantess” which only began playing again this year, & plays now 250 feet in the air, on & off for 12 hours at a time every 8 or ten days. Here a little fellow which goes off quick-shot-bang—& all over—once every two minutes. Here is the turban playing about once an hour(?). So we wander along seeing some in action, & regretting that the activity of others will not occur during our visit. Here is a pool of irridescent† blue of red of yellow of emerald. Here runs a cold rivulet where you can catch a fish, & turning yourself round you may boil him in a boiling pool within reach of your arm. Now we drive out a little way & the sun shines for a moment on a pool of sapphire. Now we watch “Daisy” a pretty little geyser which shoots out a fountain spray at an angle, & charms the Sororial heart.

So at length we take our departure not without some regret at bidding farewell to Old Faithful which we have witnessed once, twice, thrice, (now from near by, now right up close, now from afar) fulfil with unremitting zeal his 70 minute mission, an example of duty to the human race. So back to the Fountain Hotel & to the “paint pots” the little sputterers of coloured mud. The next is a long day’s “march”, and as we drive on & on and it gets colder and colder we begin to be not quite so sure of the excellence of the time of year for our visit. At length we reach the highest point of the pass, or the “Divide” as they call it, more than 8000 ft above the sea, then a short descent takes us down to the Lake from which many of the great rivers of the States take their rise. All around are the mountains covered with new fallen snow looking very grand as we make our way across the lake to our destination. Arrived there, we have the huge hotel all to ourselves, for the Yellowstone Park will soon close for the season. That evening a little snow falls, and we are very glad of the steam pipes in our rooms.

Next day we start for the Grand Canyon, & on the way pass a huge mud geysers†—last of our dear friends whom we have loved well but of whom we have grown with such constant familiarity just a little bit … or let me say we murmured

Geysers lofty geysers low
Geysers rapid geysers slow
Geysers gentle geysers rough
We thank the Lord we’ve had enough.

But the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is exquisite, with its golden rocks & lofty waterfalls; and the sun once out, the snow enhances its glory. How easily a week or more might be spent here earlier in the summer, but now we must hurry on, as 2 long days’ coaching await us to take us out of the park to Monida. The first lands us at a hunter’s inn to spend the night; thence a snowy day, & after 11 hours the coach reaches Monida at a walk in 10 inches of snow. [2 Oct.] Ogden by Sunday morning, & away towards San Francisco in the afternoon; en route 3 hours are spent in a siding while the bogey of the dining car is put to rights.

Nine days in the city are spent by me more or less in my room as I have a charming attack of neuralgia in the back, caught in the Yellowstone & accentuated by the air of California which is famous for this scourge. So I haven’t much opportunity to observe again the cosmopolitan nature of the city. It had seemed curious to me when first I came, that whereas when I went to India I kept on setting the natives in comparison with the negroes in the States, now I go about to reverse the process. As a matter of fact there is a very marked difference & next to no similarity. The negro is bright, sharp, cheeky & without any dignity whatever; the oriental is essentially dignified essentially without cheek, but deceitful rather than sharp. As for the Chinese element they are sleek & self complacent, so unlike their humble emaciated compatriots in their own country. So soon upon Oriental as well as upon African & every branch of the European family does the spirit of the American republic stamp itself when once citizenship has been procured.

Annie meanwhile was seeing a few of the sights & getting to know Mrs Cohen with whom we both went to lunch one day in the “skittle alley of the grounds of the burnt mansion”. It was pleasant to meet an old friend.

Then we started on our travels again: first to Del Monte a hotel in superb grounds perhaps the most beautiful I have ever seen. The maze proves of absorbing interest & reminds us of Carry’s recitation. The Lick Observatory on the top of Mt Hamilton, and Santa Cruz claim a visit from myself, & picking up Annie, a return is made to San Francisco. Los Angeles, Passadena† & Echo Mountain how to recite your beauties, how speak of the chain of the orange groves; Coronado beach upon the Eastern Shores of the Pacific. A railway bears us away, a rail to the City of Angels; a railway carries us east for 56 hours in a carriage—longest journey of all, so at length we are stranded at Houston: further a day and a half of discomforts, and rest at Atlanta.

