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a new mail bag, and the whole affair thus kept a secret.
If my liking for my little Pagan page had not been sufficient, my duty to Hop Sing was enough to cause me to take Wan Lee with me when I returned to San Francisco, after my two years' experience with "The Northern Star." I do not think he contemplated the change with pleasure. I attributed his feelings to a nervous dread of crowded public streets,-when he had to go across town for me on an errand, he always made a long circuit of the outskirts, -to his dislike for the discipline of the Chinese and English school to which I proposed to send him, to his fondness for the free, vagrant life of the mines, to sheer willfulness! That it might have been a superstitious premonition did not occur to me until long after.
Nevertheless it really seemed as if the opportunity I had long looked for and confidently expected had come the opportunity of placing Wan Lee under gently restraining influences, of subjecting him to a life and experience that would draw out of him what good my superficial care and ill-regulated kindness could not reach. Wan Lee was placed at the school of a Chinese Missionary-an intelligent and kind-hearted clergyman, who had shown great interest in the boy, and who, better than all, had a wonderful faith in him. A home was found for him in the family of a widow, who had a bright and interesting daughter about two years younger than Wan Lee. It was this bright, cheery, innocent and artless child that touched and reached a depth in the boy's nature that hitherto had been unsuspected -that awakened a moral susceptibility which had lain for years insensible alike to the teachings of society or the ethics of the theologian.
These few brief months, bright with a promise that we never saw fulfilled, must have been happy ones to Wan Lee. He worshiped his little friend with something of the same superstition, but without any of the caprice that he bestowed upon his porcelain pagan god. It was his delight to walk behind her to school, carrying her books a service always fraught with danger to him from the little hands of his Caucasian Christian brothers. He made her the most marvelous toys, he would cut out of carrots and turnips the most astonishing roses and tulips, he made lifelike chickens out of melon-seeds, he con
structed fans and kites, and was singularly proficient in the making of dolls' paper dresses. On the other hand, she played and sang to him, taught him' a thousand little prettinesses and refinements only known to girls, gave him a yellow ribbon for his pig-tail, as best suiting his complexion, read to him, showed him wherein he was original and valuable, took him to Sunday School with her, against the precedents of the school, and, small-womanlike, triumphed. I wish I could add here, that she effected his conversion, and made him give up his porcelain idol, but I am telling a true story, and this little girl was quite content to fill him with her own Christian goodness, without letting him know that he was changed. So they got along very well together-this little Christian girl with her shining cross hanging around her plump, white, little neck, and this dark little pagan, with his hideous porcelain god hidden away in his blouse.
There were two days of that eventful year which will long be remembered in San Francisco-two days when a mob of her citizens set upon and killed unarmed, defenseless foreigners, because they were foreigners and of another race, religion and color, and worked for what wages they could get. There were some public men so timid, that, seeing this, they thought that the end of the world had come; there were some eminent statesmen whose names I am ashamed to write here, who began to think that the passage in the Constitution which guarantees civil and religious liberty to every citizen or foreigner was a mistake. But there were also some men who were not so easily frightened, and in twenty-four hours we had things so arranged that the timid men could wring their hands in safety, and the eminent statesmen utter their doubts without hurting anybody or anything. And in the midst of this I got a note from Hop Sing, asking me to come to him immediately.
I found his warehouse closed and strongly guarded by the police against any possible attack of the rioters. Hop Sing admitted me through a barred grating with his usual imperturbable calm, but, as it seemed to me, with more than his usual seriousness. Without a word he took my hand and led me to the rear of the room, and thence down stairs into the basement. It was dinly lighted, but there was something lying on the floor covered by a shawl. As I approached he drew the shawl away
with a sudden gesture, and revealed Wan Lee, the Pagan, lying there dead!
Dead, my reverend friends, dead! Stoned to death in the streets of San Francisco, in the year of grace, eighteen hundred and sixty-nine, by a mob of half-grown boys and Christian school children!
As I put my hand reverently upon his breast, I felt something crumbling beneath
No doubt many of our readers noticed a letter printed in the columns of a New York daily newspaper several weeks ago, in which the writer told the story of how he lost his umbrella. This letter was such a clever bit of writing as might have appeared in "The Spectator;" only, the English was that of our day, and not of Queen Anne's, and, if it were ever civil to go behind a writer's initials, we might have thought we recognized the signature of one of the real leaders in American journalism. Good as the letter was, however, it seems to us that the writer failed to see where the real difficulty lies in the great umbrella-question. And, as this is a question to which we have given a great deal of thought, and of which we are reasonably sure we have discovered the solution, we make no apology for asking the reader to hear what we have to say about it.
his blouse. I looked enquiringly at Hop Sing. He put his hand between the folds of silk and drew out something with the first bitter smile I had ever seen on the face of that pagan gentleman.
