23 SEPTEMBER 1882, Page 14


A ROUND TRIP.* [SECOND NOTICE.] Or two lines of steamers that connect the Far West with the Far East—a third started and owned entirely by Chinamen is now in full work—the Engineer on his holiday chose the Pacific mail route from San Francisco to Yokohama. There are neat touches in his description of the 'City of Tokio " as a fine ship, "well officered, with men who give themselves no airs, and are

An ISigineces Holiday; or, Notco of a Bound Trip from _Longitude Ir. to Longitude 0°. By Daniel Pidgeon, F.G.S., Assoolate of the Institute of Civil Engineurr, London : Kogan Paul, Trench, and Do.

frankly at the service of the people they carry ;" and whose skipper "encourages his passengers to feel that the ship is made for them, and not they for the ship." The voyage furnishes a most interesting chapter, and gives the reader the first glimpse of this author's careful and impartial study of the Chinese Question, to which we propose to recur. The follow- ing passage introduces the reader to the East

Our daily passage through the calm, azure water was so mono- tonous, that we could not realise our approach to Asia. We seemed to be sailing over an interminable ocean, seeking no other haven than the setting sun, straight for whose disc our bows pointed night after night At length came the cry, 'Japan • is in sight !' The view which met our eyes was at the same time

strange and familiar. Conical hills, covered to their summits with dense foliage, descended abruptly to a plain which, wider here and narrower there, bordered the ocean. Every inch of the level land was cultivated, not in wide fields of grass and grain, but in parti. coloured slips and patches ; villages of tiny brown houses, with thatched roofs and wide eaves planted along the ridges with lilies, while detached buildings, recalling the pagodas on a willow plate, peeped here and there from the foliage covering the hill-sides. The sea was alive with the 'sampans' of fishermen, quaint boats of unpainted wood, with high bows and square sterns, sculled by living bronzes, standing erect in scanty drapery, their shaven heads tied round with blue and white handkerchiefs. It was like a picture by Meissanier of a quaint and beautiful toy land, utterly new to all European experience."

The chapters on Japan are, on the whole, the most remark- able in this work, and those most calculated to correct ideas formed only from books and newspapers. Mr. Pidgeon touched

the shores of the Land of the Rising Sun, persuaded that the Japanese were, next to the white races, the most advanced people in the world, whose intelligent appreciation of a civilisa- tion higher than their own had led to the overthrow of a

remotely ancient, social, and political system too rigid for Western ideas of progress. He found them cultured, courteous, and charming, but insincere and reactionary in policy, un- business-like and untrustworthy in affairs. Before he enters upon the investigation which led him to form these conclusions, the author gives us a brilliant sketch of the country, and although he tells us that no pen or pencil can bring the picture before eyes that have not looked upon the thing itself, we think the idea conveyed by his sketch of Yokohama, and his description of a walk to Mississippi Bay, and the beautiful scene to be beheld from the crest of the hill that overlooks it, must be something like the reality. That was a delightful walk, but scarcely a bird was beard or seen; and there were no sheep, cows, or horses in the fields. To read these pages is like looking at a series of Mr. Dillon's pictures. Mr. Pidgeon went on a visit to a Mr. Okawa, the son and partner of a Japanese paper manufacturer, whose house and mill are at Oji, a charming village seven miles from the capital. There he was hospitably entertained in native style. His account of the family life, a typical one, is very curious.

Servants receive visitors, take orders, and present every article on their knees ; but this extreme servility implies no tyranny, —their relations with their employers are politely friendly. On the whole, the picture of Japanese life is disappointing. Society, in our sense of the word, does not exist ; home life is very monotonous; the day ends with a friendly bath, "when the family assemble and stew together for an hour, in water hot enough to cook a European ;" and at ten o'clock every one is in bed. The position of .women, though far superior to that of Orientals generally, is not high. A girl is taught to read and write, to play the samisen, dance, and behave with extreme politeness ; and she is free to go to the temple, the shop, or the visit, alone. But she remains the slave of her parents,

who can dispose of her services absolutely, and sell her, if they so please, even into a shameful life, without the interference of the law on her behalf. Marriage is an affair de convenance, arranged by the father, without reference to the girl herself; and, indeed, woman in japan attains to no dignity until she has become mother and manager. Even then she plays an inferior

part, -being quite ignorant of her husband's affairs ; and lever, as with us, a centre round which, ths family groups itself, but a toy during youth, and an upper servant in middle ago. Mr. Pidgeon's faculty of seeing was especi- ally on the alert in Japan; he tells us ever so many new

thiugs about Japanese customs, religions, little ways, amuse- ments, and ingenuities. Here, for instance, is a detail which,

although we hate read numberless descriptions of the famous tea-houses, we find for the first time Simple as life is in Japan, its accessories are complicated enough. Eveu a borsels not allowed to drink out of a pail, but the water is thrown into his mouth by means of a wooden ladle, the animal having learnt to take his refreshment as cleverly as a Christian eats soup, with a spoon." It would be impossible in our space to indicate the scope of the writer's views of the present condition of Japan ; we can only direct the attention of our readers to those. strikingly original and unexpected chapters, which inflict a severe blow on the romantic notions that are generally enter- tained about this young giant of borrowed civilisation, by the facts which they set before us, with the lucidity for whicit the author is remarkable. This is the conclusion of his Bumming-up

"The Government of Japan is an oligarchy, distracted by self. seeking factions, without any central authority, and having no unanimous' policy, beyond that of preserving the national inde- pendence. Meanwhile, the people of this ancient and, in its own way, highly.cultured nation, are simply a flock of sheep, driven by the same masters now as in the feudal times, which, indeed, have dis- appeared on paper, but not from the habits of the country. If the masses, hardly conscious as yet of their emancipation, ever come to have opinions—ever' in fact, become a nation—Japan may have a new birth. What she has passed through lately is only revolution."

