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“Such a climate" (to quote the never before felt so sad for those words of a letter to the present writer), whose lives are passed amidst un“I suppose, does not exist anywhere propitious surroundings, or so thankelse. Eden probably may have been ful for my own capacity of enjoying like it, and it may bless the second nature.” Paradise. I am infatuated, I know, about that group of islands. But Returning by San Francisco shivering in our own foggy, murky and the American continent, Mrs islands, rasped and aggravated by Bishop found a new outlet for her east winds, depressed by sunless adventurous spirit among the gloom, you cannot imagine the intlu
Rocky Mountains of Colorado. ence of a climate in which cold and heat, floods and drought, all that we
'A Lady's Life in the Rocky call ' weather, are alike unknown; Mountains' is the record of this where the sun smites not by day nor
excursion. She had found the the moon by night. I don't agree beautiful in Hawaii, and now in with D’Israeli that happiness is the Rocky Mountains the sublime. atmosphere, but people seem to feel From a convenient centre she more amiable under the glittering blue of Hawaii, amidst the glories of an
would sally forth on horseback endless summer."
and ride fifty miles a-day. Her "Six Months in the Sand
“The scenery that can thus be seen wich Islands,' published in 1875, is indescribably magnificent, and
seems to dwarf all other. Its features was her first book of travels. It was not an unknown field, but has a vastness, grandeur, solitude,
are unique-pine the only foliage. It Mrs Bishop, with her characteristic mystery, under the spell of which love of detail, filled up graphically one is constantly kept, and there is what other visitors had left little an undoubted peculiarity in the more than in outline. She brought rarefied, air, the steppe or plain from us much closer than any previous above the level of the sea.
range rises being 5000 feet writer to the marvellous volcanoes and fire-fountains of the islands, Her mode of life she thus which she explored with much delineates in letter to the care, and found, as others have
present writer: found, so singular as to baffle description But her usual ex
“I am well as long as I live on perience in the Hawaiian Archi- horseback, go to bed at eight, sleep pelago was like a vision of Para- cabin, and lead in all respects a com
out-of-doors, or in an unchinked log dise, and it made her think sadly pletely unconventional life. But of English slums. Of a particular each time that for a few days at day spent at Hilo she says :
Honolulu or San Francisco I have
become civilised, I have found myself “The atmosphere and scenery were rapidly going down again. I know so glorious that it was possible to all the mysteries of camping life, can think of nothing all day, but just find a blind trail with something allow one's self passively to drink in of Indian instinct, and I have the sensations of exquisite pleasure. I character of a very expert horseman. wish all the hard-worked people at I write horseman, because I have been home, who lead joyless lives in sun- living for ten months where sideless alleys, could just have one such saddles are not recognised, and if you day, and enjoy it as I did, that they saw me on my mustang, and a peaked might know how fair God's earth is, Mexican saddle with great wooden and how far fairer His Paradise must stirrups and Mexican spurs, if you be, if even from this we cannot con- did not say it was neither brute nor ceive of the things which He hath human,' you would say "neither man prepared for them that love Him.' I nor woman.
*Untrodden Tracks in Japan' meagre subject for a whole volume, records a far more daring under- but as “the way thither” is intaking than any of the preceding cluded, we have an interesting Many a traveller has described glimpse of the Chinese empire, what is ordinarily to be found in and of two of its chief cities, the “Land of the Morning Sun," Hong-Kong and Canton. Of the but Miss Bird was perhaps the peninsula itself, too, it must be very first European to explore said that many fairly intelligent the island of Yezo or Yesso, persons have very misty concepthe second largest of the 3500 tions, which our author helps to islands that constitute the Japan- make more accurate. It would ese empire. The island is one puzzle not a few to tell in what mass of mountains, and for a lady country Penang and Singapore who was suffering from weakness are situated, and how they came of the spine, the toil and pain into British possession. But Mrs and peril of the undertaking were Bishop's main interest is in the something appalling. For though natives of the peninsula, and here she travelled ostensibly in one of she has much to tell us of no the rude carriages of the country, little interest. It seems charactershe had to get out ever so often in istic of the lady traveller to make the day whenever a pass had to be and record those minute, varied, ascended or descended ; and even and vivid observations of life, when she remained sitting, she character, and customs, of which was not sure of her seat, -the her books are full. No man would vehicle might be overturned in a be so painstaking and so patient. sea of mud, as it was
If the tracks which she follows occasion, soaking and ruining her along the peninsula are not wholly garments, in which, wet as they unbeaten, the European feet that were, she had to spend the night. have trodden them are but few. The inhabitants of Yezo are not And after all, it is only the west Japanese, but the remains of an side of the peninsula that has been earlier race whom the Japs dis- fully explored; the east side on possessed of the island of Nippon, our maps is still but a skeleton. the chief part of the country. In her latest publication, which They are a primitive and attractive contains her travels in Persia, people, retaining some interesting Kurdistan, and adjacent countries, customs from a remote antiquity, Mrs Bishop comes for the first and some simple virtues. It some- time into close contact with times appalled her to think that Mohammedanism. She had seen a she was utterly alone and unpro- little of it in the Malay Peninsula, tected among a barbarous people. but more now.