But if you look at a map you perhaps wonder why we did not stop at the famous city of New Orleans; the answer is Yellow Fever in the place. Atlanta brought back our recollections of the Eastern city, though signs of the South were not wanting; from there we went not a long journey to Jacksonville & St Augustine in Florida. But the great frost of ’92 has rather destroyed that part of the country, & as it was not the proper season we reluctantly gave up the thought of descending another 12 hours journey to the orange groves & pine fields.

So we returned & up to Asheville; charming spot, standing in a panorama of gorgeously coloured trees covering the horizon. A few days very pleasantly pass roaming about in the morning & driving in the afternoon; then we get once more into the train, & leaving for good the south with its sugar brakes & its cotton fields come up to Washington. So I return at length to a place which I had seen, before I started out on my travels nearly a year gone by.

What more is there left to tell? Once again have I visited New York & been carried away by the hustle of its streets, once again has educational Boston and grimy Chicago appeared before me, once again have I gazed enraptured upon the resistless fall, the tumultuous rapids, the insidious whirlpools of Niagora†.

But what shall I speak of these things? Shall I write of the Waldorf Astoria full to the brim but yielding its last rooms for my sister and myself? Shall I write of Richard Mansfield in Cyrano de Bergerac? Shall I tell of the Emerson School of Oratory? Shall I describe the banks of Niagora† clad in a mantle of snow? Or should I speak rather of Hull House and of my friends there, of friends in Buffalo, Detroit, Toledo, New York[,] New Haven, or here in Boston itself? How little could I do them justice in a a mere letter; is it not better to leave unwritten?

But let me speak, instead, of my return; another fortnight here, a week in New York, a week on the Atlantic wave & I shall be at home once more in the country of my birth. A year and six weeks shall I have wandered abroad, a voluntary exile. Five months in India, the land of a strange people with strange manners & strange customs, yet pleasant months among friends of the best—countrymen more permanent exiles than myself. Then a time with Percy Alden delightful for his companionship; a month in Australia, a fortnight in New Zealand—countries of modern growth. A few days of intense interest, surrounded by the oldest civilization of the globe; a few weeks in the land of the little people, the people of Artistic delight, and once again to a modern race in the New World.

My sister joins me in my travel, & together we visit the wonders of the States & rest awhile among friends in the East before returning to our Home. {3}

So has been spent my time; ten and a half months upon the land and three upon the sea, & now I look forward to that return which has ever been a premeditated pleasure in my mind. To come back once more to home, to friends, to Cambridge my beloved, to this do I look forward with an ardent longing. Time enough have I seemingly idled & frivoled, the day is near at hand for active endeavour; Heaven grant me a safe return that I may put my hand to the plough & not turn back.

The End.

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The dates of many of the events related in this letter are uncertain.

{1} Lawrence was due to arrive on the 10th (see pp. 177, 185), and according to the newspapers the Coptic arrived on that day (see e.g. the Dundee Evening Telegraph, p. 3). Perhaps the ship spent a while in the harbour before the passengers disembarked.

{2} See 6/13.

{3} ‘New Year’s Day (1899) found us on board an Atlantic liner bound for home’ (Fate Has Been Kind, p. 47).

† Sic.

Letter from John W. Graham to Sarah Ann Eddington

Transcript

Grand Hôtel des Bergues, Genève
3. Jan 1898.

Dear Mrs. Eddington,

I sent you just one bit of my ideas abt. Stanley as soon as he left us. The rest must follow now.

His presence has been a great pleasure to us. You have got a boy mixed of most kindly elements, as perhaps Shakspeare might say {1}. His rapidly and clearly working mind has not in the least spoiled his character. I don’t know when I have had to do with so modest and gentlemanly a boy. It is a testimony to day schools and home training, (not, I am afraid, my favourite theory.)