Into fifty pages Mr. Pidgeon has put the most lucid sketch of Old and the most lifelike picture of New Japan which we have yet met with. Perhaps the strangest feature of the latter is the run by "pair-horse jinrickishas " (man-drawn carriages), from Tokio (Jeddo) to Nikko. This includes a glimpse of everything, especially of native painters at work, while the account of the locomotion is really a marvel. On the return journey, the coolies offered to show the travellers their power, and ran back to Nakada (fifty-eight miles) in one day. The following are the author's notes of the journey

Leaving Nikko at 7.45 a.m., the men ran 20 miles in 2 hours. and 50 minutes without a stop. Then they rested 20 minutes, taking. a bowl of rice and some weak tea. The rest of the journey was made by 10-mile stages, with stops of a quarter of an hour between each, and the 68 miles were completed in 10 hours, including stops, or 8, hours and a quarter, exclusive of stops, being at the rate of 703. miles per hour while running, and 7.8 miles per hour including stops. The whole party arrived at Nakada in capital condition, laughing and chatting gaily. They ran, almost naked, at an even trot, with along,. spriegy stride, and took nothing but rice, a little fish and tea, by the way. Their feet were protected by straw sandals; but if these wore. out, they were not particular about replacing them with others. Their. consideration for one another was remarkable. The man between the, shafts has the hardest work, and the strongest coolies were always ready to take more than their fair share of this position, while the. weaker never shirked it. It rained hard during the last third of the journey ; but whether they dripped with perspiration or with rain. made no difference to these plucky little fellows, who, after complet, ing 50 miles, ran the lust 8 'miles into Nakada within an hour."

The pay which these eight coolies rebeived—and "brimmed over with satisfaction " on getting it—amounted to £7 10s., English money, or 2s. SIsd. per day per man !

Of Hong Kong, Mr. Pidgeon writes with warm praise. No Englishman can visit Hong Kong, he says, without experiencing a feeling of pride in his native country. At Canton his party explored the city each in a sedan chair, and in charge of a Chinese guide. He gives the most graphic description of Tartar. Canton and Chinese Canton which we have ever read, except

that of the Marquis de Beauvoir ; and we wish we had not read, or could forget, his horrible account of the notorious Chinese. prisons and the execution-ground. That hideous picture must haunt one's memory, and bring a thrill of horror at the reflec- tion that its monotonous facts exist now, let one be ever so • much of Voltaire's way of thinking about his typical .mandarin. Of the Chinese out of China, Mr. Pidgeon says much that is good ; of the Chinese in China, he draws a striking, but, on the whole, a repulsive picture,—and he concludes with one of those statements whose weight and conciseness make his. book so valuable. It is a pity that a people with many. excellent, if few amiable qualities, should stagnate under,

an alien, tyrannous, and corrupt rule. The Administration is founded on falsehood ; the public funds are diverted to official pockets ; justice is bought and sold ; the miserable condition of the people is disregarded ; the country is at the mercy of rapacious and venal Mandarins. But China may even yet strike a blow for national freedom, and the day which gives this, country a powerful and enlightened Government will introduce. to the Western world one of the most dangerous commercial competitors she has ever yet encountered. The author's rapid but picturesque sketch of the Straits Settlement, and of Ceylon,, where he mastered the coffee question, and revelled in the beauty of the nights, with their "clear, dark air, spangled with slowly-. moving fireflies," is a delightful portion of his work; and it is . succeeded by a series of chapters ou India ; these we regard as a valuable contribution to the general knowledge on

a subject of vast importance, which, if it is no 'longer treated with the stolid indifference that Macaulay used wonderingly to lament, is still very imperfectly appre- hended. "I imagined," says Mr. Pidgeon, "that India was a rich extension of the British Empire, with more to give, -whether of wealth or strength, to England than to gain from her. I found her the poorest country in the world, which, strain our strength as the task may, we are in honour bound to dower with security, peace, justice, and culture." There is every- thing in the chapters on India that should attract the indif- ferent, and that must absorb the attention of the interested; a masterly array of facts, a powerful putting-forth of arguments, and a picturesqueness, without the least exaggeration or striving for effect, especially in the description of Delhi, quite unknown to us in any other traveller's record ; and throughout, a manly, -straightforward tone, and urging of disinterestedness in our 'dealings with our great dependency. Our necessarily brief 'comment upon this exceptionally valuable book merely touches its most salient points ; perhaps the best argument we can use to urge the careful perusal of it upon the reader who really *" wants to know," is the fact that the present reviewer, no less "indolent" than his kind in general, has read it through twice, from cover to cover.