And her impresBut the Ainos, as they are called, sion of it is very bad. We have are of so gentle and harmless a
to follow her tracks disposition that she found she through these countries; but one could go among them with perfect thing calls for special notice at a safety.
time when the civilised world The Malay Peninsula was the stands aghast at the Armenian next sphere of her travels—the atrocities. Mrs Bishop had seen "Aurea Chersonesus” of Ptolemy, and heard enough of the dis
the “Golden Chersonese" of graceful treatment of Armenian Milton. Perhaps the Peninsula of Christians by the Kurds to make Malacca would have been rather a her blood boil. Many a scandalous
tale of oppression, robbery, cruelty, When we announce the name of and perfidy had she heard; when Miss Constance Frederika Gordon she returned to this country, her Cumming as our next lady travelheart was full of their woes; she ler, we shall doubtless be felt by strove by conversation, by lectures, many of our readers to be bringby articles, to arouse public atten- ing them into the company of a tion, and if we remember rightly personal friend. If we must make she addressed a meeting of Mem- a distinction between travellers bers of Parliament, to give them and tourists, we are afraid that information of what she had seen in strictness Miss Gordon Oumand heard.
ming would rank among the latter, In all her varied peregrinations for in her wanderings it is chiefly Mrs Bishop has come much in ground more or less familiar that contact with Christian missions she has traversed. But she has and missionaries. Her interest in visited so many countries, and their work is intelligent rather written of them so fully and so than enthusiastic: its difficulties well, as to entitle her to a kind of cannot escape her; the failings of emeritus rank among travellers. many of its agents are obvious Indeed there is not a quarter of the enough; but she has strong faith globe where she has not been, and in the cause, and great admiration about which she has not written. for the many devoted men and Her 'prentice hand she tried on women who are working so heartily her own country, following the for the welfare of their race. track of Samuel Johnson 'In the
The last two or three years Hebrides'; 'From Cornwall to have been spent by Mrs Bishop Egypt' brought her to Africa ; in Corea, Japan, and China. She her two largest works, “In the has visited Corea no less than Himalayas' and Wanderings in four times, once before the war, China,' grapple with the two and then after it, being very greatest empires of Asia; she has desirous to learn what effect the certainly been in Japan, though war had had on the Coreans. So we do not think she has written keen was her interest in that about that country; "Granite people that, having heard that Crags' describes no doubt a very some of them had passed over limited part, but still a part of the from Corea into Russia, and were great American continent, being doing well, she made a journey mainly concerned with the Yoto Vladivostock to make personal semité Valley in California ; and inquiries. The rapidity with which over and above, her ‘At Home in she flits from one country to an- Fiji' shows that she has been other, and from one end of a among the islands of the South country to another, makes it hard Pacific, as her "Fire - Fountains' to follow all her wanderings. The evidences her acquaintance with last we have heard of her is that those of the North Pacific Ocean. she had started on a four months' We may well rank her among the journey up the Yangtse river, a farthest travelled, whether of the distance of three thousand miles. women or men of our time; and The book which she is now pre- she has the great merit of having paring will deal with these regions, not rushed from country to country, but especially with Corea, and will but of having stayed long enough no doubt contain much new and in each to get steeped as it were interesting information.
in its ways and features, and thus
to be able to reproduce it not pictures just like a man! And-why, mechanically but in living form. dear me, you wear a man's hat !
As a writer Miss Gordon Cum- Why, I do believe you are a man ! ming is undoubtedly the most really?' I tried hard to make her
Come now, do tell me, aren't you a man popular of our lady travellers.
believe that it was quite correct for Her style is clear, fluent, and
English ladies to wear wide-brimmed animated; she has the artist soft felt hats, but the effort was faculty of grouping details effec- hopeless. Neither she nor any of the tively, and drawing a picture in women in the valley could believe true perspective, giving you a good it, and I felt really glad when an idea of the tout ensemble. But
essentially feminine and goldenmore remarkable, perhaps, is the wearing a ditto. Why my poor little
haired English woman arrived there, cheerful tone in which she writes: water-colour paint-box should be confull of enjoyment herself, she sidered masculine I cannot say, but communicates her happy feelings it attracted great notice in the valley, to her readers, and on you go in
as something quite unknown even to her company enjoying everything. most of the tourists, – the artistNo doubt she is an optimist, and masculine, armed with cumbersome
oil paints, being the only specimen of wherever she goes she sees the the genus known in the Sierras.” best of everything. And if her colours sometimes are rather too We should be doing great injusbright, and her feelings too san- tice to Miss Gordon Cumming if guine, it is surely a pardonable we did not take emphatic notice defect. Miss Gordon Cumming of a feature that elevates her has the knack of mingling her travels above the level of mere personality with her narrative; pleasure-adventures—her spirit of you do not forget her in the humanity, and lively interest in story she tells; but so far from all that is fitted to brighten and this being an offensive property
elevate the lives of the races of her style, it really an ad- among whom she has been.