His youth has, of course, been just a little against his making friends, but has not been fatal to it. In Clayton, & in Wood & Brown he has nice associates; but he seems more contented alone than most boys are.

His work is all that I expected, & more: & I feel altogether that he is “a precious youth” committed to my charge. I can realise to some extent what Margaret would feel like if she were left alone to bring up our own little Richard.

I remain
Your friend sincerely
John W. Graham

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The writing-paper is engraved with illustrations of the hotel, etc. The year is wrong, as Eddington did not enter Owen’s College till October 1898 (see his Notebook).

{1} {1} Graham evidently had in mind Antony’s encomium on Brutus at the end of Julius Caesar: ‘His life was gentle, and the elements | So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up | And say to all the world “This was a man!”’

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, Euston Road, W.C.—Thanks him for buying shares in Maison Espérance, and encloses some books for him to buy too.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd Euston Rd W C.
8. June 1899

Dear Mr Laurence—

It is very good of you: it never entered my “imagination” that you would be interested in Maison Espérance—I mean interested enough to take shares. We thank you much: And now you will have the further privilege of purchasing me of {1} these books, which I enclose herewith.

With thanks again

Believe me
Sincerely yours
Emmeline Pethick

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{1} ‘me of’ is a slip for ‘of me’.

Letter from John W. Graham to Sarah Ann Eddington

Transcript

Dalton Hall, Victoria Park, Manchester

2. VII. ’99

Dear Mrs. Eddington,

You will be interested in hearing some details of Stanley’s Preliminary. They are astonishing enough.—I have heard them today from the Chairman of the Board of Studies. In

Mechanics. Full marks
Latin. Top of all
Eng History [ditto]
Mathematics [ditto] & 60 marks above everybody else

leaving Chemistry & Eng. Language as the only subjects in which any one excelled him.

This is a marvellous record; whether he ought to know it I leave to you.

The great thing now is not to overload him; and to keep up his exercise: but I see no danger of going wrong in either respect.

In Physics ii at Easter I find he got 99 per cent. in the College Examination, making 199 out of 200. He has half the prize in Latin, the Prize in Practical Physics as well as theoretical; and the 2nd place in Math iii. A.

He will now, I trust, go in for a good physical athletic holiday. With my hearty congratulations

I remain
Yours sincerely
J. W. Graham

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Encloses a report (of Maison Espérance), and discusses arrangements for a meeting of shareholders.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd W.C.
25. Jan. 1900

Dear Mr Laurence.

Herewith the Report {1} as promised. I hear that there is a little sympathetic mention of it in the Mansfield House Magazine & should like to see it if I may trouble you to send me a copy. I do not know to whom we are indebted for it, but it is like our big—(hyperbole)—our big brother Percy!

About Thursday {2}—

The meeting will probably be very formal & very dull. It is our first meeting of shareholders & we are both a little nervous about it. But if not very inconvenient to you, we should be glad of your presence. We do not know who may turn up—perhaps nobody—perhaps a few cautious elderly ladies who are very slightly involved & who may be inclined to croak at the Committee’s wish to extend, in spite of the unfavourable balance sheet: (which you will presently receive.) But in spite of the loss of about £70 on the year: the organization of the business itself is so satisfactory that we feel there is every expectation of making it successful as a sound undertaking—and the hearty support of the shareholders just now would be most valuable to us.

We should be very glad to see you here to lunch at 1 o’clock which would give us an opportunity of a little talk beforehand.

Believe me
Sincerely yours
Emmeline Pethick

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{1} A report on the progress of Maison Espérance, the dressmaking co-operative founded by Pethick and Mary Neal.

{2} 1 February.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace (Duke’s Road, W.C.).—Accepts an invitation to tea; her party will number about twelve. Sends news of Maison Espérance, which has moved to Wigmore Street.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace
17. 3. 00

Dear Mr Laurance.

Many thanks for the kind invitation to tea on Saturday {1}. Our party will number about 12 I think, including Mr McIlwaine (the author of that book we like so much “Fate the Fiddler”) & Miss Western whom you have already met: We shall be there about 6.30:

So sorry that next Wednesday we are engaged: We want a talk with you about a little matter which concerns us all somewhat, and if you cannot call any afternoon next week, perhaps you can look in on the following Wednesday.

