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The productiveness of this district is charges of being a “boomer” and a gross well illustrated by one acre- an agricul- exaggerater. Yet if the doubting ones tural curiosity — belonging to an industri- would but make a winter trip of investigaous man who literally “works the earth tion through that really wonderful country for all there is in it.” On that one-acre the charges would be changed to those of patch, and all in thrifty, splendid condi- blindness or of wilfully withholding facts. tion, he had 2,375 pineapple plants, 19 All these products find their way first orange-trees, 22 of grape-fruit, 2 lemon, to Tampa, the distributing point to the 28 guava, 5 lime, 2 royal poinciana, i Aus- markets for all that country. It is a most tralian oak, 48 bananas, 8 egg-plants, 31 interesting town of 30,000 people, nearly yams, 12 rose-bushes, 2 beds of chrysan- 7,000 of whom are Cubans, employed themums, 4 beds of geraniums, 1 bed of mostly in its cigar factories. A busy port tube-roses, i century-plant, a sisal hemp, and enterprising town, it experienced a a cactus, and an oleander!

serious falling-off in its usually heavy imThe district is also rich in fishing grounds. port commerce during the war; but this The mullet, red-snapper, pompano, oys- loss, however, was largely made up in ters, and clams from about Sarasota Bay profits from the government, the soldiers, are all very fine, and between 3,000,000 and the visitors to the great military and 4,000,000 pounds of fish are annually camps. Essentially a commercial town shipped. The prairies also graze nearly and comparatively new, it lays no claim 75,000 head of cattle, and nearly half a to beauty, though some of its suburbs are million crates of vegetables are shipped very fine; beautiful shade-trees abound, every year, besides oranges and other and handsome residences are fast being fruits and numbers of hogs, chickens, and added to what natural charms it poseggs. In round figures the exports amount to nearly a million dollars a year, and that The waters and country all about this with a population of barely 7,000 people metropolis of southern Florida are tropic


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who live and have their being in an average temperature of 80 degrees in summer and 71 degrees in winter.

But though this farm lore is a most fascinating subject, to attempt fully to describe all the advantages of this fertile district would but expose

one to the

ally beautiful indeed. St. Petersburg, across the bay, and Port Tampa, on the peninsula, are most interesting places. The Inn at Port Tampa offers advantages to its guests that we believe no other hotel can boast. It is built on piles and right out on the bay, so that guests may


fish from their bedroom windows and take five shirts, as shown in the sketch, is a a nap in bed between bites. But the naps very Rockefeller in his tribe. will be short, though possibly sweet, for the The keys” or coral islands along the Spanish mackerel, the trout, and the bass coast add much to the attractiveness of seem to like the hotel fare too, judging by the picture. Egmont Key, with its lighttheir numbers. Ducks and pelicans are house marking the entrance to Tampa to be seen in large flocks, but these you Bay, is one of the principal islands, but its

may not molest. You charms may only be viewed from a dismay feed them, but you tance; it takes a special permit to enable must not shoot them. one to land there. The government is Think of a sportsman building important fortifications and offers feeding wild ducks! no welcome to visitors.

Once in a while Just north of Tampa are the great phosmay be seen a Semi- phate grounds, and Fort Tampa is the nole – and he must shipping point of all that is sent away

not be shot at from the southern end of those grounds. either — who At any time forty or fifty cars of phos

drifts into phate may be seen on the tracks awaiting town to sell shipment, and English, German, Italian, his hides Spanish, and even Japanese vessels are and take being loaded from the great bins on the back shirts docks. Tampa is the principal port of and such entry for the Havana line of steamers, as thingstohis also for the packet-lines to New Orleans, Everglade Mobile, and Central American ports. It is h a unts. a busy enterprising place—the heart, as it One can were, furnishing life to a healthy, thrifty judge of his young country about, whose soil, climate,

wealth and and possibilities are most attractive to A FIVE-SHIRTED SEMINOLE prominence

the casual tourist and a source of wonder among his

to the student, and whose charms — the own people by the number of shirts he highest test a country can be subjected wears, and they are always worn outside to — have not palled upon its oldest inof his unmentionables — Chinaman fash- habitant.

