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stranger to climatic eccentricities of various kinds, does not hold out any inducement as a place of home residence; "the visitor, unless he be a naturalist, will subscribe to the

opinion once expressed before the Geographical Society by 'a distinguished traveller, that Formosa, like Ireland, is a 'very good country to live out of.'

From Formosa the ‘Marchesa' proceeded to the Liu-Kiu (Loochoo) group of islands which lie 250 miles E.N.E. of Formosa. These islands have been seldom visited by Europeans, as they lie far out of the beaten track, and the inhabitants are disinclined to permit the exploration of their country. They were visited by Captain Basil Hall in 1816, who gives the first detailed account in later times, in his *Voyage of the "Alceste” and “Lyra;”' he describes the inlabitants as a quiet and peaceloving race, to whom traders, rum, guns, and other implements of civilisation are practically unknown, and whose natural tendencies seem to be towards virtue rather than vice. The voyagers of the Marchesa' were curious to know how far the changes of three quarters of a century had served to destroy the many charms of the self-styled nation that observes propriety;' and happily, as Dr. Guillemard says, they were not doomed to be disenchanted. Commodore Perry, an American, whose account, however, of the character of the inhabitants does not tally with that given by Captain Basil Hall—for he says the people are ignorant, cunning, and insincere-visited this group of islands in 1854, and spent several months in Okinawa-sima, the largest island of the archipelago; he established a treaty between the two countries, in which the Liu-Kiuans agreed to show all courtesy to vessels sailing under the American flag. These islands are partially volcanic and 'form one of • the links in the great plutonic chain that skirts the eastern

shores of Asia and, passing southward through the Philip'pines and Moluccas, joins the southern and yet more remarkable belt which traverses Sumatra, Java, and the islands to the eastward. Landing at Napha-Kiang on an excellently built pier in the inner harbour, the voyagers were beset by crowds of natives whom curiosity had attracted. It was with the utmost difficulty that they were able to make way through the dense mass of humanity which surrounded them, but there was no disorder or horseplay, such as

would have been the case in England ; ' not a single woman was visible, but children perched on their fathers' shoulders regarded the visitors with solemn infantine wonder and quiet approval. The streets have a most peculiar appearance, for

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the houses are built in little compounds, separated from the street and from one another by massive walls composed of large blocks of coralline limestone, eight to fourteen feet in height and of great thickness, sloping outwards at the base like those of the old feudal castles of Japan, and beautifully built. They seem to be of great antiquity, and the islanders do not continue to build them at the present day; they were originally constructed for purposes of defence. Every man's house is literally his castle, the entrance to which is through a narrow and easily defended door in the high wall.

• Within the scene changes, and in a second of time one is transported to another country. The houses, built entirely of wood, and dark brown with age, display their interior with the inviting hospitality so characteristic of Japan. The inmates, ignorant of the chairs and tables of Western civilisation, recline peacefully on the thick oblong mats plaited of rice-straw, and play at shattering their nerves with the contents of liliputian teacups and still more liliputian pipes. Outside is the familiar garden that all of us, whether from books or from actual experience, know so well. The pebbly paths leading to miniature bridges over embryonic lakes, the little stone lanterns, the quaintly clipped trees--all are Japanese; and as one makes a rapid passage back to the Liu-Kiu Islands through the gate, not a shadow of doubt remains in one's mind as to the justice, ethnographically speaking, of their having fallen under the dominion of the Mikado.'

The vice-governor of the islands was invited on one occasion to dine on board the ‘Marchesa,' and he accepted the invitation; he was accompanied by the secretary of the governor, and a little Japanese doctor called Uyeno, who, possessed of a vocabulary of some thirty or forty

English words and nearly as many French,' acted as interpreter. The conversation at first hung fire, but the champagne being very much approved of, it became more lively

as dinner went on, and before long everything was progress‘ing swimmingly.' Though knives and forks were almost unknown to the visitors, they managed them with praiseworthy dexterity after watching the right mode of using them.

• Among the many dishes that must have been new to them was asparagus, and it evidently puzzled them to guess its origin. Uyeno's first essay at eating it was not very successful. Looking nonchalantly around, he discovered—and, doubtless, made a mental note of the fact—that this was apparently one of the few things that Englishmen eat with their fingers, and, with the habitual goodbreeding of his race, endeavoured to follow his host's example. Seizing the vegetable by its head, he was at first somewhat dismayed to find it come off in his fingers; but, nothing daunted, he again returned to the charge, got a

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firm hold lower down, and commenced operations. There are doubtless many things in the cuisine of our country which are more interesting than the butt-end of a shoot of tinned asparagus, and he was munching it with a comical air of mingled wonder and resignation, when one of us, whose gravity was least disturbed by the proceeding, took compassion on him, and mildly suggested that in general there was more nutriment to be obtained at the soft end. His advice was at once adopted, but the sudden change of expression to one of complete satisfaction and approval was so irresistibly comic that we were one and all convulsed with suppressed laughter.'

Shiuri, the capital of Okinawa-sima, possesses remarkable fortifications, which include within their three lines a vast area ; the masonry is almost Cyclopean in character, and the blocks of stone are joined with wonderful accuracy. Besides the three distinct lines of irregularly constructed fortifications, “there is a perfect labyrinth of smaller walls, amo

mong which it would have been no difficult matter to lose one's self; while the citadel within the inner line rises here and . there into picturesque towers and battlements, delightful 'to an artist's eye.' Some of the walls are more than sixty feet high and of enormous thickness, and in the old days of bow-and-arrow and hand-to-hand fighting must have been impregnable.

