The Malays have many queer notions about tigers and usually only speak of them in whispers, because they think that certain souls of human beings who have departed this life have taken up their abode in these beasts, and in some places, for this reason, they will not kill a tiger unless he commits some specially bad aggression.
At the close of my visit, my Hawaiian friends urged me strongly to publish my impressions and experiences, on the ground that the best books already existing, besides being old, treat chiefly of aboriginal customs and habits now extinct, and of the introduction of Christianity and subsequent historical events.
I was heartily sorry to leave Leh, with its dazzling skies and abounding colour and movement, its stirring topics of talk, and the culture and exceeding kindness of the Moravian missionaries. Helpfulness was the rule.
The situation of Leh is a grand one, the great Kailas range, with its glaciers and snowfields, rising just behind it to the north, its passes alone reaching an altitude of nearly 18,000 feet; while to the south, across a gravelly descent and the Indus Valley, rise great red ranges dominated by snow-peaks exceeding 21,000 feet in altitude.
Slavery, though under modifications which rendered it little more than the apprenticeship of our day, was permitted under the Mosaic dispensation; but it is contrary to the whole tenor of Christianity; and a system which lowers man as an intellectual and responsible being is no less morally than politically wrong.
One of the most painful things in the Western States and Territories is the extinction of childhood. I have never seen any children - only debased imitations of men and women, cankered by greed and selfishness, and asserting and gaining complete independence of their parents at ten years old.
Only the long melancholy call to prayer, or the wail of women over the dead, or the barking of dogs, breaks the silence which at sunset falls as a pall over Baghdad.
Bugs are a great pest in Colorado. They come out of the earth, infest the wooden walls, and cannot be got rid of by any amount of cleanliness. Many careful housewives take their beds to pieces every week and put carbolic acid on them.
The cocoa-nut palm grows best near salt water, no matter how loose and sandy the soil is, and in these congenial circumstances needs neither manure nor care of any kind. It bends lovingly toward the sea and drops its ripe fruit into it.
Water is a beverage which I never enjoyed in purity and perfection before I visited America. It is provided in abundance in the cars, the hotels, the waiting-rooms, the steamers, and even the stores, in crystal jugs or stone filters, and it is always iced. This may be either the result or the cause of the temperance of the people.
I went to the States with that amount of prejudice which seems the birthright of every English person, but I found that, under the knowledge of the Americans which can be attained by a traveller mixing in society in every grade, these prejudices gradually melted away.
Above Hilo, broad lands sweeping up cloudwards, with their sugar cane, kalo, melons, pine-apples, and banana groves suggest the boundless liberality of Nature.
Can anything be more grotesque and barbarous than our 'florists' bouquets,' a series of concentric rings of flowers of divers colours, bordered by maidenhair and a piece of stiff lace paper, in which stems, leaves, and even petals are brutally crushed, and the grace and individuality of each flower systematically destroyed?
In Japan, the people preserve their temples for their exquisite beauty, and there are a great many sincere Buddhists; but China is irreligious: a nation of atheists or agnostics, or slaves of impious superstitions. In an extended tramp among temples, I have not seen a single male worshiper or a thing to please the eye.
My first experiences of Colorado travel have been rather severe. At Greeley, I got a small upstairs room at first, but gave it up to a married couple with a child, and then had one downstairs no bigger than a cabin, with only a canvas partition. It was very hot, and every place was thick with black flies.
The 'Desert' sweeps up to the walls of Baghdad, but it is a misnomer to call the vast level of rich, stoneless, alluvial soil a desert. It is a dead flat of uninhabited earth; orange colocynth balls, a little wormwood, and some alkaline plants which camels eat, being its chief products. After the inundations, reedy grass grows in the hollows.
The plantations in the Hilo district enjoy special advantages, for by turning some of the innumerable mountain streams into flumes, the owners can bring a great part of their cane and all their wood for fuel down to the mills without other expense than the original cost of the woodwork.
The Sandwich Islands are not the same as Otaheite nor as the Fijis, from which they are distant about 4,000 miles, nor are their people of the same race. The natives are not cannibals, and it is doubtful if they ever were so. Their idols only exist in missionary museums.
The traveller who aspires to reach the highlands of Tibet from Kashmir cannot be borne along in a carriage or hill-cart. For much of the way, he is limited to a foot pace, and if he has regard to his horse, he walks down all rugged and steep descents, which are many, and dismounts at most bridges.
An American store is generally a very extensive apartment, handsomely decorated, the roof frequently supported on marble pillars. The owner or clerk is seen seated by his goods, absorbed in the morning paper - probably balancing himself on one leg of his chair, with a spittoon by his side.