FRANCIS OMEIS. ion. The Seminole Indian rigged out with






EVER, it may safely be said, has the interesting people. The collection of empire of the Mikados been more Letters extends over a period of three

delightfully and sympathetically years, dating from the spring of 1889, written of than in the pages of the two

when the author (who, by the way, is a attractive volumes from the pen of Mrs. sister of Marion Crawford, the novelist) Hugh Fraser, wife of the late British En- arrived in Japan and took up her residence voy to Japan. In the book-review depart- at the British Embassy at Tokyo. Mrs. ment of SELF CULTURE for September last Fraser's correspondence, in the main, we had occasion to comment on a series leaves native politics, and even local of tales (“The Custom of the Country”) history, out of account and is confined to from the same source as these Letters, descriptions of Japanese scenery and to which not only exhibited Mrs. Fraser's charming narratives dealing with the fine literary art, but her intimate acquaint character and customs of the people ance with the island empire and her among whom she lived or whom she met hearty delight in and appreciation of its with in the social relations of an Envoy's

* « Letters from Japan: A Record of Modern Life in the Island Empire." By Mrs. Hugh Fraser, author of * Palladia,” « The Custom of the Country. Two volumes, 8vo. Illustrated. London and New York: The Macmillan Co., 1899.

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« My Little Hostess "—(See page 361) of her subject, and she is happy in possessing keen powers of observation and rare gifts which enable her to describe what she saw and felt during her residence in the far East.

In her letters, no motive, the writer tells us, was followed beyond that suggested by the interests and the fancy of the moment. It is in this unstudied, vagrant mood that Mrs. Fraser depicts the "toy country and its fairy-like inhabitants, who, as she says, have set the doors of their secret shrines ajar and enabled the sympathetic foreigner to become aware of the many-sided and complex character of the people — "simple to frankness, yet full of unexpected reserves, of hidden strength, and dignities of power never flaunted before the eyes of the world.” It is the mood, happily, which best suits a writer, gifted with poetic feeling and endowed with fine literary qualities, in portraying character and presenting with great vividness the play of human life, in its wondrous natural setting, which she sees about her during her three years' residence in the country. Hence the effectiveness of her prose sketches of Japan and its people and the charm which she throws over the

land, and particularly the human interest which she imparts to Japanese women in the home, where she comes sympathetically in touch with them alike

in their joys and in their griefs. The letters, we are told, came to a sudden end in the early summer of 1894, when the writer of them returned to Europe, “in the shadow


sweets for a bundle of lotus blooms on two brown stems. It seemed unwise to change places with him, and might have caused confusion in the family; but I was sorry that H— would not let me buy him, pack and all, and stand him up in the hall of the new home in Tokyo as my first curio.)

Equally delightful is Mrs. Fraser's pen in describing nature and the wondrous bloom on the flowers of Japan. Here is an account of a visit to the arbors of the Kameido Temple at the capital:

«We are late for the cherry

blossoms and must wait till next Teacher

year to see them in their glory; but, when the wind blows, the petals are stirred from where

they have been lying in rosy heaps at the trees' feet, and go whirling down the paths like belated snowflakes. It is really wistaria-time, and I have been out to the Kameido Temple to look at the famous arbors there. It is a lovely and amazing sight. The Temple grounds consist chiefly of flagged paths running round great tanks of water, shaded from end to end by a thick roof of drooping flowers. The pale purple clusters grow so thick that no glimpse of sky is visible between them, and their odorous fringes hang four or five feet deep in many places. Little breezes lift them here and there and sway the blooms


of a great grief -alone.” They are now transcribed and set forth in these attractive volumes with the view, as Mrs. Fraser gratefully explains, of bringing “to-day's Japan a little nearer to the understanding and sympathy of to-day's England.” Here, in the opening pages of the work, is a bit of fresh description of scenes witnessed as the author lands in Japan, which will serve to show Mrs. Fraser's joyous enthusiasm as well as her keen eye for the novelties of the situation: “I think the friendship has begun.

