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size, containing the relation of travels extending over upwards of 50,000 miles, we shall find much more than a story of personal adventures and descriptions of the multitude of places visited. Baron Hübner did not write, either in the first place or chiefly, for English readers. There is no announcement on the title-page that his book in the form before us is a translation. But it is known that the English version appeared simultaneously with, or but a few days after, the publication of the work in French, the language in which the Baron wrote his earlier Promenade autour du 'Monde,' one of the most delightful books of travel ever printed; and we believe that it has also been published in German. The edition under notice is, in fact, a translation made under the immediate supervision of the author, who has a far from common knowledge of our language and literature. We shall show by and by on what we base our opinion that the translation is admirably executed, and that the rare felicity of style which is attributed to Baron Hübner by French readers has not been impaired by the English authors of the present version. It appears, indeed, from a comparison of the English version with the French edition, that the Baron is indebted to his English translator for the correction of a good many mistakes of names and of facts, which are pardonable in a foreign writer, but not the less comical. There was no such person as General Wellington and no such prelate as a Bishop of Norfolk Island.' The narrative was written for the continental, at least as much as for the English public. It is perhaps on this account that we find in 'Through the British Empire' few of the weighty judgements of affairs and political tendencies which add so greatly to the value of Mr. Froude's Oceana.'

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The Baron tells us in one place of his determination to 'confine these pages to a simple recital of what I saw and 'heard.' We have no right to regret this, as the result is a remarkably entertaining narrative. But readers who expect to derive something more than entertainment from the perusal of a work by a man of great eminence and experience will be apt to regard this fresh account of countries, of which they have already heard a good deal, as somewhat superficial. The author does not weary us with statistics, which he considerately relegates to the foot notes; and he honourably quotes his authorities, many of whom are, no doubt, less known on the Continent than in England. It is true that he sums up the opinions held by those who differ in their estimate of the condition and the prospects of the

several portions of the British empire through which he passed. But the summing up is usually merely an elegant précis, not in the least judicial, for a decision seldom follows it. It may be possible occasionally to divine to which side the author leans; but, as a rule, the reader will have to decide for himself. The opinions expressed have been summarised in the Baron's language-for we cannot venture to attribute to all his interlocutors such grace of diction as clothes the expression of their views in the work before us-and may have received some colour in the process. We confess, nevertheless, that we would willingly give up many of the fascinating descriptions of scenery, or the charming passages criticising the fine arts among the nations. visited, with which the book abounds, for something more downright than the rather vague expressions in the conclu'sion.' This may be only insular selfishness and oblivion of the fact that our countrymen compose but a fraction of the Baron's public; but it is not unpardonable, in view of the perplexing nature of the problems that we have to face, to have looked for instruction from so capable an observer. Some guidance might have been obtained from one of his rare experience in the old Europe of Metternich; and the third generation would have listened with interest to one who at Vienna had seen the walls from which the enemy ' of civilisation was driven back for ever, and within those 'walls had witnessed the death of the last Roman emperor.' When we follow the Baron to the South Seas, we find him not only an agreeable companion, but an instructive and, to a high degree, original authority. Therefore to the portion of his narrative recording his experiences in that little known quarter of the globe we shall chiefly give our attention.

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In many respects the Baron's volumes resemble the books of travel of an older generation. They have not been hastily published. The author returned from his travels a year and a half before his book issued from the press. Great care has evidently been exercised in preparing it for publication. Statements of fact rest upon actual observation or upon authorities of repute. The style is, throughout, admirably suited to the matter. The descriptions of scenery are marked by a fidelity and grace that have probably never been surpassed. To the discussion of artistic questions, as shown in the observations on the architectural monuments

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of India, the author brings a stock of erudition and an appreciative knowledge of European art that many a professional critic might envy. The unusual extent of his previous wanderings enables him to make many apt comparisons. In several passages he rises to real eloquence.

A few extracts will not only show the truth of what has just been stated; they will also prove how well he has been served by his translator, and how excellent must be the style which imposes so few fetters upon an alien version. We may take, to begin with, his description of the scenery at Cape Town, which, as he says, countless travellers have visited and many have attempted to describe.

'As if it were given to pen or pencil to portray on paper or canvas the glorious panorama which seizes, fascinates, and intoxicates one on arriving!—that enormous block with level top called Table Mountain, rising south of the town in one mass, flanked by two gigantic rocks, the Lion's Head on one side and the Devil's Peak on the other-that mighty barrier against which the storms that lash unceasingly the Southern Seas spend their fury in vain, the image and emblem of immobility, notwithstanding the variety of its changing hues, blue as opal in the morning, dull gold in the afternoon, rose-coloured when the sun is sinking near the horizon, and violet-purple when it has set. At the foot of this colossus extends a dark green fringe flecked with white-the gardens, plantations, spires, and houses of Cape Town. Farther eastward a light green expanse flecked with yellow-the meadows and the sandhills. And above the plain, stretching away to the interior, loom the jagged chains of the Blue Mountains. Who could fail to be enthusiastie at such a sight?' (Vol. i. pp. 17, 18.)