It was Wan Lee's porcelain god, crushed by a stone from the hands of those Christian iconoclasts!
The umbrella is of so great antiquity that many archæologists suspect it to be as old as man himself. One scholar whose name would command universal respect for his opinion, if we only dared to give it, has declared in an unedited memoir his belief that the forbidden fruit was an umbrella. Be this as it may, there seems proof enough that umbrellas are very old. Beside the pictures on old Greek vases, and on the walls of Egyptian tombs, and on Chinese and Japanese porcelain, there is the remarkable fact that the Spanish for "man" is hombre, and that umbra, the root of our word “umbrella" is the Latin for a shade-facts which, if they prove anything, prove that man is a shadow, and that, originally, there could have been no difference between stealing an umbrella and
stealing a man. We have not time to fight the etymologists on this question; we know that the prigs among them object to derivations such as we have just traced, and call those who offer them sciolists, tyros, and other snubbing names. We trust our readers have a better opinion of us than to care much for what these gentlemen may say, and that when we stamp an etymology with our approval, they will accept it blindly.
Indeed, on this occasion, they must accept the derivation we propose if we are to be allowed to make our point. What we intend to prove is, that umbrellas have been for countless ages so identified with man, the fact that their name and his mean the same thing, proves it,—that they have become the universal touch-stone by which we test the true character of our fellow-creatures.
It is only of late, however, that a general agreement has been reached on this point. In the earlier ages other tests have been tried, and the success of some of them has led to too hasty generalizations. In the metallic ages, the gold and silver, the bronze and iron,-the ages when specie payments prevailed, small change was considered a very good touch-stone of honor. A man borrowed sixpences or shillings and forgot to pay them back :-that settled him, and he could be comfortably labelled and put away. But, of course, this could only serve as a test for rich and well-to-do people. Poor folk are chary in lending, though generous in giving, and would have ways enough of making a forgetful borrower uncomfortable.
Then, books were tried, but here the test was felt to be still more limited in its
field - book-owners and book-borrowers are, in reality, a small and unimportant class. It is true that every private library, especially if it be an old one and in a country-house, shows disastrous traces of the ravages of the book-borrower. The first volumes of nearly all the books are pretty sure to be gone. Whoever saw in such a library the first volumes of "The Decline and Fall," or of "Pamela," or of "Nouvelle Héloïse," or of any of the books that furnish good, solid reading? But this dishonesty only affects the character of the educated portion of the community. How are we to get at the character of the average villager?
Postage-stamps have been proposed, and for a time there seemed a hope that the true test had been found in them. But then, the people who borrow postage-stamps and neither pay for them nor return them are all members of the letter-writing class, and however large that class may be, it falls short of including all humanity, so that postage-stamps have been given up in their
turn as a test.
As civilization becomes more and more refined, the hopes of those who seek after a sign by which a gentleman can be infallibly distinguished, settle with increasing unanimity about the umbrella. Really, if we look at it, there is no other movable article of what we may call man's vestatory furniture (we invent this word to cover finger-rings, eye-glasses, cane, sleeve-buttons, knives, pencils, etc., which, of course, are not clothing) that is so universal an adjunct to the modern human being as an
umbrella. Everybody must velg be he, or she, rich or poor, high or low, learned or unlearned, lay or cleric, good or bad. Umbrellas are made of every style and shape, and of all degrees of costliness, to meet the craving of humanity at large. From Queen Victoria to the King of Ashantee, from Mr. Stewart to the apple-woman, from Gen. Washington to Ben. Butler or Bill Tweed, everybody feels the need of an umbrella. And the universality of the need makes the universality of the test. The temptation to appropriate, annex, convey, or, to put it bluntly, to steal, umbrellas is one from which no son of Adam is exempt. A man may be punctilious about returning pennies; he may walk five miles to return a borrowed book, or he may never be known to ask for a postage-stamp without paying for it on the spot-and yet he may not be able to resist taking a better umbrella than his own from the rack by mistake, and he may be always forgetting to return the very stylish one he borrowed from a confiding friend on a rainy evening. When phrenology, and physiognomy, and dress, and reputation fail, the umbrella is an unfailing sensitive-paper to detect the touch of a dishonest hand. If Diogenes had known all that we know in our day, he would not have wasted his time tramping about Athens with a lantern, to find an honest man. He would have rolled himself up comfortably in his big earthen wine-jar, with his head on one of his dogs, and gone to sleep, leaving his green cotton umbrella leaning up against the outside of his tub.