By the way. Maison Espérance moved to 80 Wigmore St last Monday {2}—& business has been coming in every day thick & fast. Canon Carter of Percy House Oxford called on Thursday—& the C.S.U are prepared to take the enterprise on. Mrs Tennant {3} has superintended the furnishing & we are quite grand! We must give an At Home there soon to shareholders:

Sincerely yours
Emmeline Pethick

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{1} 24th. This letter was written the Saturday before.

{2} 12th. The firm’s premises were originally at 155 Great Portland Street (University and Social Settlements, p. 109).

{3} May Tennant?

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Discusses finding a home for a child, and asks for help in finding a replacement for Warwick Pearse, who is leaving the Boys’ Club for the Church.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd W.C.
19. 6. 00

Dear Mr Laurence.

The delay in answering your letter on Saturday {1} is owing to a hope that I might be able to set you on a track. But I have just heard that the child is too young in this case: I have mentioned the matter to Mr Mark Guy Pearse who goes up & down the country constantly & he has said that he will keep it in mind & do his best to find the little one a home—

I should also suggest a short letter to The Christian. I think that has the sort of people that might come to your help in this sort of thing.

Now can you or Percy help me? Warwick Pearse is leaving us for the Church. We want a good man for the Boys Club. A salary of £100 goes with the position. We have plenty of helpers & voluntary workers but we want an energetic organizer who will play football & cricket & give his energy specially to the sports: He ought to be able to raise enough money to keep the Boys Club going. At present there is an income that meets the fixed charges. Warwick has always been able to raise the rest of the money for carrying out the Club programme—by arranging meetings—or writing appeals—or by concerts & displays etc. If you or Percy could set us on the track of the right man—we should be very grateful.

What should I have said, had you joined the Primrose League {2}? I should have said, “Good! anything that may serve to clear issues!”

I have just been reading an interesting & instructive book—“Practical Agitation” by Chapman {3}. So dont be surprised if I put the hints I have gathered into practice by setting up a Society in N. Lambeth {4} for the discovery & exposure of wolves in sheeps’ clothing. With 3 cheers for the red flag!

Yours sincerely.
Emmeline Pethick

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{1} 16th.

{2} An organisation founded in 1884 to promote Conservative principles.

{3} John Jay Chapman, Practical Agitation (1900).

{4} Lawrence had been chosen as the Liberal Unionist candidate for this constituency. See Fate Has Been Kind, p. 51.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Wishes to talk to him about finding the right man (for the Boys’ Club). Declines an invitation to a picnic. Agrees that ‘there is a … stronger instinct for slavery than for freedom in man’.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd W.C.
25. 6. 00

Dear Mr Laurence.

I should like to talk the matter over with you. I am most anxious to find the right man. Possibly in considering the matter some track might be discovered. Will you come tomorrow (Tuesday) as you suggest {1}. Can you come about 3 or 3.30?—Mr Cope wants to meet you too. He will come in to tea about 4 o’clock

No, I dont think I could go for a picnic with the C. S. Brothers {2}!. Dont tell anyone I said so, as I am afraid it is not very right or kind. I think even a Ball would be more in keeping somehow!.

I did not see the account of the Boys Club opening in Reynolds {3}—so I imagine there is some mistake.

You are quite right & so is Charles Booth {4}! It seems to me there is a more general & a stronger instinct for slavery than for freedom in Man—since if he escapes from the constraining bonds of Necessity he puts himself into the far more narrowing fetters of conventionality[.] An instinct for freedom is as rare as genius.

Sincerely yours
Emmeline Pethick

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{1} This is evidently the appointment referred to in Fate Has Been Kind, p. 51: ‘Fearful lest I might be forestalled by some other suitor with readier access, I procured a special appointment on some pretext with “Sister Emmie”, called at her flat and made my proposal.’ For a reference to another recent suitor, see PETH 7/64.

