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And through the fount of living flame
He cuts with fierce attack.
Down dropt the goat's head in its gore,
The palsied snakes, with stiffened fang,
A famous man was Glaucus' son
At public feast beside the king
And old men in the halls were gay,
The Xanthian burghers, wealthy men,
Beside the fattening river-
The Xanthian king, to Protus bound,
And finds, but finds in vain.
Against the maids unhusbanded,
Where surly Pontus roars.
Before his spear the Amazon yields;
The Xanthian king despairs the strife-
A prosperous man was Glaucus' son
Then when the queenly maid he won,
* A warlike people in Lycia mentioned by Homer-oλúporσi kudadíμoiσi.
The pride of Lycian land:
And own his high command.
And sit with Jove sublime.
The orient breezes round him blowing
And round the heavenly halls,
And on the walls, with dizzy awe,
The furious Mars with terror crested,
Both capped and shod with wings; and one
Whom erst she met with love;
The thunder-launching Jove.
Senseless, but lifeless not, he lay.
But all the gods conspired to hate
Even as a witless boy at school,
J. S. B.
* So Homer. Arrian, in his life of Alexander (ii. 5), alludes to this plain, or one bearing the same name, near the river Pyramus in Cilicia.
THE COMING FORTUNES OF OUR COLONIES IN THE PACIFIC.
FROM the earliest records of what has been termed profane history, down to the present day, we have been accustomed to regard Europe as the centre of civilisation and of wealth. From Asia, Greece and Rome in early times, and the commerce of European nations more recently, exacted tribute and rich products. Two centuries ago the precious metals and tropical yield of South America and the West Indies excited the rapacity of adventurers from this and other countries; and towards the close of last century we had to recognise the germs of a great Anglo-Saxon power occupying the Atlantic shores and territory of North America, which we now see competing actively with us for a share in influencing the affairs of the world. Still both Asia and the American continent were regarded as merely the feeders of the commercial and political greatness of Europe. Africa was and remains comparatively an unknown continent, whilst the inhospitable regions of the north are shunned by all, save the hardy mariners engaged in the pursuit of the whale and the seal, the former for its industrial usefulness, and the latter as affording us articles of comfort and luxury. The extreme southern hemisphere had, indeed, been explored by Cook, Vancouver, Fourneaux, and others; and its clusters of islands were laid down in our charts, and some of them claimed as calling-stations for the shipping employed in our commerce with India, whilst others were appropriated for their valuable tropical productions. But beyond this the Southern Pacific and Antarctic Oceans were comparatively unknown and unvalued. Below the latitude of Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Indian Ocean, their waters were an unbroken solitude, save that occasionally a ship bearing the British flag might be seen steering for our penal settlement of Australia, there to deposit its living freight of criminal outcasts beyond reach of contact with the populations of the civilised world; and more re
cently with a few adventurous colonisers going out to cultivate its untrodden wilds, and, amidst privations and arduous toil, to wring from its soil the means of living, which they had been jostled out of on that of their own densely-peopled fatherland.
A mighty change, however, has come over us-unlooked for and undreamt of the issue of which the wisest can scarcely imagine for himself; for it is plainly not the unaided work of man which has brought about that change, but an overruling Providence, carrying out a preordained decree that one of the fairest portions of the globe shall be a solitude no longer. In most of the ordinary revolutions which have taken place in the world, human agency is directly traceable. We have witnessed in Europe the hardy tribes of the north overrunning the fertile soils, and subjecting to their rule the degenerate populations, of the south. We have seen similar changes in Asia; and one of these is now progressing in Africa, the northern provinces of which are being subjected to the Gaul. Colonisation and emigration are rapidly peopling the western states of the northern continent of America. But to produce such a change in the condition of those fardistant countries, whose shores are washed by the Pacific Ocean, and which are comparatively inaccessible to the ordinary movements of migratory populations, whilst they held out little to invite conquest, an extraordinary stimulus was required. That stimulus has been lately afforded in abundant and overpowering measure. A popular outburst, excited by the love of territorial aggrandisement, which is inherent in the nature of the people of the United States, and which, indeed, is inseparable from the very character of their institutions, led to the seizure by them of a portion of the territory of Mexico on the shores of the North Pacific Ocean. Under ordinary circumstances the acquisition was almost valueless. By land it was well-nigh
unapproachable. A wild and mountainous territory, occupied by various Indian tribes, intervened between California and the settled States of the Union. Commercially it was unimportant, and likely to remain so for years, if not for centuries, whilst, as an agricultural territory, it was inferior in fertility to those States. It had certainly the advantage of nearer proximity to India and China; but there was scarcely along any portion of the west coast of either the United States or South America sufficient population to render that advantage of value. But in 1848, only a few months after its acquisition by the model Republic, the world was startled with the news that gold had been discovered upon the Sacramento River, within a short distance from the port and bay of San Francisco; and further advices informed us that the deposits of that mineral extended over a territory five hundred miles in length by forty to fifty miles in width; and that, in fact, it promised to be inexhaustible in amount, as it was unrivalled in fineness. A population immediately began to flock to San Francisco by every possible route from the United States, from the west coast of South America, and from the islands of the Pacific. Even China was attracted by the flattering accounts promulgated of the richness of the mines, and began to pour forth its population towards the scene. The emigrating population of Great Britain swelled the tide; and, within twelve months of the first discovery of gold, we heard of nearly three hundred sail of shipping being assembled in San Francisco bay, deserted by their officers and crews, who had joined their cargoes of passengers, and run off to partake of the rich harvest provided for them. The sufferings and privations endured by some of the early adventurers -the crime, the outrage, and utter lawlessness, which spread over the entire territory-were recorded in vain. No warning was heeded. The passion for gain is one of the strongest in our nature. Men heard of fortunes being earned in a day of the poorest becoming suddenly rich; of revelry and wild enjoyment ensuing after severe toil
and privation; and the tide of adventurers flowed on with increased volume as every day added to the assurance that the attracting cause was a permanent one. It cannot be forgotten by the commercial people of this country how vast was the impulse given to the industry, and the agricultural, manufacturing, and maritime interests of the American Republic, by this state of things. Her people almost ceased to care about supplying Europe with farm products. The wealthy settlers in her golden territory could now afford to consume what had formerly been exported as a disposable surplus. Their monetary circulation was being largely expanded; and to a corresponding extent they were enabled to extend their commercial operations to every country. Their shipping, having earned large freights by the transport of passengers from the Atlantic ports round Cape Horn to California, could afford to make the run across the Pacific in ballast to India and China, whence they competed with us in homeward freights on terms almost ruinous to the British shipowner. And although they became, and have since continued to be, larger consumers than formerly of our products of every kind, it is very questionable whether, in the long run, this increased consumption would have compensated us as a nation for the advantages which America had obtained over us, through the possession of this new territory, with its mineral riches, in carrying on the traffic between our eastern possessions and China and the various markets of Europe.
The route westward, by the North Pacific to the Indian Ocean, was thus for the first time established as a great maritime highway by the enterprising mercantile community of the United States. We had ourselves long previously used the route via Cape Horn and the South Pacific in our trade with Chili, Peru, and other countries on the west coast of South America. It was reserved for us for the first time to open out for the commerce of the world an eastern route from the Atlantic and from Europe across the South Pacific Ocean; in fact,