I WILL say at the outset, as I believe some one else has said on a like occasion, that in this narrative I shall probably de-entered, but I proved to be such a wretched scribe myself more than the objects I look upon. The facts and particulars of the case have already been set down in the guide-books and in innumerable books of travel. I shall only attempt to give an account of the pleasure and satisfaction I had in coming face to face with things in the mother country, seeing them as I did with kindred and sympathizing eyes.
sailor that I am obliged to confess, Hibernian-fashion, that the happiest moment I spent upon the sea was when I set my foot upon the land.
Almost the only thing about my first sea voyage that I remember with pleasure is the circumstance of the little birds that, during the first few days out, took refuge on the steamer. The first afternoon, just
The ocean was a dread fascination to me a world whose dominion I had never
as we were losing sight of land, a delicate little wood-bird,-the black and white creeping warbler,-having lost its reckoning, in making perhaps its first Southern voyage, came aboard. It was much fatigued and had a disheartened, demoralized look. After an hour or two it disappeared, having, I fear, a hard pull to reach the land in the face of the wind that was blowing, if indeed it reached it at all.
The next day, just at night I observed a small hawk sailing about conveniently near the vessel, but with a very lofty, independent mien, as if he had just happened that way on his travels, and was only lingering to take a good view of us. It was amusing to observe his coolness and haughty unconcern in that sad plight he was in; by nothing in his manner betraying that he was several hundred miles at sea, and did not know how he was going to get back to land. But presently I noticed he found it not inconsistent with his dignity to alight on the rigging under friendly cover of the tops'l, where I saw his feathers rudely ruffled by the wind, till darkness set in. If the sailors did not disturb him during the night, he certainly needed all his fortitude in the morning to put a cheerful face on his situation.
The third day, when we were perhaps off Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, the American pipit or tit-lark, from the far North, a brown bird about the size of a sparrow, dropped upon the deck of the ship, so nearly exhausted, that one of the sailors was on the point of covering it with his hat. It stayed about the vessel nearly all day, flitting from point to point, or hopping along a few feet in front of the promenaders, and prying into every crack and crevice for food. Time after time I saw it start off with a reassuring chirp, as if determined to seek the land, but before it had got many rods from the ship its head would seem to fail it, and after circling about for a few moments, back it would come, more discouraged than ever.
These little waifs from the shore! I gazed upon them with a strange, sad interest. They were friends in distress, but the seabirds, skimming along indifferent to us, or darting in and out among those watery hills, I seemed to look upon as my natural enemies. They were the nurslings and favorites of the sea, and I had no sympathy with them.
autumn migration, being carried far out of their course by the prevailing westerly winds of this season, is very great. Occasionally one makes the passage to Great Britain, by following the ships and finding them at convenient distances along the route, and I have been told that over fifty different species of our more common birds, such as robins, starlings, grosbeaks, thrushes, etc., have been found in Ireland, having, of course, crossed in this way. What numbers of these little navigators of the air are misled and wrecked during those dark and stormy nights, on the light-houses alone that line the Atlantic Coast? Is it Celia Thaxter who tells of having picked up her apron full of sparrows, warblers, flycatchers, etc., at the foot of the light-house, on the Isles of Shoals, one morning after a storm, the ground being still strewn with birds of all kinds that had dashed themselves against the beacon, bewildered and fascinated by its tremendous light?
If a land bird perishes at sea, a sea bird is equally cast away upon the land, and I have known the Sooty Turn, with its almost omnipotent wing, to fall down utterly famished and exhausted, two hundred miles from salt water.
But my interest in these things did not last beyond the third day. About this time we entered what the sailors call the "devil's hole," and a very respectably sized hole it is, extending from the Banks of Newfoundland to Ireland, and in all seasons and weathers it seems to be well stirred up.