The landing at Nagasaki and the sight of the Inland Sea have upset all my wise resolutions about first impressions. The only thing that came to me as I stepped on shore at Nagasaki was a fit of light-hearted laughter -- laughter of the joyous and unreasonable kind whose tax is mostly paid in tears. Life suddenly presented itself as a thing of fun and joy: the people, the shops, the galloping jinriksha coolies, the toy houses treated as serious dwellings by fathers of families,- all combined to give me a day of the purest amusement that has ever been granted to me yet. For sixpence I would have changed places with a seller of cakes whom I met in the road. His clothes were of the impressionist kind, some rather slight good intentions carried out in cool blue cotton, the rest being brown man and straw sandals. He carried a fairy temple built of snowy wood and delicate paper, with a willow branch for a dusting brush, and little drawers, full of sweets, which pulled out in every direction, as white and close-fitting as the petals of a moon-dahlia. All his dainty wares were white or pink, and at a distance one might have mistaken him and his shrine of

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is the letter which describes the visit to the little daughter of one of the great nobles, dressed in sapphire-colored crape, shading from pale blue at the foot to dark purple at the shoulder, embroidered in gold in lovely patterns, and girdled

about, so as to show the soft shadings from pale lilac to dark purple; and the flowers as they move shed drift after drift of loose petals down on the water, where the fat goldfish come up ex. pecting to be fed with lard cakes and rice balls. ...

We found at one corner an arbor entirely overgrown with the white wistaria, which delighted me by its ethereal purity. Why is it that flowers which are usually deep in color are so astonishingly white when the fancy takes them to leave their proper color behind? White violets, white wistaria, seem whiter than anything has a right to be in a sinful world, and new-fallen snow would look almost dark beside a young pomegranate ! »

Not less charming are the letters that chronicle expeditions undertaken by Mrs. Fraser and the inmates of the Embassy into the interior of the island, to visit some temple of note or take a peep at close range at Fujiyama, a glimpse of which, with its dazzling white summit, is seen in one of the illustrations in the present paper. Delightful also are the occasional recital of fables, in woven with the religion or the romance of the country, and the bits of folklore, interspersed through the letters, such as that of the stork, a drawing of which was sent by the Empress to one of the little princes as an augur of long life. Equally attractive are the letters that exhibit the author's delight in nature, in the song of birds, in the bloom of flowers, in the brilliance of color over the landscape, or in the terror and disarray of the typhoon.

But it is in the author's recorded accounts of her contact with the femininity and child-life of Japan that we find her letters most captivating. One of these, given in Chap. XIII, in describing a New Year's Day reception at the Emperor's palace, is very fascinating, especially where Mrs. Fraser tags on to it the recital of incidents connected with the children's entertainment she gave in the compound of the Embassy, to the infinite delight of herself and the little people who shared in the festivity. Her account of the dainty gifts presented to each child, and of their disappearance into the large hanging sleeves of the picturesquely garbed recipients, is entrancingly told, as




with royal scarlet and gold; her hair, gathered in a shining knot on the top of her head, held in place with jewelled pins.”

Most interesting too is Mrs. Fraser's discussion of the subject of native marriages and the interest she feels and manifests in Japanese women. Marriage, she tells us, is in Japan not the supreme relation of life as it is in Europe, since love, in our sense of the word, has little to do with it. And yet, she adds, European history can show us no record of higher, stronger love than the Japanese wife has again and again laid at her lord's feet, despite the fact that marriages are always arranged by parents or friends, the young people's consent being asked only at the

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