{2} Probably the members of the Christian Social Union.

{3} Reynolds’s Weekly Newspaper, the leading working-class paper in England.

{4} Booth was the director of a survey of working class life in London, the results of which were published from 1889 onwards and collected in Life and Labour of the People in London (17 vols, 1902–3). For his influence on Lawrence see Fate Has Been Kind, pp. 47–8.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Responds to his letter (on his proposal of marriage). Her attachment to the socialist cause prevents her from supporting him in the capacity of a Liberal Unionist politician.

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace | Dukes Rd W.C.
27. 6. 00

Dear Mr Laurence.

I too feel that I can write to you the things that come from the fundamental. Thank you for your letter. I have been thinking very seriously: I have not been thinking about the personal things—because they have not entered into the question yet: They are not yet involved. Time and opportunity alone could show us the answer to that side of the question. But it is now—now before the personal feelings have become involved—now & only now—that we can think of those other things that make such a great part of life. For to you and to me—however strong the personal life may be—life has a meaning[,] it has a purpose and a reality beyond & underneath all personal affections or ties, in a way independent of them—it is a compelling force, shaping the destiny. I have always felt this compelling force—the authority that sets choosing aside: And now knowing this, when I come to face the question that you put to me {1}, I cannot help thinking first. What influence would this that you want be likely to have on your career. I know you will say that you dont want me to think of that. But I must. I cannot help it. Let me tell you a little bit about myself—so that you may understand. Our differences of thought upon specific things is as you say of no importance: as far as advocacy of interest in different schemes is concerned—it is a matter of argument only. But my—Socialism,—call it,—(for want of a better name) is not an idea in my head—it is in my bones—it was born in me—my whole life long it has been my touch-stone—my Standard of values. I mean this—my first consciousness was the clearest, strongest & most inveterate sense of the dignity & worth of the human body & soul above everything else—and this has forced me into life long campaign—against every sort of bondage, against all sorts of established authorities: and is {1} has kept me (not by choice but by inward necessity) always against the stream. Now what has this to do with you? Can you not see?

It is impossible for me in a letter to do more than suggest why it is, that I could not help you play your part as a Liberal Unionist politician. You must look at this. Now this is what I see as the issue of the Future—this is the great contest of the coming century: the life & death struggle of human life against material mastery. This is the world-wide issue—it is to some extent even now the world-conscious issue. All petty differences are really gone now in the presence of the impending issue between Capitalism and Manhood—Material Mastery & Moral Freedom. It is this—that is the root issue in S. Africa—that makes the war not an isolated event, but only one of the fruits of a tree that has its roots deep & wide. It is the uppermost question in America—in Europe—and it is becoming more & more acute in our country. It is the question of history, the question of social & individual destiny today. You & I can no more help being caught up in the conflict than we can help living in our day & sharing in the world consciousness: I feel that for me the question was decided when I was born: And the question is decided for you when you have allied yourself to a political party that stands for Capitalism (I mean the power and bondage of Capitalism, the sacredness paramount of vested interest)

Your career may [be] the right one for you, the Authority whatever it is, may have decided for you as surely as for me—if so I can only wish you to play your part whole-heartedly & truly. But just so far as my judgement had weight with you, so far would you find yourself pulled in opposite directions. I want you to think of this now. Let it be the clear issue. There is no other question as far as this is concerned for you at present. You have committed yourself to nothing with me, but have only won my esteem by your very straight & generous way of telling me what was in your mind, before knowing me well enought to be able to take these very important matters into consideration.

Yours sincerely
Emmeline Pethick

—————

{1} Lawrence had evidently written to her shortly after his proposal of marriage the previous day. His reference to the occasion in his autobiography was reserved: ‘Readers will not expect me to let them into the secret of all that passed at that interview; but they will not be surprised to be told that everything did not proceed quite so simply as an ingenuous young man had pictured to himself’ (Fate Has Been Kind, p. 51).