At the south end of the courtyard of the castle of Shiuri is the entrance to the ancient palace of the kings of Liu-Kiu, a holy of holies into which no European appears to have penetrated previously to Dr. Guillemard's visit. We can imagine the interest with which our author passed between the two huge stone dragons that guarded the entrance, and found himself within the sacred precincts. But, alas! there was nothing but damp and dismal memorials of past Liu-Kiuan glory; as the visitor passed through room after room, through corridors, reception halls, women's apartments, through a perfect labyrinth of buildings, he witnessed only a state of indescribable dilapidation.

The visit to these islands resulted in very little in the way of curiosities or zoological specimens; there seems to be great paucity of bird life; but the shortness of the visit, and the crowds by which our travellers were surrounded, prevented any real work in this direction, and the islands still remain 'an almost virgin ground for any future explorer both in

this as well as other branches of natural history. From the Liu-Kiu Islands the Marchesa'started northward, bound for Kamschatka, through the lonely and misty seas of the North Pacific, and in due time the sharp peak of the

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Vilutchinska volcano—a graceful cone of about 7,000 feetrevealed the position of the vessel, which soon arrived at the narrow entrance of the bay of Avatcha, which is described as one of the finest harbours of the world, if not actually the finest, Rio and Sydney yielding the palm to their Kamschatkan rival. The scenery of the coast of south-eastern Kamschatka, with its precipitous cliffs at the foot of which none but a bird could land, its deep valleys running down to the sea at whose mouths still lay the accumulated masses of last winter's snow, its pinnacle rocks like rows of huge iron teeth, must be superb. Steaming steadily towards land the • Marchesa' enters the harbour of Petropaulovsky, which is little more than a hamlet of about 200 or 300 inhabitants, of whom eight or ten are Europeans. If the human inhabitants of the peninsula are comparatively few in number, this is not the case with the sledge dogs, which abound. Dr. Guillemard describes the sledge dog as wonderfully well trained, cunning, and enduring, but often obstinate and unmanageable to a degree, being apparently indifferent to the kicks and blows showered on him by his master. He is a good hunter and fisherman, supporting himself upon the game and salmon he catches, but seldom, in spite of his treatment, deserting his master. However, his rapacity is so great that the inhabitants cannot keep sheep, goats, or other of the smaller domestic anima!s. Raw hides, bcots, and even babies, it is said, occasionally vary his diet.

The harbour and rivers of Petropaulovski teemed with fish; and though whiting and herring were abundant, they were left in comparative peace owing to the ease with which salmon were to be obtained. To the ship's crew this place seemed little less than a paradise; the bright sunny weather and cold nights were a pleasant change after tropical heat, and the forecastle mess was supplied with many unaccustomed dainties. It was the intention of the travellers to proceed northwards by land, with baggage and horses, from Avatcha Bay until they struck the head waters of the great Kamschatka River, then to procure boats or rafts, and to float down the stream to the sea, where it was arranged the yacht was to meet them. The account of this journey is full of interest, and is given in graphic but unpretending language, with the charms of freshness and novelty. Marvellous is the supply of fish (Salmonidæ) which the Kamschatkan rivers produced. At Narchiki, on a little branch of the Avatcha River, where the stream is not more than eighteen inches deep, Dr. Guillemard began for the first time dimly to realise the vast numbers of fish which annually visit the country, and which may be said literally to choke its rivers.

• Hundreds were in sight, absolutely touching one another, and as we crossed the river our horses nearly stepped upon them. Their back fins were visible as far as we could see the stream, and aground, and gasping in the shallows, and lying dead, or dying, upon the banks, were hundreds more. The odour from these decaying fish was distinctly perceptible at a distance of a couple of hundred yards or more. In weight these salmon varied from seven to fifteen, and even twenty, pounds. They were, for the most part, foul tish- blotchy with patches of red and white, and of the kind known by the Russians as the Garbusa ; * but others in fair condition were to be found, and with a little trouble I was able to pull out three good ten-pound fish in as many minutes with a gaff. Any other method of fishing would have been useless. It would have been nearly impossible to make a cast without foul-hooking a fish, and nine-tenths or more of them were in an uneatable condition.'

The enormous abundance of salmon which thus fill the rivers of Kamschatka is to the newcomer an astonishing sight. The millions of fish that are caught and form the food throughout the year of almost every living creature in the country—the cows and horses even not exceptedare, we are assured, as nothing compared with the countless myriads that perish naturally. The rotting fish that lined the banks and in places lay piled in little heaps together are not the victims, as one might be disposed to conclude, of any occasional fatal epidemic; the phenomenon is a constant annual occurrence. The dwellings of the natives are huts, often combined with stables, through which one has to pass before entering the habitable room ; the windows are made of strips of bear-gut sewed together, which cannot admit much light. In the corner of one of these rooms, which the travellers entered for lunch and rest,

was the usual tawdry eikon, and facing it a long array of clippings from the “ New York Police News,” full of the choicest horrors of battle, murder, and sudden death!' amid which lively surroundings the travellers consumed their sour milk and bilberries, potatoes and turnips. The party struck the Kamschatka River not far from a little hamlet called Gunal, where there are about twenty huts

* The Garbusa or Humpback, so called from the extraordinary developement on the back of the kelt during the spawning season, is the Salmo proteus of Pallas—the Oncorhynchus proteus of recent ichthyologists. This fish, with others, is figured in vol. i. p. 127.

VOL. CLXVI. NO, CCCXL.

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