Amidst the tossing and the rolling, the groaning of penitent travelers, and the laboring of the vessel as she climbed those dark unstable mountains, my mind reverted feebly to Huxley's statement, that the bottom of this sea, for over a thousand miles, presents to the eye of science a vast chalk plain, over which one might drive as over a floor, and I tried to solace myself by dwelling upon the spectacle of a solitary traveler whipping up his steed across it. The imaginary rattle of his wagon was like the sound of lutes and harps, and I would rather have clung to his axletree than been rocked in the best berth in the ship.
No doubt the number of our land birds On the tenth day, about 4 o'clock in that actually perish in the sea during their the afternoon, we sighted Ireland. The
ship came up from behind the horizon where for so many days she had been buffeting with the winds and the waves, but had never lost the clew, bearing straight as an arrow for the mark. I think if she had been aimed at a fair sized artillery target, she would have crossed the ocean and struck the bull's eye.
In Ireland, instead of an emerald isle rising out of the sea, I beheld a succession of cold, purplish mountains, stretching along the north-eastern horizon, but I am bound to say that no tints of bloom or verdure were ever half so welcome to me as were those dark, heather-clad ranges. It is a feeling which a man can have but once in his life, when he first sets eyes upon a foreign land, and in my case, to this feeling was added the delightful thought that the "devil's hole" would soon be cleared and my long fast over.
Presently, after the darkness had set in, signal rockets were let off from the stern of the vessel, writing their burning messages upon the night, and when answering rockets rose slowly up far ahead, I suppose we all felt that the voyage was essentially done, and no doubt a message flashed back under the ocean, that the Scotia " had arrived.
The sight of the land had been such medicine to me that I could now hold up my head and walk about, and so went down for the first time and took a look at the engines-those twin monsters that had not stopped once, or apparently varied their stroke at all since leaving Sandy Hook; I felt like patting their enormous cranks and shafts with my hand; then at the coal bunks, vast cavernous recesses in the belly of the ship, like the chambers of the original mine in the mountains, and saw the men and firemen at work in a sort of purgatory of heat and dust. When it is remembered that one of these ocean steamers consumes about one hundred tons of coal per day, it is easy to imagine what a burden the coal for a voyage alone must be, and one is not at all disposed to laugh at Dr. Lardner, who proved so convincingly that no steamship could ever cross the ocean because it could not carry coal enough to enable it to make the passage.
On the morrow, a calm, lustrous day, we steamed at our leisure up the Channel and across the Irish Sea, the coast of Wales and her groups of lofty mountains in full view nearly all day. The mountains were in profile, like the Catskills viewed from the
Hudson below, only it was evident there were no trees or shrubbery upon them, and their summits, on this last day of September, were white with the snow.
The first day or half day ashore is, of course, the most novel and exciting; but who, as Mr. Higginson says, can describe his sensations and emotions this first half day. It is a page of travel that has not yet been written. Paradoxical as it may seem, one generally comes out of pickle much fresher than he went in. The sea has given him an enormous appetite for the land. Every one of his senses is like a hungry wolf clamorous to be fed. For my part I had suddenly emerged from a condition bordering on that of the hibernating animals-a condition in which I had neither ate, nor slept, nor thought, nor moved, when I could help it, into not only a full, but a keen and joyous, possession of my health and faculties. It was almost a metamorphosis. I was no longer the clod I had been, but a bird exulting in the earth and air, and in the liberty of motion. Then to remember it was a new earth and a new sky that I was beholding, that it was England, the old mother at last, no longer a faith or a fable, but an actual fact there before my eyes and under my feet-why should I not exult? Go to! I will be indulged. These trees, those fields, that bird darting along the hedge-rows, those men and boys picking blackberries in October, those English flowers by the road-side, (stop the carriage while I leap out and pluck them ;) the homely, domestic look of things, those houses, those queer vehicles, those thick-coated horses, those big-footed, coarsely-clad,clear-skinned men and women, this massive, homely, compact architecture-let me have a good look, for this is my first hour in England, and I am drunk with the joy of seeing! This housefly even, let me inspect it, and that swallow skimming along so familiarly; is he the same I saw trying to cling to the sails of the vessel the third day out? or is the swallow the swallow the world over? This grass I certainly have seen before, and this red and white clover, but this daisy and dandelion are not the same, and I have come three thousand miles to see the mullen cultivated in a garden, and christened the velvet plant.
As we sped through the land, the heart