{2} A slip for ‘it’.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

20 Somerset Terrace (Duke’s Road, W.C.).—Comments further on the difference between their political positions, particularly with regard to the South African war. Will see him when she gets back from Littlehampton.

(Dated Thursday.)

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Transcript

20 Somerset Terrace
Thursday Evening

Dear Mr Laurence.

There was something in your letter this morning that touched me very much—I know what you say is true—yours is the disadvantage. But isn’t it the more necessary to stop you & ask you to consider before you come even in your thoughts or wishes, a step nearer to me—or state anything further?

Oh I dont want that there shall be many words. How can I say it most directly? The question goes so much deeper than argument: no I dont hold those crude notions about Capital nor those about Socialism. There isn’t a point touched upon in your long letter that would stand between us—I haven’t any fixed theories either, I am learning—comparing[—]balancing.

Will you allow me once and once only to go straight for your position. We must come to it. But I am dreadfully afraid of hurting you. I am horribly afraid of letters for one thing—when there is a heart that can be hurt. Words are such a poor medium. Will you believe that if I were looking at you saying these things that I have to fling out in black, I could take ever bit of the hardness there may seem to be, out of the words.

You believe that you may compromise for good reasons on a moral issue. I believe all such compromise to be deadly.

Place, position & any sort of purchased power are dust and ashes to me compared with the integrity of one man’s soul.

If I were to bear your name, I should be prouder of this essential quality of your manhood, than of any triumphs[—]any honours—that you could achieve. What has this to do with the immediate question? It is not easy to show it in a few words—

But you must try to put in the links, I must try to be definite.

Take for instance the foremost issue of the coming election—the “khaki” election. To me—(it has been a bitter realization)—to me this war is no war in the strict sense of the word: it is organized murder for robbery. It is the story over again of Naboth’s vineyard {1}—only instead of a king’s crime it is a nation’s crime. You are not responsible for the crime—you deplore it—but as a party man with an end in view you must condone it. Yes I know it is only shutting your eyes a little—only not investigating—you who are to be a leader in social reform—and this has been the foremost question of the hour for 12 months!

I can hardly tell you the actual facts, that you have not studied, you say. (I mean I wouldn’t say it if you hadn’t.) For you are a pledged man. There is a sort of sense of honour that would silence me—for what can you do? You have given your word to your party. You are consenting. It is only a little deadening of the clear child-like senses—a dimming of the sight. But that is why we are where we are today. There are few[,] very few malignant or unscrupulous men, but—the average man has his price! And that is why the few unscrupulous men have their enormous power. They know this & they are able to play their game. This is their whole creed & faith. It is all very subtle, very specious. The price is a varying one—low in some cases, high in others[,] but it comes to the same thing. This is the taint—the secret of all social corruption.

This is only one instance—only a little part of a big question. Over & over again the situation will recur—and you will have committed yourself more deeply to a party that hasn’t soul enough to keep its body for long above ground: only fit for decent burial in Conservative ground: its enthusiasm—its living essence has gone; & left the body of expediency which is sure sooner or later to fall into nothingness.

These things have been hard to say—I cannot write more.

After all it does not cost me nothing. It does not cost me nothing to forbid the entering into my life of a possible great joy.

I am going away tomorrow—my address will be c/o Mrs Arnold, Trafalgar House, Littlehampton {2}. But do not write unless it is necessary. When I come back I will see you. I have done a frightful amount of thinking & must let the matter rest a while. You see you have been weeks[,] perhaps months making up your mind before Tuesday {3}. I have had all that ground to cover in a few days & nights.

Sister Mary will be at home next week. If you want to talk over your own affairs with anybody, I dont know who could be of more use. She is most absolutely trustworthy & as true as steel—& eminently practical. I only say this—because I know there comes a point when thinking alone becomes confusion.

I thank you for your letters—they have touched me very deeply

Yours sincerely
Emmeline Pethick

—————

{1} Cf. 1 Kings 21. 1–16 and My Part in a Changing World, p. 122.

{2} Probably the house in East Street later known as the Green Lady Hostel.

{3} This fixes the date of Lawrence’s proposal.

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