The description of the scenery of Lake Wakatipu in the South Island of New Zealand is equally fine. The sides of the lake,

consisting of treeless mountains, shrouded in a whitish yellow mist, rise gradually to a height of 5,000 or 6,000 feet. . . . The transparent shadows of the dark clouds passing by, the greenish-brown boulders tinged with yellow, the dark blue water of the lake, the opal sky with light fleecy clouds of white, formed a landscape that seemed to me entirely new. I have seen nothing like it in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Caucasus, or the Cordilleras. The whole was stern, grand, fantastic, and charming, in spite of its monotony, varied, however, by the changing reflections of the sunlight.

In the space of a few hours, by one of those sudden changes in the weather which are peculiar to these islands, a summer's evening has followed on a winter's day. The lake is silver gilt, a dull gold lightly silvered. At the farthest end of the landscape, towards the north-west, and forming (as it were) a frame to this brilliant mirror, the jagged outline of the dark mountains stands out clear-cut against a sky which is orange below, then pink, and higher up bright blue.

Here and there small flakes of blackish mist, edged with light grey, still mark the outlines of the crest from which they have just detached themselves. Overhead, beneath a dark-blue sky, pink clouds are floating, shaped like a shower of rockets. Then night comes on, and the full moon rises above the glaciers.' (Vol. i. p. 173.)


But here, as in other parts of these new countries, 'what 'the landscape wants is man.' There is no culture visible, nor trace of human habitation, and the visitor misses amid these alpine scenes the exuberant vegetation of the Swiss ' valleys, whose rural charms contrast so well with the severe and imposing character of the glaciers that tower above.' Readers of contemporary narratives of travel will know how seldom they contain anything like the author's observations on the mosques of Ahmedabad (vol. ii. pp. 36-40), or his comparison of Christian with Mahometan art when discussing the architecture of the Jumma Musjid at Delhi (vol. ii. pp.136-7). In perusing those passages we are reminded of the serious quartos of the early years of the century. Yet there is no lack of anecdote, enlivening and well told. When in Natal, Baron Hübner was lodged in the apartment which had been occupied by the unfortunate Prince Impérial, and then by the Empress Eugénie. The circumstance awakens a reminiscence of his embassy in Paris. The sentences in which he relates this, in the significant compression of their style, recall a chapter of Tacitus.' But it is not our intention to follow the Baron along the more beaten track of his progress, or to indulge in his reminiscences of other times or more courtly scenes. We prefer to accompany him into more remote and less known regions.


In May 1884, during his second visit to Australia, an opportunity, of which the Baron took advantage, of visiting the islands of the South Pacific offered itself. A ship of war, the Espiègle,' was starting on a cruise in the South Seas, and he accepted an invitation of her captain to accompany him during part of it. It was arranged that on a certain day, six weeks ahead, the ship was to be at an appointed spot on the route of the mail steamer from Sydney to San Francisco. The steamer was to take the traveller ' on board in the middle of the Pacific, weather permitting.' This feat was successfully accomplished; and he went on to the Sandwich Islands, and returned to Europe across the continent of America. During his cruise in the man-of-war he had visited Norfolk Island, several parts of Fiji, Keppel Island, Upolu of the Navigators' Islands (Samoa), and Tutuila of the same group. He thus became practically acquainted

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with that Western Pacific of which, in this country, we have lately heard a little, and of which we shall probably hear a great deal more.

What is the Western Pacific'? Mr. Hugh Romilly, to whose diverting pages we shall have occasion to recur, tells us that it represents a slice of some fifteen million square miles of land and ocean.' Baron Hübner is more explicit. He says:

The term "Western Pacific," which is constantly used in the English correspondence, has never yet been defined in a precise and authentic manner, but it is understood to comprise all the groups of Oceania lying between the two tropics and the 140th meridian of east and the 170th meridian of west longitude. Three different races share this vast region-the Papuan, the Melanesian, and the Polynesian. In point of civilisation, three distinct divisions, excluding the Fijis (which have become an English colony), are recognised. The first comprehends the New Hebrides, Santa Cruz, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, New Britain, New Ireland, &c., whose inhabitants belong to the Melanesian race. These are savages, and for the most part heathens and cannibals. In other groups-mainly those of Tonga and Samoa-the inhabitants are Christians in name and half civilised. In Tonga there is a king and a nominally constitutional form of government, the supreme and absolute power being practically vested in the Wesleyan missionary, Mr. Baker. Wallis Island, like that of Fortuna, is inhabited by an exclusively Roman Catholic population, and governed by a queen, who regards a brief of Pope Pius IX. as the most precious jewel of her crown. Some Roman Catholic missionaries direct her conscience and govern her country. In Samoa a phantom king exists in the presence of a European community, and indirectly under the imperfect and limited influence of the English, German, and American consuls. Finally there is a third class of islands, the inhabitants of which have made some progress on the road to civilisation, respect the authority of their chiefs, and remain attached to their usages and customs, but possess no organised government. New Guinea is still an almost unexplored land.' (Vol. ii. pp. 390-1.)

The official document,† from which the Baron derives much of his information, declares that for all practical

*This definition of the Western Pacific' is not quite correct. The Declaration concluded at Berlin on April 6 between the British and German Governments provides that the expression "Western Pacific means that part of the Pacific Ocean lying between the 15th parallel ' of north latitude and the 30th parallel of south latitude, and between 'the 165th meridian of longitude west and the 139th meridian of 'longitude east of Greenwich.'

Report of a Commission appointed to inquire into the working of the Western Pacific Orders in Council. Presented February 1884.

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