In vantage: it gives reality and this, as in other particulars, Mrs animation to her writing, and Bishop and she thoroughly agree. impregnates it the more with her In Christian missions she is deeply own feeling
interested, and no more pleasing And there is likewise the play or gratifying view of a missionary of humour--not too frequent, but transformation could be found sufficient to brighten here and anywhere than in her book 'At there a languid page. And it Home in Fiji.' The degraded matters not if the laugh be direc- condition of women in India ted against herself. In 'Granite deeply impressed her, and the Crags' she tells of her party work of Zenana missions and of
female medical missions found in “halting for luncheon at a pretty her a very cordial friend. But of cottage covered with trailing hops ; a cheery peasant woman, like an Eng- all the manifestations of a philanlish farmer's wife, came out to greet thropic spirit which her books us, and to welcome us to a “square present, none is so interesting as meal' with good roast-meat, and the her episode in Wanderings in invariable big teapot. I profited by China' on teaching the blind to some spare minutes to work at my read. We have reason to know sketch of the Dead Giant,' whereat
that her efforts in this cause have the old lady was vastly entertained.
Why, said she, ‘you must be the not been limited to writing a lady I hear them talk of who makes chapter of a book, but that she
has sought earnestly to promote it Zemlia and was actually floating in many ways at home.
on the Kara Sea—the first lady
that had ever been there—when The Polar Gleams' of Miss the waters of the Yenisei river Helen Peel, a daughter of Sir lapped the ship, and when she Robert, though an extremely pleas- could date her letters with the ant book to read, need not detain dismal name of Siberia, her joy us long. With the exception of was exuberant. It was a great a tolerably full description of the sorrow when the ship's head was ways of life of the natives of turned homewards. But a better Northern Siberia, it contains little opportunity presented itself of with which Arctic voyagers have enjoying the coasts and fiords of not already made us familiar. Its
Norway. When the Blencathra interest is chiefly as a picture of ceased to hug the shore and the experiences of a young lady to launched out into the North Sea, whom the gaieties of fashionable the sensation was hardly less terlife and the luxurious sensations of rible than that which must have the yacht had become alike insipid, been experienced when, according and who, having an invitation to to the ballad, Sir Patrick Spens join some vessels under contract set sail on the return voyage from to deliver 1600 tons of rails for Norroway”:the great railway that is to cross
“They hadna sailed a league, a league, Siberia, jumped at the offer, and
A league but barely three, at short notice, as her friends put When the lift grew dark, and the wind it, was “off to the North Pole." Not that she actually fulfilled the And gurly grew the sea.” oft-expressed hope of eating straw
“No sooner were we in the North berries and cream at that point of Sea than my miseries began afresh. the earth's surface; but having Squalls and hail-storms raged with touched latitude 74° N., she was violence, and we were rolled about probably as near it as any of her unmercifully. I was indeed wretched. countrywomen have ever been. So Keeping as best I could to my berth, excited was she by the prospect of
I felt, although so near, I might never
see my home again ; and my fear was her journey that she forgot to greater than I can describe. Hours provide fur dresses appropriate to dragged on ; the three days seemed the Arctic regions; but, after all, endless. For want of fresh air and the cold did not harass her.
something to do, I opened my portIt was on board the steam-yacht
hole to cool my excitement; but be
fore I had time to realise this act Blencathra, once the Pandora, under the experienced command thoroughly cooled down and well
of thoughtlessness, I found myself of Captain Wiggins, that Miss drenched as a punishment for such Peel bore off towards the realms imprudence. Å huge wave had of perpetual ice and snow; and worked itself into my cabin ; volif a comfortable ship and a skil- umes of water simply inundated me ful commander could only have and my berth. However, without counteracted the miseries of sea
losing presence of mind, I used all sickness, there would have been
my strength to close the port-hole.
I was completely cured of sea-sickness!" nothing but pleasure in all the voyage.
Yet her buoyant spirit Without claiming an unusual refused to be subdued even by share of the gift of prophecy, days of misery ; and when she we think we may safely predict passed the dim shores of Novaia that this will not be the last of